Sunday, September 25, 2011

every little thing is gonna be alright



things have been looking up since my grandmother's funeral this past monday. i never thought a funeral would make me feel good, but strangely i feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. we were living in limbo for almost two weeks as her funeral was twelve days after she passed away. i guess i don't do well living in limbo and needed the closure and finality that a funeral brings. i've been trying to spend as much time as i can with my sweet girl. if you are ever feeling down and out one of the best recipes is spending time with a small child, they can't help but make you laugh and make your heart smile.  i'm looking forward to catching up with all of you!

happy sunday,
amber

Friday, September 16, 2011

lost in music


tuesday night i saw this amazing man in concert and it was wonderful to get lost in his music.  he is so shy and understated when he speaks, but his singing voice blows your doors off.  i saw him last summer for the first time and couldn't believe how talented this man is.  he seems so vulnerable when engages the audience but then he has this huge, ridiculously humbling voice, love that.  i needed to get away and to lose myself for a bit. 

 it has been one shit storm after another since my last post and i've been completely out of the loop.  my grandmother passed away last wednesday.  it has been hard to deal with, not because of her death so much as the lack of relationship that we had.  she did not want to be part of my life or my mother's.  it was not always that way, and i have many fond memories of my grandmother from my childhood.  as my mom and i have been sifting through her house and trying to settle her affairs it is very apparent that my grandmother had reduced us down to a handful of pictures, stuffed away in her garage like we didn't exist.  it has been painful.  it's hard to believe someone you love has so much ugliness in their heart.  i hate to see my mother mask her hurt with jokes.  i hate to see my mom try to be so strong, when she really should just set her feelings free.  

this has been a hard week, but things are getting better daily.  thank you friends who have helped me this last week.  thank you for listening to the crazy circumstances.  thank you for letting me burden you with my feelings.  thank you for caring for my daughter when i needed to be somewhere else.  at times i've been sad, but then get mad at myself for feeling sad about a woman that didn't love me.  i wasn't prepared for this roller coaster ride and i'm so thankful for my friends who have fastened their seatbelt and have rode this ride beside me.  you have no idea how grateful i am.

normally i would never write a post like this but i feel like i'd be lying if i posted about home decor, fashion, or food, or any of the usual subjects i chat about here with everything that has been going on.  i also feel a closeness to a handful of you regular readers even though we've never met.  it is a weird feeling, feeling like you have a friendship with someone you've never met.  i guess that is what blogging is all about, at least for me anyway, making connections with people who value the same things as you.  so for those of you reading, i value what you bring to my blog so much and thought i'd share something that is not so fun to share because i feel connected to you.

love you all,
amber


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a labor day of love


yesterday we had a great afternoon in julian.


we checked out a tiny gallery.


we went to a store that had more varieties of honey than i can count.


we went in a couple fun shops.


this looks like fall in a bucket!



we pondered... apple dumplings or pie?


we opted for pie.  all made from scratch.  pie like this doesn't need fancy silverware or plates.  it can stand on its own.



i chose bumbleberry- blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry.  no ice cream.  flaky crust.


then we took little miss s apple picking.





these last three pictures make my heart full.  it was a perfect day.  life is good.  i sometimes wonder how i got so lucky to have this sweet little life i have.  maybe it is just my perspective.  little things make me happy, like the picture of my little girls hands.  my life is simple but it is filled with tiny moments of joy and i so appreciate every bit of it.

i hope you have a great week filled with small moments that fill you up with big joy.

love,
amber


Sunday, September 4, 2011

it started with a paint by number


some of you have asked me for some detailed specifics of my room redo, but i need to share some background information before we get to the nitty gritty.  i think the biggest inspiration for the room came from this paint by number i bought from ebay earlier this year.


this is the before shot of the room.  this is embarrassing.  this is my attempt at interior design.  not good.  i know.  my taste has really changed in the past year or two.  the room is the first room you see when you walk into our house.  as you can see we didn't keep it very tidy (i did not stage this photo at all, wanted you to see what the room really looked like).  there were always papers piled up everywhere.  my husband also works from home and could not use this space as there is no door to the room, just a large opening.  working in an office without a door doesn't really work out well when you have a four year old running around and you are on conference calls with customers.


i decided to enlist the help of melissa from bixby & ball to help me redo the room.  i had very specific ideas of what i wanted to do, but i have a hard time pulling everything together.  i've known melissa casually for a couple of years now and when i found out she opened her own business i knew she was going to be the right person to help me.  she is so nice, humble in the most complimentary way possible, and she totally understood the look i was going for.  after our first meeting melissa gave me a handful of sketches.  she nailed it.

my hopes were to turn my new tract house into an older home with character.  out with the new and in with the old!  i knew i wanted to purchase a new slipcovered, white, english rolled arm sofa on casters, and that i wanted everything else in the room to be old, either purchased at flea markets or thrift  stores.  i also wanted built-in bookcases with a window seat in between.

the working relationship melissa and i had was great.  it was very much a collaboration, which was perfect for me.  i wanted to be part of the project.  i wanted to pick out the fabrics.  i wanted the room to be a reflection of me and my style not just a project for an interior designer to add to their portfolio.  these sketches acted as a road map/shopping list for me.  as the project took off it kind of took on a life of its own and what started as a new sofa and a built-in bookcase became a top to bottom redo, including the walls and floors.
nothing in my house is symmetrical, which is really annoying.  i like symmetry.  i wanted the bookshelf and window seat to take up some space to try to even out the room a little.  plus, one can always use more storage right?



the room is so close to being finished.  as you can see we are lacking some window treatments and lampshades, but here is a little bit of what the room is looking like at this point.

if you want to hire someone to help you with a space i can't say enough about melissa.  her partner in crime and business partner, betsy, is also a kick in the pants too and can help you with event planning.

next up i will get into the planking on the walls.

hope you're having a lovely sunday friends!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Are you ready for this?


fall is almost here!  i LOVE fall with a capital L.  we kind of get the short end of the stick in southern california when it comes to fall.  it's kind of hard to get into the fall spirit when it's hot outside, but i'm trying to find new ways, southern california ways, to celebrate my favorite season.  last night i had the pleasure of going to roger's gardens in newport beach for the unveiling of their "blackstone theater."  i was shocked that i had to wait in line to get in, serious anticipation started to build here.


all the employees of roger's were wearing these decorated top hats and wore all black.


more anticipation here.  they have pumpkins already?!  won't they rot by halloween?!


getting closer


this lovely lady was the greeter.  another beautiful top hat.



i'm in!


once i got into the "theater" all hell broke loose and i couldn't take that many pictures.


there were so many people inside.  each room had a theme.  it was halloween decor on steroids.  so fun!


i had to get outside.  


have i mentioned before, how much i love to garden? 

it feeds my soul.  and this place, roger's gardens, is like heaven on earth to me.  if i could garden all day every day i would.


their flower displays are unbelievable.


yes please!



nothing signifies fall more, besides pumpkins, than mums.



i love black eyed susans.  these were used quite a bit in minnesota.  they would often be paired with big stalks of karl foerster grasses and russian sage mixed with some blue spruce trees. 


look how sweet this witch topiary is.  adorable.  do you have any fall traditions?  i guess it's apple picking season soon.  we used to do that in nor cal every fall.  there is a beautiful place called apple hill.     you can spend an entire day in the mountains picking apples, sipping wine at the many wineries peppered in between the apple orchards, and then round out your day buy cutting your pumpkins from the vines.

who's down for a trip to roger's for their christmas unveiling?!  apparently it happens in a month!

i hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  yay!  a three dayer!