Tuesday, March 31, 2015

M.I.A.... :)

I'm here! Alive and well! I skipped last week because, well...
life was just happening:)
I've had guests pretty much the entire month of March.

I had to laugh the other day when I went outside and saw my front
doormat. It really does tell a story:)

The story of love and family.

I'm a lucky lucky girl.
I live in a place that beckons my awesome family to want to come visit.

First visitors were my brother and his girls.
Always -always- always a great time no matter what.

We mesh so well we've actually traveled around Europe with them.
All of us together. 
In a van...
HILARIOUS I tell ya!!

They're always up for fancy dinners at home complete with 
picture worthy drinks....

Or bbq's on the beach with paper plates and solo cups:)

And what's no to love about s'mores cooked over a grill??
The beauty of improvisation:)

And then there's the laughing...
Lots and lots of laughing!!!!

Next up?
My hubby's most favorite sister in the whole wide world:)
These two could have been twins.

I have shared many a crying belly laugh with this woman, and I love her
dearly for accepting me since the day I met her when I was just a silly
girl of 17:)

I love this picture of us with her and her sweet hubby and daughter.
Rain or shine, they want to go to the beach:)

I crack up how everyone says her daughter looks like
she could be mine....ok! I'll take her!!

In my best dreams they would move here, my hubby missed
her 5 minutes after she left:(

 Theeeen came last Monday night and this gorgeous baby
showed up at my door and it was all over:)
I forgot what day it was...
I forgot to blog...
I forgot everything...

I was M.I.A because of her.
And guess what...
Her name is Mia!!!
hahahaha!! Perfect right??!!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know about an
amazing foreign exchange student that we hosted way back in 2001.
I blogged about her here.

Anyway, this sweet girl has become more like our daughter. She's honestly
one of the smartest most driven girls I know and we are
so lucky to call her family:)

Just one more pick of Mia and her adorable little chicklet teeth:)

So there. There's my excuse for not blogging last week.
I was busy lovin' on my family:)

I'm thinking I'm going to order a new doormat like the one above,
because summer's a comin' and I'm pretty sure some of my peeps
are gonna want some beach time.....

And I can't WAIT!!

** source for rug HERE
** source for similar lab mug HERE

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The crying house.... :)

 I'm not exactly sure when my obsession with old, broken down houses began but
I'm thinking it might have been right around the time I saw this movie...

I was little and I stayed up late and watched it with my older sister Kim:)
I remember loving the house.
I mean, look at that lovely bead board in the background!!
And what's not to love about Robert Redford and Natalie Wood????

Well as you know because I've said it like a million times, the hubby and I 
LOVE to drive around and look at houses. No matter where we are.
Usually after dinner or on Sunday afternoons like old people, we go on 
our drives:) 
Well since the day we landed here in Carp, I've been in love
with this house...

We always give names to our favorite houses. Like blue door house, or 
green step house, or gargoyle house, or bait house, and so on.

Well this house is named...
 the crying house:(
Not because I want to cry every single time I see it but because...

It looks like it's crying too!!! :( :( :(
Can you see it? 
The tear stains coming from the windows...
I can't take it.

Call me crazy because I already know I am, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE
this house!! Like I love it in my soul ya know??
I literally drive by this place every chance I get just to whisper 
I love yous out the window at her:)
Because clearly....she hasn't been loved in a long time:(

According to some neighbors passing by, this house has been
sitting abandoned for at least 20 years.


 Where others might see a pile of bricks that belong in the trash,
I see walkways, borders or a fireplace hearth!!

And just have a look at that old rusty headboard!!
If I wasn't completely convinced that a kin to the snake I saw the other
day was in that tall grass, I would have ventured closer and inspected
this pile of rusty treasures!!

Honestly, look at that wall!!!! Can't you just see climbing roses
all over it????

And just have a gander at what only the hubby could see over the fence! 
Short girl problems:(
Is that the coolest concrete sink? And how bout that lil tiny
sink? It says please put me in a powder bath! Am I right??

We're thinking judging by the two meters and the evidence of stairs on
the side of the house, that at some time this house was split into
two houses?

Can you see the original siding under that stucco though????

Here it is again! 

I love this house so much and have not been able to quit
thinking about it since I first laid eyes on it in August.
While I would LOVE the Lord to bless me with this place,
I reeeeally just want to wipe her tears and make her
all better, even for someone else!!!


I know right?? So if anyone out there has that kind of
green just laying around and wants to join forces with me
in rescuing this lady....
then give me a jingle!!! 

I'm totally not even kidding. 

I'm going to go all
Sherlock Holmes this week and find out who owns
this sweet house and beg them to sell it to me.

I made my hubby take a selfie in front of "my" house:)
All before we got back into the truck and drove away
and I choked back tears:(

I don't know why this house has such a grip on my heart????
Sing it with me now-

I was alright for awhile
I could smile for awhile
But I saw you last night
You held my hand so tight
As you stopped to say "hello"

Oh you wished me well
You couldn't tell
That I'd been crying.....over you

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The best Anniversary dinner ever.... :)

Last week, (March 6th to be exact) I got to celebrate 
28 years with this guy:)
Now usually he plans a lovely date for the two of us,
but this time I knew exactly where I wanted to go:)

I saw an advertisement for this Field to Vase dinner happening here in Carp and 
it just so happened to be the day before our Anniversary!
I mean, I love food and I LOVE flowers so
this just sounded like heaven!

And oh my... it was! This dinner took place at Westland Orchids.
The table for 100 was set right down the middle of a greenhouse full
of hundreds of orchids.
AMAZING.... !!

So what I thought was going to be dinner of locally grown food 
amongst gorgeous flowers, ended up being such an eye opener for me.
The true meaning in all this is how important it is for all of
us to understand just where our flowers come from!!

Did you know....

California produces nearly 80% of all USA grown flowers?
Over 40 varieties in over 30 nurseries are grown here in Santa Barbara county alone!
The roots of some of these California flower farmers run 
generations deep!!

The family that owns and operates the Westland Orchids here in Carp have
been growing beauty for over 4 generations, the first starting out in Holland:)

When we walked into the Gerbera daisy greenhouse it took my breath away.
This picture just doesn't do it justice I tell ya!!

What I found astounding while on this tour is that while California
grows so many of America's flowers,
85% of Americans have no idea where the flowers they buy come from,
resulting in 80% of all flowers sold in the U.S. are imported!!
But... when given the knowledge and information, nearly everyone
chose to buy locally grown flowers!!

Who knew???

It was heartbreaking to hear these statistics coming from a flower farmer who clearly
had a passion for what he does!!
For the first time in my life it put a real human behind the bunches of
flowers I buy on nearly a weekly basis.

I try to be so mindful of eating local food, knowing where it 
comes from and all, but never once thought
about flowers in that way!

As we went to sit down, we were told it was open seating and to 
just find a seat.
Well it just so happened that I ended up with the best seat
in the house!!!

I sat next to Lane. I had to ask him his name like 30 minutes after talking
to him because he had me at Tulip Farmer.
I heard nothing else.
I later found out he was the past chair for the California
Cut Flower Commission and he grows all kinds of
loveliness on all his farms across California.

I told him besides having an ice cream shop,
I'm pretty sure he has the best job ever.
You know those tulips you buy at Trader Joe's?
Yeah, those are his:)

Well Lane taught me how important it is for us to look
for the California Grown label on the flowers we buy.
Because while they are grown in California,
the are AMERICA'S flowers!!

Another farmer at our table told us to look for the
lady bug sticker, those are from Carpinteria!!

This dinner just made such an impact on me! These hard working
farmers do their part in growing such beauty, we should in
turn do ours.
Look for the label above on all your flowers from local shops
to grocery stores. 

And if that dinner was fabulous enough, we got to take home
a vase of those beautiful locally grown flowers:)

Does this dinner sound like something you'd love??

Well if you just so happen to be anywhere near Carlsbad, CA on April 15, 2015
the next Field to Vase is going to be in a ranunculus field....
Like they are literally carving out a space in the middle of the flowers
for the dinner table!!
I'm going to try my darndest to get to that one!!
I mean come on! can you even imagine the beauty????

If you can't make that one because you're frantically doing
your taxes or something, well you're in luck! there are others:)
More info here:)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The "incident".... :)

Have you ever had a dream where you're trying to scream
but you can't? Or you're trying so hard to run but your
feet are so heavy and you're just moving in slow motion?
Yeah me too.
Well that entire situation happened to me in real life.

Once upon a time....
(last week at lunchtime) the hubby and I decided to walk 
the trail and see the seals and their pups. I can't get enough of them! 
So we went, and they didn't disappoint with their cuteness.
Then on the way home.....

I can hardly even write it,
but just as we passed that beautiful tree with the perfect
lookout to the sea...
a 5 ft long SNAKE crossed our path.
You have no idea how terrified of them I am!!!!

He slithered across the path about a foot behind me.
(at least he waited for me to pass, so kind of him)
I saw it out of the corner of my eye.
I was trying to scream but nothing was coming out!!
I tried to run by my toes were curled under so hard in my
shoes it made it impossible!!!!!

I couldn't even get myself to freaking google a picture of
a snake because they freak me out so bad!
So you'll just have to trust me that he kinda looked
like this cartoon one. Only not really.

My hubby was caught between doing 2 manly things (of course).
Helping his hysterical wife,
and wanting to go "check it out".
He opted for the first one thank the heavens.

After about what seemed like 18 hours for the adrenaline
rush to subside I finally calmed down.
And ate a s'more sandwich. 

But now I'm sooo bummed!! Because I don't know
if I'll be able to go walk that trail alone!!??
My hubby said it was a gopher snake and not harmful
to humans.
Um Okaaaay???
A snake is a snake is a snake is a snake!!!!

So that I can sleep tonight and not think about the "incident",
let's change the subject mkaay?

I have to show you what I got last week...
for FREE!!!
Yes, FREE. On the side of the road on the way to
the beach.
Who gets rid of that????
I don't even know, but what I DO know is...

Rio would love it. 
She sent me this pic shortly after I
dropped it off. It works perfect for a side table in her
tiny cottage! Especially because it's on wheels and
she can just roll it out when she needs to get in that cabinet
on the left:)

 I told her you all want to see her adorable place, so I promise I'll 
get pics soon.