Saturday, December 29, 2012

Star of the Week (SUPERstar?)

Like most of you I'm still shaken by the events in Newtown.  Hope you had some good family moments over the holidays and plenty of hugging your kids.
I think I could write a blog on the star sighting of the week at the market (or Starbucks).  I don't even mention it happens all the time.  Yesterday however was one that I can't not mention.
The beautiful Annette Bening at Whole Foods.  I'm not one to get star-struck since it's such a frequent occurrence, but seriously people...Annette Bening.  Big time movie star.  Married to big time movie star Warren Beatty.  Hollywood royalty. She was so stunning I wanted to just stop and stare at her but my daughter scolded me so I just kept walking.
In other news, still looking every day for a house, condo or apartment to buy.  People don't do much real estate selling over the holidays.  There are like 5 places and nothing good.  Gotta keep the faith though...something will come up.
In the meantime does anyone know a way to break the habit of eating this every morning for breakfast:
Or grabbing one of these every single time you walk through the kitchen:
How do you kick the holiday sweets habit?
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The title of this post comes from a tweet from one of my favorite humans Kurt Warner...lover of Jesus, awesome husband & father, kind humanitarian.  Most people know him for being a Super Bowl MVP, but he is clearly so much more.
Even the most devout have questions for God.
There are just no words. 
Let's hug our kids and pray for those who have been robbed of that joy forever.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bye Bye Suburbia!

Hello again friends!
Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving and are full speed ahead into Christmas.
I'm seeing so many inspirational Christmas decorations around blogland and it's making me realize I need to get it in gear.
Since you last heard from me I have moved to the charming 1940's rental where I will look for a permanent place to buy.  The move went so smoothly it's hard to believe. 
And when you only unpack the things you need, the nesting and settling is a breeze.  There is something very freeing (is that a word?) about living minimally with only the things you need. 
I kinda like it.
This place is  pretty charming.  Original wood floors, original solid wood doors and doorknobs.  It's been in the same family since it was new so it's in amazing condition.
Even a sweet little phone cubby in the hall.
And did I mention it takes me 10 minutes to get to work and NO FREEWAY?!  Houzzah!
Oh and one more fun thing...this is just around the corner...
If it ever stops raining I will actually be able to walk there.  Can't wait! 
Rain rain go away!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a good one! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

New and convenient or vintage with character?

I am having a hard time deciding on a rental to move into for the next few months while I search for something to buy.  You wouldn't think it would be that difficult.  There are beautiful new apartments with all the bells and whistles.
But most of them have very little character or anything that makes them interesting or unique. 
And since it's winter, do I really need a pool?
And does anyone ever really need a movie theater in their apartment building?
  Then there are many gorgeous old buildings with beautiful wood floors, original moldings and tons of charm like this one in Hollywood...
And this one on Melrose...
How cute are they?  You don't find this kind of charm in the new buildings.
And the windows...oh my gosh the windows.
And what about this beauty?  Could you die for this great mid-century architecture?

These babies just ooze charm and they are very appealing to me.  This might be the only time for the rest of my life that I will rent an apartment so I'm kind of feeling like I should go for it and do something fun.  It's temporary.  Live a little, I tell myself.  But the new shiny buildings have one thing over the old beauties...
The new buildings have convenient facilities...either in the apartment or at least on each floor, inside hallways, protected from the elements. 
The old, beautiful charmers, oy vey it is bad.  We're talking about going outside, old machines, and don't forget your bag of quarters. It's winter (even in LA!)'s cold and dark in the evenings!  
Maybe I could just send out my laundry and get over it.  I don't know. What do you think?  Is it a silly thing to consider?
Whatever I do, I need to do it fast.  I have to move in 13 days.  Help! 
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Festival of Trees

Hope you are well.  After 95 degrees earlier this week, the weather in Southern California is finally fall-ish.  Actually needed a jacket today!  And just in time because today is the start of the
10th Annual Festival of Trees in our town.
(one of my Festival trees from 2009)
  It's a big fundraiser for our local Boys & Girls Club where we decorate fancy Christmas trees that are auctioned for big bucks.  It lasts two weeks and there is a huge's all very festive.

 I have designed trees for this event for 10 years and of course this year I decided to sell my house right in the middle of it all.
But somehow I managed to finish my trees on time.  These are all little trees, about 4' tall. Take a peak...



And possibly my favorite this year, a vintage golf tree with old wooden golf clubs and leather club covers. 
I do love me some golf!
But now, it's back to the business of finding a new home.  I'm moving in about 19 days and I still have no idea where!
Thanks so much for visiting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Hope you are well.  I have news...
On the 7th day the Lord rested, and on the 7th day of my home being for sale, I got a
 great offer!
And there is no resting in my future.
(Annie, coincidence that the offer came the same day I left out brownies and bottles of water for the buyers as you suggested?  Maybe not!) 
And now it is ON.  The buyer wants a quick escrow, so I have less than 30 days to find a temporary rental place and pack everything I own.
I got a good jump on it yesterday.  I packed my whole kitchen (25 boxes).  What are the odds I can keep up this pace?
  I'm on a mission!
Super excited to check out some rentals and find a cool place to live while I look for a new home.  Is it crazy that I love the excitement of a change like this?
I'm even sort of enjoying packing!
Thanks for visiting...stay tuned!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Star of the Week....helloooo Mr. Big

Sex and the City or The Good Wife?

Do you love either or both of these shows? 
I do! 
One of the perks of living in L.A. is that you never know who you will run into.  Yesterday at the Starbucks I go to all the time (it is near my office and my hopefully-soon-to-be new neighborhood) I spied Chris Noth for the second time in about a month.  I guess he lives in the neighborhood when he's not in New York filming The Good Wife.
This is not my photo because I don't ever like to invade the privacy of celebrities...think it's kinda creepy and stalkerish.
But you must admit...
Dude is adorable.  Married, but adorable.
Thanks for visiting ~ have a good one...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm on The Cottage Mix

I was excited to discover this morning that Lauren of The Cottage Mix (one of my very favorite blogs)
is featuring my living room on her blog! 
How fun!  Pop over and check it out will love The Cottage Mix.
You can also read about my dining room e-design here on The Cottage Mix.

Thanks for visiting.


Where Exactly IS Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is everywhere, or so it seems. 
I feel bad for L.A. transplants.  Figuring out L.A. must be like learning trigonometry (aka really hard).  Everyone knows about the five burroughs of New York City, but does anyone know all of the communities that make up Los Angeles?  I've lived here all of my life and I couldn't name them all if my life depended on it.  Los Angeles is a sprawling giant metropolis...literally.

  And to make it more confusing, some communities are actually incorporated little cities (West Hollywood, Santa Monica) and not part of Los Angeles proper.  And yet they are smack dab in the middle of it all.

One common thread, when you're looking for real estate, it's ALL going to cost a lot of $$$.

And good luck trying to figure out where to even start looking.  You've got Downtown - getting more populated with condos and lofts popping up everywhere.  
Then there is the West Side - Wilshire area, Westwood (go Bruins!), Brentwood and all of the beach communities. 

There is Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silverlake where there are beautiful, historic properties from the 1920's and 1930's with tons of great architecture.  I'm going to look at a place in this historic building where many old-time "movie stars" have lived. 
And of course there is the "valley", which refers to the San Fernando Valley which starts on the other side of the Hollywood Hills/Santa Monica Mountains, north of Mulholland Drive. (have I completely confused you?)  There are some beautiful neighborhoods in the valley like Studio City, Sherman Oaks, favorite areas are in the hills and snuggled up next to Ventura Boulevard.
For my new home, I have been looking in the Hollywood, West Hollywood, Studio City and Sherman Oaks areas.  There is not a lot of inventory (realtor-speak) which is good for sellers.  Properties are going quickly with multiple offers, which is a little terrifying as a buyer, but great for the property I'm currently selling.  We've been on the market for about 3 days and already had several showings....fingers crossed for a great offer.  I'll keep you posted.

Thanks so much for reading & have a great day!



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Staging Your Home To Sell



As I told you the other day, I'm packing up and moving from the suburbs back to my hometown...the Hollywood/Studio City area...not exactly sure where I will end up yet.   
So in order to get going with my big plan I need to sell my house.  Towards that end, I've been clearing out and purging stuff (even more than I usually do).  Another thing I've been doing is staging my home.  Staging your home for sale is all the rage...everyone is doing it.  Sometimes I think it looks kinda fake, like when the dining room table is set for a full meal.  No one really has their table set all the time (do they?).  
However, if it's done right, staging can be very effective. 
It's all about creating a feeling of a certain lifestyle.  The scene you set should show the potential buyers what a lovely life they will have if only they will buy
THIS home.

You want them to be able to picture themselves having breakfast or a cup of coffee in your kitchen.
Of course you love your family photos & memories but pack 'em up.  Don't remind the buyer that another family lives here, you want them to picture themselves living here.  A good replacement for photos is a stack of books. 
Looks clean and organized. 
You're going for uncluttered, so even if you have to pack up some of your clothes, it's worth it to show that your closets are spacious...plenty of room.  I didn't have to do that...I don't have that many clothes anyway!

I won't bore you with pictures of my  bathroom cabinets, but trust me, they are clean & tidy.  Buyers look everywhere.  Snoopymcsnoopersons!

It's all about creating a feeling...they think if they buy your house, they too will live a neat and tidy lifestyle.

Seriously, I even slightly staged my refrigerator. Don't laugh..they will look in there.  If your fridge is dirty or messy, it will help if it's cleaned up.

If possible, keep lots of fresh flowers around the house when you are selling.  If that's not practical, live plants are a good option but I happen to think fake plants are worse than no plants.  What do you think?
Staging is really about common sense.  Think about what you would like to see when looking at a home. 
Clean, uncluttered, well-maintained, neutral.
But if you need help, there are plenty of talented peeps out there who will do it for you.  Seems like it would be a fun job.

So come on over for a glass of wine in the backyard and picture yourself living here.

It's lovely I promise.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Taking the Plunge...

Sounds cliche but it's true.  I'm taking the plunge in many blog, new home, new "old" hometown...everything is about to change.  So this blog seems like a good place to document my little journey and hopefully record some fun new memories.

Here are a few bits of background.

I grew up here.....


in the shadow of this....

This was home.  This was what was familiar to me.  It was life....until about 20 years and 3 kids ago, when I decided it was time to move to the a lovely town where high school football rules and kids score tons of candy on Halloween.

Good decision.  Kiddos are all grown up, doing great and we all have so many awesome memories of this great community. 
Oh, and they've all moved away from this sleepy little burb, into the city.

Which brings me to this...look what went up in my yard today.....

That's right!  I'm moving back to the "city".....where there is theater and great shopping (hello West Elm!).  And more importantly, my kids, my job and no more freeway commuting. 
Can. Not. Wait.

So today is day one of my journey back to my hometown.  So much to do.  Sell a home.  Buy a home.  Yikes!  It's a lot.  But I'm ready.
  So here we go!

 Thanks so much for visiting.  Please stop by often.