Category Archives: La Casa

All about our home life.

One Community: June!


One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

I gotta tell you One Community peeps, this month, I’ve got nothing! Road, Float, Sprinkler and Oasis? Things have been busy here and I’ve barely touched my camera.

Except that I got a new phone and am pretty impressed with its camera. Sitting out on the patio yesterday, I casually aimed my new iPhone 5S and snapped these in about two seconds flat. With a little Picmonkey action, they are not half bad.

OK. So I’ve got a little bit of Oasis. That’s all I got.

The herb patch in our small courtyard garden has been hard dirt for years. In the years BM (Before Maceo), we had luscious basil, rosemary and thyme. But as soon as Maceo could toddle, he colonized that patch and made it his own personal dirt pit. And we gave up.

This year, I have to say, we have hope. We’ve planted the patch, explained to him what the herbs need to grow and how he can help, and so far, so good. Crossing fingers.

Tau grew this basil on his bedroom window sill in a teensy plastic greenhouse that I found in the Target dollar bins. This was the only seedling that survived the transplant into this pot. Maceo calls it “baby basil,” and I’m thinking it’s going to make it.


Below is what he calls “big basil”—one of two four-inch plants we bought from the nursery. Because we love our summer pesto and caprese in this house! These are only about the size of a soccer ball now but they are growing fast.


I have a thing for marigolds. Dave doesn’t get it, but he still humors me and lets me plant them along the border of the herb garden.


And finally, below you can see our first baby step into the world of veggies: tomatoes! Actually, not true. I tried to plant some South-African gem squash a few years back, and they worked their way up the trellis beautifully and flowered but never fertilized. Boo!

I think I picked up this tomato rocket at Target also. The kids have been excited to watch it sprout and grow. They will be beside themselves if it actually bears tomatoes. But will they eat them?! Stay tuned for the next exciting installment! Da-da-da-dum!


’til next month peeps!

Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – 15 and Quit!




Not sure if this falls into the 15 minutes Surface project or the Spend fifteen minutes and then quit one!

One of the joys of living in Southern California, is that your washer and dryer are often located in a closet outside the house. And no one likes to talk about it, but when it rains or the weather gets cooler, all kinds of critters make their way where it is warm and dry. Hence, rat poop on the shelves in my laundry closet. I know.


I had a 45-minute gap between work and picking up Tau for karate. So I donned disposable gloves, a face mask, and went at those shelves with my vacuum cleaner and disinfectant.


I also purged the piles of old towels and assorted pool toys that we store in that closet, and will wash (in hot water) the remaining pile before putting it back. I stopped with three minutes to spare, and just enough time to change my tee, wash my face and hands, and head out to karate!



Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Kitchen Cupboard

Catching up on a couple of 15-minute de-clutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

For my birthday in late February friends gave me a set of beautiful new Crate ‘n Barrel champagne flutes. Other friends gave me a new set of martini glasses.

Either my friends think I don’t drink enough or they know the new glasses will be well used!

Anyhow, this led to me purging our glassware cupboard last week. Out with all the nasty plastic kidware — keeping only what we USE — and the Mexican glass goblets we probably haven’t used in a decade, and in with my pretty new glasses.


Turns out the beautiful new flutes are too tall for our shelves, so I’m displaying them on top of the cupboard.


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Corner


The second in my series of 15-minute declutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

This is the spot in Tau’s room where toys that are not played with go to die get tossed aside. But he had a friend coming to sleep over and so we tackled his bedroom together.


I know the before picture doesn’t look that bad — a plastic bag containing small gifts and stocking stuffers from Christmas (!), his stuffed animals in their pet bed (yes, we had to buy them a real pet bed from the store), and a pirate’s treasure chest, which contains at least five years’ worth of plastic birthday-party and fast-food crappy giveaways.

But consider that this project also involved purging and reorganizing the books and toys on the THREE bottom shelves, and making the floor so that you could walk on it again … at least until Tau’s friend arrived, and then 30 minutes later, it was covered in Beyblades and Lego all over again.

It was clear for those few moments — I have the picture to prove it!


Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Table



I decided to play along with Beth Woolsey’s 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects. My intention is to do at least five of these 15-minute purges throughout Lent, in the hopes that our home will be less messy and my mind feel less cluttered!

Maceo’s room doubles as my craft area — he’s too young to care! And the craft table and shelves, of course, become the dumping ground for anything that doesn’t fit in his closet or that I don’t know what to do with just right at that moment.


Truth told, this was more of a 25-minute project than a 15-minute one. The purging and neatening took a wee bit longer than 15 minutes. I then spent another 15 minutes after the tidy up framing those four little pictures you see on the wall below — the frames have been sitting on said craft table for at least two years, waiting! It feels SO good to get this done!


Fabric-by Fabric Sew Along: Paired Table Runners

Squeaking in just under the wire for this month’s Fabric-by-Fabric Sew Along.

I chose to make place mats because we needed a new set that we could easily chuck in the washing machine whenever they got grubby. I wanted to personalize them with our names, and when I saw this rich chocolate corduroy and fun pink and orange cotton print, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Two long runners, corduroy on the one side, embroidered with each of our names. On the other side, the cotton print that we can use when we have dinner guests.

Yes, they used four yards (!) of fabric, but they stitched up quickly, the fabrics look lovely together, and the embroidery turned out just as I’d hoped!

Only downer was that I didn’t pre-wash the fabrics, and the cotton-print side shrank slightly. Boo!

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Spring Has Sprung … In Our Bathroom!

Remember my resolution to focus on each room in the house this year and see where things need freshening up?

When we moved in some seven or eight years ago now, the bathroom that Dave and I share had the most hideous black, grey and gold wallpaper border a couple inches from the ceiling. We were only too glad to rip it down and give the whole bathroom a fresh coat of white.

We’ve lived with the white, grey (floor tiles and granite counter top) and utilitarian glass sliding shower door all these years. It looks fresh and sparkly when clean and very uninspiring when not.

A month or so ago, I had an hour to kill at Cost Plus and $50 birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. Dangerous, I know. I spotted this lovely shower curtain on sale, a matching blood red bath mat, this Indian-inspired frame and, lo, a new bathroom color scheme was born!

Add to that a few details: a sweet little ceramic elephant to hold incense, a photo of Dave and I on our 20th anniversary in the bold red frame, a pretty green-glass candle, some tongue-in-cheek British bathroom humor and—ta-daa!— a pretty, spring-has-sprung bathroom!

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