Thursday, March 28, 2013

Patio Gardening Hopefulness

  I have lofty dreams. The one we'll discuss today involves my balcony patio, growing a culinary herb garden, and my obsession with outdoor living spaces. 

I'll be the first to admit to having a rather dismal outdoor area. There's no reason for this. I live in a charming old apartment that is fabulous and wonderful in every way besides that I've neglected my patio space big time! Which is a shame because it's the main entry point when I come and go, and the first impression my home makes on guests! My early childhood was spent in southern California and my memories of this time involve my mother's sun-baked patio garden, my uncle's tidy rose garden, my aunt's deck covered with twisting grape vines, and of course, my grandmother's tiny, magical apricot orchard. A few years back I visited a friend of a friend's patio garden and fell in love with the space. And I've had the best of intentions ever since. 

Last year's attempt at an herb garden was a good one. I planted seeds early, cultivated the tiny growths, transplanted them into pots, watered, and made sure there was plenty of sun. There might have been too much sun. Last summer was one of the hottest on records (think 115 degrees...for a week...die) and my plants just withered up in what seemed like an

This year, I've got a plan. The seedlings have sprouted! I've got nasturtium, marigold, basil, mint, chives, thyme, dill, lavender, and lots and lots of catnip in the works. Cause I know a lot of cats. I'm going to harden them off them before replanting in larger pots. Brainstorming has begun on a "catio" solution...I might even be looking at decorative pillows in the near future! I've pinned inspiration here and here and here and here.  Also on my side: a new neighbor whose simple patio table and mat is much more in line with my aesthetic than the previous tenant's cluttered decor that I had to literally climb over to reach my door. They took the cow skull with them, but left behind the groovy concrete painted mushroom statue. The boyfriend feels really connected to the concrete mushroom so maybe I'll work it in somehow. ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Off

I work an irregular schedule so I often find myself tooling around on a weekday off. Normally I'd be spending my time grocery shopping, getting the oil changed in my car, doing laundry, catching up on bills, or doing other sundry adult-ish things but today I decided to take it easy and well, be lazy! It's supposed to get into the upper 60's this afternoon so I might be taking a walk or lounging in the park later (ink doodling? magazine reading? It's almost like...a day off!). Here are the things that have made my morning off so relaxing and cozy:

Enjoying coffee in this new-to-me fox mug. I found the sweetest little set of mugs at an estate sale last week and have just now used the fox mug for the first time!

 This sweater-cardigan thing. I got this on sale at anthropologie a few winters ago, and it is really perfect for snuggling on the couch. I thought it was kind of awful when I first saw it and that says something about either how things grow on you when you look at them all the time, how much my style has evolved, or how enticing sales can be. I love it now, at any rate. I'll probably still be wearing this as an old lady.

 And of course, my sweet Tigerlily. She seems content to lounge on anything I've cast off throughout the day, from coats and bags to blankets to dresses and so on. My sweet little little! 

Hoping your Tuesday is fair and sunny. xo

Thursday, March 14, 2013


<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I was one of those wahhh-ing over Google's decision to close up shop on Google Reader. Long ago I used it as an alternate, more interesting way to keep up with "sharebros": friends and associates from university days and so on. It provided hours of entertainment and dinner-talk but sadly Google stopped supporting the capacity to "share" articles, photos, and whatnot on Reader (Google+ blah blah) and the share-o-sphere became quiet and lonely. I moved on and started simply using it as an RSS. Annnnd now it's time to move on again! Luckily for all of us, there's Bloglovin' and away I go!

In other news, I am in the process of devising a structure to allow my indoor-only kitty to enjoy the great outdoors my patio without running away. My mister calls it a "Catio." Stay tuned for important updates on this...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pinterest DIY...Dry Shampoo!

What do you think of dry shampoos? Have you ever tried one? When I'm around the lady friends this topic seems to come up with some regularity, usually by a lady friend chagrined by the fact that she can't go a single day without washing her hair. I've used a variety of dry shampoos ever since reading a magazine article outlining a brave American journalist's attempt to beautify like a French woman for a month. (This involved not bathing daily, using copious amounts of kohl eyeliner, and probably wearing a lot of black. I am sure it was written in the early aughts). I'd heard of using baby powder or cornstarch to help extend hair freshness but with my dark hair I am convinced this is a bad idea and haven't tried it! But I was surprised to find I LOVE the extra texture and volume I get by using a dry shampoo spray every other day. And with my long tresses every blow dry skipped is a good thing. 

I was gearing up for a great afternoon of grocery and drugstore shopping today (I tend to get unusually excited about sundry shopping, I can't help it!) and needed a quick spritz of dry shampoo to, well, you know. I reached for my trusty can and nooooo it was empty! Luckily (?) I spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest this morning and happened to have found a recipe for DIY dry I gave it a whirl.

my little friend

 Here is the pin I came across this morning with the simple recipe in the click-through. It involves a tablespoon of cornstarch, a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and four tablespoons of water shaken up in a spray bottle. The tiny spray bottle above was originally used to encourage Tigerlily the cat to stop scratching my sofa! While effective in that use, Tigerlily responds more to my penny noisemaker than a squirt of water. Tiny spray bottle is also awesome for plant-misting, if you're into that sort of thing!

While I wanted to spare my vanity a "before" photo, here is how my roots looked after being dampened with the aforementioned mixture and quickly blow-dried:

The best thing about the DIY version is it's super inexpensive. (I literally had everything I needed right on hand). It took care of the oily root situation and was very fast. The not-so-great part is while it's hard to see in the darkness of the photo, the DIY dry shampoo left the lightest dusting of cornstarch behind even after the hairdryer. It's definitely not a deal breaker but was far more noticeable than the drugstore options I've tried. Because of this I would really only recommend it in a pinch for brunettes, but fair-haired ladies can spray away! Another thing to be aware of is the scent of the rubbing alcohol was off-putting for me but happily didn't linger after the blow-dry. Lastly, this will get cornstarch all over the place. It got all over my bathroom surfaces and clothing, so definitely only use while still in your bathrobe! For now, I'm going to be sticking with my Psssssst!