No Kids Allowed

Sorry for the premature post yesterday for those who receive my blog via e-mail.  A little child crawled over and hit ‘publish’

This Friday night we are having my playgroup over for dinner.  We meet once a week, rain or shine, exhausted or semi-awake, unshowered or put together, good mood or bad.  Thursday mornings mean caffeine, seven kids under the age of three and plenty of stories to gab about.  I look forward to Thursday mornings every week. It’s my lifeline.

We’ve been discussing the notion of meeting outside the realm of kid crying, toy inundated, mornings.  The thought came across of adults only dinner with husbands and wine. Imagine that.

So, I’m thinking for the tablescape, to get as far away from kiddie as possible, go with an all white table, laden with candles.  Because what says ‘no kids allowed’ more than white and fire?

I’m currently thinking: lace runner, eucalyptus centerpiece and maybe even black candles.  Black is so not my color of choice ever and I’m not a big lace girl but I’m feeling like changing things up.

Here’s some inspiration:





These images are most likely all from weddings so imagine a much more toned down version.  But, I’m excited to get to work on my next tablescape.

September 10, 2015 at 8:53 AM 2 comments

The Meandering Good-Bye


Labor Day marks the end of routine free mornings transcending into wishy washy afternoons meandering into evenings that stir well beyond bed time.

As if in utter protest to the packed fall and strict schedules ahead, Graham joined us for the final two weeks of summer in which we stuck strictly to leisure.


We took to the road, rolling past vineyard after vineyard down south to Santa Ynez valley for a family vacation.  Here we joined Graham’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and their two kids for five days of “ranching it”.


Mornings did come sooner than they should have with Grace waking before the sun rose.  However her parents were in action protestation and so we stuck to the bed for morning family cuddles and coos.  Once the sun began to rise through the misty morning we got up to a feast of fresh baked cinnamon rolls and piping hot corned beef hash.

With full bellies our little family meandered through the wheat colored grasslands of the valley; Graham and I watching as our girls interacted with the wonders of nature.


We returned to a better rested Belchers crew where we would discuss our options for the day – be it horse back riding, tennis playing or a light swim.  All was done in a lackadaisical manner, thus fulfilling our motto of slow and easy does it.



Evenings were meant for freshening up into classy frocks to sip cocktails while watching the horses feed and the sun retire.




The trip was a glorious rotation of adventures all with proper respites in between.


We returned home for a few days to be spent in the comfort of our own cocoons.  The girls embraced the familiarity of their room and rewarded us with sleeping in mighty late (7:30).  Graham and I snuck away for a day date, took to hiking in the hills near the Pachetti Winery and then went wine tasting, of course.  We hosted my mom before she jetted off to Europe with a carefree backyard dinner.



After four days at home, the pull of adventure got us up and moving again…albeit, slowly.  We returned to the car for another trip this time way up north to Mount Shasta.

Some believe there are lemurians in Mount Shasta.  After five days of complete bliss up there, I can’t help but wonder that they’re right.  Or perhaps all the collective crystal shops pulled on my inner chakras. Whatever nonsense the hippies believe, they may just be onto something; Shasta begs for complete and total exhales.


We were quickly known by name at the local coffee shop, welcoming us in with sweet warm mochas.  Once charged by caffeine, we’d take to the mountain where we’d either find new paths to follow or recommit to the old faithful hikes that have nurtured our entire relationship.

That may read a hyperbole – hikes nurturing our relationship.  But there is one spot Graham and I have hiked since the beginning.  We came just as wee ones dating and sharing our separate dreams of the future that were beginning to collide into one.  We hiked there desperate for a child, discussing, praying and debating our options.  We hiked there with Josie as a beautiful nine month old, passing her from one doting parent to the other.  We hiked again this year as a family of four. Grace strapped to my chest with Graham following behind my footsteps, Josie strapped to his back.  When we arrived to the top of our hike, there was a native american shaman singing.  The girls sat and listened, intuitively quiet.  It was a moving moment where I took the time to be thankful for all I have; my precious girls; my supportive husband.

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The after hike glow lead to food comas and then leisurely naps.  The house would fall silent and still as can be from 2:00 to 4:00.  Restful peace.  Then it was time for one last outing, usually blackberry picking and rock skipping on the sacramento river.  Evenings brought on dinner out at easy restaurants in town then a walk home.  Baths for the girls, followed by peaceful reading of books which lent to shut eye much sooner than at home.



The past 14 days have splendidly collided into one another and drifted us along to today.  Schedules, work, school, business, volunteering, cleaning, decorating all calls louder than we can ignore.  So, I say farewell to you dog days of summer.  Thanks for being so damn rad.


September 8, 2015 at 5:18 AM 4 comments

The Hunt

After I hit publish on my last post, a wave of inspiration took over me.  I reached deep into the dark, cobwebby depths of my closet to the tiny crevice of non-wrinkled, non-stained clothes; I went beyond a shower to the land of personal care involving make up and blow dry.  Then, I fled from a teething toddler and another independent toddler, leaving them behind with their “vacationing” daddy.  I sped on up to the land of ikats, silks, cottons and brocade: the san francisco design center.  A spot where people watching is almost as good as the textiles themselves.  An oasis from the t-shirt wearing techies, where we discuss the ancient art of textiles, jotting down patterns with a pleasingly archaic pencil.

A woman on a mission, knowing the family left behind had an expiration time and that I would miss them dearly, I hit up my favorite spots: schumacher, quadrille, lewis and sharon and madeline weinrib.

And now I present to you: a decorator confused.  The land of options:

My ode to Josie’s outfit with Peter Dunham’s Starstruck as the main fabric, pillows in coral piped in a rope like piping.



My blue, cream and brown moment with Quadrille New Batik as the big cushion fabric and then ikat and stiped as pillows.



My blue, cream and poppy moment with Madeline Weinrib as the big cushion fabric and then striped and poppy welt as accent.


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I took all the scheme photos outside so we could see how things read outside in the bright daylight sun.  I believe we have actually decided on a fabric.  I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ordered.

September 2, 2015 at 5:02 AM 4 comments

Marriage Predictions

“I want our outdoor patio to look exactly like Josie’s outfit today.” I annoyingly announced to Graham to which he rightfully laughed at my ridiculous statement.

The outfit? Check it.


Cute, right? Kelly green, white and coral.  Can’t go wrong there.

Why am I blabbering on to Graham about baby clothes to patio transformations?

Well, let me back up here.  Handyman Graham is at it again.  See what Josie is standing on in the above pic?

Let me give ya a closer look…



Yes, Graham built this bench with his own two hands.  It’s amazing!!  Lucky me.  The painting wasn’t completely finished by the point of posting these pics.  If the painting looks exceptional that’s because I helped twice for about twenty minute sessions until I got bored and came inside to blog.  I’m all about team work.

So…I may be hands off for the dirty work but now my job begins.  What to dress the bench in?  I’ll be getting a seat cushion and a couple pillows made.

Could go Josie-esque…green, pink, white


Could go classic navy and white


Could go chambray and navy


Could go patterned


Could go solid

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You see the world is a bit too much my oyster now.  And pulling the trigger for myself, as a decorator, is a tough business.  I’m headed to the design center to widen my choices and further confuse myself.  The great fabric debate will continue until Graham tires of the charade and picks from a pile of fabrics I have strewn all over the patio, in the hopes that I will stop having goals of making our home look like things our two year old spills peach juice all over.  Marriage predictions, people.

September 1, 2015 at 5:22 AM 4 comments

From Flower to Room

Lavender, fuchsia and cream.  A color palate that I admittedly would never have thought of.  But nature did and it stopped me in my tracks on my recent walk through the Filoli gardens.  The beauty of these three colors bleeding into one another on a small dainty flower was such a natural feast for the eyes that I thought I’d challenge myself to a little “From Flower to Room” post…

From flower


to room.


China Seas

It’s a bold color combination but if nature can do it, so can you.

August 30, 2015 at 5:10 AM 1 comment

Six Unique Kitchen Moments

As I said in my previous post, I’ve been evaluating kitchens and searching for inspiration.  Something that really strikes me are those one of a kind moments.

Like this antique island…


Or this oversized, colorful pendant…


Or this natural wood slab set on a waterfall island counter…


Or this bright pelmet box…


Mona Ross Burman

Or this fab oversized red lantern…


Or this bold red and navy kitchen…


All this, yet again proving, when you go for it, it usually pays off.


August 24, 2015 at 5:19 AM Leave a comment

Pitching Pebbles

I’m working on a kitchen design and have been spending some time gathering inspiration on Pinterest.  I ran across this image…


Stacked pebbles as a backsplash.  Mind blown.  Now, I want to decorate a river house.  Or, how about stacked pebble backsplash for a Tahoe house laundry room?

You know, it also makes pretty wonderful flooring of a mountain home kitchen…


Or, a bathroom…


I pitched pebble flooring for a bathroom once before but we ended up going a different direction.  Here’s to one day finding the right client and the right place to put some pebbles on it.

August 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM 1 comment

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