31 March 2011

Our Hidden Dream Sprouts

As I've been studying the process of making dreams come true in my MondoBeyondo class, we've talked about allowing tiny sprouts of things to grow without pushing our efforts upon them. We have written down dream ideas, put the list away and now we're letting them germinate for a bit.

A few weeks ago while prepping the soil in my patio garden for the new season I unearthed two tiny white sprouts deep in one of the soil-filled pots resting since the last growing season. I didn't think they would grow, but wanted to try to save them if I could. I tenderly replanted them in a tiny pot and watered them. After a few days it did not look as if they would make it. I let them be. The rains came and continued to water them. This week I went out to see that there are now plants growing. These mystery sprouts look to be one of my favorite flowers, sweet peas.

Now I have to tell you that I have tried to grow sweet peas many times on my balcony and for some reason had no success whatsoever. These sprouts must have come from seeds I planted a l-o-n-g time ago. But they are here now and they are growing and with a little luck will bring some beautifully scented blooms later this Spring.

You just never know what little dream seeds may be resting somewhere in your life, ready to take sprout when the time is right. All they ask of you is a little tender loving care and to see the light of day - to be acknowledged by you. They will take care of the rest. And things you never expected could happen -- will happen in your life. Exciting, right? Start looking for your sprouts. They are there.

Pier One Spring Delights

Stopped in at Pier One to see what exciting things they had going for Spring. They have a fantastic collection of upholstered chairs in the cheeriest colors and designs. It's a guarantee that any time I walk into a Pier One I will fall in love with the giant pillow wall. I'm like Homer Simpson seeing donuts. "Pill-ooooooows."

This bright, shiny key holder also caught my eye. Would be so fun inside the front door. I love key holders and having a place to gather all the keys, but my one fear is always that if anyone was to break into your house, it's basically a offer for them to take your cars and everything else that requires a key that you own. That makes me nervous.

If you are looking for some bright new things to spruce up the feeling of your house for Spring, Pier One is a great place to start. They have beautiful, colorful things for the kitchen, patio, and all throughout the house. It's a good resource for mantle and shelf decor too with a great selection of candles, candle holders and more. Sometimes changing the look and feel of home is as easy as a few fresh flowers, a colorful new frame or two and a bright cheery pillow here and there.

How are you sprucing thing up for Spring? Are you changing things up a lot of just adding a few touches of color here and there? Hope you are enjoying the refreshing change of seasons wherever you are. Happy Thursday.

Rose Bowl Flea Market 17 Years Later

I first went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in 1994. I got very sick that day, it was super hot and it just turned out not being that enjoyable, even though there were so many things I wanted to see or buy.

My second trip to the Rose Bowl was in 2005 for the UCLA-CAL football game my cousin was playing it - a day we'd been looking forward to for months. On the drive into the stadium, my water pump in my car broke, car died and I had to stop my car on the side of the road and spent the entire game plus 6 hours after that trying to get my car not towed by police and towed by my insurance company to a repair shop in the area. Then luckily we had a cousin who could drive us back across the city to home.

So overall my experience at the Rose Bowl has not been great. But I have been wanting to go back to the Flea Market for a few years and decided a few weeks ago that it was the perfect day to go, maybe the third time would be the charm.

We had a great time even though I didn't buy anything but a bottle of water for $1. It was fun to see how the vendors are merchandising their wares, the current trends and how the market has changed since I was last there. Having once been a flea market vendor with my handbags and designs, it was fun to stop and study the vendors who are really smart about their layout, presentation, etc. It really makes a difference! The weather could not have been more perfect and the people watching is some of the best you'll get anywhere!

30 March 2011

A Walk Around The House

I've been waiting for days and days and days for sunshine, real sunshine. And this morning it is here in abundance. The lighting is so lovely in my apartment when the sun is shining and I couldn't help doing a little photo tour of how it was playing around my home today. Here are a few shots to share.

Above is the dining table -- with nothing stacked on it! A miracle! Here's this week's flower deal, three bunches of daffodils for $6 at Whole Foods. And yes I live in a big city and those are bikes stashed in the front entry. Put them outside and they'll be rusted out within weeks. Inside, there's not much room to hide them.

Here's the current state of workspace organization. The upper shelves in progress and the new TV. The upper right photo is of a small bookcase in a corner of my room - my Ode to Scandinavia - a vintage mail box and ivy topiary in a white ceramic pot. So, so Danish. The bottom left is the corner of the large dresser that now holds all my arts & crafts supplies. It's so great to have total access to everything so easily and amazingly I've been doing a lot more projects in bits and pieces of spare time. Easy to find everything & easy to clean it all up!

I've been keeping flowers there and all day long they look so gorgeous with the light from the big window. I find myself sitting and staring at them often. My much beloved glasses are there too along with two totes that I am planning to style up for a gift and a giveaway.

Variations of lighting on all my creative pursuits. Sewing has commenced again. A corner of a momentarily messy desk. Pencils, clock, vision board, laptop, notes, stack of travel guides to Scandinavia and sunglasses galore. My new design inspiration board for Spring is in progress. So far I'm inspired by some Garnet Hill looks, a sketch of my modest dream house with my own studio space and a lovely yard, a reminder to find my strong self in all areas of my life and a  new machine I want to bring home that I'll share with you later this week. On the bottom right is a basket of toiletries bags ready to go to new homes. I still have a few of this size available.

So that's the little tour. My goal today is to have all the office space ready for a little photo shoot. Hopefully, now that the sun is out, I can soon share my new workspace in it's entirety. Hope you're having a phenomenal Wednesday. I was thinking today that I want to make sure I do something to make life special every day because it just goes too, too fast. How is this year already 1/4 over?

images by kalanicut

Spring At HomeGoods

One of the things I find most inspiring in Springtime is to refresh my creative mind with bright colors, fresh designs and elements for the home. I may pick up one or two things new things along the way, but the very act of looking helps me to refresh my mind about the things I already own that I have tucked away in cupboards and closets, not in current rotation.

On a recent visit to one of my favorite places, HomeGoods, I found cheery fabrics, beautiful designer bedding and stylish new lamps. It definitely got me excited for Spring and with ideas about bringing in more color, texture and depth of patterns to my home. Love ya, HomeGoods!

29 March 2011

Mondo Beyondo - Listening To Our Best Impulses

Living one's dreams is a scary proposition. In the MondoBeyondo class I am taking it's all about uncovering your dreams, acknowledging them and allowing them to come true. Not choking, shaking and forcing them into existence, not insisting that they reveals themselves within the strict confines of our expectations, not that they appear in our own demanded timeline. It's actually a much more relaxed, opening up to them process.

Our assignment today is to write a bit about following our best impulses. I can think of so many applications to this in my life that it's hard to choose just one. I think I was in college when I decided to really start getting to know, listening and trusting myself. It was okay to do what I wanted to do - within the confines of good common sense. It was okay to be mindful, to enjoy life and do things that made me happy.

I have followed my best impulses into some great career opportunities. I have followed my impulses into some great friendships and relationships. I have followed my best impulses to be so lucky to have put myself in just the right place at the right time with the right people for something magical to happen. And none of these things did I expect to happen the way that they did in the end. Most often they were better than I could've imagined and in all cases I learned valuable lessons and had a new richness planted into my life.

The cases of following my best impulses that I treasure the most are those I followed when everything around me seemed to be crumbling down. This seems to happen every decade or so, a catastrophic moment where one's entire life foundation seems to crumble beneath our feet. In these moments I have been most grateful for my ability to sit down and make a list of anything that was worth hanging onto, that would be a ray of light in a dark period, that would bring me joy or could be an escape hatch from the depths of despair.

It was in creating this list that I felt my best impulses - ideas about what to do to save my little life. And it was these impulses that did indeed save me and even better they brought me to even better places, new heights, richer relationships, deeper wisdom, more confidence in myself and a higher power. These are the times when following my best instincts most rewarded me in my life.

As we continue living, life will ask us to dream bigger and more freely, more authentically. The opportunity is ours to live our dreams. I don't know that they are really dreams though, I think they are realities that already exist and are just waiting for us to accept them and walk in the door.

Foolishly we may reject them because they don't look to us like the dreams we are having. He may be perfect for you but not the man on your list you've been holding onto for years. It might be your dream job but not offer the pay or security you grew up expecting was necessary for you. It might be your dream home, it's just not as big as you thought it should be or as your friends all have. You might get your dream family but it might not be perfect, healthy, or as easy to get as you dreamed. But our dreams they are and all the joy and richness we sought along with all the lessons we needed are built inherently in the appearance of these realities/dreams.

It's an amazing life, isn't it? Joyful, rich, deep, painful, evolutionary, hilarious, peaceful, sweet. Following our best impulses is the most promising way to experience all there is for us. No fear, no holding back but full courage to charge ahead and drink it in and love all that it is.

Spring Promises

Good Tuesday Morning to you! Hope it's a great day. Perhaps it's because we've had such a rainy winter here in SoCal this year that I am appreciating the signs of Spring more than ever. Last Thursday we went to the Westwood Farmer's Market on a cold rainy day. These beautiful daisies were not there last time we visited. These remind me of my mother's garden at our family home.

The purple of this blooming tree was so beautiful against the gray sky. This photos doesn't quite do it justice but the little purple blooms all over the branches were spectacular.

And just to remind us that we live in a warm, coastal climate, although we have not seen much of it this winter, the pretty birds of paradise brought so much cheer to a dreary day outside.

If you live on the Westside or are visiting Los Angeles, let me encourage you again to visit the Westwood Farmer's Market at the VA. It's a sweet little market that really needs the neighborhood support. It's a great place to grab lunch, fresh breads, flowers, vegetables and more. Plus there is a beautiful, long walking path, bird sanctuary and more. It's every Thursday afternoon.

Hope wherever you are, if you are coming out of winter, that you too are seeing the promises of Spring, warmer weather and more time out of doors.

My Neverending Love of Orange

It's no secret I love almost anything orange. When I saw these lovelies at Bed, Bath and Beyond a couple of weeks ago I could not get them out of my head. So fresh for Spring and Summer and just right for a pretty, refreshed mantle. There was an amazing orange tray and thick, chunky photo frame that stuck with me too.

Bed, Bath and Beyond has a great wall of colorful new decor for Spring/Summer full of beautiful oranges, blues, greens and yellows. There are lovely frames, candle holders, trays, pillows and more.

28 March 2011

Toiletries Bags Clearance Sale

Grab 'em while they're still available. I'm having a quick close out sale of existing toiletries/carry-all bag inventory. These bags are great for keeping make up and toiletries easily contained. They are great for organizing your bathroom, car and travel accessories, and other goodies. I carry a small one in my purse to wrangle up all the little lotions and potions in one easy-to-find place. They make great little gifts too.

If you're interested, email me at kalanicut@hotmail.com, send me a tweet @kalanicut or hit me up on facebook -  first come first served.


Large Apple Green SOLD OUT

All Dark Green SOLD OUT.

You can pay via paypal and I'll drop them in the mail to you for only $3 shipping/handling (in U.S.) or we can meet up for a drop off if you're local. Stock up at these low prices while you can.

images by kalanicut

I Think I'm In Love - Z Gallerie Bedding

I didn't even know ZGallerie had bedding. And then I found this. It's reversible. It's delicious. Right now I have a very peaceful palette in my bedroom: dark brown, robins egg blue and white. I've been debating about pulling in some serious color and leaving my zen-spa look behind. I'm so torn. Cheery and lively versus peaceful and calm. This bedding decision dilemma has been going on for too long. At some point I need to make a decision.

ZGallerie also has some beautiful gray, white, charcoal, aquamarine and apple green bedding sets that are so delicious. ZGallerie never ceases to surprise and impress me with their product lines. I'm jumping back over to check out what beautiful new things they have for summer. Last year they blew my socks off. Here are a few other posts I've done on ZGallerie: Summer Sale, Spree and Dogs.

Thrift Find -- Japanese Bud Vases

I couldn't resist these little Japanese bud vases on my last visit to Goodwill. I have been buying flowers weekly and putting each individual stem in a bud vase around the house. This way I can enjoy a fresh bloom in the kitchen window sill, on my dresser, the bathroom counter, etc.

I think these were $2 each. From a distance they look white and simple. They get prettier the closer you look at them. I love the simple detailing.

And here is a very close up shot. Just goes to show that things can be admired from a distance and get even better the closer you get. Close up the pattern, texture and play of colors is much more intricate that one might initially assume from a distance.

These are a great addition to my collection which includes vintage medicine bottles, red glass bud vases, and a few chemistry set glass jars. I am not much of a girly girl but I love how feminine they are. They have a special place in my heart right now.

images by kalanicut

New Spring Gems from Garnet Hill

Happy Monday morning. Hope you had a good weekend and are feeling refreshed and rested for the new week. I slept & relaxed part of the day on Saturday which was a great way to recover from a busy, cold week.

The arrival of a Garnet Hill catalog always gets me excited for Spring and Summer with their light layers and feminine patterns and fabrics. The catalog exudes a feeling for adventure, travel and being outdoors that is hard to resist. Here are a few favorites from the Summer Preview. I love that all these pieces are adventure ready, comfortable and charming. It's so easy to go out looking just so-so but when you take a few more minutes to look put together to run to the grocery store, school or on a Saturday adventure it changes the entire way you feel about yourself.

What is inspiring you in the fashion world this spring? Have you started a Spring mood board or added any great new items to your closet? I am definitely adding a few of these to my inspiration board and keeping my fingers crossed that warmer weather is here soon. I am sitting at my desk with a big sweater on and freezing cold toes as I write this. Hope you have a fantastic Monday!

images by kalanicut

25 March 2011

It's Raining Again - Okay, I Give

all images from Zappos

It's raining again. This is the fourth or fifth day of rain in a row. I've been soaked to the skin several times already. We've had to cancel plans again and again due to the weather. These are not acceptable conditions when one lives in "Sunny Southern California!"

Living in the desert as I do, where it generally either rains twice a year or rains really hard continuously for two weeks in January, I never felt like I needed real rain gear. Certainly not a pair of rain boots. But after the wettest winter I've ever seen in California, I am regretting my initial instinct to buy galoshes in December.

I've decided I'm going to do everyone a favor and buy rain boots and a rain coat I actually like. This will guarantee that it will never rain again in California -- we'll have nice weather forever and those cute boots and jacket will sit in my closet never used or saved just for trips to the north and east. Here are the boots that caught my eye. I'll do another post on great raincoats soon. I'm just going to bite the bullet and invest once and for all.

1. Sperry Top-sider Pelican Boot
2. Bogs Anne
3. Michael Kors Stormy Granite Boots
4. Gabriell Rocha Argyle Teal Grey
5. Hunter Watling Green
6. Dirty Laundry Roxette
7. Sorellington Graphic Peatmoss Natural
8. Sperry Top-sider Pelican Navy Tattersal

Hope your Spring weather is more enjoyable than ours and hope it's a lovely Friday. I'm meeting a lovely friend for lunch. It will be great fun to catch up with her.  I'm working on the last round of reorganization in my room. Moving a few pieces of furniture around, doing one more cleanse. Hope to get a sunny enough day to take a few photos to post here very soon. Have a great weekend!

24 March 2011

When You're Five

After we got done with our birthday celebrations, eating delicious cake and opening a few presents the party continued in another room. As a way of introduction from left to right: Tortoro (Japanese cartoon character), Mollie the Boxer, Florida the Leopard (no she's not from Florida, she's from New Mexico -ha), Mariah the Reindeer hidden next to her, Harry the Octopus, Terry Triceratops, Wolfie the Traveler (she goes on road trips because she's small and easy to pack), Star and Shamu all surrounding Tiger.

Unfortunately our big adventure yesterday was cancelled due to bad weather, which was very disappointing. But we made the most of it and dressed up in our rain gear to walk in the pouring rain to the Library which closed early, just before we got there. It was much easier to walk the five blocks to the Library than it would've been to drive - probably would've taken us 20 minutes in the crazy traffic and we would've had to pay for parking.

So instead we walked to the thrift store. I am reading whenever I can now - which doesn't add up to much time but it's something I want to do for myself and it definitely helps me relax. So I bought three books and we got two great books for The Bug. I also bought a beautiful pair of little Japanese bud vases that will look so pretty with a lovely stem in them near my desk or the kitchen sink. Tomorrow I'll blog about what I'm reading. It's a link back to my fourth grade year and a reawakened passion of mine. Thanks so much for coming by.

Another Great Use for Egg Cartons

I have another 5 dozen egg pack from Costco in my fridge. When I bought it I started thinking about what I could use the cartons for. Initially I started saving pressed paper egg cartons thinking I could do something like make a caterpillar with The Bug. But then I started thinking more selfishly- haa-haa - and came up with all sorts of things I could use them for. My first project was this.

Yesterday when I emptied an 18-count egg carton, I was about to throw it into the recycle bin and I stopped and cut the bottom off to save. I set it on my desk for future use. Last night when I came in I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It would make the most excellent desk drawer organizer for all the little things I keep on hand. I thought about painting it, but I think I like it best just in it's natural state right now. Then all my colorful office supplies can be the stars of the show.

Now I have a little place for everything tiny thing I might need at my desk, paper clips, bands for my hair, push pins, erasers, cloth to clean my glasses...it's all right here at my fingertips and in plain sight. This beats the $20 desk organizer I saw last week at the local office supply store by a long shot!

Don't forget to be part of my Simple Abundance giveaway. It could change your life and it's so easy to enter. Get all the details here. Hope it's a great Thursday!

23 March 2011

Game Night for Families of All Ages

It's so easy to get into a rut with your family activities. I find we can end up doing the same three or four things every week if I don't inject some creativity and fresh thinking into the mix. Board games are a great way to spend a night at home with your family without it being focused on the TV. Pop some popcorn, make a treat or something fun to drink and gather 'round the table. The Man bought CAMP at REI a few months ago.

The fantastic things about this game are: it's a great way to learn about all living things in the great outdoors, each card has questions on four different levels so that kids as little as 3 can play right along with very knowledgeable grown ups, and it's a pretty quick play if you want something to do before bed time.

CAMP is a product of Education Outdoors, Inc. and they a great fun collection of games with names like Snipe Hunt and S'mores. There are additional card packs for CAMP as well as a travel version. CAMP would make a great gift for friends, children and grandkids. Board games are a great way to spend time with loved ones and enjoy each other's company.

image from amazon

Spring Sundance Catalog Delights

Here are a few delights I fell for in the Sundance Catalog spring collection. Sundance Catalog is always such a great source for style that sets you apart with just the right color combinations, detailing and accessories.

Hope your Wednesday is a good one. We're celebrating The Bug's birthday today with an official all-day celebration. It's a good week for her. We just finished her headboard yesterday and the new bedding arrangement is underway. She just finished another big workbook so we're celebrating that too.

22 March 2011

Found Objects Art Project

Saturday we spent the day at our favorite beach. We didn't have our beach toys with us but found lots to do. First we grabbed a plastic bag from the car and walked the entire length of the beach filling the bag up and emptying it four times. Due to the high tides from the Japan tsunami there was some unusual material on the beach.

We found a lot broken bamboo poles, pieces of fiberglass, wood along with the regular plastic sheeting, ribbons that were once tied to balloons, bottle lids and other trash. The Bug had a great time and did a great job helping clean up. I kept a rectangle piece of wood that looks like it was a door to a cupboard at some point. It has a perfectly weathered painted patina and had "future art project" written all over it.

Then we played. The Bug of course picked up things she carried a long way. We thought there was a piece of blue plastic in the sand and much to her delight it turned out to be a sand shovel. We also accumulated a few sticks and shells. Then an impromptu art project began. Here are a few shots of what can be done with a few strands of sea weed, sticks and shells. As a former children's art program founder I am very fond of creativity on the fly and allowing children to find art in simple, everyday things.

She had so much fun doing this and it didn't cost a dime. No craft supplies, no glue, no entrance fee to an expensive craft studio class. Just raw imagination and the gifts of Mother Nature. A beautiful day. Hope you're having a fantastic Tuesday.

21 March 2011

Classic Party Rentals Warehouse Sale

Here's some fun news. Classic Party Rentals is having a warehouse sale here in Los Angeles. They furnish so many of the beautiful party supplies you see in wedding and event planning magazines. You can see some of their events here. This sounds like a great shop for event planners and anyone who likes to entertain!

The Best Warehouse Sale Ever

Find china, stem and bar glassware, flatware, serving platters, silver & copper chafers and urns, beautiful specialty table linens and much more.

Saturday April 2
9 AM - 3 PM

Classic Party Rentals
2310 East Imperial Highway
El Segundo, CA 90245

You can get a free copy of Simple Abundance as part of my new gifting event. Here are all the details.

18 March 2011

Friday Afternoon Inspiration Photo

Thought you might be inspired by this little homework assignment I had to do for my Mondo Beyondo class. Here are my affirmations to be reviewed each day in a beautiful little bowl from Latvia. Here is my beautiful bottle of new Prismacolor erasable colored pencils (oh the things I can do with these babies!) on my new desk in front of my vision board.

Do something joyful and inspiring for yourself this weekend. You deserve it!

P.S. If you are interested in joining the Mondo Beyondo class it's not too late. You can still register and easily get caught up. You can get all the info here.

Tissue Case For The Purse

How cute is this little tissue case I bought at Michael Levine on Wednesday. Jut $2.50 and such a great way to promote the Moda fabric line. This makes carrying tissues in my purse a much cheerier experience!

image by kalanicut

Workspace Makeover Introduction

Happy Friday All! I thought I'd end the week by reviewing the start of the Workspace Project with a basic intro to my Elfa Shelves. This was all designed around my IKEA desk which I purchased in January. Above is the final draft, prepared with a massive amount of attention to detail by wonderful Elfa Designer Will at The Container Store at Westfield Century City. I should note that every consideration is being made regarding earthquake safety. As you can see we factored in everything:
  •  first shelf for lightweight file boxes
  • second shelf for magazines and other small items
  • third shelf for design/photography books, camera equipment and a new television
  • open space for my laptop, bulletin board and vision board
  • fourth shelf to both hide my printer and be very accessible from my chair 
Originally I planned three shelves of four 25" sections all the way across. Then I went to this cut back option. At this point I was thinking all about what it would cost and not what I really wanted and what was right for the space. Neither of these options totally met my needs.

I really learned a big lesson about investing the thought and planning and money into doing something right the first time. I was so nervous about saying "Yes! This is it. Let's do it." So nervous. But I knew it was time to go for it and I did.

I took before photos of the space the night before I got very ill in January. Now I can't find them anywhere. I have no idea what happened, but I'm bummed I don't have them to show you. I think you can get a sense for the space here - and you get to see a rare (side) shot of "The Man."

Because The Man offered (insisted) on helping me install the shelves I did things much differently than if I'd done it myself. I laid out every tool we would need in an orderly fashion, so as to reduce annoyance to the builder. Around it is all the stuff that is going to go on the shelves or had to be moved to accommodate construction. A bit of a mess!

The Elfa installation is quite easy. You attach one section across the top with screws then the rest of the system is suspended from that bar. Much less complicated than you would imagine. Here's the man ready to drill holes now that we have measured & marked the distances.

With the top track in place it was a breeze to slide the vertical bars into the entry slots, measure and move them into place. Took seconds.

Then we measured to attach shelf brackets and put the shelves in place. Here it is in progress. It's hard to see how beautiful these shelves are in person. It just doesn't transfer in these photos which unfortunately had to be taken late at night. Below you can see the baskets I purchased.

The new TV arrived yesterday, the new printer is set up and working like a charm. Books are on the shelves now and some baskets are in place. There's one more major reorganization that needs to happen before I'm happy with it and ready to share. Can't wait to do that next week.

If you're thinking of shelving for your home I would definitely recommend Elfa and taking time to personalize it all to your specific needs. Have a great Friday. I'll be back later this morning with something darling and super useful I found for my purse.

You can get a free copy of Simple Abundance as part of my new gifting event. Here are all the details.

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