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Weekend view Travel, renovations and garden planning

It is hard to believe it is the first weekend in February. And after a busy January, I have been laying a bit low at home and notching off projects that have been on the list.

Cottage garden larkspur flowers in glass soap bottles on mantel

Things like going through closets to declutter,
back end blog work
and renovation planning.

2017 started off with lots of travel for work- and it kept me hopping. Have I told you how much I love being busy and on the go? I do. I love it and thrive on it. And I am excited about some upcoming travel that I will be sharing with you very soon. But this past week has been all about slowing down a bit. And with 2 sick big kids in the house- we definitely needed to slow down.
And over here on the blog- 3 words played a big part in January:

Refreshing. Renewing. Recharging.

You might have noticed that I am not blogging quite as often currently.
I am changing things up over here a bit and in November and December- I posted nearly So- a little break was on the agenda. And this past month, I have been working on some back end blog stuff, and working on some exciting stuff aside from the blog- and it is all good- but those extra blog shares might have to wait sometimes.

Projects, projects, projects

One of the things we are planning this year is another update to the kitchen. 
I have a whole loooong blog post planned for this one- but to sum it up, we are making some changes that we have wanted to make for awhile-and focusing on new appliances as well. Would you believe that hand washing has become the norm even though we have a dishwasher? And that the range that is only 3 years old only works some of the time? It is time people. They need to go- along with the fridge that freezes the produce on the bottom shelf but leaves the freezer half thawed. 

Cottage style kitchen with wood island, white cupboards, marble counters and chandelier

It's raining, it's pouring

Have I mentioned the outrageous amount of rain we have been getting? After how many years in a drought in California- we are releasing water from reservoirs and patching up mudslides. 
And did I also mention that I love the rain? It inspires me and stirs creativity seeming to shake it up to the surface. 
French cottage bathroom with toile and chandelier above bathtub

It also causes leaks and issues when you have a 1940's cottage.
And... we have a doozy in the master bathroom. The one with the toile wallpaper and peaked ceiling.
So... guess what is on the renovation list. It is one of those types of bathrooms that will require investigating to see where the leak is originating- and then removal and repair. Good thing my dad is a contractor...

Toile wallpaper, beadboard ceiling and double sinks in french cottage bathroom

Garden Dreaming

When we first moved into this house- I bought every single pretty face flower at the market that I could find. Larkspur, Foxglove, Lilies, you name it. 
I tossed them all together in one big area of our yard and they grew and thrived and were completey amazing as they mingled and re-seeded and were lush and abundant.
And then they started to not show up each year. One by one.
And I wasn't sure why... until someone told me that perennials don't just keep going- they last a few years or so and then start to need to be replaced.

Garden arbor with table setting on pea gravel patio

But I am excited that I have already ordered some amazing plants for revitalizing that area this year. 
And coming your way in the next month, I will be sharing the garden plans and behind the scenes on getting that cottage garden back in place.

Coming your way...

The next couple of weeks have loads of fun on the agenda.

Valentine's table setting that might be one of my favorites...
How to make those naked cakes EASILY and knock your sweethearts socks off
 I will also be sharing all about one of my favorite little romantic spots to get away in Calistoga and the Must Do things when in the wine country.

And the following week- some fun with my Balsam Hill family and the flower market - and a fun surprise- you will be getting a behind the scenes sneak peek at something exciting.

Romantic blue and white and pink table setting for Valentines day

But I am starting off the week on a romantic note with a table setting in blue & white and romance- see you tomorrow for more about that.

Happy Weekend everyone.


  1. So excited to see your up-coming posts.

  2. Can't wait to see what you do with your kitchen.

    1. It is always something on the to-do list right? How is your place coming along?

  3. You are always such a very busy lady!....Sounds like you have some great projects ahead and some not so great in finding the origin of your leak. Yes, a great thing that your dad is a contractor!....Looking forward to your Valentine's Day tablescape! Have a great week ahead!

    1. Hi Shirley! January definitely was a busy month (but in a great way!) I am excited about the projects... finding and fixing the leak? Not so much. Hope all is well over your way! xo

  4. Courtney, the flower photos are luscious! I am anxious to see what's coming down the pike on this blog!

  5. I LOVE your home and your blog! I am in Texas and we are about to do some remodeling to our home, and I’m continuing with a bit of French flair. We are going on a river cruise in the south of France in April and I am hoping, hoping, hoping to find a few treasures to bring back to add to my decor. Thanks for sharing your beautiful blog!!