My 4th of July mantel

I am keeping my holiday mantel simple – I found a couple of items at our local vintage store and added items from IKEA, Walmart, and World Market.

The metal stars are something I’ve wanted for a long time, and I got them for a steal at Roost, and I love that the red in them is pretty close to the red of the mantel. The fabric banner is from World Market.

The wreath is from WalMart — I added a small banner that I found at Roost, it is the shape of our new home state of Wisconsin, with a heart to denote Lake Country, the area where we live. And yes, that is one of those ubiquitous IKEA lanterns, I always swear I won’t get more and then they come out with new colors and I grab a bunch.

A closer look at the little paper banner, I had originally grabbed it on impulse, but it looks perfect on the wreath, marking our first 4th of July here.

And that’s it. Like I said, I kept it simple, but I do like to mark the holidays and put out some decorative pieces. My next two projects are the guest room/office, and my walk-in closet. The closet is such a dumping ground right now and I’m over it, so it’s getting some TLC. Wish me luck!

Roost at Lynndale Farm

There are many places written down on my list of Must Visit around the Milwaukee area, and one of them is Roost at Lynndale Farm. It’s a collective where sweet vintage goods are sold next to beautifully crafted items, it was my first visit but I can say with confidence, it won’t be the last.


It is less than ten minutes from my house – hello! – and there is a gluten-free bakery next door. I know, right?



From the moment you step out of your car, you see beautiful items for your home that will make you smile.



Inside, there are many little shops next to each other, lots of furniture that I had to tear myself away from (for now!), some pieces that I could not tear myself away from 😀 There are homemade decor items, soaps, candles and cards, jewelry and knitted pieces, and so much more.





I bought the earrings shown above plus three items for my home – you will get to see where I used them in my home in a couple of weeks.

The lady who was working there was very helpful, there are two floors full of treasures, and many of the vendors do custom work. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you stop by Roost.

The guilt, it’s green



We had our lawn serviced for the first time yesterday.



It’s not just our lawn. There is so much gorgeous green around here — as I type, I am staring out at fields, acres of gorgeous green, grass and trees and plants and flowers. It’s 78 degrees today but it’s been sprinkling and we expect heavier rain this weekend.

But it was not long ago that we were living in the middle of a severe drought. The before and after pics of what’s been happening in my beloved California for the last few years are simply shocking. You have the mayor of my former hometown of San Jose drinking recycled sewage to show it’s a viable option to tap water. I posted one of the above pics on my personal Facebook and a friend in San Jose wrote “Your lawn is a different color than mine.”

We have lots of plans for gardening next year. Beginning with all the cold-weather crops we couldn’t get to grow in San Jose. The lettuce and spinach would start making little leaves and nope, they were out of there, bolting like nobody’s business. We miss our avocado tree and our grapevines — here there is the possibility not only of salad greens, but apple trees, cranberries and cherries? We’re so there. Hydrangeas remind me of my dear friend Kat, who had them at her house, but I could never grow them in our super sunny backyard, maybe here I can get them to bloom without scorching.

This year, however, we are enjoying all this lovely green, but tempering out enjoyment with just a little bit of guilt.