trace's

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when does inspiration strike?

If you want to be a writer, if you already are a writer, if being a writer is a secret, long-held dream, this book needs to be on your shelf. Not convinced?    Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp."     That's a pro.    In terms of Resistance, Maugham was saying, "I…

beach fruit

It's fruit day today for some of the littlest Southern Californian Junior Lifeguards. They swim in the surf, paddle on boards, practice rescues, run on the sand and then share the fruit they bring from home. But how to serve it? Whatever you send it in probably won't come home and a plastic container isn't the most appetizing way to present a snack anyway, so I used the fruit as bowls and sent along some toothpicks so they could pull…

fresh laundry

There's now plenty of storage, plus space under the folding counter for a three-section clothes hamper and a bin for cleaning rags. A girlfriend once told me I should make my laundry beautiful because I'd be spending a lot of time in there. It wasn't really a priority for me, but when we had a week where our builder, Tony was waiting on materials for another part of the house, I remembered my friend's advice, asked him to tear out…

my favorite tees (summer ’13)

This Michael Stars blue-green, off the shoulder, dolman tee $38 - $62 elevates everything you pair it with. Looks great with white pants, denim skinnies, pencil skirt, denim mini, shorts. The neck is pretty wide so you may want to wear a tank or a colorful bra underneath. Add a pendant necklace. Available here and here and here. This Alternative Apparel Eco-Gauze tee with rolled sleeve $34.99 is my most versatile tee this season. It looks so good on, I…

hand-made thank you cards

I spent my weekend celebrating Bastille Day (also my birthday!) and wanted to thank my friends and family for the thoughtful gifts, the old-fashioned way. I love beautiful cards and stationery so I set myself the challenge of creating something elegant from stuff lying around the house.  I used card stock cut to the size of the envelopes I already had, some left over paint, a disposable chopstick and I hauled out my sewing machine and some thread. Not only…

paper war

This battle has been going on for a very long time at my place but I do believe it's over, thanks to a cool little gadget my husband bought for me while we were in Palm Springs at the start of the year (I think he realized how nice I could be when I was away from my desk!). You may have seen the Neat on TV (it's a desktop scanner and digital filing system), the ads are super annoying,…

navy casual

My addiction to navy continues! We're having a spell of rainy weather, so this combination of shirt and jeans keeps things comfortable temperature-wise while looking smart enough for a casual lunch with the girls. shirt: Carole Little (similar here), jeans: William Rast Kara skinny jeans, sunglasses: Armani Exchange, bag: Merona clutch Target, sandals: Seychelles tan platforms (similar here), earrings: pearl and diamond studs (similar here), bracelet: Stella and Dot, watch: Longines, cocktail ring: artisan, nail color toes: Sally Hansen-Thinking of…

kitchen fish

Fish Lamp I was thinking about tucking a little flat screen TV somewhere in my kitchen so I could have something to watch while I cooked.  One guppy population explosion later and I am the proud owner of a tall, modern design aquarium that fits neatly in one corner under the overhead cabinets (right where I was going to put the TV).  Late at night, I turn off all of the other lights in the kitchen and the tank becomes…

jealousy map

Only the clever Julia Cameron, author of the international best seller, The Artist's Way, could turn a negative word like jealousy into a beacon of hope for creative people everywhere.  We're probably all too uncomfortably familiar with the creeping feelings of resentment, anger, disgust, and anxiety that jealousy brings along with it.  I know I am.  But Julia Cameron used those feelings to plot a very personal pathway. Some people, like my husband, don't need this sort of guidance (he…

tropical breakfast treats

I love summer fruit and I don't love dieting.  In fact, that word is banned from my house, along with deprivation. They are miserable words!  For me, the only way to eat food that allows me to look the way I want to in a swimsuit, is to make it more tasty and attractive than the cereal or toast I usually reach for.  It may take a bit of extra planning but I'm not talking about large quantities of fruit,…