new and hopefully improved

Hello dear friends.  I've finally, after 9 years of blogging, updated the layout of this blog.  I hired Shari at Little Blue Deer to help me overhaul it.  She has exquisite taste and I think it looks so chic I could cry.  But the main reason I did it was because I got so many requests for the simple things I use each day, I wanted a permanent place for you to see them.  By clicking the pictures on the sidebar it will take you directly to the site for you to read about and make an informed decision for yourself whether or not you want it.  There are usually tons of reviews of the product so you don't have to rely on my opinion alone.  If you were to purchase directly thru my link I will be paid a very small commission.  You don't pay that commission though, the company selling the product pays it.  So I make a little, you save and it seems a win win.  If that offends you in any way, just ignore the whole thing!

I made a few mistakes when transferring the blog and lost my blog list which I will begin to rebuild.  Also, I deleted my followers list. I don't even know if that is relevant any longer but if you are no longer getting some sort of notification you can resubscribe easily. I'm sure for the next few days/weeks I'll be tweaking things left and right so I ask for your patience:)

Now you can easily click on my Instagram button and see what is happening there without even having an Instagram account.

So hopefully this will all make it easier for you readers who have been with me a long time and also for new readers.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me all these years. You readers are the most important part of this blog, thank you so much.  Here's to many more years of blogging!  xo

my bedroom makeover

It's not all beans and rice around here. There's wallpaper too.

Thank you Pinterest and Instagram for leading me to this Raphael wallpaper by Sandberg.  It's made in Sweden and for me a bit too pricey, so I kept scouring the internet for deals.  I found it on eBay for a fraction of its normal cost.  The seller, Bea, who is a sweetheart has a shop that is loaded with beautiful papers and fabrics at amazing prices.  Go see for yourself HERE.

We've hung wallpaper before but it has been awhile and I was unsure of how much to get.  She had 6 double rolls for sale and I bought 3.  I should have gotten all 6 because I could only do 2 walls.  Which in the end is okay but I'd rather have done them all.

I love that when you walk in the front door of the house you can now see a glimpse of the pretty paper at the end of the house.  I absolutely love it and it feels as if it has always belonged here. And how darling is the vintage bamboo shelf?  M gave it to me because she had no room for it.  It looks perfect against the paper don't you think?

In addition to the wallpaper I also got rid of my dresser completely.  I was ruthless and was able to condense a 4 drawer dresser into 1 drawer in the armoire.  The room feels so lovely and feminine right now.  I still haven't gotten the nerve to drive a nail into it to hang any pictures.  That's going to take some time. xo

my daily refresh

I think it has been well established on this blog that I love cleaning and organizing.  I used to think it brought me peace but what I'm discovering about myself is what it really does is bring me joy. How lucky is that?

I love starting my day with what I call my daily refresh.  After my coffee and meditation, I light a candle, I make the bed and straighten pillows, wash any stray dishes laying about then sort and start the laundry.  Why this brings me so much joy, I have no idea but I think it stems from gratitude. Grateful that I have a home of our own, a garden to walk out into and snip a few flowers from.  I don't take any of this for granted and realize how blessed I am.

Last year I was walking thru a Home Goods store and came upon an end aisle of Murchison-Hume products.  I'd never heard of them but the packaging was beautiful and the scent was just amazing (I'm in love with the Fig scent and have not tried the white grapefruit, but I will one day.)  I hand wash all our dishes so I'm at the sink several times a day.  Washing up with a beautifully scented, safe soap has turned a chore into a pleasure.  I bought all the bottles they had on sale that day and just recently ran out.  That took me to their website and I learned more about the product and its founder.  I restocked and while it seems quite a splurge, is it really?  If something so simple as a washing up liquid can bring so much joy why would I deny myself?  Well I'm not.  I'm at the age now that I'm seeing the importance of taking the best care of myself that I possibly can. Putting myself first is something that does not come easily to me so I'm starting with the little things and it feels quite nice.

What are some of the little ways you show yourself love each day? Do share because I can use all the help I can get!  xo

PS - The Fig counter spray cleaner not only cleans and scents the air beautifully, it helps combat ants.  Ants are an ongoing issue here when it gets hot.  I just spray around their entry points and voila, they retreat.  So much better than Raid.

HERE is the Amazon link in case you are an Amazon Prime member

so what do i eat?

Prepare to be bored to death because what I eat most days is dead set ordinary.  Not to be confused with bland because my food tastes fantastic.  It's just simple and basic and that's fine with me. I'm pretty much over complicated recipes and hard to find ingredients.  Gimme easy please.

I took this photo a couple of months ago because I was being a smart-ass.  While no one likes a smart-ass I never dreamed that one day Larry would ever give up his favorite takeout. This would be a typical Friday or Saturday night dinner around here. Larry would go get his beloved In-N-Out burger and fries and I'd live it up with a veggie patty and steamed broccoli.  To be honest that is one of my favorite meals.:)

But now that he's full-on hardcore vegan there is no more In-N-Out around here. I can hardly believe he has given it up.  He has replaced it with a good black bean burger which isn't the same but I know that in time he'll come to love his veggie burgers.:)

What I eat daily is so mundane, so utterly boring but I know some of you are interested so here is what an average day looks like around here.


Overnight oats.  I mix 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk in a cereal bowl and stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning I'll add fresh or frozen fruit like blueberries or apples and a handful of nuts.  It's so delicious and so easy.

Potatoes with onions, bell pepper and soyrizo.  I chop up some onions, peppers and 2 small/med potatoes and mix in about 1/2 cup of soyrizo.  I cover it so the steam cooks the potatoes.  This is fabulous with sliced avocado.


Mostly big salads or veggie wraps or a tofurky sandwich.  These salads contain anything and everything in the refrigerator.  This has been the biggest surprise for Larry.  He never thought a salad at lunch would fill him up but it does.

When it gets cooler I'll always make soup or veggie stews for lunch.

The old standby which is leftovers are also often on the lunch menu.


Dinner almost always involves beans or pasta or another grain.  We make our own beans from scratch so I always have baggies filled in the freezer with white, black and pinto beans.  They defrost quickly for tacos or burritos.  There are literally dozens of ways to make burritos.  Some of our favorites are...

Bbq black bean burritos
Green burritos
Red burritos
Bean & rice burritos
Bean and Potato burritos

The key is to know what to do with the beans once they are cooked.

In a saute pan...

1/2 cup diced onion
1/4-1/2 cup diced jarred jalepeno (I like mine hot)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups beans (any kind)
Salt, Pepper and any other seasoning you like

The beans will absorb the broth in about 5 minutes.  Mash them as much or as little as you want. Now you have a good base to start with.

For bbq black bean tacos or burritos just add beans to your tortilla and add your favorite bbq sauce and fresh diced onion.  Fresh off the cob corn is delightful on these.

For green burritos I always use white beans and add green enchilada sauce as the topping.

The rest of the burritos are pretty self explanatory.  Once you have your basic bean recipe down, the sky is the limit.

Other nights we will have veggie stir fry over rice.

And then there is pasta which can be made one zillion ways.


tortilla chips and salsa
PBJ sandwich

So there you have it.  This is what I eat.  How are you doing with your new commitment to being vegan?  Thank you for all your fabulous comments.  That documentary really opened a lot of eyes. See you soon...xo

absolutely must see tv

Have you seen this film?  You absolutely must, that's an order.  No seriously you just have to watch this film.  It was produced by Joaquin Phoenix.  Unlike his film, Earthlings (aka the vegan-maker) he does not focus on animal cruelty.  Rather, this is a expose on our own government and how they are keeping us in the dark re our very own health.  I consider myself pretty up-to-date on most health trends but this totally blew my mind as I'm sure it will yours too.  When the film starts I was pretty much yeah, yeah I know about heart disease, diabetes, cancer.  Turns out nope, I knew nothing.  I had no idea our very own government is in collusion with big business to keep us sick!

Prepare to be pissed off and prepare to to take your health into your own hands.  The good news is with a vegan diet you can reverse just about all disease.  I don't beg often but I really am begging you to watch this film.  It's currently on Netflix.  Here is the trailer...

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