Palm Springs- Cali forni yahhh!

When you drive into the dessert-y-seemingly uninteresting route for about an hour in the dark, only to come across perfectly placed palm trees, underlit, you enter into the parallel time of 1970s glamorous Palm Springs!!

This place like many others in Cali have this odd nostalgic romantic aura all around. It wasn’t a mirage, it was like Las Vegas, in that it offered a destination in a place that was so unexpected without the strung out Vegas vibe. Surrounded by mountains, this dessert city had so many facets of Americana proper.

Granted we only had a full day of exploration, but we truly loved the time we had.

The must do list:

1. Relax.

It was vacation and yes even the most exciting adventurers were in search of a good soak. It’s actually science.

We soaked in the hot spring fed pools at the Miracle Springs Hotel and Spa. In all honesty it was not the Ritz; the room was dated and there was a plastic spoon behind the night stand that had become part of the rug, but the pools made up for it.

Our room overlooked the courtyard with 8 different pools, with a fake background, I mean mountains in the back (seriously the mountains did look fake!) All of these glorious pools were different temperatures and were heated naturally by underground hot springs. After the previous 2 days of 45,913 steps and plenty of car time, our bodies were in heaven in this little oasis!

I wouldn’t recommend the hotel for a lavish experience, but if you need a good soak after a long journey then it’s 100% the place to stay.

It was cold at night and extremely windy, but once you get in the pools, it’s like warm hug!

Obviously I need a hot tub or at the very least a proper soaking tub… next house goals!

2. Tacos in full color!

….Because obviously my goal was usually tacos. So the next day we planned the day around soaking, lunch, and leisurely shopping. Also, dinosaurs but I’m getting ahead of myself.

After waking up and soaking for a few hours, we checked out and headed to lunch at (in my opinion) the ideal Palm Springs ambiance! It was like where you expect the lucky charms leprechaun to hang out, the skittles commercials to be filmed, the artists to be in their element… etc. It sure was colorful!

Bonus that they had these awesome Barbie (my favorite) modern art displays in their lobby.

What I loved the most about this was the mid-century modern design that was so authentic to the town. It had a certain joie de vivre unlike anywhere else; freedom, excitement and culture! It felt like a place made for tv. I suppose that is why movie stars loved Palm Springs. It’s a strange but comfortable get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

But the tacos….

were fresh!

And so the glorious experience came to an end…but actually just lunch.

3. Vintage shopping

Every Pinterest girl knows, that the best vintage clothes are in California and the capital of vintage shopping is clearly Palm Springs, or at least Pinterest told me (so it must be true)!

I’m going to be honest I was semi-obsessed with this particular location and was thus on a mission to find it. It wasn’t easy, in fact my poor sense of direction and little knowledge of anything in the area didn’t help, but we finally located it, after a little bit of round about walking. I will say I was surprised that there were not rows of glorious vintage charm shops lining the streets but I suppose we all have expectations. This store did not disappoint!!! If you are looking for the most fabulous classic Haute couture peices, at pretty reasonable prices, then The Fine Art Of Design is a must!!!

Did I mention I’m now officially obsessed (moreso than before) with hat boxes. I need to calm down. This place was quintessential vision. I loved it! I didn’t find the “can’t live without item” I was hoping for but in all honesty it was the experience of it that I can wrap myself up in. The pieces were cultivated and chosen with such care as if chosen for a personal closet rather than for resale.

I think I felt so comfortable here because across the street from a French cafe was a Greek cafe and marketplace, and so my Greek and French heritage was finally on the same page, or at least the same street. Everything made sense and all was in alignment…

I could go on and on, but ultimately it was a colorful day full of zest and high fashion vintage and tacos, what else is there?

4. Du du du dinosaurs!

Yes Pee Wee had a big adventure, and so did we!

We really didn’t stay long, because we knew we had to arrive at Joshua Tree for our next destination before dark, as instructed by our Air BnB host. Spoiler: we stayed in an airstream in the desert and it was awesome!

However like the great dinosaurs of Peewee’s Big Adventure we had to go out with a bang, or was it the ice age? It was definetly getting cold…. ( I didn’t see the movie) either way we found our way out of the dinosaurs and into the desert… and onto the next adventure.

So long Palm Springs you sexy dessert flower! Not only was it a cool laid back groovy experience but the dessert of Palm Springs also made clean energy, for all my green friends! These turbines were rad!

Thanks for reading! Hope you liked it! We sure did!

Leave a comment! Send feedback! Definetly check out Palm Springs if you ever get the chance, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, felt or done!

Next up… Joshua Tree!

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6 Steps to a Thoughtful Event


1. Plan plan plan…if you don’t have a plan… You should hire a pro.

There’s a few key elements of a fabulous party… The first thing you need is a date. People have lives and so do you, so give them plenty of time to rsvp.

If you want this party to be a success send out a real invitation, no Facebook, email, or texting please. It’s just not as effective as a mailed invitation. Plus they allow people to post it on their fridge or in their calendar so they don’t forget!

Paper invitations add taste and flare to your event, it’s a timeless tradition, don’t skip this step.

I’ve been recently fond of the invitations matching the theme, but that’s a personal preference. They don’t have to be fancy, just in writing and in the mail!

Depending on where you have it you may need to confirm your headcount, and you will need to know your headcount for planning food/ booze so don’t skimp on this very important detail.

This is the most crucial peice of the process but don’t worry… Just make sure to thoroughly count your rsvp’s and make sure to advance the rsvp date at least a week (minimum) before your event.

If you are hosting with a caterer they will need a headcount by a specific time, the same goes for an event held at a remote site.

2. Have a theme.

For every occasion there can be an overlapping theme, cause or design scheme. Whether you are hosting a birthday party for a 6 year old (who knows what they want) or you are preparing for a bridal shower, have a theme, it’ll look much more put together.

My mother recently retired from her job. Her life was quite interesting, she’s an artist, she used to teach art classes when she stayed at home raising me, so her theme was clearly art inspired. She not only taught art, but her topic of interest and the theme she painted the most was beach inspired landscapes…

Which coincidentally brought me to my next theme, the beach… Where she was moving to… So!!!! “The art of retirement” was the theme, and I incorporated art and beach themes in unison.

My friend Melissa made this beautiful cake from scratch. It was tasty too!!!

Once you have a theme, everything falls into place: food, decor, booze, everything!!!

3. You don’t have to pay a million dollars to have a fabulous party, just make sure there is food and booze.

Based on your number of people, your guests taste and your theme you have to build a menu.

I typically stick with wine and beer because it’s well received by anyone. Vodka is a taste, gin is a taste and generally people have different preferences but if they don’t like wine or beer… There’s always soft drinks.

Consider about 1/2 bottle of wine per person and 2-3 beers per person. You’ll probably have left over booze but that’s okay! Some places will let you return unopened bottles, but you can regift it or just save it for your next function!


Present the booze or just stick it in a cooler it all depends on your crowd… You know a backyard barbecue does not necessitate the level of preparation as a shower or a milestone event.

The food has to be good. You can’t have a good party without good food. All other things may fail but a good scallop wrapped in bacon never fails! (Just an example, many people do not care for bacon or seafood.) You must know your audience.

You need to know your crowd enough to know if they are picky, if they are upscale or if they are laid back. Ideally, easy crowds are the best but usually you have a few of the picky and classy type mixed in. Pick items that are staple foods either of the culture you/ your crowd is, or just straight American classics.

Your menu should have 3 elements appetizers, main entree type foods, and dessert. Obviously if it’s a cocktail party this may not apply but you want to have a couple light apps, a couple hot apps, and light and hot foods for the main course. Dessert is easy, anything and everything goes, except ice cream that’s a commitment.
I chose to make all my food from scratch, but if you have it catered chances are they will suggest more but you don’t need to have it all, especially on a budget.


Levels are important. You have to have food on the bottom and food on the top otherwise the display has failed.

We chose cheese, meats and crackers, deviled eggs,  antipasti skewers, bacon wrapped scallops and shrimp cocktail.

As you can see there’s some decor mixed onto the display it helps give wholesome theme flavor throughout the party.

4. Don’t stress.Make signs instead!

People are instruction oriented, they need direction, they crave order, they need signs for things so they don’t mess it up. The social pressure at the party is high, don’t make people feel stupid trying to figure out where to start on the table or how to scoop the salad dressing. No one likes to admit it, but people don’t usually think like a host… They need to know what to do.

Signs are pretty, they make your life easier and people feel better knowing they didn’t mess everything up!


Especially if there is a guest book or a special game in place. Directions are necessary!


You can make them jazzy or straight forward but it’s also a conversation peice so think about it before you put it on the table.

5. Every detail counts. If it didn’t matter it wouldn’t be there… 

Here’s a list: (how mine starts anyway)

Tablecloths

Chairs

Centerpeices

Silverware or plasticware

Paper or plastic in general for all materials.

Decor

Think of this as a general concept. The detail can be as intense or as simple as necessary.

Personally I know every table needs a runner and a centerpeice, to make theme cohesive.


They don’t have to be fancy, I took books off my bookshelf, mason jars, wild flowers, shells and then I staggered them with different colored / sized glass containers.

I wanted it to be reminiscent of reading and relaxing on the beach with nature and lots of different colors. I incorporated the beach artist with a New England type of feel. I’m pretty sure I nailed it.

Each table had spray painted copper cans with paint brushes in them, and fun facts with photographs of all my mom’s achievements. Luckily I had a lot of material.


Oh I also had the party in the location where she taught art for 15 years, a small gallery in town. It’s all about the thoughtful details.

6. Have help because you can’t do it alone if you want to pull it off. 

Don’t think for a second that 100% of the work was done by me, even though I’d like to take credit for it. I simply knew what I wanted it to look like, and I directed people accordingly.

I had help to place the food, pour the ice, move the tables and chairs and all the heavy lifting in general. If you don’t have help, you will never want to do another party again. You have to be a team player and you have to assign duties, trust me it’ll save you a headache.

7. Just because you are the host doesn’t mean you can’t party!!!

Part of the fun of a party is relishing in your hard work but also in visiting with friends and family. Make your menus easy and your beverages easy so you can set it up and leave it alone. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful event you have created!

You may not be able to stand up by the end of the running around, but sit back and relax with a glass of wine and take in the energy of a group of happy people midway through an event that you made happen.

Don’t forget to accept compliments and remember that the point of celebrating is to honor life’s moments, with people who you love. Take the stress out of the equation and you will be a natural!

Cheers you party animal you!

Romantic Night Stands (DIY)

I wanted end tables with blue and white romantic print.
So I found some romantic print fabric at a consignment shop for $5.00 and decided to make them with decoupage.

I bought these night stands which look like they were attached to a mirror or to a headboard previously. The two together were about $30. Solid wood, with nice but subtle detail, these pieces were going to be our night stands.

 This sad end table had all the integrity but none of the flare… So I fixed that.  Admittedly they weren’t much to look at.

  1.  First I painted them 2 coats with behr oatmeal paint so it was a creamy antique look. 
  2. I painted the drawers as well and added knobs. There were no knobs originally, on the drawers. I just bought 4 individual knobs from Home Depot, in a nickel finish. They looked like hammered nickel which was the look I wanted, and they were about $5 each.
      As you can see there were a few cracks but I liked it that way. I wanted a romantic, distressed look. I even took a sanding block and gently sanded the trim peices and around the edges to give it more a more weathered look.
  3. Probably the most difficult part was getting the fabric attached. I say difficult because you have to be very particular when cutting it. So I started by painting a layer of decoupage on the top of the end table. I then placed the whole peice of fabric on top. I’m glad I did this, because had I cut it prior, I probably would have wasted a lot of fabric.

After placing the fabric on the decoupaged top I smoothed it down, making sure it was straight and also that it showed the peice of the fabric that I wanted.

Making sure there were no bubbles or creases I took the decoupage and painted a layer on top of the fabric. I waited (maybe) 10 minutes, then took an exact o knife and carefully followed the ridge at the top. I was very careful not to pull the fabric as this would cause bubbles etc.  After tracing out the fabric it looked perfect but a little tattered. Decoupage is like a glue that dries clear and instead of potentially compromising the fabric or pulling a thread, I decoupaged the corners and pushed down with the brush so as to guide these frays in line.

Then I added a second coat of decoupage and let it dry overnight.

Finally my end table was complete. I later added legs to the bottom because it was a bit short.

I was pleased with the final product it was exactly what I wanted…

I’ve come to realize that when you know what you want the only way to get it is to create it. When you build something, you give yourself exactly what you want. What is more satisfying?

Happy Building!

How an Old Chair Became French

Step 1. Find your chair

   This chair needed the legs tightened, some new fabric and a lighter color paint or stain.

Step 2. Pop off the chair seat and pick a fabric that you like. I chose a patterned blue and white fabric to give a French country flare.

Step 3. Place the fabric on the floor and the seat faced down so that the underneath part is facing toward the ceiling.

Step 4. Take a staple gun ****carefully**** and staple the fabric to the back of the chair seat. You want it to be tight enough to hold its form but lose enough so that you don’t rip it when you sit.  Cut any excess fabric from the edges and check your seat to make sure it has no lose corners.

If you find one side is pulling more than the other you can simply tighten the other side and stapling again. The process is very forgiving so give yourself a little credit.

Drink some wine too that helps me.

 The seat is right side up here in step 4 the seat should be side down.

Step 5. Sand any varnish off your chair frame using a hand sander or a sand block. If there isn’t a shiny varnish you can get away with lightly sanding instead of going down to the grain.

Let it fully dry and apply a second coat of paint. I used behr paint and primer for this one but you can use any paint you want, chalk paint is very popular because it goes on even and you don’t need too much of it.

Step 6. This is optional, you can distress the edges if you like that look by gently sanding along the corner of the chair legs and making a few strokes along the middle, not too symmetrically though because you want it to look naturally vintage and not forced.

Step 7 is place your set on top of the completed frame and you can either glue it in or screw it in depending on the chair itself, if the chair has drilled holes for screws, utilize them if not, glue will do.

Ta da buds and gals you did it, you made an ugly old chair beautiful again!


Now celebrate by sitting in your new chair proudly!