Image Map

Noah is 4!We celebrated our Grandson Noah’s 4th birthday yesterday. He is so excited that he can now tell people his age and hold up 4 fingers instead of 3!

The day started off with a trip to the donut store with Mommy and Daddy before Dad had to head off to work. Next stop, home to feed baby and pick up Grandma for an excursion to the pumpkin patch. Noah’s Mommy started the tradition of taking him to the pumpkin patch on his first birthday and they’ve done it every year since. Being that it is exceptionally hot in California this year it felt more like a day to visit the beach rather than a pumpkin patch but Noah didn’t mind. A pumpkin is a pumpkin, despite the weather.

Of all the beautifully shaped pumpkins, Noah picked the bumpy one! When we asked the lady at checkout what made the pumpkin bumpy, she informed us it was read more….


Celebration of Life

Celebration Collage LifeMy very special Mother-in-law of 33 years passed away last year on October 1st. Ella was born only two weeks before the anniversary of her death so this post is in celebration of both the birth of baby Ella and the Life of Grandma Pat.

Patricia Ann Vernon-Cole, a wonderful mother to 5 children, grandmother of 11 grandchildren and great-grandmother of 7 was truly the matriarch of the Vernon-Cole family. This strong woman of integrity, determination and unconditional love is greatly missed. We miss her paintings and the artists paraphernalia strewn about her house, her love of gardening and animals, and the vegetable soup she would make when we’d visit.

If I could talk to Pat today about life and death, I can imagine what she would say… read more….



Ella has arrived! A sweet 6 lb addition to our family. We now have 4 generations of females under one roof!

After having her first child, Noah, by cesarean, our daughter Rachel desperately wanted to try vaginal birth with Ella. When she learned that the hospitals in our area don’t allow VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean) she began searching for the closest hospital that would. After lots of consideration, Rachel and Jon made the decision to change their doctor so Ella could be delivered at UCLA Medical Center. At the prenatal visits Rachel was able read more….


When a pregnant woman past her due date in the heat of the summer requests a special meal, compliance is your best option. So, we had stuffed peppers for dinner last night!

It must have been the right thing to do because she has now officially started labor. Why then am I posting a blog while my daughter is in labor? Well because contractions have slowed, she hasn’t gone to the hospital yet and I need something to do to keep myself occupied … and stay out of her way! I say that with the utmost affection!

All that aside, here is the recipe. If you are a vegetarian or just don’t like the greasiness of some stuffed peppers made with meat, this is a great recipe for you to try.

Feta and Rice Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed pepper ingredients 1

read more…


SM Foodtrucks with headerTwo of our favorite hobbies are FOOD and taking drives along the PCH. Put the two together and you have the perfect date night!

Main Street in Santa Monica is a great place to experience an eclectic selection of cuisine. Every Tuesday 8 food trucks congregate in a parking lot on Main Street between the California Heritage Museum and The Victorian Restaurant. Savory scents of garlic, curry and grilled meats attract locals and visitors to the event. The small park next to the museum is full of families and beach goers, as well as people stopping in for read more….


Attracting HummingbirdsWe love hummingbirds! Currently there are 4 that reside in our back yard. All day long they chatter and chase one another around the yard competing for nectar. Of all our flowering plants the Cigar Plant seems to rank #1 in popularity with our hummingbirds and the Hibiscus is probably the 2nd most desired.

Hummingbirds do not rely on scent but rather color to lead them to flowers that produce large amounts of nectar. They are particularly drawn to tubular shaped brightly colored flowers of red, orange and hot pink. Hummingbirds will also read more….


Your next summer mealIf you are like me you are always on the look out for quick, tasty recipes that can easily be prepared at the end of a long day. Many times I’m inspired by the chef created meals served in the dining room where I work. When I leave the job at 5:30, the evening meal served to our residents is usually fresh on my mind and sometimes I will stop at the store on the way home to grab a few ingredients to make my own version.

Last week the chef created a delicious flat bread with spinach and artichokes entree. I knew it would be easy to make and after spotting naan bread and spinach/artichoke dip at Costco I decided to create a similar dinner. read more….


shower couples baby shower picSo, what do you do when you have an endless list of ideas but not enough time to make them happen? Keep it sweet and simple when planning a backyard baby shower! That’s what we did for baby Ella’s shower. With little time to prepare we came up with decorations and food that were foolproof and simple to create. Rachel isn’t much for drawing attention to herself so she preferred a couples shower which helped to ease the nervous feelings associated with being the center of attention. read more….


Armoire MakeoverWe’ve been in our new home since March and I’ve been itching to make a few changes. Each time we move my mind starts to imagine all the possibilities and my ‘to do list’ is almost always at least 3 times what is feasible. Reality sinks in and I realize I can’t buy a new sofa, armoire, bedroom set and all the other items I so vividly picture in my head. So, what can I do? Hmm, first of all I can buy pillow covers for my ‘oh so brown‘ sofa. After a trip to IKEA I cross that task off the list. Next, after several moves across the country the green armoire we’ve had since the kids were in their early teens is in dire need of a facelift. Originally used to house the TV it is now used as storage for glassware and linens. Future plan is to buy a ‘real’ curio cabinet, but for now a new coat of paint on the armoire will have to suffice. read more….


simply delicious cookiesA friend shared with me this delicious cookie recipe from a B&B in Santa Barbara. With cornflakes as an ingredient I was a little skeptical at first. After the first bite I was hooked. Couldn’t stop eating these yummy treats! They are a simple cookie, wonderfully crunchy with subtle flavor, very similar to shortbread cookies in texture but sweeter in taste. This is definitely my new favorite cookie recipe that is appropriate for all seasons and special occasions. read more….