Category Archives: San Gabriel Valley

Lavender & Honey — mmm…

How charming is Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar, located on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Hill Street in North Pasadena? My heart beams at the thought of it.



I had business up North, and looking for a place to grab a latte, it was a welcome site — little did I know how lovely it would be. So bright and welcoming is its interior.

This photo with the stringed lights was taken
at a moment right before the crowd ushered in;
and once it did, the place stayed packed as long I was there.

The latte I ordered kept me wondering:  what were the distinctive, delicious flavors roaming across my tongue? I did not know. But what I can tell you is that the espresso was from a single source Ethiopian bean from Klatch Coffee.IMG_3612



They have loads of made-to-order sandwiches and pastries and sweet things at the counter. So of course I needed a snack too.

Mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinegar.
Mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinegar

A few things I bought from their shelves and countertop of goods.

A few take-homes from L&H
A few take-homes from L&H

Unable to resist, I went back another day for yet another latte.




Sharing the love

I must tell you about a few of the treasures from my Advent Calendar (which I will do in my next few posts). I loved it. If you will recall, for each day from December 1 through 25, I had to give a small gift, often something with no financial cost, but something that took my time and effort. These were kindnesses from Life’s Little Instruction Book, One Good Deed a Day, and my own heart.

all the stars removed for sharing kindness
all the brown stars removed for sharing kindnesses

A few of my offerings…

pulled from a star, what a wonderful idea
pulled from a star, what a wonderful idea

January 26 - 1

When I hear the bells and see the red the kettle, I always think, “I get to drop something in there!”


Sometimes the gift was a little something for me…


And this one…this was one of my absolute faves. I went into a store and put a bill each in two coat pockets. I love this idea. I love thinking of someone putting his or her hand in the pocket and pulling out some unexpected cash!


What about you, any ideas for small but sweet gifts to give?

Advent Calendar

Every year I have this ambition to create an Advent calendar, and I have held onto this magazine since the early nineties to help inspire me.

"Weihnachten" = "Christmas" in German
“Weihnachten” = “Christmas” in German


But almost every year for the last two decades, Thanksgiving whooshes by and it skids into December. The Advent calendar does not happen. I must confess, I’ve only ever made one Advent calendar  – until now, that is! I JUST MADE MY SECOND ONE!  Woohoo! I got super motivated from this post at Apartment Therapy. After seeing those amazing ideas, I determined to dig into my craft stash and come up with something.

EXCEPT – I don’t have little ones who can open up each day on the calendar and find a treat. What to do? Hmmm… I thinked about it. And like a light bulb flashing, the idea danced before me. I would fill my days with gifts to give to others. I gathered up ideas from Life’s Little Instruction Book, One Good Deed a Day and culled a few from my own heart. The gifts are just simple things – like giving someone a compliment, buying a coworker a latte or giving balloons to a stranger.

I typed out what I would give to others, printed those ideas and grabbed my cardstock, packaging paper and thread.



I made star shapes in PowerPoint and printed and cut them out. I then used them as templates to trace stars on the card stock and packaging paper.



Once I had cut out 50 stars from the packaging paper, I began matching up pairs and sewed them together by hand. But before the last few stitches on each one, I stuffed in the gift idea for that day along with a cotton ball (to give it some dimension).


I gathered my stars together…


and placed them on this brilliant blue poster board I scored at Blick. The plan was to attach a thread to each brown star and hang it from the edge of the poster. The yellow stars would be glued onto the poster itself.

Note: I just taped the thread to the back of the poster.


After I attached the stars, I needed to frame them. I grabbed some more cardstock and with my blade, free handed some strips for the edges.


Something was still missing …it needed some bling. Beads or sparkle? Sparkle! I sprayed the glitter all over the calendar.


I numbered my stars and hung my calendar.



True confessions:  I did not finish the calendar until December 7. 😀 I opened 7 stars last night and one this morning (lots of things for me to do today :). I couldn’t help smiling when I saw these precious little gifts I was going to give out.


P.S. Sorry about the glare on the calendar. Here it is minus 8 days and less glare. :O)


To market, to market


That old saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” – woo-ee, definitely true about parking at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I think the entire San Gabriel Valley was there this past Sunday.  I did not get there until 11:40 am, so I ended up parking about a 20 minute walk from the entrance. Next time I go, I will fur sure be getting there earlier. And not just because of the parking, but because I found a GREAT find, only to discover it had a SOLD sign. The early bird got that worm too! ;o)

Anyway, I went in search of something that I could use as a makeshift hearth for my faux fireplace. I also needed wooden frames for the pictures I am going to paint and hang above my fireplace. I did not find anything for the hearth and although I did find wooden frames, they were not quite what I was looking for.

But there was lots of other cool stuff to feast upon. I wended my way through a labyrinth of stalls that held all kinds of wonders. Here are few pics from my excursion.

This first thing to catch my eye were these lovely textiles by Pacific & Rose.


Quite a bit of millinery was to be had.


Distressed furniture? Of course! :O)

Distressed furniture


IMG_1806 IMG_1810



On a large side lot, there were racks and racks of clothes and rows of rows of shoes.


So you as you can imagine, everything was there – all the usual stuff to be had at a flea market: milk glass, circa 70’s coffee mugs, dolls, LPs, trunks, jewelry, woodwork, crafts, plants…SO MUCH STUFF! And there amongst it all I found this, the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of table lamps. Or maybe it just needs to be in the right setting or maybe it just needs a new lampshade…I dunno.  Is it one of those, “it’s so 70s, it’s in” pieces? What do you think?

Lamp 3