Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Camp Sunset

If you overlook the good hour we spent worrying that our wardrobe selections might be too "farmerish" while weaving aimlessly around the sliced roads of Malibu Canyon (in a big white Econoline van - slightly too big for those luxury lanes anyway) trying to make our way to the party on time without cell reception to aid us in the journey, and far too many stunning modern mansions to keep full focus intact, the afternoon we spent this past weekend with Sunset Magazine in celebration of their latest book, Camp Sunset, was nothing short of perfect.

A mid day event hosted by Shiva Rose, Heather Taylor and Heather and Blake Mycoskie
with a set up consisting of three enormous Under Canvas teepees towering there on the breezy cliff sides of One Gun Ranch, a sprawling biodynamic farm thriving on some of the richest real estate this side of so cal, where horses are grazing happily on the sidelines, a donkey named Waffle can be found roaming the grounds in search of food to steal from your plate to snack on, an airstream is parked in the corner, and two acoustic guitar players W warm up to serenade you while you pile your plate with an array of locally forged goods from Eagle Rock's beloved Auntie Em's Kitchen & Catering with founder / chef Terri Whal on site prepping meals arranged on tables so pretty even Martha Stewart would swoon.

We ate, we drank, we crafted custom canvas knapsacks courtesy of TOMS, mingled and generally just sat enjoying the scenery in the crisp sunlight of a lovely Saturday afternoon that didn't involve a grip of kids swarming around us to scold, wrangle or entertain. I was relived to find that I can still engage in full and complete sentences, when given the opportunity. Which, as you can imagine, isn't all that often.

My only lingering regret being that the good folks at Sunset Magazine aren't in charge of directing more of my weekend happenings. Because from now on, I think I would prefer all my cocktails come dressed with fresh green garnishes, and tables lined with brass and gingham. And a side of oceanside landscape paired with a picnic doesn't hurt either. 

The book is chalk full of all kinds of handy camping tips and top notch grilling recipes we've come to expect from Sunset, and I'm certainly inspired to try a few of them out this season when our camping trips switch from the beaches to mountains. As well as try and amp up our table set ups next chance we have for a gathering. Though I'm quite certain I may never get wild flowers in a mason jar or jam on my blue cheese and fig plate to ever look that damn good. 

By the end of it we were sorry to go but freshly inspired by our time at the Ranch. Thank you, Sunset Magazine, for such a lovely time filled with food, wine, music and conversation. A blissful way to spend the last Saturday of September. Just before a new month sets in to expire the last of our favorite season.

Additional event contributors 

Found Vintage Rentals (furniture and decor)

- Heather Taylor Home (Linens: Table runners and napkins)

The Ark (tabletop---copper mugs, bone silverware etc.)

Valerie Confections (Durango cookies sandwiched roasted marshmallows for gourmet s'mores)

- Gifts also included: Three Jerks Jerkey

Monday, September 26, 2016

Best of the Web

The kids are out of school today so we're working our hardest to get out of the house early enough to escape the high temps headed our way this afternoon, but I wanted to stop by and thank readers here who voted for this site in Red Tricycles "Best of the Web" awards running this month. It's a great honor to even be included and word is House Inhabit is now in the top three, so I wanted to extend sincere gratitude for those of you responsible for it.

If you haven't voted and still care to, this is the last week to do so.
*Link provided here

I'll also be back later in the day to share some shots of a dreamy afternoon spent drinking wine and swooning over an array of cheese platters on the stunning cliffs of Malibu Saturday at One Gun Ranch, were I seriously left regretting the fact that Sunset Magazine isn't in charge of directing all of my weekend plans this way.

In real time, back to cleaning out a filthy van in order to pile in 6 kids on a real mission to feed some llamas after lunch.

Happy Monday!

- photo by Ashely Jennett

Friday, September 23, 2016

End of Summer

Per tradition, our end of summer video wrap up. I know I've used this song before but itunes is being weird, and I was limited and pressed for time seeing how suddenly Fall is here. But really, is there even a thing as "too much Dylan?"

Included are a few of the highlights of an especially jam packed season in which we always work our hardest to squeeze in as much time as possible with friends and family. On the beach, up the coast, on skateboards, surfboards, backyard bbqs, sleeping bags and hotels. As exhausted as it leaves us, we're always sorry to see it go.

Till next year!

End of Summer from Mrs. Habit on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Mourning the end of an era. Me, like the rest of the world picking up the collective pieces of our broken hearts upon hearing the news this week that Brangelina (our celebrity golden couple who's ungodly paring of superior bone structure and hearty charity efforts dazzled us for a decade) is through. And yes, I know there are certainly more pressing issues in the news right now than the dissolving marriage of hollywood's best, but the news of it has me feeling admittedly pretty blue and I have to come here to talk about it because Mike (nor my best friend) care enough for my needs and liking. I feel almost like I am a distant relative eternally rooting for slim chance of a resolution. For the kids. For the fans. For the good of this nation. I read somewhere that the reason their break up is more stinging is than all the rest is because they represent the last of the old school celebrity skins who managed to uphold an air of mystery about their lives and marriage in a day and age where people are apt to become famous simply for being famous. Every move they make documented via live stream on social media sites and every detail being willing exploit for mindless tabloid fodder. Brad and Angie were different. And they were suppose to be together forever. That's why I saved all the magazines with them in it, and fawned over that controversial W spread even when everyone else was still harvesting bitter resentment in favor of #TeamJen. I was feeling so low yesterday that when I got tired of looking through all the archives of their stunning 10 year union over breakfast, I watched By the Sea - which the critics ripped apart for being slow, self involved and boring - but I loved. Especially because it came paired with a room full of laundry to sort while getting lost in the hallow caves of Angelina's cheekbones glinting in the foreign sunlight of that fancy France hotel stay, for two hours straight on an otherwise uneventful Wednesday afternoon during Haye's 12:00 nap. Yes it's slow, yes it feels at times elitest and dull, but with styling, cinematography and setting considered, I couldn't bring myself to be bothered by it. - check this video  and feel sad all over again.

Listening to Sia's newest song The Greatest on repeat (obsessively on repeat) after reading the meaning behind it, and deciding that Sia (who I was too quick to dismiss early on) is quite possibly the most thrilling thing on the pop scene as of late. And man, her videos are even better. Maddie's magnetism, which pushes through on screen in that interpretive herky jerky dance jive they've got down, I never get tired of. Seeing the visuals paired here with these lyrics in this song as a tribute to the victims of the Pure nightclub shooting though hurts in the very best way a video dedicated to something so heavy rightfully should. In short, I was wrong about Sia. She's astounding.

Regretting losing out again this year to the Hollywood Bowl event with Danny Elfman - and all the rest of the original voices behind of A Nightmare Before Christmas will be narrating the movie live, in light of a full orchestra. Fun fact: my first concert was the Oingo Boingo Farewell Tour when I was nine, so I guess I was hoping to come full circle with this concert but I missed the window of opportunity on the one day we could make it and now decent seating in the nose bleed costs an arm. I can't stop kicking myself for dropping the ball on an early purchase for something so, incredibly, cool.... Next year....?

Bracing myself for a four night getaway to a small Mexican surf village early next month for our ten year anniversary. In the nearly 20 years we've been together Mike and I have actually never flown with each other so he has no idea how anxious (or tipsy) I get preflight. I'm a little worried for us both. The place I picked looks pretty amazing but also happens to be hunkered right in the middle of the Baja desert, so my irrational fears are growing wider than the ocean we're flying over by the day. While Mike admits to feeding fantasies about building a giant palapa to live under like a friend he knows while owning a remote piece of land out there, I'm googling homicide statistics to ensure my vacationing safety is not at great threat. Here's to plenty of salted tequila rims working their magic as aid to my typical travel neurosis.

Looking forward to another upcoming weekend in October where I'll be covering Modernism Week in Palm Springs for three days. From what I know the event includes a bus top tour around some of the cities finest historical homes, lectures on the architecture, and a couple of parties by a pool that doesn't really need much more explanation that that to get my blood pumping because I'm a simple girl that way and take comfort in visiting familiar surroundings that don't involve drug lords, passports, or airplanes.

Preparing for our first open house this weekend where I figure at the very least Mike and I get to test our latest real estate agent schtick and pretend we know something about the whole housing "market" while trying to convince strangers to buy our house. But really all I'm excited about is offering whoever drops by a cup of fresh coffee and a complementary incense stick. Can't be that hard right? Only issue being, what to wear to sell people homes.... ?

Brainstorming Halloween costumes because this year I'm proving utterly clueless. And if you know us, you know that that's just unacceptable at this point in the season.

Drinking Tea instead of coffee due to a few significant changes in my current diet. (but more on that one later) the slew of suggestions & advice on yesterday's instagram post has me feeling freshly inspired though by this alternative. Thinking I may need to print out the comment section to better examine some of the tasty things people are pairing up and drinking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Blue Accents 

For the most part, I've always struggled with adding color to my home and wardrobe selections. By nature I'm most comfortable with neutrals and tend to tire quickly of bold patterns and accents in general, but my boys were asking recently what my favorite color is and I was quick to name blue. Which is true - it always has been. A point I realized is regularly reflected in plenty of my home pins, where it serves as the main accent in an otherwise tonal setting in so many of the photos I pick. 

Here, I gathered a few of my favorites. Muted Spanish tiles, abstract art and bedding being a few ways to include it. Thinking in our next house I' might be a little braver with color. But in the meantime, all I've managed is, throw pillows.  

Random facts regarding blue:
"The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms." - via online color analysis 

Scenes From A Weekend

Another birthday celebration for Leon on the sand under the thatched hut we snag every year, where even gloomy weather and a little wind couldn't stop a good time with a beach full of kids, family, hot dogs, surfboards, party hats and a pinata.

Best way to ring in eight.