A Few of my Favorite Things … as of Late

Today I’m sharing a few favorite things I’m loving lately, from milk frothers to coffee table trays, to taquitos and more.

Happy Weekend Friends!

It’s time for the weekend post with Kim and Elizabeth.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

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Wisteria blooming on bench in field.

At long last our garden is replanted.

Thanks to Homestead Design Collective.

We’ve got new, beautiful plants.

And improved drip irrigation, fresh mulch and gravel.

It looks amazing and I’ll take photos this week.

Wild flowers in field.

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite things, as of late.



I’ve extolled the virtues of Brevelle’s milk frother for years. I discovered it early on in the pandemic and it put a swift end to my Starbuck’s habit. Prior to that I wasn’t able to make satisfactory cocoa at home … turns out it’s all in the milk frothing. But, the frother was temperamental, and I went through three before it was discontinued and replaced with a fancier model. In the meantime, Jim kept my third and final frother limping along with spare parts from the inter-webs. Last month my luck ran out and I succumbed and purchased the newer, fancier model. It was a little bit of an adjustment, but I got the hang of it and order has been restored to my morning cocoa ritual. What a relief.

Breville milk brother sitting next to coffee bar tray on counter.

Breville Milk Brother

I’m frequently asked how I make my cocoa. First of all … a frother is essential. And I love Starbuck’s Classic Hot Cocoa Powder. I order it from Amazon and it comes in two, large and generally dented tins. It’s not what they use in Starbuck’s stores. The powder is better. I make my cocoa with 8-10 oz of 2% milk and a scoop & three-quarters cocoa powder.

And the moral of the story … change is hard but things work out.



There’s something I love about a square tray. In fact I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with this one. I used to change out my coffee table tray with the season, but no more. Well, I mean I might change out what’s inside the tray, but not the tray itself. This tray and I are going on one year together and it’s become my tray for all seasons.

Square woven tray on coffee table filled with books, blue and white vase of white flowers, a rectangular box, candle and cocktail napkins.


What goes inside the tray is a simple formula – books, flowers (or greenery), coasters (or cocktails napkins), a candle, and a decorative object. It would be easy to toss our remotes into the tray too, but our coffee table has drawers so we keep them there. No unsightly things on the pretty tray.

I know it’s not necessary but let’s talk, briefly, about each component.

Tray ~ for reference, my tray is 20″ square, depending on your table size you can go bigger or smaller.

Books ~ choose books in proportion to the size of your tray. Duh. My tray calls for mid-size books, not the standard, big coffee table variety. I select them by color and topic, depending on the season.

Flowers & greenery ~ if you have a green thumb, more power to you. I don’t and opted for faux Cosmo stems. Friends express surprised that they’re not real. Maybe they’re just being kind. I don’t know, but I’m happy with them. The blue and white pot came from The Enchanted Home and it sits on a plate I picked up at a flea market.

Candle ~  this is self-explanatory. I like to include a pretty matchbook as well. Depending on the size of your tray/table situation those glass match containers are pretty cool.

Coasters & cocktail napkins ~ if, like me, you gasp in horror if someone places their glass down on a naked table or countertop, having coasters and cocktail napkins at the ready is essential.  I hope nobody takes offense when I lift their glass to place a coaster underneath. It’s better than watching me breath into a paper bag.

Decorative object ~ again, self explanatory … something of interest, something useful, something meaningful … the options are limitless and we all have a ton of them laying around the house



It’s no secret wide leg pants are my favorite. I shared this pair of blue twill pants from Loft a couple weeks ago. This week they were/are 50% off + free shipping (with code CYBER) so I ordered two additional colors … two pair were under $100! And I also just bought these summer sandals with a wedge heel … wedges are another favorite … and they pair well with the pants.

The 70’s called, and wants my outfit back.

Woman wearing wide legged pants and striped shirt.

Wide Leg Pant | Summer Sandals




I remember when my little town of Lafayette got its first Starbucks. And I refused to go. Before that it was Blockbuster. Which I boycotted until I couldn’t find the movie I wanted at our local video store. And then came Amazon. Let’s face it, resistance is futile. The best we can do is strike a balance between embracing the convenience of the online retailers while continuing to throw our support behind local shops and businesses. It’s not always easy but as with anything else, we do the best we can. And that brings me to … Clinique on Amazon! Yes, Clinique is on Amazon. A full Clinique Shop.

Truth be told I’ve been buying my Clinique, and other makeup and skincare products, online for eons … at Nordstrom and Sephora. Here are a few of the Clinique products I’ve loved since I was a teenager. I’ve tried other things but always come back to the familiar, tried and true.

Bathroom vanity tray with Clinique skincare products.

  • Clarifying Lotion No. 2 – great for removing final traces of makeup, even after a double cleanse stuff remains
  • Moisture Surge – the lightest, nicest moisturizer … more like a gel. love this for travel, and hot environments where something heavier feels ick
  • Spot Healing Gel – spot treatment for occasional breakouts that, yes, still happen

Are Amazon prices less expensive? Let’s see … my 2.5oz jar of Moisture Surge is $60 on Amazon, $63 at Sephora and  – what – $53 at Nordstrom (they’re having a 15% off sale, the non-sale price is $63). Amazon offers free shipping with Prime, but I get free shipping at Sephora (Beauty Insiders) and Nordstrom (Nordy Club) too. And you can always order online and pick up in store. Sale notwithstanding, Amazon’s price is $3.00 cheaper. Not major, but something I’ve notice about people who are good with money is they’ll quibble over a nickel. It adds up.

Anyway, the big news here is Nordstrom is having a 15% off sale on many beauty and skincare products. Not sure how long it lasts.

When purchasing Clinique products on Amazon be sure that you’re purchasing from the Clinique storefront (and not a 3rd party seller).



I LOVE taquitos but I’ve never made them at home. They seem like they’d be complicated and maybe the real ones are, but this recipe is easy … and it’s baked. It’s from Lisa Breckenrigdge’s Instagram here. She bought all her ingredients from Trader Joe’s, I bought mine at our local grocery, Diablo Foods. And I used I used a rotisserie chicken, added corn and used Pico de Gallo in lieu of salsa. Totally delish.

I don’t like avocados. I know … I can just feel the unsubscribes happening in reaction to this shocking revelation. But, calm down, we can still be friends. Anyway, Jim loves avocados so we made guacamole for him.

Odds & Socks ~

This week on the blog I shared our entryway refresh … still in progress but nearly there.

Open dutch door and entry console table with coastal art, books, lamp and round mirror.

This linen, swing dress from Banana Republic has been in my shopping cart (and current favorites) for a few weeks. I’ve had my eye on it for an upcoming trip to Italy. It’s been such a popular seller I thought I better buy it before it sold out. Turns out it pairs beautifully with my new summer sandals. The also dress comes in two solid colors … vanilla custard and this absolutely gorgeous coral. Banana Republic’s Linen Shop is full of beautiful pieces and if you’re having weather like we’re having weather it’s nice to day dream about warm weather and linen dresses. The dress is generously sized and I’m wearing XS.

Woman standing in living living room wearing giraffe print linen dress and summer sandals.

Linen Dress | Summer Sandals

Speaking of wonderful dresses, Elizabeth did a round-up of spring midi’s and maxi’s which really put me in the mood for warmer temps.

Our vet recommended we provide our Jack Russell Terrier, Maggie, with some mental stimulation in the form of a food puzzle. After researching options, this one came up again and again and Maggie loves it. It took her a a little bit to work it out and she really enjoy it. Pippa, our Terrier mix, looks on askance.

Have you seen Diary of an Old Home on Magnolia Network? Fifteen minute stories of beautiful old home restorations that are just sublime. And there are three seasons available to emerge yourself in. And when you’ve finished that, start in on Beach Cottage Chronicles. Swoon.

Current Favorites ~


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And that’s what I have for you today.

Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s inspiring them.



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  • Good morning Juliet!
    I am sorry to hear about your beloved frother but am happy to hear that the new one is serving you well. Making the perfect cup of chocolate is an essential in the morning, especially for people like us that don’t drink coffee.
    Your new garden is going to be amazing! What a pain that you had to go through the time and expense to replace it after such a short time. We have had to replace 8 gardenia plants and hopefully no more.
    Your new giraffe dress looks beautiful on you and will be a great addition to your Italy trip. Thank you for sharing my dress post!
    The taquitos look delicious! I love avocado but to be honest don’t really like guacamole.
    A coffee table tray is essential on a table or ottoman, not only to corral all of your favorite things but as you mentioned to hold the essentials. The only problem for me is that my dogs jump on and off the ottoman and like to sniff around and move the items I have carefully placed to where they like them.
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet, I hope that the weather is better this weekend and you are able to get out and enjoy your new space.
    xo Elizabeth

    • Elizabeth … When we had more of an ottoman style table I kept a huge tray on it so the dogs had nowhere to jump up. And after a few unsuccessful tries they gave up. So funny though to see the trial and error process! xo

  • I’ve been using the Clinique lotion since high school!! I watched my friend’s glamorous mom use it, in the 70’s… and I was determined to look like her!! I usually buy it when I go through duty free somewhere, because they usually have a 2 pack for less… and no tax! I bought a very similar dress to yours when I went to Italy 4 years ago… I had to add pockets but it’s a great travel dress- it looks so cute on you!! Your entry looks great!

  • Juliet, I too love taquitos and can’t wait to try this recipe. I love using a rotisserie chicken now that I know I can shred it in my kitchen-aid (thank goodness for Instagram hacks).

    I am so excited about the Clinique store on Amazon. I love the raspberry glacé lipstick and hate to order one thing from Nordstrom…ordering from Amazon means the package will arrive on my Amazon day with all the other things from Amazon. Love it and good for the environment too!

  • Juliet, I have that brother too up at our cabin and it’s great. I have to have a frothy latte every day. I will occasionally indulge i hot chocolate and agree the Starbucks is really good. Your tray looks lovely on the table with the white flowers.
    The jean outfit is so cute..Love the dress too and looks easy and pretty for a dinner out on vacation. I am not great with backless heels, but they look so good on you.

    I will try the taquitos this week! I need more recipes for the weekly dinners. Funny my dad won’t do guac or avocado either. He had them growing up in his yard, and had so many as a kid, he won’t have them in anything now. His siblings are the same..It’s like my grandmother force fed them avocados or something. I think it’s rare to find a Californian averse to them!
    Have a great weekend! x

  • I can’t wait to see the garden pics. That would be my dream to have my yard done professionally and then done! ✔️
    Why did you have to replace it?
    Love the swing dress. ❤️

    • Happy weekend, Gray! We had to replace everything for a few reasons … first of all some of the initial plants didn’t thrive in our little micro-climate. Roses were a disaster which was so disappointing as they do very well in other locations throughout our neighborhood. Other plants were poorly suited to our smaller space and grew too large and unwieldy. And we had a major gopher attach last year which wiped out a lot of things. It was heartbreaking. Fingers crossed for a successful part deux. xo

      • Ugh – I can relate to the gopher incident. It’s bunnies and deer here. So sad after all that work and expense. And the roses too.
        From what I can tell, the new situation looks perfect for your lot and am excited to see it on the blog. Maybe some roses in containers? Happy Weekend!

        • It’s always something, right? We have deer too, but they can’t get into our yard. And I think our rose problem has to do with climate and not the soil … but who knows. I love roses and would love to add them back. Containers are a great idea. Hope you had an awesome weekend. xo

  • I look forward to your posts each week and you never disappoint! I love your sense of humor.
    FYI, Clinique has 30% off every March and I think September too at Clinique.com. Can’t wait to see your new landscape.

  • Hi Juliet,
    Thank you for a lovely post. I bought those summer sandals you posted and they are so perfect thank you! Great price.
    Love the giraffe dress too perfect for summer.
    Have a lovely weekend xo

    • Francesca … I’m so glad you love them. We’ve had bizarre weather … one day it’s 70 and the next it’s raining and cold. But I’m wearing my summer sandals on the good days … hope I don’t wear them out by summer. Ha! xo

  • Years ago, I was helping my mom replace shrubs along her driveway in Palo Alto. Shortly after putting one in the ground, I literally saw it being pulled down into the earth by a hungry gopher! Interestingly, the only shrubs that have survived there are lavender.

    Gardens are tough! We had our rear garden professionally designed and installed, and the ground cover choice and featured evergreen shrubs have been endless trouble. Plant selection is far from foolproof!

    Thank you for the alert on makeup sale @ Nordstrom and the cute wedge sandals!

    p.s. Love the naturalized Wisteria w/ Eucalyptus in the background — so CA, so pretty.

    • Hi Joan – Lavender does seem to thrive no matter what. We have a potted lavender plant and it’s going gangbusters. You’re right about plant selection, it’s hit and miss and I hope we have more hits than misses this time. Fingers crossed. Happy weekend! xo

  • I enjoy your posts and humor a much.

    I also bought the Loft trousers in navy but was frustrated trying to find a top to wear with them. The striped blouse looks perfect. I’m going to be a copy cat. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • I love Diary of an Old Home. Have you watched Storied Spaces? Another good one and I will be in the watch for Beach Cottage Chronicles. Yes, swoon indeed.

    PS. It’s ok not to like guacamole

  • Hi Juliet! Love your simple coffee table styling. That is a great basket with so much texture. I am ready for some spring gardening, but Mother Nature is not… Great spring and summer outfits. Again, we aren’t quite there, ha! I remember I felt so grown up in college when I started my Clinique skin care routine! Have a great week!

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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