An Addition to My Kitchen & More on Weekend Meanderings

Today on Weekend Meanderings an addition to my kitchen, a cute summer dress, and the amazing Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Happy weekend, friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

This post includes affiliate links for your convenience at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Jack Russell Terrier in raised bed garden.

It’s the last weekend of August!

I hope my Southern California friends have recovered from their encounter with a tropical storm.

We’re pretty far north and it didn’t directly effect us.

We did experience bizarrely hot and humid weather.

Including a little rain and a lot of wind.

Woman and two nieces at Navy Notre Dame game win San Diego.

Niece Shelby & Friend at Navy Notre Dame Game in San Diego, 2018

In other news, it’s game day!

The college football season is underway.

Navy vs Notre Dame is being played in Dublin, Ireland today.

Kick off at 11:30am PDT on NBC

Nearly 40,000 Americans traveled to Dublin for the game.

We hoped to be two of them and had tickets for the 2020 game that was cancelled.

The rescheduled date didn’t work for us.


I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for Navy who (still) has an unresolved quarterback situation.

Are you a college football fan?

Tell me who your team is in the comments.

I should add that Jim went to USC so we follow the Trojan’s too.



A few weeks ago I visited Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery in Walnut Creek. The dry-garden, consisting of a wide variety of succulents, native trees and shrubs, is a local treasure sitting in the midst of a suburban neighborhood. The land was once part of the Bancroft family’s 400-acre pear and walnut farm dating back to the 1880’s. Ruth married into the Bancroft family and created an English garden around the family farm house. She became interested in succulent plants and the rest is history. Ruth started the dry-garden in the 1960’s when she was 64 years old and continued her work well into her 90’s. She lived to be 109 and to see her garden become part of The Garden Conservancy and open to the public in 1992. In addition to the garden, the site includes a small retail nursery and is a popular wedding and event venue.

Ruth's Folly at Ruth Bancroft Garden

Ruth’s Folly

There’s a small fee to enter the garden and visitors are given a tour book and a guide to what’s currently in bloom. The garden is full of unique and uniquely beautiful native plants and trees … and I wandered around happily taking it all in. After touring the garden I walked through the nursery … a wonderful place to buy plants suited to East Bay gardens.

There are lots of paths, ponds and interesting structures, areas to sit and relax and art pieces scattered throughout the garden that are also for sale.

This was my first visit, but it won’t be my last … it’s a wonderful place to visit seasonally. During the holidays (late November through early January) it morphs into The Garden of D’lights with colorful lights and lasers highlighting the plants and trees for evening tours. It’s very popular and sells out … I’ll be on the lookout for tickets this year. You can learn more about Ruth Bancroft and her garden here.



Last week’s kitchen cleaning frenzy was partly due to a problem with our freezer and partly due to the arrival of our new rolling kitchen island prep table.

Cookbooks on kitchen counter.

I love our galley kitchen. Galley kitchens are great for workflow and I’m told chef’s favor them. I’m not a chef and have missed having an island or peninsula. It’s additional prep space much needed in our kitchen. This year’s to do list included finding a solution … and I did! But it took a while. I had my eye on a small, rolling butcher block island, or prep table, from the John Boos Co. We love their cutting boards. Who doesn’t?! The rolling island is 24 x 36″ and comes in three wood species.

Not surprisingly the islands are pricey so I continued searching for something comparable and more budget friendly. Long story short, I didn’t find anything. In addition to size requirements I wanted a walnut top in order to be companionable with the walnut countertop at the far end of the kitchen. Of course a walnut top turns out to be the priciest option. Oof. I also wanted an island on wheels so it can be easily moved around. I nearly threw in the towel and then considered a less expensive wood choice. Jim wasn’t on-board with that idea and encouraged me to buy the walnut top. Alrighty then!

Our new island arrived last week and Jim put it together and rolled it into the kitchen.

Green galley kitchen with butcher block rolling island.

I’m really glad we splurged on the walnut top … it was the right choice. And it’s been a game changer for our galley kitchen. In addition to providing more counter and prep space, it offers mobility, flexibility, and more storage and display area. It’s also great for laying out drinks and snacks to encourage friends and family to keep me company in the kitchen!

Green Kitchen with bouquet of flowers on walnut island.

These are some other options I found and liked during my search ~

Vintage butcher blocks are also a great option … I searched 1st Dibs, Chairish, Facebook Marketplace and the Alameda County Antique Faire. Many vintage pieces don’t have wheels, but they can be added.


I know what you’re thinking. Will her closet clean out ever end? This week was about selling and repairing.

I posted three dresses to my Poshmark closet. Two Anthropology dresses and one from J.Crew … I wore it recently to a wedding in Italy. Have you used Poshmark to buy or sell? It’s really easy. Take photos and upload them to the site … along with a description of your item. It helps to know the original cost of the piece … and I include a brand photo, if available. The tricky part is pricing. Once you enter the original price Poshmark suggests a sales price range which is generally less than you feel it deserves. I might price a little higher to allow for lower offers. Once your piece is sold Poshmark emails a downloadable mailing label, you package it up and drop it at the post office. Both my Anthro dress sold within hours. The J.Crew is still waiting for a new home.

I also had a few things that needed to be altered. Two belts needed shortening. And a pair of sandals needed to have the straps tightened. I have narrow feet. I dropped them off at One-Stop Shoe Care in Lafayette. If you’re local, A-1 Shoe & Luggage Repair in Walnut Creek is also very good.



Summer isn’t over, no matter what we see on Instagram or at the store (there is a pumpkin display at my grocery store … already), we have many weeks of warm weather ahead. This cute summer dress caught my eye this week. It’s from Rails which has become one of my favorite brands.

I’ve already worn it twice and I plan to wear it a couple of times over Labor Day weekend. And probably a couple more between now and then. It’s as easy and effortless summer dress … made of a lightweight, floaty cotton and fully lined. For cooler the evenings (or air conditioned spaces) I’ll throw on my white denim jacket. I think it has a bit of an island vibe and it’s on my packing list for our cruise in January.


Summer dress outfit collage.

Dress | Earrings | Tote | Sunnies | Sandals


On Thursday, Olivia from Homestead Design Collective was here to do our first edible garden maintenance.

Raised bed garden trellis with herbs.

It’s been six weeks since the garden was planted and I think everyone is surprised by how well it’s taken off. It’s definitely over achieved. Olivia spent about an hour cutting back our tomato plants which had taken over the smaller bed. She thinned them out, particular at the bottom so they get better air flow and more sun to ripen the fruit. Now that we have a better view, there are lots of tomatoes and some are ready to be harvest this weekend. She did a better job training them onto the trellis’ then we did. What can I say, this entire process has a steep learning curve.

Raised bed garden and trellis with tomato plants growing up the sides.

She also harvested lettuces, mustard greens, parsley, shishito peppers and radishes.

Basket of bounty from the garden.

And she planted more radishes, bunching onions and snap peas which will grow up the trellis.

In more exciting garden news, yesterday morning I zoomed with Stefani and her Homestead Design Collective team to go over their proposed plan to replant our front and back gardens. I’m really happy with the direction we’re headed. Stay tuned.


Odds & Socks ~

The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry dates back to WWII and it’s history, and relationship between the schools, is pretty darned interesting. And moving. Notre Dame and Navy: Bond Forged in Blood.

My fairy blog mother, KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms, has a new book coming out! Pre-order now for delivery September 5th!!!

10-Minute Decorating Ideas book cover.

The Lincoln Lawyer season two is out on Netflix. Have you seen it? It’s a great binge.

I bought these basic tanks at Nordstrom Rack this week in white and black.


Current favorites ~


And that’s what I have for you this week.

Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …



If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.

You’ll find all my weekend roundup posts collected here.

You can also follow along on Instagram and Pinterest.

Any thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Cheers from Snowberry!

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  • Good morning Juliet,
    Your garden looks AMAZING! I cannot believe it has only been 6 weeks! I am not familiar with the growing seasons there, will you be able to plant vegetables all year? And the tomato vines, how long will they last?

    You mentioned that you were replanting your front beds? Are you looking for a change or did your plants have problems?

    Here in the South we are getting ready for panting bulbs, in another 3 months we will cut everything back and get ready for winter. Then the anticipation of spring and what to plant.

    Ruths’ garden is a treasure. The history is very interesting and her passion to have a garden and to learn new things is inspiring. 109, a life well lived.

    Your new Boos Block island looks beautiful! They are pricy but are worth it. We have several of the cutting boards and use them all the time. I am with you about an island, if you have had one in past kitchens you miss them. I noticed it is also the perfect place to make a spritz and film your delightful videos!

    I am still working on my closet, inspired by you! I have not thought to sell on Poshmark but it is good to know that you have had a positive experience. I don’t know about you but I find as I age I need less and less and less. I am really trying to buy only items that I know will have longevity in my closet.

    Enjoy the game! And have a wonderful weekend!
    xo Elizabeth

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your garden looks so good and obviously you don’t have a problem with rabbits or squirrels like we do! My husband loves college football and also goes to the high school games in our area on Friday nights. For us UCLA and Furman and Air Force Academy are our besties. Have a lovely weekend!

    • Good morning, Francesco! No, we don’t have issues with rabbits and the squirrels don’t go near the garden. But we’ve been under attack by gophers and they ate the roots of all our roses. Tragic. Love your trio of teams. I cheer for Air Force, when they’re not playing Navy! 😉 xo

  • Juliet, Your island is beautiful. I love the walnut and it’s great with your pale green colors. You will be so glad you splurged and got this one.
    Cute pic at the Navy game! We are UTE fans of course because our kid is there, but they have been doing well and made it to the last two rose it’s been fun watching them.
    Your garden is looking wonderful.. So these people also come and maintain- and harvest for you? That’s a really nice service. My tomato garden is winding down and I got not many this year… Luckily my dad made up for it.
    Love that dress and I am picking up the tie dye version for my reunion ! The blue is so pretty on you and will be great for a cruise! I know Rails is my favorite. All their things are so well made.

    I’m glad the Poshmark worked so well! This gives me hope. I will list a few things when I get to my cleanup. I think it is the smartest thing. You get the most for you things…and have more control on what you accept.
    Have a great weekend!

  • Hi Love your new island…I always thought you needed one. About your gophers..we have them and 75 roses…so look for mounds..they cover there holes. Then get someone to put traps in and overnight you will have your problems solved. They live under grown and never come out..just eat from below. Good always have more than one…and you don’t want babies!!! Eileen

  • Hi Juliet,
    I enjoyed the Ruth Bancroft English garden. I bet The Garden of D’lights is especially pretty to see at night time. Ruth living to be 109 is really extraordinary. Genes!
    Congratulations on purchasing the Butcher Block for your island . The walnut color is very pretty. Great decision, excellent choice. Happy for you both. Looks perfect in your kitchen.
    The veggie/flower garden looks like it’s flourishing. I’m impressed. Isn’t it great to live off your land? More yet to look forward to with what will be happening in the front and back garden.
    Like the new Rails dress, nice choice.
    Have a great week.

  • What a great island!! Love it. And it’s going to be so handy. I also love your outfit of the week. It’s definitely still Summer here! Where did you get your rug in the closet? So pretty.
    Your garden is so impressive and I bet delicious.

  • USC Trojans! Fight On!! Although my father-in-law attended Notre Dame, so we love them, too.( Except for November when they meet up, usually Thanksgiving weekend.)

  • We had a long galley kitchen in our former home and we could not have survived without it. I bet you are enjoying it in your lovely kitchen. I am impressed with your instant kitchen garden…amazing!

  • Oh my goodness that island is PERFECT!!!! I love it and I’m glad you splurged to get what you wanted. I’ve spent my whole life being a “cheap skate” and always regret it. GOOD FOR YOU!!! Finally a cool down here in Missouri. It’s still summertime, but hopefully the worst of these super hot, humid days are OVER. I’m ready for cool evenings by the firepit. Blessings my friend!

    • Robbin, I’m so happy for you that’s its cooled down and you can enjoy a nice transition to fall. We had a sudden turn as well, rain, overcast, wind … and a lot cooler for Labor Day weekend. I feel bad for those who are planning outdoor parties. Oh well, much better than blazing heat, right? Happy weekend! xo

    • Hi Rosa, It’s the Kismet rug from Caitlin Wilson … they’re running 20% off sale this weekend! I bought it for our last house and was so happy to find a place for it here. It’s a beauty. xo

  • Hi Juliet! Love your new rolling island! The butcher block top is beautiful! And wow! Your garden is spectacular! And what a harvest you have! The garden you visited looks beautiful! 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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