Saturday Meanderings … from Doormats to Donkeys

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Looks like it’s going to be another sunny day here in Northern California.

Daffodils are blooming all over town.

They’re so pretty and tulips won’t be far behind.

I didn’t get tulip bulbs in the ground last year.

I’m going to the nursery later today to see if I can find some to put in pots on the front porch.

Today I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Saturday Meanderings, our weekly roundup.

Meandering is a good word because it’s all over the place today

… from doormats to donkeys.

Let’s get to it.

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Spring doormat on tulips

Monica Vargas Photography



Spring is a month away, but it’s on my mind and in the air. I hope to score tulips for my porch pots today. And I’m keeping an eye out for a welcoming, spring-themed doormat. I don’t typically make major seasonal décor changes to my house (inside or out). But I do like to add simple and inexpensive touches. On the porch things like a doormats, wreaths and flowers are easy change ups to welcome a new season.

Doormat sizing is all over the place so if you’re ordering online, be sure to double check size. With small mats I like to layer a larger rug underneath. This hydrangea mat is beautiful, but it’s probably too big for my small porch. Here are a few others that caught my eye. Which one will it be?



Sunset magazine introduced me to Valerie Rice back in 2014. I became a devotee of her blog where she shares her recipes and beautiful home and garden in Santa Barbara. Fast forward seven years and I was first in-line to purchase her cookbook, Lush Life. Yesterday I finally sat down and read the book cover to cover. Perfect timing because Valerie’s garden driven recipes are the ideal inspiration for spring and summer planting. As well as cooking and cocktailing. And speaking of cocktails, I mixed her Cara Cara Margaritas last night. Cara Cara oranges are still in season, so if you love margaritas what are you waiting for? Look at her enchanting garden table setting.

Outside Table Setting

Eat Drink Garden

But back to the book. Valerie’s an avid gardener, home cook and creative mixologist. She organized the book by season with recipes driven by what’s available from the garden or farmers market during that time of year. She also recommends what to plant each season and I’m excited to follow her lead in my own small garden. Valerie enlisted her friend and wine expert, Rajat Parr, to make wine pairing recommendations throughout the book as well. This is a gorgeous book and I’m inspired to plant my spring garden and get cooking.

In nearly every recipe Valerie mentions Diamond Crystal kosher salt specifically. In her introduction she explains that it has no additives and larger granules make it less salty. Ok then, I ordered a box. She also talks about finishing salts … and mentions Jacobsen’s flakey sea salt. I’m always intrigued when I hear television chefs talk about finishing salt. I suggested Jim use it recently … on a platter of sliced steak. He gave me a weird look which means he either had no idea what I was talking about or thought I was crazy. Do you use use finishing salt? I’m going to give it a try.

Take a look at my Instagram stories for last night’s adventures in cocktailing.

Cocktail, oranges and topiary

Cara Cara Magarita



Speaking of books …  I’m continually amazed by what goes into designing sets for television and movies. I just finished watching And Just Like That … reviews are mixed. But we’re talking about books. They’re featured prominently throughout the series. On background shelves, on tables, and in the actors hands. Carrie is frequently seen carrying a book in her arms or in her bag. This wasn’t haphazard, the books were carefully selected, and you can read all about it here.

And Just Like That photo

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn / HBO Max



Last fall I bought my first Tieghan Gerard (Half Baked Harvest) cookbook, Super Simple. I believe it’s her second cookbook. The first was a runaway best seller (as was the second) and her third, Every Day, comes out in March. While I’ve been aware of Tieghan and her Half-Baked Harvest brand, I only recently started following her wildly popular (that’s putting it mildly) Instagram account. She posts daily recipes there and on her blog … the most scrumptious looking recipes. A few weeks ago, I saw her Reel for Homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunch Tacos and made the recipe that night. Oh my gosh …  so good. Jim said they were the best tacos he ever tasted … at home or in a restaurant. My niece came for dinner and seconded his opinion. It was a major hit.

Gordita Tacos

Half Baked Harvest

Last week I took a few liberties with the recipe. First, I made my own taco filling recipe. We all have one, right? To the exterior (flour) tortilla, I added a layer of lime jalapeno refried beans. Then I added the cheese. Not only super delicious, but the beans made it easier to get the inside (crispy) shell to adhere to the outer tortilla. Once again, a major hit and I’ll probably never make tacos without this extra tortilla/bean/cheese layer again. If this doesn’t make sense, it will once you’ve made the original recipe.



Can I tell you a sad, pitiful story? A year or so ago I took a walk on the wild side got eyelash extensions. And for one brief shining moment I had fabulous eyelashes. Eight months later I developed an allergic reaction. Probably to the lash glue, not the lashes themselves. Anyhoo, they had to come off and I was left with the shortest, sparsest, most pathetic lashes ever. After a two-week rest period, I started using Latisse and about eight weeks later my lashes rebounded and I was ready  to apply mascara again.

While searching for my abandoned mascara, I pulled this one out of my drawer. Where did it come from? I have no idea. Maybe a free sample or a long forgotten impulse purchase. Wherever it came from I gave it a try and wowza!  It has a big, fat applicator and goes on like a dream. Long story short … I love this mascara. It goes on evenly, no clumping and really defines my lashes and makes them appear longer. Sometimes I like an oomphier lash … so I apply a second coat of my regular mascara to get the result I’m looking for. Not quite as fabulous as lash extensions, but close. And a lot less time consuming, costly and … itchy.



Last summer this article in our local paper caught my eye. I love animals and I love people who love animals. Especially those who rescue and care for animals who have been abused and abandoned. Did you know that donkey’s are smart, affectionate and form close bonds with each other and their human caretakers? This story about Oscar’s Place, a donkey sanctuary and adoption center in Mendocino County, touched my heart. I shared it with Jim, and we became monthly donors. Oscar’s Place Instagram is a daily delight. Take a look, I think you’ll enjoy it too.


So, there you have it,

a few things on my radar this week.

Let’s see what Kim and Elizabeth have for us.



As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

Woman holding pot of tulips

Hope you have an amazing weekend!


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  • Fabulous post! I love all the beautiful things YOU’VE shared here. I collect cookbooks so ill Add this one. I also had the same EXPERIENCE with eyelash exteNsions a few years ago,

    THanks again for the beautiful share.


    • Good morning, Tonya! I’m so sorry you had the same experience to the eyelash extension. Awful, right. So we must soldier on doing the best we can. 😉 Have a beautiful weekend! xo

  • I absolutely loved your post! I am excited To purchase the cookbook and try the Cara Cara Margaritas. The best part is you sharing the plight of the donkey. I also have followed them and want to suggest you and your readers follow this wonderful group of people at “All seated in a barn”. I believe they have worked with Oscars place sanctuary. Such amazing selfless caring people. Thank you for helping share their story!

  • Wow, I’ve never tried eyelash exetensions but since I have sensitive skin, I don’t think I’ll be doing that! That mascara, on the other hand looks great! Big taco fans over here…and your cocktails are always fabulous! Have a wonderful weekend!
    Cheers! – Shelley

    • Hi Shelley … if you have sensitive skin. Stay away from the extensions. I can’t get gel nails either. Sign. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend! xo

  • Hi Juliet, i really dont need to spend more time reading blogs but found you thru Kim, and i will Make an allowance. Another californian! Its funny how i have gravitated to “LocalS”….besides kim, i love Cindy and Maryann. Your meanDerings this morning made for good saturday reading. I must try the tacos and margs! I jumped right over to one of the doormats to order. Also, Thank you for promoting dOnkey love. Greetings from SLO~

    • Hello Wren … I’m so honored. Thank you! I love my blogs too but sometimes it gets to be too much and we only have so much time, right? Anyway, I’m thrilled you’re here and will thank Kim. Isn’t she great?! I wonder what doormat you bought?! I’m going to order mine this morning but still going back and forth between two options. So hard to decide. Have a great weekend! xo

  • Great read. I love cara cara oranges and donkeys so much heRe to make me smile. O love half baked harvest is the best. I love Her recipes. And as for finishing salt, we use it All the time. We always use it On steak or chicken, sometimes salad… just giVes The food a little SOMETHING extra.

    • Oh my gosh, Karen … I’m so interested to hear this. You must tell me more about how much you use, etc. You know what a dummy I am about this stuff. Thanks for stopping by … and I new you would love the donkeys. Make a margarita … its full of vitamin C!!! xo

  • Juliet, Really fun post. I am going to get that Target doormat. Love the flowers! I also love following Valerie and I have to check out the Cara Cara Marg you made! We have to embrace this amazing weather and climate we have here right? We are so lucky and citrus season is now…Thank you for the donkey story. So Many good People that care.
    Also I will check out that mascara! Oh and the book thing I didn’t know about…but how fab is her bookshelf there too? I pretty much watch that show for the interiors and fashion! A great escape. Happy weekend Juliet! xo

    • Good morning, Kim! I think I’m going for a Target doormat too! I wonder if we’ll end up with the same one!!! Try the Cara Cara Marg … its delicious and you’ll be getting your vitamins. I finished And Just Like That last week and feel I need to watch again for closer inspection of the sets and the clothes. I adore the new character with the mean mother-in-law, her style steals the show. Isn’t Valerie an inspiration? I’m going to start cooking through her book … the recipes look doable for me and so yummy. Glad you enjoyed the donkeys, and you’re right, we are fortunate to have so many wonderful people in this world. We need to appreciate them more than ever. xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    always a great read here! Love all the daffodils blooming everywhere. Mine look a little more haphazard that I thought they would when I planted them, but that’s ok! I can’t have tulips the dear will eat them.
    Spring is def on the way and I’ll be changing things up here soon.
    Glad you found a solution to the eyelash problem. That ALLERGY sounds awful.I sometimes DEVELOP a rash after using certain shadows, so I’d be really hesitant to try the extensions too, but I’ll look for that mascara!
    Yum, those tacos look delicious. I would need to modify but I thin I could use two corn tortillas AND THEY would still be pretty tasty!
    I love donkeys, will check the link. How great they are being cared for. Such sweet animals!
    Have a great weekend.
    XO Heidi

    • Yes, the tacos would work fine with two corn tortillas … one crispy and one soft. Try it! The deer are hungry around here too and I keep my flower planting to inside our fenced area … so glad we have that or our yard would be empty. Hope you have a great weekend … glad you enjoyed the donkeys! xo

    • Hi Heidi … Thanks for letting me now. Other have said the same thing. When the comment arrives it looks fine. But I need to look into this so thank you, again. And,Happy Weekend! xo

  • Good mornig Juliet, love your meanderings this morning! Great minds think alike, I featured doormats yesterday on the blog. A doormat is an inexpensive and easy way to update the entrance. I have not planted any bulbs, in fact I am headed to the nursery to look for peonies for my pots. We will have them in our new landscape and I decided I need more on the patio off the bedroom.
    Love Tiegen and her tacos, honestly I have never made ANYTHING from her books that was not delicious! She is amazing. I think I will have to try your version with the jalepeno beans. As for the MARGARITA, I did not have Cara Cara oranges but after I watched your video last night I made a traditional one and it was delicious! I am off to buy The Lush Life cookbook, it looks beautiful.
    As for the donkeys, they are adorable. Brooke of Velvet & Linen has donkeys and EVERY-TIME she features them they make me smile. I cannot wait to check out the donkey SANCTUARY.
    Have a wonderful weekend, I am off to check out Kims post. It is so fun to see what you ladies find!

  • Great post and I’m happy you took the lash extensions off.

    My girlfriend has used them so long she barely gas any eyelashes.

    Love your doormats

    • So sorry to hear that Renae … having a reaction is awful and scary. I hope you’ll love the mascara … remember to layer it for a little more va va va voom! xo

  • 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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