Today on Weekend Meanderings, Weeknight Dinners, Katie Monkhouse Interiors, and a New Favorite Cardigan

Today on Weekend Meanderings, quick and easy tomato soup, weeknight dinner ideas, a Bay Area designer, the barn-red cottage, and my new, favorite striped cardigan.

Happy weekend, friends!

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

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

Is it spring yet?

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Front Porch Topiary and potted plants

We went from temperatures in the mid-70’s last weekend to freezing by mid-week.

Along with the cold came high winds, rain and hail.

And snow at very low elevations.

A local meteorologist said that snow would be evident from just about everywhere in California.

He was right.

Enough about the weather.

Last week many of you asked for my favorite banana bread recipe.

Here it is from Divas Can Cook.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!


Earlier in the week I join a group of 10 favorite bloggers to share soup and salad ideas. I went with one of my go-to’s … quick and easy tomato soup. Topping it with salsa verde adds a little something something. Jim loves this soup, especially the salsa verde, and I may make it again today. With grilled cheese sandwiches. Obviously.

Side note: I finally found the source for these green and white check waffle dishtowels that I get asked about all the time. Absolutely no clue if I bought them or someone gave them to me … but they’re great.

I set the table with the Monica Lhuillier x Pottery Barn Lily of the Valley tablecloth and wine/water goblets that I mentioned here a few weeks ago. I’m getting a ton of use out of them and the tablecloth will likely ride out spring and summer in our breakfast room.



Last week I linked this real estate listing in my neighborhood. Several of you commented about the color. As in, you cannot get past it. I felt similarly. At first. But something about this house grabbed hold of my imagination and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Let’s call it the Barn Red Cottage.

I received a few messages from local readers who know the house well and have various connections to it. Last weekend I dropped by the open house and fell truly, madly, deeply in love. Even Jim admitted to feeling the magic of the house and property.

Built in 1939, the house has had only two owners. The current, and second, family purchased it in the 1960’s and added a two-bedroom one bath upper floor for their children. I learned that the house has been the same color red since it was built, and the neighbors have implored the realtor to require it to remain so in a purchase contract. She can’t do that, but I love that the community feels so strongly about what is clearly a special house.

Inside, the hardwood floors appear to be original (downstairs) and are, as far as I can tell, in pristine condition. The two open beam ceilings, in the living room and what now functions as an office, are stunning. The dining room built-ins are right out of a storybook and the kitchen feels original. Although the vintage Thermador gas cooktop is likely a 1950’s era update and the double ovens more recent.

The surrounding property has been clearly designed and cared for by an avid gardener. There’s an adorable potting shed containing all the gardening accoutrement. I would love to see the gardens in a month or two when they’re in full, spring bloom. It must be magic.

Some of you mentioned the asking price. As in, what the what?! In last week’s post I wrote that I was surprised the house has not sold (it’s been on the market since October and has had one, $100k price reduction). Then I added, and deleted, ‘because it’s well priced.’ I realize that unless you live in California, or other area accustomed to astronomical real estate prices, I’d come across as a completely mad. (Note: the home’s webpage does not reflect the price reduction.)

My thoughts, not that anyone asked, are that the house is not being marketed to its advantage. The listing website and brochure say nothing of its history, its unique and vintage features, and the way it’s been loving maintained by only two prior families. And that it’s beloved, by not just its immediate neighbors, but the entire community. Let’s hope it’s not torn down and replaced by another soleless white box.

My how I do run on … suffice to say the Barn Red Cottage is a neighborhood gem and could be a labor of love for the right family. If it had been on the market when we were looking for a fixer upper, we would have bought it in the blink of an eye. And with everything I know about the house now, yes, I would keep it barn red.



Speaking of my neighborhood, I heard through the grapevine that interior designer, Katie Monkhouse, is working on a project just down the street! Are you familiar with Katie? She’s an amazing designer based in San Anselmo, California. That’s Marin County … just across the Bay. Anyway, after getting hold of this exciting news I went down the rabbit hole of Katie’s Instagram and web page. Here are a few snippets of her work. I think you’ll be smitten too.

Katie Monkhouse Interior Design | Mill Valley Cottage Project

I may be deluding myself, but I think of Snowberry as modern cottage style. And I find Katie’s aesthetic quite traditional, yet fresh and contemporary which is probably why she’s my current obsession.

Katie Monkhouse Interior Design | Outer Sunset Project

Looks like Katie has an online and brick and mortar shop, Westpark Home. What do you think, is a field trip in order?



Last week I mentioned this cardigan in passing, ordered it online and picked it up in store. I. Love. It.

Woman wearing stripped cardigan holding package and newspaper.

I ordered a medium. I also ordered spring weather … but here I am wearing my cute new spring cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves on a freezing cold day. I think it snowed. Well, maybe it rained and hailed, but it snowed nearby.

Guess what I’m wearing it with? Surprise … the Levi’s I featured last week. I’ve barely taken them off.

Stripped Cardigan | Ribbed TankStraight Leg Denim



How often do we ask ourselves that question? Or, how often does someone in our household ask us? Well … daily. Duh. I’m a creature of habit and tend to make the same things over and over again. Over the past few years, with Jim home more often on weeknights, I’ve tried to expand my horizons. And that’s how I discovered I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To) by Ali Slagle, a New York Times food contributor. The cookbook promises ‘low-effort, high-reward recipes’ … say no more, I’m in!

Cookbook next to rattan bowl of fruit.

I Dream of Dinner (so you don’t have to)

“Ali has pulled off the near-impossible with a collection of delicious, doable, recipes that don’t just tell you how to make a specific dish, but how to expand your way of thinking.”—Sohla El-Waylly, chef and all-around awesome person

With over 150 recipes that are simple yet sophisticated (certainly elevated from my standard get-it-on-the-table-quick fare), I’m ready to dive in. Here are a few of the recipes I’ve sticky-noted … Lemon-Pepper Chicken & Potatoes, Corn & Spicy Sausage Orecchiette, and Steak & Potatoes with Herb Sauce. What can I say, I like pasta and potatoes. Bon appetite.

So there you have it.

Some ideas and inspiration from my week.

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



Odds & Socks ~

Hot Tip of the Day: Continuing our skincare theme from last week, Karen of Little Sanctuary on Adriana wrote that she loves Trader Joe’s face oil. I stopped by the closest TJ’s to check it out and was surprised by the extent of their skincare offerings. There were so many options I had to ask Karen for specifics. She likes (TJ branded) Marula Facial Oil and Lemongrass Coconut Body Oil. Thanks, Karen!

Planning any spring painting projects? We did this in several spaces throughout Snowberry and love the look.

Grace Atwood’s (I adore her) review of the Jones Road makeup line.

Get ready for charcuterie season with these cute mini-boards! See how I assemble my mini-charcuterie boards here.

On Thursday, Kim and I hosted an Instagram Live. We chit chatted about a bunch of things including spring closet cleaning and how to sell or consign good quality, gently used clothing. Our friend the Contessa suggested to Kim that we hold a tag sale on our blogs for some of our really good pieces. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments. Anyhoo, if you missed it, you can watch our Live here.

Catch up on last weekend’s meanderings here.

And all my Weekend Meanderings posts are collected here.

Follow along for more fun on Instagram and Pinterest.

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

Stack of cookbooks on counter.

Cheers from Snowberry!


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    • Ginger, can you imagine what the gardens will look like in a month or two. Sublime. Stay tuned for tag sale. And have a wonderful weekend! xo

  • Oh I think that barn red cottage and garden is sublime. Houses on the market here in Victoria start over a million dollars and some of them are considered fixer uppers! The market has been brisk as housing and rental properties are dear.
    Your posts are fun to read…lots of variety and very inspiring.
    A tag sale sounds like a fun event!

    • Good morning, Leslie … yep, you in Victoria understand the crazy cost of real estate. Our market slowed way down toward the end of last year, it had become insane and unsustainable. We’ll see what this year’s selling season brings. Thanks so much for being here, it makes me happy to know you’re enjoying the posts. And as for that tag sale, stay tuned! xo

  • OK – I get it now. I get the Barn Red cottage. It is tres cool. EXCEPT that it ain’t barn red, IMHO. It’s fire engine red! I think it’s really interesting that the neighborhood wants it to stay. If I were to buy it, I might keep it red but tone it down. But then I’m 30 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, and that’s our jam.
    But you’re right about the price of the property – that would be between $500K and $800K here.
    Great Post Juliet!!! xo

    • Isn’t it cool! And you’re right, it’s not barn red, I’m calling it the Red Barn!!! Gattcha! How fun to be so near Colonial Williamsburg. I’d be there all the time … I’m fascinated. Have a great weekend! xo

    • Interesting that you are close to Williamsburg, Gray — I wrote of my fondness for the Blue Talon Bistro @ Colonial Williamsburg and its decor, as it reminded me of the decor of a restaurant that Juliet visited a couple of weekends ago. We lived 5 blocks from downtown in the early 90’s to early 2000’s (built a home there).

  • Juliet, You know I love a good cottage home..Love this little red barn! I agree the red looks so good with its brick. I never thought I’d want a red home, but this makes me rethink it. It’s also perfect inside and has so many charming details. I hope whoever gets it doesn’t tear it down. I love the little attached cottage and all the French doors. I agree the price seems good ( in California ) I am wondering .. on one photo the house appears to be over a road. Is the road loud? Maybe that is why it hasn’t sold? I need to see this place.

    I didn’t know about Kate Monkhouse. Love that bottle green she used on those cabinets and yes I want to get to her shop. Thanks for the cookbook. To say I need ideas would be an understatement. I am so over dinner..It keeps happening? Going to order this ASAP!
    Love you in this darling sweater and the cool jeans. A perfect outfit for now. ( Well okay this week maybe not ha). I love it. Have a beautiful weekend. xo

    • Good point, Kim. The Barn Red Cottage property is at the point of two roads. It’s 1/3 of an acre and house is at backend. It’s also a residential road so not a huge amount of traffic … and every other house on street has same thing so I don’t think that’s the big hang up to a sale. Time will tell. Jim still says no. 😉 Hope you’re keeping warm by the fire this morning! xo

  • The Red Barn is a Landmark!
    I would be trying to see more every time I drove by!
    There is another house similar in Lafayette behind the car wash!

    • I love it, Contessa … wish I could convince Jim to do a switcheroo. I’m curious about the house in Lafayette … I’ll set out later to day to find it! xo

  • Thumbs up on the tag sale and the field trip to Westpark Home ideas! I checked out the listing for the red cottage last week. So special!

  • The red barn house is if dreams. So happy everyone wants to preserve it. Beautiful post! Our weather is so cold and we are getting snow again. I am beyond ready for spring and praying we get a normal one this year.

  • Hello Juliet-it certainly has been cold (by California standards)! With the price of natural gas, we’ve not been using our gas fireplace. That’s been hard, because I love to snuggle up next to it on cold days.

    I think that red barn is just darling – and those gardens! What a pretty home that is. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I have to laugh, because reading the bit about Katie Monkhouse, I was thinking the green cabinets were in YOUR house. I guess that just proves that Snowberry is modern cottage, for sure.

    I love that sweater with your jeans. Stripes are just so crisp and refreshing and stylish. I believe you are going to get a lot of use out of that outfit this year!

    Stay warm,

  • Hi Juliet,
    The Red Barn Cottage has lots of character and I’m sure someone with talent like yours will buy it someday.
    Thank you for remembering to share the Banana Bread recipe. I look forward to trying the recipe. Everyone loves my Banana Bread recipe but I’m sure yours is yummy too. I know you have a sophisticated palate and if YOU say it’s great then I know it is.
    Stay warm and safe. We have very cold weather this morning and it’s raining.

  • I’m trying to read this on my phone e at the beach. It’s not doing your post Justice so I will check back with my laptop!

  • Juliet,
    The weather there sounds like the weather we should be having, instead it is in the high 70-80, then rain, then super windy, then 40 all in 2 days. Still unseasonably hot, I am not ready for the heat and humidity. Yikes.
    Your soup sounds delicious! Especially with the grilled cheese, one of my favorites.
    Dinner…that is the first question my husband asks in the morning. I am like you, I like to eat the same food often, my husband not so much. We are really going to have a challenge when he retires at the end of the month. I am off to order that cookbook.
    As for the cute house, I love it. I can see why you do as well. It is charming.
    Real estate is crazy all over the country and has been for many years. The last 2 years even more so. I hope this property goes to someone who will preserve its charm.
    That stripe sweater looks great one you as do the jeans.
    Have a wonderful week Juliet!

  • The Barn Red Cottage is a unique property with a lovely lot. And special because with only two owners, it is in great condition with a more cohesive style than many old homes that show multitudes of owners having dabbled here and there! It really reminds me a lot of the home I lived in until 6 (and then we moved just one house away, and we still own that home, 57 years later!). The Bay Area real estate market has softened as compared to a year or two ago, right, Juliet??

  • 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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