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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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.
Are you ready?
TOMATO SOUP TOPPED WITH SALSA VERDE
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.
I’M IN LOVE WITH THE BARN RED COTTAGE
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.
CURRENT OBSESSION ~ KATIE MONKHOUSE INTERIOR DESIGN
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.
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.
Looks like Katie has an online and brick and mortar shop, Westpark Home. What do you think, is a field trip in order?
LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE, STRIPED SPRING CARDIGAN
Last week I mentioned this cardigan in passing, ordered it online and picked it up in store. I. Love. It.
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.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
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!
“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.
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.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!