In Transition

By Kate Riley February 28, 2011

With all of the craziness of the last two months, it goes without saying things are completely wacky around here!  We’re lost in transition somewhere between the start of spring and the chore of cleaning up Christmas. 

dying hydrangeas


I solicited the little ones to help me over the weekend.  Their idea of cleaning up is helping open the “presents”.  I tried to warn them, truly I did. 


“Kids, those aren’t real, don’t get your hopes up!”



They were not impressed with what was in all those wrapped packages.  What, you don’t want Grandpa’s expired albuterol and a box of risotto? 

fake presents 2


“An empty box?  No toys?????”

empty boxes

Don’t feel sorry for the lad.  We consoled him with the reminder that his birthday is in two weeks.  Those Star Wars Legos are on their way . . .

Anyway, over the weekend, I realized after all the activity from January and February, after filming and Nate and Nashville and New Orleans and BH&G, I had to give myself permission to take it easy for a few days. 

We took Sunday to relax and do a little wine tasting up at Nicholson Ranch.  Here is just one part of the view of the Carneros Valley.  Even in late winter it’s fantastic place to sit and savor the soft sunshine.     



I find a cheese plate and a good glass of wine are all I need to recharge . . .

It’s going to take a couple of days to tackle all the messes around here and get this house back in order.  The good news is my boy’s room is nearly done!  The board and batten is complete, I just need to piece his room back together, and I’m hoping to feature it by the end of the week.  .

Meanwhile I want to give a shout out to my winter sponsors! 

Have you visited Simplify 101?  Aby and Jay offer several workshops to get you organized on topics such as time management and organizing your paper clutter.  

simplify 101



The Vintage Pearl is your source for beautiful hand stamped personalized jewelry, especially with Mother’s Day coming up!

the vintage pearl



Noteworthy is a lovely shop filled with stylish stationery, from note cards to wedding invitations to birth announcements!



Visit My Design Guide for affordable solutions for solving your home’s design dilemmas, and the ideas are delivered in one week!  

my design guide banner


Jennifer at Style Your Life is on hand to be your personal stylist if you need quick wardrobe solutions for any budget !  

Curious about my design style? Be sure to check out her interview with me!

style your life banner


MirrorMate is the best solution to update your builder grade plain bathroom mirror!  Grab a few samples on sale with their 3 for $1 special!

mirrormate banner


Modern stencils offer all of the impact of wallpaper without the expense, so visit Cutting Edge Stencils for the very best patterns!

cutting edge stencils banner


Have you visited Polka Dot Bungalow yet?  A favorite Etsy shop of mine, offering chic car seat covers, camera straps, and the most darling brooches and pins!

polka dot bungalow banner


If you’re looking for inexpensive designs for your personal checks, look no further than Pure Checks!

pure checks banner


I’m such a lover of Stella & Dot jewelry, Christine is my resource and yours too! 

stella and dot



Now it’s back to restoring order in our galaxy, will return soon! 


cg kate signature





  1. I love your photos – and the expression on his face is so sweet! “What the..? Wasn´t there supposed to be something in here?!” :-D

  2. Let me just say.. I LOVE your blog! you are truly an inspiration! I love organizing, decorating and creating. I would be delighted if you stopped by my blog and took a peek. Oh and P.S.. You’re on my sidebar under my favorite blogs.. {which I’m sure, your on many blogs :) just thought I’d let you know.}

  3. I’m pretty sure I am in a constant state of flux. We’re looking for a rug and I remember you shared a discount online store but I can’t find it now- can you help me out?

  4. Thank you so much DaNita, will pop over to visit!
    Kate, I’m pretty sure the only two rug companies (I think) I’ve mentioned are Dash & Albert and Rugs.USA. It’s where I found my lattice rug, which temporarily resides in the kids playspace. ‘Temporarily resides’ is a theme around here!!!


  5. You are living my dream life! Wow! Those are some great accomplishments. Congratulations on them all, and I love the real pics of the kids. LOL!

  6. Isn’t ripping the paper apart the best part?! :)

    You have been one busy lady so I can only imagine how relaxing that wine tasting was… Oh how I loooong to attend one of those!

  7. Love, love, love your blog!! Always so much to drool over :o) We have dear friends who were married at Nicholson Ranch two years ago, and my heart smiled when I saw your pictures. So glad you got some much-needed R&R!

  8. love Nicholson ranch! I live in Georgia, and am very jealous of those of you who have the delights of Sonoma and Napa in your back yards. Enjoy enough for the both of us ;)

  9. Great photos, Kate! You certainly have been busy and it was nice you were able to get a relaxing day at Nicholson Ranch. That view is stunning. Have a wonderful week!

  10. Kate, if it makes you feel any better…. I still have about 25+ large storage boxes in my dining room with all my Christmas stuff in them waiting to go down to the basement. There have just not been enough hours in the day since Christmas. I am determined to clean the basement and get organized down there, before I take the boxes down for storage! I watched your video from the Nate show again. I still can’t believe you were on there. What fun!! And your house was GORGEOUS! It was neat to see things on the video that I had already seen on your blog!!! Nicholson ranch looks like such a beautiful place. Some day I want to visit California! Have a wonderful week. Love & blessings from NC!

  11. Aw the poor kids! Well, at least you warned them!

    p.s. I just checked out cutting edge stencils and I lovve some of them. As soon as I have my own place, I just might go stencil crazy!

  12. So so cute! I have a completely random question for you – can you tell me more about your rug? Does it have taupe/gray tones in it? It looks lovely. I’m looking for something to replace the rug we currently have in our living room with mostly brown tones. Do you mind sharing the brand/name or where you found it? It’s so pretty!

  13. Good for you for taking a break, you deserve it! Can’t believe your boy didn’t want old albuterol and a box of risotto, hilarious! :)

    I can’t wait to see your spread in BHG x-mas mag, even though I don’t really know you personally I’m totally thinking, wow, my friend is going to be in BHG! xoxo

  14. Oh man, you made me sooo homesick! I am originally from California and this time of year I miss it so much.

    We just moved into a new house and I am so grateful for your blog…I’ve found so many great ideas here already! Thank you!

  15. I grew up in the Bay Area and my husband and I had part of our honeymoon (in February) in Napa. Your picture brought back such nice memories, thank you for sharing! It is such a gorgeous and relaxing place.

  16. Hi Kate! I’ve been lurking around your blog for a while now and trying to soak in all your knowledge. I’m in the final stages of buying a “fixer upper” and would give anything if YOU were my neighbor! Keep up the great work girlie! HUGS!

  17. I have to admit that the winery pictures were so beautiful that my wife and I included Nicholson Ranch on our list of stops on a recent trip to Napa. Without knowing it I think we actually sat in those exact chairs. Great view. However….no cheese. Did you get cheese AT Nicholson Ranch? That was our impression, but they didn’t seem to have that tasty looking cheese platter when we were there. Loved the view….missed the cheese.

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