Category: decorating

decorating, motherhood, parenting

The Californians

So, I spent an “awesome” week in “Marina Del Rey” with my daughter, Jordan. (Say it like the SNL skit, “The Californians” for full effect.)

We, of course, had our lists of songs, videos, movies, trailers, tweets and memes to share with one another. Pour us a couple of cocktails and the two of us are off babbling like third graders on some sort of wild, extreme show and tell.

That is what I love best about our mother daughter relationship. We get each other. We are movies and music and NFL and superheroes and pirates and comic con wanna-goes. We do not shop, but if forced to, it has to be fast. In a mall or department store, we will lose the ability to verbally communicate in about 30 minutes. We don’t pour over fashion mags or celeb rags. But, we can go into full-blown geek mode with showing each other the latest mind-blowing “Star Wars” or “Avengers” meme. We swoon over food and cocktail recipe porn on Pinterest.

Mostly, we are simply entertained by making each other laugh. That is our relationship. We don’t bicker. We laugh. We do not argue. We laugh. We do not judge each other. We simply laugh. We are in a constant celebration of the 23 years of sheer entertainment we have continued to provide each other. We are pretty damn proud of ourselves. Even when we are the only ones laughing.

There is always the perfect movie or TV line for every situation, that serves as a salve to every hardship we have ever had to encounter. Laughter is our comfort food and our favorite cocktail. Well, more like the perfect garnish to our favorite cocktail.



There are those that know us and understand. There are those that know us and think we are freaks.  Jordan and I have never fought, yelled or bickered. Ever. And it is all her. She was born with the temperament of a wise, seasoned traveler. The patience she showed me, Helen Keller-ing my way into new mother hood at 23 was mind-boggling. (It would prove to serve me well with my son.)

Jordan brought out my bravery, honed my confidence and taught me that competitiveness was overrated and would bring nothing but stress and possibly Yellow Jack Fever! (I dramatize. We’re from the south and big fans of Bette Davis’ Jezebel. And … Read the rest

decorating, home, Houston Heights, lifestyle

our own Granville place

“Old Granville place”- It’s a Wonderful Life

George: You see, you make a wish and then try and break some glass. And you got to be a pretty good shot nowadays, too.
Mary: Oh, no, George, don’t. It’s full of romance, that old place. I’d like to live in it.
George: In that place?!
Mary: Uh-huh.
George: I wouldn’t live in it as a ghost. 

Day One


Okay, so it’s not quite the “old Granville place” but, there is a broken window upstairs. Besides, Lark and I have always loved “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  FunFact: We actually have a picture of “George and Mary” in our house. 

Pressing on.

Day one was a successful romp through the plans and procedures of what is to come. Trying to decide what walls stay, which walls go. Can we add a bath here? Is a clawfoot tub really practical? Should Juliet get her own room? These are the questions.

The first floor, not so bad. It looks harmless. Nice floors. Pull up the carpet. Reconfigure the space.

Sand, paint and, oh, yeah…add a kitchen! Enter Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.

 Yep. This is the current kitchen. You can tell by the paper towels and wine.

The second floor has plenty of room for creative control. From the bank of windows, I can see Russia! Sorry. But, we do have a fabulous view of the downtown Houston skyline. Probably going to need a good tree trimming service, though.

Our Master suite is sounding pretty sweet. My one big add-on today:  coffee bar upstairs. As we get older, navigating the stairs in the morning, on the hunt for precious caffeine is getting quite dangerous. Better to be safe.

Ellie, our architectural designer; Scott, our contractor and Jack, our lender with Larkin. Lots of discussion on “what will be” and when the first party will be.

The ivy drapes will not be. Already in the dumpster. I don’t do vintage drapes. Something about the dust…and smell. But, there are little treasures here and there. Fixtures, old glass, gorgeous doors. Restoring an old house is something I have always wanted to do.

It is going to be a lot of work, but I am so excited that I can hardly stand myself.

I am telling you, this house has the potential to be “Before and After” porn.

But, we’ll keep it more “It’s a Wonderful … Read the rest

decorating, home, Houston Heights, lifestyle

we bought a zoo

Not really. But, life is going to be just that for the next several months.

Larkin and I have decided to purchase and restore a c.1900 home in the historic Woodland Heights neighborhood, part of The Heights in Houston,Texas.

We will close on the property next week. This weekend, however, the house will serve as the setting to a fundraiser benefitting the re-opening of the Historic Houston Salvage Warehouse. Historic Houston is a resource for reclaimed historic building materials.

In the country’s fourth largest and “coolest”city, according to Forbe’s magazine, it is vital to preserve our historic places, while growing, building and modernizing. You could spend hours and hours on the internet, reading stats and graphs documenting all of the benefits of using salvaged and reclaimed materials.

To me, however, the benefits are simply fundamental. Reusing, reclaiming and recycling while “re-storing” is just common courtesy, no?  Helping out the planet, our Mother Earth, as she has taken care of us.

Let me be quite clear, though. We are not building a “green” house or going off the grid. Just sensible salvaging, wherever we can, while restoring the beauty and integrity of this vintage home, with a little Living Lola style, of course.

For those of you in the area, interested in seeing the “before” and helping out a great cause, I am including the details for this Sunday’s event.

I will be updating and posting pictures of our chaos, I mean, progress.

Lola in a hard hat. This should be stunning.

Please join Ashton Martini of Martha Turner Properties for a fundraiser benefitting Historic Houston at 2615 Beauchamp in Woodland Heights on Sunday, Sept. 23rd from 3-6 PM. Help “restore” and re-open Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse and tour this c. 1900 home in the early stages of its own restoration. Enjoy good food and wine and take this opportunity to make your donation to help re-open Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse as a resource for reclaimed historic building materials in Houston. Bring your friends and support this great organization! Read the rest

decorating, health, Latina, recipes

for the love of Kale

I had planned to post this on Friday, but had to attend a funeral in South Texas. As we made the drive from Harlingen Airport to Brownsville, I was taken aback by the sheer number of brand new fast food restaurants that lined the freeway. South Texas, known as “the valley”, is 81 percent hispanic. This many fast food options, in this area, simply does not make sense.

 “According to a national examination survey, Mexican Americans are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.  They have higher rates of end-stage renal disease, caused by diabetes, and they are 50% more likely to die from diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.” –Office of Minority Health/U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

March is National Nutrition Month. As a Latina, health conscious blogger, I felt obligated to pass along these statistics, along with good information about how vital it is to make better choices about food and your health, especially within the Hispanic community.

I’ve had so many relatives develop Diabetes, including my dad, who also survived a massive heart attack last summer. Between my mom, my sister and myself, he is lucky: he has 3 bossy, latina women in his life that tell him what to eat!  So, once more, here you go, dad: for the love of you…and Kale!

Last year, I spent my first New England winter at our vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. MV is a popular summer haunt that depends on the tourist season to survive; many businesses and restaurants shut down for the winter. For year round residents, fresh food variety can get pretty limited and expensive.  I noticed that the market, which carries local farm produce, was always in abundance of this inexpensive, beautiful, green leafy vegetable…Kale. I was intrigued.

 In Texas, we eat greens, as well. There are plenty of southern dishes that include mustard greens, collards, cabbage and spinach. But, I wasn’t familiar with preparing kale. Well, there are as many ways to add kale to your diet, as you can imagine. Remember “Bubba” in Forrest Gump? “…shrimp gumbo, shrimp creole, shrimp kabobs….” It’s just like that with kale.

 The best news is that Kale is not just good for you. Kale is a Superfood!

And, what is one of the best foods to combat diabetes? Yep! You guessed it. is an … Read the rest

decorating, lifestyle

a kick start to easy spring decor

This post is for all of those people who say that they don’t have the time or don’t know how to decorate their homes. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, kids, no kids…we all want to live and be supported in a beautiful space. The true beauty of your space is in the eye of the beholder. Your home, room, apartment, dorm, cell, whatever, should not only be a reflection of you, it should be an inviting, comfortable place to relax and recharge.


At the market, which sounds so much better than grocery store, I noticed this big bag of Granny Smith apples. Something about the color just seemed to say, “Lola, it’s time to get ready for Spring.” Just a little color. Just a little change.


The more I have fallen in love with decorating over the years, the more I have come to appreciate terms like “simple elegance”, “less is more” and “understated”. Make simplicity a habit.


I believe in filling your home with things you love. I love modern, antique, contemporary, vintage and industrial. I do not believe in having just one style. I also do not believe in “bed in a bag” or “one size fits all”.

When you put everything you love all together, you create your own personal style.


Honestly, I find all of my favorite home decor treasures at antique shops, vintage boutiques, thrift stores and tag sales.

Putting your own unique personal touches throughout your home is the key to creating an inviting, memorable, beautiful place for you and your family. They will appreciate every holiday or seasonal decoration that you adorn. Maybe not now, when you actually have your kids living with you. But, someday, when they are off at college or live in a different city, you will get a text that says: “send pics of your Halloween decor”. Trust me.



You do not have to spend a lot of money or time to make changes around your home. Using real fruit, flowers, greenery from your garden reinforces a flow of natural positive energy into your home.  In fact, you will feel a quick dramatic shift in the energy of your home if you bring nature inside. Feng Shui is some pretty powerful stuff.




After I picked up the bag of apples, I noticed that they were throwing away … Read the rest