Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome Spring

*Welcome Spring*


Following a wet winter here in SoCal which we are grateful for,
 I look forward to a lush garden filled with blooms. 

It's beautiful to see all the dwarf stone fruit trees we planted last year filled with blossoms. 

 Fingers crossed the french lavender thrives this year, I think it was overwatered last year, so I replanted more in late fall.


This Lupine is beginning to bloom and get's to be about 8ft tall.
Planted by the previous owners. No scent, short blooming season & not too attractive the rest of year!


Heirloom roses are what I anticipate most in spring, I pruned them way back last month, I hope to have more blooms this year. 
This pic is from last years garden.


I Love Spring & I know she will be beautiful again this year. I have a dinner planned in the garden folly soon, I hope to have blooms from the garden for my arrangement.

A beautiful 1st Day of Spring to you Darlings.
xo,
Gail

I seem to post more on my IG feed, you know cause its new!  Come follow me over there!
at
xogailsmithpeterson

Monday, March 6, 2017

My first fixer upper - Before & After

Happy Monday Darlins,

Today I'm sharing my first fixer upper.

When I first married I moved into this 1940's California ranch style home near the beach. 
My husband had bought it years before and did some remodeling of his own!!!
(Burnt orange tile-avacado green appliances, brick & a conversation pit)

So the story is looong, the short backstory is....

A young women dreams of the opportunity to be apart of choosing her first home.
Well I didn't get that, SOOOO my trade off was.
 I agreed to love it, not list it!
 BUT, In exchange, I would get to do a complete design and renovation of the house with my style and incorporate the other structures and landscape.

We began with a tiny 125 sq. ft shed in the back yard. I wanted to make into a darling guest house and live in it during the renovation. We had a budget & I wanted to be hands on living on site!

Yes, it would be the three of us because we had just had our first baby.
 Our son was 6 weeks old and we began the demo of our new family home.

The stakes were high!
{This was my first everything}
My marriage
my baby
my renovation
my design project.
{ I had no design background or experience}
So no pressure right!



BEFORE

This was the front elevation.
LOOONg no height
Needed an entry
The awful driveway in front of the windows and house needed to go
 along with the iceplant & palm trees! 

My Design vision was clear from the start and inspired by homes in New England or the lake houses in the midwest.


AFTER

The driveway was removed, a lawn with magnolias, birch trees, evergreens, boxwoods & roses were added. I love fences, my husband and I made 5 different designs for fencing!


The Roofline was raised to add height to exterior elevation and gave the interior more architectural interest to the interior ceilings.


We finally had a lovely proper entrance with a porch to watch the sunset and decorate for the holidays!

A single level home with views to the beach.

My husband laid all the solid southern pine floors and did amazing wood work and moldings in the interior. The process with plans & etc took about a year or so. We also hooked up to city sewer. The house renovation took about a year and half to complete. The years following we did the other structures.
We did most of the finish work ourselves and landscaping. I scouted for all the interior vintage lighting & designed some custom furniture pieces.

This and all our projects are truly a labor of love.

We sold the home a few years to do something totally different.
We have some land now, just a few miles from this home and are renovating another huge project into our french farm house.

I hope you enjoyed my first fixer upper!

A beautiful day week to you.

Stop by and follow on my new IG feed!
It's 
xogailsmithpeterson

xo,
Gail



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Imperfect beauty

Happy Saturday Darlins,

Hope your enjoying the weekend!

 We are enjoying sunshine here in southern Ca, after the rains we so desperately needed.

Working on our renovation in the evenings and on weekends after all is normal for us!
 Living in it can be a bit much at times!
 It's all good, don't get me wrong I'm a grateful girl.

Incorporating Vintage pieces and old salvage is what I love to do from a design standpoint in all our projects. 
I have a storage container... or two filled with pieces I have been coveting for this french farm house & future projects.


Finding imperfect beauties like these makes my heart flutter and my cheeks blush!




I know I will use them, it's just where and when!

So if I can save your heart a bit...a little lesson to share with you is...
It's not the pieces that you bought and hang on to,
 it's the pieces you passed up and didn't get that you'll regret!!

The hunt is fun, but when you see it all come together that's the joy!

Hey I'm on IG - follow me there! 
my feed is
xogailsmithpeterson

A beautiful weekend to you,
xo,
Gail

Monday, February 13, 2017

Love

Sweetest Valentine's Day to you!

When it comes to celebrating Valentines Day isn't sweet how much fun it is? 
It's timeless, and for all ages.

I used to be obsessed for making my own Valentines. Over the years, I loved giving something I created with my own sentiments.

I love hanging these glitter hearts in the garden folly, I love to see them when light catches a sparkle.



A sweet "HappyValentines Day" with Love to you & yours,
xo,
Gail

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I'm blushing

Hello Darlins,

I'm blushing today...


This morning I woke to see our entry foyer featured
 on COUNTRY HOME MAGAZINE's
Instagram page. 


How lovely!
Thank you Country Home Magazine for a little sparkle on our home!


How's your new year so far?

I've been super focused with my new year agenda, lot's of beautiful things coming about!

Harvest season has began here at our family Lemon grove so that brings such love for the gardens, being outdoors and sharing our bounty with local markets.

Please join me over on instagram.
at
xogailsmithpeterson

A beautiful week to you,
xo,
Gail








Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Kitchen shelves get decked for Christmas

Merry Christmas Darlins,

FIVE more days
I hope your at the bottom of your list of TO DO's list!

Over here, we're ready & excited.
I plan on baking tomorrow.

When it comes to the holiday decorating I love to add some *Merry* to each space. 
Let's be real we spend a lot of time gathered in the kitchen so I feel it's a fun space to deck out...sparingly!


Memorable pieces

This silver snowman melts my heart..
I filled the bottom of his belly with cocoa & marshmallows or whipping creme in the top.
A little tradition this became... when my boys were toddlers.
 Together we sat at little table in our kitchen & had cocoa.

 Somewhere I have sweet pictures of those cherished moments!


Loving the simple decor when we come in the kitchen...



..remember when Evian did this limited edition bottle?

A beautiful week before Christmas to you....
xo,
Gail




Friday, December 16, 2016

Wellies

Hello Darlins,

So excited it's raining at this moment in Southern California!
We have been in a serious draught for years here... I think this will help!

How's your holidays?

Yesterday morning my husband had us waking to Carols at 6:30 am...
He must of been still happy about the short ribs I made the night before!

I love this time of year so much!

One more small package to mail.



Here's a peak at the new powder bath floor & custom door. 
A couple things that aren't complete....
Soon they will be finished for the reveal!

I'm sooo wearing my wellies today! 

A perfect rainy day schedule... finish my wrapping
 do some business
 &
 later this afternoon I'm meeting a friend to go to the cinema.

 Can't wait to wear a cozy sweater. sip a hot latte & study film!
Off to the post Office to stand in line!

I hope your day is a beautiful one!
xo,
me

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Noel inspired



Hi Darlins
While the festive days are Kringling by...
You might be snuggled by a warm fire, with a hot latte 
 &
 would enjoy a little throwback Thursday's inspiration
 from my
*Noel*
Pinterest board

Link below



Love to hear from you if you have a favorite!

A beautiful Holli * day to you!
xo,
Gail

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tips How to Cozy for Christmas

Hi Darlins,

Aligning with our Casual Loves Elegance everyday life & style..
Christmas is a time when I love to load up on cozy * comfy elements.

I thought I would share some insight of how you can do this anywhere!

 We live in Southern California...which is lovely!

 ...but personally, between you & me...
 my heart is in a cozy lake house in the midwest!
 Tall evergreens branches weighted with snow, a crackling fire in a real mason fireplace.
 Ice skates by the door, ready for when the lake is frozen deep enough to go on.

Those are the childhood memories I experienced & cherish especially during this time of year.

So how do we create that feeling in California or anywhere?
Here's some inspiration from my living room to yours....


No.1

Candle light

Nature - Animal images - Antlers - fur faux or real

Shiny elements - Reflect light like snow or ice

Silver * Gold * Pewter


No. 2

Cozy textures

Faux or real fur - Linen- Important element to add warmth to leather
In our living room here I used faux fur pillows, Belgium linen all with down inserts including the leather sofa, it is down.  

Sparkle - Glittery beads, crystal, rhinestones
Pillow in front has a hand beaded snowflake.


No. 3
Homemade
 Time is precious & so is a one of a kind element made by you, your children or someone you love.
I made these "A Winter Wish" little banners.
 Fun, creative & cost... a little love & time!

Flowers
Always fresh - bringing a scent to the air & reminding us that beauty surrounds us.
These are heirloom roses from my garden.


Most of all Christmas is in our hearts
 how we feel
 what we believe is in the spirit.
There isn't anything serious about decorating, be inspired by your dreams.
 Use what you have, what you love, most of all what makes you feel warm & cozy!

A beautiful winter day to you!

Follow on instagram now at
casualloveselegance

xo,
Gail

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas mantle - my DIY candle stands

Hello Darlins,

*20*days...

This time of year is so beautiful isn't it?
 I LOVE the decor, nature & pet photos that are being shared...
 A visual reminder how the spirit Christmas is everywhere.

This year our greens were placed on mantles, headboards, balconies etc.
I had full intention to add twinkle lights to everything,
 but instead this year ...

I want simple...
Loving the dark green natural look, without lights. 
They are so pretty I want to enjoy them simply for what they are... evergreens.

Here's the dining room fireplace mantle this Christmas.


Nothing is perfect... yet I don't think about perfect for anything. 
It's pretty enough!
 Everything is vintage.
 The Louis Philipe mirror is a treasure find & is turn of the century.

Nothing matches...I use what I love & that has purpose.



The warm simple glow of candles will offer soft & cozy light for dining.


These two white wood candle pedestals are tops of fence columns.
 a friend gave me some fence posts years ago,
 he said... I knew you would want these! 
He was right...
 I loved repurposing them for large candles, I use them indoor & outdoor all year.

Follow along on instagram too!
casualloveselegance

A beautiful cozy week & sending you wishes for all that's magical for you!
xo,
me

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Entry Foyer - a little christmas corner

Happy Holiday's Darlins,

The Holiday's are here.... I Love it!

I have begun decorating have you?
All the fresh garland & wreaths are placed.
I  don't know about you but.. when the garland is up it smells like Christmas to me!
It seems to bring the forest inside & everything seems so cozy.
mmmm Love* that!



In the entry foyer I have placed the new upholstered french vintage chair in the corner.
It's not it final location but the room it's going in is under construction!!



...this year I'm loving a teeny bit o red!


&
the boyzzz will like it!

Darling readers...
Thank you for the dearest comments you left for my family about the loss of Miss Chloe our Tibetan... we appreciate your kindness & prayers. Oh how we are missing her....
A beautiful day to you may it be more than you wish for!
xo,
Gail

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tibetan mastiff Chloe

Hello Darlins

With a broken heart I write this post today..
On the eve of Thanksgiving my family and I found ourselves having to say our final goodbye to our dearly loved & cherished Tibetan mastiff Miss Chloe.


12 -23-06  *  11- 23- 16
RIP

Tuesday evening my husband looked at her ears inside, uses some liquid ear cleaner on a cotton pad and rubbed her ears inside and found fresh blood. A flag for concern...
 On Wednesday at noon we took her into the vet for apt. to see why she had been pawing at her face over the last month near her eyes, it seemed something was irritating the area. She scratched so hard it was bleeding & it wouldn't heel over. We thought maybe she had something going on there. 

We thought we would probably be getting some antibiotics & a maybe an ear wash and we would bring her home.

Long story short...the vet did some tests and found our her red blood count was almost depleted & her blood wasn't coagulating. They gave us her samples & paperwork with a referral to a animal hospital for a specialist, they said go now...

 Bottom line the vet aid she couldn't be saved, she was bleeding internally. Her immune system was attacking itself.
  We asked if we could bring her back home for a few hours to be with her and let her be with Lincoln our Saint Bernard. We hoped he would sense something and maybe it will help him later. 
My oldest son lives out of state and it broke our heart to make that call....omg so extremely difficult give him the news and explain the situation.
He was an important part of her life too...This was his dog so much, he found the breeder and led the descioson in getting her from the beginning...

We skyped with him so he could see her as we gathered around on the floor with both dogs..
Later that evening we said goodbye....


The first time we saw her... getting her ready to come home with us.



Quiet & sweet




Late in the spring her thick winter coats gets ready to shed for summer.


She was a friend and mentor to our Lincoln, whom I believe showed him the ropes and gave him confidence... he is almost blind.


Tibetan Mastiffs are a unique breed.
 Chloe was noble
 she pranced like royalty
 walked like a model
 &
 proud, quiet and elegant

 She was amazing guardian...
 She knew her natural primitive role..
She guarded us, our friends, our property, Lincoln and our hearts.

She was so beautiful...one of a kind.


We will ring the bell for her this Christmas...

We miss her dearly we loved her immensely.

Sweet dreams we love you....Miss Chloe..
xo,
me

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pre - Holiday!

Happy week before the Holiday scramble!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the next couple months & all the festivities...
Sometimes I wish I could savor them one at a time, how about you?

So on that note...I'm at the store getting a few things for Thanksgiving dinner
 &
 I smell Christmas...

Evergreen wreaths, rosemary I got all excited
&
I got in the car & my husband said.. what? Can't you wait till friday?

Sorry...
 I had to have me some Christmas now...


....I want to smell Christmas


...wrap a few gifts


...sip apple cider


&
 enjoy the pre season!


I L*O*V*E the holiday's!

A beautiful week to you take time to enjoy the moments worth savoring!

I'm on instagram! 
casualloveselegance
come by!

xo,
me

Monday, November 14, 2016

Autumn weekend

Hi Darlins,

Hope your enjoying Autumn where you are!
We headed to the local mountains of Big Bear lake, California to get some Autumn...
It has been so warm in SoCal...uhhh

We loaded up our dogs, dirt bike, sweaters & hit the road.



This is Big Bear Lake, it's about 3 hours north of us. 
{with perfect driving conditions}


Ahh Autumn in the mountains!


A sweet BLUE JAY joined me for a latte on the porch.


We went into town & walked around the shops
Check out this FAUX Bison... It was Huge! 
It would be awesome in a big room in cabin. 


The nights got down to freezing, it was so fun to wear sweaters
 &
 sit by the cozy fire in the early mornings & evenings.


Mr. Lincoln & Miss Chloe were so HAPPY for the cool weather...
Can't you tell by her face!!!



Mr. Lincoln



Miss Chloe {laying in front} has a little attitude if you can't tell... she is very posh, so pretty & she knows it!
&
 doesn't like pics or interviews...
or anyone really!!!

A beautiful week to you, 

Follow along on Instagram, starting to decorate for the holiday's
casualloveselegance
xo,
Gail