Friday, October 14, 2016

Entry gates project before & after

Happy Friday!

Last night I was chatting about entry gates with a friend. 
Entry gates are a BIG deal...

The front entry is a big sets the tone of your home.
Bottom line, even if it's a door with a step, it's the entry!
 It's the first impression.
Your welcomed home everyday by it.
If you don't care what others think, that's ok ....but YOU deserve to have a welcoming entry.

I looked up the pics of before... Yikes, no wonder this house was on the market for soooo long.
I'm thinking buyers couldn't get passed this un-invitng entry to the property!
Trust me, my vision was overload & confused!

Here's a recap on the before & after of our entry to the property here at the French Farm house.

We found out the stone columns were hollow & the little stone walls were only stacked with out cement to hold them together.

We would have to tear it all down & reconstruct.

The columns had extension walls built to intersect the new fencing.

Once the columns were complete, a temporary gate was installed to keep our dogs in. 

Here they are in the shop, a first look at the shape. Exactly what are sketch called for.

This was our first time having something fabricated from steel. The raw steel was super cool, but would rust in a minute.
Our projects have always been solid wood material and painted. My husband did a awesome job building those. {Link to see those at bottom of post}

Fit was excellent. We went with 2 motors to power these big heavy gates.

Finally the welcoming entrance this property should have!

 We love how elegantly both gates slowly open, the motors  are super quiet. 
Nothing makes me smile more than spotting our dogs sitting at the top of the drive waiting to welcome us home!

One more project completed & one step closer in the making of our French Farm house.

A Holiday photo from last year... 

A beautiful weekend to you,
xo, me

I'm on Instagram - Casual Loves elegance
Trying to remember to post!

Link to my site and the beach house that shows our wood fences 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Casual Loves Elegance inspired by

Happy Friday

 it comes from everywhere and we use it for everything!

 I first became aware of the blog world several years back from the Julia Child movie. 
Story of a young married women who wanted to take on the challenge of Julia's coveted cookbook. She cooked 365 days from the cookbook journaling it onto her blog.
LOVED... the movie.

I was talking with a friend who said she was a blogger soon after. 
 She showed me her blog she encouraged me to check it out.
 OMG I had no idea there was a world of micro magazines on the web!
 Of course I found the fashion world, then the design and food world. 

I was so inspired to start one.

Truth be known I didn't have a computer, I wasn't a photographer, writer and we had a dinosaur PC of my husbands that I didn't know a thing about.

Long story short, that one died and I had to buy one, My kids said I needed a MAC. 
Who doesn't go with what our kids know is best!!!

Naming the blog... was fun but I had no idea what to call it.
What will I write about, who will care?

I began thinking of our biggest obstacle when we first married. 
His house was dark, dated with brown interior, orange avocado green appliances....
yucky 50's -70's beach house. { I saw potential with the house}!!!

After we married I moved all my things in & you could see my things and his needed to come together!
I had to mesh our styles, he was a jock I was a girly model.
I began designing and decorating our homes to incorporate both our styles.

All of this inspired my blog name.

 I meshed our style to described us...
My husband is the casual
I brought the elegance

We love how our every day living marries both of our lifestyles.
The name was easy then...


See anything out of place here?

I was doing dishes and looked over to see this!

My husband and son were throwing the ball last night, 
they came in washed up 
 that's where the ball was left!

How did you come up with your blog name? What inspired you?
Share it in my comments, would love to know your story!

OH...Fiinally I took the plunged...Casual Loves Elegance is on INSTAGRAM!!
No idea how it works or what to do! Any tips on apps or anything send them my way!

Have a gorgeous weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ticking & Vintage Chair No. 4094

Welcoming October

I love * love * love when the Autumn season begins...
 With the change of seasons can't you feel your focus shift a bit more to interior of the home?

Junk Bonanza in Del Mar this year had a chair I had to have. 
I was shopping with a friend who just so happened to have her new horse trailer with her so we had to fill it with vintage furniture!

The chair went to straight to the upholstery shop I had just enough ticking to do the job.

Chair No. 4094
I left the back exposed to reveal the Number...

The legs are french, we stripped them and gave them a waxing.

Yummy...Black -n-White Ticking 

LOVE *LOVE* LOVE* this Vintage French Wingback Chair now. 
The springs were shot so this baby needed a refurbish too.i
It's strong now, filled with down and will be loved once again by our family.

I set it on the black floor in the foyer to see how I liked it on the dark floor..

When I saw the chair at Junk Bonanza I loved it instantly... it reminded of this chair I had redone at our beach house.

This is my youngest son when he was 5 talking to his Grampa! 

Wishing you a beautiful week & see you soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I found this beauty in the sea yesterday.

Hi Darlins,

Have you ever found a big Sea shell? 
Last night, we loaded the dogs up and went to the beach to cool off,
  it was 102 here yesterday in San Diego!

We were walking with the dogs in the sand, shallow waves were breaking at our feet. 
I saw this round thing tumbling up to me, I couldn't believe it...

It was this beautiful shell...
 full of sand, a few rinses in the water and it revealed this!

  I have lived in Southern Cali for over 30 years, 
The largest shell I've found was about the size of a half a dollar.

I know it's silly but I think this was My Jacques Cousteau moment!

 4 1/2 wide x 3 1/2 inches high. 

Hmmm...I wonder how old it is and where it's traveled from?

I feel it's a reminder from the SEA & the universe 
that what we 
is truly right in front of us.

I love love love it so much..
Keeping it here in the foyer for a while!

We are  grateful for SEA 
 the the ever changing beauty in Nature we see.

Our dogs...
L} Lincoln - Saint Bernard
R} Miss Chloe -Tibetan Mastiff

A lovely rest of the week to you!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dear Bloggers I need your help - Childhood homes!

Dearest Bloggers, friends and readers,

I'm reaching out to all of you to help me get answers to some heart filled questions.

says YES we can go home again! 
Please click the two links below and you will understand the question.

I need the answers ASAP from all of you who care and obsessed about your childhood or family homes, it can be yours or a relative's.
 YOU KNOW.. that place you have never forgotten and it lives in your dreams *

1. Would you buy back your childhood or family home?
2. Do you dream of your childhood or family home?
3. Are you thinking about buying back your childhood or family home or in the process now?

Last night I theses were posted on

Click link below

followed by this

My Answers are all YES!

Leave a comment with your answers or if Q.3 is PV message on the link to my FB.

* If QUESTION 3 is YES, 
YOU are thinking about buying your childhood home or in the process. 

I need to know ASAP... we need to seriously talk! I will explain why later. (I am not selling anything)
Please Private message me on my  Face Book 
Leave name, email, phone

My Childhood home is everything to me.
I want to know what you think from your heart about the articles and please take a moment to answer the questions in my comment section.

Thank you sooooo much your beautiful

Monday, September 12, 2016

French Lilacs

Hi Darlins,

It's a beautiful September morning in SoCal, a cool soft breeze fills the air.

French Lilacs remind me of summers at our Lake House.
My Mother Loved them!
I think she would watch for them to bloom every year.
She would say "the Lilacs are ready" I would go gather a bouquet for her.
I can still imagine her cutting them over the sink and arranging them in old milk bottles, 
smelling each batch when she finished, the fragrance was unforgettable.

This Spring when we were at the nursery getting our dwarf trees for the front garden beds,
 I spotted a pair of French Lilacs & Now you now why I love them so much!!!

The cooler temps has me wondering about ours, still in containers, one is blooming again, 
but the other is only leafing out!

Isn't this bloom heart shaped???

This ones either supper happy or the cooler weather is tricking it to bloom again!

This one?

A beautiful week to you, 
enjoy the little things too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Coming soon the Powder bath reveal

A beautiful September to you..

I hope your weekend was relaxing & fun!
Ours was filled with landscape projects, cleaning out the workshop & hosting a dinner party!
All of which I enjoyed...

We had dinner guests that were touring around and went to see the new powder bath..
 I will be revealing it soon here!

Both husband and wife LOVED the powder bath, they came out saying this person would love it and that person would love it!!
Awe... a sweet feeling after you put soooo much thought, research and time into a space.

A sneak peek at the 100 year old marble sink..
I was on pins and needles opening the crate, it was shipped from New York.
 It made the trip across the coast beautifully!!

I LOVE having a little stack of vintage finger tip linens for guests.

I had some vintage glass I was saving cut to size for this frame. The size just fit!

These might be the last of the heirloom rose blooms from the garden ...

Soon I will do the reveal, I'm waiting for a couple more finishing details, you know how that goes!

Off to back to school night, one week under our belt, last night a photo shoot for Senior pics!

A lovely evening to you,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Farewell August - Senior year ahead

The last days of August...
My Favorite month is coming to a close..
A week of celebrating has left me grateful for the beautiful moments..I did manage to get some great family pics!
Beginning with our Anniversary, then a surprise visit for my birthday from our oldest son.
We had some great family time, walking on the beach with our dogs, dining out & being together.
Hmmm...I can't remember cooking at all last week!

Today is a bittersweet...

First day of school, Senior year! 
I know this year will pass quickly, he's our last one in the nest!

He was the face of my brand, as shown here in a post card announcing the launch of my store "Buckingham Mercantile".
He was about 6 months or so!

We adore his personality,
 his quick wit is charming 
 he is truly one of a kind!

*Happy First day of School*

Make it the best one ever!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Anniversary

Hello Darlins,

Twenty nine years ago today ...
I walked down the isle shaking like a leaf
 Dad at my side, holding me steady with each step...

...when I was handed my bouquet I said...Do I have to carry it?
I don't think I can walk, hold my dress and the keep my veil on & I'm scared I'll trip!!

I saw smiles & tears of joy on the faces of my family & dear friends. 

Waiting for me at the end of the long walk...was a tall and handsome man, soon to be my husband. 

 Moments I'll cherish forever...

Taking every word into my heart as the minister spoke...
trying to hold back my tears.

Those silent moments made for two, we couldn't stop looking at each other!

Our first dance as MR. & Mrs. seemed like it lasted forever, 
though...he kept stepping on my toes!
 He's a very good dancer, his ballroom dancing class in college gave him an edge!!!

Twenty Nine years have gone by quickly...he's still spilling on me & cleaning up my messes! 

He's still the one that makes me laugh
the one... who taught me to laugh at myself

the one...who's there to challenge me to do better.
the one... who's my rock.

I'm grateful we found each other all those years ago, together... we are ONE.

No words need to be said, 
a look says it all!

A beautiful day to you all!

Happy *29* Anniversary to My Husband Mr. Casual 
Love xo,
 Mrs. Elegance

If you wish to see more wedding photos Look at previous AUGUST posts!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Entrenching Beauty

A Beautiful weekend is on it's way...

Soooo many things entrench our busy days
 our weeks
our months
  before we see it...

I hope hope hope, we can make beauty something that we get entrenched in.

Just to be clear...i'm referring to beauty that surrounds us.
Our world
Our Cities
Our Towns
Our neighborhood
Our home

Beauty to me is:
 entrenching our souls & our lives with that which gives us joy
 inspires us to be better

the awesomeness to feel humbled by a simple flower petal
see grains of sand fall out of a shell 
grateful for hearing water lapping on the shore
& rain drops.

I'm in awe how much beauty naturally
 you & me.

i Love beautiful things
beautiful words
beautiful stories
beautiful photos
beautiful art
beauty is everywhere. is in the eye of the beholder!

My life is entrenched in beauty because I see it.
I choose to
 see beauty in the simplest things
& hear it in quiet places.


 being open to knowing how it makes us feel...
 is most profound.

Cutting a few flowers from the garden, bringing them inside to enjoy their fragrance in our kitchen is... 
just the best!

Simply entrenching our life with beauty.

Happy Weekend, make it a beauty!

Let's look back in a few decades
reflect on



Friday, July 1, 2016


I've missed you!

Happy *4th of July* weekend*

I'm fine! I've been getting the sweetest emails inquiring about where I've been? 
Ok your right. I have been a little MIA here on the blog! Ok a lot!

 Honestly.... I've wanted to write my heart out about every thing that has been going on but I couldn't.
I still can't as of yet. I'm speechless!

 words that describe what's going on.


.all I can say right now.

I'll give you
 when I can. 

A new journey....

Q. Do you really believe we each have a path in life that we somehow find and will follow? 
I'd love to know if you believe that it's true?

A beautiful & safe 4th to you,
have lots of fun
savor the weekend
 relax a little
 play some great music & have a giant piece of watermelon!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happy Memorial weekend

Hello Darlins,

Memorial weekend...
it's here!
Officially feels like the start of summer don't you think?

Flags blowing on porch posts
 in  planters
 small yet enormous
reminders of the profound journey of our nation.

This weekend...
 a time to be together & remember those who once stood tall for their proud land
 us the people.

A vintage glass jar on our front door, garden flowers & little flag that will wave in breeze. 

A beautiful Memorial weekend to you,
Blessings America,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How I came to love french yogurt!

A beautiful wednesday to you!

Are you a yogurt fan? 
 Plain or flavored?

 Honestly, I wasn't a yogurt fan until a couple of years ago. all started when I read the book "French women don't get fat"

 I was inspired by the way those women in the book spoke about their yogurt, like it was magical!

Well, I don't know if it is... but since I read that book I seem to be loving plain organic yogurt.

I like it pretty though...
 fresh berries 
a drizzle of raw honey, mmm!

 French style is my favorite, this brand is especially good.
 "Saint Benoit"

Try it, maybe you will be a fan!

A beautiful evening to you,