Indigo and My Mom in a TV Spot

My latest Ideabook for Houzz: In the Mood for Indigo was just featured on their homepage.

Houzz pays me to occasionally write these kinds of guest posts.  The Houzz website has millions of visitors who go there to look for residential design ideas.  

It's a great place for inspiration, if you aren't already familiar with them.  
This pretty Shades of Light Mirror is in the post.  A couple of days ago, I received this email:
Mary Ann, I just wanted to say thank you for the nice mention you gave us on Houzz today. We are so appreciative of the recognition you gave us. Personally, I enjoyed the article and also the fact that it gave me the opportunity to visit your website and get to see more of your work. Very impressive, I expect I will be returning for more visits in the future. (I'm off on vacation for a week, yeah!) but I wanted to let you know how flattered and grateful the entire Shades of Light Team is for the recognition you gave us on Houzz before I went out of town.
Thank you so very much.
Walter Froh
Merchandise and Marketing manager
Shades of Light
How nice is that?  The power of a thank you note to bring a smile to someone's face.  I need to write more thank you notes.

Thank God for my cute, sweet, wise and loving mom...

who is The Star of this television commercial that my sister produced.  You only have to watch the first one to see Mom (unless you live in San Diego--then watch them all :)

I'm in San Diego now at my mom's and sister's house.  I've been helping them redecorate their family room.  I just took photos of it with my iPhone for my next post!


My Life: Danielle Steele, Lentil Salad and A New Beach Cottage Project

Last week, I took this little guy to the vet (he's fine) 
 and passed Danielle Steele's house in Pacific Heights.
 I looked her up on the internet to see what she has been up to and read her latest blog post.  She is the best selling author alive and is still at it!  So if the neighbors complain about her unattractive 30' high hedge (that's not blocking anyone's views)…oh well.

There are 55 rooms and a formal ballroom and the views of the bay must be incredible.   And I bet we go to the same grocery store..rubbing elbows with the famous…she says she goes to the grocery store herself.

Speaking of views…on Tuesday I went to Newport Beach to 
help a client plan a move to

this charming cottage…won't this be fun to decorate?  The wheels are turning.  While incorporating her current furniture we are

 looking at a few new things...
Pottery Barn for the family room

Noir Furniture for the living room

Wisteria for the living room

I stayed with Debbie while I was there…love having this pretty bath...
better than a fancy hotel.
We celebrated our friend, Laura's birthday that night and I came back to San Francisco the next day.  Below is Lido Isle (where our house and the new project are).  A quick trip…so nice that it's just an hour away.

On Thursday, I made this Easy Lentil Salad recipe using Trader Joe's vacuum packed lentils. 
We keep sliced red onion in in red wine vinegar in the refrigerator (mellows the taste) for salads or sandwiches.
Take the package of the lentils and mix in 1/4 cup of chopped marinated red onion, the juice of three or four small lemons, drizzle with olive oil, four tables spoons of chopped parsley and salt and pepper.  Marinate a few hours or overnight and serve on sliced tomatoes.
Good the next day for lunch, too.

I also made this Chicken Saltimbocca (skinless chicken breast with sage leaves wrapped in prosciutto) except, I didn't bother to pound the chicken (lazy) and I added fresh spinach (instead of asparagus--all we had) at the end to serve it slightly wilted.  I took it off the heat and left it covered for a while while I set up our trays (reality…we eat in front of the TV a lot--empty nesters).
It gave the chicken a little time to steam and it came out nice and moist!
This is how I spent my Saturday night with my husband away on business…it was awesome (but I missed you, Honey).

Choose happiness, be grateful and call your mom.  I will, too.