Category Archives: etc.


The Week’s End

October 7, 2016

Well friends. It’s been a busy month and it’s really only the first week of October. I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since, well I don’t know how long. I feel like an update and just a “what’s going on” post is needed.

So, O+P (that’s me) is really busy. I know that my posting here on the blog hasn’t been as frequent, so maybe I should explain. Blogging and freelance, online work is weird. And most people in my real life really have no idea what I do all day. I think most folks think this is just a little hobby and from time to time I post a pretty picture or two. But, really this is more then a full-time job. Right now my business has some momentum and I’m working, on average, 12 hours a day. I’m not complaining. I’ve worked for almost 6 years to make this blog the business that it is today. But, I feel like I should give my faithful readers a little more behind the scenes look at what I actually do.


Yes, I do create content for this blog and all my social media outlets, even though it doesn’t seem like a lot is going on right now. But, I also do a lot of work that you guys never see. The other work I do is still work I love, but it’s really more to pay the bills, so that I can blog for a living. Yes, I do create sponsored posts for my blog, but that doesn’t bring in enough income to really be a full-time salary. So, here’s a little of what I do that you don’t see.

  1. I’m a one-women show! I had an intern this last Summer, but she’s back in school and working full-time. You wouldn’t believe how much time I spend emailing, researching, book keeping and scheduling (I need a manager!). Making, styling, shooting and then editing pics is just a fraction of my time, even though I wish that is all I had to do.
  2. I do some design consulting for clients locally. Right now I have 3 homeowners that I’m working with. I love this part of my job. I help folks with tasks like picking out paint colors, styling their mantels and bookshelves, shopping for furniture, or sourcing lighting options. If you want my opinion on design, I’m happy to tell you what I’d do!
  3. I do quite a bit of freelance styling and photography. Just this last week I styled and shot a whole bunch of products for a company. These projects can take up a whole week of my time (hence the lack of blog posts). These are images that you won’t see on my blog. A lot of the time, companies hire me to create lifestyle images of their products that they will either use on the website or on their social media channels. I never intended to be a photographer. I always loved photography, but somewhere along the way of blogging I taught myself how to style objects and then photograph them.
  4. I also do some social media consulting locally and work on creating content for local company’s Instagram accounts. After 6 years of blogging, this is something I have experience in and have learned a little bit about what works and what doesn’t work.
  5. And last, but no least, I contribute to a few other blogs, right now I write for Ehow and Emily Henderson Design. These are awesome opportunities for me. It’s the blogging and content creation that I love, but it’s also an opportunity for me to get more eyes on my work. Yep, believe it our not, a lot more folks are heading to Emily’s blog everyday then they are to mine.

Ok, this might have been a boring post. If you are still reading, you really are the faithful follower that I thought deserved to know what was going on.

So, Is this interesting? Do you like knowing a little more about the behind-the-scenes? It’s messy and not curated at all, but you can follow me on snapchat for a more realistic look at my day to day (I’m @oleanderandpalm over there).




The Week’s End

September 2, 2016

Well, September is here, so I guess we really do have to say good bye to Summer. Homework, practicing instruments, school pick-ups and drop-offs, lunches, marching band, cross country, and drum line – days like this look nothing like the freedom of Summer.

I’m looking forward to the weekend. I need to do some grocery shopping and meal planning. Week night dinners have been on the fly, and I’d rather have a plan. It’s still hot here, but since it’s “Fall”, I’m pulling out the crock pot and making some giant pots of soup. Do you have any favorite Fall recipes I should be making? Dinner ideas and inspiration are welcome.

DIY notebooks

Sometimes I forget to share with you some of my freelance work. I’m having a lot of fun creating content for eHow. These DIY Customized Notebooks were a fun project that Denali and I worked on together.

And there also other things I find of the internet that I think you should check out.

DIY Customized Notebooks for Back to SchoolDIY Customized Notebooks


The Week’s End

August 19, 2016

That first week back at school is always the hardest. Struggling to get kids to bed a little earlier and then figuring out how to get everyone to where they are supposed to me. For us, we have one in High School, one in Middle School and one in Elementary now. Yesterday, I spent almost an hour driving, and I only got 2 kids dropped off. We are figuring it out and trying to get back into a routine. But, somehow 3 days of school felt like a very long week.

I am itching to start on another room in this house. I said I didn’t mind the paint color in most of the house. It’s a dark blue-ish green. But, now that we have been here a couple weeks, I think I HAVE TO paint. The Living room and dining room just feel too dark. And I think in order for this space to truly feel like ours, paint is the first step. Maybe this weekend I’ll try to do a little painting.

Fresh fruit digitial wallpapers. FREE download.

You can find these fresh fruit digital wallpapers HERE and HERE!

Here’s some fun stuff I think you should check out:

Have a great weekend friends. You can follow all my weekend happenings over on snapchat. I’m oleanderandpalm over there!


Grapefruit + Tonic Mocktail

August 15, 2016

I refreshing mocktail that's bright and crisp. Grapefruit, tonic water, lime, cilantro and grapefruit bitters.By now you all know that I’m all about an interesting and delicious mocktail. Cocktail drinkers can’t have all the fun. I enjoy mixing up fun drinks that my whole family can enjoy.  This latest drink is about as refreshing and crisp as you can get. Grapefruit Juice and tonic water partner to make a really fresh drink that has just the right amount of bite. And I love to throw in a fresh herb, they add another layer of flavor. This is the first time I’ve used cilantro in a sweet drink and it definitely won’t be the last time either. grapefruit and tonic mocktailI recently was introduced to Bolthouse Farm’s new 1915 brand of organic, cold press juices and protein drinks. I was instantly a fan, not only because this is a local company, but because the juices are amazing. They are all very yummy, but the Apple Grapefruit Peach Raspberry is by far my favorite. And while they definitely don’t need any improvement, they do make a perfect base for a special mixed drink. Because our days are still very warm, this refreshing mocktail is definitely a treat. grapefruit and tonic mocktailGrapefruit + Tonic Mocktail

Fill a glass with ice. Pour 1 part juice to 2 parts Tonic Water.  Stir. Garnish with a couple slices of lime, a sprig of cilantro and a couple splashes of grapefruit bitter.

(And I’m sure this would be a great drink to add a splash of gin to if you are looking for a spiked version.)grapefruit and tonic mocktailI kind of always thought I hated Tonic Water because of the quinine flavor. As a kid I had malaria many times (remember, I grew up in Papua New Guinea). So, I had to take quinine many times, and the medication is awful. But, it turns out Tonic Water is pretty fantastic. I love it’s subtle sweetness and slightly bitter taste. grapefruit and tonic mocktail grapefruit and tonic mocktail grapefruit and tonic mocktail

The post is sponsored by 1915 Bolthouse Farms. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


The Week’s End

July 16, 2016

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and just plain sad for our world. It seems that everyday there is another new senseless tragedy on the news. I feel helpless and just silly worrying about my tiny little problems and struggles in life. I really have nothing to complain about.  I am so blessed. Right now all I can do is pray for peace and pray for all the folks who have been hurt and have experienced loss in a great way. Oleander + PalmBut, for a little update, here’s what’s going on with us moving. We made it to our close date yesterday and didn’t close on our new house.  Hopefully in the next week it will all come together. But, we kind of don’t know what to do with ourselves now. We had been ready to move and now we just have to wait for another week or so. My parents and brother even came this week to help us and now we have nothing to do. We are living with lot’s of boxes piled in every room in our house, so that’s getting a little old.

But, really I should be happy that moving isn’t on my plate this week as well, because there really is a lot going on.

If you are in Bakersfield, we can hang out this week:

Here’s some fun stuff on the internet this week that you really should check out:


Moving Essentials – Inexpensive Online Sources

July 11, 2016

Well, we are definitely in up to our eyeballs in packing up our house right now. It’s not an easy job, but I have kind of enjoyed the process. I love going through closets and drawers and organizing things. Packing and sorting has allowed me to purge and get rid a lot of things. Somehow I’ve ended up collecting so much stuff, even though we live in a small house. I’m sure when we move in, I’ll get rid of even more.

As we pack, I’ve been making note of the supplies we’ve been using. I decided I’d make a list of online sources for the essentials for moving and packing. Instead of running all over town for what’s need to pack and move, I’ve hunted down Amazon Prime sources to save myself (and maybe you) time and money.

Inexpensive online sources for moving and packing supplies.

  1. Medium Moving Boxes
  2. Bubble Wrap
  3. Packing Tape
  4. Moving Labels
  5. Packing Paper
  6. Plastic Packing Wrap
  7. Permanent Marker
  8. Padded China/Dish Storage

I’m all for free boxes. Definitely hit your grocery store and even liquor store for wine boxes. We were lucky and were given a bunch from some friends that just moved. But, for some of our more valuable stuff, a good sturdy, clean box seemed like a good idea. I also suggest checking Craig’s List for moving boxes. Often folks will post them there for free.

I’m also a huge fan of the Padded China/Dinnerware Storage Containers. I’ve had a set for many years now and they make packing and storing my dishes so much easier. These inexpensive packages are really a great investment.

Labels are important! Who knows how long it will be till you can get every box unpacked. I recommend making as detailed a list as possible on the outside of the box. And be sure to label which room the boxes are for. These color coded labels make it that mush easier to quickly see which room the box is intended for. Even if you are doing the moving yourself, it will make the job so much faster.

And finally, I LOVE the Plastic Packing Wrap. When I package up art and frames to move, I wrapped them in bubble wrap and then hold it all together with the plastic wrap.  It works so much better then packing tape and it’s much easier to remove.  It also works really great to hold moving blankets and padding onto furniture.

Anyways, whether you wanted it or not, there’s my 2 cents worth on packing up a house. And for a little update, we have been in escrow for 45 days now.  Ya, that’s a long time, or at least it feels like a really long time to be waiting and wondering if everything is going to come together and work out. To make a very long boring story short, we are hoping to finally hear something today. We have been waiting all this time for an appraisal.  Sure hoping to close this week, especially since my parents and brother are coming to town to help us.


Keep Your Kiddos Busy with Summer Explorers

June 9, 2016

summer explorers

Summer is here and mom’s and dad’s everywhere are excited that they don’t have to pack lunches and drive kids to school. BUT…….. how do we keep them busy all Summer long and avoid cartoons, devices and video games. We really try to limit screen time, but it takes some creativity to keep kids busy. One thing I’ll be doing with Olivia this Summer is the Summer Explorers series.  My talented blog friend and also real life friend, MJ of Pars Caeli, has created 8 weeks of hands on learning and exploring activities for parents and kiddos aged 3-12. You can purchase just a week of activities or a whole Summer of fun.

Each week explores a different theme. With printables, experiments, activities, crafts and even book and movie suggestions to go with the theme, you a sure to keep those little minds active and entertained.  The first week is now available, and it’s only $8!!!! The theme is On the Hunt. This full week of activities include decoding, hunting, and uncovering hidden messages. Olivia and I looked at morse code (one of this first week’s activities) together and after a little explanation, she was kept busy creating a morse code necklace that spelled out her name.

summer explorersSummerExplorers_onthehuntsummer explorers summer explorers summer explorersBe sure to check out all 8 weeks of this fun program.  And enter for a chance to win a whole Summer Explorers package over on instagram.summer explorers


The Week’s End – Happy National Donut Day!

June 3, 2016

Well, we made it to another Friday. This one felt like it would never come. Today is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! End of the school year is so crazy. So many events to attend and everyone is just plain pooped. But, we are on the home stretch.

We are still super busy with selling and buying houses, well just selling one and buying one. It’s amazing how much paper work and stress is involved in the process. I’m sure happy this is only the second time we’ve bought a house ever.  Today we get to go over the home inspection of the house we are buying. I’m hopeful that there won’t be anything big to fix and I’m just excited to be in the house again. I drive by it multiple times per day, but it really is on my way to anywhere. My kids call me a creeper, because I slow way down so that I can get a good look at the place each time we pass. We are so excited!!!!

Now to celebrate this Friday, be sure to include a donut or a dozen in your day. It’s National Donut Day and I’ve found some fun donut recipes for you. If today wasn’t so crazy, I’d be making donuts for sure (probably these Chocolate Chipotle Cake Donuts). It’s a messy, but totally satisfying job. And also a guaranteed way to make friends.

Baked Matcha Green Tea DoughnutsMatcha Glazedblood-orange-donuts-4-2Blood Orange glazed_doughnuts_2Pretty PastelsRaspberry Ripple Doughnuts - Golden brown, sugar dusted and served slightly warm - filled with raspberry jam and sweetened cream. Irresistible!Raspberry RippleStriped-Donuts4-600x900Striped DonutsOreoDonuts-3-683x1024Oreo DonutsVanilla-Bean-Donuts-with-Blueberry-Glaze-15-600x902Blueberry GlazedKey Lime DonutKey Lime


The Week’s End

May 27, 2016

Well, you may have seen on my Instagram or snapchat (I’m oleanderandpalm), but we put our house on the market Monday morning! Last week Thursday, we saw a house that we really really loved (I’ll share more about that when I have the keys in my hands), so we decided we wanted to try to go for it. So, Friday we started the process of listing our house and by Monday morning it was on the market. We made an offer on the house we wanted, contingent upon us selling our house and by Wednesday we were in escrow! Holy Cow, that was FAST. But, needless to say, it’s been a crazy week. And hence the blog has been ignored. Showing a house, finishing up a laundry room (which I really wish I wouldn’t have tackled now) and signing soooo many papers took every minute I had.

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions this week. Monday I cried because I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave my cute little house, Tuesday we stressed that we wouldn’t get the house we wanted and then we’d be living in Riley (our vintage trailer), Wednesday we were pumped about the possibilities, but tried to remain cool, Thursday we were in shock, and today we are soooo excited for this new adventure.

We have been itching for some sort of change or adventure. We are only moving a few blocks away, but it feels good to have a new chapter in our lives. You guys, it’s an old house and there’s lots of blogging material. I can’t wait to tell you about this new, old house.

dining room

And for your weekend, some reading I think you shouldn’t miss:

Happy Friday and I hope you have a fantastic long weekend!


The Week’s End

April 29, 2016

Another week has come and gone and sheesh was this a jam packed one! Monday was spent all day painting the studio (which is almost done!). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday involved a lot of styling and taking pictures.  I love opportunities that allow me to create and capture. Photography has long been a love of mine, so any chance I can work on improving my skills behind the camera and in the editing room, I’m happy to have. There’s so much I don’t know and sometimes I wish I had time to take a few more photography classes to improve me skills.

And……. all week long I’ve been battling super sensitive, and irritated skin (I over share on snapchat if you are interested – I’m oleanderandpalm there). But, I’m doing a treatment to take care of a bunch of pre-cancerous spots on my skin. I’ve been treating my forehead, temples and chest. This treatment has taken me down this week. It’s really quite painful and not to mention super ugly. The doctor warned me that it would probably give me flu-like symptoms and I’m pretty sure it has. I’ve tried to stay hidden in my house, but it’s not always possible. I feel like I have to explain to everyone why I look so terrible, it’s been a humbling experience that for sure. Anyways, enough about that.

But, the weekend is here! And I couldn’t be happier. I need a morning to sleep in (past 7 am preferably). But, the in-laws are coming next week, so I’m sure this weekend will involve quite a bit of cleaning. I hope you have some fun weekend plans to look forward to.

If you missed some of this week’s posts, be sure to check out my Homemade Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars, some fun Bath Linen Combinations, and black interior doors might be in my future.

ice cream against mint wall

Here’s a few posts that I found interesting this week, you should probably check them out as well:

Happy Friday Friends!