joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Another Serving of Salad?
























"Another serving of salad?"

"Don't mind if I do."

This one was my lunch yesterday and it's kale, nectarine chunks in their skins, dry roasted peanuts, baked Cowgirl Creamery Brie, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lots of fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Oh the flavors. Never mind how good it was for me. I'm sold on salads, particularly those with that whole sweet and salty thing going on. And don't the colors look pretty on my old rustic blue buffet plates.

My Mango-Avocado Salsa Salad, Juicing, and a New Breville Juicer

 























Colorful, healthy and delicious foods are a passion of mine. I love coming up with new flavor combinations and try to consume at least five cups of fresh fruits and vegetables and at least one 16 oz. glass of fresh pressed juice a day.

That might seem a daunting task for the uninitiated, but if you've developed your taste buds for fresh produce, it's not hard at all.

The trick is knowing what produce is in season and what tastes good together. For instance, I love pears and apples in the fall and winter, and peaches and berries in the spring and summer. Of course many fruits and vegetables are good year round too.

Mango-Avocado Salsa Salad

1 mango
1 avocado
1/2 red bell pepper
6-7 large cherry tomatoes
1 16 oz. can organic cannellini beans
2 cloves garlic
2 slices red onion, chopped coarsely
cilantro
lime juice
sea salt

Peel the mango and slice lengthwise from stem to stem as close to the pit as you can get. Then slice along the sides of the pit to remove excess mango. Cube. Peel and cube avocado. Chop coarsely red bell pepper and onion. Chop fine garlic and cilantro.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with lime juice and sea salt to taste. Serve large size helpings on lettuce leaves.





















In my quest for answers to a recent health issue, I've been watching and reading all things related to aging and degenerative diseases. What I've found is that basing your diet on fresh plant type foods like whole sprouted grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts rather than dairy, meats and packaged foods is a proven way to combat disease without medication. And that juicing is an easy and delicious way to getting a ton of nutrients in a single glass.

It isn't realistic to expect yourself to eat two apples, six carrots, a beet and six oz. of kale in one setting...but you can easily drink it.

After trying out a friend's for a week, I decided to go with the Breville Juice Fountain which is an easy to use, easy to clean juice extractor. It is available at Amazon for $99 plus shipping.
























Here are some of my favorite tried and true recipes. I guarantee their deliciousness!

carrot-apple-beet: five medium carrots; two apples; and one raw beet

carrot-orange-beet: five medium carrots; two oranges; and one raw beet

carrot-kale-apple-beet: four medium carrots; three kale sprigs; two apples; one beet

carrot-broccoli-apple: five medium carrots; one broccoli stem with florets; two to three apples

Shopping for juicing ingredients is tricky at first. It takes a lot of fruits and vegetables to make one glass. As well, not all produce is suitable for juicing. Soft fruits are not: bananas, mangos, papayas for instance. All leafy greens, cabbages, and some root vegetables are. I especially love apple and carrot based juices and they are highly touted for healing reasons.

Shopping List

Here is my own shopping list to get you started. These are just for juicing. You'll need to buy more for eating whole and for cooking.

You can refine the list as you get more accustomed to juicing. You can try cucumber and celery but use sparingly as cucumbers are hard to digest and they are both strongly flavored. I haven't tried Swiss chard or romaine lettuce yet, but am looking forward to it. Spinach is good too but it doesn't give much juice. I prefer to eat my spinach.

5 lb. bag organic carrots
5 lb. bag organic apples (alternate with oranges)
1 bunch organic broccoli
2 bunches organic red beets
1 bundle organic kale
small basket strawberries or...
small basket blueberries

Colorful foods are full of anti-oxidants so beets, berries and carrots are highly rated for fighting free radicals.

For more information on juicing check out Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and watch the documentary. Also, check out The Gerson Therapy. I found many wonderful solutions to my arthritis through their books.

Sofa' So Good

Call it an affectation or a peccadillo. I like using proper vernacular when it comes to the things I refer to and work with daily. Cocktail table. Den. Table lamp. Fixture. Seat cushion. Throw pillow. Sofa. I love designing sofas, shopping for them, and recommending the best ones to my clients.













Here are a few of my favorite "sofas". What attracts me to a sofa is a quality frame. Dense cushions with down filled padding. I love elegant features like box pleated skirts, bouillon, and fabulous fabrics. Mohair, velvet, linen and silk are among my favorites.

The sofa in the room above designed by Michael Pertenio is the most yummy color. I doubt it's comfortable but what I like about the upright back is that when you are at a party, you're required to sit up straight. We all look so much better with excellent posture.












Three seat cushions, three back cushions. This dark gray sofa has cushions that "crown" nicely, meaning they have a little "puff" of padding right on top where it counts the most. Three seat cushions are a must because it means no one gets stuck sitting on the break.












This slouchy looking sofa as seen in Deandra Douglas' home in Santa Barbara has been around a while but you can't beat it for comfort, convenience and easy maintenance. This one has a loose fitting slipcover and a pillow back. I love seeing people sink into these low slung designs at parties. The can hold a lot of people. Not great for posture, but certainly conducive to relaxation.












The dark olive green fabric on the sofa above is still a gorgeous color, even though it's enjoyed much  popularity. The room won't date quickly because the lines and colors are so classic. I might change out the art work over the fireplace, however.














This daybed is in a wonderful orange and white ikat print. Day bed's are perfect for guest rooms and home offices for their flexibility and convenience. This room has coordinating white and orange valances over curtain panels.



















Tufted sofas are not terrifically comfortable but this one is sharp looking. The room has an avant garde feel.















Mohair or velvet, the russet sofa above is positively opulent. I never tire of the color, particularly when it's applied to such dye-receptive fibers as linen, silk and wool.

When shopping for sofas, I recommend getting frames that are sturdy. One's that are guaranteed, kiln dried hardwood. Cushion quality is important too and my favorite type is dense foam core with down blend wraps. I prefer sofas with one seat cushion or three. Two is a waste of space because no one wants to sit on the break.

Remember some basics: for small spaces, use sofas without skirts. Skirted sofas, however, make large spaces cozier. Pricing for quality sofas are usually $4,500 and up. If you're going to go for a less expensive sofa, go with IKEA. At least you'll get what you pay for, unlike Pottery Barn whose quality is comparable to IKEA and whose prices are unjustifiably high.










 

Window Coverings for a Small Home























Installation day always makes me nervous. All the planning in the world can't possibly detect every unforeseen contingency. Such as the sheers (not shown) that were delivered last week riddled with manufacturer flaws. The fabric company AND my workroom somehow failed to catch the umpty-ump gaps in the weave (how does that happen!) and they weren't discovered until they were delivered and unwrapped at the client's home. I am not happy about it, to say the least.























At any rate, this particular installation above and below went off without a hitch so I am understandably pleased.

In fact, the client ordered four more rooms full of window coverings as well as Roman shades to add to her living and dining room valances (shown below).



















The valance is box pleated with a contrasting welt. The other two images are of pinch pleated draperies on traverse rods. Both are classic treatments in versatile fabrics. I like doing tailored window coverings. My designs aren't always to my own taste but I find my clients are much happier if I design around their preferences rather than my own.

Meanwhile, the "flawed fabric saga" continues. This may turn into a blog post all it's own if I don't get satisfaction from my vendors.

Smother the Mother...with Flowers, Attention and Spirits


















Oh the joy of fresh flowers in the entrance hall, especially when they are fragrant. Lilies and peonies are scenting up my entry and I have my son Christian and his steady lady Alexa to thank for them. Mother's Day was enjoyable this year with beautiful weather and a great jaunt to our neighboring wine country for brunch.























We had Mimosa's all around and three of out five ordered the amazing breakfast burrito. One Eggs Benedict of course.

The perfume Fidji by Guy LaRoche, breakfast out, Acacia Chardonnay, fresh flowers, hard milled lavender soaps, and homemade blackberry pie with heavy cream (okay I made the pie myself): all in all a day of indulgence.

Thank you Family. My cup runneth over.

Master Bedroom Bedding, Arm chair and Woven Shades




 


























I'm working on several great projects right now. Among them is a master bedroom that needs custom bedding, a chair recovered, and window treatments.

The reason I love this project is that the clients are the nicest people. I can always tell when I'll become friends with clients and these two among them. In fact, I just purchased tickets to attend an event with them in late June for one of the husband's favorite charitable organizations, Habitat for Humanity.

The bed skirt will be in the bluish gray texture above left; the pillow shams will be in the taupe quilted fabric; the pillows will be in the willow print; and the chair will be in the russet colored upholstery chenille.























Also on order, a lined woven interior mounted shade with a self valance in light honey toned bamboo with white threads. We're doing a built-in book case in the living room and new doors and casing in the entry and dining room area.

I love the house's Boho feel and how two walls of windows open up to a beautiful shadey wooded area in back.

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