my mid century modern dream (re-post)

exterior frontAwhile back, I shared the mid-century house I lived in several years back. Been thinking about that house a lot lately so thought I would share once again . . .  It’s just a distant memory now. A place I laid my hat for a few years while living in the mid-west where architecture like this on a dreamy lot at the edge of the woods is attainable. Not worry free (I had my share of plumbing problems and the scare of two 30 ft. oaks going down just inches from my kitchen) but attainable none the less.

The house was built in 1964 by a local architect, John Findlay and his wife, who literally rolled boulders around the lot themselves. The house takes advantage of a sloping landscape and what looks like a small one story dwelling from the street, has a large lower level walk out making the most of an indoor/outdoor living concept. But most of my time was spent on the main level where the kitchen, living room and bedrooms surround an open plan central dining area. While the large eat in kitchen might have sold the house, it was the living room that I liked the most with its iconic stone fireplace and large windows framing an hypnotic view of the woods.

entrydininglivingAlivingBkitchen1kitchen 2The house looks beautiful all surrounded in greenery but it was in the winter, when the trees were bare and the light reflected off the snow, that this house was truly spectacular. I often wondered if the architect who designed and built the house at just 32 years of age (he would die 8 years later), planned it that way or was just lucky? At any rate, I feel the lucky one having lived here even if for a short time.

ice cream challenge

QuenelleToday’s Contender:  Quenelle
Location:  Burbank, CA
Flavor: Rocky Road Malted & Mexican Hot Chocolate

In a very crowded ice cream market, Quenelle more than holds it’s own — if you happen to find yourself over the hill (and in LA that doesn’t mean old, that means literally over the hill in the San Fernando Valley). I’ve always kind of liked Burbank. It’s a bit like the town time forgot with it’s small town storefronts along streets that surround the studios. It’s nice to see some new life on these streets.

Quenelle is a tiny wood-clad storefront on Magnolia Blvd with an unmissable sign, right next to a screening room. The inside might fall a bit short on decor but ignore that and order some cream. Flavors are unique and constantly changing. The texture is a bit on the melty side but you can’t beat $4.75 for a double scoop waffle cone.

If you work at one of the valley studios or are nearby visiting a prop house or something similar, give it a try. Sunday is National Ice Cream Day so the timing is perfect!

good tv you’re not watching

We all know about Game of Thrones, Orange Is The New Black, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Homeland. .  .The breakout hits of this new television landscape in recent years. But there are some shows that are every bit as good and don’t get the same buzz for whatever reason. Whenever I mention them to friends I simply get blank stares back. Huh?  Let’s face it, in this landscape it’s hard to find shows amongst all the competition. But here are two to watch:

The Americans (FX):  I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this show in its very first episode. I don’t know if it is because I was a huge fan of Keri Russell since her Felicity days or had an instant kinship with the 80’s cold war setting (the days of my youth perfectly recreated down to the nth detail) that hooked me but boy, hook me it did. And four seasons in, the show has only gotten more intriguing, more surprising, more nail biting, more better and simply irresistible.

 

Outlander (Starz):  I’d never heard of the books that have been around for 25 years. I like many others don’t know if they qualify as romance novels, science fiction, historical fiction or what. But wow, do they make for good TV. Another period drama, this time set partially in the 1940’s but mostly in the late 1700’s (that’s the sci-fi element you’ll have to watch to understand) the show is a mix of romance novel casting (down to the beefcake hunk with a mop of curly hair playing opposite the fair skinned, dark haired beauty and a swashbuckling, uniformed villain), painstakingly accurate historical detail and riveting story that can be as sexy as it is disturbing and everything in between, that defies easy categorization. Don’t be fooled, however, this show is fearlessly acted, thought-provokingly produced and well worth a binge watch to catch up for the season two finale next Saturday (July 9) evening.

Want a little more unexpected good TV from days gone by?  Here are a few more shows that have garnered that same blank stare reaction that I promise are worth a download:

Warehouse 13:  Long ago, I stumbled upon a little known TV show on the Syfy Network. It was a crazy leap of faith time travel dramady rooted in history with just enough Moonlighting thrown in to make the show oddly romantic and zany. I loved its twist on historical objects and watched faithfully to the very last episode.

 

The Tudors:  The first of the period cable dramas I ever binged watched, chronicling the reign of Henry VIII in full technicolor glory. Not only did I watch, but i became so fascinated by the history I went on to read every book about Henry VIII I could get my hands on stumbling upon one of my favorite reads of all time, The Autobiography of Henry VIII.

Mistresses:  This original British series following friends who live an unabashedly modern and adulterous lifestyle was disappointingly short lived and had the most ingenious 9/11 plot turn of all time — something that was perfectly timed and only to be pulled off in another country.  Puts any Real Housewives show to shame as only a scripted drama can.

my new obsession

paleonolaThis is my new breakfast obsession. Simple ingredients and no grains. The crunch is perfect and a small serving with a scoop of Fage Greek Yogurt or a pour of almond milk and a handful of berries keeps me going all morning.

OK, it’s not cheap and I could probably just as easily make my own. But I’m lazy that way. Available at your local Whole Foods or order online from Thrive Market for a savings of a couple dollars per 10 oz. package.

Happy Eating!

nine things i can’t live without

must have list

Row 1 (left to right):  Aesop products & the lovely stores they sell them in   natural light flooding into my home   a Duxiana mattress

Row 2:  my favorite piece of art — a printed mailer received from a vendor in the early 90’s floating in a frame. it makes me smile to this day  |  ice cream in any form but especially one of the crazy flavors from Gelato Messina  |  Vogue Living Australia magazine —  i have a 20+ year collection!

Row 3:  morning hikes in the Santa Monica mountains  |  a good mid-century modern staple like this Saarinen dining table  |  Australia — just 19 when I first visited, my heart has belonged to the land down under ever since  ♥♥♥

artful decor

OfficeEverybody who sees the window shade in my office wants to know more about where I got it. I’ve shared the source before but something about seeing it in context makes all the difference. A stunning solution for hiding a most unpleasant view. And while shown above at night, during the day, back lit by the window, it glows like a light box — pretty fantastic I have to admit.

daytimeYou too can install window shades or make murals, wall hangings, pillows, lamp shades, ceramic tiles and more from a plethora of images available at Surface View out of London. They hold the rights to images from many of the worlds great museums like London’s National Gallery the home of my classic image, “The Surprise”.

You can choose from one of their standard sized solutions (a slightly cheaper option) or customize to nearly any size, crop and finish. It’s really quite simple using their online design tool and although they say 14 day delivery, be prepared for a slightly longer production time frame (up to 4 weeks) if you’re overseas.

There you go. Happy Shopping!

 

best meal in town — seriously!

Petit Trois, Los Angles
718 Highland Avenue, West Hollywood

No Reservations

Petit Trois_MrsRopersMusingssIt’s been voted the #1 restaurant in LA. That’s because it’s seriously good! I ate there. I dreamt about it. I woke up wanting to go back. Need I say more?  Ok, I will:

  • The drinks:  Fresh and imaginative and curiously strong.
  • The Bread & Butter:  They say a restaurant is judged by its bread offering. This is perfection. Crusty warm baguette served with salty salty French butter.
  • The Moules Frittes:  That broth! And the best part, a piece of broth soaked bread waiting for you at the bottom of the bowl.
  • The French Onion Soup:  Oh so rich and full flavored. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. Quote of the night,  “There’s no going back to Trader Joe’s onion soup now.”
  • The Omelette:  The stuff dreams are made of. This may sound strange but it tastes like buttered popcorn only with the texture of smooth and silky, perfectly cooked eggs filled with creamy cheese. And the bibb lettuce accompaniment — exactly the salad I ate in France every day when I summered there in ’85.
  • The Chocolate Mousse:  Sickeningly rich in a good way. Not too sweet and decadently smooth, topped with copious amounts of freshly whipped cream. My insides were shaking (that’s no lie)

And you wouldn’t guess it being in LA, but the restaurant is wholly unpretentious. It’s all about the food here. Just 20 stools, in a simply decorated, dark space (pictures are hard to achieve but skip that part and just eat) with a bustling open kitchen. You’re greeted with hellos from the bar tender and kitchen staff when you walk in like you’re seeing old friends. The portions are more than ample — actually quite large —  and the prices fair.

See you there because I will definitely be a regular.

gold accents

Ropers Musings GOld Accents1. This golden Swell water bottle is one I wouldn’t mind carrying around with me all day. 17 oz. $42 from Anthropologie  |  2. I covet this little purse by A-esque. It works as a clutch but also has an ingenious hidden strap that turns it into a cross body with nearly no effort. It is honestly the perfect bag for daytime or evening. Apprx US$ 300 with free shipping  |  Because everyday items should be beautiful. Brass scissors by Hay available at The Line. $16  |  4. A little flirty fun for the upcoming summer months. Fringe sandal by JCrew  $118