Monday, May 25, 2015

Why I Love My Characters

Do you know why I love the characters in my books so much? Because they're honest. They value their relationships in their lives and aren't consumed by selfish desires. They have no social media accounts, never watch TV, aren't glued to their phones, and they're never without someone they love. Are they perfect? Of course not. Even in fiction, no one is without their mistakes and their flaws. But my characters forgive, come clean of their mild discretions, and admit to their mistakes. It's as if they're indestructible and incapable of being tarnished by the outside world. There is no hate and ridicule in their lives because they refuse to live that way. They live their fictitious lives through love and the understanding that not even the rest of the day is promised. I can't make them come to life in reality, but I can share them so they live through my readers.  It makes me wish they were real so that I could spend more time with them. Until then, I will continue to write their stories and welcome them into my life. I work on their stories everyday until I release them to the world.

Why do you love your favorite characters?

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Architecture and Design Week has come to a close!

This is our final day, I am sad to say; but I still have four great homes left for you to see. For the final day, we are looking at tiny homes and sustainable living to cap this fabulous week!

House #1

The FabCab tiny house kit will get you started living well within your means and help you dramatically lower your carbon footprint.

     When you are living small you have to be creative with your space while still giving you the functionality that you need like storage and office space. This is typically how many people with tiny homes organize their workspace and belongings, usually with a loft bed on top also.

     As you see in the initial photo, tiny homes are often on a small plot of leased or purchased land, but they still need basic ways to get their electrical needs and other utilities. An inexpensive way to do that is to reuse old soda cans for a DIY soda can solar panel for heating and cooling, naturally.

     Tiny home living is primarily about saving a lot of money and living more meaningfully without clutter in your life; but also having a bigger impact to the planet. This is one way to do that.

House #2

     This cute little bungalow is my style. It has a great little pool and garden all around. The plot is small but cozy and extremely private. I love the back patio, the style of the home, and everything else about it.

     Just because you live small with few things in your life doesn't mean you don't have some nice things like clothes. Even in a tiny home, you need a decent place to store your wardrobe that doesn't hog the square footage.

     You saw the gorgeous backyard to the home and what the benefits are to having more of your land to do what you want with. Instead of piling your life with material things and clutter, this type of living shows you what you are missing in a big home with no garden space and outdoor appreciation. This is simple living and it's breathtaking.

House #3

     If you are more of an Earth Mother type, this natural dirt and log home will make you happy.

     This is the ultimate hippie paradise! It is green living at its finest, using sustainable and reclaimed materials. In this home, nothing is wasted, and all of the wood is used and recycled.

     It is amazing what very few materials can do but you'll notice not only is wood great for flooring, it makes a stunning ceiling. This home is a true natural splendor with cork fiber wall paper, unfinished window framing, recycled iron light fixtures, and organic cotton bedding. This room is amazing and it has done a lot with its limited space.

     When you are trying to live green, you don't want to waste water on keeping a pool or having extensive landscaping. A better alternative is recycling old pallets into handmade furniture that brightens up the yard and provides you the best seat in your yard to love the natural surroundings.

     Being green means living off of the land. This means building a chicken coop for fresh eggs and using rain barrels to conserve water to harvest the power of the clouds. Nature does provide everything we need, we just need to know how to use it.

House #4

     If you want a little more style to your green home, perhaps you might enjoy the Cal Earth Eco Dome. It is earthquake and fire proof so there is also a greater peace of mind with this home.
An eco-living home isn't complete without a DIY home furnace from reused materials and a conservation-friendly design that doesn't require all of the electricity usage of a normal home. The sun has what you need to regulate the temperature in your Eco Dome home.
     Now, you may not want an energy sucking, expensive home to run all year but that doesn't mean you don't want some of the benefits of traditional living. Even an eco-friendly home needs a cozy patio courtyard for listening to nature and admiring the stars.
     It has been a fabulous week with everyone and going through this has been truly fun; especially as I go through the home buying process myself at this time. Thank you all and keep checking back for Indie Author week, spotlighting up and coming children's authors with great books and reviews for you to check you. Thanks for stopping by!

Architecture and Design #4

          Architecture and Design week is almost over but we're not done yet!

House #1
     This Studio City modern design by Keven Stirdivant is unique in many ways. The front door is joined by a walking bridge crossing onto the top of a three car garage on a sloping lot. The top of the garage becomes usable space on a fantastic deck, overlooking Los Angeles and all of the beauty of Southern California. The left side of the photo is the stunning pool deck with surrounding miniature golf course and beautiful landscaping. The structure is elegant but nothing is over the top. All aspects of this house have function as well as style.

     I love this interior. It is just as unique has the exterior snapshot with a little more glamor and sophistication but nothing that takes away from the intelligent design of the home. The wall coverings and light fixtures are fabulous, and I love the side paneling on the walls. For everyday living, you might drop the side frames around the fixtures, but overall it's a gorgeous house.
     This is a shot from this year's Modernism Week in Palm Springs, CA. This particular piece is in Joshua Tree, CA. This type of outdoor design and unique art goes hand in hand with the exterior architecture of the home and the style. It's a fabulous and a very similar design is usable as a back patio or gazebo area.

House #2

     Also from Modernism Week, this Shields Residential is a Palm Springs Mid Century Modern design. It is a stunning piece of property in one of the most beautiful cities in California.
     Initially I had a different master bath design but then I realized this design idea gives continuity to the architecture from the exterior to the interior. The modern design is still true to the home and the Southern California lifestyle; and the round mirror just stands out. Excellent design pieces like this don't need intricate moldings or décor pieces.
     I also had a different pick for the backyard but it just didn't fit the home at all. This backyard however does. The landscaping and palm trees in the background are exactly what a typical pool area and surrounding greenery would like in Palm Springs for this price range and architectural style. It blends perfectly with no fancy decks or anything else. The backyard streamlines to the city all around. It's still simple because there are no huge waterfall rock formations or waterslides, or fancy patio chairs. This works with the home and the area.

House #3

     I was going to do another New York City townhome as a more cozy abode but this house is so grand and more fun to work with; so I chose it to be the final home of the day. The growing greenery all over the home takes you away from city life and gives a calmer ambiance. The black and white architecture color pallet gives the home the ability to bask in its true glory as a grand home with an East Coast feel, or Hollywood Hills essence. It's a more simple structure than many mansions these days but it doesn't need to be anything else than what it is. It's already perfect in my opinion.

     Naturally a home all white on the outside would be all white on the inside with East Coast charm and design. The floors give all the color you need, and again, the touch of greenery makes it a home. Look at all of the natural light coming in. The light fixtures are elegant as well but they're not ostentatious. The home has its own splendor so you don't need expensive chandeliers or elaborate cabinetry.

     The first picture already shows what the pool area and backyard has to offer but a home that is on the East Coast, especially like Connecticut or New York, should have all year around swimming. The winter is no place for an outdoor swim in the Northeast but when you have money for a home like this one while raising a family, you have money to keep them entertained all year long with an indoor swim park. Why not?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Architecure and Design, #3

House #1:

This white modern house uses its surroundings to make it a home and sell its features. It's white and square at first sight with few windows; but when you look around, you see the ocean views a hundred feet away. This is very similar to a home we saw in Cabo San Lucas in April.

The inside, is just as simple and white.
The idea behind homes like this, is allowing the clean lines and minimalistic design to further showcase the ocean surroundings. This office space uses black furniture to stand out and create the room, rather than a coat of paint or fancy décor. Notice how the light seems triple to that of a normal room and it appears quite large.
Would you expect the closet to be anything less? Homeowners who like minimal design, tend to carry over those "less is more" feelings toward stuff in general, including wardrobe.
This is where the house stands out and turns into a home. The tropical surroundings and outdoor space are what make this home so incredible and allow you to appreciate what it's architecture and design are all about.

House #2

Are you a multimillionaire? Great! This is the home for you.
This $2.35 million home has three levels, a huge pool in the back as shown above, tropical landscaping all around, and plenty of colored rock to add to its pizazz.
Fancy homes have several fancy living rooms, many never used, that add to its splendor; think the Grayson Manor, from Revenge.
Over the top people buy over the top homes and furnish it with over the top things, like Louis Vuitton bedding. Why not, right?

House #3

Not everyone can appreciate country living, but when the home and lot is as beautiful as this one, many would reconsider. The back porch wraps around half the house, looking out into the greenery all around. The landscape in the front yard consists of just a few small shrubs. When your yard is the forest, what else do you need?
On the inside, there is a little more luxury to be had in this updated kitchen with a nice chandelier, painted cabinetry, and spacious floor plan. The dark wood floors have been restored but the home still retains its original charm.

The only thing that might make this yard of forestry a little more charming and beautiful, is a nice garden guest cottage for your guests to have their own small abode to sit out and enjoy nature all around during their visit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Architecture Week continues...

House 1:

This house is a beautiful blend of modern design and country living. The home isn't on a plain, square concrete slab with pretentious deck furniture or featuring a gleaming pool deck. It's a clean structure with excellent natural color appeal and lovely greenery all around. This is why I chose the interior shot to match with it because the Earth tones continue through the interior, with clean lines and natural elements, but again there is nothing pretentious here. This home has less of city feel to me, and more of a cozy abode outside the loud traffic and obtrusive skyscrapers.
I chose this pool to add for the backyard because it is still simple and elegant without a flashy deck structure or fancy pool chairs everywhere. This to me adds to the calm ambiance of relaxation and gorgeous living without needing to brag. I think I would add some dark rock around the perimeter to better match the color scheme of the home, but that's it. This place does not need any fancy landscaping, tall palm trees, or anything else.

House #2

This house has obvious charm as does the immaculate lot. Look at the lush landscaping all around, and the pathway up to the front door! Walking up those steps everyday would transform any bad day into a good one and my down time would be reading a book on a bench amongst the flowers and sunshine.
A lovely home and garden need a lovely interior and kitchen to match so why not this one? The windows look right onto the wonderful landscape all around for a view worth cooking for. The lanterns just add character to the home and there is nothing in this home that is trying to prove anything. It's fabulous the way it is. You don't need elaborate counter stones or dark cabinetry; plain white cabinets and ivory tops make it feel even more spacious and accent the charm of the exterior.
That's why this pool fits in so perfectly. The landscape welcomes the natural stone and still water. This is an elegant pond in an elegant garden with nothing ostentatious to take away from it. That's the way a home should be.
House #3

For the last home of the day, I threw in a fancy New York City high rise with out of this world views.
This huge condo has the upscale amenities and city views with a multimillion dollar price tag attached. You can't deny what's right outside your window though.

It's a dream penthouse for most people and so it's expected to have huge rooms like this one and a terrace just as nice. If you have the money and desire for a view from the top, this is perfect. I would change the flooring to a different wood, but still keep it light. I could not be unhappy walking through this home of natural light, sunny color scheme, and terrace to walk out onto. Could you?

When you are 30 stories up above the New York City streets, you certainly do not expect to have a yard but you do anticipate a walk in closet much like this one. A stunning penthouse condo wouldn't be complete without one. I don't personally own a thousand pieces of Chanel, but someone who owns this home, most likely would and keep it like this.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Architectual Design Week!

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In celebration of beautiful architectural and interior design, I have decided to dedicate this week's blogging to coincide with Palms Springs Modernism Week. #PSModSquad has taken over the California desert and Instagram with user shots inside fabulous homes from modern home tours for the event showcased in Palm Springs until Feb. 22.

Modern homes with vibrant colors aren't my desired style in a home but some designers know how to make it work. I have compiled some gorgeous homes from Instagram and Pinterest, along with different backyards and interiors to spotlight stunning home combinations. I take great homes and mashed various details together to create visual alternatives of home and interior design. The combinations aren't actual components of the rest of the home, but they would certainly work. It's all about custom fitting a home your way.

Up first: Casa Equis, Peru

This is a stunning modern home with natural elements, like the wood siding and patio flooring, leading to a direct ocean view. A home like this brings in natural light all around and of course is surrounded by nature itself. With modern architecture design homes, you don't need a plethora of potted plants and patio furniture all over the deck; less is more. The clean, squared lines and the design of the home itself, are the décor. 

This isn't the actual bathroom inside the home but it is a compatible design if you were designing a similar home for yourself or remodeling after some of its details.
It's small, minimalistic, yet elegant, and also takes advantage of the ocean views and bright sunlight common at the beach.

For the back deck, obviously the wood must be darker to match but a similar design of wood, unobtrusive railing, and possibly a small hot tub on the rear deck, finish out the structure of the house. Beachfront properties are homes with two faces. The back is the rear from the street but the front to the beach and also where occupants will spend a lot of time, so the back porch view needs to be equally amazing as the front. Implement the two tone wood and bigger, non-sided windows, you'll have a uniformed look of awe, from front to back, tying in the three images together. I like the Jacuzzi idea for cold, winter nights under the stars, listening to the waves crashing the shore.

House #2:
 Private Villa, Dubai
This Giuseppe Colosimo modern home boasts stunning architectural style. The two story chocolate brown squared arch frame in the back of the home adds beautiful color and sophistication to the home. Notice the pool area color design as well as the pool tile itself. It's a touch of class and smoother surface than basic concrete that most middle class homes use.

This is one spacious master bath! The predominately white room adds the illusion of space and minimalistic flair. The basic color allows the marble tub and stainless steel attributes to stand out. The straight edges and minimal décor make it modern and showcase true design.

This back patio lounge area complements the brown square archway coming out to the pool, and it's perfect for the cooler nights or after a swim. Off to the side of the pool lounge, this area brings in color and ambiance. I love the glass balcony on the second level to keep in tone with the architecture of the home to tie in this sophisticated lounge to the rest of the property; and it's divine for entertaining.

House #3

Karl Beath©
This home has a modern pool has you can see and the large stepping platforms to it are amazing. I love the pool within a pool idea. I love the iron trellis doors on the balcony upper level. Their stylish, functional attribution to the home is unique and so essential to the home's design. When open, they provide ample open space and great access to the outside. Without them, the house is very plain and quite ugly, to be honest.
Step inside to the elegant staircase to match the beautiful sliding doors on the wraparound balcony. This staircase is elegant. Again, it makes the home on the inside as well. Without it, the interior is simple and boring.

The home clearly has a pool already but this pool deck and surrounding landscape would finish off the look for the back of the home. This picture is from a home in Malibu, hence the palm trees in the distance; but a little landscaping anywhere brings a touch of beauty and separation from the world. Palm trees always bring a smile to my face because they remind me of the beach while I lounge around, even if I'm not at the beach.