Work...Life...Balance: Note To Self


work, life, balance
I can honestly say I'm not sure what that is

my work_ life_ balance is like a teeter totter

fast some weeks, slow and methodical others

some days soaring like a kite and other days like watching paint dry

mostly my life is just crazy
not in a bad way
just a...
 chase your tail like a crazy beagle sort of way

and  sometimes....when I wake up in the morning I'm not sure which city I'm in

I have now moved again...yes seriously...again
which is probably why I haven't blogged that much and should probably work for Bekins Movers.

Unfortunately I know exactly how many medium sized boxes I will need to pack up my kitchen,
which is an odd talent, unless as I said,  your are a professional mover
 but anyway...

lets do the moving math shall we:

(1) I sold and moved from my "dream home" in 2011 into a nice condo (2) while we were renovating another  property (3) we owned in Ojai

After about a year later, our lease is up in the condo so we (4) decide to move to Ojai
and give it a go there full time
We actually owned the Ojai ranchette for about 5 years but lived there full time for only 2 years
My husband was commuting all over the US but had an office in Pasadena so guess what? 
we sold the Ojai house in 2013 and rented an uber modern condo (5) in Old Town Pasadena
right on Colorado Blvd
(talk about country/city vertigo...whew what a change)

After just one...yes one month in the condo,  we purchase a little Spanish house in Santa Barbara(6)
and now drive back forth to Santa Barbara every weekend from Pasadena

 Our lease is now up in our spacious Pasadena condo so we move to another apartment (7)
much too, what was I thinking small
(a terrible idea, but I gave it a shot)
because we seriously wanted to spend more time in Santa Barbara and start renovating

are you still with me? were at 7 houses since 2011
and just in case you forgot...I keep selling everything I own every time we move ; /
which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it

OK so here we are with a cute house in Santa Barbara, that needs major work and a way to small apartment in what do we do?

what else
we accept a new business opportunity
and move to Palo Alto (8) in the San Francisco bay area
I kid you not
here we are

Living in face book land, with hipsters,
tech junkies and Stanford grads
and a lot of other really nice people
who don't have anything to do with any of that stuff

sound like fun?

well yes...sort of...but it's also scary.
So here is what I have learned in the last few years and
why change can be a very good thing

Change forces you to do things and face challenges whether or not you really want to

Change demands that you stay interested:
in life, new ideas
and respect and listen to the perspective and opinions of new people, in new places

 Change allows you to explore:
new cities, new restaurants, new running trails, new neighbors, new farmers markets
and new antique stores (just ❤︎saying)

 Change makes you take risks:
Can you survive?....yes you can and remind yourself it really is all about the journey
and this is your story to embrace
and to write
as you live it,
melt downs included

 Change enables you to let go;
letting go of stuff, of repetition, letting go of narrow minded thinking
and saying goodbye to negativity

 Change is about finding perspective:
open mind, open heart, open road
relishing the beauty of every new day, rain or shine

 Change is about living with just enough:
what ever your "enough" is,
challenge yourself to find that balance and really enjoy your half full glass of sweet tea
because your life is yours alone and it is far more perfect than you probably know

 Change is what is supposed to happen: whether or not at the time
it seems right and wonderful
 just downright unfair and wrong

Its the catalyst for opportunity and growth at any age

 I have a huge amount of respect for the challenges of change and have had more than my share of doubt and drama
but change can be healthy....and oddly enough although this is not what I had planned
my glass is almost always half full and my story is still being written
melt downs and all
ps....we still own the little Spanish house in Santa Barbara ; )
and I promise not to sell it (and all of the furniture) until its finished

to be continued

  1. wow !! Omgosh !!! I am worn out just reading that...good luck on your new move !

    1. Thank you Linda...I did forget to add that work_life_balance and lots of change usually involves either coffee or wine or cheesecake : )

  2. How wonderful! I love change! I can't wait to hear about your new venture and how you will nest your newest home!

    1. Oh Stacy!!! You are a great source of optimism, which must come from that green thumb of yours. I will do my best to share a bit more. Hope you are enjoying spring and have gotten that awesome garden of yours planted. xo kelley

  3. I pop on your site all the time to look at the gorgeous pictures and see how renovations are going and now I know why you have been absent, my head is spinning from reading about your many moves, but am quite happy for you (and just a little jealous). We have been in our house in San Diego for 20 years (which is wonderful) but the most exciting part was a 6-month stint in Beijing and a 2-month stint in London (for my husband's work) -- it is amazing what change does for one's perspective! I think you will take the Bay Area by storm - best of luck to you in your new city. Glass should always be half full ;-)

    1. Wow Lori what a wonderful opportunity for you. I bet you have some amazing stories to share . I do think moving and exploring gives one a new appreciation for what life is really about.
      Thanks for the encouragement....clink clink with our glasses ; )

  4. Hahaha I know what you mean about not being sure what city you are in when you wake up, specially when you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night! I'm the reader that has a place in Summerland and loved your garden. I also happen to live in the Bay Area (not far from PA). My husband would drive south every weekend if it were up him (alternating with ski trips, Spain, etc). I love Summerland but the 5 hr drive wears me out. Maybe we can commute some time ;) anyhow, welcome to the Bay Area!

    1. Of course I remember you! Love Summerland! Yea the drive is a grind but I really love that stretch of road through California. It sounds like your husband is a bundle of energy, but your really lucky in that regard. And yes I understand the confusing bathroom thing...tooo funny.

  5. I totally get what you mean about the power of change. You summed up my experience perfectly. Good luck to you, i know you'll bring your brand of beauty and energy wherever you go.

    1. Thank you glad you get it too. xo

  6. Wow Kelley! I was just thinking about you the other day cuz I always look forward to your posts. I figured you had a major project since you hadn't written. I try so hard to blog but time slips away. Instagram seems to be the easiest post these days cuz of time.
    I'm a mover too and so I completely understand all your house moves!!
    My current client is one of those Stanford grads and he and his wife lived there awhile but are now moving back to Austin. It's a great city and I adore Sausalito.
    I look so forward to hearing about your new chapter and wish y'all only the best!!

    1. Hey Jeanette! I know you have moved a ton too but your homes just keep getting better and better. Palo Alto is not for everyone. While it is the quintessential bay area city it is very expensive and there is very little available to either purchase or rent. If I was just starting out I would pick Austin too....; ))

  7. Well, you get points for facing challenges and flexibility. Remember when you said that you wanted to give up the blog because it was too much? Don't worry about us. Perhaps you just can't stop and enjoy what you have created. Maybe for you it is the process. Did you know that Martha Stewart made a book out of every thing she did? You should make a book about the Ojai house and the garden. That place was magnificent. You don't have to PERFECT every place you live. Unless you want to. I'm still dreaming about your first house and that beautiful laundry room. How about some posts on sourcing and hunting for items in every new place you go. And some on how to change your style? You seem to adapt and hit the nail on the head with every new project, and never repeat your approach. I love it. Take about your process. Why the obvious lamp is not the right one, why the one with a contrasting texture or unusual color is the best. Good luck, again.

    1. Thank you for the inspiration! I actually just started thinking about how to work with a rental or temporary house and how you can make it really unique. I agree about "perfect" homes. It is much more interesting and real to show the challenges of owning and creating a home. But I guess no one wants to see my laundry all over the floor : ))) or my kitchen full of crazy grimy pans. xo Kelley

  8. I am always so excited to see your post in my mailbox and on Instagram and I cannot tell you how timely this post is for me. I was driving to work and literally making myself sick thinking about what my day is going to be like. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to have a job, especially since my husband is in the oil business and things are a bit dicey right now. However, what I am doing is not what I want to be doing at this stage of my life. My husband and daughter have been encouraging me for years to make a change but fear has kept me from doing so. At 54 it is frightening to step out of my comfort zone but I am going to at least try! hahaha I am very excited to see your new house. We moved from OKC to Milbrae, Calif when I was 11 and then back to OKC when I was 15. I wish I had been old enough to appreciate Northern California. I am looking forward to seeing your new house!

    1. Hi Angie, hang in there girl! I really don't think age is what matters and 54 is YOUNG! I know so many younger people who are really inflexible and can't seem to be openminded. What will they be like 10 years from now when things don't look like they thought they would.

      I really believe that if you can conquer the fear of change anything is possible. One thing that has really saved me lately has been exercise. Oh and some wine too : )))

  9. Kelley,
    You are probably qualified at this point to work for Bekins as a moving consultant. :-)

    Most of all, I absolutely love "the list" on change and truly believe it's something that all of us need to embrace. Being open to change keeps us young!
    Have fun in Palo Alto, I love the region. Maybe you're close enough to visit Mary Ann [classic, casual, home] in the city! She still has her home on Lido Isle!

    1. Yes Karen I am a packing expert. LOL ; ) I know May Ann is near by and so is Cindy H so we are definitely going to get together. I lived on Lido Isle for years but don't know if I ever told May Ann that. Small world.
      Oh and if change keeps us young I will hopefully quit buying all that $$$$ face product ; ))

      xo kelley

  10. Hmmm, kinda jealous. I spent my first 37 years living in the same town I was born, moved to Texas, spent 10 years there and now back to my same hometowm, in the same neighborhood I grew up in--renovating the house my parents lived in!! Yikes! have a bit of the wanderlust but, my husband is a slow-moving Okie, who needs years to think through change. lol.....So, although it sounds a little crazy, it kinda sounds wonderful and I love following your many adventures. :)

    1. Hi again Lori! Wow what an interesting way to end up renovating. It's probably hard to make decisions. Interesting that many of my husbands colleagues whom have been asked to relocate for various new assignments all have the same line..."my wife won't move" It may be that the guys are more stuck than the women are.

      xo Kelley ; ))

  11. Wow.....I totally get it‼️ My husband was a professional athlete for years and we moved continuously even when we did not want to. Living out of boxes and carting little kids around, while living 3000 miles from "home" and family and familiarity. My husband could be traded one day to another team and had to leave and I was left with the move. But....though hard and challenging, I went from being a shy, self-conscious anxious young girl to a more independent young woman who had to do surprising things. Life is challenging....and we grow. When my husband retired from that career....that was a different Change‼️
    I've followed your lovely blog since you lived in CDM and have coveted your style ever since. Would L🌸VE to be on the buying end of your sales💕

    1. Hey Teri.... You summed it up exactly: life is challenging and we do indeed grow. thank you for following me for so long
      sending love your way xo kelley

  12. That was a good article. I needed to hear about change today. I always look forward to your news.

  13. OMG you are an hour and 1/2 away from me! You have to come visit! I drive by you on my way to the design center! Wow you ended up smack dab in the hottest real estate market in the country! I applaud you. I am still trying to pry my husband away from the country! I am copying and pasting your post and sending it to him!!

  14. Hey Kelley....I thought I was crazy...moving 7 times since 2010. Have now just moved to Mpls from Raleigh. We are both crazy but I love the challenge of starting over (kinda) and redoing another house. Since my daughter lives and works in S Fran maybe we can get together at some point! Was there for a photoshoot last Aug and maybe going back for another. Keep in touch and Even if you are tired of moving... I know you are having the time of your life!

    1. I know you have moved so much too Bonnie! We will get together soon for have my number ;)))

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  16. Oh Kelley, I hear you! Change is so exciting. I am now 7 months living in Japan for a 2-3 year expat assignment. I have been exploring everywhere. Our big house in California is waiting for us to return, but I'm curious how it will feel to be back. I certainly don't need the big house and all the stuff. We're in a 1300 sq ft apartment in the city here. Which is large for Japan, actually. Your list is spot on. I'm anxious to see what you end up doing on your new adventure.

    1. How amazing Japan?!!! jealous doesn't even begin to describe it. What an experience of a lifetime. 1300 sq ft doesn't sound all that small actually. Just think of it as a bento box to live in!

  17. This brought tears to my eyes as I feel it so personally... " Change is about living with just enough:
    what ever your "enough" is,challenge yourself to find that balance and really enjoy your half full glass of sweet teabecause your life is yours alone and it is far more perfect than you probably know"

    Anyway....YAY!!! I am just up the road in SF...and you have to come over for lunch--see our view on a pretty day like today (and how much I have downsized)...we will get some other pals, too. I have lived on both coasts (several different times) and Chicago and Paris... and my tea glass is half full :)

    1. Yes to all of the above! We will get together ASAP! Cant wait to see your view : ))) Forgot to mention that I don't have a car here during the day! I know crazy right. I take Uber, rent zip cars and have learned to walk like a crazy lady with lots of bags and my pull along totes. I'm seriously laughing as I just wrote that ; )) cause it's just weird. xo

  18. Having lived in one house for over 22 years, your life sounds so exciting!! Good luck in SF - can't wait to see what you do there in your new place!!! And so jealous of you and Cindy and Mary Anne hanging out!!! Sounds like such fun.

    1. Wow Joni, thats a long stay in just one house but thats probably why it is so pretty and so full of all your special things. ( not to mention all the stuff in your garage LOL) It will be fun to get all us crazy girls together but it will be like herding cats to accomplish it. I have all the faith the world in Cindy ; )) the consummate hostess! xo

  19. This was a good read and I had no idea you had moved so many times! I'm not moving to SF but my son is... so I will be there in July to visit him. I want in on the bloggers lunch :)

  20. This was a good read and I had no idea you had moved so many times! I'm not moving to SF but my son is... so I will be there in July to visit him. I want in on the bloggers lunch :)


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