I am deeply, deeply envious of the other apartment dwellers in Los Angeles who are lucky enough to have their own, private balconies. When I walk Buddha around my ‘hood, my gaze is often pointed upward, sizing up the different styles of balconies up and down my block, imagining what plants I would pot to take advantage of the morning light on Balcony A, how I’d hang sheer, casbah-reminiscent privacy curtains on Balcony B, and whether string lights or votive candle sconces would be more suited to Balcony C. Like I said–DEEPLY envious…and sometimes, I feel as if these balcony-blessed folks don’t realize how good they have it. I see neglected topiaries, ashtrays overflowing with butts soggy and swollen from last week’s rain, outgrown children’s toys pushed to the farthest reaches of a family’s living space before they’re eventually tossed into a dumpster. There are millions of us crammed together here in Los Angeles, and these people are lucky enough to have their own little private patches of outdoor living space. Don’t they realize how good they’ve got it?! Pardon me….ahem…

Anyway, Apartment Therapy is hosting a little friendly competition (less like a contest than show-and-tell) throughout the month of June called My Great Outdoors Project, specifically for those people lucky enough to have their own, personal slice of world just outside their living room (or bedroom, or kitchen) window, and are making excellent use of such.

If you are one of these lucky folks, head on over to Apartment Therapy and join in on the action. Show off your stuff for those of us living vicariously through your 3rd floor balconies and garden level patios. I won’t say you *owe* it to us, but…

A couple of my favorites so far:

gorgeoux's london balcony

gorgeoux's london balcony

lisa's chicago condo balcony

lisa's chicago condo balcony

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I’m a terrible procrastinator. I wait til the last minute to do just about everything, especially when it comes to mailing stuff. I’ve been known to waste spend a fair amount of money overnighting packages that I could have sent off for much cheaper had I just gotten my act together in a timely fashion.

This impending Mother’s Day is no different. I slacked on Mama’s birthday back in January, so I have to be sure to make it up to her with a great M Day gift. This is probably the single time of year when I wish we lived in the same city, if for no other reason than to save on postage. I kid, I kid…

Mama loves homemade gifts, so I’m making her another volume of the infamous “Mommy Mix”–a tradition I unwittingly started several years ago when I made her first mix CD (another last minute “gift,” undoubtedly). She DEMANDS them every year. I’m also making her a little set of personalized stationary, employing my recently acquired (and still somewhat questionable) stamp making skills. And of course, there will be a card…

For the other well-meaning procrastinators out there, artist and designer Christa Baca is sharing a lovely, FREE card download on her website in celebration of mamas everywhere. Share the love.

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3464559598_42cd4c2091Unique Los Angeles is hosting an event this weekend loaded with lovely offerings from some of the most amazing designers, artists and merchants around LA.

I’d like to give a special shout out to Kiki Designs, a gorgeous line of jewelry designed by a Hawaiian artist who lives in LA. Kiki’s newest pieces will be unveiled at the event this weekend! You can find her at booth 114.

Kiki Designs

Kiki Designs

If you’re around town this weekend, you should definitely stop by. It’ll be a great chance to pick up some handmade goodies just in time for Mother’s Day, or whatever reason you may have… Tickets are $5 (children under 10 get in for free), but 50% of the ticket sales are going to local charities. Perusing handmade goodies + stimulating the economy + contributing to charitable orgs = time very well spent.