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Provence garden

So through which neighborhoods did I roam last week…?

The correct answer is Montecito in Santa Barbara County…

JFK and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned at the San Ysidro Ranch

in Montecito in 1953, today Saladino, Oprah have palaces there…

It was a brisk five hour drive from north of San Francisco’s

Golden Gate Bridge to the sunny lavender banked, cypress

edged, anduze urn adorned, Provence style Santa Barbara

garden path of Jermaine Chastain of French Kissed

Santa Barbara entry way

Where I was treated like a princess!

My husband was amazed…bemused…that relative strangers

can become best buds over a few months of blogging and that

Jermaine would open her home to me…

Paris Flea market finds

As soon as I straggled in after a bucolic odyssey down one of

California’s most scenic highways (101), dropped my son off to

stay with his cousin at UC Santa Barbara, which he’s considering

for college next year, and presented my bedraggled self at

her door, Jermaine made me feel at home….

Paris Flea Market

She pulled out chilled water in tall glass bottles,

threw together a salad and quiche for lunch and then whisked

me off to tour Santa Barbara. She gave me a choice between

antique stores and thrift….I chose the thrift. Anyone can

find a prize at an antique store…but to find treasure at

a thrift is high art.

Paris Flea Market

Jermaine’s concept for French Kissed is all about finding the frog

and with a kiss…turning it into a prince. Her eye tracks silver, gilding,

likes adding a touch of the natural world to rough it up a bit…

shabby chic DIY

Like this shell soap dish…

marrying the opulent with the natural world…

Embroidered slipcovers

I did a post on 18th Century Embroidered Vests here

so maybe that’s why I fell in love with Jermaine’s

Rough Lux Redux post here. She made these chair

back slips from a thrift shop comforter!!!

old silver

I actually won this give away from Jermaine last summer…

she’s irreverent about silver…mixes and matches…

French flea market sliver

We met Jermaine’s husband Steve for dinner at San Ysidro Ranch

where he indulged some blog talk on the outdoor dining patio

under a twinkling night sky… with hollowed out gourd lights

dangling overhead. See Jermaine’s Romantic Ranch here

Lavender fields

This is the entrance to San Ysidro ranch…

we pulled aside and Jermaine snapped this from the car…

After dinner we sat at her kitchen counter with laptops

open and peered into each other’s blog’s inner workings…

comparing notes and making plans…

Antique French day bed

Finally I was ensconced in her “guest wing” for the night…fragrant with

freshly picked wisteria…while the room’s owner sleeps in Paris…

This is just a corner of her daughter Bardot in Blue‘s room with a

charming toile upholstered settee in the sitting area…

A guest suite for a fellow blogger…

Provence lavender

Our visit was far too short but wholly wonderful…even down to the lavender

filled, golden bee topped memento to take home.  As a long time resident,

Jermaine knows the ins and outs of Santa Barbara and its environs from

the loftiest neighborhoods to the lowliest thrift store,  and has a long

list of haunts and hang outs to take me to…to be continued!!! And I’m

inspired to start working on my guest suite immediately!


My reader Marnie of Ciara Dolce here guessed Montecito first…
And psychic reader Home Before Dark guessed immediately I
was hanging out with Jermaine…