Domestic God(ish), Recipes

Bread Bowl Spinach Dip | domestic god(ish)

low fat spinach dip, New Year Day Recipe, cecy j A friend of mine has made this amazing Spinach Dip for years and I always make her bring it over for casual parties.  It’s perfect for a lazy New Years Day, watching football.  Knorr actually has a similar recipe on their website but I prefer my friend’s recipe…  It does not use onions, is low fat (believe it or not), and tastes better.



1 Sourdough Round

1 package frozen spinach drained and defrosted

1 cup Light Mayonnaise

1 cup Light Sour Cream

1/2 Package Knorr vegetable soup mix

8 oz Sliced Water Chestnuts



Defrost and drain spinach

Slice off the top of the sourdough bread. Cut the bread out of the round making a bowl.  Cut the bread chunks into pieces for dipping.

Mix together the spinach, light Mayonnaise, light Sour Cream, Vegetable Soup Mix and Water Chestnuts.

Fill the bread bowl with the Dip and serve.


photo sourced here

Decor, Dining, Foyers

beautiful in black | decor

stairwell decor paint cecyj

photo wall, decor, dining room cecy j  art

black cabinets, kitchen, pendant lighting cecyj

dining room cecy j, Lonny Magazine, lighting

living room, chic mirror, round coffee table cecyj

white chic bedroom, fireplace in bedroom, bedroom sconces cecyj

office, black paint, cowhide rug, Lonny Magazine cecyj bookcases

While enjoying the Lonny Magazine’s holiday issue last night, I was completely taken with the featured oceanside residence in the suburbs outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

Renovated by architect Mikael Mammen, the home is simple and modern with a beautiful focus on shades of black.

Check out Lonny’s holiday gift guide and more great decor tips,

Domestic God(ish), Gift Guides

winter glow | domestic god(ish)

winter dry skin solutions cecyj

I love to discover new facial products and winter is that time of year when tired, dry skin needs to get “Holiday Party ready.”  Loving all the products above for just that… a little winter “glow.”

Cellnique Seaweed Cleansing Gel.  Awesome cleanser for a fresh and pretty face.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.  A very non-traditional makeup remover.  It feels so good on the skin and removes dirt, excess oil, and worked like a breeze on waterproof mascara.  It has Olive Oil and vitamin E so I even put a little on my face at night while on a trip and forgot face lotion.

3 Lab “M” Cream.  Pure magic!  My new La Mer… This stuff should be called “glow cream.”

I’ve gone back to basics with my lip balm.  When was the last time your bought good old Chapstick?  I’ve got Chapstick (original) by my bedside these days.  Smells like my childhood.

Decor, Dining, Kitchens

SB Design House – Kitchen Designer Interview

Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Do you remember the post about the Santa Barbara Design House family room + kitchen designed by none other than Mary McDonald?  Well, I had the pleasure of meeting the kitchen (and bath) designer who brought it all to life…

Charlie Rutledge business is to build great spaces and, I think you will agree, he is good at his craft.  Charlie is a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and a Certified Bathroom Designer (CBD) and he graciously let me pepper him with questions about kitchen design.  He even provided us with the floor plan (below) of the Santa Barbara Design House kitchen!

Thank you Charlie, such a pleasure speaking with you.


Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator The floor plan (link to plan below) for the Santa Barbara Design House seems to invite casual entertaining and living.  Tell me how you approached this project?


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator I always start with the big picture and function.  This property is made for entertaining and large parties, but it also needs to work well for daily life.  I wanted both the residents and the caterers to find it very easy to use!

Incorporating the client’s wish list is one of my top priorities as a designer.  So the first challenge was to get two full size sinks and all the appliances needed for large groups, (two dishwashers, a full refrigerator, full freezer, and seven others) and still create great function.  This was achieved by putting things where they make sense for cooking, clean up, and storage for those using it daily.  And not wasting an inch of space was also important. For example, the posts on each side of the range pull out with storage for spices and oils, and the columns on the sides of the refrigerator are working cabinets as well.

The next challenge was to make a grand visual statement worthy of a design house and yet, as you said, invite casual entertaining.  Visually I did this by creating balanced focal points, using formal details in the cabinetry and trim, but softening that formality with the “worn” finishes.  Functionally I did this with careful use of zones.  That is, by giving the cook and the guest both a place so they are together but not in each other’s way.   The prep and clean up zones are open to, but distinct from, the seating/serving side of the island.  Also, by having the refrigerator and the second sink at the “edges” of the kitchen, both parties can use them without crossing paths.  So when everyone has a comfortable place to be, it is naturally inviting and feels more casual.

Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator I love that you put the sink on the island.  Is this a new trend?  Tell me why it works.


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator Including a second sink and putting one of them in the island has been popular ever since we got past the “triangle” to “zones”.  If the main sink is at a window, I usually include a medium size prep sink on the island.  It is especially important in a larger kitchen where the fridge is in a different zone than the clean up sink.  I do try to keep the cook top and ventilation off the island as it is not as friendly as the sink for seating, entertaining, and the projects for which the island can be so useful.

Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald CecyJ

Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald  CecyJ

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator 5 things every homeowner should ask themselves before starting a kitchen remodel?


1.  Why do I want to remodel?  Again this seems obvious, but if you list all the reasons, the end result could be so much better.  If the primary reason is to improve the look, you may not think about the other issues you could improve, like those dead corners.  Likewise your focus might be getting more storage, but when you consider everything you realize you don’t like the appliance locations.

2.  Do I need a professional to design or build my project?  Be realistic, you may have a sense that you know exactly what your kitchen needs, but having someone who has designed and built a couple hundred kitchens help you might save you from your own ideas!

3.  What do I like about my current kitchen?  You don’t want to get all done and realize you miss the junk drawer!

4.  What does not work for you in the current kitchen?  Seems obvious, but really think it through.  You may be frustrated every time you load the dishwasher, but why?

5.  When costs become a deciding factor, what are my priorities?  You may be able to gut the room and move walls to achieve your dream kitchen, but if your budget only allows for a partial remodel, make sure it is the right part.  A good professional will help you evaluate options and get the most out of every penny.


Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald

cecy j #1 mistake homeowners make when starting a kitchen remodel?


Getting the process out of order, therefore going in circles.  Cost will eventually play a role in the scope of the project and your material choices.  If you establish the scope and estimated cost at the beginning, you will be able to make each choice knowing how it fits.  Even if you choose to blow the budget, you know by how much!


cecy jWhat paint process do you recommend for cabinets to prevent chipping?


If you are using new cabinets, there is nothing better than the pigmented conversion varnish that can only be applied in the factory.  If you are painting existing cabinets, you need to spend the time or money to do significant prep before the color coat.  The needed prep will depend on the overall condition of the existing finish, type of wood, and what you want the final look to be.  Any time you paint over another finish it will be more prone to chipping than a quality process on new wood.


cecy jSo…. are prefab kitchen cabinets for a budget remodel ever an option?


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator Sure, but it is good not to assume anything.  An experienced kitchen designer can help you get the most out of your budget by evaluating various types of cabinets.  Also, the cabinets that are often considered “prefab” are built to order and often higher quality than local shop “custom” cabinets.  I built custom cabinets 25 years ago, but turned to designing with national brand cabinets because I could offer more for the money, often just as custom as the local shop.

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator What are some tips for optimizing space in a small kitchen?


1. If you have corners evaluate design options carefully and don’t waste that space.

2. Don’t be tempted to oversize your appliances.  A counter depth fridge may not have quite as many cubic feet, but one that juts out 10 or more inches has ruined many a small kitchen.

3. Using a “frameless” cabinet gives you more space in the drawers, roll-out shelves, and other moving parts.

4. Favor design options that give you more counter space, even if it means less total storage.  You can optimize the smaller storage, but being short on elbowroom is just a bummer!

-Contact Charlie Rutledge’s at Showcase Kitchens and Baths-


Billie Magazine | periodical to love

billie magazine, Editor in Chief, Lili Diallo, Domino magazine CecyJ

A fresh new face in online magazines hit the scene today.  Billie!

It has an artistic vibe… think W Magazine but in the spirit of Domino’s decor focus.  The photography and staging have the organic look and feel of Kinfolk but the site functions more like a highbred blog than an online flip page magazine at launch.

I love the cool “Shop the Room” section and every category left me wanting more Billie.  Excited to see what else Editor in Chief, Lili Diallo (formerly a stylist for Domino magazine) has up her sleeve for us… exciting.