We recently enjoyed our first outdoor dinner party of the season with perfect California weather!  Getting the garden and patio back into shape from Winter is always a daunting task, especially when it seems like every leaf from every tree from miles around has decided to land in your backyard.
 Along with all the dirt.

Pat Austin

Glamis Castle

  Gertrude Jekyll

We did manage to get things spruced up and were rewarded with lovely blooming roses, green trees, and most of the potted plants and flowers coming back and filling in nicely.

Once we got the patio hosed off, the fountain cleaned, the furniture spruced up, the dirt back in the beds where it belonged and the leaves into the trash - it was beautiful.
Add a little candlelight, a little music and some good food and friends....it was worth the effort.

We did have a couple of fatalities...had to replace a couple of chairs that went to that big patio in the sky... but found absolutely fabulous all weather wicker at Pier 1.  

Found a couple of others I'm keeping my eye on for later, too.  :)

Here is my table all ready for guests -
Found the adorable placemats at Pier 1  (oh, NOW they go on sale!...)
and the ruffly ones, too
the plates are Mikasa - I've had them for a while...
 the lemons are from the garden
 the roses - are home grown :)
 Bibi Mazoon
Graham Thomas

I feel so much better now that its clean and ready to entertain!

Time for answers to a question or two....

Hello, attached are pictures of my living and dining room. 
Dining room is narrow and long and living room is the same way.

 I have a limestone fireplace and when I pick a wall color I will find a rug to match.  

 Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm very indecisive. 

Hi Kim!   I see from the samples on your wall that you are toying with some warm neutrals - in the gold/beige family.  If you are open to other colors, I would suggest a cooler tone.  Warm colors tend to come toward you, making a room seem smaller and cozier.  Since you already have long narrow rooms, I would avoid making them seem to close in on you.   With your warm toned floors, brown furniture and olive green curtains, here are a few wall color suggestions:
Benjamin Moore NIGHTINGALE
Benjamin Moore HEALING ALOE

Benjamin Moore (BLEEKER BEIGE)
Benjamin Moore PASHMINA
Benjamin Moore RAINY SEASON

 And if you still crave a warmer gold tone, Manchester Tan has a warmer undertone, but still stays more in the background.

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