Thursday, August 14, 2014

#TBT Breaking the Band Rules

#TBT For those of you who didn't attend our wedding, here is the cover of our brochure/magazine we designed to go along with our rock n' roll wedding in Hollywood. October 10, 2009


Monday, July 21, 2014

Be still, my wine loving heart


 Be still, my wine loving heart
       In the Zone- by Tommie Vaughn

It is with great pleasure that I give you some exciting news, news that makes my wine loving heart skip a beat. A new highly anticipated destination joins the celebrated Urban Wine Trail in our beloved Santa Barbara’s downtown Funk Zone on July 10, 2014. The Santa Barbara Wine Collective will be the first communal tasting room in the already happening Anacapa Project area of the FZ, where visitors can taste and explore wines produced by a quartet of exceptional winemakers – Eric Railsback, Ernst Storm, Justin Willett and Dustin Wilson. 

The Santa Barbara Wine Collective, located at 131 Anacapa Street, will showcase the incomparable and vast terroirs that produce a range of varietals not found in any other region in the world. Santa Barbara County’s diverse soils, climate changes and temperatures allow for a stunning spectrum of wines within a ten mile area that include Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Notoriety, not sobriety

Part of the excitement is that the talents behind the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, have already gained international notoriety for their work in the wine industry.  The Collective is the brainchild of Sommelier Eric Railsback (Lieu Dit, Vallin), Winemakers Ernst Storm (Storm Wines and the new Notary Public), Justin Willett (Tyler, Lieu Dit, Vallin) and Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson (Vallin). It will feature the projects of all four, appealingly representing the best of what Santa Barbara can do with native French grapes.

When asked about the wines, the winemakers said they take their inspiration from old world traditions of Burgundian, Loire, Rhone and Bordeaux winemaking, selecting grapes from vineyards in Santa Maria, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez and Happy Canyon to produce wines with a personal style and achieving a new world balance. Starting July, 2014, tourists and locals alike will be able to taste and purchase Syrah, Viognier, and Rosé from Vallin; Notary Public’s Cabernet Sauvignon; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Tyler; and Lieu-Dit’s Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé.

Located next to Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in the 10,000 square foot historic warehouse owned by the Castagnola family since the 1920’s, The Santa Barbara Wine Collective will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tasting room will offer $10 flights from Vallin, Lieu Dit and Notary Public, $15 flights from Tyler and a $41 tasting line-up from each of the wineries for a complete Santa Barbara County experience. Retails sales and wine club memberships of Vallin, Lieu Dit, Tyler and Notary Public selections will be sold on site. Wine club shipments are planned quarterly in addition to an exclusive combination collection for members. 

Meet and Greet

In an effort to give the customer a personal experience, the winemakers- Railsback, Storm, and Willett will have rotating schedules so that customers can meet the winemakers and learn more about their varietals during their visit. The Collective will also serve as a learning center for Santa Barbara County Wines with a schedule of seminars and classes open to the public.

The look inside of the SBWC is somewhat familiar, since leading the design is restaurateur and designer Doug Washington, who is responsible for the inimitable style of neighboring businesses The Lark, Lucky Penny and Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant. Washington brings his singular urban style integrating vintage and repurposed materials for a sophisticated, yet casual sensibility. And with the wonderful open space it is perfect to accommodate large parties, wedding rehearsals, or maybe just a great spot for a ladies wine night.

But even with the gorgeous décor and a great location to boot, it really is all about the wine... which I am happy to report, is deliciously divine, some of the best I’ve had to date and I’ve dated a LOT of wine. But don’t take my word for it, get down to the FZ to taste it for yourself, your wine loving heart will be glad you did. The Santa Barbara Wine Collective, 131 Anacapa Street,

Through the Grapevine:

I just couldn’t seem to get enough wine in my column so I had to add more, especially when it also involves my other passion- music, and one of my favorite guitar makers and my favorite guitar shop in Santa Barbara. (whew!)
A Taste of Tonewoods is an incredible free event happening on July 27th, from 6-8pm brought to you by Santa Barbara Guitar Bar and Taylor Guitars, who invite you to join them for an evening of guitars, music and wine at the beautiful Gainey Vineyards in the always gorgeous, Santa Ynez Valley. Come enjoy live music from Grammy-winning guitarist Wayne Johnson (Bette Midler, Rickie Lee Jones, Manhattan Transfer), learn about the sonic profiles of different tonewoods, how guitars age, and much more all while sampling Gainey’s fine wines. And don’t forget to ‘test-drive’ an array of beautiful Taylor acoustic models, that will be available at special event pricing.  

I caught up with Jamie Faletti, Mister Guitar Bar himself to get a little inside scoop on such a cool event.
TV: Your event with Taylor guitars sounds groovy, how did it all come together?

JF: We have a really amazing relationship with Taylor that gives us great opportunities to do things like have one of a kind guitars and also create events like this. Billy Gill of Taylor and I had been brainstorming how to do a Taylor event at a winery in the Valley for years. Dan Gainey is a student here at the shop and he and I had been kicking around the idea of doing an event together somehow. The two ideas came together and Taylor was able to create a one-of-a-kind event for us.

TV: Taylor is one of the leading makers of guitars in the industry, what makes them so unique?

JF: Taylor is one of, if not the most future facing guitar manufacturers in the world. Their work in wood conservation and commitment to their employees puts them at the top of the list in our industry. On top of that, they create fantastic guitars that pair beauty, tone and innovation to create an excellent instrument every time.

TV: Is there a model that seems to sell the best in your store?

JF: The Taylor 814ce is historically the best seller for Taylor and for SBGB. This year Taylor’s master luthier Andy Powers (who was hand picked by Bob Taylor) has completely redesigned the 800 series. This was incredibly bold as this was the most popular of Taylor's guitars. Most companies would have had a “it’s not broke, why fix it” attitude. Yet another reason Taylor is unique.

TV: How much wood, could a woodchuck chuck? (If a woodchuck could chuck wood?)

JF: Depending on the size of the woodchuck of course, probably eleventy woods. Or threve. But only if the wood was legally grown, harvested and imported.

Yeah, that just happened. See you in the Valley, music and wine lovers! Gainey Vineyard Tasting Room, 3950 East Highway 46, Santa Ynez, CA 93460 805-688-0558

See it in The Santa Barbara Sentinel  page 13 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Star for a Day

A Star Day for a Day                                                    
In the Zone- by Tommie Vaughn

Back in 2001 I got my first job in Hollywood. No, not a singing job, but one that would lead to almost every connection, I have in the music industry today. The day I walked into the infamous and top of the Billboard charts legendary, Cherokee Recording Studios on Fairfax Avenue, just North of the heart of Melrose, my rock n roll life truly began.
Sadly, Cherokee was one of those incredible recording studios that became an overpriced dinosaur, with all of it’s amazing and rich analog consoles, the moment that digital recordings, or for those in the know- pro-tools, came onto the scene along with a little help from Napster, they rocked the music and recording industry to it’s core, when every Tom, Dick, and Sally could record themselves in their basement and come out sounding just like they spent thousands in a giant studio, so Cherokee, like quite a few others around the world closed down, and a new sort of studio was born.
Now, some would argue, (and some being some giants in the music industry, ie: Dave Grohl, ehem: Sound City, anyone?) that there is no replacing the true sound of analog and the feel of recording live as a band in a giant studio, that digital is the downfall to mainstream music today, where anyone, (and I mean anyone) can sound like a million bucks with the help of digital cut, paste, and don’t forget about Autotune. 

But today’s listener is different than the folks of the 60’s or 70’s, (lucky bastards) even the 80’s and 90’s. People today want immediate gratification. People don’t have time to waste, they want music to be quick, to the point- give them a hook, shake their booty a little bit in the car while they drive to work and then they want to be done with it. I’m not saying that’s me. I’m one of those old rocker chicks that want’s an epic guitar solo, an imperfect voice, shoot, I even love a three minute instrumental intro. But I digress; let’s just say with all my experience over the years in the music industry, I am totally at home within a recording studio- digital, analog or my very own basement. 

Hidden within a City

So when I found out that there was a new recording studio tucked perfectly within the Funk Zone, I clapped my hands and scooted over to meet with Elliott Lanam, the owner and head engineer at Hidden City Studios, on the corner of Garden and Yananoli. First off I must report, the studio itself is totally hidden within a woodworking building that used to be the production studio for non other than Hall and Oates. (Man-eater? Rich Girl? Private Eyes?Anyone?)
Just that little tidbit of music history might be what gives Hidden City Studios it’s retro-cool feel, dripping with low lighting, rock memorabilia, and vintage equipment strewn around like every musicians wet dream, like a classic Hammond organ, and plenty of classic Fender crate amps to create those rich guitar tones of the said 60’s and 70’s. The studio itself is made up of four (six if you count the vocal and drum booths), two control rooms and two live rooms, and I gotta say, the vibe is really cool, super low-key and very comfortable. It’s absolutely perfect for an artist to feel at home in order to release their soul songs properly. 

Elliott Lanam opened his pro-tools driven Hidden City just five months ago and already word is spreading around town of his engineering talents, reasonable rates ($50 an hour folks) and the downright cool factor of Hidden City itself. Elliott began his journey in music behind a piano at the young age of seven, moving through teachers and styles, ending with a passion for keyboards, the blues and jazz. It was through his own music and recording his passion that brought him want to work at the largest studio in Santa Barbara, Sound Design Studios, where he interned for 3 years gaining his knowledge working with the likes of Depeche Mode and The Jacksons, then moving over to Playback Studios where he became a paid engineer and producer, working with Santa Barbara’s darling Katy Perry, before venturing out on his own, creating Hidden City Studios.
A Note of his Own
“I worked at those high end studios for years and they are totally amazing with all the gear and consoles, but what I wanted to create here at Hidden City, was an accessible atmosphere, where artists could come and record their music and not go broke. Because, who are we kidding? Musicians don’t tend to have a lot of money.” Elliott smiles and I’m nodding in agreement, thinking of almost every musician I know and love.
“I spend about fourteen hours a day here, I sometimes don’t even go home if I’m working on a session. I love that an artist will come in as a stranger, and when they leave, we are like best friends. It’s an amazing experience to have with someone. I get to make peoples dreams come true. They come here with a song, sometimes just an idea, and we suss it out together, getting the best recording possible, and they leave with that song in their hand. It’s a pretty cool job to have, they really are a star for a day.”
Is his studio for the huge musical stars? Maybe, Elliott say’s, but mostly they stick to the big studios in town, for now at least he tends to work with the first time recordings to the mid level acts, dabbling in voice over’s and jingles for commercial use, that is until the big shots discover the hidden gem within the always happening Funk Zone. Book your time soon before Elliott raises his rates because he is so damn busy, and such a nice guy, you will be at ease and in your creative zone in no time, enabling you to record your dreams, one song at a time. Hidden City Studios, 650-454-5459

Through the Grapevine:
Alright foodie folks, it’s time for another delicious night at my favorite funk zone eatery- The Lark, a new edition of their Local Treasures Dinner with executive chef, Jason Paluska, and local winemaker, viticulturist and owner of Larner Vineyards and Winery, Michael Larner, have collaborated to create an amazing 5-course paring dinner. Chef Paluska has carefully chosen local and seasonal ingredients, like a Sea Urchin and Scallop Crudo, a crispy smoked Pork Belly, a slow cooked Lamb Shank, along with Central Coast Summer Fruit and a Stonefruit Gallette, paired perfectly with Larner’s wines from Ballard Canyon. The event will be held on Sunday, June 29th, at 6pm. RSVP your tickets today by emailing
And please stay tuned for my next column featuring the brand new exciting edition to the 137 Anacapa Street Project, The Santa Barbara Wine Collective, set to open its doors on July 2nd, brought to you by The Larks Sherry Villanueva, featuring the winemakers in the collective Ernst Storm and Justin Willet. I know where I will be spending my long holiday weekend, why don’t you stop in too!

Or see the article here: The Santa Barbara Sentinel Page 8.

The Goldfish Principle

The Goldfish Principle
   In the Zone by Tommie Vaughn

Maybe it’s an old wives tale- that a goldfish will regulate it’s size if it’s in a small or crowded bowl and will only grow larger in a bigger tank… but the metaphor hit the nail on the tail when it comes to SLTWTR Creative Agency. Eric Panofsky, the creative director of SLTWR, began his web design business in his home, building websites for friends, wearing hoodies and fingerless gloves because he couldn’t afford to pay the heating bill. When Eric heard his friend Carey Larson was leaving his position doing online marketing, they decided to combine forces to create SLTWR.

With the advent of the beast that is Social Media, that was quickly immerging into the web-es-sphere, Carey decided to take a post graduate course on social media from the University of San Francisco, which enabled the tackling of clients web design as well as social media presence and the pair took the first step towards growth- opening their first office, a 10x10 window less space on Figueroa and State Street, just steps from the French Press.
From Coffee to Funk
As SLTWR outgrew their small office, three years ago they took the final leap to a much larger tank, a sprawling top floor office space, located at 22 Anacapa Street, close to the beach end of the FZ, complete with a conference room, three large open workspaces (with windows) and enough room for a kicking campaign party or two. The company quickly expanded its in house team to six creative designers and at least three outside field sources between sales and independent contractors. 

As I sat in their industrial chic, meets surf and skate décor drenched office, Eric, who looks more like a skater than an executive director (I love the relaxed lifestyle industry) explained his company’s mission statement, “SLTWTR is a full service creative agency, so basically we handle any form of marketing for our clients that may benefit from centrally outsourced creativity. We are working with more mid level companies, somewhere around 20-200 employees, looking for a new way to have their brand manifest to the public, a need to improve web presence, a new look and feel. For example Channel Island Surfboards was searching for a new web presence, or Sundance Beach, a company in Goleta, was looking for a complete brand identity, which we provided for them.”
Eric then proceeded to blow my mind as he pulled down two hardcover 60-page books that were complete branding projects, with vivid beautiful images jumping from every page. These books were an entire science of the clients company from the creative minds of the SLTWTR team, capturing a complete visual identity, brand strategy, establishing photography styles, fonts, photography contents, a complete brand strategy, mission statement, describing who they are, what they are, who they sell to and why. There was so much attention to detail within each campaign, down to exact text styles and social media insight, there would be no question in any client’s mind, that wasn’t described perfectly on each glossy page.
So in a sense SLTWTR creates an unforgettable all around online image, for their many lifestyle type clients. But how do they choose? And of course I had to ask if they could spill a few of their clients names, to which Eric (and Caterina Caligiuri, a producer for the SLTWR team, who had come to join us) smiled and gave each other knowing looks. Damn those press people, I’m sure they were thinking, always making me take silly pictures and asking us to name drop. 

Spill It
“Well, when we consider a new client we call it a discovery phase, we do all our research on their current web presence, background, social media presence, what their intentions are, what their niche is. So lets say our music clients can range from a small immerging band, to mid level e-commerce bands or brands, like vintage steel guitars all the way up to Seymour Duncan.”
Say no more Obi-wan, I have heard the biggest name when it comes to guitar pick-ups, but Eric continues. “Essentially we like to deal with lifestyle companies, clients whom we resonate with and since we now are lucky enough to be able to pick and choose our clients, we can be totally passionate about each project. So the closer the company gets to our shared lifestyle, like music, action sports, art, food… along with bringing some form of cool factor, that is something we can really get behind and get excited about. Kind of like Channel Island Surf Company, our newest client, we are so excited to be creating a ground breaking, new direction, that I think will be thee game changer in the entire surf industry.”
Ask and you shall receive I always say, and boy did Eric and Caterina smile when my eyes bulged out of my head as he spilled their exciting news. As soon as I closed my gaping mouth we went on talking for a while longer about SLTWTR’s rise to this new level of marketing artistry, then turning our attention to how much the Funk Zone has changed over their last three years of residency. They both agreed it was amazing the change that had happened in such a short time, agreeing that it was the best place for them to be, members of an elite artistic community, then mentioning their recent video they had just released, a sort of love letter to the FZ and all their friends who inhabit it, shot by the talented Jesse Natale of J North Productions who is one of SLTWTR’s field team videographers as well, chronicling a day in the life of a SLTWTR staff member, (maybe Eric?) peddling through the Zone and all of their favorite haunts. The video and even more information can be seen on SLTWTR’s wet and wild website at
Through the Grapevine:
If you are digging what I’m throwing down in this article and think you have what it takes to be the next incendiary revolutionary, who can make Zeitgeist seem like soooo last season, maybe you would fit in perfectly with this salty crew. You see- their tank has expanded enough for two more like-minded goldfish to be team members. SLTWTR is actively looking to fill positions as Web Developer and Graphic Designer, so get your resume’s polished and go get yourself an interview, tell them Tommie V sent you. Contact or call 805-845-5775 SLTWTR Creative Agency, 22 Anacapa Santa Barbara, CA 93108

See the article in the paper here: The Santa Barbara Sentinel page 15 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I see Art walking

Don't miss my cover piece in the Santa Barbara Sentinel this week on the fabulous new edition to our happening Funk Zone. 'It Takes a Village'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sneak Peek

Look for my new column coming out this weekend in the Santa Barbara Sentinel! I had an awesome interview with Robert Carbonaro, the Master Luthier of Carbonaro Guitars...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Drink me

I would never stear you wrong, I take my wine very seriously! One of Santa Barbara's finest, tasting room in the hipster funk zone. Love it!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

For those who love to bake

Start your morning off with the most delicious Orange Poppyseed Bread. It's amazingly simple to make:

I like to freeze one loaf for later, or bring it to a friend. They will love you forever.

A special thanks to my mother in law Nancy for this recipe. My three year old loves to help make it, (and eat it) we call it Grandma's Bread. 

Sometimes I like to add a squeeze of lemon, fresh from our tree, to the glaze topping, just to give it a little extra zing. 

Make this a tradition with your family today... You can thank me later! 

A few past articles of mine from the SB Sentinel

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The glories of a found Narnia

What a wonder Mother Nature is. Loving this amazing old tree, the perfect place to spark a child's imagination. 

It's nature like this that makes you stop and take a climb.

I don't know about you, but I think we found Narnia today, not so hidden within a beautiful park in Santa Barbara.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And so it begins

The joy of music and wonder begins at an early age. Being the child of two musicians could be a bit intimidating, so it's something my husband and I talked about before we had kids.

We wanted to create an organic environment that opens the door to music, making it a playful option to all the regular toys. Around our house, instruments are scattered, always available when the creativity strikes. We play and sing together, listen to all kinds of music, and cheer each other on through it all. Our son had to live through making an album and I'm sure he is scarred for the rest of his days, with those songs from our 'The Lovers' album permanently imprinted in his brain with all the studio time he put in. 

Our newest family band member is music to her core. She loves the guitar and lights up when it is played. She plays any instrument she can get her little hands on and as of yesterday, her little fingers can finally reach the keys of our piano. Her face was pure joy as she realized the infinite possibility of her musical future. Or maybe that was something in her diaper.

It's not that we want them to grow up to be rock stars, (although it may be too late, our son is a natural) we know what a hard road it can be to travel... but instilling the beauty and love of such a wonderful gift that is music is something that I am happy to pass down to my babies.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Music and the Rain

There is something about the rain that makes most people want to stay inside, tucked safe and warm under the covers or snuggle in front of a roaring fire. I think that secretly Santa Barbarians know, the rain will be gone in a day or two, so they don’t mind falling off the face of the earth and going into a blissful, Netflix hibernation.
I mean hey, I would stay the heck off the streets too, since, come on, you know it just as much as I do, Californian’s are not the best drivers in the rain. Just a quick lesson people; do not drive at top speed and then slam on your brakes when you begin to hydroplane. (I know it seems like common sense but I have seen it so often, I thought I would give you a little reminder, your welcome.)
Who the hell made me chief of the driving in the rain police? Well, I was born and raised on the Oregon coast, they have crazy rain there, not the little misting rain that California gets, but real godforsaken rain, sideways rain, hail the size of golf balls, and Oregonians never know when it’s going to stop, so they have to go out into it daily, no matter what. So I consider myself a driving in the rain expert, although I have lived in Southern California for over twenty years now, I will never forget, although my webbed feet are happily back to normal.
But I still love rainy days and this wonderful rain that has swept across Southern California may have been a torment to most people, but for myself and a lot of Artists I know, it has been true bliss. Why you ask? Artists love rain. Artists hate rain. Artists love to hate rain. Why again? (You sure do ask a lot of questions) Because rain forces us to stay inside and create our art and we love it. No one bothers us, or questions where we are… why haven’t they seen us out schmoozing and boozing at The Brewhouse or Fig? Why haven’t we had our morning cup of crack at The French Press, or our afternoon blood transfusion of red wine at Pali?
Because it’s totally awesome to be left alone for some Artists, who actually hate people, conversation and all human contact that detracts and distracts them from what is their Art and I understand and quite enjoy their darkness and brooding ways. But most Musicians are a bit different than other types of Artists, although they sometimes group us together, we love human contact and crave it, in fact, for it gives us what we need to create our art… all our life is inspiration for a song, all our art for a Muse.
Where’s the party? Oh wait, we are the party.
Don’t get me wrong, we love the attention, and being on stage is like being totally at home for most Musicians. So it’s really hard not to go out and the rain gives us the perfect ‘rain check’ excuse to stay away, go inside ourselves to do what we do best, what makes our soul feel at peace. We play. We sing. We write. We soak up all that liquid that falls from the sky and let it fill our homes with music, and with song.  
If you are a Musician who has children, it is a joy they will share, join in with, and learn to love as well, or maybe they will hate it so much they will become bankers, I don’t know, but my children at this moment, seem to like it.  Although I must admit, my three-year-old son does put his foot down after my husband and I have had an ultimate jam session and he no longer feels like he is the center of attention, which to me screams lead singer disease and assures me he is, in fact, a Musician as well.
So even though this rain will most likely be gone by the time this column comes out, it’s effects will live on in our fauna and song. It’s happy tears that have blanketed the west coast may cause mayhem on the pavement, but for the world of Art and Music, the heavens have smiled upon us, blessing us once again with that which never existed before… Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Search

I am displaced. Well, not really as of yet, but half of my life is in boxes. Why is this so you ask? Oh, just the normal thing that families do, they grow. And even though mine has only grown a half, my daughter is just six months old, and she is quite teeny tiny, but it seems that Christmas broke us. Not in the ways of cashola, but in the ways of space. Let me explain…
Going from living in a large four bedroom house, with a huge pool on a 7,000 square foot lot in Burbank, to living in a 700 square foot two bedroom in Santa Barbara has taken it’s toll. Yeah, yeah, it’s super charming and walking distance to Leadbetter beach, but damn people! How do you do it? There is no room here! I have a hard time having a clear thought in this small space, but maybe that is the wine from Santa Ynez that I enjoy too much, but I am sure it’s the space, yeah, the space.
I mean yes, we could buy a nice home here… Wait, I have to stop laughing, it’s hard to type. Ummmmm, ok I’m back.
Not to worry, we are happy renters and only strive to find the home that we can rent, afford and thrive in for a very long time. And that my good people of Santa Barbara brings me to the point of this whole column, it only took me two hundred and seventy seven words to lay the ground work but here it is… How the hell do you find a decent rental in Santa Barbara?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a bit of a rental snob and I have extremely high standards, which is cause for a slight panic, and twitch that has become part of my psyche, as I search Craigslist for the umpteenth time, but I have faith- because I have caught glimpses of greatness, a few that hold our application within their teeth, but I must trust that the perfect home, and landlord have been waiting for my little family and all is well in rental heaven.
It’s funny… because I will not live in a condo, nor townhouse or duplex, and Santa Barbara has GORGEOUS condos and townhouses and duplexes. Such is the fate of a musician and mother who will not quiet herself, nor her own children or husband for that matter, who is a wizard on guitar, nor risk suffering her neighbor the audacity of her own and families existence, one that we find relaxing and totally normal.
And therein lies my conundrum. So I search, and search, and search some more, and acquaint myself with more parts of Santa Barbara than I care to meet. I find huge homes in Goleta and my new friends scoff, ‘Goleta? It’s sooooo far away!’
Really? Really people? I lived in Los Angeles where it took me thirty minutes to go to the grocery store, and if one of my friends moved from Hollywood to Santa Monica it might as well have been Canada for all I cared, I would never see them again and they knew it.
But alas, I understand because it’s something that I have grown to love about Santa Barbara living- I can get ANYWHERE in ten minutes. When I say I will be there in ten minutes, I mean it.
So I keep searching, and I keep packing because I know it’s out there… I even made my dream board with my three-year-old son last week. My requests to the rental universe? Three bedrooms, two baths, vaulted ceiling’s, a big fireplace (that works), lots of outdoor space so I can plant a garden, with a fenced yard to keep my kids locked in safe and possibly for a future pet, (on a side note… why don’t landlords take pets? It’s amazing the amount of ads I see that don’t allow them. They would rather allow a group of seven to ten students rent their home, than a family with a dog? Come on, didn’t they go to college? I did, and I can’t seem to remember most of it. Sorry landlords, for all the pet owners out there, I had to say something.)
But back to my list… A lot of privacy so I can make noise and not worry, lots of light, a view, whimsical architecture, and lastly a great school district. Too much? My son added that the home needed to have a red door and a cool doorbell, so there’s that too.
I know it’s out there, I’ve actually seen it and if I thought the landlord (who lives in Connecticut) would read the Sentinel you would think I was baiting him. No, I’m just pissing in the wind, but after talking with a few friends about the tough rental market, I thought it needed to be written. Is this a rant? Heck no! I live in Santa Barbara, or at least I do until March 1st, I have no worries at all.

*as seen in the Santa Barbara Sentinel for my American Girl Column Page 25