Announcing… Art of the Soul – Retreat at Rancho La Zaca, October 28-30

Light on the horizon at Rancho La Zaca

Your soul’s voice is your True Self speaking. It is who you were born to be, your deepest meaning and your highest purpose.  In this weekend retreat we’ll explore a variety of fun, take-home-able, non-woo-woo tools and techniques to access your soul’s voice via mind, body, and spirit. You’ll use your creativity, but you don’t… Continue reading Announcing… Art of the Soul – Retreat at Rancho La Zaca, October 28-30


Paint the Splendid Santa Ynez Valley with Tim Horn — June 24-27, 2021

Chileno Valley Road, by Tim Horn

Join award-winning California artist and virtuoso instructor Tim Horn  and me in the stunning Santa Ynez Valley for painting en plein aire and relaxing at Rancho La Zaca. If you are not familiar with Tim’s work, feast your eyes. Our painting locations will include mountains, vineyards, beaches, and Rancho La Zaca itself, all set amid the breathtaking backdrop of the Valley… Continue reading Paint the Splendid Santa Ynez Valley with Tim Horn — June 24-27, 2021


iPad Painting Workshop at Rancho La Zaca

iPad painting by Anne Ward, teaching at Rancho La Zaca August 20-22

If ever there were a time for creative wellness, it is now. You with us?! Discover the beauty and power of your own creative voice,  and join us for this first-time-ever, very small, safely distanced iPad painting workshop at Rancho La Zaca. We invite you to an all-inclusive* iPad painting workshop at our beautiful Rancho… Continue reading iPad Painting Workshop at Rancho La Zaca


America’s Best Party Hosts… Gosh!

I’m just not one of those people who wins things. Except for that time I played Bingo with my sister at a spa like ten years ago. My prize was shower gel and moisturizer and I had them bronzed for posterity. Now I might bronze my party shoes. What a huge honor–and surprise!–to be named… Continue reading America’s Best Party Hosts… Gosh!


The Most Brilliant Hors d’Oeuvre You’ve Never Heard of

Bagna Cauda in all its olive-oily-garlicky glory. Recipe and photo by Stephanie Valentine.

An easy, do-ahead hors d’oeuvre full of rich, buttery, garlicky goodness–delicious and different and everyone loves it. Drum roll please…Bagna Cauda, or “hot bath” in Italian. It’s also a Christmas Eve tradition in Italy’s Piedmont region. Perhaps it will become one for you?


Happy Thanksgiving Decorating and Beyond

Happy Thanksgiving from our ranch to yours. Here’s a glimpse of last year, in case you’d like a little last minute inspiration. These feathered turkeys have become a staple in the entry hall. I ordered them from the Internet (no idea the source, sadly).  This is his mate on the opposite wall. You will notice they are both Toms.… Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving Decorating and Beyond


Hello Spring, a Toast to Green and Lavender, and a Contest!

Spring began officially on March 20 with the vernal equinox, when the sun appears directly above your bathing suit drawer. Astronatomy* aside, spring is about green, which I love. I’m throwing in lavender for fun, because they are great together.


Holiday Centerpiece With Birch Bark, Foliage, Fruit, and Flowers

Here is an impressive but easy centerpiece for the holidays or any day. For mantel or table, the size and height are easily varied. Use any combination of foliage, fruit, and flowers. Make a mess and it will still be beautiful. It’s an anything-goes thing.


Thanksgiving Decorating at Rancho La Zaca, and a Printable Place Card

Is Thanksgiving your favorite? Mine too. What is that about? Is it what Christmas used to be about? You know, family, friends, congenial gatherings, gratitude? Just a thought. It’s also one of my favorite times at our home, Rancho La Zaca. Here are a few highlights from last year and perhaps some inspiration for you this year.




What a Month! Part 1: CityKids Storm the Ranch!

Whew. And you wonder why I haven’t posted more. (Or maybe not.) And I wonder why I still haven’t finished my book. Here’s the answer. It starts with a rodeo. August 4: Yup, when I landed back here in Californee we went straight to the rodeo in Santa Barbara. I love me a rodeo for five… Continue reading What a Month! Part 1: CityKids Storm the Ranch!