House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Fashion PSA!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS!
If you read my "Forty-licious" post, you know how I feel about leggings. 
THEY.ARE.NOT.PANTS.
After a heated debate in the "moffice" today, let me clarify my stance.
You may wear leggings under a long shirt. It doesn't matter if the leggings are under a big t-shirt while you snarf cake workout or if they are under a big sweater while you romp through a pumpkin patch. What matters is the shirt. It must be long enough to cover your down there business fanny.





Leggings done right





Leggings done so very wrong



After much debate this morning, I had to pull out the big guns. My arguments were falling on deaf ears. I apologize for what you are about to see.
Sometimes, life lessons are hard to look at.
I'm here to help, ladies. I'm a giver like that.
Brace yourself for the cold, hard truth about leggings.


Friends don't let friends wear leggings…as pants.

*All images found during my "research" were found on Pinterest.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things I Would Rather Hear From My Surgeon Than My Handyman

Today, I am joining forces with Peyton Price, queen of Suburban Haikus to bring you: Things I Would Rather Hear From My Surgeon Than My Handyman. Peyton brought the wit and I brought the horrified. 











Peyton Price is the author of Suburban Haiku; Poetic Dispatches From Behind The Picket Fence. You can find her at suburbanhaiku.com. Don't bother to knock. She can't hear you over the hammering.
Guess what? You can enter to win a copy of her book by leaving your own wit in the comments! What would you rather hear from your surgeon than your handyman? GO!!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

A House Tour And Swooning

When it comes to house swooning, this one takes the cake. And, I know swooning and I know cake. 
From the second I entered this home, I was a smitten kitten. From the light shining through the large windows, to the open staircase, to the back staircase, to the long dreamed for butler's pantry, this house is amazing. 
Peggy Monahan and her family made this house their home in 2013. Peggy put her renovation skills to work! Peggy is the owner of Grand House LLC, Interior Solutions. While maintaining the integrity and heritage of the home, Peggy updated the home to be not only beautiful but also functional. 
Take a lookiloo:

I love a traditional dining room! 
There are at least three sets of french doors on the first floor! Excuse me while I swoon.
A butler's pantry divides the dining room and kitchen. Of all the wonderful features in this home, the butler's pantry is my favorite.
Peggy transformed this large living room 
into a cozy and inviting space.


The house has a circular layout that easily flows 
from comfy space to comfy space. 

Upstairs we go...
The upstairs has four bedrooms (one is being used as an office) and two bathrooms. There is also a fifth bedroom and bath on the third floor. 


As any owner of an older home will tell you, the project list is always long. Peggy has big visions and a long list of future renovations for the second and third floors. 
I can't wait to see the updates!
Thank you to Peggy for the hospitality and house tour! 
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top Things NOT To Say In A Mammogram

It's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, y'all. You know what that means. It's time to take care of your breasts, boobies, big girls, sweater puppies, ta-ta's, or in my case- 36Longs. 
I dealt with the stress of a mammogram the way I deal with most things- humor. I don't know if the technician appreciated my ramblings but it certainly helped me. 
Now that my mammogram is over, I feel relief and I keep thinking, "That's it? Really? That was so easy peasy!"
Go get your mammogram on and here is a list of things NOT to say.




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Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Would "Say Anything" For A House Tour!

*Join me on Instagram and share your favorite #hometownhouses.

"SAY ANYTHING"

I love this house and I MUST have a tour.
I would do anything.
 I would sweep for you.
 I would water for you.
I would be a gracious guest.

I would greet your neighbors.
Call me.
I would wait patiently.
Photos by J. Youse



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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Goodbye, Peter Rabbit

Saying "Goodbye, Nursery"
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, my mister and I painted what would become the nursery. I clearly remember saying to him "It is going to be so weird having another person in the house with us."  This makes me chuckle because we then had four babies in five years. I was in a lactating coma for six years. We were a 2-crib family for 4 years. We have not been alone in our house since 1999.
Sleep was not my friend during pregnancies. Every time that I would battle the sleep monsters, I would just get up and get busy. My mister would often wake up to find entire rooms rearranged or a tree painted on the nursery wall or seven blackberry pies baked. 
( In month nine, I ate an entire blackberry pie in a 24 hour period...sexy and I know it!) 

This room was the nursery to all of our babies. It is directly across from our master bedroom so it was an easy 2am stumble...and 3am...and 4am...

 I added a moon during my second pregnancy...

Our two boys were followed by two girls...a tea party corner was soon added...
This summer, we are having a big ole bedroom switch-a-roo. Our boys are taking over the nursery and our girls are doing "big girl bedroom" makeovers. 
It is an exciting time for them and I love hearing them play poker for negotiate for furniture - "I'll see you that dresser and raise you for the black side table."
I am looking forward to sharing their bedroom makeovers with you. 
Really.I.Am...Really.
But, right now I am sentimental. I can't believe how quickly the "nursery" stage went. It has been a blink.
I can't believe that we don't have a baby in the house. Not even a toddler. 
The day before my firstborn turned 13...we painted over the nursery. Yup, Painted over the tree...the picket fence...the moon...the butterfly...and Peter Rabbit.
When I say "we painted over the nursery" I really mean "my gal pal painted over the nursery!"
She knew that I didn't have it in me. She showed up, made me a drink and told me to look away. 
 Goodbye, Tree.
When you choose your friends, choose wisely. 
Choose friends who will paint over your nursery. 
Choose friends who will know that gin is needed.
Choose friends who will do it quickly...like when you take a band-aid off your kiddo lickity-split. Just do it before a second thought creeps in.
Choose friends who will make you laugh about the tacky glow in the dark stars on the nursery ceiling.
Once the room was painted and I started to put the room back together, I realized that I had to also say "goodbye" to many of the nursery accessories. 
It didn't feel like I was saying "goodbye" to accessories. I realized it was "goodbye" to chubby cheeks, the smell of baby breath and baby lotion, the sound of toddler belly laughs, and "goodbye" to "OMGITHINKIAMPREGNANTAGAIN!" 
No matter how I begged, my 13 year old did not want a Peter Rabbit dish in his new teenager-y room. Nor, does he want me to blow raspberries on his belly anymore.


This is the boy that went through 4 copies of Goodnight Moon. "Again! Again!" he would squeal. 
I thought of this as I said "goodbye, nursery" again and again.


As my husband says, "Parenting is not for wussies."

*Oldie but goodie rerun. The kiddos are back in school which means I am organizing (code for: throwing out their junk with wild abandon!) their rooms. 
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Champaign Proud

Y'all know how much I love the homes in my town but today, I am sharing a lookiloo at downtown Champaign, Illinois!
Last Saturday night, I joined The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli for a night on the town. 
My Saturday nights usually involve tubs of ice-cream while I'm buried under a mound of chocolate syrup kids. 
I left my fuzzy robe behind and took to the streets. Here you go...



From selfies to Cosmopolitans, I got schooled on downtown life. 
Hey, look! Melissa and Roger saved me a seat!




 It was hard to maintain my professionalism in the face of so much dancing but I kept my "Roger Rabbit" and "Running Man" in the vault marked "1989."
 This cute couple was celebrating their engagement. I'll be waiting for my wedding invitation...
 These two sisters and their mother were having way too much fun. 
What happens on a karaoke bus, stays on the karaoke bus.

By this point, I wanted to shout to the world, "LOOK AT ME! I'm up at 12:36am and not because a kid threw up on me!" 
I had so much fun and was so impressed by the downtown scene. There were young folks, old folks and everyone in between. 
1. I am still recovering from a 2am bedtime.
2. Downtown is hoppin'. 
3. Cool people do not say "bedtime" or "hoppin'."

(Click here for News-Gazette photo gallery)

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