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?"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bringing A Beach House To Anytown, USA!

Thank you so much to Gina Luker for inviting me to guest post at her fantastic blog, The Shabby Creek Cottage!

This is the time of year that I start dreaming of a summer home on the beach! Since a real beach house isn't going to happen unless I rob a bank anytime soon for me, I thought I would share ways to bring the beach to Anytown, USA!
Unless you really do live in a beach house, you are probably making the big switch-a-roo from winter house to summer house while maintaining the same address!
No one brings the beach to the prairie like my gal pal, Tracy! She finally answered her door invited me for a midwestern house tour...beach style!


If we are going to stand at the sink for 2,872 hours each summer, shouldn't we have purdy shells to remind us of the beach that we will someday live on?

From the dining room to the patio:

From winter coats to towels and goggles:

From the stovetop to the grill:

Use purdy containers next to your entryway for your summer necessities!

Jazz up your old photo frames by unleashing your children with a hot glue gun and shells from a trip to the craft store beach.
This is the perfect time to walk through your house with left over paint and touch up those snot scuff marks on the walls!

From fancy wine glasses to out of the bottle plastic cups:

If you have worked as hard as I have this winter, you will also be bikini ready! 
From flab to fab:
Just look at me, now!
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I hope this tour inspires you to transform wherever you call home into a vacation home!
Take a lookiloo at my freakout reaction to The Shabby Creek Cottage's invitation to guest blog- click here.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Don't Forget To Play

 It begins with pregnancy. The advice storm during pregnancy is just the precursor to the “words of wisdom” avalanche that is making its way toward you. Just when you think you cannot possibly hear one more “vaginal ripping” story, you join the ranks of motherhood and foolishly assume the horror stories are over.
Wrong song, Sally.
It never ends. You hear stories of tantrums, trips to the ER, anal thermometers, and then there are the stories about the children!
Most of these stories bring us closer together. Most of the time, we just need to share a “me, too” moment. We bare witness for each other and we feel less alone.
This is not always the case, however. I love to hear a story that makes me feel better about my own inadequacies. I do not like to hear, “Can I give you some advice?” That never ends well. Trust me. If anyone says that to you, feign a case of diarrhea and run for the door.
Choose the advice you listen to very carefully. Choose your friends  wisely.
The best advice a friend gave me was, “Don’t forget to have fun and don’t forget to play.” At the time, it seemed so simple, so silly. It sounded like, “Don’t forget to breathe in and out each day.”
Those words have saved my bacon so many times. When I have been face down in diapers, swamped with work, overwhelmed by mountains of laundry or so tired that I put the coffee pot in the freezer, I would remember her advice and make myself leave the house in search of fun. I never had to go far because the women in my neighborhood know fun.
Several years ago, we started a neighborhood tradition. We prank each other by leaving bizarre objects in each other’s homes. We might leave a Lil Wayne painting on your mantle. We might place a mannequin on your lawn chair. In the heat of summer, we might leave a life sized Santa on your front stoop.

It is completely immature. It is completely fun.
When we returned from vacation last summer, we were welcomed home by a mannequin on our roof. At bedtime, my daughter said, “When I grow up, I hope I have friends just like yours.” I hope so, too. 
I hope she remembers to play.
I hope she remembers to have fun.
I hope she has friends that will make her belly laugh.
I hope she has friends that will hold her hand when she has an ugly cry.
I hope she remembers that driving a minivan does not mean the party is over. 

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Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Decorating

My idea of decorating for St. Patrick's Day looks a little something like this:

Not so for my friends. 
While I'm putting green food coloring in my Bud Light, they are pulling out their fancy green and white china. 
Take a lookiloo at Tracy's dining room.

Tracy nabbed this Neiman-Marcus vintage set on an estate sale outing.

How about you? Do you go all out for St. Patrick's Day or just enjoy a green beer?

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring Is Near, Right? RIGHT?

If we pretend it is spring, it will come sooner. I'm sure I read that somewhere. 
Despite the snow on the ground and the threat of school cancellations looming, I know spring is near. I know because Checkered Moon told me so! 
Their shop is full of spring inspiration and gorgeous distractions from the gloomy weather. 

As you can see, Checkered Moon covers all the bases. (See? Baseball analogies also = SPRING IS NEAR!) You can find everything you need for spring- clothing, accessories, furniture, and even caramels for my your sweet tooth!
I'll meet you there- I'll be the one hovering over the caramels.
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