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?"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back To School Tips…And Lies I Tell Myself

I will be organized! I will lead my family with a cheery and positive attitude! I will exercise every stinkin' day. I will not lose my sh** over homework!
These are the lies I tell myself every August. It's tradition.
This year, I thought I might find helpful tips to keep me on task. I went to The Google. I read. I took notes.
Then, I laughed myself silly.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Good Mothers Garden With Their Children…Or Not

Good mothers plant gardens with and for their children.  
Good mothers fill their widdle children's bellies  with fresh food from that garden.
Good mothers don't produce children that use every stinkin' tomato for pitching practice against the old sycamore tree.
My husband might point out that an early morning threat announcement - "Tonight we will have fried green tomatoes!"
may have prompted the tomato bandits.
I heard the kind of hysterical laughing that all mother's recognize and dread.  It's the "How much longer until we get busted?" laugh.  The "I can't believe what he's doing!" laugh. The laugh that my second born lives for.
When the neighborhood children saw me coming- with the crazy mom walk- they did the skeedaddle!
There was my second born, 3 years old, proud as a peacock, wondering where his adoring fans had gone?
Not one tomato survived.  My child barely survived.
I do have to admit that the green splatters on the Sycamore tree were all well within the strike zone.

This year's tomato plant is under heavy protection laws.

These days, I plant one lone tomato plant in a far off corner of the yard.  I gingerly tend to it and I shoot a basketball  the stink eye at anyone who dares to get within a 5 foot radius of the  "no fly" zone!
As usual, I have adapted my parenting motto.
Good mothers don't beat their children when they destroy a beautiful tomato crop.

*Running this oldie in honor of upcoming Mother's Day.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

A Kitchen Makeover

You know I love my neighbors.
When we moved to this street, years ago, we were welcomed with open arms. These were the people that brought us casseroles when our babies were born. These were the people that came with shop vacs when our basement flooded. These were the people that let our children romp through their yards during summer nights of "Ghost in the Graveyard." Their homes have been the second homes to my children.
The Cox family has been a total blessing to us. Even before they were empty nesters, they took us under their wings. From tennis matches to shared bottles of wine to new babies to new grandchildren, we have enjoyed so many moments with them. 
They are wonderful cooks. We have been the lucky recipients of many plates of chocolate chip cookies, lasagnas, and cakes. Their house is the home of comfort foods. 
Walking home from school, as we pass their house and get a whiff of the wonderful smells wafting from their home, my children say, "I wonder what Mr. and Mrs. Cox are cooking today." 
Here is a lookiloo at their kitchen that served as the hub for many years:

We have been anxiously awaiting the big reveal of their kitchen makeover. As trucks came and went, we watched and waited. At least two of our children breached the perimeter for sneak peeks. Yesterday, the text I had been waiting for finally arrived. "Come see our new kitchen!" 
The Cox family is known for many talents but gardening and cooking top the list. I arrived to be greeted by pots full of pansies. In the middle of a remodel, they still found time to kick off spring with new plants.
Holy awesome! This is the view from the back entry of the house. 
The kitchen sink has a beautiful view of their gardens.
Now, for the details that wowed me!
I was like a kid in a candy store with the stove. Push a button and VROOM! The vent comes out of the counter!
There is a special cupboard that houses the mixer. The shelf easily lifts and lowers for easy use and storage.
There is even a special space for Maggie's dog dishes.
Check out the double spice rack pull outs!
The kitchen now opens into the dining room. The light fixture made me swoon!
They mixed and matched several finishes to maintain a vintage look.

Proud grandparents saved a spot to display their grandson's artwork.
Even though the kitchen is shiny and new, it is sprinkled with keepsakes from the old kitchen. 

Just look at all the storage! Oh, the things she can cook for me!
The refrigerator magnet perfectly sums up their family...
As always, their kitchen is the hub of their house. Let the neighborhood invasion begin...

*Running this oldie but goodie from 2013. 
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Green Beer & 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?

*Repost from 2014
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

A House Tour and Outtakes...

*This oldie but goodie was originally posted in 2012

Remember my neighbor, friend and decorator extraordinaire, Karen Devine
Within weeks of each other, Karen and I both turned Forty-licious. 
Karen celebrated her birthday on a warm, sunny beach with an ocean view. 
I was happy for her. Really. 
In our neighborhood, many neighbors have keys to each other's homes. We housesit for each other. We let out the dog on those long work days. We take in the paper and check the mail and shovel the walk while you are on a freaking beach in Florida.
I was happy for her. Really.
Karen graciously agreed to let me share her home with all of you!
Please join me for a tour of Karen's lovely home. (Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the outtakes.)

The foyer

The living room (and Maggie dog)

The powder room

The dining room

The breakfast nook

                                                     And, upstairs we go!

How much do I love grasscloth wallpaper?

                                                        Up we go- again!

The master suite

These portrait silhouettes are from their France.

This week, I will be sharing more pictures from Karen's home. ("Tips on how to be functional and purdy")

I've been reading a lot about "How to be a better blogger in 2012!" 
Sarah from A Beach Cottage, one of my favorite bloggers, encouraged others to blog in their own voice.  Leave your footprint on your posts, so to speak. is a peek behind the scenes of this house tour. 

Karen has lots of make-up to play with!

What a liquor collection!

Wow, all this work makes a girl thirsty!

Karen's not the only one rockin' her bikini in January!
I even managed to fit in a few sit-ups on Karen's diving board!

I was so happy to warm up in Karen's robe...with her booze...with her her bed.

Planning a trip? I'm available…call me.

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