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, 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.


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 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. 
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 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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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

HouseTalkN Has Gone Fishin'

In case you are wondering where I've been, I've officially hung the "gone fishin'" sign on HouseTalkN until the That's What She Said Show wraps on July 19th! 
What is the TWSS show? TWSS is a live show created by moi and two friends who wanted to create a platform for women to exchange stories- the stories that make us belly laugh and the stories that make us ugly cry. The stories that make us nod our head and say, "me, too" or "huh, never thought of it that way." 
When the show is over, I'll be back to stalking houses. Until then, take a lookiloo at the clips from TWSS 2013 HERE

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Time To Get Your "Soiree" On!

*Running an oldie but goodie for summer party inspiration!

A Summer Soiree!

When I think of a summer SOIREE, I either think of a nautical meets 4th of July look or a pink and green tea party look.
Always one to think outside of the box,  my pal and decorator extraordinaire planned an outdoor SOIREE with an "upscale Caribbean theme!"
Lots of options for summer fun- basketball, volleyball or my favorite, the swing!
Have you planned your outdoor SOIREE, yet?  Click here to see my widdle soiree!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Time I Stepped Into My Computer Screen...

It really happened. Last weekend, I stepped into my computer screen and hung out with my friends who live in my computer. I kept expecting my kids to tap on the computer screen and call out, "I found Mommy! She's inside her computer!" 
Stephanie Giese from Binkies and Briefcases brought her dream of an affordable and intimate blog conference to life- BlogU, Get Schooled was born. She pulled our tribe together and made her dream a reality. 
We came by trains, planes, and automobiles to "Get Schooled!" 
The sessions were informative, encouraging, and inspiring but the connections we made were amazing. Women (and one fella!) spent the weekend reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Blogging can be a lonely gig- meeting people who actually want to talk about HTML or SEO is OMG! like coming home. 
The keynote speakers set the tone for the weekend with "Colleagues, Not Competition."
This conference was so much more than just the sessions. 
There were book signings...
"I would love to sign your book…as soon as I shovel this into my face."
There were the roommates...
I roomed and color coordinated with Kelley from Kelley's Break Room and Jen from People I Want To Punch In The Throat
(Jen was also our fearless leader in I Just Want To Pee Alone. Clearly, that whole "pee alone" thing hasn't worked out!)
*Reenactment, no carpets were actually peed upon during the shooting of this photograph!
There were shenanigans...
Nicole Leigh Shaw, The Tyop Aretist and Kim from Let Me Start By Saying are two of my favorite shenanigan-mates and all around amazing human beings. Look, Kim forgave us for being the worst wheelchair drivers ever. She's good people.
Kelley from Kelley's Break Room and Jenny from Suburban Jungle know their way around the shenanigans. (Like our "Fire Marshall Bill" faces?)
 There was fangirling...
I finally got to meet Julie of Rants From Mommyland. I may or may not have sniffed her hair. My bad.
I have been lucky to call Anna from My Life And Kids a friend for several years but meeting Anna from An Inch Of Gray launched my inner fangirl to new levels.
There was photobombing...
Meredith from Mom Of The Year and Rebecca from Frugalista Blog didn't seem to mind at all.
AND, THEN!!!! There was partying…
To celebrate all of our new found knowledge, we partied like it was 1999…literally. NickMom knocked it out of the ballpark with a "Retro Prom!" 
 There were fake tattoos... 
(Thank you Carisa Miller from Do You Read Me?)
 There was much dancing…
I'm sorry this picture is blurry but it makes me so happy. These are some of the smartest, kindest and most talented women on the planet. Not to mention that they are damn fine dancers. Not one of us threw a hip out! Winning. 
(Andrea from The Underachiever's Guide To Being A Domestic Goddess, Kelley from Kelley's Break Room, Robyn from Hollow Tree Ventures, Nicole from Tyop Aretist, Tara from You Know It Happens At Your House Too, and Ellen from The Sisterhood of The Sensible Moms.)
There were photo ops…
No one cracks me up like Nicole from Tyop Aretist and Susan from Divine Secrets Of A Domestic Diva.
I almost broke a rib laughing when I saw this "awkward prom photo." Julie from Rants From Mommyland, Kim from Let Me Start By Saying, Nicole from Tyop Aretist, and the photobomber is Jen from People I Want To Punch In The Throat. 
 There were dancing queens…
This picture perfectly sums up Janel from Girls, The Care and Raising Of. 
 There was sisterhood…
The phrase that I kept hearing throughout the weekend was: "a rising tide lifts all boats."
It didn't matter who had 153K followers or who had 351 followers. It didn't matter if you were a grief blogger, a humor blogger, a fashion blogger, or a DIY blogger. We all wanted to share our stories, our tricks of the trade, and our dance moves. 
As Ellen and Erin from The Sisterhood Of The Sensible Moms said, "Lean In and Lean On." 
Meet the team that brought you BlogU…big hair, big dresses and big love.
We've all gone home to our own corners of the world. Back to seeing each other through our computer screens. But, we all have a little giddyup in our step. We "got schooled" and we are ready to use all that we learned from the friends living in our computers.
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