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?"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catching Shadows...

Zigzag shadows...

One of the things that I love about my home is the light.
Yeah, yeah, I know.  I can hear the jokes, now.
"Go into the light."
"Let your little light shine."
"Baby, light my fire!"

I love the outdoors so if I must be inside, I need all the light I can get!  I follow it around the house like a puppy.  Here are some of my pitstops on the light brigade.

Our living room is so bright, I could grow a garden!

By 3:00, everything upstairs is a washed out honey color.

I finally put curtains in our bedroom when my Mister dubbed it Daytona Beach.

When I return from morning runs,  light is streaming through my bathroom window.  (Begging me to shower!)

Homework central gets the afternoon shadows...

My "sneaking off to read" corner!

So, there you have it.  I spend my free time chasing light and shadows.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HouseTalkN's Top Kitchens!

I love kitchens.  It's where we live, right?
That's where it all happens.
Not just the dinner and the dishes.
The kitchen is where we played cards until we heard birds chirping!
The kitchen is where I said, "It's time to go to the hospital."
The kitchen is where we argue, fuss and fight over homework.
The kitchen is where we get the great phone calls...and the not so great phone calls.
The kitchen window is where I stand to watch my kiddos dancing in the back yard, pitching baseballs against the garage, shooting hoops, playing in the neighbors treehouse, and fighting over fair!

Here is a lookiloo at some of my favorite kitchens...other than my own.

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

"Something's Gotta Give"-ish

I love a back staircase to a kitchen!

Get a look at those pendant lights!

This wall of windows makes me giddy!

Installing darker lower cabinets and white upper cabinets seems to be a new trend.  My guess is that enough of us have scrubbed our lower white cabinets one too many times!

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

In case you didn't notice, here is a recap of some of my favorite kitchen elements:
-White cabinets.
-Wood floors, especially lovadoodle the dark flooring.
-High low combinations such as industrial lighting with fancy shmancy carrara marble.
-Natural light!  When it comes to windows, size DOES matter!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Ma'am, Step Away From Pinterest...

I have recently become obsessed with Pinterest.  Any image I can dream up - a few clicks and VOILLA!  There it is, at my fingertips.
It's just too easy.
My name is Kerry, and I am addicted to Pinterest.
This image stopped me in my tracks.  I thought I was in Vegas, baby.  Shouted at my computer "Pin It!" followed by "Bring it on home to Mama!"

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

"You'll love it," they said.

"Don't get addicted," they warned.

I should have listened. I found myself strung out on coffee at 1:00 in the morning, whispering "pin it." Just 5 more minutes, just one more time.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kitchen Love- Tune In Tuesday!


Tune in Tuesday for a lookiloo at some fan.tas.tic kitchens.
Here is a peek at one of my favorite combos- gray walls, white cabinets, a pop of color, dark wood floors and hello,sir - get a look at the finishes!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Blogging Tip- You Can't Always Count On Spellcheck!

HouseTalkN is almost 3 months old and I thought this might be a good time to share a blog "tip" of my own.  That's what all the big girl bloggers do.
Amanda at Serenity Now, A Mommy's Solution To Staying Sane and Sarah at A Beach Cottage were two of the many generous bloggers that shared their "How Be A Better Blogger" tips.  (Sarah is about to begin an online "blogging" class, fyi)
via A Beach Cottage
Thanks to Amanda, I finally braved a "link party."
Amanda pointed out that like any polite party guest, you should always thank your hostess.
Similarly, when you "host" a visitor, always thank them for coming.
via Serenity Now

Much like when Sarah started "Fashion Friday" with all of her loveliness, I had to share my unfortunate "Mascara as eyebrow enhancer" fiasco tip. that Amanda has pointed out the "please and thank you's" of blogging,  I better share with you the importance of READING BEFORE SENDING!
Here is my disclaimer...My kiddos started school this week.  I started teaching.  Throw in a few baseball games, soccer practices, meetings and a bit of cooking, cleaning, laundering, and you know the drill because we are all doing it!  I know, I know.  I'm just trying to whine about explain why I was in such a rush.
I live for "comments" on HouseTalkN.  I am so happy to find out that someone out there is actually reading it!  (Besides my mother)  So, when I do get a comment, I am thrilled to go to that person's blog/site/email to thank them for popping by my place.
You got that?  POPPING.  Not to be confused with POOPING.
In my rush, I typed  "Thank you for pooping by my place."

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photography Challenge, Week 5

When I was taking pictures from my bedroom window of those darn "leaves that taunt" for Sunday's post, I saw my youngest daughter  cruisin' our walkway on her scooter....singing her little heart out.
Once I had taken 97 pictures of her from my window,  (another confirmation of my mental state to my neighbors) I remembered that this week's Photo Challenge is "From a High Angle."
Here are some shots of my flower box with my singing, scootering girl in the background!

Anyone want to come "deadhead" my petunias?

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Homeowner??

Ok, y'all.  Settle a dispute...(Which is code for, "take my side.")
My Mister and I are opposites in many ways.   Even though we share the same "biggie" values, we often find ourselves on completely different planets perspectives.
We have started to consider the possibility that we might, maybe, be open to possibly moving to a bigger house.
Here's the pickle.  If a hypothetical couple on a hypothetical neighborhood walk finally agreed on a hypothetical house would it be "weird" to send a hypothetical letter to the hypothetical homeowners?  Something like, "Dear Homeowners, we love your home, please consider us if you ever sell?"  It's not that I would write something like, "Dear Homeowners, please don't be creeped out but we want your house and would run naked through the park if you would sell it to us?"
What say you?  Letter good or letter bad?
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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Help

One of the few "house" images I could find.

I loved the relationship between Celia and Minnie!

Remember that it is a MOVIE not a documentary! 

The News-Gazette's Julie Wurth and Meg Dickenson joined HouseTalkN to plan a Girls Night Out meets Book Club meets Movie Night in our community to see The Help. 
Before the big night even arrived, I had so much fun talking with people who had read (or who were still reading) The Help. 
Friday night, we got an up close and personal viewing of The Help, as the theatre sold out and the only seats available were in the front row!  
I always roll my eyes when I hear this kind of talk, but here it is- this movie made us laugh and made us cry and gave us a lot to talk about!
This movie could keep a book club hoppin' for a year.  You could cover the historic points, the race issues, women's roles, parenting, domestic abuse, as well as the power of friendship, bravery, and family.
This here is a house blog, so I must tell you that I looooved the houses in this movie.
Each house reflected each woman's personality!
Skeeter's big ole rambling house with the beautiful wrap-around porch was pure southern charm.  Original yet classic, just like Skeeter.
I hate to say it, but I also loved "Two Slice Hilly's" brick colonial.  Like Hilly, it looked beautiful on the outside but was empty on the inside.
Every single scene that had Celia Foote's house in it, I "ooh-ed" and "aah-ed" and even got shushed for blurting out  "LOVE that kitchen!" Loved that Celia, too!
I also found it perfect that Elizabeth, the Stepford lapdog to Hilly, lived in a house that was a bland cookie cutter ranch. 
There, of course, was a stark contrast between these houses and Minnie and Abeline's houses.
You don't get much of a look at Minnie's house.  Even tough talker Minnie has secrets.
Aibileen's house is warm and cozy and safe.  Just like the feeling she gives to her "children".  
"You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important."

It was a great night with my gal pals, a wonderful movie and a terrific lookiloo for this house lover!

Click here to see a "behind the scenes" of The Help:
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photography Challenge, Week 4!

Food is one of my favorite things in life.
Photography is one of my favorite things in life.
Never have these worlds collided in my life.
Week 4 of the Photography Challenge is "Dinner."
I have felt silly (to say the least) when taking up close pictures of candlesticks, teacups, and flowers.  Nothing quite compares to having a table full of hungry kiddos, everyone in a hurry to get back outside for the final moments of summer fun, and I announce, "Hold that thought, I need to take a picture of the pasta plate."
Say "huhwha?"
Just pipe down and wait, already.
I couldn't even give the evil eye when they giggled through the dinner prayer.
Laughing at their mother is one of their favorite things in life.
Angel hair pasta and garden veggies...ready for the close-up!

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God Bless The Real Estate Agent!

Fifteen years ago, my sweet husband and I, his sweet bride, decided to buy a house.
Let's just say that there were some "not so sweet" moments along the way.
Step 1- Find a real estate agent.  Easy, right?
Watch out for fast talking agents!

Not so much.  After meeting a couple of fast talking, "Get yourself a big ole loan" kind of fellas, I was relieved to meet agent, Steve Fox.
I knew Steve was the agent for us when he said "You can get a loan for a lot more, but you would be "house poor".  No money to actually furnish or update a house.
We all know that I am a house stalker lover and could tour houses all day, everyday, any day.  Poor Steve had to find out the hard way.
9,372 houses later,  Steve was still patiently guiding me through houses.
My husband's dream home,

My dream home!

Here are some highlights that will forever put me in debt me to Steve Fox.
-He did not bat an eye when he heard that my husband dreamed of subdivision living and I longed for a hundred year old Victorian.
-Without any eye-rolling at all, Steve explained that our "must have" list did not match our budget.
-I had a hissy fit on the stoop of a lovely old house on a tree-lined, brick street because my husband hated it didn't see the charm.  Steve asked calmly, "Do you really want him to buy a house even if he doesn't love it, too?"  (I answered, "YES!  NOW you're hearing me!")
-Steve kept his judgements to himself when I refused to even tour a house (after a 25 mile drive) because it was too "creepy looking."
-Mostly, I am grateful to Steve Fox because he found the house that we have brought four babies home to.  When he drove me past the house that we now call home, he didn't even flinch when I bounced all over his car shouting "THAT'S THE ONE!"

Fifteen years later, I still call on Steve Fox.  "Should we refinance?" or  "We are remodeling-AGAIN- will a kitchen/bath/patio/sunroom/personal spa/etc pay off?"
We've started to consider moving to a bigger house.  During the "House That Got Away" fiasco, Steve stayed true as the calm voice of reason.  He took me to tour the house.  He met us again to show my Mister.  Again, to show my get the picture.
Still, no eye rolling or heavy sighing.

Thank you, Mr. Calm and Cool, Steve Fox!
Steve Fox, Awarded Most Patient Agent Ever!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Accepting the "F" Word...

Everyone's saying it.  I don't want to, but  I feel pressured.  The "F" word is everywhere these days.
There, I finally said it.  Fall.
Just like the finding a good house rule- location, location, location- fall is in a bad location.
I have looked at some fantastic houses that were ruled out because of bad locations.
Same thing with fall.
It has a bad location- between summer and winter.  It means that I have to say goodbye to summer and that winter is looming waiting on the other side of the pumpkin patch!
So...I will put off cutesy "How to decorate for fall" posts for one more week.
Here's a look back at the lazy days of my summer!

GirlTalkN leads to HouseTalkN! A blog is born.
Lemonade Stands on the front lawn...
I came, I saw, I gardened!
Field of Dreams- one of many baseball games!
Lazy days with sisters...
HouseTalkN's "Pay it Forward- Get Your Gnome On!"

HUHWHAT?!?  Did someone say the "F" word?
Next week, I'll be back to teaching.
Next week, my kiddos will be back to school.
Next week, I'll use the "F" word.
This week, I'm clinging to summer.

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