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, September 29, 2011

Photography Challenge, "Hands"

This week's theme in the "Photography Challenge- A Step In The Journey" is "HANDS!"

It's no secret that I love sisters.  I love my sisters, my husband's sisters, other peoples sisters and I especially love seeing my own daughter's "sister love!"

No one can build me up like my sisters and no one can put me in check faster than my sisters.

When I saw this week's theme- "Hands" I thought of this picture.

The Hopkin's Sisters, 2011

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting Personal...

I love reading Meg Dickinson's "Getting Personal" profiles in The News-Gazette each Sunday.  Meg is asking local bloggers to answer her "Getting Personal" questions.

Name, Age, Town of Residence. 
Kerry Rossow, 22 39, Champaign, Illinois
Profession: Explain in one sentence what it is you do. 
I get to enjoy the art studio at Montessori Habitat School by day and I write a blog (HouseTalkN) in between soccer practices and baseball games by night!
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
It depends on my level of will power to get up and run! Somewhere in the 5:30-6:00 range.  Run or no run- both ways end with coffee, lots of coffee.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
I had tomato, basil and mozzarrella salad at Montessori Habitat School where a student taught me to say
Best high school memory.
I loved basketball- everything about it.  Loved my team, loved my coach, and most importantly, loved beating those Spartans!  Ok, it only happened once and I might be 22 39 but I will cling to that victory as long as I live.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
I have a pair of black and white Oxford/Saddle shoes that my husband calls my "clown shoes."  Love, love, love them.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
 I love a family walk.  (Perfect time to lookiloo at houses!)
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
I just gave my son To Kill A Mockingbird for Christmas. Re-reading it as a parent was a totally different read!
Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
Any beach, anytime.  Lazy days on a beach, yukking it up with my family.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
Two weeks after we bought our house and long before we had children,  I surprised my husband with the best dog ever- Shelby. If you look at our family scrapbooks, Shelby is part of the landscape of each birthday, holiday and milestone.  Sometimes, it's just a blur of a golden tail whizzing past, but it's there.    She has been gone for two years and we still tell "Shelby, The Best Dog Ever" stories.
Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
When I am putzing around the yard, talking to myself or my plants, I realize that I am my father's daughter. Yesterday, I heard my mother's voice come out of my mouth when I told my son "Your room looks like a bomb went off!"
What would you order for your last meal?
Blackberry pie with a chocolate bar on the side.
What can you NOT live without?
Coffee, lots of coffee!
Who do you have on your iPod?
Silly girl, I don't have an iPod.
What’s the happiest memory of your life?
When I finally beat my husband in a game of one on one basketball. (He will beg to differ!)  
Seriously, the 5 people in my house make me crazy happy.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
My son is sitting here and thinks I should answer Michael Jordan. I'll throw in Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi just for the fireworks!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don't take yourself too seriously.
What’s your best piece of advice?
Don't take yourself too seriously.
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
I babysat for 2 bucks an hour and thought I was rolling in the dough! (It paid for my first pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans!)
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
This summer, I started my blog, HouseTalkN, after my sister said, "Do it already, ya big chicken."
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
I talk too much...if there is an awkward silence I will fill it with inappropriate humor.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I fill it with inappropriate humor.

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HouseTalkN Goes HouseWalkN!

"Symphony of Homes" - not many phrases make me happier than "SYMPHONY OF HOMES!"

The Guild of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony will be presenting "Symphony of Homes" on Sunday, October 9 from 11am until 5pm.

Mark your calendars, call your pals, and join HouseTalkN for a little HouseWalkN!

You may tour the houses in any order you like, but this Tolono beauty is my first stop!

           ~Symphony of Homes- Through the Decades~

Five homes from 5 different eras, with different living styles.
Tickets at $12 may be purchased in advance at the following locations:
- Winter Wheat, St. Joseph, IL
- Vilardo's, Champaign, IL
- Heartland Gallery, Urbana, IL
- Victorian House, Mahomet, IL
Tickets at $15 are available on the day of the event at any of the houses.

                                  Stay tuned for more lookiloos leading up to the big day!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

HouseTalkN's Fall Mantle...Baby Steps, People.

I do not usually decorate for fall. GASP!  That's right- go ahead, put it on my permanent record.

Kerry FallHater Rossow-"F" in the fall decorating category.

While I enjoy the things that come with fall- Friday night high school football, Saturday tailgates, hoodies, apple crisp, and Kahlua  hot chocolate, I have never enjoyed fall decorating.

Fall decorations don't usually fit into my WHITE color scheme.  (And, YES, white is a color scheme!)


BUT! This has been the year of "Try New Things!"

So, I made the trek to Hobby Lobby in search of a fall wreath- ok, a white fall wreath. Shockingly, no white fall wreaths.

 "I'm a big girl and can make my own $#@!& white fall wreath!"

Here is how it went down:

How can I resist that marketing? "Make it fun!"

Burlap says "fall", right?

Look at me making ROSETTES! 

I threw in some acorns and a white pumpkin for good measure.

After...I have to say that the bird is creeping me out.

Maybe I will add a pumpkin here and there as we get closer to Halloween.  I might go wild and throw in a witch or a ghost.  HEY! Ghosts are white! Back to Hobby Lobby I go.

Link Par-taay at:

The Lettered Cottage
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Name That Movie House, Take 2!

We had so much fun with the "Name That Movie House or Chug Your Coffee", that I am going to do another round!  (You better get your game face on this time!)

                       Name These 5 Movie Houses or Chug Your Coffee!






(In case you didn't notice the small print, all of my movie house images are "pinned" from the queen of house blogs- Hooked On Houses!)

Link Par-taay at:
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Monday, September 26, 2011

You Can Do This!

We all have to give ourselves pep talks now and then.  Some of us more than others.

I have to tell myself "You can do this, you can do this, you can do this" on a daily basis.  From buttoning my pants, to talking to an intimidating person, to cleaning the toilet, to maintaining appropriate behavior at sporting events and I especially have to talk myself through CHANGE.

I try really hard to be a "fly by the seat of my pants" gal.   I want to be fun and spontaneous...while following the plan and maintaining order.

Most of the time, I appear to be fun and spontaneous.  Chances my head I am chanting, "you can do this!"

Once I talk myself off the ledge, I really do have a great time...I just have to moan and groan first.

This is the case with fall.  I have been bitchin' complaining to anyone and everyone that "I miss summer,  I wish it was still summer, summer was so freaking awesome and where did summer go?"

I thought some purdy fall images might jumpstart my "You can do this, you can do this" approach.

Feel free to join me and chant along, "WE CAN DO THIS!"  If you are one of those autumn lovers that squealed with delight when that first leaf changed...just have a candy corn with a side of this eye candy!

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

I am getting my big girl pants on and decorating for fall!
By tomorrow afternoon, I'll be FallTalkN about HouseTalkN!
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Words Count.

Wowzadoodle.  I came, I saw, I pinned.

I just checked in with my bff, Pinterest and saw that this "Pin" was repinned about a zillion times.

"Signs, signs, everywhere signs."

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest
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Open House Sunday...

There is a house on the edge of my neighborhood that is the bargain of the month.   Makes me think "Bang for your buck."

This is a great house in a great neighborhood.  The drawback?  It is on a busy street.  BUT, it has a side street driveway.

For $215,000, you get 4bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a fantastic front porch!  For $215,000, there is a lot of wiggle room to renovate.  For $215,000, you could be in the funnest neighborhood in town...I might be biased.

If you could deal with the busy street dilemma, it would be worth a visit to 1009 W. Springfield today.

Check it out:

It has great curb appeal!

The "happy hour" porch!

Great potential with the fireplace, wood floors and hello, french doors!

If you need a real estate agent, remember "God Bless the Real Estate Agent" Steve Fox.
(Sorry for the blurry stock photos!)
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Time Is It?

         TAILGATE TIME!  

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Red Maple, Red Maple, Send Fall Over!

Late in the summer, my Red Maple turns on me.  (I first typed "turns me on" which would be a very different kind of blog, eww.)
I digress, sorry.  A red leaf here.  A red leaf there.  (See "Leaves That Taunt")

This Red Maple taunts greets me from my bedroom window each morning.
I curse at pass by this Red Maple on my way to the swagger wagon.

We have a love/hate thaaang going on.  In the spring, we will be in the love stage.  Right now, we are in the hate stage.

Meet my nemesis.

Take that!  Not so RED now are ya??
It reminds me of playing "Red rover, red rover, we dare Kerry over!"
Bring it on, Red Maple.

Link Par-taay at:
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Airing My Laundry...

When I spoke lovingly of my mother and her mother hanging out their laundry in "Blackberries and Clothespins", I in no way meant that I carry on this tradition of hanging out my laundry.

I don't even own a clothesline.

My dryer broke last month.  Yes, that's right- last MONTH, as in 30 days ago.

I have been hanging out our laundry for 30 freaking days.

"No biggie," I had said.

On day 3, an unnamed person in my family asked if their skivvies (gasp) were going to be hung out.  "No, sweetheart.  Yours are special and I will blow dry yours."

On day 17, a friend stopped by for a glass of wine.  "Oops, let me move my stiff as a board undies so you can sit between my gym socks and pj's."  Very chic and inviting.

On day 29, my mister asked if I thought we could go a bit longer.  (In his defense, he put in equal time in the washing and hanging of skivvies)  When my head spun around and green pea soup flew from my head, he got the picture.  "Call the repair folks before Mommy eats us."

The photo challenge theme at A Step in the Journey this week is "A Mess".  I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot, literally.

I wish I could tell you that my fiasco turned out like this:

Here is a peek at what used to be our patio.

Nothing jazzes up a tablescape quite like gym socks.

Good to know that my furniture is under there somewhere!

To make matters worse, I keep seeing all of these big "Transformation" blog posts.  Yep, I've got a "transformation" for you.  I have the reverse transformation!  From "Soiree Central"  to "Hillbilly Central"!

My new bff from the appliance store fixed my dryer today.  I think I saw a rainbow over my house.

Link Par-taay at:

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tablescape With A Twist...

I love to link par-taay at "Between Naps On The Porch" - she is the hostess with the mostest of "Tablescape Thursday".  (If you don't know what a link party is, click here to hear about my link party fears!)

My own tablescapes this week often consisted of paper plates and/or took place in our swagger wagon.  Before I was actually a parent, I would offer really helpful parenting tips like - "You should never eat in a car and your dinners should always be about grace and courtesy and family time"...oh, yes, I did!

This week,  I thought I would share a new kind of tablescape.

I was "working" (shut up, already.  Blogging is very hard work...oh, yes, it is!)  on a blog post about one of my favorite shops - Checkered Moon and thought that I would share some fun ways to shake up a tablescape!  Here are some fun finds and some eye candy for a Girls Night Out-ish tablescape!

I love the numbers- is that to keep track of drinks?

Book Club, anyone?

Napkins can be a great place to find life lessons.

Fun party favors!

Can you say "GLAM"?

Link Par-taay at:

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Monday, September 19, 2011

HouseTalkN's Top Staircases!

I am a sucker for a center hall open staircase.  The rest of the house can be falling down around the staircase, but an open staircase will wow me everytime.

It's some deep rooted childhood fantasy.  I remember thinking that anyone living in a house with an open staircase, especially if it was in a center hall, well, clearly, they must be the happiest people on the planet.

I fantasized about sliding down the banister as a young girl.  Then came the prom pictures on the staircase fantasy.  Then, the Father of the Bride wedding fantasy.  Just so you know, I also had great political fantasies as well, but this here is a house blog.

My staircase lust has continued into adulthood.  Yes, I realize that a staircase can't give you happiness or change the world or feed the hungry.  I do.  But, a great staircase is a make it or break it for me.

Here is a look at some drool-worthy staircases:

HousetalkN from "House of Lights"

HouseTalkN from "The Hobbs Mystery- Solved"

There you have it.  I am a staircase freak.  Anyone else?

Link Par-taay at:
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