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, November 30, 2011

The First Holiday Tablescape Of The Season!

We have had rainy, doomy, gloomy days around here so that is my whiny excuse why we have not gotten our Christmas tree, yet! GASP! It is also to blame for my icky low lighting! 

I usually make a big production of "tree cutting day!" We bring up the ornaments from the basement, cut the tree, hang the lights, decorate the trees, decorate the house, and drink spiced rum wassail! 
We do it all in one day...except this year. I'm becoming what my pops would call a "lollygagger"! 
For the first time in history, I am decorating in stages. 
Tablescape, check!
Mantle, check! (coming soon)
Children's trees decorated, check! (coming soon)
Christmas village, check! (yep, also coming soon)
Main Christmas tree...oops.

So, here is a lookiloo at the first tablescape of the season. I say "first" because it will change 83 times before New Years Day!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Trip To The Country...Wordless Wednesday

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A "Battle of the Breezeway" UPDATE!

The family that paints together...

My dithering nature manifests itself in a big way when I have to choose paint colors.
I once tested four different beiges for our old living room. BEIGE. Not exactly a risky color.
They were either too peachy or too taupy or didn't match my upholstery. Whatever. I still wasn't really happy with the result.
With my son's room I ended up mixing my own color - I was after the Pottery Barn-esque "chambray" - because the blues were either too bright or the wrong shade.
After that I got more decisive. That happens once you have toddlers.
I actually chose a brick red for our family room without any sample tests, and I got lucky. It turned out great.
Flush with triumph, I next picked out an apple green our kitchen without a second thought - and got a surprise. The paint store gave me the wrong formula and the green came out kind of ... swampy. They fixed it.
I regressed, however, when we painted our house a couple of years ago. We were moving from khaki to a gray-green, and decided to use test samples because we had to buy so much paint. A very wise move.
I learned that a) colors are VERY different outside and 2) green is challenging.
The first four colors I tried were way too pale. And the shades were all wrong for the almond siding-trim, which we couldn't afford to change at the time.
Several tests later, my husband started calling our home the "Jello 1-2-3 house." But we finally got it right.
Our latest paint choice? The ceiling for our breezeway. We wanted a sky blue (our designer's suggestion, and I love all things blue-green-turquoise). It came down to  Arctic Blue (with aqua tones) or Bird's Nest (robin's egg blue).
We took home a couple of samples, because this room has unique lighting - lots of windows, but also shaded. I loved both colors - at first. Then they dried. Much darker. And I panicked. Back to the store for a lighter version of Arctic Blue, called Bluebonnet. Turned out like mint ice cream. Ick.
So it was back to the first two, but (shockingly) I couldn't decide. Bird's Nest was a more conventional blue, but Arctic Blue was my first love - and it looked better with the cabinets we picked out from Ikea.
My kids finally came to the rescue and agreed on Arctic Blue. They were antsy to get on with the "fun" part of our breezeway makeover, which has been in the works for several months. Actually, "painting the ceiling" does not scream "fun," but compared to ripping up tile or scraping adhesive off the floor it's party time.
So we bought the actual paint, and after I finished sanding I finally turned them loose with the rollers. When I say "loose," I mean paint splatters on the floor, the walls, their faces, the works. Not to mention fights over who got what roller or who got to use the stepladder.
Things finally settled down, and they started taking turns on the ladder while I used a kitchen chair to do the edgework.
You know that moment when your brain sends you a "warning, warning, that might not be a good idea" signal, and you say, "Nah"?

To read full fiasco story, click here.
To read the backstory, click here.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

'Tis (Officially) The Season!

I have not written one stinkin' single holiday post because I am a rule follower. Yes, yes I am. 
There is not to be one ornament, wreath, mistletoe or light hung until one day after Thanksgiving. 
NOW, the gates have opened, the game is on, the whistle has blown, and I am off and running! (Trying to slip in some sports phrases to entice my Mister!)
Here is a lookiloo at the Pinterest images that have inspired me!

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

I have my game face on!

Do you put up all of your decorations in one shot or in stages?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Saturday!

                                                                                      Source: via Kerry on Pinterest
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Friday, November 25, 2011

"It's Bone China, Dear."

You might remember my long love affair with blackberries. (Blackberries and Clothespins) These Roy Kirkham "Summer Fruits" mugs and bowl were wedding gifts that I loved as soon as I saw the blackberry pattern! 
"They are perfect! I looooove blackberries!" This was apparently akin to "Yeehaw, I can keep my fishin' bait in these here cups!"
The gift giver quickly offered, "It's bone china, Dear." 
I just found these in the back of a cupboard and again thought, "I LOVE BLACKBERRIES!" Oops, I mean "I adore fine bone china."

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This little table in my dining room sums up what I am thankful for today.  A family photo, my daughters' drawing of our family, and a hand painted dish with all of our names on it. 

(Please notice that I am the one fully accessorized and my mouth is wide open...hmmm?)

A gift from our beloved Aunt Kitty, I keep the note that came with it taped to the back of the dish. (I will forever remember Aunt Kitty in her chic clothes, big sunglasses, and sneaking smokes like no one would notice...when she was in her 80's!)

I plan to be in a pumpkin pie coma by 6pm. So...

                                                                                       Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

HouseTalkN's Top Doors...Wordless Wednesday!

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HouseTalkN's DogTalkN

Two weeks after we bought our house, I surprised my husband with a golden retriever puppy- Shelby.
Over the next 12 years, she welcomed and guarded our four babies. 
She cleaned up the food those babies splattered on the floor, walls, chairs, windows and each other.
She listened patiently while our babies-turned-kiddos poured their hearts out to her. ("Mommy never lets me do anything!")
She was world class shedding champion.
She never judged my slow pace on runs.
She waited up for my mister when he worked the late shift at the newspaper. (I was busy...ahem, sleeping)
She was the heroine of the bedtime stories my husband told our kiddos, "SUPER SHELBY SAVES THE DAY!"
Three years ago today, Shelby died. 
Is it sorta, kinda, maybe just about time to think of getting a new puppy?
I have to admit that most of my concerns are well...about the mess a doggie brings! It has been nice to not battle the tumbleweed of hair, the muddy paw prints, and for the love of all things holy, the poo pick up!
Take a lookiloo at these pups and weigh in- 
Does every house need a pooch?
Our girl, Shelby

                              This cracks me up- RUUUUUUUUN!

Source: via JC on Pinterest

 This is just the kind of thing that would make me nutty...ok, nuttier.
Source: via Simone on Pinterest

But then...just look at that face!

"All our friends are doing it!"  It doesn't help when friends and neighbors are getting sweet puppies!

                                      Remember Jack Sholem?

Weigh in- does your doggie make your house a home or are you grateful for the freedom?

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A White Fall...

I walked into my dining room, took one look at the stack of "to do" papers...and like the champion procrastinator that I am, I decided to change up the tablescape!

Breezeway Julie called and asked what I was doing. "I should be doing laundry...BUT, I'm fussing over a blue and white tablescape!"

                                               Before BLAH!

You can imagine how excited I was to find WHITE pine cones! (see, white can be a fall color!)

                                   A white pine cone for each guest!

So...when you are feeling overwhelmed by your own "to do" list, take on a completely unimportant and frivolous task!

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