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, May 31, 2012

Blogging Tip- Keep Your Blogging Circles Straight!

You might remember that I am "Queen of Embarrassing Moments!"
Well, I'm back at it. Because I am a giver, I am going to share my story so you can learn from it.
I joined the big world of the blogosphere almost one year ago. There are many circles of bloggers that I follow. 
If I need a some purdy house talk, I seek out The Shabby Creek Cottage or Southern Hospitality.
If I need a smorgasbord of great writing, I seek out Yeah Write.
If I need some funny mom moments, I seek out Nucking Futs Mama or Buried With Kids.
If I need techy help, I seek out Serenity Now or Angela Shelton.
If I need poop talk or vagina jokes, I find myself at Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva or The Bearded Iris.
A few weeks ago, I got this comment from Daphne at Flip Flops and Pearls on my blog: 

Have you tried Shock Top? It kinda tastes like BM with an orange already added, delish :)
I had been spending too much time with my raunchy circle, because "tastes like BM" immediately flagged a bowel movement reference. 
Being a vigilant blogger when it comes to spammer comments, I contacted Daphne to alert her that some sicko had left said comment on my blog. 
Daphne promptly explained that she had actually left that comment in response to a Blue Moon beer reference I had left on her earlier post. She explained this in the same, strained way that I explained to my son how to spell R2D2. 
Oops. My bad. Can we pretend that I didn't bring bowel movement talk into the world of purdy? I tell my kiddos- keep your privates private. 
Remember to keep your circles straight. 

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Sunroom Makeover!

My sunroom goes through many looks every spring/summer/fall. (Click here to see other versions of my sunroom!) Whenever I get the itch for a costume change, the sunroom is an easy target.
Today was my official first day of summer vacation. What better room to overhaul for summer than a sunroom? 
Here is a lookiloo at the drab and sad before:

Brace yourself. I went a teeny bit wild with color...
I am a rebel these days.
 My sunroom curtains are Lowe's painting dropcloths. 

 And, then...the light shifted. 
When I think of summer, I think of baseball games, pool parties, gardening and happy hour(s) with my gal pals. 
We can park ourselves in the sunroom and listen to all of the kiddos romping through the sprinkler. Lazy days lead to evenings of chasing fireflies, "Ghost in the Graveyard" and "Bloody Murder!" (Or, as my kids mispronounce- "Bloody Murmur!")
I decided to haul up my old, 1921, 63 ton ironing board to use as a buffet/bar. 

By the time this post is published, I will be watching my kiddos chase fireflies through the yard, shouting "Bloody Murmur!"
Happy Summer, y'all!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The House With The Yellow Door...Wordless Wednesday

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Makeover Madness!

BEWARE: Personal Post!
Your regularly programmed house blog is being interrupted with a personal blog post.
If you only visit HouseTalkN for purdy house photos, enjoy this shot and check back tomorrow for regularly scheduled house purdies!

Since turning "Forty-licious", my life has been full of makeovers! 
-My girlfriends brought color to my all white decor.
-HouseTalkN underwent a redesign.
-This week, Findings Boutique is giving me a clothing makeover!
Now, for the biggie. 
I quit my teaching job...that I love...that pays a few bills...that I've done for 18 years...
There is no way to explain why. 
I wasn't burnt out. 
I loved the people that I worked with.
I loved the families.
I was just done. 
In April, I asked my seven year old daughter what kind of birthday treat she wanted for her school celebration. She responded "Cookies. But, I just want you to come all the other moms." Ouch. 
Never mind that I am there before and after school. Never mind that I take personal time to attend special performances. Never mind that I am a room mom. Never mind that I am a PTA psycho. The bottom line was that I was not able to pop in during the school day.
I can argue both sides of my "Should I stay or should I go" dilemma.  On one side, it has been so great for my kiddos to see me working at a job that I love. It has been a great lesson for them to see that I am an active, contributing citizen outside of our home. 
But for me, it brought clarity to the ideas that I was already kicking around. 
I'm done teaching. I need a more flexible schedule. I want to see my daughter's face when her classmates sing "Happy Birthday!" I want to surprise my husband at lunch. I want to pursue the blog and photography. 
I kept thinking of what I tell my children- "Go big or go home!"
When I started HouseTalkN last summer, I had no idea how much I would love blogging. Blogging joined all the things that I love- writing, photography, house stalking, and time with my gal pals! The icing on the cake has been the awesome blogging community. 
But, there is only so much time in my day. I was at school all day and enjoying my family in the evenings. Blogging would happen at 11pm or 5am. I dreamed of blogging during daylight hours, with my eyes fully open and while NOT in my pajamas!  
I have been on a bloggy break for one week. No posts, no link parties, no projects. Gasp.
A sister's road trip to Kentucky was just what I needed. No one can build you up or put you in your place faster than a sister. Especially, my sisters. I came back to my life feeling like I CAN DO IT!
So...I am back and I am going to give this a shot. I am literally going for broke.
Here's to new beginnings! 

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crazy Hosta Lady...

Some blocks have a "Crazy Cat Lady".   I am aftraid that I have become our block's "Crazy Hosta Lady".

I have every kind of hosta you can imagine.  Blue, elephant ear, lime green, green tipped, green striped, white flowering, and purple flowering.  I could be considered a hosta hoarder, really.

Many of my hostas have sentimental value.  (Stop being Judgy Judgerson, ok?  Hostas ARE special!)

I have my "Fosler Hostas" that came from my all time favorite neighbor, Mrs. Fosler, who was selfish enough to move to assisted living to be closer to her family!

Then you have the "Kasten Hostas" from our shared backyard neighbors.  (Similar to our "shared" treehouse)

I have the "Robbie Hostas" that I won in a foot race down my street with neighbor/fellow hosta lover, Robbie.

My all time favorites are the "Daddy Hostas" that  I transplanted with my dad, landscaping guru.  I will always have fond memories of yard work with my pops - him grumbling like the dad in A Christmas Story.   
"*&^$#! Everybody thinks they're a &^%$##!-ing landscape expert these days...@$@%!"
"Why can't she just leave this **&^&%-ing yard alone*&%$ until my %$#@-ing visits??" 
"Stop right there!  You are killing the &^%$-ing hostas!"

Now that I have been spotted up close and personal, taking pictures of my little angels, I thought I would share some hosta love...

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 Outdoor Wednesdays
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

HouseTalkN's Top Office Spaces!

My office is a desk in the corner of our family room that faces the action. I can shout commands, blow kisses, spy see outdoor shenanigans, spot a slacker, correct homework, give the hairy eyeball, and blog my little heart out- all from my desk in the corner.
I can't decide if I am more like the naughty child who has been sent to the corner or if I am more like the bossy teacher staring over my bifocals at all the frolicking and cavorting. 

This is my widdle corner of the blogosphere...complete with coffee and chocolate.

Here are some offices that I have been drooling over...

I could barely enjoy the movie "Something's Gotta Give" because I was so distracted by the house! This is possibly the best office space EVER! 

How about you? Do you have a swanky office? 
If you could have one of these, which would you pick?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

The IncrediBALL Hydrangea!

It's no secret that I love white! Not only is the inside of my house filled with white, white, white, but white is also a garden theme!
When I see hydrangeas, especially any in the white pom-pom party, my heart skips a beat! They are the flower of yesteryear, Grandma's house revisited, AND they are gorgeous in a vase!

I found this variety at my local nursery, Prairie Gardens. I especially enjoy the name - The Incrediball! According to Prairie Garden's expert, it is supposed to be the "knockout rose" of hydrangeas and boasts a bigger stem to avoid flopping. (Just try to maintain mature appearances while inquiring about "incrediballs that have big stems and don't flop" might be difficult!)
Happy Gardening!

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 A Beach Cottage
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bunny Battle Is On!

In my battle against the hosta snarfing, petunia munching bunny scoundrels, I may have finally gone too far.

The first sign that I had gone over the edge was when I was shouting from an upstairs (right out of the shower, no less!) bathroom window - "Get out of my yard!  Get!"  (Calling on my Indiana roots,  pronounced "GIT!")

I realized that my children and their friends might think I meant them, so I added, "Don't worry, Mommy is talking to the bunnies!"  This didn't sound quite right, either.

I have tried it all - dog hair clippings, my own hair clippings, chili powder, pepper,
bb guns, and squirt guns!

A "concerned" friend finally intervened.  "Liquid Fence" she told me.  "Do it now, do it often."

What she didn't mention is that it smells like a diaper genie/ litter box/dog poo cocktail!

Standing strong, I sprayed the entire yard.

Runners crossed to the other side of the street.

Neighbors gave me the hairy eyeball.

Children ran indoors.

My own sweet family cried "What have you done?"

The smell passed and my flowers are recovering nicely, thank you very much.

Liquid Fence, I tell you.  Do it now, do it often.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

A Nursery For A Baby Girl...

Remember the cutiedoodle Franz family home tour
My favorite room in their house is the nursery. If I didn't have baby fever beforehand, I certainly do now. 
Maybe it was seeing Lori, the cutest pregnant woman on the planet.
Maybe it was the crib and the sweet little blankies. 
Maybe it was the vintage rocker and pink pillow. 
Maybe I should never be allowed in a nursery. 
Take a lookiloo and just try not to get baby fever. 

Where are you on the baby spectrum? Getting ready? In the midst of teeny weeny clothes? Been there, done that? No way, no how, never? 
My youngest "baby" just turned seven. We.are.done.
But, it sure is fun to reminisce. 

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