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, August 30, 2012

A Well Planned Garden

I have been so lazy uninspired about my own garden this year. I decided to do something about it! Stalk someone else's garden!
I heard about master gardener, Irina last spring. Much "oooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing" and "You should feature Irina's garden on your blog!"
Being Johnny On The Spot, I contacted Irina in August. Yes, we hadn't seen rain since 1962. Yes, all the spring/summer blooms were gone. Yes! This is the time to feature Irina's garden! 
This is what separates the rookie gardeners from the pro gardeners.
While my lawn could be described as "post apocalypse style", Irina's garden felt like a trip to the Hampton's.  
Clearly, much thought and planning and care have gone into Irina's garden. She has created pathways, visual interest for each season, and cozy gathering spaces. 
Take a lookiloo:

I swooned for this monogram of vintage buttons! 

How about you? Do you have a well planned garden or are you a fly by the seat of your pants gardener? 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Husband Is A Better Person Than I Am

There is one in every relationship. The "better" one.
When I meet a couple, I always wonder which one would laugh if I took an awkward, drawn out, ugly fall. 
In my marriage, my husband is the "better one" and I am the mad cackler. 
Meet me In The Powder Room today and I will explain why.
Are you a sympathizer or a cackler?
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Rainy Morning...Wordless Wednesday

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Houses Are Like Relationships, "The One That Got Away"

Sold. Sold? Sold! Sold?!?!?
MY house has been promised to another?
But....I had our life together all planned out!
The children all in their OWN rooms, romantic sunsets on the front patio, side patio, back patio, upstairs patio or even in the 3 season room!
Our first 18 dates house tours had gone so well. Everyone approved...even my mother!
I go away for one stinkin' weekend and this is what I come home to?
My Monday morning run was going so well...I had my "life is beautiful" buzz on.
I had accepted that it wasn't so wrong to buy this house with our children's college funds, after all.
Then, there it was. "SOLD"
I contemplated picking up my pace in hopes that I would be able to rip the "Sold" sign out of the ground and smash it Belushi style before the morning golfers arrived at the Country Club across the street.
A cool head (ok, a rickety knee) prevailed and I limped home in defeat.
Publicly, I have pulled out the big guns of mature and gracious comments.
"It just wasn't meant to be" and "I am sooo happy for them, I wish them every happiness!"
And, of course, to be clear that it was MY decision, I throw in,
"Ehh....I didn't really love it, anyway".

*I shared this post last summer and I am happy to report that I am totally over it. Yep, 100% over it. I have been stalking admiring the renovations and I am excited to share a tour with you soon.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Leaves That Taunt...

*Guilt update: Since I wrote this hate post, my Red Maple died. I have been cleared of all accusations. RIP, Red Maple.

You might remember from last week's post "Accepting the "F" Word" that in these here parts, the "F" word is "Fall".
As if it isn't  enough that all of my friends are flying their fall flags, my neighbors are planting mums, my kiddo's school supplies are in their backpacks,  my mister is talking football tailgating, and I am officially in the last hours before we are all back to school- AS IF I needed this image to seal the deal.
My first view of the morning!

This is my first view of each morning.
My flower boxes of white geraniums are now taking a backseat to the Red Maple turning, well....RED!
I'm pretty cranky until I have chugged a few cups of strong coffee.  The first morning that I was greeted by that taunting red leaf, I just stumbled past with  "Aww, shut up."  Luckily, my Mister was gone already.
I guess it's time to get on the boat.  Join the party.  Ride the train.  Go big or go home, right?
I'm off to write notes for first day of school lunch boxes,  hang my fall wreath, wash our hoodies and I might even go wild with some mums.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Colorful Sunroom!

This week has been dedicated to showing you how five borrowed pieces from Checkered Moon could transform different spaces in my house.
It all started with my bedroom makeover.
I jazzed up my painted (shhh...don't tell my mom) dressers.
Then, I moved the party to my family room
While I was playing house arranging vignettes, I took the party to my sunroom.
Here is a lookiloo:

Little did I know, this day would end with my daughter yelling "Mommy's Getting Arrested!"
Which space was your favorite?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Living Room Gets A POP Of Color!

You might recall that I am afraid of color love a shades of white color scheme. I've been known to shake it up here and the time I went wild with these gray pillows.
I borrowed 5 colorful pieces from my favorite local shop, Checkered Moon. I moved these pieces from my bedroom, to the sunroom and back to the living room. The living room is where the most people would be the most shocked by my bold color additions! 
These items were in my house for three hours and no less than five friends and family members asked if I had a) been drinking or b) robbed Checkered Moon. I'm happy to report that I am not a thief.
Take a lookiloo:

I must admit that I LOVE THESE PIECES! 
If you are married to me, know that Checkered Moon gift wraps.

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Back To School Blues...Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, August 20, 2012

I Painted My Dressers...Don't Tell My Mom!

Yesterday, I shared my bedroom makeover and why my daughter has been telling everyone, "MOMMY GOT ARRESTED!"
Getting arrested might seem like a walk in the park if my mother finds out that I painted the dressers in my bedroom. My mother belongs to the "NEVER paint wood, especially if it is handed down from your mother" camp.

Maybe, I can blame my fellow dancing blogger, Angela Shelton. I painted all the dressers while yukking it up on the phone with her. It's all her fault...I didn't know what I was doing...she told me to do it...she's a bad influence. These excuses didn't work in high school but they might work now, right? 

I would usually LOVE IT if you would share my posts all over Facebook and Twitter. For this one and only time, only share this if you are not "friends" with my mother. Not that she knows how to use Facebook...but we can't risk it.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our Master Bedroom Makeover

Our bedroom is the furniture graveyard of the house. It's where all lost furniture goes to die. 
Our bedroom is upstairs and out of sight (and I don't mean "out of sight" in the "dynamite" kind of way!) so it has gone unnoticed for years.
Even after I painted all of our mismatched dressers the same color (stay tuned for that top secret "Don't Tell My Mom That I Painted The Dressers!" post tomorrow! ) our bedroom still seemed BLAH.
I asked my schnazzy local shop, Checkered Moon, if I could borrow a few pieces of SHAZAM to see how my room could look by adding just a few pops of color. As usual, they were good sports and hooked a sister up with some bold yellow and gray pieces. I heard this color scheme referred to as "Blonde and Gray" but that hit too close to home with my own hair color battle.

This throw and pillow really jazzed up my grandparent's rocker...
My window seat never looked so inviting...
I loved the look so much that I very casually mentioned to my mister that his Christmas shopping would be easy this year. 
But, until then...
I reluctantly loaded my borrowed items into my minivan with orders to the 82 children who were buckled in: "DO.NOT.TOUCH.ANYTHING!"
My front seat was piled with pillows and I contorted my body to be able to reach one hand behind me to pinch my children if they touched anything hold the lamp steady.
This is the part where I noticed flashing lights in my rearview mirror. 
This is the part where I pulled over so that the officer could chase the bad guy. 
"Do you know why I pulled you over, Ma'am?" 
"Awkward driving?"
"Well...yes, that. But, you were also going 42 in a 30mph front of a church."
"My bad."
This is the part where I tried to explain that protecting the Jonathon Adler pieces was a very important job. I thought this would appeal to his "protect and serve" nature. 
This is the part where my daughter confused her legal terms and yelled "MOMMY'S GETTING ARRESTED!"

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

HouseTalkN Joins CrazyK CarX Run For Charity!

           HouseTalkN joins CarX Run for charity!

Photo credits, Cary Frye

                                                         Have a great weekend, y'all!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere!

These were a gift from my good friend, Julie.  I'll be using them to celebrate a nice, long weekend!  
  Here's to you! Have a fantastic weekend!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Decorating A Dorm Room?

You might remember that I have a whole slew of sisters that I adore. There are the three 3 older original sisters and (many years later) the 2 baby sisters arrived. Just when the golden years were in sight for my pops, along came 2 more girls. 
The older and wiser sisters swooped in to corrupt welcome the newest little sisters.

 To the shock and dismay of all of us, they are growing up. If Sister #4 is graduating high school and going off to college, that makes us officially over the hill.
When I was looking through my camera lens, taking Sister #4's senior pictures, it was hard to see the beautiful young woman she has become. My camera seemed to run the reel of her life. From her first steps all the way to getting her driver's license.
Remember the sister's road trip to a bed & breakfast? We ambushed our baby sister with THE TALK on that trip. It's a good thing that Sister #3 is a therapist...I'm pretty sure that "The Talk" caused post traumatic stress for Sister #4!
All of this leads me to the place Sister #4 is about to call home. The dorm room. 
When I was in college, dorm rooms had cement block walls and "storage" meant a rubbermaid container that doubled as a bar coffee table.
Not the case for kids today. The dorm room is to be decorated and organized and chic! 
It ain't yo' mama's dorm room.
Just go on Pinterest and search "dorm rooms".
Take a lookiloo:

I'm she holding a teddy bear?
                                                                                                                     Source: via Claudia on Pinterest
                                                                          Source: via Lindsey on Pinterest

Do I spy with my little eye Jonothan Adler pillows?

Sister #3 is making a road trip to help move #4 into her dorm. These are the two "good girl" sisters. So...I'm betting a case of Bud Light that they will be decorating the $&%! out of that dorm room. Instead of a run to the liquor store, they will be skipping through IKEA like the Kardashian sisters at a Victoria's Secret clearance sale.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Brick Colonial House Tour!

We all have fantasies...of our dream houses. My dream house fantasy usually includes the Father of the Bride house (colonial style rocks my socks) or the Something's Gotta Give House (white kitchens with black countertops make me swoon). 
You can imagine how my heart sang when I was asked if I wanted to tour this 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom brick colonial beauty! 

I usually stalk tour houses of my friends and neighbors. I admire all the ways that they have made their houses into homes specific to their families. 
I had never been in this home nor did I know the homeowners. I had no filter to see this house through other than my own. The homeowners had already moved out which allowed me to see each room with fresh eyes. 
Seven seconds into the tour, I was mentally arranging my own furniture and life into this house! 
Here is a lookiloo at 4757 square feet of pure awesomesauce...

This is where I would yell at my second born for sliding down the banister...again!

This is where I would listen to my mister grunt and curse me under his breath while putting up the Christmas tree.
This is the dining room where I would tell inappropriate jokes to our friends and family.

 This is the sink that I would stand at while fretting that our children are going to hell in a hand basket growing up too fast.

 This is where my gal pals and I would sit with booze coffee and make each other laugh until we shouted "STOP! I'm going to wet my pants!"

 This is where I would my husband would make very healthy dinners.
This is where I would watch my children fight play outside.
 This is where I would finally have space for my book collection. You know what won't be here? 50 Shades of Smut!
This is where I will forget to shave my legs wind down each night.
This is where my kiddos will sneak out as teenagers leave their baseball cleats in an orderly fashion.
This is the part where you buy this house for me?

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