The Kitchen Window View

Most folks love the changing of the seasons, I love when winter gives way to spring and spring to summer.  But when summer gives way to fall I have a reaction that I just can’t explain.  Maybe it because I despise being cold and I know that winter is just a few months away or maybe it just reflects the dormancy that fall brings to the leaves and grass.  Whatever the reason I view all changes of the seasons from my kitchen window.  From my kitchen window I watch the cat race down the drive as if he has something he needs to tell me in a hurry, I watch the boys play basketball from that window, I watch my husband drive home from a long day at work, I see my parents make what could possibly be that last trip together to our house and I watch my Sister when she comes and goes from our house.  This window quite possibly is a window to my heart.

A Party within a Dove Shoot

For some 25 years Honey has had a dove shoot on the opening day of dove season.  Years ago it was merely a dove shoot with the expected case of beer, that was it nothing more to it….enter the wife with a blog!  Early in the summer I asked Honey what he thought about having a more organized meal, rather than that expected case of beer. He thought it sounded like a great idea but was quick to remind me this was an outside party with no electricity or running water and most of all that it would be HOT.  We decided on a brisket in late July as the meat, thus began the summer of brisket as it shall be known.  Have I mentioned we spent a few years in Oklahoma?  We did and one thing you don’t leave that state without knowing how to cook is brisket….but I did.  So I tried countless recipes for brisket to get the perfect one, the key for our taste was balsamic vinegar. 
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Guest Bedroom Redo

For quite a while now I have pondered switching the guest bedroom with Andrew’s bedroom. It has always been awkward for guests to share a bathroom with John as it is a Jack and Jill.  When we moved into this house we put Andrew in what would be the guest bedroom with the private bath, with hopes that would put an end to what we thought would be constant bickering and potential for practical jokes in the middle of the night. Since they have grown up into young men now that doesn’t seem to be a real problem anymore.  The switch was made about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been styling both rooms and having a blast I might add!  Here is a look back  at the Coastal Inspired Guest Bedroom.
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Breakfast Room Updated

You all know how it goes, one day you are completely satisfied with how something looks and then...BAM... the next day it has to change!  I've mentioned before here, that the vignette on the breakfast room buffet had been the same for at least 8 years.  I loved the way it looked, but when the new drapes for the family room were hung I knew it would have to change! Here is a reminder of how it did look.
And here is how it looks now!
It all started with the mirror!  While shopping at my fav picking spot, there it was and as you all have had this happen...it leaped into my cart, along with the brass sconce.  In case you didn't know...brass is back!  With the exception of the orchid, nothing in this vignette is new and I think that is what might make me the happiest. 


Did you notice you can see my drapes in the mirror?  I've always heard if you are going to hang a mirror it needs to reflect something beautiful....mission accomplished(cause I'm still head over heels for those drapes)!

Styling a Space without a Name


It is too big to be considered a landing, to big to be called a nook, it is an area that all the bedrooms upstairs connect to....ya'll I have never known what to call the area at the top of our stairs on the second floor.  I even called Bestie P and asked her, she too drew a blank.  For the most part we call it the upstairs foyer because it sits exactly above the foyer so, we are just gonna go with that!  This is a spot that serves no particular function in the house but it sure is a great place to decorate.

Hanging Botanical Art

At long last I finally have found art that I wanted to hang on the stairs.  Botanicals have long been a fav of mine. There were a few prints that I had been watching at a local antique mall and I just couldn’t make that decision to buy.  Last week my friend, N text me and said “I’ve found the perfect prints for your stairs.”  She sent a pic text and I could hardly believe my eyes…the very ones I’d been looking at and they were 50% off.   She picked those up for me, popped over and we got to work hanging those prints along with some other botanical prints I already had. N has great style and an even better eye for dressing a room!  We moved a mirror from another spot and it couldn’t have made a bigger difference.

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To finally have art on my stairs just thrills me!

The Powder Room

Our powder room has worn many faces in these short 6 years we have lived here.  On move in day it had red & cream toile wallpaper above the white bead board.  Ya'll know I love some toile but folks....red...not so much.  The fixtures were brass or brass like.  As hard as I tried I couldn't dig up a single picture of this room.  Looking back I think what bothered me was the white bead board and the cream in the wallpaper.  That came down before the end of that first year and was replaced by yet another wallpaper.  Again....looked for a pic but I must have destroyed all evidence of having selected such a horrid paper.
The powder room is a tiny space so, 3 years ago I decided to just try paint thinking this would lighten it up and make it feel bigger.  Replaced all the hardware and light fixtures.  Bought a gorgeous piece of art and picked a color that complimented it.


For the first time I was "satisfied" with this room.  There was never an inkling that I'd want to change it...ever again.  Then the AC to the bonus room leaked....just enough to circle the ceiling and make the wall look rippled in a 3 inch spot.  This needed to be fixed.  I had always thought that crown molding would really dress it up.  Bestie Beth's husband is a master at woodworking and he volunteered to cut & install the crown.


You all remember that fabulous blue heron I bought on vacay, in case you missed it here it that post.  I knew this would be perfect in the powder room.

 I set out to pick yet again that perfect paint color and chose Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. 
After the trim was painted, the ceiling came next...my first time ever with an entire ceiling in a room painted a color other than white!  LOVE it!

The powder room isn't completely ready to reveal, which is short for I haven't found a mirror to replace the one that is up there. So stay tuned for her big reveal!

The Welcoming House

One of the highlights of vacation for me is to do something I can't do at home.  This includes eating fabulous foods, taking in  coastal scenery and of course shopping.  There is nothing better than going into a shop where the owner has hand picked each and every item. As I meandered through these many shops on St. Simons I noticed that almost every single store had this  book called The Welcoming Home.  I decided having only gazed at the gorgeous cover, that the author must have been from the area.  I do this...I get caught up in the beauty of something and pay no attention to details.
While visiting one of those stores...more like ogling for more than an hour while Honey roasts in the car cause this is not a "man" shop I struck up a conversation with one of the owners.  I ask...what is the deal with this book...I am seeing it everywhere...who are these women.  She walks right over to me and picks up this book that is still encased in a plastic cover, puts it in my hand and begins to tell me that I MUST have this book...Bunny Williams wrote the forward for crying out loud.  She walks me right to the cash register and less than 10 minutes later I am leaving with said book.  During this experience I play along like I know who Bunny is, after all, at this point she seemed more important than the actual writers of this book.  For the record I when I got home I googled  Bunny and am now well versed in who she is.  But back to the book.....friends....as I was told...you MUST have this book! 


Window Shopping a Furniture Store

Everyone has that one store that they love to window shop.  Once a year I get to window shop at Taylor's House on St. Simon Island and on occasion I actually make a purchase.  Mostly I shop Taylor's  just to oogle their gorgeous rooms for inspiration.  This year I walked out of the door with lots of ideas for a few diy projects!


Up Close & Personal

It is an known fact that I adore any and all things coastal.  While on my recent trip to Saint Simons Island, I happened upon the annual arts and crafts show.  As I strolled through the many vendors that were selling their wares I spied something familiar. As I  approached an artist's booth and began to swoon over the most gorgeous works of art that all had a coastal flair.  I knew this artist...not really... but I had bought his work before.  In fact his Marsh Study inspired my entire Coastal Inspired Guest Bedroom.
 

Saint Simons Island: Arrival

This place is just like home to us...not really... but considering we always stay in this Villa, it is home to us.  We've gotten to know all of the full time residents in this section of Villas and their pets. In this section that we stay, there are 2 of the original owners from the 70's.

Georgia's Golden Isles

Out of all the places we could vacation, the Georgia Coast will always be our first choice.  Some 22+ years ago Honey brought me here on our honeymoon.  Prior to the honeymoon neither of us had ever been there so it was new for both of us.  More often than not we spend our vacation between Saint Simons Island & Jekyll Island.  We drive over from Alabama and it is a really nice and easy drive.  I love those little south Georgia towns we drive thru on our way.  As we get close, off in a distance we can see a bridge that for me, marks the beginning of the vacation.

Breakfast Room

Since the first moment I walked into this house I didn't really know if this space could be technically called a breakfast room.  It is as much a part of the family room as it is the kitchen.  Whatever you call this area...this where we as a family have our meals.

Wedding Season


Growing up as I refer to it "in the country" you typically live in close proximity to extended family.  This is very true for me.  My cousins lined part of County Road 610 and served as neighbors and playmates.  Two of my dearest cousins/playmates grew up into beautiful women that I am now proud to refer to as some of my closest friends.  One of those gals recently got married for the first time and I was there for ALL the wedding festivities. So indulge me by taking a peak at a few pics!  The wedding was held at a quaint little  place called Sweet Gum Bottom Bed & Breakfast.  The grounds were gorgeous!

Kitchen Transformation {Before & After}

When we were looking at homes to buy, the one thing that I remembered about this house was the kitchen.  This kitchen seemed to lack personality, not to mention it wasn't very big.   Looking back it wasn't what I was getting here in house #5 but more about what I was leaving behind in the Savannah house.  This kitchen has received a few updates in the 6 years we've been here....we will just say she was having an identity crisis and leave it at that!

Kitchen Cabinets Styled

Most times when I go into a kitchen that has glass cabinet doors I walk over to oooh and aaah over their content.  We put items in these cabinets that we like, think are pretty and often things that are important to us whatever their reason. They are almost a window to the soul.....the soul of our decorating ability!  Our kitchen have glass front cabinet doors and they have gotten styled and styled some more!

Family Room Reveal

At long last, I'm ready to reveal our family room.  Since ya'll have never seen a before view, here it is.

Summer Mantle

With summer time in full swing I thought it would be a good time to share the mantle.  Try as I may, I always come back to a simple, not too busy look.
With the drapes hung on either side of the fireplace, it somehow adds to the composition of the mantle.
With the recent update of the family room and kitchen, I've added a more coastal elements to lend to a coastal feel to both rooms.  When shopping my house for art to hang over the mantle my first thought this was not large enough.  I knew that if I left it for a week it just might grow on me and it did.  I love this piece of art!  It was an anniversary gift about 2 years ago from the hubs, it reminded him of me and our boys at the coast.  He is a keeper!

Styling the Built In Cabinets

For as long as I wanted and waited to install the built ins you would  have thought I'd have know exactly what I would put on each shelf. Well I kinda did and then kinda didn't. In my mind at the time, the thought was get some books, pics, what nots and just stick them up there.  All and all the job wasn't too bad. Here is a reminder.

When looking back over my photos, I realize the need for more weight.  The less is more approach to the shelves is also something that needed to be changed. 

 Since I was a little girl I have loved my Mother's Blue Willow. So I began to collect pieces that were similar, so I put a few more pieces of that on the shelves.



The Prettiest Corner

It has almost been 24 hours since my drapes were hung.  The better part of yesterday I stood just an admired them.  Then I sat and admired them some more.  If it is possible to be in love with drapes I am!  So here it is the prettiest corner in our house.

Darling Little Light Fixture

Many times I have looked up at this light fixture and wondered why on this earth it is still there.  Aren't you all jealous of this boob light along with its smoke detector side kick?

Living Room Drapes

I just love changing things around in our house.  For some time now I have wanted to update the living room drapes. This room has the potential for a big change in regards to furniture in the near future so I didn't really want to get custom treatments for this room.  Recently, on a trip into Tuesday Morning I got VERY lucky!  These are the drapes that were up.

Kitchen Window Fabric

Here is just a little peak at the fabric I finally chose for the kitchen.


Band and Birthday Celebrations

It has been an eventful past few days for us, here is a quick run down! We started off Saturday with our youngest competing in a local band contest. This was the first opportunity that the 7th grade band students got to compete. He performed a solo and was in an ensemble with a friend. The kids go into different rooms and play before a judge that has a grading sheet.  They play their piece of music, leave that room  and wait for what seems like an eternity to see what they scored. The cafeteria was the place were everyone practiced one last time before going in! So here is a few shots of John and his friends.

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Foyer Lighting

It is bad isn't it when you can't recall what the lighting in your foyer was like when you moved in 6 short years ago?  I have no recollection whatsoever.  But what I do recall is that whatever was there had to go.  I should have waited, how many times have we all said thought that?!  At any rate with the other changes going on in our house I knew that what I had put up was probably not the best it could be.  My designer agreed.  While we were out shopping at a local antique store(she was shopping and I was just trying to keep up)Lisa spied what she said would be perfect for the foyer, thank God for her cause I would probably just walked right by it.
This is what I had...and as you have all come to expect from me, here is the only before pic of the light that was up.



My Dream Drapes

For years, I've ogled everyone's custom window treatments and wondered if I'd ever have the luxury of living somewhere long enough to warrant said treatments.  January marked our 6th year in our 5th house so it was decided there was no time like the present to get started.  Only, having never done this before frankly I didn't have a clue where to begin.  I picked up the phone and contacted a professional.  Lisa has taken the time to get to know me a little better(we were already friends) and help me pick something that was "me."  So after weeks of looking and ordering swatches and being totally confused about what I really like and or want.... I made the choice.

Toomer's Oaks a Day of Celebration

Growing up in Alabama, you have to chose a side.  My choice was made for me by my Daddy as he was a peanut farmer and well, all know that farmers HAVE to pull for Auburn.  I grew up not going to an Auburn University football game but listening to them via my Daddy's tractor radio!  As a little girl I could imagine what it must be like, the band...the majorettes...the cheerleaders and of course the football team!  It never occurred to me that 120 miles away, there were tailgaters and people rolling toilet paper in downtown Auburn.
 It was really a family affair to pull for Auburn.  Sister and her husband moved to Auburn in the early 80's and became Dye Hard fans(a popular phrase relating to our then coach). Sister's mister's father was an Auburn man too so when it came time for my niece to pick a college...you guessed it she came here.  We were so proud of her when she made the Auburn University Flag Line.  It gave an entirely different meaning to watching the half time show!

Auburn Tablescape

Prior to the A-Day game last weekend we had a simple lunch with friends. It was such a beautiful day that we dined on the deck.  And since it was in celebration of the A-Day game and the last goodbye of our beloved Oaks I used my best Orange and Blue tableware!

The World of Coke

Last week was Spring Break for us and while it seemed more like a winter break with the temps we had,  we headed to Atlanta to the World of Coke.  When we arrived it was almost lunch time and we enjoyed a chilly lunch on site.
What Spring Break is complete without a good friend to come along.

Master Bedroom Ceiling

The Master Bedroom is going under a bit of a face lift.  The ceiling has driven me a bit crazy for all these years. When we moved in there was a chandelier that I very quickly relocated to the tub area in the master bath. Here it is.

Saturday Night Supper

On Friday night, me and Bestie B decided we should get the husbands together and grill for Saturday. B is a legend at hosting dinner parties and is quite possibly the best cook in all of our neighborhood.  Usually, when it is just us, we share the responsibility of  what we are going to have to eat.    B's husband R is a grilling expert and we always leave that detail to him.  We had a giant salad which is always mandatory, a potato dish and grilled corn.  Nobody but nobody grills corn like B & R.  As many times as I try I fail every. single. time.  So I thought it only fair to share her expertise via pics so maybe someone else can make what I can't make.

First, a pic of the big salad.

 

Painting the Deck

With spring comes the annual painting of the deck and no I'm not kidding, I do this every year!  The deck on our house was painted when we moved in or I would have never ever started doing this.  Why do we paint it ever year you might ask?  Besides the fact it just looks so great when it is fresh, the paint fades and it just looks dirty.  When I have a project I sometimes get really excited and forget to take before pics so here is the best I got when I realized I hadn't already taken them.



Band Concert

Long ago when our youngest son was in second grade he decided that he wanted to play the bassoon.  This decision came out of no where.  To this day the only explanation I can offer is that he likes the sounds of low instruments.  Here is a pic of him the first time he held an actual bassoon with whom would become his instructor.


As precious as this picture is, it is hard not to notice how big the instrument is compared to him.  The instructor told me that if he stayed interested that he would be happy to give lessons, when he grew into the instrument around 5th grade.  Fast forward to the end of 6th grade when they are given the choice of electives.  There was no doubt that he'd be a band kid and mind you I had already decided that he should play the drums.  After all I was already lining up the best studio drummer in all of Nashville to give private lessons over the summer.  He comes home from school one day and proudly announces to me that he has already selected the bassoon.  What can you do but embrace your child's decision and just go with it.  The progress he has made is truly remarkable.  This past weekend his school participated in the city wide band concert.  His school band is 246 members strong which is an impressive number I think.