Playing House

I started to call this
"Playing House at Christmas When It Is Really Still November".
Yes, I've already had moments of panic 
looking at all the beautiful blogs.
Then the calendar keeps me in check. It's ok we still have lots of time girls. :)
I've been doing the switcheroo here at home.
Every day dishes are put away and Christmas dishes are out.

Where other foo-foo might have been there are ornaments and candy canes.

Pandora is streaming Christmas songs continuously and my husband is going along with it.
He's a good man.
Son #2 has a vocal recital today. :)
My sister-in-law is coming tomorrow and we are holiday house touring. :)
You know, when company is coming I always stress out about whether or not I've already washed the sheets on the guest bed. Pretty sure they get washed twice most the time.
Do you have a method for that?
It's going to be a great day!
What are you up to?

A Visit With Susan Branch

Today as you are putting away the Thanksgiving turkey and preparing for Christmas,
I want to share a very special person and place with you.
Before you read this you must cue some Musica (right click for music) for your listening pleasure.
It's a tradition when you visit my favorite spot.

This special little spot makes me feel happy and homey.

Makes me want to bake a cake or some cookies.

Makes me want to snuggle my kitty.

(This is Jack:)

Makes me want to pack up my bags and move to Martha's Vineyard!

I'm talking about the home of Susan Branch.

Most of you will already know that Susan is an artist, writer, and friend to all.
She captures everything that is good about life, love, and home in her work.

Susan reminds us that taking care of our homes is an Ordinary Art
and a Blessing every day.

Susan reminds us to notice the Charm in normal things
and love on our girlfriends and family whenever we can.


 I just can't say enough about the talent and love that goes into her work.

You can tell that her art comes from loving her home and life.

How lucky we are that someone so gifted shares with us all.

Susan, thank you for letting me share with everyone today.
You are a blessing to us all.

Go sign up for Susan's Willard Newsletter.
You'll read all about it and understand. :)

Come back in a few days for a give-away inspired by my adoration for Susan's work.
Have a wonderful day. :)

Linking with

A Favorite Thing @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Five Months Makes it Almost Homey

You all have been kind and encouraging when it comes to this move and settling in to a new place.
I wanted to give you a look at the family room from the beginning.
This is the fireplace wall when we first saw it in April - before we bought the house.
The picture below was a couple of weeks ago.

Here we are now. Feeling much better and much more homey.

I love having some shelves to play with.
You know, if you have to have a TV front and center
it needs to be surrounded by some pretty things.

Moving around the family room to the left and giving you an example of my excellent photography,
this is my leopard chair. On the wall you can see a grouping of black and white pictures.
This was inspired by Kelly at Talk of the House.
The girl has black and white pics everywhere! I love them.

On the coffee table we have lots of magazines.

A larger view of the area.

A favorite lamp on some decorating books.

Love this lamp!!

Again you see the drapes made by Sonya.
And from this corner you can see into the master bedroom.

That's where we are now.
I'm happy with the way things are.
Still want to add pillows and a few accessories.
Of course, it's about time to do a little Christmas poofing. :)
Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday Morning Early

A beautiful morning spent at the Dallas Arboretum.

I love gardens so much.

I'm Learning

I've been participating in the
over the last few weeks and loving it!
One of the first things I heard and really thought about was advice from
She said to really look at the pictures you save from magazines and Pinterest.
Really think about what is is that made you tear that page out and save it.
So I've been going through pages and Pins and making lists.
Funny thing is that some of the pictures I've saved have been in my folder for 10 years.
Still love them!
Here are some pictures or Pins I just love and the reason why.

This picture above has the color red, transferware, topiaries and symmetry.
Yes! I'll take it.
Holly Mathis' pages have been in my folder since her home first appeared in Better Homes & Gardens.  This is her home recently restyled.
I spy red toile, ferns, topiaries, mirrors, pillows, and books.
All of these things are common to many of the pictures I love and have saved.
Thinking about bedrooms, I have pages and pages and Pin after Pin of bedrooms with white coverlets. We now have them in every room in our house. This is great idea that can be easily changed up for the seasons!
Love the white, the buffalo checks, and the plates. Perfect!
How about a white coverlet with a little toile.  Yes please. :)
I've torn many, many garden pages over the years.
I think I spy asparagus fern, other ferns, heuchera, etc. I can do those.
The point of the exercise is to notice what it is that makes you happy.
The good news for me is that most of the things I love in pictures have been incorporated to our home already.
Now in the next few days I'm inviting you to come walk around the house with me.
We've been here 5 months now and we are making progress.

Mark Your Calendar: World Kindness Day Coming Soon!

Just received the reminder email from the
Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
World Kindness Day
is November, 13, 2012.
Hmmm, what if we all stepped out of our comfort zones just a little to be kind to someone else?
I have an idea for my neighbors and yes, it makes me step out of my comfort zone.
Lots fun ideas can be found here if you need a little inspiration.

I Must Say Thank You

In the past few weeks I've been the very lucky recipient of two blog give aways.
First, I won a gift card from Marty at
A Stroll Thru Life
Can you guess what I did with that gift card?
I bought Christmas gifts!
It's true and I was happy to get started. 
Thank you so much Marty.
It was so much fun when the packages all started landing on the front porch. :)
Next,  I won another gift card and art work from Erin at
My Painted Garden
You have to see this art work!
These tiny little paintings are intended to be gifts or cards to share love and encouragement.
Erin is sharing part of the money she earns from her art with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Marty and Erin, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Daily Work in Progress

I've been hesitant to show pictures of our house lately because nothing is finished.

Every room is sort of finished. You know?

Really it takes time and love to get it where you want it.

We've been here 4 months and I guess we've made pretty amazing progress when I think about it.

The best thing that has been added to the family room so far is the drapes and pillows made by

I just can't sing her praises enough!
She reads my mind.
She takes this bosporus fabric which has been around forever and makes it fresh.

I would love to show you a better pic of the drapes but I'm challenged in photography skills.
My goal for 2013 is to get a DSLR camera and learn how to use it correctly.

There's more progress being made here today which I'm very excited about!

Cabinets are being installed in this niche and in hubby's office.

Things are coming together. :)