Sunday, August 27, 2017

Freshening Up: The Living Room

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We've been in our home eight years as of October, and what a relief it is to finally feel settled! 
I still love the draperies I had made for this room when we first moved here. 
Not changing those. 
My husband loves the red chair and blue sofa, and I love the little yellow chair. 
Not changing those things, either. 
However, changes are afoot.

Can you guess where?

Here's the crazy, colorful room.
Not a great shot, unfortunately.

See that pretty pillow there? She's new to this space, a splurge from Calico Corners.  

This sweet little girl is getting a makeover.

And these beauties will soon be a part of the living room landscape.

I scheduled a home visit with a Calico Corners rep for suggestions. 
I think I might've squealed when I saw the plan.

It will be a few weeks before the goodies arrive, but I am beyond excited!

Linking up with Kim at Wow Us Wednesdays!
Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Porch Glory

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During the summer months I bask in porch glory. 

I bet you were just a little bit afraid I was going to post a picture of myself basking. 
Not a chance!

I eat lunch here. 
My husband and I have a glass of wine here. 
I read here. 
Even though I am not a napper, I have been know to fall asleep here.

As you are all probably sick of hearing, I am a summertime girl. 
I pretty much live for summer! 
When it arrives I'm like a new woman—less stressed, less irritable, more happy.

Tomorrow is technically my first day back to school, and while I look forward to seeing my students and colleagues, I dread the stress. 

Every year I tell myself I won't worry over things too much. 
I will do a good job. 
I will be nice to people. 
I will take things in stride.
I will work hard and then go home. 
I will try to be present. 

I start with the best of intentions, but by February I am limping along.

This summer has been different in many respects, and the only thing I can 
attribute this to is aging. 
Yep. I said aging.
Growing older means growing wiser in some ways, 
and I suppose deep in my DNA
I'm getting the message that with each passing summer
there is one fewer in my future. 

This life is pretty amazing, after all. 
It really is beautiful.
My hope this school year is to remember that. 

And when life gets too busy, I will gaze at these pictures.

I will picture myself here. 

Monday, August 21, 2017


I am the lucky mother of three wonderful daughters. They are thoughtful and funny and smart and utterly beautiful, inside and out. Oldest daughter lives in the San Francisco area, and she just started a new job. Things have been hectic for her these past several months, which meant no family vacation with us this summer, no CA visit for me. Still, she was able (mostly) to put aside her work for a few precious days and make time for family.

We had a wonderful visit together, and I am reminded of my good fortune. Yes, it will be sad to put her on a plane this afternoon, to say our goodbyes and such, but she is happy and well and successful and living an independent life. This is the point of parenting, so instead of feeling sad, I am going to remind myself to celebrate.

Love these people to pieces!
We also took a quick trip to the Eastern Shore and spent a night on our boat.

I teach and I write and I decorate and I blog, but
is my most important job.
They are my legacy.
I am a very lucky mama!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Help Me Decorate

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Okay, so I am putting this request out in blog land. A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of a pretty daffodil painting recently purchased at an antique shop. 

I LOVE it!

However, this wall is still troubling me. It needs something else. Or, maybe it doesn't. 
What do ya think?

See that spot directly over the light switch?
To me, it needs a sconce or a plate.
Or something.

Seriously, though, how many plates can you put on the wall, 
even if it is the dining room?

Would love to have your suggestions!

That vent bugs me, too, but I think that's staying.

Weigh in, please!

Here's to a happy week. 😘

Linking up with Kim!
Wow Us Wednesdays!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Where We Go

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We have spent most of our summers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay, to be specific. It's my favorite place. Okay, OBX is a favorite place, too, but there is something truly special about these quaint towns where everything is pretty! 
The houses are pretty.
The gardens are pretty.
 And the Bay? Well, it's a sight to behold.

This weekend there were log canoe races, but as you can see, they are sailboats, not canoes. 
We were spectators and simply trying to stay out of the way, but I took lots of pictures!

Channel marker with an osprey nest on top, a classic Maryland sight if ever there was one!

Teens and parents might have trouble agreeing on some things, but not this.
We all appreciate being on the water.

I am no sailing expert. My husband is the real sailor. 
I'm just along for the ride!

All three of my girls have spent many nights on our sweet little boat.
She's not fancy, but we LOVE her.

There is still some summer left to savor. 
I know I keep saying this, but I really am trying to enjoy
every single day.

No fall decor anytime soon for this girl!
And I didn't select this book just because it matches the scenery.
If you like sarcasm and smarts and outstanding writing,
this might be a good read for you,
Jincy Willett's Amy Falls Down.

Have a great week!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Neverending State of Tweaking

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I am in a constant state of tweaking these days. Seriously. It has got to stop, or I will be in a heap or a puddle or a mound of dust. Call it summer ennui maybe. Better yet, call it crazy.

I am a full-time high school teacher with three daughters, two of whom are still at home (thank goodness/not a complaint for sure!). It's a busy life. Summer is my time to unwind, which I have done most gratefully, and it will be a royal pain when I have to resume that 4:45 wakeup call at the end of this month, especially since I've been sleeping until seven...eight...nine!

Mostly, I've been productive this summer, getting lots of things accomplished that I don't have time for during the school year. However, I'm starting to notice this total obsession with my house, probably because I've been looking at it for several weeks nonstop. This picture should go here! I should paint these candlesticks, even though they are perfectly lovely just the way they are! Pillow rearrangement! Lamp rearrangement! Furniture rearrangement!

Remember Sergeant Carter from the Gomer Pyle Show? Well, I'm starting to feel like him. "Move it! Move it! Move it!"

Here's a glimpse of my madness. 

Moved the china cupboard to this wall and rearranged/changed what's featured inside.

These dishes were mostly stored in kitchen cabinets. Why?
They are too pretty to hide for sure.

The round table got moved to this location. See that yellow chair?
Well, it's my writing chair. So comfy and much nicer
to have the table right next to me.

No big changes in the bedroom, except...

This lamp was in the living room. However, since there is a LOT of
color in that room, I moved it to this spot. 
I love the way it looks at night! 

More changes are on the horizon.
I know I keep teasing about this, but I'm not ready to reveal just yet. 
Soon, though.

Have a happy week.
I am reminding myself to savor every minute.

Linking up with Kim!
Wow Us Wednesday

Monday, August 7, 2017

New Painting in the Dining Room

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This room is still a work-in-progress, but slowly-slowly-slowly, I'm getting there. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled (not literally) across this sweet painting, and it spoke to me (again, not literally). After my last post about keeping decorating magazines for 10+ years and looking at them over and over, y'all are probably wondering about my mental state.

Anyway, I love daffodils, hence the name of this blog, and I had been wishing for a big painting for this spot in the dining room for a long time.

Isn't she lovely? Cue the Stevie Wonder music here.

The girls and I were in a cute little town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They went to a local coffee place, and I combed through one adorable shop after the other! It was hard to keep that credit card locked in my wallet. When I saw this, I just knew.

Much to my surprise, the painting was also reasonably priced, and even better, the store owner knew the lady who'd owned it. She was a local woman, and the store owner said this piece used to hang above her fireplace. It was part of an estate sale. I asked the woman's name, and later went online to read her obituary. Like me, she was also a teacher. Strange, but I feel a sense of protectiveness, like I'm loving something that had been well-loved before, and it's sort of my duty now to take care of it. I have never felt this way about anything purchased at IKEA, by the way. This is what I mean about old pieces. They make you think. Even better, they make you feel something.

I want a sconce or some other adornment to complement the artwork, but I don't know what that is just yet. Hopefully, it will call to me somehow, too.

Sometimes new is great, but sometimes old is even better. 
I'll try to remember that when my next birthday rolls around. 

Linking up with Kim!
Wow Us Wednesday!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Love Letter to Bloggers

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I have decorating magazines that are TEN YEARS OLD, and I still look at them. This does not make me senile (does it?) because I actually remember the images there, but for some reason certain rooms draw my interest again and again. Rooms with vivid wallpaper or funky design choices or thread-bare orientals or a bold mix of patterns or artwork or a small space that has been so cleverly arranged I want to study it.

In case you don't have your readers, the date is November 2006.

While I admit to having stacks and stacks of magazines, many do get recycled. I find I don't go back and look at Southern Living again and again. Why? Maybe it's because sometimes those rooms feel too perfect or professionally done. Not always! I love my Southern Living, but to me decorating is more engaging when I know the owners didn't have gobs of money and big-name designers on their side. Instead, they figured things out by trial and error.

Penny Carlson's previous home was featured in French Country Style.

The bloggers I visit again and again are typically the ones who have a story, and I like to follow
along—maybe the blogger just moved and is starting all over (think Marian at Miss Mustard Seed), or she has built a brand new forever home (Stacey at Poofing the Pillows or Penny at Enjoying the Simple Things), or she has an adorable family (Amanda at Dixie Delights) or a cute dog and a husband who is handy (Kim at Savvy Southern Style). Maybe she does white decor sooo well (Kelly at The Essence of Home), or she is one of the kindest people you'll ever hope to cyber meet (Diana at Nana Diana Takes a Break and Marty at A Stroll Thru Life), or she has a gorgeous kitchen and a good sense of humor (Shelley at Calypso in the Country). I love all these bloggers and so many more! See below for links to their websites.

Isn't it funny how we touch each other (I don't mean this in a weird way) and that we feel we know one another? Some of these bloggers I don't interact with much, but still I like them a great deal. Think of all the dull Tuesday evenings when there is nothing to do or anything interesting on TV or you don't feel like reading just yet because it's too early. Suddenly, you realize it's TUESDAY, which means Wow Us Wednesday is happening over at Savvy Southern Style, so you hop on over and post something. Even better, you find out one of your posts has been featured! You are not alone in your decorating abyss! You are not the only one who has opinions about how to hang a mirror or what to plant in the garden or where to stay on vacation.

I am not a regular blogger. I disappear for months at a time because when school starts again, I'll be crazy and have no freedom, but still I visit these bloggers nearly every day. When I'm grabbing a quick sandwich at my desk and there is no Calgon to "take me away," I can check out new curtains in someone's dining room or find out so-and-so rearranged the living room furniture again, or some blog house I love has been sold! It's like the old days when I watched soap operas. By the way, I had a terrible dream about Susan Lucci last night and woke up wondering if she was okay. I digress.

Susan Lucci: Photo Credit TV Guide

Anyway, this is a love letter to you blogger folks. Your homes inspire me. Your success stories and innovation inspire me, too. And when no one else cares that I moved Ma's old cupboard, I know someone "out there" will tell me it looks too Granny-ish, or they'll post a comment and say they like the new chairs in the dining room. As we all know, kids and husbands sometimes have zero opinions on such matters, or even worse, they hate it when we keep changing things, and decorator folks are always changing things.


I hope you bloggers have a relaxing weekend. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I hope you find the inspiration for your next post because we are watching and waiting and wondering what you'll do next.

Here are a few of my favorite bloggers in no particular order.

Miss Mustard Seed
Poofing the Pillows
Enjoying the Simple Things
Dixie Delights
Savvy Southern Style
The Essence of Home
Nana Diana Takes a Break
A Stroll Thru Life
Calypso in the Country

I'll be back on Monday to show you a new painting in the dining room, so stay tuned. 

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