Livin’ on Destin Time: 5 Ways to Relax at Home

destin 2

It'd been several years since my last visit to Destin, and I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. The emerald-green water and the sugary white sand took my breath away. There's just something about the beach; the salt air, the crashing of the waves, the cry of the seagulls, and the ocean breeze all colliding together in a magnificent force that … [Read more...]

The Casual to My Elegance: Mixing Decorating Styles


I have a confession to make; I don't prefer the rustic or industrial decorating styles that are so popular right now. But, I was attracted to a German vintage crate because of my German roots. So, even though the crate was both rustic and industrial, being the sentimental soul that I am, I bought it anyway. I figured that I'd surely find a … [Read more...]

Style Secrets: Adding Spring Style to Your Home and Your Wardrobe

sw color of the year tray

Hi friends! Chelsea and I are back with another episode of Style Secrets. This month is all about simple ways to add Spring style to your home and your wardrobe. I have to tell you that the past couple of weekends, I followed Chelsea's tips for styling my white tee. And, I felt … [Read more...]

More Than Just a Sitting Room

breakfast sitting room 4

As I work on transforming my breakfast room into a sitting room, I dream of more than just a sitting room. I dream of a way of life. A life in which I walk through a set of french doors onto my back porch where I stretch with the flowers and wake with the birds. After I finish stretching, I walk back through the french doors, … [Read more...]

Bloom Where You Are Planted

knockout roses, pruning trees and shrubs, gardening

Bloom where you are planted. That phrase used to conjure up an image of a field in bloom; row after colorful row flowers beaming toward the sky. But recently, I wondered about the seeds that don't get good soil, or enough water, or are subjected to some other poor conditions. In life, we don't always have the best of conditions, and … [Read more...]

The Key to Personalizing Your Home Decor

personal decor books and bird

As I found the perfect perch for the birds, moved the bell around from place to place, tossed the ruler in with the remote controls, and scattered the books here and there, I thought about the fun day of shopping I had with Mom, especially the conversations...     How I chattered on about how "I don't know what it is, but I … [Read more...]

The Perfect Laundry Room Color

sea salt window

A laundry room makeover has been on my to-do list for nearly four years. I knew I wanted a coastal-inspired laundry room, but the design plans stopped there. I searched online. I pinned and pinned some more, looking for the one...the perfect laundry room color. "They" say that when you know, you know.  When I first saw Sea Salt by … [Read more...]

The Secret to French Country Style

dough bowl

Authentic. I've been trying think of a word that summarizes what I find so appealing about French Country style, especially the French Country kitchen. All those baskets and cutting boards. The food. The pottery. It's all so real.     So palpable.     I've been trying to recreate … [Read more...]

You’d Never Know: Occasional Table Hacks

occasional table ideas pink stool

Being an alternate can be a blow to your in high school when I only made the drill team after some of the others were kicked off  for failing grades. I was ecstatic to be a North Shore Scarlet, but I had to battle the feeling that I didn't belong. Some of the juniors and seniors tried to encourage us "alternates" by sharing who among … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Easy Entertaining

oscar party

Every year we have an Oscar Viewing Party, and this year it was my turn to host. But, I sprained my ankle last weekend and still wasn't able to stand or walk around for long periods of time; forcing me to turn to my 5 tips for easy entertaining.   Fortunately, my friends offered to take care of the snacks and appetizers to help … [Read more...]

Style Secrets: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Home and You

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I'm so excited to announce a new monthly video series! I've partnered with local fashion blogger, Chelsea from Sweet Sunlight Style, to bring you everyday tips for your home and you...our Style Secrets. Today, we're kicking off the series with our Valentine's Day special. Chelsea is sharing some fun, feminine fashion ideas, and I'll show you … [Read more...]

Sleeping Bags in the Hallway: A Success Story

blog signature

I was on a roll: cleaning out closets, getting rid of stuff, reorganizing...then I stopped.  I started watching Downton Abbey on Netflix, went to a new bible study, finished a book, got a massage, and went clothes shopping. But, I was having a hard time enjoying it because of the sleeping bags and the place mats and the towels that are lining … [Read more...]

Master Bathroom Design

Master Bath Color Reveal 10

Rainwashed. It sounds so lovely, doesn't it?...Like a Spring day after a rain,     that fresh, earthy scent filling the air,   the calming sound of the last drops of water dripping from the eaves of the roof.     Steam rising,   forming big, fluffy white clouds that … [Read more...]

Four of our Favorite Soup Recipes

pasta e fagioli soup

There are some recipes that are meant for sharing. The kind that make the perfect dinner on a cold winter night. The kind that I'd cook for you if you were coming over. So, I'm pulling four of our favorite soup recipes out the archives to share with you these chicken and dumplings that have been my daughter's favorite meal since she … [Read more...]

sitting room design plan

breakfast room design board

They had me at "fireplace in the breakfast room". I just love the idea of being able to cozy up to a fire in the breakfast room. Which led to my research on the inglenook. And, then began the process of turning my breakfast room into a room that also functions as a keeping room, sitting room, hearth room, sunroom. I have arranged and … [Read more...]

A Sitting Room for Me

me time settee close up

  “This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You®, and Real Simple® but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NewYearMeTime”   2015 is off to a slow start.  I've spent most of it in lounge pants and sweat shirts, wrapped up under blankets … [Read more...]

grace in the dirty dishes and other home organization tips


My Christmas decorations have been strewn all over the kitchen island for nearly a week. And, since my island is covered in nutcrackers and ornaments, I didn't cook last week...except for the night I made Sloppy Joes from Manwich sauce which I don't think can really count as cooking. As I stare at a pile of dirty dishes, rolls of toilet paper … [Read more...]

Coral Reef: Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

sw color of the year living room

  When I first saw the Sherwin-Williams color of the year, I thought it was gorgeous and a perfect complement to my existing color palette. So, I kept trying to think of a way to incorporate it into my home. Inspired by the splashes of pink I've been seeing in home decor lately, I finally had an idea. Thank you Sherwin-Williams for … [Read more...]

DIY Winter Vase Arrangement

winter vase 4

  I was reading someone's blog the other day (I don't remember whose), and the blogger said something about "winter without Christmas." I knew exactly what she meant; those cold, dreary, long days after the holidays, feeling like winter has nothing left to offer.     I was thinking about that, processing my feelings … [Read more...]

recommended reading: it’s sophisticated

home tour master bedroom

  I mentioned in my best of 2014 post that I'd grown more comfortable being me.  Part of that was settling into my decorating style...and as I did, I realized that my decorating style is a reflection of me... and that this year would be about manifesting that into all areas of my life.   If I had to sum what that will look … [Read more...]

looking back: the best of 2014

best of 2014 bookcase styling

  I wasn't going to write a Best of 2014 post...until I realized that before we move on, it's important to look back. Looking back to help you look ahead. It's goal setting 101. :)  Being here, in the last days of December, it's not what I had imagined at the start of the year.  I pictured board and batten in the hallway, a newly … [Read more...]

Creating a Color Palette for an Open Floor Plan

ancient marble hooks

As a long-time and satisfied customer, I am delighted to partner with Sherwin-Williams for today's post. I wasn't sure whether or not to paint the command center.  And if I did, should it be Navajo White or something else? I'd always envisioned this space in apple green. However, a cohesive look is key when creating a color palette for … [Read more...]

Recommended Reading: Christmas Tree Themes

christmas tree main bokeh

  Later today, we'll be celebrating Christmas at Aunt Becky's house. And one of the things I love about going to her house every year is seeing the Christmas trees. A gorgeous, towering tree tucked in the curve of the spiral staircase.  And, another tree in the den covered in Nutcrackers, big and small, spinning and tall. It all … [Read more...]

This is Us

dresser vignette after

  The first time I saw this print, I thought, "this is us."     I saw our story.   Seventeen years of going through life together; coming together at the end of a day with all of its hardships and celebrations, happiness and sadness, ups and downs...       and still saying … [Read more...]

Sweet Potato Casserole the Way Momma Makes It

sweet potato casserole recipe

  Sweet potato casserole.   It's hard to believe that something that looks kinda gross can taste so good. But it does.   Not the kind with a blanket of melted marshmallows covering it.     No, I'm talking about the way momma makes it, with a streusel topping. Any time you mix butter and … [Read more...]

recommended reading

nativity puzzle

  The holiday decorating is coming together.  I can just see it...the finished picture.   Just one more push through this weekend, and I should be finished decorating and shopping and maybe even have the presents wrapped and under the tree.   But, one thing I'm trying to avoid is the "Then, I'll rest," or "when … [Read more...]

how to pick out the perfect paint color

mannered gold and gray

  Have you ever been clothes shopping, finally narrowing down your selection to a few outfits that look great...but you just can't decide? So, you try them all on again. And, one more time just to make sure, turning in the mirror and taking note of what each outfit says about you. Soft and pretty.   Sexy and … [Read more...]

simply christmas- a christmas home tour

christmas home tour blue dresser puzzle

        In a recent interview, Karianne of Thistlewood Farms was asked how she knows when a room is finished. She answered,   "A room is finished when every corner of that room makes you smile.  And there's nothing else that you want to add."   I knew exactly what she meant because I , too, … [Read more...]

Festive Nutcracker Display

christmas home tour drummer boy nutcracker

    It's like Joe's Crab Shack circa 1992 all over again.     Everyone was dancing on the table while I stood at my chair moving to the beat of the music.   When all of a sudden, I felt myself being lifted up onto the table.  I turned around to see that it was my Dad. He … [Read more...]

simple christmas mantel decor

christmas mantel apples

  As I sifted through boxes and placed Christmas decorations on the mantel, I couldn't help but wonder what my family would think when they came home.     It's the same feeling of anticipation and excitement that I feel every year.       They are why I fuss over which way the stockings … [Read more...]

christmas color theme ideas

red and purple berries 2

    I cannot believe it is December! We had a very relaxing Thanksgiving and continued relaxing right into the weekend. Today, I'm cleaning and getting the house ready to decorate for Christmas.     I used to start decorating the night of Thanksgiving, but as I've gotten older, I prefer to savor the … [Read more...]

cherry nut drop cookies

cherry nut drop cookie

Cherry nut drop cookies.   They are my favorite cookie and Mom has been baking them for as long as I can remember. It's become a holiday tradition; one that I want to pass down to my daughter.     So, today my daughter and I spent the afternoon chopping     and … [Read more...]

creating vignettes: it’s everything you learned in kindergarten

dresser vignette height

  I can't tell you how many times I've stood back and stared at a vignette, wondering what it needed. Added something, stood back and stared again. Rearranged it, stood back and stared yet again. What am I looking for as I stand back and look?  Here are a few tips on how to create a vignette.   Balance. And I achieve … [Read more...]

recommended reading: southern hospitality

porch swing

  I'm fearfully anticipating the storms that are expected to roll through our area today. But on the other hand, the weather will dictate staying in and that sounds pretty good. I have such a hard time giving myself time off. I am working on it though. Trying to schedule little breaks just for me into the week. This week I treated myself … [Read more...]

living with white walls

home tour foyer full view

Our builder painted the entire house in Kilim Beige which is a nice color, but after six years, I was ready for a change. So last January, I walked into Sherwin-Williams hoping that I'd see the sign; the poster on an easel that offers a free color consulting service with the purchase of a $75 gift card.  Knowing that I'd be spending at least … [Read more...]