Sunday Showhouse, and you’re invited!!

Good morning, I feel like summers lazy, slower paced days are slipping away, and I am not liking that. The official event that tells me summers sweet days won’t last forever is when I start to see back to school supplies…..ugh! With the time, like an hour glass slowly fading away…I am suddenly craving more than ever a seriously relaxing getaway. As we are in the home stretch of building our house, that is highly unlikely (best I can hope for is a few days at the beach) so I am taking a virtual fantasy trip today….all the homes today are incredibly grand, the first house being in the Bahamas has me longing for a lazy, “do as I please” weekend, going there would suit me just fine, then we move onto two equally grand homes in their own right, and again with spaces so over the top…..a weekend there would be heaven. Come take a look…..

CA’LIZA BAHAMAS, I have always loved this home. This magnificent Island colonial home is named after the owners daughter, Eliza. This is just the epitome of understated Island sophistication. Just a glorious home with a soothing and pale palette to promise the most welcoming and relaxed ambiance. The open shutter windows to allow the island breezes are in every room with a large loggia off of the back facing the ocean. Does it get any dreamier than this? I think not!

Love the exterior, very tall but not imposing, of course the shutters add so much
Now this is what I call a loggia!

I love the tranquility of this space, I can see this being a cozy spot to indulge in a great book
What a view, will have my afternoon cocktail here, thank you!
Soft and tonal, neutral dining room
Love the kitchen too….
How about this bedroom? So chic….

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA Then we travel to the west coast and to gorgeous Newport Beach, perched high on the hill to take full advantage of the majestic water views, this rather opulent home is quite impressive. Though the interior furnishings do not reflect my personal style, and think they are overdone,  I am still wowed by this house and the exteriors and grounds/views are beyond incredible. With a few improvements and furniture changes here and there, this is and could be ones ultimate dream home. I would however want to live outside, I am just mesmerized by that setting.
You know with an entrance like this…something fabulos lies beyond!

Love an interior courtyard
Would want to do a redo here
Not a huge fan of red dining rooms, just my personal opinion
This is a cozy family room, I like the grays and soft tones
The kitchen looks really pretty and open, with big open doors and windows to the outside
A bathroom fit for a queen and as I typed this sure enough..there is a tiara over there!
Love the way this loggia is done…..overlooking the pool
Breathtaking don’t you think?
Oh the meals we would enjoy here…….this is where I would spend all my time
Quite spectacular…..perched way high up on the hill it takes full advanatage of the water views
Gorgeous!
Something about a house at dusk with all the lights on…its magical!
This is too much! I would go cross eyed, not sure if I should stare at the water view or the TV! (But I suppose I could get used to it, haha)
Oh and did I mention there is a dock and landing for your yacht? You do have one, don’t you?
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS. This older elegant estate home is an understated manor that has been lovingly restored and maintained. What I love here, is whether or not its your taste,that they stayed true to the integrity of the home when they undertook the renovation and followed through with equally appropriate decor. I think it happens to be quite beautiful and certainly very grand. The formal gardens are dreamy and overall this is a very special and stately home. Step inside!
Beautiful elegant and stately living room (love the wall color, a sand color)
Love this fabulous wide gallery/hallway off the main foyer
Updated fresh English style kitchen perfect for big get togethers!

Formal, wood paneled library for your reading pleasure
Don’t you love this hallway? I do!

Increidble formal Parterre gardens are a perfect setting for afternoon coffee

A beautiful pond filled with looks like Carp fish grace the beautiful gardens
Three incredible homes…any of which I would be thrilled to live in. I do love the first one for its light, airy but so sophisticated Island feel…then that second ones views and grounds are just out of this world not to mention that the entrance isn’t too shabby either, and last the understated elegance of the last one cannot be discounted, it is quietly fabulous. Do you have a favorite? Love to know! Have a great Sunday!

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Sunday Showhouse, and you’re invited!!

Good morning, I feel like summers lazy, slower paced days are slipping away, and I am not liking that. The official event that tells me summers sweet days won’t last forever?is when I start to see back to school supplies…..ugh! With the time, like an hour glass slowly fading away…I am suddenly craving more than ever a seriously relaxing getaway. As we are in the home stretch of building our house, that is highly unlikely (best I can hope for is a few days at the beach) so I am taking a virtual fantasy trip today….all the homes today are incredibly grand, the first house being in the Bahamas has me longing for a lazy, “do as I please” weekend, going there would suit me just fine, then we move onto two equally grand homes in their own right, and again with spaces so over the top…..a weekend there would be heaven. Come take a look…..



CA’LIZA BAHAMAS, I have always loved this home. This magnificent Island colonial home is named after the owners daughter, Eliza. This is just the epitome of understated Island sophistication. Just a glorious home with a soothing and pale palette to promise the most welcoming and relaxed ambiance. The open shutter windows to allow the island breezes are in every room with?a large loggia off of the back facing the ocean. Does it get any dreamier than this? I think not!

Love the exterior, very tall but not imposing, of course the shutters add so much
Now this is what I call a loggia!

I love the tranquility of this space, I can see this being a cozy spot to indulge in a great book
What a view, will have my afternoon cocktail here, thank you!
Soft and tonal, neutral dining room
Love the kitchen too….
How about this bedroom? So chic….

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA Then we travel to the west coast and to gorgeous Newport Beach, perched high on the hill to take full advantage of the majestic water views, this rather opulent home is quite impressive. Though the interior furnishings do not reflect my personal style, and think they are overdone, ?I am still wowed by this house and the exteriors and grounds/views are beyond incredible. With a few improvements and furniture changes here and there, this is and could be ones ultimate dream home. I would however want to live outside, I am just mesmerized by that setting.
You know with an entrance like this…something fabulos lies beyond!

Love an interior courtyard
Would want to do a redo here
Not a huge fan of red dining rooms, just my personal opinion
This is a cozy family room, I like the grays and soft tones
The kitchen looks really pretty and open, with big open doors and windows to the outside
A bathroom fit for a queen and as I typed this sure enough..there is a tiara over there!
Love the way this loggia is done…..overlooking the pool
Breathtaking don’t you think?
Oh the meals we would enjoy here…….this is where I would spend all my time
Quite spectacular…..perched way high up on the hill it takes full advanatage of the water views
Gorgeous!
Something about a house at dusk with all the lights on…its magical!
This is too much! I would go cross eyed, not sure if I should stare at the water view or the TV! (But I suppose I could get used to it, haha)
Oh and did I mention there is a dock and landing for your yacht? You do have one, don’t you?
LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS. This older elegant estate home is an understated manor that has been lovingly restored and maintained. What I love here, is whether or not its your taste,that they stayed true to the integrity of the home when they undertook the renovation and followed through with equally appropriate decor. I think it happens to be quite beautiful and certainly very grand. The formal gardens are dreamy and overall this is a very special and stately home. Step inside!
Beautiful elegant and stately living room (love the wall color, a sand color)
Love this fabulous wide gallery/hallway off the main foyer
Updated fresh English style kitchen perfect for big get togethers!

Formal, wood paneled library for your reading pleasure
Don’t you love this hallway? I do!

Increidble formal Parterre gardens are a perfect setting for afternoon coffee

A beautiful pond filled with looks like Carp fish grace the beautiful gardens
Three incredible homes…any of which I would be thrilled to live in. I do love the first one for its light, airy but so sophisticated Island feel…then that second ones views and grounds are just out of this world not to mention that the entrance isn’t too shabby either, and last the understated elegance of the last one cannot be discounted, it is quietly fabulous. Do you have a favorite? Love to know! Have a great Sunday!

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Designer Spotlight: Dee Dee Taylor Eustace of Taylor Hannah

Happy Saturday! I, as you know, love flowers and might just have to open a charming little flower shop in my next life. They make me happy and I always try to have a small arrangement, bouquet or some floral beauty in my home. Particularly since we are not in our home, and in a rental with about half of our things in storage…I try to add small touches here and there to make it feel a little more like “home”. Yesterday I was out and about so I swooped up two plants, found this beautiful little planter and voila, had a beautiful arrangement for a side chest in the kitchen……had to share since I really liked how it came out. (when planting orchids I love using a lot of moss and take little “squares” of moss and tie them with raffia on the stems, a tip I picked up from the “pros”.
Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend, we have dinner plans, some chauffeuring to do for my son, invited on a friends boat tomorrow and other than that…hopefully we can turn down the pace a notch or two and enjoy some much anticipated weekend downtime.
On to Dee Dee Taylor Eustace of Taylor Hannah, I have admired their work for the last year or so after having discovered a gorgeous kitchen that Dee Dee designed. I looked further and was so impressed with their portfolio, created by the very firm that Dee Dee created and is today an multi award winning design firm. Very elegant spaces as evidenced by the pictures below. In my humble opinion, it  seems their signature look is the “new traditional” a traditional room with a more modern, less fussy, more streamlined feel. Many of the spaces have a slight transitional feel and they are all incredibly beautiful if you ask me! 
One thing is for sure, the work of Dee Dee and Taylor Hannah architects is consistently fabulous! Based in Toronto, Canada they travel all over to create beautiful spaces. Selected as one of the top 40 under 40 recipients, Dee Dee hosted the show on HGTV, Love by design, in case you are thinking the name might sound familiar!  I would be thrilled to call any of these spaces home. See what you think…. Dee Dee is highly regarded for her outstanding body of work that she and her namesake firm have created. Click here to visit their website. So, lets take a look! Could you possibly pick a favorite?

Now onto the beautiful spaces by Dee Dee Taylor……
This is one sumptuous master!
Elegant and monochromatic, like the pop of dark from the piano and table
So soothing, serene and inviting…….love it!
Grand sized space is a great fit for this beautiful transitional kitchen, love the high ceilings
Cozy and somehow grand feeling…….
Dressing would become a full time job in this closet, by choice of course!
This is an eclectic little space, the table is so unique!
Dramatic, dark and divine!
I would never be brave enough to paint my cabinets green but I have to admit this is awfully pretty!
Sweet and romantic guest room, fit for a princess
Elegant old world feeling space, very inviting at the same time…
This is another very grand and elegant country kitchen, check out the beadboard ceiling
I like the over sized subway going all the way up…..clean and perfect for boys!
This is a darling room, so sweet!
Drama overload…love how the gold pops against the deep dark woods
The rich dark chocolate brown gives this room such a luxurious feel with a slight masculine edge
I adore this kitchen, the light and dark, the double row of cabinets….beautiful!
Always loved this bath! So elegant and serene
Ample seating in this sitting area off the kitchen is so welcoming
Beautiful dining room….like the inset mirror in the panels
Love how open the shower feels with the glass on three sides….
An interesting mix of modern, transitional and old world European…
This is such a fresh and inviting bedroom, love the fabric on the headboard!
This is a perfect example of how beautifully they blend styles within a room
So what do you think of their style? Like it? Love it? Do you have a favorite room? It would be hard to pick a favorite but I do like and enjoyed seeing their take on the “new traditional”, slightly less stuffy, more streamlined, fresh colors, sleeker feeling…its a great look and very much in sync I think with how people like to live today. Hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

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Designer Spotlight: Dee Dee Taylor Eustace of Taylor Hannah

Happy Saturday! I, as you know, love flowers and might just have to open a charming little flower shop in my next life. They make me happy and I always try to have a small arrangement, bouquet or some floral beauty in my home. Particularly since we are not in our home, and in a rental with about half of our things in storage…I try to add small touches here and there to make it feel a little more like “home”.?Yesterday I was out and about so I swooped up two plants, found this beautiful little planter and voila, had a beautiful arrangement for a side chest in the kitchen……had to share since I really liked how it came out. (when planting orchids I love using a lot of moss and take little “squares” of moss and tie them with raffia on the stems, a tip I picked up from the “pros”.

Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend, we have dinner plans, some chauffeuring to do for my son, invited on a friends boat tomorrow and other than that…hopefully we can turn down the pace a notch or two and enjoy some much anticipated weekend downtime.

On to Dee Dee Taylor Eustace of Taylor Hannah, I have admired their work for the last year or so after having discovered a gorgeous kitchen that Dee Dee designed. I looked further and was so impressed with?their portfolio, created by the very firm that Dee Dee created and is today an multi award winning design firm. Very elegant spaces as evidenced by the pictures below. In my humble opinion, it ?seems their signature look is the “new traditional” a traditional room with?a more modern, less fussy, more streamlined feel. Many of the spaces have a slight transitional feel and they are all incredibly beautiful if you ask me!?

One thing is for sure, the work of Dee Dee and Taylor Hannah architects is consistently fabulous! Based in Toronto, Canada they travel all over to create beautiful spaces. Selected as one of the top 40 under 40 recipients, Dee Dee hosted the show on HGTV, Love by design, in case you are thinking the name might sound familiar! ?I would be thrilled to call any of these spaces home. See what you think…. Dee Dee is highly regarded for her outstanding body of work that she and her namesake firm have created. Click here to visit their website. So, lets take a look! Could you possibly pick a favorite?

Now onto the beautiful spaces by Dee Dee Taylor……
This is one sumptuous master!
Elegant and monochromatic, like the pop of dark from the piano and table
So soothing, serene and inviting…….love it!
Grand sized space is a great fit for this beautiful transitional kitchen, love the high ceilings
Cozy and somehow grand feeling…….
Dressing would become a full time job in this closet, by choice of course!
This is an eclectic little space, the table is so unique!
Dramatic, dark and divine!
I would never be brave enough to paint my cabinets green but I have to admit this is awfully pretty!
Sweet and romantic guest room, fit for a princess
Elegant old world feeling space, very inviting at the same time…
This is another very grand and elegant country kitchen, check out the beadboard ceiling
I like the over sized subway going all the way up…..clean and perfect for boys!
This is a darling room, so sweet!
Drama overload…love how the gold pops against the deep dark woods
The rich dark chocolate brown gives this room such a luxurious feel with a slight masculine edge
I adore this kitchen, the light and dark, the double row of cabinets….beautiful!
Always loved this bath! So elegant and serene
Ample seating in this sitting area off the kitchen is so welcoming
Beautiful dining room….like the inset mirror in the panels
Love how open the shower feels with the glass on three sides….
An interesting mix of modern, transitional and old world European…
This is such a fresh and inviting bedroom, love the fabric on the headboard!
This is a perfect example of how beautifully they blend styles within a room
So what do you think of their style? Like it? Love it? Do you have a favorite room? It would be hard to pick a favorite but I do like and enjoyed seeing their take on the “new traditional”, slightly less stuffy, more streamlined, fresh colors, sleeker feeling…its a great look and very much in sync I think with how people like to live today. Hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

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Things I am loving Thursdays and house updates!!

Good morning….forewarning this is a long post, lots of writing, lots of pictures, lots of things I am loving this week, so sit down, relax, pour yourself another cup of coffee or wine. Hope you are having a great week. With the weather finally calming down from temperatures I felt like I was melting in, things have gotten better and more tolerable. Something sad happened yesterday, I was out doing errands and the huge neon yellow “going out of business” signs draped over Borders caught my eye. I was due for a fresh supply of magazines so figured I would pop in. I walked into utter madness, people buzzing all over the place and I spied a line with at least two or three dozen impatient customers, not the usual “happy to be a chilling in a bookstore” customers I am used to seeing. I saw the tape sectioning off the now closed cafe/coffee shop while rejected books and magazines lay disheveled and all over the place. I looked at the store in this disarray, a place that had welcomed me many an afternoon or evening with open and cozy arms with its orderly shelves brimming with endless reading possibilities. It made me sad because I had a darn good relationship with Borders and it was often my sanctuary to where I escaped to my special place, to decompress, unwind and broaden my mind with a cup of hot java in hand. I have so many great memories there and my first reaction when I walked into all the activity was “this is what it used to be like during regular business hours” now its only this way because things are being sold for 40%.

 I felt a pang of nostalgia and true sadness at what this represents, things are changing so fast, moving in such a progressive lightning fast direction that I feel like the things that we relied upon to calm and slow us down are practically non existent! Tell me whats more relaxing than going into a book store, to me not much, except maybe being on a beach alone with an IV drip of Pina Coladas or Pinot Grigio and a juicy book, but not much else. Now I hear Barnes and Nobles is in trouble too. I for one, am not ready to surrender myself and give up the feel and smell of a brand new book to a techy gadget meant to replace buying books forever. Long live the book store!!!!!!!! 

I am sorry I got carried away in my venting but seriously this has/had me really bummed. So I mourn for yet another past favorite, first Southern Accents and now Borders. RIP, Borders. You will be sorely missed.This week I start with my usual updates. Things are really moving and shaking over at the house. I finally can envision living there which admittedly is a first. Exciting, overwhelming and loads of work, but it is a wonderful thing and its so fantastic to be in the home stretch! So here we go…..

HOUSE UPDATES. Lots going on even if it seems like its going slowly. The details can be a long drawn out process but rest assured, things are moving along quite swiftly. Painters are busy finishing first coat upstairs, carpet has been ordered, trim is getting downstairs, gutters are being put in, driveway being put in, electrical and plumbing doing their finishing touches, we will have AC within a few days..woo hoo! This is very important as the finisher starts staining the breakfast room and for the kitchen cabinets…so plenty going on. The porch is done all except for one small section, its ready to stain the ceiling and have floors put in…so here is a recap on all that’s happened this week……..

Porch basically done!
Mock ups of spindles, this is the one we are going with….
A few different ones we were experimenting with…Don and Co. are masters!!
The cardboard version and then you have…..
The real deal, in wood

Then the living room Versailles Parquet floor started getting put in, (not stained yet)

Trim work moving along on first floor hallway

They finished this doorway from family room looking into kitchen..love it! Thanks Don

In family room looking out….

Kitchen moving along….slowly but surely we are getting there!

I like this detail….where the sinks will go

Back mudroom woodworking moving along….
The back stairs in the works

Four of the carpets for the boys room and guest room……

Vanity for sons bath, its a very very dark mahogany
Bow shaped vanity getting installed in guest room
Shower getting the plumbing
Close up with mirror
Sons bath getting vanity installed….
First official door knob was put on…yippee!!

Love the door knob, I wanted ant. brass, hubs wanted polished, gotta pick your battles, its still a beautiful knob
Hubby’s shower almost done
Mud room wood working in progress

Going into living room from porch
Side door
Driveway Belgian block was just completed…

MY NEW FAVORITE HAND SOAP. Best part is its 3.99 for a big bottle at Target! And they must get some kind of special discont because when I looked this up online, saw its selling for between $5-8 online. Actually the truly best part is this is darn good hand soap, it lathers nicely, smells wonderfully with a scent that lingers as much as a nice hand lotion and I am a sucker for anything that makes me feel nostalgic for something old fashioned looking!

anything. I was thinking recently how I will of course, want to send out moving cards and found this wonderful line from Duet which features letter pressed stationary..and its all drool worthy gorgeous! Take a look! Click here to see more….

They also make adorable and beautiful baby announcements!

CHIC SUMMER CLOTHING. I love tunics, light sundresses in fun prints for the summer, throw on a piece of turquoise or coral and you are good to go. Amongst many of the lines I like for summer, I discovered Gretchen Scott about five years ago and add to my collection every summer. The price point is fair, her things are all cotton, silk or linen and she features so many great tropical summery prints…love her eye. I think of her line as one part southern belle meets one part island chic. See what you think and click here to see her line.

And then she makes these adorable pareos….love the prints! (sorry for getting carried away but its such a fun line) But these are as great as a beach/pool coverup as they are wrapped around your neck on a cool summer evening, think white pants, white top and gold sandals with one of these goodies….tres chic!

A GREAT BOOK. I am a bit behind in my summer reading, normally I get through five or six solid books, but this summer I have just completed a second. But it is one worth recommending…..Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, is a riveting and spellbinding story. Its his first book and is highly acclaimed, already winning all kinds of awards. I had a hard time putting it down. Have you read it? Click here to find out more……


A TOTALLY RANDOM SITE. OK I know this venturing a bit off my normal “area of expertise” (whatever that may be) but I found this and couldnt’ believe how cute and imaginative these were!! I mean seriously these are pancakes…as hard as that is to believe! And this Jim dude has an entire blog all about the incredible pancakes he turns into works of art…..I kid you not. Man, my kids would be pea green with envy over the kinds of breakfasts his kids are treated to every morning! Check these out….I mean seriously don’t you have an extra hour every morning to make caterpillar and T-Rex pancakes? LOL…..really amazing though! Just in case you want to follow this pancake master, click here to go to his blog.

She looks happy!

How can I top bee hive pancakes? Think I am going to stop now while I ahead…..best to end on a high ( and delicious note) I am suddenly craving pancakes and will settle for my always crooked, barely a circle somewhat very unprofessional looking (Jim would be appalled) BUT DELICIOUS pancakes…..enjoy your Thursday and you know I always love to know if there is anything you are loving this Thursday….do tell!
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Things I am loving Thursdays and house updates!!

Good morning….forewarning this is a long post, lots of writing, lots of pictures, lots of things I am loving this week, so sit down, relax, pour yourself another cup of coffee or wine.?Hope you are having a great week. With the weather finally calming down from temperatures I felt like I was melting in, things have gotten better and more tolerable. Something sad happened yesterday, I was out doing errands and the huge neon yellow “going out of business” signs draped over Borders caught my eye. I was due for a fresh supply of magazines so figured I would pop in. I walked into utter madness, people buzzing all over the place and I spied a line with at least two or three dozen impatient customers, not the usual “happy to be a chilling in a bookstore” customers I am used to seeing. I saw the tape sectioning off the now closed cafe/coffee shop while rejected books and magazines lay disheveled and all over the place. I looked at the store in this disarray, a place that had welcomed me many an afternoon or evening with open and cozy arms with its orderly shelves brimming with endless reading possibilities. It made me sad because I had a darn good relationship with Borders and it was often my sanctuary to where I escaped to my special place, to decompress, unwind and broaden my mind with?a cup of hot java in hand. I have so many great memories there and my first reaction?when I walked into all the activity was “this is what it used to be like during regular business hours” now its only this way because things are being sold for 40%.



?I felt a pang of nostalgia and true sadness at what this represents, things are changing so fast, moving in such a progressive lightning fast direction that I feel like the things that we relied upon to calm and slow us down are practically non existent! Tell me whats more relaxing than going into a book store, to me not much, except maybe being on a beach alone with an IV drip of Pina Coladas or Pinot Grigio and a juicy book, but not much else. Now I hear Barnes and Nobles is in trouble too. I for one, am not ready to surrender myself and give up the feel and smell of a brand new book to a techy gadget meant to replace buying books forever. Long live the book store!!!!!!!!?



I am sorry I got carried away in my venting but seriously this has/had me really bummed. So I mourn for yet another past favorite, first Southern Accents and now Borders. RIP, Borders. You will be sorely missed.This week I start with my usual updates. Things are really moving and shaking over at the house. I finally can envision living there which admittedly is a first. Exciting, overwhelming and loads of work, but it is a wonderful thing and its so fantastic to be in the home stretch! So here we go…..



HOUSE UPDATES. Lots going on even if it seems like its going slowly. The details can be a long drawn out process but rest assured, things are moving along quite swiftly. Painters are busy finishing first coat upstairs, carpet has been ordered, trim is getting downstairs, gutters are being put in, driveway being put in, electrical and plumbing doing their finishing touches, we will have AC within a few days..woo hoo! This is very important as the finisher?starts staining the breakfast room and for the kitchen cabinets…so plenty going on. The porch is done all except for one small section, its ready to stain the ceiling and have floors put in…so here is a recap on all that’s happened this week……..

Porch basically done!
Mock ups of spindles, this is the one we are going with….
A few different ones we were experimenting with…Don and Co. are masters!!
The cardboard version and then you have…..
The real deal, in wood

Then the living room Versailles Parquet floor started getting put in, (not stained yet)

Trim work moving along on first floor hallway

They finished this doorway from family room looking into kitchen..love it! Thanks Don

In family room looking out….

Kitchen moving along….slowly but surely we are getting there!

I like this detail….where the sinks will go

Back mudroom woodworking moving along….
The back stairs in the works

Four of the carpets for the boys room and guest room……

Vanity for sons bath, its a very very dark mahogany
Bow shaped vanity getting installed in guest room
Shower getting the plumbing
Close up with mirror
Sons bath getting vanity installed….
First official door knob was put on…yippee!!

Love the door knob, I wanted ant. brass, hubs wanted polished, gotta pick your battles, its still a beautiful knob
Hubby’s shower almost done
Mud room wood working in progress

Going into living room from porch
Side door
Driveway Belgian block was just completed…

MY NEW FAVORITE HAND SOAP. Best part is its 3.99 for a big bottle at Target! And they must get some kind of special discont because when I looked this up online, saw its selling for between $5-8 online. Actually the truly best part is this is darn good hand soap, it lathers nicely, smells wonderfully with a scent that lingers as much as a nice hand lotion and I am a sucker for anything that makes me feel nostalgic for something old fashioned looking!


anything. I was thinking recently how I will of course, want to send out moving cards and found this wonderful line from Duet which features letter pressed stationary..and its all drool worthy gorgeous! Take a look! Click here to see more….

They also make adorable and beautiful baby announcements!

CHIC SUMMER CLOTHING. I love tunics, light sundresses in fun prints for the summer, throw on a piece of turquoise or coral and you are good to go. Amongst many of the lines I like for summer, I discovered Gretchen Scott about five years ago and add to my collection every summer. The price point is fair, her things are all cotton, silk or linen and she features so many great tropical summery prints…love her eye. I think of her line as one part southern belle meets one part island chic. See what you think and click here to see her line.

And then she makes these adorable pareos….love the prints! (sorry for getting carried away but its such a fun line) But these are as great as a beach/pool coverup as they are wrapped around your neck on a cool summer evening, think white pants, white top and gold sandals with one of these goodies….tres chic!

A GREAT BOOK. I am a bit behind in my summer reading, normally I get through five or six solid books, but this summer I have just completed a second. But it is one worth recommending…..Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, is a riveting and spellbinding story. Its his first book and is highly acclaimed, already winning all kinds of awards. I had a hard time putting it down. Have you read it? Click here to find out more……



A TOTALLY RANDOM SITE. OK I know this venturing a bit off my normal “area of expertise” (whatever that may be)?but I found this and couldnt’ believe how cute and imaginative these were!! I mean seriously these are pancakes…as hard as that is to believe! And this Jim dude has an entire blog all about the incredible pancakes he turns into works of art…..I kid you not. Man, my kids would be pea green with envy over the kinds of breakfasts his kids are treated to every morning! Check these out….I mean seriously don’t you have an extra hour every morning to make caterpillar and T-Rex pancakes? LOL…..really amazing though! Just in case you want to follow this pancake master, click here to go to his blog.

She looks happy!

How can I top bee hive pancakes? Think I am going to stop now while I ahead…..best to end on a high ( and delicious note) I am suddenly craving pancakes and will settle for my always crooked, barely a circle somewhat very unprofessional looking (Jim would be appalled) BUT DELICIOUS pancakes…..enjoy your Thursday and you know I always love to know if there is anything you are loving this Thursday….do tell!

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Hallelujah for the Hamptons!

Good morning! I was lucky to have spent the other day with one of my dearest friends in the world in the glorious picture perfect Hamptons. It was a very long overdue “day off” which we both needed. Despite the temperatures that hovered around 100, we had a fantastic day, it was so great to catch up and spend some quality time with each other. Some of our outdoor activities were curtailed due to the intense heat so I decided to take a bunch of pictures in our travels………. The Hamptons is one of those places that means different things to different people. Some go for the world class restaurants, some for the glitzy night life and flashy clubs, many flock to the tony country and beach clubs, some to mingle and rub elbows with celebrities (not a difficult thing to do in the Hamptons), some to stroll down the  ritzy streets lined with every fashionsinstas must have designer boutiques,  and last some like myself go to the Hamptons to experience the old fashioned side of the Hamptons, what it once was and still is albeit less so. Anyone who knows me knows that I always say I feel like I was born in the wrong era………..

 Make no mistake, I love many of the fabulous restaurants, enjoy going into the gorgeous stores, and won’t say no to a game of tennis at one of the fabulous clubs but the real reason I go is for the beautiful quaint still family owned farm stands….is there anything better than choosing still warm tomatoes and perfectly ripe peaches just off the vine? I go to discover the little antique shops and creaky floored bookstores still being run by the old timer whose grandfather started the business. I look for the unpopulated beaches that are quiet and calm and equate to what a perfect day means to me. I go for bike rides to the Montauk lighthouse armed with a small picnic lunch to sit on the lawn with the vast Atlantic ocean as my backdrop. I go to meet friends and family for lunch at the roadside, “lunch on a paper plate” seafood bars that dot the road in Montauk. I go to take “house tours” of the incredible “beach cottages” that dot the shore.  Last I go to breath the ocean air, feel the coastal breeze and take in the beauty that is the Hamptons. That to me, is the ultimate getaway, a refuge to clear my head, and feel renewed and indeed I always leave there with a sense of calm and of being recharged. There truly is a Hamptons for everyone. So here are some highlights of my day, meet my Hamptons.

The beautiful ocean is a natural draw

Like hydrangeas? You will see them EVERYWHERE in every color here….

The landscape is so lush and green

This is a must stop for my kids and I when we are out in Montauk…
Casual but with a view

These are the farmstands that I cannot wait to visit when I head out east
Love the gorgeous sunflowers!
A typical Hamptons shingled beach house….love the coloration
Love the way the lattice was done on the garages
A classic weathered shingle home…so stately
The majestic Maidstone club, looks beautiful even in 104 degrees!
Of course the gorgeous beaches speak for themsevles
Even the Ralph Lauren in East Hampton is totally charming
The Palm steakhouse, one of the mainstays in the East Hampton dining scene
The Ladies Village Improvement Society in East Hampton, building dates from the 1800’s
Charming building in East Hampton laden with American flags
Beautiful bed and breakfast, could it be any more charming?

Love the touch of the old fashioned red bicycles!
Couldn’t you sit in those adirondack chairs all day with a big glass of ice tea?
Charm galore!

Picture perfect……
Pretty flowerboxes
The side view of “the perfect house”
Another in town charmer
Love the way this is done…..

Love this row of goregous hydrangeas aginast the privet hedges..perfect!

Beautiful lakes and ponds abound

This house, right as you enter the town of East Hampton is referred to by my kids as “the perfect house”, and there is not a blade of grass out of place!
Upon entering East Hampton
The Maidsone, a beautiful bed and breakfast right in town in East Hampton
Plenty of wineries to choose from!
Puts me in a Napa state of mind!
Ahhh..love this house!
The lines are perfect……….
Everything just looks greener here! Love the circle of white impatients under the tree
The cornerstore Candy Kitchen has been around for a long long time
Urban Archologoy has beautiful things, fun to go in and fantastize
One of my favorite stops!
The sunflowers are the first to welcome you…and there is always room in my car for them
If this isn’t divine inspiration to whip up something good, what is?
Picture perfect produce…….
Even the cucumbers are great looking!
No these are not fake!
Onions as art? Why not!
The pink pickup truck delivers the days fresh produce….

The nurseries are as you can imagine filled with all kinds of lush plantations
The beautiful nurseries are brimming with lush and beautiful plants of every variation

More vineyards…..

Outside at Duckwalk vineyards…..
And on this note, I will be sure to have a glass of Pinot Grigio later on and make a toast to the beautiful Hamptons! Hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the picturesque Hamptons. Have you been? If so do you have a favorite thing to do? If you haven’t been and ever get the chance…I urge you to make the trip, I promise you will find your “Hamptons” too! Enjoy your day……..

Photobucket

Hallelujah for the Hamptons!

Good morning! I was lucky to have spent the other day with one of my dearest friends in the world in the glorious picture perfect Hamptons. It was a very long overdue “day off” which we both needed. Despite the temperatures that hovered around 100, we had a fantastic day, it was so great to catch up and spend some quality time with each other. Some of our outdoor activities were curtailed due to the intense heat so I decided to take a bunch of pictures in our travels………. The Hamptons is one of those places that means different things to different people. Some go for the world class restaurants, some for the glitzy night life and flashy clubs, many flock to the tony country and beach clubs, some to mingle and rub elbows with celebrities (not a difficult thing to do in the Hamptons), some to stroll down the ?ritzy streets lined with every fashionsinstas must have designer boutiques, ?and last some like myself go to the Hamptons to experience the old fashioned side of the Hamptons, what it once was and still is albeit less so. Anyone who knows me knows that I always say I feel like I was born in the wrong era………..



?Make no mistake, I love many of the fabulous restaurants, enjoy going into the gorgeous stores, and won’t say no to a game of tennis at one of the fabulous clubs but the real reason I go is for the beautiful quaint still family owned farm stands….is there anything better than choosing still warm tomatoes and perfectly ripe peaches just off the vine? I go to discover the little antique shops and creaky floored bookstores still being run by the old timer whose grandfather started the business. I look for the unpopulated beaches that are quiet and calm and equate to what a perfect day means to me. I go for bike rides to the Montauk lighthouse armed with a small picnic lunch to sit on the lawn with the vast Atlantic ocean as my backdrop. I go to meet friends and family for lunch at the roadside, “lunch on a paper plate” seafood bars that dot the road in Montauk. I go to take “house tours” of the incredible “beach cottages” that dot the shore. ?Last I go to breath the ocean air, feel the coastal breeze and take in the beauty that is the Hamptons. That to me, is the ultimate getaway, a refuge to clear my head, and feel renewed and indeed I always leave there with a sense of calm and of being recharged. There truly is a Hamptons for everyone. So here are some highlights of my day, meet my Hamptons.



The beautiful ocean is a natural draw

Like hydrangeas? You will see them EVERYWHERE in every color here….

The landscape is so lush and green

This is a must stop for my kids and I when we are out in Montauk…
Casual but with a view

These are the farmstands that I cannot wait to visit when I head out east
Love the gorgeous sunflowers!
A typical Hamptons shingled beach house….love the coloration
Love the way the lattice was done on the garages
A classic weathered shingle home…so stately
The majestic Maidstone club, looks beautiful even in 104 degrees!
Of course the gorgeous beaches speak for themsevles
Even the Ralph Lauren in East Hampton is totally charming
The Palm steakhouse, one of the mainstays in the East Hampton dining scene
The Ladies Village Improvement Society in East Hampton, building dates from the 1800’s
Charming building in East Hampton laden with American flags
Beautiful bed and breakfast, could it be any more charming?

Love the touch of the old fashioned red bicycles!
Couldn’t you sit in those adirondack chairs all day with a big glass of ice tea?
Charm galore!

Picture perfect……
Pretty flowerboxes
The side view of “the perfect house”
Another in town charmer
Love the way this is done…..

Love this row of goregous hydrangeas aginast the privet hedges..perfect!

Beautiful lakes and ponds abound

This house, right as you enter the town of East Hampton is referred to by my kids as “the perfect house”, and there is not a blade of grass out of place!
Upon entering East Hampton
The Maidsone, a beautiful bed and breakfast right in town in East Hampton
Plenty of wineries to choose from!
Puts me in a Napa state of mind!
Ahhh..love this house!
The lines are perfect……….
Everything just looks greener here! Love the circle of white impatients under the tree
The cornerstore Candy Kitchen has been around for a long long time
Urban Archologoy has beautiful things, fun to go in and fantastize
One of my favorite stops!
The sunflowers are the first to welcome you…and there is always room in my car for them
If this isn’t divine inspiration to whip up something good, what is?
Picture perfect produce…….
Even the cucumbers are great looking!
No these are not fake!
Onions as art? Why not!
The pink pickup truck delivers the days fresh produce….

The nurseries are as you can imagine filled with all kinds of lush plantations
The beautiful nurseries are brimming with lush and beautiful plants of every variation

More vineyards…..

Outside at Duckwalk vineyards…..
And on this note, I will be sure to have a glass of Pinot Grigio later on and make a toast to the beautiful Hamptons! Hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the picturesque Hamptons. Have you been? If so do you have a favorite thing to do? If you haven’t been and ever get the chance…I urge you to make the trip, I promise you will find your “Hamptons” too! Enjoy your day……..

Photobucket

Behind the blogger…meet Amy from Maison Decor!

Hello and welcome to another Behind the blogger. Today we talk to Amy from the gorgeous and the ever so charming Maison Decor blog. Amy is truly talented and let me tell you she gets down to business and doesn’t fool around! When she says she is going to do something, she gets the job done right away, a girl after my own heart! She has become a great “blog buddy” who offers great and sound advice as well. I am always in for a fun treat when I visit her blog, as she is always working on some wonderful and  beautiful project in her home, from her gardens to using milk paint to repainting a gorgeous chest.

 On top of her wonderful design talents, she, I will have you know, was her town hero by being the chairwoman of the Sign Review Board and helped to write the ordinance to improve the downtown. Talk about a doer! She also was the pioneer of the Holiday House Tour and if you aren’t tired yet, she was also on the Historical Commission to create awareness of the beautiful old buildings in her community. Her own home projects are always fun and intriguing and highly inspirational. Much of what shes does looks like its right out of a magazine spread! Then you add to this creative talent, the fact that she is just a very nice person all around and you have a winning combination. Impressed and intrigued? So am I! If you aren’t already familiar with Amy’s blog, stop by and introduce yourself. You won’t regret it, I promise. So lets get started…….

Thanks Amy for participating!
Click on the header below to visit Maison Decor

So……. what inspired you to start blogging in the first place?
I discovered the whole world of blogging when I offered to do some design work on my son’s girlfriend’s blog last spring. That is when this incredible world opened up to me, and I just jumped right in, head first!
How did you come up with your blog name?
First of all, I love all things that are french inspired. While trying to come up with a blog at my computer, above my desk was a frenchy sign that said La Maison Rococo…and since I am a decorator, I just put Maison with Decor to indicate a house of decor. 
Do you have a favorite all time movie?
Out of Africa~it encompasses sweeping romance, great interior design and the tale of an inspirational woman who creates an amazing world for herself. My favorite quote in the movie is when Meryl Streep’s character tells Robert Redford’s character, “I like my things”….when he questions her as to why she lugged her fine china half way around the world. Yes, I like my things too!
You get to spend a month in the European  countryside…..is it Italy or France?  Has to be France!
Favorite meal? A great strip steak and a Caesar salad. And a nice glass of wine! Maybe some tiramasu at the end??
Tell us as little or as much as you want to about your family.
I came from a big family, one of 5 kids and we lived all over the world as my dad was designing water treatment plants for poor countries. What a great childhood and experience we had growing up! I married very young and had 3 sons, my youngest is now in college. Divorced after 20 years of marriage, and  am remarried now to my perfect match, who has a young son, and together with our dogs, we share a life that suits us both well. Happiness is not over-rated!
If you could have any career what would it be?
I love doing design work, but I would also love to have been an attorney.
Favorite design style?
French cottage~I like rustic, vintage and fancy lines all mixed together.
If you could only live in one color what would it be?
Winter white
Favorite season and why?
I love spring, for living in New England, we wait a long time to get these precious sunny days and signs of life in the garden.
Design icon?
I have a few, Phoebe Howard for a pretty room, Charlotte Moss for a collected over time look, Suzanne Kasler for a clean but feminine style, Bunny Williams for her garden style, and Rachel Ashwell for that wonderful cottage look that I am a fool for.
One place you haven’t been that you want to visit-
Australia!
What’s your number one pet peeve?
People who aren’t straight forward. 
What are the two best things about blogging?
Design inspiration and friendships. 
You get to have a private dinner with any two people in the world, they can be from the fashion, design world, literary world, Hollywood, politics,etc….your choice. Who are the lucky two?
Rachel Ashwell and Oprah
Do you have a favorite saying or quote?
Wish it, Dream it, Do it!
Most overrated trend right now?
I have to say projects using burlap. The most uncomfortable fabric in the world!! Ugh!
Reading anything interesting that you want to share? I just picked up a large book by Home Depot at a used book store this weekend. It is filled with all kinds of projects from patios, walks, arbors and sheds. My bookshelves are lined with selections from Oprah’s old book club…but these days I am about hands on projects. I also have a pile of books by Betty Lou Phillips who writes the most wonderful books on French style.
You are 18 again. What do you do?
I would probably go to law school!
What are your plans for the summer?
We will spend some time at a lake cottage with the dogs and our little guy and then hit Martha’s Vineyard and visit with my parents and my youngest son who is working there this summer. In the middle of all that, my biggest hope is to build a charming garden shed out of old windows.
In ten years I will be………………..
Moving into an old farmhouse somewhere in New Hampshire and gutting the kitchen.
If you could live anywhere on earth and money was no object where would you go?
I would live on the seacoast in New Hampshire with an ocean view, a big yard with a country garden and a great big white clapboard house with a porch…with a tall flagpole out front.
Best tip or two for any new bloggers reading this…….
Write for yourself. Don’t worry about stats and followers, just make real connections. 
Blogging to me is  exciting and inspiring.
Give me four words that describe your personality. Straight forward,determined, helpful and impulsive (especially with paint)! 

Thank you Amy and now a little recap on all about Amy…..








Thanks again Amy! I read through her interview nodding in agreement at so much of what she said, its no wonder I like her!  Do stop by Maison Decor....you will be happy you did! Enjoy your day.
Photobucket


Behind the blogger…meet Amy from Maison Decor!

Hello and welcome to another Behind the blogger. Today we talk to Amy from the gorgeous and the ever so charming Maison Decor blog. Amy is truly talented and let me tell you she gets down to business and doesn’t fool around! When she says she is going to do something, she gets the job done right away, a girl after my own heart! She has become a great “blog buddy” who offers great and sound advice as well. I am always in for a fun treat when I visit her blog, as she is always working on some wonderful and ?beautiful project in her home, from her gardens to using milk paint to repainting a gorgeous chest.



?On top of her wonderful design talents, she, I will have you know, was her town hero by being the chairwoman of the Sign Review Board and helped to write the ordinance to improve the downtown. Talk about a doer! She also was the pioneer of the Holiday House Tour and if you aren’t tired yet, she was also on the Historical Commission to create awareness of the beautiful old buildings in her community. Her own home projects are always fun and intriguing and highly inspirational. Much of what shes does looks like its right out of a magazine spread! Then you add to this creative talent, the fact that she is just a very nice person all around and you have a winning combination. Impressed and intrigued? So am I! If you aren’t already familiar with Amy’s blog, stop by and introduce yourself. You won’t regret it, I promise. So lets get started…….



Thanks Amy for participating!

Click on the header below to visit Maison Decor

So……. what inspired you to start blogging in the first place?
I discovered the whole world of blogging when I offered to do some design work on my son’s girlfriend’s blog last spring. That is when this incredible world opened up to me, and I just jumped right in, head first!
How did you come up with your blog name?
First of all, I love all things that are french inspired. While trying to come up with a blog at my computer, above my desk was a frenchy sign that said La Maison Rococo…and since I am a decorator, I just put Maison with Decor to indicate a house of decor.?
Do you have a favorite all time movie?
Out of Africa~it encompasses sweeping romance, great interior design and the tale of an inspirational woman who creates an amazing world for herself. My favorite quote in the movie is when Meryl Streep’s character tells Robert Redford’s character, “I like my things”….when he questions her as to why she lugged her fine china half way around the world. Yes, I like my things too!
You get to spend a month in the European ?countryside…..is it Italy or France???Has to be France!
Favorite meal??A great strip steak and a Caesar salad. And a nice glass of wine! Maybe some tiramasu at the end??
Tell us as little or as much as you want to about your family.
I came from a big family, one of 5 kids and we lived all over the world as my dad was designing water treatment plants for poor countries. What a great childhood and experience we had growing up! I married very young and had 3 sons, my youngest is now in college. Divorced after 20 years of marriage, and ?am remarried now to my perfect match, who has a young son, and together with our dogs, we share a life that suits us both well. Happiness is not over-rated!
If you could have any career what would it be?
I love doing design work, but I would also love to have been an attorney.
Favorite design style?
French cottage~I like rustic, vintage and fancy lines all mixed together.
If you could only live in one color what would it be?
Winter white
Favorite season and why?
I love spring, for living in New England, we wait a long time to get these precious sunny days and signs of life in the garden.
Design icon?
I have a few, Phoebe Howard for a pretty room, Charlotte Moss for a collected over time look, Suzanne Kasler for a clean but feminine style, Bunny Williams for her garden style, and Rachel Ashwell for that wonderful cottage look that I am a fool for.
One place you haven’t?been that you want to visit-
Australia!
What’s your number one pet peeve?
People who aren’t straight forward.?
What are the two best things about blogging?
Design inspiration and friendships.?
You get to have a private dinner with any two people in the world, they can be from the fashion, design world, literary world, Hollywood, politics,etc….your choice. Who are the lucky two?
Rachel Ashwell and Oprah
Do you have a favorite saying or quote?
Wish it, Dream it, Do it!
Most overrated trend right now?
I have to say projects using burlap. The most uncomfortable fabric in the world!! Ugh!
Reading anything interesting that you want to share??I just picked up a large book by Home Depot at a used book store this weekend. It is filled with all kinds of projects from patios, walks, arbors and sheds. My bookshelves are lined with selections from Oprah’s old book club…but these days I am about hands on projects. I also have a pile of books by Betty Lou Phillips who writes the most wonderful books on French style.
You are 18 again. What do you do?
I would probably go to law school!
What are your plans for the summer?
We will spend some time at a lake cottage with the dogs and our little guy and then hit Martha’s Vineyard and visit with my parents and my youngest son who is working there this summer. In the middle of all that, my biggest hope is to build a charming garden shed out of old windows.
In ten years I will be………………..
Moving into an old farmhouse somewhere in New Hampshire and gutting the kitchen.
If you could live anywhere on earth and money was no object where would you go?
I would live on the seacoast in New Hampshire with an ocean view, a big yard with a country garden and a great big white clapboard house with a porch…with a tall flagpole out front.
Best tip or two for any new bloggers reading this…….
Write for yourself. Don’t worry about stats and followers, just make real connections.?
Blogging to me?is ?exciting?and?inspiring.
Give me four words that describe your personality.?Straight forward,determined, helpful and impulsive (especially with paint)!?

Thank you Amy and now a little recap on all about Amy…..








Thanks again Amy! I read through her interview nodding in agreement at so much of what she said, its no wonder I like her! ?Do stop by Maison Decor....you will be happy you did! Enjoy your day.
Photobucket