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!