Monday, October 5, 2015

random acts of kindness

Can I get a hands up for who's happy that its October?
{Insert high five emoji here}
 Fall has finally arrived here in Houston.
It's sixty three degrees and I'm in love.
Its time to bring out the fall décor don't you think?
One little problem...I'm in the midst of painters and contractors.
Yes. Still.
Its all good though.
Progress is happening and that's better than standing still.
My faux pumpkin and gourd stash will have to wait a while.
In the meantime let me share a sweet story...
If you know me in real time you know that we've grown really close to our neighbors.
We, my husband and our boys, feel like our families
have become like family.
They are the number one reason we put off building a new home.
We didn't want to leave them.
During the summer we began "Sundaes on Sunday"
where every Sunday night we'd start the new week off by
making the craziest sugar concoctions
with any and every sugary condiment and ice cream known to mankind.
Then there's inside golf where they've created basically an indoor putt-putt game
with coffee cups as the golf ball holes and furniture as the obstacles.
My boys are crazy for them to say the least.
His sons may think of us as the crazy cousins who they can't shake at a reunion
but I digress...Ha!
We've watched their boys grow up,
they were littles when we moved on the street
and now they're all towering glorious young men.
Our neighbor's wife was very special to me.
I looked up to her in many ways but most of all as a mother.
She was only three years older than me but she had this old soul personality
in that I felt like she had the answers to so many questions I had,
even ones I was too afraid to ask her.
She would bring over copies of parenting articles she thought I'd like
and invite me to talks about religion and parenting.
She gave me much more than I ever gave back.
She passed away this spring,
a few weeks after we lost our niece.
My husband and I have often said
that these two ladies that died within weeks of each other
reminded each of us of the other woman,
they were very similar in a lot of ways but mainly in their faith.
We take comfort in thinking they met at heaven's gate.
I personally think they're still around in ways.
Little things remind me of them all the time...
like white pumpkins for instance.
Let me explain...
I think I've said it here before that our friend next door
was like Martha Stewart and Julia Childs rolled into one.
Her home was always immaculate and her kitchen always cooking something delicious.
Every fall she put out the most wonderful pumpkin display on her porch.
Something like this...
She loved all things white
so she would buy white Cinderella pumpkins
and arrange them just so,
in piles of pumpkin perfection.
Last week I noticed some white pumpkins on the porch next door.
I figured our neighbor's dad who was visiting from out of town
had grab some at the grocery store.
One afternoon late last week our neighbor drove up
as we were getting home from piano.
We chit chatted and I complimented him on the pumpkins.
I told him that his dad had done a good job.
He looked at them and smiled and said it wasn't his dad.
"do you know you did that?"
No idea if it wasn't him I said.
"A lady down the street brought us those.
She said she'd been driving past our house for twenty years
and she knew that every fall {his wife}
put out white pumpkins on the porch.
She said she knew that {his wife} had passed away in the spring.
She said she couldn't drive by this year
and not see pumpkins on the porch.
So she brought him a pile of white pumpkins for his porch.
Wasn't that so nice of her? he said.
Yes it was I told him trying to stop my eyes from tearing.
I keep thinking of this story.
I wish I knew which neighbor it was.
I'd go down the street and hug her neck.
I just love that she had the thought and followed through on it.
I know my neighbor appreciated it immensely.
I love the idea of random acts of kindness.
I'm inspired now and I hope you are too.
If you are, I found this little list of suggestions...
Who's with me?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Round Top or Bust!

 Monday started off slightly rocky for our bi-annual pilgrammage to Round Top.
The forecast called for rain all day.
Ugh right?
But when you've run 13 plus miles
in thirty degree weather in freezing rain
with winds blowing sideways
you know rain ain't nothing but a thing.
Plus we're committed fearless shoppers.
What can I say?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

house in the 'hood

Hope y'all are having a great week so far.
I know I am.
We went to Round Top yesterday.
It started off shaky with rain and a dead battery
but only got better as the day went on.
Hope to post a picture filled tale of how the day went down.
Until then hope you enjoy a little peek into
this house in our 'hood that sold earlier this spring...
If you needed a definition of an open concept living space
this house would be it
with views into the kitchen, dining, and living areas from any one spot...
It seems like a great place to entertain doesn't it?
This reminds me that I need to de-clutter edit my book shelves.
I like the way there's just enough on the shelves...not too little or too much.
Plus I love the color.
Adding that to my to-do list too.
After I finish the office.
And the laundry room.
Oh yes and the boys room update.
One day but not soon
 I will paint the bookshelves in our family room.
Until then I'll be pinning this as a reminder.
Who is else is loving the random quirkiness of the art choices in the room?
I love a good theme but I like random too.
And apparently I like green apples and alligators.

If I had to guess I'd say the door you see above
is the powder room...
I like the color scheme they used for the walls and trim,
same same but different.
Yes...let's do that too one day.
Who else keeps a running tab of unending home projects?
I doubt I'm the only procrastinator dreamer here ;)


The kitchen crams a lot in without feeling too crowded...
the desk area to the left and informal bar area.
It feels like a gathering place doesn't it?

I like how they mixed the slate countertops with the butcher block top on the island.

Love the lantern in the entry way...

more lighting love in the man cave/family room at the top of the stairs...

The master bedroom is quite lovely and serene.
Who wouldn't love a little sitting room like this...
Love the huge shower in the master bath...

 The secondary bedrooms are simple but stylish...

The older I get the more the mantra "less is more" speaks to me...


 although I do love to expect the unexpected as well...
like how they used this secondary bedroom as a home office.
Loving the world map triptych...wonder if that was a DIY.



 Back downstairs is an awesome bar area.
Every thing is bigger in Texas including our wine fridges...
I wish I could find out where these owners moved.
These are my people, my tribe.
I like they way they roll.
I hope they have a pool area in their new house like this...

You know this is where I would be found most days.
Especially with a glass of wine in hand.
all images via

Friday, September 25, 2015

progress check

So the heavens finally aligned this week.
The floor guy did a magnificent job.
I would use the word amazeballs but you might think me crass.
So I will just say I was impressed.
Also impressive is that my carpenter made a definite comeback in my book.
He installed the custom desk we had him make for the old bar area this morning.
Before and afters soon I promise.
In the meantime I'll tease you with a little design board for my new space.
Here's what I'm dreaming of...
Please note all these photos are from pinterest...not my own.
I'm on the hunt for a Chippendale side chair.
In green pretty please.
Crossing my fingers we find one in Round Top next week :)
I'm planning on a dark blue for the walls.
The space gets a ton of light so I'm not worried about it being too dark.
Plus you know how I feel about blue and white.
I was contemplating painting the desk my favorite apple green
but I think I'm going to go with a gloss white...probably White Dove
{thanks to Mary Ann for turning me onto that color}.
You might remember I had a huge bulletin board installed over
a huge header that hangs over the new desk area.
Its the backside of the stairwell so it cant be moved.
I asked.
Something about structural integrity.
I guess its staying.
So what's a girl to do?
I'm thinking of adding Schumachers Chiang Mai in aquamarine
to cover the entire bulletin board.
Only problem is I don't know if I would have the heart
to stick a pin in it...first world problem right?
And yes I know I have it in mocha on pillows in my bedroom
and in blue and white in my kitchen.
Big hair don't care.
I'm crazy in love with it.
I don't know why and I don't really care.
It makes me happy and what's not to love about that.
Speaking of love.
I hit the holy grail with draw pulls.
As in double happiness draw pulls.
Yes there is such a thing and I found it.
Only another reason I call myself the décor detective.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

progress...i'll take it

My original title for this post was "hurry up and wait."
Instead I'm choosing to look at the positive.
But first a little background...
I think I got a bit over ambitious when I thought
 I'd found the carpenter of my dreams.
He installed some custom made bookshelves
and a custom made pull out laundry bin.
Then I gave him a hefty deposit for a custom desk
and a pocket door for our laundry room.
Long story short for the past month
its been one excuse after another.
Until Friday.
Yes hallelujah!!!!
The carpenter arrived and ripped out the old bar area.
He was banging away.
Then I heard him call my name.
I knew something wasn't right by the sound of his voice.
He started with "the good news is..."
and you know its never really good news
but rather what I like to call
"information to soften the blow."
He goes..."the good news is that you have a very well built house.
Also you have real hardwood floors.
The bad news is that now you need a floor guy
to install hard woods underneath where the new desk is going."
My favorite part is when he said "yeah, I didn't think of that
when we were talking about doing this."
Much like the pocket door that cant be done now
because of the way the plumbing in the wall sits.
Because during the month delay
 I cleaned out the cabinet behind said door
and saw that the plumbing
goes to the side rather than the back wall.
That's ok.
Its a first world problem after all.
On the good news front the new chandelier arrived
and I found a great electrician to install it ....
Very well made and you know how I feel about green.
Another step closer to completion happened yesterday when
I received shipping confirmation on a couple of these lovelies...
I know some people may say imperial trellis is over,
that its everywhere,
that its trendy...
I don't care.
I love it to pieces.
{insert big heart emoji here}
I'm considering adding some other favorite pillows too...

Waiting for the trellis to decide.
Baby steps y'all.
Today is all about paint colors for the new office area.
If the floor guy ever shows.
I'm crossing everything I've got for that wish to come true.
Oh...just saw Kate Spade is having a surprise sale.
Be sure and check it out.
Its the perfect time to pick up teacher gifts like this...
And under the title "you can teach a dog new tricks"
check out my new blog header.
Took me two hours and a couple of you tube videos
but I think I like about you?



Friday, September 18, 2015

wrap it up

Last weekend Houston got a little tease of fall.
It lasted about 24 hours with a low around 58 one night.
Sadly it's not fall y'all...back to mid 90s and high humidity.
Calgon take me away.
While I was at Target last week buying do-dads for the boys' birthday
I saw this...
I even put in my basket.
It was super soft y'all.
But the afore mentioned temperatures made me put it back.
Of course I kept thinking about it so I looked it up
and found another to put on my "get" list...
Colorblock not your thing?
Consider plaid instead...
Best part?
Target is running a buy one, get one half off deal.
You're welcome.
Hurry expires tomorrow night the 19th at midnight.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Our twins turned eleven this week.
How'd that happen?
Is it wrong that I hate it?
Hate that the time is rushing by that is.
 I will admit too at being excited to see them blossom.
I will go to my grave regretting that I wished away
some of their little years because I was so dang tired.
I thought once they got older it would get easier.
Physically yes, mentally no way.
I laugh now.
Little people, little problems.
If I only knew then what I know now...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

house in the 'hood

Hope your week is going well.
Mine has been full of stops and starts.
On the good news front my new chandelier arrived.
Trying to decide if I should believe the pin I saw the other day
that says if I watch a certain you tube video
that I too can install my own fixture.
I believe in myself...just not sure if I want to add a little spark to my life.
Because that would be my luck.
Yeah...writing down "find electrician" on my to do list today.
While I take care of that and order stuff for the twins' birthday next week
{not one present bought :(  Rut. Roh. Shaggy.}
I hope you enjoy this beautiful house in the 'hood...

Its no surprise that it was the lighting in the entry that had me at hello.

The study is right off the entry...
to say I'm in love with the custom in-laid floors would be an understatement.

A better look at the stained alder wood cabinetry...

Adore the brick in the wine bar area...

Here's a different angle...
the wine bar is mid-right in this photo of the dining room
looking into the family area and the kitchen beyond that...


Two built in cabinets flank the entrance from the hallway.
They were hand painted by Segreto Finishes.
Looking back into the dining area from the main living area...
Very simple drapery treatments throughout...
I like that they didn't cover every window and door.

I like how they used two different types of tables.
For someone who loves symmetry this really works for me.

The kitchen is incredible...

These cabinets were painted by Segreto Finishes as well.

Upstairs is like a residential resort of sorts complete with its own game room...

while the fifth bedroom serves as a workout room...

A small office area is right off the game room...

with another home office or craft area just off the laundry area...


The master bedroom is huge...

and the master bath enchanting...

 as are the secondary bedrooms...

...complete with built in playhouse
and a bathroom fit for a little princess...
The boys' bedroom is fun as well with a play loft located
behind the door below...

 Most lots in our neighborhood are tiny
{though with huge price tags and taxes to go with it}
but this one feels like the size of Texas.
Enough for a pool and play structure to boot.
There's something for everyone in this house.
If it were mine this is where I'd be most days...

You'd be welcome to hang with me here.
Especially if you come with wine in hand :)

 all images via