Fall is here!

Southern Living magazine says Fall is The South’s best season. I think I agree. Winter is ugly because we don’t get [enough] snow. Spring is pretty great. Summer is hot. Fall has football and colorful leaves. Fall for the win!!! <insert touchdown dance here>

“Go outside and play!” – Mom

“Meow.” – Claire

I love that our pets follow us wherever we go.

“Mommy!!! Help me get my foot up here!!!” – Michael

Freddie is always happy to go outside and play! Just as long as he’s with us, you know?

“Hey, pose for a picture…” – Mom

Tween.

(Notice Dizzy is standing just on the outside of the fence watching us.)

My favorite tween.

Every morning, Michael and I tell Leah to “have a great day” as we leave to drive to his school. As we were driving away yesterday morning, he let out a big sigh and said, “I love her.”

Gracious!

Those are the moments, people.

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St Cecilia

When we bought our house, there was really only one thing I disliked about the house: the granite in the kitchen. I just think the pattern in the granite is busy and would have preferred something less colorful. The problem – then and now – is that granite is expensive to replace and it would feel wasteful to remove it anyway. I feel guilty about not liking it – like someone handed me chocolate cheesecake and I said I would prefer key lime pie.

Chocolate Cheesecake.

The kitchen is almost 10 years old now. It’s holding up very well considering the pets and children running amok around here – but we have some water damage from splashes around the sink and fridge and there are scuffs on the cabinets.

A view with the lights off… Very little natural light!!!

Have you ever taken photos of your house? A photo hides a multitude of sins. I lived in a 100 year old townhouse in England that looked adorable in pictures. It was tired and worn out in real life. Charming, yes – but worn out. Anyway, these iPhone shots of my kitchen don’t show you the wear – or the crumbs – or the sink full of dishes! Ha! Just looking at pictures, I’d think we should leave it alone. But the day is coming that we will need to refresh the cabinets with paint or stain…

A view of the kitchen with the lights on.

This photo makes the counters look almost green. They’re brown and gold – not green at all. The first photo I posted up top is the most accurate. Anyway, I am trying to figure out what will look best for 1-5 years from now when we do this project… because I like to plan ahead.

Check out my board on Pinterest with several kitchens that mixed St Cecilia granite with painted cabinets and tell me what you think!

Owls and gold in the office…

My office is completely “me”. I realize the whole house reflects my great love of brown with baskets, etc. But in my office, there are no compromises – it’s my corner of the house – and I love it in here. (Freddie does, too! But I can share.)

I have slowly been adding pops of gold and bronze in the past year or two – mostly via spray paint. (Of course!) First, there was the owl pencil holder, then an old lamp and picture frame and the footstool…

The other day, I was helping Mom pick out knobs for a table in her breakfast room and I spotted these pewter owl knobs. Owls! They were $3 on sale but they had a pretty cheesy ‘antiqued’ blue finish. Nothing a little spray paint can’t fix!

This had to go… boring hardware.

After surveying my inventory, I decided to use the FolkArt metallic paint that we found in the garage when we bought the house 7 years ago! Haha! I guess I hated to throw away a good can of spray paint? It worked very well, although it came out really thick and briefly clogged up.

My desk had 4 little round knobs. Owls are awesome, but 4 in a row would look silly, so I decided to put the two owls on the middle drawer and keep round knobs on the side drawers. (I painted all 4 gold so the old knobs would match the new ones.)

See, I don’t need fake ‘antiquing’… my desk is has authentic wear and tear! Ignore the scratches and dents, please.

I like how the color of the brassy gold matches from the two owls to the globe. Coincidentally, the style of owl is the same for the knob and my pencil cup. I don’t know it’s originally intended purpose but I think it was a flowerpot. I found it in the seasonal department of Hobby Lobby years ago. It was orange!

This is how it all turned out. I love it! The owls make the desk a bit more fun. This desk is only a few years old, but it gets a lot of use by the kids and me. It’s very strong – I stood on it today to reshuffle the paintings.

Here’s a quick view of the rest of the office:

I am already tired of the crazy fabric I put on the stool and lamp last year but that will be an easy fix!

Leah wants this mini sleeper sofa in her room for guests when she has a friend to sleep over. She may have to fight Freddie for it! Ha! I am rarely envious of people, but I am often envious of Freddie!!! Especially when I am working and he is snoring right by me!!!

Here’s my view from the sofa. This room gets a ton of light so it’s never dark in here – even with chocolate brown walls.

My favorite plant next to my favorite antique.

Speaking of office space, Bryan’s Man Cave is coming along! I got him a new TV this summer and a really cool bookcase that my brother Steve graciously assembled. Once we get in the hardwood floors and the new door, I will share pictures.

This month in the yard: September

I opted against a zillion pictures of the yard this month since very little has changed in recent weeks… with one significant exception!

My “dead” River Birch tree is sprouting new growth! Yippee!

My Day Lillies have continued to bloom all summer but I’m learning it takes a copious amount of flowers to drench the beds in color a la Southern Living magazine. The flowerbed around the back patio looks pewny!!! Seriously, the Lemongrass looks like a feature plant – it now dwarfs the blueberries – and all my flowers are so small and spread apart that they disappear.

Bleh.

I have a lot of work to do in the years to come!

The Crepe Myrtle is starting to bloom!

These little annuals are still my favorites – so easy!

Freddie barks and growls at everyone who jogs by – if he doesn’t know them and/or they don’t pet him – and particularly if they have a dog. He is so obnoxious! I’ve learned recently some joggers think he is “mean”. I may need to put out a dog treat station with a little note explaining our rotten dog’s behavior: he will shut up if you pet him!

Claire likes stalking the butterflies that hover around the Lantana and Night Salvia.

The Hydrangeas still haven’t bloomed!!!