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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Field of dreams

We’re heading south this weekend to central Florida.  The main event will be celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday with my husband’s siblings and their respective families.  The cousins will be together and will make doughnuts one morning, a longstanding and delicious tradition.  Some of us will shoot.  And some of us, including me, will spend at least one day antiquing at the Renninger’s Extravaganza in Mount Dora, Florida.   It’s a tradition for my sisters-in-law and me to attend each winter.  I am beside myself with excitement.

The Extrav consists of acres and acres of dealers and wares, ranging from items euphemistically dubbed “collectibles” to the sublime—Tennessee sugar chest, anyone?  Some booths are elegantly staged; others are, well, honestly, they are simply random items displayed on the grass or a piece of tarp.  Most dealers opt for a few folding tables to showcase the “smalls,” placing furniture and larger pieces around the perimeter of their spaces.fair_oct_scape-314x228 In the past, I’ve found furniture, paintings, lithographs, etchings, rugs, lamps, and well, I could go on and on.  For years, each of us girls (another euphemism) had a long list of specific items she hoped to find.  Now, we’re all in the “upgrade” phase of antiquing, which means we’re really only interested in furniture if the piece is a much better replacement for something we already have.  (The replaced piece may either be sold, or more likely, stored for one of our children’s first apartment.)  This year, specifically,  I’m looking for:

old leather books in English,


rose medallion porcelain,


and American coin silver.


So, my “hit list” is rather short, which means the possibility of finding some unexpected wonderful “gets” is deliciously unlimited.

I’m feeling rather giddy.


  1. What a great adventure! I have always wanted to attend a show like this or Brimfield. Have a wonderful time. You should feel giddy! I would! :) xoxo

  2. Wish that I could join you at the Extrav!

  3. Right now I am looking for oil paintings or just art that I can frame. My entrance hall and dining room walls are just too bare for my taste.

    Have fun in sunny Florida!

  4. Have a wonderful weekend ~ I can't wait to see what treasures you bring home.


  5. those beautiful old books were calling my name.

    we are building a second home in colorado and
    i keep thinking if all we decorated with were old
    books, it would be so beautiful.


    ps. have fun with the girls

  6. Can't wait to hear more about the blue/white.

  7. I haven't been to Renninger's in years ... and it's only a half hour drive from me. Need to go next time, for sure!


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