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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

The Sweet Smell of Success

Just a few days ago, I was lucky enough to find a delightful new blog to read, Beyond the Blue Ridge by VA Girl.  Please pay her a call, I think she’s a terrific addition!  One of her passions is perfume, and she already has several interesting posts on fragrance, which got me to thinking about my favorite perfume, Laila.  Have you ever heard of it?laila I found it when Mr. T&C worked for the Walt Disney Company.  We were visiting the Norway pavilion at Epcot for some event, when I chanced upon Laila and fell in love with its fresh, clean scent.  Described as the “essence of Norway,” Laila is the first perfume to be created in Norway, and is even featured on Norway’s official U.S. website Laila was not created by a traditional perfume house, but rather by a man named Geir Ness, who was trying his hand at acting in California.  He was offered some work modeling for Calvin Klein fragrances, and, according to the Laila website, he was asked if his native Norway produced any perfumes, and, if not, why didn’t he do something about that.   Reminded of hours spent with his mother collecting wildflowers, Ness decided that fragrance would be his new career.   You can read the rest of the story of Laila on the company’s website, but, my favorite parts are:

1.  Ness named his perfume Laila (pronounced Lila) for his mother, without her knowing about it, even using her signature for the product logo.  

2. After the chemists and perfumers mixed the various oils of the native mountain wildflowers, Ness took samples to everyone he knew (and many he didn’t) to get their opinions.  Something, it seemed, was still lacking.  And, what do you think that missing ingredient turned out to be?  Why, it’s probably the very thing that makes it a favorite of this Southern girl!  Watermelon!white-terrace-flower

Laila is available at Nordstrom’s, Neiman-Marcus, and, of course, Walt Disney World.   I have not been compensated by any of the above.   Personally, I’d love to purchase my next bottle in Norway!


  1. I will definitely visit Laila at Nordies. I love to check out any new scent. :) xoxo

  2. How interesting! I would love to smell it!
    I wonder if Nordies would give you samples for all of your bloggy friends lol!

  3. Mmmm... I love finding new scents. I always head to Epcot to purchase my fragrances for some reason! Paris is my perfume destination. I only wish it was Duty Free!

  4. Sounds so clean. I like that better... wish I could order a sample. Or maybe I can try a whiff on Saturday! I will email you in the next day or so! Got to get all my ducks (i.e. kiddos) in a row!

  5. Oh, that sounds so pretty. I remember seeing this perfume in Sephora once, but they do not carry it anymore. And thanks for the mention!

  6. Hi - I gave you an award today. So odd you had a post about this as I lived in Norway and have friends there still. I will check this perfume out!


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