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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

Reduce, Reuse, Re-wreath

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!  I have decided I am kicking off the Year of Jubilee as I begin to celebrate the big 50.  Crow's feet shall henceforth be known as laugh lines; and aches and pains attributed to a well-spent youth.  I will continue to color and highlight my hair, whiten my teeth, pass on the simple carbs, and walk as much as I can, but I've come to terms with the fact that no one is going to mistake me for a young woman.  And that's okay, I had my time to sparkle; now it's my time to glow.

I still like a little sparkle around the house, however. (And on my ears, occasionally, of course.) And, surely, everyone who's 50 has learned that there is no sense in wasting time re-inventing the wheel, or wreath, in this case.  The wreaths at the T and C House were looking a little care worn.

It was time for an update, but I wasn't sure what I wanted. For years, I've been a stickler--green wreaths, red bows, white candles.  Maybe, just maybe, you could still be a respectable person if you used plaid bows.  Gold?  Clearly, a person that would decorate outside with gold bows, well, I don't think I have to tell you what's going on inside that house!  Why, it's probably just full of things like boxed cake mixes and People magazines and paper napkins!  (Clearly, I cannot have coffee after four in the afternoon.  None of this will be funny in the morning.)   Live greens are great, but in our weather, they tend to look a little worse for wear after a week or two.  A wide range of good-looking faux greens are available, but I wasn't sure what I wanted--white pine, mixed evergreens, boxwood?  (Well, actually, I wanted boxwood, but the preserved boxwood doesn't last more than one season, and the plastic boxwood doesn't hold up that well either.  And I don't have enough real boxwood to make a single fresh wreath, and I need nine!)  And then, I happened to click on one of my favorite blogs Abnormally Normal, where the hilarious Mom on the Run had decided to be a little crafty.   She took her inspiration from the ubiquitous Pottery Barn, and I took mine from her.

So, after a quick stop at Target, I was in business transforming my scraggly greens into shiny red and silver-enhanced wreaths.  They still need to be replaced, but for about $20 spent on shatterproof ornaments and three hours of my time, I was able to keep them looking good for at least one more season.

I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere, but I'm not going to think about that right now.

It's time to apply my wrinkle cream.


  1. Definitely a metaphor in there but reflective and shiny comes to mind. That doesn't come without a lot of polish. ;)

  2. Great job! Your house is even more gorgeous now!

  3. I love it! Wish I could use red, but my blasted orangy brick house just doesn't match. Yours look fabulous!

  4. So incredibly beautiful and so very funny!
    The two on our gates are on their last legs, I came in last night and they are literally falling to bits but they can live out the season before they're consigned to the bin.

  5. Hi - just found your blog. I need to revamp some of my wreaths thanks for the great ideas. I had a fairly large wreath last year for the front door - and I decorated it further than Target did...but for some reason I can't find it! So - I may take 3 smaller wreaths that I have and place them all in a row on my front door - connected by a gold ribbon underneath. If it comes out beautiful, I will let you know.

    If you get a chance - head over to one of my blogs.

    Merry Christmas


  6. Looks fabulous! Your house makes me breathe a swooning sigh.
    This was the first year I did wreaths on every single window. I have 2 large picture windows in the front and the larger center wreath on each was decorated with a plaid ribbon while all the others were red. (I assure you I am respectable ;)
    Happy Belated...and you certainly do glow!


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