1. First really good yard sale of the season on Saturday. I knew it was going to be good by the lettering on the sign. I found a vintage swivel chair for the office and a mid-century dresser for the upstairs bedroom and a tiny table that I may or may not paint.
2. Where have all the really good romantic comedies gone? Every time I think I may go to the movies, I look at all that’s playing are horror films or superhero movies. No judgement Superman, but I need a really good Sleepless in Seattle sometimes.
3. My littlest twin is in Nicaragua this week with my mother on a mission trip. She was so excited about going. I am excited for her, too, but I’ll be more excited when she’s home.
4. The new Trading Spaces comes back on April 7 on TLC. I can’t wait. Did you watch the original one? I hope they bring back Hilde and her flower walls.
Let’s see what the internet has been up to last week.
It’s one of my favorite conferences. It’s at the beautiful Lake Junaluska conference center in North Carolina and it’s SO AFFORDABLE—only $55.50 for the conference. I’m going to be teaching a session on budget decorating for your home and a DIY workshop on painting wooden signs.
I’m so excited to join Jennifer and friends today to celebrate spring in the kitchen.
But just between us, I was a little worried.
I haven’t figured out how to really photograph this house yet.
Houses are a lot like people. They have good angles and not so good angles. Sometimes they make funny faces or have wrinkles in odd places or a big blank spot in the middle of their forehead. The farmhouse? I knew it. I understood it. I knew all the right places to photograph it to make it shine.
But this house?
The new house?
I’m still figuring it all out.
So I took pictures and they were okay. They were fine. They were sufficient. What am I doing wrong, I thought? How can I photograph the kitchen so you all can see it like I see it?
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the clouds parted and the heavens sang and the birds chirped.
And the sunshine showed up.
This was the view that started it all.
This is standing in the kitchen looking into the hallway.
See that sunshine?
See how it dances across the floor?
With all the rain we have been having and the dark and cloudy and overcast days I almost didn’t recognize.
Just looking at the streams of light pouring in made me so happy.
We all need a little sunlight now and then.
So I thought I’d give you the sunlight tour of the kitchen.
This is the view of the kitchen going into the family room.
You can see the sunlight coming in through the window.
And dancing off the chandelier.
And the wood box in the hallway.
And the tiny bit of green in this white vase.
And the laundry sign on the doorway into the laundry room.
And the green leaves by the back door.
Can you even with all of it?
Can you feel the happiness dancing around the kitchen?
I hope it brings you a little sunshine and farmhouse and distressed and chippy and sparkle and joy to your day.
I’m still learning.
I still don’t truly understand how to photograph the house or what should go where until I move it around fifty times.
I’m still trying to decorate and figure it out and learn as I go.
Standing in Kirkland’s in front of dozens of people talking about decorating and bookcases and sharing my story and laughing and wearing leopard print shoes and my favorite dress and taking pictures with people.
IN FRONT OF AN DISPLAY WITH MY PICTURE ON IT.
Never. Never ever ever ever in the history of ever did I imagine such a thing could ever happen.
I wrote this book for anyone who gets a little overwhelmed standing in front of the paint chip display at the paint store. I wrote it for all the curtain choices and the floor choices and what to put on my bookcase choices and how high do I hang my chandelier choices and all the other decisions and choices and dilemmas in between.
I hope that it inspires you.
I hope that it walks along aside you in all the decorating valleys and celebrates with you when you finish and stand on top of the decorating mountain.
In front of a space and a home that you love.
And in exciting news.
Because having your face on a display in Kirkland’s just wasn’t enough.
The book is number one in its category on Amazon.
I’m so lucky to get to partner with Kirkland’s.
The company is amazing.
The people who work for it are amazing.
And the new lines that they just brought into the store? I seriously can’t even. There are deconstructed chairs and poufs and an entire garden line of florals and brilliantly colored artwork and distressed pitchers and on and on and on.
I cannot thank you enough.
Thank you for cheering and lifting me up and making my leopard print shoes dance for joy.
All of this.
This display. This planner. This day. This journey.
One day I became a blogger and started writing my own story and six months later I went to a blogging conference called Haven.
I attended sessions on how to grow your blog and how to market your blog and drank coffee and laughed and met new friends and sat in the lobby and jumped up and down with excitement when I learned something new and told stories and wore sparkly flip-flops.
The last day of the conference, I was sitting on a bench right outside the exhibit hall when suddenly I saw her.
The blog I read.
The picture taker who I had coffee with every morning.
The person who inspired me to buy a bicycle just so I could put flowers in it and lean it up against a tree.
I didn’t know what to do.
Should I walk up and say hello?
What if she dismissed me?
What if she ignored me?
What if I did it and it was awkward and I felt silly and then I regretted it and I’d have to go home and sell my bicycle?
I gathered up my courage and my determination and walked right up to her and introduced myself. I told her I adored her blog and her decorating style and her photography and her heart.
But most of all.
I loved her flowers.
She smiled in the middle of my speech and I knew that I knew that I knew….
…I had found a friend.
We’ve laughed about that conversation many times since and now Courtney is one of my closest friends in blogland. She’s real and authentic and amazing and creative and the editor of an amazing magazine called Romantic Homes.
She makes me laugh.
She makes me smile.
She makes me want to be the very best person I can be.
And the best part?
Those flowers that I loved?
Two weeks ago she sent me some for my home.
She created an entire line of faux flowers and wreaths and garlands for Balsam Hill. I know, right? When she called me to tell me I was full of joy for her. Her own line of flowers and arrangements? It sounded like an amazing opportunity. She wanted me to see them first–to see if I liked them–to see what I thought.
And when they arrived and I took them out of the box? I literally gasped. They look so real. There are tons of other arrangements—you can see them on her post here. This one is called the Loire Valley arrangement. The hydrangeas and anemonies and juniper berries and eucalyptus look like I just cut them from the garden and placed them in this adorable white metal tin.
I’m so proud of my friend.
I’m so honored to share her creativity and her heart.
I’m so happy my bathroom shines a little brighter because of her.
And I’m so thankful that all those years ago in a land far away….
….I walked up and said hello.
PS Next time I ride my bike? I’m taking the flowers along for the ride.
PPS Here are some other friends sharing their arrangements today.
Stop by and say hello.
PPS In the super exciting news department….
….THE PLANNER LAUNCHES TOMORROW.
I know, right? I’m so excited for you all to SEE IT!
I’ll be at Kirkland’s in Dallas tonight with the planner (see all the details here) if you are in the area and can stop by for coupons and shopping and discounts and giveaways.
One more day to pre-order and get the video decorating course for FREE.