Country Living...Island Dreaming

September 27, 2011

Not Yet

Yes, I mentioned recently that we are planning to get a puppy.
Well, we haven't gotten very far,
but we did contact some breeders.

Here are some 4 week old Golden Retreiver puppies!
Needless to say,
my kids were in love.

Well, so was I
but I am getting cold feet!

Not to mention,
I am crazy-busy this week
co-chairing an event for our school.

So, if you don't hear much from me,
I apologize and should be back to normal by next week!

Meanwhile,
I am still thinking about these...


They look like guinea pigs at this age!

Have a nice evening!

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September 23, 2011

More Fall Fluffing

Little by little,
I have been adding some fall to my home.

Today, I made some changes
to my shelves in the dining room...
Dining Room Shelves - Fall Fluffing
Since the walls are red,
I have been liking the way white looks against them.

Here are the shelves
BEFORE:
Wall Shelves in dining room
Neat and simple...
fine for spring or summer.

And today I fluffed them up a bit.
AFTER:
Wall Shelves in dining room decorated for fall
A little more filled up.
A little more fall-like.

Top Shelf
Top shelf

Middle Shelf
Middle shelf

Bottom Shelf with Royal Doulton dishes
Bottom shelf

Dining Room Wall Shelves decorated for fall
Done.

Wall Shelves in Red Dining Room - decorated for fall
I'm thinking
 this look should last me through
Thanksgiving.

What are you fluffing up today?

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September 20, 2011

Autumn Tabletop

After moving around the furniture in my Living Room,
I played around a bit with the tabletops.

It's always fun to throw in some
burlap and dried wheat for fall.

And you might recognize my little pumpkin from yesterday's post.
(It is back to the other table already)

And as you can see by this older picture,
I used to have a different lamp on the table.

I moved the fruit lamp in from the foyer.
The size and darker color
works better in here with my new changes to the room.

I love using these candleholders in the fall.
They are from Southern Living at Home,
which I believe is Willow House now.

This pedestal bowl is from Southern Living at Home too!

And then because I needed even more
Southen Living at Home accessories,
I switched out the wheat for this lantern!

I swear this thing moves all over my house!
I have been thinking of painting it black though.

 Even though I consider myself a summer/beach person,
I seem to have a lot of fall colors in my house.

What colors dominate your home?

Linking to:


Thanks for featuring me!!!

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September 15, 2011

Autumn Colors

With the cooler weather approaching,
 I have been in the mood for some richer colors in my home.
So, the other day, when I rearranged my Living Room,
I also played around a bit with this table.
I don't have a before picture - (poor planning!)
But I changed things around and added a few things.
I left my shell picture on the wall
but added a little bit of fall to the table.

I don't usually go crazy with the seasonal decor.
Just a few changes here and there.

Some richer colors down below.


Someone gave me this great little ceramic pumpkin years ago.


I bought this frame at Pier One last spring.
Then I put a bird print inside
 like I had seen on a display at Pottery Barn.

To make it, I found a small bird calendar on sale last January.
and I blew up the image I wanted on the photocopier.
Wow, what a crafter I am - LOL!

So there you have my little corner of autumn colors.

Have you started adding richer colors
or are you still hanging on to the summer ones?

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September 13, 2011

A Fun Rug

You might have noticed,
that I love the Caribbean!

I just found this rug in the new
Home Decorators Collection catalog:
Home Decorators Collection
This is the Driftwood color...

but it comes in Multi too:
I wish I had a place to put one!
 I think it would look great in a contemporary space,
a loft apartment
or a fun beach house!
It might even be fun in a beach-themed kid's room
or even hanging on a wall!

Where would you put it?


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September 12, 2011

Re-Styling the Living Room

I woke up in one of those moods to rearrange everything. 
I don't know if it's because the kids are back to school
or because autumn is approaching
or just because I was getting tired of the same look.

My living room has looked the same for awhile.
BEFORE:
I have been thinking of moving the loveseat to another room.

So, today I did it!
AFTER:
I switched it with my two Pottery Barn seagrass chairs
 from the conservatory.

I also moved a few other things around.
I added a little bit of fall decor.
(Not sure if the cornucopia is staying in here for now)

Here is another angle
BEFORE:
The light was great that day,
wasn't it?!!


Maybe I will update this picture later
 when the light is a little better!

Another angle,
BEFORE:
Now that I see this picture with the red lamp back there,
I am thinking I may move it back to this room.

AFTER:
It does feel a little more open with the chairs.

I like the seagrass against this rug and the wood floor.

I changed things around on this table and added more color.


I like the way you can see out the window
 between the two chairs.
The loveseat blocked too much.



So overall, I think I am happy with the results.

I did start to get a little nervous while I was doing it,
but then I remembered I could always change it back!

So what do you think?

Do you like it the old way with the loveseat,
or with the two seagrass chairs?

Linking to:

Thanks for the feature, Kim!

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September 11, 2011

Today

I almost didn't post today.
But after a day of
reading newspapers,
watching TV coverage
and then checking out some blogs,
I thought I needed to acknowledge today somehow.
God Bless America.

We will NEVER forget!
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September 10, 2011

The Decision

We finally decided as a family last night that we are
getting a dog!

Our dog of choice:
A Golden Retriever!

My kids spent most of the summer with my inlaws' Golden Retriever
and have been wanting one of their own for several years.

For years, my husband has complained about the hair all over.
He would always say how much he loves Goldens but can't handle the hair
and he would never want one.

I tried to convince the kids to get a low-shedding dog.
I thought about Westies.
I thought about Wheaten Terriers.

But for some reason it never felt right.

Then last night,
my 7 year old spent over an hour next door at the neighbor's
playing with their black lab.
A big dog can be so much fun for boys.
I kept thinking how good he is with his grandparent's Golden.
And how lucky my husband and I were to grow up with pets.

My husband and I looked at eachother and for the first time,
HE said, "The kid needs his own dog!"

Then last night he told me that if we are going to get any dog,
he wants a Golden Retriever!
The funny thing was - that was exactly what I was thinking!

And then we told the kids!

So now that I have reached the point of no return,
I spent the morning doing research online
and emailing friends about potential breeders.

I am happy and terrified at the same time!
My house stays so clean now that the boys are a little older.
I don't want hair all over,
or nose prints on my patio doors.

But I do feel it is time.
I will let you know how things go.

In the meantime,
do you have any Golden Retriever
 info you would like to share?

Or better yet:
Do you know a good breeder in the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area?

Thanks and have a great weekend!


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September 9, 2011

A Week of Reviews - A Retailer

Today, I would like to review a retailer
I have dealt with many times:

L.L.Bean

Here are the reasons
I have been so happy with them over the years.

1.  Quality - I have been very satisfied with the caliber of their merchandise.  There are no surprises here.  You expect good quality from them and that is what you get.  After all, they know what they are doing... They have been in business since 1912!  Two years ago, I bought my son a jacket from another "similar" online retailer and was disappointed in the quality.  We had ongoing problems with the zipper where it would unzip from the bottom and when he would get home from school we would have to play around with the zipper to get him out of the jacket.  I was going to return it after a while but a friend told me that she had the same problem too.  I ended up just buying another jacket from LLBean instead and I was very happy with it.  It has held up extremely well with not one zipper problem.  And if he ever does have a zipper problem, LL.Bean will fix it!

2.  Style - I like knowing I can consistently get a classic style that I am looking for.  They update their merchandise but continue to stay within their classic style range.  There are certain things you just don't need to keep changing!

3.  Customer Service - This is a big one for me!  I like knowing that I can get a problem resolved quickly and efficiently.  Last year, I ordered my son a backpack with his three initials on it.  After opening the package and writing his name on the inside tag, I noticed that the stitching with his initials was unfinished.  Only a part of a letter or two was there and the rest was missing.  I called them and explained the problem and they told me they would send out a corrected one right away.  They told me he could use the defective one until we received the new one.  Once the new one came, we could send the old one back to them in the prepaid package provided.  They were very courteous and professional about the situation.

4.  Reviews - As you may have noticed, I love reviews!  Not only does the L.L.Bean website allow you to post your review of a product (which I find extremely helpful), but they also have a whole section where you can share your L.L.Bean story!  How cute is that?  Go over there and read some of them and you will be quite impressed with the company! -  L.L.Bean Stories
4.  Made in the USA - This is important for me!  I love dealing with companies that are made in the USA!  Why do we have to buy everything that is made in China anyway?


And there you have another review for the week!

Is there an online retailer that you have been very happy with?

By the way, you probably know, L.L. Bean does have actual retail stores,
unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to have one by me!
Are you?

(My usual disclaimer...
No, I am not being compensated in any way to give this review!)
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September 8, 2011

A Week of Reviews - A Book

Today I am reviewing a wonderful book.

Deep Down True
by Juliette Fay

This was one of my end of the summer beach-reads
and it managed to fit many of my
"qualifications" for a good beach book as listed HERE.

Deep Down True is a heartfelt novel about personal growth, family, forgiveness and the relationships that shape our lives.  The storyline and the characters feel real and believable and the author makes it easy for anyone to relate to their challenges of everyday life.

Dana, the mother in the novel is dealing with a divorce, after being left by her husband for a younger woman.  Dana is in her mid forties, trying her best to raise two children, Morgan, age 12 and Grady, age 7.  She is always kind to everyone, goes out of her way to help people, makes meals for a family in need and even takes in her teenage niece to live with her when she shows up one day.  She is faced with the typical money troubles, the demands of single motherhood and the stresses of beginning a dating life again.  Always trying her best, she worries a lot and second guesses herself and her decisions.  Through the book, she works at tackling problems head on and learning how to be true to herself. 

Anyone who feels overwhelmed and tries to be everything to everyone can relate to her character.  She had me thinking about how I would handle similar situations and made me think about what is really important in life.  The book was filled with true-to-life dialogue, sprinkled with humor and thought provoking comments.  I love it when I really care about the characters and that is how I felt with this novel. 

I felt I could relate to the book especially since my parents divorced when I was 8 or 9.  I thought about how that experience shaped me and how important it is for parents to be conscious about their actions during this difficult time for their children.  I was able to look at the book from both the childrens' point of view and also sympathize with the adults.

Deep Down True was truly an enjoyable book
and I look forward to reading Juliette Fay's first novel, Shelter Me.

To read more reviews and a summary of the novel,
check out the book on:
Amazon.com.

Have you read any novels that really "speak" to you?

Linking to:
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up
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