Country Living...Island Dreaming

October 31, 2011

A Strange Halloween

Well, about an hour after I posted my snow pictures on Saturday,
we lost power.

And we FINALLY got it back a few hours ago!

For someone who keeps her heat set at 70 degrees most of the time,
it was not fun when the temperature dropped to 54
in the house.

We had to eat by dinner by candlelight.


We made a fire and we had tons of blankets
but I was still freezing!

But we are lucky to have power back
because thousands of people all over New Jersey are out.
The kids didn't have school today
and who knows how the trick or treating will go tonight.

I don't even know what the official snow numbers were
since I haven't seen the news or anything yet.
I am thinking we got around 6 inches or so.

Here are some pictures of how things look here.
This is the view out my dining room window yesterday morning.
Yes, that is a snow plow...
in October!

Once the wind kicked in,
the snow blew off the trees.

But not before doing tons of damage.
There are trees just torn in half all over the place.
The weight of the snow on the leaves just destroyed them.

And wires are down everywhere.

Not the usual scene on Halloween!
I wonder how many kids will show up tonight?

Today I am crazy-busy getting back to normal,
but tomorrow I will try to get back to everyone
who emailed and commented the last couple of days.
Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Are you having a "strange" Halloween like me?
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October 29, 2011

Two Hours Later...

Not that I plan on doing a million posts today,
but I just had to post a couple pictures
of how things have progressed
over the past two hours.
I guess I should bring in those mums,
although if I leave them out
I can blame the weather on their demise!

I guess I should have covered the deck furniture.



Now I am starting to worry about the trees.
They still have so many leaves on them
 and are starting to bend.

Crazy, crazy weather...

Is anyone else getting this snow?
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Snow in October

Just thought I would share some pictures with you.
This is what it looked like at 10:45 a.m. in New Jersey.
Let me remind you...
today is October 29th!!!

My back deck.

My front walk.

And I brought in a couple pumpkins
so they won't be too frozen to carve!

Is this insane or what?

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October 27, 2011

Why I Love Pottery Barn

It is no secret that I love Pottery Barn!
And I also love lists!
So I thought it would be fun to combine the two with a list of:
The Reasons I Love Pottery Barn

(In no particular order)

1.  The products - Of course this is why we all love the store!  They have beautiful things and I have always been happy with the quality of their merchandise.  I have quite a few of their pieces in my home:
The leather chair in my family room.

The wall hanging in my family room.

My coffee table tray in the family room. 
(Looking quite unattractive!)

And the tray again dressed up!
The glass hurricane holding the corks is from PB too.

The frames in the family room.

The seagrass chairs in the living room.

And the chenille pillow on them.

The mirror in my foyer.
I've had this about 12 years.

The shelves in my dining room.

And the console in my dining room.

The shell pillows on my bed.

This great seagrass frame.

These lampshades in my bedroom.

2.  The Inspiration - I don't think there is a store out there that has been copied more than Pottery Barn.  How many times do you read on a blog, "Pottery Barn Inspired", "PB Inspired" etc.  I just did one two days ago for my fall vignette!  Pottery Barn's photos are all over the web and everyone seems to want to copy something they sell.  What is that saying about imitation being the best form of flattery?...

3.  The Catalogs - I really look forward to getting these in the mail.  They have gotten so beautiful that they are like looking through a magazine.  I even keep them around for inspiration for future decorating. 



4.  Marketing - Ah yes, one of the reasons we are so drawn to them.  They create a lifestyle that we all want and they do it brilliantly.  Their displays are so inviting, their catalogs magazine worthy and they keep updating their merchandise every season to keep things fresh.  They also discontinue products on a regular basis so there is that sense that you need to buy it now before it goes away.  I can't tell you how many things I "planned" to buy only to have them go on sale and then disappear quickly.  It's hard for us to handle sometimes but smart from a company standpoint.

5.  Store Experience - I love just walking into a store sometimes, even if I don't plan on buying something.  They have that "Pottery Barn" music playing, the store smells good, the sales people are helpful but not pushy and the displays are welcoming.  I just want to sit down and soak in that Pottery Barn atmosphere and escape the outside world for a little while.
Sometimes, I just go in the store
 and take pictures for inspiration.
This one helped me decide to
buy the shelves in my dining room.

6.  Their kids stuff is darling:  I love Pottery Barn Kids and will be sad when my kids outgrow all their cute things. 

My son already had me take this
sweet airplane rug out of his room because it was too babyish. 

But we still have some great kids merchandise,
 like this plaid quilt:

And these touch-on lamps:

And the Thomas Desk:
The chair is not PB
 but this was the only picture I had of the desk.  
I couldn't take one today because
I am "not allowed to move" a project he is working on now.
But you get the idea.

7.  Benjamin Moore Paint Samples - How ingenious of them to partner up!  Years ago, I called PB to find out the color of a paint in their catalog, so I like to think that I helped them come up with the idea, LOL!  But I really think it is a smart idea because we like to know what color will look good with something.  I remember sometimes looking through magazines and checking the sources in the back to check the paint color and it would say something like "Paint colors not given due to" - variation in lighting or whatever...I used to get so annoyed because of course it is going to look different in your home but at least it is a starting point.  It is great how PB stores give out those free sample packs of that season's colors.  I always pick one up even if I am not planning to paint.


8.  American Express Points - This may not apply to everyone but is huge to me!  Pottery Barn is one of the companies that offers gift cards for American Express Membership Rewards points.  Since I don't use store cards and basically put everything on American Express, I am able to get PB gift cards every now and then!  I think Pottery Barn's store card also has some good rewards but I haven't investigated that.

9.  In Store Classes - I love that the stores give design idea classes.  Of course it benefits them because they feature certain products in the class, but they do offer them at a discount and it is a great way to get some decorating ideas.  I cannot speak from experience on this because I have never been to a class, but I know people who have and they enjoyed it.

10.  Great Customer Service - Like most companies, PB has Facebook and Twitter pages and they really do answer questions on there as well as though email and over the phone.  I have been very satisfied with their product knowledge and return inquiries.

So there you have a list of why I love Pottery Barn.  And just in case you would like some real Pottery Barn photos instead of all of my "stuff", here are some things I am loving now:

In my fantasyworld,
I would like to put warmer colors in my bedroom for the winter.
If I bought this, I would put a neutral rug at the foot of my bed and
temporarily change the lampshades to a burlap or something.

(Here is my room now with the cooler colors)

Here's another piece I would love:
When I take back my office from the kids and the future dog,
I would like this in there.

Here is something I plan to buy for Christmastime.

Oh, by the way - I am not being compensated in any way
 to write about Pottery Barn...
you know the drill...blah blah blah...
It's just a store I love
and a great thing to blog about
 on a day that it is too rainy to take a good picture
 of the table setting I had planned!

So, what do you love about Pottery Barn?

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October 26, 2011

Fall on the Porch

I thought I would take some pictures of my porch before the mums die.
They seem to be hanging in there though,
despite my non-green thumb! 

I am the first to admit, I can't keep plants alive.
I mean how hard is it to just water these things when they need it?
As long as they last through Halloween I will be happy though!

I think mums are an essential part
of outdoor Halloween decor!

They add so much color and a festive fall feel.

This weekend we will be carving these.
The kids can't wait.

As you can see,
they added their own decor to the windows.
These little stick-ons came in my wonderful

And I still have my sign up
to ward off any more "secret ghosts".

I bought this fruit hanging in Michaels a few years ago.
I just had them add the ribbon.

 And there you have my fall porch.
We're almost ready for those tricker treaters!
Only a few more days - hang in there mums!

Can you keep your plants alive?

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October 25, 2011

Fall Vignette - {Pottery Barn Inspired}

We are in the family room almost all the time.

Even though we do have a finished basement and a playroom (which will become the "dog's room" and then back to my office someday...) we spend a lot of time together in the family room.  This is the room where we watch TV the most.  The basement playroom TV is mostly used for Wii.

So it is understandable
 why my coffee table usually looks like this!
Sad I know, but realistic!

Anyway,
on Saturday when I was playing around with the mantel,
I decided to transform my coffee table just for fun!
I had just been in Pottery Barn last week
and I noticed they did something similar in a display.

And because I already had some covered books from my console,
wine corks that I have been saving up,
and more white pumpkins than I know what to do with,
I came up with this vignette from things around the house.
I threw the starfish in there at the last minute.
I can't forget a little touch of the beach!



It was almost too sunny to take the pictures that morning,
but I was happy with how the coffee table looked for
the day.

Yes, the day.
That is how long it lasted before it started getting knocked around
by the crazy boys...husband included.

But I got to enjoy it for a little while.
Imagine how much things are going to get knocked around
when a big Golden Retriever tail is wagging all over the place!
Yes, I think I am still going through with it.

Anyway, you might notice the
orange, black and white mantel decor
 from yesterday's post.

Yup, that is the one I decided on!
The winner!
Yes, it still looks like this.

Anyway, back to the vignette:
I wish I could have kept this longer!
Boys...

Can you keep anything decorative on your coffee table?
Or does it just become a home for magazines and remote controls?

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