Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

Bentley and I will be off for a few days enjoying our time
with family and friends.  We will be back with lots of 
Christmas decorating, baking, gift and wrapping ideas 
next week.  

We are blessed to have y'all as friends!  Thank you!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hill Country Christmas Decorating Ideas

Last night while I was taking Bentley for his nightly walk, I noticed
that some of my neighbors had started putting up their Christmas
lights.  Thanksgiving is so late this year and I know there will be
a mad dash to start decorating this Friday.

So ….

I thought I would share some Texas Hill Country Decorating ideas
I spotted while I was in one of my favorite shops in Fredericksburg.
Love going to Smitten!  I always see something wonderful there.

The shop was awash in white and glitter.  Everything so sparkly and

I am normally someone who loves red, but there is something so
magical in Christmas rooms decorated in silver and white and
shades of gray.  Makes me think of the snowbound country house
in Dr Zhivago.


Wonderful Hoosier

Love the crosses on the white tree.

I can't believe I left my rattan reindeer up in my storage unit in Idaho!
Sure wish I had it down here.  My Friendly Village dishes too.
Maybe I will plan a ski trip and go visit my dishes ;-)

I promised myself I would not start any decorating until the day
after Thanksgiving, but it never hurts to start planning.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tweaking in the Breakfast Room

I finally finished painting the wainscoting in the breakfast room.  I don't mind
painting, but am always so happy when it is finished.  As you may recall,
the wainscoting was painted a dark brown before and made an already
dark room that much darker.

I moved the deacon's bench back into the room too.

The whole area is now lighter and brighter.  Now onto the next
project :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Catalog Shopping on a Saturday Morning

It's a dark and rainy Saturday morning in our neighborhood.  I am still in my
pj's and am sitting at the breakfast bar listening to my favorite NPR Saturday 
line up of Click and Clack,  Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and What Do You Know.
I am drinking coffee out of my favorite cup that I use only for weekends to 
keep it special.  I love little rituals like that.  Do you have your own rituals
to keep life interesting?

Our postman has been delivering stacks of catalogs everyday.  I am going
through them this morning to see what gifts can be ordered and what
catalogs can be recycled.

I feel like a kid going through these catalogs.  Ear marking the pages of
items I long to own.  

A New York Jazz Christmas ~ hmm.  I love Christmas music.  I will start
putting on the Christmas CD's next weekend.  This is a tempting one for me.
I could order it to do my part to keep the music business alive.  I keep 
reading how it's suffering these days.

David has shown up because he thinks I am not contributing enough catalogs
to the  recycle pile.  Ha~ let's see how far he gets now that he found the
Filson catalog ;-)

He has a Filson briefcase and a garment bag too.  He loves the stuff!

Oh dear ~ this could be trouble ~ he found a Filson edition Jeep Wrangler.
We already have a Jeep Wrangler, but it's a two door.  He keeps 
pointing out the four doors when we are out and about.  Of course, he
keeps looking at Corvettes too.  I think it's a mid life crisis man thing.

On the other hand, I am always looking at things for the home.
No surprise here!

I am always finding something from the Monticello catalog that
catches my eye.   Y'all know I am a traditionalist.

So far I have only eliminated three catalogs ~ not very good
progress!  Of course, David has not done a very good job of
whittling down the stack either ;-)

Happy Saturday everyone!

What's that Bentley?  Did you finally wake up from your
nap on the sofa and think it's time for a treat???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, November 21, 2014


Home ~ a place where memories are made ….

and where memories are cherished.

Wishing everyone a memorable Friday.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wrapping Up Autumn Tablescapes

A week from today is Thanksgiving and the next day is Black Friday.
This time of the year flies by so quickly.  It's hard to believe that 
within a week the fall decor will be packed away and out will come
the Christmas decorations.  

Autumn is so different in south Texas.  No fall color other
than the mums and pumpkins on the porches.  We only started
wearing our sweaters a couple of weeks ago.  Last week it was
so cold (at least for here) and today we are expecting a high of
71 degrees and thunderstorms.  

It's a different lifestyle, yet we honor the seasons.  

I do miss the sound of leaves crunching under my feet.  Our pecan tree 
drops it's leaves, but it is the only one in our yard that does.

I still have such fond memories of fall back home on the
North Shore of Chicago.  I watched Home Alone again the other
night for the thousandth time because Kevin's neighborhood is
one I know so well. Raking leaves, crisp fall afternoons, college
football, riding my horse through the forest preserve under a 
canopy of softly falling red and golden leaves.

Fall is the time when I want the whole house to smell of 
apples and cinnamon.  Now that we are back to standard time,
I love the soft glow of the lights in the house starting at 
about 5 PM.  Dinners are mostly comfy foods.  Casseroles,
soups and stews on the menu so often these days.  

Lots of meals with baked squash.  David tolerates this, but I love it!
Acorn and butternut are two of my favorites.  

Stacks of catalogs arriving at our doorstep daily.  Frontgate, Grandin Road,
Gumps and the Vermont Country Store.  The holiday additions of
Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn.  The heavy Christmas issue of 
Restoration Hardware.  All so enticing and what David and I grab
to peruse after dinner each night.  

It's such a nesting time of the year, especially in the evening.  Once the
sun goes down we mostly want to stay at home and be cozy.  

Have a wonderful autumn afternoon!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Before and After Sneak Peak

I have been wanting to paint the wainscoting in my breakfast room
ever since we moved in to our house.  Finally, it is happening.  
I will give you a sneak peak.  I hope to have all of it done before next

Here it is.  Looking at this pic I realize that there are shadows all
over the wainscoting which makes it look like the paint has not covered
the brown, but in reality it has.

Here is a question for you ~ I have noticed that after years of watching
HGTV and other decorating programs, I think about a project, plan it 
out and when it comes time to actually complete the project I am 
stunned by how much time it takes to complete!  It seems like I should
be able to repaint, remodel and redecorate in an hour lol!!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Twinsets and Pearls

Recently the temperatures really dipped in south Texas.  My daily attire of shorts,
t-shirts and flip flops gave way to corduroy leggings and sweaters.  While I was 
checking out my closet for warmer clothes, I remembered my Mom's collection
of cashmere sweaters.  Dare I ?  I thought to myself.  Mom's beloved array of
simple, timeless yet elegant sweaters.  But I could almost hear her say ….

Who will wear them if you don't?  What good will they be just
sitting unused in the drawers?


I started thinking about my Mom's style.  Always simple, always elegant.
Twinsets and pearls.  Tweeds, tartans and often a little silk scarf tied around her
neck. Minimal jewelry and make-up.  A little bit of lipstick.  Perhaps a Tiffany
bracelet.  The requisite little black dress hanging on a silk padded hanger
in her closet.  Her simple and chic bob hairstyle, parted on the left with just
a slight curl at the ends.  It was her style.  It was her era and the same one
shared by so many of her peers.  Never flashy, always tasteful.  Whether she
was out in the garden weeding, on the golf course or at a formal dinner she
always looked smart.  Smart was a favorite fashion statement of hers as was

So I opened up one of her drawers.  I chose a charcoal gray cashmere to
wear with some black corduroy leggings.  I added a little gray tweed
jacket that I had given her a few years ago.  In a way I felt like a little girl
playing dress up in her mama's clothes.  Could I pull it off?  We went
to a dessert and coffee party at a neighbor's house and I felt so very
comfortable.  I had not made a mistake.

I could still smell her favorite perfume on her sweater.  In fact, everything
she owns smells like Youth Dew by Estee Lauder or Chanel No. 5.
Those were her two favorites.  Classics, just like her.

What's It Wednesday

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Posh Pampered Pup Pillow

I was in Hobby Lobby on Saturday picking up a few things and I
happened to stop by the fabric department and saw this adorable
fabric.  I just knew it would make the perfect pillow for the
love seat in the guest room.  The fabric is so precious and it is
delightfully decorated with precious pampered pups.  I found the
trim for the pillow there too.

I chose this particular section of the print because the sconces on either
side of the mantel on the pillow mimic the ones I have hanging on
the wall.

It took me several tries to get these two pics because ….

A certain little pampered pup wanted to be included.
Here he is my precious peanut ~ Bentley!  Mama's spoiled

Yes Bentley ~ I am so glad you joined us this afternoon.
I can't think of a more pampered pup than you and you 
 do indeed make the perfect model!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Little Yellow Cottage Obsession

I can just imagine lying on a psychologist's sofa and having him or her ask ~

So tell me Susan, when exactly did this obsession with little yellow 
cottages begin?

My answer would have to be, a few weeks ago.  Suddenly I was gravitating to
the color yellow.  It started out innocuously enough.  You know, I would see
a yellow fabric I liked such as this one ….

I was attracted to the charm of it.  I thought it was going to end there,
but little by little, I started noticing a change.  Don't get me wrong, red is
still my favorite color, but then red looks so good next to yellow.  Once I
started going down that path, there was no stopping me!

Do you see what I mean?  Look at how warm and cozy this room 
looks with all the yellow touches added to the red.  I am completely
in love with that wing chair!

Then I started seeking out pictures of little yellow cottages.  The cuteness factor
was so great that I could hardly keep myself from collecting more and more
pictures of them.

Do you see what I mean?  Not much I can do but surrender to the
little yellow cottage obsession ;-)

You can see more yellow and more cottages on my
 Pinterest boards.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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