Recent Posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Fun Week

In our house we celebrate a birthday week. It truly takes so much of the pressure off to plan just one perfect day. Since the time my kids were small we try to do something fun and out of the ordinary each day of the birthday week. We might have breakfast for dinner one day and go to the movies the next. An everyday trip to market becomes magical as they pick out food items that they normally don’t have in our house like cocoa puffs, doritos and twinkies.

I spent the weekend hanging four sets of patio lights simply because I want to look out my back door every evening and smile.

This is a wedding set up, but my family puts lights in the trees for's pretty!:

As I mentioned yesterday my Sweet Guy will soon turn fourteen. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I was sharing his pirate party. In a happy similar turn of events we are having a nautical themed party on Wednesday to celebrate. I have received so much inspiration from Pinterest.

Nautical Party by the pool! Cute items with links to buy!:

nautical table setting:

Nautical Sailor Dessert Table:

We will have several out of town guests arriving for the festivities and a Gunn family reunion through the weekend. Four houseguests will stay at Storybook Cottage and the remaining revelers are booked at a hotel. Wednesday will include hosting a dinner for 30 and a brunch for 30 on Saturday. I’ve done as much of the prep work ahead of time as is humanly possible.

When entertaining overnight guests, provide a guest tray for early risers. Plus more great tips on being the hostess with the mostest!:

I am inspired by Carolyn Roehm and the charming ways she greets her guests.

Desk space for a guest - orchid, blue water carafe, alarm clock, sharpened pencils, paper - Carolyne Roehm in Veranda:

As Murphy’s Law would have it this is also the beginning of school finals for me. It’s a lot, I know. The Fashionista has taken Wednesday off to help with party prep and Mr. Décor has taken Thursday and Friday off to escort his family around on field trips. I have this image pinned as a reminder to ….

Sometimes we just need to Breathetake it one second at a time..,-inspirational-quotes-9:

I’ll pop in when I can with happy shares.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Brick Walls and a Baby

Recently one of my college instructors wanted us to watch/listen to Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. I had watched this lecture seven years ago when it was an internet sensation. However, I needed a refresher viewing since it was linked to an assignment.

So many things he said were pure gold. A few outstanding gems are…

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

“It's not how hard you hit. It's how hard you get hit...and keep moving forward.”

“Brick walls aren't put in our life to stop us, they are there to test how much we really want something.”

In life I have had my fair share of brick walls.

Red brick crinkle crankle or serpentine wall at Easton, Suffolk, England:

Every year at this time I am reminded of one of the biggest brick walls I ever had to scale in order to claim my hearts desire. 

Mr. Décor and I were once told that we would never have a baby. NEVER. It was impossible.

Now sometimes you should read the writing on the wall and look for another path.

At the time we were living in Germany and so foster care and adoption was not an option for us.

There are other times you must ignore the writing (which may be in a foreign language) and have tremendous faith.

"Author's Writing on the Wall" -- " unknown Chinese author... covered every wall in an abandoned cottage in Chongqing, China with the words of their novel... Including illustrations, too..." -- Click through to see another photo, including the illustration.:

This is the route I chose to take.

I had a War Room 15 years before it became a hit.

Post your Prayer Requests on the Instapray App. Pray with the whole world --------->

I picked out bible verses that spoke of faith.

Matthew 17:20. This was the verse that brought me back into my Abba' s (Heavenly Father's) arms after years of wandering lost in the dark... Praise Jesus!!:

I pinned up verses on heart desires.

Post your Prayer Requests on Instapray. Pray with the whole world --------->

I also pinned up image after image of the cutest babies.

Cute Newborn Baby Boy One Month Old From GOD Picture- to do this with Stormy would be awesome because we have a black and white one with a pink bow of Hannah from when she was born. I like that it would be symmetry.:

Then I became relentless in prayer. I was incessant, unceasing and persistent.

Bible verses:

Now I truly believe God always answers our prayers. Sometimes just not in the way we had envisioned.

That's exactly what he did. He told me to wait & gave me the best boyfriend I could ever ask for.:

We had to wait.

Three YEARS of waiting. Three years of praying. Three years of climbing wall after wall.

During this time I was working at the Landstuhl Hospital as manager of the USO. I had become friends with a semi regular customer, Dr. Nah, from Nigeria. He popped in about once a week for a snack or chat.

One day school was cancelled. I can no longer remember why, only that I was very irritated! It meant that I had to bring my daughter to work with me. Coincidently Dr. Nah came by on that same day and met her.

The next time he came in he asked me about my other children. I told him that she was my only child. Dr. Nah, an obstetrician, said, “Oh but you should have more children.” I replied that I would love to have more children but we had been told that we couldn’t. His face was truly crestfallen and he simply said “Oh I see.”

The next time Dr. Nah came by he placed a business card on my desk. He very firmly stated, “This is my daughter. She works at a clinic in Homburg. She will help you.”

That evening an American military wife told her Panamanian born husband that a Nigerian doctor had emphatically told her that a German clinic was going to help them have a baby. Another year and a half was filled with tremendous heartbreak. Money was running out. I was still unceasing in prayer but it seemed as if we had to accept the inevitable.

It was then, at long last, hope arrived.


That hope turns 14 this Wednesday.


“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bits of Bliss–The Flutter of Fall

I would love to be a student at Heather Bullard’s Academy.

Image of The Academy - Payment in Full

I can’t wait to see Nancy Meyer’s new movie “The Intern” with Robert Deniro and Anne Hathaway. It opens up this weekend. Ms. Meyers has created truly iconic cinematic homes in movies such as “The Holiday”, “Somethings Gotta Give” and “It’s Complicated”. The new sets are just as promising. You can see additional images HERE.

Shannon of Fox Hollow Cottage and her Flutter of Fall Home Tour made me smile on the inside.


What dreams may come….The Fashionista’s dream car is a classic VW bus. Rumors are swirling that it is coming back as an electric car.

Happy Fall Ya’ll!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Favorite Fall Coats and What I Found at TJ Maxx

I pinned this stunning image a few years ago. I loved it then and, because all of the elements are so classic, I love it now.

Suffice to say I’ve been coveting a leopard coat for awhile now. They truly are a classic fashion element.

Not only do leopard coats pair well with red they look fabulous with chambray and Kelly green…

…As well as purple and fuchsia.

Los pequeños dettalles marcan la diferencia #StatementNecklace #Print #Outfit:

Really there isn’t a bright color that doesn’t work. Basically leopard is just an amazing neutral.

Jessica Quirk, What i Wore, What I Wore blog, Jessica Quirk Blog, What I Wore Jessica, Funny Face NARS, J.Crew, Vintage leopard coat, Vintage modern:

Of course when you are looking for something you can never find it. Am I right? So I began looking at other coats to capture my fancy. Many of you know of my love of the Royal family. They often wear Moloh coats. 

Remember Joey’s Thanksgiving Pants? The Sunday coat could definitely be my Thanksgiving coat. #bringonthemeatsweats

Sunday Coat:

It’s no secret I love me some plaid. This wool plaid with velvet trim Isla coat makes me want to volunteer for Christmas caroling even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Isla Coat:

For all my Sgt. Pepper and Black Watch dreams I bring you the Victory Tailcoat.

Victory Tailcoat - Jackets - Clothing | Moloh Redefining British Style:

It’s like an Outlander fantasy come to life.

Victory Tailcoat:

Of course I would have to sell an arm and 1/2 of one leg to afford one of these coats.

The fashion fairies must have taken pity on me. When I went to go look for a school backpack at TJ Maxx I spied, from far across the room, one lone leopard coat. It was my size and at $39 it was definitely my price.

Image 3 of Pepe Jeans Leopard Faux Fur Coat



Linking to:

What I Wore Wednesday

Monday, September 21, 2015

A New Brick Flowerbed for Fall and Landscaping Ideas

Mr. Décor’s large extended family arrives for a fall family reunion in just two short weeks.

Over the summer the Mr. and I have been hard at work ripping out all of the overgrown and half dead holly bushes, weeds and briar vine. We have also been hauling away tons of excess dirt out of the flower beds. It was finally time to install a flower bed border. If you have ever looked at my Pinterest  “Garden” board then you have probably surmised that I like the look of brick borders.

Brick wall 002

I interviewed a few masons and loved the work by Premium Brick and Stone Works. I had discussed with the owner, Mr. Campos, that we wanted to match the existing antique brick found on Storybook Cottage and talked about the design of the border itself. He did a great job executing the work.

Brick wall 007

Because we have had drainage issues in other areas of our yard we made sure to incorporate weep holes into the design. You can also now clearly see our cement foundation in the background. This is extremely important. If it is hidden it is possible for water to seep to your home. Prior to us hauling away the excess dirt it reached all the way up to the second brick in some places.

Brick wall 004

Of course these pictures aren’t a perfect “After” shot. This is absolutely a work in progress. I think it’s important to remind ourselves and others that good things are coming.

In order to create the brick border a trench was dug, rebar was laid down then topped with two to three layers of brick and mortar. Grass will need to be replanted in the areas that were dug up to accommodate for this.

Brick wall 008

So far we have planted perennials such as rose trees, lantana, and day lilies as well as pansies for annual color through the winter. I also dug 150 holes that were six inches deep for hyacinth, paper white, crocus and tulip bulbs. I like to call it planting hope. Just when you think winter will never end then lovely bits of bliss remind you that spring is coming.

Brick wall 009

I still need to add some additional plants and put down a layer of mulch. I also love the look of adding in woven wicker trellises and screens.

Ornamental cabbage, mums, pepper and grasses all fan the flame of my fall garden fantasies.

Plopping a few pumpkins here and there could also add to the autumnal ambiance.

Beautiful vegetable garden design with stone wall raised beds - you got to have perspective if you start something new.:

This idea of incorporating an old chair or settee frame into a gardening landscape is darling.

Our little shed has two window boxes and I love this slightly unconventional look.


I can also add touches of color with garden containers. Our porch could use a bit of extra pizazz.

I still love our 2013 Fall front porch.

fall projects 048-001

The 2012 porch wasn’t too shabby either but I am in the mood for something new for Storybook Cottage.


Are you creating any fall flower beds?