Saturday, December 11, 2010


Hello to my few followers! Thanks for hanging in there with me. The past several months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. We moved to IL and are shacked up (almost literally) in our garage apartment. We decided to do all of the construction on the house at once, so we've been getting bids and going through the village for permit approval. Everything should be finalized next week and we'll begin construction the first week of January. I promise to start posting pics once things get moving along!

Our episode of HGTV's "Bang for Your Buck" will air on Saturday, December 18 at 3:30e/2:30c. Tune in to get a good laugh at our expense. :-)

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bang for Your Buck and More!

I'm baaaack! Finally! Sorry to be away for so long, but things have been quite an adventure around here. Where to start? Well, I guess I'll go ahead and let you know that we're going to welcome our THIRD (!!!) child in February. As a result, I've been feeling very rocky the past several weeks. Turns out Little Bit doesn't care for the food I eat. Enough said.

And sadly, our beloved Weimaraner, Seal, passed away on July 17. It was very tragic and sudden, but we are healing.

Oh, and our house sold! We close in about a week and the movers are coming Wednesday. So, I've been getting ready for that.

And, oh yeah, we had that little television shoot the week of July 20 (which also happens to be my birthday). That's what you're here for, right? Ok, ok.

If you don't know, the premise for HGTV's Bang for Your Buck is they pick three similar spaces (in our case, entertainment spaces) in the same geographic area (Atlanta) and compare them to see which homeowners got the most for their money with the choices they made. An HGTV designer and a local real estate agent critique the spaces. For our show, Vern Yip was the designer and Collette McDonald was the agent. They went through our game room, media room and wine cellar and talked about what we did right and wrong (nothing, imho, but they have to find something to pick on).

Horrible picture of me, but great of Vern! He is so nice but unfortunately I didn't have much time to chat because he was rushing to something else.

For the first day of filming, a small crew shot us walking through the space telling about why we did what we did. The second day a larger crew shot Vern and Colleen's critique and our reaction. I can't give anything away, but I can say that overall it was a great experience. Although I don't see how people on reality shows live with cameras all over the place 24/7.

This is the set-up in our kitchen for our reaction to the critique. Can you imagine living with this every day?

Sorry, I'm purposely not showing you any photos of the spaces. You'll have to tune in this Fall to see!

I'll be out of touch for another few weeks with the move. I can't wait to come back to share all of my new projects!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Hi, all! Just wanted to let my followers know that I'm still here! I've been super busy over the past few weeks. We had a wonderful beach vacation in the Carolinas. This week I've been getting ready for the HGTV "Bang for Your Buck" shoot. The crew will be here on Monday. I'm sooo excited!

Oh, AND we sold our house!! Now we have to get through the appraisal...

I'll be back next week with a recap of the shoot. Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Way She Was

Last week I shared a photo of what our soon-to-be house looks like today. Here's what she looked like 100 years ago...
Thanks to the current owners for providing us with this photo.
I'm a porch enthusiast. I grew up in a house with a front porch (swing included). All three of the houses we have lived in since we married have had porches (ok, one was little more than a stoop, but it was covered!). Call me silly or whatever, but I can't wait to have a front porch like this! I can just imagine it festooned with garlands and lights at Christmas, bunting for the Fourth of July, and creepy crawlies at Halloween. This house is "in town" so I long to sit out on the porch to watch the passers-by and hopefully meet some new neighbors.

Dear Hubs is excited, too. Here's a composite he put together of the current house with the old porch:
Ok, I'll admit that it looks a little weird. But it helps to imagine what can be (and hopefully will be soon).

Only another month until we make the move! I'd better start packing!

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Met Monday. And, thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Something Old, But New To Us

A few weeks ago I posted Something Old, Something New and showed you this picture and hinted of things to come.

Now I can finally tell you about it! That shot is the back of this...

Our soon-to-be new old house!! We are moving to Illinois this summer and we are buying this 1903 (approximately) Victorian! Right now it is divided into two flats (notice the two front doors) but we are going to open it back up and restore the porch and the interior to it's original state. It is in very good condition as is, so it won't need too much right away. We're going to do things in stages and hopefully one day end up with our dream home.

While we're doing some renovations on the house, we'll be living in this...

The coach house behind the main house. (Sorry for the bad photo. I took this from a video and didn't have a full shot.) This was the original stable for the house and was converted to a garage/workshop/apartment in the 1940's. It's so charming inside and will be so fun to decorate!

So hop along for the ride! I'll have A LOT to blog about with this project!

I'm posting to Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday this week because this is a MAJOR change for us! Thanks to Susan for hosting!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

By the Shore

Before I write any more, I want to tell you that I am sick about the crisis in the Gulf, as I'm sure you are, too. My intent for this blog is purely for entertainment purposes, but I just couldn't post this tablescape today without acknowledging my heartbreak over the people and wildlife that are suffering. I pray that it won't get any worse and the long term effects won't be catastrophic.

Now, like I said, this is about entertainment...a little escape for us all, so please join me for dinner by the shore.
We are beach people! I'm an East Coast girl and grew up visiting the coasts of North and South Carolina. Dear Hubs frequented the Gulf shore. We are continuing the tradition with our boys and have a trip planned to the Carolinas later this summer. I'm getting a little antsy and can't wait so I had to put together a beachy scape!

Most of the things on the table came from shopping the house. I already had the place mats, dinner plates, napkins and tableware. I found the lovely salad plates earlier this year at HomeGoods. Last week, I was there and spotted the seaglass-colored goblets. I couldn't resist them for their color!

The goblets are made in Spain from recycled glass. So perfect for a beach theme!

I love the relief detail on the salad plates.

For the centerpiece, I used a glass vase with shells I already had, some starfish tea lights, a smaller bowl with shells and some ornamental maiden grass from the yard. Does anyone remember my allergy to daffodils? Well, turns out I'm evidently allergic to maiden grass, too! After I cut the blades, my arms started to itch and break out. Fortunately, it only lasted about 30 minutes. I'm really going to have to be careful with live plants from now on!

I can feel the ocean breeze, hear the gulls crying, see the waves crashing, smell the salty air and taste the fresh fish now!

Thanks for stopping by! Many thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday! Come back on Monday (I'll be linking up to BNOTP's Met Monday) for some more BIG news (to add to the big news from last week)!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Something New

Hi, everyone! I'm back after several weeks of endless adventures. End of school, family vacation, trying to keep the boys entertained now that they are out of know the drill.

Anyway, I teased you a couple of weeks ago with things to come. Now I can finally tell you part of the super exciting news! How many of you watch HGTV? I'm willing to bet most of you. Have you seen Bang for Your Buck? Well.....our basement is going to be featured on Bang for Your Buck!!!! And Vern Yip is going to be the designer for our episode!!! If you could hear me now, I'd be saying this in my high-pitched-excited-voice.

Long story short, our basement contractor contacted us to see if we'd be interested. We said sure and went through the interview process. Our basement was one of three selected in the Atlanta area. The show will tape in mid-July and will air sometime in early Fall.

As you may know, our house is for sale and I kind of quit decorating when we put it on the market. But for television, now that's a different story. I can't very well leave the basement unaccessorized. Oh, the HORROR!

My first project was the console table in our game room. This is what it looked like before:

Kind of naked. Until now, this table was used as a place for people to place their drinks while they shot pool.

I shopped the house and some stores, too, and now it looks like this:

Not so naked. I'm still debating on putting filler in the bottom of the candleholders, but I think with everything else it would be too much.

I love the mossy and wood balls! They were a new purchase and unfortunately not inexpensive*, so I'll definitely have to find a place for them in the new house. You read that house. Well, new, old house but I'll tell you about that another day. *I'm editing here to add that I'm confident that many of you could have made these balls for cents on the dollar. But I was in a time crunch and didn't really want to sit and saw little logs into discs to glue on styrofoam.* :-)

Thanks for coming by! Thanks to Susan for hosting Met Monday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Something Old, Something New

For several reasons, this week and next week are super busy so I'm taking a little time off of tablescaping. I just wanted to give you hints of EXCITING things to come...
Something old. Hint: It's NOT the tree!

Something new. Hint: I now have to officially organize the playroom!

And, no, the old and new aren't related. Stay tuned!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Happy Anniversary to us! Today marks our ninth wedding anniversary and we celebrated with one of our favorite meals...sushi! I know some of you are thinking "yuck" instead of "yum" and that's okay. It's not for everyone. But we (boys included) love it!

My mother-in-law gave us this lovely blue and black Japanese pottery several years ago. In addition to the sushi plates and dipping bowls, the set includes salad plates and dinner plates.

The solid black plates, sake cups and napkins are from World Market. Dear Hubs brought the sushi home and I arranged it on the plates. Unfortunately, I'm not as artful as the sushi chef! We ordered a caribbean roll, kamikaze roll, salmon nigiri, and a rainbow roll. Instead of the rainbow roll, we received something else (far left) but it was good, nonetheless.

The chopsticks, chopstick rests and place mats were also gifts from my MIL. I cut some azaleas from the yard for the bud vases. In the spirit of Japanese simplicity, I tried to keep things sparse, yet still wanted to add color.

Isn't that a beautiful blue? The boys enjoyed drinking their apple juice out of the sake cups. Of course, I had to refill them about four times!

When I took this picture, I noticed how the center platter placed on top of the black bowl (melamine from Target) looks like a graduation cap. So if you have any graduation parties coming up, here's an idea for you!

Thanks for stopping by! This week I'm linking up to Marla's Woo Hoo Wednesday in honor of our anniversary and Susan's Tablescape Thursday. Thanks to both ladies for hosting!

Always Nesting

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexico On My Mind

Ever since Cinco de Mayo became commercially popular in the United States, I have wanted to celebrate it. I'm not quite sure why. I'm not Mexican. But I do love to visit Mexico. I also like Mexican food and drinks. Any excuse to have a pretty party, right?

During a trip to Playa del Carmen, I bought a beautiful hand embroidered blanket. It was love at first sight and I HAD to have it. Well, lots of dollars and several years later, the blanket was still folded in the closet. Until now.

Bienvenido! Tonight we're having an intimate Cinco de Mayo celebration on the lower patio. What do you think of the tablecloth? Yep. That's the blanket. Do you love it like I do? And to answer your questions about why it's been in a closet, it's a little too colorful for my usual decorating style. But I love it nonetheless.

We're only set for three tonight (because I didn't feel like dragging out a bigger table...sorry) but I have settings for four. I found these gorgeous talavera style salad plates on clearance at Marshall's recently. The yellow dinner plates were Goodwill finds. They are originally from Crate and Barrel. Margarita glasses (can't leave out those), beaded flatware, white napkins and red napkin rings round out the place settings. Because the table is small, I just used small colorful votives instead of a centerpiece.

Here's a closer look at the plates. I hope I can find some more!

If I had a bigger table, this would be the centerpiece. The lanterns were part of the centerpieces on our wedding reception tables almost nine years ago.

This patio is normally decorated with a cabin/camp feel. I replaced the fishing creel on the ladder with a sombrero and some tissue paper sunflowers. Don't look too closely at the sunflowers. I made them in about five minutes. The sombrero was a Dollar Tree find. Our six-year-old son has asked me repeatedly when he can have the "umbrello." Am I the only one who thinks that's cute?

*Carol at Serendipity asked how I made the sunflowers. I should clarify that the flowers in the tin bucket are real. The flowers on the ladder are tissue. I made them by following this tutorial. I used four sheets of yellow and three sheets of black (cut shorter) for the center. I tied them off in the center with floral wire. Hope this helps!*

A proper fiesta goes into the night (so I say). This is my attempt to create a dreamy, nighttime feel. We had a Halloween party last year and strung these lights under the porch. I love how they look at night and they illuminate the patio perfectly. I dream of a backyard party with these and paper lanterns strung over the tables. Sigh. Maybe one day....

Thank you for stopping by! Seal says hi! Please visit all of the other great tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch's Tablescape Thursday. Come again!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Al Fresco on a Budget

Before I get into my tablescape for Susan's super fantastic Tablescape Thursday, I want all of you to know that I REALLY want to do more than just tablescapes. Don't get me wrong, I love tablescaping, but my main goal for this blog is to showcase my decorating projects around our house (why I named the blog House Affairs). The problem is that our house is for sale (if any of you want to move to Marietta, GA, I'll make you a deal!) and I'm not changing anything right now. I hope (pray, fingers crossed, the whole nine yards) that we will move this summer, at which time I can get into decorating/remodeling a new home. But in the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun with my tablescapes. It helps keep my mind off of our house situation and the best part is we get to take it all with us when we move!

Since we are planning a move this summer, I am on a strict budget. When I told dear hubs that I was shopping for a new tablescape, he groaned. "I promise," I said. "I will keep it under $20." That's pretty reasonable, right? I did better than $20 but I'll wait to tell you the total.

Please join me on the deck for lunch.

The moment I saw these gorgeous tangerine roses, I knew I had to plan a table around them. Must Have Roses. Must Do Orange and Turquoise Table. I was on a mission. Keep in mind, I only had $20 to work with. The roses were spray roses, so they had multiple blooms per stem. I picked up a bunch of them that had just been marked down to $3.99 at Kroger. Score!

I knew I wanted to do a table on the deck, so I had to work around the umbrella. I found circular floral foam at Dollar Tree. I cut it in half and soaked it in water (although I'm not so sure this foam is really meant for fresh flowers). Then I cut the blooms down leaving about an inch of stem and poked them in the foam until it was covered on top and around the sides. I put a paper plate under the foam so it wouldn't soak the "tablecloth." I think this ring would also be beautiful around a glass hurricane. Or it could go under a cake stand to make a unique "riser" for a cake.

Um...yeah...the tablecloth. Also known as a white sheet. I found it in a box in the garage. We used to have it hanging as a partition in our (previously) unfinished basement. I cut a slit up one side so it would fit around the umbrella. Then I took some orange fabric I found at Goodwill for $3 and made strips to hide the split. I didn't have time to hem the strips so I just ironed under the unfinished edges (now you know all of my secrets).

On my hunt for turquoise colored things, I remembered these cute acrylic plates and bowls at Dollar Tree. Guess what?!? They were marked down to 50 cents a piece! I got four place settings for $4! Score again! Then I went on a hunt for cheap turquoise napkins. Well, I didn't find napkins exactly, but I did get these fat quarters at Walmart for $1 each. I'll hem them up later so I can really use them as napkins, but for now they are actually pieces of fabric in glasses. Oh, well. See the magic of photography? If I hadn't told you, you'd never know. But I am under full disclosure today. And of course I have to note Seal the Weimaraner's appearance. Once again, she got tired of following me.

So let's go over what I spent today. I'm not counting the glasses, flatware and white sheet since I already had them. $4 for napkins, $3 for orange fabric, $3.99 for flowers, $5 for floral foam, plates and bowls. $15.99 + tax! Dear hubs can breathe easy. For now! :)

Thanks for stopping by! Please visit all of the other great tablescapes at Between Naps On the Porch's Tablescape Thursday! I'm a little late to join the party, but I'm also linking up to Woo Hoo! Wednesday at Always Nesting. Thanks for inviting me, Marla!

Always Nesting

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming Up Daisies

Hi, everyone! I'm back! We had a very enjoyable Easter and Spring Break. Hope you all did, too! During our vacation to North Carolina, I had every intention of doing some tablescapes at my parents' houses, but you know how that goes...too much to do, too many people to visit, and too little time. My mother and stepmother both have some pretty impressive tableware, so hopefully I can try again sometime.

If you live in the South (especially GA) you know you can't escape the pollen! As allergic as I am to pollen, I am still glad it's here because with it comes flowers! So this week's tablescape is dedicated to flowers. Specifically to gerbera daisies, my favorite spring annual.
I found these cute gerbera daisy plates at Big Shanty Antique Market in Kennesaw, GA recently. While they are not old, they caught my eye because of the daisies.

I really wanted grass place mats or runners, but since those were NOWHERE to be found (I didn't try online because I didn't have time) I went with coordinating straw mats. I was lucky enough to find them for each plate color at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Blue.

And yellow. I found the cute flower napkin rings at Hobby Lobby. They came in a set of four and instead of a yellow flower, it is green. But it's close enough. I've had the aluminum tumblers for years and thought they added some color. I didn't have an orange one, so I substituted silver. Again, it works. I layered the salad plates with plain white dinner plates I got a few years ago from World Market.

For the centerpiece, I used a candelier (also found at Big Shanty Antique Market), mini frosted glass flowerpot tea lights, and gerbera daisy plants. I bought three plants in all that I'll plant in the yard tomorrow. Hopefully they won't die. I can decorate all day long, but unfortunately I wasn't blessed with a green thumb!

A flower close-up for good measure.

Notice anything different? I traded the tumblers for the glass goblets. I got them this morning at Dollar Tree. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they are new arrivals. For a dollar a piece, they don't look too shabby! Which do you like better? The aluminum tumblers or the glasses?

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our furry child, Seal. See her sacked out on the floor in the background? She finally got tired of following me around. She's a ten-year-old Weimaraner. If you've ever had one or known one, then you know they rarely just go lie down! Or maybe ours is just neurotic...kinda like us!

Thanks for joining me today! Please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more great tablescapes!