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The 2016 Southern Living Idea House – Celebration Cottage


Southern Living has built and renovated houses all over the South, but this year for its 50th anniversary, its Idea House was built in Mt. Laurel, right outside of Birmingham, Alabama – the magazine’s own hometown andย they chose a hometown architect/designer, Bill Ingram, to be the brains behind it. ย Rather than have one designer do all the interiors of this house though, they chose five different designers. ย Before they even began work on their rooms, the group was shown photos from old Southern Living articles and homes to use for inspiration in designing their spaces.


We toured the house early one morning the second weekend it was open. ย I loved the floors throughout the house (Barlow Road by Shaw Floors in case you are interested. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) ย When I go to one of these Idea Houses, I have to keep reminding myself Look for individual ideas – not the entire room. ย For someone who leans toward a more minimalist but traditional design at times, these spaces can be quite overwhelming with soooo much going on in them. ย They are indeed over-the-top, but they are supposed to be…that is why they are called Idea Houses. ย Okay I am going to hush my preaching now and let you just peruse the rooms. ๐Ÿ™‚

You enter the house into a large foyer designed by Ashley Gilbreath, a local designer from Montgomery, Alabama.

southern-living-idea-house-foyerBeautiful antique French artwork from Parish, Ashley’s shop

foyerTo the left of the foyer is the living room designed by Mark D. Sikes.



I like the framed bird prints in this room.

southern-living-idea-house-living-room-094Going back across the foyer, you enter the very pattern rich dining room by Margaret Kirkland.




A door at the back of the dining room leads to the Bill Ingram designed kitchen.

southern-living-idea-house-kitchenI liked the green when we were there, but I think I would tire of the darkness after awhile.



The paint color is Evergreens, and it is by Sherwin Williams if you need a dark green. ๐Ÿ™‚southern-living-idea-house-kitchen-stove

southern-living-idea-house-full-kitchenBill also designed the family room space with its fabric draped ceiling…




and the hallway….

southern-living-idea-house-halland the boldly striped powder room.


I am guessing he also did the dark green laundry room, but the info on it was left out of the resource guide.

southern-living-idea-house-laundryNow go back through the family room, through the kitchen, through the foyer, and back into the living room. ย On the other side of the fireplace are doors that lead to the master bedroom, designed by Lauren Liess.



southern-living-idea-house-master-bedroomShe also did the master bathroom with its beautiful collection of antique pressed botanicals.


The wallpaper is a hemp burlap by Twenty2.southern-living-idea-house-master-bathroomThat completes the downstairs spaces, so let’s head up the stairs.


There is a landing at the top with a table and seating…

southern-living-idea-house-upstairs-landingand a gorgeous antique cupboard.
This is another Ashley Gilbreath space.

southern-living-idea-house-upstairs-landing-cupboardTurn left and you enter a bedroom wallpapered in a Meg Braff design.


Each of the upstairs bedrooms has its own bathroom.


Adjacent to bedroom #2 is bedroom #3, designed by Ashley Gilbreath.
The walls in it are also wallpapered (Watermill Linen by Kravet.)


southern-living-idea-house-bedroom-3-sofaHere is a peek at its private bath.
Hard to photograph a mirror without getting yourself in it.
(and your husband who is standing behind you!)

southern-living-idea-house-bathroom-3Go back across the hall and you find the Amy Berry designed 4th bedroom. Back in the 90’s, I had a sofa (or 2!) covered in a print that looked very much like that floral.

southern-living-idea-house-bedroom-4-bedThis little corner was my favorite spot in the house. (Of course it would be…the fabric is called Country Check in Light Red on Tint by Quadrille. ๐Ÿ™‚ )



The bathroom that belongs to bedroom #4:


In the floor plan, this next space was called a playroom, but in the Idea House it is called the “pajama lounge.”

southern-living-idea-house-pajama-loungeWhatever name it goes by, Amy Berry designed the space. ย I would think teenage girls would love this area.


And that finishes the tour of the interior of the house.
Here are a couple of shots outside in the patio area.


This space is right at the street, so I do not think it would be very private.southern-living-idea-house-patioThe Idea House also has a detached garage, and there was an unfinished room/office above it.
(We did walk up the stairs and look in. ๐Ÿ™‚ )


If you get a chance to visit Mt. Laurel and the Southern Living Idea House, it is open for tours until December 18.


While we were there, we rode through the beautiful community, and I have a number of photos to show you from it, but that post will have to wait until after Halloween. ย I have a few things from around the house here that I want to share with you this week. ย So stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…

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kathy - October 25, 2016 - 12:36 am

As I looked I thought, “Will the readers really like this house?”. I was happy most did not like it either. The outside is pretty but I only liked the grouping of bird paintings and the botanicals inside. The kitchen was way too dark and that dining room would drive an attention deficient person crazy. Draping that ceiling might be a little ridiculous. I am with the other girls, cleaning that would not make me happy. I still love you but that house….not so much.

Sherry M - October 24, 2016 - 7:58 pm

When I visit model homes or idea houses, I try to think about how I would like for it to look if I lived there. I think the architecture of the home is nice. I could go for a house that has a bathroom for every bedroom. Wouldn’t that be nice? The porch looks inviting and relaxing. Love the two sinks in the kitchen and the built ins in the living room. What a treat for you to be able to visit another special home. Thank you for sharing it with us, Kelly.
That is a very good thing to do, Sherry. I have a hard time doing that in a fully furnished (often overdecorated) room. You have better skills at envisioning than I do. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for pointing out a number of positive things about the house. There were some very pretty ideas in it, and I am glad you could see them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vicki - October 24, 2016 - 6:25 pm

I agree with the kitchen, painting the walls and ceiling would definitely help. I was actually in the house and noticed that light reflected off of NOTHING in that kitchen! The house sold early on in the tour, and I wonder what modifications the buyers will make. Also, the laundry room. I had my husband take a picture of me in there beside the washer and dryer. I am 5′ 0″ tall. I could not even reach the bottom of the upper cabinets nor the back side of the counters. It looks nice in the picture but I would have to have scaffolding to do the laundry or use the upper cabinets. I have carried around enough step stools in my lifetime, thank you! (And ladders). Loved your tour, Kelly – and I love your house!
Wow! I did not realize that about the laundry room. That would be a major issue for a petite person. I am glad you enjoyed the tour Vicki, and thank you for your sweet compliment on our home. ๐Ÿ™‚

Marianne in Mo. - October 24, 2016 - 5:40 pm

Oh my, I think they took the “inspiration” photos to heart! I’ve seen these looks in way past SA magazines.(Like 80’s-90’s!) I doubt anyone in their right minds would drape a ceiling anymore, unless it was temporary for a party. Too much color and pattern overload for me. I did almost like the first upstairs bedroom, except the drapes. And that bath was nice, but the wall color threw me off there. Love the outside street view and the front porch and entry, but beyond that, not so much. Thanks for showing it though, as I will never get there in person!
I do believe they did take the inspiration to heart. That is what Southern Living asked them to do. The exterior of the house and all of the homes in that neighborhood are beautiful. The interiors just don’t seem to go with the exterior styling…or at least what I think they should be for that style.

Dawn - October 24, 2016 - 5:29 pm


Thank you so very much for the “e-tour”. I just loved it. Of course the green kitchen and other areas appealed to me. I love the reading nook as well. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us! Take care.

You are quite welcome. You do love your green Dawn! I finally have some decorating around here to show you all. It has been hard to stay home long enough to get anything done here!

Brad Benedict - October 24, 2016 - 5:18 pm

There are so many things I like about these spaces. But, for me, that is the problem, there appears to be way too much going on! And yes, each and every corner and every furniture and decorative choice seem quite wonderful on their own… it is just a bit of an overload.
I agree with you that it is quite an overload. I wonder if it would have been different if one designer had done the entire house…maybe it would have been more cohesive then.

Donnamae - October 24, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Never having personally been to a show house…I appreciated knowing that they are over decorated. I couldn’t imagine living with all that furniture. And that kitchen….a little too green for my taste. The house did have some lovely elements though…thanks for the tour! ๐Ÿ˜‰
At least in my eyes they are overdecorated. I think designers want to “make their mark” on each room, so it comes off as that way to me. I am glad you were able to see some of the pretty elements in it Donnamae. Thank you for taking the tour here!

Martha - October 24, 2016 - 4:26 pm

I loved the exterior of this house and the living room, but the rest was way too overdone and over thought for me. Loved the green color in the kitchen but please….not on everything!The draped ceiling was silly and what a nightmare to dust and keep clean. The dining room was crazy, there was just way too much going on and on and on….. The bedrooms had a few nice elements, but I agree with the other comments…your house has this one beat by miles.
Martha, thank you for the compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚ My house is for living in comfortably. That one was obviously for folks with entirely different tastes. I still think the pajama lounge and one of those upstairs bedrooms would be great for a teenage girl. I know our daughter would have loved that room years ago!

Ellen - October 24, 2016 - 4:21 pm

We saw it not long after it opened, too, but we live here in Birmingham. I also blogged about it. That kitchen was way too dark! I would have to wear a miner’s lantern on my head so I could work in there! My favorite room was the Sikes living room. I do NOT like the tiny little bedrooms, and I thought the spaces were proportioned kind of weird. (Lots of public space, little private space.)

We actually looked at Mt. Laurel a couple of times, and I used to belong to a book club that met out there. The houses are much too close together for my liking, although they have a nice farmer’s market in the summer time.
I thought Mt. Laurel was a very pretty community, and the homes there had some gorgeous architecture. We were there on a Saturday, and I hate we missed the farmer’s market. It was just closing up as we finished the tour. We will have to remember it when we go back to Birmingham again.
Glad you got to see the house in person Ellen.

Patty Ann - October 24, 2016 - 3:57 pm

Once I got past the porch and foyer, both very lovely, the rest of the house is one hot mess. It this really what Southern Living thinks is an “Idea House?” The rooms Bill Ingram designed were awful. So dark and who wants to dust/clean that fabric draped ceiling? Not me! They need to turn the decorating over to you and a few other Southern Bloggers. You guys would have much better taste. The outside is beautiful, full of southern charm, but the inside looks like a 4 year old got busy with a box of crayons.
I don’t think SL is going to come calling on us traditional decorator/bloggers any time soon Patty Ann. ๐Ÿ™‚ The magazine has gone in a different direction geared toward a different audience, and yes this is what they think is an idea house. I loved the exterior and that porch. I guess everyone has their own taste and style.

Garden, Home and Party - October 24, 2016 - 3:47 pm

I love Bill Ingram’s work typically. I appreciate the hard work that undoubtedly goes into a design home, but I confess, I didn’t much care for this one. The good news is that there are plenty of people that probably loved it and that’s what makes the world go ’round. ๐Ÿ™‚
Thanks for showing us the home.
I normally like his work too, but this one was just too dark. I wonder how it would have been if he had done the entire house rather than just a part of it, and I also wonder if the designers had not been directed to play off of old images what the results would have been. But like you so kindly put in your comment, there are plenty of people that probably loved the house. ๐Ÿ™‚
Thank you for reading the post Karen and for your very thoughtful comment. You worded it better than I ever could!

Cindy - October 24, 2016 - 3:34 pm

Kelly: While I can appreciate this idea home, I prefer your home.

Aw, thank you Cindy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gina - October 24, 2016 - 3:05 pm

Well, I certainly like it more than last year’s SL Idea house. ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree there’s always a design idea or two to take away and implement in our own spaces. My favorite was the entry and stairway. Loved the planked wall and paint color with the warm brass light fixtures. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your husband was quite the photo bomber. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing Kelly!
Yes, always at least one or two ideas can be found in them. Often times, the kitchen has interesting storage ideas. My husband was definitely the photo bomber..without even trying to be! ๐Ÿ™‚
Thanks for reading and commenting Gina.

Renee Cook - October 24, 2016 - 2:58 pm

Thanks so much for showing Southern Living’s idea house! Like everyone else, I didn’t find much to like about the decor. I was glad for your comment on the floral fabric from the 90s! I still have a piece of the cottage rose print from back then. I remember having a solid ivory spread with throw pillows, a valance and round table cover out of the print. I must admit, I kinda miss that look!
You are welcome Renee. I had tons of English floral chintz everywhere for awhile, but I do not want that look again. It was very pretty but too feminine for my now more tailored taste. It does lend itself to a cozy English cottage look though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chris - October 24, 2016 - 2:49 pm

I love the bumpy white lamps! The whole,house is beyond cool!
Glad you enjoyed seeing it Chris. ๐Ÿ™‚

lynne - October 24, 2016 - 2:37 pm

I loved the first bedroom shown. The fabric and color were so pretty and not overdone.
That one certainly did have more subtle colors…making it more restful.

Becky in 'Bama - October 24, 2016 - 2:22 pm

Kelly: you are the third blogger (that I follow) to write and post pics from this house. AND I’m still not a fan. LOL! That green is…well green – and a bit dark. Yes – everyone has different tastes in decorating, but interestingly, I have noticed that the majority of people who have commented were not great fans of the decor, either. I’d say the yards of fabric on that ceiling were my least favorite; can you imagine the dust?! I live in the Birmingham area, and thank all of you out-of-towners who have visited our city. Y’all come back! (Looking forward to your up-coming posts on your home! You have great taste.)
Thank you Becky. We have enjoyed visiting Birmingham this year. You have some great restaurants there!
I did not think the readers here would like the house, but I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who do. We just all enjoy a more casual and less decorated vibe which is perfect for our lifestyles. I would have liked to have seen the inspiration photos that the designers saw. I think it might have put the rooms in context – not that we would have liked them any better. I just think we might have understood the design direction better.

Helen Christopher - October 24, 2016 - 2:17 pm

Too much of everything and not my style at all – I did like the round mirror with the rope hanger. I think I would like the green kitchen if it was only the cabinets painted that color and white walls.
That’s definitely a good suggestion for that kitchen Helen. I think that would be great in that space – especially with those 3 windows. Just painting the ceiling white would lighten it up some as well.

cindy hattersley - October 24, 2016 - 2:00 pm

My favorites were the Mark Sikes designed living space, Ashley Gilbreth’s spaces and Lauren Liess space. That dining room was definitely pattern laden…
Thank you for your positive comment Cindy. ๐Ÿ™‚ If that dining room had had more subtle art, I think it would have been less overwhelming.

Bev Tippett - October 24, 2016 - 1:47 pm

WOW thanks for the reminder that often model homes are over decorated. I sure couldn’t live in that house. All I can think about with draped fabric is the dirt that it holds. I thought the kitchen was too dark too and the lights way too high to be practical. I do like the red chair fabric also.

Thanks for the visit…it was fun to see.
Yes, fun to visit, but not practical for most of us to live in. In all my years of touring showhouses, there has only been one that I felt like I could actually live in. It was in Highlands, North Carolina many years ago and decorated by Toby West. I love pretty much anything he designs. ๐Ÿ™‚

Marylou - October 24, 2016 - 1:21 pm

The kitchen is much to dark, the fabric on the ceiling is overboard for me as is the many different colors and textures in the dining room. This is a showplace house not one that children would be welcomed into. I am raising children not grass, flowers, shrubs, and raising children not a show place. No disrespect intended.
And can you believe the house and all its furnishings have sold? It is meant to be a Showhouse – not a Show-home. Therein lies the difference to me. I’ll happily take a small casual cottage furnished for daily living any ol’ day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Monica - October 24, 2016 - 12:58 pm

Just looking at the photos of the kitchen makes me feel claustrophobic – even in the brightest daylight you’d have to turne lights on! I like the coral in the dining room chairs but overall the busy-ness of that room would make me crazy.
The kitchen wasn’t as claustrophobic-inducing to me as the fabric ceiling in the family room, but yes, that kitchen was pretty dark. The coral color in the cheery dining room was a pretty color, but like you, all that pattern would make me quite crazy too!

Peggy - October 24, 2016 - 12:07 pm

I liked the bedrooms but the other rooms seemed too crowded and busy. The dark green in the kitchen just seemed too dark. I did love the little nooks with the red/white chair and the one with the desk. My house is certainly no decorator’s dream! Just a comfortable, well used house for us. A house that grandchildren with sticky hands can play in! HA!
Definitely too busy for my tastes, and yes that green kitchen was dark. I think your house sounds perfect Peggy…a place where life is lived with love. ๐Ÿ™‚

Travel Talk: Tahlequah, Oklahoma


Our daughter is currently working in Florida at Disney World. ย In fact, she is “friends with” (Disney’s words for her character roleย position) “Princess Anna” from Frozen. ย So if you happen to be in Epcot sometime in the next few months, you might see her greeting children and signing autographs at her post in Norway. ย She is a Disney girl through and through, but a few months ago she worked with a mission group in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and of course weย drove there for a visit. ย Her housing for this job was in one of the dorms at Northeastern State University.


The back side of that fountain looks like this:
(The quote is rather appropriate for someone doing mission work. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

northeastern-state-university-okAs you approach the university, you see this stream separating its campus from the town.

northeastern-state-university-campusThe area has a very rich history with the Cherokee people, so you will see this statue on campus just beyond the stream.

northeastern-state-university-statueA few blocks down the street from the college is a park.


If you have read the children’s book, Where the Red Fern Grows, you probably remember the story was set in Tahlequah. ย A commemorative statue honoring the book and author stands in the park.


where-the-red-fern-grows-sculpture-tahlequaScattered around the park are other plaques and maps with information about the Cherokee people and the history of the area.


tahlequa-historical-highlightsBecause the Native American history is so important to the area, we also visited the Cherokee Heritage Center.



There is a sculpture of Andrew Hartley Payne near the entrance to the center. He was of Cherokee heritage and was the 1st place winner of the 1928 Great Trans-Continental Foot Race from Los Angeles to New York City. ย He also served many years as a clerk of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.


We explored many different buildings while we were there at the center.


But there is more to the town of Tahlequah than their history. ย We also did some shopping in the downtown district. ย My very favorite store there was Cook’s Companion – a precious kitchen shop! ย I could have spent a small fortune (well actually, a BIG one!) there. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย They had everything you could possibly want or need for cooking and entertaining.

Just look…



Even Downton Abbey items…


and cotton boll wreaths! ๐Ÿ™‚cooks-companion-tahlequa-cotton-wreath


See why I had a hard time resisting?!cooks-companion-tahlequa-display

Further temptation in Tahlequah was several restaurants that had very tasty food.
On our first evening there we had pizza at the oddly named Sam and Ella’s Chicken Palace.
(Yes, it really is a pizza place!)


And there is the Drip coffee, brunch, and lunch spot.
the-drip-tahlequathe-drip-tahlequa-coffee-and-sandwich-shopEvery single thing at Drip is absolutely delicious…
from coffee to tea to sandwiches to soup and salads and desserts.


And then there was the place our daughter and her roommates ate every chance they could:
Iguana Cafee.
(and yes, that is how they spell it. ๐Ÿ™‚ )


Their menus were on clipboards.



We enjoyed our lunch there with sandwiches…

iguanas-cafe-tahlequa-lunchand coffee…


and a super fun dessert!




ย And finally, we also had a fun time canoeing one of the nearby rivers.


Thanks for following along with our trip to Oklahoma! ย On the way back to Georgia, we stopped to tour this house in Alabama:

idea-houseI’ll have all the details from that tour in the coming post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…

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kathy - October 25, 2016 - 12:08 am

I am glad your beautiful daughter is living her dream. When I was in college I always wanted to work at Disney for a summer but never followed through with it. And, how wonderful that Hayley knows the importance of helping others through mission work. You have done a great job with your children, giving them roots and wings. I read Wilson Rawls, Summer of the Monkeys, to my third graders every year. They liked the book better than the movie as well, Louvina. (I could never read the book aloud without crying. Every year I thought I could, but no!)Making s’mores in a restaurant looks fun! Cook’s Companion looks like a store I would like to visit. My sister just gave me some cotton and I was thinking today that I need to see a cotton wreath…and there it was! Great post, Kelly! Now I must catch up and read your next post. I have been away at a wedding a few days.

Becky - October 22, 2016 - 10:00 pm

You described Northeastern State University very well. I thought your daughter was in Tulsa, so I concentrated on that area when I was describing it to you. I taught for 35 years at a sister university to NSU at East Central University in Ada. Yes Oklahoma can be a destination spot. We have mountains in the southwest, southeast, and the Cookson Hills around NSU. I could write a book, but we are a very diverse people in a very diverse land. We welcome you!
Becky, thank you for all your info for our trip! We did shop in Tulsa for a day, and that was fun. I agree that Oklahoma is a very diverse land, and much of it reminded me of Georgia – especially the mountainous area we drove through to get o Tahlequah.

Marianne in Mo. - October 22, 2016 - 7:56 pm

Finally! I was reading this post last night, got to the fun dessert, and my computer stopped loading your pictures! GRRR! Bad computer!!! So tonight I tried again, and it worked fine. :-/
That was another fun trip – the interesting town I never heard of, with quite a bit to see and eat! Can’t wait for the house tour! Thanks again!
Marianne, it may have stopped loading because of the big internet hack that occurred that day. My site (along with many other WordPress ones) was down for about 2 hours thanks to that. ๐Ÿ™ Glad you enjoyed reading about the trip. House tour coming up next! ๐Ÿ™‚

DiAnne - October 22, 2016 - 7:04 pm

I just told my husband We have to visit this place when we go to visit the Pioneer Woman’s new Mercantile in Pawhuska. I also want to venture over to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Katrina says the museum is fabulous. All these places pretty within 2-3 hours of each other. It is a long way from the Carolinas but maybe we will make it there sometime.

I am still pondering your lake house dream plans. I like some of both of them but I definitely lean toward the “summer camp” look the most.

I am sure your daughter is having a wonderful time. What great experiences she is having! Our second grandaughter was born about 6 weeks ago. What a blessing she is!

Have a great rest of the weekend.
Congratulations on your new granddaughter Dianne! I know you are spoiling her. ๐Ÿ™‚ And how fun to visit the Pioneer Woman’s new shop! Your plans for the trip sound great. Definitely a long way from NC, but we easily drove it from Georgia – in fact in 1 day to get there (but we did break it up into 2 in coming back.)
I am still pondering the lake house too…will probably have a very long time to ponder them at the rate we go at things!
Kelly - October 22, 2016 - 9:08 am

I enjoyed seeing your fun travel pics with your daughter! Great photography, by the way!! I’m glad you and your husband have time to enjoy traveling more now. Have a great weekend!
Thank you for following along Debbie. Glad that you enjoy the virtual trips. ๐Ÿ™‚ (And thank you for the compliments on the photography!)
Hope your weekend has been a good one.

Vicki - October 21, 2016 - 11:01 pm

My husband and I went to Cherokee NC a couple months ago and for the first time toured the Oconoluftee Indian Village and saw the pageant, Unto These Hills. So, so worth it, very professional and beautifully done. I learned SO MUCH! I would really enjoy this city!
I have heard that production is an exceptionally good one. How lucky that you got to experience it Vicki! There was a sequel written for it and performed in an amphitheater in Tahlequah until 2005. You would have enjoyed seeing it too.

Tricia - October 21, 2016 - 5:14 pm

Anna?! Could Hayley be any happier! How wonderful for her. Just the most popular Princess ever, I’m sure! What a happy time for her.

Love to see your travel blogs. Can’t wait to see where you will show up next! Enjoy your weekend. T
Tricia, I think you are thinking of Anna’s sister Elsa. Anna is the perky little sister to the singing diva. ๐Ÿ™‚ But Hayley does truly love this role, and it is much better than the 40 lb. costume of Winnie the Pooh! I am so glad that she has had this opportunity to do something she has dreamed about for years.

Garden, Home and Party - October 21, 2016 - 4:47 pm

What a wonderful experience for your daughter and what a quaint little town in OK. Does your daughter want to work for Disney full time, career wise? I know they used to have great career opportunities for recent graduates.
It will be fun to see the tour of the lovely house!
Yes, she does want to work for Disney, Karen – but in a different field. She wants to work in the resorts with hospitality. The character role is just a one time thing that she has always dreamed of doing. It has been fun, but she realizes that it is not something you do for a career.
Tour house coming up soon!

mari1017 - October 21, 2016 - 4:23 pm

Kelly! What a wonderful post! Extremely interesting as I have never been in that part of the country. Your daughter has a varied and wonderful life. You all must be so proud. And what a joy to be able to join her in a visit in so many of her adventures.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful place. mari
Thank you for following along Mari! Yes, our daughter certainly has had some varied job opportunities. I believe she is ready to settle down on a career perhaps in Florida and won’t have quite so many changes soon. (Florida will still provide us a good place to travel. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Barbara (WA) - October 21, 2016 - 12:52 pm

Such an interesting area! Your daughter sounds like a wonderful talented young woman – thanks for sharing!
It was very interesting. Thank you for your sweet compliment for our daughter, Barbara. She has certainly taken on some interesting jobs in the last few years!

Ruth - October 21, 2016 - 12:28 pm

I’d never thought of OK as a vacation destination, but you made it look so appealing! I have so enjoyed “our” travels this year to the Pacific NW and Fernandina, the many celebrations you shared, and your delightful “nesting” ideas. Your posts have been especially welcome through election debate season, providing a much-needed retreat from all the ugliness. Many thanks for the joy and warmth you bring into the world… into OUR worlds!

I recognize the preview photo as the Southern Living Idea Home here in B’ham, and look forward to seeing your “take” on it. It’s a real beaut from an all-star team.

Warm regards and happy posting!
Thank you so very much Ruth. Your comment actually made me tear up! (in a good way. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I have had a very hard time keeping up the blog this year with my husband home now that he has retired plus all our traveling. I so appreciate you and all the others who have followed through all the varied posts – from celebrations to travel to the increasingly missing decorating (due to traveling!) YOU all are what makes this rewarding.

Gina - October 21, 2016 - 12:12 pm

How nice you were able to go visit your daughter while she was in Oklahoma. It looks like an interesting little town steeped in Cherokee history. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure she was happy to have you visit. My weakness would have been the kitchen store too!! Thanks for taking us along on your trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰
We were happy to see her and to learn about the history of Tahlequah. That kitchen store was fabulous!! If I had not been in the middle of purging our kitchen cabinets with the hope of downsizing, I could have purchased many many things!!
Thanks for following along with us Gina. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jo Anne Hayon - October 21, 2016 - 10:41 am

I love your posts. I look forward to reading them. It is fun to see other parts of the country and your design sense. Keep on writing them.
I’m so glad you do Jo Anne. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your encouraging comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Susan - October 21, 2016 - 10:35 am

How fun to see your pics of Tahlequah! I’m from Muskogee and graduated from NSU in Tahlequah. We’ve floated the Illinois River many times- such a beautiful area! It brought back many memories! Sam and Ella’s is the best! Carrie Underwood worked there when she was going to college at NSU. Everyone should include a visit to beautiful northeastern Oklahoma when they go to see the Pioneer Woman in Pawhuska!
Wow what a small world Susan!! That river was great!! I know you had a great time floating on it. And Sam and Ella’s was a good place to start our visit to Tahlequah! I did not know that about Carrie Underwood. How fun!
The Pioneer Woman is going to do big things for Oklahoma’s tourism I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

Louvina - October 21, 2016 - 9:56 am

My, my! I love this little town!! Not only is my favorite children’s book/movie about that area– I used to read “Where the Red Fern Grows” every year to my 5th grade class and we compared it with the movie — they voted and liked the book better!! Also, I have lineage of Cherokee in my family. Enjoyed the post so much and would love to go there. You have certainly been quite the traveler since retirement!! Such beautiful memories! Keep on finding interesting places! ๐Ÿ˜Š
Oh wow! How cool is that about the book?! And your heritage! You should make a trip to check out the area Louvina. I am glad you are enjoying the travel posts, because yes, we have certainly done the traveling this year. Ready for a little slow down now. Hope you are taking it easy and getting totally healed from your surgery.
Take care!

Cindy - October 21, 2016 - 9:23 am

Hi Kelly!

My husband and I will be at WDW for the half and full marathon, Jan 7-8 and will be spending a few days before/after to, once again, visit the parks. I will definitely look for your daughter.

Have fun Cindy! Our daughter’s role as Anna ends in January, but I think it is in the middle of the month. So do look for her at Norway in Epcot.

Sandy from FWB - October 21, 2016 - 9:16 am

I have been a ton of places, but Oklahoma is a state I have never visited. I need to add it to my list. Especially since The Pioneer Woman is opening a store. Looks fun. You have been a traveling girl for sure. My husband has not retired yet, but I figure I will be on the go when he does. Yikes!
There is a lot to see in Oklahoma Sandy, so I hope you do get to visit it one day. The Pioneer Woman is going draw so many people there! I bet you will be traveling too when your husband retires. Get ready!

Design Chic - October 21, 2016 - 8:42 am

What an exciting time in your daughter’s life! It’s such a beautiful campus a dreamlike place to work ‘m sure. Can’t wait for the house tour next week. Enjoy your weekend!
It has been exciting for her. The campus was very nice, but it was hot hot when we were there, and she said it had been hot all summer. But I guess that is no different than here in the South, right?!
House tour coming right up!

Stephanie - October 21, 2016 - 7:00 am

I’m taking my granddaughter to WDW for Halloween and having breakfast with the princesses ! We will look for Princess Anna!
How fun Stephanie! Your granddaughters will love it! (Even our daughter loved dining in the castle. :)) I am afraid that Anna can only be seen in Norway at Epcot. She does not go to the princess breakfast, but I hope you will have the opportunity to meet her in Epcot (and ride the Frozen ride!)

Cindy - October 21, 2016 - 6:29 am

Kelly, how many trips have you taken this year???? You don’t need a house, you need a Tiny Home…pull it wherever you want to
Your daughter will make a great Anna. My granddaughters went to Disney this year and were in awe of the characters and how much time they took with each child.
Although the first version was beautiful, I like the coziness of the second one. Keeping dreaming.
Cindy that is an understatement!! We have seriously talked about getting an RV because we are traveling so much. Last week of Sept. – Disney World, 1st week of Oct – Seattle, 2nd week – Highlands, NC, and last week – Birmingham, AL. I can’t get any decorating done around here thanks to all the traveling.
Thank you for your sweet words about our daughter. Disney seems to do an excellent job training all of its staff – no matter what their role.
I will keep dreaming about a lake house – or maybe an RV. ๐Ÿ™‚

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