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A Small Entryway

If you come in our real front door, you will enter our small foyer.

When we built the house long ago in the dark ages, my taste was very different from what it has developed into today.  This little room originally had white sheetrock walls and an antique dark wicker table that had belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  The table held an extremely large model pond yacht and hanging above it was a collection of black and white sailboat photographs.  A little different look from today, huh?  Eventually my tastes changed, and I decided I wanted something more rustic in that area – something less nautical. (I do still love that look, just not for this house.)

My husband and I looked for some kind of wood to cover the walls.  It had to be thin enough not to protrude beyond the wood trim in the baseboards and around the doors.  One day my husband smartly flipped over a piece of leftover beadboard and discovered that the backside of it would be perfect for the walls.  So he covered all of the sheetrock in that little area with it.  There are a number of rooms in the house that have painted plank walls, but this is the only area where the wood is left in its natural state.

For several years I hunted for a piece of furniture to use in place of the antique wicker table, and eventually I fell in love with this piece. I love the wood, and it kind of dresses up the “rustic-ness” of the space.  Size wise, it fits the area wonderfully, and it offers some much needed storage.  The thing is full of dishes!  (I ended up moving the wicker table to the screened porch.)

I switch out the accessories from season to season…opting for yellow in the spring and summer with red used in the fall and winter.  I’m sure you know how easy this is to do by just changing out books and plants.

If you visit here, you will soon see that I am addicted to using black and white family photographs in our home.  They are in every room in large quantities. I think a home should first and foremost reflect the people that live there, and you know that photographs are one big way to do that.  Plus,  I like the continuity of color and simplicity of style that these simple black and white ones offer (and I am a sucker for symmetry!)

On the opposite wall is a big closet with a big closet door. 

It holds all your normal paraphernalia…coats, jackets, umbrellas, ski wear, and the leaves for the dining room table (that’s normal, right?)  Anyway, a few weeks ago, I came across this blog post. 

It showed how they had turned an ordinary coat closet into a beautiful bench area and still kept some storage.  I love this idea!  I keep thinking that if we were to do this, it would visually enlarge the area tremendously, AND I could introduce some pattern and more color through a fabric for the seat cushion.  But what do you do with all the coats, jackets, umbrellas, ski wear and dining room table leaves….especially when all the closets and cabinets in your house are already full???  Any suggestions?

I’d love to hear!

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Row. - May 1, 2014 - 11:48 am

LOVE the bead board, I always thought you had the house built with it. Hooray for handy husbands! although I love this area just as it is and The house of smiths home, they are so very different to me, made me wonder what your interpretation would look like. I imagine, more bead board and lots of wicker baskets! btw now I am dreaming of the small addition I’ve always wanted but covered with bead board.. the natural wood is one of the details I love most about your home.

Dawn - July 25, 2012 - 10:25 am

Love the bead board trick and the wood trim around the doors. my husband and I love rustic and looking through your house gave me some great ideas. been looking for ways to make a house more rustic with a cabin lodge feel.
Dawn- Glad I could be of help! We love rustic too – almost bought a log home 17 years ago. (Thank goodness we didn’t since we later learned it had termites!)

sixteen fourteen - April 22, 2012 - 7:38 am

I love the symmetrical black and white photo gallery, and the antique buffet. By the way, what did you end up doing with your monster pond yacht? I have one too, and it’s not seeming to fit anywhere!
Aimee, thank you for the nice compliments! The monster pond yacht was one of 5 that I have, plus around 30-40 other smaller versions…not to mention over 60 framed black and white sailboat photos. They are all in storage…waiting for a beach house (ha ha – not gonna happen) or for one of my children to want them at some point when they have a house. My oldest is currently living in an apt. overlooking a river, and he doesn’t want any of it (now if it were canoes that would be a different story!)

the farmer's wife - April 21, 2012 - 9:56 am

I love that coat closet idea! Especially if you already have a mudroom to store the more unattractive everyday stuff and if your storage isn’t all full up…attic maybe? Your entry is beautiful.
Julianna, isn’t that closet cool?? No mudroom here though, and the attic/s (both of them) are very full…need to have a yardsale! Thank you for the compliment on my entry.

Kayleigh Harkins - April 18, 2012 - 10:16 pm

Absolutely gorgeous Kelly! As I was reading your entries, I swore that I could hear you speaking every word. I can’t wait for you to post again – hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two! 🙂 Otherwise, I’ll beg you to decorate my house in a few years.
Kayleigh, thank you so much for taking the time to read the posts on my site. I KNOW how much you have on your plate right now. I will be glad to help you decorate whenever you get your home!

Michelle - April 18, 2012 - 12:59 am

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment! Of course I had to immediately click on your blog because it was new to me…right away I loved your home and your beautiful entryway, and thought to myself, “Why have I never heard of this pretty blog before?!” Then I scrolled down to the post on your niece’s bridal shower and saw your kitchen…and came to a screeching halt and thought, “Wait a minute, I know that kitchen!” Then it dawned on me that you’re Kelly from Georgia who was featured on Tessa’s blog on the same post as me!!! Congratulations on your new blog!!! It all looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to see more! And BTW my dear, you don’t look even close to being old enough to have a college aged kiddo!!!
All the best to you,
Michelle, you are very observant! I am/was the “Kelly in Georgia” from Tessa’s blog (and everyone else’s), and yes, you DO know that kitchen!! That is too funny. I love reading your blog too. Thank you for dropping in on my new place and leaving the nice comments here. Your “you don’t look even close to being old enough….” comment is the best comment I’ve gotten so far! The heck with the house stuff…more important to look young, right? ha ha. Please drop by again. I truly treasure the comments!

Elizabeth - April 17, 2012 - 10:45 pm

I love black and white photos too! I always spend way too much time trying to coordinate the colors of our outfits for family photos, but then always order black and white……so it sort of seems senseless. Right!? I love the photo, but if you don’t have extra space to hold coats, etc. then I vote not to do it…..and how often do you think the seat would be used? Just my two cents 🙂
Elizabeth, I laughed out loud at your coordinating colors and then ending up with black and white photography. (Too funny – probably because I’ve “been there – done that too!) Your 2 cents are worth way more than that. We definitely don’t have the storage space now – unless we finish a room over the garage. Maybe we can consider it when that is done. Thought about the use of the bench…it would be perfect for my daughter when she is waiting on a ride from a friend…but that is probably about all, so you are right there too. ):

tessa - April 17, 2012 - 5:47 pm

gorgeous! love the buffet (would you call it a buffet?) in the entry and as you know, i’m rather crazy for b&w photos. sometimes i think i have too many but i agree, they make a home personal. and they make me happy. xo, tessa
Glad you like the little space! It is a bit more rustic in style than the rest of the house, but I like it. The piece IS a buffet…it has a felt lined drawer for silver that I keep candles in. (Everyone does that, right?) 🙂 We are kindred spirits on the black and white photos…you can never have too many in my mind.

Sunshine Punch and Grape Salad – Recipes from a Bridal Shower

A few days ago, I wrote about a bridal shower here and promised I would share a couple of the recipes from it.  If you aren’t already “acquainted” with this grape salad, it is very easy to assemble and a yummy one to make for a ladies’ luncheon or even a lunch for your family.  Please note that it makes a lot!

You will need:

2 lbs. red grapes

2 lbs. green grapes

8 oz. sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:  1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup nut topping (usually found on the ice cream aisle of the grocery store.)


Rinse and dry grapes.  Pull all the grapes from the stems, and place them in a large serving bowl. 

Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar, and the vanilla.  I normally “cheat” and mix them with the hand mixer so that there are no lumps in it.  Then pour this over the grapes and mix it through thoroughly.

Then mix together the brown sugar and the nut topping.

Live and learn…use real nut topping – not the topping I mistakingly bought  (Parlor Perfect Praline Crunch), and sprinkle it liberally all over the top of the grape salad. 

And another Live and Learn…I thought the topping looked waaaay too thick on top, so I stirred it all in.  Don’t do that.  It tends to lose its crunch.  Leave it all on top so you will have that crunchy texture in every serving.

Now for the punch recipe….

Growing up, I remember going to weddings and parties where the punch was often a green slushy type drink made with lime sherbet and gingerale.  Do you remember that?  I loved it as a child, but as an adult it just doesn’t seem to mix well with finger foods – too heavy I think.  I found this recipe for Sunshine Punch many years ago.  It is a good punch to use when you are serving a crowd, and you don’t want to use alcohol.  It also works very well for a brunch.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I have made up the base and transported it to the place of the event where I added the final amount of water and ginger ale.

I suppose it is called Sunshine due to all the citrus drinks in the recipe (from the Sunshine state, maybe?) or perhaps just due to the color of the punch.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.

1 cup sugar                                                       3 oz. frozen orange juice
1 cup hot water                                                 1 liter ginger ale
2 cans frozen lemonade (6 oz. each)                1 orange
6 oz. frozen limeade                                         1 lemon and 2 limes
(* Wally-world did not have the juices in the sizes I needed for this.  Follow the measurements in the recipe – not the photograph.)


Mix the sugar and the hot water in a pan over low heat.  Stir until dissolved.  (This will make a simple syrup.)  Allow to cool.  Then add the undiluted cans of lemonade, limeade, and orange juice.   (This is the base and can be made ahead and refrigerated.)

Slice the orange, lemon, and limes.  Add the sliced fruit, 64 ounces of cold water, 1 liter of ginger ale, and ice when ready to serve.


Do you have a “go-to” punch that you have found works well for many occasions?

Please share!

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Lindy James - January 5, 2013 - 12:12 am

Please forgive me for writing a comment to this post now in the new year, Kelly, but I only discovered your blog about a month ago and am now just finding the time to go back and read them from the beginning. Your question concerning having a “go-to” punch reminded me of the apple cider punch that I served at my daughters baby shower and again a year later at Lily’s 1st. birthday party. Here’s what you need to enjoy this wonderful punch: 6 cups of apple cider, 2 cups of orange juice, cranberry-raspberry juice, or orange-mango juice (I’ve only ever used the orange juice), 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and 1 750 milliliter bottle of sparkling white grape juice or sparkling wine. In punch bowl or large pitcher, combine first three ingredients. Slowly add white grape juice or wine. Serve immediately. For an adult punch, use chilled champagne in place of the grape juice. Enjoy!
Don’t apologize Lindy! Thank you so much for sharing your apple cider punch. It sounds positively delicious. 🙂

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