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Part 1: The Thanksgiving Home Tour (and a giveaway!)

talk-of-the-house-thanksgiving-home-tourI need to tell you something today…something I have been wanting to say for awhile.  Blogging has been very difficult for me this year.  There, I said it.  With my husband retiring, his schedule changed, which in turn, changed my schedule. The alone-time, (the me-time) the time my creativity really needs, has been rare.  I started the blogging year off full-steam-ahead, but I really seem to have burnt out after our daughter’s graduation party in May.

thanksgiving-decoratingMy father-in-law was ill for over a year, and then he passed away late in the summer.  Then we were on the road traveling on and off for many many weeks.  That did not leave much time for decorating.

thanksgiving-porch-decorating-and-house-tourI grew up loving interior design – drawing houses and planning rooms from as far back as I can remember.  I would get thrilled when the Sears catalog would come in the mail, and I could dream about new bedspreads, furniture, and dishes. But this year, for the first time ever in my life, I did not even want to decorate. That was so not like me.

I even wrote a “Final blog post” telling all of you thank you for reading and good bye.  But I could never quite make myself publish it. 🙂

foyer-thanksgiving-decoratingAnd now I am so glad I never did. Because you see, those creative juices started flowing again in October.  I actually got excited about Halloween! Crazy, huh?!  Perhaps it was all the cozy fall things in the displays…pumpkin-everything, pillows, and blankets…all those things that remind us of the beauty of this season and the comforts of home. (Or maybe it was just all the candy on the shelves! 🙂 )

foyer-buffet-thanksgiving-decoratingWhatever it was, it worked, and I was able to joyfully decorate and have fun for Halloween.  Then October passed, and it was time to change things out for November.  When I do this, I normally put all decorative things away from the previous month and start from scratch, but this month, I decided to do something different.  I just transitioned to the new decor. (Are you scratching your head and asking, What in the world is the difference in “transitioning” and “changing”??)

thanksgiving-decoratingYou see, October had a color scheme of orange and black.  For November I kept all the orange, and simply changed out all the black for brown. Transitioning for me means keeping some things.  I also kept all the pumpkins and mums (well, the mums that were still alive.  I did replace the dead ones. 🙂 )  And I merely added nuts in with them.  Anyway, this was so much easier than starting from scratch as I have done in the past.

thanksgiving-decor-turkey-and-pumpkin-accessoriesOf course, Christmas will be a whole different project which won’t lend itself to easy “transitioning,” but this was nice for November. And speaking of Christmas, I have to tell you this…

I happened to be in Home Goods earlier this month, and I asked a salesperson, Where are all your Thanksgiving things?  (This was like November 2, and I was looking for just one pillow.)  They jokingly replied, Don’t you know we just skip Thanksgiving now.  We go straight from Halloween to Christmas, and of course, in some stores, you have Halloween AND Christmas at the same time.  Of course they were being funny, but there is a good bit of sad truth in what they said.


As a society, we do seem to rush right past Thanksgiving.  But I don’t want to do that.  We live in one of the most blessed nations in the world – regardless of our political and religious beliefs.  We should be thankful for that.  We are a nation with freedoms that so many other places on this planet do not have the privilege of enjoying.  We are a fiercely opinionated people – a freedom we should not take for granted.

thanksgiving-cookie-bagAnd with that freedom, we are allowed to voice our thoughts because we all want to be heard.  I think that is a basic desire of every person…to be know that you matter.  This blog, where I can show you my creativity and share my thoughts, is my place to be heard, and I can tell by reading your many comments (some often lengthy!) you want to be heard as well. 🙂

family-room-bookshelvesSo in this month of giving thanks, I want to say thank you for choosing to spend some of your precious time here and giving me the gift of being heard.  Not only does this blog allow me a place to express my thoughts, it also provides me a connection with so many of you, and it gives me an outlet for my creativity – something I have found I really need in my life.

family-room-thanksgiving-decorWhew!  Got all that? 🙂


family-room-fall-accessories-for-thanksgivingOkay.  Let me talk about the house a minute, since that is what this blog is supposed to be about, and this is supposed to be a Thanksgiving tour.  🙂 We are only coming in the front door and going through the foyer and family room today.  In part two, we’ll go in the other door and see the dining room and kitchen.

thanksgiving-decorating-nuts-and-pumpkinsI am really liking all the orange and brown this year.  In fact so much so that  I will be sad to change it all to red for Christmas!  Fall has been verrrry slow to get here, which must be why we are all appreciating it more this year.


thanksgiving-mantelJust using pumpkins, nuts, and other things from nature seems perfect for this season.   Don’t you agree?  And mixing it with the soft glow of candlelight is even better. 🙂 It makes the room so much more cozy – which is how I want our home to feel, especially in autumn.


If you were here I would have you sit in this comfy chair and serve you a cup of hot percolator punch spiced with cinnamon and cloves.


I would offer you that hospitality because I want you to know that you matter and because I want to thank you. Thank you for following along here through all my travel posts.  Thank you for reading even when I am burnt out from talking about houses.  Thank you for understanding when I don’t reply to all your comments because life gets in the way of blogging.  (But know that I do read all of them!) Thank you for allowing me a place to be heard, and thank you again for your friendship.  I do not take your presence here for granted.  You are important and appreciated. 🙂

thanksgiving-arrangement-for-mantelBut since I cannot have all of you over to my home and serve you a hot beverage,  I have put together a little giveaway that I think is perfect for Thanksgiving. 🙂  The winner will receive this book that is part journal, part guest book.  It is a sweet way to record some of the blessings you and your guests are grateful for through the years.


Giving Thanks

And this book of quotes by my favorite author, Jan Karon
(who is working on another Mitford book due out in the fall of next year. 🙂 )


A Continual Feast: Words of Comfort and Celebration, Collected by Father Tim

And just for fun, a box of Table Topics cards for you to share with family and friends around your table.  (I have the original red boxed set, but I am giving away the Family Gathering version.)


TABLETOPICS Family Gathering: Questions to Start Great Conversations

And finally, a $25 gift card from, just so you can choose something for yourself.
(A new cookbook, perhaps?)


Amazon eGift Card – Give Thanks

To enter, simply leave a comment on any post (on the website – not an email reply to it) that publishes between 11/11/16 and 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, 11/17/16. You may leave a comment on all the posts that publish in that time frame for more chances to win, but please leave only one comment per post.  I will do a random drawing after the close of the contest and announce the winner in the next post that publishes after that date.


And that brings us to the end of part 1 of this year’s Thanksgiving tour.  I hope you have a restful weekend and enjoy some of the beauty this season has to offer.


Until next time…

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You might enjoy these posts:

Paula B. - November 29, 2016 - 10:23 pm

I don’t know why I happened upon this particular post, tonight, but glad I did. What would we have done without you???? I am so glad that a corner was turned and you have found your “mojo” once again. Yours is such a wonderful blog: welcoming, informative, inspiring and comforting! And, I am with you on the celebration of Thanksgiving and the reasons why we should be grateful. Plus, I love autumnal décor. (It’s not easy transitioning to retirement or leaving one’s life career. – I am sure the past few years with the kids growing up and getting out of the house and the adults moving into a new phase of their lives, has been a very different time for all of you.)Here’s to happy holidays and a renewed sense of self in the coming year.

Kelly - November 20, 2016 - 5:58 am

I love the Table Topics idea!

Donnie - November 19, 2016 - 10:37 pm

Oh Keely, so glad you decided to stay with us. I found your blog right before you retired from teaching and since that time I feel like we are friends. I’ve missed you, but felt that you needed some time to grieve. You’ve had a lot going on. So pleased you gave yourself time to heal and the decorating bug has bitten you again! Looking forward to Part 2.

Barbara - November 19, 2016 - 3:43 pm

Hi Kelly…I am just now catching up on your blog. I always enjoy your seasonal decor, particularly the Thanksgiving tour. It is beautiful and charming as the simplicity that you instill with your decorations.
I also retired about the same time you did…and, guessed it my dear husband retired this October. It was a little sooner than I had expected, so I was a bit unsettled. It’s all good, but I know exactly what you mean about every thing just being “off”. We are trying to find our new normal. I’m glad you found your rhythm, got back on track and feel excited about blogging again. You sure do have a lot of followers who would miss you like crazy. Here’s to retirement …may the force be with you and keep the creative juices flowing!

Deana Moates - November 17, 2016 - 8:54 pm

I am so happy you didn’t publish the “Final Blog Post.” I love your home tours!

Lori - November 17, 2016 - 8:10 pm

I love seeing your home.Thanks for sharing!

Tracy Boisclair - November 17, 2016 - 7:08 pm

I love your blog! So glad you didn’t say good bye. I’m still sad I missed your yard sale. - November 17, 2016 - 6:08 pm

Hi Kelly: Soooo happy you decided not to quit blogging!! You have been such an inspiration to me with blogging and I enjoy all of your posts so much. Your home and decorating is lovely and I enjoy hearing about your travels as well. You have been through some major changes, though, with retirement and with your father in law’s illness and passing. These types of changes can cause a need for pausing and reflecting and the stifling of creative juices for awhile. But, hooray…your desire for creativty is back and I’m so excited to know more posts will be on their way. Thanks for all you do on the blog and for your graciousness!

Lori - November 17, 2016 - 12:59 pm

I loved your Thanksgiving tour! Sometimes the time between Halloween and Christmas is lost in a blur. Especially in the retail world. How important it is to take a deep breath and count our blessings. Not to mention all the food. LOL! Thanks Kelly for a wonderful giveaway.

Tracey - November 17, 2016 - 11:07 am

Hi Kelly,
No thank you!!! I love all your posts, and love hearing from you too! Just because I don’t always comment, I still read your wonderful posts/pictures/stories and heart felt comments. We all sometimes need a break for whatever reason, but it is great to have you back 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving from us here in Canada!
thank you,

Mary Sizemore - November 17, 2016 - 7:52 am


I love this season! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Your home is always picture perfect, and I love to see how you have decorated each holiday.

Meredith - November 17, 2016 - 7:26 am

Thank you for the time you take to blog, I look forward to reading it. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara S. - November 17, 2016 - 2:36 am

Please don’t give up blogging, Kelly! I look forward to reading each new post with much anticipation! Thank you so much for the chance to enter your giveaway! Happy Thanksgiving! Barbara S. in Florida

Merri Jo Schaubroeck - November 17, 2016 - 12:33 am

I am very glad you didn’t give up your blog, Kelly! I love visiting so much. I must say I NEVER thought I’d read you saying you’d be sad to switch you decor to red!! 😉

DiAnne - November 16, 2016 - 10:10 pm

I sure hope you never stop blogging but everybody needs a break now and then. You have made us think through your writing and photos that you are one of us.
Isn’t that funny.
Anyway, love your decorating style and your stories of family.

Marsha - November 16, 2016 - 1:09 pm

I love your blog and thank you for persevering through a very difficult year! It would be a pleasure to receive the delightful gifts you’re offering in your giveaway! My fingers are crossed!

Char - November 15, 2016 - 4:54 pm

Yay! Its so good to see you back! We have missed you and your beautiful home! You always have the greatest ideas and I really like how you “transitioned” into Thanksgiving. Orange and brown has been my favorite combo this year too. I just posted on FB the other day that it was November 5th and McDonald’s didnt have pumpkin spice lattes any more! 🙁 they had already started serving peppermint mocha, which seems wrong on ALL levels to me! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I do not want to just go from Halloween to Christmas. We do have so much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving is not to be skipped over. I love gathering my family around my big farm table and sharing stories of how blessed we’ve been this year. So thank you for keeping Thanksgiving alive for your family and may you be ever so blessed this season Kelly!

Karen Gill - November 15, 2016 - 4:53 pm

I’m so glad you decided not to “retire” from blogging. You have a lovely blog and I’ve gotten so many great ideas for parties, menus, and decorating from you! Thank you!!

Tara - November 15, 2016 - 3:53 pm

Kelly, thank you for sharing your beautiful home photos and your thoughts about not “skipping” Thanksgiving. Hope you have a blessed holiday season!

Laura Yadusky - November 15, 2016 - 2:35 pm

Boy,do I understand the need for ME time! I strongly encourage your husband to take up GOLF!

Lori - November 15, 2016 - 1:59 pm

Thank YOU!!

Ann - November 15, 2016 - 1:15 pm

I enjoy looking at your great pictures and reading your blog. Whether it is about your travels and the wonderful places you eat or sharing your home with me; I get ideas about ways I would like to decorate my home or where I would love to go. I also am a great fan of Jan Karon so we have a lot in common. Thank you and please continue!

Alicia - November 15, 2016 - 1:04 pm

Thank you so very much for sharing your kind heart with us.

Annie - November 15, 2016 - 8:59 am

Your home is just beautiful and you are such a talent. I have enjoyed your blog for several months and find it inspiring! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Grand Pam - November 15, 2016 - 6:22 am

Dear Kelley, I must say that your blog is my favorite and I am so glad that you are continuing. You are talented, and decorate, and write in such away that I feel at home with you. Thank you.

Caroline - November 15, 2016 - 6:07 am

Oh my goodness! I thought you were going to say that you were going to stop blogging and my heart sunk! This is the only blog that I check (almost) daily and I love it! So happy your creative juices are flowing again! If I lived closer to you, I would have to meet you because I truly believe we are kindred spirits in so many ways. For example, I laughed out loud when I read about the Sears catalog! I loved to do exactly that! I hope you and your family have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Susan W - November 14, 2016 - 11:12 pm

Thank you for sharing your heart and your home. I very much enjoy your blog and all the great ideas.

Charlene - November 14, 2016 - 10:36 pm

So glad you’re feeling better about the blog. You would be greatly missed! Your house looks lovely as always.

elizabeth - November 14, 2016 - 9:26 pm

I’m so thankful that you are feeling in a better place with the blog. While we readers can be selfish at times, I would hope your readership can understand the periods in your life when you need to pause and refresh. You are just so talented and warm that we always want to hear more from you 🙂 Thanks for sharing your journey with us, and I hope you continue to feel reinvigorated. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us!

Bonnie - November 14, 2016 - 5:10 pm

The give away looks awesome! You are motivating me to get decorationg ( :

Gina - November 14, 2016 - 4:18 pm

Oh my goodness Kelly, you scared me to death for a moment. I would be incredibly sad if you stopped blogging. But, of course would respect it and understand. Whew, glad you gave it a little time. We all go through different seasons and you just navigated through a difficult one. It’s so refreshing when we start to feel like ourselves again though. 🙂 I agree with your comments about Thanksgiving too. It really is kinda sad, because I love everything about the holiday. Now, your decorations look lovely and your giveaway is awfully generous!! 🙂

Martha Park - November 14, 2016 - 3:40 pm

I so love how you take us on your travels with you! I passed on many of your descriptions to my daughter and granddaughter who travel quite a bit. I am so glad that you are not giving up your blog! PS when I post a comment I am never sure what to put in the web URL! Perhaps you can give a hint 😊

Helen - November 14, 2016 - 3:26 pm

I am so glad you did not end the blog. I get so much inspiration from your home. I found your blog by doing a search for Jan Karon and one of your posts popped up. I am glad there will be another book.

Monika - November 14, 2016 - 2:41 pm

So thankful that you decided to keep on blogging. You are my inspiration!

Amy O'Quinn - November 14, 2016 - 1:59 pm

Thank you for continuing to bless our lives with your blog. You would’ve had some very sad readers who missed all your great ideas, travel updates, decor, and warm and friendly hospitality! I know it’s a lot of work to take and edit pictures and write the content, so your effort to bring us the best of Talk of the House is greatly appreciated! I love your Thanksgiving decor, and I look forward to the rest of your holiday posts!

Shawn Paulson - November 14, 2016 - 1:47 pm

I just want to say that I would be so sad if you decided to quit blogging. I so look forward to your new posts. Thanks for sharing your home and your family with us.

margaret - November 14, 2016 - 1:44 pm

I am so glad you did not stop blogging.
Your posts are so enjoyable. You have a great sense of
style and I love your heart for all things family. Blessings on
your family this holiday season as you feel the loss of your

Barbara (WA) - November 14, 2016 - 1:33 pm

Thank for sharing your heart as well as your home. I am really missing my blog because writing & sharing helped me feel positive & grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Lynn A. - November 14, 2016 - 1:19 pm

What a beautiful giveaway. I would love to curl up in that chair and read a good book with the fireplace going. 🙂 Thank you for not leaving blogland. I love your ideas and look forward to each and every post.

Kathy P. - November 14, 2016 - 1:16 pm

Kelly, this has been a hard year for you and your family. I love your blog and if you need to take some time off – just do it. Maybe after you get into a “new” routine it will be easier. Love the arrangement on your mantle.

kathy - November 14, 2016 - 12:57 pm

What a delightful site!! I am thankful that my sister sent me the link to your site and I am thankful that you wrote about Thanksgiving!!

Barb - November 14, 2016 - 12:41 pm

I’m so happy you’ve decided to keep blogging! Reading your blog and “being” in your home is like being welcomed in all the time like a good friend.

Carola - November 14, 2016 - 12:38 pm

Thank You for the words….the pictures of your home are lovely and the words about “you matter” are so true to all! Thank you for sharing this uplifting post!

Stephanie - November 14, 2016 - 12:17 pm

I’m so glad that we never got the “Goodbye” post! I absolutely love your blog!! You are definitely an inspiration to me as I’m sure you are to many, many others. Keep those ideas coming. Love you!!

Delores Clark - November 14, 2016 - 11:50 am


Thank you so much for continuing your blog. I so enjoy reading this Thanksgiving one so much! I am so thankful you are continuing to do what you do so well.

Your give-a-way is so appropriate for the season and who wouldn’t be pleased to win.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Delores Clark, Carrollton, Ga.

Grammy - November 14, 2016 - 11:48 am

Thank you, Kelly, for your inspiration and friendship. I feel your hospitality even through the pages of your blog. Thanks for the give-away. So fun!

Bonnie Auld - November 14, 2016 - 11:46 am

Kelly, I always enjoy looking through your posts full of photos. And, your giveaway is great. Like you, I enjoy Jan Karon, and periodically will reread through the Mitford books.

Anita - November 14, 2016 - 10:58 am

Thank you for continuing to blog! What is your source for the “floating” frameless frames? That’s a strange string of words. Thank you for your help. Anita

Dawn - November 14, 2016 - 10:49 am


Thank you for your hospitality and I am quite thankful for your “e-friendship.” I always like to see what you are up too and how your home is decorated for your family and friends.I appreciate your shared recipes and love “e-traveling” with you. Please know that Thanksgiving has a special place in my heart as well and we don’t put up a single Christmas decoration around here until after November 29 (my birthday) so that we may savor each holiday and revel in its true meaning. Thanks for sharing! Take care.


Mechelle - November 14, 2016 - 10:25 am

Thank you for not posting the “Final Blog” post.
Last year I lost both my parents within four months, my baby cat died three months later and my husband and I became empty nesters within that timeline. There was a blessing, and it was gaining a daughter in law and her family.
It may sound silly, but you helped me get through that very tough year. Your travel, decorating and humor were all welcomed distractions. Your home and heart are warm and comforting.
Thanks for sticking around.

Debbie - November 14, 2016 - 10:16 am

So nice to read that someone who has a career in decorating and blogging sometimes loses the interest in or does not have the enthusiasm to decorate for a season. I have found it harder to do with my children being gone but have decided that I need to do this for myself.

kathy - November 14, 2016 - 10:01 am

Oh, Kelly, I so, so, so hope you never stop blogging. You have inspired so many decorating, entertaining, and traveling ideas for me. (Sorry, I am being so selfish!) So many of the comments from your readers above are my thoughts exactly. You have been through some hard times this year and it is so appropriate for you to do a transition post.) Katrina, DiAnne, and I talk about you when we get together just like you are one of our friends….because you are! We text each other about your great posts. We love, love, love you!

Debbie - November 14, 2016 - 9:39 am

Happy Thanksgiving Kelly! I love all of your posts and would love to make my house look just like yours! (I still covet your buffalo checked drapes!) I am sure blogging can be tough when you are trying to fit in lots of other things. Please know that your readers enjoy what you share! I have never heard anyone else comment that setting the Thanksgiving table is their favorite- it is mine too!!! That and arranging the relish tray on a silver plate owned by my mom and the cranberry sauce in a china dish hand painted by my great great grandmother. Of course our family recipe for corn pudding is pretty awesome! I love it all!!

Linda - November 14, 2016 - 9:36 am

I’m so glad you didn’t hang up your “closed” sign. I enjoy your blog so much. I live in the Pacific Northwest and your trip out here made me want to be a tourist in my own state. Love your color theme and am grateful you didn’t go the ‘grey’ look as well. Love Red! Anyway, I appreciate you as well. Thanks for sticking in there. Oh, and I love your tour as well.

Lanita Anderson - November 14, 2016 - 9:27 am

Thank you so much for not only sharing your heart, but being so transparent while doing so! I not only love your blog and your home, but I love your decorating style and your outlook on life, family, values, etc. I’m so thankful you didn’t publish that “goodbye” post…. Loved seeing your house all decorated for Thanksgiving! So beautiful and so many great ideas. Thanks for sharing! Blessings….

Jane Pekar - November 14, 2016 - 8:18 am

Hello Kelly,
I want to thank you for the uplifting Thanksgiving posts! I think I am suffering from delayed post election syndrome. Today seems much brighter having read and reread your posts. Caramel Icing cake was my beloved grandmother’s favorite. I am inspired to make it for Thanksgiving this year. Love, love, love your touches of orange with beige linen.

Patty - November 14, 2016 - 7:34 am

You have a wonderful gift in making your readers feel right at home. Receiving a post notification within a sea of business emails is like a coffee break for me, a reminder to slow down, take a breath and enjoy the moment. Thank you!

Jane - November 14, 2016 - 7:01 am

Thank you for sharing and for this beautiful Thanksgiving tour! I have enjoyed your blog for many years and am so pleased you will be continuing…have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family!

Mary - November 13, 2016 - 10:15 pm

I have missed your blog posts, Kelly, and seeing this one today makes me so happy. However, I urge you to post only as it fits your schedule and don’t push yourself. Living your life is more important than telling us about it.

Barbara - November 13, 2016 - 9:38 pm

Kelly, I’m so happy that you found your blogging love again – you are finding your new normal and I’m so happy for you! It is very obvious that you spend a lot of time on the blog and you do a fantastic job and do it with such excellence!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Happy Thanksgiving!


linda melz - November 13, 2016 - 9:29 pm

Im happy you have decided to continue to blog I find so much inspiration viewing your blog posts you have a beautiful home and are super talented and very nice to share with us Thank you for that Have a Happy Thanksgiving with the orange and brown theme

linda m

Andrea - November 13, 2016 - 9:07 pm

I am so grateful for so many things, but I have to say that I am so thankful to have your pretty blog to visit…sometimes I just need to relax, enjoy and know that I am not the only one who loves pretty rooms and how homes are made special for the people that we love. So thank you….for continuing to be a bright spot full of lovely things…..but for supporting all of us in knowing that it’s the people that make our pretty spaces so special.

Emily - November 13, 2016 - 9:02 pm

Kelly, I so enjoy your blog. Please don’t stop! I love seeing how you decorate your home for different seasons and special events. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I love cooking and decorating with the fall colors. It is a time to gather with family and reflect on all the blessings that we normally just take for granted. Thank you for being so generous with your time by sharing your home, travels, and thoughts with us. Emily

Carole - November 13, 2016 - 8:39 pm

Your house looks beautiful for Thanksgiving. I do something similar – I have a box of decorations that are “all fall” and then I have a box that’s just for Halloween and a box that’s just for Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving ones are my favorite of all – signs that say Happy Thanksgiving, and Gather and such, as well as a turkey dishes and a turkey pillow and more. I know what you mean about not wanting to put these things away for Christmas decorations.

Elizabeth - November 13, 2016 - 8:19 pm

In reading the comments, it’s unanimous….we’re very happy you are continuing Talk of the House. You have a gift and we are the fortunate recipients. When I found a pin with your buffalo check curtains and pillows, you became my new best friend. I love the house, the colors and the simplicity of your style. Everyone needs a little time, some quiet and peace, especially during times of change. Your series of cottages was wonderful and meaningful. Our Canada cabin is where we discovered a tranquil, restful, place where our family is at peace. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said it well: Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

Carol Owens - November 13, 2016 - 8:04 pm

Kelly I just discovered your blog about a year ago and have enjoyed everything you have shared. I actually went through much of the archives because I so enjoyed the blog. So glad you are not saying goodbye. Your house and decorating truly speak to me and I love seeing what you do with parties, even though I probably wouldn’t ever do that much, I can hope that someday I would. Hope you get your lake house too…

Laura Park - November 13, 2016 - 8:02 pm

All I can say is thank goodness! Thank goodness that you decided to keep blogging. Thank goodness you decided to share with us your frustrations with having time to blog. Thank goodness that you recognize how important Thanksgiving is. And thank goodness that you showed us how to transition from one holiday season to the next because realistically many of us don’t have the time or the space two totally swept out decorations or store them. So you can see that I am very thankful and I can tell that you are too. So this is the reason I know I love your blog!

Anita - November 13, 2016 - 7:31 pm

I am so glad you decided not to quit blogging! I love your home and your ideas for every happening in your life. You are very talented and I enjoy viewing it all!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Nita - November 13, 2016 - 7:15 pm

I’ve enjoyed your blog for several years now. I love seeing your house and often feel inspired by your decorating. I’m a first grade teacher so I have enjoyed hearing your perspective on teaching and the peek into your classroom you once gave your readers. I hope retirement continues to give you time for travel, rest, family time, and time to be creative. As long as you blog, I plan to be a loyal reader. Thank you for all your hard work sharing your home and life with me.

Linda - November 13, 2016 - 6:49 pm

I’ve felt your distance from the blog and a lack of enthusiasm in your posts recently, thanks for sharing. I’m happy to hear you’ll continue blogging. Your presence in blogland, love of home, family, friends and travel, and willingness to share your creativity are some of what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. Until next time…

Arlene Nipper - November 13, 2016 - 6:18 pm

Kelly, I also am glad that you chose not to give this all up. However, with Johnnie and I both retired, I can relate to not having the “me” time that I was so used to and must admit that I miss some of that. I am very thankful that we have been able to retire together and truly enjoy the golden years. Keep up the posts when you can and I hope you and your family get to enjoy the holidays together. Arlene

Carol McGanity - November 13, 2016 - 5:43 pm

Thank you for your honest comment about life sometimes causing you to re-evaluate your activities… we all go through that! I am glad that you have become re-inspired to continue doing something we ALL enjoy reading! You are the “next door neighbor” we all want to check in with a few times a week because you share with us. You don’t compete with us and we all need a neighbor like that! Could it be the school teacher in you? We always shared ideas with other teachers, wanting success for the students. The last week has been long in many ways for me but your pictures have inspired me to get out MY collection of pumpkins and small turkeys and head for the fireplace mantel and dining table because Thanksgiving is at my house! Thank you neighbor!


Anne from Atlanta - November 13, 2016 - 5:19 pm

Hi Kelly. Thank you so much for continuing your blog! I would be so sad not to have it to look forward to. You are an inspiration! I love your well organized, thoughtful blogs that show us a window into your life. Know that there are so many people out here who thank you for the time and effort you spend on Talk of the House. Happy Thanksgiving.

KElly m. - November 13, 2016 - 5:10 pm

Your home looks amazing! Your eye for decor is phenomenal!

Marilyn Stirrett - November 13, 2016 - 5:05 pm

Love your decorating style and your fondness for using red in your decorating. Glad you are staying on to continue giving me inspiration.

Carol Rosenbeck - November 13, 2016 - 4:45 pm

Hi Kelly,
I believe at sometime or other we have all been in your shoes. Thank you for not quitting this blog. It has become important to me. I have fibromyalgia and can no longer travel like I would like to. Your blog gives me travel through your eyes. I love your home, it is so warm and cozy. People dream of having a home like yours. The decorating is just fabulous. Please continue with your blog. Thank you for all you do for those of us that can’t. God bless you!

Sheena - November 13, 2016 - 4:02 pm

I’m so glad you’re staying in blog-land, Kelly. Your decorating is beautiful – your home is so warm and inviting. I was drawn to your blog for the decorating, but I also enjoy armchair traveling with you. Like you, I love Thanksgiving and all it stands for. I lament that it seems to be glossed over these days. Thanks for the fun giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

kay - November 13, 2016 - 3:52 pm

Kelly, I just found your blog a few weeks ago.I am happy you have decided to continue to blog. I love your style, and hope to incorporate ideas into my home. I must say you have been an inspiration. As you have said in earlier blogs, living in south GA and the extended heat has made it hard to want to decorate for the fall, and your blogs helped me to get started. Thank you for you sharing.

Cindy - November 13, 2016 - 3:22 pm

Hello Kelly: I am very happy that you are not stopping blogging. While I only recently started commenting, I have been enjoying your blog for a long time. You have had a lot of changes recently so I appreciate when I see a new entry. I enjoy reading of your travels. I love decorating for Oct/Nov because I just remove “Halloween” theme items and fill in with Thanksgiving items. The base is there for a couple of months!
Look forward to many more blog entries!

Cindy - November 13, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Oh the Sears catalog! What fun it was to pour through it and redecorate my room! Thanks for the memories.

Lori - November 13, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Thank YOU, Kelly. Your blog brings me joy and inspiration!

I’m a military spouse who moves just about every year at this point in my husband’s career. Your home keeps the dreams of my “some-day” home alive! I am always inspired by your decor. After some restyling for falll, I’ve been looking for just the right item to fill a gap on my coffee table turned ottoman (for a week now). I’ve shopped the house and have come up empty until seeing your big jars of nuts today. Love it! That’s what I need to do! (Already have the jars!) Thanks for the inspiration.

My creativity comes and goes in waves. Usually, I’m pretty creative but some times I get “stuck”. Eventually, my creative juices start flowing again. I’m happy yours have too!

Thanks for sharing your time, talents and home!

Lisa Wakely - November 13, 2016 - 12:47 pm

I am so glad you decided to stick around!

Libby Barnette - November 13, 2016 - 10:29 am

Please don’t ever stop blogging. Yours is my favorite of the blogs that I read and without your blog I would never have discovered Jan Karon, whom I had never read even though I am an avid reader. Plus I want to follow you as you decide on the lake house!

TracyK - November 13, 2016 - 8:50 am

I am so glad you did not stop blogging. I enjoy your posts so much. Thank you for continuing!

Nan, Odessa, De - November 13, 2016 - 7:46 am

I am sorry you had to blog when you didn’t have your heart in it!

Retirements, empty nesting, illness and death of a loved one are MANY adjustments to your life. Don’t shrug any of these life altering events off.

I believe they are like the 9 months that it took to prepare for a baby. GOD made that amount of time for a reason. Why wouldn’t other huge events/adjustments take at least that long? Take a predetermined amount of time to “just treat yourself”, i.e. long walks, bubble baths, buy yourself a gift, deep thinking, read a good book, order in for a week, etc. You deserve this!

I would really miss you and yours in my life IF you stopped blogging, but do what works for YOU. I thoroughly enjoy every aspect that you share and feel like I know you and your family.

Have a blessed day!

Nan, Odessa, DE

DAWN G. MONTZ - November 13, 2016 - 6:54 am

Someone told me a few years back, something I’ve never forgotten, that always comes to mind when my usually creative mood shifts: We are like fields that cannot be over-planted. We must be rotated and occasionally, we must lie fallow for to every time there is a season and a purpose, under heaven.

Thank you Kelly, for sharing your life’s purpose. And for knowing, for yourself, when to lie fallow. It is in the silence, the stillness that we truly hear. Wishing you many continued blessings for you and yours. ♡♡♡

Gabrielle - November 13, 2016 - 1:21 am

Kelly, any posts are appreciated. You are my absolute inspiration. I look forward to all of your posts. By the way, I am off my crutches, and now have a very unattractive boot to walk in!

Becky - November 12, 2016 - 11:23 pm

Kelly, my heart sank when I at first thought you were giving up your blog. I am so thankful you did not! I have several blogs I routinely check In on every day. Your blog is one of them! We would all miss you, and I will send positive vibes and prayers that your sweet spirit is back!!! Love, Becky in OK

Judy Downing - November 12, 2016 - 11:10 pm

Dear Kelly..I would so miss you. I love your ideas and thoughts and instructions on all subjects. You are an inspiration to all your fans. Just the way you are handling all of these very difficult life situations helps all of us.
Many blessings to you and your lovely family..Judy

Deb - November 12, 2016 - 10:59 pm

I enjoyed the Thanksgiving house tour so much. I recently sold my home to be closer to my children and have not been able to find a house in the new location. I’m currently staying with a sweet friend but miss so much being able to decorate my house. Thanks for letting me share yours.

julia walker - November 12, 2016 - 10:50 pm

Dear Kelly, I was teary-eyed when reading, sad that you might stop your blog, and so happy to read you’ve “found yourself” again! But, just take care of yourself foremost and try not to worry about us. “Thanks” to you for sharing your gifts & life with me. Lovingly, Julia

Fran - November 12, 2016 - 10:14 pm

Love seeing your decor for the Thanksgiving holidays! Many thanks for posting all your ideas … they give me lots of inspiration. Enjoy every moment of this holiday with your family!

Linda - November 12, 2016 - 9:48 pm

Where do you store all your seasonal items? I would need an additional added on to my home! LOVE, LOVE the seasonal colors and clever ideas. On my Thanksgiving table I place 5 kernels of dry corn at each place setting. Everyone shares 1 blessing for each kernel of corn. PLEASE post as often as time allows. I too LOVE Jan Karon…can so relate to the stories of Father Tim & Cynthia since I’m married to a pastor.

Karen - November 12, 2016 - 9:35 pm

Dear Kelly,
Kudos to one of my dear high school friends!! Sadly, our paths have not crossed in the many years since, but I am so happy to find you here! What a wonderful blog and community that you have created. And your flair for decorating is impressive!! Do you do house calls…to Maryland? I’m in the process of remodeling and could use some inspired guidance! Seriously, if you’re ever on the Eastern Shore of MD, I hope you will plan to stay over so that I can show you how far north, southern hospitality extends. Give my best to Mrs Betty! Hugs, Karen

Melissa W. - November 12, 2016 - 9:11 pm

What a lovely Thanksgiving tour! I also enjoy decorating specifically for Thanksgiving and use the transition method you described. Thank you for the giveaway!

Lisa Fields - November 12, 2016 - 8:24 pm

Dear Kelly,I’m glad you have your enthusiasm back. I can relate. Here in Oklahoma we had summer through September & October. We are still having 70° days in Nov. I cannot believe Thanksgiving is less than 2 wks away.
I did decorate for fall. And I agree we should always observe Thanksgiving & count out blessings .
I hope our weather cools off soon. I can’t begin to think of Christmas .
Your house looks lovely. I always add Halloween to fall decor in Oct then change out to turkeys & pilgrims in Nov. Love the oranges & browns!
I pray you & your family have a blessed holiday season.

Marianne in Mo. - November 12, 2016 - 7:25 pm

First – I totally understand your absences this past year. You have had a year of change, and that can throw ANYBODY off! My husband was retired before me, and when I retired, I walked around the house angry most of the time. Couldn’t understand why. Finally it dawned on me that I hardly ever had ME time and space. Once I realized that, I found ways to get that time, even if he was around. We don’t have to be joined at the hip just because we are both home all the time!
Second – I am glad you got your mojo back, for I would be sad at losing yet another blogger I enjoy reading. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if you “moved on” from blogging. A lot of the good ones have burned out or sold out. (too many self-promotions or ads!)
Third – I love your transition decor. Especially love your mantel (candlesticks, floral arrangement,pumpkins). And those pillows are making me weep with envy!
I’m not big on Halloween, so I just decorated with orange/brown to carry thru Thanksgiving. We had no trick or treaters, and just barely got to see the grands in their costumes before we headed home. Nice to not even have to carve yet another pumpkin, although my drilled “dotted” pumpkin last year was my favorite of all time! I estimate I have carved maybe 75 pumpkins over the years, and never enjoyed it. Just bring on Thanksgiving! ( which should last at least thru the weekend IMHO!!!) I love Thanksgiving as much as Christmas, maybe more, some years! This year we will be without the Texas crew for Thanksgiving, but they will be here 12/26! We will have a double Christmas I guess – not quite sure yet.
I’m getting long here, so I just want to say, for myself, I am thankful for you. I so enjoy travelling with you, and sharing in your life and home!

Kayleigh O'Neal - November 12, 2016 - 5:53 pm

Your house looks good!! I totally understand about not wanting to decorate from scratch. I like the idea about swapping out black for brown!

Lynn Mihok - November 12, 2016 - 5:52 pm

So pleased to hear that you decided to stick around…I kind of missed you… I so enjoy hearing you through your creative approaches in your lovely home. Happy Thanksgiving wishes…

Carolyn - November 12, 2016 - 5:22 pm

I know how life gets in the way sometimes, especially when you’re transitioning from one phase to another, so I understand how blogging could fall to the wayside. Glad you stuck around! Thanks for the opportunity to win in the giveaway!

Eloise Fitzsimmons - November 12, 2016 - 4:52 pm

Where to start? Your home is such an inspiration . I’ve told so many friends about your blog 🙂 It’s just restful to be in your home. I’m looking forward to that lake home coming to fruition!THANKS for the wonderful giveaway.

At Rivercrest Cottage - November 12, 2016 - 4:46 pm

Did love the pumpkins and that brown leaf wreath on the door. I’m hoping you will show us the wreath up close to see how it’s made. So glad you’re back and feeling inspired again to share.

Renee Cook - November 12, 2016 - 4:40 pm

I’m happy for you that your desire and creativity has returned. It’s tough when you feel out of sorts. I hope you’ll feel free to blog when you want, and to hold off when the desire isn’t there. We’ll still be here. We appreciate and care about you, too!

Carol Ann - November 12, 2016 - 4:38 pm

Kelly, I love all of your posts. While reading this post I thought about a saying I recently read. “There is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long. Don’t expect yourself to do so either.” ❤️ Thankful for you Kelly in all seasons.

Pat in Georgia - November 12, 2016 - 4:34 pm

Kelly, you have certainly had alot going on this year and it is understandable that blogging suddenly became a chore. However, I am so glad you did not send the final blogging notice. For one, my heart would have been broken You have inspired me with your beautiful decorating ideas to take risks and try new things. I feel so blessed that you allow your readers to become immersed in your world. I hope your family and you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Linda - November 12, 2016 - 4:25 pm

I really enjoy your blog and happy that your spirit has renewed!!! I think my family would really enjoy the Table Topics. I had not seen them before so if I don’t win they are going on my Christmas list!!! Thanksgiving my be my favorite holiday and it saddens me how it seems to be skipped by a lot of stores and people these days. So Happy Thanksgiving!!! Enjoy!!!

Tina Taylor - November 12, 2016 - 4:10 pm

I am so glad you got your creative juices flowing….I love to read your posts and see your beautiful home! Thank you!

Sandy in FWB - November 12, 2016 - 4:05 pm

I so understand your slump. I went through some tough times about the time I retired. I was so tired from losing a parent and taking care of all of the business for the other one that I was too tired to enjoy retirement.
I am glad you stayed with the blog. I love your posts. Give yourself a break. One of my favorite bloggers and homes labels herself a sporadic blogger.

Pinky - November 12, 2016 - 3:55 pm

Wow, you must have struck a nerve with all these comments. I am very glad you are blogging again and have found your creativity again. Love your blog. I have to agree with you; blogging with your husband home 24/7 is difficult to say the least! I really miss my alone time but don’t want him gone just wish he had a hobby:):) Now, where did you get the turkey? It is gorgeous! I have ONE turkey but am not thrilled with it. I also can’t wait to start decorating for Christmas!! have a beautiful weekend.

Meredith Bowden - November 12, 2016 - 3:19 pm

Always love keeping up with the house even when I’m away. It is too bad Hayley won’t be in town for Thanksgiving this year..Much love for you and your family for always taking good care of me when I need it most, and allowing me to consider your house a home.

Kathy Donohue - November 12, 2016 - 2:56 pm

I had to laugh when you mentioned the Sear’s catalog. I did the exact same thing! I could spend hours dreaming up what I would do with the items. So glad you are hanging around!! I enjoy your blog so much!

Pattie - November 12, 2016 - 2:44 pm

So glad you are getting back into your blog. I have enjoyed it for a long time. I started out seeing your classroom posts and have loved your posts about your home. I too love buffalo check curtains. Ready for your next post already.

Shannan - November 12, 2016 - 2:24 pm

Dear Kelly,

Thank you for not quitting!
I so enjoy your style, your home, your parties, your family and your honesty!

I love red and the seasons and you!

Glad to see you have your inspiration back!

Enjoy your weekend!

Robin M. - November 12, 2016 - 2:14 pm

Thank you for all you do Kelly! I’m grateful for all your posts and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Billie Ann Lawlor - November 12, 2016 - 2:03 pm

I haven’t posted anything since my original post inquiring if you owned THAT beautiful Stone House (my favorite in the world!)
in Kennebunkport, Maine! Do you remember? You are very talented Kelly! We share the same tastes! Have you ever thought of decorating with oriental rugs? They exhibit a special richness!! I have always used them as a center when decorating in the past! You have a lovely personality, and seem very blessed! Be grateful!! BTW, Speaking of Maine, Have you ever heard of The Wooden Goose Inn, (no longer in business!) in Ogunquit? They use to have a 5 star B&B until recently and now concentrate on interior design with a store I just can’t remember the name at the moment! One of the men Gerry is an interior designer (for 40 + years!!) with champagne taste! The kind of taste you see on Fifth Avenue NY! I love both of them dearly! Click on the Wooden Goose Inn and their design house will come up! You will love their merchandise however you need to be a millionaire to purchase and/or use them as designers! LOL Their tastes are out of this world!!! Kelly if for any reason you contact them, please tell them hello and I miss them terribly!! Take care and you do not need to respond! Blessings!

Pamela - November 12, 2016 - 1:42 pm

I, too, have been experiencing a lengthy season of disinterest in things that always brought me joy and excitement in the past. It’s very uncomfortable, confusing and not really fun. I think in part the loss of my mother in law, seeing my mom decline and a husband who has part-time retired has contributed to this lack of creativity and enthusiasm. OUR seasons (of life) are changing and even though we welcome that…hmmm, what now? Thank you for sharing your ❤️ and your lovely Fall home. I do the same changing Halloweens blacks to Thanksgivings browns and am definately not ready to tear it all down and start the Christmas house! It does feel like Thanksgiving has been skipped!

Lori Whitehall - November 12, 2016 - 1:20 pm

I enjoy seeing your home, especially during autumn, my favorite season!

Karol - November 12, 2016 - 12:48 pm

Look at all the comments from readers who are happy you are continuing to blog. You don’t have to have new decorating every time you write. We’re just happy to hear what’s going on in your life.

Lana - November 12, 2016 - 12:04 pm

I so enjoyed this post. I loved your honesty; I loved seeing your beautiful home decorated for fall. But, most of all, I loved your focus on being thankful. Your hospitality in this post was tangible. Thank you for continuing with your blog. I enjoy it. You chose beautiful gifts for giveaways.

Susan Erwin - November 12, 2016 - 11:43 am

Thank you for continuing to share your awesome gift of decorating with us. I love ALL the ways you make your home beautiful and inviting. Jan Karon is by far my favorite author-I won’t even read other fiction books anymore. I just read hers over and over.

Sara - November 12, 2016 - 11:20 am

Thanks for doing this! Loved the tour and love this season!

Jenny Blanc - November 12, 2016 - 11:14 am

I have always enjoyed your blog! Love the way you decorate and celebrate occasions! So glad you are continuing!

Debra Bartels - November 12, 2016 - 11:12 am

So glad you decided to stay with us. I have so enjoyed your travel posts and have saved them for my future trips in an RV. I would also hate to miss out on your journey to build a new home.

Anne Boykin - November 12, 2016 - 10:59 am

Hi Kelly, So glad you are still with us, lol. Retirement is a time of change and you will find the rhythm of your new pace. Your home is lovely, as always.

Arlene@Nanaland - November 12, 2016 - 10:46 am

Kelly, thank you for this post. My husband is retiring at the end of the year and while he will be working part time, it will be a change. I stopped blogging once and I realized how important it was to me and my mental health. I would miss seeing your pretty house, your trips and your decorating ideas that have inspired me in my own home. I guess we all go through blogging slumps and when REAL LIFE shows up, it is hard. We will be having our Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter’s home on Saturday so I will be spending this week preparing my dressing!!

Carolyn K - November 12, 2016 - 10:44 am

There has been a hesitancy in the posts that you have been sending. I was so hoping that you would continue. (I sent you a message asking if you were divorcing me.) I was elated when you replied.
I am older, much, much older and remember when my husband took early retirement years before I retired from teaching. He did this to try to help 3 of his family members with dire health issues. For years his life centered around them for most of his waking hours. In his few remaining minutes he needed me to be constantly with him. Matters were resolved in God’s time not ours. We have learned to breathe again and take pleasure in the little things. I am back to making my home a warm inviting place, making special recipes, walking in the sunshine, waiting for my flowers and bushes to emerge in the gardens, living our lives. Celebrating THANKSGIVING and hearing from you, Kelly.

Donna Collins - November 12, 2016 - 10:23 am

Hi Kelly, Just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. It doesn’t matter how many posts you do, what matters is that you still take us along on your journeys (both in the house and on the road). You have a way of making us feel like we visited each of your destinations. There are so many places I want to visit because of your wonderful posts! Plus, I love your decorating style. Your attention to detail is amazing, and your house is beautiful. I’m so happy for your renewed joy to blog, but remember to take time for yourself, and we’ll all still be here waiting to enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving too! All the best, Donna from NJ

Mary Bistline - November 12, 2016 - 9:55 am

Kelly, I so appreciate your honesty about the difficulty you had blogging earlier this year. It just validates the seasons we all go through. I’m so very glad that you are continuing your blog — what a joy it is to read. And now I know we have the same favorite author — Jan Karon. I am excited to learn that she is working on another Mitford book!

Tammy - November 12, 2016 - 9:46 am

I’m glad you didn’t publish that good bye post!
I enjoy your blog……your home is lovely and your stories are enjoyable to read.
I think we have to listen to our heart when it tells us to take a little break……


karen hull - November 12, 2016 - 9:43 am

I have experienced the exact same thing. I think it has something to do with transitions in our lives. Anyway glad you are back. I so enjoy your posts.

Diane Barry - November 12, 2016 - 9:38 am

I am new to your blogposts but want you to know I love them. I especially appreciated your candor about the stretch where you just weren’t feeling the inspiration and motivation to write and decorate. I felt this way last month – I have boxes of Fall and Halloween decorations/accessories but had no desire to get them out and only put out a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. I have 26 people coming for Thanksgiving and after reading your post I’m hoping I will be motivated to integrate some decorating into the planning mix. Thanks!

Mary Michelle - November 12, 2016 - 9:36 am

Kelly, I am glad you have a “real” life and post when you can. It is a joy to read whatever you share. I am so happy that I can continue to look forward to hearing from you whenever it works for you. I would like to comment on every post, but, l too, have real life and sadly can’t always rely.

Jane E Teyler - November 12, 2016 - 9:14 am

Thanks for hanging in there. I always look forward when it pops up in my email. I enjoy seeing the area and ideas.

Jan - November 12, 2016 - 9:07 am

I very much enjoy your bog posts. Even if it is only once in awhile. I feel that you and I have almost the exact same taste. Whenever I show one of your posts to my kids they always say ~ “that woman is basically you!”

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mary - November 12, 2016 - 8:54 am

I have missed you these long months! I kept thinking something must be wrong since you didn’t post for so long! I feel especially drawn to your blog as a sister Georgia girl/former Educator, and have used so many of your ideas here at home. I would be so disappointed for you to retire from this as well but I understand firsthand how retirements change your entire life! Welcome back!

Sherry B - November 12, 2016 - 8:44 am


Your blog is filled with lovely ideas and heartfelt thoughts. I have enjoyed every post. I have absolutely love all of Jan Karon”s books since I discovers her as a guest author in Victoria magazine many years ago. My daughter is hosting her first Thanksgiving this year and I would love to share the giveaways with her. Thank you so much for the chance to win.

Sherry B

Jan - November 12, 2016 - 8:41 am

I love the orange and brown, too! And pumpkins, and fall leaves, and absolutely anything Thanksgiving. I’ve missed your decorating – you inspire me. I think your house is perfect…until you change seasons and then I think it is perfect…until you change seasons again. I wish we could just slow down November so we can enjoy the calm before the rush of Christmas. Maybe we should slow down Christmas, too. Love your blog and Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan - November 12, 2016 - 8:36 am

Thank you for your honesty. A lot of us go through moments our creativity takes a break. I am so thankful you are back to blogging and decorating. Your simple, family centered style is inspiring. Happy Thanksgiving!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - November 12, 2016 - 8:36 am

Kelly, thank you for such a lovely, yet honest, post. I too have struggled with blogging and have been tempted to quit. Then a friend or relative tells me they have read a post that they loved or shared with someone else, and I get encouraged to keep going. You have certainly had some major life transitions this year! It’s good to allow time to grieve such a loss and allow God’s spirit to bring comfort and refresh you. Glad you are going to keep going with blogging! I have enjoyed your posts tremendously! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Warmly, Gracia

Karen Watson - November 12, 2016 - 8:31 am

Kelly, as they say on airplanes, “put on your own oxygen mask first….” – take care of yourself! Your writing and your photos are lovely – and appreciated whenever they happen. Things have seasons and we understand.
Thanks for the lovely giveaway – all the prizes are delightful!
– Karen in Tennessee

Barbara Hinske - November 12, 2016 - 8:29 am

Your home looks lovely and warm! So glad you never said goodbye to us. It’s hard to be creative when all of your routines are disrupted. Glad you’re back in your groove!

Trisha - November 12, 2016 - 8:28 am

I’m so very thankful for your decision to continue your blog. You are one of the true bloggers that makes the blogosphere such a wonderful place, and for that, I am so grateful to you. I hope you have a fantabulous holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you here again soon! 😊

Stacey - November 12, 2016 - 8:22 am

Kelly, thank you for sharing your home with us. I can’t tell you how often I refer back to one of your posts for design inspiration or restaurants to eat at when traveling (for myself and my friends).

I do have a question. What is your living room paint color? Or I should say the room highlighted in today’s Thanksgiving blog.

Thankful for a blessing named Kelly.

Patty - November 12, 2016 - 8:20 am

I’m glad you were able to get enthused again! I also felt a shift when my husband retired. It does change things – not in a bad way – but it does rearrange your time. I love blocks of quiet time and those go away when another person is moving about your home.

Julie - November 12, 2016 - 8:16 am

I am so glad that you did not sign off completely! I always enjoy every post, as you take us to new places, and inspire us with you beautiful home. Even though we don’t see each other very often, it also allows me to connect with you, my friend. I hope you and you family have a wonderfully, blessed Thanksgiving!

Suzanne Dzula Adams - November 12, 2016 - 8:13 am

Love how you transitioned from Halloween to Fall. I always take something away that I can use. I will use the Table Topics idea!

Maureen Detwiler - November 12, 2016 - 8:12 am

Glad you’re still blogging. I’d miss you.

Karen - November 12, 2016 - 8:12 am

So glad you didn’t post that, “Final blog post!” Although You did have me wondering where you were!

Jennifer - November 12, 2016 - 8:06 am

SO glad you did not stop blogging Kelly!!

karen - November 12, 2016 - 8:03 am

Please burn that good-bye post.
Your family room just soothes the soul, it is really a dreamy spot.
The game sounds good, wish all my family could be with us this year. Yours too. I know the heart strings will be pulled without your beloved Father-in-law. His was such a compelling post.

Have you tried a tea called Paris,Harney makes it. Delish.Perfect for the comfy chain in the fam rm.

Deb Cassady - November 12, 2016 - 8:02 am

Kelly, thanks so much for this post! I agree, we should honor Thanksgiving. Then start on Christmas decorations. Your house is lovely!!

Cheri - November 12, 2016 - 7:53 am

Kelly, I for one am glad that you decided not to quit blogging; I get so much information from your posts. I love the orange pillow in your chair, where did you get that? And last but not least…thanks for doing this wonderful give away, someone is going to be very lucky.

Linda Rossi - November 12, 2016 - 7:51 am

I live in Massachusetts. When I was 12 (50 years ago) I had a pen pal from the South. We exchanged letters, photos and little surprises. Sadly we lost touch and so did my connection to the South. Your blog has rekindled that lovely, long distance relationship. Through your blog, I have come to know a woman, a family, a home and a way of life that is different yet the same as mine. You may talk about houses, Kelly, but you have also created a house of belonging where your readers gather, enjoy your hospitality and share bits and pieces of their own unique lives. As the comments to this post confirm, your generosity, time commitment and creativity are appreciated and valued by many. Thank you for opening not one but two front doors to all of us! Each and every visit is a gift.

Stacey - November 12, 2016 - 7:50 am

Kelly, “Thank You” for opening your home to us and being an inspiration to me. I am such a decorator nerd! I love home tours, but have so much trouble decorating my own house. You inspire me to pull out the things I love and showcase them. I look forward to all your blog posts and would be very sad if they ended, but would be understanding, too. I’m glad you’ve got your creative juices flowing again and am looking forward to Thanksgiving II.

Jennifer Christenberry - November 12, 2016 - 7:44 am

I ❤️ Jan Karon ! Reading her books have gotten me through some tough times. Your home is beautiful and cozy. I always enjoy seeing pics of it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat - November 12, 2016 - 7:43 am

Your home is beautiful. Great post, thank you.

Leila Jane - November 12, 2016 - 7:41 am

Oh Kelly, it’s all okay. I have loved every single one of your blog posts. I found you way back when you posted about the Hermitage Inn near Mt. Snow, Vermont. I’m the one who wrote you and told you I worked there one winter, 50 years ago, when I was 19! I really and truly don’t mind as a reader that you haven’t been blogging as often – because then when you do, it’s a treat that I pay attention to. I was sincerely touched by the blog post of remembrance to your father-in-law. It was so sweet and so endearing that I cried. In fact, I have been coping with a life-threatening illness of my own this past year. I haven’t been able to keep up with the bloggers who post multiple times a week. Then I feel guilty for not reading them. So, thank you for not adding to my guilt, ha ha! Seriously, though, you have my permission to only blog when you feel like it! I’m finding that many decor blogs lately are posting too much, they are too full of ads or their content is all about a product they have been paid to advertise. A few ads are okay to a reader but when they cover every picture and clog up the middle of the content, I get distracted and lose my interest because I’m annoyed. I would rather read a truly creative post from time-to-time than several a week that are full of ads and only talk about moving a pillow from one room to another. Your travel talk has been interesting too. I’ve enjoyed seeing some of the places you travel ~ some I’ve been to myself but then I see them through a new set of eyes. I’ve enjoyed reading about the life changes in your family ~ although, again, so sorry about your dear father-in-law. It makes it all real to us like you’re writing us a letter about the changes that happen in a person’s life. So really, you’ve been making your own personal life transitions. I’ve been touched that you’ve included us in telling us about them. It was sad when you blogged about your own last day in your retirement from teaching ~ but happy for you to get the chance to travel more. Thanks for including us in all the changes during this past year. Just blog when it’s right for you. Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly.

lin - November 12, 2016 - 7:37 am

reread your last Disney blog; planning on making the hummingbird cake.

Maria - November 12, 2016 - 7:36 am

So glad you’re still blogging. You were missed and it’s still nice to have your back and see u more often. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. 🦃🍂🦃🍂🦃

Debbie - November 12, 2016 - 7:26 am

Hi Kelly,
I’m Debbie, the friend you haven’t met yet! I love your blog and want you to know that you can blog as much or as little as you want or have time to. I have lots of friends that I go for weeks or even month without contact. That doesn’t mean that they are any less important in my life. We all get busy ( or just need down time). Just do what you can when you can and know that I , and all your followers ) will be thrilled to hear from you.

Sherry - November 12, 2016 - 7:19 am

I am so glad you are here and didn’t go away! You are one of the few blogs left that hasn’t turned into ads and sponsors and it is so refreshing and relaxing for me. Take care of yourself and enjoy life.

Michele - November 12, 2016 - 6:35 am

What a lovely post! Your home looks beautiful and suddenly, I am quite excited about brown!

Elaine R. - November 12, 2016 - 6:18 am


I am thankful that I found your website. You are a breath of fresh air.
Your decorating ideas, your love of family and friends and your interest in our great country.

Thank you for your book list…I have met Father Tim and will continue with Mitford. Such a wonderful peaceful place!!

May God bless you and continue to give you the inspiration and joy that you share with all of us.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Patty in Michigan - November 12, 2016 - 6:01 am

Kelly, what a heartfelt post. Thank you for being so real. Your blog was one of the very first blogs I found a few years ago. Which introduced me to what I call “blog land”. I feel like even though we have never met in person, we have a connection through your blog. I am very grateful you didn’t say good bye. I appreciate you even more because you know what is important. Your loved ones and the blog comes second. Thank you for sharing your heart and your home with us!! Always thankful for you my blog friend!

Elaine - November 12, 2016 - 5:59 am

Your blog is my favorite so glad you are opting to continue. Blessings to you and yours this upcoming Thanksgiving

Jean Tovern - November 12, 2016 - 5:26 am

Dear Kelly,
SELFISHLY, I would have been very sad had you published that final blog post. :/ I did notice that you had stepped way back and was glad to see recently that you had begun posting again. I ADORE your posts, your decorating style and your sense of humor, family and home. I love your Thanksgiving decor (eagerly awaiting part 2!) and I have to tell you for the past couple of years, I too, have been reluctant to put away the beautiful orange tones for the Christmas season. I am planning to transition those into Christmas as well this year (with the help of Pinerest–think dried oranges on the tree?). I’ll let you know how it goes. Welcome back and keep those creative juices flowing!!! It’s so good for the soul. Hugs to you.

Karen - November 12, 2016 - 3:22 am

Kelly, I appreciate your honesty…in this post and in staying true to yourself in your blog content. Your creative transitions are so inspiring and show me ways to refresh my home while maintaining the well-loved items collected through the years. Thank you for that gift to your readers.

Sandy - November 12, 2016 - 1:55 am

Kelly, I truly look forward to read your blog postings. Love your decorating talents. You would be sadly missed.

Cindy T - November 12, 2016 - 1:39 am

Lovely as usual Kelly, love all the pumpkins and pops of orange! You have great taste!

Julie in Asheville - November 12, 2016 - 1:14 am

Kelly, it is always a pleasure to visit your home. Thanks for sharing it with us. Absolutely love everything you do. The giveaway is very special.

Linda J - November 12, 2016 - 1:02 am

Thank you for sharing. For me Fall seems to represent the beginning of a new year. There is a joy in returning back inside to be cozy again.

Liz - November 12, 2016 - 12:41 am

Thank you for opening your home and sharing all of it’s fall beauty.

Sherry M - November 11, 2016 - 11:45 pm

As you commented, we all like to be heard. I could make this long, but I won’t. Thank you for your gracious spirit of which we all benefit immensely. Transition is a good description not only of your Thanksgiving touches, but your life. I have been with you long enough now to know you have experienced many transitions over the last few years. I love your blog. I love the common ground. It brings me much joy. Thank you for making the choice to continue. I will not take it for granted and will be truly grateful for whenever you have an opportunity to post. Blessings always.

Sue s ellsworn - November 11, 2016 - 11:39 pm

Beautiful house and decorations. Wonderful giveaway. Exciting to see new Jan Karon book. Thanks

Heather - November 11, 2016 - 11:34 pm

So glad you got your mojo back! I love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Ruth - November 11, 2016 - 11:30 pm

No surprise to me that you took some time off from blogging, with all you and your family had going on. I’m always amazed that you can find the time for it even when your life is just NORMALLY “Kelly busy”, because normally busy for YOU would be TURBO busy to anyone else! The emotional toll of losing a loved one can sap one’s energy and enthusiasm for life. It’s a normal part of grieving. I’m so glad you’re “bouncing back” and once again deriving joy and energy and inspiration from your blog posts — WE certainly are! All the best to our indomitable leader!

Donna Weir - November 11, 2016 - 11:27 pm

Kelly, I am SO thankful you changed your mind and are continuing to share your delightful creativity and lifestyle with us! This is a super Thanksgiving give away. Thanks for the opportunity.

Pam M. - November 11, 2016 - 11:22 pm

Kelly, so glad you decided to keep up the blog. A lot of people, including myself, would miss you greatly.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

vickie - November 11, 2016 - 11:12 pm

I am so happy that you changed your mind and will continue to blog. I so look forward to your post!! Your blog is a blessing to all of your readers, me included and I hope it will continue to be a blessing to you also. We love how you share your home, your ideas and your travels with each of us. In this season of “Thanksgiving”, I want to say “thank you” for all of your thoughtful, inspiring post. You have many, many fans!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Donnamae - November 11, 2016 - 11:05 pm

You and your hubby sound just like me and my hubby. It’s funny, that when you retire, you sort of have to figure out how to live together again…both home at the same time and all that. Your home always looks great…so glad you got excited about decorating again! 😉

catherine brown - November 11, 2016 - 10:59 pm

Love the decor.Very pretty.I would love a house like that.

bev - November 11, 2016 - 10:48 pm

Always love your home. i also just transition my Halloween to Thanksgiving. i put away the few halloween things and put out a couple of Thanksgiving things.

Lisa K - November 11, 2016 - 10:45 pm

I’m sorry you’ve had such a stressful year, but so happy you’re continuing to write your blog. I look forward to reading your blog and hearing about your adventures. I love your home and your relaxed, comfortable style. It’s so wonderful to see a home that is unique and has colorful accents. (I’m a bit tired of all white home decor blogs). Thanks for your inspiration!

Ann - November 11, 2016 - 10:44 pm

So happy that you are back!! I discovered your blog only about a year ago and just love it! I’m amazed when I read a new post and learn that we have similar tastes in decorating (I have always loved buffalo check and gingham). I love to see that we have been to several of the same vacation spots and I hope to go to some that you’ve blogged about that I haven’t been to. I love that we both love good food, family, friends and our Lord and Saviour. Hoping that I will never read that final post of your great blog!!

Tina Frazier - November 11, 2016 - 10:41 pm

Thank you for staying with us.. I enjoy your blog ❤️… I know what you mean about feeling not excited about a holiday, some years are that way you feel like you know it’s coming but you feel numb about it, luckily it passes!! Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Christine Perica - November 11, 2016 - 10:39 pm

Can I please sit in the chair near the fireplace, put my feet on the ottoman, have the logs blazing in the fireplace, with the lights down low and the candles lit. Ah, so wonderfully relaxing. Thank you.

Barbara Witteborg - November 11, 2016 - 10:32 pm

I too have known the feelings you expressed about feeling overwhelmed by the the things life brings us but I’m glad you have found your joy again.Love reading your blog and can’t wait for the next Mitford story.Keep inspiring us with your lovely home.

Louvina - November 11, 2016 - 10:27 pm

As I am reading — I am feeling emotional— I had this feeling you were feeling the way you described and I was expecting you to stop blogging. All of us on here respect you and love you and your family– and want the best for you. Having voiced that– I hope you don’t give up the blog. Do whatever it takes to fulfill your wishes — and when you know — do it! We all understand and you have given us many years of enjoyment. I have been having these very feelings about decorating and doing everything I have always done. I am cutting back and trying to simplify my life. And I think the mood of the country/world has taken a toll on many of us. So— pray and know — God will lead you in the path you should take! Always listen to your authentic self!! Thank you for this post and part 2 coming soon and the great give away! 💕🙏🇺🇸🍁🍂❤️️🦃 Your friend, Louvina

Barbara - November 11, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Wonderful post. We have so much to be thankful for and I am certainly thankful that you did not give up on your blog. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Debbie - November 11, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Your blog is my hands-down favorite for so many reasons! Thank you for sticking with us and not saying “good bye”

Mickey - November 11, 2016 - 10:23 pm

So happy you decided not to retire your blog! I am retiring the end of this school year & my husband has been retired going on year 3 from many years as a guidance counselor. We are looking forward to traveling to see grandchildren etc…. Your home is lovely!!! Thank you for the giveaway!!! Mickey

Lisa - November 11, 2016 - 10:23 pm

I always enjoy taking a few moments to see what beautiful post you have for us. I love how you make decorating your home look so effortless. Your home always looks so warm and inviting!

Elaine Collins - November 11, 2016 - 10:16 pm

Hi Kelly, I am so glad you got your mojo back and are enjoying decorating & blogging again. You have decorated your home beautifully for Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. I had to laugh when I read you were thrilled about the Sears catalog arriving growing up. I was too, because it meant I could cut up the old one! I used to cut out my favorite furniture, decor, bedding, etc., and even the models for my “family” and cover my bed with my “home” that I designed. I rearranged, cut out and replaced everything over and over, until, well, the next catalog came!

Cheryl - November 11, 2016 - 10:12 pm

I’ve been making that same “Perked Punch” recipe for years and can smell it’s goodness in my memory now. One little hint you may or may not have tried, is adding red wine to the recipe. As my friend who gave me the recipe said, “Add a little or a lot! It’s the holiday season!”🎄🍷🎄

Angela - November 11, 2016 - 10:10 pm

Kelly, I don’t know what I would do if you stopped writing. There is something about your blog that just seems so friendly and natural, like to friends sharing. I love reading everyone of your posts and you have inspired me in some changes I have made in my home(I still owe you some pictures) Happy you are back and hoping you stay.

Vicki - November 11, 2016 - 10:03 pm

I completely understand your situation! My husband retired, then he wanted me to come home with him, – so I quit my job- and he did not know what to do with himself, nor did I ! Then life got really busy, grandchildren began arriving, sometimes in pairs, and now we don’t know how we could have worked and do all that we do. Traveling is so fun, when we can. I really appreciate the opportunity to help with the grandchildren.

I love your blog, you are so down to earth, so much “my style”, I am so glad you decided not to publish that ” retirement” post. I would have lost a friend!

MaryAnna - November 11, 2016 - 10:03 pm

So glad you decided to continue your wonderful sharing with us! We would
Miss you so very much!

Ann - November 11, 2016 - 9:59 pm

I am so glad you didn’t post that letter! But even if you had, we would all just welcome you right back. I’m glad you found your joy once again in blogging, because you have provided so much inspiration over the years. I have used a few “Kelly” touches in my home…candy corn in a jar at Halloween and buffalo plaid pillows in the living room.:).

Your Fall mantel is beautiful!

Sharon - November 11, 2016 - 9:58 pm

Thank you for your honesty in today’s post. I too this year have experienced some of the same things in my life you have written about (husband’s retirement and moving) and this is the month my mother passed away just a few years back so all of this makes decorating for the holidays harder to focus on. You have given me the desire to just pull out a few things and get started. It is time to focus on what I have to be thankful for and celebrate the season with a reason.

H - November 11, 2016 - 9:55 pm

My grandmother did not have play things so my “entertainment” at her house was the Sears catalog and plundering through her stuff! Sweet memories !
I enjoy your blog and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Trish - November 11, 2016 - 9:48 pm

I’m glad you are “living” your life and not sitting at the computer every day. I enjoy your posts so I’d hate to see you quit. Thanks for sharing your lovely home.

Margaret Pousardien - November 11, 2016 - 9:45 pm

I enjoy reading your blog so much. I’m thankful for your transparent heart and sharing your decorative ideas, traveling places and delicious food presentation. I’m glad you are continuing your wonderful blog. Sorry, for your loss of your father in law and all the changes that have occurred over the last few months. Happy Thanksgiving.


Margie Pousardien

lin - November 11, 2016 - 9:41 pm

enjoy the tours and your commentaries!

Melissa Souther - November 11, 2016 - 9:41 pm

I always enjoy your blogs! When I open my email and see an update from you, I get excited! Thank you so much for staying! I understand the way your creativity dries up and then comes back. You’ve been through a lot this year, and it’s hard to keep everything going when “life” happens. I can identify with what you said very well. Enjoy your journey and thanks for letting us come along for the ride! Happy Thanksgiving and God bless!

Leigh - November 11, 2016 - 9:37 pm

I am so glad you decided to continue your blog. I am a new reader and am totally hooked! Your decorating style is so welcoming and your blog is interesting and informative. As a former Georgian and new Texas resident, I feel right at home. Thank you for sharing your home and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Tricia - November 11, 2016 - 9:34 pm

Kelly, my heart was sinking as I read the first few sentences; I thought you had decided to no longer write your blog. I am so relieved and happy for you that you have been re-energized and that you plan to continue to share your home, creativity and life with us. I cannot tell you how much pleasure and inspiration your blog has brought to me. YOU are important to us! I hope you continue to do what you love to do for years. Yours will always be a welcome email. As for your Thanksgiving decor, I like the idea of transitioning, allowing you to enjoy some favourite colours and items for just a little bit longer. Till next time, T

Leanna Lindquist - November 11, 2016 - 9:34 pm

I’m always excited when your email arrives. I make a cup of tea, curl up and savor every word and photo. You inspire me.


Ren Jetton - November 11, 2016 - 9:30 pm

It is always such a treat to discover a new post from you. Thank goodness your creative juices are flowing again! The transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving is lovely. So warm . And the wreath on your door is beautiful! I always decorate for Autumn, then add in Halloween touches. Then those are put away and Thanksgiving arrives. Continue to enjoy Fall, now that it has finally arrived!

Garden, Home and Party - November 11, 2016 - 9:27 pm

I’m so happy you have regained your blog mojo. I thoroughly enjoy your posts. I have “unofficially” retired from blogging and it feels right. Still, I haven’t announced it for fear I’ll regret it and want to return. I love your house with all of the orange and brown touches.

Judy - November 11, 2016 - 9:26 pm

Well Hello dear Kelly….long time since i’ve commented. I have become totally over blogging for a while now, in fact I haven’t blogged since September 1st! I have become active on Instagram which doesn’t require the effort it takes for me to blog….in December it will be 9 years since I started Gracious Southern Living. At some point I suppose I will do a short and sweet “state of the blog” post just letting anyone that cares that they can follow me on IG for now. Will I ever go back to blogging? Honestly, I don’t know. So many blogs have sold out and for me that’s been a deal breaker. No interesting contact, just sponsored ones over and over. (You are not in that category at all). There are still a few good ones around, and yours is at the top of blogs I still enjoy. So I guess I said all of this to say I was a little taken aback when you said you had written a goodbye post but had not published it yet….I while I can relate I hope you blog for a long time.

Your home and heart have always inspired me. Glad you got your “mo jo” (or however you spell it) back (LOL)!

Jeanne bell - November 11, 2016 - 9:25 pm

I have to say I missed you not blogging as much, but when I retired it wasn’t like I expected it to be. Now I wonder how I had time to work. It really takes a couple of years to get into somewhat of a rhythm. Relax you will find your way.

Donna Glidden - November 11, 2016 - 9:22 pm

Kelly, We all understand the burnout, sometimes a break is needed. I haven’t posted on my blog since May 2. I am not sure I am going to and I also have a goodbye post I have not published. You have such a talent and do inspire so many of us. I love how you transform your whole home.
You giveaway looks fantastic! You are very creative.

Martha - November 11, 2016 - 9:20 pm

You had me worried there for a minute. You have had an extremely full year with lots of changes. I am always amazed at how much you accomplish. I am glad you will be continuing with your blog, I would miss it.
I totally get the difference between changing and transitioning…..I have been doing the same, keeping some things and adding new. I have never been a fan of the color orange, but over the years (and a son-in-law that loves it) I have grown to embrace it. I use it through the Fall….but my true love is RED and it is going to be Christmas soon!!!!

Linda - November 11, 2016 - 9:18 pm

Welcome back, and i am thankful to see your lovely home and enjoy sharing your life with us.

Jo Anne Hayon - November 11, 2016 - 9:16 pm

I am so glad you didn’t say good bye. I found you almost a year ago, on Pinterest, and look forward to seeing an email announcing a new post on your blog. I live in the Midwest, on the western shore of Lake Michigan, and have enjoyed reading about your trips to the Magic Kingdom and the great Northwest. I also enjoy reading about the southeastern states-maybe someday I will travel to them. Thank you again.

Karenann - November 11, 2016 - 9:16 pm

I love how you decorated your front porch. Your doorway is so inviting and so pretty. Thank you for such a generous giveaway opportunity!

Emily - November 11, 2016 - 9:15 pm

I LOVE the orange and brown you have used in your decorating. So many people have gone all white this year, but I love the bright orange- reminds me of the beautiful leaves that are blowing off of my tree tonight! 🙂

Joanne Leonard - November 11, 2016 - 9:15 pm

Absolutely love everything you share with us followers. Have you ever thought about being a trip planner? Your writing flows so easily and I feel I am there where you are visiting.

lani - November 11, 2016 - 9:12 pm

Yes! Thanksgiving and the decorating that goes along with our being grateful is my favorite. Yet….I am pulling out my Christmas decor tomorrow.Last weekend my children and grandchildren were down from Oregon for several days because of a Celebration of Life in my daughter-in-laws family. I loved having our home full of the joy of the harvest season. Along with her parents we will be traveling to their home for Thanksgiving so why not decorate before we go? Well. because I want to live in La La land and put politics aside and it will provide me some much needed therapy.
Fondly, Lani

Pippa Griffin - November 11, 2016 - 9:11 pm

I, for one, am so grateful from the top of my head to the very tips of my toes that you decided to continue with your incredible and inspiring blog. You have shared so many wonderful ideas that I look around and think – yep, got that one from Kelly, and that one – oh, and the glass jars everywhere, the new framed black/white photos I now have out, and it goes on and on. The delight – pure delight – I get from reading your blog, getting inspired, moving off my derriere and actually adding this and that to make the house feel more welcoming – it’s because of YOU!

It’s very difficult after the loss of a treasured family member to regain our sea legs. Life changes seem to abound and you wonder – good grief, what’s next? Your sheer resilience has found its way back to you and oh, the joy of it all.

Counting blessings never feels more right than it does at Thanksgiving. I’m sure I’m speaking for many who count this as their favorite holiday. So glad you are sharing your beautiful home with us again and look forward to “part two”.

Wishing you and yours the happiest and most joyful of Thanksgivings – and thank you again for being such a beacon for your readers.

Many hugs from the Rockies, Pippa

Pat - November 11, 2016 - 9:11 pm

I cannot tell you the thrill I get when I see notice of a new post from you. I have had bronchitis for 3 weeks and my doctor finally gave me an antibiotic today. I needed a pick me up treat. Your post gave me that and a bonus giveaway!

Lynne - November 11, 2016 - 9:09 pm

Kelly, we do not mind if you do not post every week. We are just glad to hear from you when you are able. I think that everyone understands that life gets in the way sometimes ( a lot of the time) and that’s ok. We love seeing your home, reading about your family and all your travels. Please don’t leave us but take a break whenever you need to. We are loyal and very forgiving!
Lynne in Hampton

Amy - November 11, 2016 - 9:04 pm

Beautiful Thanksgiving home!

Kathleen - November 11, 2016 - 9:02 pm

Thanks for the chance to win such lovely things. ! I love Jan Karon’s books. 🙂

Kathy - November 11, 2016 - 9:01 pm

I enjoyed the tour! Thank you!

Travel Talk: Disney Springs, Art Smith’s Homecoming Restaurant, and a Hummingbird Cake

disney-springsWould you like a break from all the political news for a few minutes?  Then just follow along here for one final post on our latest Disney trip. 🙂

We ended our Orlando vacation with a visit to Disney Springs, the newly revamped area formerly known as Downtown Disney.  They have an interesting display made entirely from Legos near the Lego store.  (It is perfect for a group photo!)


And they also have an amazing World of Disney store (12 rooms of it – the largest in the world!) where you can find any and everything Disney related that you could ever want.  I always love their ceiling displays.  So creative!

disney-springs-world-of-disney-storeThere are a number of other Disney stores at Disney Springs along with Anthropologie, a Coca Cola store, Johnston & Murphy, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Lilly Pulitzer, Origins, Sephora, Sperry, Sugarboo, Tommy Bahama, Vera Bradley, and many many more. They have definitely improved the shopping experience for the area! In addition to all the retail shops, there are also a number of good restaurants.  In fact, there are soooo many good ones, we had a difficult time choosing. D-Luxe Burger was one I had on my list.


The building was cute, and I have heard from our daughter that the burgers are fantastic.


The buildings are supposed to be reminiscent of old Florida waterfront homes. (The atmosphere is as important as the food in a restaurant, right? 🙂 )

disney-springs-d-luxe-burgers-buildingAnd here is a peak at a portion of their menu:



Another choice we had for dining in Disney Springs was a really interesting looking waterfront restaurant called The Boathouse…complete with a collection of restored Amphicars.  You can actually purchase tickets for a 20 minute ride/tour in them.  This looked to be a very fun place to dine!  Check out their extensive menu here.


But we did not choose The Boathouse or D-Luxe Burgers for our lunch that day.  Instead, we made reservations for that meal at Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Florida Kitchen.


disney-springs-homecoming-restaurantI had read review after review of what a wonderful place it was and could not pass up the opportunity.

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-orlandoI loved the vintage look exterior set beside the flowing “Disney springs.”  It too was designed in old Florida vernacular style with its wooden exterior siding and metal roof.

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-entranceAnd the interior did not disappoint either. 🙂

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-display-orlandoOriginally from Jasper, Florida, Chef Art Smith was a celebrity chef on Top Chef Masters and Oprah’s personal chef for 10 years.  This restaurant, Homecoming, is his way of getting back to his roots. He was also a cast member at Disney World (like our daughter!) so the name Homecoming actually has a double meaning for him here. The building does indeed have a casual, relaxed feel of coming home.


They serve farm-to-table food with a big emphasis on Florida grown produce.  The mural on the wall below shows an agricultural scene painted by a local artist, and the shades around the light fixtures are made from re-purposed potato sacks.


Even the bathroom doors give a nod to his Southern roots! 🙂


The tables were an interesting take on cypress wood, I believe, and I loved the grain-sack look of the custom chair upholstery.


Our table was next to one of the many large windows in Homecoming, and this was our waterfront view. 🙂

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-window-viewThere is also a bar and a beautiful porch there.  Our daughter had dined at the restaurant a week or two before we went.  She said, “Mom, you are going to love the porch chairs.  They are a kind of a green wicker and metal combination.”  I could not picture that at all, but sure enough, when I saw those chairs in person, I did love them! 🙂



Now to the food!  So many good choices we had a hard time deciding what to get!


Both my mother and my mother-in-law ordered salads.

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-saladThis was the Reunion Salad.
Both salads were delicious with outstanding salad dressings.

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-reunion-saladMy husband had the Shrimp and Grits and said they were the best he has had in a very long time.
(And he has had a lot of them!)

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-shrimp-and-gritsAnd big-eater-girl here just had to try out the Fabulous Fried Chicken.
(Seriously, it’s his signature dish.  I couldn’t just miss out on that opportunity, right?? 🙂 )

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-fried-chickenYummmmy! Perfect fried chicken.  It is supposed to come with their hot sauce on it, but I was not sure I would like it so I had them leave it off. Boy was I wrong!  There was a bottle of the hot sauce on the table, and it was fantastic!!  (And I don’t normally douse my food in hot sauces.)  The biscuits and the greens were also very good.  So if you go, order this meal.  You won’t be sorry. 🙂

And then they brought the dessert menu…

disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-dessert-menuI had gone to the restroom and passed by the kitchen on my way back to the table.  So I knew those desserts looked irresistible!


We shared Auntie’s Chocolate Cake
with ice cream, of course)….
disney-springs-homecoming-restaurant-chocolate-cakeand Art Smith’s famous Hummingbird Cake.


(especially that cream cheese icing.)

Would you like the recipe?



We finished are desserts, and then it was time to head back home.  It was a short, but good trip. When we return to Disney World again, I want more time to shop in Disney Springs, and even though there are other restaurants there, I plan to eat at Homecoming again.  It was that good. 🙂

Thank you so much for following along with our little trip. Coming up next will be all the Thanksgiving decorating from around here and….a giveaway for you!  I hope you will be back for that.

Until next time…

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Robin M. - November 12, 2016 - 2:27 pm

Love this post! The car boat ride looks really fun 🙂

Tricia - November 10, 2016 - 5:42 am

Another great read! The food at the restaurant looks sooo good. I would love to make the Hummingbird Cake. Thanks, Kelly.

Leslie Anne Tarabella - November 9, 2016 - 9:44 pm

I really need to get back down to Disney. They were starting the renovation the last time I was there. I love the style. It reminds me of my rural Florida Grandmother and Granddaddy’s home area.

Louvina - November 9, 2016 - 8:05 pm

What a nice way to end your visit! I have not been to Disney Springs since it changed names. But looks like I should! The food looked wonderful and I think I will try to make the Humming Bird cake– always wanted to but haven’t. Guess we only have a couple weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving!! Wondering who will be coming to your house or if you go to your mom’s? Hope some of your kids make it home!! But know with work schedules that can be difficult with young adults. Hope you share the menu you and yours enjoy. Hope the weather gets cooler as we go ” Over the River and Through the Woods!” 🦃🇺🇸🍂🍁My favorite holiday!!

julia walker - November 9, 2016 - 7:05 pm

Hi Kelly, Just a note to say how lovely your mom & mother-in-law are! Thank you for sharing your fun travels with us. Take care. Julia

Rachel - November 9, 2016 - 6:08 pm

Can’t wait to check out Disney Springs! Thank you

Mairanne in Mo. - November 9, 2016 - 5:09 pm

That Fried Chicken looked mouth-watering good! I have always loved Art Smith, he seems so friendly and genuine. His Hummingbird Cake is the first I’ve seen without Coconut, which I don’t like. I pinned it, and will wait until Spring to try it. Right now I’m trying to use up some of the 8 cans of Pumpkin my hubs bought last year! Yes, I’ve moved it twice now. :-/ Haven’t really decided what to do with it, maybe it will go to a food pantry soon, because other than pie, no one in my family likes other things with Pumpkin. I need to stop letting him shop! At least I got the supply down from 12 to 8!

Mary Michelle - November 9, 2016 - 4:42 pm

Disney Springs is now on my Go-To list. Thanks so much for sharing your time there.

Garden, Home and Party - November 9, 2016 - 4:06 pm


Wow, what upscale shops at Disney Springs. The restaurant selection sounds extensive and your experience at “Homecoming” sounds delicious.

I’m amazed you can stay thin with the yummy desserts you’re able to sample. I couldn’t say no to either one of the cakes—I’d probably want the whole piece! 🙂

Judy Newton - November 9, 2016 - 3:46 pm

Kelly, it sounds like you had a great time at Disney Springs. I can’t wait to try it myself!! I’m trying out holiday recipes, and the hummingbird cake sounds delicious. Thanks for all the good ideas

Dawn - November 9, 2016 - 3:44 pm


What a divine trip! Thanks for taking us along with your sweet pictures. I love “e-traveling” with you. The foods and sights look so fun. I can’t wait to see your Thanksgiving decorations! Take care!


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