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Talk of the Weekend #29

Love the Coopers house exteriorsource

Hallelujah I have caught up on all the blog correspondence!  (And that was a MAJOR accomplishment friends!)  So now let’s get back to the fun of blogging. 🙂 What shall we talk about today?  How about a house in a movie we went to see during the Christmas holidays?

Love the Coopers kitchen


Did you see Love the Coopers?  My daughter and I both enjoyed it, but my husband did not really like the first half. (He came around by the end though.) Of course with it being a Beth Rubino designed set, I knew my heart would beat for the interiors. (She’s the designer behind the wonderful sets of Something’s Gotta Give and It’s Complicated.)  The movie house interiors and exterior were sets, but the exterior was constructed as a replica of an actual home in Pittsburgh.  There are two good articles to read about the house and sets here and here, and there is even a video about the set design here.

Love the Coopers living roomsource

And now we move from the movies to television.  Are you watching the final season of Downton Abbey?  I did not watch any of Season 5, but I am hooked on the show once again after watching the first episode of Season 6, and of course, I tuned in again for the 2nd episode.  If you are watching, do you have any predictions for the season? (I love the story of Mrs. Hughes and Carson!)

Mr Carsonsource

Have you also watched A Chef’s Life on PBS?  It is the story of chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight.  They have moved from New York City to a small town in North Carolina and are running a farm to table restaurant serving their take on Southern cuisine.  You follow them through their family life and all the happenings at the restaurant. I have enjoyed watching it for a few seasons.

A Chefs Lifesource

There was an article in Garden and Gun about their home.

A Chefs Life housesource

And do you remember my post on Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina?  Well the inn has teamed up with another restaurant in the area, Over Yonder, and the people at A Chef’s Life for an amazing give-away that I just know you are going to want to enter.  Click here for all the info. 🙂

A Chefs Life and Mast Farm Inn giveawaysource

While we are on the subject of a chef and food, here is a recipe I want to try this winter:
Your own personal chicken pot pie! 🙂
(Doesn’t it just look perfect for a cold winter’s night?)
(But I would leave out the carrots and the corn. 🙁 )

personal chicken pot pie recipesource

Have you ever made donuts from scratch?
Don’t these sound delicious?

donut recipes

And don’t you think they would be perfect served at this ice skating party?

ice skating partysource

If we had ice to skate on around here, I could wear my new scarf I bought this week.  (I bought it in red, of course. 🙂 ) Talbots is having a great sale right now!

buffalo check vest and cable knit

Have you made any resolutions for the new year?  My goals for the year are to get to bed earlier, to organize our pantry and cleaning closets, and to master decorated sugar cookies. 🙂  If you are into getting organized in 2016, you might want to begin by throwing out things you don’t need or use.  I thought this list was very helpful.

ORGANIZATION LIST - What to throw away

And here are some helpful hints for organizing all your many photographs.
(I really liked the calendar checklist.)



And one final thing to talk about today.  If you are a lover of letters like I am, then you probably follow Lindsay of Lindsay Letters.  Well did you know she just opened her own store (a real brick and mortar one!) in the town of Sun Prarie, Wisconsin?!  If you are close to her shop, I hope you will let us know all about it in the comments.  I would love to be able to visit it! 🙂

Letters on Main Lindsay Letterssource

And that is all there is to talk about today.  I hope you have had a great weekend, and I will be back with you this week for more houses, travel, and entertaining ideas. 🙂

Until next time…



You might enjoy these posts:

Karen - January 21, 2016 - 9:44 am

Thank you for turning me on to , A Chef’s Life,! I’ve been binge watching and enjoing every episode! A great recommendation!

Stephen Saint-Onge - January 15, 2016 - 1:56 pm

Thanks for sharing the info about the sets of the Diane Keaton movie. Now I will have to see it!

Glad to see you are all caught up with the blog again after the holidays….As always, a big fan of the site. Keep up the creative work!

All the best to you and your family!
Thanks so much for stopping by Stephen! I am sure you would enjoy the sets from the Diane Keaton movie, and I remembered that you are a big fan of hers. Yes, I’m caught up from Christmas but moving on towards other projects. 🙂 I hope you and your family are doing well in this cold!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - January 15, 2016 - 9:31 am

Great post Kelly…I live about 2 hours from Vivian Howard’s restaurant…and what a great giveaway….love the Talbots collection…I have some gift cards burning a hole in my wallet…so need to get to that sale right away!….Have a great weekend!
Thank you Shirley! I think it would be fun to dine at Vivian’s restaurant, and I hope you get to check it out one day.
If you have Talbots’ gift cards, you really should use them during their big big sale! Their sale prices are amazing.
Thanks for stopping by!

Christi in MA - January 13, 2016 - 4:26 pm

I gave all my cousins and girlfriends Lindsay Letters Christmas prints this year. (And I bought myself the Santa needs coffee mug) Her work is so beautiful. It was easy to find something to go with each individual personality and decorating taste!
Yes, she does do gorgeous work! I think that is a great idea for all the Christmas gifts (and the gift for yourself. 🙂 )

Christi in MA - January 13, 2016 - 4:23 pm

The Barefoot Contessa has a great chicken pot pie recipe. I bake it in soup bowls and use puff pastry for the topper.
Smitten Kitchen streamlined the recipe to make it even better and a little quicker.
The filling freezes really well so you could have two tonight and two in a week or two when you don’t feel like cooking.
Thank you SO much for this link Christi! I would love to be able to freeze it and have it later. Definitely doing this!

Claire @A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - January 13, 2016 - 4:03 pm

Hi Kelly! Such great ideas! The family memories organizing has totally catched my eyes! Not into Downtown Abbey right now but your post make me think about it 😉 Have a nice day!
Thank you Claire. I hope you get into Downton soon. It is such a good program!

Sherry Myers - January 13, 2016 - 2:30 pm

This is certainly a great post, Kelly! I really wanted to see Love the Coopers over the holidays, but it was one of those things that there seemed never to be enough time for. I have to see it though; love that kitchen! I, like many others, have loved and been hooked on Downton Abbey. My sister has seen the last season in its entirety. I told her, no spoilers, but just tell me if it will be worth watching. Her answer was, “Without a doubt!” So you can bet I am sitting on the edge of my seat. I also love A Chef’s Life. I live in eastern NC only 30 minutes from The Chef and Farmer Restaurant. The first time I ate there was for my anniversary. When we pulled up, I thought, this is it? But when we stepped inside I felt like I was in a very chic New York restaurant. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was great, and the service was impeccable. I have never heard anything negative from any of my friends who have been. I enjoy watching the show because it reminds me of how all my relatives cooked while I was growing up and still do today. Yes, we like our greens the way you cook them too.😉 Thanks for sharing the info about the giveaway. Wouldn’t that be nice! Sorry for the long response, but I just had to tell you about The Chef and The Farmer. Again, this was such an enjoyable post!
Well I am glad that your sister thinks the DA season is without a doubt one to watch! Do not apologize about your long response. I LOVE that you have been to Vivian Howard’s restaurant! How fun!

Rosemary - January 13, 2016 - 3:33 am

Such a great post Kelly. Like a mini magazine! Film and tv reviews, great interiors, recipes and even fashion! You’ve excelled yourself :). It really did brighten my day. I read it first with my morning coffee … I love it when there’s a new one so I can do that! Then in more detail later, looking at the links and thinking about the recipe … I ll definitely make the chicken pot pie, it looks delicious. I’ve not seen the film but will look out for it and strangely I don’t watch Downton Abbey, not sure why really as it’s the sort of drama I’d usually enjoy. I’m sure I will one day! Like others here, I think the kitchen in Love The Coopers is lovely! 🙂 I’ve got some open shelving and have considered re painting in shades of grey so this has given me some great ideas. Thanks for the checklist of things to throw away. I’m just starting a major de clutter and I’m determined to be ruthless ( ha ha!! ) this time. Actually throwing lots away rather than just re organising cupboards etc.
I’ve realised the only way to minimise the time I spend doing housework is to minimise my possessions !
So here’s to a more organised and clutter free 2016!
Have a great week Kelly,
Great Rosemary! I’m delighted you appreciated the variety of topics in the post. 🙂 And I am surprised you do not watch Downton! You need to get right on that. LOL You are so right about cutting back possessions being the way to go with cutting back on the housework. Amen to the organized and clutter free 2016!
Hope your week is going well too.

Katrina - January 12, 2016 - 9:35 am

Happy New Year! Love this post! Oh my yes, sometimes I like a movie house better than I like the movie. I wanted to see The Coopers but never got around to it. I will wait for it to come out in Redbox. Love love Vivian Howard! I loved the show where she spent hours picking squash blossoms and then stuffing them. I was so relieved at the end of the show where she decided it was just too much trouble… Bahaha! My brother tried to make reservations at her restaurant but the wait was 6 weeks out. I Can’t Wait To See your sugar cookies!! Kathy is right… Cynthia makes works of art out of sugar cookies. So funny Kathy and DiAnne talked about their kitchen aid mixers! Three times over Christmas I dropped hints that I wanted one but it really wasn’t in any of my elves’ budgets. I always drool at the red one in the William Sonoma store. ( I think lucky Kathy has the red one)
Happy New Year to you too Katrina! Isn’t A Chef’s Life entertaining?! Did you see the one where she and her mother were preparing greens (ramps, I think?) Her mother cooked them like I do…for hours. Vivian wanted them still bright green and only cooked them for a short while. She had some very important chef coming to the restaurant and wanted to impress him with them. I guess because he had never had them before, he liked them! (I still think cooking them longer is better. 🙂 )
You need a Kitchen aid mixer. They are a workhorse. We were given an ivory one when we got married. Then they came out with a red one years later, and I received it as a gift, so I gave my ivory one to my mother. They are super heavy but work wonderfully!
Hope you are having a good week!

kathy - January 11, 2016 - 5:45 pm

What a great post! You really packed a lot into this one! I love houses in movies too. I am not so sure about those open shelves instead of cabinets though. I love the school house lighting and the trim and hardware on those cabinets.
I can’t wait to see the cookies you make. As DiAnne said (above)you need that awesome mixer. When Cynthia and I made cookies for the out-of-town guest bags for my daughter’s wedding, we had two of those mixers going at once. Cynthia is the Cookie Queen. I am going to send you a photo of the cookies she made for my big birthday…unbelievable! And, they were as delicious as they were pretty.
I wish I could make myself get rid of the things on the throw-away list. I did get rid of magazines but I didn’t feel that much better. LOL! Josie says she will help me when she retires…which is very, very soon!
I am looking forward to your next post!
I’m so glad you liked the post. It took us to a lot of different places, didn’t it?! I am wanting a school house pendant light in our laundry closet…maybe a 2016 project. 🙂
I doubt I will be very good with the cookies, but I am sure going to try. Your friend Cynthia is definitely the Cookie Queen! And yes, I do have a Kitchen aid mixer. Mine is red. (Of course! 🙂 )
Good luck to Josie on her retirement and to you on getting rid of things!

Vicki - January 11, 2016 - 5:40 pm

Oh, if only I could win the give-away at the Bed and Breakfast! My husband and I are so enchanted with the place! If I can’t win, I hope one of your readers do win, and will let us know all about their visit!

What an interesting blog you wrote today! It is refreshing to put 2015 behind and begin again for 2016.
Oh wouldn’t that be great if you won! It is a beautiful area of the country. I don’t know if they would be serving them when the winner is there, but the roasted fingerling potatoes they served at the Mast Farm restaurant for breakfast were the best I have ever had. yummmmmm.
Thank you for reading Vicki, and I hope you are having a good week.

Louvina - January 11, 2016 - 4:11 pm

So many great links! Want to spend more time checking them out. I am trying more new recipes this year and try to master homemade rolls and cream pies. Love the winter picnic idea and table setting. We are finally getting the Big Chill down here in FL. Quite a shocker! Just wish I could watch snowflakes and winter birds feeding. Thank you all the great ideas!:)
I hope you will explore all the links Louvina. Homemade rolls would be a challenge to me…I usually don’t have the patience needed to wait on the dough to rise! Yes, we are having the cold now, finally. I would have loved this during Christmas instead of the 80 degree stuff we had then. My fingers are crossed for snow this year. Perhaps with the increased likelihood of precipitation and colder temps they are predicting, we will be more likely to get it.
Hope your week is going well! 🙂

DiAnne - January 11, 2016 - 3:12 pm

I adore this post for a number of reasons. I have been known to fall in love with a movie just because the house and location are sooo beautiful. I bought a Kitchenade mixer just so I could learn to make pretty sugar cookies like friends Kathy R and Cyntihia M. Well, I should tell the real reason I bought the mixer. I went to a bridal shower where the twenty something bride to be received a brand new mixer. I thought, why is it I have lived all these years and don’t own one of those mixers. I bought one. Life is too short not to own a pretty mixer.
I love Downton Abbey and I will be sorry to see it end. I will have to check out The Chef’s Table..
Did you see the clipboard calendars on the Target dollar isle? So cute but I bet with your lettering skills you could do a super cute one.
I like your list of things to toss.
One of the things on my New Year’s list is always to drink more water.
Happy New Year, Kelly!
I love your story of your mixer! You are so right about life being too short to wait on the good things!
I have not seen those calendars, but I will look for them the next time I am in there (like possibly today. LOL)
Great goal of drinking more water. I need to do the very same thing DiAnne.
Happy New Year to you!

Dawn - January 11, 2016 - 2:54 pm


We missed last season’s Downton as well but are watching this season. I predict that Anna will get pregnant finally and she and Bates can have the family and future they have been working towards.
My goal for 2016 is to make 50 new recipes. I made 49 new recipes in 2015 (peppermint cheesecake dip was one of the last 3 recipes I made). Thanks for sharing your goals.
You really think happiness will find its way to Anna and Bates? I don’t know if the writers will ever let them be happy. 🙁 But we will see. I would love it if they do! 🙂
You did great to do 49 new recipes last year! I think I will take notes from you and keep a count of what I do too. 50 would be like 1 new one per week.
Thanks for reading and commenting Dawn!

Debbie from MountainMama - January 11, 2016 - 2:37 pm

I’m addicted to Downton Abbey – but only started watching it recently!! I’m finishing up the end of Season 3 right now and I’ll catch up with you before the grand finale!!!
It would be good to go back through all the seasons. It is very addicting, isn’t it?! So glad you are enjoying it. I will warn you that Season 4 is rather depressing. (That is why I skipped Season 5, although I have heard it is much better than 4.)

Gina - January 11, 2016 - 1:47 pm

Interesting links today Kelly! 🙂 I have made individual chicken pot pie from my Southern Living recipe I have used for years. I can’t imagine why you’re hatin’ on carrots though. 😉 I’ve never made donuts, but would love to try though. The ice skating party looks so fun! Well, fun to watch not actually skate. Our little northern section of our driveway was a bit of a black ice skating rink this morning! 😛 I love to make decorated sugar cookies! It will be easy for you to master. I even made them as favors for our daughter’s wedding. Please share. 🙂 I also love to organize!! My house is pretty organized, but I definitely have trouble areas. I’ve already made a list to work on too. My pantry is one on the list. I plan to paint the inside too. So much to do!! 😀 But I am thankful for much to do!
I have never liked the taste of cooked carrots…raw is fine…just not cooked. 🙁
Black ice is BAD and scary. Be careful!
I am not sure the cookies will be that easy for me. The consistency of the icing is hard to master I think.
Painting (and organizing) our pantry is on my list too. I am thankful to be healthy and energized enough to tackle the to-do list items!
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment Gina. 🙂

Delma - January 11, 2016 - 10:28 am

Hi, I love the movie and especially the house from somethings gotta give. Havnt seen the others you mentioned. Will have to look them up. I am a fan of Downton Abby. Will looking forward to more decorating ideas! 🙂
That house in Something’s Gotta Give is quite droolworthy! It has this one beat by a long shot, but this one is still pretty.
I hope Downton ends with a happily-ever-after for everyone there since this is the final season.

Donnamae - January 11, 2016 - 10:20 am

I’m a faithful Downton Abbey watcher…so sad that it’s ending. But, I’ve never seen seasons 1-3….so I plan on catching up later! I am slowly organizing…your list is helpful! I think sometimes we just need a guide…a place to start, so thanks for that! 😉
I am sad about it ending too, but I can’t believe you haven’t seen seasons 1-3. Girl you need to watch those. (They were the best seasons to me!)
I agree about just needing a place to start. A list is a good way to keep the amount of work from overwhelming you.
Hope you are having a good week Donnamae!

Carole Drummond - January 11, 2016 - 10:15 am

I have so enjoyed your blog and astonishing talent for some time now. This is my first time in posting. My husband and I are living in the DFW area since 2013. Our
home is Jacksonville, FL. We left behind six grandchildren. Sometimes I miss them so much I can hardly stand it. I FaceTime with my 7 year old granddaughter
as often as I can. Your blog has been such a comfort to me and I wanted to thank you for taking the time and effort to bring so much joy into so many lives. I love your decorating. May you be richly blessed!
Gosh what a super sweet comment! Thank you so very much Carole. I am happy that you have found comfort in the posts here.
I know what you mean about missing the children – your grandchildren, our children. And we use Skype as often as we can to keep in touch.
I am so glad you jumped in the comments. Thank you for taking the time to read the posts and leave your words here. I appreciate it! 🙂

Lissy parker - January 11, 2016 - 9:44 am

Love all of it. I am in the process of organizing my whole house. Thanks for the cleaning and organizing hints–and I think I need a new vest and sweater too. Lol
xo, Lissy
What an undertaking Lissy! The whole house…wow! I am sure a new vest and sweater would make your work go faster. LOL
Hope you are having a good week and getting a lot done!

Garden, Home and Party - January 11, 2016 - 9:36 am

Hi Kelly,
I saw the movie and it did redeem itself in the end, but other than the house and the decor, I wouldn’t see it again. Too bad because I was hoping with Diane Keaton in it it would be a favorite.
I had good luck at the Talbot’s sale too…the markdowns were great.
I wish I was going to that ice skating party…what a wonderful table set up.
Love Downton Abbey, I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
I did not especially like Diane Keaton’s role nor the silliness in the movie, but I did like the army guy in it. 🙂 (and the house and scenery of course.)
I just ordered more from Talbots online yesterday. (Our closest store is about 40 minutes away.) Those sales beat Target prices on some of their things! Glad you had good luck as well.
We will have to have some kind of “Downton Fix” party when the season is over. A spin off movie would be great!

Arlene@Nanaland - January 11, 2016 - 9:20 am

Oh Kelly, that kitchen from the movie would be my dream kitchen. ( I did not see the movie but my daughter did and she was rather like your husband. I think it was not what she was expecting.) In fact, I do plan to have shelves in my little GA farm house vs upper cabinets. We finally got the environmental approval so hopefully things will move along now. And my husband and I enjoy A Chef’s Life. Her accent is very similar to mine so I like that appalachian twang.:) I am trying to avoid donuts but those sure look good. In fact, I am off to the mall to walk on this very cold Alabama morning.
Hi Arlene! Something about that kitchen also reminded me of the one in It’s Complicated for some reason…not sure what exactly. Congrats on moving ahead with your farmhouse! I have been contemplating shelves here in just a small section of our kitchen, but I doubt we will tackle that one. (Why mess with something that is fine when there are MANY other areas that need work? Right?) You have much more determination than I do if you can lay off donuts. Good for you!

Nan, Odessa, DE - January 11, 2016 - 7:55 am

Happy New Year!

Would appear you are re-charged and full of inspiration for your followers. I am at the head of the line following you.
I wanted to see “Coopers”, now it is a gotta view. Also thanks for a life chef. Love the ŕed in Talbot’s items. It seems vest are all the go this season.

Keep the posts coming!
Happy New Year to you too Nan! The 550+ emails in my inbox were certainly weighing heavy on me, but yes, I am recharged and ready to get back into it here now. 🙂 I liked one of the romances in Love the Coopers, but my husband did not care for all the negativity in it. It is not one of Diane Keaton’s bests by far…but the house and all the snow and Christmas scenes were beautiful to me. And yes, vests are big, but I saw swimsuits in Target last week. Swimsuits. It is just a tad too early to be thinking of those; don’t you think? 🙂

Sandy - January 11, 2016 - 5:52 am

Kelly, I agree 100% with the 11 things to throw away and I have four on the list accomplished so far. I won’t share any spoilers, but through another blogger, I have watched the entire sixth season and Christmas show of Downtown Abbey and I believe it to be the best of all. I made Italian wedding soup yesterday for my grandson who turned eleven. It’s his favorite. And I am definitely trying the chicken pot pie recipe (carrots included) for our dinner this week. We are finally see winter with snowfalls once again here in Ohio.
You are ahead of me if you already have 4 of those things taken care of! I am so glad to hear that you think Downton’s final season is the best. I had stopped watching it with all the depressing parts with Anna in Season 4, but Season 6 has pulled me in again. Your soup sounds delicious, and what a great thing to make for your grandson! I would love to see some snow here, but I know those of you in the North tire of it rather quickly. (We have heard predictions of it for the 19th here, but I seriously doubt that will happen. Fingers crossed!)

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - January 11, 2016 - 1:31 am

Kelly, I love the kitchen from Love the Coopers! Now I need to see the movie!just finished watching Downton Abbey and A Chef’s Life. The latter show was new to me…I enjoyed it. So many fun links in your post and helpful organization tips! I need to get busy doing some of those this month. The old magazines and catalogs have got to go! Thanks for the inspiration! Warmly, Gracia
Thanks for checking out all the links Gracia! I know what you mean about getting rid of the old magazines and catalogs. There are waaaaay too many Christmas catalogs still stashed around here. Good luck with your organization!

A Review of Favorites from 2015

Happy New Year plate

Happy New Year to you!  I hope your day and year are off to a great start. 🙂 Both of our sons flew to Seattle on Wednesday, and we took our daughter to an out of town wedding yesterday.  She will be staying in Atlanta over the weekend, so our New Year’s Eve was a quiet one with just me and my husband here.

New Years tableI woke up sick this morning with a sore throat, lots of sneezing, and a low grade fever….and our washing machine decided to overflow. 🙁  I hope this is not a sign of how our new year is going to be!  Regardless, we still enjoyed a traditional New Year’s Day lunch…hopefully full of vitamins that will help me get well quickly. 

Hoppin John and turnip greens

Our menu was: Ambrosia, (with vitamin C – yay!) Hoppin John, (a traditional Southern dish for New Year’s Day) turnip greens, (collards are more traditional, but I like turnips better) and cornbread (for my husband to soak up all the pot likker from the greens.)

I picked up the small Happy New Year plates at Homegoods back in November.  They finished off this holiday season’s black and red color scheme perfectly. We ate in the family room so that we could watch football during the meal.  Isn’t that what you are supposed to do on New Year’s Day?…and yes, the Christmas tree is still up.

New Years Day table

To wrap up 2015, I thought it would be good to look at a review of the posts from the year…just in case you missed any. 🙂  I know I am supposed to run the data and write about what were your favorite posts from the year, but I am not feeling well today. Sooo…let’s just do a quick run-through of some of the posts, and then I will share with you my personal favorite from each month.  (Yes, I am taking advantage of being sick!)

Among the posts in January we looked at the Vera Bradley Inn in Seaside, Florida and some rooms by the talented Cathy Kincaid, and we had a sneak peek at my workroom progress.  We had our photoshoot with Better Homes and Gardens that month, so my favorite post for January was the Behind the Scenes of the photoshoot one.

bhg photoshoot with talk of the house

February brought a lot of Valentine related posts…like this house by Patrick Ahearn, and our home decorated with red for the holiday here, here, and here!  We also had our fill of eye candy from some rooms done by John B. Murray.  A BIG birthday for my husband was celebrated that month, so my favorite February post was the Weekend Birthday Party celebration complete with a sports theme.

Weekend birthday party celebration

Our daughter was working in Disney World during the first semester of 2015, and in March our family all met up there for a fun visit.  Needless to say, Disney was the topic of several posts that month…like The Yacht and Beach Club,  Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom.  The house was decorated with green for St. Patrick’s Day.  There were several other posts that month, but my favorite was the one in which we finally finished the workroom, and I could show it to you.

the workroom

We decorated with red and yellow for Easter in April here and here, and we traveled back to Florida to visit our daughter.  On that trip we stayed in Celebration, and we looked at the hotel, the town, and the houses there in three different posts. My father and sister both have April birthdays, so my favorite post for that month was about a double birthday party we hosted for them. (A Disney celebration of course!)

double Disney birthday party

 The month of May began with a beach house in Seaside, Florida. Both of our sons came home to visit that month, and we celebrated their visit with “welcome home” parties here and here.  Mother’s Day brought lemon inspiration, a lemon cake, (that didn’t look very good 🙁 ) and a garden tour.  We hosted a graduation party for our daughter’s boyfriend as he graduated from college, and we had more eye candy when we took a tour of a beautiful inn located in Rhode Island.  May ended with a post on my retirement from teaching – my favorite of the month. 🙂

teacher partyWith summer in full swing in June, we studied some rooms and a Nantucket Inn decorated by Trudy Dujardin.  I jumped on the summer bandwagon with a summer home tour broken into part 1, part 2, and part 3.  We found some inspiration for our 4th of July with a post on tables for that holiday, but my favorite of the month was the post on having Holly Mathis and her friend, Cindy over for lunch one afternoon.

lunch with Holly Mathis(In case you haven’t heard, they have opened a wonderful shop in Chappell Hill, Texas called True Blue Home.  The photos of everything are enough to make me want to chunk all my red and go with blue blue blue!)

True Blue Home cottage


A little more inspiration for the 4th started our month of July. Then we dealt with the summer heat by enjoying some pretty pools and outdoor showers and an armchair vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in 3 posts here, here, and here.  We took a real vacation to St. Simons Island, and I shared that with you in part 1 and part 2.  While we were there, we also ventured over to the nearby Jekyll Island, and I wrote about it here.  My favorite July post was this Talk of the Weekend one because I just loved the houses in it!

Ferry House kitchenTo celebrate my birthday near the beginning of August, I did a post on one of my favorites: gingham! That month I also shared with you our local New Perry Hotel, a Disney birthday party for our daughter, farm to table decorating and dinner, (complete with a delicious dessert!) and our road trip to New England began with two posts on Charlottesville’s Oakhurst Inn.  My favorite from the month though, was a post on decorating our daughter’s apartment (quite a departure from my typical style here.)

decorating apartment with diy art

In September I shared Jan Karon’s new book with you, and the BHG Christmas Ideas magazine  with our feature came out (much earlier than I was expecting! 🙂 ) I wrote 8 posts about our road trip beginning with The Study at Yale (the hotel at which we stayed) followed by Perkins Cove, Maine, L.L. Bean and Freeport, Maine, Whitehall (the inn we stayed at in Maine),  Bar Harbor and Camden, Maine, Edson Hill (the inn where we stayed in Vermont), Stowe, Vermont, the campus at Yale, and I ended September with my favorite of the road trip posts that month – decorating our son’s apartment (because it took the entire road trip to furnish it! 🙂 )

college apartment furnished from Ikea and travelsThe road trip posts came to a conclusion in October with 3 posts on the Southern Living Idea House in Charlottesville, Virginia and Pippin Hill – a wonderful vineyard there.  Then began all things fall starting with a love letter to the season as I decorated the foyer and family room.  That was followed by decorating in the kitchen and dining room, decorating the workroom and playroom, (with some help from Charlie Brown! 🙂 ) decorating the front porch and decorating the back porch for a Halloween party (which was my favorite of the month.)

Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown party

November had 3 Thanksgiving tour posts starting here followed by a redecorated room over the garage.  You saw some of the Christmas decorations that didn’t get included in the BHG feature, and my favorite post of the month was about a party for our friend who completed a Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Appalalchian Trail partyAnd that brings us to December – the month of Christmas everywhere.  We made peppermint cheesecake dip and stocking letters, and decorated the kitchen, the dining room, the back porch, and outdoors.  We had a bridal shower, and we celebrated Christmas.  My final favorite post of the year was my first December post on decorating the workroom and making an Advent calendar.

cabinet with table top tree

And that was 2015 at Talk of the House. I did take a look at the numbers to see which one post was viewed the most this year.  It was this one on the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine.

BHG Christmas Ideas magazine

We have certainly done our share of traveling, celebrating, and decorating this year.  Thank you for following along with us.  I hope that you will keep reading here with us as we see what 2016 brings. 🙂  I’m looking forward to it!  Now after 27 sneezes and 14 Kleenex tissues through this post, I will leave you with a couple of question on this first day of the year:

Do you have a favorite post from 2015?
If so, which one was it?

We’d love to know.


You might enjoy these posts:

Lisa - January 8, 2016 - 9:25 am

Hi Kelly! Happy New Year! I’m late on commenting, but we were traveling to Scottsdale for Christmas (from VT). I agree that picking ONE favorite is too hard, but I do want to say that your children’s room/apartment makeovers were WONDERFUL. I’ve pinned your son’s to my special board for my son’s future apartment. I wish we lived closer, because I just KNOW we’d be friends! 😉
Good grief what a looooong trip you made Lisa! Thank you for the compliments on the kids’ apartments. (And thank you for pinning the photos!) Yes, I know we would be friends too if we were closer. Vermont was just beautiful when we visited there this summer. So perhaps I should mention moving there to my husband. LOL
Happy New Year!

Rosemary - January 7, 2016 - 2:31 am

Hi again … Apologies for typos and grammar errors!! I really should proof read! I’m commenting whilst half asleep with my first de caff of the day before dashing out! Have a good day!
No problem! My fingers don’t usually wake up for awhile in the morning to type correctly!

Rosemary - January 7, 2016 - 2:26 am

Hi Kelly, sorry you’re not feeling well. Hope your able to relax and take some time for yourself. I’m finding it really hard to choose my favourite posts but I think I’d go for the ones where you decorated your daughter and sons University rooms ….the transformation of the furniture in your daughters was just spectacular!! I also enjoyed your journey through New England. I still remember, possibly the first post I read , when I thought you’d stayed at Ocean House, Watch Hill!! I read about it when I was researching for our holiday to New England …. What a hotel!! Just a little above our budger though! 🙂
Take care, hope you feel better soon.
Thank you Rosemary. I’ve been taking several meds and am feeling better now. I am glad you liked the posts on decorating the places for our children. (Perhaps our oldest will let me decorate his apartment one day too. 🙂 ) How funny that you thought we stayed at Ocean House! I agree that it is a beautiful place, and like you, it is out of our budget…unless some large account finds its way to us by surprise. (Not likely to happen. 🙁 )

Design Chic - January 6, 2016 - 11:42 am

I have loved all of your inspiration, Kelly and the welcome home for your children was one of my favorites, and the True Blue Home showhouse…fabulous! Happy Wednesday!
Thank you so much! It seems we did quite a bit of celebrating with our children in 2015. I hope we get to do the same in 2016. 🙂 Isn’t the True Blue Cottage charming? I hope we get to Texas to see it and shop some time soon.
Kelly - January 5, 2016 - 7:55 pm

I always enjoy your posts and this review reminded me of my favorites!!
You are too kind Debbie! Thank you for all your very sweet comments! 🙂

Claire @A PREPPY PERSPECTIVE - January 5, 2016 - 3:01 pm

Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for this wonderful recap! I find it a great ideas beacause I realized I missed great posts and it allowed me to catch up! Congratulations for this beautiful year of blogging and best wishes for 2016!
Thank YOU so much for reading and leaving your compliments here in the comments Claire! Best wishes to you (and your blogging adventure 🙂 ) for 2016!

Kathy P. - January 4, 2016 - 5:50 pm

I love ALL of your posts whether traveling, your home, or whatever. I love that black and white gingham tablecloth for your New Year’s Day dinner. Did you make that or purchase it somewhere.

Have a wonderful new year.
Thank you for reading all the posts then Kathy! I am glad you enjoy them all. 🙂 The black and white tablecloth was merely a square piece from an old curtain I am not using. The curtain came from Country Curtains, and the fabric is their Cabin Check.

Julia - January 4, 2016 - 11:01 am

Kelly – I love remembering the past year and can’t believe there were a few posts I missed! So I get to catch-up with you! You have a beautiful home and lots of inspiration to us your readers.
How in the world did you miss any Julia??! So glad you got to catch up! 🙂 Thank you for your compliments on the house, and I am so happy you can find inspiration here on the blog.

Cindy - January 4, 2016 - 6:29 am


Visiting your beautiful home, meeting you, and getting a taste of your amazing hospitality was most definitely one of the highlights of our summer in 2015! I still can’t get over how special you made each of us feel – especially Lauren, with the way you honored her dietary restrictions. Thank you so much for the shout-out for True Blue Home – it’s an honor being mentioned here! I hope you’re feeling better, and I can’t wait to see what the new year holds for you and your family! And keep doing your thing with red – I couldn’t imagine your home any other way!

Much love,
Girl it was a highlight of my summer! You three were perfect guests! I’ve since tried a few weeks of going gluten free but discovered it was peanuts not gluten that my problem. Anyway, it is HARD! So I am impressed by how well you and your daughter deal with it.
I am also thoroughly impressed by your shop and your show-cottage. I know they will continue to be inspiring spaces for everyone in the coming years – not just 2016! Hopefully when my husband retires we can make a trip to Texas and I can see it all in person!
All my best.

Patty in Michigan - January 3, 2016 - 4:14 pm

Happy New Year, Kelly! Sorry it started out with not feeling well. Even with not feeling well, you got together a year in review. What a great year of posts it was. You pour so much into your blog and sharing with us readers so many great ideas. I appreciate it every one of them. Here’s to another great year at Talk of the House! Patty
Gosh, thank you so much Patty…both for reading so many of the posts and also for taking the time to comment on so many of them. I appreciate you very much. Thank you for the wishes for the blog for this year. I am looking forward to another year full of houses, entertaining, and traveling.
Happy new year to you!

mari1017 - January 3, 2016 - 10:38 am

Hi, Kelly! I’m so sorry to hear you are under the weather 🙁 Ginger does work wonders. Davidson’s Organic Ginger Lemon tea is wonderful as the ginger opens up bronchial passages and just makes you feel better all over.
My favorite post was the one in which I “discovered” your blog – the Martha’s Vineyard and Susan Branch giveaway ♥. I instantly became a loyal reader and have enjoyed every post! You are very generous with your sharing and photos and time, and your sweet spirit shines through! Feel better, and we all look forward to receiving your posts in 2016 XOXO
I have been drinking loads of gingerale but not a hot tea version with ginger. I am doing much better but will keep your advice in mind when the next wave of respiratory mess hits me. (And I am sure it will visit me again this winter. 🙁 )
I am so happy that Susan Branch led you here. 🙂 That was a fun series of posts! Thank you for being such a loyal reader in 2015. I am looking forward to everything that 2016 may bring.
Happy New Year to you Mari!

Catarina G - January 3, 2016 - 9:01 am

Dear Kelly,
My favourite post from 2015 was… to discover your blog.
I love all of your posts and now on you have a follower from Portugal.
Get well soon. Boil 4 cups of water, add five medium sliced ginger root and simmer for 20-30minutes, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey and drink – very good recipe for severe sore throats.
Have a great year!
Oh my goodness what a sweet thing to say Cat! I am so glad that you discovered the blog. Thank you so much for reading!! And thank you for the recipe to help my often sore throat. I will be saving this for future reference. 🙂
Happy 2016 to you!

kathy - January 2, 2016 - 8:47 pm

I love all of your posts! I get inspiration from every single one of them! I love getting emails saying you have a new post. I loved your BH&G spread. I love the way you decorate your home as well as the travel posts. Of course, I always love your chalkboard ideas. Weekend #26 was one of my favorites but I also loved seeing your daughter’s apartment and what you did with your son’s apartment. I enjoy your posts with photos of foods you try in restaurants and how the restaurants are decorated. Since I love the beach, beach house posts are really fun for me. Just keep doing what you are doing! We all love you! (And, feel better soon!)
Well I would say that you are very easy to please Kathy! LOL You like everything! Thank you for reading and for writing all your encouragement as I have been on this blogging adventure. It has been so nice to “meet” wonderful people like you as I have done this. I will keep doing what I am doing because I don’t know any other way to do it! 🙂
Hope your 2016 brings many wonderful things your way!

Carolyn - January 2, 2016 - 6:12 pm

We had the traditional southern New Year’s meal, too, except for greens we had organic kale. To make it southern enough, we added hog jowl for flavor. (Sounds awful, I know, but just a little fattier than bacon. And the local grocery store had a big display of it – ready for the holiday.)

As for your favorite posts, well, I haven’t done a reprise, but I always love the ones where you feature cute cottages – whether by the water, the mountains, in New England, or the south, old and historic or newly built. I love seeing both exteriors and interiors, which you so often feature. Thanks for always having a beautiful blog and lots of inspiration. Hope you beat the cold fast. Happy New Year!
Your meal sounded yummy Carolyn. I bet those greens were excellent!
I’m with you on loving cottages. We were driving through some neighborhoods yesterday that had very large homes. I just wasn’t that impressed. Give me a small cozy cottage any day. They have so much character!
I think I am over the cold or sinus infection or whatever it was. Thank you for the get well wishes.
Happy 2016 to you!

Gina - January 2, 2016 - 3:29 pm

Hmmm, favorite post? How about all the above!! 😉 I loved following along on your summer trip. 🙂 I agree about Holly’s store! I used to have a lot of blue in my home and even “pinned” that lovely bedroom yesterday. I’m going to pop back through some of the posts I might have missed. 😉 Happy New Year and I hope you feel better!!
Aw you are too sweet Gina! I figured I bored you all to death with the roadtrip (like my husband’s old slides of his trip to Texas years ago…shhh…don’t tell him I said that. 😉 )
Isn’t Cindy and Holly’s store just perfection?! One day we will get there to actually shop.
Happiest of New Years to you!

Dawn - January 2, 2016 - 3:15 pm


I love this recap post. I am sorry to hear that you are under the weather but I am hoping you are taking the time needed to recover. I can’t say that I had a favorite post from the past year but I do have a favorite room that I enjoy getting to see in your lovely home…the green game/tv room. I love how cozy and inviting it always looks and seems to be the casual style in there that just speaks to me. Thanks for all that you have shared with us in 2015. I look forward to more travel, home decorating and recipes with you in 2016. (I made the peppermint cheesecake dip twice and it was a huge hit both times!) Take care.

Dawn would you hate me if I painted all that green….yellow? JUST KIDDING! ha. 🙂 We were at my daughter’s apartment yesterday and I commented that I will be happy to have our “traditional” sofa back in that room this summer. (She graduates this year and will be doing mission work with youth this summer.)
I’m so happy the peppermint dip was a hit for you. It can be addictive! Hope your new year is a good one!
Thank you for following along on my blogging adventure. 🙂

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - January 2, 2016 - 1:07 pm

Love every single one of your posts! Hope you feel better soon and the washing machine will be the last of your worries in 2016!
Thank you so much Leslie Anne! You always have such a gift for witty comments. 🙂 Thank you for the wishes for 2016, and I hope your year will be your best year yet. (Lord at the alliteration in that sentence!)
Happy New Year!

Jayne - January 2, 2016 - 12:28 pm

The posts of your home are always my favorite. I especially like the porch posts. Looks like many people like the travel posts. I’m a fan of your décor and dedication that you put into making your home and entertaining so special. Thank you for your time and inspiration.
Author H. Jackson Brown wrote, “Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.” I think that is so true. Thank you so very much Jayne for appreciating all the work that goes into blogging. It is VERY time consuming (enough to make me contemplate stopping it from time to time) but it is comments like yours – those comments that show appreciation – that keep me coming back to it. Thank YOU!
And Happy 2016!

Ruth - January 2, 2016 - 11:30 am

I can’t believe some of those posts took place a year ago! They’re so clear in my mind, it feels as though only a month or two has passed! All your posts are so consistently good, I couldn’t pick a favorite. Guess I’ll just have to declare this my favorite YEAR of posts? Thank you for every one of them, and for all the time, talent, and energy you put into sharing your wonderful ideas and creativity with us! Hope you’re feeling better soon, and have a MUCH better rest of the year after that rocky start!
Doesn’t time just fly by Ruth?! Thank you for your sweet comments – all year long. 🙂 I do appreciate them more than you will know. I am feeling much better and ready to get this year going now. It’s only the 8th of January…just a little behind. Ha!
Happy New Year to you. May it bring many fun filled adventures!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - January 2, 2016 - 10:19 am

What a fabulous 2015. I hope 2016 is even better.
Thank you Marty! Happy New Year to you too!

Donnamae - January 2, 2016 - 10:16 am

Favorite post? I love the ones with Red! Actually…my fav, were the series you did on your trip to Vermont! You gave me so many travel ideas. Hope you feel better soon…I’m fighting a cold myself, and our furnace decided today is the day it wasn’t going to turn on. But, 2016 is going to be a wonderful year…I hope! 😉
Oh no! I hope you are feeling better and that your furnace has been repaired Donnamae. Our bedroom wing heating unit has decided it does not know how to defrost, so it is needing work too. Yes, 2016 is going to be good (and expensive!)
I am so glad you enjoyed all the travel stories and photos from our road trip. I hope you get to travel this year too!
Happy New Year!

Alice - January 2, 2016 - 10:06 am

Where did you get your round black/white buffalo check tablecloth? I have been looking for one for years😁
Alice, I am afraid it is not round. It is a square cloth made from an old curtain from Country Curtains. (Their cabin check.) I will keep my eye out for a round one for you though. If you know someone that sews, Country Curtains does sale the fabric online.

Nancy - January 2, 2016 - 8:50 am

i think your son’s apartment transformation was my favorite post of the year. Since I have daughters about the same age and stage I was fascinated to see how you transformed that apartment using mostly IKEA and Target items. I’m impressed he let you do it, too. 😉
Ikea and Target are certainly good go-to places to shop for me when I am working with a low budget. Our son was not exactly thrilled to “let” me do it. He was fine until I started talking art on the walls, and that was our biggest problem area. (Art is not “functional.” 🙂 ) BUT the artwork has stayed, and it looks just like we left it. And more importantly, he has been happy with the space (but not the amount of work in law school!!)

Karen - January 2, 2016 - 8:45 am

Hi Kelly
I am new to your blog and loving it. I notice that you change out you window treatments. often. Do you make them or buy them ready-made? I would love to start changing mine out. I absolutely love plaid but hate feeling “stuck” with a color scheme sometimes. Happy New Year.
Thank you Karen! I do change out the drapes quite frequently around here. Almost all of the drapes are ones I have made over the 20 years that we have lived in this house. They are all stored on hangers in the workroom closet, and it is easy to find them and hang them wherever they are needed. With neutral walls everywhere, this allows me to easily change my accent color in each room.
Happy New Year to you too!

Linda - January 2, 2016 - 8:16 am

Loved them all, Happy New Year!!
Thank you! Happy New Year to you too Linda!

Frances in England - January 2, 2016 - 5:40 am

It is too hard to choose a favourite post – there are too many! But if I am allowed a favourite series then I pick the posts about New England, for the memories they brought back. Your writing style is very warm, which brings, for me, an automatic enjoyment of any post.

I’m afraid I’ve joined you in the being sick brigade. Did manage to make it through until yesterday before feeling too bad, but am now coughing and sneezing with the best of them. Oh well, at least we can snuggle up in the warm and dry with some good food and drink and Christmas-present movies!!!

Happy 2016 everyone! I hope it brings maximum joy 🙂
Oh dear! You are sick too?! Not good Frances. 🙁 I hope you are feeling better by now. Everyone in the comments says to drink hot tea with ginger of some form. I am doing better with medicines and gingerale.

I am so glad the New England posts could bring you joy. That was a trip of a lifetime for us. Hopefully our next one will be out west…not sure what the architecture of that area will bring. Something new!

I hope you have a very blessed 2016 and good health! 🙂

Leila - January 2, 2016 - 1:10 am

Hi Kelly, as I was thinking about the past year, one of the most significant new experiences for me was discovering the Mitford books. I have to credit you and your features about Jan Karon and her books. While traveling, I stopped to explore a small Goodwill store in TN, and happened to recognize the first Mitford book that I remembered you mentioning. Beginning with that book in 2015 I read every single one of the books and have started over again!
I enjoy your features so much and just wanted to express my gratitude for all of your wonderful inspiration. You never realize sometimes how much you can influence the lives of others in wonderful ways. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours!
If your 2015 was your year to immerse yourself in the Mitford series, then you had a good year Leila! 🙂 I am so glad you recognized that book in the Goodwill store. When things slow down some here, I want to read the entire series again as well.

Thank you so much for your appreciation of the blog posts here. I appreciate you for taking the time to read them and leave comments!
Happy New Year to you. 🙂

Vicki - January 2, 2016 - 12:27 am

I love ALL of your posts, but your end of the year rhyming post was wonderful. You are very talented!
Gosh thank you Vicki! It took quite a while to get the words right on that one, but it was fun to do. I am happy you enjoyed it.
Happy New Year!

Louvina - January 2, 2016 - 12:23 am

Was just getting ready to turn out the light and saw your post and of course I had to check it out! What a great trip down memory lane! Loved it all! I think my favorite was the decorating of your daughter and son’s apartments. The road trip was just wonderful as I always feel like I too am traveling ( always do extra research on the places). Your NY’s dinner looked wonderful! What a nice relaxing way to spend the 1st day 2016!! Must be very guiet in the house with the kids off and about ? Here’s hoping you are feeling back good as new real soon!! At least you don’t have to worry about going back to work next week!! Did you know this is a Leap Year?
Yes, it was a trip down Memory Lane wasn’t it? 🙂 I liked the redo of the apartments too. Those were MAJOR accomplishments of 2015. (Hope I don’t have to do the same in 2016!) Our dinner was very relaxing, and it is most definitely quiet here without all the kiddos….like the quiet after a storm! LOL I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and Day. I was thrilled to not have to worry about inservice training on the first Monday and Tuesday of 2016! I did not know it is a Leap Year until I heard it from you. 🙂
Happy New Year!

Lynne - January 1, 2016 - 11:30 pm

It’s so hard to choose a favorite! I loved both the sports and Disney themed birthday parties you hosted. I also enjoyed seeing your workroom come together. It looks like a wonderful work space for you. The DIY Advent calendar was something that I would like to make next year. Thank you for continuing to inspire with your creativity and talents. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Thank you so very much Lynne. I did not realize how many parties we hosted this year until I put that post together. The workroom has turned out to be a really useful place for me. I could live in here if I had a coffee pot and microwave! LOL I am so glad you liked the Advent calendar, and I hope you do get to make it for next Christmas.
Best wishes to YOU for a Happy New Year too!

Garden, home and party - January 1, 2016 - 11:06 pm

So sorry to hear you’re ill. Take it easy and hope you’re well soon. I’ve loved all of your posts this year and will look forward to following you into 2016.
Get well soon.
I am doing better now since taking meds all week (and taking it easy..except for Tuesday.) Thank you for following along all this year Karen, and thank you for your always thoughtful comments. I certainly appreciate the time you take to read and correspond. I hope that things will slow down enough in 2016 to allow me time to get back to reading and enjoying blogs like I was once able to do.
Happy New Year.

Sandy - January 1, 2016 - 10:43 pm

I love the red!! Beautiful!
Thank you Sandy! There is plenty of it around here. 🙂

Sandy in FWB - January 1, 2016 - 10:09 pm

Choosing a favorite is way too hard. I have so many favorites. I loved the hiking party theme and oh the Charlie Brown one was superb. I loved seeing your workroom finished. I really enjoyed your vacation/ trip to and from the northeast too. I guess my favorite would be the cake and table setting you did for Jan Karon’s new book. It was so pretty. I haven’t tried that orange marmalade cake yet, but it is in my plans. Hope you feel better soon!
Well you certainly liked quite a few of them Sandy! Yay! That cake and table was so not my norm, but they did fit the wedding and book very well. You HAVE to make that cake THIS YEAR. Okay?! It is delicious. (Wish I had a slice right now. 🙂 )
I am doing better thank you since I have taken all my meds. Hope your 2016 is off to a great start!

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