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Giving Thanks…

Talk of the House playroom Thanksgiving chalkboard

Before the holiday is gone I wanted to share a short post with you.  The last couple of weeks have definitely thrown our schedules off, and I know many of you are ready for Christmas, but I thought you might like seeing the chalkboards from the playroom for Thanksgiving.

Talk of the House playroom at ThanksgivingI used a chalk pen on these because it is much faster (and easier) than using regular chalk.

Talk of the House Thanksgiving chalkboardWe have also updated the game system storage from the hutch on top of a cabinet to open shelves in there. (I know that is not Thanksgiving related, but I thought you might like to see it. :))

Talk of the House open shelves in playroom for game system storage

So on this Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful for many things…one of which is my husband’s talent for taking my crazy ideas and turning them into reality.  I am also thankful for my children and their fun friends – like this group that was here this afternoon for dessert.  (Texas Cake and Gingerbread!)

Talk of the House friends in the kitchen

This photo was taken right before my daughter had to leave to go to an appointment.  The rest of the gang was hanging out here when my daughter came back inside crying.  She had backed into the car of one of her friends – totally wrecking the driver’s door.  I am thankful that her first car wreck injured no one.  The car was a relatively new car belonging to her friend’s mother.  I am thankful that Meredith’s mom handled the damage to her car with such grace and humor for my daughter.  No one would have handled it better. (Thank you, Marny!)

view from the kitchen window

view from the kitchen window

We are truly blessed. I think of one of my husband’s friends, a single guy, who slipped last weekend while delivering a refrigerator to someone.  The refrigerator came crashing down on his leg, crushing his ankle.  He had surgery on Monday and will be in bed for a number of weeks…followed by an additional surgery later in December.  I think of another one of our friends whose wife died with cancer a couple of weeks ago.  This will be a tough Christmas season for him.  Both of those men were in our wedding.  I am so thankful for our health, and our home, and our family.  Our children our blessed to have both sets of grandparents able to be a part of their lives.

Talk of the House - Foyer for Thanksgiving

And I am thankful for all of you.  You are probably rushing around preparing food for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal, and you may not even see this.  But I could not let this opportunity pass by…this opportunity to tell you thank you.  Thank you for reading all my wandering thoughts here.  Thank you for leaving your comments that make me feel like I am providing something that people enjoy (especially on days when I turn on my computer, and there are three “unsubscribe from Talk of the House” notices. :()  Thank you for sending me emails that encourage me to keep on doing whatever this is that I am doing.  Thank you for pinning my amateur photos to Pinterest and sharing your blog love out there in this amazing online world.

Talk of the House Thanksgiving foyer vignette

And although we may have never met in real life, I thank you for your friendship.  It means the world to me. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all those you hold dear.

May you be richly blessed!a signature

Barbara (WA) - November 27, 2013 - 9:19 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly!! Thank you for sharing your home and life with us. You have blessed me.

Barbara Hinske - November 27, 2013 - 9:26 pm

Your post made me teary! For heaven’s sake — who knew that online friends we’ve never met could become so dear?! You and your upbeat reflections on life and homemaking are a blessing to us all. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Judy - November 27, 2013 - 9:33 pm

david and i were just talking at supper tonight about how blessed we and our families are…food to eat, nice home to come home to, wonderful friends, etc. i am also grateful for my blog friends, and especially you kelly, and still hope to meet in person one day.

glad your daughter’s fender bender was just that…and that the owner of the car was so understanding and gracious about it. even a little “wreck” like that is scary.

hope your Thanksgiving Day is full of family and friends!

lynne - November 27, 2013 - 9:41 pm

And thank you Kelly for your friendship! I am so happy I found your blog last year and I look forward to seeing whatever you are up to. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. It sure is cold here in Georgia!

Dawn - November 27, 2013 - 10:00 pm


I love this ever so thankful post. I am thankful for many of the same things you are. I am most especially thankful for my friends, family, health and faith. I am also thankful for your friendship and all that you share with us. Thanks for sharing this post and pictures with us. I love the game room and that awesome wreath is amazing! Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to your family (especially your fender bender daughter).

Talia - November 27, 2013 - 10:01 pm

Happy thanksgiving to you and yours! Thank you for being such a bright spot! I look forward to each post! Enjoy your day and continued blessings.

Sherry - November 27, 2013 - 10:06 pm

Happy Thanksgiving Kelly! I thoroughly enjoy your posts! You have a beautiful home and give such good ideas. Thank you for sharing.

Donnamae - November 27, 2013 - 10:10 pm

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Did you make that wreath? Lovely! ;)

Marlene - November 27, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Thank you Kelly. You have been such a blessing to so many of us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

Garden, Home and Party - November 27, 2013 - 10:30 pm

What a lovely post…right back at you blog friend. I can’t. Explain why anyone would unsubscribe to your site but maybe theiir lives got crazy and the don’t have as much time for the pleasures of the blog world.

I’m happy your daughter’s first crash was a great lesson on caution when backing up, with no injury.

Most of all, I count you as one of my favorite blog friends and for that I’m thankful.
P.S. I received my wonderful books today…oh my goodness, they are filled with great ideas. Thank you again for hosting this great giveaway.

Jayne - November 27, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear Kelly! I, too, feel like we are friends, even though we have never met. Maybe one day I will run into you at Fernandina Beach! May the Lord bless you and your family.

Debra - November 27, 2013 - 11:27 pm

So sorry to read of these two gentlemen suffering so. How hard for you and your husband. During this holiday season I am so grateful for the health and safety of my family. Our area just a couple of weeks back had severe weather. Fortunately, our area was spared but others were not. We never know from day to day what life will bring. Count your Blessing. Yes, I do too. Just a share ….I can relate about a few fender benders as well, as we have four children. Happy for you that your daughter is fine. Cars can be fixed. Take care and remember, Breathe.

Kelly - November 27, 2013 - 11:33 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly! Your home always looks warm and inviting because *you* are a gracious hostess. Thank you for letting us glimpse your beautiful home. Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate the holidays together!


Colleen - November 27, 2013 - 11:35 pm

Such a lovely post. Although we dont have an official thanksgiving holiday in South Africa I thank the Lord every day for the the blessings he has bestowed on me and mine.

yarlette - November 27, 2013 - 11:41 pm

Kelly, happy Thanksgiving. I have been cooking all day to get a lot of things made for tomorrow. Just thought I would check my Email,s before I get ready for bed. Sounds like you have had a busy day also. It is true that people we blog with do feel like close friends.Hope your daughter is feeling some better. Accident’s happen. How great that her friends mother was so nice about it. Have a great Thanksgiving with your family. Yarlette

Vickie - November 28, 2013 - 12:02 am

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

Kathy R. - November 28, 2013 - 12:05 am

I am glad your daughter’s wreck was minor with no injuries. A similar thing happened at our house when our daughter had several friends over….only my husband was the one who backed into a car. And, this girl’s mother was also extremely nice about the accident.

Your house looks beautiful…as always and I love the chalkboards. What brand of paint pen do you use? And, do they clean off easily? I am going to write on some chalkboards for a friend’s daughter’s wedding in two weeks and I thought I should probably use a pen.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Louvina - November 28, 2013 - 12:23 am

I am thankful that I checked in and read your Thankful Blog before I say my prayers at the end of another beautiful but rather cool day. Loved your chalkboard list of your family’s things to be thankful for. So sorry about baby girl’s accident– just know she is so upset! Things happen so quickly– big hugs to everyone. Loving thoughts to you and yours as we enter into the most wonderful time of the year–as the song goes. Please know, that I count you as one of my special blessings and you may never know how far your special touch of pictures, ideas, recipes, humor and beauty through “Talkofthehouse” may reach into our world. God is using you to gladden hearts and homes. Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly.

Carole - November 28, 2013 - 6:58 am

This is my first time commenting but I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time. I just wanted to say thank you for all of your inspirational ideas – decorating, entertaining and more – you have a style I admire. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Dixie Delights - November 28, 2013 - 8:22 am

Such a lovely post – I’m so sorry for your friends. My first (and only) wreck was similar – I was 19. Your home is lovely, as always, and I can’t believe it’s the first time I’ve noticed your game controller storage – love it!! Happy thanksgiving!

Debbie w - November 28, 2013 - 8:39 am

Thank you for sharing with your readers. I love your home and I am still amazed that you are able to do all these beautiful things and teach!, too! As always, I look forward to your next post! Happy thanksgiving!

Emily - November 28, 2013 - 9:10 am

Kelly, my thoughts and prayers are with the two men you mentioned. I am thankful you and your husband are their friends. I am also thankful your daughter’s accident did not involve anyone getting hurt.
Last, but not least, I am SO thankful you are one of my FAVORITE blogs. It educates me, interests me, and gives me inspiration.

Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving Holiday!

Take care.

anita - November 28, 2013 - 9:25 am

Happy Thanksgiving to you all from Canada! Kelly, I remember when my daughter came home crying from being in her first fender bender! After taking in a deep breath, I hugged her and thanked God no one was hurt. A lesson was learned. Although there is much joy at this time of the year, there are so many who grieve as your friends are.
Always a joy to read your posts. Have a wonderful day sharing with your family.
(Love your chalkboard sign, I just may need to buy the special marker!)…By the way, more snow coming our way :)

Jill - November 28, 2013 - 9:58 am

Thank you for inspiring us to make our homes beautiful, warm, and inviting. Happy Thanksgiving!

Lynda Lamon - November 28, 2013 - 10:17 am

Love your blog, Kelly!!! You inspire me!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Marianne in Mo. - November 28, 2013 - 12:28 pm

We’re here– I for one read blogs I like daily, no matter what! Hold on, have to check the pies in the oven – okay, I’m back!
Tell your daughter she isn’t alone – I sideswiped my brother-in-law’s car while backing out of the garage! Just completely forgot it was in the driveway!
Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Marci Johnson - November 28, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Thank you for sharing the beauty of your home, your family and your life with us. I appreciate it and look forward to it, even if I do not always take the time to comment thoughts of appreciation!

Katrina - November 28, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Happy Thanksgiving Kelly! Sorry about your daughter’s fender bender. Thank you for bringing a bright spot to my day each time you have a new post!

Meredith - November 28, 2013 - 11:52 pm

Thanks for mentioning us in your post Mrs. Kelly! I love your blog, your home, your family, and your daughter. I’m extremely thankful to have you all in my life for over ten years now. I hope you all enjoyed your thanksgiving.

Also, the car has become quite the story around my house. No worries- it remains the punchline of many jokes and we can’t help but laugh.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat in Georgia - November 29, 2013 - 10:46 am

Kelly, thank you for the blessings you so abundantly provide us, your readers and fans. I can’t wait to try the Hot Christmas Punch recipe. It sounds delicious. I think as I decorate the house, I will copy you and try some. Looking forward to more posts about Christmas!

Loretta Hamilton - November 29, 2013 - 1:13 pm

Thank you for your lovely photos…sorry this is behind but yesterday was truly a wonderful, blessed day and after eleven adults, one toddler, two infants and our two Bearded Collies, Molly and Max, for dinner…I am totally exhausted. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! Loretta

Shannon - November 29, 2013 - 9:09 pm

Love the wreath! You will also have to tell me more about the chalk pen… Happy Thanksgiving!

phyllis - December 2, 2013 - 12:50 am

Thankful for you too, Kelly!
I love this blog and learn a lot also!

Pam - December 2, 2013 - 10:24 am

Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us. Some of my best friends are on-line friends. Recently I discovered that one of them is a distant cousin! Maintaining a blog has to be a lot of work and I truly appreciate yours. I often escape here during hectic times at work!

Paula B. - December 3, 2013 - 7:35 am

Just saw this post AFTER the Thanksgiving crunch……thank you, Kelly. You write such an amazing blog, each of your posts is home-y as well as informative. Even the comments left here are so much fun to read. I love all your pictures, they so highlight whatever the day’s topic is about. Blessings to you and all your family during this holiday season.

The Kitchen for Thanksgiving

Talk of the House Thanksgiving dining roomAs we approach Thanksgiving this week, I am super thankful that last week is behind me, and I can now begin to officially think about the upcoming holidays. Thank you all for your very sweet congratulations on the photo shoot.  We were very busy last Monday and Tuesday with it, and I mentioned to you that I had a project to do with my mother for the weekend.  That project was a yard sale, here.  If you have done a yard sale, you know how much work they are.  (Yes, I must have been crazy to think about doing one last week.) But hallelujah all of that is finished!  Some closets and cabinets are cleaned out, and life is back to normal. I spent today getting things ready for Thanksgiving, so I thought you might like to see the kitchen and dining room (before I begin changing it at the end of the week for Christmas.)

Talk of the House Thanksgiving tableLast year’s Thanksgiving decor had cotton and brown dead stuff.  This year I am using my mother’s green turkey plates along with acorns (brown dead stuff again. :))  So the table and kitchen are more colorful this year.

Talk of the House Thanksgiving place setting The look is a little different from the typical Thanksgiving decor, but it works well with the green plaid drapes.  Here is the buffet with its jars of cookies.

Talk of the Houe Thanksgiving buffet top

The green and brown cookbooks, along with a pumpkin and some “pinecone” acorns show up in the dining room cabinet.

Talk of the House dining room cabinet for ThanksgivingNow let’s move from the dining area to the kitchen and look at the desk.

Talk of the House Thanksgiving deskTalk of the House Thanksgiving desktopHere is a closer look at the chalkboard since you cannot see it all behind the desk organizer. Louvina wanted me to share our Thanksgiving menu.  I hate to disappoint you, but this menu would be my ideal Thanksgiving dinner – starting with my sister’s pimiento cheese stuffed celery and ending with the caramel cake made by one of my husband’s relatives. It is not really what we will be having.  You see, my husband’s side of the family has their family reunion on Thanksgiving at my in-laws’ home.  It has anywhere from 50 to 80 people in attendance.  Everyone brings a side dish or two, and it is a BIG feast – usually at lunch.  My side of the family has their dinner at night, and there are a little less than 20 of us for that.  And again, we all bring a side dish or two.  So this girl here has never cooked a turkey!  Imagine that.

Talk of the House Thanksgiving menu chalkboard

While we are looking at chalkboards, I wanted to share with you the one I did for the magazine photo shoot.  It had to be non-seasonal, so I thought cookies would be good no matter what the season, right?

Talk of the House chocolate chip cookie chalkboard recipeAlright, let’s move on around the kitchen.  We’ve got things to cook this week!

Talk of the House kitchen cornerHere is a closer look at the cookbook area of the kitchen.

Talk of the House kitchen cookbooksOn the opposite side of the kitchen is the beverage area that you have seen several times before.  The giant coffee urn holds my favorite hot holiday punch. It has such a wonderful smell!  I will have the recipe for you on Friday.

Talk of the House beverage areaAnd finally, here are sugar cookies and boxes for leftovers that I will take to my parents’ home for their Thanksgiving dinner.  I found the gable boxes at Hobby Lobby.  I did a little hand lettering on them and thought they would be perfect to hold zip lock bags of leftovers to take home. Talk of the House cookies and leftover boxes to go

Talk of the House Thanksgiving leftovers

That wraps up Thanksgiving in the kitchen.  I have a bit more Thanksgiving decor from around here to show you on Wednesday.  How are your Thanksgiving preparations going?  I know sections of our country are getting blanketed with a strong winter storm, so if you have travel plans, I hope the weather does not impact you.   We have rain headed our way and abnormally cold temperatures predicted for Thursday. I am headed out for errands in the morning before the rain gets here.  Hope to see you back here soon!

Talk of the House dining roomuntil next time…

a signature

Katrina - November 25, 2013 - 11:02 pm

The green curtains and plates are so pretty! Here’s to a 5 day break from school! Have fun at all your get togethers. Your leftover containers with your special touches are such a great idea.
Amen! I needed some time off to get caught up around here. I hope you are enjoying this time before Thanksgiving. The holiday rush will be here all too soon. Glad you liked all the green and the leftover boxes.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - November 25, 2013 - 11:50 pm

I so love seeing your kitchen in all seasons…and your table is stunning…and I must say that I love your “leftover boxes”….Happy Thanksgiving Kelly!

Donnamae - November 25, 2013 - 11:56 pm

Your mom’s turkey plates go really well with your drapes! Everything looks lovely….really like those takeout boxes….great idea! Happy Thankshiving! ;)

aimee {sixteen fourteen} - November 26, 2013 - 4:41 am

Wow! Kelly, everything looks picture perfect and absolutely gorgeous…as always! I love the green plaid drapes and the turkey plates. Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

Ron - November 26, 2013 - 6:23 am

As usual, I LOVE it all. Do you write the lists and recipes on your chalkboards. WOW! I love your font. Details, please! Happy Turkey Week! xo

Lynn - November 26, 2013 - 6:32 am

Your home is just beautiful and I love the use of green!

Linda - November 26, 2013 - 6:59 am

Kelly….your home is so pretty, whatever you do, I love it !!!! The green is lovely……Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Patty in Michigan - November 26, 2013 - 7:51 am

Too much to love here! I’m a green lover so all the green is very happy to look at! The chalkboard is wonderful as usual. Yesterday did the big shopping trip and today making pie crust on the to do list. Can’t believe it’s here already. Thankful for your friendship through your blog, Kelly!

KellyinPA - November 26, 2013 - 7:59 am

With all you are accomplishing, I thought you must have a break from school this week:) We homeschool and I always take a full week at Thanksgiving ( and two full weeks at Christmas this year!;)Everything looks so inviting, as usual. I am copying your silverware/give thanks card setting from last year for our tables this year. I will, of course, give you credit:) Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly!

Jill - November 26, 2013 - 8:06 am

So pretty, Kelly! I love the green turkey plates….very refreshing and different for Thanksgiving. Is that a rosemary topiary in your kitchen? I saw some the other day and considered buying one but figured I would probably kill it. :-/ Happy Thanksgiving! You and your blog have been a blessing to me this year.

Gail - November 26, 2013 - 8:14 am

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Kelly. Your home looks so inviting and comfortable. That’s how a home should be and you have certainly hit the mark. I love your hurricane candle holder centerpiece. I had one until recently that I loved but while I was washing it in the sink, I accidentally cracked it against the stainless steel:-( I had bought it at Pier One several years ago and went back but they didn’t have the same design. Any ideas on where I might be able to get one? In the meantime, have a very blessed Thanksgiving and one of the things I’m grateful for is finding your blog this year. It has been such
a great joy to me!

Sally - November 26, 2013 - 8:19 am

Kelly, I love those turkey plates — and your drapes!!! Love the color. Can I ask where you found them? I’ve been looking for new drapes for our living room, and can’t seem to find something that I like… Happy Thanksgiving to you! ~Sally

Paula B. - November 26, 2013 - 8:26 am

Love the turkey plates, their green against the white, so pretty. My, you’ve been busy and looks like things won’t be letting up anytime soon. Enjoy the holiday weekend (amid your busy-ness). I’m doing desserts and a dip and have, also, managed to elude cooking the turkey since I’ve been married. Phew! We have a big high school game on Thursday – it’s one of the oldest rivalries in Rhode Island, and it’s my husband’s first one as the Athletic Director, kind of exciting. Then, it’s off to the Cape to the cousins for a terrific dinner. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Kelly

karen - November 26, 2013 - 8:33 am

Great job with the Thanksgiving decor…love it!

Barb - November 26, 2013 - 8:46 am

Beautiful as always. Love the green plates and window treatments. We were looking for window treatments the other day and I said to my husband “Kelly has something like this in her house and it looks great” to which my husband asked “who’s Kelly?”. I then explained your blog and your beautiful home. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Polly in KS - November 26, 2013 - 9:07 am

Love your house. Love your website. I think you are a genius. It is brilliant the way your furniture and accessories easily move from room to room and look like they belong in their new place. Additionally, how you are able to switch out your curtains, plates, cookbooks and have a whole new look! I bet you save a lot of money , feelings of aggravation, and time. Thanks to Stephen Saint-Onge, I found your blog. Happy days! Decorate? Me? Nope. I’ve always known I wanted something stylish, slightly elegant, but mostly casual, that was easy to do and costs little (decorating for holidays and overall). I couldn’t find something that fit all of my criteria until I found you and your website. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathy - November 26, 2013 - 9:09 am

I just don’t know where to begin!! Your Mother’s green turkey plates are PERFECT with your drapes; love your white ceramic turkey; love your white cabinets and wood counter tops; love the plate rack on the wall in the first picture – did you make it or is it an antique? Your home looks so warm and inviting! Hope you and your’s have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Penny Neeld - November 26, 2013 - 9:11 am

Love, love, the green dishes….the entire tablescape is beautiful. And as usual, I love everything I see. We have the whole week off from school here as well and I also was sooo glad to finish last week. Whew! Happy Turkey Day to you and yours.

lisa - November 26, 2013 - 9:39 am

Thank you Kelly for the sweet email. I wish we could have coffee!
I was so happy to read your menu this morning. I’ve never heard of anyone else enjoying pimento cheese stuffed celery. It was my Mom made my Dad every Thanksgiving. This year he will not be with us as he fell in March and is in nursing care now. He’s doing well but we will miss him.
I will try the caramel cake. Sounds wonderful. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and I hope all your children get to come home.

Garden, Home and Party - November 26, 2013 - 9:46 am

I love the simplicity of your Thanksgiving table. Green and brown is such an inviting color combination to me. I cannot believe you’ve never cooked a turkey. :D
We’re going to our son’s house, his new wife is preparing a feast, with some help from the parents. I confess, I’m planning to decorate for Christmas this weekend since we won’t be entertaining guests.
Enjoy your holiday and stay warm, my friend.

Cheri - November 26, 2013 - 10:12 am

I LOVE the green you did…so pretty and you (always) decorate your home that it makes it so inviting. I hope you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Dawn - November 26, 2013 - 10:53 am


I LOVE, love, love all of the green! Where did you find/get the pinecone acorns? I adore pinecones and acorns! Thanks for sharing all of the details and photos with us. I wish you and your family a blessed and healthy Thanksgiving!

Marianne in Mo. - November 26, 2013 - 11:05 am

Love the green plaid, my favorite color. Only a blogger would decorate for Thanksgiving when they wouldn’t even be home.
We will be at my sister-in law’s for dinner, and I am bringing the pies. It will be in the 30′s here, but sunny. Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Ellen Martin - November 26, 2013 - 11:31 am

Your Thanksgiving table and kitchen are charming!! I love the leftover containers and your wonderful lettering on those and your chalkboards……such a nice touch! Happy Thanksgiving!

Talia - November 26, 2013 - 12:09 pm

What a lovely table you set! I swear food tastes better when served in/on a beautiful setting. (or maybe that’s just me!)

As always, you home looks so cozy and inviting. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Rose L - November 26, 2013 - 4:33 pm

Kelly, Your home looks amazing, as always. Love the green turkey plates and the pinecone/acorns! We are going to my step-son’s house this year and will get to spend the day with them and our newest grand daughter. I will be cooking but not the turkey. On my menu is homemade apple butter, yeast rolls and butter, green beans in cheese sauce, a cornbread casserole and a fresh cranberry salad. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it ;) Have a wonderful Holiday with your family!!

Kathy R. - November 26, 2013 - 4:35 pm

Ha, Katrina! MY favorite thing was the leftover box. Well, and the chalkboard menu. Kelly, please make that a pinterest pin so I can save it for next year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Jena - November 26, 2013 - 6:36 pm

Hi Kelly,

Love your blog just started following it.

Jayne - November 26, 2013 - 7:54 pm

We always have family over for Thanksgiving. Usually my side, but this year my husbands side. My husband usually smokes the turkey, which is out of this world. Unfortunately, it’s going to be too cold to smoke so I’m roasting it in the oven. Haven’t done that in years! Your house is lovely. I’m going to “borrow” some of your ideas. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wanda - November 27, 2013 - 8:42 am

Oh I love the plates! You are incredible! Have a beautiful, grateful Thanksgiving!

Debra - November 27, 2013 - 10:55 pm

Just finally taking a break from holiday preparations and of course I was eager to see if you had posted. How do you find the time? I had to giggle a bit when I saw your table, as mine is similar to yours. I stumbled upon a large white ceramic turkey on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics 2 weeks ago and what a score at $8. Then I was able find some new linen color cloth napkins at Target on sale as well. I usually have two large cylinder candle holders all the time on our harvest table. I left those in the middle as well and just placed a few mini pumpkin gourds. Done. Those green plates are wonderful. Love all your other touches in the kitchen, especially the beverage area. Can’t wait for you to post your hot holiday punch recipe. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family Kelly.

The Winner of the Williams-Sonoma books and Some News

Talk of the House -Williams Sonoma book giveaway November 2013Hello Folks!  I have a couple of exciting announcements for you today.  First, you probably would like to know who won the great Williams-Sonoma holiday books, right?  Well…it was comment number…

random number winner of ws books

and that lucky number belonged to this comment…

winning comment for ws books

Congratulations Karen! If you will send me an email with your mailing address, I will get the books out to you quickly so that you can see all the beautiful inspiration they have inside. And thank you to everyone who left comments on the posts. I was surprised how many of you like the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.:) It was a toss up whether the stuffing (dressing as we call it) or the leftovers were more dearly loved.  I got hungry just reading your comments!  I had 2 other books that I wanted to do posts on during the week of the contest so that you would have more chances to enter, but I never got around to doing them thanks to this…

Talk of the House family roomand this…

Talk of the House hallway

and this…

Talk of the House dining roomand this.

Talk of the House bedroom(Sorry for the blurry photo, but I wanted a shot of the camera, and I took this one in a hurry.)  Obviously, that is not my photography equipment.  All of it belongs to the amazing photographers, Anne Gridley and Gary Graves. (Anne is as camera shy as I am, so I am using this photo of them from Country Living magazine.)

Anne Gridley and Gary Graves

My photos above show their lights used for a magazine photo shoot held here the past couple of days. I feel like we have been running a marathon for two weeks straight getting ready for this. And I still wasn’t totally ready when they arrived on Monday morning.  In fact, I had to do the chalkboard in the playroom and the one on the porch while they started photographing the living room.  Thank goodness my husband was home to help with this, too!  So who are Anne Gridley and Gary Graves, you ask.

Well, they currently live in Pennsylvania but travel all over the country with their dog Le-Le taking photographs.  They do independent work, and they do magazine work for Harris Publishing Company. Anne worked eight years in NYC as an assistant for Keith Scott Morton, one of Country Living Magazine’s top contributing photographer/stylists. Gary worked in art for years before he and Anne decided to start their own independent photography business.  Together they worked with James Cramer and the late Dean Johnson on a book about window boxes.  (Cramer and Johnson have been featured numerous times in Country Home, Country Living, and Cottage Living.)

Window Boxes book

Window Boxes: Indoors & Out

Anne and Gary’s home also has been featured in Country Living magazine.

Gridley - Graves' living room and their

library in the home of photographers Anne Gridley and Gary

Anne has shared her cake stand collection on Martha Stewart Living television.

Anne Gridley's cakestand collection - Martha Stewart

Their work has been published many many times in House Beautiful with their photography for the featured Kitchen of the Month.

Nantucket Kitchen of the month from House Beautiful - Gridley Graves

Craig Kettles' Kitchen of the Month in House Beautiful - Gridley Graves

Craig Kettles' kitchen in House Beautiful - Gridley Graves photography

And they have done a series of before and after shots using their photo styling skills.

Before and after styling by Gridley Graves

Isn’t their work great?  And after knowing about all the beautiful homes they have photographed and all the talented interior designers and architects with whom they have worked, I was shocked that they would even want to see our little house here.  To say I was intimidated about their coming was an understatement.  But nerd girl here also knew it was a wonderful opportunity to watch and learn from two VERY knowledgeable people.:)When Layla and Kevin Palmer (from The Lettered Cottage) shot our home for Cottages and Bungalows magazine, they changed very little in the vignettes around here.

Talk of the House Christmas photo shoot with the Lettered

If I remember correctly, they moved one throw pillow, changed out one towel, moved one chair over about 3 ft., and moved a tray in the kitchen.  Otherwise, they left everything as I had it arranged.  But I knew that was unusual for a magazine photo shoot, so I was not expecting it to be like that this time. I knew there would be changes.

And changes there were.  Gary would look at a room, decide how he wanted to style it, and then he and Anne would begin moving things around…chairs, lamps, photos, books.  It was then like a scavenger hunt with “Do you have a black tray? Do you have a red napkin?  Do you have a different color throw pillow? Do you have a pitcher I can use here?  Can you get me glasses with ice and straws that we can use in this spot?”  They wanted to show a house that looked naturally lived in.  It was a ton of work looking for and finding things for them, but it was an awful lot of fun too.  Then they would shoot the room and look at it on the computer monitor…then tweak things in the room or with the lighting…over and over and over again until they had it like they wanted it. (Must get a cable that tethers my camera to my computer!)  Their attention to detail was unbelievable.

One of the most difficult things about this was that I could not have anything that was seasonally related in the rooms.  The magazine editors wanted to be able to use the photos in whatever issue they decided to.  No pumpkins or mums or anything remotely resembling fall.  It was quite a challenge to do that because you all know how much I like to do seasonal vignettes, like this…

Talk of the House table for Thanksgiving with cotton

(That was last year’s table.  With the photo shoot, I have not done anything for Thanksgiving yet…but it IS coming. :))

Another challenge for me was that I wanted to keep it a secret from all of you.  Secret keeping is definitely NOT something I do well.  I was afraid that if I put it out here on the blog, I would jinx it.:( So now that the shoot is finished, I couldn’t wait to share it with you (but I had to get some rest last night after several consecutive nights of only 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Sorry.)

The thing that was most interesting to me from this was that someone with fresh eyes (and a braver use of color!) can take the things in a house, use them in the rooms of the home, and make it look entirely different.  So a big thank you to Anne and Gary for showing that to this timid-use-of-color girl here.

Oh, and what magazine was this for?  No it is not Country Living (although I would LOVE to do a seasonal photo shoot of the house with them!)  As I mentioned, Anne and Gary work for Harris Publishing.  Harris does not do subscription magazines.  They put out single issue book-a-zines that you find in grocery and drug stores…Cottage Style, American Dream Cottage, etc.  So in about a year, it will be in one of their cottage issues.  As soon as I know more, I will definitely let you know. I do know that Gary told my husband that one of their typical shoots will end up with 12 to 15 photos they send to the publisher from which they can choose.  After a day and a half here, he said that he had 19 to send to them from our house. That’s pretty darn good, I think!

I’ve got a project to do with my mother this weekend, and then hopefully things will get back to normal after that…whatever “normal” is these days! LOL Again, congratulations to Karen on winning the books, and thank you to all of you for letting me share my bit of news.  I’ll be back with seasonal things soon.:)

Talk of the House - Thanksgiving table

(last year’s table)

until next time…a signature

Barbara (WA) - November 20, 2013 - 6:18 pm

How exciting and fun!! I seem to always have a story to tell, heh. When my son was in high school, Country Living did their House of the Year here on the island where we live. The contractor hired my son to water the newly planted landscaping since it was August and very dry. He worked 8, 9 hours each day watering!!! Then when the photo shoot happened with Keith Scott Morton, I got a call that newspaper, kindling, and firewood were needed. So I gathered those items and took them to the house. IN the magazine, you see a fire in the fireplace. That is MY newspaper, kindling and firewood burning. Kinda thrilling!!! Congratulations, Kelly! Well deserved recongnition of your beautiful home!
Thank you Barbara! And how fun that you got to help with the photo shoot of the House of the Year (plus get to see it ahead of time!)I bet Ann Gridley was there with Keith Scott Morton when you were there. :) I could use your newspaper, kindling, and firewood burning right now. It is cold and damp here tonight!

yarlette - November 20, 2013 - 6:26 pm

Kelly, what a wonderful surprise. You deserve to be in a magazine. Your home is so beautifully styled. Congratulations I am so happy for you. Can not wait to buy them when they come out.

Katrina - November 20, 2013 - 6:28 pm

OMGOODNESS…that is SO exciting!!!! I was starting to worry about you when a week had elapsed with no new post!!! What a wonderful reason to not be able to post anything! I am just so excited for you. I am really thinking this decorating,event planning,trip planning and menu sharing holds a whole new career for you!!!

Dawn - November 20, 2013 - 6:28 pm

Oh Kelly! That sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait to hear and see more about your photo shoot with them. Congratulations!

Barbara H - November 20, 2013 - 6:32 pm

How exciting for you! I’ve always thought your home was magazine worthy but I have to say that I would be hard-pressed to change anything-I love all your “Kelly touches”. Congratulations!

Donnamae - November 20, 2013 - 6:36 pm

Wondered where you’d been! That is exciting news for you! I think it would be fun to get another set of eyes to view my home, and take my things and rearrange them. Congrats to you! ;)

Louvina - November 20, 2013 - 6:37 pm

What fun! What fun! Just “felt” like “something” was happening– but wasn’t sure WHAT!! So glad it was something good– was concerned you may have been ill again!! Need to go back to reread to see what I missed– at first I thought some alien thing had landed when I saw the pictures!! Then I thought you had gotten new camera equipment!!:) So busy here— cleaning, making to do lists and planning next week “lesson plans”! Can’t get anything done unless I write it down and check it off– just like teaching plans! Old habits – hard to let go of!! Happy Thankful Week!! Congrats on your exciting news!!:)

Garden, Home and Party - November 20, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Oh, Kelly,
I’m bursting with excitement, not only for winning these two fabulous books (I know if you love them, I’ll love them too), but I’m so excited for your and the photo shoot and subsequent publishing of your home. I love your style and can hardly wait to pour over the photographs they capture. Did you end up leaving some of their styling vignettes in place? This is so great. I’ve purchased that magazine before, in fact today I nearly bought the Christmas issue. I love it because it doesn’t have ads.
I’ll email my contact info, thank you so much for having such a great getaway.

Megan - November 20, 2013 - 7:02 pm


How wonderful for you! I can’t wait to see which magazine has your pictures in it – I will buy a copy!!!!! This is such a such a great job on your blog, and your home is amazing. Keep it up – I have a feeling that this is just a start of more to come!!


Marlene - November 20, 2013 - 7:17 pm

I am so excited and not at all surprised. You are so creative and have some a charming, warm, family friendly, and beautiful home. I always look so forward to reading your blog. Glad you will let us know so we can purchase the magazine.
Love last year’s Thanksgiving table. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. We have so many things to be Thankful for and thank you for taking your time to create Talk of the House.

Martha - November 20, 2013 - 7:28 pm

I was worried about you too, thought maybe you had a relapse of your earlier illness. How exciting to have your home photographed for the second time ! I have only learned recently that the homes we see in magazines are often altered greatly for photo shoots. Your home is so inviting and decorated so well, I am surprised they had to do anything. It would be fun to see the before and after….did you take any more pictures during the process??? how silly…of course you did. Please share them with us when you can.

Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA - November 20, 2013 - 7:52 pm

SOOOOOOOO excited for you!! So now the realization of just how talented you are and how cozy you have made your home MUST SET IN!!! Not one but two have shot pics of your beautiful home!! You, my friend are extremely talented! Hugs to you!

Patty in Michigan - November 20, 2013 - 7:58 pm

How wonderful, Kelly! Your house is so beautiful that it should be in a magazine. This is really exciting!

anita - November 20, 2013 - 7:58 pm

Congratulations to the lucky winner of the books! This is very exciting news to share with your readers. Your home looks so cozy and classy. Well deserved of the photo shoot!

Judy - November 20, 2013 - 8:02 pm

oh sweet girl…how exciting and i can’t think of anyone who deserves it more! see, your “fans” aren’t the only ones who see your talent. i can’t wait for the magazine to come out so i can buy my copy….can i send it to you for an autograph?! (LOL) No, seriously…..

now get some sleep so you can get back to “normal”!

Jill - November 20, 2013 - 10:18 pm

Wow! What exciting news. Congratulations Kelly! I can’t wait to see the final outcome. How will we ever wait for a whole year? That is going to be torture!

Rose L - November 20, 2013 - 10:26 pm

Aw, Kelly, it was only a matter of time! I’m so pleased for you. Congratulations!!


Pat in Georgia - November 20, 2013 - 10:48 pm

Kelli, how wonderful to have such an amazing experience and opportunity! Congratulations, I never tire of seeing your beautiful home in some many various settings and vignettes. Get some rest, your fans are patiently waiting with anticipation to see what you have in store for the holidays!!!

Vickie - November 20, 2013 - 11:13 pm

Congratulations!! Can’t wait to see your beautiful home!! I loved it when Kevin & Layla came so I am sure this will be wonderful too!!!

Jayne - November 21, 2013 - 12:18 am

How exciting! Your home is lovely! Get some rest now and enjoy the holidays. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

Kristi@Chatfield Court - November 21, 2013 - 12:45 am

Congratulations Kelly! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to see the photos.


Debra - November 21, 2013 - 1:03 am

Hi Kelly, I’m new to your blog. I was searching fall decor recently and a picture popped up of your wonderful fall table. I want those pumpkin soup bowls now. Love them. I thought of you when I was in Pottery Barn the other day, as they have santa hat ones for Christmas that were so cute. I adore your home and simple decorating style. I have quite a bit of wicker as well that I have collected for years too. What an experience to have your home professionally photographed. I can’t wait to hear when it will be released. Oh, the blog world and what it can bring. Congrates from a new admirer.

KellyinPA - November 21, 2013 - 7:27 am

How fun for you! Well, I’m sure it was a lot of work too but what a wonderful opportunity and experience. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Thank you for sharing your home with us:)

cin - November 21, 2013 - 7:38 am

Congratulations Kelly!
I can’t wait to see the finished product! It is fascinating to watch what a talented fresh set of eyes can do with your home isn’t it?

Arlene@Nanaland - November 21, 2013 - 8:37 am

Congrats Kelly…your home is so lovely and homey that I am not surprised photographers would be clamoring to get inside!! I had my house “fluffed” one time. A decorator came and just moved things around and suggested colors etc. I kept most of the things as she left it but she did not want pix of my grands on my secretary!! Like moving those sweet faces was going to happen!!lol

Talia - November 21, 2013 - 8:38 am

This is so exciting! I am not at all surprised though. Your house is beautiful. I so wish you lived closer – then I could borrow you and have a beautiful house as well.

Can’t wait to get the magazine. Congratulations!!

Kathy - November 21, 2013 - 9:11 am

Wow! How fun! How exciting! Congratulations!!!! You go, Girl!

Lisa - November 21, 2013 - 9:25 am

Congratulations, Kelly! That is so exciting, and the ultimate compliment that they chose your home. It is so beautiful, and you are so talented. Can’t wait to see where the photos end up. A few years ago we had an infomercial done at our home for Sunsetter awnings. I was like a little child in awe the whole time they were here. I will never forget it. They even brought in actors to “enjoy” the awning. So much fun!

Mary from Virginia - November 21, 2013 - 9:51 am

I knew you would end up in a magazine or book! You SO deserve it. You have lovely taste and a gorgeous home. Congratulations to a well deserved home and family!

Barbara - November 21, 2013 - 9:52 am

I am so happy for you!! Now the entire world will know what we’ve known all along….your home is beautiful,your style can’t be beat and you are generous to share it all with us. Congratulations Kelly!

Amy O'Quinn - November 21, 2013 - 10:04 am

Wow! How exciting…but I am not at all surprised! Your home is lovely and your style is awesome. You inspire all of us to love our homes and create cozy, beautiful spaces by thinking in new and creative ways. You deserve all the wonderful things that come your way! Congratulations! :)

Jill - November 21, 2013 - 10:20 am

What exciting news! Congratulations! I will look forward to seeing your lovely home in print. Not for a year though? That’s going to be torture!

Kim - November 21, 2013 - 10:23 am

Congratulations! Your home is so beautiful if should be featured in many magazines for the world to see.

JIll - November 21, 2013 - 1:53 pm

I have had my home photographed and have since styled for some shoots – it’s not what I originally thought. Isn’t it amazing the time it takes to take ONE single photo?

Look for a client project that I styled in the spring issue of Flea Market Style!

Can’t wait to see yours!

Enjoying getting to know you here – as I have recently discovered your blog.

Debbie w - November 21, 2013 - 4:38 pm

Well deserved! Now, relax for Thanksgiving,

Wanda - November 22, 2013 - 7:13 am

Oh my Kelly! You are living the dream! What a marvelous and fabulous and gladolous (:)))) experience!

Can’t wait to see where it ends up! I will have that publication for sure!

Marianne in Mo. - November 22, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Wondered where you were, hoped you were well! I don’t think I could stand having my home photographed! I think of it like my art, and am always worried about other opinions of it. Silly me, but I don’t enjoy criticism. That being said, I do get envy from my small circle about how I decorate….guess I’m on to something, but I just do what I like. Can’t wait to see your place from their viewpoint, because I love it already!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - November 22, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Congrats to the winner and how very exciting Kelly!….your home is gorgeous and certainly belongs in many publications. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Paula B. - November 22, 2013 - 5:02 pm

How exciting and what an adventure! And, how did you ever keep this news from all of us???? Such a nice testimony to your exquisite taste and cozy style.

Anne Boykin - November 25, 2013 - 6:06 am

Hi Kelly, I have chime in and say your home is so beautiful and I can’t wait to see it in the magazine! Congratulations! And wow your table from last year was gorgeous. I’m thankful for your lovely blog.

Gina - November 27, 2013 - 12:50 pm

How exciting! I knew your home was magazine worthy. ;)

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