Masthead header

Carpenter and MacNeille – part 2

Carpenter and MacNeille porchsource 

I know I told you I would start the vacation posts this week, but there is a part 2 for the amazing firm of Carpenter and MacNeille that you need to see.  My vacation things can wait.:)I think you are going to love these houses.

Let’s start with a new home by Carpenter and MacNeille that has been built on a historic site, located in Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts.  Doesn’t it look like an old inn?

Carpenter and MacNeille shingled photo by Richard Mandelkorn

Carpenter and MacNeille photo by Richard Mandelkorn

Here is one of the bathrooms.  What a relaxing view!

Carpenter and MacNeille bathroom photo by Richard Mandelkorn

And I know you want to see its lovely kitchen.  Notice all the variety of lighting.

Carpenter and MacNeille photo by Richard Mandelkorn

Now let’s take a look at just the kitchen in a wonderful renovation done by the firm.  The home is owned by a couple who live year round in London. The husband is British, and the wife is American.This is their second home (i.e. vacation home.)  You’ll never believe what that backsplash behind the stove is constructed from – marble?  Nope. Petrified wood!

Old Town Road kitchen cabinet  Carpenter Macneille  photo by Michael J. Lee

I spy Emma Bridgewater dishes in the cabinet there.:)

kitchen Carpenter photo by Michael J. Lee

Don’t you love the plate rack with all those beautiful platters?

Old Town Road kitchen plate rack Carpenter photo by Michael J. Lee

Here is another white kitchen that Carpenter and Macneille completed.  It is in a seaside carriage house that the firm restored.  I really liked the accent of black for the countertops and the sink backsplash.

Wayside kitchen sink Carpenter  photo by Sam Gray

And one last project from Carpenter and MacNeille..a big one.

The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate

the Inn at Castle

This was the cottage on the Crane estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts. It was renovated into an inn a number of years ago, with each of its guest rooms decorated by a different designer.  Last year, the trustees asked Carpenter and MacNeille to redecorate all the rooms so that there would be continuity in the design of the spaces.  The refresh was completed this past spring.

This is the living room:

living room Inn at Castle

One of the ten guest rooms:

guestroom Inn at Castle

and its bath.

Inn at Castle Hill

And finally, the front porch.

Inn at Castle Hill front

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the work of the firm of Carpenter and MacNeille.  I think I am partial to all of their kitchens!  The woodwork done by their firm of Stephen Terhune woodworking really makes all the difference in the quality of their spaces.

I have one more inn to show you, and then the vacation posts will be up with a giveaway for you!:)

Until next time…

a signature

Dawn - July 28, 2014 - 8:22 pm


I am so glad that you shared some more Carpenter and MacNeille designs with us. I love the front porch in the first picture, the guest room with the reading nook accented in green and the last porch picture! They really do spectacular work. So neat, clean and pulled together. That bath tub looks like the most relaxing spot with a view. Thanks for sharing their work with us again. I am still anxious to see your vacation post though.

Jeanne Bell - July 28, 2014 - 9:04 pm

I love the designs of Carpenter and MacNeille. Blogs like this are the reason that you need to keep blogging.
Thanks for the little escape and if you hear they need a cleaning lady, waitress, greeter or whatever…I am available.
Too funny Jeanne! They just might take you up on it! LOL

nan, odessa, DE - July 29, 2014 - 7:15 am

Please tell me more about the EMMA BRIDGEWATER pottery.
Nan, I did a post earlier in the year with a link to a few Emma Bridgewater things. It is at the end of the post. You might want to check it out for a little more info.

Megan - July 29, 2014 - 7:35 am

Hi Kelly,
The song “If I had A Million Dollars” keeps running through my head. I would hire this firm! I love their work!! And I am with Nan – I would love to learn more about the Emma Bridgewater pottery.
Megan :)

Debra - July 29, 2014 - 8:56 am

Wishing I was sipping my morning coffee while sitting on that wonderful porch in your first picture posted. Oh, to have property on a waterfront. In my dreams. Thank you once again for the peek at how one lives a more grand lifestyle. Carpenter & MacNeille does lovely work. Love that first kitchen. Well, its time for the reheat on the coffee and I need to go investigate now the smell of over cooked toast. Daughter is getting ready for work. Ha…Back to reality.


Kathy - July 29, 2014 - 10:09 am

My favorite rooms are the kitchens too. Thanks for sharing!

Garden, Home and Party - July 29, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Hi Kelly,
Better late than never…these are amazing houses in amazing locations but I love the detail of each room you showed as well. What a talented firm.
I’ve never built a house from scratch, but I’d want to be sure I had someone knowledgeable as well as creative on the team.
I am glad you liked the houses Karen. The Carpenter and MacNeille firm is most certainly talented. Building a house from scratch is a ton of work, but I would do it again if given the opportunity, and would especially jump on it if we could work with that firm!

Jayne - July 30, 2014 - 3:09 pm

I love the lighting in the cabinets! Oh, all the things I would add if I could go back and rebuild our house! All the things I would leave out! haha!
I meant to mention that lighting too. Wasn’t that just great?! I would love to add that to our cabinets in the kitchen here too.

Paula B. - July 31, 2014 - 6:20 am

Such classic styling, and yet, if I may be biased, there is the feel of traditional New England – yes? I think I love best the porch fronting the Crane estate “cottage”, it’s so deep and cozy looking. But, those kitchens, how about that walk-in pantry? Sigh, you really know how to tease us with the eye candy, don’t you, Kelly! Was this the back-to=school week (or should I not mention that?), if so, I hope things got off to a good start. I cannot believe that August will be here tomorrow… soon we will begin to see the shadows deepen and the late afternoon light will have subtly begun to change. In the mornings or at night, there will be cooler temps that remind us of a new season. But, for now, I am off to the Cape and will be enjoying time with old friends, including the beach! (Today, we are “lunching” at the swanky Wequasset Inn on the coast in Chatham – I know there will be some fun shopping on Main Street afterwards. Hello, Candy Manor!)
Most definitely a feel of classic New England. :) Yes, this was the back to school week….waaaaay too early. I don’t know what in the world they were thinking! I hope you had fun in Chatham…love that little town!

Talk of the Weekend #3

76 Main Nantucket hotelsource

I think I will start this like Carolyn began her comment on the last post

Good gracious alive!!

I am totally blown away by ALL of your extremely encouraging words.  Truly.  Some made me laugh out loud…Scribbler’s about “drinking the Koolaid and joining the Coven,” Jill’s “Who gave you access to inside my head,” Cindy’s offer to finish the room above the garage to keep me blogging (my husband really loved that one!), Dawn’s offer for a “campaign to raise funds” (another one my husband liked:)) and a reader’s email that read, “I don’t care if you advertise cigarettes – I’ll still be reading your blog and copying your decorating,” (but of course she was joking! LOL.)

Some were soooo very sweet they brought tears to my eyes.  (Jayne, thank you for your sweet tweet too.)And all of them gave me a huge smile.  I think I need to track down a certain pots and pan salesman that I ran off years ago and apologize because according to Marianne and Sue, the cookware is phenomenal.:)

76 Main courtyard


I am normally very good about inferring things from texts (heck, I taught that in reading for decades!) but somehow I missed that in my own writing here.  I guess I was sooo worried that those bloggers who do have advertisements on their blog and do read my posts would be offended by my writing, that I never in a million years would have dreamed that you thought I was quitting! Dummy me.  When Barbara first commented that, it surprised me, but then over and over you all said it.  I apologize, I didn’t mean to make you think that!  And to those of you who skipped to the end before you read the whole post….shame on you, you naughty children! (I do the same thing with books.:)) A big thank you to those of you who are always so faithful about leaving your comments and another big one to those of you who have never left comments before but decided to jump in this time.   Know that you ALL are very much appreciated.

Okay, that is enough touchy-feely stuff.:)How about we get to this weekend’s things to talk about?

1.  The boutique hotel at the top of the post is in Nantucket and has recently been totally renovated to a fresh upscale style.  They even have that little courtyard area up above to enjoy.  Read about all of it here. (One of the rooms has a pair of chairs upholstered in black and white buffalo check!)

Gary McBorniesource

2.  Do you remember my posts on talented Gary McBournie?  He has a good article on tips for decorating using your floorplan and thinking about scale, paint, function and other details. Check it out here

Traditional Home mag

3.  Another article in Traditional Home you might like to read today is this one.  It is a feature about a house in South Carolina that has that gorgeous room above (and more!)

Little Pond Farm NCsource

4.  Now let’s go to North Carolina. Do you remember my posts on Little Pond Farm?  Well the wonderful innkeepers there were recently interviewed and filmed for a television show.  (Congratulations Gaye and Frank!) You can take a video tour of some of the rooms by clicking here.  Their part begins a little before the 15 minute mark in the video.

5.  My husband and I had a date night last night.:) We dined at a Greek restaurant that serves some delicious European inspired dishes.  I had planned to order just a salad and dessert, but their entrees were too tempting. I couldn’t resist.:( So we had a shared dessert….

tiramisu cake

Tiramisu cake…very delicious.  You can check out my mom’s box cake recipe here or another totally from scratch one here. Either way, I could probably eat the entire thing!

6.  We also went to see this movie…

and so it goessource

It was cute…nothing really award winning, but entertaining.  My favorite scene was the very last one…totally sweet (and the credits roll with a very pretty piano piece.)  It did not have the wonderful houses that other Diane Keaton movies have, but one of the homes did have a to-die-for-kitchen with some beautiful yellow wallpaper.  I am waiting to see if it shows up somewhere on the internet.

7.  The movie opens with this scene…a fun little flight.:)

opening scene from And So it Goes


8.  And the exterior of this house can be viewed there.  I don’t think any of the interior is used in the movie, but you can see it here.

real estate in CTsource

9.  Earlier in the week, we had dinner out at a local restaurant, and our daughter had krispy kreme bread pudding for dessert.  She gave me one spoonful….It was like having a melt-in-your-mouth-fresh-”hot light”-Krispy Kreme doughnut.:)

krispy kreme bread pudding

I had looked for a recipe for this for awhile, and all I could find were those that had raisins or a topping that I did not like.  But I think I have found a good one here. The next time I buy doughnuts we are going to have to give it a try!

10.  And finally, while we are on the subject of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I’ve just got to say, I love this old ad of theirs.  So clever!



Balance…moderation…That’s the key, right?

Our oldest son has accepted a job in Seattle and will be moving somewhere near Bellevue, so we are going to be helping him research housing the next few days.  I hope your weekend is a great one.  If you are not traveling and staying in a lovely inn, perhaps you can at least spend time reading a piece you enjoy, cooking and eating a delicious dish (like Krispy Kreme bread pudding!) or going to see a delightful movie.  Whatever you do, I hope it is fun!:)

Until next time…

a signature

anita - July 26, 2014 - 1:36 pm

It’s like you have a little family here and it’s growing! We supporters are happy that all that talk is over with! You gave me a scare there for a while, but I was a good girl not to jump to the end of the post. Anyhoo, I really like the krispy Kreme advertising. Very clever indeed. Have a great weekend.
Yes, you were a good girl to not jump to the end of the post Anita! I am so proud of you. :)
It IS like a family here, and I love it!! That is what makes blogging so fun and rewarding.
Have a great week!

Dawn - July 26, 2014 - 2:33 pm


It is so good to see your beautiful post today! I love it when I have to time to pour over it and click on every link! The court yard above speaks to me! I love that firepit and have recently priced one for the lake house deck…it is a bit out our price range at the moment but you never know what the future holds! Thanks for the lovely photos, inspiration and the recipes today!

Martha - July 26, 2014 - 3:50 pm

I have been off the grid for a few days and when I read your last post about your blog…I had a few heart palpitations as I read, thinking it was your goodbye …and was so happy when I realized you weren’t quitting. As all of your readers commented, we love your blog because it is friendly, informative and fun. I don’t like blogs with lots of product demos, but appreciate advice about what product works best.It is easy to tell who is just hawking free goods that advertisers give them. I realize how much time is involved in writing a good blog and I am always amazed at everything you accomplish. I do love you even more for the insight on how you have agonized about making money by allowing advertising.Go ahead, I know you will find the right balance.

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - July 26, 2014 - 5:58 pm

Kelly, loved all the links to cool houses on your post. Such eye candy for all of us!
On a more personal note, fun to hear your son got a job in Seattle! We live 30 miles north of there! If you ever decide to come for a visit, would love to connect with you!

Miles lie - July 26, 2014 - 7:40 pm

Hi Kelly! I love the ad! It’s very true indeed! Yes, I am reading something I love and I thought I would share it with you since I found you because of your post about Jan Karon. I am reading all of the old Miss Read books. They remind me a lot of J.K. except very English and much older. They are wonderful. Have a great weekend!

Donnamae - July 26, 2014 - 7:58 pm

Thanks for all the links. I checked out that recipe for Krispy Kreme bread pudding…oh my word! Can you say saweeeet!! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

DiAnne - July 26, 2014 - 8:25 pm

Love your blog! How exciting for your son to be moving to the Seattle area! It is just beautiful there and you will enjoy going for visits. As for the ads, I think you maybe can control the way they look somewhat. I read some blogs where it isn’t pop up ads and linky parties all the time. I actually like to read product endorsements when I feel like they are genuine. I have been reading your blog long enough to trust you. I don’t think you would be giving false pitches for products just to make money. I also love books so will like your book section.
Just keep on being yourself Nd doing what you do and the readers and followers will come.

Louvina - July 26, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Seems like we have all settled down after our “scare”! And relaxing on a nice Saturday evening. I will be going back to check out all the sources and enjoy all the pictures again. What I liked the best was the Krispy Creme ad and the outline of the spoon by your daughter’s dessert! How clever! Spent the afternoon with dear friends at their family reunion and made a new beautiful 7 layer mild bean dip with scoops. Found the recipe and step by step directions that promised if I followed it would look like the picture– I took my time and by Josephine it did!:)It is in this month LHJ. I wanted to make brown bag chip holders like yours but didn’t have time so I just folded down the chip bags and made a “collar” and placed in a wooden green basket. Life is good and you add so much joy to your readers through your blog. Thank you, Kelly for being true to yourself and sharing so much of your life with us!

Katrina - July 26, 2014 - 10:30 pm

Happy to be commenting without my heart palpitating like it was last night when I thought you were giving up blogging…LOL! So so excited for your son! My husband and another friend’s husband are planning a trip for the two couples to Seattle and the Cannadian Rockies. The trip isn’t until next summer so now I ‘ll hopefully have some good suggestions from you on great places to include on the trip. I have never been to the Northwest.
I just got back from the new Dianne Keaton movie. It was cute but kinda just like a movie on Lifetime.. LOL. I think I was more prepared for a comedy so I was a little disappointed.
Have a relaxing Sunday!
That trip will be wonderful! I am sure my sons can give you many recommendations (especially on eating) since they made a road trip across the U.S. to the West Coast and up to Canada last fall. I was expecting more of a comedy from the movie too, but I think comedy depends on timing, and if you give away all of your good lines in the trailers, then you have no “surprise” in timing for your audience. Truly they showed all the funny lines in the trailer. I am looking forward to seeing The Hundred Foot Journey next weekend.
Have a good week Katrina!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 26, 2014 - 10:42 pm

I like you more and more . . . I used to teach school, and I hate raisins in my bread pudding!

And I’ve actually made Krispy Kreme bread pudding myself. (Also MoonPie bread pudding!)
Too funny! You mean there is actually life after teaching school??LOL Yummy to the Moonpie bread pudding. We had that back in the spring, and it was delicious. Having a warm dessert makes all the difference in the world!

Rae Hilhorst - July 27, 2014 - 2:51 am

I saw the shorts for the movie last week and I can’t wait. I think I must a copy of a fair few of Diane’s movies. We love her style and I think nearly every movie is set in the most divine home xxx

Susan - July 27, 2014 - 12:49 pm

What a nice variety, in your “things to talk about.” It’s fun to follow the links and get nice little surprises. Thank you, Kelly!

Jen - July 27, 2014 - 3:02 pm

Kelly – those desserts both look delicious! Love the Krispy Kreme add too. So fitting for every aspect of life. I really do appreciate your blog. Your writing it so authentic and from the heart and everything you post is so classy and inspirational. TOTH has become my favorite blog! Good luck with your son’s new endeavor. Seattle is beautiful (so I hear).

Debra - July 27, 2014 - 3:29 pm

My dose of Kelly! That hotel looked wonderful and how nice it would be to visit there. Sigh! Not sure I want to see that movie with no “house” eye candy. Darn! Thanks for the heads up. Well, at least I got to tour that beautiful mansion through your link. I tried to click to the Krispy Kreme link but my McAfee detection gave me a Whoa! Ugh. Your tiramisu looked so yummy. Now I want some as it is my favorite besides cheesecake. Read momma’s recipe. Oh, you do know how to post some lovely desserts. Such torture.

Glad you liked the house tour Debra! I checked the link on the Krispy Kreme ad, and your mcafee may have knocked it out for language on the post following the one with the ad. I have changed the link for it to another one. Hopefully that one will not get your web blocker all upset. :) I had a super good lemon dessert today…on the lookout for that recipe to torture you with! :)

Marianne in Mo. - July 27, 2014 - 4:18 pm

All I have to say is that I’m a bit jealous of Sue – apparently she got bowls with her cookware, while I only got the flatware! :-/
Seriously, I am so happy that I can enjoy all you offer here, know that you are loved! MUUUUWWAAHHH!

Jayne - July 27, 2014 - 8:03 pm

I just want to say thank you for your very humble attitude about blogging and helping me to take a step back and get my priorities in line.
Congratulations to your son on the job! I know you are proud and sad at the same time. Our babies are all grown-up. Bittersweet times for us, exciting times for them!
My husband brought home me Krispy Kreme doughnuts a couple of weekends ago. Heaven! pure heaven!!!
Glad you had a good weekend. Hope you have a great week and a good school year!

Gail - July 28, 2014 - 9:33 pm

Hi Kelly: Love, love, love the Krispy Creme ad. So much common sense:-) That recipe is to die for….maybe…but I am going to take the plunge and make it when I get company from NC in August. Love the posting! At first I felt a bit sad about your son moving to Seattle, but what a wonderful opportunity for you and your family to visit that beautiful part of the country. Can’t wait to see the first blog. Certainly wish him all the very best in this new adventure. Looking so forward to seeing your vacation pictures. Love going on vacation with my favorite blogger. Blessings to you always!

Jennifer - July 29, 2014 - 2:52 am

YUM! My favorite too! I love the Perfect Pear! Wish I had some of their tomato basil soup, grilled pimento cheese and THAT Krispy Kreme bread pudding!

Garden, Home and Party - July 29, 2014 - 11:09 am

I love the Krispy Creme ad and the dessert you shared. I think I heard about this recipe before but purposely avoided looking at it. :-)

Congratulations to your son. I love Bellevue and surrounding area. My dear friend lives on Bainbridge Island. I think the Seattle area is wonderful, until the winter sets in, then I’m not so sure.
Have fun helping him find housing.
“Purposely avoided looking at it” – too funny Karen! My son visited a number of apartments last week, but they are all gone now. The demand for apartments in Seattle is amazing! And none have air conditioning, so he is not real happy about that. We are still looking….

On Blogging and Life…Thinking Aloud

computer work

[This is a verrrry long post tonight, so read it when you have some extra time.]

Today was the last day of my summer vacation.  I return to my job tomorrow, and the students go back to school next week…holey moley it’s only July.:(Although I have been exceedingly busy, I didn’t get much of my summer to-do list done.

No room above the garage finished.

upstairs room

No curtains made from the fabric I bought a month ago.

(Yes, it is black and white buffalo check.:))

upstairs kitchen

No pictures hung on the walls (but there is a coffee maker ready up there. Hallelujah!)

upstairs coffee bar

One thing that I did accomplish though, was a lot of thinking about…


garage room rain on window

I also accomplished starting a Facebook page for Talk of the House.:)

But  then…

I unpublished it.

Are you wondering why?

I’ve been asking myself for the last couple of months Why do I blog?  I started this little place here because I really love the interaction between the blog writer and their readers.  It is truly a place for conversation and community.  I still dearly love that part of blogging.  I also started it with the intent of eventually adding advertising here so that I could supplement retirement income.  I haven’t retired yet and… I also haven’t added advertising yet.  The money making part of blogging has been eating at me this summer…big time.

You see, I really think I need to be adding to our income here if I am going to spend 6 or more hours a day on this blog. My family deserves that if I am taking away that much time from what I could do with/for them.   And if I could earn some (I’m not talking a huge amount), I could go ahead and retire and work on this full time. It would be good for our family and good for all you readers.:)  But there is this problem…

I don’t think I am cut out for monetizing it.


Are you wondering why not?

Well, you see I have always always disliked salesmen, and I really think you have to be a salesman of sort to monetize your blog. (I apologize if that is what you or someone you love does for a living.)  I am sure it goes back to my being an independent thinker who doesn’t want anyone telling her what she needs to do with her money or time.  It also goes back to my freshman year in college when I ran off a cookware salesman in our dorm.  Yes, it’s true.  He was about to take a group of freshmen girls to the cleaners with his sales pitch and his contract with an exorbitant interest rate they would have to pay for years. (Why did freshmen students with college meal plans even need expensive cookware??)  He packed up and left rather quickly when I explained to all those poor girls what he was doing with compound interest!

So I have had a difficult time trusting any sales pitch.

deck in the rain

I remember the first time one of my favorite bloggers put sponsor ads on her site.   I thought…oh no…she has gone commercial (over to the dark side!) And I have seen how bloggers have gone to the extreme with monetizing their blog – when every other post is a sponsored post trying to tell their readers how great this or that product is…or even worse, bloggers who have their own shop and practically every post includes a sales pitch for some of the items in their online shop. It is like blogging has completely become another platform for advertising…somewhere in between a television ad and an ad in a magazine.

porch tableAnd there is another issue with monetizing the blog.  It seems you have to be a major marketer to publicize your blog, and I don’t think I am cut out for that either.

Are you wondering why not?

Blogging, by its very nature, is a look-what-I’ve-done place.  And yes, I know every single time I put a photo on the blog of our house and what we have done here, it is a look-what-I’ve-done post.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t want to come across as boastful.  I feel incredibly blessed to have the family support, the desire for creativity, and the work ethic to accomplish what I do.  What I want to come across as is… helpful. So I write the post, and I hesitantly pin an image or two to Pinterest in the hope that someone else may use the idea. Occasionally, I will put out a tweet on Twitter, but it feels very look-at-me-ish to do so.  If I wanted to truly make money on this, that would definitely not be enough.

Big time bloggers seem to be major publicists for their blogs. They want big numbers for their readership.  They use Twitter to tweet their latest post 5 or more times a day, (possibly to the point of annoyance) and they do the same on Facebook.   They even use Viraltag to “publish” their pins on Pinterest at researched optimal viewing times.  I guess what I fear is that we are losing the person in the blogger, and they are merely working themselves to death as marketers in the business of their blog. So I have put off monetizing for awhile now because I don’t want to lose the personal-ness of my blog by allowing it to become commercial in some way.   Does that even matter to anyone other than me?  What I loved originally about blogs (besides the incredible content) was the connections among the readers and the person behind the blog.  Is that a very outdated view in today’s social media society?


On the flipside, I do totally get that for many bloggers, their blog is their source of income, and they need to make money doing it to support themselves and their family.  (And when you consider how many hours go into a quality post, it should be regarded as a job.)  I am lucky to have a career that allows me to be both employed and do this thing that I love here without having to go the route of monetizing the blog.

So now that you have all this background knowledge on my thinking about marketing the blog, do you see why I unpublished the blog’s Facebook page?  It just seemed to be a step towards commercialism…a step I didn’t think I wanted to take.

But I felt guilty.

Are you wondering why?

rain on the leaves

I kept thinking…I am not blogging the way it is supposed to be done. I’m supposed to be using Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and maximizing Pinterest and linking up to a lot of linky parties to get big BIG numbers for my blog.  I am supposed to be racing to grow…and I haven’t been doing any of those things.  But then…I read this post on a blog called Let Why Lead (appropriate title:)), and it REALLY opened my eyes.  Erica wrote about why not jumping on every opportunity of social media and growing a blog slowly is a good thing.  I LOVED this…

The beautiful thing about growing slowly is that you gain friends, not numbers. Connections, not stats.

Friends and connections…I’d be honored with that.:)

after the rain

And then I realized the answer to Why do I blog?

I do it because it is a gift for my friends. 

There is joy in that for me.  And afterall, isn’t it better to give than receive?:) And once I finally figured all of that out, I decided that this gift of the blog needed to be wrapped in a prettier package… for you.  So I have spent the last 7 days and nights working on it. Literally.

The beds have been left unmade…

boys room(Yes, I have tweaked the boys’ room.  Don’t fuss.  Post coming in August.:))


The cookie jars have had nothing but crumbs in them.:(

jars(except for the oreos…middle child – the oreo eating one, is away for the summer.)

cookie jarBut I was determined to make the blog work better for you.  (And since I have no training in this, just basically trial and error, it took forever.)  You probably won’t notice all the changes here…some changes are in the way the links and comments work in the old posts; some are in better categorizing of the posts. You might notice prettier labels on the sidebar:)and new pages that have been created.  The Categories list has been removed from the sidebar and is now a page with photos.

a page categories

paint colorsI have added our paint colors to the sidebar since soooo many people email me about them.  There is also a spot for the 3 most recent posts just in case you might have missed one or two.   And to be more helpful for you, I added a feed with some of the blogs that I enjoy reading along with their most current post. You might find a new one there to enjoy.:)

I have also come to the conclusion that social media can be good in moderation.  You will find my most recent pins from Pinterest on the sidebar. Sharing the creativity of others can also be considered a gift.  (Of course, I am always delighted when I find that you have shared something from here on Pinterest.:))

The biggie that took the most time, was creating a page called The House.  I removed the Our House page because it was a very long list of post titles that I had difficulty sorting and keeping current.  I think the new page is better because you can see a number of photos for each room here plus a list of all the sources (with links when possible) for things that readers ask me about.

a page the house

And now my current thoughts on monetizing this blog.

I am going to do it, but I will not bombard you with ads all over the page.  I added a “related content” widget below these posts.  It will give you ideas for older posts that you might like to read.  Eventually, I will allow it to run one or two small ads in the boxes there.  I am contemplating using an advertising network for just one banner ad or one sidebar ad.  Not sure of that yet.  Moderation is the key.  With that in mind, I added one more page to the menu at the top.  It is called The Books.

a page the books

It shows all the books or authors that we have talked about here at Talk of the House, and it takes you to my affiliate link at Amazon. This is one other way I am handling sponsorship here on the blog…hopefully not too offensive to anyone.

And what about that Facebook page?:) I have decided to publish it in the hopes that I can share interesting things I find on other sites as well as ideas from here.  I think it is a good thing to share with friends.  Right?

Glory this has been long…and rambling…and opinionated.  I wanted to get this out to you before I head back to work in the morning.  Thank you so very much for making your way to the end of the post.  I hope to have vacation posts coming out soon for you. (I can pretend I am still on vacation while it is our first full week back at work!)

Until next time…

a signature

Barbara Hinske - July 24, 2014 - 12:31 am

You scared me to death!! I started reading this and thought you were going to tell us you were closing this glorious blog down. I would cry for a week!!! You have the classiest blog, with the most authentic voice, and without a hint of cheesy commercialization. You are more than entitled to make money from this blog. Through Amazon Associates/ads/sponsored posts. With your sense of ethics and propriety, I have no doubt everything will be lovely. In fact, I appreciate ads from bloggers I respect.

The new look is fabulous. And I loved that — on occasion — you have unmade beds, too.

I’ll bet that I speak for all your readers when I say that we all love you and want you to make tons of money from your blog so you can retire and blog more!!

School next week–what are they thinking??

All of this new focus of your blog will be fabulous! So happy for you!

Katherine Leighty - July 24, 2014 - 12:43 am

Kelly…I myself have considered blogging…however I am retired and I don’t want the pressure! Besides I would only be trying to recreate the wonderful MSN message boards I managed and Facebook messed that up for all of us…I mean me and the over 400 members on my decorating board that is…a place where you could all post pictures of projects and share possibilities…I lost many friends because we did not have time to exchange e-mail addresses… Anyway, I decided I would share on pinterest things I have done…not bragging but sharing other possibilities! Everyone has a different take on things…gives them more ideas and frankly a lot of what is shown has not been done like I have done…so no links, no page just the picture on the pin and maybe some explanations in the pin…seems a lot easier for me! I think advertising as sales are easier when it is products you believe in! To me you have to march to your own drum…stay with what you are comfortable with and works for you! Liked getting into your thinking process! Good article!

Bobbie - July 24, 2014 - 12:55 am

I am a recently retired teacher. You do all of us in the profession proud. And I must say I was thrilled to see that you didn’t make the beds—-even if just for a day. I have decided that occasionally it is okay to “forget the housekeeping and smell the roses.”


vickie - July 24, 2014 - 12:58 am

Hi- I have been reading your blog for several months now. I totally love the content and your honest thoughtful voice. Like Barb, I was very concerned that you were closing down your blog. I am so very glad that you are continuing to write. Your site is so beautifully designed. It looks like a true labor of love.

I hope that you have an awesome school year!

Nancy - July 24, 2014 - 1:06 am

I agree that too much advertising is distracting and sometimes a nuisance,and I don’t care for blogs that constantly promote products provided by advertisers. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with wanting/needing to generate income from the blog. A good blog takes a tremendous amount of time/work and sometimes money for the projects the blogger shows/writes about. I see nothing wrong with making one’s blog a full-time occupation. Ads on the sides of the blog don’t bother me. Even a blogger selling her products doesn’t bother me if the blog doesn’t center around that. I think the key is moderation. Good examples of tasteful blogs are the Stonegable blog with ads or Jenmy Hobick’s blog with a store. Yvonne’s personality and connection with her readers still shine through.
Her casual writing style, admission of foibles, family anecdotes, excellent content, and humor make it personal even with ads. I would rather see ads on your blog and have you generating some income rather than not see your blog. I always enjoy what you post and would really miss reading it and learning from it. Blogs are the new magazines for women, and even print magazines have ads to stay afloat. I think even if you have some ads, etc., your readers will still feel they have a relation with you because your personality and desire for relationship will still be evident. Also, many of your readers have been with you quite awhile and already know of your sincerity and the quality of your blog. They will remain faithful. Again, I think moderation is the key. I do, however, appreciate your concerns and honesty.
Do what you enjoy or love, make some income, and give us the pleasure of reading what you’re up to!

On another note, In reference to our common order of three willow baskets, I sent mine back with some financial loss due to postage. They did not look as good in reality as they did on the blog. The tea towels/dishes made it difficult to see the entire product. Good photography also enhances. But, in fairness, I should not have expected to receive three top quality baskets for that price. Lesson learned– maybe don’t buy baskets online.

Dawn - July 24, 2014 - 1:20 am

Hello Kelly!

It is a late night for me, too, because I juat finished a long and hectic shift and have to go right back into work early in the morning. I just saw your email pop in and decided to read it NOW because I consider these as something to “savor.” They provide instant stress relief!

Well, my heart sank to my stomach as i read your first few sentences. The thought of summer ending so quickly for you, for all of us, always bothers me. But as I sifted further through your heartfelt words, I feared that you were going to say that you were ending your blog! I have never even written to you before, but I have already come to think of you as a friend that also loves red, and geraniums, and the same books, and same decorators, and herbs, and, and, AND!! I have marveled at your incredible talent and eye for detail, not to mention your ability to juggle career and family while finding time to do THIS! Of course there should be some financial balance for you! Our favorite authors get paid, don’t they? I do believe if you had said you were LEAVING us, I would have started a campaign to raise funds to RETAIN you! I AM SO DELIGHTED THAT YOU ARE CONTINUING WITH THIS! WHEW!

We will welcome your thoughtful changes, and look forward to the beauty and insight that you so uniquely share with us! It IS a gift! And thank you for being so REAL…including unmade beds and empty jars! Wishing you all the best in the new school year! (What lucky students!)

Rae Hilhorst - July 24, 2014 - 5:29 am

I know what you mean with thoughts on monetizing your blog. I am attending the ProBlogger training conference at the end of August in Queensland, I know it is going to be about monetizing but that’s not why I am going. I’m gong to have a fun weekend with like minded people.I am not interested in making money from my blog a sit is my hobby, but never say never. Good luck with your decision xxx

Voula - July 24, 2014 - 5:49 am

Hi Kelly, the care and time you put in your blog is evident and I am sad to hear about the problems it has caused you. The internet is vast and never ending and I choose my blogs (for reading) carefully for the same reason – so that I don’t neglect my family and other interests! I’m from Australia and one of the reasons I like your blog is that it gives me an insight into a different way of life, customs, etc. Your writing is warm and non judgemental and the fact you have no advertising is actually a plus for me as I have found the ‘revenue raising’ component of some (other) blogs offputting. Ultimately the incessant ads, pop ups, reviews of sponsored posts etc compromise (for me) the true voice of the blogger. Having said that, your blog is changing and so are you and it was interesting to read your thoughts about how to take it to the next level. I hope you and your blog will be around for awhile. Warmest regards, Voula

Thirkellgirl - July 24, 2014 - 6:14 am

I want to write you a longer note when I’m not squinting at my IPad keyboard, but the bottom line will be…good for you! I love your blog and am in complete agreement with everything you’ve just written.

Julie - July 24, 2014 - 6:54 am

Kelly – I only follow a few blogs regularly – a conscious choice to limit my online time – and yours is my favorite. I love your style, your candor, your perspective. I respect your decision to include ads/links and appreciate the thoughtful consideration of what to include; I hope it brings in revenue for you!
For you to invest so much of your time (your life) into this blog is a gift for your readers….I hope to return the gift by supporting your links!
Again, thanks for the post sharing your rationale for the change….another example why your readers feel the “connection”!
With joy, Julie

Barbara - July 24, 2014 - 6:58 am

I recently found your blog on my daily tour of the others that are part of my ‘me’ time in the early morning hours. Your blog is inspiring and offers me another place to get ideas from other women that are home decorators at heart! Thank you for letting me sit a bit longer, enjoy my coffee and see your ideas.

Paula B. - July 24, 2014 - 7:18 am

First off, “Phew”! I was holding my breath as I read, so afraid that this was your farewell post. Secondly, I can’t believe you have to go back to school in July!!! And, lastly, you wrote very eloquently on the demands associated with growing a blog. I have to say that some of my (formerly) favorite ones are now so jam-packed with ads that it is a real turn off to enjoying the content. You are taking a very thoughtful approach to the direction in which you will go, and that I am sure will keep you on a path that reflects all that you are. Honestly, as avid a fan as I am of many blogs, I never “follow” them elsewhere, not on facebook, pinterest, twitter – it just never entered my mind to do that. We will be on this journey with you, Kelly, I know only good things await the future of Talk of the House!

Karen - July 24, 2014 - 7:25 am

I really enjoy your blog and you inspire me with your creativity and character. I think you made some great decisions for your blog. It is a lot of work and you should try to make some income for that time spent. Thank you for keeping perspective about blogging and social media. It can be a real challenge to maintain balance and I think you are doing a great job.

Melon - July 24, 2014 - 7:40 am

Hi Kelly,
I really enjoyed your thoughtful comments on your blog today. I will say that I get hundreds of e-mails every week but your posting is the only one that I (and my husband) never miss. We both enjoy your style and get many wonderful ideas from you. Thanks! …your work is a delight to us. And I will add that not everything will be ‘monetized’ in life. Every time that I work in my Garden Club’s Food Pantry Garden or launder the alter linens for my Church, I do so realizing that there will not be a paycheck sent to me at the end of the week but I know that is what I need to be doing. So, keep up the good work!

Robin - July 24, 2014 - 7:45 am

I am SO glad this did not turn out to be a farewell post. Your blog is, by far, my favorite and the only one that I have not grown weary of over the last two years since I began perusing decorating/home blogs. Someone else mentioned the word ‘classy’ and that is definitely the word I would ascribe to your blog as well. Thank you for opening up to us so candidly about your conflicting thoughts with regard to the growth of your blog. I have complete confidence that you will continue to expand your blog with grace, style, and quality over quantity.

Linda - July 24, 2014 - 7:59 am

When I was still blogging, I had a huge following of a different decorating genre and was contacted several times about sponsored posts. I said no thank you because I didn’t want to become a salesperson either. Blogging for me was about sharing with like minded readers and connections. It sounds to me like you have come to a thoughtful way to help offset your time and effort blogging while still maintaining your personal goals. I applaud you! Even though our styles are different, I enjoy your home and each and every blog post you make. Best wishes moving forward!

Sandy - July 24, 2014 - 8:15 am

Hello Kelly – I have not posted on a blog before, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy and learn from your blog. You are a fine writer, photographer, decorator, and blogger. Your site is my favorite, Really! It resonates with me. Today when I saw there was a message from you, my first thought was,”Oh good! What a nice way to start the day!” Your blog mentioned friendship as a major motivation for continuing your postings. It Does feel like you are an email friend, and for that, I sincerely thank you. It takes way more time than I realized for you to do a blog, but it means a great deal to many. So, this is a thank-you note to simply say you make a difference, and I am delighted you are not ending your blog, but just making things work better. I am one of your loyal followers, and I will continue to pay attention to books, movies, etc., you mention. I will also look at products you suggest. Thanks for everything!

Lisa - July 24, 2014 - 8:29 am

Phew! I thought you were leaving us! I love your blog. It is so classy, friendly and beautiful. It is also one of my favorites, because you are not trying to sell us something every post. I am sad that I’ve actually starting skipping some old favorite blog lists because it is all about ads. Thank you for what you do, and thank you for not leaving us! Have a great school year ;)

Jayne - July 24, 2014 - 8:32 am

Kelly, thank you for this wonderful insight! I am in the process of rethinking my whole blog. From changing the title and the whole look to whether or not I should even continue to blog. I hadn’t been doing it for the right reasons just selfish one. I too want to monetize me blog. We could really use the extra income.
God just use you in a mighty way. You have no idea! I think I may take a break from blogging, spend some time in prayer and work on my blog. I just may email you with questions about how you did some of what you did, if you don’t mind.
So glad you are still blogging. You and your home are being used to bring God glory.

Dee - July 24, 2014 - 8:44 am

Kelly, your blog is one of my favorites. I get zapped with viruses constantly on the blogs that have the ad feeds. (Three times yesterday although they were from clicking blogs in a linky party.) There are a couple of VERY popular blogs that I’ve quit going to altogether because of repeat virus attacks. I figure if my virus detection is catching that many, then how many are getting through undetected? It has gotten so bad that I’ve considered weaning off all blogs that have the feeds and have “unfollowed” one that has ads blasting audio at 5 am when my husband is still sleeping.;)

I was in email contact (and on facebook) with one of the bloggers that was constantly hitting me with a virus and she said that I wasn’t the only one getting zapped. I was able to determine it was coming from one of the ad feeds that she has no control over. She stated that she was considering getting rid of them because they didn’t earn very much money to warrant chasing readers off. She didn’t get rid of it. I got zapped again. I won’t go back to her blog now even though I adore her humor.

I start following blogs because I enjoy the people and what they share. It seems after they get a good following they begin chasing numbers, money, followers, and/or pushing a product while losing the reason I started reading them in the first place. It is evident when people are blogging as a creative outlet and those who are now doing it for traffic. Some have even taken their beautiful home and turned it into someone else’s style to the point that it is just another depressing white/grey/beige space with the same rug, same sofa, same throw pillows, etc. as all the others. Many times I can’t even tell if it is a “real” picture or one that has been photoshopped using greyscale.

I’m sure the joy of blogging is gone after chasing income and it becomes a mundane job rather than a passion or creative outlet. And who clicks those ads? Is it worth keeping them there especially when your readers become afraid to visit? Keep doing what you’re doing. I love your home. I love your recipes. I love your book reviews. I love your “trips” to other locations and homes. I love your blog! (…and I usually don’t post comments on blogs, but you need to know that your blog is one of few that I actually enjoy visiting.)

Carolyn Smith - July 24, 2014 - 9:09 am

Good gracious alive, the beginning of your blog made me think you were saying good bye to your blog and all of us. I would have felt like I have lost a dear friend. You inspire, teach and bless all of us with your blog. Love the changes. I respect your decision to include ads/links and appreciate the thoughtful consideration of what to include. I totally get that. I hope it brings in revenue for you! You truly have a gift and love that you share it with others. As I tell my family and friends, I want to be just like you. Blessings.

Jill - July 24, 2014 - 9:18 am

I thought you were telling us you were going away!! I recently came upon your blog – you are my inspiration to get my house in shape! I have neglected it but you and i have very similar tastes and I too have a porch that we live in….I have a blog that I do nothing with but someday!!! I look every day for a new post I was lost this week thinking you must be on vacation! :) Love what you do!

Lori Lucas - July 24, 2014 - 9:59 am

I struggle with every single idea you listed as well. In fact, instead of blogging more to increase readership, I have only blogged sparsely. I think to myself, “Who really cares what I do, or make, or cook, or create?” I don’t think it in a poor-pitiful me way, but in a realistic way. I too am at that spot where I need to decide what I’m going to do, or just forget it. I’m glad you were able to find your compromise, because your blog is just lovely. I look forward to reading each and every post. Now, about that going back to school already…OUCH!! I still have two weeks left. (And I will still not be ready!!) As a teacher, (high school English), I would love to see some of your creative ideas in your classroom. I can adapt ideas to my level from any idea I am given!! I would also buy any print you might just happen to create and put up for sale (just food for thought!!) Thanks for a great post. Lori Lucas

Debra - July 24, 2014 - 10:00 am

I think I have to agree with most of what Dee has just posted. I understand you wanting to make income for all the effort and time involved with your blog, but please don’t go changing to the point of losing the “quaintness” of your blog. Your sharing is genuine and your passion of travel, design, food and most of all “love of family” is what has kept me here. Too many blogs are showing that it has come to be all about commercialism. What a turn off. I stumbled upon yours by just the click and search of a picture for inspiration, so there you go, with just how the internet has changed the world. Some of it good and some of it bad. Your blog is a “good thing”. Just think how with TV we are inundated with ads and we can’t control that other than hitting the mute button. Thank goodness for PBS I say! Well, I’m so glad I found you. Please just don’t get too commercial on us Kelly. P.S. I like the new format as I frequent past posts and this layout looks great.


Scribbler Unfocused - July 24, 2014 - 10:12 am

I share a lot of your opinions about monetizing blogs. I have railed on about this subject for a while, and it always makes me beyond sad when someone drinks the KoolAid and joins the Coven (my own little term for what happens to perfectly nice people with very nice blogs when they buy into advertising on their blogs).

I realize, as you do, that some people have had to take their blogs and turn them into jobs for various reasons. However, there are quite a few (very popular ones) that I will not even read anymore because it is very difficult to even find the blog content among the ads. It is beyond annoying to try to read a post, while the ads keep popping up in front of the post.

I think of lot of the advertising is motivated purely by greed, the desire for a lot of “free stuff” and just plain competition. In fact, I am so turned off by a lot of what I have seen happen to blogging in the last couple of years, that I have been seriously considering quitting altogether. The only reason I keep doing it, I suppose, is the interaction with the nice ones who are still real people, the ones who still maintain human contact and friendly interaction with other bloggers. I continue to find good ideas and inspiration from a lot of blogs including yours, but so many have become nothing more than a bid for the most clicks to get more money. I find the constant self-aggrandizing and preachy tones of some of the self-styled “experts” who don’t know s**t from shinola about design more than tiring and ridiculous.

As one of your commenters pointed out, you pick up viruses and very undesirable spammers not to mention even questionable followers (read stalkers) many times. I have never accepted ads, although I have had offers, because I don’t not want to be beholden to anyone. My blog is my voice, my opinions and my doings — both good and bad.

beth - July 24, 2014 - 10:13 am

Have you ever considered offering redesign services for readers or something like that? I am sure it is difficult for non professionally trained design and decor bloggers to not paint themselves as “experts” or whatnot at times. I personally can totally imagine paying you a reasonable fee for some advice! I love the style of your home, and I’ve often wondered what you would suggest for my own home. However, that just means more time that you would be devoting to this adventure, and that may not be a good fit for you. I don’t know.

Lori - July 24, 2014 - 10:16 am

Whew….I can breathe now. I thought you were going to say you were going to close up shop. Goodness….don’t scare us like that! I agree with so many of your points and feelings on this subject. I love your posts…and I love the new look!

Ashley - July 24, 2014 - 10:41 am

Kelly, can I just say that what I love the most about your blog is the non-commercialization and the non-”look at me” self promoting. I grow very weary of blog posts I read that have pictures after picture of themselves, and the home projects that were provided by this store or that store, and expect that the average reader has the extra cash to just go out and buy the materials or the object. It makes those who don’t have the talent or the cash feel horrible about their circumstances and their homes. I have stopped reading many blogs because I just can’t stand the constant self promotion and advertising promotion. What I especially love about your blog is the home tours. Even though I’ll never be able to afford the luxurious homes you visit, I love to dream, and sometimes they give me ideas for possible projects in my modest home. Please keep blogging, and please listen to your heart and only post what you’re comfortable posting. Stay you, stay authentic, and thank you for being mindful about what your readers what to see, read, and purchase. Thank you for this post.

Bobbie - July 24, 2014 - 10:43 am

I do subscribe to a few blogs but by far you have always been my favorite!
Thank you so much for doing what you do!


Shar - July 24, 2014 - 10:44 am

Whew! I started to read & couldn’t take the suspense, so I shot to the end to see if this was a goodbye letter–so glad you’re staying! You have an amazing ability to reach your readers–I feel like the neighbor next door, coming over to chat & have coffee when I read your blog. I never take anything you post as a “look at me” type of thing. It’s more like a good friend saying “Hey, I found a really great ‘something’–want to hear about it?” Thanks for staying–you are an inspiration. :)

PS Ugh! Too early to go back to school. I have 3 weeks of vacation left.

Donnamae - July 24, 2014 - 10:45 am

You have a great blog…great photos, interesting commentary, and diversity. I was so scared you were going to stop blogging at first! Glad to hear you are not…I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. And if you want to start making some money from your blog….go for it! Can not believe you have to go back to work already! WHAT are they thinking? Our schools in Wisconsin don’t start until after Labor Day. Enjoy what little precious free time you have! ;)

Regina - July 24, 2014 - 10:49 am

Staying true to yourself is simple, not necessarily easy. Good for you for doing so! I understand the draw to make money from such a venue, AND I understand the need to keep the money relationship separate or at least minimal.

I have some crafty/creative gifts. When people ask me to work FOR them on a project and get paid, I’m so uncomfortable. I do crafty/creative projects because I love the process, the creativity and the outcomes. And because I love all that, I’m eager to share what I know how to do with my friends with no monetary compensation to me.

I do admire people who can utilize their gifts as a money-making venture and stay true to themselves. My experiences show me how my truth may be modified as time goes on, as my circumstances and needs change. So again, good for you for staying true to yourself, and for allowing your truth to modify. I enjoy being one of your followers.

anita - July 24, 2014 - 10:49 am

I wanted to scroll down and down really fast to see if you were going finish the post with a goodbye. Super glad you’re not doing that because you are VERY good at blogging. As for the improvements to your blog, I am sure they will enhance every part of it which is already outstanding. As for the advertisements on blogs, I don’t mind them because I learn of different companies that are not available here in Canada. Looking forward to more of your great adventures in decorating.

Jackie Caruso - July 24, 2014 - 10:51 am

I, like so many of your readers, feared you were telling us you were going to stop blogging. I thought to myself, “oh no, this is my favorite blog and my number one go to place for ideas.” I wish you had the time to blog everyday, that’s how much I enjoy your blog. When I first discovered your blog early this summer, I went back and read every single post that you had published.
As a side note, I’m hosting a dinner tonight for a group of friends that started out as coworkers and have remained friends long after the coworking stopped. My table settings include the rolled down paper bags filled with goodies that I saw on your blog. When they compliment me on them, I will mention your blog for my inspiration.
Your blog is a feast for the eyes and I’m so happy to know you plan to continue blogging.

Mary - July 24, 2014 - 11:25 am

God bless you!! Reading this post reminds me of the reasons I love to read your postings!! You are so honest and real and creative – I love your style, and I also love the soul that you bring to your writing, and to your life!! Thank you for all that you share and all that you ARE!!

=) Mary

nancy reves - July 24, 2014 - 11:42 am

I love your blog! Your blog is one of the best. Lots of eye candy, food, and inspiration. If you decide to include ads, I will not think less of you nor will I stop visiting! How do you keep all the balls in the air like you do? :=)

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - July 24, 2014 - 12:12 pm

Bravo Kelly….I applaud you!…I just got “accepted” to a network..however, I know in my heart that the reason I blog is that number one, I enjoy it and I have enjoyed the many friendships that it has brought to me…I recently spent time with a fellow blogger/friend and realized how wonderful that is to me…the friendships…if I make a little money, then that is OK..My life is hectic with so many activities of family, friends, community and travel…that is my number one priority. I am SO HAPPY that you have made the decision to stick with your blog and the plans you have for it…as I love your inspire me!!!..Good luck on the new school year!

Garden, Home and Party - July 24, 2014 - 12:26 pm

I’m so happy you’ve made peace with this blogging business. I have thought that as long as I enjoy blogging I’ll blog, when it becomes work, I’ll quit and just enjoy the hard work of others. Your site is always a bright spot in my day!

Sorry you have to return to school so early, I hope you can find time to share what you did this past several weeks of summer.

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - July 24, 2014 - 12:32 pm

I too read your opening lines and feared you were closing your blog. So glad you are not! When a friend directed me to your blog, I too spent hours over several days reading almost every post and clicking on all your categories…”met” some new designers through you! I love your aesthetic and taste…love your love of red! And, I have to be honest, did love that there were no ads popping up at me. With that said, I totally understand the time it takes to create your wonderful posts, and think careful monetizing is justified…i.e. sidebar, unobtrusive, etc. I have stopped going to some of my past favorite blogs due to the pop up ads, “subscribe” bar that follows the content and is in your face, and even somewhat inappropriate ads that are linked in the same manner as the blogger’s own posts, and the “linky parties” that seem to have no point. But here’s the thing…we trust you! The fact that you have wrestled with all this and will approach your choices carefully speak so highly of your integrity!Please keep blogging!
I love that your house is not another grey/greige/white one. Your new changes are wonderful and I look forward to checking it all out. Sorry your summer is almost over…how does it rush by so quickly?!!I’m sure your new batch of students will be happy to see you :).

Marianne in Mo. - July 24, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Scared me to near death! So glad you are not giving up….yet. I personally think you should make some money from this, just hope for you, that it will be enough. I do think some bloggers go too far with ads, but I have no idea what kind of money it takes for them to make even a “break even” income. I just like seeing what others are doing. Do what you need to do, I’ll still be here!
Have to comment also about the cookware story – I was visited by one when I graduated high school. I fell for the pitch, sadly, and paid installments for a year. But I was engaged at the time, so I thought it was a good idea. Long story short, I broke up with the guy, lived single a while, then married hubby. After 43yrs., I still use the cookware, it still looks almost new, so I guess it has paid off! I thought I had made the dumbest mistake ever back then, and I kinda did, but at least it worked out okay in the long run.
Marianne, that is amazing about the cookware! I guess I judged it too quickly. :) Thank you for the compliments on the blog. I appreciate that you will still be reading here no matter what route I go (but I promise it won’t change the blog.) You are the best!

Cindy - July 24, 2014 - 1:07 pm

I was so worried, I thought you were going to stop blogging!!!
I would miss you so much, because yes, through your blog we have become friends. I enjoy seeing what you are doing, the houses you love, your kids, your jars, your VW vans, your house. Having said all of that, I appreciate the thought you put in your next step in blogging, I am not at all surprised because it is what you do. The unfinished room, your job, when to retire, your family, how your blogging friends will feel about what you do, everything you do is given a great about of time and thought. I love that about you, plus your honesty. I do agree to many sponsor post are not what I want to see and have left some blogs because of it. Whatever you do will be right and tactful. (The funny thing I knew something was up because you hadn’t blogged in a while, like when you were sick or had a bad couple of months.) See, friends know these things about each other.
Hope you have a good school year! Cindy

Charlene - July 24, 2014 - 1:13 pm

When I started reading your piece, I was so afraid that you were going to announce the end of your blog. And I would’ve been devastated! Your blog, by far, is my favorite. The one I check on every day and refer back to on a regular basis. It is the most real, the most authentic blog out there. And I look at a lot of them! Your home is beautiful and also one that most homeowners can relate to. Your style is impeccable and also doesn’t prescribe to one particular aspect of decorating. I get ideas and feel inspired by you with every post you make. I don’t have a blog, therefore, I know nothing about the business end of it. But I am a teacher, and I know the massive amount of time that profession can demand, which some people might not realize. So I can imagine the commitment of time you have made balancing both. So, my message – you do what you need to do and feel comfortable doing to keep this blog going. I can’t tell you how much it would be missed if you decided to end it. I also have to say that I hope you keep the elements of comfortable, inspirational, and educational to the blog….because that’s what it has meant to me. I love your blog. Thank you for devoting the time to bring it to us!

Peggy - July 24, 2014 - 1:32 pm

Dear Kelli, you gave me such a scare there. I just found your blog this summer and have enjoyed every delectable, delicious and delightful post! You have a wonderful voice. And I am absolutely bonkers over your style! Red geraniums, red buffalo check, and jars full of red gumballs are so joyful. I know that you will make the right choices for you and yor family. I think you have every right to make an income from blogging — my gracious, the work involved is like a second job. As to what everyone thinks, life is too short to worry about that. Bless you!

Sue - July 24, 2014 - 1:44 pm

I agree with all: I panicked when I thought you were going to stop blogging as I love looking at your blog and appreciate your sharing your life and your beautiful home with all of us. I just have to comment on the cookware salesman. He wasn’t a dorm visitor in my life (girls school, mid-sixties, no men allowed) but my first year teaching. We had been warned even before we began our new lives and careers that he would be calling. Even so, a very attractive young man, offering to cook dinner for us to demonstrate the cookware, how could we say no? I bought the set as did my roommate. Naive young things! However, having said that, now 50 years later, I still use the stainless flatware that came with the set and the mixing bowls. The canisters have long since gone, but most of the pans are still being used. Sadly, when handles broke on a couple of the most useful sizes, I tossed them, forgetting the lifetime guarantee. The company is still in business and I looked on their website to see about getting replacements for the pieces I am missing (it is still the best cookware I have ever used) and a single pot is now hundreds of dollars, even more than All-Clad. I don’t remember the compounding interest part of the deal but I am sure we paid for the pans many times over. LOL, funny that even with the difference in our ages, we had at least one of the same experiences. Please keep writing; the changes you’ve made sound wonderful and again, thank you.
Oh I forgot they came to the schools too! Yes, there was one every year in our school long ago! Totally forgot all about that. I am glad to know the pots and pans lasted a very long time. (They should have for the price. LOL) Thanks for setting me straight on the cookware. Guess I need to go find that salesman! :)

Teresa H. Fields - July 24, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Thank you for this post. I have followed you for about a year and enjoy how you blog seems “simple” to follow and enjoy. Ihave friends who are encouraging me to start blogging, and a lot of my hesitation is on things you just said! Still thinking and praying, but this post helped me make sense of keeping things simple, grow slow, and not feel like I need every bell and whistle. Also evaluating the Why’s.

Debbie w - July 24, 2014 - 3:32 pm

You had me worried, too! I like your blog because you share your beautiful rooms. I share your decorating style. I read you because you teach….as I did. I hope you will have a Facebook page. I will follow you there, too. Please keep on keeping on!

Kathleen Grace - July 24, 2014 - 4:05 pm

I am a new reader of your blog, but I have been blogging for over 7 years. I too have toyed with monetizing but for all the reasons you have listed here I have not. I’m not one of the “big girls”, and I am not interested in turning my blog into a job. Over the years I have cherished the idea that my blog is my own little creative corner of the world and I have made friends through blogging that have been with me most or all of that time. The thought of a sponsor having input just doesn’t appeal. I was nodding all the way through this. I think the way you are starting out is great, and I will continue to read. I love that you have an authentic voice and that you are interested in the personal connections…and I love your house and decorating ideas. Thanks for all the work you put into this, and good luck on another year of teaching!

Talia - July 24, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Yipes! I was so worried you were going to close down your beautiful blog. Whew…you have a faithful reader in me!

Erica Layne - July 24, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Hi Kelly! I’m touched that my post about growing a blog slowly came to you at the right time. Oh how I can relate to all of this. My desire to grow and my desire to remain grounded are constantly at battle. It’s so easy to get caught up in that pinterest spiral, where you how from one blogging how-to article to the next and feel like you’re throwing you blog down the toilet by not doing everything they say. :)

Well anyway, I think the steps you’re taking are great. Best wishes to you!
Erica, I am finally finding my way through all my emails of the past week. (Starting up a school year throws everything into turmoil at this time of year!) Yes, the timing of your post was perfect (even though it was a year after you wrote it!) Your words so spoke to my heart…to the point that I believe I said “Yes!” out loud. :) I am happy you were able to see how they influenced me here, and good grief at all the amazing comments on the post. So just know that you are most appreciated!!

Michele Jensen - July 24, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Dear Kelly, What an interesting post. I just wanted to say that I love your blog and do feel like each post is a letter from a friend. I would also like to admit that because of reading your blog in the past, I have purchased: a chalkboard from Pottery Barn, a large coffee pot just like yours from Bed Bath and Beyond (for making Christmas punch), glass jars from Target, picture frames like yours from, various books, those very cool colored drinking straws, and probably many more things I can’t remember. Now I am thinking that it would have been LOVELY if you could have benefited in some small way from the purchases I made because of your wonderful influence. You have a fabulous plan for “monetizing” the blog. You are much appreciated!

Jill - July 24, 2014 - 4:52 pm

So Kelly, I want to know who gave you access to inside my head for the last couple weeks?? Seriously, I’ve been thinking a lot about these same ideas recently. Why do I blog? Should I continue? Should I monetize? It’s become so business oriented and that is not for me, even though a little income would be nice. The home blog niche is SO saturated that it is really hard to compete….and by compete I mean develop any kind of readership. Any more, these blogs are filled with DIY projects and tutorials….every day. I don’t know how they keep up. It must be so much pressure! That is also not me. The only reason I have toyed with the idea of sponsorship is to fund legitimate projects around my home that could be shared. I really think it is a vicious circle though and bloggers are becoming dependent upon sponsors for content. (That’s why you are so unique!) The other trend I’m noticing is that you not only have to promote your own blog, but now you also have to promote and “like” other blogs to get noticed. I don’t think I have time for that. I’m not only a blogger, but I’m a blog reader. I choose what blogs I read carefully based on my interests and what inspires me. I’m sorry but I’m not going to fill up my Facebook feed with “liked” blogs that I’m not even interested in. I guess it is the line between hobby and business. I’m realizing that I really just want to be mostly on the hobby side and that my goal is more to encourage and inspire. I could go on more, but I won’t . I’ll just say that I respect the thoughtful decisions you’ve made. I think all the new additions are great. I think you are putting yourself in a good position for the future if you choose to go the business route too. (I can so totally see a Talk Of The House brand.) Yet you’ve done it I such a tasteful way that shouldn’t offend the following that you have now. I will always come back no matter what. You had me at “Hi, I’m Kelly and I like to talk about houses…”

Sally - July 24, 2014 - 5:19 pm

Yes, yes, yes, and… YES! Been there, THOUGHT that. I have even gone the “ads” route [in a small way], and unless you{I} have a kazillion readers, there is no possible way that it will EVER be a source of income for me. What I try to say to everyone who thinks these thoughts is, “To thine own self be true!” — and I hope that they WILL. Because, if I’m reading your blog, it’s because I like it, and I want you to stay around. That said, sometimes we need to change how we approach our blogs and how much time we spend on them… But Kelly — always know how much you and your blog are loved and appreciated. All of the research you do for you posts is amazing, but I will confess that my most favorite posts of all are the ones about your very own home. You make me feel welcomed right in, and I am tickled that you “brag” about a new find, or a new pair of freshly sewn Buffalo Check curtains [Is there any other kind? Nobody else "works 'em" like you do girl!]

Oh, one thing though… the empty cookie jars? Seriously? That will never do. LOL [You know I'm kidding] #jarlove

xo ~Sally

DeeDee - July 24, 2014 - 5:50 pm

Kelly- At the end of the day, it’s YOU that has to look in the mirror and like what you see! There’s nothing wrong with staying true to yourself, for it is you that keeps us, your readers and blogland friends, coming back day after day. I too, am sooo turned off by bloggers who pitch products only because a certain company is paying them. Advertisements on the otherhand, don’t bother me on a blog page as long as the page isn’t too cluttered.
Thank you for your honesty and mostly for your humility. It’s refreshing!
All the best to you

bsirious - July 24, 2014 - 6:27 pm

You blog is new to me. Today I decided I need to unsubscribe to some of the blogs I read. The reason is because I get caught up in what someone bought and feel I just have to have that. Absolutely nothing against the bloggers. This is MY problem. I am focussing too much on what neat/cute item or outfit can I buy. I am going through my in box and keeping or deleting. As I come across each one I make a decision. I will continue to subscribe. I am totally ok with advertising. I’ve learned a lot about new products on the market that a “real person” has tried. I’ve learned from many blogs regarding DIY. I am grateful. Moderation is key. I agree is is important to keep it real and for readers to feel a connection with the bloggers. Keep up the great work. You rock.

PJ Bronson - July 24, 2014 - 6:43 pm

I happily read to the end of your recent post, enjoying your thought process and in the process, learning more about blogging. Must admit, I was holding my breath for fear your conclusion might be that you were retiring. You have a way with words, wonderful ideas and such a creative spirit! Your Blog is a treasure and I am so happy it will continue to be a part of my inspiration for my home, holidays and travel. The creativity you pour into all your projects is a reflection of your love for your friends and family. It encourages me to make the extra effort to make whatever it is special for those around me. Thank you!
PJ Bronson

Marlene - July 24, 2014 - 7:27 pm

I was so concerned when I first started reading that you were going to stop blogging. I so enjoy your blog and when I see that I have mail from Talk of the House, I often wait till evening so I can have time to enjoy what you have written. You are so talented and love all the special things you do for your family, friends and share them with us. We appreciate you and know that even though I rarely write…I thank you for taking the time to share your talent with us.

Anne from Atlanta - July 24, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Hi Kelly–Ditto to all of the comments above. I, too, am so happy that you are continuing your blog. It is a lovely gift to all of us. The amount of time and effort that you put into it shows. I support whatever allows you to continue to blog. Thanks again for always being a bright spot in my day! Anne

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - July 24, 2014 - 7:50 pm

First of all, I think I have the same black and white buffalo check fabric waiting around to make into a sink skirt for my laundry room!…
Second, I want to say that I love your blog and am glad to hear that you aren’t quitting! I can totally understand how you feel about monetizing your blog though. I remember back in the day when a blogger would “cross over” to the monetizing world and they would apologize for it! Now it is common and actually expected at some point but I haven’t done it either. I actually started a post about my thoughts about that too so I can relate to what you are saying. I am not a salesperson either and have a hard time pushing things on people. I never want to come across as being insincere so I think that holds me back. I think it’s just important to do what is comfortable for you. Everyone has their own style and what works for one person may not work for another. I am sure whatever you decide will be fine with your readers. Thanks for being so open with your thoughts!

Jeanne Bell - July 24, 2014 - 8:13 pm

I read your entire blog today because I was afraid you were quitting. You add interest and fun to my day. You have taken me to some great places that I would otherwise never have seen. You are one of the other few people that I know that use their kids pictures for art in their house. You have done all of this with grace and dignity and I am sure any thing you add to your blog will be done the same way.
Good luck and God bless.

Debbi - July 24, 2014 - 8:29 pm

You go for it girl! I have found some amazing products and interesting websites from my favorite bloggers. Hopefully this will enable us to hear from you more!!! But please, please don’t quit. You are one of my favorites and you have unlimited potential!

Amy O'Quinn - July 24, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Okay, so when I first started reading this post, my heart sank. I thought, “Oh, no! She can’t stop blogging!” There are about five blogs that I check every single day for new posts, and yours is always at the top of the list. So, I was relieved when I read the rest of the post. I started blogging in 2006, although I hardly ever post anything anymore…and my first two blogs don’t even exist anymore. I hate I lost all my writing, photos, recipes, etc. And I know from experience how much time blogging can take. There is no one I know who is more deserving than you are to be compensated a bit for all the wonderful information and inspiration you provide for your readers. You never ever come across pushy or as a know it all. I, for one, appreciate the time you take on this blog, and monetizing and having affiliate links for the books/resources you talk about is A-okay in my book! I hope your blog grows and grows!
Thanks for your insight…and for keeping on blogging!
Prayers for a wonderful school year!

Megan - July 24, 2014 - 9:04 pm

HI there Kelly,
First off – so happy that you are sticking with it. I have long noticed that your blog is the only one that I have seen that does not have any advertising. I also noticed that you did not take part in all of the “linky parties”. And yet you still have an amazing following. Your subscribers are faithful to you. We love your posts, and I personally feel that I learn so much from you about all things “Home”. I understand the need to monetize the blog (frankly, I am surprised that it didn’t happen sooner!). As I have said before – your blogging is on a level far above the others. I foresee many great things to come for you – and not just through advertising!! I have a feeling that you may be finding yourself with a new career – and that blogging will have led you to it. Keep up the great work!!

Leslie - July 24, 2014 - 9:09 pm

Hi Kelly! Thank you for writing such a real and candid post. I follow your blog because it makes me so happy. My family all knows when Kelly updates! I hope it makes YOU happy and I think it does because it shows! Follow your heart and do what you want to do! Your readers admire you ALOT and will roll with your changes. You can always add or take away in the future if you want to. I really wish you all the best and will be following every post like always. Oh and thank you! You inspired me to get black and white buffalo checked curtains in my cream kitchen! I adore them! Enjoy your new school year. You inspire your readers and I am sure you inspire those little kids who need it!

Jennifer - July 24, 2014 - 9:16 pm

I didn’t realize until I read this post what set your blog apart from so many others. Thank you so much for giving so much of your time, this blog truly is a gift. AND you are gifted in so many ways (but I did feel a little better seeing the empty jar ;) Your humility and your honesty is quite frankly, refreshing….

Mimi - July 24, 2014 - 9:51 pm

Trust me, my friend, YOU are the one who is blogging the way it is supposed to be done. :-) Over the years, I have read a lot of blogs, but my list continues to get shorter rather than longer. Some of my beloved bloggers have sold out and it shows–there are more ads than content, and they as writers have forgotten why we the readers loved them in the first place.

As a reader, I so appreciate that you respond if I leave a comment. Do I expect you to reply every time I comment? Heck no, I know you are a busy woman with a life. But when you reply, I feel valued as a person. I have left comments FOR YEARS on some of the big blogs and have never received one reply. Not that I was looking for a reply, but you’d think that ONCE in five years I might have said ONE thing that deserved a smiley face. :-) I no longer read them because I don’t feel like they care if I do–I’m just a number.

I have never once felt like you were boastful or showing off. You are so darn clever and creative that I can’t wait to see your latest idea (so I can copy! ha!)

I think you absolutely should gain monetarily for your hard work and effort. Here’s the difference between you and the other bloggers–and it’s a BIG one: WE ask YOU where to buy things all the time. You write the posts, we love what you did, and WE want to know where to get the items featured in the posts. The Amazon affiliate is a natural fit because you feature wonderful books and items (VW Vans) that we want. You could advertise jars,;-) material, furniture, chalkboards, food packaging, etc. and we would LOVE it because it’s a genuine buying guide for your materials. It would be a helpful resource for us–you wouldn’t even have to try selling things.

Sorry for writing the great American novel here. I hope you see by the overwhelming response of your readers that you are dearly loved as a writer AND a person. Your motives (and heart) are always sincere and I greatly appreciate that.

Cindy Ross - July 24, 2014 - 9:53 pm

Okay I am with the rest of the group. I thought you were going to say you were closing the blog. I was going to offer to come finish the room above the garage if you would continue to blog. I think we will all agree this is a comfort for us all. You have a unique way of writing, presenting you post about your trips, your dinners, etc. I feel you should take your blog to the next level if that is what you feel is best for you and your family. You deserve to be paid for your blog and to make extra income for you and your family especially if you are doing this during family time and involving your family with your blog activities. I think you will keep your blog very tasteful because that is just the kind of person you are. Just remember to stay true to what you believe in and everything will fall into place for you. Sorry you have to go back to school so soon. Seems like it was just yesterday that you were saying you were getting out for the summer. Enjoy your first day with the kids and be sure to let us all know how it went. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Luv ya girl <3

Dawn - July 24, 2014 - 10:07 pm


Barbara in the very first comment couldn’t have said what I was thinking better! I was so worried at first but then you so very carefully explained everything. I am not on Facebook since I am a teacher (I respect your choice to be on it to promote the blog though). I am so glad that you have decided to monetize your beautiful blog. I know it will be done in a classy way and I appreciate your explanation. I wish you all the best with your blog and with going back to work! I will be here looking forward to your next post.

Ellen Martin - July 24, 2014 - 10:32 pm

I rarely post my thoughts and appreciation, but have loved your blog for the year and a half or so I have followed it. I, like others, was afraid as I began to read that you were saying goodbye to blogging. How happy I am that as you processed your feelings you have decided to continue. Your blog, unlike others, is so personal. Your love for your family and creating a lovely, enjoyable, fun home for them is evident in every post.

Thank you for your honesty concerning blogging and money. I pray that you will be able to strike a balance with this, and continue to do what you do so well, inspiring your readers with your posts. I do appreciate the time you spend.

Mary B - July 24, 2014 - 10:35 pm

So relieved this post didnt go the other way!!!! As so many have said above— your blog is my favorite and the only one that i look forward to reading. Im sure whatever you do with it will remain as classy as always!

Lynne - July 24, 2014 - 11:22 pm

Kelly, I’m so glad this wasn’t a farewell blog post! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and the time you devote to it. I love that your real voice can be heard! I understand some people need to make money from their blog, and some advertising isn’t bad. However, the ads that pop up and you have to tap the “x” to make them go away are the biggest nuisance ever! Just when you think you are hitting the x they somehow move and you end up opening their ad! It makes me crazy and I’ve stopped following some very popular blogs because of it. I asked myself if reading a blog post was worth the frustration and decided it was not. I don’t mind affiliate links or sidebar advertising but the rest drives me nuts. I appreciate a blogger who says right in the first sentence that this post is a sponsored one. Then I can choose not to read the ones that don’t interest me. Last year a ton of bloggers were talking about tissues, and only one blogger disclosed it was a sponsored post in the first sentence. I certainly am not swayed to buy tissues because they have paid 100 bloggers to talk about them. Lol! Thanks for your honesty and for continuing with your blog! It’s one of my very favorites! Oh, btw, you were the only blogger who responded to my query about my iPad crashing when I tried to read your blog! You figured out what I needed to do. The others just said that no one else was having problems so it must be me. I can’t tell you how touched I was that you took time to help me!

laura - July 25, 2014 - 9:15 am

Thank GOD for your decision to monetize in moderation! I can’t keep up with how many blogs I have chosen not to follow because I felt I was being sold something and not shared something! Kudos!

Bev - July 25, 2014 - 12:13 pm

I LOVE your blog. Your creativity and style inspire. I am always happy when I see you have posted something. I am grateful you are still going to post. May the $$$ come in a new creative way. Thank you for sharing.

Louvina - July 25, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Mercy Kelly! I raced through the posting trying to see what was happening– because it had a different look and tone–”sad like” especially the empty table! –so I had to read Barbara’s reply to make sure I was understanding it. And then I quickly scrolled down and saw ALL the many replies–I didn’t have time to read more and did not finish until late last night. Almost “went blind” reading so much– I always read each and every reply because I feel a kinship to all your readers. Well, I wondered what more I could say —but feel the same way as the others and will do whatever it takes to help you continue TOTH. I can’t find a word for your blog but know it is a God given talent you have in writing, sharing and taking photos. I don’t know anything about what it takes to do this outreach–but I do know something magical is happening here and there is something greater for you in this line of work. I want to help –so you do the “Kelly” touch and tell us what we can do!! I’m behind you 100%. I miss when you don’t post and look every day if there is some news and many times go back and reread past posts. I don’t even know how I found you–it just happened!! And I was hooked!! I felt like you were a “soul sister!” An old soul as my close friends and I like to say– so do the right thing for you and yours and we will be here. Much love and prayers for guidance on your decisions.

Patty in Michigan - July 25, 2014 - 1:54 pm

As I began reading I was thinking is Kelly closing up her blog….whew! So happy that you aren’t. I love reading your blog and have enjoyed our cyber friendship so much that it would be so sad if it was over. Yeah! it’s not. I have always loved the way you have poured out your heart in your different posts, and I so appreciate your honesty in this one. It really is amazing how much time and effort it takes to prepare a post. I really LOVE each and every one. It is a real blessing to me…really!!! So happy you are going to keep them coming and it sounds like it’s going to just get better. I pray many blessings for you and your awesome blog future and returning to teacher…sorry summer is over so quickly.

Jen - July 25, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Hi Kelly,
This is an excellent post, and I totally understand why you are conflicted. I haven’t written a blog post in over a year because I feel the same way. It just takes too much time away from my family to make it worth it unless I can justify it with some sort of income (no matter how small), and I am not great at marketing ( I almost feel guilty about it)! I really like and appreciate the conclusion that you have come to. I think you can have a great blog that people love to read and also one that is aesthetically pleasing without bombarding readers with tons of ads. I love your blog and I admire you because it seems like I know you through your posts. Keep true to yourself and Thank you for spending your time with us readers and inspiring us!
Have a great school year!

Anne Boykin - July 25, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Hi Kelly, I used to follow a whole lot of blogs until I realized that there were some that touched my heart and made me feel good and others, not so much. Several months ago I cut back on my blogs considerably but I found that I just love yours, it’s one of my favorites. I love your style of decorating, your open heart and fun adventures that always include houses. You even came to my little town of Newnan for a visit, much to my surprise. So do whatever you want to be happy but know that you do bring a lot of happiness to those that follow you. I also love Miss Mustard Seed’s blog and she’s very different from you but you both put your heart into what you do and it shows. Hugs, Anne P.S. I do honestly enjoy the ads on my favorite blogs because they are usually companies I know or like once I do discover them through a blog. Just saying :-)

Pam - July 25, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Kelly- I happened upon your blog a few months ago and to me it is like a favorite little cafe where I can stop in for a cup of coffee and something yummy- I just always leave feeling happy. I often wondered how much time you must devote to your lovely posts. I have a blog but it really just serves as a catalog of work for my very localized business, so I don’t have pressure that “commercial” bloggers must feel. I fully support your decision to gain some income for your effort and it most certainly will not keep me away. Best of luck with your journey and thank you for deciding to stick around. I’ll be reading. :)

heidi sapa - July 25, 2014 - 8:48 pm

I really appreciate your “thought-full” process and explanation. You are my favorite blogger and I am seriously happy that you explained how you felt about the blogging world. I have watched other spots become ads and places for self-promotion. Needless to say, I don’t follow them anymore.

You are a delightful break in my busy day and I want to thank you for this. I know you will stay true to yourself, however the blog is “packaged.”

In appreciation, Heidi

Katrina - July 25, 2014 - 9:50 pm

Oh my…. Just like when I read a good mystery, sometimes I sneak and read the last two pages….. I had to scroll down because after reading your first paragraph, my heart started racing because I thought you were going to tell us good bye. Phew, okay now that that scare is over…… Kelly, your blog stands mountains over any other blog I read !!! You are never boastful ( which sadly some blogs seem to be)and your posts are down to earth yet full of delightful ideas or dreams. I totally support whatever decisions you make concerning your blog because I know that whatever you decide to do will be tasteful and ethical!!!
So, so sorry summer break is over for you! I wish you a wonderful school year and I know that you are a gift to every student you have!!!!!

Becky Smith - July 26, 2014 - 12:11 am

Kelly, I have read your blog since the beginning, but have never commented. Like many others have stated, I was so afraid you were going to stop blogging. Your blog is one that I love reading, and if I could move in to your lovely home I wouldn’t change a thing. I admire you so much because I think teaching is such an honorable profession, and because I love anyone who loves Mitford as much as I do. I wish you much luck and success in everything you do.

cindy hattersley - July 26, 2014 - 10:35 am

Great post I am dropping you an email!!!

classic•casual•home - July 26, 2014 - 11:14 am

I think it would be great to see you on Facebook. I publish there, too, as for some people who are really not blog readers, that’s their major entertainment. That was interesting what one reader commented about viruses from ads…I have never heard that before. This was my first time here. I’m going to stay awhile :)

Shelley - July 26, 2014 - 11:25 am

Phew! You had me worried there for a minute! Thank goodness you are not leaving us! I completely agree with everything you say and your reasons. Funny…I am in Sales and I too hate Sales Reps…which might explain why I’m not as successful as some of the other reps in the company I work for…

I especially agree with your comment about blogs that have their own shops and every blog entry is a plug for their shop or something they are selling somewhere and their curated line at Joss and Main. They have lost the reason for blogging and sharing and it is such a turn off that I no longer follow them…This being said I agree you should make money for all the work you put into this, but just don’t make it all about the money…

I love your blog!!!

Sue - July 26, 2014 - 3:51 pm

I am going to join the throngs and tell you how happy I am that you are going to keep blogging. I am fairly new to your blog, but I have gone back and read it ~
I know that to do the blog the way you do it takes a ton of time and so it makes sense to add the affiliate links.
I agreed with everything you said, so many blogs I once enjoyed are just ads and free product reviews and selling their stuff. I enjoyed reading them in the beginning because I enjoyed their style and it was fun to get to know them. There was a little give and take in the comments etc. Now, not so much and so I no longer follow them.
On another note, I can’t believe you are going back to school so soon! A month cut off your summer! I do love the beginning of a new school year though ~ a freshly sharpened bouquet of pencils and all that:-) Pray yours get off to a great start!

Sue - July 26, 2014 - 3:55 pm

And I forgot my totally selfish reason I’m glad you’re still blogging ~ we are very fortunate to be building a small lake house and I am going to go back through your blog for lots of great ideas. Your blog is a treasure trove for me! {But difficult to decide exactly which way to go ~ I like so many different things}
Thanks so much for all of the inspiration, both in your own home, love that red, and in the homes and inns you feature.

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 26, 2014 - 10:37 pm

I’m late reading this, but can sympathize with many of your points. I do have a few ads on my blog, but cut out many of the local advertisers because they really wanted to dictate what I wrote, and that drove me crazy. I get very discouraged and stop reading blogs that are mostly advertised posts. I now hate Frog Tape because it has taken over the mind of perfectly decent people! Enough with the TAPE, people!

Facebook is a necessary evil, and many of my readers ONLY see my posts on facebook, so I link my posts there once a day, but don’t really interact or involve myself with facebook other than a few minutes each day.

Do what you need to do to be happy. I think good content always shines through, no matter which format you choose.
I am laughing out loud at your Frog Tape comment, and I know exactly what you mean! :) Thanks for the info on your use of Facebook. That helps. :)

Debbie V. - July 27, 2014 - 10:49 am


Don’t change a thing! Your blog is my of my absolute favorites and I love your honesty and your style, which is why I am a faithful reader.

Karen - July 27, 2014 - 12:57 pm

I only recently found your blog and enjoy it so much. It’s refreshing and honest – thank you! As a retired designer, I enjoy perusing the vast amount of interiors and exteriors by many talented designers and diy’ers. The blogs heavy with advertising are annoying but I have the choice to not view it :) What concerns me more are the number of bloggers selling on-line design services when they’re not certified and fail to divulge that to their readers upfront. Even if certification isn’t mandatory for all consumers searching for design consults, I do believe consumers/readers deserve honesty.

Jessie @ Dream and Differ - July 27, 2014 - 1:13 pm

I first saw your cozy house when it was featured by The Lettered Cottage, and I immediately went on a hunt to find more info. I was disappointed at the time that you’d didn’t have a blog, so imagine my happiness when, some time later, Pinterest led me here! I so enjoy reading your blog and am always impressed by the quality of writing and your blog design, not to mention the beautiful images. It is clear that you put a lot of work and love into each post. Your unique voice and obvious enjoyment in creating “Talk of the House” shines through with each post.
It’s a pleasure to read and a great example of blogging done right (one I would like to follow). Thank you for being a bright spot in my reader!

Lori - July 29, 2014 - 9:38 pm

Catching up and checking in. All I can say is….good for you! As others have stated, I am thankful you are staying around for sure! You did scare us. I truly enjoy stopping by, catching up and seeing your latest posts. Always a pleasure.

Hilary @ My So-Called Home - July 31, 2014 - 11:04 am

You seriously have the most beautiful, thoughtful, coziest, and (like a previous commenter said) classiest home I have ever seen! I am seriously so happy to have found your blog and SO happy you are not going anywhere! Good golly lady you more than deserve to be paid for your time, effort, and skill and there is no shame in that. Keep up the good work! :)

Wendy in KY - August 1, 2014 - 11:11 am

Hi Kelly! I am behind in all my blog reading… much for the same reasons (have not accomplished all on my to-do list for summer and see it waning quickly!) I read this entry in email form and had some immediate thoughts, but failed to execute my intentions to write them down at the time.
A) When you were first introduced to me by my sister, I IMMEDIATELY looked for you on Facebook so that I could share each of your insights and eye for beauty with my friends. I am happy to learn you will be publishing there!
B) God has given you a gift and an eye for beauty. A gift to share. In this day and age where the world is full of “ugly,” a person needs to find respite and resting spot. Your blog provides that. Even though I am not physically sitting on your porch, at your table, or chatting with you in person, I feel like I AM when I open my email or come to your site. Advertising will not change that. I consider you to be in the upper echelon of Bloggers. You have the class and ability to run with the Big Dogs. Now, go and Run!

Barb - August 3, 2014 - 2:06 am

Phew…you had me worried. So glad you’re still going to blog. I love the new ideas you’re starting. My wish is that you get as much enjoyment out of blogging as we do in receiving everything you share with us.

tessa - August 3, 2014 - 10:52 pm

oh kelly, i struggled forever about the whole ad issue too. then once i did it, i was upset i waited so long! i do recommend using a publishing network, like blogher, when you do. they make it easy. my in frequent blogging certainly doesn’t have me raking in the dough, but it’s a little extra spending money each month i didn’t have before. i will say i’ve done a few sponsored posts and it hasn’t felt right, so i’ve kind of stepped away from those. and i don’t use FB or twitter, so don’t feel that is essential! :) good luck with it. you’ll cringe the first time you see an ad on ur site and then slowly you will get over it. ha! xo, tessa
I am glad to know your thoughts on monetizing your blog Tessa. Yes, you did wait a long time before doing it, and your current ones are not obtrusive at all. Moderation…all in moderation. :) I am planning on applying to Blogher, and I know that may take awhile. Thank you for adding your input to that VERY long post!

Renee Cook - August 6, 2014 - 11:54 am

Dear Kelly… I am glad you feel free to follow your heart and do what is right for you and your family. Your blog is so lovely, and is one of only a couple I follow. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into creating a beautiful little respite in the midst of our days! May you have a blessed and happy school year! Renee

S u b s c r i b e   b y   E m a i l