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Road Trip: Shopping at L.L. Bean and in Freepoint, Maine

L.L.Bean store sign Freeport ME

We are finally back on the road trip after a couple of …um….excursions here lately.:) So where are we headed today?  We are leaving Perkins Cove  (remember it?) and driving north.  The inn we are headed to is a few hours away, but we are making a stop in Freeport at the L.L.Bean flagship store first.  You can’t miss it.  It’s the one with the giant boot outside!

LLBean storefrontI said we are stopping at the L.L.Bean store, but actually it is a huge huge complex (or campus as some say.)
This is just one side.

LLBean storesHere is another side.  The landscaping in the area was just amazing.

LLBean landscapingThere is even a waterfall!

LLBean landscaping waterfallStep inside the flagship store, and you will see any and everything related to the great outdoors and even the great indoors as well.  I loved the canoe display!

LLBean canoe displayA little bit of kitchen things for you…

LLBean kitchen areaThe flagship store had a home section, but to really see all their housewares you have to go across the parking lot to an entirely different building.  (I told you the complex was huge!)

LLBean home store signVoila! L.L.Bean Home Store.

The photo below shows part of the first floor of the L.L.Bean Home Store.   Needless to say, I was in heaven.:) And the smell…ahhh.  You are immediately hit with a heavy scent of balsam trees.  I walked around and around trying to find a candle that was giving off that wonderful scent.  When I had no luck with that I finally asked the clerk about it, and she pointed to buckets and buckets filled with sachets of dried balsam. (I don’t know how in the world I missed them!)

LLBean home storeThere are chairs, and hammocks, and signs, and pillows….

LLBean store adirondacksEven buffalo check painted tables!
(No, I didn’t buy one. :( )

LLBean buffalo check tablesIf we had a mountain cabin, I would have wanted this table and chair set right away.

LLBean home store table setThere is a second floor at the home store as well.  I thought this hanging display was very pretty.

LLBean home store 2nd floorHere is a little closer view for you.

LLBean home store displayAnd then I forgot to photograph the second floor.:( But here is a shot that I found online.  The second floor is for all their bed and bath linens

LLBean home store

Just to give you another idea of how large the complex is, here is a map.
(And this does not even include the L.L.Bean Outlet that is a couple of blocks away.)

LLBean complex

Go across the street, and you will find another Bean…Linda Bean (actually Linda Lorraine…another L.L.)  I was surprised that I did not already know about her.  She is a granddaughter of the original L.L.Bean, has a major lobster business, and oversees a brand called Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine with everything from weddings, art galleries, vacation rentals, restaurants, an inn, a catering business, and more.  One of her restaurants is located directly across the street from the L.L.Bean flagship store.

Linda Beans Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern

Freeport is truly a shopper’s paradise with every kind of store imaginable, and if you are an outdoor enthusiast like my husband and son, you could shop for days there!

Freeport PatagoniaI was so hoping to go in this one, but it was closed when we arrived there.:(

Freeport Orvis outletAgain, the landscaping in the area was simply beautiful.

Freeport landscaping1Here is a better view of that pergola and its garden below.

Freeport landscaping

The black-eyed Susans made me jealous.  That is exactly how I want mine to be.

Freeport landscaping at WildflowerSo what did I buy in the town of Freeport?  Well, I bought several of those balsam scented sachets, a throw pillow for our son’s apartment (hallelujah he agreed on something decorative!!) and the cutest sugar cookies you will ever see!:) (The cookies match a super thoughtful gift I received a couple of Christmases ago here.)  I’ll show you the pillow when we look at the before-and-after on our son’s tiny place.

L.L.Bean cookies

The L.L.Bean store is normally open 24/7, but a little over a week ago, their former CEO and major head of the company who really made it take off, Leon Gorman (grandson of the original L.L.) passed away at age 80.  They are closing the stores for half a day on Sunday while they hold a memorial service for him.  There have only been 2 other times when the stores have been closed – for the death of the original L.L.Bean himself and for the death of President John Kennedy. Leon Gorman was an amazing man and will be very much missed by all the folks who have anything to do with L.L.Bean.  You can read about him here.

Right before we left Freeport I snapped this photo.  Isn’t that simply the most perfect scene with the Adirondack chairs gathered around the fire pit?  (It just needed a fire in that pit, right?)

adirondack chairs at shopAnd finally, I have to say a huge thank you to all of you for your very kind words of congratulations on the last two posts!  We are humbled, so blessed, and very lucky to have such fun opportunities come our way. Thank you is so inadequate.

Alright..moving on…where are we going next on this road trip?

To our inn in Maine!  How could I resist a place that had this sofa?!:)

red check settee

It was most definitely calling me. It is in a fun, funky old hotel that I can’t wait for you to see!

Until next time…


Sandy - September 11, 2015 - 11:28 am

That sofa. Oh my! I can not wait to see the inn, but oh how I have enjoyed the tour of LLBean. That is truly one of my favorite places. I still love to get the actual catalogs in the mail. I loved the cookies. I got on a Vera kick for all my school bags many years ago. It is hard not to love all those pockets, but my first teaching bag was a LLBean tote. I truly loved it.
I may have to put visiting Freeport on my bucket list.
That sofa AND the inn where it lives are really something! I am trying to catch up on blog comments and emails before showing all of you the next post with the inn. I’ve got to get faster at this! I think those LL Bean totes last forever. They are so sturdy!

Kaye Ann - September 11, 2015 - 11:44 am

I WANT TO GO. I’ve never been to Maine.

How could you resist not buying EVERYTHING????

Thanks for the tour.
Kaye Ann, you need to plan a trip to Maine. It is a wonderfully beautiful state.
I had a very hard time resisting a lot of the things we saw in the LL Bean store, but I had already gone over my budget by quite a bit in doing our son’s I had to reign in my spending on that part of our trip. :(

Julie @ Creating This Life - September 11, 2015 - 12:06 pm

I love it! Maine is on my bucket list but it’s great to get to visit vicariously for now. That L.L. Bean Home store looks wonderful.
Julie, Maine should be on everyone’s bucket list. :) And when you do go, I hope you find time a day to shop at the LL Bean store. Save room in your car for all your purchases!

Gina - September 11, 2015 - 12:38 pm

I love LL Bean! How fun to be able to go to their flagship store. What cute little sachets too. The area looks like a great place to shop. I love meandering through complexes like this. :)
It was a fun place to stop. Gina you would love it. Not to mention all the great little places to eat all around it!

Colleen M. - September 11, 2015 - 12:42 pm

I was just there Kelly!!! I wonder if we were there on the same day??!! We stopped at LL Bean on our way home to Massachusetts ater a beautiful trip to Wiscasset and Boothbay Harbor!! We were looking @ an amazing old home/Antique shop for sale in Wiscasset, Still dreaming about the possibilities!!!I feel there is nowhere more beautiful than Midcoast Maine!!! We stayed @ The Spruce Point Inn and Resort. Google it…You’ll love it!!!
How uncanny is that?! We were there on the 16th of August Colleen. (It is taking me forever to get all these posts out!) We drove through Wiscasset. Did you stop at Red Eats for a lobster roll? How fun to buy and run an antique shop!! Wow! And all the fun shopping you could do to keep it stocked. Now you have ME thinking about it! ha. :) Your inn looked fabulous!! I would definitely want to stay in the inn part of the complex. I am adding it to my list for future Maine trips. Thanks for the recommendation!

Gina - September 11, 2015 - 12:44 pm

Haha, I just realized those were cookies when I went to the former post!! How adorable they are!! Cute enough for me to comment again!! 😉 😀
That’s too funny Gina! Yes, they are adorable! I am saving them for something special…and Heaven knows I can’t ice other cookies to match them (probably should have bought a dozen!)

mari - September 11, 2015 - 2:12 pm

What a fabulous, fabulous blog post today! Isn’t Freeport the absolute fun place to visit? Did you have Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? I miss all these New England places now that I live in Virginia (not that I don’t love it here!). Quite a few years ago I was treated to a weekend at the Harraseeket Inn – what a treat – wow!!! I think only The Cloister on Sea Island GA was better. The funny thing was that L.L. Bean was so wonderful, and the other shops, restaurants, etc. so fun to explore that we spent little time in the room – ha! :-) We did laugh about that for a long time afterwards.

And that red hooked pillow with the three white stars!!! It’s in your pictures but not online that I could find – I might just have to call the store. (hint, hint to family & friends…birthday coming up next month) Thank you so much for your wonderful posts – this one was a true virtual visit to a wonderful town!
Thank you for your very enthusiastic comment Mari! Freeport is fantastic! I wish we could have stayed there longer. I am afraid we did not have ice cream while we were there. (We were saving room for dinner and had had a big lunch.) The fire pit in the photo near the bottom of the post was taken at the Harraseeket Inn. I would have loved to have been sitting in one of those adirondacks with a fire going there. How fun that you stayed there for a weekend! Check out this link to another site that I think has the pillow you want:
Hope that helps!

Arlene@Nanaland - September 11, 2015 - 2:16 pm

Kelly, LL BEAN is on my bucket list!! Now I am more excited than ever to visit Freeport. I picked up my Better Homes and Gardens Christmas magazine yesterday!! Your article is just beautifully presented. I may be telling people that one of my blog friends is
Well I am so glad you are excited about LL Bean! Definitely plan some extra time for a stop there Arlene. (We should have allowed more…just like in everything we seem to do!) Thank you for the compliment on the article. Not famous at all….just incredibly lucky to have been featured. :)
Thank you for getting a copy and reading the article (and sharing it with your friends!)

Grammy - September 11, 2015 - 3:47 pm

Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for this post. We will be in New England (from CA) in 3 weeks to view the fall foliage. My friends can’t understand why LL Bean was a must-stop on my list. Now, I can show them your post!!! Can’t wait! Thanks again!
Oh wow! You are soooo lucky to be there for the fall leaves (on my bucket list for sure!) You go right ahead and show your friends the post. LL Bean is a must! I hope you are going to Stowe, Vermont too. It is also a must, and I will have a post on it in a week or so.
Jealous of your fall adventure!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - September 11, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Oh, how I would love to visit this store – compound – fantasyland! LL Bean always has such great products and wonderful service. Thanks for the tour!
I hope you do get to visit it one day soon Leslie Anne! You are welcome for the virtual tour but you need to see it in person to really enjoy the fantasyland (and bring your fantasyland bank account to buy all the things you find to love there. :) )

Helen - September 11, 2015 - 4:30 pm

My brother lived in Maine for 20 some years before he passed away 3 years ago and we visited LL Bean every time we went to visit him. Your pictures bring back many fond memories of those trips and time spent with him. Thank you!
I am so sorry about your brother Helen, but I am glad the post could bring back happy memories for you. Going to the LL Bean store on a regular basis would be a delightful thing to do! Lucky you!

Cheri - September 11, 2015 - 6:03 pm

Kelly, how I missed your last post I don’t know, but congratulations on your magazine article, I’ll have to look for the magazine. Lucky you to get to LL Bean, that is my kind of store…you’re a girl after my own heart. Some day I will get there and probably drool all over the place. ha ha
Thank you for the congratulations Cheri!
You need to get to the LLBean store. It was certainly drool worthy! Beautiful place…and I didn’t even really get to look at all the clothes. (I drooled all over the Home store in the time we were there! :) )

Dawn - September 11, 2015 - 6:07 pm


I just love to e-travel with you. During the school year I don’t get to travel much except to the lake house. Then I sit and do school work while I relax by the water. Where are you going to put that wonderful smelling sachet? I can’t wait to see the pillow and how you “decorated” your sons tiny apartment. I am sure it is cozy. This weekend I am determined to get my hands on one “your issues” of the BH&G Christmas magazine. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

I know exactly what you mean about how your life is during the school year. It is a shame how much outside of school work teachers have to carry home with them. If I can give you a vacation – even a virtual one – during the school year, then I have accomplished something. :)
I gave away a couple of the balsam sachets, and I really thought about leaving my one in the car just for the smell in there. But I decided to be more selfish and keep out in here in my workroom. It smells good, but not nearly as strong as the hundreds of them out in the store. Hope you have been able to find a copy of the Christmas magazine. I have seen it in numerous places around here.

Ann - September 11, 2015 - 6:27 pm

I enjoyed seeing the LL Bean store so much! Their catalog is always much anticipated by me. Love their flannel sheets!

And I did brave construction at our Barnes and Noble to pick up my copy of Christmas Ideas! It’s great.

If you love their flannel sheets, then you should just move into the second floor of the Home Store. :) It was full of beautiful things for your bed and bathroom.
And thank you for making your way through the Barnes and Noble construction for the magazine! I hope you found that it was worth the effort.
Thanks for reading and commenting Ann!

Garden, Home and Party - September 11, 2015 - 6:33 pm

I have always wanted to visit Maine and especially the L.L. Bean store. We have several items we consider classic from their catalog. I’d love to see what all they sell at their compound.
Happy Friday.
Karen you would love it. It really requires a long period of time to see it all. So when you make your plans for your trip to Maine, definitely set aside a full day just for the LLBean complex and Freeport.(Keep adding to that travel list of yours. :) )

LJ - September 11, 2015 - 11:42 pm

That gingham sofa has your name all over it…lol.
I too enjoy the L L Bean products and thank you for the visit there. I had no idea they are that big. What an eye opener. I think I’ll scrounge around and dig up the last catalog I got from them. I’ve been wanting to buy one of their signature totes and with your inspiration now’s the time. Enjoy your weekend.
It really does have my name on it, doesn’t it?! Ha. When your new tote comes in, you should make some cookies to match the tote! (I don’t know what I am going to do with ours, but they were just too cute to pass up.)

Jackie Caruso - September 12, 2015 - 11:42 am

I knew nothing about the L L Bean Campus so thanks for sharing your trip with us. Looks like I could have spent days there. On another note, I picked up my copy of Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine yesterday and it was so fun seeing your home featured in the magazine. I felt like I was reading an article about my friend! I always look forward to this issue and it was more special this year since your home was featured.
Yes, Jackie, you can easily spend days there! :) And thank you for your sweet words about the magazine feature. I count all of you my friends, so you certainly can say you were reading an article about your friend. :)

Kathy - September 12, 2015 - 2:49 pm

I have always thought it would be fun to visit that L.L. Bean store! Thank you for sharing the photos. I can’t wait for your next post! BTW, if you ever come up to the Balsam Inn, you will be smelling that wonderful Balsam aroma!
It WAS fun! Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time there if you do make a trip to Freeport, Kathy. We did not have near long enough to enjoy it all. I would absolutely love the Balsam Inn on scent alone. LOL It is that smell that keeps me going back to Highlands, NC all the time. :)

Becky Smith - September 12, 2015 - 10:06 pm

Sweet Kelly,
I just bought the BH&G Christmas issue. The spread on your home was wonderful I would be willing to bet that this will be their best selling issue ever, just because your wonderful home is in it. Thank you for an early Christmas gift.
As I’ve said before, every post from you is like opening a present. Thank you for all the time you invest on your blog.
What a lovely compliment Becky! Thank you so very much. It HAS seemed like Christmas around here this week with the magazine coming out. (But I really need to be looking for Halloween ideas! LOL)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. :)

Marianne in Mo. - September 13, 2015 - 12:05 pm

I too love travelling with you, since it doesn’t invlove packing and costs! :) I feel like I’m right along with you, seeing all the fun stuff and tasting all the food. I hope to get to Maine some day, but not for a while, too much going on here. :-( That store was way bigger than I could have ever imagined. I always pictured a small general store-type place for some reason! Silly me!
Thanks for a wonderful trip!
Now that’s a virtual vacation if I’ve ever heard of one! Ha. I hope things settle down for you Marianne and you get a vacation to Maine sooner than you think. LLBean was the town…truly. It was to Freeport like Old Edwards Inn is to Highlands, NC.

Louvina - September 13, 2015 - 12:42 pm

This post felt like we were visiting New England for real! You know how to bring things to life with your photos and writing! Would live to visit the LL Bean flagship store! When I was in Mass. my daughter and I took a road trip ( which looked like it was not far on the map!– 5 hours away!) to the Yankee Candle flagship store– and it was wonderful!! Well, worth the 10 hrs trip!! Kept looking for a moose but didn’t see one! Beautiful country side though!! Wondering what you have in store for your next adventure!?! Always such a treat!! Hope the weather starts to cool down soon so I can get in a Fall Mood! Still dreaming over your BH&G article!
Oh wow! I bet the Yankee Candle store smelled like Heaven!! I would have to sniff everything in that place. :) But 10 hours..oh no! No new adventure in store for awhile. My husband just returned from his adventure out west. I want a mountain trip when the leaves turn, but I am not sure my husband can take off much more for awhile.
Kelly - September 13, 2015 - 8:12 pm

Maine really is beautiful. Someday, I’ll get back there. Oh..I got the Christmas Ideas magazine and I was so excited to see your beautiful home on display. Congratulations!!
Yes, Maine is really beautiful. I hope you get back there soon Debbie. :) Thank you for getting the magazine! And thank you for the compliments on our home. It will be time to decorate it again before we know it!

christi - September 14, 2015 - 12:28 pm

congratulations on the magazine spread! I’ll keep my eye out so I can pick up a copy.

In college we used to make 10 PM road trips to LL Bean and be back in time for class the next day. The people who work at midnight were always very nice to car loads of sorority girls! LL Bean could have been our house’s official outfitter based on the numbers of backpacks, anoraks, bloucher moccasins, Bean boots and wool Nordic sweaters we all owned.
Thank you Christi! I would have loved to have seen your sorority house all decked out in LLBean goods. :) They should have featured it in one of their catalogs. That was probably at the time they were featured in the preppy handbook. :) It gave them a BIG boost in sales when that happened.

Lynn - September 14, 2015 - 2:51 pm

You’ve brought back memories for me. My husband and I honeymooned in Freeport. The flagship store has definitely changed in the 17 years since we were there. We stayed at the Harraseeket Inn just down the road from the store. It was beautiful. Thanks for sharing your road trip with us.
What a fabulous place to go for your honeymoon Lynn! I bet that store has expanded considerably in those 17 years! I don’t know if the home store was even in existence as a separate shop back then. The fire pit photo near the end of this post was at the Harraseeket Inn! Looks like a nice place to stay in Freeport. I am so glad the post could bring back happy memories for you. :)

Design Chic - September 16, 2015 - 7:55 am

I love Maine and the LL Bean store is always a highlight. We try to go every other year when our NC weather is brutally hot…Camden and NE Harbor are our getaway favorites! Happy Wednesday, Kelly!!
Oh I am so glad you have had the pleasure of the store too! Isn’t it fun?! That is a great place to escape the heat in the South. Camden is coming up soon in our road trip, so I know you will recognize places there. :)
Happy Wednesday to you too!

classic•casual•home - September 16, 2015 - 11:16 am

What a great tour. I really want to go to Maine. The closest I’ve gotten is New Hampshire. I’ve got to put this on our list!
I hope you get to go there one day soon Mary Ann! It is a beautiful state. We went through a piece of New Hampshire on our trip, but I would really like to go to the Squam Lake region and stay there for a week (preferably in the house in which they filmed On Golden Pond. :) )
p.s. I cannot remember if I have congratulated you on your son’s Disney internship. If I haven’t then.. congratulations! :) I know he has to be enjoying that (and working long hours as well.) Our daughter has decided she wants to go back and work for Disney in some capacity full time when she graduates in a few months – just not in Orlando (traffic there is awful.)

Emily - September 17, 2015 - 4:59 pm

I shop LLBean’s catalogl, but now I definitely want a trip to Freeport to shop at their store! Thanks for sharing!!
If you shop in the catalog, you will absolutely LOVE the store(s) Emily! They are the catalogs come to life! :) You need to make plans for that trip to Freeport (and other charming towns in Maine.)

Charissa - October 1, 2015 - 4:44 pm

I always wanted to go here and now I have:) You really detail all the places you go so beautifully. It feels like a mini vacation for me and I so appreciate it. I don’t know how you showed such restraint:) ha! If you like the balsam sachets, Susan Branch sells a balsam draft stopper on her website I have 2 and I just love them.

Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas 2015!!

BHG Christmas Ideas 2015

I really wanted to get back to the road trip posts today. Really.  After all, they were already interrupted by the Mitford post, but I am just toooooo darn excited about this to wait any longer! (and I am not very good at waiting.)  Way back in what seems like forever ago, we had some visitors in our home…visitors who worked for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. (I wrote about them here.)  It was January, and we were decorated for…. Christmas.:)They were very kind, took a lot of photos, and even filmed a few things here.  And I know it is barely fall – much less anywhere near the Christmas holidays, but the Christmas Ideas magazine is out, and it was a lot of fun to finally see the finished product!

BHG Christmas Ideas magazine 2015 Talk of the House

Clarissa, a thoughtful reader from Illinois, emailed me early on Saturday to tell me she had purchased her issue at her grocery store and wanted to let me know it was on the shelves.  So with camera in hand, my husband and I sped over to Lowes to get him a hedge trimmer and look for the issue.  I was all ready to photograph the happy moment….and then….the issue was not in yet.:( I decided the shipments had not made it this far south to Georgia.

Last night we were in Target looking for a particular Halloween movie (which they didn’t have because they are still in back-to-school mode!) camera in hand, and there they were….an entire stack of the holiday magazines!  The photos of the issue were taken with my husband’s phone.  I scooped up 7 to share with family members and left plenty more for other shoppers when they get in the mood for Christmas.

The issue is full of holiday ideas and blogger home tours.  Jennifer O’Brien writes at City Farmhouse.  You will enjoy her neutral decor with all her homemade crafts.  Here is her porch from a couple of years ago.  My kind of porch!

City Farmhouse holiday porch

Canadian floral designer extraordinaire and Coriander Girl shop owner, Alison Westlake’s converted church is simply charming.  She blogs at  (There is a table with a green base in her feature that I would love to have!)  Here is one of the Coriander Girl storefronts decorated for Christmas.

Coriander Girl shop in

Sarah Caron’s feature has a neutral home with many pops of red for the holidays (so you know I am drawn to it!)  She used to have a blog called Lacquer and Linen, but it does not seem to exist anymore.  Here is her nursery board that was featured on her blog at one time.  There is a photo of that beautiful bed in the Christmas Ideas issue.

Lacquer and linen nursery

I was beyond thrilled to be featured in the same magazine with wonderful Emily Lex from Jones Design Company!  She and her husband Ryan were actually great mentors when I started this blog, and their online classes to help readers create their own blog came out right as I launched Talk of the House.  (The classes are great by the way!)  There is a special freebie from Emily in the magazine that you will definitely want to check out!:)

jones design company Christmas

Do you remember Grace Sorensen from the blog, Grace Happens?  She shared her beautiful home and precious family in her posts.  Six years ago they moved from Virginia to California, and while Grace Happens was put on the back burner, she started an online business for gorgeous monograms – Celerie and South.  (Thank you Holly Mathis for the one you sent me!:))  The Celerie and South blog site was down when I last checked because they are moving back to the South, but the site should be back up some time this month.  All of this to say, there is a tour of her lovely home decorated for Christmas (along with that cute green Dutch door!) in this issue of the BHG Christmas Ideas magazine.

But the issue is not all blogger homes.  There is still yet another home tour in the magazine, (from someone who is not a blogger) along with ideas for decorating Christmas trees, craft projects, floral arranging, gift wrapping, and even a few holiday table setting ideas from Thistlewood Farms’ KariAnne Wood.  (My favorite is #4 when you get to that piece.) Oh, and our house is in there too! (You can find it between pages 46 and 57… if you are interested.:))

BHG Christmas Ideas 2015 Talk of the HouseBut wait!  There’s more!

Remember I told you they photographed and filmed when they were here?  Well the creative and talented folks at Better Homes and Garden have put together a series of Christmas decorating how-to videos on their website.  No video of me, but you can view holiday decorating “in action” here with our daughter as “the hand model.”:)

BHG video Cottage Style Christmas decorating with Talk of the House

This is just one of five or six little videos that feature our home.  So get your copy of the magazine, and you will find the link to all of them on one page of their website. 😉

Before I bring all of this to an end, I want to thank some folks who helped birth this baby of a project!  Editor Ann Blevins who found us, calmed my worries, and got the ball rolling, stylist Nicole Teut who rearranged pillows and presents a zillion times, photographers Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson who were not only brilliant but also entertaining:), Sarah Wolf who took all my words in our looooong interview and turned them into an article we are all proud of, Katie Parker, the quietly calm girl with the lovely voice and the creative vision for the videos, Dave and Simon Presley, the British film guys who were sooo smart and sooooo much fun, and a big BIG thank you to all my family (especially my sweetheart husband, our daughter, and my mom) who worked on everything from Christmas trees to landscaping in the crazy month of January.  This simply would not have happened without their help.  Okay, I think that is all.  Oh…one more!  All of you readers here at Talk of the House for reading, commenting, pinning, encouraging, and letting me share my crazy decorating ideas with all of you!  Ann Blevins never would have found us if not for you. (I sound like I am accepting some kind of  Emmy; don’t I?! LOL)

Now that really is all.  Go find that magazine in your nearest grocery store, Walmart, Lowes, Target, or bookstore, and enjoy! (And spread the word please!)

Until next time…
(when we really will be back on the road trip!)


kathy - September 7, 2015 - 11:17 am

Wow, congratulations!!
I will look for that magazine today!
Thanks Kathy! I hope you can find it!
Enjoy it on Labor Day. :)

Sandra Sullivan - September 7, 2015 - 11:24 am

From a screen, mouse, mind… to famous! Oh yeah guts and execution too. Totally exciting.
Not quite famous, but the house is certainly getting some publicity. :) After a lot of hard work, it is fun to see it all come together. Thank you for sharing in the excitement!

Cheryl - September 7, 2015 - 11:41 am

Congratulations, Kelly!! I’ll be sure to look for this on my next Target run! (And Target runs are pretty frequent…just sayin’…) I am looking forward to seeing more of your decorating magic!
Thank you so much Cheryl! I think if our Target that is still in back-to-school mode had it, other Targets should already have it in as well. :)

Sandra - September 7, 2015 - 11:46 am

Isn’t your house your home your castle you? I like to think it is. Enjoy every moment, every laud with a wide grin and a full heart, the kind of full heart you have given me.


arlene@Nanaland - September 7, 2015 - 11:46 am

The next time I am in Target, one of these magazines is going into my buggy!! So happy for your much deserved notice, Kelly!! Your home is just beautiful.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - September 7, 2015 - 11:52 am

Oh my word, congratulations!!!!! This is so exciting, and the videos are amazing. Can’t wait to get my copy.

Jayne Shaw - September 7, 2015 - 12:02 pm

Love that I will get to see your home in BH&G. My favorite posts are of your home. I can never get enough of seeing that beautiful porch. Your porch is my inspiration. Your whole house is just gracious and serene. Congratulations on being featured in BH&G.

Gina - September 7, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Congratulations!! I can’t imagine your excitement seeing it in print. Well worth interrupting your trip posts!! :)

Carol Ann - September 7, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Can’t wait to see the magazine BH & G with your house! So proud of you and for you! I’m on my way to the store right now!

Jean - September 7, 2015 - 12:25 pm

Yay – top purchase the issue has been on my list all week. Think I’ll add a trip to Target for my list as this is one of my favorite holiday publications!

Clarissa - September 7, 2015 - 12:30 pm

Oh, Kelly! I’m so happy you found it! Your holiday home is gorgeous and you should be very proud. I’m full of inspiration that I’m going to have to contain for a few more months. Haha!

Pamela - September 7, 2015 - 1:14 pm

Go you! How fabulous! I seem to remember there were all kinds of glitches like illness and house tours you were committed to. I’m sure seeing your home published makes it worth all that.❤️

LJ - September 7, 2015 - 1:24 pm

I’ll look for the issue today as I plan to go out and do some shopping.
Your home and this blog is your labor of love and when you love what you do then it isn’t work but fun. Have a great Labor Day! and celebrate.

Cindy - September 7, 2015 - 1:24 pm

Hi Kelly, so exciting! I was just at Walmart this morning and didn’t know the magazine was out. Looks like I will be going on a magazine hunt in a few… So proud of you!

Dawn - September 7, 2015 - 2:30 pm


First of all, Congratulations! I am so excited for you and the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I will be looking to buy a copy at my local Hyvee and Barnes and Noble! I will read it cover to cover and then place it on my ottoman as an added Christmas decoration this year. Will you use it in you kitchen area by the chalk board and organizer too? Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Now I am off to pin some of your wonderful pictures onto my Pinterest boards for future reference. Take care.


Nan, Odessa, DE - September 7, 2015 - 3:03 pm

Well deserved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Loud applause)
So proud of you and your family.
Thanks for sharing.
You have NO ideal how much it means to have you touch my life!
You add inspiration and joy to your readers.

Pause and enjoy with your family.

Cindy - September 7, 2015 - 3:08 pm

I got it!!!! Beautiful. I told you I was going to go get one… luckily Lowe’s is near by. (for many reasons).
Now for my favorite chair, a glass of sweet tea and your article.
My next treat is getting to read Come Rain or Come Shine.

Charlene - September 7, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Love seeing the article! Going to look for the magazine today! I love seeing you get great recognition for your wonderful blog! It is well deserved. Definitely my favorite. Congratulations- your home looks beautiful!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - September 7, 2015 - 3:15 pm

Kelly, how thrilling for you! I’m excited to see your home featured in the magazine! Will make a trip to Target very soon and pick up a copy, for sure. Congratulations! Warmly, Gracia

Anne from Atlanta - September 7, 2015 - 3:18 pm

Wow! wow! wow! How great is this! Your house will be a Christmas inspiration for many!
Congratulations on the article! I’m running out to get my copy now. xoxo, Anne

Kim - September 7, 2015 - 4:44 pm

Kelly, how exciting! I will have to pick up a copy.

Tricia - September 7, 2015 - 8:43 pm

Kelly, this is so exciting! Can’t wait to see if the magazine is available here. The recognition is well deserved. Yours is the only decorating/home blog I actually read top to bottom and I savour every new post. Thank you for such inspirational ideas and trip reports. Congratulations!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - September 7, 2015 - 8:45 pm

How absolutely freaking LOVELY! The hand model needs to go to super-model status immediately. She was great. Your ideas for decorating are so charming, I’m glad you’re getting the attention you deserve. Your creativity is impressive!

DiAnne - September 7, 2015 - 9:45 pm

Congratulations Kelly!
I will definitely get it when I see it in a store near me.
This is all putting me in the Christmas spirit in the middle of September. Love it!

Design Chic - September 7, 2015 - 9:45 pm

I can’t wait, Kelly. Going to find the magazine has now moved to the top of my “to do” list for tomorrow. Dying to see your beautiful home and I so vividly remember the posts from last year about the filming, your illness etc, so I’m THRILLED that it has all come to fruition!! Well deserved, my friend!!

Paula - September 7, 2015 - 10:11 pm

Hi Kelly,

Congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your family! How fun to see all your creativity and hard work in print! I ordinarily don’t like to think too much about Christmas this early in the fall, but for you, I must make an exception. I am already scheming how I can work a quick trip to Target into my lunch hour tomorrow. I will check Publix on my way to work, too! Well, again, congratulations and well-deserved, I must say! Now, this holiday season, relax and more important, stay well! xo Paula

Emily - September 7, 2015 - 10:15 pm

After I saw your blog today, I ran out and was able to find the magazine. I immediately flipped to page 46 and enjoyed seeing your home decorated for Christmas. When I have time, I will look at the rest of the magazine for more ideas. How exciting for you! Great article!!

Sherry Myers - September 7, 2015 - 10:59 pm

Oh my word, oh my word! I can hardly wait to get the magazine! It will be my first errand tomorrow morning! I cannot wait!!! Congratulations, Kelly, to you and your entire family! Thank you for all your hard work! This is special for all your readers too! Thank you for letting us share in your excitement.😊

Barb - September 8, 2015 - 8:25 am

Congratulations Kelly! I’m so happy for you. I just love your blog. Thank you!

Debra - September 8, 2015 - 8:32 am

Wow! Didn’t expect to see that your Christmas issue would be available this early! So happy for you Kelly and your family, as I know they support and help out so much. What a thrill it was for the photo shoot, I am sure but to see it in print now has to be so exciting!! It is a rainy day here in the Midwest, after a VERY HOT holiday weekend. I am dashing out between the downpours to grab my copy for sure today…can’t wait to see the layout and to have a “hand held” piece of “Talk of the House”.

Lynn A. - September 8, 2015 - 8:57 am

Congratulations, Kelly! Will have to swing by the store and pick up my copy.

Lori Lucas - September 8, 2015 - 9:26 am

That’s what I get for grading (a mountain of) papers yesterday instead of playing on the computer!! Now I am going to have to wait until after school and go hunt that magazine down! (And all day the students will wonder why I am so impatient! ha!) Congrats on a well deserved feature. Lori Lucas

Donnamae - September 8, 2015 - 9:36 am

Congratulations! You must be thrilled! I’ll be looking for it the next time I grocery shop! 😉

Katrina - September 8, 2015 - 10:29 am

I am sooo excited for you! I am going to look for the magazine today!

Kathy - September 8, 2015 - 10:47 am

Oh, my! I can’t wait to buy my own copy. I will be saying…My friend’s house is featured in this magazine! Congratulations!!! I loved the video. Your daughter made the perfect “hand” model.

Sandy - September 8, 2015 - 11:39 am

Congratulations, Kelly and sooo deserving are you to be featured in Better Homes&Garden. I too will be searching for the magazine today. Enjoyed the video, and will be hanging a faux evergreen wreath over our bed during the holidays.

Jackie Caruso - September 8, 2015 - 12:22 pm

Congratulations! I can’t wait to get my copy and devour it from cover to cover.

Julia - September 8, 2015 - 2:10 pm

Yeah! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to get the magazine and see how it all turned out on your photo shoot!

Kaye Ann - September 8, 2015 - 2:19 pm

I am going to the store to get it!!!! Congrats. The video is beautiful, as if I were there in your house.

Vicki - September 8, 2015 - 3:50 pm

Congratulations! That magazine is a must-get every year for inspiration, and this year especially so! Happy for you, and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

Marianne in Mo. - September 8, 2015 - 5:41 pm

Oh, I remember the shoot, how you were waiting to do it so you could decorate for Valentine’s Day. I will be sure to hunt a copy down, I love to see how others decorate for the holidays! Bet it was exciting to see the finished product of your hard work! Better practice your signature, your friends and family will be hounding you for your autograph! 😉

Meghan - September 8, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Just returned from Target, where I purchased the magazine!!! Your lovely home translates just as well in print as it does online. Such hard and talented work deserves to be recognized and I am so happy you and your blog are receiving some of the recognition you deserve. Congratulations

Vicky Hunt - September 8, 2015 - 8:52 pm

How wonderful! Congratulations! I can’t wait to purchase the magazine and check out your house and all the others. Have a wonderful week!
Thank you Vicky! It has been a very busy week here with a lot of cooking (and eating. :) ) All the homes in the magazine were nicely done in their features I thought.

KAREN IN CHARLESTON - September 8, 2015 - 9:14 pm

Hey Kelly, Could hardly wait to get a copy, found mine at Target! I can’t wait to show everyone my friends house! Absolutely beautiful, so cozy and comfy! Love following your blog, sometimes I feel as though I’m on vacation. Thanks for all your articles.Congrats!!
Yay for Target! (I just wish they had their Halloween things out here!) You go right ahead and show everyone your friend’s house. :) Thank you for your very kind compliments, and I am glad that I can give you a virtual vacation from time to time.

Jane - September 8, 2015 - 9:30 pm

Congratulations!!!! What an honor. I can’t wait to get my copy—I so live for this Christmas issue with all of its great ideas. Bloggers are such great contributors…they keep things doable and real!

Jane x
Thank you Jane. It certainly was an honor to be featured! Christmas is the time when I seem to buy the most magazine issues…so many great ideas out there!

Donna - September 8, 2015 - 9:52 pm

I happened to be in Hastings, our local bookstore, Saturday morning and was excited to pick up a copy. The issue is lovely but your home is a standout. Enjoy all the well deserved compliments.
Great! I am so happy that you were able to get a copy of the magazine! Thank you for your sweet compliment on our home. :)

Jill Peters - September 9, 2015 - 8:17 am

I have been to 3 stores to look for this – my two favorite things this time of year….back to school and the BHG Christmas Ideas magazine! I am so excited to see your home in it!! I am leaving early for my sons soccer game today hoping to find it in a bigger city, southwest Michigan is late! :)
I am so sorry you have had such a difficult time locating it Jill. I hope you will be successful in a larger city. I just got a copy in the mail from Meredith publications yesterday. So they are still in the process of getting them out.

Becky - September 9, 2015 - 8:23 am

I got my copy yesterday! It is a lovely spread. Congratulations! Becky in stormy Oklahoma
Yay! So glad you found a copy Becky! I am happy that you liked the feature.

Peggy - September 9, 2015 - 11:04 am

Kelly, I am so excited for you! Congratulations! And I can’t think of another person’s home that would fit in a Christmas article better than yours. Much deserved! Now I hope my little grocery store carries this in the magazine section. Looking today!
Goodness thank you Peggy! I do love Christmas…that’s for sure! :) I have seen copies in a lot of the stores around here. (I want to pick one up in each of them and say to any of the shoppers around…LOOK! Here is our house!LOL…They would probably look at me like I am a crazy lady. :) )

Mary Ellen - September 9, 2015 - 12:40 pm

How exciting for you. I was so happy to find the issue in a local grocery store yesterday. Lovely photos and so many cute ideas that I’m sure will be used by many to decorate for Christmas. Your blog is an inspiration. Congratulations!!!
It was exciting to actually see it in print finally! I’m so glad you could find a copy Mary Ellen. Thank you for your very sweet comment on the blog and the feature.

Louvina - September 9, 2015 - 2:08 pm

This was way too much excitement for me after the Big Party! I was totally exhausted but I just had to run out and get my copy of BH& Garden’s Christmas Ideas magazine!! What a truly outstanding photo/ article plus video of you and your family’s Christmas decorated home!!! Your daughter did a fabulous “hand modeling” job! Very graceful and lovely as usual. Nice to see the family photo — and I know how much you don’t like having your picture taken! I was thinking, too, how Ill you had been during that time– I truly don’t know how you were able to pull it all together. What a blessing to be able to see the many ideas. I really felt like I was there walking on a home tour!! Congrats — on a great job–well done!
Wow! Thank you for the extra effort to get the magazine Louvina. I appreciate it. And thank you for all your sweet words about the feature. It was very nice to be able to see the finished product. I enjoyed seeing all your photos of your big shindig on your facebook page. It looks like it was a super creative event and everyone (especially your daughter) must have enjoyed the long fun-filled weekend! Great job on your event!!

Mary Charles - September 9, 2015 - 3:36 pm

That is so cool, Kelly! Congrats! I enjoyed watching the video too. You have a beautiful home. Love all the red touches.
Thank you for watching the video Mary Charles, and thank you for the compliments on the house. If you like red, our house is the place to be! :)

Benita - September 9, 2015 - 7:48 pm

Congratulations Kelly! I’m so excited for you and will definitely pick this up as soon as I see it! YAY!!
Thank you Benita! I hope you enjoy the feature when you do run across a copy of the issue.

Renee Cook - September 10, 2015 - 10:25 am

That is so exciting! Congratulations, Kelly! I know you’re thrilled to see the finished product after all your hard work. After seeing your blog and the videos, your home with it’s warm, traditional, cottage-style feel is my favorite! I can’t wait to pick up a copy.
Thank you Renee. It certainly was exciting to see the finished product, and I was very excited that it came out 2 months earlier than I was expecting it! :)

cindy hattersley - September 11, 2015 - 8:23 pm

Kelly this is so well deserved. Your attention to detail and your own personal style is so unique! I applaud you!!
Thank you Cindy! I appreciate your sweet words about the magazine feature. :)

Nan, Odessa, DE - September 12, 2015 - 5:57 pm

Found my copy at my local Acme market.
You are the best.
So happy that Kerange Wood from Thistle Wood Farms blog is on page 114.
I can see why #4 is your favorite. Mine also

Congratulations to you and Walter!
I’m so glad you found a copy Nan! (Several people have been unable to locate the issue.) And great minds think alike…even when it comes to place settings. :) Do you know the name of that plate pattern? I thought perhaps it is one of the Juliska patterns, but I don’t think that is correct.
Thank you the congratulations to both me and my husband. :)

Eddie Williams - September 13, 2015 - 9:08 am

Hello my friend! I miss you so much at The Chapel! As always it has been busy. We just celebrated a successful Grandparents Day.
I took time Friday night to catch up on your posts and was so excited to find out THE issue was finally out. I ran to the store yesterday morning to get my copy. You may notice “drive by, rubberneckers in the next few weeks”” …… Lol…..I couldn’t help but share with the cashier and everyone else in line at Publix that “this is my friend and she lives in Perry!” They were all amazed that a home town girl was featured in Better Homes and Gardens! I am so happy for you and all the joys retirement is bringing but always remember you are missed!
One proud friend!
Well hello my friend too!!! So good to hear from you Eddie! I have been missing all of you as well (but not all the crazy paperwork that goes along with working there.) Thank you for catching up on the posts AND for getting a copy of the issue. I hope you like the decorating featured there (and on the BHG website videos. :) ) Can you believe in just 2 little months it will be time to think about Christmas decorating AGAIN?! My brain has been pondering Halloween decor the last 2 weeks, and I am having a difficult time settling on ideas. Retirement has been busy busy busy! I hope everything is going good for you girl. Leave more comments! I love hearing from you! :)
Tell everyone there hello for me.

JenniferfromVA - September 14, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Am I surprised that your in BHG???? NO WAY!!! Your house is beautiful, warm and cozy at all times of the year. Even the EXPERTS recognize this!! At Christmas it is especially warm and inviting. I’m thrilled for you……and as always YOUR MY FAV!!! Hugs to you!
Jennifer your comments ALWAYS give me a smile and brighten my day!! Thank you for being one of my best cheerleaders!
Hugs to you too girl. :)

Marlene Wilson - September 17, 2015 - 3:03 pm

I was so excited when I found the magazine about your home. I was at the local grocery store and shoppers had to go around me in the magazine aisle. I couldn’t wait to get home and spend some time looking at how fantastic everything looked. Just beautiful and so warm and welcoming. Congratulations and so happy to see your home featured. I love buffalo check too and have it all over my home. What a treat to see how you add so much charm to all rooms.
Aw thanks Marlene!! That is too funny about blocking the aisle at the magazine rack. :) I am glad that you enjoyed seeing the article in the issue. Be sure to check out the link in the article to all the videos on the BHG website (with our daughter “the hand model.” ha ha!)

KellyinPA - September 19, 2015 - 1:53 pm

{{Kelly}} Congratulations!! All of your blog readers know about your wonderful home and all you do to make it such a warm, inviting place. Now, the world gets to see it too!;) I’m so excited for you. This is going on my shopping list for this week. I may even have to stop at the grocery store after church tomorrow to pick up a copy:)
You are too sweet girl! Thank you for your very kind comment here Kelly. I hope you can find a copy of the issue. I saw it in Barnes and Noble last night, and someone was actually reading the feature at the time. I wanted to say, “That’s our house! That’s us!” But I was too shy to say anything. Got to have more nerve!!!

Rae Pearce - September 26, 2015 - 2:22 am

I’ve just purchased the Christmas Ideas book. Loved the Mantel Village and Church Ornament on page 26 but when I followed the instructions to get the pattern it has not been possible. Another friend has been searching also even went on the circuit web site as your article suggest and neither of us can find any pattern for this project. Has a mistake been made on your part of a incorrect site or has one not been created at all? Would you please advise us of what to do. Its the reason I purchased this issue. Thank You, Rae Pearce
I’m afraid our article is simply a decorated house featured in the magazine. We did not do any of the crafts in the issue. So I do not know anything about them, but I did go to the website, and you are right, it is not there on BHG. I also went to the Cricut site, and it seems that the patterns are not clickable. So I am going to forward your email on to the editor of the holiday issue so that she will know, and then she can hopefully get it corrected. That is a cute craft!
I hope this helps.

Kelly - September 27, 2015 - 12:27 pm

I’ve been waiting for this all year! Will look for it when I go to Home Depot later today.

Jane Pickett - October 9, 2015 - 8:10 pm

First, let me congratulate you on the lovely feature on your home.
Next, I have the same issue as Rae Pierce,the pattern for the Mantel Village is no where to be found. I too am very disappointed.
I know this is really not your problem but there is no way to give this feedback to BHG on their website.
Would you mind forwarding this to BHG??
Thank you.

Jan Karon’s New Book, Her Old Farm, and a Gluten Free Orange Marmalade Cake,

Come Rain or Come ShineIn the last post, I mentioned that I am jumping out of order in sharing our road trip with you in this post. I need to back up a bit first…all the way to one morning in early July when I was sitting in our hotel room on St. Simons Island. My computer was on, and I was looking at things on Pinterest while my husband was in a meeting.  I decided to check my Pinterest messages, and there was this one that got my heart to beating:

pinterest message from Putnam books

It was from the publishers of Jan Karon’s books.  I was thrilled that they even knew I had a Mitford board!  (I suppose that is the chief job of PR people to keep tabs on anything related to their products.)  Anyway, I replied back to them with this:

pinterest reply

(If they didn’t know about my posts, I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to let them know!)

Well shortly after that,  I got this message back from them:

pinterest message 2

If I was interested???? OH…MY…GOOOOODNESS!  You better believe I was interested in reading it! So we exchanged a few emails, and they were given my address.  I was so excited I wanted to do a cartwheel in that room!  And when my husband finally took a break and returned to the room, I was about to burst with, “Guess what! Guess what!  You’ll never guess what, so I just have to tell you!!!” (and I did.:))

In a few days, a package from Putnam books was sitting on my porch steps.

packageInside it was a personal note from the editor, her business card, and this cute save the date…

save the date for Jan Karon

Loved it, but of course the real treasure was the book.
The book in July when it was not to be out until September.:)

Jan Karon Come Rain or Come Shine

So I have read it…and I have read it again…and I have read it yet again.  Yes, it is that good.  It is Lace and Dooley’s wedding story from beginning to end.   There are a few surprises in this diy wedding, and there is a really nice surprise for us as readers between the end of chapter 12 and the beginning of chapter 13.  Don’t peek!  Just know I got a major lump in my throat when I turned the page and saw it.

You really feel like you are involved in a family wedding in Mitford (an exhausting experience at times just like in real life!)  You will laugh out loud.  You will cry (and cry majorly if you are a wedding-crybaby like me!)   You will feel like you are seeing old Mitford friends, meeting new ones, aching in your heart for some that have passed away that you wish could have been at the wedding, and you will see romances begin to blossom.  You will be touched by Lace’s voice through this story.  I think it had to be her voice shining through in order for you to get the heart behind the wedding.  It is my new favorite of the Mitford books, and you will most definitely want to get your copy as soon as you see it on bookshelves September 22.:)

Now the reason I wanted to move this post up in my calendar is because there is a sweepstakes you will definitely want to enter if you are a Mitford fan.

Come Rain or Come Shine preorder sweepstakes

All the details are here, and the deadline for entries is 9/15/15.  I wanted to make sure you had time to enter, and I am crossing my fingers that one of you will win.:) I also wanted to let you know the dates and locations of her upcoming book tour.

Jan Karon book tour

There are no Georgia stops on her tour this time. I would love to go to the one at New Dominion in Charlottesville, Virginia since that is the one shop I wanted to see when we were there a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t think we will be traveling any this month.  The first stop in Fairhope, Alabama would be a ton of fun because dear Leslie Anne will be moderating the discussion!  (We are all jealous of you Leslie Anne!)  Ms. Karon will also be speaking in Bellevue, Washington where our oldest son lives.  I emailed him about going for me, and he said, “Um…Mom, I don’t think I can go because we have a big card tournament here that night.”:( Boys!  I hope some of you will be able to attend one of the events.  Please let us know if you go!  We would all love to hear about it.

Okay, now on to the next part of this.  I wanted to do a post to celebrate Come Rain or Come Shine…something special.  I knew I would share all about how I received it, but the book really deserved something more. And then I got an idea, but that idea has been sitting on the back burner for a few weeks.   I decided to show you my interpretation of part of the wedding food table.  It really needed to be photographed at a barn, but that just has not worked out.  So Friday, I got busy…super busy.  I needed roses in a bucket that had been painted a cream color…(remember this detail when you are reading the book.:)) That required a trip to a store for paint, a trip for roses, two coats of paint on the bucket, and a little flower arranging.

roses for a Mitford weddingAnd I needed an orange marmalade cake (of course!)
That was another trip to the store for ingredients and time for making it.

gluten free orange marmalade cake

For a number of reasons, I wanted to make it gluten free.  It is possible to do!  I substituted gluten free flour in the recipe and made sure all my other ingredients were gluten free as well.  It did not rise quite as much as it normally does, so my husband suggested trying it with an additional egg.  I think that will do the trick.  The flavor was just as good as the original one from the old Victoria magazine recipe.  (You can see how I made that one here.)

I messed up the frosting by adding in some “squirty” whipped cream thinking it would give me a little extra.  Bad idea.  The entire bowl turned to liquid.:( (My sweet husband made that trip to the store for me for more whipping cream after he got home from work.)

The phone rang crazy on Friday while I was trying to do all this…my mother called a couple of times…my sister called to let me know my brother was coming for a visit this weekend…my brother in law called to say his father (my father in law) was unexpectedly being released from the hospital…my husband called about his father getting out and needing to find home medical help… my sister called again this time offering a number of possibilities for home medical health…my husband called about finding a hotel for his conference in October because the hotel for the conference was already booked up…and on and on.

Isn’t that the way it always goes?:)

Cake finished (at a little after 7:00 p.m.)
My husband helped me move everything out to a table by the pasture.


I snapped a couple of photos, and then we heard it…
the rumble of thunder.

I thought to myself..You’ve got to be kidding me God.  I have worked all day to get to this point, and You decide it needs to rain…right now??  I know the book’s title is Come Rain or Come Shine, but this is ridiculous….and SO not funny!

It rumbled a little more but never got closer.:)

Come Rain or Come Shine new Jan Karon book

And then for a brief moment, that beautiful golden light of a sunset came through a cloud.  It was very appropriate for a celebration of the book…just what I wanted you to see.  (Remember that detail when you are reading it.:))

The sun began to sink lower.  I finished taking pictures, and we moved everything back inside.  The cake has been shared with my brother who is visiting from Atlanta, my parents, my sister and her family, and tomorrow it will be shared with my in-laws and my daughter who came home to see her grandfather – finally home from the hospital.  Isn’t it funny, how you never know what is in store for the things you do?  :)

table in the field

But this is not the end of my Mitford story for you today my friends.  When we were coming home on our recent road trip, we had to come back through Virginia.  We were having lunch at a place not far from Charlottesville, and I asked my husband if we could go exploring for a little while to see if we could find Jan Karon’s old Virginia farm. (She has since sold it.)  I told him the general vicinity where I thought it was located.  He plugged it in the gps, and it looked like we could get there in about 20 minutes.  So off we went.

I remembered a photo of the house on my post about it, and here is one from the architect’s site.

Jan Karon

So I kept that in mind as we drove.

We drove and drove. We were out in the middle of nowhere…truly nowhere…and then we began to see a fence…a very nice fence by a beautiful pasture.


We went further and saw a building in that pretty pasture…and I began to think
This is it

farm buildingNext we saw this beautiful gate, and I thought..
This HAS to be it.

gateAnd yes, that gate was open, and for a split second I thought…we should drive up that drive.  But then I came to my senses and thought heck no.  Those people deserve their privacy.

We saw a house through the trees, and I knew for sure that was it…Jan Karon’s 1819 home that she spent years restoring.

house through treesThe house has over 5000 square feet and sits on over 100 acres.  The property is gorgeous.  There are rolling hills and trees and a huge pond (which the house overlooks.)  What a view!

pondAfter we passed the pond, we came to another that goes directly to the front of the house.

drive to the house

You can see the house at the top of the hill.

Jan KaronAnd now a zoomed in shot…
(paparazzi mode!)

Jan Karon

It would take a lot of work to keep up such a farm, but it was certainly a wonderful place.  The farm was open for a garden tour in the spring of 2014.  Wouldn’t you have loved to have been able to see that?

My husband turned the car around, and we continued on our way home.  At the far edge of the property we passed this brook.

farm brookIt would be hard to leave a place as lovely as that, but I cannot imagine all the work that goes into running a farm that size.  Can you? I am just happy she chose to continue writing about Mitford!

And that brings us to the end of this waaaay-too-long post.  I hope you have enjoyed this all-things-Mitford one, and I hope you will pre-order Come Rain or Come Shine, enter the sweepstakes, and find one of the upcoming book tour events that you can attend.  Got all that?:) I am leaving you with my favorite quote from Lace Harper from the new book:

“Happiness.  So much of it, all at once.  And no, she mustn’t be frightened of grace.
She must let God give her all this and she must receive it with a glad heart.”
                                                                      Jan Karon, 2015   Come Rain or Come Shine

I hope this Labor Day weekend finds you with a glad heart
surrounded by things that bring you much happiness!

Until next time…


LJ - September 5, 2015 - 10:22 pm

Love the post from top to bottom and all in-between. Yes, Yes, and Yes. Yes, I would have loved the house tour in 2014. Yes, I can’t conceive of the amt of work it takes to operate a farm of that size nor can I imagine a re-do of 5000sq ft home. And, Yes, God has a sense of humor. Rain or Shine–He gives grace. Love to you.

Barb - September 5, 2015 - 10:33 pm

Wonderful post Kelly. Can’t wait for the new book. Your pictures, with the flowers, cake and candles, at sunset no less, are beautiful.

Dana - September 5, 2015 - 10:40 pm

Thank you for the preview of the new book. I’m really looking forward to reading it! Beautiful post!

Vicki - September 5, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Oh, I love this post! My husband and I go up through Virginia in October on the way to Arlington to help my daughter move. I wonder if we passed this gorgeous estate on our previous trip. We went to Charlottesville the back way from Schyler VA from the Earl Hammner home. It was a beautiful drive. Can you give a hint as to where this estate is located? We could possibly drive by in October if it is not too far out of the way. Thanks again for sharing!

Pippa - September 5, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Kelly – You made Mitford come alive beyond the books when I read the original posts you did for Mitford and about Jan Karon. When you first mentioned that there was a new Mitford book coming, I was so excited you would have thought I got my own wedding invitation! Pre-ordered a copy immediately from amazon and when the calendar flipped to Sept, I started the countdown… to the 22nd.

But you, with your incredible ideas and sharing so much with your readers, gave me the best idea ever – a Mitford dinner using the Mitford cookbook, on the 22nd to celebrate this wonderful new book and Mitford. It’s going to be fun!!!

Your blog never ceases to delight – but today, you put the orange on top of the orange marmalade cake!

Happy days ahead — 17 days to go! Hugs, Pippa

Vicki - September 5, 2015 - 11:08 pm

Me again! I just googled the location, – it is down the road from the Earl Hamner home, (Walton’s Mountain home)! I cannot believe I was so close and did not know! Beautiful area!!

Sherry Myers - September 5, 2015 - 11:42 pm

Absolutely not too long! I loved every single word and picture! You really know how to tease don’t you?! The book, the cake, the much fun reading this post! Lovely pictures! You did a good job! Congratulations on being chosen to preview the book! And it was just so nice of you to share all this with us. My book has been preordered and I don’t know if I will be able to stand the wait for the release. Guess I have to! So glad to hear the good news about your father-in-law. Enjoy your family time this weekend!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - September 6, 2015 - 12:46 am

The trouble with the cake was worth it . . . so beautiful and scrumptious looking!

I’m so beyond excited to be moderating Jan Karon’s first stop on her book tour! Nervous too! What if I get the characters mixed up? What if my mouth goes dry? Oh, how I wish you could be here to help!

When I found out you were also a fan of JK’s, I knew I loved you even more!

Pat - September 6, 2015 - 5:19 am

I guess I am going have to get to reading because I have never read a single book by Jan Karon. I love all of your posts. I love your style and ideas. That area in Virginia is beautiful.

Tricia - September 6, 2015 - 7:03 am

Kelly, don’t you think the thunder was a little funny?! Love the post, no such thing as a too-long Kelly post.

Although familiar with Jan Karon I have not read her books. I am however a huge fan of the many Mrs. Read books set in a charming English setting in which the village school, church and wonderful villagers take us back to a gentler time. Always lots of everyday activities, gossip, church fundraisers and village fetes. I feel Mitford may be a similar series. I must track down the first book and get started!

Glad to hear both your Dad’s are out of the hospital. So fortunate to have close family all around to share life with. Your husband sounds like my husband, could’t do without him. Halfway through a recipe I will find I’m missing an ingredient and he calmily runs to the store for me.

Cannot believe the effort you went to share news of the new book. Perhaps you will warrant a mention in a future book!! Your flowers and cake are gorgeous.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Jackie Caruso - September 6, 2015 - 9:55 am

I’ve told you this before, because of your posts about Jan Karon, I started reading the Mitford series in order from the first to the last book. I enjoyed them immensely and would encourage anyone who has not read the Mitford series to run to their library and begin reading them. I can’t wait to read Come Rain or Come Shine. Thanks for your post celebrating the new book. Also, we should all be thankful for husbands who support our ideas and whims! What would we do without their help?

Anne from Atlanta - September 6, 2015 - 10:01 am

Something exciting is always happening to you! How fun that you got a review copy of Jan Karon’s new book with a personal note from the editor and the very cute “Save the Date.” The wedding table is beautiful! It’s a wonderful promotion for the new book.
Thanks again for a terrific post. I am always amazed how you do it!

Barbara Hamel - September 6, 2015 - 10:33 am

Kelly that was such a beautiful posting of Jan Karon’s farm and beautiful home. Yes I did pre order her book and cannot wait to receive it. It will arrive around by birthday week. Can’t think of a better gift to myself. I love everything about Mitford series…..thanks for sharing…and your cake looked delicious.

Garden, Home and Party - September 6, 2015 - 10:59 am

What a great honor you received—you so deserve to be a person to review a copy of this book! I have loved every book Jan Karon has written. I always wanted to live someplace like Mitford.
Her former home is amazing but like you all I can think is, who would keep the grounds and clean that 5,000 s.f. house! Maybe if we were a highly successful author we’d have “people” that could take care of things! :-)

Dawn - September 6, 2015 - 11:56 am


I appreciate this extra long Mitford based post. The farm does look amazing but a lot of hard work to keep up. Thank you so much for sharing it, the new Jan Karon book and the sweepstakes with us. I am going to make that cake for my Mom. Have a great Labor day weekend and take care.

Gina - September 6, 2015 - 2:46 pm

Well, I haven’t read any of the books but I still found your post interesting. How exciting to be contacted by the publishers and get to read the book before its release. :) Your little photo shoot turned out beautiful. Yes, that house is gorgeous. I just looked at it on the website. What beautiful scenery too. I love how your husband indulges you by driving you here and there to see places like this!! I’m lucky too because my husband will do this for me too. :) Glad to hear your father-in-law was released from the hospital too.

Ren - September 6, 2015 - 3:49 pm

What a fabulous post! Like you, I re-read Jan Karon’s books. What a lot of effort, to bake the cake and set up the vignette beside the pasture fence. Perfect! And what a perfect husband to assist. Both of my children graduated from Appalachian State University so I have been in Blowing Rock many times. It always feels like Mitford to me. My son was even married there! And I live in Charlotte, which is on the tour. Can hardly wait to read all about the wedding. Thank you for crafting such a beautiful preview for the book.

Sandy - September 6, 2015 - 5:37 pm

What a wonderful post! I am just drawn in by your excitement. I loved your flowers and cake. I can’t wait to read it.

Susie in MO - September 6, 2015 - 6:35 pm

I saw she was coming to St. Louis at the end of the month, just registered for her book talk! You got me started on the books, I LOVE them and am excited to read this one. I’ll be thinking of you on September 30 😉 - September 6, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Wow, Kelly! What a great post. I can’t wait to read Jan Karon’s new book. I’ve been a fan for many years. Would love to taste that Orange Marmalade Cake! Bet it was delicious. Years ago, some friends and I went on a “Pilgrimage” to Blowing Rock, NC where Jane Karon lived when she started the Mitford Series. It was so fun to look around the small town and think about how it resembled Mitford! I know that was special for you to see the farm she renovated.

Jima - September 6, 2015 - 10:51 pm

My favorite author! I’m so excited about the new book! Just beautiful.

Renee Cook - September 10, 2015 - 11:05 am

That was so much fun today! Thanks for the sneak peek of the wedding table and for finding the beautiful Virginia farm. I’m so glad you were honored to receive a copy of the newest Mitford book before it is released!
I am so glad you enjoyed the post Renee! You are going to enjoy that book too when it comes out next week. :)

Christi - September 14, 2015 - 12:09 pm

Why is Lace’s invite addressed as Lacey Harper Harper? Shouldn’t it have been Lace Turner Harper? I remember when she first appeared in the books and Cynthia called her Lacey and she was sternly corrected that Lace was her name.

I’ve wanted to make orange marmalade cake for a long time. Maybe this fall I’ll find an occasion for such a showstopping cake.

Have you listened to the audiobooks of the Mitford series? The narrator, John McDonough, is just wonderful. He sings the hymns which I love because I’m not familiar with those songs as a Yankee Catholic.
Good question! And it is one that will be answered when you read the book. :) (There really is a legit reason for it.)
You definitely need to make the OMC. Remember it is much better refrigerated when you make it.
I have not listened to any of the audiobooks, but I want to. And I have heard so many good things about the narrator! If we have another road trip, I plan on bringing some along with me.

JenniferfromVA - September 14, 2015 - 5:04 pm

You are the one who introduced The Mitford series to me about a year ago. I found them all at a thrift store remember?? I have read every one of them now. And have fallen in love with the characters as you have. Recently I drove home to Mississippi and stopped in a Cracker Barrel for lunch…they had the latest book in an AUDIO SERIES!!! EEK!!! I was driving with 2 kids watching a TV with earphones, a dog who slept the whole way, so….. I steadily popped those CD’s in and had a glorious time beboppin down to MS. I look forward to this newest book. Thanks for sharing with us!!!
I DO remember that Jennifer, and I was jealous you found such a bargain! And I LOVE that you were able to travel listening to the stories. How absolutely wonderful! The next time we take a road trip, I am going to have look for the audio versions to take along with us. :)

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