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Castle Hill Inn

Castle Hill Inn


Sometimes I can really confuse myself…like earlier this summer…

One of the very sweet readers here wrote to tell me about her dreamy trip to New England.  She said one of the highlights of her vacation was sitting outside Castle Hill Inn in Newport and watching the sailboats go by.

Castle Hill Inn on the

You need to do a post on the beach cottages there, she told me.

And I said, Oh yes!  I am already planning on writing about them later this summer.  

Nautilus Cottage Castle Hill Innsource

You see, I had previously researched the inn, and I had researched the architectural firm of Carpenter and MacNeille where I learned they had renovated The Inn at Castle Hill.  That is where I got confused.  The names are sooo similar, I thought they were the same inn…but no…The Inn at Castle Hill is in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Castle Hill Inn is in Rhode Island.  Got that straight?  Today we are taking a look at the Rhode Island inn.:)

Before we look at the precious beach cottages, I want you to know about the inn itself.

Castle Hill Inn as a summer

Castle Hill Inn was once the home of Alexander Emmanuel Agassiz.  He was born in Switzerland, came to the United States with his father, had a great interest in biology, (especially marine biology)  and studied at Harvard.  (His father founded the museum of natural history at Harvard.)  Alexander became well known around the world for his work as a scientist.   Through a friend of his sister’s husband, he became interested in the copper mines in Calumet, Michigan and eventually made his fortune through them. In 1874, he and his brother-in-law had summer homes built in Maine and shipped to Newport.  (Can you imagine shipping houses of that size??) They were sited on a peninsula along Narragansett Bay, and the Agassiz family moved in during the summer of 1875.  Unfortunately, his sister and brother-in-law’s home burned to the ground in 1880 before anyone even lived in it.

In 1890, Mr. Agassiz deeded a portion of his property on the bay to the U.S. Government, (for $1) and the Castle Hill Lighthouse was built there.

Castle Hill

The Agassiz summer home served as a base and officer’s quarters during World War II, and then later it was used as a summer hotel.  In the 1950’s Grace Kelly loved a portion of the rocky shore so much that it became known as Grace Kelly Beach. (They even built the wooden steps that lead down to the beach for her.:))

Grace Kelly Beach Castle Hill Inn

In 2003, a major restoration project was undertaken with Northeast Collaborative Architects.  Siding, chimneys, and windows were replaced.  Much of the first floor was reconfigured.  A new copper roof was added, and the tower was replicated.

tower work

tower work Castle Hill

So now that you have had your history lesson, let’s take a look inside the beautifully renovated inn.:)

Castle Hill Inn

The lobby area seems dark and masculine.  (Don’t go thinking the whole place is like this…you are going to be surprised.:))

lobby Castle Hill

Here is one of the four dining rooms with wonderful views of the water.

dining room Castle Hill

The terrace dining area…

terrace dining Castle Hill

You can even be served while relaxing in one of their waterfront adirondack chairs.

adirondack chairs at Castle Hill

Would you like to see some of the rooms in which you can stay? (You’re thinking …Finally… aren’t you?) Alright. Long long ago I came across a photo of their Turret Room.  I was smitten with it…thinking it to be the most romantic room I had ever seen.  In fact it was what led me to my researching the inn. Yes, it is dark, but I would call it tall, dark, and handsome.:)

Turret Suite Castle Hill

It is a two level suite, and the second level sitting room has amazing 320 degree views of the water.

There are eight other rooms in the main inn including the Mrs. Agassiz Room which was renovated in 2011.

Agassiz Room at Castle Hill Inn

And there is more.  If you follow a path from the inn towards the harbor, you will come upon the Harbor Houses.Harbor House Castle Hill Inn

These overlook the area of the rocky shore where Grace Kelly loved to swim. Here is a look inside one of the houses.

Harbor House room Castle Hill

And there is more.

There are beach houses about 250 yards from the main inn as well…

Castle Hill beach house

Castle Hill Inn beach

with these incredible views.

beach house view Castle Hill Inn

Of course, I saved my very favorite for last…the Beach Cottages.

beach cottage exterior Castle Hill Inn Dimauro

These rooms do not have one speck of darkness in them.  They are light, bright, and fresh.:)

beach cottage interior Castle Hill

The walls make them look rustic to me, but they are anything but rustic.  You will find a variety of amenities (which vary from cottage to cottage) including fireplaces, heated floors, and whirlpool tubs.

interior beach cottage Castle Hill

So do you have a favorite? These are obviously not accomodations for staying within a budget.  Any of these luxury spaces would have to be for a major celebration trip for us to even consider..but who knows?  Maybe one day we will be celebrating something big sitting in that green rattan chair up there looking out at the Atlantic.

I hope your weekend is a good one…whether you are celebrating something big or just relaxing at home.:)

Until next time…a signature

Anne from Atlanta - August 2, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Ahhhh-that would be the perfect place to celebrate something special! Thanks for another lovely post. Hope your first week back at school went well! ~Anne
Yes it would Anne! I am glad you liked reading about the inn. Our first week was hectic, full of meetings, but went off fine. It just seems so very early to be back in school. Wish I was on the calendar committee!

Dawn - August 2, 2014 - 1:44 pm


These are all lovely pictures. I do love homes, cottages and Inns by the water! Thanks for sharing them with us. My favorite is the Harbor house with the green exterior trim of course.
When they painted that trim green, I know they did it just for you Dawn. :) I can’t resist places by the water either. One day I hope we actually have our own little home near the beach. I hope you are having a great weekend!

Katherine Leighty - August 2, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Oh WOW…love it all…the main lobby is done to perfection period style…I’d say that Tall, Dark and Handsome room could be the epitome of historical novel sexy…yes I could see my tall dark and handsome husband in it…but my favorite was the cottage bedroom in all the aqua…to me that is a grounded feminine room! Any of it I would love to be at, in and enjoying! very interesting and informing Kelly! thank you I love to armchair travel!!!!!!!!
I am glad that you love to armchair travel Katherine…so much to see and so little cost to see it! LOL After I do all my research on these places I almost feel like I have been there (but nothing really compares to actually being there I know.) I loved that cottage bedroom. It had the perfect beachy décor to me.
Thank you for reading!

Katrina - August 2, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Oh Kelly, I knew you would get it right!!! Don’t you just love the setting of this Inn and their beach cottages?! Wish I was back there right now with my two good buddies. Maybe I can save my pennies and actually spend the night there next time I visit instead of just having an afternoon ” tottie”!
I hope you have had an awesome start to the 2014 school year!!!!
Katrina this post was for you. :) I knew you would love seeing “your place” again. I would be happy to just dine there, but staying there would definitely be magical. School is off and running…and running is what I have been doing! I hope things will slow down some next week since we won’t be in such a race to have rooms ready. The normal routine should return.

Debra - August 2, 2014 - 4:30 pm

What a beautiful inn Kelly. Simply grand. How wonderful would it be to dine at sunset in that dining room. Breathtaking I’m sure. I think I would so enjoy one of the cottages over the inn for my sleeping pleasure. That is just me. More private. I would take any of them, though I love the one with the two rockers and umbrella on the deck. I have seen that photo before. With all these shares on inns you been posting Kelly, well, as Robin Leach has his signature saying.. here is to “champagne dreams and caviar wishes”, we need one for Talk of the House. Oh, and I think I need to go buy a lottery ticket now. My “dream” bucket list is growing. Now where is my spare cash for those tickets? I’m off…toodles. Wish me luck.

I need to be doing the lottery as well. There are just so many beautiful places to see in our country. I could spend a lifetime traveling from one inn to another! Wouldn’t that be fun?! :)

Jeanie - August 2, 2014 - 6:19 pm

My husband and I spent a wonderful week there 2 years ago. It is one of my favorite places.We stayed in one of the Harbor Houses and loved it. They seemed to be a bit more private than the ocean cottages. The food was delicious in the resteraunt and the staff were helpful. There was a sailboat race when we were there and had a great view from the outside bar area. I highly recommend it. Have been reading your blog for a few months and thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you for all the time you put into it and the great house ideas. Jeanie
Jeanie, I am soooo very jealous! How wonderful that you have stayed at Castle Hill Inn. I can easily see why it would be one of your favorites. Thank you for telling us about the Harbor Houses. Good information to know. :)
I am so glad you are enjoying the blog! Have a great weekend.

Susan - August 2, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Wow! What a fabulous place to visit! Another place to put on our retirement visit list~
It does look fabulous, doesn’t it Susan?! I have put it on our retirement places-to-visit list as well. :)

Colleen - August 3, 2014 - 2:55 am

My daughter attends college in Newport. When picking her up at the end of this past semester we stopped @ Castle Hill at dusk. I got the most beautiful shot of the sun on the water with a serene sailboat. perfect spot!! (I’ll try to figure out how to send it to you!!!)(might have to ask my daughter!! ;) )
What a great place to attend college..gosh it would be like being on vacation for school! (Love that idea. :) ) Do send the photo. Just use the Say Hello button at the top of the blog, copy and paste the photo, and hopefully that will work. I’d love to see it!

Minnie - August 3, 2014 - 8:24 am

Happy Birthday to youuuu! Happy Birthday to youuuu! And I believe Happy Anniversary too. August 3rd for BD and Anniversary. Thanks for all the work you do to give us this “magazine”. I love it and you. Thank you.
Yes, happy anniversary too. :) Thank you for the birthday and anniversary wishes. I am so glad you enjoy the blog and posts here.
Hope you have had a great weekend!

Mimi - August 3, 2014 - 10:22 am

I stopped by to wish you a happy birthday and a happy anniversary, and I see Minnie beat me to it! Ha! May it be your best year yet, and may God continue to bless you and your family!
Wow I am so impressed that you remembered! How sweet of you. :) Thank you for your very sweet wishes Mimi!

tessa - August 3, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Hi Kelly! Jimmy and I stayed at Castle Hill (the RI version! :)) to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary. it was an idyllic location and our room was absolutely gorgeous. the bathroom was a stunner too. i didn’t know the whole history! such a great post!! the food there was pretty amazing too!! xo, tessa
What a wonderful place to celebrate an anniversary! Our anniversary is today, but we are at home looking for apartments in Seattle for our sons. I know you had to love Castle Hill Inn! Glad I was able to share the history of the place with you.:)

Paula B. - August 3, 2014 - 1:11 pm

Just got home from the Cape and read this post, now you’re really in my neck of the woods. We try to go for lunch here, once every summer. The property is as spectacular in person as it appears in the pictures. But, the view of Newport harbor from the Adirondack chairs on the lawn – simply breathtaking! Thanks for the history lesson, I really didn’t know much about the inn’s background. If you’re coming to the Ocean State you really need to spend a day in Newport and, in my opinion, add a sidetrip to Watch Hill. Hope you all can visit us real soon. (And, because we’re so small you can easily get to other New England attractions.)
If Castle Hill Inn is in your neck of the woods, you live in a beautiful place Paula! I would do like you and go for lunch there every summer. How fun! I have been trying to get my sons to move to New England, but they are now moving to Seattle, so I imagine we will be traveling to the West Coast more than getting up to your area. :(
I’m so glad you liked the history lesson on the inn.

Megan - August 3, 2014 - 5:45 pm

Hi Kelly – The Castle Hill Inn is so beautiful. I wish that it was within my budget – my husband and I are looking for a place for a quick getaway in the next couple of weeks. Alas, it is not to be :( This Inn reminds me of the Ocean House, which I think is nearby. This would be another property for you to feature!
Oh I do wish it was within your budget Megan because I know it would be such a great place to stay. Thank you for the information on the Ocean House inn. I will be sure to check them out!
Hope you have had a wonderful weekend.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - August 3, 2014 - 11:00 pm

I am adding Castle Hill Inn to my bucket list of places to stay…what an absolutely gorgeous view…I could sit out on those adirondack chairs all day!…Thanks for the “history lesson” on the Inn….
I hope you DO get to visit it one day Shirley. (Pack me in your bags when you go please!) I wouldn’t mind sitting on those chairs either…coffee cup in hand just watching the boats sail by. is good. :)
Have a great week!

Jayne - August 5, 2014 - 1:18 pm

What’s that saying? If walls could talk! I would love to hear the stories those wall could tell. I love “tall, dark and handsome.” That was great. Oh, to stay at such a place. As long as I can sit on the beach, I don’t care if I have to camp to do it. And I have! Hope your school year is off to a good start. Before you know it, you will be on the countdown to the last day. ;)

cindy hattersley - August 6, 2014 - 10:55 am

This place looks amazing. I am so wanting to make a trip out East!!

Judy - August 10, 2014 - 9:43 am

i’m just now finding this post kelly and i have to apologize for not being able to thoroughly read it this morning….i want to go back and devour it when i have a chance but when i saw it i planned on telling you about eugenia price’s books but i see you already know about them….my mom discovered them years ago and we all got hooked on the stories…she and her friends made several trips to the island and it’s on my bucket list….in fact this might have to be our next “big” trip.

we moved my mom into a nursing home this past week and i’m waiting on my sister and BIL to get here this morning so we can move her things out of the assisted living cottage into storage….a very stressful time but i’m confident god has already gone before us to make the way as painless as possible…i’ve already seen his hand in this.

have a wonderful week!

Robin Madden - August 10, 2014 - 12:17 pm

This place would be perfect for a honeymoon or Anniversary getaway! Hope you enjoy your class this year!

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…

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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…

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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….

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