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Martha’s Vineyard Week, Susan Branch, and a Giveaway!

Susan Branch map of Marthas Vineyardsource

Happy Martha’s Vineyard Week to you!  No, I’m afraid we are not actually on the island (sigh…) BUT you and I are going to take a virtual trip there starting today.:)  How about that?! Of course I have to give you some background info on why we are going there.  I can’t exactly remember when my love for the island started.  It was probably in my teens..those summer days in the library.  I discovered magazines and books that featured beautiful homes on the Vineyard, and I was totally smitten.

Susan Branch art Walter

And then later, in 1986 – when I had been married barely a year, my husband and I were traveling in North Carolina.  In some little shop in Maggie Valley I discovered a book that deepened that affection for the island…Susan Branch’s Heart of the Home, Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen.  I had grown up with Holly Hobbie and Betsey Clark art (even “wallpapering” one wall in my bedroom with Betsey Clark gift wrap!) and I loved hand lettering. It was no wonder I loved the precious watercolors in Heart of the Home.

Heart of the Home book Susan Branch

Heart of the Home: Notes From a Vineyard Kitchen

(All book are linked to my Amazon affliate link.)

If you are familiar with Susan Branch’s books, you know this was the first of many that are filled with handwritten recipes, wonderful illustrations, clever quotes, and other tidbits from her life on Martha’s Vineyard.  Her books are truly works of art.  Two years later, I was charmed by Vineyard Seasons.

Vineyard Seasons Susan Branch

Vineyard Seasons: More from the Heart of the Home

And then two years later came the fabulous holiday book, Christmas from the Heart of the Home.

Christmas from the Heart of the Home  Susan Branch

Christmas from the Heart of the Home

(You know this lover of all-things-Christmas couldn’t resist that book!)  With each book, I wanted to be on the island of Martha’s Vineyard more and more.

If you remember my first post on Jan Karon’s Mitford books, then you know I kind of go all out when I love something. One is never enough.  (Case in point – all the black and white photography in our house here.:))   Anyway, I loved loved loved all the pages in Susan Branch’s books, and I sort of….um…went all out with them as well. I want to show you how “all out” I went, but to explain it I am going to have to show you some very old and some very bad photography (when I had a little Kodak instamatic and knew absolutely nothing about taking pictures.:()  So please forgive the quality here. Okay?

Alright, we were living in this house, our second home – the first one we built. (This floorplan if you are interested.)


I bought a couple of copies of Susan’s books, and then I began to cut out the pages. (Oh yes I did.) I matted them, framed them, and hung them everywhere in our home..and I do mean everywhere.:)

Up the staircase…
(of course it would be a Christmas photo.)

staircaseOver the desk…
(That’s the desk that is now on the porch. )

foyer deskOver the old piano in the hallway…

pianoIn the kitchen…

(You knew there had to red gingham somewhere, right?:)Oh and that is Mary Engelbreit cherry wallpaper…daughter’s nursery was done in the cherry fabric. )

kitchenA set of 6 in the red red dining room…

dining roomAnd 4 in the laundry room.
Oh how I wish I had that room in this house! (Our laundry “room” is a closet – seriously.)

laundry roomI guess you can tell now I really liked her work.  So in 2001, when I spotted this magazine in the bookstore, you better believe I scooped it up!

Romantic Homes issue with home of Susan BranchAnd I have saved it ever since.  (I saved it to show you!  I knew we would be talking about houses, and I wanted to show you Susan Branch’s home on Martha’s Vineyard.:))

Home of the Heart Susan Branch in Romantic HomesYou can see here in her dining room, she collects vintage china and glassware…

dining room in the home of author Susan Branch Romantic Homesand old linens.

buffet top in the home of Susan Branch  Romantic Homes magazineSeveral years ago, she designed a line of fabrics. You can see some of it by the chairs in her living room.  (There is a gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard red toile available here and a wonderful article in which she talks about quilting here.)

home of Susan Branch  Romantic Homes magazineThere are several antique pieces in her very comfortable living room.

living room home of Susan Branch Romantic Homes magazineAnd that is all from my saved magazine. So now let me share with you a little more about her home from some other sources.  Isn’t the exterior just beautiful?! Built in 1849 by a whaling captain, the home is located in Vineyard Haven.

Marthas Vineyard home of author Susan

Here is a guestroom decorated for Christmas.  It is accessed by a stairway next to her kitchen.

bedroom Susan

And this is her cozy kitchen.  The old stove there is a reconditioned 1958 O’Keefe and Merritt stove.  She wanted one identical to the one in the California home she grew up in.  So she found a dealer of reconditioned appliances and they shipped it to her on the island.

Christmas kitchen Susan

She also has a kitchen garden where she grows herbs and mostly salad things – with a few occasional watermelons and pumpkins for fun.:)

Susan Branch kitchen garden

Country Living magazine did a feature on fall entertaining with Susan several years ago.  You can read it here.

Country Living fall entertaining with Susan

And here she is working in her studio.  She grew up in California, one of 8 children.  She was married for 4 years but then suffered a heartbreaking divorce.  That heartbreak was what sent Susan to Martha’s Vineyard to start a new life – and what a new life she built there!

Susan Branch in her

She bought a little house, made some new friends, got a job in a gourmet shop, and she practiced painting.  At the urging of a dear friend, she began to make a cookbook – a hand lettered recipe collection with her charming watercolors, quotes about home, and writings about her life on Martha’s Vineyard.

Recipes like this…

Susan Branch lavender tea cookies

and this…

Susan Branch brownies recipe and

And artwork like this…

Susan Branch summer

She fell in love with Joe Hall, then owner of The Black Dog Tavern.
(He has a cookbook too!)

The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook

The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook

And Susan has written over 14 books.
(I can’t figure out exactly how many so let’s stick with “over 14.”:))

Susan Branch books Cape Cod Life articleCape Cod Life

She also has a wonderful wonderful blog here (that I don’t want to tell you about because you will love it so much you will never return here!:()  And a fabulous newsletter called Willard (in honor of her grandfather) with her signature artwork and fun writing. You should sign up for it here!

A couple of years ago, she and Joe traveled to England, and Susan turned her journals and photographs from the trip into a best selling book,  A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside.

A Fine Romance Susan Branch

A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside

And then they traveled all over the U.S. in a decorated van promoting the book in a book tour.  Now Susan has a new one coming out in August! (My birthday month!:))  It is again a compilation of her journals, photographs, and art – but this time from her life when she was in her twenties.

The Fairy Tale Girl Susan

And I am pre-ordering a signed (hopefully!) copy for my giveaway to one of you dear readers! It will arrive in August, but the other parts of the giveaway will arrive before then.  And what are those “other parts” you ask?  Let’s see..two of my favorite books that Susan Branch has written…Girlfriends Forever and my most favorite, The Summer Book. (I can’t even count how many copies of The Summer Book I have given as end of the year gifts to my children’s teachers!)  You will love both books with their gorgeous artwork, recipes, and stories!  And I am also throwing in a $25 Amazon gift card so that you can order another book by Susan or perhaps Joe’s cookbook (or whatever you would like.:))

Talk of the House Susan Branch giveawayNone of this is sponsored. (Although I do want to thank Susan for allowing me to use some of her images in this post.:))The giveaway is just because I wanted you to enjoy a little taste of Martha’s Vineyard this summer.:) So how do you enter?  Just leave a comment on (not on your email delivered post) on any or all of the posts that publish between 7/13/2015 (today) and midnight on  Sunday 7/19/2015…only one comment per post please.  That’s all.  I’ll do a random drawing from all the names and announce the winner in the next post after Sunday.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing Susan Branch’s home on the island and some of her work today. Be sure you come back for another visit here this week for more places from Martha’s Vineyard (and more chances to enter for the giveaway!)

Until next time…

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corina M - July 13, 2015 - 3:19 pm

I love Susan Branch’s books. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Kathy P. - July 13, 2015 - 3:20 pm

I love Susan Branch and her books. Hope someday to make it to Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha - July 13, 2015 - 3:22 pm

I have had a busy summer filled with wonderful grandchildren and visiting family and have not commented on any of your posts (I always read them). When I read this I knew I had to take the time to comment. I love Susan Branch and I also framed pages from her books. I also have had a fascination for Martha’s Vineyard all my life and this southern girl must have a bit of Yankee in my DNA.I have never been to the island, but my son has been there many times in connection with his job. Almost 11 years ago his wife accompanied him and they spent a fun week exploring everything. The best thing about the trip was that 9 months later they had my first grandchild!!So now it holds a very special place in my heart. This was a wonderful post and I LOVED everything about it. Thanks!!!

Cheri - July 13, 2015 - 3:25 pm

I don’t know “why” but her recipe books make me think of the Gooseberry books that I have, have you seen them? Anyhow…I’m just say’n…I want to win (badly) these look like wonderful books to add to my collection.

Talia - July 13, 2015 - 3:26 pm

I have loved Susan Branch for years! Her artwork and positive approach to life is contagious! Thank you for such a lovely post on such an inspirational woman!

Nan, Odessa, DE - July 13, 2015 - 3:27 pm

Oh, joy! One more thing I share with you! Love of Susan Branch.
Along with the love of red, Jan Karon, The Piano Guys, etc.
I cheer your fan club!

DO not enter me in the contest. I have the books, share the pleasure of reading Susan Branch!

Continue doing what you do soooooooooooooo well.

PS Now I just have to read that you have begin quilting.

karen - July 13, 2015 - 3:27 pm

Well this post is very fitting as we are going to Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday for a weeks stay. I have never been and am so excited to experience the island….I will have to try and find her lovey home while we’re there.

Thanks :)

PJ Bronson - July 13, 2015 - 3:33 pm

Can see why you love Susan Branch. Her Lettering is delightful, and so is yours!

Lisa - July 13, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Oooh, love Susan Branch.Love Martha’s Vineyard. Always enjoy Traditional Home’s summer issues because there’s usually a gorgeous house from the vineyard or Cape Cod.
Can’t you just imagine pedaling a vintage bike along the streets there?
Thanks for helping us “explore” such great places!

Holly Shult - July 13, 2015 - 3:38 pm

I’m so excited to join you for Martha’s Vineyard Week! I would love to visit the island one day… Hope I win the giveaway for these lovely books!

Joan - July 13, 2015 - 3:48 pm

Serendipity. I was just reading my book on Martha’s Vineyard before I started reading your blog. Love Susan Branch and love your blog, so interesting and fun. Enjoy your day.

Dana - July 13, 2015 - 3:57 pm

I have recently “discovered” Susan Branch. Although I have seen her books around for a long time, I have just recently (very recently) really come to appreciate her work. This summer, I have begun reading The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series, renewing and increasing my interest in Miss Potter, and discovered that Susan Branch is a big fan as well, and has wonderful Beatrix related things on her website, which led me to discover many other wonderful things on her website, which I have subscribed to just in the past week. So please do enter me in the give away and thank you very much. By the way, I really like the kitchen in your former house. It reminds me of the kitchen in a house that we rented at one time. I like Susan’s simple and cozy kitchen as well. I had not seen that on her web site. Thanks for all of the inspiration!

Cynthia - July 13, 2015 - 3:58 pm

I love Susan Branch artwork. For many years I would buy her greeting cards in bulk. I would buy three or four each of several different designs; birthday cards, miss you cards, get well cards, etc. That way I’d always have a greeting card on hand when I needed one. Even the envelopes on her cards are decorative!

Michele - July 13, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Thank you for the “trip” to Martha’s Vineyard. I was able to visit in June 2001. My husband and I and our 3 boys. Would love to go back and actually stay overnight. It’s beautiful there.

Leslie Anne@Fairhope Supply Co. - July 13, 2015 - 4:03 pm

This is amazing because I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard twice – loved it, and we consider Fairhope to be a Southern version of that beautiful island. Susan’s work looked familiar, then I realized it’s because I have several of her books! Charming, charming, charming! I never knew her connection with the Vineyard or the Black Dog Tavern. So interesting and fun!

Sherry B - July 13, 2015 - 4:06 pm

Holly Hobbie, Mary Engelbreight,Susan Branch…all favorites of mine now and from long ago. I would love to win. I do follow Susan’s blog but also love yours!!

Nancy Leachman - July 13, 2015 - 4:14 pm

Thank you for the great post. I am a HUGE fan of Susan a Branch, her art and her books. I’m really excited to read her new book…..would love to win a copy.

Arlene@Nanaland - July 13, 2015 - 4:14 pm

I am a big Susan Branch and Mary Engelbreit fan as well. I loved this post. Please omit me from the give away Kelly as I have pre ordered Susan’s newest book. I have several of her books and I am always on the look out for more at yard sales etc. Good Luck to all those entering the give away…what a treat for them. I am going to do a give away next week on my blog to thank the ladies that visit me each day.

Karen J - July 13, 2015 - 4:17 pm

Oh, I so enjoyed this post! I have two of Susan’s books, but not the ones you are giving away. The Summer Book looks great, and what a thoughtful gift for a teacher! (I am a teacher) I didn’t know she had a blog, so I will check that out. Thanks for all the info and inspiration.

Suzy - July 13, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Thank you so much for showcasing all of Susan Branch’s work! I have loved her for almost as long as you (thanks to my wonderful mother). Her books and artwork inspire me despite the fact that I live on the opposite coast!
Thanks again for your inspiration!!

Loretta Hamilton - July 13, 2015 - 4:30 pm

I LOVE Susan Branch! I fell in love with her after reading “A Fine Romance” and have been following her ever since. She’s amazing…thank you so much for sharing!

Sandy - July 13, 2015 - 4:37 pm

I love Susan Branch, hand lettering, and Martha’s Vineyard, but I gotta tell you…I adore your kitchen from that house. It so reminds me of our previous home. I still love looking back at those 80’s and 90’s photos. Mine was a country version with navy print wallpaper that had a house on the border. I so loved it. Yes, it is all out of style now, but I remember it fondly. Your red gingham curtains and island are adorable.

Betty - July 13, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Love her recipe for lemon noodles! So glad to read more about her. Thanks.

Linda Ishmael - July 13, 2015 - 4:39 pm

I’m so delighted that a friend recommended your blog to me earlier this summer!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the past posts. You seem to love so many of the same things I do and then today when I popped over here there was Susan Branch!!! I have been a Susan Branch follower for years, I believe even back to the 80s when she did recipe pages for Country Living. Thanks for the post and I would love to be the winner, the Summer book is one I don’thave.

Susan Zarzana - July 13, 2015 - 4:42 pm

I love Susan Branch lettering too! So glad to see your stack of cookbooks- would love to win! Thank you for your inspiring posts.

Becky in 'Bama - July 13, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Again I comment that I need you to be the sister I never had. When I saw that issue of Romantic Homes, I shed a few tears…my mother was a lover of that magazine along with Victorian Homes, Southern lady, etc.. She died 3 years ago – leaving a vast collection of flowered dishes, crystal and antique linens – now all gone in an estate sale (except for the ones my sis in law kept). And then you mentioned Holly Hobbie.. my husband and I just downsized to a new house, and I had to give away my Holly Hobbie collection, though I did save a few pieces (don’t tell him). Yes, these Susan Branch items are such a dear reminder of my late mother and all that she loved. Thanks for the memories.

Louvina - July 13, 2015 - 4:47 pm

What a Sweet Treat on a wonderful summer day! There is so much to look at, think about and try in this post!! I just read through it once and will go back and do an in depth study after I return from supper at Cracker Barrel this evening. Loved seeing your former home! I have several of Susan’s books and dearly love them. I collect cookbooks and read them like some read novels. I especially like the ones that have a bit of history or stories that go with the recipes. And I have a deep desire to visit any place in New England. This may be one of my most “loved” posts of yours! But I say that each time you have one!:)

Anne from Atlanta - July 13, 2015 - 5:11 pm

Hi Kelly! Loved this post on Susan Branch. I’ll check out her blog but I would never want to miss any of your posts! Thanks for all the effort you put into Talk of the House. Anne

Pat - July 13, 2015 - 5:11 pm

It just makes my day when I see an email that there was a new post. I admit that I drop everything to look at it.

Pamela - July 13, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Oh I love her! I framed her prints too. Heading over to check our her blog…but I’ll be back.

sharon - July 13, 2015 - 5:31 pm

I have always loved Susan Branch and all of her ideas. I shall follow her blog but never fear I will never stop enjoying yours. You both are favorites of mine.

Barbara Hinske - July 13, 2015 - 5:32 pm

I love everything Susan Branch has ever done and I love this look at her home. What a welcome treat this afternoon! Thank you for your always-interesting posts! And none of us would ever leave your blog!!

Jill - July 13, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Susan Branch is amazing along with Mary Engelbreight~such fun artwork! I found them through a cute website Gooseberry patch, check it out they have so many fun things like this you can purchase too. Thanks for reminding me of the fun things~ I still have a magnet on my fridge that says “Life is like a chair of bowlies” :) Jill

Cathy - July 13, 2015 - 5:48 pm

I have loved Susan Branch for years and years. What a wonderful post! I love your blog and look forward to your posts and pictures, it makes my day.

Julie - July 13, 2015 - 5:48 pm

What a talented lady!

lynda morris - July 13, 2015 - 5:54 pm

Kelly – The only thing you should have changed in your blog post was to type it in
ALL CAPS!! That’s how much I love this post and Susan Branch.
And if I could, I would include a picture of my cookie jar right this minute filled with “Elaine’s Famous Sugar Cookies” from her Vineyard Seasons cookbook (p.144). Seriously the best sugar cookies EVER!
Thanks for a wonderful column today ~

Shar - July 13, 2015 - 5:57 pm

I do love Susan Branch. I have a few of her books (my son’s baby book is “Baby Love”), and I always get her calendar. So fun to get a house tour! Thanks!

donna - July 13, 2015 - 6:02 pm

Love Susan Branch! She reminds me so much of Mary Engelbreight-they both have such adorable art work. I loved this post! I will now be headed to to look for some of those books.

Dawn - July 13, 2015 - 6:05 pm


I love Susan Branch’s work. I have used tons of her stickers and paper in my daughters scrapbooks and I have her Sweets to the Sweet book. Thanks for sharing her photos and art work with us today. It all really does make me want to visit Martha’s Vineyard!

Joan - July 13, 2015 - 6:10 pm

Kelly, This was such a fun post. All the happy colors and beautiful photos of Susan Branch and her life. It is sweet to know that your love of red and white, Susan B, Jan Karon, and a slew of other things….and now to learn we share an August Birthday. Not a chance that your blog would be abandoned! :-)

Ellen Martin - July 13, 2015 - 6:13 pm

What a delightful post, as all yours are!! Surely you have gone to Martha’s Vineyard, as much as you like it. I only have one Susan Branch book, the Christmas one, and it was a gift from a treasured friend. I think I might like that Summer Book! When are you going to do your book? Your calligraphy and charming home would provide much content for a very special one. Thanks for sharing your special loves and talent with us, your readers.

Katrina Cantler - July 13, 2015 - 6:15 pm

Love your pretty White House and its front porch, Susan Branch, and Martha’s Vineyard. I have had a few Susan Branch calendars and at one point had a cookbook. What cute, nostalgic and homey pictures she paints. I hope this post means you are planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard! Edgartown with all its gray shingled houses and overflowing flowerboxes is my favorite.

Lindy James - July 13, 2015 - 6:28 pm

I have been a fan of Susan Branch’s artwork, books, and calendars for many years and was lucky enough to meet her two years ago when she came through our city on her tour promoting her then new book, A Fine Romance. She is as lovely in person as I knew she’d be and when she asked me if we had met before I only wish I could have said yes. Can’t wait for her new book to come out next month. Thanks for the giveaway. Take care, Lindy

P.S. We were able to spend another three nights earlier this month in those sweet cottages you blogged about in 2013 in Carpinteria, Ca. Absolutely love them!

Deb Kenyon - July 13, 2015 - 6:30 pm

I love this site! Haven’t known about it for too long but it makes me smile! Thanks for sharing with us my friend! <3

Mary Davis - July 13, 2015 - 6:31 pm

Love your books especially the artwork.

Faith - July 13, 2015 - 6:31 pm

Thank you for sharing! I love Susan Branch and you now have a new fan – thank you again! Happy Summer!

Linda - July 13, 2015 - 6:32 pm

First of all, I LOVE your blog! When I saw this one dedicated to Susan Branch, it was too good to be true. My husband and I went to Martha’s Vineyard on a quick vacation before we had our children. That’s where I discovered Susan Branch…her cookbook “Heart of the Home” was in a bookstore. Of course, I bought it and fell in love with her illustrations, as much as her recipes. Through the years, I’ve purchased others. Why didn’t I think of framing some of my favorite recipes? Such a great idea! Although we’ve been married many years and have traveled all over, Martha’s Vineyard remains a very special place. Hopefully, we’ll return soon!

Martha Ellen of VA - July 13, 2015 - 6:35 pm

Oh my–I love Susan Branch and all of her amazing books. She has bought so much joy to me and all the girlfriends that follow her. Thank you for the chance at the give away! ♥

Kathy Pitcock - July 13, 2015 - 6:37 pm

I have loved Susan Branch for many years and it had led me to you! I love all things New England, houses and Susan Branch’s art, recipes and fabrics. I cannot wait to delve into you posts! Happy Summer!

Sue Miller - July 13, 2015 - 6:40 pm

First time I have visited your post…what a wonderful home you have! I, too, love all things Susan Branch! Someday I will get the opportunity to visit Martha’s Vineyard!

judy e - July 13, 2015 - 6:40 pm

i love Susans blog and her website.
her drawings I love too

Bev - July 13, 2015 - 6:44 pm

I love Susan Branch and got to see her on her last book tour. What a thrill…she’s just like I imagined. Certainly not abandoning you …you are ‘bookmarked’…lol

Linda June - July 13, 2015 - 6:46 pm

Wow–great to find another wonderful website that features many things, including our favorite Susan Branch! Thanks for sharing. I’m anxious to read more of your website after commenting here.

Terri Carpenter - July 13, 2015 - 6:48 pm

Hi Kelly,
This is the first time I have seen your site and I love it. Susan Branch is one of my very favorites and your post about her is great. Thanks for doing the giveaways of her books. Your house is full of some of my favorite things, too. I’ll be back for sure to see what’s new.

Jackie M. - July 13, 2015 - 6:49 pm

I love Susan Branch’s stuff, too! It’s all so charming!!!

Karen O'Shaughnessy - July 13, 2015 - 6:53 pm

I love love love Susan’s work! I wanted to start buying them for my niece but they’re hard to find! I’d love to win these! Thank you!

Nancy - July 13, 2015 - 6:56 pm

I enjoyed your post about Susan Branch and Martha’s Vineyard! So lovely!

Ruth thomas - July 13, 2015 - 6:58 pm

i discovered Susan Branch in Dec of 1993′ I was off work with a serious illness. I saw an advertisement for her Christmas book and I was hooked. I searched for her cards and stickers then her stationery and all of her books. Her items are hard to find, but when I do, I have such joy in my heart. The bestthing about her is that she is not phony. I grew up in RI and lived on Spring St. I moved to Calif when I was 12. She grew up in Calif and moved to Mass and lives on Spring St! She is inspiring and so sharing of her life and ideas.

Sarah McDonald - July 13, 2015 - 7:05 pm

I don’t know how I found you, but I am so excited I did! Kindred spirits – Susan Branch, ME, Jan Karon – all things lovely that bring a smile! I, too, dream of Martha’s Vineyard! Off to explore your website…

Vicky Hunt - July 13, 2015 - 7:06 pm

Oh my goodness! What a sweet giveaway! I have always admired Susan Branch. I have the Christmas Memories book at the bottom of the stack in that photo! I would be absolutely thrilled to win. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. Have a lovely, blessed evening & week!


Jean Coughlin - July 13, 2015 - 7:14 pm

I am happy to have found your blog Kelly!! I too love. Susan Branch and her Books… Would love to have a few more!!! Please pick me so I can dream about the Vineyard!!!

ROBIN KARSH - July 13, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Hi there! Wayyyy back when I wrote to Susan after seeing her first book Love from Heart of the Home, I never expected to get an answer but I just HAD to write to tell her how beautiful and amazing it was. WELL, I got an answer (which I still have) and I was so excited about it.
When I wrote to her on Twitter when it first started she said she remembered me as being one of the first people to write to her.
She is a gem and whenever she has had a book signing in California I’m there. So fun.
We both love the train and when I have written to get with questions about stuff to bring on the trip she always had answered me. She is really special.

Mary Hobart - July 13, 2015 - 7:17 pm

Wonderful blog. I still have Susan’s recipe pages cut out of County Living many years ago. Please enter me in the drawing.

Shannon Stevenson - July 13, 2015 - 7:18 pm

What a lovely post! I adore Susan and everything she is about. And your bit about liking Holly Hobbie put a smile on my face, such memories. I love finding those dolls in vintage shops, always so tempted to buy one!

Laurie Walt - July 13, 2015 - 7:18 pm

Nice to meet you Kelly! I am a Susan Branch girlfriend and I adore her and her work. You have a very nice blog. I will visit yours too! Thanks for offering Susans books as a prize…wonderful.

Stacey - July 13, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Oh how fun! I did a post about Susan Branch a couple of years ago. The best part was chatting back and forth with her to make sure it was ok to borrow her pictures. I have always bought her calendars but don’t actually own any of her books. I’d love to win! :)

Jerri Archambault - July 13, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Great article! I love everything Susan Branch.

Garden, Home and Party - July 13, 2015 - 7:26 pm

I too love Susan Branch. I’ve been following her blog for about a year now. I only learned of it last summer. She always tells the best stories of life on Martha’s Vineyard and her and Joe’s adventures. I love her art and can totally see framing your favorite pages from any of her books. I’m eager to read her story of romance this August.
What a fun post, I hadn’t seen many of the things you’ve shared and will go back and follow the links to see what else you’ve brought us.

Sandra - July 13, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Thank you for sharing. I would be thrilled to win!

Peggy - July 13, 2015 - 7:27 pm

I also am a fan of Susan Branch! I also love, love, love your blog!

Mari Hallen - July 13, 2015 - 7:28 pm

What a wonderful post! I have loved Susan’s artwork, then books, then blog, then everything! since the beginning. I lived in the Boston area for years and feel very blessed to have discovered her. Tweeting with her was always a treasure! Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!!!

p.s. I have so many pages from her books (kept the first editions and cut from duplicates lol) and various magazines that I have always wanted to frame and display. So happy to see that you actually did that – they look great!!!

Mary - July 13, 2015 - 7:29 pm

Susan’s books are beautiful as well as good reading :-)

Charlene - July 13, 2015 - 7:31 pm

Hi Kelly! For over a year I have followed your blog and have left comments – lots of which I have remarked how similar you and I are. From sharing a teaching profession to our similar styles, I have loved reading your posts. And today you posted on Martha’s Vineyard and Susan Branch. I have to tell you that I have been a Susan Branch fan since I discovered her first cookbook. I have collected all of her books – both of my children’s baby books are Baby Love. Coincidentally, Martha’s Vineyard was my husband and my honeymoon destination. We then returned for our ten year anniversary and one of my secret wishes was to bump into Susan Branch, although that didn’t happen. :) So when I saw your post today with your framed prints of her artwork and your comments about her many books, I had to chuckle. You and I would be great friends – that I know. But I will settle to read your blog and enjoy all your postings! Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

Margaret Harkke - July 13, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Love Susan Branch’es books and art work. I love all of her pictures of Martha’s Vineyard. Being a family genealogist and studying my family’s early history in America, I have found ancestors who lived in the 1600’s on Martha’s Vineyard. I have not quite forgiven them for moving on.

Melody Heck - July 13, 2015 - 7:36 pm

Please enter me in your lovely Susan Branch giveaway. I’m a big fan of Susan as well!!

Donna Erickson - July 13, 2015 - 7:36 pm

I LOVE Susan Branch. Such a gifted writer and artist. Just a lovely person!!!

Diana Wilfrid - July 13, 2015 - 7:40 pm

Love Susan Branch

Maggie Brown - July 13, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Loved checking out your floor plan, and loved the idea of framing pages from the books! The artwork is so beautiful–doesn’t make sense to close the book and put it away–good thinking, for sure!

Linda - July 13, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Love Susan’s work. Glad to read your post about her. Looking forward to reading her new book!

Evie Tong - July 13, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Very happy to meet you and loved reading your
Website; I love Susan Branch and have many of
her books!

Linda Mickelson - July 13, 2015 - 7:54 pm

Thank you for painting such a lovely picture of Martha’s Vineyard and Susan Branch…a great inspiration to all of us! Love your blog!

Cindy Ross - July 13, 2015 - 7:55 pm

Wow!!! Holly Hobbie and Susan Branch, Martha’s Vineyard, Retirement, Really bad, bad, pheumonia. I have not talked with you in a long while girl. I have been so busy. I had surgery while you were sick. SONshine (my son) that is what I call him got married this past April in Florida. And finally my life has settled down so I can write. I haven’t stopped reading your blog and I love to keep up with you. I loved Holly Hobbie growing up. Susan Branch has been a fav forever. I have that magazine. I won’t throw it away. I thought I was the only person ever to hang onto a good magazine. I have gotten to where I will tear an article out an save in a sleeve of a binder holding lots of other special articles. This helps me not keep all the magazines. LOL. Hope that you have gotten your internet up and running. If not hang in there I know it is a frustrating process. We love your articles and will stick with you. Your the greatest!!! Keep us enlighten with your wonderful work. Love ya girl!!!

Marie - July 13, 2015 - 8:05 pm

how nice to meet you-all because I’m a huge fan of Susan and found a link to you thru her Facebook page. Thanks for an opportunity to win!

Mary Redle - July 13, 2015 - 8:19 pm

I began to follow Susan when I was teaching Home Economics, always looking for any ideas related to my teaching. After releasing ” Fine Romance,” I met her and had my copy signed at a local bookstore. She is as warm as her smile and gives you the feeling she has known you forever. I will treasure our meeting forever.

Sandra - July 13, 2015 - 8:22 pm

Love your blog and of course Susan Branch and her books!!! I have the Christmas book; would love to add these to my collection! You are so generous to off such a nice giveaway!!!

Ellen - July 13, 2015 - 8:22 pm

I love Susan Branch and her work – have been following her for years. Now I am happy to have found your blog through her. Great post.

Barbara Page - July 13, 2015 - 8:27 pm

I am so thrilled to have found Talk of the House! You are just my cup of tea! I look forward to visiting your page often. I also love everything Susan Branch! She was the inspiration for my wonderful trip to England last year! Your give-away is so exciting…hoping I am the lucky winner!

Nancy - July 13, 2015 - 8:31 pm

Love Susan Branch! I would especially like to be able to do calligraphy like hers.
I have practiced copying her style, but it’s not to be for this left-handed person.

Catherine Taylor - July 13, 2015 - 8:35 pm

I, too have been a fan of Susan Branch for many years. I have to have her calendar in my kitchen each year, or things just ain’t right! HAHA!!

Debbie christin - July 13, 2015 - 8:38 pm

I love everything Susan Branch! Really wish I had more of her books! ❤️

Maria Gulden - July 13, 2015 - 8:38 pm

A new blog to follow of things I love to read about. Can’t wait to get through all the archives. A big fan of Mary Engelbreight and Susan Branch. I hope I am picked :)

Cindy DeMitis - July 13, 2015 - 8:39 pm

Love Susan Branch. Have for years!

Mickey - July 13, 2015 - 8:43 pm

I have always loved Susan Branch and her beautiful artwork. I have a few of her books and have used some of her recipes. I remember the spread about her in Country Living, I believe I still have it. Thank you for sharing the information about her, I am going to check out her blog but would never not come to yours, so enjoy your escapades, recipes and decorating tips!!!Happy Summer, Mickey

Sylvia Johnson - July 13, 2015 - 8:45 pm

I have always loved Susan Branch, but now I know Talk of the House!
Thank you

Kimberly Lessig - July 13, 2015 - 8:48 pm

Wonderful post–I love Susan Branch too!

Patricia Prohl - July 13, 2015 - 9:02 pm

Good job! I love everything Susan as well as Mary E. And Holly H. Etc, etc, . Wasn’t A Fine Romance great? I have made three trips to England, and she nailed it in so many ways!

Jessie - July 13, 2015 - 9:05 pm

I bought “A Fine Romance” for my 13 year old daughter because she is a budding Anglophile and we were both enchanted with Susan’s whimsical art and charming stories. I’ve been searching for copies of her older books ever since. We have even begun planning a trip to Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard after being inspired by her beautiful descriptions of the area. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!

Rebecca Clark - July 13, 2015 - 9:08 pm

What a wonderful blog, Susan Branch one of my favorite people.

Donna Hardin - July 13, 2015 - 9:08 pm

Love Susan Branch….she’s a real artist!

Jeanne Bell - July 13, 2015 - 9:10 pm

I was always a Mary Englebrieght fan and know exactly the style you like. I love posts on Martha’s Vineyard and this will probably be the closest I get to it, the mister prefers to head south whenever we vacation.
I also have a birthday in August, the 13th, so this should give me a leg up on winning!
Thanks for the chance to win.

Eurika - July 13, 2015 - 9:15 pm

Love Susan, love your blog. Thank you for having this give away.

Linda Joan - July 13, 2015 - 9:17 pm

This is such a great post about our dear Susan Branch!!

Terese Webb - July 13, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Glad I found your blog. I found it from Susan Branch’s blog. I also love Martha’s Vineyard. I have relatives on the island but don’t get to visit often. I will be sure to keep reading your blog. I love posts about decorating homes.

Jo Marie Gray - July 13, 2015 - 9:21 pm

As always, I opened your post quickly and thoroughly enjoyed learning about Susan Branch. Over the years, I have collected a few of her books…love them.

As an aside, I did think of you today, as I walked into my local Staples to purchase printer ink and there were the Back to School items that I used to run for, buy and save for my class. However, with retirement comes freedom from those expenses. I wondered if you have felt that tug at your heart as you walk into your local stores and realize that you don’t need to pick up kids scissors, glue sticks, notebooks, markers, pencil boxes, etc…to supplement your school-given budget. That for me defines the reality that I am truly retired!!

Enjoy your summer, thank you for this post, and plan to do something fun on the first day of school…you’ve earned it!!

Tracey Renfro - July 13, 2015 - 9:25 pm

Love SB and love the article

Mary - July 13, 2015 - 9:32 pm

I now know and love Susan Branch ever so much more after reading this. I just slightly knew of her work before, and did so love the little I had seen. This giveaway is amazing… thank you!

Sharon Chapman - July 13, 2015 - 9:35 pm

I so enjoy your blog and this one especially. Susan Branch is such a joy to read about. Have my fingers crossed. Not to worry I shall always look forward to reading your beautiful blog.

Maree - July 13, 2015 - 9:40 pm

I’ve followed Susan Branch since my sister gave me a SB calendar in 2010. I greatly enjoy her blog, books, recipes and ideas! In fact it was her Facebook page that lead me here! Glad it did. Looks like a place I’ll revisit often!

Lia - July 13, 2015 - 9:44 pm

Love Susan Branch, and your decorating!!

Patricia Eaton - July 13, 2015 - 9:54 pm

I’m a New England girl, transplanted to the West. I came upon Susan’s “Summer” book in a little thrift store in Yuma, AZ. The nostalgia and wonderful art work drew me in. I was glad that I had the liberty to enjoy a bologna sandwich on white bread with mustard once again! I love reading Susan’s blog, and peeking into her vintage-inspired kitchen. Jack and Girl Kitty are beautiful pets, and enhance the decor! I liked your blog, too.

Sharon Calvert - July 13, 2015 - 9:54 pm

Oh boy … you’re going to be INUNDATED with giveaway hopefuls, such as myself! Susan Branch ‘girlfriends’ number in the thousands, you know; so thank you for this wonderfully generous opportunity to win some of her unique artwork. Your idea to frame pages from her books was clever, and they looked amazing throughout your home.

Nancy A - July 13, 2015 - 10:00 pm

Thank you so much! Would love to win !!! Love Susan Branch!!

DonnaRay - July 13, 2015 - 10:02 pm

First time here, but think I’ll come again often. I enjoy your enthusiasm for the things that excite and inspire you. I, too, surround myself with pretty and stimulating words and pictures…..many of them Susan’s.

Christie Levin - July 13, 2015 - 10:03 pm

So nice to meet you, Kelly. And I am so glad for the introduction to your blog thanks to Susan Branch. I agree with Maree – I will revisit often.

Carol Myers - July 13, 2015 - 10:05 pm

I was checking my email and found your post on Susan Branch. I am so sorry I have missed this as I am not familiar with any of her books till now. They are wonderful and look forward to finding them. My mom is 86 years old and I can’t wait to show her these books. Thank you so much for showing these to me.

Carolynn - July 13, 2015 - 10:10 pm

Really enjoyed your stories and pictures. Have loved Susan Vrqnches book and artwork for many years. Had the privilege to visit Martha’s Vineyard wonderful place!

Naomi Jones - July 13, 2015 - 10:19 pm

I love Susan Branch’s artwork! Thanks for featuring her

patti@pandorasbox - July 13, 2015 - 10:24 pm

As i was reading this post, I thought “i could have written this, too”. I have also been a long time fan of SB, love the Cape and the islands, and have many of her books. I am looking forward to spending a few weeks on the Cape in August, too! great post and wonderful tribute to her!

Ann - July 13, 2015 - 10:31 pm

Love,love,love Susan Branch! Am anxiously awaiting her new book’s release this fall.

Thea McGinnis - July 13, 2015 - 10:33 pm

I have almost all her books. Susan’s joy ripples through her work. A respite from our every day.

Deb C - July 13, 2015 - 10:34 pm

I have followed both you and Susan Branch, for a while now. Two of my most favorite blogs. Thanks so much for updating us on her work, and i will ALWAYS come back to your amazing blog!

JoAnne Hayon - July 13, 2015 - 10:35 pm

You are me!!!!! I have every one of Susan’s books! I also have ornaments, have gotten Willards electronically and snail mail. Thank you for the sweet blog.

Susan - July 13, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Hi Kelly,
What a great post! I’ve been a big Susan Branch fan since Vineyard Seasons was first published. I just love her. I also saved that same magazine that you have. I never thought of framing her book pages, you did a great job using them. Your other home was lovely just like your current house is. I never win anything so I don’t think I will win your generous giveaway but if by chance I do, please give the books to someone else. I have all of them plus Joe’s book. Thanks for everything! Have a nice week!

Sheila - July 13, 2015 - 10:45 pm

I love Susan Branch too, and have so enjoyed your post here. Also I dearly love your home.

Carol Liebst - July 13, 2015 - 10:48 pm

Loved this post! Thanks for pulling all of this together and for sharing your love over the years! Perhaps the inpiration for the beautiful lettering that you do!?! I will definitely check out the blog, but will continue to love yours!

Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life - July 13, 2015 - 10:52 pm

What a delightful visit all about Martha’s Vineyard and dear, dear Susan Branch. Thank you for sharing so many lovely pictures about Susan and her beautiful life. I’m looking forward to her newest book coming out in August. I love her blog, but I’m adding yours to my own ‘must visit’ places too.

And, yes, please enter my name in your generous giveaway.

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Anne Hegg - July 13, 2015 - 10:55 pm

I enjoyed reading your blog for the first time! I’m a Susan Branch fan,too.I would love to win your drawing!

Peggy Bojduj - July 13, 2015 - 11:01 pm

I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at these charming warm homes.

Linda - July 13, 2015 - 11:03 pm

I have loved all things Susan Branch since purchasing her first book in the 1980’s. Thank you for sharing!

Sherry Myers - July 13, 2015 - 11:19 pm

Lovely post! Loved Susan Branch for years! I received her first book as a gift and have given so many as gifts. When I taught elementary school, I tried to replicate Susan’s lettering on bulletin boards. Her books always make me smile. Your first home was beautiful too! How did you ever leave it?! Looking forward to your upcoming posts, as I always do!! You inspire me. Have a great week.

Terri - July 13, 2015 - 11:20 pm

Thank you for introduction to Susan, I promise I will be back. I have enjoyed your journey through life also. I am beside you in the empty nest, job change, the next big chapter part. Some days lol….I would definetly enjoy a new book, it seems I have more time to read lately.

Brenda Winberg - July 13, 2015 - 11:45 pm

Would love to win. I loved a fine romance and have a few of her other books.

Jane - July 13, 2015 - 11:50 pm

We are all friends and fans of Susan, I think!!! She made me feel so good about cooking and making a home for my family when her first book came out. And I had my dream come true in 1993 when we visited Martha’s Vineyard, she inspired me. We loved it of course and we ate at Joe’s restaurant! Good times!

I often wonder how she went from being a sunny California girl with such a tight knit family—to go clear across the country and out to sea to ‘start over’. Her new book will end that mystery, I guess! I’m excited!

Happy post—you have shared your joy in discovering and loving Susan over the years and I so identify. Thanks for a great giveaway! :)

Jane x

Kathleen - July 13, 2015 - 11:54 pm

I own Susan’s book _Autumn_ and also have one of her recipe binders (filled to capacity!), and her address book. I am a regular visitor to her website where she kindly introduced to me the wonderful author, Gladys Taber. Just today I spent an hour in a doctor’s waiting room reading Still Cove Journal while everyone else sat staring at their smartphones. I’m pretty sure I know who enjoyed the wait more. :-)

kathy - July 13, 2015 - 11:59 pm

Oh, how fun!

Rosari - July 14, 2015 - 12:18 am

Love Susan Branch. Nice to meet you.

Kathy - July 14, 2015 - 12:18 am

Thanks for the generous giveaway . I love learning about Martha’s Vineyard and I have loved all of Susan Branch’s work. Wish me luck!

Sarah - July 14, 2015 - 12:22 am

I love Susan branch books my sister in law got me hooked.

Lynn - July 14, 2015 - 12:30 am

What a wonderful giveaway! Thank you for being so generous to your readers.

Debby W - July 14, 2015 - 12:34 am

Susan Branch’s ‘The Summer Book’ was my introduction to her also. :) I have loved her work ever since! Thanks for sharing all about her in your blog. I look forward to your next posts. :)

Becky S. - July 14, 2015 - 12:40 am

I too love Susan’s art work and books. So glad to have found your blog;) Thank you for the opportunity to win the books;)

Carol Cooley - July 14, 2015 - 12:42 am

I love Susan Branch and have been following her since the 90’s! So much inspiration as you have shown here. If I could only bear to take one of her books apart to do what you did…

Cheryl - July 14, 2015 - 12:44 am

What a delightful blog you have written! Thank you for a lovely tour of the island. I agree with you that Susan Branch books are so beautiful.

Cathy Kalte - July 14, 2015 - 12:53 am

I love Martha’s Vineyard. Susan ‘s artwork is beautiful, it is so homey & leaves me with such a good feeling.

Katherine M. in Austin - July 14, 2015 - 1:26 am

What a treat! This was a lovely blog post. Your giveaway is so generous.

I have always wanted to visit the island, especially since discovering Susan and the girlfriends.

L.B. - July 14, 2015 - 1:40 am

Wonderful post…I love Martha’s Vineyard and Susan Branch’s writings. Thanks for sharing.

Nancy B - July 14, 2015 - 1:41 am

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan at one of her book signings in 2012. Such a thrill! This is a delightful post and I look forward to many more. Thank you for your generous giveaway.

Linda Pintarell - July 14, 2015 - 1:42 am

Love all things Susan Branch – thank you for sharing!

Vicki - July 14, 2015 - 1:45 am

I love your blog because you are so informative! You give me so much to love! Would love to win these books!

suslee - July 14, 2015 - 1:54 am

thoroughly enjoyed your blog tonight…just happened upon it!!! Have loved Susan Branch for a long time!!!

Mary Beth Johnson - July 14, 2015 - 2:49 am

Would love to win, thank you!

annelies - July 14, 2015 - 2:54 am

What a joyous post….and I have found a kindred spirit as I read your blog. Now ia am going on to read more and more. Thanks for the chance to win!!!

Lisa Smith - July 14, 2015 - 3:48 am

I discovered Susan Branch shortly after her first book came out. I still have most of the Country Living pages she did; I had planned on framing them, but never got to it. Seeing your framed prints, it makes me want to pull them out. Thanks for a wonderful post; I really enjoyed it!

Julie - July 14, 2015 - 3:52 am

More time now than ever to enjoy the heart of the home lifestyle Now that I am retired. Special friends having tea, cheering each other on in creative home settings to enjoy joy the seasons.Reading and exploring

Frances in England - July 14, 2015 - 5:31 am

Oh, Hollie Hobbie – that takes me back!! I too want to visit Martha’s Vineyard some day – it seems divine. I’m not familiar with Susan Branch, so I’ll have to do some ‘research’ now… :)

Susie Collins - July 14, 2015 - 5:31 am

I just love Susan Branch and have a couple of her books. I hope to visit Martha’a Vineyard one day. Maybe I’ll try the brownie recipe.

Kathleen Grace - July 14, 2015 - 6:20 am

I love all things Susan Branch and would LOVE to win more of her books! Great article, thank you for a sweet giveaway :)

Rachel Lucas - July 14, 2015 - 6:30 am

Hi Kelly…I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post about Susan. I am the Rachel in the Lavender Cookies recipe, and also in ‘A Fine Romance’…very proud to be a good friend of hers. I know she would appreciate this post as much as I do. She is just as wonderful in person as she is in her books and artwork…inspirational, warm, generous. Her blog is a great way to ‘get to know’ her…and yours is just lovely too! With love and best wishes from rainy (but warm!) England this morning xo

E.A. Fuller - July 14, 2015 - 6:42 am

Thank you so much for this article. I have always loved the idea of a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. Love the Northeast. I love Susan Branch’s books. Thanks for the tour!

Grand Pam - July 14, 2015 - 6:50 am

i wanted to do the same thing with a Susan Branch Book but lacked the nerve. You are so awesome. Would love to win the book and love your site!

Cindy - July 14, 2015 - 7:06 am

Good Day Kelly!

What a lovely Blog you have. I’m also a huge fan of the wonderful Susan Branch. Will be back to enjoy reading more of yours.
Thanks for the giveaway! Whoever wins will be thrilled with the
books I’m sure.

Sandy - July 14, 2015 - 7:19 am

Wow, I enjoyed reading your blog this morning and marveled at the ambitious Susan Branch. Holly Hobbie was a favorite of my daughter. Yes, we had several dolls, framed pictures, and the bedspread. Oh, even a Holly Hobbie light switch cover graced my daughter’s wall. Kelly, I will enjoy adding Susan Branch’s new novel to my reading list. Thank you again for sharing.

Carol Martin - July 14, 2015 - 7:28 am

LOVE Susan Branch. . .Have all of her cookbooks and give them as gifts frequently! Live in Edgartown and am always hoping that Susan will make an appearance somewhere. . .

Judy Lincicum - July 14, 2015 - 7:34 am

Hi Kelly! Wonderful blog of yours! I just discovered it and I’m looking forward to many wonderful visits. I’ve pre-ordered Susan’s new book and I’m looking forward to reading it. I have quite a few of her books, including A Fine Romance and I love hearing about Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you for this giveaway! The lucky winner will be just that…..very lucky!

Karen Stefanelli - July 14, 2015 - 7:36 am

Hi Kelly,
I just discovered you and absolutely love your blog. I too, am a fan of Susan Branch and cannot wait for her new book! I love your pictures of your home…we have very similar taste in decorating. Look forward to reading all of your posts!
Have a wonderful summer!


Karen - July 14, 2015 - 7:46 am

The Susan Branch books give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Love all her works and especially love the lettering as I “play” at scripting now & again. Her works make me feel like a true lady …

Mary benedetti - July 14, 2015 - 7:54 am

I always enjoy reading about Susan Branch and she has inspired me to start watercolor lessons this fall at my local senior center.

Holly Qboyle - July 14, 2015 - 8:05 am

I must live under a rock but I had never heard of Susan Branch. Probably an East Coast/West Voast thing. She is adorable! Hmmmmmm-lavender cookies and a raised bed guards with a white picket fence. Perfect for my new “cottage
“here in Southern California. (watering only under our strict drought guidelines, of course). Thanks for the introduction to such lovely things.

Kathy G - July 14, 2015 - 8:14 am

I’ve been a fan of Susan Branch for a number of years and have collected a few of her books ( but I don’t have the two you are giving away)!! This is the first time I’m viewing your website and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! I will be a frequent visitor from now on :)

MARILYN P. STALEY - July 14, 2015 - 8:24 am

I just discovered your wonderful blog today. . . .thank you so much for the exciting, uplifting tour of both yours and Susan Branch’s homes. The joy and happiness I feel to have taken “the tour” uplifts me.

Sharon Coy - July 14, 2015 - 8:26 am

i love Susan Branch too & love Loki g at houses! I will be exploring your blog for sure!

Karen Weidler - July 14, 2015 - 8:32 am

Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list. I’ve been a Susan Branch fan for years. Her blog is a lovely read and always makes you feel better. I’ve just discovered your blog and signed up. Kelly — thanks for the chance to win.

Dee Thomas - July 14, 2015 - 8:38 am

I have always felt I had a little of the Vineyard in my life because of Susan Branch Thank you

Nancy Kelley - July 14, 2015 - 8:39 am

I would love the chance to win the lovely prize of two Susan Branch books to add to my collection! Thank you!

Debra - July 14, 2015 - 8:44 am

Fun to see some of your pictures from “back in the day”. :) Looks like you were very much into red back then as well. I can’t imagine living on Martha’s Vineyard, let alone visiting someday. Lucky Susan. Summer has to be heavenly there. Her books are charming and I appreciate the chance to enter your giveaway. Thanks Kelly..

Lori - July 14, 2015 - 8:48 am

How delightful! Thanks so much for the tour !

Lanita Anderson - July 14, 2015 - 8:52 am

I love Susan Branch’s books, especially all of the great artwork! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway opportunity!

Karen G - July 14, 2015 - 8:55 am

Susan Branch has such a delightful style, as do you! Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

rachel cartucci - July 14, 2015 - 9:08 am

Please count me in…I need some beauty in my life while I go to all these pregnancy appointments….which have now increased lately. Thanks so much…..just sharing these images with us made me have a better morning. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Robin - July 14, 2015 - 9:23 am

I too had a wall covered with Betsy Clark and Holly Hobbie! I was not that familiar with Susan Branch, but it’s lovely. What a romantic life to start over at Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you Kelly for the post, it was lovely and now I want to make lavender cookies!

Lisa - July 14, 2015 - 9:31 am

Thank you for the tour and the chance to win. I found you through a link on Susan’s Facebook page. You have a lovely blog that I’ll be reading from now on.

Pamela G - July 14, 2015 - 9:38 am

I have always loved Susan Branch! Years ago I bought a Susan Branch calendar with recipes in it. I still have some of those recipes with her artwork. I hope to one day visit Martha’s Vineyard since it’s always been a dream of mine.

Julie Wolf - July 14, 2015 - 9:46 am

I have several Susan Branch books and love them. Read her blog to. she is such a wonderful designer of all things wonderful in life. :) Good, Positive energy there.
God Bless

Genny - July 14, 2015 - 9:47 am

I so love Susan Branch too! She is incredibly talented! I have several of her cookbooks! Would love to visit Martha’s Vineyard – someday!

Patty in Michigan - July 14, 2015 - 9:56 am

Kelly, I knew we were kindred spirits! I, too, love Susan Branch. I have all her books except for maybe a few. She is so talented and her blog, like yours, brings me happiness when I visit. I was able to meet her a couple years ago when her and Joe were doing a book signing for her book A Fine Romance. She was so sweet and kind. My favorite book is her Autumn book. Her calendars are great too. It was fun seeing pics of your home from years ago. This post was great. Thank you! I guess if I won these books, I could give each of my daughters one.

Lisa - July 14, 2015 - 10:03 am

A Fine Romance is one of my favorites and I am so looking forward to the prequel! Susan Branch is the ultimate BFF and her blog and website are so dreamy. What a great post and a fun giveaway!

Joy Pence - July 14, 2015 - 10:18 am

Thank you for such a lovely post on Susan Branch. She is truly amazing. Thank you for the opportunity.

JJ - July 14, 2015 - 10:18 am

I was just reading about her Peter Rabbit room! Love Susan Branch’s work!

Sandy from New Vineyard - July 14, 2015 - 10:25 am

Just love all things Susan Branch! Thanks so much! This is also my first visit to your website. Will definitely return!

Andre - July 14, 2015 - 10:27 am

I have always enjoyed Susan Branch, but am thrilled to learn so much about her…..and can’t wait to check out her website. I absolutely love the picture of her garden…..I might have to copy it!!

Susan Roubal - July 14, 2015 - 10:35 am

I have loved Susan Branch’s blog for so long and now have found yours! Love her images they are soft comforting words in a hustle bustle world.

cath mckenna - July 14, 2015 - 10:42 am

Visited Marthas Vineyard for the first time last summer. What a beautiful place !!!

Debbie - July 14, 2015 - 10:48 am

Kelly, wonderful to meet you via your website! It’s nice to come across a kindred spirit. I bought my first Susan Bramch cookbook in 1988 and now have all of her books as they are works of art. I pre-ordered ‘A Fine Romance’ but wouldn’t let myself read it until last month after I retired as I wanted to savor it which I did. I raved about it so much that my husband read it and delighted in it, too!
We recently sold our home in Massachusetts and are now full-time RVers for the next 4-5 years. When choosing what cookbooks to bring most of them were Susan’s. I have outfitted our 31ft home with treasures that delight me ‘ala Susan’.
Happy Birthday next month (mine is in August, too)!

Shannon - July 14, 2015 - 11:03 am

Thanks for sharing the virtual tour. It looks like a really special place

Genny - July 14, 2015 - 11:29 am

OMG! – I’ve already commented on this post, but thank you so much for putting the link to Susan Branch’s blog! I had no idea she had one — (I must be living under a rock) – anyway, I just spent the last couple of hours going through her entire blog! Thank you again!

Cheryl Deuel - July 14, 2015 - 11:34 am

Susan Branch is one of my favorites! I have most of her books and adore her just as much as you do. Thanks for sharing!

Cheryl Deuel - July 14, 2015 - 11:38 am

I love Susan Branch! Thank you so much for sharing your love of her with us.

Tracey - July 14, 2015 - 11:41 am

I’ve loved Susan Branch for years, and now that I’ve found your blog, have loved visiting you, too! Thanks for sharing and fueling passions! Happy Day —

Melanie Curtis - July 14, 2015 - 11:42 am

Susan Branch called us at the Laura Ashley Home Store in Boston in the early 1990’s and ordered “Seaside Border” for a Martha’s Vineyard bedroom depicting Victorian children in sailor and nautical attire playing at the beach. She was very nice and we (the LA staff) wrote messages on her mailing box (“We LOVE your books, etc!”
I have the same border in my daughter’s nursery – she is now 18 and it is still there – love it!
I enjoy your blog!

Jaclyn Krueger - July 14, 2015 - 11:56 am

A woman after my own heart! I discovered Susan Branch decades ago (you, my dear, appear to be much younger than I, who am 73) and have al her books, have followed her blog since its inception, still have lots of her scrapbook items, which are no longer sold, and use them for special projects and special occasion gifting, and often times have purchased in duplicate books that I want to scan the pages or use in other ways-that way I can have one that is perfectly in tack and one that I can cut, copy and paste as I want. This is a grand recollection of all things wonderful about this dear artist. Thanks for compiling. I too dream of living on Martha’s Viveyard, but for me it is only a dream as my years dwindle. I shall subscribe to your blog as I love your style and have the same heart as you.

Lori - July 14, 2015 - 12:01 pm

Thank you for such a lovely post. I’m adding you to my favorites.
Susan Branch is such a delight and I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Gladys Taber event in CT last June. What a treat it was.

Rachel - July 14, 2015 - 12:41 pm

Isn’t Susan a wonderful author, artist, and friend!!

Helen - July 14, 2015 - 12:57 pm

Thank you for sharing Susan Branch. I have heard of her but have never seen her artwork – now I am in love!

Jennifer Cohen - July 14, 2015 - 1:00 pm

Another Susan Branch Fan! Adore your site, love it when I find a kindred soul. Looking forward to sharing new posts !.

Sylvie from France - July 14, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Hello Kelly !
My name is Sylvie and I’m writing to you from France.
I’ve just discovered your blog through Susan Branch Facebook page and I’m already eager to know more about you. You seem to be a lovely person.
I’ve subscribed to your blog at once and I’m sure that I’ll spend happy hours reading your previous posts.
I love Susan Branch books, so thank you for your give away.

nanette lyon - July 14, 2015 - 1:47 pm

I love your blog! Thank you for featuring Susan Branch’s work!

susancowles - July 14, 2015 - 2:12 pm

I love the cape which my husband took me for our five year anniversary!! I fell in love with all the islands, which we rode our bike all over. Love Susan Branch and her drawings and cookbooks! Love your blog and will look for it next week!!
Thank you!

Debbie w - July 14, 2015 - 2:19 pm

Love this giveaway….and all your posts!! Pick me!

Theresa D. - July 14, 2015 - 3:24 pm

I so enjoyed this post, thank you for sharing it! I’ve been a Susan Branch fan since 1987 when I picked up her first book in a little shop on Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve bought just about every book since then and have bought them again and again to give as gifts to my dear girlfriends. I even have Joe’s cookbook! Several of Susan’s recipes are ones I make regularly. I adore her artwork and well, just everything Susan Branch! She is an inspiration for sure!

ChrisTea - July 14, 2015 - 3:35 pm

I love your post. I’ve been following Susan for just a few years but I love her site and the postings …. and the CATS! Thank you for the giveaway. I’m crossing my fingers to win!

Jan - July 14, 2015 - 4:26 pm

Great post! I too, love Susan Branch. Love her blog, books, artwork etc. Must now check out your blog in more detail. Thanks!

Gail from New Brunswick, Canada - July 14, 2015 - 4:33 pm

I am a Susan Branch fan, but also a fan of your blog! I check to see what is going on in each of your lives. Thank you for all the beautiful and good ideas.

Joyce W - July 14, 2015 - 4:33 pm

Hi Kelly!
Please count me in for a copy of one of Susan Branches’ books! You did a lovely posting for Susan….I read her blog, bought her calendar for my kitchen last two years and have one of create your own cookbooks. I am becoming an excited
new fan – LOL. Thank you. All the best!

Dawn R. - July 14, 2015 - 4:35 pm

Thank you for a wonderful well thought out give away. I too love Susan Branch! What’s not to love? I could move into her house today.
Hope you are enjoying your retirement!
Thanks again,
Dawn R.

Susan - July 14, 2015 - 5:11 pm

Delightful post as always Kelly. Very interesting and informative. I will definitely check out her books -Susan W.

Betty - July 14, 2015 - 5:21 pm

I’ve loved Susan Branch for a long time. Now my daughter is hooked and loves her books, too.

Pam Erselius - July 14, 2015 - 6:22 pm

Thank you for the generous giveaway.
I love that you framed Susan’s pages!
Take care, Pam

theresalh - July 14, 2015 - 8:07 pm

I had all that wallpaper!Holly Hobbie! (I named my daughter Holly)
Oh! Susan Branch! Still love all of those books and pictures!

Diane - July 14, 2015 - 8:40 pm

LOVE Susan Branch books, her art and sentiments!

Gert - July 14, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Oh, I love Sussn Branch and all her works. Thank you for this giveaway! I will be following you in the future!


Linda - July 14, 2015 - 9:52 pm

Love Susan Branch…love her original artwork, her recipes, her books, her blog!!! She has such a positive outlook on life and always makes sure to appreciate the little things in life. Would love to win her fabulous books!

Donnamae - July 14, 2015 - 11:13 pm

What an interesting post! Great pics of your former home…lots of your signature red! I learned a lot more about Susan Branch too…thanks for the opportunity! 😉

Bonnie - July 15, 2015 - 12:25 am

I loved your blog about Susan Branch! I met her in our little village of Arroyo Grande about 10 years ago,and had the joy of working in her store there, Heart of the Home! I had the pleasure of seeing people come into her store, and loving everything there because of her special books, and fabric, and everything wonderful in the Susan Branch world. I later worked in her Studio, and helped ship out the over 15,000 plus copies of ‘A Fine Romance’ books. She is everything you describe,and she is a joy to know and have as a girlfriend!!

Karyn B. - July 15, 2015 - 1:42 am

I love Susan Branch & have been a fan for over 15 years! Just this past May I had the chance to visit Martha’s Vineyard & really enjoyed it. I hope to return someday in the summer months to experience the Island alive & hopping!
I am a native Santa Cruz, CA girl but the Vineyard has a special charm that draws you, and along with Susans’s help, you easily fall in love with it!

Roseanne Hall - July 15, 2015 - 2:10 am

I loved reading this article and I love Susan Branch.I’ve been a fan of hers for years! Loved growing up with Holly Hobby and Betsy Clark!

Sherry Wilson - July 15, 2015 - 5:43 am

I have enjoyed Susan Branch’s books for years. I have given several of the Girlfriends Forever books as gifts. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Jan - July 15, 2015 - 8:14 am

I love Susan Branch! And I love your blog. I sit on my deck in morning with a cup of coffee and the first thing I check is your blog. Thank you. I love your style!

Brenda - July 15, 2015 - 8:16 am

I also have been fascinated by Martha’s Vineyard. You have given me more reasons that it is a must to visit.

Donna - July 15, 2015 - 8:51 am

Thank you for your beautiful post featuring Susan Branch . Susan’s delightful artwork has always inspired me . I have enjoyed many of her books and calendars over the years .
Your blog is one of my favorites because it is so well written and so much fun !

Judy J from West Warwick - July 15, 2015 - 9:22 am

The Summer Book has always been my favorite also! Thanks for the lovely tour.

Jan Hamilton - July 15, 2015 - 9:29 am

I love Susan’s blog and I love yours, too. Both are so full of beautiful inspiration to enjoy every moment of life. Thank you!

Bonnie - July 15, 2015 - 9:35 am

Thank you for sharing Susan Branch, Martha’s Vineyard, and more of yourself…with a little ‘Christmas in July’ thrown in! Always look forward to your blog.

Valerie Farris - July 15, 2015 - 9:46 am

I love your blog!!! I love your style!!! So excited about the Susan Branch book giveaway!!! I love her books.

Wendy D. - July 15, 2015 - 10:53 am

I love Susan Branch’s art. She has a way of capturing child-like simplicy like only a few artist can. Thank you for the inspiration and giveaway!

Heather Bass - July 15, 2015 - 11:08 am

Thank you for brightening my day with this post. Hoping to add some cheery books to my library.

Tracy - July 15, 2015 - 12:00 pm

I hopped on Amazon to take a look at some of her books and they are sooo charming! Would love to try some of the recipes…we have a big family and like the classic comfort foods.

Julia - July 15, 2015 - 1:53 pm

Thanks for introducing me to Susan Branch. I loved going to her website and reading all about her and her paintings and books. This is a fun giveaway!

DiAnne - July 15, 2015 - 2:12 pm

I love the White House! I also love Susan Branch’s work.

Elizabeth G. - July 15, 2015 - 2:16 pm

Love the Martha’s Vineyard & Susan Branch post!

Peggy - July 15, 2015 - 2:30 pm

I love all of Susan’s work. Thanks for sharing.

Laura Croyle - July 15, 2015 - 2:56 pm

I Love all things Susan Branch! I first discovered her I began scrapbooking and found her stickers and papers in the late ’90s. I would Love to visit Martha’s Vineyard someday. She makes it sound so charming! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be Back!

Joan - July 15, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Here I am looking like a dunce for the whole world to see….but…of course I love your blog….you know that…and Susan Branch (you might not have known that) BUT….I am confused about the quote (below) on how to enter the giveaway.

(Just leave a comment on (not on your email delivered post) on any or all of the posts that publish between 7/13/2015 (today) and midnight on Sunday 7/19/2015)
Am I the only one who doesn’t know the difference? I thought all your posts arrived via email to my InBox. O, glory day, I need educating, Kelly.
In the meantime, just remember that you introduced me to red buffalo check and we share the same birthday month….and because of you scores of us get to travel all around seeing B E A U T I F U L houses.
Stay cool.

Tisa@ChicTiquesCafe - July 15, 2015 - 6:09 pm

What a wonderful lovely post! Susan Branch has been inspiring me since around 1980. As her mail carrier when she lived in California, before she moved to Martha’s Vineyard, I got to pick up a lot of beautifully decorated envelopes that she sent out, which inspired me to start doing artwork on my own letters to friends (back when we sent those via ‘snail mail’). Then she moved away. A few years later, I was reading a copy of Country Living and spied a little hand colored & scripted recipe “from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch”. I gasped aloud, “Is that MY Susan Branch?” And it was. For all the world to see & be inspired by, just like I was. Because she’s not just “MY” Susan Branch; she’s “OUR” Susan Branch! YAY!

Julia Walker - July 15, 2015 - 6:25 pm

I loved learning about Susan Branch and seeing her house on Martha’s Vineyard! I can’t wait to introduce my daughter and daughter-in-law to her books. Kelly, I see why you admire her work so much. Thanks so much for sharing. Julia Walker

Juli - July 15, 2015 - 6:25 pm

What a wonderful and lovely post you did! I’m new to you but will visit daily like I do Susan’s and as we all do I adore Susan! Glad to have another great site to visit and dream daily! How kind of you to do such a nice giveaway!

linda melz - July 15, 2015 - 7:24 pm

Please enter me in your susan branch giveaway Like her blog
but yours is a favorite of mine Such a fan of both
linda m

Sarah - July 15, 2015 - 9:05 pm

I love Susan’s work. It was so nice to see all the pictures. I hope to one day have a space larger than a studio apartment, so I can decorate it more like you and Susan. Thank you for the giveaway. Finger’s crossed!

Jane - July 15, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Such a fan of Susan and you, thanks for sharing.

Phyllis Huseby - July 15, 2015 - 9:24 pm

I love the connections I find between people and things I really like. Your blog ,as well as Susan’s , are two must reads. I would love to win your prize and especially Susan’s new book. Thanks for the opportunity.

texasaggiemom - July 15, 2015 - 9:34 pm

How could I have not have heard of her? I would love to win these!! Thank you for the giveaway.

Joy M - July 15, 2015 - 9:49 pm

What a perfect pairing. Thanks to my love of all things Susan Branch now I have found your blog. How could I have been missing you? I love your blog and all the wonderful things that you tell us about. Such inspiration. Kindred spirits for sure. I would love to be your very lucky winner. Thank you.

Carol in KS - July 15, 2015 - 10:53 pm

It’s my first visit to talkofthehouse and I will be back! Very nice!!

Tina Camden - July 15, 2015 - 11:10 pm

I love Susan’s pictures and thought of cutting them out as well!

Teri - July 16, 2015 - 2:05 am

Love Susan Branch…..favorite blog. Can’t wait until she starts writing on it again! A new book is worth the wait, though.

Marian Yeckinevich - July 16, 2015 - 9:50 am

I love, love, love everything Susan Branch and everyone that loves her too. Can’t wait for her new book to add to my collection. Happy summer to all.

Marie - July 16, 2015 - 10:11 am

I have loved Susan Branch for so very long! Your post was a wonderful mini biography; I enjoyed every word and picture! I was lucky enough to go to one of her book signings for A Fine Romance and meet her. Fingers crossed I win this fantastic drawing! ♥

janet magina - July 16, 2015 - 11:40 am

I have loved Susan Branch for years and have several of her books, but would love to win this giveaway to have even more of her “over fourteen” books. I am excited to read her new book and find out more about her life. I DO love her blog, but there is plenty of room in my head and heart for her blog and yours !

Nancy Peeples - July 16, 2015 - 1:09 pm

Love your blog and would love to win this book. Thank you for the opportunity.

Joni - July 16, 2015 - 2:14 pm

I love your site! Thank you for introducing me to Susan Branch cookbooks!

Toni from Sylvania, OH - July 16, 2015 - 2:21 pm

Have been a fan of Susan’s for MANY years. She NEVER ceases to amaze me! God is SOOO good to us to send her our way:-)))
Toni from Sylvania OH

Charissa Stover - July 16, 2015 - 2:54 pm

I love your site and I love that you really really love Susan too. I am so excited to have found you and I AM GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON PERUSING YOUR SITE:)

Emily - July 16, 2015 - 3:22 pm

Thanks for sharing so much information about Susan Branch. Love her books!

Vanessa - July 16, 2015 - 7:17 pm

Thank you for the chance to win. The Susan Branch books sound charming. Just discovered your delightful blog! Really enjoy reading, Talk of The House.

Robin - July 16, 2015 - 8:25 pm

i love Susan Branch’s artwork!

Pam - July 16, 2015 - 9:12 pm

What a wonderful post of your home decorating and of Susan’s, LOVE her and now will follow your blog!

Donna - July 17, 2015 - 12:14 am

I love your blog. Thank you for giving me so much pleasure.

Barbara B. - July 17, 2015 - 12:15 am

Great post! I love Susan Branch books. They are comforting to the soul. I would love to win this book.

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - July 17, 2015 - 11:04 am

Oh, Kelly! What a wonderful tale about Susan’s life and home on Martha’s Vineyard! Susan has inspired my life and our family traditions for so many years. I’m so excited about her upcoming book. It has been such fun to discover your blog, Kelly! I’ll be a regular visitor now. From one fairy tale girl to another… Happy summer days! ♡

Janet from Pittsburgh, PA - July 17, 2015 - 12:20 pm

What a lovely posting. Thank you for sharing about Houses and Susan Branch. They seem to go together nicely, no don’t they? How thoughtful of you to have a giveaway; her writings are always so pleasant.

Carolyn - July 17, 2015 - 8:58 pm

I do recognize her work from magazines, but I’ve never read her books – they sound delightful! What a wonderful generous give-away! I’m going to check out her blog now.

HS - July 18, 2015 - 12:53 am

I love Susan Branch’s work!

Ashley Johnson - July 18, 2015 - 4:46 am

Susan Branch books are a work of art. What a great post. Hope you are enjoying your retirement!

Karen Weidler - July 18, 2015 - 8:05 am

I am in love with the Harbor View Hotel. Thanks for all the great pics and details. The cottages are so cozy looking. Martha’s Vineyard just has a dreamy quality to it … someday I will visit there. Thanks Kelly for the peek inside of the hotel and Susan’s home.

Maureen Detwiler - July 18, 2015 - 8:56 am

I just finished “A Fine Romance”. Loved it.

Julie Atwell - July 18, 2015 - 10:30 am

Love Susan Branch books!!! Thanks for the summary.

Sharon Chapman - July 18, 2015 - 1:31 pm

Another great post that has me dreaming. What a wonderful place. I would love to sit on that porch and sketch that lighthouse and think of all that has passed by. I still have my fingers crossed to win. Love Susan Branch.

Colleen M - July 18, 2015 - 1:56 pm

Thanks Kelly!! Filling my brain with inspiration!!!(as usual!!)

KRISTEN - July 19, 2015 - 12:35 am

Thank you for the adorable post on Susan Branch, she is one of my favorite artists & writers! I’m always cheered up and inspired by looking at her books but I don’t have many. Thanks for a fun contest!

Cindy - July 19, 2015 - 5:39 pm

I am reading the blogs I missed from new to old and I got so excited when I saw pictures of your old house. Thank you for sharing a little more about you. I don’t know how I haven’t heard about Susan Branch before now…but she has nothing on your lettering. Maybe now that you are retired there is a book in you??
Would love to win your giveaway.

Jean Tovern - August 24, 2015 - 8:07 pm

Thank you for this terrific post! My late Godmother (from Cape Cod) bought me Heart of the Home back when it first came out and she got it autographed by Susan Branch for me. What a beloved keepsake this is for me. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!!! :)
You lucky girl Jean!! You own a very special book – not only an original, but also an autographed original! We are all jealous. :)

The Outdoor Shower

Nantucket outdoor shower with whale door latchsource

There is a big sign at the pool like this:
shower sign
I’ve never really understood the purpose of showering before you get in the water.

Coastal Living outdoor

It’s not like I’m all dirty before I jump in.

outdoor shower John Morris

If there was the likelihood that I had been down at the beach or perhaps in a lake before coming to the pool, I would understand the need for it.

Seaside FL outdoor shower from

Or if I had been working out in the yard, it would make sense.
But on just your normal everyday swim, I am pretty clean.  :)

white shutters on a Seaside FL outdoor

The outdoor shower at the pool is usually just a simple pipe with a shower head on top and a pull string to turn on that cold water…brrrr. But at beach houses….now those showers are a different story!

Coastal Living shingled outdoor

They can still be simple but dressed up a little with a cute fabric shower curtain.

Long Island cottage outdoor shower  Martha StewartMartha Stewart Living via

Or they can be a work of architecture matching the style of the beach house.

outdoor shower in Seaside

They can express the owner’s personality…

surfboard outdoor


Tybee Island GA outdoor


Tybee Island GA Fish Camp Cottage outdoor

and just plain fun.:)

pbkids outdoor showerpottery barn kids via

I like how this one adds a punch of bright color to the neutral tone of the house (which happens to be an HGTV Smart Home of the Year.)

HGTV Smart Home 2013 outdoor

(And I had to show you the pool that goes with the house too since I know you want to see it.:))

HGTV Smart Home 2013

How about an entire outdoor bathroom??

Heather A Wilson architect outdoor

I’m not sure about this next one.  It is in Seaside, Florida and owned by Barbara Baekgaard (one of the co-founders of Vera Bradley.)  Does it look like it is outdoors, or is it just a clear roof with plants growing on it? Whatever it is, I would be pulling that curtain over the window if I were taking a bath in there!

Vera Bradley Seaside

Okay, these next two are my dream showers….
The first is really from my dream house – an HGTV Dream House.

HGTV Dream Home 2015  outdoor shower

And this second one is again in Seaside – a double shower for your big family!

blue outdoor

My husband has said before that he would like to build an outdoor shower on our house so that when he is filthy from working outside, mowing the lawn, etc. he could clean up some before coming in.  I think that is a great idea!  Here is a good blog post that explains how this couple built their own.  It turned out lovely!

cottage outdoor

painting it…

building an outdoor

and a peek at the interior.

inside the outdoor

But…l know my husband isn’t thinking about something pretty.  I am sure he has something in mind more like this (which actually has an uncanny resemblance to the exterior of our house – window trim and all!)

Sunset magazine outdoor

Or maybe I can talk him into this luxury model.:)

bucket and

And that’s all the outside inspiration  I have for you today.  Do any of you have an outdoor shower?  Luxury or basic?  Do you use it much?  I imagine we will have a shower before the day we have a pool….just much more practical.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

a signature

Joan - July 11, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Kelly, I agree. What’s with showering Before going into the pool?
The only thing that it did for me was to save the shock of getting wet in the pool. These outdoor showers are really fun and so varied. And I am with you….that one with the window….what were they thinking? I think I would have it removed, covered, or something…quickly. Like the idea of the tub though, especially in hot, hot, areas where an outdoor soak would be ‘a breath of fresh air’, or when I wanted to bathe the dog :-). Peeling off
dirty yard-working clothes and taking a shower in one of these is really ‘apeeling’. Pardon the pun.
Have a great weekend.
There is still shock with the shower since it is usually just as cold! I guess the drape is supposed to be pulled around over that window for privacy. I did not even think about bathing a dog in the tub. Great idea!!
Your pun is too funny! :) Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

LJ - July 11, 2015 - 6:44 pm

Hi Kelly, ok I get that a shower before entering a public pool might be a good idea….afterall, not everyone has adequate standard of hygiene but at home…oh! well…
When my son was a little guy he loved dirt and mud and seemed to seek it out at every opportunity like jumping in every mud puddle on the way home from school or going to neighborhood brook to gather tadpoles…. then there were all those soccer games played on muddy fields…now those were the days I would have given a small fortune to have had an outdoor shower.
Have a terrific weekend.. maybe even shopping at HD for plumbing supplies :}}
It sounds like you REALLY needed an outdoor shower with your dirt-loving son!! I think my mother would have liked one as well with all that my brother, sister, and father did outside. I almost bought my husband a free standing outdoor shower years ago when Pottery Barn had them in stock, but I decided that he could make one for much less….still waiting on it. :)

Nan, Odessa, DE - July 11, 2015 - 6:46 pm

I believe every family home should be required to have an outside shower – no matter how humble. If you have never showered outside under a full moon YOU have not lived. Add this to your bucket list!
Don’t forget the music and the wine.

Could save Americans millions in therapy.
I will add that to my bucket list Nan! I think you are right about it being good therapy too. Yes, bring on the music with it. :)

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 11, 2015 - 7:11 pm

And to think, all this time, I’ve just been using the garden hose. Sigh . . .
Ha ha! That’s a start. Now move on up to the high end stuff! :)

Louvina - July 11, 2015 - 7:58 pm

These outdoor shower ideas were great and very useful! We always have had a very simple shower head or large basin to rinse off all the sand that seems to be inside- especially at the lake. Hubby always just jumps into the lake to get dirt off after yard work. There are some houses that have private areas for showering and sunbathing ( uh, to not have bathing suit strap lines– but I would worry about all the private planes and pontoon planes flying over!:) Looks like the area behind your deck would be perfect place for your pool and shower room! What ya think?!
Your husband gives new meaning to the phrase “Go jump in a lake!” I too would worry about the flying over aircraft if I were tanning in one of those private tanning areas. The area behind the deck has the septic tank, so it’s a no-go for a pool there, but the area behind the screened porch would be nice!

Garden, Home and Party - July 11, 2015 - 11:49 pm

Hi Kelly,
These are wonderful examples and if we had a pool or lived walking distance to the beach I’d definitely. Put one of these beauties on the wish list. The public beaches here in Southern California have decided to turn the outdoor showers off due to the water shortage…it seems ridiculous to me as after a day at the beach a shower is needed. Oh well, such are the great minds of governmental officials.
I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend.

Anne Boykin - July 12, 2015 - 6:15 am

Hi Kelly, Your inspiration photos are fabulous! Just the kind of outdoor showers I would like to have too. My husband and I spend every summer dreaming of a pool but our yard is too small so we’d have to move! Thanks for the inspiration.

Karen - July 12, 2015 - 7:49 am

Such a fun blog post, outdoor showers are quintessential to summertime! Our outdoor shower has been out of commission, but is up and running now. I am looking forward to using it, but need to do a little shopping first. I’m planning to use the shower caddy I bought for my son when he went off to college, it came back home after the first year, unused, and has been in the basement ever since. I’ll fill it with summery shower gels and shampoo/conditioner, maybe something from Bath & Body Works, and keep it ready for anyone who wants to shower outside, along with a white, terry cloth bath robe!

Debra - July 12, 2015 - 1:59 pm

So many great examples here Kelly! I love that beautiful HGTV.COM example with the small lap pool and turquoise enhanced exterior. Confessions…..I drool every time I visit Just Grand and view Erin’s Michigan property. Oh, how lucky they are to have such a wonderful getaway. With that beach front property, it makes wonderful sense to have an outside shower. So when are you taking the plunge and putting in that pool and shower??

Pamela - July 12, 2015 - 3:07 pm

This is our third house where we have had an outdoor shower and one was in the country so we had two! We live on the water, 5 mins from the beach and have a boat so it is so convenient. I agree with your husband about using it after yard work. We also have a pool so we usually just jump in there. Our grandchildren LOVE using the outdoor shower!
It sounds like you make very good use of outdoor showers Pamela! How wonderful to be so close to the water! I would love that…and jumping in a pool after yard work sounds like the perfect thing to do!

Susan Gay Jeffries - July 13, 2015 - 9:43 am

We just completed an outdoor shower a few weeks ago. It has been such a great addition. Hubby uses it almost daily to shower off after yard work, working out and such. We love it!
That’s great Susan! I know it is such a practical thing to have, and it sounds like your husband is putting it to good use! :)

Bren - July 13, 2015 - 9:44 am

Terrific post – now I want an outdoor shower. And a beach house to go with it!
Thanks Bren! Your comment gave me a giggle, but I agree with you…would love a shower AND the beach house! :)

Dawn - July 13, 2015 - 5:32 pm


I do love the appeal of having an out door shower. The house we just rented in Cape San Blas, FL had one and used when came off of the beach before we hopped in the pool. All of the houses in the area had them. I am not sure how practical one would be here in Missouri? I would worry about the pipes freezing in the winter but perhaps there is a way to winterize it. Thanks for sharing these with us.
Yes, they are so practical at the beach, but you are right about needing to winterize them in Missouri! I guess you would leave it dripping like we have to do with our outdoor faucets when the temperatures drop around here.
Thanks for reading the post!

Peggy Bojduj - July 13, 2015 - 10:53 pm

I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at these charming warm homes.

Pam Erselius - July 14, 2015 - 6:26 pm

I’m new to your site. I think I’m I love with your house!
Even the baskets in your laundry have given me ideas for my closet!
I love beach decor.

Anita - August 5, 2015 - 11:06 pm

In 1968 or 1969 my parents rented a house in Ventura CA for the winter. We were the third house from the beach. This house had an outdoor shower and to this little 11-12 yr old Kansas girl, it was the most exotic thing ever. Ever! Thanks for reminding me of this sweet memory.

The Pool

House Beautiful poolsource

Every summer when we were young, from the moment my brother, sister, and I got out of school, we would beg our parents for a pool.  It was always so hot here in Georgia, and to us, a pool seemed to be the best place to spend a summer.

Craig Reynolds landscape

And we didn’t want one of those flimsy inflatable baby pools you would fill up with a waterhose while it sat on your patio.  No sirree…we wanted the real deal…a big in-ground pool. (So much better than running through the sprinkler!)

Country Living

I knew our home would be THE social place if we just had a pool.  Our friends would hang out there all summer long.  We would have the best parties in town.  My August birthday party would be the highlight of the season! (That’s what a pool does for you, right?)

Blue beach house   house

But our parents always said “No, it’s too much upkeep.” How could they wreck my social life plans like that?? But we continued to pester and beg and plead.  So our mom did the next best thing.  She got us a membership in a local club’s pool.  It had a long and fancy name, but we just called it…

The pool.


In the eyes of an 8 year old, The pool seemed huge – with 2 slides and a diving board…and best of all, a whole bunch of my school friends also went there to swim!  :)(Imagine that!!) My mother would load the 3 of us up in her Chevrolet along with a bag of unshelled butterbeans, some newspaper, and a big bowl.  Then off we’d go for the day.


When we got there, we would hop out of that car and make our way to a table with a striped umbrella above it, plop our towels on it, and then gingerly make our way down the steps in the shallow end – one   step   at   a   time – freezing our little bottoms off the whole way! (You know how that feels.:))

Key West pool  Craig Reynolds Landscape

We would splash, play Marco Polo, and swim for hours, while our mother sat under that umbrella shelling butter beans and chatting with her friends who would show up at The pool – their own children in tow behind them.

Nantucket home with pool on

When our tummies would begin to growl, we would climb out of that cold water, quickly scurry over to the mothers, and wrap ourselves in towels.  They would give us coins, and dripping wet we made our way to the concession stand at The pool.

pool and patio

Now this was one of our favorite parts of going there!  That little room was like Heaven to our gang.  It had shelves full of assorted chips, a cooler of drinks, and best of all – a freezer with yummy ice cream treats – ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, frozen Nestle Crunch bars, Drumsticks, Fudgsicles, Klondike bars, and the one I would always choose…the Creamsicle…- that delicious duo of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream…mmm.

(Can you taste it??)

pool with shingled

After making our selections and handing over our money to the lifeguard, we would sit shivering on an old wooden bench, wrapped in our towels, enjoying every little bite of our snacks.  Then we would wait the lifeguard-required 30 minutes before jumping back in the water – this time cannonball style.  (Much faster than making our way down the steps again, right?)

Shingle house with pool bhg

And so went our childhood days at the pool.  Our hair became bleached summer blonde while our skin turned that lovely golden shade of bronze…and our parents never did put in a pool.

rose garden

So when I started college, where did I head the first hot days of my freshman year?  Why to the college pool of course.  I would go to my classes, do my job in the dean’s office, and then head over to swim several afternoons a week .  And my college even had a swimming requirement.  (Those folks knew what was important!)

Southampton NY pool and

It felt so professional to swim there.  For the first time I was swimming in a pool that had…lanes:)  Not that I was competitive or anything like that, it was just to cool off and have fun…and work up an appetite!

stone bordered flower bed

I can remember one evening after swimming for a while, I returned to my dorm room soooo famished, I ate an entire package of Oreos in one sitting! ( Oh for the days when I weighed 98 lbs. soaking wet…!)

California yard and pool by Molly

And now fast forward…Years later came marriage and children – children who asked their parents for… a pool. The yard in our first home did not have room for one.  There were way too many gorgeous old trees – including a beautiful massive old hickory (that seemed to drop nuts all the time!)  So we, as parents, said No, not now.


Fast forward again to this house.  Our current home has a yard that has not just one, but two spots that would be perfect for a pool.  We even had a pool builder (Is that what you call them?) come to the house, look at the locations, and give us an estimate.

Greenwich CT

Too expensive for our budget at the time. So again we said no to our children (and ourselves as well.:()

But my husband did the next best thing.

small pool  Ted Yarwood

He built a deck in our back yard strong enough to hold the weight of a pool.  (It really helps that he is an engineer.:))  And we put an above ground pool on that deck for a number of summers.


Summers when our children would skip through the house, grab a towel off a shelf, run through the porch yelling, ” We’re going out to the pool,” slamming the screen door behind them.  Summers when their hair turned bleach blonde and their skin turned golden bronze. Summers when the August birthday children had pool parties to celebrate those birthdays.:)

above ground pool done

I did not have fresh butterbeans to shell while watching my children like my mother did while keeping up with us, but I did have magazines and novels to read while sitting under the whirling blades of a ceiling fan on our screened porch…keeping an eye on our kiddos while they splashed about and played Marco Polo.

pools showerNew England Home May/June 2008

Those summer days are long gone now. The pool I enjoyed as a child has been closed for many years.  Our deck pool has been taken down.  Our sons prefer being in a river or lake over swimming in a pool, and our daughter would rather “lay out” and work on her tan now.  But I, on the other hand, would rather be on a float in that cold water.  So here is the pool I am currently enjoying this summer.:)


But I still wish we had one in our own backyard.  I would love the one 4 photos up (with the little boy in it.)  It looks small enough to be manageable but still refreshing (and maybe affordable?)

Maybe one day…


So I hope you have enjoyed all the pool eye candy here today, and I hope you are having a fun summer with time to relax and splash about. I’ve been wondering…Do you have a pool at your house?  If so, how much time does it take to keep it up? Would you do it again if you had the choice, and would you buy a house if it had a pool in the yard?  I’d love to know.:)

Stay cool!
Until next time…
a signature

p.s.  I forgot to tell you something!…I am still in the land of techno troubles…brand new computer here with a touch screen that I am having a devil of time figuring out how to use.  I also have not been able to add Talk of the House email to it, so there are plenty of things to do and learn! Oh, and there is still NO internet at the again I am doing a post away from there. (I think we put the cart before the horse on this one!) Anyway, please be patient with my slowness as I am learning how to use this thing!

Cheri - July 9, 2015 - 12:34 pm

My hubby would LOVE a pool and I am on the fence. We had only one pool and it was above ground with a beautiful deck hubby built around it, but it seemed like all MY time was spent cleaning it. Every time I thought I could get in and relax the girls came home with friends and that idea was blown out of the water. Now we are empty nesters, girls and grands live in other states but we are on an almost 2 acre wooded lot. We are still contemplating the idea of one though.
It is usually the other way around Cheri! But in all the other comments here, it seems the husband does the pool cleaning not the that would explain your feelings. I think you would get your time to relax in the pool now that your children have moved away from home. Perhaps you could invest in one of those self cleaning systems that might make it easier to keep up. Good luck with your decision!

Dawn - July 9, 2015 - 1:11 pm


I love all of the pool pictures! I too would love a pool and think I could keep up with a small one in the summer time. It’s just a matter of expense at this time. I am sorry to hear that you are still having technology troubles! That is so very annoying, I know! Good luck with all of that!
Hi Dawn! I’m glad you liked the pool eye candy. Wish we both had one of those lovely pools. Like you, expense is the factor (more than the upkeep) at this time in our lives. Thanks for the condolences on the tech troubles. They ARE annoying! (especially since I do not know how to fix them!)

LJ - July 9, 2015 - 1:21 pm

I missed you sorely and I bet we all can relate to “techno troubles”.
The first house we bought in CA after moving here from home state of WV had an in-ground pool and YES, it was a lot of work, a lot of expense, and a lot of fun. We lived there 4 years (kids went from age 4 and 3 to 8 and 7). They were avid swimmers and divers. I had had them in swim classes at the Y from ages 2 and 1. All houses since have not had pool….My son’s house has a pool but he’s selling it (a fixer/flipper). I do miss the ease and convenience of just going out back door and there’s the water and I miss hearing the shouts of fun from kids play…ah, so nice. However, at this point in my life it isn’t practical to put in an in-ground pool at this house. But if I did it too would be the same choice as you, Kelli,…I like the one with the little boy in the picture.
So glad I was missed! That was great that you had your children swimming at such a young age. It is a life skill everyone should know how to do. A small pool would do us here (I think.)…unless of course we one day have a lot of grandchildren. But for now it would be a wonderful place for my husband and me to relax and cool off.

Donna - July 9, 2015 - 1:25 pm

We have a pool! In New England so our time can be short. We have a heater so we usually open up around Mother’s Day and the latest we closed it was Oct. 15th. Now with kids grown we usually close it down in Sept. It is a unite pool with a pebble tech finish and natural stone decking. the grands come to use it and after working in the garden we jump in to cool off. the biggest work is opening and closing and there are pool guys you can hire. Hubby prefers to do it himself. I have never regretted putting it in. Nothing like coming home to the grandchildren swimming or everyone here on a Sunday just kicking back swimming and enjoying each other. There are also self cleaning pools too
It sounds like you make very good use of your pool Donna. Jumping in after yard work sounds great! I have often commented I would like to do the same thing after working around here (if we had one.) Thank you for sharing your positive experience with a pool. Glad to hear it is not all work work work to keep it up. :)

Carol Ann - July 9, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Thank you for sharing your childhood pool memories. You are a great writer and the pictures just make it come to life. I too share your desire to have a small, manageable pool in the backyard. It would just have to be wonderful to be able to swim at midnight or as the sun is coming up. Thank you for preserving through your technical difficulties…we love your posts!
Goodness! Thank you for the compliments Carol Ann! A midnight swim WOULD be so wonderful. I’m so glad you love the posts. (I love that you read them! :) )

Donnamae - July 9, 2015 - 1:37 pm

Love all those pool pics. I too, spent summers at our community pool…I got the same excuse…too much work! When my sons were little…we had the requisite inflatable pool. Later, when they were old enough to ride their bikes unsupervised…we joined a nearby pool for the summer months. Our neighbors have a pool…and hardly ever use it…go figure? Although…our summers as of late have been pretty cool. Backyard pools in Wisconsin aren’t very practical considering the climate…unless they are indoors! 😉
Yes, Donnamae, I too would think a Wisconsin pool would not be used as much as one here in Georgia. How sad that your neighbors do not take advantage of their pool. (Especially when there are those of us who dearly want to use one!) An indoor pool for you is the answer. :)

Lee - July 9, 2015 - 2:45 pm

its now time to put the pool in. You have a great-nephew who wants to come swim!
That’s true! You should put one in too! :)

Gina - July 9, 2015 - 2:51 pm

We had an above ground pool once. We got it on a whim and it wasn’t well thought out and it ended up the water was always cold and we just didn’t use it enough to keep it. We should have gotten a smaller one when our children were younger and cut some trees. But, you know hind sight is 20/20. 😛 I can’t imagine we’ll ever get another one. Haha, unless for grandchildren in the future. :) That is probably when you’ll get one too. :) I love all those pool pictures you shared though. Beautiful.
It does require some forethought…like how to level the ground for it. (That is why we ended up with a deck to hold ours.) Glad you liked all the pool eye candy Gina!
Happy Friday!

Louvina - July 9, 2015 - 3:35 pm

I always wanted a pool home so when we moved to FL with a 4th grader and a 9th grader– a pool with a nice split plan house was what we were looking for and we were able to have one while the girls were at the right age to enjoy! We had pool parties and truly enjoyed every minute of it. Poor hubby had the job of cleaning and maintaining it! When the girls were in college we moved to a new home without a pool and always talked about having one built. Then we moved to the lake house with jet skies and pontoon and a beach for parties and bonfires. So many memories of family gatherings. Now we love to visit the condo on the beach. Still at times I think, maybe a small pool or even a fishpond would be nice!! But probably not!! Love your pool for the summer– and I think your home would be a perfect place to have a nice pool — for the future grandchildren and your retirement years!!
It sounds like you had a pool at the perfect time for your children, but I do think one now would be nice as well. Your granddaughter would enjoy it! But then again, a lake is pretty hard to beat!! (And the beach too. :) ) We do have a good place to put one..right off our deck. Just have to see how this retirement money stretches!

ChrisC - July 9, 2015 - 3:47 pm

I live in Florida,and yes we most definitely have a pool.A necessity in Florida! Screened in.Another necessity.We have a salt chlorinator,and automatic pool cleaner and a solar heater.It takes hardly any time to take of.I think the pool cage takes care of the dirt,etc.We have the water tested once a month,and all it usually needs is some acid and a bag of pool salt(maybe every other month.Well worth it.Plus the grand kiddoes love it(we have a waterfall,too!).
If I lived in Florida I would most certainly want a pool too. You could use it almost year round in certain parts of the state! A screened in pool would be great for night swimming. I would love that! And a waterfall! Your pool sounds just perfect Chris. I’ll be right over! LOL

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 9, 2015 - 4:10 pm

Shelling butter beans at the club. It doesn’t get more Southern. Did she drink an ice-cold Coca-Cola from a little glass bottle too?

Love the pools. I remember having to take dreaded swimming lessons at the YMCA so I could save my poor Mother who is terrified of the water!
I don’t think she had her Coke in the lovely glass bottle since they did not allow glass around the pool. (But I LOVE those bottles!) I should have included swimming lessons in my post! Darn it. They only had them at like 8:00 in the morning, and that water was FREEEEEEZING! But all 3 of us took lessons. I think it is very noble that you took them in order to save your mom. (Perhaps your mom should have taken them as well. :) )

classic•casual•home - July 9, 2015 - 6:14 pm

well THAT felt like a mini vacation! We have had pools with two previous homes and loved them…especially with kids. It can be expensive–but so nice when we lived in Florida!
Hooray for mini vacations! (even if they are virtual!) I thought it would be expensive but definitely worth the cost. I know we would all use it a lot – including my mother who loves to swim. And it is hot enough here that it could be used from April to October.

Katrina - July 9, 2015 - 7:57 pm

Love, love, love this post! One of my summer favorites besides a trip to the beach is being at the pool! I am so glad to hear that you belong to a pool!! Sometimes I feel a little silly showing up at our pool with no kiddos and just a bag full of good magazines and diet cokes but of course that doesn’t stop me from going! Last September I was the last person to leave on the last day the outdoor pool was open for the season. I was at the pool today and I overheard a great quote from a mama in the pool with her small son. Son, “Mama, what time is it ?”
Mom, “son, IT’s summer and there IS no time until August 24!” ( that’s when NC goes back to school) Have fun at the pool, Kelly!!!
Thank you Katrina! I think swimming is great for your health no matter what your age. I bet if they did a study they would find that swimmers live longer. :) How funny that you were the last to leave on the last day! That is great. Love the comment the mom made. August 24! Wow! Our schools here will have been in session for over 3 weeks by then. :( North Carolina does it right!

Sue - July 9, 2015 - 8:17 pm

We have a pool in Texas Kelly. I think it is a necessity with this heat. My husband does all the work and it really doesn’t’ take much time at all. His biggest time allotment is cleaning the leaves in the fall. If we were to build our own pool we would design a pool that could have a cover on it for the messy seasons. Our pool is open year round. We have an attached spa and when it warms up you can find me in the pool or spa every day with my book. Wouldn’t be summer with out the pool:-) And the grandchildren love it.
I would agree with you Sue. With the heat there should be a pool! Thank you for the info on the need for a pool cover. I will definitely keep that in mind if we venture into putting in a pool. How wonderful you have an attached spa with yours! I would never want to get out and do those things life requires…like cook, clean, and wash the laundry!
Enjoy your Friday!

Joan - July 9, 2015 - 9:32 pm

I have missed your posts, but this one made up for it. I have many memories of being in the water at my grandmother’s lake cottages, but no pool. All the commotion and noise was a bit much, but loved going to the lakes and playing with friends on the beaches and in the water.
You always find the most beautiful feature. I know you will get your computer issues worked out. Be patient with yourself. We will all be here. Besides, most of us are so busy with summer outdoor work and activities there isn’t time to read a lot of posts anyway.
Stay cool and happy.
Aw thanks Joan! I am happy that you enjoyed the post. A grandmother with a lake cottage…it doesn’t get much better than that! I hope you are right about the computer issues. I am SO not a tech person, and my tech boys are not around to bail me out this time. :(
Enjoy your summer activities!

kathy - July 10, 2015 - 1:00 am

Guess what we had for dessert last night…left over homemade vanilla ice cream topped with orange sherbet. Probably the best creamsicle EVER! Yes, I would love to have a pool but my husband thinks he would have to do all of the work. I like the one with the rock work and flowers. I think it is the fourteenth one. I have fond pool memories of times spend at our next door neighbor’s pool and fun pool memories from the beach house w/pool that my extended family rented for several years. (This is our first summer of not renting that house with the pool and I miss it.) Really, Kelly, you should put in a pool and decorate it beautifully and share it with all of us. It would just be part of your blogging job.
YUM! What a super idea for a dessert. I can see us copying that one now!! (Thanks for the idea Kathy. :) ) That stonework one had some MAJOR landscaping going on with it, didn’t it? A beach house with a pool sounds like a perfect home for summer…vacation or permanent residence. So sorry you are not staying in that house again this year. Yes, we should put in a pool. My husband said that perhaps all my blog readers would like to make a donation towards a pool fund! LOL Or…maybe I could write it off as a tax expense for my blogging “business.” Wishful thinking…
Happy Friday!

Margaret - July 10, 2015 - 8:57 am

I could never live with out a pool. In the Capital Region of NYS, we only have 3 or 4 months of pool weather; but our weather can be very hot and humid. When I bought my home, I was not able to install a standard pool. But since I did not live far from my parent’s home, going there for our family pool was never an issue. Then I found a very unique pool. It is not a tradiotional above ground pool and requires no digging. The city in wich I live has zoning guidlines for standard pools, but this pool can be taken down quickly and moved. It stays up all year and can withstand Winter. It is a nice size, 10 feet by 12 feet and 4 1/2 feet deep. Having a pool my whole life, upkeep is never been an issue. It is just one more household chore. I don’t spend any more time caring for it than I do any other part of my home. Having the opportunity to slip out the back door on a warm Summer night and jump in the pool before bed makes it worth it.
It is hot and humid here as well Margaret, and yes that makes a pool needed! Your pool sounds just perfect! And like you said, it would be wonderful to have a swim before bedtime. Thank you for sharing your positive views on having a pool. :)

Robin - July 10, 2015 - 9:50 am

Yes we have a pool and I would never want to live in a house without one!!! We love it and my husband says it’s not really that hard to take care of, so it’s a breeze for me!!!

Love your blog,
That is good to know Robin! Thank you for your input. It seems that everyone says, “My husband takes care of it.” But I am glad to hear that your husband thinks it is not hard to do. I will pass that info on to my husband! :)
So happy you are enjoying the posts here. Thank you for reading!

Marianne in Mo. - July 10, 2015 - 2:54 pm

We had an above ground pool at our old house, a lot of work! But thankfully my hubs and daughters cleaned it most of the time. We don’t have one now, but our youngest daughter has an in ground one – thanks to the generosity of my brother in law. He lives in an apartment above their detached garage. They bought the property together to benefit both of them, plus daughters family. Five acres, house for daughters family, separate space for uncle (single) and room to play for the grands. I want to move in! 😉
They say the pool is not hard to maintain, and I have heard in ground are easier to take care of than above ground. I never learned to swim, even though I tried many times! I almost drowned in a river as a teen, so have a fear. But I love looking and hearing water anyway!
Good grief! That is terrible that you almost drowned Marianne! I do wish you could learn to swim. It is such a good thing to know (as I am sure you are aware.) It sounds like your family has a good thing going with their land, living spaces, and pool. How smart! And thanks for the info on taking care of the pool. I will keep it in mind when we get serious about a pool.

DiAnne - July 12, 2015 - 9:02 am

I enjoyed looking @all these photos. We do have a pool. They are a lot of work but worth it . For some reason my comments aren’t all posting. I wonder what I am doing wrong.

Eileen - July 14, 2015 - 12:08 am

Outdoors rooms, outdoor showers – inviting garden spaces make the experience magical and so inviting … Happy Summer!
Thank you for dropping by to read the post Eileen! Yes, all those outdoor spaces add to the season’s joys.
Happy Summer to you too!

Debra - July 15, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Oh, what I would give for a built in pool. Love that Midwest Living picture. Screened porch, pool, built in exterior fireplace. Love it! So many great pictures here Kelly. We did the local pool passes for years when the kids were small. My husband finally caved after the first two kids were out on their own and purchased us an above ground pool. We also purchased a new hot tub as well. I have to say we use the hot tub more than the pool. Last winter was the first year we did not keep the hot tub up an running all year. The winter was just too bitterly cold. Vortex Midwest!! My husband usually opens and closes the pool down for the season, but I maintain both. Yes, I am the pool girl, but I don’t mind. Now, if our home was only lakeside. :(

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