Friday, May 28, 2010

on holiday at The Boathouse...

I love term "holiday" versus "vacation", don't you?

It makes any trip sound so much more sophisticated and elegant.

Last week I found my dream place to holiday...and I would like to call up the rental agency, Beach Studios, rattle off my credit card number to them, and book this beauty for the whole summer. (As long as I am on the other side of the globe when the credit card bill arrives, I know I will have a fabulous time!)

I am a farmgirl that loves the sea...

Since I find myself landlocked here in the Midwest for the next handful of years, this is how I choose to decorate my home. I want to surround myself with the feeling I get when I am on vacation by the ocean. If only I could achieve something so beautiful yet relaxed in my home...I would be a happy soul.

Without further ado...I give you

 wasn't that nice??

I can feel the sea air and sand between my toes....

Wishing you a weekend just as wonderful...more answers to your question on Monday!

(all photos via Beachouse Studios)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the farmgirl gets personal...part #1

So, I gave you all the opportunity to ask questions of me. Anything you were wanting to know...and I have to tell you girls, you have made me laugh out loud so many times this past week while I was reading your comments and emails! Seriously, how do you come up with some of this stuff?? It was so much fun reading through each and every question...and secretly I am glad to know I am not the only one that has weird and totally random thoughts about just who the girl is behind the blog I am reading. So in the interest of keeping it real, here are the honest...and sometimes totally bizarre...and maybe even boring...answers to your questions.

Now remember - I said these are honest answers. So don't judge! 
This post is dedicated to the questions of a "personal" we will call this part one of the "Useless Information about the Urban Farmgirl" post. Still to come are the answers to your questions on my business...and my personal decorating style.

So, lets just dig right in, shall we?

Where on earth have I been lately?
I apologize for my lack of posts, I really didn't think anyone would miss lil' ol thank you for making a girl feel good! Where shall I start?? For the most part, I have been buried under a pile of furniture and had to paint my way out. After my first show of the season I was hit with about a dozen custom orders so have been working way more than I like to when the weather is so nice outside! Other than that, I have been trying to finish the reno of my sunroom so I can give you the down low on the before and after, clean my house, install new landscaping around my house since I tore out the old in haste when we bought this place, finsih the office reno I started months ago, learn the new fancy camera I bought so I can actually take a photo on something other than the standard setting, get 70-80 pieces of furniture painted for my June show that is next weekend, paint new bedroom furniture for myself, make dinner every night...oh and I just returned Sunday night from a week long junking roadtrip across the Midwest.

Whew! I am tired just writing that! I think I may have a plate that is a little too full now that I see it in black and white.

If you could have only one room in which to live, and only one piece of furniture in that room, and only one color with which to paint, only one magazine or book to read, and only one food you could eat . . . what would they be?
Room - my bedroom.
Piece of furniture - bed.
Color to paint with - white, Cloud White to be exact.
One magazine or book to read - ONE?? I need my giant stack of decorating magazines or I would just curl up and die.
One food to eat - Cheeseburger with everything from Portillos (you Chicago girls will know what I mean!)

. Do I make my bed every day? (I can't believe how many of you wanted to know this one!)
I try, and most days I do. As crazy as it sounds, I swear I sleep better when I get into a made bed at night. Just one of my "quirks" I guess. I just seems to make the whole day go smoother when it starts out in an organized fashion...and to me that means fluffed pillows and a down comforter folded at the end of my bed. Go figure.

 What are your 3 favorite smells?
Dryer sheets, sun tan lotion and my husband's cologne. And I have a serious thing for walking past the Abercrombie store at least 3 times while I am at the mall just so I can suck in that heavenly scent they pump out of there. Whatever that smell is, if it was in my home I would never leave. Ever.

Have you ever had an encounter with a celebrity?
I have had a few, actually. But I have one that will nag me for the rest of eternity. Some of you may already know of my Elvis-like love for Kenny Chesney. I totally understand the obsession people had with Elvis. Now let me is the music...I am not one of those crazy women that wishes to be the next Mrs. Kenny Chesney or anything like that...but his music can instantly take me away. To another time, another places and to memories I thought were long forgotten. And I am not talking about his radio hits, those are meant to appeal to the masses and all have a bit of a party vibe. Now, I love those as much as the next Kenny fan, but it is the music that has never hit the airwaves that really gets me. His songs about high school, small towns, freedom in your life, following your life's dream and appreciating where you came from. If you have not heard anything from him other than whats on the radio...please get a cd and listen. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Anywhoo...on to my "encounter". I was working one day at our local YMCA. (for the benefit of the free membership that I somehow never found the time to use.) It was a boring Thursday, hardly anyone was working out that day. I was sitting at the front desk, and a good looking man walked up to me and asked if there were towels available he and his friends could use. I recited the rehearsed and well-used line..."I'm sorry, those are just for members of our "special" locker room. You have to pay to be a member of that locker room, then you can use the towels. Otherwise you need to bring your own". He was polite and said "Oh, ok...thank you"...turned around and said "Kenny, they don't have any towels we can use" and left. That tall drink of water was David Farmer, his tour manager. Those big blue eyes are now burned into my memory. I was speechless. I was numb. I wanted to just fall on the floor and die. I had no idea that the man standing in the middle of a circle of good looking men with beautiful southern accents was Mr. Kenny Chesney himself.

I refused Kenny a towel!? ME??? The girl that listens to him tirelessly every day of her life, and knows what song of his is playing just by hearing the first note?? I would have dried the man's sweat myself!!...all while thanking him for allowing me 2 minutes and 54 seconds of pure bliss while I listen to Boston, Old Blue Chair, No Where to Go No Where to Be, Be As You Are, The Life...I could have gone on and on.

And the kicker? I knew he was in town! I had tickets to see him that night. How could I not put together the tour bus in the parking lot with the southern accents??. Geesh. I am hopelessly a dork.

 What is your favorite travel destination?
Oooh...that is a tough one! I am girl that has a serious case of wander-lust! For me traveling in a need...not just a want. I can't pick just one, so I will give you my top 5 within the United States. 

 I fell in love with Sedona, AZ last year and I can't wait to go back. It is ridiculously beautiful there - the desert is gorgeous. Santa Barbara, CA is at the top of my list, too. I love going "Up North" (that is what we Illinoisans call Wisconsin) with my family. It is such a great time when we rent a cabin on a lake and spend all week swimming at the beach, riding the jet-skis, fishing and hanging out by the fire. I am never more relaxed than I am when I am there. Maybe it is because there is no cell-service and no internet! I love the vibe of Washington DC, it is a perfect escape for a long weekend. And of course, Disneyworld. Call me crazy, but I love that place. Especially at night, and I LOVE going with my sisters because we laugh so stinkin' hard the whole time we are there.

 Did you play a sport in High School?
Yes, I was on the team of every sport my school offered for girls which was Vollyball, Basketball and Track. Volleyball was my first love...I am tall and could really jump back then so loved playing the middle hitter position. Basketball kept me in shape, and in Track I was a jumper...not a runner. I did the High Jump and really loved the Long Jump. I was so tall and skinny back then so I could really fly! Ahhh...I now know the meaning of the phrase "those were the days"!

 Are you a glass half-emplty or half-full girl?
Ooohh, SueAnn...thank you for asking this one! This is one of those questions that really makes you accountable. you know? On a normal day, I am a "glass half-full" girl". I totally believe in making it happen, o matter what the task at hand is. I have to be honest, though there are times that I work soooo much...and I can't say no to anyone or I get a little overwhelmed and I totally become that "glass half-empty" girl. Ugh. It is an ugly trait and I am working on making that one better!

 If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play "you"?
Sanrda Bullock. I love everything about her. 

What movie charater are you most like?
Most recently, when the movie Blindside was out, I got bombarded with phone calls and text messages saying "Oh my gosh, you are sooooo Leighanne Tuohy (the mom from the movie). I am not sure if that is a flattering comparison, but I guess I see a little resemblance. I am totally a grab life by the boot straps and make it happen kind of girl, but without the cool southern accent.

Do I like to cook?
YES! I love it, actually. It is just the two of us, but I make dinner...from scratch...every night. Nothing out of a box, and everything as fresh and organic as I can. It takes a little planning and prep time, but for me it is so worth it. Crazy, right? We just eat the leftovers for lunch. Tomorrow it is enchiladas if anyone would like to stop by for dinner!

 Do you think you will ever move out of the Midwest?
Hmmm...that is a tough one. I really am a Midwest girl at heart. I love the change of seasons, but I wish the cold ones wouldn't last so long! My husband and I travel quite a bit, so I get my fill of other areas of the country that way. We love to explore the world, but at the end of the trip we are both always so glad to be home. We live in a perfect location for us. We are in a city that is not too large, not too small...we are an hour from a major airport which makes travel easy since we do that often. We do plan on living part of the year in another location after my husband retires. It won't be the same location every year, but we plan on living part of the year in various places around the US.

But I do dream daily of living in a little beach town in California. I have had that dream for as long as I can remember.

What is the happiest thing in the world I could wake up and discover?
Geesh, these questions are tough! I had to decide on this one if I should go humanitarian and say something like "the happiest thing would be world peace" or totally shallow and say "waking up to find that I once again wear size 6 jeans".
 Sorry girls, I gotta keep it real. So I am going for the jeans.

Am I a Martha Stewart fan?
Yes. And no. The empire she has built is amazing! Can you believe she sleeps only 3 hours a night? Yikes! I would be crabby and a tad bit bossy, too I guess! I am always impressed by her attention to detail and how she was the leader in making women know it was ok to love your home and not apologize for wanting to make it something you love and enjoy. And I love, love, love all the crafty ideas she offers on her website. The style of her "wares" is totally me. Simple. Practical. And with just a tiny hint of retro style. However, I find her to be a little "stiff" which is totally opposite of me! She would be appaled at my dry sense of humor and casual approach to everything. I have a feeling we would not be BFF's if we were ever stuck on a deserted island together. Then again, she could probably built a yacht out of twigs and coconut shells and get us off that island all while narrating how she does it with perfect grace and style. Hmmmm...

Do I have a lucky number?
Why yes, I do! It is the number 8. Every major event in my life seems to revolve around the number 8. Weird, I know but my husband and I are always amazed how it works out like that. I think it all started because I am the 8th child in my family. I collect vintage number 8s, so if anyone out there has an old metal one looking for a new home...drop me an email!

Do I wake up to a buzzer or radio?
Neither one. I could not even tell you how to set the alarm on our clock. Since I stopped working in the "real world" 10 years ago, I totally ignore the time and wake up naturally. My friends with kids hate me for this reason. But, let me clarify and say I never sleep in. I feel guilty all day if I oversleep. I have a serious hatred for wasting precious minutes of life sleeping. Wait - didn't I just talk about something like this in a previous Martha Stewart question? Oh man, is that the road I am going down now?

How often to I vacuum?
This one cracks me up! I don't think anyone has ever asked me that! I don't have a stitch of carpet in my house, but I do have a dog and 2 cats, so technically I need to do it every day. But is every 2-3 days. I even have a Roomba. Have you ever tried one? You know the little round vacuum that goes around your house by itself. Totally worth every stinkin' penny. I have tried a lot of vacuums, and I would serioulsly do an infomercial for the Roomba if they called me. It is amazing what that little thing picks up!

Do you have any brothers and sisters?
I do! Lots of them, actually. I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters and I am the youngest. I remember my grade school principal asking me on my last day of 5th grade if I was sure there were not any more kids at home. He had one kid from our family in his grade school every year, for his whole career. He retired that summer. Ironic? I'm not sure.

Well girls, that seems long enough for one day.

Stay tuned...more answers to your questions to come this week!

(photos via my favorite website in the whole me pretty)

Monday, May 17, 2010

101 things that make me happy...

I love a roadtrip.

They are one of the things that make me a happy girl.

Watching the miles of road roll by.

Cranking the tunes and singing off key without a care in the world.

Eating a little diners that still serve pop in a glass bottle.

Ahhhh...I just can't wait!

Tomorrow I am embarking on a tour of the Midwest that has me giddy with excitement!

My sweet husband and I will be hitting every little antique shop, junk store and barn sale we can find in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. We do a lot of traveling throughout the year, but there is something I love about the unknown moments that take place when you load up the car and find where the miles take you.

While I am professing my love of the old-fashioned summer roadtrip...I also want to thank Charlotta over at Space for Inspiration for bestowing on me the Happy 101 Award. Just because I am a rule-breaker by nature...I am doing my post a little different from the traditional Happy 101 post. I have decided to name 101 things that make me happy because the over-achiever in me cannot stop at just 10.

So, sit back and relax. This may take you a while...

101 things that make me happy....

making lists
light filtering through white curtains
creaky wood steps
flea markets
the sound of old typewriters
dining al fresco
the rat pack
my dog jake
old glass door knobs
grilling out on the back of a pontoon boat
the farmhouse I grew up in
gravel roads
white sheets fresh off the clothesline
pencil starfish
love letters from WWII
camping at state parks
decorating magazines
old sliding pocket doors
vintage Schwinn bikes
down comforters
big screen tvs
road trips
old chippy paint
being home
the smell of fresh cut grass
subway tile
the ocean
squishy pillows
old crystal chandeliers
the smell of dryer sheets
shopping a cluttered junk shop
lake superior's shoreline
vanilla candles
the sound of crickets
outdoor summer concerts
cabinets with lots of little drawers
the smell of suntan lotion
white lights in trees
spending time “up north”
the slam of an old screen door
corn-on-the-cob fresh off the grill
jackson hole, wyoming
antique diamond rings
a good hair day
old fireplace mantles
wrap around porches
the number 8
giving gifts
the las vegas strip
u-pick strawberries
every single song by kenny chesney
the smell of cooking onions & garlic
blueberry muffins
fall leaves
the sound of lawnmowers from down the street
playing cards by the outdoor fireplace in summer
a good yard sale
cute elderly couples
someone saying ‘thank you’
white english ironstone
new car smell
the sound of rain on a metal roof
finding a bargain
beach towns in california
singing in the car
falling asleep with the windows open
weekend roadtrips
a success story
planning a vacation
being spontaneous
an ice cream sundae with peanut butter & pecans
the amazing race
100% Grape juice popsicles
laughing until I cry
buying cherries at a roadside stand
michigan sand dunes
fabulous sunglasses
lemon bars
a hug from my husband
the smell of fresh ground coffee
an old Ford truck with faded paint and a little rust
my dad’s hands
wedding cake flavor ice cream
walking around washington dc at night
jeans that are actually long enough for me
old white dairy barns
the smell of a campfire
dipping a new paintbrush in a fresh can of paint
tjmaxx, marshalls & homegoods
all white covers on a bed

Have a happy week girls...I will take lots of photos while I am away! Wish me luck that I find lots of goodies!

(both photos via Flickr)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

inquiring minds...

I was laying in bed one night last week...going over the day...planning my next day's projects in my head...and my mind drifted to my blog. I started to think about the people I have met, some of which I have become such good friends with over the last 6 months. I thought about how much I now know about these girls that were total strangers to me this time last year.

So then it made me much do you all know about me? I don't tend to let much out about myself on my blog...or at least I don't think so. I keep it pretty basic.

Before I could go to sleep that night, I had to get out of my bed, fire up the computer and add a little blurb on my sidebar asking if anyone had a question for me. Well, needless to girls have totally knocked my socks off! I have received some of the best questions I have ever been asked in my whole entire life! You are quite an inquisitive bunch, I tell you!

Some are just flat out funny...some are a bit on the serious side...and some are just waaaay too private to go into on this forum! But I love reading each and every one of them. But, since my inbox has been flooded with emails I am asking for the rest of your inquiries to come to me in the form of a comment on this post.

So come on girls, hit me with it.

Ask away.

Anything you want to know...just ask!

There may even be a little prize for the person that asks my very favorite question!

I will answer in a post later this week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

a big thank you!

I am doing cartwheels...over-the-moon happy to be featured over here today!

The super sweet Kristin was kind enough to spread the love today with my little ol' blog as her 'Friday Feature'

THANK YOU KRISTIN..what a good friend you are!

(Photos via Flickr...for no reason other than I love each and every one of them.)

Happy Weekend, girls!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

we have winners!!!

You girls sure know how to show the love!

Making so much change in your life is a nail-biting time...but thanks to all of you I now know I have done the right thing! Thanks for making a girl feel so darn good!

Now...on to the fun stuff...WE HAVE WINNERS for the giveaway!

The lucky girl that is going to find a burlap and ruffled linen runner in her mailbox from Tara over at Blondeinsc is....

Shannan...from Flower Patch Farmgirl!

I swear she was not chosen just because she also declares herself a fellow farmgirl! I love her blog. Plain and simple - she cracks me up. She is one witty gal and I look forward to her posts every day. And those kiddos of hers are just so darn cute! I am sure you already know her...but if not...check out her blog, your day will get off to a much better start with a laugh or two.

Now onto the fabulous pillow slip from Andrea's shop Faded Plains...

Melanie from Pretties & Posies!

I am so crazy in love with Melanie's blog. Have you seen it?? If not...go there now. She is amazing and her talent just rocks my world! Hmmm...maybe I should hire her to come stay with me for a couple of weeks...I have a lot of rooms that could use her skills!

Email your addresses I can get your goodies on the way!

And for the rest of you lovely girls that were kind enough to leave me a comment and follow me to my new home...I have another giveaway coming up be sure to keep checkin'!

I am off to start a remake of a dresser for my bedroom that I think is going to be an amazing before and I am going to try to remember to take photos this time! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

last day to enter my giveaway!

Don't is the last day to enter the giveaway I have going on to celebrate my new blog!

Check out my previous post and get your name could be the lucky winner that has this arrive in their mailbox...

or this...

Good luck girls! I am in awe of how wonderfully supportive you have been of my 'blog switch'.

*Be sure to leave a comment on my previous post - not this post - to be entered in the drawing*

Saturday, May 1, 2010

a grateful giveaway....

Welcome to my new blog!...and since I feel like celebrating the occassion...I am having my very first giveaway, too!

(If you would like the long-winded explanation of why I have made this nail-biting leap of faith and changed my blog and business name keep on reading...otherwise skip to the end of this post for the giveaway details!)


I am so grateful to have found this world I call 'blogland'...

I am grateful for so many things it has brought to me in the short time I have been doing it. It has given me an outlet to share my little busniess with you and it offers endless inspiration for my life and home.

But most of all...I am eternally grateful for the new friends I have made. People I never knew existed, but yet somehow...some way...I was lucky enough to meet these wonderful girls and they have been just plain good to me for no reason at all. I feel so lucky.

I have been agonizing over the direction and "feel" of my little business for a couple of years now. I have such a secure audience, it was easy to get stuck in a rut. I felt like a machine...painting furniture day after day, always in the same style - never being able to afford the time to branch out and explore a slightly different style for my customers that I secretly had in my own home. I still love what got me here...but once in a while a girl needs to change, you know?

That brings me to two fabulous girls that have been so supportive of me these last few months...Tara & Andrea. For these two girls especially today, I am grateful.

 Tara is the girl behind the blog Blondiensc. It was the very first blog that I stumbled on during those early days of blogging when I was trying to figure out what this world was all about. The first post I read stopped me in my tracks and I knew this thing called a 'blog' was something I just had to be a part of. I love her incredibly decorated house, her love for life, her Little Punk and her Pool Man. Oh, and the fact that I covet her sweet life in a beach town and her way of picking the perfect music to match each post just sealed the deal that I was forever a follower.

Andrea totally turned me into a stalker of her blog, Faded Plains, when she introduced me to her vintage truck, Stella. Seriously, how can I not want to be the very best friend of a girl with a cool old truck like that?? We share the same style and love so many of the same things, one day we are going to turn the Midwest upside down...'picking' every barn down every gravel road we can find! I was so happy to find she lives rather close to me...did someone say roadtrip??

Both of these girls have been on the receiving end of more than a few of neurotic emails from me...constantly seeking reassurance of what I was doing. There were times I thought I was so insane for wanting to change me identity 10 years into the sucessful little career I have built. But each and every email I sent to them was answered with a boost of confidence and enthusiasm no one I know more personally could have matched.  And for that little gesture, I am grateful more than they know.

They have made me feel it is ok to start over. It is ok to finally stand up and say "hey...this is me" and be super excited to show the world what I have to offer. I remember my grandma watching a game show when I was little - at the end the announcer would ask something like "would the real Mary please stand up"...(no idea what that game show was)...but that useless bit of knowledge keep playing over and over in my mind the last 6 months. I feel like the real Mary has finally stood up.

 I am an Urban Farmgirl.

So that long explanation brings me to the annoncement that this is officially my new home - my new blog, Urban Farmgirl. To welcome you, I am offering a giveaway to all of my blog friends that are willing to take the time to follow me to my new home. Now on the the details...

 One lucky reader will get to adorn their table with one of Tara's gorgeous table burlap and linen table runners!

While I am in a celerating anniversary is Monday so I will be spreading the love by picking yet another reader to win one of these gorgeous pillow slips from Andrea's shop!

To be entered in the giveaway...

1. Become a follower of my new blog and leave me a comment letting me know you have become one!

2. If you blog about my giveaway in a post on your blog ~ I will enter your name twice, so be sure to leave me a comment to let me know if you mentioned it on your blog!
3. Add my new blog to your blogroll and I will put your name in a third time for an extra chance to win!

You have until midnight on Tuesday May 4th to enter ~ winners will be announced Wednesday morning!

I sincerely thank each and every one of you for coming over for a visit to my new home!