Our doggie update

Just a few pictures of the boys with our beloved Hunter!

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 {Photo taken by my amazing assistant Jenn last month, thanks Jenn for capturing this moment}

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{Henry gets so excited when Hunter actually “sits” for him when he says!}

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A dog is a friend. An unconditional friend.  Dog’s don’t say rude things to you or misunderstand anything, they don’t have bad moods even, they are just there and kind and love you and your kids.  I did this for Drew, but in doing so Hunter has blessed Henry and even me (except for the night he had an accident on one of my fave rugs, yes know i should have rolled them up but little rugs can easily be cleaned).

So here is what we do with Hunter:

  • we have a great groomer and trainer nearby (walking distance) that does the “fulminator treatment” with him shampoo and comb and it reduces his shedding I think, he is SO blonde and it gets everywhere but oh well we have swifter and lint rollers..and they have trained him a bit..he is part Lab and mouthy and rowdy but the boys tumble and play with him and he is so much happier inside with his pack!
  • Bones and toys to keep him from getting bored and chewing on fabrics!
  • Clipping nails and murphys oil really does help with any scratches on floors…and teach your kids to swifter swifter
  • we crate him when gone or at night and Texas has sunny days so he can still go outside for play time a lot even in winter, I do still believe that animals want to be outside in gorgeous weather especially a rowdy lab like Hunter
  • what I do struggle with is enough time to walk him..my oldest isn’t old enough to walk him alone so we do struggle to get enough exercise time in….

But he has lots of toys and we have a long hall and open space and we play a lot.  And its working (knock on wood) he is doing so good with “going” outside (though he seems to want privacy and won’t go quickly, drives me nuts  i have to leave him out alone to “go” and I never know for sure if he did…he has a huge bladder apparently.)

So any tips or thoughts on our Hunter….any doggies treats you think he might love..i am looking for the exact name of the one known on the streets as “doggie crack” to help with his fetching.  I did find the “Call of the Wild” food at Tractor Supply he seems to love.

So this year Hunter and a new normal are what our Christmas are about more than perfect decorations and wreaths on every window.

 I WILL be posting more photos of the True Blue Home Show Cottage, my creative Christmas energy and joy  have gone more there than in our home this year and that is okay.  Each year is different and its okay to just use a few “happy” decorations one year and not so much stuff.

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Honestly, I struggled with using my silhouette ornaments this year but they finally went on, didn’t feel like Christmas without them..yes Hunter needs one now!;;;And I love that this house has these natural columns and ledges and spots for the nativity  and little trees that are a bit out of reach but easy to see and enjoy! (Yes that is a toy soldier in the nativity, courtesy of my oldest)

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Bottom line…God is faithful, life throws us lots of curveballs, lots of storms brew and take us by surprise, but he is the SAME..yesterday, today and tomorrow and He loves us and our families, even via a dog! But most important, He sent a baby into the world, the Christ child, BECAUSE of these very storms whatever they may be.  He knew storms would come, he never promised EASY and he knew we needed (need) a Savior so he sent us one and that is why we celebrate Christmas! Pretty trees and wreaths commemorate THAT but of course they are not the source.  And the best part, when His son died and rose and went to be with the Father, God left his Holy Spirit to comfort us. So we have him here with us, Emmanuel “God with us!” Best story ever.

          In some ways this is the worst Christmas ever for ‘decorating Holly’ and there other deeper areas I can’t even cover here but for ‘soul Holly’ I will say I have never anticipated the Advent of our Lord more or understood it more or NEEDED it more. A WEARY WORLD REJOICES INDEED.

Do you feel weary?? Rest in the coming of our King, the birth of our Savior and THE HOPE OF GLORY!

We have a hope and a comforter y’all, lean in! 

“Basic” New Build

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In reality, not all homes are historic farmhouses or custom build. My friend and client Lauren, an architect herself with discriminating taste, found herself ready to plan a home for her large family with a basic “surburban type” builder.  Not her dream situation but Lauren is smart enough to realize the budget and the square footage were enough to “do something with” for her young family so she approached it with a grateful heart, with THE most amazing attitude, and resourceful and creative ideas. Because after all, it’s a new house y’all and she realized that…but when you have been educated and work in custom and you know what all is out there it’s a little hard not to want to incorporate all of that custom “top of the line” knowledge. But as I mentioned these type of basic builders are NOT custom, they typically do not allow changes.  The granite choice, even the paint colors are SET IN STONE….very limited! I am not even going to publish the builders name because they do not want to offer all of these choices, that is not what they do..they are not custom build.

BUT Lauren is the epitome of lovely and kind and she had a few inside connections and was able to talk them into a few small changes. Like polishing the concrete floors downstairs! Which at first I was like “ummm I’m not sure NO stain???” But Lauren had worked with a builder that had done this and done this well and boy was she right…it looks amazing! Score one for “not your average basic build!”

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She also made some good basic choices like choosing to do all white walls. Add moldings and case out doors. AND Being a design guru she knows LIGHT IS EVERYTHING and choosing to do SW Alabaster walls AND trim provides a true backdrop for all of the color she knew she would be adding with rugs and textiles and her FIVE gorgeous children! And black doors…black or painted doors always elevate and this small thing (she knows the painters thought she was crazy) instantly added class.  And that’s just Lauren…she homeschools five kids and cooks constantly and yet she is walking class…in the most unsnotty, Godly way.  Her humble self deprecating humor keeps you from disliking her even know she is amazing and gorgeous and thin to boot! (sorry Lauren just had to say it you are thebomb.com)

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I love this photo of the girls in the schoolroom.  The light is a knock off of the classic 3 arm french light by Serge Mouille. Sofa from Craigslist, IKEA billly bookcases line the walls with doors.

And the kitchen! No marble countertops and its still gorgeous! I can’t wait to add some color and fabric to windows!

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So most of the changes and arm twisting and cookie deliveries had to do with the kitchen of course!  Lauren was planning this on a budget…a subzero and professional range are not exactly budget but she scoured craigslist and the internet and found BOTH online…hours away but she got them and stored in her old garage for MONTHS.  The day those were installed I am sure she heard angels singing.  I love it when I see someone who actually cooks ALL DAY LONG and has a heart for hospitality gets these pricey items…she will truly use them! Fitting in to their basic builder cabinets wasn’t easy but patience, kindness and maybe cookies and brownies go a long way.  You def catch more flies with sugar than vinegar as shown here!

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Love the island.  Not sure how she got them to do the X but its awesome! Lights from Joss & Main, stools from amazon.  We will def being showing more of the kitchen down the road! (Once the children get off the island;) Notice the counter…again they aren’t marble but they look fine they really do the white subway and cabinets and hardware and appliances really set the tone..I can’t wait to show you more on her hardware etc. Notice how she used cup pulls on doors!

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Her wall of the back covers of “Cook’s Illustrated” look so good in these ribba frames..you can also really appreciate the trim work and alabaster paint and polished floors in these photos.  Lauren has a great tutorial she found on hanging ribba frames, shown here.

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And those rugs…she scours ebay sources like Mystical Rugs and Gallery99! See how she taped out even the rug…blue tape is her friend y’all…it keeps us from making costly sizing mistakes!

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We also didn’t love the curve of the sofa but its a huge sofa and fits so many people which she DOES love….so the fig tree from TALL PLANTS and the gorgeous lamps (TJMaxx yall) really distract from that curve.

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That fig is BIG, like 8-9 feet but the room needed it and candle the size.  They are so nice at Tall Plants and I am always amazed at the selection of topiaries, ferns and of course fiddle leaf figs..the day I was there last, they had two matching mega ones headed for the River Oaks Country Club. And they deliver around Houston.

These chairs will be slipcovered. Love that molding around fireplace.  I can’t wait to see what kind of art she creates for over mantle.  It will be abstract and have color.

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I love how she has taped out her plans to add more trim for a faux paneled wall look to dress up the white walls in a subtle way. The ottoman is from craigslist as is sofa…Lauren’s sister found it on Austin Craigslist..it is a restoration hardware piece that has been recovered custom and then listed on craigslist….Lauren should do a Craigslist commercial! It’s a Kelly Wearstler fabric…ok now we don’t like you Lauren!;;

Lauren’s style is def NEW TRADITIONAL with classic rugs and colors like blues mixed with a bit of her own modern art and chic lighting. She is the master at sourcing good sconces.

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I adore her master bath…the sconces are from Savoy House, Monroe Collection… and art from ebay! Absolute black granite was the only choice but wise choices on faucets and lights and backsplash saved the day.

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The kids look a little over the process but I love watching Lauren enjoy each step and get in no hurry making things perfect…she knows to get the bones right and move slowly doing things right the first time….so opposite my “lipstick on a pig” move fast tendencies…i love how my clients sharpen and teach me!

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Thank you Lauren and family for letting me share your home…Remember y’all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It takes time to build a thoughtful and collected home.  And that is okay. More than okay..it’s a blessing.

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