Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Big Reveal!

It's finally here!

We are ready to unveil the latest project from the sisters of

Southern in my Heart


Gourmet Meals for Less

Welcome to

At The Picket Fence

Why the Picket Fence?

Well, in our dream world, the 2 of us could walk out our doors and meet at the fence line. With coffee cups in hand, we could chat about our homes, our families, our faith and all of the crazy stuff of our lives.
But with thousands of miles separating us, this new blog will be our virtual Picket Fence and we hope you will consider meeting us there as well!

I hope you will come on by today and learn more about our dreams for this new site. You will even get to see video greetings from each of us! Yikes!

 So, don't wait...come on over right now and visit us
At the Picket Fence!

And, if you feel so inclined,
grab our Launch Party Button
to help spread the word!

Can't wait to see you!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Inspiration Friday Party No. 21!

Welcome one and all to

Inspiration Friday!

Wowee Zowee! Last week we set a new record for the number of
Link-ups to the party and I was overwhelmed with all of the fabulous ideas and heartwarming stories. There were posts about everything from furniture transformations to life transformations and that is what I love the most about this party.
You just never know what to expect!

I was especially thrilled to have many new guests join in the fun and in keeping with my tradition of mainly featuring newer bloggers I am going to be showing off some of those gals!

First up is Lori from Deming Design Studio.

She took this desk

And this plate rack

And transformed it into this

Eat your heart out Martha Stewart!
Isn't that just incredible?
Fabulous job Lori and thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Next up is this charming makeover from the Opulent Cottage.

With the cabinets already full of character

She added this chicken wire to make them feel even more at home at the Opulent Cottage!
Don't you just love that pop of red from her Fiesta Ware?
And I informed her that the toile lamp told me it wanted to come live over at my house for awhile.

Lastly, we have Robin from the Hanlon Family.

She took this dark kitchen with damaged cabinet fronts from this

To this!

I think that the little cutie patootie who snuck into the photo is really what makes this kitchen transformation extra special.

Look at the detail that she added over her sink!
Those are the kind of character enhancing elements that really make a space.

Thank you ladies for sharing your creativity and talent with us!

Hop over and visit them if you get a chance!

Now, what about this week?
What have you all been up to?

I know what I have been up to...and come Sunday it will be all ready for you to see!

But until then, let's get to the partying!

With so much on my plate this weekend, I would appreciate it so much if you all could take some time and visit a few of the other party-goers so that everyone knows how important and special they are here at Inspiration Friday!

You know the drill...

1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your email address but it will not be visible to anyone else.
2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else.

Thanks again for joining in the fun and I look forward to meeting you back here on Sunday!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Thursday, January 27, 2011 I lied!

I know, I know.

I said yesterday that I was going to unveil the project my sister and I are working on.
But, here's the thing...

We were afraid if we told everyone the name of our


prior to our official launch date


with super fun


starting on


and running


Well, some of you might just go over there now and try and sneak a peek. I'm not naming names but you know who you are!

We like to think of it like we are inviting you to a Blog-warming Party! But we aren't ready for you to stop by just yet.

There are still pillows to plump up
Floors to be swept
Toilets to be cleaned

We want you to be properly welcomed to our new home!

But, come Sunday, all of our favorite bloggy friends (that's YOU!) will get the welcome mat laid out for them.

Until then, this is all of our new home that we can let you see!


Be sure to come back tonight for

Inspiration Friday!

Last week was overflowing with wonderful ideas and inspiration and I know this week will be no different!

Thank you all for your sweet and encouraging words as we get ready to embark on a new leg of our Blogging Journey.
We are so thrilled you are coming along with us!

See you tonight!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beyond the Blog

I know you have all be waiting...

Holding your breath...

Anticipation building...

Trying to figure it out...

Lying awake at night just wondering what we are up to.




Ok, so maybe you haven't been THAT curious about what my sister and I are up to!

But, even if there was just the slightest bit of curiousity, I hope this will help a bit.

What does BEYOND THE BLOG mean?

It means that we are more than just women who
(ok, so maybe I don't actually do much crafting!)

And, as Heather and I began talking about how we would like to see our individual blogs grow and develop, we realized that we both had the same passion...
(But not in a creepy way)

We have discovered that the best part about this unique world of blogging, is the community in which we find ourselves.
The relationships and, dare I say, friendships we have developed with all of you have been an absolutely delightful surprise and blessing in this whole blogging experience.

Going beyond the blog means that we are getting ready to bring to you a place where community is celebrated and there is always something for everyone!
On any given day you might find...




Open Forum Discussions
Inspiration Friday
Sister Saturday
 (Don't laugh! I'm sure they will mostly be from Heather.)

Lots of collaboration between us and YOU
And just celebrating the craziness of Life!
(you know we are BIG into that!)

When is all this going to happen?
Well, come back tomorrow for our

Grand Unveiling!

And get ready to join us on our latest adventure!

We hope you will "Meet Us There"!
(hint, hint)


Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome to Wall-y World, Part 2!

Nope, I'm not talking about Wal-Mart.
Or Chevy Chase.

Last week, in Part 1 of Wall-y World, I showed you two spaces that I warmed up with just a few simple changes.

Today I'm showing you the second half of project, "warm up the walls!"

I always find it interesting how very dense I can be sometimes.
I'm sure this comes as no surprise to you!
I never really realized how bare these walls were on either side of the mirror, until I happened to snap this photo.

Wow! Cameras really play tricks on you, don't they?
This one makes my mirror look like it hasn't been cleaned for a long time.

 How crazy!

I was thinking about adding plates on either side...
But which kind?
I have a lot of blue and white in my house so that seemed like a natural choice but when I held this one up it was just too busy.

Then I found these beauties at, where else? TJ MAXX of course!
The large plates were $3.99 each and the smaller ones were $2.99.

I loved that while they were a neutral, the detail in them gave them much more interest and character.

So here is the wall again

And here it is

Oh man! My silly camera is still doing that crazy streaky thing with the mirror even in these After photos!

This angle is so much better.


I'm really loving how it all looks at night.
The plates help reflect the light which was an unexpected bonus!

Well, that completes our Wall-y World adventure!
Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you back here soon!

P.S. I promise you my blinds aren't as dirty as this they appear in the last photo. It must be that silly camera again!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Inspiration Friday Party No. 20!

Welcome to the Party!

How is it possible that this is the 20th Inspiration Friday?
We are some party animals around here!

There was so much wonderful Inspiration linked up last week that we are just going to get right to it.

Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours shared this AMAZING transformation of an inherited kitchen island.
She took it from this...


It is hard to believe it is the same island!
Just look at some of the details she added.

It is just gorgeous, Pamela and you did an absolutely fantastic job!

Next up is the Homemaker on a Dime.
She found this $18 Goodwill dresser and had a vision...
A vision that took it from this,


I know! Isn't that incredible?
I'm lovin' those lamps too by the way!

Now when I get cabin fever I find myself doing a lot of things.
Most are not productive.
Like eating too much.
But, not the Town and Country Mom!

She and her handy hubby found themselves snowbound and took that opportunity to complete a project.
I'm guessing that is probably the healthier way to combat Cabin Fever.

They have this gorgeous fireplace which is flanked by 2 bookcases and they wanted to make it more integrated as well as visually interesting, capitalizing on the character of their home.

Enter a board and batten treatment and VOILA!

Doesn't that look like the perfect spot for curling up with a good book? It reminds me of something you would see in the English countryside.

I'm noticing a theme this week in the Highlights...can you tell I have a hankering for some big projects???
Might just have to get myself over to the Hardware Store!

So what have you been up to this week?
If you are new to Inspiration Friday, you should know that this is a party where ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is welcome!
Recipes, home decorating, crafts (just because I'm not crafty doesn't mean I don't appreciate those who are!), stories reflecting your heart and everything in between.

We want to see it!
So, here are the guidelines and be sure to pop over and visit each other. I'm thinking we may have some new bloggers joining us this week so let's make them feel warmly welcomed.

1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your email address but it will not be visible to anyone else.

2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else.

Have a fabulous weekend my friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Whole is Greater than...

...the Sum of its Parts.

We have dropped some hints.
You know we are all about the "sister love" in these parts.
We believe strongly in collaboration.
We aren't ready to reveal it all to you yet.
But, just know that we are SUPER EXCITED about what is coming! And it is coming SOON!

And on that note, I have a special Guest Post today from my sister Heather. She posted it awhile back on her blog Gourmet Meals for Less and I asked her if I could share it with you all over here.

See this little bean plant?


It may look like an ordinary bean plant to you. But it represents so much more. See, this is my girl's bean plant. Germinated and planted from a dried out bean hanging out in a half open package of beans purchased a year ago from the grocery store. Who knows how long this little bean has been sitting around in a bag of other dried out beans waiting to be thrown into a pot of water, cooked and eaten. That's what this bean had been reduced to.
But my daughter had bigger aspirations for that bean. She picked that one special bean out of the many because SHE knew the real purpose for that bean; and in her tenacity she set about revealing what really lay deep inside the core of that little legume.

This is one of the many things I love about her, she doesn't know that you "can't" grow a plant from a dried out, withered up bean meant to be cooked and eaten. That even the freshest bean is not meant to grow in fall, outside of planting season. She laid that little bean between wet paper towels, and tended to it faithfully. Giving it sunlight and keeping it damp...and it sprouted!
Then she placed that little bean in a pot and stuck it here

in the kitchen windowsill. Where it was given sunlight, and water, and good soil. And would you know that bean plant GREW! It grew BIG! And even more grew new BEANS!

It created new life! Didn't it know it was dried out? Didn't it know it was October? Didn't it know it was in a pot and not in the ground? Didn't it know it was on a windowsill in a house? Didn't it know that dad had knocked it over and damaged it's stalk? Didn't it know it wasn't where it was supposed to be? Where it thought it should be? Didn't it know it wasn't in the perfect environment or the ideal situation? Didn't it know it had been hurt and broken? Didn't it know that things weren't "right"?
Or maybe it did. And it was going to bloom anyway. Right where it was. In spite of it's circumstances. In spite of feeling dried out and useless. In spite of being in a temporary place and not really "home". In spite of having been broken and tied back into place.

See God has a purpose for the bean. It is supposed to grow and produce new beans. Produce fruit. That is it's purpose. And that is ours.

To grow wherever we are planted. To germinate what God has put in us. To thrive in all circumstances. To persevere through the dry seasons, through the times when we feel we are just one of the masses and have nothing special or unique about us.
God said in scripture, " For I know the plans I have for you.... plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
God has a plan for you. He created you with a purpose. If he created even a little bean to fulfill it's purpose how much more does he care about YOU! No matter where you are or when you are in your life.
Have the faith of a child, that God will do as he promised. At the beginning of time, he created the bean and promised it would become a plant and produce fruit.

He promised you, his special creation, will also produce fruit in your life, if you will just let him grow you where you are and when you are right now! Be a fruit bearer. Be like the bean plant..just doing what God purposed it to grow beans.
Be like my daughter's bean plant.

Forget about your surroundings. Forget about how temporary it feels. Forget about the season not being right in your life. Forget about the people who tell you "you can't" "you shouldn't" "you are dried up" "you have nothing to give", the people who have "broken" you... and bloom as God intended you to. Right here. Right Now.
Right where you are planted.
All my love to you,

from a fellow "bean plant" trying everyday to bloom where she's planted.


My Photo

Linking to
Simple Pleasures

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to Wall-y World! Part one...

They say one thing leads to another, and that has definitely been true over these past few days as I have, for whatever reason, been on a mission to warm up some walls in our home.

I'm pretty sure it has something to do with how inexpensive these projects are. And also that I am able to do them all by myself!

My first area to be attacked came about after I discovered 4 large matching frames that I had tucked away in a closet. I had originally purchased them with a different purpose in mind but they didn't quite fit the bill...and I never remembered to take them back...and I lost the receipt...and well, they ended up in a closet.

But, hey! That little mistake allowed me to do this first project entirely for free! Well, I guess not TECHNICALLY for free since I did have to purchase the frames in the first place!
But, doesn't it sound better to say that you did a project for free?
This is what greets you when you come up the stairs of our house and onto the landing.
It is on the way to the "kids corridor" where their bedrooms, bathroom and playroom all are.

It's not bad.
The pictures were hung up very quickly in a moment of,
"I want something on that wall and this will do for now."
Looking back the other way leads towards our Master Bedroom.

This next photo really helps you to see just how high that ceiling is and how much actual wall space is NOT being maximized.
Do you want to know what that paper says that is hanging on my son's door?
It reads, "Welcome to Legoland!"
And it is the truth!

 When I found those frames at the bottom of the closet, I knew exactly where I wanted them to go!

 I love how much more it fills in the space and really helps draw the eye up.

It is so dark and rainy here that it was very hard to capture the right lighting.
Plus, it's a hallway.
Nuff said!
Here is the view looking back towards the Master Bedroom again.

Having the half-round table there is perfect.
No sharp corners to run into!
You might think I am referring to my kiddos running into it, but actually there is another person, whom shall remain nameless but isn't me and isn't one of our children and lives in our house, who used to run into the table that was there previously.

I added this hurricane to the table and filled it with red faux rose petals for a little Valentine's Day touch.

Let's move on down the hallway a bit...

Straight ahead is the Playroom.
To the left is the kids bathroom and their bedrooms are on the right.

I'm all about keeping it real here folks so Clifford the big red dog made it into these photos.

I have been wanting to do something with this wall for a long time but wasn't quite sure what that would be.
I couldn't do anything that would easily be knocked off and it needed to be fairly simple so as not to make the space feel more crowded and narrow.

Going back through a copy of "Elegant Homes" magazine, I stumbled across this photo which gave me just the inspiration I was looking for!
I love that the frames are all the same size and style but the mats and the photos are varied. It keeps the lines clean and yet has a relaxed feeling to it too.

Drawing from this, I found inexpensive frames ($4 each) and came up with my own version.

I decided to mix it up a bit by adding the framed Initial Letters.
'H' for our last name, 'I' for Ian, and 'L' for Lauren.

Here is the view looking back down the hallway.

Not bad for a total cost of $36!

What do you think?

I'm loving it! And, of course, any opportunity to catch a glimpse of those precious faces as I'm walking by makes it that much better!

Hope your week is off to a great start!
Blessings to you,