Gateway to imperfection…

My Home-as-Scrapbook philosophy makes me constantly re-invent displays and vignettes around the house. I’ve been hauling this old gate around for years, but finally found a wall for it in my new home office.


It has been so much fun pulling all my priceless treasures out of shoeboxes to display them. I’m using all kinds of things to connect them to the gate…binder clips, clothespins, S-hooks, a bracelet, and…vintage jewelry. Clip earrings are the most fun!

AND…it’s MAGNETIC! This is going to be a fun project for a long time!


You can’t tell it, but it’s really BIG.  44″x 52″


The New Glamp = Glamorous Lamp!


I liked this cool industrial/vintage-look lamp just fine when I bought it from World Market. But since I added pearls…I LOVE IT!  I’d never wear pearls (sorry, pearly girls), but I add them to stuff around the house all the time.  The trick: Only buy them at garage sales. I didn’t pay more than $1/strand for these gems…(there are a couple of mis-matched earrings thrown in there, too)…


The fancy one in the center came from a roadside flea market in West Virginia.

Super-simple: Just drape them around the Edison bulb (only use a vintage-style bulb), and then wiggle the dome back on (because they’re pearls, they’ll roll). My kind of DIY (no work involved).

Homes + Gardens + Beekmen

(Is Beekmen the plural for Beekman Boys?)

Johnson County Home & Garden Show
Overland Park, Kansas Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd.
January 22-24, 2016

It’s January. It’s cold. It’s Kansas City. There’s no football that matters left. So it’s the perfect time to spend a day indoors at the beautiful Overland Park Convention Center, filled with home and garden vendors, design inspiration, and lots of free pens and candy.

The highlights for me were the presentations on the Ikea Main Stage (thank you, Ikea!). You may remember the Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, from their “Amazing Race” win, but I’ve been a fan of the Beekmen since their original show “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” which chronicled their adventures moving from corporate NYC to rural upstate New York, where they purchased an 1802 farmhouse (and farm!) and transformed their lives and the small town they live in. Hard work, smart marketing, Farmer John, and a bunch of really cute goats turned into Beekman 1802 “one of the fastest-growing lifestyle brands in the country” (Nasdaq). They tell their story honestly and adorably, and give me hope for a post-corporate life filled with genuine people, fresh air, and fun.

Josh & Brent talked about buying their million-dollar “weekend”  farm at the peak of the real estate boom, then losing their high-profile, high-paying jobs within 30 days of each other the following year. Their presentation was based on the “7 Lessons We Learned From Goats.” It turns out that goats are pretty smart. And super-cute.


Change your perspective.


And so are the Beekman Boys. They were funny, sweet, interesting, and genuinely embraced (literally) the fans at the show, spending time talking to everyone who wanted to meet them after the show, signing books, and posing patiently for the obligatory selfies. A bright ray of sun in January!


Matt Muenster, host of HGTV‘s “Bath Crashers,” is a fun, charismatic speaker. Originally a Wisconsin interior designer, he reluctantly accepted the host position on an unknown HGTV show, and hasn’t come out of the bathroom since. Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to put the unexpected in your bathroom...a fireplace, a $3,000 espresso machine, a state-of-the-art sound system, a motorcycle vanity. AND…USE YOUR BATHROOM FAN — It will eliminate moisture in the air and reduce mildew and mold. If he and his crew approach you at your neighborhood Lowe’s…say YES as quickly as you can.


My favorite booth…(the word “booth” doesn’t seem to do it justice…it was a full-on kitchen and bath) (and full-on adorable)…from Cook + Cline Design & Build Company…


PLUS…all the usual Home & Garden suspects…


My favorite candy bowl…


I don’t know who these women are. And they’re definitely not related to me…

This is exactly how I felt at the end of the day…