FamRoom1Square

Progress in Our Family Room

Our family room is looking a bit more up-to-date these days. Like everything else in our home, it’s a work in progress! I’m going for a “collected” look throughout the house, and collecting takes time. The changes are happening slowly, but they are happening! Remember what it looked like when we moved in? Eventually, I want to paint the family room (and foyer and hallways) light gray to match my home office, but I have to hire a professional painter for that job. The ceiling needs to be painted, and it’s about twenty feet high. This girl is not climbing Read more…

OrzoBowlSquare

Cheesy Garlic Spinach Orzo

Most of the recipes I post here are desserts, but today I have an amazing orzo dish to share with you! This Cheesy Garlic Spinach Orzo is a favorite at my house. Let’s face it – no one in my family is a huge fan of spinach, but this is a delicious way to sneak it into our diet. This dish convinced my kids that they like to eat spinach! You can serve this as a main course or a side dish. I like to pair it with a piece of fish, chicken, or steak. The recipe below makes enough Read more…

SleddingSquare

Reflections on a Southern Snow

When 2018 began, there was snow in the forecast for Charleston, SC. The meteorologists said we could get up to three inches, but I was skeptical. I couldn’t imagine anything more than a dusting – not even enough to cover the grass. This is my fourth winter here in Charleston. Every year, my six-year-old asks, “When is it going to snow?” Every time, I tell him, “It isn’t going to snow, sweetheart. We live in Charleston. It never snows here.” We lived in Norfolk, VA, when he was a toddler, so he has seen snow, but he doesn’t remember it. Read more…

CLTMcQueenSqu

Three Days in Charlotte with the Kids

One of the things I love about living in Charleston is its proximity to several other amazing southern cities. Charlotte, NC, is a place our family loves to visit. With a population of nearly 850,000, Charlotte is a large city with many neighborhoods to discover. We like to stay at a hotel south of downtown, near Myers Park and the SouthPark Mall. (I might be known to sneak off to the mall by myself in the evening.) I recently planned this three-day itinerary that’s full of fun activities for the whole family. Day One: The Billy Graham Library is an Read more…

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An Alternative to the Same Old New Year’s Resolutions

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I do. They usually last until February or March, then I’m making the same ones again the next January. Last year, I did something different. Instead of making resolutions, I set goals. And while I didn’t achieve all the goals I set, I had a lot more success going about it that way. This year, I’ll be setting more goals, but I’ll be adding one very important resolution. My one resolution is not something I’m going to do, but something I’m not going to do. When 2017 began, I had already purchased the domain Read more…

ChildrensBooksSzd

Favorite Children’s Books for Little Readers

I’ve had a little reader in my house for about ten years. When my oldest son was a toddler, he was always bringing me books to read with him. He developed a love for books before he could even talk, let alone read. Now my youngest is in first grade, and I’m savoring every fleeting moment that we spend snuggled on the sofa, reading a book together. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of our favorite children’s books since it’s Christmas time, and any of these would make a great gift for the little reader in Read more…

WreathSzd

Christmas Decorating in Four Simple Steps

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? It seems like the holiday season comes earlier and earlier each year. The stores have Christmas decor on the shelves by October! I enjoy looking at the merchandise, and part of me gets so excited for this time of year. But on the other hand, I feel the stress of it all creeping into my life before I even buy our Thanksgiving turkey. So how can we avoid some of that stress? We can’t put our lives on hold for the whole month of December. Bills still have to be paid, homework has Read more…

Office4Square

My Home Office Update

My home office is ready for its first appearance on the blog! Transforming it took longer than I expected, which I admit was entirely my fault. For one thing, I’m much better at starting a project than finishing one! Also, I really took my time choosing the paint color because I’m planning  to carry the same neutral color throughout most of the house. Here’s what the office looked like before we started painting: After trying a few neutral colors on the walls, I selected Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl. I found it to be the perfect warm gray tone, but it Read more…

LowcountryArtists2

Three Charleston Art Galleries for Finding Local Art

One of my favorite things to do in Charleston is stroll through the many impressive art galleries. Charleston’s vibrant and diverse art scene rivals those of much larger cities. If you’re visiting the holy city, taking a piece of local art home is a great way to remember your time in the lowcountry. If you’re not an experienced art collector, some of the Charleston art galleries can be a bit intimidating (not to mention expensive), so let me tell you about three places where you’ll find friendly artists and beautiful local art. These are all within easy walking distance of Read more…

MountainView2

A Fun Family Weekend in Gatlinburg

I’ve wanted to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for years. I decided the kids’ fall break would be the perfect time to go. Living in Charleston has many charms, but fall foliage just isn’t one of them. I grew up in New England, so I really miss the foliage, and hoped to show my kids what the trees look like dressed in orange, yellow, and red. Due to an unusually hot October in the southeast, we didn’t see quite as much color as I’d hoped, but the scenery was splendid nonetheless. For this trip, we decided to skip most of the typical Read more…