Boots, Birds and Birthdays

I feel a random post coming on. With crazy weather {tornado sirens last night; a first for me!} and a cold, dreary drizzle settling in, I'm looking for a way to entertain myself. And you know what that means: I'll grab my camera and photograph anything!

First up:
my Hunter boot analysis.
{Because I'm bored and crazy like that!}

Around town vs. on the farm.

You couldn't have paid me to buy Hunter boots in Houston. Target prices were my max. But my "budget boots" didn't hold up on the farm, so I ordered several pairs and fell in love with the ones on the right. {Details here.} 

I wear these every single day!

The heavy duty Hunters are awesome on the farm, but too bulky for trekking around town through parking lot puddles. Franklin is a low-key, casual town, so I feel no pressure to have hip boots {not like I had them in Houston anyway!}, but I somehow managed to fall in love with Hunters. So I splurged again and bought the original gloss. {I love the height, but shorter friends tell me they're too tall for them. Try a kiddo pair if you have small enough feet! Shorter and less expensive!}

Final thoughts: the fancy schmancy boots on the left aren't nearly as awesome as the hard working boots on the right. They feel thin-soled compared to my barn boots. I think they need inserts. So there you have it: my brilliant analysis. In three paragraphs. {I sure know how to ramble on about random things on a rainy day!}

Next up:
my bird fetish.

Here's my favorite bird:

A custom painting from my amazingly talented sister.
{More details here.}

And I love eggs and nests:

And my newest love:

She's my favorite!
Shhh! Don't tell the other little chicks!

I named her Aunt Annie Lee after my great aunt who lived in Nashville. My grandfather's sister. {I'm thinking that means she must have lived in Franklin as a young child. Crazy how I have family roots here!} Aunt Annie Lee used to let me store my college stuff with her over the summer. Oh, and she fed me more than one person should ever eat in one sitting! Such a Southern lady.

And this is Hope.

This little chick came home looking like she wasn't going to make it. All wobbly, lethargic, eyes hardly open, wings malformed. We googled late into the night and found a possible answer: pasty butt. I'll spare you the details, but it can kill your baby chicks. {If you'd like to google it, be my guest! I'm not ready for my beauty loving blog to be the source for that kind of stuff!}

Back to Hope: we named her that because we had HOPE that she would live. We prayed over her and nursed her back to health. And today, she's bouncing around like the other little chicks!

On another note, you should see what my husband feeds these little birds. Gourmet, I tell ya! Finely chopped rosemary, garlic, arugula + whatever other greens we have with a dash of sea salt. I don't mean to brag, but we may end up with the best eggs you've ever tasted! Way to go, husband!

Here's their home right now:

A trough with shavings and a few dirty rocks.
They LOVE to peck the dirt off! Soon they'll need the whole space.
{The red heat lamp makes for some whacky photos!}

I don't have details about the coop yet. My husband ordered it. He knew if I got involved in the details of decision making, we wouldn't have chickens until next year...at the earliest! So he took care of it and asked me only a few questions. Hope it's good looking! I'll keep you posted.

And how about these birds?

They are all over our farm right now.

Huge flocks land in our pasture then whoosh off all at once...
literally making a loud "whooshing" sound as they fly off en masse.
{Who tells these birds when it's time to land, take off, and land again?}

And these aren't birds, but I can't help but show you the puppies:

Bella and Buddy, camouflaged in the dormant winter grass.

See them in the bottom left?

Now that the new fencing is complete, the dogs are free to roam the entire property. I love looking outside the windows and seeing them out there. Their favorite spot is right in front of the house. They don't know about the chicks yet, so for now, they must think their job is to guard their people. Sweet puppies! I'm crazy about them!

And finally:
birthday happiness!

Gifts from my husband and sweet girls.
Big white Anthropologie boxes = total happiness.
{I don't like clothes shopping. Thrilled to have them do it for me!}

Beautiful, deep thoughts from my oldest.

A cheerful card from my youngest.

A nostalgic visit to the legendary Bluebird Cafe.
{My mom flew in for the day...just as she did for my 21st.
I lived in Nashville then...and we went to the Bluebird that night, too!}

An unbelievable dusty bottle of French wine from
the best neighbors ever! Could I be any more blessed?

And a late-1800s violin.
{My husband's attempt to awaken a little girl dream!}

Trying new things, like violin lessons at age 38, doesn't come easily or naturally to me. I have no idea how to play this! What if I'm not any good? What if it's too late? But my sweet, adventurous husband remembered a little girl dream...and has noticed how I perk up when I hear someone play a mean fiddle. {At Christmastime, I heard a local musician play Silent Night with such passion that I about cried.}

So here I am living on a farm near the Music City, wearing barn boots everyday, holding baby chicks and taking fiddle lessons! Things I never did in all my years of city living!

Here's to new things...and random rainy day photographs!


Baby Chicks!

Introducing the newest members of our farm:

Peep! Peep! Peep!

Chickens have always been part of the dream...
it was only a matter of time!

Happy weekend!


Our Guest Bedroom

My girls love to read my blog. The first thing they did when they got their own email address was subscribe. Isn't that the sweetest? It's fun to see what inspires them. My youngest sends me fun emails and my oldest engages me in conversation. After my last post, we had this little exchange:
Hallie: That's a great way to be thankful for your room.
Me: So sweet of you to say. Sometimes I feel silly for photographing and sharing things like that on my blog.
Hallie: I don't think it's silly. I think it's a great way to appreciate the beauty in something that you didn't see beauty in before.
Me: {Silent pause.} So, so true. 
So on that note, I've got another bedroom to share:
our grown up guest room.

Same headboard as the master. Even at full price, I couldn't resist.
{Those of you who got it on sale scored. So happy I could help!}

The best part of the room is the view...
the best one in the whole house!

Pretty even in the dead of winter.
{Still thanking God for the sunshine!}

Some good bedside reading...

...and a little French-inspired beauty!

My mom actually bought this piece in Nashville when I was at Vanderbilt!
She passed it on to me a few years ago, and I promptly had it painted.

Love this antique writing box {also a gift from my mom}.
Recently purchased these old letters from a local antique shop.

Original artwork from my very talented sister
who once owned her own print making studio in Houston.
{My favorite frames from West Elm.}

Hung this myself just a few days ago!
{With my husband's step-by-step instructions. Feeling proud!}

Side note: I've developed a bit of a lighting fetish. I love the look of high dollar fixtures {many of them pinned here} but I love a great deal even more. I've had to purchase a LOT of light fixtures for this house, so by the time I got to guest rooms, I ran out of steam. I went to Lowe's and decided I was coming home with something no matter what. To make it my own, I removed all of the crystal swags and shortened the large crystal that hangs from the bottom. Easy to do with wire cutters. {Here is how it looks on the Lowe's website.}

Perfect for the corner of a room,
but can also be used outside on the balcony.
{From World Market.}

Our second-story balcony.
{Both guest rooms open to this porch.}

We've never had a guest room before, so having two is wild! {I'm still working on the kid-friendly guest room.} Actually, we had a spare bedroom in Houston, but we used it as a craft room. With all our family living in Houston, there was no need for a guest room. Here, we're hoping we'll have lots of visitors!

New things I purchased: the headboard and the chandelier.

Things I'd like to add: simple linen panels and a new rug. Oh, and because I love linens and think it's such fun to dress a bed, a good sale could inspire me down the road! {I've had the linens you see for 10 years...first in our bedroom, then in my oldest daughter's.}

Paint colors: Moonshine on the walls. Swiss Coffee on the ceilings. Both by Benjamin Moore. One thing you'll begin to notice as I share my home: I like a lot of the same tones. My house may look all one color to most, but to me, it's all about the subtleties. {Remember my paint paralysis? Subtleties will cause that!}

Any guest room tips? Little things I should add to make my guests feel cozy? One of my dearest friends always places fresh flowers on the bathroom counter when we visit. And lays out these thick white bath towels from Restoration Hardware. {I think I might have to buy a few during the annual bed and bath event that's going on right now!}

It was so much fun thinking about who might come stay with us as I put this room together!


P.S. This room is getting lots of love right now! Just hosted sweet friends from Houston over the weekend and am tidying up for my mom on Thursday. {Note to self: when your daughters move to a new town, fly up on their birthday that first year. A great gift since no one in their new hometown will know it's their birthday!}


A Peek Into My Bedroom

It's 28 degrees and frosty on the farm this morning, but the sun is shining bright for the first time all week. It's absolutely glorious! And what does a crazy lady do with all this sunshine on a chilly morning? She photographs her bedroom! Sometimes you've got to celebrate the little victories in life: a made bed and a finally unpacked bedroom!

I designed this chandelier and had it made. Inspired by an antique.
{It used to hang over the breakfast table in our Houston home.}

{I'd like to add these to the chandelier.}

{A mix of pillow textures and tones is my favorite way to dress a bed.}

The door leading out of our bedroom.

Love seeing this French desk in my bedroom.
{It sat in the corner of the family room in Houston.}

The hallway leading to our room.
{In Houston, the shelf hung inside the bedroom.}

The shelf is the top part of an old kitchen hutch.
{A great place to gather some smaller, personal objects.}

{Found these sconces in Union, Maine.}

{Love this itty bitty jar.}

{A reminder to laugh.}

{Crown and book love.}

Our farmhouse bedroom has a similar feel to our Houston bedroom...on a much smaller scale. In Houston, we had a huge master {almost too big} with a sitting area, a TV armoire, a king size bed...and lots of open floor space. I don't mind the smaller size here. It just took a little rethinking and creativity to make it work.

Two things I had to buy for this room: a queen headboard {amazing price here...on major sale right now!} and smaller dressers to use as bedside tables {from my favorite online source, Wisteria}. Everything else came from different areas of my Houston house...all collected over time from various places.

A few things I'd like to add to the room: bamboo or grass shades with sheer belgian linen panels {similar to what I did in Houston}. I'd also like to remember to have my bedskirt altered from a king to a queen so that I can use it! {All my linens are all king-sized. A little oversized, but I loved what I had in Houston and couldn't bare to re-spend the money. Bella Notte was a splurge for me the first time!}

Paint color: The walls are Manchester from Pratt & Lambert. It's a beautiful blue gray with more depth and moodiness than Wickham Gray, which I like for a bedroom. {Sherwin Williams has the formula and can match it.} The ceilings are half formula Wickham Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Sometimes sharing photographs of my house feels downright silly. But as a beauty lover, this is what I do. I hunt for beauty, and when I can't find it, I create it. My hope is that sharing brings some inspiration your way. I remember the days when my bedroom was my last priority {because it wasn't a room people would see}. But I've learned that my bedroom is an important space. It's a place of self-care, rest, peace and intimacy. Make it a special place. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Happy weekend, sweet friends!

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