please offer a tall glass of sweet tea.

Allow him a moment to freshen up and settle in.

I’ll be right there~

Growing up I’d sit for hours flipping through my momma’s monthly subscription of Southern Living.

With eager fingers…

my first pass, through those beloved pages went rather quickly. Trying to take in all the beautiful stately homes, with moss-covered trees, and huge front porches. I’d dip quickly into lil’ towns that needed visiting. Or linger just a moment over some simply yummy looking southern food.

Second pass…

went a bit slower. Wanting to fully uncover all the little details of exquisite rooms. Seeking to learn. Desiring to understand all the hows, whys, wheres, and whats that each photograph revealed. Inspiration was literally jumping off the pages and igniting my imagination.

By the third pass I’d begun to read from cover to cover…

lingering, as if I were an invited guest into those stately homes. Wandering through towns I’d like to, someday, visit or revisit. Delving a bit deeper into recipes that just had to be made. Then, always finishing it all off nicely with southern writer extraordinaire, Rick Bragg’s column found in the way, way, waaaaay back. Where his monthly writings would tickle or move me to pieces.

By the fourth and final pass (y’all will understand why it’s the final pass and what absolutely drove my momma crazy for years within the next 5 words)…

I was tearing out pages…

of anything and everything that had caught my eye…old ceiling tiles being transformed into a table top, vintage rods and reels being hung above a sofa in a fishing cottage, woodwork that was to die for.

With every flip of the page and pass of the stories, I was daydreaming all the while, about the day I’d have a home grace these hallowed pages.

Folks I’ll admit it, I’ve got a real flair for interior design. Most likely due to the influence of my dearly beloved Uncle Charles, watching Designing Women and of course my autodidact monthly Southern Living education.

Each home I’ve designed and created has been done tastefully, lovingly, and beautifully. However I’ve never felt I had just the right home to submit to Southern Living for review.

That is…

not until purchasing the little cottage beach home

Now…with every floor that’s been sanded and patiently re-stained, with every window removed and door put in, and every root dug up and tree planted it has felt as if a path (albeit a very winding one) is being created that will allow my childhood dream to be ushered in.

There’s SOOOOO much to be done round these here parts before the Southern Living god’s smile upon me and I get to watch this dream become a reality.  But for goodness sakes, what’s a little dust and debris between friends.

So as projects are taking place round here, I’ll bring you along for the dust laden ride and post them all under the Beach Pahhhlease category.

Today I’ll leave you with a few photos of what’s currently taking place on the  outside of our new digs.

Enjoy y’all

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*may have noticed my ‘old man’ and loving golden pal Gio, photo bombing me here. He is and has been, after all, my constant companion for the past 12 years.  So him bombing himself in, is fittin’…just plain fittin’

** and y’all here’s a fun and really easy decorating tip~

Can’t figure out how you want your space to look or what your actual ‘style‘ is?

Start an idea book by tearing out magazine pages and pictures of your favorite rooms, spaces, and vignettes.

It is crazy cool how a tone for your space or an essence of your style will begin to emerge amongst those clippings.

But listen if you begin doing this with waiting room magazines…

be stealth and if caught don’t mention my name. Have already been tagged ’round these here parts as a magazine assassin. Last thing I need is any more office managers upset with me.

***Editor(s) of Southern (and Coastal) Living if y’all happened upon this post, please know it’s absolutely NO coincidence. Aw Naw! In fact I’ve dreamt about and prepared for this moment my entire life.

Grateful you’re here. Bout dayum time we met. Get settled in, we’re gonna be real good friends!