For everyone who needs to take a breath…

Sunrise from the Swag | Annie’s Room | August 2022

For everyone who needs to take a breath… This post is for you! Whew, what a stressful few days – with upcoming storms and all that goes with it. Not to mention watching the TV and seeing the destruction that had occurred in Florida. Our prayers go out to you Florida! Charleston, SC and surrounding areas has been on the bad side of a hurricane (Hugo, 1989) – and it’s not something you ever forget.

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View from Hemphill Bald – Waynesville, NC!

Hemphill Bald – Waynesville, NC

This is one of my favorite photos. It appears as a screensaver often. I just don’t want the image to go away. This was a hike to a special place on our 30th anniversary. Sometimes when you take a photo it’s like the stars align. I love everything about this photo. It takes me right back to that day. Beautiful weather, good food, great people around us. Best time ever.

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Raleigh Retreat House Plan by Lake and Land Studio!

Raleigh Retreat (Back) House Plan by Lake and Land Studio

What a great livable plan, especially for a retreat! The back porch is stunning and where I would be most of my spare time. The front is equally as sweet with a nice porch and inviting design. This is a great plan if you are on water, in the woods or in any beautiful setting where you can take advantage of the views.

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The Best Avocado Toast – So easy to make!

Are you Team Sliced or Team Smushed 🙋‍♀️ for your avocado toast?

Avocado toast. It’s so delightful. It has such a nice creamy texture, and what you add to it can only enhance it’s fabulous taste. It’s best on “good bread” something a little hearty. Avocado toast can get pricey in restaurants, but did you know – it’s super easy to make! Done in just a few minutes…

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Featured Artist: Jo Ridge Kelley!

Heavenly Peace by Jo Ridge Kelley | 18″ x 18″ | Oil on Linen

Jo Ridge Kelley – fabulous style. Her love of the mountains is so apparent in her paintings. From looking at her website it looks like most of her paintings are much larger than this. I thought I had featured Jo many years ago, but when I double checked to see when the last year I featured her… I hadn’t. Good grief!

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Plan 865000SHW L-Shaped Modern Farmhouse Plan by Architectural Designs!

Plan 865000SHW L-Shaped Modern Farmhouse by Architectural Designs

I ran across this L-shaped modern farmhouse style plan and I adore every bit of it! The living space is fabulous and there’s a little something for everyone. GREAT porches – front, side, rear. I love the porch with no spindles. Be sure to click the link to see more of this plan – they have so many wonderful photos so you can really “see” this house – it’s the next best thing to actually visiting in person.

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Monterey Chicken *Recipe* – SO good!

Monterey Chicken – My version (only slight changes)

Do you ever get in a rut with recipes? We do. It seems like I’ll make the same dinners over and over for a while because they sound good, taste good, etc. However, it’s SO NICE to branch out and find something different on occasion. This recipe is healthy, came together quickly and I made a nice side to go with it. We ate it for two nights. (#winwin)

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Featured Artist: Mariella Bisson!

Mariella Bisson 60″ x 58″ Oil & Mixed Media on Linen

We recently spent some time in Waynesville, NC – at a stunning place called The Swag. A gorgeous place nested high on top of a mountain with breathtaking views from every vantage point. The decor was over the top gorgeous. Very classy, it was exceptional – and so was the art. They have an excellent eye pulling a space together, and today’s featured artist, Mariella Bisson, has two paintings at this location, and they are mind boggling they’re so good.

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Salisbury Court House Plan by Our Town Plans!

Salisbury Court House Plan by Our Town Plans

Porches. This plan has gorgeous windows – it also has wonderful porches. The type of porch that isn’t just for looks, it’s for living – extended living really. It brings the outdoors in and during nice weather becomes a favorite place to spend time, visit with friends, read a good book, chat on the phone, etc. I love how the front porch wraps around to the breakfast area with French doors!

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An Excellent Source of Protection: Ranger Ready

Ranger Ready Tick + Insect Spray

If you’re heading outdoors and need a form of tick and insect spray – wow, have we ever found a wonderful brand! We were on vacation in Waynesville, NC and were headed out on a hike with a group. A woman asked the guide about bug spray, he suggested this one here… spray it on your ankles and pant legs – “the point of entry”. Ahhhh…. I sprayed twice.

When I grabbed the bottle to start spraying, I didn’t notice that there were different scents. Not sure which one I used, I don’t think it was orange – it was nice and mild. It rubs on nice, not greasy. I sprayed my socks, pant legs and shoes. Then sprayed my arms – and then washed my hands good. Normally, I have bugs swarming around me, they love me. Not this time! I’m

Featured Artist: James Swanson!

A Flock Together by James Swanson

James Swanson. Fabulous paintings. The light in his paintings is incredible as is his innate ability to simplify the scene (even though it may not look like it). I love this incredibly clear painting – it’s crisp and vibrant, full of fabulous light, flight, waves, good times, happy memories, movement, shadows – ahhh, it has it all!

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Before Sunrise

Taken from Gooseberry Knob, Waynesville, NC

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an amazing array of ever changing views that take your breath away. This was an early morning sunrise walk (we did see some sun) – I thought this was a magical hour – so much BLUE. What you see one minute will be gone and replaced with something totally different. Each view so beautiful – where we stayed there was no TV. Absolutely didn’t miss it, didn’t even think about it once. Matter-of-fact once we arrived home we didn’t turn a TV on for over a week.

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Model 1800 House Plan by GO LOGIC!

Model 1800 House Plan by GO LOGIC!

Makes a statement, right? I LOVE a black house – the shape, and design of this particular plan lends itself well to a black (or other very dark) exterior. It’s stunning. Very cool lines, and check out GO LOGIC’s image from winter – whoa! (Click to see the PDF via the link below).

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