Sping is Springing in the Ham

The girls wanted to eat their lunch at the Botannical Gardens today since the weather was so warm and pretty. So after gymnastics, we took a picnic to Mountain Brook to the Birmingham Botannical Gardens. The gardens are in full bloom and they are breath-taking. There were tulips in so many varieties, and they were all gorgeous! The impatiens, daffodils, cheery trees, confederate jasmine, begonias, and the lorapetalum were all bursting forth in color.

Leaf and Petal at the Gardens is the gift shop located on the Gardens grounds. They have a really eclectic assortment of things in the shop. Occassionally they will also offer plants. I bought several herbs for the planters on my deck. I can’t wait to cook with the fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and mint that we got.
Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are!

Sneak Peek at Patterson’s Room

My baby is growing up! She has made a successful transition from her crib to her big girl bed. I kept her in the crib as long as I could, mainly because I didn’t want her getting up in the middle of the night. But the crib could no longer hold her, so we made the switch several weeks ago. And now begins the redecorating -changing the look from baby to growing preschooler.
You might remember my post about her nursery. The room is TINY, so we have to be very creative about how to fit enough furniture, while still leaving room to walk and play. I don’t want to repaint the room either. And we have a very small budget for this project. Impossibly mission? I think it can be done.
Here’s a sneak peek at the fabrics:

The yellow stripe, although part of the collection, doesn’t exactly MATCH the rest. It just BLENDS. So it will probably go in the bathroom across the hall. Maybe as the shower curtain?
What do you think? Thumbs up or down? You all know I have a hard time deciding on fabrics!! Help me!!
Your indecisive, overly-analytical, can’t-make-a-decision bloggy friend

We’ve Done A Little Traveling

Y’all, I am beat! Not necessarily the way to begin a Monday morning, but it is what it is. We have traveled a lot of miles in the past three weeks. We have had lots of fun and done some fun stuff. It’s gonna take me a while to upload pictures, edit them, write blog posts and get them published because I have this other thing going on called LIFE. I’m trying not to let the mundane (laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking luggage) get in the way of the fun stuff, but the truth of the matter is, I can’t settle down enough to write creatively until I get the clutter under control. I’d pay big money right now to have someone come over and do it for me. But that ain’t happenin’.

So, you’ll have to give me some time to get the necessities under control around the Hill Hang-Out. Once I can see the floor and tabletops around here, I’ll be back to post pictures of some fun field trips we’ve been on – including a field trip JUST FOR MAMA!! Yeehaw!

Y’all have a clutter-free Monday!

Sweet Shot Tuesday

The girls and I had friends to play with yesterday. Our friends DeeDee and Emily were in town, and we met up with them at Aldridge Gardens to feed the ducks and fish and to have a picnic. I snapped this sweet shot while the girls were gazing at the lake.
I’m linking this post to Sweet Shot Tuesday on www.my3boybarians.

Can I Offer You A Chair?

I don’t get out much for shopping, what with all the homeschooling and errands and laundry and the what-have-you. I really don’t miss it, and sort of prefer to do most of my window-shopping online from the comfort of my recliner. I have been in the market for a couple of new chairs. I will, of course, need to see these in person before purchasing them, but there are a few that I particularly liked online.

1. The Modern Windsor Chaise from West Elm. Okay, so this is not technically a chair, but I’m going to include it anyway because it’s my blog and I can make executive decisions like that. It can be hard to find furniture I like in the farmhouse/early American style. Often, pieces in this style tend to be too country, and country makes my skin crawl. But when I saw this chaise on http://www.westelm.com/, I thought it looked really interesting. I have a spot that I think a chaise might work, and this one has caught my attention. I have to think on it a while, though. What do you think?

2. The Ellery Chair. This one is also by http://www.westelm.com/. Ordinary wing chairs are a dime a dozen, but sometimes you have a space where you need the height of a wing chair. This gives you both the height of a traditional wing back, but without the overdone, traditional look. I think it’s a bolder, more updated take on the classic look, without being overly whimsical. I like it a lot.

3. The Stella Chair. How fun would a pair of these be in a room that was otherwise full of neutrals? I love the color: Chipper Arizona. It IS a very southwestern color, but not an overly southwestern style chair. I think it could work with a lot of different color palettes. This chair is from http://www.io-metro.com/. It also comes in a black and white colorway.

4. The Eddie Accent Chair. Y’all. I saw this gorgeous chair in the display case at the mall the other day, and I had to run down to Z Gallerie to check it out. It is even better in person than it is over the computer screen. The color intensifies on the screen, so in real life it is a little more subtle. It is so rich looking, and what a fun way to infuse a little color into a room! The nail head trim tones down the intensity a little, giving it a more tailored look. And believe it or not, it’s a really classic look, despite the fact that it’s a turquoise leather chair. As much as I love this chair, at $1300 it’s a little pricey for my home-with-hummus-eating-three-year-old-princesses. And besides, I already have two leather items in my living room. Three would be overkill.

5. The Alister Chair is another beauty from Z Gallerie. I love the richness of the charcoal gray velvet. Doesn’t it make you want to crawl up in it’s warmth? This is another one that I don’t have a place for, but oh, how I wish I did! It is lovely!

6. The Ikea KIVIK Chair. You might not, at first glance, think much about this chair. But, y’all, this chair comes in ten different colors and it is only $199!! I can think of a thousand different places where this chair, or maybe a pair of them, would be just the ticket. Especially at that price. It’s a little bit contemporary, a little bit shabby chic, a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. Okay, scratch those last two. I got carried away. But you know you have several places around your house where this would be a great addition.

7. The TV Lounger. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture for this one.) From Ikea to McAlpine Home/Lee Industries. What can I say? I have champagne taste and a beer budget. This one you’ll have to find at fine furniture stores. Check the website  for a dealer near you.

Hope y’all stay safe and warm and dry this weekend. We’re hoping for some sunshine here in the Deep South!

Top 2010 Posts

2010 was a great year for the Hill Hang-Out. We had lots of new readers this year, and I’m so tickled you all decided to take a peek into our little lives. As you know, this blog is about a little of this and a little of that, and my most-read posts reflect that. I am nothing if not a jumbled mess of unrelated topics. “Eclectic,” I prefer to call it. Judging from the list of Hill Hang-Out posts you read most often, you are an eclectic bunch as well. Maybe that’s why we get along so well. 🙂 Here are your 2010 favorites:

10. Sweet Shot Tuesday

9. Five Favorite Gifts

8. My Mississippi Day

7. Book Review: Jesus Calling For Kids

6. This Little Lady Got A Makeover

5. The Only Thing I’m Committing To Is Being Non-Committal

4. Home Is Where Your Art Is

3. The Decorating Files

2. Old Made New: Thrift Store Finds

1. Hill Preparatory Academy for Girls: Curriculum Choices

Several of these most-read posts were posted on blog linky parties, and many of my readers have come to the Hill Hang-Out from these fun events. Many thanks to Darcy and Emily for sharing their success with others!

Dana Wolter on Cote De Texas

I follow a fantastic decorating blog called Cote De Texas. Joni is an interior designer on the Texas coast, and she always has the most beautiful photos of breathtaking, French-inspired rooms and homes! They all look so plush and expensive, and there are always things I would like to incorporate into my own home (on the cheap, of course!) I was thrilled when I saw that her latest post was about the home of Birmingham interior designer Dana Wolter. I have met Dana a couple of times when her girls were in a children’s theater production with Mary Anneliese. She was always so stylish and personable and I was eager to get a look inside her beautiful home. I knew she has fabulous taste because she has purchased a couple of pieces of art from my sister-in-law to be used in clients’ homes. Hope you enjoy looking around Dana’s home!

This Little Lady Got a Makeover

This desk was given to us by our sweet Mississippi friend, Carilynn. It was her mother’s desk once upon a time, but after her mother’s death, Carilynn donated it to our church’s missionary house. When the church sold the missionary house and no longer needed furnishings, Carilynn graciously offered it to my little girl. Since then, it has looked like this…
My girl has used it as her art desk and, since she is a boarderline hoarder (honestly, she could almost qualify for the TV show), she kept it packed full of her art junk treasures.
God help her!
Anyhoo, using my executive power as the CEO of this organization we call home, I stole claimed her desk, painted it, glazed it, revovered the chair cushion, and changed out the hardware. Now, instead of being banished to the basement playroom, it has a place of prominence behind the sofa in our den. I was quite pleased with how the old girl turned out. I’d never glazed anything before and found it to be more of an art than I realized. She’s not perfect, but then again, neither am I. All in all, I rather like how she looks in her new digs.

I’m also linking to Rhoda’s Summer Treasure Party!

southern hospitality

And to Perfectly Imperfect…