English Inspired Stone Paver Patio Makeover With Wayfair

English Inspired Stone Paver Patio Makeover With Wayfair


When Wayfair contacted me and asked if I was interested in partnering with them on an outdoor space, first I said yes.

Then I decided to go all Downton Abbey and create an English inspired stone paver patio.

Kind of like the Earl of Grantham meets a farmhouse meets concrete pavers from the home improvement store meets the back meadow.

It’s a little bit country and a little bit English manor house.

With extra manor.Continue reading




I drifted off to sleep last night with visions of yardsaling in my head.

You know.

The kind where you follow the signs that say BIG MULTI-FAMILY yard sale and you show up and they have an entire stash of milk glass sitting on a card table without price tags.

You try to turn away and avert  your eyes and tell yourself you have shelves full of milk glass at home and that you told yourself last yardsaling day that there was a moratorium on milk glass purchases.  You stroll around looking at old Christmas lights and wondering if they would look cute on the pergola and find some plastic urns you could spray paint and try to decide if you need sunglasses that have a pink flowers that sparkle on top of them.

And then in a burst of curiosity you ask how much the milk glass is.

Not that you’re going to buy it.

There’s a moratorium going on after all.

And the lady shrugs and looks confused as if she has no idea what milk glass is and tells you an aunt gave it to her and she has way too much of it and would $1.00 a piece be too much?  And right then and there something comes over you and you find yourself driving away with boxes of $1 milk glass in the back seat laughing all the way to your butler’s pantry.

But now it’s morning and it’s raining.

I’ll have to save my $1 for another day. :)Continue reading

As the Window Turns

As the Window Turns


This post is written in collaboration with Window World.

Welcome to “As the Window Turns.”

It’s another exciting episode.

To catch you up to speed, you can read all about where we started here.

Here’s the second chapter about eight mistakes not to make when buying windows.

And in today’s installment, I went all old school and visited the local window store.Continue reading

5 Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

5 Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas


There are a lot of exciting things going on here at Thistlewood behind the scenes.

Things I could have never imagined if I had an imagination machine and dreamed for centuries.

Things that if I told you about we would hula hoop on the lawn together while drinking sweet tea and singing “We are the Champions.”

And as exciting and amazing and wonderful and incredible all of that is….

….I want to make you a promise.

This blog isn’t going to change.

I’m not going anywhere.

I’m still going to be here with my bobby pins and my red lipstick and my farmhouse and my mis-adventures and my stories.

And we’ll still have coffee together and laugh and talk and tell each other we are rock stars.

I’m not sure why I felt like I needed to tell you that today, except I was talking with my mother about some amazing opportunities coming in the next few months and she smiled and told me that it sounded wonderful and then reminded me of the importance of the blog.

And all of you.

And you know she’s always right. :)

So to celebrate mothers who are always right everywhere….

….here’s a few handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day.Continue reading

One Of the Most Brilliant Decisions I’ve Ever Made

One Of the Most Brilliant Decisions I’ve Ever Made


About four years ago I made a brilliant decision.


Amazingly, wonderfully, incredibly brilliant.

One of those decisions where you’re not really sure how or why you made it or even what inspired you, but you pat yourself on the back every day that you did.

A decision that literally changed the course of my life and added hours to my day and made me want to write a book to tell others about it and put it on a billboard surrounded by twinkling lights and take out an ad on page two of the New York Times.

The decision?

Teaching my children to do their own laundry.Continue reading

How to Decorate On Little More Than a Dime (and a Mulligan)

How to Decorate On Little More Than a Dime (and a Mulligan)


This weekend I spoke at the Country Living Fair.

It was wonderful and glorious and full of sunshine and things that rhymed with bintage and bibby and more inspiration than a person should be allowed to take in a day.

I talked on how to decorate for a little more than a dime (please note that the title was adjusted for inflation).

And it went well.

Except for the ending.

I….well….{gulp}….well….forgot it.


I know…right?  I had this perfectly planned ending and somewhere around slide seventeen I realized I was out of time and abruptly mumbled something like, “Here’s my back porch” and awkwardly pronounced that I was finished and asked for questions.

And left my incredible, inspirational, amazing ending hanging in space.

So I thought I could make it up to my ending today and ask for a mulligan.  A do-over.  I’m going to kind of re-create the talk and add what I should have said right after slide seventeen.

Mumbling not included. :)Continue reading




Good morning sunshine.

Just in case you were wondering, I think I finally got all the pink out of my hair.

Good thing.

I’m off to speak on the main stage at the Country Living Fair this morning with the mini-thistles who I promised to take shopping after the event to places that don’t sell milk glass or vintage screen doors or shutters or random frames that you can transform into a chalkboard.

Places that rhyme with Forever 21 and the Gap.

If you happen to be in the Lebanon, TN area, I’ll be on the main stage from 12:00-1:00, right before the creative amazing couple from the new HGTV show, Hometown.

PS  I might not have pink hair, but I’ll have red lipstick. :)Continue reading

You Will Never Guess What Showed Up In the Mail

You Will Never Guess What Showed Up In the Mail


It was an ordinary day at the gatehouse.

I had coffee.

And did the dishes.

And tried to figure out how to curl my hair with a flat iron to hide the fact that I had accidentally spray painted part of it pink.

Nothing really unusual or out of the ordinary.


Until this seemingly unremarkable box showed up at my house and plopped itself on my dining room table.Continue reading