10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 8

1. Not all storms are tornados. Not all sirens are tornado sirens. And if I don’t get that into my head I will continue to look like a crazy person every time it’s windy and there’s an ambulance in the distance.

2. Jack Daniels is made in a DRY county in Tennessee. You can literally go visit the plant and do nothing but sniff the whiskey. No tastes, no sips, no drinking. Someone needs to explain they are making less money this way.

3. Hayden Panettiere is my favorite country artist. Her character, Juliette Barnes, has catchy songs and Nashville is a catchy show. WHAT OF IT! I’m not ashamed.

4. Speaking of the show Nashville, Rayna James’ house in Belle Meade is for sale, and is 20 million dollars. So basically I never left LA.

5. The Band Perry is actually the real full name of the band. Not a band thats called “Perry” like I thought for the last 2 months.

6. There is EVEN live music at Whole Foods. Like no one here even bothers with an iPod because they can surely get a full band to play at any given time.

7. Trader Joe has a less successful, and less well known brother named Aldi. Okay their names are not Joe or Aldi, but they ARE brothers and they had some stupid feud over like, whether to stock cereal bars and went their separate ways. So one started Trader Joes, and one started Aldi. POOR ALDI, am I right? They carry almost identical products and Aldi is actually cheaper since they basically make you do everything yourself and don’t believe in customer service or bags, or even free grocery carts. There are lessons to be learned here, I’m sure of it.

8. In related news, the black widow has a creepy cousin named the brown recluse. It basically just lurks in your shoes and furniture waiting to ruin your life.

9. Why is my manicure more expensive here than in LA? This is an actual question – not just a discovery. Why.

10. Dolly Parton lives just up the road from me and I drive by her house (compound?) on the way to the park. So let me say this for emphasis, DOLLY PARTON IS MY NEIGHBOR, Y’ALL!

HOUSE TOUR.

It’s been a big two months with our big move. Into a big house. With a lot of big rooms and even bigger closets. So naturally I’ve spent all my time happily arranging, organizing, and styling my house until I got it just right. And if my kids could just live in a separate building, it would STAY just right. But at least the constant cleaning up qualifies for exercise.

Since so many people have been asking for pictures, I thought I would take you on a little tour room by room. The only thing I’m leaving out is the lower level since that won’t be finished until the end of the year. In my dreams, that will be where our au pair lives. In John’s dreams, it will be some kind of music room and movie theater. In Stella’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace. In Sutton’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace because his big sister said so.

[ ENTRY ]

When you enter the front door, the dining room is on the right, and the office is on the left.

To the right of the entry table is a powder room. It’s fairly unremarkable except that it houses the pages from a 1920’s French magazine that I found.

[ OFFICE ]

The office is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It has huge windows, pitched ceilings, and is just not a bad place to spend time at the computer. I think this room was intended to either be a formal study or formal living room, but we had this desk built into the wall so it could function as a proper office.

[ DINING ROOM ]

The dining room is also one of my favorite rooms in the house because I’m a sucker for a coffered ceiling. We kept the room in a gray scale to compliment the Jim Marshall photos hanging on the wall. My husband, being a photographer, was insistent that ONLY Jim Marshall photos hang in this room. I’ve always loved these pictures, but now that we live in Music City, they feel more at home. Particularly the one of Johnny Cash giving us the finger from San Quentin.

In between the dining room and great room is a butler’s pantry.

[ GREAT ROOM ]

This room is the heart of the house. Living in an open floor-plan was new to me since our previous home was built in the 30’s and was so compartmentalized. But I’m finding that large open spaces can be just as cozy.

The doors off the great room lead out to the back porch. I’d take a picture, but it’s too hot. Sorry.

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[ KITCHEN ]

The kitchen is right off the great room (like everything else?) so we spend a lot of time here. It’s also where the food is, so we’d spend a lot of time here regardless. I love the mercury glass pendant lights, the beveled edge subway tile, and the marble herringbone backsplash. But again, I also just love any place that has food in it.

Our breakfast room (otherwise known as the place we eat all our meals since we never use the dining room) is adjacent to the kitchen.

There’s also a door leading to the back porch, and yet another dining table. We try to eat outside when it’s not 10,000 degrees which so far has been about 3 times.

[ MUD ROOM ]

Look… I am a Californian girl. We don’t have mud rooms. So just allow me the indulgence of loving EVERYTHING about the smallest room in the house.

[ GUEST ROOM ]

Since we now live so far from our friends and family, I tried to create a guest room that people actually wanted to stay in while visiting. Like checking into a nice hotel.

[ LAUNDRY ROOM ]

Nothing particular to note. I just think it’s fun doing laundry rooms.

[ MASTER SUITE ]

This is my favorite part of the house. As it should be.

Okay… MY BATHROOM. I can’t.

Also pretty excited by my closet…

I even let John share it (a small section) with me!

[ UPSTAIRS PLAYROOM ]

The kids own the entire second floor. Their playroom and bedrooms are upstairs which means so is the mess. It’s basically the best.

The best part about this playroom is right behind the above doors. It might look like cabinets, but it’s actually a humongous storage room that doubles as a secondary playroom. It also houses toys that don’t need to be out all the time.

It also gives me a place to hang Stella’s artwork because you know it’s not going on the fridge.

Stella and Sutton’s rooms are right off the playroom, and I love the wall that separates them. On the right side, it’s a drawing of Tinker Bell, and on the left side, it’s a drawing of Michael Darling dressed as Indian Brave, and both are flanked by Sweet Dreams and Sleep Tight.

[ STELLA’S ROOM ]

Can you guess what her favorite color is? You’d be correct if you said pink.

The branch above her dresser is a piece of the large cherry blossom tree decal that used to be in her room. I cried when we had to take it down for the move, and I smuggled a piece of it in my suitcase!

Here’s Stella’s closet. I hope she never accuses of me of not doing anything for her.

And her bathroom.

[ SUTTON’S ROOM ]

Sutton’s room has ONLY the toys Stella can’t lift or isn’t interested in. Virtually everything else has been stolen.

So that’s what our house looks like. For now. Because you know I love a project.