An Away Luggage Update and Help Me Choose a New Carry-on Bag

Before I left for a trip to Egypt last October, I purchased this snazzy, aluminum, Away carry-0n bag for the trip. Over the last few months, I've had several comments and emails asking how that bag worked out. Though I loved the bag, I sadly decided to return it after the trip. In today's post, I thought I'd share what I loved about the bag, why I returned it and what bag(s) I'm considering buying … [Read more...]


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An Ornery Weather Station

Welcome to the 520th Metamorphosis Monday! Unfortunately, I'm still sick with some kind of virus. My throat is still really swollen. If I'm not better in the next day or two, I'm going for a strep test.  I don't really have a Before and After to share since I spent much of yesterday (when I felt up to it) doing boring stuff like putting wreaths back into storage under the eaves in the upstairs family … [Read more...]


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My (and my son’s) Winter Favorites

This is how fall/winter always starts for me: It's the end of September and I'm dreading the end of summer. I wish I could keep fall/winter from coming or at least somehow fast forward through it to spring. I almost feel depressed thinking that summer is over and the long months of winter are upon us. Then Halloween happens, I love Halloween and all the decorating and silliness that accompanies it. … [Read more...]


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Dinner in the 1902 Restaurant, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan Egypt

Welcome to the 536th Tablescape Thursday! Last October, my friend, Teresa, and I spent 15 days traveling across Egypt. That trip was definitely one of the most exciting, mysterious, bucket-list trips I've ever been on. In a word, it was awesome--Disney Rash and all! lol During the trip to Egypt, we had a rather interesting adventure on a visit to the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan. The Old … [Read more...]


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Beautiful Calendar Inserts for Any Agenda, Especially for the Louis Vuitton Fan

Last summer I was offered a trip to Maui, Hawaii by a friend who had booked a week there, but ended up not being able to go due to another commitment. (Read more about that trip under the Travel category at the top of BNOTP here: Travel.) During that trip, I did some shopping which included visiting a Louis Vuitton store in Whalers Village. While inside I spotted the most beautiful antique trunk! Until … [Read more...]


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Easy Storage for Winter Boots, Keeps Them Upright-No Slouching or Falling Over

Welcome to the 519th Metamorphosis Monday! Whooo, I'm back home. I got in quite late last night after the always-long drive home from Ohio. The drive went by relatively fast since the weather was awesome (no rain!) and I was listening to a really good book all the way home. The book I was listening to via Audible was, Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure The Deadliest Disease in History by Dr. Jeremy … [Read more...]


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Embracing Winter with 3 Winter-Themed Tablescapes

Welcome to the 535th Tablescape Thursday! As we head into the coldest months of winter here in the U.S., I thought I'd share a few wintery tables from the past. I'll be leaving family to head back home soon, how did the holidays go by so quickly?! I'm sure you're asking the same thing...goes by faster every year, doesn't it? (Click on any title below to view more of that table setting.) A Wintery … [Read more...]


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Jane Austen Fans: Would You Enjoy a Literary Tour of Southern England?

Happy New Year! I hope 2019 has had an awesome start for you! It's always around this time of the year that I'm finally able to accept the cold weather and have begun to embrace it. I love a good excuse for staying inside and curling up under a throw with a good book or just watching a favorite old movie.   A Travel Opportunity for the Classic Literature Lover, especially the Jane Austen … [Read more...]


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Keep Silver Jewelry Visible, Yet Tarnish-free While Stored Away

Welcome to the 518th Metamorphosis Monday! Happy New Year to you! Any exciting plans for New Year's Eve? I have something I just discovered that I'm super excited to share with you for this week's Metamorphosis Monday! Over the past 20 years, I've collected or have been given as a gift, several pieces of silver jewelry. Some jewelry, like the silver jewelry from Tiffany & Co., comes in a little … [Read more...]


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2 Beautiful Christmas Table Settings: Elegant in Silver, Festive in Red

Welcome to the 534th Tablescape Thursday! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you are having a special time visiting with family and friends! We're all still in a holiday state of mind here as the new year approaches. Over this past week, I received wonderful photos of beautiful Christmas table settings from two lovely BNOTP readers. Norma set an elegant Christmas table in shades of white and … [Read more...]


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Making Smoked Barbecue in a Big Green Egg

Welcome to the 517th Metamorphosis Monday! Good Morning! Hope you're having a great Christmas Eve! I'm spending time with family this week and I don't have my usual "Before and After" to share, so I thought I'd share something my son, Chip, was working on throughout the day, yesterday. In the wee hours of the morning, he got a Boston Butt/Pork Butt going in his Big Green Egg smoker-grill. We spent … [Read more...]


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The Big Present Puzzle & Making It All Fit

Thanks so much for sharing in the comments on yesterday's post how you keep track of recipes you find online that interest you and that you may want to make some day. I learned so many new things from you and I'm impressed with the systems you have devised for keeping up with recipes! One of the reasons I asked that question is because I was contemplating adding a recipe Plugin to BNOTP that would let … [Read more...]


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5 Christmas Recipes That Will Having Them Coming Back for 2nd’s and 3rd’s

Welcome to the 533rd Tablescape Thursday! A Question For You So I've been wondering, what's your favorite way to keep up with a recipe you find online and would possibly like to make one day? Do you pin the recipe post to Pinterest? Or, do you have a recipe file on your computer where you just bookmark the post or website? Or, do you print it out right then and there? What is your favorite way … [Read more...]


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Oh, The Surprising Things You’ll See Through a Ring Doorbell!

Back on November 28th, I blogged about my intentions to add a Ring Doorbell to my home for increased security and convenience. If you missed that original post, you'll find it here: Finally Doing It-I'm Adding a Security Camera to my Front Porch. Today I'm sharing how the installation went along with one hiccup I encountered and how I solved it. If you have any questions after reading this post,  leave … [Read more...]


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A Wreath Switcheroo: Staying With a Natural Green Wreath From Now On

Welcome to the 516th Metamorphosis Monday! A week or two ago I shared how the porch was decorated for Christmas. You may remember I wasn't thrilled with how this ornament wreath looked against my red door. I'm using it elsewhere, it looks great out on the screened porch.   So, here's how the porch looks now.   I was a little worried at first about the performance of … [Read more...]


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Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages, I Want Some of These!

Update: If you have trouble seeing links below, please exit out of the post and load it again to see if that corrects the problem. This will be my last gift idea post and this one is geared toward the little ones who steal our hearts every day. I will continue to add gift ideas to this post as I've been doing with the other gift posts I've put together, so be sure to check back if you're still looking … [Read more...]


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Favorite Gift Ideas for the Men in Our Life

Update: If you have trouble seeing links below, please exit out of the post and load it again to see if that corrects the problem. Recently, I shared a few gift ideas that would make great stocking stuffers. If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Stocking Stuffers They'll Love on Christmas Day.   A few days later I shared suggestions for the ladies in your life. That post can be … [Read more...]


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The Star Was Too Big, But at Least the Presents are Wrapped

Christmas is just 11 days away! Wow, this month is flying by! I have the presents all wrapped, but I'm doing something a little different this year. I don't think I'm going to add bows to the presents, well at least not right now. If I do, they will all get crushed when I pack them into my SUV to head north for Christmas. Maybe once I arrive, I'll add some bows then. That sounds like a good … [Read more...]


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A Christmas Vacation Table Setting with Dept. 56 Lit Houses

Welcome to the 533rd Tablescape Thursday! This has been such an interesting, busy week. Yesterday I was awakened at 4:15 in the morning by a trembling bed. Having experienced two earthquakes during the last 10 or so years, I was pretty sure we were having another one. A quick check of Twitter confirmed it. I rarely visit Twitter but it's a great place to go if you're wondering if an earthquake has just … [Read more...]


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Gifts Any Woman Would Love, Even The Picky Ones!

Update: If you have trouble seeing links below, please exit out of the post and load it again to see if that corrects the problem. Recently, I shared a few items that I thought would be much-appreciated stocking stuffers this year. If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Stocking Stuffers They'll Love on Christmas Day. Today I thought I'd share a few goodies that I think would make wonderful … [Read more...]


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16 Ideas for Celebrating Christmas and the Holiday season

Welcome to the 515th Metamorphosis Monday! How was your weekend? Did you attend any holiday home tours? We had one here but it was just too rainy and cold, so I stayed in and wrapped presents. I got a lot done, but still have so many more to wrap. It's really been an enjoyable task since I've been watching documentaries on the life of Jane Austen on my iPad while wrapping. I should be watching Christmas … [Read more...]


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Stocking Stuffers They’ll Love on Christmas Day

Update: If you have trouble seeing links below, please exit out of the post and load it again to see if that corrects the problem. Happy Weekend! How is your Christmas shopping going? I've finished mine now, just waiting for a few additional items to arrive. Today and tomorrow will be gift-wrapping day and it's gonna take a while since I tend to go a little crazy buying gifts at Christmastime. If … [Read more...]


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12 Days of Christmas Table Setting with a Guest Appearance by One of the 6 Geese

Welcome to the 532nd Tablescape Thursday! Today I'm wishing I had a table that seated 12. I'd love to share all 12 place settings of this pattern with you for this week's Tablescape Thursday.   I had planned to place this table in the breakfast room, but at the last minute I decided to set it here in the dining room.   I took these photos late, late last night. Picture … [Read more...]


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Why My Laptop’s Built-in Camera Has Been Covered for the Last 10+ Years.

Many years ago, before I had ever heard of blogs, I took my then computer laptop to a computer store to have it repaired. When I placed it on the counter inside the repair shop and opened it up, I was a little embarrassed. Before leaving home, I had forgotten to remove the folded up yellow Post-it note I had taped over the camera. I hastily removed it, mumbling something about having heard you could be … [Read more...]


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If You’re Feeling Behind Right Now, Hope This Makes You Feel Better

If you're feeling behind right now, know that you're not alone. I feel a little like that guy on the old Ed Sullivan show (dating myself here) who is up on stage spinning 20 dinner plates at one time. I think that's the way my brain works best, though. I'll start a Christmas decorating project, get 2/3rds of the way in, starting feeling a bit bored and start another one. Last night, determined to get the … [Read more...]


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Pottery Barn Inspired Christmas Garland: Bigger and Better Second Time Around

Welcome to the 514th Metamorphosis Monday! I had hoped to do an update on the installation of the Ring Doorbell today, but I need one more part to fix an issue it's having. Hopefully, the part I've ordered will arrive this week, then I'll be able to complete that final post. So watch for that coming up real soon.   Pottery Barn Inspired Christmas Garland Gets an Update Many, many years ago … [Read more...]


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My Uber Eats Experience & A Ring Doorbell Update

Have you tried Uber Eats, yet? I thought I'd pop in and just share my experience in case you're interested. This isn't a Sponsored post, Uber Eats does not know me, just sharing because I've had excellent experiences and have really enjoyed it. This past summer, I went from having never used Uber to lately using it a lot. The first time I used Uber was when I was in Maui for a week this past summer. I … [Read more...]


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Create a Little Snack Center, A Small Thank-you to Our Delivery Men & Women

My day had a not-so-great start. I awoke, turned on my computer and it began making an odd whirring sound. I think the fan in the CPU tower has gone out. Again. ~~~sigh~~~  It shut down by itself and made a terrible "siren" sound when I attempted to restart it. So I'll be packing a lunch (because it takes that long to get there and back!) and driving to the other side of Atlanta today to leave it for … [Read more...]


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Plaid Everything! Yes, Please!

Welcome to the 531st Tablescape Thursday! Just before I left to fly north for Thanksgiving, I stopped into Pottery Barn to scope out all their Christmas dinnerware. They always have such fun holiday dinnerware. I love seeing it all and it really gets me excited for the holidays. Since Thanksgiving was just a few days away, they no longer had Thanksgiving dinnerware on display. I just noticed today, … [Read more...]


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Finally Doing It–I’m Adding a Security Camera to My Front Porch

I've been thinking about adding a security camera to my front porch for a long, long time. Fortunately, I've never had a package or anything go missing from my porch, but a camera could come in handy for that, as well. The main reason I've been wishing to add a camera is in hopes of avoiding unnecessary interruptions. So often when I'm working in the office or somewhere in the house, I'll hear the doorbell … [Read more...]


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A Family Christmas Mantel & The Best Cyber Monday Shopping Finds

Welcome to the 513th Metamorphosis Monday! My sweet daughter-in-law, Nancy, has been sick the past few days with a yucky cold, but this weekend she was feeling much better and started pulling out the Christmas decorations. It was so much fun seeing my grandson's reactions to the trees, lights and pretty decorations. There were a lot of Ooohhs and Ahhhs and WOWs! One of the areas that saw a makeover … [Read more...]


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My Favorite Black Friday Sales

I don't think I've ever been more excited for a Black Friday than I am today. The sales are pretty much the best you'll find throughout the year, and I love that I can stay at home in my PJs and still take advantage of all the best deals! Noritake is having their BIGGEST sale of the year with everything sitewide at 30-50% off!   These beautiful Christmas accent plates are on sale 30% off. … [Read more...]


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Happy Thanksgiving to You!

Welcome to the 530th Tablescape Thursday! Happy Thanksgiving to you! For this week's Tablescape Thursday, I'm sharing links to 8 previous Thanksgiving table settings. If you're looking for any last minute ideas this morning, hope these will provide a bit of inspiration for your Thanksgiving table. Click on any title or picture below to open that particular Thanksgiving Tablescape post. Thanksgiving … [Read more...]


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Easily Add Lighting to Attics, Closets & Sheds & A Wallet Update I Just Made

Welcome to the 512th Metamorphosis Monday! I have two quick updates to share for this week's Met Monday. Hope you find these helpful! I store the majority of my Christmas decorations here in the upstairs bonus room eaves. As seen below, there are little doors that lead to that storage area.   That area can be quite dark, especially when all the wreaths I hang on my exterior windows are … [Read more...]


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Hanging Wreaths & My Favorite Tartan Flannel Sheets Are On Sale

Have you completed your autumn decorations? I didn't really decorate a lot this year since I was out of the country for most of October, then under the weather with a nasty cold/virus for 10+ days of November. About the only decorating I did prior to leaving for Egypt was to hang a fall wreath on my front door. (See more of this wreath in this previous post: Autumn Wreath for the Front … [Read more...]


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Dining in a Country Lodge, An Autumn Inspired Table Setting

Welcome to the 529th Tablescape Thursday! It's very cold here in Georgia right now, so I'm dreaming I'm in a beautiful lodge. There's a roaring, crackling fire blazing away in the massive stone fireplace. I'm curled up under a cozy, warm throw, reading The Secret Garden for the thousandth time while sipping the yummiest hot chocolate. What's that? It's time for dinner?   A dark … [Read more...]


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How I Foiled a Pickpocket Thief in the Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo

After visiting the Hanging Church in Cairo, I was less than thrilled when our guide announced we were next headed to the souk, also known as the Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar. When I hear the word "souk," it brings back terrible memories of the all the souks we visited during my trip to Morocco with Overseas Adventure Travel in March 2017. In Morocco, the souks were always super crowded, smelled bad and were … [Read more...]


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Great Storage Idea for Handbags Or Collectibles & All the Details To Create It

Welcome the 511th Metamorphosis Monday! If you've been reading BNTOP for a while, I know you're familiar with this view of my home office.   On the other side of my office, there's a cozy, little reading corner.   Several years ago I hung a Bucket List Travel Map above the chair here in the office, hoping it would keep me inspired and focused on seeing more of our big, … [Read more...]


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Christmas Shopping This Weekend & Taking Advantage of the Best Sales

During the day on Tuesday, my lights went out three times. They weren't out long, just long enough to get all the clocks in the house flashing away. Later that night as I was getting into bed, they went out and stayed out for good. I have no idea what was going on with the power in our neighborhood that day but when I looked out the window, I could see the whole street was out. I never felt panicked … [Read more...]


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Beauty & the Beast Birthday Table Featuring Beauty & the Beast Collectibles

Welcome to the 528th Tablescape Thursday! Happy to say I have turned the corner with this yucky cold/virus I caught my last couple of days in Egypt. The fever is gone and I'm finally starting to get my energy back now, which is good since the holidays are upon us! Thanks so much for all your comments on yesterday's post. I'm so glad you enjoyed our crazy adventure at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract … [Read more...]


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In the Footsteps of Agatha Christie: A Visit to the Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt

I have so many mixed emotions about my trip to Egypt. Every day was truly an adventure filled with wonder, but there were also moments that were disconcerting. As I share photos and experiences from my time in Egypt, I'll share it all--the good and the not-so-good. That way if you ever decide to put Egypt on your bucket list, you'll have an idea what to expect and things to hopefully avoid. Have I … [Read more...]


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As Requested: Instructions & Resources to Make a Beautiful Colonial Williamsburg Fruit Fan for Christmas

Welcome to the 510th Metamorphosis Monday! I awoke this morning around 4:00 am. I would say I'm still on Egypt time but I was doing this even when I was in Egypt. I wonder if that's why I got sick, not getting enough sleep. I don't know what's up with my body wanting to wake up so ridiculously early every day, but I wish it would stop. I'm still sick but feeling better each day. Thankfully, the fever … [Read more...]


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A Spooky but Elegant Halloween Table Setting with a Count Dracula Vampire Theme

Welcome to the 527th Tablescape Thursday! Well, I did it again...got sick on a trip overseas. The last couple of days in Egypt, I felt like I was coming down with a bad cold. I spiked a high fever during the flight home and that has continued. It's been 102 all night. I'm going to try and see a doctor today. I sure hope I don't have a massive fall-out of hair like happened last time I ran a high … [Read more...]


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Follow-up to Your Requests: 12 More Products I Use for Fabulous Before & Afters

Welcome to the 509th Metamorphosis Monday! Good Morning! I had hoped to post a lot more while traveling across Egypt. Unfortunately, fast WiFi has been sadly lacking in many of the hotels. It reminds me of the days of dial-up--remember those? Ugh. I wish I could fast-forward technology right now so every hotel in the world would have high-speed internet. Dreaming! Fortunately, I was finally able to … [Read more...]


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What Do Travelers Really Wear When Visiting Egypt?

It's 4 am here. Last night we arrived back in Cairo, having completed the Aswan-Abu Simble part of our trip. I can't wait to go through all the photos I've taken to share some of the highlights of this tour across Egypt! It will take some time to go through all the photos I've taken and to organize them for a post, but I hope to share those soon. I've received a few comments here and on Instagram … [Read more...]


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An Egypt River Cruise: Sailing & Dining on the Nile River

Welcome to the 526th Tablescape Thursday! We've had a lot of early mornings on this trip across Egypt and tomorrow will be another one as I'll be rising at 4:30 AM for a trip to Abu Simbel. The WiFi on our boat is the pitts. If you use more than a certain amount, it logs you out and you have to request a new password at the front desk to continue. I've lost count of how many new passwords I've had to … [Read more...]


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Thinking Ahead to Christmas: Colonial Williamsburg Style Door Idea

Welcome to the 508th Metamorphosis Monday! I had an interesting start to my morning! I awoke around 4 am Egypt time and was laying in bed thinking about my Met Monday post when the power went out. I noticed it immediately because the A/C stopped and everything went very dark. It's a weird feeling to be on the top (5th) floor of a hotel and have all the power go out. Fortunately, I knew where my phone … [Read more...]


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A Visit to the Giza Plateau & the Last Remaining Member of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

Hello from Egypt! How has your week been going? The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. I had hoped to post before now but it's taken longer to go through photos than I had expected. I've been posting a bunch on Instagram, though...so be sure and follow there for daily updates. You'll find BNOTP on Instagram here: BNOTP. If you ever visit Egypt to see the pyramids, I can definitely recommend a … [Read more...]


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Humorous Halloween Centerpiece for a Festive Birthday Celebration

Welcome to the 525th Tablescape Thursday! Sandra recently hosted a little luncheon in celebration of a friend's birthday. She set the most fun table with a delightful centerpiece featuring whimsical Halloween witches she found in Tuesday Morning many years back.   Sandra said, "We lived in Adams, Tennesse for about 9 years, which is the home of the Bell Witch. Great … [Read more...]


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10 Halloween Crafts for the Home and Table

Welcome to the 507th Metamorphosis Monday! I'm leaving for Egypt today. I plan to post a good bit while I'm away. Hopefully, I'll have some fast WiFi in the hotels where we'll be staying. I'll also be posting a lot to Instagram while I'm away. Instagram is the easiest and quickest way to share in real time, so be sure to look for updates there each day. If you would like to follow my adventures … [Read more...]


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What’s Inside My Travel Handbag & “Luxury” Travel-Themed Toothpaste

Thanks so much to Ginger for telling me about this fun "luxury" travel toothpaste. The toothpaste comes in some pretty exotic-sounding flavors. The description describes them this way: This set contains 1.3oz travel sizes of all three limited edition toothpaste flavors in Marvis’ Wonders of the World collection, inspired by an imaginary and adventurous journey around the world. I purchased one set … [Read more...]


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A Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration with Harvest Pumpkin China

Welcome to the 524th Tablescape Thursday! Brenda and Tom are newlyweds, they were just married in August. Together they live at Peaceful Valley Farm in Canada. What a beautiful place! It certainly lives up to its name! Brenda said, "We are retired but we have a hobby farm with two horses, Lady and Foxy. We also have 6 black Angus cows, (Tour of Duty, Rosebud, Daisey, Feiria, Roscoe, and Arlene) over … [Read more...]


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5 New Items I’m Packing for Egypt, One I Should Have Purchased Ages Ago!

It's countdown time--I'll be leaving for Egypt in less than a week.  This trip seemed so far off when I shared the details in this previous post: Pyramids, Mummies and Cruising the Nile River. Before every trip abroad, I usually pick up a few new items. I love trying new things, especially if it will enhance some aspect of the trip or prevent a problem.   2-Stage Filtered Water Bottle, … [Read more...]


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Protect Your Suitcase from Scratches with a Pretty Luggage Cover

Welcome to the 506th Metamorphosis Monday! How was your weekend? This is a long weekend for some folks since today is Columbus Day. It's also Thanksgiving for our northern friends in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! I spent the weekend getting some things done I've been putting off--like spiffing up the screened porch for autumn. I haven't done any decorating on the porch, yet--but I did take time … [Read more...]


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Tour a Beautiful Historic 1803 Federal Home in Franklin, Tennessee

Every now and then I come across a beautiful historic home that's so special, I know I have to share it. If you live close to Franklin, Tennessee, you may already be familiar with this historic, 1803 Federal home that is situated beautifully on 18 acres+. It was given the name, Meeting of the Waters because it is located where two rivers (Big Harpeth River and West Harpeth River) join together. Love the … [Read more...]


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5 Creative Tablescapes for Halloween and Fall

Welcome to the 523rd Tablescape Thursday! This week I'm taking you back to a few of my favorite Halloween and Autumn table settings.  If you're new to reading here at BNOTP, you'll find all the Halloween tables linked under the category "Tablescapes" at the top of the blog. To access those, click on: Tablescapes/Holiday/Halloween. Or, you'll find them all here: Halloween Tablescapes. Fall Tablescapes … [Read more...]


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Fall Wreath Idea, A Porch with a River View & Dreamy Fashions Inspired by Fashion Week

I have quite a few fun things to share today, starting with this beautiful fall wreath Carol created for her front door this year. Carol said, "I saw your fall wreath and wanted to share with you my fall wreath. I am always finding something new and I add to it every year, so it has morphed into this now." I love this idea! What a great way to update an older wreath. I especially love the monogram … [Read more...]


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The Away Bigger Carry-on Bag: Lydia and Instagram Made Me Do It!

Welcome to the 505th Metamorphosis Monday! Over the past three years as I've traveled abroad, this adorable bag has always been my carry-on bag. There are many things I love about it, including its two interior pockets. One is perfect for carrying a laptop and the other, a zipper pocket, is great for smaller items like electrical cords, mouse, Rx, etc... I always get so many comments/compliments on … [Read more...]


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Packing for Travel to Egypt and a Cruise Along the Nile River

In a few short weeks, I'll be heading off on a new adventure. I'll be leaving for a 16-day trip to Egypt. This will be my third time visiting the continent of Africa--somehow it keeps drawing me back. It's going to be quite hot in Egypt, I'm guessing very much like the summers here in Georgia but with less humidity since it's really a desert environment. Today I'm sharing the wardrobe I plan to pack, … [Read more...]


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Tablescape Thursday: A Halloween Setting by Candlelight

Welcome to the 522nd Tablescape Thursday! We had storms this afternoon and it got quite dark as I finished setting this table to share for today's Tablescape Thursday. I decided to go with it--embrace the cloudy, moody afternoon and photograph this Halloween only table by candlelight. As it got even darker out, I turned on a few lamps.   Love dining by candlelight!   It may … [Read more...]


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Vacation in The Bastle, a Farmhouse Reminiscent of Rosehill Cottage in the Movie, The Holiday

Imagine traveling to the northern part of England and staying in this 16th-century storybook home! This is The Bastle, a farmhouse built during the time Elizabeth I was Queen. Can you imagine?!   A nighttime view... This storybook stone cottage reminds me so much of the home in the movie, The Holiday. (Take a tour of that movie house here: Tour the Home in the Movie the … [Read more...]


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Did Those Boxwood Shrubs Bounce Back? Sharing a Few Landscape Updates!

Welcome to the 504th Metamorphosis Monday! Back in May 2016, I redid the landscaping directly in front of my home. I chose Green Beauty Boxwood shrubs as my foundation plants and this was how they looked on the pallet at the store just prior to having them delivered.   Here's how they looked after I planted them over the course of a few days. It was a challenge keeping them watered until I … [Read more...]


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From Broken to Better, This Project is Done! Well, at Least for Now.

I'm considering this little project complete for now. When I last shared this room, one of the little Dept. 56 lit houses I had purchased on eBay had not arrived. There's a story about that--I'll share it toward the end of this post. For the picture below, I had the shutters in the office closed and all the lamps in the office turned off. I lit a couple of candles to help my camera capture the lit … [Read more...]


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Welcoming Autumn with a Colorful Table Setting in Shades of Red, Gold and Brown

Welcome to the 521st Tablescape Thursday! With the official first day of autumn just a couple of days away, I'm  sharing a fall-ish table setting for this week's Tablescape Thursday. Still very warm here--reaching the 90's each day (which I love) but I know the cooler temps will be headed this way before too long.   I kept the centerpiece simple, using a red lantern I've had for several … [Read more...]


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12 Cleaning Products I Would Never Want To Be Without

A few days ago I received an email from Jane, a lovely BNOTP reader asking about the furniture polish I use on my furniture. Today I thought I'd do an updated post sharing a lot of the products I use around my home for cleaning, maintenance and such. The ones I'm sharing are all products I truly love and enjoy...dare say, couldn't do without! This is the furniture polish I've been using now for several … [Read more...]


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Cozying Up The Office with Dept. 56 Lit Houses and a Few New Bookcase Additions

Welcome to the 503rd Metamorphosis Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! For this week's Met Monday, I thought I'd give you a quick update on what I've been up to with the bookcases here in the office. There have been a couple of additions but also quite a few subtractions.   Can you tell I've reduced my collection a bit? I took a huge stack (probably a shelf's worth) to Goodwill this … [Read more...]


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A New Autumn Wreath for the Front Door

Summer is still very much with us here in Georgia with temps in the upper 80's and low 90's every day. I love the hot weather so I'm not complaining. Though it's not feeling one bit like fall, I came across a beautiful fall wreath recently that I couldn't pass up. I usually have a hard time finding a wreath I like because often they are just too small. I like a nice big wreath that fills out my … [Read more...]


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French Cottage Becomes a Greek Taverna

Welcome to the 520th Tablescape Thursday! We're off to France for this week's Tablescape Thursday to visit my friend, Norma. Norma resides in an adorable cottage in the French countryside alongside the Argenton River. Recently, she had friends staying with her for a few days, and one evening she prepared a scrumptious Greek feast. Norma wrote: Hi Susan I thought that you might like to see these … [Read more...]


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Almost Scammed As A Seller on eBay & Why I Won’t Use eBay Authenticate

Do you ever shop on eBay? I tend to shop on eBay in spurts. I may go months and not shop there at all, but occasionally if I'm looking for an item that's no longer being made or sold in stores, I'll search for it on eBay. I'm truly thankful eBay exists because I've purchased a number of things there over the years that I simply could not find anywhere else. Do you sell on eBay? I very rarely ever sell on … [Read more...]


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A Fun Lighting Update for My Home Office

Welcome to the 502nd Metamorphosis Monday! Happy weekend to you! I hope you're having an awesome one! I know it's not Monday yet, but I have an appointment on Monday so I thought I would go ahead and put this post up now. Before we dive into a mini-project I'm working on in my office, if you're a Talbots credit card holder, Talbots is having a big sale right now sitewide. (I got this yesterday, so … [Read more...]


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A Shark-Themed Table Setting for a Special Boy’s Birthday Party!

Welcome to the 519th Tablescape Thursday! These embossed chargers I recently shared in a post just arrived a couple of days ago. They are still in their packing boxes in my entry, been so busy I haven't had a chance to unpack them, yet. I was impressed with the shipping/packaging, each charger is individually boxed and well padded. I couldn't resist opening up one to see how they looked. Love them and … [Read more...]


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5 Ways To Save Big For Travel Abroad

I've always wanted to travel and see more of this big, beautiful world, but for many years traveling outside the United States seemed like just a dream, something other folks did but I would never be able to afford.   After I retired, Wanderlust really set in. The one place I had always wanted to visit more than any place else was Italy. With more free time on my hands, I started researching … [Read more...]


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Bracelet Storage Idea & A Wicker Bag Purchase

Tracking shows these chargers I ordered recently are arriving today...hope they are as beautiful in person as they are in this picture. Would love to set a table with them for this week's Tablescape Thursday if they arrive in time. I'm yearning for another set of blue and white dishes. I only have one set and would love another to mix and match. (Pssst: If you missed it, these chargers are still on sale … [Read more...]


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The Perfect Spot for Leaf Peeping & A Creative Way to Repurpose Vintage Crab Pots

Welcome to the 501st Metamorphosis Monday! Did you have a great weekend? Hopefully, you have today off and are enjoying a long, 3-day weekend. I usually post during the weekend, but this weekend I gave myself the full weekend off and worked on some things here inside the house...mostly just a lot of organizing and cleaning. I guess that's not exactly taking the weekend off, now that I think about it. … [Read more...]


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Fall Dinnerware Shopping & Beautiful Embossed White Chargers On Sale

Welcome to the 518th Tablescape Thursday! I always have to be dragged kicking and screaming into fall. I know it's not that way for a lot of folks who can't wait for a bit of relief from the heat. When it comes to checking out the new dishware offerings for autumn, no dragging is needed. Ha! Yesterday I stopped into the Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma near my home to see if they had their fall/autumn … [Read more...]


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Earrings for Sensitive Ears & Camouflaging or Hiding a Bracelet While Traveling

Thank you so, so much for all the lovely comments on yesterday's 500th Metamorphosis Monday post! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your kind words. You are always, always the best part of this blog and I never forget that! I'm very thankful you are here each and every day and I can't wait to share another 500 Met Mondays with you! I plan to be here creating posts as long as my brain works and my … [Read more...]


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Celebrating Our 500th Metamorphosis Monday!

Welcome to the 500th Metamorphosis Monday! We just celebrated 500 Tablescape Thursdays a few weeks ago. This week we've hit our 500th Metamorphosis Monday! I was thinking back this evening about how Met Monday first began. Our Met Monday party began a few weeks after I shared Before and After photos in a post on January 2, 2009 of a change I had made in my dining room. (See that post here: Dining Room … [Read more...]


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The Easy Way to Dry or Preserve Limelight Hydrangea Blossoms

How is your weekend going? I've been working a little outside. I need to be working A LOT outside! There's tons of weeding to be done...and other stuff. One little project I knocked out was cleaning out the interior and exterior of this Lazy Hill Farms birdhouse. I didn't think I'd be posting about it so neglected to take any "Before" pictures, but it was yucky. We've had soooo much rain this spring and … [Read more...]


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Aqua Blue Wine Glasses and Soft, Warm Sand…Ahhh, How I Do Love Summer!

Welcome to the 517th Tablescape Thursday! Recently Cyndi left this lovely comment on my 5 Creative Tables for Summer post: All of your summer tables are beautiful, but my favorite is the “Shades of blue” as it does put one in mind of water and beaches. I like your chargers, but LOVE your sea shell chargers the best! Please do a table with them and the large hurricane lanterns, love those! My shell … [Read more...]


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Protecting Vachetta Leather & Giraffe Manor Featured in Harper’s Bazaar

Before we get into today's post, little reminder that this next Monday (August 27th) is our 500th Metamorphosis Monday party! Wowza! So amazing that 500 weeks have passed since Met Monday got first started, yet I haven't aged a day! ;) har har. I bet you haven't either! :) For next week's Metamorphosis Monday, if you would like, please share a photo (or two) of  5-10 of your most favorite "Before and … [Read more...]


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A Plain Brick Home Gets The Most Beautiful Transformation! Love!!!

Welcome to the 499th Metamorphosis Monday! Ever pass by a beautiful home, a home that's solid and well-built but just feels like something is missing? Here in the south we have a lot of clay soil, so brick homes are everywhere. You'll find entire neighborhoods filled with homes made of brick in many different shades and colors. Sometimes the brick will vary greatly in color and add so much interest and … [Read more...]


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The End-of-Summer Sales are Awesome Right Now

This past week has been a lot of fun as I've been visiting with my son, daughter-in-love and grandsons. We've been doing a lot of grilling since my son upgraded to a Big Green Egg this summer. Any BGE fans out there? I've been so impressed with the flavor of the food he's been cooking. It has me thinking about getting one if/when I move one day. Amazing all the things you can make on this grill, even … [Read more...]


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5 Creative Tables for Summer

Welcome to the 516th Tablescape Thursday! I can't believe it's already August! Thankfully, it will still be warm here in the south for another month or two. My heart is still in summer, fall will get here soon enough! For this week's Tablescape Thursday, I'm sharing a few of the tables I've set this summer.   Click on any title below to view that table setting in more detail. Happy … [Read more...]


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Tour the Museum of Style Icons in Ireland, Part II

On Monday we began a tour through the Museum of Style Icons, a museum owned by Newbridge Silverware in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. It was a wonderful, unexpected highlight during my trip to Ireland last year. In that previous post, I shared this pretty cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's.   That dress was displayed near several other dresses worn … [Read more...]


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A Visit to the Newbridge Museum of Style Icons

Welcome to the 498th Metamorphosis Monday! I've been away the past few days visiting family. As I was thinking about what I might share with you today, I remembered a fascinating stop we made during my trip across Ireland last year. I think it was on the same day we visited Blarney Castle. As we were heading back to our manor home for the night, we stopped for a little shopping excursion inside the … [Read more...]


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Limelight Hydrangeas, Butterflies and Birds: A Summer Table Setting On The Porch

Welcome to the 515th Tablescape Thursday! The Limelight hydrangeas in front of my home are still blooming, so I couldn't resist using them again in a summer table setting here on the screened porch.     See that big gap, one hydrangea fell over and I didn't notice it until I was done taking pictures.   While I was setting the table, little birds flew in and … [Read more...]


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When Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana Conspire, Something Wonderful Happens!

I always have a running list in my head of things I want to share with you. Today I'm finally sitting down to share them all in one place. They run the gamut in price, some are super affordable while others are pricey but just too good to not share. This morning I purchased a pair of these L.L. Bean Sport Shoes for myself and my daughter-in-love. I think they will be great for the hiking trips we go on … [Read more...]


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It Took a Year to Get It Right, But Finally This Makeover Is Complete

Welcome to the 497th Metamorphosis Monday! Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on Saturday's post. It was so heartwarming and encouraging to read your comments and stories! You shared so many of the same thoughts I have and I truly appreciate each and every comment. I was so surprised by how many of you had actually had the opportunity to visit A Classy Flea in person! I know a lot of folks … [Read more...]


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Change Can Be So Hard Sometimes

When I first moved into my home almost 30 years ago, I struggled to furnish it. As a faithful reader of Traditional Home and Colonial Homes magazines back then, I had fallen in love with classic-traditional furniture styles and antiques. I would regularly visit some of the best furniture stores in the Atlanta area--stores like Matthews Furniture, Beverly Hall, and Furniture Craftsman. I drooled over the … [Read more...]


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Making My Own Sunshine for This Week’s Tablescape Thursday

Welcome to the 514th Tablescape Thursday! I think I may be living in England these days...or maybe I'm in Ireland. I've never seen so much rain, and this has been going on for much of the summer. It has been nice not having to worry about watering the plants on the deck, but I've almost forgotten how sunshine looks!   So please excuse the moody skies in the background. Today i