Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sheryl Crow Has A McMansion

One of my favorite things about the salon where I have my hair done is that they keep a current stack of junk magazines which I never buy myself, (except at the airport, I like to buy them when I'm flying) yet secretly like to read. Today I came across an article in In Touch magazine about Sheryl Crow's "farm" in Tennessee.  Oh my goodness, it is a faux farm and it has a McMansion on the property!  You must see the pictures.

Looks rather grand - 

Up close.  Definitely a McMansion -

The foyer.  It wants to be pretty.  What exactly is going on with those frames up the staircase?

The kitchen.  What?!?!  She has all of her money and this is the kitchen?!?!

There is an aquarium in the kitchen.  Weird.  I think the cabinets and floor tile came from Home Depot.  I'm serious - 

View from the kitchen.  The breakfast table ensemble is nice, but does that chandelier have a cord cover on it? Check out that fruit on the island -

The dining room.  Why is the table turned in that direction?  Don't miss the ceiling -

The living room.  The rug is kinda long -

The top of the stairs.  Awkward -

Upstairs hallway.  Why are those can lights there?  Why?

The master bedroom.  That chandelier, that ceiling, that artwork over the bed.  I just don't know what to say -

Brace yourselves.  The master bath.  Look at where the tub is...and the chandelier is hanging from a box...and what goes on at that little table with the chair by the shower?

Oh my, I can't do this anymore.  Posting these photos is hurting my head.  But wait!  I think I have it in me to show you one more.  Another bathroom...with a cultured marble countertop?!!!!!

This 154-acre property with the house, a pool, equestrian facility, private nanny quarters, a guest house, 14-stall barn, indoor riding arena, media room, and music studio is currently listed for sale for $7.5 million.  You can see more photos at TheTennessean.com.  I'm going to state the obvious here, but her pal Kid Rock's place blows this situation out of the water.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Side Note

We MUST get a new driveway and drain soon because this, my friends, is a problem -

Water pooling in front of our garage due to a too small driveway drain.


I crawled out from under my rock this weekend and got a subscription to Netflix.  (If you go through ebates.com you get $13 cash back by the way.)  Late Saturday night I watched The September Issue on my laptop.  Last night I watched the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens.  I know!  I know!  I'm a little late to all of this, right?  Hey, I've never claimed to be first in line for new technology or movies.  I prefer the tried and true show themselves first.  Observations from my movie watching:

1)  The influence Anna Wintour has with just the smallest decisions she makes is mind-boggling.
2)  If Anna Wintour was in charge of the oil spill we'd have this thing taken care of in no time.
3)  Grace Coddington is unbelieveably talented, but I can't figure out why she doesn't
      a)  cut her hair or
      b)  use some Moroccan oil.
4)  Anna Wintour's daughter is lovely.
5)  The interior of Wintour's New York City townhouse is really blah.
4)  When we lived in Amarillo our neighbor across the street was EXACTLY like a combination of the two Edie's.  Seriously!!!  The one advantage my former neighbor has is that she can afford a housekeeper.  If not, she would be headed for an "Edie" lifestyle for sure.  Look.  Here is her house.  It even has a Grey Gardens vibe -

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Amarillo - Exterior Front - After Pictures

And now the after pictures of the front exterior of the house -

Doesn't the house look so much happier now!?!?  I decided I wanted to have the house painted yellow so Mike and I drove around with a paint deck and stopped at a yellow house we liked the color of and matched their paint to a paint in the paint deck. The shutters and front door were painted black and the trim was painted white to match the new garage doors.  The other changes that took place were replacing the driveway and sidewalk with new concrete edged in brick pavers which looked very nice, a new tree to replace the dead tree, new bushes and new grass.  Mike still gives me a hard time about having old boxwoods torn out just to be replaced with new boxwoods.  You might ask, "Why such a little tree Sharon?".  The answer is that a tree the size we had planted costs about $250 and a tree double that size costs about $750.

Why did I pick such boring garage doors?

I guess I was more concerned about staying within my budget (usually a good plan when renovating), but now I see these garage doors in the picture and think they are pretty dull. Even windows in the doors would have livened things up a bit. Live and learn. We never quite decided what to do with that "nook" either. I understand the new owners have done something in the "nook", but I'm not sure what.

New outdoor light, mailbox, house marker, door hardware, brick step and plants.  The fact that the first sidewalk joint line was not straight really bothered my obsessive-compulsive mind - 

Originally, there were shutters on the porch hiding a painted decorative iron railing where the post is now.  We removed the shutters, left the iron railing and simply wrapped the railing with a new post.  The beadboard on the porch ceiling was there originally and added some personality -

Two of the children from the neighborhood and I had great success planting tulip bulbs -

Next up - the process involved in buying a foreclosed property.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting Back on Track

While my current real estate resuscitation remains a magical mystery without a tour I am planning a series of posts about our Amarillo, TX resuscitation. I'll start with the exterior of the house and work my way through each room discussing the good with the bad in each area. First some background. Mike was transferred to Amarillo with his job. He works for an animal health company. Amarillo is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle which is major cattle feeding country.  We were fortunate enough to live there for 5 years.

Amarillo on the map -

Amarillo is a city of around 200,000 people.  I called it the island of Amarillo, it's just that it's surrounded by dirt instead of water.  Flat and treeless Panhandle Plains -

From Wikipedia - The city was once the self-proclaimed "Helium Capital of the World" for having one of the country's most productive helium fields. The city is also known as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (as the city takes its name from the Spanish word for yellow) and most recently "Rotor City, USA" for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant.  Amarillo operates one of the largest meat packing areas in the United States. Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is also a major employer. The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch were located on the former U.S. Highway 66, which passes through the city.

Pretty glamorous, huh?  Here's the thing, the people there are super friendly and the weather is fantastic.  Plus there was always the sky -

I am not exaggerating the fact that trees in the Texas Panhandle are few and far between.  When I was searching for a house (I search, narrow it down to 3 and then Mike and I decide together) I really wanted a neighborhood with trees.  We decided on the historic neighborhood of Wolflin in Amarillo where there were lots of trees and pretty houses.  The house we selected was not so pretty at the time we bought it since it was a foreclosure and in need of some major resuscitating -

There was a big tree in the front yard that had a vine growing on it that had suffocated the tree to death.  It was such a shame.  Don't let a vine overtake your tree!!!

Cute front porch.  A neighbor "permanently borrowed" the mailbox that was left when the house was on the market -

Unfortunately, the big dead tree had to be taken out else we would have risked it falling on our house one day.  The house also got a new roof.  While a lot of the houses in this area have wood shake roofs we didn't opt for that since the price of the roof and homeowners insurance is almost double for wood.

Bye-bye tree -

Coming up next ... the after pictures.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Business Casual

Check our my main man all dressed down for his first Editor's Letter for Town & Country magazine.  This issue is dedicated to philanthropy.  Interesting strategy.

Cartoon of the Week

For my daughter -

The Difference Between Boys & Girls

The travel edition -

Logan & her cousin Curtis

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Would you like to have the recipe for the best granola ever?  Well here it is -

From this cookbook -

The Grant Corner Inn was a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe, NM.  It was located right beside the Georgia O'Keefe museum.  I believe the owners retired and sold the property a few years ago.  My Mother recommends adding chopped dried cherries to the granola mix after baking.

Dear Dad

This post has absolutely nothing to do with anything except making me laugh.

When Mike & I were in Mexico recently we visited the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza.  The group pictured below was there visiting as well.  See that man in the middle with the vest?  I saw that man and all of a sudden my body became possessed with the crazy spirit of the paparazzi.  That man looked JUST LIKE an Asian version of my father!!!

See for yourself -

That is funny to me.

American Gothic Remix

This one is for my virtual friend Paul from the Kitchen and Residential Design blog -

Mudroom Magic

Today I'd like to share with you a mudroom magic renovation from the home of my husband's cousin Angie. Angie & her husband Matt live in Illinois with their cute little boy and newborn daughter. I don't feel like mudroom is quite the right word for this space. Hallroom might be a better word, but hallroom magic doesn't sound as good to me as mudroom magic.

This first picture is the view from their Kitchen/Breakfast Nook down a short hallway. The door on the left leads into the garage -

Another before shot -

They removed the door and widened the opening to the hallway -

To create space for a built-in area they bumped out a portion of the wall.  The backside of the bump out is cantilevered over a set of stairs that leads down to their basement -

This picture is taken from a sunroom that is off the hallway to the right of the widened opening.  The built-ins are installed - 

Painted and styled up with baskets, hooks and a seat cushion -

A view of the new built ins with the opening trimmed out and finished -

Before and after shots side by side.  The carpet tiles are from flor.com.  I am imaging their son doing some fun square jumping on those carpets -

I think this hallway renovation is just fantastic.  From what I was told straight from the source Angie & Matt had help in planning this project from Angie's brother-in-law who is an architect.  This concept could be applied and put to use in a variety of ways.  Thanks Angie & Matt for letting me share these photos.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Tipping Point

It has been reported Al & Tipper Gore are calling it quits.  But, why?

 AP Photo

This is how I'm imagining it all went down ...

Al:         "I invented the internet."
Tipper:  "No, you did not."
Al:         "Yes, I did."
Tipper:  "No, you didn't."
Al:         "Yes, I did."
Tipper:  "No, you didn't."
Al:         "Yes, I did."

... continuing for years and years with this addition ...

Al:         "I am sick and tired of not being able to play Darling Nikki on my iPod."
Tipper:  "No Darling Nikki in my house or on the iPod of anyone that lives in my house!"
Al:         "That's it!  All these years I haven't been able to listen to Darling Nikki.  I've had it!"

OK, so it isn't funny at all when couples (especially parents) separate.  Think of how this is totally going to screw up holidays for their children and grandchildren.  I remember seeing Al on Oprah (just typing Al on Oprah is almost too much for me) in recent years discussing global warming and he was so good.  It was like he was finally comfortable in his own skin and had found his place in the world.  Maybe Tipper didn't like this Al.  Perhaps she preferred the uncomfortable Al.

Single ladies, you now have multiple choices of newly single men :  Al Gore or Larry King.  Let's not forget John Edwards too.