12.27.2013

oh surprise!



Well I finally figured out a way to photograph my house in a new way.  I put people in it.  15 to be exact.  15 doesn't sound like that many but in a small house it is.  It was a last minute surprise party for my dear friend Noelle.


We all pitched in and had a great time.  We ate, drank, listened to records, some people played guitars, we all played this game  (which was so fun) and then we, along with 2 million other people, went to the Mission Inn to see the Festival of Lights 










A few people took photos with their iphones.  Good thing b/c my hands always had *something* in them.














And thankfully a few friends agreed to let me put their photo on my blog.  The others have no idea it exists.  Thank God.

Hope you are all still having a happy holiday season.
My next post will be about my favorite...new years resolutions. :)





48 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun party!! Loving your hair length. Very flattering. Your house really photographs beautifully!! Isn't it funny how some of our friends have no idea about our blogs? I find that an interesting thing. Sort of like having a double life.

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    1. Jen - I agree, I feel less of a weird freak now!

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    2. If you're a freak, sign me up as Quasimodo! I hate to make myself an even bigger loser, but some of my blog friends are my favorites!!

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    3. Only a few near and dear to me know that I blog. It's kind of a secret hobby of mine.

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    4. Haha, it's true. A double life! They don't know about it until you write something about them :)

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    5. I have friends who look at me strangely when I say I'm a blog reader. They have no idea what I am talking about. I think they think it's like a chat room or something. And I gotta tell you, I feel like I have a sisterhood of friends in cyberspace whereas some of my standing-before-me friends can take a backseat. I think women who own blogs and women who read blogs are connecting in a profound way I'd never imagined; it's a naked honesty with real people just trying to muddle through life, wanting to be better, live better, etc. I've been immensely helped in the past few years by lovely women out there in all parts of the world, sitting at their keyboards just like me. Sort of like pen pals when we were kids, but better. You can't stop women from connecting; we will find a way. Like I've said a million times, my grandmas did it around a quilting frame when they lived on isolated farms...or when they'd drive in to church and bring a hot dish...sharing home remedies, recipes and talking about all the stuff they couldn't with the menfolk. It's much the same, just a different era. I love it. We need all kinds of friends in this life!

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  2. Fabulous! I don't think I even know 15 people. I love your hair length too and the lighter shade - looking gorgeous!

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  3. Great photos Janet! You look beautiful and your friends look like so much fun! We have a slightly larger house and usually have 14 at a time and I know it can be really tight....

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  4. Loving the energy here...the more the merrier even in a small space.
    (we hosted 12 for a pre Xmas buffet though 16 were invited!)
    I love your hair style too Janet it i very flattering and you look so svelte.

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  5. Looks like fun, Janet! I also missed photo taking as my hands were full and when they weren't my mouth was. Your house looks lovely. I couldn't help but notice the light clothing you Californians wear in December. Lucky :)

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  6. Gosh it's lovely to see people enjoying themselves in your home.
    We live in typical English railway worker's cottage (a 2 up, 2 down i.e. 2 rooms upstairs & 2 rooms downstairs with one and a half small rooms added on at the back) and had 24 neighbours over for minced pies and mulled wine last weekend. It was a squeeze but lots of fun.

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    1. Your home sounds lovely!! Wish we all could see photos:) Do people mind not having a place to sit down?

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    2. Sorry, no photos as I'm not a blogger. Plus I'd have trouble photographing such a small place!
      We had seats dotted around the perimeter of the room but the only people who chose to sit was lovely 90 year old Phyllis (she moved into our street when her husband returned from WWII) and those chatting with her. Everyone else was happy to stand and chat and mingle. It was a 2 hour gathering thus short and sweet.
      Apologies for the long comments Janet. Am looking forward to reading your goals for 2014.

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    3. I love all these comments!!!

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  7. loved seeing these photos. your home is lovely. I hosted 14 for a Christmas Day brunch in my small town house. at times it was tight but we all had a great time. I have to admit I am curious to what you served. as usual I made too much food. always say I wont make so much, even after people took stuff home I have far more than I can eat. wishing you a wonderful New Year.
    Darby

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  8. Oh that gathering looks like so much fun! And, you look fabulous!! Thank you for sharing.

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  9. I never tire of your home, so fun to see amongst friends, so stylish! Happy new year!

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  10. Thanks for sharing photos. Everything looks great

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  11. That lounge looks so warm and inviting filled with people all having a great time.

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  12. Janet, you look lovely! I think you found the perfect way to photograph the gardener's cottage...filled with friends and happy times. ♥

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  13. You look radiant, Janet. Looks like you had a great time too, and that's what makes it all worthwhile.

    S
    xo

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  14. Love this post!
    Looks like a fun evening.
    One of my goals is to get my home to a point where it's simple and organized enough for something last minute!
    I too laughed about the fact that some of your friends don't know about your blog.
    My friends don't seem to have time to read mine (thank goodness) and I must admit that I feel closer to many of my blog friends! It's all very surreal.

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  15. So much fun! My husband and I will be hosting a cousins get together in January and we're going to have so many people in our house (including many babies and kiddos with sticky fingers). Would you mind sharing some of your tips for entertaining a large number of people? And as for the new year's resolutions, I just wrote a blog post about mine ;) Happy New Years! ox Yuko
    http://northfieldgate.blogspot.com/2013/12/2014-create.html

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  16. Hi Janet,

    My comment on your prior post disappeared but first of all I want to say your house looks so beautifully decorated for the holidays and even better with your friends in it!

    Looks like you had a good time at your party...I hosted a dinner last night for eight (my sister was in town from Boise) and boy am I pooped! I know what you mean about trying to accommodate a group of people in a smaller house. I used to host Thanksgiving or Christmas with over 20 guests and sometimes it got a little crazy. :o)

    Funny that some of your friends don't know about your blog, I'm only a reader and have not even mentioned to a couple of them that I read blogs!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. Like you, Linda, I'm only a reader too. But just about all of my family members as well as most of my friends know that I read blogs. That's because I'm constantly mentioning something that I either read or saw on a blog. (And this blog is probably my favorite!) . . . kris from ann arbor

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  17. Your house looks gorgeous both with & without people in it. Sounds like you had a fantastic time & you look lovely. Happy New Year!

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  18. Janet -

    Love these pics. Love seeing real life happening. Love your home. Love the genuine smiles....the best of all.

    Ann

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  19. hi Janet! Loved the photos! I think houses always look larger with people in them! You look fabulous as always!
    Happy New Year my friend! xxoj.

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  20. Janet, you look lovely and your home has inspired me so much that I tossed all the Christmas decorations I haven't used in a few years. Now everything fits in one large Rubbermaid storage bin in my coat closet.

    My daughter-in-law and I are going to brainstorm for 2014 to simplify and get away from the consumerism we're bombarded with, especially at Christmas. I'm interested what you gave your granddaughter.

    Betty

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    1. hi betty. sorry it took me so long to answer this. my grandaughter just turned 7 so we got her books from estate sales, a small animal toy that i've forgotten the name of...something that has critters in the title. i also found at an estate sale, a beautiful tiny coalport flower ceramic thing that was made in england. she likes to decorate her room so i thought that would be cute in there.

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    2. Oh, that is my dream, to think that all my Xmas decorations could go in one box. That was the way it was when I was growing up. My folks had everything packed in a sturdy Hoover vaccuum cleaner box with a latch. When we saw that box coming down out of the garage rafters every December, we would go mega-excited and it was fun to see our few but lovingly-familiar things. Because I tend to pack things away ultra-well and not enough goes in one box, I think I randomly counted 35 boxes of Xmas stuff when we were moving. I know I have had a big problem. It has also been expensive to move it all from place to place. My sister-in-law is even crazier. They actually rented a storage unit that they truck all that Xmas stuff back and forth to once a year...you know, all the big yard things now that people have, like these inflatable decorations and huge roof sleigh; tons of lights. When you have a McMansion, you not only have to have a lot of big furniture to fill up all that square footage, but imagine what it takes to decorate the outside of the house for Xmas. It's American excess gone completely off the edge. I so want to get out of the whole thing. What happened to some of us? How did it all get so off balance? Just think of the money wasted; no, don't go there; it'll make you throw up. I'm going to repeat this over and over again; one Rubbermaid tub, one Rubbermaid tub, one Rubbermaid tub....

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  21. I didn't think your place could look better but now I've seen it in action I'm torn! Everybody looks like they're having a great time and you look wonderful.

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  22. AND Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Janet!

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  23. Your house looks beautiful with people in it! I love it!

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  24. You have gorgeous skin! Please tell me you achieve it by drinking heavily and tanning? Happy New Year :)

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    1. and that stephen andrew went straight to my head. lol, seriously funniest comment all year!

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    2. That is a distinction I'm happy to accept :) but I really was hoping you'd say yes that was your beauty secret.

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  25. Happy Christmas Janet! I love your home with people in it!!!!! xxxxx

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  26. The party looked so fun! Wishing you a healthy and prosperous new year!

    Question: I searched the site and could not find the square footage of the cottage - I know it is listed somewhere, but just cannot locate it.

    I have enjoyed the site over the years and look forward to spending 2014 gleaning even more helpful hints and sharing laughs.

    Thank you, Janet, for sharing your talents, time and wisdom!

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    1. hi gail. sq footage here comes in at a whopping 970!
      thanks for reading. :)

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    2. I owned a 900 sqft condo once and I guarantee it never looked like your gorgeous house. Your house is pristine but cozy; you did a great renovation. The wood floors gleam; are those walls plaster? They look creamy and rich/lush. Your house does NOT look crowded. Guess what I've decided to do? I am removing sliding closet doors and instead hanging curtains over the closet opening. That way, I can wedge in some old dressers for storage and hang shorter things like blouses above them. I'm also removing one entrance door to a bedroom because where it swings back into the room is wasted space and it's not really a bedroom now but my workroom/home office. Got inspiration for that from you, with the curtain as your bathroom door. And I love the very French thing of under-sink/under-counter storage being curtained off...like short linen curtains...to hide open shelving rather than cabinet doors. I'm thinking when we remodel our 1950s-era kitchen of going full-blown open shelving because it's just simpler; I see you have some of that in your beautiful kitchen. I don't see how it would get things dusty because they'd have dishes and things on the shelves that we're using every day. My main thing as I begin to declutter a huge amount of stuff (mine and Mom's; she died in February) is to have a 'home'/cubbie for every single thing so that it's not sitting out and stacking up. I've also decided that when I ever get to the point of seasonal decorating, it's going to be limited to one sideboard/buffet only to contain the 'collection' no matter if it's Xmas decor, St. Patrick's Day, Easter bunnies, etc. Everywhere else, I want clean, streamlined, almost-empty surfaces. It's so much easier on the eyes, if nothing else.

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  27. Cheers Janet! Looks like a great time was had by all. Wishing you ALL good things in 2014! xx SP

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  28. Your cottage is great fun with people in it! I am going to be writing some goals for 2014, and I am looking forward to hearing about resolutions. I am sure they will be inspiring.

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  29. I missed this post~glad I stumbled backwards and got to see how adorable you look for the party and how the lighting on the "white walls and furnishings looks so glamorous and welcoming. Fun to see pics from someone else's perspective.I wish you a happy 2014! Keep posting, it is so nice to drop by your blog.

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  30. I love your kitchen with that beautiful chandelier, farmhouse sink and open shelving, not to mention what I think I see as a mini-hexagon tile floor. You have decorated that cottage so stylishly, Janet!

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