About Me

I’m a retail veteran of 20+ years, currently on hiatus. While I loved the merchandising and buying and constant change new inventory brings, after 20+ years, the hours and the working every holiday began to wear me down. While all my retail years didn’t yield me any health benefits, it did give me a lot of experience, stories and a lot of STUFF.

 Things I love…

1. My Husband & My Dogs~

2. Books– Fiction, Home Decor, Old Leather Bound Volumes, Cookbooks- preferably with beautiful photography

3. Cocktail Cruises at Sunset

4. A  Weekend Nap

5. Chair-Sitting with a Dog in my Lap

6.  A Wine Lunch, if possible, with my BFF  (it’s cheaper than therapy :-)

7. Coffee in the Morning on the Porch

8.  Christmas

9.   Charleston, SC

10. Merchandising– I have to resist the urge to “rearrange” when shopping…

We have a house on Lake Norman…hence

Home is Where the Boat Is.

 At the Lake, we “Chair-Sit”, watch the Purple Martins, chase away a lot of Geese, and Boat~ usually at a speed that allows us to have a conversation, read a book and not spill our cocktails.

  The fine art of “Chair-Sitting” involves:  Stare at the water and clouds. Read a Little. Have a Drink. Listen to Music. Discuss Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and just Sloooow Down.

This blog is a way for me to still be creative (without the inventory and the grueling hours of retail) and to share a little Lake Life with you.

Please stop by, see what trouble Chloe & Gracie are up to, and Chair-Sit with me…

I’ve decided to be Award and Tag Free~  but in the spirit of these awards, here are 7 very random things about me:

  1. I am directionally IMPAIRED. Fortunately for me, I married Mr. Mapquest, who can drive somewhere one time, 10 years ago and find his way back.

  2. No one can spell or pronounce my last name~ I would settle with either…*sigh*…

  3. I believe everyone should have to work retail from Thanksgiving until December 26th ONCE as a life requirement.

  4. I need a 12 step program for HomeGoods.

  5. My dogs keep me sane and drive me insane every day.

  6. I was the victim of an armed robbery and tied up with electrical cord.

  7. I have been flashed 3 times~ since I’m near-sighted and occasionally oblivious~ I didn’t notice the first two times  :)

Thanks for your previous nominations & awards, I’m honored.

I’d love to hear your comments, feel free to drop me an email:  marymc427 (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for visiting, I’ll have a chair waiting for you :-)


  225 comments for “About Me

  1. Linda Kemp
    June 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Love your photos and commentary.

    • July 18, 2015 at 7:23 am

      I so love all your posts, just can’t figure out where u live, r u in the midwest?
      Your fury family is delightful, who could live without them?
      I myself worked retail for 20+ years, love the comment about Thanksgiving—New Years, unless
      you worked, no one ever gets it!

      Thanx for sharing your life with us out here in cyber land!

      Jacklyn Carney

      • July 18, 2015 at 7:53 am

        Thanks Jacklyn! We’re in North Carolina :)


      • Oliva GhMann
        June 2, 2020 at 12:02 am

        I just saw the Bichon’s ! My baby just turned a year old today 😭. Her names Creme Brulee. I love you decor .

      • Katy Dullaard
        December 30, 2022 at 5:34 pm

        Just saw your post I’m from Australia and waiting for my shed to get set up with vintage garden tools etc love yours!!

      • December 31, 2022 at 6:30 am

        What fun Katy! Enjoy and Happy New Year Wishes!

    • vera campbell
      November 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Loved the visuals! Stunning and appealing…certainly inspiring. Took two of of the recipes…will let you know how it goes.

      • Paula. Grey
        June 9, 2019 at 10:11 am

        I misread your About Me’ when you said no-one could spell or pronounce your name. ‘What’s wrong with Mary?’ I thought. It made me wonder how many times I’ve been flashed and not noticed – how would I know! I am either,going to brush up on my reading skills before I read some more, or perhaps just have a cocktail and go for it…

    • Susan Harrelson
      January 8, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      I have also experienced my share of retail work first as an employee and then as a small business owner. The hours are grueling but it gets in your blood and it’s difficult to completely give up the parts you love. I have been thinking about starting a decorating blog, myself, and have fun with the creative side of retail. I enjoy your blog so much and you have been an inspiration for many of my dining table settings. Love your pups and I noticed you love Charleston, SC. Charleston is my home town. It is a beautiful city and every corner is overflowing with decorating inspiration. You must take a look at all the incredible pictures of our record snow this month. It was a true winter wonderland. Thank you so much for sharing your love of decorating with us.
      Susan Harrelson

    • Andrea Geary
      October 14, 2020 at 2:25 am

      Love your blog on Halloween you live in a beautiful place very talented. 🍁🎃

  2. June 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I feel like I am on vacation looking at your wonderful photos!

  3. Jennifer
    June 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Your settings are truly gorgeous! Love reading your blog!

  4. Linda Lou Moore
    June 18, 2011 at 12:10 am

    This is a lovely page. Somehow it turned up on my facebook page. i live in Texas, Ft. Worth. Hope you are cooler than we, are. 100 degree days here. i’ll put this page on bookmarks and check it again soon.

  5. Donnalee aka Countryfeather
    June 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing with me, I’ll be down to the dock with the wine, glasses and my book. We have a lot to talk about! Thank you……

  6. Sandy B
    June 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

    HI, Where did you find your red polka dot AND red checked flatware? I really LOVE them and would like to know your source. Thanks in advance for all your help!!
    Sandy B

    • June 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      It came from HomeGoods about a year ago :-)

  7. Vanessa
    June 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Mary, I just want to both “Thank you, & Congratulate” you for your beautiful Blog site as a whole! I have revisted you via the web, numerous times over the past three days. I am endeavoring to leave no stone unturned, because I don’t want to miss anything, In one sitting, I perused every detail for 2 hrs and 45 min, (something I just dont do – on the computer) In addition, I have advised all my sweet friends to check you out! I appreciate the lengths of creativity that you go to, it inspires me to give that extra effort as well. But most importantly, I have stopped by many other blogs for a “look-see” when looking for decor inspiration, and after a few frustrating attempts to navigate the pages- i usually leave quickly and never return ~ But You have executed the lay-out and flow of all the information, sources, recipes, links, and so on in such an “at-your-fingertips” manner, Well It was just refreshing! Thank You, Brilliant!!! I hope your inspiration will continue to flourish, as I suspect that many more people feel the same as I,
    And perhaps 1000 times more people experience your gift here than in your former “retail” life. Many Blessings to you, the hubby and the pups!

  8. Marilyn
    July 1, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Just love everything about this blog. Keep entertaining us!!!!!!!!!

  9. July 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Mary… whoo hoo… I need a “latitude adjustment” and Key West is just the place. Our son was married there a few years ago and we had a great time in Key West.
    Thanks for sharing the great photos, and now you’re making me wish for Key Lime Pie, Babs

    • Mary
      April 16, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Just found your blog. What beauty and inspiration—thank you for sharing your gifts (and they are many). I just retired after 48 years in health care, 42 as an RN. I truly understand your all holidays, shift work and 16-20 hour days. NOW is my time for flowers and pups and birds. I had a BFF who took me away for the week of a dream—to Hilton Head in November of 2019. My son had moved to Myrtle Beach 2 years ago and I told him I will not visit you, the beach is not my thing. Years ago I had picked up a book at a library give away about Lake Norman. When we drove by, I was thrilled, what beauty you have in your world. I LOVED the marvelous week we spent in winter SC. The sunrises, the sunsets, the rain, the wind, the birds, the water, the skies! We bicycled everywhere the whole week and had our coffee on a beach blanket at sunrise, the same place with our wine at sunset—I’m READY TO GO BACK ANY MINUTE,

  10. Sheila
    July 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I’ve been trying to find a home for the remaining pieces of my grandmother’s Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers and came across your blog when I Googled. I would prefer that it go to a good home rather than end up in a yard sale (I could NEVER do that!). It’s nothing to do with price… it’s that I want to know it’s being cared for. If you are interested, please email me (sheiladiafATyahooDOTcom) and I will tell you what I have.
    Your blog and photos are lovely by the way…
    Many thanks!

  11. July 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I am so thrilled to have found your beautiful blog! I’ve added you to my blogroll on The French Tangerine…

  12. July 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hi Maria!!I’m Miry from Italy and I love your blog!!You have so wonderful photos!!Have a good day!!Hugs,Miry

  13. July 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Mary, your pics are awesome! We should all add more chair-sitting to our hectic lives.

  14. Carol Wilson
    July 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hello!!! My brother sent me the link to your blog at the request of his finace, Sherri Woods. She lives on Lake Normann ( I thought that I read in one of your posts that you have a home there as well ). They both know that I have an interest in photography. Your pictures are absolutely stunning!!! May I ask if you have studied photography or is this just a hobby that you have developed over the years? I love to take pictures, however mine look nothing like yours !!! I would appreciate any photography tips that are willing to share. And, would you be willing to share what kind of camera and lens that you use to take most of your photos.

    • July 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Carol~ Thanks for your kind comments! I took some classes in photography in college but really just picked up a camera again about 2 years ago. I have a Nikon D60 and use a Canon Power Shot SD1400IS if we’re out of town and I don’t want to carry my Nikon. Photo editing makes photos so much better, you can crop & enhance your images. I use Picasa, you can download it free :-)

      • Mary Fata
        July 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Can you tell me the make and model of your Pontoon. I love it!

      • July 30, 2016 at 5:18 pm

        Hi, It’s a 2005 Crest Caribbean. :)

  15. Carol Wilson
    July 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I’m not sure what happened, but I did not finish the above comment. Thank you for your blog and I’ve already added it to My favorites on my computer. Have a wonderful day !!!

  16. August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Wonderful!!!!! I love your dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. September 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Mary, I just want to both “Thank you, & Congratulate” you for your beautiful Blog site as a whole! I have revisted you via the web, numerous times over the past three days. I am endeavoring to leave no stone unturned, because I don’t want to miss anything, In one sitting, I perused every detail for 2 hrs and 45 min, (something I just dont do – on the computer) In addition, I have advised all my sweet friends to check you out! I appreciate the lengths of creativity that you go to, it inspires me to give that extra effort as well. But most importantly, I have stopped by many other blogs for a “look-see” when looking for decor inspiration, and after a few frustrating attempts to navigate the pages- i usually leave quickly and never return ~ But You have executed the lay-out and flow of all the information, sources, recipes, links, and so on in such an “at-your-fingertips” manner, Well It was just refreshing! Thank You, Brilliant!!! I hope your inspiration will continue to flourish, as I suspect that many more people feel the same as I,
    And perhaps 1000 times more people experience your gift here than in your former “retail” life. Many Blessings to you, the hubby and the pups!


  18. Kathy
    October 13, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I was in the doctor’s office waiting to see the MD. I noticed a recipe that I thought my husband would go “figs” about! I attempted to write it down but alas it was my turn. I looked up your name and came across your wonderful site AND the recipe!! I signed up right away. Thank you. Now we have to find figs….not so easy in our part of the country either.
    P.S. Our son and his family have a log cabin near Lake Norman and go there weekends too! :)

  19. Nann from At Nann's Table
    November 18, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Mary I’m new to your blog and I just love it! I am so IMPRESSED with both your tablescape AND your pumpkin cheese ball. You are one very talented lady. I just found you on Foodie Friday today and here I am. And I’m so glad I came. I’m also going to join the same party groups that you are in. I lLOVE all those blogs and they have inspired me to finally start my own blog. Am so excited to check out all the wonderful things here on your blog. So far I just love what I see. N.

  20. December 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I didn’t realize Nigella had a Christmas cookbook out either. I remember years ago when she had her cooking show on TV. She is not only very talented but very beautiful. I would love to add her to my cookbook collection. Thank you for putting up this beautiful book for a give-away.
    Happy Hollidays
    Kathi Layfield

  21. January 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Mary,
    I have been following your blog for over a year now and am excited that you are reviving your book project. Please send me the 2012 book list – I have already requested The Night Circus and Chocolate Chocolate from my local library and am looking forward to the reviews!


  22. March 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Your presentation is beautiful! I hope your week is just as lovely~

  23. March 28, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I just discovered you, and oh, my! What a gorgeous site! You belong in a Southern Living magazine, my dear. :-) I’ll visit often.

  24. Hassie
    May 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Mary, what a beautiful Blog; so happy to have found you, but will have to bookmark this site so that I can come back to sit a spell, and take in all of your photos and writings. I, too, have a Blog; not as nice as your’s, but I hope you will visit me there at golfingal.wordpress.com. Take care!

  25. May 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Mary
    I absolutely love what you’re doing here so I’ve nominated you for the Kreative Blogger Award. Keep up the fantastic work

  26. May 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Your blog is fabulous and your photographs fantastic! I found you via Lucinda at Crazy for Tea Time, on her Facebook page. I’m glad I did!

  27. Patricia
    May 23, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been with you for a long time, but don’t think I’ve ever commented…I really love how you put everything together – every tablescape you have ever done is beautiful. And I love being at the lake with you and the little furry ones.

  28. June 4, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Your blog this morning put a smile on my face with your sweet Bichons..My poodle,Molly is 15, loved boating and is slowing down…We are sad but she gave us the best of her…Continue loving life in such a great,slow manner…xo

  29. Sandie Thompson Yuengling
    June 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Just discovered your blog through a post on Pinterest. Love your beautiful photography!

  30. Gina Morgan
    June 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

    If there was ever a Blog addiction I have , it’s YOURS!!!! Simply divine!!
    Consider a tablescape book !!! I’ve never seen one as pretty as your blog !!!
    May I ask what kind of camera you use? I’m looking to purchase one and it is such a big decision. Whatever you use takes beautiful pictures.
    Thank you for all the inspiration you give us all.
    Giving my Father-in-law and his twin brother an 85th Birthday party on July 4th and your blog inspired me with so many ideas !!!! Thank you for your unselfish talent that you share.
    Frisco, Tx.

  31. Carolyn
    June 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Your pictures are so beautiful and I believe many of them should be made into puzzles!

  32. July 3, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Do you live in Charlotte? My son is moving there next Saturday to work for Microsoft. I believe my cousin has a home on Lake Norman; they moved there from Tampa. Beautiful country!

  33. Merrie
    July 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Mary-

    Hello to another Mary… As you can see my mother spelled mine differently, Merrie, to keep me and all those I come in contact with on their toes…

    Well I just stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest and what a find… I always knew there was treasure to be found around every corner… But your blog is the “Pirates Booty”…
    Thank you for sharing your gifts & talents… I am so into anything to do with the water…
    Used to have a 36ft Choi Lee motorsail so can relate to the whole “Home is Where the Boat is” theme…
    I have lived in Charleston,SC. But my favorite place for now is Coronado, Point Loma, both in San Diego where I lived for about 23 years, 6 blocks from the ocean.
    Presently caring for my 97 year old mother in Walnut Creek, CA so I really do appreciate a vacation moment looking at all of your beautiful pictures and settings…
    Again thank you for the inspirational uplift that you have provided me this day… You are continuing your service to others by providing your beautiful blog…
    PS I have worked retail from Thanksgiving to the end of December many years…

  34. Frannie Stevens-Meshorer
    July 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

    What a wonderous Fairie Garden you have made!
    Thank you so very much for all the delightful magic that you share with us!

    I have three precious little ‘grande-fairies’ .. Sofia who will soon turn six .. Iszabel who just turned four and Alessandra who is two and a half.

    At Christmastime, we bought a house in Toledo to be near them .. and when the first daffodil peeked it’s little yellow head through the ground … the children and I built a Fairie Garden .. a Fairie Village and a Fairie Forest in the back yard .. all life-size that they can play in .. ever watchful for the Fairies to appear.

    I take lots of photos of them in their Fairie Land .. and often write little stories or fairie poems for them so that they may forever carry Fairies in their Hearts.


    Do you believe in fairies?
    Ohhh .. I do! I do!
    Sofia, Iszabel and Alessandra
    believe in them too!
    Early morn’ .. when the first bird sings
    We tip-toe to the garden
    and seek out magic fairie rings.
    And in the eve’ by the light of the silvery moon
    We sit quietly by the edge of our fairie forest
    hoping they will come soon.
    And sometimes quite to our surprize
    A whole fairie clan appears before our very eyes.
    We know that because we so firmly believe
    Their presence is a gift that we fondly receive.

    (they call me “GA”)

    OHHH .. please do, sweet Mary, enter our names
    into your contest for this delightful fairie-book!


  35. Cindy
    August 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    A friend sent me your website and I have been reading about you. We have so much in common. I work in retail and I can sure understand what you are talking about. My feet hurt every night when I get home. My goal and my dream is to have my own art gallery and not work for someone else. I love selling. Finding homes for the paintings is such satisfying work. I have a dog and 3 cats and my other dream is to own a piece of property on a lake. I have so much to read here and I love how you put things. Thank you for sharing you ideas and a bit about your life. It sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to read more.

  36. Karen
    September 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for your commentary and pictures. You have much in common with me. I just retired from teaching high school after 40 years. I sit and stare in wonder at the lake in the mornings with my coffee and at night with my tea.. loving .dog in lap.
    I live in town during the week. I read…lots. LIfe is good!
    Thanks for sharing.

  37. Laura
    September 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I am only sad that I never had the opportunity to see your store(s)…. You have fabulous taste – such panache! You are a lovely woman – honest, real, and so talented. Thank you for sharing yourself! :)

  38. Suzanne from California
    September 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I have just discovered your blog, it is fabulous! What beautiful and artful arrangements! Your work is so inspiring. We had lovely friends years ago who lived on Lake Norman, and now I know why looking at your pictures.
    Thanks for blogging.


  39. September 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    So what a suprise it was to see your photos with the title, “Dinner with the Butterflies.” I am actually doing genealogy research and am reading about Maria Sibylla Meriam, who joined the Labadists. Long story short, I’m sure my ancestors knew Maria because they had been at the Waltha Castle too.

    I have to ask where you found the book that looks like it is a reprint oh her drawings, the china, the table cloths etc.? I am amazed to find these items exist. Thanks for sharing!

  40. October 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Found your blog on the Haus Design blog….am I glad I did…you have a beautiful blog. So creative, my kind of look. Enjoy your photos, ideas and especially the pups!! I am sure you were great in retail but you are fantastic as a blogger. Keep up the wonderful work.

  41. Debra Gianoli
    October 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I was born and raised in Anderson S.C., but now live in northern Wisconsin. on A beautiful lake. My favorite phrase is “If you’re lucky enough to live on the lake, you’re lucky enough” I found your blog by accident and have really enjoyed it. Thanks for your yummy recipes and decorating ideas.
    loving the lake too!

  42. Paula
    October 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I am so glad I found your blog, it is so inspiring !! I wish I could stay home and enjoy doing all you do!! I’m lucky if I have time to put out napkins !! Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful decorating ideas and recipes!! I can’t wait to visit during Christmas !! And I love love your potting shed, I have wanted one for many years!!
    Have a Blessed Day,
    northern Indiana

  43. Jane
    November 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Stunning harvest tablescape! I have those transferware dishes. I think I ordered them from Colonial Williamsburg a few years back, decided they weren’t large enough for the Thanksgiving fare and meant to send them back. Somehow, I forgot to do so and discovered them this year when getting ready to decorate. After seeing your table, I am so glad I still have them. I really enjoy your settings and following the antics of Chloe and Gracie. I have a Yochon (hybrid Bichon/Yorkie) named Chloe. She is sitting on my lap right now here in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I too love retirement after 30 plus years in the judicial system.

    Thanks for sharing all your artistry that you are creating in your “second life.”

  44. Michelle Parker
    November 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Mary, I LOVE your blog!! Honestly my favorite ever! I want to be you when I grow up! :) Thanks so much for sharing your talent, inspiration, and perspective on life!

  45. December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Mary you sound like such a fun person,I’m glad I became a follower today. I can so relate to the retail working experience too. Retired now and loving it. x

  46. December 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    well we have two things in common…..I worked in retail for over 20 years…started out as a gift wrapper for Macy’s so I know about working from Thanksgiving to Christmas….I did make a lot in tips!! And I was flashed but only once…..walking into Macy’s one day for work…I ofcourse called security on the guy with is pants down an when they asked me if I could identify him I ofcourse said….”if he has his pants down I could”…..somehow they didn’t think that was funny….

  47. Michel
    December 12, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Really great Post! I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog http://homeiswheretheboatis.wordpress.com because of the great style and energy. I have a blog on travel theme. If you’re interested, we would love to have you on as a guest blogger. Please send me an e-mail and I can give you more information. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  48. Deidra Parman
    December 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Your site is such an inspiration! Cannot imagine how your storage system works! I keep purging and then think-maybe there is a better way so I can save some possible “prop”. Thanks so much for sharing your talents.

  49. Jane
    December 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Mary, you make North Carolina look good!!!! Your festive genius carried us through some of our nation’s darker days of December with the warm spirit of Christmas. Thank you and God bless you in the coming year!

  50. Linda Nahorniak
    January 10, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hi Mary – I am kindna knew at web searching & have not blogged (or ever written to one) but my daughter sent me a email with your address & told me I had to look – I have enjoyed reading all about you & your “family”. You have a wonderful sense of decorating – I have not seen anything like yours, it seems so natural. I have added my address to your sign in so know I have something to look forward to on my email. Thank you Mary for all your inspiration- Linsa

  51. Noreen
    January 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Hi, I loved reading “about you”, it seems you live in the northeast from the scenery. We lived in Ca. For 55 years until moving to Co. I gasped when I read you were robbed but when I worked in banking, I went through three bank robberies before I left-this was in five years. Looking forward to reading more-again love your pups. One especially looks like Hunter.

  52. DianeD
    February 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Hi Mary,
    I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your blog. It just makes my day so much brighter. And I love, love your recipes. I did have a question. Is there any way to print the recipes without the pictures? I did ask about this on Facebook but figures I’d try here. My computer is not in the kitchen so I need to print them. Maybe a printer friendly version I’m not seeing.
    Thanks so much,

    • February 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks so much Diane! I don’t have a way at this time to make a recipe printable, so I try to include a link in to the original source that has a printable option. I’ll see if I can figure that out :)

  53. Deborah & the furry gang in OK
    February 22, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Hi Mary..I found you today playing on the puter as I contact people for my 40th HS reunion. What a delight you are!! I love beautiful things too!! As a retired accountant with a PT job at Ross, I too need a 12 step program. Thank goodness TJM is 45 miles away and we don’t have Home Goods here!! I noticed your copyright and water mark on your pictures and want to respect your wishes. You also have a Pinterest and Facebook button, so is it OK to use those buttons to share you treasures??
    Blessing and health dear. Someone in OK thinks you are grand!

    • February 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

      Hi Deborah~ Thanks so much for visiting! Feel free to pin and share away :)

  54. Joy
    March 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I’ve never worked retail but my husband was in it for 28 years. Does that count? Of course – I only lived through the Christmas season vicariously through him. I also have a sister in Charlotte area that works in management in the corporate office for a major dept store. Just found your blog – via a link for the Irish Apple Cake. Have now subscribed to you through Google Reader. We live in Eastern NC.

  55. March 17, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I love your blog, the beautiful pictures and the lovely stories. It is very inspiring and I’m happy I found it.

  56. Joana Barcelona
    March 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    María muchas gracias por ser tan generosa. Compartiendo las fotos y describiendo tan minuciosamente todo aquello que vive nos regala no solo palabras, también olores, sabores y tactos. Muchas gracias a usted por ser así y al destino por haberla encontrado.
    Le deseo mucha energía, paz e ilusión.

  57. April 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Mary. I really enjoyed looking at your blog, especially the gardening shed. That is a fantastic idea and it turned out so well. In Victorian times they were called folly rooms. We recently purchased a fixer upper in Troutman, NC as our winter home and I have been looking into out building designs to display my Hall China collection. I am also addicted to the Home Goods store in Mooresville! I am back in cold and windy Pennsylvania now and wish I had brought back some of the purchases.

    • Stephanie
      October 4, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Just want to know if I make the witch shoes out of the tootsie rolls in advance a week and keep them wrapped if that would be ok? Love them.
      Thank you,

      • October 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

        I haven’t made them that far in advance so I don’t know. Keeping them covered might work but you might not want to eat them and only use them for decoration. Maybe experiment with one pair in advance and see before making them all.

  58. Susan
    April 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Love your gardening shed!! Makes me want to convert a shed we have that’s currently used for storage into a gardening shed….or better yet, build a cute one, similar to yours! Also love your thoughts of taking a boat ride slow enough to have a conversation, read a book and not spill a cocktail. My thoughts as well!! Also love Home Goods! My house is so full, but love all the “stuff” around.

  59. Rattlebridge Farm
    April 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I love visiting you, Mary.

  60. CV
    May 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I also feel like I’m on vacation when looking at the beautiful views of your lake. It gives me peace. Thank you for sharing!

  61. Ann PAULEY
    May 31, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Your site is wonderfully fun and creative’
    I Zm laid up with a broken Ankle for
    Four weeks and I am thoroughly enjoying
    My getaways with your phenomenal photos
    Of your travels! Thanks god is good to give us so much beauty in nature!

  62. Ann PAULEY
    May 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Also, apart from your wonderfully,
    Creative blog, I adore your little
    Bijons-/ my favorite dog species!

  63. Ann PAULEY
    June 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I love your ideas, creativity and fabulous
    Recipes! I also love your bijons.
    Your attempt to succeed in making people
    Relax and take a breath , has definitely
    Won accolades from me!

  64. Leane W.
    June 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Mary – just found your site via the Pintrest link for your Orzo salad. It made me smile seeing that you were on a hiatus from your retail career and gave me confidence about the jump I am about to make – almost 30 years in industrial sales and will be taking a planned gap of employment this year to build my Louisiana Court Yard. I’m going to be slave labor and get into the DIY frenzy. Your happiness comes through in your blog, so I look forward to hearing more about you, your husband and Gracie and Chloe. We share quite a few things in common in your “Things I Love” list. I’m also a puppy mom with 2 Yorkies and a Shih Tzu.

    PS. One of my first jobs was in a toy store during the Christmas holidays – perhaps that is why I do not have children? ;-))

  65. June 17, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Good Morning Mary, How did I not discover your blog sooner???? I have joined Yvonne at Stonegable’s party today and saw your lovely photograph and decided to pop over to say hello….. and what a treat it is. I can see that you have such an eye for detail as it shines through in your photographs, everything is so beautiful arranged and is quite honestly a feast for the eyes.
    Chloe and Gracie are adorable. I had a gorgeous little King Charle’s Spaniel who we named Chloe…. it is such a lovely name. She was a huge part of our family for 14 years and she is still missed.
    It is lovely to meet you Mary, and I am now going to leave a comment for your salad and catch up with all your other wonderful posts.
    Oh yes, before I go, I would love to “Chair Sit” with you to chat and enjoy a cocktail or two…. I promise not to spill any.
    With warmest wishes to you,

  66. June 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Hi Mary,

    I tried to find an email address for you, but can’t seem to locate it. I love your site. I dream of living by the ocean one day. Your berry trifle was one of my favorite July 4th ideas. I included it in a roundup of July 4th ideas I posted today. This is the link http://www.joyfulscribblings.com/2013/06/my-favorite-4th-of-july-ideas/. I used your photo and linked back to you. Please let me know if you’d rather I not and I’ll remove it. I apologize for not sending this sooner.

    Dawn@ Joyfulscribblings

  67. Jamie Vaccaro
    June 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Mary,
    So glad I ran across your blog. Love Chloe and Gracie. I bet they would have fun with my Lucy, but she’s a chicken of water :P Anyway, thanks for sharing about you. I love your photography. You have a good eye for great shots. Have a Happy Fourth!

  68. Norma Wagner
    July 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Love your blog, especially your potting shed decor. Is Lake Norman in North Carolina? Wherever it is, ,it’s really beautiful and peaceful looking.

  69. August 2, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Hi Mary…..
    Such a lovely blog! I feel lucky I ran across it….. It’ s full of joy and wonderful pictures…. I bet I’ll be back often.
    Thanks for sharing it all.
    Hugs from Italy

  70. Pam
    September 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Mary! I just found your blog through BNOTP. I love it! I am also a retail veteran, though it has not been continuous, for the last 30 years. Like you, the hours and the grind got to me. Now I take great pleasure in being home every night to cook for my family, and create a beautiful home. I agree with you about everyone working a Christmas season, it would give them a different perspective on things. Your photography is beautiful, and your styling is top notch. Looking forward to reading back through the blog.

  71. Tonia
    September 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful blog!

  72. Robyn
    September 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Just read “about you”…..We are fellow North Carolinians and my nephew and his family live on Lake Norman in Mooresville. We visit them often and the are is beautiful!!!! I have never worked retail, but may consider it after I retire in 22 months!!! Hope to start my own blog one day! Love yours and enjoy your beautiful pics!!! Happy Fall from Robyn in Broadway NC!

  73. October 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Just beautiful! And yes everyone should have to work retail, and be a waitress/waiter in their life! I think there wouldn’t be so many rude people! (Also work in a Doctors office too) I just viewed your Fall potting shed, and it is so relaxing! Love it……it is wonderful…….thanks for the little visual vacay this morning.

  74. Andrea Campbell
    October 16, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Beautiful, beautiful blog! Every photo is a feast for the eye. Thank you for all your inspiration!

  75. Lori McCormick
    October 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I laughed so hard when I read your comment stating that everyone should have to work retail between Thanksgiving ans Christmas once in their life! After 20 years in retail management (store, buyer, DMM). I hear you loud and clear! I found your blog on Pinterest this morning, and just love it! You do a fabulous job “merchandising” your site! P.S. I rearrange vignettes, and refold sweaters when I shop too!

  76. Lisa
    November 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I have tried to subscribe to your blog several time and even tho it says it has been accepted, the confirmation never shows up in my email.

    • November 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Lisa, have you checked your spam folder for the confirmation?

  77. November 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Just joined and following now. I love your way of thinking…Sunsets & wine, who could ask for anything more…A great find at Home Goods?!?
    Is there vacation spots in the area with a similar view??

    Looking forward next post…

  78. Heather Kempsell
    January 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I can easily pronounce Mary…. I don’t get why others have difficulty! I too have been the proud owner of a smallish successful gift shop in Colorado. My mother was the primary owner and I was in charge or merchandising and spending her money on new product. It has been by far my favorite thing in my life, barring my wonderful husband of 31 years and our beautiful children! We love to sail and dream of a place on the water. I know without a doubt that I would “merchandise” my potting shed! I have never followed a blog before, but really enjoy your photos and insights! Thank you !

  79. kathy
    January 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    We are are soul sisters! I love everything about your site. I have spent the entire day here! I have a lake home as a go to place when I need to slow down. I just came home yesterday after three weeks there. I am in the planning stages of a secret garden space and a potting shed. Yours was most inspiring.

    • January 24, 2014 at 4:48 am

      Thanks Kathy! Soul Sisters are always welcome :)

  80. February 26, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Hi Mary. I love all the beauty you post about. How lucky you’re to live on the lake . We do a lot of porch sitting at our house but the view sure isn’t as nice! Wouldn’t it be fun to get all the Charlotte area bloggers together for a lunch or tea or something. There are quite a lot of us I think. Rhondi :)

  81. March 4, 2014 at 6:36 am

    You are so talented! Just wondering where do you keep all your wonderful stuff?????? Thanks for sharing!

  82. Pam Lerczak
    March 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Where on Lake Norman do you live? We live on Lake Norman too! Loving your blog!

  83. Susan Hinton
    March 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I love the pictures for St Patrick’s Day.

  84. March 20, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I love the picture with the red rose and the silver spoon in the pitcher. Do you happen to know what type of metal that is in the pitcher? I have a set that belonged to my great grandparents and the pattern is the same. I have tried to find out if it is silver, pewter or some amalgam but with no luck. I’d appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks, Mary

    • March 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Mary, It says triple plated (silverplate) on the bottom :)

  85. LuAnn Pachkoski
    March 31, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Love your website…your doggies are beautiful…I, too, need a 12 step program for Homegoods and have too much stuff…love the water. Thank you for your creativity and sharing all of the beautiful scenes you have created and as a nurse 35 years I appreciate your working in retail because we nurses work all of the holidays and weekends too !!! I can definitely relate !

  86. Mary
    March 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Mary (from another Mary), love your website too and I’m going to try your Muffuletta Dip, but turn it into a pasta salad for Easter. Went to return a picture at HomeGoods yesterday and ended up spending 2 hrs in the place so I’m right there with you. Sounds like you have a wonderful life on the lake and love the cute pictures of the puppies! Thanks for a great start to a Monday!

  87. Kathy
    April 10, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I was given your info from Pfaltzgraff, I saw a picture with the Tea Rose setting and there was a pink bunny pushing a cart. They told me you might be able to help me out, Any info on it would be helpful. Thanks I loved your blog and have several ideas I can’t wait to try.

    • April 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Hi Kathy, I don’t have a pink bunny pushing a cart with my Tea Rose table, here. I’d love to help but I’m wracking my brain but know where you may have seen that.

  88. April 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Just found your beautiful blog. I too, work retail and agree with number 3. Maybe even through return season?

  89. Janet
    April 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I just love your blog… it’s just wonderful…Beautiful… just lovely.
    Enjoy it immensely .

  90. Shelley Lipinski
    May 11, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Hi! I am so happy that I was able to sign up with you through email. I don’t believe there is anything that I don’t love! I was wondering if I could have permission to share or pin some of your pictures. I just saw today that I need your permission. Thank you so much. Shelley

    • May 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Hi Shelley, Feel free to pin away :)

  91. June 8, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Your dogs are so cute. I am a huge animal fan. So happy to have found your blog. Emma xx

  92. Melinda Soto
    June 25, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Hi I am planning a wedding for July 26th 14 yes its here lol. I love the red white and blue candy holders do you sell them? I would love to get 10 for our candy table. Love your sight its all so beautiful and crafty. Thank you Melinda

    • June 25, 2014 at 4:59 am

      Thanks Melinda, No I don’t sell anything anymore, I’m out of the retail. Good luck with the wedding planning :)

  93. July 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hi Mary! I very much enjoyed reading your bio here – got quite a few laughs actually… :-) I’m new to this whole blogging thing but I’m starting to get to know the various people whose pages I enjoy coming back to and yours piqued my interest enough to read further. So were you a mechandiser for a department store and if so, in apparel or home furnishings? I ask because I worked as a sportswear designer for 25 years, so have enjoyed working with many buyers and merchandisers. Now I do primarily graphics but the blog thing is my new endeavor and I’m very much enjoying it. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know I’m enjoying your posts!


  94. Sharon in Dallas
    July 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Your photography is beautiful and i get a sense of peace, just going through all the pictures! Until the urge to duplicate something comes on, and then I have to get up and go to HomeGoods, which we call “Chick Disneyland” Thank you so much for your inspiration and the effort it takes to do this blog. It is the ONLY blog I follow.

  95. Moore
    July 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Wow…….I just discovered your Watermelon drink on my Pages and wanted to know how to Do it. And here I am now deep in your Blog,reading all those wonderful and exiting comments…..I feel like I know you and all the wonderful Ladies already.I’m in Texas also and my Husband knows the Places he Visits forever and finds his way in and around it just like in his own Pocket! How great is that?!and the way you described your sitting chair that’s so sweet….I’m a Germany lady living in Texas since 84…and a good thing is our PC have spellers I’m in to Knitting & crocheting and created our own Group with my youngest Son: It’s called houseofknitting “fun for every one” there I Do most of my siting,and on my Porch…..Thank you

  96. August 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hi Terry, I’m sorry to hear this. My new format makes it possible to have even larger photos, with more beauty than before and I’ve gotten positive feedback. If you could subscribe by email or follow on FB, you can be notified of a new post that you can click over to, instead of just visiting the home page with the post titles. My previous format had infinite scroll, so ALL the photos would load and since my posts are photo heavy, I had lots of comments and emails about my page taking too long to load.

  97. August 22, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Hi, I’m really enjoying your site, it’s absolutely beautiful!!! I have a food page that I share recipes, food tips and just sharing a passion for food. I use some of my photos ( not very good!!!) but also other peoples and also post recipes from different sites. I have already shared a few of yours, not realising I need permission, I apologise for this and would it be ok to use your recipes and photos for my page?

    • August 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Hi, Please only share with the FB sharing button from my site so there is a link back to my photo. Thanks :)

  98. Colleen
    August 25, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Hello from Australia…
    I’ve just come across your site, and love the photos I’ve seen so far. I also have a Bichon named Bella, and we have a boat…but unfortunately don’t live on the water. We do however spend as much time as possible cruising in Moreton Bay, and visiting all the islands we have, just off the coast of Queensland. Bella also enjoys time out on the water, and jumps into our tender to make trips to shore for a walk and toilet. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos in the future.

  99. September 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Just found your blog and felt right at home. I’m a fellow North Carolinian with an unpronoucnable maiden name.
    When I saw your “Mc” I had to share. “McGeachy” is my Galic via NC name. Wish I lived on Lake Norman!


  100. November 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Mary, I cannot believe that I have only now found your gorgeous blog entry and photos related to BROKEN FOR YOU. Thank you so very much! I have just finished my third novel, LANGUAGE ARTS, and – in the interest of educating myself about the brave new world of digital marketing – have been investigating Pinterest and setting up boards related to my books. That is how I came upon your blog. Your photos are stunning. I would love to pin some of them to my BROKEN FOR YOU board but want to give you proper credit as the photographer. How would you like to be credited? Again, I send my deepest gratitude for your support of my work – and my hearty appreciation of yours! All best, SK

    • November 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Stephanie, How thrilling you stopped by! I look forward to reading Language Arts when it’s out next June! I went back to look at my post from 2010, when I had just started blogging {insert *wince* here} My photography has improved a bit from 4 years ago but you’re welcome to Pin or share anything anything you would like :)

      • Jan Wilhelmi
        August 8, 2015 at 5:22 am

        Just found your blog because of the pic of your potting shed…how cool that Stephanie Kallos found you…many years ago she was in Spokane WA for a booksigning…I was a big fan of Broken for You and so I sent one of my gallery friends over to give her one of my mosaics…love the ripples that form in the creative world…your blog is beautiful

  101. Laurie S
    December 7, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Mary, I have been following your blog for quite sometime now, and finally took time to read your “about me” page this morning. Thank you for the laugh! I too worked retail along with accounting and have retired. I love retail but am not fit for battle any longer..lol. I love your blog and beautiful pictures and wanted to let you know a appreciate them both.

  102. Kathy McKinley
    December 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    What a great find; I heard two women planning to make the melted snowman cookies and asked them for details. Looked up the recipe and found your blog – lucky me! Love your sense of humor (I’m nearsighted, too) and the lovely photos. Would like admittance to the club, as I did work through the holiday season in my younger years, and found it a test of patience! But, I have to admit, lots of fun.

    Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year.

  103. December 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    You have perfectly captured the art of chair-sitting!

  104. December 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I saw your lovely fall tablescape by the lake on Pinterest and landed here. What a lovely blog. Although I live on the West Coast I have been to lovely Lake Norman and was raised on a lake in the midwest. Love your blog!!

  105. January 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I’m happy that found out this beautiful place! Regards from Bulgaria!

  106. Linda
    January 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I have worked retail between Thanksgiving and Christmas :-). It was a crazy time, but I loved it. Decorating the store, helping people shop, wrapping up their treasures in pretty paper and ribbon :-). But as you said…..there comes a time to take back those weekends and enjoy life on the lake :-)

  107. Melodie Strickland
    March 11, 2015 at 4:22 pm


    You are an amazing lady and very talented. I’ve never worked retail but worked for the federal government for 38 years and I retired April 30, 2004. My time has been spent during retirement with bowling twice a week along with vacations. My husband Rich and I used to visit his Uncle Ionel and Aunt Betty in Columbia, South Carolina. Your area in Lake Norman, North Carolina is so peaceful and serene. Enjoy your blogs about Chloe and Gracie. Sorry to hear you were the victim of an armed robbery. Yours is the 1st and only blog that I follow. A friend from bowling told me about your site which is why I signed up.


  108. Jahnine
    April 10, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Hi Mary,
    I am a transplant from California to Vermont, and finding your blog (through a pintrest pin) has been a true delight. WInter continues here, and we are ALL tired of it – but one look at your latest post is guaranteed to lift my spirits, give me inspiration, and keep me going until the crocus finally appear! Just love your GORGEOUS layouts and the way you photograph them, your unique recipes (my strawberry/cucumber salad and surprise peep cupcakes were the prettiest and tastiest things at the family party – don’t tell me sister in law!). They keep me inspired and hopeful as I wait for Spring here. Thank you very much!

  109. julie
    April 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    just found your blog….. so similar to our life, except our retail includes owing 3 restaurants in a small town on Lake Michigan. Boating is our life, along with the dogs, Madalyn and Tillie . Empty nesters and loving it although the kids come out to the lake with their 3 golden doodles. lots of dogs jumping off the docks.

  110. Shirley Lawton
    April 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    As a newcomer to your blog, and not someone who visits many blogs, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your beautiful blog. The photography is stunning, as is your subject matter. I have already recommended it to a gardening friend. I look forward to enjoying each and every new edition.

  111. April 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Hi Mary,
    I’ve been following your blog about a year now. Your photography, colorful dialect, wonderful recipes captivate my spirit. I look forward to each and every post. The dogs are adorable!!!

    • April 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Thanks for your visits and sweet comment Amy! Doggie kisses from Chloe & Gracie ♥

  112. May 1, 2015 at 6:44 am

    So happy to have found you, Mary. Look forward to following! I know I’m going to love it!

  113. Lanetta Kiser
    May 19, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Mary, I love your blog and I’m starting one myself. Never to compare to yours. Do you know a good company/person to tweak my blog for me? There are so many out there but I
    would like to somewhat know what I’m getting. Or at least know they are able to do what I want. Please email me if you don’t want to publish the source. kanmd4now@yahoo.com.

    • May 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks Lanetta! I don’t know anyone, I used free WordPress. There are 350 themes to choose from and peruse if you go that route: https://theme.wordpress.com/ Good luck :)

  114. May 21, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Hi! I jut found your blog thru Savvy Souther Style and I am in love!! Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes!! I love your photography too!!

  115. Cindy
    June 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Wow! Just found your blog and boy o boy! What a treat! You and I could get in serious trouble together at Homegoods! Ha! Your taste is charming and crazy good! I love all youth tablescapes and can’t wait to dive into some of the recipes! I too! Am a huge new fan! Love! It! Cindy

  116. August 5, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I have been following you for years and I cannot believe I have not commented on this….Good to know you better Mary..and what a horrific experience you had with the armed robbery…I love your style and the way you style so impeccably….Have you ever done a series on how you had styled when you were in the business…those tips can certainly help those in their homes too…I look forward to many years of your beautiful posts. AND, I agree, a wine lunch with a BFF is better than therapy….and cheaper too!

  117. NancyG
    August 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I have been following your blog for awhile now and so enjoy all of your posts and photos. Love the potting shed! You are very talented. Why don’t you show us some of your home as well? I’m sure it is decorated as lovely as the potting shed. And, please post a picture of you! I feel a better connection when I can see someone! Unless I have missed one along the way.

  118. Mary N.
    August 11, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I have been following for a year or so now and decided it is finally time to say “hi”! I really enjoy your blog; it always requires a “sit down and relax” moment. Would love to know more about how you acquired all of these beautiful props and dishes….. Understand you need your privacy but if your shed is any indication of your house – please tease us with a few shots someday! Thank you for taking the time to set up such beautiful shots of the lake as well as the still life.

  119. September 18, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I stumbled upon your lovely blog via Pinterest. Enjoyed your beautiful commentary,amazing creativity and crisp pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

  120. Sandy Park
    September 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Absolutely, hands down your blog is my very favorite. And I’d die for your shed. I love to visit it whenever you blog about it. And boating! How I miss not being around any body of water.

  121. October 8, 2015 at 10:25 am


    I’m reaching out from Country Living, where I work on food and lifestyle content for our daily website. We just wanted to let you know that we featured your Mini Pumpkin Pies and a Blooming Can recipe in a roundup of our favorite Thanksgiving pies. We spotlighted one image from your blog and, of course, linked back to your post for a full tutorial and more details.

    Our readers are really enjoying it, and we’re excited to show support for your blog and hopefully send traffic your way. Our story featuring your site may also be syndicated on our sister sites such as GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com and others, which will hopefully mean even more exposure for you.

    Definitely keep us in the loop about other projects you have coming up. We always love to feature more fun ideas from creative blogs like yours.

    Thank you,
    Herrine Ro

  122. pattymmgood
    October 13, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I love your site…the photos are spectacular! I found you on Pinterest but I can’t seem to see your list of food categories, can you direct me as I’d love to see more of your recipes.

    Thank you,


  123. Sandy Park
    December 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Love all your pictures. I’d really love a picture of you. Merry Christmas, Sandy

  124. Alice
    January 18, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I made the owl cookies, they came out great! Thanks for the inspiration! I found you on Pinterest also, you caught my eye! We have a boat also and I too need a 12 step program for Home Goods

  125. Maureen
    February 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Fun blog!

  126. March 4, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I read your blog every morning with a cup of tea! Your life on the lake is making me rethink the mountains! :)

  127. Irene Hardin
    March 7, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Would love to know the pattern for the quilt you have on a table on your page. It is just beautiful.

    • March 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Irene, I’m not sure which page you’re referring to. Most of the quilts used on the tables were purchased (manufactured) and all the sources for the tables are at the bottom of each post :)

  128. April 16, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Currently visiting Asheville NC. Looking for new home. Live in New England area now. U have a lovely home on your lake there.

  129. April 29, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Hi Mary, I like be following your blog. I too am a Home goods addict. Your home is gorgeous! I love N Carolina. My brother lives in New Bern. We often visit Beaufort and Atlantic Beach when we’re there. Beautiful area.

  130. Bruce
    May 13, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Love browsing these wonderful pictures…I couldn’t help but notice in one of the first pictures of the galvanized watering can from Guillourd…I love this can and cannot find it new or otherwise…can I purchase this one?…or can you direct me to where I can purchase this one in exact same size?…thankyou…

  131. Sharon Watson
    July 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Just found you through Pinterest. So excited to see our mutual interests. Including the tablescapes, water, and puppy dogs! I live outside of Charleston.

  132. Arlene
    July 28, 2016 at 8:39 am

    This week my husband and I are staying at a resort on Lake Marion. We enjoy seeing the bald cypress trees and learning the history of how this man made lake was started. Not enjoying the heat wave temps this week unfortunately. I think in another 10 years or so, if we come back to this area, we will see a lot of changes in development in the area. I realize you don’t live on this lake (but close to it) but it is a beautiful part of South Carolina. And I love a pontoon boat ride!

    • July 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Hi Arlene, Enjoy your lake time! It’s too HOT to boat here! Stay cool and thanks for visiting. :)

  133. Margaret
    September 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I love your blog and particularly love your photos! I’m hoping you wouldn’t mind sharing a little about your equipment (camera model, lenses used, screens, flash attachments, etc.) and a little about the setting you find create the best photos (automatic, aperture, ISO, flash, etc.). I look forward to your blog and thank you for all your work creating it!

    • September 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you Margaret! I’ll work on an post for the future but in the meantime you can read a little about my camera and editing here.

      • Linda St Pierre
        October 27, 2019 at 1:09 pm

        Hi Mary ~

        How is it that lovely and talented people such as yourself never live nextdoor?! That would be amazingly fun … sigh. Opening a post from you is like finding you on my doorstep, inviting you in and listening to all your ideas ~
        There is a wonderful blogger who moved to Lake Norman a few years ago – Diane Henkler. I’ve no idea of the size/area that your community encompasses but you may already know her, know of her or might meet her someday. She is a non-stop go-getter ~ I think the two of you would really hit it off!

  134. November 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    So glad I discovered your blog!!! My husband and I plan to find a second home around the Mooresville area one day. We are Long Islanders transplanted in Florida in 1988 but oh how I miss the Fall… We go up to NC once or twice a year and Lake Norman is one of our favorite places to stop. Especially in the fall. As a photographer, scrapbooker, dreamer, I am so inspired by what I see on your blog. Thank you for all of the inspiration!!!

  135. November 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I LOVE your blog. And I just found it kind of randomly. Love your top 10 list. We would be fast friends I’m certain. I will be doing lots of reading, and chair sitting. So therapeutic! We are boat people as well, and dog, and wine at lunch, and coffee on the porch. :) Thanks for sharing such pretty pictures, great ideas, and interesting reading.

  136. Robin Lanier
    December 31, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Just started following you recently and have so enjoyed your ideas! I also live in NC & have recently purchased a home in the country for myself that I am restoring. There also is a small workshop behind my home in which I would love to turn into a shabby chic potting shed. I feel like I have found a new friend. Thank you for your blog!

  137. Blue
    January 25, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve always just visited; then I got bold, and signed up for your newsletter.. and just wanted to say, I still enjoy your blog. This said, little of my life is similar to your.. don’t own my own home or a boat. But I’ve got 3 rescued pups, that yup– are my sanity as well. I garden when I can, so I enjoy reading your potting shed glamour moments — but personally I’d not call what you have as a potting shed, but rather, a writers retreat. As my potting shed is all pots, peat and plants.. !
    I love to bake as much as I’m able so I enjoy your recipe posts too-!
    …I’ve not been to a Home Goods, tho, it does sound like a place my wallet could get lost it — one of the reasons I have to walk quickly by Pottery Barn, Christmas Tree Shop, Williams Sonoma-! Every catalog begs .. yes it begs me.. buy buy buy♡
    …so I’ve dallied here on your blog.. happy to dream of buying, reminisce about decorating and laugh about pups. Thank you Mary, you’re a light of joy in my life. ♡♡

  138. Amelia Stewart
    March 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Ok, just discovered you through Susan Branch on Twitter & you are amazing and fabulous! Love, love, your Blog & all & we sound like kindred spirits on your About me page, love your comments! Dreamy life & pages, photos everything! God Bless! I’m so excited to be a new follower!
    Amie from New Orleans

  139. Anne
    April 29, 2017 at 11:10 am

    OMG, I love your potting shed and just want to sit by it for a while and maybe read a book, so peaceful looking, like a storybook……..

  140. May 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Mary – I came across some of your food-related photos online and would love to get in touch to see if we might use a few in our summer issue, with appropriate credit to you. We are on deadline now and I’d need to hear from you pretty quickly. Just thought I’d give this a shot and hope to hear from you!

  141. Kathy McConnell
    September 5, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I just found your page on FaceBook. The chocolate pumpkin bundt cake caught my attention. Kinda made me hungry. I have shared your website with a couple of friends. I live at Myrtle Beach, SC. I will visit this site often.

  142. Karen
    September 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    I saw a photo of an outrageously beautiful cake covered with edible flowers and berries in Edible Aspen Mag. What about the mushrooms…..are they Chocolate? Meringue? Real?

  143. Betsy Roush
    October 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Mary,

    I came across your blog filled with it’s beautiful pictures today, and immediately subscribed to follow you via email. My family is planning a trip for this Thanksgiving to scout out the area we think we want to move to; and when I saw your pictures I thought to myself, “I hope I’ve researched the right place, because this is EXACTLY what I want…where were these pictures taken?”. And of course you can guess the punch line. We have a trip booked and have been working with a realtor to scout the towns around Lake Norman, NC!

    Thanks for the beautiful photos!


    • October 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Betsy, Thank you for your visit and for subscribing! Isn’t that funny?! Lake Norman has 520 miles of shoreline and spans 4 counties so there is something for everyone. We bought our home in 2001, as a weekend lake home and moved here permanently about 5 years ago. We’re on the west side of the lake where it’s still a little ‘sleepy’ but being developed and getting more populated everyday. Happy house hunting! :)

  144. Debbie
    October 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Hello! I just found your blog and will be following you! I live on Lake Oconee in Georgia, so I am especially interested in your lake life and décor! You had me at “I need a 12 step program for Homegoods”!!!! :)

  145. Amy Lary
    November 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Mary! Your blog is inspirational, thank you. We’re building a she shed and was having trouble deciding the width of the work surfaces. You solved that for me, I’m going with 24″ so it doesn’t eat up too much of my space. We’re on the lake and I didn’t want the shed blocking my view of the dock from my bedroom (grandkids!), so we moved it further East and made it smaller. I think I’ll regret the smaller part, but learn to live with it since the foundation was poured yesterday. I’ll be following you for continued beautiful pictures and inspiration. Thank you!

  146. Kathleen
    November 29, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Funny! I have to resist the urge to rearrange EVERYWHERE. Sometimes, I sneakily do! But just a little-so I don’t get caught!

  147. December 16, 2017 at 7:15 am

    You’re blog is beautifully done! I came across it on Pinterest as I was looking for a ap recipe to take to a gathering at our marina. The Parmesan-crusted crabcakes were a huge hit! I’ll be following your blog for ideas, inspriation. Take a look at mine, it’s a work in progress! http://www.ourfloatinghome.com

  148. LUXEREAU Catherine
    January 8, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Bonjour, oh, comme j’aimerai prendre un verre en Caroline du Nord près d’un lac avec vous….Superbe idée !

    Bonne journée !


  149. January 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Love the appearance AND content of your blog. Such a breath of fresh air…

  150. Susie Ward
    January 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I’ve worked in retail for years!! I too loved your comments. I’m a huge dog lover (we have 3) and one of ours is a Chloe also. I’m an avid reader of all you mentioned. Keep the comments coming really enjoyed them. (I especially agree with everyone should have to work retail during the holiday season!)

  151. christine bauman
    February 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Mary, I have been following you for years. I have progressive MS and have been in bed for weeks. Your blog is sweet dessert in my life and encourages me daily. I am a retired teacher and used to decorate my classroom monthly. Some days your blog is my window to the outside world, thank you!!! hugs and Gods blessing from California

    • February 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Bless you Christine! I’m so sorry to hear about your MS and that you are bedridden, but thank you so much for your visits and your sweet comment. ♥

  152. Blue
    March 9, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Good morning Mary, been over a year since last I posted, tho not the last time I’ve come to your blog and enjoyed the sit down. I was searching for some reason to celebrate St Pat’s.. I’m a Scot, so I have to be entranced with some joyous aspect. I read your newsletter and came by.. think I’ll be making the Pot of Gold stew!. So after printing the recipe, I came back to review. . To see if you had noticed my post, sadly not, and.. to see how life had changed in all the yrs you’ve blogged. The biggest lately was the passing of your pup when I had read that in your newsletter a while back, I didn’t have the heart to read the blog post.. I kept welling up. But some wee time has passed, thought I’d post my heartfelt sorrow of your loss and well.. leave you a hug or two. You always manage to cheer everyone else with your blog posts. My cheer for you, is that you are deeply loved.. for everything you do or dont, you’re so loved. Go raibh míle maith agat!

  153. Gloria
    May 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I love your photography, humor and furry family. I agree about Christmas season retail work!

  154. Sil
    July 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Love your pictures, birdhouses and furry babies!! searching for birdhouses I found your blog and pictures. love them all! <3

  155. August 14, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I just found your blog, lovely and we breathe the same NC air, but my air is breezy & salty on the Crystal Coast! I saw the black and white tartan plaid table runner on Pinterest, so here I am enjoying another pontoon-ers lifestyle…loved that fabric, but I can find anything likeit…Have a great day filled with sunshine, sea/water, and a filled glass of wine!

  156. September 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Hello from Thomasville NC! I enjoy your blog so much. It is a pleasure to peek in on you, to see what you’re up to now. 💋 I love your style.

  157. Penelope Gallaway
    September 30, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I am laughing at #3!!! I have always felt that everyone should have to work at least once in retail during Thanksgiving and Christmas and at some point, waiting tables! These jobs will give you a whole new level of respect! I still find myself straightening clothes sometimes when shopping. And I always tip well!!!!

  158. valerie anderson
    November 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

    valerie anderson november 19.2018. 7am just happened across your site while in pinterest looking at tea pots. i would like to know if its still possible to buy the chickadee teapot . how much ,where, and all that. my 93 yr old mom is from england and loves those birds the most ,( and of course, she drinks tea daily :) ) any help will be appreciated.

  159. December 30, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Life just isn’t worth living if you can’t find the humor in it. You clearly have a life worth living! I love your blog and your amazing design ideas. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and “chair sitting” ideas. Think I’ll just go pour myself a lovely cocktail, sit and continue to browse your blog. Best to you, your husband and adorable babies.

  160. March 8, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Mary, thank you so much for your beautiful blog. You are an inspiration! As a budding blogger newbie, you give me hope and inspiration. After 25 years as a frustrated paralegal, having toiled in my kitchen, toyed in real estate and staging and after having worked part-time in a home goods store, (which I really made no money, but I have lots and lots of cool stuff), I hope to have a site half as nice as yours.

    Truly a fan,

    Lisa Bennett

  161. Susan Joyce
    April 20, 2019 at 8:34 am

    I love it all! I’m interested in purchasing a potting shed sign?

  162. Rosemary
    May 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I so look forward to your blog! Read them end to end. Retail queen myself..(and former concierge for many years in Napa Valley) it’s in the blood, as I still have a little gift shop on a Pop- Up basis…as a latent writer myself, you give me hope this will be my next step. Blogging!!
    I share your blog with many of my pals here in the SF bay area….we truly enjoy “sitting” with you..as well as your recipes, amazing photos and commentary. Thank you for sharing your slice of the world!

  163. Jayne Finkbohner
    May 29, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Love your blog!

  164. June 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Lake Norman is beautiful! Nothing like a nice boat to cool off in the summer. Thanks for sharing!

  165. MM
    September 22, 2019 at 8:49 am

    I don’t find my comment to enter the Halloween giveaway

  166. Faith and Ray Stazzoni
    November 11, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Hello, I love your site and your beautiful Bichons. We have two beautiful babies, Romeo and Juliet.
    Both have passed away and we are looking for a quality, loving breeder. Your little bichons features so much like our lovies. Can you possible refer your breeder? Thank you, Faith and Ray

    • November 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      So sorry for your loss. We said goodbye to Chloe and Gracie in 2018 and earlier this spring. Our new furbabies, Sophie and Lola, came from this breeder: https://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=259500 They are very sweet girls and have the best personalities. You can find her contact information at that link.

      • Faith Stazzoni
        November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am

        Thank you Mary so much for your reply, and the breeder contact information.
        Love your beautiful site, and appreciate the time and energy you put into it.

  167. Sue Whitacre
    December 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Hi! Just stumbled on this site while cruising for holiday ideas I would like to “sign up” to receive your posts. I love your personality and your list just totally cracked me up! I am newly retired and spent the last 14 yrs in retail/grocery industry and agree with the mandatory requirement of working the Holiday Season! Nice to meet you.

    • December 9, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Hi Sue, Thank you for subscribing! Nice to meet you too and Happy Retirement! :)

  168. March 23, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Mary, I’ve been a subscriber for sometime and love your shed arrangements, table settings, your lovely pontoon, but especially your fur babies. I’ve never once commented but I just wanted you to know how much I’ve enjoyed your blog. I was there when you had Gracie and Chloe and cried with you when they passed. I had my Eddie and Emma (rescued Yorkies) at the time, but could see their time to leave was fast approaching. I have not had the heart to find new fur babies yet but can see how much joy your babies bring you. Thank you again for your wonderful blog. I bet you were incredibly in retail.

  169. May 14, 2020 at 9:23 am

    I just found you via a search for the birdseed. GOing to head over to bloglovin to pick up your feed!

  170. Stephanie Vaughan
    June 10, 2020 at 9:42 am

    I just found your blog through a Pinterest link. And I love it!
    I just had to comment on “I believe everyone should have to work retail from Thanksgiving until December 26th ONCE as a life requirement”.
    AMEN!!! I started in retail at 17 and was the softlines assistant manager in a department store by 23. I left retail behind 4 years later when my son was born. But now it’s 24 years later and I still find myself straightening racks and shelves and mentally rearranging displays when I shop.
    It definitely makes me appreciate the folks waiting on me in stores.

  171. June 26, 2020 at 7:43 am

    Mary I love to read the ‘about me’ information on blogs, it gives a better picture of who is behind the writing or photography. I enjoyed yours too very much and I think that you have a good sense of humour! A great asset. Nice to meet you!

  172. Diane Avallone
    June 30, 2020 at 6:46 am

    Have loved your blog for years for many reasons including the adorable Bichons. We said goodbye to our 16 yr old Roxy in April & are broken hearted. My daughter has been searching for breeders with no luck. This is a long shot but do you know of any? Seems Bichon pups are in high demand (not surprising to us of course)!!

    • June 30, 2020 at 7:07 am

      Oh I’m so sorry for your loss Diane and feel your pain. Here’s the link to the breeder where we got Lola and Sophie. I don’t know if she has any puppies but she probably put you in touch with someone who does: https://www.breeders.net/detail.php?id=259500

  173. November 18, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Mary, so nice to meet you! I just joined your blog. Love, love your ideas. I also live on the water, in New Jersey. My home is named Baymyst. (hence my email address) There is nothing like watching it snow over the water (with a cup of coffee OR glass of wine. Thanks so much for the beautiful ideas! Nancy

  174. Carolyn Eisenman
    March 17, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Good Morning, Mary. I received my puzzle a couple of weeks ago, but have not had the chance to work on it yet. I am having some health issues, so maybe this will keep me occupied while I am in my recovery period, or at least I hope it will be a recovery period. I am excited about getting to work on it. So pretty. Thank you for choosing my name as a winner. I don’t know how to tag the ladies who sent me the puzzle, so I have not done this. A little slow in the computer know how. Have a wonderful and blessed St. Patty’s Day and always.

  175. January 4, 2022 at 10:54 am

    What a fantastic post with amazing photos! We are located in North Carolina as well, and love every minute of it here! I LOVE the following quote you made:

    “The fine art of “Chair-Sitting” involves: Stare at the water and clouds. Read a Little. Have a Drink. Listen to Music. Discuss Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and just Sloooow Down.”

    This is great advice for people to follow and just take a minute to breath and take in the beautiful sights that nature has to offer. Life tends to get away from us and we can take things for granted. I have a great resource for boating information here if your audience might be interested.

    Thank you so much for the post! FYI, I loved the Cream Cheese and Red Pepper Jelly Christmas Tree appetizer!

  176. November 1, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I came across the pie crust leaves that are baked to place over a homemade turkey pot pie. I LOVE the shaped pie crust leaves with the dried cranberries and pecans but will be honest, I think I would keep the pie crust whole and bake over the turkey pot pie in one sheet. But as for the shapes, I can think of oodles of ways of using them. I have one problem though, I’ve looked and I can NOT find a recipe for the turkey pot pie. Was there one? I wanted to search for it but so far I can’t find a search feature on the website. Am I missing it somewhere? Help!

    • November 1, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Pam, The Turkey Pot Pie recipe is HERE. There is a search bar on my site. It you’re on a laptop it can be found on the sidebar on the right right under ‘follow me on Pinterest above ‘categories’. If you’re on your phone or tablet, it will be about a 1/3 of the way down, also directly under ‘follow me on Pinterest’. :)

  177. Rosalie
    July 1, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    I haven’t checked your web site in a while. So glad I stopped by again today. All your articles and photos are beautiful . I especially love the tea parties. I think all the tea parties photos/ideas/recipes would make a fabulous book. Have you thought of using your talents and put together a tea book? Afternoon tea fans would love it.

  178. Barbara Zuleski
    October 26, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Just a quick note saying how much I enjoy your blog, we started following you after you posted a Christmas story about your shed and a particular fun garland a fellow blogger gave you. You had us hooked…

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