How to Decorate for Halloween

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 8.20.17 PM When I was 8 months pregnant (I forgot how swollen I was- yikes), Jimmy and I bought a new house in Garden Hills.  It is our dream home.  Every single day we walk in and think how lucky we are to live here.  Everything about it is perfect for us.  There is a "grown up" kitchen, fenced in backyard, 2 fireplaces, and a master bedroom that's better than any hotel where I have ever stayed.

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Before we lived in Garden Hills, we lived in a house in Ridgewood Heights (see our old house in the photo above).  Even though I was VERY ready for a fenced backyard and more storage space, I was a little sad to leave because I loved our neighbors so much.  The twins that lived two doors down were in our wedding, and my good friend lived across the street.  But hands down the BEST thing about our neighborhood was Halloween.  I've always loved Halloween.  When I was little Ben and I would practice Trick or Treating for weeks before the big day, ringing our own doorbell and asking for candy.  Carving the pumpkin was a major event every year, and we would work together making eyebrows or missing teeth.  That love for Halloween continued into adulthood.  The first year I ever lived in that house I made a massive deal about having the scariest house in the neighborhood.  I had dry ice, a welcome mat that screamed, and friends who jumped out at the kids.  Every year after that the kids would call my house "the scary house," which was a title I worked to uphold.

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SEVERAL weeks ago we broke out the decorations at the new house - I have a statement to make.  halloween065

We have a full graveyard, a string of bloody knives running from the driveway to the lantern, numerous ghosts hanging from trees, three pumpkins, and a few bloody arms on the lawn.

Driving in and out of the neighborhood I've noticed that some of the neighbors really go all out on the decorations.  Yesterday I borrowed a new lens from my uncle, and Oliver and I started out on foot to try out the new lens and scope out the competition.  Let me tell you, these people are serious!

halloween001Oliver was not 100% certain about going on this adventure but agreed reluctantly.

halloween002We started in out own yard where I tried to blur out the fact that I have not been watering those planters enough by focusing on the very scary bird!

halloween003Oliver's first pumpkins with his initials.

halloween004Scary ghost hanging in front of our entryway.

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Our graveyard.

We started walking...

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halloween009This pumpkin pops open and closed.

halloween012I've always liked this modern house, and they really went all out!  I love the cobwebs everywhere.  We don't tend to do a lot of cobwebs, but that's only because I'm lazy about taking them down post Halloween.

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The sign that marks Halloween central.

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These people totally out graveyarded us!halloween016I'm so jealous!

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Sometimes Mother Nature has the best decorations.halloween018

So many pumpkins, and if you look closely you will see the screaming face looking out the window!!  That took me a minute.halloween019Close up of the doorway.  I love the skull in the planter.

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Better shot of the face!halloween021I love how simple this is... just  a big old spider hanging from a doorknob.

halloween022And excellent carving skills.

halloween023This is right out of a magazine, and their planters are perfect.

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I like how they used the skulls next to the door and the pumpkins going up the stairs.halloween026

Super creepy!!halloween027

At this point Oliver was sort of over the exercise, but we pressed on anyway.halloween028

Jimmy hates anything having to do with the circus, so this jester would probably make it the scariest house for him.  Those cobwebs are perfection.halloween029

Love this originality! halloween031Here is a more simple southern kid-friendly door :) halloween032

Don't miss the collection of witches on the right side.

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There is something so simple and classy about white pumpkins. halloween035

But also something wonderful about a mulit-colored skull surrounded by bats.halloween036

I fell in love with little casper here.halloween037

Amazing! halloween038

This was the single best decoration I saw.  An army of skeletons carrying a casket!  What's not to love?halloween039

I love this doorway as well.  I've never seen that color of pumpkin before, but maybe that's because its a gourd?  halloween041

This spider got his web all tangled in the bushes. halloween042

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halloween040There is something so simple about this one- a nice American flag and a grim reaper.  Perfect.

halloween044Next year I'm going to have to get a huge spider and maybe a skeleton in a top hat.

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Ghost tree.halloween046

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Frightening skull in front of a beautifully decorated door with mums. halloween049 halloween050The bones can't quite get out of the grave because of the cobwebs.

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UGA pride.halloween052

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Just a little ghost trio.halloween054

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I love this hurst!halloween057

This is one of my favorite houses in the neighborhood, and of course their pumpkins look perfect!halloween058

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A perfectly placed Halloween wreath. halloween060

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And finally we made it back home.halloween063

"Get me outta this stroller mom, I'm hungry!"

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One thing is for sure, even if my yard is not the best in the neighborhood, I'll certainly have the cutest pumpkin on Halloween night!

-Blayne Macauley

P.S. would you all please take a moment to like this blog on Facebook?  I would really appreciate it.  Thank you!

The Joel Chandler Harris Jr. Family Home - 2973 Habersham Road

Glennis Beacham just listed 2973 Habersham Road, which was custom designed and built for Joel Chandler Harris' (author of the Uncle Remus Stories- Song of the South) son. Joel Chandler Harris had the home built for his son, Joel Chandler Harris Jr. and his new wife as a wedding present.  Joel Chandler Harris Jr. was the editor of the AJC at one time.  The home is a replica of one that Joel Chandler Harris Jr. and his wife fell in love with in New York, so they hired the original Architect, Wendehack, to draw up some plans, and then Lewis Crook made a few adjustments and oversaw the home's construction.  The end result was a handsome and timeless family home that I just fell in love with.  Please enjoy!

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Beautiful foyer.

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Living room.

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Dining Room.

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Kitchen.

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Covered porch.

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Pool area.

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View of the front of the guest house.

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Guest House Kitchen.

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View from the master bedroom in the guest house.

Isn't this home amazing?  Don't you love the guest house?!  For more info click here.

Winter Blues and Kitchen News ;)

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WHERE'S THE SNOW?!?!?!

This time of the year is hard.  Sorry, but it is.  After the build up and craziness of the holidays, January is a bit of a let down.  Not to mention these arctic temperatures we have in Atlanta.  Burrrr!  I remember this lull last year.  We were planning for the wedding in April, which seemed so far away last January!  Jimmy especially gets a little down this time of year.  He lives for the Spring, and in January that seems like an eternity.  Plus he still has to get through Valentines, which I think is hard for all men.  This year I made it easy by calling him and telling him specifically what restaurant I wanted to go to (Gunshow), and when I wanted to go.  Nice wife... apparently pregnancy makes me VERY specific about what I want to eat.

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On the plus side, we had a fantastic trip to Jackson Hole!  I was slightly disappointed in the whole spa experience only because I did not get to lay on my stomach as I had hoped.  There was a wedge pillow on top of the table with a hole in it for my stomach, but my stomach is so big (you know I just loved typing that phrase), that I felt like I couldn't breathe.  I lasted for about five minuted before I gave up and laid on my side.  Pregnant lady problems.   On the plus side the food was FANTASTIC!  Fresh green kale juice every morning and all the gluten free toast I could eat, which was a lot.  I'm craving toast with jam these days... I heard it keeps you thin ;).  Mom and I did, indeed, catch up on some movies, and we watched several episodes of the Price is Right :)  The photo above is from the last day when we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain for lunch (chili and a baked potato).  The baby went too, as you can see.

Speaking of the baby, he is a papaya this week.

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I don't like papayas because I think they smell/taste like feet.  The first time I ever tasted papaya was about 5 years ago when my family went to Cabo.  We stopped by the grocery store where there was a BIG BIG sale of papayas, so even though we had never tasted papayas we thought, "when in Rome..."

My brother decided to use all these papayas up in a margarita... you know, just get really Mexican with it.  He was so excited when he served them!

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Turns out the reason there was a BIG BIG sale on papayas was they were all rotten.  Hence the feet taste.   It was the nastiest tasting margarita I've ever had, and I vowed to avoid papayas forever... or so I thought.

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On the last day of our honeymoon in Thailand, Jimmy and I decided to treat ourselves to spa services in the room.  Jimmy smartly ordered a massage, and I got a facial.  About halfway through the facial they wrapped my face in gauze and started painting that gauze with cold fruit goo, which seemed fine.  About 30 seconds later I noticed a horrible smell... like feet.  I was laying there wondering what in the world that smell could be.  Was it me?  Was it the facial giver?  Ahhhh  papaya!  My old enemy.  I laid there for 15 minutes breathing through my mouth vowing, "never again"... and now there's one in my stomach!  Yea!

I've made it through papaya week by trying to picture what baby Macauley will look like, which is how I found these adorable pictures of Jimmy.

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Yep.  The faster I can get my hands on one of those the better... even if it means the baby has to be a papaya for a week.  By the by, I know I'm biased, but can you BELIEVE how cute that baby is?!?!?!

Speaking of passing time, I've also been taking some photos.  Last week I shot 634 Carriage Way for Glennis Beacham.  It had one of the best kitchens I've seen in a long time.  Jimmy and I have actually been looking for houses ourselves recently, and when it comes down to it the kitchen may just be the most important room in a house.  I know when I'm at home I spend at least 40-50% of my time in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning or getting some sort of snack (that's a recent addition).  Jimmy and I have a tiny kitchen right now, but we still both try to be in there at the same time... me cutting up veggies and him stirring soup, just talking about our day.  I know that was a bit of a tangent, but it's been on my mind with all the houses we've been seeing.  I really don't even have to see the rest of the house, I can judge it all by the kitchen.  That's why I was so struck by how beautiful this kitchen was!  Wouldn't it be the prefect place to hang out with your family and get ready for dinner or make brunch on Saturday.... one can dream.

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Pregnancy Gratitudes- Jackson Hole- 3955 Northside Drive

Notice anything different?  I have a new look here at This Photographer's Life.  You know they say "change is good," and it was time to freshen things up a bit.  This is a much more modern layout and allows the reader to navigate the site more quickly.  Please let me know what you think! Tomorrow we are headed to Jackson Hole, so I wanted to get in a quick update.  This trip will be much different than the legendary trip two years ago where I lied about my skiing abilities.

Ski trip

This year there will be much less skiing/falling, beer drinking and hot tubing.  Beer drinking and hot tubing are my two favorite parts of ski trips, so I'm a little bummed.  I'm sure it's fine for some people to ski while pregnant, but not me.  I'm actually fine headed down the hill, but I've been know to fall doing stupid things like standing in line. So coordinated.

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I am scheduled for two spa treatments.  Prenatal massages are the best things going.  This will be my second (I am also getting a facial to combat pregnancy breakouts), and it cannot come soon enough.  Luckily Glennis is going to Jackson and doesn't ski, so we will get a lot of mother-daughter time, which I assume will be spent in the movie theater.  I also plan on taking full advantage of ski-related food like chili and hot chocolate.  Lastly, Jimmy got a new ski helmet, so there is a lot to celebrate.  Have you seen the old one from 1993 (see above)? Bowling ball.

Baby update.

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The baby is a banana this week, which is uber depressing.  Going from a cantaloupe to a banana  makes no sense to me, but it has to do with hitting the 20th week and beginning to count the legs, which were not counted previously...  blah blah blah, I want that baby to get bigger, not skinnier.  Nobody likes a skinny banana baby.

Here is a quick list of things Pregnant Blayne is thankful for:

1. Pregnant Friends

Friends who are pregnant are THE BEST whilst pregnant.  They keep you from losing your mind.  The strangest stuff happens to your body while you are pregnant.  Example; a few nights ago I woke up and both legs had gone numb, which was surprising to say the least. Pregnant/alone/hypochondriac Blayne would have convinced herself she was starting down a road to paralysis and called the doctor, but instead I woke up and texted my slightly further along pregnant friend Callie something like, "strangest thing happened last night... woke up and couldn't feel either leg!!!!"  After a few minutes she wrote back, "yea, happens all the time, no big deal."  Thus a panic attack/trip to the hospital/call to the doctor was completely averted.  If you are pregnant, my advice to you is to get some pregnant friends ASAP.  Can't live without them.

2. A Pregnancy Pillow

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I'm not going to go into this one so much because it's just obvious.  If you are pregnant it's your best friend.  Get one.  I am actually the proud owner of two (thank you Lex), and I use the both... unless Jimmy or Charlotte steals one, which happens surprisingly often.  See Charlotte, that little pillow thief. (Above she took over a head pillow, not a pregnancy pillow, but you get the idea)

3. A good pair of Jeans.

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I bought this pair of jeans at A Pea in the Pod when I was about 2 months pregnant (don't judge... I've dreamt my whole life of an elastic waistband).  Now, before you go judging me about how expensive they are, let me tell you, I've worn them every single day except for 5, and the only reason I didn't wear them those days is because they HAD to be washed.   By the end of this pregnancy, these jeans will have cost about $1.50 per day, which is my best pregnancy investment to date.  The sales lady at a A Pea in the Pod told me this was the most popular seller because the jean has a little elastic in it, which makes it easier to move.

4. The parent exchange group on Facebook.

If you live in Buckhead, there is a group called "The Buckhead Brookhaven Parent Exchange" that my friend Meredith asked me to join.  It's a group of moms in the area who sell used children's clothes/furniture/toys that they don't need.  So far I've bought a pregnancy pillow, bouncy chair, pack and play, and a glider for a grand total of $105... now that's a savings you can funnel right back into a good pair of maternity jeans. ;)

5. A good pregnancy blog.

I like two.

Rabit Stew - this cute girl wrote a week by week account of her pregnancy and delivery.  I love reading it every week.  She's funny and real and has the nerve to write about stuff that I don't...

Pregnant Chicken - Funny writer who reviews everything pregnancy and baby related.  I like.

And now...

Somebody buy this house. Glennis Beacham has it listed, and it's one of my very favorites.  3955 Northside Drive.  It's the perfect place to raise a family.  There is a huge front yard, an even bigger back yard with beautiful gardens, screened-in porch, massive family room and a studio space on the third floor!  See?  Perfect.

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Have a great week everybody!  I'll think of you from my massage bed.  Not.

- Blayne Macauley

Beacham Series Ad Space Finalists!

We have AMAZING finalists for “The Beacham Series” ad this time!  I can’t wait for you guys to see them. To vote for your favorite, please “like”  Beacham & Company, REALTORS on Facebook and write your vote on the wall.

If you do not have Facebook, you can leave a comment here and tell me your vote.

Voting ends Monday (3-25) at Midnight.

FINALISTS

1. Scott B. Smith

Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley

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Since Beacham and Morgan Stanley share clients, I think it could be a great relationship for both of us!  We both offer white glove service to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients where the ability to develop an intimate understanding of our client’s true desires is paramount to Beacham’s agents and Morgan Stanley’s advisors helping clients with difficult decisions regarding their most valuable assets.  As someone who personally has the magazine in my living room, we would be honored to be a part of the publication.

For current market commentary or to view your accounts online, visit my website at: http://fa.smithbarney.com/scottsmith/

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2. Kenneth Lynch & Associates

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Kenneth Lynch & Associates, AIA is a boutique residential architecture firm in Buckhead.  We have achieved an outstanding reputation for our architectural design dedicated to enduring style and attention to detail, as well as our strong client relationships.  Because of this, we intrinsically serve many of the same luxury clientele as Beacham & Company Realtors.

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3. Historical Concepts

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About Us

Historical Concepts specializes in the art of traditional architecture, creating homes that weave the timeless threads of the past with the modern comforts of today. For nearly thirty years, the firm has designed country houses, mountain retreats, coastal cottages and gracious estates that "pay homage to the South's deep sense of place." Now, in COMING HOME: The Southern Vernacular House, this award-winning firm celebrates the warmth and charm that lies at the heart of southern architecture, opening the doors to a selection of timeless homes inspired by authentic living.

 

Why we’d like to be featured in The Beacham Series

We are based here in Georgia, but a majority of our work is outside Atlanta, from the Hamptons to Jupiter Island to Sun Valley - and many places in between.  We’d be thrilled if we won the contest because we’d really like our neighbors here in Atlanta to get to know us better, and we’d like to share our design philosophy, as well as our recently published book, COMING HOME, with the discriminating readers of The Beacham Series.

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4. Emerald August

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The most important reason why an ad by Emerald August would be a perfect fit for the Beacham magazine is the fact that quality is the most important attribute to both companies when providing products and services to our customers.  Committed to the environment and boosting the economic state of our country, we produce all clothing in the U.S.A.  The customers that Beacham reaches are a large portion of our customer base, and a playful, yet sophisticated picture could add an element of youth and liveliness that could be freshly appealing to your readers.  We are based here in Atlanta, selling to retailers and individuals all over the country.

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5. McCall Wilder Couture

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McCall Wilder Couture for Children is Atlanta's only luxury retailer specializing in pure, sustainable, hand-embroidered clothing for children. New residents are delighted when they discover us since we are one of only a few U.S. companies remaining who are creating and domestically producing children's, tween, home, and women's lines with only the finest fabrics and hand stitched details! We offer our hand-embroidery and hand-monogramming on our entire custom and boutique line, including our organic Private Label layette and crib collection, as well as our casual and special occasion attire, for sizes 0 to 16 and Women's XS-XL. Of special interest to Beacham may be our extensive work with portrait brokers and artists nationwide to help create the perfect custom ensembles for children to wear in their portraits. Many of our outfits can be seen in oil, charcoal and pastel portraits in fine homes around Atlanta and in many Beacham listings!

6. Honeysuckle Gelato

Honeysuckle Founders

Honeysuckle Gelato was founded in 2011 by longtime friends Wes Jones, Khatera Ballard and Jackson Smith. Each ounce of Honeysuckle Gelato and Sorbet is made from scratch in Atlanta using the finest and freshest ingredients. The dairy used arrives fresh from small Georgia farms, and they use local farmers markets to supply them with high quality ingredients. Whenever an ingredient is not available locally, they search the globe in order to bring the most unique and delicious flavors to their customers – Sri Lankan cinnamon or the truly unique vanilla saffron. Their sorbets are made with whole fruits that are hand prepped in their kitchen.

Their wide range of artisanal treats will surely surpass your expectations. Whether you indulge in a cup of their hand-scooped gelato flavors such as honey lavender or sea-salted caramel, or try one of their deliciously refreshing sorbets like salted watermelon or mango-peach, I assure you that Honeysuckle’s line of frozen desserts is the perfect ending to any meal!

With their vast collection of southern inspired flavors, this gelato is the perfect final course for any dinner party or the ideal item to keep on hand in your freezer for a houseful of kids during hot Atlanta summers. Honeysuckle Gelato would be a perfect fit for the magazine because it's a fine treat with southern roots. Atlantans can pick up a pint from one of their favorite spots including Cafe at Pharr and Star Provisions among others. Out of towners won't feel left out, as they can now order pints online to be delivered to their front door!

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7. Cattitude Cat Toys Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 1.39.34 PM

Our toys are hand knit with 100% wool. The fibers are then felted together to create a very durable and safe toy for your pet. We stuff each cat toy with potent organic catnip to perk up your kitties senses!

VOTING BEGINS RIGHT NOW!!!

Just go to the Beacham & Company Facebook page and tell us which contestant you are voting for!  Thanks!

If you are not on Facebook, you can leave a vote HERE or email me at [email protected]

Voting ends Monday (3-25) at Midnight.

 

 

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Nan Haverty sells the HGTV Green Home in Serenbe!

Nan Haverty sold the HGTV Green Home at Serenbe!  She is a co-founder of the Serenbe community nestled in the woods of the Chattahoochee Hill Country, recently incorporated into its own city, and now recognized as the greenest city in the United States.

I went down to shoot the house right before Christmas and was so impressed!

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The idea behind the home, designed by Kemp Hall Studios, was to create a "modern farmhouse."

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This is the formal entry.

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I love these stairs.  They reminded me of the stairway in the vampire's house from Twilight (amazing modern home).

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The kitchen is located in the heart of the home.  The cabinets are made of Hickory wood and were constructed in Atlanta.  The kitchen was designed by interior designer Linda Woodrum.  The dining area flows seamlessly into the living room.

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The tile is a mixture of travertine and glass, and the floating display shelves make the space really interesting (see right side of this photo).

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I love the wood slat walls here...

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and all the natural light from the sliding glass doors that open to an outdoor sitting area.

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This is a view from the porch into the kitchen.  Sliding doors throughout the home make it feel much larger than it is and make it an indoor/outdoor space.

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The patio off of the kitchen offers an open air space for grilling and eating.

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To the left you can see the doors to the kitchen, and to the right you can see a large family room.

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I love the fireplace in the family room, because on a day like today you could have the doors open and the fire going.  It serves as both a glassed in and open porch.

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This orange study located on the main level is right up my alley.  I love the interior design.

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The master bedroom is located on the main level.  It opens to a fenced in area with lounge chars and the cutest dog house I've ever seen.

Can you see Nan's cute little dog, Channing, who joined us for the photo shoot?

He got tired and decided to take a snooze in this custom-built dog house.

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Finally we end up in the master bath with a walk-in dual shower and Carrera marble.

HGTV01This bedroom is located upstairs...

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and this art area/children's work station is built into the hallway leading to an additional bedroom.

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This cool bunk room is at the other end of the hall.  Since I was curious, I climbed right up to the top up there, where there was a tv with a PlayStation, two beanbags and of course the pail attached to a string for snacks.  I got so jealous.  I would love to hang out up there!

Congratulations to Nan Haverty for selling this amazing HGTV Green Home.  She was Beacham & Company's  Top Individual Agent Company-Wide in 2011.  Nan has a "Town and Country" approach. Whether you are buying or selling a starter home, lot to build a custom house, large estate, intown condo or townhome, Nan has the expertise to service all your particular interests and needs.  Nan utilizes a global network of listings and highly qualified buyers allowing her to perfectly match exceptional properties with the people who will take refuge within them. Understanding Town and Country living makes her unique.

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Now, you can WIN a Matouk candle AND a Matouk Bath Bar from Gramercy Fine Linens.

Buckhead bedding boutique, Gramercy Fine Linens & Furnishings, has partnered with luxury linen master Matouk to open the first-ever pop-up shop in Atlanta’s bustling Westside Provisions District.

Matouk by Gramercy Home, is a collaborative temporary boutique located in the former Ann Mashburn space, featuring bedding, bath and tabletop accessories by Matouk along with a well edited mix of gifts and monogramming services by Gramercy. The pop-up shop will remain open throughout the holiday season until February 2013.

The pop-up shop will be located at 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318 and will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.shopgramercy.com.

You need to go today!  I have this "White Garden"candle and "White Garden Bath Bar" right in front of me, and they smell amazing!  I'm so tempted to keep them for myself, but I will give them to one lucky reader.

To win, click here and tell me which room in the HGTV Green Home that Nan Haverty sold is your FAVORITE.

Contest ends 1/10/13 at 12PM EST.

Thank you all, and good luck!

Home Alone House + Something's Gotta Give House = Perfection

Take a look at these beautiful pictures of Jo Ellen Bradley's new listing at 3201 Rilman Road.  I photographed the house a few weeks ago and told the owner I thought it was the perfect marriage of two of my favorite movie houses.  It reminded me of the house from Home Alone + the house from Somethings Gotta Give, which is about the best complement I can give. 3201 Rilman01-cropped

I thought about the house from Home Alone as soon as I pilled up to the driveway.

Can you see the similarity, or am I crazy?

Here's a picture of it in the middle of the day.  I know it's not exactly the same, but there are some similarities.  To me, this house represents all the great things about Christmas and family and love.  Who wouldn't want to live in a house just like that?

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When I got to the beautiful kitchen and family room area it reminded me of the Somethings Gotta Give House.  That's also one of my favorite movie houses of all time.  I know it's not exactly the same, but I love the palette of blue and white.

See the similarities?

Before I let you go, you have to look at the backyard on 3201 Rilman.  It might be the best back yard in the city!

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This is the sitting area inside the pool house.  It has a place for a large TV, so it would be perfect for watching football.

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Isn't that beautiful?

Well, until tomorrow...

Remember to enter the giveaway for the Verde gift certificate!

Also...  Enter to win $100 Gift Certificate to The Home Depot.

Or enter to win this pillow!

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Pillow Giveaway + New Listing from Lauren Zgutowicz!

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Today I want you to show you my friend Lauren's listing.  Lauren Zgutowicz is my oldest friend.  We met in 3 year old mothers morning out at Holy Innocence.  Then we moved over to Westminster with me and we've been friends ever since.  We both went to Georgia together as well, and Lauren is going to be in our wedding :)

Not long ago I asked Lauren to come to Beacham & Company.  She is absolutely killing it.  It seems like she gets something under contract every single week.  I have to say I'm not surprised.  If I learned anything from studying for our 6th grade science exam with her, it's that she's extremely thorough, works way past the point when most people would give up (me), and she makes everyone do better because she's so determined.  After studying for 10+ hours I was exhausted and sick of science.  The next day I got a 94 on the exam.  I'll never forget her example of hard work and determination.  She is a fantastic real estate agent, and I'm so happy she's with us.

A few weeks ago I went out to Dunwoody to photograph the cutest house she has listed: 7105 Hunters Branch Drive .

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Isn't this the best house?  Contact Lauren for a showing.  The best part about this house is that Lauren lives down the street, and she is VERY good at baking ;)

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Win $100 Gift Card from Home Depot + 1038 Swathmore Drive + Botanical Gardens Nights of Lights

Last night was girls night.

First we went to the Block and Brayer event and Scout for the Home.  I love all the new patterns and definitely picked up a few Christmas presents... sorry to ruin the surprise!  Scout for the Home still has a lot of the Bags and Poufs and Pillows, so be sure to run by and check them out before Christmas.

Remember, You can enter to win one of these bags by clicking here!

Next we went over to Houston's for dinner.  To read about my Houston's obsession click here.

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Then we headed over to the Botanical Gardens Nights of lights :)  It was really fun and magical.  Ginny especially loved it and kept saying, "I really don't want to to be over!"

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We had a wonderful time (highlighted by some apple cider with hot buttered rum), and I definitely suggest it for getting into the holiday spirit :)

Up next I wanted to show you some photos I took for Glennis Beacham's listing at 1038 Swathmore Drive.  We've had a ton of activity on this house because it's laid out so well and in a price point that's really moving right now.  If you are looking for a home in this price range I suggest you make an appointment to see it ASAP.

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There is a sweeping front lawn, and it's on a quite street.1038 Swathmore43

I love getting a pet picture!

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Graceful arched foyer.

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Living room with view to dining room and kitchen.

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New kitchen with skylights and walk-in pantry.

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My favorite part of this house is that you can stand at the kitchen sink and look out to the back yard...

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... and it's a pretty amazing backyard!

While I was shooting the house the homeowner was using a handheld leaf blower that was really cool and very helpful for a photoshoot.  When I asked her where she got it she said Home Depot and suggested I register there.  Needless to say I've been spending a lot of time on the Home Depot website!

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I've been a Home Depot girl since the age of 3.

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My uncle Rod was building my parent's house at the time.  Since I wasn't in school yet, I had tons of time to ride back and forth to Home Depot every day with him to pick up supplies.

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Whenever he needed to go to Home Depot, he would come find me and tell me to go climb in the truck.

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I would run through the house looking for Ya yelling, "Ya.... Ya... I'm goin' to Home Pepo (I was 3)!!!"  Then I'd go climb in the truck and get ready to go.

And that's why, for the rest of my life, I'll never shop anywhere else!

Today we are giving away a $100 Gift Certificate to Home Depot.  

To enter, just like or share this post on Facebook.

Contest ends 12/12/12 at 12pm EST. (btw, that's the very last consecutive date ever... mind blowing!)

Gave a great weekend everybody!

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Win an Ice Milk Apron! + The Christmas Card Debate

Well.  Tree's not decorated.

That's right.  Two college educated adults vs. one Christmas tree, and we lost!

The tree won't stand up straight.  We have leveled and bolted and un-bolted and raised half with paper and DONE EVERYTHING.  We are clearly not handy enough to properly balance a tree.  In fact, my uncle is going to have to come over tonight and put some sort of wedge into the stand to make sure the tree won't fall.

Granted, I might be a little bit paranoid.  My tree fell a few years ago and broke my two favorite ornaments.  Thank God the few I have from my Grandmother were ok, but I did lose two.  Ever since then I've been a paranoid freak about making sure the tree is in the stand properly.  This one keeps leaning, and I think I'm about to drive Jimmy nuts about it.  I've probably said whined the phrase, "But Jimmy... the tree's leaning... I sure hope it doesn't fall into your tv and break it," about 50 times.  I don't know how he puts up with me.

Oh wait, it's because I cook him delicious meals.

Last night I made him delicious gluten free tacos...  And I got so frustrated over the tree that I broke down and had a glass of wine.  I know.  I'm a failure, and I'm going to the gym to run tonight.  #ugh

For any of you looking for an incredible bottle of wine, you need to buy Lucinda & Millie.  Just like any educated wine drinker, I bought this bottle because of the name.  I love Lucinda Williams, I had a dog named Millie, and we all know I love chickens (remember my chicken coop?).  And that's how I found my favorite wine.  It's so drinkable and wonderful (see- the words of a true wine critic).  You can purchase it at the Buckhead Whole Foods, but they don't carry it all the time.  When they do have it I usually grab a few bottles just to have on hand.  It's so reasonably priced, and all of you should own it... unless you're trying to avoid wine for 30 days like me.  There's still half a bottle at the house, so we'll see what happens tonight. :)

Usually when I'm cooking and drinking wine I wear an apron... and I found the best apron around!

My friend Ashley makes these BEAUTIFUL aprons called Ice Milk Aprons.  I always see them at the Trinity Spotlight on Art.  People love them!  I am 100% getting one for myself this year... and a few for Christmas gifts!  Shhhh.  Don't tell.

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The packaging is just as beautiful as the aprons.

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Wouldn't it be fun to put that under the tree?  The call them "a gourmet line of heirloom aprons," and I love the back story!

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To win your own Ice Milk Apron, please click here and like them on Facebook.  Then come back to THIS POST and leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to cook for the Holidays.

Contest ends 12/7/12 at 12PM EST.

And now I need a bit of advice...  I love Christmas (see Jimmy's Christmas stocking above... I ordered it especially for him last year), and I've been waiting my whole life to be able to send out my own Christmas card.  December is the only month when I check the mail every singe day (sometimes I skip a day because getting bills puts me in a bad mood-don't judge).  I go to the mailbox as soon as I get home and look for Christmas cards.  I keep them on the fridge all year long... which may be strange, but whatever.  I've always dreamed of the day when I could send out my own.  I've always wanted to wait until I was married to send out a Christmas card, which I know is dumb because I love getting cards from my friends who aren't married.  My favorite Christmas card of 2011 was my friend Emily and her dog Bernie.  It's been on the fridge for a year, and I smile every time I see it.  I'm not sure why I've waited so long... but I do know it has to do with wanting to be married first.

Well, here we are at Christmas, and I want to send out a card.  I'm not married, but does being engaged count?  We've been sending out a lot of mail this year, so I'm kind of thinking it might be nice to wait until next year.  I don't know.  I'm very confused.  Please share your opinion with me.

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Now to take our minds off that debacle let's look at some photos I took of Susan Cross' new listing at 1776 Nancy Creek Bluff.  I loved this home the moment I walked in and think you will too!

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See, you could win the Ice Milk Apron and wear it in this kitchen!

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Obsessed with these painted floors!

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Porch perfect for this time of year! :)

That's all folks!  Remember to enter to win an apron :)

To win your own Ice Milk Apron, please click here and like them on Facebook.  Then come back to THIS POST and leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to cook for the Holidays.

See you tomorrow for a Block and Brayer giveaway!

Don't forget to enter to win a free family photo session with photographer Katie Oblinger!

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Win a Photo Session with my Favorite Photographer, Katie Oblinger!

Up next for 30 days of Giveaways, photographer Katie Oblinger generously offered to give away a a 30 minute photo session + 10-12 high res, edited images.  This is such a great offer!

She is so good with people, especially children!

Katie is my FAVORITE portrait photographer in Atlanta, and she just agreed to help shoot my wedding, so you know I have to love her!!!

A few months ago she took some photos of Jimmy and me, and I thought they turned out really well!

Don't you think?

To enter all you have to do is like Katie Oblinger Photography  on facebook, and then comment on THIS BLOG telling me why you would like to win the 1/2 hour photo session and edited images.

NOTE:  You must either live in or be able to get to metro Atlanta in order to win this giveaway.

The Contest ends Thursday, December 6th at Noon.

A few other updates :)

On Saturday Jimmy and I got our tree!

Of course we went to Home Depot.

Then we went out to watch the UGA game with my Dad and Missy...  Charlotte was in blackout.  Of course.

GOOOO DAWGS!  Sic um!

We had a nice afternoon/evening by the fire.  I wish the game had a different outcome, but we didn't let it ruin our night :)

We went to The Whiskey Gentry show at variety Playhouse, and I swear it was their best one yet!  The crowd went wild when they played "All I Want for Christmas is You."

We finished up he weekend by watching our BFF in You, Me and Dupree yesterday and eating some leftover soup.

Tonight?  We decorate!

A few weeks ago I shot 534 Collier Road for Erin Yabroudy. I could not believe the value and location of this home!  I wish I could buy it myself!

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Click here to see more photos.

I'll see you back here tomorrow for another giveaway!!!

It's not to late to enter to win dinner at Mi Cocina... so click here to enter.

-Blayne

P.S. I ate some tortilla chips this weekend, so I guess I better learn how to run a mile :( :( :( :( #cantstayaway

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What do you add to a registry? + New listing on Wood Valley

Hello! We had the most wonderful time at our engagement party last weekend!  Thank you so much to our hosts and families and friends.  The party got us so excited for the wedding!  Thank you!

And finally I want to show you a few photos from Glennis Beacham's new listing at 3230 Wood Valley Road.   I'm obsessed with the kitchen in this house!  It's beautiful!

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Have a great rest of the week everybody!

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Golf Course home in Highlands, NC + Win 4 tickets to Six Flags Fright Fest!

Beth Nellis has the coolest house listed in Highlands, NC. 170 Callasaja Club02

It's 470 Cullasaja Club Drive.  The home is located in the Cullasaja Country Club.

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It is located on the 15th fairway, and the price of the home ($775,000.00) includes a golf membership.  It is in walking distance to the clubhouse for dinner, the swimming pool, tennis courts.

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This is the entryway to the home.  I love the yellow door.

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The main foyer...

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Formal living room.

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The breakfast room into the kitchen.470 Callasaja Club31

The kitchen to the breakfast area and the screened-in porch.

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The family room that looks out onto the screened porch.  Isn't that a great fireplace?  I would love to cuddle up in from of that when it's cold.

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The beautiful master bedroom that opens to a back poch.470 Callasaja Club25

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Guest room.  Most of the furniture comes with the house, so it's a really great deal!

My favorite part about the home is the outdoor spaces...

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I love this screened porch looking out to the golf course!170 Callasaja Club12

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And this is the porch off the master in case you want some fresh mountain air!

To learn more about this property, please visit Beacham.com.

ALSO...

It's almost Halloween!!  To celebrate, Beacham & Company is giving away 4 tickets to fright fest at Six Flags!  All you have to do is send us a picture of you or your child in a halloween costume.  Send the picture to [email protected]

To see the details please check out the contest on Facebook :)

Get your pictures to me by Friday October 19th please!

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Whatever happened with... (water bill, diet, wedding plans) and a new listing from Anne Powers!

There are so may things to tell you guys!!!

Last week, Glennis and I went to the Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  This is one of our favorite conferences.  They always have great speakers, and the conferences are always held in really cool places.  (Remember last year when we went to San Diego, and the year before when we went to Seattle?)

Except this time it wasn't cool, it was HOT! :)

But there were tons of pools there :)

On Wednesday we went to the awards dinner, and I got an award called "Outstanding Social Media Savvy."

I was THRILLED!  Over the years Beacham has gotten a lot of awards for our magazine, our print marketing and our marketing package, but this is our first award for social media.

It means so much to me because I run the social media campaign here at Beacham, and I am really proud of what we've accomplished.  We have this blog, which was ranked #5 real estate blog in the world last year.  A few months ago we launched a new Beacham Blog, we have more fans on Facebook than any other real estate company in Atlanta, we are very active on Twitter, and we even have a new Pinterest account.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that people read THIS blog, and they remember what I talk about!  Every time it happens I do a double take.  Over the last few months I've run into people I haven't talked to in a year or so and they will say "what happened with your water bill," 0r "how is that diet going?"  A lot of times it happens when I'm introduced to someone for the first time.  I'll shake their hands and they say, "how are the wedding plans coming along?  I read about them on your blog?"  That happened to me a lot this past week in Arizona.  It made me realize two things... one, that people actually take the time to read the blog, and two, that I've left a lot of loose ends!

First thing's first... the water bill.

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Read this story to see the initial story of what happened with my $9,000 water bill.  A few weeks later I wrote this post explaining that the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management replaced my water meter and wiped away everything but $800, which they said I still owed them.  I decided to wait a few months and collect a few bills.  Every bill I've gotten has been under $50, so I clearly had one of those bad water meters that are all over the city.  Now I just have to go back before the board, argue my case one more time and hope they erase the final $800 balance.  WSB actually interviewed me about the water issue last week, but my hair looked so horrendous I just cannot post it here.  I've  since stopped using leave-in conditioner. ;)

In a huge karmic joke, I actually walked over my water meter last night and the top was off just slightly.  It slipped off and my foot fell INTO the water meter hole.  It left three big scrapes on my leg, and it's all bruised today.  I guess the water department is out to get me one way or another!

Next loose end?

The Dukan Diet.  I started the Dukan Diet about a month ago for two reasons. I wanted to lose a few more pounds before the wedding, and I was also just having a lot of stomach pain.  I did the Dukan Diet for about 2 weeks and lost 4 lbs.  I guess that's not a huge amount of weight, but it was 3/4 of the weight I wanted to lose, so I would consider it fairly effective.

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At the same time I started the Dukan Diet I also gave up gluten and dairy in hopes that it would help my stomach pain.  My friend Ginny also suggested I go see Dr. Tasneem Bhatia.  She is a holistic doctor here in Atlanta who was on Dr. Oz and went to Westminster.  I loved her!  When I went to see her I still had significant stomach pain even thought I had dropped the gluten and dairy.  I also had headaches and low energy, which was a result of all the meat I was eating.  She did a lot of test and got me all turned around.  She put me on a low acid diet, kept me off the gluten and dairy and got me some supplements.  I've kept the 4 lbs off and feel SO MUCH BETTER now.  If any of you are interested in holistic medicine I recommend her 150%!  She spent a lot of time with me and listened and really tried to figure out a way to help me.  Please email me if you have any specific questions about her.

And now a wedding update...

We did a food tasting, YUM!  The food at The Grand Bohemian is amazing.  I even liked the sea bass, and I don't even like fish!

And we picked out a save the date. We are so excited because it's orange, the best color ever.We picked out flowers :)  We decided to work with Flora in Asheville.  She is going to do a beautiful mix of succulents for me.  It was really fun talking to her.  She totally understood what I wanted.

And we will end with a house...

A few weeks ago I shot this house at 2128 Lucerne Lane.  Anne Powers has this house listed, and I loved it!

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Isn't it pretty?  The kitchen is so wonderful.  it opens to the family room and breakfast area.  The whites and greens go together so well.  The master bedroom suite is also large and cozy with a huge master bath and fireplace.  The gazebo pictures show a large common area in the neighborhood.   To find out more about this house please visit beacham.com.

Talk to you guys soon!

 

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