Author Archives: hostandserve

“Nursery Magic”

In This Sweet Waiting | Part II

“Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.” The Velveteen Rabbit

 

I took my time.

I didn’t want to rush it and for this part to happen all at once.

I wanted it to come together bit by bit and to savor every moment of the planning.

This was the labor I was looking forward to.

And this made the waiting all the more sweet.

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In this Sweet Waiting | Part 1

Jack’s nursery inspired by designer Mark Sikes.

I can’t even begin to count the conversations I’ve had with my mother about “waiting.” How many tears have I shed because I had to “wait” on something? An embarrassing amount is the best I can surmise. Especially when I was younger, having to wait for something or someone seemed akin to torture. As I think about it, that feeling of torturous waiting isn’t really exclusive to my younger years. I am pretty sure at the age of 28 I had a pretty intense emotional breakdown stemming from having to wait on something… which may or may not have been an item I purchased online that was backordered. (I was in dire need of perspective.)

Thank goodness even the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wondered, “How much of human life is lost in waiting?” Amen, Mr. Emerson! It always makes me feel better to find a shared human experience, especially when it’s someone as intellectual as one of the literature greats.

It wasn’t until 6 months ago that I fully understood that waiting could be sweet.

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“…and therefore to me.”

Writer's entrytable

I take in an obscene amount of magazines. They arrive in droves the start of each month and I will say most of them get read cover to cover… eventually. I’ll never forget my husband Matt’s face the first time we went out of town together and he picked up my carry-on bag for the flight.

“Mollie, what in the world do you have in this?”

“My magazines, why? Is it heavy?” Continue reading

Wrapped in Meaning

Mantle
Once upon a time, ages and ages ago and miles and miles away from where I now sit– a custom was born. Wrapped in the spirit of giving, tokens of appreciation were first swathed in pretty paper in Ancient China during the 2nd Century B.C.

The ritual has grown quite a bit from the fibers of bamboo, hemp, and rice straws that initially intertwined to make the first wrapping paper.

However, its sentiment is still there… what it symbolizes endures.  Continue reading

Tablescapes are Not Only for the Dining Room

Mary McDonald Tablescape in Tangerine

I LOVE getting questions from my girlfriends about their houses.

It sends me on a little research project to make sure I give them the perfect, researched advice. It’s nerdy, exhilarating, and fabulous. For me, it’s second only to presents.

And I love presents. Continue reading

Are You Missing the Mi’X’?

Eddie Ross for Ballard Designs

My husband, as an Algebra teacher, is always teaching his students to “solve for X.”

It takes work, and you HAVE to think.

There are rules to finding it, but within those rules there are different approaches to that problem.

The X is unknown. The X can change. But, the “X” is what make things great. 

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If you “only” had $1,000…

Million Dollar Decorating Podcast

“If you only had $1,000 to furnish and decorate your empty home,
how would you spend it?” (James Swan, Million Dollar Decorating Podcast)

That is the last question interior designer James Swan asks each guest he interviews on his podcast Million Dollar Decorating.

And I have answered it differently in my head after each podcast episode I’ve listened to!

Everyday my answer changes.  Continue reading