We’ve just returned from a family reunion this weekend at Backbone State Park in Iowa. It was a lovely trip, but we’re glad to be home too.

I’m feeling a bit… overwhelmed, trying to get back into the rhythm of things. Do you ever feel this way? Already today I have overnighted a package to a magazine for a fun project in the works, invoiced an overseas customer for a bulk order from the shop, processed five other Pink Loves Brown orders, and I am now working on a crafty tutorial to go along with that package I shipped to the magazine. I also let Eleanor nap on me this morning which didn’t do much for my productivity, but it is one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, it’s wonderful to be so busy (so much better than not having any work coming in), but it is sometimes difficult to find enough hours in a day.

And oh my, Brandon bought The Twilight Saga for me. No, I hadn’t read any of them, and I hadn’t seen any of the movies, and I hadn’t intended to. We were discussing the series the other day though and I mentioned that I hadn’t heard of anyone being disappointed in reading the books. I said that while they are certainly not serious literature, they must be fun to read. So he surprised me with the full set. Hardcover. Complete with a decorative slipcase and limited edition print. I’m already almost finished with the first book (they go quickly), and I can’t wait to keep reading.

I’ve also been greatly enjoying reading your questions for John Gidding. If you haven’t added yours yet (for the chance to win some pretty amazing prizes), feel free to do so here. We’ll be answering as many as we can on Thursday night at 8:30 EST during our Twitter Chat (follow along with #AmexHome), but you’ve also given me some ideas for future topics here on Making it Lovely.

Let me leave you with this photo today. I think it’s hilarious, but it also makes me think I should just stop for a few minutes, close my eyes, and relax. Om…


Honor Roll

Sometimes I come across something so cute/sweet/charming/funny/pretty/inspiring/lovely that I just want to share it with you.  These are the things that have made my  honor roll.
oh deer

Twitter Chat with John Gidding, and a HUGE Giveaway!

You remember the lovely bedroom redesign that I did with the help of Membership Reward Points from American Express, yes? Well now I am working with them again to host a Twitter Chat with HGTV designer John Gidding. John will be giving tons of advice next Thursday on how to decorate and find creative ways to stretch your budget — just like I did using my points.

John and I will be on Twitter for one hour on Thursday, July 29 at 8:30p.m. EST/ 5:30 p.m. PST (search #AmexHome). John will be answering your home design questions about anything from creating amazing guest spaces to choosing the right colors for your home. He’ll also have plenty of inexpensive ways to get your home ready for sale and ideas for upgrading rooms on a tight budget.

Now, you may have noticed the whole HUGE giveaway thing we’ve got going on here…

How do you enter to win?

Comment on this post with your questions for John and we’ll discuss some of them during our Twitter Chat. By leaving a comment, you’ll be entered to win items like a KitchenAid mixer, a Bissell vacuum, or a set of Cuisinart cookware (all of which can be bought with Membership Rewards points). There will be ten winners in this giveaway! Here are the prizes:

  1. Cuisinart® 10-Piece Commercial Cookware Set
  2. Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler
  3. Krups FBC2 6-slice Convection Toaster Oven
  4. All-Clad 6.5 Quart Stainless Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert
  5. KitchenAid Stand Mixer with Attachment Pack ( Empire Red)
  6. Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Block Set
  7. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Vacuum Cleaner
  8. DeLonghi Esclusivo Magnifica Super Automatic Machine
  9. Viking® Professional Digital Hand Mixer
  10. Le Creuset® 7.25 Quart Round French Oven

(All of these items are available on

This giveaway is open to US residents only, one entry per person. Ten winners will be randomly chosen on July 30 to win one prize each. International readers are welcome to participate in the Twitter Chat and submit questions, but are not eligible to win. Remember you can ask anything about design and home improvements — this is a fun chance to get advice from an HGTV designer!

I know many of you are following me on Twitter @makingitlovely, but you can also follow John @JohnGidding. If you want to get some ideas for home improvement immediately, go to And be sure to follow along to #AmexHome with John and I on Twitter next Thursday.

* Update *
Thanks for joining us for the Twitter chat, everybody! Comments (and therefore entries) are now closed. Congratulations to the ten winners: Aimee (aimeeroo), Mim (mimsfam), LeeAnn (leeannhuber), Sara (naturemurph), Sarah (Sarahquail110), Cara, (cara.andersen), Suzy (sayitaintsuzy), Sarah (Pooglit), Devon (devon.cook), and Kc (kcerveny).

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