#SoMe2 SOcial MEdia Party for Instagram!!

Come join the Social Media Link Party!!!

Welcome to #SoMe2 – Week #59

SOcial MEdia is all about ENGAGEMENT, and as bloggers, we want to do more than find new followers – we want to grow our engagement! At the #SoMe2 parties, we will link up a different Social Media platform and blog post from that platform each week.
This week we are growing and engaging with Instagram!

For Instagram, the
more we like and comment on each other’s photos, the more engaged we
become and that makes the SOcial MEdia “algorithms” happy! So link up, and start commenting!!

It's time for the #SoMe2 #Instagram party! Link up your Instagram account, a post from your blog that you've shared on Instagram, and enter to win a featured blogger spot! #socialmedia #network #linkparty

 

The more you put in to this SOcial MEdia link party, the more you will get out!
Don’t link and run – follow, like, comment – tell your friends!!

#SoMe2 is a SOcial MEdia link party where we link up 2 items every  
Tuesday @ 7:00pm EST!
It's time for the #SoMe2 #Instagram party! Link up your Instagram account, a post from your blog that you've shared on Instagram, and enter to win a featured blogger spot! #socialmedia #network #linkparty

Image Map
We are pleased to introduce our #SoMe2 featured blogger(s) of the week…

Kat & Melinda from Home. Made. Interest.!

Kat & Melinda have shared this with us:


Kat & Melinda are best friends who love to create! Whether it is a crafty Pinterest project, hosting a party, home decorating or trying out a new recipe, they enjoy coming up with ideas and seeing if they can make them happen. They started having craft nights a few years ago, getting together weekly to work on their latest Pinterest-inspired project, so they decided to start a blog to share their creations. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail, but they always have fun :).


Thanks, Kat & Melinda!

Would you like to be a #SoMe2 featured blogger?
Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter below each week will have a
chance to win a spot as our featured blogger. We will feature your blog,
and links to your social media. Your links will be inserted into the
Rafflecopter for that week – gaining you more followers.
So be sure to enter to win the weekly featured blogger spot!

Note: Please be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form accurately. Entries are verified.

The rules are simple!

  1. Please follow your hostesses and featured blogger.
  2. Please add the #SoMe2 button (found at the bottom of the post) to your sidebar or link page.
  3. Tweet about the party! More partiers = More followers! All you have to do is click the “tweet” button!  
    !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);
  4. Use our hashtag #SoMe2 when tagging or posting so we can find each other!

You will automatically be entered into our email reminder list by entering a link. You may remove yourself from the list by using the un-subscribe option.

It's time for the #SoMe2 #Instagram party! Link up your Instagram account, a post from your blog that you've shared on Instagram, and enter to win a featured blogger spot! #socialmedia #network #linkparty
1) Link up your main Instagram Page.
2) Follow your HOSTESSES and FEATURED BLOGGER (first 6 links).
3) Follow 2 people before your link, if you already follow them, find 2 new people to follow.

document.write(”);

It's time for the #SoMe2 #Instagram party! Link up your Instagram account, a post from your blog that you've shared on Instagram, and enter to win a featured blogger spot! #socialmedia #network #linkparty 
1) Link up 1 recent Instagram Post.
(Go to your Instagram page, click on your profile, click on view profile, select a post, copy the Instagram url, and paste that URL into link party.)
2) Like and comment on your HOSTESSES and FEATURED BLOGGER’S Instagram links (first 6 links).
3) Like and comment on at least the 2 links in front of yours. This way everyone will get Instagram Love! One of hostesses will make sure the last two links get comments.

document.write(”);


Thanks for joining our SOcial MEdia link party!
See you next week – same time, same place!

DeDe,  Kim,  Sarah V.,  Sarah C.,  & Susan

It's time for the #SoMe2 #LinkParty! Join us and enter to win a featured blogger spot! #socialmedia #network


 

We’ll Be Right Back…

…after resolving some technical difficulties. So, you thought it was going to be easy right? Moving your blog from a .com to a .org. Well, let me tell you, it has not been easy at all. Three weeks of frustration and nonsense is about all I have to say. But, we are working on it and hopefully will have things back in order in the very near future. I miss you guys!!
In the meantime, I have moved all of my blog subscribers to this new host site, and you should be receiving any new posts in your emails. BUT, I have been informed that presently some are going to your spam and junk folders instead of your inboxes, and some folks aren’t receiving anything at all!
So, could you please pick me out of your trash can (if I’m there : ( or re-sign up for my blog if you wish to keep receiving notices and posts.
Thanks!!
Sue

Hello, Again.

So here I am on the flip side of the moon, re-joining the Blogosphere! It’s been a long 2 weeks since my last post and I feel like I have much to share! But for now, I am just asking that if you used to receive my emails or subscribed to my blog, you may not receive them now that I’ve changed servers. So, if you would be so kind as to re-sign up for my blog (that is, if you want to continue receiving great country style decorating ideas and DIY projects), I would greatly appreciate it! Just click on the box to the right that says “Sign up for my emails”. I promise, your emails are never used for any promotional purposes-EVER!!! You can add your comments in the boxes below.

Thanks! Susan

Signature Finishes

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week we are off to North Grafton, Massachusetts to visit the fabulous antiques, vintage furniture and home decor shop, Signature Finishes.

Signature Finishes Maureen Bane

Owned and operated by the lovely Maureen Bane, Signature Finishes is the nearest vendor to me for Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints and finishes. And since I was on the hunt for my “Eulalie’s Sky” milk paint,

MMS Eulalie's Sky sampler

a recent road trip was in order. All of the pieces for sale in the shop have been expertly and artistically rescued and refurbished by Maureen,

Signature Finishes Arch Window Vignette

and she offers several workshops on how to achieve that “instantly antiqued” look using her paints and finishes.

Signature Finishes Green Desk

Stocked on her shelves are two lines of paints for both the the novice and accomplished DIY’er.

Paint Cupboard

The first, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, is available in a powdered form that you mix at home with water. (Remember my Mixing Milk Paint Misstep?

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Perhaps I should have taken the class before I attempted to mix the paint with my cake mixer!?) The newer line is Paint Couture, a pre-mixed, self-priming, matte finish paint that is available in the most gorgeous country colors-perfect for refurbishing an antique or “junk-tique” piece.

Paint Couture Samples

Along with the paints, Maureen also offers many one-of-a-kind decorative

Signature Finishes Vintage Tablescape

and gift items.

Signature Finishes Store View

LOVE these amazing canvas and leather tote bags,

Signature Finishes Canvas Totes

and these candles and soaps by Sweet Grass Farm.,

Sweet Grass Farm Products

and this beautiful vintage glassware-you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

Signature Finishes Glasses and Trays

So if you have a piece of old furniture that you would like to put your “signature finish” on, make sure to visit Signature Finishes in North Grafton. It’s right off 495 near Worcester, and you won’t believe the incredible scenery along the way!

Signature Finishes Scenery

Tell Maureen “hello” from Sue @ Country Design Home, and have a wanderful Wednesday, everyone! Susan

Joyful Wedding By The Sea

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week I am sharing some pics from an amazing wedding Coach and I recently attended in Kennebunkport, Maine.

A View From the TentWhen you have the good fortune to witness two people, blissfully in love, surrounded by family and friends in an incredible ocean-side setting, well, there are simply no words to describe it. These photos can only hint at the incredibly beautiful celebration that surrounded this young couple as they committed their lives to one another in a joyful wedding by the sea.

Trolleys at the Ready

Trolleys at the Ready
A View From the Church Lawn

Ocean View from the Church
The Stone Church Tower

Stone Church
The Aisle Illuminated

The Aisle Illuminated
The Soaring Tent

The Soaring Tent
Their Monogrammed Banners Flying High

Monogrammed Banners
A Nautical Boutonniere

Nautical Boutinierre
Pretty in Pink

One Perfect Rose
The Perfect Settings

Perfect Place Settings
Hydrangeas and Roses on the Bar

Hydrangeas & Roses

The Bridal Party Dockside

Bridal Party Dockside
Adirondack Chairs on the Lawn

The Setting Sun in the Harbor
Boats Afloat

Boats in the Setting Sun
The End of A Perfect Evening

The Setting Sun with Chairs
As we were seated in the church, I noticed this stained glass window above me.

Stained Glass Window

So I am so very cheerfully giving the bride and groom our very best wishes for a lifetime of joy and happiness! XOXO Susan & Coach

Sweet & Salty Showers of Happiness

Last weekend I gave a sneak peek of the sweet stuff we served at the bridal shower that my dear friend was hosting for her adorable soon-to-be daughter-in-law.

Smores Bowl of Popcorn

Since I love me a good shower of any kind, I volunteered to assist with the food and decorations. This was planned as a small shower with a few special guests, since the bride-to-be originally hails from Maryland, and another shower had already been held in her honor back home. The decision was made to host this shower as a “wine-tasting party” at a great little gourmet shop in Sandwich

Shower The Brown Jugcalled The Brown Jug.

Shower Brown Jug Sign

Purveyors of fine beverages, and adjacent to a gourmet food shop, the wine shop has a charming, rustic feel, with floor to ceiling crates and shelves filled with wines and craft beers,

Shower Brown Jug Tables

chunky, aged butcher block tables and sweet little café sets in the front windows. Along with some vintage enamelware overflowing with colorful garden flowers (these cut glass vases were filled with sand and seashells, borrowed, ah-hem, from the dunes of Cape Cod…)

Shower Flowers and Candles

and the inspired nautical decorations,

Smores Bags on Table

it made for a fun and relaxed party setting. And how can you not be in a party mood anyway, surrounded by great food

Shower Cheese Board

and hundreds of bottles of wine, just waiting to be opened and tasted?!  BTW, do you happen to recognize those gorgeous chevron striped table runners?

Shower Favors and Flowers

I don’t know what it is about chevron, but it’s just so appealing, and blends with a variety of styles and colors, including Caribbean Blue (St. John wedding), Baby Girl Pink (Wakefield baby shower) and Nautical Navy (on Ol’ Cape Cod). Those runners have certainly been around the block-thanks Lindsey-I owe you!!  The shop’s manager pulled out all the stop(pers) to make this shower a memorable occasion for the guests and guest of honor alike. Along with the gorgeous cheese, meat and fruit board that the shop had provided (with cheeses I had never even heard of, but boy were they delicious!),

Shower Cheese Board Closeup

we also put together a few scrumptious bites for the guests.

Shower Brown Jug Food Platters

Included on the menu were homemade bruschetta, chicken and grape croissant sandwiches, stuffed spinach cheese bread and of course, the various wines and Prosecco chosen by the sommelier,

Shower Brown Jug Wine Assortment

just for this very special occasion. Finished off with our “life-changing” Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, and S’Mores Popcorn,

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cupcakes

the shower was deemed a sweet success! It was truly a magical evening, with family and friends coming together with this loving young couple to celebrate their upcoming nuptials, and to shower the new bride with gifts and love.

Shower Gift Table

And isn’t that what a shower is supposed to be about? Here’s hoping someone showers a little love on you today! Susan

The Beautiful Aloha State

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week we are off to the great state of Hawaii, our 50th state, joining the Union in 1959. Some of my favorite photos from an epic Hawaiian Cruise.           From the highest volcanic peaks and craters

Horseback Mountainside

to the deepest, dankest rainforests

Fern Grotto

and fern grottos

Rainforest

to the smoldering volcanic landscapes,

volcanic crater smoke

this state is a lush tropical paradise,

Hawaii Waterfall

resplendent with colorful flora

Fern Grotto Flower

and fawna (this is the rare Haleakalā Silversword that is found on the island of Maui at an elevation of 6,900 to 9,800 feet on the dormant Haleakalā Volcano)

Silver Leaf Plant

and of course, an occasional peacock. (I don’t know how Coach got this close, but this girl doesn’t chance any bird encounter, no matter how beautiful the feathers!)Peacock Blue

Water, water, everywhere.

crashing surf in Kona

Comprised of 6 major islands and surrounded by the vast Pacific, the Hawaiian islands have shorelines of breathtaking scenery. These “blow-holes”, that give the appearance of whale spouts, are actually created by years of erosion, the pounding surf carving crevices in the rocky ledge that blows through as the waves crash against the shore. And, yes, the water really is that blue.

Maui blowhole

From the cruise ship, the view is to shore, floating by craggy mountainsides in the morning mist,

The Big Island

pretty lighthouses standing watch along the rocky shore

Kona Lighthouse

and amazing sunsets and sunrises

Sunset from the Ship

Sunset from ship

and softly colored rainbows in the distance.

Morning Rainbow

Pearl Harbor. Crowds silently cueing in line, patiently waiting their turn for a boat ride out to view the memorial constructed over the sunken remains of the USS Arizona.

Pearl Harbor Memorial

And on our final evening in this great state, a fitting tribute: fireworks over Honolulu on the 4th of July. Our Independence Day.

Fireworks over Honolulu

Mahalo for stopping by, and have a wanderful Wednesday, everyone!! Susan

The Emerald Isle

Enjoy this old Irish Blessing with a sampling of some of my favorite photos from our last visit to Ireland…

Irish Foothills

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you

Kinsale

May the wind be always at your back

Blarney Castle

May the sun shine warm upon your face (yup, that’s me kissing the Blarney Stone!)

Kissing the Blarney Stone

And the rains fall soft upon your fields

Ireland

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Irish Abbey

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!! Susan

Sleigh Rides In The Snow

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and since we are enjoying unseasonably balmy weather here in the Boston area today, I thought I would share some snow-covered photos taken just a couple of weeks ago in Jackson, New Hampshire. Jackson is the quintessential New England town with its covered bridges, Jackson Covered Bridge

white steepled church and the quaint town library,

Jackson Library

with the ice-capped Ellis river running through it.

Jackson Riverview

Over the New Year’s weekend, we were so fortunate to spend quality time with some dear friends, eating and drinking, doing puzzles and shopping, generally just relaxing by the roaring fire in their log cabin in the woods (literally!). We ventured out one evening to Nestlenook Farms for a horse-drawn sleigh ride. So fun!!

Jackson Sleigh Ride

 If Jackson is the perfect NE town, then Nestlenook is the picture perfect postcard place.

Jackson Nestlenook @ Day

Gingerbread-style victorian pink cottages and gazebos-even a chapel-

Jackson Nestlenook Chapel

the paddock with horses and burros,

Jackson Horse

and the bed and breakfast inn (presently under renovation), are scattered throughout the perfectly manicured grounds that, at night, transform into a magical winter wonderland.

Jackson Magical Tree

Under thousands of twinkling lights, the horse-drawn sleighs go dashing through the snow (well, not exactly dashing, more like strolling) past the victorian skating pond,

Jackson Skaters at Night

the paddocks and stables

Jackson Horse and Burro

and arbors and gazebos,

Jackson Gazebo

all dressed in their sparkling winter whites- so country pretty!!! Jackson Skating House @ Night

Jackson Archway @ Night

Add a cup of hot chocolate, a group of lifelong friends and a roaring fire, and you have the perfect winter evening! Here’s to our January thaw-enjoy the weather today! Susan

Excited About Electrolux!

I know, excited about a vacuum- seriously!?!?! But, it’s arrived!! My brand new sparkling, shiny, super sexy and sleek black Electrolux Jet Maxx Green Canister Vacuum– this week’s High Five For Friday! We immediately got off to a good start when I noticed a little tag line on the box-“thinking of you”-awwww, so nice!

vacuum box

A few weeks ago I published a blog about finding the perfect vacuum cleaner: Living In A Vacuum. From that blog post, I received multiple suggestions regarding styles and brands to try. The one name that kept popping up was Electrolux. Comments like: “my grandmother/mother/aunt had one for years and it sucked up everything in sight -heck it would have sucked up the dog!”  (note that not one person said “my grandfather/dad/uncle- just saying…) made me take a serious look at this brand that has been around since 1918. I did a lot of online reseach, and headed out to my local stores to do some hands-on brand demos from other manufacturers, but this Electrolux Jet Maxx was the clean winner. Where to buy? Online, of course. The MSRP is $499.00, a hefty price for a small appliance! But, on Kohls.com, it was on sale, and then I had the magic 30% off coupon code from Retail Me Not– AND free shipping!!! Plus, I received $60 in Kohls Cash (if you are unaware of this deal, for every $50 you spend you get $10 in Kohls dollars to spend-sweet!) So, with the sale + tax and the coupon and the Kohls Cash, my final price was $274.68- almost half off! (Coach, just ignore that part-OK?)

But nothing is a good deal if it doesn’t work- right? Right off the bat, I was pretty impressed by the overall appearance-looks quite space-aged, kind of Darth Vader-ish, don’t you think?! Very heavy components, and the plastic, which is made from 55% recycled materials, was hefty and strong, unlike some of the other brands’ I had sampled.

vacuum coupling mechanism

Good thing they marked this package in the box. Had I tossed this,  I would have spent most of my vacuuming time on my hands and knees!

vacuum box warning

Love the shape of the handle-looks like a gas pump nozzle! But it contours to your hand, and has the on-board tools that you can switch easily.

Loving the retractable cord feature. You just touch the button with your toe and the cord gets sucked back up inside- brilliant!

Electrolux Retractable Cord

Although gotta be careful- awhile ago I had an old dust buggy with a retractable cord- touched the button with my foot and the cord end-with a plug adapter attached-came flying up and hit me across the bridge of my nose and almost knocked me out! (Still haven’t regained my sense of smell from that trauma) OK, so the true test is in the suction and the Jet Maxx passed with flying colors. My beloved dining room area rug, that hasn’t had a good cleaning in months, took on a new life once the nap was raised with the powerful Jet Maxx suction.

vacuum carpet

With little pushing or pulling effort on my part, the vacuum powers its way across the rugs and, on the low nap ones, it actually took off on me! The canister follows me around like a puppy on a leash, and the floor adapter with a swivel head makes it simple to get around and under the furniture on the hard wood floors. The stairs. The toughest area for any vacuum. Apparently there is a separate rotating brush you can get for the stairs, but it didn’t come with my vacuum. So, I used the crevice tool for the corners and edges, and the power head for the treads. Perfect.

vacuum hall of shame

Lightweight, easy to maneuver, got all of the dog fur and raised the nap so it looks somewhat presentable (part of the Hall of Shame project, it’s threadbare, and oh, it’s maroon! and needs replacing, so not even this vac can save it). So, there you have it- my unbiased, non-sponsored, personal opinion and a well-deserved High Five for this canister vac. I will let you know in six months if this is the vac of my dreams, but for now- this one’s a keeper!! It’s Friday everyone-have fun!! Susan

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