Faux Dinner Party.

Before: Dining room as we first saw it.

BEFORE: taken a few months ago, before the new table and mirror were added.

Another “before” — yes, this room has been through so many transformations. I`m still learning what works.

One last “before” to tickle your fancy. If you have one of those.


[Finally after: Dining room now]

I am going to tell you something I do to combat stress, and then you will officially think I am weird, eccentric, need a life. Whatever.

Sometimes when I feel like I am just OVERWHELMED with all I have to do in life (today) — then yup, that is when I fart around–sew or take pictures, or paint. Now what an unproductive way to relieve stress, but that`s when I get my best creative work done.

This morning I thought I might die. I felt like I could turn in circles and just be dizzy. What part of this stupid To Do list do I even work on?

(Please pity me now– because I`m sure I`m the ONLY women who feels busy.)

I am host on Sunday. I was gone all day yesterday. The girl`s room hasn`t been really cleaned in pry a month (they get new bedding etc., but…), laundry was piling up, the girl`s wrote ALL over my slipcover with crayon, I haven`t weeded outside in, well… my garden has grown a life of it`s own… the girls pulled Dora yogurts out of the fridge all morning long. Drove me nuts– they thought they were toys because they had Dora on them and just wanted to keep opening them and take 1 bite, because it was fun? I don`t know.

Where did I start?

Duh. I stayed in denial mode…

…and sat down and sewed the very over-priced fabric I bought yesterday into a curtain for the dining room window.


Well, that was fun, and so I decided to go ahead and CLEAN the dining room since that room was actually a beacon of sanity in my life right then. Beacon of light brought on yes, by the new curtains.

Most of the clutter (toys) got pushed into the living room, but it worked okay.

Well, then this is where it gets weird.

I was wanting a little beauty in my life (I could have gotten that by applying a little make- up but nooo…)

So I set the table for fun.

For 2.

I thought that way when G got home from work it would make his day.

Here is a cheesy sign I made for him:




-Whatever`s on sale?

-Whatever we order when you take me out to dinner.

It might have been a hit but G had about 5 min to gab a grilled cheese when he got home for supper, because he was between a hair cutting appt. and back to school for PTA.

Yeah, he never even saw it.

Miss Salt has a crush on Mr. Pepper.

Vintage postcards are so pretty to me right now. I love the stamps, the delicate handwriting, the fun fronts (they even had a sort`ve good sense of humor back then), and the stiff things they wrote to each other.

The other day I painted this mirror–

I know, YAWN, what else is new?

Another thing I am a bit “crazy in a sane way” for, is old silver.

Note to sisters: now you know what to get me for birthday.

(Half a year away)

Curtains look a bit elderly here. I think they are nice in real, although they were a bit of a toss up for me… The fact that it was originally $29.99 a yard didnt help…

(Never fear! I had a coupon!)

This is the white mirror above the mantel BEFORE. Just taped it down and then taped catalog pages all over it. Then sprayed `er down.

A date night somewhere in time…

To bad we won`t be home the next two nights… It`s still sitting there.

Don`t miss the World Market napkins. very chic-y.

I can say that because I didn`t make them, so it`s not vain.

Maybe G and I will call each-other Julia and Javier when we sit here. Sorry, I was trying to think of cool foreign names and all I could think of was Eat, Pray, Love and how much I want to see it.

Red box.


Here is an example of the message on the back of this postcard dated 1910.

All written in the beautiful-est of handwriting:

To: Moses C. Yoder


“Birthday Greeting from David D. Yoder

Davidsville, Pa

(Somerset Co.)”

That`s all.

So many things to say.

1. Wow, if it was my birthday I`d most def just want a “birthday greeting”. Yup, that would be enough for me.

2. And it`s weird that his name is David and he also lives in Davidsville. Either he is living in a self absorbed dreamland or he is very influential in… well, Davidsville

3. What man has calligraphy handwriting like this?

4. Hey, that`s cool! When you`re not sure what else to write to that hard-to-hard-to-show-affection-to-someone, just TELL THEM WHAT COUNTY YOU ARE FROM. I mean, you already gave them your city and state, but yeah, give `em your county info too. They should feel MU-CH better. And special on their birthday.

I`m sorry.

If this is your grandpa, it`s really nothing personal.

Can`t think of one thing to say about this picture.

I had this old memo board that i was going to give to one of my sisters.

Will somebody pour the drinks already?

I kind of “re-like” it now, so I will probably go ahead and keep it.


It`s permanent home now.

Yes, this is the trashed living room that got the shaft as I doodled in the dining room.

Don`t miss the ironing board in the middle of the room, where I tried to iron a big stack of shirts for G today. Fail! Got one successfully ironed as of tonight.

A picture of Elle-Love just because I can. And am.

And there`s Laila-Stinker in her natural habitat.


And here are just a couple pictures from the fun day out with my mom and sisters last week.

My oldest, my mother, my new niece, me.

Joy and Gracie.Β  Sorry about the sun there, Gracie.

How darling is Sydney? Very?

Joy bells and new mommy Julana.

Yes, if I looked as good as her right after having a baby,Β  maybe I`d have another one by now. She looks A-wesome.


Good night everyone.

If you come here at all, I humbly thank you.


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  1. Jo says:

    My goodness, I love that dining room. The fact that you are showing that old house some love on the inside and out is great. Anyhow the line that made me laugh this morning was the one about the living room getting the shaft! Too funny. Still smiling.

  2. Thelma says:

    the postcard narration was the best:-) also, the girls in their natural habitat:-) have i ever mentioned that I LOVE your sense of humor?!? love love love it. and your dining room is not too shabby either:-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    how did you get the brick on the fireplace clean. ours need to be cleaned…….:(

    • Jenny says:

      hmm, good question. one i don`t have an answer for. we just painted over ours and now i dust it occasionally. ok, i can`t remember ever dusting it, but i would if it were dirty.

      • Marilyn says:

        was it hard to paint….like did it take 6 coats of primer and 13 different colors paint??? I have a HUGE fireplace I’d love to paint but it overwhelms me (just a little bit) not sure where to start. i can handle 1 primer and 1 coat of paint!

        have i ever mentioned how much i love your dining room window?

      • Anonymous says:

        ok, thanks! we use ours to burn wood and our brick is not as smooth, so I guess I will keep looking at it dirty until we can sandblast it. πŸ™‚ Love your style BTW!!:)

  4. Shelly N says:

    You crack me up! Love your DR and LOL about the postcard. πŸ™‚

  5. Cindy Fox says:

    i love what you did to your fireplace! its sooo you! the dining room pictures look like they belong in a PB magazine! beautiful!!!

  6. Tracy says:

    Your date night that never happened made me sad for you….it sounds kinda like our life a little hello and good by as he is off to the next appt. Whatever happened to those evenings when you wonder what to do? I think I am starting to agree with you about winter. I am actually kinda ready for it. I really will do something to help you out for host if you want me to.

  7. Kendra says:

    love all the shots….beautiful decor. – as usual. wish my stress reliever was as productive as yours. i tend to run to my computer, facebook, read blogs, edit pics. i could at least be creating something:)

  8. Heather says:

    Jenny – concerning the postcard. This is what I picture when I hear about the Card Showers that are in the Budget. I picture cards being sent to people that you hardly know and therefore have nothing to say to them other then “Happy Birthday, Dude”. Except for the fact that a 90 year old Amish man probably doesn’t have dude in his vocab. πŸ™‚

    Also, I’m with Tracy. We are so busy that the pathetic little “hellos” and “good-byes” just don’t cut it for communication. My dad used to say that his home will not be used as an airport. We needed to do more then fly in and refuel and take off again. Right now I feel like I’m running an airport and I’m the traffic controller. πŸ™‚

  9. Michelle says:

    So at least you do something tangible when you’re stressed. You know what I do? Read blogs. It’s why I’m sitting here right now. Because I have exactly 1 hr and 45 min to do 3.5 hrs worth of jobs. Somebody is going to be up late tonight.

    Your dining room is gorgeous!!! Oh, and I’ve been meaning to tell you (and haven’t) that I have just been LOVING your blog the last while. I loved your post on beauty. It stirred something deep inside of me and left me unable to put what I wanted to say in words (first time I can remember a blog doing it to me quite that much). I wish we could have a discussion on that sometime.

    Were you crushed when G was rushed that night? Don’t answer if that’s too personal. I just think I would been really let down b/c that was really witty. And sometimes I wonder if other people respond the same way I do.

  10. julana says:

    oh my please rethink the giving the mem board to one of your sisters (that sister being ME!) i’ll take it i’ll take it!! love the curtains my word! don’t question them- there perfect!

  11. diane says:

    i came and not humbly but excitedly. looking for the next new thing you did or decorated and the funnythings you would say about yourself. your humor is priceless i think.i love the message board. and the way you made dinner look inviting was real.i like the new look. its my favorite of them all. love you

  12. amber says:

    “Sometimes when I feel like I am just OVERWHELMED with all I have to do in life (today) β€” then yup, that is when I fart around–sew or take pictures, or paint. Now what an unproductive way to relieve stress, but that`s when I get my best creative work done.”

    YES! i do that too -decorating when i’m stressed AND the farting part! πŸ˜‰

    i’ve told shayne before sometimes when i feel like my life is going in a dozen directions i like ONE thing i feel like i have some control over. which maybe sounds so not spiritual, but that’s how i feel. like, i can’t change this situation or person – but i sure can change this mantle!!! πŸ™‚

    which enough about ME πŸ™‚ girl, it’s all gorgeous. i love it! i like decorating and sometimes feel like maybe i’m not half bad at it.. then visit a site like yours and think, nope – – i don’t have the gift! which is fine. i still like piddling w/ what i’ve got ~ but what you have is a GIFT. anyone who can take a couple of plates, tarnished pieces of silver, and postcard from david in davidsville and make it look like something fairy-ish and something you just find yourself sitting and staring at. yup. GIFT.

    but love your down to earthness about it all – your humor that keeps all that intimidating beauty real and just human! like the neglected living room~ πŸ™‚

    and.. i think i just figured out where the G thing came from that was confusing me. that’s your hubby? πŸ˜‰ not your alias identity… πŸ™‚

    love your heart, girl.

    where do you find all your chalkboards. i love all the different unique sizes you have~

  13. rosann says:

    i love it, i needed a laugh

  14. Linda Hershey says:

    i really do love you. not that i was ever questioning it but reading this gem of a post “affirmed” it. πŸ™‚ and really? you fart around too when under extreme pressure to be productive? like tonight. i was outside fooling around with our firepit–shoveling dirt for more rocks- because i have a rock fettish- and inside is where i was supposed to be. Getting ready for all day family here tomorrow. no lunch made. no dessert thought of yet. no dining room or living room cleaned. but the little fire pit looks pretty darn fine!
    I l.o.v.e. your lead glass window. love your fireplace decor. love your house.

  15. Rachel says:

    i just want to come to your house.
    right now.
    but, it’s late, and i’ve too many things to do before tomorrow.
    your house tho’, it just slays me.
    so cute.
    so welcoming looking.
    and you, and your overwhelmed with all that there is to do thing…
    o, i get that.
    makes me feel normal? to know that someone else does that sort of thing.
    happy weekend!

  16. Sandi says:

    love the way your blog makes me laugh πŸ™‚

  17. Kristy says:

    keep thinking if I look at your gorgeous pictures long enough maybe I can get a brain storm to redo some of my house…. I love it, but it doesn’t come… πŸ™‚ i want a chalk board, haven’t figured out where yet, but I want one!

  18. Dorcas says:

    So this morning my daughter Amy and I were reveling in Harrisburg’s neighborhood garage sales. One of them had a little white nightstand sitting out front–kind of 70s, white with two drawers and curvy legs and more curvy glued-on trimmings and gold accents. And Amy gushed, “Isn’t that just begging for a Baileyandme2 makeover?!”
    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  19. Aug says:

    I love reading what you write. Period. Or, I could have said (.)

    So funny about the natural habitat thing.

    And I do like Michelle said, I read blogs when I should be working. Not even necessarily when I am feeling overwhelmed though, just as a way to procrastinate.

    oh, well, we all have our vices.

  20. Cindy says:

    i like your fartin around and trust me. i’ve never really said that to AnYoNe before. i wish that stress made me look as productive as you! i just look worn out instead. fun fUn FUN inspiration here Jenny! love it and you.

    ~Cindy from York County

  21. Rachel Helmuth says:

    your house can look destroyed and yet it’s still totally cute. how.do.you.do.it? love it. have you ever considered doing crafty/re-do sessions at your house for a fee????? I think it would be a blast.

  22. Linda Hershey says:

    i thought about it later. the title was about the dinner for two that never happened. and that makes me so sad because seriously you could have had so much fun with that menu. and swapping postcards. which. btw. not to beg or anything. but if you ever fill your need and yet seem helpless to stop buying them?…i will pay you well if you buy a couple for me! you could shamelessly make money off of me and i wouldn’t care.

  23. Anna says:

    Love the dining room! I have a whole stash of old silver in my basement that my dear hubs got me at an auction and sadly- I don’t want it! Wish I could give it to you-

  24. Wow, I think everytime I come here I think, “WOW! I LOVE WHAT SHE DOES!!” You’ve just got some incredible talent, girl!

    I would LOVE to get to know you better. There are so many things that you write that I can relate to, and do myself. Like do something crafty/painty/therapeutic when I’m stressed and overwhelmed. That’s been me the last two days. SO MANY things around the house that need to be done, and I was so overwhelmed I hardly worked at all, but just did fun little projects. πŸ™‚ Somehow that gives me a little gumption to actually do things I should. πŸ™‚

    And your menu cracked me up!! LOVE IT!! Your sense of humor is so so fun. Like, seriously, G must think it’s so fun to live with you! Were you devestated when G wasn’t able to stay and enjoy your evening together?

    Love seeing the continual progression of your house. Makes me want to step right into your house and peep into every little corner. There are details everywhere and I love that! My house is a continual development too… I think it’ll always be like that. I get bored with something if it’s the same way for too long. πŸ™‚ I think you’re the same way?!

    And funny in a cool way that you did a dining room before/after, because I just did the same thing, without having any idea that you just did. πŸ™‚ Old houses are the coolest things. And fireplaces in old houses? Even cooler. Your room looks waaaaaaaay bigger than ours – we’re a little cramped, but it works. πŸ™‚ Yours feels so spacious and roomy, but still cozy as can be.

    And I second what Rachel said. I don’t live in that area, but I know there would be people who would LOVE to learn from you (if you don’t mind people copying your projects?!).

    Oh, and while I’m writing an epistle anyway… πŸ™‚ Have you ever gone on this blog? http://www.jonesdesigncompany.com ?? FABULOUS. My sister in law just told me about it, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. I thought of you right away!

    And I’m sorry I never got back to you about last week… There was a sudden death in our church and we ended up canceling our whole trip to Ohio because of that. I realized this week I never let you know anything. I’m going to have to stop even saying anything about maybe seeing you because so far it’s never worked out and I’m always disappointed!!

    Happy day to you!

  25. Lemmo says:

    I only get to dream about decorating a mantle.
    Very nice!
    Where do you find your beautiful greenery?
    and thanks too for the smiles πŸ™‚

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