take me home, country roads

That there is a BIG book.  A BIG and AWESOME book.  I liked it so much that I put on my “I’m a nerd” hat and photographed it for you, it was too big for my scanner.  It was on my Amazon wish list, and I guess being the good wife that I am I sent it to my husband before Christmas.  I’m a hint dropper.  You gotta be, otherwise you end up like my sister with a pressure cooker under your Christmas tree.  Good thing she loves to cook under pressure.  (My brother-in-law laughs at himself, so it’s okay that I poke fun.)

Rooms To Inspire In The Country, by Annie Kelly, photographed by Tim Street-Porter.  Add it to your collection, you won’t regret it.

In other random news.  I recently bought a $40 wonderbar of soap for my face!?  It’s true.  I had a panic attack pressing the “confirm order” button, but did it anyway.  It better work wonders.  A review is on the horizon.  When I opened the package yesterday I almost died, I mean who knows what 25g is (drug dealers?*), it’s like a hotel travel size bar… further causing speculation.  Well, last night was my first experience with it, and let me tell you, my face felt amazing after using it.  Now fingers crossed it works miracles.  Court reviewed it here, Jenny reviewed it here.  I’ll review it when I see wonders worked.  It’s a big jump for me from the St. Ives Green Tea Cleanser $4.00 stuff.  Any wonderbar users out there want to chime in?

*- raise your hand if you watch Breaking Bad on Sunday nights on AMC.  I’m addicted.


  1. I am heading over to Amazon right now to order this book! That kitchen is to die for! Can’t wait to hear about the Wonderbar!

  2. I like all the rooms you scanned; looks like a great book! I’m going to check out the Wonderbar. As a 30-something, I still battle acne and now wrinkles….yuck! If this really works I will try it. Going to read reviews now….thanks!

  3. that house looks AMAZING…giant marble farm sink? yes, please!

  4. My hand it way up for Breaking Bad! One of the best shows on the tube. I’m new to blogging… (deep breathing… hey, it’s not painful!) I said goodbye to acne at age 45, but at 60, I have hardly any wrinkles.

  5. Great images! I would love to get the book!!

    The wonderbar? I haven’t heard of it before…if it works great!!

    Art by Karena

  6. that book looks amazing!!! must add it to my list of “wants”….and seriously, tell me how that soap works. i think i would have had a heart attack too if i opened it and it was the size of a travel soap!! better be good stuff :)

  7. I stood in the bookstore drooling over that one just yesterday! Ahhhh the Gambrel house!!

  8. Hi! I’m curious…did the wonderbar people ask you to provide a review or what prompted your purchase? (I find that I read so many seemingly-simple blogs that have such “strategically” placed promos, that I’m not sure what’s genuine anymore!) I truly enjoy your blog for its authenticity and find so many of your ideas and recommendations intriguing. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  9. Hmm, that soap might be one of those items that your husband definitely won’t understand; we might need to keep that a little secret. Sounds divine and so does the book!

  10. love, love, love the book…..ordering the soap now….and i’m raising my hand high. we love Breaking Bad. hope that soaps work…ouch on the price!

  11. this book looks amazing and I LOVE John Denver:)

  12. Me, me, I watch that show! The tub full of the liquified bad guy falling through the floor? Priceless! I couldn’t believe Jesse bought his parents’ house. I thought maybe they were on the road to reconciliation with him getting clean and all, but I guess that’s not happening now…

    Can’t wait to read your official rant or rave about the new soap.

  13. I’ll take one of each, please!!

  14. gorgeous pics! And yes, I am a user of wonderbar for over two years now–LOVE it! I have oily/combo skin (my dermatologist happily informed me how “when you turn 80–people are going to think you’re 60″) hmmmmm…That’s not for a few years yet–but, I will say my 50 year old face could compete with a 30+ year old skin with the Wonderbar. It’s really amazing for me and hope you end up and love it–makes my nighttime routine MUCH easier now (I only use it in the PM)

  15. You are hilarious… seriously hilarious! :) I need you to send Justin hints for me because I don’t even know what to ask for! I hope the wonder bar works wonders… let me know because I won’t dare order it unless you are totally in love with it!

  16. ooooh. The book looks wonderbar! The soap?…Jury still out.

  17. I just got a Wonderbar, too, after reading Jenny’s review. It is small, but I’ve been using it for over a week and it’s still the same size it was when it arrived. I usually wet my face and then rub the bar over it. When I’ve done this, I run my hands over my face and jawline just to make sure I’ve gotten every bit of it. I’m looking forward to great results.

  18. OK fine. I don’t live in the country . . . but think those rooms do fine to inspire in the urban /suburbs! Did you scan only the goodies or is the whole darn thing good?

  19. OK, I’m hooked on the white painted floors. And the drapes in the bathroom. And the dutch door. And even the fish makes me smile. I’ve gotta get that book! Thanks for sharing!

  20. You ARE a nerd, but in the best of ways! ;) Besides, we are the lucky beneficiaries of said nerdiness! May have to take the big leap for the Wonderbar – I recently splurged on Moroccan Oil shampoo/conditioner, and it IS a fabulous as my colorist promised, then bought a Clarisonic face brush doo-dad, so I need to pace myself the beauty items…

  21. Wow, wow, wow…gorgeous book! I had seen the title mentioned on a few other blogs and had been meaning to check it out. Thanks so much for taking the time to share those shots with us! I am definitely picking up a copy. Very curious to hear about the Wonderbar. I have to admit I did a double take at the picture because my mind read “wonderbra” and I was thinking “gee, that doesn’t look like a wonderbra?” Duh. :-) Best face washing advice I ever got was to just wash once a day, and massaging in your cleanser to a count of 40 – 60 to make sure you remove all makeup and dirt and rinse thoroughly. I used to do a quickie wash twice a day. Trimming back to once a day and making sure it’s really clean has made a huge difference, my skin is much happier!

  22. Can’t wait to hear your review of the Wonderbar! Even though I’ve already heard so many positive things, I still can’t seem to make the $40 plunge. I would also love to hear how long it lasts-it sounds like a tiny miracle worker! The book looks great too – some fabulous rooms!

  23. I just started using the wonderbar for almost 2 weeks. i really love it. I have not expereinced the healing crisis. But, my skin immediately looked better, clearer, brighter. So far, i am a huge fan.

  24. Love the book….as for the Wonderbar, I have no idea. I live in Fl too and have come a little late to the SUNSCREEN ALL THE TIME party. My cosmetic dermatologist told me THAT will make all the difference. (and wash with Cetaphil and use Cerave Cream moisturizer…less than $25 for more than a 6 month supply.

  25. Jenni Mac says:

    Loveddddd the book and now have it on my “happy” list. I can’t wait to hear the results of the Wonderbar because now in my early 30′s my skin has decided to act like I am a school girl. Thanks for the recommendation and as always love reading your blog!

  26. Ooh, so many things to like about all the rooms you posted! And this wonderbar — I am super intrigued. Definitely let us know how you like it! I’m always up for a miracle worker on my face :)

  27. i have this book too and it makes me tingle.

    thanks for the link love.
    you know people tell me my skin looks great. like stop me on the street and tell me, really. but i think it’s the tone of my skin, my pores have shrunk a little but after 2 bars i am still breaking out like a 13 year old boy behind a fryer.

  28. Great..another design book to add to my seriously overgrown collection! And I don’t know about this Wonderbar. I’m very curious!

  29. Love the pics E! Haven’t tried wonderbar yet but glad to hear you love it. ox

  30. That book looks BEAU-Ti-FUL! I will definitely be adding it to my wish list. I might even send a hint to the husband! Thanks for sharing!

  31. I checked out the Wonderbar website, but think I’ll wait to hear how much you like the bar. Please, let us all know–especially about the “healing crisis”. That sounds like it could be a bit traumatic. Plus, I really do love using bare minerals makeup, and it sounds like that may not work with Wonderbar.

    I love your blog by the way–love hearing about what you do as a designer and seeing your work!

  32. I started using the wonderbar about a year ago and it is vunderful!!! My sister also uses it now and loves it. I agree it was a tough change from the St. Ives (I liked the Olive Cleanser myself) but it has been well worth it!

  33. Love the book! I’m looking forward to your review of the Wonderbar. $40 for a bar that will last 3 months doesn’t sound too bad. Several people in my family use the Rx Complexion Soap from here http://www.bathosonline.com/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=15 and have seen great results. Anyway…hope it works. I’m all about looking 30 at 50 in a natural way. Thanks for sharing!

  34. That’s going on my wish list, and being sent to my fiance in about 2.5 seconds! I kinda wish you’d “nerded” a little more and photographed the whole book!!


  35. Ha. Love the nude picture in the last bathroom. I would feel ridiculous with that in my house. The book looks gorgeous!!

  36. Stephanie Powell Rushing says:

    Please give me reviews on the Wonderbar! I’m almost 37, and have wrinkles and terrible acne at the same time!! Started seeing a dermatologist last month and it seems to be clearing up, but am intrigued about the wonderbar!!! And still love the beautiful design pictures!!!

  37. **Both hands in the air for breaking bad!** Incredibly my honey and I caught the first episode of the first season, which was so intense and twisted we looked at each other in awe with our jaws on the floor! I bought the first season in itunes, and we were buying episodes in season 2 like we were hooked on the ‘blue stuff’ lol…luckily we’ve got dvr now… no worries, but honestly it’s the only show I have watched religiously in many MANY years…big pressure on the writers to knock out the twists and surprises, but they’re still doing it!

  38. What a beautiful book! I am heading to the library today to grab it! Thank goodness for the free libraries! You can’t keep it forever but at least if you need to see it again, it is probably still on the shelf! I second the comment on the marble sink! We have WWIII going on in our house – and have for over a year – over countertops. I want marble… and I’m not settling for anything less! I will win – no matter how long it takes.
    Wonderbar… please do review it soon! Yikes! $40 for that tiny tiny little bar! I would have called and asked them to ship my order – not just the free sample! LOL I hope it’s as wonderful as advertised!

  39. That house is to die for. Lovvvvve it!!

  40. Jessie P. says:

    i LOVE that book – very inspiring! i am also glad to see you posting again more frequently! :)
    let us know about the wonderbar! and especially what kind of makeup you used with it – the website scared me a little concerning that! looking forward to it!

  41. Last year I splurged on the Wonderbar after I saw Courtney’s review. I thought my husband was headed straight into cardiac arrest when the package arrived and he said, “you paid HOW MUCH for that TINY bar of soap??” Needless to say, it was wonderful while it lasted…

  42. I bought the Wonderbar shortly after reading Courtney’s review last year. I too was shocked to open a teeny little bar after dropping nearly $50. Like they warn you, my skin was a bit shocked at first but after a few days it was very soft. I liked it, but ended up going back to my cheapo Neutrogena.

  43. I purchased the Wonderbar about 6 weeks ago. At first it was great. My skin felt wonderful. Then I went throught the healing crisis. I looked and felt like a lizard. My skin was so dry and peeling off horribly. I almost said ‘forget it’ and quit using it but decided I should at least use the rest of the bar since it is so expensive. I am glad I continued because now my skin looks and feels wonderful. My routine is so easy and for travel all you need is your little bar! Highly recommend Wonderbar!!

  44. Love each and every page of that book as well! Dying to know about this soap…Jenny’s review was entertaining of course, but not the most enlightening!

  45. I can’t wait to hear about the soap. Do tell us as soon as you can!

  46. That kitchen!! Wow… I’m going to have to order this book along with T Obrien and Bobby Mcalpines! Oops, there goes my spending money.
    Design books before cleansing products? Yup. That’d be me.

  47. Love that book! I’m new to the blogging world and will be back to visit your site often. It’s an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

  48. I love the ‘x’ bench at the end of the bed in the fourth pic. I found a smaller version of that very bench in a flea market in Paris and have been kicking myself for not buying it ever since! Glad to know they are around…fingers crossed I’ll come across them again. Thanks for sharing, you have fabulous taste!

  49. Y’all are hilarious and remind me of my sister’s. Aren’t they just the best!

    I have to say that I’m with Darby about picking stuff up on the side of a road. A couple years ago I passed a house that had a large and pretty woven basket with a bunch of old newspaper and a trash bag in it. I cleaned it, and it is now where we hold all of our toys that are in the living room!

  50. Well you got me twice. I ordered the book from Amazon because I couldn’t get my eyes off the photos in your post… and the wonderbar?? My daughters have been going on about this bar for a while. I gave them the “go head” and had them order one for mom while they were at it.

    Will let you know about the book and the soap. fingers and toes crossed.

    BTW. I have a couple of Darby’s in my life. Sisters, daughters, nieces, and sisters in laws… my cup over flows. love them all. We get together and to laugh and cry (sometimes pee)
    mb from Dallas

  51. Candace Horner says:

    AHA MOMENT! I have been hanging onto a really old Bait sign in the shape of a fish that my dad used to hang on a maple tree in our front yard; it made it to his fishing cabin, and then I inherited it, knowing I wanted to hang it up but kind of afriad to. I shall now plan where to proudly display it in my living room after seeing that great fish in the book!! I do, I do have good instincts after all!! Vindication! good luck with that wonderbar and keep us posted..!

  52. Renee Smith says:

    I love the bedroom with the little red side table!!

  53. I tried the Wonderbar after Courtney raved about it on her blog. I really loved it. That clay gives my skin such a clean feel. Anyway, I stumbled upon a very similar version made by Fresh and also tried it. It’s the Umbrian Clay Bar. It’s awesome, a fraction of the price and about 5x the size. If you like the wonderbar, I’d give the Fresh version a shot too!

  54. After reading reviews about the WONDERBAR (which I’d never heard of until your post) I ORDERED ONE! & I love it! It came so fast and I used it right away…my mom noticed in two days..she asked if I had new blush! I am slowly seeing my pores disappear, which I never thought possible, after years of trying EVERY product out there! Thanks for the heads up, Erika!!!!

  55. yikes… does this bar actually make you lose your skin like a snake? *shudder* well, sun tan peel is different and kind of fun to peel off, but other than that I am not sure I could handle the face peel.

  56. had to try the wonderbar after your post… my skin has been a total wreck lately. And i must confess it has worked miracles for me!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it. thanks for sharing, hope you’ve had the same success:)

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