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Friday, June 30, 2017

The Friday Files

Hello, dear friends.  As I sit here, I am surrounded by ear-splitting hammering, pounding, and drilling.  We are at the beginning of our Master Bath Renovation.  So forgive me if there are even more typos than usual - I can't even hear myself think.  

Yesterday, was the anniversary of the day that I made the Mister the happiest man in the world.  Twenty-seven years and not a cross word between us.  
Well, maybe a few.  
It's not easy training a husband.

We are going out tonight to celebrate.  Last night, I decided to surprise the Mister and cook dinner.  He always breaks out into a cold sweat when he hears those words.

My man's favorite food in the whole world is pigs in a blanket.  We saw an ad for the frozen kind last week, and the Mister said that he'd heard great things about the Trader Joe's brand.  So, being the devoted wife that I am, I picked some up, read the directions three times, and prepared a meal fit for a king. 

There was one casualty in the kitchen.  The darn oven door got in the way of my arm.  Next time, when I get an overwhelming urge to whip up some magic in the kitchen, I'm going to ignore it.  By the way, it was the best meal I have ever made.

It already looks better than it did!

Grab a tissue.  This will be my last Friday Files until September.  I am taking July and August off from blogging to catch up on some things.  I wish I could tell you that I am going on a fabulous vacation but I'm not.  I will be the Superintendent of our bathroom reno and will be taking care of some personal upkeep such as my annual checkup, mammogram, teeth cleaning, and tattoo removal.  Ok, maybe not the last one. 

I didn't want to tell you earlier about all the fun things I have planned because I knew you would be jealous and I couldn't face all the hate mail.

I have one more post to be published on Books, TV, and Movies because I can't stand the thought of you getting bored without me.


Both houses that I chose for today can be found in one of my favorite places in the whole world, Newport, Rhode Island.  As with all the houses I share in House Tours,  they are both for sale.  Don't forget to invite me over if you buy one.

How about this little gem?  
Nothing screams understated like this property.

Such a pretty bedroom.


This beauty can be found on Bellvue Avenue which is the street to live on in Newport.  Many of the mansions that are available to tour are on the same street.

I wonder if those darling green chairs go with the house.

I want this wallpaper!


Here are 30 recipes for the scrumptious strawberries that are in season now.


Here you will find some simple steps to put together your own bruschetta bar.


How gorgeous is this powder room?  
Grapevine Interiors never fails to impress with their Instagram posts.


Are you having trouble styling your coffee table?
Click here for some simple steps.


Here is a list of the most pinned home ideas and inspiration.


Want to know what's in 

and what's out in 
upcoming Fall Design Trends?
Click here.


Grab a cup of joe or a glass of vino, and sit back, relax, and flip through Nora Murphy's Country House Summer Anniversary Issue.  You won't be sorry.

I spent the better part of an hour breathing in the beauty. 


Here's an interesting article about the beginning of Book Clubs in the 1700's.

Good news:  it wasn't all about reading then, either. 


Take a gander at this hysterical article and pictures of a Dad and Daughter Duo who like to dress up and post their pics on Instagram.

If you're having a bad day, you definitely need this.


If you live in New England, see if you can tune into my new favorite show.  New England Living is on here in Massachusetts at 11:30 AM on Sunday morning.  If you can't find it, you can watch the episodes online. 

Perky Parker Kelley is the host and each week she visits a spectacular home and chats it up with the owner who always has an interesting story about the home. 

Parker then takes her viewers on a tour of the town and usually sits down with the designer or architect of the home. 

Parker then meets with a local chef at the home and they whip up an ambrosial meal for about 10 of the owner's nearest and dearest.

This is one of the spectacular homes that was highlighted in an episode.



The Mister and I went to see Paris Can Wait last weekend.  I loved it.  It is a character-driven story rather than plot-driven.  The film is basically a long conversation between Diane Lane's character and a charming French chap with the breathtaking scenes of France as the backdrop.  The mouthwatering, artistic presentation of the food was a consistent scene stealer.

It will make you want to book a trip to France asap.


Last weekend, we had a small dinner party.  I only took one pic of the apps and didn't take any more of the rest of the meal because sometimes I have such a good time at my own party, I forget to reach for my camera.  The dinner was great and the company even better.  

I wanted to show you these hand painted dragonfly plates that I bought about 15 years ago. I love to use them in the Summer.

I found these bunny napkin rings a hundred years ago at a high-end accessory store going-out-of-business sale.  

That's it for now.  
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 
I'll be staying out of the kitchen.  

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. You have entered our everyday, every minute world of the ever glamorous life of a designer. Don't worry soon the noise will be replaced with the finest layer of dust in all the places you haven't dusted for months! Think of the bath as a baby coming...over the moon excitement it has started, the long weeks of incubating, the last month where you hear words out of your month that shock you and then utter bliss! It always works out. Enjoy your Friday's off. -Laurel

  2. Well, you are leaving us for your break with an award winning Friday Files. I am going to have to come back for another look. You left with so many goodies. I am definitely going to have to check out the the New England Living show. I know I am a southerner, but I adore those New England homes. I am so excited about the ins and outs for this fall too. As always, you will love some and not others. I never got into the all white thing...I love color and the rich warmth of wood, so I am glad to see the all white look gone. I appreciate it from afar.
    Have a good break and get all those necessary evils done and come back refreshed.
    Love your little blog Katie and your charm.

  3. I will definitely miss your posts - and humor! Hope you enjoy the summer, and yes, better stay out of the kitchen (I would too if I had a Mister who prepared such scrumptious delicacies!)

  4. I love those bunny napkin rings! And the Grapevine Interior wallpaper. How cute is that! Thanks for the recommendation for Paris Can Wait. I was wondering about it. I don't think I'll go to see The Beguiled. ANYway, love renovation projects, especially the demo part. I'm great at that. Have a wonderful summer and we'll miss you.

  5. I can't tell you how much I want to come to dinner at your house, just to ogle the beauty of it all. (And I'm sure the Mister would make it taste good.) Sorry about your arm. That looks painful.

    I'm on a partial blog break this summer. More writing that visiting probably, because I'm headed to the lake where Internet isn't as easy! I'll miss you a lot but I loads of Friday Files to review (and look forward to the book post.

    Big hugs -- miss you!

  6. Enjoy your time off. You'll be missed! Can't wait to see the beautiful bathroom when it's done.

  7. Oh my goodness, there is so much LOVE here, you find and post fabulousness!!! Happy Anniversary gorgeous couple!! You have such grace!! I do feel like grabbing a Kleenex because I will so miss your sweet take on life and the joy in your pictures and words!! No more burns lady..ouch, that oven has got me on several occasions!! Wishing you so much beauty, joy and love!! See you in the fall gorgeous!! xoxo

  8. I am going to miss you! You bring a smile to my face and a great bell laugh to my day each time that you post. Good luck with your "to do" list and good luck with the bath. We just remodeled two baths and have a master left to do. I am no excited for the mess and the dust.

    Love the houses, and all of the links. I cannot wait to check them out. Have a great break and if you need a weekend away you can always make a road trip down this way!

  9. Another very enjoyable post! My boys love the TJ Parmesan Pastry Puffs.
    Would love to go back to Newport and tour the houses again. First time was with my hubby....
    Will miss your blog but enjoy July and August! See you in the fall.

  10. I am going to miss your Friday posts but it will give me time to go back and catch up on all those I've missed. Can't wait to see the new bath when its all finished and gorgeous. Living in the midst of a redo and supervising is not an easy task, so take a lot of deep breaths (outside) and hope they only have to cut once.

  11. I will miss your Friday Files and look forward to their return in September. Going to see Paris Can Wait this weekend. It may be my virtual vacation! Would love to be in the French country side making my way to Paris, but ....... Good luck with the project. No small undertaking. We need to take on a project or two or three here, but can't seem to get off the starting line.
    Enjoyed Nora's magazine. Makes me want to book a trip to Nantucket! Loved all the patriotic themed shots. Happy Summer! Will I see you?

  12. A well deserved blogging hiatus, and clearly you will be missed! I hope we see snippets along the way on your IG feed, you can't leave us hanging that long! I always look forward to your wit, wisdom and charming posts!

  13. I was just telling beemie how cool it is that you, she and I all have had an anniversary this week! It did not go unnoticed either that I am the oldest one in the bunch....geeze,I'm so tired of being the oldest hen around....
    LOVED Paris Can Wait!!! Already seen it twice.
    Hope y'all had a blast remembering all your years together!!!

  14. I so enjoy and look forward to your post! You will be missed! Have a wonderful summer!

  15. I love your Friday Files! Amazing houses, and interesting items, like black paint being the color of the year. Who knew?

    Happy Anniversary to you and the Mister!

    Enjoy your break and I do hope your bathroom remodel goes perfectly!

  16. We'll all miss you over the summer, but between home reno and personal upkeep (joys of getting older!) you'll be more than busy. See you in September!

  17. I will miss reading your blog, but have a wonderful summer off. I hope the renovations proceed perfectly! I love those green chairs, by the way. -Jenn

  18. I will miss your Friday Files! We have house guests and would love to see Paris Can Wait this weekend if it's playing here. Good luck with the project. We did a dual bathroom reno a few years ago. Wowza. I'll be checking out Nora's magazine.

  19. Good morning, Katie! Happy Anniversary to you two kids. What better way to kill the mood - for months - than with the bath remodel. You'll appreciate a couple of points in my latest post relative to what you're about to go through. I know it's not your first rodeo, so please tell me it gets easier. If you want to know all about radiant floor heat, just send me a note. So far the shock treatments are working on my part and I've forgotten all the depressing details (and the floor works).
    Meanwhile, your two last suppers looked divine. I heard precious metals applied to skin burns makes them heal quicker, just sayin'. Love the plates on the meal with guests, and the apps looked beautiful.
    You will be missed, but look forward to your return.

  20. Newport, RI is my favorite, too. I want to go again and do the same tours all over again because my mind was so blown the first time that I don't think I took it all in.
    Your dinner party, as usual, looks wonderful.
    Can't wait to see your new bathroom. No doubt it will be beautiful!

  21. I wish you a wonderful and hopefully somewhat relaxing summer! Good luck with all the self maintenance! Not fun, but it's nice to have it done- I just did all that myself.
    I'll miss your posts, they're always a bright spot in my day. I used to live up your way, and love to see peeks of the area. I'm hoping to get up that way soon, my daughter lives in Boston!

  22. This Michigander has traveled the world but I've never been to the Cape or thereabouts. The closest I've been to is Boston. I'm almost afraid to go as I know, in my heart of hearts, that once I get there, I'll never leave. I've known forever it's exactly where I should be. I seriously need to take the plunge but don't have a clue where to start. I'm sure perusing some of my book collection on the subject would help out but they're all covered in drool and it's hard to unstick the pages.

  23. The best thing about a master bathroom remodel (besides the outcome) is the fact tat you can just use another bathroom during the remodel (unlike a kitchen remodel). Looking forward to the photos upon completion.
    Your dinner table and the apps looked perfect!
    Enjoyed the coffee table styling ideas.
    Happy Fourth!

  24. Oh no. I think you really must reconsider your priorities. Which is more important, really: taking care of your self and your home, or amusing us, for free! See you next week!

  25. Well, blogland will NOT be the same without you my dear and I look forward to your return and pictures of the bathroom redo. I'm betting it will be out of this world gorgeous! Hoping you get all good reports from all those awesome checkups. See you in September!!!

  26. Happy Anniversary! We will be 27 years this December! I guess 1990 was a good year to get married?
    Your bath will be worth the wait and the pain. Enjoy your blog break and your summer -- and try to stay out of the kitchen!

    31 YEARS..............I will be COOKING TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. We're having our master bath renovated, too, and I feel your pain. However, when our wonderful contractor offered to begin demolition while we were away on vacation, we jumped at the opportunity. Came home to a view of wall studs and bare floor similar to yours, plus plastic draped all over adjoining rooms. Now we're staying in the guest room for the duration. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished bathroom.

  29. Enjoy your break as much as possible. Your blog updates will be missed but, I can just imagine the shenanigans that will ensue and will become future posts. As the songs says, "See you, in September!"

  30. Oh Katie, I will miss you! Every issue of your blog makes me laugh out loud. Take care and hurry back!

  31. Happy anniversary Katie! Those pigs and a blanket can be tricky, you better save thecooking for your Mister~ Good luck on the remodel, definitely stressful! Enjoy your break, I will miss the Friday fun~

  32. Happy summer Katie! Looking forward to seeing the new look!

  33. I am late to the party as we were in Georgia for the weekend. Have a fun blog break. I will be looking for you come September. Thankfully you have left enough book recommendations to last me until then.

  34. Oh, you will most certainly enjoy your Summer break! I am in love that with that powder bath too, positively fabulous.
    I so hope your burn is on the mend,burns just sting like the dickens.
    Happy 4th to you Katie!

  35. Happy Anniversary!! Many happy and healthy years to come!!
    Best wishes!

  36. I just wanted to say I miss you and can't wait until you blog again. Enjoy your summer!!


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