Thursday, September 11, 2008


Before you read this....scroll down! I've added more BLOG SALE ITEMS for sale!

I tried to think of something I would love to win.
My mind went right to shelter magazines, as it often does.
I have millions of them.
You think I'm kidding, don't you.
I'm not. I've got 24 magazine organizers, all lined up on a book shelf in my office. They are completely full. They're all separated by Magazine name. Country Living, Cottage Living, Coastal Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Home Companion, Pottery Barn Magazine, Creative Home, Traditional Home, Renovation Style, Kitchen and Baths, Home. The list goes on and on.
I also have about 75 magazines stacked up on the floor, waiting for some more new magazine organizers to call home.
When I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, I can actually hear shelter mags calling my name. I feel like their covers are actually SMILING at me sometimes. I always reach for one a little further back in the stack though. I want to find one that hasn't been opened, so that I can feel like it was printed just for me.
There's nothing like the aroma of a freshly printed shelter mag. Mmmmmm! :-)

Okay, I'll stop now.

Since magazines make me so happy, and all of you that visit my blog make me so happy- I've decided to have a little giveaway to say thanks!
The winner of this giveaway will choose which one of the shelter magazines pictured above they would like to receive a one-year subscription to.

Here's how this contest will work:

Leave me a comment describing what you would do if you could live anywhere in the world, and do what you would love to do most for a living. Describe the type of house you would live in, the types of foods you would cook or eat. Tell me about your dream surroundings. What colors do you see, what aromas do you smell? Would you have a car? Or would you walk or ride bike everywhere? What would you do for fun there? Let your imagination go wild!

It can be short and sweet, or as long as a novel. I'm just curious to see what and where you choose! :-)

The contest will be open to submissions until Wednesday, September 17th.
I will videotape my dog Max choosing the winning name on Thursday, the 18th, and post the video here on my blog that day for you all to see!

Good Luck!

(This post was inspired by my Mother...I will see if I can get her to leave a comment with her "dream story" too) :-)

If you have a second, pop over to and rate my audition video! I'm desperately seeking 5-star ratings!
( can vote more than once sometimes)

Thank you, thank you! :-)


maggi said...

I already live in the South, but if I could live anywhere I would put myself in Savannah or Charleston. Speaking with a very gentle southern drawl I would Work part-time as a tour guide & also work part-time as a mens clothing designer to make a living.

I would live on one of the Historic estates & of course eat good southern food such as fried chicken, potatoe salad and drink large glasses of sweet tea. My property, where my Historic Estate is located, will be home to Champion Breed Horses…Quarter Horses of course, with one or two American Paints. The Estate will house a formal garden as well as a vegetable garden. I will be the Master Gardener and zip around my Estate on my tractor. I can be seen on any given day in the Fall wondering around the property wearing jeans, a cozy sweater and my Hunter Wellies.

For fun, I would invite my friends over often & enjoy dining on the grounds, four wheeling around the property and riding horses on near by trails.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, how fun! First, I would pick Cottage Living as my magazine, since I already subscribe to Traditional Home and Country Home (that one is running out though) & that one would be fun to get.

OK, so where would I live? Since I spent a few months in Italy back in the early 90's, I would probably say...somewhere on the coast of Italy, overlooking the deep blue sea, in a quaint little cottage, with flowers outside and a close walk to the beach. The fruit stand would be just down the street. I would own a bicycle & also a little motor scooter to flit around town & enjoy the beautiful scenery. The smell of pasta and basil would be permeating the surroundings. I would cook my own pasta sauce and fresh veggies from the little fresh market & enjoy all it has to offer. Oh, and fresh bread from the bakery every day...ah the joys!

And I would still be decorating for a living. I so much enjoy creating beauty in my surroundings that I'd want to do that for everyone. I would shop the flea markets in Europe and bring home all sorts of treasures. Oh what I could find over there to drag home! The fun would be never ending. The history and the architecture is so beautiful in that part of the world & the people there are so warm & hospitable. I could definitely live's a dreamy place!

slap-slap....back to reality!


becky up the hill said...

I would live in Italy in an old country house in the Tuscany region. This is the part my journey where I will tell why I am living in Italy. As these stories rarely happen, I discovered I am the only living relative of one of the oldest most revered families in this region. I will leave my Americanize Italian name blank and their Italian name, to respect their privacy. I am discovering my true self. The colors of the region have always called to me. The foods were something I craved, and even sought after here in American. I found myself in cities, searching out their 'Little Italy' sections. Boston was my favorite, here is where I felt the most like 'me'. Then to discover my Italian family and roots has been an experience beyond my imagination. Now I live in an old villa. It was once part of a fortified city. Only part of it is habitable. I sit in the large open ancient kitchen and watch the cook. It is here I want to stay. My new family finds this somewhat amusing. The fragrant and fresh food is a daily event. The market today was a place of wonder and the cook is letting me tag along now. The Italian language is like music to my American ear. Last week I found myself wandering into parts of the villa that had not been open since the great war. Whole sections closed off, rooms with antique beds, clothes, left like someone had planned to return the next day. There are so many of these rooms and sections, it's overwhelming. My interest in what I used to call vintage clothing has taken on a whole new meaning. Now true antique linens that are works of art are at my finger tips. How did people sleep under 'works of art'. The staff of the villa is greatly reduced from those days. These would have been the ones who laundered and ironed these amazing linens. There is a court yard, that is still used to line dry the families clothes to this day.
In my minds eye I see many hands and feet attending this family. There is a 'laundry room' off the court yard that is full of ancient contraptions to iron and care for these fine linens; thankfully there is also a washer and dryer, different then the Maytags I had, but they work! It did take a village to care for this grand estate. So dear reader I will close this small story in a beautiful country that has brought me home. Arrivederci.

Chris said...

We have something else in common--magazines! This is a perfect give away. dream. I went to Italy some years ago, and it has been my dream ever since. I will live in a Tuscan villa looking over rolling hills and plains of sunflowers. My place would be large. I'd have huge rooms with tons of light and fresh air blowing through all the time. It'd have tall ceilings and elongated windows that open to a huge tiled patio. I'd have flowers and greenery everywhere!! As for my job, it's my dream--I won't work. My job would be to watch my children playing in the backyard and listening to my daughter giggle at a kitten I just brought her (can you tell I hate having a dog?). I'd wear sundresses every day, and I wouldn't own a pair of shoes. Believe me...I could go on and on and on!

Susie Harris said...

What a fun contest! We get to dream... I can always come up with a good wish or dream. Lets see.... I think I would like to live in a small community maybe by some water. I would like for there to be no cars...maybe for emergency use only. Wait! my dream has no worries. Ok, better. I would love to know all of my neighbors and have cookouts with them often. I could see my cottage now. Windows open and a light ((breeze)) coming in. I can watch the world go by from my very large front porch. No screen cause we have no bugs, smile. Kids can play with no worries... I hate to run but in my dream cottage my pie is done I think... It smells so nice. Hope you can join me cause you know you live just nextdoor... that makes it all the sweetier!

paintergal said...

This is very timely as my husband is going through a bit of a crisis with work and life. We're trying to determine where we would like to live and what we would do.
I've had all sorts of thoughts bounce around in my head. I received a degree in elementary education, but have never taught.
Perhaps I'd be a teacher in a 1st or 2nd grade classroom.
And during the summers, I would garden and sell my produce at a roadside stand.
I've always lived in Iowa, so wouldn't want to move away from family.
We would eat the fruits from our garden: home-canned tomatoes, beans, corn. Lettuce and squash fresh from the ground.

Inspired Kara said...

Oh dear heavens how I would love to win this. I have a bit of a magazine obsession, myself.

This is an easy decision for me. With no hesitation I would move to Waynesville, NC in the smoky mountains to live near my family. I have lived over ten hours away from them my entire life, and would love to be part of doing everyday life with them.

I would live in a little cottage or most likely a cozy log cabin with a big front porch. It would be decorated with furniture and decor I would find "junkin" with my Aunt Kathy, she is the best at it...ever. I would, of course, have three black rocking chairs on the front porch with pillows I made with grandma.

I would have a vegetable garden that I would pick and walk over to my Grandma's house and we would spend hours cooking and baking together, laughing and telling stories snapping beans and peeling potatoes on the deck. When we are not cooking, we'll be talking about and planting flowers.

My aunt Kathy and I would open our own little shop/business where we would re-do furniture, sell found home accessories, and design floral arrangements. Ideally, said business would be in the refinished barn on my property. We'd also sell things like local honey, and homemade pies. I would also plan a wedding here and there, just to drive myself a bit crazy. I'm convinced, if living closer together, my aunt and I would be best friends. We often wonder if she's my real mother...kidding. We just have so much in common

I would have a pick up to drive up and down my mountain roads, and I would get Caleb some wonderful vintage car for Sunday drives.

We would all grow old and fat together eating grandma's fried chicken, fried pies, yellow-eyed beans, corn bread, mashed taters, and every other ungodly unhealthy food you can imagine. We'd top it off with coconut cake served on the perfect cake platter we'd find at an auction or flea market.

I desperately feel connected to the mountains, to my roots, and to the women of my family. I would give anything to live near them and share our interests and lives together. Thank you Laya for letting me pretend for just a moment :) This made my day, magazines or not, and made me even more excited for my visit to the mountains over Christmas.


Pat said...

Oh this one is so easy because I dream about it at night before I go to bed everytime the lottery is huge. I would live in Jackson Hole area in a huge log cabin type house. On the inside the house would be decorated rustic. I would entertain lots of out of town guests who come to visit us. I'd also have a barn full of animals. We'd take sleigh rides to get around in winter. Of course I'd cook lots of roasts for all our guests. But no Moose stew!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

I'm half norwegian so always wanted to visit Norway. Would I want to live there...probably not..too cold for me. So I would probably want to live on a caribbean island with aqua blue waters. Oh, I can almost smell the salt ocean air! Can you smell it? I would eat light foods like shrimp, salads, fruits. My life would be simple. My decor in my island bungalow would be in the British Colonial style. Nothing pretentious, just comfortable & beautiful. I would enjoy time with my family & friend. For my living I would be self employed as I am now and would travel when I wanted to exotic places to find beautiful handmade home decor to bring back to the US market. Awe, the life. I can see the white linen drapes blowing in the wind with the aqua caribbean ocean as the backdrop. Won't you come join me for a Pina Colada?

Reynie said...

I’ve been to the most beautiful cities in Europe and traveled to the greatest beaches in Southside United States, but the place I always want to go back to is home. My home is the place I would always want to live.

My husband and I have had many a discussions on what we might add to our home if we won the lottery but the discussions are always about our home. My husband built it four years ago and since we have been married, we have made many improvements to it. Our home is a Georgia white pine log home that sits on a lake in the middle of thirty-three acres. Our little plot of land is a simple part of the entire 220 plus acres of family land that engulfs us. We are happily surrounded by many family members and many more trees and wild animals. We love it!

Now, if we had more money to throw at our home, we could easily spend it. We would add the separate three-car garage we had to cut out of our plans, the extended deck with a built in grill and screened porch area, a new dock that extends from the deck to the water, new flower beds, stacked rock on our retaining wall, and the list could go on and on and on!

And if we are adding all of that, well, I would have to be a full time building supervisor, gardener and landscaper, and decorator. These chores would have to be mixed in with my tending to my veggie garden and canning and freezing of my veggies. I would also love to do more baking.

My home would be a cozy establishment filled with the smells of freshly cut flowers, the sound of a warm fire crackling in the winter months, the taste of fresh squeezed lemonade in the summer, and you would always see your family and friends there.

I would like to think my home is this way now, but with unlimited money, it would be this way without all the stress of making this way now!

JoAnne said...

What a great giveaway. I too have a magazine obsession.

If I could live anywhere, I would live in Stowe, VT. We like to visit there every summer and it is usually the best week of the year. We have so many wonderful family memories, I would like to relive them and create new ones every day of my life.

I would like a simple 2-bedroom cottage (around 1,100 sq ft) with vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan. I want the house small so I can spend more time with my loved ones instead of keeping up a huge house. I would have a fireplace in the living room with built in bookcases on each side filled with my decorating books and familiy photos. And there would be lots of windows to bring in the light and the beautiful views. The colors would be neutral and the furniture comfortable and easy care. There would be stone on the fireplace and wood on the floors. In-floor heat and area rugs would keep us toasty in the winter.

There would be plenty of outdoor living spaces, too. Like a covered porch with a couple of rockers and an outdoor fireplace. I would also have a patio with an outdoor kitchen and views of the nearby mountains. A small babbling brook would be the only sounds we would hear at night.

There would be a garage with 2 dormitory style guests rooms filled with beds so my family and friends would always feel welcome.

I would be a stay at home Mom. I want to be there for my son first but I would also dabble in home decorating to fill my creative outlet. I would create original home decor and also redesign and repurpose vintage furniture. And I'd have a booth in a coop type market as well as an internet site. I would drive a smaller, dependable, paid-for SUV with a trailer hitch and trailer (to transport my furniture creations). But I would walk and ride my bike (with a large basket) to get around town.

Our meals would be home cooked, using homegrown fruits and vegetables whenever possible. And what I couldn't grow, I would pick up at the local farmer's market.

Our leisure time would be spent riding bikes on the community bike path, hiking in the mountains, cross-crountry skiing and exploring the many little shops and antique stores.

I would be active and voluteer in my community. Possibly renewing my certification as an EMT and volunteering with the local fire department. I would also be available to help out my son's teacher whenever she or he needed a parent.

But most imporantly, I would make time to visit all my blogger friends on a regular basis. And I would post the most inspirational entries on my own blog - not that I've given this much thought. ;)

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

when I have a moment to breath, I'll come back and tell you my obsession with those too.

Susie Harris said...

Just a note.... always pre-read your comment before you hit that button. In my dream world I would know how to type with all of my words spelled right, hehe

chriskauf said...

I would have to choose a sea side home Nantucket of course loads or white and wonder details, beadboard ceilings and transoms , the bedrooms would have painted wood floors at least one aqua blue , a big family room with coffered and panelled ceilings and a big beach stone fireplace, the sound of the ocean , lots of friends visiting all the time , bamboo blind and billowy linen drapes lots of striped materials for sofas , just a relaxed yet incredibly detailed home.
There you go it is my dream . I get all happy right now just picturing it , oh don't forget the big tub over looking the ocean through a big window with private view , that room would be white and pink and all mine with a big shower all my own .
I am in heaven .

Marilyn said...

I just found your blog but I still hope I can join in the fun!

I would live in a beautiful meadow on the top of a mountain north of Durango, CO. There is a ski area called Purgatory and near there is a beautiful spot with waterfall, meadow and wildflowers.
I would have a small log cabin with a deck looking toward the west so I could play my violin, sip a glass of wine and watch the sunsets. I would spend lots of time knitting and crocheting next to a roaring fire in the Winter and gardening near the meadow in the Summer.

I would sell some goods to the Winter skiers and the Summer tourists and spend Autumn and Spring planning my wares.

I love the solitude of mountain life and would revel in the beauty of the Rockies.

Thanks for asking and letting me remember why I live so close to the mountains!
Marilyn at Ivy and Lace Cottage


When I was in my 20's my dream was California, my 30's it was the east coast, and now in my 40's after thinking hard about my dream place...all I can think about is home and the here and now where I am surrounded by a large family of great sisters, niece's and nephews! there is no where else on earth my mind can take me without these loving people by my side, so right now it is home sweet home.

AngiDe- Nana's Box said...

I would live on the coast in the north island of New Zealand, where I would own my own wedding planning business and a nonprofit. My babies could grow up playing in the sand and making friends with the turtles and fish.
I would live in a big, beautiful, White, Victorian style home. That has big windows, and french doors and a huge wrap around porch with a porch swing, and a clothes line in the back yard.
I would cook fish and Polynesian food with the occasional sushi =)
Coconut and fresh water would fill the air and the master bedroom would always smell of fresh laundry.

My babies and I would ride our bikes everywhere and walk to church every Sunday.
They would learn to climb coconut trees and make lei's out of flowers.

For fun my hubby and I would enjoy long walks on the sand at night while the babies are sleeping... enjoying the moonlight and the sound of the waves.

P.S. This is a FABULOUS idea!

annechovie said...

Great looking blog, Layla! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! Hope you will come by often! Have a great weekend!

Meghan said...

I'm so glad to hear that I am not the only one with a magazine obsession!

In a heartbeat, I would move home to central Pennsylvania. I grew up in a small farming town nestled in a valley along the west branch of the Susquehanna River. Looking back, it was an idyllic life, but I was too young to appreciate it. Everyone knows your name, people say hello to you on the street, doors stay unlocked, you help your neighbor and life just moves at a slower pace. Plus, I would be close to my family, and not miss out on Sunday dinners, birthdays, gatherings, and would just be able to be there for them and them for me.

I would live in one of the old farmhouses out Route 87, close to the creek. The house would have a large, wraparound porch. I would have a porch swing out front, where my husband and family would rock away the hours, talking, laughing, and staring out at the fields, the water and the mountain, watching the mist rise as the darkness brings coolness from the hot and humid day. The back porch would be screened in so we could have picnics and family time without all the fun mosquitos that seem to find their way to my arms and legs every summer night! We'd have a big old barn on the property, with a high hay loft for hiding and reading. It would be full of all my treasures.

We would eat my mom's chicken salad, chili, homemade applesauce (with apples from my backyard orchard!), nora's fresh peach ice cream, peach crumb pie, chicken and waffles, sun tea, and middleswarth bbq chips. My mom, grandmother, aunt and sister would work side by side with me in the kitchen, cooking wonderful family meals - laughing, arguing and just spending quality time together!

My home would have several gardens, where I would grow vegetables and a wide variety of flowers that I could cut to put in mason jars around my home. I would dalhias, sunflowers, hydrangeas, roses....I could go on and on. I would also have orchards for the aforementioned peaches and apples.

I would own an antique store that would be in an old cottage right in town. I would ride my bike there every day, to cut down on the use of my car. There would be space for me to work on painting and refinishing furniture that I found at flea markets, yard sales and farm auctions all over the valley. I would also sell some of my other crafts, such as my magnets, embroidered hand towels and pillows. And cut flowers. And homemade soaps. I would have time to run, bike, and spend time with my babies (when they arrive!) and not work so much!

When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to leave this place. It was so small and so boring and everyone knew my business. After years away and time in the rat race, I would give anything to be able to get back and really enjoy life. It's by no means a perfect place, but for me, it is and always will be, home.

Reese and Marie said...

You know us decor junkies so well. What greater gift could there really be?

Well, as for my dream: I immediately thought of a cottage in the South of France, but that is not practical as I would miss my family & friends too much. So, I will settle on a little cottage near the sea in Northern California, near Carmel.

My cottage would be down a little country lane, lined with lavender and hydrangea bushes and wild roses climbing over the picket fences seperating the road from the rolling countryside and nearby farmland. You would be able to smell the sea, and the air would accordingly be a little damp. As you approach my cottage, you would hear the crunch of crushed limestone under your car wheels.

You would be greeted by a fantastic little one-story bungalow type cottage with a wide front porch and roses and herbs growing every which way around it. It would have a stone chimney and a wide dutch front door, the upper half always being open. You can smell some a fresh european raspberry almond tart baking, and hear the ocean and children laughing, and the sound of my chickens in the back yard.

As you enter my home, you see that there are aged limestone floors covered in seagrass rugs, there are fantastic crusty old chandeliers everywhere, and white slipcovered furniture as far as the eye can see. There are stacks of books and framed botanicals are everywhere and everything smells strangely of cinnamon and jasmine.

The windows are covered in antique european bedsheets and hemstitched linens, and they'd have been freshly laundered with homemade lavender soap and hung to dry on the line.

There would be a huge fireplace with a gigantic, old distressed mantel that once was in a turn-of-the-century hotel, in the middle of the great room. Off to one side is my kitchen: white beadboard cabs with white carrerra marble counters, old lights from a dry-docked ship, and threadbare oriental rugs anchoring the old pot-bellied drygoods table I use as my kitchen island. There would be old crocks full of cooking utensils, and my EXTENSIVE (;-) ironstone collection would be decorating one wall. A sweet old dog would be asleep next to the oversized industrial stove, and lavender would be drying in the window.

You could grab your tea and tart and mozy on back to the porch which would feature views of rolling farmland and the ocean in the distance, or you could go curl up in the old wrought iron bed in the guest room, as it would be covered in Bella note linens that smell of lavender. Or you could take a bath in the large claw foot tub in the beadboard bathroom. Or maybe you'd like a gin and tonic in the courtyard out back? Or you'd like to take your tea and wander in the potager, herb garden, and cutting garden just off the kitchen? Or perhaps visit the hens in their custom designed henhouse complete with chandelier and rose archway would be more relaxing.

OK, now I'm salivating and I haven't even gotten to my bedroom yet! Well, you get the picture. How awesome would that be?

Reese and Marie said...

The last thing that would make my dream complete is that my land would encompass several acres, which would accomodate the houses of my Mom & Dad, my grandmother, my sister and her husband, and my brother. We would walk back and forth to one another's homes, and Sunday dinner would become a regular occurence on more days than just Sunday. My children could run over to their grandmother's house for home-baked cookies, or run to visit their Mimi and sit on her lap for a story. Truly nothing would be sweeter, and now I am almost crying....

Thanks for the opportunity to dream.

Anonymous said...

I would live somewhere warm, with cooler nights, beach near by, lots of fresh fruits and veggies! Ilove home grown tomatoes and cucumbers, and this time of the year I live on them! I would love to design fabrics, and paint and just piddle in an artsy fartsy way. I love juices and since I don't drink would love those and lots of fresh natural water, with ice! I'd have dogs and cats and maybe a horse or two. Beautiful decks with comfy furniture and nearby homes that would house my family, children and grandchild. Terri B in Oregon

Reese and Marie said...

OMG I am so embarassed... I totally missed the part about what i would do. I would be an entrepreneur of sorts: I would sell my herbal concoctions much like Sally in "Practical Magic" but I would also be an antiques dealer and would travel several times a year to France, Belgium, and other parts of Europe to acquire my finds. I would have 2 cars: an old Ford pickup from the '40's for my junking missions, and an old, old slightly beat up classic mercedes. And my bike with a classic french basket for riding over to my friends homes nearby. I promise that's all I'll post about.... hee hee hee

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

When my kidlets were younger, I used to dream about living on a white/pink sanded island. The Ocean was their school...all sandy toed with deep natural tans that would make their white smiles even whiter!...wearing nothing but shorts and maybe a sharktooth around their neck, tied with jute...exploring their days away.

Our home would be simple,open... fitting in with the surroundings. Worn woods, sunbleached colors, Shells and bits of found nature would decorate the tables. Books would be eveywhere...used and loved.Hammocks would be outside for napping and dreaming. Fresh mangoes and pineapple and passionfruit from our trees in the back would make breakfasts and dinners. Our house would smell of the ocean's salt, and the fruits sweetness. We would all paint, and create, and fish if we wanted to.

The waves would lull us to sleep at night and gently awaken us in the morning.

As the kids grew...I would do my work,once again... working as a midwife, on neighboring islands...bartering with the locals for my services. My home would be full of their heartfelt and simple gifts.

Ahhhh. I LOVE that dream.

But I also LOVE a good shelter magazine!!!

Laurel MacD said...

Magazines!! Yeah!!
OK - My dream would be to live on the coast - preferably San Diego with my family. My home would be overlooking the water, with the bare essentials. I would love blues, creams, whites, tans in my house as well as worn wood. Nothing would be new. We could leave the windows open and the sound of the ocean would always be in the background of my children laughing. No one would live on a schedule, and I could play with my children. That would be how I would spend my days, just learning and living and creating. We would also eat simply - fruits, cheese, vegetables, meats. My baby has a lot of allergies and they would all go away with the salt air. We'd ride bikes, take walks, play on the beach and have friends over for dinner.

Dreaming of Mermaids said...

awesome idea!

Hmm, it's tough but I think i would live in Northern italy, in a farm house that is at least 100 years old or more, (preferably more) I would do without modern necessities, like a/c and central heating. I would burn wood in the winter and grow a huge harden in the spring. I would be awakened each morning by the smells of fresh flowers and herbs, garlic and that musty damp smell of old books. I would learn to cook old world foods, and crusty breads (better than I can now) I would spend the bulk of my days walking my property (which would be acres and acres), pruning my gardens and working in the soil. I would have time to read, to journal, to create, my children would have fresh air to breath and room to romp and run. There would be no distractions, no intrusions from door to door sales people, we would wear cool cottons in the summer and warm knits in the winter, the colors that surround us would be warm and natural. Earthtones and such. We would spend loads of quality time together and make a weekly trip into town for necessities and adventure. I would work as a freelance writer but first and foremost, I'd be a mother, as I am now. I would be the keeper of my home, my husband and my children.

*sigh* oooh, I was getting so lost in that place.

Anonymous said...

I would love to live in the heart of Africa in the Congo. Although my house would not be large and beautiful, it would be home because my husband and 4 children would be there. A more simple life, serving others and learning a new culture/language would make our lives richer than money ever could! Holly bhc-law(at)juno(dot)com

Marietta said...

Retiring over a year ago... it is just a very simple answer for me.. Being wiser I wouldn't enjoy being anywhere any more than I enjoy right here where I am. My home is where I want to be ... it is abit like me and has some aging but the location is wonderful the smell of the fields during harvest and planting.... the neighbors are the best... my church is the best... my town is the best and has the nicest people a person could find anywhere... this to me means happiness and peace... My family is here... I get excitd when I know I am going to visit but the first night I spend ... I always want to go home.... I live in the small town of Defiance, Ohio The place I love and want to be.... This very moment .... I have a beef roast , carrots and potaotes in the oven and the aroma is filling the whole house.... I just took out a homemade pecan pie for dessert with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream ... I will turn on the little mood lights of silicone bulbs and the rice Christmas lights I use all year long in different areas and we are recieving a much needed rain in our area and just sit and relax and enjoy..... Anyone wants to come join in... come on down.... It's a wonderful place to be....

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Layla you come up with the best ideas.. (and your mom too!)
Another mag horder here. They're taking over my house!!

Since we're dreaming, I'm going to cheat and describe more than one home.
We'd still keep the one we have.. but I want a huge sun porch added to the back with big windows we can open and still be screened in. I want to watch the wildlife, esp. the mamma deer and her spotted babes as they come in the morning and evening.
It's a victorian farm house, and I love the smell of a country breakfast... fried potatoes, bacon and eggs, biscuits. This smell lingers long after breakfast hours!

Kevin would teach and be off during the summer. I would still do hair, which I can do anywhere!

We'd have a small thatched roof cottage in England or Ireland. Not much furnishings, but lots of cozy fabrics. Thick wood beams. The smell of scones and herbed tea. English roses and lots of vining plants outside, along with a vegi garden. A few chickens pecking around leave us fresh eggs.
We'd ride bikes and occasionally horses which our neighbors would own.

I'd also want a sloped roof Sears home with an arched door and glass doorknobs from the 20's, perhaps in Brevard, NC.
The town is full of white squirrels and waterfalls and unbelievable green grass. Have to have bikes here too! I want to be here during Autumn... the Smokey's are a hop, skip and jump away for beautiful color. And other fun cities are only hours away such as Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston. How about a HOMEMADE hot cocoa with a touch of hazelnut?

Lastly, a brick Italianate. Just about any little river town would do. But I just love the incredibly THICK window sills in brick homes. The HUGE brackets, pediments and corbels outside. Inside I would have a large library for all of our periodicles and books... the kind you have to have a tall ladder on wheels, and the walls would be curved for the ladder to follow. The smell of books and fresh brewed coffee tickle the senses here~

I would share and rotate all of these homes with family and friends, afterall there's nothing more sad than an emtpy home.

Layla said...

Okay. I am L-O-V-I-N-G these stories. ALL OF THEM! So much so, that I've decided to change the rules. Since ALL the stories are so personal, and PERFECT, I am going to put EVERYONES names into the hat next Wednesday night.

Thank you all for your participation in this contest. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such incredible people!

Layla :-)

Deserae said...

What a wonderful give a way! I will have to give it some thought and then come back and respond :o)Have a great weekend!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Hi Layla, thanks for inviting me over. I would live in a charming little country house in the English Countryside. It would be cozy and homey and would smell like fresh baked bread and soup. Until after dinner when it would smell like chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. The next morning it would smell like cinnamon and cloves boiling on the stove. I'd be snuggled up under a blanket on cold nights, reading books and playing games with my kids.

Who me? A dreamer? Yep.

Fun contest! Thanks for including me!!!


Laura said...

If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be in Puglia, where my grandparents came from, on the heel of the boot that is Italy. The climate is warm, and the thick stoccoed walls of these centuries-old, cone shaped buildings keep the rooms cool inside. Outside, the air is scented by the bay leaf that grows wild there, and with olives, or cherry trees or grapes. The lifestyle is very different there, too, and I think that is what I would look forward to the most. In all of Italy, life – the things we do every day without a thought – is exalted to its highest. To live is to love, to eat, drink, talk, laugh, and to rest, and to do all of those things passionately. There is an absence of the quest for money that drives us in the New World. And I want that. I want to live in a society that prizes people (and the joy of sharing life’s blessings with them) over acquisitions.
We would raise our little son with family values that have nothing to do with the latest cell phone or over-priced pair of sneakers, but instead, with the invaluable gift of laughter and conversation around the dinner table. Without a doubt, we would grow most of our food, because the Southern Italian diet is rich in vegetables and healthy foods like arugala, and broccoli rabe, and olive oil. I can only dream of a lifestyle that uses extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil to deep fry!

I want to hear and come to understand the language of my father, and his parents, and theirs. Maybe I would write, or teach English, or both. But my heart would be as it has always been – Italian. And I bet you anything – my allergies would go away.

angela | the painted house said...

Oh, fun contest! I will think on this...right now I need to get myself in bed. Maybe I'll dream of the perfect place.

I L-O-V-E magazines. Perfect giveaway!

I'll post a comment before next week!!!

Vorlaufer Von Rottotiller said...

I would live where I live now...not that I ever desired to live here but now it's our kingdom, a place where we put our heart and soul into, a place we look forward too every night and a place where my pups will love to spend every living day of their rescued life from a place that they probably would have never enjoyed or got to live long enough at...the sun sets just fine here and every grey hair I get from this place on out is balanced by the beautiful green colors from our basil and the brilliant red from our tomatoes. My weathered hands are a gorgeous match to the weathered deck that never existed 'till now except for a concept in my mind of a idea that I constantly obsessed about...fixing my own home. I recommend you give it a try someday... if you are not already doing it but if you really care, you'll embrace all the peeling paint and weathered floors and the colors and the sights every morning along with the sounds you would never pay attention to when you lived in a place not your own...


Awake said...

Think of a small acreage with a Gone with the Wind heart, within a bike ride of Mayberry and a ferry's trip to NYC. I mean we're dreaming, right? :)

Big front porch, cozy bedrooms, pool carefully hidden in unpretentious yet thoughtful landscaping. Giant pillows, banana bread, fresh flowers, stepping stones.

My family and friends (all of them) within a stone's throw away.

sherri (Tied Up In Ribbons) said...

Since it is a dream I would take my grown kids & granddaughter along and make sure they had a place to live not too far from me. I don't really have a particular city or state I would want to live in, but more the type of town I would want to live in matters. I enjoy smaller towns with charm and old downtowns. The kind that has a lot of old houses and keeping them up is of importance to those who live in them and to the town. I would want an arts & crafts style home with the large rooms, built in bookcases by the fireplaces and a garden room in the back with large paned windows. I would enjoy living near enough to the beach to enjoy it as often as I wanted, but not so close that sand blowing into the house was an issue.

I picture a house with windows open, old dishtowel curtains blowing in the soft breeze near the kitchen table. The colors would be mainly soft blues, beiges and whites. Some of the rooms would have touches of pink or perhaps a pop of red, but very soothing colors throughout. Bead-board in the kitchen with a shelf for old crazed, nearly brown with age plates and other sweet items. Old iron beds with lots of pillows and fluffy quilts and soft rugs on the wood floors.

I would have nothing too fancy, but recycled and recovered types of furniture. Some old pieces that had a story to them. A mismatched look. A lovely back and front porch would be a must so I could sit in the evening and watch the sun set or enjoy the fragrance from the flowers near the house.

The garden would not be large, but would be beautiful, roses, sweet peas, snapdragons, peonies of pinks, soft yellows and a little lavender color througout.

My work would be done from the home, part time as I desired to do it-designing fabrics, paper and providing consultations on other people's decor plans. My food needs would be simple, with a wonderful man (dreaming) he would be the main cook. We would ride bicycles around town, or stroll in the evenings down to the beach or around town. The pace would be slow. We would have a car for longer trips, but not for everyday. He would work from home as well.

The fun would be talking with friends in the yard or on the porch. Hanging out with family, having special times in the green backyard surrounded with trees and flowers. I would paint too, water color or oils or acrylics. My easel set up in the garden room for use or easy transport to the back yard or the beach. I think I would mainly wear flowing summery dresses, although in the fall and winter, one might see that I have added a sweater to my ensemble.

restyled home said...

Well, considering I live ten minutes from the most amazing ocean beaches in Nova Scotia, I would have to say I'd stay put, albeit, move a little closer to have a seaside view. I would live in a pretty, Gothic Revival style home with sounds of the ocean in the background, a wooden screen door slamming shut as my children run outside happily. I'd have a barn with mostly kittens inside, and I'd grow organic vegetables and raise chickens again.

Inside, I'd have soaring ceilings so I could have a giant Christmas tree that would hold ALL of my decorations. Smells of cinnamon and baked goods would waft through the house, but not made by me, as I don't like to bake!!

I would still have a car, out of necessity, but I'd have a pink bicycle to hop on and go visit my best friends with(who, of course, would all live near me).

Since this is my fantasy, there would be great shopping nearby, especially spots to root out great vintage/thrift finds. I'd do that on weekend mornings, and spend the rest of the days hanging out with family and friends.

That said, life is still pretty great as is. A lot of that dream is just stuff that money is needed for, and I can certainly do without.

If I had to pick one material thing that I long for, though, it would be a robin's egg blue vintage-style fridge. That would make me happy every time I'd enter my kitchen!!

I just thought of something, this contest is probably not open to those outside the U.S. Oh well, even if it isn't, it was a fun daydream anyway!!


Dawn Gahan said...


Thank you for doing this giveaway. A girl can never subscribe to or purchase too many magazines.

I would live in a small Florida Gulf Coast town (not sure which one) and own a little shop showcasing and selling artists' and crafters' works, including my own. That is, if I had to work for a living. Otherwise, I'd just immerse myself in projects and more projects, simply for my own enjoyment.

I would bake lovely cupcakes and cakes and learn decorative icing techniques. And sell those too in my little shop! My meals would consist of fresh seafood.

In my dream, I am living in a white clapboard beach cottage, with baby blue shutters and window boxes overflowing with flowers. Hardwood floors throughout, a pool overlooking the ocean and the tall beach grasses, a white-sand beach a few yards away that you reach by walking down a weathered, gray wood path.

I want to fall asleep to the sounds of seagulls and waves, and wake up to the smell of the ocean.

I will be driving a vintage pick-up truck with the front seat covered in an old hobnail bedspread. And a bike leaning on my front porch for quick jaunts into town.

I would swim everyday, read, craft, take walks, and entertain family and friends with evening bonfires on the beach and poolside parties.

With as many dreams in my life that have come true when it seemed impossible that I'd even come close to realizing them, I hold onto this one. And never give up.

The Gahan Girls

donna6kids said...

This is so easy for me, because I dream of it all the time. I would live in Tuscany Italy. I would live in a very small house up in the hills overlooking the vineyards and the sunflowers! I would have no TV and no telephone - just my laptop and maybe a dog or a cat. I would have NO CAR. Instead, a bicycle, the kind with the straw basket hooked to the handlebars. I would ride my bike into my favorite village of Siena and smile and wave to the older italian men that gather in a group outside of their homes. I would never miss a market day and I would load up on the finest produce that Italy offers. I would probably eat pizza everyday for lunch and pasta everynight for dinner ~ and of course both meals would be accompained with a glass of Italian wine.....Pinot Grigio!!! (I wouldn't worry about gaining weight, because I have to ride my bike everywhere so that would cancel out the carbs and white wine ~ right ?) I would write a journal in hopes that someone would be intrested enough to publish it, so that I could have some money. I would name my home "Casa Giovanni" after my late and dear grandfather who came from Italy and told me countless stories about his childhood. Of course, I would attend church and enjoy all of the simple things in life. Then I would wake up from this dream and go back to packing lunches for my six children in suburban Detroit - thank goodness for dreams!!!

Jersey Girl in DC said...

What a great contest! :)

In the past year, my husband and I married in my home state (the Garden State - NJ) and since then, have been settling in to our first home together in DC. DC is where we met, dated, and got engaged, but now that we're settling down and are finished with all the wedding planning, we've really begun to miss living closer to our families. So if we could live anywhere, it would be "home" in the PA/NJ area. My dream job would be to freelance as a photographer, writer, editor, and event planner - a mix of my passions. We'd live in an old cottage in good 'ol South Jersey - home to all the blueberry and cranberry farms. We'd enjoy Italian cooking and I'd make homemade pizza - we were lucky during our recent honeymoon in Sicily to receive a cooking lesson from my distant relatives who own a bakery there. Our home would be colorful and full of life. We'd have a guest room for visiting family and friends (something neither of us has had in a LONG time, since we've been moving around in the city from various studio and one-bedroom apartments to our current small space). For fun, we'd visit the Jersey Shore, Cowtown (they even have a rodeo!), visit all the cute historic towns like Smithville and Haddonfield, go yardsale shopping for vintage finds for our new home, and venture into Philly for cheesesteaks and to see a show now and then. We'd bike, walk, take the train, and drive to see our family and friends. We hope we'll be there someday soon to start a family of our own and to be able to share our everyday lives with our Grandmothers, parents, and siblings - instead of the quick weekend visits we currently have from DC.

this blessed nest said...

Anytime I get to dream about living in Laguna Beach, CA I smile.

We have been going there for a family vacation for y-e-a-r-s! I even think I was there when I was in the womb ;).

I would live on the beach of course. Smelling the ocean air, there's nothing like it. I would eat all meals outside on a huge porch, that would be covered in colorful flowers. My meals, probably anything fresh. Fresh fish, salads, freshly made desserts. Anything you could buy at the local farmer's market, I would be eating. Of course, dining outside at some of their local resturants would be great as well. I would like to walk anytime it would be possible. A car is a given, but walking in Laguna is no problem to get anything you want.

As for working, I am a stay at home mom, I love it. (New born twins, and a 2 1/2 yr. old). But I would love to have time to do some creative projects. I love turning trash into treasure. So maybe a part time nanny would be great, so I could do some creative work.

I live in the south. I love it. But, given the opportunity to have a second home in Laguna Beach, California = I would love it. Thanks for letting me dream a little!

Michele said...

I would live in the Provence region of France in a cute country cottage. It would have a natural looking cottage garden that is very low maintenance and includes lots of herbs. I would cook for all of my family and friends who I would take with me when I moved. I would entertain at least once a week. I would travel to Paris occasionally for gourmet ingredients as well as flea marketing. I would decorate, sew and cook to my heart's content. Then I would publish a wonderful novel that includes recipes that I create. Have you ever read those - its cool how the author incorporates their recipes into the story they are writing.

Michele said...

I would live in the Provence region of France in a cute country cottage. It would have a natural looking cottage garden that is very low maintenance and includes lots of herbs. I would cook for all of my family and friends who I would take with me when I moved. I would entertain at least once a week. I would travel to Paris occasionally for gourmet ingredients as well as flea marketing. I would decorate, sew and cook to my heart's content. Then I would publish a wonderful novel that includes recipes that I create. Have you ever read those - its cool how the author incorporates their recipes into the story they are writing.

Michele said...

I would live in the Provence region of France in a cute country cottage. It would have a natural looking cottage garden that is very low maintenance and includes lots of herbs. I would cook for all of my family and friends who I would take with me when I moved. I would entertain at least once a week. I would travel to Paris occasionally for gourmet ingredients as well as flea marketing. I would decorate, sew and cook to my heart's content. Then I would publish a wonderful novel that includes recipes that I create. Have you ever read those - its cool how the author incorporates their recipes into the story they are writing.

Southerner said...

I would first like to mention that I love where God has planted us here in north Alabama. We are surrounded by beautiful cotton farms and have families that have deep roots in our area and at the same time surrounded by cutting edge technology and men and women who work to defend our country. We lived by the beach in Florida for 13 years and loved that area also. But, for dreaming I would love to live in an old stone house in Italy with some land surrounding my property. I want turquoise blue shutters and a home filled with old pieces that I find in flea markets as I travel around Europe. Nothing is fancy just pieces that are utilitarian and have a "soul" to them. I want a big farm table outside with a candle chandalier over it filled with dinners that were made with fruits and vegetables from our gardens. I want to be able to travel all around Europe and see the beautiful old cities and country homes. I imagine myself skinny again and wearing cute dresses and skirts riding bicycles with a wicker basket and skooters to market. I would like some chickens for fresh eggs. I want to be surrounded by friends who come for dinner and good times.

Wendy said...

First, I want to say that I just discovered your blog...and I love your style! Now, if I could live anywhere, I would probably want to live in the English Countryside in a big old manor house! Of course, I would decorate it myself with European antiques.
My kids could explore the countryside to their hearts content, because we would have acres and acres at our disposal! (yep, a dream for sure!)

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bettsi said...

Oh my, this is one of my favorite things to think about before falling asleep at night. It changes occasionally depending on where I am in life. One of my favorite dreams is life in the Blue Ridge mountains. Just a little cottage all by myself. A hound and a cat for company. One room to live in. Sheets that are soft and worn and smell like sunshine. Simple things- a few fruit trees and a little veggie garden. Art enough to keep me busy, friends enough to keep me social and lots and lots of books!

Kelly said...

I would live in the town I live in, in a home close to where we are in the process of buying a home, near my entire family, the only difference is in this dream the house would be paid off and we wouldn't have to worry about the mortgage. :)

Janet said...


I tried to stop by and vote for your audition, but there is /was a problem with the server. I will try again and I will be back to check out more of your blog.


Scrapping My 2 Precious Gems said...

I would love to live anywhere where the temperature is mostly in the 70's year round. Haven't figured that one out yet.....LOL.

I simply adore Victorian homes. THe architectual detailing is amazing and I'd love the whole gingerbread house type of feel on the outside as well. The aroma of fresh baked pumpkin pie or breads or cookies would fill the air the moment you walked in. I'd decorate it in the colors indicative of the victorian era.

The perfect setting for this home would be in a quaint town where you could take a walk to the shops and marvel at what they all have to offer. WIth the changes of the season the town would host amazing events...Fall Festivals, Winter Carnival, etc so the town residents could get to know each other and spend quality time with thier families.

angela | the painted house said...

Finally...I would have a home for each season.

Autumn: a NYC historic townhouse near Central Park. Crisp and modern furnishings to juxtapose with the classic interior.

Winter: a little cottage in Vermont with a stone fireplace, a stash of tea, cocoa, and coffee, and a stack of magazines and books.

Spring: a grand hacienda in the interior of Mexico with a beautiful courtyard.

Summer: a sleek white villa on quiet white sand beach on the Mayan Riviera where I would sweat out the summer in my bikini.

new every morning said...

I know I'm too late for the contest, but loved this idea!

My dream is to live in a farmhouse nestled in the NC mountains, preferably with a creek or large pond. I'd love to have some fruit trees, a garden and lots of flowers (can I have my own gardener, too?)
Fresh mountain breezes would blow through the windows as I enjoy a good book, while watching my kids play on the land. We'd have some animals too ... a horse or two for my girls and of course a dog.
I'd still want to do some decorating for friends. Gotta have a place for those creative juices!

jennifer said...

Sign me up! I would love to win.

Can't wait to see how your dog manages to pull the name out of the hat.

Do me a favor will ya? Rub a bit of bacon grease against the paper with my name on it....



Jennie W. said...

I have dreamed of having my cottage by the sea for some time now. I picture a charming little white cottage somewhere on the east coast, perhaps Maine. The cottage is filled with overstuffed, comfy sofas and vintage beds covered in the softest down comforters and loads of pillows . The color palette is soothing of course, and matches the hues of the sea and outdoors: creams, light blues, soft greens, browns. I'd have my own little space carved out somewhere in my little cottage so that I could journal, paint, scrapbook and read shelter magazines. I'd be working from home, of course, having just recently launched a flourishing interior design business.

Oh, I girl can dream, right?

Thanks so much for offering such a wonderful giveaway.

Best of luck to you on DesignStar 2009. I'll be placing my vote for you today!

jennifer said...

Oh, and, um... I don't want to live anywhere in the world but Alabama! I love my home state with a passion. I like the community that we live in now, I just wish that our family were closer. But a 40 min drive to the beach is a nice perk!

I also love being a stay home mom (notice that I did NOT say homemaker - I actually stink at that part). So I pretty much live a charmed life, that could only be made better by winning a magazine subscription!

(bacon grease on my name slip please)


Haley said...

My dream place would be an old plantation home, full of history, in the country near the mountains. I want enough land to have a small farm and to grow a decent size garden. My kids would be able to run around bare foot picking blackberries and enjoying a tree house built just for them. My clothes would dry out on the line and when I brought them in they would smell fresh and they would be so crisp. Sitting on the back porch every sunrise with a cup of coffee reading my favorite blogs and sitting down on that same porch with my family enjoying sweet tea to watch the sun set on another one of Gods wonderful days. I wouldn’t have a conventional 9-5 job; I want to be a mother and a wife. I would love to have a full size truck and take my produce into town for extra money. On the weekends we could go hiking and take a picnic, discover waterfalls tucked back in the woods that no one knows about, and go to small town country fairs and gatherings. The ball field would be a great time to watch kids play and to socialize with other small town families living their BIG dreams on their small town country way of life. Oh to have a simple life without all this hustle and bustle! I really am a small town country girl stuck among this growing city!