Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Decking the Halls

Hello Friends!

I finally completed decorating the front porch at Southard House and I wanted to share the photos with you.  Here is the final product!  This is my first time to decorate for Christmas at Southard House and I think it is so beautiful!  I have never decorated a porch this big before and I think I did a pretty good job!  

I love the silver and white decorations this year!  They shimmer in the sunlight and look magical - just like Christmas ought to be!
I put together this topiary with James' help.  I think the gusty Oklahoma wind has gotten the best of it though.  This beautiful urn belongs to the previous homeowner and she is graciously loaning it to us for the time being.  I have put it to good use and will continue to do so until it has to leave.
Here is the sleigh all decked out for the holidays.  You might have seen pictures of her before at Enid Lights up the Plains.  We gave her some fresh coats of black paint (the original color) and now she looks so classy!  Now all we need is a horse and some snow!  The cherub statue you see sitting next to the sleigh belongs to the previous homeowner.  She is also letting us borrow her.  The cherub got a pretty silver bow around her neck to decorate her up for the holidays.  I absolutely LOVE this statue and I know I will cry when she has to leave.
I put together two small wreaths to greet guests at the front doors.  I love painted jingle bells so I painted some white, sprinkled them with crystal glitter, and attached them to the wreath.  The wreaths make a gentle jingling sound when you open the front door and I love to hear that sound at Christmastime.  I also added those beautiful angel ornaments.  They are also covered in crystal glitter and they really sparkle in the light.
My very favorite part of the porch decorations is the beautiful angel wings centered over the front doors.  I used to be the coordinator for a teen drama troupe in the community and I purchased these angel wings several years ago as a prop for one of their skits. 
One night when I was laying in bed thinking about how I would like to decorate the porch (which is more often than not these days) I remembered that I had these wings and I knew I wanted to use them somehow. I want Southard House to represent peace, love, and serenity and I think I can best do that through the use of angels and cherubs in my decorating.  You will see them all throughout Southard House when we open.  I have never seen the use of the angel wings over the door like this before so I think this is an original design application!  I really love it and I will probably leave them up for other holiday decorating in the future!
James will be adding some icicle lights to the porch and we may add some to a few of the bushes in the front yard as well.  This will give Southard House the perfect glow it needs for the holidays!  Now I just need to talk James in to buying me this pair of beautiful illuminated angels for the front lawn that I have picked out in a catalog and it will be perfect!
If you live in Enid you are welcome to drive by 518 W. Pine in the evening to see the decorations lit up.  Hopefully the lights will be on for you!  It is very magical and romantic on the front porch at night.

I guess the front porch of Southard House is all I am going to get to decorate this year for Christmas.  We are still in negotiations with contractors, plumbers, electricians, and fire suppression crews to begin work on the house so we can open soon.  You have no idea how anxious I am to decorate this house, so I have been taking my frustration out on my little cottage in North Enid.  I wanted to show you a sneak peak of what is to come next year for Southard House.

 I have a beautiful antique ivory china hutch that will be moved into the dining room of Southard House and I always decorate it to the hilt for each holiday and season.  I love the ivory, white, and silver color theme this year.  I will be using a lot of these decorations next year at Southard House.
This is a sweet snowflake tea set I plan to use during the winter months at Southard House.  I hope we get some snow this winter, it makes the tea and cocoa that much sweeter!
 Here is my fireplace mantle adorned with angels and cherubs.  You will see them at Southard House all year long.  The cherubs will become part of the decoration in the parlor and the beautiful angel in the middle will find a home in Suite Blessings.  The fireplace will also be moved to Suite Blessings in the bedroom area.
Here is my Christmas tree all dressed up in silver, ivory, and white.  The mannequin on the other side of the fireplace will be in the parlor at Southard House and she will be dressed up for each holiday or season.  I have lots of big plans for making Southard House a truly amazing showplace!  I hope you will come visit us and stay the night if you can!

I have a great blog post about breakfast at Southard House in the works so I hope you will come back and check it out!  Until then . . .

May You Be Blessed!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Enid Lights Up the Plains

Hello Friends,

I know several days have gone by since then but I wanted to share our wonderful experience at the "Enid Lights Up the Plains" event we had here in the community on Friday evening.  Enid Main Street organizes this festive event to light up the downtown area with glistening twinkle lights.  There is entertainment on the court house lawn, vendors of many kinds, and plenty of refreshments for everyone.  The evening concludes with a beautiful fireworks display - that was quite exceptional this year!  James and I thought that this would be a perfect venue to begin sharing our plans for the B&B with the public.

All week long last week I worked to get things prepared.  I printed and copied our brochure, bought several boxes of red and white candy canes, and made these sweet cocoa cones to pass out to the public.  The cones were filled with a wonderful cocoa mix I made from scratch.  There was pink peppermint cocoa and pink cinnamon cocoa.  This sweet cocoa is pink in your cup!  Each cone was topped with mini marshmallows and tied with a pretty pink ribbon and a hand-made instruction tag.
I enjoyed putting these sweet treats together but I especially enjoyed passing them out to all of the cute little girls I could find during the event.  I know they will enjoy their cocoa when they get it home.
 I also baked four batches of my Southard Hospitality cookies that I will be serving at the inn each afternoon.  These cookies, however, were Christmas cookies because I added peppermint white chocolate to the dough.  Yummy!  I wish you could have smelled the house when they were baking.  It was just heavenly!
 When we got downtown we unloaded the sleigh and I got busy decorating.  It wasn't quite 5:00 PM and there were already many people milling around.  We didn't want to miss out on sharing information about the B&B with them so we started passing out flyers, cookies, and candy canes.   We weren't very far in to the event and I feared we would run out of goodies because we had already passed so much out!  We decided to pace ourselves from then on.

The sleigh was a very popular attraction that evening.  There was a great picture of a group of young ladies from Danceworks of Enid taken with it, many people from the public had their picture taken in it, and the Enid Regional Development Alliance used it as a backdrop to film a promo ad for their website.  The spot should be on their website in January.  The sleigh had a big night!
I sure am glad we had helpers that evening because there were a lot of people out to enjoy the festivities!  This is Mary Margaret (Maggie) and Lucinda Caroline (Lucie) from Fairview,OK.  They are James' daughters from a previous marriage and my new step-daughters.  They were great helpers and did a great job passing out brochures and candy canes.  Thank you girls for all of your help!

 She doesn't look busy in this picture but Miss Lucie passed out 180 candy canes in two hours.  I think that is a record!  We met a lot of wonderful people and got to speak with several of them about the B&B.  We heard lots of great stories about the house from previous owners, friends, and neighbors.  There was a lot of excitement that evening about the new B&B opening in Enid in the spring!
 I must tell you that I have an absolutely amazing husband.  He is such a hard-working, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, loving man and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  I have so much fun doing anything and everything with him and I am so glad we were able to share this experience together.  It was on this night last year that we sat in lawn chairs on the other side of the court house lawn staring at the building that used to be the "Serendipity" store and dreaming about opening our business.  Now this year we got to promote our business.  It is so amazing that we are making it happen!  I am so grateful to have James by my side as we go on this journey to business ownership and I am so thankful for all of the support that we have found from our wonderful friends and family.  Thank you all for everything you have done to get us where we are today!
 We worked hard most of the evening but we did take some time out to have some fun.  The father of the organizer of the event built this neat snowman and we just had to have a picture with it.  We also had to have a hot pretzel with cheese sauce, some hot dogs, and some hot apple cider.  We also enjoyed some wonderful entertainment at the gazebo on the courthouse lawn.  Besides the almost unbearable cold it was a great night! 
Before we went home we witnessed a beautiful fireworks display that lit up the cold November sky.  It was truly beautiful and the only thing that could have made it prettier would have been some big fluffy snowflakes gracefully fluttering to the earth below.  Maybe next year? 
 We had a wonderful evening and met some wonderful people.  We want to thank those of you that came out to see us and we hope you will spread the word to your friends and family about our inn.

I finally finished decorating the front porch of Southard House for Christmas today and it is beautiful!  I plan to share those pictures in my next post.  Until then . . .

May You Be Blessed!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Third Floor of Southard House

Hello Friends!

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.  We have so much to be thankful for and it is nice to take special time to reflect on those things.

Today I want to share the pictures of the third floor of Southard House.  We originally planned to break this floor up and create two suites but after more thought this floor will be one big suite!  Please remember that these are "before" pictures and they do not reflect what the suite will look like for our guests.  It will be totally transformed to resemble a Parisian loft.  I plan to decorate with black and white with red accents.

This is the journal I created for the suite.  I love how it turned out!  I can't wait for my guests to leave their comments about their stay in this pretty book.  You will see some black and white damask in the room like what is on the journal.  I am very excited to decorate this suite.  It is going to be fabulous when I am done!
 This is a picture I took as I was walking up the private staircase to the suite.  That lovely wood cabinet was custom-built and will be used as a kitchenette area.  It will house a small refrigerator, microwave, tea and coffee service, and plenty of dishes and snacks for our guests private use.
 This photo is a bit blurry but it shows the amazing architectural detail that this third floor suite has to offer.  This window overlooks the back yard.  There are great views of the city from each window of this floor.
 This is the massive private bath.  The antique claw-foot tub sits in the middle of the room.  It would be a fantastic place to de-stress.
 There is an antique vanity with a sink in this room that is a very beautiful piece.  It is so much more beautiful in person.
 The light in the morning coming through the east window really makes this room glow.  It is a beautiful space and it's not even decorated yet!
 The window seat next to the tub was custom built, along with the beautiful pillars that surround the window.  The wood work in this suite is really amazing!
 This photo was taken just outside the bathroom door.  To the left is the dressing/sitting area and to the right is the master bedroom and dining area.
 This is the sitting/dressing area that was originally thought to be the perfect place for a bride to get ready for her wedding but it would also be a wonderful place to just sit with a cup of hot tea or coffee and your favorite book to relax.  This room has some more of that amazing architectural detail.
 This is the entry to the master bedroom from the sitting room.  We will have custom-made french doors hung here to enclose the sitting/dressing room for more privacy.
Here is the master bedroom.  In this corner I plan to place a beautiful chair and accent table with a faux fireplace next to that.  Aren't the floors just beautiful?
 Behind that curtain is the dining area for this suite.  We will take the curtain down of course and dress the area up like a lovely Parisian dining room.
On this wall we will place the king-size bed with a beautiful fabric canopy treatment.  It will be very luxurious and inviting.  I am going to have so much fun decorating this space and it is going to be really beautiful when it is done.
 Here is a view of the dining room area from the door way looking into the room.  It looks pretty rough now with all of those wire shelves and curtains but when they are gone and I am done decorating it will be amazing!
That is all the pictures of the third floor I have to share with you today.  I hope you enjoyed your little tour and you will leave us a comment to let us know what you think.  I will be posting again soon to share some beautiful pictures of the Christmas decorations going up on the front porch of Southard House.  I am planning to finish that today!  I hope you will come back to check it out!  Until then . . .

May You Be Blessed!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Second Floor of Southard House

Hello Friends!

I wanted to share some pictures of the second floor of the Southard House today.  There are three suites and our guest snack room on this floor.  When looking at the pictures please keep in mind that these are "before" pictures and we will be doing a lot of modifications to make the suites and bathrooms a beautiful and comfortable place to stay.

The last time we left off on the last post we were in the kitchen and this is the maid's staircase that can be accessed from the kitchen.  It is almost like a secret passageway to the second floor and I think it is really neat!

This is the view from the top of the staircase.  The door on the left there was the maid's quarters when the Southards lived in the home.  I just love the lilac paint on the walls in the hallway.  It is such a sweet and soothing color and it will remain.
This is the maid's quarters that was being used as a laundry room.  We will convert it in to a nice snack room and rest area for our guests complete with a microwave, small refrigerator, and plenty of snacks available for guests.
Many of you know that I am a very crafty and creative person and I created beautiful journals for each of the guest rooms.  I decorated them in the theme of each room and this journal is for Suite Dreams.  The room will be painted pastel purple and it will be a garden-themed room with plenty of purple flowers, a garden gate headboard, and garden statuary accent pieces.
This is the bathroom for Suite Dreams.  It will be painted pastel purple too.
Another picture of the bathroom with the claw foot tub that will be great for soaking in!
Here is what Suite Dreams looks like now.  It will have a queen-size bed.
This window looks out on the front lawn at the big oak tree.  It is a beautiful view!
The closet door you see there will become the entrance to the room after we do some remodeling to connect the bathroom to the bedroom so it will be one enclosed suite.  This is our smallest room but it will still be beautiful and a wonderful place to be!
This is the journal for Suite Hope.  I said before that the house will be decorated with French inspiration and when I think of France I think of Marie Antoinette.  Suite Hope will be a Marie Antoinette-inspired suite.  It will be rather feminine decorated in shades of pink and ivory, with lots of crystal and diamonds everywhere.
There is a big, beautiful bay window in the center of the south wall in this suite.  I will put the dining table there and I can imagine how amazing it will be to have a delicious gourmet breakfast seated at that table watching the snow fall on the front lawn of Southard House.
We will be adding a small closet and a bathroom with a shower to this suite with the help of contractors.
Suite Hope will have a king-size bed with a beautiful silk canopy treatment - fit for a queen!  This is going to be a really fun room to decorate!
This is the journal for Suite Blessings, the third and final suite on the second floor.  I originally wanted this suite to be a bridal suite, and it can definitely be used for that, but then I decided it should be decorated in such a way that many others besides brides could enjoy it.  I have always been drawn to ethereal things like angels and cherubs.  They bring me comfort and peace.  I hope Suite Blessings will become a place of healing and peace for those that need it.  It will be decorated in tan, ivory, and spa green - very calming and soothing colors.  It will be adorned with angels and cherubs.
This is Suite Blessings now.  I love the cheery rose pink on the walls but they will be painted tan eventually.
This area will be a sitting/dining room for the suite.  There will be lighted vanity mirrors on the wall by the door there and a settee, television, and dining table and chairs in this room.
A portion of this room will become the bathroom for Suite Hope next door.
I love the big windows in these rooms that let the sun shine in!
This is the bedroom for Suite Blessings.  This beautiful antique bed will be replaced with a pretty canopy bed with a beautiful flowing fabric treatment.  This bed was the previous owners and it is a beautiful antique!
This room will have a faux fireplace that I can't wait to decorate for each holiday and season!

This is the bathroom for Suite Blessings.  It will get some remodeling to make it a lovely space.  It has an antique clawfoot tub that will be so great for relaxing and soaking in.
We will be replacing the toilet and that cabinet.  I am really excited to decorate this room because it is going to be quite a transformation!
This picture of the hallway was taken out the door of Suite Blessings.  At the end of the hall is the bathroom for Suite Dreams.  This entrance will be walled off to enclose the bathroom in to the suite so it is not accessible to the public.  Aren't the wood floors so beautiful?
This is the ceiling over the grand staircase.  It is a beautiful cherub scene and it is one of the things that drew me to the house.  I sure would like to know how they got up there to paint that!  It needs a few touch-ups so I guess I better get a really big ladder!
I hope you have enjoyed your tour of the second floor of Southard House.  It is a beautiful home that is going to become even more beautiful soon!  Next time I will share photos of the third floor with you!  You won't want to miss it because it is amazing!  Until them may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and . . .

May You Be Blessed!