‘Tis still the season

So it’s Jan. 11, and the Christmas tree is still up. Whoops ....more

Us vs. Them

I am completely embarrassed and humiliated to admit that the previously shared mouse story has become a full-blown Situation. Embarrassed because it’s easy to assume the presence of mice is caused by a dirty, cluttered and disgusting home, or that the presence of mice causes a house to be dirty. In reality, our house is neither that dirty nor cluttered, it’s just really, really old with tons of weird nooks, crannies and holes ....more


I absolutely love this time of year. I love the sense of a new beginning, even a calendar-driven one. I love how the current starkness and coldness of nature provides an metaphorical clean slate for the resolutions that we make for ourselves ....more

The creatures were stirring

Another month or two has gone by, and I haven’t written a single post. I miss writing here so much but am hamstrung by my brain when it comes to actually doing it. Every idea I have in my head falls into one of two categories: what I could write about but don’t actually feel like writing about, and what I feel like writing about but am not sure I want the world to read ....more

Rockin the ‘Tober and KEEN Digital Summit

Sooooo, where was I? Actually, I have no idea. Let’s start here: Today is the first day of October ....more

Flashback Friday: The step in my groove

Because the radio stations in Knoxville are, on the average, terrible and because I spend 40-50 minutes a weekday commuting now, I splurge on Sirius radio. I love a wide range of music, but having cut my teeth on music fandom in the ’90s, I spend a lot of time on the 90s on 9 and Lithium (grunge) channels. I was a senior in high school in 1999 and my parents let me drive myself the 2.4 miles to school every morning (is it weird that I still remember the exact distance?), as long as I took my neighbor Ben ....more

Austerity August

Money … … amirite? An anniversary, two birthdays, a reworked knee (and physical therapy’d) knee or a culinary tour of New York could all find ways to wreak havoc on a budget. Combine them all together, and, well, the past two months have not been pretty when it’s come time for me to sit down and balance the Modern Family budget ....more

DIY rustic industrial kitchen shelf

Several people have asked me if working at HGTV has somehow magically transformed my home into a showpiece. The answer is hell no. Even though I know exactly how I would design every inch of my home, I still have the same challenges of budget, time and a husband who is one of five straight men in the world with an opinion about how it’s done ....more

NYC, the Gastrotour

The Modern Love Machine and I pledged to keep our summer travel a little smaller than the 11-day trips we’ve been in the habit of taking every summer with the idea that we might save a little more money to be put into our leaky house. While the money saving may not have happened quite as we hoped, we’ve corralled our travel into bite-sized chunks, with a couple of trips to Memphis and a jaunt to Atlanta — all done very cheaply — and a far more budget-busting skip up to NYC. Grimaldi’s pizza The MLM had never been to NYC, and yet was interested in only one thing: food, and specifically the fine-dining establishments that seem to be on every corner of the city ....more

30 + 1

I somewhat quietly turned 31 a week ago. Dinner and drinks out with friends the night before, and brunch and a soul food dinner on the day of, and that was that. The Modern Love Machine bought me the camera of my dreams so that I can finally take photos the way I want to, and my parents got me a really nice suitcase ....more