Hometalk...what a wonderful site to gather and share wonderful ideas of everything related to the “home”…

I was introduced to the wonderful site a few months ago and I posted my sunroom and received over 10,000 views!

Now, Hometalk has a venue for bloggers called “Blogtalk”

…..it is such a wonderful Facebook venue for bloggers to share their ideas,

…..to ask questions of all types of concerns or related subjects of blogging.


I believe that when Kim at Savvy Southern featured my sunroom, it was the post that had received the most traffic..other than when it was posted on Hometalk.

And…a large gain in followers when Kari did this post on Twirly, Whirly Skirts.

Today, I am so honored and happy to say that I am being featured by Blogtalk “IN THE BLOGLIGHT”

One of the questions I was asked by Blogtalk was “How did you get into blogging”?…

…..so I shall start on this note.

ONCE UPON A TIME (I love fairytales)….

I relocated from Florida to North Carolina to be near to our son and family…..

…..leaving most of my friends and family in Florida…

……….it was a very difficult decision, but then again, one of the best decisions we have made.


We built a home in Chapel Hill…we closed on our home the day our granddaughter was born..talk about timing!

It was the most joyous of days!


I was sending pictures of my Christmas decorations to my friends and family to see….

…..as Christmas decorating is one of my passions.

Here are two photos that were featured last year…they were my first features:


My Christmas Tree from last year…

Stacy Curran of South Shore Decorating Blog (formerly Conspicuous Design) featured my tree…

….if you went to this post, I had two comments…one of them from Stacy…

I thank Stacy so very much for being a wonderful blogger friend who has been so very encouraging to a very new blogger!

This tree was also featured by The Adventures of Tartanscot…he was having a holiday decor contest….

…..in which he also featured one of my mantels.


My son saw me sending pictures the conventional way….

…..he told me that I needed to start a blog to post my pictures of my Christmas decor.

That way, my friends and family could just go on the blog and see my pictures…

“BLOG???….I cannot do a blog…it must be hard to do!”…I am very computer challenged.

He worked me through one of my posts and through much trial and error I was off and running…

THIS IS GREAT, I EXCLAIMED!!…SO that is how I started…how it began…

………….Once Upon a Time.

My friend Linda, who is an avid blog reader…guided me on the parties I needed to join….

…..and that was another learning curve!

However, this is the real CEO of Housepitality Designs:


I started blogging, for lack of a better word, “impulsively”…I just went to WordPress on the advice of my son…

…..picked out a standard theme…and away I went.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have consulted a blog designer first….

…..choosing a blog appearance that I love and inquiring information from that blogger…

I was hesitant to do that…to ask a blogger…but I have quickly come to learn that bloggers are the most wonderful people…they are so anxious to help a fellow blogger in need.

The Blogtalk Facebook Community is just that…a community of bloggers helping bloggers.

To this day, I still have that standard theme, but not for long, as there will be a new look soon!

I already had a name…I owned the domain name of “Housepitality Designs”…

…..the name of my interior design/redesign business that I started after I retired from the healthcare field.

I love the “South”…I love the symbol of the pineapple…of HOSPITALITY…thus, Housepitality Designs.

I have pineapples all over the house…

Like the foyer light:


I can honestly say that I love blogging….for several reasons.

I keep it fun…I do not have a blogging schedule…I post when I have a new project..or want to join an interesting party with a great theme.

However, I must say, I love blogging for I have met the most wonderful people…people who I consider friends…

…..friends from all over…with a common goal…with common interests…

of caring and sharing…of true compassion…

I am in awe of so many bloggers…of their talents…from DIY to design…amazing people.

Blogging has made me become more interested in photography…..
…..I am in awe (there’s that word again) of the bloggers with such talent in photography.

My hubby bought me a great camera for Christmas last year…I can say it has really made a difference.

Old photo: Last year’s Christmas tablescape


Newer photos with better camera:



So my suggestion to any new blogger is to invest in the best camera your budget will allow.
…..a macro lens is on my “Santa Wish List”.

I have been honored by so many wonderful bloggers…many featuring my projects or my entire home..
…..my entire home was featured a while ago at Debbiedoo’s.


I must say that Hometalk on many occasions has been my number one referrer!..

I thank you Blogtalk…..for the wonderful honor of being in the “BLOGLIGHT”…

…..and to those who follow me and all the wonderful bloggers I have come to know…

I end this with post to say that, I hope you all “dance”..

I love the song, “I Hope You Dance”…and I have been….with excitement dancing every day….

…..as I learn the new “dance steps” of blogging…

……….for blogging is wonderful…when you BLOG FROM THE HEART!!!

And, they all lived happily ever after!

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  1. Shirley, this is so exciting!! Your deserve all of the “bloglights” that you can get!! Congratulations, my friend!!

  2. Great post and so glad you started a blog. See you tomorrow!

  3. Congratulations Shirley on your Bloglight feature! So well deserved! I love the story of how your blog came to be and look forward to the new design. And your Christmas pics did me in – I’m want to come to your Christmas tour!!! BTW – a macro lens is on my Christmas wish list too.

  4. Sandra White says

    You are so deserving of all the recognition that you receive. I do not have a blog, but have been toying with the idea of starting one. I am not a professional decorator, but love, love to decorate and love gardening and photography as well. Your blog has been a true inspiration to me. I have learned so much from you and of many of the people in blog land. I love your style of decorating and your beautiful home. Congratulations!

  5. Love your blog story, Shirley, and how exciting to see you in the Hometalk bloglight! I’m so looking forward to meeting the blogger behind the blog tomorrow … and excited to see your new blog design too!



  6. Congrats Shirley, your deserve everything you get for your blog. I am so happy for you. I enjoyed your story as well as those llovely pictures.


  7. Katherines Corner says

    How wonderful, congratulations!!!!!!!!!! smooches!

  8. what a wonderful choice! congrats to you~!!!

  9. Congratulations, Shirley! It’s always fun to learn how bloggers get started. Everyone has a unique story.

  10. Congratulations!!!! Your home is stunning and I so enjoy your blog. Great post. Hugs, Marty

  11. Congratulations, Shirley. Have a wonderful time this weekend. I’ll be thinking of you all.

  12. Congratulations . . . that is wonderful! I love your blogging story too!

  13. Congratulations Shirley! What a wonderful story. Thanks for letting us newbies know we too, can do this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Shirley, congrats on your feature! I so enjoyed reading this because I didn’t really know how you got started blogging. But I’m so glad you did because I treasure your friendship. Can’t wait to see you again tomorrow!

  15. Shirley a huge congrats that you definitely deserve. You are the ultimate in making a house into a home. I adore you pineapple pendant light in your foyer! Anything ( like your blog )cheers me up right now…thank you!


  16. Congratulations on the spotlight Shirley. It certainly has been a pleasure getting to know you. I loved your home tour over at my place and on occasion, I just go look at it because it makes me smile. I can so tell you enjoy what you share and again, we LOVE to see it all.

  17. Love this post and your Blog. So happy you are blogging.

  18. Congratulations, Shirley! You have a lovely home and yard. It was fun to read how you got started blogging. ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to meeting you in person this weekend!


  19. Great post! I love the pineapple sconce. I have one on my back porch and it’s my favorite light fixture in the house ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Love your home (and that pineapple light is awesome!!)

    so glad you took up blogging & we met. I will be investing in a better camera as soon as I can!

    Love ya!


  21. Oh. My. Gosh. Your style and home are incredible! Just wow. So glad you’re in the spotlight and loved reading your story! I think your choice to blog was an outstanding choice… for you AND us!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I am SO excited for you, Shirley! You wonderful talent, both writing and decorating, deserves to be in the spotlight. I’m glad you started a blog and glad to call you ‘friend’. xo

  23. Congratulations! You and your home are beautiful!

  24. Congratulations on your Hometalk feature … well-deserved, indeed! I always love seeing your gorgeous home. Your vignettes are always amazing … look forward to seeing your holiday home again soon, too! And, I look forward to meeting you tomorrow!

  25. I’m also in NC! Isn’t it a wonderful state? I’ve been here the majority of my life. Your blog is beautiful! Visiting from blogtalk.

  26. Congratulations, Shirley!! You are so deserving of this honor and time in the “bloglight!” Best wishes for a wonderful blog conference this weekend — can’t wait to hear all about it!
    xo Heidi

  27. Shirley, love your blog story! It’s been fun to get to know you this year and I look forward to spending time with you this weekend. blogging is a wonderful venue with the best people around!

  28. I am SO glad you started a blog, you are so inspiring to me. Your home is beautiful, and I love all your posts. I still don’t know much about the HOW TOs of blogging but I have fun doing posts. I just changed my header but don’t knowhow to do multople pictures and fit them in thwere…. I really should hire someone to FIX my blog, make it prettier and look better. What kind of camera do you have? XO, Pinky

  29. Shirley – so fun to learn more about my blog friend! You are a fabulous and encouraging and deserve every spotlight, feature and good thing that comes to you (and your CEO)!

    I’ll be dancing up a storm when I finally get to meet you tomorrow!

  30. This is such a great story, Shirley!! I love your story, and your CEO and your blog philosophy. And pretty much any space that you design. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see the new blog look, I know it’s going ot be awesome!! Have fun at the conference, I’m bummed I won’t be sitting next to you at any photography sessions!

  31. Look at that last photo!! If that is not a “welcome to my home” magazine intro.. I don’t know what is? You are ready for your spotlight ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’re got the “bloglight” down!

  32. linda miller says

    You always jump right in to anything you do. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished with your blog and within such a short period of time. You have always loved decorating and now you can share your talent with so many people. As your PR person, number one cheerleader and BFF, I never doubted you would be successful for a minute!

  33. Aww, what a great story! Congratulations on being in the ‘Bloglight!’ We’re all fortunate to have you in the blogosphere, your support and sweet encouraging comments are always a highlight!

  34. Well I just put you among my favorites and see in this blog you live in Chapel Hll, N.C. That is my mom’s homestate. My only brother has been living in Florida for over 30 years and still loves it there. I am blown away by this one picture of your sunroom. We had one when I was a small girl and when I was sick this is the room I was placed in by my mom. It was oblong and had lots and lots of windows. They bring back good memories to me.
    I also love pineapples and have one in my flower bed.

  35. What a beautiful home and decor. This is my first visit. I love these BT Spotlights, because I get to “know” the blogger on my first visit to their blog. Congratulations for being in the spotlight. I remember seeing your wonderful porch on HT. laurie

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