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Jennifer Farlin

Live Your Fun

Cue me singing in an operatic voice. Cue sunshine streaming. Orchestra music swells. Drumroll. Joyousness resounding. Puppies leaping. Kittens rolling. Happy. Bright.

Colombian Coffee and Cocktails for all my friends!

This is what it’s like over here…Bella Home Staging moved to a new place.  Where everybody knows your name, it is EASY being green (shout out to Kermit), and the grass is greener on OUR side–not the other.  There are no mean girls, bad bosses, to do lists don’t exist, and the laundry is always finished.  We have butlers over here filling up your cup so it’s always full–none of this half empty crappola–ain’t nobody got time for that.

We are practically at the corner of happy and healthy–move over Walgreens.

We still like coveting other people’s mighty fine homes, we still aspire for good taste and style…life is too short for ugly, and we still think our deep thoughts.  But we do it with a mariachi band and a margarita now.

Whoop Whoop!

Our new place is Live Your Fun.  We like mixing it up.

We are still working on the gorgeousness and the fancy so there might be a few nonsensical things, but that’s another thing about here–we try not to judge, we’re all just doing our best.

So live your fun everyone.  And welcome;)




Just No. Or, How to Hang Pictures II

Hanging pictures that are too small above your couch is like talking to someone with spinach in their teeth. It’s distracting.  It feels wrong.  Do you say something?  Do you nonchalantly stand on their couch and ask for a hammer?  Sometimes I do.  And. heaven. help. me. if. they. are. hung. too. high. and. too. small.

It’s too much.

Please.  You can’t.  Help me help you.

The art should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size of whatever it is hanging above.  And NOT float mysteriously high on the wall.  It needs to be hung in relation to the objects around it.

Public Service Announcement because you deserve to live in a Stylish Home.


Just No. Or, How to Hang Pictures.

Unless you are living in a house full of giraffes, and by giraffes I mean the actual animals, you are not to hang your pictures on top of your walls.  I, even for example sake, could not bring myself to hang the above picture any higher.

This is correct:











Hang artwork in relation to furnishings. If the picture hangs in a hallway then hang it about eye level or about 57 inches from floor to center of picture.

Public Service Announcement because you deserve to live in a stylish home.


I’ve been in the midst of this and that and in the middle of here and there and thus I have not had time to post much.  So here is an update.

I thought it would be easier to show you.

We bought a house and are moving in a few weeks.  Important to note I bought the house without anyone else (Husband) seeing it and hoped they would like it after it was purchased.

Moving Here

We, meaning me, have to move ourselves. Husband has to work. It’s not a military move–it’s just us thinking it would be great fun to move 1 mile.

Pack All These

Note all areas not marked with arrows–Pack All Those–as well.

I work, helping you, fix your houses, and helping you sell your houses. I have two new realtors I work with who are wonderful.

I just did this and I liked how it came out.

Staged This

Last summer we planned a huge trip that is taking place in just a few weeks. Backpacks only. You bring what you can carry. Kids too. Everything has to be well thought out.

Figure Out This

We are going There:

We say things all the time now like “You better Belize It”.

The trip is 5 days after we close on our house.  When we get back we have two weeks left to be out of our current house.  Insert laughing here.

Everyone says you will be so relaxed after your trip, it will be a piece of cake. What they don’t know is that we structured the “vacation” around Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Caving, Mayan Ruins, underwater swimming through claustrophobic spaces in the dark, Ziplining through the jungle, snorkeling in shark alley…

In the middle of all of this I’m trying to take care of them:Collage Them


Grace and Peace everyone. I’ll let you know how it goes;)

J Wes Yoder

Vintage Trailer Turned Into Guest House

I think this is a brilliant guest bedroom, don’t you?

J. Wes Yoder bought a 1963 Shasta for $1,900 on eBay, and uses it as a guest house, at his home in Nashville. He now rents it out on AirBnB where I heard it is booked a year in advance.

Absolutely brilliant.




Blue and Gold Kitchens–Go Navy!

Maybe I just have Navy on my mind as we did just spend the weekend in Annapolis where I was surrounded by Blue and Gold.


(Leave it to me to turn a tailgate and football game into a decorating inspiration, but whatever.)

Image via HonestlyWTF

Image via HonestlyWTF

Young House Love

Young House Love

Imagine this in Kitchen.

Imagine this in Kitchen.


Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson (For those who just want a little blue)

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson (For those who want a bit more blue)




Would be a lovely entrance into your blue and gold kitchen...

Would be a lovely entrance into your blue and gold kitchen…or cabinet color?










Choosing Paint Colors for Open Floor Plan–Like Finding Jeans that Fit


The question I get asked the most is what color should I paint my walls when the walls merge into 17 other spaces aka an open floor plan.

People always want me to give them a magic answer that does not include the word beige.

I get it. I’m not a fan of “beige” either.

Open floor plans equal several walls that you see simultaneously–that means lots of square footage. This is not the opportunity to show your individuality and your love of color. Go neutral, you don’t have to call it “beige”–call it “Moonlit Mushroom” or “Hint of Chocolate”.

Benjamin Moore Feather Down 953

Benjamin Moore Feather Down 953

Benjamin Moore London Fog 1541

Benjamin Moore London Fog 1541

You showcase your personality in other ways–accent chairs, a kitchen island, pillows, a wallpapered accent wall, rugs.

And if you really want some diversity with the neutral color take the whole paint card and choose a few of the shades off the card for the surrounding opening rooms.



If in doubt about which neutral shade to go with–go lighter instead of darker. The color always intensifies and looks brighter once it goes on your walls.

And finally there is no one-color-fits-all.  “Paint your walls–Sherwin Williams Mystical Night Mist!” or “Benjamin Moore Shimmering Dove Cote!” and Bam! We are done here. You buy 5 gallons, slap it on the walls, and perfection.

I wish.

Listen, picking a paint color that works in your house–with your lighting, your floors, your furniture, your counters, your cabinets is like trying to find a pair of jeans that fits your bottom, your legs, your height, and your body type. It’s work. You have to try them on.  And one size, or one color, does not fit all.

SNL Mom Jeans Skit

SNL Mom Jeans Skit



Kid’s Swim Teams, The Olympics, and America. Love.

I love my kid’s swim team. I love the Olympics. I love the 4th of July.

And right now they all feel a little bit like the same thing.

What’s more Americana than elementary through high school age kids shoulder to shoulder cheering each other on despite age, gender, color, religion, ethnicity, or ability?

Seriously. There isn’t.

There is zero difference in the courage level between the Olympic swimmer and the 8 year old in regards to standing on that starting block waiting for the buzzer.

There is zero difference between the Olympian’s Mom and the 8 year old’s Mom once that buzzer goes off and you see your baby racing his butt off putting forth more determination, drive, and strength of spirit than even you knew he had.

And there is zero difference between the Olympic spectators and the local swim meet’s when you are screaming your lungs out as they are approach the finish and it’s so close it could be First, it could be Second.

My whole family is involved in our swim team. My two boys practice 5 days a week. My youngest competes. My husband and I volunteer countless hours. We are part of a swim community that in the end is a swim family.

There is nothing better than watching two 7 year olds from competing teams shake hands over the lane markers after a good race without any prompting from anyone. There is nothing more heart warming than how everyone cheers on the dead last swimmer and the pool erupts into a round of applause when they touch the wall. I think more of us can relate to the slowest swimmer than the fastest because the slowest one is most likely us, except that they dove in and we just watched.

I mean how amazing is that?

What else is amazing is that every swim meet starts with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and every single one of us stands there staring at that Flag. And I know without a doubt that most of the people standing there at that swim meet and most everywhere in our country–when the American Flag is raised and we stop and listen to our Anthem you think about all the sacrifices that have happened for our little pool–and so many like ours–to stand shoulder to shoulder–so that we can keep Swimming.

Me and my littlest swimmer.

Me and my littlest swimmer.




Moms and the Month of June


June is always ridiculous.

I called the orthodontist to see if she could reschedule my 11 year old’s appointment or give me an extra 15 minutes because I wasn’t sure we could make it on time. She said you must be having one of those busy days-and then I interrupted and actually told her why and what was making me busy–

“You see I’m teaching about an artist at 2pm in this very son’s classroom and just before that I have to go see a lady about the 8 foot octopus that I am making for vacation bible school and I really shouldn’t move the appointment because there just isn’t any other day and can you hold on because I think the UPS guy is here with the knickers that I just ordered for the Colonial Days reenactment we are having at school Friday”.

She laughed, albeit somewhat nervously, but that was all the encouragement I needed because I then launched into–

“I have to melt paraffin. Have you ever melted paraffin? I mean I have to melt a lot of this stuff–by 9 am–for the 4th grade to make candles with. It doesn’t matter. That’s not til Friday. Anyway, I really need to go because my 8 year old has 100 paper origami fortune tellers due and the dog is sitting on some of them and we are running out of time and can’t afford to have to remake any.”

Sure, I had too much coffee before that conversation, and yeah, that poor woman didn’t need to know any of that but whatever.

I need to pop 15 bags of popcorn, find 5 frisbees in our garage–which won’t be easy because of the 12 foot replica of the interior of a submarine currently residing in it.  It’s also a hot mess because of the Storm Trooper Training Camp that just took place in our house for 14 kids and 10 adults resulting in a concussion for my 8 year old. This explains why all the tables are piled with board games because that is the ONLY thing he can do.

It would be great if I could get the house put back together and actually assemble a To Do list but what is the point? And as for the house, my husband and youngest have a camping trip this weekend which means recreate the campsite in our family room to make sure they have everything and pile the remainder on top of the board games, next to the in-the-works origami fortune tellers, beside the storm trooper flags, lightly dusted with ammo from 14+ nerf guns.  By the by, did you know you can go through 200 nerf gun ammo darts in a matter of minutes? Yeah, you can which is why my husband got multiple boxes.

If anyone has thoughts as to how to…

Make an Octopus head with spray foam.

Get rid of pantry moths.

Entertain 140 kids for 6 Swim Team Pep Rallies.

Remove mysterious substance from my living room chair.

…let me know.

Now I need to call the orthodontist back because I never changed the appointment.




Plug-In Wall Sconces–Did I Just Blow Your Mind?

Plug-in wall sconces–who knew? I love writing these groundbreaking posts. Yes, you don’t need an expensive electrician to have wall mounted lighting. You can buy them with a regular ordinary cord and plug it into your wall and it will still look great. Think of the possibilities–free up room on your bedside table, better light for reading, intentional lighting where you need it, highlight a great spot. I know…your mind is blown.


Yanic Simard, Toronto Interior Design Group, via Houzz



Barn Light Electric Co.



My Houzz: Pretty Meets Practical in a 1920s Walk-Up


Beechwood Farms


Farmhouse Bedrooms

Sound Your Barbaric YAWP


I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.  ~Walt Whitman-Leaves of Grass

Your “barbaric yawp” is like your battle cry…how you would announce yourself to the world and let them know who you are.  Reflect your inner self…loudly, explosively and truthfully!

Again, Bluk.

That’s how I feel right now when I think about Barbaric YAWPs.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?*

That you are here…that life exists…that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

What will your verse be??

In 1989, the movie, Dead Poet’s Society came out. It starred Robin Williams and it was, and is, powerful. Seizing the day – making the most of your time before you die – about being unique and following your passions and being unafraid to stand up for those things–this is what John Keating, an English Professor played by Williams, illustrates to his students through some pretty amazing teaching.

My last year of high school blurs in and out with the movie. We studied it in my AP English class and I remember standing on our desks on our last day of school reciting Captain! Oh Captain! to our revered teacher as a way of honoring her and saying good-bye, just like they did in Dead Poet’s Society. We studied the themes and the poets, Shakespeare, Frost, Tennyson, Lord Byron, Whitman, so intensely that it has given a subtext to my life ever since.

Like Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.

And finding your damn verse.

John Keating: Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go,
[imitating a goat]
John Keating: “that’s baaaaad.” Robert Frost said, Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Was he dragging kids on that less traveled by road??

Neil: [quoting Henry David Thoreau] “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”
Dalton: I’ll second that.
Neil: “To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”

And finally, back to the Barbaric YAWP, how are reflecting your inner self to world? With explosive truth?

Oh my Gosh are you KIDDING ME?

Could you stress me out even more???

I’m not doing squat diddly on any of these. I’m raising kids and putting endless laundry away with a few breaks for writing and determining if your paint color should be more cream or grey toned.

PLEASE do not tell me about the epic amazingness of my selfless ultimate role as Mother because I will spit in your eye. Sorry. You deserved to be warned.

My husband could maybe fill this role better. I want to kick and scream because I don’t get my way and then he asks me if I do realize that I am the Parent?


I had a big trip planned and it’s not happening for various reasons.  Put it this way–the Cons sucked all the marrow out of the Pros. Put that in your pipe Thoreau.

And I’m disappointed.

I’m so disappointed.

The whole sour grapes thing is not really about a cancelled trip–it was just a straw falling off the camel.

It was just one more thing or one less thing or another thing. It was just another teaching moment that I did not want taught.

Because sometimes I just want to be Me. And I want to sound my Barbaric YAWP only it is lost amongst the lists, and responsibilities, and laundry.  And I don’t want hard, I want easy. And I don’t want distress in order to grow.

Which naturally brings me to lobsters.

Apparently lobsters’s shells don’t grow. So when the lobster starts to grow it has to shed it’s own shell and essentially lay in the fetal position and feel really vulnerable in between shells and go through discomfort.

I wonder if the catalyst is like lobster kids not listening and no matter how hard the lobster tries there is always sand everywhere and the stupid Red Lobster on the 11pm news.

Back to discomfort–so said lobster needs to grow–goes through discomfort–sheds shell–feels vulnerable–than grows brand new one and is 10% bigger and better, until the next cycle.

So if “barbaric yawp” is like your battle cry…and it represents how to announce yourself to the world and let them know who you are–reflecting your inner self…loudly, explosively and truthfully…

…Did the lobster let out a Barbaric YAWP after it was finished?


*Dead Poet’s Society