Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My 7th St. Louis Magazine Five-Star Award!

Week made! ♥

What an honer and privilege to receive my 7th Five-Star award,  featured in the fresh-off-the-presses April edition of St. Louis Magazine. A warm thank you to my 2016 clients for their positive reviews.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Architectural Goody Alert! Rare Crown Glass "bullseye" window.

It doesn't happen often...

... but I stumbled upon a hand blown Crown Glass "bullseye" window pane this AM! The center area where the punty was connected was considered an imperfection at the time and typically resmelted or used in a low end applications like a rear transom. 

This window, however, is front and center on a late 19th century Victorian.  I have only seen 2-3 in St. Louis over the last 15 years so I had to share. So rare, so interesting. ❤ 

Monday, March 13, 2017

A weekend in Chicago: Art, Architecture, and Anniversary fun!

If you follow me on Instagram, you are aware that my husband recently surprised me with a long weekend trip to Chicago to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary...  

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NOTE: Despite numerous trips to Chicago over the years, we have never taken the Amtrak. What an incredible alternative to driving and flying?!  The ride was comfortable, scenic, and oh so EASY.  Once in the city, Uber was a dream.  Highly recommend.

Blessed with a gorgeous and unseasonably warm forecast...
...an Executive level room at the historic Palmer House, circa 1875...
... and sought-after tickets to Hamilton ...
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 ... it truly was a weekend to remember!  Yes, Hamilton lives up to the hype.  It was incredible.

We enjoyed the sights under blue sunny skies...
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Shared a number of memorable meals...

Soaked in the historic architecture...

 ... and shared many lazy hours at the museums...
 Steve certainly knows how to make a girl feel appreciated and loved, not just this weekend but every single day.  I am so fortunate. 🎔

While the entire weekend was perfection, one of the highlights for me was an afternoon in Oak Park...
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If you have read my blog for awhile, you know my love for historic homes and my affinity towards local real estate when I travel. That being said, however, I have a pronounced connection with Frank Lloyd Wright homes and always have.  The fact is, I am the daughter of two FLW aficionados. I grew up touring his properties and enjoying books of his work, which sat on the coffee table of my childhood home.

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867-1959, was the ultimate trailblazer in American architecture.  I have toured HUNDREDS of late 19th century homes over 15+ years as a Realtor and none of them aesthetically compare to a FLW home. His design was way before its time-  clean, seamless, practical, thought out, and purposeful.  I highly recommend reading "Loving Frank" for a closer peek into the his life and work. Entertaining read about a very complicated yet brilliant man.

Personally, I have always been drawn to the symmetry, simplicity, utility (genius built-ins), and organic nature of his design. Wright strived to have the interior and exterior of a home interact with one another to create a harmony of space and nature, achieved by the use of angles and intricate stained glass.  The end result? Clean and bold geometric design drenched in painted natural light.  Truly glorious!

Per the video above, the property in Oak Park is significant as it is the VERY first home that he built and is essentially where his career began .  While the property is not as pristine and original as many of the other FLW homes I have toured, it is no less important.  In fact, Steve and I found it interesting that MANY of the features of this home are key elements in most of the FLW designs to follow, like the signature fireplace nook.

This property uniquely offers a $5 press pass, allowing me to share photos with my blog.   Um, yes please.  Without further ado, here is teeny peek inside the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio through my eyes, friends.

The residential home:

The attached work studio:

There are many spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicago area.  I highly recommend touring one (or more) the next time that you are in the area!  Regardless, I had to share.

Thank you for a wonderful getaway, Chicago...

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Happy Anniversary and THANK you for the weekend of a lifetime, Steve!
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Name those blooms- Identify The Most Common Midwest Spring Flowering Trees & Shrubs

While it seemed like it would never arrive, Spring has definitely sprung in St. Louis! Colorful blooms abound in the city, leaving me SO inspired to spend time in my yard during this time of the year.  Our city is in FULL BLOOM- just lovely!

Steve and I have one general rule when it comes to trees in our yard: we never cut one down without replacing it.  It not only maintains our curb appeal, but also our utility bills and privacy.  Unfortunately, as we live in a 47 year old house, we have had to do a lot of cutting of our property's original plantings over the last 14 years.  Currently, we have 2 trees that have reached the end of the road, including our gorgeous front yard redbud.  It saddens me, as the tree provides amazing color every April.  In addition, it has been the boys' favorite climbing tree over the years and acts as home to my songbird feeder... 

My babies back in 2010- so little. 🙁

The plan is, of course, to replace it with another Spring-flowering tree so I have been on the lookout!  As I venture the city for work, I pay extra close attention to the Spring blooms to make the decision easier.

In fact, Spring is the IDEAL time to identify trees in the Midwest, as most ornamental trees are in full show-stopping bloom!  Curious of the identity of the glorious blooms that you currently see around town?  This guide will help!


Bradford Pear Tree

Red Bud Tree

 Crabapple Tree

White Dogwood Tree

Pink Dogwood Tree 

 Weeping Cherry Tree


Lilac Bush 

Ornamental or Japanese Cherry Tree 

Snowball Bush aka Viburnum 

Pink Magnolia