Looking back :: The Entertaining House's Humble Beginnings

I'm feeling nostalgic... A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks and so I find myself looking back - at memories, photographs and things. I was looking for a specific photograph that I thought was buried someplace in this blog. It was a photograph of the home we just sold. I never came across the picture, but I did come across my very first blog entry on June 20th, 7 years ago. I read it and smiled. The Entertaining House has come a long way and has morphed into something very different. But I like my attitude and my snarkiness and reliving some of those good ol' days has been a good thing. Boy my kids were little... and pretty cute back then too! ;)

The blog, back then, was called Our Crazy Crowded Home... because it was crazy and it was crowded and we were in the midst of selling it and about to move into the "new" home - The "new" home was the house we sold last week. After the move, and because our home was so much larger, I thought I needed a new name... it was my friend Lorraine who came up with The Entertaining House. And, well, as they say, the rest is history.

The following post was my very first.

"Nothing to Do."

Meet the youngest members of our crazy crowded home

I have nothing to do... nothing whatsoever to do, so I thought I would kill a little time and start my own blog. Why not, everyone's doing it, right? I have no laudry to sort, wash, fold and put away? I have no kids who need and deserve my attention? I have no house I am desperately trying to put on the market? Nope not me -- I have nothing to do!

My cute little button nose (ok crooked and not so little) will magically twinkle and everything in this crazy crowded house will miraculously fall into place!

Instead of actually getting things done I will sit and wish they were done. I will watch my 21 month old son sleep soundly on the couch next to me. This is the (THE) only place he will nap so therefore the world around us must stop so he can get his much needed nap and I can get my much needed break. My two other children have been banished. My 8 year old daughter is in the (gasp) living room watching (gasp) TV... Well, it's not all that bad... she's listening to Radio Disney on TV and dancing. So yes, technically the TV is baby sitting, but she is up and dancing and not sitting and being a couch potato. So all's not completely lost. Now my other son, 6, is upstairs and he probably is being a couch potato and he is probably (gasp) lying on my bed watching some stupid cartoon and most likely he has not taken off his pajamas as I have asked him to do... many times!

It's Wednesday and my older two are on summer vacation. (Why they are calling this a vacation is beyond me. Maybe because it makes me, more than ever, want to vacate the premises!) It's raining and I am delighted. I had promised them we'd go to the beach today, but I am just too lazy and now I do not have to disappoint them nor do I have to go to all the effort that going to the beach with three kids entails. I got off the hook today... wahoo! Instead I shall pay the price with constant bickering and bantering over toys and who gets what and where and when.... Ugh, don't get me started on those danmed things called toys...

My lovely husband and I bought this house before we had any children. It was a charming New England Colonial with a little fence and 4 BR so we could plan for kids and entertain guests for overnight, or longer. Nine years later the antiques have found a new home in the attic and these brightly colored plastic items of all shapes and sizes have invaded our turf! We have been taken over by toys. Our family room used to be a haven of sorts -- big comfy couches, a large wide screen television set, a nice stereo system ... what else could you ask for? The couches are no longer comfy or cozy or overstuffed. To our chagrin they have become bouncy castles, playgrounds and trampolines. Ah yes, the children are so imaginative and their creativity will get them far in life... my ass... my children are disruptive noisy beasts, albeit cute disruptive, noisy beasts. My hi def TV is not for viewing movies, it's been taken over by Sponges and Dinosaurs and red muppets and egads, Bob Saget. Yes, that's right... my older two have recently discovered the tall skinny geek I had hoped to leave behind with my paisley prints, shoulder pads and stirrup pants. How many episodes of Full House will I have to endure? None without a nice alcoholic beverage in hand!

So here we are all cooped up in my crazy crowded lounge. I have a 2200 sq ft house and they all want to be in here, on top of me 24/7... add Bob Saget to that and now I am really desperate to move!

My dreamhouse would have a secret, hidden room with four padded walls.... I will, if I must, settle for a finished basement where Mr. Saget and the kids can play, scream, shout, jump, run, kick and bite and never ever pick up their toys!

What have you hidden in your closet?

(I don't really have him in my closet... though I wouldn't mind!
Picture borrowed from A Restless Transplant)

We (my mother!) recently cleaned out my bedroom closet since the boys now share that room. I had years and years of crap, er stuff, jammed in there. Mother did the best she could to keep what she thought I would want and not miss. Many items she had to toss as they had grown mildew (ew!) over the years. (A very common occurance in older Newport homes.) Since my parents moved to this house from Manhattan when I was already in college anything from my youngers years had already been tossed, donated or packaged up and preserved for my children. To this day I am still devastated over the loss of my entire Judy Blume collection as well as my dog-eared, very much loved copy of The Official Preppy Handbook. I mean, how could she?!! That book was my bible. I lived, ated and breathed it. (Of course I had no idea at the time that it was a total mockery, meant to be taken with a sense of humor and not literally. But that's Okay, to this day I am fabulous at poking fun of myself!)

After the big move she left my closet alone, save for those times she sent the housekeeper up to vacuum out the cobwebs and occasional potato bug!

But still, she had a big job on her hands... she recovered and moved many items that I had such fun sifting through.

Does anyone remember the big Bennetton fads of the 80s?! I found a half dozen Bennetton scarves in all different colors. I'll be bringing them back with me this winter! There were also a few Bennetton sweaters in various pastel colors. Too bad they now have moth holes, those sweaters were classic and preppy... perhaps I'll bring them to the tailor and see if they can somehow be repaired.

I came across Pappagallo headbands and shoes in terrible condition. Does anyone remember Pappagallo? How I loved my Pappagallo shoes... the white piping... like Belgian loafers but less expensive. According to the The New York Times Styles it was a sad day when Pappagallo died.
(Click on the above link for a great fashion/preppy attire article circa 2000)

I also came across these! (Nothing but LLBean my dear friends... and with all and utmost respect to the Fabulous Ms. Burch, there is nothing so classic as the Original gum shoe!)

I also came across these

and these... (albeit neither pair was in good condition)

that were worn daily with my uniform, this

which I wore with this even though I wasn't supposed to... because we were only allowed to wear solid color shetlands, navy, green, yellow, white... and when caught wearing these we would be forced to remove them and toss them in our lockers. (I was quite the rebel in my day.)

I loved this sweater and wore it well into my college years. Isn't it so sad that LLBean no longer makes them? I mean, this was the ultimate preppy sweater of the 80s! But I have news for you! I did a little research and learned that this sweater will be available again in 2010... well, that's practically around the corner!

I don't even think Fair Isle Sweaters were permissible as they were not "of solid color" but I am pretty sure I tried to wear those too!

I also came across letters... oodles and oodles of them, from friends and boyfriends. (Old boyfriends, Daddy! I have none other than you ... for the moment! LOL) What fun it was to read all those and read my old adress books too!

Most fun were all the pictures I came across... from my days at the Lycee Francais de New York, The Hewitt School, Camp Chateaugay and my brief two year stint at St. Mary's School in Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK (which inspired my This Shandy is Dandy Post over at The Entertaining Kitchen)...

What a fun time capsule my closet had become!