Mabel’s House Re-Post: New Plates

*originally posted May 2011

Vintage plates for $5 that I have absolutely no use for?

Yes please.


Mabel’s House Re-Post: Presto Chango

*originally posted December 2010

For the last year I’ve passed by these black bookshelves and those recovered lampshades and thought, “Eh. I really hate those. Why did I do that?”

The black bookshelves remind me of a dorm room. Plain and simple. I see them work in other people’s houses. They look chic and pulled together. But not in my living room. In my living room they looked like a dormitory circa 1995 with The Cranberries playing softly in the background while someone tucks their shirt into highwater pants. Because let’s face it. In 1995 we all had highwater pants.

The lampshades are vintage and I recovered them in burlap. It was my attempt at being crafty. But when I flick the switch they illuminate this awful, orange glow reminiscent of a dorm room circa 1978 with Tammy Wynette singing softly in the background while someone sprays their giant bangs with Aquanet and makes plans to meet their boyfriend at the local pool hall. Obviously at a southern university.

And over the break I began to realize, “You are about to be a mother. A mother with doctors bills and daycare fees and cute outfits to buy. Soon there will be very little money or time or energy to change things. You’ll have to live with those shelves and lampshades FOREVER.” OK. Perhaps that’s a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

So we got new shelves and new lampshades.Consider it my last superfluous decorating hurrah. It was a cheap change, and one that I could kick myself for not having done sooner. The white bookshelves were cheap ($26 a piece from Target). The accessories are exactly the same. The shades were also from Target ($15 a piece).

What happened to those vintage spray painted turquoise lamps? Let’s just say in the midst of all this there was in incident with lamp harps and pliers, which resulted in a lot of glass and dead lamps. It’s a long and exhausting story not worth my telling or your reading. I may have tried to bribe my neighbor into play TAPS, because hello. Christmas. Broken lamps.


So the new white shades got new white lamps. They are also from Target and not on sale ($29.99 each). Every now and then you have to splurge, especially after you’ve said goodbye to beautiful, vintage, turquoise lamp bases that you loved with all your heart.

I’m so glad for this presto chango, especially since the long shadows of winter come so much earlier in the afternoon. It’s like someone turned on the sun in our living room. Even if it came at the expense of my aqua lamps. Bright lamps, no more dark book shelves. Just what the doctor ordered. Those Swedes with their white floors and white walls and white slip covered furniture might be onto something genius.

*The pillows are also from Target. And I have no idea why Mabel feels such a pressing need to be in every single house photo I take, but she does. So annoying, yet so endearing all at the same time.


Mabel’s House Re-Post: Bye Bye Belly Button

*originally posted December 2010


When I woke up yesterday morning my belly button was gone. Totally stretched flat. Evaporated. I felt a little abandoned. It was almost as if she’d said, “Sorry Liz. I’ll only go with you so far, but this is too much. Call me when you’re done being pregnant. Until then I’ll be vacationing in Jamaica.”


And to go with my no-belly-button-stomach-situation, I realized I had an overwhelming urge to eat tomatoes. Lots of them. Regular tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes. Fresh mozzarella. Balsamic vinegar.

So we made the trip to Whole Foods and brought these babies home.

Hello awesome tomatoes. Bye belly button. See you next April. Or not.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: A Christmas Post for Becca

*originally posted December 2010


This post is for my world traveling sister Rebecca. She’s in China.

Hi Becca.

Here is a picture of the bump/your niece.

Jane moves a lot. She’s very busy in there. Lots of things to do apparently.

Mabel says hi too.




I watched The Grinch the other day. When he said “Humphf, that’s it. I’m not going” I thought of you. And then I cried. And then I thought about Rachel’s wedding that you won’t be here for. I cried again. But don’t feel too guilty. I also cried yesterday because a movie I was watching was terrible, and instead of turning it off I just sat in the chair and cried.

Hormones stink.

Anyway. Come home soon.

Merry Christmas.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: Great Weekend

*originally posted November 2010


Why so great? Energy. Lots and lots of glorious, wonderful, sunshiney energy.

This weekend consisted of a haircut. A shopping trip to Wal-Mart. (By the way, Wal-Mart has a couple of big jar candles – Mulled Cider and Pine – that are $4 a piece AND smell just like Yankee Candles.)

I cleaned house a little. Played with Mabel. Helped throw a bridal shower. Hung out and watched tv while cuddling under blankets in the chilly house. We had to turn the heat on.

And the best part? I cleaned my office, which has of late become dumping ground for all things baby related.

Like I said. Glorious energy. Great weekend.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: A Real Book

*originally posted November 2010

My agent, Laurie Abkemeier, sold the book I wrote. I’m still reeling.

My sister Rachel summed it up when she said, “Liz, you’re going to have a REAL book.”

In honor of such a huge announcement I thought it appropriate to revisit the “Monkey Face” picture. Not because it’s related to the news. It’s just horrifyingly funny.

So what’s it about? The announcement went out yesterday and said this:

“Mabel’s House blogger Elizabeth Owen’s WHO STOLE MY GREEN GABLES? A Tale of Friendship and Faith — and Learning to Love What You Have, a humorous memoir about what happens when the quest for domestic perfection meets reality, and comedy meets tragedy in the form of a best friend with cancer, to Mary Norris at Skirt, at auction, by Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company (world English).”

Anyone that’s read my blog for the past few years knows about Angela. And yes, she’s a central part of this book. I wanted to write a book that would make you laugh. I wanted to write a book that would make her proud. I wanted to write about losing her in a way that would leave a reader smiling and feeling hopeful, not sad. I hope you’ll like it.

┬áSo that’s my news. I’ll keep you posted as the process gets started and let you know the release date (which will be at least a year). In the mean time, I’m going to search the house for my smelling salts. Or more realistically, pregnant-friendly Tylenol.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: Goodbye Flip Flops

*originally posted November 2010

Arkansas waited patiently for fall. It’s finally here. It rained all night. I slept like a log for nine hours. No leaky roof like last year.


This morning was dark and drippy and cold. I turned on the heat. It seemed like a good day for a dress and tights and boots. Although, I can barely see my boots.


It also seemed like a good morning for hot chocolate in my car. The ducks swam in the rain. Boat dock lights twinkled in the distance. Goodbye flip flops. Welcome fall.