Guest Picks: Pretty Cake Stands

What is it about cake stands that I find so irresistible? Innately fairly, filled with whimsy, they’re perhaps not the most practical item in your own kitchen, but you do not buy a cake stand for practicality. Cake stands are intended to be frivolous and enjoyable, and they certainly know how to gussy up a sandwich.
— Stephanie from Lick My Spoon


Rustic Wood Cake Stand by Roxy Heart Vintage – $45

Time to go back to nature. I am in love with this rustic”tree slit” cake stand. The manufacturer will also hand-carve and burn off any personal message, initials or dates on the stand.

West Elm

Beehive Cake Stand – $39

I love this beehive lid. It looks like something straight out of Winnie the Pooh.


Woodland Keepers Cake Stand by Patina Vie – $58

What a shabby chic find. It’s a vintage, distressed wood appearance with a touch of gold, which soda of robin’s egg whites is simply lovely.

Modern Serveware – $70

Tea party, anyone? Using upside-down tea cups as the pedestals is an example of great detailing.


5-Tiered Cake Stand in Pink Flowers by Elves n Elements – GBP 150.88

Pretty in pink, this petal-colored, five-tiered, flower-inspired stand could be just the thing to flaunt several cupcakes or sugar cookies.


Eyelet Cake Plates with Ribbons by Jeanette Zeis Ceramics – $330

This tiered stand reminds me of ribbon and lace. Pretty and sweet, it’s the typical prerequisites for a good cake stand.


Janice Minor Cake Stand – $480

This cake stand belongs in a fairy story. I really like the way the twig stand is natural and delicate looking, drawing the eye directly to the yummy cake prize below the glass dome.

Farmhouse Wares

Enamel Cake Stands – $24.95

Vintage white scalloped edges make this miniature cake stand one of my favorites.

Cordelia Dumpling

Small Beaded Edge Cake Stand With Domed Lid – GBP 27

This is a little miniature man. It is just the thing to dress up some mignardises or snacks. The beaded edge is simply adorable.


Petite Treat Mini Pedestal – $14

These pastel, ceramic miniature pedestals make a darling demonstration for cupcakes or alternative doll-size treats.


Milk Glass Cake Stand by The Roche Studio – $110

With its romantic, classic milk glass with hobnail detail and ruffle edging, this is like everything I really like all in one!


Julia Knight Peony Cake Stand – $99

These cake stands have beautifully scalloped edging and are hand-painted using a mix of enamel infused with crushed mother of pearl. I really like the combination of colors too; they’re fresh, modern and feminine, but not overly frilly.


Noir Pedestal Stand – $59

Noir. Sleek. Chic.


Shannon Cake Plate by Delightfully Lovely – $34

These yellow baubles are overly enjoyable.


Kristin Cupcake Tree by Delightfully Lovely – $50

I’ve been on a huge lime green kick lately. This vibrant color would look great against some vanilla buttercream–frosted goodies. I also dig out the playful garland design on this.

Farmhouse Wares

Galvanized Tin Pedestal – $32.99

This galvanized tin base brings a kind of rustic, farmhouse texture to the table. I know this ideabook is all about cake stands, but I’d just as easily slap a cherry pie with this baby.

Fancy Flours

Iron Tree Stand for Cupcakes, 2-Tier – $160

A whimsical tree dessert stand is just what I want. Obviously.

Fancy Flours

Jeweled Vintage French White Cake Stands – $150

Um yes, I’d enjoy my fancy cake stands dripping with stones, please. Merci beaucoup.


Etagere 3 Tiers of Chintz Cake Stand by Sip & Savor – $125

If you were trying to find a reason to throw a backyard party or host large tea with the ladies, this is it. When not in use for delicate yummy bites, I’d use this to hold my jewelry.


Cable Cupcake Stand – $34.95

This is a versatile serving piece for sweets, hors d’oeuvres or even fruit. The elegant wirework reminds me of doilies. I enjoy this.

Next: You are Invited to High Tea

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7 Pro Lighting Tips for Budding Home Photographers

It’s simple to decide on a camera to car mode and let it do everything for you nowadays. Frequently the photos seem pretty great. However, the difference between creating average photographs and a few of the best interior and architectural graphics comes from becoming more intentional.

While spontaneous photos can be whimsical and beautiful, photographing interiors takes more control over the lighting. Picking out the proper time of day, fill-in Photoshop or light touches can help create the best photo.

Professional photographers develop a style and look to their lighting, which can be very subjective and change with time. Many inside photographers now go to get a more conventional, soft feeling into the lighting. The view outside any windows is bright and a little blurry, which helps the viewer focus more on the inside.

Whether you are shooting on the move with your telephone or using professional equipment, below are a few lighting advice that could take your photos from average to amazing.

Amy Lau Design

1. Soften the lighting. Cameras are essentially light recorders, however the range of what you are able to see and what a camera could see (or record) differs. The tonal selection of light areas and dark regions needs to be less intense, fitter and balanced than that which we could see for the photograph to be properly exposed with today’s cameras.

In this photo the photographer additional side lights around the left and right to provide dimension to the chairs and balance the lighting levels.

Butler Armsden Architects

2. Utilize all lighting. If you are a nonprofessional, try using only natural light first. On-camera flashes often light things up near the camera too much and do not offer enough lighting in the background.

The north-facing window in this photograph provided the most of the light, although I did add some fill light into the foreground.

LLC & Sons, Ellen Grasso

3. Plan your take time. If you can plan your take at the early morning or late day, when the tonal range is smaller, the need for additional lighting declines. The sunlight is not as direct at those occasions and will filter in through windows to create organic shadows that add life into a photograph.

Avoid shooting right into sunlight, too — it is better for sunlight or daylight to come in the side. And research how fixing the drapes can control the lighting.

Alexander James Interiors

4. Maintain the light consistent. Certain spaces also need various kinds of light to minimize color distortion. Ideally, all the light types from the area should be the same. It’s often necessary to utilize fill lights using a flash that is separate from the camera to diffuse light through a space.

This photograph has a great deal of fill light to match the light level inside with the light level outside.

Koo de Kir

5. Change the lighting with various bulbs. Artificial fluorescent lighting have a tendency to create a cooler feel, providing a space a blue-green cast. Turn off these lights when you can. Tungsten lights produce a warmer feel, like the light a candle would exude. Now the tendency is to turn off tungsten lights and have a brighter feel with natural lighting.

This photograph has all daylight coming from the windows and bouncing back into the space off the wall out of the frame on the right side.

6. Maintain the specifics sharp. Most architects and designers need the details of a space to be in focus. Attempt to keep your f-stop at f/16 or greater when shooting interiors.

The f-stop lets you know how big the aperture (opening) the lens is using to select the picture. The f-stop number is somewhat counterintuitive; the bigger the number, the more light will come through the lens. But using a bigger aperture, less area in the photograph will be in focus, which means you ought to find the appropriate balance.

Heydt Designs

7. Utilize a tripod. Placing your camera onto a tripod is able to help you utilize a more exposure whenever you are using a small aperture and prevent blurry images. The target is to stay away from deep shadows and decrease blown-out (overexposed) regions where there’s too much light.

This photograph had an exposure that has been four seconds long, and the camera was on a tripod.

Inform us : What lighting tips and tricks have you heard?

Get additional guides on how to photograph Your Home

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Splashy Colors Spark a Contemporary Guesthouse

This play- and – guesthouse in Arizona works difficult for the entire family. It’s a space where children run around at full throttle, where their parents frequently amuse and where guests sleeping on weekends. “The entire family needed a space that felt fuss free, fun and totally accessible to people of all ages,” says designer Valerie Borden. However, before she could proceed with the last design, she desired the family to trust her instincts when it came into her color options for the 600-square-foot space.

“Many people feel they’ll soon tire of solid colours or strong colors affect the resale value of a house. According to my experience, this could not be farther from the truth. After seeing how the strong colours made the house feel more inviting in addition to helping it stand out from the rest of the package, my clients embraced the solid colours of the space and could not be happier with our choices,” says Borden.

in a Glance
Who performs here: A couple, their 3 children and sleepover guests
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Size: 600 square feet

Chimera Interior Design

The play- and guesthouse includes bath, kitchenette, dining space, a TV area and loft. Walls, cabinetry and furnishings in white and light gray provide a neutral foundation for bright, colorful splashes and patterns.

“We went with a palette of teal, orange and lime green, which the clients feel really uplifted the distance. You feel this jolt of energy once you input,” says Borden.

Dining table: custom, Chimera Interior Design; chairs:

Chimera Interior Design

Borden maximized the distance by placing the sleeping loft directly over the toilet and closet (marked with the orange window doors). “This is a new structure, so we designed the space to match their needs entirely,” she states.

The loft is 5 feet wide by 24 feet long. Three sleeping mats fill it, together with a shaggy rug, lots of cushions and reading lights. “It was actually the customer who had the idea to produce the loft, in addition to the fire pole,” says Borden.

Interior paint: Cool December, Dunn Edwards; cabinets: Ikea; sectional: client’s own

Chimera Interior Design

A Kaiser Tile backsplash and a light fixture which casts geometric shadows on the ceiling add visual interest into the kitchen. A concrete counter tops and Ikea cabinets stand up to the wear and tear of both kids and guests. The upper cabinet on the left hides a microwave.

Chimera Interior Design

The layout of the bathroom inspired. “We knew we wanted a psychedelic effect for this little space,” says Borden, who spent hours on hours sourcing the perfect treatment for those walls. “We originally discussed a tiled wall, but it would’ve killed our funding. This wallpaper adds so much drama to the distance without crippling our funding.”

Chimera Interior Design

An Ikea dressing table and mirror, and wall sconces found at the clearance aisle of Lamps Plus, play a supportive role into the high drama of the wallpaper while giving the distance a clean, modern feel.

Chimera Interior Design

Semifrosted glass connects the shower into the outdoor place. Orange and white tiles out of Sicis provide this pool shower a beautiful sheen.

Chimera Interior Design

The designer cut down costs and gave the children ownership of the space with them paint the artwork in the markets using the teal, orange and green color palette. “They shot a few classes at a local art studio and voilà — our Pollock-inspired masterpieces came into existence,” says Borden.

Chimera Interior Design

A peacock feather pattern plays up cushions and a rug from International Views. “My customer absolutely loves peacocks and literally jumped for joy when I discovered them,” the designer says.

The orange doors behind the sofa and dining table open into an adjoining garage workshop, in which the clients work on creative projects.

Chimera Interior Design

Borden used diamond plate on the door’s workshop side, making cleanup easier when the clients get cluttered in their creative space.

“We are working on the rest of this Southwest modern house’s redesign. We are transitioning outside the Southwest and leaning more modern,” says Borden.

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Bring Home Buyers Easily With Great Photography

One of the most effective tools you have when marketing your home for sale is amazing listing photography. No matter how fabulous your house is, it won’t sell if the listing photos don’t do their job. Your photos should be bright, light and welcoming so potential buyers jump ahead and schedule a showing. Below are some simple ways to get the most out of those incredibly important home photos.

Brian Watford Interiors

From the listing, include only photos of your most attractive rooms. Include the description and dimensions of the other chambers in the house, but you’re not doing yourself any favors from adding poor photos or staged rooms. Lure potential customers in with lovely spaces; don’t show them anything that may stop them from scheduling a showing.

Grainda Builders, Inc..

Your photos should concentrate on the architecture of the home rather than the decor. The shot taken of this living area captures both the architecture (the paneled fireplace and the bookcases) and the view from the big windows. The sailboat over the mantel brings buyers’ eyes into the focal point of the room — the fireplace. When I had been gearing this room for property photography, the one thing I would add here could be some cushions in on-trend colours and patterns to make the conversation place more welcoming.

Architects, Webber + Studio

Taking photos from the far corners of chambers and low to the ground gets more flooring to the photograph. The more flooring you see, the bigger the room will appear. Removing all rugs from a distance adds square footage — at least in a buyer’s mind. Unbroken floor area makes any room appear bigger, and square footage is king.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Take photos at one time of day when you have the best natural lighting in the main rooms of the home, like the living area, the kitchen and the master bedroom. Ensure you open every window covering as well as doors to allow more light in. Don’t use a flash if you don’t have to — it’ll distort colours and appear unpleasant.

Jennifer Bevan Interiors

Although most interior photos in magazines are taken with all the lights off, it is typically best to turn all lights for record photos. Meaning every overhead, kettle lamp and light in the room. Those stains of light draw your attention to every corner of the distance, so a purchaser may linger somewhat more on the photograph.

Abbott Moon

Light a fire in the fireplace to create a sense of closeness and hominess. Notice how light is streaming in from the left side of the room? As I mentioned earlier, be sure to open all the windows and doors to allow in lighting so a comfy room like this will not appear dark. For a record photograph, I would also remove the carpet to make the room appear bigger.

BraytonHughes Design Studios

Think about taking a few unconventional photos rather than just the old shoot-from-the-entry standards. Open the French doors, throw open a window or move the chairs out from the dining table to make a photograph that entices and catches the imagination of a prospective buyer.

Taste Design Inc

It is pretty standard to have a photo from the front door to the entrance, right? But try taking a shot of the entrance from the inside toward the front door and open the door, as in this photo. It is much more interesting and may be a better vantage point.

I would really like to hear your own tips for creating great photos for property listings. How can you take photos when selling your home? What is your opinion on the usage of a fish-eye lens for this kind of photography?

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1960s Ranch Redo at Denver

At first, a sister and brother couldn’t envision how to upgrade their inherited childhood home. However, by the time that this whole-house renovation was complete, they understood they needed to sell it to prevent a feud over who got to reside there.

The house sat in a fantastic location with a big, lovely backyard but the siblings’ attempts to receive it sale ready (new paint, new carpeting) were insufficient. “If you strike the proper areas and work creatively within a budget, frequently you can double your investment,” says designer and general contractor Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform, an architecture and construction company. In this case, the house was worth $240,000 before the renovations, the renovations totaled between $70,000-$80,000, and the house sold for $370,000.

in a Glance:
Who lives here: New owners. During the renovations, the house was owned by a sister and brother who inherited their childhood home from their parents and wanted to make it ready to sell.
Location: Southeast of downtown Denver, Colorado, in the Bible Park neighborhood
Size: 2,639 square feet; five bedrooms; three baths
Scope of this job: Complete house, such as gutting the kitchen and baths, including hardwood flooring, opening the floor plan, decorative changes to all the bedrooms and changing a cellar workshop to a rec room.
Year Built: 1967

Design Platform

“The house had a whole lot of nasty maroon and green onto the facade,” says DiCaprio. “We needed to work together with all the brown roof and gold brown brick, so we went with an easy black and white palette.” The architects also included a bright orange doorway to grab attention, and also added the decorative cement border to expand the very narrow driveway.

Before Photo

BEFORE: Indoors, a entrance cupboard cut the living space away from the dining room, creating chopped-up, dark spaces.

Design Platform

AFTER: The painters removed the cupboard, moved the kitchen in the former dining room space and added a massive beam. Now natural light spreads from one side of the house to another.

Design Platform

The designers stored money in the kitchen intestine renovation using black Ikea cabinets and then adding custom details. “Ikea cabinets are great quality and they cost about a third of the purchase price of custom or semicustom cabinets,” says DiCaprio. “While you can’t refinish them you may just replace the fronts should you ever need a change.” They swapped in higher-end modern Sugatsune handles and pulls.

The wall-mounted cabinet to the best of this stove can be from Ikea. “It is shallower than a standard cabinet, so it does not affect the window,” says DiCaprio. The backsplash works up into the base of the cabinet, reflecting the light.

Glazed ceramic tile in architectural grey: Daltile

Design Platform

The designers dressed the cabinets by adding rift white oak details, wrap the ends of the pantry, cabinets and island in the timber, in addition to creating a custom rift white oak refrigerator surround.

Before Photo

BEFORE: This earlier shot was taken at approximately the exact same angle as the previous picture. The former dining room was transformed into a part of the spacious kitchen. Look to the far left and you will see the fireplace shown in the next picture.

Before Photo

BEFORE: DiCaprio moved the dining room in order to make the most of this fireplace — well, this fireplace using a really dramatic makeover, since this one is not very appetizing.

Design Platform

AFTER: The brand new dining room takes advantage of this previously obsolete fireplace, which failed a significant facelift.

Design Platform

“We covered the instant present encircle in black grill paint that is fire-resistant,” says DiCaprio. “We then covered the facade in El Dorado stone, which is a veneer. We finished it by trimming out it in rift white oak, which we also used in the kitchen.

“We also used 4-inch rift white oak on the flooring,” he adds. “Oak is a frequent ranch aspect, but generally red oak. We chose rift white oak to freshen up things; it casts more brown tones instead of the typical ranch red.”

Design Platform

DiCaprio knocked down more walls and created an open floor plan. The dining room and kitchen open to one another, which divides up everything and allows the person cooking trip with relatives and guests.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The guest bath and its own salmon-colored countertop were, quite frankly, depressing. “I don’t know why the majority of these ranches have these built in soffits using all the awful lights,” says DiCaprio. The room had a grim tub, which he was able to reglaze and keep for only $300. “It might have cost at least $800 to replace the bathtub with a poor quality fiberglass bathtub,” he states.

Design Platform

AFTER: “By incorporating subway tile from floor to ceiling, we brightened up the space,” says DiCaprio. The dressing table is from Ikea; DiCaprio splurged on the custom-built medicine cabinet.

Before Photo

BEFORE: From the master bath, this shower/commode configuration was less than perfect.

Design Platform

AFTER: DiCaprio made a tiny space from another room to enlarge this bathroom. This allowed for a lengthy, curbless open shower which does not require a shower door. Using glass leaves the room look much bigger.

Hint: Placing the faucet handle away from the showerhead, as you see here, makes it effortless to switch it on without getting blasted by cold water.

“It is funny, we get some jobs where the sky is the limit in terms of budget, but somehow functioning within a budget can ignite more creativity,” says DiCaprio.

Rejuvenated Ranch
Cozy and Family-Friendly Space

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Architect or Zombie?

Allow me to be clear. I’m not saying that architects would be the living dead. That would be absurd. Of course architects are not zombies. That would be like saying that Abraham Lincoln was a tall dark, vampire slayer, which he totally was.

I mean, architects do not ramble aimlessly toward a city, in loosely shaped packs, mumbling incoherently, waving their arms around. They are not gradually reanimating and reimagining kinds and thoughts from long-dead architects and designers. No, no. Architects are not darkly clad, pale visages of incomprehensible rage. Ennui possibly, but not rage. Architects do not timber — although allowed, houses are typically constructed of timber.

And architects do look like they never sleep, plus they are pale and weary and angsty and odor oddly of arabica beans and disappointment. But do they intend to feast on our collective intellectual shortcomings to nourish their persistent hunger for knowledge and brains?!

I’ll be in the corner of the basement holding a baseball bat for those who need me.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Why are they all holding out their arms and chanting,”Mies. Mieeeeees! MMMMIIIIEEEEEESSS!!!!” ?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

They simply keep moaning”expire -ametrically” and”expire -chotomy” and”expire -dactic.” What are they trying to convey?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Seriously, it’s almost obvious. You really ought to get some sunlight. Unless you are actually a vampire, in which case we need Abraham Lincoln, and he is dead, so we actually need to reanimate him — but he had been a lawyer, not an architect, so we’re screwed. Where was Thomas Jefferson buried again? Get the truck and a shovel.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Catch the T-square. It’s the most deadly tool.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

It smells like French roast and unemployment in here.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

The finish is near. Really? A tie?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Well, obviously. I believe shopping malls are designed by engineers.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Aw, that’s sweet, actually. Aim for the head.

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Flash Cards for Architectural Terms

Architects speak their own specialized language, one laced with obfuscation and intrigue. Most of us learned an extensive vocabulary specific to our profession during our years in designing school. Our professors gleefully instructed us to “envision the inherent tension” created from the “diametrically opposed” forms within the “balanced compositional elements encoded” within our “conceptual configuration.”

We are extremely pleased with our language, and today, as we talk with our clients, our speech is sprinkled with this language. Our clients tend to stare at us blankly as we speak, with a mix of envy and disgust in their eyes (mainly disgust).

Certainly we must find a better way to convey. So, as an attempt to clarify things, I’ve come up with a couple of simple flash cards for a few of the more prevalent architectural conditions. It is wise to examine these for a couple of hours a day. That way you’ll understand what I am speaking about.

And perhaps you’ll quit staring at me like that.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Fundamentally, agoras were the fries of early Rome, but they didn’t serve pizza at the food court. Otherwise, the same.

Agora (actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Welcome to the Church of the Holy Desiccant. Now you should probably step away from me, in case of lightning.

Basilica (actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Fenestration doesn’t apply only to windows; it is the disposition of the openings on the facade. I just blew your mind, didn’t I?

Fenestration (actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Hierarchy (actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture

I really just needed to use the word “festooning.” Try it. It’s fun.

Ornament (actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

or here
or here

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

You are at a prominent place — check.
You are tooting your own horn check.

Scale (as near as I could find to the actual definition)

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Who doesn’t love an architectural pun? … Please don’t answer that.

Symmetry (actual definition)

More by Coffee with an Architect:
Find Your Architectural Design
Great Architecture Speaks to Us

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Place a Bird on It!

Portlandia‘s now-classic skit of both Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversmith placing birds on matters pokes fun in the ubiquity of birds in décor (“what a miserable small tote bag… I know, I will put a bird on it!”) . However, admits Carrie Brownstein, the actress who plays Lisa,”I still buy stuff with birds on it. It’s too hard to not!”

It’s true. Make fun of just how blessed these fine-feathered buddies are all you want, but they still make amazing additions to décor. As you tune into tonight’s premiere of Season 2, see for yourself where you are able to put birds on things in your home.

(In case you missed out on the joke last year, visit the first skit here.)

Crisp Architects

Set a bird on a branch. This metal sculpture of branches and birds sets the tone with this classic casual room.

Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

Set a bird onto a shelf. This specific bird was made famous by Charles and Ray Eames, and also you may purchase one of your own.

Vendome Press

Set a bird onto the wall. These classic nature renderings have enduring charm.

Watch more natural curiosities in décor

Sara Baldwin Design

Set a bird in the shower. These decals make a grownup toilet more fun for a toddler.

Supon Phornirunlit / Nude Decor

Set a bird within the toilet. Why? Why not?

Watch the rest of this home

Set a bird onto the background. Some of the very best large scale backgrounds that have come out in the last couple of years feature all types of birds, from cute little chickadees to more foreboding crows.

Applegate Tran Interiors

Place a bird in a swarm. There is a contemporary Hitchcockian vibe into this room that is somewhat unsettling, and that is what makes it interesting.

The Virginia House

Set a bird within the crib. Hearing about how clever blogger and homeowner Jillian Woods crafted this wonderful cellphone for about four bucks inspired many people.

Watch more of Jillian’s house and jobs

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Set a bird over the sofa. The powerful silhouette of this bird makes this painting a modern focal point in this room.

Watch the rest of this home


Set a bird on a wire, and then put it on your armoire. These cabinets have a quirky custom made look thanks to a simple decal program.

Watch more decals in action

Set a bird onto a desk. I admit it — this bird is in my own family’s house in Maine.

Watch the rest of this home

CWB Architects

Set a bird onto the mantle. Better yet, put two birds onto the mantle.

Tim Cuppett Architects

Set a bird onto a light fixture. OK, technically that should be”put some wings on several light bulbs,” but that just does not have the same ring to it. The birdy chandelier by Ingo Maurer is a contemporary classic that can inspire dialogue and glee.

An Ode to Owls Around the House
Reader Photos: A Holiday Table for your Birds
Cockadoodledoo! Roosters in the Kitchen

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