Nine and Sixteen is my journal, chronically my life as a wife and mother of two boys, living in a small, charming, Midwestern town built in the 1920's.  It is my hope to create a classic, cozy and happy home for my family.  For me, a beautiful "home" encompasses more than pretty fabrics and antiques, it is about the memories made, the every day moments shared, the smell of something delicious baking in the kitchen and the traditions created through life's celebrations.  It's about simple things made more beautiful by pausing long enough to enjoy them.

I grew up most of my life in Ohio (though I was born in Belgium and raised by two European parents) and went to college at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!).  There I studied nutrition and psychology.  I went on to become a registered dietitian after interning at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.  However, I ended up taking a position in sales and marketing with the pharmaceutical division of Procter & Gamble, and spent 12 years building a career in the marketing and brand management world.   Living in Boston solidified my love of New England and remains the source of much of my decorating inspiration - funny how that works, I was there to study clinical nutrition and I spent all my time day dreaming about how I would decorate my future shingled seaside home. Ha.  We return to coastal Massachusetts every summer as a family, keeping a piece of our heart still firmly planted in New England.    

When baby number two arrived (Hi, Charlie!) I stopped working to stay at home.  And while I never missed the corporate grind, I did miss the way it challenged me creatively.  Blogging turned out to be a way to get a little of that back.  A way to share a little of my life and connect with other, like minded women, to be inspired and have the chance to inspire others.  After almost 5 years of blogging, I am most grateful for the way it has allowed me to reflect on and appreciate the life we are living. 

I know it goes without saying, but blogs (including mine) share just a sliver of life.  It's not the full and complete picture.  It is the way I choose to remember us, our home, and my cooking at their best.  You know the quote about not comparing someone else's highlight reel with your behind the scenes footage, well, it's true.  We are all human and imperfect and the same goes with our lives and homes.  
I want this to be a place that celebrates the good things in life.

I recently expanded from just blogging to providing decorating consultations, on a very part time basis. You can read all about that here if you are interested.


ps. Nine and Sixteen are my lucky numbers... My husband's birthday, our wedding anniversary and the birth of our 2 children all happened on either the 9th or 16th day of a month (June, May, August + October).  Oh, and we were both 16 years old when we started dating.... 


  1. I know Andrew. He is my friend. By the way, this is Andrew Getchey

  2. Have you ever baked your cookies and then frozen then until you we're ready to decorate/gift them? Do they taste just as good after they have been frozen?

  3. Hello!
    Your blog is excellent. I am a fellow blogger passionate about writing articles on kitchens, cooking and gadgets and I was wondering if you would be interested in having me guest blog on your website. I will make sure to prepare a high quality article which will be a great fit for your blog that your readers will definitively enjoy.
    Please let me know if you're interested.
    Thank you,
    Alexandra Keats

  4. Dear Tessa,

    I’m reaching out from Country Living, where I work on food, lifestyle, and crafts for our daily website. We just wanted to let you know that we featured your Christmas Card Garland (in your Christmas feature) in a slideshow of our favorite ways to showcase Christmas cards. We spotlighted one image from your blog and, of course, linked back to your post for a full tutorial and more details.

    Our readers are really enjoying it, and we are excited to show support for your blog and hopefully send traffic your way. Our story featuring your site may also be featured on our sister sites such as GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com and others, which will mean even more exposure for you.

    You can check it out here: http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/g2786/christmas-card-display-ideas/

    Definitely keep us in the loop about other projects you have coming up. We always love to feature more fun ideas from creative blogs like yours! Feel free to email us at clideas@hearst.com

    Thank you,

  5. Love your blog, what a nice family!!