Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the living room.......chapter 82.





I think I have figured out my problem {one of them at least}....
I love design, like really love it, love it all, love it too much.

It's hard to design a room in your own home when you like everything - 
vintage, modern, bohemian, eclectic, traditional, transitional, 
mid-century, color, neutrals, patterns, solids, brass, chrome, 
chippy painted, warm wood tones........you get me?



As you recall, I am NOT a stripper......thus the painted
desk pictured above.  I am very happy with how it turned out.

One of the main goals I have had for the design of our home's
sitting room is that it had to have a purpose beyond looking 
pretty.  So, I declared it to be a sitting room/office for momma.

The layout of the room dictated one wall for the placement of a desk.
I knew when I found this simple, smaller scale desk, that it
would be the perfect fit for the space.


I have actually made loads of progress on this room.....which has been 
'in progress' since moving in a year ago!  I have stressed about how to design
around the crazy damask sofa, how to add color....wanting it to have a eclectic, collected
look rather than a 'designed' look.  I took two Craigslist chairs to have them reupholstered today.
I also took a BIG leap and ordered a crazy bright fabric for my Louis chair -
doesn't Nate Berkus say you need to have one bold/unexpected chair in your room?
Well even if he didn't say any such thing, my living room is going to have
one bold/unexpected chair!



I am finally 'feeling' this room.

To Be Continued.......

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

I refuse to wait.....{plus a couple lucky girls!}

via Pinterest

The author of this quote, Stacy Risenmay and I could totally
be BFF's!  I could not agree with her more.

Just popping in to announce the winners of the Classic Prep Monograms giveaway.
I am fighting a nasty cold and it is totally slowing my spring cleaning progress - ugh!

The winners of the $50 credit towards their Classic Prep Monograms
purchase are:

Lisa who said:
Jill,
What a great giveaway! Thanks for the info about Classic Prep, cute, cute stuff & so many great gift ideas. My favorite is the three letter monogram for the door also. Just painted mine & this would be the perfect finish.
Lisa


Sarah S. who said:



Happy Birthday! What a cute store. I love the wooden monograms. I also love the 3d premium cell phone case. Anything monogrammed is adorable!

Please email me at jillbeth@aol.com and I will give you a code you can use to make your purchase.
Thank you to everyone for checking out Classic Prep Monograms!



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Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthdays, busy, test results and other mumbo jumbo.....plus a awesome giveaway!



I sit down to write this as a newly licensed driver in the state of Oregon.
Can I get an "amen"?
I actually scored a 100%!!!  My Minnesota license expires
tomorrow so I am all legal and everything....Nothing like waiting
till the.last.minute....Obviously the talk in our house this weekend went something
along the lines of "Children, do as I say, not as I do".....
'Cause tomorrow I celebrate the big 4-5, yes indeed.  I don't know
quite how I feel about this particular birthday as it gets me closer to the big, 
you know....that next big birthday that begins with a 5 will get me closer 
to that AARP card.

Life has been unusually busy, thank goodness I quit that silly 'real job' and
am back to livin' the dream of unpaid volunteer hours, stacks of laundry,
carpool driver, sleepover hostess, cook, cleaner, gardener etc......

So in lieu of any successful DIY goings on over here, I thought 
we'd celebrate my birthday with a special giveaway - ok with you?



I have a friend who knew me WAY back before my birthday number started 
with a FOUR......she is a beautiful soul, a fantastic mother and like me,
has moved with her family a fair amount.  She was my first friend
to have babies and a mortgage and important adult stuff like that.

Well now her babies are teens and college students and my friend
has launched a new online business called


The website sells lots of adorable monogrammed products.  I love this wooden
monogram which will be added to the preserved boxwood
wreath on our front door, just as soon as I get it spray painted {see above
comments regarding my busy life and lack of DIY}.



Whenever I wear my monogrammed acrylic necklace I get all sorts of compliments!  I have the tortoise shell version of this one but would love a bright color for spring!  This blue is on trend right now.

The website also has the most adorable, customizable monogrammed
iPhone cases, rain boots, stationary and more!

And guess what?

My friend has graciously offered to giveaway TWO $50 credits
to spend at Classic Prep Monograms to two lucky readers of Forever*Cottage.

To enter the giveaway please do the following:

1.  Visit Classic Prep Monograms and check out the site.  Come back here and leave a comment telling    me what you would use your $50 credit to purchase.

2.  'Like' Classic Prep Monograms on Facebook, then come back here and let me know - for a chance to be entered a second time!

3.  You can also be entered a THIRD time if you blog about the giveaway and then come back here and let me know about it!

Please enter by Wednesday evening at midnight PST.  I will announce the winners on Thursday!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

My week of failures.....I am not a stripper.

{*Best blog title EVAH!}



I tried very hard to begin some house projects this week but
for whatever reason, this was just NOT my week to be successful.

My Minnesota driver's license expires on Tuesday, as in this COMING Tuesday.
Procrastination is not something I recommend.  I confidently {did not read the manual}
walked into my DMV,  happy to see no lines and smiling government workers to assist me, 
only to sit down and proceed to FAIL the written driver's test required to
be licensed in Oregon!  A older gentleman offered me his dog-eared corner Oregon 
Driver Manual and I walked out in shame!  I will return on Monday
to give it another go, guess I will be studying my manual this weekend!


This is my latest 'project' - a perfect size/scale desk purchased with a less
than desirable painted finish.  I was enthusiastic about making this
piece of furniture my first furniture stripping success.............and writing
a great blog post with fabulous before and after photos that
would burn up Pinterest with pinning craziness.....

But it is not going to happen cause I am NOT a stripper{of furniture}.....
I lack the patience
and the determination
and the stick-to-it-ness
and the time.....
and the desire
and whatever else you need to be a successful stripper {of furniture, silly!}.

So I am painting - a better color with a better finish
and she will be gorgeous, easy-peasy, just the way I like it.

And because this post originally included blah, ugly photos, I thought
I would leave you with this cute guy....he's a goldendoodle
Pin-worthy, if I may say so myself.


Have an awesome weekend!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hawaii.....



We have been back from Hawaii for a week.  What a busy week it has been.
Because we extended our spring break vacation, my girls missed three
days of school.  Overseeing their make-up work and getting them
to school early in the morning to take missed quizzes and lessons
has kept this momma extremely busy.... In addition BOTH
girls had to have teeth pulled at the dentist this week -
in preparation for braces.....boo!  Seems my girl's mouths like
to keep those baby teeth for.much.longer. than. they. are. supposed. to.
As a momma, I HATE taking my girls to have something
painful done to them, no matter how necessary.  

Ok, I intend to keep this Hawaii recap short and sweet, just the highlights......

Since retiring, my parents have spent a chunk of time every winter on the island
of Kauai, Hawaii - lucky, huh?  When we lived on the west coast when the girls were
small we would join them for a week.  However, once we left
the west coast and moved east, we just couldn't swing the cost of flights and honestly,
flying that far and for that long is not something I get excited about.

When we moved back to the west coast last spring, my parents scheduled their time
in Kauai to accomodate the girls' spring break so we could join them.  Lucky us!

Hawaii is a special place and our favorite island is Kauai - for it's simplicity,
laid-back vibe and beauty.  Truth be told, there is not that much to do on Kauai -
for some, who like busy vacations, with lots of sight seeing and activities that
might not work for you.  But us?  Well, we like beaches, pools and generally hanging 
out with each other.  Our everyday lives, right now, are so scheduled
 that a vacation without obligations, places to be and driving
in a car is just what we were looking for!

The beaches on Kauai provide lots of 'activities' - my little girl loved to beach comb, she 
found lots of coral and beautiful driftwood for me to bring home!  She also loved to
boogie board and play in the waves.


My big girl LOVED her surfing lesson and her time SUP-ing {stand up paddle boarding}.
The photo below was taken during her late afternoon surf lesson.


And of course, I had the pleasure of spending time with Kauai's most famous
green juice and fine box wine drinking adventurer - Kasey Buick!



Kasey and her family are spending an incredible year on the island and thriving
while making lemonade out of lemons!  Kasey graciously hosted our family
at Hanalei Beach {where she takes many of the beautiful photos that appear on her blog}
for an afternoon picnic, swimming, surfing and jumping off
the pier {I, sadly, declined}.  It was so fun to be able to see how the locals hang.



I will close with these thoughts......
We are fortunate to take a vacation to such a beautiful place,
I don't take that for granted for a second.  We made memories!
However, the best part of the ten days boils down to this......
spending quality time being present with my family.

I am feeling time passing too quickly{extremely uncomfortable for this self-admitted control freak}
.....I am no longer the mom with children in primary grades....my big girl will go to high
school in a year......and college in five years {gasp!!!!!!!}.  Looking back
and realizing how fast those years seemed to go only makes me all the 
more committed to being present for the coming years.

Two years ago, our family was facing job loss and the unknown
{and NOT doing very well making lemonade out of lemons, I might add}, a
year ago we were celebrating a move back 'home' but also struggling with
what that meant for our children who had already moved quite a 
bit in their short lives........
This year, I am just grateful and proud of where we are right
at this moment and being able to savor that in paradise 
was the icing on the cupcake!

*************
***The winner of some Hawaiian goodies is Julieann!  Please
email me at jillbeth@aol.com with your addy and I 
will send you all the macadamia nuts your could ever want!


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Design 'do' or 'don't'?



Restoration Hardware has been completely re-vamped their product
offerings in the last couple years. The new products lean towards a
 European-vintage inspired look with
industrial pieces thrown in for good measure.  

Their new catalog arrived in my mailbox and I was surprised to 
see that the deconstructed upholstery look had made it to 
Restoration Hardware's mass market line!  I have seen
this look at many flea markets - the result of simply removing
 the original {and most likely UGLY} upholstery fabric and leaving
the guts of the chair exposed.

So what do you think?
Is this a design 'do'?
or a design 'don't'?


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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Aloha!



We are home from a fantastic spring break trip to
the island of Kauai, Hawaii!

I feel rested, re-invigorated and re-energized.

I promise to be back soon to announce the giveaway winner
and share some more pictures.......the family photo above
was taken by my friend Kasey Buick.  - I must report that island
life is agreeing with Kasey, a thoughtful, special, do-er, dreamer girl.

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