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Zhu Zhu, how about you?

Cute little sucker, right?

I would love to get my hands on one (or two) of these little buggers....
the "hottest" toy this Christmas season.

My girls BOTH want one - from Santa.

Do you think Santa was lined up at midnight at Toys R' Us to score a few?

I am ashamed to admit but I sent my poor, yet agreeable, husband out into the Zhu Zhu pet madness last night. Yes, the poor guy left the house at 11:30 pm and headed to our local Toys R' Us.

The nice Toys R' Us employee I had spoken to earlier in the week told me (in complete confidence, wink-wink) that Zhu Zhu pets would be plentiful when the doors opened at midnight on Thanskgiving.

I thought - oh, slam-dunk - who the heck shops at midnight at Toy R' Us on Thanksgiving???

Well, needless to say, hubby came home empty handed.

But not before trying REALLY hard to get in the door before the rest of the 800 other "Santas" who had been waiting in line hours to get their hands on the precious little hamster.

I refuse to pay the going rates of $50-$75 or more that these babies are fetching on ebay.....Santa will promise some after Christmas shopping before that happens.

In the meantime, if anyone out there in blogland can help me (I mean "Santa") out, I (I mean "he") would certainly appreciate it!

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I am grateful, how about you?

Life has been a bit topsy turvy at our cottage. The kind of topsy turvy that involves lay-offs and job uncertainty....

This kind of uncertainty allows you to really take stock and decide what is REALLY important in life.

I know I am blessed.

I know I am grateful for my blessings....for my family...healthy children...a beautiful home...a supportive community...good friends....ALL THAT MATTERS.

But this has been has challenged me in a way I have not been before, how lucky right?

Things are going to be ok...the "situation" is looking more positive at the moment.

We have much to be thankful for this season. I hope you do too.

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All images are from Country Living!

Stockings For Sale!

Congratulations to my friend in real life, Allie for winning the stocking/Starbucks giveaway. And to just set the record straight,(ahem, Jermonne from Barn House, are you listening?) the drawing was conducted fair and square. I simply put numbers 1-28 in a bowl and had my sweet 7 year old, Abigail draw a number. Abigail drew the number "11" which was Allie's number! So there.

Because of the interest in my stockings I wanted to offer a few for sale. Please email at and let me know which number stocking you are interested in purchasing. I am selling them for $10.00 a piece and charging $5 for shipping - so a whopping 15 bucks.

Personally, I will be hanging mine on some of my old cupboard knobs. We already have traditional stockings (red and green - ugh!) that the kids have their little hearts set on using - couldn't convince them that mommy just isn't into decorating with red and green this year.

Nope, they weren't going for the whole vintage burlap look.

This is stocking #1. Dark burlap with 3 small linen rosettes and a handing vintage key.

This is stocking #2. Light burlap with one large linen rosette.

This is stocking #3. Dark burlap with 3 linen "yo-yo's" adorned with two vintage keys and a vintage earring.

This is stocking #4. Dark burlap colored with a single linen rosette backed with light burlap - also has a vintage key dangle.

I will keep this posting up until Tuesday. Again, please email at if you are interested!

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.......and we have a winner!

The winner of the burlap stocking is "Allie"! Thanks everyone who left me the sweetest comments! I will be listing some stockings for sale on my blog on Monday for anyone who might be interested in purchasing one.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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It's About Time.....A Forever Cottage Giveaway!

This is my first giveaway.

It is about time, huh?

It is definitely not as fabulous as what Brooke is giving away at Velvet & Linen....not even close.

But I thought it would be fun to giveaway one of my burlap stockings....

I am quite happy with how they turned out.

And by the way, if you are in Minnesota they (my burlap stockings)
will be sold at Mustard Moon beginning tomorrow...

Anyway....I will give a stocking along with a little somethin', somtethin' tucked inside...a $10 Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner.

All you have to do to enter is just leave a comment....and if you become a follower of this here blog, I will enter you in the drawing twice! Or if you mention this humble little first time giveaway on YOUR blog and leave a comment I will also enter you twice.

I will draw a winner on Friday....

Hopefully my neighbors did not see me hanging burlap stockings on my bushes in the backyard....and taking pictures of them! As if they already don't think I am a bit cookcoo!

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What Do You Think?

I have always been impressed by the talented and crafty bloggers out there.

I have never considered myself one of them. Nope, not ever.

Perhaps THAT is about to change....

Inspired by holiday images out in both blogland and catalogs, I got a bee in my bonnet, so to speak.

I dusted off the sewing machine and created some burlap stockings with linen rosettes and other vintage "trinkets".

I think I am going to offer one as part of a holiday giveaway.

I think I will probably list some for sale.

Stay tuned. And let me know what you think....please.

Oh, here is one inspiration photo...(and yes, I have some with linen ruffles!).

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I have to tell you about........

One awesome blog giveaway!

In celebration of her 300th post, Brooke Giannetti of Velvet & Linen is giving away THREE Brickmaker's tables like the one pictured above! How awesome is that!

Brooke is looking for readers to submit pictures of the room where they would place the Brickmaker's table. Her point is to show how this same table can adapt and be appropriate in different looking rooms with different styles. How fun, right?

Here is a picture of the room in my home I am submitting. This is my "porch" also known as the tv room - where the kids tend to hang out. This room needs to be comfortable and hard working - for these reasons, this room looks nothing like the rest of my house. And frankly, this room is my least favorite in my house - looking for some inspiration to "spruce" the space up and look more like the rest of my home.

Head over to Velvet & Linen and check out this fantastic giveaway!

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Forever Cottage Tag Sale!

In preparation for my BIG plans for holiday decorating (read previous post to understand this sarcasm), I have been in major clean-out mode. I brought about 6 bags of clothes to Goodwill and have secretly edited the toy collections in each of my daughters' rooms (shhh, don't tell them).

I have some nice vintage/or not so vintage but nonetheless fabulous items that have been collecting dust in cabinets and cubbies and thought I would host a Tag Sale here at Forever Cottage.

The following items are for sale, I have listed prices along with a small description of the item. Please email me at with any questions and if you would like to purchase an item. I will accept payments through Paypal.

This first item is a wire 3-tier stand - I used it on the kitchen counter to hold fruit etc... $15 SOLD

This is a beautiful blue English platter. True Antique piece.....$25 SOLD

Small blue shelf/spice rack (not the plates)....$15 SOLD

Long wooden French baguette dough bowl.....$40

Pottery Barn Matine Toile quilted standard-sized pillow shams.....$20 each ($40 for both). SOLD

Vintage Grain Sack with slight yellow stains, monogrammed with "VL' in blue...$25

One more English blue platter, similar to one above although slightly more "aged" in colors....$25 SOLD

Again, please email me at if you are interested in any of the items. I will update the posting as items sell.

Have a wonderful day!

Oh, and by the way....I will give you a shipping quote when you decide to purchase - I will ship UPS ground and charge exactly what it costs to ship....

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Holiday Preparations...........

I think we have gotten to know each other a bit over my last year of blogging....

Sometimes I am uncomfortable (ok, embarrassed) by the seemingly frivolous topics that I choose to blog about. Come on, feathering my nest and shopping for banged-up pieces of furniture to replace the already perfectly good banged-up pieces I already own seems a bit indulgent, unnecessary, spoiled even.

Today I will deviate from all frivolity and talk how I prepare for the holidays, and really how I wish to celebrate them. And honey, it may surprise you given what you have learned about me over this last year.

If I would be perfectly honest I would tell you that I really do not care for decorating my home for the holidays.


I feel like I like my home just the way it is and really don't like to muck it up with ornaments and such.

I refuse to have a fake tree in our home but really hate the mess of all the needles of the real one and how I have to rearrange the furniture to make room for the tree.


Now before you go thinking I am a Scrooge, let me tell you what I love about the holidays.

I love to bake, with my girls while cheesy Christmas music plays in the background and we sing along to all our favorite songs.

I love to get together with friends for a special meal and some holiday cheer. I also love when my book club does a special evening out at a restaurant instead of discussing a book at someone's house.

I love Sunday school Christmas programs where kids forget their lines and the kid standing in the front row picks their nose for all to see.

I love taking my girls to sit on Santa's lap - even though my oldest no longer believes, I like that she plays along for the benefit of her little sister.

I love watching Charlie Brown's Christmas with our family - when they sing "Hark the Hearld Angels Sing" I still get goose bumps.

I love getting Christmas cards from friends near and far.

I love taking my girls Christmas shopping to pick out a present for their daddy and for each other. At a time of year when they could be thinking of "getting" I really like to teach them about "giving".....

And in the spirit of giving, last year our family of four signed up to be Salvation Army Bell Ringers. It was a GREAT experience for all of us. We stood in front of our local grocery store for two hours and rang the bell and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. My children were so excited when someone chose to put money in the kettle! Having children decked out in their Santa hats definitely helped our cause. We made an evening out of it - taking the kids out for hot chocolate afterwards. I would encourage any of you reading this to consider making bell ringing on behalf of the Salvation Army part of you holiday preparations. Please check out your local Salvation Army website for information.

And while I would bet my kids can name only a few gifts they received last Christmas,both have asked when we will be ringing the bells again this year! You can find us at Lakewinds Natural Co-op on Black Friday!

How about you? What do you enjoy about this upcoming season?

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Filling a 'Void'.........

I miss my magazines....

Do you hear that magazine publishing companies?

Why did you take my beloved Cottage Living, Domino and Country Home magazines away? I was loyal, always renewing my subscriptions, so much so that I had years left on many of them. Subscriptions I faithfully renewed, expecting to receive my beloved publications. Publishers just replaced my favorites with such unwanted titles as Coastal Living and Ladies Home Journal!

Pathetically, I settled in a few evenings ago with some issue of Cottage Living - my favorite. Yes, I have ALL the published issues of Cottage Living. While completely enjoyable to page through each issue, it was also sad too. I miss my fresh monthly issue full of Heather Chadduck styling that inspired me in my own home.

However, I just discovered a ray of hope for those of us who are magazine fans. A former editor of Domino (another fave) has established a web magazine While a really fine layout and concept, I am still undecided about the web format. Call me old fashioned but I like to sit in my favorite reading chair with a glass of wine and HOLD a magazine in my hand. Lonny Mag really fills a void however, I especially enjoyed seeing Eddie Ross' home in New York - reason enough for checking it out!

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Almost a year ago I started this little blog....

I did not know what I was doing (technology speaking) and still probably only know enough to be dangerous.....

I had no goals, nothing to sell, nothing to market and some would argue, not much to say....

I was however, inspired and suprised in many ways....

I was inspired by the many blogs I was reading on a regular basis. Blogs written by women who I thought "rocked"...creative women, honest women, fashionable women, and women who loved old crusty stuff as much as me!

I was surprised by the many friendships that have been made. I have been able to get to know many of you through our blogs...even have met lots of my favorites in person. I have been lucky to begin a friendship with Kasey of Lola B's.

Guess where I will be on December 5th?

How lucky am I right? I am excited to get in my mommy SUV (all by myself), crank some good tunes and drive south to Kasey's soiree!

I will definitely sit on this settee, with a BIG glass of red wine (careful not to spill).

I think Kasey has a couple spots available. If you are in the neighborhood.....

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(reading this back, yes, I realize that I began virtually EVERY sentence with "I"...see I have a ways to go....thanks for bearing with me and my bad grammar.)

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