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I want to be a Farm Chick!

Serena Thompson, THE Farm Chick, is having a most awesome giveaway on her blog! One lucky winner will have the opportunity to get a real behind the scenes look at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show, from set-up to going to the Vendor Dinner on Saturday evening as Serena's special guest! Even better, the winner will have the opportunity to be a guest blogger/or Twitterer and write about their experience when they return home. (Like I won't do that anyway, hee, hee, hee!)

Anyway, I will be attending the Farm Chicks Show again this year. It really is one of my very favorite antiques shows - if you have not been, I highly recommend it!

Serena's extra special giveaway ends on Sunday so head over and say hello!

If you will be in Spokane for Farm Chicks, please leave me a comment, I would love to meet up with other bloggers/readers - over a cocktail and conversation about our great finds, of course!

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Fabulous or Flop?

Restoration Hardware's new products are just so fabulous! But yesterday when my catalog arrived and this chair was pictured on the cover, my first reaction was...yuck! But later I took another look and could really appreciate it's unusual lines - it would make a great statement piece in a library or living room.

What do you think? Is it a hit or miss? Would you use it in your home?

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Yes! I be a soccer mom.

I confess, I have a problem with the word "no". How about you?

What does the almighty Oprah call it? I think she refers to it as, "the need to please".

Yep, that's what I have got - "the need to please", and I got it bad!

I chaired our school auction two years in a row...yes, you heard me right, I was dumb (yes, dumb) enough to sign up for round two after round one about kicked my butt!

What is it about us women that we can't say the short little, two letter word "n-o"? I guess it something we have to learn, and learn I have.

I have learned that I while I am looking to please others, I am neglecting things that I ultimately feel are most important to health and well being, my children and family, my career dreams and aspirations, my little 'ol blog....

So this weekend, I made a choice.....

A BIG - and perhaps scandalous - choice.....

I chose to be a soccer mom for the weekend INSTEAD of attending the school auction that I had spent a year planning!

You see, it seems I (former 80's cheerleader) gave birth to a pretty awesome athlete who just so happens to be a pretty awesome soccer player. Said daughter had a soccer tournament scheduled for this week in Iowa. Because of the auction, I was going to stay home and hubby was going to go and cheer on our awesome athlete.

About a week ago, I was lying awake in bed unable to sleep, thinking about my choices and what was really imporatant to me. I was thinking how I wanted to be more purposeful in using my time - spending it on things that really mattered to me. And I had a "lightbulb moment" (more Oprah references).....I did NOT have to go to the auction, the work was already done! I had two other co-chairs who could handle the evening.

For me (and my daughter), it was so much more important to be in Iowa, in the rain and cold fulfilling my duty as a soccer mom.

I never even considered that in my quest to not disappoint the school and the co-chairs I had worked with, that I was disappointing someone who matters to me even more, my own daughter.

I am so thankful that this weekend I chose to be a soccer mom. Let me just tell you girls, this is a big deal for me and one that will lead me down a different path....

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It's the little things......

It is a well documented fact on this blog that I am a lover of all things bird/nest related....perhaps in a former life??.....

Back in December I had the chance to visit one of my (and most likely yours)favorite bloggers, Kasey from Lola B's in her home. Before I even stepped inside the door of Kasey's lovely home, I was smitten with her front door....and not just because it was a charming front door - with a great window with a pull-down scalloped shade that hung from the inside. Oh no, I was smitten with the bird decal Kasey had added on the window of her front door. I knew I needed to "borrow" the idea and get my very own adorable bird decal for the window on the door leading into my sunporch/family room.

Kasey told me the decal came from McMaster & Storm - a charming online boutique that sells all sorts of packaging/gift wrapping/crafting supplies plus some unusual decor thrown in for good measure.

Well, imagine my disappointment when I contacted Darcy at McMaster & Storm and was told that they were no longer carrying the bird decal but hoped to soon.

Boy did she regret ever telling me that!

The stalking began....

Long story short.....because don't you have better things to do than read this lllloooonnnngggg story....

McMaster & Storm began carrying the bird decals once again last week! I promptly placed my order and it arrived on Friday! McMaster & Storm makes their packages extra special and even include little gifts with your purchase.

It was easy as can be to transfer the decal onto my glass door. Directions were include.

I think the bird looks great on glass doors but you could also spruce up a plain mirror by adding this little guy!

Call me crazy, but it really is the little things in life that make me happy.

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It's a Good Thing!

During a flury of errands yesterday, I popped into my local Home Depot to get a little dose of spring color (in the form of pansies) for the cottage.

Purusing a hardware store is my second favorite store to wander around, after Anthropologie, of course. So, I could not help to plop my pansies in the cart and head inside to look at the latest in lightbulbs.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I came upon the paint department and saw the name 'Martha Stewart'. Folks......she's back!

Yep, that's right, her paint line has moved around a bit....correct me if I am wrong....from Sears, to Lowe's and now in Home Depot.

Say what you will about moody Martha, that lady knows her paint colors.

And while many of us can feel inferior when comparing our domestic skills to the domestic diva herself - (I still have not mastered her "Folding a Fitted Sheet" tutorial), we can easily forgive when it comes to helping us choose the perfect shade of beige!

I took a few samples - I am loving shades of gray these days and Martha's shades do not disappoint.

All images from

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A big bloggy hug and smooch to all of you for the warm and fuzzy birthday wishes. One of my favorite things about blogging is connecting with fabulous women!

I had a great birthday.

I began the day by doing a spin class at the health club and then came home to my favorite breakfast of homemade waffles with strawberries made by my kids and husband - I figured the workout cancelled out the calories! My family also gave me some wonderful gifts - a new lens for my camera (pictures coming soon!) and a gift card to Anthropologie!! The weather was so nice we spent most of the day outside - waking up the gardens, my kind of day!

So I bet you want to know the winner of the giveaway, huh???

Susan, who turns 58 this week was the winner drawn by my daughter Emma! Please email me at with your address so I can get your prize in the mail!

Why the picture above? It's one of my favorite rooms, featured in BH&G a couple years ago, just love it!

Have a glorious day!

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me at forty-three and a giveaway....

Blogging has been challenging for me at times. I have never been one to "toot my own horn", so to speak or reveal too much personal information. I think I have ever only posted a single picture of myself on this blog. I would much rather post pictures like the one above of my own living room as well as other interiors I find inspirational.

But, here I am today, at 43!

Yep, it's my birthday tomorrow. I really do gulp when I say I am turning 43!

Do I feel 43? Hell no!

Do I look 43? I would like to think not, but those lines around my eyes give me away!

Am I wiser at 43? Yes!

Happier? Yes!

Do I sweat the "small stuff" like I used to ? NO WAY, it's a waste of time.

Am I comfortable "in my own skin"? Absolutely!

For the most part, I am content. Sure, I have 10 pounds to lose, second career ambitions, travel dreams, relationships and friendships that I wish to deepen etc...but for the most part 43 feels pretty darn good.

One of my favorite stores, Anthropologie sends a 15% off card to their loyal customers (which I happen to be!)for their birthday. Today I visited my Anthro store to stock up on some new spring clothes and put that discount card to good use.

Because I feel fortunate to have so many great women readers of my blog - and to celebrate all of YOU on my birthday, I also picked up this adorable salt/pepper/mustard set from Anthro and decided to host a total improptou giveaway!

Rules are as follows:

First, leave me a comment! I would love to hear how you feel about growing older and if you are more content now than when you were "younger".

Second, I will enter your name twice if you are a follower or become a follower of my blog!

Third, I will enter you a third time if you post about my little ol' birthday giveaway on your blog!

The giveaway will end on Sunday and winner will be announced on Monday! Good luck!

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Come to the flea....with me!

While I have never been one to pass up the opportunity to go to a great flea market, it just seems like spring/summer are truly "flea market season" for me!

Twice a year, our local occasional sales hosts get together and collectively put on ONE BIG SALE they call A Gathering of Friends.

So why go to a bunch of individual sales when you can get the goods in all one place? Plus, I secretly think there is a silent competition (among the "friends") to see who can really bring the best stuff.

I arrived at the sale a few minutes early and was surprised to see that eager shoppers had already lined up at the door as if they were waiting to get the new iPad!

My list of "wants" was not long...mainly I was looking for concrete/iron garden urns and ironstone.

What did I come home with? I couldn't pass up this wonderful wire plant stand. I thought it would be a wonderful place for my herb plants!

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.........pretty in pink.........

Ok, I promised...

pictures of the girls' rooms after the BIG switcheroo.....

Let's start with little miss Abigail....

Abby is my special miracle baby, of sorts. She is THE baby of the family as well. But she and I, we had quite the ordeal early in my pregnancy. After a long airline flight, at 12 weeks pregnant with her, I developed severe leg pain that grew worse over the course of 4 days.

I ended up having a DVT (blood clot) and spent 9 days in the hospital on IV blood thinning drugs. While there was concern for the baby's health, the greater worry was MY health so an ultrasound was not done until day 7 of my hospital stay. I was SO relieved to hear that heartbeat...such a miracle!

After a long high risk pregnancy, I delivered a healthy baby girl. Abigail came into the world calm and remains that kind of child today. Besides her unique start to life, Abby was born with a distiquishing birth mark, or "dot" as we call it on her neck. The birthmark is about the size of a dime and certainly makes her unique!

For whatever reason, "dots" are Abby's thing - she seems drawn to anything with polka dots! Coincidence? I don't think so!

Abby's favorite colors are pink, orange and brown....yep, that's her story and she's sticking to it.

My mom happens to be an accomplished quilter and last year wanted to make Abby a quilt for her bed, so guess what? When decorating her room, I had to work with a pink/orange/brown quilt.

And while most of my home is very neutral, my girls rooms are bursts of color, the way THEY like it.

I see lots of pictures of kids rooms on blogs that are beautifully decorated and oh, how I would love to be able to decorate my girls' rooms to my taste, but I really believe that it is THEIR room and they should be able to have the colors/things around them that express who THEY are.

So, Abby's room says that she is a polka dot, pink/orange/brown, American Girl, Barbie, book, music, frog (stuffed animals) loving girl. I would not have it any other way.

The only additions made by me are the vintage calendar pillow made by a local Minneapolis artist, Nancy Polacek and the framed bird counting card pictures above the bed.

Accessories? They are ALL Abigail....

I will be posting pictures of my tweens' blue room soon, just waiting for the few final touches.

Even better - Tomorrow I will post pictures of a great flea market I went to last week and the fabulously useful treasure I scored - a great addition to my garden/patio.

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Weekend in the Garden!

At long last, I can begin to tend to my gardens - the trees have begun to show their first buds and the weather is unseasonably warm. The ice is off our lake and the neighborhood is coming to life. Spring is certainly the season of renewal!

I am a gardener. I love the process of tending and nurturing my favorite perennial varieties. Unfortunately, because we have moved around a bit (or ALOT) other people now enjoy the many gardens that I planted and loved.

I am spending my third summer in Minnesota and look forward to seeing the previous summer's work literally come to life! This summer will be focused on adding and tweaking the already established beds rather than creating - much less muscle involved, thankfully!

May all of you enjoy some time outside this weekend doing what you love!

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Will you be watching?

I confess...

I love just about any mindless, trashy show on Bravo television. Yep, I do. Think what you will about me, but let's just say sometimes this tired mommy needs a trashy tv timeout. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Have you heard about a new design show debuting on Bravo on Tuesday, April 13? It's called 9 By Design and features a couple that has 6 children (with a 7th on the way, God bless them) who buy, renovate, live in and then sell fabulous homes.

Check out for more info and when to catch the show where you live. And no, I received no big payout, Anthro gift card or other such payment for this endorsement.

Have a lovely day my friends! I am thinking about my friends Kasey and Kim who landed in Paris this morning....and sending love their way!

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Easter Images from Cottagewood.......

We had a wonderful Easter weekend.

This year, our neighborhood general store sponsored a egg hunt in the neighborhood. Our cottage happened to be one of the houses designated for 4 - 6 year olds to hunt for eggs! And because it was the first annual egg hunt, I was told to get between 60 and 70 eggs to fill and hide in our yard.

As the week progressed and the temperatures warmed, organizers of the event advised us that we might consider getting more eggs to fill and hide....

After only 5 trips back and forth to Target to get more eggs, we finally felt content when we had about 200 eggs to hide! Whew!

I don't know if my girls had more fun helping to hide the eggs in our yard or running ragged all over the neighborhood to find their own in yards designated for their ages!

We were blessed with gorgeous weather for the weekend which made it all the more fun. And while I don't post pictures of my girls often on this blog, I couldn't resist posting these ......

My girls are spring break this week and we are enjoying the stay-cation. Hoping you all had a blessed Easter.....

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