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Flea Find

It seems like I have been doing alot of shopping at occassional sales and flea markets lately.....

This may be one of my favorite recent purchases....

And while I am a girl who likes my antiques chippy, I also think there is a fine line between chippy and downright junky.....I was worried this birdcage had crossed the line into the "junky zone" just a bit too much...

But when those candles are lit, the light coming through the birdcage casts the most beautiful patterns on the ceiling above.....
Happy Halloween weekend everyone! I will be back on Monday!

Baking is in my blood!

Baking is in my blood. Both my grandmother and mother cooked simple, mostly convenient meals. However, fresh baked goods were always plentiful and a necessary part of every holiday.

I love to cook and bake. One my girls also loves to cook and bake {the other does not and will tell you so...well, because she is 12}. So this weekend me and my little sous chef spent our Sunday baking Grandma Vivian's cut-out sugar cookies.

When I was a child, my mom made these cookies cut into pumpkin shapes at Halloween, hearts on Valentine's Day and santa's, stars and bells at Christmas. I do the same now with my girls - I love tradition! And my Grandma Vivian was a special lady and I love to tell my girls about her while we are baking her cookies.....

I make frosting using powdered sugar and milk - easy breezy! Of course, our frosting had to be orange for our pumpkins!

My little chef always pays a great attention to details and decorated her cookies extra special - especially those she was bringing to her teacher the next day!

I have shared this recipe with many friends who say it's the best sugar cookie recipe they have ever had. Today, I will share it with you! Enjoy!

Grandma Vivian's Sugar Cookies

1 cup shortening {i know it's unhealthy, deal with it}

1 cup margarine {ditto}

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs beaten lightly

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 cups flour

Mix all ingredients. Chill dough before rolling and cutting OR just make individual cookies into balls, roll in sugar, press with fork and bake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


Halloween at our Forever*Cottage

I realized recently, that while I do enjoy holidays, I am not much for lots of holiday decorating.....I like my house the way it is and often feel like holiday decor clutters it up. I find myself counting down the days until I can put all the holiday decorations away.....

With that said, I thought I would show you how I incorporate the season into my regular all-season it "seasonal decorating, done light".

Yep, I have goofy Halloween figures! I love them. To rein in the clutter they could cause, I have all the cute figures displayed together on a vintage tray with a nest/urn that I use in my year-round decor. I simply swapped out the egg and replaced it with a pumpkin.

Another tray {"hello, my name is Jill and I am seriously addicted to trays"} on my dining room table has an urn filled with small pumpkins and a sweet tag with vintage ribbon trim.

Had to show you one of my goofy Halloween figures - my girls love them and they bring a smile to my face! {Lori C. Mitchell figures}

Love a fall front porch! This is mine and yes, that sign says "The witch is in".

I think we have been "booed" four times so far, even though I promptly displayed our sign in the window. Do you "boo" in your neighborhood? My girls love this Halloween tradition.....

We live in the neighborhood where everyone comes to Trick o' Treat. Our store gives out small bags of candy and neighbors bring their fire pits into their front yards and greet the trick o' treaters. One neighbor even sets up a haunted house in their garage and quite literally has a party on their front lawn. I go to Costco and buy LOTS of candy, don my witch hat, pour myself a glass of wine and answer the front door!

Happy Halloween!


Flea Market Style is everywhere.....or is it just me?

It took me exactly 34 minutes to avoid the advertisements, look at the ONE featured home and enjoy the pictures of the beautiful MODULAR built green home {it was built in the middle of NYC ya'll!} in the current issue of Country Living magazine. C'mon shelter mags - beef up your content.....pretty, pretty please? With sugar on top?

Lately, I have noticed a huge movement to more acceptance of flea market style in home decor. Is it a sign of our times? Of our need to be 'green'?

The Country Living home had lots of nods to incorporating flea market finds and other accessible {not just "to the trade"} accessories and fabrics. Are the design gods finally getting the message? REGULAR PEOPLE LIKE TO HAVE BEAUTIFUL HOMES TOO, AND THEY ARE NOT GOING TO PAY SOME SNOOTY DESIGNER TO GET IT!

And looky here people. The Barn has lots and lots of vintage goodies and vintage inspired {although made in China} goods in their recent catalogs......and I am not saying there is nothing wrong with shopping at The Barn {I am guilty of doing it more often than I care to admit}, I am just saying that for a little bit of work and some good flea marketing or thrift store shopping YOU can get the look for less. I recently scored a vintage grain sack for $25.00, much less than these beauties.....

And this glass pedestal that The Barn is selling all vintage-y styled out.....I urge you design loving people, go to your local thrift store, flea market or garage sale and you can score something similar for alot less!

And lastly, see these old-looking frames fashioned into jewelry holders? The Barn has them priced $29-$49! Now, I know you are creative and could score a frame at the thrift store and make one yourself and feel so much better for having done so!

And lastly, have you been watching the new Nate Berkus show? I have caught only a few episodes but Nate is a man after my own heart {if only!}.....he loves a good flea market! I love that he is a designer who knows that incorporating something with history ultimately makes your house a home. Have you seen the lucky Meg Fairfax Fielding of the Pigtown Design blog on Nate's show? Meg has appeared on a couple shows and shown not only how to shop thrift, flea markets and tag sales, but this week showed how to host a tag sale.

Are you seeing what I am seeing?

Forever*Cottage Industrial

My friend Margo {aka Robolady and the Flea Market Style magazine blogger} is hosting a linky party at her blog today and miracles of all miracles, I actually got my act together and am participating!

Margo has asked bloggers to show off how they are using industrial vintage pieces in their homes.

And while I love me some industrial pieces, I don't have many in my cottage. However, I just purchased this dental cart at the Junk Bonanza and have it in my girls' bathroom. I love the extra storage and the look.

Happy Friday everyone!

thursday ramblings.........

can it be thursday already?

it has been a week to exhale, you know what i mean?

*my kids are off of school tomorrow, i haven't decided how i feel about that yet...

* i ran 3 miles today and then proceeded to eat half a bag of pita chips right out of the bag on the way home from Trader Joe's {i am using capitalization rather sparingly today but thought it was necessary here}.....and i wonder why i can't lose weight

* i have "naturally" blond hair that recently has a copper-y/orange-y streak right. in. front. even my spendy hair gal who helps me with my "naturally" blond hair is perplexed

* i recently got to realize a long held dream {but i can't tell you about it yet}

* my 12 year old asked if she could wear mascara to school today....i said "no", i am so mean.

* my 8 year old mentioned yesterday that she is going to "reading skills enrichment" at school, i feel like i have failed her somehow - she is my girl who gives more thought to what she is wearing to school each morning than if she has a book in her backpack......

* Trader Joe's has pumpkins for $3.49 - i bought two today and consider us done with shopping for pumpkins {and no children were with me to pick them out}Does this make me a bad mom?

* hubby and my big girl will be out of town for a soccer tournament this weekend, little girl and i will be spending the weekend reading.....instead of the shopping we had planned {wink, wink}....

* i won't take it personally that only five of you commented on my last post asking for your favorite Pandora stations.....Suzanne, I am right there with you on Bing at Christmas but Angela, I don't think you will ever find Amy Winehouse on my Pandora, but maybe I will take a listen and see, never say never!

* some of my minneapolis friends are hosting what sounds like a really fun event! if you are a local gal and would like more information you can visit their blog and find out more!

* i just polished off a greek yogurt while writing this post....sheesh! more running tomorrow!


do you pandora?

I love my iPhone, for many reasons.......

but probably the reason I love it most is for the Pandora radio app.

I am able to dock my iPhone and play whatever I am in the mood for which today happens to be Sonya Kitchell radio. Other favorites of mine include, French Cafe radio, Robert Earl Keen radio, Brandi Carlile radio, Lyle Lovett radio....there is a Pandora radio for my country mood, 80's retro mood, r&b mood, classic rock mood.......

Music is definitely part of what makes our house a home.....

So tell me, what are your favorite Pandora stations? I would love to hear!

pest control.....


that's what this picture says to me....

joy that came with lots of compromising and thinking about the kind of mother I want to be.

Who knew a {cute}hamster could cause such serious reflection?

You see, my big girl has challenged me alot during her short 12 years on earth....because she is so much unlike me. It has been a gift that I appreciate {well, most days anyway}.

Big girl has wanted a hamster for a long time. She begged, she pleaded and made lots of promises regarding the level of care she alone would provide. I dismissed all of her pleas and begging and promises. I happen to have a strong aversion to mice/rats/rodents etc...and there was just no way I would willingly have one living in my house!

My big girl turned 12 in September and with that came the realization that in one very short year my "challenge girl" will be a teenager....gulp! Childhood is fleeting and with that so are my memory making years.

The coming years will most likely bring challenges and we will face big decisions about what we allow and don't, despite what everyone else may be doing....

All of a sudden, letting my big girl get a hamster seemed like such a small/insignificant choice in the face of what may come our way.

Allowing her this hamster said "we trust you", "we believe in your caring heart", "you are responsible", and "we allow you to be who you are".

Who knew what a little 'pest control' could do?



Many of you asked to see what I have my necklaces hanging on....

I am using a former candelabra (that no longer has the candle-holder thingies on the top) that I purchased this last year at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show from my friend Cindy (THE Queen of Tarte).

When I bought it, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I just liked it.

Do you understand? I knew you would.

Originally I hung it in my dining room - until a friend suggest it would make a great hanger for my necklaces....

So there you have it....I am NOT clever as you all thought I was.

Oh, and yes, the hubby is not crazy about my necklace candelabra thingie hanging in the boudoir!

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