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there's no place like home....

Well, the time has come....
tomorrow the movers arrive and begin packing our
Forever*Cottage for our move home to Portland, Oregon.

I am a jumble of emotions....
don't get me wrong, mostly I am happy for the
opportunity to return home, where my babies were born,
my parents live and where I truly feel we belong - our place.

But leaving a place where we have established a life,
a good life, full of favorite places, good people, a school community,
friends, neighbors who have become like family
and a special cottage community that lives like it was
plucked from simpler times, is hard.

This week will be stressful, not only for me but
for my two girls who will say good-bye to special
friends and for my youngest, the only elementary school
she has attended.  I will encourage them to feel
their sadness, cause good-bye's for me are hard
and I hope that by teaching them to walk through
that sadness that maybe I too will learn to walk
through it better.

I will be absent from this blog for a bit.  After our
home is packed our family is heading out of town
for a little 'fun in the sun'.....a much needed
break from the stress of the relocation.

I will be back soon.  I can't wait to begin transforming
our new home into the cottage of my dreams!
Of course, you will all follow along, every step of the way!



i first must apologize for my lack of posting...
moving is hard and a HUGE distraction....

blogging content has been hard to come by....

but thankfully i was able to spend quality time with some blogging friends.....
 shopping for vintage treasures!
{we all agreed we were not fans of the term 'junk'}

Becky and Suzanne both commented that i seemed
calm and not stressed about the whole 'our family is moving across the country
in 3 short weeks' thing.....
boy did i fool them!

despite all the cleaning, organizing and planning
i SHOULD have been doing, i was so happy to be
doing something unrelated to moving - and oh so grateful....
for friendship.
'cause even though i am moving to the west
coast, and wish i would have met these girls
three years ago.....i know we will remain friends forever....
and i will see them again....

 'cause the laundry i would have done, or the bathroom
that would have gotten a scrub would have been quickly
forgotten in days. 
but this day spent with new friends
introduced to me through blogging will be remembered

 productive? ~ i'd say my day was exactly that!

even the back of my car showed productivity!

Oh, and by the way, Becky did a very nice post about my
Forever*Cottage that includes some great
pictures - if you are interested in taking a peek
head here!



Why this photo?

'Cause I have had so much trouble with blogger this weekend, I gave
up and just picked a pretty photo to share with all of you.

I have a collection of etched glass mirrors and have been inspired
to hopefully find a place in my new home to do something
like this with them.

It has been a super busy weekend - three "good-bye events",
more cleaning out of closets and cabinets in preparation
for the movers to arrive a week from tomorrow.
We are lucky that my husband's company pays to have
the movers pack our things!  I can't imagine having
to do that task by myself!

I was tickled to read all the comments of support on my last post.
The blogging world is a special place and your words
and wishes warmed my heart more than you will ever
know!  Thank you bunches!

Now, for the winners!

Julieann {no blog}

Please contact me at with your address and I will
get your copy of Flea Market Style magazine to you asap!


Living a dream...and a giveaway for YOU!

As our family prepares to pack up
and leave our Minnesota cottage,
I find myself getting nostalgic about
the three years we have called
this cozy state 'home'.

Besides all great experiences and
milestones that our family has
enjoyed during our time here,
I will probably remember best
the professional opportunities
that found their way to me.

Soon after moving here, I had the
great fortune of meeting the talented
Ki Nassauer.  I knew she was Minnesota-based
and when I had a chance meeting with a
friend of hers, I bravely asked if she
would intoduce me to Ki - something
very out of character for me to do!

I met Ki for coffee on a early summer
morning.  I had no agenda, no real
purpose or particular 'opportunity' I was
looking for.  Clearly, not how you
go about establishing any sort
of career!  But we seemed to hit
it off and before I knew it I was
agreeing to style a tablescape for
her fall Junk Bonanza antiques show!

Fast forward to last summer.  Ki was busy
working on content for Flea Market Style
magazine and asked for my help styling
a local photo shoot ('the good ideas HOUSE').
I had the pleasure of watching a true
professional interior photographer work - the
talented Kim Cornelison and shlep furniture and
accessories here and there making
the just right perfect magazine worthy photo.
I wrote about my experience on the
Flea Market Style blog here.

In addition, I helped Heather Bullard when she shot
the 'Top 10 Vintage Finds' story
when at the Junk Bonanza last
fall. And I designed the men's shirt
napkin ring and prop shopped for the 'Steal the
Shirt Off His Back' story!

I LOVED these experiences!  It was
a priviledge to have the opportunity
to live out these long held dreams of mine.

Because of my involvement with the production of
Flea Market Style magazine, the publisher
sent me a few copies.  I thought I would
share a couple with TWO lucky readers
of Forever*Cottage.

Please leave me a comment, tell me a joke, share
what you dream of doing, or just say something nice.....and I will pick
two lucky winners to receive a copy of Flea Market Style
magazine.  Please enter by midnight Thursday, March 17.


It was exciting to see the 'sold' sign
added to our 'for sale' sign
in our snowy Minnesota yard!

Selling our home in this horrible
real estate market was my biggest
fear.  Or should I say, more accurately,
selling our home for more than we
owe the mortgage company
was my biggest fear.

I would have never guessed that we would be
able to sell our cottage in two weeks,
in one of the snowiest Minnesota winters
on record.  I feel blessed cause I know
so many others have not been so fortunate.

We had a few things working in our favor.....
the first, being location.  We live in a desirable
neighborhood, and paid more for our cottage
than we probably should have to do so.  Second, our
school's have an excellent reputation, particularly our
elementary school. Third, there were virtually no
other homes in our price range, in our neighborhood on
the market when we were, plus our cottage is considered
'modest' in comparison to the homes on the
lake that surround us. And finally, I would like to think
our cottage sold quickly because, well, it is decorated
tastefully.  I did not remove one single personal
item, picture etc...advice that is often given by real estate agents.

Now begins the difficult process of saying our goodbyes ~
something I loathe doing.  I am just not good at saying
goodbye.  I'd rather say 'see ya later'.

Last night, my big girl had a meltdown and proclaimed
"I just don't want to move". 
I was actually happy to hear her say it.  She
had been keeping a stiff upper lip and being so positive.
And while she is generally able to adapt well and does not fear change,
I knew better than to think that all is hunky-doory in that little head of hers.
I validated all her feelings and fears but also reassured her
that all will be ok too.

I anticipate a wild rollercoaster ride during the next 6 weeks!


i managed to squeeze in a flea....yippee!

In the midst of the recent craziness that has
become my life...

I took a little break last week...
and went to a local flea!

This particular flea market was held inside
the greenhouse of a local
garden center.

The bright light was just what I needed!
And getting a flea-fix wasn't bad either.

I was happy to support my talented friend Becky
who sold her artwork and
fabulous cuffs!

Here I am with the talented Becky and Suzanne from Privet & Holly!
Once a fan, these two local bloggers
have become friends, I will miss
them when I move!

Nothing like spending a few hours amongst old things, in
bright light while visiting and supporting good friends!
It was just what my tired soul needed!


the 'cottage' that will soon be ours....

It still feels surreal...
we signed a purchase agreement for a home in Portland, Oregon...
our hometown. The papers are signed and closing date set so I feel
comfortable sharing this exciting news with you!

I had given up hope of ever having the opportunity to move back.  Really
And when I think back on where we were a year ago...
not knowing if my hubby would keep his job..
the stress..
Not at all happy living in the midwest, let alone getting 'stuck' here without a job...
I was bitter and scared.  It was a new place for me and I did not like it.
I have always considered myself a spiritual person - not necessarily 'religious' per se
but I know God had a plan for our family.
I feel it and know it.
This journey has made me appreciate this blessing
in a way I probably would have not been
able to before.

Ok, enough of the sappy stuff...
let's talk about our new 'cottage'...

Obviously, it is newer home.....
and at first glance it had alot of things that were on my
"do not want" list....
{my realtor kindly reminded me of that}
like, light hardwood floors, a two story great room and 
maple kitchen cabinets. 

But it also has lots of things we wanted,
a first floor master, a huge kitchen island with high quality cabinetry, 
tons of storage, a formal living room, a first floor office,
an upstairs bonus room for our girls to hang out and a gorgeous backyard!

Don't worry,  I plan to change the things I don't like - refinishing the hardwood floors,
painting the kitchen cabinets and great room built-in's a creamy white.
{my hubby just rolls his eyes when I comment, "that will make
for a great blog post"}
'Cause you know I am going to share it all with you!

As for the current housing market....
well, I am here to tell you, it may not be as bad
as the media might have you believe.
Or maybe we just got 'lucky'.

Our cottage in Minnesota sold in two weeks. 
When we were in Portland, there were lots of buyers
out looking at homes.

The house we are purchasing had two offers on it
{including ours} in a week.  Another house we looked
at, and had considered, had three
offers written during the weekend we were there.

What I found was alot of homes on the market
but not alot of quality homes.

The wheels are definitely in motion.  We will be moving west in about six weeks!

So I have just one question, if this was my "Forever*Cottage" what will I call my new cottage?

I welcome your suggestions, and may even have a terrific prize for the winning name!

I'm just sayin'.....

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