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Checking in...

hello, are you still here?

or have you left me for greener pastures....bloggers who 
post regularly, showing great home projects, remodels, and
special recipes.....?  I don't blame you,
I have been short on posts during this move.
{bear with me, I promise some good stuff is coming}

Well, we are here, in Portland - yippee!

It has been quite a journey to get to this place and I honestly
believe the hardest, most difficult parts are behind us.

Today, my girls spent their first day at their new school.  I am SO
proud of them for their positive attitudes and smiles when I picked them up 
this afternoon ~ even my crabby tween.  Their new school is a BIG
change - a private school, where they wear uniforms, no less.

I celebrated a birthday yesterday and received a new laptop - a MacBook!  
I love my new toy and am proud to say I am posting on it right now!

Our family is currently living in temporary housing - a furnished corporate 
apartment while some remodeling work is being done in our
new cottage. 

What am I up to, you ask?

I am most excited about having the kitchen cabinets and 
great room built-ins painted white!  The picture above
was taken yesterday after painters removed all
the cabinet doors. {sorry for the iPhone photo}

We are also staining the hardwood floors a warm chocolate brown.

In addition, we are tweaking the stairs and railings you see in the picture
above.  The handrails and steps will be stained to match the 
hardwood floors and the spindles will be painted white.

We will also be changing the wall colors throughout the entire house!
I usually feel pretty confident when picking paint colors
but I have struggled with just the right white! Yes, I said 'white'.

I think I finalized the main paint color today.....and I can't wait 
to show you!  It's the perfect white, with a hint of gray and I 
love it!  

In addition, carpet will be replaced, light fixtures will be changed........
all until the budget runs out!  Just kidding....

By most people's standards this home was "move-in ready" when
we purchased it.  However, we are fortunate to be able
to make it perfect for our family - with lots of paint and other
simple cosmetic changes.  

We expect to be moved into our cottage the week after Mother's Day.  I am
actually enjoying apartment living - because after months of organizing, purging, cleaning and packing, 
living in a place that is not mine, with minimal possessions, feels great.  Now don't
get me wrong.....after three more weeks of this I KNOW I will 
be eager to fluff and organize our new nest.

I also can't wait to show all you the before and after photos!

So what have you been up to?


Moving on..

48 hours....

before we return HOME to Portland...

These are the most difficult hours, saying our goodbye's and reminiscing about
the good times our family has had during our three years in Minnesota.
Every thing we do these last two days is a "one last time" experience....

I am doing my best to comfort my girls but of course I feel nothing but
GUILT, GUILT and more GUILT.....

I have coped with the help of my good friend Cabernet Sauvignon but have
also been doing lots of fun planning for our new home.

In an effort to switch up the mood around here......

I thought I might share some of the design elements I am considering for our new home...

The lantern above is from Ballard Designs.  I think this will hang over my dining table. 
I am famous for changing lighting when we move into a new home.  My otherwise not-so-handy husband
is a wiz at changing out light fixtures!  I really believe it is an easy and relatively inexpensive way
to change the tone of a house and make a so-so room feel "designed".

On that note, more lighting.....

I love these pendants from Pottery Barn!  I think they will find a home above
our kitchen island.

Another Pottery Barn fixture - a sconce, meant for a bathroom but I think will look fabulous 
on the wall going up the stairs! 

I have always love a classic blue and white room.  Ikat fabrics give an updated
feel to a classic design color combination!

And finally......and call me kooky and crazy......I am considering antique brass
knobs for the kitchen cabinets!  I know, I know, BRASS.....but I think
we are going to start seeing it alot more....

 I was inspired by this kitchen.....{which I think was featured in Southern Living}

Do you see a theme in my choices? 

I really am going to add more contemporary elements into our new home....

but don't worry, I am not going to abandon my vintage decor.....

Just think more chic, less shabby....


A cottage gal has the last word.......{wink, wink}...

** Good evening from rainy Phoenix Arizona! No worries, we have enjoyed 8 days of sunshine and temperatures in the high 80’s…ahhhh. I am feeling a bit neglectful of this blog so while the family watches a movie I thought I would check in with you. I don’t think I could concentrate on a movie if my life depended on it, I just have too much on my mind.

You see, tomorrow our family boards a plane headed back to Minnesota – which technically really is not home anymore…..cause we have no home there, nor a home anywhere for that matter, we are currently in between closings! Our cottage was packed and loaded before vacation – a process that I survived, just barely, due to the fact that sweet hubby was in meetings in California thus crowning me single parent status for the week, dealing with less than competent movers and then the final (Calgon take me away moment) my big girl’s hamster was murdered by the neighbors dachshund shortly after the moving van pulled away! I spent hours consoling a very distraught little girl while scrubbing my house from top to bottom in preparation for the new owners’ final walk-through the next day……

And on that subject….this is the EIGHTH house that my hubby and I have sold during our twenty years of marriage (which we celebrated on April 6!). It was by far the most difficult sale we have ever been through….I don’t know if it is the real estate market and a case of buyers who expect the moon and more, but boy it was unpleasant. I will say no more. However, in the middle of it, I wrote a post about a tree……with words I really meant, about one thing, out of a million things that will define our time in our Forever*Cottage. I was asked to remove the post and I did. But it has bothered me ever since cause this little ol’ blog is mine, and well, I like to have the last word.

Bear with me, I am not able to post the pictures that accompanied the original post, but the words are there and I feel better that they are back where they belong. A new post will appear on Monday evening – some of my new favorite things – and maybe even some sneek peaks of what I plan to do in our new cottage – and even though our new home is not really a cottage, I am calling it that because I am a cottage-loving gal (who may also sort of like to have the last word too).

Good night from Arizona! Below are my words from the original post, with special thanks to my sweet hubby for saving them for me:

I never considered myself an environmentalist.

I'll even admit to snickering a bit

when the news reported

on people sitting in trees to protest

the cutting down of an old tree.

But if you are wondering where I am this weekend,

I just may be sitting up in this gorgeous

old burl oak tree

in our backyard.

The inspection on our Forever*Cottage took place

this week. This is always the most

stressful part of selling a home.

And while we worried about

some things inside our home {nothing significant}, we

never considered an issue with a tree.

Seems our buyers think this 150-200 year old oak

poses a hazard and danger to the home and

wants US to cut it down prior to closing!

The thought makes me sick.

Don't worry, we have 3 arborists over this week to

inspect the tree. Of course, the owners claim

that their arborist says to take her down.

But the two that came today proclaim her healthy.

Of course she is healthy. She has lovingly provided

the perfect amount of filtered shade that has nutured

both sun and shade loving perennials -

the hydrangea's, day lilies, hostas, black-eyed susans

and coneflowers that make up my

backyard gardens.

On her strongest lower branch has hung my girls'

favorite swing - the one that when daddy gives

a good push allows them to see the roof

of our cottage.

Oh, she is healthy alright! She produces enough

leaves to fill our large yard each fall -all

red and orange and yellow - and three weekends

to rake and bag them!

Maybe it's the lover of all things vintage in me, the things that tell a story,

that have stood the test of time that makes

me feel so protective of our tree. Or perhaps because now

our family is part of this tree's long and special history.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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