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Stories from a soccer mom...

Many of you are moms like me.  Some of you are just beginning on this blessed journey,
knee deep in sippy cups, diapers, tantrums and all the sweet moments and challenges 
that come along with that.  Others are facing their babies leaving the nest......

Me?  Well I consider myself at the midway point of parenting children, cause I know
parenting never ever really ends{nor would I want it to}.  But my big girl is on the verge of becoming a {gasp} teenager and my little girl is maturing and showing more "big girl" traits with everyday.

Every stage of parenthood has its own challenges but also unending rewards.  

This weekend our family traveled to California with my big girl's soccer team.  Crazy, huh?

Well, big girl happens to be a pretty great soccer player - a goal keeper, actually and we
are allowing her to see where this talent takes her.  She was fortunate to
try-out and MAKE the state champion team {for her age group} shortly
after we arrived in Oregon.  This team is full wonderful girls who also happent to be
of incredibly gifted athletes and they
have performed well.

I had many "moments" this weekend, that is the only way I can describe the awe I felt
as I watched my daughter play soccer.  She is fearless in the goal, she works hard, is proud
to be a member of a team, mightily competitive and takes losing HARD.

I did not play sports, unless you count cheerleading.   And the 80's version I did would
definitely NOT count it as a sport.

So, to watch my first born do something that I never did, nor think I could have, left
me humbled, proud and in awe.  It is these unexpected moments of parenthood that are
not wasted on me, I don't take them for granted and I consider them the "icing on the cake"!

Please allow me a moment to brag a bit....below is a photo of my brave girl making an incredible
save on a corner kick.  I am in awe.

Being a soccer mom is one thing, being a "soccer sister" is another...let's just say
it takes alot of patience.  Thankfully, my little girl is a trooper and endures EVERY
soccer game without a single complaint.  She deserved a Disney day!  We
were lucky to able to spend the day after the tournament ended at Disneyland!

My little girl operates on the same speed I do....slow and steady, so she and I hung
out for most of our Disney day while hubby and big girl went straight to the rollercoasters 
and rides.

Like I said above, little girl is also growing up and mostly felt "too old" to meet
the Disney characters.  But Alice in Wonderland and Tinkerbell are favorites so an 
exception was made!

Yea for summer!  Yea for soccer tournaments!  For bringing special
moments in the parenting journey.


Awwwww shucks!

Just returning from our trip to California {which was awesome btw}.  While we were gone, we had some cute friends stay in our home with our two puppy dogs.  Well, who am I kidding, while they are friends, I am old enough {gasp!} to be their mother!  Anyway, they are an adorable, recently engaged couple who we met when Anne's dad worked with my husband in Minnesota.  We are happy to be close to them in Portland where we can keep an eye on them and provide a little substitution for the real homes/families they miss in Minnesota!

Well, Anne has a blog!  And she blogged about their weekend and our new home.  And girls, her pictures put mine to shame!  IF you are interested in seeing some good glimpses into our new home, please visit Anne's blog!  Make sure to leave her a nice comment and tell her I sent you!

I'll be back to soon to share pictures of our California trip - lots of soccer, a bit of shopping and a crazy day at Disney!

California Dreamin'....Can ya help a girl out?

Our family is heading to southern California (Temecula area)
this weekend to watch this girl and her Oregon team play soccer.

I am hoping to escape the soccer fields for an afternoon and explore
the area.  One of my favorite things to do when we travel
is to find fun home decor and antiques stores.

So, southern California readers {or visitors}.......any shops I MUST visit?
I would love suggestions!!

PS - I will be back next week with an awesome giveaway and another
Forever*Cottage Tag Sale!

Ya just never know....

I'm a pretty predictable kind of gal.....
When doing my decorating thang, I tend to stick with my old
trusted sources.....which can be such a snooze!

But with our move and my mojo all back in business
cause I'm livin' where I want to and doin' what I want to do, with the
ones I want to do it with {don't go there!}.....
I am feeling my style shifting a bit.

I am drawn to more contemporary rooms, the ones with clean lines,
and statement pieces rather than LOTS of pieces. The rooms that seem to mix the vintage
stuff I  will always love with some contemporary "furniture friends" for that perfectly imperfect boho, Domino "look". 

I recently received a West Elm catalog in the mail and was inspired.  These first three
photos are items from West Elm....of course I am loving the ruffles on the quilt!  Oh, and 
the industrial stool is super cool!  The basket pendant would add just the right
amount of texture above a sleek kitchen island.

Hello West have a new customer!

Then while hoppin' around in blogland I was introduced to Urban Outfitters online 
furniture and decorative accessories....WOW!

Love this little shelf in a bathroom to hold all those necessary lotions and potions.

Or how about this industrial shelf for towels in the bath? Or books in a bedroom? Or with
baskets to hold toys in a little boys room?  The possibilities are endless.

This chair is gorgeous!  I love the graphic ikat!  It's small
proportions makes it a flexible occasional chair for oh so many places!

So, the moral of this story is, you just never know where inspiration
will strike.  And what once,"didn't float your boat", so to speak, 
might now shift your decorating mojo in high gear!


Curb Appeal

We have been in our new home for about one month.  For 
the most part, the boxes are unpacked and we are feeling
settled.  I have even been doing some fun decorating
projects.  But with summer's arrival bringing warmer 
temperatures, we have found ourselves spending more time
outside.  I am ready to up the curb appeal of our new 

Can you guess what I am thinking?

It's a trendy color combination that will give a much
needed update to the front of our new home.

Heck, it's just paint, right???

{Happy Father's Day!}

My gallery wall...

I had the rare good fortune to spend this past weekend
alone in my own home.....
Don't get me wrong, I did miss my family......just a little bit...
But if you are a momma, you know what a little slice of heaven it is
to have the whole house to yourself for an entire weekend. 

I took the opportunity to work on the massive staircase wall in our new digs.
I knew I needed to have time and and a peaceful home to tackle this project.  {I might not recommend 
pouring yourself a glass of wine on Friday night while in the middle of hanging picture
frames on a steep staircase....I'm just sayin'.....}

And while all the "instructions" for doing a gallery wall state
that you should use craft paper to cut out ALL the sizes and shapes of
your frames and tape them up on the wall before you hammer
a single nail into the wall, I chose to live dangerously.  The only preparation I did
was to sort of arrange all the pictures on my bedroom floor.  And then, being the crazy
kind of gal I am, I started hanging.  Now, I will state for the record that there
may or may not be "extra" nail holes behind some of the pictures.....I'm just sayin'....

I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  I used a mix of new and vintage
frames, family photos, vintage prints and letters that represent our
family name.  Everything on this wall has meaning to our family.

This is a big wall so I purposely left space to add to the wall when 
I have updated photos.  

** The color on our walls is Benjamin Moore's "Halo".  Trim paint is
Benjamin Moore "White Dove".

If you need me, I'll be in my office...

I had fun doing a mini-makeover of my new laundry room.  Don't get me wrong, the laundry room
was pretty good when we bought the home.  Although not very big, the room came
with a built-in front loading washer and dryer, lots of cabinets for storage, and even 
a built-in ironing board {which sadly, will get ZERO use from me}.

The previous owners had placed hand-painted {by their grandchildren} tiles along the 
backsplash and requested that they be able to take them with
problemo!  Instead of having them replaced with plain white 4x4 tiles, I
instead told them to leave it alone.  What was left was goopy tile
adhesive and walls that needed some TLC.

Because I have no patience and wanted to spruce up my "office space" ASAP,
I decided to try the beadboard wallpaper that has gotten so much press
in blogland to cover my less than perfecto walls.

**disclaimer.....I did not actually install the beadboard wallpaper, I 
let my super handy dad do that for me when he visited one weekend. Thanks papa!

I love the results!  The wallpaper really, like really, looks like beadboard.

Because I spend oodles of time in this small space, I decorated it with some 
favorite finds - my "Feather Your Nest" sign {cause that's what I do!}, 
a vintage chalkboard I bought recently from my friend, Cindy {aka The Queen of Tarte},
an old Ball jar where I collect all my "tips"{loose laundry change}.

I also removed the bar that is intended to hang items to dry {or freshly ironed shirts, ahem!} on....
and installed two open display shelves {from IKEA} cause I wanted a pretty view into
the room.

And cause I am a sucker for details, I changed the knobs to these
pretties from Restoration Hardware.

Paint is "Grey Owl" from my buddy Benjamin Moore - it's my new absolute 
favorite grey!

Farm Chicks Finds....

Do you see it?

My favorite Farm Chicks find happily placed in my dining room?

Here is the beauty!  {circa 1880, Austria}

I have long admired European benches but had never taken the leap and
purchased one.   When I saw this one at a fabulous booth {a new vendor, no less}
I knew she had to be mine.  I had thought a bench in my dining room
would provide some additional flexible seating and this one
fits the bill perfectly!  My kids have come to call it our "kitchen couch".

I think tied with the bench for "favorite purchase" is this vintage Portland, Oregon
city map.  It was difficult to photograph the whole thing....don't even
get me started on my camera problems!  Let's just say, I am in the market
for a new one as these photos will attest!

This is a fun sign purchased from Retreat.  

And the last purchase I am showing you proves that patience pays off!  

You see, I had purchased two vintage science lab stools at the 2009 Junk Bonanza.  While
I was lucky to get two matching stools, I had always wished for a third.  Well, I found a VERY close match to my two matching stools at Farm Chicks!  Yippeee!!!  Can you tell
which one is not like the others????

my happy place...{aka} The Farm Chicks!

{Carrie, Pam, me and Ki}

What can I say?
Don't the smiles on our faces {that's me next to Ki Nassauer!}say it all?
We took this picture as we waited in line for "early bird" admission to really 
one of the most fabulous antiques{event!}show!

Serena really outdid herself this year!  There were more vendors, fabulous new
vendors, better food service, more people, an early  bird option and a 
evening party open to everyone!

I was only able to shop on Saturday - next year I will stay and shop on Sunday too.
It is overwhelming when you walk in.  I always feel a panic that
I must find something fantastic before someone else does but hesitant at the same
time not wanting to waste my budget on a purchase I will
regret know what I mean?

Plus, I knew I had just ONE hour for early bird shopping before oodles
of shoppers came streaming through the doors looking for the same
unique treasures I was.

But I had not the slightest hesitation when I made my first purchase.  It was if the vintage-
shopping gods were looking out for me.....I found a BIG vintage map of Portland!  Given
our recent move back home to Portland, I knew that baby was meant for me!

I bought exactly five items - that's it!

But this year, because I had a friend with an empty minivan with me, I could
bring large items home...yippeee!  So, I concentrated on only buying
things I truly loved.  Granted, the items I bought cost more than things
I purchased in the past [ironstone, pillows, jewelry], I chose
quality over quantity!

And I can't wait to show you how I am using my purchases in our 
new home......coming on Wednesday!

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