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If you need me this weekend, I'll be here......

I'm heading out early tomorrow, to go see "the boys"....
it's sort of the highlight of my summer....
Is that pathetic?

I guess after entertaining children with trips to the zoo and pool, taxi services to
lessons, camps and practices, cheering on the soccer sidelines....


My shopping list includes:

*  A long-ish narrow table that would
look great behind a sofa

*  maybe a cool chair {or two} for my living room

* A cool shelf/storage thingy for my
girls' bathroom

* small side tables

* accessories

So I am arriving early, hoping to score the good stuff, please send
me good "flea juju" - I will need it!

.....on color.....among other things...

Lots about moving your family across country,  for what seems like
the 100th time, is not fun or in anyway enjoyable.....
my friend is in the thick of it and she has been on my
mind alot recently cause I know it ain't  easy!

I am no expert on the subject, but having gone through
all the hard parts of relocations, I am here to officially proclaim that 
the BEST part of relocation is decorating and fluffing
your new home.....

For me, settling in to a new home has been best accomplished
by thinking of the process as a marathon and not a sprint.  I have made many
thousands of costly mistakes when I buy something quickly and to "fill" an 
empty space in a new home only to find something better and cheaper
down the road.

While I have shown the pretty parts of our new home, there are lots of 
spaces that remain untouched.  And instead of feeling frustrated and working
quickly to fill rooms and choose color combinations I am taking my time....
enjoying the summer with my kiddos.   I am using Pintrest to search
for inspiration for my living room.  This "formal" space
is primarily white but I am inspired to add touches of coral, yellow and teal..

This sure looks "FRESH".....but my translation will be more subtle.....

The walls of my living room are Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl, my new favorite gray.
I need to use the  small sofa I have but am re-making it with a new slipcover in a faded taupe-y/gray 
linen damask.  I plan to add a set of matching chairs that I hope to score
via Craigslist or maybe even {gasp!} Ikea!  

I will add coral/yellow/grey/teal in small doses via soft goods {pillows}
and hard goods {accessories}......

** All images via Pintrest

I am linking up at the handmade home today!

The Handmade Home

well hello Mr. Industrial.....

 Brickmaker tables seem to be all the rage right now in design....

I love the look, but not the BIG price tags that tend to accompany these industrial beauties.....

When I found the Ballard Designs version I thought I would go for it and place
my order - at around 350 bucks, the price was about 1/3 the cost of it's
more substantial versions {hello Restoration Hardware!}....

Well, seems lots of other design savy peeps wanted Mr. Industrial too....
'cause it was backordered for like THREE MONTHS.....

Not usually a patient girl, I decided I had no choice but to wait....
plus we were in the middle of moving and I had a few other
things to keep my mind occupied!

Well, Mr. Industrial arrived today.....
I am usually skeptical about furniture that comes
"Assembly Required" but this piece went together quickly and quite
sturdily {I am bringing out my very best vocabulary tonight girls!}...

And cause I have a fancy new camera and wanted to show all of you his luscious industrial goodness, I snapped these photos about 12 seconds after I assembled him....

I have fallen in love with blue porcelain once again in this house.....
proving to my husband that YES we should keep all these pieces of crap beautiful collectibles
in storage 'cause a woman is known entitled to change her mind!

I will say that the Ballard Designs version is not as big as other more costly tables but
actually fits my space better than the others would have.  I also
love that it has a lower shelf to store magazines or books.  The pricier
versions do not have lower shelves.

I am thrilled with Mr. Industrial!

** I am headed to San Diego this weekend for another soccer tournament.....
but hoping to see some sites beyond the soccer fields.  Any California
girls have recommendations for me?  Good shopping, eating, beaches?

random......but fun!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, our family traveled to Seattle last weekend.

Before we left mama got a new camera! Whoo hoo!

I had fun taking lots of photos
in Seattle/Snohomish until my camera battery went dead mid--shopping at 
Ruffles & Rust Square with Melaine in Snohomish!  Bummer!  

The collage above pretty much sums up the weekend, including the
'ugly-squishy face-i'm tryin' to take a photo' pic of yours truly!

My girlies are having a great summer despite our move to a new neighborhood and
few friends.  My little girl began Suzuki violin lessons last week.  That's her
with the big grin above holding the violin case on her way to her first lesson.

While in Seattle we happened to stumble upon the Four Seasons Hotel where
the Manchester United soccer team was staying and departing shortly.
We stayed long enough for my big girl to get some player autographs, including
from her favorite player, Wayne Rooney!  That's big girl pictured above standing
by the "Man U" bus!

I did make a few purchases while shopping in Snohomish.  I bought a 
reproduction bottle drying rack for my mugs in my new kitchen.  
**I had a BIG one in my Minnesota kitchen that was just too big for our new space -
look for the big one in a Forever*Cottage Tag Sale....coming soon!

I also bought this French basket pictured below.  I don't know where I will hang it but I love it
and know I will find a place either outdoors on my front porch or indoors
on a narrow wall.  I picture it filled with driftwood found at the beach!

I will be shopping, hanging out and generally loitering at 
the Barn House sale on July about you?  Will you
be there?  

Shabby Apple Winner!

Oops!  Our family left for Seattle for a weekend getaway on Friday and I neglected to post the winner of the Shabby Apple dress giveaway!  The winner was chosen in a very scientific way - my youngest daughter picked a number between 1 and 29!  And she chose........#11 - Garden Antiques Vintage!  Please email me and I will give you directions on how you get the dress of your choice!  Congratulations!!!

  • We had a fun and busy weekend in Seattle - the purpose of our trip was to see family but I also snuck in a visit to Ruffles & Rust and Snohomish with the lovely Melaine from My Sweet Savannah!  I can't wait to show you some pictures....
  • I got a NEW camera!!!!  And I look forward to showing you BETTER pictures of our is a long over due upgrade!
  • Can it really be mid-July?
  • Why can't I seem to finish any house projects?  Oh, that's right, my kids are out of school!
  • Next up on the house "ta-da" list - my living room and bonus room.  I ordered a microfiber sectional for the bonus room - not a thrilling way to spend alot of money but necessary for a great hangout/kid space.  Despite the microfiber sofa, I will add lots of vintage touches to the bonus space, including that great vintage map of Portland I purchased at Farm Chicks.  
So, what's new in your busy lives?

Are you watching?

Are you watching Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo?

It's my latest obsession!  I am officially addicted.

I love the egos, the drama, the frivolity of it all!

My favorite is Kathryn.....I loved her day in Palm Springs on
this last week's episode.....drinking and eating at the outdoor 
bar and passing out in the lounge chair by evening!

Are you watching?  Who is your favorite?

Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway by midnight tonight!

Shabby Apple Giveaway

I was honored to be contacted by Shabby Apple, a wonderful company
that sells women's, little girls and maternity dresses.  Shabby Apple  offered
to giveaway one of their fabulous dresses to one lucky
Forever*Cottage reader!  I don't know about you, but
I could use a new dress right about that gets me
from mid-summer to early fall.  And instead of choosing just
one Shabby Apple dress to giveaway, I decided to let the winning
reader choose one from the three I have selected below.......
cause I know we all have different tastes and onlyYOU know
what looks best on you!

You could choose "Amethyst" pictured above!

Or you could choose "San Gabriel" - love those ruffles!

"The Traveler" is oh so sophisticated!

To enter to win one of these fabulous dresses, go to the Shabby Apple Facebook page
 and "Like" Shabby Apple.  Come back here and let
me know you did that AND tell me which one of the three Shabby Apple dresses pictured
above you would choose if you won!

If you just can't wait and want to order a dress for yourself today, Shabby
Apple is offering a special 10% off discount code for Forever*Cottage
readers!  Just enter "forevercottage10off" at checkout to receive
10% off your purchase {offer available for the next 30 days}.

Enter by Thursday, July 14 at midnight.  I will announce the winner on Friday.


~~Girl power!

Tonight I wanted to share a bit......

about my amazing sister-in-law....who is sort of a me,
but also to my girls.....'cause my girls have a mom who, on a good day,
runs her 3 miles and then has a couple glasses of wine in the evening to celebrate.....whoo- hoo!

My sister-in-law runs ultra-marathons - as in 100 miles through the mountains marathons......
but the most amazing thing is she WINS them!  Besides just being a super cool human-being,
she just kicks ass!

This weekend she is running the Hard Rock 100, a race that she has won {for the women}
three times.  She holds the women's course record for both ways the race is run
{clockwise and counter clockwise}.

Check out this video of her last year going through an aid station
{that is my handsome brother in the backwards baseball hat,
who happens to "pace" her for the last 50 miles!}:

It just so happens that last year she led the race overall for 92 miles!
Yep, she was officially beating the boys!

In uncharacteristic fashion, she had significant physical difficulties in the latter
stages of the race, cramping and falling - however, she finished second overall
and set a new women's course record.

Diana in 2009

The next day when she became extremely ill, my brother took her to the hospital.  Turns
out that she was suffering serious dehydration and her kidney's were not 
functioning.  She was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Denver
where she spent the next month being treated for kidney failure.

I am happy and relieved to say she recovered and resumed her running and 
training.  What can I say?  This race is her passion.

And this year she is back.

We are proud of Diana, she is awesome and we are praying that this weekend
she runs the race of her life and above all else, finishes in good health!

** My brother wrote a fabulous article{"Pacing Diana"} about her race that was published in the June issue of Trail Runner magazine, if you are interested, you can read it here.


Cottage style curb YELLOW door!

I can't believe it is Wednesday!  Where is the summer going? Are you feeling the same?

It was a busy weekend at our house ~ between golf games, entertaining and holiday celebrations, we concentrated on adding some cottage-style curb appeal to our new home.  I took the plunge and painted our front door yellow - a color that I would categorize as "trendy" right now.  Given my love
of neutral decor I was not 100% certain I was going to love this bold
color on our front door but I do, I do!  

In addition to painting the door, we added a new antique bronze handle and lock-set, I like
how the black looks with the yellow door, so crisp!

I finally planted topiaries and my vintage stone urns with my favorite plants! And 
added some vintage grain sack pillows on the bench.

The light fixtures were looking worn and tired, their original grayish paint was faded 
and uneven.  Instead of replacing them at a GREAT expense, I had the hubby 
disassemble them and gave them a coat of black spray paint!  SO. MUCH. BETTER.

And finally, we made a big decision - we removed the shutters.  While I usually love shutters on homes, I just came to the conclusion that the only contribution the shutters provided was 
clutter so they had to GO.  If you want to see what the outside of our home looked like
when we bought it, check out this post.

I used Benjamin Moore "Stuart Gold" (HC-10)
for the front door - love it!


Freedom and Liberty! Happy 4th of July!

photo courtesy of Country Living magazine

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Tom Paine

In times where it seems our freedoms seem to be eroding quickly, these words from 
Thomas Paine spoke to me this morning as I looked for a quote for this post.  

After you enjoy your cookouts and fireworks, I encourage you to take a look
at a most timeless document, our United States Constitution.  Our founders
created a masterpiece that spelled out their intentions for our great nation. we must
never forget what it means to be an American - great liberty! great freedom!
We must not compromise this!

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