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The festivities have begun!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving weekend at my parent's home in 
central Oregon; lots of eating, playing games, a day of skiing in fresh
powder, a little shopping at the local shops and lots of relaxing!
My kind of holiday!

Probably the best memory made was going to cut down our Christmas
tree in the forest!  Although we lived almost 9 years
in Oregon we had never gotten a $5 tree cutting permit and 
hiked through 'nature's tree lot' to find the perfect natural tree.

We all agreed that this new tradition is a 'keeper'! It was
so much fun and the warm temperatures and little snow at this
elevation made the experience all the more enjoyable!
The girls enjoyed the hot cocoa at the coffee shop afterwards.

Despite my attempts to slow down the coming frenzy, I guess it's here.  
I have a feeling that this year it will be enjoyed more by our family; we
are happy at home in the place we love, we have employment,
good health, family and friends near {which means no holiday travel} and the
joyful anticipation as our girls wait to celebrate Jesus' birth!

Bring it on.......I guess....



Happy Thanksgiving from my Forever*Cottage to yours!

We are heading 'over the river mountain and through the woods
to grandmother's house'..........

I'll be back to the blog by Monday.

Wishing you many blessings and peace this holiday weekend.


In my kitchen today.....

I feel like I am in house 'fluffing' mode....
preparing for the holiday decorations that will
soon come out {ugh!}.....

Call me a grinch but I will admit that decorating for
Christmas is not my favorite thing.....all the rearranging
then knowing that in 30 short days it will have to all
be undone....

I added this bulletin board to my kitchen counter ..... 
I like having a place in my kitchen for inspiration
and my open kitchen has no wall space.

The bulletin board also hides the ugly granite tile backsplash
that is just waiting to be replaced by some shiny white 
subway tiles.....but I digress......

Notice the jar of cookies in front of my new inspirational bulletin board?

They are my girls' favorite oatmeal cookies.....

Lucky you, I got my act together enough to share the recipe!

Best Oatmeal Cookies -evah!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
chocolate chips or in combination with raisins
to your taste!

Bake at 350 degrees and enjoy!

Happy Sunday!

The best home decor bargain out there.....

I needed wanted a new pillow for the ticking stripe settee that
I purchased from the Barn House boys - I originally had the
settee in our bedroom but recently moved it to the great room.

I purchased this monogrammed 15x30 pillow, with insert from Ballard Designs
for $19.99!  I really think it's the best bargain in home decor!

Have a fabulous weekend!

manic monday....

In my opinion, nature doesn't put on as dramatic a show in the Fall
here in the Pacific Northwest as it does in the midwest, or even on the east coast
- too many evergreen trees, not enough oak trees and maples.......however,
the season lasts well into November!  This is the view
from my front porch today....

Today was my second Monday as a working girl.....and it was better.

Except I came home to a sick puppy dog....

Poor boy.....we think he ate something he shouldn't have.....

Happy Monday!

a perfect ending....{after a new beginning}....

First, thank you to all of you who commented and voiced your
support of my returning to part-time work.  I have really experienced
a plethora of emotions.  'Cause while the opportunity is near-perfect, at just 20 hours
per week, in the industry I have significant experience and success, time off when my 
children are off {including summers!}, it was a week of mixed emotions.

I returned to work as a Development Director at a private school.  I worked
in  not-for-profit  management, specifically fundraising, before I had
my children.  This job opportunity was brought to my attention by the 
Development Director at my daughter's school - she knew about
my prior experience and my desire to return to work, albeit part-time.  
It was quite the serendipitous road back to work.....

I admire those of you who are "pursuing the work of your dreams", acting
on your desires to put your creative talents out there.....I dabbled in
what I had thought were my creative urges and was lucky to 
be able to work with an amazing editor of a national magazine
{Ki Nassauer}, realize the long held dream of having
 my home photographed for a magazine, have
a "behind the scenes" role for a large antiques show {Junk Bonanza}
and help friends and neighbors style their homes.

I am a lucky girl.
But I am also a practical girl and steady professional work is 
probably best suited to me.  My creative side will be practiced in my own
home...oh, just you wait!  I will continue to devour every decorating/styling
magazine, e-zine, and blog I can get my hot little hands on.

For now, working 20 hours per week and tending to my family life
will fill my bucket and my time......

And blogging......yes, I have no intention of stopping this quirky, unpredictable,
frivolous online journey with you all.....

It was a busy week, an emotionally draining week, but also a good week.....

On Friday {my day off!}, I ventured to a holiday open house at local 
antiques mall!  It was a wonderfully indulgent day but much needed after
my stressful week!  I don't know what it is about strolling the aisles
of an antiques mall with a good girlfriend - chatting and laughing and saying, "oh
that is cute" about a hundred times - that fills my soul and charges my battery, but
I am so glad it does!

I can't say I am entirely ready for the holiday season.  I love Thanksgiving and loathe the rush
to Christmas that the retail community seems to do.  However, I did buy
this pretty little angel......Isn't she sweet?

After returning home from my day spent with a good friend, my husband
insisted we go to a 'Happy Hour' - just like old times before kids.  When 
we were first married and living in Chicago, we often met after work for
Happy Hour, catching up on our day and making a dinner of it! {I don't
believe we even ever had food in our apartment!}

Friday was my best far.....

***** I updated my Blog List on my sidebar with some new friends and
blogs who have inspired me lately!  Go check them out!

Momma goes to work.....

Tomorrow is the day.....
after 14 years as a SAHM, this momma
returns to part-time professional work.....

I am excited....
and ready!

As women, we are blessed.   I got to go to college and major in business,
meet my love, get married, enjoy a successful career along with a "double income, no kids" life
for 7 years before our first baby came along.  Then for 14 years I got to 
be a full-time mommy.....

And now, I get to go back, on a part-time basis
to the career that I loved and fulfilled me in ways that laundry 
and making beds just can't.

I promised more of my story.....and I will deliver, it's long and needs 
editing....requiring time I did not seem to find this weekend I spent raking
leaves under a beautiful Northwest sun and cheering on my first baby's soccer
team who just happened to be crowned Oregon Premier League Champs!

Be back soon!

Mirror, mirror on the wall......

The entry in our new home is narrow, with a living room on one side
and hubby's office on the other.  I wanted to define the space
and incorporate proper entry objects - {which included my
cute, narrow, surprise find that I blogged about here}....

I have had this mirror for like......ever!  In our Minnesota cottage
she was in our master bathroom, loved for her large-ness and full-length
look capabilities.

I knew she could make a functional mirror in our narrow entry, all she needed
was to be accessorized!  A trip to "Lowes Depot" scored some 
antique brass hooks.

Less-than handy hubby proved his skills are improving when he
was able to screw these babies in straight and on the first try!

Now our entry has a place for your coat, umbrella or cute clutch!

Next up on the entry "ta-da" list:

* paint the ceiling a pale blue
* paint the french doors to the office and maybe even the 
front door a steel gray or black
* try out a new Dash & Albert rug {maybe black & white stripe}

Happy Saturday everyone!

Checking in with some news....

I apologize for being missing in action around here....
I have been making some big decisions, exciting decisions
and scary decisions.....

And because I strongly dislike it when bloggers 'tease' news and
then wait like days........

I will share......

After almost 14 {gulp!} years as a proud stay-at-home
mommy, I am returning to professional, outside the home
work!  An ideal situation, for a 20 hour a week
position, in the field that I was in before children, became known
to me in a very serendipitous way and seemed "meant to be".

I promise to share more in a longer post this weekend.

I will you leave you with this thought.....recently I have read about bloggers
who are feeling blessed to finally be able to stay at home with 
their little ones, bloggers who are leaving jobs to pursue
their passions and become entrepreneurs, and now me, 
a forty-something momma who with kids busy in school and 
extra hours in her day, felt the gentle 'tug' of my former
professional self......and is able to make it work for both
her and her family......  We are blessed as women, to have
these choices and freedoms!  I celebrate us all!

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