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My blog posts have been seriously lacking this week, I apologize.
Life happens and that's ok.  I am always in
awe of bloggers who are really full-time mommies,
have jobs and lives who blog
I raise my glass to you!

The photo above {from Veranda 2011} was
a favorite from Pinterest this week so I thought
I would share.  I think the room seems formal
at first glance but I would have no problem
plopping my feet up on that ottoman while sipping 
a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Despite a bad week in blogging - you will want to 
come back here tomorrow.  I am hosting a fun giveaway!

So what do you have planned for Thursday?



I love the quote above - found on Pinterest this week.  SO TRUE and
such a good reminder for those of us who love everything pretty
and perfect.....

Speaking of imperfect.....

Have I mentioned I have never met a home accessory I didn't like?
Here is a photo of my living room/office - with a couple Target
accessories and lots of clutter on my desk!
I love the spring branches I picked up
at Trader Joe's this week - a nice
change from a flower bouquet.  

Have a lovely Wednesday.


Upholstered Headboard......

This is our bedroom - yesterday....
perfectly fine.  We have had the black sleigh bed
for about 10 years - almost a record for a
piece of furniture in our house.  It
has served us well but I am over its
Budgets are tight these days so a 'no go' for 
anything new.

I don't know if you can see it - but there is an inset on 
the headboard that I would like to upholster....I am serious.
But first I need to paint the headboard, thinking a creamy white.

The photo below is inspiring me....

via Pinterest

Not exactly the same style as my bed but I love everything
about this bed......I am sucker for blue and white with a big
dose of white.

Wish me luck!


I went shopping...

It's no secret I am in love with my city, Portland Oregon.
Besides being beautiful, funky, quirky, a great place to get
both a glass of good wine or good coffee, Portland has 
some fun home decor shops.

Yesterday, I was shopping with a friend/client and 
snapped a few photos with my iPhone that I thought
I would share....just for fun.

 We started at Cielo Home - a sweet shop that specializes
in gorgeous special antique pieces, custom upholstery and lamps,
John Derian pieces and other small decorative items.  For me,
this shop is for is pricey....but hey, a girl can dream!
We also ventured to Jonathan Adler - this is a new
store for Portland - opened about six months ago!

Overall, the Adler look is a bit too contemporary for my
personal home, but as a design fan, I was in heaven!
The store is so inspirational and full of COLOR!
I loved the whimsy and the messages on the 
walls of the store - all about living in 
beautiful, fun spaces.  Obviously,
Jonathan Adler believes that more than anything,
design should be fun!  Amen!

Cargo - an import store was our next stop.  Cargo has a bit
of this and a lot of that....Asian pieces are plentiful, including 
all the blue and white porcelain pieces pictured above.
The also have a large selection of Santos cage dolls -
I happen to love these, but I know lots of people
who find them slightly creepy.  What do you think?

And more wise words from Jonathan Adler........

My friend/client purchased a couple blue and white
porcelain pieces - including that LARGE jar
pictured above and will have them converted to lamps.
I can't wait to show you this project - it's going to be beautiful.

Enjoy your day!

Let's chat, shall we?

After having the kids home for the last four days, I am slowly
trying to find my mojo this morning.  And to clarify, by "home"
I really mean "off of school" because I am discovering as my
girls get older they spend less and less time at home. Social lives,
activities and sports all require lots of driving and coordination
by yours truly.

I am often asked to share more photos of my home on the blog
so as I was going through my photo files last night, I uploaded
photos to share today - they have absolutely nothing to do
with my random ramblings.....nor do any of these spaces look
like this today!  Complete evidence of my indecisive nature -
after all, I am a fickle girl.

Thanks to all of you who shopped my tag sale - I find it's a fun
way to connect with readers and have even had the pleasure of delivering
goodies to local gals to meet in person!  There are still a few
items left.  I marked the grain sack pillows down this morning!
It was fun to open the new issue of Flea Market Style
magazine and discover that two of my tag sale items
{the bowling pin and dyed grain sack pillow} were featured 
as popular flea market items to collect!

Are you watching The Bachelor?  I am a total fan, have been since
day 1.....I used to watch for the sweet reminder of those early romantic
days of a relationship.  Now, I often find myself thinking, "what would
I think of this boy if one of my daughters brought him home?" 
Yet another reminder that I am indeed getting old!
Do you know Sean's sister has a blog?
She does recaps and provides lots of insider tidbits
about the show, super fun to read if you are a fan.
Go here and check it out!

I stumbled upon this new-to-me blog and this great post
written about e-Design.  I have really enjoyed working with
some of you over the last couple months!  The e-Design
process is unique and can really help homeowners struggling
with design dilemmas in specific rooms in their homes.
If you have your own design dilemma and think I could help, please email me at

Now,  go have a fantastic day!


Forever*Cottage Tag Sale!

I'm in the midst of some early spring cleaning.  The tag sales
I have hosted here on the blog in the past have been 
fun and a way to pass along treasures to others 
who appreciate a good pillow or decorative
object like moi!

This is how it works - just email at
and let me know what item you would like to 
purchase, I will let you know if it still
available - it's first come, first served around here!
I will send a Paypal invoice and mark
the item 'sold' once it has been paid.
{please make note of shipping costs}

Happy shopping!

Vintage hand mirror - $20 {$15 shipping} Sold!

Vintage hand colored botanical with matte - $30 {$10 shipping}

Vintage Big Ben clock - $10 {$10 shipping}Sold!

Vintage pin - $10 {$10 shipping}SOLD!

Dyed grain sack pillow $30 25 {$20 shipping}

4 yards Waverly's "Seeing Spots" in red - $15 {$10 shipping} Sold!

Gorgeous grain sack pillow(22x22) with gray linen back $50 40 {$20 shipping}Sold!
*Includes down fill

Gorgeous 22x22 grain sack pillow {both sides grain sack} $50 40 {$20 shipping}
Sold! * Includes down fill

Chippy frame fits 5x7 photo $10 {$10 shipping}Sold!

Please don't hesitate to email me with any questions!


Weekend thoughts.....

May the sun be shining in your corner of the world
and may you find peace of mind and time to
enjoy the small things with those you love....

Happy weekend!


Master Bedroom Inspired....

Master Bedroom Update

Since moving into our home almost 2 years ago, our master bedroom
has remained a bit neglected.  I had it painted before we
moved in and have kept the same bedding and furniture -
it's perfectly fine but I am ready to turn it up a notch!

I created the design board above to work out a color
palette - I am partial to white bedding but wanted
to use some color and I am loving the coral/navy blue combo.
The room already has a pretty dark grey on the walls but
I am definitely considering going even darker - isn't everyone?
Almost a reason to NOT go darker - ha!

The art is pure inspiration - I have had a bee in my bonnet to
paint something myself {gasp!}.  Our current headboard
is also going to be transformed with paint and fabric -
**Disclaimer - I am not a super diy-er so we
shall see how this goes.

Happy President's Day weekend!


Red plates.....for love.

HaPpY VaLenTine'S DaY!

It's no secret that I appreciate small moments -
as a mom of a teenager and tween-ager, I am reminded
daily about just how fast time is passing.  However, one
of the many benefits of getting to this point in my parenthood
journey is to learn how the seemingly 'little' things I have 
done for and with my girls are appreciated and loved........

Let me explain.....
My teenager is in the midst of applying to Catholic high school -
it's a process, albeit a bit stressful and involving lots of paperwork and essays
and interviews.......  This past weekend we had the
'big' interview at her school of choice.  My teenager was
asked about family traditions.  The interviewer was really 
wanting to know about our religious traditions but my daughter 
talked about our RED PLATE tradition
{and I may have felt a lump in my throat}.

I thought it would be fun to share {again}.

Long before the days of Pinterest or blogs - early in my
days as a new mother, I read about creating easy, small family
traditions.  One of the suggestions was to award children's big
and small accomplishments with a red dinner plate.
I purchased a couple plastic red plates and have tried
my best to surprise my girls with their place set at dinner with a red
plate when they do well on a spelling test, lose a tooth,
win a soccer game, play a violin get the idea.

I share this, not to increase my chances for Mother of the Year
or make anyone feel inadequate.
I share this because while Pinterest and blogs are wonderful,
they can often lead us momma's to feel overwhelmed, 
especially around these holidays - like today.
I share this for all mothers of wee ones  and big ones - just beginning
or in the middle or this wonderful journey that often feels completely thankless,
draining and overwhelming.......

I have been guilty of overindulging my children 
with expensive gifts, inviting way too many
six years olds to a birthday party, insisting on a homemade
birthday cake that required me to stay up frosting into the 
wee hours of the night and planning 'perfect' vacations.....
among many other crazy things us momma's do.
{raise your hand if you were up late last night making homemade Valentine's}

This weekend, during a high school interview, I learned
how something as simple as a plastic red plate, could 
mean so much....

And how could I not use the red plates this morning?
The photos above were taken late last night 
{yes, I still have alot to learn}so
I apologize for the bad light.  

Oh, and those plates......they may just might show
up on someone's wedding day too....but I can't
think about that right now - high school looming 
next year is almost too much to handle right now.

May love find you today.......


Steward of Design....


I was honored when Stacey at Steward of Design asked
me to answer a few questions about myself and design.....
go here if you want to learn more about 
yours truly......


Butler's Pantry.....

Butler's pantry's are one of those spaces in a home that I would consider
a luxury.  I was lucky to have had one in a former home but 
unfortunately, not in our current home. 

I love to entertain and I might have a bit of an obsession 
with ironstone platters, silver napkin rings,
aprons and cloth napkins.  My kitchen
cupboards - while plentiful, were not really
built for storing the above mentioned obsessions
entertaining essentials.

I purchased this white cupboard at a favorite Portland
antiques spot from a favorite dealer.  It came with a single
shelf.  I had my handy dad cut three shelves for me and
my husband installed them in the cabinet
over the weekend.

I painted the interior Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe
with a leftover quart I had mixed at Home Depot.
The paint had hardly dried when I began filling
it with all my platters, linens, cups, flatware,
serving baskets, water pitchers and misc......

As you can see, it's not quite perfect - but it certainly provides
perfect storage for all my entertaining essentials!


A seascape update......

The seascape I posted about earlier this week
got a frame.....a quite chippy/scraped frame which I 
happen to love.  

I had the opportunity to spend a few days this week
out hunting in some of my favorite
Portland antiques stores.

I passed on the ironstone - on this day.

Architectural salvage just makes me start dreaming!
I have always wanted a clawfoot bathtub!

And based on the photo below, I think I might not need
to shop for vintage paintings for awhile......

Happy Friday to you - what's on your agenda for this February weekend?
My big girl's Saturday night basketball game got cancelled -
so I promptly made dinner plans with good friends.
This is the kind of change of plans that makes me happy.
This does not however mean a lack of sports -
we will on the sidelines cheering at not ONE but
TWO soccer games.  Oh, and Valentine's - I must
convince my little girl that homemade Valentine's
are superior to Justin Beiber Valentine's from Target.
Wish me luck!


Collected vs. Decorated

This sentiment {from Suzanne Kasler}
pretty much sums up my design philosophy.

Clients often struggle with understanding it - cause everyone
wants a pretty, finished room 'now'!  But I think the prettiest, happiest,
coziest rooms are ones with personal collections - photos, collections,
heirlooms, books, something old, something new
....meaningful objects that speak to those who
dwell within the rooms walls.  Those rooms truly sing!

I don't hide the fact that I am not a formally trained
interior designer - but my instinct to design imperfectly, 
perfectly collected looking spaces that reflect the life and loves
of those who live in the space is something that 
can't be taught.

The rooms in my own home have many things no 
interior designer would include in a design 
plan but they are meaningful things to
me and my family - they tell the story of us.

That's real life design!


Lamps Plus Design Bloggers Conference...

This is happening.....
A few weeks ago a real life friend sent me a 
text encouraging me to check out 
Emily Henderson's blog.  She said there
was a Design Bloggers conference that was
offering a scholarship to attend for newish
design bloggers.  Emily was one of the
'professional' choosing the winners and that
it was a perfect fit for me.
To enter the the contest I simply had to 
submit an email answering some questions 
about my blog, easy-peasy.  

Well, yesterday I got word that I was
selected along with four very talented ladies

I feel honored to have been selected but
completely freaked out too - I have never
attended a blogging conference and after
reading the bios of the other winners I am
a wee bit intimidated - hello, an Anthropologie
product designer???

But - ultimately, this is life and it's about living!
Blogging has brought me so many opportunities, like
this, and this, and this -
I would have otherwise never had - so this
is yet another.  Most importantly, I remind myself, my two girls
are watching me, every step of this journey.
And I am blessed to be able to show
them how "it's never too late to become
what you were meant to be".

Now.....what am I going to wear???


Collecting seascapes.....

I had a couple opportunities to visit some favorite Portland
antiques malls last week - I was really shopping for a client
but of course I found a little something for me.

I am a huge fan of vintage art - there are alot
of hidden gems out there - painted primarily by hobby
artists, often unsigned but beautiful and interesting nonetheless.
I think vintage art can add instant character to 
newer spaces and is SO much better than any
Ikea poster or Home Goods piece and can
be purchased for the same price or less!

My favorites to find are seascapes.  I found the small seascape
pictured above for $40 in a Portland antiques mall.
I bought it unframed but now would like to find 
an antique frame to pop it in.  It measures 8x10
so should be pretty easy - just need to hunt for the 
perfect frame.

Of course,  a collection of these types of paintings look 
great grouped together on a wall but you can
also prop them up on a bookshelf like in the first
photo.  You can also hang them by themselves on a small
wall - perhaps near a light switch for a bit of 
pretty when you are doing something as simple as shutting
of the bathroom light!

I grabbed the image above and below from Pinterest{original source unkown}.

Who knew, John Derian collects seascapes!?

Vintage art, do you have some in your home?

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