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Design….it should ALWAYS be fun…..

having fun

Looking back on 2014 I have to say that I am most proud of how
my design business has evolved and grown, and by that, I really
mean how I have evolved and grown in my design business.

When I began this adventure in 2012, I really just dove in….
if you were one of those first clients, God bless you.
While I am proud of ALL my work, what I know for sure,
is that my work has only gotten better, along with the confidence
and perspective I bring to each design job.

While I am far from perfect and still have miles and miles to
go……I am having a BLAST on this journey.

I love working with people on creating their homes…
It is both an honor and a blessing.

For 2015 I plan on doing much the same, only MORE and bigger!
I have found a niche, working with families who may or may not
have considered hiring an interior designer, who want candid advice 
and counsel but perhaps want to do some of the 'leg-work' themselves
so they can spend more of their budget on furnishings versus a 
designer.  I will provide guidance, choices, alternatives, the best 
neutral paint color, workroom services, bookshelf styling, 
gallery wall creating, affirmation and hopefully loads of creativity.

I created the design board above after being inspired to do so after
seeing Ikea's newest sofa/chair offerings - an English roll arm, one 
of my favorites!  I designed this room to show a traditional sofa
doesn't always have to be styled traditionally!  I love the mix
of traditional and more trendy items - all at very affordable prices -
proving good design is accessible for everyone!

If you are a local Portland client, THANK YOU for your 
confidence, friendship and trust… are helping me live
my dream doing something I love.  

If you are local and thinking about 'zhushing' a room in your home
and would like to schedule a 2015 consult, please send me an

And those of you who live here there and everywhere -
eDesign can work really well for you!  I think I have
worked with over 40 e-clients this year - and though we 
never meet in person, I always feel like when we reach our goal, I have
gained a new friend.  And I love when you follow up and send
me photos of the space we created together!


First things first……I have been having email troubles - ugh!
If you been sending any email communication to my email address, I have not been getting
them for the last week!  I apologize as I have been trying to
figure it all out and make some decisions to as to what email 
service to use going forward.  In the meantime, if you could,
please reach out to me at
I know some of you had been asking about e-design in 2015 and 
I want to get that all sorted out so we are ready to go in January!

I love the quote above….it really speaks to me these days.  And
don't we all begin really thinking about the future and how we
want to be and how we want it to look at this time of year?

With a week to go till Christmas I am feeling ready for it to be over -
from a blogging perspective I am ready to sign off for the year.
I am not a Christmastime blogger - the tours, the over-the-top decor,
gift lists with referral links etc….It all feels disengenious and really 
not for me….and if it's for you, that's fine, it's just not for me.
Sorry for being a downer, I felt like I needed to get that 
off my chest….I have been at this a longtime, don't have a huge 
number of followers, blog irregularly {at best}, write run-on sentences 
and mis-use punctuation but hopefully, am authentic and real.
My reason for blogging is the same as it was in 2008 when I 
started this blog - to connect with those who love interior design,
home-keeping and life.  I hope you leave here inspired to make
your own home beautiful in a way that satisfies YOU.

I may or may not be back before the new year…we'll see if I have
anything to say.  My big girl and husband head to Florida the
day after Christmas for a soccer tournament so it will be 
quieter around here the week after Christmas….something
I am looking forward to….I need the time and space to think about
my design business and where that is going, spending some quality time
with my 12 year old, taking down the Christmas and making some 
plans for a new office for Jill Hinson Interiors - 2015 will be 
the year that I move from the kitchen table to a real home office
space - which means designing a fun, inspiring space to share 
with all of you!


Christmas in the Kitchen….and a favorite recipe!

Welcome to my Christmas kitchen!
Thank you to Kelly from Talk of the House for inviting me to 
participate in her Christmas in the Kitchen blog hop!

As with the rest of our home, I keep the Christmas decor pretty
simple in my kitchen.  I tend to prefer natural elements.  
When my girls were smaller I started a Christmas snow globe
collection for each of them - this year I used them to 
decorate the open shelves on either side of my 
kitchen sink.  They are really the only non-natural element decor.

Our home is in Portland, Oregon.  When we purchased 
this home about four years ago, the cabinets were maple
stained.  We had them sprayed BM White Dove.  I also 
had my contractor remove two doors and convert
two cabinets to the open-storage/plate rack cabinet
you see below.

We also added the subway tile and the BIG Ballard Designs
lantern pictured below.  These pretty simple cosmetic 
changes made the kitchen more 'me'.

I love cooking and baking.

At Christmastime, I love to make homemade
treats and goodies with my two teenage daughters.

Since they were little, we have always made homemade
gifts for their teachers and our neighbors. I want
to instill in them a heart for giving and in my opinion,
homemade gifts are the best gifts!

This weekend we will make a triple batch
of our favorite granola recipe and package it
in jars I purchased at Ikea tied with a ribbon 
and personalized gift tag.  These make great gifts
for the special teachers and office workers 
at each of their schools.

I hope you will take some time to visit my fellow kitchen tour participants:

You won't be disappointed!!!


Below is our granola recipe.  We add dried cranberries to make it 
more festive but you could add nuts or any dried fruit! Also know, you
don't have to add the flax seed or chia seeds - I sneak them  in because 
they are good for you!  My girls add this granola to yogurt 
for a meal or snack.

** UPDATE - the first recipe I included was WRONG - coconut was omitted
which is very important!!!  This is why I probably never include
recipes on my blog!!!  Ugh!!!  Will Pin this correct version!


A little Christmas in our Ho*Me*…...

I'm not going to chat your ear off about our holiday decor….

Here it is….I actually enjoyed doing less this year…..seems there is a
trend towards 'more life, less hassle' and I am a big fan of that mantra.

I couldn't resist these whimsical bottle brush trees from Anthropologie this year -
especially their fabulous colors….love.

I made the pom-pom wreath……I did.  I will attempt my version
of a 'tutorial' next week.  I'm not saying I would do it again.  I have
a wrist injury from the repetitive pom-pom making…..the jury is still
out whether it is worth it to just 'pop' for the cost of the Anthro version…..
I think I would if I had to do it all over, but that's me, the non-crafty,
impatient gal that I am.

Our tree was fresh cut by the hubs in the National Forest - it's irregular
and natural and I love it a lot.  My girls really like the process
of hiking in the forest to find the tree but would prefer a perfectly
coiffed and sheared Christmas tree farm tree….this year, momma won out.
We'll see what next year brings.

We have collected Christopher Radko ornaments since my parents lived
in Warsaw, Poland while my dad worked there in the early 90's.  The
Radko ornaments were manufactured in Poland and we were able to purchase
many for little money when we visited
 - my sweet husband carried many fragile ornaments
back to the U.S. in his carry-on backpack.  Thus, a collection was started and
over the years we have added others, including the tree topper.

I have also collected vintage glass ornament forever - always break a few each
year but love displaying them in my Polish dough bowl.

There you go!  I am not linking up with any Holiday house tours, I am not 
featured anywhere, I didn't have Balsam Hill send me a beautifully flocked tree….
but our home is decorated!  I have also enjoyed socializing with friends, making dinner
for my family, working with clients……nothing was harmed or neglected
in the process of decorating this house….
Merry Christmas!


Striking Family Balance During a Busy Time of Year - $100 Visa Card Giveaway

If you have visited here more than a couple times, you probably know that I have two teenage daughters (well, technically just one, but my 12 year old will be 13 very soon).  I truly LOVE having teenagers.  I didn't think I would - when my girls were toddlers I seriously feared them becoming teens.  But I am here to tell you, you grow into it, you know your children and find that they turn into really amazing people who you really like to hang out with - that is, when they want to hang out with you!  And I know that not everyone has this experience; the teen years can go sideways quick and provide all sorts of challenges and heartbreak... I pray that my girls avoid all the bad stuff, but am aware that they may not… but so far, so good. What no one warned me about when I was balancing playdates, sippy cups and Elmo during those toddler years was just how much BUSIER the teen years are!  I spend an exorbitant amount of time in my car taking my active girls to school, soccer, volleyball and theatre classes.  Add in their social engagements and it could make for one hectic family schedule.   Hectic is not a space I enjoy occupying and I loathe feeling like the schedule is controlling our family… so I really believe that my role as a momma at this stage of the game is to provide balance in my girls lives...
The American Beverage Association has a new joint effort called Mixify.  Mixify is all about balance. Its mission is to inspire teens to find a balanced mix of food, drinks and physical activities every day in ways that are totally unique to them because everyone, every family, and every day is different. 

The ABA asked me to share what balance means to our family: 

1. Balancing time means that my girls enjoy some 'downtime' - time to be with themselves, our family or friends.  I like this time to be as unstructured as possible and involve as little technology as possible. I have always felt that too many structured activities could contribute my girls becoming people who just can't think creatively or enjoy stillness and quiet.

2.  Balancing our nutrition.  I plan our family meals every Sunday so we know that we will be eating healthy, balanced meals in the midst of whatever activities we have going on in our week.  I plan THREE meals and cook extra so we always have leftovers.  My plan assumes that we will likely go out to dinner at our favorite neighborhood brewpub or Mexican place so eating healthy meals at home most of the week provides the necessary balance to a fun night out. 

3.  Balancing my girls' activities.  There are a lot of debates about over-scheduling our children.  I fall on the more conservative side of this debate.  My oldest daughter has always been really active and up for signing up for any and all activities or trying any sport.  My younger daughter is quite the opposite.  She is more introverted and enjoys more creative pursuits. Besides playing volleyball, she really is not crazy about playing sports.  At 16 years old now, my active girl plays competitive soccer on a National Champion team and travels all over the U.S. to soccer tournaments.  She practices four nights per week and, in addition, does fitness conditioning at a gym.  She is also an 'A' student.  Last year, when she was a freshman in high school she really wanted to play high school lacrosse in the spring, in addition to keeping up with her soccer schedule.  We allowed her play.  Unfortunately, we all learned a lot about balance last spring, and it wasn't all good. This time of year leads to particularly busy schedules with lots of fun holiday activities added to the calendar.  Having some strategies on how we manage our time and nutrition during a season where the scales can be tipped {no pun intended!} toward over-indulgence is how our family strikes a healthy balance!

As part of this sponsored post, you have the opportunity to enter a BlogHer giveaway for a $100 Visa gift card!  To enter for a chance to win, please leave me a comment that answers ONE of the following questions:
  • What do you do to keep YOUR family balanced?
  • When it comes to achieving a balanced lifestyle, what do you struggle with?
  • What's your ideal balance for your family?
"Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi understand that getting a balanced mix of foods, drinks and physical activities for your family isn’t always easy. That’s why they’re coming together for the first time ever to talk to teens about balancing what they eat and drink with what they do. With tools to help teens get active and information to help them think about when they’ve had too much, or maybe when it’s time for a treat—America’s beverage companies are supporting our efforts to find a balanced mix that works for our families.”
Visit to learn more about Mixify, or visit the website for teens. You can also follow ABA Delivers on Twitter and Facebook to learn about Mixify and all the other efforts America’s Beverage Companies are undertaking to help families achieve balance.
Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 12/9/14 – 12/24/14.
Be sure to visit the American Beverage Association brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Reflecting on designing for all of you…..

Wade Family Space

Just over two years ago I began offering e-design services via this blog.
About the same time, I also began working with local homeowners to make their 
homes beautiful and functional.  It has been quite the journey - the time has
fulfilled and challenged me in so many ways.  I feel amazingly blessed
to be able to do something I love so much on my own terms in a way
that still allows me to be available for my family too.  

This past year, I worked with almost 40 e-design clients from 
all over the United States!  I still can't believe that number!
I love the interactions, the plethora of emails, the frantic pace and 
the sharing of ideas…..the one fact that most of you have in common is
that you LOVE you a neutral space!  Seriously…'s a trend that isn't 
going away anytime soon.  

As I wrap up 2014, I thought I would share the design I just completed for
a sweet blog reader who lives in a unique home that has GREAT bones!
It was fun to work on this space knowing that the pieces chosen 
were going to shine in the unique architectural backdrop.
I hope she shares photos when the room is put together!

If you would like to work on a space in your home in 2015, please contact
me soon.  I am taking just THREE e-design clients per month in order
to accommodate the growing number of local clients I am working with.
I charge $350 for a room design and require just a 50% deposit 
to reserve your space in my design queue.


Happy to Friday to YOU!

We made it - it's Friday! The first Friday in December in fact!

I don't know about you, but the first week of December always
seems frantic and leaves me feeling panicked….this year was 
no different…..but I decided to embrace it.  I worked hard this week
in order to {hopefully} be able to enjoy the rest of the month….
I ordered gifts online, made dinner reservations for Christmas Eve
{a new plan but one I hope will allow me less stress}, decorated our home
and handled some preparations for a cookie exchange I am hosting
later this month…..It feels good!  

Next Friday,  I am joining three very talented ladies to show
you how we each bring Christmas to our kitchens.  Besides festive
decor, we will be sharing a favorite holiday recipe.  My 7th
grader loves joining me in the kitchen so this weekend we are
making and packaging our favorite granola receipe for
teacher gifts.  I will be sharing our recipe!

And maybe, just maybe, I will post some photos of
our home decorated for Christmas next week too.  I know
there are SO many house tours out there, which is a lot
to compete with……But lower your expectations, then
come back to the Forever*Cottage and see how I brought
Christmas into our home all while keeping my sanity, working with my
design clients, making my family dinner and getting the laundry done.
{cause this girl refuses to allow Christmas to be the boss of me}

  By the way, read THIS post from
The Nester, she articulates my feelings to a 'T'.

Wishing you a weekend of peace and love….


Blogger sALes….and one of my own {ironstone and clocks, oh my!}…..

See the new addition to my living room above?  I lucked out and scored the vintage
Persian rug from Fran at Green Street blog when she was having a little sale of 
home 'extras'.  Her My rug is happily layered over the PB Heathered Jute Chenille rug 
and warming up our family's great room.  I love it!

I question my timing - but before I 'deck the halls', I am feeling the need
to purge and edit.  I have been clearing out some of my collections and am
ready to pass these treasures along so they can live in YOUR house.

I am selling each of the items below.  The price includes shipping.
If you are interested in purchasing the item, please leave a comment
with the item number you wish to purchase along with 
your Paypal address.  I will send you a Paypal invoice.  Please pay
promptly, just because I don't want to have to send you 100 emails 
asking if you REALLY want the item and have to threaten to relist it
if you choose not to pay…..

I will mark the items as SOLD after I receive payment, so 
if something is not marked SOLD it is available.

#1 Ironstone Pitcher $40

#2 Transferware sugar bowl $45

#3 Medium Ironstone Pitcher $40 Sold!
#4 Small Ironstone Pitcher $30 Sold!

#5 Grey Transferware Casserole $45

#6 Large Ironstone Pitcher $50 Sold!

#7 Ironstone Sugar Bowl $35 Sold!

#8 Small Ironstone Creamer $25

#9 Small Big Ben clock $25

#10 Small Big Ben Clock $25 Sold!

#11 Large Big Ben Clock $35

#12 Set of THREE vintage bottles topped with shells
$55 Sold!

I would like to ship everything next week!  It is a busy shipping time of year so 
please take that into consideration!  Happy Shopping!!!!



I really try to live my live with a 'glass is half-full philosophy'….
attempting to be grateful everyday for my many blessings….Thanksgiving gives us
the opportunity to pause and take stock….
it's the ultimate optimists' holiday!  Maybe that's why
I love it so much……or maybe it's the pumpkin pie ;).

This year we will be heading over the mountains to visit
my parent's in Central Oregon.  We will look forward to hanging
out as a family, something it seems becomes harder and harder
with two busy teen girls.  Then on Friday we will
head out for our annual hike to find the perfect
Christmas tree in the National Forest!  This is one
of my favorite holiday traditions!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time
to say 'HELLO' and enter the giveaway for my little
sign!  In these times of sponsored posts, sponsored giveaways
for REALLY high value items, it was refreshing to have
so many of you enter this seemingly smallish giveaway 
that I paid for myself!  Seems like how things used to be
when blogging was new!

The winner of the sign is an Anonymous commenter
who signed her post as "Karen H." - can you please
email me at


Random thoughts about blogging in the month of December…..and a giveaway!

If you are wondering, I am still here.

I have been at this blogging thing since 2009 and I have never much cared for blogging during the holidays.  I completely blame the self-imposed pressure I put on myself.  But it's hard sometimes to not feel 'less than' when you visit blogs during this time and it seems everyone but YOU has time for homemade gifts, crafts with their children, orchestrating the perfect holiday gathering, hand-stamping wrapping paper, hand-painting signs, advent calendars, date nights, decorating thematic trees, creating festively stocked hot cocoa stands in their kitchens and baking the perfect treats and cookies……I'm just exhausted writing it all down.  Don't even get me started on the 'Linky Parties', blog hops, home tours…….I am often left wondering, does the real life experience match the Pinterest worthy images? Is that blogger REALLY enjoying the season as much as her photos want you to believe?  More important, would her children rather have her TIME vs. the hot cocoa stand?

I have, in the past, fallen into the trap of wanting everything to be 'perfect' only to feel immensely disappointed when it is all said and done….not to mention exhausted and just glad it's over.  I vow to not allow myself to feel this way this year.  I have really thoughtfully considered what it would take for me to arrive at December 26 feeling like I really enjoyed the holiday season.  I will make a some changes this year.  I am going to lessen/eliminate some aspects of the season that stress me out and focus on parts of the season that bring me and my family the most joy.


1.  Buy less gifts.  My girls are teenagers now, and really want for nothing.  They are blessed beyond measure.  In the past, I always felt like they need a 'big' gift and many smaller gifts - too many.  We are paying for private school tuition, theatre classes and this year hefty travel expenses for our soccer player.  Thankfully, my girls appreciate these things and know that these experiences are 'gifts' themselves.

2.  Simplify the food/meal planning and preparation .  I love baking, but not five different kinds of cookies.  Our family tradition has always been to go to church on Christmas Eve and then come back home and eat appetizers while opening our Chirstmas presents {Santa brings presents for Christmas morning}.  This year, I am suggesting we go out to dinner at a festive restaurant before church and then come home and enjoy desserts and wine while opening our presents.

3. Blog when I feel like it.  You will hear from me less this month.  I do have posts planned.  I will be sharing my decked out holiday kitchen along with a bunch of other bloggers.  And I will show snippets of my simply decorated  home too.  I am hosting a cookie exchange as a fundraiser for my daughter's school and have some fun plans for that that I will share too.  But I won't blog just to blog - I will leave all the things I mentioned above to the over-achievers.

4. Decorate simply with mostly natural elements rather than doo-dads and tchotchkes.

My Joy List

1. Attend Advent masses.  I love attending the Friday mass celebrations at my daughter's high school - there is something about seeing teens expressing their faith I find so inspiring.  I always have better Fridays when I take the time to attend these masses.  They make sure they are really special during the advent season.

2. Host friends for casual gatherings.  Also, have fun lunches with my girlfriends!

3. Bake with my daughters.

4. Christmas shop. I love taking each of my girls separately and help them choose gifts for one another and their dad.  Instilling a giving heart in each of my girls is very important to me.  I love witnessing them caring about picking out the perfect gift for their sister.

5. Peacock Lane and Zoo Lights.  In our city we have a street called Peacock Lane where EVERY house decorates all out for Christmas.  It gets so busy it requires police to direct traffic!  When the girls were little we would get them ready for bed in their pajamas and then go drive Peacock Lane.  Our zoo does 'Zoo Lights' and since our girls were little we made a night out of it.  Even though they are teenagers now, these important family traditions are a favorite of the season!

6.  Get an Oregon Forestry Department tree cutting permit.  I love our family tradition of going for a hike in the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree.  Now, my family has vetoed the 'natural' tree for our main Christmas tree so this year {like last} we will find a smallish natural tree to have in our dining room.

7. Watch 'Elf' with my family - it's our favorite!

7. Remember the reason for the season….

In addition, we are putting up our tree earlier, like the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Typically we would wait till the first weekend of December but I am thinking that getting the house ready earlier will allow me to just enjoy the season - because believe it or not - I am NOT a huge fan of decorating my house for the holidays.  I happen to like my house the way it is decorated the other 11 months of the year quite well, thank you very much.

Please know, I don't mean to insult readers or blogger who LOVE all things Christmas……I am just providing my side of the story…. Admittedly this plan of mine could all go sideways as fast as you can say 'we wish you a Merry Christmas'……I promise to report back to you in early January if my plan was executed and successful…….or just how much the family liked my hot cocoa stand…...


And in other randomness………….

 Remember the gallery wall update post I did a couple weeks ago?

When I freshened up my gallery wall, I replaced a more 'country' feeling sign that read 'NEST' with the more modern sign pictured above that reads 'HELLO'.

When I purchased my HELLO sign, I also purchased one to giveaway!

And because this post is all about making things easier for us busy moms…..I will make this the easiest giveaway you have ever entered! Simply type the word 'HELLO' in the comment section for your chance to win……that's it.  Enter by Tuesday, November 25th.  

Winner will be announced here on Wednesday!


My Favorite Things 2014

Favorite Things List

First, thank you to Melissa from 320 Sycamore for including me in
her Favorite Things blog tour this year!  I loved doing this -
I even asked my family what they thought my favorite things were!
I wanted this list to be authentic….things I really love, use
and were a part of my life in 2014!

I have included some explanations and links if you
are interested in making MY favorites YOUR favorites!

Volcano Candles
These candles meet my 'candle standards' in many ways -
They smell good, are in a pretty container and are long lasting.
If you want your home to smell like an Anthropologie store, these are your candles!
I tend to burn a candle every day - I find it calming and it instantly cozies up any space.

BM Revere Pewter
I would define this neutral paint color as my 'go to' neutral.
Revere Pewter is painted on the walls of many satisfied 2014 clients, enough said.

iPhone 6 Plus
I recently upgraded my old iPhone 4 and chose the biggie, iPhone 6 Plus.
Despite my children's complete embarrassment and teasing….I love it.  Since I am 40ish,
my eyes have a hard time reading small print and this phone is a great help!

Ugg moccasins 
My days have been busier this year with my business and my
momma duties….when I come home after a long day, I switch into these fluffy
moccasins and instantly feel cozy and comfortable!  Uggs can be pricey but
last forever - totally worth the investment!

Hang and Level Tool
I hung many a gallery walls this year and I could not have
done it {without putting a million holes in my client's walls} without this tool.
It's an 'As seen on TV' product which cracks me up.

21-Day Fix
I am not really overweight but last spring I was feeling
'soft' and really wanted to do something to tweak my eating.  I already exercise
regularly but felt like my eating could improve and I desperately needed some
discipline.  I joined Marta's group and did the 21-Day Fix.  I stuck with it and
ate NO flour and very little sugar for 21 days.  I have continued to really
eat very little flour and have definitely increased my fruit and vegetable intake.
My jeans are looser and more importantly, I feel better!

Noonday Jewelry
I don't remember when I first learned about Noonday,
but I have purchased pieces over the last couple years from my friend Paige and
wear them often…..This year, I hosted my first in-home Noonday party with
a local Noonday Ambassador and definitely increased the number of
pieces in my collection.  I love knowing that my jewelry is handcrafted by
artisans that receive a living wage in return for my purchases!  Noonday is
changing lives and bringing hope to impoverished countries all over the world,
that is something amazing that I am happy to be a part of!

Starbucks Green Tea Lemonade
This was included at the urging of my teenager……who describes my
love for this drink as an 'obsession'.  I can't help myself….
Admittedly, I drank many of these over the summer.

Beauty Aids
I am a pretty simple girl when it comes to beauty products.
I try to spend as little time as possible getting ready in the morning….
I love Smashbox's Camera Ready CC cream!  It evens out my skin and
gives it a healthy, dewy glow.  It's really forgiving an application is super easy.

I recently went pretty short with my hair but will never give up my
Kerastase products!  Now, these products are on the pricey side
but I have learned that better products are more concentrated so you
don't need to use as much in your hair.  I highlight my hair often and this
product leaves my hair looking healthy and smooth!

Now you can head to over to Elizabeth at Fresh Plate to see what
are her Favorite Things!

** Also - Melissa is hosting a link-up on Thursday and would like all
of you to post and link YOUR favorite things if you would like!
Please do - inquiring minds want to know!

A winner…..And Favorite Things!

A rare Saturday post to announce the winner of the
$150 shopping credit from Minted……
*I sent you an email so check your inbox darling!

Also want to alert you to a fun bloghop {is that a word?}  I am participating in
 - all next week Melissa from 320 Sycamore is 
asking a group of bloggers to share their "Favorite Things"….
I am one of the blogs sharing on Monday!

I can't wait to share….but don't get your hopes up,
It's not the Oprah "you get a car, you get a car" kind
of Favorite Things…..but it is always fun to discover 
new products and services, books, beauty products
etc….that others love…..

Seriously, head over to Pop Sugar to see these hilarious Oprah reactions!
Random fact….I grew up in Chicago and attended many
Oprah tapings, saw many version of the Oprah over the years…
….but was never lucky to be at one of these shows!
Lord knows I probably would have cried and hugged/kissed all those
around me too…..

Please come back on Monday and visit ……..


Gallery Wall {re-FrEsH}…and a giveaway from Minted so you can do yours too!

My gallery wall posts still bring this blog the most Google search traffic -
the trend doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon!
I know this because I feel like I am installing
gallery walls at just about every other local client I see!

I originally installed our gallery wall shortly after our move
into our home almost four years ago - my first attempt was ok
but I tweaked it a bit soon after that first installation.
You can see those posts HERE and HERE.
My wall was even featured on - I talked about
that HERE.

While I am still pretty much in love with my wall - especially 
the precious photos of my babies, I was ready to make it a tad less
busy, more monochromatic…..UPDATED!  

I started by removing some of the more 'vintage-y' art and signs.
I also spray painted some frames white to 'lighten and brighten'….
Because the wall was feeling crowded to me, I added
some more space in between the frames by rehanging and readjusting 
the overall layout a bit.

My love for vintage flea market art will never fade, but
I felt like my wall needed some modern pieces 
added in for balance…..
I went to to find a couple graphic,
modern art prints to add to my wall. never disappoints - their options just
keep getting better and better!

It's important to mix up the shapes of frames in your
gallery walls so this square print was a fun Minted find!

I chose the print below for a hint of color and it's
modern, on-trend hexagon print. is once again offering a generous $150 credit to 
ONE lucky Forever*Cottage reader!

Whether you need a couple pieces to complete your gallery
wall or you want to start a gallery wall in your own
home - the gorgeous and varied prints from Minted
will really get you started!


1.  Visit and browse the art prints!

2.  Come back here and tell me which TWO were your favorites
in the comments!

** Enter by Friday at MIDNIGHT PST.
** I will announce the winner on Saturday, November 15.


I promise…….

Hello lovelies….

Here I sit, on November 2nd, and dang if it 
isn't SO dark out at 6:30 pm…..I sorta like it
and I sorta don't……I feel indifferent.

November is a one of my favorite months.

Thanksgiving is really one of my top
two favorite holidays….I vacilate between
Easter and Thanksgiving. Both holidays are
pretty low stress and who doesn't like turkey
and/or ham…..and pie!

I personally am NOT a fan of the rush 
to Christmas… I am making a promise
to all of you……. You will not see a single
post relating to Christmas until AFTER
we have all filled up on turkey, stuffing and 
pumpkin pie AND enjoyed the company
of our friends and family.
Counting our blessings…..let's do THAT first, ok?


The winner of the LoveFeast Shop giveaway is
Shannon from Upon a Dream blog.


LoveFeast Pumpkin Giveaway!

When it comes to holiday or seasonal decor, I tend to 
steer more towards subtle touches and natural elements.
That's why I have been a fan of LoveFeast Shop's velvet pumpkins 
and acorns for many years and love using them in 
my own home.  My favorites are the ones with the
really quirky stems!  Love!

It seems each year, LoveFeast Shop adds pumpkins in new colors or fabrics…
this year I am loving the metallic linen pumpkins and also
the pink ones {for breast cancer awareness}.  The acorns
are just so charming and sweet too!

And don't think this is a seasonal shop - they have lots of decorative
objects for your home for anytime of the year too!

LoveFeast Shop is giving away a Pumpkin Trio to one
lucky Forever*Cottage reader! {retail value $106}

To enter this giveaway:

1. Visit LoveFeast Shop and take a look at their products.

2.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me what
trio you would choose if you won!

3.  For a second entry, follow LoveFeast Shop on Instagram.
{make sure you come back and leave a comment letting me know you did}

4. For a THIRD entry, follow LoveFeast Shop on Pinterest!

**This giveaway is open to US residents only.
**Please enter by midnight PST, Wednesday, October 29.


Using Liming Wax on Pine…..

You may all remember my Goodwill score from a couple years ago -
you can read about it HERE……While I love old pine so much, sometimes
I find it too yellow for my tastes.  I had read how liming wax can 'bring down'
the yellow hues so I had try it on this piece - I didn't have much to lose!

I really love the results!  By no means is it a perfect waxing job {as the photos prove} but
I wanted it look imperfect as if it had happened over time.

I ordered my Briwax from Amazon but you might be able to find it
at your local woodcraft store too.

Notice anything else different in my home?  I finally hung drapes
on both LARGE sliding french doors in my great room…..
love how instantly cozy the room feels.


Thanks everyone who took the time to write a comment to
my 'overwhelmed momma' post!  I appreciate your insight so much.


Is it almost Monday already????

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