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BlogHer '14

A blogging conference....have you ever gone to one?


Admittedly, and sadly, I have not.  I had a hard enough time over the weekend to attend a cycle class at a local studio for "Portland Bloggers".  Even though I attend classes at this studio regularly, I was apprehensive to label myself publicly as a 'blogger' meet others who might be younger than me, cooler than me, better writers than me.....yadda, yadda, yadda.  I didn't let my fear get the best of me however, and in the end, I had a great time, met some wonderful local, half my age  energetic bloggers.  After the ride, we gathered at a coffee shop across the street to chat some more and swap information.  It was great to make these connections with, ultimately, like-minded women.

This year, BlogHer is holding it's conference in San Jose, California - on the west coast (yea!) from July 24-July 26.  BlogHer '14 is an opportunity to learn more about blogging from great speakers like Kerry Washington and Jenny Lawson {The Bloggess}.  And I think the best thing about attending a blogging conference is making connections - like I did this weekend in a cycling studio!  Don't we all learn so much for one another???   

I am really thinking of attending BlogHer this about you?  Don't you feel left out when you see all the photos of bloggers having fun, TOGETHER at a blogging conference on social media?  Well that could be us!  You can go HERE to register for BlogHer '14.  



First, sorry if the above image's language offends.
{fact about me: I cuss more than I probably should}
Moving along….

It's Friday - amazing…..Having my %#$& together is always
a goal for my week, but lately, I hardly feel like I do.
I am trying to embrace imperfection, that enough is enough -
which is BIG for this once perfection-seeker.

But life throws us curves…..this week I had 
a sick girl at home and one away at Outdoor School.
I have two kids playing three sports this spring season, 
someone needs a birthday gift for a friend, a new dress for an
event, momma didn't really grocery shop thoroughly this week…...
we ate cereal for dinner.

As much as I admire those with a weekly 'routine', life
around the Forever*Cottage doesn't seem to fall into
any sort of step or routine…….and I have found 
a bit of peace with that.

I know there will come a day when I will have oodles
of time to have my *&^% together, but that's not
where I am right now.  Right now, I am finding
joy in the chaos, the busy….. cereal for dinner.


My dining room…..craving color {sort of}.

If you ever visit my house, chances are you would 
plop yourself down at my 'kitchen couch' - it's a favorite spot
in my Forever*Cottage. It's a homework spot, work spot,
dining spot, chatting spot, wine drinking spot, texting spot,
phone chat spot, reading spot {and famous for being the "I'll
just sit here and talk to mom while she cleans up the kitchen" spot}.…
it's where it all happens around here.

This is THE dining room in our home - part of larger
'great room' space that includes the kitchen and
family room….{and the big staircase that has become
so famous for it's gallery wall}.

I have been a little color-shy this winter - favoring more
neutrals in my accents….but with springs' arrival
I was craving some color so I began switching pillows….

Obviously, I didn't go all crazy, but our beloved bench got
some attention.

For all of you that have asked and will ask……
my European bench was a Farm Chicks purchase about
three years ago….I bought it from one of my 
favorite dealers Uber Chic Home.  Those boys
have the loveliest of lovely finds from Europe - the
things that make my heart flutter!

I have plans for this space….nothing too crazy - some bamboo shades
for the windows and drapery panels for the large French Doors….
In time……cause it's always something!


Bloggers who lunch…..

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Portland blogger
lunch hosted by!  Like a good blogger {and unusual
for me} I took my big girl camera and am glad I did.  I know
you all like to see a pretty table as much as me.
The flowers were gorgeous!

The stationary and paper embellishments were 
adorable - of course, they were done by Minted!

Blogging can be isolating and lonely…..often done by true
introverts {ahem…..not moi!}……
I was nervous!  But I am glad I went
and met some wonderful bloggers, like Vanessa from 
At the Picket Fence - that girl knows blogging and social media, 
like she's a pro!

It's good to leave your comfort zone….especially when
it involves lunch, pretty flowers and gifts!

Here's all of us……sorry for the Instagram pic.
That's me, the introverted lunch loving, flower
loving, gift loving blogger in the upper right corner.

Woop!  It's Monday!


A creative option when you need a large coffee table…..

I had the pleasure of checking in with a local client last week.
This young family moved into a 'new to them' home almost 
a year ago and quickly got to work on a major kitchen renovation.

The home is large which meant it required larger scaled furniture
than what they had in their former home.  The client was anxious to
complete the family room that adjoined their newly renovated 
kitchen and had a strict budget to stick to. 

The room really needed a large square coffee table which is 1.) hard to
come by and 2.) expensive.  My client's solution? {which was her idea, completely}
Purchase two World Market coffee tables and put them together.
I suggested the large basket tray on top to help 'unify' the tables.

The winner of the Uncommon Goods $50 credit is……


I sent you an email! Congratulations!
Thanks to all who entered.


Mother's Day Gift Ideas from Uncommon Goods { + a giveaway!}…….

Uncommon Goods


In many ways I feel like yesterday was Christmas, yet this week is Easter - the
days seem to be whizzing on by (see yesterday's post)!  

Spring is really my favorite time of year, so
many special days - including my birthday, Easter and Mother's Day!

Uncommon Goods is a online retailer that features unique designs and
handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without
harm to animals or people.  I love that Uncommon Goods mission is to 
support artists and designers - half of what they sell is made by hand,
in the good ole USA!  I admire their commitment to the creative community!
Check out some of their wonderful gift ideas HERE.

When Uncommon Goods asked me to choose some of my
favorite Mother's Day gift items, I had no problem finding
lots of things I would love to receive from my peeps.
You can go HERE to see some of these items for yourself.

Uncommon Goods is offering ONE lucky Forever*Cottage
reader a $50 gift card to help YOU with your 
Mother's Day gift shopping!

To Enter:

* Go to Uncommon Goods and check out their site

* Come back here and let me know what gift from 
Uncommon Goods you would love to receive.

*Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
and let me know for an additional entry.

I will choose a winner on Wednesday, April 16th.
Enter by Tuesday, April 15th midnight PST.


thoughts from a 'good stuff' filled weekend……and a winner.

A wise 'older' mom once quoted this to me as I chased
my exuberant toddler while managing a stroller with
my sleeping baby in it……I remember being frustrated,
a little overwhelmed and exhausted.  I refrained from
saying out loud what I was thinking in my head,
'yea, right, lady'!  

Lately, I find myself thinking about that day and believing,
'truer words were never spoken'.

I am now that wiser mom - with a 15 year old and a 12 year old.

This weekend was FILLED to the brim with good stuff -
school dances, lessons on applying/wearing red lipstick, 
sleepovers, birthday parties, soccer games,
volleyball practice, dinner with friends who are more like cousins, 
good conversations about life choices and teenager-y things,
serious conversations about heartbreaking stuff like the suicide of a local
girl, driving, oh the driving I do these days - but all with the
the sunroof open this weekend….it was sunny and 75 in the PNW!

And from the comments on my post yesterday,
yours was too.  Boy do you all like to clean
your homes - girls after my own heart!
I hope you all got in lots of 'good stuff' too…..

The winner of the Target Easter banner is :


*I chose the 17th commentor because
my birthday is THIS week on the 17th!

What's going on……plus a fun giveaway.

I'm not going to even apologize for my absence……I am not arrogant enough to 
think you are all sitting online waiting to hear about my next client project, 
diy attempt, gallery wall conquest… me, you have 
living to do!  Now that doesn't mean I don't get all
giddy when you comment, compliment and read along
with my yammering on ……… cause I do!

So here it is Saturday morning, it's peaceful in my house - the
teen and tween are sleeping in, the hubs is on a golf trip this weekend,
I am planning my day all the while the sun is doing it's best
to make us in the Pacific Northwest believe it is really spring.

Want to know what's on my 'ta-da' list today?

*some cleaning

*a little laundry

*planting the lettuce and pea starts
I purchased earlier this week

* purchasing a birthday gift
for the party my tween is 
attending tonight

*working out

* And this evening is a high school dance
so I will be driving my freshman, her date
and multiple friends to pre-parties, post parties,
photographing, calming nerves, primping,
reassuring, beaming with pride and 
soaking it all in

The Good Stuff.

And just because, I am giving away a sweet Easter banner
I found at Target.

I picked up one of these for myself shortly after I returned from
spring break and posted a photo on Instagram and had
many questions on where I found it in my Target - seems
it was quite the elusive little item in many Targets across the 
country……So the next time I went to Target I purchased 
a couple for friends. And because I think of all of you
as friends, I would like to choose a reader to 
send one of these cuties to for your Easter celebration!

Please leave me a comment telling me what's on your ta-da list
this weekend.  I will choose a winner tomorrow night (10 pm PST)!
*US residents only!

Then, come back on Monday for another giveaway! 

A 'Frozen' themed party fit for a tween!

 Simple is the name of the game around here - especially birthday celebrations
as my girls get older.  My little girl turned 12 in March and wanted to have
some friends over to "hang out" and celebrate her birthday.  She
LOVES the movie Frozen and the girls were planning to watch it
together so I ran with that 'theme' when I set and decorated
her birthday table!  
 My local friend Mary who owns The Paper Moon made the 
bottle wrappers and treat bag stickers for me.  I used wrapping
paper I picked up at HomeGoods for the table runner and thankfully,
the Easter-themed M&M's and readily available daffodils 
helped to make the table festive!

A great time was had by all!


The winner of the $50 Lowe's gift card is Stacey from Steward of Design!



Ah, vacation….it does a soul good.  I am happy to be back and am slowly returning
to our normal routine. 

Waiting for me on our front porch when I returned from vacation was this
'perfect for me' sign from Etsy seller BetweenYouAndMe.
I love it so much that I spent much of the morning, after unpacking it,
carrying it from one room to another contemplating where I might hang
it!  So much for unpacking suitcases and doing laundry!

For now, it's found a place in our front entry hall.  I believe
it's a fitting verse for our home.

Tara from BetweenYouAndMe has graciously offered 10% of signs
in her Etsy shop.  You can go HERE and find one for yourself!

Use the code 'FOREVERCOTTAGE' to receive
your 10% discount!

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