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Greek Basil Topiary

As the wise Dorothy once said, "there's no place like home".  
'Tis true - I am a homebody.  After a very busy month
 with lots of travel, most recently a soccer
tournament in San Diego this past weekend, I am home 
for the remainder of the summer. Woop!

On my trip to Trader Joe's on Tuesday to stock
a neglected pantry, I discovered they were carrying
these Greek Basil Topiaries!  

I first bought one of these little cuties at Home Depot back
in the spring.  I enjoyed it's fragrance in my kitchen and
cutting it's petite basil leaves for use in any
recipe that called for traditional basil.

With my tomato plants beginning to produce, this pretty
plant will be fun to use in my favorite caprese salads!

You can learn more about this pretty/useful plant HERE.


My favorite Pins this week……


Pinterest remains my go-to for inspiration of all kind.  My only
wish is that I was better organized with my boards when I began
pinning.  Right now I have a  board labeled 'food' but oh how
I wish I had created 'sweets', 'appetizers', 'soups', 'chicken' etc…..
So in my spare time maybe I might re-organize….ha!

Thought I would share some of my favorite Pins from this week…….
I am bringing dinner to a friend/client who recently had
surgery next week.  I am going to include THESE 
bars along with the dinner - they look amazing, and easy
to make too!

As a girl who spent my high school and college years
in the 80's I found this sentiment REALLY funny!  I know 
I didn't wear much neon in the 80's but I do know for sure
that Molly Ringwald was my style icon!

My garden is growing like crazy so I know zuccihini season 
is right around the corner….I am definitely going to make 
this 'new to me' version of zucchini bread! 

And finally - I am heading to San Diego, California tomorrow to
watch my girl play soccer……Can't believe it will be 
our fourth year attending this great tournament!  We love
San Diego and I can't wait to enjoy some sunshine, good soccer,
dinners out and beach time!

I'll be back next week!  If you would like to follow me on 
Pinterest, you can find me HERE.


Exterior Paint Reveal!

I'm a regular gal, living in a regular house.  

Is it my dream home?  Honestly, no. 

However, it is a home perfect for us, right now. 

 I love that our home is... 
 in my favorite city in the whole world…. surrounded by lots of trees…..
a size that means we live in every square inch….has endless gardening potential…..
a white kitchen…..hardwood floors….. our own...

Photo taken in full sun.

When we moved in this home just over three years ago we
inherited it's exterior paint color {SW Sea Salt}.  It was a fine
color but I didn't love it as an exterior color. You can see it HERE.

Our home really was due to be painted - it's a cedar sided home
and the Sea Salt was it's original color when the home was 
built just over 10 years ago.

I stressed a lot about what color to choose.  I would have loved to have
painted it white but it just isn't practical in the Pacific Northwest -
we get so much rain and fight moss build up on our exteriors
and roofs all the time.  I knew white would be a bugger to keep clean.

As I debated color options, I made fast friends with the fellas
at my local Benjamin Moore paint dealer Powell Paint Center!
I knew I really wanted to use a quality paint product
and getting the color perfect was very important.
Lucky for me, a new Powell Paint store had opened 
very close to my home so it was so convenient
to zip in and out to get sample size colors.  I am sure
the very helpful guys at Powell Paint thought 
I was a very crazy thorough designer!

In the end, the contenders were BM Soot, BM Hale Navy and the 
ultimate winner BM Abyss which is the color you would get 
if Soot and Hale Navy had a baby.  Our trim is BM Snow White
and the door is color matched to Farrow & Ball 'Light Blue'…..
sorry, I could not justify the F&B price per gallon for my two doors.

I really love it.  I think the dark color is a nice contrast to 
the year-round greenery that surrounds our home.

We did NOT paint it ourselves - we would still be painting!
I have a great painter that I often use for clients that did 
a great job for us.  And I am very grateful to my new
local paint store Powell Paints in Cedar Mill, they were
so helpful and really educated me on the merits of outdoor
paint products - something I just did not know much about.
By using Benjamin Moore paint, I was able to have confidence 
that the color would be accurate and that the paint will 
last for many, many years.

HERE is the post I did on my inspiration for my ultimate choice.


Living Room Reduex……and I can do the same for you! {TWO August spots available!}

I received the photo above from my sweet e-design client in
preparation for our work together on her living room.

This room probably looks a lot like one in your own home - it has 
the basics - the popular Ikea Ektorp sofa, an equally popular
World Market coffee table, some random tables and one
lone lamp begging for friends!

The room has a lot going for it, besides the basics I mentioned above -
great windows/light, a gorgeous piece of art and it's relatively 
generous size.

My client knew she wanted her young family to use this room more -
for reading and playing games - so it had to be casual and inviting
but also have a sophisticated elegance as it was the room immediately
off their entry space.

Because budget is always important for my clients,
we were keeping the Ektorp sofa and coffee table.
What we concentrated on 'fixing' was updating
paint color,  hanging drapes on every window, a larger
area rug and some additional seating.

kruger2 Living Room

What I really wanted to give this client's space was the feeling of warmth -
a space that you could not help but feel comfortable in.  For that, I 
included lots of texture, warm woods and comfortable textiles.
I think this design accomplishes that!

Thank you to my brave{and really fun} client for allowing me to share her
photo and design board!


I have had some changes to my August design queue - and 
find myself with TWO openings for e-design clients!

If you are ready to cozy up a space in your home and would
like my help, please email me at
And we can get started in August - hardly any time to wait!

I will honor the summer special I was running in June -
which means a one room design board is $200!

Friday fog…..

This photo is sort of like me this week….out of focus and distorted!
I got a terrible summer virus/cold and it sort of kicked my butt!

Winner of the $300 is Sharon Barnes!
I just sent you an email!

Coming Monday - winner of of the Lewis & Sheron giveaway!

Hope your weekend is full of the good stuff!


My Forever*Cottage Garden…..

Gardening is a lot like decorating your home - it's mixing 
textures, colors, contrast and scale.  So it's no wonder
that I have always loved gardening.  This season of my
life is very busy with my teen girls so I feel like I don't
have as much time to devote to my gardening. But,
pruning and planting and being out in my garden
 brings me great joy and is really
a form of relaxation for me.

The Pacific Northwest is a great place to garden - we really have
a 12 month growing season so it seems there is always pruning
and dividing and editing to be done.  Plants grow like crazy!

Our yard is small and believe it or not has NO grass!
Yes, it's true.

 Our front yard slopes down and is planted with a mix of spirea, boxwood,
hydrangea and other perennials - day lilies, lavender and ornamental grasses
{a combination I love}.
 Despite it's small size, we are lucky our home backs to 
a wooded area and has an empty 'greenspace' to one side so it
feels very private.

Our backyard has a brick patio that runs the length of our house.
We have room for a fire pit with adirondack chairs around it
and a teak table and benches to accommodate bit groups
of outdoor diners.  The yard is terraced which means 
there is really three levels - the patio level, a upper garden area and
then an additional level where the wooded area is along with 
a trampoline area for our girls.

I have lots of hydrangea in the back - 'Endless Summer' and some
Oakleaf hydrangea.  I also have been adding boxwoods
along with ornamental grasses.  I love mixing textures!

We have two sets of french sliding doors along the back of our house 
and provides a great view of the garden!

As this garden has evolved over the three years we have
been here, I have noticed I gravitated toward planting
a pretty monochromatic color palette.  I would
like to add some more vibrant colors in the future.

Right now we are experiencing VERY hot temps -
I look forward to the cooling the weatherman is calling
for later in the week so I can have the windows and doors open!


Late Friday ramblings…..and don't forget my giveaways!

This week shall be called 'the week I posted
two giveaways and that was it'.  Good thing they
were both GREAT giveaways from two very 
generous sponsors! Go HERE and HERE to enter!

 I could give you a million
reasons why my blogging suffered this week, but really
who cares?  You all get it - I know you do because
your lives are as glamorous as mine - carting kids
around, working long hours, grocery shopping, cooking,
endless piles of laundry management, summer fun stuff
thrown in…….ahhhh!

Today was especially un-productive….well, not if you call
monitoring my Twitter feed and text messages productive.

This is a photo taken today of my sister-in-law out for a reasonable 100 mile
run through the San Juan mountains……no one can ever accuse her of 
having an unproductive day!  She is running the Hardrock 100 where she
is the women's course record holder.  No kidding!  Here is 
what the Hardrock 100 website has to say about this 'race':

100-mile run with 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak).

My sister-in-law has won the women's race 4 times but unfortunately in 
2010 suffered serious kidney failure.  My brother - who paces her
for the last 50 miles - published a great article about the experience
that you can read HERE if you are interested.  My brother
is a REAL writer, not a pretend writer like his sister. 

Anyway - my day has been spent following along on her progress -
she's been at it since before I got out of bed and will be still at it when
I get my 9 hours of beauty sleep and wake tomorrow morning.

She is amazing and has really dedicated her life
to this sport………and when sometimes I feel like I am running 
my own personal ultra-marathon 'race' {carting kiddos,
laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc…..}, I realize that the
literal 'race' path my sister-in-law chose for herself is in many ways
different from my 'race' but in many ways the same.

As I marvel at my sister-in-law's ability to accomplish something
 I myself do not believe I could do….I imagine she looks at my life --
at the 'race' I have dedicated myself to, and maybe believes
that it is a 'race' she could not do.

We all have our gifts……..

As women, that is something to be celebrated.

Wishing you a weekend to be celebrated!

****Saturday update - Diana 'dropped' at mile 85 due to medical issues.
As I write this we wait to hear more.
At the time she dropped she was in 1st place for women
runners and 4th overall.  During the night there were
lighting storms in the mountains and cold temperatures -
not ideal running conditions.  

Lewis & Sheron Textiles Giveaway!

One of my favorite online fabric sources is 

Lewis & Sheron offers very well curated
fabric and trim selections.  Their new website
is easy to navigate and searching for just
what you are looking for is quick and efficient!

What I like best about Lewis & Sheron is that
their fabric selections coordinate - that way you don't
have to look at multiple sources for a nice fabric grouping -
As a decorator, I really appreciate this!
It really is 'one stop shopping'!

I seriously want to design a whole room using this 
black background/floral fabric below!

Lewis & Sheron has generously offered to give ONE
Forever*Cottage reader a $100 gift card!

To enter:

* 'LIKE' Lewis & Sheron on Facebook

* Follow Lewis & Sheron on Pinterest
or Instagram

*Come back here and let me know you did this -
and for a bonus, tell me what you plan to do with
your new fabric - cause I am nosy like that!

You have until Sunday, July 13th to enter.
I will announce the winner on Monday!

Gallery Wall love…….*Minted* is here to help yours!

When I began working with my fun client, she had
hung a gallery wall in her master bedroom ALL BY HERSELF.
The frame styles and sizes were mixed well, the arrangement was my 
favorite - symmetrical and asymmetrical all at the same time.
What was missing was photos and art in the frames!

The frames were hung empty!  This client is certainly not
alone in her predicament.  I have had clients ask me
to hang empty frames that they planned to fill later…..
And I know how hard it can be to find just the right art
and important photos to fill many frames. has a wonderful {and growing} selection of
art prints that are perfect for gallery wall collections or
standing on their own!  I suggested to this
particular client and she enthusiastically chose several prints that we ordered and used to
fill the empty frames in her master bedroom.  

I love that this gallery wall is mostly black and white family photos
mixed with some black and white prints from
This, more monotone, arrangement is perfect for the 
calm feeling the client was trying to achieve in the master bedroom.

Now I know what you are thinking……"I want my 
gallery walls to look that good!"………

Well it might be your lucky day, has generously offered to give ONE lucky reader
of Forever*Cottage a $300 credit to be spent on the 
art prints of YOUR choice!

I know your walls will be better for having won!

Go HERE to enter this awesome giveaway!


 A big thanks to Minted - a wonderful company that supports
little bloggers like me and allow me to offer these wonderful
opportunities to my loyal readers!  Go support Minted people!

Independence Day!

via Country Living

Happy Fourth of July to you!
I am signing off for the weekend….
looking forward to a festive holiday spent 
cheering on our Portland Thorns and time with 
good friends!


Please stop back Monday - I have a wonderful giveaway -
the BIGGEST in Forever*Cottage history!

Enjoy your fireworks!


Transitional spaces in a client's home….

Unexpected and 'special' pieces in transitional spaces
in a home make my heart happy……

I often find that people overlook hallways and
entry spaces - choosing to focus more 
money and attention on the room in their homes.
I get that.

But as I encourage clients, I encourage you -
don't overlook these spaces.
Hang a special piece of art near a coat
Choose an antique knob for your pantry door…..
Hang a quirky vintage sign near your back door….
 Put fresh cut flowers in a vase on an entry table…..
Paint your entry ceiling a pretty shade of blue……
Display your grandmother's tea set….
Create a family photo wall, full of candid photos only…..

Making a ho-hum space special by adding special 
is a little bit of …..the unexpected!
And can't we all use a little unexpected
happy events in our lives and our homes?

This client is beginning to add those touches….after
spending oodles of time concentrating on the big stuff!

Sometimes it's the little things that make our spaces uniquely ours.

**Paint colors 
{BM Revere Pewter in main spaces}
{SW Urbane Bronze in Dining Room and Living Room}

Go USA!!!!

World Cup fever has hit our house hard this summer!
Are you watching?

Admittedly, I am a HUGE women's soccer fan but
watching the men has been fun!  And as a 
momma of a goalkeeper, I am sort of a big
Tim Howard fan - although if I was his momma
I would tell him to lose the beard……


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