Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We're Moving and Redecorating!

This blog is moving to a new location. Please be patient while we redecorate and move into our new blog home.

You will automatically be forwarded to the new blog location when the set up is finished.

The new blog home will be
See ya soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Who is The Cottage Chick? Why am I here?

Who is this Cottage Chick anyway, and why am I here?
So glad you have taken the time to visit my blog, and join me in my cottage lifestyle world, where I love all things creative, infused with some handmade love. I am just a simple gal with simple ways, who happens to love cottage style and all things about decorating.

My love for decorating came at an early age. My parents were missionaries and we moved a lot. We lived in rentals and many humble abodes, including a travel airstream trailer! I observed as my mother would make our current living location, no matter how small or humble, into a HOME for us all to enjoy. She had a knack for creating cozy and creative environments on the cheap!

I was a girl who always loved to work with my hands and from an early age, would be redecorating my bedroom over and over. Crafting and sewing projects were never far from my hands, as I loved the creative process.

To this day, I love using my creative juices to bring about something fun and meaningful to life, and in my home.
I feel one of my missions in life is to inspire others to do the same.

I am a wife and mom of 3 busy boys. I currently live in a 100 year old farmhouse in Washington state. My old house is in the process of being renovated as we speak. Feel free to follow along on our family's own "extreme makeover".

My adopted motto in life is to “make the most of what you’ve got”.

We often dream of a big grand house or wish for more than what we have. I have found in my life that learning to be content in the moment and not looking too far ahead, has brought much growth and joy. I have had to learn big lessons through adversity. I have gone many years with no money to fix up my house or have my surroundings as I wished them to be.

Since I had to adapt to a less-than-rich lifestyle, I discovered ways to get very creative with decorating! That is why cottage style decorating is perfect for me and so many others as well. You can take something and make it beautiful for pennies! With a can of paint, a glue gun, and some sandpaper you can do wonders in your home!

My hope is that you will find this blog a source of inspiration and starting point to spark creativity in your own home, no matter where you live; new or old, rented or owned, a small cottage or a ranch house.

My goal is to inspire you to decorate your home the way that pleases you and makes you feel happy. May you find true contentment in your heart and home!

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

Proverbs 24:3-4

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pottery Barn Style for Less

Do you love Pottery Barn style, but can't afford the prices? We have all come to look to Pottery Barn for inspiration and as an authority in decorating style. However not all of us can handle the price tag attached. Right?

I don't let that stop me!

I have learned how to use Pottery Barn style to my advantage and find ways to achieve a desired look for less. You can find out how I do that here at Blissfully Domestic. This post gives you 8 easy tips to acheiving the PB style.

In the near future I would like to cover the Pottery Barn look more in depth and we could talk about how to achieve it in greater detail. Let me know if you're interested! Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know!

You can look for more of my writing over at the Blissfully Domestic site each month. I will be sure to link up from here, so you don't miss any of the decorating tips and techniques I share over there.

I am Blissfully Domestic

Embracing A New Season of Life

Autumn is here and the start of a new season of the year.

As the leaves turn, and the crisp air brings a reminder of a transition... so do our lives shift and transition.

I have been struggling a lot lately over a big change in our family's life. A change that may seem trivial to some people, but for me it is big. Our family had the priviledge of being part of a children's musical theater. My 16 year old son is a talented actor in every sense of the word. His ability to exude a character on a stage is incredible.

As our family has participated with this childrens theater, they have become our family. We have laughed and cried together. Prayed for one another. They have been ready with a hug when things were tough, quick to bring a meal when I broke my ankle.

I have never experienced a community of people quite like it.

Our family has put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this crazy, fun and fantastic community called theater. Most of all our hearts will never be the same.

Why the change?

My sixteen year old decided he wanted to begin his journey into the work world. He landed his first job, and I couldn't be prouder. He wants to be responsible, has always wanted to be "grown up" before his time. Couldn't wait till he could drive, and couldn't wait till he could get a job.

I need to embrace the change, but my heart hasn't caught up. I have a son spreading his wings.

This is a good thing....

Have you ever noticed how life ebbs and flows? We must embrace the changing tide of life and wait for the "next season" to come. I have to look at this change in our family as a wonderful opportunity for God to bring us new opportunities and chances for our lives to touch others as well

I am posting my Multitude Monday list within this post. It seemed appropriate to express my thankfulness and let God be God!

Today I am continuing my Multitude Monday list...

I am thankful for:

#31-The change of seasons in my life.

#32-Friends who have loved and embraced our family.

#33-Love that knows no bounds or limitations.

#34 -The "Weaver" who puts our lives together in interesting ways.

#35-For a son that wants to be responsible and "grow up".

#36-New opportunities to share love and an open hand.

#37-The way our lives move in and out of people's lives and hearts.

#38-For "family" that doesn't need to be related by blood.

#39-For the ability to pray to a God who understands!

#40-For glimpses of good things to come.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspired By Yellow and Gray- a soothing pallete.

As many of you know I am in the midst of choosing colors for my house. Right now I am working on the exterior house colors and then soon I will start the process of choosing colors for my interior.

The other day I showed you how I chose Hawthorne Yellow from Benjamin Moore for the exterior of my house and now I am off to the paint store today to nail down the accents colors. In my quest to figure out my color combination I found some most inspiring photos, and wanted to share.

This old historical house is wonderful in architecture, and while my house is not this style, its color combination so inspired me that I am going to create my own version of this combination.

As you see, the colors are gray, yellow, white and red. Look how they have used three colors that are harmonious to one another, and then the pop of color that the red adds to what would be an ohterwise subdued color scheme.

As I was searching the internet for yellow color combinations, my inspiration went even further and I began to find interior pictures that I loved. There is no doubt that I will have to implement this luscious combination somewhere in my home as we remodel. I mean what isn't to love about yellow and gray? They are the perfect marriage of a cool and warm color, creating a soothing pallette that anyone could live with.

And...more inspiring photos showing this winning color scheme!

What colors inspire you? Start looking around with your eye wide open and you may discover a new found combination you never thought of before.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kid snacks...gotta use those sprinkles!

Its a gloomy rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest. I like to think of things to do for my kids that make them smile and brighten up the day.

My answer...


Sprinkles are like the confetti at the party...they make everyone smile and feel happy. I mean who doesn't like sprinkles? You can take an ordinary food seem special with sprinkles.

I wanted to share this quick and easy snack I whipped up for my kids this morning.

Here's what you need:

Sliced banana
Peanut butter
Any Bright Fun Plate

Guaranteed smiles and happy tummys!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Multitude Monday and Counting Blessings

Last week I began my journey of counting 1000 gifts. Every Monday I will be posting new things I am thankful for
large or small...
obvious or unusual.
Thank you for joining me on my road of gratitude.
I know this will impact my life and I hope it will encourage yours.

#21 A small son's hand cupped in mine, trusting me to lead the way.

#22 My husband's pure heart and devotion that makes me feel adored.

#23 My teenage son who is spreading his wings and reminding me of God's mercy and grace.

#24 Hope for my future even when I can't see it.

#25 Progress on a big home project!

#26 Overwhelming peace and joy in my heart.

#27 A friend's newborn baby girl reminding me of God's fingerprint on every life.

#28 Closed doors and open windows.

#29 New friends that bring me inspiration with every tweet!

#30 Transitions in life that keep me seeking THE ONE in control.

Continue to seek out the extraordinary within the ordinary...

holy experience

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Cottage - What Paint Color Did I Choose?

As you remember a month or so ago I asked for feedback on facebook, twitter,and here on the blog, asking what color I should paint my farmhouse, and gave you some of my ideas. I received a variety of answers, but there was one color that was suggested the most. I enjoyed hearing all the opinions and feedback. It was fun to see what you all suggested.

I heard everything from white, gray, yellow, tan, and "Paint it whatever pleases you"! What resounded most was to keep my color palette to a classic scheme, that would fit the era of my house. (over 100 yrs old)

I pondered about what I should do... I drove around many neighborhoods with my husband and looked for new inspiration... I took pictures of houses, but somehow seemed to keep being drawn to the same color.

Then... My hubby and I went for a Sunday drive because he wanted to show me an inspiration house. He said "I need to show you this...its classic." So here ya have it!

The color of choice is yellow...

My pictures don't do this house justice. This farmhouse sits up on a hill and in front of it is a large grape vineyard. Its very stunning in person. We stopped to take a picture and the homeowners were outside. I asked if they minded if I took a picture and they were more than willing to oblige. They even told me the exact color of their house! (It is a Benjamin Moore yellow from their historic color collection.)

I knew after seeing this wonderfully classic farmhouse, that I would paint my house yellow with crisp white trim. I immediately came home and bought the paint samples and tried it out on some siding pieces. And of course there will always be a red door on my house!

So...Why did I choose yellow?

1. We live in Washington state where we have a lot of rainy gray days. I wanted something cheerful and bright throughout the year.

2. I love happy warm colors, and yellow represents that feeling very well.

3. Its classic and fits the era of my house.

4. Its a welcoming color.

5. I listened to what people said. When I asked the question... "when you think of a farmhouse what color do you think of?" The number one color I heard was yellow and second to it was white.

So thank you for your feedback and to those that didn't suggest yellow. That's okay, I love a lot of colors and all the suggestions were good ones!

QuickTip: Are you considering color choices for your home? You might want to take a look at your demographic location, your neighborhood, your personal taste, and the style and era of your home. Most of all paint it with colors YOU like and that inspire you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Cottage Renovation...A Farmhouse Facelift

Time for an update on our ambitious plan for renovating our farmhouse. Its been a while since I have kept you in the loop on our progress. We have made a lot of changes that don't show and are kind of boring, so I am showing what I know looks the most interesting for all you fellow home renovators out there! It won't be long and things will get more interesting as we move to the inside of the house and get to building the additions.
If you'll remember this is what we started with...


New windows were installed

New siding was applied to the front of the house.

A big improvement for sure!

Other things that we have accomplished since my last posting...

1. Chimney removal...(a big big mess! )
2. New heat pump and ducting was installed.
3. Foundation work, (major work) leveling the kitchen end of the house and pouring of new footings.
4. New well is being dug as we speak. We are hoping to hit water soon!
5. Demolishing of the old out buildings making way for the new garage.

Stay tuned for more! Be sure to hit the "My Cottage" button at the top of this blog to follow the progress from the beginning! There is so much more to come, see ya soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Multitude Monday

Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed by the constant barrage of "things" to do. I sometimes find myself longing for more calmness and peace in my life, wishing I didn't feel pulled in so many directions.

I long to live a life that is simple and full of joy.

I am a list maker by nature. I have lists for everything I can think of. Kids activities, school schedules, budgets, groceries, and everything in between. List making is my way of freeing my mind. Somehow, when things are written down, then I feel better.

Today I stumbled upon a fellow blog, where I learned of another
kind of list.

A list that could truly change my life.

A list to serve as a constant reminder of graces given to me.

A list that could be added to over months and even years.

A list to look back on and see how God has provided time and time again.

After reading about this kind of unique list-making, I knew I needed to try this new habit in my life. Today I am starting my
One Thousand Gifts journey. I am excited to see what changes this will bring to my life.

I am inviting you along in my journey as I look at life from a positive perspective. I anticipate that this will effect my heart in ways I never imagined. Each Monday I will be posting here, a list of blessings that I am grateful for, and in doing so I hope it will be an encouragement to you as well. You never know... you just might want to start your own list.

I am thankful for...

#1 A family that blesses my life every day.

#2 Fresh inspiration when I need it most.

#3 My humble home that serves as a refuge in the midst of chaos.

#4 The Bible that is the blueprint for my life.

#5 A husband who loves God.

#6 My precious child, who spontaneously says "I Love You Mommy"!

#7 For the ever changing seasons that keep life interesting.

#8 For an encouraging word from a friend yesterday.

#9 Cool crisp autumn air and changing leaves.

#10 Cozy warm wool socks.

#11 Love that knows no bounds.

#12 Tears that bring healing.

#13 Birthday blessings.

#14 Meaningful conversations that fill my heart with joy.

#15 Coffee time and good chat with a friend.

#16 The song in my heart that seems to bring a melody when I need it most.

#17 Red crisp apples and autumn pears.

#18 Provision at just the right time.

#19 Hope for the future.

#20 Peace that passes all understanding.

holy experience

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Moment Captured In Time

There we were viewing a beautiful waterfall like I had never seen before.

It was as if time stood still for that moment.

The train had stopped for a short minute so the passengers could take in the fantastic view. We sat on the narrow railroad tracks teetering over the beauty that seemed to take our breath away...we were speechless. Yes, even my four year old twin boys were speechless and still.

A true miracle!

Have you been able to enjoy the beauty of God's creation lately? Look around, breath it in and enjoy! Take in special times, words, and experiences that maybe only last for a second, a minute or even a day.
You just might be changed forever!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Decorating With Gray - The New Neutral

I have really been enjoying the new trend of decorating with gray. You might even want to consider gray in your own home. The color gray is popular today in paint, wallpaper, fabrics, and furniture, and very fashion forward. Gray has been moving up the ladder and pushing the standard tans and beiges out of the way!

Why not think about using this soothing and easy living color in your home? If you are worried about it being too cold. You can always pair it with a warm color, such as yellow or pink. You can also choose many different grays that can be warm in hue, even having a green or brown hue to the gray value. Let's take a look at some great rooms decorated with all kinds of different shades of gray.

Go have fun decorating with gray!
(first 6 photos courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens, and the last 2 photos courtesy of pottery barn)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Haystack Salad Recipe – A Great Crowd Pleaser!

This recipe is a family favorite in our house and great for company. You can vary the ingredients to personal taste, making it a good choice for company and kids!

I apologize that I don't have the actual picture of my own salad made up. In my quest for other haystack recipes I ran across a really great one, so I am using a picture and adding the link to another haystack salad right here. This one pictured below is actually the Hard Rock Chicken Haystack Salad. You can see how wonderful this stacked salad can look!

Here is the recipe for my Haystack Salad version. It is very different then the one above. It just goes to show how fun and varying this recipe can be. Have fun experimenting and trying different versions!

Frito Chips
Cooked rice (brown or white)
Chili beans heated
( not to be mistaken for chili, but canned beans in a chili sauce. Easily found in the bean section of the grocery store)
Grated cheddar cheese
Green Salad
(this can simply be shredded lettuce, or you can add other ingredients that would be in a salad Such as: tomato, carrot and green onion, olives, peppers, etc.)
Ranch or Blue Cheese Salad dressing

*Notice I didn’t put any exact amounts. You will have to gauge this according to how many people you are feeding.

Put out all above ingredients in order, buffet style, and let people layer the ingredients on their plate. It will make a tall haystack! The beauty of this recipe is that your family or dinner guests can make them the way they want.

If you want to do a Mexican version of this recipe. Add taco meat to the list and substitute the salad dressing for sour cream and salsa.

Or…put it all out and let people choose!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm Dreaming Of A White Kitchen!

Oh how I love a classic white farmhouse kitchen! I am in the midst of planning mine. I have been looking at cabinets, counter tops, farm sinks, and everything else under the sun. I can't wait to see how my new farmhouse kitchen comes together!

So what is so great about a white kitchen? It is a classic and without a doubt a perfect choice for my house. I am trying to find the perfect balance between updating my house to have all the modern conveniences and well laid out floor plans, and at the same time, make sure the vintage charm is maintained.

Here are some wonderful farm kitchens. Maybe you will start drooling like me!

Do any of you dream of a white kitchen? OR... maybe you already have a great farm style kitchen! If so, tell us what your favorite thing about your kitchen, or what you dream of having.