Saturday, May 29, 2010

The big day is here--Cottage Charm Giveaway

Happy Saturday my friends! I am so excited to announce the winner of My Cottage Giveaway today. I meant to do this earlier this morning but it has been a non-stop day for me.

First, I would like to thank all of you who entered this giveaway at my humble little blog. (167 comments and 171 entries!) Second, I would like to thank all of you who became a follower. I have gained so many new friends over the past 3 weeks and I truly hope you will continue to visit me.

One last thank you...I would like to thank Kim @ Twice Remembered for hosting this giveaway. What a fun way to experience so many wonderful blogs! Many of which, I'm certain, I would not have found had it not been for this party.

Ok, ok, I know you're thinking, "enough with all the thank yous already!"

So without further adieu, on to the good stuff! My trusty assistant is drawing a name...drumroll please...

The winner of My Cottage Charm Giveaway is:

Carol (The Vintage Crafter)

Congratulations Carol! I'll be getting in touch with you soon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Blooms

Finally we are seeing full bloomage (is that a word?) of our spring perennials. I know so many of you have already been enjoying this for a few months now, but it's finally our turn to enjoy here in New York.

Believe me, I'm no green thumb. As a matter of fact, I'm more the type that gives the orders (plant that here, trim that, move that, etc.) and my poor, but wonderful, husband just follows along like he's the paid gardener. (How does he put up with me?) I will plant flowers as long as they're going in a flowerpot. The minute I have to dig in the ground, I am so far outta there! I'm afraid of anything creepy crawly.

So here we have my azaleas:

It is so hard to capture the color of them, no matter how hard I try. To me, they almost seem fluorescent, the color is that vivid and bright.

I adore my orange azaleas as well. Although, they were fading away here. The color is gorgeous!

Not the best photo, but my lillies of the valley. Oh the scent of these...I especially love how I can smell them inside the house when there's a breeze and the windows are open.

I love these purple flowers. I have no idea what they are called, they were planted by the previous owner.

And last but not least, my giant rhododendron. This was also planted by the previous home owner and might I say that in the last ten years since we've lived here, this thing has grown by leaps and bounds. It's easily 6-7 feet tall. I know I need to have the gardener, er hubby, trim this, but I'm afraid. I think if we do it wrong, it'll never bloom like this again.

Here's a close up of the rhododendron's flower clusters:

That's all I have for now. The weather here has been beautiful. We've been in the pool several times already which is kind of unusual for us in New York, but we're not complaining, believe me.

I'm off to relax with a nice, cold glass of lemonade. You should grab a glass too. I'll be back to post the winner of my cottage giveaway on Saturday...good luck!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where are they hiding it?

In my attempt to rid my living room of the entertainment center monstrosity, I have been perusing all kinds of websites looking for photos to use as inspiration.

Now I must digress slightly for a second...

According to AC Nielsen Co, did you know that the number of hours Americans spend watching TV annually is 250 billion? Yeah, 250 billion. hours. a year. watching TV.

However, I have not been able to find any images of pretty little living rooms that have been graced by a television set. Living rooms and family rooms alike with no TVs in them? How is this possible? Where are they hiding the TVs? Obviously Americans are watching TV, but where are they doing it? In some dark secluded area of the basement, away from the eyes of the world perhaps? It's the craziest thing! Now to be honest, I have found many photos of flat screen TVs mounted to walls, but they tended to have a very contemporary edge, like this:

This photo is from Not that there's anything wrong with contemporary decor, but are these the only people watching TV in America? I think not.

Can't the owners of this lovely room watch TV too?

But where, oh where is that darn TV?

I did, alas, find this one and only photo of a living room (in my style) which I believe shows a TV built in there on the far left:

From Country Living

So now I'm curious. Where do you hide your TV? Is it out there front and center for all to see or are you hiding it in that dark secluded basement area? :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Lesson

Today, I have a quick lesson to share with you. A public service announcement if you will. Never, I repeat, never make a pan of Rice Krispie Treats while dieting. Somehow you will find their light, crispy, marshmallow gooey-ness, calling out to you. And you, being a fairly normal, Rice Krispie Treat loving fool, will not be able to ignore their siren call. No matter how rooted in your willpower you think you are or how far you have lumbered along on that darn treadmill over the past few days. You will find yourself eating a whole row right out of the 13 X 9 inch pan (and I'm talking the 13 inch side, not the 9 inch one!) You will find yourself full of remorse for even having bought those darn Rice Krispies and marshmallows to begin with! So, heed my advice, listen to the experienced among you, and do NOT make those Rice Krispie Treats while dieting.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


...I would like to introduce my family room. (insert applause here)

I took all of the wonderful advice that so many of you had given me here and tried to put it all together. The wall color is Nantucket White from Ralph Lauren. I love this color and have it in my dining room, kitchen & office. (Of course, my husband is not too happy that I picked this color, yet again. He says that when I tire of it, I will now have to paint 4 rooms to get rid of it. I would rather not think about that right now. :) Even though the color has the word "white" in it, it is not a true white, more like a creamy beige. I know in the photos below, the color looks pretty much different in each one.

My sisters helped me paint and we thought we would have a horrendous time covering that orange but luckily, it was fairly painless. Well, painless as far as the coverage was concerned. I know I can attest to the fact that my body was not painless after 2 days of painting! (Hey LeAnn, how do you survive all the painting you do? I don't think I'd be able to walk after all that!) With both of my sisters helping and my mom over too, not to mention the deck being built for the pool, there were so many cars outside my house that weekend that one of my close friends called me, worried. He had seen all the cars and was hoping everything was alright!

Pulling the blue from the rug, I did have an extremely hard time finding blue accessories. Now if I was using turquoise, I would have been able to find items in abundance, but no, not me. I always have to be looking for the impossible.

After having this room orange and dark for so long, I have to admit that the lightness of it now, is a very pleasant change. I didn't want to add curtains at first because I wanted to soak up the daylight. I did decide to add just a valance for a little color but not a full curtain to block my glorious daylight. I was hoping for a more whimsical curtain, as well as pillows, however as I have said, the shade of blue I was looking for had very limited options.

The above photo shows the wall color pretty accurately.

I do need to tweak things here & there yet. The side wall desparately needs something besides that white edged mirror. I also would love to eliminate the monstrosity of an entertainment center, but this is something that will take some doing. (I did try just the middle piece alone without the side bookcases, but my husband kept saying, "Where will the bookcases go, not to mention all the things in them?" I, having no answer of course, knew I didn't have a leg to stand on.) So, I'll have to keep thinking about this and come up with a concrete plan in order to convince him. Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

Here is the before:

And here is the after:

Since Debbie has encouraged me, I will be linking this up to Met Monday at Susan's fantastic blog, Between Naps on the Porch. So go on over and check out all the goodness there.

Oh yeah, if you haven't had a chance to sign up for my cottage giveaway and would like to do so, click on the picture in my sidebar.

I think this post has gotten way too long, sorry about that. Have a wonderful week ahead! The weather here is looking good. It's so nice to see the sunshine again and I hope it's shining all week for you as well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Check Mate

I've always been into checkerboard flooring. I've rarely seen an image of it that I didn't like. The weird thing is that I've seen it everywhere from very contemporary settings with sleek and modern kitchen cabinets to country cottage spaces, and yet it always looks great. That being said, I don't know that I could ever actually have it in my home, even though I do love it. I guess I'm just a chicken that way. Bawk.

Classic black & white from BHG

From House Beautiful

Isn't the red & white fan-tab-u-lous? From Country Living

Showing a little wood. From Cottage Living

Now let's mix it up--yellow & white! From Cottage Living

So tell me what you think. Are you feeling the check or are you thinking "yuck"?

If you haven't had a chance yet and would like to enter my Cottage Charm giveaway, click on the photo in my sidebar to enter. of my living room are coming soon (if I could only find curtains that match and that I like. I know, I'm always asking for the impossible!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

"In the heavens above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of Mother." --Edgar Allen Poe

I've always loved that quote. Just wanted to wish all of the mothers out there a

Happy Mother's Day!

It is literally snowing here right now, hence the reason for the picture of the snowy daffodil. Both of my kids have soccer games today and I'm not looking forward to freezing on a soccer field. I'm thinking a day of shopping would be nice or even just a movie day or better yet, maybe I'll have a Jane Austen movie fest!

However you decide to spend your day, and I seriously hope it isn't snowing where you live, may you enjoy it to the fullest.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cottage Charm Giveaway

Click here for the winner of my Cottage Charm Giveaway!

I have always wanted to have a giveaway and what better time than when Twice Remembered is holding Cottage Charm Giveaway?
I'm afraid that my giveaway is not very colorful, but I tried to stick with a neutral palette so that it would appeal to more of you.
Anyway, here she is:

First, there is this sweet little chalkboard. I ordered this from My Adobe Cottage on Etsy. (I was smart & ordered one for myself too! :-)

Next, I have this vintage milk glass bowl (I believe it was called a compote ). I have several of these myself in varying sizes and I just love them. That pretty little scalloped edge makes me smile. You could use this for anything really...a candle holder, a candy dish, or even put a bird's nest in it. I'm sure many of you have far better ideas for this than I do!

Next, I have this little white bird that I purchased at Michael's. It seems that birds are everywhere & with him being so versatile, I figured, why not give him away? (Of course, I bought one of these for myself. Are you noticing a pattern here? lol) Being that almost everyone loves cupcakes, why not add a cupcake bookmark and add some color to this giveaway? (Ok, ok, I do have one of these too but my daughter bought it for me and I thought it was so sweet of her!)

Finally, I ordered this way too fabulous pillow from The Pansy Cottage Garden for you. Now here is where I made a mistake...I did not order one for myself and upon opening the package, I could feel a whole lotta remorse and almost thought I wasn't going to be able to part with it. lol I knew what I had to my blog giveaway immediately so that I can't keep it for myself. (oh how I suffer for my readers! lol)

So, there you have it--My Cottage Charm giveaway! That's all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and I will pick a winner on May 29th. (US & Canada only please) If you become a follower, add another post letting me know this, and I will gladly give you a second entry. It's as easy as that! If you get a chance, head on over to Twice Remembered and check out all the other awesome giveaways.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why I can't ever get anything done

By 9:15 this morning, we were out of the house for this:

The weather forecast said temps in the mid 80s (unusual for this time of year) but the skies looked like this:

so, no need for this:

By 12:30 pm, we had moved onto this:

Quickly followed by this:

Somewhere along the line, an appearance was made by this:

and because I was not wearing this:

I now look like this:

I guess that's what 8 hours in the sun will do to you. I mean, really? Sunburn? Do people even get sunburn anymore in this day & age? I am so angry with myself. Stupid. Just plain stupid. And now you know why I have not shared pictures of my living room yet. I just can't get anything done around here when I've spent 8 hours on a Saturday at my kids' games. And today was opening day for softball & baseball, so I know it's only going to get alot worse before it gets better.
I know, I know, I shouldn't be complaining. I love my kids and I do love to watch them play, but I guess three games in one day is kinda rough. So, I ask you,
Is it summer yet? :)

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