Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
My Cottage Living magazine arrived on Saturday. Inside is an article on a style editor/cottager Heather Chadduck and her beautiful cottage in Birmingham. This is the link to the article on the Cottage Living website, and the photograph is from the website as well. Heather has a list of cottage essentials, and I thought it was worth reprinting here. I especially love her enthusiasm for beaded board, "you can never have too much". I don't have any in my cottage - yet - but I'd like to add it to my bathrooms when we remodel them. Maybe I could put it in my upstairs hallway as well? Or on the ceiling (like Heather?) Anyway, here's her top 10. (Oh, and P.S., isn't her vintage stove there fabulous? And her enormous chalkboard?)
1. Beaded Board
2. Burlap, Linen, and Ticking
4. Oversize Light Fixtures
6. Fresh Flowers
Posted by Meg at 9:11 AM
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving! I have been away from blogland for a few days and didn't anticipate how much fun it would be to come back and peek around at all of my favorite blogs. Thank you so much for stopping by mine last week and leaving your nice comments and Thanksgiving wishes. I told my husband the other day that I have "online friends", and I really meant it. What a world we live in where we can find friends through a laptop! I'm happy that's true.
It was a lovely holiday. Wednesday night there were 19 of us here in the L. Cottage, 10 big people and 9 kids ranging from 12-2. We had chili and beer, and my sweet sister in-law brought me a darling hostess gift, which made the night all the more fun (she's a serial gifter - always giving - and I've been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of things more than my fair share. Last year she brought me the glass jar there, which I had filled Wednesday afternoon with peppermint patties - 'peppermint patricias' as my best friend calls them - but somehow we didn't eat too many that night.) During the party I was burning this pretty candle that I had received from my brother and his girlfriend when they came to visit recently. If you're looking for a nice seasonal scent it is "Frosted Cranberry" from Bath & Body Works.
Thursday we were at my in-law's, the same group of 19. My work was over, all I had to do was show up, which was a treat. It was loud and fun, and my in-laws were happy to have all their kids and grandkids together. We had a great time.
Now it's time for Christmas! I am feeling very inspired by you guys and your decorating enthusiasm. This is early for me, but I am already starting to feel the Christmas spirit...
Posted by Meg at 11:15 PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
I'm really not trying to be a tease. The furniture came around 3 p.m., and as soon as I started to take some photos, my batteries died! (I use rechargeable batteries, which is why they sometimes conk out on me at inopportune times.) I'm not sure if I will take nighttime photos...I think you guys need to see this in the natural sunshine tomorrow. It's so pretty! You won't be disappointed!
Posted by Meg at 8:41 PM
Thursday, November 16, 2006
This little backpack is an old, dear friend of mine. I bought it from J.Crew back in 1994, just after college graduation. After college I spent a year living and working in London, and the backpack was with me the entire time. I got it because I wanted something easy to carry around when I was away... something small enough for every day, but big enough to handle all my extra things, like my maps, journal, and passport. It did an outstanding job for me in every respect. It was comfortable, durable, handled all kinds of weather. It was with me everywhere I went, every country and city I traveled to. When I look back at my pictures from that year there are so many that include the backpack. One of my friends who I got to know over there wanted to trade me her sweater - which I coveted - for it, but I just couldn't do it. By then it had become too precious for me to part with.
I thought I would probably hang it up when I returned home, but old habits die hard. Coming home I immediately dove into graduate school and a new city life, and I turned to the backpack as I made my way about town. It was great here, too. I loved how I could shop at the market hands-free. I loved how I could walk around with it but still shimmy around small spaces. I loved that I could head out in the morning with my lunch stored away, in case I didn't want to come home or if I didn't have money to eat out (which of course I never did.)
After I school when I got a "real" job, I did hang up the backpack. Not for good, but for longer and longer periods of time. I carried a different bag to work. I used purses more. The backpack was still there, but I noticed that I only took it out if I was going on some kind of all-day excursion or somewhere that would require me bringing extra stuff. I didn't use it as much but I still loved it.
Then I had kids. My my my, how quickly the backpack came flying out of the closet! Its usage speed went from zero to sixty in no time and its become again an appendage of my body. Now, it's all I use every day, and all my purses are packed away. For all the reasons that I loved it when I was abroad and during my graduate school days, I have loved it even more with kids. There's still plenty of room for all the stuff I schlep along, and my hands are free to take the small hand of someone near. It rocks.
But, it's starting to show its age. Today one of my sons accidentally snapped its leather drawstring cord in half. The magnetic closure isn't quite what it once was. The zipper on the inner pocket is broken, and the cloth on the outer pocket is becoming thin. I fear I will have to say a permanent goodbye to this friend of mine, maybe in the not-so-distant future. That will be a sad day. But boy, do we have some great memories together.
Posted by Meg at 2:50 PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Posted by Meg at 7:40 PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Hi again. Our indoor temp is at 59 degrees. That's chilly! Time to fire up the teapot and indulge in a cup of The Recipe.
My mom thought it was hilarious that I referenced The Waltons when explaining the origin of The Recipe a few months back ( it's her creation, by the way.) She is right, of course. Who would ever remember The Waltons? But I just wanted to do it. I've been thinking that my mom deserves to have a post dedicated to her sometime in the near future. She's that kind of all-consuming force in my life. But I'll save that for another day.
Posted by Meg at 4:14 PM
I switched to the new Blogger beta version over the weekend and I'm starting to think that was a mistake. Anyone else out there having trouble? My paragraph spacing isn't working and I keep running into problems logging in and other people logging in here. The only reason I did it was because I saw that Monogram Momma had new drop-down arrows in her archives section because of the beta version, and I thought it looked kind of neat. So far I haven't been able to figure out how to create drop-down arrows. This might have something to do with me not having labels on each of my entries, I'm not sure. If you know where I'm going wrong, give me a shout!
Posted by Meg at 2:39 PM
Monday, November 13, 2006
Posted by Meg at 4:11 PM
Friday, November 10, 2006
Remember this? I think the mystery is solved. Turns out it wasn't a fluke and has everything to do with our heating and cooling systems in the house.
A routine furnace check up yesterday turned into an urgent meeting this morning about replacing the furnace, water heater, and (oh yes) air conditioner. Too many details surround why we need to do all three all right now, but suffice it to say this is a good thing for our house. A bit of a hit for the pocketbook, but darn good for air quality in the Little Cottage.
Oh, to think I was actually starting to dream about remodeling the bathrooms...ha!
Posted by Meg at 9:52 AM
Thursday, November 09, 2006
How crafty are you? Are you a scrapbooking queen who's the envy of the scrapbooking world? Are you a sewing goddess who can make her own pants? Do you knit? Do you quilt? Do you make your own greeting cards? Are you like my wonderful friend who makes darling party invitations? Have you resolved to give only homemade gifts this year for Christmas? If so, my hat's off to you.
I am a lot of things, but I am not crafty. I'm a creative thinker and problem solver. I love color and art and music. I like to find and replicate beautiful looks and ideas in my home. But I'm no Martha wannabe. That's just not me.
That said, I do love the idea of being crafty. I've tried to become a knitter. I've been told that sewing is easy but quite honestly, I struggle with reattaching buttons that pop off clothing. A dear friend invited me to her make-a-card party, and I was excited about doing it - but once there I thought the card making itself was a little hard. I don't think any of the other party guests thought that.
So, anyway,...here's my kitchen cart. This is very good for me! I followed the directions to the letter. They called for keeping the fabric tied to one side only, but I think I might try it with both sides tied. I also think a different tie might be cuter, like a ribbon. I even thought about gluing a little ribbon trim around the top.
All you crafty folks out there...you know who you are....what do you think? Could it be improved? How so? If you want, let me know what should be done. I must warn you, I will be needing step-by-step directions.
I'm just that kind of gal.
Posted by Meg at 3:13 PM
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I made this crab quiche twice yesterday. One for us and one for a friend in the neighborhood who we're all sending meals to because she just had a baby boy.
It's the easiest recipe I have, but it's so tasty! Thought you might be interested.
1 C sour cream
1 can onion rings
1 C grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs (I use 4 to make it fluffier)
7 oz can crabmeat rinsed or chunk fresh crabmeat
9" pie shell
Combine all and bake uncovered 1 hour at 350F
Posted by Meg at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
About a year ago my husband and I took an overnight trip to Kohler, Wisconsin and stayed here. Our accomodations were curtesy of my brother and sister in-law, who had given us a gift certificate to the historic hotel a couple of years prior. Yes, a couple of years. You know how it is with gift certificates. Why is it so hard to use them?
Well, we finally did and we had a wonderful, although quick, trip. If you have been up to Kohler before you already know how lovely it is. If you have not (we hadn't), take my word that it is a place worth visiting.
In addition to the natural beauty in the setting, there is also some wonderful shopping up there. Not just girlie shopping, either. My husband had a great time strolling around and checking out the sites and shops with me. The Kohler store is something else.
At a darling store called Past Basket I found this handpainted bench. It's a Tracy Porter original (painted by Tracy herself!), from the early 1990's. We had been looking around for a bench to sit in one of our bay windows, and this one I liked more than any other I had seen. I couldn't resist the colors and of course, the handpainted detail. There is another Past Basket store in Illinois, and the Kohler store offered to send it on their truck down to that location for me. That was such a break.
So here it sits in our window, one year later. I really like it. Right now it's reminding me of that quick trip north. We keep talking about going back. I hope it doesn't take us as long to return as it did to get there the first time.
Posted by Meg at 9:28 AM
Monday, November 06, 2006
I was such a great Target customer today. First thing this morning I ordered a little pub table and 2 stools for my kitchen from Target.com. Afterwards I headed to the nearby SuperTarget with my youngest son to do what felt like a month's worth of grocery shopping. We had to get an extra cart at the checkout line for all the bags and have help out to the car. That's never happened before, but I figured my outstanding support of all things Target justified the special attention.
I picked up this little kitchen cart in the middle of the grocery run. We have been wanting to get something for next to our stove for awhile. It can be challenging to cook without having a place right next to the burner for workspace, so this fills in nicely. As you can see, I wasted no time in putting the cart to good use as I prepared to make chicken noodle soup. I have an old article from Country Home magazine that shows how you can add some pizzazz to a cart like this with a little fabric and minimum skill. I'm going to give it a go. This looks fine but I think I will like the fabric version more. My husband is not sold yet on the idea of a froufrou fabric version, but I think he'll come around. Will post a picture when the project's complete!
Posted by Meg at 3:58 PM
Friday, November 03, 2006
Preppy Princess asked us recently what we regret. I think this is a fascinating question. A few years ago a friend sent around one of those email questionnaires that you are supposed to fill out and forward on to people - you know those things that have all sorts of personal questions like what's your favorite potato chip and favorite celebrity - and one of the questions was "what's the worst feeling in the world?" Her answer was, REGRET. And the more I thought about it, the more I completely agreed. That pang of regret you feel over things that you have done, like if you've said the wrong thing, or forgotten someone's birthday, or something worse...it can eat you up inside. Just thinking about things like that gives me a little shudder.
And then there's the kind of regret you feel over things that are out of your control. For instance, I regret that neither one of my grandmothers were ever able to come to my house and see where I live. They both lived a great distance from me, and the trip would have been far too much for them, though both had said to me that they would have loved to visit. I regret that it was never a possibility. My first apartment in the city....they would have loved it. My little house now...I can't imagine how exicitng it would have been for both of us if they would have been able to come. I loved them very much, as you can tell, and I think about them often. And I've noticed that they've already appeared in my blog here: talking about my wicker chairs (that's my dad's mom), talking about my antique rocking chair (that came from my mom's side). My older brother was the first grandson on both sides and as a toddler he named them both "Minga". It stuck and that's what all of us called them through the years. Minga. Ming. Kind of far eastern and catchy. I think they loved their name.
Here's something from Ming. My collection of teacups and saucers. This is from my mom's mom. She gave me a new set for Christmas for several years in a row when I was a little girl. Now they are on display on this little shelf that, by a wonderful coincidence, actually belonged to my husband's grandmother. They are high above our living space, but I like having them up there. It's like a little reminder that Ming is here, just a bit, watching over us.
Posted by Meg at 9:14 AM