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My Little Cottage

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook (August 31, 2010)

FOR TODAY

Outside my window...
I am looking at the sweet little fruit trees that have been planted by the railroad tracks that run in front of my house. They were planted about 15 years ago and never cease to bring me joy as the seasons change. In the spring they are bursting with pink and white blooms, in the late summer, they are often loaded with small apples, and in the fall they come into full color...just beautiful!

I am thinking...
of the friends that I have made in my lifetime and how the Lord has always surrounded me with dear and gentle people in my life.
I am thankful for...
My dear husband and family, our sweet home, my precious friends and most of all my Lord who is the provider of ALL in my life.

From the learning rooms...
We are reading The Book of Virtues and Boatsong,  brushing up on math skills, studying economics in Social Studies and many other interesting things, besides.

From the kitchen...
starting the day with a bowl of raisin bran cereal, not sure what I will be cooking for supper tonight. We might have chicken, we might have pork chops.

I am wearing...
my good old summertime gown with the little roses on it...loves my roses!

I am creating...
small collages with Bible verses written on them. Kind of a new little hobby for me.

I am going...
to visit my mom and dad later today.

I am reading...
my many poetry books and magazines.

I am hoping...
for prayers to be answered: for my mom and dad's health, for this country and our economy, for my children and their families' needs. We each have so many prayers that may or may not be shared here on our blogs. I am hoping that you will keep us in your prayers as you are each kept in ours.
I am hearing...
soft sounds of traffic outside, my morning music playing softly from my computer, morning sounds.

Around the house...
I am getting ready to get out the fall decorations. I am thinking of making a new wreath for our front door and changing out the table decor for the season. I love this time of year and look forward to the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and the cooler days!

One of my favorite things...
A great big cup of hot apple cider served with a huge slice of homebaked apple crisp!!! YUM! Apples and Autumn, what a wonderful combination :-D

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Decorating work for a couple of clients, articles to finish, housework to tend and a couple of outings with some homeschool friends later this week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
 

One of the little fruit trees;
across the street, right in front of my house.


Thank you for stopping by and reading my entry for this week in The Simple Woman's Daybook. If you would like to join the fun and post your entry, then stop by and visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook for instructions to get started and to add your link. This post brought to you by:

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday

     Sometimes my life can seem so busy with my daily responsibilites; home schooling, home business, daily chores and such. I sometimes think that I am just going to collaps from it all. Those are the times that I step back and remind myself of just how much has changed over the last couple of years. It is hard to believe that I used to have to go to a job outside our home where I took care of up to 100 people per week, ordered furnishings for them and kept track of deliveries, went out on outside design calls, raced with other commuters to work, had only 1/2 hour for lunch and then raced again with even grumpier commuters back home from work. When I got home, I helped my dear hubby with our dinner, helped our very disgruntled little one with his homework, took care of evening chores and bathtime routines, prepared for the next day to do it all over again. At the same time I was also active in our church choir and helped with my parents as much as posible and managed to fit in some time for friends–WHEW! I realize as I reflect on these hectic days just how wonderfully simple my days have become. I LOVE working from home!!!!
     I have been thinking about returning to my weekly posts to Peggy’s The Simple Woman’s Daybook for some time now, but just have not taken the leap. I guess my greatest fear is that I will not keep up with the commitment to post every Tuesday. I have really been praying about it and have decided that I will do my best to stay dedicated and to join in on the fun. I truly miss taking time to examine my week and share the simple things that I am doing and that I am most thankful for in my life. I will start posting these again tomorrow.
     We have had a wonderful day together. Caleb and I are reading through the Book of Virtues together and love some of the poems that are included there. Caleb helped his dad make a simple vegetable soup for our lunch and then one of his little neighborhood friends stopped by after his school day to play for a while. I am getting ready to go in and make some homemade pizza for our dinner this evening. Nothing fancy, just packaged pizza crust mix and sauce from our local grocery store. We top our pizza with Mozerella cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms and whatever else we might have on hand that sounds yummy I love to cook them on my Baking Stones! They always turn out just right with tender crusts not burned on the bottom-MMMmmm! I am a self-confessed "Pizza-holic" ;-D We have pizza at our house at least 2-3 times a month!



     I am so glad that you stopped by today. I loved visiting many of the blogs that I follow this past week-end and am trying REAL hard to be better about posting a comment to let you know that I stopped by. Your blogs add so much joy to my days!!! I never tire of seeing what is new in your lives.

Until later, HUGS and Stay Cozy,
Charlotte
   

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday's Decorator Storyboard

     When I was in college studying design, one of my favorite parts of any project was creating the final "storyboards" for our presentations. I still LOVE to do storyboards, but I don't often get the opportunity in the real world of decorating. Most of the time I am working with my clients strait from the fabric books and paint swatches as we match them to the decorative accessories that they have chosen for their homes or offices. As i have stated in previous posts, I have gone back to my good old retail roots and am working with Celebrating Home and Oddity in order to help clients, friends and family develop their rooms. This is a much more comfortable fit for me as a business model than the "charge-by-the-hour" consultation model that many designers use for their businesses. Both are wonderful business models, it is entirely up to the decorator/designer to choose the one that works best for them. My perfect fit is direct sales and private appointments so that I can help my clients one-on-one.
     Anyway, back to the promised STORYBOARD~I can't wait to show you what I have put together this week. (Drum roll.......) TA~DA!!!!

     The beautiful framed print is called First Impressions and is a wonderful large~scaled sofa print from Celebrating Home. The sconces beside the print are the Ellington Wall Sconces and these are large~scaled metal sconces with a crackled glass hurricane that is capable of holding pillar candles 3" in diameter. My suggested paint color would be one in the sage or golden range, however, the picture would make a dramatic statement on a berry colored wall, also. I found the fabrics through one of my suppliers, Greenhouse Fabrics, and loved the way they set off the colors in the print. The little Bergere Chair and Ottoman are from Ballard Designs~so CUTE! The colors and fabrics on the board are only suggestions. I think it would make a very pretty traditional setting, what do you think?
     Thanks for taking time to stop by and see what I'm up to this Friday, God bless each of you and I am praying that each of you is well and that you will have a beautiful week~end!

Cozy Hugs,
Charlotte
    

Monday, August 23, 2010

What's Cookin' Monday!

Good afternoon, sweet friends. I am just now getting around to my little blog and, as promised, will post the recipe for this week. We started back to our homeschooling today and had a wonderful start to the new school year~very enjoyable morning of lessons. I will post more about that on my other HS blog. Without further ado, here's what's cookin' at our house today:

Slow-Cooked Beef Ribs                              

4 lb. beef short ribs
1 large onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
1 tsp. potato starch

PLACE ribs, onions and garlic in your Celebrating Home slow cooker /Bean pot. Combine ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, coffee granules and potato starch; pour over ingredients in slow cooker. Cover with lid.

COOK on 350 degrees for 3 hours.

REMOVE ribs and onions from your Celebrating Home slow cooker /Bean pot; cover to keep warm. Skim and discard excess fat from sauce. Return ribs and onion to sauce; stir gently until evenly coated.


Celebrating Home Veranda Bean Pot

I am serving our ribs with baked potatoes and California Style mixed vegetables. Cooking in a Bean Pot slow cooker is an easy way to fix your meals early. You can add the side dishes to your oven according to the time they need in the oven. I like to bake my potatoes at 350 for anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. The mixed veggies are frozen and can go into the oven in a covered casserole with 1/3 cup of water during the last 45 minutes of baking seasoned with butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Everything comes out at the same time, set a pretty table and call the family to dinner. Enjoy!!!

Hugs to all,
Charlotte




Friday, August 20, 2010

Been Thinkin' and Prayin' and Here is What I'm Doin'

     Dearest blog sisters, I hope that you are all having a wonderful sunny day in your corner of the world. We are still having some of those "soupy" summer days here in WV. I am hoping things start to cool down a bit with the coming of September. I LOVE autumn and cannot wait to see the leaves start to change, neighbors sitting out pots of mums and foddershocks by their front porches, and to smell that wonderful first whiff of someone burning wood in their fireplace~ahhh!
     I have truly been thinking and praying about the direction that my life in the land of blogs and writing, and I believe that the Lord has directed my decision as to what needs to be done. I will be combining the Cozy Home Journal (simple living tips, recipes, poetry, etc) with the Cozy Home Cottage. I am going to try and post three days a week and will have specific goals for the posts. You can look forward to a new recipe on Mondays. I am keeping the weekends for visiting and reading your wonderful blogs. Since Mondays mark the beginning of my business week, I try to plan easy "pop-in-th-oven" or slow cooker dinners for my family. I will be posting the recipes for these simple, yet yummy, meals here in a featured post I call "What's Cookin' Mondays". Wednesday posts will be something inspirational or personal or both.  The posts might include news about happenings going on around here at the old cottage, tips I have found that simplify my days or short devotionals or something poetic in nature. Just whatever strikes my fancy that day. Fridays feature will be something entirely new for the old CHC blog. I will be featuring a new "story board" each week showing various color schemes and ideas to inspire your home decorating. All of my posts will remain as chatty and friendly as ever, I never want to sound "teachy" or stiff. Blogs are about sharing with friends and having fun. I don't like "know-it-all" posts and I never want to sound that way, either.
     I will also maintain a new Cozy Home Academy blog here on Blogger to chronicle our homeschool happenings. I realize that not all of my dear CHC readers homeschool, so this way you will not have to read all about our lessons, field trips and adventures, unless you are so inclined to go over to that blog for a bit. We are very eclectic in our learning, sometimes things are great, sometimes they are not, but we always have lots of fun. You are welcome to check that one out anytime you wish.
     I will be starting the new changes this coming week, so don't forget to pop in to see "What's Cookin' Monday". I hold each of you dear in my heart and love that you count me as a friend in blogland. Hugs and prayers for each of you. Hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Friday, August 13, 2010

      Can you believe it is August already!!! This summer has FLOWN passed and I can't believe it is already time for us to get started on homeschooling again. I have been working on a schedule for our days and our lessons as well as taking time to visit with friends and family as they drop by. I am usually not real good with posting details of my day to day life and my kids say that they prefer not to become part of my blog life~gotta respect their wishes, I guess. We had a wonderful "surprise" visit from our daughter who lives in NC at the end of July. She and her hubby and son decided to come up and she called us the night before to make sure it was OK...of COURSE it was OK!!!! We were thrilled to see them and had a wonderful time together. The other kids came over and we had a wonderful dinner together. Hope they can come back again soon. I always love to have my kids come home, even if it is just for a little while.
     I am also trying to decide on the course of my blog life. I could really use some wise advice from my sweet blog sisters on this one. I currently have three blogs and two of them are on another blog server. I have had one up since 2006 and one from 2007. Each of my blogs cover a different area of interest in my life. One is homeschool, one is thrifty living, recipes and organizing and, of course, this one that was intended to be all about decorating, but we all know how that is working out~lol. This is where I need your imput. I am thinking of bringing all of my blogs here, but I am wondering if I should keep them all separate, or just combine everything on this one little blog. What do you think?
     I am posting a recipe for you to try. You can use a covered casserole dish to make this in, or your favorite pretty salad bowl, but I use my Bean Pot from Celebrating Home to make it. You know, of course, that everything tastes better from a Bean Pot ;-) This just such a summertime classic and there are still more good picnic and family reunion days left before the official end of summertime.


All American Potato Salad (In a Bean Pot, of course :-)


Ingredients

5 pounds red potatoes
6 eggs
2 cups mayonnaise
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain, cool and cut into cubes. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine chopped potatoes and eggs. Mix together mayonnaise, chopped onion, green onion, green pepper, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. Place in your chilled Bean Pot, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The chilled porcelain Bean Pot will keep your salad cold for 2-3 hours.
 
I pray that all is well with each of you. I have been having fun visiting many of your blogs, I may not always comment, but I so enjoy pleasant afternoons reading about what is new with you. You are all dear to me and I am always so blessed by your posts. If you try the recipe, let me know how you like it and don't forget to let me know your thoughts on what I should do with my blogs.
 
Until later, Stay Cozy,
Charlotte

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not So Chatty.....

Hmmm, what to say, well, come on brain, think of something to tell your blog friends. There must be something new around the Cozy Home Cottage to write about in a post...brain, wake up brain....(sigh)...Well, Ladies, maybe soon. Right now I am just having a bit of trouble getting this old brain to come up with something cleaver for you to read. It must be the heat and humidity (good excuse, even though the air conditioning is set to 77...;-) Hugs to all and hope you are are all staying cool and comfy.

Stay Cozy,
Charlotte