Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hello friends!  I hope you're having a great week so far.

Last weekend I was able to do a little shoppin' at some of my favorite local antique stores AND
(finally) get some things from the dreamy Dreamy Whites online shop.  Words cannot describe how
giddy I was when I opened the box and saw all of these beautifully wrapped packages inside.  All
I can say is, "Well done, Maria!!".

I'M IN HEAVEN... or so I thought. I could smell all of the sweet lavender before I even opened the
box! I thought I would just give you a little sneak peak at some of the things I bought from Maria's
shop. Next week, I'll share more of how I used the treasures I found from both her shop and the local
antique stores.

I'm linking up to Vintage Inspiration Friday over at the lovely blog,  Common Ground, and
Air your Laundry Friday over at the lovely blog, Freckled Laundry.   Thanks for hosting every
week, Debra and Jami!

I also wanted to tell you how touched I was by all of your wonderful comments about my mention in
FMS magazine.  I'm so grateful for the friendships I've made since starting my blog back in May of
last year... thanks guys!

I'm still catching up on all my emails (comments), but I'll be getting around to all of you eventually...
I promise. :)  Speaking of comments... have you seen this post by Anne of Fiona and Twig.  I
could totally relate to everything she wrote in that post... I loved it and thought you might to. :)

Oh... and, it's not too late to enter my sponsored giveaway from Simply Objekts.  Click here to enter.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Yes... "Happy" Tuesday, because today I have another sponsored
giveaway to offer you... this time from Hanlie of the lovely Etsy shop...

Hanlie's love for finding simple, weathered and worn, imperfect pieces led to the opening of her etsy
shop in 2009. Simply Objekts is filled with a wonderful eclectic mix of vintage pieces from bygone

(All photos for this giveaway taken by Hanlie of Simply Objekts)

The generous and beautiful gift package that Hanlie is offering to my followers includes:

1 extra large vintage grain sack (pillow insert not included), 2 Atlas aqua mason jars, and 1 soy
candle scented with lemon grass essential oil... a $90 value!

These are some beautiful vintage pieces that would be a lovely addition to any cottage/farmhouse
style home.  Thank you so much, Hanlie, for offering such a beautiful  and generous gift package!!

Hanlie also has a beautiful blog in the same name... Simply Objekts... where she shares her passion
for interior design, living in simplicity, and the things that inspire her.  It would be so nice if you
would pop over there to say hi and thank her for this generous giveaway. :)


1.  You must be a follower of mine and Hanlie's blog.  Be sure to leave a comment on this post letting
us know that you are.  Please be sure to leave your contact information, or I won't be able to enter
you in the giveaway... thank you. :)
2.  If you would like to blog about it or post it on your blog sidebar with a link back to this post, that
will enter you for a second chance to win!  (Please use the last picture for this)
3.  Visit Simply Objekts and come back here to leave a comment, telling us what your favorite piece
is that Hanlie is selling in her shop for a third chance to win!
4.  Please make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

Deadline to enter will be March 3rd at noon PST


** On another note, I was more than pleasantly surprised (to say the least) that my blog was
mentioned in the new issue of Flea Market Style Magazine as one of their favorite 20 design blogs to
visit.  It's not a feature, but honestly I didn't even know they knew I existed!  Congratulations to all of
the other bloggers who were featured and mentioned... you're all so inspirational!!  I want to give a
BIG WARM THANK YOU to the team of Flea Market Style for placing me among these super
talented bloggers... what an honor!!**

The new issue is on stands now, and is filled with so much wonderful inspiration you won't want to miss!!

Thanks to all of YOU for stopping by today!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

CAN'T WAIT FOR ROSES... and a sponsor discount for my readers

Hello people!  Hope you're all having a nice week so far.

We had a little hail storm blow through here the other day.  Luckily, It blew out of here as quickly as
it blew in..  We also got some much needed rain, as it was starting to dry up in the garden.  The
next day, however, the sun came out pleasant as could be, and the birds were singing their melodious
songs -- it was so peaceful.  We have rain coming again this weekend, which is a good thing, because
we don't want to have to start watering the garden this early in the season. ;-)

If there is one thing in the garden that I get most excited about, I would have to say it's my roses.  I
love them!  They start blooming in mid Spring and don't stop until late Fall, providing me with
countless bouquets throughout the growing season.  These pictures are just a few I've taken for
various posts last year since I started my blog last May.

recipe for banana nut bread here

I purchased most of the roses in my garden (and all of the roses in this post) from the David Austin
Rose Catalog.  You can find more information about David Austin Roses here.

After seeing this picture (below), I realized how glad I was that I painted my dining table top white.:)

**On another note, I also want to introduce you to another one of my lovely sponsors today,
Cherie Prisco of the Etsy shop...

Cherie is offering a generous 20% discount to my readers on all of her products, which she
personally hand makes,  until March 2nd.   You can find beautiful coupon organizers, wristlet
 key chains, checkbook covers, key fobs, eyeglass cases, and purses in fun, fashionable designer
fabrics at her lovely Etsy shopTo receive your discount, type in the code Cottage VIP at the time
of checkout. 

These are a few of the beautiful pieces Cherie makes.

(The following three photos are by Cherie of Jimmy Pickles) 

Key Fob

Checkbook Cover

Key Fob

Head on over to Jimmy Pickles to see all of the other beautiful handmade pieces that Cherie
is offering in her lovely Etsy shop.

**Thank you for offering this generous discount to my readers, Cherie!!**

Well, that's all I have for today, my friends.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your lovely comments!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

FINALLY, SOME TULIPS... and the winner of my giveaway!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I went to Lowe's last Thursday to pick up some paint samples for some furniture projects I want to
get started on this week (more on this later), and on my way into the store, I couldn't help but notice
all of the beautiful plants they were stocking in the garden center.  I was so happy when I saw that
they had tulips! I've been wanting to get some fresh cut tulips for a while now, but didn't have luck
finding any locally, so I found the next best thing... live tulip plants.  Now, I will have some in our
garden that I can bring inside whenever they're in bloom. :)

Finally, some tulips... 

I brought them inside to enjoy until we planted them in the garden on Sunday along with some pink
peonies.  I'm so excited to finally get some peonies for our garden, too.  I've adored them from afar
for so long, first in magazines and then on other people's beautiful blogs.  I hope they bloom in the
first season, so I can have peonies to bring in the house this Spring/Summer... keepin' my fingers
crossed. ;-)

Seeing these gorgeous bouquets in the January issue of Jeanne d'Arc Living got me itchin' for Spring
to get here.  I finally got all of my rose bushes and vines pruned back, and there are new red shoots
starting to grow on them already and buds on our flowering trees... eeehhhh!  I LOVE the antici-
pation of what's to come in the garden at this time of the year.

It felt so good to be planting in the garden over the weekend and having my hands back in the
soil again.

Here in Central California, we get Spring a bit earlier than a lot of you do throughout other parts of
the country.  We'll get a few more rain storms before winter is over, and temps are still pretty cold in
the mornings and evenings (mid 30's), but Spring is definitely soon on its way for us.  I hope this post
helps send a little sunshine to those of you who are still having freezing temps and snow storms where
you live. :)

OK... now, onto the winner of my giveaway sponsored by Maria of The Growers Daughter...

Congratulations Sandi!  I'll contact you to get the information needed for Maria to send you your
package. :)  The winner was randomly chosen by my daughters.  They each picked a number between
1-412, and then I tossed a coin to choose which number I would use. 

I want to thank all of you again who entered my giveaway and especially to those of you who took
the time to blog about it or post it on your sidebar... you gals rock!!!  I wish I could have had the time
to visit each and every one of you and welcome all of my new followers, but there were just too
many of you... 412 entries!!!... so I wanted to take the time now to thank all of you for your very
sweet and encouraging comments.  I read each and every one and appreciated them all so much!!!

My internet has been running crazy slow for about a week now, so I'm a little behind on all my emails
and comments for my non-giveaway posts.  I will get around to all of you eventually though, so please
don't give up on me.

I hope you all have a happy Valentine's Day!!!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hello friends!  I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far.

Today I'm excited to introduce you to Tracie, founder of a lovely Etsy shop filled with some of
the most beautiful French antique and vintage pieces...

Living in Small Town U.S.A., it's sometimes difficult for me to find those truly unique antique
or vintage pieces in the local antiques shops, and usually never anything French.  This is why
I think I love Etsy so much, because it allows me to shop all over the U.S. and beyond right
from the comforts of my own home.  Don't get me wrong... I still love shopping at my local
antiques shops, but I love having the opportunity to find things I may otherwise not be able to
in the limited amount of shops I have in this area.  My Petite Maison is one of those Etsy shops
that gives me the opportunity to find those beautiful and unique French pieces I can't find locally.

If you're new to my blog, you may not know how much I appreciate an Etsy shop filled with beautiful
photography for me to browse through while I'm visiting their shop, but my veteran followers know
all too well how much I love when someone makes the effort to display something beautifully.  Well,
Tracie of My Petite Maison does just that, making your visit to her shop always a pleasure.

Here are some of the beautiful antique and vintage pieces you can find at My Petite Maison...

(All photos in this post courtesy of Tracie of My Petite Maison)

I would honestly love to have all of these fabulous pieces in my home... sigh...

I want to thank Tracie for sponsoring my blog and would love for you to join me in welcoming her by
popping over to Tracie's blog to say hello and visiting her fabulous Etsy shop.  I promise you, you
won't be disappointed with either. :-)

I'm linking this post up to Vintage Inspiration Friday over at Common Ground.  This week's theme is
anything vintage romance, and Tracie's shop is definitely that!  Thanks for hosting every week, Debra!

On another note, I would like to thank Marcy of Stylesson and Cindy of the online magazine,
Whimsical Musings Magazine, for featuring me on their websites.  I feel honored to be included
among so many other talented bloggers... thank you! :)

And yet on another note, there are still a few days left to enter my Valentines Giveaway.  Click here
to find out all the details.  I've been reading all of your lovely comments...  There's no way I will be
able to get back to all of you individually, but I want to thank you all so much for your encouraging

I hope you all have a great day!!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011


Hello friends!  I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far.  I know many of you have been
hit by major snow and rain storms this week, and I'm wishing you all safe, dry, and warm.

I want to thank everyone who entered my giveaway this week, and especially to those of you who
blogged about it or posted it on your sidebars.  There are way too many of you to name you
all, but I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it!! :)

I've been so inspired lately by the beautiful table settings by Tracey of French Larkspur and
Maria of Dreamy Whites as well as the pages of Jeanne d'Arc Living Magazine.  I'll be the 
first to admit that I'm not the best at setting a pretty table, but I thought I'd give it a go. I had
a lot of fun doing it, but it was a mad dash trying to get it done before I had to go pick up the
kids from school.  Some of my pictures turned out fuzzy, and I just didn't have the time to take
more... what you see is what you get.   I hope you enjoy them anyway. :) 

I love chocolate covered strawberries.  These are so simple to make.  I just chilled the
strawberries in the freezer for about an hour and then dipped them in Hershey's Shell Topping
(the kind you use for ice cream).  It's so simple and delicious!

I placed chilled raspberries in Black Raspberry Fruit Fizz water.  Again, so simple, and my
husband loved this. :)

I saw this idea in the January issue of Jeanne d'Arc Living and loved it.  But... fair warning...
my vintage milk bottle broke from the heat of the candle.  The glass just cracked and left half
of the bottle hanging there and the other half broke to pieces on the hutch and floor. :(

If you haven't had a chance to enter my giveaway yet, there's still time.  Click here to find
out all the details.

Thanks for stopping by today and taking the time to leave your sweet comments!  I read each and
every one and enjoy visiting all of you to see what you're up to.

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)