On the Cottage Porch


Patriotic Porch

I’ve been having a blast being a part of our social media team for Country North Gifts (Instagram @countrynorthgifts).

We started doing a weekly feature and it’s been so. Much. Fun!

I had to travel really far to do this week’s concept. That jaunt across my driveway and my neighbor’s to their front porch was a killer in this Maine heat. (I’m working really hard to keep a straight face.)

We combined her two rockers with mine and scrounged up little tables for her gorgeous plants. Our decor? Items from our selection at the store – flags, blanket, pillow, etc). I love how just a few accessories can complete a look and create a space you love.

A Little Bit On Being Content

I have a dream.

A dream of perfection. A dream of everything being just right.

I think it’s safe to say we all have this dream. In some form or another. After all, we have so many shows and websites (not to mention issue upon issue of home decor magazines) declaring this universal truth; We want more. And we want it now.

Now reality: life isn’t perfect and you can’t just snap your fingers to get it all now. And maybe that’s a good thing.

There’s a quote I think most of us know and it goes a little something like this “The journey is more important than the destination.” Pretty sure I’m paraphrasing here, but we’ll forgive me because I’m currently in a peculiar state of caffeine induced hyperactivity mixed with down to your core exhaustion.

Looking back to my early days of marriage I can’t help but think of our very humble beginnings. Apartments smaller than a shoebox. Giant storage containers acting as coffee tables.

Side note here: Cardboard boxes make wonderful bedside tables.

It was almost a decade of marriage before I had a dining table straight from a store. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

If, back then, I could’ve just snapped my fingers and suddenly had everything I desired would I even still have it? Probably not.

We’re constantly changing aren’t we? My style has been developing right along with my very identity on this journey called Life. This road I’m on is marked with various seasons and circumstances. Milestones and memories.

Our home is a reflection of that.

So I’m content. I’m content to just count my blessings. To appreciate what I have. Right here; right now. It’s not perfect but it’s mine and that’s okay.

After all, there’s people sleeping on dirt floors who would give anything for the amenities we have such as electricity and running water. I highly doubt they’d care if their home is the latest and greatest. They’re just grateful to even have a roof.

So as October comes to a close, add this to your list of things to be grateful for: the wonderful Here and Now and all of the comforts you have. Pinterest-worthy or not.

I’m So Excited and I Just Can’t Hide It

I’m over here doing a marvelous impression of Jesse Spano from Saved By The Bell.  Minus the collapsing and weeping into Zack’s shoulder.  And if I spelled any of those names wrong, don’t kill me-  I’m just so excited.

And I just can’t hide it.

I’m about to lose control and write all about it.

In fact, I just did a little bit on two review pages for my realtor.  So to start this bad boy off, I present to you-  When Summer Writes a Review.

First off- that’s not enough stars. Ya need to add like five more…and I’m not sure that’d be enough. And I’ll tell you why.

Alright kiddos, buckle up because this review is gonna be longer than Charlie Sheen’s rap sheet.

First- What can I say about Jen Goodman?
A lot! But mostly- she is FIERCE.

FIERCE! I tell you.

She sold our home in one week. ONE WEEK! With us traveling across the country (literally). She dealt with dropped phone calls, faulty cell reception (mostly as we passed through Massachusetts….). AND she sold it for more than the asking price. Why? Because she’s just that good.

If you’re looking for someone who will fight for you, be there for you no matter the time of day; someone who genuinely cares? Then look no further. Seriously.

This was our first time selling a home. And to be selling it while across the country??? Come on! It wasn’t scary or even very stressful because I knew who had my back. She truly goes above and beyond and man oh man, is she patient.

And remember when I said she’ll be there for you?
Yeah, this lady was dealing with last minute complications from a plane. A PLANE! We’re talking thousands of feet in the air, emailing like crazy and making magic happen.

I could say more, but we officially sold our home today, just in time to start paying mortgage on our new home in Maine. Talk about timing.
So I’ve got some celebrating to do.

Go with Jen Goodman, you won’t regret it!

Didja get all that?  That’s right!  WE SOLD OUR HOME!!!!!



(Admit it, you saw that coming)

The take away here-  God is so good.  So so sooooo good!  This transition is an amazing testimony and I will most definitely be sharing it, just not today because I’m in serious danger of throwing in more song references and do we really want that?

No, no you don’t.

Mustard Seed…the musical.

Hmmmm. Okay. I take that back… just kidding.

Have a great day…I know I am.

A Little Goes A Long Way

I love how just a tiny drop of color can instantly change a room from liking it to loving it.

Just less than 2 weeks ago we arrived in northern Maine and into our home that we bought sight unseen (well unseen in person) from southern NM.

Upon first arriving I wasn’t really on board with the wall color or the black square outlines of this dining room.

It’s not a bad color and the squares add a taste of whimsy, but they just weren’t on my personal style radar.

However. I don’t have the time or money to be transforming it in the near future. Way bigger things to focus on with my wallet. Like closing on our old home and you know, stocking a pantry.

I don’t know about ya. But my motto is, “If you don’t love it but can’t change it then just own it and change you.”

Just like we did with our new living room.

And this has definitely changed me. I’m in no hurry to paint now. (I might not ever paint it actually.)

Just a few tweaks here and there and suddenly I can appreciate the preexisting wall treatments.

First we brought in the mirror that was in our old house’s entryway. This was to form a connection with the black squares. Next we hung a painting we’d bought for our old bedroom. This helped to tie in all of the colors, but as I sat on that adorable window bench I couldn’t help but look around and contemplate.

It was missing something.

So to Pinterest I went.

I scoured and searched for ideas and inspiration and suddenly there it was. A color I hadn’t even considered. And then as if a sign from above – in comes the kid in the pink tank top and later another in her bunny pajamas.

And that’s how we got our accent color.

Helloooooo fuschia. Pink. Whatever she is, she’s beautiful.

There’s still more I’d like to do, but at least now I have a starting point. And it only cost me $10 at Walmart.

My Cozy Corner in the Midst of Chaos

I’m writing this to you as I sit right inside the eye of the storm. Well, okay, my living room. We moved in on Monday and we’re done.

With this room at least.

We worked at a frenzied pace this past week to achieve exactly this.

With everything still in a state of dishabille it was imperative that we had someplace that isn’t a wasteland of boxes. Somewhere we could take a moment, breathe, and just collect our thoughts.

And right now my thoughts are “Ah! This is cozy.”

I’d write more but I’m exhausted and ready to take a tiny cat nap – can you guess which spot? How about you? What’s your go to spot in your home? Comment below and have a great day!!

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner…Except Baby.

It all started with a somewhat innocent late night text to my husband.

“I did a thing.”

Not a huge thing.  Not even an unusual thing.

In fact, when my husband received my text around 11 pm, I daresay he wasn’t even shocked or alarmed.  In all actuality, he was probably thinking  “I was wondering when I’d get this text.”  And  ” It was only a matter of time.”  Instead he texted back with “K”.

His usual.

I could write an essay, ending with the toilet clogging, a child dying, and world destruction just minutes away- with him the only hope of saving the world. And that would still be his reply.

No worries though.  I know.  I know he’s not the only guy who has a monopoly on that letter on his little keyboard. Right???

He’s a good sport.  This husband of mine. Putting up with all of my shenanigans.

I’m starting to think it’s just karma.  I mean, he’s moved me quite a few times.  California, Kansas, New Mexico….a few houses, apartments, and such.  So it’s only fair that I move his furniture.  Often.  While he’s either sleeping or working.  Karma.

“At least I won’t run into any furniture.”

Ah!!! So he does know the entire alphabet after all!

This text was very accurate since he’d see it in the daylight.  Not like that time he woke up before even the sun had the sense to wake up, and made his way down to the kitchen….and slammed into a sofa.  Oops? That’ll teach him to use a light switch.

So the thing.  The thing.  What is this thing I did?

Remember how I took over the dining room?  Turned it into an office?  Well, I got tired of having an entire room to myself.  It’s just weird.  And I got lonely. And…well just kidding.  These people freaking adore me.  To the point of stalking.  So to get them all out of my office I put myself in a corner.  Let’s consider it a big Time Out- yeah, that’ll teach me.

And they laughed, and they laughed, and they laughed some more.

Okay, that and I was kinda, sorta missing our dining room- even if it will just get cluttered up and ignored.  It’s the principle of it. (Pics of the dining room will be at the end of this post)


Sadly, this is AFTER I folded and put away a mountain of laundry.

It all started very innocently.  I took a few hooks off the wall so I could maybe hang a sign from the top one. Only I didn’t like the way it looked.  So I moved the ottoman that had been taking up residence in that corner. To see if the sign looked better then.  Nope, no dice.

I was going to put the other three hooks back on, when a little thought popped into my head.  “What if I move the little cabinet from the dining room to this corner right here- I mean, it’s empty, might as well try it.”   It’s a thought I’d been entertaining for a week prior, but would brush off.  But since the corner was currently empty….

I liked it, so I kept it.  But then there was a new problem.  The space was too tight for my chair.  But I wasn’t ready to accept defeat.


Rearranging is a slippery slope.


I angled the couch…which then dictated I angle the rug…and the coffee table…and the chairs just a teeny bit and….It was like a furniture version of “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly’.


Why yes, I do have two cats who aren’t declawed, how did you ever guess……

And this is the end result.  Take a good look, because knowing me- it’ll change in about a week, though if you ask my husband he’d probably say a few hours… It’s sad because it’s true.   Here take a view courtesy of my lame camera skills and the panorama option.


If you look to the left you’ll see my dirty little secret.  Thumbtacks.  I’m a hole-y terror with them. If I like this spot for the three hangers, I’ll sweet talk the man into hanging nails.

This is the heart of our home, the family room.  And it’s a pain to arrange furniture in.  And yet, somehow I manage to.  Often.

And so there you have it, more proof that I love to rearrange and try new things.  No shame in my game.  In fact, it’s wonderful.  When I move stuff around it breathes life back into a room and it actually keeps me from shopping when I get the itch.


My view this morning as I drank my coffee and enjoyed the results of my shenanigans.

Do you have a room that could use a fresh perspective?  Contact me if you’d like to get an outside opinion.  Together we can think outside of the box and do a thing.  But I warn you- it’s like eating a bag of chips…..

Speaking of eating, here’s a before and after of the dining room.  And just in time for the holidays. Far left is obviously the glorious before and the two on the right are the now. Betsy has found a new home…again.  That poor cow is constantly on the move.

 Did you know two thumbtacks can hold up a cow?