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A few changes with Cozycakes Cottage…

Hi all!

I’m working on transferring my blog to a new host.  Whee!  This might take a couple of days and I won’t be able to post while the transfer is occurring.  I’m not sure if things will look messy or off, but if they do, I apologize now.  In addition, if you post a comment and don’t receive a reply from me, please know I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  I’ve been told I’ll be able to bring all followers (email followers as well as WordPress Reader followers) with me to the new site–fingers crossed!

  • I’m very excited for the changes I’m implementing with my little place here in the blogosphere!  Looking forward to seeing you back here soon!  ♥ Danielle

P.S. If you would like to contact me during the transfer, please feel free to email me at cozycakescottage@yahoo.com

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Catching Up…Summer Days and Lazy Ways

I don’t know about you, but the month of June flew by for me.  I missed sharing with you here on my blog, but life happens.  It’s certainly nice to come back to my little corner of the world wide web though.  🙂  Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to…please pardon the long post.

retirement peonies: Cozycakes Cottage

It seems we’ve been up to a lot while other days we’re able to laze about and do a whole lot of nothing.  It’s been a good mix.  Munchie finished preschool and will be heading off to pre-k in the fall.  That doesn’t come without some emotions.  Wimpy mama over here.  I’ll distract my overactive tear ducts with a picture of some beautiful peonies Trader Joe’s carried for only 1 day.  1 day!  What a tease.  I grabbed a bunch for my peony-loving mom-in-law and myself.

zero days retirement sign

Speaking of my mom-in-law, we celebrated her retirement from teaching (hurrah!) a couple of weeks ago.  We had a backyard celebration with lots of garden fresh flowers, friends & family, and a yummy street taco bar catered by a taqueria.  I filled the dessert table and printed off the little chalkboard sign below for table décor.  Isn’t it cute?

Now both of my in-laws are retired and are jet-setting to Europe (England, France, Ireland) this summer just as retirees should.  I’m very happy for them and a wee bit jealous.  I have really fond memories of our trip to Europe a couple of years ago.  One day I’ll share a few pictures from that trip when Munchie was merely a 1-year old and I developed an ugly and embarrassing case of heat rash in Russia during a performance of Swan Lake–no one returned to our aisle after intermission.  I suspect it had to do with me scratching madly at myself nonstop.  Good times. 🙂

mama eggplant

In between play dates, swimming, walks, and crafting (I’ve been crafting!) we took a road trip to visit my family.  My mom and dad have such a gorgeous yard.  That’s a picture of one of my mom’s baby eggplants.  I brought some back with me and have cooked them up just the way she always has for me.  I love the story of how she craved eggplant cooked the same way when she was pregnant with me.  Coincidentally, when I was pregnant with Munchie I craved the exact same recipe.  It comforts me when I’m able to make recipes that connect me to home.  Makes my little homesick being feel a tad bit better.

DSC_0887 garden bench mama pm

My parents have little spots throughout their large backyard for relaxing.  If it hadn’t been 110°, I might’ve planted myself on this bench with a book for a bit.  Not happening.

 winnie and duck tea party

Back at home, Munchie and I have had a few impromptu tea parties.  Even her “friends” have tea.  She doesn’t want to leave anyone out.

duke lounging

And, as I mentioned, there has been much lazing about as demonstrated by Duke.  We call this his Malaise Way.  His “stop looking at me, what, you’ve never seen a person REST before?” look.  One day he’ll find out he’s a dog and that the dog bed on the floor is for HIM and who knows what he’ll do then.  I imagine there’ll be tears and some huffing.

blue onion

Aside from organizing & continually purging items we no longer need (I’m addicted to purging!), I’ve enjoyed reading late into the night, many cups of tea, spending time with dear friends, having cozy date nights at home with my easy-going husband (usually including a good show or movie and ice cream), driving Munchie to and from activities like summer camp and swim lessons, and pretty, but practical gifts like the ones pictured above.  My husband’s grandmother gave me two sets of china recently and I’m just in love with them.  One set is from England and the other from Japan.  In this home, china IS practical.  I’m all for using and enjoying pretty things instead of relegating them to dust catchers.

meakin stack

Here’s a stack of the second set she gave me.  They’re all sitting out on my counters because I want to keep looking at them and can’t bear to shove them away in a cupboard.  So out they’ll sit until I come up with a better way to display them.  A little hutch purchase is likely in my near future.

purple dahlia bouquet

I’m the lucky recipient of many, many flower bouquets each summer, courtesy of my father-in-law.  Among others, he grows a gazillion varieties of dahlias.  I love the pastel ones best–look at that speckled one.  So pretty.  I have bouquets in every room downstairs, but I think I’ll start bringing them into the bedrooms.  A nice sight first thing in the morning.

july 1 calendar

Each morning Munchie flips this little calendar to a new day.  I couldn’t believe it when it said “July 1” yesterday.  Can you?

kitchen door usa love

Every holiday involves Munchie decorating our kitchen door with window stickers or jellies.  Yesterday she decorated for one of her favorite holidays.  A little patriotism from a 4-year old.  And with that, I wish you all a relaxing and laughter-filled summer.  Hope you’re able to put your feet up a bit and reenergize.  I’ll be back soon with a few recipes and hope you’ll stop by again soon.  ♥

Day of Remembrance

ct day

Like many others in the blogging community, Cozycakes Cottage will be taking a day of silence tomorrow in honor & remembrance of those who so tragically & senselessly lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut.  I will spend the day focused on my family and friends, praying for the families and all affected, and counting my many blessings.

~Psalm 34:18  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

~ Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Making Your Home a Haven: Week 1

Yesterday morning I saw that my very organized friend, Erin (you are, don’t say you’re not!), who blogs over at My Mommy World joined Women Living Well’s Making Your Home a Haven: 31 Day Fall Challenge.  I love these types of challenges because 1) I’m competing against and pushing myself and 2) My family as well as my soul benefits.  So…I’m in!

I’m a week behind, but no worries.  I started Week 1 yesterday and will start Week 2 right on time.  See?  No one to scold or  shout at me to “RUN, RUN HARDER!” (That’s how I picture a personal trainer challenging me and I cringe at the thought.)

For Week 1’s challenge, Courtney (the gal behind Women Living Well) suggests we get a large candle, choose a spot for it in your home, and light it daily.  Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home. 

I love this challenge.   I like the reminder to take a moment to say a prayer during the day.  And, as Courtney states, it’s not the things you do or don’t have that make your home a haven–YOU are the key to making your home a haven.  🙂

I chose to put my candle on my mantle for the weekend.  As we pass through our family room a gazillion times each day, we have a gentle reminder of the blessing of our home and I can say my prayer for peace many times a day.  I strive to make my home a haven for my family and for those dear friends who stop in.  But I often find myself frustrated with piles of clutter or rushing to clean up quickly when someone calls to say they’re stopping by.  I like this simple gesture, the tangible reminder–the lit candle–telling me that I have control over the mood and feel of my home.  And I’m choosing to make it a warm, welcoming haven for those I love and those in need.

What makes YOUR home a haven?  What do you do to make your home a comfortable place for those you love?

xx ~Danielle

Gooseberry Patch Fan of the Week….Me!

Photo courtesy of Gooseberry Patch

I’m a little over-the-top excited that I’m Gooseberry Patch‘s Fan of the Week (click here to get to their Facebook page)!  They’ve kindly featured my pic (above) on their website and on their Facebook page where they also give Cozycakes Cottage a shout-out.  Totally fun times for this crazy girl!

I probably drive some of you a bit nuts with my vocal adoration of Gooseberry Patch, but I can’t help myself.  Of course when they let me know I was their fan of the week, I squeeeeee-ed and announced it to my husband like I’d won an Emmy.  Or an Oscar.   Or the Pulitzer.

I’m preparing my speech.  😉

I kid.  I did recently start a new segment here on the blog featuring Gooseberry Patch recipes–Cooking with Gooseberry Patch.  You can find it under the “Cottage Recipes” menu above.  I only include recipes I’ve made and that my family has given a big thumbs up.  Here’s what you can find there now:

I’ll be adding to this list very soon and hope you’ll stop by to check out the new, “approved” recipes!

Have a wonderful week!  Thanks to Gooseberry Patch for making my week! 🙂

And the giveaway winner is…

Monica K!

Congratulations to you!  I’ve emailed you and look forward to sending you your 1,000 Likes Giveaway prizes!

Thanks to all who commented & participated!  Can’t wait till the next giveaway!

xxx

~Danielle

1,000 Likes and Giveaway Fun!

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.  THANK YOU!

A couple of weeks ago my Cozycakes Cottage Facebook page reached 1,000 likes.  Heavens, I never expected to make so many “friends” over there and I’ve had a darn good time meeting such fun gals, sharing and learning from one another.  ♥

That being said, welcome to Cozycakes Cottage’s 1,000 Likes Giveaway!

One of my favorite people (or favorite people who I don’t know personally) is the artist and author Susan Branch.  I discovered her work when I lived on my own, far from home.  I was in my early 20s and I would visit the bookstore on weekend evenings, getting lost in the aisles of adventures and inspiration until closing time.  I always hit the clearance racks on my way out the door and that’s where I discovered the most darling little book (Sweets to the Sweet) by Susan Branch.  I don’t know who thought she belonged on the clearance shelf (for shame), but I thank them just the same.  Who knows how long it would’ve been until I happened upon her charming, handwritten, water-colored books again.

Susan Branch’s books include all of her own water-color artwork and she hand writes each word on every page which include recipes, seasonal/holiday tips and ideas, and more.  She is the epitome of cozy and her blog and website offer sweet peeks into her life on Martha’s Vineyard.  SIGH.

Can you tell I adore her?  Seems everything I adore, she adores.  How can I not like her?  So, dear friends, I’m giving away the Susan Branch personal recipe binder keeper pictured above.  You can see her work on the cover and then you fill it up with your tried and true, beloved recipes.  This 8×9 personal recipe keeper includes recipe pages, 6 tab dividers, 2 splash guards, 6 vinyl sleeves, measurements, hints and cooking tips.  I own 2 (or 3) myself.  I wish I had a copy of one of her cookbooks for you, but this will give you a taste of what those have to offer–they include page after page of charm and cottage loveliness.

I was perusing the stores (I peruse too often.  Dave Ramsey would tell me to go home and clean out my closet) recently and found a few copies of The Cottage Journal Seasons Magazine.  But, sweet friends, it isn’t just a read-toss type magazine.  The $10+ price tag clues one in on that fact (yes, fact).  As is my custom when I find a steal and gem, I snatched up a copy for myself, a copy for my sis, and…a copy for one of you!  This is the Christmas 2011 issue, but I tell ya, you won’t care what year it is.  It’s Christmas magic in paper form (high-quality paper form, mind you 😉 ).

If you’re interested in winning my 1,000 Likes Giveaway for the Susan Branch personal recipe keeper & The Cottage Journal Seasons Magazine Christmas 2011 issue all you need to do is leave a comment answering the following questions:

  • What favorite recipe would you add to this personal recipe keeper and what is your favorite holiday season tradition?  (I’m in the all-holiday spirit!)

For an additional entry you may do the following and come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment for this additional entry so you have multiple entries:

  • Follow Cozycakes Cottage via email by entering your email address in the “Follow Cozycakes Cottage” box on the right hand menu (or fellow WordPress.com bloggers can just click “follow”).

And though it’s against Facebook regulation for me to count Facebook “likes” as entries, I would love for you to stop by my Facebook page and follow me there. We have a good time over there and I’d love for you to join in!

Best of luck to you and thank you for visiting my cottage!

This giveaway ends Monday, November 5, 2012 and is open to residents of the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.   A winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced here on my blog.  I was not compensated for this giveaway nor was I sponsored by the book’s/magazine’s authors, publishing company, or WordPress.  I just wanted to share the love with you! 🙂
*Although you’re welcome to “like” Cozycakes Cottage on Facebook, Facebook comments at the Cozycakes Cottage page do not count as entry into this giveaway. 

Mommy School: Little House Learning & Chapter Book Read-Aloud Tips

I have waited years for this moment.  I’m talking since I was 8 or 9 years old.  That’s a long wait (hey, quit trying to figure out my age).

Ever since I picked up “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and devoured all the Little House books, I KNEW I’d read them with my child one day.  I KNEW my mini-me would love them as much as I do.  How could something from my womb NOT love them?  Not possible.  Nothing to even worry about.

But I worried.  So when I was pregnant I set a fresh boxed set on Munchie’s closet shelves.  Unconscious assimilation.  Osmosis.  Very scientific.

When she was two she pulled them off the shelves and carelessly tossed them aside in one of her weekly closet raids.  Oh my gosh.

I removed them from her room and stored them in a box.  She’ll want what she doesn’t have, desire that which I’m not offering her.  Reverse psychology.  I’m brilliant.

Well, now Munchie is in her second year of preschool.  She did two 3-hour days last year and now does three 3-hour days.  I love her school and the little community it nurtures, but since she loves a schedule and requests “activities” I  supplement her learning at home.  She’s come to call this Mommy School and asks me for it daily.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled out “Little House in the Big Woods” and began Munchie’s first chapter read-aloud.  At 3-years old, she’s eager to read and though she isn’t there yet, I love to envelop her in books and stories, encourage her love of books and storytelling.  I crossed my fingers that she would enjoy it.

Did my super scientific ways pay off?

She loved it.  She raised her hand when she had a question, she compared & contrasted her life with Laura’s.  I’d planned to read ten pages, but she begged me to finish the chapter.

Dream.  Come.  True.

The best part?  I get to enjoy this gem all over again, right along with my girl.  It’s been several years since I’ve re-read the series and I loved taking it in with fresh mommy eyes.  I loved when I read about a bear trying to snatch the family’s pig and Munchie’s eyes widened in excitement and anticipation of the outcome.  I loved when she asked when we could read chapter 2 and would it be “tomorrow morning or the next tomorrow after that.”

I know it wasn’t my awesome mommy science that had her intrigued–full credit to Mrs. Wilder on that one.  🙂  But I’m still pleased that Munchie is so into this book.  She’s eager to begin complementary activities and is helping me create a list of things she’d like to do that Laura did.  Cool.

This is my first run teaching a 3-year old, but pulling from my teaching years with kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders, I thought I’d share a few simple tips when beginning chapter book read-alouds with your itty-bitties.

  • Keep their hands busy:  They may be young and awfully active, but that doesn’t mean young children can’t sit and listen to a chapter book.  One way to occupy their fidgety bodies is to offer simple activities like a puzzle or building blocks and Legos.  I set my daughter up with the new 100 piece Hello Kitty puzzle she’d been itching to get her hands on.  She was able to keep moving while enjoying the story.
  • Give it time: Just as I would alter my teaching based on my students’  needs, I do the same at home and adjust read-aloud time with my 3-year old daughter.  Although she wanted to hear the 1st chapter the first day, the next day she was exhausted and had a hard time focusing.  So I only read for ten minutes.  Do what works best for you, not what you’re told you’re supposed to do.
  • Be Interactive:  Although you might choose to implement a few simple rules for read-aloud sessions (such as raising your hand to ask a question) don’t feel the need for rigidity.  Your child will likely have questions and comments about the book.  That’s wonderful!  Be sure to pause to cover new vocabulary, compare and contrast, and share thoughts.  This is a wonderful learning opportunity so embrace the questions, comments, and participation.
  • Choose Wisely: Your friend may be reading her child a book that you don’t think your kiddo is ready for, but you worry that you’re holding your child back by not reading it to them NOW.  Although you don’t want to underestimate your child (little ones can understand and enjoy books beyond their “reading level”), don’t feel the need to choose based off what others are reading.  Choose something you think your child will enjoy, you’d enjoy (hey, you count!),  and that suits your child.
  • Silence the “Noise”: Turn your phone on silent (better yet, turn it on silent and place it AWAY from your reading area) & turn off the television.  Show your little one that your attention is with them and the book.
  • Pre-Teach:  I’ve always found it beneficial to do a little pre-teaching before I begin a chapter book and did this before I started Little House with Munchie, too.  I simply discuss who the book is about, the setting, the time/era.  You don’t have to go into great detail, but offering a bit of background is helpful especially when you’re flashing back into history.  This not only helps little ones get comfortable with the book’s plot and setting, but opens the door to wonderful discussions.

My biggest tip:  Have fun and enjoy this precious time with your kiddo!  The world of books and storytelling is fantastic and rewarding!  I hope you have a splendid time experiencing it together & building memories.

Are you currently enjoying a chapter book read-aloud in your home?  What are some of your family favorites?

Looking for some chapter book read-aloud titles to try out in your home?  I’ll be sharing some of my favorites soon so please do visit again!

Favorite Things Friday: Quenching My Cherry Lime Thirst

Happy FridayAnd let me tell you–I’m especially thrilled that it’s Friday.  Bring on the weekend.

It’s Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

Today’s Favorite Thing

Torani Cherry Lime Flavoring Syrup.  Yum.  I’m sure many of you have had an Italian cream soda featuring a Torani syrup.  They’re a common offering today in restaurants.  I like one now and then, but my admiration is for this particular cherry lime flavor.  The cherry with a bit of tart lime adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to beverages, virgin & non-virgin. 🙂  A popular restaurant has a delicious adult beverage on the menu with this in it, but my favorite way to enjoy the sugary treat is much simpler than that.

How simple?  I grab a caffeine-free, citrus-flavored, carbonated soft drink, fill a glass with ice, pour the soft drink in, add a splash of cherry lime syrup, squeeze a bit of fresh lime in, pop in a straw and voilà!  I’m sipping on a refreshing drink (needed in this heat. in. late. SEPTEMBER) in under a minute’s prep time.  Can’t beat that!

I’ve made milkshakes with this syrup, a cocktail with cherry vodka, and more.  Endless possibilities.  Got a snow-cone machine?  Perfect, use this syrup!  I’m sure my love for this stems from the lime addition.  Cherry is great and all, but when you add a bit of  lime pizzazz to something?  I usually fall in love.  🙂

When I was taking the pictures for this post, I turned around to find my little Munchie had tried to create her own beverage.

Aw, cutie pie.  She filled a glass with water, plopped in half a lime, and added a straw.  She’s never had any type of soda even those of the caffeine-free variety, but I couldn’t resist watering a bit of the soda down and making her a mini thirst quencher, too.  How could I not?  She’s too adorable!

There you have a simple favorite in the beverage department–Cherry Lime syrup. If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it.  Torani syrups are available in many stores and you can find great deals at World Market where they’re often on sale.

What’s your favorite easy beverage ingredient?  Please share–I’d love to try your thirst quencher!

Thanks for stopping in for Favorite Things Friday!

xx

Favorite Things Friday: A-tisket, a-tasket…I’m loving baskets

Happy Friday & welcome to my 2nd Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

I’ve been cozying up my home, attempting to add little cottage touches here and there.  I recently made a few changes to our family room and my favorite addition?

My coffee table basket!  I intended to use it to corral clutter like t.v. remotes and the such.  But then it hit me–Ew.  I hate visible clutter.  And I purchased a new coffee table that has two drawers for such clutter–woo!  Now the basket is just for a few little pretties.

Right now the basket holds a little vanilla candle, French “creperie” coasters, a bit of greenery, a white metal candle holder which travels from room to room as my mood changes, decorative matches (love them!), and one of my favorite English mugs.  I love the flower in the inside of it.  I placed it there so I can see it daily as I lounge on the couch, read a book, work on the laptop…

To be honest, I originally bought this handled basket as a gift.  But I’m selfish and greedy.  So I kept it for myself.  (I did buy another basket for the gift.  I did!)

I also have other baskets in this room.  You can see a banana leaf one in the background of the first picture with the bee pillow on top of it.   Here’s a bad shot with it in the background.

It holds some of my daughters toys.  She loves having “a place for everything” just as I do, therefore, baskets are a wonderful organizational item for her as well.  Bonus: I don’t have to stare at the mess of toys.  Win-win!

Here’s another basket across the room filled with a few favorite items.  A darling vintage plate given to me by my husband’s grandma as well as a matching antique cream pitcher & sugar bowl.  Again, I can see them multiple times a day as I walk by and I don’t have to hide them away in a cupboard.

I’m in love with baskets.  I don’t mind if they’re not “matchy-matchy” (as my friend Jes says who is a decorating phenom).  I like it when they’re all a bit different.  It adds to the cottage feel I adore.  Plus, they’ve so many uses in each room of the house–how can you not love baskets?

And there you have one of my Favorite Things–Baskets!  Useful AND Lovely. 🙂

Are you a basket lover, too?  What’s your favorite use/room for them?  Please share in the comments below–I leave to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping in for Favorite Things Friday!

xx

Cubes o’ Coffee & Bubble-wrapped Baryshnikov

Warning:  Rambling post ahead.  I blame coffee(ha!).  Rambling!

I’m a coffee late bloomer.  I don’t remember when I decided I loved it, but I was an adult (those who know me would argue then that I can’t be a coffee lover yet…behave).  Probably was in my mid to late 20s before I truly enjoyed a delicious, steaming mug of coffee and never looked back.

I don’t drink it daily, but when I do?  Boy, do I enjoy it.  I don’t discriminate either.  Why should I?  I love an iced coffee, gulping it with no shame, and then bouncing off non-existent walls because caffeine is like a bull in a china cabinet in my system.  Doesn’t stop me though.

And this has nothing to do with anything, but it popped into my head just now…

Years ago, I had the most delicious French pressed coffee (my first) at an endearing little restaurant right before I saw an alternative ballet production starring Mikhail Baryshnikov.  I’m no ballet connoisseur (in fact, I know nothing of ballet except that I love it), but I sat for 3 hours while dear Misha and multiple ballerinas danced around on a stage carpeted in bubble-wrap. Continue reading

Favorite Things Friday: You say tomato paste, I say “A whole can?”

I’m posting this a bit late in the day, but I’d like to introduce you to my new little series here at Cozycakes Cottage: Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

Whaddya say, let’s get going!

My first Favorite Things Friday feature is something for the kitchen:

Yes, that’s tomato paste.  I go crazy and adore tomato paste?  Sorta. Continue reading

Enchanted Cottage~Playhouse Dream

Earlier this summer we spent time visiting my family and one day stopped by a dear family friend’s home for lunch and chat.  To my little Munchie’s delight she had the opportunity (and what an opportunity it is for a child) to play in this custom built playhouse.

Such a touch of whimsy, this cottage playhouse.

Built for our friend’s grandchildren, such care was taken in the design and execution of this precious house.  The antique stained glass is from a restaurant the family owned for many years.  I’m so glad they saved it from destruction and placed it in the perfect new home. Continue reading

Cottage DIY Project: Powder Room Curtain

I’ve wanted to make some type of window curtain/covering for our powder room for years.  Years–as in about 6.  My mom sews, but I didn’t take an interest in learning until I moved away and had my own home.  Tragedy!  If I could turn back time, I’d sit my booty down next to her and get to learning.  Just as how as an adult I’m learning her kitchen tricks and delicious recipes, and wish I would’ve spent more time in the kitchen with her as a girl. 🙂

Unfortunately, I don’t live near my parents now (sniff), but fortunately I’m blessed with my mom-in-law living nearby who taught me to make curtains early last week.  She’s just as patient a teacher in her home as she is in her classroom.  Lucky me!  Thank you, Pam!

I’ve been on a toile kick for several months and I found just the toile fabric I had in mind.  Yippee Skippy!

I went with black toile although the red teased me.  But I had a vision and was determined not to second guess my choice.

Much to this novice’s surprise, after some measuring and simple sewing, my little curtain was done.  I wanted to add a little something to them to give them a bit more cottage cuteness.  I’d picked up a spool of twill black ribbon when I bought the fabric so I stitched them at the top of the curtain and tied a pretty bow.  Just what they needed!  I also chose a simple black curtain rod.

Here’s a little before and after for your viewing pleasure (or because I love before and afters ;)).

Before: Bare window and new shelf that didn’t quite fit.   I (my husband) installed this black rack since I’m often irritated that I have nowhere to put spare squares.  It was the only black accessory/hardware in the room and one reason I wanted to go with the black toile fabric.

After: Tough to get good pics in this small room, but here it is 🙂  All but a few windows (including the powder room & laundry room) in our home are framed in molding.  I prefer them that way which is partly why I wanted to cover up the top of this window.

This room gets a lot of light, but the window is high.  I didn’t need a lining, but I chose to line it because I like the depth & weight it gives curtains and how it leaves it all less sheer. 

I have a few other things to change in this room to cozy cottage it up.  I’ll be replacing some hardware including the toilet paper holder and the unseen towel bar on the opposite wall.  I have a picture to frame and hang as well.  Eventually, I might paint this small space, but for now I’m just enjoying it as is.

Spare rolls on hand at all times!  Rejoice!  Hallelujah!

So there you have my first foray into curtain making!  I’ll share my laundry room project soon and hope you’ll stop in then to check it out!

Keeping Good Company Giveaway Winner Is…

Wait, wait, wait.

First, I have to say Thanks a bunch to all who entered my first giveaway!  I loved reading about how you make your house a home and how you make guests feel welcome.  It sounds like any of you would be a perfect fit for “Keeping Good Company.”  I do wish I had a copy for each of you!  Maybe one day!

Random.org chose our lucky winner….

Congratulations to Debbie!

Hip hip hooray, Debbie!  I’ve sent you an email and hope you enjoy “Keeping Good Company”!   It’s just cozy in a book!   Also, Debbie sounds like a kindred spirit:  her answer reads like an answer I would’ve written:

“Cozy in my house is…coffee/tea; a cushy, soft blanket and pillow; a great book or magazine; praise & worship music or jazz; and lots of candles….add a rainy day to that and I am in HEAVEN! :O)”

I love a cozy rainy day and love that Debbie does, too!  Heaven, indeed!

Thank you all again and look for another giveaway at the end of summer!  Autumn is just around the corner and since we love that season around Cozycakes Cottage, I’ll be ready for another fun giveaway! 

xx

My First Giveaway: Keeping Good Company

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER TODAY, AUGUST 1st.

Welcome to Cozycakes Cottage’s 1st Giveaway! 

I’m a little too excited about this giveaway, but as I said in my Cherry Almond Crumb Cake post, I’ve been waiting to share something I simply adore with my dear reader-friends. 

So many of you have been incredibly supportive of my foray into the world of blogging.  And though I’ve only been at it since late last November, I’ve grown so fond of my petite spot in the blogosphere.  It’s definitely a comfortable place for me to spend a bit of my time each week.  And it’s a comfy spot in large part because of You

Friends have encouraged and supported me and strangers have become friends. 

So when I stumbled upon these sweet books last week, I grabbed extras so that I could gift some to those I love and share one with one of YOU! 

As I said yesterday, these books are gems in my book (get it?).  I love the watercolor illustrations, the homecooking, the stories, the tips on hosting guests, the focus on making a house a home.  These books by Roxie Kelley and Shelly Reeves Smith are nothing short of Cozy.  Cozy with a capital C.

Where have they been all my life?

In the spirit of the great company I keep in my day-to-day life and through this little blog, I’m giving away a copy of Keeping Good Company: A Season-by-Season Collection of Recipes, with Entertaining and Homemaking Ideas.”  

I’ve already enjoyed the cherry almond crumb cake and there are many more recipes I plan to try soon.  This delightful book is such a great fit with Cozycakes Cottage.  In fact, it’s what a Cozycakes book might look like!  I hope one of you will enjoy this book as much as I’m enjoying it. 

To enter for your chance to win your own copy of “Keeping Good Company” all you have to do is leave a comment answering one or both of the following questions:

  • What little thing/s do you do to make your house a home, a cozy place  for yourself/your family?  

OR 

  • What simple touches to your home or gestures do you do to make guests feel welcome and comfortable be it for tea and a chat or a weekend visit?

For additional entries you may do 1 or both of the following and come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH ONE so you have multiple entries:

  • Follow Cozycakes Cottage via email by entering your email address in the “Follow Cozycakes Cottage” box on the right hand menu (or fellow WordPress.com bloggers can just click “follow”).
  • Follow me (Danielle @ CozyCCottage) on Twitter by going here or clicking the Twitter button on the right menu bar.

Best of luck to you and thank you for visiting my cottage!

This giveaway ends Tuesday, July 31st and is open to residents of the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.   A winner will be chosen by Random.org.  I was not compensated for this giveaway nor was I sponsored by the book’s authors, publishing company, or WordPress.  I just wanted to share the love with you! 🙂
*Although you’re welcome to “like” Cozycakes Cottage on Facebook, Facebook comments at the Cozycakes Cottage page do not count as entry into this giveaway. 

Danielle Lazy Bones

Guilty as charged.  After returning from vacation and good times with my family, I fell into a hole and succumbed to summer lazy bones syndrome.  And I’ve yet to crawl my way out of the hole.  And I’m not sure I want to.

Summer’s been packed with things to do and people to see.  And though I’ve truly enjoyed nearly every moment, I was ready for a break. Continue reading

Summer Series: First Movie

Yesterday was a big day for my little sweetie.  She couldn’t wait to go to her first movie in the theater.  And I couldn’t wait to take her.  So we crossed off another item on our 102 Things To Do This Summer List and enjoyed the show!

#16 Take Munchie to her first movie

How perfect that last weekend we went to the Scottish Highland Games Festival and yesterday we saw Brave?  A nice coincidence.

Anxiously waiting for her ticket.

Once inside she was rather thrilled to see the new Ice Age flick’s poster.  I’m not sure she’s even seen all of the first Ice Age movie, but she was excited to see this poster anyhow. Continue reading

Repurpose Love

Sometimes I buy things like this:

So I can use them for something like this:

I love cute food containers so I can repurpose them.  It makes me feel like I really got my money’s worth, too.  So when I stop at a certain market in town, I convince myself that I need a bit o’ cream or half n’ half so I can have this perfect little flower jar for…free!  Hey, it feels free. Continue reading

Summer Series: Scottish Festival & a mini-road trip

Summer is flying by for us as we work our way through our 102 Things To Do This Summer List.  Here’s a little update.

#18 Attend the Scottish Highland Games

Sunday we spent the day at the local annual Scottish Highland Games.  I don’t think I have even a smidge of Scottish in my blood, but who cares?  I don’t! 🙂

Let the games begin!

Continue reading

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