Keeping an Art Journal …….

Art Journaling Button

Journaling is such an enjoyment to me.  I've done it since I was quite young.  We keep up with a few different journals around here..... there's mine and Handsome's Couple Journal.  It is in this book that whomever has it writes a letter or note to the other and leaves it in a place that it will be found.  Then it is the other person's turn to respond and write an entry back...and leave it to be found.  We've poured our hearts out in this journal, argued in this journal, left love notes in this … [Continue reading...]

Stashed Gifts ……

Where does your mind wander

 For years every Wednesday evening I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with a great group of middle school girls. One fall we spent a lot of time talking about our hearts....and how they were like closets. You can stuff a whole lot of stuff in there. Good, cool shoes. Fun dresses. Purses! Bad stuff.....dirty laundry. Overdue library books. Leftover lunch. {It really starts to stink in there after a while.} In our hearts we can stuff wonderful memories, love, … [Continue reading...]

DIY Carpet and Mattress Refresher

Simple Homekeeping  DIY Carpet and Mattress Refresh

   I love to use carpet fresh or refresher when I vacuum our rooms with carpets. But, I realized, that it's very bad for you….the ones in the stores have many chemicals and other toxins that I'd really rather not have in my home. So, I like to make my own. It works even better than the store bought options…..and ends up being more economical, too. {It also SMELLS divine! Much better than the fake smells that carpet powder usually comes in!} I know it's not fun to talk about….because we're … [Continue reading...]

Cheddar Scone Recipe


This is a great recipe if you'd like to replace cornbread with something a little lighter.  It's easy and a great winter side.  Or fall side.  Or summer side. Or spring side. Yeah, that about covers it. CHEDDAR SCONE RECIPE 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp sugar 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp salt 1/4 cup cold butter cut into pieces 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 large egg, beaten 2/3 cup half-and-half 1 tbsp melted butter Directions: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt … [Continue reading...]

White Birch Mirror

DIY Birch Bark Framed Mirror

  We love white birch trees---but they don't grow well here in Eastern NC. On a trip to Vermont while going through a forest of white birch we noticed tons of the bark lying on the ground. We gathered as much as we could and used it to create a new mirror. Birch bark is so much fun to use around your home and for all kinds of projects. This old mirror was part of Handsome's bedroom set when he was in high school---you know the dark wood with the curly grooves running through??? =)  Any … [Continue reading...]

Fun Valentine Ideas !

Valenitne's Day Ideas to put into action that are super easy and fun

I haven't really started thinking about Valentine's….but when I was looking through pinterest I realized that it's not that far away. We're in the middle of some big projects here and I haven't had a chance to take too many pictures…, I thought I'd share some fun Valentine ideas from the past few years. =) {You can click on the titles to be taken to the post.} 5 Fun Valentine Ideas DIY Jar of Blessings/Appreciation Leaving Heart Trails….. DIY Captured Heart…... Do You Have … [Continue reading...]

How Will They Remember?


  A while ago I was telling my 3 children about the wonderful, huge closet I had when I was young.  I explained how it was so tall I couldn’t see the ceiling…and I pretended it was my castle. I told them that it was so big sometimes I felt like I got lost in there and that I created entire worlds.  It was so big that when I pretended it was a store….I had departments! I was sharing how I wish we had closets that big in our cottage so they could have fun in them like I had fun in my huge … [Continue reading...]

Winter Cottage Porch {2015}

Winter Cottage in snow

   We wanted to make an easy transition from Christmas to winter this year…and used or rearranged lots of what we were already using for the Christmas season. We didn't drastically change our porch after we cleaned up from the holidasical craziness. It's very similar to our Christmas front porch……just a few tweaks. The wreath is made out of driftwood glued onto a wreath form. Usually you would think of driftwood as 'summer'….but I think it looks very wintery when put together like … [Continue reading...]

You Put What on Your Feet??!! { Essential Oils }

Our Favorite Young Living Oils

   Being a former professional ballerina, taking care of my body has been a big priority my whole life. A healthy lifestyle has always been a priority. I remember all the wonderful massages that the artistic directors would order for us before a big performance….and the wonderful essential oils they would use. I used essential oils here and there….mainly for the wonderful aroma, you know, more like pot pourri or to just fill the air with fabulousness. When I started hearing friends and people … [Continue reading...]

Becoming ::: The Unfolding You


I wanted to share a wonderful opportunity with you……a fun, 8-week FREE course that I'm enjoying. Several of the ladies sharing/speaking are sweet and dear friends. I know you will love them, too! I'll let you head on over HERE to read about it….and how to sign up for FREE. As in, yes, you get to take the online, 8-week course for no charge! God put it in on Jeanne's heart to offer this special course for free….and it is a treasure. The sessions are pre-recorded and you can watch/listen to … [Continue reading...]

Winter Mantel Ideas {2015}

Winter Mantel

It’s nice to have a clean home….a fresh start for the new year. Before I start cleaning out and organizing different areas in new ways, I like to get all the Christmas stuff packed away…and our home winter-ready. “Winter-ready” to me means…..lots of cozy blankets around and at-the-ready in baskets, wood stocked by the fireplace and on the front porch, good books and magazines by chairs and ready to be enjoyed, the beverage station all ready with our favorite warm beverage fixings, etc.

We are starting some big projects this year….one that just came to me last week! heh-heh-heh I think it’s going to be awesome! {Not big as in ‘tear down walls and build new additions’ kind of big, just some big changes. Handsome has started working on some new furniture that will allow these big changes to happen….and I can’t wait. *squeal*

After cleaning up Christmas….I used a few of the items that we used for our Christmas Mantel, rearranged just a bit, and added just a couple of things from other areas of our home to freshen the mantel area up for winter.

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Word of the Year {2015}

See, Sift, Seize Words of the Year

I couldn’t just come up with one…because I was feeling that there were three that go together for me this year.

Last year my word of the year was SEE. You can read about that here.

It was a great one….and I feel like this coming year I want to expand on SEEING….

So, this year my wordS of the year are…

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A Little New Year’s Reminder ……

A New Year Reminder

A little New Year’s reminder…..

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Simple Homekeeping ::: Getting Organized

Simple Homekeeping  Getting Organized

From the archives….I thought this would be a good time to share this post again. We spent a lot of 2014 decluttering and purging our home…….but, I still feel like I can clear out some more. January always brings on that feeling. =) Another post with more details on how to Declutter Your Home can be found HERE.

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Top DIY / Home Posts of 2014 !

Top 14 Posts of 2014 _ Cottage in the Oaks

It’s always fun to go back and look to see what the top posts of the year have been. Quite often it is very surprising!

As 2014 comes to a close…..I want to thank you all for meeting me here several times a week. For reading, commenting, encouraging. You, my readers, are treasures….and I am so thankful for you! =)

Here are the top posts of 2014 for Cottage in the Oaks, in order:

{you can click on the title to go straight to the post}

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