April 29, 2011


It was kinda hard not to get caught up in the magic of it all.

That dress of hers...oh, my gosh. I die. If that isn't a fairy tale, princess dress....

Her veil. I adore veils. There's something so wonderful about a beautiful veiled bride and all that it symbolizes. Lifting it off her face for her groom. Totally love it.

Pippa's dress (and that name...so British. Love). So, so beautiful. Can you imagine being the sister? The pressure? Wow. She looked stunning. And seemed calm and collected.

The trees inside the Abbey. Kinda like an inside forest. Quite lovely.

It was fun to see it all played out. Kinda like a real, live, Disney princess movie.

Made me kinda proud of my British heritage. My maternal grandmother was a war bride. My grandfather brought her back to America. She still has a British accent.

***lots of lovely images on The Big Picture.

April 28, 2011

How many times have you watched it?

It's been watched quite a few times in our office today. Once just isn't enough.

April 27, 2011

10 things

  1. My lilac, which had a traumatic replanting last spring, is thriving and blooming more than it ever has in its entire life. Yes, I realize this statement makes me a garden nerd, but I don't care. There is no better way to wake up than the scent of lilac flowers drifting through my window.
  2. I've worn only flip-flops for the last few days. This is enough to make me absolutely giddy.
  3. Porch time is back with a vengence. Good gracious it's good to be back out there. Reading, writing, thinking, dreaming.
  4. Very thankful for a week of getting lots of things accomplished. I don't even want to think about the insanity that is the month of May. Denial is survival.
  5. Can't stop watching The Vampire Diaries. Season 2 is taunting me like crazy. There are 3 episodes on my DVR that can't be watched because I haven't seen the 16 before them. Grrrrr....argh. Forced to re-watch (over and over) season 1. Totally obsessed at the moment.
  6. Finished I am Number Four. So disappointed. Another great idea that was so poorly executed. So poorly. The entire way through.
  7. Been painting and crafting and dreaming up some new projects. That always feels good.
  8. Have had the same Netflix for over 2 weeks now. Why is it so hard to make myself watch a movie? Why?
  9. Need to do a photography love-fest blog. So many favorite photographers that take so many beautiful photos that inspire me. Always dreaming about doing a workshop with one of them.
  10. On repeat, repeat, repeat:

April 26, 2011

I'll stay

My sweet, tiny cottage isn't mine actually. This dear spot that makes me Cottage Girl is a pile of bricks and cement and wood that belongs to the camp where I live/work. It's old. At least 50 year, we think. No one really knows for sure.

It has weird quirks. The floor, original wood floors under wall to wall carpet, creaks and groans with each step. Most, if not all of it, is un-even. Wobbling to and fro. There are cracks in the cement that holds the blocks together. Those darn cement blocks that are such a pain to paint. They soak up any type of paint like a sponge and leave tiny holes with each layer.

It's drafty and COLD in the winter. No amount of heat can seem to stay inside. With no insulation in the roof or the floor, there's little guessing as to where it all goes. The same can be said in the summer, except that it takes a long while for those block walls to get warm. You can curl up to them in the summer to cool off, if need be.

It isn't wired well. My roommate and I have blown fuses and circuit breakers more times that I can count or remember. We always have to tell each other if we are blow drying our hair because if we both do it at the same time....disaster.

Our bathroom is pretty much the smallest one I've ever seen. But I've gotten used to that. And the closets...oh, wait....closets? We don't really have those. One in each bedroom (they were only installed about 10 years ago) and one in the kitchen. That's it. Storage is always a problem. But hey, it helps me have less stuff.

In spite of all the annoyances that Cottage offers, it also offers my very favorite thing of almost any other building at camp. The view. It is unbelievable. Simply, beautiful. Simply jaw dropping. A little cottage on the water with the perfect view to match.

So, when things at camp are in the "change" stage. When there are other places available to live on the other side of the property, where everyone else lives. In nice, new townhouses that are shiny and bright and clean and not made of 50 year old blocks. When the offer rolls around once every few years and I (we) get asked, "so, do you want to move?" And I will admit that I do complain about the Cottage. It does drive me crazy at times. It's little quirks aren't so cute at 2am when the heat dies yet again and the house is 40 degrees inside. But, when I get asked, I still have to say no. I want to stay.

The Cottage is my home. I've spent 10 years inside its walls. It's heard my secrets and has memory soaked walls from smoothie parties and dinner club and friend's laughter and Lost parties and Sept 11 tears and dance parties and snakes crawling on the TV and raccoons and lost dogs and sleep overs. So many memories. So many dear thoughts that envelop me when I step through the doors. And that view. The "to die for" view. I know that if I ever leave this place, I can pretty much guaruntee that I won't have a view like this. Why would I want to give that up?

So, Cottage Girl I am Cottage Girl I'll stay. As long as I'm allowed.

April 25, 2011

Welcome back warm weather

Warm spring weather has causes a dramatic increase in Menchies visits. Plus we have gift cards to use. Free fro-yo? Yes, please.

April 24, 2011

Happy Resurrection Day

Get your own So Loved tee here and help bring Poppy and Esther home.

April 23, 2011


I've been meaning to share this for a while. My friends, who got married last weekend, had the most adorable wedding invitations. They suited their personalities to a tee.

You know why? This is the coolest part. Asher designed them himself. He's an animator at a production company. Just whipped this up and they sent it off to a printer.

I'm so jealous of people who can do things like this. I've said it a thousand times, and I'll say it again. Oh, how I wish I had the gift of drawing and design....sigh....

April 22, 2011


Dress: Vintage
Tights: Target
Shoes: Target
Cardigan: H&M

When I was in NC a few weekends ago, I found the most adorable vintage shop in downtown Wilmington. It was full to the brim with lovely dresses and hats and bags and shoes. Best part: the prices were great, too.

I'll admit that I geeked out a bit and stayed in there for over an hour while the rest of the girls (except S & G) kept walking and looking. I grabbed armfulls of dresses to try on in hopes that I would find something to wear to a wedding.

It was super fun to try on all those old, beautiful dresses. And S & G were kind enough to watch me try them all on and help me decide which ones to get. It was so much fun to be able to share the whole experience with them.

This one was my favorite. An everyday dress that I can see my self wearing every weekend in the summer. It's super comfortable and has the sweetest details like these side pleats....

I realized, also, how well vintage sizes fit me. I'm on the petite side and usually the boxy, weird cuts in today's fashion just don't suit my body type. Almost all the dresses I tried on (but had to put back on the rack...sad) fit well. I say that's a good excuse to shop vintage more often, don't you?

April 20, 2011

single-file line

There's something about digging in the dirt. Something about pulling out those wicked, evil weeds. Something about seeing the cluttered, overgrown ground turn clean and new and ready for flowers.

There's something about yard work that is so therapeutic for me. I miss it during the winter. I start getting anxious for it as soon as the weather turns warm.

Pulling weeds, listening to the boats on the water and the birds in the distance. It's the perfect environment to think and pray. I do a lot of talking to the Lord. It clears my head and calms the crazies. Those 5 million thoughts that stampede in my head through out the day...they seem to get into a nice, organized, single-file line.

Welcome back, warm weather. Oh, how I've missed you.

April 19, 2011

They know me so well

My super, sweet, girl friends at camp gave me this birthday gift.

Could anything be more perfect?!

They know me so well.

I've been wearing it every day.

Thanks, dear friends.

I love it and you so very much.

April 18, 2011

book, movies, tv

I'm currently reading this. I'll be honest. I don't really get the hype over it. It's really slow moving. Cool idea, but not that original. I'll try and finish it before it goes back to the library, but so far...eh.

The big nerd in me was super excited when my Entertainment Weekly came last week. Why? Well, a bunch of the movies that I saw at Sundance were in the pages of this summer's movie edition.

First up....It was definitely my favorite movie of Sundance this year. And one of the most inspiring movies I've seen in a long time. That shot of her on the rocks with the other Earth in front of her....wow. Can't wait to see this one again.

Remember when I told you about the movie with the beautiful costumes that I saw at Sundance? (side note: that was also that crazy night when I ran into James Franco.) Well, it's in selected theaters now. Just wanted to show you how pretty it is in case you don't like slow moving indie films and will never see the whole thing. Those bonnets, right?!

Also....see this one. Funny, cute, but a little risque.
Definitely skip this one and this one. Awful. Painfully awful. Both of them.

One the TV front:
I may have "accidentally" bought Vampire Diaries season 1 at Target yesterday. It was on sale. Super cheap. And I may be watching season 1 all over again because I can't watch 2 yet anywhere (without paying by the episode) because it's still currently airing. I may not have been able to wait to see Elena, Stefan and Damon again. I need something in the background while I'm in crafting mode, you know?

And this...
I don't even need to say how good it is. That's a given. I'm about 1/3rd of the way through and am equally wanting to watch 5 episodes in a row and only watch one a week so they will last longer.
If I could make a TV show, it would be this one. It's the best thing out there. There is no better character-driven TV show than Friday Night Lights.

What are you reading and watching lately? Something new and different?

April 17, 2011

so, so lovely

What?! My eyes are closed?! Oh, who am I kidding... happens ALL the time.

Oh, my gosh, this wedding was so much fun. Lots of friends, dancing, yummy, yummy food, happy moments, pretty handmade decorations, sweetness and love. It's always such an honor to be a part of someone's big day. This time, I got to read scripture. And help with a few crafty fun things. It was delight-ful.

And now, onto another week. A happy 4 day work week! Isn't that the best feeling sometimes? Knowing a nice long weekend is ahead of you?

I've started a little list of things I want to post about. Things that I just didn't have time to post this past week. Hope you'll stop by and say hi. I've missed you all.


Cottage Girl

April 15, 2011

slightly absent

A dear friend's wedding

Friend in town for said wedding.

Spring-like weather.

Lots of fun gatherings to attend.

These are the reasons that I have been and may continue to be a little absent for the next few days.


Cottage Girl

April 13, 2011

How does 34 look on me?

The best part about your birthday? Getting to hear from all those people you love and adore, all in one day. I feel so loved and appreciated. Thanks friends and family for making my day. I love you all!

****On my birthday trip to NYC, I got to spend Saturday morning roaming about Brooklyn and Manhattan all by myself. It was so perfectly lovely. It was a semi-warm, sunny day. One of the first we've had here all spring.

I spent a good 2 or more hours just sitting in Rockafeller Plaza, on a park bench, people watching and soaking up the sun. No where to be. Nothing to do. Just sitting in the sun and relaxing. And then I got up a few hours later and walked into some shops along 5th Avenue. It...was...divine. Thanks mom and dad for the wonderful birthday celebration weekend!

April 12, 2011

Why am I surprised?

This past weekend, I went shopping for shoes. Specific shoes. I needed something to go with a vintage dress I bought a few weeks ago at one of the best vintage shops I've ever seen....ever. Unlucky for me, that shop is 6 hours away from me. Or...maybe that's lucky because I would want to spend all my $$ there.

Anyway, I needed something with a certain vibe that would go well with the dress. I looked and looked and looked. I tried all the expensive stores in the mall. (I hate the mall. Anyone else?) Nothing. Then I walked by a store I never, ever go in because I saw a couple cute things in the window. I tried on these. These pretty shoes from Aldo.

They were perfect. And they were super comfortable. And they were 4 times as much as my dress. Gulp. Not gonna happen. I handed back to the girl at the shop and said no thanks and left.
It was kinda disheartening. I'm not gonna lie. I'm not a big shopper. I'm super picky. Plus, I'm cheap. I am. I hate spending ridiculous amounts of money on anything. And by ridiculous, I mean over $20.

I left the mall grumbling. Out loud I said, as I was pulling my car out of the parking lot, "Lord, I'd really like to find some shoes for this dress. It's not urgent, but it would sure be nice not to spend a ton of money." And off I went to Target.

Low and behold, looky what they had there....

If these aren't as close as you can get to the super pricey ones...wow. And not only that, but they were on sale. I couldn't believe it even though it was exactly what I had just asked for. Why am I continually surprised when the Lord answers my specific, simple little prayers? Why?

Oh, and an added bonus, I found an even more perfect pair of shoes to go with my dress and guess what? They were on sale too. And both pairs together were half of what those silly expensive shoes would have cost me.

The end.

April 11, 2011

♥ Times Sqare

On this trip to NYC, my parents told me how much they loved Times Square. The hustle and bustle. The lights. The energy. It's like Disney World after the fireworks when everyone is trying to leave the park, they said while smiling nostalgically.

I quite agree. There is something about the crowds. The BIG crowds, even at 11pm at night as we were walking back to our hotel after Wicked. You would have thought it was the middle of the day.

There's also something mesmerizing (and ridiculous) about all the brightly lit ads. And now everything is a TV screen so the ads move and change constantly. It's so colorful. Overwhelming in a good way.

I think I must have inherited my love of travel from my parents. They chose travel over big expensive cars. Over a "fancy" house with too empty many rooms. Over "things." Even when we were small kiddos, we traveled. We camped all over the East Coast. Family vacations were something we looked forward to each summer. Pile in the van with your toy bin full of carefully chosen playthings to entertain yourself for the car ride. A happy-go-lucky Cocker Spaniel squeezed between passengers (we actually got her on a camping trip). A cooler full of snacks that were only allowed on vacation. And the hot summer sun baking the highway in front of us.

Travel is eye opening. It's memory making. And I'm beyond blessed to still be gifted with it for special occasions. NYC/Wicked for my birthday, yes please!

Thank, Momsie and Popsicle. I had such a wonderful, relaxing, fun time. And I'm so thankful I got to share it with you.

April 10, 2011

So Loved

So Loved

I feel like I should explain my connection with this family, so you understand where my heart is....

I stumbled upon Ni Hao Y'all a few years ago. Probably hopscotching around adoption blogs. I tend to do that often. I love reading the stories of little ones that find their forever homes. Anyway, this particular blog just resonated with me and I booked marked it. You should too.

Stefanie was the one from whom I first heard about An Orphan's Wish. She is the one who also posted on her blog about needing volunteers for AOW. I have her to thank for introducing me to that wonderful organization and the littles that I sponsor(ed) through them. I also have her to thank for including me and emailing back and forth with me and setting me up as an AOW volunteer.

And now, her family is stepping out in faith and bringing home two, yes 2, dear little girls from China. You can read about it here. Esther and Poppy will be kiddos #10 and #11 in their family. Wow. God is amazing, isn't He?!

So, here's where you can help. They are doing a crazy, cool fundraiser to bring their littles home. Adoption is expensive. And times 2? Well, that can seem overwhelming. But we all know that when God leads, He provides. I'm so excited to see Him do things, BIG things through this family's steps of faith.

So head on over to So Loved. You can win some amazing prizes. And most importantly, you can help place 2 little orphans, all the way in China, into a family that will love them and tell them about Jesus. Kinda gives you chills, right?!

April 09, 2011

NYC mini re-cap

Bryant Park. NY Fashion Week used to happen here. Hard to imagine. It's so small. But quite lovely.

And I don't think I can ever walk by here without thinking of Ghostbusters. It's inevitable.

April 08, 2011

tiny pies

The moment I saw these little mini pies on Elsie's blog, I knew I had to try them out for myself. A birthday get-together on Monday was the perfect excuse.

They are super easy and quite tasty. I used cherry and blueberry instead of peach, but I think apple would be delish too. Or chocolate....everything is better with chocolate.

On the agenda for this weekend...

1. Church! I haven't been in 3 weeks because of work and then being gone 2 weekend in a row. I miss it. Miss it!

2. Flea Market. On a hunt for old, fun things. Flea markets are the bestest.

3. Finish up Vampire Diaries season 1 and then mourn the fact that I can't watch season 2 until it comes out on DVD. The CW...why do you hate posting your shows? It's really quite ridiculous.

4. Finish off my vintage outfit for the wedding I'm going to next weekend.

5. Sleep. It's been a crazy week, y'all. God is doing some crazy, crazy stuff at camp right now and we are just hanging on for dear life.

6. Spend a good long time in the Word. (see #5)

7. Share a super cool way that you can help 2 sweet orphans in China come home. You guys are gonna love this! Can't wait to share it with you.

8. Finally go through my NYC photos. And tell you about the trip.

9. Watch some more FNL season 5. The first episode already had me close to tears. I'm loving/dreading every moment of this last season. It's crazy, good, of course. Every season has been.

Enjoy this free weekend that feels like such a gift after the insanity of the last month.

What are you up to?

April 07, 2011

vintage everything


Please take note of those sheets.

That pillowcase.

That other pillowcase.

That third pillowcase.

I need to up my vintage-sheet-hunting game. That's exactly what I want to do on my bed. All I would change is to make a duvet cover with another vintage sheet to go on top instead of the quilt.

I've been looking for a duvet cover for too, too long. Can't find anything I love. I did find one vintage sheet that was perfect, but it was fitted and wasn't quite big enough. (you can see the material in this skirt, which I wish to the heavens I had been able to get...) My dream is that I will find another one hidden on a shelf in a thrift store or at a yard sale. If you ever see this sheet somewhere, scoop it up for me, 'kay?

Vintage is my favorite right now. Vintage everything. Furniture. Clothes. Bedding. Accessories. Home decor. I think my life-long love of antique stores is here to stay. I don't want to buy new things, only old things that are quirky and fun.

Finally, if you would...before you click away....glance at that old door that works as the headboard. oh. my. dear....

April 06, 2011

Sorry, no post tonight....

I blame them.

And their ridiculously beautiful eyes.

And their perfect "I must get one" leather jackets.

And her locket. That adorable locket.

It's all their fault.

April 05, 2011

Tonight has been one of those nights that I really wanted to write a proper post, but I just ran out of time. I still haven't even had a chance to get my NYC photos off of my cameras.

Yes, I took two cameras. Fact: I take at least 2 cameras on every trip I take. I'm pretty good at packing, except when it comes to cameras. I just can't say no. You know how some people say, "well, I might need to wear this or have this in case of that" with their clothes? Well, I do that with my cameras.


Tonight, I was busy grocery shopping and picking this up at the library after my months-long wait on the waiting list. Then I went and bought this because I can't wait for weekly episodes even thought they start next Friday. I know what my roommate and I will be doing this weekend...

Plus, I was editing photos of some of the cutest children on the planet. Kids that melt my heart. It's an honor to get to watch them grow and change each month. It's a privilege to be able to do such a small thing for them. (and I may have been watching one of my TV faves of all time whilst editing...)

And now it's quarter past ten pm and time for bed.

And so...

April 04, 2011

yarn above

Another handmade gift that's going home with its new owner tonight. Already planning one for myself. Super easy and so adorable.

Yarn is so easy to turn into a million different fun things. Definitely one of my favorite materials to craft with. And a perfect travel-craft. I did some of this gift on the beach trip last weekend.

ps...NYC was amazing. Ah-mazing.

April 02, 2011

Me and Wicked

We have a date tonight at 8pm.

I can pretty much guarantee that I will be singing along. To pretty much every song.

And getting chills of sheer delight.

And watching my parents' faces as they experience their first Broadway musical ever.

I'm so excited...I can't stand it.

April 01, 2011

The excitement is mounting....

No matter how many times I go, I always get excited butterflies when I catch that first glimpse.

A few months ago, I was thinking...."gee, I would love to go back. It's been a while. I kinda miss it."

Then out of the blue, on offer from the parents. Their business trip turned into my birthday trip. Awesome. Beyond what I ever expected or dreamed.

I love the wide open spaces. I do. They are my favorite. But there is just something about the city that is magic. The lights, the huge skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle.

I'm off to the big city. I'll try and pop in this weekend, if I can.

Have a great weekend, everyone!