September 30, 2011


For a little while there, I didn't think I would make it to today.
I think I actually uttered those words aloud yesterday.
Several times.
Especially when I began work at 6am and didn't finish until 10pm. it is.
Friday night.
And a weekend of freedom.
I had 2 of the craziest, most exhausting weeks I've had in years.

And now, I'm so ready to jump back into writing.
I start to feel a little pent up, if I can't write something.
Even nonsense.
Just a few sentences every day.

Anyway, fun plans for the weekend.
Apple picking with friends.
My camera is begging to be used in the orchard.
Maybe a movie.
I've been wanting to see 50/50 since I first saw the previews months ago.
Love a good cry fest.
And love that Joseph Gordon.
Then, let's see...
There's a few crafty, fun things I haven't had time to start yet.
Grocery shopping.
Yes, I know.
You're jealous.
Of my grocery shopping.
And I may squeeze in some time to empty out the DVR.
I think I have about 15 hours to watch.
Most exciting thing on the agenda... work.

And so, my friends, I have missed you.
Quite a bit, actually.
I will do my best to fill this space again.


Cottage Girl

September 25, 2011

My week...

(Me and Lukes have matching scars. Chin stitches. Twinsies) gonna be a bit like this.

Uh, yeah.

Here's hopin' that we all make it though, eh?

Forgive me if I'm a little absent this week, will you please?

September 23, 2011


I can tell that the cool fall weather is soaking into my very being. I'm suddenly attracted to every knitted and crocheted beauty I find.


I'm still resisting the cooler weather with every ounce of me, but the thought of warm cabled things does make it better.

(can't find original source)

Something warm to cuddle up with. Maybe even a granny square.


And wait until you see what my sister made me for my birthday earlier this year. It just about cool enough to pull it out. Exciting.


I'm still not entirely happy about you being here, Fall. But I guess I'll look for the silver lining and take the good with the cold.

September 22, 2011


(taken at the Natural History Museum when the fam was here)

Well, golly gee wilikers. (we had a counselor this summer actually say those words in complete sincerity several times. it never got old.)

It's been nuts around here with no end in site until NEXT Friday.

Thankfully, there is huge helping of friends and laughter to balance out the long hours and early mornings. And lots of fun music to sing along to with those friends while we are washing dishes and chopping various food items.

I'm trying my darndest keep a good attitude during our 2 weeks of insanity. I want to enjoy my life and not dread stressful times. I'm learning to focus on just the day in front of me and not freak out about about the 8 more after it. (OCD/planner downfall) I'm trying to be thankful for small things like Hershey bars with almonds at snack shop; Arrested Development and Modern Family on Hulu while we tab and label 6,377 (actual number) newsletters; 60's and 70's hits on Pandora while we work in the kitchen. Being so tired that it's almost funny; Boat rides, even if I do get sea sick.

So, yes, it stressful and busy. Yes, I'm getting up earlier than I would like for more days in a row than I would like. But that's life. And it's still an adventure. It's still fun when you share it with friends. And I still have 30 minutes to blog every once in a while. I say that's a win/win.

September 20, 2011

comics and nail polish.

Disclaimer: This isn't my idea. I got it from a friend. And it's all over the internet right now.

Newspaper nail polish. I loved the look and decided to try it out with a little twist.

I used comic books instead of newspaper because, well, I love the illustrations, the font and the speech bubbles. This was an old Justice League comic that I had bought for a quarter at a thrift store.

Comic book nail polish. Easy as pie. Here's how:

1. Paint nails in a light color nail polish. 1 or 2 coats. I did one this time.

2. After nail polish is dry, submerge finger tips in rubbing alcohol or 10 seconds or so.

3. Cut comic book into small squares and put on nails. Press for 10 seconds.

4. Slowly peel off comic book paper, making sure not to mess up the nail polish.

5. Add top coat. Something clear and shiny.

Easy as pie. And super cute "t" double "o."

Over and out,

Cottage Girl

September 19, 2011

Emmy loves

Her dress. Hellllo. I love Kate. Her hair and make-up were perfect too.

Kaley's dress. It was my personal favorite. I would love to see it in real life because it just WOWed me through the TV. That lace....ugh. It's adorable.

When Coach won his Emmy. I was jumping and squealing with glee.
Such a wonderful surprise.

I can't stop thinking about the dress Amy Poehler wore. That color...I never knew fabric came in that most perfect of shiny blues. I LOVE how simple it is too. Love, love, love.

And this whole thing. Oh, my goodness. Of course, it was Amy Poehler's idea.

I know.
I know.
Enough with the TV posts, Cottage Girl.
Let's talk about something else already.
I will.
Emmy just gets me all TV excited!
I can't help myself.
And Friday Night Lights freakin' won two!
It was Christmas morning in my TV world.

The end.

September 17, 2011

random Saturday list

Just a few things:

  1. This is my view on my walk to work each day. I still can't believe it most days. When the water sparkles, it's my absolute favorite. It makes me stop and stare for a good long time.
  2. I read this story last night in the paper. You need to read it. In fact, the whole series is incredible. But this particular story is so well written and so heartbreaking at the same time. Often, I feel like the Pentagon is forgotten in the 9/11 remembrances.
  3. I may have been completely impulsive and bought the very last of this adorable skirt yesterday. I've been thinking about it since I saw this post of Elsie's months ago. My clothing rule is that if it's really expensive (and I'm super cheap so more than $20 is expensive), I have to wait a few weeks and see if I still like it. It was still available and I was still thinking about it, so I was bad and I bought it. I also love this one, but it's just a bit out of my price range.
  4. Has anyone else watched the Vampire Diaries season premiere about 5 times since Thursday? Nope? Just me? Eh, I'm not surprised.
  5. TV update: I really liked The Secret Circle and Up All Night. Ringer was okay with potential to get better.
  6. Tomorrow is going to be amazing. Church. Then Renaissance Festival (!!!). Then Emmy's. Wow.
  7. Happy Saturday, All.

September 16, 2011

Fall smoothie

I've been slowly saying goodbye to my smoothie breakfast as the weather has turned a bit cooler. Sad. I do miss it. But when it's cold in the morning and I live and work in old buildings that don't really hold the heat, well, the ice cold smoothie must go.

But a few morning ago, I whipped up a little breakfast treat that I've been loving. It's easier than easy. Here's the recipe. Are you ready? It's really complicated.

1 banana
1 spoonful of peanut butter (I like the non-processed, separated peanut butter that actually tastes like peanuts. Trader Joe's being my favorite. Dry roasted peanuts and salt are the only ingredients.)
a splash or two of milk (2% is my personal fave, but whatever you want is fine.)

If you're feeling really crazy, you can add a bit of chocolate syrup. It adds a hint of sweet delightful chocolate that sends it over the top delicious.

I'm excited to try out a few more recipes like this one for the fall. Maybe a pumpkin spice? Now that sounds positively sinful.

September 15, 2011

Welcome back, TV. I missed you.


I never would have guessed that the show I was most excited to see when the new TV season rolled around was The Vampire Diaries. But, dear goodness, I've been having mini-giddy freakouts all day. Tonight, season 3 is finally here.

And while we're on the topic of TV, let's talk about the list for this Fall, shall we? I get as excited for returning shows and new, fun ones as the boys around here do for football and fantasy football. I have the worlds I can't wait to visit again and the new ones that are just waiting to be discovered.

The Returners:
The Vampire Diaries (gaaa. it's my favorite right now.)

Chuck (its last season. no more Chuck or Morgan or Jeffster? say it isn't so!)

Parenthood (premiered Tuesday. had an awesome FNL mention. such good writing)

Grey's Anatomy (embarrassing to admit, but I got hooked again)

Parks and Rec (best comedy on TV last year. sorry Modern Family)

30 Rock (looking a little sad around the edges, but I still love that Liz Lemon)

Modern Family (a new Lily? What?!! SO not happy about this.)

The Good Wife (still watching season 2 DVDs. wow. it's super good.)

The Big Bang Theory (Miyim Bialik? Blossom? who would have thought?! She's hilarious)

Mad Men (next year...sad.)

Nikita (just finished season 1 and loved it)

The Walking Dead (perfect for Halloween)

On the Fence:
(aka: last season was pretty awful and I might not care this year)
Gossip Girl (it's not fun anymore. just boring.)

Glee (actually I gave up last year at the halfway point. Done with it. with strong opinions about why.)

Newbies I'm ready to try out:

***side note: I usually like to wait a few weeks and catch up online so I don't get hooked on something that will be cancelled in 3 episodes.
The Secret Circle (I love a good CW teen show)

Ringer (I still miss Buffy...)

Person of Interest (JJ Abrams. Why not?)

American Horror Story (Connie Britton? I'll try it.)

Up All Night (already on the DVR waiting to be watched)

Terra Nova (I want one good sci fi show to love)

My name is Cottage Girl, and I love TV. I really ♥ TV.

And I'm so curious to know what you are excited to see return.
And what new shows are you excited to try out?
Do share.
Then I won't feel like such a TV nerd...

September 14, 2011

a night with the symphony

A few weekends ago, when the weather was beautiful, I went to the park. Each year, the local symphony does a free show at the park. Outside. Blankets and lawn chairs. Picnic dinner.

The Bro and I went a few years ago and really enjoyed it. But since he abandoned me for Utah a few years ago, I had to find some new favorite people to bring. This event is actually a really great way to introduce kids to the symphony. They can run around and be loud and no one cares.

And people like me and my friend, J, who love the symphony can get our fix for free. Free is good.

The parentals were also nice enough to make the trek out to enjoy it with us, too. We never went to the symphony when I was a kid, but I don't think it was because my parents don't love it. It's just so darn expensive. They seemed to enjoy the whole experience. And I loved enjoying it with them.

Here's a small piece they played from a movie soundtrack. The strings are unbelievable in this. I'm a sucker for the violin. It makes me melt.

All in all, it was a spectacular night. Finished off a great weekend of free entertainment. The night before had been our river's fireworks show. It always happens on Labor Day weekend instead of the 4th. Why? Well the person who puts it on said that the traffic was nightmarish on the 4th because of the peninsula (one road in, one road out). Plus, he does a pretty great show and can make more $$ if he can do another one on the fourth and do ours later. I'm ok with that. And I would say that seeing as how the river was full of about 5,000 boats that night, the rest of the local community does too.

Fireworks in September has become a new tradition that we've grown to love the last few years. We can sit on our piers and watch it right in front of us. It's pretty amazing. When they forget half the grand finale fireworks though and decide to set them off as the barge floats by my house at 11pm....well, that gave me a heart attack. I thought it was another earthquake...

Slightly earthquake terrified,

Cottage Girl

September 13, 2011

three stars

Just finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children yesterday.

I guess this was about the end of my summer reading.

We're into Fall now, right?

Time for a new list.

Three cheers for new lists!

Anyway, Miss Peregrine....I found this on the EW Must List a few months ago and had to wait for my library to get it. It looked interesting. Weird. Plus there were those creepy vintage pictures. I love a good vintage photo.

The story: it reminded me of X-Men a bit. Peculiar children with crazy "powers," I guess you would call them. I don't want to say too much about the plot, so I'll just say that it was a full of kids who could do spectacular things and a time loop or two. And who doesn't love a good time loop, eh? The characters are likable. The story travels at a good pace until the end. It kinda all falls apart at the end. Other than that, it was a good read. Not spectacular, but good. Worth finishing. A solid three and a half out of five stars. Those vintage photos alone make it worth it.

Off to work on that new reading list...

September 12, 2011

♥ it

I still have so many photos from when my whole family was together last month. This one is a favorite, of course. All together in one shot. That's a miracle.

Don't you love looking at the little details of photos of your family.

Like how Luke is holding on to my dad's leg for dear life. He adores his Pop-Pop.
How my parents are arm in arm.
How my brother has his hand on my shoulder. This is a big deal, folks.
How Eliza is all snuggled up to her mommy (who turned at just the right angle so we could see her) asleep.
How Evelyn is miss independent all by herself in the front.
How my dad is in his work clothes because he had zipped over from work to meet us at the museum.
How good my hair looks. Wait, did I just type that?

Love it.

September 11, 2011


"My soul still remembers And sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:20-23

It would just feel wrong not to pause and remember on this day: nine/eleven.
I'll never forget that eerie quiet later in the day, ten years ago.
No one knowing what to say.
No airplanes in the sky except for fighter jets that were patrolling nearby.
Nothing on the television or radio except for news.
I remember thinking that life was beginning to return to normal
when TV returned to regular programming the next day.
But that normal was different.
We would have a new normal now.

Watched a really sobering documentary today on the WTC towers. You can see it here.

for you

Happiest of birthdays to my sweet friend, B.

Thank you, B, for:

doing a little tap dance when you pick up your copies in the office.
singing show tunes in the middle of the work day.
understanding my love of craft supplies.
constantly being on the lookout for my future husband.
not hating me when I have whiny fits and forgiving me.
just being you.

Love, love, love you!

September 09, 2011


(source) (I miss Mad Men....)

This "re-design" my blog thing is giving me a migraine. So you may have to suffer through a few more days of wonky stuff. Sorry.

I had a whole day off. It was glorious.

Eye exam today. First time since I was....11 years old? Still have 20/20 vision. Secretly wish I needed glasses...

I loved this post. Doesn't that look like so much fun?! Reminds me of Frontier House, which I've been wanting to watch again.

The new TV season is here. Yesssss. Rachel Zoe was this week. Parenthood and (breathe, don't freak out) The Vampire Diaries begin next. Plus, Ringer and The Secret Circle, I'm ready to see if you are worth all the hype. Oh, TV season premiere month. I ♥ you way too much.

I've been captured by nine/eleven stories and photos all week. Already have a few programs scheduled on the DVR about it too. I still can't believe it's been 10 whole years. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago? It's really been 10 years since our world changed so drastically?

That's it for today. I'm off to watch some of The Good Wife season 2, which finally made it to DVD. It's goooood.

September 08, 2011

you and you

I'm so thankful that God chose you and you to be my younger two.

He could have chosen anyone really.

Someone who didn't get my sense of humor.
Someone who didn't share my ridiculous love of TV.
Someone who didn't have an active imagination
Someone who wasn't creative.
Someone who didn't make me laugh.
Someone who wouldn't listen to me.
Someone who didn't love me and watch out for me.

Lucky for me, He gave me you and you.
The two people in the world that get me.
The two people in the world I would chose over anyone else to spend time with.
The two people that I actually talk on the phone with (a miracle in itself).
The two people in the world that I love so dearly.

And for that, I will be forever grateful.

September 07, 2011


On Monday, I tried to help my parents with this giant beauty that tragically fell during the hurricane. The entire thing uprooted and fell down. Let me tell makes me sick to my stomach to see it go. This tree was over 60 years old. So big that I couldn't wrap my arms around its trunk. It shaded almost the entire back yard.

I played for years under its wide, beautiful branches. This was the house that I spent my entire childhood in, therefore, it was the backyard that held all my adventures as well. Playhouses under this tree. A swing set or two as the years went by. A sandbox. Forts and stages for circuses. A burial ground for loved pets.

There is another tree that stands next to it. Two faithful soldiers forever guarding the children that played beneath them. Now it will most likely have to come down as well because of the damage to its roots. It is over 60 years old as well. Again, sick to my stomach.

It seems so silly to get so attached to a tree. It should be just a background to the life you live. But when their long, thick branches are soaked with childhood games and imaginative adventures and tears and laughter echoes...then they seem like a bit of who you are. Who you were. When you go back to them, you can hear those echoes more clearly than any other place in the world. It's like they hold them out to you within the leaves, kindly asking you to remember. You can close your eyes and hear your 8 year old self playing house and making mud pies in the gentle breeze as it rustles through the leaves. And it makes it all the more difficult to see them stripped of their beauty and chopped harshly into small bits that will be dragged away and burned.

Oh, my, I will miss those beauties. I will. The backyard won't be the same anymore. And those memories will be a little harder to find now without those branches to remind me.

dusting off

Doing a little re-arranging and re-organizing here at old Cottage Girl.

Things may be a little bit wacky for a few days
while I try to get the layout exactly like I want it.

Feel free to leave your feedback.
Let me know if you don't like something.
Let me know if something else makes you happy too.

It's a work in progress.
A slow process with this girl,
who has no idea how to do any of this html stuff.

Here's to changes.
We hate them and love them,
don't we?!

September 06, 2011

a month, please

Last night, I asked my dear friend if I could come and see her and how long I could stay, this was her reply...

"Well, I was hoping for a month."

And she was totally, 100% serious. I was blown away. I reminded her that she has a family and a busy life and she would be adding one extra person into all of that. And again she replied,

"I know. You'll just come along with me, and it will make everything better."

Um, choking back tears of appreciation and affection, I answered,

"Okay, I wasn't expecting that. I'll see what I can do."

She again said a month would be the bestest thing ever, but she would be happy with whatever I decided. But, please, come for a month, she repeated again.

Sometimes there is nothing more wonderful in the world than to know that you are wanted...

post script....I have stories and photos to share, but I didn't want to replace Julie Andrew's picture yet. It just hits me...right...there. Oh, and I was too lazy to download the photos from my camera. There's that too.

September 04, 2011

confession #542


I love Julie Andrews.
I can listen to her sing for hours.
I'm secretly sing my niece, Eliza, My Fair Lady songs.
Wouldn't It Be Loverly being my very favorite.

One time I saw Julie Andrews in person. She really is the most regal lady. I was giggling and giddy the entire time. She was speaking about the children's books that she has written. So beautiful and graceful. Just like she is in the movies.

September 03, 2011


Found this today when I took a quick glance through my photos from last month.

I couldn't stop laughing at my nephew.

Sometimes not being able to go down the slide is the worst thing in the world.
And don't let any adult convince you otherwise.

Little Debbie Downer.

September 02, 2011

Should have

I fave'd this on Etsy a while ago and continued to drool over it. Now I'm sad that it's sold. Shoulda bought it. But alas, summer is too crazy to try and shop for clothes. Oh, well. It's still really cute, isn't it?!

September 01, 2011

"for His name's sake"


God has been pounding on me lately. This message by Matt's hard to think of proper words to describe the way the Lord spoke to me. You know those kinds of messages or books or moments when you just feel Him tapping on your shoulder. You. Directly. Not the person next to you, but you. Exactly where you are. With the exact thing that you need to hear. The one thing that feels like salvation to your very soul. And usually, for me at least, the one thing that is so very humbling that you can do nothing but ask for forgiveness.

This was a moment like that for me. It's one of those lessons that I am still rolling around in my head and getting a grasp on. One of the simplest lessons in the Bible, but one that I obviously have not learned yet. So very simple, yet one that I most often forget. It brought to light, for me, the reason for my struggles lately. Pride. Selfishness. Too much me, and not enough Him.

Here's a taste:

"I’m going to take you to one of the most famous verses in the Bible to show you this. If
you are from Texas, you have been given this passage on a bookmark, a coffee cup or
something. You will know this text even if you have no church background. So let’s
look at it. Psalm 23, starting in verse 1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He
makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my
soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness. . .” Now if we just stopped there, you can
argue quite a bit. He is shepherding us, He is loving us, He is restoring us, He is
providing for us and He is laying us by streams of still water. You can see God’s activity
toward us. It looks like we are the point. You can do this with a hundred other texts,
except the root of His motivation, leading, laying in green pastures, leading to still
waters, restoring of the soul, is clear in the text. Let’s look at verse 3 again. “He restores
my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” So why does God
love you? Why does God pursue you? Why does God shepherd you? Why does God
care for you? It’s not because of you. It’s for the sake of His name. It’s for the praise of
His glorious grace."