Monday, February 28, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award, really? Wow!!

I have to say I am so honored to be given this award by Southern Style Life!  She and her husband are considering purchasing a southern plantation!  I think that sounds like a world away from here in the Northwest but oh so romantic! 

So I am supposed to share 7 things about myself!

1.  First of all, I am a cozy up on your sofa with a huge mug of warm creamy latte in my cup kinda girl!  However, this season of life finds me wanting to get into shape so instead of starting my mornings slow I am in my 3rd week of yoga, fitness and walking in between classes.  I love it and hate it all at once!

2.  I am happily married and celebrating my 11th anniversary this week!

3.  Last night I overheard my family arguing about which color is my favorite.  The kids were sure it is blue but my husband was insistent that I have made him paint everything white so it had to be white!  Which is it?  Truthfully it is both, but does white count as a color? 

4.  We are blessed to have 2 boys and 2 girls overflowing our cottage! 

5.  I am not the greatest housekeeper in the world.  I care that my home is beautifully and comfortably furnished but once I straighten it up (and dim the lights!) I usually call her good! 

6.  My closest friends in the world have also known me forever.  This is good and bad!  They love me for who I am!  They also remind me of my embarrasing phases and moments! 

7.  Current dream?  Moving the garden so that we can enter it from the back deck and setting it up as an english potager!

Now I get to nominate 7 other lovely blogs to visit!  Please do!
6 little bunkers
Grow In Love
4 Little Monkeys
Adventures of an Innkeeper
Nothin But Country Living
Little House That Grew
Red Gate Farm

Okay so I have one I had to add (is this cheating?), it's my mama who has a beautiful place, she just started blogging and here is her link! Ooh and one more!  I think I'll never be nominated for anything ever again because I clearly cannot follow the rules!  My daughter Anna is a beauty and full of talent & love, check out hers also!
Chyna' Garden
Anna's Farm
Stylish Blogger Award....


-Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.

--Share seven things about yourself.

--Award seven recently discovered new blogs.--Contact these bloggers and let them know they've received the award

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A tribute to talent!

This is just a little post in honor of my husband who is having his birthday this week and we are also celebrating our 11th Anniversary!  He is so talented and these photos are just a few from a recent local event we catered!  "We" meaning I printed menu's, chatted with the staff and ate!  (that's not all I do though!)
Even from the beginning his career made an impact on me.  As soon as I met him and he told me he cooked he had me hook line & sinker.  I didn't know he was this good!  The pictures are pretty but the taste is amazing!  I am so thankful for the way he provides for our family but also for the success he has carved out in his career.   I am so thankful for the kind of dad he is to our children, he is fun and active always teaching them important skills and lessons! 
And I am also thankful that when he offers to cook dinner for the night it isn't boxed macaroni and cheese but more like braised cabbage & slow cooked ribs or .... any number of flavorful dishes!
Thank you God for my husband, & thank you honey for choosing me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Somebody's Two! Can you guess who?

Make a banner, say a cheer it's Carolyn's birthday, our little dear!
It started out at home, in the cozy comfy cottage but we soon ventured out to celebrate at the beach...

Little miss opened presents and announced "Yay" each time and after the birthday song!

We all gathered driftwood on the beach and enjoyed the lovely view!

I puttered around (my favorite thing to do) straightening and fluffing the nest!

(I'm looking for the perfect hardware for the hutch)

We also went swimming and bowling and played outside in the sandy front yard!
Our little trip made this momma's heart so full! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adventures in Farm Life

I go through phases, as I've mentioned before!  About this time of year usually I start feeling really expansive!  Wanting to dream big and live more adventurously.  This year that need is being met by a new wave of fitness mania (not my favorite subject really but I'm working on it!)  In previous years it has been adding a menagerie of animals to our lives.  Carmel the calf was among the first!
Too cute to resist right!  He lasted around here about the shortest (only a month) as we wondered how much trouble he would be as he grew!

We've added a small crew of kitties, none of which decided to stay around permanently.  That's okay, apparently the mice in the barns around the neighborhood and the wild life speak to them! 

There have been the chickens!  And even a horse or two!  A few dogs, a couple rabbits, several goats.

And last but not least a few babies! They count as animals on a farm right?

This year there will be no such additions!  No new animals, definately not any new babies!  Four of those have been blessing beyond measure!  So I'm wondering, what adventure in farm life will we focus on this Spring!?  Maybe I'll finally get back to the gardens?

Oooh I hope so!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Work mingled with life

We work all sorts of hours with our catering business.   But, it's a dream really. 
When I married a chef I didn't realize how difficult it would be to raise a family while he worked restaurant hours.  He would be at work by 10am and come home after 10pm usually Monday thru Saturday. 

It was lonely!  I would feel like a single parent often and we celebrated many holidays without daddy.
By 2004 we were done!  Couldn't go on!  So we took a risk and opened a business from scratch.  It helped that he was very qualified and had many contacts in the profession including eager clientele.  We haven't exactly gotten "rich" like the song choice might suggest!  But I cannot complain, we have had success and have always been able to provide for our family!

Now all these years later we can truly say we are partners in everything.  I started this post meaning to talk about what our children learn by working alongside us! 
But, I realized it may be good to give a little background! 
Maybe I'll get to that in the another post!  Here is my littlest helper working at the computer I use daily for client emails, invoicing, balancing accounts and all that good stuff!
Today the older ones are at work with daddy helping to prepare for a Valentine's Dinner he is catering at the Wine Shop in town.  So it won't exactly be a romantic day for us even though I will be there, tasting and visiting with customers, staff and friends! 
Wishing you all a day of love tomorrow and always!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Special Night, Movie at the Pool

In our small town life, the community pool hosts movie night once a month.
Our little water bugs are gonna love it!
The movie? Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2!
  I'm sure they'll see lots and lots of friends.    It will be loud, they will turn into prunes, they will remember it for the rest of their lives!  That's the plan for this special night that we celebrate every Friday!  What do you like to do on family nights at your house? Please do tell!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


It's all about my kids right now.  I am so inspired to live creatively in each moment with them.  To play games, to have tea parties and learn new things.  To find every oportunity to make learning fun.  To pick up new materials and live inventively.  I picked up some great new books at the thrifstore in town for 25 cents each and we have learned about Abe Lincoln and so much more.  I love to be inspired!  Don't you!

If you know of any really great blogs where moms post about creative play and creative spaces for their kids, I would love to know of them!  That is the kind of blog I want this to be!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

My heart may be a little bit country, but the sea has a piece of it too!

One of our family traditions is vacationing by the sea.  When I was a little girl our families favorite annual vacation spot was at the beach.  I have always been drawn to the ocean, the majestic waves reminding me of soo many things.  The awesome power of God, the ebb and flow of life, things constantly changing while often appearing to stay the same. 

We have been fortunate to acquire a little beach house (not quite on the beach but walking distance) that we share with extended family!  It has been a wonderful way to make memories with our children that will last a lifetime and connect to them in different ways than we can at home.  Life is simple there.  No extra stuff, no extra clutter.  Just exactly what we need for a getaway!  Even doing the laundry is simplified there!  It almost makes me wonder,"what is all the stuff we have at home and why do we need it?".
Dreaming of sunny days on the shore...

Friday, February 4, 2011

the tidy cottage

top 5 ways to make living in a small cottage work
1.  don't let "stuff" take over.  rifle through every closet, cabinet drawer and storage space regularly to make room.  keep only what you love

2.  move furniture and decor around frequently and clean as you go.  it makes the cleaning a lot more fun!

3.  do the 15 minute straighten up a several times a day.  small spaces seem cluttered much more quickly!

4.  realize that you have less to take care of than others so more time to relax.  relish in this idea!

5.  clean the sinks often so their sparkling clean since you know you spend a lot of time in front of them!

be thankful, choose joy


what do you do to keep your home tidy (and enjoy the process more!)?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love is in the air

For the first time ever I'm loving this holiday all about love!  It all started with a heart shaped wreath on my front door, the first Valentine's Day decor I have ever put out.  Then it moved on to some felt stitched hearts my mom gave the kids 2 years ago...

We made a heart craft as a fun weekend project inspired by Flower Patch Farmgirl!
And then, all the sudden red and pink bloomed all over my home!  I even found myself picking out Valentine Chocolates for my sweet with a darling little tin!  What is going on around here?  It's usually so country french in blue & yellow! 
It seems as though my style is edging toward english country lately, a little of my Country Living British addition magazine subscription rubbing off on me!  Well, change is good right?!

How do you let your sweet ones know their loved?!  Wishing you a love filled holiday!  Au revoir, Olivia

About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love