simple is beautiful

Christmas Cards & the New Do

Monday, November 28, 2011

Over Thanksgiving I asked my sister-in-law to take a few pictures of our family.  Of course I didn't plan the outfits to co-ordinate so I had to make the images black and white to avoid looking busy.  Choosing Christmas cards is never easy for me, but Personalized Greeting Cards from Tiny Prints  makes it a little easier.  You can choose the style and colors, and upload the photo in no time.  I must have had 15 favorites.

Here is the one I finally settled on.  Now for the Christmas shopping...

And finally, here is the new do.  Not a major change, but I am happy with the length.  Maybe next time I will go a little shorter in the back to look a little more like Gwenyth


In case you missed the giveaway including fabric and e-design, you can check it out here.

'Tis Better to Give...

Saturday, November 26, 2011


My longest standing sponsor, Fabulous But Frugal and I have partnered to bring you a fun little giveaway.

The giveaway comes from FBF's newest etsy store, The Dizzy Tulip and includes either:

1) 2 yards of the following geometric fabrics.  The winner can choose 2 yards of one fabric or can mix and match the 2 yards.   

Dwell Studio Robert Allen "Bella Porte"

Premier Prints

2)  3 yards of burlap

As part of the giveaway, I am offering an e-design board valued at $75 to go along with your new fabrics. 

To enter the giveaway:

1.  Leave a comment stating which fabric(s) you would like to win and how you would use it.

2.  You may tweet the giveaway and be sure to include @cottageandvine.  Leave a comment saying that you tweeted.

3.  Post this giveaway on your blog or like this post on facebook using the icon at the end of the post and be sure to leave a comment.

The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced next Friday.  Good luck!!!

Holiday Sponsors & Black Friday Deals

Friday, November 25, 2011

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Today marks the biggest retail day of the year and what better time than now to introduce to you my holiday sponsors.

Rugs are fabricated in Provence, the southern region in France favored by artists for it's astonishing light and deep blue skies. Hand woven and hand finished with genuine French fabrics, these colorful rugs and their coordinating accessories bring a touch of sunshine and French romance to any interior. If you let them, they will transport you to Van Gogh's fields....Cezanne's mountains...and the whispered summer song of the cicada.

I have been sending clients to Window Treatments by Melissa ever since I saw Fran's Roman shade.  Melissa's shop on etsy offers custom window treatments in designer fabrics.  "Like" Window Treatments by Melissa on facebook to stay informed of promotions, coupon codes, and giveaways. 

M.A. Hadley is offering free shipping with on-line orders of $50 or more, a Black Friday discount today on select items, and a 15% discount on all Christmas items on Cyber Monday.

Creative Memories has a wonderful selection of scrapbooking materials including Christmas and holiday papers, stickers, and ribbon.  Also save 20% on 4x8 photo cards.  For more offers visit Creative Memories.

Idari offers Cottage & Vine followers 30% off anything in the store.  Use promo code COTTAGE30 at checkout.

Tis the season...

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a special giveaway from us to you.  I have partnered up with one of my sponsors for a giveaway you are sure to love.  I'll give you a hint, it involves fabric and a custom design board.

Thanksgiving Table Inspiration

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving is the one time each year that we are able to reconnect with my husband's family.  It has become a tradition to go to Maryland and the cousins look so forward to seeing each other year after year.  I always love to see how much they have grown.

This picture was taken last Thanksgiving and you can imagine what it is like organizing 10 kids.  Herding a litter of puppies might be easier.  As a side note, I could squeeze those little baby toes.  They probably don't look like that now.

When I think of Thanksgiving I think of tables-capes that take on an organic element.  A little more rustic I guess you could say.  Here are a few of my favorites I have been collecting on Pinterest.

I will be taking off the next couple of days to spend time with family.  Best wishes for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

My Favorite Room: Rachel from Just a Touch of Gray

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today I would like to welcome the absolutely adorable Rachel from the blog Just a Touch of Gray.  Welcome Rachel!

Hi! I'm Rachel from {Just a Touch of Gray} and I'm thrilled to be here at Cottage and Vine today! When Rene asked me to pick a favorite room to share with you it was a harder decision than I would have thought! But today I'm going to share our MASTER BEDROOM with you.

I love this room. It is our little retreat to end our nights and start our mornings. When I started thinking about the design I knew I wanted a neutral color palette and a calming and sophisticated atmosphere. To start I wanted to create a focal point, an element of drama. It all started when I laid eyes on this fabric... 

... so Operation: Headboard Build was officially underway. And I wanted it tall tall tall!  

First comes the plywood... 

Do you like hubs makeshift compass? :)
 Then comes power tools...

Then comes foam, batting, fabric, and a lot of staples... 

 What's the end result, you ask?  


Next the walls went grey, Ikea dressers were brought in, and my favorite mirror I've had since high school was added to the corner.

Stools were added to the foot of the bed, and accessories adjourn the nightstand.

Did I mention the room looked like this when we bought the house?

And I have to admit it really didn't look much better when we moved our stuff in...

But we went right to work transforming it into a relaxing and stylish oasis that made us happy to walk in. 

Now back to the afters... 

Ok, ok. Want one more before pic? 
Opposite the bed we have a little hallway with closets on each side leading into our master bathroom...

And now...

This fall we added these frames to a blank wall to the right of our bed. They are all images from our wedding and I love highlighting that incredible day in our bedroom.

So that's it! 

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our master bedroom! It really has become a favorite room of ours! 
Rene - Thanks so much for having me on your amazing blog - definitely a favorite of mine! 

Rachel, I'm just gonna come right out with it, I want that headboard!  You guys did a great job making it - the curves are just gorgeous!  Thanks so much for sharing your favorite room today!

To check out more of Rachel's home improvements go here.


In honor of the thanksgiving season, Laura of Bright, Bold, & Beautiful has invited me over to share things I am thankful for.  The post should be up around 10:00 EST this morning so please drop by then.

Coming Clean...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm gonna be honest...during the week of Halloween I ate about 25 too many candy bars.  Granted they were bite size, but still.  Please tell me that someone else out there did the same thing.  Mom, are you out there?  

My husband has been in L.A. for the last two days so I thought this was a great time to do a little cleanse.  I found this on pinterest and find that it helps me get back to my everything in moderation approach hits my reset button.  This is my second time trying it and it really does make me feel better. 

My day looks something like this...





And just like that, my sugar cravings are gone.  This is a 2 day meal plan.  Any longer and I would be bored out of my mind with the food choices.  Did anybody else out there eat too much candy during Halloween?  Better yet, do you ever need to hit your reset button?

My Favorite Room: Darlene of Fieldstone Hill Design

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sharing her favorite room today is Darlene of Fieldstone Home Design.  Welcome Darlene!


Thank you so much for the chance to visit with your readers, Rene! I am honored to be guest posting as a part of Cottage and Vine's "My Favorite Room" series.

Before I dive in, I wanted to share my heart, since many of your readers may be in the same boat:

I love to decorate. In fact, I am an Interior Decorator who finds so much joy in revamping my client's spaces all over the country via eDesign. But, when Rene asked me to share my Favorite Room, my first thoughts were: "Oh, my! Which room can I even dare to share with her readers!?"

My husband and I made the crazy decision 6 years ago to bite off a bit more than we can chew, and we bought Fieldstone Hill, a gorgeous, historic stone farmhouse built circa 1820.
{Fieldstone Hill, after a few years of rescuing}
It came with wide-board, pumpkin pine floors.... that were black. It came with an authentic log cabin from 1796... that needed a new roof, and still is filled with holes. It came with stunning, deep window wells... that caused my hair to blow in the wind when I was sitting on our sofa. Oh, and that was the least of our list. In the first week of living in Fieldstone Hill, the septic backed up and filled our basement, the water stopped running, we had water dripping from our light fixtures, and black mud regularly shot in geysers out of our steam radiators. True story. No exaggeration here, folks.

oh. and I was pregnant with our first baby.


All that to say, this decorator has not spent much {hardly any} energy or funds on decorating our home. It is tempting for me to look around my home and feel bad about the fact that I have NOTHING finished, and easily become discontent. My home should look like a magazine! But that is a lie I choose not to believe.

All in due time. { sigh...and you should see what Fieldstone Hill looks like in my head! The stuff of dreams, I tell ya}.

So, today, I will share the only room in our home that is even CLOSE to being finished. Our upstairs bathroom.
I love this room. Why? Because there is no painting left to be done in it. Can anyone else relate?? I also love this room because my two little boys have to respect my privacy when I am in this space; so I get some precious alone time. Anyone??

Now for the tour! We refinished this bathroom immediately after moving in due to mildew infestation {I told you our list was long. Don't even get me started on the mouse poop}. It has been updated with lots of Carrera Marble, a shower that I designed, and by adding built-ins {the room formerly had no storage at all}.
Our bathroom features an old claw foot tub that I painted black. The walls are painted "Sachet" from Sherwin Williams old Martha Stewart collection {this paint is still available for the mixing if you head to Sherwin Williams and ask them to look it up}:
We added a built-in linen closet and drawers in an empty space behind the door {see below}. I designed the shower so that it would not need a glass door {ultimately, they will mildew}, and saved money by using ceramic subway tiles up the walls of the shower:
Below is a view of the half wall that makes up the side of the shower. This allows the room to feel more spacious, as the sunlight can get from one end of the room to the other. It also provides water protection, a handy little ledge, and {ahem} a place for toilet paper:
Using mosaic tiles is an excellent way to get a cheaper price, but still use gorgeous marble. We used Carrera marble tiles on the floor {below} and on the shower floor. We used larger slabs of Carrera to top thresholds and the half-wall ledge:
Some of the details that we added to this room can be seen below. We purchased an antiqued medicine cabinet {$30} and spent way too much time and energy bringing it back to life, but I love it. We also added shaker pegs all around the bathroom, which is both practical and architecturally interesting. You can see a glimpse of the interior transom window in this pic as well:
Below is a better view of the interior transom window. We added it because the hallway on the opposite side gets no outside light at all. We found the transom in perfect shape at an architectural salvage store for $10. I won't tell you how much we paid the painter to paint it....:
When we added an addition 4 years ago, we had to close in the window on the back wall of the bathroom. This was the perfect opportunity for additional storage! So we had some doors added. Now this bathroom {which we all share} has plenty of storage:
I am a fan of the spa. I think another reason why this bathroom is one of my favorite rooms at Fieldstone Hill is because it reminds me of being in a spa. If I make sure there are plenty of lavender soaps and fluffy white towels, then suddenly I am transported to my own place of relaxation:
Well, there you have it. My favorite room is my bathroom. And it is one of my favorite places to escape to, and close the door!
Still, one never knows what my favorite room will be by this time next year!
Thank you, so much Rene, for hosting me on your blog today! It was a delight!


Darlene, I think many of us can relate to finding the balance between home life and client work.  We all need a room to escape to and your bathroom looks like a perfect retreat.  Your home is gorgeous and I look forward to seeing more of it.  Thank you so much for joining us today!  To visit Darlene's blog go here.


To enter the pillow giveaway, go here.

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