Cedar Cottage, craftiness, home, Tutorials

DIY Window Seat Cushion in a Jiffy

March 23, 2015
IMG_2396

For reals! Yes, you can whip together a little wondow seat cushion in less time than it will take you to say, “What? A custom window seat cushion in a jiffy?” And the best part? There’s not a single stitch in the whole thing, y’all! You’ll just need a few supplies and the will to have a squishy place to sit in the sun.

IMG_2398 Gather up the fabric of your choice, a staple gun and staples, scissors, a piece of plywood cut, and some thick foam (I went with 3″ foam for maximum booty comfort). That’s it! Now it’s time to put it all together.

IMG_2386 First, measure and cut your plywood and foam to the size of your window seat. You may want to use fancy  clean foam. Mine got shoved into the netherregions of our crawlspace when we moved, but this stuff isn’t cheap, people, so I vacuumed and went with it. PS The good folks at your local hardware store will cut your plywood to size for you if you ask really nicely.

Next, cut your fabric to size, making sure you have plenty to pull and staple around the foam and plywood. If you are using fabric with a linear design, make sure to cut it straight. No one likes a wonky seat cushion. Use the design to help you stay on track.

IMG_2388 Now lay the fabric out right side down, then the foam, and layer the plywood on top. Pull the fabric taught and staple into place, wrapping the ends like you are wrapping a present.

IMG_2389 A few wrinkles on the underside? No one will see it-it’ll be our little secret. 

My staples were a bit cranky, so I used a hammer to persuade them not to be so proud.

IMG_2390

After a little persuasion, that’s it, y’all! Flip ‘er over and gussy it up with a few pillows!

IMG_2392 And perhaps a dog.

IMG_2396 I do recommend splurging on thick (3 or 4″) foam, as it gives the finished product a substantial feel.

IMG_2397 Plus, it keeps the more sensitive ones in your family happy and will avoid a “princess and the pea” situation. Bless him.

family, memories

Beauty Shop and Cameos

March 18, 2015
IMG_2366

Over the past several days I’ve been waltzing across Texas and having a grand time. My first stop was to see Mom and Dad in Houston. The best part? I had them all to myself (you middle kids feelin’ me?)! Like, totally all to myself, as I left all my people at home for this trip. Truth be told, they were all tied up with various Spring Break festivities, so I hopped in the car and played Name That Tune with myself all the way there (I do looove me some serius XM, y’all). I’m easily entertained.

Of course we chatted, ate, and did a little shopping, but the highlight of the trip was a visit to see my grandmother. Here she is as a fresh-faced Registered Nurse in New York City.

IMG_1016 This summer we got to celebrate her 100th birthday.

IMG_1019 That’s right, 100 years young! It was a fantastic celebration and we were so glad to be a part of it. When I got to Houston last week, I couldn’t wait to see her again. In fact, we planned to play “beauty shop” during the visit, complete with a hair cut and manicure. If there’s one thing the Coleman girls love, it’s playing beauty shop in mom’s bathroom. I mean, what’s better than chatting about our latest beauty finds, painting nails, cutting hair, and laughing until our sides hurt, right?

After Grandma selected her color, I got busy, filing, shaping, and painting. As I was putting on the final coat, she looked down at my hands and said with a wink, “I like that cameo.”

IMG_2366

Her cameo. The one her father gave to her on her 12th birthday. The cameo she gave my mother when she was 25. The same cameo my mother gave to me on my 25th birthday. Tears welled. Smiles exchanged. Beautiful memories made.

Cedar Cottage, garden, home, Uncategorized

Flip Flops and Snowy Days

February 27, 2015
IMG_2305

Earlier this week we saw highs top out at 81*. I was happily flipping around in my flops, then I woke to this scene…

IMG_2292

We often joke about the weather turning on a dime here in Texas. Listen to me now and believe me later. It’s true. And while I can’t say that I love winter, I do enjoy a billowy white snow day, and this one didn’t disappoint.

IMG_2295

It came down in big, fat, cotton-ball like flakes. I enjoyed more than one cup of coffee watching it fall.

IMG_2296

After a day off of school because if icy road conditions, mama may have found herself with some cooped up restless naitives. And I may have imagined that my bovine girlfriends were singing, “Let It Go.”

IMG_2290

Friends assured me that they were actually singing, “Let It Snow!” Apparently they were.

IMG_2305

We got a fresh blanket last night.

IMG_2301

But it’s still a treat to see the beginnings of spring peeking through the frost.

IMG_2306

We are soaking it up, to be sure. We will see temperatures over the century mark before we know it.

IMG_2308

Rufus, however, assures us that he is happy to hold down the fort from the comfort of his favorite spot, bless his heart.

IMG_2313

Stay warm, friends!

Cedar Cottage, deliciousness, home

Warmth in a Bowl: Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup

February 24, 2015
IMG_2278

Once again we Texans have weathered (see what I did there) yet another swing from a high of 81* to a low of 21* in a matter of hours. While I wish I had my flip flops on again, I am relishing time with my people as we are iced in for a second day (cue the popcorn and movies). Thankfully Dr. Kyle made sure our feathered friends were taken care of during our latest freeze.

IMG_2276 So, it was mama’s turn to take care of her chickadees. I decided some soup was just the thing to warm up my loves. And since a trip to the store was out of the question, I looked to my pantry and fridge  to see what we could pull together. Thankfully I found some chicken breasts, cilantro, limes, and hominy. Behold!

IMG_2278 My apologies, friends. I didn’t snap any pictures as I prepared it, not thinking that it would turn out to be the hit that it was. We didn’t all sit down together to eat, as our schedules have been a bit wonky, what with the tv and sleeping late and naps in front of the fire and all. To my surprise (and delight), I received high praise from each of my loves as they left the kitchen and came back to the living room. Makes a mama heart happy, people. And so, even without shots of the prep, I wanted to share this one with you.

I started by boiling three large chicken breasts in salted water. I added one onion, halved (some folks around here love the flavor, but not the texture of onions, so this packs a punch but is easy to remove), and four cloves of garlic, halved.

Once the chicken was cooked through, I removed and shredded it, then plunked it right back in the pot. I added dry ranch dressing mix (about two tablespoons) and some lemon pepper (about a teaspoon). Next I added two large cans of hominy, drained. I had yellow hominy on hand, but white would work well, too. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes so everyone could get to know each other (the hominy does a great job of soaking up lots of flavor). This is when you want to check for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. If you like it spicy, a few shots of pepper sauce would do the trick.

Serve over corn chips with a wedge of lime and a little fresh cilantro. Think cilantro tastes like laundry soap? No worries, just leave it out. Squeeze that lime and dig in!

The lemon pepper and fresh lime add a brightness that makes this soup a year-round crowd pleaser. Better still, this one features a light broth that is figure friendly, with lots of fiber and protein. Win-win-win!

For those out and about, have a little Starbucks for your friends in Texas. For those trapped inside, wear those woolies and stay warm!

 

Cedar Cottage, garden, home

Welcome to Cedar Cottage: Our Home, Your Respite

February 16, 2015
2Z2A0021

Recently I’ve had several questions about our home, our bed & breakfast, and how the two are woven together. I realized that our B&B’s website it isn’t exactly clear as to where it stops and our home begins. How about a little tour to show you? Follow me!

2Z2A0021 As you approach the property, you’ll see our beautiful iron gate. Just beyond, Cedar Cottage.

2Z2A9998 What you see here are the upper three floors-the ground floor, second floor, and a nifty attic space with a couple of rooms and closets carved out. The side porch you see on the left just may be one of my favorite spots.

IMG_0083 As you head down the driveway just past the side porch, you’ll find the grade of the property starts to gently slope downward.

CedarCottage-1
As you round the back of the house, you see the walk-out basement peeking out.

2Z2A0133 Et voila! The entrance to the b&b! From here you can walk right out to the back of the property to take in the gazebo…

IMG_0727 …the back deck…

CamillePicnicTable4 …or a little stroll out to the skywalk overlooking the creek.

CedarCottage-11 Oh, and then there’s the actual b&b suite!

CedarCottage-3

CedarCottage-4

CedarCottage-5

And from the kitchen window, guests get a lovely view of the back yard. 
2Z2A0057 Speaking of the back yard and outdoor spaces pictured above, we love to invite our guests to enjoy every bit of it. From the side porch all the way to the creek. It truly does bring me great joy to see folks rocking, swinging, sipping, eating and chatting away the hours. As we’ve told many, we purchased this place to be enjoyed. And oh, do we! We hope you will, too!