family, stuff I like

I Promise It’s True

October 23, 2014

Dear friends, I want to share this darling children’s book with you.


As life is happening all around me in all its crazy, busy glory, I sometimes forget to tell my loves just how much I love them. All. The. Time.  My friends Houston and Karen Heflin have managed to capture those words as a reminder of just how much our kids are loved, even (and especially) when things don’t go as planned. And the illustrations (original watercolors by Karen’s sister, Heather)? Are you kidding me? Check out the nod to Van Gogh. You know I love that!

IMG_1374 My photos just can’t do this book justice. Truly. But a precious little voice (and daughter of the authors) reading it can. Check it out here. Pure delight.

So, where can you get your hands on a copy? Local friends and those visiting our fair city can purchase a copy here in downtown Abilene. Not from the area? Not to worry. Head over to for yours. It comes in a Kindle version, too, for readers on the go. The perfect gift to give and read under the Christmas tree, don’t you think?

Parents, Memaws, Papaws, Aunties, Uncles, teachers, this is one your littles will want you to read to them over and over. I can just hear tiny voices “reading” along time and time again. And I can’t think of a better message to hide away in little hearts. You will love it. And so will the littles in your life. I promise. It’s true!


Quick and Yummy Potato Soup

October 13, 2014

Y’all, Fall finally fell around here! I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m soaking up every last cool breeze. I’m also taking this opportunity to whip up one of my family favorites, potato soup. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and most importantly, it’s yummy. Think I’m kiddin’? Check it out:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One BIG russet potato for every two people (I don’t recommend waxy potatoes for this recipe)
  • chicken stock (we’ll talk more about this later)
  • water or milk
  • celery salt
  • salt n’ pepa
  • sour cream


First, peel your taters and cut them into large chunks. As you can see, I’m not a stickler for getting every last speck of peel off. I think it lends a rustic quality to the soup and reminds people of what exactly they are slurping up. Plus, I’m lazy. Slide those suckers in your stock pot.


Next, add just enough chicken stock to cover them. If you need a bit of water to get you there, have at it. Continue Reading…

Cedar Cottage, home

At Last! A New Roof at Cedar Cottage

October 7, 2014

Remember the hail storm that wiped out the north side of our little town this summer? Well, we are finally getting a new roof!


As I pulled up to the house (after an extra early school drop-off) even the heavens seemed to be beaming down on the new cedar shake shingles! We still have lots of repair work ahead, but I am so thankful to get the real dirty (and noisy) work done. They should finish the house today and will move on to the other structures on the property. I look forward to showing you the progress in the coming weeks, dear readers. Until then, I’ll be the one with the earplugs and a big smile!


New Adventures (and Favs) in Londontown

October 5, 2014
photo 2 (1)

Forgetting things isn’t what one usually counts as a blessing, but when you’ve forgotten just how many visits to London you’ve enjoyed, I’d say it is. Most certainly. Over the years I’ve developed a path through the city that includes my favorite places. This time, however, I decided it was high time I changed things up a bit. So, early (but not too early) Dr. Laura and I set out to explore London, including a few new spots that I want to share with you.

The first “first” was taking the train into London from Oxford. Usually I take a coach, but we decided to use the rail system instead. I mean, who could resist a visit to this sweet little bear at Paddington Station?


Aside from the regrettable angle of my chins, I love this shot of Paddington whispering sweet nothings into my ear, excited for the adventure we will have that day. Continue Reading…

Cedar Cottage, design ideas, home

Fall Mantel Inspiration

September 25, 2014

Yesterday I decided, despite temperatures in the upper 80s, it was high time I infused a little Fall into our home. I started with a bowl of pretty apples in the breakfast room (baby steps, people, baby steps).

breakfast apples

Next I needed to up my game and attack the mantel. Here’s how it turned out.


And a closer peek…


I opted for a fairly neutral palette instead of the typical autumnal hues I usually go for. A little burlap, some wheat, and my trusty ceramic pumpkins in a creamy white came together to dress my mantle in subtle Fall style. Have you spruced up your home in honor of the change of seasons? Do tell, dear readers!