Happy Thanksgiving

I Love You Like Biscuits & Gravy Letterpress via cottagemagpie.com

You know what I am thankful for? All of you. Never in a million years did I guess that I would drop off the face of the earth for nearly two years, then come back and have you all welcome me back, eager to hear what I had to share. It’s like coming back home after a very long trip, and being welcomed back to family. Thank you for that. It means more than you know.

I hope that today, wherever you are and whoever you are with, that you feel welcomed, too. Embraced by the love of the people around you, whether they are family, friends, or even strangers. It’s a time to remember that we’re all in this together, all us creatures on this big ball of rock hurtling through space. Let’s love each other. I certainly love all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving, my far-away friends. Many blessings for you.

With love,

~Angela :-)

P.S. It really is kind of funny that I have this sign in my kitchen, since I have a billion food restrictions due to an ongoing illness so I haven’t had biscuits & gravy for years. But friends, I still love them. Someday I’ll get to have them again. Meanwhile, I do, truly love you like biscuits & gravy.


Happy May Day 2014

Happy May Day 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Happy May Day 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Is the sun shining where you are? The flowers blooming? The birds singing? Well, I live in the land of rain and more rain, but today, oh, today, the sun is shining and it’s the perfect beginning to summer. May Day! Happy May Day! A few days ago it was in the mid-fifties and raining, and today it is 80 degrees and gorgeous.

Of course, 80 degrees feels hot to me now, but by the end of summer it’ll seem cool and refreshing. But for now I’m just enjoying the sensation of my bones being baked warm. I feel like I’ve been cold since November. Even the hot car seems soothing to my aching joints and chilled feet. Food is growing, people are smiling, and it’s a joy to be alive, it truly is.

I know I’m gushing, but I just can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have the sun on my face, to live in a beautiful place, to eat food grown by my friends, to share the joy of life with the community around me. My heart is so full.

My May Day wish for you is that wherever you are, whether the sun is shining or not, that you will feel the warmth of it in your heart. That you will be surrounded by love and light and joy that carries you through summer. That you can have a moment to savor the unfolding of the season, to look forward to the pleasures of sweet berries, juicy sun-warmed tomatoes and cool water on your tired feet.

All my love to all of you,

Happy May Day!!

~Angela :-)


Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Happy New Year 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

This is our year. There’s no question in my mind. I bet it’s your year, too. Last year seemed to be a year of crisis, but like a dear friend reminded me, sometimes those events are a process that’s necessary to get you where you want to go. Being forged, so that your temper and edge are strong and sharp for the adventures that lie ahead.

I know that has been part of my process this year, this forging. I am stronger than before. I am more awake, more aware, more content, more joyful and more sad, all of which will serve me in my future endeavors. There’s so many things I have learned, but one things that I have learned over and over again is that it’s crucial to put first things first. I feel like I’ve said this several times in the last few days, but I think it bears repeating:

Be clear.
Know what you want and what you are doing.
Give yourself space.
Empower yourself to act.

It really is that simple. Not easy, not by a long shot, but very, very simple.

As I write this, it is still Near Year’s Eve. The Christmas decorations are being put away, and the last thoughts of 2013 are rattling around in my head. The kids are lounging and we’re soon to have a simple soup and turn in early. No late-night revelry for our house. But our hearts will sail above in our dreams, with wanderings and imagination, and we’ll awaken tomorrow brand new, ready for a new day, a new year, a new life. There are great things in store for us, my friends, I know it.

I am ready. Are you?

Happy New Year!!!

~Angela :-)


Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas via cottagemagpie.com

Merry Christmas via cottagemagpie.com

A nice man stopped by my door today. He was selling beautiful freshly made wreaths. He said that he had originally been selling them for $20, but since it was Christmas, he would take $10. The wreath was lovely, with fresh fir boughs, pinecones, sprays of ornaments. Really nice. Worth the $20 for sure. Except I didn’t have $20 to give him. Or even $10. What little money we’d saved for the holiday had been spent, and while we have abundance of food and fun and gifts and love, at the moment we don’t have any money.

But he looked like it was important, and the wreath was truly lovely, so I said I’d check to see. I left him on the doorstep while I looked through my purse, asked Mr. Magpie for his wallet. Nothing. No cash in the house. [Read more…]


Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 via cottagemagpie.com

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 via cottagemagpie.com

I have to admit that I have been pretty scattered lately. I do okay when things are nice and spacious and have room to breathe, but as soon as there is a pile-up of priorities I kind of fall apart. I have been managing to get all of the things done that have external deadlines, but now I’m paying the price by being frazzled and unfocused, unable to figure out what is most important right now. It’s like my TV signal is fuzzy and no matter how I tweak the antennae, I can’t bring it in any clearer.

I had a huge realization today about why that is. I shared it on Facebook, but it just seemed too important not to share again here. Here it is: [Read more…]


Happy Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween via cottagemagpie.com

Happy Halloween via cottagemagpie.com

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this, but I don’t consider the beginning of Winter to be on the solstice in December. How could the darkest part of the year begin on the the day the light comes back? Doesn’t it make more sense that the return of light would be the middle of winter? The turning point? The beginning of the journey toward Spring?

As far as I am concerned, the beginning of Winter is at sundown tonight. The harvest is (theoretically) over, the larder is full, and we carry the light in our hearts into the darkest part of the year with many festivals and loving cheer while we wait for the light to return again, and we are once again assured of the new season to come. [Read more…]


Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

I‘m sure I am not the first person to say this tonight, but I can’t believe that 2012 has gone by so quickly! It seems like just yesterday I was writing this same post for 2012. On the other hand, it seems like forever and a day. You know what I mean? It went by so fast, and yet, the person I was a year ago seems lost in the mists of time. My family too. We are so different now.

The house is different, too, and a lot of it I haven’t been able to show you. This is something that I am going to correct going forward — more about that tomorrow. But I feel like I’ve finally found a rhythm that allows me to write just about every day, and that makes me so happy, especially given some of the goals I have for myself for the new year (more about that tomorrow as well).

For tonight, we’re spending a quiet night at home, watching the snow fall and then not, catching up on gifts, rearranging to make room for new thrifty finds, looking forward to exchanging gifts with family tomorrow (now that we’re healthy enough), and generally enjoying the color of the holiday inside, while the outside is grey.

Christmas Tree via Cottage Magpie

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

Christmas in the Bedroom via Cottage Magpie

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

Happy New Year 2013 via Cottage Magpie

Holiday Home Tour via Cottage Magpie

I hope that wherever you are, you are having a safe, happy, hopefully New Year’s eve. I’m so thankful to have you all out there, sharing this experience with me. I truly am. Thank you for being there.

Much love,

~Angela :-)


Happy Holidays 2012

Christmas Tree via Cottage Magpie

Christmas Pillow from Vintage Chenille via Cottage Magpie

Are all of you having a great holiday? I hope you are. My holiday so far has been a mixed bag. I have been sick for about four weeks — since right after I started the Christmas Parade in fact — and now it seems to be settling into a good case of bronchitis. On the other hand, my heart is still filled with joy, and I’m having as much fun as I possibly can. I hate being sick, but it’ll pass, and then I’ll be up to my old tricks again.

I have a ton to show you and share as well. I’m going to try and catch you up a bit during some year-end recap posts, and then once the season winds down in January we can chat in earnest. In the past I’ve always had grand plans, but my plans for 2013 are simple: to do my thing and share with you. No gimmicks, no hype, just me and you and what I’ve gotten up to lately.

Christmas Toy Train via Cottage Magpie

So that’s what’s on my mind this holiday season. I’ll share more in the days ahead. But for now, I hope that you and yours are having the best of all possible holiday seasons. No matter where you are, and no matter what your circumstances are, I hope that your heart is full of joy and hope and love.

Much love,

~Angela :-)


Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Chippy Doors on Vintage Hutch
Thrifted Needlepoint Bench Top
Sunshine Through Cabbage Rose Curtains
Thrifted House Painting
Vintage Quilts and Toy Cars

There’s so much going on here, I haven’t even had time to stop and breathe, let alone share with you all of the whirlwind of activity. This season (and this weather) always tends to make me introspective, starting the holiday slide toward the new year with those kinds of evaluations that bring on resolutions in January. I have been blogging for a very long time now, and I think that I am not the same person that I was when I started. And yet, I’m coming full circle back to the person I was when I started, too, all at the same time.

I’ll explain more soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, there are so many things around me that bring me joy that I am thankful for. Finished projects (sneak peeks above), early Christmas gifts, my favorite vintage things, new babies, big gatherings of friends and family, little moments… and of course, YOU! You who have been watching and reading and commenting and participating in this whole journey of mine. Some of you are new, and some have been with me since the beginning, and to all of you I am so grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. May your days be filled with things that bring you joy.

~Angela :-)


Happy Halloween 2012

Paper Bats on Window

English Toffee

So, sometimes go the way you want them to, and sometimes they don’t. And then again, sometimes they go perfectly, either way.

I am sick this year, so instead of a big festival of town activities and grandparent visiting and trick-or-treating and all of that, we stayed home. We had kind of been considering option out of the chocolate train this year anyway, because of the human rights violations that happen so regularly in that industry, so with me being sick we saw an opportunity to skip it and took it. We had already had our kids’ Halloween Party, dressed up and played games, so what was left to do, really?

Instead, we stayed home. We made treats of our own (like this English Toffee or this Almond Chocolate Coconut Candy) using fair-trade ingredients, and we watched the classic Charlie Brown special, and we snugged and chatted and laughed and had a perfect time. I think we might do this every year!

I hope that, wherever you are, and whatever your traditions are, whether they’re Halloween, or Dios de la Muertos, or none of the above, that you have a perfect time. My thoughts and love are with you, every one of you.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

~Angela :-)