Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flowers boxes...amping up the charm:)

My Mr. Nellie's Cottage is the best! I can literally have a idea, tell him what I want, and he can build it in a jiffy! Window boxes have been on my wish list for ages, and this was the week. Anytime I am hosting an event at my house or the cottage the wish list becomes the "how much can we get done this week" list:) Michael measured the windows, picked up some cedar fence pickets and away he went!

In the interest of no extra weight, no bugs, no rot, no watering, and no fuss...I chose silk flowers. 
Two different kinds of greenery became the design anchor for the flowers which I will change out seasonally. 

Michael & I could not believe the difference. The charm of the cottage is now indisputable!
Well at least I think so:)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Collaging my Planner 2015

What began as a whim and midnight creation 4 years ago has turned into a tradition...yes a scrapbooking, creating tradition! I spend quite a bit of time with my planner every year, so why not make it fun to look at:) I first choose the paper and then I search and add a bit of this and a bit of those scrapbook leftovers until there is no more adding to be done! Not very deliberate or scientific but then again pure creating isn't either of these:)
Plain Jane is just not my style:)

This tumble of embellishments make me smile...and that is why I collage my planner!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

San Jacinto Biscuits

We serve these at the cottage with my homemade raspberry freezer jam!
As I was rolling these biscuits this morning I explained to Michael that you mustn't over handle the dough or the biscuits would be tough. I further explained that southern women who love to bake take great pride in a perfect biscuit! He replied "So then all of your self worth is tied to a biscuit?" MEN! I calmly replied no but it would have been more important back in Nellie's time when the homemaking arts were more valued. This was all said to a British man who doesn't really appreciate & love southern biscuits, so I was really just throwing my biscuits at the wall - so to speak;) Anyway here is a Texan recipe from the Monument Inn by our famous San Jacinto monument, which by the way is taller than the Washington monument:) We really are insufferable... aren't we?! There was a great battle over Texas fought there and as you see won! 

My favorite recipe book is the one in my mom's handwriting!
Couple of biscuit tips:
Do not over handle the dough
Roll dough about 3/4-1 inch thick
Option-Use half shortening and half butter
Our baking preference is only 9-10 min, slightly golden

 p.s. Left over biscuits are super delicious in the toaster, so don't be afraid of making too many:)

p.p.s. Enjoy this post about Nellie's magical biscuit bowl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Retreat winners 2015

And the five 2015 retreat winners are...!!!!!

Names as listed on my blog followers

Ice, a winter layout

Our dog Brandi loved walks. She knew the W word well and would start whining and circling and following you around until you made good on your promise! This was an icy day in February after freezing rain but she was not deterred! I am not sure how long she sat there waiting for Aaron to come down, she would have waiting longer, especially for him:) We miss you Brandi.

Winter layouts are some of my favorites! This begins with card stock from Glitz Design, borders created from my new border toy (pic below), which I then "iced" with my new favorite glitter (pic below). I even "iced" the title letters and journaling circles. The snowflakes are done in Martha Stewart glitter. Tiny grey pearls add a final touch. 
The pictures don't do justice to the shimmer of these pages! 

Border tool by Fiskars, has different punch cartridges 
Love, love, love:)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Snowbaby, a winter layout

One of the joys of modern technology and grand-parenting is that you can receive fun pictures like this via text! I tend to look at the pictures and watch the videos of my little grand munchkins over and over again:) This picture really captures Scarlett's engaging personality. She is off with her family to the indoor city pool. I learned this after a stern text to her parents about letting this cherub in the snow without proper clothing. Okaaayyy.....they do know what they are doing:)

I layered 4 of the snowflake borders over this teal metallic yardstick, added crochet trim, & velvet ribbon, pumped up K&CO snowflakes, bordered this picture with fun "snowball" trim, & added silver stickles to the top edges of the chipboard letters (imitating snow).   

When I finished this layout I kept it displayed on my desk for a couple of days just because the colors and especially the photo subject has such an aura of happiness!

Kimberly's Southern Green Beans

I can remember sitting around a big silver pot full of fresh produce from Papa Albert's garden. It was part of childhood to snap beans, shell peas & shuck corn. Nellie made the best butter beans on the planet...sadly I haven't practiced enough.
I do however make a pretty mean pot of green beans:)

1 16oz package frozen green beans
            (if you have the cooking time-use fresh)
1 medium onion chopped
real bacon bits
olive oil
Tbsp butter
seasonings to taste

 In the interest of time, frozen green beans cooked on the stove
come close to fresh green beans.
Sautee onions in a bit of olive oil until golden brown
These are my go to seasonings, I sprinkle a bit of each to taste
A tablespoon of butter added to the cooked green beans enhances the flavor...
Toss the onions & bacon bits into the green beans

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stout little snowman

There are some pictures that just capture my heart every time! This is one of those. The quality is circa 1985, so not brilliant but the little stout subject in the blue parka makes up for the camera deficiency:) Keith was 19 months having his first taste of life in snow. He so wanted to ski with his dad! He was a fearless athlete even at this young age & probably could have actually skied! 
I love the stiff pose...I am quite sure he had so many layers on he couldn't move properly (first time mom stuff). Michael looks so young & dashing (before med school). 

I just love everything about my stout little snowman!

Don't forget to tell the stories and share your feelings about the pictures in your is the real reason we scrapbook!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

5 years and 5 free retreats!

I am so pleased to reach the 5 year milestone! I began with a dream and my grandparents home that had seen no loving care in the 20 years since they had passed away. The home was showing it's 70 years! After 9 months of renovation I opened my doors without ever having advertised... I have had a steep learning curve:) The journey has been so exciting and terrifying. So many wonderful women have crossed our door at the cottage each bringing a smile, creative talent, and love of family. How did I get so lucky to have a business I love?:)! 
My grandmother Nellie loved giving things to guests, a plant, homemade jam, vegetables from the garden...I honor her memory with my anniversary retreat giveaways. Join this blog by following the instructions... and good luck!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A wonderland of memories...5 years of Nellies Cottage!

It is hard to believe 5 years have passed. Join me as I celebrate a milestone anniversary of Nellie's Cottage. Many have crossed our doors for retreats, showers, reunions, receptions, girls nights, slumber parties, and wedding receptions. How I have enjoyed meeting the lovely people, hearing the compliments on our cozy cottage. 
Visit our comment page- 

This will be a night to remember bathed in snowflakes, lights, cookies and hot chocolate. I will giveaway door prizes, a girls night, and other gifts. Thank you for a wonderland of memories, hope to see you here!

$25 per night stay for ladies who would love to spend the night.
Saturday will be a crop & Pinterest day! 
Only 24 beds, call me! 409 201 5474

Rock Canyon Park, a winter layout

Snow will always be a novelty to Texans:)
My friend Denise is a true outdoor athlete, sadly I am not! She took Michael & Keith on a snowshoe expedition in Rock Canyon Park 2009...yes I am just now scrapbooking this!
I am still true to my One event /One design style (every page the same)
which makes scrapbooking design easy and suits my fast moving life :)

Black card stock
Chevron cardstock-Glitz design
Wooden snowflakes -Recollections/Michaels
Snowflake punch-Paper Shapers 
Ribbon -American crafts
Black tabs-7Gypsies
Letters-Thickers, Doodle Bug design, etc