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A Year of Successes and Failures at The Cozy Cottage

This past year has been a busy one. We’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, visiting family and friends around the world and country, collecting ornaments and design inspiration along the way. A lot happened this year, including taking on design clients (a practice I hope to expand in the new year) and a lot didn’t happen this year (something I hope to change in the new year). I’m looking back at the year of successes and failures (frankly, mostly failures) with one big laugh. Want to see what 2017 looked like at The Cozy Cottage? Let’s go!

Best of the Blog

The biggest news of the blog is that I started a new column called Friday Faves – success! – and then got busy and lazy the past few weeks – failure! – and haven’t had a Friday Faves column since. This will be rectified in the new year. Maybe. I read so much about design and food that I thought it would be a good idea to compile a few of my favorite stories and podcasts and whatevers of the week and share with you. I think it is still a good idea, I just gotta get back into it.

Speaking of Friday Faves, I mentioned in one column something exciting that happened: our backyard transformation was included in Apartment Therapy as a Before & After!!!

This year, I kept it real on the blog, both good and bad. Such as with this mega failure in which I broke a hammer drill on the first try. But the project I was using it for at least led to this success.

I talked about our need for a new bathroom mirror because there is no way I could possibly look the way I do.

Photo taken most likely by my dad on a vacation at Disney World in 1989.

I also wrote a love note to our small but mighty cottage. This week, we celebrated the three-year anniversary of having closed on our house.

Because of the types of questions I get, the research I do and the projects I’m working on, I started writing posts that provide tips on various elements of decor, such as this one about color, this one about patterns, and this one about chairs.

Projects at The Cozy Cottage

Sigh. This category is just full of failures. I started out the year talking about all of the projects I had in mind and then, six months later, wrote about how I hadn’t started on any of them.

One reason I got none of them done was in part due to laziness, but it was mostly due to funds since, in February, we learned we needed to get a new roof and would have to pay for it out of pocket. Grrrrr. But we got it just in time since, within a week of having the new roof, we had the biggest snowstorm of last winter.


Having to pay completely out of pocket for a new roof is a good excuse to not do other projects. But, a whole year after I first created that to-do list, I’ve still done none of it. But! But!

For someone who hates painting, I sure do take on a lot of paint jobs for no reason at all. The first this year was making an ugly part of our garden a whole lot less ugly and a whole lot more fun looking. Success!

And then, while procrastinating doing another project that I still haven’t finished (I think, by now, you must have a sense of the kind of person I am), I did something else with paint that totally transformed a super duper ugly thing into something really pretty and fun. Success!

I also finally got that outdoor couch I had been wanting since our first summer here.

Client Projects

Some of the most fun I’ve had this year has been taking on client projects. I have worked on nurseries, bedrooms, living and dining rooms and have loved every second. As I mentioned earlier, I plan on expanding in that direction in 2018 and hope to be able to share with you more details, especially if you’d like to hire me for various home projects. More to come there.


Food, Food and More Food

Daniel wrote a (very funny) recipe for a garden vegetable salad using the vegetables we grow in our garden.

After my parents and I were supposed to cook together and then my parents backed out at the last minute – failure! – my dad came through with something maybe even better, a recipe for a super simple and refreshing cocktail – success!

Beyond those two recipes, though, I think every recipe I did of my grandmother’s was some level of failure. They all came out tasting great, even if I messed up the process. Well, all except for one.

The dish that came out the best, and probably because I’ve made it before, is this onion tart recipe. This savory shrimp flan and this fish mousse both tasted great but I definitely messed up something somewhere. The one that was a tragedy was a chocolate dessert that looked pretty but was all kinds of messed up. It came out much better when I redid it.

But translating my grandmother’s recipes is all about the journey, not just the outcome, which is the same for making our house a home.

On that note, I hope you all lived through – and loved and laughed through – the journey that was 2017. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from The 256 Project!



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