Friday, January 29, 2010

What is up with this blog??

I'm sorry!!

I keep changing the layout of my blog...I think I've gone through 3 in the past 2 weeks.

It's just that I can't seem to find "it." You know what I mean???

AND...just what is CRANBERRY COTTAGE?? It doesn't really give anyone a clue as to what this blog is about. Let me explain - several years ago when I began my soap-making business I struggled with a name for it and somehow along the line came up with Cranberry Cottage (I do have several Cranberry scents.) The blog came along with the soap-making, which made "Cranberry Cottage" seem appropriate. The soap business is on the back burner for the time-being, although I still have a bit in my etsy shop. So..that's the story there.

This week was a wonderful week spent enjoying the Woman Inspired Conference on Creativity. Please go to their site and check out all that they have to offer! You won't regret it!!
Before I leave you, I must show you this picture of my grandson that just begs to be shared with the world. Here he is sporting his Mr. Potato Head glasses.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


If you are not already signed up...might I suggest that you head on over to the site..."A Woman Inspired"... and sign up for the Nurturing Creativity and Efficient Living conference which will begin on Monday!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting Organized

This past week I have been seriously following along with Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary. The tasks have been small and easy to accomplish, but the fact of the matter is that I AM accomplishing something!!! I love her thoughts on making our home our sanctuary, and this includes beauty, peace, and order. This week, during my minimum maintenance routine, I did some "ordering" behind closed doors. It's always easy for me to shut a door and forget about it - "Out of sight, out of mind." I must say, that in my mind, this small task not only brought some order, but also a measure of peace and beauty to me!!!

Don't forget to check out my post where I'm giving away a copy of the book - The One Day Way - I will be choosing a winner tomorrow!! (Click on the book title and you will be taken to it!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

I just so happened upon a reading challenge that utilizes the local library. WELL... here is a picture of the library that is just two blocks from my house. I have to say, it is a very nice library for our small town. I should know, I work there!!

There are several levels to the challenge:

  • Mini - check out and read 25 books
  • Just my size - check out and read 50 books
  • Stepping it up - check out and read 75 books
  • Super size me - check out and read 100 books
I am all for supporting my local library, so I think that I will step up to the challenge with the "Stepping it up" level.
I will record the books that I read at this post. Our library has a wonderful loan network, so I am able to get just about any book my heart desires!!
**I just want to say that after reading some of these books, they are not all ones that I would recommend. After working at the library, there were several authors and genres that I wanted to check out. Some were great reads...others not so much.
1. White Picket Fences - by Susan Meissner
2. When She Flew - by Jennie Shortridge
3. Rain Song - by Alice Wisler
4. Breach of Trust - by DiAnn Mills
5. Things Worth Remembering - by Jackina Stark
6. The New Frugality - by Chris Farrell
7. Leaving Carolina - by Tamara Leigh
8. Not My Daughter - by Barbara Delinsky
9. Going Rogue - by Sarah Palin
10. Tender Grace - by Jackina Stark
11. The Passion of Mary-Margaret - by Lisa Samson
12. The Moment Between - by Nicole Baart
13. White Crosses - by Larry Watson

14. Roses - by Leila Meacham
15. The Choice - Suzanne Woods Fisher
16. Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
17. The Things that Keep us Here - Carla Buckley
18. The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half - Stephanie Nelson
19. Grooming the Next Generation for Success - Dani Johnson
20. Anything but Normal - Melody Carlson
21. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
22. The Wives of Henry Oades - Johanna Moran
23. The Parting - Beverly Lewis
24. Sixteen Brides - Stephanie Grace Whitson
25. The Language of Secrets - Dianne Dixon
26. The Postmistress - Sarah Blake
27. A Soft Place to Land - Susan Rebecca White
28. House Rules - Jodie Picoult
29. The Other Family - Joanna Trollope
30. At the Scent of Water - Linda Nichols
31. My Name is Mary Sutter - Robin Oliveira
32. Maid to Match - Deeanne Gist
33. Hannah's List - Debbie Macomber
34. Whistling in the Dark - Debbie Kagen
35. Velva Jean Learns to Drive - Jennifer Niven
36. Though Waters Roar - Lynn Austin
37. Sold - Patricia McCormick
38. Putting Away Childish Things - Marcus Borg
39. Sister Wife - Shelley Hrdlitschka
40. Look Again - Lisa Scottoline
41. The Sister Wife - Diane Noble
42. The Mountain Between Us - Charles Martin
43. Secret Daughter - Shilpi Somaya Gowda
44. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
45. Stiltsville - Susanna Daniel
46. Crossing Oceans - Gina Holmes
47. The Castaways - Elin Hilderbrand
48. No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay
49. Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean - Tere Deperrault
50. Daisy Chain - Mary DeMuth
51. A Slow Burn - Mary DeMuth
52. When I Lay My Isaac Down - Carol Kent
53. A New Kind of Normal - Carol Kent
54. While We're Far Apart - Lynn Austin
55. Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah
56. The Violin of Auschwitz - Maria Angels Anglada
57. Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust - Fern Chapman
58. The House on Malcolm Street - Leisha Kelly
59. Lady in Waiting - Susan Meissner
60. Authentic Faith - Gary Thomas
61. Life in Defiance - Mary DeMuth
62. Promise Me - Richard Paul Evans
63. A Secret Kept - Tatiana De Rosnay
64. For Time and Eternity - Allison Pittman
65. Safe Haven - Nicholas Sparks

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 and a Giveaway!!

This giveaway has ended!! Thanks to all who commented. The winner is the blogger Wreaklamation!
For the past week I have been looking through blogs and articles, eagerly reading what others have planned for the new year. While I have not set any specific new year's resolutions, I am looking forward to this year as a year of many areas. I'd have to say that I plan to work most on ...or change the most... in the following three area (not in any particular order!!)


One of the blogs that I happened upon was Home Sanctuary. Each day Rachel posts "Today's Small Thing." The "small thing" is designed to help us make our home a sanctuary. They may be small things, but every small thing adds up!! Literally, too...because Rachel assigns points to each small thing and then points are tallied, sent in, and prizes are given at the end of each month. So far I've been able to accomplish each task given and I look forward to finding out what the task of the day will be! I know that this site will be a great help to me in getting the little things accomplished rather than putting them off...again and again!! I look forward to making my home more of a Sanctuary in 2010!

Bethany House Publishers sent me a free copy of "Closer" by Jim and Cathy Burns for review. The sub-title is Devotions to Draw Couples Together. After reading through this book, I will have to say that 2010 will be a year of working on my marriage. I look forward to going through this book with my husband. The Burns admit that they have tried just about every devotional and have not been disciplined enough to keep at it. I'm sure that's the case for most of us. Their book offers 52 chapters - each chapter is just a few pages long. So, there's enough to focus on just one short chapter per week for a year! At the end of each chapter is a section called "Faith Conversations." These conversations are three questions or statements to draw out conversation. After the "Faith Conversations," the chapters conclude with a section called "A Step Closer." This section requires more involvement, such as writing out the story of your relationship, setting goals, brainstorming date ideas, listing weakness of your marriage, etc. The chapters are short, yet packed with so much to think about and many ideas to implement into one's marriage. Very, very practical and doable. I, for one, am looking forward to going through this book with my husband this year.Last, but perhaps not's the dreaded thinking about how to get in shape/lose that weight in the coming new year. "The One Day Way" was provided to me for review by the Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing Group. The premise of the book is to keep it simple, nothing complicated, expensive or temporary. The author, Chantel Hobbs, encourages you to keep your focus on today and today only. Personally, I felt that Chantel took a lot of time laying the foundation (the "how to think" part) of the book. But once I get farther along in actually working my way through this in actuality, I think I may find that I will need to go back and reread the beginning sections for motivation. (She's been there, done that, and most likely knows what she's talking about!) I have to say that the section on meal plans was fabulous! The foods are simple, easy to obtain, easy to make - they look like something I could stick with. There's a great section on strength-training workouts along with pictures. I highly recommend this book and expect it to be my constant companion throughout the coming year! You can purchase the book here.

The publishers have given me an extra copy of "The One Day Way" to give to one of my readers!! Just make a comment on this post telling me three things you plan on working on this coming year. Mention this giveaway in a post, tweet, etc. and let me know and you will receive two entries!!!