Very exciting things are happening in Alabama. You all know how much I love the fact that I am a southern lady.  Well, during the month of October I get to participate in two very exciting things.

  1. I will be participating in a blog “linky party,” called 31 Days, sponsored by The Nester.  It’s a challenge to bloggers to write on one topic for 31 days.  My topic is…31 Days of Starting Overwith a southern twist.
  2. I will be proclaiming my love for the state of Alabama with a giveaway for you! In the lovely city of Homewood, AL, there lives a merchant called Alabama Goods where every item sold is hand-crafted by Alabama residents.  If you’ve never been in the store, it’s high time you checked them out. In the meantime, take a look at my slide show below.


And here is the grand prize for October – two very popular items in their store.  A cutting board crafted by Jim Priest out of Wetumpka, AL, made out of Alabama woods such as maple, oak and various other home-grown trees. And a dish towel hand-sewn by Deborah Elliott from Birmingham, made out of flour sackcloth with a fall applique.  What fun in your kitchen!

Free to a lucky Cozinest subscriber and shopper of Alabama Goods.
Free to a lucky Cozinest subscriber and shopper of Alabama Goods.

And here is how one lucky person will win this fabulous prize valued at approximately $75.

  • Subscribe to by email in top right corner of this page.
  • Leave a comment on an October post.
  • Visit Alabama Goods shop in Homewood, Al.  They will have a fish bowl on site for easy registration and you’ll get to see all the great products they have in person.  The drawing will be done by on October 31st.

So, today I am starting over with a whole new topic, new giveaway, new friends in the blog world and in the great state of Alabama.  What have you recently started over?  New life as an empty-nester? Newlywed? Single mom? New homeowner?  New weight loss plan? Let’s explore these together during the month of October.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


Ok, so there is nothing new under the sun.  I agree with that.  So, that means I can borrow ideas from others and adjust them to fit my needs.  Right? So here’s my not-so-new idea.

My Not-so-New Idea for French Country Decor

You’ve seen the Julie & Julia movie several times by now.  Well, don’t worry, I’m NOT going to cook my way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” like Julie Powell did; but I am attempting something similar for a possible French outcome.

I recently watched the documentary about Nora Ephron, the director and screenwriter for the movie, Julie & Julia. I had no idea she was so prolific. It’s funny how we know all about the actors in our favorite movies, but little to nothing about those behind the scenes. There are so many French designs that I love.  I love French Country, French Industrial, and although I’m really not that much into Farmhouse, the French Farmhouse is equally adorable. So, my not-so-new idea is to share with you some of my favorite bloggers who do the French styles so well. Instead of cooking through a French cookbook, I’ll be sharing little things about these looks, their origination and what it is that makes them French.

My trip to Aix en Provence a few years ago was the icing on the cake for my love of French style. Our few souvenirs from that stop remain some of my favorite small decor accessories. You’ll find more style if you keep reading.

Designthusiasm is the first French Country Website to consider when planning this style for your home.

Lory at Designthusiasm began her blog sharing her tablescapes with friends and family. Her Easter table is divine.

The flowers remind me of a rolling French landscape brimming with blooms. And look at the gorgeous frosted glass poppy bowls from Annieglass.  Poppies are all over Europe, so to add this breathtaking glass to your table is oh so French!

Now if you want the real authentic French Country living experience via the internet, do not miss Sharon Santoni over at My French Country Home.

On her blog, she shares lovely stories of chateaus, writer’s residences, and the things we are all missing, like tea for two. Her series, “Country Homes Around The World,” will entertain and wow you at the same time. Everytime I visit her blog, I want to put my house up for sale and move to Europe. Just for fun, read all about her staff and how many of them have done just that!.

Cindy over at Edith and Evelyn would be the next blogger I have to include in this French “movie.”

After you read her about page, you will fall in love with her – even if you don’t care for French Country style. I was blown away that she named her blog after her mama (Edith) and her mother-in-law, (Evelyn). You can tangibly feel the love she has for these two women in her story.

The story of how she grew up in southwest Missouri and then moved to the deep south, is what won me over to seek her out on Instagram. It was a double blessing when I found her booth in a local antique mall near me. 

Cindy’s use of religious relics in her everyday decor is beautiful. Her post on Sacred Hearts now has me on the hunt for these beautiful hearts.

not-so-new idea

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

You’ll find Anita Joyce celebrating her 10 year anniversary of blogging at Cedar Hill Farmhouse. Her website is filled with project pictures, her books and tours of the remodel of their farmhouse near Round Top, TX.

French Country Cottage

The style and photography of Courtney at French Country Cottage will make her your new addiction. Her Spring door decor is straight out of an Italian seaside town. The European styling of her olive baskets make them a perfect addition to this French Country tour.

olive baskets by French Country Cottage

Maison Decor

I found Amy Chalmers at Maison Decor while trying to find a tutorial for reupholstering a chair. I read that post over and over again as I started my own project. That post is coming soon. But I have to thank Amy for her detailed pictures and tutorial for reupholstering a French chair. But, after I read the post about the chair, I found myself loving her other posts about her dollhouse, French courtyard, Florentine pumpkins for Fall and spending Christmas at home in 2020.

Love French Style

And finally, I end this French Country tour with Love French Style by Katie Anderson. The thing I love about her blog is that yes, it is about French style, but it is also about simple home life…. in France.

flea market finds in France

My not so new idea was to take the idea of working through a French Cookbook and stroll through French Country blog sites that I love. This post was originally about cooking through a diet cookbook. I decided that was boring! So.. for a much more fun post….These are bloggers who are consistent and keep up my appetite for French design. And, the calories are ZERO!

The simplicity, vintage and relaxed style of French style make for a lovely home. What do you think of French Country? Do you have a favorite blog you follow?

I have a new project.  Once 007 retired and cleaned out his work office, we had a few too many items to display.  He received so many gifts and awards through the years, that we decided to focus on his accomplishments. He has worked very hard the last 36 years and I wanted it to show. I’ve taken a few before shots without even straightening the desk.  I want you to see it in it’s full disfunction.

Home Office Before

Organizing a Home Office Using Antiques & Collectibles

In its current state, it feels sloppy and disorganized.  The vine hanging down was an accident, thanks to Mr. O’haraRoo – our cat. That’s a story for another day.

Office BeforeI apologize for the poor quality photos. These were made with an old phone. One good thing I can say about this tho, it’s a “view to a thrill.”  The pictures on the desk are family photos taken in Disney World.

Home Office After

Using Antiques in Home Office Decor

Home Office

My retirement gift to 007 was an antique voltage meter which I placed on top of the credenza hutch.

miss electra

Alabama Power’s Miss Electra is an award he earned.


36 Years of Southernisms at Work.

His coworkers made this for him. It contains all of his repeated sayings. Such fun!

corner curio

Family photos were updated and an inbox added to keep us on our toes. Hehe! You’ll notice the baby shoes on the desk. They’re on the list to be bronzed. What do you think of the corner curio? Should I paint it? If so, I’m thinking of adding books, etc. for the office instead of storing our extra china.

family photos

Thing 1’s Wedding Day

antique suitcase speaker

This suitcase was a gift to 007 from his mom. She gave it to him the day he graduated from Auburn University. He packed his suits for interviews, swim trunks for vacations and steel-toed boots for plant visits. It was a great gift. He didn’t want to part with it when he changed to rolling luggage, so Wade at Dr. Music converted it into a bluetooth speaker for him. Now we can enjoy our playlist from any room in the house, including the office.

Home Office Before and After

So what do you think? Better?