It’s About Party Time! Introducing Nora Fleming

Nora Fleming and Carol Zeien, Two New Women in my Life!

There’s so much to unpack in this week’s post! All kinds of great new things are happening at CoziNest. First, and most importantly. let me introduce you to two new women in my life. Carol Zeien and Nora Fleming!  Carol, is a beautiful – inside and out, lady who is my new business partner at the shop at Southern Antiques & Accents.

She brings with her a wealth of knowledge about retail, a mutual love of our Lord and a dear, sweet friendship. She moved to the Fairhope area about a year ago and we met through a group of artist on the Eastern Shore. It is rare in life that you meet someone and feel you’ve known them your whole life, but this is the case with Carol.

Carol Zeien

For 12 years in the state of Iowa, Carol owned and operated her own tea room and gift shop, named Imagine This. The thing she still loves about her business is being able to use her creativity to help others make their own creative vision come to life while contributing financially to her family. She continues to paint as a freelance artist under the name Imagine This.

She is married to Don, Retired Chief Warrant Officer 3, US Navy who served 22 years in active duty. Their two daughters are Chandler and Camden. Chandler is married to Dustin Brannam, Captain, US Marine, and they are stationed in San Diego, CA. Chandler is a physical therapist at Rady Children’s Hospital. Their youngest daughter, Camden, is a student at Pensacola State where she is preparing for a career as an aesthetician.

carol and don zeien

Carol’s expertise in choosing inventory has already made a big hit in our shop. We now offer Mad Dash Food Mixes which sell out every time we sample them. They are selling like hot cakes for gift baskets as well as quick and easy dinners for our patrons.

We also offer teas from AppWyld Teas in North Carolina, scones, jams and lemon curd! AppWyld also makes their own bath salts and bath bombs which are brand new in the shop! Come in soon to make up a gift basket for those on your Christmas list, or to mark dinner off your grocery list.

Key Lime Pie Package


Carol is an incredibly talented artist

She paints commissioned pieces as well as some beautiful wall art that is for sale in our shop. She sent me a picture of this sheep a few days after we met and it SOLD immediately. Can you believe the eyes?


Carol Zeien Sheep

After hanging “Be Still” in MY den, we’ve been busy filling the shop with new and exciting inventory. One of my favorites is Nora Fleming.

An Ah-Hah Moment with Nora Fleming

A few months ago a customer of mine called with a suggestion. She asked me to consider carrying Nora Fleming in my shop. I had never heard of of Nora Fleming, so I asked her to tell me about it. Robin, thank you so very much!!! As she talked about the collection, I could hear her passion about the line and so I filed it away for future consideration.

When Carol and I discussed inventory weeks later, I asked if she had heard of it and yes! She had actually carried the line in her store in Iowa and was totally on board with adding it to our inventory.

I fell in love with the line as soon as I started researching. I have always loved entertaining and the simplicity of these platters, trays and bowls with interchangeable minis is such a no brainer!

If you love playing hostess but don’t have the space to store serving pieces for every holiday, Nora Fleming is your new best friend. The minis are small and don’t take up much space, but offer you so many options for every holiday and event of the year. One gift. Every occasion. Here’s how it works:

1. Select your base and mini

Nora Fleming Bread Tray


This is our bread tray with the collegiate helmet for the University of Alabama. We currently have Auburn, AL and and LSU in stock. We can order other schools if Nora Fleming has the license for your particular team.



LSU is represented here with the Octagonal Platter.

2. Dab hole in base with water and slip mini into the hole

nora fleming maple tidbit

3. Pull the mini stem from underneath to secure

These platters, trays and crocks make a great start to a gift basket. Brides love them. They make a great family gift for those family Christmas games like Dirty Santa or for the name you draw at the office. Start with a tray and mini, then add one of our Mad Dash Mixes, tea, scone mix or lemon curd for a unique gift for under $100.

Your gift will be loved and you’ll have ideas built in for the next birthday or holiday. The minis are both affordable and loveable and make collectors very happy!


Nora Fleming Minis

There’s a delightful mini for 12 months of the year! They are collectible and do retire, so be sure to get the ones you love as soon as you see them. They may not be here the next time you come in. Locations who have permission to carry Nora Fleming are limited to 25 miles between stores. We are lucky to have this line in Fairhope! Drop by the store to see the new line and hear about an upcoming promotion.

Our current inventory of minis include options for Valentine’s, Easter, Spring, St. Patty’s, birthdays, Summer, patriotic holidays, Fall, Football season, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, We may not get another order in before Christmas, so If you are a collector, hurry in!

If you are already familiar with Nora Fleming, please comment below and tell us about your favorite mini or event. We would love to hear! Also, please share this email with your friends! We want to spread the word about this beautiful new line in Shop #115 at Southern Antiques & Accents in Fairhope, AL.

The Spirit of Loveliness: Hospitality

The Spirit of Hospitality

It was from the book, The Spirit of Loveliness by Emily Barnes, and this chapter that I first began to love entertaining in my home. Before I read this chapter on the spirit of hospitality, I felt that in order to entertain properly, everything had to be perfect.  The table had to be set beautifully, my house had to be spotless, the meal was suppose to be gourmet, all with candles burning and fresh flowers or a seasonal centerpiece on the table.

Special Occasions

There are special occasions where this is called for, like in the pictures above.  This was my daughter’s 18th birthday and I spent days planning, cooking and decorating for this very special occasion.  It was a blast.

But, the true spirit of hospitality is what I learned at home from my momma.  Mom worked outside the home and so Saturdays were our cleaning days.  Every Saturday, we three girls would get out of bed, eat breakfast while watching a few cartoons, and then start cleaning our 3 bedroom, 1 bath home.  Momma would hurry us along so it wouldn’t take all day; but, we would laugh, horse around and a lot of days it took the whole Saturday.


A Knock on the Door

Regardless of our schedule, however, every Saturday there would be a knock on the back door.  The screen door was always open, so we usually heard Momma holler, “Come in.”  My daddy was the chief of police in our small town, so sometimes it was an officer looking for him, it might be one of my friends, a neighbor or a relative, but it seemed someone always visited us on Saturday.

On one particular Saturday, I remember a very intoxicated woman showed up who didn’t realize that her monthly visitor had shown up that morning.  Momma very politely and discreetly directed her to our bathroom so she could clean herself up.  Then they sat down to have a conversation that I’m sure the woman didn’t remember having that afternoon.  It didn’t matter to Momma.

The only time I remember Momma being frustrated when visitors knocked on the door, was when the Jehovah’s Witness would show up.  We girls would roll our eyes and whisper to Momma not to answer the door.  But, oh no.  “Come in,” she hollered and in they came and down they sat, sometimes for hours.

We were Christian, but not of that denomination and it seemed that one Saturday a month, they were determined to convert my momma.  But in true “momma fashion”, she invited them in and tried to convert them.  I know that my mom would have preferred that we keep cleaning, but when she sat –  we played, so on these Saturdays it likely took all day to clean our little house.

Saturday’s Lessons on the Spirit of Hospitality

The lessons I learned from these Saturdays are:

  • It doesn’t matter if your house is clean.  It only matters that people feel welcome in your home.
  • Treat everyone the same, regardless of their religion, politics or morals.
  • Look up from whatever you are concentrating on when people are in your presence.  They are more important than tasks.
  • Cleaning can be fun – with your sisters.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness

My challenge to ladies today is this, put down your phone, iPad and laptop and spend some original face time with a friend.  Nothing compares.