Happy New Year my Friends!

(Please forgive my belated holiday recap.) The forecast called for the snow to begin around 5pm on Dec25, and no meteorologist wanted to make anything more than a vague prediction of how much, how long, if it would stick, etc. So imagine my surprise when - after a very late night of our big family celebration, and 40 degree temp still at 1am - my sleepy, stuffy headed self awoke just before 10:00, threw open the drape, and saw 3 inches of snow had already fallen. I woke my Mr. Cheese with the oh-so-ladylike "Holy s**t!" Truly stunned, we dressed as quickly as possible and ran outside to soak in the joy of the white stuff. You see, this was our very first white Christmas, and one of the best presents ever!

Before heading over to my mother-in-law's house, we went for a walk on our mile-long pedestrian bridge, from the North Shore to downtown. A pointy chinned snowman greeted us at the foot of the bridge.
The cupola of the building that houses the carousel at Coolidge Park.
The Delta Queen (Now a hotel - I wonder how many guests were aboard?)
Walking the Walnut St. Pedestrian Bridge.
The Hunter (Art) Museum perched atop the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River.
Coolidge Park...as quiet as I've ever seen it.
My mother-in-law's house.
Mother-in-law's pup loving her new doghouse (note how it matches the colors of her Tudor home).
The snowy woods in our back yard.
It's been a busy but fun holiday season for us. My parents are visiting from Tx, Mom is teaching me to sew today, we are attending a party tonight, and we're off to Tellico Plains tomorrow for my girl Jenn's wedding. By the end of next week, we should be back to our regular schedules and I'm looking forward to catching up on blogging, reading, and sleep.

HAPPY NEW YEAR my Lovelies!!! Have fun and be safe!


Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! I'm a little late with my glad tidings, but I hope you have all had a safe and wonderful holiday! Mother nature had a fantastic surprise for us - our first ever white Christmas. And it's still snowing! I will share more pics tomorrow.


Sweet 70's Ride

My husband recently cleaned up and sold this sweet 1976 Yamaha Moto-Bike. It was screaming to be photographed.


Etsy Shop Shipping Schedule & Discount

Just a little reminder, purchases from The Cottage Cheese's Etsy shop must be made by December 15 for USPS Priority and Fedex shipping to the lower 48 states. (*Books are set up to ship media mail, so if you need a book by Christmas, please contact me in advance for priority shipping rate).

AND... type "blog follower" in notes to seller on purchases through December 15 and receive 10% off your order (item price, via Paypal refund).

Happy shopping!



We picked out our perfect 8 foot skinny frazer fir tree on Tuesday, and after spending three hours that night fighting with troublesome lights (it was like a scene out of a movie, instead of joy and cheer, it devolved into explatives flying from my mouth), it was almost midnight and we were as pooped as the pup below (although not looking as cute). So our tree is still naked except for lights. Even though only partially "dressed" it's still looking quite lovely. We won't have time to finish the decoration until later this weekend. But I did find a little time today to share some of my favorite (thus far) Christmas-y images from the web.

1, 3,4 - Merry Christmas Bitches
2,6 - Dottie Angel
5 - Cable and Cotton via six oh three

My weekend plans: Tonight - Swanky office Christmas party (I hear these get quite crazy, in fact the CEO told a co-worker of mine who has had the flu all week to stay home and save her strength for the party). Tomorrow - possibly recovering from said party, estate sales, shipping, shop listings, raking leaves, decorating the tree. Sunday - shopping for gifts online, catching up on sleep, and general hibernation. I plan on wearing head to toe fleece, not leaving the house, and having a blanket and cup of tea or cocoa nearby at all times. Oh, and if it snows, building a snowman.

What are your plans for the weekend?


Scenes from Autumn

Now that almost all of the leaves have fallen, I'm finally getting around to sharing a few scenes from my Autumn. Hiking in the Smokies...

Making apple crisp...
Driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains...
While I haven't had enough time to to enjoy more moments like this, I relish the ones I've had. Today I'm helping Mr. Cheese's aunt with a Christmas fundraiser for her animal rescue group. My evenings this past week have been spent baking goodies (for people and for pets), It has been quite fun puttering around the kitchen so much. Puts me in a festive mood.

Yours truly,

Mrs. Cheese, domestic goddess.


New couch! White walls!

After a year of searching for an affordable, comfortable, modern couch, we finally found one! We scored an amazing (half price) deal on a floor model in excellent condition from Smart Furniture. The Blu Dot Large Animal Sofa will be delivered today! Our Eames Lounge chair (a summer craigslist find) will have a fitting companion and will no longer be crowded in a corner by a big hulking brown sectional. We also just finished painting the walls white. Now we just need a new rug, floor lamp, and coffee table, although those will have to wait because the vet bills put a big hurt on the decorating budget. I will share pics of the room in a couple of weeks when it is all put together. For now, enjoy this Big Animal sofa from Desire to Inspire's "pets on furniture" post series...

And you MUST check out this post from Design Addict Mom. Dreamy white interiors.

P.S. Dodge is healing well. He goes in for his follow-up visit in about 10 days and the orthopedic surgeon will tell us whether or not he will need surgery on one of his legs. The leg does appear to be healing on it's own, although Dodge's playful nature makes it difficult for us to keep him as immobile as he should be. Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and words!


Home for the Holidays

Unfortunately, I won't be able to spend the holidays with my family this year (although my parents are coming for a post-Christmas visit, yay!). As a tribute to my family, I composed this treasury filled with items inspired by several generations of holiday traditions: cutting the tree, those big old-style Christmas lights, baking snickerdoodles with my Mom and my sister, heated Scrabble games, special meals with family, goodies found in our advent calendars, and snuggling by the fire. See something you like? Click here to view the treasury and link to the item.


Green Dining

I stumbled upon a couple of gorgeous green dining rooms, and went on the hunt for more. I had a surprisingly difficult time finding green dining rooms that really work. These five are fabulous!
(I'm not too keen on the chair bases in that last pic, but the rest of the room is so amazing that I can overlook them.)


November Stats

68 cheese-wrapped pills slipped to my pup Dodge
6 average hours of sleep per night (not enough)
31 parcels shipped
532 work emails sent/received (perhaps why I'm not on the computer as much at home?)
3 blog posts, including this one

I promise to return to more regular blogging this week. I miss it, and I miss you guys!

Image above is a batik, available here.


The Talented Ms. Sedaris: Glue Guns & Googly Eyes

I'm giddy! Amy Sedaris's new book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People has just been added my Christmas wishlist (you listening Santa?)
This Etsy interview with Sedaris had me grinning from ear to ear, and feeling inspired to go collect acorns and whip out the glue gun.
Photos via Etsy


Update on Dodge

An update on my last post: My pup Dodge is home now and doing better than expected for a dog who got pummeled by a fast-moving truck. He is heavily medicated and pretty immobile, but incredibly lucky to be alive and in one piece. My husband spent the afternoon reinforcing the fence, although I doubt that Dodge will be pulling his Houdini act anytime soon. Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments!


The Horror

That famous painting above, well that was me this morning. Let me preface the following by saying that all will be ok, or at least appears that it will be. Unfortunately my Halloween actually did begin with a scream (mine) as I watched my dog Dodge (who had escaped from the fence) get hit by a truck going 30 piles per hour. The vet at the emergency animal hospital was downright amazed that all 12 or so x-rays showed no broken bones and no internal injuries, so it looks like he will be ok. Dodge has some pretty bad "soft tissue" injuries and ugly wounds, so the vet is monitoring him for the day, but we hope to be able to bring him home from the animal hospital tonight. We feel VERY lucky to have such a tough dog. I will keep you posted on his condition.

Enjoy your Halloween everyone - have fun, stay safe!



A must-have for the well-dressed dog this season: ROVER peacoats and trenchcoats.

I've been missing blogworld these past few weeks, life has been a little over-booked lately. Mr. Cheese and I have been enjoying time with family, including numerous birthday celebrations and a trip to North Carolina for a family get-together. On a less pleasant note, two tornados hit a few miles from my house over the past two days. Scary stuff, but no lives lost and our city is very lucky to have sustained as little damage as we did. I'm also moving into a new position at work, which I'm a little anxious about. Hopefully after the weekend I can sit back, relax, and catch up on my reading!