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New Year Reflections & Possibilities

Can you believe it is already the 7th of January in the new year?

Where did the year go? Not just days... more like weeks. 
2018  absolutely zoomed by.
And today, I am looking back and sharing my thoughts and reflections on the year that was and dreaming about new possibilities.

I have been on a bit of a break here on the blog.
And it has been wonderful.
Starting the year with a rested and rejuvenated mindset and a grateful heart.
And here we are- back to work this first full week of 2019 and I am SO excited to share so much with you this year. 
And first- one of my favorite posts of the year every year-
reflecting and being thankful for the year that was and dreaming about possibilities in the new one. 

New experiences, new people and friends old and new-
 and big dreams coming to life.

Like most years, there were ups and there were downs. 
There were some things close to my heart personally that took a bit of a toll- 
and there were things I learned from trusting too much in others.

And I know that it was a hard year for so many and I hope that 2019 brings good your way
and many more smiles than tears.


A year of long held dreams and lots of hard work for many years 
coming to fruition. 

The Year of the Book 

2018 brought a huge dream to life. 
A dream that started long ago as a little tiny spark in childhood
and grew again the the day we bought this house and again when I started this blog.
And that was a dream that I kept working towards and felt like was just beyond reach until I held that contract in my hands in 2017. 
It was the year of my First Book being published.
(can I write that again?!) 

The book brought 224 pages of this house to print.
It told the story of why I love flowers, playing house and what shaped my vision.
How this house taught me about who I am without even realizing it. 
And the book brought much more along with it. 

Wonderful celebrations with my friends, design idols  and colleagues
and it brought meeting and hugging so many of you in real life.
I feel like I have known you for years and to finally meet you was such a treat for me.

And it brought some lessons that helped me grow.
Being in front of people. Speaking. Signing books. Media appearances.
It sounds simple- but for someone behind the computer most times?
A little out of the comfort zone. 
With the book, I had to be comfortable with sharing more of 'me' 
 and not being able to edit it if/when someone critiqued me for being too emotional.
Once it is in print- it is in print- it isn't a blog you can edit whenever you like.
So a big lesson in 2018 was becoming okay with sharing more of my emotional side
& getting used to feeling a bit out there.

Opening Doors

The year also brought some of the other dreams that had been in the works for awhile to fruition. 
My first licensed collection for French Country Cottage  launched in March- 
And 2018 strengthened relationships with other brands I work with
 and brought some new ones to the mix
and some changes with some of the others.

I made a conscious decision to cut back in 2018.
Not necessarily an easy decision since this blog is my job
and contributes to our family income.  
But there were goals and dreams that needed my attention and my book
was almost ready to be born and it was just a baby and needed to be raised.
 And the funny thing,  as I focused on things more in line with my goals-
it was as if the universe approved-
new doors with better fit wonderful opportunities opened up.

It really was a year full of growing, learning, trusting and becoming.

New Year- New Possibilities 

365 days in a book full of blank pages and possibilities.  
Dreams. Goals. And taking baby steps towards them every day.
My oldest son is a personal trainer.
And he gives a bit of motivational speeches almost daily on his page (mixed in with his colorful language) and huge amount of energy- and his focus and words remind and encourage me.
Much like getting  those 'abs' or losing that 10 lbs doesn't happen just by thinking about
Dreams take more than dreaming about them. 
And steps on the right path add up to big things.
Even baby steps.
I guess when I look back at where it started to now...
I think I might have said it best last year...

Dreams and this blog
that began one day on a whim are proof 
that sometimes you start walking in a direction
not knowing where that path might take you.
And one day, you find yourself somewhere that is exactly
where you needed to be.

So if you have big dreams that you feel like are so far off - 
just start walking. 
Take that first step. Then the second. And third. 
Plant those dream seedlings and nurture them. 
Focus on them, eat, sleep, breathe them.
Some of the smallest of baby steps that I have taken
have led to the biggest of dreams starting to be nurtured.

I am Grateful

2018  brought so much to be so grateful for.
And that absolutely includes each of you. 
You are all a huge part of the French Country Cottage family and community
 and I am so thankful to you for your kind words and friendship 
and for your  support of my blog and of me this year.
Your comments, emails and words of encouragement and thoughts are huge to me.
Without you- French Country Cottage as it is- wouldn't be.

Welcome 2019

I am excited for you.

A new year with blank pages that are full of  Possibilities.
Dreams, magic filled moments & beautiful memories 
just waiting to be written.

I hope you are excited too and are looking at the new year as
one full of goodness just waiting to be discovered.

Here is to a healthy happy new year sprinkled with a 
whole lot of magic and dreams come true
 for all of us.


  1. Happy 2019 Courtney,
    Thank you for sharing your blog with us daily; I look forward to sitting down, relaxing and dreaming a little when you share your home and ideas with us. Over the years I tended to "overdo" Christmas decorating. This year I took the time to look at what makes our home "happy" throughout the rest of the year. With that in mind, I incorporated the soft colors with the Christmas sparkle, which hit a homerun! Our home was simply decorated with just enough Christmas magic to make it a fantastic place to celebrate. Thank you for all your guidance throughout the year. Blessings and much joy for you and yours in 2019. Jody

  2. Love your blog. Dreaming of flowers here on snowy upstate New York. My husband purchased your book for me. I have been pouring over it next to the fireplace. Your book certainly was a labor of love and is inspiring. Thank you!

  3. I know 2018 went by so damn fast and now we are into 2019 and I wonder how fast this year will go by. I don't

  4. I bought your book and love every page. Quality and beauty. Best of luck with the future. I just copied and printed your paragraph about taking steps. It's going above my computer for me to read every day. Thanks.

  5. Courtney: I am so happy for you.Without realizing it,your dreams that came true for you have been inspirations to others.Here is to a wonderful New Year.Dreams do come true.

  6. Thank you Courtney for your blog, one I read regularly. I hope 2019 is as great as you want it to be! Blessings!

  7. Baby steps toward quilting, that’s my goal in 2019. Your writing was such an encouragement. I’m stuck in a rut creating only baby quilts but this is THE year to make a bed-sized quilt! My true motivation is to give it as a wedding present to my daughter, guess I better get busy!1

  8. Knowing where you were at the end of 2017, now looking at where you are at the end of 2018. Something tells me you that you handled your self very well in the business world. When the fork in the road comes brave decision have to be made. May 2019 be just as fulfilling for you.

  9. What a wonderful year you've had! I've loved following along. Thank you for the inspiring words. I am ready to set some goals for 2019!

  10. Very well said and written! This has really inspired me to take baby steps. Thank you.

  11. Happy 2019 to all.. Can't wait to see more of the same. Lovely French design..A trip every time we visited the blog.

  12. You are an inspiration to us all...because of you, I have gone much lighter in my home. I have into Country French decorating since I watched Kitty Bartholomew on HGTV, when we got that channel on cable...before I moved to SC, back then I was in the richer darker colors, but now I have gradually morphed into soft pastel greens/blues! So peaceful!

  13. LOVE this post! AND the twinkle lights on those peonies are so dreamy