The Makings for a Cozy Mountain Cottage



The North Georgia Mountains are a special, special place. While we spend most of our time in Florida, very close to Pensacola, we also own a cozy mountain cottage in the North Georgia Mountains. While Florida is great, the Mountains call me home each time. It is so peaceful and relaxing there. Everyone takes life at a slower pace and it truly is just a happy place for me and for others. If you have never visited North Georgia, I highly recommend it. The natural beauty is unlike anything else and you will be content just staring out a window, or taking a walk through the woods, with the cool mountain air breathing down on you.




While the cool streams and soaring mountain tops are gorgeous and jaw dropping, a lot of the homes and cabins there are simple and not overly extravagant. Of course, there are some amazing homes, but it's true when people say that life in the mountains is simple, and that relates to a lot of the homes, as well. When we bought our house in the mountains, I wanted to ensure that our cottage felt like home to us, and that meant being cozy and comfortable. Sure, you can explore outside of your home and be completely content, but at the end of the day, true contentment comes when it's time to come home, relax, recharge, and spend time with the ones you love. Your home should be your safe haven, for lack of a better term. Here are my favorite makings for a cozy mountain cottage:


Warm Blankets
Although the entire year is not cold in the mountains, adding piles of blankets always makes a room feel cozier. I always keep warm blankets stacked on the back of the sofa, no matter the season. After a day of exploring the area, come back to your couch with a bottle of wine and watch a fun movie under a warm blanket. If you’d rather stay outside on the deck, grab a blanket, take a glass or wine (or beverage of your choice) and have a picnic under the stars. One more option would be going to a drive through theatre. There are a couple scattered around The North Georgia Mountains (not in every city, though). If you have one close to you, grab some blankets and a pick up truck and head to the theatre. Make a pallet in the back of the truck and get cozy. No matter what you choose to do, you will have a cozy, romantic night and blankets just always make a great addition.

Seasonal Decor
I have posted previously (like in this post) about loving to put up seasonal decor, especially wreaths! The great thing about the mountains is that it is already so beautiful that you don't need a lot of decor, but a few touches here and there are perfect! In the fall, play up the gorgeous ruby reds and bright yellows and oranges and bring them through your home. In the summer, you could base your decor off of the wild flowers that grow near you, as well as incorporating a lot of greenery. I find that floral touches throughout the house are simple, yet elegant.


A Roaring Fireplace
Like I mentioned above, it is not always cold in the mountains like some assume. With that being said, a roaring fire in the cold months is just dreamy. I think the crackle of the wood and the smell of the fire adds such a traditional scent to the mountain vibe, and, on top of that, it creates a romantic ambiance that you cannot find anywhere else.



Open Windows
The best part of the mountains is all of the natural beauty. Sitting behind closed off windows would be a shame, so please, if you take any advice from this post, make sure to incorporate open windows in your home so you can see all of the gorgeous nature landscapes of the mountains. Incorporating open windows is fantastic, but it can cause a few issues. For example, Georgia has a very crazy weather pattern. In the summer months, it can be quite hot, and in the winter, it can even be cold enough for snow. Having open windows lets that weather in. It heats up your home when it is hot outside and it is hard to keep a home warm in the winter months. If you are experiencing these issues, you may want to look into installing 3M™ Window Films from UHS Window Tinting and Blinds


While curtains and blinds are great for privacy and block out some heat, you don't want to block your view. Window Tinting solves that issue for you! It rejects the sun’s heat, while still preserving your views. It also increases the comfort of your home, complements and protects your blinds (if you are using any), helps save energy, and avoids glare and fading on your furniture. Window Films really solve many, many problems that windows, without curtains can cause you. UHS Window Tinting and Blinds is locally owned and operated and caters to premier residential and commercial locations. They have over 30 years of Atlanta window tinting experience and are committed to giving you a worry-free experience.






Loved Ones

What would be a cozy mountain cottage without your loved ones? My husband and I love taking out beloved dogs with us when we travel to the mountains. Creating a comfortable home is important, but it wouldn't be anything special without your loved ones by your side.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and have a great week!

XOXO,

Julie

*This is a sponsored post, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Five Facts About Me & Ginger's Linkup #16



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How many bloggers do you follow that you don't really know THAT much about? The more I follow certain bloggers, the more fun facts I learn! Like, I've learned that several bloggers I follow are attorneys, like me, or have at least been to law school. So, my friend, Anita, from Saved Classy and Chic and I were discussing it, and we decided to do a post with five facts that you might not know about us! Once you get finished reading my post, head on over to Anita's blog and check out some fun facts about her. 








1. My husband is my law partner, and my Dad shares an office with us. YES, you read that right! That's a lot of family in one office, right? My Dad isn't an attorney, but he does still come to the office every day, at the young age of 85! He's in real estate and oil investments, and aside from practicing law, I'm involved with a lot of projects with my Dad, as well. So, I stay pretty busy! Here's my office crew with my husband on the far left and my Dad on the far right. The ladies are our paralegals...oh, and Bentley, my Poodle, is there too! Always photobombing! 


2. I only have one sister, and neither one of us has any children. I know...that's a bit odd. I do have dogs, which I consider to be my children. I don't think it's any secret how much I love my dogs. I mean, I have a painted portrait of my first Poodle at home and in my office. I've never been one of those people that had a ticking biological clock. I've heard everything from "you're selfish not to have children" to "whose going to carry on the family line." I'm just not one of those people to feel pressured. I'm living MY best life, and being a doggy mom is really one of my favorite things in this whole world! 

Now, before any of you think it, I'm well aware that some of these photos are not blog or Instagram "perfect", but you know what? Neither is real life, and this is my real life, which I'm committed to sharing with you. I snap photos all the time of my cuties doing funny things, and thank God I do, because we lost the little white baby very unexpectedly almost a year ago, and I'm so glad I have my pictures to remind me of all the great memories.

Below is one of the rare occasions I decided to bathe these two wild dogs rather than take them to the groomer. As you can see, they don't look too pleased.



The same two sweeties waiting on their birthday goodies.




Our big German Shepherd as a puppy, not long after he came to live with us. I love the way he's holding his bone between his two back feet! Just tons of cuteness!




The same German Shepherd now! He's really just the sweetest thing and so sensitive!




Me with all three of my little pups. That one in the very front is the wildest and probably the meanest we have. He can make the German Shepherd run for cover.



3. I told my husband while we were dating that I wasn't the domesticated type of girl. Specifically, I told him I wouldn't wash and iron his clothes and pick up after him or cook him meals on a regular basis, if at all. While I will occasionally craft up a fabulous crock pot creation πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, this still holds true almost 14 years into our marriage. Actually, my husband is fabulous! I'm a very lucky girl! He often washes and folds my clothes and loads and unloads the dishwasher. However, our dishwasher is mostly full of coffee cups and spoons! I'm sure when I checkout at the grocery, they wonder what type of party I'm having due to the stack of foam cups and foam plates. That's right...I try not to dirty up any more dishes than possible. That lady below cooking the fancy food..that's NOT me! That leads me to my next fact...



4. I love to eat out, and I really, really love great food! No, I'm not talking about Chili's, Ruby Tuesday or Panda Express. Not that there's anything wrong with those places, and I eat at one or the other every so often. However, I do love a great charcuterie board with a nice glass of wine. My goodness, that can be my entire meal. Don't even get me started on brunch...it's my spirit animal...especially if mimosas are involved! I love trying quaint little places, and I often start planning where we will eat when traveling even before we head out for the trip. For me, the experience is just as important as the food. I cherish a great atmosphere in a restaurant, and those with a great atmosphere are my very favorite places to eat. Oh, and did I mention that I LOVE sweets, oh, and COFFEE?

This dreamy charcuterie board comes from one of my favorite restaurants in Pensacola, Pot Roast & Pinot. They get it right 99% of the time, and they have a wonderful wine selection, as well as some pretty perfect cocktails.


You can read more about our experience with the fabulous tomato salad and dessert below here. It truly was a wonderful experience about an hour or a little less from our Georgia home.





This little gem of a lavender latte comes from one of my favorite Pensacola brunch spots, The Leisure Club. I order this every time I go there.



5.  I'm extremely sentimental, probably to a fault. The most important actual things to me in life are the ones with sentimental value. That brings me to one of my all time most sentimental occasions, the anniversary of which is coming up next month, my wedding. So, I'll share one of my favorite photos of that very special day with you all. It's almost impossible for me to believe this was almost 14 years ago! My, how time flies! 



Last, but certainly not least, I want to mention that Anita from Saved Classy and Chic and I are hosting a $50 Nordstrom Gift Card giveaway on Instagram through Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. CST.  Feel free to enter for a chance to win! 



Now, on to my favorites from last week's link up!  Be sure to check out both of their great blogs! Cheryl from Northwest Mountain Living & Style had a lovely post featuring a pretty pair of shoes, and she styles them several great ways. 



And Ruxandra from Saccharine Soul had a wonderful post about the impact blogging has had on her life and how it's changed it for the better.




Now, let's link up!






I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. It's been raining cats and dogs here, so if you are in a similar situation, I hope you get beautiful weather soon. Your comments make my day, so feel free to let me know what you think.

XOXO,


Julie

How to Style Three Fun Date Night Looks

Woo, hoo guys...it's almost the weekend, and you know what that means...DATE NIGHT! I mean, I'm a frequent restaurant visitor...you know...because I don't cook! However, I love going someplace special and getting just a little dressed up. My ideal night out is to a really great dinner. So, today, I've  partnered with my friend Anita of Saved Classy and Chic to style date night looks for you. That's double the looks, twice the fun, and all that good stuff! 

Head on over to Anita's blog and check out her looks too! If you follow my blog, you know I have an un-waivering love...for...black outfits, that is! So, of the three outfits I've put together for you, they all incorporate some black, of course! How dressy you choose to go really depends on where you're headed for your date.



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Valentine's Wish List for Him and Her Under $100 with Saved Classy and Chic



Well, my friend Anita, of Saved Classy and Chic and I have given you two great Valentine's Day Gift Guides, here and here (that we were pretty pleased with), but this one is special...everything on our lists is under $100! That's right! Gifts don't have to be expensive to be special. It's always the thought that really counts. If you know your partner and listen to them, you'll have a good idea what they might like. My husband and I have been married for almost 14 years, and together for 16 years, so if we exchange Valentine's Day gifts, it's usually something small and thoughtful. 

How To Wear Statement Earrings, Picks Under $50, What I'm Wearing & Ginger's Linkup #15

Who doesn't love a great pair of statement earrings, a gorgeous bracelet or a beautiful necklace?  With Valentine's Day coming up, I know a lot of you ladies are thinking about what to wear, and we all know that accessories can make (or break) the outfit! I'm really loving simple hair styles, like this top knot with bright lip stick and statement earrings. It's really kind of a messy, elegant look.  I've been looking at a lot of cute jewelry lately, and I've rounded up a ton of picks for you...all under $50!



What have you guys got going on this week? It seems like the first of the year has absolutely flown by! This past week, I stayed totally busy running our dogs around to various appointments. If you follow me, you know I have a Poodle, a Lhasa and a German Shepherd. When you have three pups, their schedules can be worse than yours! Plus, when some of them get older, they have little health issues that must be tended to regularly. I wouldn't trade it for anything though, because my pups bring me so much joy. One is barking at me like crazy as I type this...wanting something! People ask me how do I stay thin, or what's my exercise routine. It's really just not getting to sit down for more than five minutes at a time without one of these babies wanting/needing something.

How to Pick the Perfect Valentine's Day Gift & Ginger's Linkup #14


Oh my goodness guys, I've been a bit MIA the last several weeks because my laptop has been on the fritz, and I had to have the keyboard replaced! That's just crazy to me, because I just got it in August! I don't know about y'all, but trying to draft blog posts from your iPad or iPhone just doesn't work for me. Who has time for that? I could do it at the office, but all of my photos aren't on that computer, and blah, blah, blah!  

Anyway, here I am with a new post!  Yay! Let me just say that I have met some great people in the short time that I've been blogging, and Anita Ford of Styled by Anita Ford, is one of those people. She and I are able to brainstorm and talk about this entire process, and it's wonderful. We decided that we wanted to get together and do some Valentine's Gift Guides for you guys, so be sure to check Anita's post out Valentine's Day Collaboration with Ginger Photog. Between the two of us, hopefully, we can give you some great picks or at least point you in the right direction!

How I Styled My JORD Frankie Purpleheart & Plum Watch & JORD Watch Gift Code Giveaway (Ginger's Linkup #13)

Whether classic, elegant, flashy or sporty, I think a watch tells a lot about a person. It speaks to their personality and style. So, when JORD asked me to partner with them, I thought, WOW, a wooden watch is a very interesting concept. I thought about what type of person would wear a wood watch, and, in my mind, it's someone who has an appreciation for natural and sustainable products, who loves nature and who loves the outdoors. All of those things fit into who I am. I highly appreciate natural, sustainable goods. Over the last several years, I've started using all kinds of all natural products, and I love them.