French Country Cottage, the Book and a Giveaway

How many of us dream as young women to one day have a beautiful home,

whether it be a home on the beach, a log cabin in the woods, the big house on the hill

or that quaint cottage as in a fairy tale.

Fairy tales, when the first sentence reads, “Once Upon A Time”

and ends with “And they lived happily ever after.”

Well let’s begin . . .

Once upon a time, there was this young girl who had many hopes and dreams.

Her name is Courtney.


As a young wife and mother . . .

she found her cottage in the woods . . . but it was an “Ugly Duckling”

all alone and abandoned in the woods . . .

but later, she turned that “Ugly Duckling” into a beautiful Swan.

The Swan also known as “French Country Cottage


As a young mom and filled with excitement about turning her “ugly duckling” into the Swan

for her family, using her incredible decorating and styling talents,

she wanted and was encouraged to share her vision with others.


How could she do that?

Courtney’s sister encouraged her to start a blog

to chronicle her journey of restoring the French Country Cottage.


Courtney’s sister introduced her to the world of blogging and Courtney dug right in.

Now it wasn’t easy at the beginning. Courtney’s sister seemed to be the only commentor

for the first six months.


Courtney continued to follow her heart and dreams . . .

Like the Little Engine that could . . . but not taking into consideration

of saying, “I think I can” . . . but the attitude of “I know I can”


The months following came more readers and her blog grew to great proportions

as people discovered how beautiful it was and gained much encouragement and inspiration

from Courtney’s journey.

What was that quote in the movie, Field of Dreams? (my hubby’s favorite)

“if you build it, they will come” …… and they did!


Then came major sponsors . . . and then another dream realized . . .

becoming the Editor of Romantic Homes Magazine.


The girl who described herself as the “girl behind the curtain” posing to be

all confident . . . but sometimes found herself with some doubt . . .

came out from behind that curtain . . . out on the stage . . . in the front row . . .

and danced like no one was looking! . . . but they were looking!


I have known Courtney for  years and I can truthfully say, that she has remained

the same sweet and kind person when I first met her at an event in High Point, N.C.  when she was

just mainly blogging . . . She remains  truly a beautiful soul, till this day.  


Courtney took that beautiful and talented soul of hers

and brought that “Ugly Duckling” cottage back to life,

unearthing the beautiful soul of the home . . . to become The French Country Cottage.


Her She Shed!


So I leave you with this last sneak peek below of Courtney’s book of her most gorgeous,

romantic and charming home . . . and her amazing story.

The iconic bicycle we have  seen in many settings . . . at her home, at the beach,

carrying flowers or her sweet fur baby! How appropriate the bike is,  adorned with balloons . . .

celebrating her journey . . . the realization of her hopes and dreams. . .


So as in the Fairy Tale stories . . . .


And speaking of Happily Ever After . . . I love this book so much that I personally want

to share one with you . . . my dear readers.

So I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader!

Just leave me a comment telling me how much you would love to win this book.

This Giveaway starts today, August 22, 2018 and ends at Midnight, September 5, 2018.

The giveaway is restricted to residents of the Continental U.S.

Good luck and have a most beautiful day and may all your dreams come true!

Courtney’s book is now available on Amazon.

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

All glorious reviews are entirely and happily, turning cartwheels across the floor, my own!

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  1. Good morning Shirley, what a beautiful story you told of the sweet and talented Courtney. I know whoever wins this amazing book will enjoy it as much as I have. Wishing you a joy-filled day!

  2. Susan nicholson says

    Courtney’s blog is always such a bright part of the day, very enjoyable! I’m sure her book is fabulous. Thank you, Shirley.

  3. barbara burrus says

    As I sit here with my morning cup of coffee taking in every word of this beautifully written blog I am in awe. I love following your blog and decorating ideas. Thanks for capturing Courtney’ fairy tale and sharing with your readers. I would love to win this beautiful book.

  4. Brenda L Wilson says

    Oh yes, I would love a copy of Courtney’s book – how beautifully you have represented her journey!!

  5. Peggy marshall says

    Loved Courtney’s journey. Now my journey is to win this book! Please don’t make me go to Amazon for a copy. I love decorating books and don’t have this one that I love! I collect books of all kinds, but especially decorating ones. I need this one for my collection! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. Mary Stevens says

    Shirley you are a beautiful story teller! I follow Courtney’s blog and would love to have her book! Can’t wait to see more of Berry Patch!

  7. Bet Stevens says

    Would love to win the book

  8. Alice Genzlinger says

    Very well said.

  9. Trey conaway says

    I would love to have this book! I visited France in May and fell in love with their style!

  10. It truly is a beautiful swan! Love her story of continuing on and thanks for sharing Shirley.

  11. You have spun a beautiful story about a truly lovely home. My dream has always been to convert a broken down ugly duckling into a once again love filled swan. I would think it simply delightful to receive a copy of Courtney’s gorgeous, inspiring book. I am enjoying following your new adventure…keep the inspiration coming!

  12. Shirley, How lovely you tell the story! I have followed Vourtney’s blog for quite some time and admire her vision and determination! I would love to have her book!

  13. I am loving her book. It came last week but didn’t start it until this week. I have enjoyed her blog from when I started. She has given me encouragement through her story to follow my passion of decorating my home. Now in this new house I have discovered my style over the past few years

    Whoever gets this book will be happy


  14. Shirley, what a beautiful story! Courtney is so talented and has such a gorgeous home! Enjoy your day!!!

  15. lisa argyle says

    Courtney’s book speaks to my soul! So many gorgeous ideas to stimulate my own creative process!! Thanks for the giveaway op! I’ve followed your blog for several years and love it immensely!

  16. It would so fun to page through this gorgeous book of beautiful things

  17. Terri SantaColoma says

    I could get a lot of inspiration from this book!

  18. Courtney’s book is one to keep on the coffee table for all to enjoy. She is so talented and so are you!
    Love your blog.

  19. Sue Vanderweele says

    Quite the inspiring story! I too would love to win her book!!!

  20. How wonderful to watch someone grow like that. I’m sure her book is a treasure!

  21. Elva Garcia says

    would love this book

  22. I love Courtney, she has angelic style! Her book looks lovely! I would love to have this book to read and savor the pretty pictures!

  23. This book looks so lovely, Courtney’s pictures are always beautiful as are yours! Thanks, Shirley!

  24. I would love to win this book and would pour over every page. Her jourtney is a dream come true and you have said it perfectly. How lucky you are to know her! I wish I had been blogging when my son was transforming very ugly ducking houses into beautiful swans. It is a true talent. Have a most beautiful day, Shirley.

  25. I love her story and woul enjoy readina this book!! How encouraging and inspiring!

  26. I love her story and would enjoy reading her book! How inspiring!

  27. What a lovely story about your friend’s decorating journey. I would love to have a copy of her book.

  28. I would love to win Courtney’s book!

  29. Susan Smith says

    I am addicted to decorating magazines and books! I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the give-away, Shirley!

  30. Oh how I would love to have this book…

  31. I’ve always looked forward to your blog, We speak the same language! Love of everything French! Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful book, filled with some hope I could use right now. Thanks for showing me great ideas from the pictures. I admire your flexibility to move in a temporary home while building your Dream Home, which is what we just did-what a ride! I also admire that you make even a temporary home so very beautiful, Thanks

  32. Alycia Nichols says

    Holy mackerel!!! Talk about living the dream!!! Courtney ought to be kneeling on rice paper and thanking her sister DAILY for the push of encouragement!!! We all dream, but how many of us actually get to take it to the limit? Fabulous!!!!!! I’d love to have this book because I am studying and planning (it’s a slow go because the choices are endless!) to redecorate our home. I’m looking at it as a little gift from me to me via my husband’s wallet!? I spent so much time cooped up in here over the last few years with these stupid surgeries, and now I’m ready to change things up. God forbid I have to go through any of that again, but if I do I would like to at least have a fresh look going on so I don’t lose my ever-lovin’ mind!!!

    Thanks for the opportunity! And thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures. They lit a little fire under me to go do some housework!!!

  33. So glad Courtney followed great advise from her sister. What amazing results So enjoy reading her blog. I would love to win her book and thank you for the chance

    linda m

  34. Would love to win this book! Love love country french.

  35. JoAnn Mooney says

    Thanks for sharing Courtney’s inspirational story. I would love to have her book filled with everything French country!

  36. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. Courtney is a very talented person. I would love the book.

  37. What a beautiful story……….the book looks wonderful. I would love to win it.

  38. sandra D Joliet says

    I’ve been following French Country Cottage for, well, I don’t know how long. What a beautiful fairy tale come true. Her book looks exquisite and I’d be honored to win it. Can’t wait to see your new dream home too!

  39. Shirley, When I first heard that Courtney was writing a book, I knew it would be a feast for the eyes and it did not disappoint. It is truly beautiful and full of inspiration. One of your readers is in for a treat!

  40. Jeannie Anliker says

    I too LOVE her style. I would very much like to win this book. She was one of the first blogs that I followed. Please put me in your drawing for this wonderful book. thanks

  41. I would enjoy reading this book!

  42. Hi Shirley!
    I always enjoy reading your blog and I’m impressed you still are writing, amid all your unpacking!
    Thank you for offering this giveaway and book of Courtney’s! ? Trenda

  43. You are the sweetest Shirley- thank you SO much for sharing!! I am so glad that we met several years ago- you are always such a kind friend!

  44. I would love to receive one of Courtney’s books. Why don’t you write a book Shirley?

  45. I ditto that Karol?
    Shirley what a beautiful tribute you have shown of Courtney’s beautiful home. I would love her new book.

  46. I’ve been following Courtney for years. I love her style. I would love to get her book. She is truly an inspiration.

  47. Gail Coggins says

    As the sunset of our life enters, one finds the small things in life that matters the most, family, friends and taking time to do things we enjoying doing. After raising three young men, smelly socks ,wet towels in the floor, well you get where I’m going,it’s time for mama. I have been a devoted fan of Courtney’s for some time. It’s nice remember I still have feminine side of me and now devote more time for reading. Would love to engage in an afternoon of dreaming.

  48. Laura Harrie says

    I would love to win a copy of Courtney’s book, she has great style, her home is gorgeous!

  49. Courtney has been blessed with a wonderful loving sister and an equally wonderful friend…I was blessed when one day she showed up in my FB feed…every picture she shows us is a beautiful piece of her soul…I would love to have her book,but I believe whoever it goes to was meant to have it…Please keep us dreaming of our own French Country Cottage…We all love you.

  50. Amy kaminski says

    Thanks for sharing this and what a lovely intro to Courtney. I would love to win her book to learn more about romantic decorating. I need to be inspired!!!

  51. A lovely story celebrating Courtney. I have been following her blog for quite some time, she is very inspirational. I would love to receive her book.

  52. What a Great write about Courtney’s book! I met her at the High Point event 2 years ago and she was such a Sweet person! Hope to see her this Fall again at event. Love seeing her decorating skills on her blog and yours too! The book is Beautiful.

  53. Diane Lord says

    What a beautiful and inspiring story! I would love to read all about it and especially enjoy the beautiful photography in this book. Fingers crossed!

  54. Yes absolutely would love to win this book! Thank you for doing this!

  55. I would love to receive this book and see how she has transformed her ugly duckling into a beautiful swan!

  56. I would treasure this book. Would love to have her ideas in concrete form (a book). Just looking at the photos is amazing.

  57. Wanda Keen says

    I would so enjoy receiving this book. The photos are so beautiful. Thank you for offering such a nice gift for a lucky reader.

  58. Shirley, you should take a page out of Courtney’s book (pun intended!) and write one about your homes! I’ll buy it! I’ve loved following Courtney’s journey for some years and would love the book to have all the inspiration in one place! And I’m loving following your journey, too!

  59. Cyndie Shevlin says

    Lovely words, lovely pictures…I need to study this lovely journey…

  60. Marie rhudy says

    From reading her blog, I know that I would love this book. Thank you for offering it to some lucky person.

  61. Love her blog and just know I would love her book!!

  62. In a word the book is swoonworthy! I’d love to have a copy just to take in every detail and dream ?

  63. Would love to have her book! Thank you

  64. Allison M Wade says

    Shirley, What a lovely introduction to Courtney’s fairy tale. I loved the pictures that accompanied your storytelling. I have several French country sofa table books…and would love this one to add to my collection. Thanks and many blessings, Allison

  65. That was such a sweet story. I would love to win Courtney’s book, hers was one of the first blogs I found. Thank you for sharing.

  66. Cindy Horton says

    That was such a sweet story. I would love to win Courtney’s book, hers was one of the first blogs I found. Thank you for sharing.

  67. Cindy Horton says

    oops, didn’t think commented posted.

  68. Michelle Holland says

    What a story! I would love to have her book!

  69. This book would most definitely be a beautiful addition to other books I treasure on French decorating! It would make my day to win. Thank you, Shirley!

  70. Latonia Taylor says

    Just found Courtney’s blog a short time ago. love her blog and and would love to wine a copy of her book.

  71. Beautiful story of hope for all the budding decoraters.Id love to see this book.

  72. Hi Shirley, I would love to win this beautiful book. Because of life I will not be able to purchase one so I would love, love to win. Thank you for the opportunity! I love your wash room I just came from that post to have so much room is awesome! You have really decorated it beautifully. Have a lovely day!
    xoxo Jo

  73. I’ve been following her for quite some time and would love to receive a copy of her book. I love her style. Thanks for the giveaway.

  74. Definitely following her blog after reading your post.. thank you for the opportunity to enter ..

  75. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post . I would love her book. Such talent is a gift. I follow her posts and love her decorating.

  76. Creating a nostalgic look quite often costs much less than it appears, especially because many times gently used items can be purchased and incorporated into the design. Those with a knack for refurbishing and refinishing can restore damaged antiques, salvaged materials and cast-offs in their decorating scheme.
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