The Bee Cottage Story {Giveaway}

I know firsthand how a house can swoop in and rescue someone.  Mine sort of rescued me from some harsh life circumstances and that’s exactly why I’m so giddy over and proud of it to this day.  Stories about homes and how they have enveloped a home owner are stories that I love to read.

The Bee Cottage Story and How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness is certainly a title that I could have penned myself.

Bee Cottage book

Journalist, author, and TV personality Frances Shultz is a Southern girl (from North Carolina) like I am and this book is inspired by her popular House Beautiful magazine series on the makeover of her house, The Bee Cottage.  In fact, I did a Feature Friday on Bee Cottage back in 2011 and thought it was such a fun transformation of a cottage in East Hampton.

bee cottage book1

I have just started reading the book and can’t wait to get into it further.  I absolutely love the way that Frances decorated this house, so feminine and classic at the same time.  I know this book will just dive in deeper than the magazine series did and I can’t wait to read it all.

bee cottage book2

Of course, with my love of green, this picture just takes my breath away.

bee cottage book3

After a broken engagement, cancer, and a series of devastating losses left her struggling, Frances started to rebuild her life in this cozy cottage called Bee Cottage and really got to know herself. The renovation of Bee Cottage became a metaphor and a means of healing and personal discovery for Frances and she unravels the question of how a mature, intelligent, successful woman could have made such a mess of her personal life.

Oh, how I can relate to that!  And I totally can see how a house can come along and capture a heart and change a life.

From the book:  Part memoir, part home decorating guide, The Bee Cottage Story has 125 beautiful full-color photos to illustrate Schultz’s journey and to inspire readers traipsing through their own “Great Muddle” to examine and discover their own “truth” in decorating — and life.  

Here’s the fun news!  The editor of The Bee Cottage Story sent me a copy for myself and they are giving away a copy to ONE of my readers.  

Be sure to click the Rafflecopter widget and sign up with your email.  Then all you have to do is leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever made a great muddle in life and started over?  I think most of us can relate to that in some way and lived to tell about it.  Starting over can sometimes be the best thing that ever happened to us!  

Just sign in on the Rafflecopter widget and leave a comment here on the blog!  Here’s to decorating our way back to a beautiful life!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- Rhoda


  1. You did an excellent job summarizing the book and I would love to read it. I moved to a different country to start over and as you, my house has become my home, my place of security and peace. I love my home 🙂

  2. I gave second thought to my house in the country, and decided to stay instead of moving to the city. My house is work in progress, but I feel at home when I come in and close the doors. Enjoy your book!

  3. Bee Cottage has been on my Amazon wish list for a Long Time! I love decorating and recently began the process of going through my home and giving each room a refresh. I have basically (besides furniture replacement) had the same wallpapers, paint colors, curtains since my kiddos were little and they are now graduating college. It is time to adapt my home to my style now. Back in the day my style was much more traditional, as I live in a fairly formal home. Now I embrace my more eclectic aesthetic and want each room to reflect that style.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve absolutely made a muddle and decorated my way back to happiness in my past. If I don’t win the book, I’ll buy it for sure!

  5. I have had been muddles in my life. Decorating and creating makes it easier to go through life. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway. I love your blog.

  6. I’m in a place currently and need some inspiration. My children have left the nest yet the nest is as it’s been for too many years. Time to make it a reflection of me. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Francis has been someone I’ve admired for a long time, having a number of books she’s edited or designed. My muddles are thankfully not usually huge disasters, but I agree that having an external focus is the best way to find ourselves again after disappointments and loss. The Bee Cottage is such a wonderful name too, evoking the feeling of nature and comfort at the same time. Thanks for this post and giveaway Rhoda.

  8. Gosh! I think this might be the story of my life lived through another! Who hasn’t muddled through and come out on the other side?

  9. Oh Rhoda, yes indeed – started over at age 40. Thanks for this opportunity. My local BAM did not have this in stock when I tried to buy it, and I haven’t gotten around to ordering yet.

  10. I’ve made some middlin’ muddles and, through situations beyond my control, have been in very great muddles. I was lucky to have a role model in my grandmother. She led the way in facing down hard times & gave me the courage to reinvent, re-imagine, survive & thrive. (Decorating is my best therapist!)

  11. I struggled through a messy divorce but came out the victor on the other side. I can definitely relate and would love this book.

  12. What an inspiration you and Francis are to me! I have spent the last few years making over our empty nest. The renovations provided the distraction that got me through the “missing my babies” phase of life!

    • I muddled my way through learning my husband of 32 years had been living a double
      Life the last 12 years of our marriage. Muddled my way through a horrible divorce but came out the winner in so many ways. Met a wonderful man, got married and we are renovating and decorating our way to a wonderful, special home! Life is so good the second time around!

  13. anne browning says:

    Sounds like a wonderful read. Growing through the muddles make the best stories. Anne

  14. Decorating my home always gives me a sense of calm. Making it my own and giving it the feeling of home. I’d love to read the book.

  15. Lorraine Watkins says:

    I divorced my first husband at 26. I had a young child and wanted a better life for her. I was scaired but unhappy enough to do something about it. I have been happily remarried for 32 years now. My home reflects my happy life. I discovered that you should decorate with colors and things you like not what you think others like. It is always a work in progress.

  16. Who hasn’t muddled? LOL! Loving the Bee Cottage style of decorating.

  17. I’m preparing my mind for our soon-to-be empty nest. This book should prove to be a balm to my heart.

  18. I must admit I have had several muddles in my life but so far the worst was on my 15th wedding anniversary and having my husband inform me that my gift was outside. I went out and found a new car on the driveway then went back in to get this greeting, “Happy Anniversary, That is part of your Divorce settlement.”, as one can imagine it was ‘downhill’ from there.
    Bringing up 13 year old twins (girl/boy) mostly alone, having to find a job after not working for 14 years, buying my first home alone, etc. But that was 22 years ago this Thursday and …”I’ve come along way Baby”… A Much Stronger Person in every area of my life.
    Hope everyone has a Most Wonderful, Beautiful Day!

  19. I have muddle thru many muddles in my life! Thanks for a great give away!

  20. Not only have I come back from making a muddle of my life, I have also come back from devastating loss. I can totally relate to this book. One of my favorite past times is to look at decorating ideas and try to figure out a way to accomplish this or something similar.

  21. i love to read your blog! Thank you for the giveaway.

  22. Yes, I have completely started over. Had no self confidence and no idea if I would survive. As it turned out, it was one of the most important times in my life, muddle or not. I came out the other side a different woman in so many ways. That was a long time ago, quite a learning experience and I survived!

    I would love to have a copy of The Bee Cottage Story.

  23. Candie Firebaugh says:

    I am currently in the midst of my muddle but I have aimed high and I am almost there!

  24. Reading this book sounds like a great way to spend some time.

  25. No muddles. I love the book cover~

  26. Yup, been there, done that. Made a mess of my marriage, worked hard to fix it, had a second child who is the absolute joy of my life and quietly sob at the thought of letting him go when college rolls around next year. I’m from Long Island, so this would be a wonderful read!

  27. VintageBeachgirl says:

    In response to your statement about what to post here:
    Are you kidding, not more than three times……. and wow, I’m so glad I did! Those ‘muddles’ helped me end up where I am today, I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Remodeling and decorating our cottage is a great experience for me and even at my rather advanced age is helping me grow as a person, gain more knowledge, is giving me more confidence in myself and gives me something to feel proud of.
    The photos of the Bee Cottage are tantalizing…… Since I missed the article you did about it I’m heading there to read it now!
    Thanks for the giveaway Rhoda!!

  28. Love this little book as it inspires me, esp when i look at a rug, framed pic or pillow that i really “messed up” in buying it. She is able to mix and match with so many different styles!

  29. After going through a horrible divorce where my x husband came in to our home while I was at work and emptied out all the furniture and food with the exception of my children’s beds. Nothing but a bag of noodles on the shelf was all I had for dinner the night I came home from work. Not a broom not a drop of anything to clean all the dirt he had brought in not a towel or was cloth ,shampoo, tooth paste ,not even my own hair brush did I start over with . I found an old rag which I used with hot water ( he couldn’t take that ) and cleaned the floors on hands and knees. I started over and quite literally crawled my way back to normalcy I learned to live with less and found that I didn’t have to have all the things he had taken to be happy. I found a whole new level of happiness and a new level of faith. When I looked at my empty house I learned over time that even though God was all I had I realized that He was all I needed and that was the day I knew I would survive this horror and be ok. And I was ! Today I have more than I ever had I now have a beautiful home in an upscale area and beautiful furniture . It took a long long time but I was blessed with way more than I lost. I don’t want a repeat of that sadness but I have to say when I meet someone going through it I am understanding of them.

  30. I love your blog. I’ve learned so much from your style and advice. Thank you for sharing. I would love to get this book and work through my house this fall and winter.

  31. I’d love to win this!

  32. Diana Taylor says:

    Looks like a lovely read. Oh, the muddles, mistakes along my way to simplicity and decorating for what I love! Blogs have helped me define what I can and can’t live with. If I had been sure from the start and stayed true to what I love, I could have saved thousands of dollars. But I have loved the journey most of the time.

  33. Can’t wait to get my hands on one and start reading… so many inspiring stories out there!!! AND… of course… who doesn’t love a good cottage make over story?? Thanks Rhoda for sharing !!!!!

  34. Oh, the muddles I’ve made! Big ones and little ones too. This book looks like it would be a fun read.

  35. This book sounds like it would be a balm for my tired soul. My life is all muddled up because of choices that my husband made that affected my whole life. I’d love the encouragement that comes from reading about how someone else made it-happily- to the other side of life’s difficulties and lived to tell about it!

  36. At nearly 55 I am going to be starting over………..Scary & exciting at the same time.

  37. Rhoda anyone who says that they have never made a muddle of things is kidding themselves. My husband and I were in a muddle of debt in our early years of marriage but God helped us to crawl out and oh the lessons we learned!! This book sounds like a must read!!

  38. I have followed the transformation of your home and I know reading The Bee Cottage will be another inspiration to follow. I really enjoy your blog.

  39. Oh this has been on my wish list for some time.
    I had to start over again after a health issue that happened within the first year of marriage. I have had to find out my strengths and weakness with this illness and what I can do.
    We are a strong couple but there are life instances that pop up and put everyone to the test. We were able to meet this one and a few others along the way.

  40. Yes, I would LOVE to read this book…. I remember her articles from HB! I can’t say I (we) have ever been in a seriously horrible muddle…but we certainly have had situations that that we muddled THROUGH! Loss, anger, sadness…. things we all experience and hope we can come out the other side better people.

  41. Oh yes Ma’am…. I made a mess out of my life many years ago. I so wish I could have a do-over. There would be so many things I would change if I could go back to many years ago…..I would love to win the book and visit with someone who has walked in my shoes.

  42. I agree……decorating helps immensely working through the times in our lives when we are “not in control”. It helps to focus on a different outlook, a freshening of spirit and mind. I love the pictures of the book and would love to have a copy. I love green too! Thanks for the opportunity!! Blessings, Linda

  43. Thank you for this post. I can’t wait to read the book. My husband of 40 years passed away two years ago. His passing left me unfocused and distraught. I am a professional woman, and I thought my work would help me move on, but that hasn’t proven to be so. This summer I purchased a 1950’s bungalow in another state that will serve as a getaway home for now and, eventually, my retirement home. As I have begun decorating and planning for remodeling, I am finding new hope for the future. I feel inspired and my creativity is blooming.

  44. Loved your explanation of the book. Home is a sanctuary and my goal has been to create an atmosphere of respite and healing for people who need to get away for awhile as they deal with the challenges of life. This summer, I hosted my nephew’s family. His wife has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and had a mastectomy at University of Michigan breast center. They live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and she left the breast center with drains that could not be removed for 10 days. Traveling all the way north to the upper peninsula was too far to go right after surgery so I invited them to stay here. As she recovered at our home, I cared for the family. They have four children ages 3 to 13 and her husband (my nephew) came down with shingles right after her surgery. (The doctors attributed that to the stress in their lives.) It was a blessing to share my home and garden (where the kids loved catching frogs from the pond) with them. I had fun taking the kids on daily outings to parks, pools, children’s museums and the nature center as their parents rested. Homes are meant to be used as havens.

  45. Jacki Salinas says:

    I’ve actually made several muddles and started over several times. But like the energizer bunny, I keep on going. And decorating has always been there for me, healing and helping. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

  46. I feel like I make a muddle of it daily. My house is what soothes me, puttering about making it tidy calms me. Would love to read this book. I too remember several features on it.

  47. I absolutely have made a muddel of things in my life! But praise be to God that I have been able to overcome difficult circumstances. I would love an opportunity to read and share this book!

  48. What an enchanting cottage! Thank you for the opportunity. Fingers crossed.

  49. I am currently in a new place, both in location and life. I don’t know that I have made a muddle out of my life, but I am certainly feeling the pain of change and relocation. I look forward to putting my energy into taking a dreary home and turning it into a place of beauty.

  50. Every day God’s mercies are new and thankful for His grace! The Bee Cottage Story book looks wonderful and would love to read it 🙂

  51. Rhoda, I can certainly relate to making a mess out of my life and finding healing through making my house a home. My home is my safe sancturary and my garden is my prozac lol! I would love to win a copy of this book. Creativley ddecorating our homes is such a healing and inspiring thing to do. It’s so important that we surround ourselves with things that heal, awaken and inspire! Our homes should be our sanctuaries.

  52. I believe any woman who has gone through a divorce or crossroads in her life has reflected back
    on how she could start over. I have been there as well. It is so very self fulfilling to know you can get through terrible times in your life if you just believe you can do it!!

  53. Kimberly Alford says:

    Of course I’ve made a muddle! Truly, who hasn’t? I am a middle aged woman recreating her life after divorce. By the GRACE of God, I’m really happy in who He has remade me. Would love to read this book!

  54. I got divorced, and part of my recovery was redecorating and reclaiming my space and making a home for my (then) young sons that was open, relaxing and comfortable for them. It was very therapeutic. At one point, I was hesitating over a new duvet cover, for my bed. I said to a friend, “I’m just worried it is too girly.” My friend looked and me and shouted, “You ARE a girl!” And she was right, it was ok to have a girly bedroom in my own house as a single woman and I bought the duvet cover, lol.

  55. I remember your posting years back on this delightful cottage. Decorating is another way of homekeeping which in turn; kind of is like keeping care of yourself. Home is a magical place to be, to think about and always to plan a new little twist (or big) of added comfort. What a wonderful read I am sure this book is. Thank you for letting us know about it. Hugs !

  56. You learn from everything around you and grow and move forward.

  57. Who hasn’t??!! I think, that all of us at one time or another has had to restart our lives. Due to family situations, illness, problems, the list goes on and on. It can be a huge change, a small change, a couple of changes, etc. Women above all adapt, rebound, and continue to shape their lives accordingly. Love your blog and would love to read this book. Thanks for all you do. Sally

  58. Love this little cottage! The book would be great!!!

  59. I love her decorating. What a charming cottage.

  60. Always muddling through life and working on fresh starts. Love this cottage, as I have one too. Low ceilings. always wishing for taller ones. This cottage illustrates what a cottage really is. Cozy! Luv!

  61. Irene Peterson says:

    Oh so many muddles! Thought that I could handle financial matters myself after my divorce 20 years ago, and here I am at 76 years old still venturing out to a new beginning. Relocating to another state to be close to my daughter, I have finally been redecorating my new-home-to-be to suit myself and changing out the stuffy traditional furniture to a French cottage theme. I am delighted to be doing so because it makes me so happy and I feel more peaceful and contentment. I so look forward to my new life.

  62. I believe making muddles brings us to the people we are today…..and usually so much better because of it! Thanks 🙂

  63. I absolutely did make a muddle of things! I gave my life to Jesus and He turned things around and made my life beautiful, but without Him I’d still be in a muddle! I love a fresh start: mornings, Mondays, a new year, a new month…God’s mercies are new every day! Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to read this book.

  64. I love this post, Rhonda! My home in Savannah was my sanctuary thru a rough divorce, then two years back to college at 56, all the while struggling as a substitute teacher to pay the mortgage on my home. Suddenly, the pendulum began to swing the other way! I met the love of my life, and we had a lovely wedding in the back yard of my home with 50 of our closest friends. We now live in Cumming, GA – enjoying life on the lake with kids, grandkids, new friends and ….. love! Life is good! And it all began in my beloved home in Savannah! Can’t wait to meet you, Rhonda, and see your fantastic home!! Hugs, Cat

  65. Belinda Medlin says:

    This is a beautiful home. I love the photos and would love a copy of the book for my inspiration in my home. Decorating, drawing and entertaining is a creative outlet for me and it gives endless avenues and opportunities. Have a blessed day and thank you for sharing your creativity and testimony of the LORD’s work in your life. Christ has saved me, kept me and I look forward to the day He completes His work in me!

  66. There’s nothing like a good “project” to help me focus on something other than the crisis at hand. My projects have certainly been lifesavers for me as muddle through life! I would love to read this book!

  67. Crystal Rose says:

    I would love to read your book the bee cottage story. I divorced at 23, I have 3 children I raised by myself. I 10 yrs latter I had a bad accident that left me disabled. My children were always my inspiration. I cd a could never afford to buy a house but I have always tried to make our apartment a home. All my children are grown and have there on houses, which they have make into wonderful homes.. I am working on redoing my 2 bedroom apt for me. I love to read your blog for inspiration. I have always dreamed of having a little cottage for just me. So I am trying to remake my apt into my dream home. Ift has been in the works for several yrs. but we all work with the income we have. 😀 Thank you Rhoda for theis chance

  68. Karen Rawlins says:

    We all have had our own muddles!!

  69. Bee Cottage looks like a book I would certainly enjoy. I’ve never been divorced but friends and a family member have. I know first hand how hard it can be. Hope I win so I can share with them.

  70. I love this book! I ordered it from Amazon as soon as I read about it and read it from cover to cover the day it arrived. I love the way the book looks, as well as the content and its hopeful message. I’m not sure why it appeals to me so much but I do like all the green – I love green!

  71. Oh my! Haven’t we all made at least one decision that hasn’t been the best? If not, we’re not living! The important thing is to learn from it – ask someone who loves you to help you get past the consequences and move on. We might move on while we’re kicking and screaming but it’s the moving on that helps us grow. Such a lovely book – and look what her experience has inspired!

  72. Making a house a home can indeed be therapeutic!

  73. After four years of dealing with health issues and other stressors I decided I had to make a change and take charge of my life again. I could no longer chase answers of why my health had deteriorated and going to each new doctor was just adding more stress. It has been a year and a half and there are still struggles. Making life changes such as selling our gorgeous home and moving to a much smaller home – which I LOVE!!! – has helped as well. This book would be perfect as I start over with decorating a home and re-evaluating priorities.

  74. Yes, and starting over isn’t always easy, but I think I am better for having gone through it and I am happier in my life.

  75. Looks like a wonderful book to add to my collection of decorating books. Moving on sometimes is so difficult but what an example you have set for others.

  76. Life is changing! I am learning to be a caregiver for my husband who has Parkinson’s. Also trying to help others that are coping with this disease.

  77. Muddles, yes. But mostly in the spiritual aspect of our lives. I have been there before, and will be again, but I am so thankful that God is a God of grace and mercy, forgiveness and love, and of renewal. Thank you, Rhoda, for being consistent in your testimony of your faith through your blogging.

  78. Forever muddling through situations and love spiritual, decorating and retail therapies to get me through!

  79. I went through an ugly messy divorce at age 32 and moved to Atlanta. I worked very hard and within 2 years purchased a brand new condo which I loved decorating. Since it had not been finished, I was able to upgrade the carpets and wallpaper. Everyone loved my new home.

  80. I wouldn’t say I’ve been in a “muddle” but I’ve had ups and downs during my 50 year marriage. I always find happiness in making my home clean, happy and comfortable. I’d love to read this book.

  81. Oh my God! Haven’t we all come though the fires of Hell to reach the other side? Broken, bent, dented, deglazed. Yep, been there, and can hold my own again…… Its beautiful when you reach here and hold your head high….sometimes its for the first time! God Is Great!!!!

  82. I seem to “muddle up” a lot of things…being the hot mess that I am. LOL Love the concept of this book and can’t wait to read it!

  83. I love how our homes have the ability to heal, comfort and console us. I think making such a home is a gift. I would love to read her story

  84. Hi Rhoda, think we can all relate one level or another. My problem is thinking if someone will like how I decorate my home more than doing what I want to. I am striving to make it my own : ) Love loooking at others to get inspired : ) Thanks for your blog!!

  85. I have enjoyed Frances’ writing in HB for many years. I can’t wait to read more about her life and her wonderful cottage in book form.

  86. Starting over after 30 years of marriage and after age 50! Yes….been in small, medium and very large muddles! You pick up the pieces and go on! And yes, yes, decorating helped me keep my mind and heart in tact!

  87. I read her columns in House Beautiful about her home. They were inspiring.
    I have made muddles.

  88. I have also read her articles in House Beautiful and enjoy her beautiful inspirations. This would be a good book to have and hopefully prevent muddles.
    Great giveaway!!

  89. I left an abusive marriage and have worked hard to build a new life for myself and my daughter. It lifts me up to hear about other women overcoming difficult times.

  90. I muddled my way through life in my early twenties and dropped out of college. I returned to college in my forties and earned my degree gaining back my self esteem.

  91. How perfectly wonderful, I would love a copy of this book! As a new empty nester I am muddling through as I try to find myself again. If my children are grown and gone then who am I???

  92. I’m a fan of Francis. Love her cozy bee cottage. A southern woman of poise and grace.

  93. Of COURSE I’ve muddled things up in my life! Hasn’t everyone? It’s funny how we can look back any see clearly the great opportunity it was to grow and develop as a person. In my case, I found that decorating was a god-send at a time when I needed a new direction for myself and my energies! I’m looking foreword to this book! I think many of us have a lot in common!

  94. This books looks wonderful. So relatable. Thank you.

  95. Would love this book. Have heard wonderful reviews about it.

  96. I muddle up often enough that I learned to regard every single day as an opportunity to start over!
    This opportunity to win Ms. Shultz’s gorgeous book via one of my fave blogs is a bonus.

  97. Oh SO many muddles (plural)! Would truly enjoy the boo.

  98. Oh yeah, I’ve been through plenty of muddles in my day! Haha 🙂 What a great book. And I agree, decorating can be completely refreshing and rejuvenating! What a great book idea.

  99. Sharon Avinger says:

    I’ve muddled through a diagnosis of a chronic disease and am still muddling! Decorating and looking at blogs for inspiration has been a tremendous help to me. This book looks fascinating and I’d love to win it!

  100. I divorced my husband and have successfully set a new path in motion. Am anxious to lay eyes on this book!

  101. More times than I’d care to admit 🙂

  102. Absolutely!

  103. Thank goodness for second chances!

  104. Yes too many times

  105. Feeling a little “muddlely” right now & would love to be inspired by her story and wonderful photos!

  106. Looks and sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to win the giveaway.

  107. Yes! Many times.

  108. Two major life changes but I’m a survivor!

  109. One of the reasons that I began to follow your blog was that you were picking yourself up by the bootstraps and starting over. Have had to do that also.

  110. I have made a success from a muddle in life.

  111. I love the cottage and all of the bees

  112. Wiser and smarter the second time around.

  113. Absolutely!

  114. Oh I love this book and how it all turned out for the author. You see, I am a devoted lover of green!
    Then when I saw blue & white plates
    in the kitchen I knew I wanted to know
    more about this cottage. I haven’t seen inside the book yet, and would
    Love to win a copy! Thank you!

  115. Breast cancer changed my life…in some good ways and some not so good. The word survivor takes on a whole new meaning…

  116. Patricia Budai says:

    My “Major Muddle” happened in June of 2011 when I left my philandering husband, demanded custody of our two mini-dachschunds, Rose and Fiona, and moved from Oregon to North Carolina. I bought my 106+ year-old farmhouse, Crone Cottage, and have never looked back. My one grandchild lives just eight miles from me and life is good! God has blessed me beyond measure and, at the age of 69, I am grateful for this life altering journey.

  117. Jo Marie Gray says:

    Yes, muddled more than once!!
    The important thing is to learn and move forward and forgive ourselves.

  118. This books looks wonderful….such an uplifting way to cope with difficulties!

  119. Sometimes I feel like I have to start over every day. I would love to read this story!

  120. only once!

  121. I started over many times; became a nurse in my late 30s, bought the house I could afford, and set about making it the charming cottage it is today. I even paid the mortgage off! Yea, overtime!!

  122. A divorce will muddle a life, I should know.

  123. YES, I’ve muddled life up twice. Obviously a slow learner. We are in the process of a huge transition right now and I’m scared to death. My faith is growing rapidly, which I know was the Lord’s will all along!

  124. As a teenager, I lost my mother who was my only living parent. As an adult, I have been fairly lucky with no major muddles….just minor muddles. Funny though, I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to start over…….while incredibly challenging….there must be a sense of accomplishment once you see the other side. I can’t wait to read this book…..I would love to win it, but will have to purchase if if not! Thank you for the opportunity!

  125. Yes I’ve muddled many times – sometimes I have learned and other times …..well lets just say I’m a work in in progress………book sounds wonderful, would love to win 🙂

  126. I have had this book on my wish list for a LONG time! Yes, I have had to overcome some difficult things in life–an unexpected pregnancy early in life, a baby that died at birth, a baby that died of SIDS, financial start overs, and a new career later in life. Our home has always been our refuge through it all. Now I am in a contented stage with a career I enjoy, a happy marriage, and children/grandchildren I adore living nearby. No one has a perfect life!

  127. Oh my goodness! I tried so hard to “handle” everything on my own and “do” everything for everyone in my life. It has taken a lifetime to learn that I just have to Let Go and Let God.

  128. Yes! I would love to read the Bee Cottage!

  129. Sometimes when I think back over my life I’m amazed at what has happened and that I managed to turn my life around. God is always with us. Love to read the book.

  130. It took me 49 years before l had my second chance..I have been married to the love of my life for 18 years and life is so full of joy!

  131. Thank goodness for God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and “do-overs”!

  132. That’s just a part of life.

  133. I would love to read this book. I have had muddles in life and moved on.

  134. The book sounds so charming and like something I’d enjoy reading, especially since I think our homes are such a huge part of our lives. Thanks for sharing!

    • This looks like a wonderful book and I love that it speaks to the heart of women who are recreating their lives and homes.

  135. we all face muddles in our lives, it’s what we do next that is important. Don’t let them kill you twice!

  136. Can’t wait to read her story.

  137. Would love to read this!

  138. Oh yes, especially when I was younger!! Thank for this awesome giveaway.

  139. I muddled my life with a divorce and moved into a house in need of intense tender, loving care. All the hours spent peeling wallpaper, sanding sheet rock, scraping paint and repainting was a very cathartic for time for me. Sometimes the repairs added to the stress but overall it was a very healing and empowering experience.


  140. YES, I DID!!!!

  141. I think we all live a muddle at some point, that is inevitable. We have renovated several houses and each has it’s own set of “muddles”. However, when we look back on these adventures or misadventures, it seems we learned the most from the “we will NEVER do that again” experiences. I would love to see what you Bee Cottage taught you!

  142. I’ve been looking at this book and it looks great. We’ve all made a mess of things before and have to make the best of it. Thank you for such a great give away!

  143. I can relate to her story!

  144. too chicken

  145. I read Frances’ book while on vacation a couple of weeks ago. We went to Hilton Head where we got a good bit of the rains from the hurricane that piddled out – thank goodness. But it was wonderful reading about her design choices and her interesting life. It made me want to come back and take a fresh look at our home!

  146. Muddles are part of life. If you come through you can be a survivor and cangratulate yourself. No one needs to know about the muddle.

  147. I lost my boyfriend when he died unexpectedly. I then lost my job after a hard year of grieving, life surprises and a hard school. It took me a year but I found a job a love which eventually led me to a new love. It also allowed me to move in to a apt with no roommate. Life changes when you least expect it. I took advantage and have been the happiest I have ever been.

  148. Everyday! But thank God His mercies are new every. single. morning! 🙂

  149. Audra Taliaferro says:

    Yes, and I’m thankful for those start-overs!!!

  150. Oh, I have made a muddle, but not started over!

  151. I saw the House Beautiful series and loved it. I am interested in the deeper story!

  152. Oh yes…I’ve muddled through, made my share of mistakes, and started over a few times. My thought is that this is what life is about. “It’s not how many times you strike out…it’s how many times you get back up”. I think was said by Babe Ruth. I just keep going and enjoying life. By the Grace of God I’m still here and enjoying my family, friends and life in general.

  153. more times I have muddled than not! And our new house in NH built on the same land as our old 1930s camp saved my life…it was either sell the the land and camp as it…or build a new year round house we can be in to escape the Texas heat for 6 months a year…we are so lucky we decided, during the recession… To just do it…best decision we ever made.

  154. Muddle a time or two or.??? Still keeping on full steam ahead but eyes wide open ….TY

  155. Oh yes! Looks like an interesting book.

  156. KimberlyAnne says:

    Looks like a great read.

  157. I made a huge muddle back in my early twenty’s. Proverbs 3:5-6 is the verse that jumped out at me and caused a major self evaluation; “You’ve trusted everyone else, now how about trusting ME!”

    • Theda, that is my very favorite LIFE verse forever! So true and I hang onto it all the time. I’ve muddled enough of my own life too!

  158. I can’t wait to read this book. Muddled is a good way to describe life!

  159. Too many times but a winner never quits!! Keep on trucking!!

  160. Dearest Rhoda!
    Belated but hearty thanks (was traveling) for this wonderful post. I am touched, honored, and humbled to be the recipient of your superlative Southern Hospitality, and what a delight to read the comments of your clearly devoted following. I’d like to send Dana a signed and personalized copy myself and will email you separately for her details.

  161. Sherry Malone says:

    God does give us another chance after making a mess of things, can’t wait to read the book

  162. Nancy Harris says:

    I would like to receive the Southern Hospitality blog

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