The Delights of Cottagecore

Light gray background with sprays of purple flowers. Text "The Delights of Cottagecore. Petticoats & Pistols"

As usual, I’m late to the party when it comes to trends. Are you familiar with the term Cottagecore?

According to “What is Cottagecore? A Simple Guide” by Kristin Hohenadel via The Spruce, “Cottagecore is a social media hashtag and internet-based lifestyle trend inspired by a quaint vision of country life. Based on an idealized back-to-nature concept of simpler times, its romanticized aesthetics center on natural materials, wholesome pastimes, handmade crafts, homemade baked goods, gardening, and other hallmarks of bucolic domesticity.”

I stumbled across it last year while scrolling through Instagram Reels. Every so often, I’d see a video of a cute country kitchen. There would be a lit candle on a butcher block counter. Cozy instrumental music would be playing. A loaf of homemade bread might be on the counter along with a bouquet of wildflowers.

Watching a Cottagecore video provided the same relaxation as sipping a hot cup of tea. I was hooked.

 

Photo by Forté Foundry on Unsplash

I need more beauty in my life. And if they center on homemaking, all the better. I’ve always enjoyed simple pleasures like baking, crafts, lighting candles, and reading.

The Delights of Cottagecore (in no particular order)

  • Vintage linens and curtains
  • A kitchen that reminds you of visiting your grandma
  • Candles with flames dancing
  • Mellow, happy instrumental music
  • A teapot steaming on a stove
  • Fresh bread on the counter
  • A jar of homemade jam next to it
  • Birds singing outside
  • Handpicked flowers in a rustic vase or mason jar
  • A wooden table that looks like it’s been used for generations
  • Crafts! Sewing, knitting, flower arranging, baking…
  • Cozy, cozy, cozy

I could go on and on. I’m enamored. I hope you are, too!

Photo by Vicky Sim on Unsplash

Below is a link to a video with a Cottagecore playlist if you’d like to get in the mood.

A Cottagecore Playlist to Feel Like You’re in Nature

Have you heard of Cottagecore? What about it appeals to you the most?

Enjoy your day!

Favorite Things: End of April

Pale blue background with apple blossoms. Tag "End of April Favorite Things" Petticoats & Pistols

The end of April brings oodles of my favorite things! Today is my mom’s birthday (Happy birthday, Mom!)–a favorite thing, for sure.

Winter always seems to last forever here (I live in NW Ohio), and by the end of April, we’re almost finished with the cold weather. There still might be a day or two where I’ll need a winter coat, but for the most part, I can pack away the cold-weather clothing. That’s another of my favorite things–replacing my winter clothes with my summer wardrobe.

We’re big football fans in my house, and while the end of April doesn’t seem like it would be related to football, it is. My husband, son and I went to the University of Michigan spring football game on April 20 to check out the new team. It was COLD! Snowflakes came down twice–not cool, Michigan. We still had a great time! (See pics below)

 

Photo of Jill Kemerer in winter hat at University of Michigan Spring game

Block M sign outside of the Big House, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The end of April also brings the NFL Draft, and I watched it last Thursday and Friday night. I loved seeing where all my favorite players landed. This year the draft was held in Detroit. It looked like a good time!

What else? Since I’m a nature gal, flowers, blooming trees, birds and bunnies and squirrels all make my list. The view outside my windows shouts spring, and I couldn’t be happier about it! In another month, I’ll be hitting up the local farmer’s markets, the botanical gardens, and all the summer fun I’ve been missing. Until then, I’ll enjoy the moment.

Do you have any favorite things for the end of April?

Enjoy your day!

What Birds Are In Your Backyard?

graphic with hydrangeas and bluebirds. Text "What Birds are in Your Backyard?" by Jill Kemerer, Petticoats & Pistols Blog

I’ve always enjoyed watching birds. When I was ten or eleven, I was a Lutheran Girl Pioneer–similar to a Girl Scout–and we built birdfeeders. My father mounted the feeder near the edge of the forest in our backyard and bought food. How I loved getting out the binoculars to see what birds were stopping by! I even bought a pocket book about the birds of North America, and I wore that book out.

Fast forward to about five years ago…

My husband bought me a bird feeder for Christmas. I was so excited! It took about three weeks for the birds to arrive. I watched for them every day, and when they finally did? Oh boy! I couldn’t get enough.

My backyard has robins, house finches, goldfinches, purple finches, several types of sparrows, cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, grackles and juncos. Now and then Cedar waxwings will stop by. Beautiful birds.

Below is a cardinal sitting on a fence in our backyard. Grackles are on the ground at at both feeders, and a mourning dove sits at the pole base.

Ohio backyard in winter, birdfeeder, cardinal

Where I live in Northwest Ohio, I’m able to experience some of the best spring bird migration in the United States. The Biggest Week in American Birding attracts thousands of bird enthusiasts to our area. Lake Erie, especially, has fantastic parks and marshes for bird viewing. Not far from where I live, there’s a park where I see a variety of warblers every spring.

We have amazing diversity with waterfowl here, too. Bald eagles, snowy egrets, great blue herons, Canadian geese, mallards, mersangers, different swans, and occasionally buffleheads can be seen near rivers, marshes and nearby Lake Erie.

All of this “birding” got me wondering about the backyard birds in other parts of the country. I was happy to learn that the characters in my Wyoming books would see the same birds as I do. “Common Birds in Wyoming” features birds I see either in my backyard or on walks nearby.

I’d love to hear the types of birds you see in your area. Please let me know in the comments!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

Two Fun Afternoons

Spring flowers in background, text "Two Fun Afternoons Jill Kemerer, Petticoats & Pistols"

Two weeks ago, I finally did it. I left the house to do something other than buying groceries or picking up books from the library. Yeehaw!

The first fun afternoon happened to be on my release day. My new book, UNITED BY THE TWINS, released on February 20, 2024, and I always take the day off to celebrate. This time I decided to drive out to the country to visit a cute boutique/tea shop that had been on my list of places to check out for over a year. It didn’t disappoint.

The little boutique resides in an outbuilding on a farm miles away from the nearest town. I loved driving past the fallow farm fields to get there. Winter can be dreary, for sure, but I find beauty in the season, too. When I arrived, I entered a warm, cozy, well-lit space. Upbeat music from the 40s played through the speakers, and every step revealed a different display of super cute items. Here’s a snapshot of the interior.

Interior of boutique

As you can see, the shop had an assortment of lovely items. From purses and decor, to honey and tea, it had all the cute things I tend to adore. I ended up purchasing a precious little lamp with three birds on the base. My husband and I have several bird feeders in our backyard, and I enjoy watching them.

The second fun afternoon was in a vastly different area than the first. My husband and I went downtown Toledo to browse a reclaimed home furnishings store. Basically, a large, old building had been converted into a secondhand store for home items such as old knobs, doors, hinges, chandeliers, even colored toilets/sinks/tubs from decades ago.

We were amazed at how intricate many of the items were. Engraved hinges, wooden bureaus with inlaid designs, elegant lighting. It made us both appreciate the craftsmanship of yesteryear.

Below is just one of the massive sections.

Old warehouse with secondhand home furnishings

We had a great time wandering through the space, and we even met a friend–the kitty, Amy. I would have gladly taken that little cutie home!

Amy, the cat

The photos don’t do either place justice. The first shop felt like walking into a warm hug. Very cozy and contained. The second was more like strolling into an adventure–you weren’t sure where the sprawling space would take you.

I’m thankful to have visited both. And now, back to my usual outings. Kroger and the library, here I come!

Have you visited a new place recently? What did you think of it?

Have a wonderful day!

United by the Twins + Giveaway!

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had an amazing week. It’s been great for me. Why? My new book, UNITED BY THE TWINS, released on Tuesday! Woohoo! And to celebrate, I’m giving away a copy (paperback for US readers, ebook for International readers) to one commenter.

This is the second book in my Wyoming Legacies series with Love Inspired. It features Reagan Mayer and Marc Young and is set in the fictional town of Jewel River, Wyoming. Reagan recently inherited a beautiful building in the small town and plans on opening a chocolate shop in it. Marc wants the building for his mother, who’s always dreamed of expanding her bakery there.

Needless to say, these two don’t see eye-to-eye. When Marc’s sister has a stroke, Reagan generously offers to babysit the woman’s three-month-old identical twins. Since the twins live on the ranch with Marc, Reagan finds herself spending more time with him…and they grow close. But the building symbolizes more to each of them than they realize, and they have to give their plans to God before they can have a future together.

 

United by the Twins by Jill Kemerer

They can’t agree on anything…
Except how to care for his twin nieces

After inheriting a building from her great-aunt, Reagan Mayer moves to Wyoming to open the small-town shop she’s always dreamed of. There’s just one problem: rancher Marc Young wants the storefront for his mother. But when a family emergency puts a pause on their dispute, leaving them to care for his twin nieces, can Reagan and Marc find a way to communicate, to trust…and to love?

Jill Kemerer’s Website: JillKemerer.com

Purchase from Amazon: United by the Twins

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What is your favorite candy? (Mine is chocolate-covered caramels! Yum-yum!)

Please leave a comment (with an email address where I can reach you) to be entered in the giveaway. I’ll select a winner via random number generator and announce it on Sunday, February 25!

 

The Last Wyoming Mountain Man

Snowy Wyoming mountain background. Text "The Last Wyoming Mountain Man. Jill Kemerer. PetticoatsandPistols.com"

Howdy, everyone! I’m thrilled to be writing my very first post in Petticoats & Pistols! A little intro: I write contemporary Christian romance novels through Harlequin Love Inspired. My first five books were set in a fictional town called Lake Endwell, Michigan, and every book since has been set in fictional towns in Wyoming. Oh, and they feature cowboys. Lots and lots of cowboys!

I like cowboys.

Just saying.

Okay, enough about me! Let’s talk about the last Wyoming mountain man. I read this article by Jake Nichols last week, “Spaghetti Westerner Gap Pucci, 88, is the Last Wyoming Mountain Man of His Time,” via Cowboy State Daily. The article is linked, and it’s worth popping over to read the full article and see all the pictures. His life is fascinating.

Here’s a brief round-up.

Gap Pucci’s family emigrated to the U.S. from Sicily in the early 1900’s, and he spent his youth in Pennsylvania working in a quarry with his father. Later, he became a farrier, got into body-building, and joined the Army. He ended up being stationed in Alaska for a few years, which gave him a thirst for wide-open spaces and untamed land.

He moved to Utah and worked for a sheepherding operation, and later discovered Jackson, Wyoming. He and his bride, Peggy, lived in Wyoming from then on. Gap opened an outfitting business, and he and Peggy raised two daughters in a rustic cabin he still lives in today.

This quote from the article struck me:

“Nowadays what makes this 88-year-old special is the fact that he still lives like he does — straight-up cowboy. No phone, no internet, no modern amenities. Not even a fancy hay fork with the composite handle.”

No phone.

No internet.

No modern amenities.

I have to admit, there are days when I think, yeah, it would be great to have no phone, no internet. But I NEVER think I don’t want modern amenities.

Yes, the phone and internet claim my attention too often. But I love my hot showers, microwave, coffee maker, washer and dryer, furnace, and even my garage door opener. Modern amenities and I are besties.

So, Gap Pucci, I salute you! You lived an amazing, hard, fulfilling life.

As for me? I’ll stick to writing about cowboys. And I’m going to go give my coffee maker a hug. I take that beautiful machine for granted.

How do you feel about no phone, no internet, no modern amenities?

Thank you for stopping by!