Answering Reader Questions

Some of you ask me questions, but much of the time your account is set to no-reply. Therefore I cannot answer you because I don't have an email to reply to.

I'm attempting to answer some of them now. If I've forgotten a recent question, please leave it in the comments or email me. 

If you really need an answer, I'd say email me so I have a way to directly get back to you.

Reviewing Books
Recently a reader asked me how to begin reviewing books.

Well, first of all, you would need a blog or website because that is the publisher or book tour company's incentive to send you free books to review.

I first signed up with a book tour company, TLC Book Tours.

Then somehow I got on the Harper Collins, William Morrow list, and they started directly sending me books. They send me a list once per month via email. 

I choose from the books on this short list, a maximum of three books per month. These are called Advance Reader Editions.

Occasionally a publicist will contact me directly for their client and I will review the book for them. Most recently, it was the Rory Feek book. 

Where Did I Get My Coffee Bar Cart?

I got a question about where I got my coffee bar. It was trash being thrown away and I rescued it! 

I've painted it several times. I have had it since I first moved to Tulsa over 5 years ago.

You can use most any kind of furniture with a big flat surface for a coffee bar. 

I have used a potting bench as well as a dresser for use as a coffee bar during my years here in Tulsa. 

Where Did I Get The Floral Dishes In My Hutch?

I picked up these dishes, bowls and mugs at Marshalls while living in Texas. They were not a set. They were sold individually. 

I do not know of a place where you might buy them.

I've been asked the name of the dishes. And this is what is written on the bottom of the dishes - 222 Fifth New Country.   

Do I Plant Perennials In My Patio Containers?

Yes, I do. I have quite a few perennials on the patio. Hostas are coming up in the blue raised garden. There are about five or six individual plants.

A clematis vine I planted a few years ago is now about a foot tall. 

Sedum and succulents are coming up.

Perennial herbs are wonderful because herbs are very enduring and scent your garden. Right now I have lemon balm and mints coming up. You can see the mint in the above photo.

So yesterday was the first day of spring. I'm excited!

It is quite warm here. On Sunday I got out and started cleaning up the patio. I've made some progress thus far, but trying not to overdo it.

What's going on in your garden?


  1. Good morning Brenda! Yea, spring is here! I fell in love with your dishes the first time I saw them! I just fixed my no-reply blogger by removing my google+ account. I miss it though, it was a great way to read blogs and to find new ones. Yesterday was so nice we power washed our siding and gutters, amazing how much dirt and grime washed off.

  2. Nothing happening here yet with the garden because darn it, winter has not fully left yet. I do see some tulips and daffodils and hyacinth trying to raise their heads...

  3. Can I say, I just love your red dishes. Finally, getting my white & black kitchen...touches of red are a wonderful accompaniment.

  4. Unfortunately, nothing is going on in my gardens right now except for tiger lilies and chives poking out of the ground! Way too cold here in northern IL for anything else. Give us another month and perhaps we'll be able to put out a pot of pansies. I have the same red and white bird plates as shown in your photo. I got mine years ago and Pier 1 Imports.

    1. I got the bird plates at Pier 1 too. In TX.

  5. Good Morning Brenda, I am sitting here having my coffee and checking my emails. I have my kitchen window open a tad too. A pair of doves have made there next just outside my kitchen window & I can hear them cooing... it is a wonderful sound. Can someone tell me how do I know if I am set as a "no reply"??? I would like to fix it if I am. Thanks

  6. Love your coffee cart. I wish I had a wall close to the kitchen so I could have one. so many things on craigslist cheap I paint and use.

    no garden this year, I'll be putting miniature crepe myrtles in my pots to sorta block my screened in porch from the lake walkabout.

  7. I love your dishes also and the coffee cart is a great storage unit. We are starting to get a few things growing here, but I want to plant some flower seeds, maybe this weekend.

  8. Kaylene, your account is on a no reply setting. You can tell when you click to reply and it says no-reply account. Here is a link to see how to fix it...

  9. My garden is still a dream, but I've been gathering things to create my best garden yet.

  10. Those dishes have always caught my eye...gorgeous.

  11. If it will ever stop raining here in Northern California, I hope to plant a bunch of summer bulbs and seeds. After being evacuated, any amount of rain makes us all a nervous bunch!

  12. I had a pot full of herbs and they really thrived when the rains hit So Cal then just gave up afterwards. I'm so bummed. That was a great idea to answer questions. Loved hearing how you got into reviewing books.

  13. We haven't started our garden yet. We usually plant a few tomatoes, okra and squash. We keep it small. I'm looking forward to getting it started though. I like your patio garden. It's nice because you can sit outside among it and tend to it easily without a lot of walking. I'm sure that is helpful to you.

  14. I tried to find the dishes myself and this is what I found: they are discontinued. Called 222 Fifth by PTS International New Country, are microwave and dishwasher safe and the collection included: 11-inch dinner plate, 9¼-inch salad plate, 32-ounce cereal bowl and 17-ounce mug, and was only produced from 2010 to 2014. DANG. Anyways, can be found on ebay and replacements, etc. And maybe even at some thrift stores in the future! I have always loved them too.

  15. What I remember about your 'coffee bar' was that it was part of the kitchen (a moveable counter of sorts) in the little blue house your daughter and son-in-law purchased so that you could move there from Texas after your divorce and rent it from them. I thought it was neat how you reclaimed it as a cute coffee bar when it was just an extra working space in that kitchen, but I was really surprised when you took it with you when you moved. It has gone thru many rehabs since then and has served you well.I wish my kitchen was large enough for one but with my small space the best I can do is a large tray with my coffee staples on it...

    1. Actually when I moved there it was outside destined for the trash. And I said, "no, don't toss it. I'd like to keep it." My daughter thought I was nuts!

    2. Crazy like a fox, Brenda. Keep making the world beautiful.

  16. This is a good way to answer questions as I had had those questions myself about the dishes and coffee bar! Also, about "no reply" on my blog. I've tried to fix it once but didn't work.. so will use your link and try again! I planted my entire garden last summer in big plastic tubs (from our move) and it worked great! Will do it again... and some have perennials in them so anxious to see if they are going to come up. Some pansies are already peeking up through the dirt, so they survived a winter of down to 12 below zero in a pot! I'm very happy! Marilyn

  17. I love your coffee cart, even more since I know that it's a rescue!!

  18. I have always LOVED those dishes, Brenda. It is so much fun when you answer questions from your readers on your blog. I always learn something new when you do that...stuff I might have missed in the past. I have always loved coming to visit you. xo Diana

  19. Hi Brenda! I installed Disqus commenting system on my blogger blog. It works great, easier to reply to comments and the person gets an email letting them know you responded!


  20. Usually start planting on mothers day.still cold in northern Illinois. I've stared putting flowers in pots about 3yrs ago. My favorite flowers are geraniums.,also lavender.

  21. What's going on in my garden - still lots of weeds, but I'm almost finished cleaning up after a rainy winter. I'm nearing the point of being able to just sit in the garden and read.

  22. Nothing but snow and critters in my garden, Brenda! I love that coffee bar, especially since it was a rescue. My big green monster in my guest room was also a rescue, someone was tossing it - it's one of my favorite pieces in my house!! Too bad it didn't fit anywhere but there, but that's ok it's pretty awesome in the guest room!


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!


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Author Bio

Brenda has been writing since grade school. She majored in professional writing/journalism in college, where she won awards for her feature writing. She loves to decorate, garden, enjoy nature, read and spend time with her Yorkies.


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