book review – “House Blessings”

Hello friends! I am so glad you dropped by today because I have some exciting news to share. Today I will be talking about a little book called House Blessings, and every month I will share a different book and review it with you.

The books chosen will center around our home and gardens. I have a list of books in mind already, and I cannot wait to share them together. I strive for books which will inspire us and allow us to master the art of joie de vivre by how we choose to live in our homes.

Books in my queue:

  1. Patina Farm by Giannetti & Giannetti
  2. The Modern Bohemian Table by Amanda Bernardi
  3. French Country Cottages by Courtney Allison
  4. Styling Beyond Instagram by Robin Zachary
  5. Feels Like Home by Marian Parsons {aka Miss Mustard Seed}
  6. Home To Share by Leslie Saeta
  7. Couture Prairie by Rachel Ashwell
  8. The French Way with Design by Betty Lou Phillips
  9. French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings by Courtney Allison
  10. The French Inspired Home by Carolyn Westbrook
  11. Paris Flea Market Style by Claudia Strasser

That completes a year in review. If this is a successful series, I will continue beyond that. I am not sure in what particular order I will share these, but I will let inspiration dictate choices. Let’s get started with today’s book choice!

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about House Blessing the book

House Blessings is a little book by June Cotner, which includes prayers, poems and toasts celebrating home and family. I showed this sweet book last month in my {St. Patrick’s day foyer vignette}.

front entry decor vignette
a St. Patrick’s day decor vignette idea

“This book has inspirational selections to celebrate all the things that make a house a home.” This philosophy is at the core of many of the topics I share here on my blog, striving to make our homes a sanctuary from everyday life, which we share with our family and friends as we live the good life.

This book is small in size (5.75″ wide x 6.5″ tall) and a very light read. It’s a great house warming or hostess gift. Over the holiday season I gifted this to several people and it was my go to gift.

The book is broken into seven chapters, which I have listed below, and I will share my favorite take for each chapter. It does not necessarily mean it’s the best part of each chapter, it’s just the one which spoke to me the strongest.

House Blessings Chapters:

  1. Our Home
  2. Family & Friends
  3. Our Children
  4. Our Garden
  5. Graces & Toasts
  6. Holidays & Celebrations
  7. Reflections

House Blessings chapter reviews

chapter one: Our Home

"A Home is Built with Peace and Love
A home is built with peace and love, and not of wood or stone, a place where happiness lives, and memories are sown." ~Author Unknown
"More Than Bricks and Wood
More than bricks and wood, our house is made of memories.  More than doors and windows, our house holds good times shared.  More than rooms and furnishings, our home is filled with love." ~ Nancy Priff

Yes! I love this. A house is a building structure, but a home is what we make of it and the feeling it evokes.

chapter two: Family & Friends

"More Than a House
It's a place to raise family, And a place to laugh with friends.  It's a place to put your feet up, And rest at the work day's end. With space to make your own, It's a place to play, It's a place to love, It's the place that you call home." ~ Andrea L. Mack 

Do you feel the common theme here? I know we all strive to make our home not only a safe haven for all who reside and enter within our walls, but also a joyful place.

chapter three: Our Children

"Our Children Are Like Seeds
Our children are like seeds, given to us in unmarked envelopes.  We sprinkle them with love and daily let them shine in the sun.  Their roots are well grounded, and their shoots are many.  We do not yet know when they will bloom Or what their flowers will be." ~ Rebecca K. Wass

I love the garden analogy of this. As a mother of two young adults, I love the unmarked seed packet reference. It’s true. Although my children were raised in the same household they are vastly different, but yet share many similarities. And I love to watch them blossom into their own.

chapter four: Our Garden

"A Garden Blessing
The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth- One is nearer God's heart in a garden Than anywhere else on earth." ~ Dorothy Frances Gurney

I am constantly amazed by mother nature and all the joys she brings. I love the sentiment that we are close to God when surrounded by our gardens. We are graced by the beauty of the great outdoors.

chapter five: Graces & Toasts

"We Give Thanks
We give thanks to the Power that makes for Meeting, for our table has been a place of dialogue and friendship.  We give thanks to Life.   May we never lose touch with the simple joy and wonder of sharing a meal." ~ Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

Many fond memories of my childhood involve sitting around a table while visiting family whenever we went back to Uruguay. There was always plenty of food, drink and laughter. Conversation was shared around the table across all the different age groups.

chapter six: Holidays & Celebrations

"Family Reunion Grace
We arrived today, God of then and now as near strangers, for families no longer live close by.  Be with us as we meet around our common root to rededicate our ancestors' memories. Be with us as we talk our places as ancestors for the young ones, help us be worthy of remembrance by generations to come.  Through this time of catching up, embrace and return unto our distant homes renewed, refreshed and revitalized until we again join hands with You around this family table." ~ Margaret Anne Huffman

This speaks to me again since I have always lived far from my extended family back in Uruguay. And although these gatherings are not in my own home when we visit there, it still feels like home since it’s my family, which brings a bond like no other.

chapter seven: Reflections

It is difficult to understand anybody without visiting his home. Houses reveal character." ~ Gilbert Highet
"A Feeling of Home
Home is a feeling... of peace, comfort, and satisfaction.  A sanctuary to rest, heal, and refresh, Knowing this is where I belong." ~ Mary Huff Chandler

I love both of these quotes. Our homes indeed are reflections of our souls. How we live in our homes shows a lot about our persona.

House Blessings final thoughts

House Blessings is a sweet compilation of thoughts of how we all want our homes to be a place of grace and beauty for ourselves and all who enter. Whether you call it a home, household or homestead it’s all the same. It’s the place you find comfort and peace and joy. It’s our ultimate safe space.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into this thoughtful little book. Every month I will select and share a book centered around our homes and gardens, making them our ultimate nest.

“We shape our buildings and then they shape us.”

Winston Churchill

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. Donna Allen says:

    What a fun series!
    I love books on home decor! Can’t wait to see what you think about the others! Tale care, Donna

    1. Thanks Donna. I am so glad you like it. In a way it’s to force me to get through all the books in an intentional manner. I collect them, start them, but never finish. This is my motivation. 🙂 Stay tuned friend. XO- MJ

  2. Myrna says:

    The biggest blessing today is to own a home.

    1. Yes! Myrna that is very true. We are blessed. XO- MJ

  3. annafromskylarkhouse says:

    MaryJo- I LOVE all the books in your book queue. I have Marian’s book Feels Like Home and I think it is a fabulous resource. I am intrigued by House Blessings and will have to check it out!

    1. It’s a sweet little book. More of a feel good and thoughtful sentiments. Yes I love Marian’s book and I haven’t gotten through it all. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into these books. XO- MJ

  4. Cara says:

    What a great share. I am a sucker for any home decorating books, and love suggestions for them. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome Cara. I think we all have a weakness for home decor books with beautiful pictures. It’ll be fun to share. XO-

I love hearing from you!