Saturday, January 31, 2009

I felt creative today!

Today I felt very creative after my morning with Megan. I took her to the spa for her birthday spa pedicure. The spa also gave her a free makeup touchup, which I thought was really nice. We went to HandPicked Jewelry Store, J. Jill, Pandora, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. We then went to lunch at a restaurant called Encore. I had the Grilled chicken Encore Salad, which is really amazing. They put dried cherries, almonds, shaved chicken, 5 different kinds of greens in it and a very tasteful dressing. I love that! Megan had a chicken, avocado wrap and she said it was the best she had tasted in a long time. Overall our morning together was wonderful! We chatted about clothes, jewelry, babies, purses, jobs, etc. It was a great fabulous time, if you haven't got that impression already!!

When I got home I decided I needed to repaint a canvas that I started earlier in the week. While it was drying I decided to make some jewelry. I guess going to HandPicked really inspired me. I ended up not making anything I saw though, my own creations. Here they are!!






I will be wearing this Red Valentine's Day collection on Valentine's Day! Tonight John and I are going to Jenny and Kevin's housewarming party. Should be alot of fun! Everyone have a great day and evening!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I won an award from Book-fan Mary



The Premio Dardos is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.


Mary, thanks for this award. I'm honored!! I am awarding this to two bloggers who deserve this award: Victoria at http://vintagetea.blogspot.com/ and Kay at http://travelerswife.blogspot.com/.

I was "tagged" by Brenda

I was tagged by Brenda from It's a Beautiful Life..... (thank you Brenda) for "Eight is Enough". Brenda thought of the old TV show Eight is Enough and so did I! Well here goes!

Eight TV Shows/Movies I Watch Regularly

1. alot of shows on HGTV
2. CSI: Miami
3. American Idol when it is on
4. "24"
5. CSI: NY
6. CSI: Las Vegas
7. Bones when I can remember to
8. I read alot so I really can't think of an eighth show.

Eight Things that Happened Yesterday (Tuesday)

1. 8:00 Project Manager Meeting
2. 4-5:00 Superintendent Meeting
3. Lunch with a few people from work
4. Dinner with John (my hubby)
5. Painted my fingernails with OPI Chicago Champagne Toast
6. Watched American Idol with John
7. Called and wished Megan (oldest daughter) happy birthday!
8. Called and wished my niece, Tawny happy birthday.

Eight Favourite Places to Eat

1. Firebirds
2. Miros, Spanish Grille
3. The Tea Hive
4. Capital Grille
5. Eddie's
6. Sugar Magnolias
7. Brixx's Pizza (love their mozzarella sandwich!)
8. The Walpack Inn

Eight Things On My Wish List

1. Find more time to create things (jewelry, paint, weave)
2. Travel with John
3. Keep my job
4. Make some more friends
5. Stay healthy
6. Learn how to make a website
7. Read more books!
8. Grow more as a person and in this hard economic times keep positive!

Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To

1. Going to Hilton Head possibly in March with John
2. Knitting baby blankets for my girls when they are blessed with children!
3. Going to the beach with friends.
4. Springtime-I love the spring in NC
5. My Mom visiting for a week this Spring.
6. Spending Saturday with Megan.
7. Going to Barnes and Noble, I just love that place!
8. Just being!

I guess you are suppose to pick 8 people to pass this on to. I have chosen not to do that. If you feel like participating, please do. It was fun thinking of the answers to these things! Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What a great time we all had last night!



Last night we celebrated Megan's 28th birthday (which is really tomorrow). John, Megan, Ken, Jenny, Kevin and I had a very nice meal (one Megan picked out). We had cake afterwards. It was such a nice time. I cannot believe she is turning 28-where have the years gone. You think when they are little they will stay that way and some days when they are little you say you wish they were grownup. When Megan and Ken got married last year that really made John and I realize they aren't little anymore. Megan has made her father and I proud of her!

Megan and Jenny are going to see RENT tomorrow night. It has finally come to Charlotte. She wanted to see it in NYC when we lived in NJ but she never got there. They should have a really grand time tomorrow night!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I found a surprise on my Saturday Garden Walk!



Much to my surprise when I took my weekly walk through my garden, this is what popped up this week after the snow-MY DAFFODILS!! I was so happy to see them!



The Lamb's Ears are started to form again too! Spring is in the air!!



I walked around to my front yard garden and the daffodils are starting out there too, but they have not come up as high as the backyard ones.



I can start using my own chives again when I cook. I tucked this little pot of chives up against the house (wonderful little brick corner on the patio) and they have started to produce.



This is a bit blurry but my iris' are starting to green up again! I love these iris' they are a beautiful peach color and they look great with the brick on the house.



I thought I would show you a picture of my bird of paradise. I have this beauty in the sunroom. The center leaf is new, it just unfurled a few days ago. The office was going to throw this plant out and I told them I would take it and put it on my patio. I'm so glad I did!

Well that is the tour for this week. Just remember everyone who has the winter blues, Spring is just around the corner. In some states it has started to arrive already!! Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It is a sunny day here today!



The weather here this week was very strange! In the beginning of the week is was 13 degrees, then Tuesday we had our first snow in Charlotte in 5 yrs, Wednesday and Thursday it was breezy and cool and today it is suppose to reach 60 degrees, warm, sunny and WONDERFUL!!!!!! I love it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow one day gone the next!

The snow is gone! That is just the way I like it. The year we moved down year was a memorable year for snow in NJ and I don't think I'm over it yet!! The last snowstorm we had while in NJ was 21". It wasn't gone until the end of April. I used to get so sick of winter, especially when we had the horses and sheep. Feeding animals and moving them around was not fun when it was so cold, 2' of snow on the ground and don't even get me started about the ice! Try moving two 1,700 lb horses on that!! We live in the Piedmont section of NC and we hardly get snow, almost never (we've never experienced one in almost 5 yrs. here) get hurricanes or tornadoes and the weather is usually very comfortable. This was the first year I had to buy a coat!! I want to say I'm sorry to everyone who has had it with the snow, cold weather, etc. Spring is around the corner!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow in Charlotte!



This is our backyard. Our little birdhouse hanging in the maple tree with snow piled on it.



The Lantern on the brick wall looks so pretty with snow all on it!



This is the ironwork we have hanging on the back of the outside fireplace. I thought it looked really pretty with the snow all on it.



This is the fountain in my backyard garden. It is still working. The birds love having running water in the winter.



Some more backyard pictures.



I thought I would share some of our snow pictures that I took this morning before I left for my Dr. appt. and work. We haven't had snow in Charlotte since the winter of 2004. By the time I got home from work the snow was almost gone! The eastern part of the state got more than we did.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here is Flash, Sparkles was too shy!



I could only get this picture of Flash. Sparkles was too shy for a pic. His coloring is also so hard to take a picture of. Maybe while I'm feeding them in the morning I can get a snapshot of her!



These are the roses John and I bought for the Open House yesterday. Aren't they beautiful!

I have finally named the fish!

I have finally named my fish! The large orange colored fancy tail Goldfish is Flash. The small multi-colored fancy tail goldfish is Sparkles. It has taken a while to get their true personalities-if fish have personalities. Flash, of course, is the one that scoots around the minute you walk into the kitchen. Sparkles lives up to his name and just shines all over the place with his many colors. The realtor loved them swimming around in their huge vase/bowl during the Open House. She said many of the people that came through remarked about them. Tonight I will try and take better pictures of them and post them on here! Everyone have a wonderful day and stay warm!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today was our first Open House with our New Realtor!



Today was the Open House with our new realtor. She said about 6 couples came through, which on a day like today I was really surprised that many came out. It is cold and gray here. She said the one couple (the wife) didn't like the vaulted ceiling in the Great Room but loved the rest of the house, but all the others really liked it. One of the couples was our neighbor-they are thinking of selling their house and I guess they wanted to see what they were up against. He said he can't compete with ours. Now I don't think he is going to put his on the market, I feel sorry for them but that helps us if they don't.

Our realtor took us in the houses across the street and they don't compare to ours either. They mixed different decorating styles within the same house, neither one has screened porches and the biggest thing of all is they are inside lots and pie shaped, which are very small and no privacy. The one house looks out at 8 other homes in different angles! I feel better now.

The right buyer will come along for our house one day! Right at the moment I'm not in any hurry.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Really Nice Saturday

Jenny and I went to On a String Bead Shop and The Bead Lush Bead Shop this morning. I had a gift certificate to On a String from Jenny and Kevin from Christmas. I bought some wonderful beads and I still have $6.00 left on the certificate. Then we proceeded to The Bead Lush. I bought some really pretty red beads so I can make a Valentines Day necklace with matching earrings. After I make them I'll post a picture on here. We then proceeded to Dish, a really casual restaurant in the Midwood Plaza section of Charlotte. It's a very urban section of Charlotte. I had chicken salad, which they put pecans in and grapes-it was yummy! Jenny had their homemade tomato bisque soup. They put bits of fresh basil in it-she was in heaven. She has always loved tomato soup of any kind, even when she was little. We then came back to our house. I made her 3 prs. of earrings with the beads she bought. She also had brought along with her 2 vintage dresses she found in a thrift shop. She needed them taken in a little and she doesn't have a sewing machine. I do so I took them in for her. She looked really cute in them. Jenny and Kevin both love things from the 40's. Tonight John and I are having dinner with our friends. This wasn't planned but we're looking forward to it! Everyone keep warm and enjoy the day!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Hi Everyone! I couldn't believe I hadn't posted since Monday and here it is Thursday! I have had an extremely busy week at work and chilling out with John at night. He only has to work tonight from 5-9:30. That isn't very long. Best Buy has cut everyone's hours and the part-timers only get about 4-4 1/2 hours a week now. It is a sign of the times. Tonight I am taking time for me and having dinner with a friend. She is a former co-worker of mine. She usually cancels but today she has kept her promise of dinner, which I'm glad. When I get home I have to make a pan of ziti for the guy I work with. His wife is the one who has lung cancer and he has 3 little children. I made one a few weeks ago and he is having trouble getting the meals, bathing the 3 kids and getting them to bed in a timely fashion. His wife is in the hospital taking an experimental drug all week. I told him I would make another batch of ziti for him and the kids and he was very thankful. It is a hard time for them all right now and the last thing he needs to think about is food/cooking! I hope everyone is staying warm with all this horrendous cold weather. Today it is pretty chilly here but not as bad as other parts of the country. Tomorrow morning is suppose to be 13 degrees here-now that is cold for Charlotte,NC!! I'm glad it is Friday so I can wear jeans and a nice warm sweater! I hope all of you have a wonderful afternoon and evening!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Today wore me out!

Today I was so busy at work it really wore me out! I didn't run around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I had so much to do at my desk that I guess my brain just got really tired. When I left at 5 it felt like it was more like 10! I worked at my pace but there was a lot of phone calls and paperwork that needed to be processed. My one project manager was out today so all his calls were sent to me! DH really surprised me when I got home. He wanted to make a healthy dinner so he got the WW cookbook out and made Orange Baked Chicken and it was wonderful! He was so proud of himself! We also had salad, broccoli and 2 small red skinned potatoes. I made a blueberry smoothie for my dessert because I was low on my points. It was yummy! Still haven't named my fishes. I have to study them a little more and then name them. Tonight John and I are just chilling out. We enjoyed watching "24" as well as watching it last night too! Everyone have a great evening!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We have 2 new members of our family!



It is a little hard to see but we have gotten 2 goldfish for the huge vase that I thought looked like the Victorians fancy goldfish bowls. One is a bright orange and the other is white with splashes of orange and gold. They are fancy tails. The white one is very shy. I haven't named them yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with some really good names.



This is the orange one that came close enough to the glass for me to snap it's pic. The other one is still hiding among the live plants I put in there.

I haven't had goldfish since we moved down here. I always have had koi ponds where ever we have lived. John and I usually dig the ponds and either buy a liner or a fiberglass form. We just never got around to doing that here. I can now enjoy my fish inside and if the house sells we can just move them with us!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today's Walk around the Yard



Our Camellia Bush is really blooming it's little heart out in the backyard! If you look beyond the camellia bush, you will see a wrought iron artwork in the yard. John and Jenny took a blacksmithing course (decorative blacksmithing not horseshoeing blacksmithing) and for our anniversary he made me this beautiful piece with leaves attached to it. In the middle of the piece of art is a gigantic brass cog from a piece of machinery. They cut through the cog and if you tap the cog with a piece of metal it works like a gong! It is one of the most thoughtful things (even though he is usually very thoughtful in his gift giving) John has ever given me for our anniversary. The class ended up on the day of our anniversary too. It is a gift I will always treasure!



This was an abandoned birdnest left in a tree in our backyard. I never even knew there was little birds there!



My parsley is growing back. It was obliterated last summer and early Fall by the catepillars. The ivy is doing well also.



This is an unusual picture I know. We cut our banana tree down when the frost hit it. I never really looked at the inside of the trunk until today. Look at all the cell like formations and channels that were down in there! I bet they all hold water for the banana tree!



These are the flowers that John sent to me at my office on Wednesday. I was so surprised! He said that was the effect he wanted. What a great guy!!

That's it for the yard tour this week. I noticed my tree peony is started to bud up already. My lemon balm is already florishing and it's only January! This winter has been really mild so far. That's what I love about living here. My Mom called today and said it is snowing really hard in NW NJ where she and my 2 sisters and their families live. They can have it!! Enjoy the stroll!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society



I heard alot about this book and couldn't wait to read it. When I got my ipod for Christmas, I decided that would be the first book I would download on itunes. I have been listening to this book in the car on the way to work and I'm really enjoying it. I love the accents. I also appreciate when a man is talking they use a man's voice not a woman's disguised as a man.

Lemonade Award



I received the Lemonade Award from Mary today. Thank you so much Mary for this very kind award. That was very thoughtful of you. This award is for blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. I'm so honored to receive this. I think I will pass this on to:

Kay
Lynne
Victoria
Sarah

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Australia The Movie



Last night John and I went to see the movie Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. What a wonderful movie!! The scenery was just beautiful! We really enjoyed the story, even though at times it was sad. Hugh Jackman wasn't too bad to look at either!! I was so glad we finally got to see it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It is rainy, rainy, rainy here today!



The weather here today in Charlotte is just plain nasty!! Charlotte is suppose to get between 2-3 inches of rain just today! I went out to lunch today and got soak and wet. It has been gray, dingy, rainy and humid here all day. Yesterday we had fog, rain and gray in the morning, over the weekend we had rain, gray and fog-WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH of the gray, rain, foggy, dreary days here for a bit. I think it is suppose to be like this tomorrow too. I guess I should be thankful for the rain-just this past year we had a severe drought and I don't think all the levels fully came up to where they should be. I am looking forward to some sunshine though.

I really think we should all be sent home to read, snuggle under some covers and have some tea! Don't think the bosses would like that though-oh to dream......

I just received The Butterfly Award



I just received this award from my friend, Mary at Bookfan-Mary. Thank you Mary! I will be passing it on to:

Robin
Kay
Marnie
Catherine
Heidi
Victoria

Feel free to pass the love along to your favs!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Trying a New Diet or Healthy Way of Living



I have been looking at this book for awhile and last night I finally bought it. This book has been brought up in alot of conversations I've been involved with lately. I thought I would check it out while I was at Borders last night and decided to give it a try. From what I read I think I can really stick to this and change the way I have been eating to a more healthier way of eating. I will let you all know how I do! Wish me luck!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Books I read for 2008

I would have liked to have read a few more books in 2008, but now I have something to strive for in 2009!


1. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
2. The Cat Who Smelled a Rat by Lillian Jackson Braun
3. Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella
4. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
5. Rhett Butler's People by Daniel McCaig
6. Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews
7. The Deception of the Emerald Ring-BOCD
8. Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott-BOCD
9. The Silver Needle Murder: A Tea Shop Mystery
10. Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
11. Bulls Island by Dorothea Benton Frank
12. The Beach Club by Elin Hilderbrand
13. The Pink Magnolia Club by Geralyn Dawson
14. Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
15. The Red Hat Club by Haywood Smith
16. The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
17. 3rd Degree by James Patterson BOCD
18. The Hot Flash Club by Nancy Thayer BOCD
19. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
20. I'll be Watching You by Victoria Gotti BOCD
21. Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
22. Dead Ringer by Lisa Scottoline BOCD
23. The Richest Season by Mary Ann McFadden
24. The Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot BOCD
25. Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughman
26. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
27. Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
28. Horseplay by Judy Reene Singer
29. Cliff House Strangler by Shirley Tallman
30. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
31. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
32. Angels by Marian Keyes
33. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
34, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
35. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
36. Set Sail for Murder by Carolyn Hart
37. Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright
38. Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton
39. The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
40. Summer Blowout by Claire Cook
41. The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren
42. Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier
43. Dashing Through the Snow by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark
44. Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
45. Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Walk through the Garden, some cleaning and new arrangements for 2009!

Happy New Year Everyone! I decided to post some pictures from my garden as I walked along with Teddy outside. This is a good way to start the new year. I decided to polish some silver, wash some crystal and glass bowls. I also decided to change some of the guest rooms around. I thought I'd show all of you the results! I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! I would also like to thank each and everyone of you for being you!



My first thing for the new year was to wash some of my glass and crystal bowls around the house that are filled with some of the treasures I have collected. This glass bowl was given to me for Christmas about 4 years ago by Jenny, our youngest daughter. The sea glass was all collected by me when I was pregnant with our oldest daughter, Megan. I just love all the colors and hues.



I guess I was in the cleaning, polishing mode. I got out the silver polish and polished up this silver tray. This tray is in my room on my dresser and holds all my favorite perfumes. I started this trend when we lived in a Victorian in NJ and have kept that idea ever since.



I washed the beautiful paperweight John and I bought in Ireland, when we visited there for our 25th wedding anniversary 5 years ago. I love the swirls and many colors. It is called the Irish Sea, if I remember correctly. When the sun hits it is absolutely beautiful!

Now Outside to the Garden!



This is my 15 year old Garden Angel. I had this little cherub in NJ when I lived there and then I moved it to NC with us.



This is our red camellia just getting ready to burst open. I love Camellias!!



This is the red camellia that just started blooming in our backyard. It looks like a shrub with about 15 little red cardinals on it! I love it!!



The Carolina Jasmine next to the brick wall on the patio seems to be thriving. If you all remember this is the Jasmine that took over the brick column and the lantern that sits on it during the summer.



I've had this ivy for 2 years. When the cold comes it turns all these marvelous colors. Just thought I'd share!

It was chilly outside, so I decided to move back inside and rearrange some things in the guest rooms!



In the front guest room I just moved a picture and put a different vase of flowers on the dresser. This dresser holds a special place in our hearts. My dear friend's father (whom we lovingly called "Grand Dad) gave us this dresser when he moved. It fits quite nicely in this guest room and every time I look at it I think of Grand Dad. Grand Dad passed away 2 years ago so it holds even more sentiment to us all.



I rearranged the corner in the yellow guest room. There is kind of a French Country theme in this room. The dresser with a built in bonnet storage area was an antique John and I bought in NJ at a little antique store called Rebecca's Antiques. Rebecca thought of me when it came in and I had to have it when I went to see it. I had never seen a dresser with a bonnet storage area in it before. The rocking chair I bought at an auction for $4.00. I found out it is a nursing rocker (hence no arms so you can nurse your baby easily). The throw on the rocking chair is one I wove on my own loom. It is made out of mohair and I love it. It is very gauzy looking but very warm. Often I will sit in that chair and read. Very comfy!



I decided after I took down Christmas I needed to dress the Dining Room table back up for Spring. I know it is still winter, but with the house on the market I wanted to brighten up the Dining Room so Spring it is!!

Well the tour has now come to an end. I hope you enjoyed walking through the garden and house with me. Now it's time for some vanilla tea and my book!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!