Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Eventful Weekend!

Hello Blogger Friends!

I wanted to share two important events that happened for me this weekend! For the past seven months my boyfriend, James, had been driving 4 hours to another town two days a week to attend a required law enforcement training course to become a volunteer sheriff's deputy for his community. This has been a strain on our relationship because it meant that there was very limited time for us to spend together. He lives in another town that is an hour away from me, he has a demanding job with his local newspaper, and he has two children with his previous wife, so the cards were already stacked against us. Then the law enforcement training took out another two evenings that we could not spend together. It was really hard on me because I missed him so much! But even though it was hard we stuck by each other and now the training is over. James graduated, at the top of his class nonetheless, and now he is officially a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for his community. Mama was right when she said "This too shall pass!"
Even though it was difficult on our relationship, I am very proud of James for what he has accomplished and for the man he is. He went through that rigorous training so he could be the best volunteer deputy so he could help people and to keep the peace in his community. He believes in protecting the innocent and doing good. He believes in fighting for what is decent and right and I am thankful he is out there to keep others in his community safe.

At the graduation ceremony there were some pipers and a drummer (not pictured because he was talking to someone else during the photograph) that played music at the beginning of the ceremony. It had never heard bagpipes being played live like that and it was a neat experience! It was special to James also because his mom is Irish and his dad is Scottish!

Here is James giving his speech since he was the Valedictorian of his class. He talked about the importance of balancing volunteering with spending time with family and also learning from your mistakes. It was a very good speech that inspired everyone in the room.

Here he is taking his oath of office. I know he is proud of what he has already accomplished and I am proud of him too! I know he will do well and make a difference for others in his community. I know that is important to him.

I was very honored to be a part of this special day with him. James is a very loving, kind, thoughtful man and I feel very blessed to be his special girl. I love him very much and I hope our relationship continues to grow!

After the graduation ceremony and lunch, James and I went shopping and then headed to my mom's house for my brother's birthday party. He turned 33 on Saturday! It is really hard to believe that my little baby brother is 33-years-old now! I can remember when he was just 3 and how cute he was and all the funny things he did and said that made everyone laugh. He is still doing that! Mom made a carrot cake and we had ice cream with it. It was delicious! My mom is such a good cook! We come from a long line of good cooks and I am so glad some of that talent rubbed off on me! It was really good to see my family at my mom's house for Jeremy's birthday. I hope he had a good birthday and I hope he has a wonderful new year filled with many blessings, abundant happiness, and good health.

I wish many blessings for you, too!
Love Tammy

My Winter Cottage Kitchen

Hello Blogger Friends!
The start of a new year is a great time to start with a fresh clean decorating slate, so after I packed away the Christmas decorations I completely cleared the kitchen and living room to start from scratch. It looked like I was moving because there was absolutely nothing in the rooms. They were bare! Then I started adding only decorative pieces that were white, ivory, and silver. This is how it turned out. Welcome to my winter cottage kitchen!

There is a lot of room in the "dining area" since I folded up my drop-leaf table and pushed it up against the window. It's a great little nook for a cozy dinner for two but the only problem is that anyone over five feet tall bangs their head on the chandelier. That has happened more than once the past few weeks! Ouch!

The china hutch looks like a winter wonderland. I love the white and silver combination!

Isn't she lovely? I love the white plates on the center shelf with the fluted, almost lacy, edges. I will probably end up using them again for Valentine's Day!

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! And snow it did! Fake snow . . . . ALL OVER my kitchen floor. Mr.Stoops thought it was . . . CANDY!!!! And I had to take a few pieces from his mouth and sweep up my mess before it made him sick! Silly doggie!

I just love this little vignette. It's on a shelf next to my slim china hutch in the dining area. I bought the candles half price after Christmas and they smell like chocolate mint brownies. Every time I walk in that room I can smell something sweet, and they aren't even lit!

This small, skinny china hutch is just as fun to decorate as the big one. It holds the majority of my collection of Rose Point dishes by Pope Gosser. I have other pieces in my cabinets that are too big to fit in this hutch. They are my staple dishes and I use them ALL the time for dining and decorating. I hope I have a daughter because I want to pass them down to her. I hope she enjoys them and gets as much use out of them as I have. They were a really good investment!

A tower of teacups never looked so pretty in the snow!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my winter cottage kitchen. Please let me know what you think! Please check back soon because I am almost done with my Valentine ornaments for my Valentine Tree. I can't wait to show you what I am creating!
Many Blessings to You!
Love Tammy

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Winter Cottage Living Room

Hello Blogger Friends!

The chill of winter and the beginning of a brand new year provide the perfect opportunity for me to decorate, or maybe it's undecorate, in shades of white and silver. And so, a few weeks ago, I put the finishing touches on my sweet cottage and took these great pictures to share with you once again.
Just about everything in the room is white or ivory with accents of silver.

The room is crisp and clean, like starting with a clean slate. It will be completely transformed soon for Valentine's Day and there will be a lot more color. But I like the fact that there isn't much color and not a whole lot going on right now because it's very calming, peaceful, and serene. It is a time to reflect on things to come in the new year without so much clutter and other distractions.

I love how the fireplace mantle turned out again! It is always my favorite to decorate!

Here is the shelf above the television. I had a lot of fun hanging the snowflakes from the ceiling. They add some drama to this vignette!

This is a house and tree I painted and decorated for Christmas a few years ago but they were just the perfect fit for my snowy winter cottage.

Isn't the fireplace so pretty! I just love how it turned out!

The white and silver make such a pretty combination to help decorate and celebrate the cold winter months.

I find so much fulfillment from decorating my home. It seems that the more I do it the better I get and the more I enjoy it. Sometimes I look back at old photographs I have taken of previous attempts to decorate and have to laugh at myself. I have come a long way, baby!

I made this wreath from a foam wreath base and wrapped a white boa around it, then glittered the roses and foam snowballs and glued them on. It was fun and easy to make and it is so beautiful displayed on my door!

Here is Miss Molly in an elegant evening gown that is the perfect shade for the season. I have only worn this dress a few times but I hope to wear it more when the weather warms up a bit!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my beautiful winter cottage living room. I will post some pictures of the kitchen soon!
Blessings to You!
Love Tammy

A Day of Crafting

Hello Blogger Friends!
Two weekends my mom came to my house and we had a day of crafting. We had hot tea and she made some delicious S'more Scones and we made Valentine cards all morning long. It was so fun to get together and craft. It is one of our passions and it is so much sweeter when it is shared with someone you love. I wanted to show you some of the cards I put together. If you would like to see my mom's cards, please visit her blog at www.glitterandroses.blogspot.com.
Aren't the sweet little birds so cute?

I think this one ended up being my favorite. I used a glue stick on it however and it started to warp so I had to put it under some heavy objects to flatten it out. I love black and pink together!

I love the red "bling" on this card. It's amazing what a little embellishment will do!

Isn't the lace on this card just the sweetest thing!

This card is very different from the others and has more of a Victorian look, but I think it is still very pretty! I love the Prima flower embellishment!

Aren't paper doilies the best? They can be used in so many ways!

I love the layered flower on this card. It is so sweet!

Here is my sweet mama creating one of her beautiful cards. We both has so much fun that day working side by side, talking and laughing. I hope we can do it again soon and make it a regular thing each month. I know I would get a lot more creating done that way! I can't wait to show you what I have been working on since that day we made cards. I left a white Christmas tree up in my bedroom and I am going to make it a Valentine tree but I didn't have anything to put on it so I am in the process of making dozens of beautiful hand-made Valentine ornaments to adorn it with. I can't wait for you to see them!

I hope we have inspired you to get into your crafting mode and make some of your own beautiful hand-made Valentine cards and to get together with your friends and relatives and make it a party! Please feel free to use any of my ideas for your cards. It is so fun to create something and then share it with the world. Please let me know what you think of the cards or if you have any suggestions to make them better! I hope you have a blessed day!
Blessings to You!
Love Tammy

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bad Doggie!

Hello Blogger Friends!

I don't think I have ever introduced you to my other dog. Her name is Sissy and I adopted her from the SPCA in my community because Mr.Stoops was spending a lot of time alone and I thought he was sad and bored being alone so I got him a friend. Well it turns out that even though Sissy is a sweet, loving, very entertaining little lady, she can also be very naughty and destructive. She uprooted many a bush, flower, and plant in my backyard and was working on digging up my big tree! She destroyed furniture cushions and chewed up anything she could get in her mouth. I think she was really bored so James has allowed her to come live with him. She plays with his dog Popeye and he has a much bigger back yard so she is happy there.
A few days ago James went outside to check on the dogs and couldn't find them. "Sissy, where are you?"

" Oh, there you are! Inside a giant cave you have dug under my porch!!!", James exclaimed.

That's right my friends! This little digger actually carved out a cave to burrow herself under his back patio! I am so glad he is patient and understanding. I guess she figured out a way to stay warm in the cold winter weather. She's not outside very much so I can't believe she actually had the time to create such a cave!

I sure hope we can teach Sissy to stop digging soon. She can be so destructive! I would love to hear your stories of things your dogs have done. I'm sure this is mild compared to some of your experiences. Please share them with me!
Blessings to You!
Love Tammy

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dogs Are a Girl's Best Friend!

Hello Blogger Friends!

Things are slow at work right now so I am taking advantage by catching up with all of your pretty blogs and by updating and adding some things to mine. I just wanted to share a funny with you today. Mr.Stoops is my precious Corgi/Beagle mix that I adopted in 2003 and he was about three-years-old then. My little man will be about 11 years old this year - that is 77-years old in dog years. Holy cow! He's a grandpa dog! But he still plays like he is a puppy! He has been with me through thick and thin for the past 7 years. He has always been there for me when I am sick or when I am sad or lonely. He is a good listener and a great comforter. During my recent divorce he did not leave my side and he would lay his head on my chest and snuggle close to me as I would cry in the night from a broken heart. He is such a good dog and so well behaved. He is my little man and I am so in love with him. I know I will come unglued when he is gone. He is a special guy.
Every morning he and I have a special routine. When it's time to get up I let him outside to potty, then he gets a drink of water and asks if he can get in my bed (his short, stumpy legs won't allow him to jump up on the bed unless he really tries and he knows he should ask first). So I put him in my bed and go get ready for work in the bathroom. Sometimes when I turn the TV on in the morning he goes into the living room to watch Ellen in his special chair (that I have replaced the cushion on twice now because he also thinks it is a chew toy). When I am done getting ready I put his dog bed in my utility room for him to stay when it's too cold outside. This morning I just so happened to have my camera with me and when I asked him if he was ready to go get in his room 'cause Mommy has to go to work now, that little dog stuck his tongue out at me! And I have proof! So after I composed myself from hysterical laughter I scooped him up in my arms, gave him a big smooch on the head, and put him in his bed. He brings me so much joy and happiness. I am so blessed to have him and I hope I never take his love for granted.
There is a bloggerette going by the name of "Anne F" that left me a sweet comment and I would love to check out her blog but I can't figure out how to get there. If any of you can help me find her blog I would appreciate it! Also she said she was redoing her house and if she hasn't seen my post on June17, 2010 of my Rosy Cottage - please check it out. There are some great before and after pictures of my home. It still amazes me how far that house has come!
I hope you all are having a great week! Blessings to you!
Love Tammy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Hello Blogger Friends!

I had a New Year's Eve party at my cottage and my mom, my brother Jeremy and his girlfriend Rachel, and my sweet James came to help me celebrate the coming of 2011.
We had all kinds of great muchies and beverages. I made apple cider so the kitchen smelled like an apple pie. It was wonderful. We had a lot of fun talking, laughing, and playing games.

James got to know my family a little better and they got to know him too. It made me happy to know they were enjoying their time together.

I had an orthodontist appointment just three days before and they changed my wires. The top wire is purple now, believe it or not, and both wires are REALLY tight so my teeth really hurt!

I had several games for us to play but we ended up only playing one - ALL NIGHT LONG! It is called "Battle of the Sexes" so it was boys against girls. The boys ask the girls questions that boys would know the answers to to see if the girls could answer them and vice versa. After playing 4 rounds and playing it all kinds of different ways, we concluded that the women's questions were a lot harder than the men's questions. I'm not sure what that says about the intelligence of men vs. women. I will let you draw your own conclusions!

Rachel looks like she's up to something!!! I'm so glad she was on my team!

My sweet fur baby, Mr. Stoops, begged for food and did this all night long. I'm so glad I am human. As wonderful as it sounds to sleep and eat all day long life would be awfully boring if we couldn't celebrate!

Ok, now Jeremy looks like he is up to something and he wasn't on my team! Maybe that's why the girls lost 3 out of 4 games! Nonetheless, we all had a great time playing until our toast at midnight. I bought a bottle of sparkling grape juice for our toast and it was tasty!

I want to personally wish each one of you a safe, healthy, happy, blessed, prosperous New Year! May all of your hopes, wishes, and dreams come true! And don't forget to DREAM BIG!
Love Tammy