Monday, August 31, 2009

Tomorrow is moving day...

...for my blog.  It's something I've been thinking about...and planning for quite awhile.  I just feel as if my reason for starting a blog in the first place has gotten lost.  This is my personal daily (almost) journal, a place to gather my thoughts, dreams, ideas and my favorite things.  It was also meant to reflect the shabby lifestyle that I love. 
My 2 shabby chicks and I are working on some projects for a store...etsy for now but we'll see...and we have named it The Shabby Tiara...because we are all princesses at heart.  That's also the name of the new blog...fitting for the shabby chicks, don't you think? 
We also have a photo blog inspired by the Julia movie called Shabby365 with lots of inspiring shabby vintage photos.  I hope you'll all join me at the new blog (s) but I understand if you move on.  We should all follow the blogs we really love, you know? The link for my new blog will be www.theshabbytiara.com  Hopefully it will all be up and running tomorrow, Sept. 1st, but it is still a work in progress so please be patient.  There will be a link for you to click on from here also so don't worry if you forget.  You can probably get to it now but I won't have my posts from here transferred yet.  I'm trying to add buttons and links to all of your blogs but it takes time.  I'll get there, I promise. And I'm sorry I haven't been able to visit your blogs lately as I have been consumed with this but I promise to visit soon:-)
Jennifer, thank you so much for your help. If not for you, I think I would have given up by now!:-) 
Suzanne

Friday, August 28, 2009

Feature Friday...

...and my friend Frank.
Okay, Trudy is hosting her very own meme and it's a good one. It's called Feature Friday and it's all about the movies...new ones, old ones, funny ones and everything in between. At first, I thought...no problem, I can write about this one forever. Then I realized I have so many movies I love that it was almost overwhelming. I finally figured out which to write about and what I love about the movie, so here goes. Hope you like it...and be sure to head over to Third Time's A Charm to join Trudy!

Wondering why I mention my friend Frank? It's because I cannot talk about one of my all-time favorite movies and NOT talk about Frank. A movie that never fails to make me laugh until I cry is Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell. I had never heard of it until Frank told me, about 17 years ago.


In order to tell this properly, I have to tell you about Frank and believe me when I say he would have loved being talked about in a blog. He would totally have been a blogger too, I just know it. You see, Frank was gay. He was larger than life, just like Auntie Mame. (This isn't in any way a discussion of being gay and my own personal feelings or anything like that...just a story about a teddy bear of a guy who introduced me to a fabulous movie) My husband actually knew him first and introduced us. He owned THE hair salons in town:-) Being friends with Frank was special. He was always there to laugh or cry with you in an instant. He was funny, funny, funny...and just plain a riot to be with. He could cook italian like nobody I have ever met. His cannoli were to die for and took a few days to make. (His mommas recipe:-) I have never had any even half as good and will no longer even order them as they are such a disappointment. I know...you have a good recipe. But they will never be Frank's so I'll pass:-)

Frank loved movies...old and new. He would call me and ask if Phil had a meeting and if so he would invite me to come over for a bite to eat and to watch a movie. He had 2 amazing black leather "movie" chairs that we sat in for hours, watching the movies and just talking about anything and everything. We talked about hair...of course...fashion, politics, decorating and religion. His brother was a priest and Frank was always up for a discussion on religion. and he loved to gossip...big time! He knew EVERYTHING that was going on in town...he owned the hair salon, remember? HAHAHA

But enough of that...on to the movie. He asked me if I had ever watched Auntie Mame and when I said no, proceeded to tell me every line in the movie before we watched it:-) When we watched, we laughed and laughed all the way through. He loved Mame...she was so over the top...as he was:-) I don't know if I love the movie or I love my memories of watching it with Frank, but it is one of my favorites. I wonder if it was considered kind of shocking back then? (it's nothing compared to today, trust me:-) My favorite line... "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death. Live, Live, Live!"

Frank died a few years back of pancreatic cancer. He fought it as long as he could, never wanting anyone to feel sorry for him. He made others laugh even when he was so sick. I didn't see him much once we moved to Florida, except when he came down on vacations, but we did talk and I knew he was always a phone call away.

This movie is way too funny to end on a sad note. Frank would be sooo mad at me for this!:-) If you are looking for a good laugh...check out Aunti Mame. If you're like me, you'll start thinking about how you need to "live, live, live" too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Courage...



Monday, August 24, 2009

I can't WAIT to see this movie...

So we went to see Julie & Julia (mixed reviews from this girl)...and we saw a trailer for the movie "The Blind Side". Oh my gosh...I can't wait to see this movie. I sat there with tears rolling down my face watching a preview, for pete's sake!!!!! I am even disabling the playlist on my blog for a few days (I love my music so that is a BIG deal:-) so you can watch the video for yourself. Sorry I can't squeeze it all in. (I seriously need a face lift...for my blog, of course. I know what you were thinking!!!!!:-) Anyway, it stars Sandra Bullock (like her) and Tim McGraw (really like him) and it opens Nov. 20. Check it out...




Sunday, August 23, 2009

They Don't Look Like Home-schoolers...

Come on, admit it. You've either heard this statement before or maybe even said it. I've heard it plenty and before we started down this home school road, I know I said it, too.

So, on the eve of back to school Monday, even for those of us doing it in pj's, I thought I'd tackle this one. The other day, our newspaper had a story on the front page about a group of home-schoolers who were ice-skating and the first sentence was...."they don't look like home-schoolers...they look like regular kids." I'm usually pretty good at ignoring comments such as these because I've been known to say some stupid things myself. I still can't believe an editor let this pass but then, you should see this newspaper.

I totally get those who are not into home-schooling their children. To be cliche...where would we be if we were all the same??? My girls went to public school through 4th and 6th grade and while I would have loved to home-school sooner, I wouldn't trade those years for anything. But back then, we lived in a nearly perfect neighborhood that was a part of a community straight out of The Truman Show, with the local school a short walk down the sidewalk...and what a school it was!

Things change and we are no longer fortunate enough to have wonderful public schools. The private schools are pricey, to say the least, with the cost of tuition between $15,000-$20,000/year before the added cost of uniforms, fees and school "fundraisers". Sorry, but I hope to put my girls through college someday and will need money to do so.

I don't mean to make home-schooling sound like the path of last resort because it is far from that. In fact, there are some who say we are not technically home schooling because my girls do most of their work through a virtual online school with regular teachers. And if you think they are not challenged, think again. How many students are prepared for regular calls every week or 2 from their teacher, discussing their class, any issues or questions and then getting a pop quiz over the phone. I know that would have TOTALLY freaked me out when I was a kid. But since they attend school at home, then yes, we home-school...happily for all.

But this is not about why we home school or how supportive (or not) the local home school groups are of us. That would take another FIVE posts, at least. This is about the comment we get on so many occasions about my girls not "looking" like home-schoolers. Sometimes I laugh it off...most of the time I laugh it off. But there are times I want to say " And you don't look like an idiot either but I didn't say that so..." Seriously!

My girls don't particularly like this comment. They wonder why people expect them to look weird. Not weird, I say... They simply expect you to be in long dresses or skirts, with hair to your ankles, no make-up, no jewelry, no style...and walking in a family with 12 kids. I'm not saying this is weird but it is the stereotype...unfortunately. There are so many people who choose to educate at home through one method or another or for one reason or another. That's okay...and how they look is not the issue. I wish people would be supportive of choices that are different than theirs, that's all.

Jordie in her "normal" clothes from Aeropostal, getting school supplies ready for tomorrow, in her messy bedroom. hahaha

And the whole "socialization" issue...please! I can only speak for my girls but this is the LAST concern I have for them. They are active members of our community and are well-socialized. They also willing and able to carry on conversations with kids their own age as well as adults of any age. Did I mention that they look pretty "normal". I hesitate to say that because normal today is sometimes, well...scary! But normal they are.

Taylor in her "normal" clothes from Old Navy, making dinner for her family. Home EC is really great at home! :0)

And while my girls do have their moments...many of them...overall, we agree that life is good. I'm one of the lucky ones today...my girls actually like their mom. I know that could change tomorrow. Heck, it could change in 10 minutes! But for now...we get along. I honestly don't know what next year holds. We want the best for our girls and if it is best for them to attend a regular school next year, they will. But for now, this is best for us. That's okay, right? It should be...

School starts tomorrow. My home-schoolers will look much different than their friends for one main reason...they'll be in their pajamas. But they'll be laughing and learning...until they go off to their after school activities like "normal" kids:-)

And one of my favorite quotes on education...
“You can be well educated in the world’s eyes and still be a sorry person. You can graduate with degrees and have no character. Character defines who you are.” ~Bob Tebow

And that, folks, is all she wrote! (I like that quote, too:-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet Gypsy & Jax

We're back from Tranquility Bay and I have to say, that place has the PERFECT name. Even my husband, who never really relaxes for longer than one day and my girls, who don't always appreciate the art of relaxing, absolutely loved this place. It is a true laid-back in the Keys kind of place but more of that in another post. First, I want to introduce you to our new friends, Gypsy and Jax. They live at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon Key, Florida and are they sweet! My girls went to the center to swim with the dolphins and what a fabulous treat that was. They got lucky and were in a group to themselves so they each had a dolphin to play with and 2 trainers that taught them way more than you usually get when you sign up for this.

Gypsy
This is Gypsy and she is considered dolphin "royalty" around the Keys because she is the grand daughter of Flipper, from the old TV show. She is a sweetie...very gentle and verrrry playful. She's also a bit of a show-off, but we loved it!

Jax
This is Jax. He is almost 3 years old and is named Jax because he was found
near Jacksonville, Fl. Jax had been attacked by a shark and was badly injured. They believe his mother was killed by the shark trying to defend him because otherwise she would never have left his side at such a young age. Jax is a good little boy and get this...his favorite "trick" is swimming like a shark. Too funny, huh? Anyway, in the next photo you can see he has chunks missing from his fin...thanks to the shark attack. He is covered in scars but he doesn't let his rough start to life slow him down and is everyone's favorite. My girls were so happy he was theirs for the day!


Playing around...

Taylor is playing a spitting game with the dolphin. They both take a mouthful of water and see who can spit the furthest...Jax won...and got Taylor in the face!:-)

Wanna ride??? Jordie is going for her dolphin swim. You can see Jax's fin in her left hand. They had a blast doing this and could have swam all day!


Taylor and her friends.


Taylor

It's true...dolphins are very affectionate...see for yourself!


Jordie

Time to go...
...getting goodbye kisses and a wave goodbye.

And now I have 2 girls who want to be dolphin trainers...
XOXOX


Thursday, August 6, 2009

One More Week...Hello Tranquility Bay

Look at this place...it really is "Tranquility Bay".


We're headed to the keys soon to chill-out, relax,



catch up on some reading, watch the gorgeous sunsets,


snorkel and...maybe...swim with dolphins. For those who have never spent time down here, the water really is this beautiful!

Sometimes I think the best part of the keys is the lazy drive down, stopping at kitschy little beach shops and enjoying the view.

Seven Mile Bridge

You don't need a lot when you go to the Keys...flip-flops, suntan lotion and a good book.
Works for me!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

45 Rules To Live By...

I saw this recently but there was no author listed. I liked it...hope you will too.

45 Rules to Live By

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special

22. Over prepare and then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. Smile at someone today. Better yet, find something to compliment them about.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Parlez-vous Francais?

Me neither...but I'm learning! Good thing, too, since I just found out my style is "French Eclectic". Whew...and I just thought it was chaotic! hahaha

Yes, we're talking about decorating here folks! I just took a quiz at this website , which I first discovered at Shabby Nest, to find out my decorating style. You have to check it out but follow the instructions re: how to really look at the photos for the best read of your style. Anyway...drumroll please...

I am 50% French Eclectic

and 50% Nantucket Style

I LOVE IT!!!!!

What does it all mean???

French Eclectic


Parlez-vous fran├žais? Even if the answer is no, you can confidently say your home does! French Country, like its name, somehow manages to both be formal and casual, classy and unassuming at the same time. You like your spaces to feel inviting from the moment you (or your guest) opens the front door and this feeling should continue even after you've entered your most formal room. Even though there are French antiques here and gold details there, the rustic elements provide a balance and warmth that seems to say, "come in, relax and stay a while." Your love of antiques leads you to flea markets, garage sales and hours of eBay hunting.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nantucket Style

Oh how you love the beach! Who doesn't, right? And so your dream home is either perched in your favorite beach town, or you've brought that favorite beach town into your house.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Life Lessons at the Estate Sale...

I can't believe I'm going to write this. It is totally sappy...but I can't seem to help it. The weirdest things seem to linger in my mind these days and this one just won't go away so maybe writing about it will help.

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to an estate sale on Saturday. Big deal, right? It wasn't special or even a fabulous sale...just an ordinary house-cleaning sale. Something just keeps nagging at me and I can tell you, it isn't because I have nothing better to do because I have way more important things to think about. So what's the deal with this sale already???

It was held by the grown children of a woman whose husband had passed away years earlier and she had recently moved into a nursing home. The house was full of some beautiful items and a lot of junk...probably a lot like my house ;-)

Most of the stuff was priced very cheap...less than $10. There was some furniture and other items that were priced more but this was not going to be bringing in thousands of dollars or anything like that. I can't even believe that earning money was the reason for this sale, as this tiny, old shabby house was for sale and will sell quickly. It is in an area of our town near the beach where these old houses are bought and either gutted or torn down and a mansion built in it's place. The selling price was $800,000 but these houses often go higher in a bidding war...and they sell very quickly, even today. You get the picture.

Anyway, estate sales kind of give you a peek into the person who's belongings are for sale and this one was no different. Clearly, this woman loved china...and teapots. She had many beautiful sets. She also collected vintage cookbooks and there were many other amazing old books...all scattered over the floor of a dirty garage to sell. The husband must have loved building things and had an amazing tool bench with many old tools. There was a lovely old dollhouse for sale that was made for the grown daughter but it was old...so she didn't want it. SERIOUSLY??????? I almost bought it as I am on the lookout for 2 dollhouses that I can refinish in a shabby chic way for my girls. This one wasn't what I was looking for but I would have bought it...just because...until another lady came up and she seemed to love it so I was happy to let it go. But what was that girl thinking? She said she was never into dolls. Who cares...your dad made it for you. Geez!:-)

The thing that got to me the most though was the room with all of the quilts. I mean, these were beautiful handmade quilts in perfect condition. She was either a collector or a very talented quilter. I don't know much about quilts but thanks to my sister Kathy, who is an amazing quilter herself, I know a good one when I see it...and these were good ones! They were priced around $50 each and nobody seemed interested. They were probably like me...holding on to that $50 in their pocket and not wanting to spend it all on one quilt...a quilt that could have sold for much more. Didn't her children want them? Maybe they already chose their favorites, who knows. But to leave the rest stacked in a corner of a dusty bedroom for people to paw through at a sale and then discard seemed such a waste. I wish they had bundled up all those quilts and taken them to a Hospice or somewhere like that to bring a little warmth and cheer to a person desperately needing it. I bet that would have made the lady of the house very happy.

I learned something from this estate sale. I learned that we can collect all kinds of "stuff" in life...but "stuff" doesn't really matter, does it? This woman had to leave it all behind as we all will. I also think maybe we should only collect what we really love...and then use it or show it off...enjoy the stuff we love:-) I learned that what is valuable to me may not be valuable to my daughters and they can get rid of my "stuff" any way they choose. But for those few things I really love, I hope they find a special place in the world for them and if they really can't do that, I hope they'll share them.

I wish I could go back to that estate sale. If I could, I would walk in that back bedroom and buy the prettiest quilt I could find. And, Kathy, if you're reading this, I think you should display your beautiful quilts all over the house!

P.S. I think I know what I'll be collecting...

Puppies!!!!

Maui & Freddy
...sorry, I just can't resist showing off my boys at every chance!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vintage Vavoom...

I just checked this book out of the library and it is amazing! It's full of little ideas for that vintage/shabby look.

In fact, it inspired me to do a little shopping at estate sales and vintage shops today. Taylor came with me and we found some of the coolest things and had a blast going back in time.

First of all, I have a partial set of my mom's china that is pink and so shabby sweet.

I have been trying to buy odds and ends pieces to go with it in a vintage mismatched way and look what I found...

8 bowls of the china but in blue. SWEET!!!

We also bought these 2 albums for cheap, which is perfect since Taylor has been wanting some old album covers for her room.



On to one of my favorite vintage/consignment stores, Audrey's Attic. Taylor had a blast looking at all the old prom dresses and other stuff. Here she is modeling a few. Sorry for the photo quality...we were literally in the attic of the store playing dress-up so the lighting wasn't good and all I had was my phone.

First up...Taylor in the biker chick boots...

Here comes the bride...


Ooh lala...what a divine robe!


How embarrassing...I had an outfit like this...HUGE shoulder pads and all. Can you say "Dynasty"????? hahaha


Last but not least, meet my southern belle...


We ended up buying this cute little sweater for Taylor that is so her...my chic vintage girl:-)


She also got an adorable Lilly skirt too...and finding a deal on Lilly is always a good thing, right?

Guess that's it for our vintage Saturday.
Hope your weekend is just as nice!

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