ShabbyBlogs - Must be Maddie

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I'm in the holiday spirit with the cold air, lit Christmas trees, and wrapped presents. The house is warm and smells of bacon and grits. And two days ago I was packed for my Christmas road trip...We're leaving on Saturday, I'm a little excited.

I will be embarking on my longest road trip: 12 hrs to Vermont. Husband and Margaret and I are driving up to see their brother and his family. It'll be my first time visiting Vermont and I'm looking forward to it. Yes it will be very cold, like 12 degrees and I'm bringing my wool sweaters. But that just means I'll be drinking lots of tea and hot chocolate.

We'll be in VT for about 6 days before returning to ring in the new year back at home. I'm not sure if I'm bringing my computer or not so I may not be posting. So I'm leaving you with some pretty pictures.

I love this

Oh Martha I love your ideas.

If Husband were more open to pink, I would have a tree like this.

I love the pink.

One of my bff's just got Pottery Barn stockings - so cute and classic.


Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why I get attached

I have accumulated a lot of jewelry over the years. Some from thrift stores and outdoor vendors. Some from the jewelry line I tried selling. Some made by my mama and some gifted to me from family and friends.

Husband is trying to get me to cut down on my jewelry consumption, and his reasons are justified.
Plain and simple, I have way too much jewelry. But I have a hard time letting go because of the memories that are attached. For most of my jewelry I can remember who gave it to me and the occasion.

For example today I am wearing:
Gemstone studs - given to me by Husband when we started dating in college. He wanted them to match the gemstone necklace he gave me in high school.
White gold & pearl necklace - given to me by my dad for high school graduation.
Watch - given to me by Drama Drew during Christmas time probably ~4 years ago because it was left in his gym's lost and found.
Silver bracelet cuff - it was my grandma's.

They all have meaning to me. I feel love and strength from these material things because
they remind me that I'm surrounded by love from my friends and family. I look at these things and see my gifter, and it makes me feel closer to them. I think about the strengths of the people who have given me jewelry and remember them during tough moments. If my jewelry belonged to a previous owner, I think about them wearing the same piece and how much life it has seen.

I guess if I give away some of my less worn jewelry, I would be spreading the love. I could share my happiness with someone who will enjoy the jewelry too. It is reassuring to know someone will give it a happy home and create new memories with it.

Pearl photo via
Hershey kiss photo via

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guess what?

I won my first blog giveaway!!

Remember when I posted about Desperately Seeking
Seersucker's giveaway? Well last night when I was catching up on blog reading I discovered I won! How exciting?!

The lovely T is sending me some of her favorite things. I'm so looking forward to receiving her package...particularly the dish washing gloves! I feel like I am perpetually fighting against dirty dishes. But at least I'll look cute while washing.
Thanks T for giving away some of your faves and friends you should definitely check out her lovely and happy blog, Desperately Seeking Seersucker. She's one of the highlights of my day.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The bet

Friday night I was ready to let my hair down and have some fun. I'm not a big drinker, usually I'm the DD. But there was no driving involved on Friday, friends were coming to our place to play cards.

Husband bet me $20 if I could finish a bottle of wine before midnight. I took him up on the bet reasoning I had plenty of time (about 3+ hours) and I had food in my tummy. Plus I was meeting some girlfriends in the morning for breakfast, Husband's $20 would pay for my morning meal. I was determined. I wanted to prove to Husband that I could hang in there.

After some giggly card playing, I finished the bottle!! I was very excited given my pretty low tolerance. Husband also bet that for the first two drinks consumed after the bottle of wine he would give me $5/each. I cracked open a beer with the hope of winning $25 and some bragging rights.

Unfortunately I tapped out before I could finish my beer. Even though I didn't quite make the midnight deadline, Husband gave me $20 for my "victory."

The morning after was rough, I didn't even make it to breakfast. =(

But Husband did say he was proud of my effort.

And I did win $20.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the way

More than once I've been compared to Morgan, one of the cutest pups in the world and Husband's family's dog. She's an excitable cocker spaniel that's cute and fluffy, with such a lovable energy. MamaH has trained her well and she's quite affectionate. Morgan likes to snuggle and I particularly love when she sits at/on my feet during dinner. But when you're navigating the kitchen, she always seems to be underfoot, always in the way.

Mo Mo looks smiliar to this spaniel

I felt like I was channeling Morgan last night. Husband was cleaning the fridge and making dinner and I just felt like I was always in his way. He'd go for the fridge right as I was reaching for the cabinet next to the fridge. As I was putting dishes away, I seemed to be right where Husband needed to go too. I hate feeling like I'm in the way and inconveniencing my sweet cook.

But Husband didn't mind, and even if he did, he didn't show it. Bless his heart. When I wanted to run and abandon my dish washing duties, Husband would come by and pat me on the butt and smile as he passed by to get his mise en place. Or while I'm washing dishes, he'll come stand behind me and reach around so he can wash his hands, a from-behind-hug combined with hand washing. He makes me feel like it's okay to be in his way.

Just this morning he texted me "you're never in the way, I just like keep you that close." He spins the situation and melts my heart on a daily basis. He finds the positive when I can't. I don't know what I would do without him. Ladies, have your men take notes from Husband.

* I know I've been particularly mushy lately, thanks for hanging in there with me readers. *

Monday, December 13, 2010


"The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space." ~Marilyn Monroe

This quote has been my Gchat status for almost a week now. Mainly because Husband has this effect on me. One look from those crystal blue eyes and I melt. I have fallen in love with him too many times to count.

I love when he plays with puppies and/or babies. They're kindred spirits. He knows how to communicate with them and understand them in a way I don't quite understand.

I love hearing him laugh. His real laugh, when something is really funny to him.

I love when he fixes whatever it is I can't figure out.

I love (and hate) that he knows me better than I know myself. He can tell when my mood shifts before I even realize it.

I love that he's a Renaissance man, through and through. He knows SO much. He has mastered SO many things. His desire to learn and devour new hobbies and interests is amazing to me.

And to top it all off, what I consider attractive are all encompassed in him.

Like his kind baby blue eyes or strong, working hands. I now find forearms more attractive than I did 5 years ago. His deep comforting voice, is ingrained in my mind. I still save some of his voice messages!

I just love the guy. And I love him more today than I did when we got married. It just gets better and better.

Smooches my love!

Seersucker Giveaway

The lovely T from Desperately Seeking Seersucker is giving away some of her favorite things. How sweet for the holiday season!

She's giving away a Mademoiselle calendar to start the new year with something beautiful.

She's giving away this preppy koozie...

These happy dish washing gloves...

AND a hand held bag sealer! How handy is this guy?!

Her give away ends at noon on Dec 17, 2010. So head on over to her blog, for a chance to win some of T's favorite things!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I was looking for some encouraging words this morning and came across some Bible verses and other quotes.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." Buddha

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." Buddha

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of peace and contentment. I hope you share laughter with a friend and experience joy from the holiday season. And I hope you have some cookies because it's the weekend and calories don't count (right??).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A second chance

I have always loved the idea of being my own boss and setting my own schedule. Unfortunately right now that isn't an option, but I'm not giving up on the idea. Lately I've been thinking of little entrepreneurial endevors for making some cash on the side.

I've thrown out the idea of selling hair accessories like headbands with cute flowers on the side, like Whippy Cake. Although I have to confess I haven't given this a shot yet. Another idea is learning Photoshop or Rapidweaver and selling my design services...but I'm still in the learning phase for this one.

Another idea I'm thinking about is giving furniture a second chance. So many times I've seen ugly furniture with good bones/structure and thought "a new coat of paint and new hardware would totally change the look of this." And it's recycling in a way. Taking furniture, giving it a face lift and then selling it means the furniture won't end up in a land fill. Instead it will end up in a happy home with a new life.

This would be very similar to what Holly from Life in the Fun Lane does at White Berry. Unfortunately Holly is in Canada so her services are a bit out of reach for me. But I do have one of her tools that would be incredibly helpful if I decide to start refinishing furniture: an air compressor. I thought Husband was a little nuts to buy a huge air compressor but things have a way of coming full circle. (Can anyone else hear God chuckling?) All I would need is a sprayer attachment and then I could get painting!

Some beautiful examples:

A hutch I probably would have left behind...
But Holly could see the beauty, and I love it too.

We've all seen coffee tables like this...
Look at this lovely and charming after.
Both of these items were in Holly's New Tranformations post.

I adore her little girl, Wren's bedroom. I would love to have such beautiful furniture. Holly found this little side table and headboard at a thrift store.

Wren is a very lucky girl. She's got a such a sophisticated but fun room!
These pics are from Holly's post about Wren's Big Girl Bed.

How fun would it be to buy cheap, over looked pieces and sprucing them up for a new home?! I know it would be a lot of work and there's still a bunch I'd need to learn, but this definitely seems feasible to me.

I'm open to even building furniture and selling it. The fabulous and funny Katie from Bower Power recently built a bed with her hubby. What a sweet idea! To rest your head with your hubby on the bed that you built together.

Isn't this beautiful!? Here you can read all about how they made it.
And here it is with their new bedding. It looks so cozy!

What are your thoughts on starting your own business? Have you thought about it? Tried it even? I guess I'm just looking for some feedback to gauge whether I'm going a little crazy or if this is a good idea to pursue.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Clothes Mentor

While I was in North Carolina visiting some besties, we went window shopping one afternoon. After hitting up the usual suspects...Ulta, Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Jcrew, we headed to Clothes Mentor. MK had told me about this place before, that it was a nice second hand shop where you can get nice clothes for much less than retail.

It was not until I stepped inside and started looking around that I started to under stand MK's love for the place. Clothes mentor was clean and brightly lit with aisles of clothing organized by type and color. They had shoes and bags, coats, jackets, sweaters, pants, you name it, they had it. And the quality of the clothing was the best I've ever seen at a second hand store because the clothes were clean and had been well maintained.

I started browsing the sweater section and I was hooked after seeing a Jcrew cashmere and wool blend cardigan for $20. I looked at MK and said with shock and awe...this retails for about $80+, she just smiled and said, mm hmm I told you this place was good.

$20 for Jcrew cashmere?! Yes please

We kept looking around and with an arm full of sweaters I hit the dressing room. This is what I ended up loving and taking home with me.

A lovely navy cable knit sweater by Ralph Lauren...$20

Red Talbots top that's perfect for the holiday season...only $18

Lily Pulitzer sweater, NEW with tags ($98) for $30. Who could say no to this?

Banana Republic skirt suit made of heavy jersey material. The jacket was $24, and the skirt was $16!

There were shoes too! These Enzo Angiolini sandals were comfy and sexy and only $18!

These Naturalizer slingback, kitten heels $12!?!

These Anne Klein patent heels were surprisingly comfy, $22.

I was checking out, when MK and I noticed a black Coach tote bag behind the register. It's this style. I couldn't resist so I asked the sales lady if I could take a look at it. It was in great condition, not too many scratches or scuffs, the inside clean and just as it was supposed to be. There was a small white mark on the handle but it wasn't noticeable. I looked at the price, expecting it to be priced similarly to the Coach outlet (~$120) and was really surprised. $70. Is that price right?

I was already spending way more than I anticipated but I really couldn't pass up the deals without losing sleep over them. The sales ladies could sense that I really wanted the bag so they gave me 10% off and knocked the price down to $60. At such an unbelievable price for a quality, timeless, leather bag, I had to make it mine.

I've been using this bag for 3 weeks straight and I love love love it. I am really glad I purchased it because it's easier for me to find the stuff in my purse and I can carry my water bottle which is convenient.

If you have a Clothes Mentor near you, color me green with envy. If I had the money and equity, I would open a Clothes Mentor in VA. It's a wonderful way for women to share their clothes and save money.

Anyone else come across some amazing deals?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I wish you enough

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Even when the days seem impossible to get through, God speaks to me. Mama H sent me this email and gave me a little dose of perspective. I'm keeping my head up and holding on to the end of my rope. It will all work out, one way or another.

I hate to leave such a sad, kinda depressing post, so I'll end with some good news. I had a great, productive weekend! Husband and I visited our happy place, or otherwise known as Charlottesville. We were visiting Drama Drew and helping him with his private personal training business. We will help him put together his administrative letterhead, setting up a filing system, marketing, his website, etc.

Drew is a funny guy and he's always goofing around. I was afraid it would be like pulling teeth to get him focused, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This weekend we took pictures and videos for his website and he did a fantastic job. I was really impressed with him. But he has been training for 10 years so it shouldn't be a surprise that he is VERY GOOD at his job. I'm SO SO proud of him for taking on this new adventure. And I'm happy to help him be the best he can be.

Of course, after we were done taking care of business we had a bunch of fun and good food. Like fire roasted pizza, fried chicken and dirty rice, eggs steak & sausage, and BEER RUN double dutch french toast. It was a fun, beautiful weekend and exactly what I needed.

I hope everyone had a happy Monday!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just because

Husband walked in the door last night looking dapper in his work clothes and pea coat, hands full with grocery bags and a dozen multi-colored roses.

He handed them to me and said "just because you deserve flowers today."

I married the sweetest man I know. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I thank God for sending him to me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A weekend away

It had been too long. A year and three months, to be exact. I was North Carolina bound to see two of my high school friends, MK and MC. The drive was a little eventful with an accident on 95 halting my drive for a good 45 minutes. And then a few hours later when I stopped for gas, I couldn't find my debit card! EEEK!!! I called MK slightly hysterical and realized that the only place I could have lost it was when I went to ATM the night before. Husband was the next call, "honey could you search my coat and pant pockets for my card, please and thank you." When he couldn't find it I called the bank and reported it lost, so a new one is on the way, thank goodness!

When I finally got to NC, I met the girls at McD's so we could drive to dinner together. We went to Sweet & Savory a cute but packed little restaurant/bakery. At dinner I met MK's significant other, Frank and their friends Chris and Teresa. Such sweet people. We sat around a long table and chatted and got to know each other. Teresa is a sweetheart and I can understand why MK and MC have her as a friend. She's smart and sweet and funny too! And while I was sitting next to her I tried my hardest not to stare at her sparkler...omg from what I could tell it was a 3 diamond ring with diamonds in the band. It almost blinded me a couple times. Seriously. We stuffed our faces with chicken sandwiches and home made chips. YUM.

After dinner, Chris and MK started smack talking about their 50 chicken nugget challenge. They will go head to head and eat 50 chicken nuggets AND large fries in 60 min or less. The loser has to jump in the January. I have no doubt MK will kick butt. Good luck Chris, she's a determined chick.

We picked up some wine and headed home to for a low key evening catching up on Glee and Oprah's favorite things. We woke up early the next morning so we could meet Mr. K and Mrs. K at the bagel bakery about 20 min away. In high school, I was at their house often so it was really good to catch up with these folks. Mr. K has cancer but from looking at him, I never would have known. He came in bursting with energy and smiles and gave me a big hug. He's a talker but I don't mind listening. Mrs. K is doing well with her job and is saving a facility that was going down the drain. Way to go Mrs. K!

The girls asked if I had a hangover from my wine the night before (I happened to pass out on the couch and then crawled into MK's bed around 5am). I had felt a little iffy during b-fast but after a warm bagel and lots of water I was good to go.
After breakfast we headed to the outdoor shopping center for some good old fashioned window shopping. We were up so early most of the stores weren't open yet. It was nice to walk around and gab about the store offerings, since these days I normally do most of my shopping solo. I hit the jackpot later in the afternoon, but I will share my new items later; it deserves a post all to itself.

Anyway...MK and I headed back home and were greeted by a sad little niece, Allie. MK being the great aunt that she is, called Gma aka Mrs. K and asked her to come cheer up our sad little girl. Little Allie perked up so fast it made my head spin. And then after MK told her Frank would be stopping by, Allie FREAKED OUT. All frowns were turned upside down, her eyes bugged out, put on the widest smile you've seen on a 4 year old and screams of "FRANK AND GMA ARE COMING!!! FRANK AND GMA ARE COMING!!!!!!" You would have thought the Queen of England was coming with the President. Holy goodness.

Dinner time was rolling around so MK, Frank and I headed to the grocery store to pick up fixings for taco salad, YES! I love me some taco salad. We got home and got everything prepared but when we sat down MK said she couldn't eat. Since about 3pm that day her throat had been slowly closing up, like an allergic reaction or something. She freaked me out when tears started falling and she said, we may have to go to the ER. We're talking about one of the strongest women I know. This girl can handle and juggle a lot, so seeing her worried was hard.
MC is a nurse and she recommended taking some medicine and having Frank there definitely helped calm her down. She was fine, it ended up being a cold/flu that came on fast. So the rest of the evening was quiet as we watched movies and just enjoyed each other's company.

I helped get Allie ready for bed since Aunt MK wasn't feeling well. Brushing little teeth, changing into pjs, reading bed time stories. She was a good girl. Unfortunately I was leaving really early the next day, like 6am, so I wasn't able to say bye to little Allie. MK told me later that Allie was sad that I left and asked, "where'd the pretty girl go?" Aw! That melted my heart.

It was a low-key weekend but exactly what I needed. I just wanted to spend some time with some of my favorite girls. I miss them bunches, but I'm really happy that they're doing well. I am not going to let a little distance get in the way of friendship that heals the soul.

(Sorry this is a massive post.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I came home from a relaxing weekend away and was happy to be back in the arms of my SweetiePieHoneyBunches. It was only a couple days away and sometimes a little time apart is a good thing. Husband and I caught up on each other's weekend and he looked at me and said, "I like when you are around, it makes me want to be a better person." I'll always remember that line because I feel the same way towards him. When I need motivation for anything, he is my reason and this is why.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Husband's extended family has been getting together for Thanksgiving for 30 years. I have only been to the past three holidays, but each year gets better. The first one was a little overwhelming. Husband had proposed to me a few weeks earlier and it was time to meet the family. Meeting 30+ people for the first time is a lot to take in. But every one was friendly and warm and very welcoming. People socialize all over the house, the kitchen, living room, porch, play room. Football is on, the drinks are cold, and the food smells delish!

Just two years later I can see the family changing and expanding. This year there were 39 people at Thanksgiving. New spouses have come into the family and this year there were 5 new babies, all under the age of 7 months. The dynamic changed a little compared to past years. Conversations were a little hushed so the sleeping babies weren't disturbed. With four other children under the age of 7 running around, people were a little more careful with their language. Everyone kept an eye on the little ones so the new parents could take a break and relax. The atmosphere was so filled with love, I think it was a side effect of so many babies.

Everyone helps out

The new mommies were just glowing

And the food. My word does this family know how to cook. Every two hours there was something new sitting on the counter. Margaret, Husband and I arrived at the Turkey Day House around lunch time. We were greeted with a spread of salami, cheese, bread rolls, chicken noodle soup, chips and dips. Oh And Husband made meatballs with sweet and sour sauce. It was great.

Husband and I loved these minty non perels.

I forgot to take pictures of the food but this is what I had on my plate: fried turkey, ham, stuffing, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, green beans, home made mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Mmm it was delicious.

I did remember to take pictures of the desserts though. Two cheese cakes from New York, pecan pie, shoo-fly pie, a blueberry ring, PapaH's famous apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The next evening we had dinner with my parents and a couple my parents met through my brother's high school lacrosse team. It was nice a nice evening with food and football, but I was a little pooped. I was really happy to see my brother and hang out with him. He came over after dinner, along with Margaret, Patty Poo and his lady friend, and Kathy. I looked forward to a relaxing evening, drinking some delicious beer from a PA brewer (pumpkin beer, white horse hefe, lay down stay down), and playing asshole with some of my favorites.

I hope your Thanksgiving was happy and filled with yummy food. too