In 2011 I’m Looking Forward To . . .

Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions only to disappoint ourselves by not achieving what we set out to do therefore this year I’m taking a new angle and deciding on what it is I’m looking forward to and setting the plan into action.

1.  Study and improve my photo editing skills.  I’ve been working on my photography skills but I’m terrible with editing.  The first tutorial I’ll be taking was just released by Professional Photographer, Erin Cobb called clean color.  The photography community I circle myself in has been raving about this tutorial and it’s been a LONG wait for its release so I can’t wait to get started. The tutorial is for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and also offers a bundle for both versions .

2.  Taking a vacation.  It’s been three years since we’ve had a vacation and it is wearing on us.  We’re picking a place that is warm, has green grass and flowers, is full of life and fun things to do and experience, pretty much some place that has no snow and is full of all things summer.  Top place right now is the Florida Keys.  We also have The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park and Savannah Georgia on our list amongst many others but those are the top places that I’d choose from right now.  Just gotta compile some money, finalize how the business will function in our absence, and line up our pet sitter.

3.  A great year of boating and reconnecting with our “Summer” friends.  We so miss them this time of year :(.

4.  Boating, flip flops, bathing suits, tank tops, shorts, Mike T’s Margarita’s, hot sunny days, green grass, flowers and even the “GW” (that’s pretty bad for those who have been under that tent for any length of time LOL) – Oh and the list goes on for all things summer related.

5.  New Friendships and strengthening existing ones.

6.  Growing our business to the next level – well on our way and it’s very exciting!

7.  Improving my photography skills.

8.  Choosing a color and accessories for our mudroom and finishing it up.

9.  Throw rugs for the house – we have some but would like more.

10.  Focusing on the new path in both of our personal lives and careers.  Funny how the path you think is going to form is completely different in the end.  But life throwing curve balls like we’ve been thrown is good for our mind, spirit and our relationship.  Honestly it brings new things to the fore front that were never thought about or even realized to begin with and that in itself is positive and refreshing.

11.  Focusing in on my plethora of hobbies and cutting out the “stuff” I have for hobbies that I just don’t have time for.  This means selling off a bunch of “stuff” and taking that money to use on something useful instead of all this “stuff” sitting around collecting dust.  I’ve started this cleaning out, have been selling on Ebay.  Not only is it refreshing to reorganize and clean things up but it’s helping clear my mind on things.

Ordinary Miracle

I felt the need to post about ordinary miracles today.  We had our 2nd large snow fall of the season yesterday amongst other ordinary things.  I snapped a picture about an hour or so into the storm.  Last night we took Scottie out for potty and was greeted by our neighbors dog who had gotten loose while clearing the snow from their driveway.  It was pitch dark and we live in the woods where bad things can happen to house pets running in the night so I leash him up and return the not even 1 year-old bouncing Tigger dog to its home.  He was all in his glory of having his rooming freedom and attention from new people…bouncy bouncy Tigger dog…for sure he thought this was all about play which gave me a good chuckle as our dog is a mature 13 years young and doesn’t bounce nearly as high as this pup!  So we trudge our way through the 13″+ of snow and arrive at my neighbors drive where they’re feverishly working at clearing the snow.   I could sense the frustration they had that their dog had gotten loose and inconvenienced me but quite the contrary, I was thankful to have found him and gave him a safe return home.  Just another ordinary miracle right?  This was no inconvenience to me, I feel a dogs life was saved, who knows what may have happened otherwise.  I’d like to think someone would return the favor.

I found this song entitled “Ordinary Miracle” by Sarah Mclachlan featured in Charlotte’s Web.  It’s a nice reflection on ordinary miracles.  Take a listen to it . . . all I can say is “beautifully put”!

July 4th on Talmadge Boat

Another 4th celebration Talmadge style!  The fireworks this year were pretty good although nothing to brag about.  Guess cuts have to be made somewhere in the times we live in.  We had nine guests on the boat this year thus making for a nice time to celebrate.  Although I’m thinking a maid is in order for next year so I can have a couple drinks and be sociable.

We start the afternoon off with Margarita Mike’s Margarita’s.  Does the drink have them all mesmerized or is there something going on to the left that they’re all looking at?  Mike must have a clam stuck in his tooth there too LOL!!!!

The kids on the dink with a fishing pole.  I’m certain they caught something with Matt being the captain but I didn’t see anything.

Clams anyone?  YUM!

The captain and his first mate

The men on the boat . . . ar ar ar

The happy maid 🙂

Now onto cigar smoking (I passed on one this year)

We all thought the stogies would be good.

Emm not so good huh?  This picture cracks me up!

How bout this one of Meaghan and the goofy face she’s making?  So funny!

And lastly a group picture of the woman on the boat.

Here are a few pics of friends on boats surrounding us

Mike and his son Sean

Mike’s other son, Matthew (cute kids Dee and him have)

Charlie and Barbara

There were so many others that we didn’t get a picture of or the shot came out blurry.  Happy 4th of July, I’ll try to post about holidays a bit sooner the next time around.  This was what?  Like two weeks ago ~ albeit old news, hope you still enjoyed the post.

What happens on the Day before Memorial Day?

Well in our lives we spend the entire weekend celebrating Memorial Day OUT on the boat or just hanging ON the boat IN the marina with all of our friends.  Here’s a glimpse of our day.

Mike got the dink in the water and everyone knows this is Scottie’s boat.  He was all paws when he saw it go in and pitched a doggie anxiety fit for a ride.

Then there was Cosmo (our friends sheep dog)

Who perched himself way up high for a birds eye view of our odd bunch here –

Scottie was also curious of the odd bunch and why all the racket that awoke him from his breezy afternoon nap.

Then there was fishing and of course your apt to find multiple people throwing a line into the water to see what today’s catch will be.  Our very good friend Mike Malone –

Also our friend Mark and his iddy bitty catch that Scottie just had to get a lick of.  He’s so gross but crazy mad for fishing!

And look who paid us a visit, Crystal (my sister-in-law) who does not visit often, decided to pop in along with her boyfriend (Mike) for first time introductions.

And of course myself and Mike were amongst the crowd of activities.  I had to hand the camera over to my other sister-in-law (Carla) for this pic . . . thank you Carla!

Then Jeff Fox’s weather report held true.  Look what started rolling in on us.  I didn’t get a pic of what transpired but let me just say we got a mad amount of hard poring rain and hail.  YIKES!

Now we turn to Scottie sniffing his way

over to this . . . steamed clams.  He LOVES clams and not only does he eat the clam itself, he will lick the juice from the shell and chews off the leg that’s commonly left on the shell.  He’s a true boating dog!  By the way the collar Scottie has on is a new collar made by me entitled “The Picnic Series”.  It’s blue, yellow and white plaid.  Perfect for this weekend and dang cute I might add!

All in all it was a fabulous day relaxing with friends and family.  Memorial Day itself we are having Bridget, Jeremy and Isabella down on the boat for the day.  So I’ll have pics from this also, stay tuned.

Time To Schedule Time For Food And Beer!

Last year we had my father’s birthday party (video) at the East Side Resturant, everyone who joined had such a great time we figured we do it again (but without the birthday party).

Their website has been updated and worth checking out.

So now it comes time to schedule it.

Who is coming and when should we go?! Email us or leave a comment (we are thinking Feb 21 or 22).

A Lunch Date During Work Hours . . . Oh We Are Bad!

Yeah Yeah I know Latonya, I was suppose to post about this Thursday night but you know how things just get in the way sometimes right?

So my sister girlfriend Latonya and I slipped out of the office on Thursday to grab lunch at one of our favorite places in New Haven well actually it’s in Westville ~ AKA part of New Haven, CT.  Such a quaint place really . . . called Deja Brew.  In the spring, summer and fall the owner has bowls of water set out for all the neighborhood dogs.  She also gives treats to the dogs.  Hmmm . . . I’m thinking I should turn her onto Scottie Buddy Boys treats don’t cha think?  Please forgive me with this picture, it’s really unbecoming of the place AKA a bad picture 😦  But hey, I’m still learning right?

Look at how beautifully they’ve decorated the fire place . . . oh this is the perfect place for two girlfriends to gossip while having lunch.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t get a larger view of the fireplace . . . I was restricted by my fixed lens (50 mm) and I couldn’t back up any further Uggghhh . . . “Ahhhh da gon it, I need a dang camera bag so I can carry all my lenses.”  You get the idea anyways right? 🙂

And how pretty is this picture of my girlfriend?  Latonya ya gorgeous diva girl . . . this was my favorite picture of you from all the shots I took.  Beautiful smile, love your hair and your glasses!  Side note to Latonya:  All of the other shots I took looked like you had a tree growing out of your a** LMAO!!!

And lastly a picture of my current favorite drink from Deja Brew . . . Frozen Green Tea Frappe.  Oh this is sooo yummy!

If you live nearby I’d definitely recommend this place for a nice lunch date with a girlfriend.  Word from the wise though . . . if interested in ordering their soup ask if it’s homemade or not.  They have a habit of serving some of their soups from the can ~ Go figure ~ listen you can’t serve canned soup in a cafe like this ~ what is the owner thinking ugghh.  They do make some homemade soups, you just need to ask which is homemade.


Mike & Dave’s Birthday

Having our birthday dinner again.

Birthday dinner was at Fratelli’s in Derby this year.

Birthday Guys.  Listen the iPhone is good for many things but surely not for taking a good quality picture.

Dave and Gina (Love you my dear friends . . . thank you so much for continuing our annual tradition!)

Me and my guy . . .

Dinner was acceptable, atmosphere was comfortable and the company was the best part of all!  Gina & Dave, I LOVE the personalized embroidered hand towels!  I’ll have to bank that gift idea to use for someone down the line.  I missed the note you wrote on the gift and noticed it when I got home and was unwrapping the ornament.  Gracious note and we too value our friendship with you.

Merry Christmas!

Oh what a jolly time we had at the Talmadge House last night (Christmas Eve).  We exchanged gifts, ate a bunch of appetizers, some fell asleep in the recliner (Jeremy who wasn’t feeling well) . . . we also had great company.  Thank you everyone for sharing your evening with us!  So here are some pictures . . . I wish I had more that turned out nice but I’m still working on nailing my shutter speed.  Layman’s Term = many of the pics were blurry.

Mike and his dad.  Sorry Mike I know your eyes are closed but it’s the only unblurred shot.

Uncle Mike and Isabella

Isabella watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in my studio.  Look at that beautiful smile, she’s such a happy little girl!  Oh boy was she so excited about Santa Claus arriving at their home.  Soooo innocent . . . hey I believe in Santa too and the sparkle in his eye.

Bridget and Isabella

Isabella even had us playing games (Cookin Cookies) . . . so cute!

Toys that Santa brought for Scottie Buddy Boy . . . all of his toys are called monkeys.

Our traditional Christmas Breakfast that is always prepared by Mike, french toast and ham.  Mike makes the best french toast on the planet.

And a Christmas kittie kat (Miss Wilbur).  She loves to lay under the Christmas Tree

I so wish I had more pics of the rest of the clan that celebrated with us . . . Jeremy, Carol, Kane, Scottie and yeah even myself.  I must’ve been a good girl this year as Santa was very good to me bringing many wonderfully thoughtful gifts.  Thank you Santa and Happy Birthday Jesus!  Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a Merry Merry Christmas Day!

Drum Roll Please . . . We Have a Winner

And the winner of the Talmadge House “spirit of the season giveaway” is . . . . . . . .


And the crowd roars . . . I can hear the shrilling screams of joy coming from her already.  Congrats Bridget!!!  I’ll put it in the mail tomorrow morning  (12/18) with Priority shipping so you can enjoy through the rest of the season.  Thank you to everyone who played along.  It was so nice to read about everyone’s traditions.  Simply divine!  Don’t you just love this time of year!  This was a lot of fun so I’m thinking we’ll have another giveaway in January.  Hmmm . . . what will I make for the next giveaway.  Keep your eyes peeled.

Alrighty then here are a few miscellaneous pictures from the last week of our lives.

Me and my mother-in-law Carol.  We all went to The Nutcracker of which Carla played a part in.  Loved this show!  Gorgeous costumes and divine music performed by The Danbury Symphony Orchestra.  Carla, the only picture of you and your girlfriends that turned out was the one you were talking in and I think you’d kill me if I posted it.  So you’re stuck with me and Carol’s pic instead.

And the man of all men . . . ooo la la.  Check out that smile/smurk on his face . . . I’ll just say it again ooo la la!  Picture taken the other day when we took Scottie for a walk at the marina.  Nice green trailer behind him huh?  Love this marina, so homey and down to earth!

Listen guys I know I take too many pictures of this dog of ours but really though how many of you can say you have a picture of your dog doing this?  You name it, I’ve probably got it.  Hysterical! This too was taken while at the marina.  SMILE SCOTTIE YOU’RE ON CAMERA!  Watch out when I’m around with the camera . . .  I’ll catch you doing something funky and am bound to post it here.  HA!

In the spirit of giving “A Free Giveaway”

Attention all friends and family . . . In the spirit of Christmas Talmadge House presents a giveaway of an advent calander handmade by me.  You can tuck the calendar into one of your Christmas displays or lean up against something on your desk.  I borrowed the idea from Jenni Bowlin who designs and sells all things pretty.  Isn’t that picture of the children and santa vintagy?  It’s circa 1940’s of my Uncle David, Uncle Gary and Aunt Ruth.  My Aunt Alicia and my mom call Mr Santa “The Sexy Santa”.  I think they’re right . . . our santa’s today don’t look like this one.  Although if you look at his eyes and the grip he has on my aunt he looks a bit scared.  I’m thinking my uncles bribed him for whatever it was they wanted for Christmas and told him they’d give him up if he didn’t make it happen (little devils).

So there’s only one so only person can win and here’s what you need to do to qualify.  You must subscribe to our blog (Talmadge House) which is very easy and I’ll describe in a minute.  The second thing you must do is leave a comment telling us one of your families Christmas Traditions.  Don’t have a tradition then tell us your favorite Christmas movie.  Comment section is at the end of this post.  If you’ve already subscribed then all you have to do is leave a comment as noted above.

Alrighty then . . . so onto those needing help subscribing to our blog.  Look to the top right of this post and you’ll see a red square with a gold door knob (this is actually our front door of which you’ll see on all of our pages . . . you can click on it and it will take you back to the home page otherwise known as the front door, clever huh?)  OK so right below our red door is a field where you enter your email address and then select the “subscribe” button.  You will receive an email (from confirmations @ emailenfuego .com) asking if you really want to subscribe to Talmadge House’s Blog. You will need to click on the link listed in this message to activate your subscription. By subscribing you will automatically receive an email from us when we post a new blog entry.  Isn’t that awesome!  You only have to visit us when we send you an “invitation” via your email.  Of course you can visit any other time as you’re always welcome.

OK you guys listen up . . . we will know who does and does not subscribe and you can only qualify for this advent calander by subscribing and leaving a comment as noted above.  By the way, our blog is for fun and so that you can keep up with our daily lives (that’s if you want to see us and read about us) and we do not give away your email address.  We will draw a random name on Wednesday 12/17/08 9PM eastern time and will post the winners name the same night.  We will mail the advent calendar to you . . . of course we’ll pay for the shipping . . . it IS a giveaway right?  It would warm our hearts and we’ll even do the sugar plum fairy dance if we have all of you sign up.

And a picture of the baby who we took for a walk at the marina this weekend.  Had to check on the boat to make sure all was well.  Look how little Scottie is compared to the boat . . . or maybe our boat is a big girl?  Scottie was right at home though, he LOVES the marina!  His spirit was lighter after this visit, it has been awhile.  He’s so used to going there pretty much every day from April – October.

Oh wow . . . this is a lengthy post hope you don’t mind.  I promised my girlfriend Latonya that I’d post pictures of my vintage finds from last week so here they are.

My most favorite is this vintage fan that has the original cord and yes it really works.  FABULOUS find!

And an apothecary jar for my peroxide (2nd jar from the left).  Love these containers, they dress up your bathroom.

And these door knobs made into knobs that can be added to a shelf to hang all things pretty from.  These are from Belgium.  I asked Santa (Mike) to make me a custom shelf for my studio of which we’ll add these knobs to.  Yippee!