Sep 25, 2013

Home for the Holidays!

Holidays are upon us...

Hello my dear friends!

I hope this week is treating you well. If not, then perhaps this little post will bring you cheer and the opportunity to do something fun for yourself! As the holidays approach, do you find yourself wanting to get inspired? Hopping on Pinterest to find great projects? Or wish you could just reach out to those talented women who bring so much into our lives when it comes to creating a home?

Well, here is the perfect solution:

My good and talented  Aussie friend, Cathy Penton of Cathy Penton Designs, is part of a very cool creative holiday course called Home for the Holidays. 

She along with eight other very talented and creative ladies (including another personal great friend, Carol Spinski of Raised in Cotton!)are offering this course to share their love, passion and spirit involving all things good for the holidays.

If you don't know or haven't met Cathy (shame!) then please take a moment to introduce yourself, visit her site, and sit back and get ready to enjoy her treats for your eyes, love for your heart, ideas for beautiful living. Visit Cathy on her blog!

Here is what Cathy has to say about this great venture:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.
Because the holidays can also be a time of stress, conflict, loneliness, sadness and disappointment, I want this course to be a reminder of what you bring into your home, your family and the beauty that your life and gifts bring to those around you.
You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.
You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.
You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.
You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.
We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and family.
We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.
My hope is that this course will help you to slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

And because you are such devoted and lovely readers....

A  G I V E A W A Y 



Just leave me a little comment and someone will be chosen to attend this fabulous holiday creative home course for FREE!! 


To learn more about this creative course, how to register, and what is included, please visit Cathy's blog for more information.

Sign up soon! It starts in less than a month and you don't want to miss a single moment of it!!!!

Wishing you all a great and wonderful week, and mostly, hoping that this holiday season is filled with fun, spirit, and creativity that fills your holiday home with love.

from my house to your house,


Sep 16, 2013

My Little Moto

My Little Moto

I've tried four times to write this post and never made through it without needing to stop, grieve, and close up my computer. I guess a part of me felt that by writing this out, and seeing it on the screen...well... it just made it a little too real for me to handle at the moment.

It is so hard to write about someone you love and have lost, no matter how much you want to share with the world just how special that someone was and had such an impact on your life.

Monty passed away a week ago today, and this last week has been more emotional than I would have ever thought.

For those who have "fur babies" in their families, I know I don't need to express the lost that is felt when your "baby" has left you and only memories remain.

Monty was by my side from day one. I remember so clearly coming home from work, still in my military uniform, and finding him asleep on my bed in a wicker basket. He was anniversary gift for me who continued to give me love, devotion, happiness, laughter, and comfort. I took him to work with me the very next day and days after that, so I could care for him and be near him. 

After my time in the military, Monty was by my side, every single day while I owned my store. He was known as the "shop dog" and greeted all my customers with a wagging curly tail and his bright eyes. These photos here, are him with me on a photo shoot. Yes, I took him with me on my shoots whenever possible. He stayed quietly at the kitchen door and was very intrigued by something. 

And I never ceased to be intrigued by him.

Monty, always one to explore and inspect, never took his eyes off me for very long. Always wanting to make sure of my whereabouts. He heard me click my camera, and just gently turned his head to see what I was doing now...and I quickly captured this moment.

This photo/memory is my favorite. It was taken 2004 and at that time I had a photo studio in my apartment above my store. I was shooting product shots on this pedestal for hours, while Monty leaned against my tripod as I was working away. He dozed off and on but suddenly after a while, he stood up and went to the pedestal and looked up at it and began to bark all happily.

He then pawed at the pedestal and wouldn't leave it alone (or me) until I finally sat him up on it in the sunshine. These aren't poses and I didn't coax him to do anything. He actually just sat there and posed on his own! He made no indication of wanting to get down, and so I had to actually lift him off so I could get back to work. I remember being so rushed that day, so way behind in everything I needed to accomplish, but I cherish this moment and I am very grateful that I took time to photograph him and not shoo him away so I wouldn't step on him.

Monty even became a star, nationally, with "his" first photo shoot where he appeared in the Feb 2004 issue of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion magazine. The editor was enamored with him and took his photo and it made it in the magazine, with his name, even.

There are so many stories about Monty and him being a local celebrity as my store dog. One of my favorites that I will share with you is when he was "arrested" by local authorities. I was closing up my shop after a busy day of selling and I was standing in the shop's doorway (with it open) seeing out my last customer and chatting. I closed the door, locked it, and went back to my counter to close out.

About 15 minutes later, there was a knock at my door, and I went to open it and a policeman (I believe named Andy) smiled at me and said, "Are you missing someone?" and he pointed over his shoulder behind him to his squad car. In the backseat, there was Monty, looking out the window at me! Andy said he was driving by and saw Monty and he said, "I know Monty isn't allowed outside by himself and I didn't see you come out to get him, so I thought I better take him in...." I was horrified, but laughed as I called out to Monty, still in the squad car, "Did you get yourself arrested? I'm not sure I will post bail on you!" I was so grateful and finally figured out that the stinker trotted right past me and my customer, while we were standing in the doorway, to go one door down to take his ritual pee-pee on the bushes, as he always did with me when I locked up at night. I guess my gabbing was taking too long for his bladder, and so he decided to go it alone!

After closing my store, my life was way less structured as I began to travel more and work freelance. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but I decided to let his daddy take Monty and his sister, Lulu, with him when he decided to move to NC. Monty later got another mommy, who loved him just as much as me and his daddy and my barber husband do. I will always be grateful to his second mommy for caring so well for him and loving him as I would, had I been there.

The above image is one of the last photos I took of him when I drove to NC last summer just to spend time with him and his little sister, Lulu. He was staring at my Iphone, and true to form, he stared right at me as I tried several times to aim my Iphone right at him. So patient, he just waited and waited until I could get it right.

This is how I will always remember my little Moto. He brought sunshine into every room and he most definitely brighten up my world, as he did for so many.

I love you, my little Moto, and I will see you again someday.


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