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.

Labor Day 2009

Can you believe that summer is over??? I can’t, ours was so chock full of house stuff that it buzzed right on by.  We lazily spent a quite afternoon on the back of the boat sipping a delish margarita with good company coming and going.  Missed my sister and her family who had to reschedule due to illness 😦

I don’t know why I like to take pictures of feet, shoes or whatever someone has on their feet.  It’s weird I know but humor me K?  Since I don’t get my pic taken often these days I’ll share a pic of my feet in summery flip flops.  I know they’re not the prettiest so look quick!

Margarita Mike

“Emm that’s good margarita!”

“The look” . . . “why do you insist on taking my picture?”

Discussing politics . . . or wait debating politics . . . what a hot topic!

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.

The Smallest of Gifts = The Soul of One’s Heart

Memorial Day on our boat this year was indeed special!  Bridget & Jeremy blessed us with their presence and in tow was one of the cutest little girls on the planet, Isabella.  And to my surprise she anxiously awaited my return to give me this special surprise she had made especially for mua.  One doesn’t “need” their own children to experience the compassion, love and thoughtfullness only a child can give.  I find it straight through my nieces and nephews whom are some of the most loving children I know!

Along with the beautiful flower Isabella so graciously picked out of her dance rehearsal bouquet she wrote a letter with a picture of our boat and how much she loves visiting us on the boat.  My sister allowed her to sound out and spell the words by herself.  By the way, I think the now dead flower looks just as lovely as it was alive, it’s just a different color now.  hehe

It says “Aunt Brandi I Love it” with an arrow pointing at her drawing of the boat.  The part that looks like the sun is the wheel of the boat and I believe the two little lines to the left of the wheel is the captains seat.

This is the backside of her letter saying she loves me and loves being at our boat.  Don’t you love how she spells “at Brade” meaning “aunt Brandi”.  Then she writes “I love you at Bran” . . . the “bran” cracks me up because I’ve always despised being called Bran for short.  Sounds like a box of cereal or something.  What a sweet thought to give a gift to her auntie that usually only mom’s experience.  From the soul of my heart, Thank you Miss Bella you make me smile!  You’re so sweet I could put you in my coffee.

Picture was taken of Isabella and I sitting on the bow of the boat.  I didn’t know Mike had taken this picture until I uploaded to find it amongst all the others.  She was telling me stories about a mouse of which I now forget how the story goes. I do recall her saying “he was the sweeeeeetest mouse!”

Photoshop Elements 6

My newest educational book arrived this past weekend, Photoshop Elements 6 The Missing Manual.  I’ve been using this software and getting through it by the seat of my pants or by getting so frustrated when I can’t figure out how to do the things I want to do.  Life and photo editing are much easier when you learn it the “right” way.  This book isn’t your typical dry catalog or computer book (snore).  It’s perfect for us non-techie people who are trying to learn Photoshop Elements.

So no more hair pulling or barking at my husband for not being able to help me quick enough, I’m learning this photo editing beast.  The Missing Manuals is a series of learning manuals for gosh I think almost anything.  If you click on this link you’ll be taken to their website where you will find all sorts of “missing manual” books.  I’m sure they have written one for a program that is making you go bald too.

My featured picture is of Mikey and the budster chilling by the boat last weekend.  It was edited by me and I added a Karen Russell Overlay.  I like it!  Trying to figure out how to add and use actions . . . I’ll surely post a picture with the result of it.  Actions are very very cool!

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.

Unwrapped & Long Necks Polished Off

Yesterday was the official start of Spring for the Talmadge Family.  We started our day off with a brisk 3 mile walk of which Mike has me surprised this year.  It goes like this . . . during the winter we work out separately, he walks a few miles everyday with his friend at work while I typically go to the gym.  Come nice weather he and I walk together on the weekend.  Well this is the first year I’m not saying “come on pick up the pace”!  He’s actually outpacing me, well it does take me two steps to keep up with his one.  I’m completely impressed Mike!  Now lets  see who wins the push-ups competition.

Mike in his walking sneaks, Adidas jacket and iPhone . . .

And just because I have a fetish with taking pics of shoes . . . Mike’s sneaks LOL

The unofficial start to boating season started this weekend as we removed the shrink wrapping from the boat.  Wahooooo!!!!!  Well the shrink wrap is on it’s way to being off in this picture. . .

OK . . . there goes more of it.  Love & Luck is breathing fresh air again!

Well yeah now this is an interesting picture!  A few of us had some beers after the boat was uncovered and this is the rear view of the men.  From left to right . . . Mike, John, Cowboy Roy and Jeff.  Thanks for the pose and thanks for not mooning me guys!

And the cutest of the pack . . . Scottie Buddy Boy getting his lick on some icey cold ice.  This bucket housed the beers, yes they are burried in there, nice and cold!

And lastly the American Flag is up so you know what this means?  Albeit chilly boating season has started!  Cheers!

Grouchy, Working Out, Organization & Well Just Bitchy!

The title is the multiple personalities I’ve had going on for a week or so now . . . muahaha!  I do think the warmer temps we had this past weekend lifted a couple of those personalities from my repertoire . . . Thank God for that!  I couldn’t stand being around myself much less how poor Mike must’ve been feeling.  I’m reminded that it’s that time of year when all these personalities surface AKA “The Winter Blues”.  I don no if that’s really the case but there seems to be validity to the time line.  Annyy Way . . . it was a nice feeling to experience 50 degree weather again  . . .  we’ve been stuck in arctic temps for what seems like months now.

For us it was like spring, we did several hours of work in the garage with the door WIDE open taking in the fresh air, we rinsed off the vehicles (oh God looked like we’d been driving through gigantic mud puddles), we were going to take Scottie for a walk but decided against it as he would’ve been a wet muddy mess.  I really wish someone would open an indoor pet park so us snow ridden people could walk our pets in comfort and little mess.  Here’s a pic of Mike & Scottie from last  weekend when we took Scottie for a walk and YEP he was a mess by the end ugghh!

We’ve been on a steady progression of re-organization around here and it feels good.  It’s invigerating to throw away things that have no life left in them, donate the other junk and find things you’ve been missing and couldn’t find.  Spring cleaning has started early for the Talmadge House as we know that once Spring does FINALLY arrive our boat will be monopolizing all of our time.  Two margarita’s Up to sunnier warmer days ahead!

New Year’s Day Activities

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  In case you were wondering what we did on New Year’s Day . . . here’s a run down accompanied by some pictures too.  Y’all know I LOVE pictures right?????  (insert big smile)

1.  Mike cooked breakfast . . . bacon and egg on english muffin with green tomato relish and cholula hot sauce (both of these toppings rock!).

2.  Stayed in jammies until 1PM.   Yup those are my slippered feet hehehe.

3.  Had lunch at Panera Bread.

4.  To Starbuck’s for our favorite latte’s.  Mike hearts the Cafe Latte.  Brandi hearts the Peppermint Mocha Latte.

5.  To the marina to check in on our summer home location and to see how frozen the Housatonic River was.

Still @ Marina:  Ned in the “Grumpy Old Man Boat” breaking up the ice so it doesn’t destroy the docks.  Look, I caught the train going by in the background (wonder if the riders are on their way to NY City?  We need to take a day trip soon, LOVE it there!)

Still @ Marina:  Mike and Leon talking “man stuff” . . . probably fishing or boats.

Still @ Marina:  Me taking pictures of interesting things around the marina while waiting for “man talk” to cease.  I really like this pic!

6.  Back @ home fending off our overly excited dog.  He is far to cute!

7.  Photo session to obtain a nice new profile shot of maw and my favorite technological toy.  Not too bad especially considering I was holding the good camera in my hands.  Thanks Mike!  We had A LOT of bad shots to obtain a few good ones.

8.  A bit of crafty time for me and techy time for Mike.

9.  Thinking of my girlfriend, Latonya who flew to Georgia yesterday afternoon to spend a few days with her sister.  Hoping she made it in time (considering our winter storm) to have rung in the new year last night.

10.  We are now deciding what we should do for dinner.  I’ve had little interest in cooking this week.  Better get myself back in gear for next week when life returns to normal.  UGGHHH!  update to dinner:  mike had beans and dogs, I had a grilled cheese sandwich and we both had a little bowl of Kraft Spiral Mac & Cheese.  Not a dinner to write home about nor should I have written it here but wanted to remind myself that I can’t always be Martha Stewart but a girl sure can try . . . right?  Can you believe something like this came out of MY kitchen!?!

Hope you had a nice relaxing day!