Manning Up with Flowers

Flower & Garden Show 2011
It has been awhile since I posted to our site, so I figured I would man it up with a “Flower & Garden Show” that we are going to today, however I would rather call it a “Landscape & Garden Show”.

Home Before Purchase
With our new home we had zero landscaping let alone grass. The grass we did get was contractor mix seed which basically grows the first year and dies the next. Compound that with a hard compact dirt, rock and sand mix as topsoil it has be a challenge this last second year with the lawn, but we survived quite well.
On the landscaping side we planted 12 trees and I don’t know how many shrubs, bushes and plants but we where busy.
All in all I have enjoyed the heavy amount of “landscaping and gardening” this last year very much and I think today’s venture should be helpful.
I am going to try and post a few things from the iPhone as we go.
Please post a comment below.

It’s Been Awhile . . .

Our lives have been such a whirlwind the last year that this blog came in very last place.  Mike and I started this blog as a way to share our lives with family and friends and personally for me it’s a nice way to journal our lives in a non-daunting format.

With the purchase of our new home and the ever expediently growing business we run, it’s left very little time for other things in our lives.  I’m always amazed at how God changes things in our lives when we least expect them and always for the better, even if you don’t think so at first.  With this preface, the following two major changes in our lives was the work of our creator of which both I personally put a fight up against at first.

OUR HOME

The final choice of our home is interesting in the way of it’s location within Shelton.  You see, there are four sections within the City of  Shelton and the section this house resides in is the furthest away from any sort of ease of convenience and because of that, White Hills was the last area in which we were willing to purchase (at first).  We actually drove past the home we now own in our early days of looking and we both said “hmmm….nope, it’s too plain and it’s too far away from everything.  I say that loosely speaking in the sense that we’re really “only” 15 minutes from many conveniences.   Well after months of looking and the timing coming right down to the last minute to find a home because our other home had sold, we reluctantly decided to look in the “ever so far away” White Hills section of Shelton.  We drove down our street to this home that we declined so many months before and on this day it was perfect in so many ways!  Our eyes and hearts had been opened this time around and I know for me that I really didn’t know what I wanted in a home or which location I wanted until that very day we walked back onto this property.  My, can I tell you what a perfect location this home is for us!  We’ve quickly come to love living this far out from the daily hub bub, beeping car horns and loudness that comes with busy downtown areas.  Instead of pesky cars and loud noises we now have beautiful deer, wild turkey and so many species of birds to look at and listen to.  On many days, I look around and am amazed that we actually own all of this abundance.  I never thought I’d actually own “woods” and it’s gorgeous walkable woods with a running brook, gigantic Connecticut rocks, and wild ferns.  We’ve been hard at work all this year too with landscaping the land around our home.

MY PERSONAL CAREER

Thought Out Company is doing so well that it requires both Michael and I full time.  Within the last year or so I was given the “clearance” by Michael to go full time for our business but I had such a struggle in actually leaving “my” career, the thing I’ve advanced at and have done so well with for my entire adult working life.  It has always been there for me, I depended on it, it kept my head above water and supported me through thick and thin, when I was alone and had noone but myself to depend on.  It was extremely hard for me to find it in my heart to actually “want” to leave my personal career.  I had fear of what will I do if if if if…..UGH well let me tell you it took this last year for me to go through my own internal process of finding my way through this huge career move.  I woke up one day over a month ago and finally realized and actually felt in my heart that I really am an essential part of the success of our personal business and with that exact moment I knew it was time to leave the medical field “my career” and take on this exciting move to assist in the advancement and full success of our business.  And so it was still with a heavy heart that I gave my notice to Orthopaedic Surgeons and not long after my position was filled by another body and I formally went full time for Thought Out on Friday, November 19th.  Within one weeks time of this change my personal whirl wind days have already changed, I have more time for things that have gotten pushed aside for far too long (years!).  I get giddy just thinking about it all, even sitting here typing to our blog is something I haven’t had time for in the last year.  I love waking up, getting ready for work at the Thought Out office knowing that every single thing I do is to benefit our family.  It’s truly an act of God, the patience of a supporting husband, and the flexibility of my heart that has allowed this abundant change in my personal career. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my husband for allowing all of this to unfold and come to reality.  He is one of a kind and a man that will make anything happen once he’s set his mind to it.  Love that man of mine!!!

The pictures featured today are from a family walk on Oct 30th at East Village Park.  This is a great park for all of us living in the White Hills section of Shelton.  I had interrupted him during one of his outdoor wood chipping or tree planting excursions to tag along with Scottie and I to the park for some play time.  Love him for being so tolerant of my spontaneous requests.  It’s a rarity that he says no to me which makes me love him even more.

Vintage Jewelry Class

Calling all jewelry loving girls!  I’m hosting my very first class where you’ll be making your very own vintage necklace to take home and wear.  They’re easy and include everything you need to complete a beautiful eclectic necklace from the fun and funky pendants to the jump rings, clasps, and chains.

SIGN-UP DEADLINE: Monday, May 17

WHEN: Saturday, June 5 @ 1PM

WHERE: My House (Email me if you need my address)

WHAT TO BRING: Jewelry Making Kit (round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and a side cutter).

If you don’t already own a fancy jewelry making kit you may either purchase one for $10 below or you may share my set with everyone else that selects the sharing option.  No fighting or hitting each other when sharing though :).  I hope to host more of these classes so it may be in your best interest to have one of these kits on your hip and who knows you may leave this class loving how easy it is to make your own trendy jewelry that you’ll be whipping them up in your own home.

You may select from a choice of five different necklaces all of which must be pre-purchased by Monday 5/17.  Just select the one you want, click the buy now button and you’ll be directed to PayPal where you can pay with any credit card.  The kit will be waiting for you when you arrive at my home for the class.  If you’re feeling like you’re all that, you may purchase as many kits as you’d like and show us all up in class.  Think of all the trendy outfits you have just screaming for one of these vintage pieces.  I’m so excited and can’t wait to see everyone in class!


$18 Pendant Findings Kit

$18 Resin & Woven Flowers Kit
$18 Butterfly & Abalone Drop Kit
$18 Floral Mix Kit
$18 Abalone & Velvet Kit
$10 Tool Kit

The Studio and Kitchen

This Thursday is the big day!  Our first moving day and it’s been a long time coming.  We’ve been at this sell and purchase since April so I can hardly believe it’s just a couple days away.  We were up at the new house yesterday to do a few things so I took a couple pics of my two favorite rooms and wanted to share.

This is the view from my new studio.  We had the builder punch out the wall and install the french doors which I’ve always wanted.  It opens the house up and looks right at the fire place into the living room.  The home has an open floor plan allowing an airy feel.

In this picture I’m standing in the mudroom area and you’re looking at part of the kitchen right into the living room.  Nice!

We’re so excited to get the move under way and get our lives back in order.  Everything has been so ascue through this whole experience but well worth it.

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!

Laptop Bag by booq

I have not posted in a while so I figure I just post something that first came to my mind. I have had a new smaller MacBook for Thought Out for a few months and decided to get my third BOOQ bag. These bags are the best, the other two lasted with out wear and I recommend them highly. That is it for now and I look forward to this smaller bag in a few days.

Boa slimcase S90
Laptop Sleeves by booq

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!

Time With Our Niece

I had the pleasure of having Isabella this past weekend.  It was an awakening experience, tiring, inspiring, exhausting, loving and everything else in between.  Isabella’s mom and dad took their first vacation away and spent a week in Italy (they so deserved this time)!  The following are snippets of this and that while she stayed with Uncle Mike and I.

Friday I picked her up from Daycare and off we went for our 1-hour drive to Auntie Brandi’s house and the little voice waffled through my car the ENTIRE way!  Was enlightening to hear the stories and the life of a five year old.  One of her stories went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, what if a ghost comes into my tent when I’m sleeping at your house and tries to get me?

Me:  I will wrap the ghost up in a blanket, tie him up and throw him in the trash.

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, if you feel something tickling your feet when your sleeping what do you think it will be?

Me:  I think it will be Scottie licking my toes.

Bella:  Naut Ah, it will be the ghost . . . teeeehehehehehehehehe

Me:  Silly girl

Saturday we went to see a cabaret show.  The picture above was taken before going inside the Downtown Cabaret Theatre to see the 1 1/2 hour show, The Three Little Pigs.  She was elated while Uncle Mike and I were umm amazed by the number of children they squished into this place and certain we’d come down with some sort of illness.  By the way the show was very good and I’d recommend it if you live nearby.

Sunday morning she asked for eggs with soft yolks and toast, this is the same breakfast she asked for Saturday morning as well.  She likes to put the egg on the toast (like poached eggs).  Upon placing her breakfast in front of her she proceeds to eat then the conversation went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi can you cut the crust edges off my toast.  (mind you I had already put the egg on top of the toast and cut the toast into bite size pieces)

Me:  Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t like the crust edges before I cut everything up.  And by the way you ate the edges yesterday why don’t you want them today?  (I’m starting to realize that reasoning with a child is challenging)

Bella:  I ate the crust edges yesterday because I wanted to eat your food and not complain.

Oh WOW . . . a five year old with manners even if it was for one meal.

I notice she has two phrases she uses a lot right now

1.  “Are you kidding me?”

2.  “Wait just a minute”

We built a make shift tent/fort (she called it her room) in the middle of our living room.  She wouldn’t allow any of the animals in with exception of her stuffed animals.  She did make an exception for our cat Wilbur.  I think it was Isabella’s compassion after learning she had been in the hospital and wasn’t feeling well.  She petted her and displayed a great amount of empathy for Wilbur.  We played Candy Land, put puzzles together, watched Narnia and Hoodwinked, colored tons of pictures, watched Noggin cartoons in all the in between times, and made cards for all the actors in the upcoming Arial show at the Cabaret Theatre (by the way Bridget & Jeremy she says she wants to go with Dylan to see that show LOL).

Upon taking her back to her other home away from home Mike & I returned to an eerily quite home that oddly felt empty to me.  I was shocked with how much I missed this bouncy full of life little niece of mine and I had only had her for two nights.  It was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed having her for the weekend.

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!