Thursday, October 16, 2014

WHEW!!! Life is a whirlwind!!!

We will not move again.  Repeat.  We will not move again!! 

Goodness gracious!  I am so excited to be blogging! In the last few months I have retired, and our family has moved back to Mississippi to be closer to my family.  My husband began a new career as well.  Seth started middle school in a brand new school. AND.... we spent the summer renovating our new home. Last, but not least, I began a new job in September.  I am now working from home for a large university.  It is basically my dream job!!  Life is BUSY and GREAT!!!

I can not wait to show you our new home.  When we decided I should retire and we would move closer to home, my sister informed me that the house across the street from my father was for sale.  Really?  What could be more perfect?  Well, the house for one, but that is all part of the story! The next time we came home to visit we looked at the house, but we weren't quite ready to commit just yet. Fast forward two months:  We made a firm commitment to retire (I was a nervous wreck handing in the paperwork!) and, as luck would have it, the house had not sold.  It was truly meant to be! It is literally perfect for us.  Location, location, location!  While we were still in Mobile, we downsized, and it was such a good move for us.  We embraced the "less is more philosophy."  This house is the same cozy size!  Not too big, not too small!  

I retired on June 18.  We moved back to Mississippi just three days later.  We closed on our house the first of July.  Here is the fun part - we lived with my father, and his two wild and crazy dogs, while we renovated our home.  It was a little stressful, but it all worked out. We moved in around the third week of August.  We have still been completing minor projects, but for the most part, it is finished. I wonder though, is a house ever really finished??

Jon has been a trooper and worked extremely hard to make this house special!  We did not remove walls, but  I guess this still qualifies as "renovating".  We truly made this home pretty again.  It was only 11 years old, but the previous owner had very specific tastes that were very different from ours. So, while we did not change the overall footprint of the house, we gave it a facelift!  Every wall has been painted, floors refinished, every knob, door handle, and light fixture have been replaced. The most work was completed in the kitchen. I am so happy with the way everything turned out. Since we moved in, we have begun to  tackle the landscaping.  I will be sharing pictures soon of our new home.  I have learned not to say "forever", but I truly hope this will be our home for many years to come! 

Thanks for visiting Buttercup Bliss!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Burlap and Bunnies

Happy Easter from Buttercup Bliss!  Our table is set for our special Easter lunch.  I am ready to begin cooking!  I love any holiday - special times with family! There will just be the three of us tomorrow, but I believe the table should be pretty even if we don't have company.  There is something about a beautiful table setting that I believe is important - Easter is special, therefore, the table should be special!  This year I was in a bunnies and burlap mood (along with most people I would say - burlap is IN!)

My Franciscan Dessert Rose dishes are so perfect for spring!  And don't just love the bunny ear napkins rings?  They were a recent Pier One purchase.  They were so cute I didn't even wait to see if they would mark them down!  I was afraid they would have all hopped on out of there! 

This burlap Easter runner was one of my favorite purchases last spring from a little shop in Mobile.  I goes perfectly with my McCarty bunnies! 

Do you see the wee bunny peeking out of the sweet bouquet? Too cute!
 An apothecary jar filled with eggs completes the centerpiece.   This is my favorite type of tablescape - simple and not too fussy :-)

This darling bunny has been gracing my office door at work.  When we got out for Spring Break last week, I brought him home to add a seasonal touch to the fireplace. 

Blessings from Buttercup Bliss, 

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Huge Decisions... Big News

At the end of June I will retire!  Which is amazing since I am only 30!  Ha!! Oh, how I wish I were that young!!  Retirement!  A word that brings about so many possibilities! Retirement is one of those things that a person thinks about but it is so far in the future for too much serious thought. I began teaching 29 years ago - retirement wasn't even something I gave any thought at all.  Fast forward about 15 years -  retirement became something I dreamed of (i.e. something along the lines of "When I retire I will be able to work out whenever I want....")  When I had Seth, many people assumed I would stop working; however, I was only seven years away from completing 25 years in education.  My thought was "I can retire when he is in second grade!" I guess there is a perk of having your child late in life.  Even though truthfully I would have loved to stay home with him right then - it didn't seem financially sound to walk away when I had invested 18 years in my career.  Eventually I reached the 25 year milestone and the time just didn't seem right.  I enjoy my job and the people I work with are wonderful!  The commute; however, is another thing!  Seth and I drive over an hour (each way!) every day for work and school - he goes to school in the district in which I work.... which, as you can see, creates another problem.  If I retire Seth will have to leave the school he has attended since kindergarten.  This has been our main focus throughout this year because I have really grown weary of the daily drive - I feel like all I do is commute, work, ball practice for Seth, cook, iron, repeat!  It is amazing how over two hours a day in a car will drive you nuts!  (I realize people all over deal with this - I am just being honest. I have gotten to where I don't want to go places if I have to drive.  Sad, but true!)  

We decided if we were going to make a decision about retiring then we needed to make it sooner rather than later.  I want Seth to be settled in his new school when he begins sixth grade (middle school - oh my!).  We had thought we would have to make a decision about where Seth would go to school in Mobile; but as the school year has continued, the decision became even bigger.  Should we move closer to my father and sister?  They live three hours away in Mississippi. Truthfully, my father (and my sister) need us to be closer.  My dad fell in February - he is now at a swing bed/rehab center for the fourth time in the last four years.  (On a funny note, one of the nurses said my dad was her favorite "repeat offender"!)  My sister works full time as a pediatric oncology nurse manager.  She has the added task of accompanying Daddy to all doctor appointments (he has a lot!), helping clean his house, cooking for him, running errands, etc.  This is daunting at times when coupled with already stressful job!  

After a lot of thought, prayer, and talking with my family and closest friends, Jon and I have decided that the time has come for us to make a major life change.  I will retire and we will move to Mississippi.  We are all excited and scared at the same time about our new adventure. We are about to undergo big changes for our family:  new job for Jon, a new home for our family, and a new school for Seth where he doesn't know anyone (and they don't know us - scary for me since I have always worked in the district where he goes to school).  We are leaving behind dear friends we have grown to love.  BUT, I know we are making the right decision.  When it comes down to it, family is everything.  I am excited about living in the same town as my daddy and my sister and her family.  (As my niece pointed out, I have not lived there in eighteen years - she said, "Sissy, I am ready for you to come home!")

Please pray for our family as we make all this happen between now and July.  Again, I am super excited, but it does feel a little strange.  I have been a teacher, principal and curriculum director for the last twenty-nine years.  What will I BE now?  Consultant? Baseball mom? Spend time decorating and/or renovating our new home?  Will I discover a new talent? Will I be able to blog more?  The possibilities are endless?  Life is good!!!  

As always, thank you for visiting Buttercup Bliss!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Days and Family Fun!

Seth  ~ doing "the wave:" at the Senior Bowl!

We have enjoyed several days of family fun this past few weeks.    My husband's job requires him to work on Saturday so having him home for family time is such a treat!! A few weeks ago we celebrated Seth's 11th birthday.  Because his birthday fell on a Wednesday, the celebration stretched over several days.  We had a special dinner on his actual birthday. On Friday evening we went to Carrabbas to kick off the weekend when his best buddy, Jonathon, came to visit. On Saturday, the boys enjoyed bowling and playing laser tag.  They also enjoyed a long shopping trip to Dick's Sporting Goods (That is such a guy thing!!  I spent part of the time at Pier One!) We also had dinner in Daphne at Champy's where we dined on the best fried chicken I have every had in my life!!  

Our favorite neighbors came to visit on Saturday morning.  The boys were thrilled! 

This past Saturday, we attended the Reese's Senior Bowl. Our little football fanatic had a blast!!!

Warming Up

The Saintsations and the Azalea Trail Maids were on hand for the exciting day! 

This week's weather in the deep south allowed us more family time!  Yes!!  We are now in our third SNOW DAY!!  This very seldom happens in coastal Mississippi/Alabama!!  It is technically "ice", but trust me, the children here do not care!!  It is white and it is on the ground!! Children and grown ups alike are making "ice men", sledding, and generally have a ball!!!  

Yes, he is wearing a football helmet to play in the "wintry mix"! 

We are so blessed that we were safe at home during this very rare event.  The news is full of stories of people who were stranded in their cars for many hours.  My brother in law's dear friend was stuck in his car in Atlanta for over 24 hours.  The goodness of people was so clear during this time as stories emerged of strangers delivering food and water, inviting people into their homes, etc.  

Photo: The Bay is frozen around the edges.  Quite a rare occurrence !
Mobile Bay is beginning to freeze. 

The beach in a frozen state....

I think our bougainvillea may not survive! On a funny note, 
Seth was recreating the scene from "A Christmas Story"! 
 He had us laughing like crazy as he recited the lines...."Stuck, stuck, help! Don't leave me!" 

Stay warm dear friends!! We  are about to play another round of Uno and drink hot chocolate!! 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Window Shopping and Wishful Thinking!!

Oh! My! Goodness!!  

Today I went to one of my very favorite stores, Antiques at the Loop!  It is the most wonderful store!  I truly could stay in there for hours, but, alas, I usually have my little one with me so I have my path through the vast space down to a science.  After visiting so many times I have my several booths that I hurry to immediately.  Usually my first stop is the area with vintage Ironstone.  Today in a booth nearby I found six American Fostoria salad/dessert plates.  They are so sweet and will be a good addition to my growing collection.  And at only thirty-six dollars. they are an inexpensive treasure!! 

Here are some other BEAUTIFUL items that I would dearly love to own, but, they are a little too costly for a random Saturday afternoon of antiquing.  I did inquire, however, and lay-away is offered!! Hmmm.... Maybe I will own one of these beauties soon!  

These are the most amazing chairs I have seen in quite a while -  absolutely beautiful! There was a sign that said a table was arriving soon and would be sold separately * swoon* !!  

My husband does not understand why I am so in love with this cow picture. 
 I can't explain it, but I love it.  What is not to love?  The sweet face and chippy frame make me smile! 

Isn't he beautiful?

I immediately loved this picture of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  I have a small oil painting of Cavaliers, but this large one would be lovely somewhere in my home.  They look just like our fur babies, Bentley and Clarabel. 

Aren't these bunnies adorable?  

Don't you just love to window shop?  I could amuse myself for hours rambling through stores and planning where I would place a perfect piece of furniture or exquisite artwork.  In the end though, I am happy to leave with my new treasure to add to my collection and lots of pictures to leaf through when I am day dreaming about decorating! 

Thanks for visiting Buttercup Bliss,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hope for the New Year

Happy New Year!  I hope this finds you happy and healthy as we begin 2014! Have you made a New Year's resolution?  I have never really made resolutions other than the vague “lose weight” or “eat healthier” ; however,  for a few years I chose a hymn as my words to live by for the upcoming year. It is truly wonderful what you can learn by studying the words of hymns.  You may read those posts here and here.  Last week my husband, Jon, sent me a message with a quote from Charles Swindoll.  He said, “This needs to be our view of whatever may come in 2014.”  The quote was: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.   I immediately agreed with him!  I am not proud to admit that 
sometimes I dwell in the “if onlys” of life: (“If only my mom had not gotten cancer”, “If only I hadn't had a miscarriage”, etc.) This is not a good thing to do.  Dwelling on things that happened in the past rob us of the joy to be found in our present circumstances.  As we begin 2014, I am determined to choose my attitude about things that happen very carefully.  I am going to strive to be positive and hopeful about the future!  I know that whatever happens in my life is part of God’s plan for me.  I know I will have to make a conscious decision each and every day to trust and believe that everything is going to be fine – better than fine!   I will choose an attitude of happiness, contentment, thankfulness, forgiveness, hope, and joy.  I will also remember Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord,  to those who are the called according to His purpose. Even things we do not understand are used for OUR good.  I know this in my heart to be true! Yes, even losing my mother and other experiences that were devastating at the time, were all working together for good. Looking back I know that God used those times to draw me closer to Him. 

Here are several other pearls of wisdom from Charles Swindoll that resonated with me.  I hope they may help you too!

 “If you allow it, suffering can be the means by which God brings you His greatest blessings.”

“Joy is a deeply felt contentment that transcends difficult circumstances and derives maximum enjoyment from every good experience.”

“We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn't come naturally. It's a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”

The pursuit of happiness is a matter of is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.”

Happy New Year!

Blessings from Buttercup Bliss


Monday, December 30, 2013

New Vintage Treasures and a Question

Hi friends!  I am taking a break from watching bowl games (Hotty Toddy!!)  to share with you a few new vintage treasures that I just received.  First, I am so excited to have two new additions to my Ironstone collection.  The first is a small milk pitcher that I picked up a month or so ago at Antiques at the Loop in Mobile.  At only around 5 inches tall, it is such a sweet, simple piece.  I thought it was perfect and only eighteen dollars!  

The second is a slightly larger, and more ornate, milk pitcher.  It is also vintage white Ironstone.  It is probably older than the first piece.  The tag said it was from the nineteenth century.  I have looked at it several times at Antiques at the Loop.  (Can you tell I love this store?)  There are a few more larger pieces there that I love, but I just haven't been willing to splurge.  On Sunday Jon and Seth and I rambled around after having a late breakfast at Panera Bread.  After we had been to Academy and Hibbett's, we made a stop for me!  Yippee!!  The booth that had my favorite Ironstone pieces were having a 20 % off sale.  Yippee again!!  I decided to get this piece.  It has some wear and tear marks from over the years, but that just makes it even more special!!  I am looking forward to growing my Ironstone collection in years to come.  I already have my eye on a fabulous soup tureen!

This year I also began collecting American Fostoria crystal - thanks to my sister Anita!  She has quite a collection going.  So far, I have only purchased six juice glasses.  They are adorable!!  I have been drooling over the beautiful Fostoria cake stands that I see in antique stores and, of course, on Ebay.  I do not want to pay $200 plus.  It is crazy how expensive they can be!!  

I was thrilled when my sister, Anita, gave me one for Christmas.   When I opened it, she explained that it was a "cake salver".  I had never heard this term before.  I am assuming that salver means server. :-) 

I love that it is vintage.  It still has the original Fostoria sticker.  Very cool!  

The thing is:  it is in two pieces!  Have any of you every seen this before?  How do you connect the two pieces?  Liquid nails?  Another adhesive?  Do I take it to a glass repair specialist?  Are you just supposed to use the flat part?  It sits fine by itself; however, if that is true, why is there a pedestal? Wouldn't that just be a cake plate as opposed to a cake stand?   (My sister and my aunt, who also collects Fostoria, both have beautiful cake stands but they are the one piece type. :-).  In the picture above I have the top sitting on the base, but if I put anything on it I am certain it would fall.  The top of the pedestal is curved and the bottom of the plate is curved. Perplexing!!  Help please!!! 

If there are any collectors or crystal/Fostoria experts out there, I would really appreciate your advice.  (I asked at Antiques at the Loop, but they said they don't usually have Fostoria and therefore, they were unsure of what to tell me.)  Help please!  

Thank you for visiting!  I hope some of my blogging friends out there know exactly what I need to do so that I may use my beautiful vintage beauty!! 

Linking to the following parties:


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas....A Look Back!

I hope each of you had a very merry Christmas!  We certainly enjoyed ours with my family in Mississippi.  It is so good to gather together and celebrate the season.  This December flew past so quickly!  Does that mean we were busy and having fun, or that I am getting old? I am going with the former!!

Our sweet elf, Cooper, appeared after Thanksgiving. Seth was thrilled!!  I know one day he will think he is  too old for some of our traditions, but, until then, we still have fun with Cooper!  The first year that Cooper was with us he actually wrote a guest post on my blog.  You can read that here
Like all good elves, Cooper loves sugar!! He left Seth a healthy breakfast one morning. 

Seth was thrilled to find out he was on the NICE LIST!!

Before it is too late, I wanted to share a few pics of our home decorated for Christmas.  I love to decorate each year.  Some years I am in a "less is more" mood.  This year; however, we decided to do two trees.  We did our traditional tree in the family room - I am still enthralled with red and green for the holidays. In the sitting room our tree had a natural theme with lots of owls, birds, pine cones, and an antler or two.  This was our only tree last year, but I truly missed my collection of Radkos and other precious ornaments from years past. So... this year we did both of them.  (And a small tree in our son's room.)

Also, I have to confess, I almost did not do a Christmas post. When you follow some of the fabulous blogs that are out there you  may (okay, it's me!) feel insecure.  There are some seriously BEAUTIFUL homes out there that are completely DECKED for the holidays.  But, I read a wonderful post by Rhoda of Southern Hospitality.  In it, she spoke about this exact feeling. I realized I was being silly.  So here is our home - it is not perfect - it is probably not our forever home, but we are blessed and I had fun decorating for our family.  

This is our sitting room tree - simple and rustic! 

Owls and birds and acorns, oh my! 

I fell in love with this little family of deer when I saw them at 
Mistletoe Marketplace in Jackson, MS. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care! 

A beautiful nativity scene has a place of  honor in our sitting room. 
 It is topped by a simple boxwood wreath. 

I have had my Christmas dishes for quite a few years.  The pattern is Hollylujah by Gail Pittman.This year I began collecting Fostoria crystal. These juice glasses were a recent antique store find.   
A simple centerpiece completes the tablescape.  

This is our family room tree.  I love it because it is filled with ornaments that we have collected over the years.  It brings me so much joy to hang these ornaments each year.  I also love to find one or two perfect additions each Christmas season.  This year I added a wonderful Etta Bee Pottery Santa Claus and a precious Ole Miss ornament!  Hotty Toddy!  The picture does not do it justice. I am working on my photography skills. 

Two small additions to my Radko collection. 

Of course Seth spent lots of time checking out the presents. 

Also in the family room is our Show Village (by Dept 56).  My mother purchased  my first piece - a Starbucks Coffee Shop - many years ago as a Christmas present. 
Seth's favorite pieces are the tiny bicycle and tricycle. 

It really is the little things that I enjoy pulling out each year:  I love my Happy Everything cookie jar that my Daddy gave me last year.  It is all decked out for Christmas.  

I love this cross stitched Merry Christmas picture that Jon and I got many years ago.  

These poinsettia pictures belonged to my mother.  This year I brought them to my home - with my father's approval, of course! I love them!!  Who says you can only decorate the outside of your doors?  This leads to our patio and backyard.  It deserved a festive touch that we could enjoy each day!

Soldiers stand guard in the hallway.

A sweet Santa music box and a reminder to remember the reason for the season.  
Happy Birthday, Jesus! 

Ahh... A cozy spot to sit and relax after a day of shopping! 

Thank you for visiting Buttercup Bliss!!

I am sharing at the following wonderful blogs: 

Feathered Nest Friday @ French County Cottage

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fall into Thanksgiving

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!!  I hope your day has been full of family, friends, food, and football!!
We stayed home this year for Thanksgiving.  It has been a wonderful day!!

I have had my fall tablescape in place since about mid September. I tweaked it yesterday to make it perfect for Thanksgiving.  Here are a few pictures:

For the early fall, I used simple white dishes that go with everything!   

The striped napkins are actually hand towels that I folded to serve as a napkin.  
I loved the blue and brown stripes for fall.  Of course, I had to use my plush pumpkins.  

The burlap table runner was a recent find from Antiques at the Loop. 

To "tweak it" for Thanksgiving, I switched out the burlap runner for this wooden beaded runner.  I got it several years at Target.  

I switched out the napkins and added my Spode Woodland salad plates.  I have a mixture of these: turkeys, quail, deer, and a hunting dog.  I love the rich colors of this pattern.  I also removed my everyday flatware and added my silver, Gorhap Buttercup. 

I added a paisley napkin and also changed the casual gold goblets to clear goblets by Denby.  I suppose I should have added my nicer crystal but I really like the more relaxed look of these glasses.  (Plus, we no longer have a formal dining room so the Waterford is packed up for now.) I do love a formal dining room.  When we have our "forever home", I hope to have a place to enjoy special family gatherings and display my china. 

Thanks for visiting Buttercup Bliss!!  I am off to cheer on my Ole Miss Rebels!!!