Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Glimpse of Christmas!

I feel like I should begin this post with, "Rain, rain, go away!".  It seems like it has been raining for the last week!  It has literally rained all day today.  Hmmm.... this is not Christmas weather!  Where are the chilly temps and frosty mornings?  It has been so dreary that I have not been able to take pics of our home decorated for Christmas.  It is hard to get pretty photos when it is dark and gloomy!  However, I have been listening to Christmas music, wrapping presents, cooking and preparing for Christmas!  It is the first time in my life (yes, my entire life!) that I have been home for Christmas.  As a child we always traveled to see relatives.  As an adult, both before I was married, and after I married Jon and we had Seth, we traveled to my parents (and then to visit our extended family.  Christmas was spent on the road!  This  year, since we moved back to Mississippi (and we live across the street from my father (aka "Papa"), we will be HOME for the holidays.  Seth will see what Santa brings in our very own house.  We are so happy and excited for our first Christmas in our forever home!  This made decorating extra special!  

 Welcome to our home! I wish you could come inside for a cup of coffee so we could chat! 

A close up of the swags.  I love the touches of burlap and rustic elements.

   All of the windows have festive wreaths that match the swags on the front doors. (I am not sure the bows will last another year with all of the rain we have had lately.)

Our new foyer is small, but we found the perfect cabinet to fit the space.  My mother's poinsettia pictures - there is another one on the other side -  look wonderful in this spot. I filled the lamp with simple red and silver ornaments.

 This is an original painting by Ashley Anthony.  She is an amazing artist!  I hired her years ago as a first year teacher when I was a principal.  I knew then she was special.  I will post a link to her page.

  In our new home we do not have a fireplace.  But, our new cabinet that holds the tv is doing just fine!  I don't think Santa will have a problem.

I did our "natural" tree this year.  I felt like we needed a pop of color though so I chose traditional red and green for all of our wrapping paper. 

 Sweet little deer.

 Another piece by Ashley Anthony.  All proceeds from the ornaments supported mission work in Chile.  They were all named after children in Chile.  This is Esmeralda.  Precious!

 The display cabinet is ready for the holidays.  I was so worried when we began decorating for Christmas that we wouldn't have room for the nativity scene.  It has always gone on the large table in our foyer (that pieces now lives in my sister's home.)  Jon thought it would fit nicely on top of this piece.  It does indeed!

These snowmen have been in my office for years; however, since I am now retired, they are now at home again.  They are vintage and so sweet.  (They are vintage because we had them when I was a little girl - I think that qualifies! :-)

 I like to keep it really simple in the kitchen.  With all of the cooking going on, I don't like the kitchen to feel cluttered.  I am using a small "Happy Everything" cookie jar to hold my utensils. I found it on sale when we went to the mountains for Thanksgiving.  Love it!

 A lantern filled with ornaments and topped with a pretty bow are the perfect centerpiece.

The table is ready for Christmas dinner!

This small tree holds my collection of Radko ornaments.  The "tree skirt" is a runner that was quilted by my precious grandmother many years ago.  

 A happy Santa is this year's addition to my Radko collection. 

I love pulling out this stocking each year.  I bought it for myself at a flea market my first year of teaching.  It was vintage then!  

Thank you for visiting Buttercup Bliss and seeing a bit of our home dressed for the holidays!

This week I am joining the following: 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Buttercup Bliss!

 Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  Seth is out of school so we are ready for a fun-filled week.  We will not be home for Thanksgiving this year because we are going to the mountains.  Yippee!! We are so excited!!  I have not planned a Thanksgiving tablescape this year since we will be enjoying the holiday in a wonderful chalet; however, I thought I would share a few of my Thanksgiving tables from previous years.  
 We were in our "old, old" house this year.  We have moved twice since then, hence as Seth says, the "old, old" house. I loved this formal dining room.We no longer have a formal dining room, and while we didn't eat there very often, I loved having a special room in which to eat on holidays.

This was the year I discovered Plush Pumpkins.   I love them and have quite a collection now.

This was the year we moved to our smaller house.  We had only one dining area so we kept our large round table that had previously been in our breakfast room.  It is still perfect for our family. I loved this simple centerpiece. I prefer tablescapes that aren't too fussy. 

 My everyday Longaberger dishes in various colors work perfectly with the accent salad plate and charger that I found at Walmart.  The fall colored placemats and napkin rings were from Dillards.  I love the rich, warm colors.  

This was two years ago.   I used my Wedgefood Strawberry and Vine as the main dishes.  I added the Spode Woodland salad plate I love any occasion to pull out my silver.  I know it is silly, but my mom started my collection of Gorham Buttercup, so I love using it.  They remind me of her so much!

Finally, this was last year.  Very simple.  I have added to my collection of Spode Woodland plates.  I love the elk.  I also have a quail, and a hunting dog, in addition to the turkeys. I don't want an entire set, but the salad plates are just the perfect touch for Thanksgiving.

I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am always so thankful for my blessings, but this year has been so wonderful for our family.  I am blessed to be back 'home".  God is so good!!! 

 Thank you for visiting Buttercup Bliss,


Monday, November 17, 2014

Our New Home Tour Begins ~ Welcome to our Home Office

 I am so excited to begin sharing our new home with you.  Welcome to my home office.  It is the first room that you see when you enter our really tiny, small foyer.  Since I now work from home, it was important to me that the office be a warm, cozy space.  I think is just that - I love working here each day!  The commute is non-existent and make up is optional.  Can you say perfect?  The former owner used this a small den for her teenage daughters.  It is the only room that I don't have a "before" picture of to share with you.  We painted it a warm "browny-green" by Sherwin-Williams.  I will share the exact name as soon as possible.

We looked and looked for the perfect desk.  I think this one fits the room just perfectly!  The rug from the breakfast room in our previous home looks right at home here!  While redoing the house, we had all of the concrete floors cleaned, buffed and resealed.  (That was not something we took on ourselves.  Since the expense of adding hardwood throughout the house was not in the budget, we wanted the concrete to be done by a professional.)

These bookshelves were used in the den in our old home.  In our new home we have one great room so these were put to use in my office.  I love displaying some of my favorite books.  Two baskets keep needed binders handy. 

We used the chair from our former sitting room.  It is so comfortable!  The sunny spot by the front window is a wonderful place to read.  My treasured dog painting looks so at home here.  I fell in love with him last winter when I saw him at Antiques at the Loop.  He was a Valentine surprise from my husband.  He makes me so happy!  My diplomas have always hung in my office at work. I was excited to hang them in my new office.

I really love him!  He is so beautiful!  

I loved being able to reuse items I have had for years.  The lamp and the large candlesticks (in one of the pictures above) were used in the foyer in our previous home.  The McCarty bunnies used to grace our mantle.  When we moved, we chose our home for its perfect location; however, the home is smaller.  We don't have a formal dining room or a large foyer.  Thankfully,  most of my cherished pieces have found new homes in our "forever" home. 

This is the view from my kitchen.  It is not a huge space, but everything fits perfectly!  The wooden shutters were a splurge for us.  The previous owner had  blinds in all of the windows.  It really bugged my husband and me that the arch wasn't covered in the blinds.  We had these wonderful shutters installed in all of the rooms on the front of the house.  I would love to have them in every window, but that is a long term goal.  

I have to admit, as much as I love this office, it is hard to work with these two cuties sitting by me all day! 

So there you have it, our home office. I look forward to sharing the rest of our home with you.  

Thank you for visiting Buttercup Bliss!


This week I am joining the following parties:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A New Look and a New Fur Baby!

Such a happy day!

Tada!  My blog has a new look! I am so excited that it has been updated!  I am thrilled with the new look!!  Since I retired I really hope to be able to blog more.  And since we have completed the house renovations I will have a lot to share.  It seemed that my blog should be refreshed as well.  I had no idea where to turn.  I googled blog designs and found a few sites that I thought would be helpful.  I wasn't sure if I needed a total custom blog design. Although I liked the idea of something custom, I didn't feel like I could justify the expense of that since I am not a full time blogger.  I wanted a simple design that had some of the features of some of my favorite blogs.  Lucky for me, I found Blogaholic Designs.  They offer free templates, templates in a variety of price points, and custom designs.  Most of the options are "downloadable"; however, they do offer some pre-made templates that they will install for you.  You can also purchase "add-ons".  I decided to go with a pre-made template. I knew I would be frustrated trying to complete the process myself.  I had it installed and modified a bit so it is what I wanted.  I highly recommend Emily at Blogaholic Designs. She has been a delight to work with. We emailed back and forth quite a bit and my "goofy" questions never bothered her at all!!  I really love the finished product. You can visit their website here: Blogaholic Designs

And.... introducing Oliver - aka Ollie!  Our sweet male Cavalier, Bentley, passed away in May.  We were heartbroken.  Once we were in our new home, I wanted to get a new furry friend for Clarabel.  Jon wasn't sure about taking on a puppy since we had just had all of the floors refinished.  While looking (Seth says I stalk her FB page :-) at a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder's website one day, I saw this precious boy who was looking for a forever home.  He is a retired show dog and stud.  I called her and we talked a couple of time and decided we were a fit for each other.  We traveled to Birmingham this past weekend to meet our new friend.  He is such a joy!!! We are completely smitten with him.   His personality is so precious.  He is a blenheim Cavalier, just like Bentley; however, their personalities are so different.  Bentley was an "old soul" even as a young dog. We always called him our little old man.  Ollie is six years old, but he is so playful and "puppyish".  Clarabel loves him too!!  Cavaliers are truly a wonderful breed. 

Sweet Ollie

Come back soon to see pictures from our new home!  

As always, thanks for visiting Buttercup Bliss. 

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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Come join the fun!! 

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!!