Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friends...One Of The Best Gifts You'll Ever Give Yourself

This past weekend our long time friends from Tracy came down for a visit in their hot rods; Doug took the boys to Donut Derelicts ( in Pismo on Saturday morning and to his friend's house in Los Osos who has quite a car collection. I was so excited to get to hang out with the girls on Saturday. I had planned a game night for Friday night, sent out the Evites the week before, received the RSVP's and was looking forward to having a bunch of our good friends over on Friday night for an evening of friendly competition and laughs...well was I surprised when game night turned into a surprise birthday party for me! They really pulled one over on me since my birthday wasn't until Saturday and I don't usually make mention of it. I didn't suspect a thing; I had Friday off and busied myself making lasagna, salad, garlic bread and strawberry trifle for a crowd! I even sharpened the pencils!! I was so surprised and so delighted at the same time; I love to have parties for others but I shy away from me being the center of attention!!

The weekend was so much fun, the weather was gorgeous and getting to spend it with friends was such a gift. I made quiche (the boys were glad they were having donuts!) and the girls and I sat in the backyard and enjoyed our breakfast yakking and catching up while the boys took off in their cars. We had "birthday pie" on Saturday evening and I taught the girls how to play Mexican Train; we resumed our game on Sunday while the boys watched the Indy 500. Doug and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends, and the best thing about friends is they are a gift that you can keep giving yourself!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sometimes it’s Just the Simple Things in Life

This past weekend Doug and I set off to Lompoc to experience a twelve year old Relay; since we are newbie’s to Relay. We surprised Deb, ACS staff partner, and took a lap with her; again what an amazing experience to witness so many people coming together for such a worthwhile cause. I have volunteered to be the Team Captain Chair next year for Nipomo’s Relay For Life. I had been told that once you experience Relay you are never the same again…so true!

On our way back from Lompoc we stopped at Costco to buy vitamins and came home with a Wii. We had so much fun creating our Mii’s in our own likeness and we are hooked on bowling; I may just may able to beat Doug before long! Yesterday morning we synced up the Fitness Board and we found out, according to Wii, we are obese!! Our Mii’s expanded before our eyes as it assessed our personal information...we couldn’t fib on our weight as the Fitness Board weighs you!! So our goal is to each lose 20 lbs in 3 months. We each have a personal trainer to help us meet our goal…who need’s a gym anymore when you can have a personal trainer at your disposal anytime day or night! We decided to cut out dessert since we have to be accountable and check in daily. We started cracking up because we are intimidated by our Wii!

We have been getting together with friends for Game Night and we can’t wait to have a bowling tournament…I need to get my wrist action down and become more consistent. Doug told me yesterday that I don’t have a competitive bone in my body; they are all competitive. Game on!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Sun is Shining…And My Garden Is Growing!!

I decided this past (rainy, rainy) winter that we should move our garden to a larger area in the sunniest part of our backyard! Did I mention we had a very rainy winter! I had a lot of time to ponder what our next project would be. A new garden!! First though; we had to remove Doug’s beloved horseshoe pit (we are going to rebuild and relocate it) and move all the Pennsylvania flagstone to get the area ready…we then moved the garden shed; that took 10 strong men and it was not an easy task! I thought we could do it ourselves with the help of our son and daughter-in-law…yikes was I wrong! Doug found an article in the Home & Garden section of the Sunday paper with DIY instructions for these planter boxes and decided to take on this task. You know us; when we start a project we go all the way and just about kill ourselves getting it done!! We just aren’t as young as we used to be; are bodies remind us…our minds just haven’t caught up!! Doug "out did" himself, they are beautiful and he did such an awesome job building them. We are looking forward to enjoying the fruits or in this case the vegetables of our labor!

I have planted squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, peas, string beans, eggplant, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, lettuce, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, peppers and Doug is going to plant corn! I hope all of the critters that roam around here don’t find the garden before we get to harvest!!

Tip of the day…don't wear perfume in the garden - unless you want to be pollinated by bees. ~Anne Raver

FYI...Relay For Life in Nipomo was this past weekend and our team raised just shy of $10,000...WOOHOO! We had at least one person walking on the track for the whole Relay…way to go team; together we helped make a difference one lap at a time! Please check out our team page and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life website to learn more and how you can help in finding a cure for cancer. Relay For Life takes place in just about every community, or in one very close by, in the country; if you aren’t on a team it isn’t too late to join one!!

Until next time…I am off to tend to my garden!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Relay for Life in 8 days...

Wow, I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post. This is my first year being involved with Relay for Life…here is how it all got started! I met Amber at the Edward’s Barn Holiday Boutique; we had a booth and were introducing our Fall and Christmas cards. Amber loved our cards and purchased some Christmas tags we had made especially for this show. We got to talking and she told us she would like to meet with us and the staff partner for Relay for Life in our local community to discuss having us design and illustrate cards for the local Relay for Life communities. We met with Deb and Amber and designed and illustrated cards for the nine Relay communities!! As we met with the gals my heart was tugging at me to get involved as we have a friend who is battling pancreatic cancer right now and lost a friend many years ago to it, my sister and her husband just lost a long time high school friend to it.

Not only did I make a decision to get involved I decided I would start a team (that was the intimidating aspect since the Relay is 24 hours!). Doug and my inspiration was that we could give up 24 hours of our lives to save others lives, though we tend to fall asleep by 9:00 pm these days, we felt compelled to help make a difference. We have been very fortunate not to have lost any of our immediate family members to cancer but have seen how it destroys families all around us. This ugly disease attacks without warning and no one is safe until a cure is found. If we can save one person we can save everyone, together we can make a difference. Our team is called Paul’s Purple Posse, this first inaugural year we are honoring Paul, our friend who is battling pancreatic cancer. We have 17 team members and we have raised over $6,000.00 to date. This has been a very rewarding experience so far and the Relay is still a week away!!

Please visit the American Cancer Society’s website to learn more about Relay for Life and how you can get involved, if you aren’t already on a team! This is such a worthwhile cause and so much of the money raised goes directly to research and direct patient services. Here is the link to our team page:

American Cancer Society, “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Year of the Monkey

I just finished a redesign for a teenager's room! It was so much fun tapping into her personality and seeing her so happy when it was finished! She has been to China and loves the culture so of course, she now has an Asian inspired room. The fish hanging to the left was the inspiration piece. With the help of my handy dandy "carpenter" who also happens to be my best friend and husband we wrapped up our project yesterday afternoon and left leaving Elizabeth telling us how much she loves her new room! It was so awesome to have her input and repurpose and reuse so much of what they already had and incorporate the things that mean so much to her.

How can scouring flea markets, thrift stores and bargain hunting for the perfect accessories be work! I love the hunt for the details that complete a room to perfection and love redesigning furniture that no one can even imagine is worth keeping. I am really starting to tap into that ole what you do and you will never work another day in your life. I can't wait until I can do this and my personalized greeting card businesses for a living 100% of my time.

Here is the before of the white French Provincial dressers Elizabeth said she did not want any part of and the after of the black Asian dressers! Three pieces of square Chinese artwork hung vertically will adorn the space between the lamp and the picture soon.

This lamp was a swap meet find, a little ingenuity and it is now very Asian and one of Elizabeth's favorite pieces! She loves the lanterns and the feeling of being under a tree; very tranquil. She had this wrought iron tree already hung from her ceiling, it was brown and is now black; this picture was hung on another wall in her room. Elizabeth was born in the year of the monkey and has adorned her tree with a very large collection!

Now on to the next redesign...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taking a Break

I have been getting all of our tax info organized and ready to send off to our account, the sun is out today and it is beautiful; I would much rather be outside playing. I am so over the rain, I know we need it but I have had enough. I am yearning to get my hands in the dirt and start planting the garden. We are going to build some new garden beds and move the horse shoe pit, I can't wait!

It is always such a relief to get the past year's taxes out of the way; it seems like a new beginning to me! I told myself no playing in the yard until I finish this task...I am almost done, I will not be a prisoner any longer to 2009! I have even caught myself up on all the junk mail, bills, etc. Ok, back to the grind!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Breakfast for Two

Here's my completed Estate Sale find! What was once the TV compartment of an old entertainment center is now an awesome breakfast bar! Sorry I don't have a before picture, I promise the next the post I do of a "redesigned" piece I will definitely take a before picture. I was so enthusiastic to get this piece done for my friend so as she wanted to use it for Super Bowl Sunday, and I did rain and all!!

Speaking of Super Bowl Sunday, I was actually rooting for the Saints; yahoo! My husband is an avid football fan and really enjoys his Fantasy Football, I on the other hand pick a team by their uniforms, their location/city (I have been to NOLA, haven't been to Indianapolis), who I like or dislike, those kinds of things! My husband just shakes his head at me. Although I actually do know more about football than I care to admit, with 4 TV's on in our home, garage, shop and bedroom on any given Sunday during football season I can't help but learn a thing or two! I have recently been invited and joined a Fantasy Football league for women affectionately called The Goumbas. I can actually say I am excited for next season. I sure hope my method of picking a team pays off for me. Let's see I don't think purple is a very manly color, tiger stripes on a helmet; don't think so, I really enjoyed my visit to Nashville...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!

Well, my excuse for my long absence this time is: Relay for Life! We have a friend who has been diagnosed with Stage 3 pancreatic cancer; this is not good news. However, Doug and I have decided since there isn't a lot we can do to help him, other than prayers and support, we can form a Relay for Life team and help raise donations and awareness. I know most of you have heard of Relay for Life and many of you are probably already participating in your communities. If not, please take a minute and go to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life website:

You can help in so many ways; you can donate, volunteer, walk, the possibilities are endless. Nipomo is having their first Relay for Life event this year and we are so happy that we are going to be a part of it, since it is about communities! Our team is dedicating our Relay to Paul DeMello and our team name is Paul's Purple Posse, we are still recruiting team members, we are half way there (at least 15) and our goal is to raise $1500.00; we hope to shatter this goal!

I have just registered our team so our team website is a work in progress, we hope to have all of our team in place by next weekend. Please visit our team website at:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trash to Treasure

I am in the process of helping my friend “redesign” her office and kitchen…I am in heaven! She has requested my services and it is such a compliment to have someone be so appreciative and amazed at what I so take for granted, because I love repurposing, recreating, redesigning… We purchased an awesome piece of solid wood furniture (I think it was originally a section of an entertainment center; the TV cabinet) from an Estate Sale we happened upon a week ago. I am currently repurposing it into a breakfast bar which will provide extra counter space and storage which she very much needs as she is a very successful Pampered Chef Senior Director and Consultant. She wants to transform her “oak” office into a light and inviting space. Oh do I have ideas!! I have collected some great finds from her “trash pile” that are perfect to be recycled into shelves and storage. She has picked out some elements from my home that she would like to have incorporated in her redesign. WOW, that is the ultimate compliment in my book; I can’t wait to get started in her office. I have recruited Doug to construct her gallery shelves for the hallway, she love ours (my idea, his brawn; what a team!!) I see a trip or two to the swap meet soon for accessories; oh do I have a bounce in my step!!

These pictures are a sampling of my redesigns from my home, I will post pictures once I am done with her projects; rain, rain go away… I know, I know, we need it; however, it hampers paint drying, sanding outdoors, swap meets, etc. Hmm, that sounds a bit selfish; but once I start a project I get on a roll!!

…more to come soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rain, Rain and More Rain

This week has convinced me I certainly am not a “pioneer” woman, nor do I want to be one, and it is only Wednesday! I like hot coffee, lights, heat, etc. I love electricity. Monday was a holiday for me and I was so excited to spend the day on my computer catching up and finishing some projects I had started and sure enough the power went out at about 11:30 am! I had just got out of the shower and thought at least my timing was pretty good, so I got dressed, made some lunch and figured it should be coming back on soon surely, the sun was now out! Well, not so. Since the sun was out I ventured out in my “beautiful and trendy (not)” rubber boots and cut my roses back and trimmed the geraniums/trailing geraniums that thought Spring had arrived a week or two ago. Normally we have beautiful weather this time of year with rain here and there, not the torrential downpours we have been experiencing! The ground was saturated as was everything else and I didn’t intend to do as much as I ended up doing. So needless to say I was not wearing gloves and I got stung by a bee! Who would of thought…I don’t know which one of us was more surprised; me or the bee…except I survived our encounter! I thought surely by now the power had to be restored; but still no power. The sun was about gone by this time so I got the flashlights and candles ready and thought this is not fun anymore! Doug headed home about 6:00ish and called to see if we had power yet as he, of course, was wondering if he was going to have dinner!

Just after his phone call the power came back on; what a relief! We are getting hit by some pretty bad storms with thunder; lightning and gusty winds so we may have more power outages this week! I can’t wait for our beautiful, awesome and wonderful weather to return, I am such a fair weather gal! I will be so appreciative from now on and not complain when it’s only a foggy day…it beats rain any day in my book! So I guess the moral of my story is; when I wish that I would have absolutely nothing to do I really want that “nothing” to be on my terms with electricity.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reenergized and Refocused

Christmas and New Years are officially over; everything is put away. Our son (and grand dogs) left to go back to Montana yesterday and his wife has gone back to her parents home while she finishes her next rotation and internship before heading back in February. The house is big and quiet, we are officially empty nesters again; something we should be good at after nine years but somehow having Jeff, Jennifer, Miley and Roy home for 3 ½ weeks filled a void that I wasn’t aware of. When Jeff and the dogs left yesterday morning that familiar tug at my heart took over as it did when they moved to Montana and we said good bye, saying good bye after a surprise visit to celebrate Jeff ‘s 28th birthday, saying good bye after their visit home last May. The good news is Jennifer graduates in August and it sounds like they want to come back home to live (Jeff surfed just about every day he was home); but who knows they may stay in Montana or move somewhere else! So time for me to get refocused and reorganized!

My sister and I are excited to expand our business, …Simply Stated, this year. We have some great leads to design and illustrate custom cards for some awesome businesses. If this is something you are interested in please contact us. What better way to start the New Year than to send cards to those you are near and dear to and/or to brand your business! Personal contact always puts a smile on the face of the receiver as it makes them feel warm and fuzzy knowing that you took time just for them which in turn will make you smile, and feel warm and fuzzy, and it just may well boost your business! We also have lines of cards that are priced so affordable that you can keep them on hand and send them/give them out in a moment's notice!

...I am doing the happy dance today as 2009 is in the books, QuickBooks that is! I took yesterday off and spent the day engrossed in it and I am the victor!! I am registered in a Financial Management class, yes I am officially a student again, starting on Wednesday the 20th, wish me luck as I haven't been in the classroom for some time now. I am looking forward to this adventure since the last accounting class I took was about 35 years ago.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good Bye 2009; Welcome 2010

Another year gone by, as I reflect on 2009 I am relieved as it was not the kindest year! With a new year comes hope for a prosperous new year, out with the old; in with the new; a rebirth of sorts, etc. As December approaches each year I am so excited to decorate for Christmas and love getting into the Christmas spirit. I so look forward to watching (one of these years I will watch them all!) my vast collection of Christmas movies, baking, our annual Christmas Cocktail Party, spending time with our family and friends and the “magical” emotion that stirs me every time I hear a bell “jingle.” As I was undecorating this past weekend (telling myself, as I do every year, next Christmas I am going scale it down) I felt an emptiness that comes every year as I pack it all up. I reminisce and relish in the memories of past Christmas’ when our sons were young to now celebrating with grandchildren; the thought of Christmas' to come always warms my heart. As I packed the crates and Doug made many trips up the attic ladder our house began to look like our home again. We have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years and I do admit it; I am a shopaholic and love Christmas!! I have crates that I don’t even dare open to see what is inside anymore! Oh the temptation; I am ready for our sons and daughter-in-laws to come “shopping” for some of the boys’ Christmas treasures to add to their collections.

As I look forward to 2010 I have a bounce in my step and a zest for making this one of the best years yet! Here are a few photos of the Owen home decorated for Christmas this past year, I guess I am having a hard time letting go of this one, it is full of wonderful memories; I didn’t want it to end! I took a break from Facebook over the holidays and enjoyed spending quality time with my family and friends, I hope to get back to writing and sharing on my blog every week as I have discovered I love it!! This is my New Year's resolution!

Happy New Year and may 2010 be an awesome year for us all!