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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Embellished House

Today I am continuing my tour of great Phoenix area shops.  I was so thrilled and surprised to find this amazing shop right in my neighborhood!!!  It's name is The Embellished House and it is right near Scottsdale Rd. and Shea Blvd.
Believe when I say, there is nothing like it anywhere around here! 

It has something for everyone who loves Vintage, Industrial or French style.

 There are so many fabulous vignettes in this shop, your eyes can't decide which to focus on first!

The shop is filled with yummy furniture and vintage finds from Europe and right here in the good ol' USA!

There are so many things I really would  love to have! Now mind you, this is definitely a high end shop. (It is Scottsdale after all) but it is soooo worth coming over for a visit! 

You will most assuredly find something you cannot live without!

There is a great section for those who love that industrial look.


Fun and Funky jewelry to make a girls heart go pitter patter!

(Drool some more)

Okay somebody get me a towel!!! 

The next day, Rebecca and I met for lunch and some shopping and I had to take her here! Lucky me, her sister lives in town so she comes for a visit once or twice a year! Yeah!!! We had such a nice time and I really look forward to her next trip to town!

Well, that concludes my little tour. I took about 50 photos and really found it difficult to edit down to these.  If you live in the valley, this shop is a must see, and Nancy and her staff are the nicest bunch of ladies you ever want to meet!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A gift from Italy

I'm sure we all know by now how wonderful Blogland can be.  We just meet the nicest, most thoughtful women!!! The evidence of this is constant, and this past week was no exception. 
On Tuesday I received a wonderful gift in the mail from Monica of The White Bench. She asked me several weeks ago for my address, and said she had a little something to send me. Well, my curiosity was peaked, but I had to wait for the special "little" gift to arrive from Italy. 
I opened it all very carefully as it was evident that there was something very delicate inside. What did find??? Nests! 4 sweet little birds nest that Monica very thoughtfully saved for me, when she read on my blog that I could not find real ones here is my area. I mean come on... how cool is that???
And not only did she take the time to gather them, she also sent along lovely heart that she made with antique linen, handwoven by her Great Grandmother!!!! Plus, some lovely doilies that belonged to her beloved Granny, and many other sweet little notions.
I will treasure everything, and be reminded of the great friendships I feel so blessed to have with women all over the world.
Thank you Monica!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh no!!! What happened?

Hello my friends! I am seem to be having technical difficulties with McLinky! The list of party goers has just disappeared! I have no explanation, and I am very bummed out about it. If you are here to read all the love stories, I am sorry. Maybe it will magically pop back up in the morning. If you left a story link and I didn't get to you, I am so sorry. I really wanted to read them all!
Hopefully the list will be back up soon!

Well now it's Tuesday morning and the links are back so hopefully they will stay!!!!

My love story....

My husband is a wonderful man. I am grateful every day that he came into my life. We have been married almost 12 years and I swear it feels like just yesterday, that we said our vows in front of friends and family right here in the house we live in.

 It all started 15 years ago when we first met. He was a bartender (working a second job) and I was a waitress and single mom trying to take care of myself and my son as best I could.

 When he asked me out the first time I said no. Well, not really no, just not right now. I had just ended a not so great relationship, and I was just not ready to date again. But by the time the middle of December rolled around, I was ready to see if the cute bartender at the end of the bar, was as cute on the inside as he was on the outside. So, at that point... I asked him out. He didn’t say no. (thank goodness) But he did say,  not yet.(Ironic huh??) He was leaving town to go on a business trip with his other job, so our date was going to have to be postponed for a couple of weeks. In the mean time, we spent many night chatting on the phone getting to know each other. We talked about our favorite, books, and movies, and things we liked to do.
I remember thinking... “wow, he talks on the phone a lot for a guy!” (Things haven’t changed much)

   Well, finally the two weeks were over and the night for our first date was here. It was the weekend just before Christmas and He picked me up from my apartment in a pick up truck decked out for the season. We drove to the restaurant where we would be having dinner, but before he let me out of the truck, he stopped and said. “I have something for you. He reached behind the seat and pulled a blanket off of a pile of Christmas presents!  I was shocked, and giddy with excitement! This was crazy!  On our first date?? Well, I have to tell you it was the sweetest thing ever!  As I unwrapped all the packages I realized all those phone conversations we had , really meant something!
There was a copy of “A Wonderful Life”, his favorite Christmas movie and one that I had never seen!  A  novel I was looking forward to reading,  a teddy bear, a slinky a mini etch- a- sketch.... all toys that I loved as a child.  Oh my gosh! You mean he was actually paying attention and listening to those conversations????   
The middle and the end of the night were as wonderful as the beginning, and knew right away there would be a second and then a third date. It was a whirlwind romance.. (I always wanted to say that) and 2 months later he was telling me he loved me for the first time in a parking lot while we were helping a friend park cars for the Super Bowl. (I know, romantic right???) But truly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way...

 So that’s the story of our beginning. (greatly edited) but it’s not really our love story.  Our love story is 12 years of laughter, support and friendship. 12 years of courtesy and respect. He is my biggest supporter and I his. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel his belief in my ability to do anything, and I truly believe he can as well. He is my rock and I try to be his. It may not be everyone's idea of a perfect relationship, but it’s perfect for us.  Now I know, he’s going to sneak onto this blog while he is at work soon and check out what I’ve been up to. (I think that’s so cool) So I have only one more thing to say...

Happy Valentines Day my darling!  I love you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Don't forget!!!!!

I hope you are all having a wonderfully romantic weekend! Mine has been spent with friends and family celebrating my birthday. Friday night we continued our new tradition of going out with several of our friends to have all you can eat Sushi at this amazing sushi place called Sushi Q's in Phoenix. We all left there in sushi comas!!!!

Then last night my sweetie and son (little sweetie) took me out to get barbeque. It was sooo good! I guess I will just have to put the diet on hold for another week because My friend Sandie is taking me out for lunch tomorrow and Tuesday I'm meeting Rebecca for lunch and some local shopping!

Aren't birthdays great?????

ANYWAY... I really just wanted to remind everyone about tomorrows "Share your love story" linky party. If these are new to you... just post your love story on your blog. Then click on the title of the post to make the direct link appear in the address bar at the top of your browser. Copy that address and come over to My Desert Cottage. At the end of my post you will find where to place your link.  Use your blog name as the title and you are good to go!!
I can't wait to read them all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random Thoughts

I've been thinking a lot about balance lately. It seems to be one of those things I have a hard time managing, but something I think is really important to my well being. I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl. I tend to act in extremes. I either eat none of the cookies... or I eat ALL of the cookies. I either work out religiously every day, or I fall into the bad habit of NEVER working out. I am trying very hard to get past this character flaw and learn how to do things in moderation.

 One of the things I have been trying to do, is step away from the computer screen and enjoy some creative time away from blog making! My new friend Sandie (she doesn't have a blog yet) and I have started spending every Thursday together, playing in one of our studios. She is a fabulous quilter as well as a paper artist and I think we will teach each other lots of cool things over the lifetime of our friendship.  This past Thursday I spent the day sewing this adorable bag from Amy Butler (with a little a lot of help from Sandie.)  It is intended to be made with quilt fabric, but I couldn't resist using some awesome Home Dec fabric I found. I cheated and usedthis great rosette I purchased from Rebecca's booth at The Creative Connection last year, but I do intend to replace it, as I stole it off a pillow on my sofa and now the pillow is naked.

The time that I spend with my friends is very important to me, and I am glad I am making an effort to get out and enjoy a variety of activities. I'm happier because of it.

Speaking of being happier...... Do you like my new blog design? I have been wanting to change it for some time now, but I have to tell you... designing for myself was hard!!!! I didn't want to change things so much that it was completely unrecognizable, but the old design just didn't reflect "me" any more. I worked on it until the wee hours last night, and feel really good about it now.  :)

and... Speaking of feeling good.... I had an unusual comment left on my blog yesterday. It was very simple and to the point. "I love your blog" he said.  Yes, that's right. He. Now I almost NEVER get comments left by men, so I was very curious. I went over to his blog to see what I could see, and I was so happy I did. His name is Ken, and his blog is called Creating Positive Change. From the very first post I was hooked. His messages are so positive and life affirming. If you want a good pick me, go visit his blog.

Well, I guess that's it. I'm finished rambling. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

8 (okay 9) things you might not know about me....

My dear friend Cindy at Lillys Lace has asked me to share 8 things about myself that you might not know, as part of the Stylish Blogger award. I don't normally participate in these types of things because I never know who to turn around and share the award with and I never know if they really want to playalong or not. So I am sharing it with everyone, because you are all stylish bloggers in my book! If you want to share 8 little known facts about yourself with all of us, I know we would all love it!
So... here is my list....

1. I was a total 80's rocker chic!!! (Don't laugh!) That's me in 1989

2. I have to fight very hard to keep weight off and as I get older it gets harder and harder. This is because I am a total carb addict and I love anything baked. I can't keep sweets in the house. I just eat them until they are all gone. This is very frustrating for my hubby because he has a huge sweet tooth too, but God has blessed him with a great metabolism.

3. I can be very shy at times and it's taken me a lot of work to get over that,  and feel comfortable in large groups. (It's still hard sometimes.)

4. I HATE Lima beans!!! When I was a kid my dad used to make me eat them for breakfast if I didn't finish them for dinner the night before. I think he was trying to teach me something, but I'm not sure what. All he succeeded in doing was to stop me from EVER eating Lima beans as an adult.

5.In the Summertime, I love to float in the pool and read fantasy novels (no, Cindy...not those kind of fantasies.) I know that laying in the sun is not good for you but I can't help it.  I need a tan in the summer! Oh, and in case you are thinking it... I do not get as tan as I used to. (What was I thinking???)

6.I used to say, "I like most dogs better than I like most people." That was before I started blogging and met a whole world full of kind, generous and caring women. Now I like dogs and people just the same! LOL.

7. I secretly wish I was as talented as many of my favorite bloggers. ( I guess it's not a secret anymore.)

8. I love clothes. I have been a clothes horse ever since I can remember. My mom tells me stories of how I used to change my outfits several times a day when I was 3 or 4. Things really haven't changes much since then.  :)

9. I'm sad that I don't have time to visit blogs and leave and answer comments like I used to. Since I started Valentine Design I have been very busy working on blogs and trying to grow my business. I feel like I am disappointing some of you. I hope you all know that every comment is cherished, and I hope you understand when I can't always come by and say thank you.

I know that was 9 and not 8 but I really wanted to share that last one with  you anyway.

I hope if you are snowed in this week, you have someone or something warm to snuggle up with.

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