Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 - A look back

Wow! It's hard to believe 2009 is over! Just a year ago we were celebrating the New Year with our friends in their new home. This year we will have a nice, quiet evening here at home together.
I began blogging this year. And it is soooo fun! I absolutely LOVE it. I love that I can look back at the things we've done or cute things the kids have said and remember it all over! I also love that I have made new friends here in blog-world that I would never had know had I not started my own blog!
My first blog entry was in March. I didn't post again until June. I think it's funny how I had such a hard time getting my photos on here. I still think there must be an easier way, but for now, what I found works for me.
One of the fun things in blog-land is the give-aways. I didn't think people really won them. Imagine my suprise when I won the first give-away I entered. It's for this background that I currently have (I'm too scared to change it because I don't really know how) from the Design Girl.
I entered many more giveaways and was ready to give up until I entered Eddie Ross' giveaway. I won and I thought I had died and went to heaven! I won this beautiful pillow and Eddie Ross won another (of very, very many) fans.
Some of these photos are out of order... but each link connects to many more photos.
I also met with Lisa at her hotel, the Gunter Hotel. You've seen it on the Travel Channel for the most haunted hotels. The hotel is beautiful!!! You must click on the above link to be taken to the original posting to see many more brilliant pictures.
Let me tease you with a couple of pictures... above Lisa and I are eating lunch in the hotel's restaurant... excellent! Below, look at the beautiful chandeliers... the beautiful artwork and the superb design... the hotel is just stunning!
The exact room where John Mellencamp recorded his last album.
And the haunted staircase that has to be locked off because the ghost that haunts this staircase pushed people down the stairs when one person goes down at a time. Groups going down haven't had any accidents though. I opted NOT to go down the staircase....
My nephews spent a few nights with me. We had a blast! I took them to cosmic bowling.. we made oh so many prank calls.. some that I am sure NONE of us will EVER forget!!!
Lena and Tren...
I love how this pic of Lena turned out...
I also decided to take the girls on a trip to our Japanese Tea Gardens... the place where their dad took me on our first date.
My was soooo hot that day!

Lisa and I took our kids to Retama Park to see the horse races.. a FIRST for me! FUN! FUN! FUN!
~~~~~~~I don't have many pictures of this but you will find many postings about it.. after much discussion Emil and I decided to homeschool both of our girls. I absolutely LOVE it! I don't regret it for a minute. It's hard at times... challenging.... but worth EVERY minute!~~~~~~~~~
This summer we took the kids to the beach with Lisa and her family. As you can see, I was burned to a crisp. I made sure everyone had on sunblock but forgot mine!
I was in pain for days! Just the other night Mom and I were talking about it and I reminded her that she gave me some of her kefir grains she was growing for me to put on the burn so try and repair my skin. It felt wonderful...however, because my skin was so hot the kefir soured quickly and I smelled like an old baby bottle! GROSS!!!
We also had the first of many sushi nights at Lisa's house. Why are we at Lisa all the time? Because she is allergic to cats and my Charlie has free roam of my house. Sorry, Lisa!
However, since our husbands are Russian... we also had shish-kabobs with our sushi. It was good!
CC and I took a small day trip to visit one of our favorite antique stores, Red Rooster Antiques. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 with many fabulous photos. I still need to post Part 3, and I will on the weekend, it's just the holidays have me kinda behind. One of the neat things we saw was this totally decorated house! There are even carrollers under the Merry Christmas sign! Click to enlarge!
And I haven't posted about this yet, but our long time family friend Abdelkrim came to visit us. He is a scientist who has done much research on HIV and AIDS and huge strides in cancer. I had the privilege of working with him in New York. It was one of the most memorable times of my life... and guess what? I forgot to take my camera!
Ab loves Emil's lamb-kabobs....and Emil too. So everytime Abdelkrim comes Emil makes him a wonderful dinner... here is the table.
Emil, Ab and Mom
Next year will mark 25 years of friendship between him and our families.. He is planning a HUGE couscous feast for next year. Look for my post this weekend about how this scientist from Tunisia came into our Texan family!
Mom and all started 24 years ago! (above)
Me and Abdelkrim... when I was in NY we were walking down the streets in Manhatten and looking at the various items for sale. One vendor called him my dad and Ab was so proud! So was I! Abdelkrim and his "little devil!"
Thank you all for stopping by my blog to see my highlights of this year. We didn't take any big trips or make any big purchases.... we just focused on family and making sure everyone was happy. We had good times, hard times, scary times, mean and bad times, but we pulled through it all together and THAT is what family is all about!
P.S. check out my tiramisu brownie post! You won't want to miss that!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Red Rooster Antiques (Part 2)

I am so enjoying this day off. I left work yesterday at 9:45 a.m. to begin my FIRST vacation of the year...seriously! So I tried to beat some of the last minute grocery shoppers and spent two hours fighting my through the aisles. Nevertheless, I found some dark chocolate K-cups for my Keurig...delicious I might add... and I added some Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer and my goodnes... HEAVEN!

This morning I got up and made a HUGE breakfast for Emil and the girls. Now Emils at work...last minute rush jobs. You should see some of these jewelry pieces he has been working on. Last week he had...get ready for this.... a 48 caret tennis bracelet. It had 24 2-caret diamonds and it was set in platinum. Who wears things like that? I would be terrified to wear it! Someone could bop me on the head, take the bracelet and buy themselves a house and a car and maybe even some furniture! Ha!

Now, on with more of my Red Rooster Antique pictures.... Part 2!

I love pinecones. I try to hide them through out my floral arrangements and in the mantle arrangement. I saw these cute pinecones on display there. The tips look like they were dipped in glue and the dusted with green glitter. I think these are great for holiday displays and you can make them to suit the colors of your house. And, I think it would be a great craft idea for children to match the colors of their rooms or the tree in their room. You could then tie a cute ribbon to hang from the top and now it's a pretty ornament. These cute sparkly and glittery ornaments were displayed in a black plant stand. I loved the way it looked. I couldn't resist not taking a picture.
I absolutely fell in love with the distressed look of this cupboard. I can just picture it in an old farmhouse. I am sure if this cupboard could talk it would have many, many stories to tell. You can click on the photos to enlarge them and see the goodies placed inside!
This beautiful white chair held a white porcelian hand which held beautiful white and blue delft buttons and pendants. I wish I would have bought some.. they were all around $2 each!
This display was on an old vanity dresser. I loved the small red tinsel tree. The green tree and green ornaments just add to the vintage look. I loved the way this was displayed and just HAD to take a picture!
This lamp was beautiful. Sierra lived it. It has such charm!
Old perfume bottles and a small pink tinsel tree. Again, everything was beautifully displayed.
Am I the only one in love with this pink cabinet? I tried to get more pictures of the beautiful dishes on display but my camera decided to "error" them. Just click on the photo to enlarge it. You won't be disappointed. I think it would also look wonderful in a little girls room holding her dolls, nutcrackers, necklaces and books. Now I think I want it for Lena's room.
Now this section had the most unusual items. There were lots of these "rides" that must have come from McDonalds.. There was also a life-size Ronald McDonald in the corner. I didn't get a picture of him.. he was scary. On the shelf behind this ride was some old moving blankets and a beautiful chandelier. Click and enlarge and you'll see it. There was also some old rusty signs and old, vintage couches. I wished I would have gotten a picture of those.
I think besides that beautiful china cabinet in part one, this was my favorite thing in the store. It's a ceiling. The blue was just amazing. And the gold was so rich and luxurious. It is truly just amazing! I didn't get to see the price on it, as it was behind so many things, but I would just LOVE to have this in a room in my house!
I wanted to get a better picture of this red tree but it was about 12 feet tall and I couldn't get the whole thing. It was beautiful though.
This area had lots of old cookbooks and other neat displays. The cook book Sierra's hand is on was from some island (Rum's Point) and it included recipes on how to cook turtle! Seriously.. gross!
Another beautiful display area. The cabinet behind her had an old doll thingy and a beautiful old beaded dress. I thought of all the neat things I've seen on blogger with old birdcages like the one behind CC. I just don't have the talent or the time to create a beautiful birdcage creation.

A wall of old skeleton keys and lots of other iron pieces. Pretty neat...
This dollhouse was absolutely wonderful. The only problem, the back open area was facing the back of an old dresser so you can't see how wonderful it was inside. And it was impossible to get a photo of it. Each room was a different wall paper. I can just imagine the joy this brought to the children who played with it and the many "families" that lived there.
Me... taken by CC.
We found this wonderful distressed mirror. I wanted to take a neat reflection photo...didn't quite work out.
So we tried again.... you can see the camera... Sierra looks like she's growing out of my shoulder.. but we sure had fun!
I will try to post my last set of photos in a couple of days. They are some photos taken around the town square...and a scary story. Really!
I am going to enjoy the rest of my day off with my girls.. I might not post for a couple of days.. but I hope you all have a wonderful extended weekend!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Red Rooster Antiques (Part 1)

This Sunday Sierra and I decided to take a trip to New Braunfels to visit our favorite antique store... Red Rooster Antiques... for a girls-only trip. We love, love, love this store. They have so many neat and interesting things to look at!
You can look over the same display a few times and see something new each time! We love it! And everything is affordable...a HUGE plus! You can walk in there, look around, and find something for everyone in your family! And they have a super decilious restaurant inside as well that is also.... very affordable! Did I mention we LOVE this place?
Before each outting Sierra and I like to take a quick snap-shot of ourselves to document our little adventure! And this one was SUPER quick because the truck parked beside us was full of people getting out. HA!
So into the store we go! Sierra loved this vanity. I did too....
A close up of the display on the vanity. I was going to buy that vintage ashtray for my mother-in-law. I completely forgot about it until just now as I uploaded these photos! The price... $5.00!
Oh man... this chandelier... beautiful! Gorgeous! Brilliant! I wish I had a place to put it!
I love this blue. There are sooooo many displays like this through-out the store. Seriously.. it would take HOURS to look at each piece!
Another close up. Look at the beautiful blue on that charger! The antique perfume bottles and the vintage bag.. beautiful!
Even old flatware are beautifully displayed! Such a neat idea!
Sierra fell in love with this lamp. It's a mannequin leg in a fish-net hose, placed in a pair of black pumps, turned into a lamp. How original!
For some reason my flash was not working in the first picture.. here's a close-up. Are you not loving that red velvet stool?
I fell in love with this antique china cabinet. I wished more than anything I could have brought it home. First of all I don't have room for it ... second of all I don't have the $850 for it. But man, I think that's a good deal! It's beautiful, no damage, original hardware. Why can't it be mine?
**sniff sniff** I really, really, really want it!
Ok.. this chandelier was at least nine feet tall! Where in the world did it come from? It did have some pieces of crystal missing, some chains were loose.. but it was definately a show-stopper! And again.. of course... my flash just would not work!
Thank goodness for some natural sunlight!
IF the flash would have worked correctly you would see that the bulb-sockets were gold/brass roses buds. Too pretty!
This cute display held the sweetest tea cups with saucers, pretty plates and of course... Raggedy Ann and Andy!
I love the soft pink of the ornaments paired with the darker shades of pink garland. This would make a wonderful and whimsical decoration for a dresser or credenza. The pink floral plates were just beautiful too! Wouldn't this look pretty on that vanity I showed you earlier?

This bohemian decanter set was only.......$16.95!! Why did I not buy it? They sell on eBay for upwards of a hundred dollars!! This set was beautiful and I didn't see any damage on it! Now that I'm thinking about it, I kinda want to kick my self for not buying it! You can read about my bohemian bowl here. It was a gift given to me a few years back.
I've been wanting some simple tinsel trees for my girls rooms to keep up year round. I found this one in a corner. I guess it was for sale. I didn't ask.
This lamp was beautiful! CC loved it! It reminded me of Gone With the Wind!
Need a water fountain? Put your head in the lion!
I have many, many more pictures to show you of our trip and more inside the store. I will post more tomorrow! If I put them all in one post it would just take toooooo long!
I hope you enjoy and don't forget to stop by tomorrow for more pictures! What was your favorite item seen here so far?