Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Baxter's 1st Birthday!!!

My sweet, snuggly, loving, curious, adventurous, adorable, joyful, precious baby boy Baxter is celebrating his 1st birthday today!!!  It's been a day full of hugs and kisses and snuggles and love and fun and peanut butter pup-cakes and an oh so exciting trip to the pet store to pick out lots of new toys!
If you've been following along as Baxter has boldly navigated through his first year of life you already know that there was never a dull moment!  Nope - not with a fearless puppy around!  But let's not forget about all of Baxter's big accomplishments.  He really has achieved a lot in a very short time!

As you all know, he was on the cover of People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful Special Edition......
And who could forget when he was named Time Magazine's Man Of The Year.....
And oh my......BAXTER!  Ummmm......there was also that time when he made it to the cover of Playgirl and was named This Year's Hottest Stud....
But seriously.....there just aren't words to express how much I love this sweet little baby boy and explain how much joy he's brought to my life.  Puppies have a magic that is just impossible to describe!  I can only hope that I'm able to make him as happy as he makes me!!!  

Happy Birthday to my sweet Baxter Boo Boo!  I love you so much and I hope your life is long and blissful and full of all the happiness and love in the world!

Hugs,
Jenny


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dazed And Confused

Wow......what just happened???  The last month been a total blur!  I closed the shop and about two days later I came down with a most unpleasant case of the flu.  Sore throat.  Body aches.  Fatigue.  Congestion.  And I spent the next two weeks either in bed or on the sofa.....but at least I had good company....
Baxter was a devoted companion and rarely left my side.  Isn't it amazing how they just know when we really, really need them!  His epic snuggling skills were very therapeutic....
Emma was also a dedicated caregiver.....
And fortunately, I started feeling well enough to help her celebrate her 8th birthday on March 13th!
There were lots of hugs and kisses and homemade pup-cakes and a "Mommy and Me" trip to the park where we wandered around a very quiet and serene duck pond.....
 And enjoyed the beauty of a spring day in central California.....
And tomorrow we have another HUGE holiday we're celebrating!   It's Baxter's first birthday!!!  My sweet little Boo is growing up so fast!

I can't wait to help him celebrate!  And I can't wait to get all caught up and show you all of the cool things I've been up to but was too sick to tell you about!  And I can't wait for life to get back to normal......even though I have no idea what "normal" is right now because I'm heading down a new path!   But I can't wait to find out!

Hugs,
Jenny

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

JENuary Recap!

I did it!  I ran and I ran and I ran.......and instead of just running 140 Miles In JENuary, I threw in a few extra miles and ran 150 miles!  And why am I only getting around to mentioning this now......a few weeks after the fact.....when I'd been sooooo excited about my 40th birthday running challenge???

Well......the day after JENuary ended....which some people refer to as the first day of February, I came down with a very unfun sore throat, sinus, cold thing for about a week...

And then Baxter came down with an "I ate my bully stick and I stole and ate my sister's bully stick and I ate a whole bag of doggy treats all in one afternoon" thing....

And then Emma came down with a "my whole mouth is falling apart" thing!!!
Poor, sweet, Emma had been acting kind of lethargic and withdrawn and sad.....and I won't even mention how "aromatic" her breath was.....and then I found one bad, loose tooth way in the back of her mouth.  We promptly scheduled oral surgery and they found not one.....not two....not three....but SIX BAD TEETH!   I won't go into the ugly details but apparently it was a pretty big, infected mess inside her precious little mouth!  My poor baby! 
And at the end of this epically stressful day, Emma and I were spoiled with surprise flowers from Col Sew Fab!!!  Red roses as an early Valentine's Day gift for me....and a sweet, peach bouquet of Get Well flowers for Emma.  Awwwww!!!
And after only three days, Emma was back to her normal, sweet, loving, awesome self!  This dog is my hero!!!  I know I wouldn't be acting the slightest bit pleasant if I'd had major oral surgery three days ago!  Go Emma, go!!!

Hugs,
Jenny

P.S.  How did your JENuary running/fitness goals go???

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Valentine's Day Tree!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'm spending today basking in the glow of the first of many year round holiday trees!  I have wanted to do this forever so this white tree was one of the many JENuary, 40th birthday presents that I got for myself.  Aren't I so sweet to shower myself with gifts like that???
I had originally planned on making all of the ornaments by hand and my head was swirling with cute ideas!  I was going to cross stitch or embroider or maybe hand paint all of the ornaments.  It was going to be epic!  And then I remembered that there are only 24 hours in a day and I only had one month to accomplish all of this.  Reality can be sooo annoying at times.

Soooo....I decided a much safer plan was to raid my stash of Valentine's paper goodies which I'd been hoarding for a few years and make things a wee bit easier on myself.
And even with the much quicker "paper plan" in place, the ornaments didn't get finished until last night!  Nothing motivates a girl quite like the last minute!
My cheery, sweet little tree is finally all dressed up and ready to celebrate!  She's happily perched atop a table in the corner of my studio well out of reach of Baxter's curious jaws!  This will definitely NOT be added to the list of "Things Baxter Has Chewed On."
And now I'm off to make pecan crusted fish with amaretto cream sauce, roasted veggies and a double chocolate silk cream pie.  Which will be washed down with one of the bottles of champagne that we brought home as a souvenir from the Chandon winery on our trip to Napa last month.  Yum!

Hugs,
Jenny

P.S.  If anyone has any advice or knows of any tutorials on how to take pictures of lit holiday trees using an iPhone, please let me know!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Live The Life You've Imagined

I have been keeping such a big secret and I just can't take it anymore.....I'm not good at keeping secrets......it's just so much easier to always tell the truth.....it means you have less stuff you have to remember.  I would have been a terrible spy....if I had been captured, all they would have had to do is say "you really want to tell us everything.....come on.....you know you want to" and offer me a glass of wine and some cupcakes and I would have spilled my guts!  Anyway.....where on earth was I.....oh yeah....my big news!

I am closing the quilt shop and following my dreams and starting an exciting new adventure!  I can't tell you everything yet.....I'll wait until the new website for my new adventure is up and running so I can have that fun moment of "The Big Reveal"......so hey.....I guess I can keep some secrets, can't I?  But I obviously had to tell you that the shop is closing because that means BIG Fabric Sales for you!!!  Soooo.....as of right now everything in the shop is 25% off the current prices and I have a feeling it's going to go fast!  Please use the Discount Code word Adventure to get your discount when you place an order. 

And if you want a little hint as to what I'll be doing next, here goes.....my passions have always been designing and creating things.  And running a quilt shop just didn't leave enough time for those things.  I'll miss my sweet, little shop but I know I'm making the right decision and I'm sooooo excited about it!!!  And if you're wondering, the image above is my "Mood Board" for my new website.  Looks pretty yummy, doesn't it?!

Hugs,
Jenny

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Forty and Fabulous

My 40th Birthday Week has come and gone and it was full of everything I love - lots of sewing, good food, relaxing with Col Sew Fab and the fur babies, running, hot tub soaking and lots of champagne to celebrate.  And so many sweet and thoughtful gifts too!  Here are a few highlights.....

Beautiful roses from my BFF of 25 years....
Pastel 40th birthday roses
My favorite photo of Emma and Baxter blown up onto a giant canvas from Col Sew Fab's sister.....
Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
And a pile of wonderful goodies from Col Sew Fab.  He knows me soooo well!  What 40 year old DOESN'T want a mountain of Hot Pink Hello Kitty awesomeness for their birthday???!!!
Hot pink Hello Kitty 40th birthday gifts
And I gave myself the gift of time for crafty fun and spent soooo much time happily obsessing over fabrics and sewing blocks for the Economy Block Quilt.  I actually had to start setting alarms on my phone to remind myself to eat and let the dogs out to potty because I would get completely lost in these squares for hours and hours and hours.....
Economy block quilt fabric
And I'm well on my way to completing my goal of running 140 Miles in JENuary for my 40th on 1/14/14!  118 miles down.....22 miles to go!

Hugs,
Jenny

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Year Of Everything

Wow.....I have no idea where to begin and how on earth to summarize 2013.  I fondly referred to 2012 as "The Year Of Nothing".  Pretty much nothing significant or big happened in 2012.....and that's not a complaint......it was blissfully normal and routine......and then 2013 came along and was the complete opposite!  It was "The Year Of Everything."  It gave me the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and one epic challenge after another.  My mind starts spinning when I think about everything that happened.....when the year started I had 3 cats, 2 dogs, I lived in Florida and I thought a 6 mile run was really long.....when the year ended I found myself living in California with 2 cats, 3 dogs and the belief that a 20 mile run is completely normal.

Soooooo.......here are the highlights......and lowlights of 2013.....

-I ran my first half marathon which was actually my own personal race called the "Run Bunny Run" on Easter Sunday.

-Col Sew Fab got his dream job and we had to pack up, find a house and move to California in 6 weeks.

-Sweet Daisy unexpectedly left for kitty heaven far too soon.....


-We found our dream house on the same day that Daisy left us......and there was a bouquet of Daisies on the coffee table of that house......

-We took an epic cross country road trip from Florida to California in June with 2 cats and 2 dogs and moved into our new home.

-Baxter joined our family 8 days after we arrived in California.  He and Daisy were both born on March 26.


-Emma had a horrific health scare which thankfully turned out to be a mild health issue.

-I became Aunt Jenny on August 7 to a sweet little baby girl named Aurora.

-I went to an amazing, life changing and all around awesome retreat in September.

-I ran a full marathon.  


-I met my idol and favorite artist, Susan Branch!

-And I didn't finish any projects.....not a single one!

And now I'm looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store for me!

Hugs,
Jenny

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

JENuary!!!

Can you feel the excitement in the air???  Not only is tomorrow the first day of JENuary........it's the biggest JENuary ever!  I will be celebrating my 40th birthday next month!!!  And no....the JENuary thing is not a typo.  Long ago I decided to rename the month JENuary in my honor.  As you've probably already guessed, I'm not one of those people who says that my birthday is no big deal.  I plan on celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! 

As of right now, I have a 3 part celebration plan....

Part One:  I was inspired by the Mission Statement of Saucony (a running clothes company):

At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run.
A great day is when we inspire someone else to run.

So here's the plan.......I'm going to run 140 miles in the month of January for my 40th on 1/14/14 aaaaand.....I want you to join me!  I want it to be kind of like a quilt along......but we'll be running or walking instead!  But don't panic.....you can drop the 1 and just run or walk 40 miles next month.  Or 14 miles.  Or 4 miles.  I'm so, so, soooo excited that I already have a small group of awesome peeps on Facebook and Instagram that have said they're giving it a go!   I really hope you'll join me for my Run or Walk Along.  I'll be doing weekly updates about my progress....and I hope you'll be posting comments about your progress too!

Part Two:  A week long Staycation.  Yeah.....I know.....I just took one.....but it's my 40th birthday so this is no time to be practical or responsible.  Some people want a huge party for their birthday.  Or a long, extravagant vacation.  I just want to be at home with my pets and Col Sew Fab and hang out in my jammies while watching Netflix and working on all sorts of crafty projects!  I'm sooooo cool!

Part Three:  A weekend trip to Napa sometime next month.  Because I love wine.  And food.  And wine.  Did I already mention that I love wine???

Well, Happy New Year.....but don't stay up too late....because we're going running tomorrow!  Col Sew Fab and I have an exciting evening of sipping champagne, eating a nice dinner of tenderloin, bearnaise, creamed spinach and button mushrooms with warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert, watching t.v. and pretending that we're on the east coast so we can go to bed at 9:00!  Like I said before.....I'm soooo cool!

Hugs,
Jenny

Monday, December 30, 2013

Quiet Holidays

Is there anything better than a quiet holiday season at home full of your favorite things?  It's my favorite way to celebrate!

Puppies in Christmas sweaters....
Baxter the Cavalier puppy in a Christmas sweaterStaycations with champagne minis and lots of sewing.....
Hello Kitty champagne glass The Twelve Days of Christmas in cross stitch....
The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery cross stitchLots of yummy food to nibble on.....
Holiday table

And a quick Daycation to the winter wonderland of Yosemite.....
Winter Wonderland
I hope your holiday season has been merry and bright, warm and fun and full of everything that makes your heart happy!

Hugs,
Jenny

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Susan Branch

I can't believe I haven't told you all about this yet but I MET MY IDOL last month!!!
Susan Branch signing A Fine Romance
The most amazing artist EVER, Susan Branch, was doing a book tour for her new book, "A Fine Romance" about her journey through the English countryside and one of her stops was at the sweetest little quilt shop about 3 hours south of me.  So, I grabbed my amazing friend Karen and off we went on a mini adventure!!!

It was love at first sight when I first laid eyes on her artwork 13 years ago.  Everything about it was just so sweet and perfect and warm and full of joy and inspiration.  And ever since I discovered her, I have been on a mission to gather up EVERYTHING that has her name on it - books, scrapbooking supplies, fabric, greeting cards, calendars.....if she makes it, I buy it!
Strawberry Patches Quilt Shop in Bakersfield, California
I was absolutely giddy with excitement when I got to meet her!  Fortunately, I didn't say anything too embarrassing.....although I do think the first words out of my mouth were "I am SOOOO excited to meet you."  Hey, you should never postpone joy, right?!  Why act cool when you can't contain your excitement???!!!  Just go with it!

And Susan was just as gracious and kind and sweet and lovely as her paintings are.  It was a fabulous day and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet someone so inspirational who I admire so much!  I can only hope that one day I inspire someone as much as she has inspired me!

Hugs,
Jenny