Dear Santa...

This is Paisley Puppy speaking.

Mom said you would only bring me presents if I've been good so I thought you'd better hear my side of the story. I am good at being a puppy. I am good at naps.

I helped with the Christmas tree. I really thought "trim the tree" meant chomping the branches so they'd be shorter. Most parts of a pine tree ARE edible, you know.
And there was only a little bit of denting on some of the ornaments. Hardly noticeable at all.
Also I am good at sharing. I drove and drove and drove
and tooked some presents to all the homeless puppies and kitties at the shelter I used to live at. I tooked some yummies for the peoples too.
I know those peoples and puppies and kitties love me cuz I'm so good...although some of those kitties look a little mean...
I don't think you should leave any presents for those mean kitties. They're scary.

But mostly, Santa, I'm very, very good at being part of a family.
And if I could have just one wish for Christmas, please find forever homes for all the puppies and kitties alone in the shelters...even the mean, scary kitties.

Love and slurps,
Paisley Puppy

P.S. But if you have any extra bones or squeakies or cookies or toys, you can drop them off at my house.


My how time flies...

Busy, busy, busy. I can't believe it's already December! We've had a few changes this year including a new fuzzy addition.
Isn't she beautiful! And funny. And sooooooooooooo helpful. Yeah, when we baked Christmas cookies last week. So, this is what happens when puppies are TOO helpful...Puppy jail. And you take down all your furry friends too.
Even with all the extra help, Jaina and I managed to bake up some mighty fine cookies this year. We focused on a number of new recipes and found several "keepers". This is the only chocolate cookie we've made so far and it made a HUGE batch, like 6 dozen.
And they have EVERYTHING in them: chocolate chips, cherries, nuts, sugar, brown sugar...We had to call in the manly re-enforcements just to stir it up! But, oh yum! They are evil-ly good.

I think we finished with 6 different kinds of cookies and a decorated peppermint stick.
At the end of Bake-Out 2009, the last sparkles in the bowl looked like this: Happy day...

While Jaina and I were having girl time in the kitchen, Daddy was playing in the blizzard with the snow dogs. This was Paisley Puppy's first snow. She was definitely channeling her inner Husky.

Here at the Brandstetter's we are ready for a joyous and festive Christmas! We wish you Love, Health and Happiness as we make our way through this the Sweetest of Seasons!


I think my eyeballs are sunburned...

We SPF'ed 70 EVERYTHING that was naked. Florida sun has a "take no prisoners" attitude confirming that redheads have no business south of the Mason-Dixon line. But all in all, the kid and I came out of vacation pretty unscathed. So we'd we go? Land of magic Land of fun Land of sun? Well, sunny enough.

And no one ever wants another dessert as long as we live. Not when you're required to have dessert at every meal...including breakfast. Really, Disney?? Waffles and cuppy-cakes??

All-in-all a much more successful trip than the one at Christmas and my near-death experience. Although I did miss tooling around in the wheelchair. My feet hurt more this time around.

Now back to work... Bleh.


She's Baaaaack!

Well, actually she's been back for a week.
We picked her up April 26th from O'Hare.

That morning I was having some serious "mommy pangs". I was VERY brave the entire time she was gone, but just being that close to getting to hug her again brought on the snarfles.

David and I got to the airport early in spite of the 30 minute delay. So we waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally! De plane! De plane!

And then we waited. And waited. And waited. They must have been taxi-ing around the airport on a joy ride. But that gave us time to prepare.

We had made a sign for her just in case she had forgotten what we looked like:
(Never miss an opportunity to embarrass your child by using their childhood nickname.)

Then I got into position. I had to shove a couple of little kids who were waiting for grandma and grandpa out of my way for a good spot. It was worth it:

And I readied my trusty shiny red camera knowing I would get just one chance...and waited. And waited. And waited. Camera clicked off. Turn on, reset, refocus. Wait. Repeat. AND THEN:MY BABY!!

There may have been more shoving of children and old people. I've kinda blanked that part out. I couldn't be brave any longer. Snarfle, snarfle. A few kisses. More snarfles.

I'm so happy she got to travel and see beautiful places:
And meet new friends:

I'm REALLY glad she's home. I missed her.
My international traveler.


She's Off...

to Greece. Having fun. Seeing awesome sights. Making new friends. Eating olives. Okay that last one's a bit of a stretch. Pretty sure there's no olive eating going on. Whew! What a relief.

We didn't need to leave too early. Our favorite kind of trip. Jaina needed to print out a few pages of the paper that was due at the airport so the first thing was getting the printer to a color other than green.

We headed off to Chicago. I never get over the traffic and construction. ALWAYS construction. After we were at a place where I didn't have to read the map and shout directions at David, I mentioned that I had been clenching my teeth so long I now had a headache. Jaina says:"You've been clenching your teeth?? I've been clenching my BUTT and I'm not even driving!" I see a new "Buns of Steel" video in this.

So I thought we'd spend some time at the Mall before checking into our hotel. Great plan...if the mall had been open. Blah! It's Easter Sunday. But we did get a nice meal at Cheesecake Factory. Yum!

And as always, the Brandstetters can't plan something big without there being a crisis involved. Sickness. Icky, icky sickness. Poor Jaina was up all night. I REALLY didn't want to put her on the plane with her feeling so badly. But we went to the airport and she got in line for her boarding pass:

and got in line for Euros:

It's hard to believe we got a better deal on Euros when we went to Europe in 2006. Maybe we should head back to Switzerland. At least we'd break even:

And finally she got in line for Security. This part always causes a little tension ever since our "strip search" in Orlando about 9 years ago. David fits "the profile" and he gets stopped ALL the time. It's really funny...until WE get caught in the profile net too. We had to stand arms stretched while we were scanned, unzipped and peeked at. Bad enough until that kid walked by yelling: "But Mommy! Why are they getting arrested??" So we learned to pretend we don't know David and go through a different line. Seems to have worked for her this time too!:

So now she's living 8 hours ahead of me and I bet she hasn't a clue how very much I miss her.

Sleep tight and live loose, my sweet girl!



Mama Has Some New Toys...

After a lingering death of about a year, my Dell (model # POS) finally met it's demise. Mama now has a brand new HP computer(it's already outlived and out performed the afore mentioned Dell) and a shiny new red digital camera. Good thing David was with me when I was shopping or it could have turned into a bigger fiasco. I'm so electronically stupid. But so far Mama's very happy.

TIME TO PLAY! This morning we headed north to an annual antique show.What David and I discovered (again)is that our tastes outmatch our budget.

Sooooo let's take a look at the goodies that were found.

I was pretty excited to find these 2 chenille bedspreads.Both are cutters, but just barely. And they were very reasonable. The peach/green was $17 and the white waffle pattern was only $8! They'll look wonderful in the next projects I'm planning.

Next were these sweet little die-cut angels from England. There are 2 sheets of 24 angels. I grabbed them both up for $2.50 a sheet. I'm thinking we should do something with them in this year's Christmas card. Now I just have to sell the idea of "shabby" to the rest of the family.Sorry about the camera...still evolving...

And then there were these:I must admit my heart skipped when I spotted them. I even love the box they're in. (No pics??I'm really no good at this...)It's a sweet pink with embossed flowers on it.And inside 20 beautiful deckle-edged vintage water-color styled unused note cards.*sigh*

Well after 2 tries writing this post, I think I've figured out the picture thing.Jaina, aren't you proud of me??


New Stuff...

is up in the shop. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I've got a few more purses to finish before the big "Showcase" day but I'm not going to be too rushed. In fact, I'm thinking there's an auction this weekend and I'm sooooo there. Just wish we had won the lottery Wednesday. Oh well. Next week.

We did do a little antiquing last weekend. I found some cutesy things and as soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I'll drop some in. David and I headed to a shop in Mt. Vernon and as soon as we were through the door, David was like: " I think this woman and you were separated at birth. This is TOTALLY the stuff you love." He must have been right because he was half-way through the store before I got out of the first room! He kept coming back to tell me about stuff I was going to like if I ever got to the next room. I had to do some "value shopping". Not a lot of budget to play with. I found some great vintage buttons still on beautiful cards, buttons in a cute, vintage 1/2 pint mason jar, and my favorite a 4"x6" painting of pink flowers in a fabulous golden shabby frame! It so funny because I had just thought to myself I needed a little something to hang over the wall pocket that has the vintage doilies in it. And it's perfect! It kinda matches the larger painting David and I found last year. I love it when stuff like that happens. And it's cheap.


What a Nice Weekend...

After being sick for nearly a month and having the energy to do nothing more than work and sleep, I was looking forward to doing a little sewing this weekend. I've been trying to get a few more purses in the ole Etsy Shop to replace the Christmas goodies. So Saturday morning (after sleeping in an extra hour!) I was all set to start the new projects. The day was shaping up to be very Spring-like and I was going to open a window and enjoy the fresh air. But then a Good Idea (in the shape of a Husband)walked up to me and said: "Let's go DO something." Well, Something turned out to be a little antiquing! OK! Windows down, checkbook open! We headed to 4 or 5 of our favorite places and weren't disappointed. Lots of new stuff. I found 2 fab chenille spreads to use for my purses, David found an LP he didn't have and at the last shop, I went crazy for some sweeeeeeet Victorian calling cards and 50's baby announcement cards. The best part was everything was so reasonable, I just can't feel guilty about how great of a time I had!!

Sunday I finally got into the sewing room. Had fun there, too! I didn't really get a lot finished. I'm in the "almost done" zone. I just like being in my sewing room. Even though it's not finished yet, it has a creative vibe in there. Not to mention lots of fun fabrics. I'll try to finish up those purses this week. I'd like them in the shop by the 14th.