Traveling with Tessa

August 23rd, 2011

So…I typed up most of this post a week ago.  I was in the middle of editing it when SCS went down and took my blog with it.  UGH!  I haven’t been feeling well for the past week, so I never had the energy or the heart to come back and see if I had any part of it saved as a draft, until now.  Well fortunately, I did.  So when you read “last week” below, it’s really week before last…

Last week we spent Monday through Thursday in a beautiful Bed & Breakfast in Santa Barbara and we took Tessa with us.  This was our first time traveling with her (other than in the 5th wheel).  Santa Barbara is, hands down, our very favorite destination and we are so fortunate that it’s only a 2 hour drive away (barring any nasty traffic.)  We usually stay at Cheshire Cat which is a B&B we adore, but when we called for a reservation we discovered that they wouldn’t allow us to bring Tessa (although we had previously been told it would be ok.)  So we went searching for a pup-friendly B&B and we found the Old Yacht Club Inn.

On the way up, I told Curt that I wasn’t expecting much because I didn’t want to be disapointed.  But the low expectations were totally unneccessary.  The Old Yacht Club Inn was lovely!  We had a very large room with the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in away from home.  The bathroom was quite large and well-appointed.  Best of all we were just a short one block from the beach.

I have a few vacation pictures to share. (click on them to see them larger) They were all taken with my phone because, although we did take a camera it turned out to have a dead battery in it.  *sigh*

On the way to Santa Barbara we always like to stop at the Summerland Beach Cafe for lunch.  Fortunately they have an outdoor patio that allows for dogs.  Across the street is a lovely little park with a  beach view.

On Tuesday morning we took a long walk along the beach down to the pier.  In the afternoon we enjoyed an awesome Farmer’s Market on State Street.  In fact we got all kinds of yummy stuff (fresh bread, almond butter, pesto hummus, Gaviota strawberries, pluots, cheese, pistachios) and made a dinner out of it.  Here’s a photo of me and Tessa on our morning walk.

Did I mention that I lost a conatct lens the first night and had to wear my glasses the whole time?  No sunglasses – ugh!  My face hurt from squinting for 3 days!  But the weather was wonderful!  It was about 65 when that photo was taken and I think the warmest it got the whole time was maybe 75.  Love love that cool weather!

Here’s the front of the B&B.

And here’s the beach view we got when we walked about 50 yards.

I hadn’t wanted to take Tessa actually onto the beach because I didn’t want her to get all covered in sand when I had no way to bathe her.  Plus, although I LOVE to look at the beach, I’m not much of an actual sand and sea person.  But on our last morning we decided we should see how she would react to beach and sand.

Oh my goodness – she loved it!  She just wanted to run!  We kept her on leash because we really weren’t sure if dogs were allowed on the beach. You know it’s funny – I’ve never talked to so many people on a vacation.  People constantly stopped us to say cute Tessa is and to ask what kind of dog she is.  (Curt says he wants to get a sign made for around her neck that says “we don’t really know!”  LOL!)  We even took her in a store that had a “no pets” sign (Curt was holding her in his arms) and the owner walked right up to say how cute she is and ask about her.  It was quite an experience!

On the way home we stopped in Carpenteria to browse in a few shops.  I scored in an antique store that had a drawer full of all sorts of vintage trims.  These made me think of my friend Melissa Sauls.  Now if I can just channel some of her incredible talent!

Those tiny glittery jingle bells are sooooo CUTE!  Now I need to set aside some time to sit down and play!

Do you stamp as much during the Summer as the rest of the year?  I find that I’m just not motivated to create as much in the Summer.  I really have no idea why, since I’m not an outdoor girl.  Just wondering if other people feel the dame way?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a great week!  I had my monthly stamp class last Friday night and I have a couple of samples to share from that.  I hope to get back her in the next dew days with those.  For now, I’m off to work!

Tessa Turns 4!!!

May 28th, 2011

Today we are celebrating Tessa’s birthday.  She came to us as a stray found in the neighborhood on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend 2 years ago.  The vet estimated her age at that time to be 2 or 2 1/2 years old, so we are calling today her 4th birthday.  We took her with us to Old Towne Orange to have a wonderful outdoor lunch at Bruxie (they brought her a dog treat, but she held out for a bite of waffle) and to walk around and enjoy the stores.  People constantly commented how cute she is and of course I was a proud and happy mama.  I thought I would share some of my favorite photos of Tessa over the past couple of years.  If you’re a regular reader then you’ve probably seen most of these before.

Two years ago today we didn’t have a dog.  We had our two macaws and had decided just months earlier that trying to integrate a dog into the  flock would just be too difficult.  It was Saturday and Curt was in charge of a car show at church the next day – his first one.  He had lots and lots of details to attend to and he was a tad stressed.  A knock came on our kitchen door.  A lady asked if we knew anyone who might be missing a small dog – maybe a long-haired chihuahua.  I said I didn’t.  Her son was playing in a soccer tournament being held at the school a few doors down and they were from out of town.  Everyone they were with was from out of town and they had found this dog and didn’t want to take it out of the area.  Without a thought (or a word to my husband) I said I would take the dog and find the owner.  This wouldn’t be the first time I had put signs up all over the neighborhood and found a missing family.  Off I went.

I came home with this sweet, pitiful little thing.  Curt was none too happy – especially since she nipped at him when he reached out to try to pet her.  She was clearly frightened.  We stopped everything we were doing to make signs and drive around to tape them up all over the neighborhood.

She finally warmed up to Curt around Monday.  He had the week off work for a staycation to work on the backyard and we had a BBQ scheduled the following Saturday.  She “helped” him in the yard all week.  By Thursday or Friday we were smitten and began hope to that no one would call for her.  Friday night we went and bought her a leash, a bed, and her first toy.

No one ever did call and she became part of our family.  A happy happy addition indeed.  I often say that I don’t think she had former owners.  I think the Lord had angels drop her from heaven just for us.  We didn’t even know we needed a dog!

Hot Dog for Halloween ’09

Our Christmas card ’09

May 2010 – first time we took her for a professional grooming.  Loved the bandannas she gets there!

One of my all-time fave photos!

June 2010

July 2010

July 2010

The classic chicken photo!  Halloween 2010

Christmas 2010 with her Nordstrom bowl from Grandma.  🙂

April 2011

May 2011


Today 🙂

Waitin’ for waffles!

If you’ve hung in with me through all these photos – thanks!  I’m one of those silly people who loves my pup like crazy – OBVIOUSLY!  I hope you are having a great weekend!

Camping…sort of :)

April 8th, 2011

Last week we took the 5th wheel out for the first time.  We decided to stay close home and just go for 3 nights for the first shake-down trip.  Friends recommended Malibu Beach RV Park which is just 45 minutes away (or actually 90 minutes in SoCal traffic) and it was AWESOME!!!  We had a full ocean view and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect – especially considering the fact that it poured down rain the week before and rained some again a few days after we got home.  We wished we could have stayed at least one more night and we will definitley be going back.  I thought I would share a few photos.

On the road!  Here we are just pulling away from our house.  Tessa is all set in her car seat and is excited to go on vacation for the first time!

We’ve got our spot and the Rocket Scientist got it backed in just right after a few tries.  We’re going to be finding a big empty parking lot somewhere soon so we can get some practice.

We’re set up and the slide-outs are out.  The one closest in the photo is the bedroom, and the one further away is part of the living room and where my “coloring station” is set up!

Here it is from the other side.  The slide out over here has the sofa in it.

Here’s the view out the back windows.  If you’re sitting down, you just see straight out to the ocean.  We saw lots of dolphins frolicking and one evening just at dusk we saw whales!

There were trails for dog walking.  Tessa liked that the first day, but I think it might have been hard on her little princess paws because she did not care for it after that at all.  She loved being in the trailer with us though!

We took tons of food with us and one night we made pizza for dinner. There was a wonderful seafood market and cafe just down the hill and we splurged and had lunch there one day and dinner there the next night.  YUM!

Is this the BEST PART or what?  I set up a fabulous coloring station and brought all my copics and an Ott-Lite.  I spent hours sitting here coloring.  Aaahhhhhhhhhhh!  The image I used in the TESC this morning is one that I colored on the trip and so was my TE Day 1 sneak peek.  I have lots more done that need to be made into cards still.

I can’t belive I’m posting this pic – especially after telling Curt not to take it!  But it’s just so much of what the trip was about – sitting in my robe, dog in my lap, drinking in both the ocean view and the new Paper Crafts special edition gifts magazine.  Aaaahhhhhhhh…I wanna go back!

I just love this photo taken right outside our back window.

Tessa wants to go again!!!

I titled this post “Camping…sort of” because I know that many of you will tell me that this isn’t camping and I get it.  I do.  But in my book, this is the ONLY WAY to camp.  When I met the Rocket Scientist, he and his friends were really into super-rough-it camping in the middle of the desert with NOTHING.  I actually told him on our 2nd date that I would NEVER camp.  I wanted to be upfront about it.  I told him I wouldn’t stop him from going, but that if my not going was a deal-breaker to let me know!  And I was serious!  I’ve always said camping is a hotel with no room service!  So while I recognize that this is luxury camping for sure…it’s the only camping I ever want to do! 🙂

We’re already looking at places to book for our next trip.  Do you RV?  If so, I’d love to hear any tips you have and I’d especially love to hear of your favorite recipes to make for dinner in the RV.

I hope you have a great weekend.  I hope to get a little time to turn some of those images i colored into cards that I can share with you here next week!  Thanks for stopping by!

I Ruff You!

February 15th, 2011

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  I got lucky and had the Rocket Scientist at home with me, so we went to one of our favorite places – Old Towne Orange – and tried a new place for lunch.  Bruxie serves waffle sandwiches and boy oh boy are they ever yummy!  It’s just a little corner stand and we were super lucky to find a seat.  We’ll definitley be going back!  If you live in SoCal, you’ve just got to try it! 

Today I have another card to share made with the There She Goes stamp set Puppy Love.  I used the Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge 102 from a couple of weeks ago.  Patterned Paper is Doodlebug.  It’s a Valentine Collection, but I think the bright fun patterns will work all Spring and Summer really. (I got it from TE, but it seems to be out of stock.)


This card might look like a Valentine at first glance, but it is actually a thank you card for my parents from Tessa.  When we were opening presents on Christmas Eve, my Mom handed a Nordstrom box to Curt and said she had a gift for Tessa.  We just thought she had used the Nordy box to wrap a little dog toy, but no…my mom bought Tessa a shiny red dish at Nordstrom.  🙂  Wow!

That special gift called for a special thank you card, don’t you think?  The above photo of Tessa is included inside the card.  Really, there’s just no place like Nordstrom!

I’ve got to run – off to the office today.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Baby Card and more…

January 24th, 2011

Happy Monday!  Our weekend was so incredibly jam-packed busy that I really need a day of rest! But that’s not going to happen since CHA starts on Saturday and I have a ton of things to do before heading out to L.A. for 3 days.  CHA is the Craft and Hobby Assocation Trade Show and I get to go with Taylored Expressions and walk the show looking for the newest and most awesome  papercrafting products to stock in the TE Store, plus hook up with stamping friends from across the country! (If you’re going to be there, please let me know!) One of those sweet friends is coming into town on Thursday and I’m excited to spend some time with her before the craziness of the show starts.

Today I want to share a sweet baby card I made for a friend who is just about 3 weeks away from her due date to deliver her 3rd little boy!  I’ve never had a lot of baby stamps and my current go-to set isn’t totally a baby set – Hangin’ Out from Taylored Expressions.  I do love the possibilities with this set for baby and lots of other things as well. (Click on photos to see them larger.)

I was excited when I had the idea to use the Heart Border Die from TE as the clothesline!  Cute, huh?  I used the Cosmo Cricket Circa 1935 Mini Deck for a vintage-y feel and kept the card really simple – just paper-pieced the elements and added a litle copic shading.


One of our big activites this weekend was getting my parents’ 38-foot 5th wheel trailer out of storage and bringing it to our house to live.  Curt is still working on building gates and a gravel pad for it to sit on at the side of our house, but it’s on our front lawn for now.  We’ll be getting rid of our motorhome soon.  I love our motorhome and will be really sad to see it go, but this trailer is much newer and much bigger and it’s a win-win for us to be able to use it and for my parents to not have to pay storage fees.  It has 3 slide-outs and when they are all popped out, it’s REALLY BIG!  Here are a few photos we took yesterday afternoon after getting the interior cleaned (it’s amazing how dirty stuff gets just sitting in storage!)

This is a view of the back half of the coach with both slide-outs popped out.

Here’s the kitchen.  Sofa is in one of the slide-outs.

Dining table is across from the kitchen.  Photo taken from the sofa.

Full-sized stand up shower.  The bathroom is quite large and there is a separate small water closet.  This is quite different from our motorhome!  I didn’t get any bedroom pictures yet because I still need to get the bed made up.  We’re just really excited that you can walk around the bed and not be snugged up against a wall, so Curt won’t have to climb over me to get out!  We need to start planning a little trip soon to figure out how everything works!  Anyone in SoCal have any suggestions as to where we should go first?   Here’s my criteria for the first trip: within a few hours drive, full hook-ups of course, dog-friendly, pretty area.  Let me know if you have ideas!

Well, I’ve got to run and get busy before my to-do list chokes me!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2010



We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! 

With Love,

Jami & Curt

Beaker, R.B., and Tessa

TESC132 Trick or Treat Chicken

October 29th, 2010

Happy Friday!  It’s time for another fun Taylored Expressions Sketch – TESC132 and this week I’m even more excited than usual because I got to design the sketch.  🙂  I hope you’ll play along with us – I think it’s a pretty easy one.  You can use any shape where you see the circle.

The sketch is based on a card I made a couple of months ago seen here.  Since it’s almost Halloween and I really haven’t stamped anything for Halloween this year I decided I better get at least one card in.  I went with something a little non-traditional, but stick with me and you’ll see why.  *GRIN*

Inside is the sentiment:

Trick or Treat!

Did you know it was me?

With this photo:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Yep – it’s Tessa in her chicken Halloween costume.  If that doesn’t make you laugh, you are hopeless!  The photo is funny, but I guarantee you that it is much more hysterical in person.  I ended up rolling on the kitchen floor laughing when we took these photos!  I’m not really *into* Halloween, but it’s the one time of year that the Rocket Scientist will tolerate clothes on Tessa so I take advantage.  LOL!!  She doesn’t mind the main part of the outfit too much, but she really does not like the hat as you can probably imagine!  The look on her face here is priceless!

Card info:  Stamps are from Anna Wight’s Whipper Snapper Cling Set Crazy for Chickens.  “BOO” is from Hangin’ Out Halloween (TE). Image colored with Copics and sponged with Bashful Blue.  Designer papers are from Melissa Frances and cardstock is Real Red and Daffodil Delight (SU).  Crochet trim from TE.  Love love love that Lacey Circle nestie.  Fence border punch is Martha Stewart.

Now lets’ go see what the rest of the Sketch Crew has in store!

So what are your plans for the weekend?  I’m excited because our church is celebrating Reformation Day on Sunday (something new for us) with special teaching and an afternoon Faire that includes the In & Out truck for lunch.  YUM!  Whatever you have going on I hope you have a little time for stamping!  Thanks for stopping by.