Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Dr. Who Day!

I am so excited I just sit here saying .... "SQQQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"

Not really... But I do keep doing it in my head :)

I love me some Dr. Who! I never even heard of Dr. Who before I  met The Cockney... But he opened up a door to me that has never been closed! Dr. 10 was my first Doctor... dreamy... but then 11 captured my heart... and oh... oh oh oh... wait wha??? The movie is today???

Celebrating 50 years?!?! YES!!

I don't actually have cable, we aren't big TV watchers, IF I watch a British show I have to do it on or netflix... But mom is letting me use her "Big Huge Massive Screen" today... :)

I'm on my way over there now...

I wish you all a fantastic day. It's so cold here in Texas, I have the fire going... and my flannel pajamas on, I might drive to my moms house in my pajamas... It's so cold!

And here is my toasty fire... I love winter days with a fire!
Have a great Saturday!
Much love,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Which Camera Do You Use?

I'm in the market for a new camera. I've been researching and looking and shopping and reading lot of reviews. For someone that is not a professional photographer, I have read that the Nikon D5200 is one of the best camera's on the market with really good reviews. Almost everyone that has this camera loves it.

What Camera do you use? Do you like it? Would you recommend it?

As you know Black Friday is coming up, and I've only recently started taking advantage of the online deals. If I can find someone that has this camera on sale... I will even wait outside at 4am until the store opens :) Yes, I will be THAT person. Currently this camera lists at $800-$900. I am going to devour all of the sale papers for Black Friday and look for this camera on sale.

Please... Let me know what you think...
Happy Wednesday! Tammy x

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas Gift Tags

Do you remember Mezz that makes that fantastic home magazine?
She did a swap on her blog and I signed up! Turns out that there was a little girl that wanted to participate as well... So my daughter got to make and send some tags to another girl all the way in Australia! That's exciting for Hannah, as she can't quite fathom distance around the World yet, so Australia is like going to another Planet to her (Do they talk funny there mom?)...

Since I have a tiny apartment I have to keep everything put away, so Hannah & I dragged out all and any "Christmas" colors and crafts that we could find and got started on our gift tags.

And we had our snacks at the ready...
And we started...
But not with out some craft accidents :)
There is now more glitter lurking in my apartment than any craft store in the Country :)
When I made my tags I didn't really have any sort of plan in mind, but I love Snowmen, Gingerbread men and any cute creature with a big ole scarf on.
So I made mostly penguins, they were easy and super cute!
I used card stock I already had ... in fact I had almost all of it, as you know I'm on a "Frugal" kick because I'm saving to move... I did however buy the ribbon, but it was 50% off! (Score!)
My tags are all bagged up and headed to Kentucky where my paired up partner lives... She is also creating 15 Christmas gift tags for me.
My little girl Hannah crafted her little heart out... Here are 2 of her ornaments, she's only 8, but she's a creative little peanut!
It cracks me up that she only put a snowman head on one of them and put "Frosty the Snowman". I'm pretty sure the story says he lost his hat and not his head, but ... I was highly amused :) She picked her favorite 5 and they are on their way to Australia to a bitty girl there!
Here are the 15 I chose for my partner...
All handmade and lots of fun. 
I had some leftover gift tags, so some of you might get a surprise with your Christmas Card :)

Did I mention I LOVE this time of year as well?

I hope you're having a fantastic week!
Much love,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hundreds and Thousands Magazine. An itty bitty Review...

Do you like to buy homemade?

With places like Ebay, Etsy and Storeenvy it's easier than ever to get your homemade products sold and to be very successful at running a home business.

Well I have to hang my head in shame and say that I never really considered giving home made gifts until last year, I made some gifts for Christmas and I really enjoyed making them, not only did I enjoy it, but I felt like it was more personal. I'm so sick and tired of going to a huge multi-billion dollar store chain like Walmart to buy gifts made my exploited children in China. I know I can't make everything home made... shoot... I can't even sew on a machine (On my bucket list) nor can I afford the time to make everything from scratch. BUT... Those people out there trying to make a go of it... Trying to compete against the slashed prices of the High Street... Trying to earn their own money at home... THOSE people I would like to support as much as I can. When I need or want something, I find myself looking to the people that make an honest living working at home. 

I honestly came upon Mezz Coleman by accident... On one of my blog hops I found her. Mezz makes her own clothing and likes to upcycle and re-use... So when she and a friend published their own magazine, I thought "Hey... I'd really like to support a home business"... so I ordered the starter issue.

Of course I just love happy mail to start with, so when I opened my box and found something from Australia, I knew what it was... I was giddy as I came in the door from work. 
I'd like to give you my honest "Opinion" of this magazine... I'm spreading the "Joy" so to speak.
It's called "Hundreds and Thousands" and It's a small and very quaint magazine... I absolutely ADORE the "Vintage look and feel" of it.
 Everything in the magazine just feels ... homey...
There are a couple of pages of "Things we love", and guess who is in there? I know a lot of you know "Vintage Sheet Addict"... I was so excited to see her in the magazine.. It's like she's famous :)
The pages looked so REAL... Like they were printed on fabric!
There were many pages full of interesting tid-bits...
There is Gardening...
People they visit... And I, for one, love getting to know new people.
Oooooo and Recipes... Who doesn't love a good recipe? Even if you hate cooking... We all like to look at food! Wait... or is it just me? :)
There are recipes... and not just "Recipes", but recipes written by hand! Like an old recipe that Grandma found in her pantry and handed it to you to keep forever...
And of course there are crafts... I mean HELLO...These girls make almost everything homemade... I'm pretty sure they like to dabble in some crafting :)
There is a "Great Finds" section
 And new places to see and visit...
Isn't Mezz Cute as a bug?
I haven't read the whole magazine yet, I've only read some of it, but that was enough to sell me. I'm ready for my 2nd issue already, so I hope this inspires you to take a little peek and to support home-made... and home businesses.
Thanks ladies for the great magazine and all of the hard work I know you put into it!
Here is Mezz... Mezz Makes Stuff
And here is Taz... Butter and Buntings
And here is where you can buy your own copy of Hundreds and Thousands Magazine

I hope you're having a rocking week! The weekend is just around the corner!
Much love,
Tammy x

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meaningful Monday

A girl and her Pooh.

A girl and her Pooh...... and her dolphin...... and her mini pooh .....and her...

It started last Christmas, Hannah got a Winnie the "Pooh" doll for Christmas, she had asked for a Teddy Bear and the Christmas before last I bought her one at Harrods. HARRODS people... But she didn't like him, I have no idea why, but he went in the toy box and he's buried in there somewhere still, along with countless other stuffed animals that she has never batted an eye at.

So when she asked for a bear again... I got her Pooh.
It was instant love.
She took him everywhere.

Then... she saw a teeny little pooh bear at a restaurant cafe... so she tucked him in Poohs red shirt and then there were two.

I thought the family was complete until we went to the aquarium this past summer and she picked a pink dolphin as her souvenir, she calls her Princess.

This trio often gets dirty and I hold my breath as I put them on the gentle cycle in the washing machine... praying that no one loses an eye!

Ahhhh.... But it's so precious to see her with her Pooh.
Then my mom took her two granddaughters out of town last weekend...
(Yes, Hannah likes her bright clothes. She dresses herself. I'm more of a conservative dresser, so she gets this wild side from her Grandma! :)
........and Hannah returned with this guy. A lemur dressed as a giraffe. Seriously? Now there are 4?
Hannah will throw all of the animals on top of me and say "Mom watch them"... (watch them do what?)... She says they are my grandchildren. Oh you better believe it Hannah... Because You're not allowed to date ;)

Have a wonderful week,
Tammy x

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rebuilding After An Abusive Relationship.

It's been a long time now and I would like to blog about my experiences of being in an abusive relationship. It's not something I want to talk about in person just yet, but it's something that I want to put down. Here. My safe place.
Break ups are hard in themselves, even if you WANT the relationship to come to an end, There is a part of your life--a huge part of your life that is changing. The end of a marriage or of a relationship, any kind of relationship... Is sort of like a death, well it is a "death", it's the end of something. Just like any death, it has to be mourned.

Does anyone ever truly get over a death? I think not. A death means you have lost someone that you once loved. A death means that something or someone has been taken from you, has left you, has departed. Mourning is never completely finished though there is hope that we grow. In time we smile again. In time the pain is less. We learn to live without the person we loved.
When leaving an abusive relationship it's so very important to be alone. By alone, I  mean It's so important to not date, because right now you need to re-discover the person that you are --and NOT the person that your abusive ex wanted you to be, or the person that he/she convinced you that you were.

I'm naturally a happy and optimistic person, but it took everything in my power and everything in my being to remain happy in an abusive relationship. I can remember when I first started seeing my ex-partner and talked often of travel, of how excited I was to learn and educate myself on so many things. I would always talk about dinner parties, I had this thing about them... I wanted to have people over, I wanted to make an incredible "Go to" meal, even if it was the only great meal I could make and I wanted to set a table, a beautiful table, a themed table. I wanted to entertain in my home and be with people I cared about, laughing, talking, eating and drinking wine. The point is, it was one of the things I wanted to do, after raising babies for so many years and being surrounded by sippy cups and plastic plates, I wanted to entertain adults. It's in my nature to give and this was something I wanted...

But it wasn't the cockney's (We will call the abusive ex... the cockney) idea of a good time, in fact, it wasn't long before that was thrown out the window completely. He has IBS and blamed his lack of wanting to socialize on his illness, but years later I now know he is socially inept, something that I never saw before. He hates people, he told me that he hates people... puzzling at first, it took time for me to see his complete lack of empathy for any human being, including me... the person he should have loved. I'm trying to say, through painful memories, that I wasn't allowed to do anything that interested me, unless the cockney approved.

I personally believe the cockney is a sociopath, however I am no Doctor. I just know what he did to me.
So a dinner party to you might be nothing, but I stopped doing anything I wanted to do. I didn't go out with the girls, I didn't see my friends... God forbid if I took time away from my ex when he wanted time with me. He would accuse me of cheating, constantly I was accused of cheating on him. So to not hear him or fight for 3-5 days straight I would just not do anything. I would stay in, I would be available to chat when he wanted... Or fear being told I don't want to spend time with him... Which would start WW3.

I once visited with friends I've known for over 20 years... He accused me of not wanting him. I was invited to go to Paris with a girlfriend and when I considered it... he broke up with me. I felt like I was in bondage. Complete and total bondage. Not in the beginning, but in the end. In the end I saw the cycle of abuse that I was in.
So why not date? Because it's so very important to find yourself again. In an abusive relationship you forget what's important to YOU, you forget your dreams. In an abusive relationship you only know the hopes and the dreams of your abusive partner. I was actually a Pre-Med student and wanted to go to Med School when I met my partner, he soon convinced me that this was a bad idea. Of course the path he wanted me on, turned out to be something I loved... but I knew that I could not dedicate my time and my life to studying medicine because he took too much time from me. When things went well in my life... He would start fights, huge fights... Ugly fights. There would be much gut wrenching name calling and many put downs. I would not study, I would cry, I would fight, I would lock myself away and talk to him. Even my children wouldn't get my undivided attention when he would kick off. I knew in my heart I could not dedicate myself to Medicine and have my partner.
Please understand though.... I am not BLAMING my ex for leaving my medical studies, I make my own choices. I am responsible for me. However, after an abusive relationship a person needs to learn to make healthier choices, based on what they need from life. Your decisions would be clouded if you jumped right back into another relationship.

Healthy self talk... After an abusive relationship healthy self talk is so very important. I had a great self esteem when I met the Cockney, but 5 years of being called scum, being broken up with every week, being called a cunting slag, being called fat, being told I'm disgusting. (This didn't all happen right away, it progressively got worse after he could no longer get a rise out of me)... Before the end I was even told that he wanted me dead... I actually believe that to be true. I used to really take pride in my appearance, and that stopped the last couple of years. I'm not talking about basic hygiene, I'm talking about wanting to do my hair instead of throwing it up in a pony tail, I stopped buying pretty clothes, exercising, eating healthy... I stopped wearing jewelry (I LOVE jewelry)... I just didn't feel pretty, I was told I was pretty by others... but I stopped believing it. It's super hard to not believe you're disgusting when you're told so often. In the end a person will honestly start to believe their abuser is the only person that wants them. You MUST learn to talk positively to yourself. You're awesome.... You're beautiful. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Practice makes perfect. Start now.
Healthy Anger... You know that saying "You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with"? Well, it's true. I'm not saying that I never got angry before I met my ex, everyone gets angry. EVERYONE. Anger is as normal as love... It's how we handle our anger that shows our true character. I picked up a lot of very bad habits, not towards general people in my life, but how I handle anger in relationships. I became just like my ex when we were fighting, It took awhile, but my defense mechanism would be to call him names back... I have raised my children to NEVER call names. That's bullying, it's insensitive and it's detrimental to a persons self esteem, Since I was raised by a verbally abusive man I went out of my way to make sure that my children were NEVER called names... not by me. Ever. But while I was with my ex even my children said that I had become meaner... Uh. What? ME? Wake up call. Make a very conscious effort to speak kindly even when you're livid. Words can't be taken back once spoken, and I speak from the heart... Words can cause more pain than any fist.

I pride myself on being a nice person. I WANT to be a kind person as well. There is a big difference in just being nice, and truly being kind.
There is MUCH growing and healing to be done after an abusive relationship, we should never stop emotionally growing, but I believe the mourning process after an abusive relationship is critical. How long does a person have to mourn? Well that depends on the person. I am surrounded by a very loving family, I have 5 children that love me very much, but my oldest 2 boys have been very hard on me through this, especially my eldest...My children saw the abuse a long time ago, as did my mother... My boys didn't understand why I allowed this to go on. I didn't spend time with my children when I should have. There is healing that needs to be done. There is making up on my part, forgivness that I must work for, I was so wrapped up in trying to please the cockney, so wrapped up in the fighting and the pain, I didn't even understand the neglect that my children felt. An abusive relationship devastates the people that love you as well.

While you mourn, is when you rebuild.

*Refocusing your time into the positive (Family, Friends, Healthy work relationships)
*Taking time for self love (Extra long bubble baths, long walks, learning to be alone and enjoying self)
*Healing (Not hiding the pain, feeling it, acknowledging it, not dwelling on it but moving on)
*No dating until a firm acknowledgement of knowing self worth is developed, and KNOWING you deserve to be valued.
I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I want to be a rock for other individuals that have been in abusive relationships. I'm a lucky woman. Some aren't. I was capable and able to leave my abusive relationship. There are many women out there that can't. They are scared or they are trapped, they will lose their kids or their lives. Feel sorry for those women. Not me...I'm a lucky one.

This is how I feel now...
You can too!

Help for Domestic Violence in the UK
Help for Domestic Violence in the USA

If you just need someone to talk to ...
My hope is that you have peace in your life,

Today is January 19, 2018

I have just re-read what I wrote just over 4 years ago. I still agree with all of it. But I will add, that I have actually spoke and seen The Cockney, and you know what? After having that time to heal and be myself again, I wouldn't go back for a million years. Of course there were tears and promises of change. But do people change? Do people truly change? Maybe I should leave that to the experts, but I won't... My humble opinion is that there can be drastic life occurrences that cause a person to alter their perception, perhaps they emotionally mature. I believe we all grow and we mature, naturally, over time. And if we aren't idiots, I think it's very possible to learn from our mistakes. Though I have to tell you, I often have to make a mistake several times, before I actually LEARN anything. I'm just stubborn. Yes, that's it. I'm stubborn. Did my ex change? No. People that are verbally or physically abusive have to want to change, they usually need psychiatric help. My ex was still the mean person he always was. He has excuses as to why. But it has nothing to do with me anymore. He is entitled to his opinions and his excuses.

I am thankful for the relationship that I had with my ex. I loved him very much. Will I ever go back? No. I am so strong now. I am stronger than I have ever been. I know my self worth, I know I'm enough, and I know that I don't need a man's approval to know that I am an awesome person. 
Nothing came easy. My relationship with my 3 oldest children, whom are all adult men now, suffered. I have worked very hard to gain their trust again. The trust that states I won't ever be in a relationship that controls me or keeps me from being a good mother. I have always taken good care of my children, but let's be honest here, how in tune was I with them when I was hidden away in the bedroom fighting and crying with my partner? I shudder at the thought now. I'm actually embarrassed by it. But in that embarrassment, I have learned humility. I have learned what is important. I have learned the very humble art of earning respect and forgiveness.

I am genuinely happy, I spend a lot of (quality) time with my children, I travel with my children, I have reconnected my friendships and I have become close to my extended family again. 
I'm still the tender hearted person I always was, but I'm no longer naive. I treat people as I want to be treated. I do not allow people to treat me less than I deserve.

What do I deserve? What any human being deserves. Respect. Fairness and Kindness.

Don't go back to the person that abused you. It's okay to take that first step and leave. It's okay to not explain why. You do what you have to do to have self worth. No one deserves abuse. No one. It's okay to want more from life. You deserve only the best.
Feel free to drop me a line, I'm here for you,