Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When your heart is broken...just breathe...

Sean Johnathon Maile with all the Pups

Last time I blogged it was June and I was beginning to plan my only sons wedding with his beautiful bride to be, Raven. It was a typical Florida summer and the weather was great. I couldn't have been happier and more excited. The days seemed so short for everything I wanted to complete so time for blogging was non existent. My blog is new, and small but one day I hope to have more content and readers. I apologize for the huge gap in post but the most tragic thing that could ever happen to me happened and I am about to share it with you now. 

First Day of School Waiting for the Bus
When I was 16, I had a baby boy, his name was Sean Johnathon Maile. It was a struggle to be a young mom but I was motivated. The only thing I wanted was a family of my own, it was all I thought about. John, as we call him, was born premature on December 29th and had to be put into an oxygen tent. It was the scariest thing I had ever been through. He was released from the hospital only to go back again. Then came the hundreds of breathing treatments and constant worry. His grandmother stayed with him at the hospital during the day so I could finish school. His father and I slept in a chair in the room at night. We made it through and soon enough you would never have known he was premature, growing like a weed.

Camping in Wells, Ny

John was so head strong. He always wanted to do what he wanted to do. Life was about living and fun and that was hard for a mom to watch. You always want your kids to set themselves up in a good place for their future but he always lived in the "now". A page from his book that I have now borrowed and have made my motto for my life. So when he called me and told me he was ready to settle down and get married at 19 I was really surprised. I think I started a pinterest board of wedding ideas within 10 minutes. I have been a florist for 13 years of my life so planning my sons wedding was the zenith of my entire career. I was stretching a budget so I would go Michaels and Joanns every week with my coupons and scour sales. Eventually my walk in closet was renamed the wedding closet. 

Bridesmaids Dress

This was one of the most difficult weddings to plan. I was in Florida and the wedding was in NY so everything had to be shipped. The venue which John had left a deposit went out of business a month before the wedding which left us scrambling for a place. Raven, his fiance used her magic and found a gorgeous mansion that was right down the road and they offered it to them at no charge. I can not believe the generosity of people, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Seven days before the wedding the bakery where they ordered the cake went out of business. The cake had been paid in full and it just felt like the world was against us. I could not believe what was happening. I remember saying, "What else could go wrong"? I should have never said that.

Princess Dress we bought for our Grand baby

On October 5th, my fiance Jess and I went to JCPenneys to get some last minute wedding shopping. We bought some perfume, clothes and shoes. I went to the mens T-shirt section and found a Fender guitar t-shirt that I thought my son would love. My son was a musician and loved guitars. I told Jess I was going to wear it to NY and leave the shirt for him. I knew when he saw me with the shirt, he would know it was for him and not me. Raven has a daughter, Annalea, and my son just loved her like she was his own. She loves the color yellow and princesses and when I saw this dress I melted! At first I wasn't going to get it because I was saving every last penny for the wedding. Jess insisted we buy it and helped me find the matching tiara because whats a princess dress without a tiara?

Raven, Annalea, and Sean J

I wasn't sure of the size so I called Raven. She said that her phone was about to die and could I call John. I called John and told him we were buying a princess dress for Anna. He said shes going to look so cute in it and how excited he was to see me soon. I said I couldn't wait for the wedding. He told me that they had a plumbing emergency in the house and he had to go talk with the plumber and to call back later. We walked around the store and saw a pair of Tinkerbell wings that we knew Anna would love to run around the house wearing so we grabbed them and went to checkout. After checkout I called John again. We talked for about 5 minutes. He told me about the plumbing emergency and I said we were about to leave the store so I would call him tomorrow. I said I love you, and he said I love you too, mom! I was on cloud nine. My son was happy, I was planning a wedding and buying clothes for a little girl. Something I had not formerly had the pleasure because I had a boy. There must be some kind of chemical in the brain that makes women happy to buy little girl clothes. It was so exciting!

Sean J. Maile trying on his suit for the Wedding
The next morning I woke up early and couldn't sleep. I was running around the house packing everything for the plane. Still in my pajamas, my phone on silent from the night before hoping to sleep in, I went about my day. For 2 hours I packed and organized. I call these the final 2 hours of life as I knew it because at 10 am I would get a call that would bring me to my knees. Jess's phone rang and it was Raven, I answered it and she was screaming so loud I couldn't even understand her. I tried to calm her and told her everything was going to be okay just take a breath. She screamed Sean died. Immediately I thought it was my sons father who is also named Sean, who has been in more accidents than an Indie 500 driver. She screamed, your son is dead. I dropped to my knees and just asked her to say it again. We were both inaudible, screaming like someone was murdering us. The state police took the phone from her and asked me questions which I had tried to answer but words would not come fast enough. Jess took the phone. I screamed and fell to the floor, I couldn't breathe, I ran outside. I ran to the bedroom and called my dad, my sister answered. I screamed he died, he just died...she didn't believe me. I think I screamed he died a hundred times. 

Family Name Necklace we bought last year for Raven 

I remember every moment of agony leading up to the funeral. It was like that dream where you are floating in the air watching yourself live, but your not really living. We got on the same plane we were supposed to take for my sons wedding but instead we were going to his funeral. When we arrived we met with the coroner. My son died in a car accident on his way home from work. He worked the night shift and did not sleep much the day before. That was a deadly combination. We were so lucky that the accident happened early morning Sunday because he crossed the double yellow line. If another car was coming this could have been so much more tragic. He ran the entire length of the guard rail flipping the car in the air and hitting a telephone pole. There is no doubt in the coroners mind that he fell asleep while driving. When I saw the photo of the car I was so shocked. The nose of the car was in the ground and the trunk was in the air and the car was attached to the pole. My breath was taken away when I saw it. He died instantly, my only saving grace that he was not in pain. 

Accident site- Guitar frame my Sister made

My son, Sean Johnathon Maile, was 20 years young when he passed away. He packed so much into his short life. He did what he wanted and he really lived. He always lived in the "now". His funeral service was in the same church he was to marry in on the same day as the wedding was to take place. The church was standing room only with so many people they were standing outside. 

Funeral Service for Sean J. Maile 

Father Frank gave a wonderful service and I was able to get up and speak. I don't even know how I had the strength to stand as my legs were like jello. I told the story of when I left John with his dad overnight for the first time. I was taking my sister on a trip and would be gone 2 days. The first night I called and asked John what his dad fed him for lunch and dinner and John said he didn't feed him anything. My blood was boiling as I demanded he put his father on the phone. Why didn't you feed him I asked. Johns dad responded, he never said he was hungry. I was fuming! I said kids don't say when they are hungry you just have to feed them! So the next day I called and again I hesitantly asked what he had for lunch. My son, in the most excited voice, said Mom, Dad made the best lunch ever. It was a peanut butter and ham sandwich with crushed Doritos. It was way better than anything you have ever made! From that moment on it was called the Maile sandwich and whenever I was away that's what they ate. 

Me at Universal Studios- the ride my son was waiting to go on

So now I breathe. I try to move on and remember happy times. I cry in the car, I cry at night, I cry in the morning. When the 6th of each month comes around I relive that day over and over. At 8:30 am I was standing here, and doing this and he was dying. I could have never imagined what life was going to be like. Simple things like listening the the radio is now impossible. He was a musician and every song reminds me of him. If a sad song comes on, or certain Christmas song during the holidays that says I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams, I lose it. I started listening to Spanish radio because I cant understand a thing...lol. Christmas was hard because I wanted to buy him everything I saw but then realized he wasn't here. The one thing that was shocking is realizing who in your life is important. Getting a relationship with my sister again after 7 years of not speaking was a wonderful gift and my son is responsible for bringing us together. People I thought that were my friends, my best friends, have not even called me. People who have no idea what to say to you that decide not to say anything are the ones that break your heart. People who I never expected cared about me swarmed my house with food, flowers, cookies, cards, and phone calls. It really put my life into perspective on what and who is important...and also living in the "now". My fiance and I have come to an agreement if its so small and insignificant to argue about, we don't. It took a long time to get to that but we are here now. We realize life is short and for some of us, its really, really short. There is no time to waste when you decide to live, and I mean really live...

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Gnome Crazy!

Gnome Hats and Beards Party Favors by Little Bean Art
I just love Gnomes! I can't get enough of them. I'm not really a fan of cartoons but Jess had me see Gnomeo and Juliet and it was so adorable! If you haven't seen it, I think you would really like it. So when I am on Etsy I just can't help myself from doing a few gnome searches. 

How cute are these Beard and Hat Party favors? You can choose colors and sizes and get 6 for 42.00. They even come in adult sizes. We love Little Bean Art!

Gnome and Dachshund Messenger Bag by Viva Sweet Love
Most of you know by my previous posts that I have a dachshund addiction! When I saw this bag I knew it was going into my favorites immediately. I love this Gnome Taxi Bag! 

Gnome Sweet Gnome Felt and Moss Wreath by Ella Bell Mae Designs
Take a peek into a Gnome home with this one of a kind wreath. If I could shrink myself I would love to live here if I was a little gnome! I can just imagine how many hours it took to make this beautiful wreath! 

Gome Rubber Stamp by Blossom Stamps
I can never have enough stamps! This sweet gnome stamp is from my favorite stamp shop, Blossom Stamps.   What a bargain for under $7. Make tags, wrapping paper or hand stamp paper napkins for a party, the possibilities are endless. 

Set of 4 Gnome Sayin' Notecards with Envelopes by Habanero Studio
 These are great notecards to send a little hello to a special friend. I love getting things in the mail other than bills and these are so adorable! For less than $3 each you can make someone smile.

Red Gnome Hat with Beard made by Momma7
This kid is super cute with him Gnome Hat and Beard (and the batman shirt too)!  This is a custom made item  and available in many sizes. Another awesome etsy find! 

Keep Calm and Love Gnomes Digital Print by  Just Design Prints
I want this print for my studio! Inspired by the Keep Calm and Carry On  slogan this print is in JPEG form so you can print it as many times as you want to! 

Gnome Toadstools by Fairy Small Things
 These mushrooms are a must have for any Gnome home! You will receive 10 and Fairy Small Things will ship them for Free if you live in the US. I love Free! 

Cotton Canvas Gnome and Mushroom Lunch Bag by A  Little  Lark 
This cloth lunch bag is not only stylish but is made from recycled materials. We love that! It has a little rope handle and velcro closure. This would make a great gift with some home baked goodies inside. 

Mushroom Paper Tags by Lazy Day Cottage 

These mushroom tags are from my etsy shop. You will receive 24 tags for only 2.50! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some of my Favorite Shabby Chic Wedding Things...

This bouquet is amazing! I can just image the hours it took to make it. This is a wonderful alternative to fresh flowers and what a great keepsake! This bouquet is available in 5 different sizes so contact Mario for a custom order! 

I just love this idea for Bridesmaids dresses! Each one is totally unique and really convey the shabby chic style. I could never pick one because I love them all! 

Shabby chic frayed roses are the focal point of these delicate garters. They are lovingly embellished with a pearl and rhinestone button.  

These vintage inspired tags are from my shop! I love the color palette and unique images. Some of the tags have a glitter accent for sparkle. Each tag has a hole punched and is ready to adorn your wedding favors. The backs are blank for a name or small sentiment. 

This vintage style suitcase is awesome, but then again, so is everything in Ambers shop! 
This is a must have for a vintage inspired wedding! 

Efrat describes this hair comb as dainty, beautiful, and unique and I agree! The one of a kind comb is absolutely amazing! 

Marie Antoinette is so popular right now and everyone is always asking for Marie inspired items. These shoes are super unique and are perfect for any bride wanting to channel Marie on her wedding day! Katie, I LOVE them! 

Treasure Chest suitcase of amazing handmade delights! This collection couldn't be more grand and includes everything you need for your wedding. Super shabby chic!

More glitter please! Every wedding should have a little glittery bling. These tiffany blue vases have a beautiful ribbon and rhinestone detail. I will never want a clear glass vase again! 

Nana Rose Designs I just had to feature you twice because I love your shop so much! The tattered roses are amazing and I can tell they are made with love. No shabby chic wedding should be without these sweet floral accesories!                                                  

Hydrangeas are my most favorite flower! These are great for favors and have a beautiful vintage inspired edging. Perfect for shabby chic weddings! 

This birdcage is great for cards and has a wonderful vintage patina. It has a closure in the front and can be opened to place your cards inside. So lovely for a shabby chic wedding! 

I hope you enjoyed this collection of beautiful shabby chic things! I can not wait to get married next year so I am already making my wishlist. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quick Lunch for a Hot and Muggy Summer Day...

My Yummy Un-lettuce Salad 
Yesterday was hot and muggy and I was working on orders all day. I was hoping for a slight breeze but there was nothing so I ended up bringing out the fan. I love living in Florida and the weather is usually nice but these are the days that even a Starbucks double shot can not give you enough energy to move through the dense warm air. I wanted a super quick lunch that was refreshing and crunchy. 

I usually make my own dressing but even something as easy as making dressing was just not happening. I looked in my fridge and pulled out a bunch of veggies and some leftover corn on the cob. I love lettuce but was just not feeling the lettuce vibe so back in the fridge it went. 

Salad Supreme Seasoning by McCormick
I cut up a cucumber after I spooned out the seeds, yucky seeds! Grated carrot, a roma tomato, red pepper and the corn removed from the cob was added to my big blue bowl. This is my favorite cheap plastic bowl from Walmart, it is the perfect size for a salad. I could not find a glass bowl the size I wanted, most were too small to toss a salad for one person. 

Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette Dressing by Wish-Bone
I added a pinch of  kosher salt. I can not live without kosher salt so if you have not tried it please do or we can no longer be friends... just kidding. Fresh ground black pepper, a splash of Wish-Bone Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette Dressing and a few shakes of McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning were also added. This un-lettuce salad was awesome! It was sweet from the corn and acidic from the dressing. It took all of five minutes to make and you can add anything you want. Basically any leftovers even chicken would have been great! Check out McCormick and Wish-Bones websites for some tasty recipes by clicking in the link under the pics. Bon Appetit! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


 This is a photo that a customer sent to me of her Alice in Wonderland Tea party. She ordered the "drink me" tags from my shop Lazy Day Cottage on etsy. It turned out so beautiful! I love the Eat Me cookie cake and the adorable rabbit spoon. I searched and found the porcelain bunny spoons at Sur la table for only 1.95 each! 

These sweet die cuts are a bargain for any tea party and can be found at my shop too! Less than 10 cents each...wow! $9.95 for a set of 100 scalloped round circles. You can use these as tags, seals, table confetti, or whatever your mind thinks up. 

Love these signs from Kute kardz on etsy. Perfect to add to an Alice themed party for under 20.00. Ready to ship in 3-5 days. 

Who says cufflinks are just for men...they are not! Woman can wear cufflinks and these would be perfect for anyone going mad! These are from Its All About The Print on etsy and are only 12.00.These are made to order and you can choose silver or bronze. 

These mini Mad Hatter Hats are great for decorating! Sold in sets of 5 by Marissa Harris on etsy you just can not live without them! I think they would make a great birthday cake topper! 

Okay, I'm shameless, these are also from my shop Lazy Day Cottage on etsy. What can I say? I love Alice in Wonderland! These postcard themed tags are great for gift tags or place cards. I can make them with other characters such as Alice or the Im Late Rabbit. They are less than 1.00 each when ordered in a set of six. 

I adore hand stamped anything but this spoon is the perfect pair for an divine cup of tea. One lump or two? You can find this and many other elegant gifts at Milk and Honey Luxuries on etsy. I could just look through their shop for hours! 

A tea party would not be complete without cupcakes. These bubbly pink cupcake toppers are the perfect addition to a yummy frosted cake. Each hand stamped topper features the Mad Hatter and is edged with ink for a vintage look. You can find them and other Wonderland themed items at my shop Lazy Day Cottage on etsy.  

I just adore this teapot ring!!! The detail is incredible for the size of the piece. I can just see myself wearing this to a tea party. You don't have to love Alice in Wonderland to love this stunning little beauty. It can be found at Le Petite Bon Bon on etsy. 

I hope you enjoyed all of the Alice in Wonderland themed goodies I shared with you today! I am ready to get out my tea cups and invite some friends over for a nice English tea. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who Knows How Much An Inch Is Anyway?

Measuring Tape from Seasonalsupplies
This week we moved across the hall to a different apartment. It was the easiest move ever! We just packed a cabinet at a time and moved it to the new place. The thing I dreaded most was re hanging all of my curtains, shelves and frames. I like dramatic curtains so I always hang mine higher than the window line and have them touch the floor. A great tip for hanging curtains: I always buy 4 panels for a window that needs 2. I hang the rod about 16 inches wider than the window. This fools your eye to make it look like the window is much larger than it is. It is amazing how much this changes the look of the room and lets more light in. 

Yardstick Planter Box from Whiskyginger
So while hanging the curtains in the bedroom I forgot to measure the space from the curtain rod holder to the ceiling and I had already moved the ladder to the other side. Ask any handyman, my methods for measuring and hanging curtains are probably not correct by any standard but in the end they usually look okay. So I asked Jess to use the tape measure to get me the measurement. She said "17" or 18." I said it's kind of important to get it exact as you can. She responded, "Who knows how much an inch is anyway." We were exhausted and frustrated and probably should have waited to tackle that job. We just started laughing so hard. I said. "Well I know what an inch is." Typical womans answer, right? 

Vintage Ruler Cuts by Coolvintage
I was inspired to write this blog post after that little episode of gut busting laughter. But really, how much is an inch? Is an inch really important, yes...it is. An inch too low and my curtains would have sagged at one side. I am contacted by customers all over the world looking for paper tags from my shop. The photos of my items are all cropped and edited. An image of a tag that is 2 inches in length looks the same size as a photo of the Eiffel Tower when cropped. It is very misleading but not much can be done with the photos. Some  sellers include photos with a ruler which is a great idea. I make sure the measurements are included in the listing description. As an online buyer it is very important to read the wording in the listing.  

Antique Ruler Pendants by Clabbercreekstudio
At one point in my life I decided it would be a great idea if me and my Bestie opened a soap making business. In hindsight I realize this was not a smart move. We had never made soap and knew nothing about it. We got a recipe book from the library and bought all of the ingredients. We decided to make olive oil and lye soap infused with raspberry tea.  My bestie ordered some molds for soap on ebay. We mixed the lye outside on my driveway in my expensive Wolfgang Puck pots and pans, not smart! A little dripped on the driveway and I didn't even think anything of it until the next day when it was pitted with holes where the lye ate it away. We mixed the soap with the tea and it became this beautiful pink color and smelled amazing. The molds came in and were super tiny, they could have made soap for a dollhouse  We should have read the description and measurements. So in the end our soap turned out horrible. We had left the tea leaves in the soap and it eventually turned this disgusting brown color. After paying to fix the driveway, buy new pans and all of our expenses I was about 300.00 down and I had a years supply of the worlds most disgusting soap. Live and learn...but always read the size when buying online.