Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What does it mean to be famous? Are the Kardashian's famous for being famous? Maybe. What about Bethany Mota the makeup guru and YouTube sensation? She was famous enough to get a spot on Dancing with the Stars! Where does fame come from? How does one get there? And what do you say when your six year old asks you if he's famous? You tell him, not yet, but you will be.

But aren't we all famous in our own right? Take my dad for instance. He's famous for his amazing sayings. Everyone is quoting them! Okay, not everyone, but everyone in our immediate circle quotes him from time to time. His most famous quote is "They call it work, 'cause f*ck was taken." Genius, right? And then there's "Champagne is perfume going in and sh*t coming out." You're quoting them right now, am I wrong?

My mom is famous for simply being her. Her applesauce cakes have put her on the map, literally. She only makes them at Christmas, as gifts for friends and family, and mails them all over the country. They look forward to it every year. She is famous in our house for getting the impossible stains out of any article of clothing. And, her southern cooking is out of this world. You definitely want to be in her circle.

My husband is famous for his quick wit. He kills us on a daily basis with puns, one liners, and jokes that he constantly pulls out of his arsenal. And his most famous with McKinley for his ability to create voices, and mimic others, when playing. Gotta love a man with such talents.

As for me, I'm not certain I'm famous for much. I am famous in this house for having the ability to fall asleep before my head hits the pillow, a talent Joel wishes he possessed. I can cook up the best summer tan, something that some close friends envy. And according to McKinley, I make the best cookies ever! Now that's something to be famous for, right?

But in all seriousness, what does it mean to be famous? And, does anyone really sign up for fame? McKinley has mentioned several times over the past couple of weeks that he wants to be famous. And, that he's already famous at school for his trains. And where would he even come up with wanting to be famous? It's not something we talk about around here. I've always thought I wanted to be famous, but now that I'm older, my desire for fame has changed. And not in the way one would expect. I would love to be famous but only for the following reasons:

1) I want to be famous enough so I can be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars! The more I watch the show, the more I want to be a part of it. I love to dance and the ballroom appeals to me. A friend and I took ballroom dancing several years ago and I had a blast. It was amazing to learn something new and put my old training to the test. Being a past ballerina, I have years of ballet technique under my belt, but that style of dance is so different than ballroom. It was wonderful to experience something like that!

2) I want to be famous enough to have a cameo appearance on Hallmark Channel's Home and Family! I want to have a segment along side all of my favorites and put my own spin on things. I would love to have a styling segment with Lawrence! I think we could be the next styling duo! I would love to craft with Ken and Paige and learn from the best. And then there's Orly. I'm not cool enough to be next to her, have you seen her personal style, but I would love to DIY some super cute fashion pieces with her. It would be a dream! 

3) My wants and needs of fame are simple and easy. I want to have enough money for my family to live comfortably. To have the ability to buy a new home that's a tad larger so we all have our own space, but to still be small enough that we are close in proximity. Does that even make sense? Oh, and I would love to have a two car garage so that we both can take advantage of covered parking! Wait! I also want a closet all my own. And a crafting room. Okay, and to possibly have a second home, a small condo, on the beach somewhere. Vacations would be so much easier!

Now, what do I do to obtain this kind of fame? And when I say fame, I mean, how to check off all of these items on my list! Do I become the next YouTube sensation, or do I leave that for McKinley who is well on his way with all the videos he's making on my phone? Do I become the next blogging sensation? If so, I really need to amp up my readers! Do I become famous for being famous? I guess the options are endless!

And as for you, my sweet baby boy, let's find something for you to be famous for, even if it's just right here in your very own home. However, shoot for the moon and stars! I'm right here with you and will support you along the way. Let's just find something you can do that allows you to grow your talents for good and so you can be a well rounded kid. Which are anyway, so see, you are famous!


TKCM DIY - Holiday Wreath

Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Monday! I can't believe the holidays are upon us! We spent the most fabulous fun filled week together. It was so nice having all three of us home and we spent the week doing anything and everything we could think of. This town has some of the most amazing family friendly holiday activities! I can't wait to share my favorites. In the meantime, I'm sharing a little DIY project I created on Thanksgiving day.

I was inspired by several different wreaths I found on Pinterest and decided to do a little mash up! And thanks to Michael's, and all of their amazing deals, I was set with all of the goodies I needed to make the perfect wreath for our home. 

It started with a grapevine wreath. I liked the look of the rustic wreath as opposed to an evergreen version. I was going to be adding greenery anyway, so I would still get the fresh wreath look. I purchased a beautiful garland for my mantel, which is the narrowest mantel I've ever seen, and the garland was way too big for the space. So, I decided to take a saw to it! I cut small pieces of the garland to create swags that I would use around the wreath. It worked perfectly!

Here are all of the elements I used to create my wreath. Find the pieces that speak to your personal style or tug at your heartstrings. That owl was everything and I had to have him! You will also need floral wire. I got red and green, but mostly used the green. And you always need a glass of champagne when crafting!


I placed the owl first. He was my focal point and I would build my wreath around him.

Place your greenery in areas that balance out the wreath. I started on the left hand side of the wreath just above the owl. Cut a long piece of floral wire to wrap around the greenery.

I like to place the wire on top of the greenery and then wrap it to the back. Cross-cross the wire in the back and then bring forward. Just like when wrapping a gift! Wrap as many times as you would like to make it secure. Twist the wire around itself several times on the back and then cut off the excess. Bend the wire to hide it inside the greenery.

Do the same thing on the other side. I kept mine a little asymmetrical. I wanted to leave a little of the grapevine wreath showing. From there, I placed Magnolia leaves, in groups of three, inside the greenery. It adds dimension and depth to the wreath and I love the contrasting greens!

I did the same thing with additional holly berries. 

Take a step back and look at the wreath. Is it full? Does it have balance? Do you need to remove or add anything? Mine now needs a bow! I left a space below the owl for mine, but you can place yours wherever you feel its needed. My mom and I played around with different colored ribbon and if we wanted a simple two loop bow or one of those fancy five loop bows. We decided it needed just something simple and classic. 

And here is the finished product! I love it! It's perfect for our house. 

The small portion of our porch turned out beautifully! My husband and McKinley helped me create this sweet corner. I'm toying with adding something to the sleigh for more color, but I can't decide what I want. It will come to me! 

What DIY projects are working on this holiday season? I have so many up my sleeve and I can't wait to share them with you. Up next, jingle bell wreathes. This is my favorite teacher gift because it's something McKinley can help create. And, I love giving personal gifts during the holidays. 

Happy Monday!


Continued Learning: Sign Painting

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Back in October, my mom and I took a sign painting class through a local boutique called Blooming Keepsakes. The boutique offers seasonal home decor, furniture, and so much more. And, they offer classes from sign painting to wreath making. My kind of place!

Years ago, I used to frequent a shop called The Saltbox Sampler. When I was younger, I took classes there, and as an adult I did the same. I painted decorative boxes, chalk-ware Santa's, and more. I love to continue learning new things, especially crafts. I think it's important to keep learning. To keep your skills fresh. To do things that make your heart happy. For me, taking classes like this does just that. And when I get to spend additional alone time with my mom, it's a bonus!

On this evening in October, we made a double sided wood sign that I absolutely love! I've been a stenciler for years, something I learned in my youth, but making these kinds of signs seemed daunting! How did they do it? Was it free hand? Was it by stencil? Turns out, it was by stencil, but not by the method I had been taught. And, the stencil is a vinyl stencil that I could totally make, if I could ever figure out how to use my Silhouette! (I guess I need to extend my learning to this banished piece of machinery!) It was relatively easy to do as well. The steps are tedious, but totally worth it. I took pictures along the way. Easier to show than write.

You start with a gorgeous piece of wood that has already been sanded and Polyurethaned. 

My mom and I decided to do a slight white wash to our Merry Christmas sign. I thought the red would really pop against the white and I wasn't wrong!

We applied the vinyl stencil to the wood and taped it down the center to hold it in place. When I have used other stencils, you tape the corners down so the stencil doesn't move. Same concept.

Here's the tricky part. You peel back the stencil and remove the blue backing, making sure not to cut the wood while cutting away the backing. Then, you slowly apply the stencil back to the wood so as not to create air pockets. You start from the center and move out to the edges. It's hard!!

Here is what it should look like.

To apply the paint, you move in sweeping strokes across the stencil. Once one word has been covered, take your brush and go back over the entire thing, making sure you don't have brush strokes. Apply a second coat once you think it's dry.

And here they are! 

Gather was originally in white paint, but after discussing other paint options, navy blue was the winner. The instructor, Christina, uses Sherman Williams paint and this color is called Gail Force. Subsequently, it will be the navy I use on my kitchen walls....eventually!

These signs are what my small mantel was missing! I love how it dresses up my fireplace! I plan to apply garland at Christmas! 

Here we are at the completion of our class. It was so much fun spending time together, learning something new, and meeting like minded women! That's the other part of taking classes like this, the other women you meet. 

What are some classes you like to take? Do you believe in continual learning on any level? I have a few things on my list that I would like to continue learning. Cooking decoration is next! I'm not taking a class, but I plan to apply the techniques I've learned from cake decorating. I'm inspired by the Christmas Cookie Challenge currently airing on the Food Network. Check out The Painted Pastry for reasons why I'm inspired. Aime Pope is incredible!

With the holidays just around the corner, and a new year on the horizon, you might want to consider this a resolution!


Our Anniversary

Monday, November 13, 2017

Last Thursday was our fifteen year wedding anniversary. And because it fell on a Thursday, we spent the day doing our normal things. Joel went to work, I took McKinley to school and then to dance later that afternoon. We had dinner as a family that consisted of BBQ pulled pork courtesy of the slow cooker. Super romantic, right? 

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I blogged about romance? How the Hallmark movies give me all the dose I need because real life isn't all that romantic? Well, on our anniversary I raked the backyard for Joel as a sweeping romantic gesture and in lieu of the gifts we decided weren't necessary. I was able to rake up five bags of leaves and I even started getting the patio cleaned up when I found a dead mouse in my path. I packed up all of my gear and headed inside for the day. At least the yard was cleaned up. Unfortunately, by the time he got home, it was dark and the yard was covered with leaves. It was the thought that counted, right?

Fast forward to the weekend. Saturday night was date night, something my husband had planned for quite some time apparently. McKinley was scheduled for a sleepover at my parents and were going to dinner. Or so I thought. However, I hadn't a clue where we were dining or what time. I was perplexed. I needed to details. What should I wear? How dressy? How casual? How warm? Was there walking involved? All questions I needed answered. And my mother was no help. She was in on the surprise, but she didn't say a word. Or give any helpful advice.

With a couple of hours to go, I get a text from my husband telling me that I needed to pack an overnight bag. A what? I have two hours to get ready and now you're telling me I need an overnight bag? Dear lord! What is a girl to do? Panic! He informs me that jeans are acceptable and that we would be inside the whole time. And that included our evening dinner plans. Well, that helped narrow down the outfit. That's right, I still had no clue what I was wearing to dinner. I had it narrowed down to three dresses, two that would work with my amazing new shoes!

Thankful for the Getaway bag that was perfect for the one night getaway! And the design is Lovebirds! Perfect, right?

When Joel finally gets home from dropping McKinley off, I had narrowed it down to two looks. From there, after several back and forth discussions in my head, I went with my original dress. And I'm so happy I did. It was perfect for the night head. So what did the night hold? First up, we had dinner at JJ's, a local restaurant that we've wanted to try for years. And was it worth the wait! The food was amazing, the ambiance was gorgeous, and the desserts were decadent. We had the lemon mascarpone cake because it reminded us of our wedding cake. A beautiful three tiered cake made of white cake with lemon filling. 

While parking the car, we drove my the entrance of The Monarch Bar, a new establishment that just opened three months ago. After we were seated, we looked up the bars information and it turns out reservations are required. My husband called and chatted with the hostess who just happened to have two seats at the bar later that evening. Love that it totally fell into place and it was the perfect way to cap off the evening.

From there, the night wasn't over. We were headed to the DoubleTree hotel for a night away. And, it just so happens that we got married at the DoubleTree! Because we are an interfaith couple, we didn't get married in a church or temple. We got married in a very neutral location that allowed us to have a wedding that incorporated both of our religions, judgement free! It was gorgeous and everyone left with all the feels from a beautiful ceremony surrounded in love. And what I loved about our get away is that we got to snuggle up in a king size bed, watch The Holiday Baking Championship reruns without any interruption from a sweet six year old asking us to play, help wipe his bottom, or having to clean up the kitchen from dinner. It was heaven!

As we are settling in for the night, I am told that he has one more suprise for the morning. I should probably call the front desk and set up a walk up call because we are having breakfast with 20 of our closet friends! Say what? That's right! My parents, McKinley, close friends from childhood and adulthood would be meeting us for breakfast to help celebrate our 15 year anniversary. Based on our wedding vows, there was mention that it takes a village to help a marriage keep going and stay strong. But it's more than just a marriage. It's a life. It takes a village to keep your life going and our village is pretty amazing. More than amazing. They are family. It's more than just the family you are born into. It's also the family you create, and I have to say, we have created an incredible family. Our village is strong!

Joel, you out did yourself this weekend. Romance was very much alive in this real life couple. And as I stated on Saturday night, fifteen years looks good on us!

electric toothbrush