Tis’ The Season

Good Morning Friends!  Well the season of happiness is upon us.  Happiness as this time of year brings joy to so many in different ways.  In our home it is the wide eyes seen from two kids from just the thought of decorating the house.

S is in love with the decorating of the season as much as I am.  Each day since we have come back from the Thanksgiving holiday she has decorated a different space.  Her bedroom tree went up first with her snow babies set up on her dresser from her grandma and great grandma. The white garland hangs over her vanity mirror and she’s looking for more to detail her space with.  Next up was her decorating our entrance tree!  Last year I let her decorate our big tree and honestly her placement was perfect and she hasn’t let me down on this years entrance tree; it looks perfect!  K loves to get involved as well but with S managing him he slowly eases himself back to building lego’s!  That is one area of this house he has complete control of his creations.  We decided for his room tree this year we are making it a Lego tree.  Making our own ornaments with his thousands of Lego’s!  For others it’s the memory of the joy the holidays brought to them when they were celebrated with those now watching them from above.

I was at the grocery store this week and an older lady stopped and asked if I had seen the rolled cookie dough.  Being it was Aldi I told her it was probably seasonal and either they wouldn’t have this year or they hadn’t gotten in yet.  She then began talking to me about the cookies she was making.  Leading to her handing them out to all her neighbors as this was her second holiday without her husband as he passed last December and her son was killed in a terrible car accident last July.  My heart cramped as I couldn’t imagine she told me she has their pictures on her mantle and each day let’s them know that it’s crap that they left together and didn’t take her.  I asked what other family she had she said a daughter and she has two granddaughters.  I said this is why you are here they need you and I’m sure your neighbors adore you too.  She smiled and said her granddaughter was to go out of town for Thanksgiving but when she knew grandma would be alone she cancelled her plans and told her grandma she wouldn’t let her be alone and the two of them enjoyed the holiday together.  Your probably reading this and thinking this is all great but why are you sharing a story about a complete stranger.  The reason for me sharing this is because what I didn’t say at the start was that I was in a terrible rush I had only an hour to get my shopping done and make it back to get K from school.  But there was a reason why we crossed paths and a reason she stopped me.  During this holiday season remember take a minute to be kind to others.  You never know what has filled another’s day and what their going through.  So take a minute even when you don’t have it to listen to others and be kind.

Before I let you go and enjoy your Sunday and as the first snow falls and we head to cut down our tree!  I have many projects to share as I mentioned before Dad has began assisting in the furniture business.  I look forward to sharing the couch tables, end tables and headboard he has recently completed.  I’ve also purchased Annie Sloan’s recently released black wax.  I will tell you it’s fantastic and am working to finish a second piece with it.  More on all this very soon!  Until then enjoy this holiday season!  Remember all those that cross your path weather a bright eyed little one or an elderly stranger smiles are free and can change the day of someone.  You know how good it makes you feel when a stranger or a loved one smiles at you…


Happy Holidays!

Hello Friends!

So happy to be checking in with you!  As three times in the past two weeks I have sat down to write and have gotten half way and then I have little helpers either wanting to assist in typing or I have the always loved “MOMMMMMMM!” being screamed…usually to tell me they have to go to the bathroom (which they do completely alone but like to let me know), or someone isn’t being a good sharer!  Story of my life and if your a mom YOURS!!!

Anyway, the holiday season is here!  I will admit so many factors played in to my struggle with really getting in to the season this year.  Including the weather being gorgeous (I’m NOT complaining).  When you live where come Thanksgiving it snows until usually or at least end of February. Then this year we have had 45-60 degree weather the entire week of Christmas and the weeks leading up to it.  Which I’m sure to some is FREEZING!  But to us midwestern peeps this is warm.  I’m not saying I live here for the seasons because I don’t, I actually have a very hard time with winter.  I do however love the way it looks especially on Christmas morning!  But then happy to see it leave!  Another factor which I mentioned in my previous post 2015 has been a challenge for our company.  Joe did some really beautiful work and has been booked out until end of Spring 2016 but when we decided to make business changes we realized some things that needed to be addressed and it got rough.  Which I’m happy to say I think we are over that hump but my goodness that was a stressful few end of year months there. We also know it had to happen the one specific contractor has been un-professional over the past few weeks.  Or maybe I should say kept us fighting!  I’m just going to say you can’t run a company from a tree stand… Ok wait maybe some companies you can but not in the construction company.  Appreciate those that are with and have been with you giving 110%.  The few things that have happened have reminded both Joe and I that we never will treat those that work for us this way.  Ok I’m done…had to just vent for a second!  My quote for all of this is “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed” not sure where I grabbed this but when I read a few things jumped out.  Mainly change and obsessed.  Joe is the most obsessed person I know about stone and with obsessed comes passion.  These things are needed to make change happen.  So I look forward to many positive changes and success to Moonlight in 2016!  So here is why I struggled to decorate.  Then I did decorate and…this is where I started another blog with “It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

Duke (our just one year old shepherd) didn’t decide while I ran errands to tip over the half gallon of red and not any red SHOCKING red paint in my craft room.  Walking through it and creating beautiful paw prints outside of the GINORMOUS pool of paint throughout my house including all over my couch!  Thank heaven I wasn’t gone too long and was able to get just about all of it off my floors.  The couches on the other hand are done!

It wouldn’t be the Lisenby’s if…

When arriving home Duke hadn’t knocked down the Christmas tree and stepped on a glass ornament.  Leaving water everywhere and pine needles scattered like confetti throughout the house!  The Christmas tree went to the front porch and all the ornaments were hung off our metal railing going up stairs.  Duke was fine thank goodness!

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There are many more which I will continue to share but these are just a reminder that it doesn’t only happen in your house we all feel your pain!  Yes, I do still recommend buying a puppy if you were thinking and this post made you question.  As we all including my siblings say “if he wasn’t so cute!”

Christmas arrived and we had a great eve and day!  Christmas eve we spend with our grandparents.  First stop was Joe’s Grandma who is seriously one of the sweetest ladies you will meet.   We were an HOUR late!  Which is standard for us-boo!  Over the past two years grandma has shown many signs of aging.  She felt terrible that she forgot we were coming.  The kids were ecstatic to see her.  There is something warm about her that especially Kole just loves.  He kept going by her snuggling and giving her sweet eyes.  Grandma told us a few times how much trouble we were going to be in down the road with him and the ladies!  Letting Joe know his children were beautiful; which was so sweet.  As parents we all think our kids are the cutest but when grandma says it, it makes you feel really good.  Joe set up a tea party and the kids invited her to join them having orange juice and cookies.  She shared a few stories about Grandpa and their Apple Orchard and how it came to be.  Which I can say I never really heard.  We brought their gifts from New Grandma and New Papa (Joe’s mom and dad) with us so the kids could open there.  They did so and loved their special gifts.  They had books made that included the kids and their friends!  These added to the magic that as a toddler Christmas brings.  The visit was wonderful and reminded us that we need to make it happen more often.  The moments Grandma would loose track of what was going on were hard but I also know she has truly enjoyed her life the life that Grandpa and her made together.  I can honestly say they shared an incredible love.  One that all should experience.

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Next was to my grandma’s house.  Which for as long as I can remember is called the “Mad House on Midland!”  Which it always hold true to.  My grandmother has went through five rounds of chemo.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 79 and given one year to live. That was in 2008 and here we are 7 years later!  After the last round being so hard on her body and truly not doing anything she decided it was time to stop.  Letting her body and this terrible disease take its course.  Her stomach very bloated as it is filled with cancerous tumors and her unable to leave the house as her leg strength is not there as it used to be.  She got out of the hospital the weekend before eve.  She was very weak at our visit and barely spoke.  If you ever met my grandmother you wouldn’t believe this.  My grandmother is a very strong in every sense of the word women.  She has always been a no messing around, crack the whip lady.  But at the same time loves you with all she has.  The mad house part of this is that at all events at her and my grandpa’s home are crazy!  A lot of talking over one another and a lot of laughing until you cry moments!  Even with grandma sick this still was the case.  With only two of her kids and their kids and their grandkids there it’s LOUD!  I know she didn’t say much but I truly think this makes her the most comfortable.  Never knowing her house to be quiet this was how home is and should be at the “Mad House on Midland.”  Overall, the visit was nice it reminded me of how much I enjoyed going to their home growing up but also made me sad to know that life has a window and we never know but in this case I’m sure it’s not much longer.  Over the years family dynamic has changed which changed my relationship to my grandmother.  Once very close seeing pretty much daily if not then weekly is now at a few times a year.  As S asks every time this grandma is spoke about as she only remembers her meetings with her when she had no hair so she refers to her that way.  “Will she get better?”, or the day after our visit “I hope she is feeling better today.”  We all know its a journey and when it ends we don’t always know but what we do with it is up to us.  I can’t change the past but I can make sure I stay close to my grandma now.  The kids elves Francesca and Frankie delivered their departure gifts and a letter to the kids at my grandma’s house.  The box contained reindeer food, magic pajama’s that would help them sleep, socks, mini lego/littlest pet shop surprise pack and ornament.  The kids loved this.  We spread our reindeer food when we got home and the kids were in their magic jammies before we left my grandma’s!

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We celebrated Christmas the week before with my other Grandma!  This visit is always nice.  Grandma always brings the best homemade cookies and looks amazing.  I swear she hasn’t aged she is 87 or 88 (can’t remember) and looks amazing!  Our visit is always nice I honestly don’t know exactly what we often talk about but I do know she let my dad know he is EXACTLY like his father was!  She also shared with us that her doctor has called her twice to discuss her weight and she let them know both times she wasn’t interested in discussing it or having them assist her in how to loose it!  I almost fell of the chair as my grandmother is sweet and in no way needs to loose any weight.  Plus as I said to her “Grandma at what point do you just get to enjoy your life?”  I mean when you are 100 are they going to be calling you with this?  Have the extra cookie you deserve it!  She always puts thought in to the kids at Christmas going out buying them gifts that are always perfect.  She is a wonderful women and hope when she did go in for her appointment last week she let the doctor know what I said!

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Christmas day started at 650am with Sid saying “Mom I must have been on the really good list, there is like 51 presents down there for me! Come on lets go take a peak!”  Me sooo tired as I didn’t wrap any gifts until Eve said “Go tell Daddy.”  So she climbed over “Daddy let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “Kole’s still sleeping we need to wait.”  She said “I won’t open his just mine! Come on let’s go take a peak!”  Joe said “If she says lets go take a peak one more time!!! LOL I said ok let’s go the big day is here!  I will get coffee you get Kole!  Sid woke him he wasn’t having it “I WANT DADDY!” Joe went in there and after S brought up the ton of presents and he saw them with his own eyes he said “Hurry daddy get down there!”I will mention there was not 51 presents for each child!  But at four I know it probably seemed like it! Sid decided to try and guess each gift before opening which she did a pretty darn good job at! HMMMM!  K just opened and enjoyed each one.  Many of the gifts were for both and those they have played with exactly so.  S received and is loving her mechanical cat which has been named Scarlet.  K received a John Deere service station which is the only gift he actually showed me to tell Santa.  So glad I found as he LOVES!

My family arrives in the afternoon for gift exchanging from Grandma and Papa to the kids.  Cousins pick names so they exchange and Santa shows up for stories and gifts!  Then we eat!  Its an eventful afternoon/evening!  Everyone SHOCKINGLY was a bit late this year-my family is ALWAYS early!  So Santa arrived and the kids loved his visit as his books include each of them in the story.  For dinner we had broccoli and cheese soup, ham, beef tenderloin on the grill, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole, and pistachio marshmallow salad.  We enjoyed basil, tomato and mozzarella skewers and brie, pecans, and jalapeno jelly on crackers while we waited!  Grandma and Papa then gave their gifts out!  This always gets a bit crazy!  S and K as well as their cousin Samuel are the littlest and still get a bunch of FUN stuff as I noticed the older boys were like WHAT!  As my sister said this was the year she had to explain to her oldest that once you hit a certain age your gifts cost a lot more so you get less. My parents made each of the kids gifts this year.  As I told my dad they are very lucky to have such talented grandparents.  My dad built S an American Girl Doll one room module as well as a bed to go inside.  My mom got a wicker chair and made curtains and clothes for her dolls!  My dad made K a fire station as he is obsessed with fire and rescue vehicles.  Mom gave each of us kids a journal with a letter asking that we each begin January 1st with each day writing one positive thought/sentence/paragraph/book.  As we can easily consume ourselves with negative but need to find positive in each day.  She started this when she retired and was having a hard time.  This coming year she plans to take a positive picture each day.  Something great to do and I encourage others to take on this challenge for 2016! Thanks Mom!  Well I think that wraps up our holiday season so far!  I hope all of you are having an amazing December as well.  Looking forward to New Years Celebrating! Hoping to do a balloon drop for the kids!  Keep you posted!

Have a great Sunday! Cheers!

Its That Time of Year AGAIN!!!

Hello Friends,

Well we are well on our way to mid December and I don’t know about you but it came far to quick for me!  I am a person that has all my decorations inside and out up by the Monday after Thanksgiving; yes even with our yearly trip to Georgia!  This year has been all around off!  To be honest we are so ready for 2015 to be over and we welcome 2016 with open arms and hopes of changes we have made within our business to show as the best decision we will make!  Which Joe and I are confident will be…with that being said all change when owning a business doesn’t sometimes mean you don’t hit rough patches to get there.  More on that in a bit!  As far as S and K go; things are moving along and the countdown till the big guy arrives is on.  With daily comments by S of how it is going to be “FOREVER” before Christmas arrives!  K on the other hand just continues to hold up five fingers and say “this many days!” each day we remove a link from our countdown chain!  This time of year I know many families have traditions they do with their families and friends which I love!  Weather its cookie making with a group of 20 or having a special elf visit your kids daily.  All of these things are what makes life so great!  Even when it seems like life outside of these things is too stressful and complicated.  At the end of the day December reminds us all what life is about.  Family and Friends!

Let’s start with these little elves that came out in 2005 I believe…before my days of having kids but has clearly become a tradition in many homes each holiday season!  S had her elf arrive three years ago.  She really didn’t understand the idea but it was when we were just about to start treacherous three’s and I was willing to start anything to help keep the energy positive especially having K just thirteen months behind her and beginning to take on any activity positive or negative she was doing.  Driving me looney!!  So anyway too young she likely was but we gave it a whirl and she named her elf Francesca which Joe and I had NO idea where this name came from, she had no dolls or no characters on TV that had this name but this was it! Funny thing about this was I called my mom to tell her about the elf and telling her the name, she got a little confused about the conversation and replies “Is this your new nanny’s name?!”  I laughed and we still laugh over this comment as one I was a stay at home mom doing just that and not needing a nanny and two I had never mentioned the need for a nanny.  Ok well I’m sure from time to time I have made the comment I would be a better stay at home mom if I had one but totally joking!!  Anyway that was year one and I was on it.  Doing my daily routine of hiding Francesca ,doing all the silly things people do with this little elf.  Heck I was moving the thing around my house multiple times a day!  Ya I was good; LOL!  Then last year came and we decided K needed to become part of the fun.  We had the elves arrive the day after Thanksgiving when we were in Georgia.  K named his elf Frankie!  They arrived by balloons to the front door of our sister and brother in laws.  The kids freaked that they found them there.  Of course the rest of our visit was elf shenanigans for each morning.  We continued the daily hunts each morning when we returned home.  There was no multiple moves throughout the day though.  This year both arrived and have been stirring up naughtiness but at the same time reminding the kids of positive behaviors and also telling them what they noticed they did great the day before.  I will say what has worked best for these two has been having a daily note from their elves to them personally.  S each day wonders what Francesca has to say.  She has even made sure to let Francesca know what she was going to do that day to make her proud.  This is the first year for her it has truly worked!  K thinks its just plain funny!  Frankie took one of K’s numerous toilet paper roll binoculars and cut them down to his size and was stuck in the tree or he toilet papered their bathroom and Francesca wrote a note to both of them with toothpaste on the mirror.  My only gripe about these little friends is remembering to move them and be creative.  I mean I know people like my sister goes all out each day and I’m sure once your kids are to the ages of 6+ that is necessary but again just a personal note to mine as been working best.  Whatever fun tradition you start with your kids I just suggest you do it each year as these are the things they are going to remember as adults!

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Continuing with fun holiday activities S has had now two holiday shows with school!  Yes this is true and yes she is only 4!  As I’m sure you have caught on S is a actress.  This is just one thing that has been a positive experience for her.  Her first show was the tree lighting ceremony at the library.  Her class sang under the tree before lighting it and having Santa come by on the fire truck!  Bringing us then inside for a few more holiday songs.  Yesterday she had her big show at school.  S has sang her classes songs as well as the kindergarten classes songs daily since learning.  She told me “mom when the big kids are singing I just sing along with them quietly!”  Before we left yesterday she said “Mrs. Breen tells us to sing loud so the people all the way in the back can hear our voices.”  Well, S did just that!  I wish I was a better videographer as I would love to share the show but I had K bumping and falling on me while I was doing so; resulting in a jumpy video:(  But S did not disappoint!  After Santa was there for pictures the kindergarten teacher stopped me and said “I have to tell you S did amazing!  I told Mrs. Breen we should just mic her.  She knew all the words and was so enthusiastic about singing.  You really have a singer on your hands!”  I had to laugh as at one point in the show I looked at my mom and we both started laughing as the only person you could hear singing was S!  She loves to perform and I truly do hope to get her in to something as she on numerous occasions let’s me know she wants to act like her cousin does.  Next Tuesday is K’s holiday show which I CAN NOT wait to see as he has not sang a peep this holiday season at home!  I asked him what songs they are singing at his show and he said “none” so this will be fun!  Look forward to sharing; hopefully I can get a good video to share!

So on to other news at the Lisenby’s!  I may or may not have mentioned we have taken our business a bit of a different direction.  Starting to make changes over the past couple months to prepare for the upcoming year.  Well as mentioned change can bring bumps in the road.  After 9 years of Joe dedicating himself to be the mason for a single contractor in our town and still doing side jobs in the evenings and weekends.  We have decided to part ways and focus on growing our business on more direct relations with homeowners.  Yes we have always done this but on the evenings and weekends.  Holding Joe to focus on very large homes that in the end were very stressful and to be honest not always having a huge return.  Not at any fault of the homeowners but that of add ons and extras that added up but truly didn’t turn a profit.  Sitting down we realized that we needed to take the reigns back over on our business.  Joe is a very talented individual and after doing a few larger side jobs he had realized he truly could be doing homes, outdoor sceneries, pools, etc. on his own.  He was designing, providing contacts and making money!  Joe has jobs booked until spring of 2016 without a contractor or any contact information on any of our vehicles.  It was time to lower the stress and get back to having evenings and at least Sundays with family.  Again I’m not saying doing these things is necessarily “NEW” to Joe or our business but now they will be our Monday-Saturday daytime focuses.  These changes have required much patients on my end.  This is where Joe and I are a good balance as I don’t have much patients and he has enough patients for the both of us!  Working through these months has taught me to BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!  I know this is standard for many families but I have never truly been a budget kind of girl!  I like to do what I want and when I want.  I have even went as far as to cut K’s hair on my own! YIKES!  He thought it was so fun as at first he said “No Mommy I go see Ms. Robin (our hairdresser), she cuts my hair” But then I made my office a barber and he was game.  Let’s just say I don’t plan to make this a regular activity!  K is not a kid with a look that says hey I can do a buzz cut so that wasn’t an option it was new scissors and try to tame the madness he had on top of his head!  Thankfully S has beautiful hair and doesn’t need a cut as she has decided when she does cut it she wants to donate it to someone who doesn’t have hair.  Which I encourage as I think it’s important to understand not everyone is as fortunate weather it be due to sickness or come up against tough times.  I’m a firm believer in carma and things happening for a reason.  At this moment I know this tough time is only to prepare us for possibly bumps in the future but also to remind us that as Joe keeps saying we have each other.  We are fortunate that the two of us continually remind each other that we can do this and it truly has made our relationship that much stronger.  Success doesn’t come overnight and without a lot of work.  So we will continue to bust our butts to see a different success in 2016!  One that we own 100%!  Here are a few projects Joe has been doing!  Please do check out our website at www.moonlightmasonry.com as well as follow on linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/moonlightmasonry

A few other happenings!  I have been back to running as when stress comes running seems to provide me that time alone that I need to clear my head and remind me this to shall pass.  While I begging myself to walk! LOL!  Since we stayed in town for the holiday I was able to join my uncle for a quick 5K the morning of Thanksgiving!  I have also been working on my painting chair project…this is a doozy!  Not sure when this is all said and done I will be rushing to start another upholstery re-do!  I just hope to have this done so I have another seat in the living room at Christmas!!

Well I have said an awful lot…as my family will agree I have never been short of words!  Until next time be well!

Amanda 10

Where Have I Been?!!

Hello Friends!

Its been forever since I have checked in and so much has been going on!  So while S & K sleep in I thought it was the perfect time!

S just hit fifty days of being in 4K!  Celebrating with a 1950’s day unfortunately after she sock hopped her cough and not feeling well hit her like a wall and I had to pick her up as she had a fever of 101.  We’ve had croup run it’s course just a few weeks ago with both kids and now this week started with K waking up after passing out in his bed before I even put sheets on it with a fever but fine by morning and now the week had ended with S.  I’m sure this has much to do with a few things but our weather has been so all over the board!  We have ranged from 35-71!  How can anyone’s body let alone a toddlers adjust.  I have never been someone to have allergies but this year has taken me by storm!  I’ve taken allergy pill almost every day this week which I haven’t taken them in a few weeks.  One thing I will say is I will take this weather over those little white things that are going to fall sooner than later!  One funny thing I have to share as last night Joe was giving S her cough medicine.  She HATES taking medicine so after a few requests I say “ok S do you want to have to go to the doctor and get a shot?”  her response “Mom, really are you really going there?” Like seriously that line worked when I was three it doesn’t work when I’m four!

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Fifty days in to the school year for both kids has been so fun so far!  I have had the opportunity to go help out in S’s class.  Joe went and carved pumpkins in her class for their fall festival party!  Next week week have conferences; I know seriously I can’t even imagine what her teacher will have to report!  We did get her progress report and was pleased to see she is doing very well.  Next Thursday is bring someone your thankful for in to school so Grandma is going and bringing music to have a dance party!  She also had her school pictures which may not be a big deal to some parents but for me this is a special day!  I mean this is what will be hanging on my walls for years to come and some day their significant others will see these.  As an adult there are many pictures not necessarily school pictures I would prefer not have surfaced for Joe to see!  But school pictures were always important when I was growing up.  Not to my mom but to me and my sisters!  I remember having my older sister curl my hair for the special day and picking out my favorite outfit!  S if you haven’t guessed S is kind of an actress herself so she too takes these days seriously so practicing her smile went on the night before and morning of!  We love how the pictures turned out!  I of course had to curl her hair again this year!!  K hasn’t had school pictures just yet but he is loving 3K and making some great friends!  WOW is he different from S at Montessori as S would daily paint and create pictures for us.  K does not like getting his hands to gross and painting poses an opportunity for this so I’m sure that’s why he has yet to bring me a painting.  But he has been doing metal inset books for me which I love!  He has taken to doing a lot with me at home in the kitchen mainly!  He has been baking and cooking with me almost daily!  S I remember enjoyed this at three as well she lately has been busy setting up her christmas decorations, etc. in her barbie house!  K is actually fantastic in the kitchen, I think and hope he sticks with it!  It’s often a good way for me to calm him down.  If he wakes up from nap crabby having him come in the kitchen to work on dinner almost immediately calms him down.  I find that baking does this for me.  A few weeks ago I found myself on a baking frenzy and had no idea why…well I was stressed and realized when I make my way to the kitchen it takes me away from those stresses that life can bring.


What else has had me away has been my love for re-finishing furniture!  My mom and I also have had ourselves prepping for a craft show where we had a holiday theme!  We have finished quite a few pieces and we are very happy to report that we have recently put our items in a local consignment shop; Simply Marvelous!  The shop is fantastic she has a bit of everything but not anything I wouldn’t love to purchase myself which is  a big part of why we think this location is a good fit for our furniture and hand made items.  A few things I have learned as we have worked with different brands of chalk paint is…everyone seems to be making it these days!  The prices vary from $5.95-$40.  I am someone who is willing to try all brands as I think all have a surface they work best on.  I will say I most recently purchased Rustoleum’s Chalk Paint and love the fact that their product comes in basic colors and you can have them mixed to create a variety of colors!  I have not tried Valspar’s Chalk Paint but have heard similar reviews.  So if you are looking for a suggestion mine is give them all a whirl until you find one that feels good for you and the surface you are working with!  Also, most expensive doesn’t always mean the best!  I will say brush quality does play an important role and spending a little more can give you a better finish.  So far synthetic has been my least favorite for what I’ve been working on and natural hair is becoming a favorite!  But again try them all as will even say the Dollar Store if you are using synthetic has actually been a decent brush!  My mom as you know is who paints with me and her paint brand of choice is Annie Sloan and she loves Annie Sloans Pure Bristle Brush.  I will agree it does provide nice coverage!  The brush is roughly $30 so worth the investment if you plan to do more than one project.  Ok so on to our projects completed and upcoming!

Provence Frame white washed.  Provence Shadow Box with a gold Antique.


Candlestick holders done in Annie Sloan Provence and Clear waxed to lighten.2015-12-01 10.54.57

Tool Box done with Annie Sloan Arles and Annie Sloan Dark Wax.  We left the inside as is.IMG_0325

End Table done with Provence Annie Sloan and Rustoleum White Linen.  Spray painted the feet and handle.  Left the inside of the drawer solid color to add some pop!2015-11-05 16.10.03

Small Round Table Top Almost Complete.  Done with Rustoleum Grey and White Washed.  The Chairs are wood with brown leather seats.  We have done the wood in grey and white washed and the seats in grey.  Finished picture to follow!IMG_0447

Basic Plain Ornaments Chalk Painted with Waverly’s Colors and softly Sandpapered to age a bit.IMG_0445

Clear Ornaments Mod Podged with a variety of holiday papers and glittered!IMG_0450-1

Rag Ball Ornaments using muslim and styrofoam balls

Different size jars used with a variety of size trees and fake snow.  Add a little holiday ribbon and viola! So cute on your mantel or entertainment center or really anywhere!


Dad made up these little golf ball snowmen and mostly mom and I decorated them!

How cute are snowmen!  Love these three are all mom handmade of muslin with adorable accessories!  The wood one is made of birch and accented with baby socks for hat and fabric scarves with button and hat accessories.  Each of the wood guys we made were different as far as accessories goes!

All I can say is I am thankful I have a mom who keeps all her random craft stuff as it has allowed us to try making so many fun holiday items!

Up next I am working on painting a chair…This is going to either be FANTASTIC or brought straight to the curb!  LOL!

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Another fun fact about me that you may or may not know I enjoy making 3D cakes.  This has not always been something I have been passionate about but when my contact moved out of state it was on me to start making the kids birthday cakes as I mean heaven forbid we have a non 3D cake!  So I have been doing their cakes and friends cakes mainly over the past year.  I am getting better but still have ALOT to learn!  Here are a few I’ve done!

Pac-Man for my nephews birthday that was celebrated at Level 257-fun game place for kids and adults!  A friends daughter celebrated her birthday with fairies in mind!  Here is her fairies house!  My other nephew celebrated his 4th birthday with a Thor cake!  Lastly another friends son who loves to hunt I made a deer head cake for!  As I said I’m getting better but starting out I used pre made items as in fondant but now I’m making my own marshmallow fondant and it works AMAZING so much better than store bought and a bunch cheaper!  If you do make your own remember it needs to set up so plan ahead.

Well we are working on holiday decorations and yes I am behind as usually my house’s decorations inside and out are complete.  I guess it’s better doing now than Christmas Eve!


Happy Saturday friends and I look forward to catching up again soon!! Cheers!

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The Holidays are Coming to an End!

How is it that we wait all year for one day and the excitement of that day goes so quick! I found myself sad about the day ending at 9am. Then again at 830pm. The initial thought or realization that Christmas Day is filled with so many great things. Yes at 715am S was up saying “I don’t think Santa came.” As she didn’t see any presents from the top of the stairs. She suggested we go down and feel around to see if there was any! K was still asleep so she assisted Joe on waking him which as to his normal grouchy wake up when not on his terms he was ecstatic as Santa might have come! We all went down the stairs and their eyes lit up as there WAS presents but first we had to go see if he ate the cookies and if Francesca and Frankie went back to the north pole with him! If I hadn’t mentioned previously Francesca and Frankie were the elves that arrived when we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving! Santa didn’t let them down crumbs and an empty cup of milk and notes from all three! Now back to the gifts!
Each of the kids received one big gift that wasn’t wrapped just covered with blankets but I told S they were furniture when we initially went downstairs so she told K to go sit on the little chair and she would hand out the gifts! Each did very well finding a spot on the couch and took turns opening gifts and sharing them with each other and excited with each others presents! The big gifts were an imaginarium train/car table and a Barbie house which I posted about a bit ago. S loved the house little does she know “Santa” aka Dad was up at 1230am putting the finishing touches on the stone fireplace and finishing up grouting two of the rooms! The things we do for our kids!

The house still has a lot of details to be added.  This will be an ongoing project as now that I see in her room and how she is using certain spaces I’m glad I didn’t finish it completely as the second bedroom for example is actually a really cute pet room so we will accessorize with this theme.  All lighting in the house works but I think we will add additional lights.  Everything except the lights, bed, toilet, and stove I made of old boxes/containers I had around the house!  The bath is made of an ice cream container and a bag of stones bought at the dollar store.  The bed side table is simply a tiny ball jar with fabric.  The kitchen table is a candle holder and painted piece of scrap wood.   Both kids had a great morning and immediately and since have played non stop with all their new gifts.  All stone/tile/carpet flooring I bought at Lowe’s on their clearance cart.  The wood floor is contact paper that looks like wood from the dollar store.  The Christmas tree and decorations I found at Goodwill.  The bed side lamp and christmas tree lights are also dollar store finds!  The fireplace Joe took stones from around our pond out back!


After all the excitement of two toddlers opening gifts it was coffee time and that’s when I initially thought WOW that seemed to fly by and in a few hours we would have fifteen guests arriving to celebrate this wonderful day with us! My sister, her husband and two boys are in the country from India which they weren’t last Christmas so I was excited to have them here to spend time together and of course my two other siblings with their families our parents and my aunt and uncle with their family! Just a day with loved ones which is what it is all about. But knowing it would be done so quick and then back to our normal routines made me feel a little bummed. Again, all that anticipation for this day and within fourteen hours it’s all over. Gifts were exchanged and Santa arrived to hand out more gifts and do some stories and singing with the kids! We served broccoli cheese soup, ham, vegetable casserole, sweet potato soufflé, and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert! Ugly sweaters are a fun tradition we have started and the adults do a white elephant gift exchange after dinner which is always a good laugh! We ended up with a shotgun toilet plunger.  After this is usually time for everyone to start packing up.  The kids are all pretty exhausted K actually passed out on the couch before dinner with his coat and hat on!  We read a bit in their beds with them and then it’s off to dreaming of all the wonderful things they did and received throughout the day!  After they are tucked in and fast asleep we plop on the couch and take a minute to appreciate all the wonderful moments we had with our loved ones.  Then I think “why can’t this day last just a bit longer?” Well it is what it is and appreciating the time we have with them and making that day a great one is all we can do and we definitely accomplished this so off to bed we went feeling lucky to have all we do.

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday however you may have celebrated it!



I’m Crafting!

Ok so if you have been following over the past few months you have noticed I love to have a little controlled chaos in my world. I’m not talking about my toddlers at least today! I am someone who on average has two to five projects going on at once! So over the past few weeks I’ve started a few things and finally completed them. It may also be a case of when time does permit I’m not in the mood. So here we go!
First you may remember the old barn window I bought for $5 at a flea market this past summer well after sanding, chalk painting and adding a little chicken wire I have a great new place to hang pictures or kids artwork!

Having a little girl who as my mother says is definitely mine as her strong-willed personality at times can be challenging. Which I have now apologized to my mom for! She suggested I make her some activities to do at home or when out and about as she is very smart and loves school. So continuing to challenge her when not at school might be a good idea. So I noticed so many great quiet books being created and patterns, etc. on Pinterest! I was borrowing my cousins sewing machine so figured I mine as well try my hand at making one. Prior to making K’s Halloween costume I maybe used a sewing machine once. I am also not good at using patterns so I just ran with my own ideas. Some yes inspired by ones I had seen. By no means is the end product perfect. But what made me feel especially great about my work is when I showed S. As we looked at it she didn’t look too enthused so I said “do you like it?” She replied “Are you kidding mom, we don’t like it…We LOVE it!” This girl! Love her!
Back to my mention of the original reason I borrowed the sewing machine. The kids wanted to be Elsa and Olaf for Halloween this year. As did every kid age two to twelve! My mom rocks at sewing and S knows this. So she called grandma to create her Elsa costume. I was determined to do Olaf. I again researched patterns and ideas for inspiration. The day of Halloween I was sewing the final costume I created. Never had made one I think it turned out pretty good. He looked cute as a button! Plus I stuffed it with my felt scraps so there was no waste and he was warm as it was pretty chilly. S had her snow pants on under her dress. I also made S’s hair piece as I wasn’t about to spend twenty-five dollars on something she may or may not wear and I was sure I could whip up! This too turned out and she actually wears it all the time!
Not sure about your house but mine has packed up Halloween and started Christmas decorating! I know we are crazy. You’re thinking what about thanksgiving which I do love decorating for but if you remember a few posts ago I put all that up with my ghosts and goblin decorations. So I left some of those rustic items up but slowly moving out. My mom gave me a large wreath actually I was at their house and said I like that. Mom took it down and gave it to me! She has my dad making shadow boxes for I think every inch of free wall space they have so this freed up more room for these! Anyway, I love wood letters and so I’ve wrapped, glittered, painted and found a smaller wreath for my “O” creating NOEL! I think it turned out great and cost me $10!
Joe too has had his hand in on the crafting this week! We try to get a few family pictures when we visit Georgia as my sister-in-law is a photographer and does beautiful work. In hopes of squeezing in a few pictures at this years visit once joe heard of my idea for clothing and props he had to take it a step further! I have the family all in some type of buffalo plaid item. Would love to have a picture of the kids pulling a small pine. Joe said I will bring the ax and I want to carve a stump too. Well we have a few of these around our property so he brought one in. Shaved some bark off, carved in a “L” and took the torch to it! I will admit he is pretty creative and do think this will look great incorporated into our picture!
Last I had to quick share Joe put the siding on the garage today! We are going to use the Eco Wood product I mentioned in a previous post. We will wait until spring to add this product but I’m happy to see the siding up. Here are a few pictures.
I have one or two more things to complete this week and look forward to sharing. Until then have a great Sunday and if you had snow like we did today stay warm and safe!