Elf’n Around

Look who made Santa’s Helper list! Smokey is ready to help build toys and help feed the reindeers!

It’s the little elf hat for me! I love a good find and a cute pet costume…put them both together and DOUBLE SCORE! Doesn’t he look dashing in his Dollar Tree Elf costume? Yup, Dollar Tree! He’s a skinny thing under all that hair/fur so a size Large was a great fit! Stay tuned for his Santa outfit!

Holiday Fuss

2020 has been a year of _________ (fill in the blank).

Creativity. Through adversity we’ve launched a new business venture, Art Effect Kid, LLC and Kid Coffee, as well as revamped our website. It’s also been a year of fun house projects. My first and biggest decorating project for the Thanksgiving holiday was setting my dining table, Pinterest-style.

The center of my theme was a black and white damask table cover from Dollar Tree. I was quite surprised at how well it fit. Although it didn’t hang as long as I preferred, once the chairs were in place the cover’s shortness of length was less noticeable.

Figuring out exactly how to set the table was a bit of trial and error. Every fancy table setting has candles so I figured that would be a good place to start. I grabbed my fav vintage brass candle holders and “good dishes”, the only full set I have without any dings. Even after covering the gray dining chairs with a mustard yellow cover (courtesy of Wish.com), I was underwhelmed with the overall look. The table was drab. What am I missing?

When I wasn’t sure what direction to go in, I kept going back to these saved pins from Pinterest. The gold spray painted pumpkin was a bit over the top for me, but I loved the pop of color and it also reminded me that I had real pumpkins that I could use. The table garland also gave me the idea to create my own using craft supplies around the house!

The transformation was fun and exciting! I created the table centerpiece by wrapping an artificial Hanging Eucalyptus Bush (used in my DIY: Globe Hanging Planter) around my brass candle holders and a glass hurricane. For florals, I used Dollar Tree peonies and red roses. I love how the colors created a romantic, moody vibe. For a touch of fall décor, I added a small orange and white pumpkin. The napkins and cutlery were also Dollar Tree! No need to fuss with fancy napkin folding with these “ready sets”. The black champagne flutes were an estate sale find, however there’s a similar set available on Amazon (Artland Flute Glasses/$64.00). To tie it all together and add a bit of fancy, I included personalized table number frames from, yup Dollar Tree!

Since I was on a roll, why not create my own menus!

I’ve always prepared a menu to keep track of groceries to buy and meal prep. Since fancy on a budget was the motive, I decided to print a black and white menu showcasing the appetizers, main course, side dishes and dessert. The rosemary branch was from my backyard-a convenient and personal touch!

Love the idea of having a Thanksgiving or Holiday menu? Download my menu template and create your own.


Here’s a final look at my Thanksgiving table setting! I purchased a second table cover to create an outdoors table setting as well. Don’t’ forget to include you balcony, patio or backyard as an option to enjoy appetizers or dessert.

Always Giving Thanks

This year has been full of lessons for us all. My prayer is that we will become stronger because of it. I know that I have. I’ve learned to slow down, be in the moment and never, ever take loved ones for granted. The pandemic painted a perfect picture of what can wait and what can‘t. Spending time with family is something I am no longer willing to push to the side. With that, my grateful list on today is short and sweet. I am grateful to be alive, healthy and loved.

It was important for me to show my gratitude this year in an extravagant way. It may seem silly to go about a lot of fuss for a party of three (myself, son and brother), but life is too short. I’m no longer waiting for that special moment to bring out the “good dishes” or wear that “special outfit”. Everyday should be a fancy occasion.
I may have gone a bit overboard with decorating the backyard patio!

A Letter To Society

Comparison is the thief of joy. This also goes for when others compare you to the norm. For so long, I questioned why I wasn’t more a certain way. The answer is simple: life isn’t meant to be lived in a box.

Dear Society,

You can keep your box.

For so long I questioned why I didn’t enjoy the monotone, barely there, beige is the new black-modern, minimalist decor aka be like the Kim Kardashian’s of the world. Fact is, I’m more of a Drew Barrymore. A wild flower that doesn’t want to be picked. The things I love most have a story to tell. That rug. Found buried under boxes at a garage sale. That lamp. Found at a thrift shop-surprised it actually works. That couch. Found sitting in a driveway and when it was too big to fit in my car, the owners loaded it in their vehicle and delivered it for free!

If everything is too new, too perfect, too perfectly placed, the space itself loses its soul. Treasured finds are constantly in rotation, drifting from room to room in search of the perfect home. And when I no longer feel a connection, I store them for a later inspiration or release them back into the universe. From thrift it came, to thrift it return.

This also reflects my philosophy on life. My closest friends are those who were drawn to me, where the bond was instant. When I feel a shift in energy, I pause to give it a chance to autocorrect and, if not, I give myself permission to walk away. I am incapable of making decisions too far in advance. I leave things up to chance and honor how I feel at the moment. I embrace small doses of chaos and the unknown, if everything is too perfectly still and predictable the normalcy drives my crazy.

I’ve learned to accept my oddities. Move that rug for the hundredth time unapologetically. Avoid accidents as I swerve across multiple lanes to follow an estate sale sign. I’ve learned to be more of ME and love every indecisive, need to get a grip, so what if this doesn’t match I’m wearing it, unrelenting, wild child minute. And although I may look back from time to time and wish I was more like the rest, I know no matter how hard I try, the box will never fit.

Cabin Life the Ancient Way


All I need is a café and a cabin (preferably dubbed the Horse)….in the middle of a small town, population 300.

Featuring :Ancient Way Café, El Morro RV Park & Cabins in Ramah,NM.

 

Backhanded Compliment

It’s the attempted delivery of a compliment but once received we don’t quite know where to put the Thank You! You know, the ones that start with “I love your shirt!” 🙂 but ends with “But I would NEVER wear that color!” 😦 

Yeah…that moment

Sometimes a back handed compliment is simply when a person opens their mouth and inserts foot- on accident. Most times its on purpose. Be mindful of a bitter person trying to steal your joy. Never be afraid to live bold, take a chance and take the unbeaten path. 

So the next time someone backhand slaps you with a few uncouth words…Protect Your Joy. Live in Your Truth, Mistakes and Discoveries. Smile. Show The World That Happiness Looks Good On You!


Life Lessons

For the past 6 months I’ve been completing what should have been a 5-day inspirational plan titled How Do I Find My Calling? This plan helped me to dig deep and reach the surface of my insecurities. A much needed soul cleansing. I’ve decided to share the plan and a few of my responses.

Question: If you could do anything you wanted to do, you had unlimited time to get further training, unlimited money, and you could not fail, what would you do?

My Response:

  • Be a writer/journalist
  • Own a consignment/vintage/thrift store

Task/Assignment: When discerning your calling, it is helpful to give a thoughtful examination of your life. Note what you have enjoyed doing and feel like you have done well. List at least three illustrations in each period of your life: grade school, junior high, high school, college, post-college.

  • What kinds of challenges trigger your motivations.
  • How and why you are motivated to learn.

MY RESPONSE: I realized a common denominator throughout my entire life is CREATIVITY and more importantly using CREATIVITY TO EXPRESS MYSELF when going thru personal challenges. When work and life is overwhelmingly stressful (my trigger) I cope by immersing myself in a CREATIVE project (my motivations).

My BUSINESS side is what keeps me motivated to learn. It’s my strong side; my “get her done”. It’s the side of me that excels in the workplace and walks confidently in a boardroom. She is relentless and goes after whatever she wants. Unfortunately, there 
comes a point where I become tired, bored or not challenged enough, or even afraid of my own strength (my trigger) which motivates me to switch to creative projects (my motivations).


Final Conclusion: So often I feel torn between my CREATIVE and BUSINESS side. My feelings are if I’m in creative mode, then I’m not focused on business (work/real-life responsibilities). As of now this blog represents my creative side. After  my uncle passed away I found the motivation to begin my blog, but truthfully the idea long existed. Dealing with loss gave me the courage to follow a dream. It was the push I needed. I’m still working on establishing a business from my creative talents. I’ve been dreaming about it, mentally developing a business plan, secretly researching ideas and opportunities. I just need another push to bring both worlds together-for good.


I challenge you to answer these questions for yourself. What have you learned about your own triggers?


Motivated By Death

As I travel to say my goodbyes to my dear uncle who suddenly passed away from pancreatic cancer, I can’t help but notice all the empty promises I have made, the to-do list I never finished and the dreams I half accomplished.

At this moment, life has never felt shorter. As the scripture resonates within my soul, no one knows the day or hour.  By acknowledging death we are truly able to live for today. It is when we overlook and underestimate time that it catches us off guard and desperately unprepared. I know that one day we must all leave this earth, so from this moment on I choose to be motivated by the present. For it is what we do in the present that dictates our life after death.