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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dress It Up With Thrifted Goodies!

I have always loved thrifting!

When I was in college, the majority of my clothes were thrifted.  I would frequent the secondhand stores in search of "old man shirts" with snap buttons and wide-collared, polyester tops.  My style was very unique (that is to say, "odd") and I loved it!  I wore bell bottoms.  I thought I was a hippie.  I listened to Cat Steven's, "Catch Bull At Four," incessantly.

Now I like to go thrifting for other things:  ugly frames I can refurbish for my home, novels that have been read once, and old jewelry I can revamp...which is what my latest creation involved!

I had this old bag:

It was cute, the color was nice, and I liked the shape. was lacking a little zip, a little sass!  I went to a thrift store and found all kinds of inexpensive treasures.  A pretty scarf, some plastic pearls, a gold chain, and some "Granny brooches."  It would have been easy to overlook these items, but I saw their potential!  (And isn't that one of the important mantras of thrifting?  "See the potential!")   

I fired up my trusty glue gun and went to work.  First, I wrapped the scarf around the bag.  I glued it into place in a couple of spots, then tied it in the front.  Next, I took the pearls and the chain and wrapped them around the scarf.  I periodically glued those into place as well.

Lastly, the finishing touches...the brooches!  I attached them to the front of the bag, in front of the knot.  And, viola!  ZIP and SASS!

Isn't it cute?  And charming and unique and fun?!  It was very inexpensive and super easy to make.  (The best kind of project, if you ask me!)  If you choose to create something similar, the possibilities for originality are endless.  Think of all the colors and textures and old jewelry you could play with.  What a hoot!

Have fun thrifting and creating, my friends!      

Monday, February 25, 2013

For Me

Tonight, I write this post for me.  To remember the dreams I had as a young girl.

Sometimes, when I close my eyes I can see her.  A skinny girl--with crooked teeth and knobby knees--sitting in the grass in the backyard, hunkered over a notepad.  A pencil in her hand.  An idea in her head.  A desire in her heart to create.

Stories would unfold on those white sheets of paper.  Stories of kings who lost their crowns, and two robins who loved popcorn.  Stories of plane crashes and baseball games; stories of being lost at sea and finding love.  No matter the story, when that young girl picked up her pencil and let the words flow like water, she knew one thing, with a surety, with gusto:

She wanted to be a writer.

I open my eyes and I see me as I am.  A woman with a home, a husband, two small children, and dear friends.  A woman with a blog and a wicked sweet tooth; a woman with a Diet Coke fetish.  A woman who laughs as much as she cries, who wants good things from her simple life.  But...the dream of the girl is still alive in the woman's heart, vibrant and electric and real.  "Write.  Write.  Write," it whispers, "Find your story.  You can do it.  Write it down."

But how?

How do we make our own dreams come true?  When wishing stars are masked by occasional storm clouds, when Fairy Godmothers seem too busy for house calls, when feelings of failure frequently settle on our shoulders?  How on earth do we do it?

Perhaps...deep-down inside of myself, in that tender place in my heart...I already know the answer.

You set a goal.  Make a plan.  Work hard.  Cling to hope.  You refuse to give up when everyone and everything is telling you you should.  You fight for what you want.  You sweat blood and tears.  You remember your dreams and believe in yourself.  Know that you can do it.   

Because you can, skinny girl.  Grown woman.  Believer in dreams.

You can, you can, you can... 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We Need Each Other

When I was in college, I read a book written by a couple of psychologists, Roy F. Baumeister and Mark R. Leary.  Apparently, these two "really smart dudes" conducted a study on the fact that a great deal of human behavior, emotion, and thought is caused by the need to be accepted by someone.  According to Baumeister and Leary, the desire to form relationships is nearly universal among human beings, and it is a fundamental human motivation.  Our well-being and happiness is dependent upon close relationships!

Simply put, and in "Mama Leisha" terms:  We all need love, people!  We need each other.

We need each other for encouragement.

For peace and hope.

For motivation.

For laughter.

For inspiration.

For joy.

And for friendship.

Mother Teresa said, "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."  What a gift we have, that we are able to "feed" those around us.

Remember to be kind to each other, my friends.
Remember to take care of each other.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What You Probably Don't Know...

Today was a big day for "the mama!"

I made my debut on live and local TV, as KSL's, "Blog of the Week."  How spiffy is that?!  I was nominated by my incredible sissy-in-law, Camille (who I happen to think is the "Blogger of the Century"), and it was more fun than that time I met Phil Collen (of Def Leppard fame) in Laguna Beach.  I mean, come on...Blog of the Week?!  What a neat honor!  What a wonderful opportunity to appear on the channel 5 news!

For your viewing pleasure, I have uploaded the clip of my segment in this post.  BUT...before you watch, I wanted to share a couple of candid and "behind-the-scenes" and deeply personal things with you, that you probably don't know.  Ready?!

What You Probably Don't Know About My KSL Gig   

1.) I was so nervous I listened to Justin Timberlake's, "Suit and Tie," FIVE times before I left for the studio.  FIVE TIMES IN A ROW!  Because that song is sexy and that Mr. Timberlake is smooth, and I needed something like that to mellow me out.

2.) I had been sicker than a dog (what does that expression even mean?) for more than a week.  Today was the FIRST day I put makeup on in about 9 days.  And I wore A LOT of hide my sickly little face.

3.) Today was the FIRST day I did my hair in about 9 days.

4.) Today was the FIRST day I got dressed in something other than pajama pants and guessed it...about 9 days.  

5.) In an act of brilliance, I chose to wear a cat sweater.  This was strategic; a way to detract from my "still recovering from a gnarly sinus infection" self.  (You can't tell how sick I've been if you're distracted by all those cats!)  This was also the reason for the red lipstick!

6.) I said a prayer in the parking garage when I arrived at the KSL building.

7.) I was so nervous and excited about being the "Blog of the Week" that I told all the people riding in the studio elevator about it.

8.) Scott Haws, the host of Browser 5.0, is very charming and sweet.  PLUS, he has FIVE kids...and his oldest is sixteen!  If you ask me, he looks really great for his age.  (And for having scary teenagers in the house!)  I even told him that.

Photo courtesy of KSL and  Please forgive me for "altering it" a bit.
9.) When my gig was over, I drove across the street to the Crown Burger.  I celebrated "not passing out on air" with a Diet Coke and an order of fries.  Naturally, I drowned those beautiful taters in fry sauce.

THANK YOU, Camille for nominating me!  THANK YOU, Libby (a producer), for contacting me!  THANK YOU, Scott, for making me feel comfortable in your scary world of cameras and microphones!  THANK YOU, kind people at KSL, for taking care of me today!  And THANK YOU, readers and friends and loved ones, for making me ridiculously happy, for indulging me in my "bloggy hobby," and for being true lights in my life.   

You are waaaaay cooler than meeting Phil Collen!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Make Waffles!

I said goodbye to my mom, hung up the phone, and promptly started to bawl.

Throughout our conversation, she had said all the lovely things a good mama says, things like:  "I'm proud of how you've handled this," and, "You've been very brave," and, "I know things will get better."  But the truth was, I wasn't feeling very brave.  I wasn't feeling like my trials were ever going to abate.  In actuality, I was feeling discouraged and depressed!

The last couple of weeks have been pretty "bumpy" for me.  I have had the flu and a bad sinus infection.  I have spent hours in Urgent Care.  I have had my ears irrigated, resulting in a crazy bout of vertigo that has lasted for days.  I have been taking large doses of antibiotics that leave my poor tummy in knots and cramps.  I haven't washed my hair in a week.  I haven't left my bed in five days.  I've been through two full boxes of tissue and a gallon of orange juice.  My poor children have watched movies until their brains turned mushy, have eaten a steady diet of Cheetos and peanut butter cookies.

I am tired.  I am sick of being sick.  I really need to shave my armpits.

So--after a good cry fest--I dried my tears, threw my bed covers off of me, and went downstairs to the kitchen.  I rummaged through the cupboards and drawers until I located my Belgian waffle maker.  I did the only reasonable thing I could do.

I made waffles.

Golden, crispy on the outside, soft and flaky on the inside, waffles.  The sizzle of the batter against the hot plates, the smell of the waffles cooking, the pat of butter on the waffle ready to eat, the sweetness of the maple was like magic.  It was like sunshine and a baby's laugh and a fresh coat of nail polish.  It was like a friendly text from a loved one and a Diet Coke being poured over ice; a shining moment that seemed to say, "Everything is okay."  It was a reminder of the good stuff.  The simple pleasures life offers.

Life is hard; unequivocally challenging.  There are dark days and rough patches, moments of despair and heartache.  But beneath the surface of our trials--hidden in the cracks of our pain--lies a beautiful idea: We can find joy in the little things.  We can recall the things we are grateful for, no matter how small they may seem, and find a bit of sunshine in them.

When in doubt, my friends, make waffles!           

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Romantic Giveaway--Oh La La!

Sometimes you really wanna get away! I am so all about helping you out with that. Today we are giving away a one night stay at a Marriott hotel. What's that? I'm amazing. Thanks.

I'm not the only amazing one. Some friends {amazing bloggers} are helping out with this giveaway as well.

Here's how it works:
     --We're giving away a hotel stay in your home town (or the closest Marriott to you).
     --You have to use the stay within one month of the giveaway.
     --This is supposed to be romantic so if I were you I would leave the kids with Grandma.

To enter:
     --Follow all of the bloggers that are making this awesome giveaway possible on Pinterest. {Links below} We would love to share our inspirations and ideas with you via Pinterest!
     --Once you've done this, leave a comment letting us know that you did it.
     --You can also get one entry for every blog you like on Facebook!

A winner will be chosen on Monday, February 11 at noon.

She Calls Me Mama Leisha on Pinterest Brassy Apple on Pinterest Organize and Decorate Everything on Pinterest Posh Ideas on Pinterest Jani Serendipity on Pinterest Girl Loves Glam on Pinterest Butter with a side of Bread on Pinterest The Potters Place on Pinterest Our Thrifty Ideas on Pinterest Entirely Eventful on Pinterest

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Why I Love My Kid

Why I Love My Kid:
A Conversation after Bathtime

I wrapped the fluffy, yellow towel around Lilly's little body as I helped her out of the tub.  Soapy bubbles pooled at her feet and settled between her toes.  She shimmied and shook and jumped in place, like a corn kernel ready to pop.

"Mom!  Mom!  I'm freezing," she said.

"Your clothes are in the dryer," I replied.  "I have to go and get them.  In the meantime, go put your socks and undies on."

My brown-eyed babe just stared at me; partly perplexed, and almost frozen in her nakedness.

"Um...what?," she asked.

"Please go put your undies on," I said, again.

Lilly sighed, shuffled her feet, and looked to the tiled floor.  She didn't say anything, and my "overtly-prone-to-worry-and-jump-to-conclussions," irrational heart wondered if she was having some kind of "episode."  I waited for her to say something.

"Mom," she whispered, "what are undies?"

"OH!  Lilly!  'Undies' is another word for underwear!  Undies, underwear, panties...they're all the same."

"Oh, okay," Lilly said, nodding, looking relieved.  As she walked into her bedroom, she said, "I was wondering what you were saying.  That's cool you know Spanish. undies Spanish for panties?"