Friday, December 5, 2014

A Southern Living Christmas-McKinney Home Decor

One of the many things I love about the Holiday season is decorating. Not only decorating my own home but also
taking delight in other people's homes and their beautiful decor.
This year I decided to incorporate some vintage children's items so my granddaughter could enjoy them.

The vintage teddy bear was obtained about 12 years ago in an antique shop. I love the character on his face. 
 I've kept him in storage for years but now he is finally out and ready to mingle with a certain 16 month old girl.

You can see him seated here on a vintage rocking chair waiting for Santa to arrive :)

Our pug, Molly, photobombing us!

 a close up of the tree and bear.
I love the way it looks in black and white too.

The stockings hanging from the mantle were made by my mother out of burlap and fabric. 
We love them and will treasure them as they will become family heirlooms.

I love getting inspired by looking at the many Christmas decor ideas found every where. I especially liked reading this book

Do you see the gorgeous photographs inside the book? It is chock full of ideas plus sooo many recipes!!
I am in love with it!
I keep it on my side table in our living room.
Everyone loves to read this book.
It is Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South
Wouldn't this make a wonderful gift?
The good folks at Southern Living sent me this fantastic book to review and I highly recommend it.
You won't be able to put it down OR put it away for that matter.
I can't decide which recipe I want to try first.
So what special things do you include in your holiday decor?
Want to get inspired?
Get the Southern Living 
Christmas All Through the South 
at your favorite bookstore.

 Have a great weekend!

**this post is to review the book named above. I received a free book to review but my opinions are my own.**

photographs in the book are copy right of Southern Living
all other photos are copyright 
Patricia Martinez Photography

Friday, November 28, 2014

Preparing For Life's Ups and Downs

Happy Thanksgiving to all my lovely readers.
We had a wonderful time going out to eat at our favorite resort up in Lake Texoma. What a blessing it is to spend our time with our friends and loved ones.
I am especially thankful that I am here to make new memories. As you may have read before, 3 years ago I suffered a pretty serious brain injury. You can read about it here.
Needless to say, I am quite cognizant of our limited time we may have with our loved ones.
{my granddaughter and I}
I am also here to share with you that setting up an emergency fund should be a top priority in everyone of our lives. 
An emergency fund can help us get through the rough times, such as when we experience a medical emergency, lose our job, or face an unexpected expense. 
Several years ago, I opened an emergency account and had my employer take $50 out of each paycheck and put it into that account thru direct deposit. Having that $50 each paycheck go towards and emergency fund helped to get us through several rough times. It got to be that I didn't miss that "extra" money from my check. 
If you can afford to put more into your emergency fund, please do so. Now is a good time to start yourself on the path to financial peace of mind. 

And with that being said, I'd like to share how Capital One 360 is helping people like you and me start an emergency fund.

From November 28th to December 1st, 2014 when you open either a checking or savings account you can earn $100 with Capital One 360.

 You can find out more about this here: 
Capital One 360 Black Friday Sale
 I actually  have had a Capital One 360 account for several years. This is why I believe and put my trust in this type of account:

  • Capital One 360 products are designed to save consumers time and money. From online to their mobile app, Capital One 360 is with customers 24/7.
  • Capital One 360 Checking and 360 Savings are fee-free and earn interest.
  • {Did you read that? No fees and they EARN interest}
  • Capital One 360 offers remote deposit capture with Capital One 360's CheckMate tool and make savings a snap with the Automatic Savings Plan 
In addition, Capital One 360 is also offering deals on some of their other products like: 
Home Loans
and even the refer a friend deal where you get $40 for sharing this great deal with friends!

How cool is that?!
 So start saving up for that emergency fund today.
You'll be glad you did tomorrow.
Have a great holiday weekend.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Recipe: Caramel Popcorn and Halloween 2014

I had a hankerin' for some good ole' fashioned
caramel popcorn and this easy recipe did NOT dissapoint.
Here's what you'll need:

I medium bowl of plain popcorn (microwave or air popped)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
dash of vanilla 
12 large marshmallows

I used my air popper to pop the corn. 
 Then I melted my butter in a saucepan. 
I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed them while stirring. Lastly, I added the marshmallows and melted them into the mixture.

Immediately pour it on the popcorn and using a spoon coat all the popcorn.
Transfer to a glass baking dish and enjoy!! 

Sinfully gooey and delicious!!

And last but not least, here are a few pics of my last minute Halloween decorations. First up my  mantle. 

The stencils for the wood blocks were cut with my new Cricut Explore which I absolutely love!!
The cat face was also cut with the cricut.
We put the outdoor decorations the day before Halloween. Talk about cutting it close. For some reason I haven't been in my "game" this year for decorating :(
These are our Nightmare Before Christmas themed decorations that we made as a family years ago.

 My sweet little guy dressed up as an old time photographer/"press guy" as he called it. 

Easy and snazzy don't you think?

The camera is a working Pentax film camera. 
It's from the 1970s I think.

So much fun. 
Enjoy the cool weather!



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Days and State Fair of Texas 2014

You thought I had disappeared for good didn't you?
Ha! I've just been so busy with life that I hadn't had a chance to share any projects here. 
A couple of weeks ago, we enjoyed the cooler weather by going to the State Fair of Texas. 
A kind co-worker gave us free passes! Score!
We went on a Tuesday when the majority of the rides are 1/2 price. We mostly like to go and walk around and see the car show. 
I don't like to ride the rides :/
My youngest son does.

Here's a few pics of our day there:

 We also went to the pumpkin patch and took some pics of my grandbaby:

She's growing so fast!
I'll be back with some projects. I promise!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Protect Your Privacy and Your iPhone

am reviewing this awesome pouch for your smartphone simply because it
has been so hard to find something that truly protects your phone.
before I get into the positives, I'd like to point out that this is a
protective case. You cannot talk while it is in its case.
With that being said, I received a free Snugg case for me to review. 
I did not receive any compensation for this and I only will share what I really like with you guys.
case is for my iPhone 4S but they have them for a variety of phones. I
like it because I can carry it in my purse without having my phone get
all scratched up. 
can also keep it on my desk at work ready to make a call while still
maintaining privacy in case I step away and I receive a text or phone
In the past, I'd have to cover up my phone with a note pad or anything I could find when I stepped away. 
Here's how it works:


 The case itself is very well made and is aesthetically pleasing.

    Snugg also makes cases for other phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy. I'm thinking of getting one for my iPad as well.

It would be so useful when traveling :)

This would make a great gift especially with the holidays creeping up on us (did I just type that?!)

The Snugg iPhone 4/4S Pouch Case in premium distressed brown leather.

case has been designed to provide the perfect fit for your iPhone 4/4S.
The sides have been reinforced to give a sturdy and supportive hold,
while the soft, brown, nubuck fibre interior, keeps your phone snugg and
free from scratches. With a brown stitch finish along all the edges and
the Snugg logo pressed into the corner, this case looks and feels high
quality. We've included a great, easy to access place to keep business,
bank and oyster cards - there is a card slot on the back of the case!
the front of the case there is a tab, debossed with the Snugg icon,
which pulls out to pop your iPhone out of the pouch. The tab is on a
strong elastic strap that retracts quickly back into place when you
release it. The tab is also magnetic so it sticks to the side of the
case, meaning it always stays in place.
We think this product is great, it also comes in black leather and a tan suede. As with all our products it comes with the Snugg Promise of high quality materials and craftsmanship and a Lifetime Guarantee.

Anywho, I think you guys would like this case and I thought I'd share my thoughts about it with you. Again, I think it affords the most protection because your screen is completely covered. It does have small speaker perforations on the bottom so you can hear it. 

You can buy them here:

And I am really loving this stylus pen that attaches 
to your smartphone or tablet via the earphone jack.

 Can you say "clean screen"? 
Yeah, my iPad and phone's screens are yucky. 

Come back soon as I share more of the things I like and my DIY projects. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Product Review: Skindanavia Make Up Primer Spray

This is a sponsored post. The good folks at Skindanavia sent me a free sample to try and tell you what I think of their product. All opinions are 100% mine. 
 Skindanavia Makeup Primer Spray

Now if you are like me, you dread the summer. Not only for the heat, but for the oily mess your face will become, especially the forehead. 
I have VERY oily skin.  I always, always struggle with shinyness on my forehead and nose. So much so that even my kids come up to me and wipe my forehead :(
When Skindanavia contacted me to see if I'd like to try their product I jumped at the chance. 
I have tried almost everything. The blotter papers, the special corn silk powders, oily control foundations, etc. Nothing worked. I was a bit skeptical with this primer spray but I gave it a try.
I spray it in an X form over my face and wait about a minute before I apply my make up. 
Lo and behold my shinyness was not bothersome at all!
All day long I could see where my makeup had begun to fade by noon but the oilyness was not very noticeable. 
I loved it!
I now use it everyday. 
Try it for yourself.
Heck I'll even give you a bottle. 
Leave your name and why you need this make up primer spray and I will choose a winner on August 30th, 2014 at 10 p.m. CDT. Winner picked by
Shipped to the continental US only please.
In the meantime, check out their website. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Saturday at the Dallas Arboretum

 Staycation 1

This Saturday I decided to take the boys and my grandbaby out to the Dallas Arboretum. They are having $1 days everyday in August including the new Children's Garden!!

 We went right as they opened at 9 a.m. because we knew it would be stifling hot.
They allow you to bring in coolers so we packed up a small insulated tote with water bottles and a frozen pack.
We also brought along some snacks and a portable misting fan.
I tell you that was a life saver. 
Here is the gorgeous entrance and a few photos from the Children's Garden from their website:

 This is the plant lab inside the Exploration Center. We took respite from the heat in this really cool building. My sweet grandbaby loved exploring and feeling things out! 

                                     My not-so-little guy loved exploring the outdoor hydro power station. It served to cool him off some too!
And how about this gorgeous sculpture?! We were in awe with all the beautiful flowers. We will become members for sure so we can return again and again. Before we left I had my big guy take a quick pic of me and my grandbaby. 
Time goes by so fast that I want to record every moment of our lives through pictures.

What fun things have you done this summer?

P.S. don't forget to enter my summer giveaway here:



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