Heist Ice Baby

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Because I could never pass up an opportunity to remix a rap song…

 

Alright stop, collaborate and listen:

Wait, Ice is a thief and headed to prison???

They say that the cops grabbed a hold of him tightly,

After breakin’ into houses daily and nightly.

Will he ever stop? Yo, I don’t know –

It’s boosting the ratings of his show.

To the extreme he renovates like a vandal,

Lootin’ neighbors houses it was a scandal.

Secondhand, the decor in his room,

Cuz he snatched it up, even took their broom!

In trouble, as I play this dope melody,

Cuz VanWinkle’s facing a felony.

Love it or leave it, Hey the shit was free!

At least so he thought when he stepped on the scene.

If there’s a problem, Rob will solve it

Checking with the network, can they dissolve it?

“Heist Ice” baby, he’s plottin’ heists, Ice Baby…

Now that the apprentice is “Trumping”

And he’s back to his daily humping.

He’s quick to the point, or to the joint, no faking,

Because of all the loot that he’s been taking.

Steadily, as he crept in windows

chandeliers, tv’s and stereos

I guess he’s a thief, and I’m just a poet,

Old Suge’s up in prison yellin’ “don’t I know it!”

“Heist Ice” baby, He’s plottin’ heists, Ice Baby.

“Heist Ice” baby, He’s plottin’ heists, Ice Baby. …

This is his story about the premises and he's sticking to it

This is his story about the premises and he’s sticking to it

 

Love you Rob!! xox

 

Hot Toddy

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Yeah I think most in the northeast could agree, Elsa.

Yeah, Elsa. I know many that would agree!

Yeah, Elsa. I know many that would agree!

Sore throat weather and this blustering cold means a hot toddy in the afternoon for mommy & daddy. Want a blend sure to beat the rest? I add a dash of ginger to mine and just a kick of cayenne to boost immunity. ;)

Cheers! 🍹❄️🔥

A twist of ginger and one other spice gives this traditional Hot Toddy recipe a kick for the tastebuds and for your immune system - by The Write Side of Life

A twist of ginger and one other spice gives this traditional Hot Toddy recipe a kick for the tastebuds and for your immune system – by The Write Side of Life

Homemade for the Holidays: My Crafty Christmas Projects

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With all the money tied up in our new house, Christmas was a bit difficult this year. I was facing a challenge of gifting from the heart on a super tight budget and also decorating the house. So this year I decided to go homemade for the holidays. After all, when you’re in the middle of a total renovation property and raising a toddler, time is the most valuable thing you have to offer, right? I loved some of these items so much I decided to add them to my Etsy shop too!

MASON JAR SOAP DISPENSERS

I loved the way these turned out. It took a little engineering to construct the lids but these pint jars went from simple to shabby chic thanks to that, some chalk paint & glaze, and a little distressing. I made them in a weathered gray, ivory and went a little bold with a turquoise one for my own bathroom.

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Gray Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Gray Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Gray Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Gray Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Turquoise Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Turquoise Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Turquoise Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

Turquoise Mason Jar Soap Dispensers by The Write Side of Life

You can also order these in my Tulip Garden Gifts Etsy shop by clicking here.

FAMILY BIRTHDAY BOARD

I LOVE how this turned out. I started with a basic board and did a crackle paint finish then stenciled and added the hardware. This was for my husband’s grandmother and there were lots of names to add so I color-coded all the tags. The color of each name and birthdate represented either her children (or one of their spouses), her grandchildren (or one of their spouses), or her great-grandchildren.

Family Birthday Board by The Write Side of Life

Family Birthday Board by The Write Side of Life

SPECKLED COFFEE MUG SETS

A few years ago I made gift baskets for some of our family members with spiced nuts and a homemade cocoa mixes and coffee mugs and other goodies. I wanted to do something similar but within my budget and a bit more personalized. I meet with my grandmother and her Dutch friends every Tuesday and didn’t want to forget these beautiful women who I now consider very good friends as well. After stenciling and dotting the mugs I baked them to set the paint so that they could be washable. Then I made a hot cocoa mix with spices and dark chocolate shavings and marshmallows and added a small bottle of Bailey’s to each cup.

Speckle Initial Coffee Mug by The Write Side of Life {Tulip Garden Gifts}

Speckle Initial Coffee Mug by The Write Side of Life {Tulip Garden Gifts}

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life.  I even made a set for The Hub and I <3

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life.
I even made a set for The Hub and I <3

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life - Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life – Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life - Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life – Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life - Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life – Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life - Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

Personalized Coffee Mugs by The Write Side of Life – Available in Etsy Shop @ Tulip Garden Gifts

These are also available to order in the Etsy shop (sans the alcohol) by clicking here.

RECIPE / PICTURE HOLDER

This was definitely one of the more unique items I made this year. It took a bit of engineering to come up with a proper design but once I assembled the right components I realized how functional this could be. I used a cabinet face stained in a walnut finish and applied a coat of chalk paint just enough to give it a pale weathered look. I assembled a base and added a decorative topper all painted to match and then added a simply decorated clip to the front. The base also doubles as a stand so that if you are using, say, an iPad to read a recipe from you can prop it up on there as well. And when it’s not being used to read recipes, it makes a great and unique picture holder as well! :)

Recipe/Picture Holder by The Write Side of Life

Recipe/Picture Holder by The Write Side of Life

Recipe/Picture Holder by The Write Side of Life

Recipe/Picture Holder by The Write Side of Life

You can purchase these in the Etsy store as well by clicking here.

TEACUP BIRDFEEDERS

I was really looking forward to trying this one out. I used some really durable, black coated chain, hardware, epoxy, and of course some seed.

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

Teacup Birdfeeder by The Write Side of Life

You can purchase these in the Etsy store by clicking here.

BURLAP WREATHS 

Some crafts are just not cheap to make. These were on the pricier side of the projects I made this year but, they are just so beautiful. There are so many different combinations and colors if I could afford it, I’d have made one for every room of my own house too. Maybe someday. ;)

Burlap Wreath with Green Bow by The Write Side of Life

Burlap Wreath with Green Bow by The Write Side of Life

Candy Cane Burlap Wreath by The Write Side of Life

Candy Cane Burlap Wreath by The Write Side of Life

Burlap Wreath with Red Bow by The Write Side of Life

Burlap Wreath with Red Bow by The Write Side of Life

You can purchase these in the Etsy store too by clicking here.

THREADED 3-D STATE WALL ART 

This is a really neat gift for anyone tied to a certain state or area. After staining and sealing the wood, I outlined the state and used copper tacks and thread to create a unique wall hanging. But perhaps the sweetest touch of this gift is that the heart encircles where they live. Awww. I know right! ;)

3-D State Pin & Thread Wall Art by The Write Side of Life

3-D State Pin & Thread Wall Art by The Write Side of Life

3-D State Pin & Thread Wall Art by The Write Side of Life

3-D State Pin & Thread Wall Art by The Write Side of Life

You can purchase these in my Etsy store by clicking here.

CROCHETED DREAMCATCHER 

I have seen some cute crafty dreamcatchers made out of doilies online and got the idea to make a dreamcatcher for my sister. For this I just used a needlepoint ring and crocheted the dreamcatcher part. I sort of made up the pattern as I went based on how big I wanted each loop to be. To finish it I just braided some yard and added a few feathers I picked up at the craft store. (Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the finished product).

Crocheted Dreamcatcher by The Write Side of Life

Crocheted Dreamcatcher by The Write Side of Life

RIBBON LOOP CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATION 

This was something I was going to attempt in a set of three but to be honest it just took waaaay too much time and glue this way so I aborted this one and just let this one hang out on its own on our mantel during the holidays. If you’re going to attempt this one, instead of using thin ribbon and glueing them together then to the cone individually, you can save yourself a lot of time by using thick ribbon and folding it over then cut slits into it. It’ll give you the same look.

Ribbon Tree by The Write Side of Life

Ribbon Tree by The Write Side of Life

All in all I think everything turned out pretty good! :)

Christmas Crafts with the Kids

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With the holiday rush, renovations, and a 2nd birthday party to plan I’m a little late with my holiday post. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and new year!

As you may know, my sister and I love to get the kids together before most holidays and have a craft day. Not only does it give us some really cute keepsakes of their childhood but we usually come up with some pretty good gift ideas for the grandparents too! :) If you’re new to the blog or missed it, here are some from holidays passed:

Christmas Crafts with the Kids (Last year’s goodies!) :)

Halloween Crafts with the Kids (Talk about cute!)

Spring Flowerpot Crafts (These were great for Mother’s Day!)

This year we let the kiddos put their stamp on several new ideas and they turned out great! Take a look…

We made these cute fingerprint wreath ornaments…

Fingerprint wreath christmas ornament | The Write Side of Life

Fingerprint wreath christmas ornament | The Write Side of Life

These cute fingerprint bulb coffee mugs…

Fingerprint bulbs coffee mug | The Write Side of Life

Fingerprint bulbs coffee mug | The Write Side of Life

These really sweet fingerprint bulb picture frames…

Fingerprint bulb picture frame | The Write Side of Life

Fingerprint bulb picture frame | The Write Side of Life

And these adorable Christmas tree cookie plates…

Handprint Christmas Tree Cookie Plate | The Write Side of Life

Handprint Christmas Tree Cookie Plate | The Write Side of Life

Needless to say I was also on a pretty tight budget this year when it came to gift-giving with the new money-pit  house and all. Still, I didn’t want to turn that into cheap, meaningless gifts for the friends & family so I decided to make most of the gifts myself. After all, when you’re knee-deep in renovations and busy chasing a 2-year old one of the most expensive gifts you can give is your time right? Can’t wait to share them with you!! I’ll be posting a round up of some of the things I came up with so stay tuned! :)

Latest Projects: Burlap & Lace Wreath and Distressed Bedroom Furniture

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Craft supplies are expensive. That’s not the point of this post. Just a point I want to iterate…and then reiterate. Craft supplies are expensive. Okay, now on to the point…

Adriana and I spent the day out shopping yesterday for Christmas craft and gift supplies. I got her her own Christmas little tree to decorate in hopes that it’ll dissuade her from touching the big one too much. We’ll see.

I was too eager to wait for the weekend to start anything so I made a burlap wreath last night…

My Burlap & Lace Wreath

My Burlap & Lace Wreath

I decided to add them to my Etsy shop too so if you’re interested you can order here.

Another project I’ve been wanting to accomplish at the new house was our bedroom furniture. We bought a nice cherry suite years ago and it was beautiful when our room was full of amber and red colors but when I changed the decor to a more natural palette and added teal to the mix, the cherry furniture just seemed to clash. I had an idea of what I wanted to do and set out to get chalk paint. I was at several stores searching for Annie Sloan paint before finally giving up. Both Home Depot and Michael’s now carry a brand of chalk paint called Americana Decor so I decided to give that a try instead.

After prepping a pot roast and tucking her into the oven to cook all day, I set in and started with the nightstand. I didn’t take an actual before picture so you’ll just have to go with what I could find lol.

I think it turned out pretty good.

And here’s the big dresser.

So much brighter!

Like I said, it wasn’t bad before but was just too dark and red for the bedroom now. I was going to sand and stain the top a color like the floor but The Hub liked the whole thing the same color so that’s what I did…

I love it!

Nightstand details

Nightstand details

The color I used for this project was ‘Whisper’. After applying the first coat I spot checked for areas that needed a second coat. I wanted to let some of the original darkness come through to aid in the weathered look so I didn’t do a full second coat overall. Once the second coated areas were dry, I applied the clear wax and then went over and gently sanded some areas (like corners and edges) with a fine-grit sand paper. From there I added a bit of dark wax to some of the distressed areas and then just sealed them all over again with clear wax.

I couldn’t be happier with the way the pieces turned out. And as far as the paint, I have no complaints. It was great to work with, dried quickly and seems pretty tough once waxed. If you’ve never used chalk paint before, just be warned that it dries very quickly so you want to keep moving and move steadily (especially when painting a larger surface) so it doesn’t start to dry on you and leave streaks or unevenness where you left off). Of course if you’re applying more than one coat then you can always blend it back in with your additional coat(s).  I am always leery when painting a piece without sanding and priming first but only time will tell. Although another good thing about this distressed look is that even if it gets a little more beat up than my intended distressing, it probably will only continue to make the piece look good. Win/win! ;)

I have a wooden jewelry armoire that I am planning to paint a more vibrant color soon too so stay tuned for that!

:)

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Check out my shop on Etsy - Tulip Garden Gifts

Privilege or Principle

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Since the decision came down in Ferguson the news has been on fire…much like the city itself after rioters ransacked it and set it ablaze. Naturally everyone has an opinion though it all boils down to one thing: Other than a handful of actual witnesses, no one truly knows what happened that day. What we can, and must reside our faith in is that a grand jury reviewed all of the evidence and witness testimony and ultimately decided that Officer Wilson was not guilty. Like it or not, this is how our country operates.

Regardless of what happened that day, a whole new racial storm has erupted and is sending everyone in a tizzy. Again, everyone has an opinion and of course, I’m not segregated from those that do. But what I am most upset by are those of the parents trying to find ways to explain this to their children and more specifically, the parents who are taking the “white privilege” approach. For those that don’t already understand this term, it basically means that, as a white person, you should be aware that you are afforded an “easier life” than others simply because you are white.

This is where my brain gets boggled.

First of all, and I think any parent would agree, children don’t know racism until it’s taught to them. They don’t know they are any different than anyone else they see or play with. Hell, it takes them a couple years to even realize when they are looking at themselves in a mirror! So you think that shaming them for their color in some way is going to bring forth compassion for others OF color?! This is the same problem that parents of color bring forth by telling their children that they are different from white children. This is only breeding segregation and hatred and, ultimately, more racism. So my child is white. Does that mean I should “shame” her so she feels less valuable because she is technically (according to some schmuck, anyway) already “privileged”? Then she can grow up and not be an achiever of much but can at least take some sort of consolation knowing that she is “more privileged” than a black person? Bullshit. Simply put, that’s bullshit.

My child is no more or less privileged than any Black, Hispanic, Indian or Asian she will ever go to school or work with. She has exactly the same number of hours in each day as every great person  in history did. She has the exact ability to make life decisions each and every day just like everyone else. There are an abundance of celebrities and leaders and great, powerful minds (many also of color by the way) who came from nothing, from suffering, from poverty and, yes, even from slavery. My daughter is no different.

My grandparents weren’t slave owners from the south. They came here from Europe in the aftermath of World War II where they knew hardship. Their families experienced concentration camps and torture and slavery and poverty. Real poverty.  Collecting cigarette butts discarded by soldiers so papa could roll a secondhand cigarette from the left behind tobacco. Stealing shoes from the dead soldiers because they had none on their frozen feet. No government checks each month or insurance or food stamps to help get by. Poverty. Unending and uncaring, poverty. People were branded and shaved and tortured and experimented on like rats in a science lab. Killed and thrown in piles and discarded like garbage. And then they came here and became law-abiding citizens and still endured hardships and prejudices because they were different. Because they couldn’t talk the language well or couldn’t earn the same amount of money that other Americans did.

So yes, my “white” child is no different than any black child she will ever encounter whose families experienced oppression or difficulties in life. The black children in her school, regardless of their home life or history, will have the same potential for learning she does. (Though to be honest, they will probably have have even better scholarship opportunities than she will just solely based on their color…I mean, I doubt they will be handing out college scholarships to her simply because she’s “white”). But i’ll be damned if I let that define her or limit her somehow from being able to make something positive or successful for herself in life. I won’t “white shame” her into thinking she’s already over-privileged and doesn’t deserve every bit of the chance any other person would. The only thing that will accomplish is forcing her to think she is already higher-up than someone of color and create more ignorance and less drive for her to achieve great things in life. And at the same time i’ll be damned if I let her be branded into some group of slave-driving ancestors that she never belonged to simply because she’s “white”. Even if she had and in consideration for all the children out there who did, for the love of God, what would that have to do with HER?! With them? With here and now? With who SHE is? With who THEY are? Let it be a history lesson. Not a present day problem. White or black, we have got to stop making color a handicap.

She will be a woman too so as that “minority” does that mean I should tell her that she just won’t be able to do certain things in life because of her gender? What self-esteem could she have if she is brought up to feel ashamed of being white and a woman. Sure, she may encounter more hurdles as a woman but that won’t stop her from becoming whatever she wants to be if she’s willing to work hard for it. Black, white, yellow, purple; Male, female or freaking mermaid, you can do whatever you set your mind to. This is what parents need to tell their children. Black parents. White parents. Every parent.

Quit forcing our children to focus on their differences. We are ALL different. Can’t anyone see this is the problem? It’s time for parents to step up to the plate and stop forcing indifference and limitations on our children’s potential. They will encounter enough hurdles in life without us adding to them. If you want to prepare them for the world so they can be successful, start by giving them a fair chance, not a hindrance, not a complex, not a color. We choose what we pass down to our children from our pasts which are ALL riddled with difficulties. My grandparents taught us about their difficulties and used it to empower us and teach us that we can come from nothing and be and do whatever we want. That is what parents – black and white – need to be teaching their children. Not to be “victims” their whole life and let it hinder their abilities!!

The simple truth is that the people in Ferguson – black, white, yellow, whatever – are throwing a full-blown temper tantrum. If you’re searching for how to explain this situation to your child, tell them that. Because that is something they can understand. Teach them to behave and be respectful and to stand up for their beliefs appropriately without endangering others or neglecting to follow the laws. Because it’s not a color issue for children until you teach them that. It’s not a matter of privilege with children until you teach them that. Teach them principles; not privileges. We can all achieve greatness regardless of our environments, social status, upbringing, color or gender. If we teach our children from love, to love then all they will grow to know is love. If we teach our children hate and difference, we are only contributing to the problem. We are all one and, like it or not, we are on the same boat here. So if we don’t start paddling together we are just going to continue to get nowhere until we sink.

ferguson-riots Ferguson-burning-flag

As parents we have just got to stop contributing to the problem.

Oh, Ferguson…

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Ferguson is rioting because one life mattered…So logically they are destroying the lives of families and storeowners (in their own town no less) as a way to show a stance for that? I can understand having something happen that totally enrages you. I know the feeling of wanting to beat something (or someone) senseless. Things like that happen every day…To ALL of us. It’s not a pass, however, to throw an adult tantrum and destroy things. Obey the law. Whether or not you think it’s fair, you are obligated to obey it and if you want to change it, vote and rally to get more votes to change it or, take it to court and contest it there. Parents, teach your children that this type of behavior is not acceptable. They can’t grow up thinking it’s okay to torch businesses and homes, beat other people up, steal, shoot each other, and disobey the laws. Teach compassion and self control. You can’t raise your children to believe that it’s okay to disrespect the law and expect them not to face consequences. No one gets a free pass just because they feel they have experienced an injustice. I don’t doubt that racism still exists in this country (from ALL colors) but the media and folks like Mr. Sharpton tend to exploit it and make it worse. They are only breeding more and more hatred. Wisen up!

If only people would realize this!

If only people would realize this!

DIY Headboard

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Nowadays everything is distressed. You buy new furniture to look old. It’s like that oxymoron with the kids and jeans that became main stream years ago. I love the look of weathered, time worn, distressed furniture. Shabby chic, rustic and antiquated all set a charming and often romantic mood to a room. It was one of the things I was looking forward to doing more when we bought our new house project.

One of the few features to the house that was reusable was some old fencing. The previous owner had it shamefully blocking a beautiful view of the back of the property and it was horribly overgrown with weeds. But I knew the moment we took it down what I wanted to do with it…

Voila! Our new headboard! :)

This was before I added the lights. It's cute enough like this but I had some lights in mind...

This was before I added the lights. It’s cute enough like this but I had some lights in mind…

We had to replace a missing board from another panel and added one to each side to box it in so the wiring would be nicely concealed in the back. After a trip to the local home improvement store to buy a couple wall sconces and some wiring so they could be mounted and inconspicuously plugged in behind the headboard, the lights are on (and more importantly, yes, they work)!

The lights on (and working) and, aside from a few accents and pillows, it's done! I originally was going to do some burlap pendants with a message spelled on them but decided this plaque said everything already :)

The lights on (and working) and, aside from a few accents and pillows, it’s done! I originally was going to do some burlap pendants with a message spelled on them but decided this plaque said everything already :)

We have been spending so much time renovating that I haven’t been able to spend any time repurposing. It’s been one thing after another and every time we start to one renovation project it leads to two more and more and more delays. Renovation work is not for the impatient or ill-tempered that’s for sure. It seems nothing goes smoothly. So today I needed this…If not for anything else but to merely maintain my sanity. This was one of the projects I was really excited about.

There’s still some other accents (and accent pillows) I’ll add later but for now it’s a new (and old) headboard that incorporates this house and also us. And what’s even better is it only costed what I have in the lights and wiring. (The sign was a gift from my mama several years ago). I originally planned on spelling out a nice message on a burlap pendant banner across it but for now I think this plaque says it all. :)

There was also some cute white picket fencing that I salvaged and plan on using in our guest room…but that’s a project that’ll have to wait a bit longer. I at least got my fix to hold me over as we continue renovations on the rest of the house.

But stay tuned! ;)

2015 Calendars

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Okay guys, so the holidays are going to be here before you know it and with all the work around this place well, it’s adding up. So….

I’m selling 2015 calendars!

They are 8×11, spiral-bound, wall calendars featuring 12 months (starting January, 2015) with a collage of beautiful photos (taken by yours truly!) on each month.

A beautiful collage will greet you month after month. Each photograph was taken by me and is one of my favorites! :)

A beautiful collage will greet you month after month. Each photograph (taken by yours truly) is one of my favorites! :)

 

Get a jump on your shopping. These would make a great gift. And while you’re at it, get one for yourself too! ;)

You can order them through my Etsy shop here.

I sincerely appreciate it and, for anyone ordering, I hope you enjoy!!