Archive | March 2017

Spring Wreath & Other DIYs I’ve Tried

By my teenage years I’d come to realize that I have the desire to purchase the MOST EXPENSIVE thing available when it comes to home décor, fashion, hair, and even makeup; however, I definitely don’t have the budget.  As a result of not currently being a multimillionaire I have become a budget friendly, DIY QUEEN! I can recreate or create ANYTHING I set my mind to.  I probably hold the record for most use of the 30% off coupon at Mardel and the 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  Seriously, I need a trophy or something.

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Through the years I have made shirts, blinged out shoes, tutus, denim vests, specialty items for my children, and furniture.  Whenever I see something I like that is out of my budget, I just search for a DIY tutorial and prepare to make it on my own.  Having a baby? I created my own gender reveal box and all the favors for our party.  Oh and let’s not forget that you can DIY makeup, manicure, and pedicure items too!  I have also made my own concealer palettes, blush palettes, pressed eyeshadow, and gorgeous highlighters.  After learning how to do my own acrylic nails due to a tragic nail shop incident, I have even used my favorite makeup to create unique acrylic and polishes for my nails.  I’ve even had several friends ask me “is there anything you can’t do?

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I learned my DIY determination from my crafty mother.  She can definitely make something out of nothing and I’ve watched her do it for years.  Anytime I do a DIY I always ask her for opinion and I listen to her advice.  Sometimes I do my own thing, against her strong suggestions, but that’s nothing I haven’t seen her do before and it always turns out awesome.  She has taught me how to do my own hair and create marvelous projects at minimal cost and for that I am truly grateful.  I love my DIY mama!

So, after much thought and the frustration of paying for it to be done, I decided to conqueror the door wreath.  I purchased tools from Wal-Mart, the supplies from Dollar Tree, and spent approximately $13 for everything used.  My ONLY TWO SUGGESTIONS for conquering this project is to not be apprehensive because it was truly easy and watch a few tutorials to get an idea of how to create your masterpiece.  You can watch my tutorial of this beautiful floral wreath via my recent video.

 

If you enjoyed that DIY then you will definitely love seeing the other tutorials I have to offer via this YouTube playlist.  And don’t fret if you think a tutorial is missing because I have several more scheduled to edit and upload in the coming months including gift baskets as well as blinged out high heels and denim jackets.  As I learn to create something new I always offer to teach the skill to my family and friends.  I definitely make time to share the skills with my children as well just as my mother did with me.

 

 

If you want to see a first glimpse of my DIY projects before the blog post or YouTube tutorial comes out then be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

So, what’s your next DIY project going to be?

Make this week creative,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

Creating an Artistic Masterpiece & Amazing Memories

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Our oldest was so excited to share his thoughts on Creating a Masterpiece online art classes wherewith he has completed two projects within the past six weeks.  In this review I, along with the help of my son Bear, will be discussing our thoughts on the monthly plan, video lessons, and overall projects.  He has also created a video showcasing his projects, creative process, and his thoughts on the program.  This online studio was designed by Sharon Hofer as an extension of her art school with the desire to provide a self-paced art class that had a unique yet inviting and intimate atmosphere.  I was simply amazed with the results and how it built my son’s confidence in his own artistic ability!

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A majority of these art projects can be completed within 3-4 lessons and a few of the more detailed ones require seven.  Each lesson is broken down into several sessions but the goal is for your student to complete a lesson per week. It is totally up to you on whether they sit for the approximate hour and work through all sessions within the lesson or work on one session per day until that lesson is complete.  Depending on your child’s pace (and length of the project lessons) it will take them approximately 3-7 weeks to finish various art projects.  It is strongly suggested that the child slows down their pace if the project quality or student confidence starts to suffer.  No matter the chosen pace we are encouraged to be patient with our artists and continue to motivate them through the artistic process.

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Initially when I logged onto the site I was extremely intimidated by the posted art projects and I thought they were too advanced for my son to do.  He was nervous too but finally chose a project that used colored pencils since he’d just learned a myriad of ways to use them during his current art curriculum lessons.  He decided to try Lessons in Colored Pencil: Tropical Clown Fish and was so pleased with the results.  The next project he completed was the Lessons in Ink: Dragonfly which is an extremely meticulous and  detailed project.  He did so great practicing for the first two lessons that he flew past the final three without any issues.  My husband and I were so proud, amazed, and excited at his results with each completed project.  He wants to try a sculpture lesson next.

Here are Bear’s thoughts on his experience with Creating a Masterpiece:

“The teacher’s instructions were very clear and she helps you learn how to draw very hard things in easy ways.  I like how the lessons are listed based on levels and that there are many to choose from.  The amount of time it took to complete a project was good and I like that she tells you how to prepare for every stage.  For instance, she mentions how to make sure angles are right and how to go over your work. I would recommend this to other children because it helps you get better at drawing.  Before I started this program I didn’t think I could draw but I was so surprised and happy with my results. These lessons built my confidence in art class and I am going to try more lessons.” Bear, Age 9

You can get a detailed view his artwork, see the creative process during the project sessions, and hear more of his thoughts in this recent video.

During our use of the  program we thought a way to make the website more user friendly would be to place a link for the next lesson on the current lesson’s page so the student doesn’t have to go back to the project homepage to move forward.  Other than this extremely minor issue, we had no problems with the website.  The video player worked great throughout our entire time navigating the website, even with us living in the country.  Our internet speed is extremely slow; however, we never experienced any complications with the videos loading or playing.

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Overall the Creating a Masterpiece program monthly plan was a great addition for our homeschool.  Bear’s words and video perfectly summed up our experience with the program and my husband and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  Be sure to check out some additional crew reviews via this super long, yet equally amazing hyperlink to see how other families used it and what their artists created.

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Make this week artistic,

Ta’Neisha K.

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My 4 Go-To Makeup Looks

Makeup has become one of my favorite hobbies and I definitely enjoy collecting cute pieces, perfecting application on myself, and applying it to others. Now of course nothing is more comfortable than a fresh face; however, I love to simply enhance my own beauty with some key looks.  I also enjoy the smile and priceless reaction from women when I give them the perfect “beat” face.  So here are my four quick and go-to makeup looks along with examples via recent tutorial and/or face of the day (fotd) video.

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This beauty list is in no particular order because they are all equally awesome, fantastic, and gorgeous.

  1. MONOCHROMATIC eyeshadow looks good on all women but I think it looks featuring BLUE, PURPLE, and TURQUOISE eyeshadow PHENOMENAL on women of color.  My favorite purple palettes are the BH Cosmetics 120 5th Edition and the Coastal Scents Winterberry  because both offer a variety of gorgeous variations within the purple family.  My favorite blue and turquoise eyeshadows are Chaos (bright blue matte) and Unhinged (metallic shimmer turquoise) form the Urban Decay Vice 4 palette.  I also like Dalia and Zola from the Juvia’s Place Masquerade palette because the pigmentation is outstanding.

 

2.  MODEST GLAM is another makeup look I love to rock because alone it gives a subtle sexy vibe and can easily be dressed up by adding some extra smoke. This type of look is great for date nights because it screams “romance me husband” and “I’m yours” especially in the moonlight.  For these looks I love the velvety texture of the Lorac palettes including the Lorac Pro and Lorac Mega Pro collections.

 

3.  BARE FACED BEAUTY is definitely one of my top four because the No Makeup, Makeup Look is the perfect way to enhance your natural beauty.  I really like to wear this look with either a completely natural vibe without any blush or highlight or with extra highlight alongside a light flush (soft blush application). I usually call these looks my mommy makeup because it literally takes my 5-7 minutes to complete it from start to finish.  This was my favorite makeup look during all of my pregnancies.

 

 

 

4.  RED CARPET READY is for when I want to go ALL OUT! These looks definitely bring out the oooos, ahhhs, and plenty of compliments.  I save these looks for weddings, celebrations, or a random Tuesday when I have the extra time.  Oh and 9 times out of 10 these looks include glitter and lashes galore.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick look at several ways I frequently apply my makeup.  As the trends change with the times I am certain these looks will never go out of style. After all, the Monochromatic, Modest Glam, Bare Faced Beauty, and Red Carpet ready looks are timeless classics and should be respected as such.

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So tell me in the comment section, what’s your favorite (go-to) makeup look?

Make this week beautiful,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

Our Adventures With Andi Carter

Is this another review? Why yes it is, thanks for asking.

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Our oldest enjoyed reading two new books from the Circle C Stepping Stones Series written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregal Publications.  This particular series of books is geared for children ages 8-10 and are a continuation of the stories following Andi (Andrea) Carter as she grows up on Circle C Ranch.  We enjoyed these cute stories and all the added FREE activities offered for each book.

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Andi Saddles Up is the first chapter book in the Circle C Stepping Stones Series and it depicts a newly nine year old trying to enjoy her birthday as it is filled with interruptions, land boundary battles, sheep vs. cattle, and a bit of jarring from her sibling.  But the new (birth) year isn’t all bad as she finds herself connecting instantly with a new friend, Sadie and having some fun including fishing with creative bait and some trick horse riding.  We enjoyed the history lesson at the end of the book detailing the history between sheepherders and cattlemen because it explained why the tension in the story was so important and needed to be resolved.

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This series continues with a circus sequel entitled Andi Under The Big Top wherein little Miss Carter is introduced to the glitz, sights, sounds, and excitement of the traveling circus.  She meets a new character named Henry, who reveals that though it might seem amazing to be employed with the circus, it is definitely not what he thought it would be.  In this tale we learn about bravery, honesty, and forgiveness while Andi tries to help Henry.  The historical information included in this story discusses orphans, advertisements in the late 1800s, and how the circus was started.

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While most may go on about the stories which are definitely enjoyable, my favorite part about this experience was using the study guides for each book.  You can obtain a FREE study guide (PDF download) for each book which includes a detailed reading and activities schedule that covers twenty-one days.  The lessons include language arts (poetry, vocabulary, similes, alphabetizing, reading comprehension, crosswords, etc.), history, geography, crafts, math, science, music, character building traits and scriptures.  Answer keys are also included and you can download FREE coloring pages of the illustrations used in each book.  Bear enjoyed creating stilts and the information about broken arms including the names of bones, types of fractures, and healing timeline.  The Circle C Stepping Stones lapbook packet is an optional purchase (eBook or print edition available) and includes seven additional days of activities.

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These stories were great to use as a read aloud in our homeschool and I look forward to using them with my other children as they grow up.  I love that Susan K. Marlow created a character can be shadowed throughout life, via each book series, from the age of six through her teenage years.  The various series, published by Kregal Publications, gives the readers an opportunity to grow with the character.  Even though the stories are from the late 1800s, Andi (Andrea) Carter’s adventures and life lessons relate to today’s Christian children.  She prayed when she had a need which reiterates the lessons that we teach our children.  It is important to know that you can count on God and converse with him at any age.

Make this week adventurous,

Ta’Neisha K.

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Check Out Additional Homeschool Review Crew reviews on the Circle C Stepping Stones Series, Andi Saddles Up & Andi Under The Big Top by Susan Marlow via Kregal Publications here.

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I’d Rather Be Your Mommy

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Recently we read a book offered through Home School Adventure Co., an online resource website with the mission to offer engaging resources from a biblical worldview to inspire and equip parents to educate and raise children to be loving, compassionate, strong, and wise.   We were able to review the I’d Rather Be Your Mommy book, I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set, and I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Edition.  We received the digital items (PDF downloads) however, the book and print set are available in hard copy format.  This is an adorable story telling how much a mother loves her child and enjoys being a mother so let’s dive into these items.

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I’d Rather Be Your Mommy is 32 pages long and features a sweet story about motherhood with a myriad of beautiful pictures throughout.  I enjoyed seeing varied scenes of motherhood and different aged children within the story.  As a woman of color, I was also extremely happy to see a few ethnicities represented in the book as well; however, I do believe some additional representation of other Christian cultures across the world would have been great.  Our belief in Christ is the same but showing motherhood from other cultures across the globe would have been a phenomenal addition to this story.  All in all this a cute story to read to your younger children and would be a great gift for a new mother.  If you gift this story I also think it is better to purchase the print version over the digital option so the beauty of the pictures can be seen at their full potential.

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The I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Edition is only offered as a digital edition via the website.  It includes the text from the original book along with illustrations of the provided photographs.  The entire book is in black and white which means you (or your child) can color every page to your heart’s content with your imagination as your guide.  For those that enjoy the adult coloring books or illustrating your Bible, this is the version that you should strongly consider.  This would make a great gift for a new mom and grandchild as well or as a gift for a baby blessing or 1st birthday party.  I love to give and receive handmade gifts! So I would definitely color this in, laminate it, and put it in a binder for a friend.  You can also use this as a comprehension activity to reiterate the story you shared with your child.  And, if they are an early reader these pages will make great practice sheets for them with the added benefit of a keepsake book at the end.  That’s what we are doing with it.

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Last, and definitely not least, the I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set showcases three pages from the book as individual 8.5″ x 11″ portraits.  These can be obtained via digital download or the printed photographs can be shipped directly to you.  I thought these pictures would be a great addition to a nursery, young child’s room, play room, or family homeschool room.

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All in all, I enjoyed using the entire collection from Home School Adventure Co. and I think it is extremely important to enjoy quality time with your children.  In fact, I just wrote a blog post and recorded a video  last week about Raising Sharp Arrows (Psalm 127).  And, let’s not forget the benefits of reading to your children (and encouraging them to read) include building stronger bonds with them, enriches their vocabulary, and aids in scholastic success.  Motherhood is a gift.  Parenthood is a precious gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted so make time to love on your little ones and remind them of how much you love them daily.

Make today successful,

Ta’Neisha K.

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As always you can check out so wonderful reviews on other products offered by Home School Adventure Co. via the Homeschool Review Crew.

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Overcoming February & March Goals

Hello March, what took you so long to get here?

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Let me tell you all something very important, February was a rough month for me.  All these years I never realized how much I relied on food to get me through the issues of life.  I mean of course I enjoyed an occasional pint of ice cream or Dairy Queen Blizzard after an argument with my college boyfriend.  What young girl didn’t?

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And yes I might have turned to some southern style comfort foods like cream gravy over starchy potatoes or macaroni and cheese when the going got tough. Wait, that’s not normal?

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Okay well maybe the speech I gave myself time and time again that since my thyroid was an issue hindering my weight loss, I didn’t need to work so hard.  In fact, maintaining all this extra weight was okay as long as I didn’t gain.  I totally believed that 40 pounds ago. 

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Yeah, so now you see why February was such an emotional month for me.  Along with the normal stress of life I just had to choose the month filled with extra issues to kick my food addiction.  So here I was dealing with a hospitalized husband WITHOUT OVEREATING!  I was also forced to handle other pop up issues including lost friendships, a rumor report I shut down, father-in-law’s illness, and season of depression that I hung onto longer than I should have.  Lord, I really needed that ice cream and carbohydrate high last month.

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Once I did some research and realized what was going on I completely understood why I felt so overwhelmed with emotions and assumed I had no other way to handle them.  As a believer, I had to also do some biblical research to understand what was going on with my body.  I definitely suggest the Error of Man and Error of Man 2 DVDs by Pastor Lewis because these were very helpful and included tips on how to combat this weight loss journey naturally and spiritually.  I also enjoyed Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead as well as Fat Sick, and Nearly Dead 2 via Netflix as both were great motivation to kick sugar and carbohydrate addiction out the door.  I also did a lot of research about my thyroid and what foods I can eat to help it function better. **When doing research look for reputable sources and always consult a physician and nutrition when making changes to your diet.**

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This month I look forward to continuing to conqueror this weight loss and learning more about proper nutrition for my family.  #TeamKEMP has been so awesome to come along this journey with me and they haven’t complained that much about the new foods.  We try a new food each week and most have been a hit.  I’m grateful for such an amazing support system because some people don’t have that.  I also plan to complete another cleanse this month.  Also, “according to my research” as my systems get cleaned out I know what to look for I can combat my withdrawal symptoms while my body get used to an even healthier, healthy lifestyle.

To see my February Weight Loss Wrap-Up check out my recent video

You can also see my March weight loss goals and a detailed look at my Faith Fitness Planner via this recent video.

 

Don’t forget to download your FREE FITBOOK GOAL GETTER CALENDAR HERE

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I am going to conquer goals in March guys! I am going to beast every workout in April! I am going to vanquish any doubters in May! I am going to obliterate pounds June! I think you get the point here.  In 2017 I will be victorious over this because I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME. (Philippians 4:13)

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Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Christian encouragement post from last week about Raising Sharp Arrows.

 

Make this week peaceful,

 

Ta’Neisha K.

 

Our Journey With Eclectic Foundations

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During my annual homeschool curriculum selection and planning session we were given the opportunity to review Eclectic Foundations to see if it might be a good fit for our home academy.  This program is affordable and includes a comprehensive coverage of every part of language arts all from a biblical perspective.  We used the Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C program and I believe your 2nd grader will be challenged in a great way to pursue educational heights in all portions of Language Arts.   Allow me to walk you through the program details, needed supplies, and how we used it in our home academy.

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Eclectic Foundations has created a program that grows with the child based on their abilities rather than age or grade level which ensures they don’t get bored with the lessons.  Each level progresses in difficulty beginning at Level A (1st grade) with a goal to achieve collegiate reading by Level I (8th – 9th grade).  This program is available to consumers via physical copy by mail or instant digital download wherewith complete instructions are provided on which pages will need to be printed on card stock and/or laminated.  Each level comes with 144 lessons, intended to be taught four per week during a thirty-six week school year; however, it can be catered to fit your family’s scholastic needs.  This program has been written to coincide with the McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers which are available for FREE via their website or Amazon Kindle.  A physical copy can be purchased as well or you can print out the reader pages at your convenience.  The best part about the program is that is completely comprehensive and includes lessons covering Phonics, Grammar, Dictation, Reading Comprehension, Handwriting, Composition, Vocabulary, Scripture Memory, Spelling, and Poetry.

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Our home academy used Level C which is geared towards advanced 2nd and 3rd grade students.  The layout of the teacher’s manual is simple and easy to navigate with one lesson per sheet explaining how to navigate the student through the reader and daily assignments.  I was happy that comprehension questions are provided to coincide with every reader lesson.  There is also a phonics practice sheet (laminated) included for your student to pen the words as you dictate them.  The McGuffey’s Word Cards are the phonics (vocabulary) review words and each type of word (i.e. adjective, noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection) has a specific color so your child can easily identify them.  Scripture memory verses are provided weekly; however, none were labeled with the version of the Bible used and some weren’t worded according to any specific version at all.  I love that memorization is encouraged, which can be great for children and adults, but I’d prefer a consistent version of the bible being used throughout the curriculum.  Simply noting the version of the Bible next to the verse would also be an appropriate solution.

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I think the Eclectic Foundations Level C would’ve been a good program for our oldest when he was in later 1st through early 2nd grade.   Even though I enjoyed the layout and variety of subjects covered, our son would have benefited more from Level D (available this spring) or possibly Level E.  A great way to narrow down your child’s level is to view the provided sample lessons on the website and look through the McGuffey Readers.  If you feel your child is on the borderline or advanced I suggest moving them up to the next level.  Bear is used to weekly spelling tests but that portion of the program isn’t available at Level C.  All in all, this entire program is good and even though it wasn’t challenging enough for Bear we will be using it with Bam Bam in the near future.  I will also look into Level D and Level E, once available, to see if one will work for our oldest.

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To read more reviews over Level A, Level B, or Level C of Ecclectic Foundations, visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog post via the awesome hyperlink.

Make today grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

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