Vote For Us!: The 2012 Homies

We know that we are just getting started with our home decor and DIY projects, but if you have loved what you have read so far and are curious and maybe a tad excited as far as what is to come then vote for us this year for the The Homies 2012 brought to us by Apartment Therapy

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Vote Today and Vote Often! Voting ends on March 2nd!



Make a Decision Already!!

This blog post is dedicated to my husband, who in the car on the way to work this morning was basically screaming this at me... not literally, but I like to believe I can read his thoughts as every wife thinks we surely can..

Either who, I have been trying for months as you know, to get a grasp on how I want to begin to decorate this house. Its a huge game of: Where Do I even Begin?!
Afterall, this is the first house that we have full designer control over and I want to love it! at least for a little while, because I know my creative and DIY ADHD will have a new design in mind not too long after I marvel at the wonder of my own creation! :)

Well, my answer to everything lately has kind of been something similar to this:

Well, in actuality - its time for me to make a decision already!

Pick some color, some couch, some style... something!

We have less then a week before we are keys in hand..
Ask me how much packing we have done?


I guess I am afraid to pick something and then change my mind, which honestly I don't know why? thats so like me anyways and two, its just paint!

So I have challenged myself: This weekend, I am going to make a few decisions on the house - what color do I want the foyer, media room, kitchen and the music suite to be painted... pick a couch for the family room and finalize a color of the furniture going in the media room...

and secretly, find a home for my elephants (my DST sorors understand).

All of this, while heading to sunny (or rainy since thats what the weather man says) Orlando to attend the NBA All-Star Weekend with my Dad. (more on that when I return).

Until then,
I am reminding myself to



It's Mardi Gras! : How to Make a Mini King Cake

                         Source: mozhanalexandra.tumblr.com via Carrie on Pinterest

Today is Mardi Gras! BAY BEH *in my New Orleans accent*

 ...and although Mardi Gras is celebrated in all kinds of ways (we usually would do a Pancake Supper with a side of Chicken and Dumplings),  in college it was fun to hang with those who were from the New Orleans area and learn their different traditions.

What I found out was that, during Mardi Gras, there would be King Cake.

Now, King Cake is a cake that is associated with the pre-lenten season. So apparently, (according to Wikipedia) there is a small plastic baby in the cake or placed under it that represents the Baby Jesus. So whomever gets the baby or trinket has various obligations or duties. So yea, if you get the trinket in the cake in the Gulf Coast, your supposedly obligated to provide the king cake for next year.

I don't know about you but, I don't see the benefit of getting the trinket- I would avoid the baby Jesus at all costs! :)

SO, if I were to get the trinket, I would definitely be looking for an easier way to make King Cake because baking is not my specialty just yet.  So in trolling for new recipes, I found this cute idea for mini King Cakes.

Traditionally, King Cake is a twisted brioche bread that resembles a cinnamon roll with icing and Mardi Gras colored sprinkles.

Well, Ma from Phar-ma Blog offered up this idea... since she has a toddler and a newborn at home she had to be creative on how to make things quickly. 

Here's how you do it:

Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll twisted into a circle

Pour on some icing 
then sprinkles... and WAH LAH! or ABRA CA DABRA!
and you have mini King Cakes fit for little mouths with little time. 

Happy Mardi Gras!

Did you try this? or some other sweet treat for Mardi Gras? Let me know!

All photos courtesy of Phar-ma.com and Wikipedia File Photo.



Kids' Perspective on Marriage

Thought this was cute enough to share: sorry original source unknown. 
If anybody knows, let me know. 

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
— Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.– Kristen, age 10
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
— Camille, age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
— Derrick, age 8 
Both don’t want any more kids.
– Lori, age 8
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
— Lynnette, age 8 
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
— Martin, age 10
When they’re rich.
— Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.
— Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.
— Howard, age 8
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
— Anita, age 9
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?
— Kelvin, age 8
And the #1 Favorite is…
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
— Ricky, age 10



10 Questions: Our Love Story

In honor of Valentine's Day, I figured I would go ahead and answer the questionaire that has been floating around in the blogosphere. I had been reading a few others and figured why not do one myself, right?!
1. How long have you and your significant other been together?

Hubby and I have been together officially 4 1/2 years-- courtship began on August 5, 2008; been friends since January 2005.

2. How did you meet?

Well, we first saw each other at the church we eventually married at, Ebenezer AME Church, when my pastor was there as the guest preacher. I went back to the pastor's office and was going to greet my pastor when hubby was seated in this chair by the door waiting to leave. He was serving as my pastor's armorbearer and travelling musician at the time. A quick glance, then I left saying nothing. Months later in January, I got a text message from a mutual friend telling me that I had an admirer...found out it was hubby. We just so happened to be going to another service after church that second Sunday in January and it was there in that parking lot, that hubby made his presence known by pretending like he was going to hit me with his car. A day later, I sent him an email to his church email account, then a phone call... then a few days later we went to go hang out at Bahama Breeze... the rest is history.

3. If married, how long have you been married? We've been married since August 7, 2010.

4. Where did you get married? Big or small wedding? We were married at Ebenezer AME Church and it was a big wedding...

...and the reception was Riggs Alumni Center at the University of Maryland College Park

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? We keep it simple... we call each other babe...

6. 3 things that I love most about Hubby:

1. He genuinely makes me laugh... and has the cutest dimples while doing so.
2. He has a drive like none other. He takes his natural gift of music and takes into overdrive.When he sets a goal, he truly moves hell and high water to accomplish it.
3. He pays attention to details.. its about the little things.. and hubby makes sure its the little things that he masters.

7. How did he propose?

It was Christmas Day 2009... hubby came over my mother's house so that we could open presents in the traditional manner, which basically means that I hand out all the presents while my family members sit on the couch and we watch each other open our presents in an orderly fashion.. so it was my turn..

So, he gave me my gift .. with this look on his face that says "you have no idea what I am about to do..."

 So, I stood up to give him a hug to thank him for my gift and he basically tells me to sit down.. and I say to him, what are you doing?! I give out the presents!

So when I sit down, he says "thanks" and wants to high five me. This is my you are really embarassing me in front of my family face.

 So I eventually sit and I decide since he wants to drag this out and give some sort of Christmas speech, I will play with my new present.

So I eventually sit and I decide since he wants to drag this out and give some sort of Christmas speech, I will play with my new present.

Thats when it hit me, he was PROPOSING?!?!?!

Of course, I said yes, after hearing nothing he said.. but I just wept like a little baby..

 It was indeed the best Christmas ever!

8. Flowers and teddy bear or strawberries, champagne and rose petals for Valentine's Day? I'd take either but hubby knows its really not that serious. It's all about Birthdays in this house since ours are 10 days apart!
9. What makes 'us' work? We work because we are truly friends. We are friends who are intentional about seeing the best in each other and pushing each other towards achieving our own personal goals without forcing each other to sacrifice in that area. Also, we are a good team. Its so cliche to say that he is the ying to my yang, but he kinda is.. for everything that I don't do well, he does very well.. for everything he may not do too great, I help him out. We mesh well because we have similar interests: we love the same type of movies, the same sports, love to try new things, eat different kinds of food, travel around the world, have a relationship with God (most important)... so yeah, I say we are just a great team!

10. Most romantic thing Hubby's ever done for me? Well, when we were dating, I decided that after graduate school that I was going to move back home from Chicago... he flew out and literally helped me pack my entire condo and drove the ENTIRE 10 hour trip back. I mean seriously?! I knew he loved me if he was willing to do all of that.

Anyways, thats it.. just a little bit of info about us.. so, you're next! post it and put the link in the comments and I will read it.. have a great rest of your Valentine's Day!


The Love Series: It Begins with Friendship

Seven years ago, I met a guy who ended up being one of my best friends for the next three years. Talking to him with the pure intentions of just being friends made it so much easier to get along and literally talk about everything. To me, he was just a homeboy... to him I was like one of the guys-- I like football, I can hang out with the best of them at concerts and in the down time, I love to go to the movies. He was a great person to hang out with.

Well, fast forward three years later, we were single and ready to mingle. We had already established a friendship that has withstood the test of times. But of course, when considering a relationship, one must weigh the pros and cons... will I ruin my friendship by dating someone and it not working out. Was it really worth that risk?

Honestly, it was worth me finding out if I could have happiness in a relatioship. Afterall, this friend of mines has always been honest with me, treated me with respect and has never shown me signs that he could be a Dr. Jeckyl, Mr. Hyde... but let's be clear, I knew that for a fact because he had remained consistent over the YEARS! Sometimes we get about three MONTHS in and think that it will always be sunshine and roses. It takes years to build a foundation. And even if you approach someone and get into a relationship right away because you feel something for each other immediately... no matter how attracted to each other you are, and no matter the title, you are still in the friendship foundational stage. Its that stage that is the most important of them all.

Its friendship that helps you get over the little things that annoy you about your significant other. Its friendship that allows you to be able to argue and make up without holding on to grudges about what the other has said--Loving relationships begin with friendships. There are times where I can say to my husband, "as your friend..." and he understands what place that I am coming from. It's that honest, let me shoot it to you straight place where hopefully he can receive what I am saying with love. Its your real friends afterall, that always have your back and never do anything intentional to hurt or harm you. It's in the tougher times of marriage that you reflect on how it used to be when there was no pressure and if there are not that many times for you to reflect on, perhaps on this day, instead of expecting roses and commercial expressions of love-- do something that will build your friendship with your partner.

Never would've thought that in random passing one day, seeing some random guy sit by a door I was exiting, not saying a single thing to him that day and eventually seeing him months later ...would I have known that I had met the love of my life. One phone call of just laughing about life led to 3 years of catching up with each other being friends to 3 years of courting and now a year and a half of marriage. 7 years later, he is still my Valentine. And truthfully, every day is Valentine's Day with this guy...

Whether you are married, in a committed relationship, single and ready to mingle... whatever you are looking for.. just remember it begins with friendship. So instead go out looking for friends and I bet you have better results in your choice of companions. Because how can you build a life with someone if you can't even carry on a conversation with them?... such another topic for another day.

Happy Love Day!



The Love Series: Something Sweet for your Sweetie

As you get ready for Valentine's Day tomorrow, I offer you this quick tutorial on how to make your own Chocolate Garnish... just to add a little something sweet for your sweetie if you plan to make breakfast or a special dessert *wink.

This post is brought to you by Chris Nease at Celebrations at Home

Here are 4 chocolate garnish ideas to get you started, and how to make them:
  • Write the word “love” on the side of your dessert plates.
  • Serve small cupcakes in an egg cup and top with a chocolate heart.
  • Chocolate & champagne are a classic combination. Hang an open ended heart on the side of the champagne flute.
  • Top off a chocolate liqueur cocktail or chocolate milk by floating a chocolate heart on the surface.
How to Make the chocolate garnish:
You will need:
chocolate discs for melting
small squirt bottle from the craft store or baking supply store
  • Begin by lining a baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Melt your chocolate discs according to package directions, either in the microwave or with a double boiler.
  • Pour or scoop melted chocolate into the squirt bottle.
  • “Draw” chocolate shapes onto the wax paper using the squirt bottle, and place in the freezer to set up.
  • When fully set, peel the wax paper away from the chocolate {as opposed to pulling the chocolate up off the wax, to avoid breakage}.
Tip: To write on the side of the plate, I placed the plate in the freezer first to chill it. This helps the chocolate firm up quicker.
Make more than you think you need….just in case ; )

{all photos by Celebrations At Home}
You can use this idea to create any simple shape. The hearts and “love” theme are great for so many occasions. You could also write “happy birthday” or “congratulations” or even write each person’s name on their own dessert plate!



The Love Series: Your Time Is Precious

Sometimes it takes losing something or someone to put things into perspective. There is a shift that happens that brings everything that we were so careless about and so wishy washy and those things that we literally took for granted- back to being the main focus.

For me, this year, each month thus far there has been death too close to home. First, my Father-in-law passes away and then yesterday on her way to work, my coworker Torrean Rich (1983-2012) was killed in a fatal car accident when a Tractor Trailer ran into her driver's side door.

Many times over the weekend we dread coming in to work. We spend some Sunday mornings praying for the crazy co-workers that get on our nerves to take a chill pill... well, Torrean was never on anyone's "chill out" list. She was always seen walking back and forth, doing her job with a smile. Organizing the wonderful potluck celebrations so that we can have a fun time away from work things and literally enjoy each others company. Her car accident has literally shifted the foundation of everyone who knew her. Some of us had anxiety about driving to and from work. In the end, despite being emotional everyone is handling as best as expected. 

Staircase to Heaven (5x7 Unframed Original Fine Art Photograph)

If people realize that without a doubt, we have no idea when our last day on this earth is, then perhaps we would make some decisions in our relationships with purpose rather then random selecting of persons to just pass the time. Our time is valuable.

The persons whom we choose to connect our lives with together are there for reasons and seasons. The worst is to have someone around who is past their expiration date just because you do not want to be lonely. Or you want to force a man to be ready to marry you just because you have dated for what you think is long enough. If you connect with people, whether they be love interests, friendships, whomever, and you identified their purpose in your life then that alone will be more fulfilling. Because the only thing that sustains in this life here on Earth is LOVE.

Nobody ever said the road would be easy, but its Love that helps us get over these emotional times. Its Love that allows us to always see good in people no matter what they do...

In a private moment, days before she passed, Torrean spoke about how she wanted to settle down and get married and have children. Now, for Torrean, for no fault of her own except that it was God's timing,  its too late to see marital bliss.. however, don't waste YOUR precious days on persons not worthy of your precious time... you never know when your time will be up. So make it count.

Updated to say: just a few moments from writing this piece, Singer, Legend Whitney Houston passed away. Needless to say I was shocked to hear the news. It truly goes to show what I have said.. who you are connected to, affects you. Whitney Houston has a legacy in pop music that is unparalleled and yet in recent years we watched her relationship with her former Husband unravel on her reality T.V. series and throughout the news media. Praying for her daughter and her family and close friends... Rest in Peace Whitney Houston.

"Everyone falls in love sometimes. Sometimes it's wrong, and sometimes its right. For every win, someone must fail.. there comes a point when, when we exhale... "
--Whitney Houston (lyrics to Shoop)

A Deep Breath (8x8 Unframed Original Fine Art Photograph)

Photos taken by Yvette Inufio Photography



The Love Series: Marriage is NOT easy!

Pinned Image

This post is brought to you today by Guest Blogger, Kevin Fredericks.. You can find more of him at @kevonstage on Twitter and at KevOnStage.

I wanted to talk about being young and married, I'll tell you from the jump this may not be what you expected it to be, but it will be from the heart. I've been married nearly 8 years to my lovely wife. We started dating at 16, engaged at 20, married at 21 and now I'm 28. 

My wife was the first girl who was not all over me, it was a challenge to get her attention, keep her attention and get her to date me. Once she said yes I never let her go. I never plan on letting her go either. One thing that being married has taught me is that it really is "growing old together" "going through life together". When I married my wife her parents were happily married, mine were too. Both our families lived in Washington everyone was for us getting married (some thought we should wait, but weren't against it) and a funny thing happened. Life changed. A couple years into our marriage my wife's parents got divorced. After 20+ years they called it quits. It rocked everybody. You would think divorce would mess up little kids more the young adults, but my wife and her sisters ALL took the divorce hard. Everything they ever knew changed. Holidays, phone calls, everything. That divorce changed my marriage as well. Knowing that a couple you looked to for guidance could end their marriage changes your perception for how well yours could turn out. Doubt that never crept in was now blowing the door wide open. 

Then Life happened again. Our one kid became two and the house we bought just to start out for a few years now became our house for forever it seemed. The housing market crashed and we were stuck living somewhere for 5 years when all we wanted to do was live there a year may be two. 

Then life happened again. I got fired. I didn't lose my job, I wasn't laid off, I under performed and was shown the door. As a proud man that completely demoralized me. I was no longer the amazing super employee Kevin I was an out of work bum. At least that's how I felt. My wife took a lot of pressure to be the primary breadwinner for almost a year and she never made me feel bad about it. I did enough of that on my own. 

Then life happened again. I got hired at a very respected company making more then I ever had. Things were starting to look up. Even my comedy game increased for the last couple months its been 3 or 4 shows a week up from 3 or 4 a month. Money flows in its all good. It seems. But the life of a public figure is straining on a family and a marriage. Boundaries have to be set, feelings are expressed, tears are shed mine and hers. It's not easy and I think that is the point of this entire piece. MARRIAGE IS NOT EASY. 

It takes a lot of work, diligence, patience, care, and love to overcome the feelings of unhappiness, fear, doubt, and suspicion. It's hard to live with someone period, even harder when that person is of the opposite sex. Raising kids doesn't make it easier they are high maintenance they need time and love to survive and thrive. 

At the end of the day marriage is what you make it. Divorce is an easy escape but it won't be mine. I am determined to love and cherish my wife until I take my last breath. Its difficult, impossible without God I think. Harder in this day and age then in the past. But it is worth it if you make it worth it. More then anything in life I want to go to heaven and have a wife and family that loves me as much as i love them.  I can do without the money, praise, pictures, videos and all that. I cannot do it without my wife. Love hard or don't love at all. If you aren't ready to grow with someone don't marry them. Because growth has growing pains so does marriage. You don't ease into different phases in life, life kicks you in the nuts and tries to knock your jaw off while you recover. You have to fight for love, fight for marriage, fight for what you believe in. 

I'm ready to do that. Are you?


Are you McLovin Bloglovin?

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin and you are good to go..



Just call me Jennifer Hudson!

Now now... I won't be breaking out into random songs that I sang when I was younger and imposing my new self singing the same song right next to myself..

And NO! I am not on Weight Watchers anymore... BUT! I told you that I am tackling this resolution and I am serious.

And I told you HOW I am going to do it... through simple calorie counting.

By pushing this App Button my phone every day, I have lost a total of...


Now mind you, I am not the best at staying motivated, but I have to say, by surpassing my goal of a pound a week... this is definitely motivation to keep it going at least one more...

How are you doing with your New Years Resolutions?


The Love Series: Love is Eternal, so make a bracelet!

I came across one of my favorites in the blog world and saw this really nice tutorial of how to make a rope bracelet that reminded me of the eternity band that I am wearing on my ring finger/left hand.

And so I thought... hmm... why not share this with you as part of The Love Series.. afterall, I am a lover of all things crafty..

Due to packing of course, I can't bring you my own crafty ideas, however, in the spirit of spreading the sunshine, I am going to show you this tutorial on how you can make your own bracelet... and wear it by Valentine's Day.

This post brought to you by Made by Girl

DIY: Rope Bracelet

Hi everyone! It's Jenny Bevlin bringing you another DIY post. I love accessories, but I especially love jewelry! I've noticed lately that I have been buying a lot of bracelets and even making some myself. I find that making my own accessories is very rewarding. It's fun and you will love all the compliments you receive when you say you made it yourself! What you need to make this bracelet:
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Flat Nose Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Rope trim
  • Jewelry Jump Rings
  • Jewelry Lobster Clasp
  • Jewelry Ribbon Endings


Measure the rope around your wrist leaving about an extra inch longer than your wrist. Cut the rope. Make sure you add a dot of hot glue to the end of the rope you just cut to keep it from unraveling.
Cut 3 more strands the same length as the first strand. Make sure to add a dot of hot glue to ends of the rope each time you cut it.

Lay out the rope as shown in the photo above.

Overlap the rope as shown in the photo above.

Pull the end of the top rope under and up through the bottom rope.

Pull the ends of the rope tight.

Trim the ends so that they are all the same length. Make sure to add hot glue to the ends to keep them from unraveling.

Put the rope ends into the ribbon ending and close with the pliers.

Use the pliers to add the jump rings and lobster clasp.

- post and images by Jenny Bevlin

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