Sleeping Snowman Dinner Napkins

This year I’m decking the halls with a Snowman theme. My colors – Red, Black, White and Gold. First up – the dining room table. My craft – sleeping snowman napkins.

Aren’t these adorable?

I decided to think of something outside of the box to go with the theme – so that meant I had to create something, or figure out a use for what I already owned. So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and the idea was born.

Snowman Hat

Here is what you need:

– Miniature snowman top hats

– Flatbacks (I used Ponsietta themed ones)

– Glitter

– Ribbon

– Glue dots

– Glue gun/glue sticks

– Spray Adhesive

Step 1:

Cut the ribbon to the correct diameter and attach to your snowman hat with hot glue. I found that this step required the most patience as I tried to line up both edges of the ribbon.

Step 2:

Press your Flatbacks on top of the glue dots and peel off carefully. Then conform the glue dots to the shape of the flatback.

Step 3:

Attach the flatback to the ribbon where it meets in the front.

Step 4:

Finish the hat by spraying adhesive to the top and sides of the hat, apply glitter generously, and after the adhesive dries, shake off any excess glitter.

Snowman Body

For the snowman body, I folded the napkin and attached the buttons using glue dots.

Here is what you need:

– White Dinner Napkins

– Buttons (I purchased 2 variety packs from Walmart)

– Glue dots

Step 1:

Fold the napkin in half lengthwise, then fold it into thirds.

Step 2:

Press the buttons firmly onto the glue dots – as shown on the back of the glue dot packaging.

Step 3:

Remove the button and glue dot from roll and then attach the buttons to the napkins. (I used the bottom of my knife to space out the buttons evenly.

Use the hashtag #sleepingsnowmannapkins and tag me on Instagram @ljlove3 if you give it a try.

Memphis – How a King lived and died

I recently visited Memphis, TN, my son had a cross country meet there, and I figured as long as I was going I might as well see some sights. Before I left, I got some local information from my high school friend Cindy who had lived there recently before returning back to the ATL. She was very helpful and insightful, and I actually made it to a couple of the places she suggested – thanks Cindy.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon, and my first stop was at Memphis Barbecue Co – well let me tell you, I got dry rubbed ribs, and they were not only seasoned well, but they were fall off the bone good. I was very excited about the prospect of eating my way through Memphis.

Next stop – Graceland…I have to admit, when I told my friends I was going there, I got a lot of flack, mostly people telling me that “Elvis was racist, didn’t I know that”. Well I’ve heard the stories, but I’ve grown to realize that you can’t always believe everything you hear…wasn’t there a rumor about Tommy Hilfiger – I’m just saying, do your research and don’t always believe everything you hear. This repeated rumor made me want to find out more so I did…check out these articles –

http://www.elvisinfonet.com/spotlight_racist.html

http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/elvis_not_racist.shtml

http://snopes.com/music/artists/presley1.asp

Well, all I can say is believe what you want, but always get to the truth before spreading, or continuing rumors.

Now that I’ve said my peace, I thought Graceland was very interesting. You get there by driving down Elvis Presley Blvd, and it seems to be located smack dab in the middle of the hood. Apparently when Elvis purchased the property it was nothing but farmland – my, how times change. Parking was across the street, and since Graceland was open for business, the famous gates were swung open, so I didn’t get that picture, but I sure did take a lot more.

I bought the VIP pass, no standing in line for me, and that got me into the Lisa Marie quarters. Did you know that Elvis had a twin brother? Let me just say, I felt the trip was well worth my time, and I got to get a close-up view of how the King lived…

Back to the hotel, I snapped some shots of the team before the competition, and after a quick change of clothes, I was on my way to the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. There were four different races, and since I am the team photographer I got a good workout. The race finished in a 6000 seat stadium – Olympic style. It was good night, and Justin finished 10th in his race, not bad for a hilly course.

So the plan was to leave there and head to B.B. Kings’ Blues Café – that didn’t happen. Not only did the bottom fall out of the sky – I was so tired from a full day that I all I wanted to do was go to sleep.

——————

I woke up refreshed and ready to check out some more of Memphis – 1st up, lunch at Gus’s Fried Chicken. I got there early, so I headed to the river. It reminded me of Hyde Park in Chicago, very serene. I snapped lots of pictures, and I talked to this nice couple who were in town for their granddaughters wedding.

10:45, in line at Gus’s, talked to a nice family while I waited. The baby had a pretty pink feather bow in here hair…

Once Gus opened at 11:00, ten minutes later the seating was full and more people were waiting in line. I ordered the fried green tomatoes and a two piece dark plate with a side of beans and slaw. The chicken was spicy, and moist – delicious, not the best I’ve ever tasted, but good; the fried green tomatoes were acceptable – beans and slaw were average. I’m hoping the chicken at the Watershed in Atlanta can top it, G. Garvin says it’s good, so I’ll be making my way down there soon, I’ll let you know. After lunch, I caught a trolley around the city, and got off near the National Civil Rights Museum.

At the Civil Rights Museum I saw where the Dr. King died. I took lots of photos and learned more about Dr. King. Tears welled up in my eyes as I watched the video made about his last days. He has definitely had a profound impact on me, and I was reminded yet again how one lunatic, can change the course of history.

Headed back to Atlanta, I enjoyed the visit.

Las Vegas and Beyond – Mother and Son Trip

So typically when planning our trip I want it to be to someplace where we can see a natural wonder, our last trip was to Toronto, and we got close-up and personal to Niagara Falls. This time it was to the Grand Canyon. This was my first trip to “sin city”, we stayed at Planet Hollywood…but I am jumping ahead.

The trip to Vegas started out bumpy – literally there was a lot of turbulence that seemed to go on forever, but I guess 20 minutes out of the four hours wasn’t that bad. During the flight the pilot flew us over the Grand Canyon, luckily we had a window seat, and a couple of the passengers who were seated in the middle without a window, thought it was a good idea to hang out over our seats. I was gracious for the first ten minutes, but they overstayed their welcome, and I finally had to ask them to please leave, I wanted my personal space back…

Arrival at Planet Hollywood went very smoothly – we were allowed to check in early without the fees – Yeah. Our adventure began.

We hit the strip and our first stop – McDonalds, oh well not so glamorous but I am traveling with a teenage boy. Now our tour can begin. We headed to New York, New York so we could see the rollercoaster coming out of the building…

The statue of liberty replica looked great. I found all the walkways that went over the streets so that you could avoid traffic interesting. These were good and bad. Good because you can continue your walk without having to pause for traffic, and bad since oftentimes they take you on a less direct route to your planned destination. We then looked at Excalibur and MGM Grand, and of course I snapped pictures.

A lot of walking and gawking ensued. Okay, so I have to admit that I am very curious about how much one gets paid to hand out semi-nude cards of young ladies, is it minimum wage??? Why do people litter? I really didn’t want to see what I refused to accept. Hmm…that didn’t work out so well, since the cards were plastered up and down the streets. Finally it was time to eat, so back to the hotel for some R&R, and then we headed to PF Changs. After dinner we decided to check out the wax museum, We headed in the opposite direction we had taken earlier…The Eiffel Tower at Paris, Fountains at Bellagio, Volcano’s at the Mirage, and Jokers – the hotels are just amazing. At Madame Tussauds we were greeted by the Rock and Ms. Goldberg…it was bound to be an adventure. Inside were some pretty lifelike figures…

These are interesting:

And of course we had to be in the pictures…

And we did the Michael Jackson lean…

After the museum, we checked out the gondolas at the Venetian, and the Volcano at the Mirage…and after many photo stops in between we made it back to our hotel for the night – my feet hurt….

 

DAY 2

We rented a car so that we could head over to Hoover Dam, and then Lake Havasu. I watch the Food Network a lot and I’m a big fan of the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so I couldn’t resist heading to the Coffee Cup in Boulder City for breakfast. Boulder City is a small unassuming town, and it’s where the workers lived that built the Hoover Dam. So we arrived fresh faced and ready for a food adventure. I asked for what Guy had – the “Pork Chili Verde Omelette” it was delish…I took a picture of it, sorry about the ketchup, I have to have it with my hash browns J.

The terrain going toward the Dam was quite mountainous (is that a word) and I was afraid our rented Nissan Versa was not up to the task, but it made the trip just fine. The Hoover Dam is a modern miracle; I found it to be impressive to say the least. We passed on the “Dam Tour” I was not in the mood to go 500 feet down, just so I could view some generators. Going down is an issue for me, going up on the other hand, not a problem. So we checked out the museum, and the observation deck and then we walked across the Dam. We could also see Lake Meade…

The Dam Museum

The Dam Observation Deck

On the Dam

So my son wasn’t as amused as I was, and he felt we had already been here quite a while, and was ready to go…

I ignored him and took lots more pictures.

Lake Havasu Here We Come!!!

The day was not quite over; we continued our journey to Lake Havasu, since I was determined to see the London Bridge. I was not quite ready for the road signs – “Look out for Animals, next 20 miles” – what kind of animals, I kept my eyes peeled, didn’t see anything. The Nissan Versa also wasn’t ready, we got passed by every type of vehicle, including tractor trailers, but we travailed and ended up at Lake Havasu a couple of hours later. Lake Havasu was a small town, and the lake and the bridge were the main attractions. We took our photos, had some Italian ice, and headed back to Vegas.

The trip back to Vegas took us through the Mohave Desert and San Bernardino Valley California. This was great, a bonus state. It took us another 2 hours to get back to Vegas, and I must say I was tired of driving, but that didn’t stop us for heading to the famous Las Vegas sign…

Tired, hot and hungry, we headed back to the hotel for a much needed break. I’m pretty sure the picture taking and the site seeing was over for the day. We called it an early night; we had a big day planned for tomorrow – the Grand Canyon.

 

Day 3

This day started at 5:00 a.m. Our tour was scheduled to take off at 6:15 a.m. I was certain that we’d be walking in the dark to our pick-up point, the Monte Carlo, but it was already light outside when I got up. And to my surprise, it was hot when we stepped out onto the strip at 5:50. Hmm, I’m thinking it’s gonna be a hot day. The tour company was called Comedy on Deck. I was expecting a lot of comedy along the way, and although our tour guide Robert didn’t tell a lot of jokes, he was entertaining, and kept our attention during the drive. First stop Boulder City, Southwest Diner. The food was good, but we weren’t wasting any time, back on the bus and to our final destination all within 30 minutes. The trip to the Canyon was uneventful; we did see the famous Joshua trees, and a few cows along the side of the road, but no buffalos. There was an 8 mile dirt road that led to the West Rim of the Canyon, and during that time, the air conditioning on the bus had to be turned off – but my son didn’t mind too much, since he was asleep. I on the other hand, had my handy-dandy fan to keep me cool – thank goodness. After viewing a film on how they replaced the glass on the Skywalk, we were ready to walk (sit, lay) over the canyon.

I took a lot of pictures at Eagle Point, and at Guano Point. I won’t include all of them…

In that last photo, my son was at the very top of that view point; here he is on his way down:

We were impressed with the Grand Canyon to say the least, and then we headed back to Vegas, one more stop (a bonus) at the Hoover Dam Bridge. Several of us got off the bus for our 20 minute detour, my son stayed on the bus; he was asleep.

The strip later that night…

 

Day 4

So we didn’t have any tours planned for the day, so we thought we’d take in a couple of shows. I was tired of walking, so we got 24 hour bus passes so that we could ride up and down the strip. Did I mention it was hot? The heat emanated from the concrete sidewalk and worked its way up – I didn’t adjust, I just survived. We went to see the Mac King Magic Show, which was really entertaining and funny; went to see Men in Black III; road to the top of the Eiffel Tower and went to see Wayne Brady that night. I was tired of taking pictures (I took a total of 800 during our trip) and lugging the camera around, so I don’t have many from this day. These were taken from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

 

Day 5

Headed back to the ATL, goodbye Vegas. It was a fun and memorable trip, probably our last one since next year he’ll be a senior, and won’t think it’s cool to hang out with his mom.

Older and Wiser

My birthday has come and gone, and I consider myself blessed to have lived to see it. I will continue my journey on becoming better and wiser for as long as the Lord allows. I have learned in my years here on earth: to give thanks to my creator, it’s better to give than receive, to not sweat the small stuff, to forgive and forget, to count your blessings every day, and to tell those close to you that you love them, frequently. Wow, if only I had such clarity at 21…C’est la vie!

Your Word is Your Bond

Do people still live by this credo, I don’t think so. No one is perfect, but if you tell someone you are going to do something, you should do it, or at least let them know why you won’t be able to do it. I know sometimes, life can get hectic and it feels like it’s all you can do just to keep afloat, but I still value consideration for others and their time, and I try hard to keep my word. Recently I’ve been faced with a dilemma – I asked someone that I trust to work on a project for me. Going in I was fairly confident about the person’s ability and skills. Now, I’m just trying to decide if I should cut my losses before I get in over my head. My reputation and how I am perceived is very important to me, which is why I try very hard to do what I say I’m going to do. So, is your word your bond?

Skating – Part 2

So the Jive Biscuit Family Reunion was off the chain, women were scantily clad, guys – well they were just being themselves, there were a few of them that took it back to the 70’s namely the gentlemen in the high-waisted white pants – you know who you are. I often wonder why some people feel that in a crowd of 500, it’s necessary to show all of their tricks while endangering the lives of others, thankfully no injuries on Saturday. Made some new friends and skated the night away. All in all, a fun time but probably won’t go next year, it was way too crowded, and also I’m still recovering from my sleep deprived weekend. Oh well, back to the rink tonight to practice my new steps and perhaps make up a new one. Until tomorrow.

Skating – Part I

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I roller skate – old school, quads, indoors. I also rollerblade, but those are my go to skates for outdoors. This is a recreational, hobby, and exercise sport for me. I get to meet new people, exercise, and dance all in one activity. These are all win-wins, since it combines my loves. Every since I can remember, I’ve loved to dance. I was in a few dance troupes growing up, but it was nothing that I ever pursued. Once I became an adult, I loved expressing myself through dance mainly at clubs, and after I had my child, I started taking hip-hop classes as a way to get my dance on. That lasted for about three years, and eventually I realized that my knees were not going to hold up. Then I re-discovered skating, I skated when I was a teenager, but I was never really good at it, mainly because I found it more interesting to chat it up with the fellas, that were also at the rink. So in August of 2007, I thought it might be fun if my son and I could have a recreational activity that we could both do together, and with the urging of my girlfriend Lucy, we tried skating. My son, a natural unfortunately does not enjoy it at all, but I’ve stuck with it, and now I am a bona-fide skater. Like a golfer, or cyclist, I’ve invested in my sport to obtain the right equipment, and it’s very rewarding and I get the benefits of being able exercise why I do something I enjoy. As I mentioned before, it combines all of my loves which includes meeting new people. It’s interesting to meet and get to know other people that enjoy the same activity that you do, so it’s easy to see why I’m so passionate about the sport.

This weekend was the Jive Biscuit Family reunion – a two day skate fest that brings together skaters from different states. It’s fun when these events occur, which is almost monthly in different states, because you get an opportunity to check out other states skating styles – and yes, some states have very distinctive styles – namely, Michigan, New York, Philly, Chicago, and yes Atlanta. These events usually are held after the normal rink hours end, so they typically start at 11:30 pm and end in the wee hours of the morning. I have to admit, I’m getting too old for this. I went last evening, and I’m wiped out, still need some rest, so if this blog is rambling, you now know why. To be continued…

Nothing in Particular

So I’m having writer’s block already, and I haven’t even finished out a full week of blogging. Anyway, today I was on a never ending call with someone who obviously can hold a conversation by herself, because I didn’t have to speak at all and the conversation lasted three hours, I have to say it was longest three hours of my life. I was in a training class remotely, so I was listening half way, which is a trend for me, unfortunately there is a test, the horror. I must now review everything that was spoken to me, why the pain and suffering I don’t know.

Anyhow, I have been wondering why I hear women say that there are no good men out there. I wish women would stop saying that, because I believe that you get what you speak, so I will never utter those words, and also I know too many upstanding black men to ever repeat such non-sense. Now, most of these women that say these things, are women with confidence issues. How do you teach confidence??? I’m very confident, and I believe it comes from God, knowing oneself, and loving oneself. I love me some me…I just wish I could help other women see the light. This will be a work in progress, I’ll update you on the status.

Bday Celebration and Skating

So last night, I went to Benihana’s to celebrate my nephews birthday. My sweetie, El ordered sushi, and I should have taken his lead because we needed to leave early, but instead I order shrimp and chicken. Wow, that was a mistake…honestly, why do you cook the chicken last??? It doesn’t take that long to cook, and I want to eat my food all together. I know call me weird, but that’s just how I am. Just so there is no mistaking, I know how it works at Benihana’s this was not my first time at the rodeo, but it had been about two years and I guess I keep forgetting that ordering seafood is always faster. Hmmm…it had been two years prior to last night, maybe that should tell me something. Okay on to the celebration – good food (albeit cold), good conversation, good friends, and family – I’ll rate my experience as PRICELESS. So dinner was done, and El and I hustled over to the rink for some much needed cardio. After skating, and getting our sweat on we were approached by a stranger who commented on our skating style and how he felt we expressed our love through our skating – okay I’m listening…He then asked if we were married – “uh no”, El piped up. Well how long have you been dating, he asked. Three years, El’s reply. Wow, I had nothing to say – and this stranger actually quoted a song – If you don’t know me by now – hmmm, I think – Am I being punked??? Well the conversation got more interesting after that, being that I can have a short attention span, and he had long since stopped complimenting our skating ability, I admit that I was only half listening – but he had El’s full attention. He then branched into spirituality, and how El needed to be closer to God in order to be closer to me, and maybe if it’s been so long – perhaps we were not destined to be together – there were other things mentioned, but again I was half listening. This stranger ended his conversation by asking if he could pray for us – wow, I have to admit, I loved his tenacity, so we prayed. A sign???

Happy Born Day Tony!!!

Today is my nephew Tony’s birthday. He’s somewhere in his thirties, which makes me older, boy how time flies. What can I say about my nephew – he’s kind, honest, and he’s a good friend. It’s always comforting to know that I can call him at any time and get honest feedback. That’s nice because I know he has my best interest at heart. I guess you can say he’s one of my favorites. Anyway, we’ll be meeting for dinner this evening and I look forward to spending that time with my family and new friends. Which makes me want to discuss the importance of family, and how wonderful it is to know that in this world there are people who know you better than anyone, been with you through thick and thin, and love you through all of your faults. FAMILY equals LOVE, tell someone in your family that you love them. Till next time…