I traveled to Guatemala last week to visit my friends The Greene Family (our sponsors at Catalyst Resources International) and to play Santa to my special family in the village of Labor da Falla and the children at God Bless the Children Orphanage.
Of course it’s no surprise, that I was the one truly blessed during my visit.
I started out in the village visiting a family my team and I built a house for 3 years ago. We stay in touch via texts and my semi annual visit. This year they needed some cooking pots and food (beans, rice, sugar, oil, salt, nutritious milk, corn meal). I also gave them money for new shoes.
Oh my gosh – they were all decorated for Christmas and so proud. Be still my heart.
Next on my Santa list was to visit the 18 orphans at God Bless the Children. I came armed with 7 wrapped baby dolls, 6 wrapped cars and 5 hand knitted baby hats that my niece Julie lovingly made for the babies.
Keeping still while I handed out presents was quite a challenge.
All of a sudden I was attacked by a pile of happy, sweet children screaming “Gracias Kelly!”. My heart swelled. There is no greater gift than to give.
Oh the thrill of Christmas! Later the girls took their babies and put them back in the boxes they came in and made them into cribs. They took the wrapping paper and ripped it up into perfectly sized pieces and said the paper was now the babies blanket. The ingenuity of little ones who have nothing….
YES! It WAS an awesome day!
Not everybody thinks taking a selfie is fun. Oh well.
This little one just wanted to be held tight. That was my gift to her.
Hug your children close this holiday season and tell them how much you love them. Not every child has a loving parent…..
Of course Paula, Ally, Katy, Fontaine and I made sure to enjoy the city and explore places I hadn’t been in my 7 visits to Guatemala. The volcanoes always take my breath away.
Yes there are beautiful golf resorts in Guatemala. Who knew?
Of course I had to get my shopping in.
We visited the outdoor shopping venue of Cayala for an amazing italian dinner.
On my last night in Guatemala, we went to the National Theatre for a Christmas show of Handels Messiah. What a treat.
The highs and lows, the beauty and the travesty, the friendships and love that abound make Guatemala a very special place for me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer and to hug my friends. I can’t wait to see you in July!
God Bless and Happy Holidays!
December 15, 2014 No Comments
With the amazing creativity of bloggers and Pinterest, it’s not difficult to find great do it yourself gift wrapping ideas this holiday season! Here are some of my favorites!
If you like working with clay this is a fun one. See the “how to” on the Lines Across Blog.
This will surely make a gift card feel a lot more personal. Look for the simple tutorial at The Creative Mama.
What a great way to use candy to add interest and sweetness! – My Home Ideas.
This is a great idea just using black paper and white or chalkboard markers via Style Logistics.
How creative to use Pixy Stix to make a star shape! See more at Crafting in the rain.
We all know that the gift itself is important, but the way you present it is just as significant!
Many of these creative ideas are not just for the holidays. If you have any unique gift wrap ideas, pass them along and we’ll post them on the blog!
December 10, 2014 No Comments
If you are looking for a way to help a family in need this holiday season, I urge you to check out Dwell with Dignity’s virtual store called Jingle Dwell.
This is a virtual store that provides a way for you to spread holiday cheer by transforming a house into a home for a deserving family. Each “ornament” on the Jingle Dwell website represents an item needed for one of their homes. You can choose the perfect item to purchase in honor of a friend or family member and add it to your cart. The site is super easy to use, and you can shop from the comfort of your own sofa. Click here to check it out. The site is really cool!
Thank you for helping Kandrac & Kole to support Dwell with Dignity, a non-profit that is near and dear to us.
Here are a couple of the Dallas projects:
For a Mom, 10 year old son, and 4 year old son.
For a Mom, 6 year old daughter and 4 year old daughter
Photography by: Lance Selgo with Unique Exposure Photography
Dwell with Dignity is based out of Dallas but has recently started a chapter in Atlanta due to the overwhelming interest and commitment from the Atlanta design community, showrooms, DIYers, and bloggers.
The first project was led by design team Kerry Howard and Brian Patrick Flynn who did an amazing job. The Atlanta family was a mom and two sons ages 5 and 10 who were nominated by Buckhead Christian Ministry.
photography by Sarah Dorio
We were very fortunate to be asked to work on the second project where we designed a bedroom for 2 young girls 18 months and 3 years old. This was a very deserving mom and her reaction was incredible!! If you missed our blogpost on this project, click HERE!
photography by Tom England
As Winston Churchill said ” We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”
December 8, 2014 2 Comments
FLOR is an innovative system of carpet squares that you assemble to create custom rugs, runners or wall to wall designs of any shape or size.
The beautiful thing about FLOR is that the squares connect securely together with FLORdots – no nails, padding or glue. They can be easily replaced, allowing flexibility and portability along with beauty and remarkable performance.
The creative options are what I also love. You can create solids, vintage looks, stripes, sisals, graphics, wool and even purchase area rugs created by FLOR. There is a look for every room.
It is clearly a no-brainer when our clients tell us they would like something beautiful but are wary of expensive carpets because of kids, dogs, and everyday living. That’s where FLOR is our lifesaver. I can’t even count how many projects we have used it in. Here are just a few:
We used a whimsical, color block for this commercial space. It happens to be the “brand” colors for this client.
And here, a dining room of all places, where lots of spills could happen, we used a solid texture which worked wonderfully for a family with 2 young children. The other advantage to FLOR is if a really “beyond the normal” mess occurs, we suggest purchasing a few “extra” tiles so they can be swapped out!
Not only is FLOR attractive and functional, the company is very environmentally friendly. They have a return and recycle program where you can send back your tiles once they have lived their useful life. This is how it works: You package up the squares, call FLOR and they will mail you a pre-paid UPS label based on the weight of your package. The carpet portion is sent to be made into recycled nylon fibers and the backing is shredded into small pellets to create post consumer recycled GlasBac Re backing.
Not only do they care about the environment, they also participate in Carpet for a Cause where they involve themselves in multiple projects to help others. For one week in November, they are donating one FLOR square for every order placed to donate FLOR rugs to more than 30 classrooms across the country with more donations in the works.
Do you have a favorite charity, organization or school you think could benefit from a FLOR rug donation? Click for the Carpet for a Cause submission form to be considered!
December 1, 2014 No Comments
I’m headed to Guatemala next weekend to celebrate Christmas with my village families and my host family – The Greene’s (founders of CRI). I will come loaded with baby dolls, toy trucks and hand made infant hats for the 18 children at God Bless the Children Orphanage as well as money to shop for cooking pots and new shoes for my beloved family that I helped build a house for 3 years ago. The timing is perfect as Catalyst Resources International (the mission group I stay with every time I visit) kicks off a week of raising funds and awareness to fund a program that will feed 1,000 starving children in Guatemala. This campaign is called Beans and Rice.
Let me share a few quick facts with you….
When I came to Guatemala in 2011 and helped with the feeding program in the village of Labor De Falla, I honestly didn’t realize the statistics were this tragic.
I could barely get my kids to eat a full meal when they were little. These children know very well that one meal a day is a blessing.
Here’s how the Rice and Beans campaign works:
CRI is inviting all of you (and your friends and family) to join them in eating rice, beans, and water for as many meals as possible for 7 days. During that week, skip the lunch at Chick-Fil-A, the latte at Starbucks, and pass on that expensive pot roast at the grocery store. Instead, prepare various meals with beans and rice, and donate the funds you saved during that time to this CRI initiative. Your sacrifice for 7 days will mean nutritious meals for multiple children for an entire year! If 150 individuals donate $100, CRI will hit the goal needed to fund the program to feed 1,000 children a hot meal every day during the school year.
Beans and Rice Week will kick off on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd, and run through Tuesday, December 9th. On 12/9, use the secure giving page located at www.donatecri.com for your gifts. Obviously you can give towards this effort at any time starting immediately.
After literally “stuffing” ourselves yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m more than happy to help this worthy initiative. I hope you are too!
November 28, 2014 No Comments