Thursday, February 25, 2016

Getting to know Kayleen McCabe

Lake Conroe Home and Garden Show
Another adventure and another amazing experience. This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to head out to Lake Conroe for the Home and Garden Show and interview Kalyeen McCabe host of DIY Network’s RescueRenovation. I was excited and nervous and maybe even a little giddy, partly because I’d never really done an interview (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone) and mostly because it has a lot to do with the direction I am trying out lately.  How many of you watch DIY shows and feel like you could really do that? I know I do, constantly.

I’ve been ready to start working on bigger and more serious DIY projects, maybe redo some furniture - maybe even make some furniture - who knows the sky is the limit right? So having the opportunity to pick the brains of an awesome female DIY’er, Contractor and Show Host was like there was a little light shining on a wonderful opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Lunch box + Purse = Cute!
When the time came to sit down with Kayleen and Kay from The More theMerrier, it was like the nerves were set aside and we sat back a talked like a bunch of old friends that love power tools and share a craving to make things. We talked about how naturally it is that we can look at something and think “I can make that” or “I can make that better”.  We talked about the smell of saw dust and how really empowering it is to say “I made that”.

Eventually we had to get down to real questions and answers, if not I am pretty sure we could have spent the day just chatting :)

Q1: How does it feel to be a woman contractor? Does being a woman make it harder?
A1: Actually no, most times when she walks up to a job site, from the moment they open the door she has already broken down stereo types just by being a woman! They already feel comfortable with her. Women are just better at being a contractor, we have a great sense of detail. When two guys are bumping heads a woman can just walk up and be like come on – let’s figure this out!
 “As a woman contractor I get to have a big tool collection & I have a big shoe collection too!”

Q2: What is your favorite renovation?
A2: There was one renovation that was just bad, the weather was horrible it had been raining the whole time, they were building a pergola into a sloping hill. Everyone kept telling her she couldn’t complete this project, there was just no way it would work.  Then when it was time to lift the top to the pergola – it was like the skies parted and there was just silence and as the crane lifted the top it was perfect.

Q3: Worst renovation?
Pergola being lifted -Clear Skies! 
A3: While putting insulation down in an A frame house Kayleen lifted her left to get over a beam and just as she was making her way over her overalls were caught and she found herself stuck, in an awkward position for about three hours!! It gave her plenty of time to think things over "It this really the line of work I want to do?" or "I wonder if someone will find me here years later mummified just like this". She finally wiggled her way out of her overalls only to realize that she still had turn around and make her way back out. :) 

Q4: I couldn't help myself, I had to ask her about the time she ran a marathon :)
A4: She was offered the chance to run a marathon by a sponsor, she agreed to do it (with no training) she figured after being on her feet working on a job site for 18 hrs she surely could run for 6hrs!! AND she did, not too sure about doing it again though :)

In the end, I was drawn by Kayleen's insight to her current mission, teaching youth about learning a "Trade" and the fact that college is not your only option. She wishes someone would have told her she had another option when she was younger. "No one ever told me I could be a contractor"

Her message to adults? Respect the trades, it takes 27 trades to be able to build a house. DIY shows will give you the illusion that you can do-it-all-yourself truth is sometimes you need to hire the right person for the job. Coming from a family of trades men – I understand where she is coming from.

If you want to be inspired you can watch a little bit of Kayleen’s story here.

"It's all art actually just, do you hang it on the wall or did you build the wall you’re hanging it on"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CHI en Espanol | Farouk Systems

** This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Farouk Systems and Lopez Marketing. **

Blogger life lately has been so much fun! Recently I joined my fellow Houston Latina Bloggers in a wonderful campaign with Farouk Systems “CHI en Español” and as part of our campaign we were invited to visit the Farouk headquarters! {insert happy dance here}

Why CHI en Español? Farouk Systems has been a major player in Hispanic community for quite some time and let me tell you from the moment you walk to the front desk to the tour through the warehouse you get a sense of this right away.
The Farouk Company provides jobs for about 2000 employees the majority of these employees are Hispanic. We saw many Hispanic ladies and gentlemen driving the forklift through this warehouse, they were in the offices and they are part of the CHI Academy.

I believe in backing up a company or product that I really do use in my crazy daily life and if you are like me at some point in my life I’ve used CHI (Farouk Products).  I remember being a teenager and just gushing over the latest and greatest flat iron CHI had to offer; and hoarding my Biosilk© like you hoard water during a hurricane!! As I’ve grown up I’ve tried different products just like anyone else, about four years ago I went through two different flat irons that died way before I felt they had done their job. So, I bought a new CHI flat iron and I haven’t looked back since. It’s my go to styling tool almost every day… but what if my tour disappointed? I was weary to go through with our tour and come back disappointed.
My very own go to - CHI G2
Disappointed I was not! The most honest thing I can tell you about my feelings after the tour is that they have a customer for life! I may not be famous and my opinion may not be a big deal but as a voice for women and Latina women at that, I was impressed with everything I saw and learned during our tour.
Words that were repeated during our tour – quality, health for your hair in every aspect from designing styling tools to hair products, opportunities for the community, investing in organizations and keeping their customers best interest at the forefront.
Did you know??
·         Farouk decided to not renew their contract with Miss Universe contest when the respect for Latino’s was in question?

·         Farouk has been breaking ground since 1987 being the first company to have an Ammonia free hair color? That’s not all, very soon you will see an even more environmentally focused company.

·         The CHI Academy believes in empowering stylist by not only allowing for someone to aCHIeve their license but also by earning an associate’s degree in the process, so continuing your education is always an option. (You might want to get a business degree to go that beautifully awesome saloon you are dreaming of having one day!)

·         2016 is going to be an awesome year for Farouk (sorry most of its top secret…) but keep on the lookout for new products, new style and more awesomeness!

Picture provided by CHI en Español
At the end of our tour we sat down for lunch with Basim Shami, CEO of Farouk Systems, himself. He answered all the questions we could throw at him, he gave us background information, and expressed his true passion with us about an hour later I was mostly impressed that this amazing man leading a company that is known around the world was still talking to a bunch of crazy Latinas. He was at ease and was ready to share all kinds of information while making us laugh.  He personally continued the tour and you could see how proud he truly is when it comes to the work his employees do at Farouk Systems. It was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I didn’t miss out on this opportunity. I got a pretty cool swag bad of goodies – I’ll fill you in on those soon!

Monday, February 22, 2016

DIY Project: Photo Backdrops

Being that I’ve changed the direction of my blog I find myself in a whole new world full of lots of great things to post about, before I posted about running and a sweaty picture with Mother Nature was perfect. A couple of weeks ago I started this journey of transitioning my blog and I quickly realized that it was a different ball game. Not too long ago I posted a quick recipe here and as I looked at other blogs for inspiration I realized maybe it need to do something about how I set up my pictures.
Turn the 2X4 into 2- 2X2 panels

My wheels started turning and I set out on an easy and cheap way to make some of my very own backdrops for my post pictures. I think I did pretty good :)
I headed off to the Home Depot (one of my personal favorite stores) – I’ll pause here and give you some much needed back story…
If you know me I have a secret love for power tools. My brother was a big influence to me over the years he has always been a jack-of-all-trades but he has a passion for creating too, anything from jewelry to knocking out walls he is always ready to go and along the way he’s taught me a lot. A few years ago he was a big part of helping the hubs and me build our little oasis in the back yard – a 16X16 pavilion that took a lot of serious work and lots of serious power tools. I think of remodeling, painting and creating stuff all.the.time. a lot of it was put on the backburner due to training and time restraint but right now I’m ready to knock out some projects!
So this is what I found at the depot – 2 ft. x 4 ft. Project Panel $5.97 – basically a very thin panel with wood veneer on both sides. It’s very light and easy to carry.
One of fav tools!
Cheap Paint Tip: I was looking to make this project on the cheap just in case it didn’t pan out. So I headed over to the paint counter and went straight for the “rejected paints” this little pile of wonders comes from paints that didn’t quite turn out the right shade or the customer failed to come back and pick it up after ordering it. I scored two perfect shades one dark tan color $ .50 and one grey blue $2.00. Perfect.
I did pick up a quart of white paint that was about $9.00, I just looked for the cheapest they had in a quart and then I asked them to tint it to an antique white.
My last item was wood glue, I did some Pinterest research on how to crackle paint and this was one of my main ingredients.  I grabbed a large bottle $6.00 (for all future endeavors!)
Once we made it back home we used a Circular Saw to cut my panel right in half now I had two pieces of 2X2 panels each one two sided. I used my sander to take off any rough edges so I wouldn’t get any splinters while handling the wood.

Next I went for my crackle painting experiment. First I painted on side of my panel the base color you want to show through the crackle. Once dry, I “painted” on the wood glue on nice and thick, you let the glue dry a little and once it gets a little tacky you paint on the top color – and the magic begins once it starts drying the crackle effect starts to happen!!
My first go around I didn’t let the wood glue get tacky enough, not very much crackle but I still like the finished product. The second go around came out perfect! Now I had two backdrops! I let them dry and I flipped over one panel and I decided to stain this one for a nice wood grain backdrop.
I find myself with one last panel and I think I’m going to go stark white with this one to give a blank canvass of sort. Although I received my Sephora catalog in the mail recently and the front cover was done with turf as the backdrop… maybe I’ll see if I can find some turf to glue to my last panel and then I’ll have a green grass backdrop for the Spring and Summer!!

The Goods:

4X2 Project Panel - $5.97

Tan Paint - $.50

Blue Paint - $2.00

White Quart of Paint - $9.00

Wood Glue - $6.00

Paint Brush - $1.50

Grand Total - $25.00

I think I could have made this whole project for even less if I would have thought about alllllllll the random paints I have in the attic!! I will say I didn’t use more than ¼ of any of the paints or the glue which means I have plenty for future projects.
Panel one in action! Just a little bit of crackle.

Panel two in action - Lots of crackle!

Panel Three - Plain wood panel with Dark Stain.
Little Bears planter box :) still lots of paint left over!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weekend Snapshots| Weekend of Love

Busy weekend much? Yup this one was another crazy weekend and I was fighting a cold the whole weekend that is still trying to get me down. I almost didn’t recap this weekend because I feel like poop but I have tons of pretty pictures so I’ll share! I'm linking up with 3twentysix with Weekend Snapshots the perfect way to recap all the weekend fun!! 

Friday Night: We played it low key and grilled some shrimp and potatoes and sipped some vino while we chilled in our own backyard. No fuss no muss just us :)

Saturday: We took the bear to Froberg's Farm in Alvin, TX to pick strawberries!! This is something we do every year and it was time to get picking. I think the warm winter made for a not so great strawberry picking season but the girls had a great time and we still filled a whole bucket.

In the evening we went on a double date with my bestie Clari and her hubby and we had a great time. I didn’t take pictures of our dinner so you’ll have to take my word on it. We decided to live on the edge and we all ordered the “Chef’s Tasting Menu" at the Rainbow Lodge here we were at the mercy of the chef and had a six course meal with a little bit of everything on the menu from swordfish to venison (YUM). It was an experience and it was delish! For some after dinner fun we headed to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar as always it was a good time :)

Sunday: The crud started to really hit me :( we made it to church and had a nice breakfast with our family but I just wanted to crawl into bed and not move fortunately with the bear things don’t always go as planned. We made chocolate covered strawberries and homemade bubbles that the bear could catch and bounce! Thank you Pinterest! (again)

We wore cute matching shirts "All you need is Love" 
So not the cute picture I was hopping for :( I just felt so blah I just wanted to cuddle on the couch with my bug. 

I figure strawberries are full of vitamin C - so it's okay!  

Monday: Presidents' day aka a day of no school for the little one. We tried to go to work but after only two hours we were done. We came home and took it easy, we worked on some crafts and I made some soup. I don’t know about you but soup makes me feel better. 

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup - Warm and Yummy

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Free Printable | Valentine's Love Bug

Is love in the air at your home? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner we should all be googly eyes and loveable kisses :) Unless you have kids, right? That Valentine’s Day Party for school is about to go down!! LOL

At my house it’s about the same, I just have one little one and she just makes everyday life interesting. To find her Valentine’s Day card/craft I headed over to Pinterest (as always) to find the one. I came across this cute LoveBug Valentine from Shanty2Chic and I was pretty much sold. If you know my little one she loves bugs. She is the fastest at catching lizards in our back yard not to mention the fact that she made me read her a book on Spiders that made me gag. So “Love Bug” was a go – until I made that mad dash to Hobby Lobby to grab paper and little baggies for the worms. The bags I grabbed were a bit too small for the labels :( 

My wheels started turning and I came up with my own little design, the bear loved them!

Click here to download

I am kind of excited to share my first Free Printable with you!! If you love it just as much as we did it would be super awesome sauce if you pinned it ;)

I also finished up my entry way Valentine’s Chalk art! I think it turned out pretty cool :)

It’s my birthday month along with a bunch of my beautiful friends so adding “and a little bit of Cake” was quite fitting for us! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekend Snapshots| F*R*I*E*N*D*S

Today I'm linking up with 3twentysix and a quick recap of my crazy busy Weekend Snapshots

Throughout the years you've seen me post running pictures, before a race, during, after and in training. Sometimes in the rain, on a beautiful crisp morning and even at times before the sun rises. What you may not realize is that in the past few years the girls and I have been through so much more.

Kemah Toughest 10K - Sept. 2015
January 2013, I remember sitting at my dad’s kitchen table and telling everyone for the first time that I wanted to train to run my first 5K - Alma (my aunt/sister/close friend) said without hesitation if you do it I'll do it. Shortly after that I posted to FB and our friend Cindy chimed in "I want to do it too!" little did we know what would become of a little 5K Color Run before it was all said and done Lety joined us and Clarissa too - Fatima our little cheerleader.

In the past three years we have set out to celebrate our little girls birthdays, our birthdays, husbands birthday's, holidays and life together bringing us closer than we ever thought.  Our girls love to get together just as much as we do, all of them BFF's in the making. Let us not miss more than a couple of weekends without seeing each other and the girls start demanding a Friday night BBQ :)

Cheers to my birthday girls!! 

This weekend we celebrated our February birthdays, a bachelorette party for another beautiful friend and of course the #SB50. 

I wouldn't change it for anything in the world I can't imagine a major life event happening without one of these ladies by my side... or even just another Friday night BBQ for that matter!!

My ride or dies :)

Having fun with my new #Fujifilm #Insta

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Houston Auto Show Game Changer

Both just so happen to look good one me ;)
Funny how something so small can make you realize that life is very very different from what you imagined it would be right about now. For the past few years I’ve felt with every inch of my being that I am simply right where God wants me to be. I haven’t questioned it (much) I just go with the flow and time after time I’ve felt the confirmation of the “this” is why I’m here.

This weekend I went to the Houston Auto Show, I’ve been going year after year with the hubs. We happen to like jumping in and out of cars, trucks and SUV’s. We dream of our future vehicles and we actually plan out the idea of what our next vehicle might be. We’ve gone with the kids and we have them get in and out of something we have on our radar to make sure it works with our lifestyle.

This year we headed out again (minus the kids) and about five minutes into the show a crazy reality started to sink in. My direction has changed. All this time sitting here thinking I was headed in one way and God has started to set the stage for something else.

Twin Panel Moonroof - I love it! I need it!
I used to think that my next vehicle was going to be a convertible, my bream convertible BMW M4 realistically BMW 2Series. I was ready to take on a used one if only that meant getting my most coveted convertible.

Now about 5 minutes into the Auto Show, I sat in a shiny new Ford 150 4X4 King Ranch. I knew then what I know to be true now. I am in love and I will be holding on to my current Ford 150 Lariat until the day comes when I can make that trade.

Turns out the more spinning my brain does, the less a fancy convertible fits in my life. Maybe one day it will fit or maybe I’ll forever be a move it, haul it, and pick it up truck kinda girl. It also turns out that I’m okay with that.

I’m not sure what’s coming but apparently I need something to be able to carry it around with. :) 

...and this would not do the trick, so I had to scratch it off my wish list!