ICE! at The Gaylord 2016 + 50% Off Coupon!

This was our 4th year to attend ICE! at The Gaylord Texan and we always enjoy it.  It’s become a family tradition and it’s a nice way to start the holidays.  Yes, it’s freezing cold…but totally worth it.  The time and talent that goes into the ICE! exhibit each year is extraordinary.  It’s definitely something you have to see to believe.

I don’t think Connor was excited at all right?dsc_8378

Before you tour the ICE! exhibit you watch a video of how everything is created by the artists.  And then…it starts SNOWING 🙂

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Connor sure has grown into the blue coat over the years…this was his very first time to go to ICE!
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Here he is at 6 years old.

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We walked through this really cool illusion of characters telling stories.dsc_8368 dsc_8372

You can also get your photo taken before you tour the ICE! exhibit.dsc_8373

This year’s theme was “Here Comes Santa Claus”  Follow along and read the stories together as you walk through each room.dsc_8379 dsc_8380 dsc_8381 dsc_8382 dsc_8383 dsc_8385 dsc_8386

ADULTS:  Take a look at this bar made completely out of ice.  Frozen or on the rocks maybe?dsc_8391 dsc_8393 dsc_8396 dsc_8397

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Of course one of our very favorite things to do is the ice slide.  dsc_8401 dsc_8398

I love that at the end of the exhibit every year they recreate the nativity scene.  This is what Christmas is truly about.

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I hope you get a chance to visit the ICE! exhibit at The Gaylord Texan….it truly is a sight to behold.  Until next year…”Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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FREE 12×8 Canvas Print!

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Hey Y’all!  You know how much I love photos and I absolutely LOVE getting them printed out on canvas for my home and for family.

There is an awesome deal right now at Canvas on Sale! I just got a free 12×8″ canvas print and I am allowed to share this with you!
FREE 12×8 Canvas Print! – All you need to do is to click the website link HERE.

Upload your favorite picture, choose 12×8″ canvas and enter the voucher code from the website in the basket. Keep it for yourself or present it to your loved ones.
Once you have ordered your free canvas you can share this with your friends anywhere in the web, so they also get a free canvas print.

FREE 12×8 Canvas Print! The AMAZING FREE CANVAS FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN. All you need to do is to click the website link http://www.canvasonsale.com/congrats/ , upload your favorite picture. all they need to pay for is shipping.
MY FAVORITE ORNAMENTS:


Our New Home: Before & After

This is probably going to be a looooong and picture heavy post, but a lot of you have asked questions about our new house and I’m excited to share them 🙂

Of course like any new home we have our hopes and dreams of doing all sorts of things to make it our own…and hopefully some day down the line that will happen.  Most of you know we searched for over a year and put in close to 30 offers before we found our house. Our realtor Courtney was AMAZING…if you would like her info let me know! We love it because we got to stay in Connor’s same Elementary school and we’ve got lots of good friends who live in the same neighborhood.

Okay, so first off let’s start off with the entry way.  The before photos are all the listing pictures.

BEFORE:

The style was nice, but we aren’t really “Tuscan” style people and the faux brick reminded me of the Olive Garden.

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Entry AFTER:

We retextured all the walls and painted them a nice clean white.  We used Sherwin Williams “Westhighland White”.  The new fixture is from Savoy House.

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Eventually I’d like to put an entry table or mirror from like these from Wayfair.

LIVING ROOM:

The living room was all brown and it doesn’t have any natural light or windows except what is coming in from other rooms.  So we really wanted to brighten up the space.  We used “Westhighland White” again and we just love the way it turned out.  We had a great painter and builder for our fireplace remodel.  If you want their information and live in the DFW area, please email me at beckylbranch@gmail.com and I’d be happy to give it to you!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:
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New ceiling fan is from Savoy House. Our fireplace remodel was done by Brian and Melissa Bellows.  Everything turned out great!  We covered up most of the brick and restructured the built-ins to fit the TV.  This is the furniture we had in our last house.  Eventually I’d like to get a sectional or some accent seating for this room.  Also, I’m not sure how to place framed photos because of the panelled wood….so we’ll see.dsc_8561 dsc_8558

I think a couple of these chairs would look great in this room.  They are light and we definitely could use the extra seating.

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The OFFICE:

This room is sort of like our catch-all room right now.  I have a desk and chair and that’s pretty much it.  I’d love to do some sort of chalkboard wall or gallery wall above the desk.  That would look really fun!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Inspiration pic:

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KITCHEN:

The kitchen was a dark brown and the walls were heavily textured.  We re-finished the walls and painted them “Natural Choice” by Sherwin Williams.  The cabinets are “Westhighland White” by Sherwin Williams.  Painting the kitchen white opened it up so much!

BEFORE:

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wall-texture-before

AFTER:

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I love this kitchen fixture from Savoy House.  Someday we would LOVE to put a barn door where the kitchen enters into the laundry room to cancel out the noise that comes when you wash clothing.
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I absolutely LOVE this hutch.  It used to be black and I finally opened up my china that was in the original boxes from our wedding 15 years ago to put in there.  LOL!

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DINING ROOM:

BEFORE:

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The colors weren’t really us.  We removed the doors going into the kitchen to create a better flow and replaced the chandelier to something more modern from Savoy House.  I wanted to go really bold in here because the rest of the house is white.  We chose Sherwin Williams “Peppercorn” for the walls and painted the entire wall, trim and all.

I love the look of this room now.  We don’t have anything in it yet, but hopefully some day and I’ll share with you how everything turns out.  I know we want light furniture in here because the walls are so dark.

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GUEST BATH:

BEFORE:

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We just cleaned up the walls, retextured them, and painted the cabinets white.  It really freshened up the space.

AFTER:

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Mantle makeover:

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The bedrooms all stayed pretty much the same.  We still have a lot we hope and dream to do, but unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees.  We are taking it one small project at a time.

We are also pool owners now.  Neither one of us have ever had a pool, so this is new and we are learning how to take care of it.  I think we are going to really enjoy it in the summer time 🙂  Especially since summer in Texas lasts FOREVER!is2rxmhmeg7rtm0000000000

We are so happy here and thankful for our new home after a long journey.  We know God had the perfect timing and the perfect home for us.  I look forward to sharing with you all my design and decor ideas in the future.

Stay tuned…


Who Wants to Win Some Christmas CASH???

Me and some of my favorite little elves (I mean friends) have teamed up this Christmas so you can WIN SOME CASH!

What’s more exciting than a pocket full of cash for the holidays? Winning it of course! A group of bloggers got together to create this $200 PayPal Holiday Giveaway to give away to one of our special readers for the holidays. That’s right, one lucky winner will win all the cash, but first, let me introduce you to the bloggers who helped make this giveaway possible.

$200 PayPal Holiday Giveaway

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Bloggers that helped this $200 PayPal Holiday Giveaway become possible are from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We decided to give a little back this year to show our appreciation to all of our readers. We appreciate you all so much…and we all hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a sparkling New Year!

Michele, owner of Modern Mom Life – she’s crazy busy as she prepares for a new addition to her family.

Becky, owner of The Java Mama – she’s even crazier busy with a new house, her photography business, and all her son’s activities.

Kim, owner of Forever Green Mom she’s just hoping to relax during the Thanksgiving holiday – that’s all!

Gena, owner of Ginger Casa – always has her hands full with her 3 boys.

Shannon, owner of Everyday Best – Shannon just rebranded her blog and you ought to see how pretty it looks!!

Keriann, owner of Toy Queen – she’s got some great things happening over at her blog for this holiday season.

Julie, owner of Julie is Coco and Cocoa – if you haven’t seen Julie’s craft projects you are missing out. She’s the best at crocheting!!

Amy, owner of Mainly Homemade – she’s always cooking up something special.

When you get the chance, check us out!!!

$200 PayPal Holiday Giveaway

Giveaway starts 11/17 and ends Dec. 5, 2016, at 11:59pm CST. One lucky winner will win the full $200 PayPal. US only and entrants must be 18 years or older to participate. The winner will be contacted by Kim at Forever Green Mom (email rememberKim@verizon.net) via email, so please make sure Rafflecopter has your current email address. The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner may be chosen. Once I have the winner’s information, payment will immediate be sent via PayPal. Good luck!! Remember, the more options you do, the higher your odds of winning. We kindly ask that you not unfollow us after the giveaway has ended. You never know…we may have another giveaway or two up our sleeves and you wouldn’t want to miss it out. Thank you!!

 

ENTER HERE!!!


Learn Your Camera with the Best Buy Camera Experience-Christmas Photo Edition

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

‘Tis the season for your annual Christmas card photo.  I know because this is my busiest time of year as a photographer and my weekends are FILLED with photo shoots right now.  You all know how much I love photos.  They are my memories and I love to look back on them fondly from time to time.

For all of those who ask, I own this camera body and love it: Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

One of my very favorite Christmas shoots this year:  Hot Cocoa Booth Pictures 

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This time of year I also find myself racing to the mailbox to see if we recieved any Christmas cards from friends and family.  I enjoy seeing the beautiful family photos and how kids have grown.  One of the most common questions I get as a photographer is “How do I use my DSLR camera?” or “How do I shoot in manual mode?”  Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Best Buy and check out their new Best Buy Camera Experience Shop.  This is a great class if you are learning how to use your camera- it doesn’t matter if you shoot Nikon, Canon, Sony, or whatever…all your questions will be answered.  And the best part is the class is TOTALLY FREE PEOPLE!!!

Best Buy offers the Best Buy Camera Experience Shop on the first Saturday of every month.  There are three in the Dallas area.  Find your classes HERE.

I have been using a DSLR camera for around 6-7 years now, but I will tell you this…I’m constantly learning something NEW!  So I was excited to attend this class with a couple of my friends and talk about one of my favorite subjects- PHOTOGRAPHY!

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Our instructor, Kenneth, did a great job and really engaged with each person.  After the class the employees were very helpful at answering all our questions.

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You will be given a workbook so you can follow along with your instructor.  This is great so you can take it home and refer to it while shooting later on.

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After the instructor finishes talking about the material you will break up into small groups, depending on what kind of camera you have.  There you will get to ask questions to your heart’s content.  It was fun to discuss photos and ideas, no matter what level photographer you are.

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Best Buy also offers a wide variety of cameras and accessories.  I’m constantly losing my lens caps…ha! dsc_7744

From filters, batteries, lens caps, tripods, cleaning kits, and all your camera needs…Best Buy’s got you covered.dsc_7747

I’m super excited for those Christmas cards to start rolling in 🙂  You’ll never regret taking too many photos.  That’s my philosophy anyway.  If you have a DSLR that’s been sitting on the shelf, dust that sucker off and get to Best Buy so you can start making those amazing memories!