Blogmas 2019

Blogmas: Christmas Craft

Today for Blogmas, as my present to all of you, I thought I might show you all how you can create your very own snow man to sit on your mantle. This craft is so easy, you could do it with your children!

Step #1: Acquire, clean, and paint your bottles

Step #2: Acquire Craft Supplies

For these snowmen, you will need a hot glue gun, spray paint, ribbon, berries, pine leaves, paint markers, and bottles. Now, I’m not suggesting that you become an alcoholic, but you are going to need some empty bottles: wine, liquor, whatever. (The fun shapes are more fun than just the standard wine bottles in my opinion).

After you’ve collected your bottles, you will need to spray them your preferred color (white). Let them dry and then spray them again. You will almost always need 2+ coats of paint.

pens (1 black, 1 orange), ribbon of your choosing, a glue gun, holly, and mistletoe. (These supplies can range anywhere around $15-$50 depending on what you get and how much you get)

Step #3: Use Stencils to Sketch Out Design

Step #4: Apply Ribbon and Mistletoe

AFTER spraying your snowmen with a clear coat of spraypaint–

Using scissors, cut the ribbon to your desired length. Using the glue gun, apply the ribbon like a cute little scarf for your snowmen. Then using the glue gun, apply your mistletoe.

Step #5: Admire Your Cute Army of Snowmen

There you have it! The whole process takes about two days and the various supplies can be found at most craft stores. These little cuties look great on fire place mantles, or anywhere else really!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Poem: Colors Reflected on Wet Pavement

The

wet pavement

reflects my heart, Perhaps a

bit worn, perhaps a bit damp, Footprints

and memories left behind by strangers and friends alike,

Who little understand the effect their presence leaves, But ultimately

My heart celebrates the coming of bright, twinkling lights

And warm Eskimo kisses

Shared between lovers

And family alike.

 

One of my favorite parts about the Christmas season are all the different colors and pretty lights! There is just something so joyful and encouraging about seeing bright multi-colored light reflected off of rain soaked pavement. It can cheer any melancholy heart. Don’t you think?

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Blogmas 2019

KaylaAnn’s Annual Blogmas Contest Returns!

Yep, I am definitely insane.

I might not have thought this through.

The truth is clear and plain

I have 102 things to do!

But no matter how busy I get, no matter the strain

I cannot help it; I want to hear from you!

The Annual Blogmas Contest Starts Today!

 May the best Blogmas Blogger win!

How to enter:

  • Create a blogmas post! Your post must be all about Christmas, see my previous post on “How To Blogmas”
  • Once you have created and published your post, drop your link to your post below in the comments under this post. ALSO, this is important, do NOT just drop the link by itself (it will go directly to my spam), so you must also leave a one-line summary of your blogmas post 😀
  • Check out at least two other blogmas posts and comment beneath their links so I can see that you did so (#community)
  • You can only drop ONE LINK, so if you want to wait until Dec 25th to choose that is alright.
  • Must be subscribed (following) to my page to keep up with contest announcements
  • DECEMBER 20th is the LAST DAY TO DROP YOUR LINK FOR THE CONTEST!

 

Prizes:

  • Holiday Spirit! No really, by posting and reading Blogmas posts, you should definitely feel some holiday spirit!
  • I will publish my top three favorite Blogmas posts on my Blog Site. The top blogmas post winner will also be accompanied by a short author bio and link back to the winner of course. I have a little over 2,000 followers so this will be good exposure for your blog!
  • A fun time! Christmas is a happy time and hopefully, through this contest you can meet other bloggers and other bloggers can meet you! I can’t wait to read all the amazing Blogmas posts!

 

Merry Blogmas Everyone!

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Blogmas 2019

How To: Blogmas

It’s December 1st, and you all know what that means!

It’s Blogmas Time, Baby!

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I think you can guess which of the above I am! (Hint: I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween! Don’t hate, there is no such thing as Thanksgiving music)

I’ll freely admit it, I am a holiday-focused kind of person. I love celebrating and decorating and getting together with friends and family. In particular, I love Christmas, I love the cooler weather, the hot chocolate, Christmas carols, celebrating Jesus’s birth, and more. One of the fun blogging ways to revel in the Christmas spirit is through Blogmas!

“What is Blogmas?” You ask.

Blogmas is when bloggers of all topics (writing, health, fashion, travel, etc.) transform the focus of their blogs to reflect the holiday season. Some of these topics can include: Favorite Christmas Carols, Christmas poem (of your making or sharing your favorite well-known Christmas poem), favorite Christmas sweater/mug, DIY Christmas ideas, letter to Santa, Christmas themed destinations, etc., etc., etc. Look around online and you’ll see the list of possibilities quite literally goes on and on and on and on. . . .

Technically, when you participate in Blogmas most bloggers post a Christmas-themed post every single day of the month. It is their version of an Advent Calendar or a way of counting down to Christmas day!

However, in my opinion, you do not have to post every single day, yes it is fun and if you can do it, more power to you! However, if you want to participate but posting every single day seems daunting, post on your regular schedule and just switch it around to Christmas-themed.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about what you want to do for Blogmas? I came across these wonderful blog posts two years ago by The Wild Hideaway and Lindsay that were super helpful for me and I think it can help you too! Be sure to check them out!

While their 100 ideas are indeed spectacular, here are five of my ideas just to get my fellow writers going!

  1. Some may suggest that you share your favorite Christmas poem, I encourage you to come up with and post your own Christmas poem!
  2. Some might suggest you share your favorite Christmas story, well how about you write your own? It can be a non-fiction memory of your own Christmas experiences. It can be flash fiction. It can be one line or it could be a novel!
  3. Your favorite Christmas Movie based on the book
  4. Favorite Christmas Mug
  5. What is something NEW that you will be doing this year for the Christmas season?

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Who else will be participating in Blogmas? Do you have any ideas of what you plan to post about?

Keep a close eye on my blog in the next couple of days as I plan to host and release the information on my Annual Blogmas Contest!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hello Everyone!

One of the awesome things about blogging is that I get to connect with people from all over the world! Something that did not occur to me when I was much younger was that not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. While maybe not everyone celebrates, it’s still a good reminder to everyone anywhere to pause for a moment and give thanks.

America’s first Thanksgiving took place in October of 1621 and lasted for three whole days! (I can hardly imagine that as I am stuffed to the point of explosion after one day of feasting.) On November 16th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced that the nation would celebrate an official Thanksgiving every year on November 26th.

Today, I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. We have yearly traditions, like many other families, and these include: baking over 100 cookies, deep-frying a turkey, coming together as a large and loud family, and drawing names for Christmas’ secret Santa. However, my favorite tradition is when every member of my family states what they are most thankful that year at the feasting table.

This year, I am missing my Papa. He died last January after a very progressive cancer ravaged his body. We are still learning to navigate the holidays without him. And yet, I am thankful for this family that comes together in our times of grief and sorrow. I am so grateful that my family supports each other, comforts each other, and encourages one another sharing the same sorrow and joy.

So today, I challenge you to leave a comment and answer this question:

What are you thankful for today?

Regardless of our circumstances, we can always find something to be thankful for. I pray that you all have a wonderful day and take some time to reflect on your own gratitude.

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Blogs / Life

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, my mom, my husband, and I spend the entire day making baked goods that include Turkey Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Pumpkin Logs, Candied Pecans, and Pumpkin Pie! I can’t give away all our recipes (some are secret), but I can give you some!

Here we go!

Turkey Cookies 

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For this recipe you’ll need Queen Anne chocolate-covered cherries, Fudge Stripes Cookies, Candy corn, and vanilla frosting.

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First you’ll want to cut one cookie in half to form the feet of the turkey. Next, using frosting, you’ll paste five candy corns to the back of a whole cookie to form the wings of the turkey. Also using frosting, you paste a smaller candy corn to the front of a Queen Anne chocolate (its the beak!). Then put frosting on the bottom of the chocolate candy and on the back to attach it to the wings and the feet.

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Ta-daaa! Turkey army time! They are pretty delicate so, to help the frosting set, place the cookies in the fridge for a couple of minutes.

Candied Pecans

For this recipe you will want a bag of pecan halves (four cups), 3 large eggs (just use the egg whites), sugar (1 cup), cinnamon (1 teaspoon), and butter (1/2 stick).

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Mix egg whites, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Then mix in 4 cups of pecan halves. Melt down the butter and coat the tin foil covered baking pan. Spread out the pecans on the sheet and bake at 350degrees for 30 minutes and flip them every 10 minutes.

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They’re delicious!

Royal Icing Flooding Cookies

These are a new addition to our tradition.

We make our own dough from scratch and then cut out the fun pieces!

After letting the cookies cool overnight we prepped all our colors!

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We’re still learning, but I think these came out great!

 

Why so many desserts, you might ask?! You might see those plates in the background. Every year on Thanksgiving morning we take several plates of sweets to our neighbors and to the workers at the Fire Station near my house. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do!

What are some of your family traditions?

 

 

 

Blogs / Life

Where have I been?

Drowning in work, mostly.

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Hey guys, Kayla Ann here with an update on life. Usually I stay away from these kind of blog posts because they seem very focused on myself instead of the community, but I also feel that I owe an explanation. Many of you have read my exhortations to remain a part of community, reading other posts, commenting on other blogs, reciprocating responses with other bloggers, etc. Well, I’ll admit, I have not done a great job of this lately.

As some of you may recall, I started a new job in August as a full time English teacher at a Middle School. It was a job I had prayed and waited for. I love my job, and because I love it so much, I put almost everything I have into it. It has been a hard struggle lately to find the balance between giving enough of myself and not too much of myself. I am having to find boundaries between my work life and my home life for my own mental and emotional health. All that to say, there hasn’t been a ton of time for blogging.

I did have some posts pre-scheduled so that I did not disappear from the blogging sphere, but I haven’t really been able to visit and respond as I would like. I’m still working on finding that balance between work and home and so I ask for patience from my blogging friends. All this to say:

I do not want you to feel as though I have dipped out, I’m here, waving through the window.

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Alphabet Challenge

“E” is for Evening Song

Evening song sung

Elegant candles flicker

Eternal slumber

Today’s Alphabet Challenge features the letter “E.” In the comments below, let me know what you think of today’s poem and drop a link to your own post that fulfills the “E” challenge! At the end of each month, I will be choosing my favorite Alphabet Challenge Entry and sharing it on my blog.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Alphabet Challenge

“D” for Daydream

It’s a delightfully dangerous game that

We dare to dabble in, dancing in this

Deafened hazed. No doubt at dawn we’ll

Despair of the debased debauchery but

For now we dream.

Today’s Alphabet Challenge features the letter “D.” In the comments below, let me know what you think of today’s poem and drop a link to your own post that fulfills the “D” challenge! At the end of each month, I will be choosing my favorite Alphabet Challenge Entry and sharing it on my blog.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Alphabet Challenge

“C” is Content

Careful caresses calm my chaotic conscience

Candescent eyes captivate my very soul

I’ve thrown away caution, craving only your company;

Content among all the commotion.

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Credit: Amador Loureiro https://unsplash.com/@amadorloureiroblanco

Today’s Alphabet Challenge features the letter “A.” In the comments below, let me know what you think of today’s poem and drop a link to your own post that fulfills the “A” challenge! At the end of each month, I will be choosing my favorite Alphabet Challenge Entry and sharing it on my blog.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.