Here is the Key…

I can’t believe that I am old enough to know kids who are driving.   I feel like we were having babies yesterday!   Dang.  My Sweet Sixteen gift of choice is gender neutral, personal, easy to wrap & send, and thoughtful.  This simple, classic, and timeless silver-plate key chain is a DomestiKate fave.   Young drivers are top of mind today, but this item is a perfect gift for everyone on your list.   You name the occasion – who doesn’t need a fresh stylin’ key chain??  Whether its a name, an address, a monogram, or a symbol…  you can make this necessity unique.   How do you want it?silver key chain

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Go Ahead! Make my Stay!

Host.  

Spending time with friends and family is the most important thing to me.   It is important that our home have a dedicated guest space that is comfortable and welcoming.

Honestly, our guest room was the first room we completed in our home.   I want our family and friends to be as comfortable as possible when they stay with us.  Beyond luxurious linens, ample storage, and technical comforts, I want guests to enjoy a luxe guest suite.

DomestiKate’s Monogrammed Soaps make a fabulous finish for the guest bath.

Monogrammed SoapI have a collection of family brand soaps that I keep to stock the guest room.

These soaps come in neat gift sets that make fabulous hostess and birthday gifts, but are great for the home in building your personal brand.

Clearly a Winner!

When People Ask me what my style is I say Modern Classic.  I also like Eclectically Colorful, or Personally Traditional.   With my Acrylic line we don’t have to label our style!   We can be Uber Modern, Shabby Chic, Super Safe Standard…whatever your style or the style of the gift recipient.   DomestiKate’s acrylics are a no brainer.  acrylic_items_007

I wear Many Hats

DomestiKate is not a brand…  Its a lifestyle of brand curation.   The best part about launching this business is the hunt.  I LOVE to SHOP.  DomestiKate will bring gift ideas to the non-hunters.   I hope to form an ever-changing collection of products that I can’t resist, that I LOVE, and that make reasonable, thoughtful, and authentic gifts for people that we love.

I wear many hats.  Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend, Entrepreneur,  Neighbor, etc…   The question is…which hat shall I wear today!!!!   I just picked up this gorgeous collection of caps that can be monogrammed and personalized in so many ways….   the possibilities are endless.

Monogrammed baseball caps

Luckily we don’t have to decide.  We can try several…shown here in a traditional circle script monogram.

Tray Chic Tradition-centered Christmas Tree

Like many families, we pull down our Christmas bins and start to drape the house in red and green for the month of December.   It’s a tradition!   We love it.   The kids look forward to it, the white lights twinkle and are so nostalgic…   My goal is always to pull everything out, share in the oooohhhhing and aaaaaweing with my husband and kids as the big stuff gets dragged around to the usual spots.   We “work together” for about 30 minutes – then everyone loses interest, the house is a total wreck, and there is a mothball smell and fake pine needles, broken ornament and nutcracker pieces, and glitter everywhere.   This is when I melt down, wonder why we are doing this, breathe, snack, then pull myself together to Christmas the house!

This year I promised myself that nari a bin would go back to the attic 1/2 full.  If there is anything that I don’t find suitable to Deck the halls with this year – it goes out the back door.   After the living spaces were decked I was left with a big collection of random serving items, extra trees and wreaths, and several Santas….   I did it!!!  Bins went upstairs empty and I set up a Christmas shop in the garage!    In one afternoon I was able to sell almost everything and with this cash created some new dearly special decorations…..

Tray Chic Tree Decs

Supply List:

Dollar Store:  24 “silver” trays

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Craft Store:   Modge Podge & Assorted Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors

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Photos:   Several 5 x 7s – family Christmas memories

First, I cut paper to fit inside trays and serve as mattes for photos

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Then I cut and sized photos to be framed in each matte – I used a cereal bowl to trace the rounds.

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Then a quick Modge Podge application to both sides of the matte paper and photos….covering the entire surface with two coats.  I used gloss – I might recommend a matte finish as the glow of the lights against the silver can glare of the photos as the right angle.  I like the gloss…. Matte might be a personal preference.

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The whole project was completed as my children sat and worked on homework.   This was a super easy, low cost, personal, family tribute that I hope to add to over the years.  I look forward to pulling out the newest “ornaments” every year and hanging them on the tree first before we add all of our eclectic ornaments that we have acquired over the years – kids crafts, events, vacations, etc.

Here is what the tree looked like before ornaments:

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Quit changing the rules!

Elf-Good-Deed-Cards

Man…  We bought into Elf on the Shelf in the beginning.   According to record, the elves are good guys or narcs.   They are watching you during the time of the year when mommy is stressed out and super busy.  This was good.  We went by the book.   It’s cute, its mysterious, its kind, its a reminder to follow the rules if you expect to be rewarded – not just by Mom & Dad or your teachers but by SANTA too!

This worked for us.   After preschool there would be spontaneous confessions.   Toddler 1 or toddler 2 would walk into the room where “Elfus” was perched high on a shelf (record book) and confess.  “I cut in line today”, or “sorry I forgot to use my words on the playground and snatched a ball from Tommy”.   It was great and really cute.   Conscious kindness and assumed forgiveness… This is my jam.

Somehow the elf thing morphed into overzealous moms coming up with elaborate ways to outdo each other.   Pinterest is our worst enemy here!   Our kind, observant elf (record book) perched himself high on a shelf every day where no one could touch him so he wouldn’t lose his magic.   He was sweet and observant…  The whole thing backfired on us.   The kids would go to school and hear awesome stories about how their elf was super naughty and crazy!   Every day they would be disappointed that our kind, sweet, clean, observant elf wasn’t cool and naughty!   How did this happen?!?!   We can’t just change gears 1/2 way through childhood.   What does that say?   Our once angelic confidant and gatekeeper to Santa is now a hellion who trashes stuff and flagrantly poses with in reach?   What?   We can’t change the course.   Is this Elf a fallen angel?  Wassup  Santa?   If Elfus can be naughty, does that mean we should?   Can we be total turkeys and still expect to receive?   Grrrr.

Now I see this cute idea…where the elf recommends chores and helpful behavior.   Awesome.  Fits the original intent…  but AGAIN…  we are 8 years in people!!!   We can’t change the rules!

It’s almost time for our boring Elf to arrive (just like the book – he comes the day after Thanksgiving).   We will stick to the original plan until the youngest stops believing…   Elfus will be out of reach, kind, clean, and reporting to S. Claus.