Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WE HAVE A WINNER!!! - {Back to School Giveaway} - Crust Cutters

We have a WINNER!!!

Yes, comment #9  - Melissa!

Congratulations Melissa!!!  I will be contacting you shortly.

Melissa won 3 of these adorable crust cutters from our Back to School Giveaway.

Stay tuned for future giveaways from Anna & Co.

Winner will be notified before midnight (CST) on August 31, 2011.
If winner fails to respond within 48 hours with address, we will be forced to select another winner.

~ Celebrating my little "BIG" girl's 4th ~

Yes, it was over two weeks ago when I posted this to celebrate my 4 YEAR OLD!

Yes, I said 4 year old.  I can't believe that it has been 4 years since I brought my sweet pink lovin' little girl home.

I also can't believe that I'm so behind in August and am just now posting this about her special day.

With that said, we are still planning her requested ART PARTY for her and her friends (stay tuned), but we didn't want her actual birthday to pass without showing her how happy we are that God gave her to us 4 years ago on that day.

Especially since she asked everyday of her 3rd year when she was going to be 4.

Her daddy brought her something that she has been desiring for a while...


You should have seen her face when she saw it.  

Yes my friends, the man you see in the photo below... he hung the moon to the little girl sitting beside him.

I brought her a little something special home as well.

A "last minute" mini cake and a very special "first" gift.

About a month prior, I hosted a thirty-one catalog party and Kenzie had a fit over one of the totes in the catalog.  

She adored it and so did I.

I wanted to get it for her so bad.

As hard as it was, I told her no, but I a plan.

I used my credits from my party and got it for her and saved it in my trunk for this day.

Another very special moment when she saw it.  

It made me such a happy mommy to be able to give it to her.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my lil' K is a proud new owner of her very own thirty-one tote!!!

Please ignore the mess in the background and the ugly green wall from a paint test gone bad, but I couldn't pass up posting this very special moment between Allen and Kenzie.

He was teaching her to cast her line.

So sweet!!!

Happy Birthday sweet child of mine.

I can't wait until the day of your ART PARTY!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

{Mommy Moments} - A guest post from Suzanne

I would like to introduce you to one of the most Godly, domestic, loving, friendly, GOT IT TOGETHER women of the south, Suzanne.

Suzanne is a fellow blogger and shares her family, faith and domesticity over at Peonies and Buttercups.

If you haven’t read her blog, you should. I’m certain you will be blessed by her writings.

Suzanne mothers 4 beautiful children, two boys and two girls. Sounds balanced, huh?

I think we all know that mothering 4 different personalities is a HUGE task and balance is learned.

Suzanne does it seamlessly and shares her approach with us daily.

~ Show & Tell ~

I am honored, and I admit, a little nervous, to be guest blogging for Anna today. I know that Anna is a perfectionist by her beautiful work and words. I, on the other hand, tend to just jump in a little topsy turvy!

When I tried to think of something beautiful and eloquent to blog about today, I kept drawing a blank! Quirky, funny, silly...nothing was fitting.

So, I just said a little prayer, "Lord, please give me the words..."

I simply feel like telling you now, Let your family know, every day, that they are cherished.

In this crazy world, when we all sometimes have a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day", because "some days are just like that", it's a wonderful feeling to know you are cherished.*

To cherish means to hold or treat as dear, to care for tenderly.

How do we show our family that they are cherished? Buy them a lot of things? Make sure they have the latest and greatest gadgets? Of course not! (You knew that already!)

One of the best books I have ever read is The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

In it, he teaches that each person has a specific love language and responds positively when you speak to him in that love language.

They are:
1. physical touch
2. words of affirmation
3. gifts
4. acts of service
5. quality time

One of my children has a love language of "words of affirmation". Whenever I tell him what a good job he has done,how impressed I am with his work, or how other people had good things to say, he stands taller, smiles, perks up and wants to please even more!

He feels cherished when I use words of affirmation with him.

Another feels cherished when I hug her and rub her back. Her love language is physical touch. Gifts would not be that big of a deal to her.

Another loves the gifts and would hate a back rub!

So, each person is different. It's up to us to find out what makes our family members feel cherished.

Here are some little things I do to make my family feel cherished - 
* stop what I'm doing when they come in and talk about their day
* have a little note under their pillow to just say how much I love them
* make a point to tell them how proud I am of their accomplishments
* ask what I can pick up for them at the store (I know that sounds simple, but they appreciate it!)
* don't talk to them in a condescending tone. Even when they're 'in trouble', your voice should have a tone of love and respect.
* lots and lots of hugs, cuddles and kisses (even with my almost 20 year old!)

There are so many other ways to show your family they are cherished!
I know Anna would love to hear your comments on ways you show your family they are cherished!

* quotes from the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
* Dr. Gary Chapman will be at the Brentwood Hills Church of Christ on August 27th for a Marriage You've Always Wanted event.

Thank you Suzanne for taking a moment from your schedule to share with us. You are truly an inspiration to all women.

My experience has been that I have to force myself to love in a different language. I have to remind myself every day that my husband needs to be touched (#1) when I pass him in the hall, my little girl needs praise (#2) for the good things she has done and my oldest needs me to simply look him in the eye (#5) when we talk. It’s hard to remember that people process words and actions differently and don't need the same things to feel loved.

Thank you for reminding us of this very important approach we can apply to our daily lives.

If you would like to contribute to the Mommy Moments series, please send me an email at or notify me via the Anna & Co. Facebook page.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

~ SCRABBLE...anyone? ~

image via
At the risk of sounding cheesy and overly metaphoric, I'm just going to speak my heart this morning and what I'm feeling.
Do you ever feel like your life is like a SCRABBLE board with a toddler on the loose?

Meaning, just when you think you have it figured out and all your letters are lined up and you have a plan, your little one stumbles and puts end to well designed mission to win.

Sometimes, I think God just takes his finger and “flicks” my Scrabble pieces to remind me that I’m not in control and that I need to rely on Him for direction.

You know, the same way you let your little one wander off in the store all the while you have your eye on them, knowing when they realize they’ve excluded you from their path, they’ll call out for you and realize how much they want and need you.

Or as you are leaving the neighborhood and one of them forgets the seat belt and you tap the breaks to get them to slide out of their seat to have them realize you are once again right.

Ok, maybe that one is mean, but I’ve done it and it worked.

Things aren’t exactly how I planned lately.

Things aren’t exactly how I had pictured.

How do I process this?

Throw a tantrum, pout and point my finger at God?

When I pray, do I really mean it when I tell God that I want His plan for me?

Or am I selfishly praying?

God if you, then I…..

How do I arrive at a place of contentment in this life?

A place where I am happy being and doing the things that are designed for MY life.

We can easily fall into the trap of comparing our situation with others.

It can quickly breed into pouting and questioning God.

Is that where we want to be?... questioning God’s love for us?

We know he loves us, but somehow when everything doesn’t work out the way we had planned

we say but God, it’s me, your child…have you forgotten me?

Most likely, we have forgotten to include Him in our decisions.


So, today I’m moving my Scrabble board up to higher ground where I know it’s protected.

God, here’s my Scrabble board.

I know the words that my human nature desires to spell out.

You know, the ones that we tend to desire and feel if we obtain we are successful in this life.





Place the letters where YOU would like.

Mold me like YOU






All the words that guarantee I’m a WINNER in the end and will one day see your face.

image via

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show my how to love like you
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause

I would love to hear from you and how this topic may be relative to your life.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

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Monday, August 22, 2011

{Back to School Giveaway} - Crust Cutters

Hooray for GIVEAWAYS!!!

Anna & Co. would like to celebrate back to school with a CRUST CUTTER GIVEAWAY!!!

Ok, so I'm a little late, but I'm sure you have many more lunches to pack, right?

Or maybe you don't.  These are great gifts too!!!...or stocking stuffers.

I am giving away THREE of these adorable cutters from Evriholder!!!!

Yes, one lucky lil' one will enjoy the butterfly, train and dolphin cutters for their next meal.

K's love for crust cutters triggered this giveaway and the wonderful marketing staff at Evriholder were so kind to sponsor.

Forget the "sand" in "sand"-wich and replace it with whatever you choose.

There are trains, cars, dinos, sea animals, bats, puzzles, flowers, butterflies, hearts and more.

Any shape or size to fit your child's taste buds.

So, here is how to ENTER 
(please leave a separate comment for each entry below in the comment section or on Anna & Co. on Facebook)


~1st Entry~
 Are you a fan of Anna & Co. on Facebook?
If so, let me know by leaving a comment.
If not, "like" Anna & Co. on Facebook and let me know you did.

~2nd Entry~
 Share Anna & Co. on Facebook  or this giveaway with your Facebook friends and let me know you did.

~3rd Entry~
 Visit Evriholder and let me know you did.

So, if you do all three you can increase your chances of winning!!!



Saturday, August 20, 2011

~ Defend the Fatherless ~

I was truly blessed to be a small part of this HUGE event for the Taylor family.

They are adopting from China and I was asked to design the blog announcement to share their recent news.

The long awaited adoption finally has a beautiful face to go along with the name they've held in their hearts for so long.

Meet Kylie, a sweet baby girl from China.

I just know God has HUGE plans for Kylie's life.

Baby Kylie's Pre-Adoption Announcement

You can read about Kylie and the Taylor's road to adoption here.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY Project #4 - Frame Update

You may remember this photo from my last DIY post where I completed project #3 of K's room and gave a sneak peek of Project #4.

I found this frame for $1.99 and knew it's simplicity coupled with a little TLC would make for a great addition to K's nightstand.

This little beauty starting taking shape after a brief sanding and a couple coats of paint.

There was an oops on this project.  I dropped the frame and broke the glass.  *sad face*

I decided I would move forward and just see if it would still work.

Frame - $1.99
Ribbon - $1.00
Diamonds - $4.00
A quick design on the computer with one of my favorite "mothering" scriptures - FREE


What do you think?

I think it turned out decent for $7.

I had horrible lighting for the photos, but thought I would share anyway.

I hope you enjoyed the review.

You can do it too!!!


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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

~ Sweet 16 ~

Last week was my 16th wedding anniversary.

Yes, 16 years!  I can't believe it either.

  We were puppies when we married, but so in love.

I had every intention of posting an earth shaking offering of my love on that day, and then life happened and it got past me.

So, amongst this crazy chaotic thing called life, 

I pause today just for a moment to celebrate my marriage and who we've become as a couple.

We seem to do CRAZY well and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's to doing FOREVER together.

Your lover,

Friday, August 12, 2011

{Mommy Moments} - A guest post from Beverly

I would like to introduce you to Beverly, another dear friend of mine.  

Isn't she just beautiful?!  Well, she's just as beautiful on the inside.

Beverly is the mother to the most adorable little red head, Kyle.  

He's a little guy, with a personality the size of Texas.

Photo courtesy of McCaffrey Photography
Adorable, huh?!

Mothering isn't Beverly's only focus.  She is the Jane of all trades.

Beverly is a licensed professional counselor at Beverly McManus Counseling.

She also has a little passion for adoption and is the
 Director of the State of Tennessee for New Beginnings adoption and family services.

This is what Beverly has to say about mothering this fiery little red head.

~ Listening To Their Hearts! ~

About six months ago my feisty five year old son and I were headed home from church.  The car was filled with music and laughter until Kyle said, “Mom, can you turn off the music?”  Of course I was quick to turn the volume down to hear what my precious boy had to say.  It was a confession! My spirited red head declared, “Mom, I kicked a boy at church!”  For the next few minutes we had a heart to heart discussion about not using our hands or our feet in anger!  When I felt I had sufficiently addressed the topic I drove in silence for a few moments.  Then I turned to him one more time and said, “Kyle, that broke mommy’s heart!!!”  Without blinking he responded “Mom!  This wasn’t about you!!” I had to laugh!  But at the same moment I knew the brutal honesty of my five year old taught me something that day!

It’s funny isn’t it…how we make their situations personal.  When our children are happy, we find immense joy in that!  When they are unhappy, we feel the weight of that as well!  At five years old he painted the picture for me:  I let my emotions shape my response.  I made it about my feelings!  I also understood in that moment how differently males and females process information.  For me it was very emotional. I was disappointed and may have even felt some responsibility for his actions. I felt that I may need to talk to Kyle more about our reactions to others and respecting others even when we are angry.  However, Kyle processed the situation with his logic. For him it made no sense that his actions toward someone else would affect my feelings. We all know about this difference in how males and females process information, but it felt much different in “real life”. It became obvious to me that day that I needed to be more aware of how Kyle processes new information so I can talk to him in a way he understands!

I love being a mommy! Every day I learn something new about Kyle and something I didn’t know about myself.  Sometimes I don’t like what I learn about me but acknowledging it, is the first step to changing. I also believe that God extends a lot of grace in the moments when we are guilt-ridden and feel we do not measure up.

Listen to your child.  I assure you, you will find wisdom in their words! 

Anna, thank you for the honor of contributing to your remarkable blog! I love you and your beautiful family very much!  You are a lovely friend, passionate mother and devoted wife!

Thank you Beverly for taking a few moments out of your very busy schedule to let us take a peek at your mothering experience.

I truly agree that the simplicity of a child can teach us so much if we just pause and absorb what they have for us.

I know that God has HUGE plans for Kyle and we are blessed to be able to witness that plan unfold.

If you would like to contribute to the Mommy Moments series, please send me an email at or notify me via the Anna & Co. Facebook page.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

~ Today you are 4 ~

Dearest MaKenzie,

Today you are 4!

You are beautiful!!!

Every part of you was perfectly molded by the Master’s hand.

1 Month
You make me smile every day with your silliness.

Your sweet giggles melt my heart.

Your beauty is captivating.

1 Year
You are my tutu wearin’ – princess twirlin’ – pink lovin’ girly GIRL!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of pink before you.

Since then, it seems to be a color that has found a place in my heart.

Your interests have a way of changing mine.

2 Years
When I look at you, I’m reminded of what it’s like to be a girl growing up in this ugly world.

I have been trusted with your sweet precious life and I will do everything in my power to protect what God has intended for your future.

3 Years
You have taught me that…

Being a mommy of two is more rewarding than work

Little girls have something magical about them

True beauty is being who God created us to be and not what the world thinks of us

Patience, by way of your strong will and independent approach

I can mother two very different children, but love them same

Just before 4 Years

Today, I celebrate your sweet life and that I’m truly blessed by God choosing me to be your mommy.

Happy 4th Birthday to my “big” little girl.

I love you more than words.

Love and prayers,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

~ DIY Rustic Jute Invitation ~

I recently had the privilege of designing a birthday invitation for a dear friend.

She was celebrating her husband's 40th, an avid outdoors man.

She was looking for something that was rustic with a little southern charm to go along with her "southern spread" theme.

What better than some burlap, jute twine and natural premium card stock to scream outdoors with a hint of masculinity.

I thought I would share the finished product with you.

Don't you just love jute?!!!

Guys, it's really that simple.

Card stock, a printer, clip art and jute twine.

You can do it too!!!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

~ July 2011 - Month in Photos ~

The months keep passing by so quickly and the summer is coming to an end.  *sad face*

I can't believe Ethan will be starting 5th grade next week. *over exaggerated sad face*

We are also looking at Pre-schools for K.  *all of the above with a few tears*

Here are a few highlights of our July.

1. K soaking up some rays in her stylish HOT PINK sunglasses.

2. Shhh...don't tell him I told you, but I still get an occasional Saturday morning snuggle with my E.

3.  Mommy's High Heels + Mommy's Bracelet = Happy Face

4. K took her very first shower and LOVED it.  My little big girl.

5. Did I mentioned that July was HOT AS BLAZES?!!!

6. K's furry BFF.

7. A mini photo session with K.  You can read about it here.

8. K trying to be fashionable by dropping one shoulder strap.  Oh my!!!

9. Signs of the times...I came home home to E and one of his friends doing "6pk in 3min".  I guess he's growing up.

10. K had her first sleepover with her friend Emma. They were two silly giggly girls.

11. Ethan putting his "game face" on and sizing up for his first year of FOOTBALL!!!

12. A special treat for K.  Pretty Piggies  :-)

13. My very first sewing class with my good friend Heather.

14. Oh happy day when there is harmony between the kiddos in the car.

15. Allen and Ethan went on a Father/Son camping trip with the Bledsoe crew.

16. Ethan being fitted for his Titans football helmet.  So cute!!!
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