Saturday, September 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Totes and Giveaway

Welcome to our September Issue of 
Tales of the Traveling Totes where
twelve ladies explore the world
with our MacKenzie-Childs' totes.

As part of our traveling tales we always
include a giveaway, so stay tuned for that
at the end of this post, and take time to
visit the other travelers to see where they have
been off to.

Miss Madi K and I had lots of fun this

Our adventures together started out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
where Madi K and I took to the river for a river
rafting trip.

We stayed at a charming place called
Carlisle Ranch about 45 minutes
outside of Jackson where they have large
bunkhouses and these charming sheepherder
cabins.  There is a pond with a paddle boat 
and lots of space for kids to roam.  

Our friends are experienced river runners
and have invited us, our children and even
our grandchildren for several years.  Even
the three year old went down the rapids.

They have three boats and can take 30 at a time,
so we take turns running the river for two days.

It is a blast!!!  This is my oldest granddaughter
taking a fabulous splash in the boat.

In July Miss Madi K and I had a calmer
experience as we traveled to Cabo to check on
the progress on our construction.  She and I
especially enjoyed swimming up to the pool
bar and ordering shrimp tacos and shrimp
nachos and smoothies.  We told hubby we 
really liked being waited on at the pool!

This 20 foot tall rock had to be removed to fit the pool
in and we had fun watching as they drilled into the
rock, filled the holes with an expanding substance to
crack it apart.  Later we received a video of it falling
down the cliff.  LOOK OUT BELOW!

It's a slow process, much slower than we were promised -
surprise, surprise, but one of our favorite surprises
was this suspended circular stair outside that connects
the upper pool deck with the lower pool deck.

This is the main level, still not a lot of progress here,
but we return in October and the walls should all
be up.  

Not much to look at yet, but we are starting to 
see it shape up.

In August Miss Madi K and I flew to visit my sister
Jean in San Antonio.  We were joined by two of my
girlfriends that I grew up in Wisconsin with.  They 
had never been to San Antonio, and one of them
requested that we take an overnight trip to
Waco to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia

Of course we were hoping to see the lovely Joanna,
and I did, on the cover of her book, so of course
I had to add her cookbook to my collection.

The store was delightful.  I just had to include
a tablescape from the Market.

Everything was so beautiful

but rather pricey.

I also had to pick up this gardening pad to use
at home.  (It ended up being a nice airplane pad
too - haha!)

We spent the night in a hotel, but if I had it
to do over again, I would stay in one of the Air BNB's
homes that were featured on Fixer Upper.  It would have
been about the same amount and we would have
had the whole home.  

The next morning we were hoping to get a chance
to experience Magnolia Table.  Reviews online
said that you could experience a wait of an
hour or more.  The end of August turned
out to be a great time to visit!  Baylor University
had just started and I guess most moms were home
getting their kids ready for school the next week.

We were given a wait time of half an hour.  Miss Madi K
loved the decor in the waiting area, actually she loved all of
the black and white checks on everything Joanna and
Chip have created.  After a lengthy 13 minute wait - 
yes, only 13 minutes - we were seated.

We had to start our breakfast with Joanna's
famous biscuits.  They are featured in her cookbook,
so I can't wait to try them.  You could choose them
with strawberry butter or sausage gravy, but
we asked for a side of both.  

The controversial avocado toast - Chip said it was too frou frou,
was amazing!

Most of the breakfasts came with their signature
Tater Tots, presented in a small cast iron pan.

They tasted more like Hush Puppies to me.  I
am not a huge fan of Tater Tots, but I loved these.

Every employee we encountered at the Magnolia
spots were utterly charming.  I finally had to ask
one if they all had to attend charm school.  We
had a delightful time in Waco.

If you visit, you have to take time to find some of
the charming furniture stores that have sprung up
around Waco featuring a similar style.  I just had to
take a photo of this gorgeous tablescape.  Made me anxious
for fall.

You know me, I can't resist taking photos of
gorgeous tablescapes.

  This one was at Simply Irresistable.

Check out Simply Irresistable
and The Findery. I am sure there are more wonderful
stores here in Waco. Wow if only I had a truck and
trailer to haul things home.  I did bring home some
compotes in Miss Madi K that I found at the Findery.

It was a great summer of travel and fun.

Now to experience more travel and fun visit these
fine explorers and see where they and
their Traveling Totes have been off to.

Come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner

Now for the fun!  This is our giveaway for this month.
I wish I could win!  Aren't these the cutest MacKenzie-Childs's
towels.  Makes me excited for Halloween.

Visit Linda at Life and Linda and leave a comment to
be entered to win these adorable towels.

Join us in December for another edition of
Tales of the Traveling Totes 
and for another giveaway!

Yikes this gives me chills!

I will be posting this with

Thursday, July 19, 2018

DIY Mermaid Crowns

Mermaid crowns are so fun and easy to make
for your little ones, whether you want to
throw a mermaid party, or for dress-ups.

Click here to see our Mermaid Party we
threw for the summer birthdays.

We are blessed with an abundance of 
little mermaids, so I made eight crowns
for their party, so that each girl could
take one home after the pictures.

I had purchased one for myself a while back, 
and it was made on a coated wire, but I decided
to make mine on a soft foam fabric.  I simply
cut out a domed shape from the foam and
started gluing.

The centerpiece with shells and jewels were the beginning.

My first one I created on a flat surface, and when I went
to bend it to fit someone's head, it wouldn't bend, so
I began shaping it over a foil covered can so it
had a slight bend to it.  Keeping it draped over
the can, I continued to hot glue shells on until
I had covered most of the foam band.

This one was a necklace I cut apart for the centerpiece.

You are going to have foam showing,
so I filled in the small spaces surrounding
the shells with small beads.

I finished them by gluing some ribbon to the ends
of the foam to tie them on the girls' heads.  This way
they were adjustable.  The foam made them soft for
the girls to wear.

Mermaid crowns can range fro $50 to $250
online and I made mine with leftover beads,
jewelry and shells I already had.  You can buy
very inexpensive shells from Wal Mart or craft
stores.  The foam fabric was leftover too.  I
made all eight of them in under 2 hours.

I did bring my glue gun to the party as I knew we
would have a lot of girls trying them on.  

They had so much fun choosing which crown they 
would wear for their pictures, and they fit all sizes.

This would be a fun craft project to do with
your little mermaids too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Make a Splash Mermaid Party

Summer brings out the mermaids in
all of us at Purple Chocolat Home,
so we decided to have a Mermaid Birthday
Party for all of the little granddaughters this

Three of them have birthdays within a week of
each other, and we have celebrated big in the
past with combined birthday parties - 
Frozen, Cinderella, and Unicorn parties.

We had it at our pool at Tuscan Villas
so all of the kids and families who were
invited could swim.

I wanted to create a balloon arch,
so I made it the night before and tested
it at home.  I purchased the arch kit on
Amazon, and an electric balloon pump
Both were around $20 each and were great
investments.  I also found a green sequined
tablecloth and a mermaid table runner- green and purple.

The arch took me about an hour to blow up
the balloons and assemble.  I had purchased 20 - 12
inch balloons online for under $20.

  The balloon arch was carried
over to the party in the back of my Denali
in two pieces and then reassembled.

The arch clipped to the ends of a 6 foot folding table.

I had painted the mermaid sign last
year at a craft night with my SIL.  It was to
go down to the houseboat, but I brought it back
for the party.

I made cookie pops with Oreo Cinnamon Bun 
cookies - yummmmmy!  They were dipped in
white chocolate and covered in disco dust.

My glass shell bowl had a piece of foam placed
in it and it was covered in brown sugar for sand.

My DIL made signs for the treats.

My daughter made the sea water.

I created eight mermaid crowns for the party goers
to choose from, and purchased mermaid hair and
a mermaid necklace for them to wear.

The blow up clam shell was the setting for their

The cake was purchased from Sam's Club.
They make a 3 tier cake for $65!
I then embellished it with chocolate and
fondant shells, fondant mermaid tails,
gumballs, sugar crystal suckers
for seaweed, cotton candy for seafoam 
and chocolate spheres.

Fondant clam shells,

The biggest white balls are chocolate spheres,
the medium ones are gumballs, and the small ones
are candy.

The mermaid tails and small starfish are
fondant and the large starfish and shells
are chocolate.

Fondant sea horses painted with gold.

Their cakes make an impressive yet easy
cake for a party, and it tastes really
good too.

It was topped with a cute mermaid birthday

I only included the birthday girls and their
sister's pictures, but all the little girls got their
photos taken.  We had over 40 people attend.  It
was a huge hit for all of the family members.
Of course the kids had to put the clam
shell floatie in the pool!

Thanks for swimming by to visit
our mermaids!

I will be sharing this with

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