Tuesday August 22, 2017

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  • Pervasive Parenting: Escape…

    By Kodey Toney

    I want to continue a little of what I wrote about last week. I was talking about how Konner had…
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    The other day I happened upon an article on Facebook that was titled, “20 Home Décor Mistakes Everyone Over 45 Should…
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    Decorating Wisely: Distressed…

    It’s hard to believe that summer is over and school is back in session. My Gracie girl is a senior this year, so I’m…
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    Press Release

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  • Decorating Wisely: A…

    Is it possible that a store ( store to be exact) make you want to do a better job at life? I think so, because it…
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    Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist - Agricultural Communications Services, Oklahoma State University
Decorating Wisely

The other day I happened upon an article on Facebook that was titled, “20 Home Décor Mistakes Everyone Over 45 Should Avoid” by Maureen Wiley. I don’t usually bother to read a lot of this stuff, because let’s face it everybody is an expert anymore and everybody has an opinion on what we should and shouldn’t be doing. For some reason this one piqued my interest, maybe it’s because I’m over 45, maybe I had a weak moment, maybe a little of both, regardless I read it to see what this “expert” had to say. Here are her “tips” she basically demanded:

1. Decorate with fake plants. She says and I quote verbatim, “It’s obvious to all of your guests if your plants are fake. It will also make your house look like it is a portal to the 90s.” I have to disagree with her because there are some beautiful silks available on the market these days that look so real you can’t tell them apart. For example, I love orchids, but growing them, I’m just not so good at. I have several faux orchids. The key is to buy quality silks that will stand the test of time.

2. Floral furniture. She says, “Florals are currently big in the fashion world, but not so much in the home decor world. No matter how long you’ve had that floral sofa, you need to get rid of it! Floral furniture is a dead giveaway that your house is an ‘old lady house.’” First of all, home décor typically mirrors current fashion trends. Maybe she is referring to the kind of floral couch that I grew up know, it’s various shades of brown with some kind of windmill or something on it. Anyway, I think an accent or two of a floral print brings a little softness to a room.

3. Covering all surfaces in framed photos: Her thought-process is that if you display more than a couple of framed photos in a room it immediately screams “grandma’s house.” Personally, I like going to people’s homes and seeing pictures of their families. I love seeing random photos of things like vacations, celebrations, etc. I think not having enough family photos in your home, makes it look a little cold and uninviting.

Here’s my thing with this kind of article and title, why does Maureen really care what is in my home just because I’m over 45? I agree that my 23-year-old daughter’s home décor is different from mine; it doesn’t make either right or wrong. Her home offers a more simplified style with greys and whites and cleaner lines. My home has more of a beige neutral pallet with less clean lines. I mean after all, I’ve raised a family; we’ve lived in our home for a lot of years the lines aren’t going to be perfect anymore. Are there things we can all do to keep our homes updated? Yes, of course, but your home should make you happy and be a reflection of you and not a reflection of some random blogger. You do you! Oh, by the way, this is all in my very unexpert opinion!

Saturday, 12 August 2017 00:09

Decorating Wisely: Distressed Pumpkins

It’s hard to believe that summer is over and school is back in session. My Gracie girl is a senior this year, so I’m not doing well at all. I really am not ready for my kids to be grown. I don’t even know how this happened, one day I’m in Florida raising an elementary-aged daughter and a toddler and the next I’m in Oklahoma with a college graduate and high school senior. I know I’m not the first person to ever fear empty nesting, but it still makes me sad nonetheless.

Fortunately, I know just how to cheer myself up! Fall decorating! No, no, I haven’t been decorating just yet, but I am in the preliminary fun stage of pulling out old magazines and pinning away on Pinterest. I’ve been looking for new ways to use old things or at the very least ways to jazz up inexpensive things. In fact, I just pinned, “Distressed Dollar Store Pumpkins with a Crackle Finish” by I love those gorgeous distressed pumpkins, but I don’t love the price. I will definitely be trying this out this year.

White or School Glue
Small paintbrushes
Latex or acrylic paint (In the final pumpkin color)
Dark brown craft paint for glaze
Grey or black paint for splatter (you could also use more of the brown color)
Old toothbrush
Small wooden branches
Hot Glue Gun



1. Cover the pumpkin in white glue until it is tacky. Note: the direction of the stroke marks will influence the direction of the crackling.
2. Once the glue is tacky, coat a thick layer of paint. Note: the direction of the stroke marks.
3. Allow paint to dry.
4. Next, to get that finished look, water down the craft paint, spread it over the entire pumpkin, and then wipe it down. This method is similar to glazing cabinets. The darker color will remain in a few cracks and crevices.
5. After the glaze dries, use an old toothbrush to splatter the grey or black paint onto the pumpkin. This technique takes a bit of practice. Gracie and I took a splatter painting class earlier this summer and there really is a method to it. Dip your brush into the paint, then while holding the toothbrush in one hand tap it with the other. How hard you tap determines how much paint comes off the brush. Just practice on a piece of paper, you’ll the hang of it.
6. She removed the stem that was made on the pumpkin and add a wood stick. I really love this idea and it sure adds a designer touch to the finished product.

Now, you have one inexpensive fall project ready to go! Be sure and get those pumpkins early at the dollar store, as they always seem to go fast!

I want to wish all of the students, teachers and school staff a safe and fabulous school year!

Friday, 04 August 2017 23:34

Decorating Wisely: A mercantile

Is it possible that a store ( store to be exact) make you want to do a better job at life? I think so, because it happened to me! I’m pretty sure we were the last people in Poteau ta mercantileo go to Pawhuska to visit The Mercantile by the Pioneer Woman. It was such a treat and well worth the three hour drive.

I have long been a fan and admirer of Ree Drummond. We’ve cooked tons of her recipes, followed her blog and watched her on TV for years now. I’ve always loved how she has stayed true to her family and roots as she became more and more successful. The Mercantile did not disappoint. There were little touches of Ree throughout. From the butterflies on the curtains to the whimsical coffee mugs to the ranch-inspired décor it all screamed, “The Pioneer Woman”. As I’m typing this, I’m sipping coffee from my Mercantile coffee mug. I swear my coffee tastes better!

“How can a store make you want to be a better person?” you may be asking yourself. For me there was no one thing, it was a combination of all the little things. No detail was not thought of. It reminded me of a book I read this summer, The Little Things: Why You Really Should Sweat the Small Stuff, by Andy Andrews. I highly, highly recommend this book by the way. It’s about how the little things really do make a difference every day. One example he uses is Michael Phelps.

...the difference between first place and tenth place is less than a second...American swimmer Michael Phelps once won a gold medal by a hundredth of a second. Think about it. A hundredth of a second is smaller than the amount of time it takes lightning to strike...

Here is the truth that average achievers never bother to consider: the advantage in any arena of life is earned far in advance of the moment one is required to perform.

Michael Phelps and Ree Drummond although wildly different in their accomplishments are similar in many ways. They both do what they do extremely well, they both work hard for their successes, they persevered to achieve their dreams and I believe they left room for God to work his magic. For the Pioneer Woman I believe she had a vision and didn’t stray from it. As I mentioned every last detail had her special touch.


The water dispensers and beautifully wrapped faux silverware in the bakery, the beautiful shopping bags, heck even the to-go containers. Although it was busy, busy I never felt like a number. I felt like I was being welcomed into someone’s home. The food was phenomenal. Although we were in the middle of restaurant, we felt as if we were enjoying a big family dinner with more food than we could ever eat. In fact, I’ve just awoken from my food coma!

To answer the question, “How is this driving me to be a better person?” It makes me want to pay even closer attention to the details in everything I do. I want to make everyone feel special when they come to my home. None of this takes any extra money. It just takes one extra thought or one extra minute of preparation.


That one extra can make someone feel a million times more special and appreciated.

Speaking of making someone feel more special, my girls and I are working on a special project with the Women’s Crisis Services called, “Pass It On”. It is a store offering items at no charge to individuals and families in need. The hope is to inspire our community to generosity and giving to people to provide help, hope and understanding to those struggling with limited financial resources. Please watch for more details in the coming weeks. This has been on my heart for a long time now and I feel it’s time to move forward with it.

Speaking of the Women’s Crisis Services, our annual Brave the Mud Run is fast approaching, so get signed up today!



Saturday, 29 July 2017 23:15

Decorating Wisely: Farmhouse Pieces

I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with the farmhouse trend. I’ve liked it all along, but wanted to make sure I reaallllyy liked it before diving in.


You know how it is, you are immediately drawn to something, but after a while, you grow tired of it? Yeah, that happens to me sometimes. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add farmhouse touches throughout without completely redoing everything and without going against my budget. I’ve decided the best way to do this is to add a few pieces that I love and pieces that I can hopefully make from things I already have.

• Don’t throw out a piece just because it has a chip. Chippy architectural elements add farmhouse style into any room. Mix with traditional pieces for a rustic/luxe balance. I think that’s what’s so appealing about this style is that it has little mixed element surprises such as a chipped container filled with beautiful silk flowers. Don’t be afraid to mix rustic pieces with luxurious pieces. I believe this adds a unique style and character to your home.

• A burlap table runner adds just the right farmhouse touch to a dining table or buffet.

• Add rustic wire baskets to store vegetables on your kitchen counter offering both function and style. I just purchased a couple from T.J. Maxx for $7.99 each! They were just what my kitchen needed.

• I am totally in love with this apple wreath I found on The Woodgrain Cottage blog (


Styrofoam Wreath
Burlap Strips
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Faux apples, in a variety of sizes.

1. Wrap foam wreath with burlap strips and secure with hot glue.
2. Add apples one by one.
3. Fill any holes with a bit of Spanish moss.

I think what makes the farmhouse style so appealing to all of us is that it warm and inviting, stylish and full of personality. It feels like you can breathe and escape daily demands for a few seconds.


I also think that farmhouse style just makes you feel content and happy. Just like the simplicity of the rustic baskets.


They make me happy! I hope you can add a few touches as well that just make you smile when you see them.

Friday, 14 July 2017 22:23

Decorating Wisely: Christmas in July

Well, some people are either going to love me or hate me for this week’s column, but it’s what’s on my mind--Christmas! You see, I rarely know what I’m going to write about until something just piques my interest and this week it happens to be Christmas. Maybe it’s because Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas in July” week-long Christmas movies started Friday or it could be that I just met with the ballet guild about the upcoming calendar and at the forefront of that meeting was “The Nutcracker” or it could be a combination of the two. No matter what it is, Christmas is on my mind!

I haven’t been in Hobby Lobby in a while, but I would be willing to bet money that the majority of their Christmas merchandise is out as well. I know some people get upset about that, but in all honesty if you’re crafting Christmas decorations and gifts it takes several weeks if not months of preparation to be able to do it properly and in the most cost-effective way.


For example, Ashton, Grayson and I craft many things for the ballet guild to sell at “The Nutcracker” that takes time to plan, purchase at the best possible price and craft the items. I don’t know about you, but when I am rushed to do things like that it takes the joy out of it for me. I love, love creating, but when I’m rushed it becomes a burden rather than a stress reliever. I think that’s why many people don’t truly enjoy the holidays and their true meaning, they simply don’t give themselves enough time to enjoy every step along the way and enjoy the whole process.

Whether you start your Christmas planning in July or later, here’s how you can make it a little easier on yourself and have joyful, family-filled holiday time:
1. Plan early – By this I mean, when you’re sitting around waiting on a doctor’s appointment or your kid to finish at rehearsal, browse through Pinterest for new ideas. Planning is half the fun and half the battle.

2. Make an everything list – This list is everything you would cook, craft, and anything in between if you had the time. This list doesn’t even have to be written down; it could just be a Pinterest board.

3. Narrow the list – Now, it’s time to get realistic about what you can actually accomplish without losing your mind! This is the time to figure out your budget and your time.

4. Start shopping – Now that the list is narrowed, start figuring out what you need to purchase, i.e. craft items, baked goodies containers, etc. Once you have that figured out, watch for sales and work your budget around slowly purchasing these items.

Following these steps will help make your holidays more enjoyable, less stressful, and more like a Hallmark Christmas movie (which I will be enjoying this weekend)!

By Glenda Wise

I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July! We hosted a celebration at our home with friends and family. Donnie invited friends from his cycling group and Ashton invited work friends. We had lots of food and fun and then headed down to Poteau’s fireworks show. I hope you got to see it, the city really outdid themselves. Also, wanted to give a big shout out to the Chamber and all the volunteers for hosting the annual celebration. I know it takes many people to work and make the event a success.

Of course, a few days before our party I had a list that was a mile long of things that needed to be done around the house. You know all the stuff that has needed to be done for the past six months and suddenly it’s a must to get done. Yeah...that list. In Donnie’s defense, we got really behind when I was in the hospital for a week and that coupled with a slow healing time did not help matters.


That really put a halt to a lot of things, so in one weekend we did half a year’s worth of work. We cleaned up the flower beds, cleaned all the windows, rearranged wall stuff, you know the standard things you tend to put off because there are more pressing issues. In my head, I keep telling myself there has to be a better way than this! A better way to do this a little along and not be working our fingers to the bone two days before an event and I’m sure there is........I just don’t know what it is. Life starts happening around us and pretty soon it starts being a matter of survival and doing the absolute most pressing things first and window washing gets moved to the bottom of the list. The best thing I can come up with is to devise a cleaning/chore monthly to-do list like cleaning the outside of the windows once a month unless it’s the winter months. I can’t do cold air and water, I’m not that tough.

I could also add to my list, “Do a fun house project every other month.” I’ve wanted to do something different inside our fireplace for some time, but since that doesn’t fit into my Dave Ramsey budget, I had to look for things around my house to liven it up. I ended up gathering rocks from our land and placing candles and candleholders that I already owned inside of it. My next project is definitely going to be cleaning the inside the fireplace and possibly repainting. I’ve been researching acceptable paint for the interior of a fireplace and have mixed recommendations, so I’m not really sure what to do about that. If any of you have any ideas or experience with that, feel free to message me.

Bottom line is that I really don’t have an answer as to how to keep last minute honey-dos from happening and maintain my life, so I will just try not to stress about it and roll with it.


FullSizeRender 002

Friday, 30 June 2017 15:24

Decorating Wisely: Fire Safety

By Glenda Wise



I’ve mentioned time and time again about my fear of running an appliance either while we’re gone or while we’re sleeping, because a past neighbor’s house burned because of a dishwasher. Well, I have a new warning for you---the cooktop.

The other night we had just cooked burgers and were enjoying our favorite show, “American Grit” when all of sudden I hear a lot of popping and noise in the kitchen. I ran into the kitchen assuming I would find a cat being naughty. Instead, I found the kitchen full of smoke and the plastic burger tray with a perfect hole burned in the middle. We kept things from escalating any worse and after an hour of cleaning the cooktop, it was good as new (more on that in a moment).

Here’s what our best guess as to what happened. We believe Ashton’s 90-pound dog (who is basically a bull in a china closet all the time) put his front paws on the stove to get to the burgers and while doing so, hit one of the knobs and turned on the stove. This all happened within a matter of minutes. It scares me to death to think if we would have been outside or sleeping.

As promised here’s how to get your glass cooktop good as new. First, I scraped all the plastic off with a razor. Then I wiped down the entire stove with Dawn and dried it off so I could see what was left. I scraped and wiped some more. Finally, I made a paste with baking soda and water, covered the entire surface and let it sit for a bit. I scraped some more and then washed it all off. I finally finished with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel.

There are three morals to this story:
1. Don’t put plastic on the cooktop.
2. Always, always lock the stove no matter if you have little ones or not.
3. Check your smoke detectors regularly! During all of this, we realized the kitchen smoke detector wasn’t working because it never went off and believe me there was so much smoke rolling through the house you couldn’t even see. It wasn’t until it reached the fire alarm for the alarm company that anything sounded.


Very scary!


Friday, 16 June 2017 23:59

Decorating Wisely: Gracie's Birthday

By Glenda Wise



Wednesday was my Audrey Hepburn loving, museum loving, dancing queen, Gracie’s, 17th birthday!



How is this possible? My baby that has always tagged along with me, that we’ve taken from one end of the country to the other to dance is almost an adult.


This next school year is her senior year and by August, she’ll be applying and deciding which college she’s going to attend. I really, really don’t think I’m going to do well with this empty next thing. Anyway, I really diverted from what I was going to talk about this week. Honestly, It really doesn’t even fit with all this now, so I’ll just talk about the fantastic day we had on Wednesday! Gracie wanted to have macarons, go see the Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges and finish off with dinner at Taliano’s.

We started the day at the cutest little macaron shop you’ve ever seen. It’s called Alchemy and it’s in the Fayetteville Town Square. It was so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It was very small; a lot of white and glass, which made the beautiful macarons, really stand out. They were all so beautiful and the taste was a-mazing! It was hard to pick a favorite. The all white with a pop of color reminded me of current kitchen styles. I love white cabinets, white tile and a barnwood floor. This combination lends itself to adding a pop of color through accessories, which is a lot easier and less costly to change.

Next, we made our way to Crystal Bridges. Chihuly is one of our all-time favorites. I could look at his work forever. If you have the opportunity try to get to Crystal Bridges before the exhibit is over. I just love going to Crystal Bridges anyway, it’s so peaceful and I can completely lose track of time looking at the art or simply walking the amazing grounds. We have seen several Chihuly exhibits but we’ve never seen Chihuly in the forest. It was absolutely amazing and such a gift for it to be so close to us. Ashton and I started talking about the weather and wondered what in the world they do if it hails or something like that, so we asked some of the groundskeepers. He said that there is a Chihuly team on the premises the entire time the exhibit is on display, so if a storm damages any pieces they are there to repair it. Basically, they just have to hold their breath and hope for the best. He went on to say that it took two years to prepare the grounds for the exhibit.

One thing I love about Chihuly or any artist for that matter is their ability to see the potential for something to be amazing before the rest of us. For example, the beautiful Northwest Coast Indians inspired Chihuly’s basket series. The Indian baskets are a piece of art in and of themselves and Chihuly figured out a way to replicate the beauty of their slumped and sagging appearance from use in glass form. There was a quote by Chihuly that I found so interesting and true. Sometimes we look for new and improved things to accomplish tasks, but in all reality sometimes, you just cannot get the same result as the old way, you just have to look at a new approach.

“The technology hasn’t really changed...We use the same tools they used 2,000 years ago. The difference is that when I started, everyone wanted to control the blowing process. I just went with it. The natural elements of fire, movement, gravity, and centrifugal force were always there, and always with us. The difference was that I worked in this abstract way and could let the forces of nature have a bigger role in the ultimate shape.”

Friday, 09 June 2017 21:30

Decorating Wisely: Organizing Life

Decorating Wisely by Glenda Wise


Is it just me or does there seem to be less hours in the day than ever before? Every single time I think that I’ll be able to have a few extra minutes to get something done, I don’t! I always feel that there is something more pressing than needs my immediate attention. In reality, though, if I would just set aside the time to organize things like my office and my closet my life would be so much easier in the long run. Plus, how in the world am I supposed to tell Gracie that she needs to keep her closet organized when mine looks worse than hers. That’s not really the greatest parental example now is it? Gosh darn it I’m getting my closet and office organized this summer if it’s the last thing I do! I’ve devised a plan and I hope it can help you out too if there’s something you’ve been putting off like me.

First you need to take a realistic approach, after all summer is just a few short months, throw camps and vacations in there and you’re really down to just a few usable weekends to really accomplish something. This is where you need to have a heart-to-heart with yourself and prioritize the things that really just make you crazy when things are busy. My crazy is my closet and office...I really should have thought twice about putting those glass French doors on the office.
Next, divide and conquer. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a small victories kind of gal.


I need a little motivation along the way; therefore, I’m much more productive if I have small goals that help me reach the big goal. For example, my closet. Why, oh why, do I have clothes in there that I haven’t worn for at least 20 years? Oh, I remember, because somewhere in my demented head I think I’m going to weigh 98 pounds again. I have to come to grips with reality that I’m 46 years old and I have better odds of winning the lottery than I do of weighing 98 pounds again. Oh, and guess what, I’m not in my 20’s anymore, so even if those clothes fit they are not very age appropriate for me. This is the summer for me to just sing, “Let it Go”, and really let it go! Just getting rid of all the clothes and shoes will take care of 75% of my closet problem.

I do, however, have a big problem with throwing things away when I know there are people in need. Please don’t just throw these things in the garbage! Find a place to donate them or give them to someone in need. We get so busy sometimes and inundated with stuff that we forget there are people that would give anything to have even half of what we do.

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