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Day 25: Merry Christmas!

It’s here! We’ve reached Day 25, the final day of the challenge. Thank you for taking this ride with me, for reading the posts and for liking them. It always helps to know someone besides Toni is reading. I intended to write this earlier, but that brunch I told you about? We didn’t get home until about 5 this evening. I couldn’t do it this morning because I was playing with my presents, just like a kid.

I sincerely hope that you are having a great holiday filled with family, friends, fun, and most importantly, love.

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours!

Day 23: Christmas Traditions

Alright, folks. There are two days left until Christmas. I thought I would share a few of our traditions. I’m part of a fairly large family on my mom’s side. My maternal grandmother had eight children and they all have children…and their children have children. You see where this is going. When my grandmother was alive, we always congregated at her house for major holidays. In the dozen years after she passed away, there were a few different houses and plans. Now, I think we’ve gotten to a pretty stable fall/winter calendar.

I’ve already mentioned that my mother hosted a Christmas part the second week of December. This is the third year, I believe, that she’s done it and she plans to continue. For our smaller family, my mother, me, my sister and her family (her husband and three boys) get together on Christmas Eve along with my BFF JK to celebrate. We eat (usually seafood) and open presents. My sister started the tradition when her boys were younger so that she could spend Christmas morning with her family without worrying about getting up and leaving her house early. I love that it’s time that our group can get together and I’ve always enjoyed watching the boys open their gifts.

The big shebang, however, is Christmas brunch at my aunt’s house. People start arriving around 10 and the party has been known to last until 4 in the afternoon. My aunt will even include a theme every now and then for how we should all dress. In the past they’ve been as simple as the color red, as comfortable as pajamas and as hometown as Ravens. Everyone looks forward to it each year – the seemingly endless amounts of food, the mimosas (yum!) and the laughter. It’s such a great way to spend the holiday.

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Our family has gotten really into playing games lately. I decided that at this year’s Christmas party, we should have an epic Lip Sync Battle. There are a few people that I can count on to be enthusiastic participants and they came through for me. We had five contestants and three rounds. The competition was a huge hit with our friends and family. We’re considering making it an annual battle.

However, there was a major difference between our Lip Sync Battle and the television show – we had judges. There were three judges, age 15-50. You know what judges need, right? Dancing with the Stars-esque paddles. In a moment where I thought I was the crafty person I’ve always wanted to be, I had the brilliant idea that I would make the judging paddles. Honestly, I’m quite proud of them. If you’re interested in creating a set of your own, check out my instructions below. (Note: I got all of the paints at Michaels and spent maybe $12 using a coupon.)

DIY Judging Paddles

Supplies: Dollar Tree Paddles (the ones with the ball and string attached), Scotch Tape, Paintbrush, Folk Art Home Decor Chalkboard Paint in Black, Craft Smart Metallic Paint in Gold, Craft Smart Glitter Paint in Champagne

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First, cut the string and remove the string and ball from the paddle. Since there’s a design on the front of the paddles, this is the side I painted with chalkboard paint. The instructions on the bottle say to let it dry for two hours after each coat. Because this was my first time using chalkboard paint, I adhered to that time frame. If you’ve used it before and know it takes less time, by all means, go with what works for you.

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And finished the weekend wth more martinis. Because. #Summer17 One of the @daretheory challenges from yesterday. "Dare: Spin in the rain (make rain if needed)." We got creative. Rainmaker: @tyranicole87 Director: @eebs101 #daretheory #Summer17 BFF Date Night with @eebs101. Also that's my Grey Goose martini, not water (which Eebs said it looks like). More #Summer17 shenanigans planned for today. #alleyezonme #cocktails Forget what the calendar says. Braids are in, #Summer17 has officially started. Playtime hath arrived, my friends! 😎 #boxbraids
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