Armed Felons Jailed with Our Community’s Use of the Ring Doorbell  

Less than 24 hours after all four of our cars were broken into in the driveway of our affluent and guarded neighborhood, I woke up to the headlines, “Three Arrested After Two County, High Speed Pursuit Ends in Nashville.” What we had originally brushed off as a teenage prank become much more serious after I received a call from our neighborhood security guard. This was not a teenage prank but a serious crime spree organized by armed criminals.

 

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How to Make a Whimsical "Rag Flag"

After admiring a photo of an American “rag flag” for a year and learning that it was a rental when I tried to purchase it, several friends encouraged me to make one. Much to my surprise, I am REALLY GOOD at ripping fabric and tying it to a stick! This flag came out better than expected and with a little help from my children, turned into a great family project! Whether you are crafty person or someone who has never purchased fabric before, this is festive project that you can take pride in making!

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The Prom Contract

”You’re just pushing your daughter into sex and alcohol with your PROM CONTRACT.” - Instagram critic

Fortunately, my parenting philosophy differs from the social media psychologist that wrote me that message. In our family, we believe that setting high standards with clear expectations and logical consequences will produce productive and accountable young adults. If nearly half of teens under 17 are having sex, my goal is raise the other half who refrain. .

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Whimsical Playroom and Kids Lounge Makeover

With seven children, ages two to sixteen, this room was designed to be a place where the older children could watch movies with friends while also serving as a cheerful place where the young ones could create and explore. I wanted this room to grow with my family yet I wanted it to be a stylish space. I didn’t want a room filled with primary colored tubs that resembled a preschool…I wanted a whimsical space that I could relax in despite that mess and chaos that occurs.

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How to Get Your Best Body AFTER Babies

This isn’t the first article to be written about embracing your body after childbirth and it won’t be the last…accepting the way your body may look or feel after child birth is a struggle that many moms face. Sure, we’re all proud of what our bodies accomplished in growing and birthing our children; that doesn’t make trying on bathing suits any easier!

 

I’ve been pregnant ten times. I’ve delivered five babies by C-section, one naturally and a stillborn daughter after 26 hours of labor. I have also had three additional miscarriages. My body has gained and lost nearly 250 pounds collectively, I’ve nursed each baby for a minimum of one year and I’m now nursing our adopted son…which means I haven’t slept through the night in years! If anyone can empathize the toll motherhood takes on a body, I can promise you it is me. So while I have abandoned the idea that my abdominal skin will be as taught as it once was, I still remain committed to my fitness routine. 

 

 

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Design Capsule : My Top 15 Essential Décor Elements for Every Season

There are 15 essential design items that I use year round….whether they are found in my own Property Brothers featured dream home, a magazine shoot or in a celebrity home, these are my interior design “must haves.” The majority of my design capsule items can be found on Amazon, at HomeGoods or in Pottery Barn as I try to affordably and stylishly design functional spaces for families. If you’re looking to redesign a space in your home or if you are just “stuck,” try combining a few of these items to refresh your space.

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Foster Kindness : The Movement to Support Adoption and Foster Care

“I can’t believe that all of these people helped me and they didn’t even know me or my baby. Tell them thank you and I love them.” – 15 year old, teenage mother in foster care

These grateful words were spoken to me after the outpouring of love and graciousness shown to the needs of a teenage mother and her baby visiting our family for the weekend. What I learned from this collective demonstration of goodwill is that people WANT to help children in these situations but often don’t know how. Foster care children are an underserved population of children in our community. While we all can’t adopt or foster a child, we can support those families and organizations that do. Join the #fosterkindness movement by volunteering your time , coordinating services for foster/adopted children or financially supporting the cause that inspires you.

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Suburban Mom Glam - My Signature Make Up Look

Whether you’re headed to the office or chaperoning the field trip in your yoga pants, my signature “suburban mom glam” makeup look has you covered. Despite currently driving a 12 passenger van, at one time in my life, I conducted Super Bowl red carpet interviews. Now that I’m enjoying a second tour of duty in the media spotlight, I’m relying on some of my classic favorites and a few new products to achieve my everyday look.


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Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation Treatment #5, Skin Tightening

As we age, the collagen that keeps our skin firm breaks down resulting in aging skin that contains fine lines and wrinkles. Couple that with fair Irish skin and my neck looks years older than my face. Although I always followed my mother’s advice by moisturizing my neck after my face, her recommendation could not reduce the effects of Mother Nature.

 

For the fifth and final part of our series, Preserve Your Pretty, with prominent Nashville plastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Biesman, I’m sharing my experience with Thermage. Thermage is non-surgical skin treatment that uses radiofrequency technology to heat the deeper, collagen-rich layers of the skin.

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Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation #4, Laser

I have a sleeping disorder. It’s called children. I had always thought the bags under my eyes were as a result of one to three toddlers climbing into my bed at night. I haven’t slept through the night in roughly five years and became accustomed to hiding those effects with a great concealer and solid dose of sugar cookies before noon. I also thought the massive, throbbing veins under my eyes were only apparently during workouts however over the years, those veins became more prominent and noticeable while be less and less coverable.

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Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation Treatment #3, Fillers

“Momma, you are really starting to look like Grandma. Like right here in your face.”

 

For the past year, several of my children continued to state how much I look like my mother. My mom is a beautiful and educated woman that I am honored to be compared to. With that being said, she is nearing 70 and I knew exactly what my daughter meant when she pointed to my jowl and said, “Right here.” I noticed it too.

 

For the past year, several of my children continued to state how much I look like my mother. My mom is a beautiful and educated woman that I am honored to be compared to. With that being said, she is nearing 70 and I knew exactly what my daughter meant when she pointed to my jowl and said, “Right here.” I noticed it too.

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Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation, #2 : Obagi Blender and Tretinoin

It is often said that one should “Love the skin you’re in.” However, what if that skin has been damaged by years of irresponsible sun tanning in your younger years? Perhaps it also doesn’t necessarily include the effects of hyper pigmentation or the “mask of pregnancy” women may earn with childbirth. Fortunately, I love the skin I’m in enough to have tested a few products that have repaired or improved the overall health and texture of my face.

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Preserve Your Pretty: Non-Surgical Skin Rejuvenation Treatment #1, Botox

It is never too early to age elegantly. While I praise my grandmothers’ generation for aging graciously, I also delight in the joys of modern medicine and the development of injectables and skin rejuvenation treatments. Famed oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Brian Biesman, who treats some of Nashville’s most famous faces, and I have collaborated on a beauty project that I am excited to present. After several consultations and meetings, we have compiled a list of the five most non-invasive beauty and skin treatments that can help reverse the signs of aging. Not only do these beauty secrets correct some issues you may currently have, more importantly, they help preserve the face you have today.

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Are There Any Words Capable of Comforting Your Child’s Birth Mother?

Last night, I received a sweet message from a friend considering the adoption process. She wanted to know, “What makes a birth mother happy post placement?” I thought that this was such a thoughtful question that isn’t addressed enough. While every birth mother is different, I felt it may be helpful to share our story and what I personally felt obligated to promise my son’s birth mother.

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My Laundry Room Makeover: Washing Clothes Under the Twinkle of Chandeliers

As the married mother of seven children, most of my days are spent in the kitchen or in the laundry room. In an effort to make this room more inviting and pleasing to be in, I decided to give this room a makeover. Why should any other room in our home be more beautiful than the room that I spend hours in each day? In redesigning my special space, I decided to infuse a bit of country with a bit of glamour to make matching the socks of seven children just a bit more tolerable.

 

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Adopting Outside of Our Race : What People Want to Know and What Some Are Afraid to Ask

“Momma, do you think the baby will know he’s adopted? He has curly hair like me and tiny toes like Charlotte so I don’t think he will even know.”

 

These innocent words were spoken by my five-year-old, blonde, curly haired daughter in reference to her newly adopted, African American baby brother. This sweet statement is such a profound reminder that we are more alike than we are different and that humans were born to love and be loved.

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Getting Gorgeous Photos with Grumpy Children: Surviving Family Photo Shoots

It is said that, “You don’t take a good photograph, you make it” and with our family, we’re just trying to “make it” through the shoot with the photographer not hating us. If you're looking for how to style and survive photo shoots with children, here are my 5 tips on how to get gorgeous photos with grumpy children!

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