MM side umbrella table 13

After searching and searching (for like a whole 20 minutes on the internet) I was unable to find the side table that I wanted for our pool deck.  I found a lot of pretty tables that were the perfect size and look, but none that had a hole in the center for an umbrella pole.  I am quite sure they are out there, but the internet minions didn’t let me see them that day.

So I sent Mr. Creativity and his friend ‘Skyscraper’ to Lowe’s with a list (Skyscraper was going to make an outdoor dining table using the same materials, so don’t start thinking that I roped in someone else on my hair-brained idea).

3.5 hours later they returned…with everything that was on the list…thankfully

MM side umbrella table 5Here is my shopping list:

1 – 2x8x6 pressure treated wood cut in 3 lengths of 24″

4 – 1″ galvanized pipe cut (with threads on both ends) to 20″ lengths

1×3 cut to 19″ lengths

4 plastic caps for 1″ pipes

4 galvanized 1″ pipe flanges

2″ exterior screws

MM side umbrella table 6

I gave the wood a good distressing first because I wanted it to look old and imperfect.  If it looked new and perfect, it wouldn’t fit in around here…

MM side umbrella table 7

We braced the 3 boards together with the 1x2s and screws and then moved on to the legs…

MM side umbrella table 9

Our poor neighbors…bless their hearts.

They have the patience of Job.

You can put ‘old box and arrows’ on your shopping list, but we just happened to have these in the garage.

MM side umbrella table 12

The flanges were set on the outside corners and then the legs just screwed into them.

MM side umbrella table 8

My man got the power tools out and drilled a hole that would fit the umbrella pole (he used a 1.5″ drill bit and a lot of muscle…)

MM side umbrella table 2

After sanding the wood and wiping away the dust with tack cloth I applied the stain.

The stain color that I chose was Kona by Rust-Oleum.  I love how dark it is.

Then I gave it 3 coats of poly so that if we splash water on it or set cold drinks on it the finish will be fine.

MM side umbrella table 4

MM side umbrella table 3

MM side umbrella table 11

Now, all I have to do is sit by the pool and think up other projects that need to happen.

Well, that and laundry, bathrooms, vacuuming…

MM side umbrella table 10

Are you a DIY’er?  I would love to hear about a “can’t find it on the internet, so I’ll just build it myself” that you have done recently!


MM Sig


Linking to:

A Night Owl Be Awesome  *  Inspire Me Tuesday  *  Inspire Me Monday  *  The DIY’ers Inspiration Monday  *  Mad Skills  *  Create Link Inspire  *  Sweet Sharing MondayThe Scoop  *  One Project at a Time  *  Sunday Showcase  *  Work it Wednesday  *





Schooooool’s back! In! Session! (to the tune of ‘school’s out for summer’)


Are you a mom?  Are your kids back in school?  Are you as happy as you were the first day of summer?  ME TOO!!!!


I actually think the kids are <almost> as excited as I am.  See those happy faces?  They are holding in the happy dance, I’m sure of it…

MM first day of school 1

So the kids are back in school, the house is silent (I can actually hear air coming through the AC vents…)

What do I do now???

MM first day of school 2

At the beginning of the summer I had a list of things that I wanted to accomplish.

I was going to paint my kitchen cabinets and change out the hardware.

Planned on painting my bedroom.

Thought about organizing each of the kid’s bedrooms.

Was pretty sure that I would clad one or two walls with wood planks.

And, of course, I was going to keep my house in perfect order in case we had company…

MM first day of school 3

1st Grade!

Yep, I had a list.

MM first day of school 4

5th grade!

I somehow have that SAME LIST here on the first day of school.

MM first day of school 5

7th grade!

I guess it’s time to stop doing my happy dance now and get to work.

Those cabinets aren’t going to paint themselves…

…I’ve given them ample opportunity.


MM Sig

This is not my first rodeo using milk paint.  Remember the trash to treasure that was painted with ironstone?  Nothing like learning a new paint on a big piece of furniture…Go big or go home.

This time I wasn’t as nervous about working with the ‘mix-it-yourself’ paint.  And this time, like the last, I have a piece that was totally free.

Hey big spendaaaah.

MM stool 1

So the price on this little ‘cutie’ was $5, but it was at the end of the sale and they were trying to get rid of stuff…

<enter Holly>

MM step stool 2

Hello, my name is Holly and I like old cruddy pieces of furniture.

MM step stool 3

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “IF there is a 12-step program for people like me, I don’t want to know about it”.

Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Boxwood.

MM mmsmp 1

Hello Lovely.

MM mmsmp 2

Mix equal parts paint and water.  Here in Florida where the humidity is always hovering around 700%, it will take less water.

MM mmsmp 3

Then stir.  (my kind of recipe, thank you Miss Mustard Seed for understanding me…)

MM mmsmp 4

You want the consistency of Italian Sweet Cream.  {I totally am your kindred spirit if you understood that}.  If it’s really lumpy add a tsp of water.  If it’s runny like skim milk, add a little more milk paint powder.

Since I am my own camera man, I don’t have an action shot of the stool being painted.  You’ll just have to trust me that I painted it.  By myself.

MM step stool final 2

Isn’t she a beauty?  I know her legs are a little thick, don’t judge her.

MM step stool final 3

I love that she looks like someone just cut some leftover 2×4, nailed them on and called it a day.  Been there, done that…am I right?

MM step stool final 1

Since I had a little leftover paint, I thought I would get a few frames painted up for SLPCo.  You’re going to enjoy these, I think…

Here is a sneak peek

MM etsy shop 1

MM mmsmp 7

Can you see the instant patina that you get with milk Paint?  Be still my heart y’all.  Here is a close-up pic for you…

MM mmsmp 6

My other favorite thing about milk paint is {and please hear this with your nice ears} it smells like my grandparent’s barn.  It has an earthy scent that I just can’t get enough of.  If you were raised on a farm, you will understand.  If you weren’t, go get some milk paint and enjoy!

Have you used milk paint?  What did you think if so?

I would love to hear from you!


MM Sig



Last but certainly not least…WE HAVE A WINNER…you’re all winners, but you know what I mean…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Milenda B–you have been chosen.  I will be sending a little happy your way today (or tomorrow–I still have kids hanging from the rafters since school hasn’t started <end rant>)


**this post is not sponsored by MMSMP (or Adjectives mkt) I just wanted to share this project with you…awwwwwwww

Embara Village Panorama

You learn something new every day, right?

Sometimes you get to learn lots of somethings in one day.

Here is a tiny taste of what I learned when we visited the Embara Village located on the Chagras River in Panama.

Embara Village 5

I learned that my daughter is just like me.

When I was little my family went canoeing down the Buffalo river in Tennessee.  I was so scared that my mom was singing “Buffalo Girls Won’t You Come Out Tonight” to me.  When mom would stop singing and dad would stop paddling I was terrified.  They still to this day will mention “Paddle daddy Paddle!!  Sing mama sing!”. (Thanks guys for NEVER.  LETTING.  ME.  FORGET.)

The pretty girl was just as nervous on the boat ride to the village that day as I was 30 years ago.   I wonder if we will let her forget…nah.

Embara Village 6

I learned that you can survive, thrive and actually enjoy life without the internet, phone and Target.

The young adults from this village go away to college and almost always return to live life in the primitive village.  These people in this village are educated.  They are creative.  They are business people (their main income comes from the basket they weave, jewelry they create, items they carve and clothing they sell–we bought a little of everything).  The people were so kind and inviting to us.  They welcomed us into their homes and showed us amazing hospitality.

Embera Village 4

I learned that you can be forever bonded with someone that doesn’t speak a bit of your language.

Above is a picture of Jan and Lisette.  They met 3 years ago and have sent word back and forth (through a translator) over the years.  When Lisette had a baby, Jan was rejoicing with her.  When Jan had breast cancer, Lisette was praying for her.  Jan was chomping at the bit to get up the hill and see her friend on this visit.  Lisette walked up and began speaking fluent English.  She has been taking lessons and now speaks 4 languages.  Her native language, Spanish, English and some French.

Embara Village 8

I learned that little boys-even ones that live away from society-love to play soccer and sword fight.

This little boy pictured above was glued to me while I was pumping up this soccer ball.  He didn’t speak a word and yet I think he would have said that I was his favorite gringo (I’m bringing soccer balls everywhere I go from now on…).

There were two little boys-probably around 3 or 4 years old- that had taken palm fronds and pulled off strips to make swords.  They each tucked 2 of these ‘swords’ in their loin cloth and marched around proudly.  At one point the fencing began and one got hurt.  I was the only person close enough to do anything and got the opportunity to comfort the little guy.  I think it made me happier than it did him, I was missing my little boys like crazy at this point.

Embara Village 7

I learned that even if you live in a primitive village, you still have to all wear matching outfits during PE Class.

There is no escaping that phenomenon.

Embara Village 3

I learned that mommies bounce, sway and pat their babies the same way we do.

They didn’t go to lamaze classes or parental-preparedness classes.  It is a natural instinct that God gave us.  I saw a mom lay her baby across her lap, tummy down and pat gently.  I saw a mom do my signature move that I got all three of my babies to sleep using–I call it the bounce and twist.  Maybe I’ll make an instructional video one day for you all…..

Embara Village 11

I learned that you can drive a boat wearing a loin cloth, but I wouldn’t suggest it because of the breeze…

Embara Village 12


I learned that taking an hour-long boat ride each way can make for some funny pictures.  (Y’all don’t hate me for posting this pic, it made me laugh)

This was a trip of a lifetime.  While there we got to hear about their life and culture, more importantly our teens were able to act out a Bible story with the tribe while one of our guys translated.  These amazing people love God.  David and Lisa bring groups there rather frequently and get to share the Bible with them as well as meet the needs that they may have.  David and Lisa are being the hands and feet of Jesus to them, and it is proving to be a tremendous work that God is doing there among them.  Glory to God!



**Don’t forget to enter the giveaway there isn’t much time left!!!

I get it.  You’re busy.  I’m not sure that I even remembered to take out the trash or feed my kids breakfast yesterday.

But time is running out on the giveaway.  You seriously should forget brushing your teeth today in order to make time to enter.  I won’t tell.

SLPCo giveaway at McCall Manor

If you already follow me on Pinterest, facebook and twitter go ahead and tell the nice computer that.  He will let you play.  If not, tell him and he will give you a chance to follow along.  He might be unfeeling and unknowing, but he’s fair at least.

Fingers crossed!



Well, I’ve gone and done it now…

SLPCo giveaway at McCall Manor

Gone and started an Etsy shop.  Because I didn’t have anything else going on…

SweetLipsProvisionCo frames by McCall Manor

Now before you start speculating on where we got the name of the shop, let me clarify for you that it is not my nickname.

SweetLipsProvisionCo frame by McCall Manor

Sweet Lips is the community where Mr. Creativity grew up.  It’s about 6 minutes from where my parents live if that tells you anything about the size of our hometowns.

Legend has it that a Civil war soldier drank from the creek here and proclaimed the water ‘sweet to my lips’.  We won’t get into an argument as to whether the soldier was confederate or union…not here…not now…simmer down people.


I was thinking to myself “self, you should have a giveaway”.  So, let’s do it.  You guys get to be my guinea pigs.

I’ve never opened a shop on Etsy and never had a giveaway of my very own.  Enter at your own risk.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are 5 ways to enter plus you can tweet every day for the 7 days that it is open!  That equals 11 possible entries–if my math is correct…

If you are inclined to order from Sweet Lips Provision Co, you will be on my list of favorite people. :)




**One winner will be chosen by an unfeeling, unknowing computer.   I’ll contact the winner with the deets and ship out the cute frame ASAP.


I may forget a lot of details about what I experienced in Panama.  Details like weather, food (except pineapple and Maria cookies…no one will ever forget those), smells…etc.  But the people there won’t be forgotten.

I may not remember all of their names or which child belonged to which parent, but I will remember the way they made me feel.

MM Panama Church 4

We rolled into El Valle at about 8 or 9pm after having been up for way too many hours to count.  The first glimpse of our week to come was about 50 people waiting, waving and inviting us to come in for a meal.  Bless their hearts.  They were so happy to meet us.   It made me want to cry.  They loved us without knowing who we were.  They just knew we were their brothers and sisters in Christ.

MM Panama Teens

How do you not just run up to someone that you never met if you know that you have that in common?  I felt ashamed for not knocking visitors down when they come to our congregation in Florida.  (If you come visit us now…watch out…)

MM A & Kathleen

The children instantly flocked to the pretty girl and all of the teens that came with us.  I wish so deeply to have that feeling of pure abandon when meeting someone new.

MM A & Carol

There was one point during the week that pretty girl was feeling worn down.  She and I were in the girls quarters and had a little pep talk.  She loved all of the little girls so much, but was tired and feeling a little weary.  I was a few steps behind her when she finally drug herself off the bed and slipped on her shoes and somehow made it to the gathering room.  When she walked through the door, all I could hear were little voices squealing at the top of their lungs.  When I finally laid eyes on her, there were little girls hanging on each of her arms and legs and hugging her around the middle.  You should have seen all the happy faces…including hers.

MM Panama Church 3

We visited a school one day where Lisa teaches English to preschoolers.  Can I just say that Disney is alive and well in Panama?  No joke, EVERY child had a Disney character on their backpack.  EVERY. CHILD.  I told Mr. Creativity that they must be doing something right at WDW.

MM Jan & Child

Here is Jan with a little cutie pie.  This child wouldn’t let Jan put her down–not that Jan tried mind you.  Look at that sweet little face.  Now, look at the cutie that was in my lap…MM Holly & Kids

Never smiled.


Seriously.  I gave her cookies and talked to her and helped her color paper dolls.  Nothing.  She was not impressed with this gringo.  But I thought she was just the cutest.

While I couldn’t get her to even crack a smile, pretty girl was again surrounded by children.  I love that she embraced all the chaos and craziness that littles can bring.  She was a champ.

MM A at school

In the church family there I got to meet some Kuna Indians.  I fell in love with 4 ladies.  I know this may come as a surprise to some of you since I did take 2 years of French in high-school, but I don’t speak Kuna.  They didn’t speak English.  But we were sitting at a table together eating a meal and I wanted to communicate with them.   We got a translator to come help us and they taught me how to say several phrases including ‘God Bless You’ in Kuna.   I got out my phone and started typing out the words phonetically so that I could practice and show them later what I had remembered.  They thought that was hysterical apparently.  Maybe it was my southern drawl.  Maybe I had spinach in my teeth.  I’ll never know.

MM Panama Church 2

The beautiful patterns on their outfits are called Molas.  They stitch them by hand and it can take several months to make each one.  My friend Alvarado (pictured far right above) made a beautiful butterfly mola that I’m going to make into a pillow very soon.  I can’t wait to show you.

Meet Duke.  He is one of the coolest dogs around.  His super power is that he only barks at the town drunk if he passes by.  Pretty awesome I would say.

MM Duke

What I have learned from the people in El Valle is to embrace everyone that walks through the door at your congregation.  Don’t just nod hello.  Go hug them.  Welcome them.  Make them feel special.  Even if they don’t smile at you.

But if they are sloppy drunk…bark at them.

Just kidding…maybe



**I’ve had a sick little boy here at my house for over 2 weeks, sorry it has taken so long to update the blog.  He is better now, but on day 18 of antibiotics. (word to the wise–put earplugs in your ears if you go swimming in a lake)

I have been wanting to share with you (and document for my own sake) more about our trip to Panama in June.  So finally I am sitting at the computer and going through all of the pics and sharing them with you.

Here is the crazy bunch of people that can’t behave like grown ups when they are together group ready to head to Panama.  (Note: we had all been up chatting and catching up until 2 am and then got up to head to the airport at 4–hence the inability to act normal in front of a camera)

MM Panama first pic

Only 3 of us from the McCall family went on this trip.  Buster and Bruiser were in the capable hands of their grandparents–we had a lot of spoiling detox to do when we got them back…

MM Panama 1

The group we went with was mainly comprised of friends that we have known for years.

MM Panama 2

The Liras (above) and the Baldwins (below) are long-time friends of ours from the years we lived in Kentucky.  Good people.  Funny people.  Forever-friend people.

MM Panama 4

We got to know this couple (Danny and Lori–pictured below) on the trip and I’m so glad we did.  They are goof balls just like us amazing.

MM Panama 3

Also on the trip we had Dan Dan the Chicken Man and his beautiful wife Mary along with Marfa Marfa and about 15 teens from our church family in Kentucky.  There was never a dull moment.

We were in El Valle, Panama.  In an inactive (thankfully) volcano.  Seriously, the garden of Eden would have a run for it’s money here.  This place was gorgeous.


Our fearless missionaries that live there full time are David and Lisa Carter.  (if you think that missionaries are serious and slightly boring people–think again–you can actually see the mischief in David’s eyes)


The Carters are in the process of purchasing an old orphanage that once had lots of little girls–we all had pink bunk beds to sleep in (even the men).  This building is where the growing congregation meets multiple times a week.     There is a large open room in which the church meets and worships together.  Out front is a huge patio filled with hammocks (I think every church building in the USA needs a porch with hammocks–just sayin’).  There are 2 large bedrooms with pink bunk beds (one for men and the other for women) are great for groups like ours that come to visit/help/encourage/learn.  David and Lisa rarely have a moment to themselves with all of the company they get.

MM Panama House

So there you have it.  All of the details about who went and where we stayed.  I’ll be back tomorrow with details on what happened and all of our fun experiences.  God is alive and active there.  He shows himself in so many ways.  We were in awe.








Like ‘welcome to the jungle’ Panama?

Not ‘spring break 2014′ Panama City?


Don’t they have snakes and spiders and lots of weird bugs?

Will we get really hot?

What will we wear?

How much sunscreen do we need to carry?

What kind of food do they eat there?

How much does a trip like this cost?

Don’t we already have missionaries there?

Can’t we just send them money?

Do I need to pack toilet paper?

God said ‘Go’. 

So we went.

It was amazing.

I think God said ‘Go’ for us, not the Panamanian people.

We needed a reality check.

Reality has been checked.

We have been changed.

Hopefully we will stay changed…

God is so Good.


summer time toes by McCall Manor

This post is dedicated to my college roomie.


She is a funny, funny person. Kym is the kind of friend that will be making mischief in the nursing home one day. I can totally see her pulling the fire alarm at the home and riding away from the scene of the crime on her bright red rascal.

…I hope we are stuck in the same home together…

She made a big mistake one day — she let me in on a pet peeve of hers.

…She should have known better…

She hates all the pictures that people post of their feet propped up with the beach (or anything actually) in the background.

…Game on…

The Pretty Girl and I have made it a goal to send her pics of our feet wherever we go.

…Because that is what good friends do…

We have sent her pictures of our feet at the beach, at Disney, in our living room, and so on…

…The possibilities of annoying her are endless…

If you happen to know my friend Kym, feel free to join us in this effort. I get the feeling that she really does enjoy the pics that I send her, she just likes to pretend to be grossed out.  ;)

So here’s to you Kym!!

Silhouette Project Alert

I heard someone once say about the necessity of monogramming “If my monogram isn’t on my bag (or shirt, necklace,etc), how will people know it belongs to me?” I completely agree. Monograms aren’t just for decoration—they are a necessity.

The first step–and I know it’s a weird one– see what size you will be making your monogram.

I think I can honestly say that this was my first time to ever measure my toenails.

I used the font ‘circle three monogram’

McCall Manor summer toes

I used sticky-back vinyl and made sure to click “double cut” so that weeding wouldn’t be a pain.   Then apply to your big toe with Silhouette transfer paper.

…let the toe-selfies commence…

McCall Manor Summer timeTOES

Okay, maybe it’s not a necessity in this case, but it will make your ‘toe selfies’ so much cuter.

And Kym will just appreciate them that much more.




Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

A Gift for the Bride-to-Be Silhouette Challenge: My Favorite Things My Favorite Things Keepsake Box Printable Tattoos for Crafters & DIYers Super Hero Backpacks Geometric Two Tone Shirt Refashion Instagram Paper Album Reasons I Love Daddy Ctrl Alt Del Pillows Outside Decor: DIY Pallet Board Sign Yo-Ho It's a Pirate Party How To Use Silhouette Sketch Pens Combining My Favorite Things, Baking and Crafting - July Silhouette Challenge Pride & Prejudice Subway Style Art Favorite Silhouette Challenge Just umm, Let it Go Temporary My Little Pony Tattoos Mike Holmes Baby Onesie Monogram It: A Memo Board Makeover Super Room Redo The Best Summer Ever Freebie and Tutorial Summertime Toes Crafty Girls Hair Accessories Holder Watercolor Wall Art Ice Cream Cone T-Shirt Sun Fun Shirt Family Wall Art: Scrabble Edition Serving Tray Upcycle Making Custom Rhinestone Designs Etched Glass Coasters Church Nursery Wall Quote

1. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 2. The Frill of Life // 3. A Time For Seasons // 4. The Thinking Closet // 5. Ginger Snap Crafts // 6. Grey Luster Girl // 7. Simply Kelly Designs // 8. Home At Eight // 9. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 10. My Paper Craze // 11. Mama Sonshine // 12. Practically Functional // 13. Adventures in All Things Food // 14. Two Purple Couches // 15. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 16. Sowdering About // 17. Cutesy Crafts // 18. My Mom Made That // 19. Pitter and Glink // 20. Pineapples And Pinecones // 21. Dream a Little Bigger // 22. McCall Manor // 23. TitiCrafty // 24. unOriginal Mom // 25. Persia Lou // 26. Lil Mrs Tori // 27. Home. Made. Interest. // 28. Sandpaper and Glue // 29. Silhouette School // 30. Creative Ramblings // 31. My Favorite Finds


Linking to:

Bewitch me & Titi  *  Mabey She Made It  *  The Pin JunkieWork it Wednesday  *  Nancherrow  *  Gingerly Made  *  The Shady Porch  *  The Crafty Blog Stalker  *  The Pin It Party  *  Flaunt it Friday  *