Living the Sweet Life:           Auntie A is going GREEN!                               July 2018

You and I are nature. We are not some separate entity detached from it. We are in this world to make a positive impact and it is when we loose our consecutiveness to nature that we essentially loose ourselves and our purpose. I wrote earlier this year about the last of the white rhino and how sad it is that we created the extinction of such a beautiful creature in the first place. I recently watched an episode about how our oceans are brimming full of trash and plastics and it got me to thinking about how I alone could make an impact. That is a daunting task and one that seemed a little too inconvenient and albeit kinda hipster for even this open minded artist but one that none the less I felt compelled to try! 

Baby steps I told myself and surely little by little I would be able to make a difference. It starts with greener choices everyday and surprisingly requires very little discomfort! Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Think about that for a second… taking a little bit of a different path and choosing something a little less invasive is stepping towards green and we little by little then begin to become part of the solution and not the problem. But how can we daily inch our ways further to the greater good of our earth? It is done by making one ethical and consensus choice each day. That seemed doable…. so here’s a few ways I plan to achieve it! 

  1. Keep on a planting my garden! I have as many of you know pretty sever food food allergies and by keeping my veggies chemical free I am doing the best for my gut and giving my back yard a place where bees and butterflies are welcomed and enjoyed! Check out the sunflowers that tower over my beets and carrots inviting my flying friends to come enjoy the garden!
  2. Through conservation of our natural resources such as water and electricity. I have a rule that if you are not in the space there better not be anything just “on.” This goes for SIRI singing on the porch or by the pool…and the Good Lord knows his birds don’t need to hear Van Halen all day to sing songs and be happy, in fact they’d prefer the peace and quiet! We have conquered any and all leaks thanks to our remodel from our friendly foe Harvey last year making the house an efficiency machine.
  3. We buy organic when and if at all possible. I take off to Fromberg’s and if you don’t know about this market you need to. They have lots of fresh from the garden veggies and fruits and there’s even a bakery with buttermilk pies and yard eggs! 
  4. I’m currently scouting out the cutest grocery bags. I will be BYOB from now on at the HEB:) 
  5. We are, and I’ll bet Uncle B ain’t gonna like it; but we still are going to cut down on the meat we eat! I would like to go vegan but that really sounds over the edge so I am adding in more veggies and cutting down the portions on our meat menu. I hope he won’t notice too much lol! 

How we spend our money matters and how we utilize the things we have to create less waste is another important and very doable way to go greener. Start where you are from what you have and just do it. 

Take Care of YOU! 

 

Have you got a great idea that you’d like to share? Contact me at alisamurray@absolutellfocusmedia.com I’d love to hear from ya! 

Ask Auntie A! Finding the Perfect Vacation

ASK AUNTIE A           
Ask Auntie A: I have been struggling trying to pick out a perfect family vacation this summer that will be appropriate for all of my children. It is so expensive to travel with all of us and so disappointing if I don’t knock it out of the park with planning and activities. Last year we went on a cruise and although there were activities for the smaller children my two teen boys were “bored.” We all enjoyed the port stops and nightly entertainment but some of that was timed for families that had children with later bedtimes. After returning home I was so stressed that I felt like I needed a vacation! What would you suggest for a family with a 4,6,13 and 15 year old children? 
Auntie A: Well, I would say you are quite brave to think that there exists a perfect vacation for parents traveling with young and young adult children. There’s so many opportunities with so many age differences for someone to be at some point bored and maybe even feeling a little left out. Your idea of a cruise as a one stop (we hope to accommodate everyone’s wishes) family vacation option is valid and many of my families find that there’s enough stuff to do that everyone feels refreshed and like they have had a vacation when done. However, I personally am not a fan of cruising primarily because after three days I am ready to be in the water and sand and running my own schedule and not at the mercy of pre-scheduled port dates and departures or having to worry with what restaurants are open and when. I have found that an all inclusive with 24 hour room service meets the needs better with families that have such a difference in ages of children and times they want to play. When you get started planning for such a special time it is important to make sure that where you stay offers multiple entertainment opportunities and for the smaller children a place to actually go to with certified CPR, trained and bonded babysitters so you can step away for a few hours or more and know the children are in qualified hands and are safe. For the young adults it’s more about managing them and making sure they don’t get themselves into mischief. I love and often send my clients to resorts that offer exclusive entertainment for multiple age ranges within the family. This way you and your husband can enjoy a romantic afternoon with a seaside couple’s massage while the teens are dancing away in the teen spaces and the smaller children are having sand castle contests while supervised and safe. Now that’s a getaway that leaves everyone feeling refreshed! I still have quite a few specials for families such as yours so feel free to contact me as I would be delighted to help you in any way! Happy Travels! 

Ask Auntie A! All the Basic’s!

Ask Auntie A    “All the basics in one fell swoop!”                         

Dear Auntie A: I am raising three boys and sometimes the task is quite daunting! It seems that no matter how often I remind them to say “yes Mam” when responding to me, they always seem to forget! Matters worse I am constantly reminding them to brush their teeth, pick up their clothes and was their hands! I am hoping that at some point all this nagging will pay off and thankfully they each take the reminders in stride and are not disrespectful towards me, but alas I feel that my work will never be done and I do hope they are going to grow up with the manners I so desperately wish to instill! Is it like this for everybody?

Auntie A: Well my dear I will say that for the better part of the past twenty years I myself have been raising babies and yes they do forget to say the proper responses such as “yes Mam” to you and to me but here’s the thing.. they don’t forget when it counts, so yes it is like this for every mother! We worry that what we teach isn’t sinking in but the children are absorbing it I assure you. I recall years ago feeling the same way and we were at a meet the teacher night and out of both children’s mouths came “yes Mam” and I was surprised at how with no hesitation they knew when to use that and did so correctly! My hard work and nagging had paid off, and yours will too I just know it! There’s a few things I used to recite to the children and it may help you to know it as well. Always treat others as you would like to be treated, chew with your mouth closed, keep your elbows off the table, offer your seat to a lady and open her door, never touch someone’s belly that is pregnant, if you bump into someone say excuse me and never think you can go first boarding a plane or pile a plate full of food when there are others to think about. Keeping to staying clean and neat is important, but teaching our children how to treat others is most necessary to prepare them for the big wide world! 

Have any questions about children or raising them? Contact Alisa at alisamurray@yahoo.com

ASK AUNTIE A         SUPER MOM TRYING TO DO IT ALL!    May 2018 

Ask Auntie A: I have been struggling trying to pick out a perfect family vacation this summer that will be appropriate for all of my children. It is so expensive to travel with all of us and so disappointing if I don’t knock it out of the park with planning and activities. Last year we went on a cruise and although there were activities for the smaller children my two teen boys were “bored.” We all enjoyed the port stops and nightly entertainment but some of that was timed for families that had children with later bedtimes. After returning home I was so stressed that I felt like I needed a vacation! What would you suggest for a family with a 4,6,13 and 15 year old children? 

Auntie A: Well, I would say you are quite brave to think that there exists a perfect vacation for parents traveling with young and young adult children. There’s so many opportunities with so many age differences for someone to be at some point bored and maybe even feeling a little left out. Your idea of a cruise as a one stop (we hope to accommodate everyone’s wishes) family vacation option is valid and many of my families find that there’s enough stuff to do that everyone feels refreshed and like they have had a vacation when done. However, I personally am not a fan of cruising primarily because after three days I am ready to be in the water and sand and running my own schedule and not at the mercy of pre-scheduled port dates and departures or having to worry with what restaurants are open and when. I have found that an all inclusive with 24 hour room service meets the needs better with families that have such a difference in ages of children and times they want to play. When you get started planning for such a special time it is important to make sure that where you stay offers multiple entertainment opportunities and for the smaller children a place to actually go to with certified CPR, trained and bonded babysitters so you can step away for a few hours or more and know the children are in qualified hands and are safe. For the young adults it’s more about managing them and making sure they don’t get themselves into mischief. I love and often send my clients to resorts that offer exclusive entertainment for multiple age ranges within the family. This way you and your husband can enjoy a romantic afternoon with a seaside couple’s massage while the teens are dancing away in the teen spaces and the smaller children are having sand castle contests while supervised and safe. Now that’s a getaway that leaves everyone feeling refreshed! I still have quite a few specials for families such as yours so feel free to contact me as I would be delighted to help you in any way! Happy Travels! 

Alisa Murray Interiors: Love Where YOU Live! June 2018

 

I am crazy about patterns and recently I attended a Cabi party where the mixture of stripes and florals was all the rage. It is interesting just how much influence there is between the different sectors of art and architecture and interior design and what’s trending in fashion. There’s almost always a cross-over between the different sectors each season. This spring, especially we have many cool options to both enjoy in our homes but to literally wear the art that’s hot right now.

The trends in home design that are the most current are marbleized woods and walls along with confetti countertops. We are seeing this in both fashion by the way of tops and skirts to plates and wall art and even more commitment places such as full on countertops. Pale blue gray is a beautiful trend in both color for the walls but it is also a nice departure from the usual suspects of black/white/grey as a skirt or a pullover in our wardrobes. Scarfs with animal motifs are also a recurring theme in the latest and my favorite of all…wallpaper! Can we say FABULOUS!!! 

Pops of color in unexpected hues of bold greens or spicy oranges are also making a statement in libraries, dens and playrooms. It’s the same in fashion as I fell in love with that bright yellow pair of mules and when I wear it with a neutral palate…oh la la… that yellow pulls the whole ensemble together! Also trending are accessories with faces on them. Last session we were using a hand or a animal bust in a very sculptural and neutral kinda way. Now I am using some fantastic funky cat pillows that looks like my sweet William. For my dog lovers I have found something similar and I can even get customized pillows made with your actual pets and children’s pics! 

One thing’s for sure… no-one worth their salt in design today is going to leave you with a boring white house or without a conversation piece for you and your guests! There’s simple too many opportunities to make your home about you and the things that mean the most to you. Luckily for the crossover between fashion and interior design, you’ll be just as stunning as the home in which you reside! Creating beautiful spaces that are unforgettably YOU is what I do and I just love it!