Tiffany McCauley https://www.tiffanymccauley.com Fri, 18 May 2018 07:41:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Adult Christmas Coffee Recipes https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/christmas-coffee-recipes/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/christmas-coffee-recipes/#respond Sun, 22 Oct 2017 01:23:41 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=749 Every year on Christmas morning, my mom would go to elaborate lengths to decorate her expanded dining room table to the point where the Queen of England would have been impressed. Her finest crystal and best china along with plenty of German deli meats, croissants, rolls, creamy, luxurious cheeses and of course, champagne. It was... Read more

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Every year on Christmas morning, my mom would go to elaborate lengths to decorate her expanded dining room table to the point where the Queen of England would have been impressed. Her finest crystal and best china along with plenty of German deli meats, croissants, rolls, creamy, luxurious cheeses and of course, champagne.

Adult Christmas Coffee Recipes

It was something the entire family looked forward to. Everyone descended on that table like vultures who hadn’t eaten in months. We saved our appetites for it all morning, making sure to open gifts first so that nobody, including the kids would feel like they needed to rush through breakfast for.

But there was one table that people tended to gravitate towards just prior to breakfast. It was a separate dresser she had sitting near the entry that she used as a table to hold a lamp and other nicknacks during the year. But at Christmas, it got cleaned off so that her finest coffee set could sit on it’s golden tray next to the coffee maker and a rather impressive selection of alcohol bottles. The golden coffee pot sat on it’s tray, the tallest of the set. Then there was the golden creamer cup and sugar cup with lid and golden spoon. I’m not sure if we ever actually used the gold coffee pot because most people just helped themselves to coffee directly from the coffee maker. But that selection of alcohol is truly what drew everybody’s attention first thing in the morning. That combination of caffeine waking you up and alcohol relaxing your muscles was a nice way to start the day.

At some point in time, my mother printed out a collection of adult coffee beverages so that people would know their options for making that precious morning cup of alcoholic Joe.

During my last move, everything was packed and I honestly thought I’d lost her list. And while I still have many of those alcohol bottles (most of them nowhere near empty), I wasn’t sure what to do with them if I didn’t have her lists.  I’m not overly fond of alcohol in my coffee, but most of the people I know definitely are. So I was a little annoyed at the thought of possibly losing it.

Thankfully, I found it today while going through my bookshelf! They aren’t recipes per se, but they give suggestions for different ways to prepare your Christmas coffee.

Since I don’t want to take the chance of losing the list again, I thought I’d post it here for safe keeping. Enjoy!

KEOKI COFFEE
  • Hot Coffee
  • Kahlua
  • Chocolate Liqueur
  • Lightly Sweetened Whip Cream
TUSCAN COFFEE
  • Hot coffee
  • Brandy
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Lemon Peel
IRISH COFFEE
  • Hot Coffee
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Sugar
  • Lightly Sweetened Whip Cream
PARISIAN COFFEE
  • Hot Coffee
  • Grand Marnier
  • Orange Peel
  • Lightly Sweetened Whip Cream

PIN ME!

Adult Christmas Coffee Recipes

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Frosting Chandelier Glass https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/frosting-chandelier-glass/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/frosting-chandelier-glass/#comments Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:42:58 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=702 I recently purchased a new chandelier from Lowes. It was reasonably priced (around $79) and was a good fit for the look I’m trying to create in that room. It actually didn’t start out as a hanging lamp however. So my friend and I rewired it so that it would function that way instead of... Read more

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I recently purchased a new chandelier from Lowes. It was reasonably priced (around $79) and was a good fit for the look I’m trying to create in that room.

It actually didn’t start out as a hanging lamp however. So my friend and I rewired it so that it would function that way instead of being installed into the ceiling. I have no electrical area there for a lamp, so we had to improvise. Thankfully, it worked really well and we finally got it hung.

Frosting Chandelier Glass

But then I realized there was a problem with my chandelier. The light bulbs were intensely blinding. But I loved the overall look and definitely couldn’t return the lamp now that it had all been rewired. So I thought I’d try my hand at frosting the glass.

There are several options out there for doing this. Some involve stuff you paint on, some involves adhesive paper that functions just like contact paper, and then there’s the stuff that I used. It’s a lot like contact paper, but without the sticky backing. I feel like this was a better choice for something shaped differently than a flat window.

So I order this Fancy-fix Privacy Window Film Non-adhesive Frosted Film Anti UV stained Glass Cling for Home Decoration 17.7in. by 39in.(45 X100cm) (affiliate link) from Amazon. It was by far the most affordable path I could have taken as well. The stuff at Lowes was around $35-$40. I didn’t want to spend that much for such a small project. So I waited patiently for my Amazon order (which actually arrived pretty darn quickly).

Frosting Chandelier Glass

I simply unrolled the paper, cut it to size (you definitely need a ruler and sharp cutter for a project like this!), and then came what felt like the hard part until I actually did it. I had to wet the glass completely, and then arrange the paper on the wet glass.

At first, it felt like a slippery mess. But I quickly got the hang of it and was instantly grateful that I had gotten this stuff instead of the adhesive version. With this stuff, it allows you to move the paper around on the wet surface as well as easily working out any air bubbles you may end up with. And there will be air bubbles. But it’s an easy fix! This one is the first one I did and I think it turned out pretty well.

Frosting Chandelier Glass

You can see the big difference it makes here.

Frosting Chandelier Glass

I then wiped off any excess water with a paper towel and immediately set the glass back into the lamp where it finished drying. I’m sure most folks would encourage you to let something like this dry BEFORE putting it back into the lamp, but I was impatient, so there you have it. In the end, I got a wonderful glow of light in my dining room without any glare at all. I love my new chandelier!

Frosting Chandelier Glass

This is a side by side comparison. It worked pretty well, don’t you think?

Frosting Chandelier Glass

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12 Things To Know About Dying https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/12-things-know-dying/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/12-things-know-dying/#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2017 17:46:57 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=686 For those of you who follow along, my mom passed away almost six months ago. It still feels like yesterday, but we are finding our new normal. I still have moments where grief overwhelms me as does my little guy. But those moments are fewer and further between. We are having happy moments again as... Read more

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12 Things To Know About Dying

For those of you who follow along, my mom passed away almost six months ago. It still feels like yesterday, but we are finding our new normal. I still have moments where grief overwhelms me as does my little guy. But those moments are fewer and further between. We are having happy moments again as well, so I know we are on the mend.

This will be my last post about death because frankly, that is just not the focus on my blog. But from a caretaker’s perspective, there are things that I experienced that may help some of you out there who are going through what I went through. I hope that by sharing them, I can help in some way.

There are things that people never tell you about death and dying. Things that can be impossible to remember to include in any advice given simply because each death is so unique. As unique as the person going through the dying process. But some things every caretaker should know when death comes knocking. These things may never happen in your situation, but I think it’s important to know that they CAN happen so you are better prepared. I was completely unprepared and it made the entire experience extremely traumatic for both my mother and I.

THINGS THEY DON’T TELL YOU

  1. The person dying can go into rigor mortis BEFORE they die. Maybe it’s called something different when they are still living, but they can become very stiff and cold.
  2. The person dying can start to decay BEFORE they die. The smell is unmistakeable and overpowering. It started in my mom  3 or 4 days before she actually died.
  3. The person may feel like they have a fever in one area, while feeling bone-cold in another area. Such as an arm feeling burning hot, while the other is ice cold. This is a normal process, just as is the possibility of the body moving after death.
  4. You can’t wash out the smell of death from bedding and such, no matter how much you put something through the laundry. If there is something you wish to save that has that decay smell in it, the only way to get rid of the smell is to air it out in fresh air for several weeks, and then wash. I had to air a blanket out for several months before it could be washed and reused.
  5. When hospice takes over, be sure you are ready for it. While I have no desire to speak badly of the good work they do, it really was as if a legion of death angels had descended upon my home. It can be quite shocking to go from regular medical care into hospice. They are truly there to help the person die, and that is their entire focus. There is no more option for prolonging life, or doing things that may extend a persons life. So prepare yourself for that mentally. Neither my mother or myself were ready for that shift in focus. It was the shock of a lifetime.
  6. The person dying can have a last “energy burst” before dying. This, as I found out, is very common. I thought my mom was coming back to me. She tried to communicate and was even able to tell use that her foot was pressing up against something uncomfortable. But then she slipped back into her coma. It was heart breaking.
  7. Dying is a very intense process that many people can’t handle. Those that are there for you with the best of intentions can sometimes give under the stress and pressure of trying to support you through a very difficult time. Forgive them. Dying has a different affect on everyone.
  8. Everyone has an opinion. People who tell you when you should stop grieving have never gone through the process. It feels all consuming and can last for months and even years in some cases. Get help if you need it, but never let somebody tell you when your own grieving process should start or end.
  9. Kids handle grief so much differently than adults. I think it just takes much longer for them to process what has happened. My son cried at the funeral, and then seemed to recover almost overnight, only to break down again months later like it just happened the day before. If a child is involved, let them grieve WHENEVER they need to. Even years later. Just hold them and be there for them and let them know it’s okay to feel what they are feeling.
  10. People are weird about death. Period. There are people who you thought would be there for you, who will disappear. And there are people you never would have expected who will show up and support you through the entire process. Don’t get wrapped up in who is there, just accept help whenever it comes and from whoever it comes from.
  11. Don’t feel guilty for things you didn’t do. Death is such an overwhelming process for everyone involved, that you can’t get wrapped up in those little things you didn’t do, or you will never get over it. You have to be as forgiving of yourself as you might have to be of other people. After my mom died, I kept going over and over in my mind what I could have done differently. Moments where I hesitated because I didn’t know what the right thing to do was. Little moments that most likely wouldn’t have changed a thing, but were huge in my mind because I thought they might have made a difference for her. This has been the hardest thing for me to get past. But you absolutely have to forgive yourself and know that you did the best you could do in the given situation. And at the end of the day, you were there, which is more than many people have when they die. So don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and move on.
  12. Know that a dying person changes, and not just physically (although that becomes really pronounced at the very end). Once the process truly begins, it fundamentally changes that person. This can mean different things for different people, but ultimately, how can it not change them? For me and my mom, it was a shocking change of roles. She, in essence, became my child. No longer could I go to her for motherly advice because she no longer had it to give. My upsets were her upsets. My problems were overwhelming to her and made it more difficult for her to accept that she was passing. So just know that once a person begins the process (which we may not always see in the moment) it really does become all about them. They do become very child-like in that way.

So there you have it. The 12 things I wish I’d known when helping my mom through the dying process. I hope this wasn’t too depressing. But if it helps somebody get through what I’ve been through, then I’m happy to have shared.

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Goodbye Mom https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/goodbye-mom/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/goodbye-mom/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2016 06:23:33 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=656 I’m writing this post, not to depress my readers, but to honor my mom. This post is a tribute to her. THE BEGINNING My mom was born in Germany and came to America with my uncle and grandmother at 12 years old, after WWII in 1951. Her stories of the rubble she left behind in... Read more

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Goodbye Mom

I’m writing this post, not to depress my readers, but to honor my mom. This post is a tribute to her.

THE BEGINNING
My mom was born in Germany and came to America with my uncle and grandmother at 12 years old, after WWII in 1951. Her stories of the rubble she left behind in Stuttgart are something I will always carry with me. The flattened city she didn’t recognize when she visited again decades later. The scary train ride where she had to be handed through the window to my grandmother by strangers because the train was too full for her to leave the train with her family. Standing outside bakeries during the war trying to fill up on smells because they didn’t have anything to eat. The joyful sounds my grandmother and her sisters would make when a cousin sent them coffee during the war. The extended family she had to stay with that was so horrible to her when she was sent back to Germany while my grandmother got her American teaching credentials here in the states. Her quick return to the states after her father suddenly appeared for the first time in her life out of nowhere. My grandmother freaked out and flew both kids back to the states really quickly once she found out. So, so many stories of those times.

MID LIFE
She went on to do costume design at the local junior college which was known for it’s drama department. There were endless hours of sewing and perfecting each and every costume. She would have gone on to fashion design school, but there were no design schools on the west coast at the time and my grandmother wouldn’t let her go to New York City by herself. So she stayed and met my father.

Both of them partied a lot, my father in particular. But when I came along, my mother was ready to settle down and raise a family. My alcoholic father was not. So at a time when divorce was still somewhat unusual and frowned upon, she kicked him out and dedicated the rest of my growing years to raising me.

Goodbye Mom Goodbye Mom

As I got older, we didn’t live well together and fought constantly. My teen years were not kind to either one of us. But even as I got older and had to move back home a time or two before I really was able to stand my ground in the world, we still did not live well together and I did everything in my power to move back out again.

Once on my own however, mom suddenly became the person I could confide in. The person I had to call every day. That only intensified when I had my son.

BECOMING A GRANDMOTHER
My mom was there for the birth, and I can’t tell you how special that was and is to me. I’m so happy she was there to help me welcome her grandson into the world. That child lit up her life like no other. She loved him fiercely and with a joy that you only see in a grandmother. She painted the most wonderful mural on his nursery wall of a funny bumble bee. Sadly, we had to paint over it when we moved, but I will never forget it.

When he got older, she did all the grandmotherly things you do with a grandchild. Reading stories, fixing boo-boos, and of course, baking cookies at Christmas. He loved to recline in his mini recliner in front of her fireplace. That was his favorite spot at grandmas.

Goodbye Mom

LIFE CHANGED
When she got sick, I dropped everything, pulled my son out of school and moved back home to care for her. But it didn’t take long to figure out that her tiny house was just too small for three people. So we sold her house and purchased a house here in Sonoma County. It wasn’t ideal for her, as it is a two story house, but we got a chair lift which helped her for most of the time she was here.

Eventually, I had to move her bed downstairs to the family room, and in the last month or so, we brought a hospital bed into the living room through hospice.

Her death was not a kind or gentle process. There was a lot of pain, and many situations I never thought in a million years I could handle. But I did.

I remember one day, she was sitting in bed crying about all the things she wouldn’t get to do anymore. The Christmas cookies she would never bake again and the painting projects she would never finish. I sat beside her with my arm around her not knowing what to say to make her feel better. But in the end, I simply told her that we were going to get through this together and that she should lean on me. To this she replied, “well who are you going to lean on?“. I told her I had lots of support from friends and that she should just lean on me to get through this. That moment changed our relationship. She truly did start depending on me 100% from that moment on. I have never felt closer to my mother than I did during that time. It was odd to switch parent/child roles, but we did and it bonded us.

In her last few days, she slipped into a coma, which was at that point, a blessing. A relief from the pain. But in my heart, I knew she could still hear me. So I talked to her as much as I could. Sat by her bed for hours reading and singing to her. Telling her it was okay to go and that Mini Chef and I would be fine. Her biggest worry when she was still conscious was if my son and I would be okay financially. So I just kept assuring her that we were fine and that it was okay to go and to end her suffering.

HER PASSING
On her last day, I left the house for a few hours thinking that maybe she was hanging on because I was there. The nurse told me that people do that sometimes. Wait for a loved one to leave before they pass. A couple of close friends were staying with me, so I left in a haze, not even really sure of where I should go. I ended up wandering the aisles of Whole Foods with my sun glasses on, praying that nobody would notice the tears coming from behind them. I walked every single aisle of that store, putting random things I didn’t need into my cart.

Hours later, I went back home again. When evening came, I sat by her bed, reassuring her that we were okay and that we would miss her terribly but that it was okay for her to leave. I told her that the only thing I wanted was to be there, holding her hand when she left.

She passed at 7:57pm on August 24th with me holding her hand.

It’s amazing how a face can change when a life leaves the body. I do believe that life continues after death, and certain things that happened after her death let me know that she was there and watching over me. I still miss her terribly and the new normal we are now getting used to still has a very large hole in it.

She was an amazing mother and wonderful grandmother. She touched the lives of so many people and needy, lost or discarded animals. She had a warm, giving heart, and a love for me that I will never feel from another human being for the rest of my life.

She was laid to rest with friends and family surrounding her. Life will never be the same.

I love you mom. Rest in peace.

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My San Francisco https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/my-san-francisco/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/my-san-francisco/#respond Wed, 17 Aug 2016 06:32:23 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=648 I go to San Francisco a lot. I’ve never really lived more than an hour away, so it’s been a constant destination pretty much my entire life. Recently, I started making it a point to carry my good camera with me. I will add more photos of this beautiful city as I get them off... Read more

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I go to San Francisco a lot. I’ve never really lived more than an hour away, so it’s been a constant destination pretty much my entire life. Recently, I started making it a point to carry my good camera with me. I will add more photos of this beautiful city as I get them off my camera and onto my computer.

THESE PHOTOS ARE UNDER COPYRIGHT.

My San Francisco

My San Francisco

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7 Tips For Caregivers https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/5-tips-caregivers/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/5-tips-caregivers/#comments Sat, 23 Jul 2016 19:50:28 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=633 First, I would like to say that I greatly respect the work of those who do caregiving for a living. You should know that even if all you do is sit there, you are giving immense relief to the people going through a very hard time. Your presence is appreciated. To those who are doing... Read more

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5 Tips For Caregivers

First, I would like to say that I greatly respect the work of those who do caregiving for a living. You should know that even if all you do is sit there, you are giving immense relief to the people going through a very hard time. Your presence is appreciated.

To those who are doing the caregiving for their own friend or family member, please know you are not alone. It’s so, incredibly isolating to be a caregiver. It’s very true that you find out who your true friends are when things get tough, and often, many people who you thought would be there for you, are not. But the opposite of that is true as well. It’s often the people you don’t expect anything from at all that step up to the plate to give you a helping hand. It’s important to be open to help in any form it comes in. Be accepting of it.

As my mother gets closer to the end, I’m learning a few things the hard way. So if you find yourself in the same position as me, here are some things to remember.

  1. You are only one person.

    It is impossible to be two places at once. You will need to divide and conquer. That person you don’t know very well that offered to help? Try taking them up on it for simper tasks. Ask friends to run to the pharmacy for you or drop off a few groceries for you if you can’t get out of the house. Rely on delivery services where possible. Many grocery stores offer delivery these days and you can even order food from amazon! Pharmacies ship medications you fill regularly as do many other place you would normally need to go to.

  2. Meet your own needs.

    You hear it again and again from everyone who does not have to do what you are doing. “Take care of yourself or you’ll get sick“. I think I’m sick from hearing that so often. It’s great advice, but in the thick of it, your own needs come last. That’s just the nature of the beast, especially for those who are very, very sick or dying. It’s easy advice to give, but it’s much harder advice to put into practice. So think small! If you have to, sit down and make a list of your basic needs that need to be met every single day, or in whatever frequency you need. Devise a plan for making that happen. You know you can’t do much extra, but everyone needs their basic needs met. Simple as that. Skipping a shower for a week or two does nobody any good and is horrible for your morale. Ask somebody to sit with your person for an hour or so while you shower and tend to what you need to keep going.

    YOU. CANNOT. DO. THIS. BY. YOURSELF.

  3. Find resources.

    If you are fortunate enough to be dealing with hospice (and I say that for your benefit, not because it’s fortunate that somebody in your life needs hospice), make sure you get a full list of the services they offer. It’s pretty extensive and well worth a few moments to look the list over. Not only did I get massages for my mom while she was in bed, but they offered free grief counseling for my son. So get to know your resources. And in case this needs saying, if you are just getting started with the process of caregiving, you should find those resources while things are still less intense. Everything may feel overwhelming in the beginning, but believe me. It only gets worse as the person becomes more ill. So scout out your resources now so you have something to fall back on.

  4. Avoid the crap.

    It’s so easy to start depending on convenience food when it’s difficult to even leave the house for groceries. This is my situation right now. The only time I can leave the house is the 3 hour window when my mom has another caregiver. It’s intense, but those 3 hours save me and my son 4 days a week. Please know that there is a difference between junk food and convenience food. Try a salad bar meal to go, or grab a whole, rotisserie chicken somewhere. You don’t want to run your immune system down further by trying to survive off garbage. It’s so not worth the consequences! Thankfully, I’ve done pretty well with this. I’m sticking to low carb eating simply because it curbs any cravings I may otherwise have and I’m eating mostly clean. But that’s only because I am surviving on frozen/steamed veggies and rotisserie chicken. It may be a limited diet, but at least I’m getting some good nutrition during a very difficult time.

  5. Reach out.

    It will feel like you are completely alone. Please know that there are people out there who want to help, but often don’t know how to offer that help. So reach out! Post something on Facebook if you have to, but do everything in your power to keep people around you. I don’t have many friends in this area and my mom is the last of my family beyond my son. So it’s really easy to feel completely alone. I feel that way daily, actually. But I do reach out to friends via text messaging, facebook and so on. It’s not ideal, but it helps. Just reach out.

  6. Let them go.

    The people who you are really hoping to hear from, but never do…. let them go. Give them your blessings and let them go. Don’t be hurt by it, just know that they do not have the ability to be there for you in the way you need them to be. It’s often those who you are closest to that get really uncomfortable when things get serious. They don’t know how to help and the hopelessness of your situation makes them really uncomfortable. Thats okay. Give them your love and wish them well. Maybe they’ll come back when this is over, maybe they won’t. Some people are only meant to bless our lives for a short amount of time. Some people simply to not have the emotional tools with which they can help you. Death, dying and serious illness tends to show what people are made of. It’s not that they don’t care for you, it’s that they simply cannot handle the magnitude of your situation. There is nothing you can do to fix that, so wish them well, and move on. Animosity during a time like this will only hurt you. It may feel like you are losing a lot by losing a friend on top of everything else, but truly, if they can’t deal with the situation you probably don’t want them around anyway because you’ll end up taking care of them too, and you don’t need that right now. You have enough on your plate. So do yourself a kindness and just let them go. Somebody else will show up at some point. They usually do. Just be open to those who are actually there to help. That’s important too.

  7. Get used to bodily functions.

    If you’ve never had kids, you’re in for a surprise. If the person you care for is very ill, you will need to get used to the idea that you must have intimate knowledge of how their body is working. Number of bowel movements, seeing them naked, even washing their behinds. You have to get comfortable with the idea of doing things for somebody who can’t do for themselves any longer, and that includes keeping an eye on what their body is doing on a daily basis. It might not be anything you would ever want to know about somebody, but it’s important.

Right now, my mom’s bedroom has been moved downstairs into the family room and I’m sleeping on the couch because she is totally out of it and gets up a lot at night. She’s a fall risk, so I don’t feel safe sleeping upstairs in my own bed.

I’m at the point where if people don’t call me or come to my house, they probably won’t see me or hear from me for a very long time. But I had to get to a place in my own mind where that is okay, simply because I have no more to give at the moment.

I’m terrified about her passing and even about what will happen to me and my son after she is gone (we can’t afford to stay in our new house) This is one of the hardest things I will ever do in my life. Frankly, being a single mom with little support will feel like a cake walk when this is all over. But I’m happy I can be here for my mother during this time. As hard as it is, it’s a blessing in it’s own way. And right now, I need to count every blessing I have.

And so do you.

 

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My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom Makeover https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/50-shades-gray-bedroom-makeover/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/50-shades-gray-bedroom-makeover/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:49:41 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=606 Like literally, 50 shades of actual gray. Why… what did you think I meant? But seriously, I’ve been meaning to post about this for a good long while. My bedroom makeover turned out so great! I feel like I’m staying in a hotel room every night. It’s so elegant and comfortable I can hardly stand... Read more

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My 50 Shades Of Gray BedroomMy 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom Makeover

Like literally, 50 shades of actual gray. Why… what did you think I meant?

But seriously, I’ve been meaning to post about this for a good long while. My bedroom makeover turned out so great! I feel like I’m staying in a hotel room every night. It’s so elegant and comfortable I can hardly stand it.

This is what it started out like…

The Wallpaper
My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

The Closet Areas (There are two closets on either side of the nook)
My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

This is what the nook looked like when we first viewed the house.

This is not my furniture.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

What the room looks like now!

I got a white comforter, a gray blanket and gray throw pillows.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

I had a ceiling fan installed because… hello… 2 story house with no AC!

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

I hung curtains over the closets instead of doors because the space was too small for doors to open and close properly.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

I hung a mirror over the bed. Scandalous, I know…

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

And of course, I re-did the nook.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

Got this cute chair at Target.com. The pillow was a gift from a friend.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

Got a new hamper at Tuesday Morning.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

The dresser is a larger project that I will work on when life settles down. But it will also become a nice shade of gray.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

Got two bedside tables and lamps from Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond, respectively.

The silver candles were a Christmas closeout at Tuesday Morning.

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

And that’s the bedroom makeover!

My 50 Shades Of Gray Bedroom

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Online Dating: Teasing Ted https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/online-dating-don-juan/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/online-dating-don-juan/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 06:43:54 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=571 Guys, I have to be honest. Teasing and joking around can be a fantastic thing… IF used appropriately. But the first message you send to a woman online should NEVER be based on teasing her about something she said in her profile unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the woman receiving your message... Read more

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Online Dating: Teasing Ted

Guys, I have to be honest. Teasing and joking around can be a fantastic thing… IF used appropriately. But the first message you send to a woman online should NEVER be based on teasing her about something she said in her profile unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the woman receiving your message will understand and appreciate your humor. And what are the odds of that with a perfect stranger via instant message or email?

Communicating online is great, but teasing often just does not usually translate well. 

Case in point:
(And no, I did not make this up. This is an actual message I received from some guy)

You’re adorable! I’m adopting you as my little sister so we can drink kool-aid and climb trees.

Afterwards we can star in a commercial about how awesome adoption is and you can give a really sad face to the camera but then I come around the corner with a pitcher of koolaid and your smile turns into a party 😉

Teasing aside, you have a wonderful profile!

Seriously?? What am I even supposed to do with a message like that? What exactly do I respond with?

Online dating lesson:

Be straight forward, open and honest. Don’t tease. Until a woman gets to know you and she understands your teasing ways, it’s probably best to avoid it.

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Online Dating: Desparate Dave https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/online-dating-desparate-messages/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/online-dating-desparate-messages/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 03:00:35 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=569 If you send a woman an online message through a dating site and she does not respond, please move on. She’s not interested. Sending message after message trying to get her to respond only makes you look like the desperate stalker type. Case in point: Message #1: Hay tHr. Yur beutiful. I want to gt... Read more

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Online Dating: Desparate Dave

If you send a woman an online message through a dating site and she does not respond, please move on. She’s not interested. Sending message after message trying to get her to respond only makes you look like the desperate stalker type.

Case in point:

Message #1: Hay tHr. Yur beutiful. I want to gt to no you.

Message #2: I thnk we wood be a perfect match. rite me bake.

Message #3: Pleez rite me back. I rely like you.

Message #4: Why don’t you rite me back?

Message #4: Why?

See where I’m going with this? These were the messages I got from some guy who I was definitely not interested in. The first three messages came back to back in under 2 minutes. Yes, I could have responded, but as a single woman with a child to protect, I felt just a little creeped out and didn’t want to encourage any interaction here. Particularly after viewing the guy’s photos. He just looked creepy.

But then, when I failed to respond and got messages #4 and 5 over the next two days, it only confirmed the fact that it was better not to respond.

If I could give this guy 2 pointers, it would be these:

#1 – Don’t beg. If a woman doesn’t respond, move on.

#2 – Please learn to spell. Or at the very least, use spell check.

The multiple messages come across as a little bit crazy. Don’t do it. One message is all you need. I don’t care how pretty you think she is. If she doesn’t respond, let it go.

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Canada, eh? https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/canada-eh/ https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/canada-eh/#comments Sun, 07 Feb 2016 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.tiffanymccauley.com/?p=557 Yes!!! I can cross one off my bucket list! (Although, I’d love to go again to explore more!) I was recently invited on a press tour of Montreal and Quebec city to learn more about one of their most amazing exports, maple. The trip was simply incredible on so many levels. I learned so much.... Read more

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Canada, eh?

Yes!!! I can cross one off my bucket list! (Although, I’d love to go again to explore more!)

I was recently invited on a press tour of Montreal and Quebec city to learn more about one of their most amazing exports, maple. The trip was simply incredible on so many levels. I learned so much. The culture in Canada surrounding maple is pretty impressive. 70% of the world’s supply of maple comes from Quebec!! So you can imagine that it’s a real part of everyday living there.

In Canada, chef’s can compete to become “Maple Masters” each year. But the limit is 100 of them across the country, so the competition can be fierce and it’s quite the honor to achieve that. These chefs have to have a true passion for working with maple in it’s many forms. Several of these amazing chefs worked tirelessly to prepare gourmet meals for us that were based on maple. We had 4 and 5 course meals that each had maple as an ingredient.

What I learned was that maple is incredibly versatile. And as one of the women from the Maple Federation said, “If you mix maple with another flavor, you don’t taste maple and that other flavor together. You create and entirely new flavor.” And it’s so very true! The flavors were incredible and I never would have picked out the maple syrup.

In fact, at one point we were served a carrot soup without maple in it. We tasted it, and then stirred in a small amount of maple syrup. The different was absolutely incredible and you never would have known there was maple syrup in there. That simple little test really set off my creative thinking where recipes are concerned. Maple is magic!

The sad part is that in the states, we really only consider it to be a pancake topping (unless you live in US maple country). In fact, many people think that sugar-ridden syrups like Aunt Jamima is the real deal. And let me tell you, if you think that…. you are wrong. That sort of syrup is just flavored sugar. It’s nowhere near the real thing and you are missing out!

The impressive thing about maple is the reverence, respect and regulations involved in producing a quality bottle of the golden stuff. Canadians really take pride in the culture of maple, as they should! The entire industry is quite impressive!

I’ll write more about it here on The Gracious Pantry. But for now, I really wanted to share the amazing photos I got while I was there. There were so many photos though that I thought it would be simpler to do a video of them all. I’ll post a few actual photos below here though so you can see them larger. Canada is truly an amazing place and I can’t wait to visit again some day!

Fun Facts:

  • The French spoken in Canada is very different from the French spoken in France. And according to our tour guide, it’s closer to very old style French. It hasn’t evolved into the modern day French spoken in France.
  • The difference between maple syrup and organic maple syrup has to do with the chemicals used to clean the bottles and production equipment. It has nothing to do with the actual product which is already organic naturally.
  • One the eastern coast of Canada where French is more dominant, the people in the service industries say everything twice. First in French (always French first so as to not offend anyone) and then again in English. Every time I walked into a store I heard, “Bonjour Hello!”

So Much Beauty!!
By the end of my trip, I had so many amazing photos that I figured it would be easier to share them all with you in video format. So here is a quick look at my 5 day trip!

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