Saturday, November 23, 2013

Couples That Pray Together Stay Together Typography Art - Get it NOW for Only $6
One of my newest designs - Couples That Pray Together Stay Together. Use coupon code COUPLESTHATPRAY at check out to get the 8x10" print for only $6.00 (45% discount) now through Christmas Day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Expand Your Kids' Palate This Thanksgiving: Inspiration from the Country's Fanciest Hotels by Kendra Thorton

I love the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I feel it is imperative that we always have turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce on our table each year. This year I want to try some new dishes as well as all of our tried and true! Since I have traveled extensively in the past, I found an article on Gogobot’s blog that lists what some of the luxury hotels will be serving to their guests on Thanksgiving this year!

I plan to take some of their gourmet ideas and customize them for my table this year! I hope everyone enjoys the new additions. I want to shake it up a bit this year! The kids need to develop their palate. If the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando is serving up velvety pumpkin soup with lobster, I will too! Delectable and comfort food in an appetizer is yummy! A thick warm soup is just what we need as a precursor to our meal. A touch of elegance to go with our traditional family meal will be exceptional.

  • The Plaza, NYC: For Thanksgiving 2013, the Plaza’s menu highlights traditional turkey alongside some decadent remixes of autumn flavors. Pumpkin risotto with duck confit looks like a promising first course, while a Skuna Bay salmon with black truffle holds down a fish option. Plus, a chestnut tagliatelle with guanciale and mushrooms.
  • Ritz Carlton, San Francisco: Parallel 37 restaurant’s Thanksgiving menu at San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton is indeed ‘music to our ears’. Classic and decadent, but not without some inventive twists, their warm beet salad with goat cheese – standard on menus across the country – sports inventive additions kumquats and lobster.
  • Waldorf Astoria, Orlando: If you’re looking for bona fide excellence, take our advice and choose the Waldorf Astoria. Their Thanksgiving menu at restaurant Bull and Bear stays miles away from the jello salads and small dishes of pickles that are traditional on some family holiday tables. Start your dinner with a velvety pumpkin soup accented by lobster, followed by a turkey with all the trimmings. The side dishes are supposed to be the best part of Thanksgiving, after all. Don’t forget to cordon off a corner of your stomach for a sweet potato donut (sic) at the end.
  • Trump International, Chicago: Book a table at Sixteen, the Trump International’s excellent restaurant. Perhaps to contrast the flat plains of the Midwest, the chef has created a menu with positively fanciful categories, like ‘The Poisson & the Pressing of Autumn Fruit,’ or the ‘The Bounty of the Hudson Valley’.
  • The Venetian, Las Vegas: Thomas Keller’s Bouchon at the Venetian does a traditional Thanksgiving to the nines, commencing with pork belly and finishing off with a trio of pies.  And remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – except perhaps those extra five pounds.
I also like to use Pinterest for ideas on appetizers and desserts that my kids will enjoy making with me in the kitchen. As they get older, they love to help me out in the kitchen. I have found that the simpler the dish the better because complex equals mess! The less chopping, mixing and measuring needed the better. So, I’ve been thinking of some fast and fun dishes to make that the kids will still enjoy.
Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving filled to the brim with superb food and wonderful memories!
Interested in putting a Guest Post on Sweet Leigh Mama? Email me at with your idea!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Favorite FREE Girly Fonts PLUS How to Download Fonts and Install on Your Computer

Here are links to download my most favorite girly-girl fonts that I use frequently in my typography and word art. To download, click on each link (inserted as a caption under the name) and follow the instructions as outlined by the website. I recommend saving the downloads in a folder on your desktop named "FONTS" so you know where they all go. Once each font is downloaded, you'll have to UNZIP each folder in order to access the font files for installation. Then - open each folder and find the TRUE TYPE or OPEN TYPE files. Right click on the file and on the drop down menu, choose "INSTALL". And that's it : ) But if this method isn't working (maybe you have a Mac vs. a PC like me, or an older operating system) there is still hope... Find the "FONTS" folder in your Control Panel and drag each of the TRUE TYPE or OPEN TYPE files into this folder. It's not hard - but it is time consuming, so don't get frustrated! Remember - you'll only have to do this once : ) Want step-by-step instructions on how to create your own typography or word art? Click HERE to download my FREE e-book (An Easy-Peezy Guide to Creating Your Own Subway Word Art)

Brooke = KG Royals

Caitlyn = Elsie

Chloe = Fool for Love

Ellie = Channel

Gracie = KG True Colors

Isabella = Janda SwirlyGirl

Karolina = Janda Quirkygirl

Stella = KG The Fighter

Saturday, November 9, 2013

One of My Favorite Things: Tastefully Simple's Yummy Spices, Mixes, Dip and Sauces

Have you ever heard of Tastefully Simple? My sister - Gigi - just started her own business, selling these delicious products. Tastefully Simple is best known for it's Bountiful Beer Bread mix. My favorites are the spices, seasonings - especially the dip mixes! Who doesn't love a good dip?! Spicy Pepper Dip, Chipotle Bacon Dip, Parmesan Peppercorn Dip, even Warm Pizza Dip. Y.U.M! The desserts are also mouth-watering worthy. Can you say Key Lime Cheese Ball? Amaretto Cheese Ball? Salted Carmel Crème Brulee? So now that I've made you hungry... my most FAVORITE part of Tastefully Simple products is that they are easy-peezy to use. Trust me - I am no gourmet chef (which my family can test attest to... but they better not!! : ) ) but adding a sprinkle of this and a dash of that, and my cooking has become SO much yummier.

Here is a link to check out my sister's Tastefully Simple page: GRETCHEN BROWN'S TASTEFULLY SIMPLE

Place an order by Saturday, November 16 and be entered to receive a free Tastefully Simple gift as a Thank You!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Did You Get That Scar? A Poem For Kids

When Deacon went in for his first surgery 2 years ago, Daniel and I lifted the mood by joking about how Deacon would explain his humungous scar one day  - a wavy line running across his head, from ear to ear. A run in with a great white shark? A freak mountain climbing accident?

Our children's scars are a badge of honor - the markings of a survivor. So I created this poem to honor them. Our little heroes. To answer the question they are asked so often: "How did you get that scar?"

How Did You Get That Scar?
A Poem by Erica Billups - Sweet Leigh Mama

 “How’d you get that scar?” you ask with curiosity.
You won’t believe the answer. It’s a crazy story, you see.

I’ve been through a lot of things in life – things that left their mark on me.

A run in with a raging bull. A tussle with a tiger.
A gust of wind while tight-rope walking – good thing I wasn’t any higher!

I fell into a deep dark cave when I was out spelunking.
Got tangled in a mess of vines when I was picking pumpkins.

Bonked on the head with a coconut.
Surprised by a lion in my jungle hut.

Had a throw down with a T-Rex. A sword fight with a pirate.
Slipped on a banana peel – I never even saw it!

Chased by sea gulls while riding my jet ski.
Tossed in the air by a mean old grizzly.

A motorcycle mishap. A break dancing debacle.
Blinded by a diamond with a little too much sparkle.

Stopped to smell the roses and met a swarm of bees.
Was capsized by a monster wave while sailing the seven seas.

Tackled on the 50 yard line by a massive tight end.
Working with police – there was a thief to apprehend!

A flat tire on my unicycle – how unfortunate!
Surfing in a hurricane - who knew it’d be so turbulent?

Dueling with dragons. Wrestling a gator.
I narrowly escaped a runaway elevator!

Caught up in a rock slide. Skiing though an avalanche.
Rumbled with a rattlesnake I thought was a branch.

Are any of these stories real? No, they’re make believe.
The truth is that I had a boo boo deep inside of me.

The doctors fixed me up. I was oh so brave!
And now I have this awesome scar to show off every day.