One End & Two Beginnings

End #1… Creative Writing class is over for the semester people! That means this group experiment is over! Done! We are so grateful for all of our followers and 1,100+ hits since August! Wow! Final numbers will be analyzed tonight, but we think our blog is going to be ranked the highest among our classmates blogs!

Beginning #1 … What will happen with this blog?!

Stay tuned! Both ck and SavannahSmiles will decide this week. One (or both) of us will be be keeper of PhotoandaPhrase. And chapter two will be launched.

Beginning #2 … What is HouseKelley and when can I view it?!

My husband and I have been creatively energized by writing this past few months. We have decided to continue this, hobby, if you will. After the new year, we are going to launch HouseKelley!

There you will find weekly and monthly writing challenges that we will publish online. We will challenge each other, co-write stories and post a photo or two. And dare I say it?! There might be poetry.


It’s been a pleasure getting to know all of our followers via wordpress!

cheers, ck


Happy Birthday To … My Boss?!

This week it’s my boss’s birthday. I pondered long and hard if I should mention it or take any action, like buying a gift.

Image courtesy of ZooMumba

This person is my manager, and obviously makes more money than I do. Plus, I am sure he can buy himself what he actually wants. Or the people in my boss’s personal life will buy him big gifts.

I don’t want to seem like I’m brown nosing, but I would like to make some sort of gesture to generate interpersonal goodwill. I know that we are not friends, and I don’t think I should ever forget that this person has control over my salary and any possible bonuses.

So I settled on something small, because it’s the thought that counts right?

My boss likes to snack, so I got him a jar of Planter’s Unsalted Peanuts. I also have a stash of blank cards (you know what I mean girls! we all love stationary!) and wrote a quick happy birthday note. Just for fun, I asked my two year-old to color the inside of the card.

I taped the envelope to the jar and put a ribbon on it to finish it off. There, for less than $5.00 I feel pretty good about the gesture.

What do the rest of you think? In regards to your manager: To gift or not to gift?

What is Nutella? And Why is it so Delicious?

Nutella is the brand name of an Italian hazelnut chocolate spread. Buyer beware, this is more of a dessert item and not a nutrutional food item.

An April 2012 lawsuit demanded that the manufacturer, Ferro, rebrand their product. Turns out the courts agreed with a US mom and Nutella would no longer be advertised in the US as part of a healthy diet item. I agree with the court because eating Nutella is as nutritionally sound as eating a candy bar!

And my, aren’t candy bars delicious?!

Image courtesy of 52kitchenadventures

I personally love Nutella on crepes and on ice cream! You can eat it plain, or put it in recipes for cookies, cakes and frostings.

This holiday season, try and out and give me a full report! I am looking forward to trying some or your recipie finds!


Against My Better Judgement

This week, against my better judgement, I read a horror story.

Image courtesy of PetaPixel

For those of you that don’t know me personally, I am a big wimp when it comes to scary stories, movies and even music. I don’t like haunted houses, I close my eyes during scary previews at the movies and I flip the channel if something scary pops up on the tv.

But for some unexplained reason, I have a fascination with reading online spoilers for horror movies. A few years ago, I made the mistake of reading the spoiler for Human Centipede and it made me sick to my stomach for a few weeks. Ugh!

So of course, when I was reading my daily blogs this week I was attracted to the winner of this year’s International One-Minute Film Festival, Filminute. The scary movie was inspired by a short (a few lines!) horror story.

Well, I did what I usually do: make one good choice and one bad one. I did not watch the one minute movie, but against my better judgement, I clicked over and read the short story.

Yes my friends, the power of imagination coupled with a few well crafted sentences terrified me. And I’ve been checking under my daughter’s bed each night since then.

Happy reading, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!


DisneyLand Can Wait

My husband and I are proud parents of a 2 year old and we are excited to take her to Disney Land. We often talk about showing her the parks, enjoying the shows and sharing a little bit of magic with her.

But… we’ve decided to wait. I personally believe that 2 years old (and under) is way too young for a child to actually remember and enjoy the park.

Sure, it’s one thing if you have six kids and the youngest happens to be 2. And yes, it depends on the maturity of the child … but I know my 2 year-old is not ready and here’s why.

Last week we attended a local harvest festival. One of the vendors hired a professional actor to play Disney’s Queen Elsa, from the hit movie Frozen.

My daughter is part of the legions of little girls that adore the movie. She owns a coveted Elsa doll and dress up gown. Queen Elsa, has a sister named Anna. Because of the movie’s popularity, we can’t find an Anna doll, so we have been using an imposter doll!

Blog Post 2014 10 16 Collag

So at the harvest festival we made a note of Queen Elsa’s schedule. We were on hand when the actress playing Elsa came out. She was gorgeous. I was pleased to see that the actress was in a fine gown, her hair looked authentic and she had studied Elsa’s mannerisms.

As a mom, I was ecstatic. It’s rare to find a high quality and free opportunity for my child to meet one of her favorite movie characters.

My daughter noticed Queen Elsa as we queued up in line.

“Look Mommy! Elsa!”

“Yes darling, we are going to see her. It’s not a long wait, just two other kids in front of us.”

My husband found the perfect photography spot and, along with other families, was ready to capture a beautiful memory.

Once it was our turn, my daughter and I started walking hand in hand towards Queen Elsa. Before we got within hugging distance, my daughter changed her mind about what was going to happen next.

“No touch me!”

“Now go away!”

“See daddy now, no Elsa!”

What was happening here?! My kid had all the Frozen songs memorized, adored her Elsa dolly and was even wearing a Frozen themed shirt!

Blog Post 2014 10 16 Pano with Castle

I paused to kneel and get face to face with my daughter. I questioned her to make sure she did not want to see Elsa. After she confirmed, I stood up and thanked the actress. We turned around to walk away and I indicated that the next child in line could walk up. We were done before my husband could take his camera’s lens cap off.

Can you image if we had driven six hours, paid for hotel rooms and park entry, walked for miles and waited four hours to see Elsa … and got the same reaction?!

No thank you!

Disney Land will have to wait! Unless, well, my husband and I decide to sneak off on our own for two days next spring. But that my friends, is another blog post!

On Commitment



Permanent body modifications are an integral part of human history.

And on some days I want to be part of that history. Would be neat to commemorate a loved one with a tattoo, maybe get my ears pierced to look great with that matching necklace. But honestly, I can’t commit!

I barely ever imagined myself married while I was growing up. And when I was dating my husband, he was not excited when I told him my 10 year plan. We would first be friends living in appartments down the hall from each other so we could have wacky adventures before we got married.

Commitment. That’s tough. Enter a temporary (and beautiful) solution — henna!

Earlier this summer I rocked a beautiful mehndi while on vacation with my husband. I loved how the temporary henna tattoo looked while I wore my vacation outfits and while I sat poolside with my book. And the best part of all, it was gone after three weeks.

For those that have not had any experience with henna, the artist will use a natural, plant based paste on your skin. The past will be a dark color. Once applied it will slowly dry. Leave the paste alone for 24 hours!! The longer it stays on, the more chance it has to stain your skin.

You can then scrape off the paste to reveal your newly patterend skin! The henna stain will not be as dark as the paste, but it will be lovely!

It allowed me to enjoy something temporairly in lieu of making a permanent change. And, it appealed to my inner commit-a-phobe!