Won’t You Be Mine? Easy and Fun Ideas for The Day of Love.

Don’t worry.  I haven’t gone all Martha Stewart on ya’ll.  Seriously!  You should know better.

 However, I am pretty darn impressed with myself.

 For the first time in my life – I made homemade Valentines.

 (waiting for applause….)

valentine crafts for kids

Baby J eating our Valentine supplies before we even get home...

 Anyway – when you have four kids and they each have parties and they each have 20 something kids in their class…let me see…I’m no math whiz – but that is darn near 100 valentines.  And that can get pretty expensive.

 So I found this awesome website and found cute, cheap and EASY valentines to make for the kids. 

 Actually, truth be told, my oldest did most of the work.  I supervised. 

 And Baby J tried to eat them all as we went along.  Hey, we all have our jobs…

home made Valentines

Seriously, how cute is this? And if I can make it - then ANYONE can.

home made valentines

I freaking love the people who think these things up!

So my friend and fellow- mom- of- four- anchor on Fox23 – the lovely Michelle Linn was so impressed that I made homemade valentines – she asked me to come on the show yesterday to show off the goods. 

And as usual – Baby J charms the pants off my friends at Fox23 – here is our latest segment on kid ideas for Valentines Day

I’ve got more ideas too!  What has gotten into me? (considering I used to HATE Valentine’s Day after my 6th grade BF broke up with me on the day of love…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE…)  But I digress…

To check out some other creative ideas for your family for Valentine’s Day – check out my latest article in Greater Tulsa Reporter. 

To see more cards like the ones above – check out Disney’s Family Fun website .  They have dummy-proof crafts made for people like me. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  (Except for my sixth grade boyfriend…he can just stick it. 🙂 )

Three Blondes and A Massage…

Ha!  So you thought this was going to be a dirty blonde joke…(Sorry Shane…)

So in my spare time (at 2 a.m.) – I write a monthly column on travel for the Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspaper. And as you all know – I have LOTS of travel stories (disasters) to share. However, this is one of the non-disaster stories – a nice 24 hour getaway with two of my closest friends…hope you enjoy!

Canebrake is a Welcome Break from Business

RELAXING MOMS: From left are Shannon Wilburn, Marnie Fernandez and Liz Hunt during their recent visit to The Canebrake.


Yes, I know this is supposed to be about family travel. But let’s face it; every once in a while, we need a break from the little darlings. My theory is that I’m a much better parent if I have some me time thrown in the mix.

And since taking a week to travel to the Bahamas with my girlfriends is not in the cards anytime soon, I’ve found a great compromise that is only 40 minutes from Tulsa and a fraction of the price.

Two of my dear girlfriends Shannon Wilburn and Liz Hunt decided that we needed to get away, if only for 24 hours. The Canebrake in Wagoner, Okla. was just what we needed, a relaxing retreat that did not involve diapers, homework or cooking meals.

For those of you who have never been, the Canebrake is a phenomenal asset for our state. Situated on a beautiful family-owned ranch, the Canebrake is an eco-friendly resort right in our own backyard. This amazing resort is the vision of the Bracken family whose wish is to preserve their family property while providing a respite for local, regional and national groups, as well as the individual.
And what a respite it was.

We arrived just in time for the Canebrake’s amazing Sunday Brunch, which is worth the drive in and of itself. Sam Bracken is not only the owner of the Canebrake, but also the chef. It is a cozy and welcoming restaurant that focuses on wholesome dishes influenced by flavors around the globe. Chef Bracken focuses on naturally grown cuisine and locally sourced produce.

The brunch had several stations to choose from which included the best eggs Benedict I have ever put in my mouth and too many delicious homemade desserts to count. We were stuffed and pleasantly surprised at the bill, it was only $21 per person.

Then we went to check into our rooms. There are no cars allowed past the main building, so the staff drove us via golf cart to our cottage in the wilderness. It was a beautifully decorated suite with two beds, kitchenette with seating area and a fireplace. Everything was eco-friendly, clean and welcoming.

And then it was spa time. The day just kept getting better. Shannon and I both had amazing massages, which left us both like jelly, and Liz had a facial and scalp massage. I wish we could have stayed longer, because they have an entire spa menu with several different services from which to choose.

Did I mention they also have a yoga barn? Talk about the ultimate in renewing your mind, body and spirit. And classes are free to anyone who is staying at the resort. I was lucky enough to catch the Power Yoga class. It was the best yoga session I have ever taken.

They offer several classes everyday. Even if you don’t stay there, you can pay by the class. Again, almost worth the drive just to do the yoga.

By that time, we were so relaxed, we ended up staying inside our room for the rest of the night, talking, laughing and drinking champagne alongside a cozy fire. It was like a grown up slumber party and just what the doctor ordered for these three weary moms on the go.

The next morning, we lounged around in our pajamas and dined on the continental breakfast they delivered to our rooms. I decided to take advantage of not having a baby on my hip and went for a hike.

The Canebrake has several hiking and walking trails throughout their property. They also have ponds for fishing and it also a popular place for bird watching. The scenery was beautiful and the trails were well marked.

All too soon, our 24-hour escape was over and we headed back to reality. But we will definitely be back.  And maybe have some juicer stories to tell…(but we have to get rid of the preacher’s wife first. 🙂  (Just kidding Shannon…love ya!)

For more information on The Canebrake, visit www.thecanebrake.com.

For other great articles – check out: www.gtrnews.com.

The Sick Gods Must Be Laughing…

I need a do-over on this week. Wait, I take it back. I’d like a do-over on the month of February…and while we are at it – maybe a do-over for the year…can someone please make that happen?

So we survived (barely) the Fernandez Flu Outbreak and Snowmaggedon. Surely things would begin to look up…one would think anyway.

This was the week that Shane’s dad was coming to visit. He lives in Manila. That would be Manila, PHILIPPINES…so let’s just say we don’t get to see him often. He gets to come about once a year and stays for about a week.

We were so excited for him to meet his sweet, adorable fun loving granddaughter Baby J. I couldn’t wait for her to squeal with delight and amuse him with her funny antics.

Well, squeal she did. Our sweet baby daughter decided on the DAY of his arrival to begin cutting teeth. Like ALL of her teeth at once. Holy Cow, our baby was possessed. Wouldn’t even let “Lolo” (what the kids call him) get NEAR her. Screamed, yelled, squealed, you name it. And to top it off, she would not go to sleep. For almost 36 hours Baby J was wide awake (so guess who else was wide awake too). It was brutal.


(our possessed baby)

Poor Lolo. He’s been here three days and still hasn’t gotten to hold her. I don’t think he believes us when we tell him she is really a sweet loving child…

Oh, and it gets better. I go to pick up Jade and Tristan’s from their mom’s house on Monday. Tristan looks like he’s been watching too many chick-flicks and tells me he has “boogers” in his eye. And they were bright pink. You’ve got to be kidding – pink eye?…we JUST got rid of the freaking flu.

So Tristan barely got to say hi to Lolo before I whisked him off to the Urgent Care…again. I feel like Norm in Cheers – everyone at the UC knows our name. One of my friends joked that we need a punch card…(haha…NOT).

Tristan was beside himself…for some reason he had it in his head that the pink-eye was going to turn him into a zombie (?!?!). He screamed and cried like I’ve never seen him do – it was horrible. And we missed the special home-cooked dinner in honor of Shane’s dad (no, I didn’t cook it, but still).

Came home to another screaming child, quarantined Tristan, and disinfected the entire house, while trying to make polite conversation with our house guest. It was not my most stellar moment.

In the meantime, my car which is already held together with duct tape, still smells like death and looks like a hazardous material waste dump gets another lovely addition. One of my darling children has kicked in the rear speaker and drew on the leather seats with a Sharpie. Yeah!

Did I also mention that I have also had a migraine for the past three days? And our dog ran off? And I missed a deadline for an article? AND had to reschedule my hair appointment?!?!?! (If you’ve seen my hair lately, you would understand my distress).

I came home last night from a long day of schlepping kids, meetings and parent teacher conferences (another blog altogether) to find that Shane’s dad was going to stay at Shane’s brother’s house that evening.

Great, we ran him off.

And of course, Murphy’s Law…Baby J slept all through the night. Go freaking figure.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame…Or the Fox23 Fiasco

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So maybe I’ll just drink. And yes, it is before noon, but after my morning – I really don’t care.

Today was the first day of my morning show segment on Fox 23. Michelle Linn, the morning anchor has been a fan of my blog for the past several months and asked me to come on air to talk about my crazy life. Talk about some reality television…

Anyway, we go back and forth about whether or not to bring the kiddos on the show with me. My gut said not only no but HELL NO….my four kids on live tv? Seriously??? But at the same time – they are kinda the stars of the blog. So I reluctantly agree. My stomach is in knots.

The morning arrives. Not only do I have to get all four kids ready, but I have to get myself ready as well! Holy Cow, I have to take a shower and put on makeup. This is huge, people. And find an outfit that doesn’t consist of sweats, tennis shoes or lycra.

Of course there is the usual morning drama – Tristan is in tears trying to convince me that there is no school today (“but our teacher said so!”) Nice try buddy. Jade is also trying to convince me that it is warm enough to wear shorts (it’s 32 degrees outside, but pick your battles), Nicholas plunges headfirst down the stairs before we even get in the studio and screams bloody murder and Josie decides she is also going to scream bloody murder unless I hold her at all times.

We are off to a great start. I am so concerned about getting us to the station with all our clothes on, that I haven’t even begun to decide what I am going to talk about. Hmmm, kinda an important detail. Crap.


What was I thinking??

Everyone at Fox23 was so sweet to our family; in spite of the fact that they were behaving like wild banshees who had never been out in public before. Even Baby J started crawling out of the green room and tried to go snooping around the studio before I could say boo.


I wrangle the kids and take them to the set. I have bribed them with donuts if they will behave on camera.


They obviously did not give a hoot about the donuts.


As I tried to talk to Michelle on air – I could barely focus on her questions because out of the corner of my eye, I catch the boys doing dance moves and making faces behind me. My mind is racing – do I scold them on live tv? Do I just ignore them and move on? What did Michelle just ask me? Is it just me or is it getting really, really hot in here? How long is this segment again?

In the midst of the chaos, I look down and Baby J is eating my microphone. AT this point I have lost all control. I have absolutely no idea what is going on. Thank goodness Michelle is such a pro (and also a mom of four!) or I think I would have just walked away…

I walked off the set pretty sure we would never be allowed back on the set (or even in the building for that matter). Boys did not get their donuts.

Our fifteen minutes of fame was over.

When I got home, you can imagine my AMAZEMENT to find a message waiting for me…they loved the segment and want us back next month. I truly am shocked. Like beyond shocked.

I guess I better go get the boys their donuts now…

ANd for those of you who missed it this morning…never fear. The beauty of technology…click below.