Archive for November, 2011


this is how it feels around here

just kidding, it’s not that bad, but i am on my second cold in a row, and i got food poisoning this weekend. nice, huh? it’s like the universe doesn’t know that i’ve got the sew funky market coming up this weekend?! {eek! panic!} i mean, really.

also, our house is a wreck, what with all the dog hair, craft crap, and surprise stuff everywhere. {i really will tell you soon, i swear! just as soon as i have some time to take pictures of it all.} need a hint? can’t wait? psst: it’s a new store. details coming soon. promise.


{check out the sew funky market blog for more info and interviews with vendors.} click here to get this fish t-shirt. love it!

November 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

holiday secrets: time for you

well, maybe not all of you...

i already shared my tips for surviving the big holiday meal at your house, and congratulations, you seem to have made it through. you cooked, you feasted, you cleaned up. maybe you’ve even recovered.

so here’s my second secret: during this busy season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. it sounds so simple, right? in the past, though, how many times have you given up something you wanted to do for yourself so that you would have time to do something for someone else? i ask because i do it all the time. it’s why my toenails are rarely painted.

so this holiday season, go ahead and schedule some appointments for yourself and then keep them. i mean book them right now, this very instant, as a promise to yourself to give to yourself, too.

it doesn’t have to be fancy. it doesn’t have to be expensive. it just has to be something that seems like a luxury to you. a massage? coffee with a friend? a bath? once a week should do it.

i’ll be painting my toenails.


remember: today’s the last day of the sale! celebrate cyber monday by entering “turkey” into the coupon code at my etsy store to save 15% off everything! as usual, you’ll get free shipping and gift wrap!

{for the original, unaltered holiday image, check out the sum of all crafts.}

November 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm 1 comment

after thanksgiving sale

i know, i know, you’re busy shopping the big sales at the big stores, but when you get back, check out the holiday sale at my little etsy store! everything’s 15% off with the coupon code “turkey”. and as always, shipping is free!

{also, i’ll be adding new goodies next week, and sharing a surprise with you, too! can’t wait.}

November 25, 2011 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

happy thanksgiving


happy thanksgiving, lumpy gravy and all!

November 24, 2011 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

thanksgiving thoughts

seriously, no sweat

there’s a batch of gluten-free cornbread baking in the oven. i’m sitting outside in the lovely sun of what passes for fall here in socal and the dogs are playing ferociously. it’s pretty nice.

and even though i’m in the midst of a busy craft season and holiday stuff is piling up {then threatening to tip over}, i’m not nearly as stressed as i used to be. sure, it helps that all my gifties are purchased {i’m not that on top of it, i swear. i just buy things when i see them, even if that means my stockpile starts growing in january.} but the real reason i’m calmer is that i’ve redefined this season. instead of feeling like there are oodles of things i have to get done in order for the holidays to be perfect, i start by doing what’s most important to me. even then it doesn’t all get done, and that’s okay, too.

during this busy time, i’d like to share with you some of my secrets for doing less and getting more out of the holidays. i’ve already told you about my trick for finding the perfect gift. {though: there is no one perfect gift, just a few thoughtful ways that you can show someone you care. there, doesn’t that perspective shift leave you less stressed already?} from decking the halls to putting up with relatives welcoming guests into your home, over the next month i’ll share what’s worked for me. a no-fuss, no-muss, less-is-more kind of approach. cause i’m pretty busy. and i bet you are too.

today, i’d like to share my thoughts on turkey day. instead of making it a day of massive calorie consumption and food waste, how about returning to the concept of a gathering to celebrate what we have: friends, family, food. it helps if you enjoy cooking, but even if you don’t, try to focus on the gathering and celebrating instead of culinary perfection. it doesn’t have to be fancy. it doesn’t have to be ready on time. it doesn’t even matter if the turkey’s dry. {just make plenty of gravy.}

  • clear the day for cooking and socializing. cause really, that’s plenty.
  • get the house good-enough clean and arrange some activities for those who won’t be joining you in the kitchen. toys for the tots? tv for grandpa? then shove all that other crap in the closet. you have a big laundry basket, right?
  • let people help you in the kitchen. coming from someone who was once called a “kitchen nazi” by her own hubby, this is a bold statement. but if the season is about sharing, it’s about sharing the joys of cooking, too. {oh, and the disasters. they’re so much funnier when there’s someone else can share the blame.}
  • get out of the kitchen to socialize. while the turkey’s cooking, could you sit with your sweetie and watch the kids fight play? maybe catch up with a dear friend you rarely see. {this is also a good time to send the non-cookers in to do some mid-day cleanup!}
  • get out of the house for some fresh air. a walk after dinner or a glass of wine in the backyard before the final flurry of prep will help clear your head.
  • let people help you clean up and take home leftovers. ride that tryptophan high even if aunt maude doesn’t load the dishwasher right or your mother-in-law always puts things back in the wrong place.

most importantly, don’t wait till the end of the day to remember all the good times. instead, watch them unfold and enjoy them while they happen. {even if that means the green bean casserole doesn’t get in the oven on time.}

November 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm 1 comment

everyday genius

hey there! with all the holiday cooking coming your way, i wanted to share this super-duper-uber-fabulous tip with you from a small snippet {i’m using it even as we speak!}:

free. and easy.

put a spoon across the top of a pot while it’s cooking, and it won’t boil over. {even if it’s beans. especially if it’s beans: i am a champion at boiling over a pot of beans. go ahead, look it up in guinness for slowest.learner.ever.} the nerd in me desperately wants to tell you that this disrupts the surface tension of the water, preventing it from building up a good head of steamy bubbles and ruining your evening. and who am i to deny my inner nerd?

$24.95. and only good for one thing.

and given that there are these things in the world, for the low-low price of $24.95, this handy little tip will save you money as well as limit the number of swear words you have to say. {why is cleaning up bean water so gross?} plus you can use the spoon to stir stuff. try that with this pricey little gadget from sur la table.

looking for other examples of everyday genius? check out my pinterest board with all sorts of goodness. got any tips you’d like to share? i’m all ears!!

November 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

my favorite hoops

meet my new favorite earrings. i wear them almost every day. a little bit boho, a little bit chic, they go with everything {which is a huge bonus in the mornings}, making earring choice one less thing to worry about. {can’t help you with where are the car keys? what’s for lunch? or for the last time, who took my purse?! but i can make one thing a little simpler.}

the best part about these earrings isn’t the fact that they’re lightweight {personally i can’t stand it when earrings drag down my ear lobes and make me want to take them off after a few hours because they’re giving me brain pain} or that everyone else loves them oodles and bunches. it’s not even that each rock crystal rondelle is individually wire-wrapped {by yours truly}, lending sparkle and interest to your every move. nope, the best part is that the hoops themselves are handmade in thailand by women who are paid a living wage. {yay! right?} i’m proud to support the women-friendly company that makes these stunners.

want your own? go get ’em now at my etsy store. as always, they will arrive inside one of my pretty handmade {reusable} boxes, meaning that if you don’t keep them for yourself {you have such willpower, you}, you will have everything all wrapped up. {don’t worry, everything ships safely within a sturdy usps priority mail box, arriving within a few short days!}

November 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

apple picking

yesterday we headed to the sierras with some friends for a little apple picking in oak glen. it might have been raining/sleeting/snowing/slushing, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time! {though it did stop us from doing the u-pick thing. we settled for going home with two pre-picked bags of apples: pink ladies and arkansas golds.}

our first stop was snow-line orchard, where we promptly noshed on their fresh-from-the-fryer donuts and hot apple cider. {which was a good thing, ’cause it was 32 degrees outside!} the little ones {and me} enjoyed watching the donuts come out of the fryer, and there was some discussion as to how over-the-top it would be to install one in our house. {too much?}

there was everything apple-y you could imagine: 16 varieties of apples, 3 flavors of apple cider, apple butter, apple syrup, apple jam, apple pies & tarts…in addition to our apples, i picked up a bunch of apple twigs, which will become something crafty, and one of their original labels, printed in 1950.

there were changing leaves as we drove along, a corn maze, pony rides…all things we would have loved to explore had it not been so incredibly wet. but we managed to stay warm and somewhat dry, ducking into a bakery to peek at their mile high apple pies, and ending the trip at a little mexican restaurant for delicious tamales and time together.

ps: thanks to stacy reynolds for the tip on heading to oak glen!

November 7, 2011 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

sweet & simple philosophy

short, sweet, and oh so right on.

i first spotted this on pinterest via jennifer brashear. but it had no link to the creator of this beautiful image. after much sherlock holmes-ing, i find that we can thank drake for the words, ben liney for the photo {his work is gorgeous!}, and jessica tierney for putting it all together with a gorgeous font. good collaborative effort, right?

{click on the photo to be transported to the image.}

November 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

change of seasons

it’s raining here in sunny southern california, which officially marks the change of seasons here. we don’t get leaves for peeping to mark the passage of time, but it’s officially fall when it no longer gets above 85 during the day. instead of winter we get a wet season. {then spring is a repeat of fall and summer is hot with a side of broil.}

after visiting north carolina, i am reminded {once again} of how lovely it is to have a visible reminder of the passage of time. something to look forward to and a treat to remember. a sign that something new is coming.

i mostly mean the turning of the leaves, and their eventual fall. i miss their beautiful colors {though i don’t miss the clean-up}; how one tree can be green at the bottom, yellow in the middle, and red at the crown. and then the individual leaves and the desire to preserve each one in its perfection.

and the piles of leaves: raking them up just so you have something to jump into. {admittedly, this is more fun when you’re a kid, just as snow is more fun when you don’t have to shovel it. don’t think i don’t remember the unfun part of seasons!} looking up into the clear, crisp sky on a cool afternoon it’s possible to forget that the changing leaves herald the cold of winter and just marvel at the jewel-like colors.

November 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm 2 comments

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