Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5 ideas: Displaying photos + cards

During the Christmas season I tend to get a bit nostalgic.  I loved looking through old photos of my Grandparents when I was younger.  Even now, I like to imagine what it was like for them at Christmas as young children and with young children. 

I would love to have a few of those photos with me now to display with some pretty Christmas cards.  I would look at them while sipping cocoa and listening to old jazz (basically I'm 65 at Christmas).

One: a picture of Amy's bedroom via cutpasterepeat  Two: Country Living Magazine via Decor8
Three: BHG Four: Sweet Paul Blog Five: Shanna Murray Holly Wreath

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fourth Birthday for Ellie

We had a fun little party for Ellie this past weekend.  She's technically not four until this Saturday, but we had to celebrate while her Nana & Papa were in town.  I know everyone says this, but I can't believe how big my baby is!

The party was bare bones simple (good thing kids don't care!).  Every time I pick Ellie up from school her pictures are full of brown and purple drawings.  Like, only brown and purple.  Planning her party was easy: brown + purple +bows!

Every time I plan a party with these big balloons Ellie plays with them afterwards.  Her eyes lit up when she found out they were just for her this time!

We served Mac & Cheese (her fave) and chocolate cake.  We also had hot chocolate with huge vanilla bean marshmallows-YUM!

As an activity the kids made their own snow globes.  Well, I would actually call them glitter globes because there wasn't water in them.

They showed me where they wanted their fawn and trees placed and I hot-glued them to the lid of half-pint mason jar.  The kids poured white glitter into their jars and I helped them put the lid on.  They were all excited to turn their jar over and see the "snow" fall.  It was the perfect short and sweet craft for ages 1-4!

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Highlights from a Thanksgiving weekend

This weekend started off with a bang!  Shortly after my family rolled into town, we headed to Ellie's school for a Thanksgiving dinner.  It was fun to see her play with new friends (I totally saw them poking holes in the pumpkin pie!)

I made a pie and fresh whipped cream for our tiny little feast.  This year we opted out of the whole turkey ordeal and cooked two herb stuffed organic chickens instead.  I really loved our laid back holiday this year.

I may or may not have worn these slippers most of the weekend...

We escaped to the beach on Black Friday where we played in the sun and tried on funny things at antique stores.

Then we ate ridiculously huge sundaes at Ghirardelli.  We really take our Thanksgiving weekend eating seriously.

We had an early birthday party for Ellie on Saturday (details coming!).  Our awesome neighbors Jeff and Navy and their two little boys who came over to play and join in the party fun. 

Jeff is the executive chef at McCormick & Schmick's (crazy coincidence, right?!) and invited all of us to come out to the restaurant Saturday night.  We had no idea he was going to set up a private table for us and spoil us with a sampling of the best things on the menu-it was SO great to pretend to be VIPs for the night and the food was amazing.  Thank you Jeff!

A certain someone wrote her whole name out for the first time at lunch on Sunday!  It happened out of nowhere and with no help.  So, so proud of her.

The whole thing ended with a rare date night in the city.  We walked around, wore mittens (ok, just me), drank coffee, talked, and ate at a cool outdoor tapas restaurant that had live music.  I love nights like this.  All that uninterrupted talking is such a special treat.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and weekend too!  Bring on Christmas :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday sale + giveaway!

How's your Thanksgiving weekend going?  I hope you're soaking up those last moments of family fun!  Just popping in for a rare Sunday night post with some exciting news!

First of all, I'm giving away a Modern Day Advent Calendar over at DoesMommyLoveIt right now!  Contest is open until December 5th (click over to Cece's blog to see details).  Cece was kind enough to write a nice review of the calendar.  Thank you Cece!

I've decided to kick off cyber week with a sale in the shop!  Receive 20% off your entire purchase from now until midnight Friday.  You can visit the shop here.

Happy shopping friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for:

love. everyday.
the opportunity to be called "Mama"
happy accidents
kindred spirits
belly laughter
quiet moments
purity (a rare find)
a God who knows + loves me
another day

that moment when you are exactly where you want to be.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Photo Sources: one, two.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas in the shop!

I've added a handful of holiday items to the shop!  A few sets of cards and a fun Cookie Exchange Kit to add to the Advent Calendar (December 1st is next week, yikes!)  All items are shipped next business day, so you can be sure to stick to your holiday list. 

I hate stealing thunder from the big T by mentioning Christmas.  Is it just me or is Christmas coming earlier this year, or what?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Highlights from a cozy weekend

We had such a cozy weekend over here!  Instead of chasing crazy adventures, we ended up staying home.  It was the perfect way to spend the rainy days. and I think we finally kicked the sickness that's been living here.

I've been excited for the real Fall to get here, and I think it finally has!  To top it off, the leaves actually fell off the trees (it took long enough).  We had to wait a while for it, but the colors are amazing in this area.  I love driving down the tree-lined streets and seeing the pops of red, yellow and orange. 

We discovered a local dog wash and decided to give our pup, Zeke. a bath.  For an undisclosed amount (arm+leg), we had access to a little dog shower with the works for 25 minutes. I think he likes being washed, even though he always ends up with a perturbed look on his face.  It's adorable.

We drew pictures, made forts, took walks, and ate lots of homemade food.  It was the perfect.

How was your weekend, friends?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Made at home: Dipped Stalks of Wheat

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?  We're staying here and hosting a little get together.  My parents are flying in and a few neighbors may join us as well.

We lived in Seattle the last time we hosted a Thanksgiving meal.  My oldest was due any day, and we didn't want to travel home.  My Mom did most of the cooking and we all pretty much sat around and waited for the baby to come.  She waited ten more days to arrive (first babies are funny that way!)

I've been looking for simple ways to decorate our small space for the dinner.  A bundle of wheat caught my eye the other day.  A couple of nights ago it was just begging to painted!

I didn't get any photos of the process, but it was all very simple:

Gather wheat stalks, a medium sized paintbrush, acrylic paint and painting surface (like newspaper).  Grab a small bundle of wheat and lay flat on newspaper.  Dip brush in paint and paint it on to lower half of wheat stalks (hold the tops in place with your other hand).  Do several times until stalks are covered.  Flip over and repeat.  Lay bundle flat on table with the painted ends hanging over the edge to dry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A First Birthday for Cooper

Recently, I had the privilege of making invitations for the cutest little boy, Cooper.  

His Mom, Crystal, decided on an "Up" theme for his first birthday.  I love the idea of using a movie for party inspiration, especially one with so many possibilities!  

This is what guests will see when they open their invitations.

When they pull the tab...

So fun, right?

We decided to add a 12x12 sign in sheet that can be kept as a keepsake in Cooper's scrapbook.  Using colored ink pads, guests will stamp their thumbprints to make up the balloons in the picture (I didn't have the right ink pads so I used watercolors in my example)

Happy first Birthday Cooper!  I hope you have a blast at your party!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recommended Read: The War of Art

On a good day you will find an iced coffee and a good book on my worn desk.  The best book I've read lately is "The War of Art," by Steven Pressfield.  In fact, I'm reading it for the second time in two months.

Where does inspiration come from?  Why is it so hard to finish what I start?  Am I really an artist? How can I get out of my creative rut?  

If you've ever asked yourself these questions I think you will enjoy this book. 

 Steven sets out to define the trouble we experience whenever we decide to step out and create something or be successful.  Pressfield gets straight to the point, and never minces words.  While I don't agree with everything he says, I have found his insight and encouragement to be valuable in my work and life and I hope you will too!

"Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be , when we are without the power to alter our destiny.  This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second we can sit down and do our work." 

-Steven Pressfield

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bi-Rite Creamery

This weekend we stopped for a treat at the Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th in the Mission district.  I've heard nothing but good things and couldn't wait to try it.  We were lucky the line only stretched to the end of the building!  Normally I'm a vanilla kind of girl, but I let Bi-Rite choose a flavor combination for me this time.  Roasted banana + brown sugar.  Deeeelish!

All of the ice cream at the Bi-Rite is made in small batches by hand.  The dairy is organic and comes from the Straus Family Creamery just 45 miles away.  Most flavors are made with five local ingredients or less and have no artificial ingredients or stabilizers.  You can read more about it here.

I'd recommend Bi-Rite to anyone visiting San Francisco (I'm already dreaming of trying a new flavor)!

P.S. Doesn't their upcoming recipe book look adorable?