Make: Advent Calendar

Friday, November 30, 2012






I have had make an advent calendar on my to-do list for a couple weeks now, yesterday I realized I better get a'crackin' because the countdown begins tomorrow! I love having an advent calendar for the sake of tradition, especially for my children. It's always those long standing traditions I look back on with the fondest of memories. It can also be a lovely decoration as well. Check out these links links to some of my favorite advent calendars herehere and here.

For this one I just printed out some date cards, used a date stamp, envelopes, a few wrapped up goodies and strung it all up on my wall. I filled the envelopes with chocolates, stickers, a couple of giftcards to the best book store ever, so that we could use them on an outing to go buy each other a book for christmas. I also included a few other little goodies; but I didn't fill each day with a gift, for some of the days I declared an activity to do later in the day, such as: drink hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows, or watch The Polar Express whilst eating popcorn balls. Others I placed an action that each of us could do for each other - like, leave a (nice) surprise for everyone under their pillow; say what you love most about yourself and everyone else in the room, or do something to help someone out that day. Personally I love giving and receiving with equal fervor and I want my kids to know the joy and value in both as well. It's a good exercise for me too! You can download the advent stars with numbers here and the advent circles with numbers here.

Have a happy weekend! xo

Photo Diary: Miscellanea

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This week has certainly felt a bit miscellaneous. Maybe I am just feeling miscellaneous and a little all over the place; I guess you could say it's been "one of those weeks" kinda-sorta. The come-down week from Thanksgiving and the calm before the storm of which the countdown to the holidays really begins; speaking of which I need to get a move on making my advent calendar. It's also fairly slow in my etsy shop right before the holidays and I go from quiet and organized work pattern to falling asleep in a pile of threads and waking to nightmares that I put the hearts in the wrong locations on my map pillows. Thankfully I am lucky enough to have some lovely fellow bloggers that will be making guest appearances here to help out with a blog post or two. Stay tuned.

Last night I made a really yummy dinner that I was going to photograph and post: roasted chicken with butternut squash. You can see my inspiration here. There is no photo because a bit after I stuck it in the oven I heard an explosion; opened my oven to find my glass cookware had shattered into a million little pieces. I think I do indeed need that le creuest for christmas. Today I downloaded super mario brothers 3 on the Wii for M+L. Oh why, oh why do I do these things? There is that little voice in my head that says "don't do it" but do I listen? Nope. So my attempt at "buying time" with screen time so I could get some work done cost me a couple hours and many, many mario lives. But it's just like riding a bicycle, I remembered every brick block that harbored a mushroom and extra coins. And that sore thumb is back just like it was 1988 all over again. They cried the entire time because I wasn't doing it right and when I finally turned the game off they then cried at me saying "I want poop. Get me poop." I was just about on the brink of giving them some but didn't want to end the evening hanging out in the E.R. when they inevitably got some in their eye or something (JK I really would never give my kids poop. Though I did do some mumbling under my breath). On the positive I found a new item to add to my wish list - those boots. I have spent many a'moments this week thinking of outfits I could wear with them and imaging myself wearing them in situations I am never actually in, like having a witty conversation with an artist at a gallery opening or running to catch a taxi to get to my meeting with a magazine editor. Lastly, the hollywood theater sign is from my boy Fisher when he went to see a resurrected 1980's film in which I have had the pleasure of viewing the trailer of several time since his outing; he particularly loves the last bit. It does look pretty radical, you can see it here too.

Pins Of The Week: Potted Christmas Tree

Wednesday, November 28, 2012






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Have you seen all these fabulous images of potted christmas trees floating around pinterest lately? I am loving the simplicity of them and wishing I had one for this season. In fact it's making me feel less than excited about pulling out the fake one I bought a few years back. I love the scent of a fresh tree and also the tradition of getting one, but when M+L came along the thought of battling needles and protecting the tree from crawling babies knocking it over 20 times a day made a fake tree sound a lot better than no tree at all. I also love that these are living trees that can later be planted. How great would it be to have enough outside space to plant your living christmas trees each year? Yep, I think I would quite like that. Maybe I will look for a small table top one or plant some rosemary in a lovely pot like the last photo; those are so sweet too.

Boots For Boys

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



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If there is one thing I love almost as much as getting boots for myself it's getting little boots for little boys feet. M+L are growing out of these boots that I adore and it's time for a new pair. I usually buy them the same shoes but in different colors - not so much because I have major issues with matching and symmetry (though that's true) but it's because I know if I buy two different pairs there will inevitably be one pair that they will fight over. But with so many cute shoes I feel like I am ready to take my chances two different pairs so I can whittle it down to two options rather than just one. Luckily, at the sweet little age of four, they find boots and shoes just as exciting as toys and candy, so I am planning on a little splurging because they won't grumble at all to finding a pair of shiny new boots under the tree. These are my top favorites. I know which ones they would pick and the velcro is muy practico but I want to know which are your favorites as I might have to settle on a vote to ease my indecisive mind!

Print: Holiday Cards

Monday, November 26, 2012






Hope everyone had a great weekend! Now that Thanksgiving is over for us in the states, we can move forward full speed ahead into the Christmas season. No more waiting to loudly blast the holiday music or hold off on decking the halls. Instead of getting into the spirit by shopping this weekend I lounged around, worked on Etsy orders (that are coming in faster everyday!), and made up some holiday cards so I can get some in the mail early this year. I think sending and receiving cards in the mail is one of my favorite things. Sharing is caring so you can download these and print them free here. xo

The Gift Of Giving | Anchal Project |

Friday, November 23, 2012







Images via Anchal Project

I learned about Anchal Project when I was approached by them to talk about what design and social change means to me as a independent female designer. I was honored to say the least. As a mom to three boys who found a "make it work" moment in launching my own online shop so I could both provide and be a present parent, I know that I am very lucky to even have that opportunity. Anchal Project offers opportunity to women in India, specifically women who have been subjected to the commercial sex trade industry. Working with Anchal gives them a way out of this life, an opportunity of self-sufficiency and all that goes with it, like empowerment, pride and safety. What is great about giving here is you get an amazing handcrafted item in return. So you can get a gift and give a gift. Their textiles are heavenly and I can't imagine anyone not swooning at finding one of these gifts under the tree. You can also help out by donating or becoming an advocate. Learn more by clicking on all the links! Happy weekend and let the holiday shopping commence!

Update: They are having a cyber monday sale with 15% of plus free shipping!

Video Diary: Thankful

Thursday, November 22, 2012

   

It's thanksgiving! Do you have the round the table "say what you are thankful for" at dinner? We do and I think it's one of the reasons why I love thanksgiving so much. It's not often we require and willfully share shout outs for all the things we are so grateful to have. I am definitely thankful for those two little boys in the video, M+L, aka Milo Pollux and Luca Sparrow. They do things that confound me one minute - like laying down in the middle of the sidewalk, and profound me the next - like with their ability to live in each moment; to lay down and wait for something to happen because they know it will, maybe something like a funny flock of birds flying by. Something on my own I might not notice  or more so appreciate, in my journey from point a to point b. But because of them I don't miss out on all these little big things. I am also grateful for my bigger boy, Mr. Fisher, that apparently only likes to be photographed in costume these day (hence no photo. grrr) - I used to think it was a little weird when parents would refer to their kids as their best friend but now I get it. And I am super grateful for all of you who visit and read this here blog of mine. I literally wake up every morning excited to see what you all have been up to, knowing I will start my day inspired. xo

Pins Of The Week: Trimmings

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



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This is my little visual aid to remind me what I am suppose to make for thanksgiving dinner (the food also links to yummy looking recipes): apple pie (most important), brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes and ze turkey. These cute little place-setting napkins are to remind me also set the table all pretty (santa gave me a great idea over at homestilo for apple center pieces, yay!). Thanksgiving is one my favorite American holidays, it's all about getting together with family and friends and being thankful. Then we obliterate all these warm and fuzzies with the biggest shopping day of the year, BLACK FRIDAY - dun-dun-dun, where we get in long lines at 3 am to go shopping at 6am - every year there is a causality where someone gets trampled (literally). Oh, America, you are so funny. I actually never leave my house the (black) friday after thanksgiving, I like to take it more literally and stay in bed safe under my covers. For one I am usually still feeling the after affects of eating half my weight in food, and for two, it's just not my thing. I actually really try to shop local as much as possible and on places like Etsy of course where my money might do a little more good

Now for some questions: For my american counterparts: What are your thanksgiving/black friday plans? Are you making anything yummy? Getting in line at 3 am? 
And for my friends abroad: Do you have anything similar as Black Friday when the holiday shopping season really kicks off and people wrestle each other for play stations and ipods?

Make: New Candles Out of Old Ones

Tuesday, November 20, 2012





Luckily I created this post before I broke my toe, so this week won't be entirely filled with posts about said toe and my movie marathons.  Thanks so much for all the movie recommendations! I love Midnight in Paris, one of my faves and my Fisher hasn't seen any Hitchcock either. So I am definitely putting those on my/our movie watching list (yes, i am playing the sympathy card to force my teenage son to hang out with me on the couch). Anyway . . .

This is a project I always take on around the holidays. It may be because I have a habit of burning candles day and night (especially in the fall and winter) or that I am trying to focus buying for others and not myself. I buy a lot of candles and my favorites can be on the more expensive side, and while they burn pretty well there is always left over remnants -  sometimes a lot. Somehow I ended up saving them several years back (my inner hoarder perhaps?) and one day I decided to try to melt them down to get a second life out of them - it worked. I have been saving them and making new candles out of them since. It also gives me an excuse to buy pretty new little dishes and vessels to hold them in.

What you needWicks and wick tabs, double broiler (i just use a regular pot and a metal bowl that i got at the thrift store that fits inside it with the edge over the lip of the pot), candle remnants, candle holders (little cups, bowls, you name it), chopsticks (several of the kind that are still joined together and one single stick). *If you don't have the awesome collection of take out chinese food chopsticks that I do you can use single chopsticks or kabob sticks and join two together with a rubber band on each end.



Measure your wicks so that the tab is flush to the bottom of your holder and the wick is about one and a half inches above the rim. Set aside.
Put water in the bottom of your pot and turn stove on to medium heat. Break up candle remnants and let melt. You can stir them around while you wait with your single chopstick (that's what i do). You can also pull out any weird things you might find in your melted wax with the tip of your chopstick. 

Slowly pour melted wax into your container.

I use my single chopstick to make sure the tab is secure in the middle. The wax gets sticky pretty quick when it hits the container so a little poke and it should secure it into place. Then just set aside and let them cool down. These make a really simple little holiday gift too. If you we know each other in real life, you have probably been on the receiving end of one of my frankenstein candle creations before.


I've Always Wanted To Be A Tennenbaum

Monday, November 19, 2012





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Friday morning I woke up to find I had no coffee. I sleepily texted my neighbor for a cup and then spied out my front door only to see her leaving before getting my text. I made some tea and sat on my couch staring blurry-eyed at my computer. Eventually I heard a knock at my backdoor, in my groggy state I guess it startled me and I walked, or maybe I should say stumbled to my door, or maybe I should say into my chair. I stubbed my toe but tried to play it off and show gratitude to my neighbor bearing the promise of wakefulness. Later I found my little toe was crying out in pain. You know stubbed toes usually hurt wicked for a minute and then subside? This was oposite, not too bad at first but quickly going into pain that triggers my sailors mouth. After hopping back to my couch I looked down to find it looked a lot like the photo of M's eye I recently posted (you are welcome for me not posting photos of my mangled foot). Yep, it was definitely broken. None too happy was I. But ever the optimist and hypochondriac I decided to look on the bright side: i didn't have to imagine anything being wrong with me, less thanksgiving cooking for me, a great excuse to allow for a messy house and a reason to lounge around drink wine (a little extra for the pain of course) and watch good movies all weekend while getting some pillow orders done. The best part was the glorious role reversal of me being the one saying "ooo, ooo, can you get me..."

I ended up watching a surfeit of movies, I started with Moonrise Kingdom with my oldest, Fisher, he is a real movie buff and I hadn't realized he hadn't seen any Wes Anderson movies (what?!) - he loved this one, so we kept going with an anderson movie marathon. I also watched a documentary called  First Position (which is about children ballerinas whose feet look a lot like mine. I felt a kinship with these little feet.). He wasn't as into that one as I was. This list goes on but I will stop there. 

How was your weekend? See any good movies? I am taking recommendations as I have a few more days on my couch and don't want to slide into any reality tv marathons. . .

The Gift Of Giving | Heifer International |

Friday, November 16, 2012






Excuse my inner social worker but she would like to do some guest posting here on my blog. The season of giving is coming up and no matter how financially strapped I might be at any given time, I know I am lucky and fortunate. Vying for three hundred dollar chairs and daydreaming of two hundred dollar rain boots is a luxury, whether or not I can afford them at the moment, because being able to even want these things means I have time to think about them; I am not worried about heat or clean water, or my next meal. I pick a charity every holiday to donate to, whether it's a little or at other times a little bit more. I figure it's a small donation for all of those that I love - who can easily go with one or two less stocking stuffers from the target dollar section. Really, we can all go without items from the dollar section, especially for a good cause. Add that up and you could instead give a little something that can impact someone else in a big way, even with as little as just a few dollars. With all that said I think each week up until the big (holi)day, I will post a favorite charity of mine. Today I am starting with my all-time favorite.

Heifer International is an amazing organization. I mean the work they do is phenomenal  Truly, it has to be one of the best models of charity there are. The mission is basically in the philosophy of "give a man a fish, feed him for one day. teach a man to fish, feed him for life." I also like that you can find a way to help within any budget. They serve people around the globe including the U.S. and Europe. They will also send you cards that you can give to others letting them know that you donated in their honor. Plus you get cool address labels every year. Check them out, the pictures are worth it in and of themselves as you can see.

Do you have a favorite charity? If so I'd love to hear about it!

Pallets, Who Knew?

Thursday, November 15, 2012







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I'm sure, like me, you see pallets almost on a daily basis: the back of trucks, grocery stores and other places such as these. Sometime I see a sad little pile of discarded ones and I often think, I bet that could be used to make something. But my creative brain has never gone beyond the fact that there was a possibility in these little wooden structures - but obviously others have thought of many creative ideas to reuse them. These photos are just a mere sample. I have also seen coffee tables, chandeliers, and bike racks to name a few more.

I have to admit I love things that can be upcycled and repurposed. But I also have to admit that while I love all of these pallets-turned-furniture, the germaphobe in me would be a little nervous in taking on pallet projects, especially after reading this. But I do really like the shelving and the vertical garden which would be so great for someone with limited garden space and it's just really cute. I just probably wouldn't grow anything edible in it! What do you think about all this pallet goodness? 

Oh and lest I forget, here is a little link for Erin & Yelle - ever the lovers of Paris - Paris in Black and White - via Little Brown Pen

Make: Pinecone Garland

Wednesday, November 14, 2012






I mentioned here that we painted some pinecones this last weekend, well, we also glittered some up while we were at it. We had a plethora of pinecones because M+L love finding "treasures" on our walks. And I have to admit finding and bringing home pinecones makes the walk feel a little bit more like an adventure for me too. I made this little garland out of our glittered ones and I am thinking it's going to be my inspiration for decorating this year: simple with a little sparkle. 

What you need: Pinecones / glitter & glue or paint / string

What you do: Glitter pinecone edges with glue and glitter (or painting them works too), let dry over night and then tie string to the tips of the pinecones and string them up. Enjoy xo



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