Give Thanks

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is tomorrow here for us in the good old US of A. I know for many of us, we celebrate it in the true sense of its name - celebrating gratitude and being thankful, and for that reason it's a favorite of mine. I have much to be thankful for. Of course my kids top that list and the fact that they are healthy and kind and sweet and funny (and give me blogging material when I run out of ideas). My family and friends and my new pups Marla, and the fact that I am able do what I love to do and that allows me (sometimes forces me - which is good) to be constantly creative and searching the little world around me. This blog is part of all of that. I know this teeters on sounding really schmaltzy, but it's officially the holidays so I get a pass, but I there's a family of sorts here too, and definitely really wonderful friends and it's a part of my day that I enjoy and I am truly grateful for. So being as we won't be breaking bread tomorrow and sitting around the table under the glaring spotlight of saying what we are thankful for (where i'd say all of you of course) I thought I'd say that bit here. I am signing off for the rest of the week to enjoy and bask in all the precious things in my life, but I will certainly be thinking of you and yours and wishing you a wonderful holiday. 

I am also grateful for these awesome rustic graphics I found via we lived happily ever after.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some of you may remember at the beginning of the summer I had some of my embroidery work on a big online flash sale site. In the end it was pretty much a nightmare and that's why I decided not to blog about it - how does the old saying go? If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. But having just one bad experience in the land of handcrafting/sole proprietoring is really not so bad and I didn't want to let it limit myself and future opportunities. When ScoutMob contacted me to sell with them I have to admit I was a little bit hesitant. But as soon as I looked at the site it felt like it would be a really great fit. And after we started chatting it immediately felt really positive. And now that I have a couple weeks of working with them under my belt I can say that it has been really wonderful.

As a seller everything they outlined, promised, and put in the contract not only turn out to be exactly as stated but many things have turned out to be better than I imagined and so much easier. And there is this overwhelming feeling that they truly care about handmade goods and independent artisans; it's not a motto for a sales pitch to get sellers or buyers. From my experience I have found that this is the true spirit of the company. And having such an excellent experience I figure when I have something nice to say I should say it. So this is it - in a land of so many online retailers, curated online sites and marketplaces and with shopping season upon us, I really feel ScoutMob is a trustworthy one. Not only because they have an awesome collection of goods, a pretty and easy-to-navigate site, but because their service to both customers and artisans is phenomenal. Seriously I could go on and on, but it would probably get really boring (of course if anyone wants more info on the "sellers side" of things feel free to email me.).

With all that I just thought I would put together a few things that have caught my eye on the site and let any of you who love handmade goods and online shopping know that they are good stuff with lots of good stuff. Also everything is discounted which is awesome, but what is even awesomer is that the discount is not at the cost of the seller. They are definitely worth checking out over the shopping season. Seriously this isn't about me and my products, or any agreement I have with them to to write a favorable post (i don't have one) it is just because it's been all warm and cozy like a big cup of hot chocolate to work with such a great company. 

Photo Diary | This and That |

Monday, November 25, 2013

And we're back! Monday came as fast (or faster) as the weekend seemed to last week. I can't say I got any more ready for the holidays over the weekend, or that I feel time has slowed down, but I do feel like I caught up a bit and that's feeling pretty great. It's been cold here, which is what happens when it's there is no rain at this time of year, which also mean sunshine. The dog park has become our new hangout spot, so we spent some good time out of doors soaking up some vitamin d (that photo of Marla is what she looks like after she has been spinning in circles for about a minute). There's a lot of challenges I found in having a dog, but there are so many pluses too, and getting out to walk everyday, for real walks - not the usual ones with M+L where it takes an hour to walk around the block (and I do love and treasure those meandering leave-no-stone-unturned ones) tops that list. Since Marla I actually feel like I am getting some regular exercise. Lo and behold it does make you feel better.

In between working and walking I also did some craigslist trolling this weekend. I found a dresser that I thought may work as a credenza. It was only $50.00 and though I was unsure about it I decided to get it anyway (they said it was solid wood, but when i got there i was greeted with a big ol' laminate top). As soon as it came in my house I knew I definitely didn't want it for a credenza, but luckily we are all in need of dressers. I bought us all dressers from Ikea about 6 years ago and they have all been in some variation of broken for about 3 of those years. So for now it's in my room and I am not sure where it will end up. I do like the style but it needs some work so the jury is still out on it. However, I also got that lamp which I spied and asked if they were selling that too, they said, "sure, 20 bucks." And I said, "okay!" I really love that lamp.

We didn't go get our yearly ornament but I did go to a movie. I haven't been to a late movie on a Saturday night in years. I am pretty sure we were the oldest people in the theater, of course we went to see Catching Fire so that might have had something to do with it. Oh and that print in my photos is by my dear friend, you can see some of her work on Etsy here. How was your weekend?

Photo Diary | Frost |

Friday, November 22, 2013

And it's the end of yet another week. How does this seem to keep happening so fast? The last couple months have gone by so quickly I think it's been a bit disorienting for me. In fact I can't think of a time when October and November has moved at such a rapid pace. I don't seem to be alone in feeling this way either; from reading all your blogs I see many are feeling the same. Both in that it's moving too fast and, November, specifically, has felt like an 'eh' month. What can we blame this on? Here I'd say the weather may be a factor. Having that long summer, which also extended in to some warm and dry spells here in Portland even all the way into a few days last week, has made everything feel different (not that we haven't had our share of rain, but still it's not been as much or as cold as normal).  Luckily I have had a few really big custom embroidery projects which I love doing when I am feeling slow. It's really mediative and relaxing, but yet I am working so it fills that need to be "doing." In general, however, I have felt a bit like I am just going through the motions, but maybe not even that. More like I am just watching the days go by like in one of those x-ing off the days of a calendar montages they have in movies. Or, remember that old joke how does time fly? throw a clock. That's how I feel, like someone is just tossing clocks and calendars around and I am standing there trying to say "wait! stop doing that!" but I can't think of the words fast enough to say anything at all. And maybe this odd mixture of me feeling extraordinarily slow and time feeling extraordinarily fast wouldn't feel so alarming if Thanksgiving wasn't next week! I love Thanksgiving but for some reason I am so not there. And then Christmas? I am sure by this time I am usually bristling and busting with excitement, but dare I say this publicly . . . I am kind of dreading it. But only because I am not there yet. I want to be there and anticipate with glee. And feel all "weeeee" rather than all "whaaaa?" And just so you know I am not sad at all. Which I'd readily admit if that were the case and I keep asking myself ("self, are you sad?" and my self says "nooo, nope, not sad. actually feeling pretty cozy right now.") just to make sure because this whole "state" I have been in is new. I am more just totally confused. Like I said to begin with, disoriented. It's quite strange I tell you. Really it's already the end of November, I just can't wrap my brain around that.

But this week we got our first frost, which might be likened to snow elsewhere. And I broke out my warm boots and my down and wool coats and I am crossing my fingers that it will get me in the mood for all the festivities that are going to happen, whether I am ready for them or not. This weekend I plan on getting my pinterest on and pumping myself up to plump my turkey and mash my potatoes and candy my yams and roast my veggies and fill my pies. I am also thinking we might go get our yearly ornament over the weekend too. It's been a tradition to do this right after Thanksgiving and probably my favorite one of the holidays because it's just so simple and always kicks off the season in the best way. I am thinking that might get me caught up to whatever day and month it is right now. Anyone else feeling like time is moving crazy-fast?


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Awhile back I was invited by Arcadian Home to be a featured tastemaker and put together a collection from their enormous selection of items that reflect my personal (and favorite) interior design style. If you have read my blog more than once you probably know I am a lover of both modern and vintage, so of course that was the design style I featured. The great thing is is that vintage and modern can usually work really well together, (especially modern and mid-century vintage. mmmm). I tried to create a collection where you could mix and match almost any of the pieces and they would work well together. But let me tell you this is was not as easy as I thought it sounded at first (it did turn out to be as fun as i thought it would be though). They have so many items and goods that cover just about every design style you can think of, and there were so many things I loved, it took me forever to narrow it down, but finally I did, and these here, are a few of my absolute favorite pieces from my collection. You can see the whole vintage-modern collection here. Do you have a favorite design style? 

House Tour | Torsgatan |

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This home immediately called out to me when I saw it. I think it might be a little on the dark and masculine side for me on most days, but right now, it perfectly suits my mood. This little apartment has a hideaway feel to it that I would happily curl up in right now with some good fall novels and classic foreign films. And if you look at all the pictures closely there are wonderful details and little surprises (legs!). The only thing I think I would have to omit straight away, especially in my current mood, is that looming light in living area, it feels a bit oppressive. But everything else I am loving, down to the bedding, which I'd like to wrap myself in. I also adore the naked bulb pendent lights in the kitchen, the wood planked and b&w tile floors, the cozy bedroom with the inspiration wall and little neon "hi" sign, the sheer curtains in the kitchen with printed text. All the the black and white against the warm grey tones along with just the right amount of wood furnishings and plant life give it a bit of a softer touch and comfortable feel. I'm so in love.

PS. I have turned off anonymous comments for awhile because I have again been getting hundreds of spam comments filling my inbox on a weekly basis. Sorry if this poses a problem for any human trying to post a meaningful comment (as opposed to back-link spam pooey).

[Images Fantastic Frank]

Takeout (Monday)

Monday, November 18, 2013

The weekend felt like it went by fast despite my still-moving-slowly self. But yesterday I had a little burst of energy and in order not to upset this I am going to invite you to perk your Monday up with a few links. 

This is adorable and it made me smile, which is a good way to start any Monday. I think this dad and his kids should win a coolest family of the year award, if there is such a thing.

Speaking of cool kids have you seen batkid? Oh my goodness, what a wonderful story this is, what a wonderful city SF is and what a wonderful foundation Make A Wish is. I completely choked up reading about this, but in that heartwarming way where once in awhile the goodness of people just overwhelms you.

I heard this podcast over the weekend in which Molly Shannon shares a story of being a 12 year old ballerina con-artist. It is hilarious.

Also, I recently teamed up with the fantastic site Scoutmob to sell a selection of my photography pillows (they are discounted too!). It's a really fabulous site and I am super happy to be there. I think it's a company that truly values independent designers and handcraft artisans, and I may be a little bias but I like that. Plus their site is pretty and they have a really lovely selection of items. 


Photo Diary | Things |

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do you ever have those times where you are getting tons of things done, you are checking things off your list left and right and it feels really, really great. But then all of a sudden you stop doing a ton of things. Like you take a break because you earned it but that break seems to have taken on a life of its own and you find it won't release you? That's where I have been this week, maybe the week before that too. Of course when you have one of those wonderful spurts of being super productive, going back to normal can feel like you are doing less than you are. This down turn usually leaves me feeling very sloth-like. Which might be evidenced by the title of this post "things" because that's about the only kind of words my mind can muster at this point (i am probably going to reuse that word a lot in this post). I am hopeful, this weekend will prove to release me of feeling like even the smallest of tasks make me want to groan.

But speaking of things, while I don't feel I am on the same roll I was a few weeks ago of accomplishing the many extra things I want to do (you know those things that are above and beyond the things I have no choice but to do, or should do, or need to do), I have been doing a lot of something I haven't really done to this degree before, and that is care for a dog. It's a lot of work!

I am trying to be very diligent and committed to training her (i've also been watching the dog whisperer a lot and i don't want one of those dogs. i can't afford to hire caesar millan). She now sits, lays down and stays - but pretty much only when treats are placed in front of her face before hand (or when I get the leash out). Sometimes when she remember that she loves treats she starts wildly doing all of these things in front of me in rapid succession (it's pretty cute). Sometimes I think she's really smart and other times I can't figure out what exactly she's grasping from all of this. While she walks on a leash with me like a champ, she also started spinning in circles when we are inside. When she's not spinning she's wandering from door to door, from me to door, from door to the middle of the room. And this might go without saying now, but she never lays down unless she's in her crate. I told this to a trainer and he said it sounds like "stress response" and asked me to remove all stressors - which would be everyone in my house most likely. He also let me know it could turn into OCD if I don't deal with it "properly." So, the positive is she's feeling much better, but the negative is, if I don't train her right she might just spin in circles forever. She's also still sweet as can be when you force her to cuddle (ie give her treats on the couch while you pet her or carry her around with her head on your shoulder - she loves that) or for the 15 seconds between taking our 100th walk of the day, playing tug of war, getting treats, er, I mean training her and chewing. I am making it sound worse than it is, but I have been trying to figure her out and that is a big thing to do I have realized.

I also did two things this week I swore I'd never do: I bought an umbrella and I bought dog clothes. The umbrella, well, we just don't use umbrellas here so that's why I have not done so before. People do double takes if they see someone who has an umbrella in this town. But my new morning routine replaced my old one of waking up to have a little snuggle time on the couch with my coffee, to pulling on my boots and going outside to stand in the rain before my coffee. It's nice not to be freezing and soaking wet first thing in the morning. Though I am not sure how long that little nylon shelter will last me, it's become a source of many a battles already between M+L. And the dog clothes, same thing, having a wet dog first thing in the morning wasn't my favorite either. I thought it was hideous as I buying it but as soon as I put it on it became adorable, and now I fear myself. (also milo has taken to wearing one glove, 100% of the time, that's what that bottom photo is about. and hot chocolate, it's also about that because it's that time of year. yum).

Have a happy weekend. xo

House Tour | Rosales |

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Usually when I find a house tour to share I leave a couple photos out in case you want to follow the link back to the site and check out the ones I left out. But this time I was selfish and included them all in this gorgeous renovated home in rosales, because I love every inch of this place. But feel free to check out √°baton because there are a lot more beautiful houses to see of their architectural work, which is impeccable and dreamy. There are even a couple things in this home that I normally do not like so much, and when I mean a couple, I literally mean two; like pops of red and a vessel sink (petty, i know), but here, I love both a lot. I love the super modern elements so wonderfully espoused with the rustic details. And that fireplace wall - just perfect.

Dress Up For Boys

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yesterday during the time I normally allot for prepping for the following days blog post I was perusing the online retail site, Smallable. I innocently followed a pinterest link and was subsequently sucked into dreamland of all the cute outfits I could get for my boys; well my little ones that is - my big boy has officially shopped in the mens section for the last few years. I have to say it's not as easy to find clothes for boys that evoke that same feeling of "aw!" that I get when I pass through the girls section. M+L also seem to gravitate more towards the girls section when we are shopping too. The clothes are usually softer, more comfortable and more colorful and have things they like - like sparkles. Which I am totally fine with, but it's nice to find some nice and stylish basics. I find that boy clothes at your regular box stores seem to be pretty heavily gender specific in a way I am not really into. In fact I am just more of a gender-neutral dresser for little ones. I like the innocence of these years where gender truly means very little in being and learning who you are in the world around you. I remember when M+L first started in speech pathology and the speech path asked me if they knew the difference between 'boy and girl' and if they 'knew their gender' (they were 3 at this time). And it felt like some test and for a moment I was like oh, shit they are going to fail this. And then I snapped out of it and said, "no, but that's on me, and it's not important to me. It is important to me however that they just know who they are. That they can like dolls if they like dolls, or like pink if they like pink (they happen to love both). They can like cars and trucks and wrestling too and it simply has to do with them - not their gender." Don't get me wrong I love being a female and I hope they love being a males, but I think the confines of gender can be more confusing and sometimes limiting if we just go off of societies norms and expectations. Especially for those as free-spirited as kids.

So without further digression, I just was so happy to come across a shop that has so many lovely basics. Lovely girl clothes and boy clothes and lots of just kid clothes too. Nothing with gratuitous statements on childhood or gender - unless fashion is your statement, then it has that in spades (and just for fyi, this is another 'i wish it was a sponsored post,' because it's not. I just really like their vast selection). After the two hours I spent there I decided to just turn it into a blog post of its own and do some virtual shopping, where in which, I would buy all of these things and much more. Now I just need to narrow it down to a few things for real-life shopping; maybe for under the tree? I like to use christmas as an excuse to buy kids clothes that I would wear and call them presents, which works because they all love clothes. That bear sweater is definitely topping the list right now. And the grey cardi . . . and the duffle coat . . . and the tiger shoes (they would love those shoes) . . . and there's a lot more I didn't add to this list. 

Add It To My Wishlist

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Being as I work from my house I decided to extend my weekend by taking the day off from blogging yesterday. I can't report back that I accomplished very much or even did anything out of the ordinary, but the weather was sunny and windy and we did go for lots of walks in the crisp falling leaves, enjoying watching them swirl and dance around us. The weekend was pretty low-key as well, we went to the arcade and I made another trip to Powell's. Not that I don't have enough books - trust me I do, all over my house. In fact I have a stack of "to read next" books on my nightstand that I could easily reach over and dig into at any given moment, but they have been staring at me too long, and having been in a reading slump for about the last month I needed something to get me reading on the regular again. So my weekend was busy with reading as well. (Wondering what got me reading again? It was this. I can't say I love it, there's maybe something with the translation that's throwing me off, but it's a fast and easy read, it has my attention and I think it's gotten back on the reading wagon and that's certainly enough for me to like it.).

I think a component of my low-key state is that I am in the limbo of right before the holidays start. I know it's not officially time yet, but I also know soon (days? weeks? ) I will suddenly be feeling like time is running out and the holidays are just around the corner. I want to start thinking and doing but I am having a hard time getting myself to the starting line. So to get my mind in the spirit of holiday crafting, cooking and shopping I can think of no better method than creating a little holiday wishlist of my own. Granted I am not sure Santa's sleigh is big enough for a couple of these items, but if he's asking, I am just going throw it out there.


Friday, November 8, 2013

How happy are you all that it is a long weekend? By some of your posts this week I'd say pretty happy (and if you aren't getting a long weekend, ack, I am sorry, call in sick!). We had a little bit of a rough week ourselves. Not terrible but there was a definite sort of static electricity in the air. I think it hit its head in the moment where I was standing in the kitchen staring blankly at my wall, feeding my face full of the of scraps of Annie's GF mac & cheese that I served my children for dinner (which they weren't eating). It was one of those days where this was all I could muster up for my kids dinner, and nope I didn't even cut up an apple to go on the side. Luca was in another epic meltdown because I didn't bring him his chocolate on a spoon (nutella) into the living room 2 hours ago - let's just say I am already thinking of what we can do for halloween next year, him and candy are a lot like me and a bottle of tequila. My oldest was giving me another fabulous argument about not doing something that would literally take 1/10th of the amount of time that the argument took, as sweet little Marla was spinning at record speeds in a flurry of circles by the door because needed she to pee in the midst of all this; which she gave up and did on the floor, again. Wait maybe that's what my oldest and I were arguing about - taking her out to pee before she went pee on the floor, again. Sorry to say I don't even know what Milo was doing, but he was quiet. So I am sure I will find the repercussions of that here in the next day or two, which I will happily clean up because like I said, at least he was being quiet. After my glorious moment of mac & cheese bites while I briefly imagined what life might be like for me if I lived in a little coastal town in the South of France I decided I was just going to sing sleigh bells really loudly because it's November and I can do that now. And my singing is usually enough to make my children relent. It worked.

This week I did also come across a few little gems like the photos above, via The Kitchn; it is a tutorial on creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece that you can use to cook with later. There are times I would be totally on board with doing something so lovely as this, not sure this is one of those times, but it really is a lovely idea!

I also came upon this story told by Bill Murray about his last visit with Gilda Radner. Love. Absolutely worth the one minute it takes to read it. 

And for those of you who do not yet, but are planning to have little ones in your future: this. While a little cheeky, is pretty hilarious, and really I can't find a point they made that isn't spot on. But not to scare you off, this will all become totally normal and you won't even notice until someone from Daily Mail points it out to you.

Hope everyone has a great long weekend, if that applies to you, if not I hope you have weekend that feels long in the best of ways. xo
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