Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Weekend, and a Paint Volcano

I hope you all have a very colorful and happy weekend.
Here's a sneak-peek of what my life looked like this morning. H wanted to paint the minute we were up and moving. Even before breakfast. He wouldn't back down, so I obliged. And I'm not exaggerating when I say I only turned my back for thirty seconds when I hear, "Mom! I made a paint volcano!" He had, indeed, made a paint volcano. It was so funny that I couldn't be upset with him. In fact, I even let him finish off the rest of the paints while he was feeling that creative spark.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Old & New

My trip home can best be described by these photos of things both old and new.

My dad never fails to amaze me. He knows everything. Really, he does. And every time I turn around, I'm delighted by the things I learn about him. He's got a great eye for antiques, and picks up new pieces to add to his collection in the most surprising places. This trip was the first time I've noticed the milk jug or the ammo crates.

The antique treadle sewing machine is the one my grandma used. It was in the kitchen of their farmhouse in Idaho. We used to play with it constantly when we'd go visit. The spool chest on top is just a great piece my folks found to accompany the sewing machine. The dishtowels are some my grandma (who just turned 90, by the way) hand-embroidered for me. When I was first married (and stupid as they come) I actually used them and ruined one of them. So I punished myself by sending them away to the protective custody of my mother. Now that I can truly appreciate these little lovelies, I've decided I'm responsible enough to bring them back home with me. {Note to Bryce: That means these towels are not EVER to be used for wiping up grape juice, or anything else for that matter. Love you, honey.}

These two little pieces are things my great-grandparents brought back from Germany. They lived there for three years, right after WWII. It's such a cool experience to touch something that they once held. I love the cut-out porcelain on the top one and the bottom is the cutest little sugar cube tray that was used for tea time.

My grandpa rocks. He can make or fix just about anything. On this trip home, Grandpa told us about his new hobby: wood turning. He's been turning big pieces of Aspen into bowls...some intricate, and some simple, like this one. I'd say that's pretty good for being almost 90.

And now, the jewelry. These are the two pieces of Grandma's jewelry that have come into my possession. The top is this long strand of pearls, with a pearl tassel on the bottom. I remember her wearing this one often. And the other is this obsidian brooch. Grandma was quite the purveyor of brooches and cocktail rings. I fully intend to be just as fancy one day.

My mom and I spent a bunch of time during the week learning how to make jewelry. It was so much fun to learn...but even more fun to have some great one-on-one time to laugh and play with my mom. Now we've got a hobby to share; and I think that's pretty cool.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Photo Travelogue

I'm back, and I'm running late. Very late. Maybe it's the jetlag. Probably not, being that I only crossed one timezone. Maybe it's this lingering laziness I picked up from not having to do a thing all week. I just can't seem to get my butt in gear and commence normal life. Enough excuses. I'm sure you feel really sorry for me. While I try to get my act together today, here are a few unedited {there's that blasted laziness again} photos of our trip. I'll try to spiff them up later. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling Nostalgic

Today H and I will be spending most of the day traveling. We've had an amazing stay with my folks. And for some reason, this trip has me feeling especially sentimental and nostalgic.

My sweet grandmother passed away four years ago next month. Growing up, my grandparents lived a block away from us. Their house was right across the street from our elementary school. I would often stop in to see Grandma after school; and I was always rewarded with a delicious ice cream treat, or some fresh baked cookies. I could go on for hours about my wonderful grandma and all the fond memories I have of her. Her loss was really hard on me, even more so because two months later, we moved to California. I felt like I left a part of my heart here with her. So it's a bit of an understatement to say that I miss her dearly.

I was completely surprised the other night when my mom pulled out a few pieces of Grandma's jewelry for me. I actually started crying when I saw the jewelry because it means so much to me. And the pieces I got are ones I can actually remember her wearing. She is such a special woman in my life, and it means so much to me to have a little piece of her with me.

And this trip, H was so excited to see his great-grandparents. {I have two grandparents still living, both of which live here}. So it was really fun for me to see him actually remember them and call them by name. I hope he always remembers his great-grandparents. To add to my nostalgia, the subject of my great-grandparents kept coming up throughout the week. It was so much fun to hear stories of them and to see things that belonged to them. What a neat experience it is to learn more about the people who are, in some way, a part of who I am today.

Well, those are just a few of the thoughts swirling about in my head this very moment. I've got plenty of stories and adventures to share from our trip. So thanks for letting me get sentimental for a minute. It's really an uplifting experience to learn more about your family, and to love them with your whole heart...those who are still with us, and those who have passed on.

{photo from here, via here}

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tried + True: Anne Sage

Today's Tried + True post comes to us from the one and only Anne Sage, from The City Sage. Anne is one of my most beloved blog friends; she is absolutely incredible in every way. Anne is the epitome of everything I want to be: a brilliant writer, impeccably stylish, confident, classy, intelligent, and just downright nice. I feel so lucky that Anne would spend some time with us today sharing her most favorite beauty products:

I had such a hard time narrowing it down to 5---I LOVE product and have been known to go on spending sprees at the drugstore or department store cosmetics section!
1. Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Collection: My hair has gotten seriously long, like Serena van der Woodsen long. When I'm not daydreaming about chopping it all off and getting a kicky, sassy bob, I keep it soft and shiny with Aveda's amazing Dry Remedy products. They moisturize without weighing down my ultra-fine strands, and a little goes a long way--just two applications per week will do the trick. Plus they smell like a botanical spa-day in a tube!

2. Fresh Sugar Face Polish: I remember reading Teen Magazine when I was in junior high; they always had these crazy 'make your own' skincare recipes, the sort of concoctions I guess they expected us to try out between pillow fights and games of Truth of Dare. Sugar Face Polish is what you wish you could have whipped up at a sleepover--it contains actual brown sugar, strawberries and lemon juice--without making a mess in your mom's kitchen. A gentle massage with this stuff leaves your complexion feeling baby smooth and youthfully plump---something I appreciate much more as a grown-up than I ever did at thirteen!

3. Solar Recover Save Your Skin Hydrating Mist: I got the inside scoop on this one from a creative director at Elle Magazine. She and all her chic Hampton's girlies used to stock up on it for trips to Montauk. Originally designed to sooth sunburns, it's one of those rare 'all-purpose' products that really does do everything. I spritz the light mist when I want a facial refresher, a hand moisturizer, and a post-workout pick-me-up. This product is completely humble and unsung, yet using it makes me feel so in the know! Also, it's a small family run company, so I feel good giving them my business.

4. Stila Lip Glaze: I tend to play the field with make-up products, but I always go back to Stila Lip Glaze. It's the perfect blend of color and shine, it has a super-low stickiness factor, and I adore the click-and-brush applicator. Each shade seems to look good on everyone---almost as though the product adjusts to suit your natural skin tone. For daytime I like Grapefruit, a barely there pink. And for an evening nude that looks gorgeous with smokey eyes but that doesn't wash out your lips, Vanilla is perfection. They taste pretty yummy too!

5. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner: I have a terrible time with eye makeup as my eyes get irritated when product runs into them, but most waterproof formulations feel so heavy and gloppy. This eyeliner stays put---no racoon eyes, no residue in my sensitive peepers---yet you can't even feel it on. Depending on what type of brush you use, you can create a clean or smudgey line, and it looks gorgeous every time! Seriously, this is the only eyeliner you will ever need. I use Espresso, an almost-black shade of brown, but I'm dying to try some of the crazier colors like Cobalt or Violet!

I knew Anne's list would be as fabulous as she is. I'm a long-time fan of the Stila Lip Glaze and the Bobbi Brown Eyeliner. But she has opened my eyes to new possibilities, and products I have yet to try. As I type this, I'm running out the door in search of the Solar Recover Hydrating Mist. Thanks, Anne. My blog is a much better place having you here today. I hope you all enjoyed today's installment of Tried + True. Make sure you catch up with my other guest bloggers here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sandra Juto/Smoosch

I've recently been struck hard with a new case of blog love. Swedish artist Sandra Juto's amazing blog, Smoosch, features photos from her daily life and travels along with photos of her work. I love how she sees the beauty in everyday...I need to learn how to do that. Not only is she an incredible photographer, but she's a brilliant artist and crafter as well. You can buy her prints and her crochet work in her shop. And definitely swing by her blog; you won't regret it. In fact, you'll probably spend hours there. So put on a movie for the kids, neglect the laundry, and prepare for a nice, long gander at her beautiful world.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Friday

I wish you all a very lovely weekend. I'm going to spend the weekend doing what I do best: sleeping, eating, playing, and enjoying some of the people most dear to my heart. I wish you all a very happy weekend. And hey, while you're at it, take the time and do something nice for yourself. You deserve it.
{I wish I took this cute photo, but I found it here}

Thursday, February 19, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

My next couple of posts will be brought to you from my beautiful hometown.

Now I'm off to pack! Yikes!!! Why do I have to be such a last-minute packer?!?

{Photos: 1. oldwhirld, 2. PhantomOfParadise, 3. Ken Lund}
All images via

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I can't get over the awesomeness of these cards from the incredible design duo at Sub-Studio:

Perhaps the coolest of all is the hinge series. These cards feature decorative hinges, brilliantly wrapped around the card. I'm in love. It's as simple as that.

And how can I resist seahorses and rays? Their sea patterns are amazing.

The magnificent orchid from the bloom series.

And their love bird series is positively too cute for words.

As you all know, I tend to geek out over paper goods pretty often. But this takes the proverbial cake. See {or buy!} more great stuff in their store. And stop by their super cool blog, while you're at it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tried + True: Featuring Miss Aimee from Mostly Mod

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce the latest guest blogger in my Tried + True series: the beautiful Miss Aimee from Mostly Mod. Her blog is one of my morning must-reads; it's such a fun peek into her creative life. It's full of great recipes, beautiful photos, fun projects and love for her family--inspiring in every possible way. I feel so honored that Miss Aimee would spend some time with us here today!
See, she's too cute! OK, now I'll shut up and give you Miss Aimee:

First let me start by saying I cracked up when sweet Christina asked me to participate in her Tried+True Series because I am as low maintenance as they get and I am not sure you will gain anything inspiring from this post....but I will give it a go!

(1) Let me start by saying Vaseline plays a huge part in my everyday. I use the Vaseline lip gloss all the time. I keep one in my car, one in my bag, one in my bathroom. I never have dry lips because I am always sure to have Vaseline on. I also use the Vaseline Aloe Fresh hydrating lotion to dab my occasional adult acne that in my late 30's I am finding it to be more common. But the aloe lotion really help my skin heal faster. And a total life saver is straight up Vaseline in the tube or jar(I keep those everywhere too)! I am always applying it generously under and around my eyes....under make up, over make up...all the time because I have noticed it helps with not getting wrinkles. Forget the expensive eye creams-all you need is Vaseline! Now that is a GREAT tip!

(2) I wash my face with sensitive skin Dove soap twice a day. In the past I have been sucked in to Estee Lauder or expensive treatments, and my face has broken out or been oily or dry so I always go back to Dove. And My face is soft and feels clean. Simple I know!

(3) For hair products I am a sucker for anything Toni and Guy, shampoo, conditioner...and The Bed Head Stick is a MUST have! I am known for my bandannas. I always put on a dew rag when I am not working or don't have time to do my hair. Again, with three kids this is pretty common.

(4) I use the Clinique face powder, eye liners, lip liners, touch tint for eyes...I love their products(not to heavy and affordable)

(5) My scent these days is CHILD. I love it.

(6) For mascara, I am grocery store mascara buyer. Whatever(same for lipsticks and glosses). I am using the Revlon Lash Fantasy now with the primer side and love it! Lipsticks, I just buy them at the grocery store all the time, always brown tones on the light side...natural.

(7) Sleep: huge beauty secret. I never get sleep. One day, one day!

Thank you, Miss Aimee. You are a true beauty--inside and out. I love these recommendations...especially the Vaseline for eye cream. I've been using it for years, and I love it. It's especially perfect for my sensitive skin. Every other eye cream I've tried burns, but Vaseline does the trick! I've tried and loved most of these products; but some are new to me. Today, I'm on a search to catch a whiff of that fragrance, and I'll also be looking for that that ever-elusive sleep. If Bryce comes home to find me napping mid-day, I'll just refer him to you, Miss Aimee. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Little Ray of Sunshine

I love rain. Love it. But I decided after an especially gray, drizzly weekend, what we really need around here is a little ray of sunshine. Here are some simple ways I found to inject a little sunshine into your day:

Send some sunshine in the mail, with help from this amazing desk set from Elum.
{via Twig & Thistle}

Step 1: Kick back with a nice glass of lemonade.
Step 2: Enjoy the sound of raindrops on the windowpanes.
Step 3: Proceed to daydream.
{Photo via Martha Stewart}

Breathe some new life into an old cardigan with these cute vintage buttons from LillianOlive.

Add some zest to your shower. Lemon zest, that is.

Brighten up your morning routine, with this darling vintage teacup from Sweet Rice.

If you're feeling bold, you should go all out with this super cute eyelet number from Shoshanna.
{photo from Nordstrom}

If none of the other methods work, then just give in and head to the nearest tropical location.Make sure you have this yellow polkadot one piece in hand.

{via J. Crew}

Friday, February 13, 2009


There's nothing really on my mind today--which is a refreshing change. So while I'm at a loss for words, here are some pretty photos for you to enjoy:

{Red Flower, from LokiMuje}

The Cherry Tree, from `Gwarf

{all photos via deviantART}

Oh, how I wish I could take beautiful photos!

Have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Sweet for Your Sweet

The way to a girl's heart (at least this girl's heart) is not so much through her stomach, as it is through her sweet-tooth. Good thing I'm married to my dentist, right? Our Valentine's Day plans are still up in the air, but I most certainly will be making some type of delicious dessert. I'm having a hard time choosing:
I really want to include the macaron in our celebration. If I'm brave, I may try making them on my own. Tartlette's recipe looks pretty spectacular. But I should just play it safe and buy these (above) from Paulette. I learned about Paulette from Anne, and I seriously can't stop thinking about them. Is it possible for a girl to become obsessed with a cookie? Absolutely.

What Valentine's Day would be complete without chocolate covered strawberries? My favorite fruit dipped in chocolate. Pure bliss. If you're up for making your own, here's a pretty simple recipe.

Pretty sure if I tried to make this Chocolate Raspberry Heart Napoleon, it would turn out to be a complete disaster. But it looks amazing. I'll have to file this one away for a day when I'm feeling a little more adventurous in the kitchen.

You really can't go wrong with chocolate cupcakes. So maybe since I'm in a culinary frenzy, I'll just whip up a batch of Martha's Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes.

I love the idea of a romantic dinner at home. Since our schedule is pretty unpredictable, it makes the most sense. But after the last couple years' worth of kitchen catastrophes, we may opt to go out instead. I'm a pretty good cook, but I'm cursed on Valentine's Day. Doomed for disaster. One recent incident included a screaming child who was terrified of the blender, followed by said blender spraying the entire kitchen, and me, with searing hot tomato soup. (You don't want to know). Good luck out there, folks. I hope your dinner plans go more smoothly than mine typically do.