Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I aim to please, so if you know of sources not mentioned, or source corrections, it's da email da email whatwhat da email.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas recap!

On Friday the 23rd, Rachael and I hosted our annual holiday party with our girlfriends. Maybe I should call it more of a "get-together" because it's just a few of us getting together for dinner and drinks and exchanging gifts. We've been doing this for about 12 years now. It started out small, and eventually grew into a big deal with a lot of guests, but we ended up going back to just our little inner circle (4-5 girls).

We had the best dinner - cheese! Rachael made cranberry jam and onion thyme jam (on the platter), and I made rosemary almonds. 

Some homemade food gifts from Rachael. Marinated goat cheese, orange-fennel olives, simple syrups, jams, and herbs from her garden. All my friends made homemade gifts this year, and it was the best and most exciting gift exchange we've ever had. 

 Our friend Kristine made these little mason jar wall planters for planting herbs or succulents. She added a strip of chalkboard paint, so if we decide to plant herbs we can label them! I love this.

 Our friend Janelle made this pear chai vodka and added this cute pear fabric to the jars! I think I will break these bad boys out on New Years Eve.

 I made fawn terarriums for everyone. I found some animal figurines on Pinterest that were painted white and gold, and now I want to paint everything white and gold. I got the little fawn at Michael's near the kids stuff. I also made big bottles of rosemary lime syrup (shown in the top photo). It can be added to vodka or gin with a splash of limeade and soda. Or it can be made into a virgin cocktail with different juices.

 On Christmas Eve we went to Nixon Library because they have a holiday trains exhibit, and kids dig trains. As you can see, Zoey found them very interesting!

Some cool wallpaper in one of the museum rooms at Nixon Library.

Christmas Eve night, we watched "Elf", and Kyle and I continued our yearly tradition of ordering Italian food. Kyle picked it up from one of our favorite places, Tutto Fresco in Rancho Santa Margarita, while I put Zoey to bed. When he got home, we feasted and then put Zoey's tent and easel together so they would be waiting for her in the morning.

She thought her tent was really cool. It was hard to convince her to come out and open the rest of her presents.

 Playing with new toys! The Brobee shoes were a big hit.

Santa left a little message for Zoey. Santa's writing looks a lot like mine. Weird.

After Christmas morning at home, we headed to my parents house for my mom's biscuits and gravy breakfast and more presents. My dad and his neighbor exchange Santa duties. My dad puts on a Santa suit and goes over to their house to visit their grandkids, and then the neighbor does the same for our kids. Zoey didn't want to sit on Santa's lap, but she said "hiiii 'Ta! Ha ha hooooo!" from a safe distance. My dad's side of the family is from the south, and my grandpa just got back from a trip to Arkansas. He brought back some fresh molasses from his sister, and it was yummy on my mom's biscuits.

After we stuffed ourselves silly, we drove an hour out to Redlands for Christmas with Kyle's family. More presents! More food! Zoey scored a stroller with not one, but two babies. She is obsessed with babies and I'm not sure why other than that she's a girl? Anyhoo, we watched "Home Alone", which I not-so-secretly love. By the time we got home, we were so pooped, we went to bed at 8:30!

Photos from the last half of the day omitted because I don't know who would or would not like having their photo published on the internet.

Christmas is way more awesome with a kid. This year was better than last year, and next year will be even better. I don't suffer from the stress of the holidays like a lot of other people do. I love the gift buying, the making things, the decorating, the baking. I love it all. Christmas: I salute you with a running and jumping high five.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Woodland Sophisticate

- Biotroph cookie jar, Anthropologie, $98.
- Little Helpers Container from imm living.
- Mushroom tea towel by Skinny Laminx, $17.70

Screen printed pillow cases from Fine Little Day, €35.00
Martha Stewart Collection Wood Serving Tray, Macy's, on sale for $39.99
Vintage collection of brass deer from Something Shiny Shop, $135

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chevron meets shag

Dreamy. I would go for that orange guy but, here at Xanadu, it would just end up with cracker crumbs deeply embedded in it. Chevron stripe shag rug, available from Shades of Light in 4 different colors.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Real Estate

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Girl prints by Ashley Goldberg

I think these prints by Ashley Goldberg are so adorable. I can't choose my favorite, so I want to collect them all! She works alongside her partner in crime, Drew Bell, in Portland. Visit their etsy shop here, their website here, and Ashley's blog here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some things I like right now...

This perfectly green purse from Urban Outfitters, $58.

Plaid dress by Dear Creatures.

Fairisle beanie from Topshop. If you put those 3 things together, it would appear that I am super into looking like a hobo right now. This is not far from true.

At work, we were talking about how passionate people are about Christmas music. They either really really love it, or they just really can't stand it. I love it, and this is my favorite Christmas album. 

My favorite song from that album.

Haha you can't unsee that! How bummed are you right now? Above is a picture of my hand in 2009. They call these "flappers" and you get them from doing a lot of pull ups. I almost always had at least one of these. They suck, but strangely, I missed them. So I rejoined my CrossFit gym. Okay, maybe I don't miss the flappers. But I do miss getting my ass handed to me at the gym, and CrossFit is definitely the place for that. Last night was my first night back in over a year. It was brutal and now I have t-rex arms. Meaning I can't stretch them out. Also I was wheezing for hours after it was over, which is a sign that a) I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, which is exactly what I needed, and b) homegirl needs to get a new inhaler.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Cloud Nothings

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday shopping: 5 local Etsy sellers

Cuore - Etsy shop - Blog

My Little Fisheye - Etsy shop - Blog

Misfit Menagerie - Etsy shop

Let's Die Friends - Etsy shop

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fun with camera phone - Thanksgiving weekend edition

Zoey learned about turkey. "Dat my turkey, mama! Dat my gobble! Mmmm turkey!" (She wouldn't eat any though)

Made these "sparkling cranberry brie bites" I saw on Pinterest, via yummymummykitchen. They were a big hit! I will make them again before the holiday season is over.

Fall leaves and tree, on a pre-Thanksgiving feast walk.

Brobee goes for a swim in some maple syrup. Then goes for a swim in the washing machine.

Zoey got to pick veggies from Rachael's garden. Carrot, yummy. Beet, not so much. But the beet drool that dribbled down her chin afterward made her look like a vampire.

Went to the eye doctor because I keep seeing a blurry spot when I stare at the computer. The good news is, the doctor said I have the closest to perfect vision he's seen in his office. The okay news is it appears to be just a floater. The dumb news is, sometimes people have floaters in their field of vision for the rest of their lives.

Went to a really cute birthday party for twin girls, and Zoey had a blast playing in their backyard and eating watermelon slices. She was exhausted at bed time.

Did some Christmas shopping at the Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Fair in Santa Ana. I was a vendor at the one in Long Beach, but didn't have much of a chance to shop. This is my favorite purchase by a group of ladies called Sewn Clever. When I looked at their website later, I found out they are all moms, which made me love it even more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cranberry sauce recipe

For some reason when I was growing up, my mom never made cranberry sauce. She always served it from the can. This is very strange because Thanksgiving is my mom's holiday – her time to shine. She makes everything from scratch. Her cornbread stuffing is a legend among my closest friends. But never cranberry sauce. She says it's because my (extremely stubborn) dad likes the canned stuff. So I spent my entire life thinking I hated cranberry sauce.

Last year, I decided to try making cranberry sauce just to see if I would like it. I had no cranberry sauce frame of reference because I'd avoided it for so many years, so I just searched "best cranberry sauce recipe" on the Google machine and hoped for the best. I came across this post on Chowhound. It seemed simple, so I decided that would be the recipe I tried.

Holy razzledazzle. Turns out I love cranberry sauce! Couldn't get enough of the stuff! I would like to share this recipe with you. Now, in a perfect world, I would make a batch of it and photograph it for this post, but I ain't be havin' time for those kinds of shenanigans. You know what cranberry sauce looks like. And there's no sense in waiting until I make it and posting it after Thanksgiving. I have to post it NOW, in case someone is like me last year, searching for that recipe.

1 12oz. bag of cranberries
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. finely grated tangerine zest
3" cinnamon stick

Cook, stirring, and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Serve warm or cool.

Do you have any tried and true totally epic Thanksgiving recipes?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Skinny Laminx... On my wishlist

This year, my side of the family will be doing a "Secret Santa" gift exchange. We decided to spend our money on the kids and then buy a gift for one other person. The great thing is we won't end up dropping $1000 on Christmas, and (with a $100 limit) you can buy someone one really great gift. 

Part of this exchange is making a list of some things your Secret Santa can give you. The first thing on my list was a small food processor (hate dragging out the big one for small jobs), and just when I was about to add new cookware, I stopped and thought, "What the heck am I doing?" I can totally justify buying myself those things. I need to ask for the things I always admire but can't bring myself to spend money on. Like fancy hand screened linens and $30 soy candles, right?

The first thing I thought of was the Skinny Laminx shop I am always browsing and pinning items from. I have admired Heather Moore's work for so long, it's about time some of it ended up in my home. So I scratched out the food processor, and now the first thing on my list is napkins or tea towels from Skinny Laminx!