Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Magical







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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts for dudes, part 1: Brought to you by the letter "B"

Every year I watch the women around me struggle trying to figure out the perfect gift for their guy. The number one mistake I think girls make when buying gifts for dudes is buying things that they wish their dudes wanted. A hand screened hankerchief, a vintage briefcase… All nice things, but it takes a very specific kind of guy to appreciate a gift like that. If that's your guy, you're pretty lucky. Christmas shopping must be really fun for you!

The number two mistake I think girls make when buying gifts for dudes is overthinking it. Elaborate plans or themed gifts that will be appreciated for the effort, but they are risky. You don't have to torture yourself trying to come up with a clever idea to make your fella happy.

My rule of thumb when buying gifts for dudes is to stick with the letter "B".

Whether we are talking about your dad who loves WW2 documentaries,  your brother who's obsessed with Star Wars, or the first season of your husband's favorite TV show, a box set makes a great gift.

Buy him some new movies, or replace some of his old DVDs with the newer, better blu-ray version. They have a better picture quality and come with tons of extras, including digital copies.


Dudes love burgers. How about a gift card to a gourmet burger joint? The kind with all sorts of wacky toppings, like Slaters 50/50 – home of the PB&J burger! Or perhaps a gift card to whatever place is closest to his job so he can grab a much appreciated burger on his lunch break.

This includes comic books and graphic novels.

There are actually some guys out there who don't like sports. But the chances are likely that the guy you are buying for likes some form of ball, whether that's baseball, basketball, football, or soccer. Or heck, even bowling! Maybe he'd appreciate tickets to a game, or some gear from his favorite team.

Guys love drinking things out of bottles. It's true. For a beer lover, how about one of those "beers from around the world" sampler packs. My husband doesn't like alcohol, but he loves fancy root beer. BevMo has a great selection of fancy sodas! They also have tons of cool looking beers. You could get a couple bottles of his favorites, and a couple of new ones to try. There are so many funny names and labels.

And when all else fails...


I don't know one meat-eating guy who doesn't love these meat and cheese sets you see every year. Some of them come with a little mini cleaver to slice the sausage. It doesn't get more manly than that.

And of course, there are other things that start with the letter "B" that guys like. Babes, butts, boobs… No pictures necessary. Use your imagination.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doodles


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

OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Cloud Nothings