[If I were throwing a]

it would look something like this.
and I would do my hair and make up like this.

[sharing my current...]

What are some of your current design or fashion love affairs? Anything you hope to see more of in 2009?


[finishing up last minute...]

I'm working hard in Santa's workshop to finish up my last minute gifts. I added these little guys to a couple of Old Navy shirts for my friend's little girls that are staying with us for the holiday. I'm so excited! So, in order for the rest of my family to have a Christmas I might have slow down a bit with my postings. Happy wrapping, shopping, eating, and partying to all!


[in love with mondo cherry's...]

This is such a great and EASY way to spruce up a brown paper package. I love it.


[who needs a...]

[Left stocking display from here's looking at me kid]

OK, I think most people, like myself, are a fan of real Christmas trees (or real "fake" trees at least) but if you have limited space or are traveling for the holidays (or even if you just want another tree in another room), then I think this tree decal idea is perfect. I also love these creative "mantle" solutions. If I were in a place where I could find a large, long branch, I would run out, paint it white and hang my stockings on it right now! (I also love the stockings themselves...I think I'm slightly obsessed with stockings right now...they are like pillows - you can never have too many of them. I have problems, I know).

[and the winners are...]

The winners from the Portrait Christmas Giveaway (chosen using randomizer.org,) are...drum roll please....
Kate Horowitz, of things written down...and...the biggie goes to...

Randi, of Life with Randi and Hudson. I will be emailing the winners later today to get things started. Thank you ALL for participating! It was so wonderful to hear all of your thoughts and stories about this time of year. It really lifted my spirits!

[I'll never tire of the idea of a...]

{above pics via cafe mom}

{above pic via the unicorn diaries}

Red and green are great and all, but these pics have me missing my pink tree and candy land decor.
I'm also loving these pink picks for the stocking:
1. pink smiling skull wool felt stocking by habitat
2. print of the Karen Klassen watercolor chair illustration
3. live love life journal
4. paper peony
5. striped metallic scarf


[next year I'm...]

How cool are these rubber paper crane ornaments that you can make yourself? So don't have the time these year but I can dream for next year...


[elevate the every day with these...]

I know it's getting close to last minute, but I love how these great gifts elevate the every day.
1. to go cup
2. welcome dawn slippers by anthropologie
3. soup and sandwich tray (I am such a fan of tomato soup and grilled cheese when it's cold, and this set is great for that)
4. the diana camera
5. Mrs. Meyer's peppermint cleaning kit (I have this and I LOVE it. I clean so much more because of it!)

[Thanks for helping me get into the...]

I have a secret confession to make. I decided to do this giveaway for selfish reasons. I was having a bit of trouble getting into Christmas spirit this year and felt I needed a little help. Giving this gift and hearing your comments about what makes Christmas special for all of you has been the greatest treat ever! It truly has brought on the Christmas Spirit for me and I'm riding high on a holiday buzz. And all thanks to you! Yesterday was a great day filled with holiday baking and stocking making. I pumped the Christmas tunes and played with my little ones. It was perfection.
Amanda from Swish and Swanky also helped me out. She asked me to do a Christmas interview that really helped set the mood. You have to hop on over and read all the other interviews, it's such a special treat.

Oh and it's not to late to enter the giveaway!! You have until Dec. 17th at midnight, so keep those comments coming!


[Christmas GIVEAWAY!!!]

In the spirit of giving this season, I want to give a gift to YOU! I'm offering a personal portrait drawing of you (or someone else of your choosing) as a Christmas giveaway this year. All you have to do is make a comment on this post stating one of your favorite things about Christmas, along with your email address. It's as simple as that. But wait, that's not all... (I've always wanted to say that). If you link to this post telling others of the giveaway you will be entered into a second drawing for an entire family portrait (again this can be of your family or another of your choosing). So if you are asking yourself, "You mean I have the chance to win both a personal portrait AND a family portrait?" then your answer is YES! It's possible you could win both! If you do link to this post on your blog, then please let me know when you comment so that I can enter you into the family portrait drawing as well. You have until December 17th to comment and then this giveaway will close. I will announce the winner on Dec. 18th when I will proceed to contact the winner about getting this started. I will not be able to have the portrait to you before Christmas so if you want to give this as a gift you can give the recipient a gift certificate that I will create for you. The portrait will then be drawn and shipped off to you in the new year. Thanks. I can't wait to hear all your comments!

[simple yet...]

found here and here.


[having trouble with...]

Our little South Pasadena home is apparently hot real estate in the skunk world. We have been dealing with these troublesome critters ever since we moved in and it's been especially bad lately...not a fun thing for the Holidays, let me tell you. We were happy to wake up this morning to see a foul smelling friend caught in the cage set for him. We rejoiced and celebrated thinking that we could breathe easy again...well, not two hours later....POOF! we have another sitter. Ugh...I'd be happy to replace the rascal with one of these darling (and so wonderfully scentless) creations:

1. Amigurumi skunk pattern
2. Sammy as Skunk - Peggie
3. Mrs. Skunk home body, print
4. 2009 letter press calendar
5. the disgruntled skunk
6. beckett the skunk hand felted holiday ornament

[Christmas book]

There is nothing like cuddling up with a steamy mug of hot chocolate to a great Christmas story. My mother-in-law has a tradition where she gets a new Christmas picture book each year. I think I'm going to start that same tradition this year for my family starting with this lovely book Silent Night by Sandy Turner. The delicate line art is so wonderful and there are no words so you can have fun exploring the story in many different ways. I'd love to get a print of this Santa for my Christmas decor, I love it so much.


[jon's Christmas...]

I asked my husband Jon to put together his dream wish list to share with all of us in hopes that it might help us out with gift giving for the guys in our lives. He's pretty techy (more so than even I realized...glad I asked for a list :)). Here is the breakdown from Jon:

1. Who doesn't need a great pair of boots for the winter months, and with
Fluevog, you can't go wrong.

2. Nikon D90- Digital SLR camera and HD Video recorder. Um... yes... need... now.

3. Who says that Dad's family car can't be AWESOME?!

4. I have all my music on my computer and my iPod, but I want to enjoy
that music on more than just my portable speakers. Enter the Airport
from Apple. Plug it into an outlet near your home stereo,
connect an audio cable, and stream music over your wireless network to
your home stereo. If you have an Airport Extreme already installed,
it'll automatically recognize the network. Select which speakers to
use in iTunes, and stream away. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch,
you can use it as a remote control.

5. Friends or family, feel free to buy me an Abacus watch. The watch features just one
"hand"-- a free rolling ball. Hold the watch horizontal, and the ball
rolls automatically to the current hour.

6. I've become entranced by electronic instruments. New platforms for
software and interactive hardware make making music awesome! KORG
is software for your Nintendo DS. Out now for around 37$.

7. I love watching movies. I'm also a father and I'm becoming more and
more conscious of how our home environment affects and influences not
only myself, but my family. I'm excited about the ClearPlay DVD player. It'll
skip the objectionable stuff on the fly and you can customize the edits.

8. The Netflix player allows you to stream 12,000 of their titles over
your home wireless network. 100$ for the box, and their lowest monthly
subscription and you're in business!

[so excited about our...]

I'm a big lover of pretty glamorous things so of course I'm all for that spilling over into my Christmas decorations. This year however I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is super jazzed about Christmas, so I wanted to make this year more kid/little boy friendly. To do this I've opted for a homespun, woodsy look (incorporating our paper decorations of course) that is going over very well with the whole family. I am even going with the traditional Christmas colors (a lot of red and white/candy cane colors with a little bit of pea green and even blue throw into the mix-hey, I can't be a purest). These delightful creations by etsy shop Strawberries and Cream go right along with my theme. I Love them!


[decorating with...]

1. monogram gift tags by martha
2. paper ball ornament via d*sponge
3. paper garland by d.Sharpe via d*sponge
4. recycled ornaments by martha
5. paper garland via the selby

[love me some of these]

more label goodness here.


[lovin' fifi's...]

find the cuteness here and here.

[on the hunt for...]

Like this white one in this Belle and Boo pic. Has anyone seen these anywhere?


[guest blogger: calico]

In an attempt to have nice things, I bought a vintage Milton Bradley Memory Game on ebay a couple months ago. I loved the pieces so much I didn’t want them to be destroyed by letting my kids play with it. So I put them in a frame for all to see but not touch.

I bought the frame with my 50% off craft store coupon, and a cut a piece of 40% off art paper to fit. Then put an X of repositionable glue stick on the back of each card so I can change the arrangement if I decided. Then I hung it at eye level for the little kids.

I love it.

Here are more matching games I love.

1. matching games by eeBoo
2. A trip down memory game by Land of Nod
3. Pick a Pair by Brio

[from oatmeal box, to...]

find tutorial here.

[guest blogger: calico]

I’m obsessed with family portraits. The quest for a gorgeous time capsule of my beautiful children has led me to a number of photography sites, only to find fantastic photos of happy couples, or an ever so trendy, young, and cooperative family of 3. Not 7.

I can only assume it is because most families of 7 share the same impossible dream that all 14 eyes will simultaneously look at the same focal point in the very millisecond the camera clicks, with no fingers in the noses, and of course, cool outfits. The stars must align.

However, there is hope. My favorite photographers are my favorite because they have captured families in the most creative ways. These two photos are my favorite.

I dream at night that Jonathan Canlas will show up at my door holding gold grass, some mountains, a bright blue sky, and his camera and say, “Hey, you want me to take your picture?” “Why, sure, Mr.
Canlas. Let me just put on my pearls.”

Or Wendy from Blue Lily Photography will fly us in a private jet with the
Backyardigans and popcorn to wherever this brick building is and wave her magic wand and we’ll fly into the perfect candid position. And I’ll wear green shoes.


In an attempt to have a cool family picture for the Christmas cards I never send to extended family, I tried to combine some elements from these favorite photos to create a unique moment.

Well. Removing Kacie’s baby doll & Joey’s McQueen produced nasty tantrums; we caught Jakie jumping on the downbeat; Dani’s attire is less than fancy; dad’s at work because I do all the crazy stuff while dad’s at work; you can’t see my mountains on the left; the grass is only a little yellow; and my shoes that you can’t see are red and not green.

All in all, I think we did pretty good.

I think I’ll just beg Tuesday Mourning to paint the happy moment for me. Another gorgeous option I dream about.

1. Jonathan Canlas Photography
2. Blue Lily Photography

3. tuesday mourning
mer mag note: I totally made her give props :). shameless, I know.

[art fix]

see more of her work here and here.


[great cards]

by minted (another Dr.'s office discovery).

[this makes me happy]

LOVE it.

[thanks d.Sharp]

Thank yous must go out to d.Sharp (and d*sponge) for the advent calendar inspiration. I love how simple and easy it was to make this envelope advent. I also put together a traditional paper chain for little A. (with a "k" on the day that uncle Kenton comes to visit) and I inserted delicious peppermint kisses for A. to consume each day (Jon and I get Godiva peppermint chocolates in our envelopes...yummy). I love Christmas.


[guest blogger: calico]

Because the clothing is adorable and affordable. And the designer behind Matilda Jane is just a mom who made cute clothes. I love that.

[pretty holiday greetings]

by red bean cards.

[decorating with...]

I'm so excited to embark upon paper decorating this year. In fact Jon and AJ got to work on snowflakes and paper ornaments this evening while I went out for the makings of an advent calender. So fun! We even put on Christmas music, read a Christmas story and purchased a real tree (I think for the first time ever)! I love all the inspiration out there in by way of paper decorations and have given you just a sampling of what you can purchase or create yourself.

1. custom letter wallpaper ornaments
2. recycled flower ornaments
3. shimmering stacked trees
4. advent calender
5. paper Christmas wreath
6. silver oak garland