Splurge vs. Steal: Plus Sign Sheets

I found these awesome plus sign sheets – a classic design that the husband wouldn’t groan over, neutral in color for a guest room, and also is playful enough for a kids room. I pretty much want them on every bed in my house. But at $189 for the set, I just couldn’t. And then whaddya know but Target does it again with this set from their Room Essentials line. The sheets from Schoolhouse Electric are a really versatile army green color while Target’s is a little more modern in black and white. I don’t have the more expensive set so I can’t compare quality but it’s definitely got the look for less factor going on.

I’m sure you have someone left on your Christmas list and let’s be honest, you know you’re going to Target this weekend. So, yeah, go ahead and grab a set for yourself and a spare to share.

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What I’m Reading: Tiny, Beautiful Things

Have you ever read Dear Sugar articles? I love them. A lot of women do. Which is probably why women love gifting this book to other women.  I picked up a copy for myself and also gifted one to my boss for her birthday. I’m not sure it’s a totally boss appropriate gift, unless your boss really gets you and is okay with really sensitive issues and cursing. So it’s not quite a great option for the white elephant exchange at your holiday party unless you’re fine with everyone knowing you’ve got waaaay too many feeeeelings.  (hey, don’t we all? exactly.)

I was super excited to hear last week that Dear Sugar is back in a new way. Cheryl Strayed (you may know her as the author of the bestseller Wild, which is now a movie made uber popular by starlet Reese Witherspoon) announced that she collaborated with the original Sugar (think advice column meets hippie aunt who always made you feel really proud of yourself like the human incarnate of Mother Earth and Goddess Divine slash a voice of reason with a little sass mixed in for good measure), Steve Almond, on a podcast called Dear Sugar Radio. They’ll answer letters, discuss problems and inspire and comfort you in ways you didn’t know you needed. Here’s a snippet and you can check out the details on how to write in and listen to the pilot episode on WBUR 90.9 FM.

Here are some of my favorite Dear Sugar passages:

“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”

“Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”

“I can’t tell you what to do. No one can. But as the mother of two children, I can tell you what most moms will: that mothering is absurdly hard and profoundly sweet. Like the best thing you ever did. Like if you think you want to have a baby, you probably should. I say this in spite of the fact that children are giant endless suck machines. They don’t give a whit if you need to sleep or eat or pee or get your work done or go out to a party naked and oiled up in a homemade Alice B. Toklas mask. They take everything. They will bring you the furthest edge of your personality and abso-fucking-lutely to your knees.  They will also give you everything back. Not just all they take, but many of the things you lost before they came along as well.”

“When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t “mean anything” because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.”

“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

 

Gah, there’s so many good ones. Have you read Tiny, Beautiful Things or the Dear Sugar columns? Any favorites? 

Sweet Stuff: November Link Roundup

I didn’t have a lot of links to share last month…did you stumble upon anything great? Score anything fabulous on Black Friday? It might be weird but I oddly really want a Dyson vacuum. Maybe having a lightweight cool one will inspire me to vacuum more? Yeah, probably not.

I have been paying extra attention to these delicious dishes, and I’ve gone all Earth Mama and started making homemade almond milk. It’s insanely yummy.

Lions, tigers, rhinos, giraffes and hippos…in Irvine.

A chocolate shortage? No problem, I’ll just spend the next few years stocking up.

A ten-second French kiss can spread 80 million bacteria between mouths. Ewww.

Text Me Merry Christmas. Oh, Kristen Bell, you’re still my girl crush.

A new Cinderella movie with Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother — so magical!

 

Happy Cyber Monday shopping, and hello December!

 

Hide and Seek

As Declan gets older, he and Baxter are getting to be better buds. I think a lot of it has to do with Baxter eating all the food scraps Declan throws off his tray, but it’s also that Declan is more aware of the dog and thinks he’s funny when he runs really fast, licks his face and plays with squeak toys. We’re practicing petting Baxter instead of the usually hitting Declan does…but it’s coming along slowly.

While I was home the other day, Declan and I had a fun time trying to find Baxter in various locations throughout the house. Baxter’s not that great at hiding, which is totally fine since Declan’s not that great at finding…but it got a few giggles out of Declan, and it was a good way to exhaust him before naptime by crawling all over the house and taking a few steps as he’s learning to walk.

Since Declan and Baxter are my two favorite obsessions, you know I followed those two around with my iphone to take pictures.  So join us for a little hide and seek, won’t you?

A grayish Baxter trying the camouflage strategy in our game of hide and seek. Probably would’ve worked better if he didn’t need a bath.

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“Hmmm…where is that dog?”
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Aha! Got you!

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Good spot, B. Just not quite hidden…

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Found you again!IMG_4241

 

DIY or Buy: Cozy Kindling Mini Tree

I know it’s still November and Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet, but if you’re gonna start DIYing the Christmas decor, then you have to get started now so it’ll be ready to put up the weekend after Thanksgiving, right?  Right.

I love love love the look of this little tree for an entryway or desk, or even kitchen table! but at $88, it’s a little pricey for a stack of twigs and colored thread. How about an easy DIY?! I think it’d be fairly simple to wrap the twigs with cotton (sort of like batting cushion for the thread), wrap with colored thread, yarn, twine – whatever you choose!), and then stack and glue the sticks on top of each other. You may need to use supports to get them highly stacked. Or just really strong glue. I wonder if it’d be easy to drill a small hole through the sticks and use a dowel? Worth a try, right?

diy or buy cozy kindling mini tree via Anthropologie

I have some left over eucalyptus branches from Declan’s Lumberjack Lunch that are pretty big (too big to stack like this) but they’d be really cute and festive wrapped in fun colors laying in our unused fireplace!  I just may give it a go.

2015 Calendars

Calendars seem like a big commitment purchase for me. You’re stuck with it all year, you know? Last year I did good in picking this gorgeous one, which doubles to create 8×10 size prints once you’re done with the calendar part, which I think is so genius. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even hang it up as a calendar, I really just loved the art! I can’t wait to hang some of them.

If you’re looking for a great hostess gift, holiday present (so thoughtful for coworkers!) or you’re just ready to think about a new year, here are some of my favorite 2015 designs:

 

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Free People Moon Calendar 

 

Rifle Paper Co honey bee wall calendar 2015

Honey Bee via Rifle Paper Co.

rifle paper co Les Fleurs calendar

Les Fleurs by Rifle Paper Co. via Artsy Modern

 

_woodcalendar_ artifact uprising custom photo calendar

Make a custom photo calendar with Artifact Uprising. When the month is done, cut off the calendar and keep the prints to post or frame!

craft a day calendar

Inspire creativity with this Craft-A-Day Calendar from Paper Source.

imagined desk calendar

The Imagined Desks of Historic Women – I love this!

where's waldo wall calendar

If you need a little fun in your life, try the Where’s Waldo Wall Calendar via Barnes & Noble.
(probably a no-brainer for kids but I think it’d be a huge hit at the office too! just don’t be surprised if coworkers linger in your office while they look!)

the year in stitches calendar

This one would make an awesome gift for knitters! Get it from Schoolhouse Electric.

stir and shake calendar via redcruiser

Count down to happy hour with the Stir & Shake calendar‘s beautiful cocktail ingredients.
Gift idea: use the illustrations to accompany recipes for each libation and include with a box of bar-themed gifts like a shaker, stirrer, glasses, and a bottle of liquor and liqueurs.
Throw in fresh fruit or herbs for good measure!

imaginary travels calendar

For the adventurous dreamer, Imaginary Travels. These would be so great framed in a kid’s room!

Calendars that do double-duty when the month is done are so clever. I think most are set up so that you could pretty easily cut off the calendar portion and frame or post the photo/illustration like I did last year. Here are some other favorites I’ve found with a little something extra to offer:

idlewild co rooftop cities calendar

From the same artist as my beloved gem calendar, this gorgeous cities by rooftop calendar. I need it just so I can frame the Barcelona one! (BFOTBM: remember that time we LIVED in Spain?!)

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Houseplant Postcard Calendar – just cut off the calendar and send a happy note to a friend or use as a gift tag with to accompany small houseplant.

stendig wall calendar via schoolhouse electric

The Stendig is a bold, black and white classic that you can tear-away each month and use as gift wrap.

Which one is your favorite?

Lumberjack Lunch 1st Birthday

Declan the Lumberjack

You guys, my baby is a one year old! I can hardly believe it myself but we have the epic party photos and mountain of new toys to prove it.  It was such a memorable and special day filled with family, friends, lots of good food and fun.  My amazing sister took 497 photos throughout the day, but here are a few of some of my favorite details…

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