Category Archives: Friends & Family

playmobile3 This weekend my niece and nephew (3 and 6) will be over and while I’m told they are bringing their own games and activities to keep them busy, there is a big part of me that wants to use this as an excuse to refill the toy box.  Because good Aunts and Uncles are supposed to keep a toy box, right?

We have a big box of hats and dress up play and a pretty impressive DVD collection of Japanese cartoons featuring hamsters, but what I really want is this: the Super Set Dream Garden.

(It even has a functioning waterfall.)  What do you think? I’m guessing I should go for something a little more gender neutral — but it has a unicorn!  And a swan!  And a  peacock!  Who am I kidding?  I don’t know if I really want to share this with anyone else.

Oh – and before I sign off – just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter the postcard give away.  I will announce the 2 winners tomorrow and each person wins a set of 100 postcards from Uprinting.com.  Perfect for Christmas cards or invites or promotions for your small business.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving_runner

Is anyone else having trouble coming to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving is next week?!

This year, we are going to be hosting my parents. (Hi Mom and Dad!) We are really excited. They will be our first Seattle guests. Actually, they will be our first real overnight-guests, ever. Isn’t it nice when family lets you practice on them?

I do have some jobs to finish up before the inn is officially open if you know what I mean. Something about how they will require a bed to sleep in. And maybe I should finish unpacking the guest bath? We have one bigger home renovation project we want to finish this weekend, but I’m going to leave that one a mystery for now. I think the “before” pictures might scare Mom and Dad away, and we do actually want them to come.

When I wrote up this list of last minute cleaning ideas for Homemade Simple, I was not expecting guests. Who knew I was going to need my own tips so badly?! Although I have to say that “vacuuming window treatments” will be a piece of cake since we don’t actually have any of those.

Thanksgiving_pc

Although we have promised the parents that we are not going to to make a fuss over the Thanksgiving meal, I couldn’t help but look through some photos of Thanksgivings past.  These photos are from one of my favorite (and simplest) years ever. I bought a Thanksgiving scrapbook kit that included place cards, leaf decorations, and paper napkin rings, and then had fun embellishing them with stickers.

I made a Mayflower ship out of extra scrapbook paper and a wooden dowel inserted into an upside down cup.  I covered the cup/support system with a generous supply of Hershey’s kisses (because we all need extra sweets on the table, right?).

Mayflower-ship

For some of you, this is about where this whole decor scheme is going to go off the rails, but what can I say? It was a whimsical Thanksgiving that year.

I decided that even with all that candy, the table still felt a bit empty.  Who was going to steer the ship?  Who was going to join the pilgrims for their first Thanksgiving feast?  The answer was so obvious: squirrels.

I dressed up these squirrel placecard holders with some fancy headdresses and pilgrim hats, and we were all set.

Thanksgiving_sq I’m sure this is just exactly what you would do, too.

Anyway, if you’re in a Thanksgiving decoration pinch like I am, may I recommend the scrapbook aisle of your local craft store? Stickers and paper can be a great, last-minute solution when the fancy chargers and special napkins you want are too pricey or you’re out of time.  Just peel and stick.

Filed under Friends & Family, House & Home, Paper Crafts. Tagged with , , , .

I Gave My Husband Too Much Candy

Adventcalendar

Well, we had hardly made it to Friday, and the Advent calendar I made my husband had already fallen off the mantle 3 times.  It is heavily laden down with CHOCOLATE.  I spent last week cracking up every time I heard it falling from the other room.

I had sort of given up and thought I would jut let him pick up the chocolates off the floor.  (Is that bad?)  I know he wouldn’t mind.   Turns out, he had a better idea, and hung it from the bookcase where it appears to be staying put.  The people at the grocery store gave me that look when I brought home a frozen pizza and about three pounds of chocolate.

Advent2

I have seen so many beautiful advent calendars out there, but this is a simple one I put together when we were first married.  I bought 24 different miniature stockings (on sale) and tied on numbered tags I cut out with a circle punch.  The first year I tried to be really creative about what to put inside, but realized all he really wanted was candy.  Now, I am smarter and put in enough so I get a piece of chocolate too.  Otherwise, by day 13 I’m a little bitter about the whole thing.

advent3

[Image above: the Advent calendar hanging in our old apartment from the ballet barre I had installed in the living room, circa 2006]

Last week, my husband was gone on a business trip for a few days.  Does that mean I get to eat Day 1 and 2 for him?  I’d hate for him to feel behind.  Nothing’s worse than that holiday pressure of needing to catch up.  I’m available to help where needed, you know.

Filed under Friends & Family, Holidays, I Made This. Tagged with , , .

Design*Sponge Book Signing

DS_book

This week, I went to the Design*Sponge book signing, and it was such a treat to meet Grace Bonney.  (Thank you to Kalani and Christy for going with me!)  I have been reading Design*Sponge since its very early, more casual days — before interns and book deals and all that, so it is inspiring to see her achieving such great success.  Grace absolutely lives up to her name and seemed totally at ease, happily chatting with everyone who stopped by.

The turn out was really great.  We also had the chance to meet Joy from Oh Joy! who is as sweet and funny as you would hope she would be.  I’m sure there were lots of other high profile people in the room, but I was really concentrating on not knocking anything over or otherwise making a fool out of myself.

DS_Booksigning

This might be odd to say but I have decided that the best places to meet new friends in West L.A. seem to be: church, sewing classes, or Anthropologie.  That store just seems to attract lots of interesting, fun people and makes for a really nice place to hang out.

And what about the book?  Well, I think it’s beautifully done.  I was so happy to see a little spread on one of my favorite designers, Genevieve Gorder.  It might be worth the price for those few pages alone.  As always, I wish the home tours were more detailed, but I think that’s more of a personal issue.  I’m never content until I’ve seen inside very corner and junk drawer.  However, I think there’s lots to be inspired by and look forward to curling up for a more detailed read this weekend.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and find something that inspires you, too.

Filed under Friends & Family, Travels Near & Far. Tagged with , , .

Bright Spot

bookmark2

Yesterday, I was having one of those days.  Total creative melt down.  The kind that spirals into those questions of “why am I doing this anyway?” and “I should probably get a job as a truck driver now.

I’m pretty sure you’ve been there too.  It’s not a problem that a hot meal and a good night’s sleep can’t fix.  Everything looks better in the morning.

Except my husband called and wouldn’t be making it home for dinner after all.  I went downstairs to get my last minute pizza and found this.  A little bright spot in my mailbox.

Do you ever have that moment where something shows up at just the right time?  For me, it was this beautiful bookmark that my friend Joanna made.  (I hope I’m not embarrassing her, but I know a bunch of people who are going to want to make these now.  And don’t ask me how she made it.  I have no idea!  It’s gorgeous and does not look homemade at all!)

Anyway, it was like a little reassuring squeeze.  Yes.  Keep going.

bookmark5

And yes, everything does look better in the morning.  Especially if it’s sitting next to my bookmark.

Filed under Friends & Family. Tagged with , , .

Aunt Kelly’s Toy Box

playmobile3 This weekend my niece and nephew (3 and 6) will be over and while I’m told they are bringing their own games and activities to keep them busy, there is a big part of me that wants to use this as an excuse to refill the toy box.  Because good Aunts and Uncles are supposed to keep a toy box, right?

We have a big box of hats and dress up play and a pretty impressive DVD collection of Japanese cartoons featuring hamsters, but what I really want is this: the Super Set Dream Garden.

(It even has a functioning waterfall.)  What do you think? I’m guessing I should go for something a little more gender neutral — but it has a unicorn!  And a swan!  And a  peacock!  Who am I kidding?  I don’t know if I really want to share this with anyone else.

Oh – and before I sign off – just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter the postcard give away.  I will announce the 2 winners tomorrow and each person wins a set of 100 postcards from Uprinting.com.  Perfect for Christmas cards or invites or promotions for your small business.

Filed under Friends & Family. Tagged with , .