12.31.2010

It's Friday. I'm in Love. {With Pink Champagne}


A little end-of-the-day eye candy before you party it up tonight. 
Be safe. 
Make good choices. 
I'll see you in the New Year! 
{Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

12.30.2010

Style Spot: Vintage Brass Penguins






Picked these up several weeks ago at an antique shop in Orange, Calif. I have a feeling this is the start of a beautiful friendship! :)

Whooo Wants a Free Owl Calendar?


About a month ago I came across this beautiful 2011 calendar on the decor8 blog, and it's truly an amazing collaboration. It was initiated by Shivani of the My Owl Barn blog, who recruited 30 different artists to submit their own owl art.


And thanks to the kindness of their hearts, and their willingness to share their gifts, it is free to anyone who wants to download it and print it. You can even customize it by choosing what illustration you want for each month.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this! You are very appreciated by owl-lovers everywhere! :) 

{Images courtesy of My Owl Barn}

12.29.2010

Who Wants Chocolate?


Clearly I do.
Head over to My Chocolate Romance Etsy treasury & get your sweet on!

A Social Experiment Gone Personal


In three days, we'll be at the beginning of our journey into 2011, and thousands of us will put into action resolutions we've set for ourselves. Now...I've never been a big participator in this practice. Part of me feels like it's just a reflex people have at the end of December, leading them to make these promises without any expectation that they'll follow through.

The other part of me sees how they could be a positive thing in our lives, if viewed not as a promise we make to ourselves, but as a discipline we want to instill in our lives. I know discipline sounds like a harsh word, but it's not as scary as it seems.

Dallas Willard, a philosophy professor, speaker and author, defines discipline as, "any activity within our power that we engage in to enable us to do what we cannot do by direct effort."

Let's use weight loss as a hypothetical, since it's usually at the top of someone's resolution list. There are two ways to go about it: You could tell yourself you want to eat better and exercise, or you could set up a series of practices that will lead to weight loss.

For example, to commit to taking a walk every day would be great, but before you know it you'll be putting that walk off until later and later in the day, and soon you'll be back on the couch where you started. But, if you commit to taking a two-mile walk every day on your lunch break, you will have set up a discipline that's very black and white: You either participate in it or you don't. The more specific those disciplines are, the easier it will be to fully participate in them and reach your goal.

One thing I see in myself (and that's been there since I was young) is that I start something and never finish it. Piano lessons, ballet, learning the autoharp, starting my own line of jewelry, various craft projects... I get really excited about what I envision the end result will be, but can't seem to put in the effort it takes to get there. And I truly do believe it's because I don't engage in any specific disciplines to aid me on my way.

So, this year, I'm going to take a baby step in learning how to finish what I start by signing up for the Six Items or Less social experiment. The first run happened this past summer, with tons of people joining and documenting their progress on the website. And from Jan. 1-Feb. 1, I'm going to do the same, and share my experience with you on this blog.

The rules? Pick six articles of clothing to wear for an entire month. Exceptions include undergarments, shoes, socks, accessories, workout clothes, pajamas, outerwear and work uniforms (if applicable).

I think this is a great example of how to start down the road to disciplines; I've got specific parameters, and it's a reasonable time period. My hope is to learn more about my motivations and thought processes, and be able to use that knowledge as I make plans for the future!

What about you? What specific disciplines can you enact this year to help you reach your goal? 

{Image courtesy of livetocook.com}

12.25.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 25: Love {Free From You to Everyone}


Why?
Because, in the end, that's what we all need anyway. :)
Happy Holidays! Be blessed! 

{Image courtesy of nostarswithoutlove.skyrock.com}

12.24.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 24: Printable Gift Coupons From E.M. Papers

A Night of Babysitting

A Car Wash

A Night of Cocktails

Coffee & a Book

Dog Walking

Home-Cooked Meal

A Night at the Movies

Why?
Because it's Christmas Eve, and the stores are either closed or closing early, leaving you with slim options. And these printable gift coupons ($2.50 each) are just the thing to solve your quandary! Give your sister (who's also a new mom) a night out with her husband while you babysit. Or tell your parents you'll walk the dog for a week. Or, if you're handy with a design program, make your own and customize it to what you know the giftee would truly appreciate. They'll love your thoughtfulness!

12.23.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 23: Penguin Bar Bucket or Shaker From Z Gallerie


Why?
Because it makes cocktail hour just a little more fun! And when either of them aren't being used, they look great as decoration on a table or bookshelf. Each one is $24.95, so if you friend or family member isn't a big drinker, think about the ice bucket since it would be useful for water and soda as well. But if they're an amateur bartender, go for the shaker and see what kind of fun they can mix up! Click here to find a location near you.

12.22.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 22: Photo Mobile From Urban Outfitters {$12}



Why?
For only $12, this leaves you lots of fun options of things to pair this with, such as a disposable camera so they can take photos to hang on it, or prints of your favorite photos of you and the giftee! And as the years roll by, they can keep a revolving door of photos on there to remember the fun they've had!

12.21.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 21: A Gift Card From Restaurant.com



Why?
A lot of people are slashing their "eating out" budgets in this economy, and this is a great way to give friends and family members that little push to try a new place to eat, and have a great experience! And, right now, you can buy a $25 gift certificate for only $10! Woo-hoo!

Sustainable Style: Good Karmal

Last week I was reading the blog of the online magazine Lonny (which is awesome & I highly recommend you check it out!), and they did a little feature on a company called Good Karmal, which makes a variety of delicious caramels.

Their operation began in 2002 with the hope of "creating a gift that might sweeten the world" — without additives or preservatives. They also believe in doing what they can to help preserve the Earth, so a portion of their proceeds go to environmental charities, and their packaging is made from renewable resources into containers that can be recycled or reused.


Don't those look yummy? Definitely something to keep in mind for the caramel-lover in your life (but perhaps not the one with extensive dental work). :)

12.20.2010

Style Spots: Estates Sales in St. Louis

What? A Style Spots post?? I know, it's been forever since I've done one, mostly because I've been on a thrifting freeze for a while. And to have a blog that tries to focus on secondhand stuff...well, you can imagine how difficult it has been!

Yesterday the ice broke as I dragged the hubs to three different estate sales and, let me tell you, this is perhaps what I am looking most forward to about moving back to St. Louis. The prices here compared to California are ridiculously low, but what you can get is just as good. And if you go on Sundays, like we did, everything is 50% off. I ended up finding a great combination of stuff for my future new home and for my Etsy store, such as...

A vintage (and beautifully avocado green) train case...

Headed to Etsy

A quirky little embroidered frog pillow

Two beautiful brass candlesticks

Two rolls of vintage wallpaper (that I've been hoping to come across for a long time now)

Some more Pyrex appetizer plates in the Butterfly Gold pattern to add to the set I'm collecting

One of the books from the Blaze series that the hubs reading as a kid and is now collecting

A vintage General Electric hand mixer...

Headed to Etsy (Love the avocado color, yet again)

Set of six vintage cups & saucers

With a beautiful mustard pattern on the plate (also headed to Etsy)


Have you come across any great (& thrifted) finds lately?! I'd love to hear all about them!

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 20: Homemade Edible Gifts


Why?
Because sometimes people just don't need more "stuff." Instead, give them something that's handmade by you (making it personal) that they can enjoy for a couple weeks. You could even put all the ingredients they need in a jar, and then give them something to make on a rainy day!

Here are links to some recipe ideas, any of which would make a fabulous gift:
> Homemade Edible Presents for Mailing via The Kitchn
> 40 Homemade Gifts From The Kitchn
> Sealed & Delivered: Recipes in a Jar via Food Network
> Homemade Food Gifts via Country Living
> Homemade Food Gifts via Martha Stewart 

{Image courtesy of Country Living}

12.19.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 19: Handmade Embroidery Kits on Etsy

Slipcover Your Life




Campfire Chic

One Hot Couple

Heat Things Up

A Perfect Pair

Sewingseed





Why?
Because interactive gifts are always a hit! I know you have some crafty friends and family members who would love to make their own quirky wall art. And if they've never done this kind of embroidery before, it's a great way to get them hooked since it's so easy!

12.18.2010

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 18: Recipe Dice via Leafcutter Designs {$16}



Why?
I spotted these yesterday on The Kitchn blog and thought it was a super creative gift for the creative cook! Help your decide what to cook for dinner. Or maybe your husband needs a bit of coaxing when it comes to grocery shopping. Heck, for anyone who likes a little extra thrill to their food, these are just the thing. AND they have a vegetarian set!

Product Description
The wooden dice feature seasonal vegetables, grains, meats, spices, herbs, and a few additional ingredients like lemon, ginger and hot chiles.  

Materials: Wood blocks, stickers based on original artwork
Making: By hand
Size: 5/8" across
Packaging: Glass jar

Whimsical Weekend: Umbrella Love


12.17.2010

It's Friday. I'm in Love. {With a Blue Christmas}


Styled by Bash, Please.

Papernstitch's The Happy Holidays Guide to DIY


I was just going through my Google Reader this morning and came across an amazing (and free!) eBook that I had to share with you, especially if you're looking for some last-minute holiday DIY inspiration. It comes from an amazingly talented lady, Brittni of Papernstitch, and is 18 pages of eye candy. Go here to download your copy!

25 Days, 25 Items, $25 {Or Less!}

December 17: Mix-and-Match Coffee Essentials

Bodum Green Coffee Press, 32 oz., $19.95 via Crate and Barrel

Joe Meadow Green Mug via Crate and Barrel, $2.95 each

Dean's Beans coffee, $7.55 for a 1-pound bag

Why?
Because I'm sure you have several friends and family members who don't function until their morning cup of joe. And these items are great because you can mix and match them: one press and two mugs ($26, but it's close!); one press and one bag of coffee ($28, but again, it's close!); one bag of coffee and anywhere from two to five mugs; or two bags of coffee and anywhere from two to three mugs!

I chose Dean's Beans in particular because, according to The Nibble, this company is the most committed to making their coffee ethically and eco-friendly. Not only are they fair trade and certified organic, they're working to become a 100% carbon-neural operation. Click here to read more about their review.
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