Wednesday, December 12, 2012


What a fun date!  And apparently, it will be the last fun date like this in our lifetimes!  That is crazy to think!  My amazing friends, Rosa and Manny went on their first date on 2/3/4 and got married on 7/8/9, so dates like this always make me think of them!  They now have a beautiful little baby girl, too bad she couldn't have been born today!  Although, I guess that would have given her an extra three months in her mama's belly, and that probably wouldn't  have been too good!
I tried to find a picture of all three of them, but it couldn't be done!
I don't think Rosa would object too much to this one!
So, to stay at least a little bit on track! In honor of this great date, 12/12/12, I am offering 12% off everything in my Etsy shop today!  Just use coupon code "save12" when you check out, easy as that!  I just got a little buzz from PayPal letting me know one lucky customer has already taken advantage of the deal (I posted about it on my Facebook page in case there is any strange chance someone is reading this who is not also a Facebook fan).

Other exciting things going on right now:

North Park Market Holiday Edition!  Shop local for the holidays event!  This is happening tomorrow afternoon from 3-7!  The weather report is predicting possible rain and some chilly weather, but I have high hopes that it will hold off for the afternoon!  If you are still looking for some unique presents that are handmade with love by me, or any of the other awesome vendors who will be there, come on by!  There will also be live music, yummy food and craft activities for kids!

Kyle built a cool chicken nipple water system.  I know this sounds a little weird, but it involves pipes, tubes, boards, brackets, and just the right connector parts, and most importantly, it will ensure our chickens survive being closed up in their coop, unsupervised for more than a week while we go home for Christmas. At least, we have high hopes it will, as long as the chickens figure out what is going on!

And I am having lots of fun planning and making presents!  There are lots of tutorials to come along with all these cool projects, but I don't want to give anything away.  Be on the lookout in January!  I will just say I have never done any of the projects before that I am going to be doing in the next 8 days, and I am still waiting for beautiful and fun supplies to come in the mail.  Nothing like a time crunch to really get those creative juices flowing!

Aren't you impressed I already have something wrapped?
Well, its a trick! This is the present I sent to Martha Stewart's grandchildren
a few months ago (for which I never received a thank you card!)

I hope you all are having lots of fun thinking about those you love, and planning things to make them smile!  I also hope you are doing (or planning to do) lots of baking, eating, drinking (of course, this one only for my non-pregnant readers :-)), singing, dancing and celebrating with your family and friends!

*** wait, wait, wait*** I just thought about this date thing some more.  I have been hearing people say today is the last sequential date of our life time, but November 12th of next year will be 11/12/13, and December 13th of the year after will be 12/13/14.  Those seem to me to be sequential... But maybe it (or people?) just mean the last one where all 3 numbers are the same?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So Much Love!

      I just got home from a week at home!  Warning, I am going to be a little bit cheesy here (but lets be honest, I generally tend towards the cheesy, and even more so in these days of Christmas trees and baby showers).  The saying is that home is where the heart is, and it does really amaze me that my heart can live in two different places.
An actual puddle!  

     The week at home was amazing!  I got lots of rain and fog just like I wanted.  I know it makes it harder to drive and get anything productive done, but it is so cozy, and comforting and feels like home.  It also actually makes it feel like winter and the holidays.

      You can't see them in this picture, but there are lots of big, fat raindrops splashing into this puddle on the front porch.  This all made me legitimately giddy and feel a need to run around with my phone attempting to do justice to its beauty.

     Needless to say, my Instagram followers got to see quite a few of these pictures throughout the week!

I also got to look at this view every day.

It's hard to tell, but that dark gray out there over the treetops is the ocean!

     I went home for my family and Santa Cruz friends baby shower.  It was so fun to get to be with my family for 6 whole days and to help get things ready for the party.  So much planning and hard work went into the shower.  This baby girl and I feel so incredibly blessed and genuinely showered with love.  It is hard figuring out everything I need to figure out about being pregnant and getting ready to have a baby with my family so far away.  Yes, I talk to my mom on the phone at least once a day, but it is not anywhere near the same as being there and getting to talk all day, and look at baby things together, and her getting to feel hiccups through my big belly, and slightly freaking out my little sister by getting her to feel where is baby and where is just belly!  I also got to giggle a lot with both of my sisters, play with my super cool nephew, Jack and honorary nieces and nephew, Owen, Bella and Charlie, and have long talks after dinner with my dad while doing dishes (these talks really did make me miss having a glass of wine in my hand!) 

Throughout the week we made about 70 gingerbread cookies for friends to decorate at the shower,

Jack was even put to work!

many, many shortbread cookies for eating,


        coconut cupcakes,

macaroon Christmas trees,

Beautiful in the end, but Martha Stewart did lead us a
bit astray with this recipe

and a lemon cake.
   Yes, we like to bake!  We did all this and still managed to cook and eat delicious meals throughout the week, visit the Santa Cruz farmer's market, take a trip to Hart's fabric and go on some very rainy dog walks.

Oh, and do some belly bump comparisons.
She is due about two months after me,
but she has two baby girls growing in there!
     The morning of the shower I was sent off for some genuine pampering! A haircut and mani/pedi!  I came home to such a beautiful winter wonderland shower!  My mom and sisters are amazing, so loving and so talented.  We are also lucky enough to have a professional photographer in the family!  All shower pictures are her doing!  I got to visit with so many friends I love, I only wish the shower could have gone on for many more hours and that I got to see all of these amazing women on a much more regular basis! 

I wore these undershirts as a baby! 

Planting paperwhite bulbs! 

I had a very good present helper! 

A knit whale!  

And look at this beautiful sweater!  My mom is an amazing knitter! 

The rain cleared for the shower!  Thank goodness or I would have been in serious trouble for wishing for it!  It also gave me a chance to appreciate the green, play with the dogs on the front lawn and discover life growing all around!

The week went so quickly and I was flying back home before I knew it!

My first day home, Kyle got to work from home, which means we got to go right out and get our Christmas tree.

He had put the lights up outside while I was gone.  Now, even though it is sunny and almost 70 degrees, at least in my little home it looks and smells like Christmas.  

      I am spending the week sitting under the tree 
(which looks like this during the daytime) embroidering, putting snaps on bibs (with some help from Kyle) and making more ornaments.  Fun Little Things is taking part in a holiday craft show at Keys Creek Lavender Farm on Saturday, from 3-7.  I have never been to the farm, but the pictures on their Facebook page look stunningly beautiful!  Worth checking out if you are in the San Diego area and want a different sort of adventure on a saturday.  I know they also do weddings and other special events on the farm throughout the year.    There is always more to do getting ready for a show than I think there will be.  Luckily, I actually really like doing it all, and I get to listen to the Indie Holiday Pandora station while I do it! 
     I also just found out yesterday afternoon that the North Park farmer's market is having a special "Shop Local for the Holidays" event at the market next week and would like me to be one of the vendors!  Thursday, December 13th, 3-7.  The market will be full of the usual farmers/vendors/yummy food trucks, but will also have live music, crafts and activities for kids and lots of one of a kind, local, handmade gift and craft vendors.  Come check us out after work, have a great time, support local small businesses and get some of your Christmas shopping done!

Kyle is working from home with Lacey and I again today, lets see if you can guess which side of the coffee table is covered with his work and which is mine!


And in about an hour we are off to another check-up!  Love getting to hear my little girl's heartbeat!  33 weeks today, apparently about the size of a pineapple! Can't believe how soon she will be here!

So much love and thanks to everyone who made this week amazing and who constantly fill my life with love!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Charming Gardeners

The beautiful thought written on our chalkboard right now:

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
                                                                                 -Marcel Proust

There are so many people right now who are making me happy and for whom I am so grateful.

     A lot has been happening around here lately!  It all started with my amazing husband, Kyle's birthday.  The weekend before, some friends came to town (from far, far Orange County) to help us celebrate.  It also happened to be the beginning of San Diego Beer Week, so obviously, we all went to the Brewer's Guild Beer Festival downtown on the Broadway Pier.  It was a gorgeous setting, beautiful weather, local bands, delicious snacks from food trucks, an afternoon spent with great friends, and lots of dirty looks directed at me and my big belly despite my designated driver ticket and the fact that I was definitely not drinking any of the many, many beers there for sampling.  His actual birthday was spent at childbirth class.  Did I mention that Kyle is awesome?  Spent his 31st birthday at childbirth class, with a bunch of people we don't really know, eating sandwiches for dinner while sitting on some pillows on the floor.  We did bring cupcakes for the whole class though, and now everyone wants to be our friends!

     This past weekend was our San Diego baby shower.  I had no idea how beautiful my backyard could become!  Our phenomenal friend Shelly sewed maybe miles of adorable bunting, hung lanterns in the trees, covered tables with jars of little white flowers, cooked delicious food, brought champagne and lots of sparkling juice for me, arranged for us to be taken to brunch while all the work was done and organized games everyone loved (even the guys).  We had a beautiful and relaxing day being showered with love from her and all of our friends who were able to make it.

     A few days after that, I got to hang out with this guy!

My super cute and totally wonderful nephew, Jack!

We did some of this...
and this! 

We also did some of this:
 and a lot of chasing chickens!

     I do not get to see him (or my beautiful and amazing Big Sister) enough, and every time I see him he just gets cooler and cooler.  I got to spend two days with them, baking, watching planes, dancing, looking at trucks, skateboarding, playing with dogs, chasing chickens and napping.  

     Thanksgiving this year was just Kyle and I.  It was beautiful and relaxing and delicious.  We both missed family all day, but spent a great day together sleeping late, walking Lacey and cooking and cooking and cooking.  We lit candles, set the table with napkins from our wedding, laughed a lot and ate wayyyyyyyy too much food.  
And I know that the point that I am at least trying to make with all of this is that it is the people I love and who love me for which I am the most grateful this time of year, but I have to admit that I am also grateful for this:
Green bean casserole!  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it!

     Not to be one of those people who quotes their yoga teacher, but I can't help it.  One of my teachers (the fantastic Sophie at Mosaic Yoga, whose classes I am addicted to) has been talking about how the month of November is a time to shut down, reevaluate and reboot to something new.  This feels so true and so right for me this week.  It has been an amazing month, but now is time to look forward to what is to come.

I am working on new Christmas ornaments to put up in my shop:
The first steps of planning! 
Halfway done! 
There will be 3 sets: red and gray, green and light green, and purple and blue.  They are all hand stitched with ecru embroidery thread with ivory ribbon to hang them on your tree or around the house.  They are made of beautiful and so soft wool felt that I absolutely could not resist buying as soon as I saw it for sale on Etsy.

They are done and for sale!  
     Tomorrow is Cyber Monday.  This means 10% off everything in my shop all day!  Just use code cybermonday (yes, I am very creative!).

     Tomorrow is also my giveaway day on SewMamaSew.  Anytime tomorrow (Monday, 11/26) visit their blog (which is also full of great tutorials and gift giving ideas for all kinds of different people in your life) and leave a comment for a chance to win these three bibs and two onesies from my shop.  I am so excited about the opportunity to be on this blog.  It is one of my favorites to read every day and I really appreciate the chance to be seen by their huge following.  I have learned so much in the last few months from the kindness of other bloggers trying to live a creative life.  There is so much networking and spreading the word that goes on in this world.  They make me feel like it can maybe, actually be done.  

     Tuesday I fly to my other home!  I get to spend 6 days with my family in Aptos.  There will undoubtedly be baking, dog walking, knitting and embroidering, shopping at my very favorite farmer's market of all in Santa Cruz, movie watching, eating lots of yummy food, giggling, long talks with my dad while doing the dishes and what I'm sure will be a beautiful and amazing baby shower!  I am also hoping for some serious fog and maybe even some rain.  *** Amendment to original statement*** Hoping for some rain on any day except Saturday for super fun outdoor baby shower activity purposes! I am so grateful for my entire family and all of the love and support they give me in all my crazy ventures.  San Diego is way too far from Aptos and all of my family and friends there, and I can not wait to spend as much time as I can with them.  

     Kyle will be holding down the fort at home.  Taking care of the crazy chickens.  Making sure Lacey gets plenty of cookies and cuddling.  Being on call to package up and send out any orders that come in while I am gone. Going to work.  And missing me!  Haha!  I know I will be missing him.  I am so grateful to him. Five months in to my decision to turn Fun Little Things into a business and spend a year exploring that possibility and being creative, and he is constantly supportive and optimistic!  

     I hope that you all had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend and are loving and appreciating all of the people in your life who make your soul blossom!  And to those who are flying or driving home today, ugh! Good luck!  I hope it is not too horrible out there on the roads and in the airports!   

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finally! or... My super cute apron!

     Last year was the first Christmas as an adult that I was determined to make as many presents for the people I love as possible.  I realize that was more than 10 months ago, stay with me, I promise this quickly comes to a project I just finished yesterday!  One of the presents I made (for my super cool Little Sister) was a super cute and stylish apron.  I chose three different beautiful fabrics that seemed so much like her (she is much more stylish than me!)  Having never made an apron before, I scoured the internet for ideas and patterns, and ended up buying one on Etsy, the Miss Jenny Apron pattern.  It was great, as soon as I made my purchase she emailed me a PDF of the pattern, all I had to do was print it out, tape the pieces together and get to work.  No waiting! Excellent!  Now, when planning this post, I fully intended to link to her pattern here, so you could go and buy your own, but I just discovered her shop has totally changed, not even sure it is the same shop owner any longer, no aprons, no patterns, just a few bibs (bibs that are clearly not as cool as mine!)  Hmmm...

     The apron I made for Little Sister turned out so beautifully that I was determined as soon as Christmas was over, I would definitely be making one for myself.  While in Aptos with family for Christmas (yes, yes, I know, I am still talking about 10 months ago...) I went to the super amazing Hart's fabric!  The most fabulous fabric store I have ever been to in real life!  An independently owned fabric store in Santa Cruz, with the most beautiful collection of traditional and contemporary designer fabrics.  I can not go in there without walking out with an armload of beautiful prints I could not resist.  Best of all, as I live far, far away from Santa Cruz/Aptos (and all of the great people and things they have), Hart's has a fabulous website where all of their fabric can be ordered and arrives right at your door only a few days later!  Well, on that particular trip with my super supportive (and fabric enabling) Mama, I found just the three fabrics I wanted to use for my very own apron!

     Now, I did not have the pattern with me, and having only made it one time, there was no way to be super sure of the fabric quantities I would need, but I was pretty convinced I only needed a quarter yard to do the waistband and ties.  My mom asked me many, many times if I was sure and tried to convince me I should get more, just in case, but I was stubborn (and wrong) and she was right.

Lesson learned - Mom always knows more about fabric yardage!  She is, remember, the one who taught me how to sew, and has much more experience than I do.  Sorry, Mom!

     So, to quickly flash forward... Winter break ended, I went back to work, life got busy like always, I never made myself the apron, and the three patterns of beautiful, bright blue fabric sat on my shelf, for, oh, about 9 months!

     Now (see, told you I'd get here!), I am so fortunate, to be home doing Fun Little Things full time.  I can't believe it but it has been four months already that I have been trying to make this work.  I have done a lot of building up my inventory, experimenting with local farmer's markets and the craft fair scene, researching and learning about pricing, marketing, taxes, insurance, seller's permits and all sorts of other business-y things I knew nothing about before starting this.  My rule was, any time Kyle was at work, no Facebook, no Pinterest, and every day would include either walking or yoga, some house cleaning, some sewing or embroidery, and a few hours spent researching business stuff online.  Good rule, right?

     Starting the markets and having one desperate week to have my inventory up to the level I wanted was the first thing that threw a wrench in this schedule.  Now that it is built up, that is the next thing getting in the way, because I do not feel like I need to make more bibs, onesies, diaper bags, blankets or bunting at this point, unless a special order comes in.  So... what I am supposed to do during my "required" sewing or embroidering time every day.  Oh, you mean, all those projects I have been planning for myself?  I can do those?  Hmmm...

    The two main projects I have been planning for myself are this apron, and the quilt.  Yes, the quilt.  No, I have never made a quilt before.  Yes, I want to make a full sized quilt, not a little lap one.  When we got married (two years ago!) I made all of the napkins for our wedding, with 8 different brightly colored and patterned fabrics (all also purchased at Hart's).  Now, I have 108 beautiful napkins!  They are very nice, and very pretty, but there are entirely more of them than any one little family needs.  I want to turn them into a quilt a lot like this beautiful quilt from Purl Bee.

     This is as far as I have gotten.

Napkins laid out in the order and pattern I want on the guest
bed.  Guests have, in fact, come to stay, and the napkins were
all put away again...
     Now, as much as I really do want to make this quilt, and learn all of the details of quilting, that is a big, and pretty intimidating, project.

So apron it was this week!  Woo! A fast and fun project that ends with something unnecessary and beautiful just for me!  

     About a month ago I did decide to work on this apron.  Got all of the fabric out, washed, dried and ironed it.  Found the pattern and thoroughly read through the somewhat confusing directions again.  Pinned my pattern and started cutting.  This is where the "Mom is always right" part comes in.  1/4 yard of the waistband material was clearly not enough.  Ugh... ok, no problem, get online and buy some more... hmm... Hart's fabric no longer carries this fabric... seasonal and limited release, you say?  Ok, what about my other online fabric buying addiction.  Not there either?  Ugh!

     Clearly, this now requires much time and thought into what new fabric would look good with the other two patterns I have picked out.  Luckily there are so many fabrics I love, I quickly make a decision, make the order and wait four days for it to come.  While waiting, I decide I should make Halloween Onesie Patterns, and then a few days later Day of the Dead Onesie Patterns, and some Day of the Dead Bibs, and while I'm at it, about 20 more bibs with fabric I had been hoarding collecting.  And once again, the apron was forgotten.  

     Then, I will admit, I spent two weeks not sticking to my workday schedule for no particular reason.  Way too much time on Facebook, way too much time Pinterest.  No more of that!  

     Yesterday, it finally happened!  I made the beautiful apron! 
Interesting that in every picture of myself
that has appeared on my blog I am
wearing yoga clothes, but look how
The empire waist and box pleats
really accentuate my belly!
I love it! 

     I was feeling guilty about making a tutorial on this apron, and sharing pictures, and steps and my improvements on her pattern because of the fact that it was for sale, and copyrighted, and stated specifically it was for personal use.  But now that her shop has changed dramatically, and she no longer has the pattern for sale, I feel ok about it!  

     I think the apron as is, is beautiful (and for those without unusually large bellies, the ties are long enough to wrap around and tie in the front in a very cute way!), but now that I have made it a whole two times, there are definitely changes I want to make to the pattern. The directions made certain steps much more confusing than they needed to be.  I would do the darts and the entire shape of the apron top differently.    Maybe make the skirt part a little longer, I have long arms and want to be able to wipe my hands on the apron more easily.  I also tend to make a really big mess when I cook (especially with flour while making bread) so a slightly longer apron would save my yoga pants from their usual flour covered fate a bit better.  I also now think I want to try to make a pattern for this the way I want it to be, and sell the aprons and sell the pattern! How fun would that be?  Look for this in the (hopefully) near future, friends.  

     I intended to make this post a tutorial, but I see now that it is much more the story of me finally making the apron, and that this post is already long!  Plus, I am going to change the pattern, make it my own, and hopefully be able to offer it to you to make your own.  Pattern and full, photographed, step by step tutorial coming soon!  

Oh, and I can't believe I almost forgot, as it is one of my favorite holidays of the year,

Happy Halloween!!!

     Eat lots of candy, stay safe, stay warm and have fun!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

A wish for all!

A beautiful thought for this Monday morning, taken from the Facebook feed of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama:

     "Honest concern for others is the key factor in improving our day to day lives. When you are warm-hearted, there is no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity. A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for happy and peaceful relations with each other. Healthy, happy families and a healthy peaceful nation are dependent on warm-heartedness."

This is my wish for all of you, and for the world, this morning!  Have a beautiful Monday and week!  

Now time for me to sew that apron I have been hinting at for weeks, so I can take lots of pictures and make another fun tutorial! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exciting Times!

     A busy last few days around here.  A weekend getaway to La Fonda, BC, Mex!  Only a beautiful 45 minute drive down the coast.  As soon as we crossed the border, the road reminded me of driving through Big Sur, just fewer trees! We found our little beach bungalow, played smash ball, swam, read books, played gin, made friends with stray dogs, ate good food, and made a fire to keep us warm in the drizzle.  A great way to celebrate two married years together!

     To add some extra excitement... as soon as we found our way back across the border (no thanks to a street fest in Tijuana blocking the way) and turned the phones back on, I got one of those fabulous "congratulations on your Etsy sale" emails!  These are still very exciting to me! Especially when the sale is to a customer I do not yet know in real life.  I embroidered her Day of the Dead Marigold Onesie that very afternoon and got it all wrapped up and ready to go.  

I mailed it off yesterday, along with a little present for Martha Stewart's grandchildren.

One of my new Fun Little Things promoting attempts!

     And as soon as I got home from the post office, I checked my email to find ANOTHER "congratulations on your Etsy sale" email!  This time for one of my Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Onesies.  I can not believe how much people are loving my Day of the Dead embroidery patterns.  Remember, friends, I can do any of these patterns on any size onesie or on a flour sack kitchen towel.  Check them all out in my shop and send me a message or leave me a comment here if you have any questions or special requests.  

 PS - In case you haven't heard, Etsy now offers site-wide gift cards that can be used in any shop! A perfect present for your loved ones who love supporting small, handmade business!  And to help get the word out, Etsy is entering anyone who buys a gift card into a sweepstakes to win a $250 Etsy gift card.  Four winners a week!