December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Paul!

Happy, Happy 29th birthday, to my dear husband and best friend, Paul. Jesus ain't got nothin' on ya...

December 23, 2010

Wrap Up

Hehehe...I crack myself up sometimes. Anyway, first I showed ya'll my mantle, and now it's the wrap, that is. This year I tried to use paper, ribbon, and adornments that I already had stashed away. The tags were homemade (tutorial here), the bakers twine I already had, and the paper was left over from previous years.

If you still have presents to wrap, you can find some inspiration here, here and here. Happy wrapping!

December 22, 2010

Christmas wishlist

Soon I'll be posting pics of Paul's awesome birthday party and my awesome early Christmas present. In the meantime, here's a collection of savory treats I'd love to find under the Christmas tree from Oh Joy!...

1. Williams-Sonoma herbs of provence ($18), 2. Terrain pink himalayan salt ($12), 3. McClure's pickles ($14), 4. Golden Star white jasmine sparkling tea ($12), 5. Dean & Deluca cheese of the month ($165 for 3 months), 6. Jme rosemary olives ($25).

December 15, 2010

On the 15th day of Christmas...

I'm finally posting pics of our decorated house! First stop - the mantle. I've always wanted a mantle to decorate for the holidays, but in the past have had to do with a make-shift mantle/bookcase. And now, I have one!I've seen so many posts on decorating mantles in different themes (2 of my favorites are here and here), but this year I thought I'd stick with a traditional look (and stick with what I already have on hand to save money). Here's what it looks like (sorry for the crappy cell-phone pics). No matter, it's awesome! It's cozy and lovely and homey. Can't wait for folks to come over for Paul's party this weekend to see it in person.

December 14, 2010

Paul's Birthday

December is not just about Christmas at our house - it's also about Paul's birthday. My husband was born on December 24th, and you'd be surprised to know that he loves that his birthday is the day before Christmas. He says that he gets great combined presents, and that he loves the fact that his family is around for his birthday (and that they don't forget it!) I'm always trying to do something different for Paul's birthday so it is distinctly "not Christmas" - this year we're having his friends and family over for a birthday/holiday cheer party. So far we're expecting about 30 people, and I'm beginning to plan the menu and decor for the evening. Paul wants to barbecue (even though rain is forecasted)'s not my birthday so I'll let him do what he wants! However, I do have a few fun tricks up my sleeve (and he doesn't read this blog, so he'll never know). This year, since it's his 29th, it's going to be an "almost 30" party. Everything will have this image on it:

This is a school photo of Paul's from 1987 (kindergarten, perhaps?) Anyway, can't you just imagine the things I can make with this cute photo? You'll have to wait and see next week, after the party....

December 13, 2010

Posted: Make video!

Dale Dougherty, (genius behind Make, Craft, and Makerfaire), has blogged about the work we did at the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting! A few posts back I featured a few pics from the Make session that I led - well, you can read Dale's thoughts on the day right here!

You can also check out this video that includes footage from the Make. Around 5:50 you can see the bags that my group made:

December 10, 2010

Hopeful to win...

Go to MyDeco and enter your own mood board in the the "All I want for Christmas contest". You can win $100 to spend in their boutique! I created one last night - things that you might not find in my house, but things that inspire my decor...

We'll see what the judges say :) Fingers crossed!

December 9, 2010

Who loves Dottie Angel?

I melt when I see anything that Dottie Angel puts together. I wish I could make stuff like her, and I wish our house looked like hers. It's kind of an obsession. A few days ago I was sifting through some of her images and came upon this:

One day, this will be my backyard. Chickens running around, kitties lounging, forest and grass for all to frolic in, and pennants and flowers decorating the porch. A girl can dream, right?

December 8, 2010

Chicken update - 9 weeks!

It's amazing how big my little chickies have gotten in just 2 months. They love their new home in the garage, and are adjusting quite nicely to being the center of attention. Foghorn remains to be the friendliest and most curious, though Leghorn and Rakifi are starting to come around. The biggest news is that their food has changed - they now are getting "pullet" feed, which helps them get ready to lay eggs.

Foghorn 2 weeks and 9 weeks

Brooder then and now

December 7, 2010

In search of the perfect tree...

One thing I love about my husband is that he loves Christmas. Not in a consumerism-buy-everything-in-sight kind of way, but in the traditional, let's-get-a-real-christmas-tree way. And this my friends, makes me very happy. It's not that I'm against artificial trees, I'm just pro live trees. Ones that you can cut down yourself, ones that you can smell the moment you walk through the door, and even the ones that leave needles everywhere.

This Sunday Paul and I went searching for the perfect tree. We were just going to go to the Christmas tree lot in Vallejo, but our great neighbor Mark told us about this "cut your own" place in Martinez. After hearing that the place was a mere 20 minutes from our house, we immediately looked at each other and knew this was the way to go. It was raining, yes - and we were both in the clothes we had worn the day before (late night in the City) - but that didn't stop us from trudging around the Alhambra Valley Christmas Tree Farm . There were lots of families there as well, braving the rain in search of a perfect tree. I was brought back to my childhood, when my parents and my aunt and uncle would load up my cousins, my brother and I and head to the Santa Cruz Mountains for a tree. We would make a day of it by drinking cider and eating sandwiches. (I still wonder what was in my parent's thermos). Those are my fondest Christmas memories.

And so, it only took us about 10 minutes to find our perfect tree. That night, our friends Martin and Emily came over for Sunday dinner - Emily helped me decorate the tree. New house, new tree - 2010 was a great year for us. Isn't she gorgeous?