February 26, 2011

Project complete!

Hi folks! Just a quick update with pretty pictures of my latest completed project:

Made for a soon-to-be-born nugget. I won't mention who, so if you're my friend and you're expecting, this may be yours! Sorry to blow the surprise, but I was just so excited about how cute it turned out...

February 25, 2011

Spring travels

These next few months are pretty insane for me - I'll be in 6 different states and 1 different country before the end of May is here. Crazy! Even though my schedule is packed, I'm really excited to get to all of these places/meetings.

Anyway, I purchased a fun LeSportSac bag with Christmas money that I thought would be perfect for my upcoming travels. While I love its functionality, it doesn't hold my laptop :( I spotted a sweet Fossil bag at Macy's that I'm dying to get. And I should, right, since I'll be getting a raise? This is the one that I want - the "Key-per" - at only $88, I think it's a good deal:

And then, I spotted the Holy Grail of travel bags - the Vintage re-issue Weekender:

At $218, I think that Paul would kill me if I bought it. Drool.

February 24, 2011

Kansas City here I come...

Tomorrow I leave for a 3 day meeting in the land of good barbecue (oh so I've heard): Kansas City. I'm meeting with a few NWP folks to plan the 2011 Web Presence Retreat, which will be held in May. The weather looks a little menacing - snow flurries - so let's hope I don't get stuck there. However, after reading this Kansas City City Guide on Design*Sponge, that doesn't sound so bad!

February 23, 2011

Ladies that Craft

Knowing I had some serious crafting to complete before my spring travels, I held a "Ladies that Craft" lunch/craft session on Saturday. I invited 2 of my craftiest friends, and we sat around my table, ate yummy food, drank wine, and crafted away. Erin made a delicious Lemon Pound Cake (which we had for dessert) and was working on a few knitted items. Jenny and I worked on a few things for her sisters upcoming baby shower:

Awesome streamers from Oh Happy Day

Poms from Martha Stewart

A make-your-own-onesie station

Can't show pics of our final projects, as it's supposed to be a surprise for the mama and papa-to-be. Additionally, I worked on a new quilt for another mama and papa-to-be (those pics to come soon). This is definitely going to become a permanent "Ladies that..." event. Wanna join us??

February 22, 2011

Introducing Coco Boling

The newest member of the family (aka "Fulton farm" as some people have called it). I have to say that it's not actually just the Fulton farm - it's the Boling farm too, since Paul is the number 1 supporter of adopting Coco.

Last night we spent some quality pup cuddle time with Coco (we don't pick her up until Sunday). Knock on wood, but she was a joy! She took to snuggling in her bed, and licked/played with her new stuffed monkey toy. We have made all of the preparations in our home for her arrival - I just can't wait! We've been talking about getting a dog for at least a year - we couldn't decide on the right time, the right breed, etc. Then this little mutt came into our lives. We realized that there's never the "perfect" time to get a dog (like having a child) - but we feel prepared enough to take on the house training right now and give her enough love to be a wonderful family dog. Welcome to the farm family Coco!

February 17, 2011

Snow in SF?

If you've ever needed evidence of global warming, come to the bay area. Last week, we had temps in the 70's, sun, and warm breezes. Today we have dumping rain, fierce winds, and snow on Mt. Diablo. Now really, we've always had this kind of bi-polar winter weather (ever since I can remember, at least) - though it seems like it's getting even wackier. I remember when I was a small child and it snowed on the hill tops in San Jose (elevation 1000ft maybe?), though I've never heard of snow fall in San Francisco. Today there was an interesting article on The Poop (San Fransisco Chronicle's baby blog. Don't ask). It featured some really old photos of the "great snows" of SF:

Probably easier to stay warm in petticoats
From the collection of John Carpenter/Chronicle archives

Outside of the Conservatory of Flowers in GGP
Courtesy Edward Brown & Lorio/Chronicle archives

Crazy hippies
UPI photos

The SFO airport
Aero Photographers/Special to the Chronicle

When I lived in Boston, I thought the city looked so beautiful when it snowed. Never mind what it looked like after the snow (i.e. dirty slush, garbage, and salt everywhere). I have a few distinct memories of staring out my window on Commonwealth Ave, watching the snow fall and feeling like I was in the middle of a forest. No cars driving by, no people on the street - just the quiet noise the snow makes. I would be stoked for a Berkeley snow day right about now!

February 16, 2011

Rustic "chic" camping shower

Let me preface this post with I AM NOT PREGNANT.

However, that does not stop me from having baby-related blogs in my RSS feed. My newest discovery today is Ontobaby.com (from the ladies at Wedding Chicks). They sure have the market covered, don't they?

Anyway, this post has me written all over it. Friends and family, when you throw my baby shower, will you please make it a Rustic Chic Camping theme??

Flannels are required

The colors remind me of our wedding...

How cute is the garland?

The texture on the cake is like wood grain. SO AWESOME

Photos by Carlie Renee for Gabriel Ryan Photographers. All other vendors are on the post.

February 15, 2011

Most productive day off EVER

Today, I finally tackled a project that's been a thorn in my side for many months - the craft room. About a month ago, I painted a few walls a beautiful color called "Solitude" - I couldn't decide what new furniture I needed, what I already owned that I would repurpose, or how I would arrange it all. Well, my friends, I'm so excited with the results! I can't wait to start crafting away in this space!

Closet Before:

Closet After:

Ikea table for crafts:

My sewing space:

Bulletin board up close:

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Whether you think Valentines Day is a Hallmark sham-holiday, or whether you think it's the perfect occasion to tell the people in your life that you love them, I hope you have a great day! Paul and I celebrated early with a nice homemade dinner - on the menu was surf and turf with ice cream and berries for dessert:

Then, Paul surprised me with a few fun presents:

Hairpins from my favorite Benicia boutique

Egg holders for our soon-to-be-fresh eggs!

A new cookie cutter

New addition to my S&P collection

I got Paul a bottle of Cazaderos Anejo tequila and a few limes. Because he loves that *almost* as much as he loves me....

p.s. I'm in love with the Retro camera app on my phone. I don't think I'll ever take "ordinary" pics again!

February 11, 2011

Annual Review time

It's that time of year in the NWP - the time when educators from across the network come to Berkeley to review continuing funding applications for current sites. What does this mean/entail, you ask? Well, each wonderful site across our network (over 200 in all 50 states, DC, PR, and the Virgin Islands) must submit a proposal to get federal funding every year. Leaders from across these sites gather in Berkeley in February to do a peer review of these applications, recommend sites for funding, and write each site a thoughtful letter, telling them what a great job they are doing.

All of this happens in 2 1/2 days at the beautiful Berkeley City Club. Needless to say it takes lots of coordination, organization, and paperwork to get this all accomplished. This used to be one of the main events that I helped support (before my promotion). I'm still helping out this year, but don't have to worry about how the leaders got here or whether or not they have their pencil sharpener. I get to chit chat with my favorite site folks and make sure there's enough chocolate on the tables.

Here are a few shots from the morning:

The morning welcome

One of the review rooms

And a few of the Berkeley City Club. In case you didn't know, this place was designed by Julia Morgan (who also designed the Hearst Castle):

February 9, 2011

Year of the rabbit

It's not surprising that this year is the "Year of the Rabbit" in the Chinese calendar. Seriously, people are having babies like bunnies this year! I already have 2 friends and a sister-in-law that have given birth within the first 5 weeks of 2011, and about 5 other friends/acquaintances that are due this summer. Not to mention all of the celebrities that are pregnant. It's in the water, I'm telling you!

This all means that it's time to get busy on baby projects (and by that I mean presents - not the baby making process) I already have 1 quilt in pre-production, and a few other small items in the works. My favorite piece so far is this cute onesie I "designed" online from this screen shop in Cincinnati (of all places). The graphics were limited, and since I don't have photoshop, I couldn't put anything fancy together. However, I thought the generic rafting clip art and the funky 70's font make it a fun and festive addition to the little guys wardrobe. Let's go rafting!

Sorry for the poor quality photo (I need a new camera!)

February 8, 2011

Tackling Circular Needles

This post from Whip Up motivated me to (gasp!) try circular needles!! I've been really wanting to make a cowl neck scarf, and regular (even long) needles would be too cumbersome to use, especially since I do most of my knitting on the bus. The pattern came from Ravelry. Look how great it looks (so far!)

Stitch Nation's Alpaca Love in Peacock - who knew the lady from Stitch n' Bitch had a line of yarn?

I thought that the circular needles would be harder to maneuver, and that I would get confused and lose all of my stitches - but I was so wrong! Why didn't I start using these needles long ago? I must admit, I've very proud of myself. And only a few mess-ups so far (though they are hardly noticeable). I'll post pics when it's complete!

February 7, 2011

A week at the Ranch

I've finally had the chance to download some of my pics from my visit to Redtail Ranch (aka my parents ranch) over the holiday break. The week I spent there involved good food, dogs, horses, thrift store shopping, friends, and snow. The biggest news was the welcoming of my mom, Kevin, and Rick's new Arabian horses (Mimi and Rio). They came all the way from West Virginia to be a part of the circus...err...ranch.

Up by the barn

Buster Boy

Toby (aka Mr. Ed)


Thrift store find


Obligatory tractor photo

I do love visiting the ranch, and a week was just the right amount of time. My mom has reported that the new horses are doing well - and she's thinking about getting some chickens this spring! Quite the circus I tell you!

February 4, 2011

More valentines ideas

Now this is something I'd like to make for Valentines Day....

ManMade's Chris Gardner shows you how to make a custom fingerprint piece of art for your Valentine this year.

What do you think? It's not too tacky-lovey-mushy, but heartfelt and cute. Paul probably could care less if I made it or not, but I think I might make it for myself..errr..."us".

February 2, 2011

Quarter life crisis?

Have you ever heard the song “Why Georgia Why” by John Mayer*? It’s about being a twenty-somethingish person, figuring out if you’re on the “right” life path, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and where you’re “going” (somewhere, I assume, is the answer).

Some of the lyrics are really resonating with me right now. Namely:

Either way, I wonder sometimes
about the outcome
of a still verdictless life

Am I living it right?


It might be a quarter life crisis
or just the stirring in my soul

Maybe I’m doing some serious reflection because my 30th birthday is coming up in a few months. Not that I’m scared to be thirty, in fact, I can’t wait to be thirty! I feel like I’ve accomplished so much at thirty – a great start at a career, an awesome husband, my own house. But this “big” birthday is making me think a lot of what the next thirty years holds. Is my life still “verdictless”? As in, do I continue on the same path that I’ve created for myself, or can I create a new one? Can I back out? (and is it too late to back out?) Is this restlessness a quarter life crisis?

I remember when I was a bright-eyed-bushy-tailed 22 year old who wanted to save the world. I still do. I guess my 20's made me realize that I want to change the world in different ways than I ever expected. By having kids. By starting my own business. By connecting with amazing, inspiring teachers across this nation.

I guess only time will tell if I’m living it right. And I guess the only person that makes that determination is me.

*I know that as my husband’s reading this, he’s cringing. He hates John Mayer, almost as much as he hates Jack Johnson.

February 1, 2011

The Season of Love

I love this Valentine Inspiration over at Eat Drink Chic. Makes me wanna start making things for the people I love. There are lots of fun tutorials on the web for Valentines gifts and crafts. My favorites are here, here, and here. And this lovely cake, just for good measure.