where is your place

Where is your place?

Where is the place where you feel like you don’t have to do anything – where time seems to stand still, where calories don’t count and napping midday is accepted and even encouraged.

Where is the place where you play cards for hours and it doesn’t matter who wins (although competitive streaks will appear), where everything is funny and inside jokes are formed and held.

Where is the place where it’s always sunny and even if it rains, it feels bright, where feet are dirty, manicures are chipped and you don’t mind the bug bites that dot your ankles.

Where is the place where you’re outside and you’ll do it all, try it all – where it feels good to be exhausted from doing everything yet nothing.

I think my place has changed over the years. Most recently it’s at a small house my parents bought and are fixing up on Whidbey Island. It's just about an hour north from Seattle – the trip includes a ferry ride – but feels worlds away.


quick, easy diy lunchbag

My lunch bag has been in dire need of replacement. There's only so long before the endless crumbs, oozes from leaky tupperware and overripe fruit can render a lunch bag useless. 

I've been meaning to make a replacement and I finally got around to it after hitting up my favorite Seattle fabric shop for some adorable fabric for the project. I came up with a pretty no-frills design, and guaranteed you can whip this sucker out pretty quickly. 

Note: I used laminated cotton, only because I preferred the print... but oil cloth works well, too. It will just be a little thicker. Also, I bought half a yard and maybe you could squeak by perhaps with a third of a yard, but I always err on the side of fabric caution.

Let's get started!

1) Fold the fabric in half and cut out one rectangle measuring 11 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Cut the top opening of the lunch bag on both sides with pinking shears. (This not only looks nice, but it keeps it from fraying. Oil cloth won't fray, but laminated cotton can.)

2) Place the rectangles right side to right side, as seen in the photo above, and stitch with a half-inch seam allowance down the right side, along the bottom and back up the left side, making sure to back-stitch when you start and stop sewing. 

3) To add extra depth to the bag, add box corners. Keeping the bag inside out, match the bottom seams to each other on the bottom corner seam, creating a triangle and measure one inch from the top of the triangle. Mark a line. You will stitch along this line.

Do this for both bottom corner seams.

Turn the bag inside out and you'll have nice matching box seams, as seen in the photo above.

4) Cut two 1/2 inch wide, 30 inch-long straps (you could do 1 or even 1 1/2 inch strap if desired.)
Fold the strap in half, and stitch along the open side.  Use binder clips or paper clips to keep the strap folded in place as pins don't work well on oil cloth! (This is a pretty no frills way to create straps -- if you want ones that look more "finished," follow this tutorial.)

5) Place the straps about two inches in from the seam, and about an inch and a half down. Stitch onto the bag.


I stitch a square with an "x" through the middle -- down one side, across the bottom, up the other side and across the top and then two diagonal lines through -- for added stability.

This is a really simple tutorial and you could do more with it, by adding a liner or pockets. But as is, it's a cheery option that will carry any lunch in style.

Now what to put in your cute new lunch bag? How about some printable lunch notes? My friend Tori from the Piccoli blog and shop, created an adorable download for you. Go check it out!


on being yourself + a free ebook

I probably win the most awkward kid award. You know you can picture it: Red hair, gangly with knobby knees and pointy elbows, with a tendency to stay up too late reading. You can imagine that when I hit junior high, I desperately no longer wanted to be like myself. And it's taken years for me to finally get back to a place where I am learning to accept and love who I am.

That does not mean that I don't need a little kick in the pants every so often -- to remind myself that hiding who I am helps no one. Maybe you need a little pep talk, too? First off-- be yourself, you were fearfully and wonderfully made and you are who you need to be. Second of all, there's a whole lot more of that in my friend Liz's e-book. She is a delightful writer and beautiful human being and she's offering her e-book "Get Naked: Why The World Needs You to be a Little More You" for free.

Confession: I read it. And I like it and I think you guys would like it, too. You can snag it on her website and also, in honor of her book being released (yay!) she has an awesome giveaway up on her site, with goodies like an Amazon giftcard, in case after you learn to be more like you, you want to celebrate. :)

So go on over, download the e-book, and say hi to Liz on Instagram. :)

Happy Thursday, friends!


real life is not hgtv

Recently I've been watching a lot of HGTV. My mom is an interior designer and she's always telling me about shows I should watch so I finally gave in.

The other reason I'm watching HGTV? The thought that it would give me some solace as the basement remodel stretches into its sixth month.

Yes. Six months. For a basement.

Part of it is that our house is old and all of the electrical and the plumbing needed to be replaced. Then there was a sewer issue. And a dryer vent issue. And another plumbing issue. And some financial stuff issues.

HGTV doesn't show these issues. In a half hour a room is transformed -- in an hour, a whole house. Little snippets. And I get why they don't show the discussions about where we should budget and the minatue of a sewer line replacement -- it's no fun to watch. Before and afters with light-hearted banter, now that's fun.

Yes, the obvious: real life is not HGTV. But now into month six, I realize that while yes -- it would be nice to have our space done -- some things just aren't instant, and that's just part of the richness of life. We just see small moments of life on TV, or even social media, but the back story is always more complicated... like a 6-month-plus renovation.

But I will have to say, we did some major work on our basement this weekend and even moved some furniture in. The 6 months will be capping soon.


friday links

happy friday friends. My week has flown by. I'm starting to plan for the holiday line for rouge + whimsy (I know, nuts right?) as well as doing all I can do soak up summer. Plus, I'm loving the possibility of finally finishing our basement this weekend and next week! (Six month remodel-- so not loving it. You can read about some of that here.)

currently reading: The Apple Orchard and the She Reads Truth Hebrews study

currently listening to: Hozier. Ohhhh I cannot get enough. I'm going to his concert in October.

currently watching: Fixer Upper and My Big Fat Renovation on HGTV. Home renovations on my mind... what can I say.

links to love: 

- Yellow Heart Art's new bridal line (and I love this behind-the-scenes look at her photo shoot!)

- Such a good post about small biz and sale numbers.

- oh I love what Lis posts and this one is no different.

- why learning something new can be tough

- in light of what is going on in ferguson, an interview with a pastor there.

- how a password changed someone's life ... this is incredible

- a good explanation of everything going on Iraq

- just discovered this: why the world needs makers to say no

what are you reading/listening to/eating/loving this week?

xo, erika

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