much love illy and more

Hi all!
I have a giveaway over at Much Love Illy today.

And yes, I had a great three-day weekend—although much of it was devoted to preparing for my first booth at the Fremont Market next weekend. Feeling a little less overwhelmed—but that could change of course


blogger & shop news & a discount

First off. Blogger.

What the heck.
Last week you were gone for like ever.
And now my little follower button hasn't been showing up all the time.

I used to think you were the best-- the most flexible and easy to use! Now I'm not so sure.
Please restore my faith in you. Soon. Or else.

Secondly NEW ITEMS IN THE SHOP! (sorry all caps. I'm not yelling, I'm just excited.)
It's the start of my summer wedding line and I love 'em. (And hoping others do too!)

Go see 'em in my etsy shop here.

Third and final note:

It's a three-day weekend! And to celebrate, everything in my shop is 15 percent off with MEMORIAL15.

Alright. I'm going to get outside and enjoy some sun while it lasts.


small biz stories: kate price photography

Kate was my one of my housemates in college and I remember when I met her my first thought was

"this girl is COOL."

And she was. Kate always had the best music taste, had the best ideas for random adventures and could frost a cake like no one's business. (she once frosted a sheet cake with a full jungle scene.)

After graduation she follower her dream to be photographer and currently runs Kate Price Photography in Seattle, shooting weddings, engagements, family portraits and so much more.

She is beyond talented, but don't take my word for it. Check out her site katepricephotography.com for some serious eye candy.

 Here are her answers to my slightly random questions:

Describe your small business:
I was always the girl with the camera growing up. In 8th grade I took an trip to Washington D.C. and took eight rolls of film in five days. That's when I knew I wanted to be a photographer. Since then it's been a journey to get here but I've had tons of help! This is my dream job. 

Difficult question... but What inspires you?
Is Anthropologie an answer? haha. 
I love people i get to meet. And I ove the relationships I get to capture and document... I dont know if that answered your question. :)
What's your favorite part about running a small business?
The best part is that i'm doing what I love! I also love the flexibility I have in creating my schedule. I don't have a dress code and most days I'm in my pjs until 5 p.m. when my roommates get home.

What's the hardest part about running a small business? 
I'm alone most days editing so it's lonely. It can also be hard to managing time and prioritize projects. It's also hard not to want to take breaks when the sun comes out - I guess I'm lucky I live in Seattle and that is rare. :)

please note: all of the photos are property of kate price photography.


how many times could you be turned down?

I've read The Help, actually more like gobbled it down in one sitting, hunched over my kitchen table late at night, devouring each word.

I loved that book. And I know I'm not alone. The Help has been on The New York Times' bestsellers list for weeks and this summer it'll be a movie. I've already seen the trailer.

In short we can call the book successful. Wildly so.

My mom recently emailed me an essay by the author of The Help Kathryn Stockett and what she had to say about failure. Yes-- failure not success.

It took Kathryn a year and a half to write her book and she didn't keep her project a secret but told all her friends. When she finished, she proudly mailed it off to a literary agent.

Six weeks later she got this reply: “Story did not sustain my interest.”

She wasn't discouraged but saw it as an opportunity to make the story better. She worked some more and sent it off again to more agents.

And received more rejections.

A friend told her "Maybe the next book will be the one." But Kathryn didn't want it to be the next book. She believed in this one.

A year and a half later, she received her 40th rejection letter with this note: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.”

And she cried. Yet she still worked on her story.

After three and a half years and 60 rejections an agent accepted the book. Three weeks later the story was on its way to being published.

Kathryn writes in the article: "The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good."

 Some days it's easy to be discouraged. Some days I wonder what I'm doing, where I'm going and if anything I'm aiming for is worth it. A lot of time I'm tired and I'm my own worst enemy and my biggest critic.

But it is worth it friends. It is. If you believe in what you do, if you believe in the goal you have in front of you then that is enough. It may take two failures, 20 mistakes or a whopping 60 letters telling you why your dream is not good enough.

In the end, though, I believe it's worth it.

Go read this entire essay and share it with others who need a little pick me up.

And this is cheesy but if you ever want to share your dream and your success or perhaps a tale of a failure, let me know. I'd love to hear it. rougeandwhimsy [at] gmail [dot] com

p.s. and if you haven't read The Help you should. :)


what i love wednesday [#6]

This week I love mason jars.
well, let's be honest. It's not just this week. I might just have a jar obsession fetish.

I love the pretty jars but I've been known to save a spaghetti jar or two. The husband thinks I'm crazy.

But I don't think he fully understands the endless possibility of a glass jar...


Source: etsy.com via Erika on Pinterest

Also, I recently created a board on Pinterest that is just dedicated to mason jars. Is it a sickness people? Am I the only one? Or are there others out there that share this affinity for glass jars?

(You know what I just thought of? People in the 1800s would think we're crazy for loving something they considered so commonplace.)

Have you made cool things with a mason jar? Tell me about it... :)

this post is linked up with Krystina of lollipops cards


tuesday tutorial: 5 minute salsa

First off a shout-out to my younger brother who turns 22 and who never fails to make me laugh, and, despite being a college guy and not so into the craft-y stuffs, reads my blog.

so proud to be this guy's older sister
Also a big thank you to him for putting up with bossy me growing up. You know that one time we put on a play about the birth of Jesus and you were the donkey or that other time we did a ballet and I forced you to wear a leotard? Sorry about that. 

my brother and i are on the right
And sorry for bringing it up now.

Tuesday's tutorial this week is also a homage to my brother-- growing up we ate a LOT of chips and salsa.

We usually noshed on Safeway salsa medium, (which we both highly reccommend, by the way), but never said no to the homemade bean dip or salsa.

This recipe, is not only delicious, but easy enough for a 22-year-old college guy to make.


1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can diced tomatoes (rinsed and drained) (OR chop up 2 whole tomatoes)
1 can of medium-heat jalapenos (OR chop one jalapeno--remove the seeds if you want it milder)
1 cup of frozen corn (preferably after it's warmed up a bit to room temp)
1 green pepper (OR I supposed you could find this canned...somewhere)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tbs cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs Italian dressing
a handful of cilantro leaves for garnish (and because I fully believe cilantro is good on everything)

Using a can opener (or some other device) open your cans. Empty the contents into a colander and rinse several times.

Dump into a bowl.

Chop the green pepper, add it to the bowl. While you're at it, might as well dump that corn in too.


Add the apple cider vinegar and Italian dressing.


Garnish with cilantro.

Eat with chips. Or, if you prefer, just with a fork.  p.s. this is always the better the next day, as the flavors meld...

but I don't have a whole lot of experience with that because I usually eat this as a meal... in one sitting.


swap shop & snail mail love

who doesn't love snail mail?

I do know one person who does love getting snail mail (and email).

this girl here.

so when Krysten of After I Do announced a swap I secretly fistpumped. (Or maybe I did it in real life.)

And when this showed up on my doorstep from my swap partner Meghan of The Perfect Compilation Tape, I got a little bit excited.

She wrote me a sweet card I wanted to lick

 and inside the package was handmade goodness from Renegrade Crafts--- a little indie boutique in Chicago. (a place that I have now resolved to visit.)

The cute little doggie is a mirror. My doggie liked it too

She sent me chocolate too... but I didn't document it cuz the husband and I already ate a lot of it. :)

Thanks Meghan! 
And thank you Krysten for dreaming this up!

inspire me monday - portland

warning: lots and lots o' photos

The husband and I trekked down to Portland for my first time ever.
And I loved it.
We took the train down (which made me feel like it was 1915) and is honestly the least stressful way to travel: Giant seats? yes. Wifi? yes. Reading and not feeling like je vais vomir**: heck yes.

and no traffic. sigh. It was utterly relaxing and breathtaking.

Once we got in to Portland, we stayed in a little funky boutique hotel: (ready tiny rooms and shared bathrooms.) We ate a ton, hit up Powells (which was so amazing for the book nerd I am), ate more, sampled beer (which is practically eating), ate more, sampled more beer, walked around and just enjoyed each other and no responsibilities.



Little did I know that I chose to go to Portland the weekend that West Elm was hosting a pop-up Etsy shop. Like what? Did they know I was coming? So I dragged the husband to the event where there was free treats (nom) and ah-gorgeous little booths. Lovely.

The husband limited me to one purchase (which was wise because I have a handmade addiction) so I snagged a little print from Mary Kate McDevitt. Do yourself ALL a favor and check her shop out.

Yeah this is pretty much me. I love love love getting things done and checking them off my to-do list.

But this inspired me because the shops there were inspiring and as I walked around, admiring their goods and their displays, I kept thinking to myself: I can do this. I can do this.

I came away with a fresh sense of dedication and excitement for my shop.

Other Portland etsy shops there that you should check out:

** that's French for "I'm going to vomit" It's such a nasty thing but it just sounds better in French, you know?


my mother inspires me

I know it's a little past Mother's Day.

But it's also Small Business Month and I decided to combine the two and do a little feature on my mom, who is not only an incredible source of encouragement and love in my life, but also a savvy and successful small business owner. 

my mom and I in Paris two years ago
I won't say her age, but my mom has finally found her calling and it's inspiring to watch.

Interview with Debbie of Urban Grace Design

What's your small business?
We [my mom and her friend Lora] purchase homes that are neglected and need updating. It's like a makeover, we make it over, and then sell it to a family and turn it into a home.

How did you get started?
We started doing it as a volunteer organization remodeling for families in need and we enjoyed thinking creatively because there was no capitol-- no money-- so we had to think creatively. If you had all the money in the word there would be no creativity, no challenges.  

Every great design comes out of a challenge. We had to think outside of the box. We try to do everything in the most cost-effective way. We constantly think "what's the best use for our money." We're not skimping, we just become creative.

I've always lived in brand-new housing, it's so cool to work with properties with character. It's so cool to bring in unusual qualities like antique lighting or other items.

 What inspires you?
 That is hardest question ever, don't you think? Lora and I love to rescue furniture, lighting or a home and giving it new life, making it useful again. We love to use items lot of it made by hand, here in America. Everything now is made in China.

I also get excited when you see something that's being used out of context. A weather vane that was a windmill and now it's a piece of art! Anything re-purposed.

What's your favorite part about running a small business?
Getting to make the decisions.  Not having a client tell you what they want. [She used to be an interior designer.] You can only decorate your house so many times but we get to do it over and over.

What's the hardest part about running a small business?
The hardest part is keeping track of paperwork which we're getting better at it. I have a spreadsheet now and we're entering every purchase. And in every job there's the unexpected where the basement has water in it and you have spend $4,000 to take care of the water. That's not fun-- I don't want to spend $4,000 on concrete and a sump pump and a liner.


The photos are above are from a house they recently redid and sold. The home was a foreclosure and when the previous owner left, he bashed the walls with a hammer, scratched the windows and took out cabinets out of frustration. It was a big job.

Over 80 percent of the furniture pictured is either from Goodwill or Craigslist.

Some design secrets from my mom:
- You can find really good things at thrift stores and Craigslist
- Anything can be spray painted
- Splurge on oil-based nice spray paint (it dries longer but is worth it)
- Hang photos at eye level-- people hang them too high
- Fabric from old curtains or shower curtains can be made into great pillows for cheap


little getaway to a place i've never been

I've never been to Portland, Oregon.

And I'm sure that a lot of people have never been there, but I only live three hours away. I grew up three hours away.

But let me retract that.

I've never been been to Portland. Does that make sense?

I've driven through it countless times-- on the way to the Oregon Coast, on the way to Mt. Bachelor for skiing, and most often, in the back of an Astro van on the way to California.

Quick side story: My parents moved to Washington state when my mom was pregnant with me. Every year after I was born, we went down to California (usually twice a year) to visit extended family. And we never flew.


I didn't get on a plane until I was 14.

Up until then, we drove to California to see the relatives-- my two brothers and I in the back of a gray Astro van bombing down I-5.

My mom says she's blocked most of those trips out. At least the traveling part.

But back to my story. Portland was the city we drove through, peering through windows at the sprawled skyline just on the other side of the river from Washington. But we never stopped.

On Friday the husband and I are taking a belated birthday trip down and I can not be more excited.

Everyone is telling me what it's like.

"It's like Seattle, but more hipster," several people explained.

"Just go in a bar and look around," one of my friends told me. "Every guy will have a mustache and be wearing plaid."

your typical hipster (yes I just googled hipster)

I think they've been watching too much Portlandia, the comedy show about Portland.

All I know is that we're staying in a new hotel within walking distance of a Saturday farmers market.

The city has tons of little food trucks with delicious, cheap food.

foooooood trucks calling my name
There's no sales tax.

And we're taking the train to get there. (Another thing I've never done.)

Anyone from Portland or has gone to Portland? What do I need to see? Where should I eat?

All suggestions welcome.


also, mom, if you're reading this, check here for the definition of hipster.
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