12/30/12

here's to 2012

what I did this year-- as measured by the blog: 

>> launched totes and clutches in my etsy shop

>> hung out with some cool people in Arizona

>>became obsessed with kale (and kale smoothies)
 
>> went out of my comfort zone and made a vlog of how to trim bangs 

>> rocked some heidi braids

>> shared my day to day routine

>> the husband blogged on our three- year anniversary


>> ripped up carpet while the husband was out


>> posted the recipe for the best pumpkin bread (ever-- really)



>> surprise I'm going to Europe!


>> shared my thoughts on advent


here's to 2013! Thanks for sticking with me! If you all were close, I'd propose a toast :)

have a happy new year!

xo, erika

12/27/12

resolutions


I'm not big on resolutions and horribly it's because I don't expect myself to follow through with them. I expect failure... so I think, why bother?

But I recognize that it's a good thing to set goals for yourself-- good, somewhat reachable goals-- to move toward.

Here's my attempt. (And yes, I'd like to be kept accountable.)

--> take more time for me. This past few months have been nuts and I feel like I've been hanging on by a thread. I've been too busy to keep my house clean, too busy to feel like I've been a good friend, too busy to sleep.

--> work on my house. I need to paint the bathroom (finish what I've started at least), clean and figure out the basement, and do a better job with our yard.

--> be more bold about my faith.

--> find time to be quiet. times of silence, no phone, no computer, nothing.

--> plan my shop better. this means sewing items to sell, rather than making to order, figuring out a solid business plan and sticking to it.

so that's my list. we'll see how it goes! do you have any resolutions?


xo, erika



12/26/12

neutral



cardigan: old navy // scarf: gift // shirt: thrifted // pants: anthro // boots: wanted

After the glitter and the rush and everything of Christmas, I'm content with being quiet, contemplative, wearing neutral colors, cozying up in my favorite thrifted shirt.

I think my favorite part of the holidays is Christmas afternoon. After the wrappings were put away, I lay by my parents' fire alternating reading and napping, playing a few board games and catching up with family and friends. And after dinner, a few more people came by and we put on my all-time favorite Christmas movie: "Christmas Vacation." Perfect end to a blissful day.





xo, erika




12/24/12

o holy night

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 
 This season I have been weary.  

 I have felt busy-- as someone once put it-- "rushing from circus to circus"-- and to be honest, I'm a little weary of a world that is so broken

Finally in the past few days, as I've had a few moments to myself, I've been able to quietly rejoice in Christmas. Seeing family and friends, finding joy in wrapping presents and eating cookies, and dwelling on the enormity of a God who came to our very dirty, mundane and messed-up world. I am thankful that even as I am weary, He is not. 

My prayer this Christmas, is that if you're weary, you may find rest. Seek time away from the computer, enjoy family and friends, eat more cookies and drink more cocoa and find time to enjoy promises of the holiday.
 
Merry Christmas friends! 

 xo, erika 

 


12/23/12

cranberry white wine spritzer


A refreshing and slightly girly drink for your last-minute Christmas gatherings-- or perhaps something to sip on for New Years.

I usually just drink wine or beer but I like this slightly more festive drink because it's not overly sweet or heavy.

ingredients:
cranberry simple syrup* (I use this recipe)
3-5 raw cranberries
1/2 cup white wine**
1/4 cup sparkling water (unflavored)
fresh rosemary

mix together and top with the raw cranberries and rosemary for a festive look. 

* you could use cranberry juice here as well
**you could substitute this with sparkling cider for a non-alcoholic version



 enjoy!

xo, erika

12/20/12

christmas tag printables: a collection

Oh you haven't wrapped a single present?

You're still trying to get gifts together for your bosses and your husbands' bosses?

You still haven't sent your Christmas card to your grandmother yet?

I am so glad I'm not the only one.

So, yes, it's true I haven't wrapped presents yet-- but I plan to take my time and enjoy the task this weekend with a cup of hot chocolate (or mulled wine) while I watch "It's A Wonderful Life" and soak up the spicy, evergreen scent of my tree. 

And because the Internet is wonderful, I'm going to print out several of these free Christmas tag printables I found.



found via...


p.s. all of these tags were generously designed for personal use... not for selling or art-stealing. :)

happy wrapping!

xo, erika

12/19/12

diy: updated gloves

One more super-simple, affordable DIY gift idea... just in case you're still finishing up those last minute gifts. (or is that just me?)

 




whatcha need:
knit gloves
felt
scissors
glue gun

make a felt bow. 
I cut two pieces of felt, one longer than the other and glue one into a loop.
Then pinch the middle of the loop and glue it to create  bow shape.
Glue it the bow on top of the remaining felt piece and cut the ends to look like ribbon.
Cut a thin strip of felt to go around the middle.
Glue or stitch onto your gloves!

I think that there a million ways to dress up knit gloves. I think sewing lace on the inside would be adorable or even sewing on a few buttons would be pretty cute as well.

the perfect 5-minute diy project.

xo, erika







12/18/12

winter wear

 shirt: thrifted // vest c/o gigasavvy // jeans: urban outfitters // boots: star ling found on ebay

I am ready for snow.

I swear I could smell it thick and heavy in the air when I got off the bus on my way home from work the other day. It's definitely time for boots, gloves and wearing thick coats 24/7. (Or in this case, refusing to take off really warm vests from The North Face jackets. Side note: Do really puffy vests or coats make you want to hug people, too? I love the smoosh-ing sound the down layers make.) 

It usually only snows in Seattle once a year, and it's a magical event that shuts the entire city down. Some people complain, but I love that even as an adult, I have an excuse for a snow day-- shut in my house to drink hot cocoa, only venturing out to attempt sledding down one of our ridiculous hills.

Do you like snow? Hate snow? Indifferent? If you have some, do you mind sending me some? Preferably by tomorrow for an extended weekend... otherwise, perhaps a Monday a few weeks after Christmas would be nice. If you do, I'll give you a hug in my smooshy vest. :)

xo, erika







12/16/12

thoughts on advent


I don't think it's by accident we celebrate Christmas in the darkest time of the year. When I look out my window at 3 p.m., the sun is already heading toward the horizon. By 4, it's pitch black.

Sometimes that darkness is not just our shortened days but the state of our surroundings. There's no denying that we live in a dark world sometimes-- a place where people hurt, where people act out in unthinkable ways, and where people mourn to the greatest degree.

In the darkest days of what can be a cruel world, God sent us light in His Son, Emmanuel, a reminder that He is with us always.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." -John 1:5

Despite the terror of Friday, the horrors of what has happened in Portland, Aurora, what is happening in Syria now, what happens in people's homes, what happens in people's hearts, I believe that there is light shining in the darkness and no matter the depth of what happens, the light will not be extinguished.

I will chose to look toward God and His light in the midst of tragedy.

And whatever you believe, I know that you can find light, too-- in good things and good people that defy the darkness.

xo, erika



12/13/12

friday finds & favorites #14

happy friday! I have been staying up wayyy too late sewing orders to get out before Christmas. If you ordered something, don't fret! The last shipments are going out Saturday a.m.

things I loved this week:

>> these new necklaces from pretties by meg. I had to give in and bought one. :)

>> this sweet, sweet love story 

>> this revamped sweater diy by sincerely kinsey


>> this book of awesome idea from leonora of yellow heart art

and from real life:
to be honest, it's been a little rough around here. I'm sick again with what seems to be the gazillionth cold this fall/winter. So I can't breathe out of my nose and my ears are plugged and I'm exhausted. The day job is super busy and I'm up late each night sewing and all I can think is how I'm doing such a poor job enjoying the Christmas season.

but a few things are keeping me going:
- a bottle of red wine to be opened when I sew the final order
- spicy sriracha drizzled on everything.
- a gorgeous christmas tree in my living room
- a husband that cooks me dinner and doesn't mind when I slack from doing dishes
- a daily devotional that reminds me that it's never all about me

I also like to pretend that I'm napping on this bed... that helps too. :)


tell me about your week! 

xo, erika

the rules: share some of your favorite things from the web and real life with the weekly friday finds & favorites link-up hosted by Beth and me. Please link up just your blog post with your faves (not your entire blog) and link back to Beth or me somewhere on the blog. Please, also, make sure that your post is relevant (i.e. no giveaways or that sort of thing.) And, of course, be sure to go visit everyone else who links up! :)




12/12/12

surprises



the people who know my husband know one thing about him.
The guy cannot keep a secret.

Or, as he qualifies, he doesn't like keeping fun secrets. Like when he proposed to me, nearly all of my friends, his coworkers, random people on the street, knew about it before I did. It was pretty astonishing I didn't know. 

When I came home this week and he told me that he could no longer keep my Christmas present a secret, I wasn't too surprised. He's been dropping hints about it for months and telling me I can't get him anything big. So of course I'm curious but I like surprises and I don't mind waiting for them. 

So he attacks me with the box, trying to thrust it into my hands.
 
"Open it! Open it!" he says.
 
I am backing away. 
 
"No no no! I want to wait! I don't want to open the gift." I tell him over and over. 
 
He finally told me it was "time sensitive."
 
I open it and inside is a neck pillow...
 
but beneath it is a printout and in little font it tells me that at the end of March, he and I are going to London via Icelandair.  For 15 days. 

We are going to Europe. 

I can not even tell you how excited I am. Emoticons and this blog post just don't do it justice.  
 
Europe! 
 
And living in Seattle where everything is barely older than 100 years old (and even that's hard to find), going to a place where art, history and people have been living for centuries... oh my nerdy, history-lovin' heart can hardly take it. 

The best part is that nothing is planned. Just the plane ride in and the plane ride home. Otherwise-- blank slate. Which is why I am asking for advice. 

Obviously, obviously, we are going into France, just because, well I freakin' love France and need to go there again. 
 
But I need to know: Scotland or Ireland? Belgium? Belgium chocolate, beer and waffles? Switzerland? Is Italy too far? 
 
Where are the best parts of London? (I'm kind of overwhelmed by London.) 
 
What are cheap things, great things, must-dos?

I do know the few things I am going to do:
 
- go the marche aux puces (the largest flea market in Paris)
- buy myself pain au chocolat and a cafe au lait and people watch from a sidewalk cafe. 
- go to westminister abbey 
- drink beer in an ancient, ancient pub
- try and spot the royals walking the streets
- pretend I'm in a Jane Austin movie in the English countryside
but I need details, and suggestions. So help?

paris. I will see you soon.
 
xo, erika 

feeling tough

 walking Nordstrom advertisement: jacket, pants, shoes: Nordstrom // top: (ancient) American Eagle

They say you should dress to impress. Or dress how you feel. Or how you want to feel. Something like that.

I bought a leather jacket this summer at Nordstrom's annual sale and although it's not black or studded, there's something about it that makes me feel tough, like I can take on anything.

Lately I've been needing the leather jacket a lot. To be honest it's a lot of late nights and early mornings as busyness at the day job and the night job (that's the handmade shop people -- don't be thinking dirty) ramp up.

But with the jacket, I'm telling myself that I am tough.

I think the leopard shoes give me a little more edge, too. And I need that edge.

xo, erika

12/11/12

christmas pinecone wreath


I've had plans on making a pinecone wreath for months. In fact my planning went back as far as October, when I collected a backpack full of pinecones during a walk with my dog. 

But it was only two weeks ago that I was able to finally get around to making the wreath and of course, it's just now that I'm finally sharing it with you. Such is life right now.

I was lucky enough to have all my supplies on hand (or in my yard), but I'm sure you can find pinecones at craft supply store too. 


 I cut out a circle of cardboard (forget buying a wreath form).


Spray painted my load of cones


And glued them with my handy gluegun around my cardboard "wreath." I ended up layering cones on top of each other to cover any empty spaces.


I added a few red berries and ribbon for a festive touch and hung it up. Although the wreath is only backed by cardboard, it's held up really well.


I think my favorite thing about this wreath that I can leave it up all winter. :)

xo, erika

12/9/12

dress up

scarf: gift / cardigan: old navy / dress/boots: macys / tights: nordstrom rack / peeling paint: my house

I have a friend who usually prefers dresses and tights over pants.

I always thought she was a bit crazy, especially because she lives in Idaho where it gets cold.

But she claims that tights are better and more comfortable than pants.

I didn't agree with her until recently when I bought a pair of the softest, fuzziest tights ever. They are thick and nearly fleece-lined and I've decided that they truly are better than any pair of pants.

What's even better is that I look slightly dressed up, even though I feel like I'm wearing just a better version of sweat pants. Sweat pant tights. What will they think of next?

xo, erika

12/7/12

friday finds & favorites: gifts that give back

happy friday friends! As part of this weeks Friday Finds & Favorites, I'm sharing my last gift guide.

The last one is dedicated to shops tied with charity.



1. a perfect neutral palette from Radiant. A minimum of 20% of every purchase goes toward human trafficking victims and raising awareness. $34 Radiant

2. gorgeous items for your arm that directly support at-risk teens. $14 The Shine Project

3. a fun slouchy hat hand-knit by women in Uganda from Krochet Kids International. KKi meets people's needs through job provision, through mentorship, and education. $32.95 KKi

4. Give a chicken, a cow or a goat via Heifer.org or Oxfam International

Another option-- Shop at various stores (including Macys, Gap, and BestBuy) and earn dollars to donate to a number of charities. Social Vest

see the rest of my gift guides from this week: under $25 | diy | for mom | for guys


other things I've loved this week:

- incredible incredible story of the man who responds to suicide attempts on the Golden Gate Bridge.

-  our christmas tree. it smells fantastic. I think having one year round would be wonderful.

-  did you see my new blog & facebook design-- it's all tied to my new shop design on storenvy! Nicole from the style hatch did a FABULOUS job and I'm soo pleased. If you're looking for a storenvy designer, I can not recommend her enough!

also, no, I'm not leaving etsy-- Etsy is the primo spot for handmade customers but storenvy is super great for a professional, sole-shop look. So I'm kinda seeing both of them right now. (just don't tell the other.)

xo, erika

oh p.s. you should share your favorites from this week!
da rules: share some of your favorite things from the web and real life with the weekly friday finds & favorites link-up hosted by Beth and me. Please link up just your blog post with your faves (not your entire blog) and link back to Beth or me somewhere on the blog. Please, also, make sure that your post is relevant (i.e. no giveaways or that sort of thing.) And, of course, be sure to go visit everyone else who links up! :)





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