Friday Finds

This is an ode to my favorite things: DIY for the home, pizza, awesome small businesses and of course…Sacramento.

DIY Find:

DIY Hand Painted Rug / Photo Credit: Caitlin McGrath / Poppytalk

DIY Hand Painted Rug / Photo Credit: Caitlin McGrath / Poppytalk

This DIY Hand Painted Rug from Caitlin McGrath of The Merrythought on Poppytalk is about as new as it gets. It was just posted and I found it when I was looking for something else. My creative office is moving into the back house and since the floors aren’t the best in there, I’m planning on covering the floor with pretty rugs. And this would be so much fun! I could even do one for each of the kids rooms, too.

Food Find:

Photo Credit: Trick Pony Pizza

Photo Credit: Trick Pony Pizza

Trick Pony Pizza specializes in Wood-Fired Neapolitan Pizzas and while I have not had a chance to stop by there yet, it’s definitely on my “when we actually get a date night” list. I’m not sure what I like more, the name or the fact that they’re open “until the dough runs out.” If you’re in Sacramento, you can find them on 21st and S.

Photo Credit: Blast 825

Photo Credit: Blast 825

Blast 825 is another pizza place that just opened up in Roseville (my new hood!). You can build your own pizza or choose a signature pizza and they are blasted in the wood-fired oven at 825 (hence the name) for three minutes. This is perfect for family time, since Cecilia will not sit for an extended amount of time. If you’re local, check out their Instagram and see how you can help them support local charities.

Small Business Find:

Photo Credit: Sudz by Studz / Compliment.

Photo Credit: Sudz by Studz / Compliment.

Even though both of these businesses are located in Sacramento (hooray for me!), you don’t need to be local to get a piece of this action. The forces behind Sudz by Studz (a local handmade soap company) and Compliment. (a local jeweler who will put a compliment on anything she can) have teamed up to offer this gift pack of four soaps and a colorless lip balm for $21 (whhhat?!) and 10% of the proceeds goes back to Compliment’s Scholarship Fund. Smell good while you’re doing good.

Photo Credit: City Scout

Photo Credit: City Scout

When I set out to write this post today (because who plans ahead), I did not intend for it to be so Sacramento-centric. But I can’t help it when my city is full of so many amazing people, places and things! Sure, there are the weird parts, but there are really good parts, too, and I love seeing people celebrate all the good we have. I mean, in what other city can you find all of these new restaurants, coffee shops and bars, and also see a tractor rollin’ downtown to celebrate Farm to Fork Week? I just recently found City Scout – a local guide to food, events and happenings in our city – and I already love them, because of how committed they are to loving our weird, unique, crazy little city.

If you’re in Sacramento, there is a huge Farm to Fork Festival going on tomorrow. It’s free, and there’s tastings, good beer and stuff for the kiddos, too!

What awesome things did you find this week? Share with me in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest. I’m everywhere.

Posted in Crafts, Food, Friday Finds, Local Love | Leave a comment

Baked Pumpkin Doughnut Recipe

doughnut1I have been wanting to bake doughnuts since I got really into baking last year. I never got around to it, though, so I got myself a doughnut pan this week and decided it was time. Since I love pumpkin oh so much and I didn’t want to fry the delicious treat, I searched for a baked doughnut recipe.

Alas, I found a baked pumpkin doughnut recipe from Jennifer at Chronicles of Home on i heart naptime, and after I saw that they were topped with cinnamon sugar, I knew it was the recipe for me. I have a serious weak spot for cinnamon sugar. Who doesn’t though?

Here are the ingredients, and you can click here to get the full recipe:

  • cooking spray with flour
  • 6 tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

Topping:

  • 1/2 c. salted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. sugar

The first batch I made were a little dry. I’m not sure if it was from over-mixing (I felt like being lazy and used the mixer which might have been too much for the batter) or from baking them too long.

doughnut2So, I added some more buttermilk to the remaining batter and mixed it quickly to make sure it was well incorporated. I put them back in the oven, but this time for 25 minutes and not for the suggested 30.

unnamedMy second batch turned out MUCH better and now I’ve had so many doughnuts that my belly hurts, but I had to taste the recipe, right?! I’m looking to add some more doughnut recipes to my repertoire and hopefully they will keep tasting better and better!

What are you baking right now? Did you give this recipe a whirl? Drop me a comment and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

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Creative Business Resources

My Creative Business JourneySince 2012, I have been trying to see if I can truly make it as a creative business owner working from home. And if there is one thing I’ve learned so far – it ain’t going to happen overnight. Taking care of a daughter and a house, and adding school into the mix, can make it hard to focus wholeheartedly on your business.

But every day, I put at least a couple hours into my business. I wake up early before the rest of the house does (on most days) so I can fit in as much blogging and connecting as I can before my boss (aka baby) gets up. And then I fit in work while she’s napping or busying herself with her books and coloring everything she possibly can in the house, like our TV, for instance.

I still feel so new on this creative business journey, and I love to find and read resources wherever and whenever I can. And as much ask I like finding them, I also love sharing them with people who might be in the same boat as me; who might be trying to figure out their business path. There are a lot of good businesses out there, and if the founders are willing to impart some of their wisdom, it’s always good to take note.

Biz Ladies: E-Book Marketing 101 / Design*Sponge

A while ago, I started a creative collective called Baby Burrito Collective. I had high hopes for it, but it wasn’t the right time for it. I did keep one of my members, Heather Leigh, and I continue to promote her work as a partner on my blog. Since she’s a self-published author, I’m always looking for new ways to promote her book, so I was really interested in this Biz Ladies post on Meg Sylvia of Artful Publications on Design*Sponge. She shares A LOT of good tips, and if you plan on venturing into the self-published world, this is definitely worth a read.

On Becoming a Working Artist / Lisa Congdon

Lisa Congdon, an illustrator and author that I admire, is holding a FREE intensive two-day class through CreativeLive called Becoming a Working Artist from Sept 30 – Oct 1. If you can’t make the class, you can pay $79 to download it and watch it at your convenience.

If you are interested in working with me and having me promote your work through my blog and social media channels, don’t forget that I’m offering a month free when you sign up, through Oct 19. You can leave me a comment here or e-mail me if you’re interested!

Free Partnership_Blog

What are some of your favorite creative business resources? Have any articles you want to share? Leave a comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Posted in Business time, Inspired, Life, My Creative Business Journey | Leave a comment

Hello, Fall!

It’s official…Fall is here! Heck, there is even a chance of rain in Sacramento tomorrow and Thursday. It will still be in the 70s, but I will take it! I restocked the baking supplies, got a doughnut pan and I’m even thinking about decorating our house for fall since it’s the first Fall in our first home together.

I’ve never decorated for holidays, only for parties. And even then, I would get tired of it and opt for the task of polishing off the beer instead. That’s why it’s good to have girl roommates who are really into decorating, so they can handle it. But now that I’m that roommate, the festive crown has been passed to me.

Here are a few sweet treats and decorations that I can’t wait to make:

Festive folded leaf garland / Photo Credit: Erin Holland / A Subtle Revelry

This Festive folded leaf garland from A Subtle Revelry is simple and fun, without looking tacky.

Homemade Simmering Spices / Photo Credit: Jessica / How Sweet It Is

I remember how good the house smelled when I was jammin’ it up last year, but this simmering spice from How Sweet It Is will make the house smell delightful, even if I’m not canning or baking!

Apple Cider Donuts / Photo Credit: Sally / Sally’s Baking Addiction

I have saved this Apple Cider Donut recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction on Pinterest since Sally shared it last year, and since I have my doughnut pan now, it will be in constant rotation. And hey, it’s not a pumpkin recipe!

Apple Cider Floats / Photo Credit: Michelle / That’s so Michelle

And while we’re on the topic of apple cider, how delicious does this Apple Cider Float from That’s so Michelle look? And I wanted to take it a step further, so I found a homemade apple cider recipe on the Free People blog that I’m going to give a try.

DIY Pumpkin Candles / Photo Credit: Stephanie Gerber / Hello Natural

And because I just can’t help myself – and because it is fall, after all – there’s this DIY Pumpkin Candle tutorial from Hello, Natural! I have my candle making kit that I still haven’t used, so this is the perfect excuse to get started. And I could make pumpkin puree with all the insides.

What fall decorations and recipes are you looking forward to making this year? Did you use something I’ve shared? Leave a comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Posted in Crafts, Food, The Living Situation | Leave a comment

Mama Style Inspiration: Fall transition

Mama style inspirationWhen I let our dog out this morning, a chilly breeze hit my face and invited me outside. I stood out there for a few minutes, feeling the cool air and smiling at the realization that maybe fall is really coming. And this year, the season feels more special than ever: there are birthday parties, harvest festivals, helping Cecilia pick out pumpkins and big changes around our house.

I’m going to attempt a fall garden since my summer one did not work out like I planned. And we will be transforming our house into a home of two babies, not just one anymore. With this in mind, it’s time to think about some new baby bump-approved outfits that will go perfectly with my most favorite season.

Maxi Dress for Fall / Photo Credit: Alisa Burke / Alisa Burke: Redefine Creativity

Maxi Dress for Fall / Photo Credit: Alisa Burke / Alisa Burke: Redefine Creativity

Maxi dresses are the go-to for summer baby bumps. They’re so comfortable and the lightweight material makes them breezy and makes the summer heat almost bearable. But instead of tossing them in the “goodbye Summer” bin, you can easily pair your maxi dress with boots and a sweater, like Alisa Burke did. I have a hard time with my dresses not looking all bunchy and weird when I wear sweaters, but I’m going to have to give this a try.

Fall Transitions / Photo Credit: Keiko Lynn / Keiko Lynn

Fall Transitions / Photo Credit: Keiko Lynn / Keiko Lynn

There is something in common with both of these outfits: neither of the women are pregnant. But after seeing the same outfit pinned a million times on Pinterest, I figured I would take a different approach and stuck with styles I love that could also work on prego bellies. At first glance, I thought this skirt/shirt combo on Keiko Lynn was a dress, but it’s not. That’s how good they look together. This will be another outfit to give a shot, although I could never wear shoes that high. Flats only, over here.

Feminine Kimono and Dark Denim / Photo Credit: Kilee / One Little Momma

Feminine Kimono and Dark Denim / Photo Credit: Kilee / One Little Momma

I have seen some pretty excellent kimonos while thrifting, but still have yet to pick one up. This outfit from One Little Momma is a lot of fun and could totally work with a baby bump. I love all the colors on top with the plain bottom. Party on top, business on bottom…sort of. Again, couldn’t pull off the wedges but I could easily pull off some cute boots.

Looks like I have some closet exploring and thrifting to do!

What is your style inspiration for fall? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

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Hello, beautiful new site!

I’m so excited to announce that my new blog site is up and running! It’s been a long time coming, but I finally made the decision to move my blog to a self-hosted site so I can work with partners and offer ad space. I worked with Amy Cluck-McAlister of Amy is the Party, who is an amazing designer and was so much fun and easy to work with! There’s a New Reader page now (it’s kind of a big deal) and I’ve updated my Partnership page! This will open up a whole new world of opportunities for me, and I will be able to grow my blog in all the ways I have been dreaming about. And because I want to share my excitement and joy with all you wonderful people, I want to offer a free month of all the promotional goodness that comes with purchasing an ad space (valued at $25) to anyone who would like to promote their business! And if you refer a friend, you can get an additional free month! Just check out my Partnership page to see everything you’ll get and let me know if you’re interested! There will be some changes around here, but it will all be for the good! I will be doing some more celebrating, but for now I’m going to celebrate with the pint of ice cream sitting in my fridge! Thank you for joining me on this journey, and a huge thank you to Amy for all of your hard work!

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Just Eat It: Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The other day, I used Sally’s Baking Addiction’s wonderfully delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, and as per usual, they did not disappoint. Even my mom, who is a pumpkin hater, enjoyed one. The only problem with making something that calls for pumpkin puree is that if it doesn’t call for the entire can, and you’re dangerously close to grocery shopping day and therefore without foil to cover it, it gets gross after a couple days.

So after looking up pumpkin muffins and realizing I didn’t have cream cheese (again, dangerously close) and realizing I didn’t have a doughnut pan for pumpkin doughnuts or buttermilk for pumpkin doughnut muffins, I landed on a recipe I’ve used before and loved – Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake from Joyful Healthy Eats. Her photos and step-by-step directions make it easy to follow early in the morning and before coffee.

Photo Credit: Krista / Joyful Healthy Eats

Photo Credit: Krista / Joyful Healthy Eats

And if you happen to have all the ingredients like I did (well, I had almost all of them), it’s free to make. And even if you have to pick up a couple, you’re still paying less for just one slice at any bakery or coffee shop. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

You can click on the photo I posted above or here for the full recipe. The only change I made is that I didn’t have pecans and I was feeling adventurous, so I used the little remainder of walnuts I had and filled the rest of the cup with pumpkin granola. I was a little nervous about how the substitution would turn out, but I really like it!

One little square filled me up enough but didn’t make me feel too full and it had just enough spice to not overwhelm people who may not enjoy pumpkin as much as I/you do. This is actually the only pumpkin recipe I can get the majority of my family to eat, especially after the pumpkin explosion that happened last year.

SONY DSC

My rendition. Looks a little sloppier but tastes gooood!

What are you baking? Is it a recipe shared from your family, something you created or something you found in a cookbook/blog? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

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The Living Situation: Freddy’s Hot Rod Nursery

frddys nurseryI have always loved vintage cars. I could only pick out a handful of the popular ones that everyone knew, but I have always found them beautiful and I just love watching them drive by. An homage to a time I never knew, they exude style with beautiful lines and curves. The drivers know how much you like their cars, and more often than not, they are the ones who put all the blood, sweat and tears into it. A labor of love.

This love I had worked out really well when I met Sam because he and his dad have been working on vintage cars and trucks since Sam was a little tyke. And he plans on doing the same with Freddy. That’s why we thought it would be perfect to give his nursery a vintage hot rod theme. It will be eclectic of course, because I don’t know how to do it any other way, but that will be the major theme. Here are a few adorable things I’ve found for his room so far:

Photo Credit: Target / eBay

Photo Credit: Target / eBay

First Trike Crib Set from Target – It’s no longer available at Target but I found it new on eBay. I’m trying to find some more nursery bedding kits that aren’t through big box stores but are affordable, so if you know of any, please let me know!

Hot Rod Vintage Car Pillow / Photo Credit: Brandi Fitzgerald

Hot Rod Vintage Car Pillow / Photo Credit: Brandi Fitzgerald

I love this adorable pillow from Brandi Fitzgerald Fusion Arts and Photography!

Vintage Wall Decal Sticker / Photo Credit: Sticker Brand

Vintage Wall Decal Sticker / Photo Credit: Sticker Brand

You can choose from several color options for this vintage truck decal from Sticker Brand!

Photo courtesy of Rhinestone Armadillo

Photo courtesy of Rhinestone Armadillo

Sam already bought a carriage like this from a swap meet a lonnng time ago. It needs to be cleaned up before it graces the internet, though. We’ve decided we’re going to clean it up and get a bassinet mattress and blankets for the little dude so he can sleep in style.

Vintage pedal car

Vintage pedal car

We already have a vintage car for him, but I just fell in love with this pedal car when I saw it! I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for one, and he will just have a room filled with old cars.

What’s your take on decorating your living situation? Do you go vintage, new or a mix of both? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!

Posted in Baby Talk, The Living Situation | Leave a comment

22 Weeks: Oh boy!

It’s official. I’m over the halfway mark! And we’re having a boy! Of course I would be happy with two spoiled princesses, but I was very happy to learn that we are having a boy. I tend to swoon over baby clothes and room decor that is typically labeled as “boys” than “girls,” and we’re doing an eclectic room for him that leans toward vintage hot rod, an ode to his father.

His room is still full of my table, craft supplies, halfway finished projects and everything I need for school. I think we’ll start getting serious about decorating his room in November, when all of our house painting is done and my stuff has all been moved into the back house. So, I haven’t bought much for his room, but I did find this adorable sign at an estate sale!

unnamedI, of course, already have a Pinterest board going and I’m excited to share some inspiration on the blog tomorrow! For now, I’m just enjoying feeling him kick and move all around. He’s much more active than Cecilia was, and my body aches a lot more than it did with her, but I am not as anxious as I was the first go’round, and I have not caught myself reading any baby books or visiting webMD. I think that comes with the experience and comfort of knowing we survived this just a couple years ago.

Right now, the only thing my body doesn’t like is beef (which I’m not concerned about, since I’m not a big fan in the first place) but it does like all things sweet! I got this german chocolate bar from Sweet Simone’s Baked Goods at the Sacramento Antique Faire yesterday, and I carried it all around with me yesterday until I got home and could enjoy it with some ice cream.

german chocolate

Click the photo to be directed to Kimberly’s Kitchen/ Sweet Simone

I still have half saved for tonight’s treat. Because I fear going a night without chocolate.

Cecilia does not quite understand that she’s going to be a big sister, but she adores little babies. We’ll just have to see how she reacts to one that doesn’t leave. She has been moved to a toddler bed, as my belly was making it hard to pick her up from her crib and she’s got her ABC’s and Old McDonald down. It’s so fun (and a little scary) watching her grow.

Have something to share? Leave me a comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest! Thanks for hangin’ with me!

Posted in Baby Talk | Leave a comment