Things are happening around here. We’re working on slowly painting each room in the house as we can, moving stuff around and making lists for things we need in Freddy’s room. We’re getting the house ready for the holidays and for our little man, who will be here in less than three months. (THREE MONTHS!)
But are we ready? Is Cecilia going to be ready?
My biggest fear about having a new baby in our family and in our lives isn’t about how we will handle the changes, we’ve done that before. And under much crazier circumstances. I worry about how she will. She’s used to having her mama all to herself, so how will she feel about sharing me? When she needs a cuddle and I’m busy with little Freddy?
I know it’s something that we will have to work through, and we will, but I wonder what will be going through her head. She loves little babies, but she’s never had one that stuck around.
For now, I’m just focusing on making all the time for her that I can. To allow for all the little interruptions that come with working and going to school from home, and really embracing them rather than get frustrated. We’re going to the pumpkin patch in our free time, and spending a lot of time with family. She’s learning so many new things, and I just love watching her bloom.
I’m getting my business life where I want it to be at the moment, so that it will become more of a routine by the time he gets here, but most of all, I’m just trying to get a grasp on life while I can, before it all changes again.
For those of you who have welcomed a second baby into your family, how did you handle the transition? Please feel free to share any advice! Leave me a comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
I would like to dedicate this post to my sweet tooth. It’s insane. Growing up, my mom always baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and other wonderful desserts and by my early twenties, I thought I had enough desserts and switched to all the salty food instead. Because a girl has got to have her vices. When I got pregnant with Cecilia, my sweet tooth was back in full force. And it hasn’t left.
Apple Cider Donuts / Photo Credit: Yossy Arefi from Apt 2B Baking Co for Food 52
One of my favorite things about going to Apple Hill is getting apple doughnuts. They are always the perfect ending (or beginning, however you prefer) to an insane day of crowd weaving, a lot of walking and taking in all that is Apple Hill.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Cupcakes / Photo Credit: Dana / 3 Boys Unprocessed
I’m sorry, what? You can put a whoopie pie on top of a cupcake? And you can make it with pumpkin? I’m in! This Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Cupcake recipe from 3 Boys Unprocessed looks extreme. Like, extremely delightful. And the cherry on top? She uses the least amount of unprocessed ingredients (hence the blog name) that she can.
Baked Occasions Cookbook by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
This book was featured on one of my favorite websites, The Kitchn, as a whole pastry school course for the cost of one book. Johnny Iuzzini, who also wrote Dessert Fourplay, is a 2006 James Beard Award Winner for Best Pastry Chef and recently released Sugar RUSH into the wild on September 30.
Halloween. Before, it meant dressing up in a costume that was thrown together minutes before whatever party or bar hop we were attending. It meant people coming over to our apartment before said party and everyone getting too drunk to do anything. It meant pumpkin beer, pumpkin cider and little to no food being consumed that day, except for pizza. There was always pizza. It meant pumpkin smashing.
Now, my mom has been busy making Cecilia’s Little Red Riding Hood costume, and we already have a couple pumpkins and are going back for more tomorrow. I’m looking up recipes, and finding ways to decorate the house that don’t make it look like the kids’ craft section at Michaels threw up in here (luckily, Cecilia is still at the age where I can get away with more grown up decorating until next year). I’m lighting candles that smell like fall and loving that the holiday season means family time.
There is a plethora of Halloween costume and craft DIYs right now, and I wanted to share some of my favorites:
The Art of Painting Pumpkins / Photo Credit: Alisa Burke
I have shared Alisa Burke’s painted pumpkins before, and I am still in awe and in total love with them. She recently wrote about the art of painting pumpkins, and shared a little about her process. It’s truly a good read, and I’m going to experiment with it this year.
June Carter + Johnny Cash Costume DIY / Photo Credit: Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Photography for Oh Happy Day
Ok, seriously. How cute are these June Carter and Johnny Cash costumes from Oh Happy Day?! Since both Cecilia and Freddy have little guitars, and Freddy will definitely have some cowboy boots, this would be so much fun to do in a couple years!
If you aren’t following Oh Happy Day on Facebook, you are probably missing their costume series, and that’s no good.
This DIY Floral Skull Centerpiece from Honestly Yum is beautiful. And I would feel more like a grown-up if it was on our table, for some reason. If skulls aren’t your thing, you could probably use a pumpkin or something like that, too.
DIY Pumpkin Crate Display / Photo Credit: Emily and Erick of Heidi’s Bridge for Poppytalk Handmade
I have a feeling that most of the pumpkins we get this year are going to be Cecilia-sized. I’m going to try letting her decorate her own (wish me luck!) and this DIY Pumpkin Crate Display from Emily and Erick of Heidi’s Bridge on Poppytalk Handmade would be a perfect way to display them all!
And if you’re in the Sacramento area…
Photo Credit: Kristin deNeeve / Semi Sweet Press
I shared this in my Specialty Coffee Week post, but as a reminder, Kristin of Semi Sweet Press is hosting a workshop at Temple Fine Coffee & Tea on Sunday, and it should be a lot of fun! Tickets are $15 and you can get them here.
I know this isn’t Halloween related, but…
Photo Credit: Tess Wilson / Apartment Therapy
When I read this article On Becoming An Accidental Housewife by Tess Wilson on Apartment Therapy, I got tears in my eyes (I’m pregnant, it happens). Aside from the specifics, it felt like I wrote it. Even though he calls it “our money,” it’s really not mine. It’s his and we share it. I still don’t have that feeling of independence. My experience is actually what led me to start my blog, and my obsession with DIY.
What Halloween DIYs are you loving right now? Did you try any of these? Have a tutorial you want to share? Leave a comment and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
Today marks the kickoff of Sacramento’s very first Specialty Coffee Week. And with craft coffee roasters like Temple, Insight, Chocolate Fish and Old Soul putting Sacramento on the coffee map, it’s about time we dedicated a week to celebrate all the work that goes into roasting that cup of warm, delicious heaven.
Here are a few of my favorite events going on this week:
Image from Vaneli’s Handcrafted Coffee
Coffee Kids Benefit at Rick’s Dessert Diner – This event, hosted by Vaneli’s Handcrafted Coffee in Rocklin, will feature coffee roasted three different ways that’s paired with cake from Rick’s Dessert Diner (the best dessert place on earth). It’s $10 to attend and all the proceeds go to Coffee Kids. If you live in Sacramento and haven’t checked out Rick’s new location, this is the perfect time to go.
Classic Revolution Sacramento at Shine Cafe – There will be a coffee-themed classical musical performance and a coffee-pairing menu featuring Temple coffee and dinner from The Roaming Spoon. Admission is $5. Shine is a super sweet and chill coffee house that is also hosting a Renegade Exchange this weekend.
Some of Marleena’s work. Photo from Yellowbill.
Latte Art with Marleena at Yellowbill Bakery and Cafe – I have never been to Yellowbill before, but the pictures on Facebook make it look warm, inviting and full of delicious food. You can eat all the pastries your heart can desire and watch a latte art demonstration. It’s crazy what kind of designs they can make!
Coffee Works Tour at Coffee Works – This is the oldest roastery in Sacramento, is it bad that I’ve never been there before? A super cool opportunity to see the inner workings of a roastery.
Temple’s Aeropress. Photo from Temple Fine Coffee & Tea
Home Brewing Class at Temple Coffee Roasters – This is one of my favorite coffee shops in Sacramento, and they’re hosting a class on home brewing, which is perfect for those of us who can’t make it to a cafe every day. There are three locations in Sacramento, and this event will be held at their S Street location, which is actually the only one I’ve visited.
Photo from Rosaura Unangst / Pigment and Parchment
Coffee themed Hand Lettering Workshop at Vic’s Cafe – My girl Rosaura at Pigment and Parchment will be hosting this wonderful event, blending her love of coffee and art. All the materials are provided, and there will be still-life painting and coffee vignettes included in this event. You can get your tickets here if you want to treat yo’self to a night of fun.
Coffee-Infused Beer at Track 7 Brewing Co – You can meet Juan Luis Barrios, a coffee producer from Finca La Merced in Guatemala and have a taste of Track 7’s Panic IPA Firkin, infused with Chocolate Fish coffee.
Small Batch Collaboration Lunch at Golden Bear – Ah, Golden Bear. Such good memories there, and hands down, my favorite bar in Sacramento. There will be an Insight Coffee and Bike Dog Brewery collaboration, and a Cascara Infused Soda from Andrew Calisterio. Oh, and they also serve super good food and have a ridiculously fun yet chill atmosphere.
Image from Beers in Sac
Cafe Au Ale Homebrew Competition and Party at Old Soul – Beers in Sacramento is hosting this event, where homebrewers are invited to brew their own batch of coffee-infused beer that will be judged by certified beer judges and local industry folk. There will be a party after, and caramels from one of my favorite ladies, Deb Ray at Rebel Confections. You can read my article about it here.
From Green to Brewed at Shady Coffee and Tea – Hey, look at that! An event in Roseville. There will be a live coffee roasting demonstration and single cup pour-overs will be offered. I haven’t actually been here yet, and I would love to check out some coffee shops in my new town, so hopefully I can make this!
Photo from Old Soul Co
Third Saturday Art Walk at Old Soul – Old Soul will be hosting their own Third Saturday Art Walk at their L Street location, which will feature photos from a direct sourcing trip to Central America and a Q&A with Finca Los Congos producer Rina Paguaga. All proceeds from any artwork sold will go to Reading Partners.
Photo from Semi Sweet Press
DIY Halloween Card Workshop at Temple – Since Halloween is just a couple weeks away, the wonderful Kristin DeNeeve at Semi Sweet Press and the ladies from Girls on the Grid are co-hosting a Halloween Card Workshop. You can get your tickets here, and enjoy some wonderful coffee while gettin’ crafty. Want to learn more about Kristin? Read my Q&A with her for The Seenhere.
Coffee Week Wrap Party at Ruhstaller Tasting Room – And because all good things must come to an end, Ruhstaller will be hosting a Coffee Week Wrap Party, where they will preview the release of their “Sauce” Coffee Stout and one-day-only collaborations, include different hop varieties from their own farm. There will also be live music!
When I was in high school, I stumbled across I Love Lucy on TV Land. Or was it Nick at Nite? Either way, I was hooked from the first episode I watched. After that, I bought her autobiography, Love, Lucy and anything else I could find that had her photo slapped on it. I was so intrigued by her, and I am still inspired by her confidence and ability to laugh at herself.
“I’m not funny, what I am is brave”
Even now, when I can’t sleep, I plop myself on the couch and turn on Hallmark so I can get my I Love Lucy fix. This pregnancy-induced insomnia could be where I got my idea to dress up as Lucille Ball for Halloween. And coincidentally, in 1952, she was the first woman to successfully show her pregnancy on air, but CBS still found the word “pregnancy” too vulgar to use in the show.
Oh, how times have changed.
There are not a whole lot of options to choose from, but I think I’ll be good if I go with a button up shirt and pair of black pants. I’ve even considered dying my hair, or I could wear a hair wrap like in the photo below to disguise the fact that my hair is not red.
Since reopening my shop under collected + made, I have been revamping it bit by bit. I’ll change the logo if I don’t like it, I’ll update some prints if I feel they need updating it and I’ll work on it here and there. Like everything else, my shop is a work in progress. It’s a learning and growing experience.
What I have found, is that I am in love with this Kitchen Collection I purchased from Laurenalisa on Creative Market. Since I’m still new to illustration, and I don’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to my practice right now, I rely heavily on Creative Market for cute illustrations.
I used illustrations from this collection (and the garden set by vareennik) when I sent over the logo design inspiration to Amy for my blog header, and then I used it on my collected + made logo. I love it so much, I even put a widget for it on my blog so you can snag it that way if you want it later!
The one thing that my shop is lacking, though, is some killer product photos. I went through my Pinterest and organized all the pins I had for product photo tutorials, and I wanted to share some with you, in case you are in the same boat.
Old and new, the have one thing in common for certain: you need a photo box. This takes care of the background noise, and allows your product to take center stage. It also helps with the lighting and focus.
DIY Product Photo Set / Photo Credit: Amanda Wright / Wit and Whistle
Amanda Wright from Wit and Whistle uses a simple setup on her kitchen table: foamcore, some kitchen containers to hold them up and a big piece of fabric. She shares the process on her blog, and you can see the result in her beautiful shop.
One thing I have read before, is that if you use the same fabric and props (or something similar) in all of your product photos, it will show cohesiveness in your branding.
Lauren Elise from Lauren Elise Crafted makes something similar with the white foamcore, minus the fabric, and puts her setup outside for that lovely natural light. You can see how she does it in her blog tutorial.
DIY Light Box / Photo Credit: Anne Weil / Flax & Twine
Anne Weil made a DIY Light Box that is a little more elaborate on Flax & Twine. I have seen something like this a few times, so I’m thinking it’s the way to go. She shares the whole tutorial on her blog, which is also beautiful, by the way.
I’m just about as big of a fan of Rosaura’s product photos for Pigment and Parchment as I am of her. She shares a behind-the-scenes look of a photo shoot she did with Sudz by Studz on her blog, including how she gets all of her adorable props (tip: most of them are found in her kitchen!) Check out her shop to see all of her work in action!
I’m all jazzed up now, ready to set up my photo box and get crackin’ on my product photography. Are you with me? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!
Old MacDonald is Cecilia’s jam right now. She will break into the cutest rendition of it at any given moment, especially when she’s upset. It’s her coping mechanism. And she loves farm animals like nobody’s business. This is why we’re doing her room in farm theme, and why I have decided to have a farm-themed birthday party.
Is it weird if I want to include a baby shower in that, too?
I just came to the realization that my baby girl will be turning two in just two short months, so I better get on it! I found some really cute party inspiration that I wanted to share today:
Farm Fresh Birthday Party / Photo Credit: Audrey / Urbanic
Now, I would do this Barn Cake from Betty Crocker a little differently but I do love the idea of having both a cake and cupcakes. You can get the whole tutorial and recipe by clicking here or on the photo.
So what do you think of this barnyard party theme? Are you planning a kids birthday soon – what’s the theme? Share in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest!
A lot has changed since my first Journalism class in 2002. The print industry isn’t what it used to be – newspapers are closing, fallen victim to the internet. The majority of the print publications that are still out have a strong online presence and keep their feed fresh.
A couple weeks ago, I met with Roshaun Davis from Unseen Heroes about contributing to their new online magazine called The Seen. You can see my post about it here. As it turns out, we had a Journalism class together and we both agreed that even though the outlet has changed, the quality of writing should not. We still need to take pride in our writing, in both the content and the delivery.
Outlets like blogging gives us an opportunity to write about what we want, and it allows us to share our world with others. To connect people to something they otherwise would not have known. After all, it was my blog posts that connected me to the two Sacramento-driven forces that I contribute for today, Unseen Heroes and Beers in Sacramento.
Kristin deNeeve from Semi Sweet Press doin’ her thing / Photo Credit: Raymond Kim / Unseen Heroes
Writing about my city is my way of giving back to it. Giving back to the creative community that has helped me grow in so many ways. And when I get to write about the people and the happenings in my city, when I get to be a part of that, well, that’s why I got into Journalism in the first place.
The wonderful people at Unseen Heroes not only put out The Seen online magazine, they also hold amazing events. The put on Gather, a monthly gathering on every 2nd Thursday of the month (this week’s event is the last of the season) and they hold The Good Design Market, which is in the middle of its second season, and runs every first Sunday of the month from June – December.
Last week, my first piece for The Seen was posted – a Q&A with the wonderful and talented Kristin deNeeve of Semi Sweet Press, who vends at Good. It’s an amazing and creative way to give visitors an inside look at who sells at Good. I was so happy that our conversation was the first of this series.
And Mike Ungerbuhler doing his thing / Photo Credit: Mike Ungerbuhler / Beers in Sacramento
Sacramento is also holding its first Specialty Coffee Week next week, and to celebrate, Beers in Sacramento is hosting a Cafe Au Ale homebrew competition. Participants were asked to create a brew that is mixed with coffee, and it will be judged at the party on Oct 17th.
You can read my article on Beers in Sacramento to find out more about the event and one of the homebrewers who is participating. Oh, and also, there are going to be beer-filled confections from Rebel Confectionary and Jams at the party, too.
I completely believe in creating a handmade, mindful life. In making things with my hands, supporting people who make things with their hands and putting a creative touch on everything I can. I believe in making food from scratch whenever possible, and really thinking about how I want to create and cultivate my business…and life, for that matter.
Image Credit: Oh My! Handmade
So, when I saw this post on Oh My! Handmade, I knew that so many of us are in the same boat. Anyone who believes in handmade, who believes in community, can agree with this post, and that’s why I felt compelled to share it. I want to really work on a creating a home, a business, a life with meaning. I want my children to love and respect who and what they have in their lives, to not take our hard work for granted and to thrive in their home.
The book Happy Handmade Home has been out since late August, and I’ve finally convinced myself that I just need to go ahead and buy it, for Pete’s sake. I’ve also set it up so you can buy it directly from my site through Amazon! Hooray! But, the real find here is their Book Club…I did not know they had one!
I have wanted to join a book club for a while, but it can be difficult to get out when you have a little one and a boyfriend with a crazy work schedule. I also really love the Business Book Club on Dear Handmade Life. They always have such good books!
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Scones / Photo Credit: Some the Wiser
I’ve been painting since I was a little kid. I never considered myself to be excellent at it, but it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. One of the things that I love the most about it is that it’s totally forgiving. Well, at least painting with acrylic is. If you don’t like the way you did something, you can easily paint over it.
Or if you come back to something that you painted years ago, you can easily sand it down and start over fresh. That’s what I’ve decided to do with these two canvases. I painted them a way long time ago, and I don’t really have a need for them right now. So, with Cecilia’s help, I sanded them down, and now I’m going to repaint them to hang in the kids’ rooms.
Oh! And I made these waffles this morning using a Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe, and they were delicious. The ingredients are simple, the recipe is easy to make and you don’t have to wait long to eat the results. Perfect scneario!