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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The BEStsy of Etsy

Turkishtowel-Highest Quality Pure Organic Cotton,Hand Woven,Bath,Beach,Spa,Yoga Towel or Sarong-Mathing-Natural Cream and Navy,Sailor Blue

I love Etsy. I could spend hours perusing everything from photography to crafts to tablewear. I picture myself discovering perfectly amazing unique and random gifts for people and when I hand wrap it in that custom paper with the silly moustaches on it they say things like, wherever did you find this perfectly amazing unique and random gift? and I just smile. Maybe I should get out more?

But Etsy sucks you in and spits you out and after 3 hours where have you got yourself? A list 2 miles long of things you want that you will, lets be honest, never buy. So you mope around, do the dishes and when your done you wish longingly that you had that cute hand crafted moroccan tea towel to dry your hands on, and instead of ordering it from Etsy you drive to the nearest walmart or homesence and buy the same one 3 of your friends already have. Etsy CAN be great, but you have to narrow it down, or the possibilities are soo endless you wind up with nothing but wasted time. So, to help (hopefully) I have a list of what I think are some great, unique, Etsy sites.

Also, because there are websites for everything now adays (um, like this blog) you can always look at This site shows you the top Etsy sellers via the sales count in every country and category and they update it every 24 hours. (clever name) features great shops and narrows them down to categories like art, fashion and home. They also have a ton of pictures which I love.


Boot Socks Lace Trim Ruffle Hosiery Crochet Lace Trim and Buttons for Stocking Stuffers

ThreeBirdNest - They offer homemade bohemian indie fashion (their words not mine). With winter upon us, their stylish tuques, head scarves, and knee socks (with cute lace) are timely. They also sell infinity scarves for toddlers. It helps the model they choose is gorgeous but I'm sure those socks would look good on anyone!
A3 London print - black and gold Christmas gift

OldEnglishCo - Very cool prints for the home. Made in London, I'm sure even your husband will be onboard. I could see their "butcher prints" in any mainstream restaurant. Very high reviews.
LittleMonde - I think with a couple of these prints in any nursery your babies room would seem unique. Also a high star rating and made in Montreal, so basically you know it has to be cool. 
BreeMadden - In keeping with the nursery theme these photos of fine art, ocean and landscapes are perfect, probably more for a girls room than boys. She has a set of a ferris wheel, flowers and a flying seagull that I think would work with any room palette.
AndreKart - Just amazing photos. She takes pictures of things like old typewriters and guess what, right now she's having a SALE!
AliciaBock - Nature and Paris photography
Anek - Illustration and hand lettering for food. I don't think there's a kitchen in the world these prints WOULDNT look good it!
leahduncan- this might be more personal because I love her style but maybe you will to. Everything from prints to jewlery to cards.
EyePoetryPhotography - I can't get enough of her photographs. Her pictures make you feel like you are there.  You will start using words like whimsical.
Colorful Triangle Cushion Cover (various sizes) | GeometricElectric Handmade Modern Home Decor
LovelyHomeIdea - This is a very popular Etsy site. They have an emphasis on pure quality linens that would warm up any room!
GeometricElectric - Featured in Better Homes and Gardens they sell handmade modern home decor. Love their pillow patterns!
Itsnotbusinessshop - If you follow them they will provide you with a discount code. Monogrammed items that would make great gifts or really personalize your home or iphone case!
urbanwalls- Probably the most mainstream shop on this list. I've seen soo many people on instagram with products from Urban Walls. I personally love the nursery and toddler room decals, but I think the chalkboard wall decals are also a great idea!
Turkishtowel - these towels are actually made in Turkey. How fun is that when you have guests over and they ask where you got those bathroom towels from?!
3 Sheets - Pick and Mix - Wrapping Paper

Gift Wrap and Gifts

ToodlesNoodles - Wrapping paper in stores is soo booring. And its the first impression of a gift someone has. Why not make it special! Even ordering their gift tags and wrapping a present with brown craft paper would make this special. For tips on using brown craft paper for wrapping this link is helpful


Ruffhouseart - Letterpress stationary and eco wares. Remember when i talked about finding that perfectly amazing and unique random gift? I think this is where you would find it! Big Lebowski coasters? So perfect. You can also request a custom order and have something made just for you.

I hope this helps. Again, this is probably a bit of a biased list because after all Etsy is all about personal taste and not following the crowd, so maybe me even writing a list is not appropriate, but perhaps your taste is similar to mine and you'll find a shop or product from this list that is just you, or maybe you'll find that perfect gift!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

To eat meat or not to eat meat...

There are soo many titles we give ourselves with respect to our diets and what we choose and choose not to eat. Vegan, Pescitarian, Paleo, Raw, and the list goes on. Every few years it seems like there's a new diet bandwagon to jump on. Atkins, the Hcg diet, the cabbage soup diet (ew). I've tried a lot of diets, not really any of the more extreme ones, but defenitely most of the lifestyle choices. I was vegetarian for the better part of 10 years. I've tried Vegan on and off, and even recently the Paleo diet. 
Wait, what? Vegan to Paleo? It might seem absurd to have that 180 degree switch but for me, being a busy mom and needing enough energy to get through the day with my baby girl, and still have the stamina to hang out with my husband when he gets home from work, finding an appropriate diet means more than what my personal preferences are. It means narrowing down what works for someone who doesn't have time to spend hours cooking meals every day and yet not eating pre-packaged foods (for the most part). For me Veganism caused me to actually gain weight, I think mostly because of my intolerance to many beans and legumes, which are the trademarks of a healthy vegan diet.
Probably the lack of protein in my diet led me to be unable to resist the more unhealthy foods available. That licorice in the cupboard practically called my name and that bag of potatoe chips didn't seem like such a bad idea for lunch when I had only had a Vega shake for breakfast. I want to emphasize here that I think everyone should eat what works for them. This is not a space to put down any person's diet choices. A fellow mother once told me her motto when speaking to other mothers about their parenting choices. It was simple. No Judging. I thought that was great and defenitely strive to apply that to other peoples dietary restrictions. Whatever works for you I say. Who are we to judge what someone else chooses to eat. LIke I said, at the end of the day you have to do what works for you and your family, because they are the most important.
But back to the facts. In truth I went from Paleo to Vegan to back to incorporating some meat into my diet. Why?

I had heard of Paleo before, in my fitness magazines, and thought it was restricted to tough looking woman who could out bench press any man and who used words like deadlift in their every day vocabulary. But then my sister told me her and her boyfriend had tried it, had both felt great, and had both lost weight. I think that is the catalyst for any good diet, not just loosing weight, but how we feel. Are you loosing your hair for the sake of a few pounds that will probably just return? Or unable to function because you've had so few calories you don't have the energy to go for a walk with your family or play for hours with your baby? No thanks. Anyway, I tried Paleo for a few weeks and felt great! I lost weight, had a ton of energy, and would have stuck it out further, but after so many years being vegetarian, the idea of eating meat everyday started to get to me. I had seen so many videos of slaughter houses and the images remained imprinted in my head and read enough Peta newsletters to make anyone rethink their meal choices. So I switched things up and thought I'd try Veganism again. Truthfully it was after reading that Jay-Z and his wifey were trying it for 22 days (go to for more info). And if the king and queen of hip hop could do it, why not give it a try. But like I said, you've gotta do what works for you. The vegan thing was great and I loved all the healthy recipes I tried and the emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, but it wasn't really working for me. I was probably carb loading a little much. The point being (I promise I'll get there eventually) I've decided not to worry so much about labeling myself. I'll probably eat mostly white meat and fish (I don't think I could ever eat a cow or pig or game meat for as long as I live, but No Judging right!) and I'll for sure use vegan meals at least a couple nights a week. I mean, its good for the environment, its healthy, and like I said, if Jay-Z and Beyonce can do it, they're always ahead of the game!

So here are my top 10 vegan recipes that are husband approved! I've attached the links below and they are also on my Pinterest account.
1. Easy Vegan Quinoa Chili (  I love this. I added 2 cans of no salt added diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce.  Of all the recipes though this is my husbands least favorite, so to make it more enticing I add the roasted lemon potatoes as a side! He says as long as there are a lot of toppings (avacado, cilantro, hot sauce) he likes it. Boys....


2. Roasted lemon potatoes ( I've made these twice in two weeks. They are amazing. I would recommend following the recipe exactly. I've tried it without the broth (obviously I would use vegetarian broth if doing this vegan) and its not quite as flavorful. Its nice to add to something like the Vegan Chili to fill up your family!
3. Vegan thai curry with lemon rice ( The lemon rice makes this dish I think so I would spend the time making it. For mine I just made regular brown rice as per the package instructions, then added lemon zest and lemon after. Also, I didn't use saffron but I personally thought it was good without it. Maybe next time!
4. Vegan Indian "Butter" Cauliflower with Coconut Brown Rice ( This was soo good. I didn't have time to make the coconut rice but hopefully next time I will. Again, husband approved!
5. Yam Fries. I make these a lot. There isn't one specific recipe I try. Basically just peel the yams (some people choose to omit this step it seems, whatever you have time for I guess). A tip I learned was cut off the top and bottom so you have a "table" to slice the yams on. Then, slice lengthwise, so you have slightly round pieces of yam. Cut those again as thick as you want. Put in a bowl and toss with oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for around 40 minutes (the time would depend on the thickness of the yam pieces) put on parchment paper a top a tray and voila! a recipe I would like to try is at
6. Quinoa Fried Rice ( I think this is my favorite recipe on this list. Who knew tahini and soy sauce together could be so delicious?! I didn't have the black sesame seeds available but it didn't seem to matter. It was still soo good!
7. Spicy Butternut squash Skillet ( I personally think adding the Sriracha makes this dish!
8. Peanut dragon bowl (
9. Butternut Squash soup. ( This site emphasized magically loosing weight just by eating this soup. Thats a little extreme I think, but a big pot of soup on a Monday, I think thats always a good idea!
10. Cauliflower fried rice. ( Just omit the egg whites and you've got an easy vegan, very low carb, dinner!

"Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself." - Jay Z

Friday, 20 December 2013

Fabric Garland

I have been seeing a ton of fabric garlands on Pinterest lately. Some are made with fabric and some with ribbon and I knew as soon as I saw them I wanted to put one in Emi's room. At first I had planned on ordering one from Etsy, but then I decided to try to make one myself? Turns out this was one DIY project that was actually easier than I thought it would be! So here's a quick breakdown of how I made mine. There are quite a few other options on Youtube or Pinterest, just type in fabric garland.


Step One - Buy Fabric. I chose 4 different fabrics in coral, hot pink, peach and gold. If I made this again I would try to buy more lightweight or sheer fabrics as they tend to hang nicer. I bought each fabric at Fabricland and asked for 1/4 a meter of each. The total cost? 6$ (love it!) You will also need scissors and string. The length of the string simply depends on the length you want your garland to be.



Step Two - Cut the fabric into about 5 inch strips wide with the length as long as you want. I made mine roughly 20 inches long but you can customize yours however you want. Just remember you will be folding the fabric in half, so the actual length will be half that of the fabric (when holding vertically).



Step Three - Cut and lay out string, longer than you need. Fold one piece of the fabric in half and place over the string. Pick up the two hanging ends and bring behind string and through hole. Pull down gently. It looks best if you do all of the fabric pieces the same way, with the fabric OVER the string. I chose to do the four colors in the same order every time. When your done simply find some white thumbtacks and hang up! Soo easy and I think it really adds texture to the room.  I think its a great way to individualize your little girl's room with something you made specially for her!





Of course, taking pictures in Emi's room, with the great lighting from having the blinds open, turned into an impromptu photo shoot, so here's some pictures of pretty Emi!


 If you have a chance stop by my Pinterest account for more fun DIY projects.

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy? - Oscar Wilde
(and with cute little babies!) 


Thursday, 19 December 2013

I Love Lists

Lets take a minute to stop and give a round of applause for lists.  Seriously.  I mean, I love lists.  I make lists for everything.  What outfits to wear for a week away, what makeup I want to buy, meal plans for the week, projects I want to start, gifts I want to give, dates I want to go on.  My Iphone notes section is a glimpse into my soul by way of lists.  So, I want to create a weekly list blog on my site.  Being as unorganized and unable to focus on any one thing as I am ("Squirrel"... if you've seen Up you will get this reference!), it will change weekly.  But at least once a month I want to have a music list.  If there’s anything I love more than lists its music.  And combine the two, you’ve got something pretty special.  My music taste encompasses everything from folk to indie to country to a little rock, old stuff and new stuff and everything in between.  I’m not a huge fan of 90s music to be honest (I find its kindof like coming across your old year book photos and immediately wanting to hide the album before anyone can see that you did in fact choose to cut off all your hair to look like Drew Barrymore and no it wasn’t an accident you were wearing that oversized man’s cardigan, you had in fact thought it looked cool) but other than that I am very open minded.   In my love of blogs I have been introduced to soo many new bands that I love and I hope I can do the same here.
This month (December) maybe because of the cold weather or the fact I’ve been trapped mostly indoors I’ve really been into folky music.  Pretty mellow but great for having on in the background while making a big pot of soup or curling up next to the fire with a great book or one of your favorite magazines. 

December 2013 Listening List

1.       Beach House – Wild

2.       Lorde – Buzzcut Season

3.       Vance Joy – Riptide

4.       Phoenix – The Real Thing

5.       Lord Huron – Ends of the Earth

6.       Royal Wood – Forever and Ever

7.       The Head and the Heart – Rivers and Roads

8.       The Lumineers – Morning Song

9.       Of Monsters and Men – Yellow Light

10.   The Apache Relay – Home is Not Places

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Lemon Burst Cookies (just follow the recipe)

I'm a terrible baker.  I am maybe an ok cook.  I make dinner 5 nights a week and it is a little more put together than simple meat and potatoes, and I like to think I make a mean beer battered fish taco.  But baking?  Baking is all specifics and measurements and I'm more of a rough estimate kind of girl.  As soon as I open a recipe book all I see are numbers like 1/2 a cup or 1/8 a teaspoon and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature.  Immediately I'm back in 10th grade math, while the rest of the class is nodding along I'm looking down hoping the teacher doesn't single me out and counting the minutes until class is over.  (lol, counting)

Mathematics aside, I also tend to improvise.  1 cup of sugar, that's too much, I'll use half that.  And flaxseed mixed with water as a substitute for egg, why not.  I've used maple syrup (a Gwenyth Paltrow approved condiment) in place of sugar more times than I can count.  And nothing ever turns out.  Crumbly, uncooked, burnt.  I've tried soo many times I had all but given up when something happened.  I tried actually following the recipe.  I diligently followed the measurements exactly, didn't use any substitutions, and even read the recipe through once first to make sure I actually had all of the ingredients, and you know what, it worked!  Last week at my husbands request I made chocolate chip banana muffins and I'd go as far as to say they even LOOKED as good as the picture.

With my newfound confidence this week I decided to give it another try with these Lemon Burst Cookies ( for the recipe).  It wasn't without incident.  When I first starting rolling the dough into balls I noticed a large amount of unmixed flour.  Normally I would of pressed on (which could explain why in my arsenal of bad baking experiences I have made muffins with cooked egg inside, and you wonder why I call myself a terrible baker?!) but instead I put the mostly mixed dough back in the electric mixer for another round.  And when the recipe said to roll the dough into balls and cover in icing sugar, which sounded easy enough, I ended up with gooey dough stuck to my hands instead.  But, rather then giving up, I found by wetting my hands first the dough rolled much easier and using a large bowl filled with icing sugar to roll the dough balls in worked great, a step that I think takes these cookies from good to great! Now I'm two for two in the baking department but I think my new joy of baking needs to come to an end.  Last night my husband asked me if I think he's getting fat, so I think next week I'll take a break from baking and cut up some fruit and veggies instead.  And I won't have to follow a recipe!

Day 1

First day of blogging. So here we go. The best place to start is as always the beginning.  Why blog? For me the inspiration to blog came from becoming a mom.  Going from a working woman to a stay at home mom has been a huge transition. Part of what has become my daily routine is reading blogs. It keeps me in the loop with what's going on in the outside world as to be 100% honest, there are days (and I mean multiple days in a row) where I don't leave the house. Being a one vehicle family the stroller is my main means of transportation, and living on the coast means our walks are very much dependant on the weather. So blogs keep me up to date. With fashion, decor ideas, DIY projects, and given the informal nature of blogs it feels like catching up with friends.

My mission is to create a space where I can share affordable fashion inspiration, recipes I've tried, DIY projects I've attempted (and sometimes failed at, ok more than sometimes), mom stuff, and in general things I like and have found in the stratosphere of the blog world.  Hopefully you enjoy!