Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 year in review

2012 has been a great year for me.  I started this blog with a post on my resolutions for the year.  One of them was to have more fun.

2011 had been such a grown-up year for me, after moving back from London, changing jobs and buying a house, I wanted to make sure and relax and actually enjoy life and all its blessings.

For Christmas I made Dan a photo album of our year and maxed out the number of pages that iPhoto would allow, without even getting everything in!  So I think we managed to pack the fun in.

Here are some highlights from 2012:


I started this blog! (ok technically December)
We headed to Arizona to see Dan's Dad play with the Chicago Cubs (Fantasy Camp)

We took a long weekend in Pebble Beach for the AT&T Open.


We spent a long weekend in Hermosa Beach for the Lakers game and visiting family.




A good friend from London visited for the weekend and we went wine tasting - quelle surprise.
This girl moved to New Zealand and I miss her all the time.


Celebrating the holidays with the Nutcracker and ice skating in in San Francisco.
I hosted Christmas Eve at my house - this was huge for me!

Cheers to 2012 and may 2013 be absolutely amazing for all of us!

images: first / last

Friday, December 28, 2012

blogger thank you

My first post went up exactly 1 year ago.


I didn't really have a plan when I started blogging (that's probably pretty obvious).
But I think it was for a couple of different reasons: 
- I needed a bit of creativity in my life 
{surprisingly accounting and finance doesn't help with that much}; 
- a little out boredom; 
 - and because I needed a place to keep the things I love
{Fun fact - most of the recipes I post are because I want to be able to find them again - selfish, I know}

 But a big reason was because I had found a few blogs that I loved reading and could relate to so much and found so inspiring.  

And through those blogs and since starting my own, I've found even more incredible people.
{Not more incredible than the people before, just more people who are incredible.}

I thought I'd take today's post to thank some of the bloggers whose posts I click on first when I see them in my blogroll.

Sheye - Sheye Rosemeyer - Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading and your writing was instantly addicting.  It's one of the few blogs that I've read completely through the archives.  I sat crying at my computer screen while reading some of your posts about Ava.  Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous photography and being so open about your grief and your happiness.

Lauren - Aspiring Kennedy - I first clicked on your blog because of the title.  It made me laugh. And then when I discovered you were an American (with my name) living in England, I was hooked.  See, I had just recently moved back from London and I missed it much more than I thought I would.  Your travel posts give me my Europe fix.

Sarah - Fairy Tales Are True - Your 1000 gifts post is one of my favorites.  My list is not even close to 1000 yet, but since starting it I find myself seeking beauty in every day things even if those things never make it to the list.  It was astounding how that small change within me changed so much around me. 

Rhi - Hey Gorgeous Events - How do you make everything so pretty?!  I love how much you share about starting your own business.  It's something that seems to be unique to the blog-world where people are willing to help others succeed rather than see them as the competition.  

Lara / Emily - Making Things Happen - I don't know how I first found you both.  It was pretty recent and I am so glad I did.  Your faith and the positivity and encouragement and support that you put out into the world is so inspiring to see.  I am so excited that you're offering a Making Brands Happen webinar series.  I'm hoping to attend part 1!

I don't think it's easy to figure out what to share and how much to share about your life, or create good content and a blog that's ascetically pleasing and easy to read.  I certainly don't pretend to have these things figured out.  I am constantly in awe of all the bloggers who make it look so effortless.

Thank you!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite days of the year.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a very Merry Christmas!

See you in the New Year!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas at my house

My tree:
It's pretty small so I have it on a table to keep Pacino from playing with anything while I'm at work.  But I love pulling out all my ornaments and decorating it.  

When I was living in London, my parents and brother came over and we celebrated Christmas there.  I bought this very Charlie Brown tree from ASDA but wanted some really beautiful ornaments.  I found some at The White Company, Zara Home, House of Fraser and treated myself to a couple at Harrods.  That's where the gold cross is from on the top of the tree - my favorite ornament.

I must admit, London Town knows how to do Christmas.

When I moved home I packed up all my ornaments and brought them back with me.  I'm so glad I did.  It's such a great reminder of my time there.

 These ornaments were too big to fit on my little tree but I love the colors.  It was hard to find this sort of taupe-grey color in a christmas ornament that I wanted.  I placed them in a glass bowl on my console.

I have all these beautiful colorful ornaments that didn't fit on my tree.  I piled them in another glass container and a basket on my bar.  

I posted yesterday about the card holder I made here.

This is one of my favorite cards on it.  She knows me so well :)

My DIY rosemary wreath {here}. 

I saw this image on tumblr and printed it out and framed it for my mantel.  
It looks like Pacino's nose. :)

Stockings are hung.

Presents are wrapped and under the tree with some of my favorite gift tags.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Glitter Clothespin {diy}

I'm bring you the world's easiest and fastest diy.

I needed a pretty place to hang my holiday cards.  

Usually, I'd put them on the mantel but since it's pretty much the new standard to send photo cards, they don't tend to stand on their own very well.

- bag of mini clothespins (from Michaels - 50 for $1.79 with 40% off coupon)
- double sided tape
- scissors
- glitter :)

A little anti-climatic, I know.  Could you see where this was going?

I just strung some twine across my mirror and taped to the back. It seems to be holding up just fine.

I'm kinda loving them.  I think they'd be adorable on place cards or gift tags too.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I had a very Christmas-y weekend and loved it!  I can't believe Christmas is only 6 days away.  Did it come fast this year or what?!

The Nutcracker at the San Francisco Ballet with my mom and aunts.

They made it snow when you walked it to the opera house.  It was sort of magical :)

I love when the Christmas tree just grows and grows and grows!

Ice Skating in Union Square - it's become our Christmas tradition. 

Drinks at the Top of the Mark and dinner at Delfina - it was perfect!

We had a Christmas tree decorating party at my parents house.  And Thanksgiving dinner too, since my brother didn't make it out for T-day from New York.

And we tortured Pacino a bit.

Doesn't he look like the dog from the Grinch that stole Christmas?!

Sunday was candy / cookie / cake making with my mom, and of course, football, 

and my favorite: wrapping presents!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Men's Gift Guide {1 thing only}

Last Christmas, Dan surprised my with a gorgeous bracelet I've always wanted.  It was completely unexpected.  Both his mom and sister knew about it and were excited to hear about my reaction when I opened it.

They asked him later about what I had gotten him.  He told them "different stuff, some underwear and things." He failed to mention that I got him multiple pairs of the world's most expensive underwear! That he couldn't stop telling me about! 

Apparently, for men, these are the worlds most comfortable underwear. (I guess they could be comfortable for women too, but I haven't tried.)

I got my brother one pair last year, just as a joke, like ha ha your sister bought you underwear.  
(It was funnier in my head.)

It's the only thing he's asked for this year.


Monday, December 17, 2012

I don't always express myself very well. 

I wanted to write about Friday's loss - our loss as a nation and as a world really.  But nothing was coming out right.  No words felt like they were enough. 

I've been fortunate enough to find some really beautiful blogs and wonderful writers. And when something like this happens, I've found comfort in their words.

Here are some very lovely ladies who have said it so much better than I ever could.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and community of Newtown, CT.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gift tags {Free Printables Roundup}

One of my favorite parts of the holiday's is wrapping gifts.  

I love finding the perfect present for someone, but I think even more so, 
I love the pretty paper and beautiful ribbons.  

I'm a goner in shops like Paper Source.

I've been finding loads of free gift tag printables on some gorgeous blogs.  
I thought I'd share in case anyone else out there loves paper and string too. :)

I'm completely in love with these from Sweet Muffin Suite.

Have you ever visited Pencil Stitches? Such a lovely blog!

From the beautiful Southern Weddings Magazine Blog.  I love the 'Merry Christmas y'all' tag!

From Nicole's Class Blog. I love the red with Tiffany blue!

Style Me Pretty posted gift tags and pretty printable gift wrap.
I'm kind of loving the white and red print paper.

And the gift tags from Style Me Pretty are just too stinkin' adorable!

There were tons of styles on Creature Comforts Blog, these were just my favorite.

From Hey Look:

I love Hey Look's from last year too!

Did I mention all of these are free?!

Thank you so much to all these generous ladies!  I'm am so in awe of your talents!

If you need me, I'll be on my living room floor surrounded by scraps of paper, boxes and ribbons, probably with tape stuck on me somewhere, with the Christmas tree lit, a cup of hot cocoa and Love Actually on the tv. :) 

Here's the first few wrapped gifts under my tree.

Please note the tag-less-ness here and you'll understand the need for this post. :)

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