DIY Christmas-ish

Happy Holidays!

I am currently snuggled up in a big quilt enjoying a snow day. I really never thought I'd see one of these when we moved away from Utah, but lo and behold, I had my first white Christmas!

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was aiming to do a DIY Christmas, and guess what? I failed miserably! No surprise, but I'll still show you what I came up with!

For my mom (who if she didn't get married might of become the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2) some painted TOMS.

My dad used to always say this fun little poem to us called their "Their Once was a Puffin." I rewrote the poem, illustrated it, and then made him a little book. These are a few of the pages:

For my youngest sister-in-law I painted a pair of The Walking Dead shoes. (That is supposed to be Daryl... I am not so good at portraits.)

And my grandma's and aunt got some homemade cards

That's kind of where the success ended. I bought a canvas to paint something for my other sister-in-law. After working and reworking it for hours... it pretty much turned out like puke:
... so we got her some Bath and Body Works and house supplies instead.

Raquel (Christmas fanatic) got this little jewel:

Mammaw got a pedi/mani certificate.
Bo got a purple Nike golf shirt.
Kate got a paper cutter and a book of scrapbook paper.
My brother got this awesome game. (I game it to myself for Christmas too)
Breck got a keyboard for his iPad/2K13/John Varvatos Cologne (he smells soooo good!)
And Dalo got a big bone. :)

I also got to help a few other people with their Christmas presents! Niles knew they didn't make Vans in his wife's favorite color anymore, so he had me make some just for her. (With a little bit of extra character in the back!)

Kirstin asked me to do a little "family portrait" of her sister and their dogs.

It was a great Christmas! Made better that it was filled with 2.5 hours of pure joy as I watched Les Mis. I thought Russell Crowe sounded just fine, thank you very much.

Oh and this happened, and I am probably going to take the original picture, blow it up and put it in our living room:



Hi friends! Today, I feel like this:


2. It's a super cool job that I can actually explain without confusing people! I'll be a jewelry designer for a company that sells to Dillards, Nordstroms, etc.

3. I will make the same amount of money plus I FINALLY will have insurance so I don't have to be so paranoid about getting hurt/sick! AND I get to work doing something I LOVE!



First Anniverserary

So it's been a year. A year of waking up next to this face.
Let me say this:
While the world continues to decay, it is so precious for me to know that, although I have many flaws myself, I am part of something as perfect as my relationship with Breck. To know in the midst of it all, something as beautiful as the love we have each other can go unblemished is the greatest comfort. In the past decade, I feel like the view of marriage has become so twisted. But let me be a witness of what I know is the truth. Marriage with the right person is liberating and interesting and hilarious and victorious.

Marriage is like when Molly Weasley took out Bellatrix.

It's like the Google commercial about Sophie and her dad.

It's like when you judged Susan Boyle and then she was the best singer you'd ever heard.

It's like this dad.

Or when this happened.

It's like when soldiers come home from war.

Or when everyone stood up in your theatre during Miracle.

It's like when the dad came and helped his son finish the race.

Pretty much whenever I think about it, I just want to stand up and start a slow clap. Marriage is awesome. And I'm so glad I get to share it with Breck. I'm so grateful it happened to me.


Careers + Christmas + Cameras

Oh my gosh. I apologize, I feel like it's been weeks!

But I have a great excuse. I'm on the job hunt! Which is thrilling and scary and above all EXHAUSTING! I've been working from home in a position that pays well... but has become unfulfilling. And although rolling out of bed and working in pajamas can be nice, it's also pretty lonely.

So, I'm excited to have some cool interviews lined up! Change is good. (But prayers and good luck wishes are very appreciated!)

Let's talk about my best friend in the world, Kirstin Gunn. She is fabulous and living in New York working at a big time ad agency. AND because she is so awesome, she spends a bunch of her free time helping the people who have lost their homes and possessions in Hurricane Sandy. Take a second to watch this video she made. Think about what it would be like if this was what you had to call home this Christmas. If you have the means to help out, I hope you do so. She will be giving the gift cards directly to those that need it and documenting the reactions so you can actually see the results of your donation. Email her for more info at kirstingunn@gmail.com. Also, no gift cards to Walmart because there are no Walmarts in NYC!

Speaking of Christmas gifts, this year my mom and dad gave us a camera! I LOVE it! I swear I just want to play with it every other minute.

Here is a pizza we made the other night, I ruined the sauce but it was still pretty good:

If Breck isn't awake when he needs to be, I find that using the flash is the best way to fix that:
I sure love him!
He is proud that that he took this one:
And here are some of my cheapo (a.k.a. completely free) Christmas decorations.
Also, Breck brings me Christmas sprinkle pancakes in the middle of the night. Sorry ladies.


Favorite Things: Stores

It has been a great Thanksgiving! I'll post about our fun-filled trip to San Antonio next time, but first I'm celebrating Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday with a list of my top 5 favorite stores!

1. Barnes and Noble. There is something so comforting about walking into a Barnes and Noble. Great memories of Italian sodas and shortbread and hours and hours of exploring shelves of adventures.

2. Hobby Lobby. The great catalyst for creativity! It's so cool to think about what can be done with the material in that store.

3. Anthropologie. Sure, the clothes are crazy over priced, but this place is just BEAUTIFUL. I go in just to admire the displays. And the home section is fool proof.

4. Primark. One day Primark will come to America and all will be right in the world. H&M clothes at Thrift Store prices... one day.

5. Restoration Hardware. Hard to explain how perfect this place is. You wish they would lock you in at night just so you can pretend you live there. So much lust for their furniture.
Really though, let me live there.


Favorite Things: Books

Last night was the Oprah's Favorite Things show. It was...
I'm no Oprah, but I LOVE giving gifts. This year I am doing all homemade gifts because:
1. I am dirt poor
2. I think it's easier to find the right gift!
I'll have a really neat post after Christmas to show you each one, but for now it'll stay a surprise.

Until then I am in a favorite things kick! For the next month I'll be doing lists of all my favorite things! I'll start with an easy one...

1. Harry Potter Series. Duh.
2. Ready Player One. I picked this one up at the library because I liked the cover art. Best decision. It's set in the future where the world is in shambles, resources are scarce, the economy is broken, and people live in trailers stacked on top of each other. The only escape is into a virtual reality called OASIS. But even that can cost. The ONLY glimmer of hope is a complicated quest set up by the creator of OASIS, but it's been years since the quest started, and no one has even found the first clue. Haha how dorky to I seem? If you liked Ender's Game I think you'd love this one!
3. Watership Down. This is one of my go to reads, but again, it sounds a little crazy. Think LOTR with rabbits. I realize how strange that sounds. But it's so good!
4. Les Miserables. Classic! If you don't have time for the book, go see the movie! (But you should really read the book too.)
5. Graceling trilogy. This is one of my guilty pleasure reads. If you liked Hunger games, I think you'll like this too. Strong female lead, love story, battles, fight against a overarching evil... can't go wrong!
Let me know if you pick one of these up!


Roadtrip Recap

Breck and I road tripped up to Arkansas this weekend for some family fun! We listened to Harry Potter the whole time, I don't think I can explain how happy I get when Breck laughs appreciatively at the wonderful wit of Ms. Rowling. My heart explodes into thousands of freed house elves. (The sort that like being freed.)
Geeking out.

Alright so Arkansas was a blast. The first night we went to see Wreck it Ralph with Breck's little sister. It filled us with all sorts of "honeyglow"! Seriously, it's adorable and hilarious and the Disney short at the beginning is precious. Go see it or you're a total glitch.

The next morning we were up bright and early for the The Color Run. It's kind of like Hare Krishna, but you have to run 3 miles to get to the party. We "ran" the race with our good friends Karl & Angela who put up with my strange tendency to sprint away like a maniac whenever people started to crowd. (That's what happens when a fun day at your Grandpa's ranch turned into a run of death run when the cows stampeded. Running in crowds tends to make you anxious.)

Later that night, we went to the reception of the girl who bought my wedding dress! It was a beautiful affair and it was really just the greatest thing to see the dress be apart of another special day! Janeen looked stunning and I was so pumped to finally meet her face to face!

Seeing family is so refreshing, and makes me so grateful that we live close enough to have weekend trips!

And, as promised here is a link to check out the shoes I painted this past month. I'm redoing my website, so please excuse the rest of the pages!



Election Day

So if you hadn't figured it out yet, Breck and I voted for Obama. Calm down. It's okay. I realize 99% of the people I know disagree with me, but you know, welcome to democracy.

There are two things I wish everyone would think about as today comes to and end:
1. How will you react if the candidate you voted for doesn't win? I hope you decide not to be bitter and hateful. The biggest tragedy that can happen tonight is if America turns on itself and decides to hate it's other half for the next 4 years. Let's work towards compromise.
2. The candidate who wins, has not really won until they make a difference. So try to refrain from gloating until we see some real results.

Okay that's it. Go America!
Oh and I finished my first round of shoes! Detailed pics later!


Tricks and Treats

So I have spent the last 5 hours doing the my new blog header. I've never done cartoon characters in Adobe Illustrator before, so even though these are pretty lame... I am kind of psyched about it!

Raise you hand if you don't have a cute Halloween costume to post about because you still have no friends in Plano! It is seriously good that Breck and I are best friends because he is the only person I hang out with. One day I will make a friend here! (I am realizing that I sound completely pathetic, so moving on...)

Even though I am not dressing up this year, I have been rooting from the sidelines! Here are my three favorite things about Halloween:

1. Pumpkin flavored everything! My favorite this year is Pumpkin Spice granola from Trader Joe's.
Put a handful of that over Honey Greek yougurt and that is all you need to eat for the rest of your life! I've had it for 8 meals this week.

2. Television is so awesome this time of year. How am I even supposed to keep up with all the shows?? I mean, just look at my 'to watch' list:
1. Revenge
2. The Walking Dead
3. Once Upon a Time (not impressed with this season)
4. Dexter
5. Gossip Girl (guilty pleasure!)
6. Survivor
7. Modern Family
8. Nashville (love!)
9. The Vampire Diaries (not proud of it)
10. ANTM
11. Saturday Night Live
Okay, obviously I have a problem (no friends, remember?) but they are all so good! Sue me.

3. COSTUMES! I love watching all my friends get so crafty! Here are some of my favorites that I've seen so far (sorry for stealing your pictures, friends!):
Sarah as Betty Boop
My second cousin and her friend as Peas in a Pod.
Miss Paisley as a cheerleader.
My niece as Thing 1 (Does this mean a Thing 2 is coming, Steve?)
Kate and her boo as the winners of The Biggest Loser.
This is awesome. Here is Karissa and her husband as a black & white Lucy and Ricky.
And my favorite. Jef Holm next to someone dressed up like Jef Holm.

Happy Halloween!