Monday, December 28

Christmas 2009

Just a few pictures to share...

George's beautiful prime rib roast.

With wild snapper

My favorite new baby.

Guinness for the chef!

Our little band of misfits.

Hoot! Hoot!

I saw a tutorial on felt owls and was inspired to make one for myself, which I promptly gifted to my friend at a White Elephant exchange. The hooter was a hit! I rarely ever use patterns to make anything, I just guess-timate and whatever happens happens. For this one, I used a combination of felt, a knit sweater scrap, thread and buttons and I even embroidered a little message on the back. More birdies to come, I have the rest of the week off from work!

My New Calendar

Our fabulous friend and neighbor Katrin gifted us this lovely Hammerpress calendar for Xmas! I've been admiring their calendars for some time now. How did you know, Kat???

Holiday Card

A fun fantasy-reality mash up from Our Labor of Love. Click on image for a closer view.

Friday, December 25

Winter Scene

Merry Christmas everyone! I've been terrible about posting lately, but you know how life gets away from you! Pictures from Christmas morning. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12

Car Crash in Donegal

Our last trip to Ireland included this gem of a day. Look how close we came when we slid by the other car.

Tuesday, December 8

Vintage Cocktails

We spotted this  book at Anthropologie the other day. The typography is gorgeous and the photos make me drool. Picking it up today for a special friend who loves the craft of the cocktail.

Monday, December 7

Recipe Card

This project will require some thoughtful planning and time, but the result will be a memorable and unique recipe card.

{+} First things first. You should probably make the recipe you plan to share, unless you already have the ingredients in your pantry.

{+} Group your items to be photographed and remember to vary object heights for composition and use similar materials and colors.

{+} Upload photo onto your computer and use Photoshop or Illustrator to "write" down ingredients. If you don't have these programs or anything similar, print out the picture, glue on some handwritten labels or write on the photo directly, then scan it back in.

{+} Once the photo has been printed, add your recipe to the back. VoilĂ , let them be impressed!

See the recipe for Wassail Punch, ingredients in the photograph above at design*sponge

Get Crafty

Check out all these fun DIY projects (and loads more) over at Scissor Variations.

Casual Chic

"An American in London" - casual and completely at ease.
via The Sartorialist 

Friday, December 4

Snake Print for Linh

From now until.....hmmm....April, I will post things that would make perfect gifts for me. And if you happen to like them for yourself too, well then it's all good. Along the way, I will of course, will be revealing intimate facts about myself through blatant materialism.

For Linh Series #1: I was born in the Chinese calendar year of the snake. Below: Midwestern Can Snake by Dan Furderburgh for The Working Proof. Fifteen percent of the gross sale of this print goes to benefit "Transportation Alternatives," advocates for bicycling, walking and public transit. {$40, edition of 75, as of today, 68 remaining} via design*sponge 

Wednesday, December 2

Service Industry Alert

I don't work in a restaurant and I don't get this deal, but all you servers, chefs, bussers and hostesses with the mostesses, hit up Extra Virgin on Wednesday nights (6 pm - close). Everyone in the service industry gets HALF OFF their entire bill, including drinks. Wowza! Hey, service industry buddies, you know who you are, call me, take me out, get me that discount. Thaaaaaaanks.


illustration by Oso Azul Design via flickr 

Is this going to be a shout out to friends week? Absolutely, because we are surrounded by freakin' amazing people. Our friend Matt F. rides his bike to and from work almost everyday. He lives by where I work and works by where I live. It takes me 20 minutes to DRIVE each way and what does Matt do to make me look bad? He puts the petal to the metal, saves gas, saves money and saves the planet.

Recently, Matt got his bike stolen while he was at work. Outrage ensued. How could someone steal a bike from a guy like Matt? Secretly, his co-workers passed around an envelope to collect money so he could get new wheels. They collected over $400 and surprised him with their generosity. And today I read on facebook.....da, da dum.....Matt's already been saving money for a new bike.

Instead of keeping the cash, spoiling his children, or blowing it at the bar, he's finding a way to donate the money so a few under-privileged kiddies wake up Christmas morning to shiny new bikes under their trees. What a guy. Big hug to you Matt and all your friends and co-workers (including my own hubby). You are so very lucky to have each other.

Tuesday, December 1

Props our friend Charity who got PUBLISHED in Reader's Digest for her absolutely fabulous and funny writing. Charity blogs weekly on as "CJ" and she's In the Weeds. Her insightful and hilarious take on the restaurant world have given us fits of laughter, but it's also gotten her fired from one very cushy serving job. Read all about it here. Start with "Inside the Server's Studio" to catch her from the beginning and for Pete's sake, use the link. The site is a little, how do you say, ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Monday, November 30

Flor Sale!

Straw, Sticks & Bricks formed in 2001, when "green" wasn't part of the daily lexicon. It's now an invaluable green building resource for homeowners in the Midwest. You can pick up FLOR tiles at bigger retailers like Target, but you don't get to choose from their extensive line or get the personal service and design expertise like you would from Teri Bengston and Lori McCann, who helm the Kansas City location. Give them a call!

Joy Luck

George and I love to pick out ornaments together every Christmas. We don't have a one ornament a year tradition or anything, we just pick out fun ones that we like. This fortune cookie ornament by artist Rae Dunn  is perfect, especially the Luck one because it combines a little bit of both of us, the fortune cookie for me and the luck of the Irish for George. What kind of holiday traditions do you celebrate every year? via Poppytalk 

Monday, November 23

Advent Calendar

My friend Jeanne sent me an email with this photo. I think I have to make one for George! Christmas is his absolute favorite holiday. I know he's going to loooove this calendar.

Update: Just went to World Market yesterday, where you can buy single bottles, and spent a good chunk of change in the beer department, 25 different bottles and styles to share until Christmas! Maybe this will have to be a new tradition.

Middlecreek Winery

This weekend, we took a mini roadtrip to Louisburg, Kansas and visited with farmer winemakers, Stephen and Kristin Graue at Middlecreek Winery. In addition to grapevines, they also grow peaches, apples and persimmons. Having not grown up in the country, I always find the little details of farm life so fascinating. 

Like this giant pile of horse poop. I should have worn my wellies!
George - always ready to cheese it up on farm equipment.
These two horses lived across the road
from each other, and must be best buddies
because they "talked" to one another
the whole time we were there.

The white one was also plop, plop, poopin'
while I was taking his picture. :)
What a ham! He was following me around waiting for a photo op!
It's been so warm this November.
The flowers are confused and blooming again.
Cute but stinky dog and his house.
They even have their own honeybees.
I love the blue, white and cream of their hives.

Tuesday, November 17

What a Deal!!!

Get special deals in Kansas City (and all over the U.S) through There's something new everyday. It's a huge discount. And there have to be enough people interested for the "groupon" to work. My sister just turned me onto this site TODAY.

What an amazing marketing tool. As a business, it IS a huge discount, but you're getting people in your door and talking about you. Those are marketing dollars you need to spend!

We both got $100 gift certificates to Shine Spa in Westport for $35. Can't wait to do a spa day with my girls! Now, I have to see if there's a Groupon for a Westport restaurant/bar. Cause you know I'll be all over that. You know that high you get when you score a good deal? I'm on it. :)

Urban Picnic 2010

I am chairing next year's Urban Picnic, a food showcase for Kansas City's independent restaurant group, the Kansas City Originals. One of the goals of the event is to get every single member to participate in the event. To accomplish that, we are asking members to vote on one of two themes themes: an earthy, picnic in the woods or a modern, black and white picnic. The votes are rolling in now. What do you guys think? Would you prefer an Alice in Wonderland-type fantasy or something more polished and classic? Thanks to the blogosphere for all images on our inspiration board.

This is one of my absolute favorite events to attend every year. And with our amazing committee on board, Urban Picnic 2010 (slated for April) is going to be one of the best. I'll keep you updated on event details and I hope you can join us! 

Monday, November 16

Fall Centerpiece

photo by Colin Cooke
Okay, so Halloween's over, but we all know pumpkins and gourds don't skip town till after Thanksgiving. With prime table space usually reserved for all the yummy edible food, try propping this gourd on top of a cake stand. via Sweet Paul

Friday, November 13

My Parents Were Awesome

I heard about this blog on NPR yesterday. I can't wait to submit my parents and see if they finally get their 15 minutes. Blog founder Eliot Glazer said people submit photos saying that their parents are STILL awesome. That's not hard to believe!

Tuesday, November 10

Mural Art

Not everyone appreciates art on buildings (aka graffiti), but these murals are fantastic, don't you think? It's a public art project called A Love Letter for You, in West Philadelphia by Stephen Powers. Click here to see more murals, the blog and the positive press they've been receiving (along with naysayer comments). via Bird & Banner