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You should do a Christmas album with Zooey.

So I've been watching a lot of "New Girl." You are too, right? Don't you love it? Like, in a light "this temporarily erases my memories of the kids throwing up today" kind of way?

But every time I watch it, I think, WOW, those outfits! Shauna would look so cute in that.

WOW, Shauna would buy that onesie in a heartbeat.

WOW, a red dress with turquoise shoes? Really???

Is she reading your mind?? It's getting weird, don't you think?

The most recent episode I saw, where Zooey's character is the LEADER OF A HANDBELL CHOIR was just so, so rad.

Did you know that the church I grew up at had a handbell choir? Yeah. They rocked it at every big occasion and were a GIVEN at Christmas time. Jon Acuff reminded me toinight about what a critical part of Christmas handbells are! Don't you agree?? (I cracked up at his post linked above on wanting your contemporary church to go oldschool at Christmas.)

So tell the truth. Did you ever play the handbells?

That outfit (minus the handbell gloves) has your name all over it!

The point? You and Zooey should do a Christmas album and throw in some handbells. You could wear matching onesies on the album cover too. Except then when she asks you to start a blog with her, it may break her heart when you said "No." You'd have to let her down gently.

Alright, enough of my late night silliness. Here's some of hers, from one of my all-time favorite Christmas movie scenes (turn up the volume, it's sorta quiet).



Boutique on Thursday

Hi friends!

Just wanted to let you know that if you're in the SoCal area, we have a booth at a Christmas boutique Thursday night, displaying all our glorious tidbit wares.

The boutique blog is HERE.

Map to the church is HERE.

We have lots of wreaths, banners, pillows, blankies, and plenty of girls clothing and accessories in sizes up to 4/5 yrs in most things, and up to 8/9 in a few.

Please come say hello if you can! 



Our Christmas boutique today

If you're free this afternoon and in the Orange County area, Shauna and I will be displaying all our new tidbit stuff at a Christmas boutique to benefit Acres of Love, an organization that provides housing, care and parenting for orphans in Africa. 

We have a ton of new banners, wreaths and accessories, many for Christmas. Here is the flyer, if you're interested. 

Hope to see you there!



ballerina brain

ballerinas are on my mind.
ella is starting ballet on tuesday.
she doesn't even know it.
her birthday is monday and i am planning on giving the information to her then.
we've been looking at pinterest photos while i pretty much convince her that she wants to be a ballerina.
i'm convinced.
not sure about her.
i went to the dance supply today and got the sweetest leotards.
(you were right about me loving that place)
ballet shoes.
tap shoes.
pink tights.
they tried to sell me a hideous bag.
i think i'll make one.
i hope she like ballet, if only for the photos i dream of taking....

p.s. i so badly wanted to just make a collage of a bunch of these pinterest photos.
but instead i tried to do the right thing and embed them so that people could get the credit they deserve.
and seriously, its such a pain.
the formatting is going crazy.
i can't center stuff.
i want to kick the computer screen.
and i'm just trying to be good.



come to the pumpkin patch!

to follow this sweet family to the pumpkin patch....
click here



Printable pretties

OK, the good free printables right now are everywhere, so I just need to share them with you.

They are so great, I'm giving them awards:


Thanks to Megan from Contented Sparrow for this piece of autumn lovely.
(Except it's going to be up in my house year-round, I think.)


Designed in order to be used for the Thankful on Paper tradition started up by Rachel over here. Totally using this beautiful paper.

Thanks to Heather from Life Made Lovely for this one. She's such a talented designer. We heart Heather.


You knew Julie would be on the list of award-winners, didn't you? This is inspired by her & Jeannett's upcoming Happy Day Project, about which I'm SO excited.


Laura from Splendor is responsible for posting this bit of beauty. I love how melancholy it is.


Aly from the mommie diaries created this printable in a series of three. She displays them all on this post so that you can hang them in a series, comprising more lyrics of this great song.
Who doesn't love this old hymn? I already have it stuck in my head.


And when I say necessary, I mean these words are so important. I need to read this every day. Aly posted this one too, since she's got a good eye and a creative brain for stuff like this. Love that girl.


Christie from Storehouse Crafts thought to bring back this printable that Heather made last year (Christie links to that post). I'm so glad she reminded me about it! It is so simple and uplifting.
Plus, there's another deer. I like deer.

So have you seen any cute, free printables lately? Perhaps on that little planet of Pinterest?
I'm excited to find some Christmas ones. How perfect for inexpensive, seasonal decor, right? 


linking up with Kristy @ Paisley Jade



My magnum opus is finished

Michelangelo had the Sistine Chapel.
Beethoven had his fifth symphony.
Tolstoy had War and Peace.

I have this.
The piece of art I shamelessly copied from one I saw at Cost Plus. I think it has become my magnum opus, my greatest work. (You know you love how dramatic I am.)

But remember how I started it IN JULY?? I have never spent so many hours on a project in my life. And had I known what kind of time it would have taken in the first place, ummm, I would not have done it.

But I'm so glad I did, because now it's hanging in my entry and it makes me really happy.

And I feel proud of myself when I look at it. Don't you think Casey will be proud of me too, the artist that she is?

Here are a couple more cutey things I recently hung next to the front door. (Excuse the shadows caused by the coloring pages taped to the windows.)

I love my new bulletin board. You can get one here (except I found it at their outlet store for cheap!).
The 4x6 printables were little treats from Blog Sugar if you attended the session with our pal Julie.
The black & white "Blessed" graphic was a postcard in my Blog Sugar swag bag, from here.
The giant-sized push pins are from here.
The key-shaped wall hook is from here.
I won the birdie plaque from a giveaway, made by her. I customized my own saying based on part of this passage. Love this company. Check them out. I got sucked in and bought gifts too.
And the turquoise metal container, which I'm using for mail, is actually from here (their back-to-school section from the summer).
And the calendar! My favorite one. Not practical, but so beautiful. Can't wait to get the 2012 for the same spot. Check it out here. YUM.

What's new around your house??

I know you have some little - ok, maybe BIG - projects you've been workin' on! Show us, show us!

{in the house with Heather today}




I like us.

We laugh at ourselves.
We cry when it's time for that.
We listen.
We talk. A lot.

We create.
Sometimes it turns out, and sometimes it goes in the trash. 
We laugh at that too.

We blog, and then at different times, we lose vision. 
Then we inspire each other.

We encourage each other to keep it up.
Keep building, investing, loving, and surrendering.
We teach each other.
We grow in different ways.
And give honor to those differences.

We honor each other's journeys.
To honor means to give weight to something.
To value and validate.
That's friendship.

And sometimes our outfits match without even trying.

Thanks for being my friend.



life made lacy

hey, you want to make something really cute for yourself (or a friend) in a hurry?
make one of these lacy lovely cuffs!
it's simple and fancy and pretty darn easy.
for all you friends that live locally, i think we are going to have to offer these from tidbit soon.
but i thought i should share this sweet idea with those of you that live in all parts of the world....
yah, no tutorial needed.
just take a long strip of ripped fabric.
measure some lace and trim around your wrist and sew it on , in the middle!
it could look something like mine, or not.
you could tie it in a knot (like i did)
or a bow.
you could use any number of other creative products to make it yours.
what do you have laying around?
i really just like how it lays like a cuff.
but yours could be anything!



Dear Caramel Apples: You are dead to me.

This story is to share my humiliation with the world over my big failure in the kitchen last weekend (lest it thinks I am all good ideas and smooth successes - 'cause that's just not true!).

Making Caramel Apples seems easy.


Remember a few years ago I made GIANT sized ones for CC's baby shower as favors, carefully making the caramel from scratch in huge quantities, dipping the caramel apples in dark chocolate and rolling them in nuts too? They were heavenly. (Were we friends yet back then?) And though I documented every detail of that process, I've been trying to recreate that success ever since.  See how I even wrote the process out on graph paper? That's because it was a science to me and I sorta think I'm a scientist. Sometimes.

I've tried - Lord knows! - to make my own caramel probably three other times since then, and all attempts have resulted in caramel that's either too thin and slides right off the apples (not boiled long enough), or too thick, which won't cover properly at all, and yields like 3 total because it's so gummy (boiled too much). It's so frustrating, and makes me want to break the candy thermometer over my knee.

So I decided to cheat this year by doing the melty version. See how many store bought caramels I
opened? Three bags. ANNOYING. All the while, I'm totally romanticizing the making your own process. Was it really all that bad?? 'Cause taking off all those wrappers is no cup of tea either.

We even picked our own apples this year. I purposefully chose smallish ones, so the caramel would cover lots of them (and I could eat more than one a day). Look, aren't they so pretty already?



They look like delicious treats, right?

Wrong. Disaster. Crappy sucky disaster that wasted my good hand-picked apples.

Problem #1. Wax paper stuck to all the bottoms. I had to rip them off. Why didn't I just put them directly on the dang tray?! So I took a knife and sawed off the bottoms of a few, which were then dipped in chocolate to hide the apple disfiguration. But I didn't have much chocolate.

Problem #2. Re-melting caramels makes the substance as edible as if I were to wrap an apple with a piece of leather. No kidding. Since I've made caramel before, I know how heat sensitive it is, and heating that sugary delight past it's point of caramely goodness leads to leathery disaster. Even if we just cut slices off the sides of the apples to avoid the paper bottoms, which we did, none of us could eat the caramel, it was so tough! It was the same consistency as Abba-Zabba. Like it wants to pull out my teeth if I'm not careful. So basically, what I had to show for my time was this:

Problem #3. Wiener dogs who get up in the middle of the night, sneak into the kitchen, and tug on the tablecloth with their teeth until all the apples come crashing down to the floor so he can eat one. Caramel stickiness everywhere.

In summary, Caramel Apples, you are dead to me.

$8 for a giant, beautiful one at the candy store suddenly doesn't sound so ridiculous.



Paper Candy Corn Bunting

I'm getting good at choosing crafts for my kids that are super speedy quick!

('Cause you know me. Detail oriented. Meticulous. Overly ambitious. Practically killed the MOPS moms with complicated craftiness...)

So I'm growing as a person, here.

We don't have a lot of afternoon free time now that we have homework, chores, and all that regular life stuff. But it's still really important to me to keep the creativity flowin' in my house. And I know, personally, that it is calming and therapeutic to work with one's hands. I know you know that too.

So our fingerprint placemats were perfect for a fast and easy weekday craft session. And so is this.

Paper Candy Corn Bunting

When I saw the idea for this, it was done on white paper plates and there was gluing and layering involved. But I don't have any plain white paper plates, and I'm a fan of doing crafts with stuff I already have around the house. Plus I found the layering and gluing unnecessary.

I did have a sheet of white poster board. And a compass. Mmmm. Love that maker of perfect circles (see above link for "overly ambitious").

OK. Bear with the geometry here, dude. It's not hard.

I drew concentric circles, at 6" (on the compass, meaning that's the radius), 4" and 2", in pencil. (So the diameters of the circles are 12", 8" and 4".)

If you want to change the size, just remember that the radius of the circle (halfway across) will be the length of each candy corn.

I don't think you, little lady, have a compass. And I know you'd much rather just find three circular thingys of different sizes in your house and trace them. I'd stress out about not getting the centers to line up, but you wouldn't, and that's why I like you.

My little Lover of Candy Corn filled in the circles with acrylic paint while she looked at ate real candy corn to make sure she got the order of colors correct.

She even painted the white. Yes, it's white on white paper, but the texture looks better than smooth paper when the rest is painted. Like I said. Details.

Also, she painted the outside, then center, then middle stripe with a few minutes inbetween, so there was no  blending of wet paints.

{Next, a wiener dog walked over the wet paint, but that step is optional.}

We let them dry. Cut out the big circles. Then cut the circles into 8 pie pieces, cutting first into halves, then quarters, then eighths. Three big circles yield 24 pie pieces.

We punched little holes and tied them together with black ribbons.

Done. Isn't it so cute??

It fits in perfectly with Classy Spooky.

Oh, and for another super cute and easy October idea, check out this post. You know my kids are suckers for tie-dye. Tie-dye plus pumpkin faces equals happy times, and, I'm thinking, some cute fall PJ tops.

Whadya think?

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