Wednesday, July 31, 2013

{new blog series!] good words.

This is the first in a little blog series I've been brainstorming. I come across a lot of quotes that make me stop and think, make me chuckle or smile. So, whenever I run across a good one, I'll be sharing it here. It might be a profound thought or something silly. I also thought it was a good excuse to practice hand-lettering more often and to share some of my quick sketches with you.

So here ya go -- today's good words.

"The problem with comparison is that you always feel either better than someone else
 or worthless compared to someone else." - Dillon Burroughs

The habit of comparison is a nasty little illness and I find that more often than not, it completely freezes me up to do anything productive or life-giving. When I'm caught in a cycle of comparison, I forget that I am a daughter of the King. Some of the lies I find myself ruminating on are that my art is not good enough, my clothes are not posh enough, my belly not flat enough. I find parts of myself to be worthless compared to someone else, when in reality, none of my worth is found in any of those things.

Our Bible study is doing a 10 week exploration of the Bible and one of the recurring themes is that God called us his people from the very beginning and throughout history He continually draws us back to Himself, based on no merit of our own! I've been dwelling on that thought a lot this week. 

I have no idea who Dillon Burroughs is, but I love that his words expose the complete waste of time that comparison is. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

i'd like to help fuel your obsession. {introducing the newest hellohue product!}

 I have a theory that there are two kinds of people-- notebook hoarders and other people. If you're a notebook hoarder like me, you probably have a neat little pile of pretty notebooks, handmade and otherwise stashed somewhere. I can't resist a new notebook and admittedly, there are many sitting on my shelves just waiting to be opened.

But that's the best part about a new notebook! The blank, crisp pages and all that potential. I always keep one or two in my bag in case I need to doodle during a long phone call, make a shopping list, copy a recipe from a friend, or jot down an idea for a blog post. 

These notebooks are Moleskine notebooks -- perfect for just about anything. They have a stiff kraft paper cover, a pocket in the back cover for keeping track of loose pages, and my colorful designs painted on the front in acrylic paint. 

I think my favorite is the 'Eats' notebook-- painted with cute little veggie and kitchen illustrations- just right for meal planning, grocery list making or recipe keeping. 

Check out all the notebooks in the shop and take 10% today only with the code FRESHPAGES10 at checkout. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

out walking.

earrings:: {carosello fete}
button-down top:: {target}
bracelet:: {31 bits}
belt:: {target}
cargo skinnies:: {zara}
bag:: {target}
sandals:: {target}

 Just last week I was whining about the heat wave, and then this gorgeous cold front came through and I've been wearing pants all weekend! And not just any pants-- my new olive cargo skinnies. All spring long, I was on the hunt for the perfect pair and finally found them at Zara. I'm convinced that it is one of the most delightful feelings to slip on a long-searched-for piece of clothing and find that it fits just right. I can't wait to wear them with my purple heels for date night. 

I wore this outfit while out walking to the post office to drop off some orders. We took a little family walk together and Silas of course got hit on by a ton of old ladies. We love living within walking distance to the post office, public library, grocery store and most importantly, the neighborhood ice cream shop. My favorite part about our walks is the detailed architecture and bright colors of the buildings we pass. I'm constantly drinking in the inspiration-- everything from the patterns on the front porch railings, to the colored shutters and the cheery gardens spilling out onto the sidewalks. I think someday soon I'll have to post some pictures of the pretty sights we see when out walking. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

before I sign off...

I wanted to share a few things with you today, but I can't really fathom publishing a blog post without something pretty to look at, so here are some beach pictures from the other day. When we were in the midst of house-hunting, a nearby beach was never even on our list, but somehow we ended up living just a few minutes from one. Silas is just starting to transition out of the 'eating fistfuls of sand' kind of beach baby and it's fun to see him learning to dig and burrow our toes. 

Anyway, just a few links to share with you today before I sign off for the weekend! 

My shop is now live and there are tons of colorful goodies waiting for you over there. New hand-painted notebooks, hand-painted pendant necklaces, and even a few vibrant Ripple canvases. I'm packing up some orders to go out today, so if you order by noon EST, your order will go out this afternoon! 

Also, speaking of the beach... I was ecstatic to be asked to be a guest curator on the Etsy blog for this week. My post went live on Wednesday and I'm sharing my favorite handmade items that reflect my love for the ocean. Check it out here, I bet you'll find a few new favorite shops! It was really fun to put the post together and made me even more excited to be returning to the handmade community. 

And lastly, August is just around the corner and if you're a small biz owner, I'd love to have you on board as a sponsor! You can check out my sponsor stats and rates on my page here, as well as my review policies, and email me if you're interested. I've got some really fabulous sponsors on the sidebar right now and I'd love for you to join them! 

Okey doke, off to enjoy this chilly weather (you guys, I'm wearing pants today!!) and the gorgeous silence of naptime. Happy weekend! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

will work for blueberries.

glasses:: {c/o firmoo}
dress:: {target}
scalloped teardrop necklace:: {c/o ns pottery}

If you ever meet Si, the way to his heart is simple. Just toss a few blueberries his way. Seriously, this kiddo is obsessed with them. He spots them in the grocery store and points and gasps. He sees them on my plate and starts bouncing in anticipation. They're also a really great way to bribe him to take pictures. Not like I'd ever do that... *ahem*. 

We've just come out from under an incredibly oppressive heat wave that lasted far longer that it should have. I've never lived in a house without air conditioning, and let me tell you, I've never appreciated cool breezes like I have this week. Chris probably is more thankful for the cooler weather more than I am. Let's just say it brought out my cranky side. We've been hiding in the third floor (the only floor in the house with AC) for weeks and last week, I just got so fed up with the heat, the sweat, the fussy baby, the messy bottom floors, and not having energy to do anything about it. I had to ask forgiveness a few times for my awful attitude, and I began to realize why heat waves bring up the crime rate in cities. You know what's awesome about heat waves though? Ice cream for lunch and bra-less outfits. Just saying. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

shop re-opening and a few words on identity.

Tomorrow I'm planning on opening up shop again. Being productive in my new studio feels so good and I can't wait to show you all the fun new designs and products I've been working on. 

Here's the thing though. I want to open with a bang and throw confetti in the air and have a shop absolutely brimming with new products. But even though I've spent many hours in my studio, there are only a handful of new pieces ready for listing. Life has changed so much since I first opened shop almost four years ago. Back then, I could sit and paint for hours on end without even getting my tush out of the seat. My days look different now. I alternate between drawing new designs and throwing the ball with Si. Painting canvases and feeding him lunch. Not to mention keeping him from eating every little thing on the floor and sticking his hand in the toilet bowl. It's a disjointed kind of work day and I'm still working on the balance of it all. 

I had a very eye-opening conversation with Chris a few days ago. We chatted about my role in the family and what I want it to look like. He left it wide open for me to say that I want to pursue blogging and art full-time. He knows that's a passion of mine and has always encouraged me in it. But I know without a doubt, that right now I'm called to be a wife and a mom first. With this realization, it occurred to me that it is completely okay not to have a massive grand opening for my shop. It's okay that I probably will only be able to have a handful of pieces for sale at a time and heck, my shop may even sit half-empty for awhile. It's okay for my online life to be a hobby and not a career. 

I absolutely love calling myself an artist and a blogger. I love sharing my art with you and hearing how it brightens your day and your walls. I love that part of my identity, but it is not and cannot be my whole identity. Ultimately, my identity comes from the One who made me. Resting in Him for my identity gives me more peace than I could ever find while struggling on my own to be successful as a blogger, artist, mom, and wife. It feels like a sigh of sweet relief when I can just 'be' instead of 'do'. To not struggle to be everything to everyone. 

All this to say, things will be a bit more chill in the shop, but still just as colorful-- don't you worry about that part. 

How do you balance family and business? Did you ever have a time where you felt it necessary to slow things down a notch? Do you struggle in placing too much weight in certain parts of your identity? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

bloggy buds.

The internet is crazy. When I was younger I would never have entertained the idea that I'd become friends with someone through blogging and invite her to sleep in my house. Thankfully, Mo didn't steal all our valuables (like all my extensive handmade headband collection...) or our baby while she visited this past weekend. This is actually the second time Mo has visited me, (read about the first time here), and I have to say, I like this girl. 

We rode the train into the city a few times and visited the Copley Square Farmer's Market, met up with Erin of Carosello Fete, scarfed down cannolis from Mike's, strolled around Boston Common and stuffed ourselves with fried seafood. Basically, our whole visit centered around food. What I really enjoyed though, were the front porch conversations we got to share-- about blogging, babies, and everything in between. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

our diy mid-century coffee table (and living room progress!)

A few weekends ago, Chris and I made a coffee table. And it was one of the easiest projects we've ever done together. I'd been looking for the perfect coffee table for awhile and had just about given up on finding an attractive and affordable one. And then, while trolling the internets one day, I came across A Pair of Pear's DIYmid-century table tutorial and that was that. 

We loved her tutorial and followed it almost exactly to a T. We did use a router saw to round the edges a bit so Silas' eyes don't get poked out. I love the character that it gave to the edges. 

I also used american walnut stain instead of dark walnut like the tutorial suggests and it goes perfectly with our existing furniture (not seen in these pictures). I did three coats of stain and sanded in between the coats of poly, which resulted in a really smooth finish. 

We've been propping our feet up on it for about a week now and I am still in love. Thanks to Jake and Jamie for such a great how-to! 

Oh, and that's obviously not where that aloe plant lives on the daily. I thought it looked cute there, but Grabby McGrabster thought it might taste good. I got a cute little tin pot for it yesterday at IKEA, but didn't care enough to re-take the pictures. 

Also, we just got that flokati rug (as in rolled it out from the box right before these pictures) and I'm still trying to decide. I know it's going to be a bit high maintenance, but I'm loving the lushness of it --- for now! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

it's a darn good thing I'm not a perfectionist.

Perfection is boring, isn't it? This is where I'm hoping my darling readers nod their head along with me. At least I'm hoping you agree with me, because I'm about to show you an outfit post with no full-length shot (just imagine my maxi dress brushing up against a pair of really comfy Target sandals), my bra showing, and cannoli filling smears on my shirt from my eager little cannoli-stealer. 

tank:: {forever 21}
maxi dress:: {ruche}
watch:: {target}
earrings:: {stitchfix}

It's a really good thing that I'm not a perfectionist. I don't think I'd ever get a project done if I had anxiety about whether or not the stain on my table is perfectly even. Though I think Chris would probably appreciate me washing dishes a little more thoroughly before putting them in the dishwasher, and I'd probably feel more put together if my bed was made in the morning. 

*edit!*. Ok, this is cracking me up. More proof that I'm not a perfectionist. I credited the wrong Etsy shop for my bag in the original post (it was a gift from Chris). The correct shop is called infusion and Abby makes simply stunning bags. Go check out her shop! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

twenty carat.

Just popping in to say hi before the weekend begins! It's 10am and Silas is still sleeping, which has never happened before. He's been working on some teeth this week and not feeling great, so hopefully he's getting some good rest.

This week has been filled with lots of house projects as we've been settling in more and making it home. We made a coffee table last weekend (more pictures coming soon!) from a tutorial I found and I'm working on getting our black IKEA bed frame painted a bright, cheery yellow (it's called twenty carat by Behr-- it's scrumptious!). I have splotches of orange and teal paint on my legs and fingers, but it feels so refreshing to get back into projects like this. 

My blog bestie, Mo, is here this week and we've been traipsing around Boston together and enjoying some good chats over coffee. Nothing makes me more thankful for the internet than good friends and design inspiration! 

Happy Friday! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

from our recipe box:: summer pasta salad

Ok, so sometimes, I have to blog about a recipe that's so simple, it's not even really a recipe. And I didn't even come up with this on my own. But it's such a summer staple at our house, so I just had to tell you-- go make some!! (Ahem, Fourth of July weekend is the perfect excuse.)

My pasta salad is only slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman's recipe. She uses zucchini, tomatoes and parsley and has way better pictures. But the olive oil and lemon juice base is the same. The simplicity is just so good. 

You'll need::

One pound of farfalle pasta
Two tablespoons of olive oil
One lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
One cucumber
Tri-color bell peppers (I use one half of each color)
A handful (or more if you like!) of cherry tomatoes
A small can of sliced black olives (or kalamata if you like the stronger taste)
Fresh basil (I use about 8-10 leaves, depending on the size)
Feta cheese (I like to use lots!)

First, cook your pasta. I like to use farfalle (bowtie), but any other fun, bite-size shape works too. I never really watch the clock on it, just sample it to tell when it's done.

Drain it, rinse with cool water, and set it aside to cool while you do the rest.

Chop up some veggies. I like to do tri-color bell peppers, black olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh basil. The fun part about these kinds of "recipes" is that you can get creative and toss in pretty much anything that sounds good and looks pretty. Shredded carrots or snap peas would be yummy too.

 I use our julienne shredder on the skins of the cucumber to give them some fun shape. Just run the shredder along the skin of the cucumber, leaving a bit of green, then chop it up however you like. We bought our julienne shredder in a dinky little shop in Honolulu Chinatown, but you can get the same one here.

Once your veggies are chopped up, go ahead and pour some olive oil on your pasta (just enough to lightly coat , and squeeze the juice of one (fresh!) lemon on there. Add some salt and pepper for taste.

Throw in your veggies and mix it all up. Toss in a bunch of feta and mix that up (Remember, more feta is more betta.... that stuff is heavenly) . Then, stick it in the fridge-- for a few hours if you can. It's always way better the day after I make it.

So, what are your plans for the Fourth? We're hosting a party here, even though we are barely unpacked. Hopefully we can keep Silas awake long enough to catch some fireworks too!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


It's too hot to do much else. Hope you're staying cool this week! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

clobbered floors and open doors.

We've been in our house for ten days now. To be home is so sweet, and getting to wake up in this house every day is a dream. There's a ginormous pile of broken-down boxes on the back porch and half of the rooms are clobbered with piles of stuff, but you won't find me complaining. Home cooked meals trump eating out every day, and getting to make a new house into a home for us is so much fun for me. (Except I can't decide on a living room rug-- white flokati or a colorful flat weave? Why are these silly decisions so difficult?) 

We've found a church that we love and we're already hosting home group! I've learned with each move to just jump right in, and we've definitely done that this time. Something I've felt really strongly about lately is letting God use this house however He wants. He's blessed us with more than we need and I'm excited to see how He's going to use it for His glory. Chris' parents are especially great at this, and I love seeing the flow of people that God brings into their lives through their hospitality and generosity. They've been a great example for me of keeping our doors open. 

I'll be sharing more house pictures as we get settled, and I am really hoping to open the shop back up this month. Life is busy and crazy, but oh-so-good right now.