Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a Zoo.

{how many animals do you think you can fit on a bed?
my parents are going to kill me if i don't say
that they have since remodeled this room.
magic, sadie (front), midnight (rear), prophet (cat).
there are 2 cats behind the camera as well.}

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Babysitting Tales

A while ago, I mentioned that I was planning on starting a new blog for my babysitting stories. Well.... I've decided against that. Mostly, because of the logistics of starting a new blog, getting new readers and well, updating twice as much! So, I'm just going to post those stories here!

I need your help to come up with a title for this feature, though! Comment with your thoughts and enjoy the first installment below!

**Obviously, I reserve the option to change names and slight details!**

Bath Time Ruminations

Bath time is always the time for stimulating conversation with Jack and Beau. We’ve had very important conversations in there, about topics ranging from daily recaps to their future aspirations. Daily recaps tend to go like this:

Me: “What did you guys do today?”

Jack: “Beau, scoot back! I’m in front!”

Beau: “Jack, stop pushing me, owww!”

Stern Katie voice: “Boys.”

Jack: “We went to Ollie’s birthday party.”

Beau: “Were you there?”

Me: “No, I was busy earlier today, I couldn’t make it.”

Jack: “Do you know Ollie?”

Me: “I know OF him, because you tell me stories, but I’ve never met him.”

Jack: “Well, you should meet him, he has yellow hair and his sister is Katelyn.”

Beau: “Yeah and he knows all about Superman, and he has a light saber, too!”

Me: “He sounds awesome, guys. Shampoo time!”

Talking about their future aspirations is pretty fun, too.

Me: “If you could be anything, what would you be?”

Jack: “Lightning McQueen.”

Me: “You mean you’d be a race car driver?”

Jack: “No, Lightning McQueen.”

Me: “He’s a car.”

Jack: “Yes.”

Me: “Beau, what about you?”

Beau: “A saduba diver!”

Me: “A scuba diver, that sounds exciting, why?”

Beau: “I want to swim with fish and stingrays, but they wouldn’t sting me because we’d be friends and there’d be no sharks. I don’t like sharks.” He looks around the bathtub.

Me: “Well, there are no sharks in there, buddy, and wow, that sounds like a lot of fun.”

Jack: “I changed my mind! I don’t want to be Lightning McQueen.”

Me: “What do you want to be?”

Jack: “I want to be like Daddy and make conference calls all day!”

Me: “Is that what you think Daddy does?”

Jack: looking at me like I’m a bit slow, “That IS what he does.”

I hope you enjoyed reading about these guys as much as I like hanging out with them! More to come. :) Don't forget to leave your ideas for a feature title!

The World Keeps Turning

What a busy, busy time it's been! And a happy one! And a sad one.

Busy, first: The holidays always seem to hit me all at once and suddenly I have to buy lots of little presents for my parents and sister, a few for other friends and my babysitting kids, as well as 4 large presents for Adam, Jon, Mike and Sarah. I also have school, which I have year-round, but that extra time seems so precious at this time of year. My babysitting schedule is on fire and my etsy shop is picking up steam, too. Plus, I have a craft show the 2nd week of December and I'm trying to make new cards and repackage old ones. Jon's dad is coming to town in mid-December so we're trying to tidy the house and schedule carpet cleanings, so he doesn't think know that we're slobs. Don't forget work 8-5 everyday and all those errands that just come with being a grown-up. Whew! I'm pooped just thinking about everything I have to do.

Most of those things are great, though. I like being busy and having a full planner. I love spending time with my babysitting boys and making cards is obviously something I enjoy as well! I'm even starting to get back into knitting. By back into it, I mean that I briefly learned how to do it last year and then promptly got discouraged and stopped. However, last Sunday Jon and I went to an event called the Hella Hipster Hoedown at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. There was music, free screenprinting, craft booths, and... a knitting crash course! So, we did that and got totally caught up in it (we were late for my mom's birthday dinner) and before we left Jon bought a set of needles and yarn. Which led to last night, where we're sitting in the living room watching our Monday shows (House and Heroes of course) and Jon is totally knitting while watching tv. I was so proud of him; such an enlightened boy. I wish I had taken pictures, though.

Now for the sad: last year, around Labor day, my grandma Annie found that her breast cancer (previously in remission) has metastasized to her brain. We set her up for treatment and took away her car keys. That was the angriest I've ever seen her. The medicine she was on, however, could cause seizures and we felt it was safer if she wasn't driving. Annie was so independent though and I think we may have broken her spirit a bit when we did that.

On Halloween, after weeks of radiation therapy and optimism, we found out that it had further metastasized and there were now 16 inoperable tumors along her spine. She was not very clear-minded most of the time by this point so it was up to my dad and I to make her treatment decisions.

That's an important point: my grandfather, while incredibly intelligent, had no experience with practical matters like grocery shopping or paying bills, so he was out of the question as her decision-maker. My mom and sister were very helpful during this time, shuttling Annie to bingo games and CVS, cleaning up her house so we could fit the hospital bed, etc. But it was my dad and I who were there everyday and it was I who he talked to about what we should do. I became an expert on Medicare coverage, hospice plans, and her treatment.

After we found out about the tumors along her spine, we decided that she should continue on her treatment in the hopes that she could get better enough to come home and go play bingo. When she was lucid, that was all she wanted to do. The week before Thanksgiving, we decided to enter hospice care and to take Annie home. We set up a 24 hour home health aide to live with her and we bought tons of supplies. She came home on the Friday before Thanksgiving. My mom's birthday was on Sunday and I still feel badly that we didn't do much to celebrate it. On Monday, Annie died in her living room with my grandpa, dad, her nurse and I around her. My mom and sister would arrive about 10 minutes later. 

I've lost loved ones, but I had never watched someone die. It's peaceful and violent at the same time. Most of all, it's incredibly sad. Dying at home adds more strangeness to the story because I then had to call the Fire Department to come and verify the DNR and to make sure there was no foul play. I had to call her doctor who spoke to the firemen and told them this was expected. Lastly, I had a surreal conversation with the funeral director where they basically had me fill out the death certificate over the phone. It was a rehash of her life while I sat next to her lifeless body.

Because she died the Monday before Thanksgiving, we had to wait an entire week for the service. That time in between was a morbid mix of preparing for Thanksgiving while writing obituaries, planning headstones, sending announcements and notifying neighbors.

Today is one year since she died. In a few minutes, it will be exactly one year. This Thanksgiving will be easier than last, but I know it will always be strange to gather as a family without her.

Yesterday, my good friend Kristine called me and as soon as I picked up the phone, I knew that her grandpa had died. She held it together on the phone and said she just wanted to let me know. We talked a bit about how unhappy her boss was about this timing (she works in retail) and then we hung up. I knew she was home with her family and I felt like I had to do something. I went to Trader Joe's and Barnes and Noble to get her flowers and a distraction basket filled with cookies and candies and books. When I took it to her house, we kept crying and hugging, crying and hugging. So often, "I know how you feel" is an empty phrase, uttered by people who don't know what else to say. But I did know and she knew that and I think it made her feel a little better.

So, today my dad and I will work, like every other day. At lunch time, after we go to the bank and the post office, we will go to the cemetery and leave a white rose each for my grandma and my uncle - just two rows apart. And tonight, we will go Christmas shopping. Because the world keeps turning.

My babysitting boys supporting their team!
My grandpa, grandma, myself, and my sister at Carlsbad Caverns in 1995 or so.
My grandma and John Wayne - she kept that picture in her purse for 40 years.
Annie in her 20s.
Annie at my sister's graduation in 2007.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Favorite Stores: Anthropologie

I saw these candles when I was perusing my local Anthropologie last week and took some horrible pictures of my own. Pictures I have since deleted in favor of these much better ones. I think the horse is my favorite, though the dog is not bad either. There is a rabbit, too, but I find it illogically creepy and shiver whenever I see it. Don't get the rabbit!


I don't wear belts. I like them, I think they're great ways to make fashion statements, but in general, I'm not a fan of constriction around my mid-section. However, as a small-chested gal, I have been known to wear belts in an empire-waist fashion over dresses and flowy shirts. This is exactly what I would do with this awesome belt. Cityscapes are one of the themes I can't get enough of and the colors are muted enough that I would actually wear this.


Octopi are some of the most intelligent sea creatures. Did you know they can pick locks and open doors? They're basically eight-armed Houdinis. I have a soft spot for octopi, especially since I learned that they die after mating. The males live only a few months after mating and the females die after their eggs hatch. The crazy thing is that even though they stop eating for a month while protecting the eggs, they don't die of starvation! It's a genetically programmed death. Super sad. Another cool fact about octopi: they have three hearts and blue blood! I love octopi and I love this ring, however I'm a little freaked out by the $178 pricetag. Maybe one day...


Don't you love measuring cups? They make me feel like I should bake a cake. Then, of course, Jon tells me I shouldn't because no one will eat it and it will sit around until we throw it out. But I love making the cake! These would make a really cute housewarming gift and if you're not a fan of the floral design, Anthropologie has a few other styles you might like better!

We all had those ridiculous sweaters when we were kids. The horizontal lines, the heavy wool, just the memory makes me itch! How much better would it be then, to eliminate the itching and introduce this whimsical clock? Yes, it's a real clock! I'm a fan of this cottage-y, folk-y style, but I'm pretty sure Oliver would be a fan of those hanging cat toys. It just wasn't meant to be...

Love...Audrey Hepburn!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Beader's Blog Giveaway!

Over on A Beader's Blog, Almost Precious is having a giveaway! There will be TWO winners, the first will get her choice of earrings and the second will get the one that remains. She makes beautiful jewelry, so definitely head over and sign up to win!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Young Victoria

{the ever lovely emily blunt and rupert friend as queen victoria and prince albert from the upcoming film The Young Victoria via city life}

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Was Featured!

The lovely Chris of BeAdorned Jewelry has featured my penguin card in her treasury! Go check it out here, and see her blog, etsy, twitter, facebook and site here! Gotta cover all the bases! :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Favorite Stores: CB2

Okay, we all have those stores that we could wander in for hours. Or, at least I hope you do, so that you understand when I go off on a little tangent here. I love CB2! For those of who don't know, CB2 is the younger, hipper version of Crate and Barrel. I have a good amount of their tableware and some of their decorative accessories, but every year I wait, with bated breath, for their holiday catalog. And here is what I found!

Are you not amazed at the amazing-ness of this amazing tealight holder? I look at these every year, marveling at the illusion of melting water. And I melt. My heart melts. This year, I think I'm gonna do it. I think I'm gonna buy some! At only $5.95, what was I ever waiting for?

These little elves are bearing gifts. Gifts of friendship, gifts of love, gifts of that fabulous flickering light that makes all of us look amazing. They are made of cast iron and have a lovely black matte finish. Last year, I tried to pick these up but ended up arriving three hours after they sold out for the season. This year, I'm getting them early!

So, we all agree that anything felted is super cute, right? Good, yes we do. The simplicity in these felted trees is what draws me in. That and the fact that I generally despise holiday decorations because of their gaucheness, their cheesiness, their overt cherry reds and pine greens. But these trees, in muted greens and soft whites are exactly the kind of decoration I like.

Hope you enjoyed our foray into awesome holiday decorating at one of my favorite stores! Check back soon for the next in the series. Hint: it starts with Anthro and ends with pologie.

The Cutest Couple Ever?

{ellen degeneres and portia de rossi via we are what we love}

Just A Snippet Of My Day

me: can i get your address?
her: 520 n. prospect number (undecipherable) redondo beach 90277 (all in one breath)
me: suite what?
her: 9027-huh?
me: your suite?
her: 520
me: no, your suite?
her: 90277.
her: um, 206?
me: is 206 right?
her: what's a suite?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cart - Worthy + Heart - Worthy

It's one thing to get one of those little rocks you keep in your pocket that say "relax," but wouldn't an egg in a nest make you actually relax? Or "pay attention" or "lead" or "wonder." If I got one, it would say "intend." I'm a firm believer in leading a life of purpose and understanding that we make our own destiny. These are available from raedunn's etsy shop.

Christine lives on a farm in New England and creates these amazing charcoal pieces in her spare time. Oh yeah, the spare time that accumulates when you GROW YOUR OWN FOOD. That's right, Christine and her husband made the decision to become locavores in 2001. I totally admire that decision and hope one day I can do the same. By the way, I'm totally purchasing this one. And maybe this one.

Jessica at Vol25 has a huge collection of really amazing artwork. I love these whimsical turtles as well as her super cute toasters and teacups. She also has a blog, a line of stamps (!), and an awesome zazzle site where you can get her adorable decorations on cool stuff you can actually use!

I have a lovely friend named Stacy who went back to culinary school after years of working retail because cooking is what she'd always wanted to do. I so admired her for that leap of faith and for the sacrifices she made to keep that dream alive. She even went to Switzerland with her cooking school! These beautiful wire earrings and necklace look like the perfect gift for her for Christmas! Esther from Exodesigns makes these clever pieces and I love that she chose the classic silhouette and interesting design of the whisk for her subject. The whisk has always been my favorite kitchen utensil - probably owed in equal parts to its position as the most fun cake-making utensil to lick and its awesome shape.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quoi de neuf?

I have been a busy little bee! I am going to be launching two new websites soon AND introducing some new product lines into the shop.

First, I will be launching a site that will act as a launchpad for my other sites, such as the store and the blog. This will be amazing as it will allow me to give out just one URL and yet you'll still be able to access all of my pieces of the web!

Second, I will be launching a new site that chronicles my babysitting adventures. For years, I've been telling my family funny stories over dinner and they've been telling me to WRITE IT DOWN! So I did! I'm in the process of writing and compiling the adventures (and misadventures) of myself and my sister in our babysitting endeavors. My dad has a dream that we will get this published and end up on Oprah. I have a dream that you will pee your pants because you're laughing so hard. Hopefully, we can meet in the middle somewhere!

As soon as these sites are live, I will be supplying you with the links, of course!

As for the new product lines, I have recently discovered pebeo markers and I've been trying my hand and writing and drawing on ceramics. My (better) attempts will be listed for sale soon on etsy. I've also designed some adorable pencil sets that I will be listing as soon as I find a way to package them. Any ideas? If you were receiving a set of 6-10 pencils, how would you like them packaged?

While I'm working on all this, my posts are going to be a little less than substantive, so here's some links for you:

-*- Read Zoe's reviews of her favorite (and not so favorite) places to advertise her etsy shop on Sleepy Moon Design.

-*- One of my favorite blogs, Fleur Avenue, is having her first ever blog giveaway - your choice of a carousel necklace or a locket ring! It's really easy to enter, so head on over!

-*- Check out these beautiful custom inital magnets from Rafya! Spell your name or favorite inspirational word!

-*- The Rikrak Studio is hosting a giveaway and interview with the lovely Avril Loreti. Her designs are fresh, fun and super creative!

-*- Super adorable ski cap candles from Anthropologie! These make me want to buy a lift ticket!

-*- Rhianne at For The Easily Distracted has recently starting writing what she calls "little letters." I think these are an amazing idea and I just may start my own series of small thank yous and thoughts. Here are her little letters to the future and little letters to some lovely ladies.

-*- I will leave you with some tunes from one of my favorite local bands - one that Adam introduced to me when we were first dating and therefore has turned into one of our "things" - Oak and Gorski (nee: Ken Oak Band). This song is called Trampoline and it was the second song Adam ever played for me - the first was Summer's Kiss. It's a beautiful song and I really think it showcases the cello stylings of Ken Oak. If you're in the Los Angeles area, there will be an acoustic show at Room 5 on LaBrea in Hollywood on Dec 4th at 8pm.

Enjoy :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Could Have Spread My Wings and Done a Thousand Things

My Fair Lady was my number one all-time movie when I was a kid. I played that VHS tape every day. EVERY DAY. I knew the exact locations of all my favorite songs and at night I set the tape to the beginning of "The Rain in Spain" and before I left for school I would set it to "On the Street Where You Live." After dinner, I would watch "I Could Have Danced All Night."

I, like so many others, fell in love with Audrey Hepburn and couldn't get enough of her. My Fair Lady was my gateway to others like Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's and one of my favorites, Charade.

I still find myself humming this song in the shower or while working and one day, I will dance to it my wedding.

Enjoy! And if you haven't seen this movie, by Jove! Go watch it!

Love... Emily Blunt!

{the fabulous emily blunt from vanity fair via fashion indie}

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pop Goes the Weasel - Book Review!

I promised you another book review and here it is! I came across this book in Borders a few months ago and promptly forgot about it. Two weeks ago, I picked it up and realized what I was missing! First off, I am definitely someone who relishes random information. I am the girl who says, "Hey, did you know that chickens are born with 2 ovaries, but the right one always atrophies shortly after sexual maturation?" Yeah, THAT girl.

Quite obviously then, Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes was right up my alley! You know your childhood favorite, "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep?" The one you thought was about sharing? it's actually about INEQUITY of life back then - one third of your wool went to the master (king), two thirds went to the clergy (dame) and none to the shepherd! (The original last few lines were: One for the master, two for the dame and none for the little boy who cries in the lane.)

Another interesting story is the behind "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The rest of it, which I didn't know, is, "Apple in the morning, doctor's warning. Roast apple at night, starves the doctor outright. Eat an apple at bed, knock the doctor on the head. Three each day, seven days a week, ruddy apple, ruddy cheek." The book explains how this rhyme stemmed from the feud between folk medicine and the "new" medicine in the 16th century. The advice here is that doctors are to be avoided; they are only looking to take your money.

I really enjoyed this book and if you like knowing a bit about everything, you will too! At under $10 (on Amazon) and under 250 pages, it would be a great stocking stuffer, too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kitten Update

{burrow and deli}

So Adam took 2 of the baby mews the other day. Which is totally super, since he took my fave, Burrow/Gopher. He also took Delicate, also known as Deli. And now I get to play with them whenever I want! And my mom has 2 less cats to care for! Win-win for everyone. There are still 2 more available if any of you are local and want them!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

O Pioneers!

I love this commercial, I love this poem. I even kinda love these clothes. What I don't love is ignorance. What I don't love even more is literary ignorance. What I don't love the most is when people pretend they know what they don't.

A few weeks ago, I was in a movie theatre and this commercial was played as the pre-preview show. I'm watching, enjoying the reading of one of my favorite poems of all-time and this guy behind me goes, "What is this?" I'm about to answer when a woman near him says, "It's from Lord of the Flies, you remember? By J.D. Salinger."

I kid you not, readers, I spit out my coke. Straight out, onto my lap. The guy then says, "Oh yeah, man, I loved that book, wasn't that the one where the retard kills the animals?" "Yeah, awesome book."

OMG, readers, O.M.G. I turned around and said, "Pioneers! O Pioneers! is a poem by Walt Whitman, William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies and the book where the 'retard kills the animals' is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck!"

All I got in response was a miffed "hmmph!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Kitten Photos!

Per your requests, here are more kitten photos!

i know this isn't a great shot, but i love the paw on top of the other's head.

guys, i'll keep the lookout for the black ones, k?

like a little fox face. we should name her foxy, huh?

there are five kitties in this picture, can you find them all?

a wooden salad bowl made by your mom's high school boyfriend? BEST. CAT. TOY. EVER.

sigh, she's so dumb-looking. but so cute :)

the kitty feet do me in everytime. their pads are so new and soft.

those green eyes are here to stay!

Weekend in Julian

Halloween weekend, Adam and I took a mini-vacation to a small town about 2.5 hours away called Julian. Julian is a little gold-mining town situated in the mountains above San Diego. My family used to take day trips there when I was small and I've been back once as an adult, but not for an extended period of time.

In February, I called the Shadow Mountain Ranch to see if Adam and I could get a room there in March for our one year anniversary. They said the next opening they had was Halloween! So I booked it and we've looked forward to it the whole time. It's really emphasized how quickly the year has passed though, because October seemed so far away for so long! And now it's over!

We left early Friday morning and came back mid-day Sunday and we still have things we didn't get to accomplish. Here are some highlights from our trip!

Adam is trying to figure out (using complex equations on his phone) which type of pie to order

I take care of that decision for him when I tell him Apple Mountain Berry with cinnamon ice cream is my most favorite ever

wild blueberries

the sink in our room

the wood-burning stove in our room. we made the smoke alarm go off! turns out you have to open the flue!

the hallway coming from the bedroom to the living room

the living room

the bed complete with gnome hats

we went to lake cuyamaca

we panned for gold! i sucked at it, so i took pictures of Adam doing it instead.

quartz is such a cool idea for a tombstone

the gnome home!

the duck pond at Shadow Mountain Ranch

You can see more pictures here, at flickr.
As soon as we were home, I couldn't wait to start writing reviews of everywhere we went on Yelp and Trip Advisor. We had such an amazing time and met the most wonderful people. So far, I haven't finished any of those reviews (catch-up is a b***h), but I'm working on it!

My mom and sister and I are now talking about going back the weekend before Christmas to attend the Julian community choir's rendition of Handel's Messiah. Which means.. snow!! Yay, I haven't seen snow in 15 years. :)
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