Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Survived!

The craziness that is Christmas is now behind us. I woke up feeling like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders today. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it seems that the older you get the more stressful it also gets. To add to the stress Sam and I also had a wedding to go to on Saturday for my beautiful friend Tina. The wedding was gorgeous but, being just three days before Christmas, I couldn't help but think there were a million things I still needed to be getting done. We had a great time though and I love any excuse to get dressed up.
Danica let me borrow this gorgeous dress for the wedding and I got SO many compliments on it. Thanks again D!
We clean up nicely ;)
After the wedding we ran over to Danica's house for the tail-end of her Ugly Sweater Holiday party and, of course, I forgot to snap any photos. It was fun though.
Sunday was  mostly spent finishing up all of our Christmas gifts and wrapping and tying up any loose ends.
Monday I went into work and had a taco guy coming to surprise all the guys with a nice catered lunch after all, they WERE working on Christmas Eve. Then it was time to hit the road! Sam and I got in the car and made the drive out to Hemet where his grandparents live. I couldn't help but snap a photo of the coffee mug I used. I thought that he was cute now, but i daresay he might have been even cuter as a little one. :)
I made a couple of yarn wreaths for his family this year. One was in the University of Alabama colors for his Crimson Tide loving grandparents.
And one was in cardinal and gold for his aunt and uncle who are big USC fans (and their daughter goes there).
And, of course, I had made another batch of toffee.
We had a great time visiting with his dads side of the family.
And then Tuesday, was Christmas! Sam showed up to my house and we were pretty much matching, like family photos at JC Penny kind of matching. We were both wearing black collared shirts. This is the best photo I have of it but you cant really tell. I couldn't stop laughing though.
 We started the morning off with breakfast at his moms which was nice. Then it was time for the wildness of my uncles. They have two small kids and its fun to see them bouncing from gift to gift, so overwhelmed to focus on just one thing for too long.

My cousin Cade got this Darth Maul mask that was probably the freakiest thing I had ever seen and to top it off, it had a button on one of the horns (that you can see him pushing) that made it talk. It was beyond creepy.
 They also have two small Chihuahua's which, I generally don't like, but theirs are so friendly and sweet, even Sam liked them. The little one Trixie kept cuddling up with him. Sam thought it was hilarious how she would wrap her little legs around his arm when he would pick her up. Haha. So cute.
And finally, to end the day, we headed to Huntington Harbour, to my parents house. It was a great time and to top it all of there was a beautiful sunset.
All in all it was quite a successful Christmas but I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little happy that it is finally all over. We do, however, have one more day of celebration this Saturday down in Oceanside with my grandparents. Christmas down there is always a lot more mellow and relaxed and I'm actually really looking forward to it. Hopefully Sam is able to sneak out of work at a reasonable time and come along.
And hopefully I think to take some photos, I've gotten so bad at that lately. I just snap a bunch of random ones on my phone. I don't think that I have one actually full length photo of Sam and I, EVER! Haha. Fingers crossed I remember to get one this weekend.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of family, joy and laughter.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Birchbox!

So my December Birchbox came on Saturday (which I feel like was later than usual) and it ended up being perfect timing!

Danica, Stefana and I decided to do our friends gift exchange on Saturday. As part of each of their Christmas gifts I got them both a three month Birchbox subscription. Theirs both came really early (earlier than mine) and I was hoping that we could all open them together. So, when mine arrived Saturday just, before the exchange, I was excited! We all opened our together. Their boxes varied from mine slightly, as I mention in the video.

So here is my December video (please excuse my disheveled appearance and my horribly manicured nails, it's Christmastime! I think we're all a little busy. Haha)

Also, I don't know why there is that odd fuzzy sound in the video and please ignore any other background sounds. You can hear my dogs collars jingling a little and you can hear the neighbors ANNOYING dogs that bark LITERALLY INCESSANTLY. It takes everything in me not to go over there but it's the neighbor on the other side of the block so its too much work. Haha.
(for information of products in the box, check out the details on my youtube page)
 *Side Note: immediately after filming I painted my nails, just so you all know. Haha.*

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ho ho holy-time-crunch!

Somewhere between carving pumpkins and eating Thanksgiving turkey, it happens.
Houses begin to twinkle at night and car roofs become adorned with trees on their way to their new home. While, it is the most exciting time of the year that still brings out that kid in all of us, it's also the busiest. Trying to get all the gifts you need with the money that most of the time you don't have. The time flys by faster than any other time of year and why wouldn't it? The days are literally shorter! My little blog has gotten neglected as it's usually the first thing to get pushed aside when I'm at my busiest. But I assure you I'm still alive and well! I've decided to just share a handful of photos to show, rather than say what I've been up to.
(if you follow me on my Instagram I apologize... you've seen these all already) 
The bf and I renewed our Disneyland passes :)
Christmas is a wonderful time at Disneyland.
I made my first etsy sale!
Helped decorate the tree at my parents new beach house.
Helped throw the company Christmas party for the Boat Parade at my parents house.
My bff Danica joined in the festivities.
I have been spending most all of my free time sitting in front of my sewing machine cranking out stockings like a mad woman, but just last night I turned my productivity towards my favorite holiday treat, my Christmastime toffee! I have been making it for the last several years now and people have grown to anticipate it! It's something I love doing (and eating!) and can't wait to make some more!
Well... there's a little update on my busy life. I'm hoping to record my latest Birchbox review in the next couple days because I got it on Saturday so check back if you want to see it :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Aaaaaaand we're live!

I've had an Etsy account for over two years now. When I first started making my baby clothes I created one and was SO excited for it. Turns out, most people really wanted custom pieces in custom sizes (and to be quite honest, Etsy can be a bit overwhelming), so I just ended up cutting out the middle man and just doing my selling via e-mail/text and Paypal.

I recently started making fun Christmas stockings and people have really shown an interest so, I used that as an excuse to get my Etsy shop up and running! I listed all eleven stockings that I've made so far last night and one already sold this morning! It will be headed to Virginia! I am so excited to see what Etsy has in store for me. Until then, feel free to check out my shop!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Puppy Love

Anyone who has ever had a dog knows the crazy, innocent, overwhelming love that a dog can give and, in return, the love that you yourself give back to your dog.
My close friend and roommate Stefana recently lost her childhood dog. Anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to their four-legged friend knows how horribly gut wrenching this can be. In the days following I've hugged my pups a little harder, pet them a little longer and {tried by best} to be more patient. The love of a dog is like no other. They have a way of making you feel like you are the most important person alive. To them, you are the whole world.
Ironically enough, yesterday, I stumbled upon an article about Fiona Apple. She recently had to cancel the South American leg of her tour due to an ailing dog. On her website, she posted a four page handwritten letter explaining the situation.
(If the handwriting is hard to read, I re-wrote the letter below)

It's 6pm on Friday, and I'm writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
 I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.

Here's the thing.

I have a dog Janet, and she's been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She's almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult officially - and she was my child.

She is a pit bull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.

She was the one the dog fighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.

She's almost 14 and I've never seen her start a fight ,or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She's a pacifist.

Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.

We've lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it's always really been the two of us.

She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.

She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album.

The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she's used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.

She has Addison's Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.

Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago.

She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is.
I can't come to South America. Not now.

When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference.

She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore.
I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.

I just can't leave her now, please understand.

If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.

Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed.

But this decision is instant.

These are the choices we make, which define us.

I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.

I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.

And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.

Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.

I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.

I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.

I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.

Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I've ever known.
 When she dies.

So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel.

And I am asking for your blessing.

I'll be seeing you. 

Love, Fiona

It is quite possibly the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. She truly captures the bond that a dog and a human share. It's so ironic how things work, how I randomly stumbled upon this just days after Stefana, herself, had the heartbreak of losing a dog. I didn't post this to be a total Debbie Downer. I more so posted this to celebrate the love that we are so blessed to be able to share with such amazing creatures. To the dogs we have had in the past, the dogs we currently have, and the dogs that we have yet to have. Thank you.


(Fiona and Janet Photo Credit)

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Veteran's Day (in Photos)

So this post is a week late but... better late than never...
It's not often that I get a week day off so when I found out that I was getting Veteran's Day off I decided I was going to make the most of it (as you can see).
1- bts thrift boutique- the bf and I were out in Culver City and thought it would be fun to go thrift store shopping. I used my handy dandy iPhone to find thrift stores around us and, as luck would have it, we found this AWESOME one. We are definitely going back soon.
2- Beamer's new dog bed- like most, I have a bit of a Target obsession. I have been eying this dog bed for months and months but at this point I pretty much have a dog bed in every room of the house so I couldn't allow myself to buy another one...that is... until now. My mom and I recently gave my garage/craft room a makeover and I have been spending a lot more time out there. Beamer (the one in the photo) is basically my shadow. He HAS to be everywhere that I am. Sooooo... I had to get him a craft room dog bed! What a perfect excuse! The best part is that he seems to love it just as much as I do!
3- new striped plates- these were one of the great finds from the bts thrift boutique. It was a set of 4 for $12. They are in great shape and are really unique. Once I spotted them I knew I had to have them.
4- new nightstands- I have been wanting, for quite some time, to revamp my bedroom. I only had a nightstand on one side of my bed, which always kind of bothered me, on top of the fact that my "nightstand" was really just a cheap target table. I have been searching for some nightstands that I really liked and Sunday night I was looking on craigs list and found these adorable white vintage looking nightstands. Sam went with me to pick them up in Culver City (hence why we were in Culver City to begin with) and they were only $50 for the pair! I love them!
5- accidentally matching- when Sam got to my house on Monday we were both wearing stripes! He was kind of embarrassed but I refused to change (plus I thought it was kind of cute ;) ).
6- two of my favorite things- another cute photo of my little man, Beamer. He was being so nosy so I let him sit on my sewing desk. It made me smile to see him next to my sewing machine so I snapped a photo.
7- my little girl- this is Lexie. She's a little more independent than Beamer but every once in awhile she is starving for attention and this was one of those moments.
8- Compton license plate- how could I NOT take a photo of this??
9- my man- outside of the bts thrift boutique carrying my new craft room storage unit. Haven't yet decided where it's going or what it will hold but it was cute and orange and only $10! 
10- thread- one of the many things that make me happy.
11- The Walking Dead- after we spent the first half of the day doing everything I wanted to do, we switched things up and did what Sam wanted. He wanted to go comic book shopping. He is definitely not generally a comic book fan but, like I've mentioned before, we have gotten SUPER into "The Walking Dead" so he wanted to see if he could find some of the comics. I have to say, walking into a comic book store is pretty much EXACTLY what you would imagine. It was fun though and Sam got a few comics to begin what I can only imagine is going to become a growing collection.

Obviously I know that Veteran's day isn't just a long weekend but it's the day that we have set aside to honor the men and women who have served in the armed services so that we have the safety and freedom that we oftentimes take for granted. They risk their lives and many have lost their lives to give us all the lives that we have today. I could never even begin to show my immense gratitude for the sacrifices that these men and woman make every single day. I can merely say a heartfelt "Thank you". I hope that all of you had a happy and safe Veteran's Day.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Target Haul!

Ok so, I've never done a "haul" before. I've seen lots of haul videos and to be honest I'm always like "I don't really care what you got" unless it was on some sort of crazy sale or something. Obviously that is just me or the videos would stop all together.

The other day I was at one of my favorite places EVER... Target perusing the dollar spot (which is always a must) and found some really great stuff (along with some other non-dollar spot items, which, lets be real, it's Target, you always end up with WAY more than you went in for. I went in for dryer sheets and Pam and ended up with all this stuff in the video. haha.) and I wanted to share so I made a quick video to share some of my finds. If you watch this and think "I don't really care what you got" believe me, I get it. But maybe someone out there will. So this video is for you, person who might care. Haha.

*Sidenote- yes, I made this video right after I made my November Birchbox video, hence why I am in the same clothes. Don't worry, I don't wear the same thing every day.*


Friday, November 16, 2012

Novem-brrrrr Birchbox

Happy November!
(I know it's already the 16th but I haven't blogged yet this month. Whoopsies!)
It's finally starting to feel like fall (though there are still some gorgeous California days sprinkled in).
November is when the holidays are in full effect, retailers are pushing Christmas onto us full force. I've seen the words "Black Friday" more times than I've seen the word "Thanksgiving" lately which, to me, is kind of sad. We should be given this chance to give thanks before the mass media shoves the latest electronics down our throats. I don't know how they manage to do it but each year it seems like Christmas comes earlier and earlier. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not some ba-humbug scrooge who hates Christmas. I love Christmas. I just wish Thanksgiving was given it's chance to be celebrated before Christmas is forced upon us.
That being said, I received my November Birchbox on Wednesday. The theme of this box was "Give", very fitting for the month of November. Finally, someone not skipping right over Thanksgiving! So, without further adieu... here is my review:

*Sidenote: No matter WHAT I do, the three "thumbnail choices" for my videos are always AWFUL... thats why I tried to make a little title screen... I thought that MAYBE it would let me choose that as a thumbnail but obviously... I was wrong. Haha.*

I hope you get a chance to spend the next week giving thanks and really celebrating what Thanksgiving is all about.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


October is such a great month.

The air gets a little more crisp. All of us girls get to break out our boots and scarves that have been locked away in the closet since the first hints of summer. Tv watching is now done in sweats with a blanket and perhaps a warm beverage. And best of all, I, personally, get to spend the month celebrating all of my favorite people!

I don't know what it is but I seem to have a strong affinity for Libras and Scorpios which keeps me VERY busy in the month of October and some of November. Let me give you just a little run down of my month...

So as you can see, it's quite a busy month for me but I love celebrating the people I love so I'm not complaining :)
And when I say it's all my favorite people, I mean it! Just look at my "Favorites" on my phone! (yes, I have GoCountry on my favorites... I want to win Stagecoach tickets!)
For Danica's birthday we spent a fun evening at one of our favorite local bars. Very "us". For her gift, among other things, I got us tickets to see the Long Island Medium LIVE! I am addicted to almost every show on TLC and whether she likes it or not, I have gotten Danica into a few of them. Long Island Medium is one of those shows and we LOVE her. I saw that she was coming to Long Beach so I got us tickets and we are SO excited! :)
For Stefana's birthday we went to a nice brunch at Lazy Dog Cafe. I wasn't feeling real well but we managed to get a couple new cute photos to put up in the house. :)
I got her this cute necklace from Jessica Jane K's Etsy shop:
Stefana loves all things Dr. Seuss and I love all things gold and girly so this gift was the perfect mix.
For my grandma's birthday me and my mom and my cousin all surprised her and showed up at her house (in Oceanside) for dinner. When she saw us she couldn't even form a full sentence she was so surprised. It was awesome. I've never seen her so surprised. For some reason lately she seems to refuse to smile in photos but she was happy I swear! :) (her best friend Meryl came and surprised her as well!) It was a really great night.

Katie had a mellow birthday at one of our go-to spots Tantalum in Long Beach. Danica and I went over there for a bit but, sadly, didn't snap any photos.
And then it was my moms birthday. My mom (like most moms) is one of those people that never does anything for herself. She always takes care of everyone else, cleans up after everyone else. So I try my best to make her birthdays special.
These photos are from a few years back. I got us a limo and all of her girlfriends (and mine) together to go to a nice dinner in Newport Beach. (and yes, obviously the "25" candles was a joke).
This photo was from last year. A group of us again got a limo and treated mom to a nice dinner, drinks, and even a little dancing. :)

My parents just recently bought a new home so my mom wanted to just do a mellow birthday this year, which, was fine by me. So I baked her the standard birthday cake that is made for everyones birthdays in our family. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
I love any excuse to wrap a gift so, even though my gift already came in a gift bag, I had to re-wrap it myself.
We had a nice dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of their new house it was a nice mellow night with family.

Sadly, my friend Maryam celebrated her birthday on my moms birthday so I wasn't able to join in her festivities but I plan on celebrating with her soon. I have some of my very best college memories with this girl and wish I was able to spend more time with her.
Same goes for my sorority big sis Jackie!
And lastly, my newly married friend who left us all for a job in Wisconsin... yes... I said Wisconsin... but is now BACK in California (In San Francisco... but STILL it's California!). I won't be able to celebrate with her but Sam and I have been talking about planning a trip up to San Fran to spend a weekend, which I'm really excited about because I haven't seen Haley since her wedding AND I love San Francisco. It's a win win! :)
 I had a wonderful time celebrating all of my most favorite people and now that it's all over I'm looking forward to the holiday season!
Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween and my thoughts and prayers are with all the east coasters who are in the midst of the storm.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Aaaaand here it is!
The October Birchbox!

Finally! I'm all caught up! I did all four Birchboxes in less than a month. To be honest, I'm kind of surprised I did it, but, it's been fun and I've been enjoying it.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, the first time I've ever done a Birchbox in the month that it actually IS! haha

{Side note: the "sponsor" this month is "Goop". Danica uses that word all the time and I find it hillarious, SO... watch me try to keep a straight face every time I have to say it.}


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday!

My best friend Danica and I love any excuse to get together and craft.
I'm a crafter by nature and she has become one over time and has become quite the crafting buddy!
So, we decided to get together to do a Fall/Halloween craft. After searching around pinterest, I found these cute Halloween inspired mason jars. Danica was on board so this was going to be our craft of choice.
I have what is referred to as the "craft cave" with pretty much every craft supply known to man BUT I DID have to go out and buy the mason jars (they were about $10/case which is less than a dollar a piece, not bad). I got two different sizes because I feel like varying sizes makes it more visually interesting.
 Other Products Needed:
Mod Podge
Tissue Paper (orange for pumpkin, green for Frankenstein)
Gauze (if you'd like to do a mummy... white tissue paper could work too for a ghost)
Paintbrush (we used the sponge kind)
Black construction paper
Pencil (optional)
So, I started by cutting the tissue paper into strips about 1.5 inches. You can measure your jars to see how tall the strips need to be and cut them accordingly.
Here is where we did things a little differently... The original tutorial (found here) placed the Mod Podge and tissue paper on the OUTSIDE of the jars, while we chose to put it on the INSIDE. I think that it proves to be a little more difficult that way but makes for a cleaner look in the end.
 So, as you can see we did a coat of Mod Podge on the INSIDE of the jars and placed the strips on the inside. We used the eraser on a pencil to help flatten it out and ensure that it was down. Then we put another layer of Mod Podge over to set it.

**For the mummy- we DID to the gauze on the outside to give the effect of it being a mummy but the same technique was used. Paint a layer of Mod Podge. Wrap the jar with the gauze (being sure that it sticks) and then added another coat of Mod Podge to set it. **

Then we got creative and made faces for each jar. I decided to do just a pair of eyes for my mummy (which I guess could also pass as a ghost unless you see the gauze up close. haha). I did a standard pumpkin face for the pumpkin (and as you can see I went a little crazy with the Mod Podge and perhaps put a little too much on his eyes). And lastly I created a little Frankenstein face, bolts and all, for Frankenstein. To apply the face parts, the same technique was used, putting a layer of mod podge on the jar, placing the face and adding a layer over top to set.
 I was pretty pleased with the results. I'm a liiiiittle bummed that I went so Mod Podge happy on the pumpkins eyes, but I'm still happy with the way they turned out. Plus, it was a fun excuse to hang out with Danica! :)

On a side note, since this was a crafty post, I just have to share my latest crafting toy.

So... to give a little back story... Yesterday while I was at work, my boyfriend sent me a craigslist link for a vintage sewing machine. I thought it was so sweet of him to see that and think of me. I even sent the link to Danica and we both agreed it was a really cool piece. After work my boyfriend calls me and asks if I can go in the garage to look for something for him. I turn the corner and what do I see?
The vintage sewing machine!
He contacted the seller and went and picked it up to surprise me! How lucky am I?! I literally almost started crying. Haha. He sure knows the way to my heart... ANYTHING CRAFTY! Haha.
The seller told him that everything works and I'm looking forward to testing it out. I mean, truth be told, even if it doesn't actually work I still LOVE it!
If you have any question or comments about the tutorial feel free to let me know and be sure to check out Danica's post on it as well!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Catchin Up!

It has been less than three weeks and here is my THIRD Birchbox review as promised. I'm pretty proud of the fact that I've kept up with it (with sporadic timing, yes, but I've kept up nonetheless haha).

This is the review of the September Birchbox which means, I am almost officially all caught up! I received my October box just last week so once I do that one I will be up-to-date.
On another note this last weekend was a busy one.
My boyfriends dad recently had, what I understand to be a couple of minor heart and had to get two stints put in, so we drove down to Pala Casino (his destination of choice) to spend the evening hanging out. It was actually a lot of fun and I got a chance to know him a little better AND he gave us a free room that they got!
Then Saturday was my moms birthday. We spent the day spoiling her. I made her favorite, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. A family birthday tradition.
And, of course, I love any excuse to use all the cute wrapping paper that I have :)
 Then Sunday was my beautiful friend Tina's bridal shower. I've known Tina since I was probably 18. We used to work together at the hell hole that is best known as Red Robin. It's funny because I'm sure anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry would agree, it is both the best and worst times EVER. The people that you have to deal with on a daily basis are awful, BUT the people that you work WITH... are some of the best friends you'll ever have. I'm still friends with so many of the people that I spent my Red Robin years with. I even live with one of them! (Stefana) But anyways... back to the shower.My friend (and Tina's Maid of Honor AND yet another fellow Red Robin-er) Wilma (of Lovely Jubilee) truly outdid herself. Everything was gorgeous from the invitations, to the linens to the icing on the cake (literally, it was pink and gold! so cute!) It was a lovely day with lovely people.
 Tina is going to make the most gorgeous bride.
All in all it was a busy busy weekend but a lot of fun.
Stay tuned for my October Birchbox review!
xoxo, shea
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