Friday, December 28

Boy Skills

After putting my mental list of "Girl Skills" into writing, I knew I also had to do one for the boys. I ardently love boys with all their muddy boots and sweaty palms and pyrotechnics. And there are some things*, a guy must simply know how to do.

Thursday, December 27

Girl Skills

I'm not sure how I mentally composed this list--and I'm sure society had something to do with it... but every once in a while, I'll come across some task that I've casually mentioned to Paige, or another lovely female in my life only to find they have no idea how to accomplish it. To which I reply with a sigh "It's a girl skill."

Thursday, December 13

And the (Homemade) Stockings Were Hung...

We were in want of stockings. With a fireplace all our own, we had just the spot for the traditional Christmas decoration, but nothing to hang. So, we decided to make our own. And one wonderful Thursday in November, Kelsey and I went to work at making stockings...

Tuesday, December 11

Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Who isn't always in the mood for some delish chicken fingers? This was definitely my go-to on every menu between the ages of 4 and 14. And now it's back--but in a super easy (and much healthier) version you can make at home in about a 30 minutes!

And even Jk likes this honey mustard sauce (and he doesn't like anything mustard!).

Thursday, December 6

Skinny Jean Love

I have attested to this many times before--but I have a heart for skinny jeans. Winter, spring, summer fall, flats, boots, heels, chunky sweaters, frilly tanks, plain t-shirts and warm cardigans--my skinny jeans are pretty much always with me.

And so, when I spotted a tiny hole on the well-worn knee of them (I know, what's with all these holes in my clothes, right?), I just couldn't sit back and do nothing.

Friday, November 30

12 Doodles of Christmas

For this free-draw Friday, I visited the 12 days of Christmas! :) Enjoy peeking at them--and don't blame me if the song gets stuck in your head....

Wednesday, November 28

Christmas Advent Calendar

A couple of years ago, I set out to make my own advent calendar. I wanted it to be made of Christmas felt with hand-stichted embroidery details that gave it loads of love and charm. After working on it in small pieces as holiday seasons came and went, I finally got it out to finish this year--just in time for our first Christmas together. :)

Tuesday, November 27

Heart Patch

I can't tell you how devastated I was when I put on my favorite cashmere cardigan only to discover a well-worn hole in the elbow. But with some adorable home-made patchwork, I was back in business and the sweater was cuter than ever!

Tuesday, November 20

Glimpse Underwater

A glimpse into an underwater world. Sketched with pen and colored with chalk pastels.

Friday, November 16


"What have we always said is the most important thing. What comes first?"
"Family. Right. I thought you meant out of the things you eat."
--Arrested Development

I tend to agree with George Michael. Because you see, I love breakfast.

Wednesday, November 14

Glimpse into the Ball

A wall cut-away of a ball. I was inspired by Disney concept art :) I had the hardest time figuring out the color of the dress, but ended up choosing yellow. Sketched with pen and colored with chalk pastels.

Monday, November 12

All In Its Place

I love baking. A dash of extra sugar, splash of vanilla, some flour and cold butter. Berries and cherries and apples and chocolate. Cinnamon and nutmeg and ruffled edges and golden brown crusts. The smell of a baking kitchen warms you right down to the bones and makes me feel like humming a sweet song while pulling warm lovelies out of the oven.

And as much as people might tell you that baking is a science--I'd have to disagree. I bake with my heart and see beauty in every piece. Rinsing off strawberries, piling pits of cherries, bread dough on floured wood and perfectly domed cookies all make me feel like I'm painting on the canvas of life.

And as much as I adore baking--I equally adore the process of perfectly poising the kitchen for such an occasion.

Saturday, November 10

(JK's) Cheese & Potato Soup

Jk diligently set to work making this one cold evening, and the result was incredible! (Because he made  it all himself the first time we ever ate it is why I am forever naming it "his".) Never have you tasted a soup with so much flavor, and if you're looking to add a little kick to traditional potato soup--this is it.

Thursday, November 8

Gurp the Sloth

This is Gurp. He is a sloth. And he climbs trees oh so slowly.

Stealing Sweaters

It's well into fall, and sometimes you just can't beat a great big sweater. Chunky knits and billowy tops are making a big comeback in fashion these days. Unfortunately, I don't have some of my own nor the money to buy some, but I DO happen to have a cute little husband with sweaters galore. So, naturally, I stole one of his.

Monday, November 5

Dressing A Dresser

Using a multitude of hangers and various sizes of baskets in our closet, we had been looking for a dresser for a while. But the only ones we really liked enough to spend money on, were a bit, well... out of our current price range. (At least we have good taste, though, right?) So, we had given up hope of finding a great dresser, and hadn't given much thought to it in a few months until I made an offhanded comment about it to my grandma.

Sunday, November 4

Shepherd's Pie

Have you ever tasted Shepherd’s Pie? It’s AWESOME--and the perfect dish for a cold night. I like to serve this out of mugs, it seems to taste so much better :)

Thursday, November 1

Hogwarts Decorating: Owl Post & Wizardry Signs

There were so many little touches we added for our Harry Potter decoration this month, so here's the rest of them in one nice final post.

Wednesday, October 31

Our Marauder's Map

Jk's personal under-taking for our Hogwarts home was to make a Marauder's Map for us. He figured out how to get it so it folded out in different directions, mapped our rooms, looked up some words in Latin, and learned a lot about our home's layout in the process. His masterpiece (because that is precisely what i think it is) turned out like this:

Hogwarts Decorating: Ollivanders

The best part about transforming our home into the Harry Potter world, was being able to work on things together. And the most fun we had (and time we spent) was making wands.

Monday, October 29

Hogwarts Decorating: Honeydukes & Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

One of the very best parts of wizarding shops is the colorful collection of magical findings. I had a blast designing all the labels for our Honeydukes jars and the items in the Weasley's joke shop!

Friday, October 19

In a World With Octobers

"I'm so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers." --L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables. I saw this quote this morning, and immediately stopped. Because, for the first time in a long time, I agree with it.

Monday, October 15

Homemade Granola

JK loves yogurt and granola in the mornings. And as an afternoon snack. And as a midnight treat. Granola is delicious on ice cream, with fruit or as cereal, and whichever which way is your very favorite, it's extra sweet to know how easy it is to make at home.

Thursday, October 11

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Sign

Last free-draw Friday consisted of some fun Harry Potter art, and JK joined in. :)

Wednesday, October 10

Wizardry Invite

I have the amazing opportunity to be part of a small group of 8th grade girls. We read the Bible, talk about all the miracles God is doing in our life, pray for each other's struggle, eat a heck of a lot of popcorn, and always end up laughing and getting off track somehow. And I have been enormously blessed to have a lot of them as into Harry Potter as I am. :)

Monday, October 8

Chocolate Frog Muffins

When I first made these double chocolate muffins, I chopped up an authentic chocolate frog for the chocolate chunks. Now they are forever one of our Harry Potter foods. :)

Tuesday, October 2

Hogwarts Decorating: Potions Lab & Great Hall

Happy October! With a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of Harry Potter love, we are managing to transform our home into Hogwarts (and Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade and Knockturn Ally, etc.) for this delightful fall month. Our first room was the potions lab (aka our dining room). So, grab your cauldron (pewter, standard size 2) and swoop in for a look!

Friday, September 28

Gray Fingertips

Seeing as I hadn't picked up a pencil to draw in a while... I felt the need to get all smudgy and gray again. :)

Wednesday, September 26

Lost & Found

I got this email back in the days when aim was the preferred method of communication and my daily endeavors consisted of finishing algebra homework, updating my buddy profile, and staying away from my home. I read the Bible because I wanted to be the best person I could be. It was more of a perfectionist, competition, though rather than an effort to help others. In retrospect, it had absolutely nothing to do with God, and everything to do with me.

Friday, September 21

Story Sketching

My free-draw Friday consisted of sketching scenes from a story.

Wednesday, September 19

Fall Fire

Now that it's September I feel like I ought to accept the fact that fall is imminent. It isn't something I like doing. Normally I approach the season like a Chicagoan approaches chilly winter wind gusts, I pull my coat tighter around me, my hat down, and mutter about the miserable weather under my breath. But, this year I'm trying ardently to accept autumn.

Tuesday, September 18

Make My Own Skinny Jeans

Ok, it might be after Labor Day but I am certainly sporting my white skinny jeans well into the winter and straight onto next spring. With the increasingly popular trending colored jeans, I had been wanting a white pair for ages. It's my all-time favorite color, it actually makes me look tan, and it's a neutral gateway to other, bolder colored skinnies. And, in an effort to be fiscally responsible, I made my own.

And before you get all "Whoa! Well, that's all well and good for you Mrs. Arts&Crafts Genius, but I'm gonna have to shell out the money to buy my own..", let me show you how amazingly easy it is:

Monday, September 10

Dream Keeper

When you're little, you have all sorts of grandiose dreams. Then, somewhere along the way, you shed them like too-small layers of clothes and "grow-up." But I don't think you're really growing up. I think it's more like growing down. You're the one who's too small and the dreams seem just too big to fit on you. So we let them go.

Friday, September 7

Avengers Sketching

You gotta love strong guys saving the world in sweet suits... Happy free-draw Friday. "Avengers" graphically designed.

Want to see the heroes in forms a little less "cute"?

Wednesday, September 5

Not a Tame Lion

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Tuesday, September 4

Warm Walnut Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Today was a muffin-making day. Thanks to my beloved, P, we invested* in two muffin tins, so I had double the fun. The first one was this little lovely with chocolate chips and walnuts.

Friday, August 24

Painting Gray: Mermaid Love

This is what I do on Friday mornings,  I  lay in my bed and imagine what I'm going to create, and then I go do it. I get my artistic fix in before Jameson is home by noon. Today, I became a little spellbound by mermaids. And after 30 minutes of happily lapping up some mermaid information on the interwebs, I needed to paint one. I'm out of canvas, so it's a good thing, we've got plenty of room on our walls...

Peppered Turkey Wraps with Apricot Spread

These amazing wraps taste like they’re from a corner bistro and the flavor of the soft apricot and goat cheese spread is to die for. It's perfect for a picnic lunch or a quick bite before an afternoon wedding (which is precisely what Jk, Paige, Graham and I did before my cousin's wedding :) and it felt fabulous to eat while all dressed-up!).

Friday, August 17


This is precisely what Zuko looks like at night across the room. My artistic project for the day :) Acrylic on black cardboard.

Monday, August 13

Gray Room

We have a cute little room upstairs that we painted gray. It's a "kid's room," where we keep all of our favorite picture books, fun toys (like the nerf guns Jk bought me for Christmas), and fantastical dreams.

Friday, August 10

Painting Gray: Castle Tower

Continuing the quest to turn an upstairs bedroom into a gallery of the most magical wall paintings...

Wednesday, August 8

Sketch a Dress III

Because I just like dreaming up dresses...

Tuesday, August 7


We didn't register for a waffle iron just because... Waffles are amazing and super easy to make huge amounts of. Did you know you can freeze fresh waffles and then pop them in the toaster whenever you want one? Well, now you do. :) Grab the syrup and heat up the iron!

Friday, August 3

Minimalist Story Posters

I was feeling like simplistically stating things today.

Tuesday, July 31

Chicken Cutlets with Almond Butter

A tasty and rich twist on a chicken dish that is good enough for a special occasion and easy enough for every day. We got this awesome recipe from Paige. :)

Monday, July 30

Simple Hair Bow

A super sweet hair accessory in less than 5 minutes. All you need is some ribbon, a clip or comb and some hot glue :)

Monday, July 23

Switching Shampoos

"Doesn't your hair get used to the same shampoo? Aren't you supposed to switch types every so often?" This savvy shampoo question came from my sister (surprisingly!), and so I of course needed to seek out an answer.

Thursday, July 19


I devoted my day to the gleeful satisfaction of working. For those of you that don't know, I recently took a kinda huge (and very scary, but also very awesome) professional leap from playing at school and teaching kids to playing at home and kick-starting businesses.

Thursday, July 12

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Orange Sauce

A healthier, baked alternative to Jameson's all-time favorite. These are incredibly easy and suuper tasty! Don't skimp on the orange sauce (though you could substitute apricot or another one of your favorites)--it's what gives it and even more delicious tropical flare.

Mediterranean Chicken Wraps

I found this recipe on my hummus container (don't you just love hummus?) and was floored by how flavorful it was with just a few ingredients.

I skipped the tomatoes in mine, and threw in some grated baby carrots instead, since we always happen to have a bunch in our fridge, but you can add or subtract veggies as you wish!