Friday, November 18, 2011

Adventurous Friday: Friends Giving

Last night Ron and I went to "Friends Giving" A co-worker of Ron's have a Thanksgiving Feast for their friends every year a week before Thanksgiving. We were fortunate enough to be invited. 

I say fortunate because Ron and I don't have a ton of friends in Southern California. So it was a little out-of-our-box, so to speak to go to something like this. But we are glad we did! Not only did we meet some pretty amazing people but we had a fabulous feast! I am still full from all the delicious turkey, stuffing and mac n' cheese. ( I had to throw this in there because I made the mac n' cheese and though I was a little embarrassed about bringing a non holiday dish, my homemade mac n' cheese was very popular!) 

Anyways, Ron and I met a couple who seemed as creative as we are. They both do flower arrangements as a little side job like we do Windows by the Sea! We spoke about creating chalk boards to go inside their succulent center piece arrangements. 

This got Ron and I's creative juices flowing! I can't wait to come up with something that will work for a table top arrangement! 

Hopefully we can jump on these creative ideas soon. For now, I am forced to paint my hallway. (you know that pocket door I bragged about, ya I still haven't painted it. Talk about procrastination!) 

Well here is this Mac N' Cheese that everyone was so fond of! 

And it's really easy to make! 

Toni Rendon's Mac N' Cheese (thanks for sharing this recipe with me Toni!) 

Cheddar Cheese Soup (1 Can) 
A little Milk 
Sharp Cheddar Cheese - ( a lot of it!) 
Salt and Pepper to taste! 

Easy as that and super delicious! Kraft, I may give you a run for your money with this recipe! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspirational Thursdays: A home away from home

These past two weeks have been so incredibly hectic! Trying to keep up at work, juggling my seemingly small social life, keeping all my extra curricular organized. It makes me stressed out just thinking about it! 

Last night could have been the icing on the cake. After coming home from a fundraising meeting, I get a phone call. Butters, my cat from college who had abandoned me over a year ago for a neighbor who served better cat food, was in need of a home. Why this thief decided she all the sudden wanted to return my cat is beyond me. But I have to say, I am a little grateful to have Butters  home. (Just don't tell Ron, he hates cats!) 

Butters had been gone for a little over a year. I saw him from time to time but as far as I was concerned this ungrateful cat had moved on and so had I. I had donated to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center all his toys, cat carrier, litter box, litter and food. Butters didn't want to be my cat anymore, so I didn't want to be his owner. 

Last night changed all of that. 

Taking Butters into my arms and walking the few short blocks to our house, I remembered what fun Butters and I use to have. Butters was my "Chico Kitty". He grew up in the sloppiness of my college days, bounced around from apartment to apartment with me, and put up with all my lazy days. That cat and I sure knew how to cuddle! On a Sunday afternoon, you could find Butters and  I curled up in my bed watching tv, happy as can be. 

Once, Butters and I were living in a "tree top apartment" or a converted attic apartment (but tree top sounds so much cutter). We have a lot of nasty crows in Chico. When I say nasty, these crows seriously had it out for Butters. They would sit at the window and squawk and squawk at him. If Butters went outside, these nasty little devils would follow him and drop things on him! It was amazing to see how one animal could intentionally torture the other. 

Of course at some point, I couldn't just let Butters get tortured while I sat back and watched. So I did what any mother would do, I borrowed a BB gun and sat myself on the porch waiting for those damn birds. Butters had to have known what I was up to because he sat down on the chair beside me and waited too! Needless to say, no crow was every hurt but Butters and I had fun scaring them off! 

I miss Northern California and I have missed that cat. Although Butters will be making Ron angry and Sydney (our dog) jealous, I am glad he is home to remind me that I wasn't always a beach girl. 

In honor of Butters returning to my little family, here is some Northern California Style. I hope to one day make it back there, maybe a little log cabin in the woods? We will see! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Community Monday: Absolute Mayhem

Hello all! Miss me? Yes, its been a while! 

Well I had quit the weekend! I guess I should start by explaining what I have been up to lately! 

On Friday I took the day off from my "real job" (you know, the one that pays the bills) and went door to door of Long Beach businesses asking for donations for Friends Of El Dorado Dog Park

Boy was that fun! Not only did I meet some nice and some not-so-nice people, I also learned that even thought I live in Southern California, its wise to carry an umbrella in your car. Just in case! I was soaked! But it was a very productive day. Much more productive than I had anticipated! I gave away all my donation requests forms and completely missed my other appointments. 

After coming home soaked from head to toe, I decided to make a little hot coca and Kahlua to warm up with my friend Alicia! We got so caught up in our conversation that we never did head to the garage to work on Window by the Sea! 

Where the fun really began was Saturday morning. Ron and I headed to Vegas for my first real Vegas experience. WOW was that a blast! I felt like a college kid again as we finally crawled into bed at 4am. I learned first hand that Vegas never sleeps! 

so needless to say, my productivity for my blog, etsy and even my pinterest is drastically decreasing! 

I have lots of work to do this week! Hopefully the Holiday Bone-Anza will fall together nicely so I can begin working on my Holiday inventory! 

That is it for Community Monday.... I guess I had better kick my butt into gear! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inspirational Thursdays: Black is the New White

Before I get started, let me quickly explain myself. Yes I am looking at wedding dresses, no I am not planning on getting married. 

Okay, now that that is out of the way.... let me tell you what has really inspired my creative juices today! 

Etsy sends out emails on latest trends. Yesterday's wedding trend, Jet Setting Brides

So black is the new white. How interesting! 

For the traditionalist, I suppose this would come as a shock. Or for some, this could even be considered an outrage. For those of us who don't do things by the book, (yes me) than this is truly inspirational! 

My purpose isn't to show you all black wedding dresses, although I found a lot of pretty ones! 

What really caught my eye is what I saw when I continued to look through the Wedding Decor section of Vows Nior 


well talk about competition! Look at all of these great ideas my fellow Etsians have come up with! 

But here is my real favorite! 

These got me very excited! At first I was a little put back that I have had all these ideas but haven't executed them yet. Then I thought, the more the merrier! How fun! 

No one can be Window by the Sea and I can't be anyone else. Maybe this isn't great business logic, but hey... the idea was always to have fun with this! 

I guess I have a lot of work to do! For now, I won't be one of those shops these trend setting brides go to but hey, if a country bride comes my way.... I have her covered! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: The Pinterest Challenge

Today I am feeling slightly better from my very embarrassing struggle with my stairs on Monday. At least my headache is gone and I am feeling a tad bit smarter again! 

My friend Katie sent me this blog today. I usually follow Young House Love because they have the most adorable ideas. Their idea today has just inspired all my creative juices. 

Thanks for kicking me in the butt Katie, it's just what I needed! 

The Challenge: Actually make your own rendition of what you are pinning. 

Like Young House Love, I too am addicted to pinterest. I have to constantly remind myself throughout the day that, A: I am at work and B: I have to actually earn my paycheck. 

If I could make a career out of pinning all day, I would do it! It is just so much fun! Thanks to Pinterest, I now feel I need a new larger house for all my ideas. (Ron and I bought our condo last October but with all my new ideas, I am just ready for something new!) Guess I had better start making some big bucks! 

Anyways, Young House Love is doing another Pinterest Challenge. 

I am so up for this challenge! Its what I need to kick my creative butt in gear! (just not down the stairs) 

So here I go.... hopefully by Friday I will have some fabulous updates for you all. I am thinking Thanksgiving themed table settings..... hmmmm the ideas I could come up with! 

Happy Pinning! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crafty Tuesday: and a tumble I go

I have to be honest, I am not feeling too crafty today. This may be due to the fact that I took a tumble down my stairs last night. I am feeling like a semi truck hit me, backed up over me and then hit me one more time just for good measure. 

The positive thing about this is, my left shoulder injury doesn't hurt nearly as bad today as the whole right side of my body does! 

They use to call my Spaz in junior high and high school. I don't think I out grew my name! 

ok, ok, back on topic..... 

Crafty Tuesday.... I haven't done a whole lot of creating this week. This weekend, when I normally do all my work, was primarily taken up by helping a friend of mine move. So, as far as my Etsy shop is concerned, no new items for sale! But don't you worry, I am getting back on that horse just as soon as my head stops spinning! 

In my process of Chabby Chic-ing everything I see or touch, I found this paint. It is called chalk paint. Not chalk board paint but chalk paint. 

I originally discovered this idea (still in the works) on Miss Mustard Seed's blog. She seems to swear by it. I loved all her photos of her DIY furniture she created completely out of chalk paint. 

From the table, to the dresser to the corner cabinets, I LOVE this furniture! 

This paint is called Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. With more researched I learned that I could easily love this product! Although I have not made my purchase yet, I am told with this non acrylic paint, you do not need a primer or to sand! WHAT!?!? I know, exciting isn't it! 

My last DIY shabby chic project was one of those, I wish I never started this kind of project. This chalk paint, with the help of different waxes looks like just the paint for me

Now my only problem is.... what color do I choose!?! Of course I want to do every piece of furniture I own in this style now! But I think I will start with my two bedside tables.... 

Lots to think about! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Community Monday: Giving Back

Yesterday I attended a memorial services for my neighbor and family friend Leonard. 

Leonard passed away this summer in Lima, Peru. He was 85 years old. 

After all the funeral service I have been attending recently, I thought Leonard's would be the easiest to deal with (emotionally that is). Although he lived a wonderful, long life, it was still so sad to see the people he left behind. Leonard will be truly missed by his family, his friends and his community. 

I bring up Leonard in today's blog post because Leonard was a man who gave back to his community in every way he could. He was not only an amazing husband, father, friend, business man and neighbor, Leonard was an inspiration. 

The Rabbi at the service told a story that I had never heard before about Leonard. One Day, Leonard went grocery shopping, bought his groceries and proceeded to leave. On his way out, he saw a homeless man. Leonard gave the entire contents of his shopping cart to this man. 

Not wanting to come home empty handed, Leonard returned inside the grocery store and once again filled his cart with food to bring home. After making his purchases, he chose to exit out a different door and met another homeless person. Leonard gave this man his groceries. 

Once again Leonard made the trip around the store to buy his groceries. For the 3rd time, Leonard found a person in need of food and donated his purchases. 

3 times! Can you imagine? Grocery shopping isn't a fast processes, and here Leonard donated his groceries 3 separate times before he bought his own food and continued home. 

This is one of many stories shared yesterday about a man who loved his fellow man. 

He is an inspiration to us all. Leonard did wonderful things for many people, the Seal Beach Community in particular will never forget him. 

So, on behalf of Leonard and the amazing gifts he gave us during his time on earth, I would like to share some of the projects I am currently working on in my community as well as the upcoming events that I will be supporting. 

Holiday Craft Fair, Long Beach                                                   November 5, 2011
Meet for the Mutts, El Dorado Park                                             November 6, 2011
Wetlands Trash Clean Up, Save Our Beach                              November 11, 2011
Friends of El Dorado Dog Park's Holiday Bone-Anza              December 3, 2011
Seal Beach Animal Care Center's Un-Party                              January 1, 2012
Run Seal Beach                                                                             April 21, 2012

And I am sure there will be more! But This is it for now. 

Happy Halloween everyone! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventurous Friday: Canceled!

I have to cancel my blog topic for today. There is just no way I can blog about my past travels or the ones I have in the works without my right hand. 

I woke up this morning and something felt different. Well, the dog had snuck up onto the bed in the middle of the night(she is rather large, so how she didn't wake me I have no idea) but the monster in my bed wasn't my problem. 

I felt naked, although I was fully dressed. I couldn't pin point the problem and I was feeling distressed. It wasn't until I walked out the front door that I realized what I was missing. 


Sure, you might think I am being a little dramatic but I AM NOT! My cell phone is my right hand. (How I am even typing right now is beyond me!) My phone keeps me connected to the outside world, it keeps my schedules and it even keeps me company. (I know, I know, I am pathetic) But this is all true! 

Where did my cell phone go, you may ask?


My only assumption after tearing apart my house at 6am this morning is that I must have left it at Taco Surf, a restaurant by my house that has an excellent happy hour. No, No, I know what you are thinking.... I only had a beer, that couldn't have contributed to my right hands disappearance.  

I have a half hour more to wait until I can call and find out if my cell phone is there. I am crossing my fingers and toes! 

To my iphone:
Please come back! I will take much better care of you this time! I promise to try very hard not to drop you on the ground, or in a puddle of water on the counter or in the toilet (yes all these things have contributed to my past phone's demise) 

Here are some iphone related items from Etsy to keep me from rambling any more about my dang phone! 

iPhone case, pretty isn't it? 

iPhone themed nail art?? 
I know I said my iPhone is my right hand but.... this may be a little much lol. 

Tennis themed iPhone Case, Clever! 

This would have to be my FAVORITE iPhone case I have seen! 

I bet if I owned this, I wouldn't be having this problem right now! 

Only 26 more minutes until I discover whether I am phoneless or if my right hand has been discovered! Wish me luck! And laugh behind my back please.... not to my face ;) 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inspirational Thursdays: Fall is in the Air!

I have a confession to make, I am a bit of a planner. 

Obviously I like to plan fundraisers and special events, that isn't what I am embarrassed about. I plan my day at work, (that is productive) I plan my weekends, (which is usually fun) but what I hate to admit is that I even plan my down time. 

For instance, after I got off work last night I knew my plan; I would go home, take the dog on a walk, jump in the shower, cook the easiest dinner I could come up with and then I would put my butt onto my couch and not get up until I was ready for bed. Pathetic right? 

Well last night, with my plan in mind, I get home to a miracle. My boyfriend Ron wants to go grocery shopping with me! 

I am not over exaggerating here, this really is a spectacular occurrence for him. If we ever have to go to the grocery store together, it is either extremely short where I forget most things I intended to  buy and leave rather irritated OR I have a whining two year old for a boy friend who can't hurry me fast enough. 

Needless to say that when he proposed the idea of going to the grocery store, together..... well, I was a little in shock. I have to admit I hesitated for a bit because really, who wants to be rushed while grocery shopping? 

I took my chances and we headed over. This is where the real miracle set in! Not only did he patiently wait for me to stroll through each isle (one of my favorite things to do) searching for inspirations for dinners to cook but he even helped! 

Who is this man and what did you do with my Ron? It felt like cheating but I loved it! 

To make a long story short, we walked down each isle at the grocery store and discussed possible dinner menus when Ron said, "isn't this an inspirational thing you can write about? How the weather is inspiring you too cook all these warm cooked meals?" 

This is why I love this man.... or at least one of the reasons! 

Fall is here and if you can't tell by the cold weather we are beginning to experience (I know, Southern California weather is nothing to complain about) than you should be able to tell by all the candy that is strategically placed at the end of each isle of your local store. 

And don't forget the pumpkin pie! Cans of pumpkin puree are everywhere! Where were you pumpkin puree when I was shopping for this recipe last month? 

Chicken, Roast Poblano, Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
(mine for the record did not turn out this pretty, or tasty) 

My other weather inspired meals to make this week: 

Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup 
Recipe from Food Network 

Sausage Ratatouille 

Home Made Chili 
Recipe from Mom's Who Think 

Hope these recipes inspire warmth! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spotlight Wednesday: Selfish me!

My intentions on Wednesdays are to spotlight other Etsy stores other than my own. However, I am just too excited about these new windows that I made, I can't possibly wait my turn! And besides, it is my own blog.... right? 

Here is a sneak preview of my newest window frame chalk boards that are not even on my Etsy store yet! 

Chalk Board/ Picture Frame OR White Board, You Choose! 

This is one of my new favorites! Found in a back alley in Seal Beach, my friend Alicia called me up after a night at Clancy's Neighborhood Bar to tell me she found these discarded treasures. 

This window frame chalk board is similar to the one above but is painted in a "dolphin blue". Top row can either hold photos or be used as a white board. Backing is changeable and customizable at any time! Change these out for the holidays! 

Hang notes, grocery lists, business cards or even jewelry! This was made from a discarded window frame where the glass was in terrible condition. We removed the glass, gave it some love and Tada! Repurposing at its best! 

Hope you like my new creations! These will be up on Window by the Sea this weekend! 

If you can't wait until then, message me and we can work something out. Remember Christmas is right around the corner! 

Oh, and I almost forgot! To make room in my work shop for new window frames that are on the way, I am offering free shipping on select items in my Etsy Store

Coupon Code: OutWithTheOld 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crafty Tuesday: Hey good lookin, what you cookin!?!

I seem to find myself scheduling any of my free time with new fundraising efforts. So today, I want to focus on my craft and show you what I am working on! 

Or at least what I would like to be working on.... 

This window frame chalk board/ shelf is something my friend Katie Irvine showed me. She is coming up will all sorts of fabulous ideas for Window by the Sea. 

Check out Katie's Pinterest Board dedicated to me! 

My favorite of Katie's ideas would have to be the DIY chalk board paint. Who doesn't want a pink chalk board? 

This is from good old, Martha Stewart. Thanks Martha! 

And one more to get us really excited! 

Cute right? I thought so! 

I will have my own photos of my work up soon, so check back later for progress updates! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Community Monday: The "Un-Party"

Over the weekend I made the decision to take on another fundraiser for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.  I am really excited about this opportunity because frankly, it seems a whole lot easier than most of the fundraisers I am tackling! 

Starting this week, I will be working on an "un-party" the SBACC will be hosting on New Years Eve. 

What is an 'un-party" you ask? Ya, I had no idea either! 

An "un-party" is a party you do not actually have to attend! Planning on staying home for New Years? Perfect! Spend an evening with your pet and help support the SBACC! 

From the comforts of your home, enjoy a little "party in a box" put together by the volunteers at the SBACC. The "party in a box" will be sent to your home before New Years Eve so that you may enjoy the evening at home with your loving pets. 

Human and pet treats (for dog or cats, your choice) will be provided in this box as well as other surprise goodies to make your night a blast! 

Sounds pretty fun right? I thought so! And I can't wait to fill these boxes with treats!?! Any suggestions on what you or your pet need to have the perfect "un-party" evening? Send me a message! 

Here are some ideas I think will be fun for a New Years Eve with your pet: 

You can't attend a party, even in your home without jewelry! 

Source: VintageStarrBeads on Etsy 

How about a Party Hat!?! 
Source: Newton Hair Jewels on Etsy 

What about a party hat for your cat?!? 
Remember, its an "un-party" for you and your pet! 

What about a party dress? 

Source: Ruffle Runway on Etsy 

And lets not forget to toast to the New Year! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Adventurous Friday: Peru

It occurred to me that I haven't written at all about any of my trips I have taken in the past few years. To think, all I wanted to be in college was a travel journalist. Sipping Pina Coladas from some tropical beach and writing about my resort stay. And not one blog, journal entry or even doodle about any of my fabulous adventures?!? My college self would have called me pathetic. 

So here is to back tracking a little bit... I will start with what is most fresh in my mind... Peru. 

My boy friend and I embarked on our journey to Peru in June of this year. We left straight from work to the airport, not knowing much about what we had in store. 

What I did know: we were meeting some friends in Peru to spend the week with Dani's Peruvian family. What I didn't know was what an amazing experience we would have and the adventures that were planned out for us. 

Of course the first thing we did after arriving was head straight to a Peruvian club where we were treated like celebrities, but if I mention every time we had a drink this blog would get incredibly long, so I will jump to the good stuff. 

From Left: Will, Dani (the Peruvian) me, and Ron (the bf)

The first day we went exploring we visited down town Lima where the President lives. The square was full of people parading and celebrating. The sights were spectacular but what I will always remember will be the school girls we met. These girls were so amazed by us. They treated us like royalty as they each came up giving us hugs and kisses. They even sang us the lords prayer in English. We all felt like we were on cloud 9. 

These kids loved us. So adorable! 

Photos of the "white house" forgot what the Peruvians call it! 

Although down town Lima is very beautiful and clean, many parts of Peru were not. It was strange because one minute you would feel you were living the life of luxury and the next minute reality sunk in. This beautiful country is 3rd world. 

This photo was taken on the way to Dani's graduation party. 

Here we were, dressed to the 9 after a day of pampering that I had never experienced before. We drove to the most beautiful house ( a vacation home owned by Dani's family) as we drove we passed villages where the houses were made of mud and there was no electricity to be found. The images were unreal as we continued on our vacation without a care in the world. 

A photo of Dani's graduation party. More like a wedding reception. It was beautiful, and amazing! 

From Lima we went to Cusco, where we visited Machu Pichu. The altitude was very difficult for me to deal with but the sights were well worth it.
Church of La Compania 

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru 

The Inca's 12 sided stone  

Fun fact about Cuzco... the Peruvians have over 2,000 varieties of potatoes. Isn't that insane! The bread that is made here is by far the most amazing brean (or pan in spanish) I have ever tried. Each region of Peru we went to had their own specialty breads not found in any other part of the country. 

Many Peruvians earn their living in Cuzco by the Alpacas. From their wool to their meat, the Alpaca is a crucial animal for the Peruvian people. 

Machu Pichu, the most spectacular man made sight in the world. This ruin was only discovered 100 years ago, which is why it has remained in tact. Most Inca ruins were destroyed by the Spanish when the occupied the region. 

From Cuzco we traveled to Mancora, which was another spectacular trip on its own. Beaches were pristine and the houses were amazing. 

A house like this in Southern  California would probably be worth 3-5 million easy. 
These house in Peru goes for 300-500 thousand! 

Fisherman delivered freshly caught fish and lobster to our house daily. We even had a chef to prepare these meals. Ceviche will never tast the same again. I loved Peruvian food! 

Needless to say, our Peruvian experience was amazing.