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. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inspirational Thursdays: Saw Dust and Paper Scraps

For my first shot at Inspirational Thursdays, I want to point out a fellow blogger who has really inspired me. Both in my home, with my Etsy store and the reason I am working so hard on being a blogger. 

Sandra from Saw Dust and Paper Scraps is an inspiration to all women. 

She is woman and you can hear her roar! 

Daily I follow her blog posts about her home construction (yes she can even use a saw all on her own). From the girl whose boy friend doesn't event want her to use a pocket knife, Sandra is an idol! 

Sandra is constantly posting new ideas for her home, DIY Boot Camps, construction and craft projects she is working on and much more. It is fascinating for me to watch her built in closet go up. Who could have thought a petite woman such as Sandra could build an amazing closet! 

Saw Dust and Paper Scrap is not only my reason to work on my blog, but the reason I just recently finished putting in a pocket door in my condo! And after reading about her closet project (which looks amazing by the way) I can't help but imagine what I can do to my terribly laid out walk in closet! 
Sanda's closet project mid way. She built these boxes herself. Amazing right? 

Sandra doesn't just build craft rooms, walk in closets, kitchen cabinets and screen in her beautiful new porch. She is also a mother of what appears some very crafty children! 

Her daughter who shares my enthusiasm for Halloween is beginning her preparations for her Halloween Party. 

Aren't those just the cutest invitations you have ever seen!?! They are full of gummy candies. Yum! 

And one more to prove that Saw Dust and Paper Scrap is truly an inspirational crafter, blogger and woman. 

Washable, insulated lunch totes. This woman thinks of everything! Click here for tutorial. 

So Sandra.... if you ever see this post, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for showing us that power tools aren't just for men, that you can make an adorable craft with just about anything and showing us amateur bloggers what its like to have a fun, successful blog. 

Woohoo to Saw Dust and Paper Scraps! If you aren't following this blog yet, you had better! 

*** All of these photos are from the website of Saw Dust and Paper Scrap. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight

For my first Etsy spotlight I thought I would start by featuring a store that I have purchased from many times since I joined Etsy. 

Brandi from Scrappy Happy Me is a mother from Nebraska that when she isn't busy being mommy is hard at work on her scrap booking creations. 

The first item I bought from her was this adorable pregnancy scrap book that I gave to my cousin. Isn't it adorable? 

After such success with this scrap book I went back to Brandi and asked for some more! This time I had a few people in mind! 

This brag book was also a big hit! 

For Brandi's next project I asked her to make me 2 matching "cow boy themed" scrap books. 

And one more for my boy friend's cousin who just loved it! 

Thank you Scrappy Happy Me for great service, quality and price! You definitely  made me a popular gift giver among my family! 

Here are a few of my favorites she has listed right now! 
Adorable Floral Wreath 

Aren't these Halloween cards adorable!?! 
Every Birthday Party needs one of these cute banners! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Schedule, Here We Go!

Thanks to the Etsy Seller's Success Kit that I just purchased yesterday, I am full of new ideas! 

One of the points Handmade Success makes is keeping to a schedule, so.... here is my schedule... Hope it works! 

Community Mondays
Crafty Tuesdays
Spot Light Wednesdays
Inspirational Thursdays
Adventurous Fridays

Let me explain my crazy topic ideas..... 

Community Mondays

Monday, I will discuss what work I am doing in the form of fundraising. Yesterday I started off (very late, my apologies!) by talking a little about the Wag N' Walk event I put together for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center

Over 30 vendors, 200 participants and 100 four legged friends attended the 
16th Annual Wag N' Walk on Oct. 1, 2011

I have a few new ideas up my sleeve so check back with me next week to hear my newest plans!

 Crafty Tuesdays

Here I will discuss my latest projects, ideas I am working on and any DIY tutorials I come across. yay! 

Here is a link to my pinterest account where you can see my work in progress idea boards! 

My friend Katie shared this DIY project with me. I can't wait to get started on it! 

Spot Light Wednesdays

Here I will discuss a little about my favorite shops. If you are interested in being spot lighted please message me with your Etsy shop info! 

Inspirational Thursdays

What inspires you? What inspires me? Find out on Thursdays! Looking forward to this topic! 

and last but not least..... 

Adventurous Fridays

Where will my adventures take me next?!? I will begin with a few countries I have already visited and work my way up to those that I am looking to visit soon! 

Sneak peak at my adventures in Peru. If you can't guess from my expression, this masked dancer scared the s*** out of me! 

Hope this helps get me some views! Because as much as I enjoy talking to myself, I really hate writing just so I can read it! ;)