Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jet, Set, Go!

An incredibly FABULOUS blog called Jet Setting Divas has chosen me as their Jet setter of the month on account of how much I travel! I am so Excited! I will post the link when my interview is published to their blog. They are having me write about my favorite place! Can you guess what that is??

Here is a clue... 

Speaking of Jet set... I am off to San Francisco in the morning! 

Me and Maiden Ln... taken last Christmas in San Fran...

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Years... I will report back on Monday with lots of photos of my mini trip!

Everyone check out  and follow Jet Setting Divas for the latest in stylish world travel!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This year I will...

Here we are again! New Years resolution time! Might I add also the one year anniversary of this blog! SO hooray pearls and pears!

I have been thinking a lot about new years resolutions and what they are supposed to do. How everyone wants to change who they are and better themselves. I think that is really inspirational. Especially since a lot of people in general believe that New Years Eve is a seriously overrated holiday. In a way its a lot like life. It is what you make it. People complain that they aren't happy, they think that somehow it is their lot in life to not be happy. Maybe that life dealt them a bad hand and now they are stuck. I think that life (like NYE) is what you make it. There are circumstances that are out of your control, and there are things that are unavoidable. However, we have control over how we react to things.

so where the HELL am I going with this??

In thinking about New Years Resolutions consider this...

Have I decided to do this because:

A. Its going to make me happy
B. It will make someone else happy
C.  I am fulfilling what is expected of me

If your answer is B or C... Scratch the resolution and start over. If you want to loose 15 pounds because its making YOU happy and not because your mom wants you to be thinner or it will make your dude happier, then DO IT! If you want to save money to spend on yourself... do it! If you want to go vegan because YOU think its something that will benefit you and not for anyone else then do it.

Think of it this way... Is any action that someone else does going to solve ALL your problems? Going to help you become the happiest person alive forever?? Probably not... So then why would anyone make their resolution to improve their life about anyone but themselves?

Resolutions are about SELF improvement, not becoming someone that someone else wants you to be.

SO take up the piano, guitar, cooking,
fall in love, fall out of love, live!, 
hike, bike, go to night school,
 get your MBA, get your GED, get a PHD!, 
Buy a camera and become a photographer, 
sell your house,
 go to europe, 
buy a house in europe! 
quit your job and travel
quit traveling and settle down

Do what you want to do... but do it for you!! 

So now I am going to tie this notion back to what I was saying earlier about taking control, and being happy...

(I am going to sound like a shrink)

Here is what I know about life, happiness, and control:

1. Thing are going to happen to you that are 100% out of your control

2. we are going to react to them

3. These things + the way we react to them overall = Our life attitude (positive, negative, happy, sad)

Most people look that this little equation and say.. yeah! thats right... I have no control over my happiness. I am going to have bad things happen and I am going to be furious about it. But here is something we don't realize.... how much control we have over #2. (how we react to the things that happen to us)

So when bad thing happen to us we have a choice in how we react... why not shrug it off, and stay positive as much as we can. It is going to be hard... but ...

THIS is my new years resolution. 

If I get in a fender bender... I will not get angry

If I loose files at work.... I will not get stressed out

If I get lost... I will not panic

If I run out of gas... I will calmly call AAA

When I have family coming over in 15 minutes, and the chicken is burning, and my kitchen is filling with smoke and the alarm is going off... I will remain calm. 

I choose happiness. 
I choose calm and relaxation.

This is what I want to improve upon this year. 

I have realized that a lot of that reacting has to do with fear and pressure from what is expected. We believe that we are as humans supposed to panic... But has panicking ever helped ANYONE solve a problem?? It is a scientific fact that stress has such a negative effect on the brain that when we are stressed out our motor skills begin to shut down. Have you ever noticed that when you are having a really bad day, you trip over things, or stub your toe. Thats no accident. 

Likewise positivity and peace actually revive the creative part of the brain, which is why when we remain happy and positive our brain actually functions at a higher level. So I am going to do all that I can to make myself happy. 

So in closing... 


Make yourself happy! 

and have a very happy safe and wonderful New Year!

Happy 2011. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Guess where I am going for NYE...

After discussing it with Matt (who has been gone a week... will be gone for 2 total), we decided that spending New Years Eve apart, just isn't an option. His plans had fallen through and mine were shakey as the new years party I was headed to was in Bend which required a 2 hour drive in the snow over cliffs...

So... we decided that the only way to fix our issue is for me to hop on a plane and head to my favorite little city...

We will be celebrating New Years Eve at...

The palace of fine arts... we will be counting down at one of the most beautiful places in the city and laughing through till midnight as there will be 8 hilarious comedians performing until countdown to the New Year!

Whoop! So excited...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An old favorite...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

- Henry Livingston 

Merry Christmas everyone! From my house to yours!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My first DIY project: Christmas tags.

First of all I hope everyone is having...

 a FABULOUS Christmas Eve!!!

I have had this blog for almost 1 year and I FINALLY have an original DIY project that I can post about!
So this year I was horribly disorganized. I mean it is bad.... I am sending out New Years cards and they wont even get here by new years. So they will get them after the actual holiday... pathetic.

BUT in my disorganization... creativity sprang. I had the wrapping paper and jacked a bunch of ribbon from my store... but i forgot to buy gift tags!!! This year I bought a lot of little things for my family members rather than one big gift for each. I kept finding special things that each of them would love, but they were on the inexpensive side! So I bought them each around 4 fun little gifts. All very sentimental and specific to them.

So when I went to wrap them I figured I would make some gift tags myself! I went through my photo archives and found photos of me and my mother, me and my sister, and me and my father all taken at when we were out to dinner or on vacation. I uploaded them on to and photoshopped them into hilarious gift cards.

I had a ton of fun photoshopping them into hilarious christmas pictures...

I picked photos that were sentimental to each of us and then added "flair". Then I saved them on my desktop and opened up a word document. I clicked and dragged the photo, sized it to be around 2.5x2.5 or as close to that as I could. I copied the photo and pasted it to fit 6 on a page.

I then printed the sheets on heavy card stock and cut each out. I punched a hole in the corner of each and strung a 10 inch ribbon through each. I tied them to my wrapped gifts and voila!!

So thats my first DIY project!!! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday. I am hoping to have a lot more projects in the coming year! We will see how creative I get! :)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Festivities!

Well it has been quite a fun filled couple of weeks! Christmas parties, weekends away, sporting events, and quite a bit of christmas cheer! I have been really lucky to have such a fun holiday so far and I hope the fun continues!

Matt and I headed up to Portland last weekend to spend some time together doing "christmas-ish" activities. He is going to be spending the holidays with his family in the Bay Area and so we thought it would be fun to have our own little holiday up in portland...
We went to the Portland Zoo for thier holiday lights display. They had over 1 million lights all over the Zoo... and also the animals were out which made it twice as fun!

There was also a little train that took us around the grounds... so fun and festive. We smuggled in peppermint schnapps and added to our hot chocolate. 

We had dinner at Mamma Mia Trattoria which is insanely good italian. 

This was the lobby of our hotel! So pretty!!

This was taken on top of a rooftop bar right in downtown portland... It was a LITTLE chilly!!! However it wasn't raining and the heat lamps were GREAT!

Then later in the week we went to a dinner party at our friends Annie and Anthony's house up the Mackenzie River.  

A photo of the girls opening gifts (Annie, Kimberly, Shanley, and I)

Shanley loving all her gifts!

The men... (Anthony, Michael, Matt :), and Chris) 

Other than those 2 events I have been pretty terrible at taking pictures...I have also been to a really fancy pants party up at some family friends house, the lees. 

Matt and I went to a blazer game last night, which was fabulous. 


I hope everyone is have a very 


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I think we found our new product model...

She might need to be warmed up to the idea considering the last order her mommy placed.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Holidays!!!

WOW... I am majorly playing catchup! It has been a whirlwind of activities!!

Lets start from where we left off...
Thanksgiving week was AMAZING!! What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season! My sister was home and it was so good to see so many members of my family. We had 12 people at my parents house and the food was so good! Before we had our family thanksgiving we went to the 31st Annual Murphy Turkey Bowl. Where 60 of our nearest and dearest meet for flag football and brunch!

Then later in the day my mom cooked and cooked and COOKED!

Here are a few pics from Thanksgiving:

She can smell it... but where is it???

Mol and Aunt Syd making gravy
Mom and dad at the head of the table... by accident, 
we really aren't into formalities... :)
The rest of the gorgeous table!

The next day we got up and threw a wonderful party at our store! It was all decked out for the holidays and it was wonderful seeing all of our friends and patrons of the shop.

Here are a few little window displays we did for the party

Here is the front of our shop... and one of our loyal customers "Czar"

Then later that day molly and I went to the LAST home game of the year at Autzen Stadium...


A really horrible photo of Molls and I...

That saturday we all went to the Festival of Trees Gala. I am obviously not a millionaire and am really there for the cocktails and food courtesy of one of my parent's fabulous friends who bought two tables for the event. As I was walking in on a whim I bought a random raffle ticket for a diamond necklace that I was convinced I wasn't going to win. As I bought only ONE... and they called my name. 

So basically I spent $10.00 and ended up with a $2000.00 Diamond and Onyx necklace... NOT TOO SHABBY!
Bad photo of the pretty necklace... 

That next Sunday night I decided to cook for Matt since he has been gone and I made lemon chicken with bacon green beans and brown rice. 

ready for the oven!

Green beans prepped...

My masterpiece! 

After that lovely weekend, this past work week has been unbelievable!! We have done so well with our christmas merchandise and that has rendered me quite busy. Matt and I have found ourselves sneaking little dates here and there when we get a chance! My mom and I were also able to sneak up to Portland for a little Christmas Shopping this past friday!

Ahh... thats all to report for now!

I need to not get so backed up... its pretty difficult during the Holidays!

Matt and I are headed back up to portland for a fun weekend just the two of us since we will be spending Christmas with our own families... We are having out own little christmas up in Portland... SO EXCITED!!

Cheers to all
Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Everyone knows I live in a small town. Living in a small town is funny because often times when you feel like you are doing something ordinary or expected with your life and if you are moderately successful, people make it seem like a big deal. I own a gift shop and a wholesale business specializing in home decor and personalized gifts. It is what I chose to do. It is my vocation. But in a small town... I get treated as if I am a big deal. The local magazine does a 2 page article with a lovely photograph of my mother and I. Anywhere else it is good press, here in eugene you are a "local celebrity"... for about a month anyway until the next issue comes out. I mean easy come easy go...

However I have noticed recently that it is not difficult to let this mentality go to your head. I have known people who act very stuck up simply because of the fact that they get so much attention for the things they do. I have a store filled with things that I consider beautiful. I love what I do for many reasons... but mostly it is because I like to be surrounded by what is beautiful. I don't think that this is common for a lot of people who have "made it big" (which by the way I laughed as I was writing those words). They push people around and make promises they don't keep. They walk around and while they do get recognized around town they seem to forget that they are just a big fish in a little pond.

Eugene, OR

This notion has lead me to really think about this. With the fact that I do have a moderately successful and (to me) charming and little life. I get treated like I am someone to pay attention to sometimes. Someone I went to high school with actually called me big shot when I ran into them last week.


At the same time I think about what makes me the happiest. Beautiful things, new experiences, relaxation, contentment, laughter, loyal friends, love, family, travel, fresh air, the outdoors - These are the things that make me happy...

In knowing these things and thinking about my little life here in Eugene... it really does beg the question...

Am I happier as a big fish in a small town? Or would I prefer to be a little fish in a big world? Someone small living there life inconsequentially. Flying under the radar. I don't really enjoy the hustle bustle of living in a big city, but I don't like living under the microscope either.

How do I find middle ground?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

OMG... My head is spinning!

I dont know about the rest of you... but it has been absolutely bonkers recently! So I am going to make this post brief... as in mostly photos!!
My wonderful boyfriend will be spending thanksgiving in this fabulous city... I am trying not to be jealous. Not really working. Trying not to miss him too much... failing miserably! :(

 I AM looking forward to TURKEY DAY~ My parents are having 12 at their house this year! It is going to be a blast...
We are having our Holiday Party at the Store the day after thanksgiving where we will be having mimosas, food, and fun times with all of our lovely friends and family who have been so supportive of our business... also MAJORLY celebrating our new expansion!!
Later that day (after I pick up the boy at the airport :)  ) we will be having a fun afternoon with this man!! Who hopefully will defeat Arizona and then of course OSU and make it to the National Championship!! Whoop Whoop!
Side note- he looks terrifying. 
Then on Saturday night we will round out the weekend and kick off the holidays at the Festival of Trees Black Tie Gala! Which is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!

Thats all for now... I am off to bed. I have to work in the morning! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Notes from Iphone land...

Alright... I hate the scramble and fury that is caused by new technology... HATE. IT. However I needed a new iphone. I ended up getting the second generation of iphone a few months after it came out over 3 YEARS ago... and it has lasted me this long (not to brag, but I never needed it serviced and I made it that long without applecare! whoop! I also dropped it about a million times too... way to go apple for making good products).

So anyway... I have been needing to get a new one because whenever I got a call and a text at the same time... the phone would just turn off! After the Iphone 4 came out I decided to wait until they had them regularly in stock. I am not going to play at&t's little wait list game. I called about once a month and now that the new Windows 7 phone came out... they have iphones in stock. thank goodness! I have to say... I AM COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH THIS PHONE!!!

I am uploading HD videos on you tube of gracie, downloading fun apps, video chatting my friends (who are over it because most of them have had the phone since May), syncing my calender for work, the whole nine yards!

Here are some of the fun things I have found that I must share with all of you...

1. Paint me application:

Holy Cow! We have been looking for someone to take a photograph of the store and paint it for us and then we would want to scan it to use for invitations to our "Pillow Talk Social Hour" parties, facebook, etc. This application takes a photograph and turned it into a PDF painting! Here are some samples of what I have done:

This is now our new facebook profile picture. 

This is the photo that we are using for our christmas party invitation


2. Customized cases:

I haven't ordered one yet because I for sure went overboard on 2 days ago ordering cases for my phone... BUT I found this template designer blog this morning and its SO CUTE! Especially if you were just married or had a baby... any professional photos would be really adorable. 

You can buy sets of these templates at:
And then order the actual cases from either
Or if you prefer just a skin

3. Open Table: Make dinner reservations from your phone...

I use this website anyway before I go out of town. Now I can take 2 seconds go on my phone and make a dinner reservation in any city. ALSO they only work with high caliber restaurants and they make recommendations to you if you are in an unfamiliar city. I LOVE IT.

Anyway! Thats all for now! I am signing off with one more hilarious thing I found on the net...

Steve Jobs bobble head/iphone charger- I mean... why not?