I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

I love it when you email me: kristinahm {at} me {dot} com


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November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Let’s just say it was a good year for mama. I’ve been waiting to make Forrest’s costume for three years, since Brock first sent me a link to something similar (as a joke), and then forbade me from making it for baby Dashiell.

Which is clearly why you have a second baby.

I’d say this chicken costume does deserve just a little bit more play, don’t you think?

I could eat him alive.

In case you’re now convinced, like I was, that this is actually the most adorable costume ever invented for a baby, here’s what you need to make it:

Long sleeve white onesie. (I actually used two and sewed them together so he’d be warm enough without a sweater).
Yellow tights
Yellow crocs (obviously!)
White pilot cap
Red fabric or felt
Loose white duck feathers
Glue gun

Gluing the feathers to the onesie takes no more than an hour. Though one word of caution… babies do not like things like feathers touching their faces. Oops! Didn’t think that through until Forrest tried on the onesie for the first time. I ended up having to rip off all the feathers near his neck and shoulders, and he still cried for a solid 10 minutes when I first put the final costume on. But then he learned to love it, naturally, and wore it for the next 4.5 hours.

The most time consuming part was making the comb from red cotton jersey and sewing it onto the pilot cap. But you could totally use felt or something easier to work with too.

So easy and such a crowd pleaser. Every single person he passed by on Halloween (especially the ladies) had to stop and stare and talk and tell him what a darling little girl he was. Kidding! Nearly half the people thought he was a rooster. Good enough for me.

And Dash… he wanted to be a kitty. A scary kitty. But let’s be honest, could this guy ever *really* be scary?

Amazing how much they grow each year. In case you’re curious: Halloween 2010 / 2011 / 2012. Somehow that’s one thing I’ve managed to post every year.

June 12, 2012

Beautiful two

It’s been such a while since we’ve had a Dashiell update around here, hasn’t it? I’ve been meaning to share one forever, but as well all know, I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things and they just don’t seem to be happening as quickly as I’d like.

Two. Actually 27+ months. It’s really become a joy. I’m likely going to eat my words next week, but “terrible twos” just doesn’t seem like a real thing to worry about. Sure, there are moments when we’re all frustrated and it’s not as easy, but in general having a two year old is amazing. Listening to his language really develop and the way he puts together thoughts is so endlessly fun. He’s such a sweet and funny and silly and joyful guy.

His little smiling face is such a treasure that it nearly breaks my heart every morning when he gets up, and every afternoon when I’m done with work and he sees me come in the back door (from my newly remodeled garage-office), and says “Llegó Mommy!”. Listening to him learn and truly speak Spanish is crazy and fascinating and makes me weirdly so proud of him already.

He runs and jumps and practices hopping on one foot, and climbs the furniture and leaps between the coffee table and couch (probs not the best game to allow, but I can’t help it. He loves it so). He can ride a scooter! He gives big kisses and hugs and he tells me about who he spent his day with at the park. He likes to keep tabs on everyone in his life and talk about when he will see them again or what we did the last time we visited.

It goes something like this, whilst climbing on the (brown) pouf in his room:

“Jillian has a blue poof.”
(Yes, Jillian does have a blue poof!)

“Where’s Jillian?”
(Probably at home, buddy.)

“Where’s Liam?”
(Liam is at home with Jillian.)

“Where’s Scott?”
(Scott is probably at home with Jillian and Liam too.)

“And Judah?”
(Judah is with Laura.)

“Where’s Laura?”
(Laura and Judah are at home. They live in Georgia. We’re going to see them in a few months.)

“Where’s Jordy?”
(Jordy is probably at home too.)

“Where’s Jess?”
(Jess is at home, like Jordy.)

“Jess went to work.”
(Jess did go to work, and then she went home.)

“And Daddy goes to work.”
(Mmmm hmmm. Daddy goes to work.)

“And Damma and Dampa are coming to see Dashiell!”
(Grandma and Grandpa ARE coming to see Dashiell! This weekend they’ll be here, and we’ll go to Pitfire.)

“And have mac and cheese and pizza pie.”
(Mmmm hmmm.)


Or we might be outside in the garden and we will have a similar discussion about the chickens and fava beans and spiders and berries.

It’s so dear, it really is.

He plays with his truck collection for what seems like hours on end. He reads books to himself in his room. He helps me in the kitchen, sometimes. He counts in English and Spanish. He sings songs with his daddy. The list goes on. Trying desperately to cherish these last few weeks (or days?) while it’s just the three of us. Even though I know it will be endlessly more fun when there are four, I can’t help but feel a teeny bit wistful of my time as a mother of one.

December 19, 2011

That time of year

Oh, hello! Major apologies for lack of posting. It’s a crazy time of year, as you all know, and I’ve been trying to make it as un-crazy as possible. Which means some things have to be put on hold, one of which happens to be the internet. I’m at my computer all day doing work and after dinner I just DON’T want to be there anymore. At least right now.

I think I’m in the middle of internet fatigue. There are sooooo many cute ideas and photos and blogs and shops and things that it’s becoming overwhelming and instead of trying to manage all of that in my brain, I’ve sort of just checked out. BUT Christmas is nearly here! It’s usually such an ideal time to be showing fun projects and recipes and things! Alas this year I’m bowing out. But I did want to check in and say HI I MISS YOU ALL AND THIS BLOG, and share a few things going on around these parts before the big weekend is here.

Persimmon pudding and English Toffee have already been made and eaten and made and eaten again. The tree is up, ornaments have been broken more times than I care to admit. Presents are being wrapped. Chickens and gardens and being neglected. Parties have been attended (thankfully we’re done with those. OMG. 5 last weekend alone). Cards still need to be addressed, more presents need to be wrapped… and purchased. Bags need to be packed. Tamales need to be ordered. Salsa needs to be made. Photos need to be printed. I have so many lists going, I’m not even sure where to start.

Here are some nice things I’ve come across so far this year in my shopping:

Hay neon tea towels, from A+R in Venice.
Muji silicone ice ball maker (for perfect Manhattans)
Lovi birch cards that turn into ornaments.
Organic farro in bulk from Bluebird Grain Farms.
Foodzie marketplace and artisan food monthly subscription baskets.
A shiny reversible clutch.

And some non-gifty things that I’ve loved over the last few months:

These birth photos from Brooke Schwab. I think I might need them for myself.
Cooking from Heidi’s new-ish cookbook.
Making pizzas from Blake’s dough once a week. (I love storing it in the freezer!)
Farm Made. Looks intriguing, right?

So much going on with work and family and new, ahem, projects for next year. I’m hoping to be back to posting soon. Maybe I just need a break from EVERYTHING over Christmas for a while. Or maybe I just needed to post once so I can get back in the swing of things.

Hope you’re all doing well and being festive and merry and all of that.

October 18, 2011

What it’s like to have backyard chickens

Jamie emailed me ages ago suggesting that there might be some interest in a post about the real deal with backyard chickens. I thought it was a fabulous idea and then waited months before actually getting it together to do the post. Shocker!

But today is the day. Should you get chickens? Do I like having chickens? Are they a lot of work? It will all be revealed. Maybe.

Having chickens is in general great. I love having fresh eggs, (especially considering how dirty eggs from the supermarket have been proven to be), I love that they eat our kitchen scraps and mulch our garden, and provide hours of entertainment for Dashiell. But they’re farm animals. And they do require some work. And they are loud sometimes, particularly in the morning.

Eggs – one cannot get tired of having fresh eggs! And considering organic eggs at the farmer’s market are like $5.00/dozen it’s pretty satisfying to get them for free. Or “free”, I guess. Since clearly they aren’t really free.

Compost – they’re little composting machines!

Fertilizer – for the veggie garden. We have a nice little ecosystem in our backyard.

Entertainment – They are so super great for kids. And if you get them when they’re little, they can be really tame and tolerate infinite amounts of chasing and poking and picking up.

Education – When our kid(s) are older it will be so amazing for them to grow up knowing that food comes from SOMEWHERE, not just the store. Our neighbors asked their son where eggs came from a few years ago when we’d just gotten our first flock, and he said “the store”. I think he knew that they came from a chicken in theory, but in practice they came from the dairy section. And there’s totally nothing wrong with this, but I love that Dashiell already knows that eggs come from our chickens.

They are loud – This is my number one gripe. We’re usually up anyway, and it’s a little better now that the sun is coming up later, but just because you don’t have a rooster doesn’t mean your chickens won’t announce to the world that morning has come. Every. Morning.

They are messy – If you let them free range, they will scratch everything out of your planters and leave poop all over the backyard. We let them free range all day every day so there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. BUT we’re in the process of building a fence so they’re confined to the back part of the yard where it’s all wild and messy anyway.

You have to clean the coop – Occasionally. The first time we had chickens I cleaned the coop once a week. ONCE A WEEK! What was I thinking??? Because we have an Eglu, the entire thing comes apart so you can really clean it (vs. just being able to rake it out). Which is nice because it doesn’t smell as much. But I’ve become lazy and now clean it once a quarter.

Chicken sitters – When you travel, you have to find someone to feed and water them if you’re gone for more than a weekend or so.

Misc. issues – Like any animals under your care, chickens occasionally have things that come up that need tending to. You might have one that’s mercilessly pecked and has no feathers left on her back. (Been there!). They might get mites. They might get worms. A predator might get into the coop if it’s not secure. Or an eagle might grab one out of the backyard. The list goes on. I’m a fan of the “let nature take it’s course” attitude most of the time, but still it IS one more thing you have to deal with from time to time.

We have a relatively big backyard for LA standards, but it still feels a wee bit too small for chickens, in an ideal world. I mean it’s FINE, but it would be great to have the coop down the hill from the house or something. So you didn’t hear them quite so often.

This is turning out to be kind of an anti-chicken post. I’m so not anti chicken! In general I think they are very low maintenance, and that the benefits totally outweigh the extra work. I’d much rather have chickens than a dog, for example. (Sorry dog people!) You can completely ignore them for days at a time, which is my kind of pet.

If any of you have specific questions, I’d be so happy to answer them. And if you have chickens, I know there are plenty of you out there who do, what are your thoughts?

October 10, 2011

Visits to the pumpkin patch

Friday we went the pumpkin patch… twice. And then again on Saturday. And when we ran by one on Sunday, we nearly had to stop due to orders from our little boss.

It’s apparently the greatest form of free child entertainment ever invented. Who knew?!

Dash and I happened on one at the feed store on Friday morning where we’d stopped off to pick up chicken food. And it was such a hit, I decided to take him to the one at the nursery by our house in the late afternoon too.

Now every time we pass a pumpkin patch he points and yells and all but demands that we stop. It’s pretty cute. Also really awesome that a pile of squash can entertain a small human for over an hour.

I had an idea to open a pumpkin patch with a BAR. So the kids can run around climbing on pumpkins and the parents can drink beer and wine. Wouldn’t that be so perfect? Man, the Germans have it right with the biergarten, don’t they?

August 2, 2011

From the weekend

We’re off today for our big family vacation. Very exciting, though I haven’t starting packing yet and we are leaving in a few hours. Eeeeeee. Thought maybe I’d share a few photos from the weekend for fun, since I haven’t done that in a while.

Reading with his Aunt Jess. Or “Deh” as he calls her.

Squash blossoms. Many many squash blossoms.

Loving the banjo.

Favorite activity. Ever.

The chickens remain skeptical.

And the newest, sweetest, tiniest addition to the family. A baby girl cousin for Dashiell. Made by the very lovely Melanie (and of course, Sky). I’ve already been shopping for her twice. This might become a problem.

There will be posting while I’m away so don’t be shy. And thank you all for your recommendations! We’ll definitely be using them.

July 29, 2011

Recs for the Big Island?

I’m calling on your expertise again, chickens. We’re leaving for Kona on Tuesday and while I don’t think we’ll be doing much more than playing in the sand and eating mangos, I do want to know what we absolutely shouldn’t miss. Restaurants? Hikes (possible with a baby on your back)? Best beaches?

I know we’ll be going over to Hilo one day for the epic farmer’s market and to visit my cousin’s new school. He starts at the University of Hawaii in a month.

We’re staying north of Kona at the Mauna Kea. Any tips?

I thank you as always for your super ideas!

July 18, 2011

Eat Real Fest

Good morning! Look at me, posting on Monday! It’s shaping up to be a good week already. How about a few photos from the Eat Real Fest? It was pretty fun and pretty delicious and a big adventure for all of us. We decided to go carless for the weekend in honor of the 405 closure, so we loaded up the BOB and ran to Culver City for Eat Real. Which was great, though hot. And we lost Dashiell’s moccasins (and only pair of non-croc shoes) on the way.

But then we had to walk 5 miles home after two beers I was completely exhausted by the time we walked in our front door. I’m such an exercise lightweight now! But twas a fun day, all the same.

It was like a very modern country fair with no rides. Sort of. Pigs and baby geese and chickens and everything. Maybe we need a backyard pig?

We ran into the owner of Chaser, who happens to make the kids npr shirt, which was pretty fun. Dashiell was a relatively cooperative model for their upcoming Chaser on the street series.

Anca’s Romanian flatbread was the best thing we tried. OMG you guys. So good. And the little salads (kale + feta and cucumber + olive) were divine. They’re apparently only at the Echo Park farmer’s market on Friday evening at the moment, which is very sad for westsiders, but I srsly urge you to check them out if you live over there. Delicious.

Oh wait, also, Sno Con Amor… very delicious. All natural flavors like beet lemonade, watermelon basil, and walnut. You can find them at the Hollywood farmer’s market on Sundays.

Plus there were all sorts of jams, and salts, and spicy pickles, and tandoori smoked olives, kimchi, and food trucks, and food preserving demos, and music and all sorts of other inspiring, tasty things.

Doesn’t he all of a sudden look like a little boy?? Aye, how the months fly by.

And of course, there’s nothing like drinking summery ale out of a mason jar to really make your Saturday feel well spent.

Hope Eat Real comes back to LA next year!

June 24, 2011

Eat Real Festival LA

Have you guys heard of Eat Real Festival? I remember an email for the first one in Oakland a few years ago (following in the footsteps of the wildly delicious Slow Food Nation the year before), but kept deleting the emails each time they came because I figured we wouldn’t be able to go. Until my neighbor David, forwarded the press release for this year’s festival in LA. In Culver City, no less! Which means we are actually going to go! (since it’s only two zip codes away).

eat real festival los angeles 2011

Pickling, jam-making, chicken-keeping, small batch beer, street food… you know, all the borderline cliché stuff that I love. I srsly can’t wait. The only downside is this coincides perfectly with the 405 closure weekend. Which, for those of you who live in LA know, is going to be like a small armageddon for traffic patterns around the city.

Check it out: Eat Real Fest at the Helms Bakery, July 16-17th. Maybe I’ll run into some of you there!

June 6, 2011


ie. the most dangerous culinary addition to the neighborhood in a long while.

We had a most delightful little vacation last week staying in Venice with Melanie and Sky. Living walking distance to Abbot Kinney is spectacular. I’ll admit I’m a wee bit sad to be back in the slums of Marina Del Rey adjacent, but our house is freshly painted and our garden is exploding and I think the chickens are about to start laying eggs, so maybe everything is going to be okay after all.

As a perfect end to the week, Melanie and Dash and I walked down to GTA (Gjelina Take Away, I assume) for breakfast on Friday. Oh my. It’s gorgeous and just exactly how my kitchen should look when I grow up. And the fried egg sandwich is so perfect I wanted to cry. It’s already legendary on the street. We ran into Audrey and Joshua and their two boys picking up their sandwiches and just missed Kendra by a few minutes getting hers. It’s the place to be on Friday mornings.

Let me show you why you should come down to Venice just to bask in the glory of the most delicious take out spot around:

gjelina take away breakfast menu

gjelina take away counter

gjelina fried egg sandwich

Homemade english muffin, chedder cheese, fried egg, vinegary braised kale + bacon (which I omitted). It’s frickin’ unreal. And I forgot the hot sauce, which I will most definitely be trying this week. Plus we sampled the corn cherry scone and the biscuits and homemade jam. With butter that comes with a pinch of sea salt on top. Srsly. It’s almost too much to bear.

In other news, I highly recommend the cleansing power of emptying your entire house to paint the inside. It’s a big big pain, but the purging that goes along with it is so satisfying. I’m not letting one thing back in the house that I can’t live without. Almost. Pictures are getting rearranged, cupboards are being cleaned, corners have been vacuumed and scrubbed. It’s almost like moving into a new house, except you do not miraculously get extra rooms and less walls at the end of the process.