Kristina

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

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Archive for the ‘holidays + celebrations’ Category

December 19, 2013

The best toffee recipe

It really is, you guys. And I’ve had a lot of toffee. Now, I’ve never actually made another recipe so I might be a bit biased, but I’m telling you this one is perfection.

And since there seems to be some interest in the recipe (according to this instagram photo), I thought I would repost the link here so you don’t have to go digging through archives to find it. I actually did a full-on step by step tutorial, which is good. But the photos are a little meh and make me feel like I’m showing off my middle school art project. It’s kind of hilarious that my iPhone photos now are better than my DSLR photos from a few years ago, isn’t it?

I give you…

the best toffee recipe, ever.

Guaranteed crowd pleaser. Promise.

December 5, 2013

Tis the season for photo albums and holiday cards

I am usually about two weeks away from dealing with holiday cards at this point in the year. Which means our greetings normally arrive in their intended mailboxes around the second week of January. It’s kind of a problem.

But this year I was determined to plan like a normal person would, and while I was at it, get the family photo albums situation under control. I did it, you guys. Cards are nearly addressed and stamped, photo books have already been designed and delivered. It’s an incredible relief, I have to tell you.

I decided to use Pinhole Press this year because 1) I’ve used them before for various gift projects and 2) their options are simple.

Customization is nice and all but do you know what? Sometimes it just creates more work for me. As a designer I toil over every decision and I’m rarely happy with how things turn out. So this year I shut off the creative direction and just let someone else make those choices for me. I have plenty of decisions to make every day as it is.

Their photo books are gorgeous and somehow managed to make even my own photos of the kids look nearly professional. I’ve so far made one that covers the last 18 months as a family of four (from Forrest’s birth to now) and one of just the photo shoot we did with Jamie last March. We have all of these beautiful family photos from various photo sessions and they’re mostly doomed to life on a DVD in my desk drawer. I’ve started making books of each and it’s really making me feel kind of awesome.

Nevermind that I haven’t started Forrest’s baby book and Dashiell’s is still missing all the milestones. That’s my project after Christmas. Swear!

This next year I have a new plan for keeping photos organized and ready for a book at the end of each year. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I thought I should really share it with all of you busy mamas too.

Each time you dump photos off your camera, do a quick sweep through the roll and pull selects right then and there into a folder for the year. Genius!

That way in December I’m hoping to have all of my favorites from the year ready for a final edit before I make our book. Which I’m totally addicted to, BTW. Making photo books, I mean. I still look at our family albums on occasion when I visit my parents’ house and I want to have those memories ready for my kids when they’re older too.

Just make yours tonight. You won’t be sorry. You can even use the code 100layer to take 20% off your holiday card order!

Doesn’t it already kind of feel like Christmas is here? Eeee!

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.

November 1, 2012

Dress up

Pretty scary around these parts last night, as you can tell. Melanie and I were in tears laughing about how ridiculous it is to try to get little people to wear costumes. Forrest was the most open to the whole thing. He makes a pretty good bear, don’t you think?

Luciana and Dashie were on board for approximately 10 minutes.

We even made it to a few houses for tricks and treats, which made me feel better since Dashie had to miss the Halloween festivities at school. Still has a nasty cold. Poor guy.

Look at me posting two days in a row!

April 10, 2012

A boho summer party + shop

Oh, look! More flowers. I swear I’m not secretly trying to become a florist. But we put together this super cute shoot for 100 Layer Cake in my backyard a few weeks ago, and I got to play with flowers again. Which is always fun. Also, there’s a whole mess of awesome stuff on sale in the shop right now. Just sayin’.

And Scott got a cute photo of bebé #2 for me. See? So much better with the belly shots of late.

Here’s a peek at the shop…

Poufs (in like 6 colors) for $118! Wedding blankets! Indian bedspreads! Plus tons more in the Pop-Up Shop right now. You know you need a pouf. I bought the brown one. So excited.

(Party photos by Scott Clark)

April 5, 2012

60th birthday party flowers

I meant to post these 3 weeks ago, after my mom’s surprise party, but you know how it goes. I picked up all the flowers from the Flower Market downtown, and the gold vases at Moskatels. It was so so fun, though I figured out that you really do have to get there earlier if you want to have a go at the really special stuff.

Just a little something pretty for Thursday…

And of course a gratuitous photo of Dashie playing trucks with his pal Judah, whilst the adults drink wine and eat cheese.

March 15, 2012

Potter & Butler on sale now in the Pop-Up Shop!

It’s been a while since I shamelessly promoted the Pop-Up Shop over here, hasn’t it? With all of you beautiful mommies planning parties for your bebes, and baby showers for your friends and sisters, I figured you guys might love the pretties from Potter & Butler as much as I do.

BONUS – they’re on sale in the Pop-Up Shop until tomorrow eve. I’m probably going to have to stock up on pommy decor for the next few years.

Yet another compelling reason to have a girl this time around – I can plan parties that involve poms and fringe and delicate flowers and teeny cakes and things. Also the clothes. I mean, obviously.

Sale closes Friday at 6PM Pacific… but the cutest things might sell out before then.

March 14, 2012

Dashiell turns two

I was tempted to skip the birthday part altogether this year, I admit. We’ve had so much going on in the last week that it just seemed like one more not totally necessary thing to add to our list. BUT, I’m so glad we decided to have a little party after all. Dashie had fun, the bagels were delicious, the day was warm. And I made my first ever cake. Success all around!

Of course, it ended in mountains of new trucks. But what are you going to do? (Give the old ones to Goodwill, if you’re me. Ooops.)

His party last year included far more preparation and decorations, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time around.

And the cake recipe? Oh, um, yeah. Divine. Rave reviews from party goers. Shall I post it? I think so. Stay tuned.

January 4, 2012

Catching up

How about a big post recapping the last few weeks? THEN I’ll really start posting again. I will.

We had a long and relaxing trip to San Diego for Christmas. Spending time with the whole family, at three different houses, and seeing friends we haven’t in a long while. Mostly I have pictures of Dashiell in his pajamas, but no one ever ties of those, right?

Early Christmas morning. He still loves to push things, more than anything else.

Adorable bear slippers from my parents (“bear shhhooos”), rivaled only by these Hanna Andersson buckaroo PJs from Brock’s mom (on super sale, btw!).

Someone spent all of Christmas day in his PJs. And found real bulldozers (boo-dah-dah!) near Brock’s dad’s house.

We got to spend a little time with this muffin, and her mom and dad. Though I was horribly sick and couldn’t hold her. Which sucked.

A gorgeous evening at the beach with Brock’s bro turned positively gloomy in the space of 10 minutes when a monster fog bank rolled in. It was kind of neat.

Dashiell loves this mushroom bowling set from our friend Carol. He doesn’t even care about the bowling part yet. Lining up the mushrooms in a row is plenty good.

Making Molly’s red lentil soup with lemon, after having it for lunch at Jora’s house last week. It’s so simple and delicious, and a big hit with Dashiell. Will be part of a weekly rotation for a while, I think.

And now we’re back, enjoying soups and homegrown broccoli and watching the winter flowers from the kitchen window, and looking forward to all the possibilities for 2012. I love this time of year. I used to find it sort of sad and depressing… so much quiet after a month of festivities and all. But now I find it more inspiring than ever. Definitely already been to the Container Store, already cleaned out toys (aye the influx of toys at Christmas!), cleaned out drawers, piled up things in the garage to craigslist. I’d love to have all of January each year just to get things in order.

Dashiell has spent the last two weeks learning literally like 200 words. It’s amazing. Everyone says that one day it just clicks, but you think… huh. I don’t see that. And then one day all the sounds come together and your baby is talking. Putting two and three words together even (though they’re a little garbled much of the time), and it’s so neat.

Here’s to hoping that we all have a big year. See you soon. Promise.

December 23, 2011

Merry merry

Things are, I’m relieved to report, pretty much ready. Minus the packing of clothes, and stuffing full of the car, and heading south for the week. But the STUFF is wrapped. And finally it’s feeling like Christmas. I swear one year I’m going to start planning in like October and be totally ready by like the beginning of December so I can just enjoy the build up.

Favorite mini project of 2011 – gold glitter polka dot gift tags with gold & white baker’s twine. A last minute inspiration that makes every present seem so much more fancy!

Making these orange butter cookies… they are simple and divine.

The toffee. 4 batches later. Glad that’s done with.

Jams and pickles ready for giving. Soooo glad I started these in August.

The wrapping corner… though most of the paper has taken a beating from Mr. D.

And a peek at a few presents. It’s sooooo satisfying to have them wrapped up 2 full days before Christmas. I want everything in my life to be done two days early. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Merry and happy whatever you celebrate. I hope you’re spending the week away from work and with people you love. We’re going to hit the Wild Animal Park, maybe the Birch Aquarium, the Cal game at the Holiday Bowl (totally a tourist on that excursion, but friends are going and you know), Fidels, probably Robertos… the list goes on. And lots of time with family and friends.