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 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.

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.

November 1, 2011


My little farmer last night. His first trip around the neighborhood, eating his loot as he goes.

The most genius thing: houses that have little kid appropriate treat options! So thankful for those people. Goldfish were dinner last night, I’m a little ashamed to say. But we had lots of fun seeing all the other people dressed up, so totally worth it.

Look how much he’s grown in a year.

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?

September 8, 2011

Here comes fall

I have a little guest post up on The Littlest today, while the lovely Elizabeth is traipsing around Italy with the hubs. It’s about my favorite season.

Pop over and share your favorite fall activities, with or without kiddos, if you like!

July 26, 2011

Geronimo Balloons on sale in the Pop-Up Shop!

This sale is too good not to share, you all. Gorgeous, special edition balloons from Geronimo are in the Pop-Up Shop this week. I think there are still some brides-to-be out there reading this blog, but for the rest of you, how pretty would they be for a baby shower or birthday party or really any festive event? 50% off this week, peeps.

Photos by Love Me Sailor and Hak Lonh of Champion & King.

July 6, 2011

The Fourth

We had a mini-reprise of last weekend’s baby shower for the Fourth this year. A few friends, some leftover beer and wine, a smattering of babies, oh and peach-vanilla cream pops. It was lovely. And the perfect way to use up left over party supplies and enjoy party decorations one more time before they succumb to the elements.

Margaritas are a perennial fave around here, even though one of us can’t drink them. Ahem. That’s why they make rosé.

The first of the Zinnias opened up just in time.

And the peach-vanilla cream pops? Pretty wild success, especially with the toddler set. And the uncles who spoil said toddler(s). I think I will be putting all of his food on a stick from now on. And adding peaches and cream to it.

Hope you all had a nice long weekend too!

(Dashiell’s hat is from Patagonia – the best baby sun hat, his shirt was on sale at Gap, and his shorts are from the consignment store.)

June 28, 2011

A Saturday evening baby shower

Basically every party I throw is exactly the same, but I don’t really get tired of it. Because I do love the rustic, don’t I? We hosted Melanie & Sky’s baby shower on Saturday in the backyard.

It was fun and festive and actually, now that I’m thinking about it, not very “baby” at all. But I think everyone had a good time and there were all sorts of kidlets running beneath the adults’ feet, which made it great fun for Dashiell, especially.

Also, I didn’t take many photos because I forgot to charge my battery pre-party. Of course.

I realized I didn’t manage to post their invites yet! They were pretty cute. Perhaps I will shoot some photos of the few I have left if you’d like to see. Also, do you love our new turquoise wall? I do. Twas inspired by Mel and Sky’s nursery.

The one actual shower-type activity at the party involved sporting your guess for the baby’s gender on your person. I made a tons of little pink and blue poofs and glue-gunned safety pins to the backs so people could wear them on their shirts.

It was a Mexican theme, mostly because I wanted an excuse to order papel picado banners from AyMujer! on etsy. I love them, especially in kraft tissue. And also Tamara’s makes amazing tamales, which meant I didn’t have to cook.

The parents of honor. You can see that their house is divided in terms of the guess for who will be joining the family.

More peonies. I am addicted, I think.

A few of our littlest guests. Parties with kids are so fun!

Melanie posted a bunch of photos on her blog too, if you’d like to see more. Celebrating babies is the best.

May 27, 2011

Some inspiration for summer

Deja sent me a link to this post on the Bon Appetit blog. (Which I didn’t know existed, but I like. Along with their new website. Very nice BA!)

Every year I think I’m going to do this and I don’t. BUT THIS IS THE YEAR!!

infused vodka from bon appetit

Considering it’s the official start to summer this weekend (huge tease), it’s time to start planning for summer parties. I’m thinking most weekends should look like this amazing birthday party we’re featuring on 100 Layer Cake today. It has me very very desperate for warm nights and cafe lights and communal meals.

Let’s all have a beautiful long weekend, and hopefully at least some of us are partaking in something similar. We’ll be packing up our house for the painters.

Oh! And don’t forget today is the last day to enter my lil giveaway for the bunting flags. I’m going to have to do a random pick, ladies. There are too many sweet entries.

March 9, 2011

The 1st birthday party

We had so much fun. It was simple and mostly for adults (read: burrata sandwiches and lunch wine), but you know, I think that’s how most 1st birthdays are.

A few highlights:

(Close up of the invites here.)

Positives: It didn’t rain and everyone was late (so we were ready and I was able to take a few photos).

Needs improvement: It was super windy so all of my cute confetti blew off the table and into the planters before anyone arrived. Also it was super sunny and warm, which was great, but that makes it really hard to take good photos! I didn’t get a great shot of the whole table with all of the honeycomb poofs hanging above, but you can imagine that right?

Almost all of the decor is from Shop Sweet Lulu. Napkins are from Ikea. Confetti tissue paper is from Michaels. I made the little cupcake flags and Dashiell’s birthday crown (which successfully made it to and from Costa Rica intact!). Oh and Dash’s adorable chicken shirt? Consignment store, of course! I love that one.

The menu (does anyone care?):

Veggie sandwiches
Burrata, roasted red pepper and arugula sandwiches
Coconut quinoa with tofu and snap peas
Guac, salsa, chips
Crudite with homemade hummus
Carrot cupcakes (muffins) with cream cheese frosting.

I used Sucanat for the cupcakes and 1/2 whole wheat flour to make them slightly more baby friendly. Which made them taste more like muffins than cake, but they turned out fine.

So glad we ended up having a party after all!