<3 Sandy Hook

December 17, 2012

i have called you by name;
you are mine.
isaiah 43:1

Ways you can help:


Minted- The Non-Photo Card

December 6, 2012

I know photo cards are ever so popular when sending out holiday cheer to our friends and loved ones, but it can be really stressful (and difficult) to get the whole family together for that one. perfect. shot. Or if you're like me.... spend hours on end browsing through my unorganized photos from the last year to find a good one of "us" to include.

And actually, while chatting with one of my girlfriends the other day, she made a good point. Photo cards are kind of tricky because they can really be displayed one time a year. It seems kind of a waste to put all the effort into sending something out that will be seen for maybe 30 days.

The solution to this is, of course, sending out a card and including a separate photo. But then you have to find the. perfect. card. Something that represents you and the holiday spirit.

I would love to have the best of both worlds: a beautiful, unique card AND a great picture to send to my loved ones- both being items that they can display over and over again (because I know everyone wants to put up pictures of my husband and me (and our fur balls) year after year, hehe).

Enter Minted. Their cards are really more works of art than your average holiday mail. I would definitely frame these and display them with the rest of my Christmas decor every year. The colors are just absolutely dreamy. And the fonts? Oh my!

Merry Typography
Sketchbook Foliage
Santa is Coming
Woodland Noel
Modern 12 Days
*Love* I could post every single card from their site onto my blog because they are all so wonderful, but I'll let you go check out the rest on your own :D

The colors, edges, and backs are all customizable. And if you really love details (like me), they provide optional (gorgeous) envelope liners too:

Modern 12 Day {envelope liner}
And the best part, is that their cards are a collaboration of a variety of designers.

Take this card, for example:

All is Bright
Designed by my very talented, fellow Weddingbee blogger, Chelsey Emery!

Right now, Minted has a promotion for 15% off all holiday card orders of $150+ and 10% off all holiday card orders of $100+. They also include your recipients' addresses on all holiday card orders.

So, if you haven't ordered your Christmas/New Year's/Hanukkah/Holiday cards yet, I highly recommend that you head over to the Minted site, and take a look around. You may just find something you love.

**This post is sponsored by Minted. I am receiving compensation in return for the above review; however, the thoughts and views expressed are solely my own.


November 21, 2012

Since I may or may not be spending most of tomorrow eating, I thought I would write a short, but sweet, snippet of what I am thankful for this year.

1. Husband

Love him. Can't express how grateful I am that he is in my life :) I am so proud that he is just a little bit closer to completing his goals this year and that he hasn't quit working toward them. And he still makes time to keep me laughing and smiling every single day.

2.  Families.
Both mine and the one I gained courtesy of item number 1. And the furry companions that live with us and sometimes drive me up the wall. (Especially since one of them has discovered a new found love for our compost pile and, thus, spends almost every waking second hanging out by it, smelling it, laying by it, and *ew* probably eating things out of it).

But in all seriousness, I know that many people struggle with their in-laws, and many more with their own inherited family - through no fault of their own, sometimes people just aren't compatible. So I feel incredibly thankful and blessed that my family seems (I hope!) to like spending time with me, and I with them.

3. Friends.
Especially these ladies. They are pretty much like an adopted family to me, but I feel like they needed a separate post. I drifted away from them for a while during college, and I am so thankful that I have found my way back to them.

4.  Everything else is just icing on the cake. I really wouldn't have anything if it weren't from items 1,2, & 3.

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope you will be gorging with your family, friends, and/or loved ones tomorrow :)


Giving Cards + a Treat

November 19, 2012

I just discovered that Shutterfly has introduced a new greeting card site called Treat. I often find myself running to the store last minute to buy a card for birthdays or holidays, and, of course, I stand there in front of the card aisle for twenty minutes trying to find the. perfect. one. Usually, I end up settling on something not quite perfect because I have run out of time.

Treat offers the ability to personalize (with photos!!!- can you tell I'm excited about this?) cards and purchase them online. Even better: you can mail cards directly to their recipients from their online order site, and you can add gift cards too.

thank you card
congratulations card
photo thank you card

The photo cards would be so fun for sending out as a shower or party "thank you". I think I can definitely say that I will be customizing a few of my own with some instagram photos.

And a treat just for you: 
Go to the Treat website either today or tomorrow (November 19 or 20). Choose a card and personalize it. Enter this code at the end: TREATBLOGR. You get your card for free. YAY! Happy Card Shopping, peeps :)

*I am receiving compensation from Shutterfly for writing this post, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


Tinyprints Giveaway Announced!

November 14, 2012

Congratulations Layla!! Please send me your email so I can send you prize :)


Happy Friday!!

November 9, 2012

This weekend will bring us the last of the 80 degree temperatures that we'll have for a while. At least I *hope* it will. This weather is lovely, but I would love for it to actually feel "fall-like" here in Austin. In the mean time, or at least for the next three days, I'm hoping to:

1) Fit in some outdoor activities (mostly running or walking the dogs). We have a dog park/run in our neighborhood that I've taken a liking to recently. I've found that running at dusk brings me an incredible sense of calm and renews my energy. I *gasp* actually look forward to my evening runs (NEVER thought I would say that).

2) Some furniture refinishing (yes, I am still in the process of finishing the second end table). I would like to finish that before the end of this year.

3) We have a long list of boring/smallish (definitely not fun) projects around the house that need to be taken care of. Like repainting the base boards, fixing the ceiling in one room (the drywall tape is pealing), replacing a toilet (that's broken), replacing a sink (that doesn't match- I need to take photos and post for clarification), winterizing our lawn, trimming the shrubs. Blah, blah, blah.

4) Since my husband is in school right now, most of those projects listed in item #3 will go unattended unless I tackle them. Yuck.

5) Perhaps one evening I'll fit in some outdoor fire time with my favorite person and dogs :)

our new fire pit :)
You can still enter the Tiny Prints Giveaway! Today's prompt: Tell me what you have planned this weekend!

P.S. Did you know you can now view your instagram profiles online? Here is mine.
P.P.S. I'm sure everyone knows, but Pinterest now has secret boards :)

Winter Comfort Food

November 8, 2012

I think this is the season in which I most look forward to eating. Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

 1. Pork Posole: 

image via Food & Wine
This recipe is pretty similar to how I make mine (my additions/deleted noted):
(1) 3/4 1 lbs pork loin steaks*, trimmed of fat salt, to taste pepper, to taste
(1) (2) (14 1/2 ounce) cans white hominy, drained & rinsed (Bush's is my go-to brand)
(2) (4) cups chicken broth- this kind 
(1) small yellow onion, chopped
(2) (4-6) garlic cloves, minced halved
Fresh Oregano, chopped (to taste- ~2 tsp)
(1) (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers, drained 
(1) teaspoon chili powder
(3/4) teaspoon ground cumin

Brown onions & garlic. Add to onions, garlic and broth to crock pot. Drain and rinse hominy, add to crock pot. Cut pork loin into small chunks, brown edges and add to crock pot. Add salt & pepper. Cook on "auto" heat for about 4 hours. Serve with cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips, fresh squeezed limes, jalapenos or hot sauce.

Maybe next time I'll get smart and take my own pictures...

*pork can also be substituted with chicken
**completely unrelated, but every time I cook with garlic, I think of Morgan

2. Pot Roast

image via the Pioneer Woman
I use the Pioneer Woman's method of browning the onions and chuck roast (see her recipe). However, I cook mine in a crock pot. I add about 12 oz of water, and then, layer the onions, red potatoes (halved) and carrots on the bottom of the crock pot. The roast sits on top of that. Cook on "auto" for 4-5 hours, turning the roast over a few times during that time so that it cooks evenly.

The crock pot is your friend my dears.

3. Abuelita's Hot Chocolate:

Previously discussed here. Preferably enjoyed with kettle corn or freshly baked cookies. Or s'mores if it's cool enough to make a fire.

Don't forget to enter the Tiny Prints giveaway (you get one entry per day)! Today's prompt is easy- tell me your favorite comfort food  :)

It's the Holiday {Card} Season

November 7, 2012

I love sending out holiday cards each year, just as much as I love receiving them. I think I work even harder to get them out now that I'm married so that it can become a tradition for us every year. It's the little things :)
Here is last year's card that I purchased from Tiny Prints:

I was so happy with my order last year, and I'm excited to be ordering from them again!

This year, I would love to send out one of these holiday cards:

**the above cards can be found on the Tiny Prints site**

Tiny prints has so many great options, it's going to be hard narrowing it down to just one. Luckily they make the ordering process pretty easy and stress-free. And they have some pretty great promotional offers now and again... like this one for 20% off your card order (of $149 or more) or 15% off (orders of $75 or more) through November 16: NOV20SW.

I'm also happy to announce that I will be giving away $50 off your total order (expires 12/14/2012 – no extensions, cannot be used with any other offer) to one lucky recipient. The giveaway will end November 11. You can submit one entry per day, by answering that given day's prompt and leaving a comment on this post. For today, visit the Tiny Prints site and tell me your favorite card!

The only think I have left to worry about is choosing some good pictures of our family to use. I'm pretty sure this one needs to be included in the card somewhere:

Also, can you believe we only have two weeks until Turkey Day, and only 47 days until Christmas?? Yikes!

**This is a sponsored post by Tiny Prints. I am receiving compensation by posting a review of their products on my blog. However, the thoughts and opinions stated here are my own.

October Photo Challenge {Recap}

November 6, 2012

Like last year, along with many other bloggers/tweeters/instagramers, I participated in the Our Wired Lives October Photography Challenge. This year's prompts were:

I posted my pictures via instagram (all my instagram photos are view-able here):

Days 1-12

Days 15, 16, 20

Days 24, 25, 27

Day 30

I didn't get a picture for every prompt, but I'm pretty happy that I completed almost 3/4 of them...(and they were not all pictures of dogs and coffee). 

The last portion of the month was happily interrupted by a week long adventure in New York (which is captured in a few of the pictures) and my 3rd wedding anniversary with my husband :) Time is flying by- I cannot believe 2012 is almost over!!


Zara Home

October 10, 2012

I'm late on this boat, but have you seen Zara's new site, Zara Home? I'll be honest, I wasn't impressed with a majority of the items (I know I am probably the minority here), but there were a few items that I feel I absolutely need:

Matilde Dinnerware:
Unfortunately, these plates are only sold in sets of 6. Otherwise I would definitely purchase at least one, maybe a few, to hang on my wall.

Horse Tumbler:

Melodia Tumbler:
I'm pretty sure my husband needs to to be drinking his new found affection of scotch in one or both of these glasses. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to make that happen.

What are your thoughts on the new site? Overall, their tableware section was my favorite. I've never ordered from their clothing site, but it seems to appeal to me much more than their home site.


Wall Decor- Animal Busts

July 23, 2012

The living room is slowly (and I do mean slowly) coming together, but I hate the wall that is just below our stairwell. I have since replaced the black and white canvas picture with a canvas wedding picture, but it still looks very, very bare.

I originally wanted a collage of pictures/artwork, but thought it may be too much with the hanging mirrors that are on the wall above the stairs. Now that I've been living with a bare(ish) wall for a while, I've decided it needs more. 

I have a few items that are part of an art collage in our study, but I think I'll just leave that one there (and take a picture so I can blog about it) instead of moving it to a different wall. This will give me an excuse to collect some new items to add to our new collage wall. And now that I've looked at the above picture again, I think I'm going to go with a solitary color scheme or maybe white with a few variations (like beige or grey) so that it doesn't feel too cluttered or overwhelming.

The first item I would like to add is an animal bust... I've wanted one for a while, especially after seeing the one in Kelsey's awesome dining room. This was further confirmed when I finally went into the new Z Gallerie in Austin. The only thing holding me back is my indecision!

Option 1: Ceramic. I should note that these are much smaller in person. I envisioned them to be a bit larger for some reason...

Ceramic Rhino Head || Z Gallerie

Option 2: I love that it's abstract, but hate the color.  Perhaps spray painted white? Although, I'm not sure how recycled cardboard would hold up under spray paint... (And also, I can't really see myself paying ~$50 for cardboard)

Cardboard Deer Bust || Urban Outfitters

Option 3: Resin Animal Busts. To be honest, these are my favorite, but I'm a little unsure of how the resin will actually look- I would like to avoid putting up something that looks plasticy or cheap, as doing so would definitely instigate questions from my husband about my decision to put one of these on our wall ;)

White Resin Rhino || Mahzerandvee
White Resin Lion || Mahzerandvee

White Resin Lion || White Faux Taxidermy

White Resin Buffalo || White Faux Taxidermy

ETA: I'm not sure which one of these shops opened first (it appears the one cited in the first and second photos- based on their etsy shop opening time/sales history, but one them appears to be blatantly ripping off the other one's ideas/art/creations- a major pet peeve of mine.). For an even better example than the lions... see the wolf (1) and wolf (2). I actually found the second shop first (confused yet?) and was *this close* to ordering from them on Friday, and then I found the first shop today. SO now I'm not sure what to do- what would you do? I don't really want to make assumptions about either shop, but it makes me very sad :/

These are pretty neat, but stray from my "all white" goal:

Wall Paper Deer || Ruby's Lounge
And of course, being a lover of all things DIY, I could always paper mache my own or create one from this foam template...