Friday, December 23, 2011

on the eleventh day of Christmas: m's favorite gifts of 2011

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 11 pipers piping, 10 lords-a-leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids-a-milking, 7 swans-a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

san diego print by Lindsay Clayton Design

I wanted to share two of my favorite gifts so far this year. My boyfriend scored major points this year by giving me this amazing San Diego map by Lindsay Clayton Design on Etsy as an early Christmas gift and I received this 'Body Bean' by Brookstone from another friend. The map outlines all of the neighborhoods in San Diego and the artist also makes maps for Madison, Milwaukee, Japan, Austin and Long Island. The Body Bean is a little silicone bag that heats up and will keep you cozy all season long. It's seriously addicting and you can carry it with you anywhere - perfect if you are constantly freezing like me. 

I'm heading off to Minnesota tonight on the red eye and can't wait to share my Christmas fun with you for the final 12 days of Christmas post. Merry Christmas, I hope it's a wonderful one wherever you may be!

Check out my other 12 Days of Christmas posts here:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

on the tenth day of christmas: the perfect holiday stationery

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 10 lords-a-leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids-a-milking, 7 swans-a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. 

The perfect cheery stationery to let the ones you love know you are thinking of them this holiday season:

1.Black & White Holiday 2.Merry Bright 3.Mr. & Mrs. Santa 4.Red Good Cheer

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

on the ninth day of christmas: simple hostess gift

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids-a-milking, 7 swans-a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

dish towel from west elm, photo by marit
Planning to bring the host of an upcoming holiday party a bottle of wine? Well why not make it pretty! I love the simplicity of wrapping a wine bottle in a cute dish towel as a gift. This way your host not only has something delicious to sip on but something pretty to clean up with as well.

The photo above is of my hostess gift to my friend Elizabeth who had me over for a fun girls (and dogs) night last weekend. You can also check out her guest DIY snow globe post here.

Cheers. {m}

Check out my other 12 days of Christmas posts here:

Monday, December 19, 2011

on the eighth day of christmas: holiday gift guide

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 8 maids-a-milking, 7 swans-a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Presenting my last-minute holiday gift guide. Stocked full of gift ideas for everyone on your wishlist. From your coworkers and your mom to your best friend and the little munchkin in your life, nobody has been forgotten. May Santa bring you everything you wish for. Ho ho ho. -{m}

Check out my other 12 days of Christmas posts here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

on the seventh day of christmas: holiday link love

photo by eat, drink, chic

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...7 swans-a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Only a week left until it's Christmas day! I can hardly believe it. I will be going home to Minnesota over the holidays and can't wait to enjoy the colder weather {and hopefully snow} with all my family and friends. But before that happens, I still have four days of work, a dozen gifts to wrap, two holiday parties to attend and endless cookies to eat...most of which I'm looking forward to. 

To kick off this weekend, I have included some great holiday blog posts from some of my favorite bloggers. Put on your slippers, pour yourself a cup of hot coco and enjoy. 

1. Free Holiday Knit Gift Tags by Eat, Drink, Chic {photo featured}

Thursday, December 8, 2011

on the sixth day of christmas: have yourself a sparkly little christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...6 geese a-laying, 5 golden rings, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
Cheers to a little sparkle. Check out these shiny holiday pieces. I just love how the holidays give you an excuse to go crazy and glitter-up everything, don't you?

From left to right, top to bottom: trees from sunday in bed, tea spoons by leif, dress by vince, diy gift labels by ambrosia creative, vintage deer by busy bree vintage, nails from love maegan

Check out my other 12 days of Christmas posts here:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

on the fifth day of christmas: a DIY guest contribution by elizabeth

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... 5 golden rings {I wish}, 4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Today my Christmas post is from my first-ever guest contributor and good friend, Elizabeth.

DIY Christmas Globe Post by Elizabeth:

Finally – the dishes are clean, the left-overs are dwindling away and Thanksgiving has come and gone. Growing up, this meant we could officially start playing Christmas music around the house and begin putting up the decorations. Well, I haven’t wasted a second starting my Christmas season.  Yesterday, I picked up two old-timey Christmas records for 99 cents each from my favorite record store, Lou’s ( in Encinitas. Then I spent the rest of the day “inspiration shopping” – that’s when I pop in to all of my favorite stores like Anthropologie and West Elm, drool over the things I probably shouldn’t splurge on and think, “how can I achieve something like this on a budget?”

Let the Christmas crafts commence! Yesterday I spotted an adorable little mason jar snow globe at Anthro for $38. I thought to myself, I could probably make something like that for pretty cheap. So I did!

This morning I stopped in to Michaels craft store and bought:
  • mason jar $1.99 (any size will do!)
  • extra fine flurry snow $3.49
  • and a few little Christmas trees (the kind you see in the little Christmas city-scapes) for $2.49
(I recommend playing some Christmas tunes while you craft.) Using a hot glue gun, I secured the trees to the inside of the mason jar top. You can also glue the trees to wine corks and secure those to the jar top for varying heights. Turn the top upside-down to make sure the little trees are secure and the glue is dry. Last fill the jar with as much snow or glitter as you like. Screw the lid onto the jar, turn it upside-down and ta-da! you have yourself a sweetly nostalgic Christmas knick-knack for the mantel! (And it took only 5 minutes and $8).


Thank you Elizabeth I hope there are many more contributions to come from you! 

Don't miss my other "12 Days of Christmas" posts:

Monday, December 5, 2011

feeling lucky

Exciting news! I was chosen as the winner today for Theresa at inspirationCOOPERATIVE's birthday giveaway. Mind you it was HER birthday- shows what a nice person she is to be giving away items for her own birthday. I found inspirationCOOPERATIVE through my recent Blogging Your Way e-course with Holly Becker of the lovely blog decor8, who, whatdoyaknow, is the author of the giveaway book, Decorate. I've bee wanting Holly's book forever and it was listed at the top of my Christmas list. Looks like Santa has come early!

Also included in the giveaway was a hand-lettered thank you card by Rifle Paper Co. and some adorable washi tape by Smash.Thank you so much Theresa. Be sure to stop by her blog and stay a while- it's filled with creative inspirations and adorable pictures of her kiddos. {m}

Thursday, December 1, 2011

on the fourth day of christmas: DIY advent inspiration

"On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...4 calling bird{y}s, 3 french hens2 turtle doves. And a partridge in a pear tree."

Happy December. Can you believe it? Exactly one more month of 2011. In the spirit of the first of the month I wanted to share some cute DIY advent calendars that I have seen around the web. Nothing more exciting than waking up as a kid {and grown-up too!} and uncovering that tiny treasure.

From top left to right: Printable Magnet Advent by Makoodle, Reindeer Advent by Ahoimeise {this one is actually from Etsy but it's a great DIY inspiration} Clothes Pins & Bakers Twine from Ulma, Clothes Pin Tree by Stylizimo, Small objects advent by the Marion House Book, Bags of Treats Advent from Canadian House and Home

Don't miss my other "12 Days of Christmas" posts:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

live sparkly: society social rolls in


photos from

"It's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring" & "live sparkly," these are the mantras behind the adorable online shop Society Social. Launched just a few months ago, this entertaining-centric design line is full of glitzy bar carts, tables, chairs, couches and vintage-inspired hostess gowns.

Each piece is handmade with love and would be perfect for that over-the-top cocktail party you have only dreamed of hosting. It's more affordable than you would think for such uniquely-crafted pieces. I've been drooling over the Sedgewick bar cart (bottom middle), Marilyn sofa (top) and the folding Dinner Party table (bottom right-how handy is that for an apartment). Might need a bigger place just so I can fit all that I need, errr want, from here.

Make sure to read their about us section. A company after my own heart...

Doesn't it just make you want to kick off your heels, shake up a dirty martini and call up Don Draper?  

Cheers! {m}

Monday, November 28, 2011

on the third day of christmas: free holiday subway art by eighteen25

photo from eighteen25

"On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...3 French Hens2 Turtle Doves. And a partridge in a pear tree."

Happy Monday everyone. I hope you relaxed over your long weekend. I spent the holiday break going to bed early, eating leftovers and {of course} doing a little Black Friday shopping. I'm proud to say I'm the owner of some fabulous new Anthropologie dresses and a new iMac which I plan to put to full blogging use. 

Now that Thanksgiving has passed we can officially deem it Christmas season! I started my "12 days of Christmas" post series several weeks ago and I'm ready to begin moving forward with it in full force. As I mentioned before, I began decking my little apartment out in holiday cheer weeks ago but now feel like I can be totally out of the closet about it.

Growing up, all of my mom's framed art art would be swapped out this time of year to accommodate her prints of Santa and baby Jesus. I always gave her a hard time for it, but here you have it, I'm doing the same. Joke is on me! I was thrilled when I discovered this holiday subway art print from the blog eighteen25- it is a more modern spin on what I grew up with and the best part is, it's free. There are also free downloadable prints for other occasions, including 4th of July, Halloween and even Easter. All you need to do is download it, send it to a printer and put in a frame.

When I have printed their prints in the past I used Costo's photo center. It cost under $10 and the quality did the trick. Easy-peasy. If you print the 16x20 size there is a great pre-matted frame at Ikea that will only put you back $20 and you can switch it out with all their other seasonal prints. 

Check out their adorable {and also free} holiday bunting download. Thanks eighteen25!

*Ps. Later this week my adorable and crafty friend Elizabeth will be sharing with you a fun holiday DIY project that she did over the weekend, can't wait to share it. {m}

Don't miss my other "12 Days of Christmas" posts:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

gratitude + a family thanksgiving recipe

{photo from paula deen}
The long weekend has finally arrived for me! I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend, eats lots of turkey, drinks lots of wine and has a good laugh with their friends and family. I will be spending the day with a big group of friends who luckily also happen to be amazing cooks. I always miss my family around Thanksgiving time but am thankful that I have a solid group of friends in San Diego to celebrate the day with.

This year I am grateful for so many things: health, family, a great boyfriend, friends who are as close as family, living in a sunny climate and my dog Otis. 

In case you haven't started cooking yet and need a yummy recipe (I realize I should have posted this yesterday), I have a great one for you. Here is the recipe for my Grandma Beatie's famous mashed potatoes that I will be making for today's feast. I couldn't imagine a Thanksgiving without them!

Don't worry, permission was granted. Time for me to get cooking. Gobble gobble. {m}

 Presenting Grandma Beatie's Mashed Potatoes:

  • 5 pounds potatoes
  • 1-8oz.sour cream
  • 1-8 oz.cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Salt & pepper
To prepare:
  1. Peel and boil potatoes
  2. Drain
  3. Mash with the rest of the ingredients
  4. Place in buttered 2 qt. casserole dish
  5. Dot with butter
  6. Cover and cool in fridge until 1 hour before serving
  7. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hgtv magazine

In the midst of my recent eight hour layover in Minneapolis I came across the new HGTV Magazine at the airport newsstand. I found myself reading it over and over and over again all the way back to San Diego. HGTV always has such creative people and ideas and the magazine stays true to that theme. The pages are filled with home improvement tips, pretty pictures, inspiring people and my favorite part: a peek into current real estate around the states. I haven't been so swooned by a magazine since Domino was around.

Here is a peek into the magazine if you haven't already checked it out. Put this on my Christmas list Santa!

I particularly loved this page. I am in love with that teal paint color. The magazine even tells you the names of the different paint colors featured, how handy is that?

Friday, November 18, 2011

if you don't snooze, you lose.

My great friend Jessie was in town a few months ago from Colorado and was raving about her favorite Denver brunch spot, Snooze an A.M. Eatery. Being an avid bruncher myself, I was considering a trip to Denver just for the brunch {and Jessie of course}. Soon after this discussion, it was discovered that this magical Denver joint would soon be opening up in my turf of San Diego as well.

Enter SNOOZE HILLCREST. Starting this weekend, Snooze officially becomes part of the San Diego brunch family. Located right next door to the Urban Outfitters in Hillcrest, the new Snooze home is in an open, bright building with a relaxed mid-century modern vibe.

Their soft openings took place this past week and they were kind enough to donate all proceeds to local San Diego charities. I had the privilege to stop by yesterday and have the full Snooze experience. Literally everything on the menu looked appetizing so my friend and I decided to try something sweet {pancake of the day: pumpkin} and something savory {the bella bella benny- prosciutto, taleggio cheese, poached eggs and ciabatta covered in cream cheese hollandaise, balsamic glaze and arugula, oh my}. Both were really tasty and I'm excited to stop back and try the rest of their menu soon.

Did I mention they have a pancake flight? Doesn't get much better than that. Thanks Snooze for having us. We had a lovely time.

Everyone have a great weekend and don't forget to get your Snooze on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

stay classy san diego

Fun picture of us gals at the Design*Sponge at Home book signing last week. 
Thanks West Elm and Smile Booth!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

on the second day of christmas: DIY ornaments

"On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...2 turtle doves. And a partridge in a pear tree."

Over the rainy weekend I decided to get my crafty pants on. I pulled out some supplies from around the house and created this fun billy ball ornament. I already had the dried billy ball and just placed it in gold sand in a clear ornament. To top it off and cover the silver lid, I wrapped the top in pretty gold and white washi tape {I would cover everything in gold if I could!}. This little ornament was easy to make, cost me only $3 in supplies and would make a great budget-friendly gift. I hope to make some more handmade ornaments this season and will share the love with you. Only a little over a month until Santa comes...

Since I didn't have my tree up when I took those pictures {but I do now, shh! don't tell!} I decided to hang the ornament on these stylish paper mache antlers I found at West Elm during the Design Sponge shin-dig last week.

Don't miss my other "12 Days of Christmas" posts:

Pin It

Monday, November 14, 2011

design*sponge at home book signing

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Design*Sponge at Home book signing and crafting party at West Elm in San Diego.The night was filled with crafts, friends, cupcakes and shopping- doesn't get much better than that! Grace and her team were super sweet and worked with us to make pretty dish towels with freezer paper stencils. Smilebooth was also there with a brilliant and perfectly-San Diego Ron Burgundy backdrop {photo below}.

If you don't have the book yet it is so worth putting on your list for Santa. It is loaded with DIY  inspiration, before and after stories and as always, beautiful photography. Thanks West Elm and Design*Sponge for having us.

all photos via {m}'s instagram

Saturday, November 12, 2011

it's raining: oh me, oh my

 My tough Minnesota {Nordic} skin has officially been thinned out after living in California for four years now. I made the official decision not to go to LA this weekend because I was scared to drive in the rain- who have I become? So, in lieu of those plans I have decided to stay in, drink coffee, watch movies and make some soup. Not the worst way to spend a weekend! Hope everyone survives.

Please note: if you know anyone that lives in CA, there is a 99% chance they are talking about the rain on their Facebook or Twitter accounts-including me- IT'S TRAUMATIC I TELL YOU!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a {simple} place for people

The business motto says it all: a place for peopleCounterpoint is a favorite neighborhood hangout of mine. I love a cozy, unfussy spot and it certainly doesn't hurt that this one is right down the road from me. This Golden Hill staple is located on 25th Street in between E and F, just a few short steps from the lovely mid-century vintage shop, The Nest.

The staff are all extremely friendly, fun and knowledgeable about food and beer and make you feel like you are just hanging out in someone's living room. If you are hungry, their fried bologna sandwich is melt in your mouth delicious {really} and I always start my meal off with their pain frites. You won't be disappointed if you order either I promise. Happy hour runs Tuesday-Friday: 5-6 and Saturday-Sunday: noon-6, featuring $3 selected drinks.

Cheers {m}

photos from