Monday, February 28, 2011

Introducing: blog reader interviews!

My blog friend Brina (the one who won my giveaway!) decided to do a fun feature over at her blog The Bronze Butterfly called "blog reader interviews".  Basically she wrote up a series of interview questions for her readers to answer for her if they wanted to be featured.  Of course I jumped at this opportunity!  It is such a fun way to get to know your readers, and other blog pals a bit better, and also great exposure for your young blog or Etsy shop.

I asked her permission to do the same thing on my blog, because I'm nosy.  I want to know who you are and why you read my blog!  I love asking silly questions that make people smile.  My pen-pal Lindsay (who I owe a letter to!) told me that she liked my letters a lot because I asked fun questions.  So, do you wanna play along with me??  You don't have to have a blog or an Etsy shop to participate, I love all of my readers.

If you want to do this, please copy & paste these questions into an email for me.  Don't answer any question you don't want to, and add as much info as you feel comfortable sharing.  And don't forget to send me pictures, plus links to your blog/ facebook page/ twitter account/ online shop/...etc.  !!!  Eek! I can't wait!!

Here are my questions:
1.) Who are you?  (this is where you tell me stuff like how old you are, what you do for a living, where you live(d), if you have a partner/kids/pets...)
2.) Why do you read my blog?
3.) How would you describe your personal style?  How do you dress?  Where do you get your clothes?
4.) Can you show me a pictures of your home?  What/who influences your decorating style?  Do you have any plans for renovations?  Why do you love or hate your house?  Can I come over for tea?
5.) What celebrities do you want to, or think you do look like?
6.) Can I we see pictures of your tattoos?
7.) What are your favorite extra curricular activities?
8.) What is your favorite animal?  Why?
9.) What is your current favorite color scheme?
10.) Who are you listening to right now?  What kind of mood do they invoke?  Would I like them?
11.) What "little things" in life do you live for?
12.) What personal items do you carry on you at all times?  Can  I we peek inside your purse/wallet/pockets??
13.) Do you have a favorite time of day?  Is there a daily ritual you do that you look forward to?  What makes this everyday experience so special?

Thank you in advance to anyone who wants to play along!  It doesn't matter to me if I've known you for years, or I have never met you.  I really appreciate each and every reader (not just my real friends, or my followers).  I wouldn't have a reason to do this without you.

Please send your answers and photos to me here:
...and I'd love for you to check out my interview over at the Bronze Butterfly!
I'm really looking forward to getting to know you all better!  xoxo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorites.

*pineapple orchid*
This is the yummiest scented candle ever.  You can get it at Bath n Body works.  Mmmmm.

 If you like cereal, and you have a crush on Zooey Deschanel (who doesn't?!) than you have to see this super cute movie.  It's on Netflix instant stream right now!
*bubble tea*
It's such a happy drink!  Isn't this image the cutest??  I found it on Holly's blog post about making bubble tea at home!  There is a little Asian market just down the street from my house that I've been meaning to check out....maybe they sell boba!!!

*pretty shoes*
If I had $115 to spare, I'd snatch these up in a jiffy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

today i feel.....

4 square
 ...inspired.  A spongy cotton candy cloud of creativity would be a more accurate description.  I already combed through ebay to find the blythes I want, browsed through scrapbooking pages on flickr (I love their slideshow option for viewing ease!), and now I'm daydreaming about new ways to spruce up myself & my home to put a spring in my step. Major changes are brewing & I'm so excited to get the nitty gritty out of the way so we can play with the fun stuff.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a new feature...

IMG_1485So I've decided that I should do a few weekly features on the old blog, to encourage regular posting.  I'm always seeking out new pieces of knowledge, so what better than sharing a "wednesday wisdom" feature?!  I definitely want to do a "friday favorites" feature.  Other features floating around in my head include "music mondays", "material mondays", "thrifty thursdays", and some sort of weekly recipe feature (which I'm not clever enough to name at the moment!).  What do you think?  What do you gals like reading about on blogs?  Maybe a "sunday funday", with optimistic motivational tips?  Well, lets just stick to Wednesday Wisdom for now anyway.
Since it's late, and I can't come up with anything more interesting off the top of my head right now, you get "word of the day".  It's a fun one!

Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


\ BAY-luh-wik \  , noun;
A person's specific area of knowledge, authority, interest, skill, or work.
The office or district of a bailiff.
I'll give it a try, but this is not my bailiwick .
-- Sue Grafton, 'L' Is for Lawless
He "professed ignorance, as of something outside my bailiwick ."
-- Marc Aronson, "Wharton and the House of Scribner: The Novelist as a Pain in the Neck", New York Times , January 2, 1994
Fund-raising was Cliff's bailiwick , anyway, and he seemed to have it in hand.
-- Curt Sampson, The Masters
Bailiwick  comes from Middle English baillifwik , from baillif , "bailiff" (ultimately from Latin bajulus , "porter, carrier") + wik , "town," from Old English wic , from Latin vicus , "village."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

meal planning.

I have always had a pretty laid back attitude towards grocery shopping, and meal planning (or lack there of).  I would check my bank account balance, and figure out roughly how much I could afford to spend, and then go to town.  Usually trying to keep in mind meals, but really just throwing in what sounds good.  I usually ended up with organic milk, organic eggs, some fruit, a loaf of wheat bread, and fun drinks & snacks from the natural section.  We didn't really put "bad" things in our cart, just not the kinds of things that would keep us fed on groceries alone.  I would always, always, every day, spend tip money on meals.  I'd eat at Subway or Panera for lunch every day, then we would get Quiznos or order pizza, or swing by the grocery store again for an impromptu meal.
I'm starting to realize how expensive this all is.  Before, we would spend up to $200 a trip at the grocery store, but we went maybe twice a month.  And we would have to subsidize. Now, we are going to write down breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole week (figuring in when we don't have to cook because of late work nights or whatever), and taking note of when we can use leftovers for lunches.  I can't believe I have been spending so much on my lunches for years!  I mean, I knew $10 for a salad and an iced tea was steep, but I kept on doing it day after day.  I guess I figured that since I was at work, and working hard for my tips, I could spend them on myself at lunch guilt free.  Plus, it was convenient.  Convenience rules.  A lot.
But no more.  This week my girls and I sat down, and came up with a list of acceptable foods that were healthy & yummy (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).  Then came up with meals for the week, based on our list.  I circled the meals we would have from each category, and then bought the groceries we would need (that we didn't already have on hand) to make those meals.  I was proud to find myself doing things like buying a block of cheese to shred, because it saves a dollar.  Silly.  But it all adds up.
It feels really good to be more in control of our spending habits.  It feels good to have that peace of mind, knowing what we are going to eat.  For some reason, I always found it SO stressful trying to come up with what we were going to eat for dinner each night.  It always fell on me to make the decision, we usually couldn't all agree, and it was time consuming & expensive.  Sigh.  So it's really relaxing to know that the supplies are already in my kitchen, we don't have to go anywhere or spend more money, and no one can complain because we chose the meals together. Peace on Earth.
Here are the steps I will take to make this goal a success:
  • make a list
  • bring my lunch to work
  • make the girls lunches (they actually like to make their own!)
  • buy only what's on our list
  • stay withing budget
I can't wait!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

taco soup

 My philosophy for a great dinner is this: simple.  I love easy recipes.  Love.  This is a great soup to make on a cold day.  It's hearty, filling, healthy, spicy, and sooo easy.  All you have to have to make this,  you can see in the photo above.
 Taco Soup
1 bottle of V8
1 can of beans (your choice)
1 can of chili or ranch style beans
1 can of Rotel
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of corn
1 dry packet of ranch dressing
1 packet of taco seasoning

That's it.  Put it all in a soup pan and heat up.  It will be seasoned so perfectly, you won't have to add anything.  Actually, you might want to add some grilled chicken.  Most of the time we just make it vegetarian style though.  So good.

giveaway winner!

Congrats to Brina, you've won!! I'll be contacting you asap with the details.  Thank you to CSN Stores for the donation.  Like I've said before, this is my first giveaway, and it makes me feel so happy.  I wasn't sure how people did these 'choose a winner' things, so I turned to to do a simple random list of the entries.  Here is a photo of my results:
Just so you know it was fair and all. ;)  Don't fret if you didn't win.  My next giveaway includes candles & cupcakes!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

photo fun

1- 4 images i love
So I've been playing around with some fun photo effects over at big huge labs.  If you've ever wondered how people create photo collages and such, this is how.  This is such a fun site to play around with.  It's super easy, and you can use your photos from flickr and facebook.  Plus, it's free.  You can't beat that.  I love the cute things that other bloggers do with their images, like adding tape strips, and flower pins and things like that.  Unfortunately, I don't have the means to use Photoshop right now, and that's pretty much the thing to have to do digital scrapbooking stuff.  So, I play around with flickr photo editing, and sites like these.  It's what I do on a Sunday afternoon, with laundry going, sleepy pets, and the mister and I watching That 70s Show on Netflix.  I hope you all had a great weekend, filled with all of your favorite things!

giveaway reminder...

IMG_0075I just wanted to remind you all about my giveaway.  You have until tonight to sign up.  I will be picking out a winner tomorrow!  Also, thanks to you facebook followers who had to deal with all my blog updates today.  I'm "under construction" with my blog design, and I'm still learning so things don't always go that smoothly.  Thanks for putting up with me.  ;)

follow me on bloglovin

I just signed up for BlogLovin.  There's a new link up on my left hand sidebar.  Just another way for you to keep in touch with me here.  :)
Follow my blog with bloglovin

Thursday, February 17, 2011

friday favorites.

Happy Friday pals.  I thought I'd round up a few of my favorite things in one post for your viewing pleasure.  The weather is gorgeous, and I am so ready for spring.  Enjoy your weekend! xo.


*milkmaid braids*
Danielle, over at Sometimes Sweet has a really adorable tutorial up on her blog.  So cute.
*orange lipstick*
This is a big make-up trend for spring, and while it sounds a little crazy, I think it's really fun and pretty.  If you do a Google image search for 'orange lipstick' you will see that a lot of celebrities and models have rocked it without looking like a granny gone wild.
*wavy hair*
I broke up with my flat iron to have a spring fling, and maybe even a summer romance with my natural texture.  Curls and waves are so refreshing.  I've fallen.  Hard.
*snakes*We can't have a real one right now.  But I'm kind of obsessed with them at the moment.
*sparkly hair pins*
Sue, from Giant Dwarf, models this dreamy star sparkler for your hair.  I love her barrettes and headbands.  They are truly special, especially the German Glass Glitter ones.  A treasure.

 *retro photo love*
Photographer Irina Werning has a cool Back to the Future project that you should definitely check out.  It makes me want to recreate one of my childhood photos asap.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

it's time to listen and....

give my body what it needsFood wise, this has been sort of a cleansing month.  February has been a "food detox" of sorts.  It's a transitional month, in that March is the month I start a new diet & exercise routine.  I wanted to wait until the mountains of snow had melted down a bit so I could take the dog out for morning walks.  Plus, when it's warmer outside there is a lot more motivation to get out there and be active.  But this goal is about so much more than diet & exercise.  It's knowing my body.  Listening.  Learning to figure out when I need to give in or tweak things a little bit.  Making sure I get the proper nutrients to make me feel good.  Adequate rest so I have time to heal, and don't wake up grumpy.  I need to learn how to become less reliant on the wrong foods for comfort, and more reliant on the right foods for health and happiness.  Buying a cart full of healthy foods feels so much better than filling it with junk.  It's so nice to leave the store with a clear conscience.  I know I'm doing the right thing for myself and my family buy buying wholesome nutritious foods.  I know that If I eat a few slices of veggie thin crust pizza I feel tons better than a thick slice of greasy meat pizza, which immediately puts me into a food coma.  I know that my skin will clear up if I load up on fresh fruits and veggies.  It's just really simple things that aren't always fun or cool, but at the end of the day you can feel safe, sound, have peace of mind.  Here are some examples of what I will be working on in the next few months:
  • eating more healthy, natural foods
  • becoming more active, going on a daily morning walk
  • limiting junk foods, esp. "trigger" foods that will lead to a binge (like brownies or buttery cheesy breadsticks)
  • setting up a descent bed time for myself
  • wearing clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the weather
  • showering right after work to relax and ensure that I won't forget to wash my makeup off before I fall asleep
  • engage in mindful entertainment.  Knit if I am watching a movie, take the initiative to research what I am interested in instead of thinking "someday I would like to learn...."
  • keep setting mini goals and methodically organize and de-clutter every room in the house
  • learn how to meditate comfortably
  • figure out time management to get more done while also scheduling in "me" time
  • journaling more often.  Not art journaling.  Just words.  Letting go of the chaos in my mind.

Basically I just want to be a grown up. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentines day

I hope cupid shoots you lots of Valentine goodness today.  Honestly, I'm really not feeling the whole Valentines Day production this year. KC and I have decided not to do gifts this year, and I could really care less.  I'll try to look extra pretty, and we'll eat some chocolate and call it a day.  Valentines Day is just weird.  It used to really mess with me a lot.  I would get all sad or excited or nervous.  Now, it's like, I don't want somebody to buy me something because they have to.  I also don't want to dream up some ridiculously fantastic fantasy complete with a dozen white long stem roses wrapped in mint colored tissue paper that arrive in a box, or a sparkly engagement ring following a magical proposal, or perhaps walking into the bedroom and finding these chocolates & a perfect dress (in a box of course) ...and having KC (already wearing a suit) walk in to say, "darling, why don't you get all dolled up, and I'll take you out on the town."  Not that I think about silly things like that of course! geez. 

I'll just be happy with construction paper hearts and a "Mommy you look really pretty"; a couple dove dark chocolate w/ almond squares and a fresh organic pear, and the same old sappy loving stare & kiss that makes me feel like the only woman alive.  I treasure the real presents I get every single day from the ones that love me most. 

I've made it through a lot of Valentines Day emotions, from happy to sad to lonely.  V day is stupid if you have to work.  It's embarrassing at best, and depressing at worse.  My advice to anyone hung up on the big day is to just let it go.  You will feel so relieved when you do.  And chocolate makes everything better.  Indulge in the things that make you happy today.  ....and tell someone you love them (even if that someone is yourself. or your cat).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

a giveaway!

I have some really exciting news....CSN stores has contacted me about doing a giveaway on coffin confections!  This will actually be my first blog giveaway ever!!  I am so excited to share this gift with you all!  I have checked out some of the products offered on the allmodern site, and I would be thrilled to spend money there.  They have everything from cute home decor to modern office furniture.  But you don't have to take my word for it, click on the link to see for yourself.  Did you like that Reading Rainbow reference there?  ;)

All you have to do to enter this awesome giveaway is this:
1) follow my blog
2) leave me a comment with your name, email, and tell me why winter is still cool.  (I think I'm really funny)

I will even allow extra entries for doing the following:
1) blog about this giveaway and comment with your link
2) tweet about this giveaway, leaving your twitter name here for confirmation
3) share this giveaway on a facebook status update, commenting here with a link to prove you have done so

This could give you several chances to win a $25 gift certificate!  I truly appreciate each and every reader.  I will be planning many more giveaways in the near future here at coffin confections....I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

girl crush + giveaway...

Probably the most frequently viewed blog by me is Rachel Denbow's blog, Smile & Wave.  I'm pretty sure I found out about her through Elsie Flannigan's blog, A Beautiful Mess, a long time ago (like this time last year when I first started blogging.).  I have been in awe of Elsie's little world since I found out about blogs last year.  She seemed to have this crazy cult follwing of cute crafty bloggers my own age from all over the place.  I've always loved reading about independent artists.  Adorable girls who love vintage and paint.  I loved checking in to her Red Velvet Art online shop, where she sold precious handmade goods made by herself, and friends of Red Velvet.  Her sister Emma's blog, From Scratch,  is my ultimate go to for amazing comfort food recipes.  I have taken her scrapbooking e-course, which you can find a link to on my sidebar, which was jam packed with tons of inspiring ideas.
 But enough about Elsie.  I gravitate towards Rachel so much more, because she's more like me.  For one thing, she's a mom.  That reason alone has a strong pull for me.  But she's so much more than that.  I completely adore her color choices.  I'm in love with her blog design.  The warm vintagey colors just turn my heart to butter.  I get a happy vibe from Rachel. with her springy curls and hip little family.  I can tell that crafting and creating and collecting vintage are very much alive in her corner of the world.
The exciting news is that she has put together a sewing class with beginners in mind!  This is an e-course, which is neat, because with all of us having lots and lots to do, there are no time restrictions on finishing projects.  It's totally work at your own pace.  I can not think of anyone else I would rather have be my modern sewing teacher.  She's got that modern retro cool girl vibe, but she seems totally down to earth.  I have a feeling she won't be making me feel stupid in her class.
I have known about her class for a little while now, holding out because the budget is tight for my family right now.  I was really excited to find out that she is offering 3 spots in her Modern Patchwork e-course for free.  Giveaway details and e-course details can be found here.  You'll have to hurry up an sign up for the giveaway fast though, ...she is choosing the winners today!  So hurry on over to her blog and see what all this fuss is about.  If I don't win, I am without a doubt going to sign up for this e-course as soon as funds are replenished.  You should too.  :)