what I'm not buying: blame it on mexico

This icy weather has me longing for a Mexico beach vacation. I'm currently taking a break from shopping, but if I was so inclined, this get-up would fit the bill for sun, sand and siesta. The cover-up and accessories are relatively budget friendly, making it a little easier to justify the cost of the suit. Olé!


one week down...

Here's the report for
the spending hiatus. Continued well wishes to all those participating!

I managed to avoid:
- picking up a new set of 1000 thread count sheets just because they were on deep, deep discount, realizing that I have many sets of sheets in my linen closet, and giving further confirmation to my husband's assertion that I have an unhealthy bedding addiction.
- going into a home decor store just because it happened to be next to my grocery store.
- stopping by the mall just because it was on my way home.

I managed to:
- begin a major closet organization project in an effort to "shop my closet". 
- only spend money this week on food and one movie. And we went to the movie during the matinee. 

What I have learned so far:
- I do a lot of mindless looking around for things I don't need. A lot. 
- That time spent being mindless is much better spent being creative.

And so week two commences...

Image via everythingok on etsy.


etsy pick friday: charlotte cramer

I may have to put the spending hiatus on hold in order to pick up a gift for my valentine for Valentine's Day. I've found the perfect gift – this terrarium set from Charlotte Cramer. These terrariums come with rocks, dirt, charcoal, moss, lichens, a little heart and some crystal flowers, and an instruction set for you to take care of them yourself. 

I think my valentine will love putting these on his desk at the office, so he can get his gardening fix, even when he's at work!


restocking the shelves...

Yesterday, I went down to the Bishop Arts District to bring a new shipment of L+L goodies to Make Shop and Studio. If you live in Dallas and haven't ever been to Make, it's a great space in an old building where Julie has a boutique in the front of the shop, and gives lessons on sewing, screenprinting, fused glass, and lots of other fun classes in the back. Everything in the boutique is handmade by local designers and artists, and is a great place to find a unique gift. Julie has just finished a redesign of the boutique, and it looks absolutely fantastic. Stop by if you're in the area!



What if the mightiest word is love?

- from Elizabeth Alexander's poem Praise Song for the Day


and so it begins...

Today begins the first day of the self-imposed spending hiatus which is part of my new year's resolution to spend less, and enjoy what I have more. Wish me luck!

Today is also my niece's fourth birthday. I'm in charge of baking the birthday cake. Wish me luck with that too!


so sweet...

A big thank you and plate full of sweet treats goes to Melodie from Pink Cupcake Vintage for featuring my Little Birdie Mobile on her blog! Melodie sells absolutely lovely vintage children's clothing for little boys and girls. Check her out here

Image from Bakerella.


the no-spend zone....

Joslyn at Simple Lovely has started a support group for people who want to join her on a 3-month spending hiatus. Since this fell right in line with my own resolutions for the new year, I decided to join in. I'd already spent money last weekend trying to fulfill another of my resolutions, so I'll be starting my hiatus beginning on Monday, January 19. 

I'll still be buying groceries, gas, and paying my bills. But I won't be wandering the aisles of Target looking for something I don't need just in order to buy something. I'll also be cutting out our dining out to once a week. (Which may be the hardest part of all of this!) And I want to consciously enjoy the events and activities I do decide to spend money on rather than just doing something to pass the time. 

I'm excited and nervous to commit to this, but I know that I want to enjoy more the things I already have. Good luck to all the other people trying this out!

Image from everythingok on etsy. If you're not on a spending hiatus, check out this totebag for sale.


shopping trip: legacy books

I'm very behind on my "movies to see" list, so we decided to try to remedy that this afternoon after some house and yard work. We made a pretty far drive to see this, only to be thwarted by a jam packed theater. (When did it start hurting my neck so much to sit in the front row? I know I did this countless times as a teenager?) 

We had already made the longish drive, so in an effort to give our trip some kind of purpose, we headed over to Legacy Books, a somewhat new, independent bookstore that is not your typical independent bookstore. It's a huge space, with over 100,000 volumes and a café that also serves beer and wine. There's also a cooking demonstration area, and the layout is airy and open with tons of natural light. It was perfect - comfortable seats, good music, paintings and sculptures by local artists, a huge selection of different stationery and a well-edited selection of books. Instead of 10 copies of the same mainstream books (I'm not saying I don't read the Oprah Book Club selections too, but why are there always 20 copies of that James Frey book at B&N at all times?!), there were 1 or 2 copies of a bigger selection of authors. There was also a good bargain book section, where I got a new, hardback copy of this for $4.00.

It totally made the drive worthwhile! So now here I sit with my new spy book ready to be read and the cookbook I checked out from the library this morning ready to be browsed through. Bliss....


etsy pick friday: ac bohman

For the first Etsy pick of the year, I've found a great artist from Charlotte, North Carolina - AC Bohman. To keep track of your days this coming year, check out her 2009 Desk Calendar. I love her use of typography and color that is modern, yet traditional at the same time, and is also mixed with simple but striking illustrations and patterns.

She also features stylish little customized note card sets and envelopes. I'd like to try this year to write more handwritten notes rather than emails, and these notes would help to make that happen in a fashionable way! You can also check out her blog for a peek at her custom stationery work.


i resolve...

We're a good week into 2009 already, but I thought I'd post my resolutions for the year. What's the use of a blog if I can't use it to hold myself accountable, right?

I resolve to:
- read more books instead of magazines.
- cook more from scratch instead of buying it in a package.
- talk more with him instead of watching television.
- spend less and enjoy what I already have.


save handmade...

Hope you had a great holiday! I'm ready for the new year, and all the possibility it holds!

With that in mind – I haven't posted about this earlier, because I was sure it would all work itself out, but all signs are pointing to the fact that come February 10th, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will go into effect as it is written now. If you haven't heard of this act, it puts forth much more stringent safety measures for products (toys and clothing included) intended for children under the age of 12. It requires that all items be tested by a third-party lab, at costs that are prohibitive for any small business (thousands of dollars per item). 

While I'm all for enforcing the safety standards of mass-produced toys made in China and banning toxins like phthalates and lead, I know this law will effectively shut down my business and other makers of handmade clothing, as well as most small toy crafters and independent artisans, and small businesses that resell children's clothing and toys. What is ironic is that those of us who make our products by hand know that our products would pass the safety tests, we just can not afford the testing and labeling requirements involved. 

It's my hope that lawmakers can reevaluate the act, and come to a place where safety standards and the realities of small businesses work together to keep children safe. 

Go here to see five steps you can take to save these businesses (and mine!).