inspire . create . love . simplify . connect

Monday, December 26, 2011


needing some inspiration today!  here is what i found on pinterest!!

headed to the treadmill!!!!

i was just thinking...

how nice a warm bowl of soup and a toasty fire are on these cold winter days.

how amazing it is to learn something new each day.

that everything happens for a reason.

i really appreciate my friends and family.

about the true meaning of the holiday season and how to relax through the craziness.

how i would really like to make some egg rolls!!!

how excited i am about a few little things that have just come up!!

what are thinking about???  

happy monday

Monday, December 19, 2011


happy monday!!  are you ready for christmas??  i am not, but no stress, i know it will all get done.   have a great week and spend lots of time doing things you love.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


i havnt had a whole lot of time lately for photography:( but here is a picture from my nephews senior portrait shoot this fall. this is the one he chose for the yearbook.  i wish i had more time in the day for picture taking.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

second hand, please!

its been about two years since i began my quest to shop (as much as i can) second hand.  i love it and prefer to dig through consignment stores over a department stores or mall shopping!!  not only do i shop this way, but i also consign my own items at our local store in town.  to date i have made over $800 back on my clothes, purses, shoes and jewelry!!  this way i don't feel so bad buying new clothes.  i don't keep my clothes long and wish i could wear something new everyday.  since that is not possible!! =) consigning is a great way to keep my wardrobe exciting.  i am lucky with our local store because it is not only a great second hand store, but it is also a fundraiser for our local theatre group.  if i am willing to donate what doesn't sell, they take everything i bring in!  its a win win for everyone.  other consignment stores are not so easy.  my favorite store in the city is super picky (and they should be) i have taken stuff in once and they only took a few things.  here are a few guidelines if you are interesting in consigning your wardrobe.
(one of my fav consignment finds ever is this anthro dress!!  $20!!)

1. brand name brand name brand name!!!!!  its all in the brand!!!!  lets face it people love to buy good brands at good prices, so that is exactly what the stores are looking for.  good brands in good shape!!  anthro, free people, jcrew, ann taylor loft, and nordstrom brands are all great!!  
(this dress is a nordys brand for $28)

2. familiar!!!  be familiar with prices so you know what kind of deal you are getting.  i love high end jeans and i love to find them at consignment stores.  i am very aware of their prices in department stores so i know that when i find a pair of paige jeans for $10 ($180-$220 ish retail) thats a great deal!!!!  that is rare and i am still pinching myself with that find!!!!!  i can usually find them for around $60.  jeans to look for, paige, joes, true religion, hudson, citizens of humanity, and seven for all mankind.
(this dress is a anthro brand jammy dress, but i don't wear jammy's this cute, so i wore it to work!! $30)

3.  if you find something you like, don't leave it on the rack!!!!!  carry it with you and think about it, but if you set it down, i promise you it will be gone!!!!  i learned this at the coach outlet in vegas.  omg those ladies are crazy!!!!  don't feel bad carrying 5 purses on your arm!!  i have learned how to play that game!!!

4.  offended, no!!!  don't be offended if they don't take a lot or any of your clothes.  try again in a couple of months, or try another store, you never know what they are looking for.  they are also looking for items that  are in season and not out of style.  if you have had something in your closet for years there is a good chance they are not going to take it.  vintage is another story, 20 years or older is considered vintage!!  most consignments stores, but not all love vintage!!  the one i go to in anchorage has vintage dishes, linens and furniture.
(dress $18, and denim jacket $8.  the jacket was on clearance at the consignment store--its a gap kids so i think the size large was throwing people off, but i loved it and was thrilled because i had been looking for a jean jacket for a couple of years)

5.  shop often!!!  if you can stop in once a week that is your best bet to finding fabulous items. but lets face it, thats not possible with our busy schedules.  some days i find a pile of beautiful finds and other times i walk out empty handed!!  you just never know, but don't get discouraged if you don't find something on your first visit.  the more you try the more you will find.  

good luck and happy shopping!!  
P.S. if you wondering what crazy things are on my counter in the background of these photos!!!  i don't blame you!!  my husband brews really yummy beer!!!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

red dress

yesterday i received a text from one of my good friends daughters.  it was a picture of a young girl in africa trying on a red dress.  the dress looked familiar.  about a year ago my good friends daughter was going on a mission to mexico and wanted to take some things for the girls.  clothes, makeup, etc, so i packaged up some clothes and sent them with her.  for some reason she was unable to take them with her so she saved them and sent them to africa with my friend jessies brother who was going to help his uncle who is a doctor.  
well, i had completely forgotten about the dresses and was beyond thrilled to see this sweet picture of this beautiful young girl trying on the red dress that came from my heart.  it simply made my day, week, month, year.  this is what life is about...helping others in need.  something so simple as a new dress to make them 
feel special and loved.  it would be amazing to travel and do more to help these dear children.  love love love

Monday, December 12, 2011

catalogs & duct tape

its all in the packaging!!  when i shop i always choose the items that are packaged cute over anything else.  does anyone else do the same thing??  i love to wrap and over the years i have stopped buying wrapping paper and starting using random things to wrap gifts with.  its so fun and makes the gift giving even more special.  i am not even half way done with my shopping=( i am having a really hard time this year!!  i want to find the perfect thing for each person, but the ideas are just not there=(  here are the few gifts i have wrapped and under the tree.  

newspaper, anthro catalogs, colored duct tape, mod podge, boden catalogs and left over parts of christmas cards from years past.  
what do you wrap your gift with???
happy shopping, wrapping and monday to you all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

christmas card

Lots of love to you this holiday 2011
from my family to yours!!
here is the picture i chose for our card this year!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a little painting

i love etsy and rarely order anything for myself--soooo the other day while i was shopping for christmas gifts i found this adorable little painting from aisle to aloha for my bedroom and decided to treat myself=)

our bedroom
bedding: anthro (on sale)
bed: pottery barn look a like (made by my dad)
lamps: pottery barn
pillows: pier one imports
have a great tuesday!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

i heart california

it was so nice to visit with my mom and dad while there here and it always makes me miss my home state of california.  here are a few fun california gifts i found on easy.  enjoy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

me, today

i have seen this on a few blogs lately and i thought tonight was a good time to let you know a little bit about me over here in the last frontier!!!

obsessing over...being warm!  my clothes!  working out!  

working on...kenzi lu, christmas wrapping and tags. i don't buy wrapping paper or bags!!  i use what we have--recycle baby!!!!

thinking about...a warm tropical vacation!!!!!  i am so tired of the cold!!!!

anticipating...feeling the warmth of the sun.  i am already craving it and it is only the first of December!!!  alaska's winters are tough!!!

listening to...joshua radin radio on pandora!!!!

drinking...a nice glass of wine (red of course)

wishing...i lived closer to my family and that my kids follow their dreams and do what they love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

campaign for confidence

getting ready to join miss lacy and her campaign for confidence--you should too!!!!
check it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

monday loves...cupcakes or cake

i am not much of a cake fan, but i have to admit these cupcakes are fabulous and yes of course they are vegan and pretty darn easy to make!!!
here is my recipe (i altered the original a bit)

OH SO YUMMY-vegan choco cake

1 1/4 organic whole wheat flour
1 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (i was super excited to find a brand that was organic and fair trade!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup warm water
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/3 cup organic olive oil 
1 tsp vinegar

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  mix flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda and stir well with a fork.
slowly add mixed water, vinegar, oil and vanilla 

cook for 30 minutes and let cool for 2 hours before frosting.  (i didn't have time to wait 2 hours so after it cooled for little bit i tossed it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process)

chocolate glaze...

1/2 cup raw sugar
4 TBSP earth balance vegan spread (i used the earth balance coconut spread)
2 TBSP almond or coconut milk
2 TBSP cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

in a small saucepan, bring to boil sugar, spread, milk, and cocoa. stir frequently, then reduce heat to a simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly.  remove from heat and stir for another five minutes.  add vanilla, stir and immediately pour.  let cool for about an hour.  i have made this recipe into cupcakes and also in a cake pan.  works both ways, but the glaze works better over a cake.
i made these for a friend for her birthday so i dressed them up with these candy making sticks and some fun little recycled cards and paint samples!!!!!
i was super excited to find these if you care baking cups at one of our local stores.  i previously had only seen them at whole foods (not in alaska:(  and was beside myself when i saw these along with some coffee filters on the store shelf!!!!!!  if you care makes unbleached chlorine-free products that are compostable, biodegradable and did i mention they look super cute!!!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


my parents and i surprised the kiddos for thanksgiving.  a visit from grandma and grandpa that they had no idea about.  it was so sweet to see their little faces when they saw them.  it has been such a nice week to relax (i took some time off work) and visit.  our weather has 
been super cold (mostly below zero all week).
 hope you all had a fabulous thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

my loves

so as usual i failed to get our pictures done for our holiday cards so i was frantically taking some today.  it was a little interesting.  the kids we not feeling it, the weather was not cooperating and my husband does not enjoy getting his photo taken.  these are a few of the pics from today and then in the end i decided to use a pic that my brother took this summer of us in california.
my favorite
i let them wear whatever they wanted!!  nice combo

our son took these of us 

hope you had a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

miss lacy at lacylike...

is doing something amazing!!!!!

as you know i am very passionate about food and how it fuels our lives.  i was super excited when i saw lacy's post the other day about her devotion to a healthy lifestyle.  lacy young is a health coach and you can find out so much more about her here.  so, with so much joy i would like to share with you her group health coaching course called thriving through the holidays.  starting november 22 - january 31st.  she is teaming up with lisa who is a lifestyle and gluten free expert.  so exciting!!!!  hop on over to lacy's blog and check it out!!!!


Monday, November 7, 2011

not out of the box

here is a lovely little vegan pancake recipe that i had to share with you.  my husband and i love these and it has become a little sunday morning tradition.   mmmmmmmmm, so good!!!!

i originally found this recipe in one of my favorite books, the rave diet and lifestyle.  this is the book that started it all for me 6 years ago.  along with fabulous information it is also filled with tasty vegan dishes.  

don't be scared they really are super easy so good for you and so worth the few extra minutes they take to prepare over boxed pancake mixes.  

old fashioned pancakes

1 ripe banana, mashed (you can also use pumpkin)
1 cup non dairy milk (i use almond)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp sodium free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

mix flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda.  in a large bowl, combine banana, syrup, vinegar and milk.  add flour mixture, stirring just enough to remove any lumps and make a batter.  add more milk if batter seems to thick.  on a non stick skillet or griddle, our small amounts of batter onto the heated surface and cook until tops bubble.  turn carefully with a spatula and cook the second sides until browned.  

i top with fresh sliced banana and raspberries!!!!!  YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

good morning, snow

it is truly a winter wonderland outside my window this morning.  as much as i really don't like the snow, it is simply beautiful and calming today.   

Sunday, November 6, 2011

us...a love story

the other day i was thinking about time, how fast it goes, and how quickly one year turns into 5 and then 15.  i have lived up here in the last frontier for 15 years.   seems like just yesterday that i stepped onto a plane and headed north to visit this boy i met, fell in love with and couldn't stop thinking about.  

in the summer of 1996 i had just finished my first year of college.  i was attending our local junior college because i really had no clue what i wanted to be when i grew up.  i was still living at home and set to be one of the bridesmaids in my big brothers wedding that june.  i knew all the groomsmen except one.  this guy i had heard so much about who went to college with my brother and was from alaska.  my brother is four years older than me and i honestly had never thought about dating any of his friends.  "alaska" would be flying in the week before the wedding to hang out and see california.  i arrived at the airport to pick him up with my brother and when i saw him i had this feeling.  a feeling that is so hard to describe, but i knew right then that this was the "one".  i know it sounds impossibly crazy, but its so true.  we spent the entire week together and after he left we spent another two weeks on the phone and planning for me to come to visit.  i had never really been away from home and never traveled by myself, so this was pretty exciting.  all my friends thought i was crazy, but it all felt so right.  i spent two weeks here visiting, seeing alaska, and meeting his family.  after the two weeks i flew home to california, packed my stuff, hopped back on a plane to my new home, alaska.   

we sit here tonight 15 and a half years later with our two kids, two dogs and some old videos of our high school days.  our kids think its hilarious to watch us and while they are giggling, i start to think as i watch my husbands senior year football tapes and wonder what i was doing then, 3000 miles away and 5 1/2 years younger.  wow!!  5 years was an eternity back then.  

i have to say thank you, to my brother for introducing me to my alaska, my best friend, my hero, my soul mate.
so funny to look back at these photos!!  we look so young!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Recycle man

i will admit, i have never really liked halloween and a few years ago my kids decided they really didn't want to dress up anymore. i was secretly excited because i didn't have to worry about costumes anymore.  i know, i am a bad halloween mom!! a few weeks ago, my son (who is in fourth grade) decided he wanted to make a costume for the school halloween parade.  i thought it was great, the best costumes are hand made.  so this is what he came up with.  super easy and SOOOOOO cheap.  i LOVE it!!!!  

my little recycle man!!!!