Category Archives: Grab Bag

In Honor of Gwennie

Tomorrow would have been my loving, faithful little shih tzu’s 13th birthday. It was always easy to remember how old she was turning because she was born in 2000. While I always took comfort in the fact that little dogs live much longer than big dogs, we ended up having to put her down a few months shy of her 13th birthday. I know there are so many people going through immense heartache in losing family members, and I don’t want to take away from the very real loss of human relationships. It almost seems trivial to mourn the loss of a pet when others are saying goodbye to parents, siblings, children. . . But, as [I hope] any dog owner will testify to, there is absolutely a spot in each of our hearts reserved for our canine companions.

On her last trip – Fall 2012

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of friends, I got to anticipate Gwennie’s birth and excitedly met her the day she was born. After picking her out early on as “mine”, I continued to visit her and her siblings as they grew and finally took her home at 8 weeks. As a full-grown 10 pound dog, there was little she didn’t do alongside me and my family for the next 12 years. Sleeping on her choice of human beds, going shopping, flying to family vacations, getting matching dye-jobs with me (usually pink, though she would have preferred red), camping, roadtripping for a month across the country (including sneaking into a Lewis & Clark IMAX movie with the fam and barking at a bear), summer camp, church retreats, you name it. Queen Quinevere (as she was registered—apparently someone at the AKC can’t decipher between a ‘G’ and a ‘Q’), or Gwen for short, was part of the family in ways the big dogs could only dream of.
Some of my favorite pictures of Gwen

While it has been a sad transition getting used to dropping food on the floor and still seeing it there 5 minutes later, and not having her “growl” and bark asking to be picked up when I come home, I take comfort in knowing she had a pretty great life. Understanding dogs can’t live forever, I think this had the best possible outcome. We kept each other company and were there for each other until her end. I grew up with her and am blessed to have done so. I won’t soon forget her unusual “talking” to her precious beanie babies, or that famed look when we took away her scavenged root beer barrel. So many memories, so many smiles. There will be more dogs in my life, undoubtedly, but Gwennie will always have a special place in my heart. 


The last picture I took of Gwennie: one-take, with genuine emotion from both of us—me knowing what was to come, and her licking her lips after I gave her a gave her a tasty morsel of bread and milk

P.S. I did my nails today in honor of Gwennie; black and white, of course. She would’ve approved!





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by boe Loot

Last month, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on A CUP OF JO  to pick out a piece of jewelry of my choice from by boe. Getting that email was soo exciting! The first and only blog giveaway I’ve ever won (they’re not rigged after all! ; ) ).

Screen shot 2012-11-16 at 2.57.04 PM

Of course, I documented the always fun package-opening so you can experience it with me. haha. There is something so satisfying about pretty packaging.



After literal hours of browsing, analyzing, and friend-consulting, I chose the Amazon necklace in sterling silver.


Here’s my goofy mirror shot showing off my bling.


It definitely has a handmade aesthetic (I even had to do an easy repair job when one of the arms detached from the chain) but I do like it a lot! I’m still finding outfits that work best with it and I might even work my way up to layering with it one day. I’ve never been a long necklace person so there is a slight learning curve. : )

Thanks so much to Jo and by boe for my necklace! It was a thrill to win and pick out my new jewelry. It was a great intro to by boe and I have bookmarked them for later. Sterling silver jewelry is really difficult to find at a decent price, so I’ll be back!

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Favorite 2013 Planners

2013 is around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about getting a new planner! Despite my many technological gadgets that are capable of keeping track of important dates and events, I take such joy in jotting them down in a pretty book. Here are some beauts I stumbled upon:

-1- | -2- | -3- | -4- | -5- | -6-

Without further ado, here is my personal pick for 2013, which I will be purchasing soon!

I chose #2 from my roundup, which was inspired by the book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide (top two books pictured above). Not only does the planner have an adorable layout with bonus fashion tips, the format is just what I was looking for. There are so many options available, but I’ve found that daily spaces without times plus extra space on each page for to-dos and notes is best for me. And I prefer to go without all the extra contacts, website, subway map, etc. pages that many books boast.

Shout-out to #3 on my list: I had this during my last year of college and LOVED it! It has pages for life and school goals, study checklists, to-do lists, class schedules, etc. The layout is fabulous and useful. Every page has college advice and/or an inspirational quote from other college students. If I were still a student, I would still be using this, hands down!

And remember, if you find a planner that works for you but you’re not loving the cover, you can  change it until you do! {Like this and this}

What is your favorite planner?


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Specialized Ties

Lately, I’ve been doing a little college graduation gift hunting and came across this amazing Etsy site that sells hand screen-printed neckties. There are many amazing options for those in your life with specific majors, careers, interests, hobbies, etc. Here are some of my favorite designs (click the store images to go to the specific product’s page):

Food /CocktailKnife and fork silkscreened microfiber necktie. Eat Me.

Classic Cocktail necktie, "Old Fashioned." Mens drink recipe tie. Silkscreened microfiber.

Meat Grinder necktie. Bacon and sausage lovers tie, screenprinted microfiber. Pink ink.

Black "Whiskey Business" necktie. Silkscreened microfiber. Choose tan or muted orange print.Geography/Topography

Bermuda Triangle silk necktie. Old maritime map, screenprinted men's tie, antique brass ink.

Topographical Error tie - NARROW silkscreen microfiber necktie. Seafloor contour map.Science/Chemistry

Science Affair necktie. Silkscreen microscope tie. Black ink.

Posion gas screenprinted necktie, "Chemical Warfare." Microfiber tie, black ink. Choose standard or narrow width.

Experiment necktie, science and chemistry silkscreened tie


Gear Shift silkscreen necktie - 6 speed manual transmission. Microfiber woven sharkskin tie.

Tread Lightly tie. Tire track silkscreened microfiber necktie.


Resistor. Circuit board necktie, screen printed design. Men's tie with dove gray print. Choose standard, narrow or skinny.

Short Circuit black necktie. Silkscreened circuit board, silver ink. Choose standard, narrow or skinny.

Rocket Science/Astronomy

Rocket Science red silk necktie. As worn by astronaut Al Worden, Apollo 15. Apollo cockpit silkscreened tie. Black ink.

Rocket blueprint necktie, Mercury spacecraft. "Rocket Science II" men's tie. Navy screen print.Cosmonaut tie, Apollo-Soyuz red necktie - Soviet Red edition. Choose regular or narrow width.Medicine

Caduceus, medical symbol necktie. Silkscreen design, microfiber tie. Steel blue ink.

Brainwaves necktie, "Insomnia." Sleep cycles silkscreened tie, white ink. Choose standard, narrow or skinny.

Rx Prescription necktie. (Fancy edition) Choose standard or narrow microfiber.

OK, and these are just pretty:

3 custom silk neckties. Groomsmen ties - wedding/group multiple discount

3 wedding silkscreen neckties. Groomsmen group discount, matching microfiber ties, same design

Mid-Century Ampersand necktie. Fancy Caslon font "and symbol" screen printed typography microfiber tie. Standard width.

There are so many more beautiful designs available, both themed and neutral. Kind of glad I’m not a guy or else I’d go a little nuts on this site! Which ones are your favorites?

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First Award!

Ooh, well looky here! A couple of weeks ago, Mae from Mae’s Beauty Reports nominated me  for this lovely award:

It’s my first blog award, so I’m quite honored she thought of me. Thanks, Mae!

Here are the official rules:

♥ Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (or whose blogs you enjoy most). {15 is so many! I’m limiting mine to 4}

♥ Let them know that you have nominated them.

♥ Share 7 random facts about yourself. 

♥ Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

♥ Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post

Part of receiving this means I’m supposed to pass it on to new people. I’m happy to share the love with:

Tara of Peony and Poppy

Michelle of My Neverland

Natasha Spark of Underscore Designs

Amanda of The Southern Vegan

7 Random Facts about me:

– Good food makes me do a happy dance, without even thinking

-I’ve been an extra on The Middle twice

-Despite living in Los Angeles, my family has a horse, chickens, dogs, a cat, and rabbits

-I was named after my great-grandma who was born 100 years before me

-I have a treadmill crammed into one corner of my bedroom

-Gin is my favorite hard alcohol

-I have a mini bottle of Frank’s that lives on my desk (for food, and the occasional hot sauce shots. haha)

Phew. There ya go! That was fun. (To those I nominated, I won’t be offended if you don’t post it on your blog. I understand that these kinds of things aren’t everyone’s cup of tea! Just know that I’m a fan of your blog.)  Thanks again, Mae!

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Cat Scratch Fever (The Kosher Kind)

Ugh!! The last couple of weeks I’ve been fighting a nasty infection that has left me sad, droopy, hungry, and blog-post-less!

I’m not completely sure, but most of my symptoms line up with Cat Scratch Fever, or Cat Scratch Disease (NOT the gross one referred to in the song; side-note: keep your pants on!!!). A week after our cat nicked my finger, I got an on/off fever for about a week and since then and my poor lymph nodes in my neck started going crazy. I had ZERO energy and felt extremely bleh. Whether or not that’s what I have, it’s been funny to call it cat scratch fever (and ironic, as I’m already completely not a fan of cats.)

The worst part of this sickness (aside from how longggg it’s lasting) is mentally I’ve been a nutcase. Like half functioning, lethargic, and surprisingly sad. And I’ve been walking into things and such. haha.  No bueno. I’m sooo much better than I was a week ago, but I’m still not 100%. I sleep for hours and am still kind of zombie-like at times. Bottom line, for sure, is that my immune system needs a re-boot.

I’m pretty confident that my diet over the last few months made me susceptible to this. I’ve always eaten a pretty balanced diet, but along with my veggies, I went nuts with carbs, cake, junk, etc., as lately I’ve had more access to it than normal.

My mom, who is super into nutrition, has suggested I try out a new way of eating at least for a week, or until I get better. Basically, I’m eating no carbs (bread, pasta, crackers, rice), no sugar, and nothing that will turn into sugar in my body (beans, grain, potatoes, etc.). THIS IS EXTREMELY HARD. I LOVE food more than anyone I know, and I’ve always been a carbivore.

When I think positively about this diet, there’s tons of good food I can eat, it’s just dwelling on what I can’t that’s hard. Especially when your work has cheese pizza and french fries offered to you every day this week (!!). Self-control is really something this little experiment has caused me to face head-on.

Anyway, while avoiding the bread, uncooked tortillas (my love!), beans (my other love!), and pasta (my super love!) in my kitchen, I’m being encouraged to drink tons of raw milk, eat various fermented “goodies”, and drink homemade chicken broth (ugh). I’ve also been going to town on fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheese. I’ve been SO thankful I can eat cheese on this diet, as it’s been one of the only ways  I can feel somewhat satisfied without my lovely carbs.

The one good thing about this diet so far is that, in less than a week (with no exercise, since I’ve been absolutely not feeling up to it), I’ve definitely felt my stomach squish  begin to dissipate. This is encouraging! I was at my squishiest and I knew it was time for a change. It was getting a little nuts, so this came at a good time. I’ll post an update soon with some foods I’ve been relying on to get me through.

Cheers (I’m drinking raw milk with a chai tea bag sitting in it) to anyone who got to the bottom of this post! 🙂 Hope you’re finishing your week strong.


Filed under Grab Bag, Nosh

Worth It

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