Juniper Turns 10!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Today was a special day, as it was Juniper's 10th birthday!

And so it was the birthday of the bike (a new 13" Trek) to celebrate the big 1-0.

What 10th birthday would be complete without a karaoke party with one's closest friends?

And then there was a pizza dinner with family/friends.

So we never forget, this is what a 10-year old karaoke playlist looks like!

Juniper is a beautiful girl inside and out. Celebrating her 10th birthday today falls on my life list of "Best Days in My Life". Love you so, Juniper! x o, Mommy

The Night Before I Gave Birth to Juniper (10 Years Ago)

Saturday, December 09, 2017
The night before I gave birth to Juniper, I watched Gorillas in the Mist, then dreamt I was lost at sea on a raft, feeling the waves rock me throughout the night.  At one point, I woke up and realized the waves were contractions.  The next afternoon, my Juniper was born. 

Ten years have passed now, and tomorrow Juniper will be celebrating her first decade of life.  She is my beautiful daughter, and I love her.  With my youngest daughter, Amelia, I assembled these gift bags for the party guests.  Thank-you for the sweet party favors, Backyard Bird Shop!  x o, Karli

Discounted Table Runner

Friday, December 08, 2017
I finally checked out the Collage Outlet, which is located where the original Sellwood store was, now moved over to Bybee.  Their site states "deep sales" and that about sums it up!  I found many pretty things for dollars each, including this little runner--$3.00!  It looks bright and festive for the holidays!  I will be frequenting this store often to check out the mark-offs from last-chance items.

P.S.  Do you see our window decals?  Yukon Cornelius, Rudolph, and the Snow Monster?  An annual favorite Christmas movie of ours, and we reuse the decals year after year.

Things from Australia

Thursday, December 07, 2017
This Australian Rosella (Eastern?) made it over for the holidays--brrr, he's cold!  I heart Australian birds and flora.  To the right of the rosella is a banksia pod.  You can add essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint for aromatherapy in the home, plus they look super cool.  There is much folklore about the banksia pods.  May Gibbs writes beautifully about Australian bush in her children's books.  I hope to buy some more of her books when we are in Australia next time.  I absolutely love bringing things from Australia back with us when we go: prints, dried flora, books, calendars, coasters, tea towels, etc.  If we ever move to Australia one day, I will look forward to learning all about the plants that we grow indoors here that thrive outdoors there.  For now, I will treasure our finds from our travels, and it helps us to feel more connected to our home away from home in Australia.  Adam, of course, loves it all.  x o , Karli

Christmas Tree, 2017

Tuesday, December 05, 2017
What a beautiful December morning, and we get more of this throughout the entire week. Absolutely love this weather!

I did something a little different this year: to make more time for decorating the tree in the evening with the kids, I picked up the tree in the morning with Adam.  The kids were alright with that plan, and it made for a much more relaxing evening instead of trying to do it all at once.

Amelia was all dressed up this evening for her 1st grade concert, and looked so beautiful as she decorated the tree.

For downstairs, we now have this sweet little fiber optic tree.  I have been admiring it for years in another home, and now its owners have passed it along to us.  Thank you, thank you!  We love it, and it is perfect for our basement, which is carpeted.

And here I am, going through these December days with more intention, purpose, and meaning.  If I'm going to be busy, it better be the good stuff making me busy!
x o, Karli

Time Management

Monday, December 04, 2017
In nursing, time management is an important skill to have, but in my personal life, it is just as important.  The struggle for me is finding the time to decompress, unwind, and just be--because that is an important part of life balance.  I am getting ready to jump into another three shifts on the unit, and this time of year, balance can be so difficult to find for me.  The part that sets my life off balance is not having the down time, as that is the first thing I tend to cut out to make time for everything else.

It is a busy holiday season for me this year.  Organization is key, along with good time management.  I don't like the feeling of "keeping up", as I would much rather feel a day or two ahead of the game.  So, I'm not going to fall behind, and my strategy this year to accomplish that is to maintain time for self, but stay on task.  So, I'll make a list, then divide that list into days I am available, and go from there.  And I won't forget to include time for self.

I like to include on my list as I tackle my day a few things that have made me happy or brought me a feeling of gratitude.  Last evening, at my book club's annual December potluck, one of the members made these chocolates, a tradition going back to her childhood.  Her family makes 200 pounds of Christmas chocolates for family and friends.  She brought an album to show pictures of the recipes and her family from over the years of chocolate-making.  It was a meaningful tradition to share with all of us, and I was grateful to her for it.

I think it is so important to ensure that the activities that make it to our list of things to do are those things which bring us meaning and a deeper sense of connection to our families and to ourselves.

x o, Karli

Brass Bracelets by SaraLua Designs

Saturday, December 02, 2017
I've been a long-time fan of Michael Franti, attended several of his shows at Edgefield, and greatly appreciate his advocacy and activism for peace, human rights, and social justice. 

One day, he posted an engagement video to his twitter feed, and I became an instant fan of Sara Agah as well (plus, she's a fellow RN)!  I tune into Sara's Insta-stories daily, and absolutely love her jewelry design.  For Cyber Monday, she offered buy one get one free on her brass bracelets, and they are AMAZING.  They are light and delicate on the wrist and can easily be worn with both casual or fancy attire.  I love wearing both together--I chose coral and camo green (there are five other colors available).

Today was Decemberville in Sellwood, and what a rainy Decemberville it turned out to be!  We do have sun in the forecast this week, but this weekend quite a lot of rain has fallen and will continue to do so into tomorrow.

Juniper and I made a beeline for Tilde, where we picked up a few Christmas gifts, including a few 2017 ornaments by Roost for our own family to enjoy.

Juniper and I both admired the jewelry made by Totinette, especially her gold charm and enamel triangular necklaces.

All in all, it was a lovely Saturday morning spent with Juniper.  Amelia was busy most of the day with her dress rehearsal for The Children's Nutcracker and a birthday party at Duke's following.  I usually work on weekends, so this was a treat to get to spend a lazy Saturday with my family.  I'm back to work in the morning, so for now, au revoir, my friends.  x o, Karli

Oh, How We Love Trader Joe's

Friday, December 01, 2017
Many years ago, I wrote a blog post about the chalk artists of Trader Joe's, and over the past decade, not much has changed.  They still put out the Fearless Flyer, the staff still wear Hawaiian shirts, and 800-million bottles later, they still sell the 2-buck chuck.  They are also home of the $5.99 poinsettia.  This video really says it all:

But back to Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer.  It's not just an ordinary weekly ad you'd find anywhere else (usually in your recycling bin).  The Fearless Flyer is a different spin on advertising that reads like a newsletter.  The Holiday Guide 2017 brings to us an important announcement this year:  the Trader Joe's freezer section is now called "Appetizer Central"!  Here you'll find scallops wrapped in bacon, mini-quiches, and the famous Shrimp and Salmon Trio.

Pretzel sign for Trader Joe's by Jazelle Lieske
The real reason I still shop at Trader Joe's, besides everything you see in the youtube clip above, is because I respect the way in which they treat their employees.  Suzanne Raga put together a list of these fine treatments over on Mental Floss if you're interested.

When we're in Australia, we shop at Aldi, owned by the heirs of Theo Albrecht, who left this world a rich man in 2010.  His heirs now own Aldi, as well as our beloved Trader Joe's.  Small world, and as it turns out, a small-hearted family.  Money is like poison for the heart, don't you think?

But my Australian family still loves Aldi, because they're a family who loves a good bargain.

Karli and Adam in Aldi, Dapto, NSW, Australia, 2015
But for this American girl, I've been loving Trader Joe's since 1997, and I don't see myself stopping unless they stop hiding the stuffed black cat.

P.S.  I heart Trader Joe's sugar plum jam made from local plums--yum!  Try it with pizzelles, which I enjoy when Adam makes them with his pizzelle iron (my husband's father is Italian).

Sea Holly, Winter Berries, and Brass

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's almost December and just over three weeks until Winter is official, so I tracked down my favorite wintery cuttings to assemble arrangements for the house. I've always kind of been in love with Eryngium, also known as sea holly (and by others as thistle) when it's paired with red berries. Hypericum is nice, but I've also used rose hips. These usually hold up for the season (especially if you clean up the stems, removing leaves), as they remain a beautiful red when they are dried--they are a good investment!

Tonight the girls and boys split up for dinner.  The girls and I headed to Backyard Bird Shop after Juniper's violin lesson for a few more supplies for our shepherd's poles, because we are creating a food court for our backyard birds.  We have a lovely assortment of finches, thrushes, and nuthatches in our new backyard, all of which are loving our feeders (look for a post soon about how we put them together).

P.S.  This beauty is on my Christmas list for this year.  I think it will look beautiful in the garden, don't you think?  I'm told the paint will last if a coat of lacquer is brushed over it annually.

Adam made homemade stirfry for he and Sam. The girls and I went out for sushi after doing a little shopping, complete with mochi for dessert.

Remember Simple Decorating for Christmas from a few days ago?  Well, I loved Heart and Hand's centerpiece with the cypress/sage/pine bundles so much that we now have one for our living room.  It looks lovely and festive.

The sea holly and winter berries coupled with candle tapers and greenery already have our new home feeling festive.  Next week, we will put up our first Christmas tree in this space.  Looking forward to creating those memories with Adam and the kids.

P.S.  There is something that feels like winter about brass (even faux brass).  I am thinking of adding an oversized, circular,  brass-framed mirror for the upstairs bathroom, but that will be another post for another day.
x o , Karli

To Wallpaper or Not To Wallpaper?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
I love this space of our new 1955 ranch, which is original to the home, but has been painted, cabinet doors have been removed, and hardware has been changed out (I would venture to say the original 1955 hardware wouldn't have been worth saving anyway).  But this space can be really great, and I am toying with an idea and wonder what you think!  Here is what it looks like now:

I envision finding framed glass cabinet doors at The Rebuilding Center to put back up, but they might take awhile to find and modify.  Behind the cabinet doors, I am wondering about this look:

Image credit: Lonny
 Ideas, guys?  This is wallpaper I'm considering—I think it can look brilliant in small spaces, though, such as in Christiana Coop's San Francisco apartment.  I'm thinking about the same beautiful Queen Anne (Ebony) Wallpaper by Rifle Paper Co. for the backing that she used.

Queen Anne (Ebony) Metallic Screen Printed

And new hardware for the cabinets, a new slab for the countertop (material, still thinking about, but probably wood), and then, of course, the cabinet doors I have yet to find--leaded glass with diamond bevels, hopefully.  Let me know what you think--send those design links my way!  x o ,  Karli
P.S.  Yesterday I wrote a post about refuge.  I love the idea of refuge, the feeling of a refuge, the place where one feels safe, loved, and nurtured.  This morning, Bob Dylan's song, "Shelter from the Storm" was playing in the car on my way to the airport to pick up the kids from their Thanksgiving vacation in California.
"I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

Come in, she said

I'll give ya shelter from the storm"
--Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, 1975 

P.S.S.  Send your design ideas my way!
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