My Christmas Cards with Minted!

MIN-6R6-HYC-001OCHRISTMAS_A_PD1. It’s a Wonderful Life

You guys, have you ordered your Christmas cards yet?  Yeah, me neither. I am getting really close to pressing the order button but I need your advice.  I totally can’t decide which style I like?!

I have been a customer of Minted for almost a year now.  I started with my business cards which you can see here on Ez’s blog Creature Comforts (2nd picture down).  In the summer, I used their party decorations which arrived in a sleek and lovely box to make this tea party for my daughter Faith. I truly love Minted as a regular person shopping for good products.  I feel so blessed to get to work with them as a blogger.  A dream.

So, when I was planning Christmas cards, I immediately thought about them.  I’ve designed my own the last few years but that Kinkos scene a few times in one week with 3 kids got old reaaaaallly fast.  I knew this year I wanted to just order them and have our nice mailman, Juan, deliver them with a smile.

My favorite features:

Scalloped edges. Are you kidding me?

Gold pressed foil. Yes.

Thick Recycled Paper.  Win for trees. Win for me.

Cards shaped as ornaments for long-term saving? Ideal.

So, which ones are your favorites?!  I REALLY need help deciding…

MIN-X0M-HYC-001ACHRISTMAS_C_PD2. Holiday Floral

MIN-X0U-HYC-003_A_PD3. Peace Botanical

MIN-IJ1-HFS-001_A_PD4. Joy

MIN-X29-HYC-001DHOLIDAY_A_PD5. Scalloped Cheer


MIN-X3V-HYC-001NHOLIDAY_A_PD7. Modern Peace

MIN-IM0-HFS-001_A_PD8. Chevron Gold

Ok, so while you go check out my favorites…PICK SOME FOR YOURSELF because…

Minted is giving one of you guys $100 towards Christmas cards!!!  Are you kidding me?!


Giveaway starts 11/20/13 at 7pm and ends 11/27/13 at 7pm (next Wednesday night!).  Winner announced PROMPTLY on 11/29/13 so you can order your Christmas cards IMMEDIATELY. ;)

The gift money will be good until 1/1/14.

Yay! Go enter NOW!!!


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The opinions in this post about Minted are my own.  I was supplied Christmas cards in exchange for my opinion but we all know I would have ordered them anyway because Minted is awesome.

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Herbed Fennel and Leek Chicken Stock


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I posted a picture on Instagram this week about some stock I was making and apparently there was quite a bit of interest in what I put in it.  Like most of my food posts, there’s usually a story…

Homemade stock and I do NOT go way back.  Gasps here wouldn’t be inappropriate.  I had made plenty of stocks, yes, but when I was looking to make a soup at home, I had often purchased store-bought organic chicken or vegetable stock because it kept on the shelf and I could just grab and go.  No biggie, right?


It was my sister’s boyfriend, Erik, who first inspired me to never buy stock again.  Basically, Erik would ask to take home the carcasses from our turkey, chicken, or goose dinner (last years Christmas dinner!) so he could make stock.  It had never really occurred to me to make stock on a regular basis, but seeing his habit and process made my see the possibilities.  Now, time has past and he has made me wiser.  My freezer currently has 10 quarts of stock.  I make and use it pretty much every week with our leftover chicken bones, the ends of my onions I don’t need, herbs from the garden and anything else I have in my fridge that I can throw in the pot!  Stock has become my favorite things to make because it is so easy to throw together, it leaves an amazingly awesome scent in my kitchen, and I can drink it on it’s own.  Call me weird, but try drinking it yourself and we’ll see if you feel the same way.

If you like, remove the chicken bones for a straight up veggie stock.  The measurements below are only for those who need them.  The beauty of stock is that you can really use whatever you want.  As long as you have onion, garlic, salt & pepper, and some sort of herb, you can’t go wrong. The addition of leeks and fennel are just related to what the soup will become.  This stock could be the base of a soup or gravy and therefore need to be at the top of its game.  Try the stuff from the store and tell me if it doesn’t taste like the distant relative of water. Blech.  I learned my lesson.  Homemade stock is the only way for me. I’m just doing you a favor and converting you now so you don’t lose any time like I did!

Herbed Fennel and Leek Chicken Stock:

1 whole chicken carcass (sorry, there just isn’t really a better word!)

2 leeks, end and green tops removed and slice down the middle

1 large fennel bulb or 2 small

the ends and skins of several onions, maybe 5

1 head of garlic, broken into cloves

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1/4 cup of salt

3 sprigs of rosemary

2 sprigs of dill

2 sprigs of thyme

7 quarts of water or enough to fill up a 8 quart stock pot after all the ingredients are added

Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for at least 1 hour.  Although, I prefer at least an hour and a half so I can get the richest stock possible. Strain and you’re ready to go!


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Anne with an E


Anne: I’ve always imagined that my name was Cordelia – at least, I always have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne spelled with an e.
Marilla: What difference does it make how it’s spelled?
Anne: Oh, it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can’t you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-N-N looks dreadful, but A-N-N-E looks so much more distinguished. If you’ll only call me Anne spelled with an e I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.
From “Anne of Green Gables

30 Favorite Things Giveaway!!

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It’s finally Giveaway day!  I’m so excited to start celebrating my 30th birthday with all of you!

Turning 30 just got a little easier with your help, so thanks for being here and supporting me!

*Disclaimer: You’ve seen posts before that look like big advertisements and a “sell out”.  You should know I’m not getting paid or getting commissions from anything I mention. Everything included in this giveaway is TRULY one of my favorite things and I wouldn’t include anything that wasn’t.  Any donated items were out of the generosity of the donor. I want this to be fun!*

Here’s how the giveaway works:

1.  The giveaway lasts from October 17th until my birthday on October 31st at midnight.

2. You can choose several ways to enter, using the form below.

3. Every few days, on this page, I will reveal 5 more of the items in the giveaway until all 30 are unveiled! So, be sure to go sign up below using the giveaway form to hear about the fun new items you can win!

4. Winner announced November 5, 2013 and the prize is mailed the following week! Eek!

I give you a HUGE prize option, right off the bat…


Amazing, right?

I am thrilled Tea Collection was kind enough to give $100 to somebody!

1. $100 Tea Collection Gift Card! (My favorite kids clothes.  Softest.  Best quality. The have women’s clothes too!)

2. A set of 3 Rifle Paper Company Notebooks (who doesn’t love Rifle?)

3. Tortoise Onion Goggles (I use these pretty much every day.  Sadly, I can’t cut an onion without them or I cry…literally)

4. Birch print paper straws (Best straws ever.  I can hardly drink anything without one)

5. My own handmade organic lip balm (blood, sweat, and tears went into this, people)

6. A special jar of my own blood orange marmalade made with vanilla and rum! Yum! (Made with the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook)

7. 1 lb. of local Cafe Moto coffee.  (My favorite roastery here in town! This one is my fave…I can only drink decaf and they have the BEST!)

8. Roasted garlic salt from The Salt Farm here in San Diego. (Great salt. Great packaging.  Found in my fave local store Pigment)

9. A jar of locally made Fleur De Sel Caramel from Praline Patisserie (caramel is on the top of my sweets list!)

10. A set of 6 floral-cut mason jar lids in an adorable cloth bag, along with a sweet set of floral paper straws from my friend, Ana of We Love Citrus.  Coupon Code “WELOVEBIRTHDAYS” for everyone to save 20% off anything in Ana’s shop until 10/31.

11. 2 GORGEOUS cards from the fabulous Small Adventure artist, Keiko!  (She’s a favorite of mine from Renegade Craft Fairs of the past.  My favorites also include her print of North American Butterflies and Flowers)

12. Starbucks Venti Tumbler.  (Can’t beat a good tumbler and I use my metal one every day)

13. Medusae Airplant.  (Had to find a way to bring some garden into this box.  Got this one at Pigment)

14. Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Caramels (I’m a lover of all things caramel.  I can’t help myself with these!)

15. My current favorite dress pattern for little girls: “Sally” dress from Very Shannon! (Can’t wait to make this? Buy it here now with 10% off with code “GOLDEN10″)

16. Handmade Charlotte stencils for your organizing needs!  (Love the lady who created these. ;))

17.  Rifle Paper Company botanicals label and sticker set. (I use these ALL THE TIME.  They don’t print this one anymore.  They also make amazing holiday labels!)

18. A vintage Bing Crosby “Merry Christmas” vinyl.  (My very favorite Christmas album!)

19. St. Helena Olive Oil Company’s Balsamic Method Tradizionale.  (Best balsamic you will every have in your whole life. No competition)

20. West Elm’s mason jar cocktail shaker. (I got mine at our San Diego store here.  The capacity of this thing is amazing)

21. Gweneth Paltrow’s Cookbook “It’s All Good” (I’m in love with this cookbook and I’m not a great cookbook user)

22. A set of 6 blue vintage remake mason jars (who doesn’t love a good mason jar, plus…BLUE!)

23. & 24. My favorite shampoo and conditioner from Acure ( finally a great smelling shampoo that is organic and ACTUALLY works)

25. to 28. 4 bottles of Scrappy’s Bitters for all of your cocktail needs!

29. $5 gift card to Target (Favorite.Duh.)

30. $25 to TARGET because they are that amazing!!!! (Right?)




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Took my a while to get a hold of Amy. I was just about to pick a new winner when I heard back from her!  Yay, Amy!

Enter the giveaway below and PLEASE share a little birthday love for me and spread the word about my giveaway! Thanks, friends!
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30 Favorite Things Giveaway!

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Friends, you have no idea how excited I am to give away 30 of my favorite things to one of you!  Have you ever wanted to get a giant box of amazing gifts in the mail that you didn’t pay for?  You can rip open the box and open every item however you want and whenever you want?

Yeah, me too!

That’s why, for my birthday, I thought it would be fun to give that gift to one of you guys! Plus, I’m turning the big 3-0 so I wanted to make it special and fun considering I’m not super excited about heading out of my 20s.  Next thing I know it, I’ll be 39 and almost 40!  Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but time has been rushing by whether I like it or not.

Does that potential gift sound ok?

I thought so.

Starting tomorrow…for the next two weeks…until my birthday on October 31st…I will be sharing 30 of my favorite things that I will give away to 1 person!!! So excited!!!

What’s included in this box worth 100’s of dollars!!:

1. Gift Cards to my favorite stores!!

2. My own handmade items!

3. My favorite foods!

4. Art!

5. Vintage items!

6. Great kitchen items!

7. Fun coupon codes from some of my favorite handmade businesses, as well as an amazing clothing store!

And MUCH MUCH more!!  (couldn’t resist the dramatic radio commercial sounding end)

Watch out for a post tomorrow about how you can enter and for a very special first item I’m giving away!!

Go to the links below to stay in the loop!  Don’t miss out!  I’m SOOOOO excited!


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