Under $50

I've been asking around on Twitter and Facebook a fun question just in time for the holidays:
If you bought yourself a handmade gift for under $50, what would it be? Here are a few answers so far:

POAST house wanted by Toil and Trouble (Ana) 
Suite One Studio bowls wanted by Made in Lowell (Liz)
Stone and Honey tiny triangle rings (2 at $20 each) wanted by Megan Charland 
Forged Copper Gingko Leaf wanted by  Trowel and Paintbrush (Kathleen)
Bird Brain Tile by Rob Ryan wanted by Bugs and Fishes (Laura)

So, how about you? If you bought yourself a handmade gift for under $50, what would it be? Leave a comment and include a link!

sentimental me

I'm feeling especially sentimental this holiday season, but haven't done much in the way of setting the mood around the house to be very Christmas-y. I have been on the look out for things that would convey the magic of the season to Mabel...and not by way of over-the-top piles of gift wrapped toys. One fine bit of magic comes from the pop-up book Follow the Star. Since M loves to find stars in the sky, I knew the silver stars would grab her attention and the modern graphics and intricate pop-ups would appeal to both C and me.

The message is religious (Christmas...duh) but not literally so, it's more a spiritual reflection. And you know what? M does love it! We read it twice yesterday and once this morning before work. It's finally beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

let the celebrations begin!

A few weeks ago I made Chocolate Pumpkin Bread to empty up some cabinet space. The bread was a hit and disappeared quickly. I tried to remake it last night and . . . well, let's just say I missed a few ingredients and the second batch was pretty bland. I think it's going to end up becoming Martha Stewart's Chocolate Bread Pudding.

In reality, though, flavorless pumpkin bread will soon be forgotten even if it becomes something spectacular. The food is just the backdrop for what this Thanksgiving week is all about. I've spent the past few days thinking about synonyms for thankfulness, reflecting on what I'm grateful for, what graciousness means and how to best say it. What it boils down to? There are many things in life that make me happy, but the people around me are really what bring me joy. So this Thanksgiving I'd like to say it as loudly as possible: I'm so thankful to have you in my life! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the last day of the survey, if you haven't taken it please do! And if you have all of the work of mine you could ever care for, don't forget the holidays are coming up* and a $40 shopping spree just might take care of gifts for those special someones.

*Disclaimer: There is still plenty of time for shopping in my mind, however, I've already seen a change of displays in some stores and we're still well over 2 months till Halloween! Yikes!

For those of you who have taken it, a very huge thank you! I've gotten great constructive feedback, which I definitely need! xoxox

Here' s a little montage to keep me on track and fill you in with the direction of the bedroom:

Taryn asked when the big unveiling will be. I'd been thinking we were actually months away from a finished room since 8 x 10 rugs are a sizable investment. I'm still practicing buying for the future rather than temporarily appeasing desire, so I had durability and design in mind while pricing said rugs.

Then Chiasso announced a sale! One of the rugs I'd originally looked at was marked 75% off. What does that mean? The 8 x 10 is now less than $100, and after adding shipping I scored a $400 rug for just below $150!

I should get it Friday or Monday. Either way, the bedroom will be well on its way to being complete and cozy by a week from now!

Now to wax romantic: I'm a sucker for well thought out dates, cuddling on the couch, and random surprise flower. I'm never big on Valentine's day and I think a lot of the consumer - romance - traps are wretched. Yesterday, though, my honey came home from work and brought me a Diet 7-Up (my favorite!) and a heart shaped Snickers. Such a sweet (no pun intended) and unassuming surprise!

For tasteful lover-lovely goods, these plates are from Chiasso, and Modish has the most incredible list of V-Day cards!