Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome 2012!

Recently I learned about a tradition in Japan, one that I would love to start doing in our home. On New Year's Eve, they prepare for the new year by cleaning the home and car, and by stocking their kitchens. The day is called Omisoka, and "oh-souji" or "big cleaning" is done so they enter the new year with everything fresh and new. Isn't that a wonderful tradition?

Our tradition is to get take out from a favorite restaurant, then watch lots of movies until midnight when we run outside to light off fireworks. After the fireworks we come back inside for sparkling cider to toast the new year.

As you can see, we light our fireworks regardless of weather! What is your new years tradition?

Friday, December 16, 2011

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Home projects are on hold as we take time to enjoy and spend time with family and friends for the holidays. Too often I feel rushed during this time of year, and I don't want to miss out on the moments.

Have a wonderful holiday season, no matter how you celebrate! See you in 2012 for more DIY fun.

Dearest Santa, I would love to find this car on Christmas morning:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Magic Christmas Tree Time Lapse

We have another Christmas tree in our house. It's little, it's cute, and it is magic! We had a lot of fun capturing it as it "grew" using our time lapse camera. Our Magic Christmas Tree came from, but I have seen them on other sites as well. In real life the tree took a little over 6 hours to film, but you get to see the magic happen in less than 15 seconds!

Magic Christmas Tree Time Lapse from Aimee on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy watching the tree grow! We sure had fun making the video.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Christmas Tree 2011

My favorite color theme for Christmas is sliver, white and blue. As you can see our tree is decorated in that theme, with snowflakes and icicles to add to the snowy scene. And yes, if you look closely you will indeed see Santa riding a pink flamingo.

A tree can't be all serious, right?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hair Twisters for a fun new 'do!

Once winter arrives, with it's cold dry air, the only thing I really want to do is pull my hair into a ponytail to avoid the fly aways and static cling. Recently I got the chance to try a very stylish item that makes a ponytail super fun and interesting.

They are called Hair Twisters, and as you can see, they wrap your ponytail into a metal coil that looks so incredible!

I was sent the 6 inch twister, which is just perfect for creating a sleek side ponytail. I can't even tell you all the compliments that I get when I wear it! Not only is it really unique (I haven't seen anyone else ever wear one in my city), but it is so perfect for keeping my hair out of my way. I've even found that they work well when I am out in the wind, or to keep my hair tamed while biking. All while looking awesome in the process!

The company, Medieval Metal is based in California. You can order them online in a variety of styles, and you can even add charms to the end of the twist for an even more personal style statement! Check out their site for all the options and to order your own. They would make a fun gift for the person who has everything too!

While Medieval Metal provided the sample for this review, as always, my opinion is my own.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The room of shame.

Please tell me you have a "room of shame" in your home too. A junk room, a catch-all room, a clutter magnet, whatever you would like to call it, we have one. No matter what I try to do, our laundry room seems to collect all the things that don't have a permanent home, or are on the way to other spaces. As you will see, right now it is at it's all time WORST, and doing laundry is nearly impossible.

In the middle of the room, taking up the bulk of the space, are shelves and items that actually belong in my husband's office, but have yet to make their way into it. Then there is the headboard, a project in progress. Oh yes, and of course there is the washer and dryer, a rack to hang clothes on (that is, as you can see, falling apart a bit), and a whole bunch of other things filling the room to the brim.

What you can't see is that there are actually shelves that are nicely organized on that back wall. This room is so completely opposite of the other spaces in our home that I can hardly believe it's in our house!

Do you have a "room of shame" too?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doggie Devotion

Pets and design don't seem to go together often, but when they do it's always fabulous! We recently got some of the wonderful Fetch! Product Design limited edition “Doggie Devotion” throw pillows for our home to feature on our animal blog.  However, they are just too fun not to share here as well!

 I think they look really fun on our couch, and they are a great conversation piece as well.

Each pillow pillow is hand-made when the customer orders it! The pillows are also durable, very well made, and even hypoallergenic. The collection features sixteen designs, each with an artist-created, one-of-a-kind image of the world’s most beloved dog breeds. The two coordinating pillows with the words “sit” and “stay” are sold separately. And while they didn't have our dog's breed in the design choices, we still love the image of a dog being part of our home in this way.

Pet owners take note, the durable cotton-twill cover is pre-shrunk and washable. You can even choose from red, black or white for the pillow backing, ensuring that no matter what the décor. A “Doggie Devotion” pillow is the perfect addition to any dog-lover’s couch, bed or chair. We simply love our pillows, and think that any dog lover will feel the same way! To order, visit

About Fetch! Product Designs Fetch Product Designs was founded in Spring 2011 to create unique, quality, high-end pillows and home décor featuring “man’s best friend”. Each pillow is a distinctive work of art is and is available exclusively through Fetch! Product Designs. Fetch! Product Design pillows will soon be available through product catalogues, scheduled exhibition shows and specialty retail boutiques. Founded by interior designer Angela Carfino-Hines and artist Maria Faith Garcia, Fetch! Product Designs is based in Hacienda Heights, California. Every Fetch! pillow is proudly manufactured in the United States.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Stocking Stuffers!

For me the Christmas stocking is always the most fun to open. As they say, good things come in small packages! But if you are stumped for ideas on what to put in your loved one's stocking this year, I offer you my top ten picks for awesome stocking stuffers.
  • Does your loved one have an iPhone? The DIY iPhone case is sure to be a hit! Not only will they have a case that is totally unique, but they also get to have a lot of fun making it.
  • One of my favorite things, the Nintendo 3DS, would be a welcome addition to any stocking. It is pure awesome! You might want to put one in your own stocking too.
  • For the truly daring people on your gift list, stick some ghost pepper flakes in their stocking. Just be sure you get to witness the fun as they try to eat the world's hottest pepper. You might want to include some bottles of water in that stocking too.
  • We can't leave out the dog's Christmas stocking! Put a little McSteven's Dog Nog Doggy Drink Mix in with all the dog bones and other treats.
  • For the vegetarians on the list, they can still enjoy the holidays with a hilarious Inflatable Turkey! It even comes in it's own special tin.
  • For the camera lover in your life, put a Fujifilm INSTAX MINI Film Camera and be prepared to win the gift of the year award! These cameras are seriously fun to play with, and make photos that can fit in your wallet with ease.
  • Heart U Back friendship bracelets are the perfect stocking stuffer for the animal lover. I get more compliments on this bracelet than I do on any other accessory I own. I'm always excited to tell people about it too because it benefits the ASPCA! They offer other great items as well.
  • One of my favorite animated films, Howl's Moving Castle, would be a lovely stocking stuffer for the anime lover in your life. I also recommend Castle in the Sky, and The Cat Returns.
  • If your loved one likes lotion, why not stock up with a few favorites from Bath and Body Works? They have such cute holiday themed items. My favorite standby scent? Warm Vanilla Sugar.
  • Last, but in no way least, a little something for the gardener in your life. Soil Mates is one of the cutest, and most helpful, books you can own. Learn about companion planting with a healthy dose of humor, and some of the most fun illustrations around.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pins of the Week: Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner. Have you decorated your home yet? We always wait until the 1st of December to decorate, but that doesn't mean I haven't been oohing and ahhing over the lovely Christmas decorations on Pinterest.

Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy holidays!

The holiday season is here! Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

Holiday season is always very busy around our home. We celebrate 3 different times, once with my family, one with my husband's mom and step-dad, and once with my husband's dad and step-mom. That is three turkey dinners, for three nights! It's a lot of food, family, and fun. It's also exhausting!

As you can see in the photo, someone was eager to eat!

Also keeping me very busy this month was NaNoWriMo! This means that I wrote an entire novel in just one month! Actually, I was able to finish 9 days early, and it was so much fun. Of course, our house was completely ignored during this time, but now that things should be calming down for a bit I will have a lot of fun things to share with you.

Are you ready for the holidays?

Friday, November 18, 2011

DIY iPhone Case Kit

We are in the middle of a snow storm, which means we will be stuck in the house, and this gives me a great reason to personalize my own iPhone case this weekend! I recently got a DIY iPhone Case kit and I have been trying to figure out what I wanted the design to be ever since it arrived. Honestly that has been the hardest part of all!

In fact, I am still not 100% sure that I have decided, because I have two ideas that I really love. However, I am determined to get it done this weekend, my iPhone is pretty dull and boring right now and needs a pick-me-up!

You can find the kit on ThinkGeek. It comes with the case, which has the cross stitch grid, three spools of embroidery thread, a needle, and instructions. There are even patterns in the booklet that comes with the kit, but of course you will likely want to create your own pattern instead! Making it truly your own is the entire point of this kit after all.

Since I don't yet have my finished case to show you (stay tuned), you can get an idea of what it looks like in the photo to the left. I think it's going to be so much fun to make, and luckily cross stitch should be a lot like riding a bicycle. Right? I hope so (it's been a long time since I have cross stitched).

What would you create?

*Think Geek provided the sample for my review. As always my opinions are my own, and I for one can't wait to create my iPhone case with this kit!*

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giveaway: $25 to UncommonGoods

If you aren't familiar with UncommonGoods, you are really missing out! They have so many great items that are very unique, from a whiskey stone that keep your drinks cold, to all kinds of awesome gifts for gardeners on this page, there is truly something for everyone on your gift list.

When I look on their site I always find something I want. From reindeer mittens to a geek clock, and even a mushroom growing kit, the list of fun items just never ends! They even have things for kids and babies (including the mimijumi bottle)!

I'm excited to be able to offer one lucky reader a $25 gift card to Uncommon Goods so you can try it out for yourself. Would you like a chance to win? Here are the rules:

  • This giveaway is open to those in the USA. 
  • Mandatory entry: Visit the UncommonGoods website and then leave a comment on this post telling me what you would spend the gift card on if you were to win.
  • Extra entry one: Tweet a link to the whiskey stone page. Please leave a comment with your Tweet URL in order for it to be counted.
  • Extra entry two: Sign up for the UncommonGoods newsletter. Leave another comment on this post telling us you did so.
  • Extra entry three: Follow this blog by adding yourself to the "Fab Followers" on the sidebar. Leave a comment letting us know you follow us (please do so even if you already follow).
  • You may use all entry methods for a total of 4 entries. 
  • The giveaway ends November 23, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email after the giveaway closes. They will then have 3 days to respond otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
  • Please be sure you can be contacted if you are the winner.
Thanks to UncommonGoods for providing the prize for this giveaway. 
This giveaway is now closed, the winner has been contacted by email. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Respect the Bird!

First of all, can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a week from today?! I can hardly believe how fast time has been flying by this fall.

Let's face it, Thanksgiving really doesn't get it's fair share. Once Halloween is over, and sadly sometimes even before that, Christmas can be found everywhere. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I love all holidays and like each of them to get their time in the spotlight.

Thanksgiving should be a time to enjoy great food with family and friends, to reflect on all we are grateful for, and of course to eat pumpkin treats. It's a shame to see stores opening on Thanksgiving night to take advantage of even earlier Black Friday mayhem.

Respect the Bird is a fun movement in honor of Thanksgiving that is being sponsored by (a favorite site of mine, I can always find great recipes for all holidays there). You can pledge to "take back Thanksgiving" by promising to enjoy the holiday and not do Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving, and they are even having a Kitchen Aid stand mixer giveaway! Wouldn't that be fun to win for your holiday feasts?

So, are you going to focus on enjoying Thanksgiving this year (and every year)? Take the pledge and help spread the word! What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving? Do you have special Thanksgiving traditions?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Party Beans Personalized Favors

Special occasions are meant to be celebrated, and with the holidays upon us, we are probably all thinking about ways to give something creative. Party Beans has a great selection of fun favors for any special occasion!
We got a chance to see samples of some of their holiday favors for review here on our blog. Let me tell you this, they are very cute, and they feature Jelly Belly jellybeans, and even M&Ms!

I loved the little bean shaped tins the most, and thought they would be such fun gifts for a big family party. They also have really cute small jars that can be personalized which would be great to hand out at a company party!

The site allows you to choose what kind of tin you want, and even offers clip art in case you don't have your own images to use. It's easy to create your gift, and they offer discounts if you order more. They also don't have minimum order amounts, so you can order as many, or as few as you need.

*Thanks to Party Beans for providing the items for this review. As always, my views are my own, regardless of compensation.*

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thirty-One Party

It's an online Thirty-One party and you are invited! Just in time for the upcoming holidays, you can find some seriously cute products to help you organize, to give as gifts, and of course, to treat yourself!

I am sharing this to help a friend who is a consultant, and an all around great person! I also think that Thirty-One has some great ideas for getting your house in order.

There is a really great deal going on right now too, for every $31 you spend, you can buy the Carry-All Caddy for just $1. These make fun gifts, and can really come in handy for getting organized in the home or car too. If you look at the photo you can see some fun ideas, from spa nights to movie nights, they would make a fun personalized gift.

Our online party will be happening until November 22nd, so you have plenty of time to pick out all the fun items you want to buy!

And, to make things as easy as possible, just click on the Thirty-One party link and do all of your shopping online! Your items will ship right to you, saving you time and hassles during this busy time of the year. Thanks for stopping by, and if you buy something leave a comment and let me know what you got and what you plan to do with it. I would love to hear about it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pins of the Week: Dogs

Pinterest is just so fun, and there are so many things that I find there and want to share. So with that, I decided it would be fun to feature some of my favorites each week. I hope you enjoy it! To kick things off right, here are some favorite pins featuring DOGS!
Source: via Jade on Pinterest
Source: via Aimee on Pinterest
Source: via Aimee on Pinterest

Friday, November 4, 2011

Food Friday: Pumpkin Muffins

When I saw this on Pinterest I knew that I had to try it. Not only is fall just made for pumpkin, but anything that is supposed to be quick and easy sounds great to me! All you need for these pumpkin muffins is a yellow cake mix and a 15 oz can of pumpkin.

That's it! Combine the two together, then bake at 350 for 20-25 mins. This would be truly easy to keep on hand for unexpected guests during the holiday season, or for those mornings when you want to have a muffin but don't have a lot of time. The person who came up with this is just plain brilliant!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's the holiday season!

Generally speaking, I like to savor each holiday as it arrives, and I don't like to jump ahead. However, I have something to share with you that I think you will enjoy! This is a holiday guide, completely free to browse, created by some of the top design bloggers, and headed up by Emily Henderson, winner of HGTV Design Star. It is full of great ideas for decorating, and has a bunch of holiday gift ideas to make shopping for your loved ones a bit easier. It almost (almost) makes me want to bust out the Christmas decorations a bit early this year. Oh yes, and if you love reading home and design blogs you are sure to see some familiar faces in the issue too! What I loved was that everything was clickable, so when I saw something I wanted to learn more about I just had to click and I was there. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Did you enjoy your Halloween this year? We actually almost ran out of candy this year! During our time together as a married couple, we have really had a range of numbers, from 1, to the high this year of about 100! If you had come to visit us on Halloween, this is what you would see:

You can see our Halloween tree (in the second photo) which I made all the ornaments for. I was really happy with how they turned out and the finished look of the tree. The tree was given to us from my dad almost 8 years ago, and it was about time for an "ornament upgrade"!

Our table was set, complete with Halloween crackers! Inside there were spider rings, jokes, and a mask. I was so excited when I saw these being sold, as crackers are a tradition my family has at Christmas. It was fun to see how they were adapted for Halloween.
It was a fun night, but as usual, it was kind of sad putting the decorations away. Luckily Christmas is going to be here in no time at all, which means more decorating!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Giveaway: chicboom cassette speaker!

Do you love music? Are you ready for a chance to win something fun? The chicboom cassette speaker pairs fun retro styling with a speaker that will surprise you!

The speaker, which is the exact size of a cassette tape, and even comes with a cassette tape case, is full of great functionality.
  • Connect to any listening device with a standard 3.5mm stereo jack
  • Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery and battery life indicator
  • Up to 2 hours of awesome, distortion-free sound
  • Stereo cable and USB cable included

Ready for a chance to win? There are 7 ways to enter, and you can do each of the following for a maximum of 7 entries per person. Please leave a comment for each action you take.

One entry for “liking” the chicBuds Facebook page
One entry for commenting on the chicBuds Facebook page
One entry for posting the chicBuds Facebook link to your own Facebook feed
One entry for following chicBuds on Twitter
One entry for tweeting something with @chicBuds
One entry for using #chicBuds hash-tag
And one point for commenting on this blog post

Please be sure that there is some way to contact you if you win. The winner will be chosen at random on November 5, 2011. The winner will then have 3 days to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. Thank you!

For more free products and giveaways, go to

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Decorations

Halloween is a big deal around our house. We decorate, we dress up, we enjoy a fun movie, and of course, we hand out candy on Halloween night. Here are a few photos of our Halloween decorations.

And yes, we are those kind of people. We do indeed dress up our dog. Here she is wearing her Princess Leia costume (found here). She wasn't fond of the wig, she much preferred to play with the buns than have them on her head. Still, she is pretty cute!
What is Halloween like at your house?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rocking it old school!

What is my iPod doing connected to a cassette tape? Why, playing music of course!

Yes friends, that cassette tape is no ordinary cassette tape! It's actually a speaker. Isn't it a riot?! It's called a chicboom, and it even comes with a cassette case to carry it in when you aren't listening to your tunes. Groovy things about it:
  • Connect to any listening device with a standard 3.5mm stereo jack
  • Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery and battery life indicator
  • Up to 2 hours of awesome, distortion-free sound
  • Stereo cable and USB cable included
I love it! So many times I have been someplace talking about a song and didn't have a way to easily share it with those I was talking with. It's also nice for those times when you really don't need or want headphones, but would still like to listen to music.

Come back on November 1st because I have a chicboom to giveaway to one lucky reader! Can't wait for November 1st? For more free products and giveaways, go to!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beautiful Chicken Coop

This has to be the most beautiful chicken coop I have ever seen. Those are some mighty lucky chickens!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting Spooky!

Halloween is just around the corner, and the house is almost completely decked out for the holiday.
If Baby looks worried, it's because she is confused by the leg behind her. It's part of a Halloween decoration in the works, as you can see, it's a witch's leg. She is also a bit concerned because a lot of the time and attention she usually gets has been diverted away from her onto my other project. Handmade Halloween ornaments.
After 8 years of being relatively ornament-less, I decided it was time for our Halloween tree to get an upgrade. Making these ornaments from felt, embossing thread, and cute Trick-Or-Treat ribbon has been a lot of fun. Even if they do take quiet a bit of time. I'll be sure to post the finished tree soon.

Is it getting spooky in your house?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting Organized

There is nothing quiet like a change in the seasons to get me in the mood to clear out and organize! Fall is especially great for turning inward and making changes in the house. Do you find yourself doing more clutter clearing in the fall? Or do you do yours in the spring? I find myself doing it both times of the year. Here are some inspiring spaces to get you in the mood to get organized!

Don't you love the idea of using the back of a door, a little used space, to create a great storage area? Another genius use of space! Add cork to the inside of a cabinet door to make a space to keep little reminders like recipes or lists. I have dreamed of something like this for years! People are so clever to find ways to use space under the stairs, which usually goes unused. This would be an amazing way to store things like holiday decorations which don't get used often. Or, a great place to store bulk items. Lovely baskets are always a great way to store small items, especially the kind that need to be moved from space to space. My one and only tip for getting organized? Clear the clutter!! The less you have that you don't love and use, the less you have to organize it. Make sure everything in you home is something you really love, or use, and your home will become a space you love to spend time in.
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