It’s a yard sale!

Today I posted about our yard sale on craigslist and I was weirdly proud of my post so I wanted to put it here for safekeeping. I took photos of our stuff partly for the sale, but mostly so that I could keep a record of the things I am letting go. Going through my jewelry was probably the hardest. Nothing is expensive, and much of it is still pretty fashionable — I just don’t really wear them anymore. But I kept thinking, “if I have a daughter she would have so much fun playing with all of this. Or maybe she would actually wear some of this stuff” I loved going through my mom’s jewelry and would feel really special wearing her old pieces. I’m still half tempted to take it all back out of the “sell” pile. 

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We are purging like crazy in our household and letting go of a ton of stuff. You know, the stuff you are holding onto because you love it but maybe it doesn’t fit anymore, or you really have no use or space for it? That stuff. Come help us say goodbye to our belongings by giving them a good new home. This is our first yard sale (in probably ever) so there is loads of stuff.

WE PURGED THE CLOSETS: Tons, and I mean TONS, of men’s and women’s clothes, shoes jewelry, accessories (and we have pretty good style, so don’t miss out). Men’s dress shirts, cool casual clothes, lots of cute dresses, tops, jackets, winter coats, hats, etc.

WE PURGED THE KITCHEN: Dishes, cups, bakeware, trays, slushie machine, etc.

We have a baby so WE PURGED THE NURSERY: loads of baby clothes, toys, gear, etc.

OMG WE PURGED THE GARAGE (applause, applause): cute modern and vintage decor, lamps, blankets, a clock, sports stuff, Rock Band for PS3, vintage meat grinder, curtains, freestanding mirror, furniture, this really cool midcentury modern side table that I bought with the intention of refinishing but never got the time, etc.

Did I forget to mention the VINTAGE 1963 VESPA? Oh yeah, it’s for sale too.

FREE DONUT with $10 purchase (while supplies last!!)

Look at the photos, but know that there is WAAAAAAY more stuff than I could sanely take photos of.

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Letting Go

Lately I have been determined to purge my belongings. I literally want to go through every room cabinet and drawer and get rid of anything I can. On Sunday, Geoff and I spent the entire day cleaning out the garage. It was well overdue. I was going through a box of old things and I came across my CD wallet. My first thought was to get rid of it, then it immediately switched to KEEP it once I opened it up. So many memories!!! What if I want to look through it again sometime for MEMORIES!?? It was like flipping through an album of old photos. Ultimately I decided to rely on a little trick I learned a while back about decluttering, and that is to take a picture. Once you have a photo of the physical thing, you no longer “need” it. You can conjure up that memory again just by looking at the photo. 

So, here in memoriam of my CD wallet which will be going into the yard sale, is my photographic archive of the object. You can get a glimpse into my musical tastes circa 2002-2006, the, now seemingly brief, period of my life that I bought or used CDs. There is a lot of Dixie Chicks and Dashboard Confessional. An obscene amount of mix CDs. I am exceedingly embarrassed by what I apparently chose for the first “page”. Napoleon Dynamite and A Walk to Remember soundtracks? Really? 

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New house numbers!

New house numbers!

With the house paint complete it was time to put up the new numbers. Unfortnatley the silver numbers we had were impossible to read on grey brick, so a creative solution was in order. I had the idea to mount them to a board and came up with two options. I was in LOVE with the idea of mounting them on stained wood. Geoff was in rooting for a white background. I photoshopped a mockup of each option and posted it to Facebook for a poll. The results were 23 votes for wood, 37 votes for white, and 2 votes for glitter (trust me, I seriously considered it). We agreed with most people that while the wood was sexy and cool, the white was just easier to read and went better with the house. White was the winner!

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We’ve had these new modern house numbers (you can buy them here for only about 4 bucks a pop) for a couple of years, just sitting in our garage. Time to put them to use!

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I laid them on the ground and measured them out, then added a few inches of space around the edges to get my board measurement. I would need a board that was 7.5” x 30”.

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We found this piece of red oak at Home Depot for about 8 bucks. 7.25″ is close enough!

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I measured it, finally able to put my T-square from graphic design classes in college back to good use.

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“I pity the fool who takes my t-square.”

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I asked my friend Ryan to cut it down (we don’t have the right saw). Here I am testing the number spacing out again. Yup looks good!

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I played around with the numbers for a while…

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Then I got to work sanding and painting the wood. I did two coats of the leftover paint used on the trim of our house — satin exterior paint.

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I took a look at the hardware that came with the numbers and know those weren’t going to work.

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Geoff went to the store and found #6 1-1/4 screws that were perfect.

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The numbers come with these cool little templates. I trimmed them down so that I could line them up and they would be equal spaced. I measured to make sure they were even and taped them down.

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Once I was sure everything was straight and even, I used a nail to hammer little holes throughout the guides in the templates.

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Then I drilled holes through.

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Then I screwed in the screws, just far enough so that they poked through a tiny bit on the front. I held my finger against the hole as I screwed and waited until it poked me. Haha.

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This allowed me to line up the numbers on the screw points so I could screw them the rest of the way in.

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To attach the board to the house, we decided to use picture hanging hooks on the back of the board and use a screw in the brick to hang them on. The last step was to attach the hooks to the board! I realized I need to paint or seal the back of this board still to protect it from weather. I will do that soon!

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I made a little guide to help line everything up on the brick.

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Too bad one of the hooks fell RIGHT ON the space between the bricks!

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So I moved the hooks over…

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…and marked the holes on the bricks…

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…and Geoff drilled holes into the brick using a special concrete drill bit.

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Then the special concrete screws went in, sticking out just enough to hang the board.

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And DONE! Too bad it was too dark last night to take a proper picture.

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Fear not! I went out today and took a better one. So happy with the outcome! I do  like the way the white looks too. It really matches the house well. Next step for out home makeover, plants!

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It was bound to happen sooner or later

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Bear broke something I love and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. He is getting so curious and growing fast and things he either couldn’t reach before, or wasn’t interested in are now irresistible. This vase lived on the cabinets under the tv which have slowly become more and more empty over the past several months. It has been interesting to watch the inside of our house transform to a space that is safe for Bear to explore. He normally only plays in the family room, which is gated off and baby proofed (except for the vase, apparently). That room is his domain and he is free to do just about anything he wants. But ever since he learned to walk, he wants more. Think Belle…he wants adventure in the great wide somewhere. So we’ve been letting him wander more parts of the house, all the while baby proofing more things and teaching him how to interact properly with the objects that are within his grasp — no hands in the dogs’ water bowl!

Bear is growing from a baby to a curious little boy. As a mama it is fun to watch but difficult to accept that fact all at the same time. One day my baby will be a man. ::tear:: Still, that day is a long ways off, there is a whole word to explore, and that vase is a part of a set.

Plus, Bear was even willing to help clean up.

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Singing Goodnight Moon

Singing Goodnight Moon

Are you ready for a blog post about a really random topic? You know how Facebook has really become nothing more than a feed of articles, videos, and links to elsewhere on the internet? You know how easy it is to click on something and spiral down through a binge of random article reading? This is a tale of such a time.

I was scrolling through Facebook one night and came upon this hilarious article about the children’s book Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Moon was the first bedtime story I read to Bear when we started doing a bedtime routine. I read it to him every night for months. It definitely has a soft spot in my heart. Below that first article were suggestions of other articles including this one about “What writers can learn from Goodnight Moon”. I found this particular article fascinating because it discusses the interesting structure of the book. Sometimes melodic, sometimes unexpected, but ultimately perfect for it’s purpose.

You see, with Bear, as time went on the way that I read it to him started changing.

Goodnight Moon has a loose rhyming structure to it, and as I read it to him every night, I started to develop it into a little song. I actually love to make up songs. Just silly stuff, but I can turn just about anything into a simple singsongy melody. It’s fun. I have made up songs for bear about eating meals, about taking naps, and a getting ready for bed song.

So back to the article. As I read it, I noticed a lot of the feelings I had about the book and the little song I made up, were mentioned in the article (in a much more sophisticated way, of course). It got me wondering if anyone else had put music to the words of that very famous book, so off to YouTube I went. I did find some some people that had. As I loaded the first video and hovered over the play button, I briefly wondered if my version of the book/song would be somehow “ruined” by listening to another person’s melody. Somehow I worked past my fear and pressed play. It was actually really interesting listening to another person’s arrangement. I smiled when certain parts sounded exactly like mine, almost note for note. I chuckled at one person who also made the same confused voice when singing “goodnight nobody”. These parallels weirdly made me feel connected to the other parents out there in the world. If I was able to easily find these people, I’m sure there are plenty moms and dads who took the same musical format when reading Goodnight Moon before tucking their little ones into bed.

If you can bear (no pun intended) to listen to me “sing” Goodnight Moon, here you go. I mainly want this here in case I forget the notes one day, or simply for Bear to find when he is older. Some of the words are more reading than singing, but hey, this is my version. (and yes, putting my voice on the internet is super scary)

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And here are a couple of the musical Goodnight Moons I found on YouTube.

(Our) 4th annual Dine Downtown

We met our friends Mike and Melissa because we were their wedding photographers almost four and a half years ago. We instantly connected over frozen yogurt (among other things) and have remained friends ever since. Something that has now become a bit of a tradition for us is partaking in Sacramento’s Dine Downtown Restaurant Week that happens every year in January. Dozens of the city’s best restaurants participate, creating exciting three-course prix fixe menus. It is an awesome opportunity to try some really yummy food. In 2012, our first Dine Downtown, we all went to Biba. 2013 was The Grange (I will not forget the chicken and waffles), 2014 was Foundation (with our very brand new Bear and their months-old Charlotte), and this year we were excited to try out the delicious sounding menu at Hock Farm & Provisions

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We decided to bring along our little ones as well. 

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For the first course, Geoff and I both ordered the same thing: Dungeness Crab & Beeler Ranch Pork Potstickers with citrus-coconut curry, Meyer lemon-herb slaw. These were super yummy. I even gate Bear a few tastes. It’s good to know he likes curry!

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For the main course, I ordered the Mesquite-Grilled Pork Tenderloin, with brussels sprouts, sweet potato, & house-smoked bacon “hash,” apple sauce, and pickled mustard seed…

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…and Geoff ordered the Black Forest Ham & Fontina-Stuffed Rocky Jr. Chicken Breast with truffled butternut squash risotto, and field greens.

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Whenever Geoff and I go out to eat, as much as we can we try to each order something different so that we can share and try as many things as possible. After the meal, we always declare a “winner” as to who chose the better meal. Geoff definitely won the main course round. The stuffed chicken was super flavorful and that truffled butternut squash was out of this world.

The kiddos got to “play” together a bit.

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Baby aperitifs were some gourmet pouches.

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This was a baby-mama selfie attempt.

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For the dessert course I ordered the House-made Donut Holes with caramel & chocolate sauces. These were good, nothing super special, but the carmel sauce was scrumptious. 

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Geoff ordered the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with candied kumquat, and caramel. He was the winner here again! It had a great tartness and that bomb carmel.

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After the meal, Bear thought he would help out by wiping up the table. It’s funny, whenver he gets his hands on a baby wipe or something like that, he likes to “wipe up” whatever surface is in front of him. I will not say no to that!

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It was a fantastic evening with great food, great friends, great conversation, and a couple cute babies.

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First expressions

More drawing today! I made these while Bear was playing. I decided to try making expressive faces today because I have never really tried to before. All the people I usually draw have blank faces. As you can see Bear was really into “helping.”

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New Pens!

One of the loves of my life is drawing. In another life, (or, more preferably, later in this one) I want to be an illustrator. I’m not THAT good at it, but I want to be. In college I did some sketching and drawing in my graphic design classes, and in my free time. I carried around a notebook, and I drew in it whenever I got the chance. Then it kind of went by the wayside, and I was not keeping up with it for a long while. Then in 2013 Geoff bought me an iPad mini for my Christmas/you-just-had-a-baby gift. I really didn’t think I needed an iPad because I had an iPhone and a laptop. But then I bought a stylus and I discovered I could use it as a tool for drawing and painting. A whole new world opened up to me. My obsession with illustration was rekindled again. I started drawing little animals and random things and eventually people. I really admire people that can illustrate people. I started practicing and eventually opened my Etsy shop selling little people illustrations. Now, I love drawing on my iPad, but lately really been feeling the need to put pen to paper and use my hands to draw. So I ordered some pens on Amazon and there were here waiting for me when we got back from visiting Geoff’s brother and sister in law. Yay!

The first pen I tested was one I’d never used before, the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. This pen is so cool. The tip is made of actual bristles, and the ink flows through, so it is a lot like drawing with an actual paintbrush with a never-ending flow of ink! I am learning how fast strokes will produce a dry brush effect, and how overall there is a lot more texture to the strokes.

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This is the very first page in my new sketch book.

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I am excited about the possibilities of lettering with this pen!

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The other pens I purchased were ones that are near and dear to me. I have been using Tombow pens since my college days. I purchased the 10-pen Grayscale Pack of Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens. I love learning about shading with markers using the gray pens. I like to use the very light grays to sketch out my drawing then build up shading gradually with the darker shades, and do outlines with the black.

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Let me tell you something about that blacked out face. When I draw a face and it looks really ugly to me, I usually cross it or black it out. I guess I am afraid of someone seeing it and thinking I suck. I really want to quit that habit. I need to be okay with things not being perfect or even good. It’s okay. This is only practice, it does not need to be perfect.

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This pen was really fun to do lettering with. Very smooth to write with and you can do the downstrokes fast and they still look solid. To go along with my note about about the face above, as I was doing these pages, the thought crossed my mind to get one really good alphabet page so I could post that to by blog. No, I told myself. One of my goals this year was to be more transparent. Show my process, show my learning, show my unfinished, imperfect work. It is okay! I am too much of a perfectionist sometimes, and I really want to make an effort to be more real. So here are my practice sheets, even though I think my name on the first page looks terrible.

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Super excited about learning to draw better and practice, practice, practice!

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