I am pleased as pie to announce that Mo Pie, Please is hosting our very first giveaway!
Today's giveaway is from my favorite Etsy store, The Big Harumph. Georgia, the artist behind the quirky linocut prints and greeting cards, is offering up this gorgeous print in robin's egg blue from her shop.
For a chance to win, please visit The Big Harumph and let me know what your favorite item in the shop is, become a follower of Mo Pie, Please (if you are already just say so) and leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, December 6th. Good luck!
The winner will also receive this print as a bonus!
Well, I did it! I have officially knit a project from start to finish. Hooray!
I picked up this bulky yarn a few weeks ago and decided that for my mom's birthday, I really wanted to make her something. I knew it would be special to her because I've never made her anything in my grown up years because I've never really been the crafty type. My last sewing project (in home-ec) was a disaster and both her and my grandma (both experts with the sewing machine) made a great deal of fun over it. So not only would it mean a lot to her but it did to me too. I didn't have a pattern in mind so I just started knitting. I kept knitting until I ran out of yarn (3 skeins, it was all they had in that color) and it was still a little bit too short so I turned it into an eternity scarf! I had no clue how to do it so I just took my needle and wove some strands through, tied a knot and called it done. It turned out pretty great and she loved it. It's rather bulky so she'll have to reserve it for those bitterly cold days. I told her it would be great for when she comes to visit us this winter, hint hint.
Now it's time to attempt to make patterns, wish me luck!
First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our was pretty great, pretty relaxed and chock full of boardgames. We had 2 official Thanksgiving dinners, luckily on separate days. We spent the actual holiday at my aunt and uncle's house where I got to see my cousins and their kiddos (I met a new baby cousin who is as cute as can be). We caught up, watched football, ate a lot and then retreated back to my parents house to play some games, drink some beer and have a nice night in. The next day, we cooked a giant feast for our "immediate" family which is rather gigantic these days. I made the fancy mac n' cheese and my oldest niece LOVED it. The others liked it until I spilled the beans about there being onions in it. Oops! We drank wine from our wedding (hooray, my mom surprisingly had an entire box full of Hans Fahden wine waiting for us!!), played more boardgames with everyone and enjoyed some bad jokes and good laughs. We finished the night off watching Hot Tub Time Machine with my stepdad, which is actually a rather funny movie.
My favorite part of the trip was spending time with my parents, just sitting around the table drinking coffee and chatting in the mornings. Everything was so laid back and everyone seemed to come over to us all week/weekend long. I got a lot of Mimi time in with the kids (hooray!) who are growing up way too fast. We also got the chance to see my stepbrother's awesome band play, Spirit of the Stairs. They were so good even though we couldn't see a thing!
Yesterday was an incredibly windy day but luck was on our side throughout most of our 12-hour drive back home. There was a strong south wind that pushed us right along. We were all set for arriving an hour and a half early (going the speed limit, thank you) until the highway was closed off by a bunch of cops and there were no signs directing us how to get back on to the highway we needed. Luckily we had an atlas to direct us but then we got a FLAT TIRE and that took us awhile to fix since it was dark and windy and we had to pull off into the grass to avoid death by speeding semi's. We still made it home in 12 hours and were able to watch Zombieland to recover. Oh and have I mentioned that both of us are sick?? Yeah, that's right. A trip home couldn't be complete without getting sick. Sore throat sick. Boo! So that's where I'll be today - under the covers watching movies and drinking herbal tea.
Stay tuned - a big announcement is coming to Mo Pie, Please this week and you don't want to miss it!
We're on the road right now to visit my family in Kansas and I'm so excited about it! I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! I hope it's full of delicious food and family and many things in which you are grateful for. Speaking of, here are a few I'm thankful for ::
A very warm October and November here in Chicago. Seriously, it helps make the winter a little more bearable when it doesn't start in October, ya know?
My wonderful husband who supports me in all of my hopes and dreams
My free time - there sure is an abundance of it and I'm so happy to have that to wake up to instead of my old job that I hated...
My health. This year has been 100x better than last year.
My family and friends' health. It means the world to me that we've all had a great year, especially after last.
My cat. Because he keeps me company during the day and keeps my feet warm at night.
Yesterday, it poured down rain in Chicago. Seriously, a torrential downpour occurred several times yesterday. My poor husband had to walk to the train amidst thunder and lightning while I got to lay in bed with Gus. I felt bad. But then, I got mine.
I thought it had stopped raining for the day so I decided it was okay to venture out and finally make my way down to the dreaded American Girl store to buy Christmas presents for my two favorite little girls. I really don't enjoy going there. The last time my oldest niece was in town, she had saved up her money and was ready to buy a just-like-me doll. Well that's awesome, and I was proud of her for saving money. It was 2 years ago and the temperature was 2 degrees. My mom, Bree and I went down to the store on Michigan Avenue, bundled up with only our noses exposed. We were in the store for 2 hours, lugging our coats and scarves and hats and gloves around the whole time. Needless to say, Aunt Mimi was a big traumatized by it all. Anyway, the fact that I was willing to go to the store for them really means I love them, right? Right.
So back to the story here. I go, I find what I need with the help of some employees, spend a fortune on a few things (grr) and then I'm done. Quick and painless. Until the downpour came back, and it got pitch black at 3:30 p.m. WHY?! I had decided to drive down there as far as I could, which turned out to be cheaper than taking the train. I got there in all of 15 minutes but on the way back, all hell broke loose and an hour later, I arrive at home on the verge of a meltdown. Thank God I made butterscotch cookies on Sunday. I snarfed one down, had a beer and all was better. But while I was stuck in the car not moving because traffic was at a standstill on every single street in the entire city, I just kept thinking, I sure do love those girls.
If you haven't met Natalie yet, please do so at once. I immediately fell for her daily posts with all of their charms and adorableness. She has great style and after every visit I am left with a thirst for more posts!
Here are the rules of the award::
1. Thank the person that gave it to you
2. Share seven facts about yourself
3. Choose seven blogs you love to receive the award, and be sure to let those bloggers know you gave them the award!
Seven random facts about me ::
1. My glasses/contacts prescription is -9.0. I look like a freak in my glasses and whenever I have some contest like "my eyes are so bad, I'm blind" with other people, I always win.
2. I used to smoke, I hate to admit it but I did. But then one day I decided I was done with it and quit cold turkey. I loathe cigarettes now. It's been several years now too!
3. When I was a little girl, I had my own set of golf clubs.
4. While using said golf clubs with my dad and brother one day, my dad let my brother drive the golf cart to the next hole while he walked behind us. My brother promptly put the petal to the metal, turned unexpectedly and I went flying out the side. T-r-a-u-m-a-t-i-c.
5. I went to the dentist for the first time in 5 years last week. I know you're thinking, eww, I'm disgusting. But I have "great hygiene" and only one cavity which has already been filled.
6. I had my first school solo in 7th grade. I sang part of "Colors of the Wind" and I remember it so clearly. The next year, I was told that the kids in that music class had to watch my video to learn how to sing. He he!
7. Since I've recently learned how to knit, I have the itch to learn so much more like weaving and stuff. I want to get good and be able to sell things. I seriously have some pretty good will power when it comes to certain stuff so I hope I stick with it.
So without further ado, here are the seven blogs I feel deserve this award (not an easy task) ::
1. Kristen from Just when you thought...her photos are really fantastic and her posts are very inspiring. She's seems like such a good person.
2. Heather at La Feem. Her blog is utterly stylish, enough said.
3. Michelle at Michelle Hartney. Not only are her paintings/prints/charms/etc. amazing, but she is a few months pregnant now and her weekly belly posts are so freaking cute. She is one stylin' mama-to-be!
4. Tiffany at Holiday. Tiffany's blog inspired me to have my blog banner made by Caitlin at Lark and I'm so glad I stumbled upon it. I love visiting her blog every day and reading about her little girl, Stella, her crazy pumpkin decorating competitions and all of the things that interest her or are going on in her life. She is a terrific woman and I'm glad to have "met" her.
5. Stephanie at Bird on a Wire. She has some really great taste, I tell you. Her gift guides are pretty great, she's inspired me to make some crafts and always finds the best stuff on Etsy.
6. Alivia at Alivia Thinks This. She also has great photos of her everyday life and also leaves me inspired.
7. Last but not least, Megan at Pink o'clock. Another great girl with great taste. She choose drool-worthy images for her well-written posts and I look forward to new content every day.
Season 6 was the season that I started watching Project Runway, and I instantly fell for Carol Hannah Whitfield's designs. Since her near-win on Project Runway, she has launched a bridal collection that has my heart a-flutter. I loved my wedding dress very much but if her collection would have come out around this time last year, I might have been wooed! What do you think? Were you a Carol Hannah fan or did Irina's talents sell you more?
TGIF. I feel like I don't really deserve to use that these days since I'm not working, but I still love the weekends just as much as before. So what are all of you up to this weekend? We're going to see a movie with some friends tonight and then tomorrow we've got dinner reservations with some particularly great friends at a restaurant in the neighborhood. We're following the hopefully fabulous dinner with some fabulous games and it should be nothing shy of a great time.
I've never been one for wreaths. For no reason in particular, I've just never gotten into them. But that's all changed. I don't know if its blogging - that's opened my eyes to the kinds of wreaths that are out there that stray far away from your typical one, or if it's being married and domesticated or just more grown up or what. Aren't these fantastic? I especially adore the last one - created by Laken at Farmhouse. So colorful and rustic - which means naturally I adore it!
It's not easy for me to shop for the men in my life. My brother and stepdad were always super hard for me and I am never quite sure what their true feelings about the gifts were based on their reactions. It's even harder for me to shop for the husband, who never really wants anything so he usually gets some whiskey/bourbon. Or clothes. Clothes that I like. So this guide wasn't very easy to me and if you're a guy and think I'm crazy, then go ahead and laugh. But if you laugh then you must help me think of something better.
1. Gran Turismo 5 - my husband is literally counting down the days until this is released.
So yesterday morning, I took my very first knitting class at Sister Arts Studio in Lincoln Park. I had so much fun! Over the last month and a half, I've taught myself the knitting basics by watching videos recommended to me and "Teen Cafe" on YouTube - pretty helpful once I got past the whole cast-on debacle. So since I wasn't sure if I was doing everything right and I had no clue how to read patterns, I opted for the personal project class to get some one-on-one time with an expert. Not only do I knit correctly (patting my back here) but I was praised for the progress of my project which I thought was entirely way too difficult for me to even think of starting at this point. When I decided to knit, I was inspired by this blanket pattern by Patons and thought that "easy" meant easy for someone who has no clue how to knit. BOY was I wrong! They make beginners patterns, Meagan. Remember this.
Ann at the studio helped me decipher the complicated pattern terms, taught me how to slip stitch and then guided me row by row until I could just repeat the pattern over and over again. I only had one color of yarn so it didn't have the same effect but I learned new things, made good progress, was applauded by the other knitters and gained a whole lot of confidence along the way. That's the thing about me and my mom's side of the family. If you tell us we can't do something, we're that much more determined to do it just to prove you wrong. Even though nobody told me I couldn't do it, I wasn't exactly too sure of my abilities so I pushed myself harder. It may take me all winter and spring but I'm going to complete this afghan whether my fingers fall off or not!
So not only was I completely inspired to continue knitting yesterday but thanks to Stephanie from Bird on a Wire, I found an incredible Christmas craft to make that was easy and completely my kind of style. So I immediately ran to Joanns, returned some other yarn I had bought and exchanged it for some StitchNation yarn in colors I like and I'm going to dive in to making some other stuff while I work on the blanket (thick yarn, thick needles = quick project, right?!). I also bought pinecones and after I go get this cavity filled in an hour and a half (yikes!) I'm going to get to working on the garland ::
I don't even have a fireplace! Hah!
And maybe I'll do some knitting so that I can get good enough to make something like these for a special lil' baby due in February ::
If you haven't had the chance to download it yet because you couldn't even load the site, keep trying. It's totally worth it. My friend Jonathan "Two Eyes" Schenke mastered the record and that right there is reason enough for downloading it. For free. Plus, Greg Gillis is a good dude who makes good jams, puts on good shows and is friends with good people (i.e., my friends). And did I mention IT'S FREE!?!
What are you waiting for? Go here and start jamming!
Meet Aidan, a five-year-old boy, lover of monsters, who was very recently diagnosed with Leukemia. Above are images from AidansMonstersEtsy store, where you can buy prints of his drawings. All proceeds go directly to medical bills to save Aidan's family from financial ruin.
Currently, he is being treated at Wesley hospital in Wichita, Kansas, which just happens to be the same hospital in which I was born. Luckily he is in very good hands. His family was devastated with the news of Aidan's disease in September and right around the same time that the family was expecting their second child. His father, who works at Cessna Aircraft, is able to take time off from work through the Family Leave Medical Act, however, it's unpaid time. So Aidan's aunt who lives in Peoria, Ill decided to do what she could to help out while living so far away. She turned to Etsy, opened a shop and began selling prints of Aidan's monster drawings. Since then, they have sold over 4,500 prints!
I can only imagine the toll the situation has taken on the family but from the looks of it, their spirits are kept high and the world is helping them stay afloat. The prints are being sold for $12 a piece but in order for drawing to remain fun for Aidan and due to very high demand, it takes 6-8 weeks for shipping.
It honestly impresses me so much to know that so many people have helped this family out in such a short amount of time. For the next 3 years, he'll have to undergo treatment to overcome Leukemia. The costs will add up in no time, so every last little bit will help this family defeat it and keep their little boy around who brings so much joy into their lives! Way to go, world!
To learn more about Aidan and his family, check out their blog they started and read an article about him here.
With the holidays approaching with a quickness, it's time to get serious about attire! I don't know about you, but I absolutely love getting all dolled up for at least one holiday party a year. Even if no one else does (usually someone else does). So I've compiled a nice selection of dresses I would love to wear to my next holiday party ::
What about you? Do you love dressing up for the holidays? What will you be wearing?
How cute are these little fashionistas? These furry boots really crack me up and the purple clogs really look as if she's playing dress up. It's all so very cute and I adore the models! Just another reason to love Free People!
I thought I would join in the festive fun and create my own gift guides again this year. It's so much fun to create and shop around for things. Plus, it's never too early to start Christmas shopping. Here are a few things from around the web that make my heart flutter and probably many other female hearts too!
1. Hand woven loop scarf from Secret Pocket - it's scarves like these that inspired me to learn to knit. With 5 different colors to choose from and adorable liners to boot, you can't go wrong with a gift this nice.
2. Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish in Black Russian. It screams holidays and sexiness all at once. This color would look great on any feminine hand. In fact, any of their shades would be a perfect gift.
My jade plant, the pride and joy of my plant collection for the last 5 years, is looking very sad and near death. I need help. I don't know what to do!
Last week, I noticed it was looking a little down in the dumps, so I decided it was time to repot it and try to make it feel better. I used potting soil because that's all we currently have. It's worked for me in the past but the last time I repotted this particular guy, I used half potting soil and half cactus soil to give it the combo it longed for. It's done so well for so long and it's the grandchild of a pretty old plant. So I can't bear to let it die!
Here's my dilemma. The soil I used was already sort of damp because it had been on our back porch for awhile. I thought it would dry up though. It hasn't. Today was the first day I went to check on it since I repotted it around this time last week. The soil is still very wet. When I removed it from the pot, several of the branches just fell off. Another one had fallen off on its own and I already repotted the others. Their soil has dried up though. I just don't get it! I fear that if I go to re-repot, that the big branches will rip off and I'll be left with nothing. Any ideas? Suggestions? Anything?
I feel so attached to the little guy.
In other plant-related news, the jade that has become my husband's pride and joy is thriving.
This weekend it rained and rained and rained and I liked it. A lot. It made staying inside all weekend long totally worth it. The sun didn't come out much except during the Bears game and I mean really, who would want to go outside when the Bears are winning?
The weekend was everything my good sir needed. Like I said above, we didn't leave the house except for stepping across the street to stick a Netflix movie in the mailbox and going to Walgreens to restock our beer collection.
Good sir made some delicious food. We watched good movies and good TV. We played Scrabble (with beer, which prompted a certain someone to hit the scrabble board thus rendering the current game over. I won by default which is hilarious because he was totally winning by a landslide)
Taken from my high school friend Ali's blog, Gimme Some Oven, we improvised to make it work from what we had and what I can eat. We were fresh out of almonds (that's a lie, we never have almonds) so we used pecans. We were fresh out of chicken (an even bigger lie, we've never had chicken in our house and I haven't eaten chicken in over 6 years) so we used seitan but we DID have spinach, hoorah! It turned out delicious and I highly recommended you giving it a try.
The weather is supposed to turn back to normal for this time of year so I imagine we'll be having a pretty laid back weekend. The mister has been working like mad and he promised me that last night was the end of that for awhile. I hope he wasn't lying because I would love to just be able to make some food with him or snuggle on the couch and watch one of our Netflix movies we've had for a month now.
What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you get some laughs in. These mustaches on Gus and my old cat Nebbie really crack me up! Enjoy your two days of rest and relaxation, friends!
Yesterday, I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood to enjoy the last few remaining warm days until spring. Seriously, it's been warm here in Chicago as of late.
I got a new app on my phone called FXCamera and I love all of the features. I set it to random for the toy camera mode and it resulted in some pretty cool pics! I love the view of the sky from my window - I took those photos around 3:45. It gets dark way too early now for my enjoyment but at least the sunset has been pretty.
Just thought I'd share these with you. Hope you're all enjoying your Fridays!