adding a little joy

through a lot of d.i.y. fun

bag it up.

Wednesday is my errand day, so I ran over to my nearest JCPenney hoping to find the curtains that I *need* that are out of stock online.  (Nope, gonna have to make more trips to more stores)

Instead, I was completely side-lined as usual by the accessories department!  While I really miss their previous “no-coupon” policy that they abandoned, I am still absolutely loving all the low-cost designer collections they developed when they redid the stores, most of all the LULU by Lulu Guinness line.  Although Jonathan Adler lamp, get in my house.


I am not super great about keeping up on fashion.  Basically, if it doesn’t show up on the Fashionista blog or on one of my favorite style bloggers posts, I have no idea it exists.  So I hadn’t known about Lulu Guinness before.  Which is probably good because I’d be broke from buying amazing bags from her full-price line, although I still might be depending on how many I get from the discount line.

The lady herself (Daily Mail)

The lady herself (Daily Mail)

I am now in love with this woman.  Humor and class (like that amazingly ridiculous and ridiculously amazing dress) in the same package is very important to me.  Every piece she designs is so colorful and cheeky, but still lady-like with classic form.  It’s just another drop in the bucket in my very real anglophilia.  Look, even their promotion video is all about London, which makes me even more all about London right now (Sherlock marathon will do that to a person).

Also, she’s just as obsessed with sweeties as I am.  I think I like looking at candy more than eating it, and that’s saying a lot.  She posted on her blog her most recent collection with the sweet shop imagery that inspired it as well as a candy collaboration coming up (but U.K. only, sad face).


My first purchase was a perfect white-and-black mini clutch that is now my everyday wallet.  But I’ve missed having a grey handbag.  Or are the ice cream cones best for summer?  The Emerald Road (yes, that’s the color name) crossbody would be great for work but maybe I need a flower-covered tote to hold everything I need…

And this is the problem.


Thanks Jonathan Adler display for totally rocking my blog colors (Anytime I see yellow + gray together now, that’s what I think).


If I don’t get one of the bags shown above, I will just have to settle for this beauty from ASOS.  Or one of the ones Modcloth keeps reminding me is on sale…

in the details

This is truly a post made out of necessity.  Meaning, if the hubs goes to pick up his glass one more time from our old coasters… and the coaster stays attached to the glass, he’s going to throw the thing across the room.  We got a set of bamboo coasters when we moved in together a few years ago, but they definitely have taken some wear and tear.  Also, if I want beautiful photos of any drinks I concoct for the blog, I better have something nice to set them on too!

So to the internets!  Here are some of my favorites that I’m just waiting for the right coupon to grab.


I love projects with slate tiles, they remind me of all the ways we saw it used in Seattle. These coasters from West Elm are a more portable version of that, and even encourage a bit of personalization since you can write on them with chalk.  I love how these from Anthropologie take a classy marble base but nerds it up with some periodic-table style. But I would love the way these would coordinate with our placemats from Crate and Barrel.

coastersdiyStill, it would be more fun to DIY something.  These mini-pallets make me laugh, which is always step one in me having to have something.  And it’s quite a high-end look for the lowly popsicle stick.  I don’t know how practical these felt ball ones from Inspired by Charmwould be, but any excuse to play with wool.  Some how these citrus coasters have stayed in my imagination for almost 3 years since Purl Bee originally posted them, but maybe that’s because they are perfectly suited to the Florida sunshine.  And the only thing I love more than wool yarn or wool roving, is wool felt!  See how I’m not perfectly suited to the Florida sunshine?

I actually already have some coasters we made on a cruise, just waiting for stain… if I ever find them again after the move.  Silly camp crafting using balsa wood picture frames and mosaic tiles can actually be quite cute with the right pattern and stain.  Making them was really fun, especially watching 30 adults bargain for different color tiles as part of arts’n’crafts.

In the meantime, I think I might go raid the Oh Joy! display at Target for some party napkins to protect our tables and make dinnertime more like party time.

cocktail time

Any of our friends can tell you, we have an embarrassingly large bar.  In our old place, it took up two hutches.  We’ve now repurposed our IKEA Expedit 2×4 as a bar instead of a sofa table and it fills the whole thing with some bottles left over on the kitchen counter.  How could we possibly have so much booze?

Well, we don’t really.  Because the bar is more than just vodka and whiskey.  I cannot resist an interesting liqueur or a new kind of gluten-free beer(it’s a hard search for the best one).  Also, we always have on hand cans or bottles of soda, so they stay as bubbly as possible.  Look for future posts as I start to experiment with our soda stream!

These non-alcoholic mixers and add-ins are absolutely key to delicious drinks, as key as high quality alcohol.  To start, I thought I’d share some of my favorites!


1.  Ok, technically this isn’t a favorite yet, but it’s on its way to us and I cannot wait!  The second I saw these featured on Furbish I knew I had to have them!  Each mixer is designed for a specific alcohol to make an instant craft cocktail, these two specifically for vodka and gin, the standbys in our house.  While I love going to a bar and getting a cocktail with housemade syrups and herbal infusions, I just can’t do that at home some nights.  Your Older Brother is for vodka, adding fir and citrus (and I love me some pine/fir/juniper flavors).  The Filthy Liar is for gin, dirtying up exoctic lychee with clove and rosemary.  A sprig of rosemary as a garnish and you are ready to relax in style!

2.  I truly can’t remember Moscow Mules (vodka+ginger beer+lime) before Fevertree Ginger Beer.  It’s so spicy!  At first it’s strange that it’s cloudy with sediment on the bottom til you realize that is real actual ginger in your bottle.  When is that time you saw that in a bottle of Seagram’s?  I only feel bad that we go through it so quickly and a bottle of Reed’s from the grocery store just isn’t the same.  Maybe I’ll have to have a direct taste test soon? (can we make a Ginger party a thing?)

3. This whole post was inspired by picking up Jack Rudy‘s tonic syrup.  I had seen it featured on other blogs and almost jumped for joy when I saw it at our local Crate and Barrel before hotfooting it to the register.  It intimidated me a bit and sat on our bar, still looking gorgeous in it’s apothecary-inspired bottle.  But then I downloaded my weekly Alton Browncast, and there was Jack Rudy (well, actually Brooks Reitz, founder of Jack Rudy and great-grand son of the company’s namesake).  Alton Brown’s straight forward recipe of 1 jigger gin + 1/2 jigger tonic syrup, add soda, emboldened me to try it out that night.  SO DELICIOUS!   Great with Justin’s vodka tonic as well.  And I’ll admit, I took a little taste of the straight syrup (it spilled!) and I am now obsessed with the idea of making some tonic sorbet.

There are so many other hidden treasures of our bar (unusual sodas are another constant impulse buy) so I will do more round-ups in the future (once I come up with a more clever name).  The husband joked that we definitely needed a cocktail feature on the blog if only to work through some of the supply!  Til next happy hour…

HELLO I'm Liz, a lifelong crafter living in sunny paradise while dreaming of the Pacific Northwest. I'm here to share my adventures in making every day a reason for celebration with special details and inspiration I find along the way. I hope you find something to try, something to share, something that makes you smile.   THANKS