Gift tags, socks, party planning and cute Christmas trucks

Last weekend I made gift tags from last years Christmas cards. They turned out really cute. I blogged about this last year. But I still love this idea, it’s resourceful, recycling and cuteness all rolled into one.

gift tags

I finished my son’s socks that I was working on. Remember how I told you I picked the yarn out 5 years ago? It felt really good to finish them up last weekend!! I tried to take a photo of them. Here they are and then he took off!!!


We’ve gotten to visit Ft. Worth for the first time recently and I have to say it is a fun place. Lots to see and do and eat – even if you are the littlest of hipsters!


We’ve decided to have our New Year’s Party again and so my mind has been in party planning mode. I think this year I’m going to keep it more simple than last year but we are going to have a children’s toast again this year. We had a toast for the kids a few hours early thinking some people would want to go home early with their kids but everyone stayed!
We did a balloon drop and bubble wrap pop at around 9 pm. It was tons of fun. I couldn’t believe how long it took the kids to pop the bubbles!  I thought they would all be popped in seconds!


I brought out a big sheet of bubble wrap and we did a count down.  At the same time we dropped balloons down on them and they got to jump up and down on the bubble wrap.  It was a fun time so I’d definitely like to do it again!!

And last but not least, I received the cutest ornament at a recent ornament exchange and ironically it was something that has been on my brain lately.


This is my favorite cute symbol of Christmas time.  I had even found cookie cutters that you could order.  And I also saw the cutest red truck in our hometown Christmas parade.  Funny how things get stuck in your head and then you see them everywhere!
So what holiday thoughts are swirling around in your head?



How To Tackle A Warehouse Sale

Last week I went to the annual Quiozel factory warehouse sale. It is a two-day event held once a year. I first realized this warehouse existed two years ago after I had ordered two light fixtures for my dining room from either Joss & Main or One Kings Lane. I received the package via UPS before I even received the e-mail notice saying my order had been shipped. Turns out the Quiozel warehouse is in a neighboring town. Then I heard about their warehouse sale in a local commercial.

Over the last two years we’ve pretty much replaced all of the light fixtures in our house, so we didn’t need much, but I thought I’d check out the sale anyway. The place was a madhouse. I had to park a couple of blocks away and walk the long way around the warehouse to find the entrance, over the hill, through the swamp, and around the television truck. Really! Seriously, I just about ruined my favorite pair of shoes when I stepped in some very soggy ground, so I highly advise wearing comfortable all-weather shoes to these things.


Grab the first cart or set of wheels you find, even if it’s in the parking lot. Hopefully, you’ll need it.

Be prepared to be completely overwhelmed by the amount of things to look at. The Tiffany style lamps and chandeliers grabbed my attention, but I didn’t buy because they just don’t fit my style. In fact, I should have remembered from two years ago that there really wasn’t much to choose from that would work in my house. I was only lucky enough to grab two mirrors and three outdoor lights last time.


I think it’s probably best to take a friend who can help you run items to the holding area. Quiozel supplies open boxes as big as pallets where people can put things while they shop. It looks like warehouse employees supervise the area, but I’d still rather have someone guarding my loot. After you pay, the warehouse guys will deliver your pallet to your car when you pull around to the loading dock. Nifty.


Of course, you have to wait in line first. I don’t know how long that took because I didn’t buy anything this time. Shoot! Prices ranged from $10 to $220. I think that worked out to be about 25% of the original price.


I can see where this would be lots of fun and a huge savings if you are completely remodeling your house, or maybe a contractor or landlord. I’d go there just to stock up. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a warehouse sale, I highly recommend that you review the company’s products online. It may not be the exact same stuff that is available at the sale, but at least you’ll have a sense of the type and style of products they sell. I also think the styles at the warehouse sale were a few years old, so be aware of that. It really seemed like a waste of time for me, especially when I thought I ruined my favorite shoes and didn’t even buy anything. It turns out my shoes are okay. I know you were worried about that! No sale is worth ruining a pair of shoes!

Have you had any experience with warehouse sales? Do you think they are worth the hype or hassle?



Food Photography

foodpic2I really enjoy baking and gardening.  This summer I had my first Texas garden and I really enjoyed it.  I had a very prolific cherry tomato plant that gave me fresh tomatoes almost daily.  As far as baking goes I’ve finally found a biscuit recipe that I like and I’ve enjoyed making freshly baked biscuits whenever the need arises.  So I’ve found that as I’ve enjoyed both of these hobbies they’ve also lead to another enjoyment and that is of taking pictures of the objects that both hobbies produce, no pun intended!

The eggplants above weren’t grown in my garden but came from my local farmer’s market.  I had never seen baby eggplant and they were so beautiful that I had to take them home and see what I could do with them.  I ended up making an appetizer with them but I thought that they were so perfect that they needed to be photographed on their own before they were made into something else.

Also, you can see the cherry tomatoes I mentioned.  In July I could have taken this same photograph daily, as my tomato plant was loaded with dozens of these rosy orbs. I’m glad I did take these photographs because they bring me enjoyment even now as we roll in to fall.  I can appreciate the taste of summer through them. But I also love that they are not only a memory of a yummy treat or delicious salad but in and of themselves they are beautiful subjects worthy on their own as works of art.

So through my appreciation of food I have come to find a love of food photography.  I love the way it shows everyday objects, things we take for granted, on an elevated scale.  Through photos we can savor and appreciate the taste and sustenance these foods bring in an almost holistic way.

Photographer Katie Davies first made me take notice of this art through her photographs and since then I’ve taken notice whenever I see food photographs in books or magazines.  How are the shots composed?  What message are they trying to deliever? How do these photos make me feel?  They help me to appreciate art in the everyday.

Have you taken photos of your food?  Do tell.