Monday, October 31, 2011

grateful {no. 37}

234. birthday cake ((in its various forms))

235. a friend who is willing to dog sit for the weekend

236. love that appears in the mailbox ((cards + packages))

237. finding mustard yellow tights for $5 at Target

238. fixing our heating system ourselves + saving $$$

239. time away in the mountains of New Hampshire

240. fires in the fireplace

241. simple meals in the crock pot

242. time to read a book and attempt corchet

243. nap time


birthday giveaway {winners}

Again, I'd like to thank handmade shop owners
for their generosity in last week's birthday giveaway series. 

...the winners are:

birthday giveaway {1}

birthday giveaway {2}

birthday giveaway {3}

Please email me in the next 48 hours and I'll get you hooked up with your prizes :)
Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

fall to-do list {followers fest}

Welcome new readers + old readers alike!  I'm excited to join Casey, Illy, Jess and Danielle for October Followers Fest today!  You can check out the many many links from their sweet blogs.

Since fall is my favorite season and we live in New England, known for its picturesque colorful fall leaves and scenery, I try to take advantage of the many things the region has to offer ((but having lived in six other states I know most places have fun autumnal festivities)).  Every year, I intend to visit an orchard to get pumpkins and apples.  I also love heating up apple cider with mulling spices to make our house smell good.  Those are just a few of my fall traditions.  Who doesn't love baking with or smelling baked apples and pumpkins?!

It's time to talk about our fall to-do list and its progress.
I've already blogged about several of these to-dos, but here are the links ((in case you haven't seen them yet)).  We visited a New England apple orchard on an unseasonably warm day, I baked this super easy recipe for pumpkin crisp, made a festive fall wreath for the front door, and decorated the mantle with leaf garland ((pictured below)) and many other pretties.
I created my leaf garland using this tutorial I found via Pinterest.  I also completed the 30 for 30 challenge in September.  Don't worry, I have a handle on New Hampshire and plan to learn to crochet in coming weeks...so we're getting there!

What's left on your fall to-do list?

((And don't forget to enter the birthday giveaways herehere and here.))

Thursday, October 27, 2011

thirty things {update}

The year of being thirty has come and gone...and I have to say it wasn't so bad.  It was a great year for me ((and my husband and dog)).  But I wanted to give an update on the thirty things challenge I made for myself over a year ago.
via

Last year, I was feeling kind of down about turning thirty.  Not because it was the end of an era or I was getting old, but to keep myself motivated to try new things.  So, I made a list of things I wanted to while I was thirty.  Throughout the year, I accomplished a lot of my goals ((about half)), but I decided I'm going to keep it up ((thanks to some encouragement from friends)).
I'm also adding a few things to the list that were not on it, but seem to be accomplishments for the year.
-buy a home ((gulp, I still can't believe we did this))
-trade our car in for a hybrid  ((I'm so thankful we made this choice))
-learn to tear down a wall made of plaster and install drywall ((while I wouldn't say I can do this on my own, I'm certainly more knowledgeable home renovation than I was a year ago))
-Prezi ((if you have never heard of this, consider yourself lucky, it's like PowerPoint but souped up))

And I'm adding a few things I want to challenge myself to learn/do in the coming year:
-learn to crochet
-visit Cape Cod with my husband ((he's never been and has lived in MA for six years))
-use less plastic ((reusable bags for more than shopping))
-complete our kitchen renovation

{And for my progress, you can check this page, which I'll keep updating.}

Do you challenge yourself to learn/do new things?

PS- Don't forget to enter the birthday giveaways here, here and here, they'll be open until Sunday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

birthday giveaway {3}

Today is the third and final giveaway for this week's birthday series and there are four shops included!
Meet Caroline of Cotton Lane
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I have been in the handmade biz for about a year and a half now.. off & on. I LOVE creating relationships through my blog & twitter and being able to ship off orders that have been made by my hands. Its kind of cool to think about: people all over the world can have Cotton Lane products in their hands!
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I LOVE going to the pumpkin patch, sipping on apple cider, and getting cozy in my over-sized sweaters, skinny jeans & boots.

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city is probably Denver, CO. There's so much culture AND its right by the mountains. What more could you ask for??

Meet Jen of Rellas Bellas
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I'm a dreamer, a coffee lover, a cupcake addict, a navy spouse, a mama to my baby Khloe {fur baby} and I am positively obsessed with accessories! Earrings, belts, necklaces, hair baubles— I can't get enough! I started making handmade accessories at the beginning of January {2011} to showcase my creativity, and because I feel that the right accessories have the ability to take an every-day outfit to the next level, it seemed only fitting for this to be my main focus. I specialize in creating accessories that transform a “Plain Jane” outfit into a sassy and chic ensemble for both ladies and babies. I love wearing handmade not only because each piece tells its own story, but also because I know that someone has put their heart & soul into every aspect of the product’s existence.
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
My favorite thing to do in October is making and eating {drinking too} anything pumpkin! I am obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. I love making pumpkin pancakes on a Saturday morning and then watching college football {GO BLUE!}. I love Fall foods: crock pot cooking, casseroles, squash, and soups, yummy!

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city would have to be a tie between San Francisco and Seattle. I love the vibe both cities have! What I especially love about SF is everyone is so excepting of everyone. They don't think anything is crazy or weird, they embrace individuality! I've been visiting SF regularly for over 10 years and fall in love with it more after each visit. Seattle is such a fun city to explore, and who doesn't love a morning at Pike's Place Farmer's Market?? I love the sense of community in Seattle. In the summer Seattle is by far one of the most beautiful cities to visit and explore.

Meet Jacqui from Craftee McGee
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I opened my shop in August of 2009 but I sold my first necklace at a craft show in 5th grade. There were rainbow seed beads involved. My favorite thing by far about having a handmade business is the community. I have made real and lasting relationships with people because of the business I own. I also love interacting with the people who will wear the things I make, whether it be via email or in person at a craft show.
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
Oh that's a hard one! October is a great month! It contains my hubby's birthday, the anniversary of when we started dating and our wedding anniversary, plus apple cider, the world series and pumpkins. I love it all, but my favorite is taking a walk and crunching in the fallen leaves. 

Tell us about your favorite city.
It's a toss up between Chicago and London, but I think Chicago wins. Part of it is that it will always feel like home, but there is just so much to love about Chicago! The history, the museums, the people, the neighborhoods, the pizza, Wrigley Field, the sports teams, the hot dogs, the architecture, the lake, the skyline, the change of seasons, I love it all, even the winter!

Meet Cory of Sorelle Accessories
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?

I have been making/creating handmade arts and crafts for as long as I can remember and LOVE to do it....but I have only been featuring/selling items on Etsy since July 2010. It keeps my mind fresh and creative and is manageable while I work full time as a High School Art teacher.


What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I LOVE to get up to see the Aspen Leaves change in the Colorado "high" country...and also pumpkin spice lattes :)

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city is Florence! I am an Art History teacher and am in love with the "romance" of this timeless city. I consistently have dreams of eating "amarretti gelati" and sipping warm, foamy "cappucinos"! I can't wait to go back!!!


Today's giveaway includes:
>>$15 shop credit from Cotton Lane
>>a rellas rosies necklace in any color from RellasBellas
>>$20 shop credit to Craftee McGee
>>50% off  any item of your choice from Sorelle Accessories
How to enter:
Visit Cotton Lane, Rellas Bellas, Craftee McGee and Sorelle Accessories tell me your favorite item from each shop in a comment below.

For more entries:
((leave a separate comment for each))
-follow Caroline, Jen, Jacqui and me on Twitter ((one entry))
-like Cotton Lane Craftee McGee and dot...in the city on Facebook ((one entry))
-heart RellasBellas, Craftee McGee and Sorelle Accessories on Etsy ((one entry))
-tweet, blog or facebook this giveaway and leave the link ((up to three entries))

{tweet sample}
I'm celebrating @dotinthecity's birthday with a giveaway from @cotton_lane, @crafteemcgee @bellarellajen tinyurl.com/6xabxyj

The giveaway winners will be announced on Monday, October 31st!
{all photos used by permission and provided by the shop owners}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

birthday giveaway {2}

Today, I'm thrilled to share this giveaway with you because I actually own something ((or multiple things)) from each shop!  Meg, Rachel and Cory are such fun women I've met and I can't wait for you to meet them.

Meet Megan from Pretties by Meg
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I have been a part of the handmade business for 3 years come January (hard to believe!!) My favorite thing about it is the sense of community among handmade artists. I have met so many amazing women & they have been such a source of encouragement and inspiration!
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I absolutely LOVE fall in Michigan!! My favorite thing to do is go to the cider mill and enjoy some fresh cinnamon sugar donuts & apple cider. I also enjoy taking scenic drives to take in the breathtaking fall colors!!

Tell us about your favorite city.
Wow, that a great (not to mention tough) question! Outside the States, Cinque Terre, although it's more of a place than a city - it's made up of five small villages along the Italian Riviera. Absolutely breathtaking, and so peaceful because it is still not widely known about. Inside the States, probably Chicago. We usually travel there at least twice a year and I always leave wanting to move there. San Diego is close behind though (for the perfect weather year-round & gorgeous scenery!) Right now, I want desperately to visit Portland and Charleston, I have a feeling I would fall in love with both of these cities.

Meet Rachel from Cucuco
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I have been in the handmade business since spring of 2009. The business school was really building up my creative frustration and I needed an outlet! Making handmade things and blogging have since done wonders for me. I love it. I really just love making pretty things, there's something wonderful about it. So, being able to make pretty things for other people is a dream come true! :)
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I love just BEING in October. Everything about October, I love. The changing colors on the trees, everything apple and cider and everything pumpkin. It's such a fun time of the year!

Tell us about your favorite city.
I love Portland. I grew up just outside of Portland and can't wait to live there someday. It's just so simple, yet there are so many secrets throughout the city. There are so many cute shops and good places to eat. And the people are the sweetest!

Meet Cory from Sorelle Accessories

How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I have been making/creating handmade arts and crafts for as long as I can remember and LOVE to do it....but I have only been featuring/selling items on Etsy since July 2010. It keeps my mind fresh and creative and is manageable while I work full time as a High School Art teacher
What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I LOVE to get up to see the Aspen Leaves change in the Colorado "high" country...and also pumpkin spice lattes :)

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city is Florence! I am an Art History teacher and am in love with the "romance" of this timeless city. I consistently have dreams of eating "amarretti gelati" and sipping warm, foamy "cappucinos"! I can't wait to go back!!!

Today's giveaway includes:
>> Falling Leaves Earrings from Pretties by Meg
>> $15 shop credit from Cucuco
>> 50% off ANY item from Sorelle Accessories
How to enter:
Visit Pretties by MegCucuco and Sorelle Accessories and tell me your favorite item from each shop in a comment below.

For more entries:
((leave a separate comment for each))
-follow Meg, Rachel and me on Twitter ((one entry))
-like Pretties by Meg and Cucuco on Facebook ((one entry))
-heart Pretties by Meg, Sorelle Accessories and Cucuco on Etsy ((one entry))
-like dot...in the city on Facebook ((one entry))
-tweet, blog or facebook this giveaway and leave the link ((up to three entries))

{tweet sample} 
I'm celebrating @dotinthecity's birthday with this giveaway from @prettiesbymeg and @rachelnishida + more http://tinyurl.com/3foctdf
The giveaway winner will be announced on Monday, October 31st!
{all photos used by permission and provided by the shop owners}

Monday, October 24, 2011

birthday giveaway {1}

Today, I have a special treat for you. I thought it would be fun to share the love on my birthday and host a series of giveaways. Each day will feature up to three handmade shops.
Meet Melissa of SoChick Handbags
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it? I started SoChick! in August of 2010, but first taught myself the art of bag making in early 2008, via blogs, books and google. I love being able to share my passion with others whether it's through an item i've made that they in turn use, or sharing my knowledge of sewing. I love the handmade community from artists to consumers.
What's your favorite thing to do in October? Being in coastal NC, October doesn't exactly 'feel' like fall, so I enjoy decorating with mums and Halloween themed items to get the Fall 'feel' going. :-) When I lived back home in Sleepy Hollow, NY, October was all about Haunted Hayrides, apple picking and football... so I enjoy what I can of that here in NC. Read: Football. *wink*

Tell us about your favorite city. My favorite city that I have been to would have to be Savannah, GA... with Vegas coming in a close second for various reasons. I love the architecture, history, traditions and 'front porch feel' of Savannah, GA... it's a beautiful city and I can't wait to visit again.

Ms. Megan of Moonbeam Wishes

How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I opened up MY SHOP about a year and a half ago, but I have been making cards and giving them with gifts + birthdays forever. I love the little handmade touch and letting people know you care by writing something small and heartfelt on paper. I love handmade products! I love hearing peoples tales and seeing their ideas come to life.

What's your favorite thing to do in October?I love baking in the Fall more than any other time of the year!!! I always break out my PUMPKIN BREAD RECIPE and cook this up several times in October!! I never make it any other months, because it is just such a fall recipe and it should be reserved for October (and in November too!!). I also love to watch fun Halloween films like Hocus Pucus, The Monster Mash and When Good Ghouls Go Bad.

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city is a place that is on my bucket list of places I want to visit:: Dublin, Ireland. I have read many a book about this magical place and it seems to be the perfect place for adventures + magic!!!

Meet Cory of Sorelle Accessories
How long have you been in the handmade business? What's your favorite thing about it?
I have been making/creating handmade arts and crafts for as long as I can remember and LOVE to do it....but I have only been featuring/selling items on Etsy since July 2010. It keeps my mind fresh and creative and is manageable while I work full time as a High School Art teacher

What's your favorite thing to do in October?
I LOVE to get up to see the Aspen Leaves change in the Colorado "high" country...and also pumpkin spice lattes :)

Tell us about your favorite city.
My favorite city is Florence! I am an Art History teacher and am in love with the "romance" of this timeless city. I consistently have dreams of eating "amarretti gelati" and sipping warm, foamy "cappucinos"! I can't wait to go back!!!


Today's giveaway includes:
>>$30 shop credit to SoChick!
>>This set of note cards from Moonbeam Wishes
>>50% off ANY item of your choice from Sorelle Accessoies


How to enter:

Visit SoChick! Handbags, Moonbeam Wishes and Sorelle Accessories  and tell me your favorite item from each shop in a comment.

For more entries:
((leave a separate comment for each))
-follow Melissa, Megan and me on Twitter ((one entry))
-like SoChick! on Facebook ((one entry))
-heart Sorelle Accessories and Moonbeam Wishes on Etsy ((one entry))
-like dot...in the city on Facebook ((one entry))
-tweet, blog or facebook this giveaway and leave the link ((up to three entries))

{sample tweet}
I'm celebrating @dotinthecity's birthday with giveaways from @moonbeamwishes and @thesochickchick http://tinyurl.com/3sancnc

The giveaway winners will be announced on Monday, October 31st!
{all photos used by permission and provided by the shop owners}

Sunday, October 23, 2011

words {to live by}

I often beat myself up for the things I say and do, as well as those I don't say and do.  I catch myself replaying moments in my head and analyzing how I should have handled a situation differently.  While it's important to consider how I can react more appropriately, I can't spend my life thinking about what's already happened and what I should have said or done.

As I've said before, I need to think on the good things and so I want to surround myself with good things.  I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to beautiful quotes.  These words remind me of who I should aim to be, rather than what the world often tells me what I am.  They're not only beautiful prints/images to look at, but their words have beautiful meaning.
via
via
via
What words are you choosing to live by today?

Friday, October 21, 2011

little things {around the house}

This week has been another busy one with packed schedules, though not as chaotic as the last two weeks ((read: we had more than one evening home together)).  But I made a conscious effort to note the 'little things' that made the week special for me and the mister.

-watching college football with my husband

-an early birthday present from my aunt of peony bulbs and planning a garden in the backyard. We're going to add daffodil bulbs too.

-spending time with a friend while running errands.  I love friends who can bring joy to the most mundane tasks like going to Target on a Saturday ((gulp)).

-impromptu Sunday night dinner guests.  There's this couple from church who we have only hung out with twice now and every time we do it's like we've been friends forever...such a blessing!

-new blinds in the living room and a curtain rod ((both purchased with a gift card the mister won from work)).  The change makes our living room much more cozy feeling ((and will hopefully keep it warmer)).

-watching our play dog in the backyard on a perfect fall afternoon.  Isn't he precious?

-this was my last full week of being thirty and even though my 30 things list won't be complete when I turn 31 on Monday, I still feel incredibly blessed by all that occurred in my life in the past year.

I'm joining Lindsay's Little Things Link Up ((and loving the people I meet every week I join in))!
Aisle to Aloha


...and coming next week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 things thursday {sweet things}

This is my first week to link up with Abbie of Five Days...5 Ways. She has a great blog about thrifting clothing ((one of my favorite past-times)) and more.  The theme for this week's post is "sweet things."

{1} I wore the same scarf & boots three days in a row earlier this week.  Oh, and the earrings.  It's a pretty SWEET combo...and I will certainly be repeating it more this season ((hopefully not multiple days in a row though)).
{2} I put together a SWEET photo album on our Facebook page for dinner recipes I've shared on the blog...keep it in mind when you're looking for some dinner inspiration ((there are even a few vegetarian options and more will be coming)).  Check it out!

{3} Speaking of recipes, I've been trying a few from blogland.  Two faves of the week include ((and they do contain sugar)): scarecrow crunch via Pinterest & caramel apple cake from Rouge & Whimsy

{4} I could live on SWEET potatoes. They are my favorite 'meal for 1.'  During the evenings when my husband has class, I can hardly resist the urge to make a baked sweet potato for my dinner.  I discovered the beauty of the baked sweet potato before I was married and it became one of my staple meals.  If you've never tried it, may I suggest picking up a medium sweet potato ((or whatever size you think would make a decent meal-- no judgement here)).
-simply rinse it under cool water and rub it off to remove any dirt
-then grab a fork to poke it about 5-7 times ((this allows steam to escape as it cooks))
-place in microwave safe dish/bowl and nuke for about 6 minutes ((depending on size))
-check the 'doneness' of the potato by poking your fork into it
-it's done when your fork easily slides all the way to the center
-top with butter/margarine, salt and pepper ((or however you like))

{5} You know what else is SWEET?!  Seeing all multiple orange boxes/bags of seasonal goodness in the pantry.  I love all things pumpkin flavored and candy corn ((just to name a few)).

What are the {sweet things} in your life this week?
five days five ways | 5 Things Thursday

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

autumn wedding {rachel + jon}

This post is a bit overdue, but I'm so thrilled to share these gorgeous photos and share a bit of Rachel & Jon's story with you.  Rachel is a dear friend of mine who I met when I moved to Boston.  She's credited with introducing me to my husband, so being part of her marriage celebration was very special.
Their October 1st wedding was complete with lovely New England autumn details. Scot Huber captured so many of their special moments perfectly and I highly recommend stalking his blog for more beautiful wedding photos ((if you're in the mood)).  Thankfully he gave me permission to use a few of his photos here because the ones my husband and I snapped don't do their day justice. I hope you enjoy these lovely details!

getting ready...
the ceremony...
outdoor photos...
the reception...
The pinwheel ((above)) made from a book page came to be the packaging topper on the favors for all the guests.  You see, Rachel loves to bake and found this recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait and couldn't resist baking it.  You'll never guess who she fed it to...
...and they lived happily ever after.

credits...
photography: Scotland Huber of Give & Take Pictures ((check it out for even more photos))
fabric bridal bouquet + bridesmaids' bouquets: AutumnArt
apple pies: Smolak Farms
reception venue: Chester's at Bell Tower