oh, hello friend Holiday Social (and community)


When I lived in little ol’ Asheville, North Carolina, the art and crafting community was huge and apparent. It was one of things I truly loved about Asheville and missed when I moved back to the commercialized O.C.

Since moving to my new neighborhood though, I’ve found a fantastic little community with old timey antique shops and downtowns, farmers’ markets, from scratch bakeries, and people like Natalie from The Sunshine Grove, The Makery, and my newest find, oh, hello friend.

Last week, oh, hello friend hosted a holiday social at their shop in Downtown Fullerton.

Downtown Fullerton is dreamy by day with its tree-lined streets, several antique shops, salons, bakery, and coffee shops. Previously, I had only come for the college nightlife scene.

We made cards and tattooed ornaments.

I snagged a couple of $5 jewelry grab bag. I kept these and gave the others to my kids.

They had so many items to be coveted.

I treated myself to this mug:

How do you get involved with the blogging, crafting, or baking community in your area?

MIMM: Freedom! (and Nicki’s Birthday)

FREEDOM! …for 2 weeks.

The day was spent trying to/pretending to teach the kids something but half the time they made cards and ornaments.

Our science teacher, Nicki, had the kids make borax (with pipe cleaner) ornaments. I made a couple too.

We made it almost halfway and it’s a huge accomplishment. I am glad to have shared the last few months with great people.

Friday was start to our holiday break and to celebrate, my co-workers and I headed to lunch and to grab a couple of beers. I was pretty excited to get our shy co-worker to come as well. All of us admitted to falling asleep pretty early after that.

On Saturday, we got together again to celebrate Nicki’s 34th birthday.

We ate tons of delicious food (from Bootlegger’s) and painted.

This is probably my best painting yet! It even got space in a main room in the house and not the “garage gallery.”

I cannot wait for the freedom and adventures over the holiday break! Stay tuned.

What are you doing over the holiday “break,” if you have one?

Am I really a “healthy living blogger?” (Holiday Crafting, Baking, & Gifting)


I’m a healthy living blogger. At least that’s what the business cards I ordered say.

What does that mean? Balance.

Lately, I’ve posted about cookie swaps, craft events, blogger meetups (food bloggers and general blogging), and today’s post is about holiday gifting.

So after some thinking, I decided that I can still be a healthy living blogger. How? This is all a part of finding balance and living life healthier.

Crafting is healthy and therapeutic, as is baking. Joy the Baker found a post that supports this theory. If you read this post, no wonder I picked it up in 2010 when I was anorexic/exercise bulimic and depressed.

Crafting and baking yield something satisfying, almost immediately.

Giving breeds happiness. See, it’s #4.

So I mixed them up and for the holidays, I crafted and “baked” my way to holiday gifting.

Cake batter chocolate bark Everyone will want these so make a few extra batches. Take care and don’t rush because you’ll burn the white chocolate, fail to let the white chocolate melt and glue onto the dark chocolate, and the sprinkles will fall off. I used Ghirardelli (2 bags for $5).

DIY Sharpie initial mug I used Sharpie paint pens! Michaels always has a ridiculously good coupon. The mug was $2 from Michaels too!

Ceramic tile coasters This was a 5AM project. It took an hour to Mod Podge. Then I went to work and came home to put on the EnviroTex seal… now they have to dry for 72 hours?! I used paper from Paper Source that I got from a co-worker.

Cards I’ve never had personalized cards made. I usually go and pick out the best one.

When I had more time (at TJ Maxx)…

When I was in a crunch and Target’s selection was lacking…

Gift wrap I never quite plan ahead enough for gift wrap so I just pick the best ones at the store. I look for quality paper (TJ Maxx and Marshalls have good ones) because I hate struggling with ripped paper.

Other gifts: chocolates from Trader Joe’s, local food items (from all those craft events), and Starbucks because it’s a staple and I got 3 of them as gifts.

What are your go-tos for people you must get gifts for but aren’t sure what to get them? I’m usually a pro at getting good gifts. 🙂 However, this is a struggle when the other person doesn’t talk as much as I do.

What’s your favorite holiday DIY?