Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shortcut to Better Google Results

There's a really useful article in Real Simple this month that I thought I'd share. Follow these four tips from Randolph Hock, author of The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook.

TO FIND: PDF's, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint presentations
Use: filetype:pdf, filetype:xls, or filetype:ppt
Example: Canon manual filetype:pdf
Why: If you include the file type in your search, Google will turn up only relevant files. For example, entering filetype:pdf will find all the PDFs that have to do with operating your new camera.

TO FIND: narrowed-down information
Use: a hyphen (minus sign)
Example: jaguar -cars -football
Why: You want information about jaguars—the animal, not the car or the sports team. Placing a hyphen before terms you want to exclude will omit pages with those words. Type a space before the hyphen, not after.

TO FIND: a product you saw online (but can't remember where)
Use: intitle:
Example: intitle:"Frye boots"
Why: Using the term intitle: searches the words in the title bar of the Web pages and can be particularly helpful if you remember the name of the product you liked but not where you found it. Just be sure not to put a space after the colon and to use quotation marks around the phrase.

TO FIND: a verbatim phrase
Use: quotation marks
Example: "Bikram yoga"
Why: Using quotation marks around a phrase or a person's name can eliminate many of the irrelevant links you would otherwise turn up.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun & festive

Hope everyone had a lovely break away from the daily grind and got to spend some quality time with friends and family! Christmas feels like Round 1, and New Years is like Round 2, doesn't it? What are your plans for NYE?

If I had somewhere fancy to go for New Year's, I would love to wear this ├╝ber cute and ruffly fuchsia dress. Love the color and the ruffles. Mmm... And aren't these Badgley Mischka pumps to die for? (I wouldn't wear these together though. It would probably be ruffle overkill, huh?)[via Piperlime]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week! I've been busy making/sending out Christmas cards, shopping for last minute gifts, and wrapping them up. Hope you all are done with your shopping too. Enjoy this time with your friends and family! Have a very, merry Christmas!! Stay warm and travel safely in this mess of snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Friday!

Enjoy the last weekend before Christmas! Do you still have a ton of presents to buy from your list? I've got the bulk of my shopping done, but I just have to buy a few small grab bag gifts. Oy...any suggestions?

I'll leave you with a holiday card I made for my cousin's kids (they're big dog-lovers) with my cutie pie, Jobie. (Hehe...as you can see, I'm really liking this design. I just swap out the photo and tweak a few things here and there and...voila...a new card!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Holiday Card for My Side

Happy Holidays
This is the card I made and sent out to my side of the family. Sadly, this is the best and probably only photo of the 5 of us. We need to take more pictures! Have you all sent out your Christmas cards yet? It's only NINE days away!

Snowflake inspired coasters

I found this pretty, felt coaster project on Twig & Thistle's 5 Days of Felt post. I've been on the lookout for new coasters since mine disappeared into thin air! This seems like a pretty easy project to make. I just need to buy some pretty colored felt now. =)

Monday, December 14, 2009


I came upon emersonmade from a new blog that was recommended in my GoogleReader (gosh, I love that thing!), The Sweetest Occasion. Emersonmade has the most delightful, handmade fabric flowers. The huge, red flower is so Sex and the City! I'm thinking that the models on their site are the creators/owners, but I'm not quite sure. Don't they look like JCrew models?? I love her clothes/style!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Christmas Card Design

I was just playing around and made a Christmas card design with a friend's pictures.
I've been busy printing, cutting and writing Christmas cards today. It's taking forever! Have a great weekend!

Mmm...so many cookies!

Lottie + Doof's 12 Days of Christmas - Gee...how divine is this idea? Lottie + Doof are baking cookies 12 days straight! These Apricot Bow Ties (or kolaches in Polish) look mighty delicious and easy to make! My friend had a variety of these homemade for her wedding this past summer. YUMMY!
Apricot Bow Ties (or Kolaches) (Recipe by Debbie Reid via Fine Cooking)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 11 1/4 oz (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted; plus more for rolling
  • 1 12-oz. jar good-quality apricot preserves (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. With the mixer on low, gradually mix in the flour until a smooth dough forms.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and the dough gently to form a ball. Divide the dough in thirds, wrap each in plastic wrap, and flatten into squares. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the oevn to 400 degrees F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim the rough edges of the dough so the sides are straight, and then cut into 2-inch squares. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves onto the center of each square. Fold one corner into the center, dab with the beaten egg, and then bring the opposite

corner into the center and pinch firmly together to seal the corners. With a thin spatula, transfer the cookie to the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Bake one sheet at a time until golden and very lightly browned and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely and then dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Move over Polaroid..Hello, Fuji Instax!

Fuji now has a new instant camera, the Fuji Instax. It's just like a Polaroid! How fun!

Poloroid Photo Frames

How clever and cute are these Poloroid picture frames?? So sad Poloroid cameras have been discontinued. But you can get the same look with these Photojojo frames! Wouldn't they make a nice stocking stuffer?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Celebrate the holidays

Here's a simple Christmas card I made..happy holidays

Happy Birthday, Soo!

Happy 30th, Soo!

Fabric Flower Garlands

(via Mint Design)
Check out this lovely DIY project on Once Wed. You can string them up on your Christmas tree or on the mantel. I'm gonna need to put up my Christmas tree first before I tackle any other projects!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

We had our first real snowfall yesterday, and the snow keeps on coming! We got another fresh layer of the white stuff this morning. I feel for those who have to commute. :( A little bit of snow can set you back 2 hours just to drive 20 miles! It's ridiculous!

Anyhoo...if you still need to stock up on some holiday wrapping goodies, take a look at Postal Press. They have some cute gift tags and cards!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy (belated) Birthday, Jenny!

Here's a card I made for my good friend, Jenny... Jenny's Birthday Card

Friday, December 4, 2009

Esty Finds

I just recently started buying things from Etsy. It's such a great place to find unique, handmade pieces such as accessories, cards, and home goods. It's especially great for finding one-of-a-kind gifts. Here are a few lovely things I found on Etsy...

quirkybeauty [found via elephantine]
I came upon elephantine's shop from Twig & Thistle. They have some very lovely, delicate handmade jewelry...and they're affordable too!

These are some seriously beautiful paper garlands by KristinaMarie! It reminds me of the garlands I made for Joshua's birthday party, but much more elegant!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recent project: a photo collage

My friend, Grace, wanted to surprise her husband with something that incorporated some photos she had taken of him and their 2 little boys. So I came up this photo collage for her and framed it in a simple, black frame.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beautiful Letterpress Cards

It sure hasn't felt like winter in Chicago yet. The sun is out today, and it's in the 50s! I hope the rest of the winter will be this mild — cross your fingers! I can't believe it's DECEMBER! It's time to start sending out Christmas cards and buying presents.

bluepoolroad: This is their Holiday Goodie Bag of assorted holiday cards. Beautiful, no? Bummer, they're already sold out of their 1st Edition. I liked the green snowflake card. :( Their other cards and stationery are gorgeous as well. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Anybody going to brave the crowds on Black Friday? I think I'm gonna pass on that this year. I've never had very much luck with Black Friday sales in the past. So I'm just enjoy gonna my nice, warm bed until I'm nice and ready to get up. Ok, that's all for now. I'm signing out for the week. Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's turkey time!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. This year we're having Thanksgiving at my house (eek!) rather than at my parents'. Today, I have to tidy up my house and run to the grocery store. My plan is to start prepping and cooking tomorrow. Hope everything turns out ok! I'm SO glad my uncle is making the turkey again. It's one less thing for me to worry about. It just seems like such a huge responsibility! What are your plans for the holiday? I hope everybody has a great holiday!
(via The Party Dress)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas

I made these quick and easy quesadillas for some friends last night, and they were a big hit! Seriously super easy and delicious. I bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shredded it by hand. I topped the quesadillas with a delicious mild salsa from Trader Joe's that was so fresh and tasty. I changed up the directions to how I made them. (photo via Real Simple)


  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
  • 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
  • 1 bag shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 10 large flour tortillas
  • 12 oz. store-bought fresh salsa
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)


  1. Heat skillet to medium. Sprinkle cheese, chicken and spinach evenly over a tortilla. Cover with another tortilla.
  2. Heat the quesadillas until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the avocado, salsa, and sour cream.

New-to-me blogs I'm following

Here are a few blogs I just started following. Simple + Pretty is all about pretty paper and pretty things. Jack & Izzy makes the cutest party packages. (I must say...something I wouldn't mind doing after planning Kyoung-hee and Sam's baby shower...) The Party Dress has some gorgeous event decorating ideas.

Jobie: my French bulldog/beagle

I'm not someone who uses terms of endearment often...if at all. But Jobie is my baby, sweetie & cutie pie. I love her affectionate nature and her on-the-verge-of-ear-shattering, howling whines when we come home. (Friends who know her, you know what I'm talking about!) How can you not love her?? She keeps me toasty when I sleep at night. Her crazed obsession with squirrels drives me nuts. I love how she's so needy. Haha. Sadly, Jobie isn't the most photogenic when she's awake (she's adorable when she's sleeping.) So I was happy to have snapped this picture of her. She was looking out our backyard for...you know it!...squirrels.

My sister-in-law just sent me this photo of Jobie from 2006. She was only a few months old and terribly cute! The photo below was taken last week when the SIL was in town for a visit. She was trying to duplicate the pose in picture #1. Doesn't she look so different? I told you she isn't photogenic! Her nose isn't actually so huge!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ello there: definitely delightful!

These wedding invitations by ello there are so stinkin' cute and delightfully simple and to the point! This just shows that invitations don't need to have all that formal stuff. They're kind of refreshing. =) Hmm...that's a lovely font. Doncha' think?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Organized Kitchen

In this month's MS Living, Martha helped Living's editorial director organize their kitchen cabinets. It inspired me to reorganize my own cabinets and maximize the little space I have in my kitchen. I ran to the nearest Container Store the next day. Oh how I love organization! Thanks to Grace for my MS Living subscription!
[photos from marthastewart.com]
I bought a couple of these white cabinet shelves for my plates and bowls.
And this is the double shelf for the platters and punch bowl. The photo below is of the other side of the same cabinet. I'm definitely liking how the shelves are making use of the vertical space. My corner cabinets are kind of oddly shaped. I have to stick my whole torso in to reach anything in the back...after I've taken everything out in the front of the cabinet. The shelves make life a bit easier.I bought a few more shelves for my other cabinets, but you get the gist of it. No need to show anymore poorly-taken photos. I don't get much natural light in there. =) Oh, I also went to Bed, Bath & Beyond for some shelves, and took advantage of those awesome 20% off coupons. I love how they accept expired coupons!