December 31, 2009

Free printable "ta-da!" list

I have a love/hate relationship with making to-do lists.  Love to make them because they keep me on track, but hate to reference them because it disheartens me if I don't get to cross off an item.  The love part of lists usually wins. 

To ring in the new year, I've designed free printable "ta-da!" lists.  Why "ta-da?" Because I love the feeling of accomplishment (I mean, who doesn't?).

Click here to download your very own set.  Print on a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper, cut along the centered line and voila!  You've got two lists to start your resolutions off right.

Happy New Year and I'll see you back here on Monday!

December 30, 2009

Some like it hot

My husband likes to eat spicy food.  As in, "I'm not going to even taste what is on my plate prior to dousing it with Tabasco sauce" kind of spicy.  I'm all for spicy, too, but I can only take so much heat.  So when I came across this one-gallon delight, making it his Christmas present was a no-brainer.

Check out the proportional difference between the average size bottle and the jug.  I give it until April - tops -  for the 3.8 liters to get plowed through.

December 29, 2009

A trip down memory lane

As we wind down 2009 and I get my resolutions list ready, I want to share some of my favorite photos from the past year.

(Seriously?  The head-to-lollipop size ratio for Griffin is hilarious.)

(Wavey was contemplating leaving her brother for sale in the snack jack bin)

(Halloween with our favorite friends!)

December 28, 2009

A very un-merry ER visit

Well, it was an eventful Christmas Day to say the least. After we opened gifts in the morning, Wavey took a really bad turn so I took her to the ER.  After three failed IV attempts to get her hydrated, a number of blood tests and a chest x-ray, her flu culture came back negative, but she tested positive for pneumonia.  They gave her a super-shot of antibiotics and by the next day when we followed-up, she was feeling 1000% better:

She's still convinced it was "the best Christmas ever" because Santa loaded her up with gifts which is good, all things considered. 

There was a moment of awkwardness the first ER visit when the nurse asked me if I worked in the hospital because I looked very familiar.  I responded, "Sadly, you just recognize me because my kids have a propensity to be sick on weekends and holidays." 

We practically deserve a "Visit 10 times, get your 11th visit free!" card.

December 23, 2009

It's what's for dinner

On tap for Christmas dinner: Beef Florentine.  I seriously can't wait.  And don't let me fool you into thinking that I'm pounding out beef and harvesting my own spinach while my homemade aged cheese lies waiting in the wings.  I purchase it pre-fabbed and ready, just short of cooked.   A convenient Christmas is what I'm all about. 

Wavey has been quite sick these past few days and upset that she's missed the multitude of festivities at preschool.  We tried to host our own "Pajama Day" at home, but she wasn't buying it.  And (knock-on-wood) none of us have been afflicted with whatever bug she's got, so I'm really hoping she turns the corner since this is the first year she's really embraced and understood the Christmas/Santa/Gifts concept.

December 22, 2009

Making a list and checking it twice

Now that Wavey is getting better with recognizing letters and has a real desire to learn how to spell, we decided it was time for her to write her own wish list this year.  With Daddy's help, she included some toys she'll hope to receive from Santa and also understands that not all may arrive under the tree "because Santa can't bring every toy or else his sleigh would be too heavy to fly."  Take that, Zhu Zhu Pets.

After she was done, she decided that Daddy needed a list, too.  She also decided that she would dictate what she believed Daddy should ask Santa for.  Here goes:

Can we talk about the second item from the bottom that reads "Prince Eric hair" for a moment?  Let it be known that my husband is neither bald nor balding, so why Wav was inclined to wish "Prince Eric hair" (from The Little Mermaid) on his behalf is a hilarious mystery to us.  And please, please note that the adults in this house do know how to properly spell "helicopter" but in this case were *forced* to spell it her way, not necessarily the right way. 

I do hope Santa brings Daddy a popstar for Christmas.

December 21, 2009

iPod birthday invitation

This weekend we took the kids on a snowbound sleigh ride through a local farm which was lots of fun and lots of cold (but we stayed toasty). 

After the ride, Wavey informed us that we were drawn by horses on a wagon, not a sleigh.  Why?  "Because if it was a sleigh it would have magically flown, of course."  Oh yes, of course.

Also this weekend, I really enjoyed designing this invitation suite for a two-year-old who I was told LOVES listening to an iPod and dancing. 

Personal information has been modified for privacy.

December 18, 2009

Christmas through the years

It wasn't until I pulled these photos together did I realize that we're only on our second Christmas with Griffin!  Feels like we've been a complete family forever and I can't imagine (or remember) life without these goofballs.  A really nice feeling.

This upcoming weekend is somewhat 'the calm before the storm' here, but we're geared up and excited for Santa to visit. 

Have a great weekend!

December 17, 2009

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

We waited WAY too long to get our Christmas tree and the result: the weensiest tree ever is now in our home.  To give you some perspective:
  • The tree only took one (one!!) measly string of lights.
  • Only about 45% of the available ornaments were used because of lack of branches.
  • It's so little, I could probably easily lift it with one hand including the metal stand
  • Wavey could practically touch the top if she raised both arms
  • What you don't see behind Wav is a giant gap where it's all trunk, no branches.  I can put my head in the space and be far from the touch of any branches, it's that massive (and so is my noggin).

Sigh... It's so wee that it's laughable.  And we're laughing. 

In other news, Wavey woke up screaming the other night.  Her nightmare? "I was put on the naughty list!" she cried. 

A funny story now, but not-so-funny at 3:30 a.m.

December 16, 2009

Holiday cookie tags

Growing up in Southern California, our next-door neighbors always had these amazing, classic Italian cookies on-hand which were my introduction to the lovely, subtle and spicy anise flavor.  In the 16 years I lived next door, I can't really recall a moment where they didn't have a beautiful cookie to offer as a small treat.  So, when a client recently asked for a gift tag design to include a recipe, it brought back wonderful memories of childhood cookies.

December 15, 2009

Holiday party invitation

It's all Christmas, all the time around the Good Gravy! studio these days.  We're still finishing up some last-minute custom orders and working feverishly to get them out the door so our clients can officially say that their cards were in the mail before the big day! 

I want to share this holiday party invitation designed for a client which reminds me how I'd love to host a dinner party, not just around the holidays since it's a pretty insane time of year for me - though the season is indeed perfect for this kind of event.  Check it out:

Personal information has been modified for privacy.

December 13, 2009

Holiday deadline extended

By popular demand, I've extended the ordering deadline to Thursday, December 17 for holiday delivery.  All you last-minute shoppers looking for a personalized, unique gift for everyone on your list, now's the time!  Visit the shop today.

December 11, 2009

Ladybug birthday party

Last month, I designed birthday invitations and cupcake toppers for a little client named Paige.  Paige's mom took photos at the party (of course!) sharing how she tied together the black and red ladybug theme.  So cute!  But, what really impressed me what this little number:

Paige's crafty mom created this great collage temporarily using an exisiting frame her in dining room.  Clever!

December 10, 2009

Who has nicer nails? Me or my preschooler?

Okay, so Barbie offers everything.  I get it.  A beach house, a vet table thing, I could go on.  But I was pretty floored when I opened the weekly toy store circular and saw that it's a whopping $149.99.  Um, does Barbie understand how many real manicures I can get for $149, not to mention at the MSRP of $179?!    Not happening, Barbie.  Just not happening.

December 9, 2009

Strictly for my ninjas

I recently bought an iPhone and I have to admit, I like it.  Though, I haven't been exactly thrilled with the network, but it works for what I need.  One of the things the phone does is search for local wireless signals and sends an alert as to what's available.  Depending on where I am, it usually says something like "house network" or "my computer network..." or basic, generic names people give their wireless routers when setting them up.  I usually don't think twice to the names, but not yesterday. 

The wireless signal I was picking up in one neighborhood was named "ninja explosion."  Ha!

Later in the day, I bought an external hard drive to back up some files.  There were various how-to's and other instructions inside the box, but this took the hilarity cake and simply topped the ninja explosion (in just four easy steps!):

December 8, 2009

Custom shop banner design

After buying my crayon roll-up, Melissa from Two Little Tots asked for design help with her shop banner.  With her input, I created three versions and she's asking folks on her blog for an opinion on their favorite.  Vote!

December 7, 2009

108 biscotti cookies

I'm attending a family cookie exchange soon and have to make a whopping nine dozen cookies.  The payoff?  Receiving nine dozen assorted cookies in exchange from amazing bakers.  Yum.  In past years, I've made chocolate-candy mint cookies, lemon pillow cookies and this year, I'm making King Arthur Flour's black-and-white biscotti.

For the test batch I made this weekend, I topped half with coarse sugar sprinkles (as seen above) and the other with white chocolate.  Oh, the goodness!  I baked the sugar sprinkles right with the batch, and here are the "undressed" cooled cookies prior to the drizzle...

..and then drizzled with the white chocolate:

December 4, 2009

Oooh, fresh crayons...

Since Wavey still has an affinity for simple toys and games, I've been trying to get her Christmas gifts that are meaningful, handmade and unique.  Santa will still most likely succumb to Polly Pocket and other standard toy store items, but I have stumbled across and purchased a few great things, including this crayon roll-up from sewing/craft queen Melissa at Two Little Tots:

What I would give for a ginormous roll-up for all the toys the kids' room right now. 

December 3, 2009

Christmas card cheating?

No Christmas tree in the background, no matching outfits, and unapologetically summer:  I'm proudly using vacation photos we took at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this past year for our photo montage. If you can recall how well my attempts at a well-orchestrated Halloween photo shoot went, you'll understand why I've chosen this path.

The full reveal of the holiday card design coming soon!

December 2, 2009

Monogram birthday invitation + cupcake flags

We were so pleased to recently create a special first birthday invitation for our little client Athan, including cupcake flags and a round back-flap envelope sticker.

Personal information has been modified for privacy.

December 1, 2009

My little turkey

Thanksgiving evening, 10:30 p.m., and WELL past someone's bedtime.

Stuck on you...literally.

Aside from a few errant teenagers, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person in the area who actively stocks up on rubber cement by the armful, and this holiday season has been no exception.  How else do your holiday card beauties get mounted to a lovely metallic cardstock?  Glue, my friend.  Lots and lots and lots of glue.  Thank heavens for ventilation, is all I can say.

There are two unopened bottles shown here, but they'll be empty by tonight.  I'm slightly embarrassed to even admit that the nine empties here were not pulled from the trash for the sake of this photo, but rather just waiting for me to send them to the barrel.