Friday, February 26, 2010

Steals and Deals!

I have to say that one of the greatest things about living in the bay area are all of the resources. Specifically, all of the amazing deals you can get! I am a huge fan of the "Used Gear Sales" at REI, honestly some of the most incredible savings I've ever found in my life! There are tons of great thrift shops and stores where you can find amazing bargains, but, my favorite insider source? FREECYCLE!! Alex and I recently signed up (it's like Craigslist, but everything, EVERYTHING is FREEEEE!) and we have found a few little things: a squeegie (sp?) for screen printing, an over the visor CD holder for the car and mason jar lids. But, the most amazing finds? A one hundred year old trunk (much like this one pictured here) with local Oakland stickers and tags still attached! Currently in our basement, but someday an awesome coffee table or window seat!

Today, was the coolest find BY far. Two life-sized vintage catalog models printed on masonite (i.e. the stuff clip boards are made of). We have them in our room against the wall by each of our sides of the bed, Alex has the boy by his side and I have the girl by mine! So, so, so cool! We're quickly on our way to having some of the weird kitschy items you always see in the loft or cool apartment from a movie.

Alex got me this large "B" (for Bekah) from a store front (the neon is inside and everything!) that we have on top of our armoire for Valentine's Day. Next stop? A giant trampoline in our loft a la "Big"! ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our, "bottle" list?

The more we've been talking about someday being parents, or even sooner homeowners, we've been talking about what we want to do before that time. Here are a few of the top contenders:

*Live in a foreign country for some amount of time
*Traveling to every continent (would be willing to skip Antarctica...)
*Road trip across the US and back.
*A few risque things parents ought not to
*Jello shots? I know, nasty, but I've never done them! Alex says this is something I should have done in college, but I would settle for before 25 (happens in May!) I have a whole different list for that event rife with immature things I most likely should have already done...
*More concerts
*More backpacking (although the 200 miles on the PCT did quench that desire a little...)
*Alex wants skydiving on the list, but I'm terrified about dying when flying regularly, how the heck am I going to feel WHILE JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE?!?!

That's just a start, it's certainly something to think of! I know that there are things we all wish our parents hadn't done while they were parents. This list should lessen that embarrassment/ raise the "cool" quotient someday!

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned...or something like that.

Now that the longest week of our lives (Alex worked 55 hours, I worked nearly 70!) is FINALLY over and I've managed to catch up on some of the sleep I had lost, I can catch up on my blogging!

Alex and I are deep into saving and working as much as we can right now. For most of our marriage it has been only one of us working consistently which has made saving money nearly
impossible. Now, however, Alex and I are both working and with the start of the year we've started keeping records of EVERYTHING that we spend and save into my handy dandy 1960's "Family Financial Record" book (Thank you Goodwill!) We also opened SIX savings accounts so that we can make sure we put away exactly how much we need to into our house, bills, etc. savings accounts. So far it's going very well and it's kind-of scary now that we're saving to see how much we wasted before (again, to be fair we both didn't
have jobs so the word "waste" might be a little harsh!) and also how much progress we're making! So, it makes it feel a little more worth it to change that extra poopy diaper, or stand on the corner for eight hours handing out business cards for someone, or donating blood because it's...

Next stop...adulthood!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Utter Exhaustion!!

Not sure if anyone is missing these posts, but I have been! I haven't posted in about a week, naughty me, because this whole week has been preparing for my last window at Mignonne! I wish this were a "Wordless Wednesday" because I am so exhausted that I don't know how good of a post this will be!

I have been going straight from nannying to Mignonne to work on the windows everyday this week and I finally finished them at midnight last night! It was totally worth it though and I feel very proud of my work and myself and how far I've come in the past four months. When I'm feeling more up to it I'll do a comparison of the first and last windows, it's drastic!

Here are the pics of my last window I designed, I wanted them to be very much like candy and Spring and obviously that coincides perfectly with Valentine's Day!
I am cooking up something exciting for where my next windows will be....more to come later ;)

*More pics can be found on my flickr page @:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day of Adventure!!

Yesterday Alex and I had Adventure Day! That means we woke up at a ridiculous hour (5:45am), couldn't go back to sleep, so I told Alex to get his...butt, out of bed. We pulled some clothes on, no showers, make-up...or deodorant and hopped out the door. We got to the Cheeseboard just as they were opening and the crusty cheesy rolls were still warm. (If you live in the bay area this is something you should experience!) We grabbed our rolls and some juice and drove to Old Town Oakland. We randomly found a farmer's market complete with whole dead chickens (heads and all!), sorry I didn't get a picture. We then happened upon a Smart and Final (Costco, without the membership, we had never been), they have tons of restaurant supplies too. I decided I'd like to open a snow cone cart someday...

We decided to keep the adventures going and grabbed a loaf of bread to feed the ducks at Lake Merritt. We saw two pelicans, a bunch of geese and ducks and basically got to experience a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds! (The photo really doesn't do justice to the sheer volume of birds!) The seagulls nearly attacked me when I threw the first piece of bread into the water, and bonus: they started pooping EVERYWHERE out of excitement! You can imagine my horror (and how quickly I shoved my bag of bread back into my purse) when they
pooped on a poor woman running by me...
Alex was a little creeped out by this duck(?) its face had a weird red skin and it breathed really loudly each time it went to get a bite of bread. This was the only picture I could get of Alex feeding it since he would snap his hand back so quickly!

We went home to grab a quick bite (still no showers) then headed out for a little Virginia Bakery treat and tennis at the
Berkeley Rose garden!
Even though it felt like at least seven pm, it was only three and it was still hours before
Fondue Fred opened for dinner so we decided to stall at buffalo exchange (Alex got a vintage shirt, I got cords).

It was our first time getting Fondue and Fondue Fred's was actually good (despite the terrible yelp reviews!) we got a salad and huge basket of bread with our pot of Asiago Fondue (SOOO good!) and because it was their anniversary
special I got a free glass of wine too!

We wrapped up our lengthy adventure day with a little reading at Borders and a couple red box movies...then fell asleep before eleven...Oh, the life of the adventurous!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I know, it's so exciting that it gets TWO, count them, TWO exclamation points!! Now, this is not your Grandmother's embroidery, this is the embroidery of Jenny Hart of Sublime Stiching! Here is the link to their website they have patterns that iron on to your fabric, how-to's, examples, etc. I got the book Sublime Stitching from my in-laws for Christmas and I LOVE it! I am a huge crafting lady, and I love to try new crafts all the time to see what I excel in (so far just decent at a dozen or so crafts ;) )

The book has hundreds of patterns in it and they're all vintage or kitsch, exactly my style.
I made this hankie for Alex, I got the hankie at The Center for Creative Reuse in Oakland on Telegraph, it's AMAZING! Then I ironed on several different patterns and this is what it looks like:

It was supposed to be for Valentine's Day, but I'm lame and gave it to him about two weeks ago. I'm currently working on a Lucha Libre doily, it may very well be awesome. I also want to do kitchen towels, a tie and an awesome shirt for Alex, but I have to learn some more stitches first!


Last night's meeting went well. We were by far the youngest and most knowledgeable there. People were actually asking me questions after the meeting! Oh well. There were still a few things that I hadn't really thought of, such as attachments. Now, this is probably one of the most basic things that most people would think of. However, I think that being a nanny and babysitting for over a decade must have given me an inflated sense of ability with kids. I hadn't thought about babies really having that problem, older kids yes, but babies? Then the man running the group (he has adopted two girls from China) told us that his two daughters cried through the night the first several nights they were in China (when you adopt from China it is required that you stay 12 days). We also watched a movie where ALL of the parents said the same thing of their children. But, they also all said how they got over it soon and all fell in love with each other. They had a montage at the end with all of these kids playing with their families while the song, "Somewhere Out There" (you 80's kids may remember it from "An American Tail")...I may have become slightly misty eyed.
Since the meeting I have to say that I have a sense of calm that I think I've been lacking this past month or so. I just felt like I now know that if this is what we want, it's going to happen. And we can do it on our own time. I would love to start the process soon (again, looking at years here), however I also now know that we can start some of the processes soon so that when we do have our house and are ready for the homestudy (for those that don't know, this is four meetings where a social worker comes to your home and interviews you, makes sure the house is safe and talks to you about any problems that may come up) we won't have to start from scratch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dreams and diaper bags.

I'm very excited that Alex and I got to go the our adoption meeting tonight, but part of me just feels that much more saddened because it's just cementing how much I want this. I want to be our family of four with our twins, or young siblings (I have my reasons, and for whatever they are when I picture us as a family it's with two little boys that look just alike. Not sure whether that's God's will or not. We'll see. Very open to girls/ boy and girl, whatever. The picture in my head is two little boys though...) and we just have so long to wait.

So, instead I'll pray that Alex's book
is a smashing success bringing in lots of money that we can use towards the house and adoption and in the meantime I'll keep researching twin carriers (can you IMAGINE using this!?)

The sling option looks MUCH better!

And my favorite diaper bags(It's a Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake bag, vintage inspired. Literally perfect for me...but alack, it's $350 so thankfully I have YEARS to find a great deal on one on craigslist or ebay!) as a welcome distraction...Bargain hunting helps me relax...

Babies. Babies. Babies.

SB_Twins_Ethiopia_TouchedUp...Someday! This is Sara, she works for the organization and her team found these twin girls abandoned in a field outside of Addis when they were just a few weeks old (they're almost one now, healthy and safe in an orphanage).
Anyone who knows me well would laugh, or simply be confused, by the fact that I am feeling the strong desire to be a mother. One day. Not yet. Also, not by birth. I have felt my entire life that I have been called to be the mother of children that I did not give birth to. I have three sisters who are adopted and I literally could not love them more. I do not have the fear, sadly as some people do, that I would not love or accept an adopted child as I would a birth child. To me, I may even love and accept that child more because I know that they have had a harder life in their few short months than any birth child of mine would.
When Alex and I met we discussed children (of course) and we decided together that we wouldn't have children before I was thirty. Well, I'm nearing twenty five and as horrifying as it is, my biological (is that what it's still called when it's ticking to adopt?) clock is ticking!

I am very thankful that I have married a man that fully supports and desires having a family that has adoptive children in it. We're not sure if we'll ever have birth children, it's something that we're allowing to be up in the air. What we do know is that we will adopt and I can't wait! Unfortunately, you have to pass a homestudy before adopting and that isn't happening until we are living on our own again. So, for now that means saving for a down payment, working as much as possible, and trying not to obsess over the fact that we want to adopt twins (most likely from Ethiopia, but who knows what will change in the next few years) internationally and it's going to take years for the whole process.

Oh well, in the meantime I'm researching, learning from friends and family who have adopted, and day after tomorrow Alex and I are going to an international adoption informative meeting in the city! Woo-hoo...


Alex and I have been married for two and a half years. The past two and a half years have been the most unpredictable, often bizarre, and difficult years that I've had since high-school.

The last year has been especially...random I guess would be the most fitting word. In the past year (little over a year) we moved from LA where we were pursuing acting (me) and screenwriting (Alex) and living in an apartment in beautiful Santa Monica to living in my grandma's house in Berkeley, CA. We were both unemployed and no longer "independent" in the whole earning money, paying rent sense.

To collect our thoughts and process the major change we'd just made we spent three weeks in Oregon (where we both grew up) for Christmas. While in Oregon we felt more and more secure in the thought that moving to Berkeley had been the right choice. We loved Berkeley, being with family everyday, the weather (there were actually seasons here) and the people (no one I had yet met owned any kind of Juicy velour suits). The second week we were in Oregon we went to the mountains and on our way back I noticed a sign (literally, the figurative kind will come later) that read "Pacific Crest Trail". I had never heard of the "PCT", Alex enlightened me and it hit me. We. Have. To. Hike. The Pacific Crest Trail!

Flash forward four months later we had earned enough money, trained, packed five months worth of dried food, bought all of our gear and we headed out to hike the 2600 odd miles of the trail. Flash forward another three weeks and we had hiked two-hundred miles and I was done.

It was rather hellish, I was getting debilitating panic attacks and we both felt that we had (thankfully) learned what we needed to while on the trail.

We went back to Oregon, again to recollect ourselves, spent three months there working. Alex pressure washed, I had a brief stint as a tractor driver (I said it was random didn't I?).

We headed back to Berkeley, got more
involved in our community, did our best to find jobs.
Couldn't for about two of the longest months of our lives. We subsisted on anything we could back from the dry goods we had left from the trail and some gluten free flour mixes we had been given as a wedding gift.

Eventually, I was able to patch together enough nanny jobs to be able to add more to our diets than just mashed potatoes and
homemade gluten free bread (however that sounds pretty good right now...) By the grace of God Alex was able to get a job at Trader Joe's (we never thought that him having a master's degree in film would lead him to one day be praising God for this job, but being unemployed for over a year will do that to you!), and actually he really loves it. He wrote a book, it's being reviewed by editors as we speak! I got an internship at a furniture boutique that I love, designing the window displays.

Things have settled somewhat now, and we find ourselves moving toward our next adventures. Home owners and adoptive parents...obsessive thoughts and updates to follow!