Wednesday, December 11, 2013

new quick, easy pattern - cocoa cowl

Finally, I have a new knitting pattern! This easy cowl knits up so quickly that you still have time to make a few before Christmas! It is made with only 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted yarn, held double throughout. The front has a nice garter lace pattern and the back is ribbing for a comfortable width in the back. It's knit flat and seamed together. It will keep your neck and chin SO cozy!

Purchase here on Ravelry

Purchase here on Etsy

Enjoy! Please send pictures if you make it :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The First Steps of Hand-Lettering class on Skillshare

I've recently been having a blast with a class I'm taking on Skillshare. It's on hand-lettering and is taught by the lovely Mary Kate McDevitt. It's brilliant, y'all! Lots of videos and great information start you off, you can go at your own pace, you can upload images for other students to critique, and you will always have access to the class material. Wonderful. I've always loved hand-lettering and have wanted to incorporate more of it into my graphic design. This class shows how preparation and practice really do make for a better finished design.

For the class you had to choose a favorite quote to letter. The top image is my current progress on the project. I think it's coming right along. I will make an inked copy for the final, then, there is a 2nd class on The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering where you learn to digitize and colorize your project. I'm really looking forward to learning more tips on scanning in hand-drawn items to Illustrator.

Here are some images of my beginning sketches and preparations for this project:

If you have any interest in hand-lettering, I highly recommend the class. If you click through my blog post, I think we both save some $ :) Enjoy and please let me know if you take the class!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gift Ideas - What To Get New Moms, 0-6 months

The holidays are upon us! I thought I would write down some of my favorite mom and baby items before my mom-brain fuzzes everything up and I forget what they are. I know there are a ton of these lists, but this is the stuff that I really really found good/awesome/helpful/amazing.

There are SO many babies due next year in my circle of friends and family and I thought you might be dealing with the same. It would be great to give some of these as Christmas gifts for parents to have later when baby arrives! I'm giving away all of my secrets when it comes to buying for mom and baby, but I like to think I will dissuade some of you from buying things like this.



This thing is amazing. We didn't sleep a night without it after the first couple of weeks. It makes swaddling a non-issue and keeps baby snug without being too hot. This one with convertible sleeves looks perfect (wish we had known to get this version!) because at some point they will want their arms free. 

They actually stay on. There are little velcro strips on the back that go around the heel. Amazing. And you can velcro them together for washings. They thought of everything.

Como Tomo Bottle
This was the first bottle we used with Sienna and it worked great. Someone gave us this one and I love it. It has a very natural shape and is easy to clean.


A gift certificate to her favorite salon. Yes. Do it. At around 1 month postpartum it is amazing to get your hair done. Trust me. (This picture is me when S was 3 months. Yes, I got my hair done then, too.)

Best Leggings Ever
If you're close enough to the mom-to-be to buy her leggings, these from American Apparel are the best, for pregnancy and after. And really just for anybody. I'm on my 4th pair of these. They are just the right thickness (not too thick, not too thin) and they hold in the belly. They are perfect. And it's SO nice to have a better alternative to yoga pants.

A fun new pair of shoes for walking
Mama won't feel like it right at first, but soon she will be ready to get out with baby and hit the sidewalk/park/trail, etc. In my opinion, shoes always help you feel better/cooler/less blobby. I suggest a gift certificate to or something, because then she won't have to leave the house to order them, but, I'm also all about buying local when you can, so a GC to a cool shoe store nearby would also be good. If you know her size, buy something fun that coordinates with the time of year she will be out and about. For me, bright sneakers were in order for the early summertime here in Portland, but if S had been born around now, some great Tretorn rain boots would have been great!

2 - 4 months


Footed PJ's
These are great at any age, but having plenty for the transition out of the swaddle is essential. When babies are tiny most of them love being swaddled or wrapped up most of the time. When they get a little bigger and start playing on a play mat, etc. it's so nice to have plenty of footed PJs. You don't have to keep up with socks and you can let them stay in them all day long around (or out of) the house :)

Carter's makes GREAT footed PJs in a variety of fabrics, patterns, and designs. This is our favorite pair right now.

Thigh-high socks
So, because they won't always be in footie pj's, here are some socks that work. Sienna's little legs weren't fat enough until around 3-4+ months to hold these up, but they are amazing socks that stay on and, with a onesie, don't require pants if it's warm enough. They make diaper changing a breeze and come in super cute patterns. is where you can purchase them (not a great website) and they also have a store locator to find somewhere locally that stocks them. I just ordered these in River for Sienna :)


Gift certificate to a workshop, store, or 1 day class, something to foster/encourage one of her hobbies
Mamas get lost in the diaper changing, feeding, laundry, house cleaning, going back to work, grocery shopping...and they don't get much time for their hobbies. Give her a reason to get back to something she loves to do. Buy a pass to a postpartum yoga class, send her to the local knit shop with a gift certificate, coordinate a special/quick book club meeting at a time that is convenient for her, whatever it is you can do to give her a little special time to be creative, active or engaged in something other than folding tiny baby laundry. It's so true that a happy mama makes everybody else happy.

4 - 6 months


We just started using one of these and it's great. Not only can baby feed herself with this, but when you put frozen or cold fruits/veggies in it it helps with teething pain. It's shown here with a little food mill, a great alternative if you don't want to invest in one of these, but I can definitely vouch for the awesomeness of the baby food maker.

Sleep Sacks
These are so wonderful when baby isn't in the swaddle/Woombie, etc. anymore. It's still unsafe to put them to sleep with a blanket, but these take care of the need for an extra layer. Be sure to consider time of year and the size baby will be when you purchase one of these. 

This one is great for warmer weather.

A version in a bit heavier fabric is great for cooler climates. And this one is super cute :) Halo also makes a variety of sleep sacks, some even have velcro swaddle panels for when you are transitioning out of the swaddle.

Stable Floor Seat (Bumbo or otherwise)
When S was super little, I worried that I had gotten sucked into buying another needless item, but by the time she was around 5 months old, she started LOVING her seat. We have one made by Mama and Papas with a tray. Bumbo, of course, makes a great seat as well. These seats help them develop important stomach muscles for being able to sit up on their own. We keep ours in the kitchen and Sienna loves to play with Mattie and watch me make dinner from hers. It's also great to feed her in because it's all wipeable. Perfect.


Clothing store gift cards
Unless they are an exercise fanatic, your mama may still be feeling a little blobby 4-6 months postpartum. It is a hard time for fashion, people. It's seriously rough. So, provide the mama in your life a gift card to her favorite store, better one that has reasonable prices because she probably hopefully won't be in this size for too long. I know I keep saying gift certificates, but in these cases they really are thoughtful and welcomed. Even better, babysit for her, too, so she can go try a few things on without baby crying and she will come home feeling refreshed and like a hottie again! Have her check out the fabulous blog Ain't No Mom Jeans for wonderful mama fashion inspiration, provided by the amazing Shana. LOVE her.

House cleaning services
These are nice for ANY time after having a kid and early-on is wonderful, but depending on what time of year baby is born, it might be great to think of saving this gift for later (ie. we are in the holiday season right now and it'd be amazing to have someone clean the house before or after we are gone. Coming back to a clean house is SO nice, but packing and planning seem to take up most of mama's time when baby is sleeping!) You might also think about giving this for a time when the weather is bad. Once rainy season hits here in Portland it's mud/leaf/rain craziness and it sure would be nice to have someone else do the floors for once. :)

Again, these things were very very helpful to Sienna and I and were not gimmicky items. I hope you find this list unique and that it helps you provide essentials to your friends and family! Happy giving! xo

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Daily 25 Days of Christmas Album

Sienna's first Christmas! This will be a fun year where she can't pull all of the decorations down yet :) I decided to make Little Bit an album for the 25 days leading up to her first Christmas. I found this project idea through Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess. I ordered the Studio Calico kit and have gotten a decent start on the project. Here are a few photos of what I've done so far.

I found the deer and the Oregon wooden cutouts at Collage, an amazing local craft shop on NE Alberta. I gold embossed them with some Zing gold embossing powder. The rest of the items came from the Studio Calico kit.

I'm excited to get started! I've already taken a few photos to put in the album, but am deciding on a plan of attack to print the photos. I think I will use an Instagram printing service, like Prinstagram. I might order photos weekly or something. I'm not sure yet. Ink for a home photo printer is just so expensive.

Please share if you are doing something similar. I don't scrapbook much, but I thought this was a great time to make something for Sienna. If you have tips on printing photos for this, please share that, too!

Happy Christmas Season!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sienna Wren - 6 months

My baby girl is 6 months old today. She steals my heart more and more every. single. day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I was inspired today by it being get-a-new-haircut day AND this awesome post over at Ain't No Mom Jeans (I think instigated by an email I sent her!) So... I put together an overalls outfit. Guess I was feeling brave. Don't get me wrong, I'm LOVING these overalls, but it takes a little guts to pair things with them that don't make me look like Farmer Laura, as my husband so lovingly called me the first time I put them on. Taking some of Shana's ideas and throwing in a few of my own, here's what I came up with:

I got a new haircut and highlight today, too, from the amazing Tamara at Oranj Studio. That always makes a girl feel more brave :) 

Mamas, overalls are amazing baby pooch hiders and they are a fun throw back to the 90's. You should try some, too. xoxo

Overalls: Free People
Blouse: Old H&M (loving this one)
Blazer: Old Urban Outfitters (similar)
Necklace: thrifted at OMG
Boots: Clarks (similar to these)
Scarf: bought on the street in Edingburgh on our honeymoon :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

beautiful fall makeup tutorial from Free People

Gorgeous. I love this fall makeup tutorial. It mostly includes face, cheeks and lips, but a soft brown eye shadow, as shown, finishes the look. I think I need to get that Nars lip color. They make my favorite lip products. I love how she layered a darker lip pencil over the bright red, too. Love Free People!

Friday, October 18, 2013

fall, so far...and more on my favorite fashion blog

Ah, my favorite time of year! And with a precious nearly 5 month old, it's even better. We've been visiting my family in Arkansas for almost a month now and have been enjoying every minute. Here are some photos of the last couple of months.

Some fun photos from my brother's wedding!

This is Sienna and her cousin Evie! They are 7 weeks apart and have been having lots of fun cousin time.

This is Sienna and her other cousin, Averie. Oh. My. Goodness. The sweetness.

My best friend finally got to meet my Little Bit! Instant love.

We've had a seriously great time. Next week we are off to make the cross country drive, again. Wish us luck!

 A few months ago, while in full-fledged postpartum land, I thankfully came across this wonderful mama fashion blog, Ain't No Mom Jeans. I briefly shared about her last time. Shana is a strong, beautiful mama with a great fashion sense. She shares really doable fashion ideas for mamas (aka. things that hide the baby pooch) and the real, lovely story of her current battle with breast cancer. She is amazing. Please check out her blog. She inspired me not only to cut off some jeans, in a true homage to my 90's roots (see below), but also got me to finally bite the bullet and order these. We. Shall. See. I love them though and have been wanting some forever. See them styled here on Lucky Mag. I really think I'll live in them this winter. 

I'll attempt to add more fashion photos interspersed with baby pictures. Fall is so fun for fashion! I may have gone overboard a bit this year due to the postpartum slump, but that just means I have lots to work with :) Send your favorite fashion blogs along, too, or links to your favorite fall outfits. It's nice to have inspiration at this time in a mama's life. xoxo

Thursday, August 22, 2013

a summer of fun...and babies!

Instead of feeling guilty for not posting here lately, I'm going to focus on the reason I haven't posted...we've had a super fun summer of family, travel, friends, and babies! These are all good reasons to spend less time on the computer. Of course, a HUGE reason I've 'ignored' the old blog is this precious little bundle right here...

I know I'm biased, but man, she is freaking cute. And quite the distraction... And 3 months old already!! It REALLY does fly by. 

My youngest brother and his wife had their first baby girl this summer, too! Mary Everly Holder was born on July 12th and is so adorable. Sadly, I haven't gotten to meet her yet, but we are headed to Arkansas for a month this fall where I will get lots of baby-time with Miss Evie! 

Here are the cousins, matching from afar :)

I will leave you with something really fun, though, before it's time to feed the little one again. I found a great blog to inspire this fashion-loving mommy... Ain't No Mom Jeans. Postpartum time is seriously not fun when it comes to clothes, but Shana has given me some fun posts to check out. Her style is similar to mine and I've had a great time reading some of her suggestions for pooch-hiding clothing. She has also recently gone through some major obstacles with her health and I am inspired by her strength. Please check out her site. I've been loving it! 

Until next time... xoxoxo

Thursday, July 4, 2013

an easy way to drink good-for-you coffee

Living here in the Northwest we have a definite coffee culture, even more so than the rest of the country. Especially right now, when sleep is quite interrupted, I REALLY enjoy my morning cup of warm caffeine goodness. (This photo is how my husband and I grinder, French press, and kettle...the ONLY way to travel)...

I've been seeing a naturopath for a couple of years now and have been amazed at the improvement in my health, especially during my pregnancy. But, on my last visit, the first after delivering my beautiful little girl, my doctor told me to avoid CAFFEINE and ALCOHOL. Um, yeah, so I just got to the point where I could have these things! (I did have some coffee and wine during pregnancy, but was careful about limiting them). Apparently when your adrenals are taxed, these things hinder their improvement. SAD FACE.

I am generally a conflicted person...part type A, part artist...part follow-the-rules-girl, part take-it-easy-and-enjoy-life-girl. So, when it comes to this issue of coffee, I decided I would keep it to one cup in the mornings and call it good.

Enter, coconut oil. I've been using it to cook with occasionally for a while now. I've read of the enormous benefits of consuming it daily. I try to remember to use it when I'm sautéing veggies and I did find a great, easy recipe for making chocolate treats in the freezer. But, I'm not disciplined enough yet to get it daily.

I read about a year ago that you could stir it into your morning, ew. That sounds horrible and I tried it and it was. Oil slick on top of my lovely French press coffee. No thanks.

Then, I saw, just this morning, about BLENDING it into your morning coffee, with butter...? Hmm. Ok, I'm still gonna have to try the butter thing to see, but I am not gonna get my blender out every morning, pre-coffee (DANGER!).

But, it dawned on me that I have one of those cheap little battery operated milk frother things...

It works! I put a whole tablespoon of this coconut oil into my coffee, used the little frother guy to emulsify it (Alton Brown taught me well), and voila! No oil slick on the coffee. Yes, you can lightly taste the coconut oil, but the Spectrum kind above has less coconut taste to me. I'm so excited to find this out! This is definitely something I can do daily to make me feel like that cup of warm caffeine is providing some more health benefits.

Good For You Coffee, the Easy Way

-cup of your regular morning coffee, fixed how you generally drink it
-1 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil
-milk frother/drink mixer

Put coconut oil in coffee, blend away. Feel good about your coffee!

Have you tried this another way? Do you add any other ingredients to make it even yummier? I'd love to hear about it if you have!

P.S. Happy 4th of July! Coming soon...the birth story. I'm excited to share my experience... xoxo

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sienna Wren Jansen ♥

Born Monday, May 20, @ 3:09pm, our little bundle weighed-in at 7lbs. 11oz., 21 inches long. We are besides ourselves and completely smitten. Here she is on our ride home from the hospital yesterday. We are happy, tired, and complete. Many more photos to come... :)

(She's modeling a few of the things I made for her: the crocheted turban and baby bird blanket out of vintage fabric I found. Crocheted Turban pattern here, yarn, Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in corsage).

Friday, May 10, 2013

Style Fridays on Twist Collective

Twist Collective's Blog has a great Friday Style post each week, featuring outfits that go with various sweaters from their site. I think this is such a fun idea! They are currently having a contest to design an outfit around sweater "Peking." I decided to take a little time to participate. Fun!