Friday, January 31, 2014

a gatsby party

On New Year's Eve, we went to a party for my friend Crystal, who was celebrating her 30th birthday. It was a Gatsby themed celebration and although I usually feel weird about costume parties, it was so fun to get all dressed up to celebrate a dear friend. It was a great night of suspenders, feathers, sequins, fun drinks, and dancing. Here are some photos from the party. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

laying it down

This has been one of the hardest weeks. Knox woke up with the stomach flu earlier this week and although he hasn't had a fever since that first day, this whole week has been full of whimpers, snuggles (I'll take 'em! He NEVER cuddles with me!), sad faces, lots of loads of laundry, being thrown up on more times than I can count, and me just trying to get by. 

It's times like these that I'm glad I get to work from home. Running your own small business is freeing in that sense, but deadlines are still there, fabric still needs to be ordered, orders still have to get out, emails are still waiting for responses and lots of emails are resent with "did you get my email?" tweets and IG comments. 

I'm exhausted in every since of the word. That's simply because I'm, once again, doing everything in my own strength. Yesterday, as I was rocking Knox to sleep (for two hours, mind you) and praying for healing over his little lethargic body, I realized it was the first time I had prayed for him during his sickness. I had been shuffling towels and pj's into the laundry, I had been rocking and holding and spoon feeding pedialyte, I had been working like a crazy person during nap times. At the end of my rope, it was also the first time I had asked for help for myself. I needed comfort. I needed energy. I needed grace. I needed rest that could only be found in Him.

Don't get me wrong. After praying that, I didn't all of a sudden have birds singing around me folding the laundry and a pep in my step so that I could accomplish more, or even a completely different attitude. But, I was able to take a deep breath and make dinner with joy and perspective.  I was still tired, I'm still tired this morning. Being a mom is hard work…but I know that laying my burdens down, admitting that I can't do it on my own anymore, sipping my coffee slowly and taking one day at a time is all I can do at the moment. 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  ((matthew 11:28-30))


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

((recipe)) Paiche Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Paiche ((pronounced pie-chay)) is a newly available  species fish that is exclusively sold at Whole Foods here in the U.S. and I was so excited to get to experiment with it this past weekend! We decided to make fish tacos, since it's a mild flavored fish. It was super easy to prepare and the best part? It isn't super fishy, so our home didn't smell fishy the rest of the evening ;) This recipe serves at least 4 and was very quick to pull together. 

What you'll need:
1 lb of paiche
pico ingrendients
cilantro lime sauce ingredients
chili powder and cumin
corn tortillas
red cabbage
sides ((I went with black beans))

Step one ((prepare cilantro lime sauce))
6 oz of greek yogurt
6 oz of olive oil mayo
handful of cilantro
juice of one lime
half tablespoon of olive oil
half of an avocado
Blend ingredients food processor. The longer you have to prep this one and let sit in the fridge, the better! 

Step two ((prepare the pico de gallo))
quarter of red onion
two large roma tomatoes
half jalepeno
juice of half of lime
pinch of salt
Chop tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalepeno. Juice lime, add salt, and gently stir.

Step three ((prepare the Paiche))
1. Heat up about a tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat
2. Rub both sides of fish with salt, cumin and chili powder
3. Place in skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked all the way through (opaque)

Step four ((while the fish is cooking, prepare the black beans))
one clove of garlic, chopped
two tablespoons of diced red onion
chopped cilantro to taste
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
can of black beans (get the good kind from the international aisle!)
Mix well and heat up in small pot until onions are tender.

Step five ((assembly))
Heat up corn tortillas in microwave or on stovetop
Spread cilantro lime sauce onto tortilla
Add cabbage and pico, then the fish. 

Serving suggestions and tips:
1. Best served with cilantro lime rice and black beans
2. Optional: top with jalepeno and monterrey jack cheese
3. Because there are so many of the same flavors throughout this plate, I chopped garlic, onion, cilantro, and jalepeno at the beginning so that I could divvy it up without having to stop and chop more. 
4. Serve with little wedges of lime for extra flavor. 
5. Watch out for bones!

Want another way to prepare this fish? Try the lime roasted paiche with sweet potatoes

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods because I am a part of their Whole Foods Ambassador Blogger Program. I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a few items free of charge. Consider yourself disclosed ;) 

Monday, January 27, 2014

as for me and my house

I recently worked with Jessi from Naptime Diaries to design a canvas print for our home. I'm trying to make our home less girly and more "us" than "me." Over the years, my tastes and preferences have overtaken our home decor and I want Chase to come home and be comfortable, to enjoy our little space, and to not be surrounded by a ton of florals and feminine details. After all, it's his home too. 

Chase and I decided on Joshua 24:15 for our verse of the year. It's kind of a "get back to basics" effort - to simplify and remind ourselves that our ultimate goal is to glorify and serve the Lord…not to get anything in return or earn favor or seek our own glory…but to point to Him because He has given us so much. 

I had a "collage" of floral canvases that I had painted in college above this sofa ((you can see those here)) and replaced it with our new canvas. I just love how it pulls everything in. It's simple and modern and eye-catching all in one. It balances out the large chalkboard that we have on the opposite wall above our dining table. Chase loves it and that makes me happy because I love it too. 

You can get this print and/or canvas from anywhere from an 8x10 up to a 24x30 ((which is what I have above)) in the Naptime Diaries Shop. Make sure to check out the newest prints that other bloggers got to collaborate with her on. So much good stuff. 
Bonus: the discount code  Oh Sweet Joy will get you 15% off anything in the Naptime Diaries Shop right now. Jackpot. 

Other details:
striped throw: ikea


Thursday, January 23, 2014

sponsor highlight + giveaway ((small moments graphics + design))

Today's featured sponsor, Small Moments, focuses on invites, prints, stationery and custom design work. A few of my favorites are the Caffeine chart, the craft beer party invite, and the untamed heart card.  Meet Kimberly, the gal behind this great business. 

I design unique custom announcements and invitations for all occasions, note and holiday cards, prints to frame, professional marketing materials and more. Invitations for weddings, showers, birthdays, anniversaries, bachelor/bachelorette, new home/address cards and baby/graduation announcements. Professional graphic design services include logo work, flyers, brochures, business cards, postcards and more.
Philosophy:  "A great invitation is the perfect excuse to have a party!"

8x10 LOVE letter press print and six  "Sweet Like Candy" blank notecards (($54 value))

OHSWEETJOY will get you 10% off your entire purchase through 2.14.14!

shop // Facebook 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuffy Kickshaw

One thing I love about the area we live in is how handmade and "small batch" businesses are celebrated. Handmade markets abound and small businesses often succeed - it's a beautiful thing. At the past few Firefly markets, I bee line straight to the Tuffy Kickshaw booth.  I love to sample her newest flavors and grab a bag or two to bring home with us. Said bags never last long…we devour their savory goodness no matter how hard we try to slow it down. 

I'll back up a bit -Tuffy Kickshaw is a local Colorado business that makes delectable caramel corn. This ain't no box of crunch n' munch, y'all. It's the most delicious popcorn you will ever put in your mouth. It is both, gourmet and comfort food.  Julie is a dear and the flavor combinations she comes up with are She uses the best of ingredients, non GMO popcorn, and offers seasonal flavors. If I didn't know any better, I'd think her popcorn flavors were laced with some sort of addictive drug ((it's been said many times in our household that, "there HAS to be crack in here.")). We don't do drugs, we just eat copious amounts of popcorn. 

I recently tried Cinnamon French Toast, Vanilla Sable, and Jack 'R Crack - they were all delicious, but my favorite is the Whiskey & Brown Butter. Always and forever. 

What are you waiting for? Please go order some of this goodness and/or sign up for their Popcorn of the Month club! Your tastebuds will thank you. 

FInd more behind the scenes here: 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

lipstick is the new nail polish

I apologize for the quiet around here. Truth be told, I have all this excitement for my shop right now, but I'm struggling to find inspiration for blog content. Anywho, Knox is napping and I thought I'd confess share my obsession  love for lipstick, lip balms, and lip stains. 

I posted the photo below on instagram ((do you follow me there?)) and said that I have to stop. It's a little out of control…but it's so fun and well, can't stop - won't stop. 

After all, "lipstick is the new nail polish." I'm glad I got my collection going the past few years. 

Most are from the drug store, minus the bath & body works cream, the rose salve, and the sephora lip tar ((THAT I LOVE!)). Some other favorites are from Radiant Cosmetics, which I'm not actually sure is still around. My all time favorites are the three on the bottom left ((by maybelline)). They are "are you reddy," "vivid rose," and "electric orange." The balm on the far bottom right is by jordana, from walgreens I think, and is so soft and sheer, yet it layers on well. The red one in that trio is SO great for staying on and I love how matte it is. It's Revlon's matte balm and you can buy it at Ulta or at target. 

This is by far the most trivial thing you'll read today, but I'm okay with that. What are your favorite lip products? 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tribal Collection >>> Now Available!

I'm excited to "open up shop" again and get going for 2014. Click here to shop the new Tribal Collection, which is ready to ship and available in three great colors options! 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

free coffee and the gospel

A few weeks ago, I posted a gift card on instagram and loaded it up with $50. I posted a photo of the gift card so that baristas could scan it and coffee would be on me for a few people that morning. I've made so many real connections via running my small business, through the influence network, and just by being a part this small huge world of blogging and social media. Since I can't take everyone to coffee ((what, with us being spread out across the country and all)), I thought I'd treat a few people. 

Before I knew it ((literally two screen refreshes later)), it was empty and I went to "recent transactions" to see how many people got to get free coffee. I was so giddy and I was anticipating such a feel good moment. Then I noticed that three people spent $8-11. Fewer people got to enjoy free coffee because a few people got "greedy" ((I'm being dramatic. It's possible that they could have really needed breakfast or that they bought the drink behind them too)) and ordered either a huge fancy drink or also got a fancy drink plus a breakfast sandwich. Several people commented that it was already empty and I felt bad, so I reloaded it again. 

It went quickly and I tried to not let the three that spent more than "their share" bother me. Easier said than done. 

You see, I have a strong sense of justice. I typically place a huge emphasis on right and wrong and like most people - I don't like being taken advantage of. I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't shake it. It rubbed me the wrong way and I was bitter about it ((super mature, I know)). Looking back, it's really just a clear example of me not truly understanding and not living out the gospel. I just wasn't getting it. 

I wanted to give a gift. I didn't even realize it at the time, but I was giving a gift that had conditions. That gift was limited. The gift was freely given unless you took advantage of it. The gift was for you unless you didn't appreciate it or decided to use it flippantly. Ew. Again, not exactly understanding the gospel over here. 

I eventually forgot about it and the next day I noticed that I had lots of stars so, worse case scenario, I got a free drink out of the deal because I had registered it under my Gold card. I totally forgot about that little perk. I decided I would wait until we got to Texas and I would redeem that  free drink there. On Christmas day, we went to Starbucks with Chase's sister and our brother-in-law. I checked my Starbucks app to pull up the reward to find that someone else had redeemed it. COME ON. 

I imagine the conversation went like this, 
Barista: "There isn't any more money on your card, but there is a free drink reward - did you want to redeem it?" 
Customer Who Redeemed my Free Drink: "Sure!" 
There wasn't anyone telling them, "THAT ISN'T YOUR GOLD CARD! SOMEONE ELSE EARNED THAT!" It was surely unintentional and harmless. 

But…it crushed me all over again. Here I am, trying to do something nice, something good... trying to spread some Christmas cheer and people took advantage of me over and over. I pouted and Chase looks me in the eyes and says, "Well, Jesus was always trying to do good things and people killed him." True. I'm not comparing my starbucks gift card instagram effort to Jesus, but He was right. What am I to expect? 

God knew when He sent Jesus down as a baby to grow up and die for ALL of mankind's sins that we would screw it up. He knew that we would take advantage of His grace. He knew that we'd botch it time and time again. He knew that  we would take His mercy for granted. He knew…but he gave us that gift anyways. He gave us Christ to die for our inevitable stupidity and sin. Why am I not, in turn, able to live that way every day? If Christ's example is what I strive for as a Christian, why can't I load a Starbucks gift card to give to my followers and readers without being bitter when someone doesn't follow the ((unspoken)) rules? 

So, I set out to spread some Christmas cheer and got a big ol' gospel and life lesson on giving gifts unconditionally. What if we lived like this every day? What if we gave and served and lived as Jesus does? What would it look like if we made the conscious decision to give KNOWING that people could and can and will take advantage of us from time to time? Not that we would be pushovers, but that we would be such doers of the Word and such lovers of grace that we could always have a posture of humility and servanthood. I pray often that God would give me the desire to live out the Gospel radically in my life. I want that so much. This is one way that the Lord has basically said, "Alright, prove it. Let's do this." 


Monday, January 6, 2014

recipe ((fresh skillet queso))

The last time I ate queso I told myself I would never do so again. It almost seemed as though it congealed in my insides and I was worthless for the rest of the evening. However, I got the hankering for it recently (how Texan is that phrase?) and set out on an adventure to make queso without the boxed stuff. You know what I'm talking about -- The V word that I'm not even remotely convinced it's any kind of real cheese. 

I have to say - this queso is incredibly delicious and is so full of fresh flavor that isn't from a can of spiced tomatoes or a cup of chili in the shape of a can. 

I picked up the produce, package of cheese ((already shredded because who has time to shred their own anyways?)), a half pound of fresh chorizo from the meat counter at Whole Foods. I came home and got out my trusty cast-iron skillet. I always feel so legit when I use that heavy sucker. 

1/2 lb of chorizo
1 Jalepeno
1 Tomato
half of a large onion ((I used yellow))
8-12 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese
1 garlic clove
small handful of cilantro
((optional: splash of tequila))

1. Chop the jalepeno, onion, and tomato and put aside in a bowl.
2. Chop garlic and cilantro and set aside, as well.
3. Brown the chorizo on medium heat in your skillet, breaking it up as it cooks. 
4. Once the chorizo is finished cooking, add the bowl of tomato, onion, and jalepeno. Cook for a few minutes until the jalepeno and onion are tender.
5. Add garlic and stir around for a minute or so. 
((optional: add tequila for an extra element of flavor))
6. Add cheese and gently stir while it melts. Once it is almost melted, add the cilantro and continue to stir, making sure to incorporate all the other ingredients. 
7. Serve and enjoy.

This would be perfect as an appetizer for an upcoming get together. It takes about 10-15 minutes to make and you can just set it on the table with a bowl of chips.  I know for a fact that I'll be making some for our third annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta this year. 

Leave a comment with your favorite party appetizer for a chance to win a $25 whole foods gift card. Two readers will win! 
((giveaway now closed, winners have been emailed))

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods because I am a part of their Whole Foods Ambassador Blogger Program. I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a few items free of charge. Consider yourself disclosed ;)