Christmassy Bokeh Filters

(This is a repost of a diy I first shared a couple of Christmases ago. It's fun, free, and kids love it!)

Here's a fun (and free!) diy to make picture taking a little more fun while you have your Christmas lights up! I was procrastinating on folding our laundry last night, and remembered this simple project I saw on Color Me Katie about two years ago. You can purchase bokeh filters, but you can very easily and quickly make your own.
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
You'll need:
•A camera with a large aperture lens
•Cardstock, or other thick paper

1. Cut out a circle the size of your lens.
2. Cut out your desired shape on the middle of the circle, don't make it too big.
3. Tape it to your lens.
4. Set your camera to it's lowest aperture value (mine was set at 1.8), make sure the lights aren't in focus, and take your picture! It'd be cute to have someone in focus on the foreground, with little dancing trees in the background. I'll have to try this when Jacob is awake and willing to participate in picture taking.
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
(this is what it should look like)

diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
(make your tree lights look cool...)
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
(your home look like it's covered by stars...)
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
(pretend it's snowing out your front door...)
diy bokeh filters, the friendly fox
(and check out a tiny neon forest.)


What's in the box?

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen pictures of some of the really cool (and really weird) items I find when sorting through the boxes of vintage from the shop I purchased. I was able to get through a few boxes this weekend, and took some pictures of the process. I have already set aside bags that I know are just clothing or cloth (including linens), which left me with a lot of boxes of who-knows-what to look through. These are fun to dig through because I have absolutely no clue what's in them, and each box is so different than the previous one. It takes me about 15-20 minutes per box/tub/suitcase/5-gallon bucket, and I think I only have about 70 boxes left to sort through! Phew!

Step 1: Pull aside a box, always outside so the spiders and silverfish and animal droppings (gross, but true) never make it into my house. Since everything gets cleaned before heading into the shop, I'm ok with it being on the porch floor.

unpacking vintage 1, friendly fox vintage
unpacking vintage 2, friendly fox vintage
(at this point I freaked out a bit at the sight of those shoes and that giant bag)

Step 2: Separate into piles: For the shop, trash, antiques/collectibles, and to donate (anything useable but not vintage, like lightbulbs and other weird miscellaneous items). Sometimes things make it into our house, like lace curtains or cool pictures we like.

unpacking vintage 3, friendly fox vintage
unpacking vintage 4, friendly fox vintage

Step 3: Sort the contents of the "keep" pile into their respective bins. All the jewelry goes into one of the many suitcases of jewelry I have, shoes go in a shoe tub to hopefully find its match, and items I absolutely can't wait to clean and photograph make it onto my desk.

unpacking vintage 5, friendly fox vintage

unpacking vintage 6, friendly fox vintage

unpacking vintage 7, friendly fox vintage

Step 4: Antiques and collectibles get separated into "keep to sell" and a pile for an antique dealer Josh knows to sort through.

unpacking vintage 8, friendly fox vintage

unpacking vintage 9, friendly fox vintage

Not every box is this exciting, but I do usually find a few things that will make it to the shop buried in the piles of randoms. I found an embroidered Art Deco piano shawl in a box of office supplies and an Edwardian dress bundled up with some ugly Christmas decorations!

Out of this other box...

unpacking vintage 10, friendly fox vintage

...came a cool Pendleton Round Up program from 1936, a bunch of sewing patterns, lots of old photographs, and some children's garters! Oh, and a lot of trash.

unpacking vintage 10, friendly fox vintage

unpacking vintage 10, friendly fox vintage

At this point, I haven't washed or processed the majority of the items I am keeping for the shop. They all go into tubs, and while I wish I could leisurely look through them, the main task is to sort through it all first! The thrill of buying out a business sight mostly unseen is digging through these boxes. The woman I bought the shop from had boxes she never even went through! We had to pack and take EVERYTHING in her shop, from old flyers for her shop down to boxes of what turned out to be recycling piles or kids crafts! So, there you have it!


Digging up Treasures, A Year Later

It's been a year since I purchased the entire contents of a vintage shop that shut down (read all about it here), and I am STILL organizing and finding incredible items that make me squeal! I foolishly thought it would take me a month, MAX, to sort through and organize everything. Ha! Not only was it a monumental task to even load and unload that jam packed 27' U-Haul truck, there was just no safe way to get into our storage unit with Jacob around. A huge majority of the boxes, suitcases, and tubs have been stored away for a year now, and I have no clue what's in most of them. This weekend we moved them to a storage facility, and I brought a few boxes home with me to look through. Holy moly! I thought it would be mostly hats (I had originally estimated I had 300 or so hats...I was way off. More like 800+!) but I found some other neat surprises.

One suitcase was locked, but had a garter strap hanging out of it. I thought there might be a piece of lingerie in it, so I brought it home. Much to my surprise, there were a few cotton late 20s-30s dresses, some wonderful linen pieces, a 40s lace wedding dress, a handful of slips, and ten or so Edwardian pieces in it! Jackpot!

This incredible silk and cotton 1920s dress was wadded up in a plastic bag underneath a pile of linens. It needs some mending, but it is just gorgeous.

I've been finding a lot of Edwardians whites mixed in with what I thought were just table cloths, WAY more shoes that I thought I had, most of them from the 1940s. There are also a lot of non-clothing items (crochet table cloths, un cut patterns, etc )that I need to figure out what to do with- either add them to my existing shop or open another one?

There are many many many more boxes to dig through. I know it will take me a long while to really get everything sorted, but I'm in no rush. While there are a lot of great garments here, it is a very very time consuming task to hand wash them all, mend them if needed, and get them ironed and steamed and ready to list. I want to do these pieces justice and not rush it. In the middle of remodeling a house, moving into another house to remodel, being a mom, a wife, and a pregnant lady...I'm fine letting this vintage work hang out until I get those few extra minutes to work on it. Once things settle down a bit with house work (so so soon!), I'll be able to actually put in regular hours for the shop, and I'm looking forward to it!


Swim Time

Swimwear and summer items are making their way into the shop, and it's made better by a 25% off store wide sale!

//shop the sale here//


Summer-y Shop

It's getting all sorts of summery in the shop! This week has been all about dresses and accessories, next week will be about swimsuits- and more dresses, of course.

friendly fox vintage
(1, 2, 3, 4)

friendly fox vintage
("">1, 2, 3, 4)

friendly fox vintage
(1, 2, 3, 4)

enter the shop here


Settling in

We have been in our new (old) house for a little over two weeks now and are getting settled in, slowly but surely. We are all really happy to be in this space. Jacob has done so well with the move, even crying when we were still in the moving process because he wanted to stay at the new house! He's transitioned from a crib to a twin bed in his own room with no problem. I was a little bit nervous about this, because his previous "room" was really just a large closet/small office area off of our bedroom. Now with his own full bedroom he seems like such a real KID!

1. This boy is not interested in this dirt pile going away anytime soon.
2. This mama hen and baby chick planter set, a gift from Red Envelope, couldn't be more fitting for this chicken keeping, plant loving Mama Annie.
3. Moving from a 650(ish) sq ft living area to a 2000 sq ft house leaves us with some empty rooms. We are looking forward to having a fully furnished house, but not rushing out to buy just to fill the space. We don't like owning a ton of stuff for stuff's sake, but I am definitely going to hit up some yard sales soon!

There are still a few small projects to get done, but nothing overwhelming. We still have to build out the chicken area, so for now our girls are at our old house, being cared for by a house-sitting friend.

Oh, and remember when I bought out an entire vintage store and stored it's contents in a 10'x20' shipping container on our property? Yeah...I still need to sort through that and find a new storage solution. Wish me luck!


Cow Webs and Pig Pockets (on being bilingual)

A tiny me in one of the many parades my school in Mexico participated in.

One of the questions I get asked most by family and friends is if I plan on raising Jacob speaking Spanish. My parents were born in Sonora, Mexico, my sister was born there, and 90% of my very very large family lives there. Though I was born in Los Angeles, my mom moved us back to Mexico when I was still a baby. My first memories take place in Mexico, some days my heart and stomach long for Mexico, and my first language is Spanish. I very clearly remember moving back to the United States and learning English from square one. My parents wrote out the alphabet in Spanish phonetics ("A" = ey, "B"= bi, etc), and I was thrown into a mostly English speaking school. Since I was still very young, I picked up this second language quickly and have outgrown any accent I may have once had. I am still completely fluent in Spanish, mostly thanks to my mom who has always insisted I speak Spanish to her, though she is fluent in English. There are some words and phrases I struggle with in Spanish, especially if I'm put on the spot or too excited to think straight.

Every now and again, I say things in English that are completely wrong and Josh teases me that he should write me a book with common English sayings and jokes. Up until about a year ago, I thought that if you didn't clean your home you would find coW webs, and if you didn't watch your back, you might get piG pocketed! Oh, and most of the movies people my age grew up with? I either watched them dubbed in Spanish or watched and understood absolutely nothing. My nostalgia is El Chavo del Ocho, Muchchitas, and Sabado Gigante. There's comfort in hearing Joan Sebastian or Los Tigres del Norte playing, and some days I want nothing more than a duro with chamoy on top.

When Jacob started speaking, we worked a lot on Spanish words, but that's slowed down a bit. He is delayed in some of his speech, so we are focusing on English first, so he can at least be understood in one language soon. About a third of his words are in Spanish already, my mom speaks mostly Spanish to him, and it's neat to see how he also understands the English word for the same thing.

I will probably always get things mixed up a bit, and may speak in Spanglish most of the time, but I really hope to raise Jacob speaking both English and Spanish, and celebrating his Mexican heritage. I, of course, want him to have every opportunity that being bilingual can open up for him, but I also want him to grow up with a deep connection to his extended family. There were some cultural clashes that my mom and I went through when I was growing up, but I'm glad to have a close tie to my family and their traditions. We have over 100 family members still in Mexico, most of them in the same city. I can't wait for him to experience what it's like to hang out at his grandmas' houses, have a million cousins to joke and run around with, and walk to the toritlleria and roll up a fresh tortilla that just came off the conveyor belt.


Baby #2

pregnant hotel livin' while our house is remodeled...kind of my specialty!

We are welcoming a new baby into our family in November! I am thrilled (and nervous!) to be a mother of two. I am really looking forward to seeing Jacob with the baby, and for him to have a buddy around all the time. If you ask him, though, there's a "Baby Car" in my belly...so, we'll see what he thinks of a baby human.

A perfect Mother's Day family photo. Let's add another one to this crazy bunch!


Balance, Annie, Balance.

If there is one thing I've struggled with in my two years of being a mom is BALANCE. Not so much balancing my duties as a mom/wife/homemaker/vintage seller, but balance in how I am a mom. You see, I've set up these ridiculous standards for myself, that I'm pretty sure are unattainable yet I keep beating myself up when I don't meet them. Let me explain.

Up until a couple of months ago, I would take Jacob out to super fun toddler destinations about four out of five weekdays. I felt like I had to be out with him everyday for the five hours before his nap, fully and wholly immersed in being a super! fun! mom! I struggled with letting him play by himself at home while I got things done. I felt like a "horrible mom" if I wasn't 200% engaged in an activity with him, 100% of his waking time.

I cringed whenever we would show up at a gathering and there were cookies or chips, because I knew he would want them. I am very choosy about the hippie food we eat at home. While I kept telling myself that because of our healthy homemade meals, it wouldn't bother me when he occasionally ate that stuff, I struggled with feeling like a "horrible mom" if he had one cookie, because chances are that cookie wasn't baked with carob instead of chocolate chips.

When Jacob self weaned at just a few days after his second birthday, I felt like those other moms did a "better" job of breastfeeding their kid till four. When I needed a break from cloth diapers, I felt like a jerk for making it "only" 22 months. Again, I felt like a "horrible mom."

I wish I could say I was exaggerating with that term, but I have used the phrase "I'm such a horrible mom." to Josh over and over again. He, being a rational adult, reassures me that no, probably I'm not even close to that. But still...WHAT KIND OF MOM FORGETS TO SNEAK KALE INTO THE PASTA SAUCE!!?" if not a horrible one?

The twisted and backwards thing about this all is that I have not once thought less of another mom who uses disposable diapers, who lets their toddler eat cookies, who has apps downloaded just for their kids...you know, a mom who mothers her children in the way that she sees fit. I also am not the type to feel like other's lives are so put together based on what I see on social media outlets. But, I feel like I have to follow up a picture of a night out for ice cream with "Oh, you guys, this is a really rare treat. He NEVER eats sugar!" or something dumb and unimportant like that. I don't want people to assume that Jacob eats sugar all day long, as if it made a difference in our lives either way. I do struggle with finding my footing as a mom, and my balance is shaky.

I recently came to the realization that I'm comparing myself to idealized versions of moms I know. In my mind, my mama raised us four kids in the most impeccable way...but the reality is we were probably sent to bed without brushing our teeth a night or two in our lives. My mom sewed us tiny Barbie clothes and played with us, but also sat us down with some desert and a cartoon now and then. I'm sure the moms I have put on a pedestal in my mind have made a meal without perfect nutritional balance once or twice.

I'm trying to gain my confidence as a mom in public. I'm trying to ENJOY the fact that it's pretty fun now for Jacob to enjoy treats like ice cream and a super sugary cupcake and sometimes a donut just because! I'm reminding myself that some days we just barely make it to the park across the street for twenty minutes because I'm busy, and that Jacob playing by himself is GOOD for him. As it turns out that if Jacob watches a couple of shows a week so I can get caught up on getting orders shipped out, it's not a big deal. Who knew!? Basically, I'm trying to learn to be a normal and balanced mom.



So, we're moving.

After a whole lot of thought and back and forth, we've decided: we are doing a crazy thing and leaving this house that we have worked so hard and long on.

(looking out his new living room window)

A lot of pictures and thoughts after the jump: