Coral Vintage Giveaway

My, I've been a busy little bee this past week! We had a great Thankgsiving breakfast and dinner with my mom and siblings, then drove a couple of hours south to spend time with Josh's side of the family. We were there for a few days, and yesterday was my mom's birthday. Lot's and lots of great family time, food, and more food!
While we were out of Portland, Josh and I managed to hunt around for treasures, and I found about 200 new items for the shop! When we got back to Portland, there was a big 32LB box full of vintage waiting for me on my doorstep, for a little something I'll be sharing soon. I'm up to my neck in vintage, and I love it! There are lots of new items in the shop right now, and more coming every day! As always, I will post new listings immediately on Twitter, so follow along to see new items, they're getting snatched up almost immediately!

This week's giveaway is from Coral Vintage on Etsy. Coral Vintage is run by the lovely Christine, who lives right here in Portland. I met Christine through a friend not too long ago, when she was getting ready to set up her shop. After a tasty breakfast one day, I went to her house and was absolutely blown away by the merchandise she was stocking up on! Christine has a fantastic eye for very old, beautiful pieces, and her shop if stocked full of them. She manages to run such a great shop, while being the momma of three young kids! I love the photography of her shop, which is all shot by local photographer Michele Groves. Yay for creative Portlanders!
Christine is generously offering up this great vintage purse. Just in time for all those holiday parties, you can win this 1950's black satin handbag. It has a delicate silver chain and embossed basket weave detail running along the top frame. The chain can be used for carrying or can be tucked inside and out of view. Features silver satin lining and attached silver coin purse. Elegant and a little bit lovely!

To Enter:
1. Be a follower of this blog
2. Visit Coral Vintage on Etsy and leave a comment with the link to your favorite item
(If this dress were in my size, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat!)

For an additional entry:
Follow Coral Vintage on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway.
*Be sure to leave a separate comment for your second entry!

Christine is also offering up a 20% discount to ANYTHING in her shop! Just enter the coupon code "littleogiveaway" at checkout, and the discount will be applied immediately!

The winner of the Tea Collection giveaway is Michelle, from Another Day Another Outfit. Congrats, Michelle! I'll be emailing you in just a bit!

And remember, I'm taking on sponsors for the month of December, for incredibly cheap! It's a great time to advertise for your shop or business!! Click here for more info, and email me if you're interested!


happy thanksgiving!

I am thankful for
* a loving husband who makes me laugh, dream, and supports me in going after my dreams
* the little bundle growing in my belly, his kicks and punches, and for that fast little heartbeat of his
* wonderful, supportive families (both mine and Josh's) that are always there for us
* great friends who offer laughs, much needed talks, and help with our house
* our little house, which is on it's way to becoming our perfect little home
* living in a beautiful city, and being able to get away from it easily
* being able to work from home so I can make it nice and cozy for my guys
* having laundry to fold. Even though it's not the most fun, we are blessed to have clothing
* cold weather that warrants lots of snuggling and hot sipping chocolate
* my faith, and the freedom we have to believe what we choose to believe

Don't forget to enter to win $100 to Tea Collection, for you or to buy gifts for loved ones. Click here to enter, ends Saturday.


Never Make a pretty woman your wife

I recently rewatched Mermaids, starring Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci. I love all the characters in this film, and the clothes and sets are so fun and colorful!

I love the ending scene, with one of the funniest songs around!



Every now and then, I like to look at my Analytics to see who's coming to my blog, what posts people like to read the most, etc. I always find things that make me giggle a little bit under the things people searched for that brought them here. Sometimes it's normal things like "Little Ocean Nanny" or "Estate Sale". One funny one was "Squeezing into a kid's size," but, I had to share this screen cap of the most recent searches that made me wonder...WHAT!!?

If you were searching for posts about me and my family in bed, about my underwear, or how I like to dress dead babies (or dress up AS a dead baby? I don't know which is worse!), I apologize that you were probably disappointed with what you found!


Week 30

Wow, I can't believe we're at week 30 already! I'm in my last trimester, and have only 10 weeks to go! I keep having a feeling that this baby is going to make his appearance sooner than that, but that might just be wishful thinking.

I still feel pretty good, but I am definitely getting more tired throughout the day. I am trying to keep up with the housework, the remodel, listing things in the shop, blogging, and trying to spend time with family and friends! I have to remember to take rests throughout the day, and put these swelling feet up. I'm learning first hand what that back pain pregnant ladies talk about feels like! Sometimes it's hard to not be able to do everything on my "to do" list in one day, but I know in the end all that matters is that baby and I stay healthy!
Ok, sappy time...
Nothing has made me fall more in love with Josh than hearing him talk about his little boy. He's so excited to show him so many things, take him on man trips, and maybe even have someone to watch hockey with! It's downright adorable. Josh even bought him his very own tiny apron for when they work on construction projects together. Obviously it will be a few years before he can use it, but for now, it will just hang up next to Dad's tools.

An upside to this big belly is having a built-in shelf! JR Jr doesn't really like when I set things on him, and he is very very quick to kick and punch anything that bothers him. Last week, Josh's sister came up to Portland for a bit and dropped off this little train set. Josh made this in Woodshop class in 6th grade! So, little 11 year old Josh carved this set for his niece and nephew, and now they've passed it down for our little boy to have. Isn't it so cute!?

I'm getting the nesting bug bad, and I just want to have my little one cuddled up in our bed with us!

Dear Baby Boy,
We are so close to meeting you! Ten weeks sounds so far away, but time is just flying by, and soon you'll be in our arms. You are about 16 inches long and weigh about 3.5 pounds now, I can't believe how much you've grown! You are not shy in moving around, and Daddy and I like to guess which of your body parts are scraping my belly. Sometimes your moves are a little painful, and you made me cry a little bit last week! You just wanted to stay lodged in my ribs, I guess you liked it there. But, as much as your little kicks hurt sometimes, it still brings a smile to my face feeling the flat part of your little foot, or feeling your clamped fist go by.
We are so excited that you're going to be a little winter baby! We have great plans of cuddling up in bed and watching movies and listening to music as a little family, and the cold weather will be just the perfect excuse we need to stay under the covers. We are so eager to see your face and kiss your little legs and tummy and maybe nibble on your cheeks a little bit. Good thing you're putting on some fat these days!


hello darkness, my old friend

Judging from all the updates on my facebook, blogger, and twitter, I'm the only one that's glad about the time change. I love that it gets dark early, it makes everything feel just a little cozier! I'm looking forward to our bedroom getting darker earlier so I can take evening naps, and having dinner when it's dark is the best!

(dress: vintage, coming to the shop this weekend; trenchcoat: vintage Burberry, found at the thrift store!; tights: zara; shoes: really old aldo flats)

Today was one of the best days I've had in a really long time. It was one of those days where the weather is perfect, everyone you come across is in a good mood, and it's just spent smiling. Josh had a work appointment in a small town about an hour outside of Portland, so I tagged along. He dropped me off at a teeny tiny thrift store, and I had the best luck in the world!! I found...this classic, authentic Burberry trench!! It was one of those thrift stores that's ran by the sweetest old ladies, and just smells super musty. Unfortunately, the trench is just a tiny bit too small in the bust, so I'm going to sell it.

I found SO MANY awesome items for the shop! I'm working on a shop update this weekend that'll be full of jackets and coats, velvet and crepe party dresses, pretty heels, leather lace-up oxfords, lots of Fall day dresses including the one I'm wearing in this post, and a couple of wool capes (one with a gorgeous Peter Pan collar!). I'm really itching to get this stuff listed, it's so good. I just hope my energy level stays up! Lugging stuff up and down the stairs to photograph and measure is tiring!

My darling husband was very excited to take me to this abandoned building by our house for pictures. I love it! I'll definitely have to come back when I have more than 15 minutes of daylight left for more pictures. I'll leave you with a picture of the cutest husband a girl could ever have, and the truck he loves.


spiced pear cake

Last Friday, I went to a dinner party at my friend's house, and decided last minute to make a dessert to bring. I didn't want to go to the store, so I turned to the trusty TasteSpotting to lead me to a recipe I could make with on-hand ingredients. I settled on this Spiced Pear Cake from Family Fresh Cooking. You can't really go wrong with pear anything this time of year.
Everyone seemed to like this cake, but I'm still not sure if I like it or not. Though the original recipe promises a really moist cake, I ended up with more of a dry, shortbread-y cake. It wasn't bad, but you know when you bite into something and it doesn't taste like you expect it to, and it's weird? That's what happened with this cake. If I try this recipe again, I'll make sure to use all of the cooked fruit, instead of just one cup of it and bake it about 5 minutes less so it stays moist. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

Pear Spiced Cake, adapted from Family Fresh Cooking
3 Pears cleaned and chopped, remove core & keep skin on (I used 2 pears/1 apple, what I had on hand)
1/4 cup Water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons White Whole Wheat flour
1 cup medium grind Cornmeal
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup chopped, toasted Walnuts
1 teaspoon honey, maple, brown sugar, sucanat to taste
2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg
1 cup Milk
1 cup Pear Sauce (from above)
2 tablespoons melted Unsalted Butter

For the pear sauce:
Wash and roughly cube pears. I left the skin on for added nutrients.
Place pears in a medium sauce pan with water.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat & partially cover with a lid. Reduce to a simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool a bit and purée in a food processor or blender.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 400˚F with the rack in the center.
Prepare a 8″ round cake pan.
Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.
With a spatula, stir to combine the wet and dry ingredients in one bowl.
Coat 1/2 cup walnuts with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add to the batter and stir gently to combine.
Add the batter to the cake pan and top with additional walnuts and candied ginger pieces.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh, yes, I did make some fresh whipped cream and caramel sauce to go atop this cake! I added some vanilla to the heavy cream before whipping it, and used this recipe for the caramel. I gave into my instinct to double the recipe, and ended up with three jars of caramel. Whoops. Good thing I have tons of Honey Crisp apples to dunk in it!

Did you know that Josh has a blog dedicated to the remodeling of our house? We're going to work the layout this week, but you can see a little of what our house was, is, and will be right HERE!


i got dressed this weekend

This is what I wore when I went to the Little Winter market. I borrowed this dress from the shop, you can buy it here! I love the long sleeves on it and the little button details. Of course, you don't have to be pregnant to wear this dress, but the fullness of the skirt is great over a baby belly!

(dress: vintage, buy it here! boots and necklace: vintage, thrifted, cardigan: secondhand forever21, purse: zara)

I am really excited to show you these pictures, because they are the first ones I've taken on a complete manual setting on my camera (that have turned out, at least). These aren't edited at all, I just played around with all the settings on the camera to get the pictures to come out like this! I know I have a lot more practice before I get really good at photography, but I've been having so much fun practicing, and am really proud of these. Playing around with the white balance is something I'm still trying to figure out, so some of these have a blueish tint. It's also a bit hard to set the focus manually when I use a self timer, since there is nothing really there for me to focus on.

The figs off our tree have almost all fallen. This makes our backyard so fragrant! It's also a great attraction for all the birds and squirrels in our neighborhood. They love it back here, and I love to sit back and watch them run around with giant figs in their tiny mouths!

Also, I have a really great giveaway coming up very soon. It's worth $100, so trust me, you'll want to stay tuned and enter it!


Little Winter pdx

On Saturday morning, Anja and I went to The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel downtown to check out the goods at Little Winter PDX. Little Winter is a market stocked full of handmade crafts and arts. We showed up right around the time it opened, and were very pleasantly surprise to see the place packed with people shopping! I love seeing people show up and support local and independent designers and artists.
The Market was so beautifully curated and decorated. Everywhere I looked, there was somtething to catch my eye.

I love these little houses stuffed with air plants from My House Party. I bought this tiny little ornament for our Christmas tree, to celebrate being in our little home. One thing I love about independent sellers is that even the packaging is adorable!

Cori Kindred's table was fully of lovely woodsy displays and the prettiest scissors. I didn't get to meet Cori, but I did talk with her friend Jen, from the super cute blog Scissors Paper Glue and Etsy shop Vintage Scissors for a while.

Anja and I both bought this necklace from Mossière. It's a chunk of Fool's Gold on a delicate little chain. I was also very tempted to buy this gorgeous calendar, but I decided to spread my few bucks amongst other sellers, too.

I really enjoyed meeting and talking with Myra of Twig & Honey. As if her headpieces and jewelry weren't cute enough, she is such a sweetheart, and we ended up chatting for quite a bit. I purchased a travel size of her new scent, RumpledCake to take home and try out. You know how scents are always a little different on you than in the bottle? I wanted to make sure I liked it, and that Josh would, too. It turns out, I couldn't stop smelling myself after I put this on! I know scents are a very personal thing, but I feel like RumpledCake is such a universally appealing scent. And the best part: the ingredients! I think you guys know by now that I'm super picky about artificial ingredients in my food, but I'm also that way in my toiletries, which is why I basically have none. I hadn't been able to find a natural, non paraben, non preservative scent that I liked before this. Now, I just need to save up my pennies to buy a regular sized bottle...

Harriot Grace offered some great feather kitchen linens, and a feather cookie-cutter that I debated getting. I am still thinking about it, I might have to go back and get it! How awesome would it be to receive a plate of cookies shaped like feathers?

These are just a few of the many many sellers that were at the Market. If you're in Portland, I very strongly recommend checking the sale out. They'll be open Sunday from 11am-5pm at The Cleaners, 403 SW 10th Street Portland.


A healthy potato soup!

As soon as the last of the major projects in our kitchen were complete, I practically ran to the grocery store. As I've whined before, I was tired of having to eat out for every meal, and could not wait to cook. I stocked my grocery cart with every fruit and vegetable I could find. I can't help myself, those bright colors of produce seduce me every time!
When I got home, I knew what I wanted for dinner: Potato Soup. I haven't had any weird cravings during my pregnancy, but once I think of something I want to eat, my mind is set on that and only that. So, potato soup for dinner it was. The problem I faced: every recipe I found called for using white potatoes, about 5 cups of cream, tons of cheese, and little else. I'm sure those recipes yield tasty results, but I knew my little family needed more nutrients than cream can offer, so I winged it on my own recipe.

Allow me to toot my own horn- This is the best potato soup I've ever eaten. Josh, my mom, and my little sister agree with me.

The following is a recipe I made up on the spot. I just kind of added things as I went along, trying to use lots of veggies. I apologize if my recipe is a bit all over the place, but this is an insight into how I cook. I always thought I was a bad cook because I would follow recipes and hate the end result more times than not. Then it hit me that one recipe cannot appeal to every single person, and I started looking at them more like guidelines, rather than rules. I usually glance at recipes to get a good idea of cooking times (I've cooked way too many mushy meals) and temperatures, but other than that, I make it up, keeping in mind flavors that Josh and I like. I'm not great at measuring ingredients, either, I just add everything to taste. It's much less intimidating that way, and I almost always like what comes out!

2.5 lbs of yukon gold potatoes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
4 celery stalks, and the leaves from the hearts
6 carrots
1/2 bunch of kale
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups of broth (I didn't have any on hand, so I used the water & bullion equivalent)
1/2 cup half and half (optional)
*These are just the veggies I had on hand. I'm sure this would be tasty if you added broccoli or cauliflower, too!

Heat up olive oil in pan, and add in chopped onion and garlic. When tender, add in salt, pepper, celery and celery leaves. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add in peeled, whole potatoes and carrots and fill pan with just enough broth (or water& bullion) to just barely cover potatoes-this was about 5 cups for me. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes.

I added my kale into the pot with about 15 minutes cooking time remaining, because that's when I remembered I had some! I'm sure you could add in it with the potatoes and carrots. This is also when I added my splash of cream.

If you would like to top this off with bacon (so good!), I recommend starting to cook your bacon about 30 minutes into the simmering period. I like to cook my bacon in the oven, because it's the easiest. The bacon comes out perfectly even, flat, and all the oil drips out of it. Just place them on an oven-proof rack with a foil-lined tray underneath to catch the drippings. Cook at 400degrees for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. No need to flip over, and clean up is super easy.

When the veggies are all cooked together and tender, pour about 2/3 of the soup into a blender and blend it until super silky smooth. This will really help thicken the soup up, since we're not really using much dairy. Smash the remaining soup with a potato masher or fork, leave a little bit chunky. Pour silky soup (ha!) back into the pot.

I definitely plan to make a huge batch of this soup again, and very soon. I plan to make enough to freeze, hopefully it holds up well. I hope that recipe made sense, if you have any questions, let me know! Do you usually follow recipes exactly, or do you like to experiment?


Week 27

(dress: vintage, cardigan: nordstrom rack, coat: thrifted; shoes: thrifted vintage)

My center of gravity is way off, so I often find myself losing my balance. My belly is so itchy. The transition of a belly button from an "innie" to an "outie" is weird. flat belly buttons are very weird. When the baby gets hiccups, it tickles my belly! The term "pops out" (ie: "when you pop that baby out") is misleading. Wouldn't it be nice if babies really did just POP! out? Pregnancy leg cramps are THE WORST. Just plain awful. Those sweet little flutters of baby moving have become full on painful. No matter how calm the baby is, as soon as he hears Josh's voice, he starts kicking! JR Jr goes ballistic at 7:30 am every.single.morning. He's a very punctual baby, and a great alarm clock! We never thought we could love a kicking little twerp like him so much! :)

Dear Baby Boy:
You've stopped your crazy scraping against my belly, and I think now you might be fully upside down. It's kind of funny to think of you just hanging out, doing a headstand for a few months. You definitely know what you don't like, as you jab me really hard if I ever bend over for too long or squish you in some form. I'm sorry. You're still pretty crazy, and I have a feeling you're going to be a handful! I had no idea that a tiny little dude could have so much energy! The midwife said you'll start sleeping more soon, but I don't really see that in our future.
We've been thinking a lot about what you're going to look like. I wonder if you'll have lots of dark hair, if you're getting your dad's great eyebrows, your mom's big eyes or your dad's smaller ones, if you'll be skinny and tall, or pudgy. Either way, we already know you'll be really stinkin' cute and we'll cuddle you so hard all the time!