Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quick Pixs of Christmas

Monkey Grass Hill at Christmas

This year the indoor decorations were pretty simple. I was trying to avoid red and have a nature theme throughout the house.  Yes, my boys complained that I was not being "traditional" but after that whole polka-dot cat concession I made, I decided this battle was mine to win.

 Lot's of turquoise and chandelier crystals to look like rain or ice drops. 

The mantle had peacock feathers and turquoise pine cone candles. Drew made the wreath in art class and I thought it was the perfect addition. 
(That dreamy photo effect you're seeing on the edges of all these pictures is because I dropped my camera)
I tucked greenery from the garden and pine cones in, on and around every surface.

I've got garland galore!

 Over every door

Draped on tables a
and even on my kitchen window sill

Matt and Drew did some custom designs. 
Gingerbread houses to adorn the kitchen shelves.
They took the whole thing VERY seriously.

Drew's was a modern style

Matt's was more traditional with the shingled roof

We hosted a holiday party

I like the way this painting looks like she's trying to decide which dessert to eat.

As usual, I didn't get any good pictures of all my hard work. 
People showed up right on time so I had to join the party.

I also hosted a neighborhood cookie swap. 
It was a "progressive party". 
We visited 4 different houses to see decorations and sample sweets. 
I baked our house favorite - shortbread
I also surprised the ladies with a white elephant gift exchange.
Many of the boxes had pieces of my jewelry. 

The booby prize was this crazy dancing carrot pin -- see how happy she is she got that one.

A few boxes had soap.
It was a lot of fun.

We've been busy and I'm looking forward, to slowing down and just spending the day with family on Tuesday. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crazy Cat Lady

I'm really not a "cat lady" but something about this thing spoke to me. 
Apparently we (the cat and I) speak a very rare language.  The thrift store was all a buzz that someone was actually going to buy the crazy polka dot cat box. 
(Now half price since it had been there so long.)

Once proudly displayed at home it received a very quick veto from Drew and Matt. 

I was asked to remove it. 
I obliged by moving it to a less conspicuous place.  

Fire away people, nothing is going to change my mind about this crazy polka dotted cat box. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Table, Dry Chicken

I've been in a very black and white mood lately. I think I need to pull it back a bit. 

But, while I'm in the throws of it I decided to set the table in black and white (again). 

I thought the table looked pretty. 

Estate sale stemware, Ikea runners, Homegoods plates and Grandmas flatware.

 The prep went well. Things were looking good

(Ina Garten recipe - white chocolate apricot, cranberry, pistachio bark)

 and smelling great (if I do say so myself).

(Ina Garten roasted chicken breast recipe)

 Dessert was looking delectable.   

 It was a very Ina menu. Good ole Ina, she's NEVER let me down before... 

But this time, the chicken was dry :(   Oh Ina, why have you forsaken me?! 

It's really not her fault. I didn't follow the recipe to the letter.  I'm pretty sure my friends will forgive me.  And Ina, I forgive you--or should I say, I'll never stray from your instructions again. Lesson learned. 

I've had a couple dinner party dishes fail lately and I beat myself up for days after. I love having friends over for a nice dinner, so I'm not going to give up yet. Who wants to be my next guinea pig?...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

True Gratitude

It's pretty common on the holidays for the kids to work on some kind of performance for the grown ups. 
I think this year's Thanksgiving song by Drew and cousin Charlie is the best one yet. 
Just had to share it with you. 
Enjoy (I've typed the lyrics as they were written below the clip be sure to read them)

A song to the LoRusso's 
by Drew and Charlie

When I say I love you, to you, cause your the best, to my mom,
she takes the trash out, helps with my homework, and get's all the food, yhea all the food! 

Yhea I love you, yhea your the best, to my dad, 
make's sure I'm okay, makes me laugh, and especially, he plays with me!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Latest Plan - Fashion for Philanthropy

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was working on my business plan. While the website is still a mess (I have to get pictures of my designs posted and fix some links) I'm ready to tell you about it, and invite any locals to an open house on Friday. 

My goal was to simplify EVERYTHING
I've changed my logo to what I think is a fresh and easily recognizable logo.

I've changed my website URL.  I shortened it to just 
(it used to be 

I've added a shopping cart to the website to streamline the checkout process. 

And, I've changed my strategy to something that makes me feel good and hopefully makes my customers feel good too. I'm calling it
Fashion for Philanthropy
I'll donate 25% of all sales to charity. Online sales will go to the charity of my choice. But, anyone can host an event and select the charity they want the 25% to go to.  For example, a couple weeks ago I sold jewelry at Drew's school festival and 25% of the sales went to back to the school. The cool part is that anyone can host a party/fundraiser even if you're not local we can do an online sale. 
At the end of the event the hostess will get a check for  her charity AND a piece of jewelry as a thank you. If you're interested in hosting a fund raiser contact me.   


 I'm kicking things of this week with my own Jewelry Open House/Fund raiser at Monkey Grass Hill. 

Friday November 9
10:00 am -6:00 pm

If you're local please stop by and check out my newest designs 
(I've got some really new great pieces). 

The proceeds for my home party will be going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's unique mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment. 

And no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Day After

The day after Frankenstorm we were without power. 
We are surround by big trees, so power loss was expected. 
Major damage was also expected and we're so thankful nothing more happened to us.
We're lucky, we were only inconvenienced for a day. 

These pictures were taken in the dark with my phone. 
Drew had breakfast by the fire and read catalogs with a headlight. 
These are good times people.

I had to pull the pumpkins in so they wouldn't become missiles in the wind. 
I didn't realize how many we had. 

It turns out that a day off from school is the perfect time to create your costume. 
We found the mask and I just made the black drape out of fabric I had on hand. The sickle is made out of a broom handle, cereal box and tin foil. He loves it. (I like it because I don't think he can injure himself or anyone else with it.)
-He's the grim reaper in case you're wondering-

Everything is back to normal at Monkey Grass Hill and we're ready for a big night of Halloween fun. 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who won't be celebrating tonight. The damages and loss so many have suffered is truly heartbreaking.