Monday, December 31, 2012

5 goals for 2013

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify: This year we paired down Christmas and it worked well for us. Sure there were fewer presents under the tree even with the addition of one more little person but it felt just right for us. It also took away some of the financial stress the holidays can sometimes bring. We tried to stick to this idea of "something you want, something you need; something to wear and something to read." I may have padded that outline a little bit and also added something "made" for each of them. I hope to carry on this kind of simplified and more purposeful living especially around birthdays and holidays into the New Year.

While we're on we're on the subject of simplicity...

"Everything in your house should bring you joy or bring you purpose."

I love this cut and dry, black and white way of measuring things up. I've got some early spring cleaning in my future.

Keep on learning: Knitting makes me feel so good mostly because I love the accomplishment of learning something new. Just because we're through with school doesn't mean the learning and growing should stop. I want to keep challenging and surprising myself.

Grow my business. It's truly been a world wind flurry of activity since summer and I'm so grateful that things have taken off as strong as they have with Elizabeth Gray. It's a life long dream coming to fruition and I hope to keep it going and growing. I've recently allocated myself a proper office/studio space so I can better work from home. I want to keep inventory fresh as well as stay inspired and avoid the dreaded burnout.

I will work on finding more simple but yummy cooking recipes to add to the rotation. I love dishes that don't take much time or too many different ingredients but end up looking like they sure did. I've learned recipes doen't have to be complex to turn out beautifully and yummy.

Be kinder to myself. This one is always hard for me. It's the simple things I tend to to put off doing for myself more than anything that I'm talking about here. For example, I'll just say it- I have the worst heels on my feet known to man. They're like hooves really. Downright scaly, split and sometimes even painful yet I still only make the time to go and get a pedicure every six months or so. By the time I do make it there it's completely embarrassing and I sit there the whole time promising myself I won't let them get that bad again but I always do. So I will try to be kinder to my feet.

My girlfriend (Hi Melissa!) gifted me some of {this} awesome Shea Butter foot cream for Christmas so I'm off to a strong start! 

Whatever your hopes/goals/dreams are I wish you all a safe and beautiful New Year filled with all the love and joy in the world!!!


Friday, December 28, 2012


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Greetings and Happy {almost} New Year! While life has been crazy busy this year with the addition of our new little guy, tackling toddlerdom {not a word but I just made it one} and the launch of Elizabeth Gray one of my resolutions for the new year is to commit to this fun photo project. I've been inspired following Jodi's weekly portraits over the past year and I hope to turn my photos into a book for our family this time next year. You can read more about the project here. Please join us!


Friday, December 14, 2012

tis the season for eye twitching

Am I the only one who's eye twitches when stress and/or lack of sleep are involved? I didn't think so. Despite the crazy eye it's still my favorite time of year. It's hard to believe Christmas is in just a week and a half. Right now Lucy is curled up on the playroom floor watching Frosty the Snowman. Just hearing it while I type transports me back to my childhood. I loved and still do love that movie. My parents, and my dad in particular always made the holidays so special. I remember one year Santa brought me new ice skates ( I wanted to be Nancy Kerrigan). After all of the presents were unwrapped my dad brought me out to the freezing cold back yard where he had lovingly constructed me my very own ice skating rink using tarps and the garden hose. It's fun memories like those I want my sweet babies to have.

So I will soldier through all the facial ticks with a smile because I know in the end it's all totally worth it.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

*photo by this talented fellow


Monday, December 3, 2012

Jen's Christmas Jubilee!

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to score an invite to my dear friend Jen's Christmas Jubilee Party. I would compare it to that kid from Willy Wonka scoring the last "Golden Ticket" on my level of excitement. After all seven of us ladies arrived and were introduced we had lunch and got right down to business but not before I snooped around Jen's beautiful cottage snapping a few pictures. 

Jen had meticulously set up a craft station heaven filled to the brim with more glitter, ribbon, bells, tinsel, and cute deer than one person should ever be in possession of. It was cute overload to the extreme! 

Our first project was  a sweet diorama. I ran out of room on the inside of mine so I began gluing things to the top- I couldn't help myself with the cuteness of available materials. 

Our second project was this sweet little snowman guy shown here in progress. Again by the time he was done I had attached everything but the kitchen sink to him. 

My little diorama eventually found a home on our tinsel tree. 

It was so much fun I already cannot wait until next year. You can read more about the party over here on Jen's blog, {The Cottage Nest.} Thank you again Jen for such a special day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

kick off

Boooo Monday! We were so spoiled having daddy home for four whole days. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving with a house full of family. Lucy played with her cousins and I got to catch up with my big brother and sweet sister-in-law. My dad (pa-pa) was accosted by an over eager toddler and her doctors kit and we ate like kings.

We took the rest of the weekend  pretty slow just pottering around the house putting our Christmas decorations up and occasionally wandering out for some shopping. It was a good time. Now it's time to get down to the business of making some gifts and checking my lists.

Cheers to a great week ahead!


Monday, November 19, 2012

long time no bloggie

Greetings! No excuses here for not blogging in a while just a concession that life has been on turbo blast since about September when I opened up Elizabeth Gray. It was a nice work free weekend for us though preparing for family and to host Thanksgiving. My brother and his family are traveling here from out of state and I get to meet one of my nieces for the first time! {and they get to meet Gray too!}

The weather has been unseasonably warm so we took full advantage working outside while the kids napped. I finally got around to closing down my little garden for the winter while Nick strung the Christmas lights on the house. After dinner last night we walked the kids to the end of the drive in the dark. I kept Lucy's eyes covered tight until it was time for the big reveal. When she finally saw the house she gasped and said in her tiny voice "it's amazing, awwww so cute!" She asked for a repeat performance after dinner tonight again. This year feels different- she's talking so well and expressing herself. It's fun to watch the seasons and holidays unfold and see them through her eyes.

The baby is getting so big so fast: slow down my little prince! 

She thought I was pretty cool when I showed her how to swing with Coco zipped up in her jacket.

My little shop keeps me very busy.

We started with the trees last week. 

In all the Elizabeth Gray paint madness I found time to slip in my writing desk. I had been dying to do it in a soft pink.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


"No Grayson, Coco not a toy, Coco my best friend!" That's what I heard Lucy frantically tell her drooling baby brother the other day as he reached for the doll to know doubt use as his latest teething object. Lucy snatched up Coco before he could get to her and skipped off to the other room.

Lucy has never been attached to any of her toys. She likes them all but doesn't seem to notice or mind if one mysteriously vanishes {is donated}. She doesn't have a favorite lovie or blankie either so I didn't really think much would come of the simple little doll I made her for her second birthday back in February. Boy was I wrong. This doll and this little girl are almost inseparable. Coco's been through the wash so many times I've repaired countless popped seems and recently I had to replace her skirt which was lost somewhere in Saugatuck- if anyone sees it blowing down the street ; )