Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

I was so happy to find this sign under my tree!

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

I am so grateful to have my husband's family come to our house for Christmas.
They fill our home with love, joy, and hilarity every year.

Christmas Magic.

My kids and my husband.

These elf  p.j.s from my mom.


Board games.

Quality time.

Beautiful days.

Beautiful beaches.

Walks and bike rides.

My kids loving their great bikes that Santa gave them. 


Family time.

Baby joy.

So much love between the cousins this year.  Cousin Sean left with at least two love letters from Ro. The kids admire their big cousin Ali so much and they adore their baby cousin.  I love to watch their bonds with each other grow.

My super kids.

This past year that has been so full I am grateful for my life, my family, and the love we have.

In a year that has been filled with ups and downs for our town, our nation and the world, I am grateful that people come together in times of need, and support one another.  I hope that the world can remember that we are all people, we are all important, and we all matter.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

My lovely Pippsters, (past, present and brand new) helping me out this holiday season. (What would I do with out them!)

A very sweet Christmas Program at Zo's school.

My parents love and support.

Getting to see all the love my kids have for their grandparents.  

Last day of school before the holiday.  I look forward to spending long days with my kids after Christmas.

Rowan and her sweet gifts for a few special people at school. Present delivery!

Date night with my dear husband, and coming home to two sweet sleeping elves.

Christmas magic.

Lights on the tree, & lights on our house.

Friends who never hesitate to help when you need them.

Friends who let you be you.


Books at bedtime.

My kids loving their evening with my best friend.  (She rocks.)

Customers coming into Pippi's.  Happy customers sharing their joy with us.

Being a part of this community.

Talking with my Marshall.

Looking forward to a full house this Christmas!  We are lucky to have Marshall's family come up to us for the holiday and stay at our house we always have so much fun.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Re-Discover Your Town- A.K.A. Shop Local Fort Bragg!

Fort Bragg downtown has seen it's fair share of ups and downs.  But I must say (empty storefronts aside) Fort Bragg downtown is pretty wonderful.  All summer long our lovely visitors tell me they look forward to coming to OUR town.  They love to walk in OUR downtown full of small, family owned shops.  No chains, no malls, unique shops, no cookie cutters here! 

People come here to get away from the hustle and bustle (or the heat) and to breath the ocean air.  And that's why I live here too, I love that it's a little slower, and I love that the air smells like salt water (or the brewery brewing), and that so many of our shops are owned by wonderful, creative, kind people.  I love knowing who I am supporting when I shop and eat.

People know we have something special here.  You can't go to a mall and get what you get here.  Many people come here to shop and avoid the malls and chain stores that plague their communities.

In our shops you are likely to find friendly, personal, customer service and someone who genuinely cares about you being happy with your purchase.  (We care about you!) We are happy to help you find that perfect gift, or that finishing touch for your outfit.  We have a bit of every thing in our downtown.

So if you have not walked around Fort Bragg downtown in a while, spend the afternoon moseying around and checking out all of our shops.  Maybe you will find a new favorite place, or re-discover an old favorite.  Or find that you actually don't HAVE to go over the hill to find what you need at good prices.

On Laurel Street alone we have:

Pippi's of course here to provide you with socks galore and many other sweet gifts like:  mini pixies, cute holiday gifts and decor,  mugs for your hot cocoa, scarves, hats, gloves, lots of cozy things, even a few sweet little toys.

Right next door to me is Cirino's Sandwich Shop.  Mark has the yummiest sandwiches in town perfect for grabbing while you shop and then taking a break on a bench or the City Hall lawn for a picnic. 

Then there is Toto Zaida, with her beautiful array of jackets, dresses, tops, scarves and art.

Bella Mia's hand made soaps and lotions.  The smells in there are totally yummy, the kids and I rarely pass up an opportunity to stop in there.

Heavenly Soles (well it's just that, heavenly!) They have a great selection of fashionable and comfortable shoes! (Just say no to Zappos!)  All my boots that you keep seeing in my photos have come from Heavenly Soles (formerly North Soles) over the years.

ER Energy has some really cool kitchen gadgets perfect for stocking stuffers, as well as cute mugs, dishes and stoneware.  And lots of Christmas ornaments!

Splendiferous  and LaTre both have great clothing from casual day wear to yoga wear and evening dresses.

Headlands Coffeehouse for great coffee that's not overly sweet!  And they have yummy food too.

Cucina Verona is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and their menu has a lot to offer.  (Also I know you can watch sports at the bar because I can hear their customers cheering while I work sometimes!)

Not to mention (just a few) of my favorites not on Laurel Street:

The newest addition to downtown Dot & Twine.  I love it !  It is full of beautiful locally crafted goods.  (I could get into a lot of trouble in there).

Racines for great art supplies, stationary and office supplies. I love this store. 

Understuff for pj's and under...stuff.  Thank goodness I don't ever have to set foot in Victoria's Secret ever again!

The Barbelow is a great place to start a date night (we love to go there when we get a chance).

Then there is FloBeds for the most comfortable bed you will ever have.  Designed and made all here in Fort Bragg. (Yes by my wonderful dad.)

The kids' favorite is of course:

Spunky Skunk, and I like it too. They have good quality toys, books, crafts and great educational board games too.
Marshall's favorites are :

Blaqk Door for great games (video and boardgames) and comics of course.  It is a perfect shop for any gamer or geek.

Piaci's for amazing pizza and craft brew beers.

There is just so much more.  I don't know where to stop!   The Bookstore and Vinyl Cafe, If The Shoe FitsEggheadsCowlick's, The Cookie Co., Reynolds' (not just men's wear anymore ladies).

How many towns  can you go to where you can get locally made ice cream, beer, coffee, art, beds, and plenty of locally grown and locally caught food?!

Fort Bragg has a lot to offer. Accept it, embrace it, and please support it!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

It has been a few weeks, life happened, so, These past few weeks I have been thankful for:

A lovely, peaceful Thanksgiving.

My cousin and his wife staying with us for the holiday weekend.

A beautiful healthy new baby in our family.  (My niece.)

A beautiful holiday with family.

A very busy Black Friday and Small Business Saturday at Pippi's.  And no Black Friday madness in Fort Bragg!

Going on our annual trip with the family to get our tree are the local school.

Trimming the tree.

Decorating our home for the holidays.

A last minute surprise trip I was able to go on to see my sister and experience the play she wrote. (It was amazing.)

My first trip away from my kids and Marshall going very smoothly.

Coming home from work at night to see our home all lit up.

Bringing out all our holiday books and reading a new one every day.

Family time.  I can't get enough of it.

Rowan learning how to read and write.  Not only is that alone awesome, but she writes me sweet notes all the time I love it!

"Dear Mom, I love you because you are nice and you take care of me and you like me." Well yes, yes I do Ro. <3

When I realized I was not going to be home for the Kidz Art opening at Toto Zaida that the kids were in, they threw me a personal art show so I wouldn't be sad.

My husband and kids. My mom and my dad. They are so supportive and loving. 

A day at home with my family.  All day. No plans, no's been a while.

Looking forward to the Carr family (my in-laws) coming to stay for Christmas.  It is a full house but we always have so much fun.

Thankful for (hoping for) a VERY busy 2 weeks to come at Pippi's!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

My Dad being re-elected on to Fort Bragg's city council.  I feel like I can rest easy knowing he is working to help and better our town.

A dedicated Pippster who goes above and beyond.  I don't know what I would do without Rachael at Pippi's!

The cool weather and rain.

And Rainbows.

All the cozy, colorful holiday stuff we have in at Pippi's.

Looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family <3


A yummy scallop dinner made by Marshall with scallops that were gifted to us. Thank you!

And the way the air smells after a storm.

And the wind.

My new niece who will be entering the world any day now!

My helpful and darling little kids.

Working with Toto Zaida to beautify the outside of our shops, I think it is going to be lovely.

Getting to see my niece swim a great 200 I.M. at her meet today.

My husbands dedication to his passion, his book.  He works it and re-works it and re-works it again. I am always amazed by him.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

10 Reasons to get Excited for Winter

1) Cozy Socks.
Who doesn't love cozy socks! I will take any opportunity to wear cozy socks or even better legwarmers!

2) Cozy Sweaters, and scarves, and boots.
Basically, I love layers, and being cozy, and dressing for winter. Also sweaters and scarves are awesome, and cute.

3) Pumpkin...everything.
Because what other time of the year can you get pumpkin lattes, ice cream, bagels, pie, bread, yogurt pretty much pumpkin anything...everywhere you go!

4) Family.
Usually we get some extra time to be with, and appreciate our family during the winter.  Maybe, because we are all inside together, but also we get to see distant family for holidays, and I love spending time with our huge extended family.

5) Smells.
Pumpkin spice, pine tree, cinnamon, wet earth, baked goods, crisp air.

6) Movies.
All the best movies come out this time of year this year.  And, I am pretty excited for a few like: Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1,  Annie,  and  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

7) Gratitude.
Amongst the hustle and bustle that the holidays can bring, they also tend to bring moments to pause, and savor the moments we have together.

8) Giving.
I love giving.  Not just gifts for the kids either but love and time to my family.  I like to show the kids that the most fulfilling part of the gift giving season is in the giving, and making, and thinking about who you are giving to. 

9) Music.
Sometimes people complain about holiday music.  But I love it.  For me it is so nostalgic, and happy.  And when we are lucky enough to get carolers at our door it always makes me so happy, (and yeah I get a little choked up by it).

10)  A new start with the new year.
The New Year always feels like a fresh start.  I like to think about my goals for the coming year and look back on what we did in the past year.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

That the kids are showing interest in music.

For the hours they spend at their art table.


Our parents.  The kids are lucky to have two sets of adoring grandparents.

Family visits.


A great family gathering at our house this weekend.


Family board games.

Books and cuddles.

Holiday excitement.

Staring to decorate the shop.  Zo and I did Pippi's tree this week, we turned on the holiday music and had a great time.

Another visit to our house from the tooth fairy!

Our growing gratitude tree.


Generous gifts.

People who care for others.

Looking forward to bringing down the holiday boxes from the attic soon!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gratitude Sunday on Monday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

Lazy Sundays...and working Sundays too.  I am at Pippi's today.

The right to vote.

A family who is always there for each other.

A good check 3 year check up for Zo.

Finding a new Pippster, I am so excited, I think she will be a great fit.

A new shop in town.  I am so excited for this, the shop is on Franklin St. and it is called Dot & Twine.   It is full of locally crafted amazing-ness and it is beautiful!

A lovely birthday party for one of our little friends.

Starting to bring out all the holiday socks and goodies.

A husband who cooks many meals a week and does a lot of stuff for us that I am having a hard time fitting in with my new work schedule.

The stories that I over hear the kids telling each other.

The bond that Ro and Zo share.


My parents taking the kids to the circus, they are so excited.

Marshall's dedication to his novel.  I don't know how he does it but he is getting close to finished!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our Gratitude Tree

This year I decided to do a gratitude tree at home.  We started it on November 1st and we plan on doing it until Thanksgiving.  Ro likes the idea so much she is lobbing for...ever, but that's a lot of paper leaves to cut so I'm thinking until Thanksgiving.

I love the idea of practicing gratitude, if you are a regular reader you have probably read my Gratitude Sunday Posts. I feel that talking about and thinking about what we are thankful for it is a good reminder and it helps keep our gratefulness at the forefront of our thoughts.  Anyway with my family, we try start dinner each night by going around the table and each saying something that we are thankful for that day. For this November I wanted this visual reminder of what we have to be thankful for, so tada a tree! The kids love doing things like this and I think it's a nice way to talk about what they value in their days.

There are about a million ideas for gratitude trees on pinterest, I love the look of the newspaper trees, and the trees with real branches in vases.  But for us, I wanted to keep it simple and use the materials I had available at home, Ro and I cut our leaves from construction paper and made the tree with washi tape on a wall that the kids can reach easily.

I love that Rowan wants to write hers all by herself and Zo usually has a lengthy list that he dictates to me.  They have been asking to "do their leaves" first thing in the morning which is nice, I had imagined ending the day with it, but starting the day with it is a sweet way to start.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

My lovely and kind employee at Pippi's.  Rachael goes above and beyond and I am so grateful to have her here.

This up coming season.  At the shop it will be busy (which I love even when it's hectic.) And even with the busyness of work this time of year, I LOVE the season.  The traditions and all the family time I look forward to it so much.

Pumpkin carving.

Many days of Zo this week.

A nice morning with my mom this week.

The opportunity to help in Rowan's class for their harvest party.

For getting to watch Rowan take care of her little sibling and kindly help with the activities at the class party.  I am also so grateful that the teacher let Zo participate, they enjoyed it so much.

My crafty and creative little kids who love making things with me.

For being able to make their costumes for them so they could be what they imagined.  Also for them wanting to help.  They may not be the most patient customers or crafters, but they are the sweetest.

For Zo letting me do the Octopus as a "Socktopus". ( I was very excited about that one!)

Our first family theme Halloween.  The kids decided on the theme.  Well they decided on their costumes and that I had to be their "mommy mermaid" ... graciously, daddy agreed to be our Aqua-Man.

A great Halloween night with some lovely friends.

My little starfish who lead the way. And our sweet little friend who joined us.

After deciding to basically let the kids gorge themselves on candy Halloween night  that they seem to have forgotten about the candy by Saturday morning. (Whew.)

The start of our gratitude tree.

Getting some organization done around the house.

The start of rains and a bit cooler weather.  (I am d so glad to be wearing a big cozy sweater right now!)

A very successful first Instagram contest for Pippi's.  And a very happy winner.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What to do on a Rainy day?

I am someone who loves a rainy day especially if I can spend it at home, cozy, inside...listing to  the rain fall.

So on those lovely rainy, stormy days when I can be home I love to:

Get a big cozy blanket,  cuddle in and read books with the family.

These are some of our current favorites.

Bake cookies, and breads.

Make hot chocolate and watch a classic movie.  (Some of my favorites are Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Shirley Temple's: The Little Princess or Heidi ).

Bring home a big box from Pippi's and let the kids make and decorate box forts.

Do a fall craft, something simple like, cutting out leaf shapes and painting them with the kids, or making owls, bats or ghosts for our Halloween window.

Paint with water colors.

Have a tea party.

And when we have had enough of being cooped up we put on our rain gear and go out to play.

We make mud pies.

Dance in the rain.

and our ultimate favorite is puddle jumping!

Rowan is the puddle jumping queen!

 I hope we get lots of rain this year!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Inspired by:  Wooly Moss Roots -Simply Joys of a Soulful Life Gratitude Sunday

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y 

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.}

This week I am thankful for:

A nice visit to the pumpkin patch.

A great family day.

Fall and fall's bounty.


Walks in the rain.

The smell of rain.

The stormy night we just had.  I love laying in bed listening to the wind howl.

Our fun little town full of great locally owned businesses.  This weekend I was able to finally check out a new spot called A Sweet Affair.  It's a great bakery and she had a Harry Potter themed day on Saturday. It was so fun to see what she did with it!

A few extra days with this little cutie at work this week.

My husband participating in a gaming marathon to help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (check out for info on the event). And also getting some of his students and friends involved.

For getting a start on our Halloween costumes!

For sunshine after rain.

For the gifts of art that the kids surprise me with nearly daily.

For grassy hills.

For books and morning snuggles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10 Fall Family Activities.

Okay here I go again...fall, fall,fall.
This is the time of year I like to nest, and get my home all cozy and lovely for the coming winter months.  But there are also a lot of fun fall-ish things to do with the kids outdoors and indoors.
So here are a few of my favorite fall family activities:

1) Go on a long walk. Bring baskets and hunt with the kids for leaves, pine cones, and whatever other natural wonders they find.  Then use all the lovely treasures for fall crafts.

2) Make pine cone bird feeders.
So, easy, fun and a bit messy, so you know the kids will like it.  I just slather a pine cone in peanut butter and cover it in seeds for birds and hang it in the yard!

3) Make leaf art.
If you live somewhere where you are lucky enough to have thousands of beautiful colored leaves everywhere then I envy you! We get some leaves falling here but nothing like the east coast and mid-west. So sometimes we cut out or paint our own leaves and hang them in our windows.

4) Woodland toys.
These are so fun and easy, you can pretty much do whatever you like and let the kids go wild with it, but I put a link to a tutorial I found too.

Here is a tutorial

5) Go to a pumpkin patch.
Let your kids pick out their favorite pumpkin, it can take a while to find the "perfect" pumpkin but it's so much fun.
We went to Gowan's farm in Philo.  To get to the pumpkin patch we got to ride a tractor which was very exciting.  We also took a picnic and walked in their apple orchard.

6) Paint Pumpkins.
I always like to paint pumpkins earlier in the month before we carve, that way nothing rots before Halloween.

7) Decorate the front porch for fall. 
I love to plant some seasonal fall flowers in pots on the porch and get extra pumpkins to add more color to the stoop.  The kids love getting in the dirt but,  their favorite part is putting up the spider webs and spooky things for Halloween.

8) Carve pumpkins.
I love getting all slimy from getting all the seeds out, then we roast the pumpkin seeds ... yum.

9) Get your kids involved in making their costumes.
I used to help make mine and I was always so proud of my creations.
The kiss had lots of fun making their robot costumes last year.

But, with toddlers be ready for last minute changes.
When Zo saw me dressed as a clown she wanted to be my clown baby,  so... ten minutes before we went trick or treating I had to clown-ify them.

10) Popcorn movie night with a Halloween movie.  We like to do "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".

What are some of your favorite things to do with your family in fall?