Custom Manicure Money Card

For my grandmother’s birthday, we treated her to manicure/pedicure.  Her usual spot didn’t have gift cards available, so I created this card:

Cleaver Manicure Money CardI wish I’d taken a better photo, but the hand is cutout and stays in place when you open it. I taped the money and hand in place to keep it all together.

I decorated the nails with glitter and used sparkly stickers for the stones on the ring.

Hope this serves as inspiration for the manicure enthusiast on your list!


Irish Coffee

On a trip to San Francisco, a friend told  us that we needed to make a stop at Buena Vista Cafe for their famous Irish Coffee, read about the history of it here

We went, and we were not disappointed by what the handsome, serious, silver mustached bartender whipped us up. Clearly this was a crowd favorite, as just about everyone else there was having the same thing.


We watched the process carefully so we could make it ourselves.  This drink has become a staple at our brunches and is always a crowd-pleaser! The perfect addition to your Christmas morning!

What you need:

Coffee (I like a dark roast)

Irish Whiskey

Sugar Cubes

Whipping Cream

Irish Coffee

Add 2 sugar cubes, an ounce of whiskey and about 3 ounces of coffee to your glass and stir. Whip cream for about 2.5 minutes, it should just be just starting to firm up, but should still be quite runny. Then pour whipping cream over a spoon to layer it on top of the coffee.

That’s it! It’s delicious and has a nice kick!

Gift Idea: Mega Movie Mix

When it comes to movie snack food there are 3 main food groups: popcorn, chocolate and candy.


The combo of the flavors and textures of popcorn, Peanut M&M’s and Sour Patch Kids is pretty much the best.  If you haven’t tried it, you probably should.

So here’s a gift idea that’s perfect for teachers, neighbors or co-workers, it’s inexpensive, easy to put together and amazingly tasty! The perfect pairing for any Christmas movie marathon.


I mixed up a batch and packaged it up in cellophane bags from the trusty dollar store. Add decorations and a hang tag and voila! The perfect gift to keep on hand!

The Perfect Gingerbread

ImageEvery year my mom makes tons of amazing Christmas treats. They’re all delicious, but what stands out as my very favorite, are her gingerbread cookies.  They are AMAZING! Soft and spicy and not too sweet.  I could easily eat an entire tin full of them.

Over the weekend I asked my mom to help me whip up a batch of this old family recipe:


As you can see from the photo, this recipe has been well used! I especially like that it says “makes lots”


Of course the best part about gingerbread cookies is decorating them.

For frosting we (my mom) made a royal frosting, she makes this without a recipe, but she estimates the following measurements:

1 egg white

8th of a teaspoon cream of tartar

1.5 cups of icing sugar

splash of lemon juice  (or more depending on how stiff you want it to be)


I highly recommend adding this recipe to your Christmas baking.  It’s a classic. For me, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them!

Holiday Gift Guide- For Him


My boyfriend and I have agreed that we won’t be doing presents for each other this year since we are taking a trip to Mexico!!! It’s going to be nice to avoid the chaos of shopping at this time of year, but I have to admit that after rounding up this list of gift ideas, I’m feeling tempted to break our agreement!

1. This after shave smells so good that it’s a gift for everyone!

2. I love this stylish USB key

3. This espresso maker is the perfect gift for the coffee lover on your list

4. This wallet is simple, durable and looks pretty nice too!

5. Maybe he’d be more inclined to carry an umbrella if it had a sword handle!

6. Nothing’s cozier on Christmas Eve then a fresh pair of flannel pajamas

7. Everyone loves new socks, especially fun ones like these

Terrariums: Greenery for Black Thumb’s

Though I love house plants, we don’t have a very good relationship with each other.  I either give them too much attention or not enough… either way the result is usually a dead plant.

When I saw these gorgeous terrariums at Yakuza Lounge in Portland (which is amazing by the way!) I felt inspired to attempt something similar in my home.


I found a hanging terrarium with a similar feel at Chapters Indigo (though they don’t seem to have it anymore)

It’s a pretty shallow container, so I didn’t exactly follow the proper steps (like adding charcoal and a drainage layer)  I just added dirt, a cactus and some moss… and so far so good!


Nice to have a bit of greenery in the house during the winter!I found a similar hanging terrarium here, could make a great xmas gift for the black thumb in your life!

Holiday Gift Guide- For Her


This Christmas, my whole family is taking off to Mexico! We’re trading in gift-giving for drinks by the pool and I couldn’t be more excited!

Although I’m not going to be doing much holiday shopping this year, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite things to help inspire those of you looking for ideas

1. This candle is Christmas in candle form

2. I love these “diamond” earrings from Etsy

3. I’m a sucker for a pretty cup and saucer

4. This tea is so delicious! It’s sweet even without sugar

5. I’m loving these tech ready plaid gloves that let you text without freezing your fingers off

6. This is my favorite deodorant, it’s a bit expensive, but it’s worth it because it’s free of harmful chemicals

7. This night shirt is a bit of a splurge, but I love the way it looks! Cozy without being frumpy.