Etsy Holiday Inspiration

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Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I love Etsy.

For those who are not aware, Etsy is a website which focuses on the selling & buying of handmade, & vintage items.
I like to think of Etsy as a ‘craftier‘ version of Ebay.
You can find everything on the site from paintings, prints, art & craft supplies, to home decor, quilts, beauty, jewelry, & toys.

Each item is unique, and it’s a great way to support artisans, & support smaller businesses.
Plus you can also find plenty of ideas for some DIY projects!

I’ve purchased some really cute items from Etsy previously & highly recommend shopping on Etsy. My latest purchase were gorgeous knitted coffee cozies which you can see here.

I was browsing on Etsy earlier, and started looking at Holiday gifts & decor and was blown away at all the great gift ideas.
Etsy is such a great site to do some online Holiday shopping, especially if you are looking for unique, homemade, beautiful pieces!

Grab a cup of cocoa, turn on your Christmas playlist, get cozy in your Christmas PJ’s (come on, you know you have a pair! 😉 ) and browse with me on Etsy! :)

Here are some of my top Holiday Picks from Etsy:

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1. Winter Forest Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: NormansPrintery

There’s few things I love more than beautifully wrapped Christmas presents under the tree. It’s almost like an art.
I love wrapping gifts, and have basically become the sole ‘gift wrapper‘ in my family. I love taking my time, and making the gifts look perfect, so I’m all about cute, unique wrapping paper.
This Forest Wrapping Paper is unique and perfectly vintage looking.

2. The Barrow – Chunky Infinity Scarf
from Etsy Seller: deroucheau

Nothing says Winter fashion like a nice, big, wool infinity scarf!
Essential piece of a girl’s Winter wardrobe.

3. Knitted Heart Fingerless Gloves
from Etsy Seller: KnitsbyVara

Cozy, homemade knitted gloves – perfect gift for her.

4. Burlap Dog Christmas Stocking
from Etsy Seller: ChristmasClaude

These doggie stockings are so adorable!
Pet’s are apart of the family, why not get a stocking for your fur-baby?

5. Glittered Acorn Christmas Ornaments – Set of 5
from Etsy Seller: AnnaBelleArts

I love the look of these glittery acorn ornaments.

6. Snowflake Christmas Earrings
from Etsy Seller: CloverPower

7. Christmas Reindeer Cushion
from Etsy Seller: CalicoandCotton

Cute reindeer pillow, perfect for a cabin!

8. Cardinals & Chickadees Christmas Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: PaperandPresent

More pretty, unique wrapping paper. Love this bird design.

9. Custom Superhero Ornaments
from Etsy Seller: IttyBittyWoodShoppe

I thought these wooden superhero ornaments were so original, and creative. They would be so perfect for a kid’s tree, or a little boy’s tree!
If you’re a good painter, you could always make these yourself. I’m sure you could find plain wooden ornaments at a craft store, and paint them yourself. Would make for a great DIY & Christmas craft.

Have you ever bought or sold anything on Etsy before?
Love Etsy?
Comment & let us know! :)

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Natasha Xo

Love At A Pub

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Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to saunter over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo

Gingerbread Cookies

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Nothing says Holiday Baking quite like Gingerbread!
We have finally found the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe and we are so excited to share it with you guys.
These cookies smell almost as good as they taste, and will fill your house with an unbelievable, delicious Christmas scent.

These gingerbread cookies have just the right amount of spices, and are simple & easy to make.
We had so much fun decorating these cookies & seeing the gingerbread men come to life!

Nothing’s better than putting on some Christmas tunes, getting your friends and family together & spending a cozy night in decorating these cute gingerbread cookies. (And of course the best part is getting to eat all the cookies afterwards… or during. 😉 )

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 50 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour. sifted
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the molasses, and egg.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger & nutmeg.
Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients & mix until combined.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface & use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake for approx. 10 minutes, and let cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, than transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, decorate! :)

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Pinterest-inspired reindeer cookies! We used red m&m candies for the noses.
They turned out super cute.

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Enjoy!
Natasha & Laura

A Walk In The Park

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Since the Fall weather has been so beautiful the last few days, we wanted to really enjoy it & take some photographs at the park.
So we grabbed our camera, walked to Starbucks (obviously. Starbucks is a must), than to the park. The local Starbucks is literally only a 2 minute walk from our place and the park is also close by, so it’s perfect!

In other news, we finally got a new computer & everything is up and running, so you can expect regular posts from now on – We are so excited!

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How cute are these coffee cozies?!
I posted about them previously in my Favorite Things post which you can see here.
We love our coffee cozies! They do a great job of keeping the coffee warm. So handy & cute.
Laura got the Heart cozy, and Natasha got the Pumpkin cozy.

We ordered them from Faith’s Yarn Works on Etsy. Check out Ashlen’s work – she has some beautiful knitted goods. We are big fans! :)

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Natasha’s Johnny Cupcakes hoodie.
If you haven’t heard of Johnny Cupcakes, definitely check out his site! His story is so inspiring.

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Laura’s Steve Madden boots!

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Xo Laura & Natasha