♥ goods

valentime’s day. yes, i said valentime. sue me. (please don’t sue me though, i am scared of courts). it can be an awful time or a time of delicious smelling, overpriced roses. BUT! what if we just called it a love month, and perhaps gave gifts all month long to those we love? and if it happens to be the 14th or the 18th or 29th when you give that gift, then who cares? 🙂

so gifts ::  for anyone. old or young. hairy or otherwise.

for the lovelies in your life:

I have curated a few ideas that are handmade, and some even do good.  so, double win.  or win squared. either way, win. you get it.

the ladies 

need a gift for a fashionable lady? think scarf. always fun, super chic.

a bit audrey hepburn, yes? 🙂


the company that provides these scarves is super cool.  i mean it.  they are helping women in africa who make these scarves, gain employment and change their lives. i happen to be able to listen to the genius of the ceo of this company, at the influence conference in 2012, bought my own scarf while i was there, and it is my FAVORITE.  i have really sensitive skin, and it does not make me even scratch. each scarf comes with its own handwritten note with the name of the woman who made it, and what you helped her be ABLE to do.  love this.

so, to learn more, you can find the fashionABLE scarves and other Mocha Club stuff here:  fashionABLE

the mens

for the dudes…hmmm, what to get them right? SO hard to choose between this belt sander, and that turkey call, or that football jersey, and this home brew kit. well? how about a handmade wooden wallet. the company is called Bound Tight Wallets, and I heard they are making rings too!  made of wood! HOW COOL!


bound tight

great idea, amazing design. win/win.

these are made in the u.s. of a. by a family owned company. wins all around if you ask me.

the princesses

next up, your little girl. with hair like rapunzel or sometimes more like medusa? 🙂

trying to tame some crazy hair? look at these lovelies! they are handmade, and they give hope! this company gives back to a new cause each month. whoohoo for hair & hope!!!


also, i don’t know if you can tell, but those are little kitty cats on the headbands. sweetness. ♥

find these mini fashion statements here:  she does justice

smaller dudes

for the spunky, rambunctious, awesome little tinkerer:

you want something that let’s them stay still, while letting them soar creatively.

i seem to have a woodsy theme going on for the masculine peeps on your list.

i will not apologize. i love nature!

enter a michigan based company that repurposes wood for kids toys:

Stackaroofind these beauties here: McGregor Custom Inlay and Crafts.

furry, fuzzy or otherwise

of course i don’t want to leave out any furry pals you may have:

these monkeez and friends squeaker toy (how cute is this octopus!) would make any wiggly pet super happy, and the best part?

they give back, and you get to choose which charity! yay for giving back! find this one and others here: monkeez and friends


so friends, neighbors, generous folk of everywhere, let’s spread some love, and make every day this month a kind of love extravaganza!

p.s. i was not paid anything to promote these companies, they did not know i was doing so. i just kinda LOVE handmade companies, and I LOVE giving. it’s my favorite.

happy love month to you all!


snippets of summer


enjoying life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsmelling the flowers as much as possible.

2013-05-26_15-26-55_826being asked to “drive” the Jeep off road out of a HUGE, DEEP, MUDDY hole…

2013-05-26_15-26-40_79this angle does it no justice!  i got us out though, stellar off-roader that i pretend to be.

2013-05-25_09-38-54_665enjoying the sunshine on this beauty’s face as much as i possibly can (and that little furry nugget too).

2013-05-25_19-01-02_698a little of this…

2013-05-26_16-20-37_382a smidge of this…

getting my first final grade (an A!) for my new path. 🙂yay

 doing lots of this for homework:

2013-06-30_20-50-51_772 knowing that this isn’t perfect, but that i’m trying my best.

2013-05-28_16-46-13_672learning about different ways that this is art, and how i need to relax about it.

2013-06-03_17-42-45_557enjoying a lot of this


2013-06-28_12-50-13_527this and

IMG_20130513_100241there is quite a bit of my homerun hitter thrown in, which makes my heart SO happy


and of course there’s always, ALWAYS room for this guy:

2012-07-22_20-51-06_765 (1)and of course some of this goodness too

but no summer would be complete without a lot of this:

2013-06-27_15-41-37_237but, in my humble opinion, due to our rainy mitten weather this year, i haven’t had enough of these to enjoy (hint, hint, Big Guy 😉 )

2013-07-05_21-28-17_5and i can’t wait to use this to keep pop and vino cool, especially since my rl made it for me (it was my grandparents’) :



this guy and i agree, it has been an amazing summer so far, and i’m so pumped for the rest of it! may your days be filled with the glory of His masterpieces

IMG_20130624_195844and may you always


random thought thursday:: ranunculus edition

ranunculus. is the plural ranunculaii??   i am obsessed & want to grow some this year. i keep seeing people post pictures of their gorgeous blue mason jars full of a bouquet of them.

where do you buy them in bouquets? trader joes? farmer’s markets?  where??? (i am desperately seeking ranunculussssessssss.)



i am obsessed, & also an awful guinea pig parent  to gus D. guinea pig.  (although if you ask a.r., she is the mom, and i’m the grandma). i can’t be a grandma yet.

selfie, by a.r.

selfie, by a.r.

i believe i am over zig zags in the form of chevron. it gives me a headache. (i won’t share a picture, i don’t want to give you a headache).

planning a yard, garden and/or outdoor space is SO fun. paying for one is not.

coral curtains are fun.

IMG_20130502_154030 (1)

owls are overdone. let’s give the groundhogs a chance people. or? hedgehogs. think about all the cuteness with the spikes.

oh witty hedgehog.

oh witty hedgehog.

if you’d like to buy yourself one, (or me pretty please), you can find him here! 🙂

i love the color green, and the best version of green? spring. Hallelujah.

i got to go to the detroit tigers game and meet up with some cousins, aunts and uncles, and sisbomb #2. it confirmed the idea that my extended family on both sides is WAY better than yours. sorry folks, just the facts.

this post is brought to you by natural vitamin d. it helps regulate the crazy from eight months of sheer below 40 degree madness.

confused guinea caretaker – OUT.



of joy:


our little guinea pig Gus, who is growing day by day, and snuggle by snuggle.

of filling up the soul:

john blase’s words, are inspired.  simply inspired. find his words here

of note:

beautiful artist/singer miranda dodson, whom i heard originally on npr. stunning.

of sight:


of my ever changing michigan.  she is a fickle lass, but i do adore her.

what kind of goodness has sprinkled your life lately?


leroy and his journey

some of the lovelies while we were waiting to start our trail ride!

fact:  rl is colorblind.

fact:  i believe in naming objects like cars, bikes, and machines.

fact:  i have bad luck with cameras.

in fact, these are all random facts.  but, my life is a series of random, hilarious facts that get jumbled together into my story.  here’s one of them:

i have LOVED horses for as long as i can remember.  i love their silky manes, their gorgeous eyes, their strong, beautiful muscles.  i often talk to them from my car when i pass them on my drive home, and especially try to converse as rl and i ride chili on the backroads.

rl wanted to surprise me with a horse back riding adventure for quite a while.  he knows how i would LOVE to one day own a horsie of my own.  (big dreams equal big dream clouds).

he decided in september to make that come true for me.  a day with horsies (or at least an hour).  he knew it would make my heart soar.

i was a little excited to say the least.

cameras.  i have dropped and broken at least two.  rl has been swimming with a non-water friendly camera. i lost one in chicago.  are you keeping count?  that’s four already, and i am only recalling the last five years.  i have pretty much convinced myself to never buy one that costs more than one week’s worth of pay, because frankly, there is not camera insurance for klutzes.  if there were, i’d be the first to sign up. we got leroy as a promotional gift.  he is tough.  he is red.  he is fierce.  i named him leroy, because i’ve never met a human or dog named leroy that wasn’t legit.

and he takes fabulous pictures.

so he stays safe, i only travel with him when i know i will have both hands available.  i will be safer with leroy than the cameras in the past.

he is my rock and roll camera.  my buddy.  y’all, meet leroy.

before i start getting congrats cards in the mail, for my beautiful baby boy, just know, i dropped my camera off a horse.  he was three days old.

the camera, not the horse.  the horse’s name is bella.  she is a beauty, and also a naughty girl, because she kept trying to eat the greenery while we were on the trail.  i was wearing a loose hoodie, with pliable pockets.  i was upon a horse, and not quite sure of how to “be tough with her” to get her to stop dipping her head, and getting snacks.  leroy was in my pocket.  guess where he ended up?

on the trail. in the brush.  three days old.  poor leroy.  sweet, tough, young blooded leroy didn’t know how awful a life on the trail could be.  neither did i.

we did not realize that i dropped leroy until the ride was over.  let’s just say, to be nice, that the staff was less than helpful in trying to locate said baby boy camera.

we returned a few hours later after the last ride, and were told that we could walk the trail if we wanted.  it was dusk, humid, and i was wearing a cute cowboy inspired outfit.  sure, let’s excercise!

such beauties.

so, it is dusk.  we are in normal, non woods walking clothes (i am wearing my cowboy boots y’all.  it was appropriate).  and rl is colorblind, and also, doesn’t have the best eyesight.  i am distraughtly searching.

but…the staff underestimated our determination.  it would have been lovely if they offered to help us look.  or, let us use a horse to spot leroy (as the height difference would have helped us notice his red shiny body).  this did not happen.

alas, it didn’t matter.  as a mama bird hears her baby’s cry, or a mama bear forages the river for salmon for her cubs, i was DETERMINED to find my leroy.  young, sweet, tough leroy.

beautiful bella girl.

so, as we neared the VERY end of the trail, i spotted him.  and i cried. (remember, i cry about everything good and bad, so this should be no surprise).  there was leroy.  he was alive!  he was not broken!  he was not covered in horse poop!

view of where i found leroy.

i hugged rl, i cradled leroy, and i couldn’t wait to tell the staff (who were so clearly concerned) that i had located leroy.  we walked the final 1/4 mile, and realized that the staff had locked us in.  with the horses.  bella recognized me from our ride.  she literally turned her head to me while i was talking to her and telling her i found leroy.

i laughed.  what an adventure.  besides, if your trail ride doesn’t end with having to swing your legs over the cattle fence while wearing your cowboy boots, cradling a red tough camera, and a new equine friend saying sayonara, you have not been living.

this has been one of thousands of similar “it happened to me, no really, it did!” stories.  hope you enjoyed.  and get out there!  there is adventure to be found!  🙂

have a sweet saturday my friends.