This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

We are so excited and thankful to have a week off from school and we are ready for all the yummy food and family time!

Just 5 ingredients Hershey Kiss pie cookies?!! Whoa … deliciously dangerous.

I love flourless chocolate cake, so I’m sure I’d like flourless chocolate cookies.

I started Christmas shopping … yay! I got the girls more Tegu blocks (this, this, and this) because they love them so much and make such creative things with them.

I’m so thankful to have such good readers. True and Brave go through books so fast. I didn’t like to read until middle school, so I’m always so impressed with their reading abilities, and how much they enjoy it. They always have a book on hand.

Glow has been extra feisty of late, but it gives us lots of teaching moments to teach her selflessness and how to love others.

“Our hearts were never designed to follow, but to be led.” From this article, it’s so countercultural, and I definitely want to read this book.

Ben and I have had more tension between us this week. We are typically on the same page about everything, so this is a different for us, and we are learning how to love each other (and reconcile) well through it.

Dear France, I have been praying for comfort, peace, and strength for your country. 

This week I’m reminded of how much I need to run to the cross for comfort and strength, and not rely on my own self and thinking.

Enjoy your weekend friends!



they play, while the other school

Once Soul and Glow are done with their schooling for the day, they get to play while I work with the older two. Yesterday, I came down to check on them to see this wild set up. I just watched them play a bit and they are so funny (and creative).  My favorite parts were seeing Soul use her Tegu blocks like a microphone (btw, these are by far their favorite toys and they are requesting more pieces for Christmas), and then Glow trying to go inside the basket (so hilarious!). I think they were playing some game show of sorts, so Glow was trying to do a “challenge.” While the mess was everywhere, I love seeing them exercising their imagination and had to bust out my camera to snap a few shots.

Then there’s Brave and True, staying on task with their school work. Next week though, we all get the week off, and we are so excited to work on fun art projects and do lots of baking … hip hip, hooray!!!


growth in our garden

I haven’t shared what’s been going on in the garden in awhile, but I’m happy to report there’s a lot of fruit growing (plus herbs and rainbow swiss chard). We decided not to do a winter garden this year to focus on finishing up unfinished garden business (there’s so many). I’ve taken to watering the plants, and I usually do it early Saturday morning. For some strange reason, while the whole world probably sleeps in on Saturdays, I love waking up at 5am to go outside to clean the front porch and backyard, then water all the plants (that aren’t on a drip system yet). It’s such a peaceful morning and I love seeing the sun pop up, and walking around our teeny little jungle. We don’t spend enough time enjoying the backyard and I really need to remember to get out there more often to relax. This edible garden of ours has been such a labor of love, and while I give Ben a hard time about it sometimes, it’s such a great feeling to be able to get food in your own backyard.

By the way, do you see how ginormous that Valentine Pummelo is?! I don’t think this picture does it justice.



california layering

It’s actually kind of cold these days. You need a sweater in the morning, and then again at night, but during the day you can get away with the bare arms because we still are sunny California. This little woven crop top has been my favorite thing to wear of late. It goes great with jeans and skirts (see here), but a great layering piece over dresses. I’ve been thrifting hoping to come across a similar piece but in a different color, no luck yet.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost a week away; this year has flown by. There were a lot of changes for us this year, and it seems God likes to shake things up a bit, so there are some things we are praying about. Sometimes you want to fast forward and see what the outcome is, and I forget to enjoy and be thankful for the process. The process is refining and as much a blessing as finally having an answer (or decision). God’s been revealing so much of my heart lately (the ugliness of it) and how I relate and respond to Ben. I told a friend we were disagreeing on something and she asked, “Did you reconcile well?” I told her the agreement we came to at the end, and she said, “That wasn’t well.” HA! Okay, so I guess we have to work on that reconcile well part. We’ve been used to the lingo of loving each other well, but never thought about it as reconciling well too. That is just as important as the loving, actually, it ties into the loving each other well part. Love well. Reconcile well. My heart needs to remember that.

on me: dress, thrifted (vintage here, new there). woven top, vintage from calivintage (vintage here, new there). boots, lotta from Stockholm. necklace, thrifted. bag, humble hilo.


stitched rope basket

Stitched Rope Basket with Creativebug 

100ft cotton rope
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine
Yarn, optional

With a Creativebug subscription (sign up for a two week trial!), you can the full video tutorial here.

I first got introduced to Creativebug at the Michaels Makers Summit earlier this summer, and I had the privilege of taking some classes from some of their instructors in person. I was instantly smitten and was excited to get home and continue taking some of their video classes. They have a plethora of creative classes to choose from on their site, and Creativebug brings the best of art & craft videos in art, sewing, knitting (plus more!) with classes for all skill levels and interests. I’ve taken the weaving class (and learned how to make my own looms from it), and the most recent class I took is this Stitched Rope Basket Class. The girls have done a couple classes of their own, and I have my eye on a few others to take once I gather up the supplies needed for those classes.

When I saw the Rope Basket Class, I knew it would be perfect for some Christmas gift making. I’ve made some smaller stitched rope baskets before (this one), but I’ve always had trouble forming them upward into more basket-bag like. I watched the video once through without doing anything, just to get an idea of what it entailed. Then, I replayed the video on my computer as I sewed nearby. I would press pause when I needed to get a section done to catch up with the video, and then pressed play again when I was ready to move on. After watching the video and making the baskets alongside it, I’m definitely making more because it’s so easy!  I love how you can go at your own pace, and the Creativebug videos are so well done and simple to follow. For someone like me who loves to learn new crafts, but doesn’t have the time to actually take a class outside of the home (and these classes outside can cost a few nice pennies), this type of thing is perfect. Plus, not only are there projects for me, there are ton that the girls can take too!

I made one basket, and couldn’t just stop at that. I found my first one a bit wonky at certain parts, so I wanted to try it again and change up the shape a little bit. The video already taught me the basics, so I felt a little more comfortable experimenting. After doing my first one, I knew what worked well, and how to adjust for the second. Initially, I was going to give the second one to a friend, but I’m keeping it and going to order more cotton rope (it’s about $6 for a pack here!) to make more for Christmas presents (I hope my friends like them).  I think the rounder one makes a really fun plant basket (don’t forget to put a plastic liner inside), and now I’m using the handbag-ish one as a quirky little purse. One of the girls told me yesterday, “You want to use that small purse so we can’t put all our stuff inside it!” Anyone else have their kids putting their whole worlds into their purse?!!

I wanted to add a little bit more pizazz, so I made some colorful pom poms and added those to the baskets. My first basket took about 30 minutes to do, but my second one only took about 15 minutes to sew. Then, it took another 15 to make the pom poms and hand sew those on. Oooooh … I’d love to make an even larger one to hold the current weaving I’m working on and its coordinating yarn (right now it’s just strewn all over my bedroom floor).

If you’re a fellow crafter, I think you’d really enjoy Creativebug. Or if you are another homeschooling mom, there are tons of projects that would be great for the kids to do; it would be great to use as part of your art curriculum. Creativebug has unlimited classes for just $4.95 a month. They also allow members unlimited access to over 500 classes. They have a special holiday event going on where you can get a one month free trial using the promo code: COZYCRAFTS. Starting December 1st, if you purchase a 1 year subscription for $50, you get another one year subscription free to give to a loved one (get more info here)! My mind is already spinning with what friends I know would love this as a gift.

This post is sponsored by Creativebug. I’m a fan and I think my fellow makers would definitely love their site too! I highly suggest giving it a try, especially if you want some good projects to do for the holidays (for you or the kids!). Thank you for the time you take here to support me and the brands I partner with. 



ms. tips citykid lotta sqapothecary entrance10


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