Monday, June 15, 2015

Confessions of a Quitter


Hello, my name is Vanessa and I am a big old quitter.

But seriously, I have always througholy enjoyed blogging, writing, photographing, designing, and just the general making of things. I pull a lot of life out of being creative and productive, and this may come as quite the surprise due to my extremely regular posting over here, but a couple of years ago I sort of just quit everything. This was not a purposeful and healthy choice of taking a step back and getting a little break, which some of you most likely really need to do! This was a "I never fully commit to much and just sort of fizzle out" type of deal. I wish I could say this is a new thing for me, but it most definitely is not. I can't think of many things in my life that I've stuck with or worked hard at, ever. This is completely at odds with one of my stronger traits; I am extremely stubborn. You'd think that would make me not give-up! Or maybe I am stubbornly committed to laziness. Well it turns out not doing anything with yourself is not the best idea.

Now sometimes quitting and knowing when its time to put something down can be a great and wise thing. For example, I dropped out of college very close to being finished and graduated. I was going to school to be a teacher, not because that's what I genuinely wanted to do, but mostly just because I didn't know what else to do and going to college is just what you're supposed to do. Well I am so glad I didn't go through with that. It's a great and awesome profession for so many people, but I still know now that it wasn't right for myself. Now that's not to say I instantly had a new plan for my life, in fact, I'm still trying to find that!

Obviously I've had some major life changes in the last couple of years, namely the whole becoming a parent thing. I had a more unpleasant second half of pregnancy and a wild time with the whole labor part, so I happily took a couple months of doing nothing but taking care of and hanging out with a cute baby all day. The couple of months sort of stretched out and like 18 months later, here we are! I'm not expecting to have a jam-packed and full-time work schedule, I wouldn't trade the privilege of getting to hangout with Remy all day for anything! I am, however, not saying that as a stay at home mom it has to be one or the other. It's so important to still have stuff and time for yourself, whether that means investing time into a hobby, work, exercise, etc. I personally am not doing any of that and that is not healthy. If I'm not doing mom duties, I can probably be found rotting my brain away with bad TV and browsing on my phone. Now sometimes at the end of a crazy day, that is just what the doctor ordered! At the middle/end/peppered throughout the whole day? If the doctor ordered that, you need a new doctor. None of this is to say that I am just miserable, because that is most definitely not the truth! I have an amazing family, great friends, an awesome home, a perfect dog, and live down the street from the best ice cream shop. But I have ideas, creative desires, books I want to read, things I want to learn. Suppressing all of that has started to affect my quality of life and quite literally my health (you can imagine how much I exercise currently!). That's not the kind of example I want to set for my daughter. I want her to see that working hard and sticking to things is good, to take ideas and dreams and see them through.

To be honest, it does all sound just a little bit intimidating at the moment. Maybe I need to decide on what some of my big dream goals are, and start setting little everyday goals to get me there, wherever "there" is.  So I do solemnly swear to blog and make dresses every single day, forever. Just kidding. But I do hope this means you will see more stuff around here. Hopefully that sounds like good news to you, if it doesn't I assume you wouldn't be here reading this still. So here's to healthy and productive days!

p.s. forgive my probably very jumbled up ramblings, I probably need to brush up a little on my writing skills

Monday, June 1, 2015

How to make: all natural cleaning wipes

Cleaning Wipes

I have been into the homemade and all natural versions of most cleaning products out there for like 8 years, but I still get really excited when I learn about more ways to make stuff myself. A couple months ago I tried out homemade baby wipes, which ended up being awesome!! This sent me on the search for what other types of wipes you can make yourself. I am a lazy cleaner, so I love those dang cleaning wipes. I am also cheap, so I hate paying for those dang wipes. Add in a kid and a dog and you have yourself a lot of cleaning to do everyday! Here is my solution I came up with. Which, by the way, works really well. I scrubbed down a white plastic rocking chair we have (that I had seriously just wiped down the day before with regular cleaner and a rag), and it was unknowingly disgusting. I had become very unaware of just how not white the chair had become.

P.s. look at my pretty plant that I miraculously haven't killed!

Supplies needed:

  • roll of paper towels (this kind is the absolute best, super good for scrubbing)
  • 1 3/4 cup boiled&cooled or distilled water
  • 3 tablespoons castile soap
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops of thieves blend essential oil (this is an amazing germ killer) 
  • Some sort of container with a lid that will fit 1/2 the roll


Cut the roll of paper towels in half with a serrated knife
Put the roll cut side down in container,
Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over roll
Let your concoction sit for 5 minutes
Put on the lid and flip the container upside down for five minutes just to make sure the paper towels get evenly saturated
Pull the cardboard tube out of the middle, enjoy a wipe and close the lid!

So now I send you out, armed with the power to wipe on!

Cleaning Wipes

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew

Pumpkin ColdbrewPumpkin Coldbrew

I am one of the very few people I know that genuinely never yearns for or even looks forward to summer. That's not to say I just wallow in self pity all summer long, but truth be told that's what my heart is probably really secretly feeling inside. Now fall on the other hand, that's my favorite, each new day I know more and more cold weather is around the corner! As much as I die each September waiting for fall to start, this year I have decided to wait until its actual, real live, sweater weather before I partake in fun and hot fall beverages. So you won't be passing my sweaty little self wearing a sweater in a coffee shop, crying as I try to sip a hot latte. Don't worry, not this year.

This long and boring rant was just to tell you I came up with a delicious but still healthy way to enjoy a nice pumpkin spice fix whether it's in an iced latte, cold brew, or (later on) a regular hot latte.  I am desperately trying to cut back on unhealthy things like refined sugar.  A 12oz pumpkin spice latte from you-know-where has 37 grams of sugar! Determined to find healthier option for this ever so famous drink, I put my thinking cap on and came up with the solution: dates! Dates are a fruit so that means you can use this syrup everyday, right? As I'm guzzling down absurd amounts of iced coffee all day I'll pat myself on the back a little for being so healthy...

This syrup ends up more of a thicker consistency, like a sauce, but it mixes into cold coffee just fine. I am really excited to try this in a classic latte.  It would also be good on pancakes or other breakfast things I bet.

Pumpkin Coldbrew

Date Sweetened Pumpkin Spice Syrup


  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 12 dates, pitted (medjools are preferred but not necessary) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Combine all ingredients except the vanilla in a small saucepan 
  2. Simmer until dates break down and get soft
  3. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add vanilla
  4. Process until smooth.  (I used a Vitamix, so if you aren't using a high powered blender it might take a little extra blending time.)

To make iced coffee

  1. I start with some of this cold brew, but leave out the spices and sugar.
  2. Add a few generous spoonfuls of syrup to a glass, along with a splash of your coffee, stir.
  3. Add more coffee and syrup to taste.
  4. Add ice and creamer if you'd like. (I made this cashew creamer to bump up the health factor a tiny bit more) 
  5. Drink up!

Pumpkin Coldbrew

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Very Lemony Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry Lemon Smoothie

I love, love, love smoothies but for some reason just don't make them often enough! Which I realized is just ridiculous, because we bought a crazy nicer blender (vitamix, hello!) last year and that is just plain wasteful. So, here is a delicious one I made the other day! Also, please tell me what your favorite recipe is. I need to add some more to my arsenal, I want to wear that blender out (if that was possible).

Very Lemony Strawberry Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup yogurt 
  • 2 cups strawberries (I used a mixture of frozen and fresh)
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 TBSP of honey (or more to taste)

Optional: 1 TBSP chia seeds and/or a handful of spinach


Blend!! I just peeled and removed the seeds of the lemon and threw it in with everything else, but you could add just the juice. If you're using all fresh berries you might want to throw in some ice to make it colder!

Strawberry Lemon Smoothie

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Time to Party!


The other weekend we got to help throw our friends a surprise engagement party, and it was pretty darn fun! Luckily she said yes, so I didn't have to regret not having the time to make a banner that said "sorry". The building we live in now (because moving is apparently our favorite thing) has an awesome rooftop space, this was the first time we've used it but will have to take advantage of it a lot more. Portland summer is coming and those are nice. Anyway, we partied, we ate, took pictures, the night was a success. I apparently didn't get photos of the lucky couple though... ha ha. Whoops.

I want to throw a party everyday!



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