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Dear Starbucks, Are We Still Friends?

15 Mar

Starbucks has unveiled its latest petite sugar bomb: The Cake Pop. Be still my beating heart.

Dear Starbucks,

A little birdie told me something: You are offering a new epicurean delight to your customers. It’s called a cake pop, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

I made a special trip to your fancy, recently remodeled location on Orange Avenue for a taste of this delicious goodness, and what did I find? Nothing. There was not a cake pop in sight.

Did you really think you could get away with this? Did you think I wouldn’t notice the considerable lack of cake pops in your shiny display case? Do you not know me at all?

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and forgive the oversight. Maybe there was some sort of disaster in your cake pop factory, which resulted in a cake pop shortage. It’s also possible that the cake pop truck overturned on the highway during its scheduled cake pop delivery. Or maybe, just maybe, a band of cake pop thieves intercepted the cake pop drop-off and they are being sold on the black market. Anything is possible when it comes to cake pops.

I don’t want this little incident to come between us, but just so you know: I’ll be back. You better not let this happen again. Or else.

Lots of Love,


This post can also be seen at my weekly lifestyle column, “Following the Yellow Brick Road” at Coronado Patch.

So, This One Time I Bought Some Chickens….

22 Feb

It’s official. We own chickens. Four of them. Meet the girls:

Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself, “We are going to buy some chickens today.” And so we did.

There is a feed store about 40 minutes away that sells young hens that are already laying eggs. Most of the other stores I contacted only sell baby chicks, and well, considering I already have two baby chicks (and a husband) to take care of, the thought of mothering four baby chicks sort of put me over the edge. It also takes chicks about seven months to start laying eggs, and considering the fact that I don’t even like waiting for the laundry to dry, I decided to go for instant gratification.

It was a totally surreal experience- buying the chickens. We just drove to the feed store, asked for four hens, the clerk put them in a box, and then we drove away. The entire transaction lasted about ten minutes. I couldn’t help but think it was about as anti-climactic as losing your virginity. I kept trying to ask the clerk questions and engage him in conversation, but he was totally over me. I even felt compelled to give him my email address in case he wanted to keep in touch or see how the chickens were doing down the road. I felt bonded to this poor guy and he couldn’t wait to get me out of his store so he could take a smoke break.

I’m sure you are all wondering about the names. Emma wanted to name one of the hens “Kitty”. Ok- no problem. I wanted to name one “Lulu”, after a character in one of Emma’s favorite books Goodnight Lulu. Whitney was set on “Dagny”, one of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged. He actually wanted to give that name to the baby before she was born (he got a big hell-to-the-no from me on that one), so I conceded and let him give the name to one of the chickens. All things considered, that was very generous of me. Don’t you think?

We couldn’t really settle on a fourth name. Emma wanted to name the fourth chicken “Emma”, but since there is a good chance we might eat these chickens one day, I just couldn’t get on board with that. Whitney didn’t really care, so I named the fourth one “Sunny” after my great-aunt. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What is with “Gnocchi” then?” Oh, I am too my friends. You see, Emma is stuck on watching this Curious George cartoon and one of the cats in the show is named “Gnocchi.” Despite explaining to her over and over that the fourth chicken is named “Sunny”, she insists on calling it “Gnocchi”. It seems that the fourth hen is destined to be named after Italian dumplings, so “Gnocchi” it is.

Once we decided on the names, it took a few days for us to assign them to the hens. I have to admit- they are hard to tell apart. Gnocchi has more white feathers than the others, Lulu has a lighter neck, Kitty has a redder neck, and Dagne is lighter all around. I’m glad I’ll have this post and the photo collage as a reference for later. It’s all a bit much to keep track of.

I could go on and on about what life is like at The Little Hen House right now, but I know you guys are all busy. If you want to keep tabs on the hens I’ve dedicated a page on the blog to them. You can find it here- The Literal Hen House. I’ll periodically update it with ramblings about poop, feral cats, broken eggs, and my various misadventures in urban farming. Don’t worry- I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. It’s not for everyone.

Well, enough about my weekend. What did you all do?

Wordless Wednesday: One Cool Chick

2 Feb

You know I had to buy this for my hen house.

Rachael from Tales From the Village found it for me here. You should read her blog. I want to get all “Single White Female” on her and steal her life. Follow her on Facebook. She just finished writing an amazing novel, so you can say you knew her when.

Wordless Wednesday: The Literal Hen House

5 Jan

I’ve been working on my New Year’s resolutions: paying better attention to my Google Reader (only 217 posts until it’s clear!), going to be an hour earlier (I might have to hold off on that one until I get the Google Reader issue sorted out), and getting chickens (the planning has begun).

Step one: Build a little hen house- literally. I’m looking for something cheap, easy, and functional. I can tell you one thing: it isn’t going to look like any of these, but a girl can dream….

Photo courtesy of Woot! Finger Tips.

Photo courtesy of Modern Design Interior

Photo courtesy of Backyard Chickens

Photo courtesy of Rustic Rooster Interiors

Photo courtesy of A Bright Space

Photo courtesy of Southern Green Living

Budget-Friendly Genius Gift Idea: DIY Terrariums

20 Dec

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the economy sucks.

I love giving presents, but my bank account hates it. Every Holiday season I struggle with finding gifts that are easy on the wallet, but also original and thoughtful. I am open to the idea of making gifts, but I’m not very crafty (even though I really, really want to be).

Well, I am so pleased with myself this year because look at what I made:

And if I had really great lighting, expensive furniture, and a childless house they might look more like this:

You get the picture, right?

I love terrariums for many reasons. First, they are really chic and stylish. Second, the are very low maintenance. Third, they are inexpensive and easy to make. This the most winning combination ever!

The best part about making your own terrarium is: it’s really cheap. I spent about $30 on all three of them, and I have enough leftover supplies to make at least four more. That’s less than $5 each. I feel so thrifty!

I have seen really cool terrariums in hip and trendy stores that sell for over $100 each. That’s madness!

Not only can you make your very own terrarium without forking over a fat wad of cash in the process, but they are really easy to make and you don’t have to have any special skills or talent to do it. It’s my dream come true.

Ready for the instructions? Here you go:

How to Make a DIY Terrarium That Looks Like It Cost a Million (or $100) Dollars


  • Clear glass containers: I bought mine at a thrift store for a few doallars each.
  • Cactus/Succulet Mix (soil)
  • Charcoal
  • Lava Rock: This comes in different sizes and colors. I used the small black variety.
  • A variety of succulent and/or cactus babies: I cut some from my parent’s house and my pots in the front yard.

Helpful tip: Most of these things can be found at Home Depot or your local nursery.

Helpful tip: If you cut your own babies, they need to dry out for about 72 hours before you plant them. They do not need to be soaked in water before they are planted again.

Step 1: Put a layer of charcoal at the bottom of the glass containers. This helps absorb odors.

Step 2: Put a layer of lava rock on top of the charcoal. This helps with drainage.

Step 3: Put a layer of soil on top of the lava rock. My layer was about 2 inches thick.

Step 4: Plant the succulents and/or cacti. Just shove them down into the dirt and make them nice and cozy. Don’t over think this part- it’s hard to mess up.

Helpful tip: I think the terrariums look best when grouped in odd numbers like three or five.

Step 5: Put another layer of lava rock on top of the soil and in between the plants. It should look like this when you are done:

Don’t forget to add a little water. I added just enough to moisten the soil. Less is more.

That’s it! How easy is that?

Don’t be surprised when I show up on your doorstep with one of these in my hands, and you definitely know what I’m bringing to the annual gift exchange party this year. Sorry to spoil it for you.

What are some of the budget-friendly genius gift ideas that you are employing this year?



Wordless Wednesday: A Study in Black and Gold

15 Dec

I’ve been reading a lot of fashion and lifestyle blogs lately. Maybe it’s the festive holiday events we have been attending, but I find myself drawn to a lot of black and gold. It’s so timeless, yet totally modern at the same time. Here are some of my favorite finds:

Minox DCC Lecia M3 Plus (gold)

Gold Bar Bracelet by Loulou and Maxime

Gold Clubmaster Sunglasses by Ray Ban

Forte Shoulder Bag by Marc Jacobs

Scoop Neck Party Dress by Adam

Leather Double-Buckle Waist Belt by Balmain

Black Studded Riding Boot by Michael Kors

Vintage Russian Mechanical Alarm Clock from Clockwork Universe

Christmas Gift Guides

8 Dec

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my blog posts have been a little short and sweet lately. Well, I’ve been busy with my duties as a Senior Editor for the Baby Gizmo Company. They are in full-force Holiday mode over there, doing giveaways everyday (you should totally check it out- grand prize is a Bugaboo!), and keeping up to date with all the latest and greatest baby and kid gear.

I’ve written several gift guides for them over the past few weeks, and I want to share the links with you. I put a lot of time and thought into these guides and I think you will find something for everyone on your list this year. I love unique and thoughtful gifts and I tried really hard to incorporate that into these posts.

You have to let me know if you decide to purchase any of my picks for your own friends and family. 🙂


Top Picks for a Fashionista

Top Picks for Your Babysitter

Top Picks for the Manly Man in Your Life

Top Picks for Foodie Friends and Family

Top Picks for Grandparents

Top Picks for Teachers

Top Picks for a Rock Star Dad

Top Picks for Holiday Coats

Top Picks for Keepsake Jewelry

Top Picks for Green Gifts for Her Under $25

Baby Gizmo Holiday Gift Guide (15 of these were chosen by me! Can you guess which ones?)

Wordless Wednesday

17 Nov

Like my new bracelet?

Me too.

Check this one out:

And now this:

You can buy all of this cool stuff at Loulou and Maxime.

They are on Facebook too. Like them.

Check out their blog. Read it.

Buy something.

Do it.


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