Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hidden House Coffee... My Weekend Escape

I'll admit it - I'm a total creature of habit. One of those habits is driving down to San Juan Capistrano each weekend with the hubs to Hidden House Coffee, a coffee house in the Los Rios Historic District (across from the train depot).

Hidden House (pic from Facebook page, because mine isn't this good!)

One of the most awesome things about Hidden House is that it's a real coffee house's located in the old Olivares home, built in 1900. With it's quaint size and warm, homey decor, it's like visiting old Aunt Millie, who can pull one mean ristretto.

Their service is always top-notch. It's family-owned and operated, so it's always the same, smiling faces with each visit.

In addition to excellent espresso drinks, they also offer a small breakfast/lunch menu, fresh-baked pastries & baked goods, and a variety of ice cream flavors for the kiddies (or hubbies, if they had bubblegum ice cream in stock).

Always Art with Your Coffee... One time my friend got a buffalo, they said...
(pic from Facebook page, because, again, mine isn't this good!)
If you're ever in town visiting the Mission or taking the train through SoCal, definitely stop by Hidden House Coffee... one of South Orange County's gems. I know I'll be back... next weekend.

Facebook Page:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who Likes a Sale?? I Do, I Do!

Times are still tough, especially during the expensive holiday season. Handmade items - though beautiful - sometimes aren't cheap. From now until this Friday, December 9, Sadie Bloom Designs is having a sale... 20% off all of our holiday accessories at our Etsy boutique! Every little something helps!

Stock up on gifts for the the little ones in your life!

Click on the link for the holiday accessories sale!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lil Noodle Bug... Oodles of Cuteness!

Now that the things have slowed down for the moment (Christmas is just around the corner!), I thought it'd be a great time to get back to blogging about some more fantastic Etsy boutiques, and Sadie Bloom Designs' fellow EtsyKids teammembers!

First up on the docket is Courtney of Lil Noodle Bug Designs. Let's get to know this awesome lady - who happens to live in my area -  and her adorable shop! (She also has a wonderful offer for readers... stay tuned!)

Black and Pink Onesie with Felt Flower and Pearl Necklace
Boutique Name: Lil Noodle Bug
Pinterest: LilNoodleBug

Date Boutique Opened:
December 2010

What Do You Sell?
I sell hair accessories, wreaths, fashion accessories, Christmas stockings.

How did your boutique come about? Any specific inspiration? 
I actually have always been a crafty person, but never really made time to craft. My son was born in Sept 2010 and my Grandma passed away October 2010. After clinging onto the memories of her, I realized that the shoe stocking was something special I had only at her house and was always filled with the BEST stuff. I decided to make stockings for my family and I received so many compliments that I decided it was decided to pursue something I love doing. So I created Lil Noodle Bug and have been going ever since. My children also inspire me to do what I love and show them anything is possible.

Do you have any particular rituals when you create?
I always seem to create in the living room with the tv on even though I am not watching it, the background noise is soothing. Oh and it is always at night after the kiddos go to time crafting in our house is from 8-10pm. :)
What's your favorite piece in your boutique?
My favorite piece in my shop currently is the St Patrick's Wreath. I just love how simplistic and gorgeous it turned out. :)

What do you like best about having an Etsy boutique?
The connections to different people around the world. It is so awesome that people put their faith in you to create something they love.
Valentine's Felt Red Heart Wreath

Any new projects/designs in the pipeline?
I am working on more wreaths... customize-able build your own. :) 

When/where do you come up with new designs? (A specific spot/thing you're doing?)
Ideas just sort of pop into my head and usually when I start creating something then 10 more ideas pop into my head.

Do you ever suffer from "designer's"-block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, I do, I usually take a week off from crafting and then kinda force myself to get back into it and usually ideas being to pop in my head after I am back in the groove. 

What's the best piece of advice given to you about running your boutique?
Do what you love and others will love it to. It's ok to start off slow knowing the end result can be so much greater than you ever imagined.
True Christmas Red Felt with Green and White Flowers Door Hanging
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you? Hahaha...this is a funny question. Natalie Portman's role in Garden State is pretty close to how I I would choose her.

Who is your dream customer?
My dream customer is hmmm....I would LOVE for Taylor Swift to buy something, hahahaha, a girl can dream right?!?

What is your favorite food/favorite restaurant?
I love Tacos. I could eat tacos 3 times a day every day...and I am not talking Taco Bell, I am talking real authentic tacos!! Yum! [YUM!]

If we looked in your refrigerator right now, what would we find?
Definitely Dr. Pepper and the staples...leftovers, sandwich meat and cheese, pickles, nothing fancy.

Now here's something special... Courtney would like to offer a 10% discount to our readers! Just use coupon code BLOGGIVEAWAY at her Etsy boutique to take advantage of this sweet offer.

Thank you so much, Courtney, for taking the time to answer our questions! Sending sales fairy dust your way!

The End of 30 Days of Thanksgiving (Days 24-30)

A week of frantic house cleaning, my parents as house guests, my 23rd birthday (just kidding), a hardy Thanksgiving meal with family, a trip to San Diego and catching up on my Sadie Bloom orders had more than filled my time, and I was thankful for every second... well, maybe not sitting in traffic on the 91 on Thanksgiving (horrific!).

Here are some pictures from our San Diego Trip:

Seaport Village, Embarcadero, San Diego

The Coronado Bridge - the scariest bridge EVER (it's really high)

My Husband and Dad Examining the USS Midway

Dad in front of the USS Midway

The 30 Days of Thanksgiving Blog Challege showed me: 1) I have so much to be thankful for, and 2) daily blogging is not my forte! A big thanks to Angela Andrieux Photography for the challenge!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Days 21 - 23, 30 Days of Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day when people reflect on all that they're grateful for. But that's Day 24 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving, so my thanks for that day will have to wait. In the meantime, for Days 21, 22 and 23, I am thankful for...

  • My parents being able to come down from the Seattle area to spend Thanksgiving with us;
  • Sunny SoCal weather;
  • My goofball husband and his never-ending search for the best deal on a new TV (please let the quest be completed soon!); and
  • Upcoming Black Friday deals - woo-hoo!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20... 30 Days of Thanksgiving

Wow! It's hard to believe it's already day 20 of the 30 days of Thanksgiving blog challenge. This evening I'm thankful for...
  • A squeaky clean house;
  • Rain outside my window;
  • A warm bed;
  • Agatha Christie Miss Marple DVDs!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Days 18 & 19... 30 Days of Thanksgiving

Days 18 & 19 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving have passed. For these two days, my thankfulness included:
  • A near-complete updated master bath;
  • Tasty red grapes from Trader Joe's;
  • A cuddly kitty (although she started limping the other day);
  • A warm house;
  • A handy hubby; and
  • Living in such an incredible area!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving

For Day 17 of the 30 Days of Thanksgiving Blog Challenge, I am thankful for...

Our House.

(Guess which one is ours!)
Of course, there have been times when I wasn't so thankful for it. Owning our house has been the biggest, bumpiest and most nauseating roller coaster ride I've ever ridden!

Our adventure began in November, 2009. After two years of searching in a seriously inflated housing market, we finally found a home - our first home - that came close to meeting all of our requirements (price included). We jumped on it; our offer was accepted on my birthday of all days, so it was meant to be, right?

Escrow went well. The house passed all inspections, with a few issues here and there - some windows that didn't latch, an electrical hack job in the garage, a busted sprinkler system, pet-stained shaggy carpet, etc. - but you can just fix those things afterward, right?

Closing was something out of the Twilight Zone. The seller's escrow agent must have forgotten to take his daily meds, daily... he liked to verbally berate our mortgage lender and real estate agent. He even had the gaul to forbid us from signing the closing docs at his office. Though it was a rocky start, we were still thrilled to finally be owning our own place!

On the morning after getting the keys to our place (yay!), we excitedly headed over with boxes in tow, ready to start moving into our new home. Once we enter our home, we're greeted with POOLS OF WATER all throughout our downstairs; it was especially bad in the kitchen and in the dining room. Turns out during the previous night, our house had developed a slab leak. Joyous.

Our Kitchen - Where a Sink & Cabinets Once Stood
Needless to say, we weren't moving in that day. In fact, thanks to our lightening-speed construction crew (note the sarcasm), we weren't able to move in until four months later. FOUR MONTHS. Yep, still paying a mortgage, utilities, HOA fees, etc. in addition to rent and utilities at the previous place we were living. Talk about pricey!

But you know what? In those four months, we essentially got a new kitchen, one that I got to design and insurance helped pay for - black granite counter tops, white beveled subway tile backsplash, giant single-basin sink and a flattened-out bar. We also got new wood floors (to replace the maple-tastic bubbled ones) and carpet downstairs. Check out the before and after pictures:

(although with the old chandelier)
Fast forward two years... work is almost complete on the master bathroom renovation. The same master bath with pet-stained shaggy carpet (EW), child-sized vanity with a bad paint job pealing off, and a discolored and smelly roman tub, where the previous owner kept his cat's litter box (?). Here's what that looked like (wished the photo showed detail!):

Now, the shower and roman tub have been refinished, with a new brushed nickel shower enclosure. There are new fixtures, as well as an adult-sized furniture-style black vanity with a thick, carrara marble top. My favorite revision to the bathroom is the carrara marble basket weave mosaic floor - gorgeous!

 With a few more additions, including the installation of my white mini chandelier above the roman tub, the master bath will finally be done.

Then begins the next project (of which I hope WE get to choose, not the house!)...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving! Days 14-16

Ok, I'm not so good at daily blogging (could you tell?), but I am pretty decent at blogging every few days (some is better than none, right?). For days 14 - 16 of our wonderful 30 days of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for...


Mocha Love from Victor's Celtic Coffee, Redmond, WA

Well, actually, it's more of an espresso thankfulness. It started back in high school, way back when Hootie & The Blowfish still blew, I mean sang, together, and Alanis was choking on her Jagged Little Pill. Starbucks opened in our neighboring town in the mid-90's. It was a beautiful little shop - glossy wood (real wood) floors, bright white painted displays... really classy (and very similiar to my own kitchen today!). Best part was, when I could snag a ride down there, it was never really busy - you know, back before Starbucks became the Taco Bell of coffee (lame).

Today, my tastes have developed. I've met some pretty incredible people in the industry, including in the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Espresso-making is a pretty complicated feat, at least GOOD espresso-making is. It's suprisingly similiar to wine making, beans instead of grapes, of course.

One of my favorite things to do is explore new coffee places, especially when visiting my family in the Seattle area, where there are plenty to choose from. I'll close with some pictures from my latest adventures (enjoy!):

Caffe Rococo, Kirkland, WA

Caffe Rococo, Kirkland, WA
Cafe Besalu, Seattle (Ballard), WA

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13, 30 Days of Thanksgiving... Thankfulness Treasury!

I absolutely love this treasury created by Lindsey, Etsy seller "Creativebyheart," based out of Sonoma County, Northern California. She was kind enough to include Sadie Bloom's "Autumn" Thanksgiving Headband. Such great finds! For Day 13 of 30 Days of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for this treasury. :-)

'I'M THANKFUL FOR...' by creativebyheart

Please join & give thanks! For your holiday shopping, take a peek at all of these amazing items & shops! Happy Holidays =)