Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Etsy Feature - Blue Marbles

Crystal: Shameless...I know....but I had to take the opportunity to promote my own Etsy shop on here since I've finally got it up and running....I have much more stock to come, but I wanted to start getting the word out, so figured I'd use the resources I had at my fingertips!! :) :)  Hope no one minds!

Blue Marbles on Etsy

So my Etsy shop, Blue Marbles, mainly houses these awesome frames I've been creating...I am a photographer, so it was only natural that my products would relate to pictures...they are really basic black frames, but they're matted with some great looking fabrics which is what makes them stand out.

This idea started because I remember being at my aunt and uncle's home a few years back around Halloween, and they had all these cute Halloween themed frames everywhere with past pictures of their kids in their costumes.  It was so festive and such a great way to remember past years every Halloween.
So I built on that idea and figured that it would be great to have this concept every holiday....Christmas,Valentine's, even summer/winter vacations, etc.  I LOVE frames and I love displaying pictures around my home.  I also have a short attention span and so I like to change what I'm looking at a lot...so being able to rotate my frames and pictures every month or so is such a tempting idea!  And I figured there had to be other people out there who shared this little quirk of mine. :) :)

In the next week or so, I've got some more Christmas/holiday frames to post, as well as a USC frame.  If you've got a favorite school or sports team you would be interested in getting a frame with, let me know so I can start hunting for the fabric! :)

In addition, I'm always going to start working on some fine art prints to post in my shop...I've only got one so far, but more will be in the future! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog Sharing

Crystal: Oh my, I just came across the absolute CUTEST blog right now in my browsing-ness....you must check this out, especially if you have kids...but either way it's just so creative and fun to look at:

Crouching Mother, Hidden Toddler

Jen: These lunches are adorable! What a fun mom! I love the Muffin Tin Monday meals :)

Photo from Crouching Mother, Hidden Toddler blog

Friday, August 20, 2010

Opinion - Disneyland vs Religious Garb?

Jen: So, I heard an interesting Disneyland related news story from my mom this morning. I'm curious as to what you think. A woman is a hostess at one of the Disneyland restaurants, and she's Muslim. She wants to wear her hijab, but Disneyland said no because they consider all of the Disneyland uniforms to be "costumes", and that's not part of her restaurant's specific costume. Disneyland is EXTREMELY strict about what their cast members wear.

There was someone from our high school who was a cast member, and she wore the wrong shoes, and they sent her home without pay and a 3 day suspension. So they're definitely not singling this woman out. It's just their policy.

As a huge Disney fan, I fully support the company on this one. It's all of those little details that Disney has that makes the experience. Allowing everyone to wear "accessories" of their choosing takes away from the aesthetic of the experience.

Anyway, what do you think?

Crystal: hmmm, thats a tough one. i did hear about this on the news, but i didnt hear about the whole story so didnt fully understand what was going on....but based on what you said - i think i side with Disneyland.

It's a tough one, because a lot of companies have uniforms, etc. and you have to abide by them - and a lot of places say that you can't have facial piercings, visible tattoos, you can't wear certain types of clothing, etc.....but a lot of places will still allow items having a religious stance on them.....

BUT - on the same note - because Disneyland's uniforms are considered "costumes" and they are part of the role-playing of Disneyland and walking into this magical world so to speak...so, just as an actor on a movie or tv show wears what the costume designer and director tells them to, so should a Disney cast member, right? If it bothers you or goes against your religion to abide by the company's rules, you shouldn't work there.......I don't want to wear a Hooter's shirt and booty shorts, so I won't apply there....and I don't want to wear a stripper's uniform (or lack of one), so I won't work there....and I don't want to wear a covered-wagon-era costume like they do at Knott's Berry Farm, so I'm not going to work there either....and as much as I want to wear flip flops to my current job (it's a business casual dress code), I'm not allowed to and I'd likely be sent home...so I don't. The dress code is something you consider when taking a job - it's just how it is.

So after I wrote this, I went and did some quick googling on the subject...I saw that this specific employee went back and forth with Disney on this and they were working on a compromise (offering to have one designed to fit with her costume even) - but it sounds like they were completely dragging their feet on it...........

With that piece of info - completely unprofessional of Disney to string her along for such a long time, BUT - as I work in a corporate office and am exposed to the schedules of executives and various people who are usually the "[wo]man behind the scenes", I know how hectic and busy people's schedules can be....I know that sometimes it takes months and months to have tiny decisions made simply because you can't get on someone's calendar to have decisions approved. I see both sides.....

And it appears that there are also various communications out there saying that based on anti-discriminatory laws, etc. people should be allowed to wear the hijab for religious purposes.......................which I wholly support if the only contradictory explanation is purely for bigotry reasons....but I don't feel that one rule always applies to everything and that there are always exceptions.....Disneyland is one of those exceptions and I feel that law and policy makers should leave room for these things.

Obviously this is purely my opinion, and if there are facts that I'm not aware of or considering, I'd love to be enlightened so that I can rethink my opinion based on these other pieces.

Readers...what do you think??

Photo by By Jae C. Hong, AP

Jen: I also read a few articles after we talked (they all seem to leave out one detail or another, but all together I think I have the whole story now). Yes, Disneyland offered to create a hijab for her. I think that was going above and beyond, personally, but that's their choice as her employers. They have even gone through a fitting process for her, but the costume department still needs to finish the design and manually create it. They're just not moving fast enough for her. It's been 2 months. But why does she assume that her costume gets top priority and should be moved to the front of the line when that department has it's hands full already (I knew someone who used to work in their costume department, and from what she said, there's always A LOT of work to be done).

If anyone of us broke the dress code at work, we'd have consequences! And if my job's dress code made me uncomfortable, I'd leave. Isn't that common sense?

I'm feeling a little riled up here because this new "Politically Correct" world that we live in is taking things a little too far. In fact, I'll be posting something on Haute Whimsy next week regarding racial tension. I'm really excited about the post because I found someone who drives the point home very nicely.

Crystal: So I saw an interview with this lady on CNN at lunch today in the breakroom...and I couldn't help but feel like there may have been someone behind the scenes pulling her strings almost...she didn't seem like she was really moved to wear the hijab because of religious reasons....she went 2 years working there without wearing one and no complaints. When the anchorman asked her why she decided to now after 2 yrs, she just said that she "was ready"....and then on a side note mentioned that she had learned during studying for her citizenship that legally she was allowed to wear it. So at that point, I feel like she was making a big deal about this purely because she could and that the religious reasons behind it are just a supporting excuse.

In addition, the anchorman asks her if they offered her other options for work...she responds saying that they offered her a position in the back where she wouldn't be seen by the customers in the interim while they worked on a compromise (i.e., the Disney approved hijab). But she kinda just wrote it off in an ungrateful 'how dare they throw me in the back' kind of way.....which I can see being annoying - I'd rather have results vs being pushed to the back.....but it's such a large company with so many different pieces involved (legal people, costume people, human resources people, etc.) that you just can't expect results to happen that quickly. It unfortunately just doesn't work that way in large corporations.

After watching the interview today, and assuming that i know all the facts that play a role in this, then I completely side with Disneyland 100%. They were very accommodating for offering to design a hijab for her (that's above and beyond in my opinion), and they offered her another position temporarily so that she could keep a job and still observe her religious rites. I feel that they did what they could in this situation and she is being ungrateful and unmoving.

Jen: Just to be clear on moving her to the back, and so people who may not understand Disneyland to the extent that we do can get a better understanding ...

Disneyland considers every employee a "cast member", and they don't have uniforms, they have "costumes" for every position. When she word the hijab, she was altering her costume, so she was told she could:

1. Remove it and continue working "on stage"
2. Continue wearing it and work "back stage"
3. Go home for the day

I don't know this for a fact, but there's no doubt in my mind that her employment contract covered the dress code. Therefore, she knowingly broke the rules. When she was given a consequence, she continued to break the rules with no regard to the company. I see this as her creating a hostile work environment!

One reader has asked what the woman is trying to get out of this situation. It looks like a payoff. She's suing for racial discrimination. HA! Of all the companies to sue for that! Disneyland has always been such a wonderful melting pot of all races, ages and gender. They are the epitome of equal opportunity!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Bella Baby - Etsy Feature

Crystal: I was browsing through Etsy shops early this morning as I saw something posted on Facebook that I wanted to check out....and then the whole addiction that is clicking on picture after picture of various Etsy items took over. I saw many, many things that caught my eye....but this one in particular I stopped at because it was just so darn pretty. I don't have a little girl, and personally I think I prefer having boys, and I'm not very into pink at all....BUT I just thought this would look absolutely gorgeous in a little girl's room....so I had to share! :)

Jen: It's so darling! I love it!

(#11 - July 30, 2010)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Crystal: You know, I absolutely love finding unique gifts....stuff that isn't your usual chain items.....as much as I love Harry and David pears, and Popcornopolis popcorn, I also love sending and receiving things from little-known vendors as well....or at least little known to me and likely most of those I associate with.

So I was catching up on some old email and found some info about this yummy looking chocolate and goodies company. 

It's called Sucre - what a fun name! :)


I saw these yummy looking chocolates which really caught my eye:

Just wanted to share in case anyone is looking for some fancy gifting options. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dorota Jewelry- Etsy Feature

Jen: I just discovered Dorota Jewelry, a gorgeous shop filled with gemstones, pearls and crystals! Each piece is handcrafted with care.

I can think of just about a million events where I could wear this jewelry, from dinner parties to movie screenings. I adore it all!

You can follow Dorota Jewelry on Facebook and Twitter for updates and sales :) Enjoy!

(#10 - May 25, 2010)

Monday, May 24, 2010

What really mattters in life...Golf Balls

Crystal: I've read this a few times before, but a friend just forwarded it to me this morning and I re-read it...and I just absolutely love it.  It's just a great example and holds a lot of truth.  I encourage you all to read this and really absorb the meaning behind it...there are few things that are more true than this.  Pass it along. :)

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and started to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things- God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. These are the things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter- like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else- the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children.

Take time to get medical checkups.

Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'Take care of the golf balls first- the things that really matter.

Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked'. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'

Image: http://orglamic.com/2009/06/15/eco-golf-balls/

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kristabela - Etsy Feature

Crystal: Sorry everyone - slacking again over here....my turn for the Etsy shop feature. :)

So I'm tried out this "Pounce" thing on Etsy because I love things that are random (just another quirk about myself).  And so I chose "undiscovered" and checked out what came up...

So I'm also a fan of random knick knacks and gift items...things that you don't necessarily need, but that are fun to have....so this is what I came across and would love to get them as a gift for someone!  Or myself if I still had a baby around....

Kristabela (no shop logo...yet i assume)

She's only got a few things up, but I love what she does have!

These Fabric Wipe Cases are an awesome idea!  I would have been all over these back when my son was in diapers if I knew about it.

And I LOOVE diaper covers....especially monogrammed and personalized ones!  And look how cute her owl design is!!

And then of course, the awesome Tutu Dress....i love tutus :)

Happy shopping! :)

(#9 - May 21, 2010)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Paris Gal 56- Daily Etsy Feature

Jen: I love these French goodies by Paris Gal 56 (reminds me of Department 56!), an Etsy shop fit for a princess! They sell journals, art, pots, tags ... tons of lovely items for the Paris obsessed, like moi ;)

At this time, shipping is only available in the U.S. and Canada, but they have a blog you can visit as well! They do Friday giveaways- how fun!!!

Crystal: Oh I just went and checked out their shop - awesome stuff!  I love the look.  It's so creative.  I loved the little box with the goodies in it.  I don't even know what I would do with all that stuff, but I'd still want it!
Fun shop!
(#8 - May 14, 2010)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Mother's Guide to Self Renewal Book

Crystal: An interesting book I came across today...I haven't ready it myself, yet, but from what I've seen it looks like it might hold some great ideas.

I feel that it's really important for mothers to have a self awareness about who they are and what they want out of life. When you have kids, you tend to get so wrapped up in the day to day, that you forget what living is about. For me, having children completed my life, and everything I do in my life is in a roundabout way for them...but I also realize that for the purpose of my sanity, it's important for me to also just be me and do something for myself once in awhile...and sometimes it's hard to figure out who that isor what I want when your whole life has been repurposed for your children.

I don't know that this book is the final solution, but it's probably a good start. I read the mini review from an an Urban Baby email I received last year (that I'm now barely reading)...this is what they outline as some of the suggestions in the book...all fabulous ideas in my mind!
  • Go to a deli or natural foods store and pick up items for a delicious picnic. Bring your treats to a local park and enjoy your meal under a shady tree.
  • Head to your favorite bookstore and browse the career, self-improvement, women’s health, psychology and spirituality sections. Take note of what topics are most interesting or appealing to you. Make sure you take time to be quiet; sip a relaxing beverage. Resist the urge to turn this into a shopping trip; this is your time to reflect.
  • Visit an ice cream or yogurt store and enjoy a new flavor as a special treat. Maybe indulge in a sundae while you sit outside and just chill.
  • Take off for a relaxing walk in nature, perhaps near a local lake, river or pond.
  • Write a poem about your life and how it’s changed since you’ve become a mother.
  • Visit a bookstore or gift store and buy yourself a new journal. Take time to break it in while sipping on green tea.
  • Go to one of your favorite outdoor spots to relax and journal on twenty things you’re grateful for.
  • Visit a wine bar and have a glass of your favorite wine. Reflect — what are your three favorite things about yourself? Have they changed since you were 20?
  • If it’s rainy, use your imagination: where can you find a cozy, quiet kid-free corner in your neighborhood to relax, unwind and de-stress?
And if you don't have kids of your own, you could always pass this along to your own mother...this can also apply to a lot of fathers out there. :)

Jen: What a fabulous book! It reminds me of a book I have called "Snap Out of It". The whole point is to become self-aware and give back to yourself.

Mom's have it rough! I just watched the Mother's Day episode of that new show, The Middle. It showed 3 generations of mothers and daughters melting down over their pressures and stressors (in a hilarious way!). My mom really related to it, as she told me later. Maybe I should get this book for her ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hold My Bag - Etsy Feature

Crystal: I came across a super cute Etsy shop today...it's called "Hold My Bag" (also very cute!).

She has some gorgeous fabric that she's used...

This little beauty caught my eye right off the bat!

Here's another one...I'm already trying to picture what I can wear with this. :)

Ooh, and this one is super chic...love it :)

Do you see anything you like??? :)

Jen: Wow, these bags are great! I like her Extra Large Amy Butler Tote in Lacework Brown. It feels so bohemian!

(#7 - May 10, 2010)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

White Earth Studio- Etsy Feature

Jen: Nancy Monsebroten's shop, White Earth Studio, takes handmade to the extreme! Not only does she create the structure of her vases on a wheel, but she then hand-forms each petal and attaches it to her beautiful pieces. I can't even imagine how much time goes into her work!

I love how these vases could find a place in a classic home, as well as a very whimsical home! If I were to own one of these beauties, I would keep it near my laptop for constant inspiration and happy vibes!

(#6 - May 5, 2010)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Doodlebugs - Etsy Feature

Crystal: Oops! For some reason I had thought yesterday was Jen's turn to post an Etsy feature, so I didn't post anything...but now that I'm looking back at our blog, I realized that was my miss! Sorry!!

Good thing though, because I just found this awesome shop....I'm a sucker for anything personalized....so this monogram shop is right up my alley, plus offers super cute items!!

Check out this adorable bib and burp cloth set for $14.00

A great gift in this personalized Travel Tumbler for $17.00

And this one is my favorite!
This beautiful photo album that can be personalized with various fabrics and lettering for $20.00...I'm fairly certain I'll be purchasing one as a gift in the near future...seeing as how I'm a huge fan of pictures!!

LOVE this stuff!! :)

Jen: I love personalized items, too! I have so many pads of paper and pens with "Jennifer" scribed on them. My grandma got me into the trend as a kid!

Doodlebugs has some really cute things- good find, Crystal! I love the albums, and for $20, not bad at all! They would make great baby books ;)

By the way, the wink was because Crystal's cousin will be welcoming a baby boy into the family in the near future! Crystal is very happy!

(#5, May 4, 2010)

Friday, April 30, 2010


Crystal: Jen - I feel like you've posted something similar to this in the past, or maybe another product from the same company? Either way, I just came across this site for Baggino, a diaper-bag-changing-pad-thatyouweararoundyourwaist-MacGuyver-looking-thing...at first I was like, wow - this is weird looking...and way overboard for my personal taste...but as I watched the video play and saw them start pulling out the items in the little pockets, I started to think that although it's completely silly looking, and I'd totally walk out of a public bathroom laughing to myself at anyone I saw wearing one of these, it actually was kind of handy.

Judge for yourself. :)

Jen: How funny! I actually blogged about them last year here. I love this company, even though I don't have any children yet. The owners are so sweet! I'm glad to see their business is catching on!!!

Circa Ceramics- Etsy Feature

Jen: I think I want to throw out all of my old dishes and start over with a collection from Circa Ceramics! It's a two-person ceramics business that started back in 1999.

Be sure to check out their:

I love the camera collection best! What's your favorite?

(#4 - April 30, 2010)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Card Maven - Etsy Feature

Crystal: I think I've found my new spot for greeting cards!! I do love going to Hallmark and browsing through hundreds of cards to find the perfect one, but this shop has got some super cute options as well, and even after shipping cost just about the same as a Hallmark one (the nice ones at least!)...plus they're unique, which I LOVE.

I mean seriously, look at how cute this is! And only $2.45! http://www.etsy.com/listing/45764549/butterfly-birthday-handmade-greeting

Oh, and don't forget, Mother's Day is coming up (May 9)!! Check out this one: http://www.etsy.com/listing/44624201/mothers-day-handmade-greeting-card-with

And even beautiful sympathy cards...butterflies are a beautiful symbol when faced with the loss of a loved one... http://www.etsy.com/listing/37465373/classic-thinking-of-you-a-handmade

Have fun browsing. :)

Jen: These cards are too adorable! You can tell she puts a lot of time into them. I love this vintage card the best I think!

(#3 - April 29, 2010)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food Revolution

Jen: Thanks to Alyssa Milano, who is the world's best Tweeter, I signed this petition yesterday. I fully back this movement because after working in the public school system, I can vouch for the crap they feed our kids. It's awful. You can tell by their stinky little toxic farts after lunch. It smells just like the poison "burgers" they scarfed down with ketchup colored corn-syrup. Super gross.

Jamie Oliver is a God-send, and I think he's pretty brave for standing up to Americans and challenging them to feed their kids nutritious food! This petition is meant to supplement his current TV special, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" on ABC. After his special is over, he's going to take the petition to the White House to prove that Americans are taking a stand against garbage food in schools.

This shouldn't be a difficult feat seeing as how Michelle Obama is all about natural foods. When she moved into the White House, she planted a massive garden and allows local children to come garden with her. To me, that's walking the walk. Food Network even had a special Iron Chef America episode where the chefs had to use fresh veggies from the White House garden as their secret ingredient!

Please take a quick moment to sign this petition for the health of our kids, and our country!

Crystal: LoL - I'm still laughing at "stinky little toxic farts"! That was a great line.

I suppose if I ate better myself, I might care more about what they serve in school....and I suppose when Caydan is actually in school and eating in the cafeteria, I'll care more then as well....but as of now, this isn't a topic that's even crossed my mind yet. But soon enough I'll have more to say about it I'm sure. :)

That is really awesome though about Mrs. Obama having the local kids come and garden with her...how awesome would that be to say you gardened with the First Lady???

Heartworks By Lori- Etsy Feature

Jen: I've been a long-time adorer of Heartworks By Lori "art lockets"! What makes her work so unique is that she collaborates with other artists and turns their art into jewelry. The designs embedded in her lockets are miniature versions of paintings and photography prints!

Heartworks By Lori has worked with two of my favorite Etsy artists, A Black Apple and Irene Suchocki. To have an opportunity to buy my favorite images in print and in accessories is priceless to a fan like me :)

Crystal: Oh how fun! Maybe one day she'll want to put some of my photos on jewelry...I don't take any landscape/object pics right now, but someday I plan to branch out to that. :)

(#2 - April 28, 2010)


Crystal: "Women who do not dress modestly... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, increases (consequently) earthquakes." - Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi

Really? That quote is going to show up on some comic strip somewhere down the line...if it hasn't yet already.

I remember reading the inital quote when it was first said...and I remember actually laughing at how silly it sounded...I don't want to step on anyone else's beliefs...but it just seems like such a far stretch to somehow hold someone accountable for natural disasters...and women at that.

Then I saw this event on the news the other day: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/World/Story/A1Story20100428-213019.html

"Cleavage for Science"

Basically a bunch of women standing around and flaunting their cleavage to prove that it doesn't cause earthquakes.

I find this all a little smile-worthy...although interesting as the article points out there was a large earthquake in Taiwan around this same time that the protest was going on.

Besides, if this was all true, wouldn't Las Vegas be riddled with earthquakes on a daily basis? Just sayin'.... :)

Jen: It reminds me of a conversation I had with someone recently who insisted that the Haitians brought their quake upon themselves by practicing voodoo. I mean, seriously? And you know what their argument was?! "Well, look at the name of their country! Haiti, as in Hell."

No, sir. Haiti is NOT the same as Hades.

Crystal: That conversation actually happened with someone you know???  Wow...that's a far fetch.  And seriously... Haiti/Hades??...probably a good idea to actually know what you're talking about when you make such bold statements.

Photo: Daily Chili

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