Growing up, I was always tasked with gift wrapping for the entire family – gifts to my mom from my dad, gifts from my sister to our brother, and even gifts from my siblings to me. Funny, I couldn’t stand it at the time, but I realize it was because I was the only one…
  • jackie jade - December 17, 2012 - 8:36 AM

    aww this is such a good, but easy, idea! i love playing with stamps, so i might have to try something like this soon!

    also wanted to say i love your pet paintings! i have 2 cute doggies and would love to get their portraits done sometime soon!ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 17, 2012 - 8:53 AM

    I was always tasked with wrapping presents when I was growing up, too! It was because my family is very last-minute, so our relatives would be arriving at our house, and my parents would have to go greet them, leaving me to wrap all the presents.

    I’m actually kind of sad that there’s not really any reason for us to wrap presents this year – we’re staying home, and we’ve already spent our budget on a camera and new toys back in November. Maybe I’ll wrap those back up and stick them under the tree that we still haven’t put up yet?ReplyCancel

  • Molly - December 17, 2012 - 1:30 PM

    I actually wrapped presents like this on Saturday! My 3 year old was going to a birthday party, & I had him do the stamping so he was included in the gift giving. I wish I would have taken a picture. I made the stamps & a few pom poms to put on top. Craft paper is the best go to wrapping paper.

    ps- That is the cutest ribbon, & you tie an awesome bow!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - December 17, 2012 - 1:44 PM

    I can definitely relate to being the gift wrapper. I was always the one person in the house who just loved to wrap gifts. I even wrapped my own some years! Haha. I love this idea too! I am totally going to make my own wrapping paper now.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 17, 2012 - 2:05 PM

      I’m glad that all of you feel my gift-wrapping pain! I suppose I always sort of liked it, since I would wrap even the tiniest gifts – even just little $1 stocking stuffers. Makes it more fun that way.

      Jackie Jade, I hope I get to “meet” your pups sometime soon!

      Rebel, definitely wrap the camera and old gifts. It’ll make it more fun.

      Molly, thank you!

      Jennifer, dooo it!ReplyCancel

  • Kyley and Ammo the Dachshund - December 17, 2012 - 9:01 PM

    Thanks for the shout out! :)

    Ammo and I have been wrapping our gifts in brown paper for a few years now. I even carved a little Christmas bulb that I stamp in red or green on ours. Maybe this year I’ll have to mix it up and carve some snowflake stamps!

    P.S. Love the yay! in gold!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - December 18, 2012 - 5:20 PM

    I use brown paper too! Either from Michael’s, or sometimes you can find rolls at Home Depot. Usually I just leave it plain and spruce it up with ribbon or stamps (love your yay, sooo cute!) or glitter tape, but since I bought a shit-ton of Martha all surfaces paint for a gift project I think I might try painting simple designs like this: http://www.eatsleepcuddle.com/2011/12/homemade-holiday-gift-wrap.html We’ll see, stripes may be about all I can handle!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 5:49 PM

      Those designs are SO cute! Perhaps if I’m adventurous enough, I’ll have to try that next year!ReplyCancel

  • Heather {ModernMealsforTwo} - December 21, 2012 - 8:35 AM

    I’m behind at everything right now, including blog reading. So, sorry for the tardy comment.

    Three things
    1. I’m also loving the kraft paper look. I like how you mimicked wrapping paper with stamp. It’s a nice, subtle touch.
    2. Custom stamps are so addictive! We have a few with our photography logo (different sizes for different applications). Love them.
    3. THOSE PAWS! SOO cute! They make me miss having daily kitty time in my life. (Hubster is allergic so no feline pets for me.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 21, 2012 - 8:39 AM

      Heather, Scott’s allergic to kitties too, so he can’t cuddle them like I can, but we make it work. Perhaps a surprise kitty under the tree could be nice this Christmas…ReplyCancel


First, a big thank you to everyone who has been in touch with us after the Renegade Fair. It’s been a busy couple of weeks since the fest, and while a few more paintings have sold to some of our readers since we closed up our booth that weekend (for real, thank you!), we still…
  • Molly - December 14, 2012 - 9:00 AM

    Awesome deal! I just ordered some prints for my kids. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 14, 2012 - 1:15 PM

    Thanks, Molly! You picked a few of my favorites!ReplyCancel


In this house, no one loves Christmas more than I do – no one. (And yes, I realize this is just between me and Scott, but I totally win.) You’d think this means I’d go nuts in holiday decor – and while I have this fantasy of soft, glimmering lights, tinsel and garland on every…
  • Jennie - December 12, 2012 - 8:11 AM

    I too have a little gray girl who loves to sit under “her” tree. But she also loves to chew on the lights and paw at the ornaments… How do you get your kiddos to leave it alone??

    I’ve been reading your blog for months but this is my first comment!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2012 - 8:23 AM

      Hi Jennie! We don’t do anything to prevent the girls from pawing at the tree… but they both just LOVE to sit under the lights and make little kitty nests in the skirt. We also make sure the lights are really nestled into the tree, so they’re not hanging down – and only the smallest ornaments go near the bottom. Sorry we’re not much help in that department! Our girls are just prisses that seem to enjoy the angelic glow the lights give off!ReplyCancel

  • Kat - December 12, 2012 - 11:49 PM

    We have a non-traditional tree skirt, too! I took a snowflake printed table runner & wrapped it around the base of our tree. Our fuzzy friend loves to nap under the tree too… but oddly, only when the christmas lights are turned on — she must love the soft glow as much as I do :)ReplyCancel

  • Trude - December 13, 2012 - 5:34 PM

    It all looks so lovely! What a great idea for a tree skirt. My roomie and I do a few fixins, plus a condo-sized tree. We also couldn’t stay away from holiday towels in the guest bathroom (but come on, they have a deer in a scarf on them). I have yet to take photos, but really need to. The tree really makes it so cozy!ReplyCancel


Sometimes, as a faithfully devoted husband, concessions are made when it comes time to decide how my time is spent. This post is a detailed account of one aforementioned concession. On a recent innocent trip to a local second-hand store to pick up some vintage picture frames for Renegade, my dear wife spotted this fancy…
  • Stephanie Phillips - December 11, 2012 - 7:16 AM

    Silver = Silver polish, silly man. You can buy the paste, the liquid (I prefer for intricate stuff), or the wipes. Check your local Wally World or Tarjay.ReplyCancel

  • Meagan - December 11, 2012 - 8:19 AM

    How kind of you to keep at it :-) Perhaps I am just not understanding the other polishes…but have you tried a true silverware polish? I’ve used both the dip and the paste with fantastic results. I was also told to dip my silver jewellery in lemon juice after polishing it up in order to prevent tarnishing. I would imagine that would work in this case too. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - December 11, 2012 - 8:23 AM

    My grandmother always uses Tarnex for her silver and I’ve been using it for mine as well. It can be hard to find though, if you can’t find it in stores check online on Amazon.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 11, 2012 - 9:27 AM

    Ha, thanks, guys! To be honest, we weren’t even sure if the tray was true silver, since Eagle One claims to work wonders on silver… The dip idea sounds good though!

    Is there a way to test the actual metal we’re dealing with? Or are we all in agreement that this is very obviously silver? Oh, we feel silly…ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - December 11, 2012 - 10:06 AM

    Silver will continue to oxidize as it is exposed to air, no polish will keep it shiny and beautiful forever. One thing you could try is to spritz very lightly with aerosol hairspray to keep the air off the surface (after you’ve polished again).

    I have a wall hook from anthropologie from years ago made of two vintage silver spoons. Those puppies tarnished like it was their job! So I polished them very well and coated them with clear nail polish. Problem solved. Although you probably don’t want to coat that whole tray with clear nail polish, so try the hairspray.

    As to the metal content, I’m assuming you’ve checked the bottom for any potential engraving? If it says 925 anywhere, it’s sterling silver.ReplyCancel

  • The Tiny Homestead - December 11, 2012 - 10:50 AM

    I have a silver catchall on my dresser and I just let it get tarnished. However, I have some brass hardware in my house that I like to keep shiny. After polishing I just rub on a bit of car wax, like turtle wax to keep it from oxidizing. Maybe there is a product made for this purpose, but I just used what I had on hand and it has worked very well.ReplyCancel

  • Rae - December 11, 2012 - 10:57 AM

    I know it’s pretty ghetto, but for non-food, stubbornly yellowing items, rinse, dry and coat with clear polyurethane. Boom.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 11, 2012 - 11:40 AM

      Rae, we’re not above ghetto. We could see that working…ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 11, 2012 - 3:09 PM

    Rachel and Tiny Homestead – thank you both so much! We felt like we were going crazy, and we wondered, what are we doing wrong?

    There are no etchings of any kind on the tray, but the turtle wax, hairspray and coating it with a clear coat are all great tips!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - December 11, 2012 - 5:43 PM

    Sorry, I’m no help about the polish. But I just had to say, Kim, I knew you would be a Clinique Happy Heart wearer. It fits you. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 11, 2012 - 5:47 PM

      Julia, haha, you just made my heart so happy! I’ve been wearing that scent since I was 16.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - December 11, 2012 - 8:24 PM

    I can’t believe that no one has suggested this!…It is so so so easy and probably the only reason I own anything silver as a decorative container in my home… Boil a tea pot or large pot full of water, grab another dish – I use whatever size I need to fully submerse the tarnished item usually my large lasagna pan and line the bottom with a piece of tin foil. Place the silver on top of the tin foil and dust baking soda over the silver to cover it, then pour the boiling hot water in the pan lined with foil, your silver and baking soda.. it will bubble and fizzle and might smell a little like eggs. Keep sprinkling baking soda over it until it stops fizzing. The tarnish is magically washed away from your silver! It the best and easiest way to polish silver IMHO. Make sure after you remove it that you rinse it lightly and dry it completely. Any little imperfections left (if any) can usually be buffed out with a soft cloth.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - December 11, 2012 - 8:28 PM

    Oh one last thing I’ve learned about silver.. do no store anything made of rubber on or near your tray, rubber for some reason corrodes silver faster…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2012 - 8:20 AM

      Melissa, thank you! We’ve never heard of this tip – baking soda, who knew? What can’t it do?! We’ll give it a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Marie - December 12, 2012 - 4:28 PM

    Hi Scott, Hi Kim,

    Melissa is right, use her natural method and you’ll be surprised, no need to buy any polish. You can also try with toothpaste, it works well too. You just rub your tray with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste, and rinse it under water before complete dry. And that’s it ! But anyway, I’m afraid you’ll have to do it regularly, unless some varnish could be sprayed on the tray ?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 12, 2012 - 5:21 PM

    We never thought to varnish the tray, but as something that will never have food on it, we’re starting to think this may be the way to go! You guys have been very, very helpful. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Oneita - December 13, 2012 - 12:18 PM

    I’ve used the baking soda method with great results. Once the silver is cleaned, a coat of poly works, or you could try Renaissance Wax. It’s a little pricey, but it does a great job!ReplyCancel

  • Kati from so happy home - December 13, 2012 - 4:17 PM

    I wish I could pin all of these amazing silver suggestions. I’m just as ignorant of how to care for silver, and am appreciative of all your readers for chiming in with such helpful tips!ReplyCancel


After a semi-stressful week of heavy, self-imposed to-dos (and not knocking many of them out, gah!), Scott insisted we take the weekend off. As in, for the last several weeks (months, even!), we’ve been working 7 days of week. I always say that my out-of-the-box job creates for some fuzzy work/life balance, and as a…
  • Clara - December 10, 2012 - 7:47 AM

    Kim! This weekend sounds like shear perfection. I can totally relate on the working weekend front. I’m thinking next weekend will be my full on break weekend, but luckily this one had some much needed down time too. Hope you’re doing well!! xxReplyCancel

  • Hannah - December 10, 2012 - 8:08 AM

    Therapy Dog Tesla has a very busy social life that requires hre chaffeur to drive her to and fro. Tess had to “make an appearance” at a few events this weekend . Her social life really gets in the way of my To-Do List!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 10, 2012 - 9:38 AM

    Clara, yup, I’m sure you totally understand! Here’s to NEXT weekend!

    Hannah, Tesla has quite the charmed life! Oh, the things we do for our pups…ReplyCancel

  • Nina - December 10, 2012 - 10:23 AM

    Lots of great photos & it definitely sounds like a fantastic weekend…well deserved!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - December 10, 2012 - 11:05 AM

    This sounds amazing. I didn’t want this post to end because I was living vicariously through it. I think the best gift I could give Chris (and myself) would be a weekend off. Is this what other people do?!? Is this how other people live? With relaxing weekends. I want to interview those people and ask them all their secrets.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 10, 2012 - 11:11 AM

    Julia, you are so cute. Those questions were the exact same ones we asked ourselves as we sat on the couch. Is that what other people do? Is this how people spend their weekends?!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - December 11, 2012 - 9:25 AM

    Just curious…where did you find green grass this time of year? My lawn doesn’t look that lush in the summer! Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 11, 2012 - 3:07 PM

    Hi Michelle, that green grass was from South Haven, right before you walk down to the pier. It was the magic hour, so it was SUPER saturated and green!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - December 11, 2012 - 9:20 PM

    Oh my gosh Kim, what size is your tree? It’s so cute! Can I stay in Jack’s spot? He looks so comfy cozy!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 12, 2012 - 8:21 AM

      Hi Amanda! It’s about a 6′ ft tree, but we don’t use the bottom row of “branches” so it can be even skinnier and FIT in our home! Jack would love a buddy, too!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - December 12, 2012 - 11:21 AM

    Naomi & Violet were baptised together. It was a super cute, special family-filled weekend. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 12, 2012 - 1:36 PM

    Ahh! Jill, love it!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - December 13, 2012 - 3:34 PM

    As per usual – your photos are absolutely beautiful. Can we buy any prints on Etsy yet? I like to visit Pinterest and pin projects I’ll never actually do on weekends. I also find clever ways avoid housework :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 13, 2012 - 6:13 PM

    Thanks, Emma! Ah, I’m very, very behind on adding any prints to the Etsy shop. I really need to do that (it’s been on my list for a YEAR!), but I tend to wear one too many hats sometimes…ReplyCancel