Meeting the YHL peeps

A few days ago I was thrilled to go to the Young House Love book signing in Palo Alto, California. My sweet friend J went with me and was not only lovely company but also at times, was my “stuff holder” and “photo taker”.

Having worked at a bookstore long ago and being a voracious reader, I have seen my share of book signings and I have to say, this one was very well put together. First, and most importantly, people in line were fed. It was 90 minutes or so we waited in line so let me say that this was super important:

J holding some cookies for her psycho friend to photograph.

These were so YUMMY, although J was more taken by the adorable little cups. I snuck around while J held my place in line to take some pics of John & Sherry – can I say she has the most perfect skin?

I also caught sight of these STACKABLE little bottles. Aren’t they perfect?

Ninety minutes later, it was my turn. I’ve tweeted John & Sherry before to say I think that I think Sherry looks just like Emilia Clarke, the actress who plays Daenerys on Game of Thrones – yay or nay?

Sherry agreed and John mentioned she’s playing Holly Golightly on Broadway, which I didn’t know.

I also brought a little something for Miss Clara:

Got my book signed and then hit up a Chinese restaurant for lunch with J. Then we wrapped up the afternoon by going to IKEA ;D A fabulous day with a wonderful friend and lots of yummy goodness!

Life in Grace e-book giveaway!

I’ve been following Edie at Life in Grace for a while, I learned of the devastating fire that destroyed her family’s home and have been in awe of the way she has handled rebuilding her life since then. She recently wrote an e-book on hospitality that is full of heartfelt ideas for truly opening up your home (and heart) to others. As someone who loves to have people over, I know that I can always make the experience a better and happier one for both parties.

This week I am giving away TWO copies of Edie’s wonderful e-book, 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality – believe me, it is so worth purchasing it for only $5 if you can’t wait for the giveaway ;D

The rules are easy peasy:
1 – Subscribe to my blog or Like my blog on Facebook
2 – Leave a comment on this post

That is it!!!

Thank you Edie for the giveaway!

I will announce the winners on Friday, before I start my Super Bowl weekend freakout – Go Niners! #questforsix

Know when to hold ’em – and a blog hop!!!

and know when to fold ’em. And, people, I am so folding!

See this?

This is my office. Or rather, it will soon be known as The Area Formerly Known As My Office. TAFKAMO.

I love it, don’t get me wrong. I chose the sleek IKEA desk with red legs, I made those lovely bright file holders on top of the shelf. I made that little corner my own.

And for some reason, EVERYONE in the house wants to use MY computer. My boys (that’s my youngest there) love to play Minecraft on my computer. My boys’ friends come over and play Minecraft on MY computer. My husband uses my computer. Never mind he has his own desk and computer:

Although it’s now become The Electronic Dumping Ground. TEDG. I can’t say it.

My oldest has his own computer, my dad’s old laptop. Does he use it? No. Mama’s computer is so much better. It’s like food, they don’t ever want what’s on their plate but I sit down to eat and within 2 minutes one or two little monkeys will be sniffing around, asking for a bite.

So you know what? I’m Claudia, and I’m taking over 😀 my husband’s desk. I’m going to work with what is there. Which means, first, I will be taking everything off the surfaces, giving it a good cleaning, and then sorting through everything before I decide what gets put back, and where. I have plans for this little corner. My first project for 2013, I’m so psyched!!!

For now, though, I am co-hosting a blog hop with one of my favorite bloggy friends!

Please share the hop with your readers and let Katherine know if you would like to co-host with her.
Remember to leave her a comment if you are a new follower so she can follow you back:-)
Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!
Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few:

*** Follow Katherine’s Corner preferably through Email it’s on her sidebar (or facebook, google plus or twitter) And My Blog, Facebook, or Twitter too.
*** Visit as many blogs in the list as you can.
*** Share the button on your post.
*** No adult content blogs

Grab the hop button code from Katherine’s button page. It’s always nice to have the hop button on your post. It IS NOT mandatory; but a Link back to Katherine’s Corner is always appreciated.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Bond, James Bond

Are you going to see Skyfall this November? I think it’s so nice of the studio to release the movie just before my birthday. Between Skyfall and the Young House Love book, which also comes out just before my birthday, I tell ya, it’s going to be a good start to my 41st year of life. Oh god.

My dear college friend Carina and I went to our little nail polish place a couple of days ago and I fell in love with some of the OPI Skyfall collection. Here is a picture, from the OPI website, of the Skyfall collection

The shades I liked the most were The World is not Enough, a beautiful shimmery taupe, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a purple-gray also with some shimmer. For a very glam holiday look, try the Bond Manicure as described on the OPI site. I also got a cobalt blue (very in color this season) from the OPI Germany collection, called Un-for-greta-bly blue:

Thanks, Carina, for a great time hanging out and for my beautiful nail polishes, I am wearing a Skyfall shade on each hand right now and will probably wear the cobalt blue for my date with my husband ;D

She loves me . . . She loves me not!

She Loves Me


1. My sweet new nephew – it will be months before I ever get to meet him, since he lives in another continent, but I can’t wait to squish the little guy and cover his sweet face with kisses!


2. New scented candles – just received this one as a gift and it’s so yummy! There’s also a little hint as to what we’ve been working on.


3. That my boys are almost done with school – I can’t wait for summer and all the fun we are going to have together! Have you seen this great summer photo checklist from Simple as That? Full of great ideas to capture those fab summer moments!

She Loves Me NOT


1. I will admit I am dreading the summer heat. I don’t do well in heat or direct sun. A big floppy hat (like this one from Target) is always my best friend in these months.

Joining Michaela Noelle’s linky party!!!

Interview with Lisa Epp of Captured Grace Photography

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Lisa since we were both brides-to-be on a wedding planning message board. Some of the local brides would get together and eventually some of us became friends, attending each other’s ceremonies and keeping in touch past the “I do” moment.

Back then, Lisa was known as the one who would capture beautiful details at our weddings, she would catch a corner of a wedding cake or the lacy hem of a bridal gown and compose beautiful images. Today, she does the same with nature, truly capturing grace in the details that most of us miss.

She also does portraits, maternity, family and baby pictures and recently opened an Etsy shop — Recently I got a chance to ask her a few questions about her work:

CB: If you could spend a day anywhere in the world, photographing anything or anyone, what would it be?
LE:
SUCH a hard question because there are several places that get my blood pumping thinking about the photography opportunities.
I would love to see Ireland and the rolling hills, the towns, general beauty of the land
Italy and Greece call to me for the bright colors and architectural details I have seen in images.
AND if I could photograph anyone I would be running towards Johnny Depp. There is something so captivating in his face and voice, that make me just want to capture him.

CB: What is it about the details of nature that draw you to capture them?
LE:
I am drawn to the details of nature because they are so amazing when you take time to really look and appreciate all the details.
Yes flowers are pretty to look at, but if you look at them from a different angle, examine how they are put together, the petals and colors it is breathtaking. Take a leaf in fall, the colors are stunning, the textures and patterns. Each one different.
I love taking the time to notice what we pass by every day without taking the time to really look at it.

CB: What kind of camera/equipment do you have?
LE:
I have a Nikon D700. Love it!
I generally almost always have my 50mm. 1.4 lens on, but I also adore my 85mm lens.

CB: What is the best compliment you have received on your work?
LE:
Well I don’t have a specific one, but when people comment that I made them really appreciate and see the beauty in the simple details of life, it is wonderful.

CB: What do you see for your photography in the next 5 years?
LE:
I would love to be doing more portrait sessions, especially with babies, my favorite.:)
Mostly, I just hope to be still looking for those details of life and enjoying my journey with photography.

If you are in the South Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, and need some newborn, family or engagement portraiture, Captured Grace is a wonderful choice. She also does very tasteful and elegant boudoir portraits, which I highly recommend as a special gift to your other half.

Lisa is also kind enough to offer a 20% discount on any item in her Etsy shop with the code 20claudia, good until the end of April — she has gorgeous note card sets, nature and still life prints, there are a couple I would LOVE to have framed up in my office area.

Thank you Lisa, it’s always nice to chat with you, chicka!

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

I’m linking up to the awesome Michaela’s She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not linky party ;D

She Loves Me


1. My family – I love my husband and boys more than anything!!


2. Having a big backyard for my boys to play in and for me to grow veggies in.


3. Nail polish! I am late to this game but I love wearing all sorts of weird colors on my nails.


4. My homeland – Peru – and my dear family and friends who are there. I am planning on going to get some yummy Peruvian food on Saturday, if any locals would like to try Peruvian food, you should!!! ;D


5. Throwing parties! Seriously, I love it. It always gets a little hectic right before but I love putting things together, coming up with ideas with my husband, and seeing them come to life ;D

She Loves Me Not


1. People who think like this. Who don’t care about anyone else’s wishes and only think about what they want. (pic from Pinterest)


2. Cliques. They’re bad in high school and downright pathetic in adulthood. (pic from Pinterest)


3. Factory farmed food. I am guilty as hell of enjoying meat but one of my goals this year is to have more meals be made without factory farmed animals. Pic from here.


4. Empire waists and horizontal stripes. I’m 5’1″, with big boobs and hips. This dress would make me look like a pregnant circus tent. Dress from Old Navy.


5. That I am so far from Paris ;D

A Valentine’s Day Exchange


I was thrilled to participate in a sweet gift exchange, hosted by the lovely Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects. She paired me up with Shannon from I’m Working on a Project – I was happy to discover that Shannon is a very talented quilter, which is the one craft I KNOW I have no patience for, so I am always amazed to see the care and time people spend to make their gorgeous quilts.

On Thursday the 9th I had just sent off Shannon’s goodies (bad bad blogger, I had meant to send them earlier!!!) when I came home to find a box waiting for me. It turns out Shannon is not only good at quilting with fabric but she does a mean paper weave too, check out this sweet card!

She was also thoughtful enough to send something for my boys – OMG, right??

My sons have never tried shrinky-dinks (and neither have I!) so I am totally looking forward to trying it with them.

This pretty bag — the blue is more turquoise in real life, she knows about my obsession with that color — is destined to hold my makeup 😀

Shannon also made me stationery in my favorite colors of turquoise and green:

My favorite gift (I loved them all, but check this one out) is this beautiful, quilted hanging piece:

It now hangs next to my desk as a reminder of the wonderful people I keep meeting online.

I am so thankful for all these sweet goodies, and for having met Shannon — if you want to see beautifully worked quilted pieces, definitely check out her blog – hope your Valentine’s Day is a wonderful one!