Jenny's Favorites: December Edition

Here are the things that I have enjoyed throughout a very busy month of transitioning back from a tour bus to home, my birthday and Christmas!

1. My skin gets terribly dry in the winter and Lush's Ultrabland cleanser has been helping so much. It's made of almond oil, beeswax and other moisturizing natural ingredients. It's amazing. 

2. For my birthday, I was given Lily and Laura beaded bracelets, made by women in Nepal. They are a great pop of color for the blah winter months. 

3. I've been keeping warm with a Karama scarf, made by artisans in Ethiopia. 

4. After a couple of weeks being home, I finally managed to finish unpacking my Cuyana Weekender bag.This was one of my best purchases in preparing for tour. I had it with me daily into venues or hotels, it was just the right size to hold everything I needed. 

5. For my birthday, Teresa treated me to a manicure and pedicure at Julep. We both went with reds, perfectly festive for Christmas. 

6.  After listening to Christmas music all month, I've finally turned it off and turned on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on repeat. I'll never get tired of this album. 

7. I haven't had a ton of time for reading this month, so Dear Life: Stories, by Alice Munro has been perfect for me to pick up in spare moments. It's a collection of short stories. 

8. I can't stop thinking about the amazing food we ate at Canlis for my birthday, yummy. 

Here's to the New Year and all the new wonderful things out there to discover!

Monday Motivation

2014 is almost here! 

Friday Roundup

Happy snowy Friday from Seattle! Myles and I went out to enjoy his first snow this morning, he was pretty excited as you can see.

Hope you have a fun holiday weekend ahead of you. Ours is going to be jam packed with Jenny-birthday and Christmas festivities. I love this time of year (and I'm going to need a long nap after Xmas!).

Here are a few links to get things started.

Way too much cuteness.

This would be tasty at a holiday party.

Warning, this sweet photo shoot might make you tear up.

Super cute and cool playmat for little ones.

Awesome gift for the traveler in your life.

This toffee recipe looks easy and delicious if you need last minute gifts.

Beautiful design ideas with balloons.

Lil' Bub is at it and fire, yes please.

This is inspiring and beautiful.

Happy Birthday Jenny!!

Today is a big day!! Happy 30th to one of my favorite human beings on this earth! I'm so glad that Rich and Sylvia had you 30 years ago, I can't imagine life without you by my side. Your creativity, wisdom, loyalty, spontaneity and giving spirit is a gift to everyone you come in contact with. I remember when we turned 20 oh so long ago, and the past 10 years have been filled with so many fabulous experiences together around the world. I can't wait to see what the next decade has in store. I LOVE YOU!!


Have you heard of this new food service called Plated? There was an online deal for 50% off your first order so I decided to give it a try! Basically, they release a new menu every week with half a dozen meal choices to select from. Yesterday a big box arrived on my doorstep with all of the ingredients and recipes for four delicious (and mostly healthy), fresh meals. I made the Seared Flank Steak with Escarole and Marcona Almond Salad last night and it was a big hit! Without a discount the meals average about $12 per person, so it's not inexpensive, but it's similar to what take out or a casual restaurant would run. I had fun learning a new recipe and the instructions are so clear I think Patrick could even give it a try sometime. 

The Most Delicious Rum Cake

What is Christmas without rum cake?! My sister made the delicious cake above (yes, she did just have a baby 10 days ago, she's making me look bad!) over the weekend. Here is the best recipe from my uncle's friend Mary Kay, soooo delish.

Bob and Mary Kay’s Rum Cake

½ cup Pecans (chopped)

1 package Butter Golden Cake (Duncan Hines)
1 package (3- ¾ oz.) Vanilla Pudding (Instant Mix)
½ cup Dark Rum
½ cup Water
½ cup Crisco Oil
4 Eggs

Preheat Oven to 325°

Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan. Crumble pecans in bottom of pan. Place cake and pudding mixes in a mixing bowl. Add rum, water, oil and eggs. Mix for 2 minutes only with an electric mixer. Place mixture in the Bundt pan and bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes. Pour on Hot Rum Glaze (recipe below) and let cool for 30 minutes (still in Bundt pan).

Let cool for 30 minutes. Turn onto plate.

Hot Rum Glaze
1 cup Sugar

1 stick of Butter
¾ cup of Rum
¼ cup Water

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

Wedding Photo Presents

If you got married this past year, framed wedding photos make a great gift for parents and other relatives. Make your mom a collage of images, including one of you and her. Or how about an image dancing with your dad? If your family isn't the type to have family photos framed all over the house, consider choosing a more artistic image that'll look more like a piece of art. 

Images via JKoe Photogrpahy

Last Week

Last week was one of the craziest of my life -- I got to watch my superhuman sister give birth to baby Rory and my musician brother perform at Key Arena in front of 12,000 fans. It was a privilege to be a part of both experiences, one intimate and primal, the other buzzing with energy and the culmination of a long tour -- both incredibly joyful and magical in their own ways. Since it was the last night of the tour for Ryan and the team, everyone who was a part of the crew, friends, and family got to dance on stage with the band for the last song. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience to be up with Ryan on his platform in front of an arena full of people-- a little different than my average Thursday evening!

Iron Curtain Press: Family Stationary

Teresa and I LOVE this personalized letterpress stationary made by our dear friend Rosanna of Iron Curtain Press.  It's created for a family, with a unique set for each member with their name and a graphic and even a matching lined envelope! Then, the best part, an extra set combining all of the graphics for the family as a whole. 

Realizing this could be the perfect gift for someone on your list? Details below.

If you'd like to give custom stationary, contact for info, and check out how great the gift certificate is...

Monday Motivation

Love this quote from Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This printable via Scootapie Designs on Etsy. The perfect thing to remember if you, like me, haven't really gotten around to Christmas shopping yet :)

Friday Roundup

For the first time in a really long time, his is really feeling like a weekend to me! The Macklemore & Ryan Lewis tour is officially done- now to catch up on work, life, sleep, Christmas decorating, etc. I hope you have a lovely weekend too!

I want to see this movie. 

"A Ten-Month-Old's Letter to Santa"

Scrunchies are making a comeback!

Maya Angelou's Poem for Nelson Mandela

I can't believe so many people have fake trees!

Sound of Music humor abounds... Love this letter on McSweeney's  and SNL's take on it. 

For the person who REALLY has everything: NPR temporary tattoos.

Mary Lambert sings "Teenage Dirtbag"

Love Actually 2

Image @zoerainphoto

Karama for Christmas

Looking for perfect gifts for friends and family? How about getting them a gift that they'll love that also has a story? Here are a few of my favorite products, made with love in Africa by Karama artisans. I was able to watch all of these products be made last spring! 

Necklace- Made from melted shrapnel by HIV+ women. Read more here...

Cute Owls- Not only are these adorable gifts for children, they are made by a community deaf and physically disabled people in Tanzania. These artisans, who have been tossed aside by society are shown that they are valued and taught the skills to make beautiful products.

Scarves- perfect for a friend, sister or mom, made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The process to create these is amazing, I got to see all the steps, from Ethiopian silk worms, to women spinning the silk into yarn, the yarn dyed all sorts of colors and finally woven into beautiful scarves.

Coconut Fiber Baskets- These stacking baskets are a lovely neutral to go in anyone's home and
have been woven by blind men on the island of Zanzibar.

Striped iPad Case- made by a sewing school for women in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania who are recovering from fistula surgery.

Notebooks- Made by the same artisans who make the owls! Perfect for a stocking stuffer.


This is how I look getting ready in the morning too. HAHA. Giselle posted this glamorous shot of her "multitasking" on her Instagram yesterday. What a life! She did give a nice shout out to her team though and acknowledged it takes a village to have her looking so glam all the time with a newborn. 

I am not excelling at multitasking myself these days. I was looking through the blog and last year Jenny and I had done tons of Christmas posts all throughout December. This year I'm just trying to keep my head above water! I have yet to buy a single Christmas present, haven't started our Christmas cards, and desperately need a haircut. At least we got the tree up! Oh well, I'm enjoying my new nephew, having my brother and Jenny back in town, and listening to Christmas music every chance I get. 

Welcome Baby Rory!

My sister welcomed her baby boy, Rory, in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. I was privileged enough to join them at the hospital and see him born...definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life! After my long saga of a birth, it was so incredible to see how it is supposed to go -- truly breathtaking. My nephew is gorgeous as you can see! Congratulations Laura and Alex! 

HOME! ( and Christmas Music)

I am home! 

I no longer sleep in a bunk bumping across the country at 60mph. I'm thrilled to be back in my wonderful Tempur-Pedic with Jason and two cats who have decided that sleeping on top of me is the only way to insure I won't ever leave them again. 

Despite being home, the tour isn't quite over. We have three Seattle shows to go. I sort of feel like I'm in limbo between tour and home which has helped me to put off all of the things that I REALLY should be doing- unpacking, laundry, opening mail, Christmas shopping, paying bills, etc. 

BUT, I'm really starting to get in the Christmas spirit. Hopefully we'll be able to get a tree in the next few days. For now, it's Christmas music and maybe an eggnog latte. 

PS. If you need some holiday cheer, check out my Christmas mixes from last year: 

Monday Motivation

Okay, this isn't really motivational but it's adorable. :)

Elf quote print available from Etsy.

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! What do you have planned for the weekend? It's soooo cold here but at least the sun is shinning.

Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela. Jenny and I both spent time living in South Africa over the past 10 years and were inspired by this amazing man.

10 words you've probably been misusing. Guilty!

Can't. Look. Away. 

Home Alone, the puppy version.

Easy to cook for holiday gifts, and looks delish.

Kind of love these boots in merlot.

How your eating habits while pregnant and breastfeeding effect your child later.

Jemima Kirke's gorgeous home and babe.

Old Finnish people with things on their heads. JENNY you will like this.

Interesting alternative to Elf on a Shelf.

Oh, George.

Downton dogs.

On the Road, pt. 3

A lot has happened in the last few weeks of tour, we spent a week in New York, made it down the east coast, all the way to Florida and completely across the country to California, but here are a couple of highlights... 

I finally got to visit New Orleans, a city that's been on my list to see for a long time. We were there pretty briefly, it was very rainy and I spent most of the time doing work on the bus, but I still managed to get some gumbo, jambalaya, make it to Cafe du Monde and briefly walk around Canal Street.

In Houston, JJ Watt gave us a tour of the Houston Texan's stadium and locker rooms.

In New York, we were wowed by our very own Mary Lambert at Subculture.

I got to spend Thanksgiving with my good friend Chelsea in Houston and then finished out the night bowling with Jason, Ryan and Jackie.

I sort of cheated and actually went home for a few days that we had off this week. It was so nice to see my cats and sleep in my own bed and of course, get a lot of needed work done.  Between that little taste of home and seeing everyone posting their Christmas trees on Instagram, I'm feeling pretty ready to decorate one for myself. 

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

CHRISTMAS! Yippee! We went and cut down our Christmas tree last weekend with my parents and sister. We picked a delightful little spot outside of Issaquah called Trinity Tree Farm that had an adorable gift shop, hot drinks and sweets, and two fireplaces outside.  I think we have a new tradition on the horizon. Also, can we please take note of how gorgeous my NINE month pregnant sister is! Geezz!

Karama: Jewelry with a Story

Believe it or not, the metal that make up these earrings, bracelets and necklaces were once bullet casings and other forms of scrap metal salvaged a former conflict area. The metal is collected, turned into beads and made into beautiful jewelry by an organization that employs mainly HIV+ women. 

The Entoto Mountain Region, outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has an interesting history. The area was known to have a spring of holy water, rumored to cure those who trekked to it of HIV. However, the "cure" seemed to come in a unique way, as organizations and even the Ethiopian Orthodox Church,  started providing and encouraging these displaced people to begin taking antiretrovirals. As the people became healthier, a local church began enterprises to employ them and the Entoto jewelry program began.   This Wall Street Journal article, does a great job of telling the story if you'd like to hear a little more in detail. 

Now, the jewelry has expanded outside of the Entoto region. When Jason and I were in Ethiopia last spring, we got to visit their workshop in Addis Ababa where many HIV+ women happily sit side by side chatting and expertly stringing beads together into beautiful creations. 

Here are a few of my favorite! All available at


Over Thanksgiving weekend we got to spend a couple of days with my sister and brother in law and our niece Kenedee. She is over a year and half old now (remember how tiny she was- time flies!) and is so adorable with Myles. I can tell already that they are going to be buddies.

In the next few weeks Myles will welcome a new cousin to the world when my sister Laura has her baby boy Rory! He is due on December 15th so we are all officially on baby watch.

Thanksgiving gave me a chance to reflect on how grateful I am to have these two little cousins in Mylo's life. I know he is going to have a very special relationship with both of them over the years because they are so close in age and we spend a lot of time with our siblings. What a lucky little dude!

Another Jimmy Fallon Mashup Masterpiece

Have you seen this awesome "holiday song" mashup from Jimmy Fallon last week? It stars the fabulous Rashida Jones and Carrie Underwood and had us all giggling on our way out to cut down a Christmas tree on Saturday. Enjoy!

Monday Motivation