If You Have Some Extra Time…

Coffee Breaks | PepperDesignBlog.com

Love, Mom | PepperDesignBlog.com

I have about a hundred draft posts in WordPress right now that are full of thoughts on things like motherhood, balance, productivity, home inspiration (specifically that master bath that we have to make a move on), handmade gifts (ceramics, candle holders, necklaces galore) and pumpkin bread budding. Also working on a big blog redesign over here that I hope to launch this weekend :-). It feels good to be busy, though busy is the younger sibling of crazy and I’m headed that direction. Three cheers for coffee breaks. Have a wonderful weekend!!

If you have some extra time…

5 common mistakes to avoid when making a pie.

Decision making can sometimes lead to dire situations.

Laughing out loud at this article – I put a fur on it in our dining room!

Beautiful smoke alarms? Why haven’t we thought of this yet?

“I love to coddle my daughters and help them with their pink dresses. But I also strive to encourage leadership traits in them to prepare them to thrive in a world where the ceilings have more and more skylights.” 6 tips for raising daughters to be leaders.

A collage of photos of toddlers tasting lemons for the first time.

I was asked to share a write up for my neighborhood here in Kensington on the new app fypio. Have you guys heard of it? It’s pretty neat if you’re looking for a new approach to shopping for a new home.

I love the rock + gold sharpie place cards featured on this Thanksgiving table.

Eying this fall cape in natural or washed black.

This is the new style of heel that I’m seeing everywhere and I really love it.

Picked up this gold & black tasseled clutch on sale at Anthro this week for holiday parties and wedding season (isn’t it always wedding season?). Love me a good sale.

Just discovered that you can now purchase silk fiddle leaf fig branches – genius for those of us who can’t keep the dern things alive (though my one in the living room is still going strong!). I’m all for faux if nobody knows ;-).

10 leaders and the surprising ways they stay productive

Creating sustainable business in Africa through this beautiful fashion.

Cree LED Bulb (a new blog partner) is sponsoring the “Great American Bulb Swap” in Manhattan – South Street Seaport Pier (Nov 14, 15 & 16), Boston – Readers Park in Downtown Crossing (Nov 21, 22 & 23) and DC – Eastern Market (Dec 5, 6 & 7). If you’re in one of these cities, stop by to swap out your mercury CFLs and incandescent bulbs for energy-saving LEDs. I can attest that the light color (always my concern) is awesome with Cree. Plus they last up to 22 years.

Throwback to these roasted sweet potato fries (make them this weekend, you won’t regret it!)

November sales on now: 40-60% off J.Crew Factory, extra 25% off at Madewell with code FALLBACK, 30% off Gap with code HAPPY.

PS Posting a few more times this weekend… stay tuned.

Handmade Gifts (2012-13 Roundup)

2013 Roundup of Handmade Gifts | PepperDesignBlog.com

It’s that time of year again! I love this time of the year. I’m already working on a Christmas gift list in my phone and have even (crazy) crossed two names off.

One of my favorite traditions each holiday season is to share a handful of homemade gift ideas. I thought I’d kick things off with a roundup of gifts from last year (and some maybe even from 2012) to get the inspiration juices flowing.

Homemade Kahlua: a white russian is the drink of choice for me during the holiday season and this recipe is one I highly recommend. Needs a few weeks to build flavor so now’s the time to order bottles and ingredients.
Chalkboard Mugs: chalkboard on everything was a hit last season, happy to say that I think the trend is here to stay a while!
Ombre Rattan Placemats: wrapped with a big burlap bow these are neat for the hostess with the mostest.
$6 Slate Cheeseboard: a home improvement store tile takes on new life with legs and a shiny border.
Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil: a homemade treat for the chef.
Lavender & Lemon Sea SaltI really enjoy cooking with flavored salts so this was probably one of my favorite gifts to make for friends.
Marble Cheeseboard: similar to above but so classic and beautiful. Equally inexpensive.
Fort Kit: diy gift bag possibilities are endless. This fort kit includes everything that every preschool-aged boy needs for one awesome living room hideout.
Painted (& Sharpie) Baked Mugs
a gift that’s a lot of fun for kids to participate in. But they’re not dishwasher safe (I learned the hard way, tear)
French 75 Cocktail Kit: one example of how personable a diy drink kit (infused-alcohol and simple syrup included) can be.
Stationery Kit: I use my return address stamp almost every day, here’s a kit built around staying in touch.
Felt Town Rollup: a kit for kids that includes a cute, flat felt town and miniature wooden cars for playing on the go.
Homemade Vanilla Extract: we gave a mini bottle of this to each of our friends last year, I still have a few in my pantry! Downloadable label included.
Cupcake Kit: a collection of sprinkles, beautiful cupcake liners and wax candles make for a fun, girly cupcake decorating kit.

I have a few new projects to share next week – and then a whole mini series until Christmas. A curious question: are you a homemade gift maker or does that all sound stressful/do you love to shop instead?

PS here’s a cocktail that would be great to build a ‘kit’ around, and these relaxing salt tea bath soaks are perfect for the new momma. 

Wardrobe Style Board: Keeping it Fall Casual

Wardrobe Style Board: Fall Finds | Dolman Sweater, Black Cotton Leggings, Black & White Plaid Scarf, Ballet Flats, Cognac Leather Backpack, Gold Statement Necklace, Turquoise Ring | PepperDesignBlog.com

plaid infinity scarf | black cotton leggings | dolman sweater | turquoise ring
feathered pendant | leather rucksack backpack | black ballet flat (similar high/low)

As the weather turns cooler, there’s something about leggings and oversized sweaters that suddenly becomes incredibly appealing. I especially appreciate this combination while pregnant thanks to super stretchy elastic waistlines and generous amounts of sweater fabric for my belly to swim in :). I have been waiting for seven months for leggings + sweater weather, even junior is turning flips! Speaking of leggings, I’ve just ordered my first pair of maternity Storq leggings that I hear so much about. I was a little bummed about their customer service and their return policy, but I’m looking forward to road testing on this humungo stomach of mine.

I love the plaid scarf in the above roundup most. It looks cozy and inviting, and like an accessory that you could stay bundled up in all day long. When it comes to jewelry and comfort, there’s something equally awesome about a single statement necklace – the sort of piece you can throw on and forget about, but one that makes you feel a bit more pulled together.

It was in the 60s today in San Diego (yesterday I just shared that it was in the 80s last week – it’s been all over the place!), and 60s in general around here = fall crisp weather. Hope you are enjoying a beautiful day wherever you are!

PS More fall finds, giant bauble necklace roundup and a favorite $10 vintage wooden hat rack.

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