Adorable handmade baby shower bunting, and hazing rituals

bunting and one of my first floral arrangements. Looks so cute and fresh in their new home.

Bunting roll call! Who’s made a bunting, raise your hand. Aren’t they easy and quick to make? They’re so cute and fun, great for decorating a bedroom or a party. Plus, you can use it as one of the only decorations at a party, it’s that fun. I make them with a package of bias binding and scrap fabric, making it super inexpensive compared to a vintage bunting I saw at a store that cost $50. More on that at the bottom of the post.


Life as We Know it

So, we live near a school, and at 11:30 last night I heard a bunch of male cheering, for half an hour straight. I thought, there’s no way they are watching the Olympics. Is there a summer game? No. Would it be a party? No way. Well, the next morning my brilliant husband had his guess- hazing! It was most definitely hazing/initiation, and it only stopped after I heard a police siren. Oh boy!

This weekend we are going to a wedding at Saddleback Church, so I get to break in my purple dress I just made, hurray! I think I’ll wear my uncomfortable magenta heels, then slip on my Sseko sandals once the going gets tough on my toesies.


I love watching track & field, gymnastics finals, all volleyball (men/women/beach/indoor), and some swim and diving. When I was in junior high and my early high school years, it was my dream to be an Olympic hurdler. Ever since I was little, I was always jumping over things, and I was good at it. I do remember my teacher my sophomore year saying that Olympians are usually taller, so it’s probably an unlikely dream for me. (A suggestion for adults: I think people figure out what they can’t do just by trying, so it’s not helpful to try to suggest what they think is probable.) In high school, the girls at Gehlen Catholic and Unity Christian would always beat us, but other than that we were unstoppable. Being able to run at Drake Stadium I think is Olympics enough for a high schooler. What are your favorite Olympic events to watch?

Sparking Joy in the Home

I’ve been Konmarie-ing and David Allen-ing my place which means I’m really getting organized! Blog post on that later.


Bunting Fun!

I had been thinking of making this bunting with the baby’s name on it for our friends’ shower but I had already made an orange and cream plain one, so I called it done. Matthew suggested that it would be fun to have one with Ethan’s name on it, and I agreed, so last minute I punched it out. It would’ve only taken 15 minutes if I had had a package of bias binding, but I had to make my own binding, and without this tool since I didn’t bring it to California with me.

I simply used a roller cutter and cutting mat to first cut out a strip of muslin fabric, then cut triangles out of it. I first used a pencil to make the letters, then Sharpied over it. I then sewed it to the inside of the binding. Note: Because you’re cutting the fabric at an angle to make the triangle, the fabric will not unravel. I love this bunting because they can use it to decorate Ethan’s room if they want, so it’s not just a throwaway decoration. So, now, let’s all go make some buntings!

Cupcakes by Gretchen the cupcake queen
Cupcakes by Gretchen the cupcake queen
Clover bias tape maker
Clover bias tape maker

How to Make Succulent Terrariums on Driftwood without Soil

A friend and I are planning a baby shower for some friends, and I wanted to do terrarium gifts for the guests. I am also sewing little tote bags as giveaways. I love this video on how to make a terrarium with driftwood. It’s simple, easy to care for, and so adorable!

Trouves Top Three!: Make Your Own Patterns via BurdaStyle, Homemade Lotion Bars, and TeaPop Los Angeles

Hello all! It’s been a very inspiring week! Besides the fact that Rory Gilmore has inspired me to read more, I’ve been making some fun items and making creative discoveries.

Trouves Top Three!

  1. I finally made my all-natural body lotion bars! It is heavenly. When I was testing one out, I rubbed it on my dry, calloused feet, and wouldn’t you know it, it felt great! My feet felt moisturized and healthy even though I need a good pedicure soak. I received a lotion bar ages ago from my friend Melissa who bought it at a farmer’s market in NW Iowa, and I have loved using it while I’m travelling. Because it is a solid bar it won’t spill or explode on the airplane. Once it comes in contact with warm skin, it melts and moisturizes, and the beeswax helps seal in the moisture. These are also great for people who work with their hands a lot doing crafts, gardening, washing dishes, etc. I made these because my lotion bar was running out, and I also had 13 cute little tins that I wanted to use before I moved. I have made them available in the shop here. 
The lotion bar!
The lotion bar!

2. I just found out my friend Arlene is the owner of TeaPop in North Hollywood. ?!? The last I knew of this gal, we were dancing together at our church’s dance ministry. Yes, my church had a dance ministry and we were good, okay? Just don’t look up any videos of me where I had to pop and lock. No one needs to see that again.

Below event designed by Good Taste and Gatherings.




3. BurdaStyle has a great tutorial on how to take your patterns and digitize them to share with others! I’d like to get into pattern-making a little more. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, it’s also a great way to earn some passive income if you do the digital downloads.

How to make napkin rings (and other goings-on)

Happy 4th! Feliz el dia de independencia!

I went to a “Last Day of Dependence” party last night and saw some fireworks, so today is dedicated to crafts, cleaning, and gardening. I’ll also fill you in on the top 3 goings-on. See napkin ring-making tutorial at the bottom.

Napkin ring tutorial how to
Napkin ring tutorial how to

1. Summer is such a creative time in Des Moines, Iowa- I think it’s because we all hibernate in our harsh winters and drastically reduce the amount of social time (and shaving) we do. That is why, within a week’s time I started two different fashion collection collaborations that I’m really excited about but of course for now it’s on the hush hush. What’s not on the hush hush are the fun things I made in the past couple weeks that I must share!

2. I bought my Swedish Hasbeens! I hemmed and hawed over what size, what height, what color, what style, and once I bought them they were just in time for my California trip. I left them out in the rain so that they would shrink a little since I’m a 7.5 and I bought an 8. Everyone at work came in and said “did you know you left your shoes on your car?” I bought the tan high ones because Sarah Jessica Parker looked so chic in them. Plus, you can wear tan with everything. Swedish Hasbeens are so great because they last a long time, if the wood chips off you can just glue it back on, they’re made from hearty leather, I could walk for miles in them, and they come in so many chic styles! (I still need to shrink them the proper way: olive oil them, then get them wet then dry them in the sun.)

3. My Aha! nutritional find: I am always trying to find the healthiest things to put in my body (and if it doesn’t require a lot of time or money, that’s a plus). My boss couldn’t wait to get his Balance Complete meal replacement shake mix in, as he was plum out. He said, “It’s delicious and nutritious, and it makes me not crave a vanilla cream donut [from Dunkin Donuts]… except maybe the Oreo one.” This is because Young Living Balance Complete helps to satisfy hunger as well as balance blood sugar, and if made with milk, Balance Complete tastes like vanilla cake- yum. Order it here with my Referral #1739925 (ask me how you can get 24% off your orders and flat rate shipping.)


Floral Napkin Ring Tutorial

Materials needed:

– fake flowers or other tschotchkes

– 1-3 inch wide ribbon, cut into 5.25 inch long pieces

– hot glue gun

– needle and thread


1. Form a ring with the ribbon, overlap the ends and hot glue it.

2. (Some fake flowers you will need to hot glue it at the bottom to make sure it doesn’t come undone.) Hand-sew the flower onto the ring.

Voila! You now have beautiful napkin rings to impress your dinner guests. I love my hot pink and blood orange napkin rings- they’re so Betsy Johnson.

Free body scrub recipe and our mini-launch party!

Young Living essential oils party

I was so excited to do what I love: have new and old friends over to talk about health! Trouvés has a new website and blog up and I wanted to do a little gathering as well as an Essential Oils 101 workshop with oil “cocktails.”  I put together some cute gift bags for everyone with some of the bags containing an extra surprise gift of a homemade Trouvés candle, soap, or matchbox.

Everyone also made their own sugar scrub with essential oils – healthy rosy skin just in time for shorts and sandal season! I bought a case of the 4 oz. ball jars for this workshop – I love how small and cute they are. I love making my own beauty products because you can make it for pennies compared to purchasing at the store. Of course, I don’t make all of my own products…yet. 😉 I still love going to the beauty store and buying beauty products like I did today- I bought a nail buffer and 3-free nail polish (meaning, better for your health)- that will be my next post.

I looked at a bunch of recipes for sugar scrubs and came up with an easy one, below. Okay, I’m off to plant some spring-blooming bushes I just bought- photos to come…


Trouvés Sugar Scrub for summer skin

1/2 cup brown or white sugar

1/4 cup olive oil (or other oil)

1/4 tsp. almond or argan oil

2-4 drops essential oil (We used Young Living, so I just put 2 drops as it is potent.)

Mix well and store in a small glass jar. Use within 2-3 months.



Me…always the bridesmaid, never the bride (a garden tea party in photos)

This past weekend my friends and I threw a bridal shower for my friend Kate. She is very particular, with a keen sense of style, so we had a hard time planning and styling this shower at first. The theme was “Kate of Green Gables” because she loves Anne of Green Gables. We dressed fashionably prairie and drank raspberry cordial (in keeping with the theme). It was a great time, and some mentioned it was one of the best bridal showers they had ever been to!

I had help from my friends Emily and Jason making these yellow poufs, as well as making the food. The strange thing is, Emily and I are supposed to be the creatively-adept ones, but Jason the medical guy showed us up when it came time to make the poufs. Perhaps he chose the wrong profession. I think he secretly wishes he had chosen stand-up comedy instead of the ER.

On the menu: tea sandwiches (cucumber of course, radish, chicken with cranberry, and curried chicken and apple), spring salad, fresh fruit, strawberry shortcake, raspberry cordial drink, spa water, and my favorite…virgin watermelon margaritas (just blended frozen watermelon and lime!) I’m not sure if anyone noticed we didn’t serve tea at our garden tea party.

*notice the cute pennant I made out of calico and yellow bias binding.

We didn’t play any games, but we ended the relaxing morning with a photo shoot and note-writing: writing a special memory of the couple, encouraging Bible verse, song lyrics (our Dave Matthews enthusiast Debbie of course included these), or whatever. I tea-dyed the sheets and will bind them in a handmade book with some special photos, in keeping with the handmade/homemade prairie theme of course.

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A friend for breakfast… and Julia Child’s soufflé

Julia Child's souffle with gruyere, soft boiled eggs, strawberries
Julia Child’s souffle with gruyere, soft boiled eggs, strawberries. A small vile of blooms from my bridal wreath bush. more photos below

I always enjoy talking to my friend Leslie as she is always up to something inspiring.  Her social media outputs are laden with photos of homemade cakes for weddings and birthdays as well as photo sequences of Tobogganauf racing down the steep streets of Des Moines’ snowy Sherman Hill neighborhood. Forbidden are the photos of projects she creates for various magazines’ features. The last time we had a long sitdown chat it was at the french eatery La Mie, but this time I wanted an excuse to 1) clean my place  2) try out a new recipe 3) host!

On the menu:

Julia Child’s soufflé with gruyere

turkey bacon

soft boiled eggs

homemade milk kefir


Freedom for Youth coffee

The verdict:  Yum. I’m not an expert at soufflé, but I know it was tasty, simple, and light. The soufflé wasn’t as fluffy as some, but I also didn’t fill the ramekins very full lest it overflow. Next time I will prep all the ingredients into little bowls since one mistimed step could ruin your entire soufflé.

brunch with friends
Breakfast with friends. The runner is a scarf I got from Beza
Breakfast. Missoni mugs. Porch Light Antiques vintage plates.

Braised tofu… my taste buds have been titillated

Today (Sunday) I was about to work in the garden when it started pouring outside, so I did the next best things on a Sunday:  buy a couple of plant pots, try a new recipe, paint my nails, and watch Julie and Julia!

I had seen this recipe for braised tofu on Pinterest last week because I had a package of tofu I was needing to use.  I don’t normally cook with tofu because almost every time I’ve made it I haven’t been too impressed, but… YUM.  It’s such a simple meal to prepare, but the flavors altogether are something to be savored.  The ingredients are some that every mildly serious cook should have on hand.

Once it started merely sprinkling out, I threw on my galoshes, seeded some eggplant and poppies, and harvested some green onion. My next cooking adventure? I’m having a successful and creative new friend over for brunch on Wednesday and fully intend on impressing her with a soufflé… Julia Child’s soufflé.

Braised tofu from
Braised tofu from

A fashion magazine that doesn’t make you feel crappy- Los Angeles

I love fashion, but I always have to be intentional about not getting self-involved, especially after reading a fashion magazine.  This same culturally pervasive dilemma is what led Sarah Dubbeldam (a model in one of my shows) to start Darling Magazine, a magazine dedicated to topics and editorial spreads that encourage and edify its female readers.  I remember being so excited after I and other potential writers had met with Sarah to discuss her vision, but because of my schedule, I couldn’t commit to writing.  Buy an issue online or at Anthropologie- it’s so much more fun to flip through a real hard copy, I say.

The Darling Magazine video feature below is a pilot of Good Taste and Gatherings, a documentary series in celebration of unique Foodies who translate their passion for hospitality and cuisine into extraordinary community experiences.

Produced by Tribe of Asher (I am admittedly a bit partial, the producer is one of my best friends.)