Category Archives: San Gabriel Valley

Lavender & Honey — mmm…

How charming is Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar, located on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Hill Street in North Pasadena? My heart beams at the thought of it.

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I had business up North, and looking for a place to grab a latte, it was a welcome site — little did I know how lovely it would be. So bright and welcoming is its interior.

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This photo with the stringed lights was taken
at a moment right before the crowd ushered in;
and once it did, the place stayed packed as long I was there.

The latte I ordered kept me wondering:  what were the distinctive, delicious flavors roaming across my tongue? I did not know. But what I can tell you is that the espresso was from a single source Ethiopian bean from Klatch Coffee.IMG_3612

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They have loads of made-to-order sandwiches and pastries and sweet things at the counter. So of course I needed a snack too.

Mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinegar.
Mozzarella, tomato, balsamic vinegar

A few things I bought from their shelves and countertop of goods.

A few take-homes from L&H
A few take-homes from L&H

Unable to resist, I went back another day for yet another latte.

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Sharing the love

I must tell you about a few of the treasures from my Advent Calendar (which I will do in my next few posts). I loved it. If you will recall, for each day from December 1 through 25, I had to give a small gift, often something with no financial cost, but something that took my time and effort. These were kindnesses from Life’s Little Instruction Book, One Good Deed a Day, and my own heart.

all the stars removed for sharing kindness
all the brown stars removed for sharing kindnesses

A few of my offerings…

pulled from a star, what a wonderful idea
pulled from a star, what a wonderful idea

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When I hear the bells and see the red the kettle, I always think, “I get to drop something in there!”

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Sometimes the gift was a little something for me…

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And this one…this was one of my absolute faves. I went into a store and put a bill each in two coat pockets. I love this idea. I love thinking of someone putting his or her hand in the pocket and pulling out some unexpected cash!

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What about you, any ideas for small but sweet gifts to give?

Advent Calendar

Every year I have this ambition to create an Advent calendar, and I have held onto this magazine since the early nineties to help inspire me.

"Weihnachten" = "Christmas" in German
“Weihnachten” = “Christmas” in German

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But almost every year for the last two decades, Thanksgiving whooshes by and it skids into December. The Advent calendar does not happen. I must confess, I’ve only ever made one Advent calendar  – until now, that is! I JUST MADE MY SECOND ONE!  Woohoo! I got super motivated from this post at Apartment Therapy. After seeing those amazing ideas, I determined to dig into my craft stash and come up with something.

EXCEPT – I don’t have little ones who can open up each day on the calendar and find a treat. What to do? Hmmm… I thinked about it. And like a light bulb flashing, the idea danced before me. I would fill my days with gifts to give to others. I gathered up ideas from Life’s Little Instruction Book, One Good Deed a Day and culled a few from my own heart. The gifts are just simple things – like giving someone a compliment, buying a coworker a latte or giving balloons to a stranger.

I typed out what I would give to others, printed those ideas and grabbed my cardstock, packaging paper and thread.

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I made star shapes in PowerPoint and printed and cut them out. I then used them as templates to trace stars on the card stock and packaging paper.

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Once I had cut out 50 stars from the packaging paper, I began matching up pairs and sewed them together by hand. But before the last few stitches on each one, I stuffed in the gift idea for that day along with a cotton ball (to give it some dimension).

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I gathered my stars together…

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and placed them on this brilliant blue poster board I scored at Blick. The plan was to attach a thread to each brown star and hang it from the edge of the poster. The yellow stars would be glued onto the poster itself.

Note: I just taped the thread to the back of the poster.

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After I attached the stars, I needed to frame them. I grabbed some more cardstock and with my blade, free handed some strips for the edges.

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Something was still missing …it needed some bling. Beads or sparkle? Sparkle! I sprayed the glitter all over the calendar.

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I numbered my stars and hung my calendar.

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True confessions:  I did not finish the calendar until December 7. 😀 I opened 7 stars last night and one this morning (lots of things for me to do today :). I couldn’t help smiling when I saw these precious little gifts I was going to give out.

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P.S. Sorry about the glare on the calendar. Here it is minus 8 days and less glare. :O)

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To market, to market

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That old saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” – woo-ee, definitely true about parking at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I think the entire San Gabriel Valley was there this past Sunday.  I did not get there until 11:40 am, so I ended up parking about a 20 minute walk from the entrance. Next time I go, I will fur sure be getting there earlier. And not just because of the parking, but because I found a GREAT find, only to discover it had a SOLD sign. The early bird got that worm too! ;o)

Anyway, I went in search of something that I could use as a makeshift hearth for my faux fireplace. I also needed wooden frames for the pictures I am going to paint and hang above my fireplace. I did not find anything for the hearth and although I did find wooden frames, they were not quite what I was looking for.

But there was lots of other cool stuff to feast upon. I wended my way through a labyrinth of stalls that held all kinds of wonders. Here are few pics from my excursion.

This first thing to catch my eye were these lovely textiles by Pacific & Rose.

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Quite a bit of millinery was to be had.

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Distressed furniture? Of course! :O)

Distressed furniture

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On a large side lot, there were racks and racks of clothes and rows of rows of shoes.

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So you as you can imagine, everything was there – all the usual stuff to be had at a flea market: milk glass, circa 70’s coffee mugs, dolls, LPs, trunks, jewelry, woodwork, crafts, plants…SO MUCH STUFF! And there amongst it all I found this, the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree of table lamps. Or maybe it just needs to be in the right setting or maybe it just needs a new lampshade…I dunno.  Is it one of those, “it’s so 70s, it’s in” pieces? What do you think?

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