Scarf winner + win yerself some ornaments, yo!

According to my extremely amazing and highly technological name-picking skills, the winner of the wordy scarf is…

(I just wrote on the pieces of paper. Hold on…)


(Folded them in half – must do!)


(Oops, scatter the many names about the table).


Crystal, you’ve won yourself a lovely wordy scarf. Pick your poison: would you like part of Psalm 63 on it, or my favorite Cantata y Cantata y Cantata poem (in English) by Pablo Neruda?

Life here in ol’ California has been good – the holiday season is upon us, and crafts like these babies are happening:

Idea care of Pinterest - but mostly thanks to the free book from the church book swap for its warped and aged pages

These two crafty items will be at the mission faire on Saturday where proceeds will go to YL, the non-profit I work for – but hey, tis better to give than receive, so I’m mailing one of you seven millions of readers three of these merry shabby chic ornaments!

Want to win? Simply answer the following question:

Would you rather star opposite Buddy in ELF, or Ralphie in A Christmas Story?

ps: follow this blog!

dreaming of yuletide crafty-ness

I am spending today listening and writing for a (graduate) class – JOY abounds! (Insert sarcasm here…) But who says I can’t multi-task while listening to a lecture or two? As such, I stumbled upon the following FREE e-book, complete with 33 DIY Christmas crafts. Of such, I found nine that I LOVE, which means that approximately three will probably happen.

Want the free book as well? Click here.

So, which three will likely happen?

1. The Christmas card shutter display:

By Pretty Handy Girl

2. The Jingle bell jar:

By The Inspired Room

3. And finally, the Noel Wall Hanging (PB-inspired):

By Sand and Sisal

Also, if you’re looking for some GREAT free printables, head on over to Jones Design Company, as Emily posted a week’s worth of free Christmas prints this past week. I printed all of them off onto card stock last night, and was particularly excited about this one:

Lyrics courtesy of cheesy Christian 80's music. Design courtesy of designer Emily.

Finally, want to follow this blog? Do it… I keep hearing that it’s hard to figure out how to follow a WordPress blog – silly WordPress! You can either look to the right of the blog, and enter your e-mail address in where there’s a blank for you to join – OR, if you scroll up to the very, very top of the page, in too-tiny print, you’ll see another link to follow this blog. We’ll have to find an easier way, but in the meantime, start following so that you can win the funky word scarf!

What are you creating? What are you thankful for on this last day of semi-Thanksgiving vacation?

Carina Lee + TG goodness

Another Thanksgiving, come and gone…another 3,675 calories, in and – most hopefully – out. The HBH, Mr. Darcy and I celebrated with my extended family, and though we weren’t made to reenact the Pilgrims and Indians first meal, we have made a promise to subject the next generation to such dramatic torture. Among the other highlights:

1. Rosemary roasted cashews, which I think were my greatest contribution to the Thanksgiving pre-dinner snacks:

2. Bubba’s Bagels in Grass Valley, CA. I’m telling you, people: drive to Nevada County and order a sesame seed bagel, lightly toasted, with sun dried tomato cream cheese. It just might change your life. It changed mine the past two mornings. Mmm.

3. Conversations on the settin’ porch. I want one of those, with rockers.

4. Speed Scrabble with cousin Kaitlin. Take two!

5. Grading said cousin Kaitlin’s English papers this morning – I missed it, just a little tiny bit.

6. Seeing the HBH come to LIFE around my family. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be, and I am so, so grateful, knowing that it’s not the case for everyone.

7. The Willo, another Nevada City place of epic-ness. Without a doubt, we end up going there every time I’m in town; though I slightly hung my head in shame when we showed up there in high school, I’m now giddy and proud to drive down Highway 20 and see this off to the left of the road:

Picture courtesy of Nevada County

The meals are “classy,” to say the least: your choice of steak, ribs (which the HBH had), chicken, catfish, halibut (which I had) and a couple other meaty items + beans, buns, salad and a scoop of ice-cream for dessert. And, for 50 cents less, you can grill your own meat! But I kid you not, this place is PACKED every time we’re in there – it’s Nevada City’s hidden food gem, and I shall continue to frequent it when I’m up in that neck of the woods.

8. Eating TG dinner at the “kid’s table” – which ended up housing all of us under the age of 43, or thereabouts.

9. A dog [mine] who is becoming more and more normal when it comes to men. We think the poor buddy was abused before I got him, but with the influence of the HBH and neighbor Mark in his life, he’s beginning to – dare I say – like men. Yay!

10. Christmas music! Mmm, tis the season for playing the tunes – and I am so in support of this.

On another note, welcome readers of A Punk, a Pumpkin and a Peanut! I just think Carina is darling, but more than that, I believe in her and Nick’s cause of and for adoption – so thanks for cheering her on! In the meantime, follow this blog and leave a comment below – and next Wednesday, 11/30, I’ll choose a winner who’ll win one of these:

Idea from Pinterest :: for an upcoming craft fair. They're super cute!

Have a great week, friends!

proof of the TG cruel and unusual punishment

Mi madre sent me this picture this morning…

let's eat!

which is further proof that the Pilgrims and Indians did have to recreate their heritage in order to partake in the afternoon’s feast. And, as picture proves, as one of the natives, I donned the grocery bag headdress, whilst apparently presenting the peace offering.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Who would you have wanted to dress up as if you could have been a part of the “famous” MacDonald family living room play?

Give thanks. Much thanks.

The year: 1987 …

Yup, this looked about like us.

The year: 1987  

The location: Grandma and Grandpa Mac’s house, Nevada City, CA

The holiday: Thanksgiving

The “why” of it all: cruel and unusual punishment.  Belly-aching laughter for the grown-ups who just sat there with their glasses of vino, soaking up the moment.  Because the internet didn’t exist yet.  Your choice.  

The victims: all eight of the poor, precious little cousins.  

Maybe it’s just me, but when I was little, even though I knew my family was a little, well, creative, I just though we were perfectly normal – and the things that we did [or in this case, were made to do] were perfectly normal as well.  So, as an eight-year-old, when I was told that I wasn’t allowed to eat Thanksgiving dinner until a re-creation of the Pilgrims and Indians was performed, I rallied.  What, no mashed potatoes and gravy?  (I’d scream the same thing today).  And as eldest female cousin, it was important that I ensure that no cousin be left behind for want of food.  Thus, play practice began.  

I recall the following: 

*Being divided into the two camps of Pilgrims and Indians – I do remember leading a rather warlike chant, but this could also be a memory of 2nd grade P.E. tag, and really, I was just left to the wash.  

*No wait, the washing was left to the four-year-old cousins, Aleah and Meghan, who pretended to scrub the laundry on the Mayflower, of course.  

*The rest of the Pilgrim cousins all crowded onto said boat [aka: grandma and grandpa’s couch] for their grand entrance into America: “And the waves splashed!  And the ocean roared!  And ahoy!  The white man had reached land!”  

*With newspaper fisherman hats, the pilgrims greeted we peaceful and loving Indians (who too got to don costumes made out of grocery bags – paper, not plastic, of course).  “Come, let us all eat a meal together!”  That was probably said by my oldest cousin Cameron, since, as a 4th grader, he was best at memorizing and delivering long, laborious lines like that.  

*Meanwhile, the baby*, cried in the bow of the ship.  Feed the baby! Feed the baby!  “We’re all hungry – let’s eat!”  

And thus, the Thanksgiving dinner commenced, and we all ate happily ever after.  

James, Mr. Darcy and I are heading back to Nevada City on Thursday morning – are we going to be made to recreate the near-Mayflower disaster?  …or will it be left up to the new generation of cousins?  [Insert evil laugh here]  One can always dream. 

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!  

*Nat is now 24 years old, I do believe – and I, by the way, am not in the third grade anymore.  


another detour to creativity with more thankfulness

Life has taken hold, which means that the 30 days of creativity, whilst not over entirely, will rest until free weekends give way to more time. So instead, more thankfulness…

1. Charlie’s Taqueria in San Mateo. This place is authentico, folks. Yum-my. And the fact that the Latina girls I work with approve of it, well that’s enough validity in my book. My favorite, today I officially programmed the number into my phone so that I’d stop having to look it up. Bam.

2. Sisters.

Aleah and her hubs, Mikey - the wine snobs that they are.

3. Neighbors. Still. Always. Forever.

4. Words With Friends. Am I a word nerd? Absolutely – and proud of it.

5. Thanksgiving in T-8 days; the cousins are cooking the meal this year which only means one thing: MFT! My first turkey. See ya.

6. The mister – a post wouldn’t be complete without mention of the HBH (Hot Black Husband). [Side note: apparently I often refer to him as this – I mean, wouldn’t you? But so much so that after school today, I was hanging out with some of the high school girls I work with; I mentioned James, and Irene, one of the girls, said, “Oh, you mean your Hot Black Husband?” I’m glad to see it’s become an everyday part of her vocabulary as well.]

Don't you wanna break off a piece of that Kit Kat bar? (James and his brother John)

7. Fresh food. I’m talking fresh basil, tomatoes (which I’m still finding), mozzarella, olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Yum. Drool.

8. And finally, the fact that Hypercolor t-shirts are no longer “in” anymore. Praise the Lordy!

Cara, circa 7th grade. I don't wanna see what that Hypercolor was doing to my underarms.

What are you giving thanks for this day?

30 days of creativity – day 9

Love this font: 2 peas

Day 9: a leetle thankfulness banner

1. I’m realizing that 30 consecutive days of creativity probably just isn’t going to happen – but surely, 30 days of creativity in general will happen.

2. Tomorrow I shall string some twine between all these letters, and perhaps add some distressed ink.

3. Oh, there is so much, much, much to be thankful for: my health. my handsome hubs. a jesus who loves me. a neurotic pup who ever makes me smile. friendships near and far. freedom. rest. sleep. neighbors. a beautiful place to call home. the holidays. the present. the past and the future. yummy meals. music. books. eggnog creamer for my morning cup of coffee. school. ministry. creative juices.

What are you thankful for this evening? Name it. Claim it.

30 days of creativity – day 8

Does creativity really count if I’m just creating someone else’s creation? Hmm…. Regardless, it was fun trying these two recipes for dinner, together dubbed “goody good good” by one such husband.

(Above: I mostly followed the recipe, but used about a 1/4 of the oil it called for – still yum!)

(Again, I mostly followed the recipe, but didn’t actually measure out the spices – I just doused the top of the potatoes with all the spices and called it good to go. Still worked. Still yum).

So while I’d like to have a have a Chick-Fil-A just down the street from me, my hips are grateful – and in that way, these little Pinterest recipes will have to do every once in a while.

What are you creating? How are you coming alive with creativity?

30 days of creativity – day 7

Today’s creativity involved a jar of this…

Spackle, spackle, you're my friend

In order to repair some neurotic I-didn’t-get-my-exercise scratching on the frame of the garage door made by this…

The dog didn't get enough exercise - not neighbor Mark.

This was not the creativity I had in mind today, but it does remind me that I’m human. And that he’s a dog – and a dog, at that, who’s so exercise-motivated that itty bitty holes will result if said Chuck It doesn’t happen.

I wish I had that problem.

Give me spin class! Give me the elliptical! Give me Zumba, stat!

I mean, I love me some exercise, but I’m not about to paw down doors as a result of it.

The dog whisperer says that dogs will react negatively (i.e.: reactions, scratching, etc) if they don’t get what they really need, be it food, exercise or whatever. So, lesson learned. If border collies can run a marathon every day, then I sure better be giving him what he needs – even if that does mean that my own creative juices suffer.

So instead, tell me what you’re creating! Or….tell me how you deal with your neurotic, yet terribly cute dog.

30 days of creativity – day 6

chevron, bench-style.

Today was a double-whammy catch-up sort of day; James and I both had full days off, so while he caught up on the many football games and shoot-em-up-bang-bang movies I don’t care to partake in, I caught up on some creativity! I oinked out the mugs, and then got to work on this bench I put together somewhat from a Pinterest posting.

First, at a recent neighborhood garage sale, I scored two 15 x 48 pieces of wood; I asked the guys at Home Depot if these two pieces of wood together wood make for a thick enough piece of wood for a bench, and they said yes. (Remember this for later musings…)

lumberrrrrrrrr (kind of like "timberrrrr?")

I then cut to size a 2-inch thick piece of foam from Joann’s (50% off this week!). FYI: I used a steak knife – it’s easier than scissors!

Then I put foaming over the top – mostly because my mom said the foam would eat through the fabric otherwise. Thanks ma! I then tightly stapled the fabric to the wood.

I then put dots where the top plates would land on the wood…

Waddell Straight Top Plate

while finishing with the chevron fabric (which, by the way, is from the awesome website, Spoonflower – you can create your own fabrics, and choose whatever material. I didn’t personally design this one, but I love it!).

Then I drilled holes for all the top plates, and then screwed the screws into said holes. (Is there a better way I should be phrasing this?)

Oh, we’re so close!

After spray painting the legs with both dark walnut and then black (the latter of which I liked), it was time to screw the legs in:

And, voila! A lovely sitting bench.

ooh, pretty!

I mostly followed what 2 Friends & 2 Cities did, with the exception of thicker, non MDF wood, and then top plates to screw the legs into (which I think is easier). So were the Home Depot guys just pulling my leg when they said it’d be a suitable dining room seat? Because poor hubs just about sat down and fell between the legs about, oh, half an hour ago. We think we’ll have to add further legs to the middle, and/or talk to a more knowledgable wood guy and use a stronger piece of wood. (Grrr).

But for now, it’s been created, and I love it! So, what are you creating? How are you coming alive in creativity today?