Saturday, January 25, 2014

It's giveaway time people!!

So, I was super excited when I hit 200 followers on Facebook and said it just might be giveaway time, you know, to thank everyone for being awesome and liking me and everything.

Well I just checked said Facebook and I have 298 likes. That's like two away from 300. That IS 2 away from 300. I'm writing in bold because I am SO EXCITED (bold and caps, watch out people, this girl is pumped)!!

Anyway, I've been pondering what I should be giving away, should it be something small, something large and awesome, a coffee date maybe? Who wouldn't want to hang out with me and talk about hipster housewife related exciting stuff?! No seriously though, I've been racking my brain over what it is I create that really captures the essence of who I am, my brand, whatever you want to call it (it's very weird to think of yourself as a brand, but that's all the advice people give you when you're trying to start something like this: you have to brand yourself and do it really awesomely so everyone likes you and wants to be your friend and therefore buy your stuff or care at all about what you have to say). Sorry, I deviate.

I thought maybe a *totally awesome* set of funny valentines or one of my new prints, but that didn't seem to quite fit with what I was going for (though like I said, the cards are pretty great, they're selling like hot cakes. You can get them here).

And then it hit me. Scripture canvas. Bam. That was the sound of it hitting me, in case you were wondering.

This next one is a brand new design, and hasn't been made available in the shop yet. Extra special just for you.

I thought doing a giveaway would be way more special if I gave away something that was, well, special. These are my best selling items and I am so in love with the idea of them up on the walls of people's homes all over the country, offering encouragement and a constant reminder of the word. A valentines day card, while nice and all, doesn't really have the same kind of impact (not counting what may be written inside of the card, I've received some pretty amaze cards).

So, are you wondering what you have to do to get your paws on one of these bad boys yet? It's going to require I series of increasingly difficult tasks performed blindfolded and involving a corn maze in my back yard. You will all be set loose at midnight to compete for the prize, which will be awarded to the first person to finish the maze and correctly complete each task.

No, actually though, I just want you to like, comment with which design you would like best, and share. Repeat it with me people, like, comment, and share. You can comment here or on Facebook, share this on your blog, or on Facebook. But I don't think you can 'like' a blog post within a blog post, so that has to be on Facebook. Wow, I just said Facebook a lot of times. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Facebook one week from tomorrow. So that would be the 2nd of February.

Good luck, and thank you so so so much for liking what I'm doing here at The Hipster Housewife! You guys have no idea what an encouragement you have been to me through your kind words and support. Real talk friends, real talk.

I don't know why I just said real talk that sounded kind of silly. Love you guys!!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Things I want to tell my daughters

Things I want to tell my daughters (when they are old enough to understand). In no particular order.
  1. People are going to stare at you. You are beautiful, so don't let it bother you. Even when you think they're staring because you're too tall or your ears are weird or no one gets your fashion sense. It's all irrelevant. You. Are. Beautiful. Let them stare.
  2. Write it down. All of it. Keep pretty (or not so pretty) journals and notebooks filled with scribbles and ticket stubs and bad poetry. Decorate them. Store every happy, sad, mad, sublime scrap of your life between those covers. You will treasure it someday. And then your daughter will treasure it someday.
  3. Read amazing books. I have a list for you (seriously, they line the shelves of our home). Read them. They will shape the way you see your world, they will be the screen through which you experience your movie. Francesca Lia Block will change your life. Don't worry, I have every single one of her books, just waiting for you to be of an age when you can read them.
  4. Listen to awesome music. And by awesome music I mean the stuff they don't play on the radio. Get recommendations from your grandfather, your father (I fell in love with your father through music. No lie.) Lyrics are everything. It should light your soul on fire. It should make you feel something.
  5. Love God. Passionately. You can love boys (and you will love boys), but only He can teach you what it really is. Your daddy might come close, but God is Love. Period. Don't believe in him because I tell you to, or because it's just something you've always believed, and never really thought about it. Chase after Him, discover him for yourself. Don't let anyone stand in the way of that. Especially not Religion. Christ is not religion, he's love.
  6. Eat lots of chocolate. Or sushi. Or delicious chunks of aged cheddar on crispy baguettes. Point is, never feel guilty for what you love to eat, don't be scared of food. Your body is your body. Big, small, slender, curvy, spotted, tailed, whatever. It's yours. Treat it with love. Feed it yummy things. Take it for runs just to feel how far you can push it, to feel the earth moving beneath your feet. Don't let ANYONE tell you what your body is supposed to look like.
  7. Barbie is not a real woman. There is plenty of documentation stating that she simply couldn't function or even exist given her measurements. I don't care if you play with barbies. But never, ever, ever compare yourself to one. That goes for models and airbrushed advertisements as well. It's not real daughter. It's illusion.
  8. You will get over the guy you think you'll never get over. I promise. Write lots of bad poetry (refer to point 2) and listen to some Ani Difranco (point 3). It'll get better.
  9. Never stop playing dress up.
  10. Know that I'll love you, fight for you, protect you, cheer for you, cry with you, and support you with my dying breath. You are not my daughters by blood, but by God, by love. You are mine, and I am yours. Always.

I wish my mother had written a list like this for me, though she imparted her wisdom in her own ways, and I wouldn't be the woman I am today without her guidance. What would you say to your daughters ladies? If you could write a list and give it to their 10, 16, 20 year old selves?

Let's face it, they'd probably roll their eyes and turn the music up (I know that's what I did anytime I even heard the word advice). It's only now that I can even half appreciate what my mother taught me over the years. Thanks mom.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Whites

In which I take lots of pretty pictures in the snow. Not much else. Except that my hair, and my clothes all fall into the category of winter white and therefore match the snow. Boom. Mind blown.
I definitely have to give a huge shout out to my amazing hair dresser (and best friend) Jessica Joyce Brady, over at Makeovers Salon and Spa, because hair this platinum is a frickin art form.

Ok, i love walking in circles while hubs takes my pics

I thought tossing the snow would be wicked cute and you know, like playful model esque. I just ended up with cold fingers.
What? I love standing in mud puddles

I guess this is the point where you want to know where I scored the goods? Both shirts are from the Philip Lim collection for Tar-jay. The lovely scarf was gifted, the pants are way old school Gap scored off the clearance rack for like $9.89 or something silly like that, and the boots have been in my closet for so long I have no idea where they are from (those are the best kind, in case you were wondering). The fingerless gloves were hand knit by yours truly. Just kidding, I'm not that cool. They are handmade though. And my awesomely cool ring is from the lovely Etsy shop LarkinandLarkin (which is filled with so much crazy cool stuff you have to check out. Seriously. Do it now.)

That's all I've got for today folks. I've been swamped prepping for Love Buzz and filling all of my regular shop orders, plus an independent art project I'm working on "What does being a Christian feel like?" (I could still use your help on this one! Click for more info!). So I might be posting less frequently for a while.

Don't worry, I still love you.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Kale, cauliflower, and turkey sausage pot pie aka nom nom

Last night I made a ridiculously good pot pie filled with some of my favorite edibles - kale, cauliflower and turkey sausage. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but this recipe is insane delicious. All three kids devoured it and the husband had 3 servings (so yes, it's kid friendly and husband approved)! It's adapted from a recipe I found on pintrest (obviously). I love to pull recipes from online, old cookbooks, and my mothers brain, and then make them my own with different spices, different meats, whatever floats my boat really.

Whenever a recipe calls for sausage or ground beef I always sub in turkey meat. I don't eat red meat, so neither does my family. It's considerably healthier to cook with turkey meat and it's every bit as delicious, trust me, it's one the easiest ways to eat cleaner! I also cook pretty much exclusively with organic vegetables when I can. It's just better for you. Period, end of story. I know it's expensive, but the thought of my kids ingesting all kinds of chemicals grosses me out. Go to farmers markets, grow your own garden, just make sure you are eating the best food that you can. It does make a difference.

Start by throwing some olive oil in a large sautée pan on medium high heat. Remove the casing from your turkey sausage, crumble it up and toss it in the pan. You want to cook it until it's got a nice crispy brown crust on the outside.
(I know my pictures are sh**y, but it's super hard to cook and photograph at the same time!!)Anyway,
 while this is cooking you want to chop up your two onions, get three cups of chicken broth ready (I always use bullion cubes, it's simply way more economical), and dice up the fresh thyme. Make sure the thyme is diced up super teensy. The original recipe called for fresh rosemary, which I did not have, so I subbed in the thyme and used dried rosemary.

Right before you're ready to pull the sausage out, toss in a hefty pinch of kosher sea salt and ground fresh cracked pepper. You really want to go heavy on the pepper. Then put a heaping tablespoon of garlic in. Let it just brown up, about 2 minutes, no longer. Burnt garlic is really yucky. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a large bowl.

Toss the onions into he drippings left behind from the sausage. Turkey sausage doesn't leave the same amount of grease in the pan as regular sausage, so you want to add another tablespoon or so of olive oil, use your judgement on how much you need. Add more salt and pepper and the thyme. Brown up the onions until they get a real nice carmelized look to them. Once the onions are done, in goes a heaping quarter cup of flour and the chicken broth. Let this simmer until it starts to thicken up, continually stirring everything.

Next you want to add your dried rosemary. I basically tossed a small handful in. It really adds an awesome flavor, so don't worry about putting too much in. The original recipe called for adding two teaspoons of white wine vinegar (which I did not have) so I added a splash of apple cider vinegar. Use whichever you please, but I vote for the apple cider! It gave the dish a really unexpected delish flavor. At this point I had to call the husband in to chop up the cauliflower and tear up the bunch of kale. You need to continually stir the onion mixture, and I didn't have enough hands too get it all done! So you guys want to do that before you start cooking!

Add the kale in small handfuls, and as it starts to wilt you want to toss in your cauliflower. Let it
simmer for about 5 minutes. While it's getting all bubbly and yummy on the stovetop, you want to pull out your 9x13 baking dish. Dump the bubbly goodness into the dish, and add the reserved sausage. Stir it all together well.

Open the puff pastry and cut it up into little rectangles. You want each person to get a section of the pastry without having to cut up the pot pie, so picture single serving sizes. Top the dish with the pastry and cook it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. You want the top to be a nice crispy golden brown.

As I said the reason I cut the pastry up so small initially was so that you had instant severing sizes and didn't have to make a huge mess trying to cut it up. As you can see, it worked perfectly (brushes shoulders off).

Here is the original recipe, my tweaks are highlighted in bold.

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: | Total Time:
1 tablespoon olive oil I used quite a bit more than this, use your discretion
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and meat broken into 3/4-inch pieces I used the sweet turkey sausage
2 medium onions, chopped Organic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary Swapped the fresh rosemary for thyme and a small handful of dried rosemary
kosher salt and black pepper Fresh ground pepper, very coarse
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups) Organic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Or a splash of Apple cider vinegar
1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets Organic
2 sheets puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), each cut into 4 rectangles Cut into single serving sized pieces

1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and
cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.
2. Add the onions, rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet 
and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kale, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the kale mixture and cauliflower to the sausage and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish and top with the puff pastry, overlapping the rectangles slightly.
4. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. I needed to cook mine for about 10 minutes longer. Use your discretion, you'll know when it's done.

  • Calories per serving  443
  • Fat 24g
  • Sat Fat 7g
  • Cholesterol 19mg
  • Sodium 901mg
  • Protein 19g
  • Carbohydrate 39g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Iron 4mg
  • Calcium 143mg
What does this mean? See Nutrition

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What does being a Christian feel like?

I was scrolling down my facebook feed and I came across a post from one of my very favorite pages, Christ Effect , that posed the question - what does it feel like to be a Christian? And to answer in the comments because someone is going to read it and really want to know.

What could I possibly say to convey even a teeny tiny piece of what being a Christian feels like? I mean, it's bigger than words, it's just so much more than thoughts or even feelings.

"It feels like you're always getting a hug. From your dad. And it makes you want to hug everyone else, even when they're mean to you or different from you or piss you off. Because your dads hugs are so awesome you want EVERYONE to get one.
That's the best metaphor I have. God = Abba = FATHER. He's my dad and he has got me. No matter what." - Me

Love is the whole point

My father is my hero, always has been, always will be. He has been by my side, unwavering (even when I was a horrible, conniving, awful person), from the day I was born. I am by definition a daddy's girl. It's hard wired into me. So God the Father is not a jump for me. I know some people who did not have good fathers and for them it's not just a jump, it's a leap. How can you really understand and experience the Benevolent Father without knowing what a benevolent father is? But anyway, that's completely the way I relate to The Lord, as my father. Knowing that my father in heaven is unchanging, steadfast, will always be there no matter what forever and ever and ever - it brings a security that surpasses all understanding. I've tried to stay away from posting any really theological type things on here because there are people far more qualified to speak to these things than I, but the question really jumped out at me.

What does being a Christian feel like? Not what does it look like or even what does it mean (on an intellectual level). No, we are talking about those gut level feelings. Feelings are what move people, whether it be to laughter or tears. They come from your heart. People can arouse emotion in us, but our feelings are our own. They belong to us, uniquely and completely. So asking what being a Christian feels like is a loaded question. It lays you bare. Christ is so central to who I am.
He loves you so much!!
Anyway, the point of writing this is that I really want to know - what does being a Christian feel like to you? Again, not what does it mean to you, but how does it feel? Leave it in the comments, send me an email, I don't care, but I do want to know. Imagine all of those feelings compiled (anonymously) for people to read. Imagine the change those feelings could work in the hearts of those who need to hear them. Imagine the impact they could have on a world that thinks Christianity is this dry, sterile, uptight religion. All of those beautiful, joyful, feelings just bursting with the love of The Lord. Let's show people what God's love feels like.

Please say you're with me.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Who is your alter ego?

I have a board on my Pintrest entitled 'my alter ego'. I pin things like clothes I would've worn when I was 16 and dressing to shock (and secretly wish I could still wear now, alas, I've made the decision that as a 30 year old mother of three there shall be no more midriff unless one is on the beach). Pictures of brooding young girls, scaling fences and smoking cigarettes, partying with their equally attractive and pouty boyfriends. Beautiful bizarre things, covered in butterfly wings, clad only in slips of fabric. You get the idea. The point is, it's not representative of the life I lead. Except maybe in my head.

Compared to most of collections of pretty things on my Pintrest, this board is quite small. I usually only pin there when I can not find another suitable home for the image. When I just can't make it fit on my style board, or even my Beautiful Loser board (where I collect things of the bizzare and lovely type). No, this board pays homage to another woman/girl entirely. She's not who I am or even quite who I once was, but she is a part of me nonetheless. My alter ego.

Alter ego is Latin for "the other I". It is defined (by Wikipedia) as "a second self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or original personality." And "the role or persona taken on by an actor or by other types of performers." I think the idea of a persona best synchs with what I'm *attempting* to say here. You know how after you have a fight or an argument with someone you sort of play it back in your head? You imagine all the things you could have said differently, done differently. In that imagining you say all of the things you couldn't say in real life, out of fear or anxiety, whatever. You pull on your alter ego's ass kickin boots and make it right.

My alter ego is not afraid of anyone. She speaks her mind with intelligence every time. She makes dangerous things look fun and she always leads the way. Now, I may just have a particularly vivid inner life, but I think we all do this to some degree. The shy girl who imagines speaking her mind without whispering. The mother of four who just wants to hit the open road unencumbered, wind in her hair and a song on her lips. The woman who has got it together, imagining a world in which it's not her job to run the show. No responsibilities, not a care in the world.

Am I wrong? Do you do this? Who is your alter ego?

It's not about not loving who we are are, our lives, our families and our jobs, everything we have built and nurtured (as women we are wont to do). No. It's about that secret bad ass we keep inside. The one that helps us when we need a nudge (or a shove) to step out into the unknown. To do the things that frighten us. That excite us. My alter ego is actually responsible for everything I write and share. Christine can't put herself out there in front of the world, to be criticized or loved (both are equally frightening). But the tough as nails chick inside my head can. I call her the hipster housewife. And she doesn't care what you think of her, or if you think of her at all.

It's incredibly freeing ladies. To BE the woman you think you could be, if only you were braver, or smarter, or prettier. The truth is, courage, intelligence, and beauty are already yours. You just have to own them. Scary sh*% I know. No ones saying it's easy. But certainly doable.

I don't write here claiming to know it all, have it all, do it all. I'm not an expert anything. At 30 years old I am just learning who I am, as a wife and mother, as a friend, and above all, as a women of God. Sometimes I feel incredibly strong, and at others unspeakably weak. I write here to give legs to my dreams. So they can walk out of my head and actually be.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy ways to stay organized (when you really stink at it)

I'm not an organized person.

I think some people are by nature organized, and some aren't. That's totally ok. But if you're one of those women who keep it all together on your favorite iPhone app or color coordinated planner (with matching color coordinated pens) this post is NOT for you. In fact, you'll probably laugh at my meager little attempts at keeping my life from unraveling and tangling back up like a giant ball of inevitably ugly colored yarn. But, that too, is perfectly ok. Laugh away, I can totally handle it. However, if you, like me, need EASY ways to keep organized, you're in the right place.

I have three kids, a husband who can't fold laundry (I suppose there are worse offenses, I love you baby), two jobs, 12 chickens, a dog, a fish, and approximately 1.6 million things I have to do throughout my week. Ever since I started The Hipster Housewife it feels like I have about a bazillion (according to google analytics and my careful scientific research) tasks beyond my normal everyday wife and mommy stuff that I have to complete. On a schedule.

Now, I'm just not one for schedules. Never have been. I prefer to 'wing it', as they say. But 'winging it' wasn't cutting it anymore. I had a sh*% ton of different notes to self on several different to do lists and journals, spread out all over my house and in at least two different pocketbooks (probably more). Which brings me to my first super easy way to stay organized.

Keep all your crap in one spot. Sounds obvious, I know. But without a centralized 'base of operations' (BOA) where all your mail, school papers, to do lists, calendar, pens, paper, ect., to reside, they are going to reside everywhere. Now, I know some of you may do the whole paperless thing, ok, so put your iPad there. For me this also includes my art supplies. I basically had to dedicate a corner of my house for my BOA, but having a concrete place set aside for organization has made me more organized. I keep everything I need to help me stay on task in one place and what do you know? I'm not running all over my house looking for that appointment card from last Wednesday so I can schedule dinner with my in laws on Saturday and get my latest order out by Friday.

You need to have a planner. And actually use it. This one is critical. I don't care if you use your phone or a physical planner, but you need somewhere to keep track of all your charity events (or, you know, Suzy's play dates, whatever). Now, I have tried several different apps on my phone and iPad, but nothing works for me like a good old run of the mill planner. No bells and whistles, just a basic planner (I use Moleskine's project planner).I think some people get tripped up here because they think they need a data spreadsheet and PowerPoint presentation for their meal planning and bill tracking if they are to effectively keep a planner and run a household. Well, I call bull crap on that. It sounds silly, but trying to use an elaborate planner feels like just another task on my list. Bottom line, you need one notebook/journal/planner where all your appointments and to do's are kept.

Visual aids are everything. I have not one, but two large chalkboards in my BOA. One tracks my to do list, the other is for appointments throughout the week (and scripture). Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing a task of my to do list on a giant chalkboard. Nothing. I'm a very visual person, so having the important stuff right in my face is critical. I'm not going to forget or neglect something written in both my planner and in 3 inch letters next to my desk.

The last two are quite simple (I'm almost done I promise. And just think you'll practically be an organizational guru by the end of this).

Have an inbox. Make sure all incoming paper goes into it. Sort from there.
Set reminders on your phone. I do this for the big stuff. All of my bills have their own reminders. Dr appointments get reminders. Even hair appointments (that really reveals my priorities doesn't it) set off that little chime from my iPhone. Sometimes it doesn't matter how many times you write it down; this way you make damn sure these big things get done.

There you have it folks, The Hipster Housewife's easy ways to say organized (when you really stink at it). Hope it was helpful, or at the very least, entertaining to those of you who actually are organized.*

*I do hate you though. Will you come untangle my yarn?

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Monday, January 6, 2014

My Happy Place

I got to spend my day drinking coffee in my happy place (my studio, for the less imaginative among us) making art and clever greeting cards. What's better than doodling all day and brainstorming sarcastic love notes? Nothing, that's what. I even got to take a trip to the art supply shop. Where I spent too much money, but justified it as shop expenses. Which it is. So there, bank account conscience.

My happy place was actually a productive place today. Hooray! I got a bunch of pieces done for Love Buzz that I'm pleased with, put down the gesso (it's like canvas primer) on my big custom commission, AND I did the laundry. Bam. I'm practically Super Woman.
Yeah, I'm talkin' to you
Bon Jovi valentines. I dare you to top that.

Remember, these still count for my 30 Days of Hand Lettering challenge. Because it's my blog and I
get to make the rules. Two birds, one stone.

The highlight of my day has nothing to do with any of this though. Well, I guess it does, but not directly. I was checking out at the supply shop, paint brushes, canvas, and markers all akimbo (I should have gotten a cart, I just never think I'll need one), and the woman behind the register asked,

"Are you an artist?"

And for the first time in my life, I said yes without feeling like an asshole. It might seem silly, but this was a big deal moment for me. I've been creating one thing or another for my entire life, and I've never felt like anything but a pretentious fake when I referred to myself, or was referred to as an artist. Is it because I'm selling my stuff? Because I'm being accepted by my peers?

Or is it because I finally feel like my will and God's will are in alignment? That by creating I'm giving him glory and being blessed by it, so I finally feel at home with myself as an artist? As a person for that matter.

I'm not sure what it is, maybe a combination of all of it. I do know that God is behind it. Philippians 4:8 says, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Because these things are of God. Truth, purity, beauty, excellence.... God. When I fix my eyes on him it all just seems to 'click' into place. My life, my art, all of it.

"And if our God is for us, than who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, what could stand

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