Archive of ‘Five on Friday’ category

Ten on Tuesday {December 23}


Can and Steph Favorite Things

Our third annual Favorite Things party was such a great night! Steph and I have learned a few things along the way, so this year was about as stress-free as it comes. We ordered Mexican party trays from Amigos and each made an appetizer and dessert – Kelly’s pasta tacos, Steph’s famous 7 Layer Dip, brown butter sea salt chocolate chip cookies, and pot de creme. I already shared some of my favorite things from the year, but you can see what everybody bought and learn how to do such a party at Steph’s blog!


I have been working with our youth girls and children for the last two months preparing for our children’s Christmas program. We performed on December 14th, and it was outstanding! The youth girls and I opened with a rendition of Carol of the Bells, and the children performed a mini musical called “The Christmas Cross.” The entire congregation–including myself–was so blessed! This is always so much work, but once that performance comes, every late night and stressful moment is worth it! If you’re on Facebook, you can watch a bit of the girls singing on our Sierra Baptist Church page.



Growing up, we would spend Christmas Eve with all of the Vander Kooi’s at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house on the dairy. It is one of my favorite childhood memories. Now that we’re all older with families of our own, it’s difficult to get together on Christmas Eve. We started doing a celebration a week or two before Christmas, and it works out nicely…even though we all admit it’s not the same, especially without our grandparents and Aunt Sue. Still, it’s a treat to get together with my cousins, aunts, and uncles!



After the VK Christmas, I drove Chels home to SF and spent a couple of days with her. We had such a fun time! We visited Flora Grubb nursery, shopped a bit at 4th Street in Berkeley, checked out a couple of decked-out hotels, walked around Union Square, went to the market at the Ferry Building, and of course enjoyed plenty of yummy treats along the way. It was a fantastic time with my sista!


We wrapped our first semester of the 2014-2015 school year on Friday. I ended up with about 15 students, so the last week is always a bit crazy as I pull together their report cards and complete their semester paperwork. I had some sweet moments, though, like one boy who stopped by my office to tell me that I really helped him this year. Moments like that keep me going!


My hubby turned 33 this year! We started the celebration early (as we usually do) with some friends over our house on Friday night. Saturday my parents had us over for a nice dinner with them, and then Sunday (his actual birthday) was a full day of fun! The congregation sang Happy Birthday to him and presented him with gifts. We followed that up with pizza at the Planing Mill with our families, then ice cream cake and presents at our house afterward. That evening, he and I went out to PF Chang’s in Fresno for dinner, shopped, and looked at Christmas lights!


We crammed in one last show with Unfolded Designs and brought the last of our 2014 inventory over to Embellish & Restore. We have been stunned with how well things have sold this year! It’s awesome to have a creative outlet such as this, and a bonus to make a bit of money to put toward our adoption! Thank you for supporting us, friends, through your words and your dollars! ;)


enjoy december

The December issue of Enjoy Magazine is out, and I am honored once again to have two articles included! You won’t find me in the January issue – I was way too busy this month to be able to participate – but I’m working on a piece for February. If you’re local, you can pick this up free at a number of stores including Embellish & Restore and The Gardens (two of our favorites). You can also pay a subscription fee to have it delivered! Even if I wasn’t part of this magazine, I would still love it! It’s full of great stories, always has a seasonal recipe or two, and has a fantastic calendar of events.


yuletide camellia

This flower stopped me in my tracks! I’ve had my yuletide camellia for three years now, and it finally bloomed! Love it so!


Rob and Can

We did not send out Christmas cards this year. I know – sad. If we had sent out cards, though, I would have probably sent this festive photo, taken at The Gardens. So if you really love us, you can just save the image and print it out! Ha! And know that even though we didn’t send you a greeting in the mail, we love you and wish you the merriest of Christmases!

Six on Saturday the Sixth


Boxwood and Cedar Wreath

I had the hair-brained idea not to put up a Christmas tree this year. I’m not sure what was going on. Maybe I was worn out from the Thanksgiving hubbub; maybe I wasn’t thrilled about having to lug that thing down from the attic and set it up. Either way, I loaned it to Camille this year, thinking it would save me some time and hassle. Turns out, I simply cannot have Christmas without a tree. I headed out the next day and bought one.

The good thing that came out of it was discovering fresh garland at Lowe’s. You can get 20 feet of cedar for $15, and let me tell you, that 20 feet goes a long way. I draped it down the hallway, on my mantel, on my table, and then made three really simple wreaths with the leftovers, one of which is pictured above. There is also a bit of dried boxwood in that one, which I’m crazy about, and some fake red berries. Next time I’ll add red berries from the Pistache tree or Nandina.


Clay Poinsettia

I made this clay poinsettia! I’m in love with it. I have grand plans to make more, but that may not happen. I followed this tutorial from Sparkle Living, which was spot on, and I used the directions for baking clay on the package, which also was just about right. I just had to bake the clay a bit longer than it said. Also, (in case anyone is going to try this) it’s good to know that the clay doesn’t totally harden in the oven but will continue to harden as it cools.


Live Cedar Tree

I added a small living Christmas tree to our decor this year, purchased at Luis’s Nursery. It’s so cute. It was my first attempt at fixing the no-tree issue, but it wasn’t large enough. We plan on keeping it in a pot throughout the year for as long as we can, and then we will be happy to pass this sweet cedar on to someone who will plant it, as we have no room.


I finished my first class for my program at UCLA Extension! Our final project was to create a website for our college counseling business (which for most of us is fake at this point). You can check it out here. And I really did learn a lot, both from my class and from working with my friend at her business, so if anyone has questions, ask me!


The Christmas Cross

I am leading the children’s Christmas program again at church. I have three fantastic women helping me this year, plus Debbie who makes snacks for us each week. It’s so great being part of a team! We’ve been busy practicing and rehearsing, getting ready for our performance on December 14th. It’s going to be great!


Can and Robby at Disneyland

I’ve missed so much in this update, so #6 will be a summary.

  • Unfolded Designs was at the Handmade Holiday at Radiant Church, and it was a fantastic event! We did really well! You can see some pictures on our Instagram (feed is up on the right). Nothing draws people like twinkle lights. :)
  • Thanksgiving was great this year. Chels and Roger stayed with us for two nights, which is something that never happens and made the week feel extra special and fun. We celebrated with my family and Robby’s family both in one day (that kinda kills me…), then kept up the fun throughout the weekend until Chels and Roger headed back to SF on Saturday.
  • We’ve had some nice evenings with friends this month, one being a redeeming dinner at Bravo Farms with Ben and Steph. (The last time we went there was a bit of a disaster…) We also got to visit with John and Kelly who stayed the night with us. What a treat!
  • Robby and I went to Disneyland and had a blast! It was the last week of our annual pass, so we made sure to get the most of it. As much as I loved our day, though, two Disneyland days in a row nearly killed me, as our trip came just days after the girls’ trip. I felt like it took a whole week just to recover! But it was worth it.
  • I wrote about Advent earlier in the week, but wanted to again say how wonderful it is to spend time in expectation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Did anyone else begin an Advent calendar?

Happy Saturday, friends!

Five on Friday {Happy Halloween!}


Fox Mask
Happy Halloween! I made this fun felt mask following this tutorial, and I love it! I think felt masks are so fantastic, don’t you? Also, I realized I have quite the stash of felt! It’s the best material for crafting since it doesn’t fray and can be molded.


FoxyThe fox mask went great with my fox leggings, a last minute find at Target. This was the first year I spent Halloween at home and handed out candy! I’ve always wanted to do that! Most years, we’re at our church event, but since Robby came down with the flu last night, our plans changed.


We were vendors at our local Harvest Festival last weekend and had a lot of fun, once again. Even though it wasn’t quite as busy as the Makers Market, we met so many great people and made a few nice sales!


I made this festive fall wreath this week. It turned out so pretty, but I’m most proud of the fact that most of it is made of pieces I’ve collected. I dried the boxwood a couple of months ago, as well as the mini pomegranates. The putka pods (they look like pumpkins) and tiny acorns are from Ohio, and the lovely white berries are from Debbie’s tree. Just like that my door is dressed up!


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Unfolded Designs is on Instagram! Follow us to see all of the creative things Robby is making. We’re also hoping to offer a few items via Instagram, available for local pick-up!

Happy Friday! What was your five this week?

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