Thursday, March 31, 2011

My New Favicon

Did you notice my new Favicon when you read yesterday's post?

I didn't know that there was a name for it, but we have all seen those teeny tiny logos on the address bar showing you which site you're on. Look up at your address bar right now... do you see this?

Favicon by SweeterThanSweets

That's my Favicon. I'm so excited to have learned how to do this, and it was so easy! I followed Scootchidoo Too's Favicon tutorial here. My Favicon will also show up in your list of bookmarks if you bookmark my blog (hint, hint!).

Now go and make one for your blog!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Sweets' Spring Look

The title of this post may be a bit misleading, because it's not exactly Little Sweets' Spring Look but it would be if money were no object... I splurged on the shortalls, but everything else is just dreaming. =)

Little Sweets' Spring Look by SweeterThanSweets
3. Shades of Pink Satin Flower Headband from SweeterThanSweets (had to sneak it in even though Little Sweets refuses to wear any headbands!)
5. Tall Flower Border from Uppercase Living (Stems in Green Tea, Flowers in Hot Pink)
7. Dusty the Bunny Rabbit from tzburps

Ever notice how your kids are always dressed nicer than you are? Or is it just me?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Featured on The Handmade Gift Guide

A few weeks ago, I made a treasury on Etsy, Spring Break at My House. I just found out that this treasury was featured on The Handmade Gift Guide blog, which is an awesome resource for getting gift ideas and supporting artisans. It's SO fun to be featured on a blog I love!

Where we stayed and where we ate in Charleston

There were so many options as far as where to stay and where to eat in Charleston, South Carolina. We had a hard time narrowing these options down for our 4-day stay but we knew we wanted to be near a beach and we knew we wanted to eat a lot. =)

We decided to stay at the Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms, South Carolina:

Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC by SweeterThanSweets

The hotel itself gorgeous! It is right on the beach and there are tons of options for rooms depending on how much you want to spend... from small hotel rooms to homes on the golf course to deluxe beach villas. There were 3 pools and 3 restaurants within walking distance of our room. It was a 5-minute walk to the beach and that is where I blessed enough to do my Out Run CF run.

You know how there's always a "spender" in every marriage? My Sweets is generally the spender and I'm the saver, so I wanted to stay in the basic hotel room but he wanted the 1-bedroom. We went to Charleston to celebrate his birthday, so when I booked the stay I decided I should probably get him what he wanted. When we got into our room, I had to admit that he was right. It was amazing! This is the bedroom, and the bathroom was just about the same size:

bedroom at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC by SweeterThanSweets

If you looked at just the right spot off the balcony, you could see a little bit of the ocean! =)

Enough about where we stayed, now on to one of my favorite parts of traveling, eating! When my college roommate and I studied abroad for a year, we traveled around Europe where our stomachs led us. We would squeeze in sightseeing around our meal, snack and dessert plans. Now my Sweets is stuck with this eat-travel-eat habit of mine.

I love using to find new restaurants when we travel, and it did not let us down on this trip. Our favorite meal was at Poogan's Porch, where we all enjoyed Charleston's "Lowcountry cuisine" on the patio for Sunday Brunch. My Sweets ordered the she-crab soup (we'd seen it on all the menus in Charleston) and he and Little Sweets both loved it! I am not a fan of any kind of seafood, but I had a delicious breakfast--Cinnamon French Toast with Pecans. We all has to pass on the Fried Alligator. This was the view from our table of the hotel across the street:

Poogan's Porch in Charleston, SC by SweeterThanSweets

Our favorite dessert in Charleston was, by far, the cupcakes at Baked. We got the chocolate caramel cupcake with chocolate and fleur de sel frosting, the red velvet cupcake with vanilla bean frosting, and the vanilla cupcake with white chocolate frosting:

cupcakes from Baked in Charleston, SC by SweeterThanSweets

We decided to stop at Baked after reading that this cupcake bakery has one other location in New York City that has been featured on Martha Stewart, Today Show, Food Network and in magazines including Oprah, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine. However, the menu at their Charleston location was nothing like the NYC Menu, but good cupcakes nonetheless. Here's their cute little store front on the main road in Charleston:

Delicious and beautiful Charleston... we hope to come back one day!

**Don't forget to check out Part 1 - Quintessential Charleston**

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quintessential Charleston

We got back yesterday from a little family getaway to Charleston, South Carolina. Here are a few pictures that are just Quintessential Charleston (or at least the Charleston we got to know while traveling with a toddler):

Rainbow Row in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
We made the obligatory stop at Rainbow Row...
Spring Flowers in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
...but saw even more colors in the Spring flowers...
Charleston Beach by SweeterThanSweets
...We spent a gorgeous day at the beach....
Horses in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
...and saw some lovey dovey horses in town...
View of Charleston from the Harbor by SweeterThanSweets
...checked out Charleston from the Harbor....
Cooper River Bridge in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
....crossed the Cooper River Bridge many times...
Cherry Blossoms in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
...enjoyed our self-guided walking tour of the beautiful homes...
St. Michael's Church in Charleston by SweeterThanSweets
...and the historic churches of Charleston.

**Also check out Part 2 - Where we stayed and where ate in Charleston**

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Let's Out Run CF together!

Today is the Out Run CF Virtual Run -- run anywhere, any length. Just run to help find a cure to Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that brings with it a host of lung and digestive issues. Research and awareness of CF has led to HUGE gains in terms of life expectancy: In the 1960s, life expectancy for someone with CF was only 4 years. In 2000, it was 32 years. Now, it's up to 37.4 years and increasing.

This disease became a part of my life when my perfect, adorable nephew was born last October with CF. I want to be a part of the solution for him and it's clear that we can make a real difference even in our lifetime. Here he is, one of the many faces of CF:

I realize that if you're hearing about Out Run CF for the first time today, you haven't registered online, you don't have a t-shirt, and you don't have sponsors. Who cares? Just run... Run because you can. Run because someone you love has CF. Run because we have come so far in treatment for CF. Run because we have so far still to go.

And while you run, pray for a cure, pray for the researchers, pray for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and most importantly, pray for your loved ones or your friends' loved ones with CF.

If you can't run today (or you can't run at all), register for your local Great Strides walk or check out the Get Involved section of the CFF website to see what you can do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Shamrock Cookies by The Fancy Lady Gourmet on Etsy
Photo: The Fancy Lady Gourmet on Etsy

Over the years, I've had a love-hate relationship with St. Patrick's Day. At first it was love.

In 8th grade, I sewed my own shamrock-covered boxer shorts and wore green tights under them (yes, you read that right). But early in my college years, I started to resent it. I'm part-Irish and it seemed like almost everyone around me was, too. Yet all we did to celebrate our heritage was to dye things green once a year.

Chicago River dyed green by Marit and Toomas Hinnosaar on Flickr
Photo: Marit and Toomas Hinnosaar

I didn't know anything about my Irish heritage then. But when I was 20, I was blessed to be able to travel around Ireland on a tour bus for a week. Our tour guide was the most outwardly-racist person I've ever met. He passionately hated England and all things English, stemming from the horrors faced by the Irish during the Potato Famine and the reign of Oliver Cromwell. Of course I do not espouse racism whatsoever, so I took all of his words with a grain of salt. But I have to admit that I learned a lot about Ireland seeing things through his (tainted) eyes.

During my visit to Ireland, I came to appreciate my Irish heritage and the history of that country. Now when I wear my green "Irish Pride" t-shirt on St. Patrick's Day, it's because I am proud of my heritage and not because I don't want to get pinched.

So today I will say "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" to you, and I'll mean it.

I'm going to leave you with this photo of my favorite spot in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher.

Cliffs of Moher by IrishFireside on Flickr
Photo: IrishFireside

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thin Mint Milkshake

Thin Mint ice cream by SweeterThanSweets
All year I wait for the Girl Scouts to start selling Thin Mint cookies. This year, not only did I buy enough boxes to last several months, but I also found Thin Mint ice cream at the grocery store and I just couldn't resist buying that, too.

Since St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, I had an excuse to make myself a Thin Mint Milkshake: it's festive, right? I didn't add green food coloring, but that would definitely make it even more festive.

I just blended a few scoops of ice cream together with some milk (next time I'm going to add some chocolate syrup, too). So yummy I had to share it with you. Who doesn't love Thin Mint?

Thin Mint Milkshake by SweeterThanSweets
Can you smell the Thin Mint?

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    How to make money online for charity

    Here's the continuation from How to make "money" online, but this time I'm going to tell you how I make money online for charities (and notice, no quotes around the word money now because these ideas all make real money for the charities).

    money ideas
    Image:  Pixomar

    • eScrip:  Register your grocery loyalty cards and credit cards and choose from a list of charities where you want your contributions to go. Spend up to $300 at Safeway (for example) each month and eScrip will donate 1% of your spending to the charity you've chosen. If you spend more, the percentage increases.

      The Breast Cancer Site
    • Click to Give: Make your homepage The Breast Cancer Site and every time you open a new window, click to give a free mammogram. Last year's clicks alone funded 2,808 mammograms by their sponsors. You can also shop through their website to raise additional funds. Other charities that participate include The Veterans Site, The Literacy Site and The Hunger Site... how can you pick just one?

    • Shopping at (Your non-profit of choice will have to get this set up). Our church when we lived in Hawaii (Harbor Church Hawaii Kai) has their own redirect link: We shop a lot on and every time we click on the bookmarked redirect link, our church gets a credit towards their next purchase. I'm sure it is a very small portion of what we spend, but every little bit helps.

    • Good Search: This search engine raises money for the charity of your choice every time you search. I use it to raise money for Biola University, which has made $138.38 since they joined.
    Play Freerice and feed the hungry
    • Take a trivia quiz and for each question you get right, the World Food Programme will donate 10 grains of rice to help end world hunger.  

    • Your favorite charity: Check out the "get involved" section of your favorite charity's website. There might be opportunities for you to give free money to them by shopping online through their website. I just signed up with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to donate 25% of the purchase price to CFF for anyone who enters "CFF" in the Notes to Seller section of my Etsy shop. Many other sellers on Etsy do the same thing for their favorite charities!

    I can vouch for these programs because I've been using them all for at least 2 years. There are plenty more like them that I have not tried, such as Connect to Charity, iGive and GoodShop. Leave me a comment if you have any other ideas!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    The Good in Groundhog Days

    Have you ever woken up and thought about how boring your life is because today is going to be just like yesterday, which is going to be just like tomorrow? It's called the Groundhog Day effect. For me, Groundhog Days are usually on Mondays. I start the day just going through the motions. But usually, at some point, I remember this quote and how blessed I am to be having a "boring" day:

    Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are... Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect Tomorrow... One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in my pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.
    --Mary Jean Iron
    I love that quote. It captures the gut-wrenching feeling you have on those days when everything is going wrong and you're yearning for a Groundhog Day.

    So let's try to find the good in Groundhog Days, because they're Normal Days. Look for those moments when you can show your husband that he's your hero, make your child giggle like the ones you see on YouTube, or scratch that itch your dog has had for weeks.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Giveaway Winner Announced

    Amy Butler Love Arabesque Hooded Baby/Toddler Towel by SweeterThanSweets on Etsy
    Amy Butler Love Arabesque Hooded Baby/Toddler Towel
    We have a winner!

    A few weeks ago, I partnered with Discovering the Me in Mommy to do my first giveaway from my Etsy shop. And the winner is (was)... Cheyenne! She is one of Discovering the Me in Mommy's friends, and I'm proud to say she lives in my home sweet home state, California.

    Cheyenne is a stay-at-home-mom. Her favorite part about parenting?
    The unscripted moments that occur randomly during a day and sometimes only once. The little hug and wet kiss of a toddler, seeing two small brothers happily play an imaginary game of their own creation, the darling coo and giggle from a baby smiling up at me.
    She says, "There are some things money can buy. For everything else, there's parenting." Love that. As I said in one of my other posts, we moms work 24/7 in exchange for kisses and hugs. Those moments when kids express their love to us are better than the biggest of paychecks.

    Check out the winning baby with her new washcloth... I think it's bigger than her! But she looks so happy with her new toy. And she has probably already outgrown those tiny baby towels you get at baby showers!
    winner of SweeterThanSweets' hooded towel giveaway
    Sweet baby girl enjoying her new washcloth

    Click here to see more of my baby/toddler hooded towels!