Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

A bright and shiny little project

The Biz and journal

Hello! Here it is Wednesday and I have been off line nearly a week. How glorious! (well, sort of, except I missed you...) I would like to say I was taking a much-needed break, but it would be more accurate to say that holiday retail season has begun!! I have been working the shop for the big shopping weekend and then playing 'elf' and decking Marm out for Christmas until the wee hours. It looks sensational if I do say so myself (great job elves!) and I will show you a bit later this week.

I did get the day off on Thanksgiving, which was lovely. Coach and I live far away from our families, and this year with his coaching schedule and my work schedule, travel to one of those far away places was simply not an option, so we had a very nice, pretty romantic Thanksgiving Day date! We ate a delicious meal at one of our favorite restaurants then walked around Harvard Square, did a crossword puzzle together (sort of ) and capped it off by seeing The Muppets Movie. It was a perfect affair. We have both been so busy, it was nice to just have the day to reconnect. And, P.S. The Muppets Movie is the happiest movie on earth. I left with the biggest smile on my face! Thank you Jason Segel.

I did not, however miss out on the full Turkey Day meal or leftovers for that matter (phew!). I hosted some dear friends for a 'Friends Thanksgiving" potluck on Sunday. It is among my favorite things in life to host dinner parties, or host people in general. I just love having a house that is full of people. I love setting tables, and lighting candles, and fluffing pillows and having guests. I would have made excellent "staff". I don't love doing dishes, but that is a small price to pay for a warm house.

As I was setting the table (above) I got to thinking about being 'home'. How much I missed my family, and how sad I was not to see them on this holiday, but how glad I was to have chosen some family for myself here in Boston. How we, as humans, do that. We tend to nest into places, to surround ourselves with people and things that make us feel safe, and comfortable. What a nice trait that is.

Then I got to thinking about an email that I received back in August. It was from a Sara O. Sara is in the U.S. Navy and wrote me from Afghanistan. This is what she wrote:

... I'm in the Navy and I'm deployed to Afghanistan. When I got here the first two cards I got
in the mail were Curly Girl cards! Both from friends that were also deployed in Kuwait and on the USS Reagan. I just wanted to let you
know that I love your cards and blog.  I hung up both cards and your calendar, I attached a picture of them.

Thanks for brightening my day!

I was so tickled to think of Sara getting these pink and turquoise big square envelopes in her mail on a big grey ship! I was so thrilled that she had friends that thought of her when they saw the cards and sent them. I was so excited to have been part of brightening that day. That far away. For that woman, serving her country.

When I was setting the table, I hoped that Sara was sitting around the table with her real family, and if not, with people who felt like family.

All of this thinking, and eating, and thinking got me set on a bright and shiny little project.

If I know a woman in on active duty in the military who would love Curly Girl Cards, then I'll bet you guys do!! Let's send them some love and color shall we?? Here's the deal:

Send us the full military address for the woman or women you know, currently serving active-duty (we will certainly send to active-duty men too, if you think they would love to get a Curly Girl Card....pink envelopes are equal-opportunity day-brighteners!) along with an email love-note to them. We will print out your email and enclose it in a Curly Girl Card and send it off to them for you! On us!

Send emails to: info@curlygirldesign.com (mark the subject line: SEND LOVE) by Monday December 5th 10am EST

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Thanks for playing along with this and thanks to Sara O. for her service and inspiration!

xoxo

By Leigh 11.30.2011 – 10:48 am

15 Comments

art © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Giving Thanks

journal

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! I hope you are cozied down with friends and family feeding your belly and your spirit. Last year I shared my favorite way to say grace at the Thanksgiving table and I have not come up with a better one. I think I might say that one forever.

This year, I wanted to share one of my favorite writings. It is by William Ellery Channing from his Memoirs. I think it is a good reminder, as we gather together, that though there is much that strives to separate us from one another, whether it is opinion, or geography, we must try to remember that, at root, we are all made of the same stuff. The same magnificent stuff.

Here is the full excerpt:
 

"We are to be animated with a love which embraces all, of every rank and character. A love, which forgets divisions and outward distinctions, that breaks down the old partition walls and seeks a divine spark in every intelligence. Love which longs to redress the existing inequalities of society, which substitutes generous motives for force, which sees nothing degrading in labor but honors all useful occupation, and which everywhere is conscious of just claims and rights of all. Calling upon the mighty to save, not crush, the weak. And a love, which in a word, recognizes the infinite worth of every human spirit."

 

Love to you and yours. xoxo

By Leigh 11.24.2011 – 12:16 pm

2 Comments

Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

A little do - over.

The Biz and She's Crafty and Brick & Mortar

A while back I found these little darlings at a flea market. They were tired and weary too, but as it happens, not worn out. The pair of office chairs (there are two of the same) were relics from the 80's, circa when everything was covered in carpet. They were covered in a bland, itchy and pretty tired industrial fabric an though had a great, super comfortable shape, and an awesome steel rolling base, were just this side of  "Working Girl" and were headed for a life of office chair glass ceilings.

The little foot stool was just too cute to pass up with its cute feet and all-but-free price tag. I knew these guys had one good do-over left in them.

Several yards of fabric, a good bit of work (by someone far more skilled than myself) and a couple car trips later:

Voila!! These handsome devils are ready to take on some serious (or not so serious) office work or homework, or a few good hall -races if they find their way to a free-wheeling home! They currently sit in the Thanksgiving window at Marmalade but are hopeful to find a new home soon!! I just love them and thought I would share!!

xoxox

By Leigh 11.21.2011 – 11:28 am

7 Comments

found via http://inkandwit.blogspot.com/

A Murmuration

Inspired

This just took my breath away today.

What takes your breath away these days?

xoxo

By Leigh 11.18.2011 – 9:31 am

11 Comments

Limited Availablilty Holiday Product

The Biz

Ok Guys! This is it! This year we made some very special holiday product with one of our licensors, Santa Barbara Design Studio. It turned out really really cute! So cute, in fact that it sold out before the end of September leaving us with only one shipment to sell!! Yipes!

We decided that with such a limited quantity on hand, we would give our nearest and dearest (that's you!) first dibs at scooping it up. This product will not go on our retail website, and will most likely not even go to Marmalade (sad face). In fact, my own mother probably won't get one. Sorry Mom!

This is not the most ideal way to order, but is the best way for us to keep a close eye on inventory so we know when its gone. Orders will be processed in the order they are received and we will confirm with you by email. To order, email: emily@curlygirldesign.com. Please be sure to include quantities, your shipping address and the best way to contact you. We will contact you for payment information. Never send credit card info via email. All orders will ship UPS Ground, unless rush is specified.

List of titles:

Curly Girl Holiday Wine Glasses: $25 each ~14oz. wine glasses with hand-painted stem. Each comes in adorable striped tin.

Available Styles:

• Tiny Magic: "'Tis the season to be aware of the tiny magic everywhere."

• Mittens: "Her wish was simple. Peace in every nation, joy in every heart and a mitten on every hand."

 

Curly Girl Holiday Wine Wraps: $7 each ~ Turn a bottle of wine into an adorable gift! These  wine bottle wraps are made from the same cool stuff as our laptop skins, which means you can dress up a bottle and use it again!

Available Styles:

• Champagne & Cupcakes: "She had on good authority that santa preferred champagne and cupcakes."

• Tiny Magic: "'Tis the season to be aware of the tiny magic everywhere."

 

Curly Girl Holiday Doo-Dad Jars: $10 ~ These adorable little 9oz. vintage-style jars are just waiting to be filled with fun things!

Available Styles:

• Tiny Magic: "'Tis the season to be aware of the tiny magic everywhere."

• True Merriment: "It was her opinion that true merriment required good hot chocolate and extravagant amounts of tinsel."

• Joy in the Spaces: "If you look, you will find with some certainty that joy is in the spaces in-between."

• Mittens: "Her wish was simple. Peace in every nation, joy in every heart and a mitten on every hand."

 

Curly Girl Holiday Square Glass Candles: $16 ~ New this year! These (not-quite) square filled glass candles have gorgeous pattern on the back and your favorite saying on the front. Roughly 3.5" tall.

Available Styles:

• True Merriment: "It was her opinion that true merriment required good hot chocolate and extravagant amounts of tinsel."

• Champagne & Cupcakes: "She had on good authority that santa preferred champagne and cupcakes."

• Halls be Decked: "Whether mistletoe or boughs of holly, may your halls be decked and your hearts be jolly"

• Joy in the Spaces: "If you look, you will find with some certainty that joy is in the spaces in-between."

 

Curly Girl Holiday Mini Votive Set: $20 ~ These tiny votives will make your holiday sparkle. Set of 5 tiny votives in a beautiful box makes them the perfect gift also. 100% soy wax. Approximately 5 hours of burn time.

Available styles:
• Fa La La

 

Get your orders in soon! Let us know if you have any questions!

xoxo

 

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Also! Congratulations to our "Thriving Through the Holidays" Health Coaching winners!!

Super Sexy Random Number Generator picked us two lucky people:

First Prize (free course!): Samantha

Second Prize ($100 off!): Erica S.

Congratulations girls!! Lacy will be in touch with instructions!!

 

By Leigh 11.17.2011 – 9:20 am

2 Comments

Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Mid-Autumn Roasted Reds and Tomato Soup

The Dish

In a stroke of pure-weather luck (some in New England might say we have earned this) we have had an incredibly beautiful, slightly late, totally mild fall. The leaves peaked late thanks to all the rain we had earlier in the season and it has been unseasonably, and totally pleasantly warm. I don't want to jinx it by celebrating, but I just love it!

To honor this glorious season I made some creamy roasted red pepper and tomato soup and thought I would share. The recipe was adapted from one found in House & Home Magazine. I made it dairy-free pretty easily (Coach can't do dairy. Sad. I know.) and deliciously by trading out the heavy cream for coconut milk. Actually, I would recommend serving it like this because it was so lovely.

Don't be intimidated by the pepper-roasting process! It is so fun and kind of like magic. If you have a gas-top range DO IT!! If not, you can broil them on a baking sheet or you can buy the red peppers already roasted, but will be far less entertained.

To roast the peppers:

You will need a good pair of tongs for this. Place your pepper directly on the gas flame (whole). Keep turning them with the tongs until they are blackened (really black) all over. Put blackened peppers in a bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Cool.

When cooled, pull out stem and seeds and peel off charred skins. Voila! Fancy-pants roasted red peppers. You're welcome.

Mid-Autumn Roasted Reds & Tomato Soup

You will need:

2 Sweet red peppers

2 (28oz. cans) of chopped tomatoes (splurge a little here and use the good ones. It makes a difference)

1/4 chicken stock (you can also use vegetable)

2 tbsp. sugar

1/4 C. coconut milk (From a can, not the sweetened for-your-cereal-kind) you could also use heavy cream here.

3 tbsp. butter, cubed

fresh chopped basil, for garnish

salt & pepper to taste

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1.) In a food processor (please tell me you have one by now! life. changing.), purée tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. Pour into a saucepan and add stock, sugar and your salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 mins until slightly thickened.

2.) Stir in coconut milk (or cream). Remove from heat and gradually whisk in butter, one piece at a time. Garnish with basil. Serve with big crusty bread!

 

Mmmmmmmmmmm! Hope you love it!

xoxoxo

 

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A few house-keeping notes:

1.) Don't forget to enter to win Lacy and Lisa's "Thriving Through the Holidays" Group Health Coaching Course!! You have til 5pm EST!! It's gonna be awesome!!

2.) I will be posting the limited-availability holiday product for you to order later this week. It will be by email and first-come first-served, so get your lists ready!

3.) If you are in the St. Louis area and want to hang out, I will be doing a signing at Dazzle Boutique in Towne & Country on December 17th!! Mark your calendars, I would love to see your face! Contact them for more details.

By Leigh 11.16.2011 – 10:51 am

1 Comment

images from: http://unicorn-mustache.tumblr.com/ and http://shewearsmanyhats.com

Habits of Happiness (and a very exciting Sponsor Give Away!)

Habits of Happiness

For a while now, my friend Lacy and I have been chatting on the topic of "happiness". What is it? Where does it come from? How do we get more of it? What makes us really happy? What makes one person a "happy person" and another not? The questions are endless, but the research, it turns out, is fun! We have in no way become experts, but have learned one thing: Happiness is, among other things, a practice. So like anything else we want to do better, we must make it a habit.
Lacy has been 'practicing' for a long time now, and I feel she has a lot to share on the topic. So when I decided to start this blog, I asked her if she would do regular guest-posts to talk about it. I plan to make a habit of reading them. xoxo, Leigh

Happy Whirled:

Hi All! Lacy Here!

This summer on Leigh's California adventure I got to spend some time with her and the mister and in the process we discovered a shared love of blended concoctions.  We're talking serious smoothie recipe sharing here people.

In our house we start the day with either green juice or a smoothie. This simple formula will get you blending with endless possibilities:  

LIQUID + FRUIT + SWEET + BOOST = YUM

1. For a belly-loving smoothie you'll need 10 oz of liquid.  
Choose from coconut milk or almond milk (coconut is my favorite for this recipe)

2. Then add two cups of the frozen fruit of your choice.
Try one cup mango and one cup pineapple (you will seriously love this, it's like perpetual summer in the tropics)

We always use frozen fruit and never use ice. If you want to thicken your smoothie use a frozen banana.

3. Add an element of sweet.
We used either a soaked date or a tablespoon or two of raw honey.

A note on:

honey.  Go raw and go local.  It's one of those things you will always find in my kitchen.  Let those happy buzzing bees boost your immune system with their sweet handy work.  Eating local honey can help to reduce allergies and it's a great way to sweeten while avoiding the sugar crash that comes with processed table sugar.

dates.
You can buy dates at the grocery store in the produce section.  They are usually about the size of your thumb, brown and a little sticky.  Once home remove the pits and then place in an airtight container in water and place in the fridge. The dates will soften and blend into your smoothie easily.  You can keep them in the fridge for a couple of weeks (or longer).

4. Give it a little super boost.
If you like you can add a superfood supplement to your smoothie to give it a little kick.
We're all about Maca in our house at the moment. Maca powder increases stamina and helps to combat fatigue. My favorite "boosts" come from Navitas Naturals

If you're just beginning to explore the world of superfoods, start with Cacao Nibs!  They're little pieces of antioxidant rich raw chocolate.  They are perfect in a smoothie and full of nutrient rich iron and minerals.

Here's to your health & happy taste buds!
Love, Lacy

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Thriving Through the Holidays : Group Health Coaching Give Away!!

I am embarking on a healthy journey this holiday season and I want you to join me!! I have had the pleasure of having Lacy in my life for a good while now and have gotten to watch her shape her passion for healthy living and happy eating into a genuine mission. This is not a fast or new fancy cleanse. It's not a regimen or even a diet. It is a time that you set aside to dedicate to taking care of yourself and your little ol' body. It is about celebrating food and health and all the amazing ways that they are intertwined. It is a fast track to happy and habits of happiness, and I want you to get to do it.

Lacy has partnered with Lisa from: With Style and Grace and the together they have created something really special for you. They have generously offered me two prizes to award my fabulous readers! One reader will win a free spot in the "Thriving Through the Holidays" Group Health Coaching Session (Nov. 22nd - Jan 31) and a second reader will win $100 off!!

A little bit more about the course:

 Who is this for?

• Those wanting a different relationship with food: stop counting calories, understand your body, gain confidence in food choices, experience overall happiness in your life, set and accomplish goals, understand and reduce cravings, explore new foods.
• Women of all ages committed to their health and well-being.
• Women who are new or curious about exploring the naturally gluten-free lifestyle and those who want more energy by eliminating gluten from their diet.

Sessions are held via phone, once every two weeks for an hour.

What's the benefit?

• Open up the possibilities for a new way of life and a new relationship with food.
• Sense of community to help support your goals and hold you accountable.
• Learn health benefits and how to prepare new foods.

For just $299, you get . . .

• Three months of consultancy and advocacy to help you achieve your goals.
• Healthy, easy and creative ways to make recipes.
• Gift box full of healthy swag, clever reminders in support of your path.

You can get all the info you want: here. You can also sign up for the session here and here.

To enter the give-away:

Go to Lacy's Facebook Page and click "like" maybe even post a little hello there. Then leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to be part of this and what you hope to get out of it!

Act quickly, winners will be chosen on Wednesday November16th at 5pm EST.

Yay! I am so excited for this! Thanks Lacy for putting this out into the world!

By Leigh 11.14.2011 – 10:18 am

24 Comments

2012 Sneak Peek #6!

Sketchbook

Good morning! Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on the sneak peeks...and even for the frank ones and the spirited debate over the inclusion of other species. I love to hear what you think. I will say this regarding the rodents in question. I was very keen on making this card available to anyone to send to anyone. Many of my cards are for the women in our lives or from 'us to them", or simply celebrating the power and gorgeousness of who you are. And that is just as it should be. But I wanted the 'hug you' card to have more of a broad scope. I wanted to be able to send it to a guy, or a couple and I wanted anyone to look at those two 'friends' and say, "oh, that's you and me!"

Making them cute mice instead of people was the way that was possible. Also, I think little mice are super cute and I like to imagine that they have little mouse troubles and need little mouse hugs too.

I blame Disney.

Anyway, here is the final addition to the line for January. This is a bit of a modern love letter. It is about the times when most of the things in our lives are a touch out of focus or in mild chaos. Beds aren't made, bills may not be paid, you may not be where you thought you would be or in my case, you may not have showered too recently, but you have one person (or set of people) in your life that makes you feel like you really did something right. Or that makes you realized that you are blessed despite all those things.

For me this person is my husband, but there are also times when this was written for my Mom and Dad, a dear friend, even someone I haven't known that long but have connected with in an important way. Sometimes it's even for myself. It's for your calm in the storm, whatever the storm.

Who would you send this to?

xoxo

By Leigh 11.10.2011 – 9:25 am

13 Comments

2012 Sneak Peek #5!

Sketchbook

Hello pigeons! Here is another little sneak peek for 2012! These cards will be out in January, to answer your questions. Sorry to be such a tease. Patience is a virtue...

This is one that I have wanted to make for a long time but for some reason or another it was never exactly right. I sat down this time and it came out right. Just as I meant it. I have had a few occasions to send a card like this or extend this sentiment to someone, but right now have one dear friend in particular who needs a little extra support because what she is going through just sucks. That's it. It just sucks and there is nothing I can do to change it. The only thing that I can do is keep her in my thoughts, show up when she needs me, and bring snacks. 

The first incarnation of this card got scratched out in my sketchbook and in big black marker because what I wanted to write is: "THIS JUST SUCKS!!"... but that's not very Curly Girl is it? I think it's interesting that for me, sometimes, to write what I really mean to say, I need to have gotten really close to the experience. I have been 'writing' this card for over a year but it has never worked until right now. I think this one could be useful in many situations and many circumstances, and really, I just love that the mice are sitting in a spoon together. And I love snacks.

So there you are. This one goes out to the sucko times and being in the pit-crew for someone you love.

Let me know what you think!

xoxo

By Leigh 11.09.2011 – 8:29 am

30 Comments

2012 Sneak Peek #4!

Sketchbook

I have been working hard in the studio on a tight deadline (ahem, late...) and I wanted to share the latest.

I have had the great pleasure of watching several people I really really love marry people they really really love over the past 6 months or so and I wanted to try and sum up my wishes for them. So many good wises cannot fit in such a small space so I tried to focus on the essence. At the root, a relationship is a journey and a story and a marriage is not the beginning of it. It is a big bright and shiny chapter of it though and I wanted to celebrate that, and wish for many more good things than hard things while acknowledging that some drama is part of the course. Also, in an age of all-things digital, I wanted to celebrate the beautiful, good-old-fashioned printed word. Books are romance to me and I hope they never go away. This one goes out to classic romance.

Let me know what you think!

xoxo

By Leigh 11.08.2011 – 7:47 am

25 Comments

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