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“It is resolved…”

19 Jan

It’s a new year (well, it has been for a few weeks), and while I always manage to make and break these annual challenges, I’m committed this year to one major resolution: live more simply and sustainably. This resolution seems especially appropriate given the economic and environmental climate (forgive the pun). It’s time for me to really throw myself into this “doing more with less” lifestyle. I think what I’ll find is that I actually have more than I know.

When I look around our home, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of “things” we have: old clothes, ratty t-shirts, mail, perfectly good, but seldom used blankets, books and boxes, boxes, boxes. We move every two or three years, and we tend to accumulate, rather than shed, our belongings.

It’s counter-intuitive. After all, my sister recently used her move across the country into an apartment 1,000+ square feet smaller than her old house to pare down. She sold and gave away tons of stuff, which freed her up to be organized and streamlined and now allows her to actually use what she has. My problem is that in the rush to unpack, I tend to shove some mystery boxes in the garage or fill a closet with old clothes or scatter our seasonal items throughout our space. Consequently, I have all these things, but they’re not immediately accessible. What’s the point of owning something if you don’t use it? Wouldn’t it be incredible to, every year, use every item you own?

Following the earthquake last week, I’m particularly moved to purge and donate what I don’t use (and what might be needed by someone else), to buy only what needs to be replaced or consumed, and to try to choose goods and practices and companies that are as sustainable as possible.

Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

I’m starting small this week, by using old magazines that have piled up to create homemade Valentines for my friends and family. Don’t donate your old mags to the library just yet – stay tuned for pics of my idea on Friday!


Myriad Debuts : Drumroll please…

26 Oct

Hi few and faithful! Well, lots has been going on the last few weeks, namely our acceptance to participate in UNIQUE Los Angeles, an independent design and gift sale, this December 5th and 6th. Beyond excited, as this will be our first event of this kind, not to mention we’re using UNIQUE to launch the latest addition to our cache of chic, eco-friendly stationery designs : GF Pret.


“Pret” means “ready” in French, and this line of stationery is aptly named : ready-made and ready for anything. We’re designing all manner of occasional cards, personal stationery, gift tags and thank you notes, all of which will be printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. If 2010 is the year that G|F products might be found in stores, then Unique LA is the launching pad for this bold endeavor.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving our readers a preview of our G|F Pret products, discounts on cool new merchandise, holiday gift ideas at every price point, spotlights on other Unique LA vendors, and info on the upcoming LA debut of our new line.

Located less than 12 miles from our original front-yard stationery stand (circa 1990), the venue for Unique LA, the California Market Center, seems like the perfect place to make our off-line debut. Save the date to do some uber-cool holiday shopping. We hope to see you there!

Free Design Friday : More than Words

11 Oct

So, it was a bit of a rough week for me. One of my best friends moved from the house across the street to a house across the country. M and I dropped her off at the airport (her gorgeous 5-month old in tow) on Monday and said a tearful goodbye. This week’s Free Design is inspired by our dear friends – a “miss you” card designed to be downloaded, printed, cut and embellished with the 4 x 6 inch photo of your choice.

A 4 by 6 inch black and white photo completes this week's free design.

A 4 by 6 inch black and white photo completes this week's free design.

It fits neatly in a standard size 10 (business) envelope, so get printing, buy a stamp, and tell someone you miss them, more than words can say. Big T, Pterodactyl and Friend : this one’s for you.

A Moveable Feast : Recipes for the FDF Menu

4 Sep

Our “Moveable Feast” menu is perfect for a Sunday night in September. The recipes include some of our favorites from Ina Garten’s book Barefoot in Paris. Download the menu and get cooking!

Gougeres : French cheese puffs

Rosemary Cashews

Salad with Warm Goat Cheese and Green Salad Vinaigrette :: NOTE : For a first course, I like to serve just one slice of goat cheese with each salad. It can be pretty filling, and you’ll want to save room for…

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

Plum Raspberry Crumble

Recipes are free courtesy of the Food Network – thank you!

Gratefully Green : Recipes from Roy Ranch

25 Aug

Both of these recipes come to us courtesy of Kristen Roy at Roy Ranch in Fallon, Nevada. Read about how to package them in our post on hostess gifts. Thanks for sharing them, K!

Mint Jelly : Perfect as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers

  • 1 1/2 c. packed fresh mint leaves and stems
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 3 drops green food coloring
  • 3 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 6 fluid ounces liquid pectin

Rinse off the mint leaves, and place them into a large saucepan. Crush with a potato masher or the bottom of a jar or glass. Add water, and bring the mint to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, and measure out 1 cup + 2/3 cup boiling water.

Place 1 2/3 cups of the water in a saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice and food coloring. Mix in the sugar, and place the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, stir in the pectin. Boil the mixture for a full minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim foam off the top using a large metal spoon. Transfer the mixture to hot sterile jars, and seal. Process any unsealed jars in a water bath.

Salsa de la Bahia : A delicious accompaniment to tortilla chips or as a starter for guacamole. Just add to avocados and mix!

  • 1 28 oz. can peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, seeded with membranes removed
  • 3 T. cilantro
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 T. pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached {Kristen likes hers a little chunky}. The jalapeno seeds and membranes contain all of the pepper’s heat. If you want a hotter salsa, keep the seeds and/or membranes.