Wrays of Sunshine 2014 Year in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. I thought it would be fun to share with you, since you made it possible.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December to Remember

I’m not sure how it happens, but December is always a shocker for me. It’s not newly situated in our calendar, yet it baffles and befuddles me. This time of year everything just blows by in a blur. If it weren’t for these monthly round-ups I might just forget all the awesomeness.

Let’s recap.

We have a good the best time making things, that’s how I know Bethany is my crafting partner in crime.

Bethany fingers

I sought out the conquer both thirst and winter chills with my peanut butter hot chocolate with marshmallow cream. This beverage is seriously a work of art. I thought so, but it wasn’t until Honeybee got his lips around it did I realize the truth of what I’d done. Try it, you’ll like it! (Unless you have a peanut allergy. In that case probably sit this one out.)

With hot chocolate in mug, we moved on to my semi-unconventional gift-guide for the creative types in your life. Seems like every year I have a few stragglers that I just can’t think of what to get! Hopefully I helped with a few of yours.

Christmas Present

I spent a crampy evening watching Muppet Christmas Carol and really got into the spirit. I made a snowflake tree for our picture window, hand-printed our cozy fireplace Christmas cards (with Cricut message) and created an alt-wreath to Make: Holiday Cheer. Fun! Jared, Matt and I had a marvelous time trimming our mini tree.

We next departed from the festivities for a minute to take a look at my hair. Never have I been more sure of the decision to document this transition. Seven months ago I was like, this is gonna take forever. But you know what? Time flies. 7 months already! And, more importantly, I’m happy to report amazing Curl Definition in the Face of Adversity. I’ve since retested the new method and my hair is hot fiyah. FIYAH. You can’t argue with fiyah. Fiyah is unreasonable. Just hot.

Outstanding Curl Definition in the Face of Adversity

We check in on the decorations downtown and all around in On the Street & in the Hood

And, of course, we celebrated Christmas! From now ’till next year we’ll be taking our time enjoying family and getting in some serious chill. The holiday season, man. It’s joyous and wonderful but tiring, too.

See you all next year!

xo,

Sunshine

Merry Christmasss!

We’re posting live from Walla Walla, Washington — the place so nice they named it twice — where Matt’s impeccable impression of Elvis’ Blue Christmas is on point. It’s freaky-good. And I’m so thankful to be here to celebrate again.

We wish you a Merry Christmas with sunshine and rainbows and hugs and family and love!

xo,

Sunshine

Natural Hair: Curl Definition in the Face of Adversity

7 months natural. The only thing I wish is that it were bigger! Or that I could somehow go back in time and start the journey earlier. I love this crazy curly hair! Look at em in high contrast. The photo below is day 1 hair, mind the shrinkage.

Outstanding Curl Definition in the Face of Adversity

See, what had happened was: the other day I was super excited to try a new product. I’d freshly washed and detangled and I was heading toward twist-out bliss when I saw what looked like boogers in my hair. Turns out Kinky Curly Knot Today isn’t cool with As I Am smoothing gel. Not cool at all. Double rinsed that grossness out. Back at the mirror I thought, hey why put in a leave-in at all? Instead of oil, leave-in conditioner and gel, I just skipped it. I definitely don’t like that ramen noodle look that you get with too much gel, so I saturated each section with oil first, then a light-handed amount of gel, twisted and went about my business.

Lo and behold, it was cute! As I Am smoothing gel is definitely light-weight enough to provide hold without preventing movement. It’s weird when your hair doesn’t move in the wind, at least to me. But what’s even better is, without the leave in conditioner, there was no build-up preventing curl definition. Those curls lasted 4 solid days! By the 3rd day I didn’t even do a mini re-twist before bed. Of course when I woke up the shape was wonky, but I was able to fluff and step out the door with the quickness. Yes, yes, y’all!

I’ve since retested the method (both after using a clarifying shampoo as well as a co-wash, then conditioning) and it’s the bees knees. Now what to do with all this leave-in conditioner?

natural hair: 7 mo

The photo above is day 3. Can you imagine! The past few months each twist-out has only been lasting a a day or two at most. 3 days looking this good bizarre and amazing. Methinks it’s also important to keep oneself from getting into a rut. Right now I feel like my hair is so short (which isn’t necessarily true, but looks that way because, you know, shrinkage) that there aren’t a lot of styling options just yet. Down, basically. Or the occasional updo. But I try to vary my parts, at least. Side, middle, other side, diagonal, diagonal the other way. And accessories are always welcome! I’m wearing two clips here, cause, why not? Get yours at Catfight Craft.

xo,

Sunshine

On the Street & In the Hood

Hi there, Bri here. Just stopping in to share a few photos of the neighborhood lately. The leaves are all but going, going, gone now but a few days ago they were so bright! And I love sneaking up on Henry murals.

outstretchedarms

Pike Place Market is always a great place to be, but it seemed like there were a few extra smiling faces this time around. It’s really the only thing I miss about working downtown. I used to just skip over for lunch breaks hither and thither. All the time! But it’s good, though, because I appreciate the view (when I’m lucky enough to get over there) even more now.

outandabout8

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You can’t hear it from photos, but imagine a smooth Christmassy clarinet played by a local musician. Ooh. And speaking of local musicians, lookie here. By the way, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman on violin done right will bring tears to your eyes. Then, just across Westlake, there’s the big, giant city tree.

This was my first time really seeing the 2nd Avenue revisions, too. RIP Sher Kung, the lawyer and mother most recently killed there. It is a shame that people die before things change, but at least we are changing.

outandabout10

I find these bike signals to be insanely cute. And as I stood there watching, it seemed to be working. Cars, pedestrians and cyclists were flowing in turn. Seattle is changing every day, all the time, at breakneck speed. Most everyone I know is heading for the hills, toward smaller-town living where you can afford some land and electricity. I feel the pull. I like the idea of owning a place, but Seattle is my magic city and I’m in it to win it. There’s so much going on, there’s school, so many sights to explore.

But who knows what the future holds? Not I, said the little mouse. And off I scurry to see more.

Happy gallivanting,

Sunshine

Make: Holiday Cheer

I haven’t had much time for Christmas decorating so far, but now that school’s over for the quarter, I’m ready to make up for lost time. My goal was to create something simple for the upstairs window using icicles. My icicle tree is just that: simple and festive. I love it!

snowflakesblacknwhite_1

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Of course our mini-tree is decorated to the 9s. To the 10s, even! We’ve dubbed 2014 the year of blacklight Christmas.

Then I was on a roll. I cut a choice branch from a nearby evergreen and made us a simple wreath-like situation for the front door. Inviting, yes?

altwreath_1

Before long it was time to get started on Christmas cards! I couldn’t find any I loved, so I decided to make my very own.

Happy Christmas to you and yours! Need more ideas for handmade gift-giving awesomeness? Check out Catfight Craft’s fabulous 12 Happy Days of Handmade Gifts!

xo,

Sunshine

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate w/ Marshmallow Cream

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Cream. I had to repeat it. It’s like a dream. It started out with a simple desire for a warm beverage so yummy and rich that I’d forget the blustery cold. Dreams come true, people. Miracles happen.

Continue reading “Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate w/ Marshmallow Cream”

Crafting Partners in Crime

It’s not until we’re knee-deep in lace, lenses and flowers that I realize we are on another level. Bethany and I get off the chain making clips, paintings, prints! We’re dancing and having a great time and making stuff. That’s just our idea of fun. It’s icing on the cake that we get to share it on our blog and Etsy page.

Keep an eye on all our shenanigans at Catfight Craft and see our lovely clips on Etsy.

xo,

Sunshine

Gone Til November

If you were Wyclef you’d be back by now. Heh. See what I did there? November you next year, boo! It’s all over. But we can’t get all in a flurry for everything December brings without a shout-out to a great November.

At some point I paused to enjoy some beauty between raindrops. Then there was the moon and the incident, which we won’t go into. We clicked around the Boat Street Marina and had ourselves a time.

 

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Then we got all bold and beautiful in the Printmaking Studio at my school. Even though printmaking can be painstakingly hard work, it’s my happy place.

We were unexpectedly nominated for the Liebster Award (!!!) and we shared the love. ❤ ❤ ❤

liebsteraward

For eats this month I made my special cabbage soup. I had a chance to reminisce on my early Seattle days, when a head of cabbage and bacon was really all I could afford. Luckily cabbage soup has a high yield. Why? Cause caring is sharing, folks.

cabbage soup 4

We did Thanksgiving on an intimate level this year, teeny tiny Cornish game hens! Twas perfect!

Our hearts poured out to Ferguson. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that my school would host a rally, but at the time, I was baffled by the amount of students (and police) who showed up. I managed to shoot a quick video as the peaceful assembly ended. UW rallies for Ferguson.

Police

In this month’s natural hair news, I shared a startling realization regarding bad hair days. Eesh.

Natural Hair 6 mo

And, as if by some miracle, Seattle’s first snow happened! It’s one of those (perfect) snows when there’s no where I had to go (lucky!). I ran around outside in my robe snapping a few pictures and then hid under cover until the coffee kicked in.

Front yard

buddha gargoyle protection

Before I knew it November was a thing of the past. Winter is upon us! Batten down the hatches, people! Except your internet hatches, keep those open. And stay tuned for more Wrays of Sunshine in December.

xo,

Sunshine