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Wedding Season

Well I guess summertime is wedding season right? Well I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the best wedding I've ever been to. The lovely Grace (http://wildweedsdirtyhair.com/) and Pat got married this past month in an amazing ceremony in the afternoon by the reservoir. They had blankets all around for the guests to sit on for the ceremony and the reception was picnic boxed lunches on tables under the trees and tons of lawn games. Mike killed me at croquet :(

It was so great and so funny too. Funny because Grace I met through this wonderful world of blogging, and when I moved out here to Oakland she invited me over for a potluck, and it was awesome to find out she lived down the street from my new house! Of course we've now bonded in real life over clothes, growing up in Ohio, and going to art school. I have found some of my greatest friends I have met through the internet. Ever since my jr high art pen pal Al, found out we started the same art school in college. After college when I lived in Anchorage I posted a "what to do?" on craigslist and Ashley answered thus becoming my bestie. Then there was also this one blogger Sara ;) who from her pictures we found out lived a block away from each other, and a couple years later I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. And now Grace! I love the internet, it brings me friends and not creepos!

Anyway sorry I digress.

It was a beautiful wedding and I'm so happy I was there to be a part of it Grace. And I got to buy and wear this amazing pink and sherbet silk dress from Madewell, and not pictured the most amazing swedish hasbeens I got. Thanks lady! :)

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DIY: Nautical I Love You!

Yay! I'm so happy you guys liked my sailor top I made. So to continue on with the trend here's a fun nautical inspired DIY Project! Creating hidden messages with the international maritime flags! Here's a print out you can cut out at home and hang up this for the one you love like a sailor loves the sea! C'mon everyone loves this whole nautical look!

Start out fist downloading this pdf https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4oTVeyiNDfudUx1c20wSVlpREk/edit?usp=sharing. Cut between the g=flag shapes where the arrows tell you to cut. For best results use a ruler and xacto blade. Fold the 8 rectangles in half to make little squares. Then get a cute piece of ribbon, twine, or string around two feet in length and take the folded flags and put the string in the fold, like a hot dog into a bun! Try to space them evenly or into words like I did. Then take a glue stick and swipe some glue into the fold and shut the fold over the string. Let the glue dry then take the ends of the string and hang up your nautical flag pennant flag!!

I love my little flags hanging over my bed with my awesome California hanging to remind me of the adventures I've had out here and all the fun things I've done these past two years by the sea, on the sea and sailing. look up online for the whole International Maritime Flag alphabet, and make your own phrases! Here's the wikipedia article about these awesome flags (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_maritime_signal_flags)

Have fun making your sea loving message, and let me know how you like them!

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Sailor, Sailor

What's this?! Another post? In ONE week! Yep that's right! Summer's almost over, but I still have so much to share about it! I started sewing again and getting used to the machine that Mike got me two christmases ago. It's a super old machine that can only do a forward straight stitch, just the basics, all you need. I got this adorable pattern from etsy, and decided to make view 3.

It turned out really well, just a bit boxier than I'm used to and the most common issue I always have, a very loose bust. Oh well, never going to get boobs... deal with it. Anyway my mom sent me some amazing vintage fabric, and I used a mint light weight cotton. It's really comfy and I wear it all the time! I love it... and yes I've worn it on the sail boat... I could totally do an entire months of posts of Nautical design, clothes, and trips.... Should I do that?

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Hey Strangers!!!

 So.... You know it's been sometime since we last spoke, but I've been busy with life, you know! Since we last talked, I've wine to Ohio over Memorial Day for a quick trip, we went camping and tubing in Sonoma, been hanging out with an old CCS colleague and her doggy, more Michigan people moved here, Mike and I went to Philadelphia, the Jersey shore, and sailing on the Chesapeake bay, and as I type I'm sitting back in Ohio visiting family because unfortunately my Grandfather passed suddenly. I plan on discussing all this on this here blog, because there's been amazing trips, and my grandfather had some of the most wonderful 91 years anyone could wish for. To read a beautiful dedication to my gpa please head over to my sister's blog here, http://dayinthelifeofam.blogspot.com/. But I wanted to stop in and tell you about some changes here on the blog.

I know I've said this before, but I really plan on keeping this up. I've just updated my portfolio site (but still have so much more to update!!) go check it out and see some of the stuff I do for work (http://www.laurenmoyer.com) I'm also starting to do pet portraits again! Mainly to help go towards a moving fund for me, I just found out my landlord is selling the house I'm in (not good) but maybe I'll find my dream apartment (maybe good!). So tell one and all and go to laurenmoyer.etsy.com!

Now this website is going to incorporate my art and life more so, kinda like my old art blog, http://laurenmoyer.blogspot.com/. I've thought about changing the name away from Sparrow & Urchin, but for now it'll stay, it still feels like me, I'm sometimes a happy little sparrow and sometimes I feel like a little street urchin, a lone kid in a new city and life.

Anyway, how are all of you few followers I still have? I wanna here about your lives! Email or comment or whatever!

Missed you all,

Pictures from Jersey shore and sailing on the Chesapeake.
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Do: Caught some Crabs. Yum.

A month or so ago Mike and I went crabbing under the Golden Gate Bridge. We got some good sized Rock Crabs, and lots of Dungeness Crabs we had to throw back :( And lots of starfish... they're really ugly... like creepy sea hand fingers. Ew.

Later Mike made the most amazing Crab bisque and I got us yummy gf rolls from the bakery and a white wine recommended from a wine store, both down the street from my house, it's great living by everything.... mmm.

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Ladies Craft Night: DIY Terrariums!

A couple weeks ago I hosted a Ladies Craft Night at my house, and this time we made our own Terrariums!! It was so much fun! Look at everyone's terrariums!!! And I think everyone had a blast. My roommates invited some of their friends, friends of mine from work and college came over, and we all just ate yummy food and made little worlds! I suggest everyone do this with all their lady friends.

A couple weeks before the party I sent out email invites for the party, I asked everyone to bring their own containers and $5 and I would provide the rest. I went to Home Depot and bought tons of succulents, cactus soil, activated charcoal. At Michaels I got some rocks and decorative moss, which my mom   told be if you spritz it with water it starts growing again! Of course I got some little people to grace everyone's terrariums!

For the party's work space I set up our deck area as the creation center for the plant mania, for more light I set up some lamps on the tables which gave the backyard such a homey feel! It was perfect mix between indoors and outdoor fun! After eating we got to the planting, getting our hands dirty and using all types of random things to help us along, including spoons as mini shovels!

For desert I made a dirt cake of course!!! And i made it vegan and gluten free, with vanilla and chocolate pudding made with chocolate almond milk, raspberries and blueberries inside. For the top I grabbed some Nasturtium from my back yard to add some color, and spice ;) My roommate Alise made some incredible homemade bread, hummus, and pesto, while everyone else brought some drinks and wine, and everyone got stuffed on yumminess.

I really had an amazing time and have loved hosting these couple ones. It was awesome having people mingling and meeting and making new connections. After being out here for almost two years, and initially concentrating on finding a good job, I really now feel like I'm starting to get a hang of thing out here and making some great friends. I hope craft nights will keep continuing and become a regular thing at my house and hopefully other houses! Now I just need to figure out the theme of the next Ladies Craft Night!

And here's my tired, silly face with my terrarium. :)

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Wardrobe Wednesday: Wear Red Day


Last Friday at work was wear red day, I love this new fun thing at work cause i just happen to have a rainbow in my closet. We had a cookout as well that day s my big ole' floppy hat was a lifesaver. Anywho, here it is, red shoes and skirt, with a pink blouse. Yay!

Blouse, skirt // Thrifted
Shoes // Urban Outfitters
Hat // H&M

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Tripp the Iron Stomach

For this Tripp Tuesday I decided to go a different route, not the "oh my dog is so cute" but the truth about my dog. My dog is a fatty. Not physically but he has the eyes and appetite of a giant. He eats EVERYTHING... well at least everything that's somewhat edible. He knows shoes, potatoes, and couches won't sustain him. But coffee, chocolate, sugar free gum, corn cobs, chicken bones, underwear, socks? They're all ok in his book.

Let me take you through Tripp's most recent adventures as a foodie.

When I moved out here Tripp, Leyland and I drove all the way here. So one night Leyland and I were in a restaurant enjoying a nice meal after a long day of hiking. Tripp was sleeping soundly in the front seat of the car... Or so we thought. We got back to the car and low and behold, Tripp tore open a plastic cup holder pack of Orbit gum... Cool doggy, it's not like the sweetener Xylitol isn't poisonous to you. So I texted my vet friend and she told me to give him water and monitor his heart rate, because even if I wanted to take him to the vet I couldn't.... we were in Yellowstone, and there was no vet within 100 miles. Thanks Tripp! After I got to civilization, aka my new home, he got all his blood work done, and the vet surprisingly said there was no damage done. Good boy Tripp!

Let's fast forward a year and a half. It's Christmas time and my awesome mom sends lonely ole me a great care package, with presents and... sweets! One in particular is a Killer Brownie. I'm sure the name says it all, it's fudgey and caramely and peanuty and about 4x the size of a regular brownie. So guess what, Tripp jumps on the table (Just so you know he's 14lbs, smaller than most cats, but has the ups of a kitty) while I'm outside and eats the entire thing. Ok. Cool. So I get to spend the night before Christmas with my dog that's vomiting for 9 hours. All over everything... chocolate vomit. So straight away in the morning I rush over to the vet for an emergency visit. It's a good thing my dog easily pukes because that would be the only thing they would do other than check his heart rate and take a blood sample. So they do all what they do at the vet and everything in him was fine, but just to be sure lets feed him some charcoal to soak any toxins up. You know what then happens... He pukes the charcoal all over the light gray upholstery of my new car. Terrific Tripp. I got that cleaned right away and Tripp was a little sick acting for a day, but soon was to his regular self and back to being a perky pup.

Now for the latest... I fixed myself a nice dinner including a yummy cob of corn. After moving out of the cornland midwest I haven't enjoyed a nice cob o' corn in awhile. I was working on a project and mistakingly left my plate scraps on the table while I left the room for a few minutes. I walk back into the room and there's Tripp sitting happily on the ground with pieces of corncob surrounding him. Let me remind you this is a 14lb dog, and he ate an entire corncob. For some of you who might not know corncobs are one of the most dangerous things for any digestive tract, as you know I'm sure corn doesn't digest, so think about any big cob chunks... They won't digest and can get stuck if too large to pass. Which is incredibly common in dogs and causing them to have to get expensive surgery to remove the cob-struction. So of course emotional me, freaked out. I was about to give Tripp some hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting but Mike found me an open 24hr vet. So one x-ray and induced vomit later... they weren't sure. His stomach was so full that the xray showed nothing helpful. The only options, a scope down his throat, which probably wouldn't show anything or get an xray in the morning to see if his stomach is emptying. So we waited. And after the second x-ray they said it was still unsure, but he seemed completely fine... other than everyone looking at him in amazement that he ate a corncob. So over the next week Tripp had rancid farts and I monitored his pooping. And you know what, he's fine. But thank you Tripp for the adventure.

So there's my couple years adventures with Tripp's iron stomach. I could tell you about many other things he's gotten into but I'll just leave you with the highlights. I love my dog, but his appetite needs some adjusting or he's going to make me have a nervous breakdown. If it was up to him he'd be dragging his tummy on the ground and eating anything with a hazardous label. So yeah, all you with dogs, I'm sure you have great stories of the incredible appetites of your canine friends. And I want to hear it!

One last thing, pet insurance... best $10 a month I spend.

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Let's Read! I mean, Listen!

So I've tried listening to music at work but it just creates a soundtrack to my wandering mind and still allows me to get distracted by my many thoughts and the people around my desk. I am one of those people that even when doing work I can watch tv and think tons of thoughts... I wish I could turn my brain off. But one thing I've learned that can help me get work done and not be distracted by the hustle and bustle of work and keep me from getting bored is listening to audio books.

So far in the last month and a half I've listened to:

The Tao of Pooh

I LOVE THIS. I've already listened to it a couple times. The readers voice is soothing and he does the character's voices perfectly. It is so soothing and great to see how you can try to be more like Pooh and just be.
The Tao of Pooh - Full Audio

The Hobbit

- Yay the Hobbit! Have you guys seen the movie? I hadn't read the book since I was a kid and I enjoyed listening to it again... One thing, how are they making the movie version into a trilogy that'll be longer then just reading the book? I should just be of part 1 and 2... Plus I didn't like all the added evil characters in the movie, there's enough cool stuff in the book.
The Hobbit - Pt I of III

The Hunger Games Trilogy

- This is read by ChristianAudiobooks, she reads so well and her voice is the perfect personification of Katniss. I wish she had recorded all three books, but she only has recordings until chapter 20 of the first books.
The Hunger Games - Chapter 1
- I listened to the rest of the books through iRead, she has a nice voice but a little too old sounding for Katniss, it works though, the reader is clear and has a good pace. There are so many badly read books on youtube, it's hard to find someone good.
iRead's Playlists - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, & The Mockingjay

Anne of Green Gables

- This is an upload from NewPoliticalVoices and is a libravox recording, which again are hard to find good readers. But the woman reading has a nice voice.
Anne of Green Gables - Full Book Playlist

I can't believe I've finished 6 books, I love youtube.

I've also read Bossypants, I Am Legend, and Lolita over the past few months.

I am happy to start reading again, as a kid I read ALL the time and finished most of my sister's highschool reading lists while I was still in junior high. I remember really loving reading and it was the Hunger Games that got me back into it. I cried at work, I might've squeed, and I love the end, it is perfect... I have to read them again. And Lo-lee-ta... such a beautifully written, disturbing book. Each page is a joy and pain to read, Nabokov has a way with words, it's definitely art. As I said already the Tao of Pooh is a quick read/listen and really I think a little life changing, I love how Hoff recreated the 100 Acre Wood into a teaching tool to be more calm and even in your life. Bossypants also was a book that I've read twice and while reading on the train I many times laughed out loud.

The best thing about books? The covers and art. And I really love how there was the blog, Venus febriculosa, run by John Bertram, asking artists for their own interpretations of Lolita for a compilation book, Lolita: Story of a Cover Girl, here are some of my favorites.

1 // by  the Aesthetic Movement     2 // by Jamie Keenan     3 // by Peter Mendelsund     4 // by Justin Chen

Sorry for such a long post! Phew! But I have one last thing... Have you seen this new Anne of Green Gables book cover for the public domain text? WHAT?! Ridiculous, obviously someone didn't read the book and even though this isn't through a publisher the public domain person who ever approved it should know better.

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A Fashion Realization

Last week I earned a new nickname at work... Miss Frizzle. Then I realized, yep I am Miss Frizzle. I love patterns and animal prints, bright colored dresses, wearing my hair red, and coordinating my outfit to my activity, also of course being way too excited about things everyone else rolls their eyes to. But thank goodness I am not a teacher, haha!

How did this realization and nickname come to pass? With this outfit:

I have been eyeing these pencil shoes for over a year and they kept getting sold out so quickly... But now i have them!! Bwahaha! And of course I have to pair them with something else loud and obnoxious like this skirt I made with some scrap fabric

And last but not least... Dr. Who/Miss Frizzle fan art?1 WHAT?

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Tripp Tuesday | A Day in the Life of a Cali-pup

Since moving here I have surely started turning into a typical "Californian" (or maybe just a nor-cal stereotype?)... Having a different special diet, driving a hybrid, occasional use of the word "hella", complaining about not having snow or much rain, and starting to completely baby my pooch (sorry Cali-kids for teasing ;).

Tripp now has a fancier diet that includes an add water meal with dried meats and veggies once a week,  plus occasional rice porridge I make him along with his regular lamb/rice daily meal. He goes on puppy adventures three times a week with his pup-buds and my dogwalker. And I dress him up in sweaters, kerchiefs and scarves. Yep I started dressing him up, I'm sorry but it's so stinking cute!! Especially how much he hated his christmas antlers.

This past weekend he had quite a sunday, starting off at the beach, then chilling in a SF park, then cuddles at mike's house, and finally sleeping all snuggled in my bed. He was quite a rag doll at the end of the day. I hope it made up for him staying home while I sailed on Saturday.

In honor of Tripp Tuesday (which I haven't done in awhile), here are some instagram snaps of his sunday adventure... look at him sporting that scarf!

Follow Tripp and I on instagram! My name is "sparrow_urchin"

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Veronica Mars NERD!

Ok so I'm sure many of you guys already know this, I mean hell I already pledged money this weekend... But you guys. You guys. VERONICA MARS MOVIE!

UG, I'm so excited I could pee.

Who do you want to be the love interest? Better not be Piz!

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St Patty's Day

So this past weekend was St. Patty's Day! Yay!! It's seems though that I'm the only one along with my family that regularly celebrates St Patrick's Day. So invited some friends over for a St Pat's day Brunch on Sunday. Although many had to drop out last minute the few that came over had some yummy food and a chill time. So what did I make?!

First I borrowed my friend's crock pot and cooked up a corned beef. I got like 3lbs of meat, and first I put a layer of potato and carrots then topped that with meat, put a little mustard on top then topped that with red cabbage. I made a brown sugar sauce and poured that over with a Guinness. Cooked that for 10 hours on low. Then I made a gluten free applesauce cake using this recipe (http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2012/11/gluten-free-applesauce-cake.html), I changed it a bit adding some homemade almond and oat flour. I didn't get the crumb topping correct, but it was so tasty! The on Sunday morning I took the cook meat and potatoes and such and chopped it all up with some roasted butternut squash and sauteed them a bit together then put it all in three cast iron pans making little divits in the hash. Then I cracked an egg into each hole and baked the cast irons at 400 until the eggs set. I took some of the juices in the crockpot and made a sweet glaze for ontop of the hash if wanted.

I also made some Boxtys (irish potato pancakes), and green rice crispies. My roommate Laura made irish soda bread and whiskey butter, Mike made a white sangria, also a roomie made deviled eggs and we had irish coffee fixin's. So we all hung out in the back yard eating yummy food while the dogs played around... It was so nice and warm I even got a little sun burnt. Crazy!

And to round off this post some pics of Mike and I at some "irish" bar in North Beach. It's sad how good I look with a mustache.

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Adventures in Cannin'

So lately it seems that I am having the urge to become Laura Ingalls, I'm making skirts out of stripped floral cottons, I want to wear lace up booties and call my dad "Pa". And I've been trying to figure out what to do with the orange tree in the back yard. This orange tree is a Giant. It's two stories tall, covered in oranges and Tripp is the only one eating them... he's always snacking on a orange in the backyard. So I've been collecting recipes from cakes to infused vodkas... so why not try to can them?

Mike was such a doll to get me a started kit of supplies which originally were for flavored vodka's but decided before buying all that booze I should just try to can things i have for free, ie thousands of oranges using the waterbath canning method. So I collected a BIG bag of them, rinsed them quickly, and started chopping and peeling while watching a little TV. I ended up cutting them up instead of normal peeling them cause they were SOOOO ripe and juicy.

After boiling the glass jars, heating the lids and boiling the syrup (I didn't make an added sugar syrup I made a water/juice syrup, no added cals!), I began canning! The hardest thing I think I found was making sure there were no bubbles before closing the jars, I think I might've broken a bunch of the orange slices while trying to poke the bubble out. I fill the jars with the syrup to around 1/2" from the top, wiped the edge and put the lids on. Then gently dropped them into the boiling water for 10 minutes. This morning I checked them and they seem sealed, so here's to hoping I can open them up in a month or so and they aren't rotten! I got the recipe on how to can oranges from this website > http://www.pickyourown.org/canningcitrus.php. You can also get tons of recipes from the Ball Jar website and download a quick beginners guide to Waterbath canning > Check out their beginners guides here.

The only thing now is, what do I do with canned oranges? The oranges are the best tasting but make AMAZING juice and are great to cook with, so you guys have any suggestions? Overall the entire process was fairly easy, you just need big pot and patience for many pots of boiling liquids... and lots of burners on your stove :)

I'm sure I'll try some more stuff soon! Adam is growing cucumber so we will make pickles, and I really want to make pickled beets! And anything to do with oranges! Yum!
Everyone CAN AWAY!
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The Color Run CMYK Team!

On Saturday me and a few co-workers got together to do the Color Run 5K in San Francisco (If you haven't heard of the it check it out here > http://thecolorrun.com/)

Our team was aptly named CMYK since you know... we are graphic designers.

The race started out with everyone wearing white and we were given a packet of colored corn starch for the ending chute. Of course many people were getting antsy as we were waiting for our wave to start the 5K and throwing some in the air and at their friends. Soon enough around 10:30a we were off!

I ran with my iphone in the little waterproof pouch thinger I had bought my guy for the sailboat, so I was able to take pics without my phone getting messy! Yay! So every 1K was a color chute, you could run through the middle and not get too much color or go up to the people throwing the powder and get doused.

In the finish chute everyone went crazy throwing colors through the air creating rainbows! It was awesome, I at this point was by myself, everyone had ran off or walked off at their own rate, but I had so much fun throwing pink in strangers faces, on myself and in the air. Afterwards there was a concert and dancing and food trucks and rainbow people everywhere... It was awesome. The only question is on the color packets it states that the color corn starch is illegal in Utah... why everyone needs color!!

During the cleanup it was cool to see how the trees and bushes were all colorful! And it's cornstarch so it'll wash away! Robin and Stephan got the most colorful... as you can see as we walked back to the car!

And we got this sweet shirt, I like it!!! Last but not least here's the before and after of team CMYK! YAY! Go PureRED!