A few of my favorite things from the most wonderful time of the year:
My first year ever of having Christmas lights on the house!
Playing some tunes with the Lower Lights for a family who has a son with special needs.
When my friend Carina (aka Azúcar) made me Spanish Tortilla de Patatas.
Surprising my sister Angi, at the airport when she flew in with her family from Istanbul for the holidays.
My grandfather-in-law teaching me how to make homemade marshmallows.
The big snowstorm!
Mom's Christmas tree.
Snuggling with Dad, just like old times.
Mom's Christmas turkey. Doesn't it look incredible?
Sharing some final moments with Grandma Rose.
P.S. Because I love my children more than anything, I rarely post their photos in order to protect them, but they have been by far, my most favorite part about the Christmas season. Enjoy the last few days of 2010!
What greater gift can we receive than the experience of family during this time of year? Grandma Rose passed away a few days before Christmas this year and she has seldom left my thoughts since. I had the blessing of holding her hand and singing to her with my sisters the evening before she left us. This woman was an icon in my family. An awe-inspiring matriarch who could silence a room at the sound of her voice, bake enough pies to feed an army, and even weeks before she passed on, could kick her leg shoulder-high the way she did as teenage cheerleader.
Grandma, I'll miss your chubby thumbs, your signature chuckle, your fluffy white rolls, the smell of your house, your shiny red nails, your hearty hugs, your loud voice, and your shaky, cursive-written letters.
May you hold your dear ones a little tighter as you enjoy the close of a fantastic year.
I'm pushing pause on the 12 Days of Christmas because my last living grandparent, Grandma Rose, seems to be in her final days. I'm off to go and visit this lovely woman, hoping to spend some precious time at her bedside. This video is of the last time I was with Grandma, driving home from Southern California in November. I really can't imagine a world without her energy and sass. At every family reunion, we've always worn cheesy t-shirts that say "I belong to Rose." What I wouldn't give to have one of those in my possession! I'm so blessed to belong to this woman.
Confession: This is totally a re-gift. But it is a re-gift with the permission of Mufn Inc., who designs darling handcrafted and sewn items. I first saw this free printable Christmas card on pinterest.com (my latest obsession). Then, lo and behold, I find out that the designer is Pauline Grayson who lives right here in the same state of Utah. You should see her Etsy store.
I found some vintage scrapbooks at local thrift stores and took out the beautifully aged papers and printed the cards on them to get an aged effect. I love how they turned out and these are the cards I'm sending to my friends and family (if I can ever get around to it). So, to download and print these free Christmas cards, click HERE.Enjoy!
Remember the awesome illustrations in my Anchor music video? Remember the very talented April Meeker who did them? Remember how she also designs jewelry? I love April's jewelry. Her company, Second Sister Jewelry, has some of the most beautiful and artsy designs ever. Today, April has been so generous as to offer this charm bracelet for my giveaway.
Feast your eyes:I'm looking for song ideas for a forthcoming Christmas album. To win this darling bracelet, give me the name of a Christmas song that you'd like to hear me cover or make up a title for one that you'd like me to write. Don't forget to leave your full name with your song idea! The winner will be chosen late Monday night (which is also the deadline to order any CDs on my site that you'd like me to sign, wrap and ship to you for Christmas!).
The following pieces have long been sold, but are some of my personal favorites that April has designed:
Go check out April's store to see the beautiful designs she has for sale right now.
People often ask me if I have a Christmas album. Sadly, I do not. But I'm aiming to have one for next year so stay tuned. However, I do have one Christmas song that I did on a Christmas lullaby album called "Mary's Lullaby," produced by Scott Wiley. The song is "In the Bleak Midwinter," and it's one of my all time favorite Christmas songs. Starting today, I'm streaming the song on the little music player there to your right. Press "Play" and enjoy.
By the way, the whole album is amazing. You can buy tracks and listen to clips HERE.
I have been laughing under my breath all day at some of your potty stories. And WOW, some of them were a lot to handle. It's a good thing I can handle even the most intense of potty stories. Thanks so much for participating in this!
So, it turns out that Dennis Agle is the official winner of the Poo-Pourri. Congrats, Dennis! You can email me your shipping info at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story is hilarious. Check out Dennis' story:
"Once I had the flu and, not being a big fan of throwing up, was circling outside the bathroom trying to talk my body out of it. When it became clear I was going to lose this argument, I rushed to the toilet, flipped up the lid so hard it bounced off the tank, and the rebound crashed into my forehead just as I was leaning forward. I ended up flat on my back, not quite clear on what just happened. On the plus side, it likewise stunned my flu, and I at least got a temporary reprieve on the throwing up thing."
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a 2 oz. bottle of No. 2 Poo-Pourri.
Guys. GUYS. This product is the best thing that has ever happened to our family. Poo-Pourri is a blend of essential oils and it smells amazing. Their slogan is "Spray before you go and no one else will ever know." Yes, this fragrance is one that you leave on the back of the toilet. Teach your family to spray it directly in the toilet bowl before they do their business and the bathroom will stay odor free. I love the clever "No. 2" name for this fragrance and it even comes with a little crown charm symbolizing "the throne."
I got this product from cherrylanekeepsakes.com. Cherry Lane also has a darling boutique in Provo, UT located on University Ave. in the historic BYU Women's Gymnasium. You'll recognize the boutique when you see handbags spilling out the windows and front doors.
Aren't my giveaways easy? Short and sweet and frankly, pretty easy odds. I'll end this giveaway at 11:00 p.m. MT tonight and ship to the winner on Monday. To enter, just leave me a comment telling a potty story. It might be a potty training pointer, it might be a potty humor story, or it might be a toilet cleaning tip. Anything goes!
I am an independent artist. This means, I am my own boss. I create my experience as an artist and a business woman (with the help of a lot of talented people who I find). All month I have been having a 2 for $20 Christmas special at mindygledhill.com -- with free gift wrapping, no less! Guess who wraps, packages and ships all of her orders? Miss Independent, here. On Cyber Monday I did a special where I offered to sign and/or write a personal message to your loved one. It went over famously. So, because Monday is probably the last day that orders will safely ship to you by Christmas, I will sign any orders I receive on my web site this one last time.
Starting now. Ending Monday at midnight.
This is my work table in my home office where I wrap and package your orders. A bit messy, I know. I've been busy.
But know this: I love to wrap presents. It's a hobby of mine. And I love reading your personalized messages. It makes my day. Happy Christmas! Click HERE if you'd like me to sign and send CDs to your loved ones. P.S. If you want me to write a personalized message, click "My Account" and then click "View Messages" to send me a message when making your order.
(I found this photo on this blog because frankly, my photo stank.)
My friends. I have finally found a recipe that will complete your life. You haven't experienced true joy if you haven't tried Pomegranate Avocado Salsa. I can't mail it to you, but I can give you the recipe:
5 medium avocados, diced 1 fistful of Cilantro, chopped 1/2 onion, finely chopped 1-2 limes, fresh squeezed Salt and fresh ground pepper to your liking 1/2 to 1 whole pomegranate, seeded
Gently mix together in a bowl. You can also mash all ingredients and add the pomegranate seeds at the end to make a guacamole dip.
If you're bummed that you didn't win the tutu from yesterday's giveaway, then fear not! Today's giveaway is just as cool for a little girl's dress-up collection. Remember the butterfly wings that I wore in the row-boat scene of my Anchor music video? Behold, I am giving them away:
I bought these wings used, from a costume shop. The elastic will probably need to be tightened up for a little girl, but they are so fun to wear. To see a better representation of how they look, just watch the video. Here's how to win them:Post a link or embed the video on your blog or Facebook status telling people why you like the song and/or video. Then, leave me a link to YOUR post here in the comments section below. Easy as pie! Here is a link to the video for you to copy and paste: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AWRHBHDVlQ
My dear, lovely friends. I have appreciated your support so much this year with the release of Anchor. I want to do something for you every day from now until Christmas here on my blog. It might be giving away a signed CD, a cool piece of jewelry, or perhaps a song.
But today, it is a tutu.
Over a week ago, I was filming scenes for the upcoming music video for "Whole Wide World." We did this one scene with ballerinas at the bar. They are so incredibly beautiful to watch.
I wore a red tutu in the scene and today for the First day of Christmas, I am giving away my beloved tutu. It's actually a little girl's size 5, but it's so stretchy that it obviously could fit a grown woman. How cool would it be if you won this for a little girl you know? Then, when the video comes out, you can tell her that her tutu is the one in the video?
Feel free to share this with your friends, but all you really have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas tradition. Come back again tomorrow for another surprise! Happy Holidays!
The filming for the Whole Wide World music video continues . . . Last Friday I spent the day in St. George running through clouds of colored smoke (technically it was pulverized non-toxic sidewalk chalk).
You see that air compressor on the ground? It's connected to a custom hose and metal funnel concocted by Clark, my special effects guy. Pretty awesome.
Here, I await a blast to the face.
Julian tested it out with the pink chalk dust just to make sure it was working, and well, he got hosed. We both laughed later about how we had to stop and run some errands on the way home and all the perplexed looks we got.
Come back soon to see pictures of a me attempting ballet in Converse and a race with some very amazing ladies.
I've been somewhat absent from the Blogosphere this last week due to the filming of the music video for Whole Wide World. Folks, I'm really excited about this video. I hope it inspires you to try something new. I hope it makes you feel empowered to do the extraordinary things that you were born to do. Last Thursday we spent the whole day at Little Sahara filming dirt biking scenes. It was SO. MUCH. FUN.
Is this me? Or a stunt double? You'll never know . . . Ok, you might when you see the enormous jumps in the video.
Camera operator Derek (left) and director, Julian Acosta(right) survey the land for a good spot.
This picture sort of cracks me up. Julian gets a ride to survey the land more extensively.
Producer, Jared Harris, stands by and looks artsy fartsy. But seriously, Jared's job is to make everything more fun.
Now, it's time for me to warm up.
Riding in the sand feels really awesome.
And crashing in it really isn't that bad.
Now I suit up.
The best part of the day was when an Apache helicopter paid us a visit and did all kinds of rad tricks. Then, it actually landed and the pilot hopped out and chatted with us for a while. I had to pinch myself.
It's a good thing the camera was rolling.
Stay tuned for scenes in southern Utah where we create clouds of glittery, colored smoke that explode in my face.
Lately I've been indulging in a few of my favorite things. Behold: Shep Studio. I just really dig Shep and his posse. I also found out on this recent visit that Shep and I are both Pisces. I knew it.
Decades in Salt Lake City is my favorite place to find vintage dresses. It doesn't matter if they don't fit because I take them to Lady Danburry on University Ave. in Provo (below) and she makes it all better.
I'm pretty sweet on colorful snow hats. Right now Forever 21 has some fun ones and they don't cost much. Also, note the cat-eye glasses that I have long adored. I got these ones in Burbank, CA at Junk for Joy on Magnolia St.
Although I did get these ear muffs as a gift for someone else, I HAD to try them on and I think they're a riot. Leg warmers are also hot on my list at the present moment. What are some of your favorite things as of late? Pray tell.
Speaking of my favorite things, silversmith, Canela Limoine of Cinnamon Sticks Jewelry, makes some very sweet designs. I'll be doing a giveaway of one of her pieces in a few weeks. But today at 11:00 a.m. MT, Canela is posting an interview with me and giving away a signed copy of "Anchor" and one of my 100% organic cotton t-shirts. Hop on over to her blog to check it out!