Gift Giving with UncommonGoods

The beginning of the year always seems to start off slowly and then before I know it, there's little league, swimming, summer camps, and birthday parties galore. I'll admit it--I'm a last minute gift giver and I'm always scrambling. Today, I've partnered with UncommonGoods to show you my gift picks for Nick's birthday, my girls trip, and my favorite gifts for Home Decor here above).

1 / Blah Blah Throw  2 / Minimalist Teak Wall Shelf  3 / Out the Door Wall Mounted Key Holder  4 / Handwoven Guatemalan Zig Zag Wool Rug  5 / Come In, Go Away Doormat

First off, not only does UncommonGoods have something for everyone, they are always working toward making their company more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and a rewarding place to work. UncommonGoods focuses on handmade, recycled and organic products, give their employees benefits and living wages, and is a founding member of B Corporation, an organization created to help customers understand the social and environmental impact of their purchases. I'm in total support of companies like this.   

One gift I need to get this year is for Nick who will be turning 40 this year! There are so many unique Gifts For Men at UncommonGoods, it was really hard to choose. If you know Nick though, you know he loves beer, the outdoors, camping and music.

1 / West Coast Style IPA Brewing Kit  2 / Personalized Mixtape Doormat  3 / Adventure Blanket  4 / Portable Camp Grill and Charger

Every year my girlfriends and I go on a big trip and we do a take on Oprah's favorite things. I need to get 10 gifts each under $10. UncommonGoods has a sweet Bridesmaid Section -- I love that I can buy one thing and split them up for my girlfriends.

1/ Wine Soap, Set of 4  2 / Sweet Treat Hand Cream Set  3 / Chakra Bath Salts Set  4 / 7 Chakras Handmade Soap Set

+ This post was sponsored by UncommonGoods, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Favorites: New Tea Collection / Australia

The latest Tea Collection line celebrates the adventurous spirit of Australia. Remember Lucas and Theo rocking the collections inspired by Japan, Italy and India? I've always wanted to travel to Australia--it was one of the top picks for our honeymoon. I love all the inspiration from the animals, the surf, the sun and the incredible natural beauty of Australia.

To kick off the Australia inspired collection, I took Lucas on a day date to San Francisco--I've heard Sydney is very similar--where we started the day at Tartine Manufactory, then headed to Ocean Beach and Land's End, and ending our date with an amazing lunch at Outerlands.

Lucas and Theo really love all the graphic t-shirts, and cozy playwear pants and shorts. The items shown in this post include the Pacific Surf Graphic Tee (you can see Lucas modeling it on the site!), Ishigaki Swim Trunks, Shima Rash Guard, and the Side Stripe Shorts. I just placed another order of the new arrivals and can't wait for them to put them on so I can snap some pics.

+ This post is in partnership with Tea Collection and contains affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own.

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Recipe: Gluten Free Buckwheat Brownies

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. Oops! I thought I would have a lot more time after quitting my day job to post more regularly but I have been keeping busy with kid stuff and freelance work...oh, and getting a bit politically active.  Honestly, what did I do when I had my other job?

Anyway, I'm back (mostly) with this awesome recipe for Gluten Free Buckwheat Brownies from the Alternative Baker book by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. The original recipe calls for Chestnut Flour but says a good alternative (to the alternative flour) is buckwheat flour which is what I had on hand. These brownies were dark and fudgey with that familiar crinkly top. So good! I ended up slicing them up into narrow rectangles to feed Lucas' soccer team (one of the kids on the team is gf) so I could have some too. ;) Enjoy!

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Best of 2016

So this year's 2016 Best Nine on Instagram consisted of a mix of family, our home, me, food, and a of course Lucas and Theo. For this year's holiday card (family photos by Sarah Hebenstreit) I decided to highlight our best six.

This year was a crazy mix of highs and lows, sideways and zig zags, especially toward the end of the year with the insane political climate and sudden celebrity deaths. I'm so grateful for all the love and support this year from family and friends. Happy new year!

1. Lucas turned 6 and had a magic themed party.

2. Theo turned 4 and had a "waffle" themed party.

3. Lisa and Nick celebrated their 11th anniversary (photo by Sarah Hebenstreit).

4. Lucas started first grade and LOVES it.

5. Theo is in his last year of preschool and wants to stay.

6. Lisa quit her day job after nearly 20 years.

Yep, so this one was probably the biggest thing that happened for our family this year. Many people didn't realize I had another job aside from Good on Paper. I was a senior designer for a large engineering/environmental/architecture firm in Oakland. And many people at that job had no idea I had my own company. The decision to leave was not easy, but it was the right move for me. Earlier this year, I got shingles and it was bad. LIke, really bad. My body was telling me I was spreading myself too thin with two jobs, two kids, a house, a husband and all the crazy schedules and things to think about in between.

In late October, I was asked by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge (one of the most inspiring, influential women I know) to speak on a panel on her book tour for In the Company of Women. I was incredibly honored yet scared shitless to talk in front of so many people all wanting to know about my life and business. The whole night was a huge success--so much so that I was inspired by my own words and took to the big leap to go freelance full time and spend more time with my family. So far so good and I'm feeling way less stressed out about having to rush to work and leave work on time to pick up the kids, etc. It's a huge adjustment but things will fall into place soon enough. Feeling grateful for the most awesome boss and co-workers/friends.

Despite all the bad that happened this year, so many good things also happened:
A trip to Yosemite with friends
Lucas survived summer camp and getting dirty at Trackers
Lucas loved playing soccer on a team with all his friends
Theo started swim lessons
One of Lisa's photos was selected to be in the Tiny Atlas Quarterly Solas Photo Show
Lucas and Theo modeled kids clothing for brands like Tea Collection, Ziraffe and Keen Kids
Nick played an awesome CD release show with Your Song My Song
Lisa went to LA for an awesome baby shower
Lucas was a ring bearer for my cousin's wedding
Went to another amazing wedding for Eric and Jaime
Lucas lost his first tooth!
Lisa hosted an awesome East Bay Holiday Pop Up (maybe I'll do a spring one too?)
Took the kids to their first peaceful protest at Hands Around Lake Merritt
Helped with a logo design for Women Watching Washington

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Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2016

I can't believe it's the end of the year! I managed to stay on top of our holiday photos this year, booking our super talented friend Sarah of Modern Kids to shoot our family's photos--she's been taking our photos since Lucas was a year old (remember last year's shoot and the year before that?). I'm always so amazed at the final photos. My boys are so crazy--I mean, this year Sarah was lucky enough to see Lucas' frank AND beans! OMG!

I bribed the boys with donuts and the promise of more treats and a movie after the shoot. Still, the frank and beans came out. Ha!

We went to Codornices Park in Berkeley for the second half of our shoot. I also decided to an outfit change would be fun. Ha! SO unlike me, but this only happens once a year. We set up a picnic under this amazing tree.

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Favorites: Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet

The holidays are always one of my favorite times of the year, but also the most hectic. Between holiday parties, potlucks, school Winter Faires, shopping for gifts, volunteering, not to mention the advent calendar I make every year that I didn't make this year (oops), we all need a little downtime. For us, that means Lucas and Theo get to watch a movie and I get some quiet time to prepare for the holidays.

Today I've partnered with Amazon to introduce the latest Fire Kids Edition Tablet (aka my best friend and secret weapon). We currently have an older version, but this new Fire Kids Edition Tablet is amazing—it includes the latest Fire Tablet with a durable, kid-friendly case available in pink, blue or green, and a two-year worry-free guarantee. If anything happens to the Fire Kids Edition Tablet, just send it back and Amazon will replace it for free—no questions asked. And you KNOW my boys will be dropping this all over the place. It also includes a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited at no additional cost. I use Amazon FreeTime's innovative controls to manage their screen time—sometimes that means setting a goal for Lucas of reading for 30 minutes before accessing his favorite movie.

I love that the Fire Kids Edition Tablet is ready to use right out of the box, making it an awesome gift or tool to keep the kids occupied during holiday traveling. And as much as I didn't think my kids would have screen time (you know, that stuff you think and say before you actually have kids), it's been a life saver for us. I feel good knowing we can manage their screen time using the parental controls and the kids know their limits. Win Win! We will be heading to Santa Rosa to Nana and Granddad's house for the holidays and the Fire Kids Edition Tablet will be perfect for the car ride. Happy holidays!

+ This post was sponsored by Amazon, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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East Bay Holiday Pop Up

I'm so excited to announce I'll be hosting an East Bay Holiday POP UP on Saturday, Dec. 17th from 10am-1pm at my home in Berkeley. Join us for an afternoon of holiday shopping, good cheer, savory and sweet bites, and delicious coffee. Get something for yourself or get some last minute gifts--some vendors will be offering holiday discounts.

APLAT
Reusable bags designed to carry food, wine and garden
aplatsf.com

AYLA GROOM
Handcrafted jewelry, bags and stationery
etsy.com/people/aylaisadora

BITTE
Sustainable classics for modern kids
bitteshop.com

GINGER CAFTAN
Caftans and dresses made in CA
gingercaftan.com

GOOD ON PAPER
Eco-friendly stationery made in CA
goodonpaperdesign.com

JENNY PENNYWOOD
Hand printed textiles ethically made in CA
jennypennywood.com

MISS JONES BAKING CO.
Organic, non-GMO baking mixes + frostings
missjones.co

ZIRAFFE
Minimalist, chic and fun kids clothing
ziraffe.com

There will be savory bites made by Chase Agee of Pain Bakery, sweet treats by Miss Jones Baking Co., florals by Claremont Floral Co., and coffee by Bartavelle Cafe.

Please spread the word and hope to see many of you there!
#eastbayholidaypopup
 

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Studio Tea Holiday Bazaar: December 11th

I'm so excited to be a part of Studio Tea's first Holiday Bazaar on December 10th/11th (I'll be there on the 11th). I'll be there alongside some amazing artists and designers selling our 2017 Calendars as well as taking orders for customizable holiday cards--I'll be offering 15% off at the sale. I'll also bring along some stationery for sale at crazy discounted prices. Hope to see you there! Shop small and support small, local businesses! :)

+ More details on Tea Collection's Facebook page
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2017 Calendar and Holiday Cards Now Available in the Shop

I'm so excited to announce that my 2017 Calendar and Holiday Cards are now available in the Shop! This special limited edition calendar is my third collaboration with Jennifer Young Studio (photography).  Inspired by Jennifer’s travels across the U.S., moving from California to New York, and our love of clean, simple design, this calendar is available in an edition of 100 copies. Each calendar is hand numbered on the front cover.

Special bonus: The first 25 calendars purchased will come with a limited edition set of 5 postcards featuring our favorite images from all the calendars.

Get an exclusive set of 5 postcards for the first 25 Calendar purchases!

+ Photos 2-7, 10 and 12 by Jennifer Young
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Recipe: Easy Butternut Squash Soup + Clover Giveaway

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year and for the past seven years (since I was pregnant with Lucas) I have hosted it at my house. Today, I've partnered with local family farm Clover to bring you this Easy Butternut Squash Soup recipe that has been on my holiday menu every year. When it comes to dairy, I always buy organic--local is even better, and Clover is in the north coast (where Nick is from!).

Clover is also giving away $100 in Clover Cash. Details below after the recipe.

Clover giveaway details:

  • Follow me on Instagram and share your favorite holiday meals with hashtag #CloverCooks for a chance to win $100 in coupons for Clover dairy products
  • This giveaway is only open to people who live in California.
  • Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, November 14th. Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is @jessamynit.

+ Full recipe for Easy Butternut Squash Soup
+ Make these DIY Dessert Toppers for Thanksgiving!
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Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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