Clockwise from top left: Cane Basket, FlyKly SmartWheel, Bali Bicycle Vacation, Copper Bike Bell, Vintage Bike and Open Door Office, Picnic Rug and Straps, Can Cage, Bicycle Bag for Traveling, Kerri Russell looking fly, FlyKly Light, FlyKly Phone Charger/Light Combo
This summer, my MIL gifted me her light blue Schwinn Suburban. It was given to her by my FIL in 1974 (when she was 19). Finally having a partner in crime, my husband got his bike down out of the rafters and we cleaned/oiled the chains and filled the tires. We took every opportunity to get out and ride (him more often than me due to my waitressing gig) . These are what I've decided are my favorite things about bike riding (and what we're missing most on this -4 degree day):
Now that we're certain it wasn't just a fling, we are talking about getting our bikes tuned up this spring and maybe updating the tires and seats. And, have you SEEN the bike accessories that exist out there now? Check out the FlyKly Wheel and Invisible Bike Helmet, seen below. Both debuted this year to rave reviews (including safety ratings) and I think there is a serious bike revolution coming our way. I know I am all in! Rediscovering a passion for bike riding (especially together) is something I'm most grateful for in 2013 and I hope 2014 brings even more opportunities.
The moodboard seen above was my final project for a Skillshare class I took called Introduction to Photoshop: Fundamentals for Beginners. I am comfortable in Illustrator, but Photoshop had been feeling absolutely foreign to me. It functions very differently from other Adobe products for some reason. We didn't get into real advanced photo editing concepts, but I was able to nail the basic concepts that I'd been lacking, like setting up a workspace, working with layers, working with color, and more. The class is insanely reasonable at $29, but if you use my link below, you get it for $19 and I get $10 towards another class to boot! Win, win, I say. If you do sign up, let me know so I can check out your project.
On Friday, Jonesy and I took advantage of my night off and went on a little date night. We went to the new kitchen and bar downtown Davenport called Me & Billy. It's got a beautiful, vintage, carved-wood bar that I heard was purchased out of state (at an auction perhaps). It has a nice open floor plan, pallet tables, and lots of awesome white subway tile.
They had a decent beer list, but I was intrigued with the cocktails. I really liked my first one, the Beast of Bourbon (a bourbon sangria). The second one I got was the Cody Orchard (rye whiskey and apple cider with a maple simple syrup). It was creative, but just too sweet for me. To eat I had the Iceberg, a classic wedge salad with spiced walnuts as a little twist. I have been craving salads for dinner almost every night. And not the healthy kind. The kind that are covered in either caesar or blue cheese dressing, and this one fit right in. Jonesy had a chicken sandwich that I think he would call good-but-not-great. Overall, I would give the place a B+. I think we'll be back.
After dinner, we stopped at Against the Grain. Great beers on tap, as always. And then went home to watch a movie. Which we NEVER do. 1 down and about 100 to go on our DVR. We watched Life of Pi, which was a little different than either of us had expected, but visually it was pretty awesome.
Saturday I went to Handmade City 7. HMC is an indie arts and crafts event, emphasis on the arts, and if you haven't been to one yet, you should get over to their website or check out their Facebook page so that you don't miss the next one. The first time I went it was held at Rozz Tox, but the last couple I've gone to have been in the Davenport Sky Bridge, which is a fun twist (and possibly the only reason to go to the Sky Bridge if you actually live in the Quad Cities).
I love their December HMC event because I always find some Christmas gifts that meet my local/handmade/thoughtful criteria. This time that included one of these rings from Lil Squeeks, and a little roll-up crayon tote from Totes and Toggles.
Of course, I bought a couple of things for myself, too. Cherry Caramels from Oh My Ganache (I got their Chili Caramels last time, both were amazing!) And I also got this little snack bag from Bent River Bobbins. Maybe it will inspire me keep healthy snacks on me?
Sunday was a football marathon. Then, my weekend basically extended right into Monday night with our friends Bret and Kate hosting a House Concert with The Ballroom Thieves. It was fucking awesome. That's really all I can I say!
Business-wise, I've been doing some reflecting and planning for 2014. Can't wait to share it with you!
I think it surprises people that I love decorating for Christmas. But, it's not really a carols-and-hot-chocolate, 'I just love Christmas' kind of thing. It's more like 'I get to bring a live tree and ambient lights into the living room?!' kind of thing. It really indulges my wildest interior design fantasies. Of course I love it.
Last year the holidays snuck up on me. In fact, so much that Jonesy and I didn't get a Christmas tree and just kind of scrambled last minute to get gifts. Which is perfectly fine. We weren't feelin' it, and it's not like us to force ourselves into anything. But, it's December 4th and already we have a tree, decor, and a few gifts. So, clearly, we are into it this year.
This week we took an impromptu trip out to Weber's Christmas Forest. For my QC friends, I have to say I highly recommend it. While some of the closer tree farms struggle to get enough trees that are decent size and color, this place has 50 acres of amazing trees. I think we set the record for length of time/distance covered there. We both love being near trees, and were appreciating the exercise and fresh air. But, if staying in the car as long as possible is more your thing (due to kids, cold, etc), this place has roads throughout most it, and you are actually encouraged to drive it.
Yes, he is pruning that tree. Can we say 'horticulturalist'? This is where I'm pretty useless, so I just snap pictures.
As we were leaving, they gave us this Kling card that you dissolve in the water to release some preservatives. I wish I would have snapped a picture before we threw it in because the back had some really warm and fuzzy facts about getting Christmas trees from a farm. Something about how they housed wildlife and provided clean air and water while they grew. It also encouraged us to recycle the tree, which I will have to look into.
If you're still debating, let me tell you that the $18 and slight mess and work are absolutely worth the experience and the visual effect in my opinion. This is also another way we buck big business and landfill waste during the holidays!
In case you missed it, the Studio No. 2 Giveaway is still going on here.
Hello, there! My name is Nikki Jones and this is a place for me to write about my travels, my urban homesteading adventures, and whatever else my little heart desires at a given moment. Like many personal-blog bloggers, there are times I write daily and long streteches I'm not inspired to write at all. And that's ok! At any rate, I'm glad you're here.