Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas!

i wish everyone a very merry christmas and a wonderful holiday season! wherever you are, whatever holiday you celebrate, i hope you are warm, happy, and with people that you love.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

beef & broccoli

i'm trying to be better about using new recipes. i get kind of lazy and end up rotating the same foods every few weeks. so, last week i saw this recipe from jaden's steamy kitchen (and her new cookbook!) on the pioneer woman's food blog and decided to give it a try. i'll pretty much try anything that the pioneer woman says is good. partly because she's usually right and partly because her pictures are so pretty. tah dah! my photos definitely aren't as pretty (have i mentioned yet that there is no such thing as natural light in my apartment?) but it was sooo tasty and easy to make. i was a little skeptical because the kind of beef and broccoli you get at your local sketchy chinese takeout place (the sketchier ones always taste better) is usually drowning in oily delicious gravy/sauce. i thought this would turn out dry and a little bland but i was completely wrong. everything is lightly coated in an incredibly flavorful sauce and since you don't have all that oily gravy/sauce, it feels much lighter and healthier. try it! and don't forget to chew while you're inhaling it :)

Monday, December 21, 2009


the toki cafe will be on vacation starting december 24-mid-january. the shop will be in vacation mode but feel free to convo me as i will be keeping tabs on my esty during this time. thank you and have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

a creative mint

i have a thing for colors. you might be able to trace it back my almost unhealthy obsession and love of this sesame street video. so when i discovered color me pretty over at decor8... it was love at first sight. color me pretty is a guest column written by leslie from a creative mint. leslie is amazing in every way possible. truly. her photos just make me so happy and each one packs in a ton of inspiration. i'll stop babbling and let her photos work their magic.
photos from a creative mint's flickr
photo from decor8
click on any of the photos to go to their source to see them in all their full sized glory. then spend the rest of your day swimming gleefully through a creative mint's flickr gallery and blog. laaaa!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i'm a rock star!

miss bee asked me for some rock band magnets for her brother and of course i said yes :) and then i looked at my rock band instruments and cried because i had no idea how i was going to get all those details in with acrylic felt. acrylic felt is great because it's sturdy and affordable (i dream of wool felt in my sleep) but when cut into teeny pieces, it tends to fall to bits and all your left with is a tiny pile of 1mm threads. it's just the nature of acrylic felt or any sort of fabric really . so for these magnets, i had to skip the sewing and use a bit more glue than i usually do. and mod podge... oh mod podge you totally saved the day. now, some rock band cuteness! i hope miss bee's brother likes them and doesn't think that they're too "cute" for his manly fridge!

Monday, December 14, 2009

i dream of pretty baker's twine

i'm seeing this everywhere in places like oh happy day and twig & thistle. good ol traditional baker's twine in blue and red make me dance around but when they come in candy colors...

well that just knocks my socks off :) i'm going to go write a love letter to whisker graphics.

Friday, December 11, 2009

i won?!

i won a contest! the lovely susan from whatsoever things are beautiful hosted a giveaway featuring super girly pretty linens from anna-maria horner.

family gift set - sea salt
photo from anna maria

i started following susan's blog a few months back. it was one of those days where i click link to link to link until i'm completely lost and i'm not sure how i got to where i was. anywho. she just sounded so darn nice that i added her to my blogroll and my blogspot stalker list (what's the official name for the thing that shows up on your dashboard?) and guess what... she really truly is nice and sweet! she even gave a shout out to the toki cafe on her blog. now, i enter a good number of blog contests because they're fun and who doesn't love to win pretty things? but generally, i don't win (pioneer woman, someday... i will win one of your kitchen aid mixers. i don't have space for it but if i do win, i will make space even if it means i have to store my pots and pans in my nightstand) so when i saw that i won this one, i choked on my salad, banged both knees in to my table, then laughed outloud, clapped my hands, and bounced in my seat. totally made my week. i won't tell you exactly which items i chose. you'll just have to wait! while you're waiting, why not say hello to susan at whatsoever things are beautiful? :) thank you again susan!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

save on shipping!

one more week to get your christmas orders in! as a holiday treat, i'm offering $2 shipping on all amis shipped within the US and international shipping is only $4. secondary shipping will be $1 for US orders and $2 for everywhere else. to get the deal, your order must be placed and paid for by wednesday, december 16th 11:59pm EST so hop to it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

holiday shipping

i'm terrified that christmas is right around the corner. life is moving way to fast for me! you know what else terrifies me? holiday shipping. i hate the thought of packages not making it to happy gift receiving (and giving!) hands on time. there are several packages in my life that i have stalked praying that it will get to me in time (my sister's aisle runner for her wedding, my laptop, my harry potter tie for the premier, etc.) so here is a little guide to holiday shipping times courtesy of the united states postal office! mail-by dates: dec 4. military mail destined for iraq or afghanistan dec 16. parcel post (the normal shipping option for the toki cafe) dec 21. first class & priority dec 23. express mail i can always ship orders priority or express if needed. just contact me ahead of time so that i can calculate the shipping. i generally ship orders within two business days of purchase but i try my best for one day during the holidays. and your best bet is to play it safe and ship everything as soon as possible. you don't want to spend the week leading up to christmas stalking your mail man! if your order is being send as a gift directly to the recipient, i won't include a packing slip and i can put in a personalized note. just include a "message to seller" when you're checking out. happy shopping!
a little holiday handcarved stamp action :) the holly not the "thanks"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

rabbit rabbit rabbit and rosettes

i can't believe that december is here already! thanksgiving was a blur. it was an epic weekend filled with birthdays, wandering around new york, 5.10.15, atlantic city, lots of food, visiting friends, and very little sleep. there's so much that i'm thankful for from the health of my friends and fam to delicious fruit to thanksgiving, a holiday that bring everyone together and helps remind me how blessed i am. i hope you all had wonderful thanksgivings too :) in all the madness of thanksgiving, i haven't kept up with my fav blogs in days and i've just spent two hours blissfully clicking away. i suppose i should start my day soon... but before that, i wanted to share a recent fascination. paper rosettes! i've been seeing them around wedding design blogs and i think they're perfection. martha stewart featured a wedding here with some written instructions once wed featured this incredible wedding where the bride and her mother handmade everything including all the paper rosettes! i usually prefer softer colors but i'm really loving the bright and bold used here.
photography by kate murphy photo found via once wed
after poking around a bit, i decided to use the tutorial featured on style me pretty.
photography by jackie wonders found via style me pretty
the instructions are super easy to follow. i only made a couple of adjustments here and there for my rosettes. i thought it'd be fun to use vintage sheet music and security envelopes! i used glue dots to secure the ends together which held excellently... but were a little on the chubby side so if you look reeeeal closely, you can see the dot. maybe i should stick to tape (get it? stick to tape? hah! sorry.) i used a hot glue gun to put a large bead of glue on the center of the backside of the rosette to help keep the rosette in shape after smushing it down. the smushing part is the most fun and oh so satisfying. glue made things much easier and a lot more secure. hot glue came in handy when adding the button too. i'd like to take a moment to express how much i love hot glue guns. thank you hot glue guns. finished rosettes on my bookshelf! the security envelope was the perfect thickness for this project. the vintage sheet music turned out so pretty but was nerve wrecking to work with. it was very crumbly and tore when creased too sharply. if i use this paper again, i'll have to make it with more creases. if you're looking to make rosettes with less creases (thus showing off more of the paper design) try using the tutorial from the paper source. they look pretty on gifts too!