Calligraphy Workshops with Bedsidesign

Bedsidesign Calligraphy Workshops in New England! | Frock Files

A year ago, I shot these photos for my friend Christie, who was just launching her calligraphy business. She had quit her full-time job to jump into entrepreneurship feet first, and since then her business has blossomed.

I’m so thrilled that she’ll be coming to the Greater Boston area to teach a calligraphy workshop at Mill No. 5, which is one of the coolest spaces ever. The three-hour workshop includes instruction, your very own calligraphy kit, a swag bag, and local delicacies. I’ve been wanting to learn calligraphy for years and years, and I’m beyond excited that I’ll get to learn it from Christie.

If you live in New England, I hope you’ll join us for an afternoon/evening of learning, style, and fun. I’ll be at the 12-3pm workshop and I would love to meet you!

P.S. Christie is also teaching classes in Philadelphia and Syracuse this fall!

 

 

 

Ice Box Cupcakes: Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcakes

Ice Box Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcakes | Frock Files

Whew, that’s a mouthful! (Literally!)

As most of you know, I love cake, and since today is my birthday I’m digging in with some of my favorite flavors: chocolate, strawberry, and Nutella. It’s been cool here, but I still don’t really want to turn on my oven, so these no-bake ice box cupcakes fit the bill. These bad boys are about as easy as they come.

Ingredients:

Oreos or similar sandwich cookie (These are the 365 brand from Whole Foods)
Whipped cream
Nutella
Strawberries, sliced

Ice Box Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcakes | Frock Files

Instructions:

1. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Separate an Oreo, laying one half in the bottom of the cupcake liner and putting a generous dallop of Nutella on the other. Set aside.

2. Put a tablespoon of whipped cream on the bottom cookie, then layer with sliced strawberries. Place Nutella’d cookie on top.

3. Plop another 1-2 tablespoons of whipped cream over the top cookie. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

While the cupcakes are in the refrigerator, the cream will soften the cookies to give them a cake-y consistency. Top with strawberries when you’re ready to serve!

Ice Box Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcakes | Frock Files

P.S. Love ice box cakes? Try these cute Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes!

DIY Typographic Mouse Pad

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

It’s such an honor to be participating in this back-to-school DIY series with some of my favorite bloggers! Since kids are doing so much work on computers these days, I opted for a tech-friendly DIY with a customizable mouse pad.

When James saw the plain white mouse pad sitting on our kitchen table, his reaction was, “Woah, old school!” But even though I use a cordless mouse that works on any surface, I’ve found that my desk (both at work and at home) are getting terribly scratched up. After lots of searching without finding one that felt quite right, I finally decided that the only option was to make one of my own.

You’ll Need:
  • 1 Single Blank White Mouse Pad (for some reason this listing has a heart shaped, patterned mouse pad where the white one should appear. I took a leap of faith and ordered anyway. Lo and behold, a white one showed up.)
  • 1 sheet heat transfer paper
  • Iron
  • Computer/Printer
Instructions

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

1. Create a design of your own or use the one that I’ve created here. In a design program, flip the image so that it’s the mirror image of what you want to appear on your mouse pad. Print it out on the heat transfer paper.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

2. Lay your design on your mouse pad to ensure that it ends up where you want it.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

3. Pre-heat your iron on high (no steam) for five minutes. Lay your mouse pad face up on a table or ironing board. Put your design face down on the mouse pad. (Some heat transfer sheets require you to lay a pillow case over the mouse pad/design.) Apply pressure as you move the iron slowly over the transfer sheet/pillow case. Use the instructions that came with the heat transfer paper for guidance on timing.

DIY Custom Mouse Pad | Frock Files

4. Allow everything to cool for at least 10 minutes. Trim the edges of the transfer paper. Slowly peel the backing off.

Your mouse pad is ready to use! I’m pretty sure I can already hear my desk thanking me for ending the mouse-scratching abuse.

Don’t miss all the other awesome back-to-school DIY posts this week, including MJ’s reusable lunchbox note board, which also goes live today! Here’s a complete listing for you:

Tan of Squirrelly Minds – Printable math game
Rachel of The Crafted Life – Color blocked pencils
Lidy of Hello Lidy – DIY sequin planter
Sara of Confetti Sunshine – Printable back-to-school poster
Lyndsay of Coco Cake LandApple pie donuts + apple toppers
MJ of Pars Caeli – DIY reusable lunchbox note board

Back to School Series

P.S. A special hello to Mrs. Oshiro, my second grade teacher, who I just learned is a Frock Files reader! Mrs. Oshiro, you taught me so much about kindness and creativity, and I am so thankful that you helped to shape my life.

Life Update: Better and Better!

Back when I lived in Portland, one of my favorite kids used to say that she was getting “biy-tter and biy-tter” (better and better), and that’s what echoes in my mind each day! The Doxycycline used to treat Lyme knocked me out for a few days, and while I’m not back to normal yet, I’m definitely functional.

Better and Better | Frock Files

For privacy reasons, I won’t divulge too much about what’s going on with my father-in-law. That said, it turns out that we’ve been right about one thing all along–he’s truly one in a million. In fact, that’s the likelihood of getting the virus that he’s been diagnosed with. We’re so lucky to live in Massachusetts with such world class facilities and doctors. It’s a long road ahead for him, but he’s a fighter.

What got me through last week–which involved many days in the hospital, lots of time in bed, and even a car accident–was filling up on beauty. I finished The Opposite of Loneliness, listened to a lot of music, and caught up on my favorite blogs. I missed my dance classes but I got to watch this absolutely gorgeous number, which made my heart swell the way dance always does. It is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I thought you might like it too.

Thank you, as always, for your kind thoughts and friendship.

Life Update: Unwell

Frock Files | Unwell

It never occurred to me until this past couple of weeks that I’ve never been that sick. Oh sure, I’ve had a couple of nasty bouts of the flu and my share of run ins with colds, but never anything that wouldn’t go away with time, sleep, and Nora Ephron movies.

But a couple of weeks ago, I was exhausted as I drove into work and as soon as I sat down at my desk this overwhelming malaise washed over me. I eventually started having flu-like muscle aches and I braced myself for a virus. It never came. Instead, the aches traveled to my joints. And the fatigue. I wake up and feel immediately like going back to sleep.

These symptoms are scary in their nebulousness. I did the exact thing you’re not supposed to do–Googled my symptoms. Everything from chronic fatigue to MS to bacterial meningitis came up. Meanwhile, at 10 days in, I wasn’t feeling any better.

Frock Files | Unwell

Those of you who are connected with me on Instagram know that I went to urgent care last Friday. Let’s just say that it was a disaster. So yesterday, I went to my new GP for the very first time and she decided to run blood tests for a whole host of things (B12 deficiency, D deficiency, thyroid disease…the list goes on). But she also put me on Doxycycline, the antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease, while we await the results. It makes me so, so sick.

Am I too old to say that I want my parents? Whenever I get sick, I wish I could be magically transported straight to my childhood bedroom for a steady stream of my mom’s cooking, freshly picked papaya, creme crackers, guava juice, and parental reassurance. All of this is happening as James’ dad has been in the hospital, so I’m enduring this mostly on my own. Kona, while a good napping partner, hasn’t yet been trained to fetch bowls of soup.

And yet. After my bouts of inward tantrums (“I’m so tired of being tired!”), what lies beneath is this realization that I understand something more deeply. (For being raised in a Buddhist family, I had quite a Christian upbringing, and this quote has always stuck with me:)

strong

This is my mantra as I wait for these test results. This is my will for James’ dad as we try to figure out what’s wrong with him. Strength, it seems, can surface in the unlikeliest of times.

—–

Image beneath quotation via Stocksy

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