August 16, 2012

cafe boa ... ... [eats]

398 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, Arizona 85281

some friends recruited me to capture a few of their favorite eats in town.  and of course, in order to really represent each location i had to try them out for myself... i fully suggest you do to! 

we felt like visitors in our own backyard & we had the quiet, lush & green patio all to ourselves. (it was a weeknight.)
natural & organic food.  light with intense flavor.  we indulged on a glass of chardonay, the house flat bread, sustainable muscles, and fries - so crispy and thin with amazing seasoning.  no need to order lemon with your water @ cafe boa, they serve up cucumber h20 and it was crazy refreshing.
on the left, my joe (not available on the menu). i love him so.  on the right, our joe.  a scoop of vanilla bean gelato served with a shot of espresso for you to pour over the top.  i'll be going back just for one of these... no doubt.

August 15, 2012

bliss banners ... ... [throwing J O Y ] giveaway

where are my fellow joy hunters?  bueller? bueller?  are ya'all out there? have you been steppin' in it, sprinkled with it, drenched by it?  i'm learning that it truly is all around me.  the gift is in recognizing how HE is weaving it throughout my day and then giving thanks for it.  up for grabs is a handmade burlap banner of joy.  it will help those of us who are joy hunters in training.

when i gave in to the crazy ideas in my head, or, nudges from God (tomato - tomAHto)  regarding this [throwing J O Y] semi-regular giveaway, i knew that one thing i wanted to do was to share bits of joy that have landed in my world.  books, music, art/home d├ęcor, organizational tools, healthy indulgences, wardrobe accessories and beyond.  If it has brought joy to my routine & ordinary than it will most certainly be thrown out to ya’all at some point.  there is so much more than some thing bringing me joy.  ultimately HE is at work orchestrating around me and using others to encourage me.  there is a woman, an artist, an inspiration. she is opening her heart and allowing Him to use her. i want you to know meet these 'tools of his trade'.

so without further a due allow me to introduce you to my friend nicole of bliss banners.  seems quite fitting that she be the first of a handful of uh-mazingly talented friends i will attempt to feature…because if my memory serves me correctly (and i am the first to admit, right after my husband - ehem, that it doesn’t always.)  i think i was her first customer? 

the & joy behind it all

me: who taught you to sew?
nicole: "my mom taught me to sew. she still has one of the first things i made, a green scrap of fabric with a red heart sewn on it. i now have one from my 6 year old daughter."

me:  what is/was your favorite childhood toy?
nicole: "barbies!!! me and my friend kelly would spend forever setting them up but i don't think we ever actually played with was all about the staging!!"

me:  where do you find inspiration?
nicole:  "fabric.  i am obsessed with prints and colors and my living room proves it.  i buy it with no idea what i am going to use it for...but i always do!!!  digging around some of the fabric stores by my house is always fun for me.  i have super talented friends with very different styles.  when i am shopping or making a banner i literally ask myself if it would fit in either: a.  my mom's house  b. mary's house  c. emily's house or d. my house - because i want to keep a lot of them for myself.  but this way i know i am covered."

me:  when did you last do something daring? what was it?
nicole:  "i don't do daring things.  i used to dye my hair a lot of different colors and buy a new shade of colored eyeshadow pretty much 'sometimes' i drink caffeine after 3pm!!!"

me:  how do you drink your coffee?
nicole:  "with half and half and a little sugar or vanilla syrup in the morning and iced mocha the rest of the day!!!! if i have a lot to do, i switch to iced geen tea."

me:  will you please share about a time when you found joy in this where or when you didn't expect it.
nicole:  "if joy is a fruit of the spirit then when i am walking with HIM, i have it.  i can't find it when i am focused on me.  there are many times that i have literally prayed about a banner.  when it is for someone's first baby's nursery or their wedding, i tend to feel pressure to please them.  i have to remember to seek God in all i do.  it's not like rubbing a magic lamp and getting the perfect answer but it is refocusing on The Lord.  so when i have that joy in my heart i can cheerfully serve and accommodate others.  when it is about me, my attitude can get ugly and bitter about the task. i can have great joy in serving someone, even if it is through a banner order, knowing that my heart was set on Jesus when i did it.

nicole:  "to all the fans of pixbyemily... email me at or find me at and use the code joy4u to receive 20% off any order through saturday august 18th."
me:  see, i told ya she is an uh-mazing woman!

giveaway details.
included in the giveaway is:
- one handmade bliss banner burlap & yellow "joy" banner. (pictured above)
-i will cover shipping for those of you that are not local.

to enter.
leave a comment sharing some JOY you found today = 1 entry 
leave a comment with a word you would want a banner to say = 1 entry
follow my blog /comment letting me know you are = 1 entry

giveway is open until saturday 8/18/12 @ 1pm (az time)
i'll pick a winner randomly and announce it before 4pm that day.

the winner is Kaydee! looks like you & your daughter gained some joy this week!
note:  please check back to see if you won or be sure that your email is part of your public profile so that i can contact you.