Posts tagged Frock Files
Frock Files: 12 Bloggers of Christmas

Four swans a swimming! On the fourth day of Blogger Christmas, we move to Frock Files and visit with the creator of the masterful photography and recipes, Joy. During this annual tradition on Pars Caeli, I'll be celebrating twelve incredible bloggers and sharing some of their beautiful projects. I know you'll enjoy their stories and their favorite Christmas traditions. And-this year-we're spreading the love around in big heaps by throwing out some love to more of our favorite makers and writers! Keep coming back every day to see if (you or) your favorites are mentioned!

Joy and I have collaborated on quite a few fun series like Turn It and Pennies for Love. I've been so blessed by her support, creative sensibility, and advice.


On New Year's Day, my family gathers together first thing in the morning to celebrate with a traditional meal of mochi soup, which consists of gooey mochi rolled in roasted soybean flour called kinako (it tastes like peanut butter!) and dropped into a mild broth. I'm a fan of having all kinds of mochi for New Year's, as evidenced by the very first post I published in 2014.


What's up on your blog/website/brand for the new year? I have something big brewing with Melissa of Lulu the Baker. Suffice it to say that it will involve our favorite city, a lot of love, time, effort, and celebration.


Last New Year's Eve, I posted a roundup of moments from 2013. I love that I'll be able to look back on that post and remember what that year held for us.


Kim of DLK has demonstrated such grace, heart, and strength this year. She's showing me what it means to move forward with determination and that's a lesson I'll carry with me always.

I'd echo that sentiment completely, Joy. Big hugs to Kim! I think I have to make some mochi with the kids over break - look at those photos!

Join me again tomorrow night for a peek into the traditions of another designer who's had a spectacular 2014.

xoxo, MJ

Mini Cooks: Time for breakfast

Breakfast is our all-time favorite around here. We could have pancakes in the morning, cereal and toast for lunch, and dine over a stack of French toast with a side of eggs. Our diets would lack balance but, hey, we'd be happy for quite a while! Breakfast is also such a wonderful meal to invite kids to cook! Think of all the Hollywood portrayals of the red-faced, smiley children, thoughtfully carrying the tray of morning treats for Mom and Dad to enjoy in bed.

Well, that hasn't quite happened around here, but we do make it a practice to cook breakfast together on the weekends. Sundays are the best time to gather around the kitchen island and grab a mixing spoon. We bring the griddle out for small eyes to watch as bubbles appear in the circles of batter. We snack on chocolate chips (one for every year of your life and extras for every person in the family who loves you!) as we take in the rich smells of the bacon crisping and popping.

I think it's important for my children to understand the process of food preparation. The act of stirring to smoothness, ladeling an even portion, waiting and watching are all part of the amazing observation of life, and I find becoming a part of this work has made them more interested in food and independence more generally.

Joy has a fun and easy breakfast meal with eggs (and gorgeous photography) that I can't wait to try with my kids. Guess what's for dinner tonight? More on Egg in a Basket.

And if you're wondering how to make your kitchen a great space for your mini cook, check out last week's ideas on inviting them into the kitchen!

Have you made an egg in the basket before?

xoxo, MJ



Frock Files and Joy: 12 Blogger Christmas

Nine days into the 12 Blogger Christmas, and today I'm giving you one of my very favorites (I mean..they're all my favorites, but...). Joy is so aptly named, and I've been blessed to work on a number of great projects with her. Remember Turn It posts? Or our most recent adventure with Pennies for Love?

In the last year, Joy has made some amazing projects for You Are My Fave as well as opening up her own styling and photography biz, and she is going to take the world by storm in 2014.

I'm lucky to collaborate with her and blessed to call her friend.

I started Frock Files because I wanted a place to be creative and to store creative inspiration within my own parameters. The blog has grown into a much deeper undertaking, in large part because of the friendships I've made with other bloggers along the way. These friends push me to expect more of myself and encourage me just by letting me know they're excited to see what's next.

Frock Files is all about simple ways to create more beauty in your life. I love eating delicious food, dressing up, and making pretty things, and those things are important to me, but in the end it's the experiences in my life -- spending time with great people -- that matter most. So my blog is all about finding easy ways to cook, craft, and get dolled up, so you have more time to do the things you really want to do. My husband and I joke that it's literally a blog about having your cake and eating it too.

Aside from Frock Files, I write about beauty for My Thirty Spot. I also have a photography site called Frock, and I'll be teaching the food styling and photography workshop in a few weeks at Altitude Summit.

Pineapple Coconut Cloud Cake:

A Care Package From Paris:

A Care Package From Paris! from Joy Uyeno on Vimeo.

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:


My big hope is for my blog to continue to grow and evolve in interesting ways, while maintaining a genuine spirit of friendship. I'm working on some ideas for the coming months that involve bringing some of the focus to a local level, highlighting independent businesses here in New England, and elsewhere when we travel. I hope that keeping things fresh for both me and my readers is what will allow the blog to thrive.


This year, I'd really like to improve further on my photography skills and introduce more video content to the blog -- helped along by investing in a new DSLR! I've been drooling over a particular camera for the past few months and I'm hoping to purchase one in the first quarter of this year.

I also want to remember to enjoy my blog. It's so easy to get stuck in what I should be doing, rather than what's fun and interesting. That's a surefire way to begin thinking of blogging as an obligation, when my wish is for it to always be something I do because I love doing it.
It feels so good to celebrate the hard work of truly talented and kind people. Joy and I will be teaming up with the great Sheri Silver in February for a special to your pantry and be sure to tune in!

On the ninth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Frock Files.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Improvised.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Bring Joy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Minnow + Co.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design + Life + Kids.

On the third day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Stitch Go.

On the second day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Trouvé Magazine.

And Lulu the Baker !

P.S. Coming to you tomorrow an artist, musician, and conversationalist extraordinaire.

P.P.S. Today's #30Sketch

Amazing Bloggers for Fall

Y'all know I love the blogging community with the supportive, creative, hilarious women I have come to know and appreciate. And when I find excellence I'm just no good at keeping it to myself. I've had a handful of local friends lately ask me for new - and great - blogs to dig into in their spare time. For me, this sort of question is in the same line as tell me about your kids... I could go on and on.

And actually knowing the amazing people behind these blogs makes me love them that much more. If you're looking for recipes that taste and look great, create seasonal decor to inspire, or read the latest adventures of successful, smart, and sassy women...follow one of these greats.


Easy overnight cinnamon pull aparts from Melissa at Lulu the Baker.

Mommy Coddle published by Molly with her incredible pumpkin bread.

Joy sharing family secrets with yummy apple butter over on Frock Files.

Alexandra making things fun with upcycled sweater pumpkins over on Alexandra Hedin.

Gorgeous and good for you roasted carrots from Janae at Bring Joy.

Learn the fall essentials with Amy from This HeArt of Mine.


Now go.. and learn and create... and if you visit these ladies, tell them MJ sent you. :)

Happy weekend, friends. Let's make it a bright one.

xoxo, MJ

Pennies for Love: A Taste

My husband is a fabulous cook. He runs the gamut on his menus from grilled brats and shiskabobs to Thanksgiving turkeys and Thai chicken wraps. I always thought that I would romance someone with my culinary skills, but he has certainly turned those tables around. I'm the main cook for our weekday meals, but he takes over on the weekends and special occasions, and I find every meal he cooks an extra special treat.

Though our three busy little people don't allow for it much any more, we love to cook together, side by side prepping and preparing. I reminisce now about our months of early marriage when we'd hunt out new recipes, scour the grocery store and farmer's market, and create a new medley of flavors (most of the time tasty) together.

These days we carve out time during the holidays to join forces for bigger family meals. Cooking together has come to be one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving and Christmas. My buttermilk cornbread to his ranch deviled eggs. My cranberry stuffing to his paprika spiced turkey. And all the prep time spent planning, cutting, sauteeing is the best kind of togetherness.

The amazing Joy is sharing a fabulous recipe on Frock Files today. She and James set aside Friday nights for going out, but sometimes, it's the staying in that tops the cake. Check out her special recipe for the kind of comfort food that we're all craving with the chill in the air. Hop on over to see this week's Pennies for Love post.

Is cooking a part of your romance?

xoxo, MJ

The top 4 for fall

Today, my friends, I have a delightful collaboration to share with you. I've huddled up with three of my favorite stylish bloggers to offer you the Top 4 for fall. These ladies are not fashion bloggers per se; they're classy women who exude a distinctive look. If you are not subscribing to their blogs, I highly suggest you add them to your list. Happy surprises will follow!



We're each sharing a must have for fall fashion. Hop over to Frock Files, Minnow + Co., and Laid Off Mom to see the essentials! (And now that I have these gals snookered in, you just might see a few more Top 4s coming your way.)

For me it's all about some great animal prints for fall. I know this trend has been around for a few seasons. To keep it fresh for 2013, the best way to take advantage of the patterns and tones is through sharp accessories. 



Carried with jeans or a little black dress, this Madison Phoebe bag from Coach is on my wishlist (donations currently accepted)! The slouch and structure are right in balance and the print is beautifully organic. At $350 it would make a big dent in my wallet, but the elegant styling with hints of gold would last (right?!).

Save For It:

The Ashby Calf Hair is a fantastic combo of wearable and statement. These 3.5 inch lovelies add punch to any outfit and are classic enough to last through the trends of a few seasons. I'm saving up for a purchase soon! And guess what, they're from Land's End.

Right Now:

At $9.95, this umbrella from H&M is just right for any of us to add to our fall wardrobe. It's a statement, on trend, and if it grows old for you, your bank account will be no worse for wear.


What's caught your eye for fall? Do share, do share!!

xoxo, MJ



Itty Bitty Lovelies: The Beauty of Minimal

Hiya, lovely! How's it going? Exciting times around here...It's a great week of the year, the holiest one for Christians, as we gear up for Easter. My family is looking forward to all the services this week (with our oldest in the Church choir) as well as a fun egg hunt and Easter brunch with friends. What have you been up to?

Today I'm bringing you some Itty Bitty Lovelies that work with minimal supplies for maximum results. When you can create a masterful DIY with only a few items it's just that much sweeter, don't you think?

1. Tape saves the day again

Though I love art and photography, I don't have as much of it hanging on my walls or sitting on my shelves as I would like. Why? Frames are costly.

Jordan from Oh Happy Day posted this, and I just have to share it with you. Using kraft tape and some other supplies, she made these gorgeous thin frames for her home. The final look is remarkable, considering the low price of the materials. I am almost convinced that I need to buy my own matte cutter, too ($15).

Can't you imagine these in bright hues for a children's room or a classic black accent on book shelves?

2. Wall gallery for the no budget

Melissa takes us through the art that hangs in her bedroom in this lovely gallery made of simple frames she's purchased from Ikea. I adore the rhythm she's created on her bright walls. And learning the details behind each piece is delightful. It inspires me and reminds me that simplicity is more.

Head over to her blog and see what I mean. I think I'd love seeing all these frames hung really tight together as she has them in some of the photos. Have you created a wall gallery in your home? I'd love to see it!

3. Elegant bracelets for all the gals on your list

When I saw this post, I knew I wanted to savor it for Itty Bitty Lovelies. My good friend Joy from Frock Files has created the purest friendship bracelet that you could wear to the opera or the supermarket and look glamorous.

The way that she's stacked them is divine, and the closure method is genius. These are completely budget-friendly and the perfect spring accessory. Way to go, Joy. You've done it again.

My lovely for the week:

Life is better with friends. Be bold and ask someone, with whom you share common interests but not much time together, to join you for coffee. Invite that family you've been bumping into all over for a simple dinner. Arrange a Google Chat with bloggers you admire. Too often I imagine that others may not have time or an interest to get together, when the reality is, we're all just busy living our lives. A warm invitation does wonders for the spirit.

Let's make this a great week, friends. It's time to contemplate, refocus, and celebrate all that is to come.

xoxo, MJ


Turn It: 3 ways to a great Thanksgiving

Today marks the final post in our Turn It series, and I am so grateful to Joy for her incredible creativity and generosity of spirit. I have been inspired by these posts, and challenged to turn the negative into a helpful positive. We hope you've enjoyed the journey, too. Here are three very practical ways to make tomorrow a great one! xo, MJ

Well friends, the holiday season is officially here! We’ve made it to Thanksgiving day, which means that many of us are headed out to feast with family and friends. While this is meant to be the happiest time of the year, it can sometimes be tough to be with people we wouldn’t generally spend time with otherwise.

Once upon a time, I dated someone whose mother was very difficult to be around, and we spent Christmas at her house that year. We were expected to sit in front of the television for the entire three day period and do nothing but watch terrible TV movies. At one point, I tried to sneak away to read for awhile, and she commented loudly, “Oh, are we too boring for her?”

Luckily, I really enjoy my family and James’, so I don’t end up in these awful holiday situations -- but that experience did teach me a few coping mechanisms. Should you find yourself dealing with a difficult family member this season, my hope is that these tactics will help you turn a dreadful situation into a happy (or at least tolerable) one.

Take a clue from Downton Abbey.

If you’ve ever watched Downton Abbey, you’ve witnessed the conversational choreography that we seem to have lost somewhere along the way. Practice being a great conversationalist by being curious and letting that difficult family member talk about his or her interests for five to ten minutes, seeing what you can learn from the chat. Then, politely excuse yourself by helping out in the kitchen, using the restroom, or heading out for a breath of fresh air. You’ll find that sometimes these individuals just need someone to pay attention to them for a few minutes, and then they don’t need to get attention by being nasty.

Become Martha Stewart.

In other words, bring along a project that everyone can contribute to. As the project coordinator, you’ll get to focus on it throughout the holiday, while each person adds their little touch. Create an ornament making station, make wreaths, make a scrapbook, work on an advent calendar. When you have a project to focus on, you have something to direct conversation toward.

Move it.

So much of the holidays is about sitting down and eating, but getting up and out puts everyone in a much brighter mood. Turn on the Wii and dance or bowl, go for a walk outside, or consider a short hike. I once read that it’s best to have difficult conversations while doing an activity, like driving. It rings true for family get togethers as well -- even if you don’t have anything particularly difficult to discuss, the forward movement opens up the door for communication that might not come naturally while sitting across the dinner table.

Thank you so much, Joy!! I can attest that even a walk around the neighborhood can bring a fresh perspective to a group stuck in a rut. Wishing all of you a blessed Thanksgiving.

Any other helpful ideas to Turn It for the holiday season?

A tri- to try

Hi friends!! We're wrapping up our time away today, and we'll be back (exhausted) and ready to celebrate Thanksgiving next week. In the by and by, here's what else you can make festive this weekend. Today it's all about buttons so grab your collection and spread them out for all to enjoy on National Button Day. Grab your coat and hat on Saturday and let's enjoy the great outdoors for National Take a Hike Day. On Sunday we'll be ringing in the final day of Games and Puzzles Week. What's your fave? I'm a huge Othello and Upwords fan.



I'm on my laptop, my phone, or the Ipad everyday...and so are my children. Strange things get stuck or deposited on the keyboard and screens. Sometimes I just want to get out the leaf blower and push all those germs out of the way. Instead let's try this. Check out this short, easy video from Momiverse on how to clean all the technology in your world (without specialty cleaners). You'll also find out what device is the dirtiest of them all.


Jessica over at How About Orange has curated a fabulous stash of DIYs we can each do to spruce up that (or those) blank walls. Check out this board, and if you're not following her on Pinterest, go ahead and do that, too. You can pin some of these to your super secret boards!


One year ago we embarked on the journey of home renovation, and it was definitely an experience as much as an end product. It began as an effort to extend the laundry/mini-mudroom we enter off of the garage. The overflow of shoes, backpacks, and laundry baskets was becoming a fire hazard and an unwelcome greeting to our every entrance.

When we reviewed the plans, my husband and I realized we were beginning a domino fall. Move the laundry? Well, that means we should finish off more of the basement. Take down that wall? Move that stud? Well, you get the idea. In order to complete all that needed to be done, we packed up the playroom (you know that space that has every small toy, party favor, and leftover artwork in it?), and the contents of the entire first floor of our house.

Wanna learn how it turned out? Follow me over to Frock Files to hear all about it. I'm guest posting for Miss Joy over there... Tag, you're it.

Let's have a bright weekend, friends. We have much for which to show our gratitude.


A tri- to try from my friends

Hello Friday. Hello friends. Today we're celebrating National Pumpkin Day. What's your favorite color pumpkin? I'm loving the green ones this year. Tomorrow will bring in National Potato Day. And I have a great way to live this fabulous holiday with a treat below. My hubby is honoring Mother-in-law day on Sunday with his stacks of blueberry pancakes (and a visit from my parents). What are you up to?



My friend, Sheri, over at Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt (great blog name, eh?) posted an easy way to enjoy for all of us to embrace National Potato Day. These yummies come out crispy and are cooked in the microwave!! My hubby and I love sweet potatoes, but our kids are not so keen. Maybe this will win them over? It's all in the name of holiday, you know. Check out the super simple recipe.


My pal Joy from Frock Files is over at You Are My Fave this week sharing a recipe for healthy corn chowder. I am a big fan of corn + soup. Joy made this sweet recipe as a dinner for a neighbor, and you have to check out how she packaged it all up. Do you have someone in your life who could use a surprise dinner? I know I do.


Get ready to pin this one. My gal, Caroline, from Salsa Pie created this fun Face Mat for kids. It's 2D Mr. Potato Head but so much more chic. My kiddos would love this, if they'd be able to get it away from me. I love how she captured so many different expressions in these photos!! Caroline is creating the most amazing crafts these days so if you're not tuning into to Salsa Pie, you are missing out.

That's it from here, friends. We're hosting my parents for the weekend and taking in some fall sites... this just might be our last weekend to do so. What do you have going on?




Turn It : Embracing the Chill

Welcome back to the Turn It series!! Joy from Frock Files and I are sharing stories/ideas/fresh perspectives that we hope will make you recognize opportunity in the problems that come your way and prompt you to use your creative juices for the power of good. Here's more from the incredible Joy:

Last week when we drove up to Vermont, we were surprised to see that many of the trees had already lost their leaves. Even though the color maps showed that the area had just peaked, they were gone -- basically overnight. Because I love fall so much, I become a live in the moment person during this short period, and I’m baffled by people who proclaim that they can’t enjoy autumn because it just means that winter is coming. But when I saw those trees, I knew that it was time to begin bracing myself for the reality that’s on its way.

Since I’m from Hawaii, I generally spend the winter wondering why I moved to the Northeast, where at least five months of the year are just plain hard. It’s a silly question, though–I know exactly why. It’s because there’s nothing like the excitement of the first yellow-green leaves on the trees in the springtime, or driving down the freeway in October to a blur of trees so brightly colored they could be ablaze. And hey, that picture
up there is of the forest I drive through every day–it’s pretty easy on the eyes even when it’s covered in snow.

This series is all about turning those tedious or dreadful or ominous things into ones in which we can delight, and I’ve decided that perhaps what I need is a change of perspective as I prepare for winter. Creating a list of activities I really want to do this winter actually has me looking forward to the snowy days ahead.

  • Read, Read, Read. It’s recently occurred to me that I miss reading books. Reading long form works satisfies me in a way that short snippets of information just can’t. I’m working on creating a reading list for myself. If you want to make one too, the New York Times Sunday Book Review is a fantastic place to start. And I do hope you’ll share your picks with us!
  • Decorate. I moved back to Boston in June. It took us three months to turn the second bedroom from storage unit to empty space, and another month and a half to finish painting the four walls. When the weather’s great, the last thing we want to do is be inside. Wintertime provides great motivation to make our home as cozy and gorgeous as possible. On our agenda: installing our own crown molding, painting the bathroom with stripes, and furnishing the office/guest bedroom. Decorating also involves lots of movement, which I can’t get enough of in the cold months.
  • Craft. Louise of Laid Off Mom started a craft date a few months back, and she invited both MJ and I to join in on the fun. The project unleashed a whole crafty side of me that I didn’t know existed! I’m excited to spend more time creating things. Need inspiration for your own craft projects? I’ve been collecting lots of craft ideas over on my Pinterest board dedicated to the topic.
  • Make Warm, Delicious Things. I’m such a sucker for stews, soups, and hot drinks. In Portland, I was introduced to something called hot buttered rum. Have you ever heard of anything with a more delicious name? Anyway, it’s unreasonable to have these things when it’s hot. But when it’s cold, I feel like it’s for survival.
  • Learn a Foreign Language. A few years ago, we went to Montreal and sheepishly had to ask people to speak to us in English. With a trip to Paris in our midst, I’m putting my foot down and we’re going to learn some French this winter beyond “Où est la bibliothèque?”
  • Do a Movie Exchange. I have a handful of favorite films James hasn’t seen. He has a handful that I haven’t seen. We plan on methodically trading off nights: one night, we’ll watch Marie Antoinette (mine); the next time, we’ll watch Brick (his).

What are you looking forward to doing when things get cold outside?

Ooh, now I'm dreaming of hot cocoa and winter baking afternoons. Thank you Joy for these great ideas (I so want to do a movie exchange!!). What are planning to do to make the most of the upcoming winter?