the grey tabby

musings of a girl and her grey tabby

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Dia de los Muertos Giveaway

Hey precious little kitties! It’s been a few days since I’ve blogged but that’s only because I’ve been a busy crazy cat lady lately. Lots of great stuff is happening here over at the Grey Tabby and I’m excited to share it all with you! So the next few days, I’ll be poppin’ in, letting you know what’s goin’ on.

For now, I have an exciting giveaway to share! My good friend Natalie at & I are hosting a Day of the Dead giveaway on Instagram!

Day of the Dead Instagram Giveaway

The winner will receive a skull wristlet that I made and a skull bracelet that Natalie made. You can follow us on Instagram for all the details: @danielle_layla and @iloveyoulikeyou

Hurry and check it out! The contest ends on November 7th. Have fun and good luck!


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Looking to the Future, Trying to Stop Looking to the Past

All my life, especially within the last few years, I’ve struggled with getting older. More specifically, I’ve been terrified and anxious about turning 29. The reason is because my mom was 29 years old when she passed away. She suffered from migraines, which were masking the real problem: an aneurysm, which took her life. The toughest part of my anxiety & fears was that all of this anxiety & fear caused me to have migraines. The migraines led to even more anxiety. It has been an unfortunate cycle that was extremely tough to break away from. With the help from my husband, my friends, my mother in law, and my psychiatrist, I’ve been able to keep my anxiety under control and I’ve been able to tell myself that I’m my own person and, just because this unfortunate tragedy happened to my mom, that doesn’t mean my fate will be the same. It’s still really hard for me; I still have those fears in the back of my mind and, when I start to really think about those fears, I can feel migraines trying to creep back into my life.

Just the other day, I started thinking about my 30th birthday and, while most people my age are worried about turning 30, I’m embracing it with open arms. I can’t wait. It may seem strange or nonsensical but, in my mind, it’ll be like I’m “beating” her fate. I’m proving to myself that it can be different for me. It WILL be different.

I looked at the calendar today. My mom died a little less than 5 months after her 29th birthday. Tomorrow will mark 5 months after my 29th birthday. And I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. It makes me weep. I now realize I’ve done so much worrying and have had so much fear my whole life just because I assumed that my life will just be a repeat of hers. I know that the fact that I “beat” her fate does not guarantee a long life for myself and, while my fate doesn’t necessarily match hers, anything can happen to me at any time. But I can be assured now that I have my own fate. My life is my own. I know those lifelong fears I’ve had won’t just disappear now. But I will keep reminding myself that I need to live my life to its fullest and will need to embrace my very own fate because that’s what she would’ve wanted for me.


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! Er… I mean, Kitty Mug!

Yep, that’s right! We have a winner, ladies & gents. No chicken dinner, though, but I can’t say the word “winner” without yellin’ “chicken dinner!” right after. I digress…

Remember that oh-so adorable kitty cat mug giveaway I was hosting? Well, I randomly chose a winner (thanks to a random number generator) and the winner is…

Cute Kitty Cat Mug - Perfect with Fall Colors!

Lindsay from Graphic Cupcake! It seems like the internet random number generator gods knew that it was fate because she calls herself “THE crazycatlady.” PERFECT! :D Lindsay, just send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll get the mug to its new home for ya.

A huge thanks to everyone who entered! You guys are the best! xoxo

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Thirty before 30 Update! Homemade Dill Pickles

I’ll admit… I haven’t been keeping up with my Thirty before 30 list like I wanted to. But I won’t be turning 30 until the end of May next year so I have about 8 months to go. I guess that makes me feel a little better! Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an update.
Thirfy before 30
I still haven’t finished coming up with a list of all 30 things I’d like to accomplish. So far, I’ve come up with 21 items (view the list here) and I also got some fantastic suggestions from my readers. So I’ll be updating the list soon (hopefully) to make it a full 30.

I HAVE, however, checked off a couple of items so far. One of which is item #4: Make homemade pickles.
Homemade Pickles!

I checked Pinterest (of course) for recipes and most of them required you to actually do some canning…which meant I’d have to wait at least a week or so to try my yummy pickles. It seemed way too impossible for me to wait that long. Luckily, I found a recipe for “Quick Refrigerator Pickles,” which said your pickles would be ready after 24 hours. BINGO! Sounds like my kind of recipe!

I found the recipe here. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly… In fact, I barely followed it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the recipe; it looks great! But I didn’t have most of the items on hand and I was really just winging it. I didn’t go out and buy “pickling” cucumbers; my mother-in-law hosted a family gathering and sliced up a TON of cucumbers for salad. She ended up having way too many so I took a cupful home.

Instead of buying all the different spices & fresh dill, I bought a pre-made mix of pickling spices and some pickling salt. The pickling spice is a mix of mustard seed, dill seed, bay leaves, coriander, chiles, and allspice.
Homemade Pickle Supplies
I didn’t have too many cucumber slices so I only used one pint sized jar (which was still a bit big for the amount of cucumbers I had). I added about a tablespoon of the pickling spices, 1 1/2 tablespoons of pickling salt, 1 tablespoon organic sugar, 2/3 cup white vinegar, and 1 cup of filtered water to my jar. I closed it and shook the jar until the sugar dissolved. In a separate jar, I packed in my cucumber slices and poured my liquid mixture on top of the cucumbers. There was too much liquid so I couldn’t use it all. I just made sure that the cucumber jar had all of the spices, even if I couldn’t use all of the liquid. I sealed it up and stuck it in the fridge.

I waited exactly 24 hours (ha! I’m totally not lying. I was practically counting down the minutes!) and popped that jar open right away. OH MY GOD. I fell in love. I ate almost the whole jar within about 5 minutes. I guess that’s a good thing since this recipe isn’t made for pickles that are meant to be canned and stored for long periods of time.

I’ll definitely be making more and will be making jars for my pickle-loving friends. You should give them a try, too, and let me know how they come out! You can also experiment with adding different spices/ingredients, like garlic or jalapeño peppers. Or you can try pickling other foods besides cucumbers, like pickled garlic (one of my FAVES!), asparagus, green beans, onions, cabbage… The possibilities are endless! Comment below and let me know all about your adventures!

Oh and just a reminder! Make sure to enter my giveaway to win an oh-so cute kitty mug! The contest ends tomorrow, Friday, September 28th!
Enter to Win a Kitty Cat Mug Now!


Fall is Here and So is a Cute Giveaway!

Fall is Here!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love pumpkins, cool weather, mustard yellow, pumpkin orange & sienna red colors, when the trees start to change colors, Thanksgiving feasts (yes I said FEASTS… plural!), crafty Halloween goodies; you name it, I love it. While the weather doesn’t get as cool as I’d like it to here in Southern California, I still appreciate it when we’re not having 90 degree temperatures and we can actually bring out our sweaters and hot coffee.

Here are a few fall items I’ve been enjoying so far:

Fall Nail Polish by Sinful Colors - Big Daddy & Pull Over

Nail polish by Sinful Colors: Big Daddy and Pull Over.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know the (mis)adventures I went through to find that mustard yellow polish. Totally worth it! LOVE it!

Pumpkin Spice K-Cups by Green Mountain Coffee

Oh my! I was so excited to see these were on the shelves at Target. I almost bought 4 packs but I could hear my husband in my ear: “You don’t NEED 4 boxes! Put them back!” Men. Psh. They don’t understand.

Chocolate Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting, and Pumpkin Puree: Fall baking is here!

Now I know chocolate cake isn’t necessarily fall-ish but baking is! I’ll be baking my little toosh off this fall and I can’t wait! My favorite is pumpkin bread…and pumpkin cheesecake. And I’ll be trying pumpkin spice cake pops soon, too!

Starbucks - Venti Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Oh man. Every fall, I spend WAY too much money at Starbucks. I can’t resist. Their pumpkin spice lattes (hot or cold) are just way beyond yummy.

Cute Kitty Cat Mug - Perfect with Fall Colors!

Isn’t this mug super cute?? It has everything: a cute kitty cat, hearts, polka dots, stripes, fall colors, and it holds COFFEE! I adore it!

I loved that kitty mug so much! Even though the kitty isn’t a grey tabby like ChloBubs, I think it’s perfect for me. I loved it so much that I bought two and want to give my extra mug to a lucky reader…maybe you! All you need to do is comment below, telling me why you love fall.

The contest is open now and will end on Friday, September 28th at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time. I’ll select a random winner and announce it on Monday, October 1st. Good luck and happy fall!!


lil girl shop – Handmade Items and a Coupon Code!

A dear friend of mine, Jennifer, has an adorable Etsy shop (lil girl shop) and she’s currently having a sale to celebrate her daughter’s birthday!
lil girl shop - Birthday Celebration
Jen and I met through social networking about 2 or so years ago when we were both planning our weddings. We’ve gotten closer over the past few months since we started, along with a couple of other friends we met online, a network of small business entrepreneurs. I’ll get into more details on the group when our HUGE blog has its premier ;)

Anyway, Jen is such a sweetheart and sent me a few items a while back. Aren’t they cute? I absolutely love my mug rug (she picked the PERFECT colors/pattern for me!) and you can get your very own mug rug here.

Pillow, Mug Rug, Zipper Pouch, Glasses Necklace (LOVE! From Forever 21 I think), Business Card Holder, Pillow Case

Yikes! A messy table… I was too excited to clear the table when I got this cute wristlet in the mail from Jen!

A closeup of my mug rug & a Yogi tea quote. I love Yogi tea and I love my mug rug!

Be sure to check out her shop and use coupon code BIRTHDAY to save 40%. That’s a steal!

Oh & tell her the grey tabby sent you!


Free Kitchen Printables – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Happy Monday! No, I’m not normally super happy & giddy on Mondays but today, I feel a little more sunshine-y because I have some goodies for you.

Last week, I was working on some wedding goodies for my wedding shop on Etsy. I was making an “Eat, Drink, and Be Married” design for a client and a light bulb went off. I should make something like this for our home! So, I decided to make some prints for our kitchen :)

Free Kitchen Printables from - Eat. Drink, and Be Merry

Sharing is caring so I decided to make these prints available as FREE downloads for all of you guys and gals!
Free Kitchen Printables - Eat, Drink, & Be Married

You can download the files by clicking on the pictures below. They’re all 8″ x 10″ PDFs and you’ll need Acrobat Reader to view them. You can print them on regular old card stock (8.5″ x 11″) without having to scale or shrink the images. Then, trim, frame, and, well, eat, drink, and be merry!

Free Kitchen Printables from - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Free Kitchen Printables from - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Free Kitchen Printables from - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Free Kitchen Printables from - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Fine print: these prints are for personal use only. If you love ’em, share the link to ’em! But please don’t sell them. Thanks!!