i see...

Just after a winter rain... Manhattan Beach and it's pier. We're former residents of this swanky beach town that is now called home by many celebrities. Now we just live a few minutes away but half of the duo works just a block from this exact spot. Gotta love L.A.!


i see...

A typical view from the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California. We love living here!



We're so pleased to have been asked to review the shop of Cassie Stephens, beltmaker. We have had the pleasure of getting to know Cassie and becoming friends with her. The work she 
does is astounding and we can't rave about her more. 

Many of you have seen her on our blog a couple times; she sponsored part of our A Blogtastic Giveaway and we featured her bunny belt in our We're Diggin' series. Actually, we stumbled upon her Etsy shop when looking for awesome bunny and rabbit goodies to celebrate the Lunar New Year. From the moment we found her shop, we were obsessed. Her drool worthy reversible belts are, simply, incredible. 

Cassie sent us 3 of her reversible belts...

We were already HUGE fans of hers but when we saw her art in person, we were floored. GORGEOUS! The pictures at her shop are great but definitely do not do her pieces justice. She creates such beauty with her hand crafted, ceramic, belt buckles that have the most wondrous patterns and the colors are incredible. Cassie even included our favorite that we were swooning over, the seahorse belt! The fabrics she chooses are so indulgent and are sewn to perfection. We really can't say enough about her belts. 

Cassie's belts are also found in locally owned shops in Nashville, where she lives. How lucky are they?! Read a little more about Cassie in her own words...

"I'm not a native Nashvillian. I moved here almost 15 years ago after finishing up my student teaching experience in County Kildare, Ireland. And, no, I'm not Irish, I just wanted to try my hand at international teaching after finishing my studies at Indiana University. I currently teach art to elementary aged kids. We have a great time creating, laughing and making huge messes that we usually neglect to clean up.

After teaching, I spend much of my time working on my belts. I began creating them on a whim a couple of years ago and haven't been able to stop since. I absolutely love the process. There are so many different steps that it allows me to create in a variety ways. I begin with a piece of clay that I emboss with a texture such as vintage lace, stamps, burlap, etc. From there, I hand cut the shape of the buckle from a design that I have created. My most popular designs seem to be the bird and the bunny buckle. At this point, the buckle must dry out for several days until it has become what ceramic artists call "greenware". 

The buckles are then fired, at which point they are called bisqueware, and ready to be glazed. I love experimenting with glaze. I've found metallic glazes, glass crackle glazes and satin finish earth toned glazes to be my favorite. Often the glazing process can take up to two additional firings to achieve the right finish.

Once the buckles are complete, I can begin pairing them with fabric to create a belt. I have found velvets to be fun to work with this winter as they look very warm and rich. I also love working with satins and lace. But my favorite is vintage fabric. 

Another love of mine is creating customized belts. I've had so many great customers that have just the right buckle idea in mind. There is no extra charge for this, so if anyone has something in mind, all they have to do is ask."

You totally dig Cassie too now, we know! How could you not?! Well, go visit her shop now...


i see...

Sea lions in San Simeon, CA off the famous Pacific Coast Highway along California's Central Coast.


we're diggin' ::: RABBITS AND BUNNIES

Chinese New Year is this Thursday, Feb. 3rd and we're excited for the Year of the Rabbit! We'll have a special Chinese New Year post on Thursday, but until then enjoy these fun friends. Rabbits and bunnies are so adorable with their wiggly noses and fluffiness, we couldn't resist sharing the hopping, hand crafted goodness we found.

Celebrate this Year of the Rabbit or if you or someone you know were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, or 1999 grab one of these goodies for them...

1. Bunny Buckle with Reversible Belt by Cassie Stephens
SPECIAL DISCOUNT for k&v followers thru Feb. 14th! Enter KOCOVIKING10 for 10% off! Thanks, Cassie Stephens!

2. Bunny Kong Print

3. Doe Ray Me Tree Vinyl Decal

4. Rabbit Girl and deer print

5. Spun Cotton Ornament

6. Bunny Ring

7. Honey Bunny

8. Bunny Coin Purse

livin' luxe on less: HOT SITE and FREE STUFF!!!

Our friends over at LIVIN LUXE ON LESS have posted some AWESOME new FREEBIES!!! Check out FREE FLY, it's a rockin' site for free samples and freebies! We're big fans of livin luxe on less' blog because they always have printable coupons and new ways to save. Who doesn't love that?!

From their site...

HOT SITE- Free Fly's Freebies and Samples

Free Fly's hooks us up all the time. We eat free on them and get freebies in the mail! Who doesn't like that? They always have brand spankin' new offers and we post them here too. So, sign up for free HERE or just check out our posts!

p.s. We have a post for each FREEbie for today... FREE Panda Express, FREE Larabar, FREE Bayer Aspirin, FREE Maybelline foundation, and FREE Origins today!!!

FREE - Firecracker Chicken from PANDA EXPRESS exp. 2/3


Who doesn't love free food? Get your FREE Firecracker Chicken Breast from Panda Express HERE.
good through feb. 3rd

FREE- Larabar


Free yummy Larabar from Safeway. Click HERE to get it!

FREE- Bayer Aspirin for Sam's Club Members


Free Bayer Aspirin for Sam's Club Members. Click HERE.

FREE- Maybelline FitME Foundation


Get your free Maybelline FitME Foundation in one of 18 breathable shades HERE.

FREE- Origins Plantscription Anti Aging


If you don't already LOVE Origins, you don't know what you're missing. Their all-natural approach to skin care really shows... where it matters...your skin! JUMP on this amazingly FREE offer for a FREE sample of their Plantscription Anti Aging HERE.


i see...

Goats. Helpful, helpful goats. They help prevent brushfires on the famous Palos Verdes Peninsula by eating away dead brush. These goats have an amazing view of the Pacific and Catalina Island. Ahhh, to be a goat living on multi-million dollar property....


livin luxe on less ::: HOT DEAL- 2 Photo Canvasses for ONLY $39

Our friends at livin' luxe on less have posted an awesome deal that we wanted to share with all of you! Check out their blog and follow them. Tell them koco & viking sent ya!

Now on to the deal...
Straight from their site! Thanks, livin luxe on less!

 Zulily has an AMAZING offer today that ends Feb. 2nd. Get your hands on this HOT DEAL of 2 photo wrapped canvasses (you will receive a 16 x 20 x 3/4 inch thick gallery-wrapped canvas print, ready to hang, and a bonus 5 x 7 canvas print.). This is normally priced $104 but you can get it for only $39, that's a $65 savings! We LOVE Zulily's deals and this is one for the books or walls

Click HERE to get to this HOT DEAL!

About Zulily:
Zulily is fabulous! It's a new, online store, offering daily sales events on top-quality apparel, gear and other goodies for moms, babies, and kids. Actually, anyone can benefit from this site as they have accessories and shoes on sale too! The non-moms on the luxe team have scored NON-mom goodies! Of course, we dig any daily email with deals! A sale is a sale! We got a lot of our holiday gifts from this site. The prices are incredible.

They carry the best brands at the lowest prices. Members enjoy savings of up to 70% off retail prices. Zulily loves to find deals on favorite styles, and they love introducing their members to exciting new brands too. It is not a traditional store. Instead, they feature new items EVERY DAY. They find great guys from lots of brands and work with them to ship you the goods. Zulily's sale events last 72 hours, then they're gone. New brands move in and get their 3 days on the site.

Each weekday they offer at least 5 limited-time shopping events. They notify you with 1 email and membership is free! How do you become a member? Just click here and give them your name, email address, and create a password so they can send you the deals and you can log in to get them. That's it! So easy to save, right?!


in the kitchen ::: Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Syrup

What do you do when you have a hankering for pancakes or waffles and don't have any syrup? Make your own! We looked up a recipe for Brown Sugar Syrup and found this...

2 tbsp butter, 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup water. Bring all to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. 

So we started on that path but tweaked it to taste better! We melted 3 tbsp. butter with 1 3/4 cup brown sugar and kept stirring...
This will become like wet sand and will begin to stick to itself when stirred. Now add 1 cup water and OMIT the vanilla. Keep stirring and bring to a boil...
When that has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and ADD 1 tsp. of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until it becomes a syrupy consistency that you like. Do not stir to aggressively but stir every once in a while to prevent burning.
Do you notice the ring where is started? This is after it has reduced and is ready to be removed from the heat. Add in more cinnamon, to taste, and let stand for a few minutes. Remember, hot sugar is HOT!

While making your syrup, you should have been making pancakes/waffles. How do you know when to turn your pancakes? When they've stopped bubbling and the edges are cooked...
After you have all of your pancakes/waffles made...
Serve up your pancakes/waffles with your DELICIOUS syrup...
and enjoy...

3 tbsp. butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. cinnamon + more to taste
1 pinch salt

Melt butter and brown sugar over medium-high heat until it sticks together. Add water, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add more cinnamon to taste, and let cool for a few minutes. Makes about 2 cups of syrup.

We loved this syrup so much that we will not be spending $12 on it anymore! This recipe only costs about 25¢ and it was so delicious and fresh. It made more than enough so we saved the rest in an airtight container. The syrup tasted great on oatmeal the next morning and on ice cream. Yum. 

What is your favorite, cost saving, recipe?


we're diggin' ::: RAINDROPS

You know that saying, "It never rains in L.A.!"? That isn't so true! L.A. hasn't been a stranger to rain this fall/winter season but we haven't seen any in a couple weeks. We're unlike most Angelenos and, actually, enjoy the rain! Raindrops are especially hot in all forms design. So, we found a few around the handmade world that really brightened our day!


Make It! Mondays - Gold Leafed Purse

On Mondays we challenge you to meditate by making something with your own 2 hands. We'll set you up with a project we've found around the bloggin' and internet world that won't take too much time or money to make, keeping your sanity at a blissful level!

Give it a shot, then leave us a note with how it went [splendid, awful, etc.] and a picture or link to your handiwork! We're looking forward to seeing how well you've done. Most of all, take time for yourself and unwind.

Today's Make It! Monday Meditation Challenge
Time: Less than an hour

photo from designspongeonline.com

Click here to get the tutorial


i see...

This is Izzy. The same guy that graces our blog banner. We have received so many emails and comments about him, so we thought we'd introduce him to all of you! He's a ChiPin or MinChi, however you'd like to say it. What? He's half Miniature Pinscher and half Chihuahua. Izzy likes to vacation at the home above and spends the rest of his time at his other home. Yes, he has a pied a terre! He's fancy like that. You can join his fan club on facebook or stay tuned for more Izzy posts on here! 


Send a note to say "Hello!" w/ digital download

One of our favorite things are to send an unexpected, quick note to just say "Hello!" and that they're being thought of. Isn't it such a great feeling to receive actual mail from people we'd like to hear from and not in the form of an email? Ahhh, we just love it. We could go on and on about how the digital age has killed social etiquette and the art of letter writing, but we don't find that to be all too true AND it has been said a lot and better than we could articulate it. All we can do is provide you with fun ways to pick up a pen or pencil and send a little love via good ol' snail mail! Use our fun stationery we created just for you or jazz up your own. However you choose to do, send some Hellos! 

Download our gift to you- a .pdf to say "Hello!" to someone you're thinking of.

just a snapshot of our gift to you!


we're diggin' ::: ASPEN TREE GOODNESS

There are things that signify the changing of seasons; snow fall, crisp air, scarf wearing, etc. One of the most glorious of those are leaves changing color. The most spectacular showcase of leaves changing color happens with Aspens! Our hearts race at the sight of a golden Aspen set against snow capped mountains. Breathe taking. We searched for Aspen tree goodness and found these treasures...

1. Laser Cut Mini Wooden Hearts by Timber Green Woods
SPECIAL DISCOUNT for k&v followers for as long as their shop is around!!! Enter KOCOANDVIKING for 10% off your purchase. Thanks, Timber Geen Woods!

2. Watercolor of an Aspen, original art

3. Real Aspen Leaf in Copper

4. Aspen Wood Tree Branch Buttons

Our own photos of our recent Aspen experience. Thanks, Breckenridge, Colorado!


sponsor spotlight ::: Guzanito a lifestyle for your kid

Guzanito wants to "create a lifestyle for your kid" and by their amazing colored fabrics and combination choices, it's a lifestyle worth celebrating. Just in case you were wondering, guzanito (or gusanito) means little worm in Spanish. Your little worm will love the softness from their chenille and you'll appreciate the wide range of pattern options in bright colors. We're happy that Guzanito is joining us for A Blogtastic Extravaganza and will be giving away a Guzanito original.

Check out the colors and patterns on just some of their products...

So, if you need a dash of color or want to liven up your kid's world, check out Guzanito! Come back for A Blogtastic Extravaganza anytime between Jan. 18-22nd to win a Guzanito original of your own!

Make It! Mondays- Elastic Button Bracelet

On Mondays we challenge you to meditate by making something with your own 2 hands. We'll set you up with a project we've found around the bloggin' and internet world that won't take too much time or money to make, keeping your sanity at a blissful level!

Give it a shot, then leave us a note with how it went [splendid, awful, etc.] and a picture or link to your handiwork! We're looking forward to seeing how well you've done. Most of all, take time for yourself and unwind.

Today's Make It! Monday Meditation Challenge
Time: less than an hour

photo from diy network
Click here to get to tutorial

Thanks, diy network!


i see...

A glorious, Utah sunrise on a road trip to Colorado. Such a welcoming sight after a long haul through rainy darkness. Can you see the highway? Yep, taken while driving... it's what we do! 


*review* oliver's labels

When you're a kid, you toss your stuff EVERYWHERE. Right?! You know, you go to school with your bpa free water bottle, your backpack, books, lunch box, sweatshirt, etc.. After school you go over to your friend's house for a play date then your parent picks you up and takes you to karate. By the time you get home you're empty handed and your parents are asking you, once again, "Where is all your stuff?" You shrug, think about it for a second, then run off to your room and play with the toys you still have.

Wouldn't you love to get your stuff back? Isn't it embarrassing to have your name, in Sharpie, written on the inside of your clothes, bleeding through and ruining them? Are you allergic to different foods and wish you could have labels to help others to know what you can and can't eat? Oliver's Labels to the rescue!

An aunt had a nephew who lost a lot of his things so she created a really great label that could keep up with a kid. So, Oliver's Labels was born. These are durable labels that really hold up. They have different kinds of labels available for any practical use:
  • Original Labels that stick on anything; school supplies, sippy cups, bottles, etc.
  • Mini Labels are good for skinny things; toothbrushes, sunglasses, pencils, etc.
  • Shoe Labels are designed to stick inside of shows and the sets are for left & right foot shapes
  • Stick-eez™ Clothing Labels don't require ironing or sewing, they stick right to the care tag of the clothing and stay for a long time, through washes and all.
  • Safety Wristbands are for one-time use and are lightweight. These can be used to show allergies, if going out with a group, etc.
  • Iron on Clothing Labels are great in avoiding a rummage through the school's lost & found
  • Small and Large tags are great for backpacks, zipper pulls, etc.
You can get sets of the labels above or useful packages of labels; camp, starter, clothing, school, etc.

They even have cool designs. Some are crossbones, dinosaurs, mermaids, ninjas, sports, Betsey Johnson inspired, Cavalli inspired, and Pucci inspired.

click to enlarge

All of the labels are customizable and the coolest feature? The Found-it™ Tracking System! They print a code on the label (B) and if someone finds the item, they enter the code on the Oliver's Label website (A) and the company sends you an e-mail (whichever you register with) and let you know your item was found and how to contact the person who found it. Genius!

Our personal review?
Oliver's Labels sent us a a mini sampler of 5 Original Labels with Found-it™, 5 Mini Labels, and a set (1 of each- left & right) of Shoe Labels with Found-it™ to check out and review. We chose the crossbones design and they look great, are easy to read, and are really sticky. They wicked water away well and adhere to clothing and shoes withstanding friction. They also have a fundraising program which would be great for a preschool or daycare! If you or your kid lose a lot, this is a smart buy.

Discount for our friends!!!
10% off your purchase

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.


we're diggin' ::: SNOWFLAKES

Even though we live, no more than 3, miles from the beach, we can appreciate snow in all of it's fluffy and slushy goodness! Tis' the season to make snow angels and hit the slopes. So, this is an ode to our favorite "flaky" finds that are handmade. May you dazzle in 'em or keep your hands from burning with 'em. However you like to snow, make it fun!

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR k&v followers- enter kocovik5 for 5% off your entire purchase!

SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR k&v followers- enter KOCOVIKING10 for 10% off your entire purchase!