22 : macaroons

It's no secret we have a sweet tooth, our other posts are proof of that. The other day we picked up these little macaroons at the newly opened Yellow Vase; a bakery/cafe/flower shop (yes this business is all 3, and is oh so cute!).

We opted to split four flavors: pistachio, rose almond, raspberry and caramel. Raspberry and caramel by far were the best. The perfect mid-day sweet tooth fix.

21 : farmer's market

Roaming around the Torrance Farmer's Market this morning made for a very happy and great start to the weekend. We hit the french bakery booth first to grab a couple of ham & cheese croissants to stroll around the market with.

It's a little overwhelming at first, there are so many fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, pastries, cheeses, olives, etc... Not to mention all the other food being made if you actually want to eat a hot meal there.

Like Costco, there is definitely no shortage of samples at this place. Just about every vendor offers up samples of their goods. The guys at the Mediterranean booth, were sample crazy, giving one sample after the other even before you could finish eating the first! With a sample in each hand, Jen had to resist and say "no" because she didn't have any way to hold them all. Madness. I'm not one to say "no" to a sample... but if we hadn't we would probably still be there and in a massive food coma.

Jen picked up some yummy herb feta cheese and oranges...What did I opt for? Out of all the fruits and veggies, I walked away with chocolate & glazed pecans. Surprised? Jen wasn't, she just laughed.

20 : happy veggie

We're by no means vegetarians, but we do enjoy our share of veggies. Awhile back we were introduced to Happy Veggie, a vegetarian restaurant in Redondo Beach.

Our fave? The Curry Vegetable Masala with soy "chicken"...sooo good! You don't even realize you're not eating meat. Yeah, yeah, we know everyone says that. But really...we're not kidding.

The Spring Rolls are also super yummy! With lettuce, mint, basil, noodles, tofu and "shrimp".

19 : pantone

We cannot live without our Pantone books! For those of you not familiar with the name, Pantone is the color god of the design world. You will never find a designer without one of these handy swatch books. There are literally thousands of pre-mixed ink colors to chose from.

But my question is...with all these colors to chose from, why are there still clients that don't find the "exact" color they're looking for? Are you really telling me that in all of the 180 different blues, none of them are the right color?

18 : tiny mouse

Months ago at Olvera Street, I came across this teeny tiny mouse playing with a mouse trap. I don't know why, but I had to have it. It's sitting on a quarter, so you can see just how small it actually is.

17 : jelly belly® jelly beans

Jelly Belly® Jelly Beans are without a doubt the best jelly bean there is...even if they've gone a little crazy lately.

While we got the relationship to the Harry Potter movie with flavors like "vomit" and "earthworm"...we don't understand why they continued with their new BeanBoozled™ series. In this box, traditional flavors may or may not be what you think they are (rotten egg looks just like buttered popcorn, canned dog food looks like chocolate pudding, etc).

Skunk spray Jelly Belly anyone? No? We didn't think so.

UPDATE: We had our friend Jeff eat some of the BeanBoozled™ beans. He could handle skunk, centipede, pencil shavings, dog food and booger...But rotten egg? That was the one that did him in. A few days later, we cut them in half so we could smell them...the smell made us cough and gag. Jeff, you're our hero.

16 : girard alphabet blocks

Months ago we received a promo from House Industries about their new font inspired by Alexander Girard. As a youngster, my dad exposed me to many great designers such as Charles & Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, Richard Neutra, as well as Girard. So I couldn't have been more excited to see that House Industries reissued some fab items from him, in addition to the font. These alphabet blocks are case and point. Who wants standard old blocks when you can have these beauties?

Can you guess what my future children will be playing with?

15 : baby lizards

Ok, this may sound slightly strange, but baby lizards make us happy. Even though, across the street we have the main library and a mall, everywhere surrounding the area is pretty rural. Hey, there are horse stables and people that walk a goat (on a leash) not too far away. Right in back of our office building is a large grassy hill and from that hill come a bunch of critters. We are constantly running into little lizards in the parking lot. But we were completely surprised when we found this little office stowaway hanging out on our curtains one day...he obviously crawled in under the door. This little guy let Jen pick him up and posed for a photoshoot before we put him back outside. So cute!

We've had some not so welcome visitors too...lots of spiders like to find their way in. Just last week we found a HUGE black widow. My scream, when it popped up just by our desks probably could have been heard for miles.

14 : wine labels

Well it's no secret we heart wine, just take a look at our office. We once had a client walk in and ask if we belonged to a wine club. When she asked, we didn't belong to a wine club...but we do now (thanks to Sanford at Mercury Wine Club)!

I think more than we actually like drinking the wine, we like the labels and bottle shapes. We're a sucker for nice packaging. But we've learned more than once, that a well designed label does not equal yummy wine. More often than not, we've been disappointed in the taste...which has lead to pouring the wine out and keeping the bottle (told you we were hardcore).

Although we have yet to try this beauty, we had to have it for it's lovely typography (you didn't believe us about being type whores, did you?) and the fact that it's a half-size bottle (yes, a shrunken down size of the original). Don't get us started on mini sized things...we'll save that for another day.

13 : mohawk calendar

Being the paper nerds we are (just take a look at our packed shelves of paper sample books in the office) we picked this paper sample promo up while romping around San Pedro's First Thursday Art Walk. When we opened it we discovered that this calendar...never expires! Genius right?! Paper companies come up with some of the most amazing promos. The first panel has each day of the week, the second any day of the month, and the last gives the name of each month so that you can have any possible combination. Each combo offers a different design treat since the font, design and color changes on each panel. Endless possibilities and lovely eye candy :) We need to update it more often though. Before taking the picture for today's combo the month panel was still on December! Yikes!

12 : tito's (oh so yummy) tacos

The best part about having to drive to LA in the rain today to pick up a client's project? We got to go to Tito's.

I don't think this place has changed since I was a kid. They still have some of the yummiest tacos ever.

Check out their website for their snazzy "I love Tito's Tacos" jingle. But be warned, it may get stuck in your head (just ask Monique). Oh, and for you hardcore taco addicts, if you ever want $75 (or more) worth of tacos at 9am, go to their website...they'll hook you up.

11 : typographic fruit

We warned you...it's only day 11 and already 2 typographic posts (and many more to come).

These typographic fruit images from UK designer Sarah King are hand-drawn and absolutely beautiful.

We're in awe...we can't even draw a straight line without a ruler on a piece of paper...let alone letters on a piece of fruit.

10 : rain

Given the current weather situation in what is normally sunny Southern California, (thunder and then a tornado watch, really??) we thought it fitting to dedicate today to...rain.

Monique loves rain, but I have more of a love-hate relationship with it. I love the sound of it, that's for sure. And the way raindrops look when hitting puddles on the ground, or when the tiny little drops are left on surfaces. Rain is great...when appreciated from indoors!

But the waterfalls running down the inside of our office window? And when the power goes off on the entire block for 2.5 hours mid-day and the file you were working on hasn't been saved? Not so much.

09 : google

I'll let you in on a little secret...Google is my BFF. Yup, that's right...
me + google = pure happiness

I don't know how I would make it through the day without it. I mean come on, I can find out anything...how to tell whether our new snail is male or female, the origin of the word '"shenanigans" & why there are worms in tequila bottles...what more could I ask for?

Oh yeah...their clever takes on their logo have made me smile more than a few times.

08 : balloon animals

Last night we were pleasantly surprised as we attended a clients 65th birthday party...it was complete with sangria, a wii bowling tournament and even a balloon artist. Yes, people, you read that right...a balloon artist! He came complete with a sparkly patriotic sequin vest and a pouch full of colorful balloons. His hands were a blur as he twisted and molded out various animal shapes (he can make 200 different animals...I'm not even sure I can name that many).

So, we had him create a monkey, penguin and a snail. Later while doing an on stage performance, he crafted the starfish...yes a starfish.

Pure amazingness.

07 : national geographic

When I was young, I went through different phases in response to the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?". In one of those phases my answer was "National Geographic Photographer". I have tons of old National Geographic magazines from the late 80's & early 90's which were the inspiration. They offered, and still do, some amazing photography. Yes, I imagined myself being on an African safari taking pictures. The top magazine is from August '89...a little over 20 years old!

06 : red velvet cupcakes

We love red velvet cupcakes...especially the teeny tiny ones from Auntie Em's Bakery in Eagle Rock (the larger ones aren't as good for some reason).

Happiness in a tiny paper cup...

05 : flowers

As mentioned in the previous post, when it comes to potted plants...we're a bit lacking on the green thumbs (Although, Jen's pot of lilies have been alive for 5 months now!).

But chances are that if you stop by our studio at any given time you'll find a vase with flowers in it. And because we've gained that hardcore dork status, chances are those flowers will either be white or yellow to match our studio colors.

04 : sea monkeys

For years I have wanted Sea Monkeys. When I was young, I knocked mine over and never got to actually see them hatch. So a few weeks ago I decided to go on a hunt to find some. It was just after Christmas so it was a little more challenging than expected. Low-and-behold, Aaah's had them. We even got a choice: classic red or a snazzy purple.

We're going on 2 weeks now, and currently have 5 tiny little things...let's hope we have better luck with Sea Monkeys, than we do with plants.

03 : tea lemonade

With literally 3 Starbucks locations within less than a mile of our office, we've had more than our share in the past 2 years (hey... caffeine keeps those creative juices flowing).

Our new current obsession: Iced (Green/Passion) Tea Lemonade. Such a nice break from those chai & vanilla tea lattes.

02 : type scarf

It's no secret that some may classify us as typography whores...(expect to see that reflected over the next 363 days). That being said, we were in love when we found this number scarf from Little Factory (they also have uppercase and lowercase letters as well). While not entirely practical (it's made from a thinnish felt), it's super beautiful.

01 : the monster

Our list really couldn't start out with anything but our frequent office visitor & the cuddliest boy you'll ever meet...gizmo.

Don't let the cute face & chicken hat fool you...his nickname isn't "monster" for nothing. If you come by the office and your pockets happen to be full of Pup-Peroni, you'll have a friend for life.

365 days begins tomorrow...

Over the next 365 days we'll be conducting a mini experiment as we ask ourselves each day "What makes me happy?". This year long conversation about anything and everything that brings a smile to our face begins tomorrow 01.10.10 and will end 01.09.11. From the big things to the little things and everything in between there will be a whole lot of happiness going on... :)

Feel free to join in!