Wednesday, January 22, 2014

soul food // giveaway winner announced


Tammy of @tbrown72 on Instagram is the winner of the scarf! Email me at to claim your prize.

how was your weekend? we had a blast over here. we went canoe surfing...well, the kids did anyway and they loved it. i loved sitting on the beach talking with a friend and holding her baby. it was heaven! but the four day weekend did mess with my schedule a bit so there won't be a "wednesday pick-me-up" post today. but i do have something special in store for you.

as i've been trying to figure out how things work best over here, i've come up with some new ideas that i'm really excited to share with you. one of these ideas is a new series called "soul food". to be honest, i haven't found a non-cheesy way to talk about it, so here's all about people and how they have found their passions in life. and most importantly how doing something with that passion has affected other aspects of their lives, whether that's feeling more energized to tackle other day-to-day tasks or even creating a business from it all. there's been a great response to all the people i've reached out to so far and i can't wait to share more with you each week. it will also be a fun way to do giveaways every once in a while too! and today is one of those days...keep reading to find out about it.

when i think about what starting this blog and writing the cookbook has done for me, for my soul if you will, it's pretty astonishing. i have a good friend who was traveling for a bit while i was in the middle of starting all of this. when she returned home she was completely taken aback by how much i had changed in the short time she'd been gone. even just last week we were cooking dinner together and i was sharing some new ideas i'd had for the blog and she mentioned again what a different person i'd become. i'm not so scared to try new things. i take more risks. i'm not scared of people telling me no. the fear of rejection no longer paralyzes me. and i'm really just a lot more happy...content might be a better word. yeah, that's it. i'm much more content. so it's been fascinating, and even a little humbling, to see this transformation through her eyes.

i'm so excited to share the first installment of "soul food" with you today. evelyne and i met on holiday in ibiza. her husband was attending one of jon's workshops and she came along for the great vacation just like i did. doesn't that sound so glamourous? 

well...everyone, meet evelyne. evelyne meet everyone. let's get started!

image via Urban Cosy

thanks so much for joining in evelyne. tell us a little about yourself and your family!

i am a happily married french canadian living in england and i have 3 gorgeous boys all under 6 years old. me and my husband run a photography business and life is pretty full on these days. i have never been one for sitting down and doing not much so i am not complaining.

tell us a little about your business…

i sell mainly crocheted items like gloves, hats, scarfs on etsy. i try to keep my items modern but still nice and cosy (or cozy like the americans say). i also just got a new sewing machine from my husband for christmas so i am hoping to learn how to do quilting very soon.

what’s the story of how you first got into crocheting?

my mom taught me crochet when I was a teenager but at that time, i had other things to do like talking about boys or talking about boys so i quickly lost interest. i recently got back into it and people seemed to like what i was doing so i decided to set up an etsy shop and see how it would go. i’m not going to lie, i am not the most confident person and putting myself out there for the world to see and judge what i had made with my own two hands was very daunting. my husband gave me a little boost of confidence and there i was opening shop!

was there a defining moment when you knew this is what you loved to do or was it a more of a gradual process?

as soon as i got back into it, i was hooked for good! i spent my time practicing, researching, buying lots of wool, talking about it constantly and gradually the house got messier and the kids' school uniforms got more and more creased. if i have any spare moment, you will probably find me with a yarn and a hook.

what is the best thing about creating a small business doing something that you love?

being able to get financial return on something that doesn’t even feel like work is quite amazing. also, when people tell you they love something you have created and made yourself it’s just the best feeling.

what is the best thing about having something in your life that lights you up?

loving doing crochet and crafts means i am always excited about the next project or the next thing to learn. i get excited just looking through a wool shop or just seeing a sheep in the field! ha! it keeps my mind busy and I don’t have time to worry about all the stresses in life so much.

what do you wish you had known going into it all in the beginning?

i have been running a business for the past 7 years with my husband so it has definitely given me a good idea of the good and the bad of self-employment! i guess work life balance is still something that I sometime struggle with. making sure my kids are happy is more important to me than being successful in business.

wasn't that the greatest read? so many nuggets of wisdom...not having full confidence, but still taking the plunge. realizing that it's ok to let the house go a little to spend a little more time doing something you love. and i loved the bit about the sheep. those are my feelings exactly when i walk into a great grocery story or farmers' market. but my favorite part? "making sure my kids are happy is more important to me than being successful in business." this is good stuff you guys.

and it gets even better! evelyne is giving away one of her super chunky mustard infinity scarves. she sent it over the pond (over two ponds really) months ago and i've had them here, ready and waiting for the right time to announce her giveaway. and boy are they soft and super cozy (or cosy as the british would say). we had to hold off a bit because she was so swamped with orders for the holidays and i'm really glad we did. the idea for "soul food" didn't come about until recently and i'm so glad that evelyne is the first person i was able to feature.

so here are the rules for entering my friends. read carefully and enter away!
1. leave a comment here on the blog and then take a gander at the beautiful pieces in evelyne's shop. what did you think of evelyne's interview? what do you think about this new series. let me know you were here my friends!

2. i created an "urban cosy giveaway board" on pinterest. head on over and repin your favorite things from eveylne's shop for an extra entry each.

3. i'll be posting over on instagram as well for one more way to enter. tag three friends on my post about the giveaway for an extra entry for you and one entry each for your three friends.

sound like a plan? thanks so much you guys. winners will be announced saturday morning here on the blog. have a great wednesday and talk to you soon!

and p.s. to receive a couple extra "if i were..." menu ideas and secret recipes every month that i only share via email click here. i'll also be sending out recipes every once in a while for testing and feedback. so fun, yeah?


  1. What a great idea! I love hearing about people and their passions.

    And wow, these are beautiful! I love her shop... the crocheted garland and the scarves are my favorites!

  2. Love! Her feelings are real and what many of us experience ourselves- we just don't want to voice it because then it's out there and it's real. So happy she did take the plunge bc her work is amazing!!

  3. I love hearing about people who are living their passion. It is inspiring to see people do what they love and have a family too. I like her letter garland.

  4. Love the interview, and hearing about how others follow their passions.

  5. Oh man, I love it! How often do we get to read soul food? I love it. I also really really like Evelyn and her super chunky mustard scarf. Also, watch this 4 minute video about a 97 year old woman named Jane who can do the splits! She was a little soul food for me today.

  6. Callie, I LOVE reading your blog. You are so good with words and I love how you think. I love the idea of soul food. It is uplifting and inspiring to read and hear about how others got inspired and did good things in life. I loved reading the interview and finding out how something her mom taught her, came back and she totally used it later on and loves it. Thank you!!

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    1. I love your new series. Listening to other women's stories and hearts is encouraging and strengthening for other women, that's how I feel I get the best perspective in life. I've seen Evelyn's work before and it's beautiful.

  8. Oh my. I am lost for words... Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for taking the time to leave such beautiful messages. I am genuinely touched. And thanks to Callie for giving me the chance to be part of this, you da best! x