What We’ve Been Up To

Moana Easter Eggs

Who is obsessed with Moana? All of the children I suspect. I am as well, every single song is adorable and I could decorate my whole life in rich Polynesian style. I started with some Easter Eggs done up like little Palm Trees. These were so fun to make.. find how after the jump. by… Read more »

April, By Craft, Crafting With Kids, DIY, Easter, Paper

Tips On How to Grow Succulents

Patio SucculentsOur friend Emily from Sproutabl is here with some super helpful tips on how to grow succulents. You know my patio is overvlowing with sculptural succulents. These tips are very helpful, check them out, then make our succulent wreath or succulent trees, or even a succulent crown. Take it away Emily…

One of the trickiest parts about growing succulents is getting the watering right. Succulents are extremely hardy plants, which can give folks a false sense of security if they’re not careful.
Succulents store water in their leaves, but they also go through a cycle of holding water and draining, so they certainly need to be watered regularly. Most of the time, the soil will be your best indicator. If the soil is completely dry, it’s time to water. If it’s damp, you can hold off. Here’s a trick: stick a chopstick into the soil, and if it comes back wet, there’s still some moisture in the soil, and you probably don’t need to water yet.
If you want to know if you’re doing it right or wrong, keep an eye on your succulent’s leaves, which are the best way to tell if your plant is over- or under-watered. Underwatered succulents will have leaves that look a bit like a raisin: dry and shriveled. Succulents that have too much water will look soggy, saturated, and plump.
This is just one aspect of succulent care. If you’re getting ready to plant your own succulents, here’s a great visual guide about succulent care:
How-to-Grow-Succulents

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Instant Pot Penne Vodka Recipe

Instant Pot Penne Vodka Recipe Sometimes you just need a big, delicious bowl of creamy, rich pasta. Make it in the pressure cooker and you only have one pot to clean! I actually like this recipe better in the Instant Pot than on the stove top – it’s easier, faster, and infuses the pasta with the flavor of the sauce while still keeping it a perfect al dente texture. Throw in some leftover chicken and at least you’ll have had some protein. You will not believe how easy this penna vodka recipe whips up and how luscious is tastes until you try it (bonus: no vodka actually required if you aren’t into that). Get my recipe for Penne Alla Vodka in an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker after the jump… (more…)

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By Myself in Buenos Aires

Republica de La Boca I took a trip by myself to Buenos Aires, which is a wonderful plan that I highly recommend to any ladies looking for a solo adventure. I thought I’d share some of the beauty of this vibrant city! I started off walking around La Boca, the oldest neighborhood in Buenos Aires right by the mouth of the Riachuelo.

In the 1906’s local La Boca artist Benito Quinquela Martín painted the walls along Caminito the bright colors that now attract so many tourists. I soaked in the touristy vibe by strolling, eating some empanadas and watching some Tango. Caminito

On Sunday I got up early to walk and shop the San Telmo market. San Telmo

I found many, many fur coats, some light reading…
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and of course more Empanadas (In Argentina they are usually baked, not fried, so I told myself they were “healthy” ha). Empanadas

I came back later in the week to visit the Modern art museum, then wandered the streets of San Telmo where the colonial buildings are so colorful. San Telmo

I stayed with a friend in his gorgeous apartment in Recoleta. Recoleta

I mean, it was seriously beautiful. Recoleta Apt

When in Buenos Aires you should definitely make your way to the Recoleta Cemetery and stroll along the endless lanes. Recoleta Cemetery
Recoleta Cemetery Of course I had to visit Evita’s grave. Evita

I was introduced to a neighbor of my friend, a life long porteño in her 80’s who is also a student, art collector, and wonderful host of afternoon tea. She treated me to a tour of her stunning apartment. 11 copy

One day I hopped on the buquebus for a day trip to Colonia, Uruguay (about an hour away by boat). Colonia

I wandered around, letting out little sighs of contentment. Uruguay

And found a perfect spot for a quiet lunch, with Malbec of course. Colonia Uruguay

I spent an afternoon in Buenos’ Aires hip Soho Palermo neighborhood strolling, shopping Palermo
and having lunch by this perfect pool at the Home Hotel. Home Hotel Palermo

I also spent a few nights at the luxurious Park Tower hotel, with a great view of the Torre Monumental.18 copy

A highlight of my trip was spending a day in Delta Tigre. We drove up, and started with a visit to the Tigre Art Museum right on the river. Tigre Art Museujm In a restored building that used to be a private club, the museum is stunning and worth visiting before going on to your island destination. Tigre Art Museum

From there we took a short boat ride to a private island, Isla del Descanso for a delicious argentian lunch and a tour of the sculpture garden.Isla del Descanso

I even got the chance to pose on the Pablo Reinoso installation “Harmony Chairs”. Harmony Chairs

Buenos Aires is on the world’s largest river, but you won’t find much beach culture in the city. The water of the delta is clean and fresh but it’s a distinctly unpleasant shade of brown. So after a week of stomping through the wonderful city, an afternoon relaxing by the pool at Isla del Descanso was welcome before hopping a ferry back to the city. 24 copy

From there it was back to the city for more alfajores, grilled meats, malbec, and colorful, mysterious doorways before heading home to LA. Buenos Aires

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DIY Potted Easter Egg Cactus

Potted Easter Egg Cactus I love HI-CHEW candy from Japan and I’m thrilled to partner with them to share our fun new DIY Potted Easter Egg Cactus celebrating their Spring Mix Bag. This strawberry, mango, and green apple assortment of sensationally chewy gluten-free and nut-free candy is made with real fruit juices and purees. It’s the perfect candy for stuffing Easter eggs or as a sweet surprise  for anyone who enjoys chewy fruity treats… like me!Potted Easter Egg Cactus

Here’s how we made these adorable DIY Potted Cactus Easter Eggs, filled with HI-CHEW of course. (more…)

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10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Outdoor Living + FREE “Pool Rules” Printable

10 outdoor living spring cleaning tips

Spring is upon us and it’s time to wash away the dust and grime of winter and get our favorite spaces ready for warm weather gatherings and summer fun. To celebrate the season, we’ve partnered with our friends at Clorox® to create a week’s worth of ideas for a Springvent calendar that is full of spring cleaning tips, tricks and inspiration.

To kick off the week, we’re sharing tips on how to clean all things outdoors, from patio furniture to pool toys. Who knew that good old, affordable, and readily available, Clorox® Regular-Bleach, was the go-to cleaner for getting everything sparkling clean for the lazy days ahead? Here are 10 great tips for cleaning up your porch, patio, grill, pool or even just a picnic table. You will have everything perfectly clean and ready to make amazing memories this year.

10 outdoor living spring cleaning tips

1. Clean decks and concrete with Clorox® Regular-Bleach. Outdoor flooring takes the brunt of winter dirt and grime. Getting them clean doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. Visit Clorox.com for deck cleaning instructions and tips such as, “water your plants first.” If mold and mildew are a problem in your area, here are a few tips on how to clean outdoor mold and mildew.

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2. Clean patio furniture. Wash hard, nonporous patio furniture surfaces* such as plastic, painted or finished wood and glass (tabletops) with Clorox® Regular-Bleach, as described on the Clorox website.

*Helpful hint: When cleaning with Clorox® Regular-Bleach, don’t try to clean everything at once. You’ll need to start rinsing five minutes after you start, so it’s good to work a little at a time. That way, you don’t leave the bleach and water solution on too long.IMG_5191

3. Clean blow-up pool toys.  Fortunately, blow-up pool toys that are made of vinyl or plastic can be sanitized with a solution of one tablespoon Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Wipe the bleach solution on, let stand for two minutes and then allow items to air dry (you don’t have to rinse them, similar to sanitizing food contact surfaces). It will probably be easiest to do this when the toys are inflated.

4. Wipe down all outdoor kitchen surfaces such as appliances and counter tops. Clorox® Scentiva® comes in heavenly scents like Hawaiian Sunshine and Tuscan Lavender and Jasmine, which maybe makes cleaning a little more enjoyable?
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5. Clean the grill. Cooking on the grill is one of my favorite things about summer. It’s fun to get out of the house and cleanup is so much easier. Clorox has some great tips for cleaning your grill and keeping it in great shape all season long.

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6. Wash linens. Even if pool towels were clean at the end of the season, freshen them up by running them through the laundry so they are fluffy and smelling great. Did you know that you should skip the fabric softener to keep towels absorbent? Find more towel washing tips here.

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7. Wash windows and glass doors. You and your guests will notice that they are sparkling and fingerprint free…at least for the first five minutes of your party.

8. Wash outdoor plates, silverware and trays. They will be ready and dust-free for your next backyard get-together.

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9. Remove mold and mildew from plants and trees. Did you know that Clorox® Regular-Bleach can even help your plants and trees fight mold and mildew? Read how to treat your landscaping with bleach here.

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10. Sanitize your pool. Whether you have a kiddie pool or an Olympic-sized pool, you can keep it sparkling clean with Clorox® Regular-Bleach. The Clorox website has everything you need to know about how to use bleach to sanitize your pool.

Speaking of pools, we created this for you to post in your own backyard. You may have your own rules, but these four seem to be universally accepted.

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This post was sponsored by Clorox®, but it is our personal opinion that bleach is awesome.

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SING Blu-Ray + DVD Easter Basket and Printable!

IMG_5346Do your kiddos love to take the stage as much as the characters from SING? In partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, we’ve put together a basket of goodies sure to inspire the Easter bunny to bring your singing cuties a few fun surprises for their next gig. We are so excited that the Special Edition SING Blu-Ray + DVD is now in stores that we also created a page of watercolor printables that are perfect for gift tags, greeting cards or even framed as artwork. Read on for the SING inspired Easter basket and free printable.

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When Buster Moon, a romantic dreamer of a koala played by Matthew McConaughey, schemes to save his theater with a singing contest, hilarity and heartbreak and high-notes ensue. I loved all of the characters in SING, from punk rock porcupine Ash, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, to Rosita, an overworked mom of 25 piglets who dreams of stardom, played by Reese Witherspoon. The kids and I found ourselves rooting for this band of animal misfits and singing right along.

I think we could all relate to the characters’ desire to belt out a tune, even if it’s just from the comfort of our own living room (or shower.) It inspired me to pull together the perfect Easter basket inspired by SING.

Sing Easter basket (more…)

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Instant Pot Garlic Pork & Kale Recipe

Instapot Garlic Pork & Kale Recipe 4This recipe will blow your dang mind. For real. Even if you aren’t that into pork (like me), or kale (also like me), there’s something about the way the pressure cooker disintegrates the garlic into the sauce that makes it all add up to some serious magic for your mouth. Bonus, my 8-year-old daughter LOVES this dinner (did I mention it has kale? yeah, she still gobbles it up) and it easily freezes for leftovers, which can be repurposed deliciously in a way I will explain later in this post.

So, let’s talk about the Instant Pot. I’m obsessed, as I am sure many of you or your friends are. I got mine about a year ago, and didn’t start sharing recipes because I didn’t feel they would be useful, because most people didn’t have one. Well, it seems Instant Pot has now reached some sort of critical mass, and people want recipes! So, I have been experimenting over the last year with making some of my favorite recipes faster and easier in the Instant Pot, and now I think it is time to share. You can benefit from my year of early-adopter learnings, or if you don’t have an Instant Pot (or whatever pressure cooker), you can make this in a crock pot.Instapot Garlic Pork & Kale Recipe 6

Read on to get my recipe for Instant Pot Garlic Pork & Kale(more…)

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