Middle Grade Book Favorites: Chapter 1


So your kid turns seven and decides that The Pigeon is no longer his jam. Been there. It’s time to dive into chapter books and graphic novels and there is a world of good ones for these new readers with a ferocious appetite for books. Clare and I have been keeping a list of our favorites.  I also invited a few school librarians that I know, our literary agent and her 9 year old son, and all of my smart and clever girlfriends (obvs, ha) with kids in this age group to add to our growing list. Get ready for some serious reading in 2016.


This all started because Clare couldn’t stop raving about this new book. She just loved it and I knew we had to share it with all of the 8-year-olds we know. I mean there is a character named Poo-Poo, what’s not to love? (rolls eyes and snickers)… (more…)


Inspiration from the LA Cookie Convention

Elephant Cupcakes Last Sunday before the big game, Carleton bought us tickets for a family day out at the Los Angeles Cookie Convention. It was fairly janky as far as the set up, but there were some beautiful cookies to be admired! Check this stuff out.

These sugar skull cookies by Cake and Cork were stunning. Sugar Skull Cookies

This Tiger head cake was by far the most amazing sweet concoction we saw, created by Wilton instructor Julie P. Zambrano. Tiger Head Cake

These old school police car cookies are adorable…Prohibition Cookies

and their prohibition-style set up is even cuter. Prohibition Sweets

More fun inspiration from the LA Cookie Convention after the jump… (more…)


Minnesota Hotdish! Tater Tots and Bacon FTW.

Tater Tot Bacon HotDish I was so disappointed! I spent a whole week in Minnesota and ate not a single tater tot. What the heck? I got home and decided I would just have to make my own HotDish. Is it healthy? Yeah, no. But it’s fun to eat! And kids love it! Get my Minnesota Tater Tot Hotdish recipe… (more…)


Fingerprint Cactus Valentine: Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Card

DIY cactus valentine

I’ve mentioned that bad puns are one of my favorite things about Valentines day (and in life.) Since cacti are one of my other favorite things, here are some sweet little pokey cards that bring together a few of my favorite things. If you were to tie one of these around a bottle of champagne and put Jaime on a plane with it, that would pretty much put all of my favorite things together. Anyway, here are some cute prickly valentines that you can make if you have paper, a fine point marker, a green stamp pad and a finger. DIY cactus valentineDIY cactus valentine   DIY cactus valentine

DIY cactus valentine

Basically you dip a large fingertip (I used pointer) in the inkpad and make the bottom pad of your cactus. Then a small fingertip (the pinky perhaps) and make the rest of the cactus. Kid fingers would make this even more adorable. Next draw a little pot and some funny words. You don’t need to be a calligrapher to make this work, even just block letters will be perfect.

DIY cactus valentine

Leave all your pals a note or tie one around a small potted cactus for your bestess and mostess.