What We’ve Been Up To

Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Holiday Cocktail Recipe

We partnered with our friends at Megan Media and Tropicana for this post. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Especially the idea that you should drink cocktails on Christmas. #MixedWithTrop It doesn’t really seem like the season for watermelon right now, does it? Watermelon screams summer and sunlight and lazy days by… Read more »

Christmas, Drinks, Entertaining + Food, November, Parties, Recipes, Sponsored Post

10 Ways To Send Your Sweeties To Zzz-Town

Ahh, getting little people to sleep is one of our greatest challenges as parents. Whether you are team “co-sleep” or team “cry it out” I suspect we can all agree that a happy and positive bedtime routine, one which makes kids feel safe and loved, is the best start to a successful night’s sleep. Our… Read more »

Baby + Kid, Books

All The Wreaths You Could Make This Week

Take some stuff and make it circular, and voila, it’s holiday decor. We love wreaths. They serve no actual purpose, but are festive and joyful. They make me smile and also make me want to craft. Here’s some of our favorite DIY wreath projects from years past…
DIY Jingle Bell Wreath, bonus, it makes a happy sound when guests come over. DIY Jingle Bell Wreath

You need virtually no DIY skills to make this Ribbon Wreath, and it’s so pretty! diy-ribbon-wreath

This fun wreath Jacinda made was featured in All You magazine. I love the surprise of upcycling yogurt cups to make it. A fun one to paint with the littles. diy upcycled yogurt cup wreath

One of our most popular posts ever, this DIY Living Succulent Wreath is sure to amaze and can last forever.diy-succulent-wreath You can also follow our tute for making a living succulent tree.

If you can crochet just a little bit, you can make a Crochet Wreath. Jacinda made two and they’re both so fun. diy-crochet-wreath-1 diy-crochet-wreath-2

And just for fun, make a salad wreath at your holiday party. The kids will love it.DIY Salad Wreath

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No More Nursery: A Boy’s Bedroom Makeover

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Now that Gordon is a big Kindergartener, our nursery days are over. I’m cool with it. He still gives me some pretty amazing hugs. Welp. Ok, back to that nursery. We recently ditched the toddler bed, moved our queen bed into his room, and upgraded ours to a King. Now he will have a bed he can stay in for as long as he is here. It can be forever. I’m totally ok with that. Now it is time to round out the room with toy storage, a nightstand and some lighting! We’ve partnered with our longtime friends at Lamps Plus, to help us furnish and illuminate the room with their gorgeous products. While the inspiration board above might not look like the bedroom of a 5 year old, that is my goal. I want this to be a room that he can live in for as long as he lives here. Read on for all of the details… (more…)

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The Real Story of How Our Pets Went to the “Farm Upstate”

chickens-17 If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, then you may have heard the tragic tale of the prudent chickens. We had our seven chickens for about three years. We loved them. We got two of them as pullets, hatched one of them ourselves, and got the other four as baby chicks in the mail. You can see our life with them at the #prudentchickens hashtag. It was filled with strawberries, eggs, and lazy days in the grass. It was good. Scarlet and Pippi We adored our feathered friends. When we moved to our new house, they were freaking out at night, so much squawking and shuffling. We thought maybe it was because they were in a new place. We were wrong. We awoke one morning a few weeks after moving in to two brutally murdered pets torn apart on our deck. We aren’t sure what animal did this, but there have been coyote sightings in the neighborhood. We definitely have a possum problem, as our gardeners found two dead possum corpses in our yard recently. Regardless, we had to accept that we couldn’t keep the chickens safe in our new neighborhood, which is closer to the mountains and more rich in wild animals then our previous home. chickens So, on that fateful morning, we talked to Scarlet (who luckily did not see the gory bloodbath) about what we should do. We knew that if we didn’t find a new home for the five remaining chickens, that whatever animal had killed the first two would be back, and probably that very night. Scarlet was emotional, but knew that the best thing would be to find a new home for them. So as I drove her to school, knowing she would probably not see them again, she asked me for only one thing: “Mom, whatever you do, please don’t tell me that you sent them to a farm upstate. I saw it on a TV show and I know that’s just a thing parents tell their children when their pets are dead.” I assured her I would not tell her such a lie. chickens-2 So, I dropped her at school, cried some of my own tears, and got on the phone. I called the humane society, I called local feed stores, I posted on chicken message boards, and I waited for replies. The local LA animal shelter said they would take our chickens, but could not guarantee they would be adopted (we do live in Los Angeles after all, not a lot of chicken owners here). The chicken groups all offered to reach out to their friends, but most people who want chickens around here already have them, and introducing a new flock is a fraught situation, as anyone who has ever owned chickens would understand. Then, when I had just about given up hope and was picturing another night of nerves and morning of blood and gore, I got a return call. chickens-7

That call came from an organization called Farm Sanctuary. This is a national charity that rescues farm animals. They have a small farm in Acton, CA about an hour or two from my house. They said I could bring my girls there right away. I packed them up in a dog crate, put them in my trunk, and hit the road. The only catch? Their Acton farm was full, and the birds would be transferred to their bigger farm… upstate.

This sounded perfect to me! And it was, I am so grateful for this organization. The real problem? Explaning to Scarlet that I sent her pets to a farm upstate and I WAS TELLING THE TRUTH. She believed me, but I know in her heart she wasn’t sure. chickens-8

Well, the amazing women at Farm Sanctuary not only rescued our hens from certain death, they also helped prove to my daughter that I am an honest woman. This Thanksgiving week we drove up to visit our family in the Sacramento area, and took a day to drive the couple hours North to the Farm Sanctuary in Orland, CA to visit our sweet birds. What a magical place it is! chickens-17

All five of them were there, happy and thriving, in a magical, beautiful hen house on acres of rolling hills that is really a chicken’s dream come true. I could never have made them such a beautiful home. They will live out their lives as a flock with everything they need. They even got to keep their names. So Queen Singalong Ice Cream, Pippi, Fluffy, Marble, and Zebra are living the good life (R.I.P. Love Traveler and Lemon). chickens-3chickens-2chickens-4chickens-1
The farmers at the sanctuary know the name of every animal there. And we are talking a flock of 30 white ducks, each with their own name and personality. Along with cows, chickens-16 goats,chickens-15 sheep,chickens-13pigs,chickens-9 and their favorite, turkeys (After meeting their turkeys, I can say I have a new appreciation for this animal. They were like puppies, running over for pets and kisses). chickens-11 Thank you so much Farm Sanctuary for giving our girls the home they deserve that we couldn’t provide. And thank you for allowing my daughter and I to visit them. They couldn’t be happier, and neither could we.chickens-6
I donated to Farm Sanctuary. If this story touches your heart, I hope you will too. Learn how to donate to their efforts here: FarmSanctuary.org, and how to tour a farm near you here.

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Feliz Navidad: Piñata Cupcakes

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We are loving Elena of Avalor: Feliz Navidad! In partnership with Disney Books, we were asked to come up with a fun sweet treat that celebrates the beautiful Latin and Hispanic-inspired culture featured in this special holiday book. We came up with these easy and adorable cupcakes with a surprise inside. The Piñata Cupcake!

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Here’s every detail that you need to prepare this festive treat! (more…)

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The Easiest Holiday Coffee Bar

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This post was created in partnership with Keurig Green Mountain®. All opinions, images, and ideas are my own.

Knock, knock! Since turning into a grown-up and moving to suburbia, I’ve noticed my life involves many more drop-in guests. A misplaced piece of mail, a parent escorting my child to my door from a play date, a holiday cookie delivery from a friendly neighbor (ahem, we love Snickerdoodles); my doorbell always seems to ringing. While being prepared for drop-in guests would make me feel like a total success in life, I’ve never been ready.

People, this holiday season is going to be different. Enter my new coffee bar. We are all obsessed.

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While you can pull out some fresh milk and cream to be fancy, the most beautiful part of the coffee cart is that it is totally self-serve. With my Keurig® K55 brewer plus dreamy holiday-inspired K-Cup® pods in flavors like Green Mountain Coffee® Holiday Blend Coffee and Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Coffee, The Original Donut Shop® Holiday Buzz, and even Swiss Miss® Peppermint Hot Cocoa for the non-coffee drinkers, you can let guests help themselves with the touch of a button, while you quickly kick shoes under the sofa. Did you know that you can also get K-Cup® pods delivered through Keurig’s Subscription Service?

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Have out of town family visiting for the holidays? Everyone can make their own piping hot cup of Fair Trade Certified™ 100% Arabic coffee in hundreds of varieties, any time of day. If you are feeling frisky, you can even set out some brandy to turn an afternoon coffee into a hot toddy. Doesn’t your family seem like more fun already?

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We have our cart dolled up for the holidays with yummy baked things and small gifts for friends but I think the coffee cart might have a permanent home in the kitchen. In fact, I can think of a few loved ones who will be getting a Keurig® K55 brewer of their own this holiday season, especially with this festive Rhubarb color. There is something so satisfying about giving a gift that will get used every day. I enjoy knowing that people I love are thinking about me when they take their first sip of coffee in the morning. The Keurig Gift Guide is a great place to find the perfect gift for the coffee lover on your list.
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If you really want to make your coffee bar an experience to remember, spice things up with an assortment of mix-ins and toppings like chocolate, chili powder, caramel, raw sugar, cinnamon, crushed candy cane, nutmeg, and Mexican vanilla. There are endless ways to surprise and delight your coffee-loving guests.

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This post was created in partnership with Keurig Green Mountain®. All opinions, images, and ideas are my own.

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Mocha Chili Bundt Cake Recipe

Chili Mocha Bundt Cake Recipe To warm your lips as well as your heart, here is my recipe for a Mocha Chili Bundt Cake. It has that Mexican hot cocoa flavor of cinnamon and spice, with a rich mocha coffee decadence that lends itself perfectly to the cooler days ahead. It would go quite nicely with a Smoky Watermelon Mezcal cocktail. But can we talk about the real star here? Yeah, my husband bought me that bundt pan. I knelt down to open up the overly-packaged amazon box, and upon finding this beauty nestled inside I looked up at my husband with a gaze of love so deep and sincere… the best feeling in the world is that of being understood. Recieving this bundt pan as a gift from him made me feel truly known and loved. Ha! I’m only like 5% kidding. This pan is magic, it’s the famous Nordic Ware bundt pan (releases like a dream) in the Jubilee shape, you can find it on Amazon here: Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt Pan. Ok, but back to the recipe. Make this one up, if you are making it for kids who don’t like “spicy” just leave out the cayenne. Get my Mocha Chili Bundt Cake recipe after the jump… (more…)

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Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Holiday Cocktail Recipe

We partnered with our friends at Megan Media and Tropicana for this post. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Especially the idea that you should drink cocktails on Christmas. #MixedWithTrop Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Cocktail RecipeIt doesn’t really seem like the season for watermelon right now, does it? Watermelon screams summer and sunlight and lazy days by the pool, but watermelon actually has its place at a Los Angeles Christmas cocktail party. Here in Southern California, and I’m sure in many other places (like, say, Mexico), we have a tradition of eating tamales on Christmas. And what would go better with a tamale at a holiday party than a sweet, smoky, spicy cocktail of watermelon juice and mezcal?

Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Cocktail Recipe 2The addition of refreshing muddled cilantro balances out the heat from the chilis, making this a drink that bites at the lips while going down easy, more like a light agua fresca. The added bonus? Brightening your glass with cheery red and green Christmas colors! This recipe will spice up any holiday gathering by warming your heart as well as your mouth. Tropicana Watermelon juice is the perfect addition because it has all the flavor of watermelon, but it’s not too sweet; it reminds me of a homemade watermelon agua fresca. Get my Spicy Watermelon Mezcal Holiday Cocktail Recipe after the jump… (more…)

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10 Ways To Send Your Sweeties To Zzz-Town

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Ahh, getting little people to sleep is one of our greatest challenges as parents. Whether you are team “co-sleep” or team “cry it out” I suspect we can all agree that a happy and positive bedtime routine, one which makes kids feel safe and loved, is the best start to a successful night’s sleep. Our sponsor Random House Children’s Books inspired us to pick 10 products that we are loving right now for a fun, and cute, but mostly soothing, nightly routine. From the fantastic new book The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep to the coziest blanket to the most magical nightlight, here are our 10 picks for a perfect bedtime.

Withings Home – Baby & Air Quality Monitor – Baby monitors have come a long way since my youngest was a wee one but this version has a life well beyond the crib years. Easy set-up gives access to all features including noise & motion detection, HD live stream to your smartphone, air quality, two-way talk, Night Vision, Automatic recording and Lulla light & music programs. Modern neutral friendly design also includes an additional pink and a blue cover.

9fc2c349-cac3-4938-bc9d-be6d55c3b550-jpg-_cb281623322_The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep – Written by Swedish author and behavioral scientist Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin and beautifully illustrated by Sydney Hanson, this hot new book features Ellen the Elephant, who is on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the way, she meets different fantastical characters and has soothing experiences that are meant to help children relax and slip quickly into slumber. The book also includes tips from Ehrlin for using the techniques successfully.

SCOPOW Silicone Kitty Smiley Face LED Children Night Light – We consider ourselves nightlight connoisseurs and this is our new favorite. Tap the soft silicone surface to switch among normal white or warm light mode, 7-color breathing light mode and standby mode. It makes the perfect, soothing bedside night light for story time.

Daniel Galvin Jr. Kids Dubble Trubble bath and beauty products – My three kiddos love to luxuriate in a nighttime bath with products by Daniel Galvin Jr. All of the scents are just delicious smelling. Cherry Bomb is my favorite.

Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist – A spritz of the calming scents of Lavender and Chamomile on everyone in the family’s pillow is the perfect aromatheraputic way to end the day and ease into a dreamy sleep.

Tea Pajamas – We have been longtime fans of Tea Collection for daywear but we recently discovered that they also make sleepwear in loads of adorable designs inspired by their travels around the world. You will be able to sleep well knowing your littles are cuddled up in cozy cotton.

Cozy Yeti Boot Slippers – What’s more adorable than these fuzzy booties?! Getting ready for bed and storytime are a lot more fun with the perfect pair of slippers.

Electrical Sonic Toothbrush for Baby  – This vibrating toothbrush with a LED light is perfect for a 1-2 year old. They will look forward to nightly tooth brushing as part of their all-important bedtime routine. It comes with two extra brushes and is available in 3 colors!

Primaloft® Deluxe Printed Throw – Dog Day – This cozy throw, which comes in a bunch of cute prints, has the lofty plush feel of down but is totally hypoallergenic and machine washable.

Raccoon Body pillow – We spotted this in Target and all wanted one. This cozy racoon is big enough for a kid to spoon. Ha! I’ve love a good body pillow to help me get to sleep ever since my pregnancy days.

Thank you to our sponsor Random House Children’s Books

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