What We’ve Been Up To

Our Slimy Spring Break

This post is sponsored by Clorox and Cotton. Scarlet is a sassy girl. I have respect for her sass most of the time, as she deploys it strategically. I think it will serve her well when she gets older, but for now I suffer (lol). One key tactic she uses to both frustrate and amuse… Read more »

Baby + Kid, Clothing, Kids, Sponsored Post, Style

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

Summer Style for Sensitive Kids (and Mamas too)

Sponsored by Zappos.

We’ve talked before about our kids who hate scratchy tags, stiff clothes, and basically every shoe on earth. I have one of those – Scarlet has some sensory problems with clothing, and shopping for her has always been a hassle. I know from the feedback we’ve had on this site and our facebook page that I am definitely not the only parent who deals with these issues. So I was super excited when Zappos contacted us to tell us about the launch of Zappos Adaptive: Functional and Fashionable Products to Make Life Easier. This is a whole section of their site dedicated to clothing for adults and kids with special needs – whether you are in a wheelchair or suffer from foot problems or have a family member who wants to feel more independent by being able to dress themselves more easily, there is a ton of stuff brought together in one place at Zappos Adaptive. We have always loved shopping at Zappos, but we love it even more now that they offer these adaptive options.

Check out these adorable summer style pics from Zappos for sensitive kiddos. The t-shirt may look like simple clothing, but it’s a revelation for sensory kids because is has flatlock seams (no irritation from regular stiching) and tear away tags that are water soluble (no cutting off tags and getting scratched by the remnants). The pants are easy-on, easy-off pull on pants that give that feeling of being “hugged” that sensory kids like. The shoes are pull on – the laces are elastic so they’re also great for kids who can’t tie their shoes for whatever reason. Because Scarlet is always wearing the simplest, softest clothing, I try to have more fun with accessories. What do you think of these looks? Zappos Adaptive Kid Style Pics -Girls
Clockwise from top left: 4Ward Clothing Short Sleeve Scoop Jersey Top, Appaman Kids Audrey Fedora, Pendleton Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Herschel Supply Co. Sutton Youth, New Balance Kids Electric Rainbow, The North Face Kids Pulse Capris, Babiators Original Beach Baby Blue Classic Sunglasses

Here’s one for boys, which Jacinda consulted on and said Gordon would totally dig. The shirt and shorts are both amazing for kids with sensory processing issues as they are 4 way reversible – forward, backward, inside out or some combination of all of it. They have flatlock seams, a rib knit elastic waist band, and tear-away water soluble tags. The look of the clothing is simple, and the feel is soft. The kids can still get their summer style on with some fun accessories like slip on shoes and cute backpacks…Zappos Adaptive Kid Style Pics Boys Clockwise from top left: 4Ward Clothing Long Sleeve Raglan Shirt, Appaman Kids Houston Fedora, Pendleton Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Herschel Supply Co. Pop Quiz, Vans Classic Slip-On™ Core Classics, 4Ward Clothing Four-Way Reversible Shorts, Ray-Ban Junior.

And if you’re a mama with a need for adaptive clothing, Zappos Adaptive has some super cute options! I don’t necessarily need adaptive clothing myself, but I still need this shirt (because it’s soft and it’s LONG…shirts are never long enough for me). Independence Day Clothing is a brand made for people who need clothes that are easier to get on and off while also being comfy to wear. I am loving that shirt, but also this bra. I would rock these two all day long (so soft) with any of my favorite leggings, here’s how I am styling them. Gotta have my chucks, in a fun metallic (also part of the adaptive collection at Zappos), and a cute straw hat (get the sun off my face) and all the jewelry and bags. Zappos Adaptive Womens
Clockwise from top right: Lack of Color The Spencer Fedora, Independence Day Clothing Co Reversible Boat Neck Tunic, TOMS Fin Peach Crystal Sunglasses, Converse Chuck Taylor® All Star® Shoreline Metallic, rag & bone Kimono Floral Bandana, House of Harlow 1960 Sacred Leaf Wrap Ring, Hat Attack Sunshine Clutch, House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Pendant with Black Leather, Independence Day Clothing Co Reversible Essential Bralette.

Jacinda and I firmly believe that whatever your needs are, you and your family should be able to feel cute and comfortable in what you wear. We are thrilled to know that Zappos agrees, and has created a shop for people who need just a little bit more functionality and comfort from their clothing. If you’ve ever wanted or needed clothing or shoes that foster independence and put ease and comfort first, check out Zappos Adaptive.

Sponsored by Zappos.

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Instant Pot Pasta Bolognese: One-Pot Penne with Meat Sauce

IMG_5329Jaime has been helping me learn to love my electric pressure cooker. She has the Instant Pot and I have the Bella which, coincidentally, is on sale for $39.99 today if you have Amazon Prime. As Jaime is my BFF and knows the one true way to my heart is to feed me pasta, she helped me perfect this One-Pot Penne Bolognese. It’s amazing, so delicious, so easy to make and so easy to clean up. The kids are already begging for me to make this one again.
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Our Slimy Spring Break

This post is sponsored by Clorox and Cotton.

Scarlet is a sassy girl. I have respect for her sass most of the time, as she deploys it strategically. I think it will serve her well when she gets older, but for now I suffer (lol). One key tactic she uses to both frustrate and amuse me is to quote myself back to me. For example, she likes to whip out some words I once wrote in a book for her, I said something about how important it is to get messy. I still believe those words, but geez, can this girl make a mess.

You all may also recall that Scarlet has some major issues with clothing, all related to some sensory issues (she says “I’m sensitive! That’s just how I am.” Can’t argue with that.) This means that when she finds a dress, or socks, or shoes that she likes I buy it in every color and three sizes so I know she will have something to wear. Anything that touches her body is always cotton, because she wants everything soft and familiar. Then she ends up falling in love with one particular item and wearing the same thing over and over and over again. So her love of making messes and her need to wear the same thing every day means I am constantly in a pickle when it comes to laundry. I do a lot of it, I do it often, and I know all the tricks about making something last and keeping it clean.

So when Clorox asked me whether I use Clorox Regular-Bleach on my whites and if I would care to share about my experience, I chuckled to myself and readily agreed. So on that note, here are some filthy things we did on our spring break, all in the same white cotton t-shirt. Scarlet has this shirt in 4 different colors, but of course the white one is the only one that “feels right” about 4 days a week.

First we decided to plant our veggie garden. I have this spot behind the house where we used to keep the chickens that we decided would be perfect for our little backyard farm. We tilled it, laid down some fresh soil and compost, and got to planting. We planted three varieties of tomato, three squash, lots of sweet and spicy peppers, and a whole bunch of herbs. I asked her to wear anything but that white cotton shirt, but alas it was the only thing she wanted to have on. At least she wore gloves. The garden looks great.

Scarlet Gardening Shirt The white shirt not so much. Somehow she managed to get grass stains on it as well – I think she was rolling around on the lawn with the dog while her shirt was wet. Kids are gross, but they have so much fun. Into the wash it went (for standard machines or high-efficiency machine wash, add 1/2 cup of Clorox Regular-BleachClorox Regular-Bleach with your favorite detergent and then wash) and it came out looking like new.

Noah Purifoy 4 Next, we went camping in Joshua tree. The white cotton shirt is hidden under the jacket. Joshua tree was amazing (read about it here), and thankfully she packed a few other shirts because the white cotton one got trashed on day one. It was also a little stinky after a day tramping around the hot desert underneath that weird (but awesome) shiny plastic jacket she is also obsessed with. Not to worry, I bleached that baby as soon as we got home (removed the dirt and sanitized the stank) and she was ready for spring break adventure #3…

Scarlets Super Slime-2

…which was starting Scarlet’s Super Slime Corporation (So puffy! So fluffy!). All children between 8-12 are obsessed with slime now, no? It has been my experience. Scarlet wanted to make slime to sell to her classmates. I didn’t think this would go well, but I was glad to have her excited to be working away on something non-screen-related, so I invested $30 in materials and had her do a P&L (profit and loss statement), and said after she paid back my investment she could keep the profits. So she went to town. It was pretty adorable watching her first entrepreneurial endeavor. It was also a hot mess. Scarlet Slime Shirt

Her slime ingredients were white glue, shaving cream, contact lens solution, glitter, and food coloring. Turns out food coloring is not a great thing to play with while wearing a white cotton shirt. Back to the washing machine with  Clorox Regular-Bleach, and to my surprise the shirt was in the clear after one wash. It also removed all the stickiness of the glue/slime. And FYI, turns out you generally cannot sell slime out of your backpack to your schoolmates. She got busted after her first sale, and I lost my investment. Still worth it.

And then the white cotton shirt went to the dog park, because cotton is comfy and dog parks are places where a kid needs to be comfy. The shirt played with many dogs, including of course our beloved Princess Cheese. It looked clean enough but it smelled… like a dog park. BLECH. I washed it with regular detergent but it still was stinky. That dog park poop-and-dust smell can really latch on to things, but luckily her favorite shirt is cotton, which means you can wash that smell away with the help of bleach. Scientists say it’s bacteria that causes smells in clothing (I don’t want to think about dog park bacteria), which bleach kills 99.9% of. Another load with a 1/2 cup of Clorox Regular-Bleach and and the beloved white cotton shirt smelled neutral again. Clorox Shirt

And after all that, the girl put it on that same white cotton shirt and wore it to Easter brunch, smelling fresh, feeling cozy, and looking crisp and bright! I begged her to wear a fancy dress… a fancy skirt was as far as she would go. Luckily, I think it turned out pretty dang cute. I did also make her put on shoes before we left 🙂 Scarlet Easter

This post is sponsored by Clorox and Cotton.

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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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