What We’ve Been Up To

Some Time in Seychelles

In May I had the opportunity to visit the tiny African nation of Seychelles to do research for my other life as a travel writer. The journey was long, but worth it. On my way there and back I spent some time in Abu Dhabi, which I wrote about for Fathom here: Break Free From… Read more »

Travel, Travel Adventure, Travel Inspiration

Wild Parrot Garland

We love anything tropical, and of course we also love fun animated films, so we were excited when we were asked to create a project inspired by The Wild Life, which will be in theaters September 9th.The Wild Life stars a motley crew of crazy animals, including the over-exuberant parrot we are celebrating here, a… Read more »

By Craft, Crafting With Kids, DIY, Paper, Sponsored Post

Back to School Bests

Exactly one week until we are back to school. This year I was on top of deadlines and ordered our school supplies pre-packed from the school. It’s a huge time and money saver, but the kids were a little disappointed to miss out on picking out every last item in their most adorable form. To… Read more »

School

My New Mid-Century Modern Home

Carleton and I bought a house! It’s been a long process – we’ve been looking for over a year and made so many offers that didn’t get accepted and seen so many duds and so many beautiful homes before we finally found The One. We move in on Sunday! Prepare for many, many redecorating and… Read more »

Prudent Home, September

Back-To-School Doesn’t Have To Mean Back-To-Germs

Oh don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here counting down the days until my last FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN. Can you believe Gordon is heading to elementary school? I’m ready, he’s ready, we are going to be OK. Deep breaths. And to help keep Gordon (and all the other sweet babies heading to a… Read more »

Baby + Kid

DIY Pokémon Go Ball and Crafting with Gordon

pokemon go ball

We have had an interesting development in our household. Gordon had discovered crafting. His inspiration and is different than it ever was with the girls. While they were most interested in the actual process as a fun activity, he is set on the results.

1. Gordon’s project idea is always inspired by another interest like Star Wars, Legos, Five Nights At Freddy’s, Minecraft or Pokémon Go. Actually, it is always inspired by one of those things.

2. It is always built on something he has recycled like a used glow stick, tissue box, or in this case a tennis ball.

3. It always involved duct tape. Sometimes lots of duct tape.

Gordon recently came to me with this idea, which I think he saw somewhere on YouTube, and he had to try it. 16 Pokéballs later, we are excited to share this easy Pokémon Go tutorial. Here’s how you make them!

pokemon go ball

– Collect your supplies. One red 9″balloon, One white 9″ balloon, black and white duct tape, scissors and a tennis ball.

– Cut the rounded bottom off of both balloons.

– Pull one balloon onto the ball as tightly as possible.

– Pull the second balloon onto the other side of the ball, overlapping the first so that the entire ball is covered.

– Cut a strip of black tape about 1/2″ wide and long enough to go around ball and overlap 1/2.” Cut a 1″ black circle and 1/2″ white circle and center over stripe. You can use templates like coins or just freestyle.

– Catch ’em all!

pokemon go ballpokemon go ball

by

Some Time in Seychelles

In May I had the opportunity to visit the tiny African nation of Seychelles to do research for my other life as a travel writer. The journey was long, but worth it. On my way there and back I spent some time in Abu Dhabi, which I wrote about for Fathom here: Break Free From Terminal Boredom: How to Spend a Layover in Abu Dhabi. Check out some of the beauty that is Seychelles…Seychelles Cap LazareSeychelles Cap LazareSeychelles Le Digue Anse Grande RestuarantSeychelles Le DigueSeychelles Victoria MarketSeychelles Lazare Pico guest houseSeychelles SeafoodSeychelles Le Digue Praslin View Seychelles CarnavalSeychelles Le Digue Sunset Ferry Read my full story about Seychelles on Venuelust here: Seychelles Honeymoon Itinerary: The Complete Guide.

by

A Random Assortment of Good Things I Bought One Week After Moving Into My New House

Stuff I Bought That I Love We finally moved in to our new house (it’s a beauty, check it out here)! I can’t stand being surrounded by boxes so I worked overtime to unpack and get settled. Then I started buying stuff.

This I bought in Kauai right before we moved, it was so cute and I love it on Scarlet’s bed as she looks out to the pool. I got in Kapaa at the adorable shop Shipwrecked Kauai, but you can snag one at their online shop.

Scarlet’s room has a ton of closet space, but her laundry basket doesn’t quite fit inside, so I wanted a pretty one to match her decor, which is of course Pink. This graphic printed large basket did the trick, West Elm. I also got the oversized version to hold all of her dress up clothes, which sits next to her bed.

This house has a lot of green going on. So I wasn’t feeling the blue pillow cover I had on a floor pillow in the living room. So I picked up a Commune Temoayan Pillow Cover in Ivory from West Elm.

I also thought this would be a good time to update the pillow covers on my couch. I got two of these 18″ Roar + Rabbit Graphic Puzzle Pillow Covers from West Elm and one 23″ X-base pillow from CB2.

There is a door in the hallway that is rather unecessary, but I am not sure that I want to remove it yet, and it keeps closing on it’s own, which is really a great excuse to buy a doorstop. I went with the geo doorstop from West Elm.

We are spending a ton of time outside, so I needed to get a patio umbrella right away. We splurged on this 9′ eucalyptus and sunbrella one from Crate and Barrel.

We have a pool now, which means we need pool towels. We splurged on these oversize spa towels from Pendleton in Los Ojos and Spider Rock. They are so luxurious.

And also for the pool, we had to get a donut(48" diameter), a pretzel, a pineapplepineapple, and my friend Erin gave me my beloved swan, all from Amazon.

I also bought a toaster oven, because I love toast, and a new vacuumbecause this house has carpet. Oh, and Scarlet used her saved up allowance to buy a claw machine. That’s been fun and not loud or annoying at all.

Now to stop buying random things and plan each room carefully. Wish me luck!

by

Wild Parrot Garland

Wild Parrot Garland f We love anything tropical, and of course we also love fun animated films, so we were excited when we were asked to create a project inspired by The Wild Life, which will be in theaters September 9th.thewildlife-bannerThe Wild Life stars a motley crew of crazy animals, including the over-exuberant parrot we are celebrating here, a snack-obsessed tapir named Rosie, a persnickety echidna called Epi and even an acrobatic pangolin. They all live on a tropical isle that is pure wild animal paradise until Robinson Crusoe, a marooned human, arrives in the midst of a furious storm, and their lives are forever changed by this bewildering new “creature.” You’ll have to watch the film to learn what happens! But there are some savage cats, a unique treehouse, and a lesson in the true power of friendship. So let’s make a parrot garland and get ready for The Wild Life. Wild Parrot Garland instagram 2 This is a fun craft to make with kids, and so easy to do! Print out some (free) coloring pages from the movie here, including this one of our favorite parrot Mak
Wild Life Coloringalong with our wild parrot template and get crafting, I’ll show you how to make this garland after the jump… (more…)

by

Back to School Bests

IMG_4117Exactly one week until we are back to school. This year I was on top of deadlines and ordered our school supplies pre-packed from the school. It’s a huge time and money saver, but the kids were a little disappointed to miss out on picking out every last item in their most adorable form. To ease their broken hearts (sigh) I splurged on a few extra cute school supplies that you just have to check out.

IMG_4104

First up we ordered custom name labels from Minted. They are even dishwasher-friendly so you can use them on waterbottles and lunch containers. I’m hoping this will help all of us hang on to our most (eh,hem) precious possessions this year. I even got some with my phone number. Such a good idea!

IMG_4113IMG_4082low

Next up we have this too-cute Post-it Pop-up Note Camera Dispenser. The girls quickly scooped these up for their new homework stations. Now I’m feeling like I need the black one for the kitchen.IMG_4092low

 

4up backtoschool

I’m in awe of you moms who add hand-written notes to your kiddos lunches in the am. I’m so proud of myself when I make them a lunch! I’m thinking I could handle slipping one of these cute pre-printed notes from ban.do into their lunch bags and when I’m really on my game, adding a personal message on the back.

We love Gel Pens for coloring and note taking and math and losing under the seats of our car. This set of 48 makes these smooth-as-butter pens a little more affordable for the under-10-yr-old set.

There is something about a bento that gives me the strength to cut up fruit and veggies at 6 am versus throwing in a bag of Funyuns. Eco lunch boxes makes really nice ones in kid-friendly sizes. I also really like their singles for a salad, snack or leftovers.

We aren’t ready to send phones to school unless it’s a special “tech day” but protecting their gadgets is essential. I’m obsessed with these Sonix cases that Jaime introduced me to on my last visit to LA. I’m leaning towards this one or this one.

4up2

My most brilliant girlfriends all say these Paper Mate Mates Mechanical Pencils are their kid’s favorites. We are going to shop for some today.

Check out this chic Macbook Felt Sleeve. My friend Rebecca uses one at the office and gets tons of compliments. I love it for Fall, it would be a great gift for a college student and it has a great price!

Land of Nod always has the cutest stuff for back-to-school. Isn’t this Teacher’s Pet Backpack adorable? They have so many sweet animal options.

And this Ellepi Red Stapler is a fun for mama. I’m thinking I need my own back-to-school supplies.

by

My New Mid-Century Modern Home

New House 1 Carleton and I bought a house! It’s been a long process – we’ve been looking for over a year and made so many offers that didn’t get accepted and seen so many duds and so many beautiful homes before we finally found The One. We move in on Sunday! Prepare for many, many redecorating and remodeling questions and posts.

Our new home is a 1949 mid-century modern in – gasp – the valley area of LA. We are moving over the hill and we couldn’t be more excited. We are most thrilled about having a pool! I grew up with a pool, Scarlet is an accomplished swimmer, and in LA you use it year round for entertaining, exercising, relaxing, and cooling off. New House 2

Decorating the patio is going to be my favorite project, I think. New House 5

The previous owners are, of course, taking their furniture with them. I am already scheming and plotting for my new style.New House 6

These photos are all of the former owners’ things. They cared for this home lovingly for many years – they even added the wood paneling themselves, refinished the pool, and installed a solar heating system – that means we can keep our pool warm year round! I am so excited to carry on that legacy and also add my own style. I love the custom gate and drought-friendly front yard landscaping. New House 3

There are three peregrine falcons who bathe in the front yard fountain regularly. I am glad Jacinda came to town and convinced me to ask the former owners to sell me the fountain. The sound of it is a perfect welcome home. I will be adding a roof to my custom chicken coop plans, though. New House 4

I love that they updated the kitchen with new counters and floors, but didn’t replace the original cabinets, just refinished them. I love all of the original hardware and the wood is beautiful. I can’t wait to cook dinners in here, and plant an herb garden in that giant bay window while watching falcons bathe. New House 7

The bedrooms need new flooring. While I have some love for shag carpeting, this stuff is old and I don’t think it’s the best choice when your door opens up to a pool. Scarlet’s room is going to have a tween-friendly makeover, and it’s going to be amazing! She is so excited! New House 8

What she is most excited about, besides the pool, is her bathroom. That wallpaper is original from 1949! And I think I love it… I know Scarlet does. New House 9

I will update the tub and shower, but I think I’m going to keep the wallpaper and counter. What do you think? I’m most thrilled by how mid-mod architects used light – this bathroom has perfect natural light peeking in through the high windows so you can put on your makeup and not look like a clown (problem in my current dark bathroom). New House 15

The master bedroom suffers from the same shag carpet problem, but it’s a cozy nook with a big sliding glass door out to the yard. I plan to re-envision it with a new door – maybe some type of modern french door? And we are going to invest in new furniture and paint and a whole bright, simple, clean look. The best part is all the original built-in storage with beautiful wood doors that even hide the TV. New House 10

The master bath is going to need a whole remodel. That’s going to be down the road, it’s fine for now. I’d like to open up that whole shower wall and put a window in the back so I can look out on my chickens while I bathe. Yeah, that’s weird, but I’m owning it. New House 16

Here’s the office where my husband will work and Scarlet will read and guests will stay. They’ve refinished the cement floors in here, though I’m not sure I love it because you can see traces of the tile glue. I have to think on this one. I plan to be true to the mid-mod style with a built in system to make this more of a library for all the jillions of books we couldn’t part with while we pack. It certainly has a view conducive to contemplating all the work that needs to be done, and a dog door for Princess Cheese. New House 11

The living and dining room are a wide open space, with a functional wood burning fireplace (rare in Los Angeles) and giant glass windows out to the yard. New House 12

This room is going to be so fun. I am moving in with way too much furniture for this simple space, so it’s going to be a mish mash of what we own and what we need and what works. It’s also carpeted – I don’t love carpet, but it’s brand new and authentic to the home, and underneath it is a brittle, shattered mystery tile, so it might be a minute or year or four before we invest in new flooring. I dream of slate floors – but alas that is a big dream. New House 17

I love the windows and the open space. This is where my daughter will become a teenager, open presents, hang out with her dog. I have so many visions of happy times here, but 99% of them are about dinner. I can’t wait to get my dining room table in here and just make the perfect place for us to eat together (almost) every night. New House 18

I am already imagining Scarlet running in the door all wet from the pool and me being like: Close the door! The air conditioning is on! Use a towel before you come inside! And her rolling her eyes while reluctantly obliging. New House 14

And finally, there’s the garage. My husband had a fantasy about being able to park his car in a garage. Ha Ha Ha! Not gonna happen. Our current home has a garage converted into a studio, which is where I have been working on this site, my books, and all our crafts for 8 years. I was worried about losing a space like that when we moved, but alas we found this house with a perfect garage with built in workstations and gorgeous organized storage! I can’t wait to set up my tools and sewing machines and prudent workstation here. New House 13

And most of all…. those magical Los Angeles sunsets in the yard. This is where we are going to make the best memories. New House 20

I can’t wait to hear what you think of our new home/project and to work on it with you all!

by

Back-To-School Doesn’t Have To Mean Back-To-Germs

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.03.50 PM
Oh don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here counting down the days until my last FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN. Can you believe Gordon is heading to elementary school? I’m ready, he’s ready, we are going to be OK. Deep breaths. And to help keep Gordon (and all the other sweet babies heading to a big germ-filled elementary school for the first time) on track and in school, our partners at Lysol, who’s disinfecting wipes kill 99.9%* germs, helped us create this fun and informative video about Tips to Help Stay Healthy During Back-To-School.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.01.50 PM
Can you guess what they are? Yes, we all need to stay well-rested for healthy immunity, remember to avoid touching our nose and mouth, and to stay home if we DO get sick but here are three more important ways to help avoid catching a cold and/or the flu this Back-To-School season. Hope you enjoy it and stay healthy my friends!

* When used as directed

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 7.00.25 PM

This post is sponsored by LYSOL. All opinions and thoughts are my own. For more tips, advice and helpful information, sign up for their newsletter now!

by

Our Back-To-School Office Makeover for 2

IMG_3896

Clare has been turning any small corner she could find into her own office since she was three years old. As soon as she could write her name, she designed her own business cards. The girl is a little obsessed with work space and organization. When Wayfair asked us to design a kid homework space to celebrate their Back-To-School Sale, we said “YES PLEASE!” I knew that they would love it.

IMG_3956 IMG_3996 IMG_3903

It was time to create a drool-worthy and hopefully brain-expanding grown-up-ish workspace for the girls to share. It was important to all of us that they had their own desks… and spaces to chill… (more…)

by