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

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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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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