What We’ve Been Up To

Halloween Fun Stuff For All

Looking for a few last-minute goodies to make Halloween spookier, sillier, and simply more fun? Here are a few of our favorite stuff/things to delight the young and old. Gordon loves a good pair of Skeleton Jammies. He wears them year round. This Halloween Spirit Board Serving Tray will look spooky and chic on my… Read more »


Salmon Chowder Recipe

It’s getting to be sort of cozy and fall-ish around these parts, which means I can indulge my love of making soups. This soup is made with salmon (this recipe calls for raw salmon, but you can easily just pop in some leftover cooked fish instead), which is my go-to protein to feed my daughter…. Read more »

Appetizers, Bacon, Entrées, Recipes, Sides & Veggies

Mid Century Modern Patio Reveal!

mid-mod-patio-reveal9 Eek! It’s finally done! Here’s all the pretty pictures of my refreshed mid-mod meets boho patio at my new house. You can see the before and after comparison pics here, and get all my resources at the bottom of this post. What do you think? Who wants to come over for a swim and some s’mores under the twinkling lights?

mid-mod-patio-reveal2 mid-mod-patio-reveal20 mid-mod-patio-reveal18 mid-mod-patio-reveal6 mid-mod-patio-reveal24 mid-mod-patio-reveal4 mid-mod-patio-reveal3 mid-mod-patio-reveal23 mid-mod-patio-reveal19 mid-mod-patio-reveal14 mid-mod-patio-reveal11 mid-mod-patio-reveal10 mid-mod-patio-reveal8 mid-mod-patio-reveal28 mid-mod-patio-reveal27 mid-mod-patio-reveal25 mid-mod-patio-reveal26 mid-mod-patio-reveal5

Find of all of my resources here to get the mid-mod meets boho look for your backyard:

Lamps Plus (yes, they have outdoor furniture and outdoor decor!)
Wood outdoor sectional couch and coffee table
Criss Cross Metal & Wood Stools used as side tables – they are out of stock, but keep checking their outdoor tables section
Outdoor Umbrellas
Fire Pit
Rock Water Fountain
Potting Bench
White Wicker Set of 2 Chairs – they are sold out, but check their outdoor seating section for similar items
Door Mats
Metal Basket Hurricane Candle Holder
Outdoor Heavy Duty String Lights

Sika Design
Wicker chair and matching Wicker Lounge

Direct from Mexico
Equipales Table and Chairs

Orange Acapulco Chairs – I got them (two rocking, two standard) for $45 each by scouring craigslist every day for a month

Black and White Pillows
Wood Bench
Striped Throw Blanket

Spa Towels

Terracotta pots

Jackalope Pottery
Gray large square planters

Vineland Nursery
New Drought-Resistant Trees, Bushes, Succulents, and Sod

I hope you guys dig it! You should see it at night at lit up with a fire blazing. I’m so happy in this space. Come over for a party!

Lamps Plus provided me with some of the items listed above to create this beautiful space. Thank you!


Nanette’s Baguette and 4 Easy Bread & Cheese Appetizers


Nothing says “Fall” in our house like a cutting board piled high with savory wedges of cheese, melt-in-your-mouth fresh bread, and robust piles of fruits, herbs, fine meats, preserves and pickles. Do we have your attention yet? When our friends at Disney Books asked us to come up with a fun way to share Mo Willem’s new book, Nanette’s Baguette, which is in stores today (October 25th), I knew that it had to involve my families famous cheese plates. Nanette can’t resist cracking into a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery before it even makes it home and we can totally relate. Fresh bread is our weakness too, especially when it’s surrounded by friends, family, and all of the fixin’s.

img_4740 Here are four combos that have been big hits this Fall, especially with the kiddos. If you are looking for a quick meal, party nosh, or even a midnight snack, try one of our favorites cheesy themes.

But first take a look at the trailer for Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems. It’s the story Nanette on her first big solo trip to the bakery. But . . . will Nanette get the baguette from baker Juliette? Or will Nanette soon be beset with regret? Set in a meticulously handcrafted-paper-modeled French village, the uniquely vibrant laugh-out-loud world of Nanette’s Baguette may be Mo’s best creation yet. Get set to krack into an irresistible tale you won’t soon forget!

And now for those yummy snacks




Halloween Fun Stuff For All


Looking for a few last-minute goodies to make Halloween spookier, sillier, and simply more fun? Here are a few of our favorite stuff/things to delight the young and old.

Gordon loves a good pair of Skeleton Jammies. He wears them year round.

This Halloween Spirit Board Serving Tray will look spooky and chic on my coffee table.

The girls love a little something they can wear to school without causing a scene, like this Sequin Cat Ears Headband.

Here are two of our favorite classic board book parodies with a Halloween twist. Goodnight Goon is fit for little ones, The Very Hungry Zombie is a little more… distasteful.

But my very favorite Halloween book is Laugh-Out-Loud Spooky Jokes for Kids. We have a lot of fun bringing this one to the dinner table and sharing some great jokes that we can pass along to friends throughout the season. Even our new readers are loving this one.

A Rocky Horror Picture Show T-shirt can be worn well beyond Halloween, to the next PTA meeting perhaps.

Looking for a last-minute base for your Halloween costume? These gorgeous Leotards add coverage or warmth in a rainbow of colors.

Speaking of goodies that work well beyond the Halloween holiday, I think this You’ve Been Poisoned Mug will bring me pleasure year-round.

Same goes for these Emoji Masks which come in a variety of expressions, including poop. OF COURSE!


Celebrating Ten Years in New Orleans

jaime-carleton-jackson-sqaure-copy Carleton and I have been married for ten years!!! This feels like an accomplishment. We had to celebrate so we shipped our little lovebug off to Grandma and Grandpa’s and headed to the Big Easy. We packed a lot of fun into a long weekend. We had been to New Orleans before, years ago for Jazz Fest, so we skipped some of the traditional NOLA must-dos (like beignet’s at Cafe du Monde and cemetery tours) and instead went full foodie and funky for this trip. We stayed at the Ace Hotel New Orleans in the Warehouse district, which has very good coffee. carleton-at-the-ace-copyIt’s also walking distance to the French Quarter and has a rooftop pool, where we started off with some cocktails. jaime-carleton-ace-hotel-copy Aww. true-adventure-copy
We went for a delicious light meal at Bar Frances, which has a great wine selection and wonderful service before heading to the French Quarter for a drink at Cane & Table, which everyone and their brother had told us was amazing, and they were right.
On the day of our anniversary we wandered around Jackson Square and the French Quarter for a bit, nola-park-copy nola-secret-gardens-copy nola-frnech-quarter-ferns-copynola-scenery-copynola-art-copy

I bought some perfume at Bourbon French, highly recommend stopping in and smelling it all and checking out the funky decor. bourbon french perfumes nola-french-quarter-perfumerie-3-copy

In the afternoon we took a culinary history tour, hosted by Naif, who is fascinating. You’re safe with Naif. Remember I said that. This tour is a must! We did the French Quarter Tasting tour, which was so full of historical facts and sneak peeks into kitchens big and small, and detailed history of cajun and creole cuisine. We started at Tujague’s for beef stew made the same way for over 100 years, Tujague's NOLA then walked over to Creole Delicacies for a history of creole cooking and a tasting of the best rice and beans I’ve ever had. We stocked up on their home-blend spices too. Creole Delicacies Shop We cruised by Faulkner House Books on our way to our next stop – definitely drop in here. nola-faulkner-house My favorite bite was a Mufalleta at La Divina, but the gelato was amazing too. nola-la-divina We rubbed the gate at The Court of Two Sisters for luck, nola-secret-court-of-two-sisters before heading to the fine dining institution that is Antoine’s. We ate in the same room American presidents have enjoyed, and got a sneak peek behind what makes a fine dining restaurant humm. Antoine's Nola I loved seeing the styles of each dining room, from inside and out. nola-antoines-3-copynola-antoines-copy And this sign on the dungeon door made me happy. nola-antoines-the-dungeon-copy Of course from there we went for pralines candy-copy before ending our tour with turtle soup. Can’t say I loved turtle soup, but I was a huge fan of shrimp remoulade. Hot tip: For the best view in the French Quarter, head upstairs at Muriel’s for a cocktail on the balcony overlooking Jackson Square.Muriel's New Orleans It’s also fun to grab an (umm, not tasty) Absinthe at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street. nola-absinthe-house-copy That night we had a truly fantastic anniversary dinner at Compere Lapin, then wandered around the French Quarter, grabbing some street food, buying some street art, listening to jazz, having our tarot cards read, and finishing up the night with my signature drink, a French 75, at Arnaud’s French 75, my favorite cocktail bar of the trip. drawings-in-the-market-copy jaime-nola nola-street-jazz-copyjaime-and-carleton-nola

The next day we headed out for a swamp tour with Cajun Encounters – they were great because they picked us up from the hotel and drove us back after. We saw lots of alligators and birds. I took this selfie on the tour. wild-pigs-copy

On Sunday we planned to do something amazing – kayak the bayou! But then it rained so our trip got cancelled. But you should definitely plan a kayak trip with Kayakitiyat. Instead we laid in bed until an ungodly hour then headed over to Magazine Street for some shopping magazine-street-copy jaime-magazine-street-copyand the most delicious Isreali meal at Shaya – This place was INSANELY delicious, we were so glad we stumbled upon it.

And then we headed home, missing our baby girl. It was a magical tenth anniversary trip. Y’all head to New Orleans ASAP. jaime-carleton-new-orleans-copy XOXOX


Salmon Chowder Recipe

Salmon Chowder Recipe It’s getting to be sort of cozy and fall-ish around these parts, which means I can indulge my love of making soups. This soup is made with salmon (this recipe calls for raw salmon, but you can easily just pop in some leftover cooked fish instead), which is my go-to protein to feed my daughter. She loves “pink fish” but I get bored of it quite easily. I like this recipe because the chowder is not “fishy” at all – and it was a huge hit with my family. You can customize the recipe to whatever you have on hand (add or subtract veggies and herbs), but if you leave out the bacon, just replace with a few tablespoons of healthy oil or fat (butter). Other than that feel free to add and subtract as you wish. I hope you enjoy my Salmon Chowder Recipe… (more…)


Cactus Pin Cushion Pattern

img_4533It had been a while since I’d done anything crafty and at a certain point it became hard to jump back in. Ever feel that way? Yesterday I grabbed a scrap of wool felt and some embroidery thread and forced myself to stitch. I had wanted to make a cute cactus pin cushion for a while so it felt the the perfect quick project to start with.


It was so rewarding to use my hands again and the girls thought it came out super cute. They want to use the pattern to make more pin cushions and even pillows now. If you and your craft are on a break, I highly recommend a reunion.

Here’s how to make a Cactus Pin Cushion with our Free Cactus Pattern. (more…)


Mid Mod Patio Update

So I recently shared with y’all that Carleton and I took the plunge and bought ourselves a house. We were so excited to immediately buy all new furniture and remodel all the bathrooms, but then the toilets all backed up and we had to fix the plumbing. Then the sprinklers broke. Then the pool heater broke. Then I found roaches in my kitchen. The list of expenses goes on and on, sigh. So for now we decided to focus on our favorite part of our new home: the outdoors. We live in Los Angeles, where it is supposedly “fall,” but it was 110 degrees last week. In Southern California, especially in the valley where we now live, a deck is basically another room in your house almost year-round. We have been hosting weekly pool parties, and we really want to make this space beautiful and functional for entertaining and also just for our family days hanging out at home. So here’s a few “before” pictures. This is the long view of the area I’d like to make into a sitting area. house-before-2-copy There’s an opportunity here for some seating and/or storage. Maybe a nice bar type thing where that bench is? house-before-31-copy This is where the couch and hopefully a dining table will fit. house-before-5-copy And over here is the entrance to my master bedroom. I’d eventually like to get new doors but for now I’m imagining a fire pit seating area. house-before-72-copy And new sod, or something. This grass is a hot mess. house-before-83-copy

And here is my inspiration board. Mid Mod Patio Inspiration I’m working on the gardening, pulling out the dead stuff and adding some local drought-resistant plants, and re-designing the furniture, layout, and outdoor lighting with the help of Lamps Plus. I’m really excited to share with you the after pictures! I’m working on it now, wish me luck! Here are the items I’m thinking about… (more…)


Elephant & Piggie Like Reading: The Cookie Fiasco and We Are Growing


It seems like just yesterday, we were shedding tears over Elephant & Piggie’s impending retirement with their last book, The Thank You Book. SURPRISE! In partnership with Disney Books, we are thrilled to announce that these two are back in a new early-reader series called “Elephant & Piggie Like Reading.”


In these books, released just last week, the pair of friends will introduce kids to their favorite books with “bumpers” written by Willems. “The idea is that now that Elephant and Piggie are retired they are spending their time reading books by somebody else. So they introduce each book and at the end they comment on why they like it,” Willems said.

And just like Elephant & Piggie, we love these books! They are both clever, funny, heart-warming, and beautifully illustrated by amazing artists/authors, Laurie Keller and Dan Santat.


Check them out… (more…)