What We’ve Been Up To

How to Make Grape Bunnies for Easter

My friends, you have to surprise your kids and learn how to make grape bunnies for Easter, or actually just surprise them with some tomorrow morning before school, they are that simple to make. You don’t even need to add marshmallow tails, except how cute are marshmallow tails? When our waitress at the Asian Buffet,… Read more »

Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Easter, Entertaining + Food, Food Crafts, Kid's Cooking, Mothers Day, Sides & Veggies, Under $5, Under an Hour

Unlimited Squirrels by Mo Willems & Perfect Rock Painting Tutorial

Unlimited Squirrels by Mo Willems & Perfect Rock Painting Tutorial is sponsored by Disney Book Group

I know that so many of you, just like us,  are fans of Mo Willems, from Elephant & Piggie to Pigeon to Nanette, so I’m thrilled to introduce his newest creation. Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth! combines a charming new cast of characters with Mo’s signature writing style; a captivating medley of heart, humor, and high energy. This new book also features jokes and scientific facts in addition to a main story. It’s a perfect book for new readers and their caregivers to go back to again and again.

We fell so hard for these funny squirrels that we decided to paint them on a batch of rocks that we are decorating to hide in a neighborhood park. Rather than freehand draw these little guys, we turned to a classic tracing technique to transfer them to stone. I love when I can impress my own kids with a little crafty trick that I know! Now you can too. Here’s how we made our Unlimited Squirrels rocks… (more…)

by

How To Limit Electronics for Kids: A Free Printable Chart

How To Limit Electronics for Kids. It’s one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century. Of course you could always just not introduce them in the first place but that ship sailed for us a few years ago. Since it’s too late to go off the grid, I’m bringing back this How To Limit Electronics for Kids Summer Electronics Chart that worked great for us last year, a free printable that you too can introduce at home. “You’re Welcome Prudent Children!” HA!

Actually, my kiddos have really embraced this system. They like the independence of keeping track of their own activities as well as the variety of things they are required to do throughout the day.  I’ve even embraced the system for myself, reading and painting when they are doing their activities and doing my computer work when they are engrossed with electronics time.

Some other adjustments we have made to our system include rules like “no electronics before 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon,” and “a total daily electronics limit of 2 hours.” Even if they don’t want screen time, they still have to complete their checklist for the day.

  

Each week each kid gets a new printout of the sheet, which you can download and print as a PDF or JPEG. It would also be a great idea to laminate the sheet and use a dry erase marker to conserve paper. The lines at the bottom can be used to list chores for the week, positive notes for the kiddo, or rewards and allowance.

Looking for more creative projects to keep kids busy this summer? Visit our Crafting With Kids section for DIY’s like Watercolor Sno-Cone Tutorial, Cactus Pin Cushion Tutorial, and How to Make a Quick Flower Crown

We hope this helps you figure out how to limit electronics for kids at your house this Summer!

by

A Perfect Croatia Itinerary: Where to go in Croatia in One Week

Looking for a perfect Croatia itinerary for your upcoming trip? I am here to tell you where to go in Croatia in one week.
Croatia Itinerary: Where to go in Croatia in One Week
If you’re looking for an ideal Croatia itinerary, read on and find out

  • Where to go in Croatia
  • Where to stay in Croatia
  • What cities and islands to visit in Croatia
  • How to travel between the major spots
  • and what to do while you’re there!

A Perfect Croatia Itinerary in One Week

A perfect Croatia itinerary will include stops in the major cities of Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb along with a visit to some beautiful islands on the Adriatic, and side trips to gorgeous, waterfalled-filled National Parks.Image of the view from Tara's Lodge on Korcula, Croatia

You can easily change or adjust this itinerary based on your vacation dreams – more islands? Easy, stay another night or hop another ferry to a new island (details below). Want to spend more time visiting sites from Game of Thrones or hiking amongst waterfalls? That’s easy too.
Image of Korcula Town at Sunset
Traveling around the stunning country of Croatia is simple by ferry, bus, rental car, or inexpensive flights. I’ll share our perfect Croatia itinerary, but use this as a guide to figure out where to go in Croatia that will satisfy your wanderlust just the way you want it to. We started in Split, but you can do this itinerary backwards just as easily by starting in Dubrovnik and working your way up the coast to Split, then inland to Zagreb. For a perfect Croatia Itinerary you will want to visit at least the following…

Where to go in Croatia:

  • Dubrovnik
  • Split
  • Hvar
  • Korcula or at least one other island of your choice
  • Plitvice National Park
  • Zagreb

If you have more time, add on stops at additional islands, Sibenik, and Zadar, or even day trip to Bosnia Herzegovina or Montenegro. Here is our perfect itinerary for fitting it all into about a week, with plenty of city exploration time and also some gorgeous relaxation time on the islands of the Dalmatian coast.
(more…)

by

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for All The Moms

This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Here’s some Mother’s Day Gift Ideas to help you find the perfect gift for the special women in your life, and also maybe a little something for yourself. Not all moms are the same, of course. Some moms are artsy-craftsy, some are buttoned up career women, some are chic and some are all about fun, and most can’t be put in any one category! Inspired by all the moms including Melissa McCarthy’s character in her new comedy Life of the Party, in theaters just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ve assembled the ultimate gift guide with something for every mom.

Too Faced La Creme Lipstick ‘Unicorn Tears’ – This trendy gloss with an amazing name is selling out everywhere. It adds an iridescent shine to any lipstick but also looks magical on it’s own.

Any big-hearted mama would love a Rescue Gift in her name to the International Rescue Committee, an organization that responds to some of the world’s worst crises, delivering aid that saves lives while paving the way for long-term recovery. With your gift, you get a personalized card to send or email your recipient.

Our friend Kristi Schroeder’s new book Southwest Modern: From Marfa To New Mexico not only includes 18 travel-inspired quilts with clear patterns and instruction but plenty of gorgeous travel photos from the American Southwest. Im not sure if I would rather quilt or go on a road trip after reading her book. Both!

LEGO BrickHeadz Go Brick Me Building Kit may seem like an odd gift choice for mom but I know plenty of women who would love a Brick Head version of themselves, either a self-portrait or made by their little ones. Raises hand!

You knew it was coming! How about treating mom to a girls night out at the movies for Mother’s Day? Melissa McCarthy stars as an old school mom who creates a whole new life in LIFE OF THE PARTY – a hilarious comedy perfect for a mother daughter date, and it’s in theaters May 11! I wish my mom lived closer so we could go see this together. OMG va-google, I can’t deal. It looks hilarious, take a peek…

When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) turns regret into re-set by going back to college…landing in the same class and school as her daughter, who’s not entirely sold on the idea. Plunging headlong into the campus experience, the increasingly outspoken Deanna—now Dee Rock—embraces freedom, fun and frat boys on her own terms, finding her true self in a senior year no one ever expected.

This CK Bradley Beaded Clutch has me drooling. I can’t get enough of these tropical prints just in time for Summer Jacinda to come out of hibernation.

I actually just got my mom these Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils for her birthday, proving that you are never too old to get giddy over a rainbow of fresh new art supplies. It can’t just be the gals in my family. New colored pencils are just the best.

Our talented friend Sonya, who also did all of the illustrations for our book Pretty Prudent Home, creates these magnificent Macrame Wall Hangings that she sells in her online shop and at local events in Chicago. They go quick so don’t wait!

D-Link HD Mini Indoor WiFi Security Camera 2-Pack  is the perfect camera for sneaking a peek at baby (or fur baby) while you are at work, out for date night, or even just at nap time. It’s so nice to get a little baby fix any time of day!

Acapulco Sun Weave Lounge Patio Chairs with Top Glass Table Jaime and I both have Acapulco chairs in our yards and we just love them. They are super comfortable and stylish, this set, in a gorgeous green is a steal for two chairs and a table.

Need more Mother’s Day Gift Ideas?

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery is simply stunning. The designs are gorgeous and I am totally inspired to rediscover my love of embroidery this Summer since it travels so easily. If you gave this book to a crafty mom or grandma, I bet you would end up with some beautiful pieces for your walls, I’m just saying.

Can I just say one more time how excited I am to go see Life of the Party on Mother’s Day weekend. It’s been so long since I’ve seen a grown up movie in the theater. Mama, come see a movie with me!!!

When we were in Austin last month, Jaime brought these pretty Quinn Sandals from Madewell. They were cute with shorts, jeans, a skirt, everything, and she even wore them for a 5 mile walk straight out of the box. With a bit of heel they can be dressy or casual, I just love them.

Want to get mom flowers but bummed that they die in a week? Try a gorgeous Mother’s Day Paper Flower Bouquet.

Jaime just added this Palm Springs Outdoor 80 Quarts Portable Rolling Cooler to her backyard oasis. Fill it with mom’s favorite refreshments for the ultimate Mother’s Day surprise.

This fabulous little book, Just Add Watercolor Flowers: Easy Techniques and Beautiful Patterns for True Beginners, has a brief introduction to watercolor painting and then sheets of watercolor paper printed with pretty pencil drawings to paint. This would pair nicely with my favorite little Prima Watercolor Sets for a lovely gift.

A gorgeous leather cross body shoulder bag for under $50? yes please.

Native American inspired seed bead earrings are making a comeback and I am obsessed. When the Texas Summer takes hold and I turn to light dresses and struggle buns, I’ll be adding a pair of these to jazz up every outfit. I just love them. Did I just say “jazz up?”

These hand-stamped Spoons can be ordered with any name or saying but she has some really cute ones ready to order. I don’t need much in my life but a pretty spoon for my coffee that made me think of someone every day would be cherished.

Ok, I’m going to go a little MLM on you but have you tried Color Street Nail Strips? My neighbor started selling them and I quickly became obsessed. I haven’t been to the nail salon in months. Send my girl Cathy a facebook shout if you want a free sample. There are a lot of cute styles and more come out all the time. I even got my mom hooked the last time she visited.

Jaime has one of these Lightbox’s in her house and her husband changes the letters on her all the time, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Everyone in our house is obsessed with this new book, Craft the Rainbow: 40 Colorful Paper Projects from The House That Lars Built. The photography is gorgeous and there are so many useful projects. First I’m going to make some money lei’s for graduation gifts. It really is a perfect gift book for anyone who likes crafts and pretty things, even my son Gordon loves to look at it.

I love to see the pretty projects that Roostery makes with my fabric designs. I’m tempted to order this Texas Modern Throw Pillow in my most popular fabric design, Texas Modern Sunset.

This Lemon Squeeze Caftan is so flirty and fun. I want to wear one by Jaime’s mid-century modern pool and sip gin and tonics.

 

We hope you like our Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

Thank you to Warner Bros. Pictures for sponsoring this post and for all the laughs, we can’t wait to see Life of the Party on Mother’s Day Weekend!

by

Scarlet’s Bedroom Remodel Before & After

When we bought our mid-century modern house a couple years ago, it had great bones but needed some serious work. Scarlet especially wanted her room to be fixed up of course. It had greenish-brown shag carpet that was 50 years old (gag). She said “It looks and smells like barf.” She wasn’t wrong. The door opens to the pool and 50 years of moisture coming in and out, well… It had to go. The room also had a wall of mirrored closet doors – the kind that are supposed to slide, but never do because they are always stuck. So, because it was unsanitary and dysfunctional, we decided to give this girl a bedroom makeover without breaking the bank.

Here’s what we did! First order of business was to pull up the carpet, and the tile that was under it, then sand down the glue to the cement underneath. A good polish and a sealer and we have shiny new floors. Once we get all the carpet up around the house, I’m going to have a new layer of cement poured throughout the house to fill in the cracks for a nice even appearance.

Then we ripped out the mirrored doors and semi-useless shelving and built-in drawers behind them. There is a ton of closet space here, so we re-purposed the center area into a built-in desk. Scarlet LOVES her desk so much. We also added handles to the original cabinets above and gave them an ombre paint treatment.

You can see in the before pictures that we had all of Scarlet’s furniture that looked great in her room at old our house, but just did not work in here. It was time for a bigger bed, some more bookshelf space, and a cozy place to sit. Since she now had a built in desk, she didn’t need her old one (which she had grown too tall for anyway). So goodbye old desk and small bookshelf..

Hello hanging hammock chair and wall mounted shelving. We also hung the curtains up higher, all the way to the ceiling, and hung some Ikea velvet curtains to the floor. They could use a hem, but I still haven’t gotten around to that. I absolutely love the Max Wanger photo on the wall of the palm trees. It mimics the view outside and just makes me want to celebrate our home town of Los Angeles.

Of course her hamsters (p.s. do not get hamsters) needed a cool place to live. Check it out: HAMSTER PARADISE. We drilled holes for the hamster tubes to run through the bookshelves. Now they have a giant world to run around in. Not the easiest to clean, but pretty cool to look at. Image of Hamster Tube Bookshelf

Her twin bed was so cute, but it was time for a bigger one so we could snuggle together and read stories at night. She also needed some more closed storage, in the form of nightstands with drawers. I mean where else is she going to keep all the slime she is constantly making?

Voila! And a new coat of pain in a pale blush pink (Valspar HydroChroma in Coral Buff flat) made her so happy. The headboard is from Overstock, the end tables from West Elm. The wood engraved wall hanging was a project from our book, Pretty Prudent Home. The artwork above the bed we made, it’s a faux neon sign that says her name and lights up, but I decided it was way too heavy to hang above her bed, so we’ve since taken it down and replaced it with some macrame. 

Scarlet absolutely adores her new room. What do you think?

The desk is still my favorite part, though it’s not nearly as clean as it should be. I picked up the baskets and a set of drawers at Ikea (Alex drawer unit), which has helped her stay somewhat organized.

Hope you guys like it! Next up I’ll show you what I did with our master bedroom. It’s my fave.

by

11 Best Margarita Recipes

We have the 11 Best Margarita Recipes for you to enjoy all spring and summer, not just for Cinco De Mayo!

11 Best Margarita Recipes

My go to drink order is a classic Margarita Recipe on the rocks with salt (or a Skinny Margarita, depending on who’s making it.) With Cinco de Maya just around the corner, I’m starting to think about entertaining my friends with a pitcher of the classic Best Margarita Recipe, or one of these more creative 11 Best Margarita Recipes like the Spicy Pomegranate Margarita or the Sangria Swirl Margarita. Jaime and I were just in Austin for a conference and I definitely sampled many, many Margarita Recipes, my favorite was a Grapefruit, Jalapeño, and Texas Honey Margarita, which I’m planning to recreate for my next poolside party. Read on for the 11 BEST MARGARITA RECIPES…

best margarita recipes (more…)

by

How to Make Grape Bunnies for Easter

My friends, you have to surprise your kids and learn how to make grape bunnies for Easter, or actually just surprise them with some tomorrow morning before school, they are that simple to make.

how to make grape bunnies for easter

You don’t even need to add marshmallow tails, except how cute are marshmallow tails? When our waitress at the Asian Buffet, I know, I know, don’t be jealous of how glamorous we are, brought a few of these to our table with our fortune cookies, we all went nuts for them. They are just so simple and adorable, and healthy.

how to make grape bunnies for easter how to make grape bunnies for easter

Read on for the simple instructions for how to make grape bunnies for Easter! (more…)

by

No-Bake Tahini Bars Recipe

I love to do a little meal planning, at least for breakfast, or I end up not eating at all. This no-bake tahini bars recipe is an easy one to whip up on Sunday night, then I have a superfood-packed breakfast bar ready to go every morning, all week long.
Image of No Bake Tahini Bars
Tahini is a delicious paste made of sesame seeds. It imparts a nutty flavor and a rich texture that is so satisfying to eat. I love using it for these breakfast bars as a sort of “glue” to hold all the goodness of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and superfoods together. It’s a little slice of rich, delicious, nutrient-packed heaven to start your day off right.
Image of No Bake Tahini Bars

This tahini bars recipe is amazing because it is:

  • Packed with superfoods (chia seeds, hemp, maca, blueberries)
  • Easy to make (no bake)
  • Delicious – a little sweet with a bit of tang
  • Gluten free and paleo
  • Packed with healthy fats from nuts
  • Filling enough to last until lunch

You can make this tahini bars recipe with pretty much any combination of nuts, grains, and dried fruits you have on hand. I make it a little differently each time – the “glue” of coconut oil, tahini, and honey stays the same every time, but sometimes I use cashews, sometimes almonds, sometimes pistachios, and it’s always delicious. You can also mix up the dried fruits, for these tahini bars I used dried cranberries and blueberries, but they are also delicious with dried apricots, dates, or even mangoes.

Get my easy no-bake tahini bars recipe:

(more…)

by