Tags: outdoor dining, backyard
It’s that time of year in Texas when dining outdoors moves to the top of my list of things to do. It only lasts for a couple of weeks in the spring and again in the fall, so I have to take advantage while I can. This year, I have the added excitement of attending an amazing outdoor dining event with Outstanding in the Field, an organization that travels the country hosting farm-side dinners featuring foods grown on-site. I’m heading out to Santa Cruz next month for their dinner at Everett Family Farm, but in the meantime, I’m trying to create a nice dining space in our own backyard. Here are a few things on my wish list right now:
Tags: birthday, hello kitty
We celebrated Jenna’s 5th birthday this weekend. She requested a Hello Kitty Rainbow Flower party, a theme I found a bit difficult to tie together in a cohesive way. The chosen location – a local children’s art studio - added an ‘art’ theme to an already heavily themed party. But in the end, it all came together just fine. Lesson learned: don’t settle for one theme when you can have four. Happy Birthday, Jenna!
Here are a few scenes from the festivities:
The sickness in our house continued into our weekend, so there wasn’t a lot of photo snapping the past few days. We did, however, manage to dye Easter eggs and conduct our annual Easter egg hunt. Jason and Jenna love hunting for eggs and are especially competitive about finding the golden egg. This year, there were two, so each could claim victory. Jason was especially pleased when he discovered that the golden egg contained “the Abraham Lincoln dollar bill,” apparently his favorite of all the dollar bills. I asked Jenna later what her favorite part of Easter weekend was and, not surprisingly, she cited the Easter egg hunt and finding the golden egg as the best.
And speaking of Easter egg hunts, can you spot the egg in the last photo? Even after I pointed this one out, it took a bit for anyone to recognize the egg nested near the bottom of this tree. That Easter bunny is a sneaky one …
Tags: buzzfeed, diy, table settings, upcycle
Buzzfeed recently asked me to participate in their DIY craft series. I was thrilled to be invited but also a bit intimidated. I’m crafty in a glitter and glue gun sort of way, but the theme was Lightbulbs. Eek. Luckily, my husband knows his way around Radio Shack and was willing to dedicate quite a bit of time to creating battery-powered lights to make my lightbulb centerpiece idea see the light of day. Thank you, Joe. I could never have done this one without you.
So check out 3 Things to Do with Old Lightbulbs for details on my project above, along with a few other crafty ideas for putting old lightbulbs to use.
I finished Jenna’s watercolor set Valentine’s on Friday, and this weekend I moved on to Jason’s. Both of their schools no longer allow candy, so I had to come up with fun gift options of the non-sugary variety. Mustaches are hysterical to J+J these days, so when I saw these paper mustaches, I decided on a photo prop theme.
Here are the templates that I used for the cards and eyebrows:
- Cards (Print on 8 x 11 paper and cut into thirds)
- Eyebrows (Print on 8 x 11 paper, cut out individually and attach eyes)
Tags: children, valentine's
Jenna’s class has a Valentine’s Day party next week, and since candy is not allowed, I wanted to include a gift item that all of the kids would like. Jenna loves art, so watercolor sets were a perfect fit. I found a batch of inexpensive watercolors at the craft store and then set to work. My first step was figuring out what the Valentine’s would say. This was much harder than I expected, and my husband and I brainstormed for quite awhile to come up with ideas. I also found a great resource for all sorts of Valentine’s puns, and two of my final messages came from this list. I especially love these because Jenna helped paint them!
Recent Instagram Pics: Barn doors at the Fort Worth Stockyards, Pencil and ruler heart spotted in the Bishop Arts District, Sunshine in Keller, Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
It’s been a pretty low-key week around here, with the exception of Jason’s very first field trip. His kindergarten class visited the Fort Worth Stock Show, something we’ve never done in the 5 years of living in DFW. I tagged along and have to say, I don’t think I’ll be heading back anytime soon. Guess I’m not much of a farm girl. Based on our conversation later, I don’t think Jason is eager to return either. He cited the egg juggling act and the bus ride as his favorite parts of the trip, with extra emphasis on the bus ride.
A few other favorites from my week:
- Completely agree with this post about food in American culture.
- And speaking of food, here are a couple of recipes on my list to try soon: Beet and Black Bean Veggie Burgers, Mini Lasagna Cups, and Baked Baguette French Toast.
- Totally loving the photography of Uta Barth.
- Such a cute idea for birthday party decor. Perfect for Jenna’s Hello Kitty-Rainbow-Flowers-Pancake birthday party this year.
- Are you hosting a Super Bowl Party? A friend of mine recently shared party ideas on Martha Stewart’s radio program “Living at Home” and posted details on her blog.
Tags: valentines day
A couple of years ago, I let Jenna dip-dye a batch of coffee filters cut into heart shapes. It was probably one of her favorite crafts ever, so I thought I would bring it back this year. Since we no longer stock food coloring, we used watercolor paints instead. And, much like last time, we used the painted hearts to make a Valentine’s Day garland.
Tags: christmas, holidays
Decorating gingerbread houses has become a Christmas tradition for us. Some families have an Elf running around leaving a trail of marshmallows behind, we have our sticky, sugar-fueled children. This is one of Jason and Jenna’s most-loved holiday activities, but I’m not sure if it’s the joy of decorating or the joy of frosting that drives their excitement. There was definitely a lot of eating going on, especially since this year we were able to incorporate dye-free candy canes and sprinkles. (The red balls were left over from a couple of years ago, but luckily J+J know those are decoration-only.)
I think the best part of this year’s festivities was how much Jason got in on the action. He had announced in advance that his gingerbread house was going to be an “Angry Birds Lego Monster Haunted House” theme, and he quickly moved through the decorating phase so that he could work on arranging his cast of characters.
Here are a few scenes from our gingerbread decorating:
We let Jason and Jenna decorate the tree last weekend when we returned from our trip to Kansas City. It was fun sitting back and watching while they placed all of the ornaments on the bottom half of the tree. Our plan was to re-distribute the ornaments after they fell asleep that night, but it’s been almost a week and our tree is still pretty bare on top. They each have their own approach to hanging ornaments: Jenna walks around the tree looking for just the right spot for the ornament in her hands, while Jason carries as many ornaments as possible to the tree and places them all side-by-side, even if they are identical. It’s perfection vs efficiency.
Here are a few more favorites from my week:
- Very excited for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to open tomorrow in Dallas. The building, designed by architect Thom Mayne, looks pretty amazing.
- Love the Cox and Cox holiday collection, especially these gingerbread house cookie cutters and the chocolate tree moulds.
- I’ve been wanting to incorporate more pink in our house, maybe this tablecloth?
- Kiwi Crate is having an awesome 12-day giveaway this week.
- Giant pom-poms!