Tag Archives: easy

(Sort of) Handmade Halloween

I can’t count how many times people have suggested that Halloween must be my favorite holiday because I have a degree in costume design or that my kids are so lucky to have a parent that can make their costume dreams come true every year.   Maybe it’s just me, but once something is your profession, even if you aren’t currently working, it’s not really something you seek to also do at home!  Around this time of year, I’m always already neck-deep in making Christmas ornaments for my store so Halloween always sneaks up on me!   Despite what people may assume, I am perfectly happy to just BUY a costume if it already looks great or is something I can alter or easily make into something better.   Continue reading

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A Train Car Birthday Party!

A train car at Travel Town Museum!

It wasn’t difficult to pick the theme or location for G’s 4th birthday party this year because he is SOOOO into trains right now!   He has to be holding some sort of toy train, train photo, train sticker or train book at all times and at the dinner table, they are allowed to sit and “watch” us eat from a short distance.   He even sleeps with them the way most children would sleep with a beloved stuffed animal.  It’s amazing. Continue reading

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(Another) DIY Birth Announcement

fredfrontIt seems like only yesterday that I was posting about my first baby’s birth announcement, but it has been over three years now!   I had a lot more time on my hands that year, so when I gave birth again this past October in the middle of getting ready for holiday sales and fairs, I figured there was no way I would be able to pull off an announcement for this second little guy.  One day, while working in my studio between feedings, I grabbed a roll of chalkboard paper, really just some black kraft paper, that I had lying around and quickly sketched up his details.   I set the camera without him in the photo and then waited until he was milk drunk to plop him down in the middle of the paper for a couple of shots.  It really only took a few minutes of his time and I love the result!

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Toddler Cooking Party…He’s 3!

IMG_3064To say that George loves all things kitchen related would be a ridiculous understatement.  He doesn’t just like “playing” kitchen…he likes using the real stuff, carefully stirring at the stove, watching every single step and trying it out himself.  He even sort of non-verbally lures new guests or friends to lift him onto the counter near the mixer so he can touch it for a while (since he knows Jeff and I won’t).    Obsessed would be a better word to use.

Since George is still mostly non-verbal, we had to guess what theme would be best for his birthday and “cooking” popped into my head as a fun thing for all kids to do!   Here’s how we pulled it off: Continue reading

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Simply Wonderful Tomato Soup

IMG_0648There’s just something about homemade tomato soup in the winter (yes, even in LA) that warms me to my toes.  I was never a fan of the canned stuff growing up, but real tomato soup is the perfect accompaniment to almost anything.  When my friend served us this family recipe one night last year, I was blown away by how perfect it was and I’ve been making it two to three times a month since that dinner!  Her recipe is a little creamy, a little tangy and a little spicy.   It also freezes well which has been a lifesaver during busy months.  I recommend pairing it with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich or sweet corn muffins!  Continue reading

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On the 11th Day of Christmas…Craft!

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I can’t count how many times someone asked me where they can find a good ugly Christmas sweater this year.  Um… Hello?!  Get a hot glue gun and make one or better yet, make something just as tacky that’s actually original!   Take for instance this crown I made for my Christmas party…equal parts delightful and hideous.   I cut antler shapes out of heavy chipboard and coated them liberally in 24k gold glass glitter (and then prayed it didn’t blind me half way through the party).  I hot glued them with some jingle bells, shiny balls, and plastic glitter pine needles (all from Michael’s) to sparkly gold elastic.   When I put it on the first the time, there were gaps between the stuff where the elastic stretched…so I just hot glued more stuff to the other stuff to fill it in!  Boom.  Done.   But for Pete’s sake, if you do go with a store-bought ugly sweater, don’t buy the sexy fitted one…it really defeats the point and kills the whole funny thing.

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On the 8th Day of Christmas….Slow Down and Slow Cook.

IMG_0526I love my crock pot and I use it all the time, but when winter comes, I like slow cooking in the oven instead to warm up the house.  Our friend made garlic confit last year for her New Year’s dinner and it’s taken me this long to finally ask her for the recipe for our Christmas party.   I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make, not to mention the glorious, warm, sweet smell of roasting garlic that filled my house. Continue reading

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