Technology and Tinkering

Some thoughts on kids, technology and the new Tinker Crates from Kiwi Crate.

I read quite a bit about children and technology. As someone who works in the tech industry, the contradiction between being a designer who is constantly seeking out ‘the latest’ and being a parent who is simultaneously sheltering my kids from this same tendency is something I think about almost daily.

While we have boundaries in place like most parents (though I’ve read that parents in the tech industry tend to be stricter about screen time and device usage), we still struggle with creating a balance between ‘real’ and digital experiences. And as my kids made me realize last weekend when I looked out my window and saw the scene above, they don’t seem aware of a difference between real and digital.  (more…)

Make Room for the Holidays: A Houseplant Update

 

Our houseplants have been thriving for nearly a year! Here's an update with links to helpful houseplant resources.

My decorating habits over the past few years have definitely followed a trend. Every holiday season, we fill our living room with a gigantic Christmas tree and other trimmings only to be struck by a sense of emptiness once said decorations are removed.  Every winter ends with me buying a large quantity of houseplants to fill in this void, and, by summer’s end, most of the plants have been moved to the curb. It’s a circle of life.

So when I wrote this post at the beginning of 2014, I had no idea that our plants would be doing so well by winter (more…)

Marble Paper Napkin Rings

napkinring-feature

Making my own marbled paper is something I’ve wanted to explore for awhile. I purchased a marbling paper kit for Jenna a couple of years ago and she absolutely loved it, but the primary colors included in the kit weren’t ideal for some of the decorative projects I had in mind.

After coming across a few posts about marbling with nail polish, I decided to experiment with marbling paper again. (more…)

A Pokemon Party

A Pokemon Birthday Party: Great Ideas for Party Activities and non-sugary foods to serve.

Last weekend we hosted Jason’s Pokemon Birthday Party. Prior to planning this party, I knew very little about Pokemon, but I think my research paid off and I pulled together the theme pretty well. Based solely on the fact that my daughter is now requesting a Pokemon party for her next birthday, I’m concluding that the party was a success by the kids’ measures as well. But that might have been the pinata envy talking. (more…)

Pokemon Trading Card Invitation Templates

Create Pokemon Trading Card birthday invitations for your child's birthday. These templates (front and back) are fully editable in Photoshop so you can incorporate your own text and images.

Jason requested a Pokemon-themed birthday party this year. It’s a hard theme for me to get excited about, mostly because I know very little about the game and even after watching an episode of the cartoon series, I still feel largely uninformed and uninspired. I’m trying to roll with it though, and so far, he seems pretty happy with our party planning.

Last week, I finished the invitations which are based on the design of the character trading cards. (more…)

Succulent Wreath Centerpiece

Step-by-step instructions for creating a succulent wreath. You can hang the wreath on a wall or use it as a centerpiece. I just made one this weekend and it was much easier than I expected.

This weekend I attended a succulent wreath-making class at the Arboretum taught by Cynthia Koogler of Flower Child Plants. Similar to the vertical succulent garden class I took in the spring, this class was lots of fun and resulted in a pretty awesome succulent arrangement. I hope to keep it alive, but I have a really bad track record with succulents. I should probably take a class dedicated to keeping succulents alive.  (more…)

Slime Specimens for Halloween

Make this simple, all-natural slime. A perfect classroom activity or gift for kids this Halloween.

 

Last weekend we made slime – slippery, stretchy, silky slime. Jason and Jenna loved it, and I realized it would make a great classroom gift or party activity for Halloween. I was thinking about packaging small samples into bags or clear jars and using Halloween labels like these or these. What child wouldn’t want some chopped bat brain or fresh rat heart specimens for Halloween?  (more…)

Weekend Snapshot

It was a full-on Fall weekend and we even had a slight dip in the Texas temperatures to prove it. We didn’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors – we attended an Oktoberfest, visited the massive pumpkin patch at the Arboretum and, of course, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs in the backyard.

weekend-fall

Vintage Mirrors

Loving the trend of displaying a collection of vintage mirrors.

I recently came across a gorgeous vintage round mirror with geometric, faceted edges at an antique mall and couldn’t decide whether to purchase it. I love the look of vintage mirrors, but I’m never sure if adding a vintage piece into my mix of otherwise modern furniture will look cool and eclectic or cluttery and mismatched. I’ve been scouting out examples of vintage mirrors on Pinterest to help me decide.

I still haven’t decided.

Sources: 1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6

 

Favorite Places: Legoland

Legoland has been one of our favorite places in to visit for years and now they have a new water park!

Legoland Discovery Center has been one of my children’s favorite places to visit since they opened a few years ago. We are huge Lego fans (as evidenced by Jason’s 6th and 7th birthday parties), and this weekend, we visited the new pirate-themed splash park that was added earlier in the month.

With temperatures still hovering around 90 degrees in Texas, it was the perfect afternoon to run around splashing in the sun and playing with large Lego bricks. (more…)

DIY Skeleton Princess Jewelry

Easy and inexpensive ideas for making skeleton princess - or other spooky costume - jewelry for Halloween. #costumes #children #halloween

Jenna has asked to be a skeleton princess for Halloween. While past years have been filled with ladybug, kitten and other sweet costume themes, this year is the first time that something on the spookier side has been requested. Kind of a turning point, I think.

In addition to her dress (which we purchased here), she’s also asked for matching jewelry. We decided to make the jewelry ourselves, and last weekend we got started on a few rings and necklaces. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, and even if I don’t dress up this year, I’ll definitely be sporting some matching skeleton princess rings.