Capes 4 Kids: A Charity Event in Downtown Dallas

The Hero Project: Capes 4 Kids

Yesterday we participated in Capes 4 Kids, a charity event in downtown Dallas. Organized by Union, the initiative is dedicated to making children in hospitals feel like superheroes, and to that end, volunteers gathered to create 150 capes for children. There was also a lot of cape wearing, cookie eating, band playing and general hanging out in a crazy awesome coworking space known as Common Desk.

We have been talking about getting our children involved in charity work, beyond donating toys and clothes and the occasional school fundraising activity, for quite awhile. As far as first charity events as a family go, this one was a huge success – though I’m not so sure Jason and Jenna contributed directly to the goal of making capes. They did, however, sport some pretty cool cape fashions and (more…)

Designing a Photo Gallery Wall

How to create a photo gallery wall with tips for designing a layout.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on a photo gallery wall for in our family room for quite a while now. I love travel and I love photography, so a display of photos from our vacations over the years seemed like a perfect combination. But perfection isn’t what I was going for: I wanted a display of photos that was asymmetrical and a bit offbeat while still giving an overall impression of balance. Not an easy task … (more…)

Happy Easter


Happy Easter! Did anyone else dye Easter eggs yesterday? I waited until the last minute to buy supplies and showed up at the store surprised to find that all of the kits were sold out. I later came across this idea for using packets of Kool-aid to dye eggs and was completely won over by the notion of our kitchen smelling like a candy factory. One more trip to the grocery store resulted in only a couple of available Kool-aid colors: red, purple and purplish red.

In the end, watercolor paint saved the day. We mixed lots of colors and then painted the pigment onto the eggs. I’m not sure which was more fun, mixing or painting. Regardless, our watercolor eggs turned out awesome. (more…)

Mini Gallery Wall


I’ve been working on a gallery wall in our family room for a couple of months now. Between selecting images, framing them, trying different layouts on the floor, deciding to change several photos and finally hanging them on the wall, it’s taken much longer to complete the gallery wall than I ever dreamed.

This week we finally finished our big wall of travel photos and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It was definitely worth the effort we put into it. And as a bonus, I had several pictures that ended up not making the cut for the family room gallery, so I’ve started another gallery wall in my office. (more…)

Spring Garden Cookie Basket

Create this adorable gardening-themed cookie basket for Easter.

It’s almost Easter, and we kicked off our celebrations this weekend by creating garden-themed cookie baskets to give as gifts to teachers and neighbors. Planting seeds in the spring is something I’ve done with Jason and Jenna every year since they were toddlers, and this year was no exception. When I saw these adorable garden mini cookies from Shari’s Berries, I immediately thought about creating garden-themed gift baskets for Easter. (more…)

Six Sources for Affordable Art

My top 6 favorite sites for affordable art.

I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of photos for a few months now, and I’m finally *almost* ready to start adding art to a large empty wall in our living room. The imagery is mostly my own photography from our travels and family photos, but I’ve also added a few prints into the mix. I did quite a bit of research before selecting the prints, so I thought I would share some of my favorites. Just compiling these examples has made me re-think my initial selections – so many great images out there, it’s hard to choose! (more…)

Flower Box Centerpiece for Spring

Create a flower box centerpiece for spring with an easy  Easter-theme transition.

Happy Spring! Now that Easter is right around the corner, I decided to add a little Spring-time update to our dining room. Like other rooms in our house, we’ve decorated in a modern rustic style with simple furniture, a muted color palette and lots of houseplants for accents. To add a few simple Easter touches, I designed a flower box centerpiece for our table and added this customizable bunting banner from Minted’s spring collection to our wall. (more…)

8 Ideas for Non-Candy Easter Egg Filler

8 awesome ideas for non-candy easter egg and basket filler.Easter egg hunts are an annual tradition at our house. Last year, we held two: one night-time glow-in-the-dark easter egg hunt and one traditional hunt on Easter morning. With so much egg-hunting on the horizon, I’m starting to gather filler materials early. Here are a few ideas on my list:

  1. Temporary tattoos from Tattly are always a huge hit at our house. I especially love Red Kicks Bunny and Good Bunny.
  2. Last year the Easter bunny packed our eggs with quite a few gorgeous rocks and minerals, which our children still refer to as “treasure.” You can buy individual stones or purchase as a set.
  3. Dinosaur eggs! I’ve already purchased this 72-mini-dinosaur set and it’s just a matter of time before J+J discover little dinosaur babies hatching out of eggs in our yard.
  4. My daughter is all about her nails lately. These butterfly nail stickers are sure to be a hit.
  5. Glow-in-the-dark stars for our glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt. A perfect pairing.
  6. Crayon rings, because you can never have enough art supplies.
  7. Finger flashlights, which are probably best handed out just before the evening egg hunt to help spot those especially well-hidden eggs.
  8. The Perler Bead craze hasn’t hit our household yet, but something about Lego-style building combined with a Minecraft pixel aesthetic seems right up this family’s alley.

Happy Hunting!

Disclosure: post contains affiliate links.


Favorite Places: Farmers Branch Historical Park

Farmers Branch Historical Park

I love discovering something new in our hometown, and since our “hometown” is the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, there is quite a bit of ground to cover. In 7 years, we’ve yet to exhaust the list of great things to do with children. This weekend, we visited the Farmers Branch Historical Park for the first time. The 27-acre park is an outdoor museum of Texas heritage, with 12 historic structures dating from the 1860s to 1940s, including a school house, several log cabins, a general store and a caboose. (more…)

Easter Printables

Download free Easter printables to label candies, cookies and other holiday goodies.  Two sheets of designs.

St. Patrick’s Day has never been a big holiday at our house, which is surprising given our love of gold-wrapped chocolates. Instead, we move quickly from Valentine’s Day to Easter. In fact, last weekend we raided the storage closet and found our Easter holiday storage bins. Once the baskets and masses of plastic eggs were freed, we immediately started started playing ‘Easter Egg hunt.’ Let’s just consider it practice for the big day. (more…)

Apps We Love: Telling Stores + Making Movies

Apps and activities we love: Ideas for engaging your children in the art of narrating stories

Like many parents, we are trying to embrace technology in a way that encourages our children to think, play, explore and create. While watching movies and playing videos games are some of the ways we incorporate technology into our lives, hopefully, these won’t be the only ways. Now that our children have their own ‘personal devices,’ the goal of finding a healthy balance between passive pursuits and more engaging play seems even more critical.

Our children are natural storytellers. For my daughter, this means writing elaborate letters and essays filled with “text evidence” – a fancy phrase she learned in the first grade that means “details.” For my son, it means a similar string of highly imaginative details flowing from his mouth at a pace too quick to possibly capture on paper. I say that in a somewhat positive manner (who doesn’t want an imaginative child?), but, in reality, it can be a frustrating experience. While his imagination seems boundless, his ability to harness it remains a challenge.

And that’s where technology may be able to help. (more…)