Monday, March 30, 2015

Nutella + Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

One spring break down! The kids return to school today for a few days, and then Cam has another week off. We had a great low-key week, complete with our first houseguests in the new house -- Nona and D-Rock! With the cold weather, we mostly did indoor activities. A few museums, bowling, movies, etc. And when the temps turned really freezing this past weekend, we decided baking was in order. Both kids continue to love helping in the kitchen and Cam and I made a delicious batch of these Nutella + Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies. There's a lot of blending involved, so Cami particularly loved helping out with this recipe! Also, they are delicious! A great balance of sweet and salty and general comfort-foodness while we continue to wait for actual spring.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekeend Makes

It's Easter egg time! One of our favorite family activities this time of year is coming up with fabulous new egg-dying techniques. And we've got some artsy, dare I say eggcellent, ones on our minds.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 12

On the third day of Kane's spring break, he and Cam jammed out in anticipation of their Nona and D-Rock's arrival. Kane spent the lazy morning in pjs. Cam had already taken a shower, a bath in her swimsuit, and changed clothes twice. They wrote two "welcome songs," but there was a lot of screaming involved, so I can't be entirely sure of the lyrics.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Q?rius Jr. Discovery Room

Our kids have different spring breaks this year and, at first, I was excited about this -- I rarely get one-on-one time with either of them. Unfortunately, it has quickly turned into a constant source of complaints from both as each tries to make sure they get equal access to activities, dining out, etc. So I ended up taking Cam out of most of her school this week to avoid further disgruntled children (or, rather, so they can now go back to being disgruntled about nothing in particular). They haven't yet caught on to the fact that Kane will be back in school when Cam's spring break rolls around in a few weeks .... 

In any event, on one of the two days Kane and I had to ourselves, we headed down to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to check out the super-interesting looking Q?rius exhibit. Turns out that sine many local schools weren't yet on their own spring breaks, the exhibit was closed to the public in the morning so that field trips could have access to it. Grrrrr. So instead we headed over to check out Q?rius Jr. Discovery Room (which I'm pretty sure has always been there as just a Discovery Room, but we had yet to check it out). The museum actually categorizes the Jr. Discovery Room as appropriate for K-8 aged kids and the main Q?rius exhibit for "teens and tweens." But I totally disagree (and remembered our pals at KidFriendly DC having similar thoughts). We had fun in the Discovery Room, but Kane was too old for a lot of it. I DO think it would be fun and age-appropriate for kids younger than kindergarten-age though, so I thought I'd share it here. 

The Discovery Room is loosely divided up into stations and activities, all of them hands-on and perfect for little ones to get exploring time in at a museum where pretty much everything else is hands-off. There was a fun-looking "dress up" corner, which Kane declared for "babies," but toddlers to preschool-aged kiddos would love; a few art activities (Kane loved finding the same hieroglyphics stamp set we have at home); puzzles and games to explore (we found an Egyptian game of Senet and spent almost all our time playing that); and all kinds of artifacts, animal bones, x-rays and other things to explore. If you are visiting the museum with little littles and need to take a break, I highly recommend popping in. But if you have kids kindergarten-aged and older, I think I might skip it and head to the main Q?rius exhibit. We're headed there next! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kane's Favorite Spring Looks

Cam had her chance to share spring faves last week, but Kane is still a fabulous shopper too. His taste hasn't changed much since the fall, though -- he is holding strong on his favorite three looks and green remains a dominant color in his wardrobe, which he works in wherever he can. He'd still dress up every day if I let him, but seeing as he is a messy artist/playgrounder/etc., I try to limit the formal wear to outside of school hours.

Everyday Brights -- This is Kane's go-to look. And he's still a big, big fan of stripes. He likes shorts, but only on the long side. Like if I would just cut off his skinny jeans at the knees, he'd be happy.

Dressy Prep -- Kane caught on to the fact that he was wearing his "fancy" clothes with gym shoes, so we invested in a few pairs of dress shoes recently. Green, of course. He's also really taken to sunglasses, which is just fine with me.

one | two | three | four | five

Weekend Casual -- Kane has been trying a ton of different sports and so he likes to look "sporty." But, at the same time, he really isn't in to wearing team-related gear. He likes soft and comfy for the weekend. He also recently tried on one of his dad's jersey hats and was obsessed with it. I think it kept his curls out of his face, which is insanely adorable.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bath Games with Munchkin!

Oh we can't even tell you how HAPPY we are that the weather has taken a turn for the warm(ish) out here in D.C. It was a loooooong winter -- filled with lots of indoor activities of which our kids were getting a little tired. And that even goes for bathtime! Fortunately for us, our good friends over at Munchkin just sent over some new bath toys for us to check out. We put our heads together and came up with three fun games to play in the tub -- the kids had such a good time that they refused to get out. Check 'em out and change up your nighttime (or inside play) routine!

An old standby for our crew and the simplest of our three games, we used Munchkin's Bath Crayons to sketch out a game board right on the tile. Instead of Xs and Os (they always argue over who gets to be what!), the kids each picked a color of Foam Bath Learning tiles and used those to mark a spot. Cam is in a big "there are no winners!" phase, so we had lots of ties.

Letter Matching Memory
We then used the Foam Bath Learning tiles to square up a modified game of the classic. I went through the tiles without the kids watching and picked twelve different tiles that contained six pairs of words with matching first letters (e.g., Fish and Frog, Rose and Ring, etc.). I placed them face down on the bathroom wall and each kiddo took a turn secretly peeking at two tiles. If they matched, they won the pair. If not, they had to remember the location and try to pair up another set on the next turn.

They put their winning sets on their own "scoreboard," where they'd written out their names using Munchkin's Letters and Numbers set. Kane reveled in his "win," while Cameron continued to insist that there was no winning.

Who Am I?!
Our most favorite game, however, was our version of "Who Am I?!" Both kids love playing charades, so I knew this would be a big hit. We scrambled the tiles from our memory game, added a few new ones, and then made another "face down" grid of tiles. The first player picked a tile, and without looking at it, placed it photo/word up onto their forehead (they stick when wet!). The other players then had to describe the tile's object without saying the actual word. For example, the kids told me "it has fur and whiskers" and "you really don't like this animal" when I had the tile of a cat stuck to my forehead. It was hysterical to listen to their different clues!

I might not be a fan of cats, but I love that Munchkin's bath toys work so well for many different ages and, with a little imagination, are really versatile. The kids are now intent on coming up with new games using the same toys. Stay tuned!

This post is brought to you by Munchkin, but all content and opinions are my own. Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.comTarget
Babies’R’UsWalmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things! For more about sponsorship and Not-So-SAHM policies, please head over here

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekend Makes

Cam is obsessed with neon this spring. Some days, she comes downstairs looking straight like Sarah Jessica Parker's SITC 80s flashbacks (which I'm obviously very tempted to let her wear the rest of the day). Hey, at least I can find her in a crowd. At the risk of investing in an all-neon wardrobe, however, I've got my eyes set on a group of neon Weekend Makes. She can't wait.

1. Art Bar's fabulous DIY neon henna | 2. Re-use all those metal hangers by DIY neon wrapping them! | 3. neon washi gems | 4. metallic + neon animals! | 5. we'd put these easy neon tassels evvvvrywhere

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 11

I'm seriously thinking of re-naming this exercise "quick morning shot" because I seem to forget every single week. Nevertheless, here's breakfast this morning. Kane has pajama day at school (stripes, of course) and, almost in offended protest at the casualness, Cameron is wearing a sequin mini skirt. They've fallen into a sweet breakfast meal -- Cami gets a breakfast sandwich, Kane gets oatmeal. But she takes the sausage patty off her sandwich and they share it. Morning love.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Day in the Life (March 2015)

March 12th was a total odd day. I woke up and got a run in, hauling myself back up 16th Street just as the sun came up. The kids started out the day in a great mood. And then we got good news. And then bad news. And then more good news. Just one of those days. In between was all typical stuff. Except that we got a last minute call for sweet Wizards tix, so I kind of lost track of photographing at some point. Check out (most) of our Thursday and then see how No Monsters in My Bed's day fared!

6.15 am -- new running shoes await. I love getting new shoes, but hate breaking them in. They feel like I'm running with marshmallows strapped to my feet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! A holiday that celebrates feisty spirit and favorite color? We're IN! We've got a few things planned for today, but just in case you don't, here's a round-up of some of our favorite holiday-appropriate activities.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cameron's Favorite Spring Looks

I've just decided that it's going to be spring. I put away the winter coats, broke out my spring flats, and that's that. It was a loooong winter and we're all sick of our cold-weather clothes. Our fall looks posts (Cam's and Kane's) went over big, but I never bothered doing winter posts because their fall clothes generally function as their winter wardrobes too -- just with added sweaters, snow boots, etc. But we've all got the spring shopping itch! Here's what's topping Cam's spring looks list.

Boho Rock -- Cam loves spring dresses and sandals. She's be wearing them around the house for months. She likes boho with a little bit of an edge, and has her eye on a few different leather jackets. I think we'll go faux for this almost-five-year-old! 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekend Makes

I have to say, after this winter, these last few days of warm(er) weather have us springing around with a real bounce in our steps. We can almost feel the summer days of riding around in the car, windows down, tunes up. We're feeling trippy-dippy happy and our weekend makes are no different. I've rounded up a fabulous set of dip-dye makes for this weekend. Because, even for me, indoor tie-dye is a hard sell (although remember the tie-dye tissue paper project we posted last week!?)

1 / I'd love to figure out how to recreate this vintage set of honeycomb decorations (which are no longer available on Etsy!)

2 / Dip-dyed effect cookies from One Charming Party!

3 / We have tons of craft sticks. I'd love to try a twist on this Babble Dabble Do project using our puzzle tutorial.

4 / Much to my parent's chagrin, I fall deeply into the "it's just hair, it will grow back" camp. Hence my ever-changing color in college, culminating in a fabulous set of hot pink curls my mother made me change for graduation. I'm definitely going to let Cam try a temporary ombre effect this summer using chalk!

5 / Easter is on its way and if I can get the kid to be patient enough, I'd love to try dip-dying eggs. Love these from Oh So Very Pretty.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 10

These two woke up early and I found them iPad'ing when I got home from a run. Even though we now have a ginormous comfortable couch in the family room, these two like to sneak up to our sitting room and hang on our old couch. They also have a huge TV right in front of them that now gets the Netflix they love so much. But, they are used to having to watch that on the iPad. So they do. A little bit of old home in the new.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY Glitter Bouncy Balls!

Holy cow! Warm weather hit D.C. yesterday and it was GLORIOUS!!! I am still skeptical it will stick, however, which is why you should hightail it over to Little Hip Squeaks blog today to catch our DIY Glitter Bouncy Balls. If everyone is going to be bouncing off the walls, it might as well be fun.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekend Makes

It's summer! Wait. It isn't summer? I'm still in the middle of a snow-induced-four-day-weekend? No, that can't be right. You're imagining things. And we'll use this set of Weekend Makes to prove it.

1 / One of the benefits of unpacking all of our arts + crafts supplies is the second chance to go back through them. We have LOTS of random supplies, including enough drink umbrellas to last us for lifetimes. I think this little black + white striped DIY would be perfect in a pina colada.

2 / Tie dye is one of our favorite summer activities and I love this indoor tissue paper craft from No Monsters in My Bed.

3 / These Mini Beach Bungalow treat + snack containers are fabulous.

4 / Sand playdough looks so intriguing!

5 / People's Pops make some of the most fantastic popsicles around and we've got the recipes! You can too.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 9

We finally dug ourselves out of enough boxes to find a few art supplies and get some painting in this week. I love that they sat in the kitchen with me while I made dinner -- a rare occurrence in the new house where it has taken a little time to get our family table set up. I felt so far away from the kids this week while they sat upstairs and explored their new rooms. I'm so used to all of us being on top of one another. But the family table was delivered just yesterday as well as our art + activity hutch. So onward to unpacking and reuniting!

p.s. yay for natural light in our art area -- finally!

Monday, March 2, 2015

(Still) Winter in Rock Creek

Yes, technically we posted winter at our Rock Creek spot already. But that was when it still seemed like it should be cold and snowy. Not this Narnian Age of Winter business. I mean, at the risk of joining all the complaining folk, what the H!? We did decide to take advantage of the frozen tundra we now call home to snap some pics in Rock Creek that actually look more like proper winter. All the snow and ice actually prevented us from getting us to our usual spot, but we were just about .5 mile upstream. I had a really difficult time keeping these two a comfortable-for-me distance from the frozen choppy creek, but we all made it. Cam insisted on pretending she was a snow leopard, crawling around and eating snow. Kane decided snow leopards play fetch, so he threw sticks for her. A close range coordinated snow ball fight rounded things out. Perhaps we'll head out today to capture what our spot looks like post-ice storm.