Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Coat Faves

It might all be in my head, but I swear that the air gets a distinct chill just after Thanksgiving each year. And I feel the need to make sure our kiddos are sufficiently prepped for the cold weather on its way. I already bought each a basic winter coat for the playground, but I can't help but swoon over all the other outerwear out there. Much like last year, I'm eyeing sporty, dress, and novelty options for both. If we can just all agree ....

Cam's Picks

1 / 2 / 3 

4 / 5 / 6

7 / 8 / 9

Kane's Picks

1 / 2 / 3

4 / 5 / 6

7 / 8 / 9 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 47 + Thanksgivings

Happy Thanksgiving from our turkeys to yours!! We are incredibly grateful for so many things this year and, as I did last year, thought it would be nice to share our thanksgivings. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday -- we're staying put and having a small dinner with some family at our new home today. The kids appear to be unwilling to get out of pajamas. And I'm so, so glad. It's been a wonderful year, but a tiring fall to say the least. Here's to good food, family, and a little rest this holiday!

Rebecca's List

- Serial podcast (and Serial again and again)
- Sweetlife Festival with the kids and good friends
- All of our Italy trip, but especially the Borghese Gallery + Vatican Museums
- Banshee on Cinemax -- so incredibly violent and over the top, but we can't stop watching
- Kane's Picasso portraits

- Open City brinners with the kids
- Successfully eating the ginormous Brigantine Sundae as a family at the end of summer
- Two dinners at L'abside in Amalfi
- Come il Latte gelateria in Rome
- Making Momfuku's 5.10 eggs on repeat at home
- The kids adding watermelon agua fresca to sell at our lemonade stand
- ABC Kitchen's Butternut Squash Toast (gahhhh! so good!)
- Hosting four dinner parties in four weeks (including today's Thanksgiving!)
- Successfully completing a Whole60 this summer -- can't wait to get back to it!

- Taking the kids to the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
- Hense Graffiti Church 
- Jazz n' Families Day at the Phillips Collection
- Fossil finding at Flag Ponds Nature Park 
- Spark!Lab at the Smithsonian 
- Sandy Springs Adventure Park with Kane for a birthday party

- My beloved Nespresso machine
- A new garmin running watch
- Our new house!
- This fantastic spiralizer
- My jade bracelet Joel brought back from China
- Our family moccasins from Positano
- Finally getting a new refrigerator!!!

- Completing the New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge as a family of penguins (including the kids!)
- Finishing the manuscript of my first book!!! Publishing takes forever, but it's currently slated to be out in the fall of 2016!
- Finding and becoming obsessed with [solidcore] -- so good it hurts (or it hurts so good, too). And getting Joel to go with me yesterday
- Having both kids in the same AMAZING school, which means expanding that community we love and having one drop-off and one pickup!
- Project 52 
- Family board game night
- Running with the kids in Rock Creek Park
- Whip Nae Nae kitchen dance parties
- Cam coming up with Patterned Jumpsuit Day
- Being featured on Design Mom's Living with Kids series yesterday!!!

- Our staycation last Thanksgiving
- Last Christmas in New York
- Spending a long weekend in Oak Park with my parents by myself
- Brigantine vacation with my parents, siblings and their families
- ITALY (you can see all our posts here)

The Kids' Lists (for some reason, these two clam up when I ask them for what they are grateful. And leave it to Cam for initially citing instead to a previously compiled list)
- Kane: "my family, love, friends, my toys, my house, so many LEGOs from Nona, my mom and dad, and Cami and that's it."

- Cam: "everything that's in my {thankful} book I made at school, D-Rock, Daddy, my mommy and daddy, letting me go to Amalfi and Italy. Isn't that enough?"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Living with Kids on Design Mom!

I'm so incredibly excited to share that our family home was on Design Mom's Living with Kids feature yesterday. I've been such a big fan of Gabrielle Blair and all her work at the intersection of parenting and design. It's such a treat to get to share our home and approach to living with kids (among a few other topics), so head over to check us out. Hope you love it as much as we do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Salted Caramel Italian Cream Sodas

When I used to live in Seattle, Italian Cream Sodas were a regular beverage at coffee carts. I have no idea why, but they were. And I LOVED them. I don't think I've had even one since I moved to the East Coast forever ago, but I was telling the kids all about them this past summer and we decided to try and make them ourselves. I thought it would actually be a fun holiday drink for the kids to have on Thanksgiving, especially once I spotted the very fall'ish Salted Caramel syrup. Kane and I mixed up a sample yesterday and they were deeeelish! And so easy for kids to make, too. The syrup is pretty chock full of sugar, but you get a good taste using just a little. Go ahead and add the ingredients to one of your what is sure to be many grocery trips in the next few days!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend Makes

I can hardly believe that Turkey Day is almost here. November has been a total blur! But if there is any holiday that calls for taking time to handmake some celebratory items, Thanksgiving is it. I also feel like we've been dealing with a lot of heavy stuff lately and trying to impress upon the kids the importance of being grateful in a serious way. So I'm looking to add a little fun back into the holiday (while still keeping the thankful spirit of course). Here's what we'll be up to this weekend in preparation for the holiday.

1 / these turkey "Mr. Potato Heads" are amazing and free! I'm definitely printing and cutting these for the kids to do next Thursday. 2 / keep the kiddos busy and get a cute decoration out of it too with this color-in banner. 3 / I still love our silly hats ideas from last year! 4 / I like that the size of the 3-D leaves on this grateful tree are just big enough to fit one word -- easy for the kids! 5 / I love this bright, mixed media art lesson on drawing a turkey

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 46

Cam got to sub in for Kane's flag football team last week and they had a big win. Must practice, practice, practice ....

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gingerbread Playdough

We've been on a much slower pace than in the summer, but we're still getting after our Fall Bucket List. We tackled a new gingerbread playdough recipe yesterday that made the entire house smell deeeeelish. And the kids loved decorating "cookies" for the bulk of an afternoon -- they felt like they were getting in on the holiday cooking, but managed not to leave me with an entire plate of cookies to eat. An all around win.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fave Travel Activities, Games + Toys

Anyone gearing up for a little holiday travel? We're staying put this year, but given how much traveling we've done recently, I've got a good handle on what to bring for the kiddos that will minimize the number of times you have to hear "are we there YET?!" Here are my favorite activities, games, and toys that travel well -- most we have or I've seen in person and are on our holiday lists. Some you might even recognize from your own youth traveling days. You've still got time to stock up before Thanksgiving hits -- happy traveling!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 

5 | 6 | 7 |

9 | 10 | 11

12 | 13 | 14

15 | 16 | 17 | 18

19 | 20 | 21 | 22

23 | 24 | 25

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekend Makes

Have the holiday catalogs started to arrive at your home yet? They've been coming in faster than I can recycle them without the kids seeing in our neck of the woods. Thus the kids have been reading and marking, with various writing instruments and symbols, to let us know what they want and in what ranked order.

Part of me wants to put the kibosh on such practice for the mere fact that I find it bratty and entitled, the other really wants to know what they want so I can pass along their wishes to inquiring minds. They've both had heavy hands at the art and crafts items though, which always makes me happy. Particularly that they've each starred (in pen and pencil!), circled, and x'd a child's potters wheel. I loved throwing pottery when I was young, but I'd rather get them in a studio than practice at home. But it got clay on my mind. And therefore into the Weekend Makes. Here's to keeping their creative (rather than commercial) spirit going!

1 / Kane has been studying Picasso at school lately and has become obsessed with drawing "Picasso faces." This tree ornament project is right up his alley. 2 / I love this idea of saving your kiddo's doodles by transferring them to polymer clay. 3 / these clay beads are so simple, but look so great! 4 / these gold place cards are just in time for the holidays 5 / a hedgehog with organizational capability!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 45

The weather in DC has been oscillating between warm spring sunshine and cold fall rain. This particular day, it rained all. day. long. We spent lots of time exploring art materials from the depths our arts and crafts cabinet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

DIY Jewelry Box

Between my clean eating attempts and the kids growing at a ridiculous speed, we've been chowing through eggs at our house. I keep saving the cartons, hoping we'll have time to do something with them (like our egg carton spin flowers -- look how little those two were!). Cam grabbed one a few weeks back and decided to paint it and make a jewelry box. It turned out so cute and works perfectly to keep her necklaces from getting tangled, so I thought I'd share. I love when they come up with their own project ideas!

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Top 5 Products for Managing Girls Hair (without tears!)

While Cameron will never be tall enough to play center for a basketball team, she somehow managed to get a combo of our genes to score some fantastic hair. And since I am not winning in the hair department, I feel like I can say that. It might change, but so far she's inherited highlights I beg my stylist for and just the perfect amount of wave. But she likes her hair long and worn down, and that requires some management. Management she likes to handle all on her own, of course. So we've had round after round of trying out various tools and products to get her there.

Several people have asked me lately how she manages, so I thought I'd share! Not all of these will work for every hair type, and I recognize that many of these cost more money than I actually spend on my own hair products. BUT they last forever and it means she actually does her own hair without tears and without me having to redo it. So, it works for us.

1 / the Wet and Shine brush duo is an absolute necessity. These magical brushes work on any hair (and I insist Cam uses them on mine when she does my hair too -- no pain!)

2 / Cam sprays a little of this on wet hair if she wants to keep it wavy. It smells good and it means one less brushing session after her hair dries.

3 / this leave in conditioner works better than those kiddie sprays and leaves a little sparkle too. We've been on the same bottle for about two years.

4 / this hair oil works outrageously well and smells amazing. And it should. Because it's outrageously expensive. Cam uses just a little bit each day on dry hair, but it's especially good after she brushes it. But we have been on the same bottle for Cami going on a year and a half, so it's worth it. Sephora also sells a less expensive travel size of this Bumble + Bumble oil, which is our second favorite.

5 / the key to avoiding frizz in our house is to simply not wash your hair every day. So some nights we skip the shampoo and do a spray of this great dry product (I love it for my hair too, so we share a bottle).

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weekend Makes

We're kicking of fall entertaining season this weekend and gearing up for three dinner parties in three weeks. These are no kiddos invited meals, but that won't stop mine from getting in on the prep and decor. What can I say -- they like to party. So it's celebratory makes this week -- for the parents, but in which the kids can partake.

1 / a super simple metallic garland 2 / these are so cute and my guys would love attaching the rosemary for me 3 / I'd love to send dinner guests home with these cute fall treats 4 /  the kids have been asking me about my candle making supplies, but this DIY is probably an easier place to start 5 / love these apple votive holders. plus, ombre!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Project 52 -- Week 44

I get a tour of the kids' fort and "traps" while Cam nervously balances on one of their "ships."

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Peppercorn-Crusted Tenderloin with Gremolata + 30 Days of Dinner


Oof. These past 30 days have been a bit of a killer on my meal planning. We've spent a ton of evenings out at social events and our refrigerator/freezer has been kaput for the past almost two weeks! It was theoretically fixed Monday (after the repairman being 2 1/2 hours late for the appointment and showing up, of course, 20 minutes before I needed to leave and get the kids for school), but still is not working. Shocking. Fingers crossed for today's now "emergency" appointment. 

In annnnny event, all of this has meant lots of eating out, ordering in, and easily fixed meals at home. So there's not all that many actual "dinners" in this 30 Days of Dinner. But we're powering through .... And the featured recipe is an absolute family fave -- lots of flavor, not a lot of work. Which also means not a lot of leftovers -- a huge bonus when you are using two wine fridges as your family refrigerator. We loved it so much that I made it twice this month. Give it a go! 

Peppercorn-Crusted Tenderloin with Gremolata 
(slightly adapted from Cooking Light)

- 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
- Olive oil cooking spray 
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided 
- 4 teaspoons olive oil 
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic 
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano 
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind 
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper 

1. Coat each steak with olive oil cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Add steaks to pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. 

2. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Serve with steak. 

*          *          *

30 Days of Dinner

Day 1(M) -- brinner/leftovers.
Day 2 (T) -- Bimbimap Bowls with cauliflower rice -- everyone loved this (so thanks, Darcy!! If you don't follow No Monsters in My Bed, make sure to check out her Meal Plan posts -- lots of good ones!)
Day 3 (W) -- leftovers
Day 4 (Th) -- Chinese takeout -- a sick Cam requested won ton soup, so we obliged.
Day 5 (F) -- Chicken Stew with Green Olives -- awesome recipe and the kids found it hilariously funny to watch me watch youtube on repeat to learn how to properly quarter a whole chicken. Plus lots of homemade yummy stock from the leftovers.
Day 6 (Sat) -- dinner out.
Day 7 (Sun) -- dinner out.

Day 8 (M) -- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Pulled Pork Tacos -- I used this recipe (minus the brown sugar) for the pulled pork and added cubed butternut squash. Kids got tortillas, I used collard greens to make a wrap.
Day 9 (T) -- dinner out with local blogger friends Darcy and Linda at Rasika -- not Paleo :)
Day 10 (W) -- Sirloin and Potatoes with Cornichon Pan Sauce; Kale and Delicata Squash Salad.
Day 11 (Th) -- dinner out at a pro bono shindig where Mr. Not-So-SAHM received a well-deserved award.
Day 12 (F) -- dinner out at Nando's Peri Peri (I'm obsessed with their Nutty Date Chicken Salad)
Day 13 (Sat) -- dinner out at a school progressive dinner.
Day 14 (Sun) -- Chicken Escalopes with Olive, Caper and Tomato Dressing; Carrot and Cauliflower Mash

Day 15 (M) -- Peppercorn-Crusted Tenderloin with Gremolata; roasted sweet potatoes and carrots.
Day 16 (T) -- brinner.
Day 17 (W) -- Muffuletta Chicken and leftover veggies -- delish.
Day 18 (Th) -- dinner out.
Day 19 (F) -- Steak with Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (such an easy fix for meat); roasted veggies.
Day 20 (Sat) -- dinner out.
Day 21(Sun) -- Lemon Chicken with Red Onion (sans sugar); roasted potatoes.

Day 22 (M) -- Italian Baked Eggs (sans cheese and bread); Balsamic and Olive Oil Roasted Cauliflower.
Day 23 (T) -- Paleo Burgers; sweet potato fries; and green beans.
Day 24 (W) -- leftovers.
Day 25 (Th) -- Slow cooker Maple + Dijon Pot Roast; Twice Baked Potato Skins (with regular baking potatoes and minus the sweets); Orange-Glazed Carrots -- this whole meal just tastes like fall and everyone chowed!
Day 26 (F) -- dinner out.
Day 27 (Sat) -- dinner out.
Day 28 (Sun) -- dinner out.

Day 29 (M) -- Back Pocket Turkey Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash "noodles."
Day 30 (T) -- Peppercorn-Crusted Tenderloin with Gremolata and roasted potatoes 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spark!Lab at the Smithsonian Museum of American History's Hall of Invention and Innovation

There was a time not too long ago when the kids and I would spend days exploring the D.C. museums. We knew what time public parking opened up outside each one, the exhibits backwards and forwards, and where to get the best coffee. But as school and scheduled activities have expanded to fill their days, it has been years since we've seen the inside of some of our favorite museums. So we decided to spend one of the kids' recent days off checking out the new Hall of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which opened just this past summer.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Art Prints for Kid Spaces

It's been almost 9 months since we moved into our "new house" (I think it will always be "new" to me). We did a lot of work before the move -- renovations, decorating, furnishing .... At some point a few months in, I just lost steam. The main things had all been done and I was sick of architects, designers, contractors, and people in the house generally. Between that and the fact that we like to collect art slowly, our walls have largely remained empty.

And now I'm OVER that. But instead of going out and dropping large sums of money on art that we make snap decisions on (cause that would never happen, right?), we've been purchasing reasonably-priced prints that we might some day replace when we find that perfect piece. And the kids' areas are no exception. I've been combing online art sources for prints that work well in kid spaces, but that still work with my overall aesthetic. I can't buy them all, so I thought I'd share my favorites with all of you! Some we have, some are on my to-buy list. But all I love. Happy decorating!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

5 | 6 | 7 | 8

9 | 10 | 11 | 12

17 | 18 | 19 | 20