GARDENING WITH KIDS: CREATING A SMALL URBAN GARDEN WITH MY 10-YEAR-OLD

April 28, 2015
garden1

This post is sponsored by the good people at Garden Collage, a new lifestyle and gardening publication, which features stories on the new role that gardening takes in our modern lifestyle.  Be sure to check them out!

 

A little over a year ago, my daughter came home from school with a permission slip.  “I need you to sign this for me,” she said as I scanned it.  “It’s so that I can go to the nursery with the class tomorrow.”

“Oh, are you going to learn about plants?”  I asked, reaching for a pen.

“Well, yes … but also we’re going to buy plants.  For our class garden.”

Continue Reading…

What to Plant in September

September 15, 2014
septgarden_feat

Well, Friends, we survived August. Someway. Somehow, we were able to slog through the heat waves of summer’s last-ditch efforts to show us who’s boss. (Conclusion: The sun. The sun is the boss.)

Continue Reading…

Shop con Queso: My Own Austin-Inspired Store

May 22, 2014

shop-around-the-corner-ext

Ever since I was about five, I’ve always wanted to have a store. That was always my big grown up dream … but it never involved a big grown up store. The image of the perfect shop has been pretty consistent since Sesame Street was my primary form of entertainment. And with that inspiration, it would be on a street like this. It would have an awning outside and an old kelly green door that sort of creaked and rang a bell when you entered. It would smell like gardenias and old wood. And it would be filled with pretty things and candy. My friends and I would sit in the back of the store all day and play cards and talk to visitors. Oh and everyone who came in would get a sugar cookie. I never knew what the name of this store would be, but it would have the word shop in it that wasn’t spelled like shoppe. Because that’s ridiculous.

Continue Reading…

The Padrino is Getting Married

May 5, 2014

If you grew up in a small town in the 1970s and 80s, and you related to the supporting characters in a John Hughes movie way more than you ever could to the actual, breathing individuals around you in your real life, then pull up a chair. Because this is our story.

And this story started before the Internet allowed us to find one another, before smart phones reconnected us every second, and before said phones were also TVs and alien tracking devices. Back when we waited all afternoon for our favorite song to be played on a radio station with terrible reception, just so we could quickly push record to capture it. Because you didn’t have a record store. You didn’t have a world wide everything to download anything. You had the people and things you could see, hear and touch within about a 10-mile radius. Small, safe, sound. Sorta. And that was your world.

ken-and-me-first

And I was lucky enough to have Ken in my world. We met in first grade because we were put in the same reading group. There were probably about 150 kids in our grade, and three of us…Ken, Russell Merka and I…were put together to start reading the Rainbows anthology while everyone else tackled Lions and Tigers. Basically, what this means is, at recess Ken was Luke, Russell was Han and I was Leia. Obviously.

Continue Reading…

Low Carb Easter Ideas

April 17, 2014
eastereggs_painted

This post is sponsored by Mama Francesca but all opinions are completely my own.  Like, for instance, in my opinion, I could eat this cheese underwater while I was running away from Martian bandits. Cheese has no circumstantial limitations.

If you celebrate Easter, you know that it can be one of the most delightful holidays. All the hippity hoppity. The pastels. The cute kids body slamming themselves to find eggs they have no intention of eating. The photo above is of Harry when he was three. Back then, he didn’t really know what was going on so he would stop long enough to take a photo. This year he plans to run around the yard like a crazy person and has asked the Easter Bunny for a full-sized-man basketball goal.

Continue Reading…

Spinach + Parmesan Recipes: Five of My Favorites

March 28, 2014
spinach_feat

This post is sponsored by Mama Francesca but all opinions are completely my own.  Like, for instance, in my opinion, I can eat cheese straight from a spoon by itself for at least two days if left unchaperoned. But I think we already knew that, yes?

I have so much spinach in my garden right now. So much. Like I’m going to need about 20 of you to come over and help me eat in over the next few days type of too much. I’m almost a solid three years into this backyard garden thing and I still haven’t gotten the hang of planting in moderation. Or planting to harvest in moderation, or at least in stages. As a result, we kinda have food weeks around here…like it’s Squash Week, we have 30 squash and everything we make must involve squash. Or it’s Onion Week, you get it.

Tracking Pixel

Well, this week is Spinach Week.

And I’m thankful that this Mama Francesca campaign came in right now because Spinach and Parmesan are like peanut butter and jelly. Only better. I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but if you have a counter full of spinach, all you really need is a few more ingredients (like five or seven), parmesan being one of them, and you can make about 15 meals, at least. Here’s a start.

Continue Reading…

Spring Thing Playlist

March 24, 2014
springthing_feat

 

Mom 2.0 Summit is posting cool things everyday over on its blog. And Laurie, the Communications Director over there, asked me to make a Spring Playlist for them to help celebrate all things spring. And of course I said of course. Spring Playlist? Heck yeah.

And so here you go.

My Spring Thing playlist of songs I’m listening to on a loop.

So no matter how chilly it still is, may I be one of the first to say: Happy Not Winter.

Now go outside and frolic.

SXSW: Minimal Recommendations from a Local

March 7, 2014
sxsw_collage

Now that SXSW is truly the main stage of the hipster marketing slacker expert, I’m just gonna say, from what I can see, it takes a whole lot of work to be that laid back. In fact, it’s become so much work to watch, that this year, I’m mainly just happily happy to experience it all from right here in my kitchen, 10 miles from the mothership.

It’s true that in years past I’ve done a variety of parties there, low-key parties, parking lot parties, charity parties, large rainy Saturday night Stubbs parties, small old school parties. But this year, there are no parties.  I’m really not even venturing over there much…but for all of you braving the world’s largest collection of ironic sunglasses, I salute you. And I wish you the best, most delightful time.

Continue Reading…

Snow Day: A Few Tips From Austin

February 13, 2014
1

I know you guys in New York and Chicago and also pretty much anyone between DC and Florida have been hit hard with snow. We hear you crying. We see your piles of frozen everything all over Facebook and Instagram. But y’all. We know. And we feel your pain, because see, we’ve been dealing with snow, too. Snow in the form of multiple snow days without snow. And, well, since we just had our fifth no-school-ice-day in Austin this month, I thought I’d go ahead and offer you some important coping tips.

I know you can start to feel all cooped up after a while of being inside. Once you watch a cartoon or two and play Wii long enough to throw your Wii controller down in rage, you just get stir crazy, you do. So make sure you get outside as much as possible…or at least whine a lot about having to go outside. Because it’s important to brave the .25 inches of ice located somewhere, possibly. Be tough, y’all. It’s good for you.

Continue Reading…

Valentines from a Kid Who Kinda Hates Valentines

February 12, 2014
1

Harry is not into Valentines. And this year, he must bring one in to each student in his class, but he’s really not feeling it. In his defense, he’s just starting to understand the differences between boys and girls, and he really doesn’t know what to do with this information yet. So mainly he wishes everyone would just shut up and play football or something. At least.

But he has to do it, so we looked for pre-printed Valentines packs. They all included pre-printed messages he didn’t want to give. Things like, ‘You are great.’ Or ‘I like you.’ Or ‘Hi, It’s Valentines Day.’

Continue Reading…