5 Margaritas to Try for Cinco de Mayo

April 30, 2015

I don't think I could ever tire of Mexican fare--chips and guacamole, tacos, margaritas--I love it all. Since Cinco de Mayo is coming up on Tuesday, I've been looking at different margaritas to try. I always end up ordering either frozen mango or Cadillac on the rocks, no salt, but these margaritas look so good I'm tempted to try something new.  

I just love coconut, so a coconut margarita (and not a piña colada, which I detest) might quickly become a new favorite. 

A champagne margarita...because, champagne.

I don't think I'm ready to jump into the jalapeño margarita trend, but a strawberry jalapeño margarita seems like a sweet way to ease into it.  

My logic is probably way off here, but I've read that blueberries eliminate belly fat, so this blueberry lime margarita is actually figure-friendly. No?

I didn't even know a frozen hot chocolate margarita was even a possibility! Oh happy day!

Tell me, what's your favorite kind of margarita?

9 Beautiful Ideas for a Mother's Day Brunch

April 28, 2015

A gorgeous Mother's Day brunch is the perfect way to celebrate all the moms in your life. Here are nine beautiful ideas to help you produce the most unforgettable brunch ever. 

Hang a tulip wreath to welcome guests at the door.
Freeze edible flowers in ice cubes.
Set a table that's beautiful yet simple with sweet baby's breath and butterfly decals.
Serve a beautiful non-alcoholic drink (for moms-to-be, nursing moms, and nondrinkers).
Cut fruit into heart shapes
Make a dish that looks as good as it tastes
Share a quote that's just for mothers.
Give guests mini bouquets to take home.
Finish with a beautiful dessert

Friday Favorites

April 24, 2015

April has drawn to a close rather quickly and I find myself wanting to dig in my heels to slow down time a little (mostly because my sweet girl will be graduating kindergarten in less than two months and I am so not ready), while simultaneously speeding things up to get to all the fun we have planned this summer. What I'm learning, though, is that I can do neither, so I need to relax and enjoy the moment (I'm a work in progress). This week I enjoyed a fro-yo date with my favorite five-year old, lots of snuggles with my baby, and the loudest thunder storm I've ever heard, which resulted in lots of snuggles from both girls. It was a great week! Have a fun and safe weekend. God bless!

This La Regale Pineapple Cork Miniaudiere.

A Bird Ballet. This video is absolutely incredible. 

A new brunch dish I want to try out.  

This beautiful garden party.

A fabulous bathtub

DIY Gifts for Mom

April 23, 2015

The days of construction paper cards and macaroni necklaces as gifts are long behind me, but as Mother's Day approaches and I look forward to a beautiful homemade card from my own little girl, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and longing to give my mom something handmade. I haven't landed on an idea yet, but I'm drawing inspiration from these cute and colorful DIYs.

Since I love to bake, these edible flower donuts might be perfect. Plus they're ridiculously pretty!
Painted tin can vases to house her Mother's Day bouquets. 
Homemade teas to help her relax after a long day.
Mini Mother's Day trophies aren't necessarily practical, but they're a lot of fun.
A printable questionnaire that I suspect will induce tears. 
The cutest, colorful wooden utensils to brighten up her kitchen. 
My mom has a thing for lavender so I know she would love these lavender lemon soaps.
A giant cinnamon roll cake for an epic brunch.
A cute mug to make mom's morning cup a little sweeter. 

DIY Bathtub Paint

April 22, 2015

Bath time with my little girls is one of my favorite parts of the day. It's the start of our winding down process, which means we're one step closer to bedtime for all of us, but even more than that, I love seeing their little faces as they splash around. Their squeals and giggles as we pop bubbles and sing silly songs simply melts my heart, and my baby (now 20 months) has started to pretend that she's swimming and it's the most adorable thing you could ever want to see. To make their time in the tub even more fun, I recently made some bathtub paint for a little pre-bath art session; they loved getting all messy with the paint, then cleaning up in a warm bubble bath. And the paint couldn't have been easier to make; I  just stirred a few drops of food coloring into shaving cream (my food coloring was plant-based, which is why it's not so bright).  The girls had a blast, and I now have a less expensive alternative to store-bought bath crayons.

5 Earth Day Play Date Ideas

April 21, 2015

Tomorrow is April 22, Earth Day. Celebrate Mother Earth with your little ones and teach them the importance of appreciating and nurturing our beautiful planet with these fun ideas for an Earth Day play date.  

Recycled Goods Crafts
Set up a craft station with old newspapers and magazines, empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, and any other recyclable you have lying around, toss in some glitter, glue, markers, string, and safety scissors, and let little ones use their imaginations to create works of art.

Mason Jar Terrariums
Pick up mason jars (or any open top container) from the grocery or craft store and make terrariums. Here's a great how-to video that shows the simple steps. 

Connect With Nature
Go on a hike, walk through a botanical garden, visit a body of water...there is so much Earth to explore and appreciate. Take notepads and pencils to jot down the the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. 

DIY Reusable Bags
Pull out your craft supplies and get to work on a plain, canvas tote bag (you can usually find one at craft or fabric stores).

Earth Day Cookies
And since it's easy to work up an appetite while being kind to the earth, finish your day with the Earth Day cookies pictured above. 


April 20, 2015

image via Instagram (@soiaandkyo)

Friday Favorites

April 17, 2015

It is really heating up in SoCal; the kind of weather that makes my five-year old strip down to her Frozen panties the minute she steps foot in the house. And while I'm grateful we didn't suffer the brutal, never-ending winter that hit other parts of the country, I do wish we'd had at least a month or two of that beautiful, sunny-but-still-cool spring weather that requires a light sweater and scarf. This weekend I'll be dealing with the heat the best way I know how--with plenty of fro-yo and perhaps a movie (sitting in an air-conditioned theater with a box of popcorn on my lap doesn't sound like a bad idea). Have a safe and fun weekend. God bless!

A really sweet Mother's Day card that you can download. 

Painted aloe plants

An insanely beautiful watercolor graffiti cake.

pink armoire that I might try to duplicate. 

This reaction to Hillary Clinton's announcement.

Inspired Design: Styled Coffee Tables

April 16, 2015

I clearly have a thing for beautifully styled coffee tables lately (see yesterday's post); I find myself looking at images throughout the day when I have a few minutes to myself, or scouring the internet when I have a particularly unfortunate bout of writers' block. Since my girls are still so little I won't be incorporating the look into our space any time soon (tiny hands tend to touch everything, despite mommy's repeated requests and "no nos"), but I can still draw inspiration from these gorgeous photos.

What I love: the sparkly vase

What I love: the fun colors

What I love: two coffee tables, anchored by the pink taper candles and cherry blossoms; the gorgeous color palette

What I love: the mix of paper weights, magnifying glasses, matches, and books

What I love: the matchbooks and the Voluspa candle; the color palette

What I love: the gold antelope (or is it a deer?)

What I love: that fabulous Hermes tray and the fresh flowers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Anatomy of a Perfectly Styled Coffee Table

April 15, 2015

If you've ever perused the pages of Domino or spent time clicking through Domaine.com you've no doubt seen images of vast living rooms with tons of natural light, impeccable furniture, and, at the heart of them all, a perfectly styled coffee table. Here are the design elements that make up those enviable coffee tables. 

1. Fresh flowers instantly elevate a space, adding texture, color, and, height to the flat surface of the coffee table. 
A lovely vase to house fresh flowers is just as important as the colorful blooms themselves. 

2. A statement piece doesn't necessarily have to be large, but it should definitely stand out. Think dramatic tapers in elegant candle holders, a statuette, or even an eye-catching vase for the flowers. 
An hourglass adds interest and definitely makes a statement. 

3. Aptly named, coffee table books are meant to add color and height. Keep the look cohesive by stacking several books with covers in the same color family, and try to stick with one theme (e.g. style, travel, photography).

Coffee table books should be chic and stylish. It also helps if they're less than $30 like this one. 

4. Trays are great for covering surface area, as well as holding decorative accents and functional items like coasters or candles. 

A sleek tray is both decorative and functional. 

5. Accents--a decorative little bowl, a seashell or figurine, a beautiful candle and colorful box of matches--fill space, add color and height (especially when sitting atop the stack of books), and pull the whole look together. 

Accents can be as big or little as you like. And don't be afraid to mix metals and textures. 

Shop beautiful coffee tables and all the gorgeous pieces to style them here: 
Shop My Mavatar Cart

original image via

Cinco de Mayo Menu

April 14, 2015

It's hard not to love Cinco de Mayo--it's colorful and festive, and, no matter what your heritage, it always promises to be a good time. With the holiday approaching I've started thinking of ways to celebrate, and since I love Mexican food, I'm looking forward to a little fiesta with plenty of good eats. I recently whipped up a few favorites that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo festivities.  

I have friends who request my layer dip for just about every gathering, so I know these individual servings will be a hit. To ensure a neater, more appealing presentation I put the beans, guacamole, and sour cream in plastic sandwich bags, snipped the corners, and piped them into the little plastic cups before smoothing them out with a spoon.

Tacos top my list of favorite foods, Mexican or otherwise, and these potato and cheese tacos are a must in our house. I peeled, boiled, smashed, and seasoned potatoes, then stuffed them into tortillas that were softening in oil over medium heat. I fried them until they were crispy, before topping them with shredded cheddar cheese.

I love brownies and am always happy to make them for any occasion. For Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to give my favorite dessert a south-of-the-border twist, so I used Food Network's Aaron Sanchez's Mexican Brownies recipe--they're spiked with warm cinnamon and cayenne pepper, which gives them a nice bit of heat at the end. Plus, they were ridiculously simple to make.

To wash it all down I picked up some bottles of Mexican Coca-Cola. I'm not much of a soda drinker, and I never keep any in the house, but there is just something about an ice cold Mexican Coke that I find irresistible. 

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

April 10, 2015

The truth is I was supposed to be making tostadas with the can of black beans in my pantry, but after looking at several different black bean brownie recipes, and realizing I had everything I needed to make them, well... I pulled from several different recipes to come up with this vegan version and the results were better than I could have expected. These brownies aren't chewy like traditional brownies (the texture reminds me of a cake pop), but they make up for it with rich, fudgy goodness. 

Vegan Black Bean Brownies
1 15-ounce can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed well
½ cup quick oats
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup agave or maple syrup
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350. Put all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a blender or food processor and blend until totally smooth. Pour batter into a bowl and mix in chocolate chips,  then spread in a greased 8x8 pan and sprinkle more chocolate chips on top (just a handful or so). Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting; you can also refrigerate overnight to help them set if they seem a little underdone.  

Friday Favorites

April 10, 2015

Getting back into our routine is always a challenge after a long break, but somehow we managed to get through this week without incident (save for a run in with an unidentified flying insect that had me looking like a complete fool in the parking lot of the my daughter's school). I'm grateful for the weekend, especially since my husband has planned a date for just the girls and himself so that I can work/read/relax/nap/whatever. I hope you have an amazing weekend as well. God bless!

A colorful ceviche bar

Tea lights with sprinkles to make them more festive.

The most adorable DIY teacups.

Homemade naan that makes my mouth water just looking at it.

The incomparable Billie Holiday, who would have been 100 years old this week.
Proudly designed by | mlekoshi Playground |