Friday Favorites

March 31, 2017

The weather felt like spring this week, and we found ourselves spending afternoons sans the sweaters and jean jackets we needed in the morning. We also had sandwiches, chips, and fresh fruit for dinner two nights in a row, which kind of made a mommy-is-too-tired-to-cook meal feel more like a fun picnic supper. We're off to enjoy the beach today, as it's the first official day of spring break, then we've got some other cool plans in store for the little ones this weekend. I hope you have a wonderful, relaxed weekend. God bless!

A sweet (and beautifully organized) baby closet in soft colors. 

The most adorable DIY planter made from something totally unexpected. 


Shades of purple.


Wordsmith Wednesday: Enthrall

March 29, 2017

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Get Gorgeous with Bananas

March 28, 2017

Bananas are amazingly versatile, not just for recipes, but for beauty DIYs as well. They're loaded with potassium, vitamins, and other vital nutrients that nourish skin and hair, and they're perfect for all skin types. The natural antibacterial agents in bananas make them ideal for fighting acne, while natural oils help to keep dry skin hydrated. Here are 10 beautiful reasons to keep your fruit basket stocked with bananas at all times. 

1. Make a moisturizing face mask with a mashed banana and a tablespoon of honey; apply to face and rinse off after 20 minutes.

2. For a pimple-fighting face mask that's free of chemicals and harsh ingredients, combine one mashed banana with ½ teaspoon each of baking soda and turmeric powder. Apply to clean face and rinse after 15 minutes. 
3. Make a quick and easy face scrub by mixing a mashed banana with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
4. Treat dry, itchy skin and eczema by rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the affected area.
5. Mash a small banana with 4 large strawberries, then mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ cup of sugar for a fruity body scrub.
6. Mix a mashed banana with a mashed avocado and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt for a hydrating hair mask.
7. Since bananas are considered nature's Botox, simply mash one up and apply to face and neck; rinse after 15 to 20 minutes. 
8. To combat oily skin and brighten your complexion, combine a mashed banana with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, apply to skin and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. 
9. Mix ¼ cup of oatmeal with a mashed banana for a calming and nourishing face mask.
10. Treat your tresses to a vitamin-packed conditioning treatment by adding a few drops of almond oil to a mashed banana and applying to damp hair for 15 minutes. 

image via

Friday Favorites

March 24, 2017

It has been an exhausting few weeks, but I've got some exciting things happening (I'll explain soon) and it'll all be worth the craziness. I'm super pumped about the arrival of spring and am looking forward to spring break with my little ones. We've already got plans for a trip or two to the California Science Center, picnics in the park, visits to our favorite ice cream shop, and since we're right next to the beach, I'm certain we'll spend a little time in the water as well. Since it's the first weekend of the season, I'm thinking brunch at one of our favorite spots in Manhattan Beach is in order. And maybe a walk down to the shore so the girls can dip their toes. I hope you enjoy your weekend as well. God bless! 

A lovely vanity/dressing room situation in one of my favorite color combos. 

For my sweet little girls...

This gorgeous dinner party setup by the water. 

Chicken tikka masala I can make in my crockpot. 

How to hygge, the Danish art of creating a cozy environment.

Wordsmith Wednesday: Maelstrom

March 22, 2017

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

15 Ways to Make Spring Even More Fabulous

March 21, 2017

Even though I love winter I couldn't be more excited about the arrival of spring. All around the city, trees are bursting with colorful blossoms and the weather has started to warm up, despite the showers we're expecting this week. I can't wait to start wearing maxi dresses and putting my little ones in playful skirt sets, and my husband has already made plans to barbecue soon. There is so much to look forward to this season that I've put together a list to help make it an amazing spring.

1. Treat yourself to a bouquet fresh flowers to brighten up your home or office.

2. Have a picnic. I've shared some brilliant picnic ideas here, here, and here

3. Put together a basket of Peeps, Cadbury Eggs, and other Easter candy and take it down to your local fire house or police station.

4. Wear floral prints. 

5. Take advantage of the season's fresh produce and get creative in the kitchen.

6. Host a spring dinner party. These beautiful tablescapes are major goals. 

7. Buy a cute new umbrella so you can enjoy the springtime showers without getting soaked. 

8. Try a new fragrance.

9. Burn a gorgeously scented candle that evokes everything wonderful about the season. Here are my favorite scented candles for spring

10. Open all the windows in your house and let the cool, spring breeze flow through. 

11. Channel your inner bohemian and wear a flower in your hair. 

12. Do a little spring cleaning and freshen up your space

13. Visit a botanical garden.

14. Invite your pals over for girls' night and serve one of these pretty spring cocktails

15. Head to your favorite makeup counter to find the perfect pink lipstick to match your skintone.

image via

Wordsmith Wednesday: Minute

March 15, 2017

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Easy Cinnamon Crumb Cake

March 14, 2017

Easter is coming up, and if you've ever hosted an Easter brunch you know it can be stressful--there's not a whole lot of time to get any food prepped or cooked after church and you certainly don't want your guests sitting around growing hungrier by the minute. To keep them sated until the big spread is ready, put out some fresh fruit and a simple coffee cake. This cinnamon crumb cake is so quick and beyond easy because it starts with a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls and has a crumb topping made with ingredients you already have in your pantry. There's very little measuring, no eggs to crack or liquids to pour, and virtually no mixing, so you can get it prepped and in the oven in no time. 

Easy Cinnamon Crumb Cake

1 17.5 oz tube refrigerated cinnamon rolls
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. 

Open the tube of cinnamon rolls, setting aside the icing for later, and separate the cinnamon rolls. Place one cinnamon roll in the center of the prepared pan (I loosely unrolled it a bit before putting it in the pan); unroll another cinnamon roll completely and wrap it around the one in the pan. Repeat with the remaining cinnamon rolls. 

Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl and use your fingers to mix it until it's a crumby consistency. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the cinnamon rolls; you'll likely have topping left over, which you can use for a second cake. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until cinnamon rolls are baked through and topping is light golden brown. 

Drizzle the reserved icing over the cake and serve warm. TIP: pour the icing into a small ziplock bag and snip one corner for even and pretty drizzles.

Friday Favorites

March 10, 2017

The warm weather has arrived! Temperatures reached the 80s this week and we could definitely feel the difference walking to and from school. Among the usual after-school activities--homework, dance class, reading time--we added popsicles to the agenda, and enjoyed them immediately upon walking through the front door (because my 3-year old would not have managed to wait any longer).  We don't have any plans for the weekend, but with the weather so nice and the beach so close, I'm thinking we might just take a little jaunt to the shore to dip our toes. Enjoy your weekend, and God bless! 

A brilliant way to repurpose empty spice jars.

Deeply glamorous faux fur.

Chocolate lava cakes that look surprisingly easy to make. (I'll test that theory soon!)

Psychedelic cacti.

A cute IKEA hack

My Favorite Pantry Organization Ideas

March 9, 2017

Organized pantries have always eluded me; try as I may to keep the canned goods on one shelf and the kids' snacks on another, somehow all those boxes and bags and cans end up integrating into one massive jumble. And the problem only seems to be exacerbated now that my seven-year old can reach the shelves to get out snacks for herself and her sister (boxes never get closed all the way, or near empty bags of veggie sticks are shoved back in, etc). But I'm not giving up hope that a perfectly coordinated and catalogued pantry is within my grasp, especially since I've seen so many brilliant organization ideas online. Here are a few favorites that I know I can pull off. 

Clear canisters and containers make it easy to see what I'm looking for, as well as keep track of what I need to replenish. 

Also, keeping the sealable containers on the slim side means there won't be too much wasted space.

Baskets or bins are great for housing stackable items like cans or items that don't necessarily have to stay in their boxes, such as granola bars and individually packaged snacks.

Labels are essential for staying organized, especially since I've got several different types of flour and a variety of cereals. Plus they help to maintain a uniform look.

Everything must be categorized and in its place. Baking items go together, cereal and oatmeal go together, salty snacks go together, etc. 

The location of each item matters. Heavy items, such as cases of water, should be stored low, and staples that are used most often, such as flour or cereal, should be most easily accessible. Items that get used less, such as cake platters or small appliances can be stored on the top shelf.

Group items that are used simultaneously, such as cake decorating supplies, in one basket or bin. When it's time to use them, I'll just need to pull out one basket and everything I need will already be there.

images via 1, 2, 3

Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8, 2017

To all the brave, incredible, strong, kind, smart, and selfless women of the world who are fighting to be heard, you inspire me. I see you. I appreciate you. I'm with you. Our fight for equality is not over, but we won't give up; we won't be silenced; and we won't be shut down. Let's put on these superhero capes and get in formation, ladies! 

image via Instagram

Wordsmith Wednesday: Banal

March 8, 2017

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Friday Favorites

March 3, 2017

March is here, which means spring is just around the corner! I'm excited for the start of a new season, and springtime in particular always feels extra special because it's the return of warm weather, long sunlit days, and blooming flowers. I'm looking forward to spring break with my family, making homemade popsicles for my little ones, maxi dresses with sandals and just enough breeze to warrant a light jean jacket, and bouquets of fresh tulips to brighten up our house. And since Easter is next month, I'm also looking forward to spending time with family, putting together baskets for my girls, and of course, all my favorite candies that are only available this time of year.  What are you looking forward to this spring?

Have a fabulous weekend, and God bless!

Vegetarian pho that looks so warm and comforting.

vintage sleeve chart that has me carefully evaluating all the blouses in my closet.

Pretty paper flowers.

An adorable kids' room.

Sweet floral details on a pretty springtime dress.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Plus Life Lessons from His Iconic Books

March 2, 2017

Childhood is a magical time, and for most of us, Dr. Seuss books were a huge part of those enchanted years. Who doesn't recall their first time reading his rhymes and thinking how silly and fun they were? His imagination was, in my opinion, the greatest. It was pure magic. Today as we celebrate his birthday, instead of focusing solely on the whimsical rhymes and colorful characters in his books, I'm also sharing with my daughters the important life lessons that can be found in the pages. 

Speak up for the little guy. --Horton Hears a Who
More than anything, I want my children to learn kindness. I want them to give it freely and unconditionally. Even if their friends aren't being nice to someone, I want them to step up and show kindness. Even if someone hasn't been kind to them, I want them to remain steadfast and offer kindness anyway. And if the time should ever come when they see someone being treated unfairly, someone who doesn't seem to have a voice, I want them to speak up for that person and encourage others to be more kind. Because a "person's a person, no matter how small." 

Don't be afraid to try new things. --Green Eggs and Ham
In fact, embrace opportunities to try new things, because they help us to grow and learn. There will be new things that they love right away, like ice skating, and some they will have to try more than once before they realize they love it, like cotton candy. There will also be new things that they don't love at all, like the hip hop class we had my three year old in; she was brave and she gave it a shot and it just wasn't her thing. And that's perfectly okay. I want them to know that everything won't be their cup of tea, but in order to find out what is, they've got to take the leap and try. 

Take good care of our Earth. --The Lorax
It's always been important to my husband and me that our girls learn to respect the Earth. This is our home after all, and not just ours, but billions of other people and millions of species of plants and animals. We have to share this space and make sure that it's safe and clean for future generations. I don't just want clean water and air for my own children, but for all children, so we're doing everything we can to lead by example so that our little ones grow up with the same mindset. 

There will inevitably be bang ups and hang ups, but we must have courage and press on because there is still so much fun to be done. --Oh, the Places You'll Go!
As much as it pains me to even imagine my babies venturing out on their own, it hurts me even more to think that I won't be able to protect them from all of life's ups and downs. They will experience pain that won't be healed with a kiss from mommy. They will have to travel roads without me, no matter how badly I want to accompany them and hold their hands. They will have dark days, and there is no flashlight or candle I possess to change that for them. So when my girls do go out on their own, I want them to always remember that they have the strength and the courage to get through anything. I want them to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel--a good life, a fun life, is waiting ahead. 

image via 

Wordsmith Wednesday: Wan

March 1, 2017

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

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