The Tween Years | Schoolwork Organization

July 29th, 2014 | Posted in The Tween Years

how to help tweens stay organized

Organization! Tweens! Lack of organization!

Oh, this subject is always controversial in my house. I say controversial because not everyone is naturally organized in our home. I tend to shy away from all stereotypes, but it just so happens in our home the genders are equally divided in this area. The males are extremely unorganized and the females are extremely organized. I know this isn’t the norm for all, but in our home we are clichés, what can I say?

I know it’s summertime, but school will be here before any of us want to admit it. And for tweens that are moving from one school to another, this subject is something that is easier to tackle when we aren’t in the throes of uniform shopping, alarms, and back to school madness.

Transitioning from 1 or 2 teachers to 6 or more teachers is a huge adjustment for most kids as they enter their tween years. Organization is key to making this transition a smooth one. For our middle schools in the US, usually that means getting a locker, possibly also a PE locker, and moving from class to class and teacher to teacher, all day long. Sometimes this happens with a traditional schedule of 6 classes each day, and some schools have block scheduling, where you have certain classes every other day for larger blocks of time. What this may cause is confusion, frustration, lost papers, and missed assignments.

How can we help our tweens stay organized? The right supplies are essential. Continue Reading...

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PBS Adventures in Learning Blog!

July 28th, 2014 | Posted in Play + Learn

Yarn Bomb for PBS Parents

You may have noticed that our video series with Adventures in Learning is no more, but Adventures in Learning still produces a blog full of fun, clever and playful ideas for bridging the home-school gap. I contribute to it once every three weeks along with some supremely talented and dedicated folks. Continue Reading...

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July 26th, 2014 | Posted in Features

make good with is currently celebrating a #makegood campaign to celebrate independent makers. Of course I’m all for it. I have a serious crush on artisans who make things. They’re brave, bold, and produce some of the finest things around. Here are 5 makers I’m currently loving:

1 Jenean Morrison | 2 Cynthia Treen | 3 Ellie Bradley | 4 Cheeky Monkey Home | 5 Joanne Stone

Three cheers for independent makers who #makegood!

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The Happy List

July 25th, 2014 | Posted in Features

Last day in California

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week. I spent it trying to recover from jet lag. Why didn’t anyone warn me that three hours could wreak such havoc? I think it may even be worse than European jet lag. Probably because it’s sneakier. When you travel many time zones you’re mentally prepared for exhaustion. Just a few and you’re tricked into thinking it’s no big deal.

Many of you have asked if I’m doing a post on California, and I sure am. I admit it, I fell in love. Dave and I spent an evening looking at CA realtors’ sites. It’s an exercise we engage in frequently though. We pick a place we’d like to live and look at real estate and schools there. We like to pretend we’re restless spirits. The truth is, I don’t think we’ll ever move.

So how about you? How was your week? Any big plans for the weekend? I hope it includes something fun!

ps. Next week we’re featuring a few back-to-school posts. I know it’s early for some. For others, school starts in two weeks! Blows my mind.

-Jillian and her kids are renovating an old caravan. I’ve seen after pictures and they are amazing. Hope she shares more soon! has partnered with Chronicle books

-How do you tackle self doubt?

-Accept that sparkle and shine

-Living in 580 square feet?

-So cute!

-Great for road trips

-Summer projects for little ones

-Two ingredient silly putty

-What to buy generic

And finally, Deborah picked up a writing gig with Henry Happened! So proud and excited for her. Please hop on over and check it out. You’ll love her beauty tips. (oh and yes, she’s still hanging around here too :)

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Endless Summer Projects | Vacation Mobile

July 23rd, 2014 | Posted in Arts & Crafts, Endless Summer Projects, Traveling With Kids

This project is sponsored by Bing.

vaction mobile - part of the Endless Summer Project Series

This week kicks off the final theme in our Endless Summer Projects Series: Travel. MJ, Alexandra, Amy, Melissa, and I are each bringing you a project that celebrates summer travel and the open road. And I have the pleasure of starting this party…

Our recent California road trip was one I never want the kids to forget. It included the most incredible scenery that we may not see again for awhile. We visited Sequoia National Park, Monterey, Cambria, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. We saw whales swimming off the coast of Big Sur, dolphins and seals at the beach, a black bear running from a campsite, and trees thousands of years old.

So together, the kids and I created a vacation mobiles. The kids drew pictures of the things they remembered most about vacation and I helped them turn them into something they can hang in their rooms. Now, each kid has a reminder of their amazing and wild California adventure.

ps. California, you are a truly awesome state.

You’ll Need: Continue Reading...

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Endless Summer Projects | Outdoor Cooking with Kids

July 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Endless Summer Projects

Outdoor Cooking with Kids - Lulu the Baker Recipes, Tips and Tricks

During our California road-trip camping adventure, we cooked over an open flame almost every meal. Some days I rocked the fire, surprising myself (and others) by making whole meals that were not only edible, but downright tasty. Other days, the fire rocked the food. Our last night featured blackened…everything. And not intentionally blackened. It was actually pretty hilarious.

Overall, the experience has made me want to experiment more with outdoor cooking. And I especially want the kids to get involved. While they learned the secret to the perfectly roasted marshmallow—the trick is to hold it over embers once the flames have died down—I feel they’re ready to tackle more substantial menu items. We can not live on s’mores alone, no matter how much we’d like to.

Thankfully Melissa wrote up her favorite tips, tricks and recipes for outdoor cooking with kids. Just click here to get them all. I want to try out her chicken in foil recipe. Mmmmm, looks delicious.

While our California adventure is over, the summer is still young. I say let’s get cooking!

Just tuning in to the Endless Summer Projects Series? Here’s a quick recap…
Summer Banner | Large Scale Modern Art | Scavenger Hunt | Collapsible Cardboard House | Mid Century Modern Birdfeeder | Backyard Circus Stilts | 6 Water Balloon Games | Firework Tablecloth | Screen Printed Tees

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Announcing South of Brooklyn!

July 21st, 2014 | Posted in Features

south of brooklyn - new site featuring stories of creatives and makers

There comes a point in a writer’s life when she realizes she needs to branch out. I have occupied the parenting/kids’ craft corner for a number of years now. While I am still very fond of it, I want to write other things. Things not about parenting.

Last year, Dave and I discussed working together on a new project; a labor of love. It would allow him to take photos for his portfolio and it’d allow me to write and produce different types of work—something I’ve been itching to do. Earlier this month, our project called South of Brooklyn launched! Continue Reading...

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Endless Summer Projects | Screen Printed Tee

July 21st, 2014 | Posted in Endless Summer Projects


Annnnd we’re back from our break! There’s so much to catch up on. I hope you’re ready. I hope *I’m* ready. Eek! This week, my goal is to hit the ground running. Since I’m feeling all refreshed and energized (the California sun has that effect) I thought I’d start with a post I missed while away.

You see, I had every intention of posting the two Endless Summer Projects that were scheduled while on I was on the road, but two things happened: first, we didn’t have access to wifi and second, I forgot to pack my laptop. I know, terrible blogger fail.

But now, I’m back with Amy’s really awesome project: screen printed tee shirts. I l-o-v-e these! Honestly, I love anything that shows kids how things are actually made. It gives them a deeper appreciation for what they buy. But I especially love that you and the kids can put your own spin on the designs: favorite colors, placement, etc. It’s a powerful thing to express one’s individuality, no matter one’s age.

Click here for Amy’s full tutorial! And let us know how your tees turned out by using #endlesssummerprojects on instagram. We’d love to see!

Just tuning in to the Endless Summer Projects Series? Here’s a quick recap…
Summer Banner | Large Scale Modern Art | Scavenger Hunt | Collapsible Cardboard House | Mid Century Modern Birdfeeder | Backyard Circus Stilts | 6 Water Balloon Games | Firework Tablecloth

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