Fall Fire Pit + Roasted Cinnatwist Recipe

It’s here. That coolness in the air. The crunch of leaves on the ground. Rosy cheeks after an early morning walk to school. Fall, which in Texas feels more like summer everywhere else, is settling in with it’s nice seventy-eight degree days and seventy degree nights. Perfect weather if you ask me. Once the days are down out of the nineties, I’m ready for the coziness of a wood-burning fire pit and the sweet experience of gathering round to roast s’mores, tell stories, and create memories. With some sturdy fall basics from At Home, we created an amazing fall fire pit in our yard, perfect for entertaining during the season ahead. When we lit the first fire last week, I also introduced my family to Fire Roasted Cinnatwists, which they loved, and can’t wait to share the simple recipe with you today!
fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-11 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-1 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-6 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-25 When we built our home, we had a cement pad poured in the yard with the idea that eventually we’d have a big outdoor kitchen and dining area built. Though it hasn’t yet been time to add all of that, creating a cozy, modern backyard fire pit on the site was a perfect use of the space. It feels filled up and intentional in a way it never did with the kids scooters and push-toys all over it!

I’ve loved working with At Home as part of their Inspiration Team these last several months, and this project was really simple to pull together because they really had every single thing I needed (and more!) The clean-lined wrought iron patio chairs will withstand the weather, while still being comfortable with their arms and shape. They compliment the copper fire bowl nicely. I was curious how the big oval firewood holder would look in this backyard setting, as it’s designed to be inside, and I love it! Something about an organized pile of cut wood feels so cold-timey cabin to me and takes me right back to my childhood.

I added these gorgeous bamboo lanterns with LED candles for some outdoor accessorizing, as well as the folding galvanized tray (which, by the way, makes me feel like every outdoor table should be folding. It’s brilliant!) A couple faux fur pillows and warm, plaid and knit throw blankets finish off the whole vibe and complete the experience.  fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-9 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-10 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-8 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-15 I adore s’mores, but if I’m being totally honest, the whole hard chocolate and oozy mallow thing can be disconcerting. I know, that’s weird, and mostly easy to overcome by carefully melting the chocolate onto the cracker around the fire while you roast the marshmallow—but with small kiddos I want to keep things as simple and injury-free as possible. Spreadable chocolate, in the form of Nutella, was like a lightbulb for me as I prepared for this fire pit with the family. Then I took it a step further and set out gingerbread thins rather than grahams, and the entire experience was elevated. Seriously, give the nutella gingerbread s’mores a try and thank me later! fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-13 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-3 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-16 fall-fire-pit-area-and-cinastick-recipe-7 The other new fall fire pit treat that I introduced my family to was Fire Roasted Cinnatwists. I remember my dad making something similar sometime in my youth, using canister crescent rolls. And I remember them being awesome. Here’s how you make my version: Read More »

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Back to School Clothes

This post brought to you by ecover. The content and opinions expressed below are that of One Little Minute.

School started three weeks ago and I can barely believe it. The summer flew by, as they always do, and we enjoyed every minute. Our many adventures definitely took their toll on the kids clothes and along with the excitement of new crayons, notebooks, and teachers, I was excited to get a new pile of back-to-school clothes for each of the boys.  The whole process was really simple this year, and I’m happy to share some simple tips for back to school clothes as well as keeping them new as long as possible today.
Back To School Clothes-1 Back To School Clothes-4 If you know me at all, it won’t come as a surprise that shopping isn’t one of my hobbies. I like buying things to be simple, budget-friendly, and leave me plenty of time to do other things that I enjoy more. Last year, I thought it would be fun to take the boys each on a date to buy some back to school clothes. We took two nights, went to a few different stores, got dinner together, and it was a good time.

This year, in a quest to simplify even further, I decided I would take advantage of a sale at Old Navy, which is where a lot of the kids’ clothes come from anyway, and get them all in one swoop. Still wanting the boys to have their choice, I had them come sit next to me at the computer one at a time and pick things out. Since my kids operate with a kids capsule wardrobe, it was easy to glance through what they already had that fit, didn’t have holes or stains, and that they still liked wearing.

Then each kiddo sat on my lap as we browsed the available basics. Milo decided midway through last year that he only wanted to wear sport’s clothes (much to my chagrin) and knowing this wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight on a daily basis, I gave him a set of simple dressing rules:

  • Sports shorts must be worn with a sports shirt (as opposed to the button ups he sometimes mixed and matched with his basketball shorts)
  • Sports clothes must be worn with sneakers (rather than sandals, boat shoes, or his favorite cowboy boots)
  • As long as the color was neutral, he could wear sports clothes as often as he liked

He was thrilled with the idea of dressing in basketball shorts and tops daily, and promptly filled the cart with them, plus a couple other tees and jeans.
Back To School Clothes-2 Eliot already has a little more natural swagger than his older brother, and tends to choose things that are comfortable, simple, and usually striped. He’s also a huge fan of long sleeved shirts, which he wears even during the summer, and I tried to let him pick things I knew that he would wear often. We also had to get all new pants, because this kid puts holes in knees like no other I’ve known.

I grabbed a few things for Plum, and then we waited for the mailman.

Instead of the online ordering being a drag as opposed to a fun date-on-the-town, the boys seemed even more excited about it because we got to enjoy all of the clothes twice! Once when we were choosing the pieces and adding them to our order, then again when the big box arrived on our porch and they got to open up all of their bags, try everything on, and have a mini-fashion show for the family. They loved it! And with that the back-to-school shopping was finished. One and done. It was amazing.

Back To School Clothes-3 Back To School Clothes-5 Now that we have all of the clothes, the new trick is keeping them clean and looking new for as long as possible. I started by not letting them wear them out of the house until school actually began (I know, what a mean mom!) But, once they headed onto the playground and into art class last month, we have had to fight stains on a weekly basis.

My laundry system is fairly simple, and I appreciate a quick and easy trick for keeping stains at bay. I’ve been impressed with the new line of household cleaners by ecover, the parent company of one of my favorite brands Method. (Shop Now) Ecover’s cleaning line includes a whole variety of products, all of which are non-toxic,natural, and earth friendly. I love a company that is down to earth and focused with their products. Learn More

The ecover stain remover helps break up stains simply, by working the biodegradable ingredients into the stain with the built-in brush. When I see a stain on the kid’s clothes, I rub a little on, then toss it back in the bin to wash normally with the other clothes on the next laundry day.

As far as the tears and holes, I’m sure no matter what I do I’ll be working on some DIY Interior Knee Patches in a few months. In fact, given how simple this method of doing them is, I’m tempted to reinforce some knees before they even get started!

So, armed with our piles of new school clothes, stain stick, and sewing machine, we are loving the new school year!
Back To School Clothes-6

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Walmart Grocery Pickup and the best Lime Tart Recipe

I’m a simple girl and I love simple things, like baking easy recipes that look and taste like they were a ton of work. Or figuring out how to order everything I need online and never having to haul my children around in the grocery store (or any other store, for that matter) again! This post is going to give you both! A closer look at the new Walmart Grocery Pickup program, and an amazing and super easy fresh lime tart recipe. You’re welcome.
lime-tart-with-pistachio-crust-7 If you’ve been following along with my life over on Instagram, you’ve probably recognized my obsession with online grocery shopping. I’ve tried a few different programs and methods, so when I heard about the new Walmart Grocery Pickup I was super intrigued, then excited to partner with them to share my experience using the service for this post.  The idea is that you order ahead all of your groceries online, from any department, then choose your pickup time. When you pull up to the pickup area of the store, a friendly employee brings the grocery order out and loads it right into your car for you, then you head along your merry way!
walmart-grocery-pickup-lane walmart-grocery-pickup There are a couple things that set this program apart from others I’ve tried. The first is that it is free! There is no membership required, and no annual fee. You simply register with your name, shop from the thousands of available items at your neighborhood Walmart store, and then check out. I love this aspect because it is a perfect go-to service for people wanting to trial an online system without any commitment. Also for more budget minded folks who don’t like to head into an annual membership program (ahem, I’m currently a member of three different shopping programs…but this works for us crazy people too!)

Another thing I loved about my experience was that the very same prices offered in the store are offered online, and if something goes on sale between your order and your pickup, they’ll price adjust. That is just one more reason to give it a try, investment-free. And, the substitution policy was awesome. The small bag of roasted pistachios I ordered for this lime tart recipe was unavailable, so they filled the order with a larger bag for the price of the smaller! If there is a substitution, they’ll offer the new item at the lowest cost. That’s great customer service.

I ordered my groceries (including some cleaning supplies, office supplies, and automotive accessories) in the afternoon and chose a pick-up time for the next morning when I knew I’d already be in the car out on errands. My sister and I have talked often about how we would love to hire a babysitter to simply sit in the car with the kids while we grocery shopped, or how we would love to send one into the store for us. This service is basically that prayer answered. I got a call when my groceries were ready, about 15 minutes before my scheduled time. Then when I pulled up to the pick-up stalls I called the number on the sign and Wendy brought my groceries right out and loaded them in my trunk. It was seamless.
walmart-grocery-pickup-haul When I  got home and unloaded I noticed they had taken care to wrap the ice cream in a heavy brown bag to keep it cold, and separated the foods by type. I was impressed with the produce chosen, because I’m pretty picky, and everything looked awesome. I’ll definitely use this service again for weeks when I know I’ll be out in the car and can easily swing by and not have to get out. I can also already imagine how much more simple our next camping trip will be when I can order online, including new flashlights, propane, firewood, and fishing supplies, and have it all loaded up on our way out of town.

I can’t think of a reason for someone not to give Walmart Grocery Delivery a try. You can enter your zip code to see if it’s available in your area! Also, by clicking through this referral link you’ll get a code for $10 off of your first order (I get $10 too!)

So now let’s talk about tart.
lime-tart-with-pistachio-crust-6 Although I rely 99.9% on the grocery store to feed me, this year I did have a bumper lime crop on my one baby lime tree. And by “bumper crop” I mean I had six full limes ripen into beautiful, juicy maturity. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with them. I felt it needed to be really special. Then I used the first two in my daily Coke Zero when I had run out of limes on the counter. Ha!

After some serious searching and pinning, I stumbled across an old lime tart recipe, and it looked like it fit the bill: minimal but interesting ingredients, short prep and bake time, and good reviews.

When I ordered my groceries from Walmart, I was able to refer to the recipe on my screen and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I don’t regularly stock pistachios or sweetened condensed milk, but got just what I needed. I also added a 2lb bag of fresh limes so once my sweet homegrown limes were gone, I could still have juice for the recipe and for my afternoon sodas.
lime-tart-with-pistachio-crust-5 The lime tart recipe is basic enough even a beginner baker would have an easy time. I love how it turned out not too sweet, but perfectly tart (as a tart should be!) I skipped over the full 30 minute cool time for the crust, because I needed to head out to preschool pickup, and nothing suffered as a result. It was perfect.

Easy Lime Tart with Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Takes ,
serves 9-16 depending on size of square.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.
  2. In a food processor, finely grind pistachios with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest. Blend in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk. Add lime juice; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.
  4. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving. Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut.

lime-tart-with-pistachio-crust-8 There you have it. Two ideas to make your life just a little bit better, more simple and delicious this week. Have a fantastic weekend!

Brought to you in partnership with Walmart Grocery Pick-Up.

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Four Seasons Romper DIY

The summer is winding down piece by piece, but in my world it’s romper season anytime! I was excited to get my hands on some of this darling blue Busy Beach print designed by my good friend Dana, and whip it into what I’m calling the Four Seasons Romper for little miss Plum. (And I’ve got the full romper DIY for you!)

Because this romper is pants, it will be perfect for fall and winter paired with a cute cardigan and tights. But right now it’s perfect for the breezy late-summer days, with an ice cream cone and sprinkles, of course.
Four Seasons Romper - One Little Minute Blog-4 Four Seasons Romper - One Little Minute Blog-5 Four Seasons Romper - One Little Minute Blog-1 Seriously, does life get cuter than a redhead in a romper with an ice cream cone? I can’t imagine anything better! (And it looks like she can’t either!)  Four Seasons Romper - One Little Minute Blog-9 I went into this project really excited to sit and sew after a little unintentional break. I wanted it to be straightforward and simple, and I also wanted to make the process of pattern making easy enough I can whip up another one when she grows a bit without needing to rework a whole pattern file. So, I created a very simple measurements-based tutorial, with a rectangle of fabric widening the legs, so the front and back pieces could stay identical (unlike a typical pants pattern.) Read More »

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Primal Vegan All Natural Loaded Dark Chocolate Bark Recipe

Primal Chocolate Bark-2 It turns out that one of my favorite parts of trying a new diet is figuring out all of the ways I can sort of cheat without really cheating. It tests my creativity and keeps me thinking outside the box how I can load the most flavor and satisfaction onto the darkest, thinnest layer of all natural chocolate, and have it come together quickly enough to enjoy while I watch the next episode of Stranger Things on Netflix in twenty minutes. Primal Chocolate Bark-4 This primal, vegan, all natural, organic, free-range, grass fed, raw, loaded dark chocolate bark was my solution. I mashed up a few different recipes for vegan dark chocolate then added almond butter and freshly ground sea salt to the mix, then topped it off with handfuls of nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and coconut. When the whole thing is layered onto half a cookie sheet and set in the freezer for a few minutes, it comes out hard but with the most whispy, wonderful layer of super dark chocolate suspending the crowd of raw toppings.

I mean, another night when I’m off the Primal thing I may be eating an Oreo, but this loaded dark chocolate bark is so much better. Not low fat, mind you, but low in processed sugar, in fiber and protein, and high in deliciousness.
Primal Chocolate Bark-3 Primal Chocolate Bark-7 Primal Chocolate Bark-1 Primal Vegan Dark Chocolate Bark

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup natural almond butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground sea salt

nuts, dried fruit, pepitas, unsweetened coconut to top

Prepare a cookie sheet by  folding a piece of foil into a barrier to half the sheet, then lining it with a piece of waxed paper covering at least an inch up each side. Place all ingredients together in a bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well until chocolate is thin and smooth. It will be liquid like water. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the waxed paper and told the pan to cover the whole rectangle. Top with nuts, dried fruit, coconut, seeds, to your liking. Place pan in freezer for 15-20 minutes until loaded chocolate bark has hardened. Break into pieces and enjoy. Store in freezer until ready to eat.  Primal Chocolate Bark-5 As a warning, this stuff is quite addicting, and you might not be able to stop once you make batch and find out how delicious and simple it is. I’m on my third pan in three days. (And I wonder why these diets don’t work for me. Haha!)

More than losing weight, I love the challenge to reset my habits and try to eat a little healthier, and more creatively.

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3 Tips for Better Driving

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide. I purchased my own insurance at normal prices. All opinions are 100% mine.

Nationwide provided me with information regarding its SmartRide program.

Road Trips with Kids- One Little Minute Blog-51-2

I’m a good driver. But it wasn’t always that way. On my sixteenth birthday I failed my driving test because I backed into a cone while parallel parking. I was in my first accident just weeks after passing my test and actually receiving my license. It was raining hard and I hydroplaned into the car ahead of me, stopped at a red light. My driving history went about like that for many years after. Several tickets, minor fender benders, and defensive driving courses later, I went abroad and my driving record slowly cleared as the months passed by.

When Dave and I were married, I remember my dad joking about being even more excited to get me off of his car insurance policy than my marriage! Needless to say, I went into getting my own coverage with some trepidation. Dave added me to his existing Nationwide plan, which was the lowest rate he had found (plus we got our multi-driver discount when I signed on) and we’ve been customers ever since.

Luckily, my driving has improved radically since my younger years. In fact, I haven’t had a moving violation since I returned to the states over ten years ago. In a lot of ways, my driving improvements are due to being more mature and less reckless. I think becoming a mom has also changed my ideas about driving. I care more about safety than speed, and since I’m always late everywhere anyway (dang kids’ shoes!) a few extra minutes don’t hurt.
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I’ve learned a lot about driving carefully, and want to share my top 3 tips for better driving, whether you’re young or old:

  1. Put Down Your Phone: This should go without saying, but as I look around it seems like most drivers have their phone in their hands at some point during a trip, whether to look at directions on a map or to answer that urgent text. I have a habit on road trips of pulling over to take pictures of pretty scenery, and think that taking the time to pause, and practicing pulling over to look at our phones when absolutely necessary is a good idea.  Staying focused on driving gives us the advantage of being aware of unexpected changes on the roads, and shows our kids a good example of paying attention to the task at hand.
  2. Drive During Daylight: There are so many reasons daytime driving is safer than nighttime driving, most obvious being that you can see! Along with becoming more cautious with age and motherhood, I’ve also started to be aware that my sight is strained when it gets dark. If it happens to also be raining or wet out, the headlight reflections add another dangerous dimension. Not only can you see better with sunlight, but your body naturally is more awake and alert. Also, other drivers are more likely to be sober and safe when the night is young.
  3. Plan Ahead: A few extra minutes ahead of the trip to leave on time, so you’re not in a hurry on the road, can make a huge difference. I learned in one of my many defensive driving courses that when you’re traveling for around 30 miles, speeding up from 65 to 75 saves you less than 4 minutes! And ironically the faster you go, the less the speeding helps. In addition to obeying the speed limit, planning ahead on the road means changing lanes in advance of our immediate need to turn, slowing down when we spot that yellow light ahead, and looking at the map ahead of time to have an idea where we’re headed before we leave.

These simple tips can make a huge impact on our driving habits, and allow us to remain safely in control in the driver’s seat. In addition to being safe and happy, with the Nationwide SmartRide program, my good driving can also save us money! If you sign up for SmartRide, whether as an existing or new customer of Nationwide, a little device comes in the mail that will easily plug into your car and monitor four habits: miles traveled, minutes driven during nighttime, hard braking and fast acceleration. You can then monitor your own driving habits in these categories for a few months, with potential to earn a final discount based on your driving habits. When I called to enroll for SmartRide and get the device, the agent told me we would start enjoying a 10% discount just for signing up! The program can’t hurt your rates, as a result of participating in the program, and the final discount could be between 0%-40%, depending on my driving trends.

I can’t wait to try it out and see how we do! I signed Dave up for the program as well, and since he basically commutes to work, parks all day, then commutes home I’m guessing his discount will be great. I’m happy to save a little money wherever we can, and I can’t wait to get my SmartRide devices in the mail and get started!

Minivan Movie Night- One Little Minute Blog-13

Nationwide asked that I include this information about the product:

Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliates. Columbus, Ohio. Availability varies. Discounts do not apply to all coverage elements; actual savings vary by state, coverage selections, rating factors and policy changes. Enrollment discount applies during data collection; final discount is calculated on driving behavior and could be zero.  Final discount applies at the next policy renewal and remains until drivers or vehicles on the policy change.

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Globe Candy Jar

Globe Candy Jar - Miranda Anderson for World Market-3 School started this week and my boys are both settling in with their new classes and new teachers. I have such love and respect for the hard important work teachers do, it is fun to come up with neat ways to share my appreciation with a teacher gift, like this globe-topped candy jar. The globe is darling alone, but gets even better when it’s set atop a darling vintage-inspired candy jar filled with treats.
Globe Candy Jar - Miranda Anderson for World Market-2 I shared the full DIY over on the World Market Discover Blog, where I’ve loved contributing each month. Whether in the classroom, or on a desk at home, this candy jar will be a sweet reminder of how teachers open up the world for their students. Attach a sweet ” I can’t wait to explore with you this year” note, and you’re starting the year off just right. (Even if you forget to bring the teacher gift the first day of school and give one in the first couple weeks instead.)

I also talked to my mom this week who was excited about making one for my youngest sister who began college this week. A globe candy jar filled with study treats is such a fun idea for a student gift as well!
Globe Candy Jar - Miranda Anderson for World Market-5 (This was one of three fun Back to School crafts I shared this week on FOX 7 Good Day Austin this week, check out the clip HERE.)

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Garage Organization

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GarageCleanUp  #CollectiveBias

The kids went back to school this morning, it’s raining out, and I feel like the fall might actually be on the way. It’s time to pack up some of our favorite summer gear until next summer. With the goodbye to summer also comes some beautiful crisp autumn bike rides and weekend campouts. This transition of seasons and activities is a perfect time to get organized in the gear headquarters of the home: the garage.  Garage Organization 101 - One Little Minute Blog-12 Garage Organization 101 - One Little Minute Blog-5 I’m really excited to share some practical garage organization tips today. Mostly because getting ready for this post was the perfect excuse to clean up and organize our own garage that was a complete disaster area.  

The garage is such a bustling place, entry and exit point, as well as storage, wood shop, tool chest, and many other things, least of all might be a place to actually park and protect the cars! The garage is my entry point of our house all day long as I run kids to and from school and go on errands in the car, and I wanted it to feel clean, nice, and intentional.

Guess what? That has been nearly impossible before now (“before” photos just ahead, be prepared!) I had great aspirations to keep everything organized, but what we really lacked was the tools and accessories that would make a lasting organization system possible. I jumped at the chance to partner with Rubbermaid® FastTrack® Garage Organization System to create a useful and practical garage system for our active young family and share a couple tips for creating a garage activity station to make sure you send more time playing and less time searching for things.  Garage Organization 101 - One Little Minute Blog-3 Garage Organization 101 - One Little Minute Blog-9 After a long day of sorting, throwing away, organizing, separating, and installing, hanging, and blowing off the floor I can actually see what we own and grab at a glance. The kids have easy access to their toys and wheels, the lake and beach toys have a specific area for loading in and our of the car, and yard tools are right where we need them (in case we ever decide to actually do some yard work…)

It looks pretty amazing now, but get ready. Here are the before shots: Read More »

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Playroom to Kid’s Studio Transformation

School starts next week and we’ve been getting prepared with everything from new backpacks to early bedtimes in anticipation of the year ahead. With both boys headed to full-day elementary this year and Plum in preschool, I feel like our family is headed into a new transition. Along with the kids growing up, I decided it was time to transform the playroom into a more useful and creative space for all of them to spend time together. The result is what we’re calling the Kid’s Studio– a space for homework alongside crafting, dress-ups in one corner and dinosaurs in another, and all of us intentionally spending meaningful time together.   Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-7 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-27 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-9 In my recent home tour post, I shared my feelings about how homes should be useful and purposeful. That means transformation as the needs of each family changes. The Kid’s Studio is a great example of that principle working in our home.

When we moved into this house, we created a dedicated playroom in what was the office on the plans. But even as we were building, we talked about how in several years the kids would grow out of a playroom, and we could change the space into a homework area, then even a little older add a couch and tv for a teenage hangout spot. With this in mind we wired the wall for a tv, and covered the opening with our map for now. 
Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-10 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-12 For a couple years Milo has been doing homework all over the kitchen table, counter, and couch, being distracted by the tv, dinner preparation, and siblings running in and out the back door. I loved the idea of having somewhere specific to work on school projects. Setting aside a specific place for school work also decreases the chance we’ll forget about or lose something (which unfortunately isn’t uncommon!)

I came across these gorgeous desks at At Home when I was browsing for ideas for this month’s inspiration post. I was instantly in love with the modern design, clean lines, small size, and two-tone white and wood. After measuring my wall, I knew that I could put two together along this wall beneath the map, and they’d fit beautifully.
Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-13 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-19 Wanting the boys to feel involved and invested in the process, I brought them along to choose chairs for the desks themselves. I gave them a couple choices and told them they had to agree so that they matched. After some serious in-store sit-testing they concluded the Clear Eiffel Chairs were just right.

After we brought them home I realized how incredible they looked! The chairs disappear leaving the beautiful desk design visible, and because they don’t take up any visual space, the room feels far less crowded than it might with solid chairs. Nice choice boys! Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-21 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-28 Another fun discovery when I was putting the desks together at home was that they have usb ports included on the surface! Smart desks! With the included power cord attaching the bottom of the desktop to the outlet, a small flap opens on the top to reveal an on-off switch and four usb ports. There was even a multi-use usb charger included with an old and new apple charger and mini usb ends.The boys wasted no time hunting down the iPad and plugging it into it’s new home.

I am a huge fan of technology for teaching, and this setup makes me so excited to do some good research on some more effective learning apps and include them as part of the kid’s study and play time. (I had also lost a cable to charge my favorite mini bluetooth speaker and was finally able to charge it again with the mini usb! Ha! Such a win.) Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-6 I adore well-designed desktop organization, and I expanded  these simple, modern pencil holders I created last year into a full school supply organizer.

I asked Milo what he wanted his to hold and he told me definitively it was to hold five pencils, scissors, a glue stick, and the 15 crayons he had picked out–one of every color. How could I resist such a darling custom order? I used the same method to make the crayon organizer for the craft table, and will whip a supply organizer up for Eliot too as soon as I get his specifics! Check out the full DIY at the end of the post!  Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-26 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-14 Kid's Studio - One Little Minute Blog-30 Of course, Plum couldn’t be left out of the playroom updates. When we were at At Home picking up the desks and chairs she saw this kid’s size table and chair set and told me “It’s mine! It’s for me!” Read More »

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The Anderson Abode

When we moved to Texas, chose a big corner lot and built our first house, I had no idea how entirely in love with it I would fall. The process of turning it from walls and floors into a cozy, family-friendly home filled with love and inspiration has been a joy. Sometimes a really slow adventure, but always fulfilling. I adore collecting things, finding the just-right place for them, then smiling every time I catch them in the corner of my eye. Creating a home is a really beautiful experience.
Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-35 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-5 I was flattered and excited when I was invited by Glitter Guide to share my home, along with some thoughts, on their site and with their readers. I quickly made mental note of a couple unfinished projects that I’d need to nail down before the photoshoot (basically the entire patio room that had sat empty as I worked slowly on skim-coating the walls for four months.) I also was excited to be able to capture a new phase of our home’s becoming–a little further along the process than this home tour I did for Design Mom last year.

Funny thing, looking back through those photos I did then, I remember feeling like things looked pretty finished, but this updated tour made me even more aware of the journey a home goes through on its way. I might venture to say that it never actually arrives at finished if you’re going about it correctly, because as the kids grow and change, and the family dynamic ebbs and flows, the way different spaces need to be used will also change. Putting together a home is probably a lifelong process of learning and adjusting and doing that some more.  Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-1 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-8 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-2 One bit of advice, if I am to offer any specifically related to home decorating, is to choose things that you really love. Things you love that might be different from what seems on-trend, popular, or beloved by anyone else. That may take some initial work of figuring out what it is that you do love, but it will be worth it. What are you drawn to regularly, what feels like home when you see it in the store, or on pinterest?

Also, decide what the purpose of a room will be as you begin decorating. If it’s a room to relax and watch tv, you’ll need comfortable lounge furniture. If it’s a bedroom that will also serve as a study area, make sure there is room for a bed and desk. When you want your sewing room to double as a guest room, like we do, you might choose a fold-out sectional as the couch and make sure the desks and chairs are easily cleared off for company. Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-3 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-4 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-6 Anderson Abode - One Little Minute Blog-7 Another piece of decorating advice I might offer is to start with the overall vision, but work through it in pieces.

I love collecting thing for my home in odd places, on vacation, at the thrift store, and browsing craigslist. It is so helpful if I have already decided on an overall plan for a space, because I will recognize the pieces I need when I see them!

The leather chesterfield in our living room was perhaps my greatest craigslist find of all time, and it came after having decided months before I wanted a brown leather chesterfield in that room. Every time I hopped on to search I knew exactly what I was looking for and when it popped up I wasted no time claiming it, then borrowing a truck and racing downtown to collect it.
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In some of my recent redecorating projects, like the indoor patio room and my master bedroom, the companies I was working with required an overall vision board of what the finished looks would be. That forced me to think about the whole picture as I chose which pieces I already owned would work and what items, colors, and feeling I was looking to add. It was immensely helpful. When I designed the boy’s outdoor inspired bedroom, I already had a pinterest board dedicated to it, so I could choose things that fit right in.

Because I never expected to put together a home or even a room in one shopping trip, having a general master plan for each area helps a lot to make the collecting feel purposeful and meaningful.  Read More »

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DIY Green Dresser Refinish

Hunter Green Dresser Redo-4 Earlier this week I shared some tips for choosing the right paint, and shared the process of picking out the perfect green for Plum’s dresser. Today I am continuing the partnership with Sherwin-Williams to complete the story by sharing the DIY with a couple tricks for a great paint refinish. This project turned out just as planned, adding some depth to the design in the room, and tying in the green in the framed scarf behind the crib. Let’s take a closer look. Hunter Green Dresser Redo-2 Plum's Nursery-One Little Minute Blog-107 This dresser was given to us by my mom when we were first married. We didn’t have very much money or space, and our parents were generous to pass along things the were no longer using. I think my mom had found it at a thrift store herself, and at one point had re-stained the wood and changed the hardware to these cool hammered brass pulls. I loved the shape, size, and even the color of the warm wood, but when I was considering what projects might be fun for Plum’s room, I could immediately picture this dresser painted a solid, satin green.
Plum's Nursery-One Little Minute Blog-11 Plum's Nursery-One Little Minute Blog-3 This beautiful framed scarf hangs opposite the dresser, and is reflected in the mirror every time I stand grabbing clothing or socks from the drawers. It was really fun to choose hue of green directly from the scarf, using the ColorSnap app, and have the greens now mirror each other so perfectly. Sometime soon this crib will be replaced by a big girl bed, and I’ll paint the walls pale pink. It will be fun to see how the dresser and art still play off of each other in the room as it evolves.

Painting the dresser was a simple project, and was made even easier by using a couple simple tricks. Here they are: Read More »

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Five Tips for Choosing Paint

I’ve never been one to shy away from a painting project. Starting in our first apartment, a 500 square foot basement, I have painted at least some part of every space we’ve lived. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the art of choosing the right paint colors for a room, the perfect sheen for a bookshelf, and which method (roller, brush, sprayer) will be the most effective for the project at hand. These last couple years since moving to Texas, I’ve also gained a huge appreciation for my one-stop-paint shop, the local Sherwin-Williams store. Sherwin-Williams-Dresser-Redo-11 I was originally introduced to Sherwin-Williams at Alt Summit back in 2013, around the same time we moved and started building our own house. When I walked into our local store I was immediately struck by the huge variety of options within the same brand! From concrete and deck stain, to antimicrobial interior paint, there was just the right product for every project. Not to mention all of the accessories, brushes, rollers, ladders, and everything else you may need for your painting project all in one place.

My favorite thing, and one that really set the experience apart from any I had before was the personal attention and advice that the employees gave. I explained my project, and was given specific recommendations about which paint type (there are a lot!) and which sheen would have all the properties I was looking for.  Sherwin Williams Dresser Redo-7 Sherwin Williams Dresser Redo-14 Today I’m partnering with Sherwin-Williams to share five tips for choosing the right paint as I get set up for my next painting project: refinishing a dresser for Plum’s room.

1. Consider The Colors You Love: the colors you wear, pin, and are naturally drawn to give good indication of what you love. If you don’t have a few that immediately come to mind, I recommend heading to Pinterest and creating a color love board. Pin away colors that inspire you. Then when you’re looking for the perfect color for a project, you’ll have a place to start. (Using the Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap app you will be able to to select photos you’ve pinned and pull them into the app for instant color matching. So cool!)

2. Decide on a Feeling: colors naturally elicit emotions, and there are some standard guidelines you can follow to determine what those are. In our first apartment we used orange for the tiny living room because we wanted it to be a lively space for great conversation, and it was! Now I lean more towards having my house be filled with calming colors because my kids have enough energy the walls don’t need it too!

3. See the Big Picture: designing as you go can be a fun process, and is usually how I create my rooms and spaces. There is some benefit to starting with an overall idea of the finished space, however, so that as you collect furniture, art, linens, and colors for each room you stay on track. Choose a theme that involves the purpose of the space, feelings you want to have there, and what you already have that you love, and then build from there. For example, I created this inspiration board when designing our patio room, and even though not everything is exactly the same as the vision board, the space feels just as I hoped.

4. Determine Scale and Impact: Do you want the item you’re painting to be the focal point of the room, or set the stage as a background? Are you painting four big walls, or one small chair? Scale definitely matters when it comes to painting, especially if you’re going bold. A side table in red will make an impact as an accent, where a wall in red will make an impact as the focus. In my boy’s room, the dark blue ceiling sets the outdoor theme, while also dropping the ceiling and making the room more cozy. Consider the impact you want to make, and choose color accordingly.

5. Paint for Practical Use: If you’re doing all the work to paint, make sure you choose the right sheen and quality for the job at hand. I didn’t realize how technological paint has become, and how truly specific it can be! When I painted the boys’ room I discovered that Sherwin-Williams Harmony paint had a zero VOC formula and would actually reduce the odors in the room over time! What? It was perfect for my little boys space (because boys are stinky!) In choosing paint for the patio room I learned of the new Sherwin-Williams Emerald Flat paint that is actually washable and durable unlike traditional flat paint! And when I got ready to paint the outdoor reading nook, I was directed to the Resilience exterior paint that resists moisture and repels dirt. Perfect for an outdoor project. Choosing the not only the right color, but the right type of paint for each project ensures it will last the test of time.

Sherwin Williams Dresser Redo-10

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