Minimal Daily Facial Routine

I’ve always been very low-maintenance when it came to make-up, skin care, hair care, and most other beauty.  Maybe because I have relatively dry skin without a tendency for blemishes, I never developed a serious collection of skin care products. In fact, I joined one of those subscription boxes for makeup and after about three months felt so overwhelmed by the variety of products being added to my make-up drawer, I had to stop. I like to stick to the most simple, effective basics and avoid the unnecessary decision making that comes with having too much stuff.   Minimal Facial Routine for Moms- One Little Minute Blog-2 Having a quick and easy, minimal facial routine has been a huge benefit as my life has filled up with children, work and activities. Even with a lot going on every day, I rarely feel like I don’t have time to get ready.  The whole process only takes a few minutes and feels like a well-worn brain pathway. With my introduction to the Kleenex Facial Cleansing line a month or two ago (sold exclusively at Kleenex), sent to me in partnership for this post, everything really fell into place and some areas of my facial routine that were lacking, like regular exfoliation, were seamlessly added to my baseline care. Minimal Facial Routine for Moms- One Little Minute Blog-1 This is what my minimal facial routine looks like:

I clean my face with a facial wipe at night– if I haven’t watched too many episodes on Netflix and am awake enough to muster the energy.  If not, I get to it in the morning when I’m getting dressed. Either way I can easily clear away the day’s grime and sweat in a flash. I can get rid of that tricky eye make-up with the eye make-up removers, which simplify life by combining the remover and a pad in one. These have been my very favorite piece of the new Kleenex line because they are so easy and effective. The oil-free formula removes the makeup without leaving a residue, and cleans without too much rubbing.

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Leather Clutch DIY with The Crafter’s Box

I’m thrilled to announce that my project for The Crafter’s Box is coming up in May! I designed and created a simple, hand-stitch leather clutch with brass hardware for my project, complete with an add-on project for a little cord keeper to match. The sign-up period to receive my box ends April 20th, so hop over and join the fun. I’ve been loving my monthly boxes, and am amazed by how much these high-quality crafts have added to my home. I’ve learned some new skills (weaving, knitting, and ceramics, plus added to my knowledge of block printing) and I really support the idea of making time to make. The Crafter's Box Leather Clutch DIY- One Little Minute Blog-10 The Crafter's Box Leather Clutch DIY- One Little Minute Blog-2 I can’t pin down exactly when I fell in love with working with leather, but it might have started way back when I was nineteen and working as a wilderness counselor for a youth rehab program. The program was based on survival skills and we used elk hide to make sandals, backpack straps, and pouches to hold our limited supplies. I still have a couple of those first leather bags I made, complete with hand beading on the outsides. In the last few years I’ve gotten even more interested making things like the no-sew leather glasses case, the picnic blanket strap, and of course my own leather jacket, not to mention the no-sew leather clutch we made a couple weeks ago at the Munchkin Workshop.

I love leather because of it’s strength, durability, and beauty. It gets better with age, and lasts forever. This clutch is a beautiful, minimal design that can be used in a hundred different ways. I have one stashed in my large tote that stores my phone, keys, lip gloss, a measuring tape (never without one), and other important at-a-grab necessities. I designed the pattern to be really versatile. Each box comes with several different variations for the front flap, as well as some additional ideas for closure using a tuck strap, or the brass button stud. Both are really beautiful. The Crafter's Box Leather Clutch DIY- One Little Minute The Crafter's Box Leather Clutch DIY- One Little Minute Blog-6 I’m really honored to have been included in this first round of makers collaborating with The Crafter’s Box. When we got together back in September for the Maker’s retreat in San Diego, I was floored by the caliber of crafters I was working with. I had a blast getting to know them, and have loved learning from them each month through the tutorial video and podcasts that accompany each month’s box of supplies. Read More »

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Around Austin // Thinkery + Tyson’s Tacos

Happy Friday! It’s been a while since I did an Around Austin post, and this week I want to share one of my very favorite kid friendly adventures down at Thinkery, and a great stop for lunch after with a pure Austin vibe, Tyson’s Tacos. (You’re like, wait. More tacos? In five of these posts you’ve talked about tacos three times! And the answer to that is YES! My friends, more tacos! Welcome to Austin.) Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-11 Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-1 We joined the Austin Children’s Museum within weeks of moving to town. I was 13 week pregnant, and had a 4-year-old and 2-year-old in tow, so we needed as much easy entertainment as we could find! Around the time pre-school began that fall, the Children’s Museum closed it’s doors and rebranded, redesigned it’s facility and relocated into a huge and gorgeous new space near Airport Road. Thinkery Austin opened in December 2013 and we were immediately fascinated by the wide range of interactive exhibits for all ages, from crawler up to adult (seriously, there are adult-only nights so mom and dad can play too!) Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-14 Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-13 Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-2 From the moment we walk in, the kids are touching, playing with, building, recording, sorting, painting, splashing or climbing on something. The first floor houses the light exploration, painting, building, and mechanic centers, magnets, flying airplanes, and more than one tube and ball chute system. There is also a snack and beverage area with wholesome vending machines, and access to the outdoor play area. Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-21 Around Austin- Thinkery + Tysons- One Little Minute Blog-15 Read More »

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5 Tips for Creating a Perfect Patio

Bringing Inside Out to the Patio- One Little Minute Blog-20 I’ve always loved being outside, whether on a weekend camping adventure, or simply tucked onto a patio chair with a good book. One of the major factors in our move to Texas from the DC area was being able to have a home with a large outdoor space, and the weather to be able to use it often. We chose a nice big lot, built a big covered patio, and then for the last two years it’s sat virtually empty. I didn’t really know where to start! I finally pulled it together in the last couple of weeks and am so excited to partner with Walker Edison to share my 5 Tips for creating the Perfect Patio.  Bringing Inside Out to the Patio- One Little Minute Blog-19 Bringing Inside Out to the Patio- One Little Minute Blog-15 1. Start at the bottom, and work up

Using an outdoor rug works wonders to define the gathering space, create comfort, and make the patio decor feel intentional. Starting with a rug gives you a specific area to work within, because outdoor spaces can feel really overwhelming. Inside, a 10×10 room feels large, but a 10×10 area outside is dwarved by the relative space.

There are outdoor rugs at any price, size, and made of all types of materials. This one is natural jute, so it’s not suited for extremely wet conditions, but since it is protected by the roof, it does great here. Sisal or polypropylene are options for a non-covered patio space. They both will hold up well in any type of weather.  Bringing Inside Out to the Patio- One Little Minute Blog-21 2. Add furniture suited to your specific needs

Our patio serves not only as a hang-out spot for mom and dad, but also a gathering area for the whole family, our formal dining room, and the primary entertaining space for the house. We really needed two separate, but related zones on the patio: a sitting area and the dining space. I fell in love with the Walker Edison Sundowner line of patio furniture that fit both needs beautifully.

The 4-piece conversation set has two armed chairs, and an armed bench, all that come with weather-proof cushions. Then the coffee table brings them all together. I love the simple, modern design and the durable construction (I put it all together myself in an afternoon.) The dining set comes with 4 chairs that are identical to the conversation set, and I love the idea of being able to pull them all together if needed on occasion. I also love that it has the bench, because we often are squeezing lots of little bodies in a row when we have friends to dinner, and more fit along that bench than would on a set of chairs. The table itself has a fold-out leaf system that I intend to keep out all the time, but it’s nice to have the option to change sizes.

When you’re choosing patio furniture, consider what you want to DO in the space, and make sure that what you find allows for that to happen easily and often. Do you need lots of seating like a sectional? A fire pit? Thick cushions for extra comfort? Stackable chairs? Figure out those needs, then find furniture to fill them.
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DIY Breakfast Table Band + Empowering Kids through Music

Kitchen Table Band- One Little Minute Blog-1 Kitchen Table Band- One Little Minute Blog-8 Music has always been a place of freedom for me. I use different genres of music for different activities (pop for running, folk for crafting, hip hop for cleaning the house.) I also have long used music as a way to boost my mood, dive deeper into an experience, and more fully enjoy time with others. My kids and I often turn up tunes on the computer in the kitchen to have impromptu dance parties, and shake off the stresses of everyday life.

Instilling a love of music and teaching my kids to use it in their own lives is important to me, and I love creating opportunities to share it with them. Today I’m partnering with Kandoo Flushable Wipes to share a fun music experience that can be simply recreated in any home. This week, during an hour of down time, we pulled out some kitchen utensils and turned them into easy DIY instruments for a Breakfast Table Band!
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#MunchkinMakerMamas Leather Clutch Workshop

#MunchkinMakerMamas Workshop- One Little Minute Blog-40 #MunchkinMakerMamas Workshop- One Little Minute Blog-26 Mother and Maker are two roles that I identify with fully, however sometimes the two feel at odds. That challenge was the inspiration behind creating this #MunchkinMakerMamas workshop in partnership with Munchkin. I met the brand at Alt Summit in January, and this idea hit me as an up-all-night thinking and planning inspiration. I imagined a craft workshop for moms where the kids could come along and be cared for in an on-site Kid Craft Center while moms had some creative time. I even pitched the idea complete with the hashtag title! #MunchkinMakerMamas Workshop- One Little Minute Blog-23 It was amazing to see the workshop come together so wonderfully, bringing moms from around the area–some even from a couple hours away– with their littles, to meet, craft, eat, and enjoy time together without the hassle of finding a sitter. The seats for the event were gone within a couple hours of being available, which told me this type of event is needed and wanted!

In this first workshop, the moms each created a caramel leather folded Date Night + Diaper Clutch, which turned out awesome for everyone. I want to share some of the details of the fun morning– the first in a mini-series I’m hosting this year.

The talented Melisa Mckinney photographed the event, and these photos she took really capture the delightful day! Look her up for beautiful images if you’re in the Austin area.
#MunchkinMakerMamas Workshop- One Little Minute Blog-3 #MunchkinMakerMamas Workshop- One Little Minute Blog-4 I chose The Paper + Craft Pantry as the venue because I love the owner, the lighting is beautiful, it’s a sweet local shop, and the separate but adjoining office space made a perfect on-site childcare room.  Read More »

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Five Potty Training Tips

Potty Training Tips- One Little Minute Blog-13 Having three kids means having to potty train three times! I have a history of saying that potty training is one of the worst parts of parenting. It can be messy and frustrating, and emotionally draining for both the kiddo and the mom. Luckily, after successfully potty training two kids, I’ve learned a few tips that will hopefully make this next go around as painless as possible. I’m partnering with Munchkin today to share my top Five Potty Training Tips:
Potty Training Tips- One Little Minute Blog-1 1. Don’t Rush It

Although kids can be potty trained as early as you want (with lots of patience and commitment on the parent’s part) I am of the camp that says waiting until your child is ready allows for a much easier, faster process. The idea of “ready” can be ambiguous, however. For me, “ready” looks like old enough to talk about the potty, only needing a diaper change 2-3 times a day instead of 15, and able to maneuver clothing easily on his/her own. Having a kid who randomly takes his/her diaper off during nap time or bedtime doesn’t necessarily mean readiness for potty training.

2. Pre-Train

For weeks and months before actually Potty Training seriously, it is important to teach children all of the skills they will need for going potty independently. These include pulling pants off and on, telling you when they need to go (even with a diaper on), talking about pee pee and pooh pooh so they understand which is which and when they’re happening, sitting down on the potty seat, wiping, flushing, and washing hands to complete the process.

I have trained with boys with a kid-sized potty seat, because I want them to be as independent as possible from the beginning. A couple weeks ago I ordered Plum’s potty seat, because even though we’re not jumping straight in, yet, we’re in the pre-training process and I want her to be familiar. I love the new 3-in-1 potty seat by Munchkin that converts from a kid seat, to a trainer seat on the big potty, to a step stool for reaching the potty and the sink. The Arm & Hammer™ disk keeps the potty smelling fresh (ours hasn’t been actually used yet…) and the pieces all come apart easily for super simple cleaning and sanitizing. Read More »

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Easter Doodle Ceramics

Simple Easter Doodle Ceramics- One Little Minute Blog-6 Simple Easter Doodle Ceramics- One Little Minute Blog-5 It’s Easter week already and I’m pulling together every super-simple idea I can find to celebrate, and these simple Easter doodle ceramics might be my very favorite. I made them in about 10 minutes simply by drawing some cute chicks + a long-eared bunny on to a set of basic ceramic shakers and a butter dish. These little characters add some festive sweetness to any tabletop all spring long (and the rest of the year, too!) Simple Easter Doodle Ceramics- One Little Minute Blog-2 Simple Easter Doodle Ceramics- One Little Minute Blog-8 Simple Easter Doodle Ceramics- One Little Minute Blog-1 When I was organizing my pantry a couple weeks back I came across this simple set of shakers and a butter dish that had been wedding gifts. We have long used our favorite salt and pepper grinders rather than shakers, so these have gone unused. And I love this butter dish, but have opted for some more quirky and fun varieties over the years.

Rather than discarding them, I was inspired by this cute face plant pot I made last year, and pulled out the same black and peach ceramic paint pens that I used in that project to make some little Easter creatures come to life! I can’t wait to use them for springtime brunch. (I’ve decided to repurpose the salt and pepper shakers into cinnamon and nutmeg shakers– perfect for our pancakes, waffles, and hot cocoa.)  Read More »

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Sponsored: Choosing My Own Weather// Lyric Thermostat

Honeywell Lyric-2 Honeywell Lyric-3  Thank you to Honeywell for sponsoring this post.

One responsibility of home ownership that I really love is being able to choose the temperature inside the house. Growing up, I remember trying to figure out how to adjust the old, manual thermostat because I was always freezing cold in the winter and overheated in the summer. I still feel that way when I go visit home! Now living in Texas, where the outside temperatures can fluctuate degrees with the passing clouds, choosing my own weather inside is awesome. Although we have lived in this new home for two years already, it has not been until recently that we’ve felt really in control. The second generation Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat from Honeywell is not only sleek and modern, making it easy to decorate around, I can program it to automatically switch from heating to cooling in order to maintain the set temperature. I used to think all thermostats had that capability, until Dave noticed that I would turn the heat on a summer morning, and it would heat all day, effectively raising the inside temperature to a sauna while I sat wondering why the a/c hadn’t kicked on! The auto-adjust is a game changer. I love that I can also easily make adjustments with the Lyric app on my phone, even if I’m just cuddled up on the couch or next to the fire in the other room. Honeywell Lyric-9 Honeywell Lyric-5 The Lyric thermostat can also recognize when we come and go (also known as geofencing), which creates a chance for it to adjust to save energy while we are away. We will definitely need that feature when we travel this summer and there is no sense in keeping the house cool until we head home. Read More »

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3 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

I don’t really know what has happened to this year, but all of the sudden we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2016 and St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Even though I really love celebrating, I don’t go over the top with decorations or themed crafts. We do have a fun breakfast tradition, and I love adding another simple activities to the day to make it feel special without being stressful. Here are three simple ways to celebrate:

Themed Pancakes

We don’t make the eggs or milk green, rather turn the pancake breakfast itself festive. In fact, I usually call St. Patrick’s Day “St. Pancakes Day“, because that is one easy tradition I can get on board with! We’ve done a little something different every year, but I think these different rainbow-themed pancakes have been my favorite. I’ll probably do a twist on both this year by adding a rainbow of fruit right on top of a wide, buttermilk pancake. St. Patricks Day Ideas- One Little Minute Rainbow Pancake-One Little Minute Blog Luck O’ The Dice Card Game

I just heard about this newly created game and was excited partner with them for this post. I mean, leprechaun cards, gold and silver coins, and a handful of dice? My kids were in heaven! At first glance, there seemed to be a lot of steps to each turn, but once we got rolling it the instructions made sense and the turns were quick and fun. I love that it takes a little bit of strategy, a little bit of luck, and a little bit of risk to play well. (And it doesn’t hurt that I won the first round!) Milo is old enough to play his own hand with some help, but the other kids got to play with us in teams. Or play pretend with her own cards and coins, in Plum’s case. We love good games to play with friends, and this one is going to be a year-round favorite! In addition to being really fun, super well-designed, and a great game for St. Patrick’s Day , I love the charity arm of the company, Dice for Dentistry. They donate a percentage of the proceeds from each game sold to Smiles for Life, a charity that provides dental care for children in developing countries.  I’m giving a couple games away today over on my instagram account. Also, they’re also offering free priority shipping so your order can arrive in time for St. Patrick’s Day! You can order it on Amazon. Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patricks Day - One Little Minute Blog-8 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patricks Day - One Little Minute Blog-7 St Patricks Day ideas- One Little Minute Blog Herb-Infused Drinks

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not really excited about green milk for St. Patrick’s Day. I am, however, always excited about fresh green herbs piled into my drinks, like this simple homemade lemonade. To make it even easier, grab some fresh herbs and use store bought lemonade, or even just water! Cucumber and mint is a favorite green-infused water, and the lime in this spicy ginger soda would go well with some woodsy rosemary, too. Adding some leafy greens looks and tastes better, and is just as simple to make so you can join in the festivities, without adding to your to-do list.
Herbed Lemonade for St Patricks Day-One Little Minute Blog

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you have some fun, and enjoy these simple ways to celebrate!

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Kodak Moments and the Memory Observatory

This post is sponsored by Kodak Alaris as part of a Mom It Forward Blogger Network campaign. 

Memories are powerful. When I really take a moment to sit and remember a moment, usually one captured in a photograph, I can get back to that place, feel the emotions, smell the smells, and almost relive the experience all over again. My favorite memories are the ones with good smells. Liking the pungent scent of pine sap when we cut down our Christmas tree each year, or the salty air at the beach. When I close my eyes I can remember the first time I visited New York City as a teenager and it smells like hot dogs and car oil, feels oppressively humid and hot, and overwhelms me with flashes of color amid the the concrete backdrop.  
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Yesterday I had the chance to join Kodak Alaris to experience their incredible, multi-sensory Memory Observatory debuting at SXSW this weekend. The inspiration behind the experience is the newly launched Kodak Moments App, which provides a new space for people to share the photos of moments most dear to them, and record the memory along side it.  Kodak Moments and Memories - One Little Minute Blog-10 The Memory Observatory was designed, created, and directed by Marcos Lutyens: one of the world’s most renowned sensorial artists. The structure itself is beautiful, birch plywood, and a work of art itself.

Walking into the dimly lit and quiet ballroom where the Memory Observatory sits was a perfect introduction to the experience. It is calm and peaceful amid the crazy bustle of the city-wide conference. The  attendee sends in an image of a memory, then in the first room shares the memory and accompanying feelings surrounding it. In the next room, the image is projected overhead in a kaleidoscope of colors and lights, while a custom mixed sound experience and even custom mixed perfumes are send into the room, bringing the richness to the memory.  Kodak Moments and Memories - One Little Minute Blog-6 The image I shared was this one of a day near the end of last summer that we spent at Barton Springs.

The day had started off a little crazy, trying to gather swimwear, pack lunches, make sure I had sunscreen and snacks and shoes for everyone. Once we finally piled into the car, got seatbelts on, set up the DVD player for the ride into the city, and backed out of the driveway, I had already spent most of my motherhood energy. We parked and hiked into to the park on the opposite side than I usually park, and met friends to sit down for a picnic. But then my kids couldn’t wear their life jackets because we were too far down the pool, and one slipped on a mossy rock and got hurt, and they all needed me to hold their hands, when I only have two. We just about packed up and left in tears… and then friends convinced me to give it another try. We found a different spot where the kids could play safely, I kissed skinned knees, gave out hugs, dried my own tears and felt so fully alive in my roller coaster role as a mother. We turned the day around had the most wonderful afternoon wading in the icey water, sun beating down on our shoulders, laughing with friends in this city we love so much.

The memory of this moment is all positive and empowering, despite or maybe because of the challenging morning. It was really awesome to sit and share it in the Memory Observatory experience (I totally cried). And laying in the kaleidoscope while the photo reflected overhead with pieces of my voice recounting the challenges, and a burst of fresh, woodsy air blowing in, I got to feel that all over again.

The Memory Observatory is open to everyone, even without a badge, and can be found in the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom B from March 13-14 10am-6pm and March 15 10am-3pm. It’s a really incredible and very unique experience to open up and share not only an image, which we do regularly through social media, but to also share the memory and feelings and smells surrounding the image. I had such a great experience, I want to go back and take my family and go through it together!

It also prompted this feeling of reflection about how I am capturing and recording my moments and memories. How I want to not only take a picture and file it away with the other thousands I have stored on my computer, but do better living and remembering the special moments in my life.

Kodak Moments and Memories - One Little Minute Blog-11

And for more info on both the Kodaks Moments App and The Memory Obervatory, find them on FACEBOOK , TWITTER, and  INSTAGRAM.

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The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe - One Little Minute Blog-1 Here’s the thing. I know that is a bold claim to make. The BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER? But it really is, and I’ve not only made it once or twice, but tens or twenties of times and the result is wonderful every single time.

The original recipe was found on the back of the Trader Joe’s Cocoa Powder container. I stay pretty true to the recipe, but double the salt for a better kick. Then I make the world’s best chocolate butter cream frosting to layer between it. It’s time I share.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever Recipe (adapted from Trader Joe’s)

3 1⁄3 cups flour
1 1⁄3 cups cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces butter
3 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour two 9″ round baking pans.
Combine all ingredients except flour and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Stir in buttermilk.
Add flour and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl once during mixing.
Pour into pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
Wrap and freeze overnight for ease in frosting, or wait until all the way cool to frost.

World’s Best Chocolate Buttercream Recipe (adapted from my Mother-in-law)

1/4 cup soft butter (soft is important!)
1 1lb bag of powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt

Combine ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. For thinner frosting add a bit more cream, for thicker, more sugar.

Take the frozen cakes from the freezer and cut each in half widthwise creating four layers. Frost one layer, then stack and frost the next, then the next, then the top. Add a crumb coating around the outside of the cake, and chill if the icing is not staying in place. Frost a second layer over the entire cake. Optionally press shredded coconut, crushed toffee, chopped nuts or sprinkles into the sides for fun!

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe - One Little Minute Blog-2 Enjoy.

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