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.  
Kodak Moments and Memories - One Little Minute Blog-12
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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Poolside Tea and Toast

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Poolside Tea and Toast- One Little Minute Blog-9
Over the weekend in Palm Springs with my sisters, I put together a pretty and delicious Poolside Tea Party. I’ve long been a fan of herbal tea–drinking a steaming mug is part of my evening routine. Since moving to Texas, I’ve become even more converted, especially to iced tea, as Texans drink sweet tea like water! There are a couple really simple and fun ways to take a simple tea and toast party over the top to look and feel super gorgeous and fun.

Poolside Tea and Toast- One Little Minute Blog-5
I topped the new Lipton iced herbal teas off with fresh fruit and herbs to dress them up for the party. The sweet peach-mango tea got a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a slice of fresh mango that I slit up the side to set upon the glass edge. The colors and flavors are so gorgeous and delicious. I love how something so simple can feel deluxe. Read More »

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Watercolor Caftan DIY

Watercolor Caftan DIY- One Little Minute Blog-5 I made this watercolor caftan towards the end of last summer (because I really needed something to wear to this pool party) and it instantly became one of my very favorite pieces. The cut is easy and breezy, with simple lines but the added detail of an interior-cinched waist to give it a little shape in the middle.
Watercolor Caftan DIY- One Little Minute Blog-11 Watercolor Caftan DIY- One Little Minute Blog-6 And the fabric? THE FABRIC! I ordered it from my friend Megan in Australia when I spotted it on one of her designs. I feel like this fabric might be my spirit animal. I love the colors, the abstract design, the watercolor feel, and the lightweight texture. This felt like a perfect application for it, and I still have a couple yards to play around with in the future. Hooray!  Read More »

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Leap Day: 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate

Leap Day! Do you ever celebrate? It comes around only every fourth year, and feels like a perfect day to celebrate and document, but not a day I’ll ever remember to go all out on. Here are four easy ways to celebrate even if you haven’t thought about it until this minute!
Leap Day -23 1. Take Leap Day Photos!
Make a simple poster with Leap Day and the year on it, then take photos of the family each making their biggest leap into the air! This idea has the double fun of jumping photos, which of course everyone loves, as well as documenting your look! We took some back in 2012 as well, and I was holding baby Eliot (now 4!) and wearing my then-favorite chartreuse jeans. I love that captured in time!
Leap Day -21
2. Make Frog Eye Salad
This mixture of tiny pasta, fruit, whipped cream, and marshmallows is a huge crowd pleaser, and super simple to make! It’s fun to tie in the idea of frogs leaping, and the frog-eye-shaped pasta. Whip a batch to eat with dinner or for dessert tonight!

3. Play Leap Frog
Everyone knows this traditional game, but I don’t know how often people actually play it! It’s free and easy to get out and play a game or two, or simply leap-frog down the hallway. Leap Day -9 4. Fill out a Leap Year Capsule Sheet 
Four years is a long enough time that there will be some significant changes between now and then! I made this simple Leap Year Capsule Sheet to easily print so each of us can record a couple little pieces of life today. Once they’re finished tonight, I’ll fold them into an envelope and store it in a safe place to open on leap year 2020! Download the sheet for free HERE.
Leap Day -10 Have a happy Leap Day!
Leap Day -22

 

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Great Gatsby Dress DIY

I made this Great Gatsby Dress with a couple yards of sequins and about fifteen minutes. Nothing like winging it, right?

A couple weeks ago Dave and I attended a Great Gatsby themed fundraiser event in Austin. The benefit supported the Grey Hound Rescue here in the city, and two of my friends put the whole thing together. So, on top of helping the sweet pups, I was able to support some favorite girlfriends. And since it was a costume party, I also got to make a Great Gatsby dress to wear! Dave and I confirmed we were able to attend just hours before the event, which meant this was a time-crunch project, but what else is knew? I thrive sewing under a deadline, and with the simple, boxy lines the 20’s era, I was able to whip this little sequined number together. Great Gatsby Dress DIY - One Little Minute Blog 1 Great Gatsby Dress DIY - One Little Minute Blog 2 I really love making costumes. There’s something really magical about creating not only a garment for comfort or style, but to evoke familiarity and connection. I’ve made lots and lots of costumes over the last several years, but I still look forward to creating something new. The key to the feeling of the Great Gatsby era is chic glamor. All of my inspiration images showed jewel and rhinestone-encrusted gowns with drop waists and draped fabric. Of course, the short bob with bangs that I’m currently sporting fit the bill perfectly, as well.

I had about a yard of this copper colored circle paillette fabric leftover from this cocktail dress I made a few years ago. It was fabric I grabbed in the NY fashion district while on vacation and luckily hung on to (I found some of the same type available here.) The paillette sequins are stitched onto a mesh backing, creating a sort of sequin armor that is both beautiful and glamorous.  Great Gatsby Dress DIY - One Little Minute Blog 6 Great Gatsby Dress DIY - One Little Minute Blog Great Gatsby Dress DIY - One Little Minute Blog 10 The Great Gatsby dress pattern is literally a box with just a couple quick cuts and seams. Let me show you how to make one! Read More »

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The New Maternity Countdown Tee

Introducing the new Maternity Countdown Tee!

If you were reading my blog back in 2010, you’ll remember the original tee I designed and created to record Project Baby, my regular documentation of baby number two. Soon after, I began printing and selling the tee shirts and after 5 years I just made the switch from the original striped tunic I had always used to a new, soft, stretchy, and comfortable maternity tee shirt in heather grey. This Maternity Countdown Tee is better than ever!
The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-11 The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-13 The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-15 Over the weekend I was able to get some seriously cute bellies into my tee shirts for a product shoot, and I’m over the moon with the way it turned out. The sleeves are shorter than before, which I love. Also the neckline more scooped, and the side seams are rushed to accommodate the growing baby. These tees fit amazingly well, and are comfy from day one through to delivery.

I’m excited to have lots of fun photos to share over the next few months on The Countdown Shop instagram account, in addition to reposting photos shared by customers. Managing The Countdown Shop has been a bit of a side project (much like selling my two PDF sewing patterns!) It’s a fun venture, and I love seeing moms celebrate their journey with my tee.
The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-12 The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-18 The Original Maternity Countdown Tee from The Countdown Shop-21 Sometimes I wonder why I diversify so much. Selling tee shirts here, designing patterns there, sewing custom costumes some months and teaching workshops others. The truth is, I love do to so many things, so I’m doing them all! When the time feels right to focus clearly in one direction, I think I’ll be able to do that. In the meantime, these shirts are too fun to give up on.

I’ll be hosting a little giveaway soon over on Instagram, so be sure you’re following along at @livefreemiranda and @thecountdownshop to enter!

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Choconananuttermallow Ice Cream Recipe

Thank you TruMoo for sponsoring this post. Add more calcium to your life with TruMoo Calcium Plus!

We’ve had an ice cream maker for a few years, but it was the kind where you needed rock salt and a pile of ice and a couple hours. I was very romantic about the notion of homemade ice cream with the classic wooden bucket and manual churner, but the reality is that we almost never use it. It was too much preparation and work! This year for Christmas my in-laws gave us an automatic ice cream maker. The kind with the bowl that you pull out of the freezer and pop in the machine and twenty minutes later you’re scooping deliciousness onto the warm waffle cones you made while the ice cream churned…

I guess I’m still  a little romantic about it. Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-13 We’ve had so much fun as a family coming up with new ice cream flavors to make. The kids are always involved in the process, and have loved helping with choosing what to add, the scooping, pouring, and taste testing along the way. We have made a new batch weekly since we opened the box, and with the summer-like temperatures around here in Texas lately I don’t see any sign of slowing down.
Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-1 Our latest flavor has been the most kid-friendly and nutrition packed of all of them so far. While nutrition isn’t my primary aim when making ice cream (obviously), every little bit helps! If my kids can eat a scoop and feel like they’re eating dessert while I feel like they’re getting some protein, vitamins and minerals, that’s a win-win. The ice cream recipe is so simple I’ll bet you have most of the ingredients in your home right now.

Instead of the typical heavy cream, the base of this ice cream recipe is chocolate milk. The new TruMoo Calcium Plus low-fat milk has 50% more calcium than regular low-fat milk, in addition to eight other essential nutrients all with the same yummy TruMoo chocolate taste that my kids love! It’s also free from high fructose corn syrup, so I feel good about them drinking it regularly.  Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-10 Here’s the scoop on how to make Choconananuttermallow Ice Cream: (We’re pretty proud of that name. Try to say it five times fast!)

Choconananuttermallow Ice Cream

  • 2 cups chocolate milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (optionally omit in case of allergy)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Takes ,
    serves four people.

    Add the chocolate milk, banana, and peanut butter to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer instructions for freezing. When the ice cream is almost frozen, add the mini marshmallows so they’ll mix in without freezing too hard.

Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-4 Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-12 And that’s all! Can you believe how easy? My kids can help with every step, and love being involved.  Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-15 Scoop the ice cream out of the maker and either directly into bowls or cones to serve or into a container to store for later. Homemade ice cream is best when it’s fresh and slightly soft. The texture and taste of this ice cream is wonderful. It’s not overly creamy like some homemade flavors that coat your mouth. The chocolate-banana-peanut butter combo is a classic favorite, and the addition of mini mallows takes it up a notch in texture, flavor, and fun!  Choconanutttermallow Ice Cream Recipe- One Little Minute Blog-5 Add this recipe to your simple, nutritious favorites, because it’s sure to be one for your family like it is for ours!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Minimal Dolman Dress DIY

Vogue Inspired Dolman Dress-One Little Minute Blog-5

I’m a sucker for a simple dress. Some of my very favorites end up being the most basic design style, and I appreciate being able to work through a project in an hour or two. When I needed a grey dress for a winter wedding, I had the idea to create a lightweight wool dolman dress with long sleeves and an asymmetrical hemline.
Vogue Inspired Dolman Dress-One Little Minute Blog-2 Vogue Inspired Dolman Dress-One Little Minute Blog-11

I’ve been really inspired by some of the minimal design trends in indie fashion lately. My design style has always leaned toward easy to make, easy to wear, and a little bit casual with a natural feel. This DIY Dolman Dress was no exception. I imagined the design lines before I went looking for fabric, and when I stumbled upon this lightweight heather grey wool, I knew the drape and coziness would match the feeling of the dress. (I’m already looking forward to making a short-sleeved silk version for the summer!) Vogue Inspired Dolman Dress-One Little Minute Blog-12

You can see the silhouette is really simple. I literally laid myself down on the fabric and traced around my body shape to get the basic outline! The neckline is a simple, flattering boatneck and the whole thing came together in four seams and three hems. Let me show you how to make one for yourself!

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