Wizard of Oz Costumes

Happy Halloween!

The first time I asked Plum what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, I expected a non-response that would enable me to choose for her. After all, we only have so many years that we can impose our own Halloween desires upon our kids before they discover their own opinions. Well, she surprised me by telling me confidently that she wanted to be a lion. For days, every time I asked the boys changed their minds and gave different answers, and every time Plum told me she was going to be a lion. So, we built our Wizard of Oz costumes around this cute little lion. wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-12 Since the boys didn’t seem to be too set one one thing as Plum was, Dave and I decided to help them along by giving them options for characters within the Wizard of Oz cast, so we could pull together a family theme. Luckily, they each found a character they loved, Milo as the Wizard himself, and Eliot as one of the cheeky flying monkeys. Dave took on the Scarecrow and I jumped into the roll of the tin-woman to round out the misfit trio. And we have plans for the puppy to be Dorothy, but she didn’t come along for photos.  wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-40 wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-42 wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-44 I told the kids that if we did one fun photoshoot before the first Halloween party of the year, I wouldn’t bother them for another picture the whole week. They were all for that idea, and we had so much fun gathering together in the master bathroom, applying face make-up, spraying hair, and getting ready for these shots. Even the boys got really enthusiastic about it all and we had as much fun preparing for and taking photos as we did at the party later that night (minus the candy, obviously.)

I handmade most of the main costume pieces for each character and as I show them off one by one I’ll give a little rundown. 

The Lion Costume
wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-20 wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-16 Oh man, how cute is this child? I’ll admit, I was at first slightly confused how I would make a lion costume exceptionally darling. Then I realized that Plum’s gorgeous red hair would make a perfect mane, and I set out to create a simple enough custom lion suit that would be fun and comfortable, and really let her mane be the costume. wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-19 wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-18 I used a pair of footed pajamas as a pattern, cut out simple front and back pieces, added a zipper and the tail along the back seam, and added faux fur and tassels around the wrists, ankles and at the neckline. I covered a simple headband with the same stretch velveteen as the jumpsuit and added rounded lion ears to sit nestled into those red curls. wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-22 Although the golden tassels were some of my favorite design elements, they were quite annoying to little miss lion because they kept getting stretched out and clinging to the rest of her costume. I think I’ve cut about half of them off because of that little flaw!

It sure didn’t affect her roar though, or her cuteness.  wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-14 wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-11 The Tin Woman Costume

wizard-of-oz-family-costumes-one-little-minute-blog-28 My tin man costume was another fully handmade costume. I started with a pair of metallic leggings made from my draft and sew leggings tutorial. The metallic knit was easy to work with except for having a tendency to stick under the presser foot. I had planned to pair the leggings with a really simple tunic, but then I referenced the movie photos and realized how much dimension the tin man had. Adding pleated puffed sleeves and silver buttons down the front made it feel more true to life, and also more fun to wear! (Also, I’ve been reading Anne of Green Gables and couldn’t wait to add puffed sleeves to something!)

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DIY Large-Scale Embroidered Blanket

It’s finally cooling down a bit in the mornings and evenings around here, so we’re starting to snuggle up with our cozy throw blankets to have on hand for snuggling up at home. One fun way to personalize and add design and interest to a plain-colored throw blanket is to imagine it as a giant embroidery project. Using chunky wool yarn and a knitting-gauge needle, you can embroider a folk-inspired border around the edge.
yarn-embroidery-throw-blanket-1 yarn-embroidery-throw-blanket-6 I created this embroidered throw blanket as a fall DIY over on the World Market blog, and loved both making it, and styling it with this darling chair that will soon live in Plum’s new bedroom. The whole scene is so cozy, which is my favorite adjective for our home.

The embroidered blanket project is so fun, because it’s simple and can be personalized with any colors and patterns. I looked up some basic folk style embroidery stitches and used colors that feel like the changing season, but will also go great in my home.
yarn-embroidery-throw-blanket-4 After years and years of sewing (and actually not thinking that I enjoyed hand-stitching very much) I am coming to love slightly slower projects that I can use away from the machine. I can sit and stitch while I’m watching a show, chatting with Dave, or sitting on the porch while the kids run around the yard.
yarn-embroidery-throw-blanket-7 yarn-embroidery-throw-blanket-2 With gift-giving season right around the corner, I also love the idea of using this throw blanket as a personalized gift, using colors and patterns to match the recipient. You could even go so far as to add a personalized monogram along the edge or in the center of the blanket.

Make your own with the full DIY for this large-scale embroidered blanket over at the World Market Blog.

Some of my other World Market posts that would make great gifts are this leather strap apron, and this hairpin leg breakfast tray.

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Jellystone Park™ Family Adventure

There’s nothing quite like a family weekend to get away from the the daily grind. We have made nearby weekend trips a regular part of the culture of our family, and feel so renewed by going on adventures and experiencing new places together. This last weekend we drove a quick hour and a half south to visit Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Hill Country near San Marcos, Texas. From start to finish the weekend was packed with fun, family-friendly activities, outdoor playtime, and festive fall events. It was just what we needed to reconnect to each other and make new memories.  jellystone-park-family-adventure-36 jellystone-park-family-weekend-4 When we moved away from Utah years ago, I realized that elsewhere in the country people talk about “camping” in a whole different way that I knew. Going camping for me had always included sleeping in tents and cooking over a fire. Turns out there are all sorts of ways to camp, and these darling camp cabins are definitely a new favorite! This Hill Country Jellystone Park™ also includes tent and RV sites, as well as a whole variety of different types of cabins, so there’s something for every comfort level and price point.  jellystone-park-family-adventure-30 We left Austin after work on Friday and arrived just in time to join the pizza and movie night at the Hill Country Hall. Our kids think eating anything but pizza on a Friday is blasphemy (since we’ve been holding our own family pizza nights since Milo was a baby) and they loved getting their own personal pizza, a soda, and popcorn for the film.

Our cabin was pet-friendly, so we brought Quincy Jean along. The layout included a bedroom with a queen bed in the back, bathroom, kitchen, eating/living area, and a fun loft for the kids. We easily fit comfortably and could have even shared (using the pull-out couch bed) with some close family friends or cousins. The beds were comfortable and clean, and the ac/heating made it easy to adjust for the crazy Texas fall weather that feels like summer in the daytime and winter at night.  jellystone-park-family-adventure-35 jellystone-park-family-adventure-4 jellystone-park-family-adventure-11 jellystone-park-family-weekend-12 I didn’t expect the park area to be so big! There were several different neighborhood-feeling areas of cabins and sites along a few main roadways. I loved the Texas landscaping, with native flowers and succulents along the roads and in the planters. The main gathering buildings were all decorated for Halloween, along with some fun fall photo ops, like this cute pumpkin patch wagon.

Although everything was near-enough to get to on foot, most of the campers were traveling on bike or on the golf carts available for rent. My boys were over the moon when they heard we’d be driving a golf cart all weekend and Eliot asked if we could please bring it home?! I feel the same way, buddy!
jellystone-park-family-adventure-15 I read up on the weekend’s activities ahead of time, and came prepared to enter the site decorating contest. Not having any idea what the level of involvement would be, I talked it over with the kids and we planned to create a giant spider web with some spiders for the front of the cabin. I tied the web from simple cotton rope, grabbed a few huge spiders, and then added a life-sized skeleton with a cowboy had for good measure. It turned out so cute!

There wasn’t a chance for it winning we realized, once we saw the other sites that had come ready. From multiple blow-up halloween characters to a full projection of Ghostbusters on the side of an RV, these campers weren’t messing around! The decorated sites made camp-or-treating so fun, and we loved participating.

First up on Saturday morning was the pumpkin seed planting tractor ride. I had never seen a patch activity like this before!  Read More »

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A Crowdsourced Weekend Guide to Portland, OR

weekend-in-portland-or-18 Portland, Oregon is undeniably cool.

I’ve visited several times in my life, but the last time I was there was years ago. Spending a long weekend in town earlier this month was such a fun time to rediscover the city, and when I asked for recommendations on Instagram, my friends and followers delivered big time! We had way more suggested than we had time to do, so I’ve compiled a “next time” list at the bottom of this post with those additional ideas. Here is the crowdsourced weekend guide to Portland that I’ve put together sharing where we ate and shopped while we were in town.

Most of these places were suggested to us, and others we stumbled upon and loved. It will be a great go-to list for your next Portland adventure! I’ve divided it into where to eat and where to shop, but I’ll mention what is close to what, because we definitely explored by neighborhood. Enjoy! weekend-in-portland-or-20

Where to Eat in Portland, OR

Blue Star Donuts was recommended by more than three people, and it did not disappoint. The donuts are soft, moist, and interestingly flavored. I tried a few and my favorite was the lemon poppyseed buttermilk donut. This place has locations all around town, so step in and snag one for any meal or a snack during your visit! weekend-in-portland-or-6 weekend-in-portland-or-5 Del Leon’s Tortilleria y Tienda  is an unsuspecting strip-mall grocery store near Gresham with a  family style Mexican eatery inside that rivals some of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve tried. It’s the real deal, handmade everything, authentic and awesome. This was the first place my brother took us for lunch on our stay, and it was a perfect kick off to a weekend of great food. Must try: Carne con Nopales + Chile Relleno. Yum. weekend-in-portland-or-4 weekend-in-portland-or-2 Pok Pok Thai is the coolest little indoor/outdoor place, with a vibe just like what Dave and I experienced in Bangkok years ago: a little busy, a little bustling, and full of amazing food. We got an insider tip to order at the take-out counter in the back rather than wait (2 hours!!) for a table, and the menu is a little different too so we could try the incredible Khao Man Som Tam (Green papaya salad served with coconut rice and sweet shredded pork. Ooooh yes.)
weekend-in-portland-or-7 weekend-in-portland-or-8 weekend-in-portland-or-13 St. Honoré Boulangerie was a perfect stop after dinner at Pok Pok because I was freezing cold and needed something sweet. This darling French bakery delivered in both departments with the most lovely hot cocoa and crunchy, sugared Kouign Amann pastry. I worked in a French bakery when in High School and the smell of crusty bread and sweet apricot tarts always has made me feel right at home. I’d not miss this spot for a cozy break in the middle of a bustling day or night.  weekend-in-portland-or-16 weekend-in-portland-or-17  Sweedeedee looked, felt, and tasted just as I imagined Portland would. We visited this hip, local haunt for Saturday brunch, waited just a few minutes for a table and sat down to an incredible, house-cooked meal. The cozy tables were filled with plaid/boots/beanies clad millennials, all clearly knowing the goodness that would head out from the kitchen. We ordered corn cakes with bacon and eggs, a breakfast sandwich with avocado, and couldn’t resist trying the berry cream cheese danish for brunch dessert. The space and the food was unassuming and wonderful in the best way and I’d love to return.  weekend-in-portland-or-19 weekend-in-portland-or-20 weekend-in-portland-or-21

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The Hello Sessions, Life Lessons

I love attending conferences.

I didn’t realize how important they were to my personal and professional development until I took some time to reflect and realized that every good friend I have made in the blogging/social media world and every major professional contact I have met have all stemmed from relationships forged at in-person blogging conferences. What used to feel like a big financial investment now has begun to feel like an investment in myself and my business, and the experience I had earlier this month at The Hello Sessions was no different.  the-hello-sessions-3 I actually haven’t paid for a ticket to a conference in a while because I have either attended as a speaker or been invited to participate as a friend of the collaborators. I have always had to pay for the travel expenses, hotel and accommodation costs associated with being away from my family, and I’ve never been paid to attend. I do always come away feeling like the ticket price would have been a great investment, and I would be willing to invest in a ticket in the future, as well.
the-hello-sessions-2 Attending The Hello Sessions earlier this month felt like a great fit because it could also double as a tenth anniversary getaway with Dave as well as a chance to visit my little brother!

The conference was created by some awesome blogger babes Melissa and Joy, and was such a well-planned and carried out event I can’t wait to attend again. We started with a fun meet and greet at the Schoolhouse Electric headquarters, where I made myself quite comfortable.

The next day and we all gathered into this gorgeous, windowed room at The Ace Hotel. (I want to mention that the food for the whole event was really great, which is typically not the experience at business conferences. So, props for foodie organizers!) Once we finished introductions and settled in, there were some really incredible speakers and a few talking points that I am already working on incorporating into my life and business. the-hello-sessions-4

I want to share my Top 5 Talking Points from the event.

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Backyard Playdate and the Importance of Outdoor Play


I often say “I grew up outdoors” when talking about my childhood. That phrase captures fully the experiences I remember. From camping in the mountains with my dad during the summer to racing snails down the gutter during rainstorms, most of my favorite memories of being a kid involve outdoor play. I loved discovering the world and getting to know nature up close. It follows, then, that I have all the same hopes for my kids and their precious childhoods. In fact, our decision to move to Texas was weighted heavily by the idea of wanting to be able to play outdoors all year round, and have a yard where we could let the kids explore. I’m so excited to have partnered with CLIF Kid ZBars (one of our favorite snacks!!) to share some thoughts about the importance of outdoor play, and a fun play date we hosted last week. the-importance-of-outdoor-play-4 Did you know only 30% of kids play outside regularly? So, something is happening to keep kids indoors. Over-scheduling, technology, and homework are three things that immediately come to mind as barriers to outdoor play. Even knowing the importance of getting the kids outside, I can fall into the ease of keeping them contained inside, and have had to be intentional about creating space in our daily schedule for them to get out and run around.

Why is it worth it to make time for outdoor play? There are a lot of reasons, but chief among them for me are these three:

  1. Outdoor play encourages problem solving, creativity, and enhances learning development. Kids who spend some time outside playing can start to make connections about cause and effect, and are able to clear out the clutter of overstimulation caused by seated learning and screen time. Going outside is like a hard reset for their brains and allow a break from traditional learning, while creating space for new information to sink in.
  2. Outdoor play improves health and wellness. Fresh air, moving muscles, and a little vitamin D from the sunshine are all critical pieces of general health and wellness. When the kids get out to run around they get a hearty dose of all three, let out some energy and always come back inside happier than before.
  3. Outdoor play connects the kids to the reality of nature and the world as it really is. In a world where so much is experienced virtually– tv shows, learning apps, social media, face time with family– getting outside allows kids a real experience in the real world. Digging in the dirt, feeling wind on their faces, hunting for bugs, and gathering wildflowers. These are real experiences, and they can build confidence and self-worth in a way that virtual experiences can not.

Interestingly enough, these points are as valid for adults as they are for kids! I know I always feel better after spending time on a walk around the neighborhood or even after sitting out on the porch watching the kids ride bikes. Sometimes we all need an outdoor escape to bring some perspective back into our lives.

the-importance-of-outdoor-play-2 Our regular after school schedule involves the kids getting an after school snack then heading outside for some free play time to help burn off the energy from sitting still at school. It helps them reset and feel ready to then focus on homework, reading, and getting ready for lessons and activities.

Last week, we hosted a fun backyard play date with some friends from the neighborhood. Everyone came over and started running free around the yard, as they do. They kids jumped on the trampoline–which is one of my very favorite backyard toys. The kids use it daily, and it has been one of the best investments we’ve made in the yard! We also have bats and balls, nerf guns, bouncy toys, buckets and shovels, the teepee, and a mini rollercoaster set up in the yard for the kids to use during free time. The more they have to help encourage their entertainment and imagination, the better. Read More »

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Fall-Inspired Mason Jar Salads

I spend most of last week traveling to Portland, Oregon. While I was away, my little sister took care of our kids and spend a couple days just after the trip hanging out with us in Austin, and basically I’ve spend over a week eating incredible food (lots of donuts and ice cream) as a tourist. After all that, these fall-inspired mason jar salads feel like perfect vacation-recovery food.
fall-inspired-mason-jar-salads-1 Using end-of-season ingredients like squash and pears give these salads a fall-inspired taste, and packing them up in mason jars allows the salads to be made ahead by about a week. Gather all the ingredients for chopping and layering at once, then pull out a finished jar whenever you’re ready, shake out into a bowl for serving, and enjoy a delicious, simple meal.
fall-inspired-mason-jar-salads-1 Have you made mason jar salads before?

When making a mason jar salad, the trick is to layer the ingredients from bottom to top with the wettest, most dense ingredients at the bottom, and the most absorbent or wilting at the top. For each of these salads, the ingredients are listed in the order they should be layered in the jar in order to keep well for up to a week in the fridge. Omit the dressing ingredients if you’d like to add your own on top later. fall-inspired-mason-jar-salad-recipe-3 Not only are these salads really amazing, but this project was so much fun to style and shoot! I shared the whole process on my Instagram Story as I worked on it, and my friends loved seeing the behind-the-scenes of the process.

As much of a maker as I am, I also really identify with being a visual designer and appreciate the opportunities I have to create beautiful scenes to photograph and share. I remember years ago finding out that bloggers were making “fake parties” to take pictures of for their blogs and I was shocked! Ha! Of course I love a good, real party, and these days I also very much appreciate the process and art of styling, set and shoot design, and sharing things in the best way for people to feel inspired by them.  Read More »

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Five Favorite Podcasts for Inspiration and Self-Development

Happy Monday friends!

If the begining of your week is anything like mine, you’ve got a pile of laundry, a list for grocery shopping, and a house that fully reflects the wild and wonderful weekend that you just finished (playing legos and dress-ups with the kids, eating popcorn for movie night, and generally letting it all go for a few days…) The new soundtrack of my errands and household duties has switched (from 80’s hits and broadway classics) to self-development and inspirational podcasts in the last few months, and I love the change! Spending time learning and thinking during otherwise monotonous duties has been a great way to feel like I’m accomplishing something new and important rather than just another load of laundry. Here are five I love, listen to, and recommend: five-favorite-podcasts-for-creatity-inspiration-and-self-development-1 1. The Lively Show

I met Jess Lively a couple summers ago at a blogging conference in Texas and was immediately interested in her chatting about living a life with intention, discovering our basic, personal values, and overcoming our ego in decision making. Her podcast has transformed over the last few months from an interview-style with creatives and entrepreneurs, to a solo reflection of her travels through Europe. Each episode makes me think, and she considers the audience well, always offering concrete ways to apply the things she is talking about to your own life. I’m a fan. Start with episode #127. SO GOOD.

2. Revisionist History

Anyone else a major Malcolm Gladwell fangirl? I’ve read everything he’s written (this and this being all-time favorites), and I was so excited to hear he was creating a podcast. He does it in true Malcolm style, asking the best questions, then turing them into an incredible story. Each episode of the first season takes a closer look at something in history that might need a new explanation. I felt like I was in a history class crossed with a great sociology discussion and I’ve been thinking about them since. I can’t wait for season two. Start at episode one and listen all the way through.

3. The Tim Ferris Show

This was one of the first podcasts I had recommended to my by my friend Catelyn, and I have loved some episodes and been really uninterested in others, but those I love have more than made up for the ones I skip. Tim Ferris is a serial entrepreneur, author, and efficiency expert, and he interviews top performers in all fields to discover the habits and traits that make them great. My favorite episodes are these: Tony Robbins on Achievement verses Fulfillment, Brene Brown on Vulnerability (duh), and Alex Honnold Assessing Risk and Living Without a Rope (this guy is so laid back and unpretentious I loved him.)

4. Young House Love Has a Podcast

If I’m totally honest, I didn’t ever know about Young House Love back when they were famous bloggers, but I did hear about their book, and I recently started listening to their podcast which is funny, authentic, and relatable. They play radio games and share design tips. It’s a fun, lighthearted listen. Episode 8 is a must-listen if you are a blogger or want an inside look at blogging. Episode 13 has some great tips. All of them are good.

5. The Life Beats Project

Briana Johnson started this inspirational podcast to highlight the hard stories some people experience, and give place for them to share how they overcome, what makes them achieve, and continue hoping. The “Live Beats” within every one of us. Her interview style is thoughtful and peaceful, and you can feel the way she genuinely cares about her cause and those she reaches. Episode #16 with Susan Peterson was a favorite, as well as #27 about meditation and #32 touching showing up in our lives.

*Bonus* For you mamas who love listening to Birth Stories (I know you’re out there. I’m one too.) The Birth Hour is a place for women to share their birth stories and it’s awesome. I shared all three of mine in this episode.

I’m always on the hunt for more interesting listens. Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram if you have a podcast you love!

(I’ve been listening lately on these awesome new bluetooth headphones c/o Sudio and can’t tell you how nice it is to not have to hassle with a cord. They come with my highest recommendation!)

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Capsule Wardrobe + Fall Fashion Remix

Hey there friends! I’m excited to share today some ideas about capsule wardrobe or minimal wardrobe planning. I began using a capsule wardrobe in September two years ago, and it immediately resonated with me as a simple, intentional way to not only take the time and worry out of getting dressed every day, but also as a reinforcement of the ideas of minimalism and emotional abundance that I try to embrace in my life.

I was also inspired by Caroline‘s fashion remix on Instagram, and decided to pull together a quick set of eleven easy fall outfits using only eleven pieces of clothing, including shoes (not including accessories.) Caroline used ten, but I mis-counted, so I had eleven and added an additional outfit to make up for it! fall-capsule-wardrobe-1 Let me begin by introducing the concept of a Capsule Wardrobe. This simply means that you create a specific set of items to wear, mixing and matching, for a given season. The program I used to begin recommended paring down to around forty pieces including shoes, tops, bottoms, skirts, and dresses. The capsule does not include pajamas, exercise clothes, accessories like scarves or hats, jackets, or special occasion clothing like a cocktail dress.

The way I achieved my initial capsule wardrobe was by taking EVERY SINGLE THING out of my closet and going through them one by one making piles of definitely keep, definitely toss (or put away for a different season), and the maybes to review when I was counting.

Living in Texas, I don’t have need of too many really cold weather clothes, and wear tee shirts beneath sweatshirts and such most of the year, so I found that my first fall capsule ended up taking me through all the way until the middle of the next summer when I needed to switch out a couple of the jeans and sweaters dresses and shorts. Other than that, I have operated using the same basic capsule for the last two years! In that time I have worn literal holes in the knees of two of my pairs of jeans, magically and naturally transforming them into distressed versions.

I love a lot of things about capsule wardrobing. The most obvious being how little effort, time, or energy is wasted getting dressed each day by eliminating the unnecessary decisions. Basically everything in my closet is something I love to wear, that fits well, and makes me feel like myself. I have learned, however, that I need to replace things as they wear out. That was something I didn’t expect! Before capsule wardrobing, I don’t know if I ever wore a single thing enough to actually wear it out, and it’s kind of a great feeling.  fall-capsule-wardrobe-19 Yesterday, I pulled out a bunch of my newish favorite clothing items, and whipped together a fashion mix to share.

Let me tell you what’s included. I’ll both describe each piece and share a link for the actual item, or something like it, because of course yours will look different from mine, depending on your style, and what you love. I’d describe my style as casual, earthy, and natural.

Fall Fashion Remix:

  1. Simple grey tee shirt dress
  2. Fun graphic tee
  3. Striped Sweater*
  4. Clogs
  5. Blue jeans*
  6. Basic cozy sweatshirt*
  7. Great-fitting tee in a fun color
  8. Chucks
  9. Black jeans*
  10. Ankle booties
  11. Chambray button-up

(*These four items are all Madewell brand, but came from ThredUp, which is an online clothing consignment store. I’m going to talk a little bit more about it in a bit.)

Accessories for this remix include a cheeky neckerchief (designed by my talented friend Becky), wide brimmed hat, trucker cap (my grandpa’s), cozy fur beanie (mine was a souvenir from Peru), and plaid blanket scarf (I found this one in the Target Dollar Bins for $7!), my daily diaper bag, basic daily bracelets from here and here, this smart watch, and this new smart ring, too.

Okay, are you ready for some mixing and matching? This will give you an idea of how a capsule wardrobe works, on a small scale. One dress, two pairs of pants, three pairs of shoes, and five tops into eleven outfits.  fall-capsule-wardrobe-2 #1 basic tee, black skinny jeans, ankle booties, neckerchief and hat to add some design elements

This is a comfy go-to, and looks thoughtful without being fussy. fall-capsule-wardrobe-3 #2 chambray top, black jeans and booties, with a puppy as my accessory

Buttoned up and black jeans means I could wear this to an event, or meeting (if I ever had those to go to) but still feels practical and comfortable for every day. fall-capsule-wardrobe-4 #3 graphic tee tucked into high waisted jeans, chucks, sweatshirt for the chill

This outfit is a little more on the cool, hipster side of my comfort level, but feels practical and fun for an outdoor concert date night downtown or mini golfing with the kids. Or anytime.   fall-capsule-wardrobe-5 fall-capsule-wardrobe-6 Let’s pause here to talk jeans for a bit.

After Eliot was born five years ago, I went on an epic hunt for the most perfect jeans for my body type and style. In two days I went to more than ten stores and tried on likely around a hundred pairs of jeans. One of those pairs was these bad boys from Madewell, which at the time was new-to-me shop just opening up in Georgetown, DC. They fit high around my waist, so when I was sitting down and chasing my toddler, I didn’t show off my undies. They also had just enough give to fit tightly, but not like paint, and stretched comfortably over what I like to call my athletic thighs.

We were on a student budget, but I bought two pairs (which felt like spending a fortune) and threw away all of my other pants that day. I wore one pair of black and one pair of blue for years, until adding another pair of black last winter. I still have both the original pairs, too. The black have massive natural holes in the knees, and I’ve mended a hole in the inseam, and the blue have a hole in one knee and the other is wearing through. I adore them both, still.
fall-capsule-wardrobe-7 When ThredUp offered to send me some credit to try out their online consignment site, after humming and hawing, and initially feeling a little overwhelmed by the plethora of choices, I realized what I should do is go with what I knew and loved. I searched, found, and ordered a pair of black and a pair of blue high Madewell high rise skinny jeans. The blue ended up having ankle zips, which entertained me immensely, and they were around $30 each! Like new jeans for $100 less than I spend in the store. There’s something to sticking to your style!

I chose the chambray, sweatshirt, and sweater from this post as well, all five items for $100! They are all things that fit naturally into my capsule, and I laughed that I was ordering more of the same, but that’s the beauty of a capsule wardrobe. Being comfortable enough with your personal style to stick to what you love.

ThredUp has generally offered to share a 50% off discount code for any of my readers to treat themselves to some new jeans on their site! You’ll get half-off up to a $50 discount, using the code JEANS50. So, check it out and build some new favorites into your fall capsule with that discount.

fall-capsule-wardrobe-8 #4 tee shirt dress, neckerchief, clogs

This outfit feels a little more dressed up, for a nicer date night or a girls night out on the town. Shoes are a fun place to add a little bit of color to an otherwise neutral palate.  fall-capsule-wardrobe-9 #5 blue jeans, striped sweater, ankle booties, fur beanie

This outfit feels like a welcome to the fall weather! The sweater and beanie warm it up, and make it realistic for an outdoor family adventure.  fall-capsule-wardrobe-10 Truth: I bought this hat as a souvenir from a trip to Peru before I was married. It’s meant to be worn the other side out, with the alpaca skin showing, and the fur turned up as a brim. Turns out when you experiment with things you already have, you might surprise yourself in discovering new uses that you love!

Read on for more outfits and some thoughts on minimalism… Read More »

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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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