5 Tips for Road Trips with Young Kids

In the last two years, I’ve driven more almost 10,000 miles on road trips with my kids. Most of those without my husband along for the ride. You might think I’m crazy, but I really love being on the road. Not only is it usually much more affordable than flying my whole family around, but we make such great memories along the way! And after all that time the car, of course I have discovered some secrets to making the whole experience enjoyable for everyone. With the Holidays approaching, and lots of travel for families ahead, I’ve partnered with Capital One to share some tips to keep your road trips with young kids positive and fun.
Road Trips with Young Kids- One Little Minute Blog-1 1. Be Excited

This may seem obvious, but it is number one for a reason. Without a happy, positive, excited attitude about your road trip, none of the other tips I can offer will help. My kids were four-years-old, two-years-old, and six-months-old when we took our first big road trip (a 4500 mile loop from Texas, through New Mexico, Nevada, to Northern California, down the coast to Southern California, then Arizona on the way back to Texas! Whew!) At those young ages, the kids know to be happy if mom’s happy, and mad if mom’s mad. Our modeling of attitude and behavior on road trips–and well, all the time– makes a bigger difference than any.

We prepped for the trip by printing out a map, showing the littles where we’d be going. We talked about it with only positive words, saying “You’re going to love watching movies, getting snacks at the gas station, and sleeping in hotels!” (More about those in the tips below.) They only knew to be absolutely thrilled that they’d be spending 5-10 hours a day in the car for three weeks!  Read More »

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DIY Custom Pet Christmas Ornament

Confession: I’ve never bought a Christmas ornament! Each one I have was either given to me by a friends, made my my kids, or exchanged in a DIY ornament swap. I’ve participated in two separate swaps in the past, the first I made these paper reminder busts and the second I created mini sugar plum fairies (in honor of Baby Plum.) I was a little disappointed when no one hosted a swap last year–including myself. So I was thrilled to be asked to jump on board with a new, fun group of DIYers this year. These swaps are so fun, because in addition to sending and receiving handmade ornaments, we each share the full tutorial for how the ornament was made on our individual blogs. You can click through the links above for the past swap DIY’s, and at the end of this post I’ll share the list for this year so you can be inspired and find one or a few new ideas for yourself!

This year, my assigned ornament recipient was cute Laurel at A Bubbly Life. She recently announced on Instagram that they added a new puppy to their family, and I wanted to make an ornament that would commemorate this fun Christmas for them! Plus, in my experience, pet owners can be a little bit obsessively in love with their pet children, so a DIY Custom Pet Christmas Ornament seemed like a really useful and fun idea to share.
Custom Pet Ornament DIY- One Little Minute Blog-30 I pulled the screen shot of Laurel’s puppy from Instagram, as well as a few more darling pups I know. With a little iron-transfer paper, and some simple stitching these photographs become darling mini-plush pet ornaments. The project takes about 20 minutes, and will be loved forever! Let’s get started!
You’ll need:
iron on transfer paper
gold double fold bias tape
white cotton for the image side
patterned cotton for the back
a handful of batting
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Around Austin- Noble Pig + Vinage Fresh

Welcome back to Around Austin! This is my new series highlighting favorite sights and bites in the greater Austin, Texas area. We’ve visited some hot-spots downtown, and some hip-spots in the city, and today I’m sharing a couple stops that are closer to home for me, in North Austin. Not everything cool is right downtown, and for the millions of us that live a little outside of the city in the ‘burbs, there are some fun places to explore nearby. Noble Sandwich Co. and it’s new neighbor Vintage Fresh Design, are both places not to be missed.
Around Austin- Noble Pig + Vintage Fresh-One Little Minute Blog-1 Around Austin- Noble Pig + Vintage Fresh-One Little Minute Blog-2 Around Austin- Noble Pig + Vintage Fresh-One Little Minute Blog-16 Noble Pig Sandwich Company specializes in homemade charcuterie, slow-smoked meats, and house created sauces and chutney. Every time I visit I’m blown away by the creativity and deliciousness of the fare, and I always leave excited to come back. It has two locations, this one on 620, and the other closer to town on Burnet Road. The menu boasts all types of unique culinary experiences like Smoked Duck Pastrami, Thai Chicken with Jalepaño Cabbage Slaw, and Pecan Smoked Brisket with Kimchi. All sandwiches are served with cracked pepper potato chips and TNP (The Noble Pig) fresh pickles–which I love so much I would go just for them alone.  Read More »

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Travel Embroidery Kit

Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-2 I used to be really excited about hand-stitching and embroidery. For our first Christmas as a married couple, I appliquéd and embroidered an elaborate wall hanging that we still have up in our home. Then, for a few years, I became a little impatient with sewing by hand, because of the extra time it required. I was running around with a couple little kids, and didn’t ever find the time to sit and stitch. Fast sewing projects that could be started and finished during nap time were the key to my creative success (like this tote bag romper, this drawstring dress, or this cross back baby romper.) Last month when I was working on Plum’s garden gnome costume, I pulled out my mess of an embroidery kit to add some detail, and discovered that I once again enjoyed the process of slowly working away at a detailed project. I actually crave creative pursuits that help me sit down and slow down. Travel Embroidery Kit Organizer- One Little Minute Blog-1 With the travel we’re doing in the next couple months, including a 2000 mile drive home from Utah for Christmas, I thought it would be awesome to bring along my supplies to do some stitching on the road. Before I could do that, I needed to get them out of the mess-of-a-box I had them stored in and create a simple, transportable kit that would be easy to keep organized on the go. This NEW Rubbermaid® fasten + go sandwich container from Target was a perfect fir for a Travel Embroidery Kit! The new food storage container was created to keep portable meals simple, but it’s design is ideal for crafts as well! Each of the four separate plastic containers have lids, and all of the pieces snap together, making the kit really easy to use and keep pieces together. I love the adjustable strap on the lid–it’s something I’ve never seen before on a lunch organizer, and gives the whole thing a super simple, professional look as well as making it incredibly easy to tote around.  Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-10 Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-1 To get started on the kit, I wound my colorful floss onto large wooden clothes pins to keep it from tangling. The slit in the bottom makes it easy to start winding, and tuck the end of the floss through to keep it contained. The sandwich-sized box fit a great selection of floss colors, as well as my wooden embroidery hoop. I don’t need to bring along the entire collection of floss everywhere, and I’ll love choosing my project-specific colors to tote along. Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-3 Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-11 Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-12 The three smaller containers turned out perfectly for the other notions I needed. The fabric for stitching rolls up nicely beneath my little stork snips. One box can keep all of my craft needles  together, and in the other I put a set of cardboard floss bobbins for when I separate threads into smaller sections for projects. There is enough extra space in the boxes I’ll have room to stick buttons or sequins or other project-specific notions as time goes on. This will be a great base kit to keep on the ready.
Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-13 Now that I have a nicely organized kit, I’m excited about taking my stitching with me. It will be fun to work on projects in the car, at the park, and on the porch while I watch the kids ride bikes in the circle. Sometimes a little organization goes a long way to motivate creativity, and this travel embroidery kit has me dreaming of some new ideas. It would also make such a great gift for a sewing friend or coworker! Travel Embroidery Kit- One Little Minute Blog-14 Now that I’m all organized, I can’t wait to get started on an embroidery project. Maybe I’ll finish the stitching I began on this vintage-inspired apron, and never finished! Starting on 12/27/15 head to your local Target store to purchase the NEW Rubbermaid® fasten + go kits! Available in Entree, Sandwich, and Soup Kits! And turns out you can use them for a lot more than food, too. 

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Rubbermaid® fasten + go, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FastenNGo http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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Our Amazon Prime Playroom

Two years ago– after moving across the country, building a house, and having a baby–Dave and I decided we wanted to do something different for Christmas. Rather than buying the kids a bunch of new toys, we thought it would be fun for Santa to create a playroom for them, organizing their current collection of toys, and creating a space for them to enjoy together.  Amazon Prime Playroom- One Little Minute Blog-1 Christmas morning, we had wrapped the doors on the playroom and left a big gift tag from Santa. The kids opened the doors with wide eyes, and looked around at their new play space! It was so magical for them! They didn’t get a single new toy, but everything seemed new to them.

People ask me all the time where I got this or that in the room, and I tell them it’s pretty much all from Amazon! Plum was born a week before Christmas and I didn’t want to leave the house much with my snuggly newborn baby, so I hopped onto Amazon and designed the whole room! I appreciated the quick, free shipping with our Prime membership,  had everything delivered right to my door.

You may have seen photos of our playroom before, but since it’s almost Christmas I wanted to share a few again, with a list of all of the sources via Amazon so you could easily create similar playroom for your home!
Lily and Logan TeePee- One Little Minute Blog-1 One recent addition to the room is a darling striped teepee sent to me from the Lily & Logan shop (on Amazon). It has quickly become the kid’s favorite play space! They use it for reading, hiding, playing house, and it’s currently filled with dinosaurs!

I love the bold stripe and wooden poles. The canvas is durable and high quality, and it even comes with a little carrying case so it can be toted to the beach, park, or on a picnic. I love it as much as the kids do!

(I’m hosting a giveaway for a Lily & Logan teepee on Instagram today, so hop over and enter!) Amazon Prime Playroom- One Little Minute Blog-5 Amazon Prime Playroom- One Little Minute Blog-2 I want to mention that I’m a huge fan of shopping small and local, and some of my very favorite pieces I own were made by people I know and love. The reality is I don’t have the budget for a fully handmade home, and appreciate the alternative of some well-made, affordable, convenient options as well. There is some balance in building out the room from Amazon, then adding favorite handmade toys, costumes, and artwork as budget allows.
Amazon Prime Playroom- One Little Minute Blog-6 There were a few things in the room that I didn’t buy on Amazon, but I found similar versions available through Prime to keep my list simple. All sources and similar items listed below! Everything is available for Prime shipping, so if you’re a member, you could have it all in two days for free. (And if you’re not I have no idea how you function! Amazon is as regular of a shopping destination for me as Costco and Trader Joes!)

Happy Shopping for your own Amazon Prime Playroom!

White Toy Bins

Rolling Wardrobe Rack

Clipboards

Leaning Bookcase (similar to mine from Crate & Barrel)

Watercolor Rug (similar, mine from Crate & Barrel no longer available)

Large World Map (similar, mine from IKEA no longer available)

Black Wall Mirror

Cube Poufs (similar, mine from Target no longer available)

Grey Striped Teepee

Some of our very favorite dress-ups are this police, chef, fireman, pirate and superhero. We’ve had them for years and they have held up amazing with regular play.

A Pack of Toy Dinosaurs to begin your collection.

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Saint Tani Ranch: A modern bohemian home

For years I remember my parents talking about building a second home somewhere. I think they may have even signed on a contract or two along the way, deciding soon after the location, price, or timing wasn’t right. About a year ago, they found a little plot of land outside of the a small Southern Utah town and everything seemed to fall into place. Minimal Southwestern Ranch- One Little Minute Blog-16  A few months later my mom was designing plans and searching for perfect finishes. My dad, a general contractor, was hiring subs and navigating building permits. After months of care, time, and investment in the new home, my family met there last week to celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy the opening weekend of what is sure to be a big part of our future as a family, and a hub for making memories together.
Minimal Southwestern Ranch- One Little Minute Blog-29 This home is incredible. My mom’s eclectic modern bohemian style came out in the gorgeous, crisp white architecture, intricate tile, global textiles, and collection of interesting furniture. Being a second home, and one without small children living daily, it has an air of luxury and simplicity that is really hard to achieve in a home being lived in by a family all the time. The peace, cozy comfort, and gorgeous design was a real joy to spend time in. The house isn’t all the way complete yet, and there were finishing touches being added the first few days of my visit (like the kitchen backsplash!) But since it may be a few months before I’m back up there, I wanted to take some photos to share. It’s really too beautiful not to.  Minimal Southwestern Ranch- One Little Minute Blog-30 Minimal Southwestern Ranch- One Little Minute Blog-6

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Christmas Cards + DIY Holiday Card Ring

I love December for so many reasons, but primary among them is getting holiday cards in the mail almost daily all month long. Finding exciting snail mail in our box is rare, and it’s beautiful that the traditional exchange of Christmas Cards has remained strong, even in today’s digital age.

Today, I’m sharing our 2015 Christmas card, along with the simple DIY Card Ring that I’ve used for the last few years to turn my holiday card display into a little book that we can pull out and enjoy year after year.  Christmas Cards + DIY Card Rings- One Little Minute Blog-1 Dave and I have sent a holiday card annually since we were married in 2006. Among our cards have been a Thanksgiving Card and a Valentine’s Day card, but we realized that one of the fun parts of sending and receiving Holiday Greetings at Christmastime was putting them out on display! Almost any other time of year, the card will be looked at, maybe hung on the fridge for a day or week, then tossed into the trash. At Christmas, our home, as well as every home I visit, has a growing display of cards out to enjoy all season long.  Christmas Cards + DIY Card Rings- One Little Minute Blog-2 Our cards have varied greatly over the years. Some have been elaborate and handmade. Some–like this year’s cards from Artifact Uprising–are minimal and delivered right to my door. With a lot going on this year, traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the littles all at busy stages, I knew ordering cards (rather than trying to make or design my own) would be smart.

I love the beautiful, clean designs offered by Artifact Uprising, and some of my favorite cards received over the years have been theirs. (These 3-in-1 style are especially cool!) The cards are thick, recycled paper and rustic kraft envelopes, which both echo my current mood and style. We settled on this classic landscape card style, because the photograph we chose fit well. I ordered them on a Thursday and they arrived Monday to my home, ready to address and send.

I wanted a fresh, lifestyle photograph to go on our cards this year, and hired local photographer Chelsea Francis to do a home session with us. I’ll share more of the beautiful images in a separate post, but this one of our family hanging out together in our patio room felt like a fun glimpse into our everyday life to share (you know, in case our friends don’t get enough of that on instagram).

Rather than simply throwing away all of the beautiful and thoughtful cards we receive when the Christmas decorations come down, a few years ago I began saving all of the cards in a little box. It was so fun to pull them back out to look at the next year, especially since a lot of our cards come from the same family friends each year and we can see how the families grow and change. After a couple years of boxing the cards, I decide to create simple card rings to keep them on for easy storage and easier pursuing. The DIY takes just a few simple supplies and a few minutes to put together.  Read More »

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7 Tips for Winter Hiking with Kids

We’re outdoor people. Climate was a major factor for us when choosing a city to settle down in, because I feel so much more healthy and alive when I can get outside with the kids and run around, hike, ride bikes, and play. I can’t always rely on great weather to help out though. It’s important to get outside even when it’s cold where we can enjoy nature, breathe fresh air, and explore. This last weekend we were in Southern Utah in and nearby Zion National Park for Thanksgiving. It was gorgeous, but just barely above freezing! We still had a great time, and today I want to share 7 Tips for Winter Hiking with Kids, so you can feel prepared to get enjoy the outdoors year round with yours too, wherever you may be. Outdoors with Kids in Winter- One Little Minute Blog-1 Outdoors with Kids in Winter- One Little Minute Blog-10 1. Start Small/Short

Just like adults, kids need to work up to bigger, longer, hikes, especially in cold weather. Several months ago we started taking mini-hikes with our kids in a park behind our house to teach them some endurance. Our five minute walks soon turned into ten, then twenty, and we can probably go almost an hour now with the boys happily hiking (and the almost-two-year-old walking/riding.) Starting slow and being consistent with our outdoor time helped all of us learn to hike well together. Outdoors with Kids in Winter- One Little Minute Blog-31 Outdoors with Kids in Winter- One Little Minute Blog-37 2. Wear Layers

Cold weather can be hard to predict, especially when you start doing some body-warming cardio in it. It’s always a good idea to dress everybody in layers, so that things can be shed or added as you go. For my kids I like a tee shirt, long-sleeved shirt, vest (I LOVE vests! Here are two I’ve made for my kids in the last couple years: fleece, animal hoods), then their down coats. Hats and gloves can be stored in coat pockets in case they’re needed. I always rely on the coat being the outermost layer, but the kids can shed the under layers if they need to as we heat up. Read More »

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Around Austin- VooDoo + The Contemporary

Around Austin- Voodoo Donuts + Jones Center -One Little Minute Blog-1  In the first installment of Around Austin, I shared some quintessential Austin favorites. Today we’re hitting up two exciting spots in the heart of downtown: the new Voodoo Doughnut and The Contemporary Austin at the Jones Center.

Both offer a hip, modern experience and together make a really fun outing. Plus, they’re an easy two-block walk apart, and once you find a parking space near 6th and Congress, you’ll want to stay awhile.  Around Austin- Voodoo Donuts + Jones Center -One Little Minute Blog-11 Around Austin- Voodoo Donuts + Jones Center -One Little Minute Blog-2 Around Austin- Voodoo Donuts + Jones Center -One Little Minute Blog-20  Voodoo Doughnuts is new to the Austin scene, but no stranger to hip cities. This Portland-based doughnut shop has been serving up delicious and highly photogenic doughnuts to their wild and weird customers for years. The Austin location opened last month and already feels right at home on East 6th street. Read More »

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Simple Thanksgiving Tabletop DIY on Good Day Austin

  Thanksgiving is in two days! Are you excited? Are you ready? 

This year we’re spending the holiday in Hurricane, Utah with my family (you can catch up with us on Instagram). But before we left town a few days ago, I had a chance to share some simple, inexpensive-yet-chic DIY tabletop ideas on Good Day Austin We filmed last week, and I had a great time carrying bags of live greenery, flowers, and craft supplies around downtown as I headed to the station.  

The short segment aired today, just in time for you to use one or more of my easy ideas on your Thanksgiving table.  Watch the clip HERE  

The ideas I shared were these simple wood block candlesticks, a fresh, flat-lay garland centerpiece, and a simple personalized thankful tablecloth. Each of these ideas stands on its own as a fun tabletop decor, and I love them all together to create a beautiful, rustic, nature-inspired setting.

I’ll get posts for those two up sometime in the next couple weeks, but you can get full instructions now by watching the segment. 
It’s always funny to see myself on film, and hear my voice. I love the chance to share some ideas live though! 

Enjoy! 

(My tv debut was on this leather craft segment on Studio 5 in Salt Lake last summer. My other favorite video experience was this guest appearance on Made Everyday with Dana.) 

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Recovering from Bleach-damaged Hair

Restoring Damaged Hair-4 If you had told me six-months-ago that I would love my hair today, I wouldn’t have believed you. Back then I was in the middle of what I can only describe as a year-long hairdentinty crisis as I tried to figure out what to do with my mess of stringy, bleach-ravaged hair. It was a daily struggle that made me feel more uncomforable, unbeautiful, and unhappy than any other single personal beauty tragedy that I remember. I know I may sound a bit dramatic, but my recovery from bleach-damaged hair had so many phases and transitions, and with each one I had to sort of reimagine myself. Today I’m partnering with Living Proof to share my road back to healthy hair and a happy sense of self. Restoring Damaged Hair-26 Restoring Damaged Hair-5 I don’t know why I decided to bleach my hair platinum in the first place. I was in a good hair place, and I liked my natural color and shoulder length cut. Maybe it was being post-partum with my third baby and feeling like I needed a change. I usually felt like a change after having my babies, as if having a baby isn’t change enough! I spent 9 hours in the salon, going from deep, chestnut brown through two phases of orange and yellow before landing around pale blonde. It was a fun, definitely new look. I felt energized and somewhat hip. Maybe daring even.

I’m a dedicated DIY-er, historically including my hair, so I bought everything I needed to DIY my roots, and continued to do so every six to eight weeks for several months. Every time I noticed a little bit more damage and some additional light breakage, but I had been warned about that, and felt like it was the price I was paying for being platinum. My hair was all dead and blonde anyway. As the light damage increased on the ends, I felt like they looked a little stringy, so I would cut a few inches off. Then a few more. I had been growing my brown hair out for years, so I started with a pretty solid length, and I was planning on keeping it long despite my frequent trims.
Restoring Damaged Hair-22 During the rinse of what would become my last root touch-up I was in the shower running my hands through my noodle hair (did you know bleached hair feels like noodles? Slippery and a little stretchy? It does.) All of the sudden I realized that the handful of hair I held was not attached to my head anymore. I was inadvertently washing handfuls and handfuls of hair out! Somehow I had over-processed my hair and it was breaking off inches from my head! In disbelief I turned off the water and stopped running my fingers through my totally destroyed hair. I thought for sure I would have to shave my head. I was in shock.

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DIY Wood Block Candlesticks

I have a growing love for candles, but have had a hard time finding simple, chic, affordable candlesticks that I loved. So, I did as any DIY-er would do, and set out to make some on my own. You’ll be surprised by how quick and easy these DIY wood block candlesticks are to make, and I love the modern, bohemian look they have. I already have a set out on my entry table, and another on the mantle. The’ll be your go-to candlesticks for any occasion! DIY Wood Block Candlesticks-15 DIY Wood Block Candlesticks-24 When I went to buy the materials for what I had in my mind, I was pleased to find several sizes of wooden blocks at the local craft store. The larger ones turned out being perfect for a tea-light size candle. When I stacked the smaller ones, I loved the lines and the height.

The hardware store turned out to be another place to find some great, ready-to-use wooden candlesticks (okay, okay, they’re sold as furniture legs, but make the BEST candlesticks, like this bun leg-turned pillar candle base!!) The full tutorials for each of the three DIY wood block candlesticks I made are below. Enjoy!
DIY Wood Block Candlesticks-19

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