celebrate Earth Day 2017 with Born in China

Earth Day 2017 is almost here (ahem… April 22nd)… and this year it seems especially important to celebrate and share the message of saving our planet with our kiddos. Whether you’re marching for science, or simply celebrating at a festival in your neighborhood, take some time this weekend to share with your family the fact that we only have one earth and that we need to take care of it.

But you know what has been an incredibly easy way for me to help teach the importance of Earth Day to Miss L?  Disneynature films! And this Earth Day will be no exception with the release of, “Born in China.”  And I can guarantee you just one word will get you to see this film:


You LOVE pandas. Everyone LOVES pandas. I LOVE PANDAS! I mean, I spent 1.5 hours last year at the Smithsonian Zoo watching the pandas and practically crying for every minute I was there!

Heck, we have even used Virtual Reality (via our PlayStationVR) to play with the pandas this week!

And in case you don’t fall apart at the sight of a panda like I do, I think there are other ridiculously adorable baby animals to tide you over as well.

Yup. We’re all going to see Disneynature’s Born in China and hug our Earth a little tighter when we get home!

And here’s an activity packet for all of you with littles at home who want to learn a little bit more about all of the animals in Disneynature’s Born in China!

Download Disneynature’s Born in China Activity Pack


what I want from Target this week: Cat and Jack Spring clothes

What I Want from Target this Week

Cat & Jack for Miss L

I can’t be the only one who is completely enamored with Cat & Jack from Target. I mean… soft fabric, great messages, super stylish, and the perfect price point… and all 5 minutes away from my house! Yeah… I love it!

Here are some of my favorite items that I eyed for Miss L this month:

Silver Foil Windbreaker ($19.99); Solar System T-Shirt ($6.00)

Rainbow Tights ($3.99); Flamingo Tights ($4.99), Bunny Knee Tights ($4.99)

Dream It Believe It Achieve It T-Shirt ($9.99); The Earth Without Art is Just ‘Eh’ T-Shirt ($9.99)


goodbye Lincoln

Life isn’t always full of puppy dogs and rainbows. But when it is… it’s amazing.

And when that puppy dog goes chasing after the end of the rainbow way too early in life… well… it’s really hard to accept.

At the end of January, our dearly loved 4 year-old Bernese Mountain Dog Lincoln seemed to catch a case of kennel cough after boarding over the holiday weekend. So he got some antibiotics.

Then he started throwing up, which we and the vet attributed to the icky antibiotics. So we gave him anti-nausea pills.

Then he stopped eating. And drinking. So we took him in again with everyone thinking he ate some silly toy while he was boarding and that was causing the problems.

But then… it wasn’t silly.

It was cancer.

We were told he only had days left, but we asked what we could do.

We got him all the chemo pills and would do anything if it would help.

We even called UC Davis to try to get him into an experimental treatment program for new cancer drugs.

But he wouldn’t eat the pills. And he stopped drinking water. And then we just knew.

We hugged him and loved him and spent the days sitting next to him and nights sleeping next to him on the floor.

And when it seemed like we had no more tears left to cry, we said goodbye.

Everyone told us we wouldn’t want a giant dog. That we’d hate the drool. And the shedding. And we’d never be able to use our coffee table again.

But I’ll tell every dog person I know to welcome a GIANT dog into their life just for one go around.

Because you’ve never felt love like that before.

It’s taken me a month to write this… because he left a giant hole in our hearts, our home and our life.
He was so loved and loved everyone else back 1000%.

We loved that big silly puppy and we know he’s playing with Memphis over in dog heaven and maybe he’s finally going to win that epic tug of war battle.
And one day we’ll get a chance to snuggle up with him again.

Goodbye, Lincoln. We miss you so much buddy.


Unicorn Hot Chocolate Valentines


This year, Miss L went for unicorn themed Valentines… complete with a DIY Unicorn Hot Chocolate kit!


I’d showed her some photos of the ridiculous Unicorn Hot Chocolate from Creme and Sugar in Anaheim back in January, and she asked if we could make it at home. So when I started looking for all of the ingredients, I realized that we would have an excess of supplies on hand… so why not turn in into a gift!


How to make DIY Unicorn Hot Chocolate Kits for Valentine’s Day (or any day really!)

First, we went in search of brightly colored hot chocolate. Upon finding bulk colored hot chocolate via the Internet, Miss L debated between pink, blue and purple. She settled on purple as the perfect color for her classroom Valentines and we packaged up single servings of 3 Tablespoons of cocoa in small glassine bags.

Next, we made a batch of colorful mini-marshmallows. We started out with some crazy color ideas courtesy of Studio DIY’s tie dye marshmallows and bought food coloring gel online. Then, we followed Alton Brown’s mini-marshmallow recipe to create five different colors of marshmallow goodness. Miss L and I then added the goo to a large Ziploc bag, snipped the corner off, and piped row after row of marshmallow on parchment lined and cornstarch/sugar sprinkled baking sheets.  We sprinkled more of the cornstarch/sugar on the rows and then cut them the next day.


We had also bought five colors of crazy colored jimmies from the same store that we bought the food coloring. So we dumped a little (OK – A LOT!) of each into a bowl and mixed them together.

We didn’t want anyone to be confused about what they were getting in their packet so we printed little instruction cards on how to assemble the Unicorn Hot Chocolate at home.


Putting it all together

For the packaging, Miss L created some artwork by tracing a unicorn and added her own Valentine’s Day message.

I scanned the pencil art, resized it in Photoshop, then printed it on glassine bags. She added unique colorful touches to each bag using markers.

Then we filled each one up with a package of purple hot chocolate, colorful marshmallows, sprinkles and an instruction sheet, then sealed then with Valentine’s Day washi tape.


We had a blast with making every part of these Valentines, especially the super sticky marshmallows!


Now we hope all of those first graders love their crazy cup of Unicorn Hot Chocolate they get to make at home!