March 17, 2015

Fun with Kids: Follow the Rainbow to a Pot o’ Gold for St. Patrick’s Day

fabulistas -- fun with kids St Patrick' Day DIYSince having kids St. Patrick’s Day has become less of a relevant holiday for us than it was when I was 22 and thought green beer was the height of culinary delights (just kidding, that was Count Chocula cereal). While there’s still plenty of running around while pretending to be a leprechaun, I’ve been feeling like we needed something significant to mark the holiday. Something that didn’t take any time to put together and costs me practically nothing to do. Easy, right?

Well, lassies and lads, I believe I’ve struck gold. All this project takes is a trip to the Target $1 bin and a wee bit o’ luck with your yarn. I promise ye it will yield results that take your kids o’er the rainbow. (Do leprechauns talk like pirates? Because I feel like that’s where this is headed).

Follow the Rainbow to a Pot o’ Gold Kids’ Project:fabulistas :: supplies for St Patrick's Day pot o' goldSupplies:
-several balls of yarn to make the rainbow; I used what I had on hand so ours was very baby-centric (all those blankets I never got around to making…)
-a pot for the gold, or in this case a witch’s cauldron masquerading as a pot (you could use anything!)
-treasures for the pot o’ gold
fabulistas :: easy game for kids where they follow the rainbow to a pot of goldStep 1: Ready the rainbow that the kids will “follow” through the house to get to the pot of gold.

What you don’t want to do: Take all the ends of the yarn and start marching through the house. This will cause a huge tangle with the yarn and you will be tempted to throw in the towel immediately.

fabulistas :: getting supplies for rainbow to pot of gold activity readyYou will then have to enlist the help of your very patient sister to untangle the ends while you recover from the trauma of almost ending the project before it began.

fabulistas :: supplies for rainbow to pot of gold activity for kids
What you do want to do: Tie the ends of the yarn to a doorknob to keep them all nice and tidy and give you a good start.

fabulistas :: St Patricks Day DIY for kidsStep 2: Walk the yarn through the house, one ball at a time, creating a maze that the kids will have to follow. I recommend going over pillows, crossing back over the yarn, heading into closets – make ‘em work for their treasure.

fabulistas :: St Paddy's fun with kids rainbow activityI tried doing two balls of yarn at a time, but found it took more time keeping everything untangled than just doing one at a time, over and over.

fabulistas :: St Paddy's follow the rainbow to pot of gold fun for kidsAlso, I found it was good to anchor it occasionally throughout the maze to bring all the yarn together (also my yarn was kind of a mess when it was all laid out, but it didn’t matter).

fabulistas :: supplies for follow the rainbow to a pot of goldStep 3: End your rainbow in your pot o’ gold (I hid mine behind a chair and under a blanket because I thrive on drama and the big reveal).

fabulistas :: DIY for kids - St Patrick's Day funStep 4: Let the kids have at it.

fabulistas :: following the yarn rainbow to the pot of goldfabulistas :: following St Patrick's Day rainbow under the couchLike I said, it’s important to make sure they have to really work for it.

fabulistas :: little girl finding pot of gold at end of the rainbowStep 5: Revel in the excitement of finding a pot o’ gold in the middle of your living room (those tricky little leprechauns, am I right?).

fabulistas :: how to make a rainbow into a pot of gold gameCelebrate the Frozen paint kit that will buy you eight minutes of time later when you’re trying to figure out your car insurance.

fabulistas :: looking through pot of gold prizesMarvel at the stickers you will find stuck to every wall in your house for days to come.

fabulistas :: prizes for finding the pot of goldWonder at the fact every kid in the world loves edible jewelry. Try some and remember why you prefer yours to be hard as diamonds.

fabulistas // how to make a fun DIY St Patrick's Day projectStep 6: Take a second to acknowledge the luck that has brought you here.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you lovely mamas!

Photos by Erica Bean.

March 6, 2015

One Way We’re Trying to Create More Space and Time in Our Family

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetLately, I’ve noticed I spend most of my day hurrying everyone along. Sometimes it’s for an actual reason – we have to get to school and since mornings consist of putting on shoes “all by myself”, throwing toys into the toilet, pouring cereal all over the floor, and refusing to wear anything that is not in the dirty clothes, things sometimes take a bit longer than planned. But, other times, it’s just me, moving us along for no reason other than I’m in the habit of hustling.

So, I am trying to find places in our life where there isn’t a deadline or anywhere to rush off to, but instead where I can teach the kids (and myself) we have plenty of time. Because it is a feeling you can go back to, isn’t it? It’s like when you’re halfway through a vacation and you realize you didn’t feel the compulsion to check your phone or email because you are actually in time.

Normally, Chris and I are pretty good about making sure we each get a few hours every weekend to ourselves (I’ll meet a friend for lunch or catch up on work while Chris plays the guitar or ride his bike); it’s a life-saver for my sanity, but there’s always a vaguely panicked feeling to it, knowing my time is highly limited and feeling like it’s on the verge of running out.

So, we thought, what about a whole day? Yes, you read that right. We’ve started a new thing where one day a month we each get a whole day to go and do whatever strikes our fancy, free from the worries of nap time and what princess is currently in season (Belle).

I kicked the whole idea off last Sunday and did what any rational mom with eight hours on her hands would do – I planned on cleaning out the garage. I was going to go through baby clothes, finally get our Christmas decorations in order, maybe even get in there and scrub out the recycling bin, if things got really crazy, basically utilize my time wisely.

When my little sister heard the news she was horrified and immediately nixed the idea. As she pointed out, the whole idea of this day was to rejuvenate me, give me a chance to “be myself” again for a full day and, perhaps, most poignantly, reminded me not everything has to be about checking things off my to do list.

She basically took me upstairs, forced me into my Ryan Gosling leggings (I know! She’s so mean!) and marched me to brunch. Then she dragged me to Haight Street where I became reacquainted with some of my old thrift stores. At this point, she felt safe I wasn’t going to make a break for the garage so she left me to my own devices.

So, I just wandered. San Francisco is chock-full of adorable little stores, and amazing coffee shops, and totally weird happenings that you miss when you’re zooming around in your car, and it’s one of the reasons why we moved here. I ended up walking through a bunch of different neighborhoods, I had two different iced coffees, I sat in the park, I talked to a bunch of people about our shared love of Ryan Gosling, I saw a lady walking a pig, a guy walking around on stilts totally casually and joined a quick street dance. I spent time looking through a bookstore and then actually bought and started reading a new book. It was AWESOME. I remembered what it felt like to have enough and simply go where the day takes you; by the time I got home I was dying to see the kids.

Surprisingly, that feeling of space has lasted all week. While it’s been predictably busy around here, it’s felt more manageable, maybe because I feel like I’m carrying this little secret around. The secret that I’m still here: not Kara the Mom, or Kara the Wife, or even Kara the Fabulista, but just plain ole Kara. The Kara who is enough, even when all she’s doing is walking around and being herself.

March 4, 2015

How to (Not) Do a Gallery Wall and Ideas for Our Dream Dining Room

It’s amazing the effect our blue couch has had on our life. It was like I needed something to jump start settling into our place (which we’ve only been in for four years so, you know, it might be time?), and now that I’ve started I am a MACHINE. I’m up late moving furniture (sorry, downstairs neighbor!), the kids are now sharing a room (more on that later), and, lo and behold, I put a bunch of our photos up in this lovely gallery wall.

(Okay, slight aside. I actually had nothing to do with it. First, I made my sister come over with the promise it would be so easy, because I had this nifty tutorial I found on the internet, which I promptly discarded, and began randomly making holes in my wall. My sister, horrified, decided to take charge, and really went to town, making measurements and all sorts of other nonsense, until we got the wall looking… okay. It was very row-like and neither of us was very happy with it. But then my brilliant friend, Kathryn, who is a whiz with everything visual, came over and gave the look which I knew meant we needed serious help, which might have hurt my feelings except then she moved pictures around until we ended up with this:)


Pretty snazzy, huh? You can see that it makes me incredibly productive.

But, it got me thinking that I’d be even more efficient if I only had the proper atmosphere, which we all know, comes down to lighting. So, when YLighting reached out to me about their first ever Spring sale, I thought, “What the heck. Let’s do this thing.” I went crazy over on their site and picked out a bunch of my faves, which are up to the par of our new life, even though we probably can’t afford to live it quite yet (it never hurts to plan and dream, folks).

pendant lighting ideas for your dining room

And then I thought, as long as I’m living this new life, am I really comfortable at the dining table I purchased when I was 22 and have repainted 14 times? Do I really need a table that has dried food embedded into it that no amount of scrubbing will dislodge? Or is it perhaps time to move onto something that speaks to who I am now – a woman who entertains with the flick of her wrist at a table made for grown-ups (in this fantasy scenario I apparently am also magic and childless), or more realistically, a woman who is almost 40 (26 days!) and no longer wants to repaint her kitchen table every other month. I think we know the answer.

dining room table and chair ideas

Realistically, it’s going to take some time to get there – we still have two small kids who are living tornadoes and I’m wary about what we put in their way – but I love these glimpses into how it might be. A houseful of furniture I’d actually invite you to come in and sit on? Dream big, kiddo.

YLiving and YLighting’s sale goes on through the end of the month and is up to 20% on all sorts of decadent, modern furniture. The kind of pieces that make you want to wrap them in plastic and send your kids to live with the grandparents until they’re broken in. Not that we would EVER do that…


Lighting: 1. Cheers Pendant // 2. Doo Wop Pendant // 3. Bruck Sirena Pendant // 4. Sunlight Pendant Light // 5. Ava Low Voltage Pendant 

Dining Room Furniture: 1. Cherner Oval Dining Table // 2. Huppe Illusion Extension Dining Table // 3. Cherner Metal Base Chair // 4. Innovation Clubber Chair // 5.  La Palma Cut Armchair

YLiving reached out and asked me to support their sale, which I was happy to do because I think they have gorgeous stuff.

Top photo by Erica Bean.

March 2, 2015

Mom-Approved Fashion: A Flowy Caftan + Thoughts on My Wrinkles

long necklace with tank top and TopShop caftanDid you guys feel like February was the weirdest month? On one hand, it ended as soon as it started so I feel like I barely remember it already; on the other hand, it was crammed so full I felt a bit like I was holding my breath until March finally arrived. But, now, we can all take a deep collective breath – Spring is around the corner and we have officially entered my birthday month.

Wait, you guys don’t do a birthday month? Okay, listen. That needs to be rectified right now. YOU NEED A FULL MONTH TO CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY. Sorry for yelling, but this is serious stuff! How else can the world properly acknowledge the gift that is your life? I mean I’m only turning 40 one time in my life, which means the people in my life only have one opportunity to fully celebrate my first 39 years and I know they would never stop beating themselves up if they didn’t fully commit to the celebration so I very kindly take it upon myself to constantly remind everyone I know that my birthday is in 28 days. You guys, my birthday is in 28 days. God, I’m a giver.

Anyway, enough about my birthday for today – we have another 28 days to reminiscence and celebrate. Onto my outfit!

easy mom style with jungle jacket and brown clutch

So, I’m totally obsessed with this caftan, for several reasons. One, because I love how flowy it is – it makes me feel like I’m a glamorous art curator or an opera singer on vacation – and I find myself swinging my arms about more than usual, which creates a feeling of danger every time I talk. Two, it covers my butt. Three, it’s what I like to call a “transitional piece” in that I will be able to still wear it when I’m 88 and there’s nothing I love more than octogenarian chic.

animal print caftan with boots and leggings

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ends, folks, and the problems with this shoot begin. For the life of me, before this shoot, I couldn’t figure out what shoes to wear with it so I went with my white boots, because I always default to my white boots (who doesn’t?). But, once I got the photos back, I think they’re too heavy. What do you think?

When I was at Alt Summit I paired it with my gold disco numbers and it gave it just the right amount of sauciness, and I thought about redoing the shoot with them, but that seemed silly when I have presents to open and cake to eat so pretend I’m wearing my gold shoes, will ya?

mom hailing cab in easygoing outfit

Then I thought it’d be cool to pretend I was hailing a cab, which, you know, is a totally normal thing to do on a residential corner of San Francisco that has seen maybe three cabs in the past month.

looking for cab outfit with boots and leggings

Weird, nothing showed up.

easy mom outfit with jungle print caftan

And then we come to this photo. I know I’m turning 40 in 28 days, you guys, but I was a little stunned by the wrinkles I have going on here. It’s…real. And there was a part of me that thought there’s no way I should post this because this is the sort of thing that needs to be discussed quietly in a corner with my dermatologist.

But then a bigger part of me laughed. Smiling has been getting a bad rap lately and that’s insane. I’ve worked hard for those wrinkles – I’ve spent a lot of time building a life where smiling and laughing is the norm, and there have been many times I’ve chosen to smile even when it wasn’t the easiest road. I have earned those smile marks, dammit! And, yes, while I may have ordered some new face cream this morning because there’s no need to hurry the process, I’m not going to hide what is there, whether or not I’m turning 40 in, wait for it, 28 days.


-CAFTAN! (not the same, but it has the same feel): Top Shop // way cuter version of cream floral tank: Loft //  stretchy jeans (ahem, aka jeggings): Uniqlo // gold necklace: gift // gold shoes I think you should wear with it: on sale at Amazon for $29!!!!

Photos by, the always amazing, Erica Bean.

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