DIY Toddler Thank You Cards / Art

After Maya’s birthday this year, I thought it would be a good idea for her to have a part in her thank you cards.  This is a super easy, relatively fast DIY that you can do with your toddler or…on your own :)  You could do these for thank you cards, or even frame them as art!Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-1What You’ll Need…

  • Blank Note Cards with Envelopes.  I got mine at Target on clearance, but you could get some at any craft store.
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Cookie sheet lined with tinfoil.  You could just lay out an old sheet/newspapers, but I like to collect all the unused excess glitter and save it :).

What to do…

  • Lay the blank cards out
  • Let your toddler drizzle the glue all over.  I had to rotate the cookie sheet a few times and guide her around so that there wasn’t just a big puddle haha, but she got the hang of it.  The best part is that it’s her design!Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-2 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-3 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-4
  • Sprinkle glitter over the top and then shake off excess.Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-5 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-6 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-7 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-8
  • Let it sit until it dries.
  • You can write your thank you message on the back with a note “Handmade by…”

The above images are the 2nd set we made recently.  Here’s the ones she made for her birthday.  I love that she’s super proud of them, and that she has a part in the actual “Thank You” process :)Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-9 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-10Have fun!dit-elle-Lauren

Polenta Torte

Like gorgonzola? Then you will love this dish! Don’t like it? Then simply omit and stick with the parmesan cheese. This is a wonderful polenta & greens dish, spiced with some hot chili flakes and pepper and topped with cheese. Not really a kid dish, given the spice, but you could make a dish of plain polenta and top with cheese – a favorite in our house!

Blog polenta torte with greens

Ingredients

  • 4 c lukewarm water
  • 1 c stone-ground coarse cornmeal
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 lbs mixed tender greens (spinach, kale, arugula)
  • 3 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 c grated pecorino cheese (like parmesan)
  • Crumbled gorgonzola

Directions

  • Heat olive oil and add pepper flakes, ground pepper and garlic – sauté until fragrant but don’t let the garlic brown or it will turn bitter
  • Pour half of the oil in a large glass baking dish
  • Add water & cornmeal & salt and bake, uncovered, for ~50 minutes
  • Add greens to skillet with leftover oil and cook for 10 minutes (covered) stirring frequently, removing lid at end and raising heat a bit to just evaporate any liquid left
  • Remove baked polenta from oven and with a spatula, scrape off the top 1/2 layer of polenta, set aside
  • Add cooked greens to the baking dish with polenta, sprinkle gorgonzola and half of the parmesan, and then cover with the rest of the polenta
  • Top with parmesan and return to oven for 10-15 minutes
  • Serve warm!

dit-elle-Esther

Chunky Knits + Comfy Destroyed Boyfriend Jeans + Lace Up Boots

 The good news?  I think I found the perfect destroyed boyfriend jeans.  The bad news?  They don’t make them anymore. :(

I scored these new on eBay for $27, originally $231(I sometimes wonder how the sellers get their stock, but then…I figure I don’t really care haha-whoops)

Most destroyed boyfriend jeans are 100% cotton (that fabric tends to fray the best)  The downside is that they either stretch out and give you saggy butt, or they don’t stretch at all-which isn’t all that comfy!  These are stretchy but don’t stretch out, aka what I totally look for in a jean!  I’m a little embarrassed about how many times I’ve worn these since I got them a few weeks ago… :}Blog Zara Lilac Chunky Knit Turtleneck Genetic Masen Ex Boyfriend Lace Up boots-1 Blog Zara Lilac Chunky Knit Turtleneck Genetic Masen Ex Boyfriend Lace Up boots-2 Blog Zara Lilac Chunky Knit Turtleneck Genetic Masen Ex Boyfriend Lace Up boots-3I made the mistake of giving her my phone in the car while I snapped a few pics of me.  She found her way to the Disney Collector and there was NO taking that phone out of her hands haha.  If you don’t know who she is (you’re lucky!)  If you have a toddler, my guess is that you do.  They all seem to find her somehow!!?? Blog Zara Lilac Chunky Knit Turtleneck Genetic Masen Ex Boyfriend Lace Up boots-4 Blog Zara Lilac Chunky Knit Turtleneck Genetic Masen Ex Boyfriend Lace Up boots-5  It kind of cracks me up to see her looking so serious :)Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-1 The only way to get the phone out of her hands was to go to the playground.  I took these after we got home.  She’s walking her yoyo ;) Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-2 Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-3 Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-4 Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-5 Blog Ahoy Amigo Always Hungry Pullover Levis Zebra Converse-6On me…

Sweater- Zara (last year, similar here)
Jeans- Genetic Denim Masen Ex Boyfriend (ebay, sold out but I bet these are just as comfy!)
Boots- 20+ years old (similar here and less expensive here)
On Maya…
Jeans- Levi’s (thrifted, but similar here)
Shoes- Converse (thrifted, but similar here)
Keeping it Real…
I actually took these right after Halloween.  I was stock piling pics/posts on days that weren’t raining in anticipation of the inevitable monsoon season, then…we got super lucky with great weather for the last few weeks!  So, I’ve got extras thank goodness, because I’m so flipping overwhelmed outside of this blog I could cry (and admittedly have a few times…).  Again…this blog is the thing I look forward to working on, during breaks, when things are going to %&$#, so…thank you to all of you that are following along.  :)
THIS is Maya finding a piece of candy on the sidewalk and balancing it on her head haha.Blog Outtake
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Kimonos + Black Ripped Skinnies (and a video!)

 I LOVE the look of kimonos!  They can be a little tricky to wear though.  At least for me.  I see them on other people, and pretty much love however they are worn.  But then I try it, and I end up taking them off haha.  LOVE this one from Free People.  Really, anything Free People makes, I love lately.

All that said.  I realized as I was going over these images that I looked totally pregnant in this outfit- I’m NOT!  I definitely learn things after posting outfits.  There’s only so much that you can see when you look in the mirror.  Especially when you take all of about 2 minutes to get dressed!  I thought all loose and flowey would be good on top with the skinny jeans on the bottom, but…I’m thinking a tighter shirt might have been a better idea.  Oh, well! :)  All that said, if I were pregnant, I would TOTALLY rock this outfit as well!  Although, I still might do a tighter shirt to showcase the bump :)Blog Free People Printed Duster Scarf Kimono J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed SixtySeven Booties-1 Blog Free People Printed Duster Scarf Kimono J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed SixtySeven Booties-2But ooooooh, that cascade of flowing fabric??  LOVE!! Blog Free People Printed Duster Scarf Kimono J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed SixtySeven Booties-3This next one cracks me up haha.  Kind of an outtake, but too funny not to include!  Maya’s face, and the side karate kick-love it!  Again…NOT PREGNANT!! :{Blog Free People Printed Duster Scarf Kimono J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed SixtySeven Booties-4I’ve been wanting to do a video of how I take our shots with a self timer and tripod.  I’ve done a post about it, but I really want to do one that goes over the entire process, because I really want to show Maya’s role in it (here’s a video of Maya doing it all by herself :)), and how much fun she has.  But haven’t had the time yet.  I did manage to capture this video of me doing the thing Maya loves the most.  Flying in the air-aka working out with your toddler :).  I am SO glad I finally did it-LOVE IT!  I may or may not have already watched this about 827 times ;)

 And here’s the image I took in the video!  Honestly, all the stars aligned in that I got this shot the one time I shot the video.  I would have just posted another one that wasn’t videoed had I not hahahaha (just keeping it real ;))Blog Free People Printed Duster Scarf Kimono J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed SixtySeven Booties-5sqThe dress Maya is wearing is SO ADORABLE!!  The only problem is that it’s 100% silk (aka is a wrinkle nightmare) and it’s short sleeve.  But, she’s been asking to wear it every since I bought it (for $1.50!!!!), and I kept putting her off.  Finally, I gave in and just layered her up.  :)  It cracks me up how opinionated she already is (insert snicker from my dad!!)  She is her mother’s daughter :)

Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-1 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-2 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-3 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-4 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-5 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-6 Lion in hand… She has to be holding a toy at all times :)Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-7Are you kidding me with that look???  :)Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-8And then THIS?  I just wanted to scoop her up and smother her with kisses!! Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-9 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-10 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-11 Blog Old Navy Leopard Coat Crew Cuts Silk Dress Kids Feet Brown Boots-12On me…

Kimono- Free People “Printed Duster Scarf” (Nordstrom Rack, can still buy it here)
Top- Mod’Land Paris (thrifted, similar here)
Jeans- J Brand Skinny Leg Shadow Destroyed (ebay, not destroyed here and less expensive here)
Boots- SixtySeven “Blake” Bootie (Nordstom Rack, sold out, loving these)
On Maya…
Jacket- Old Navy (thrifted, but similar here)
Dress- CrewCuts (thrifted, but similar drop waist style here)
Leggings- Gap (thrifted, but similar here)
Boots- Kids Feet (Consignment Store credit used, similar here)
Keeping it Real…
Here’s a few outtakes I took before I had the thought to video it.  What’s really funny is that I’ve always performed better under pressure-HA!  I had to totally laugh when I saw this next on the back of the camera.  Where’s Maya??!  hahaha  And then…I flipped the camera to portrait vs landscape ;).Blog OuttakeAnd one that I caught on the way down vs up…Blog Outtake 2
(all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod, except ones of Maya :))

dit-elle-Lauren

Chocolate Pumpkin Chiffon Pudding

This is an amazing, rich and silky chocolate pudding inspired by Elanaspantry.com. Yes it has pumpkin in it, but no it did not taste like pumpkin! So if you are looking for a pumpkin flavored pudding this is not it. But a great way to add some pumpkin to a dessert.

The original recipe called for raw egg, which I’m not a fan of, so I’ve modified the recipe to allow for cooking the egg.

I bet this would be amazing with some Coconut Cream Pumpkin Spice Frosting (Let me know if you try it :))

Blog chocolate pumpkin pudding-1

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks, melted
  • dash of celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. In a double boiler (I use a stainless steel bowl in a pot of 1-2″ of water) combine pumpkin, coconut milk, and eggs
  2. Whisk while mixture heats, and keep whisking till hot and bubbly
  3. If egg starts to turn solid (clumping) use an immersion blender to fix
  4. Mix in chocolate, sugar, salt and stir till chocolate is melted
  5. Add vanilla and remove from double boiler
  6. Transfer into ½ cup jars, and place in fridge for 2 hours to set

dit-elle-Esther

DIY Glitter Cap Toe Shoes

When I saw these shoes at the thrift store from far away, I died!!  When I got closer, I noticed they were pretty beat up.  The fronts of the toes were shredded, but for a $1(!!!!), I knew I could do something fun to try and save them.  Haven’t we all had that moment of “Noooooo not the shoes!!!” when our toddlers stumble a little, or as Maya likes to do someitmes…drag her feet.  Grrrr.  Anyway, this wouldn’t work for all shoes, and it does take some time, but…I love how they turned out!  Maya loves them too!

“Glitter shoes!!”Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-You can see below what they looked like…Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-2Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Painters tape (it’s not as sticky/won’t ruin the shoes further :))
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • (You could also just paint the toes!)Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-4Tape off the cap of the shoe in the amount you want to do the glitter toe cap.Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-3Cover the area in glue.  I did a pretty heavy coating to make sure it covered up the shredded areas of the shoe.  I put an apple container under haha, but you could line a cookie sheet with tin foil :) Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-5Then, I let Maya go to town pouring the glitter on.  I actually did these shoes back in September, but am just now blogging them.  I promise, she wasn’t freezing outside in a tank top :) Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-6Voila!Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-1And…here she is wearing them the other day :) Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-8 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-9 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-10Have fun and happy glittering!dit-elle-Lauren

Paleo Chili

This is a hearty and delicious paleo chili recipe – legume/bean free, full of veggies and a rich flavorful meat sauce. You can do this in a crock pot or regular stove top pot. This makes a wonderful meal served with Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins!

Blog paleo chili

Ingredients

  • 2Tbsp cooking oil (I chose coconut oil or olive oil)
  • 2lbs. ground beef (or ground meat of choice)
  • 1-2Tbsp chili powder
  • 1-2Tbsp cumin
  • 1tsp oregano
  • 1tsp allspice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 4oz. tomato paste
  • 28oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1cup water or enough liquid to cover the meat/sauce
  • Serve with avocado slices and your favorite chili toppings

Directions

  • In a large pot, add hamburger meat and onions and cook through.
  • Once thoroughly cooked, add the spice mixture and stir until combined.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1-2 hours. I usually simmer 1 hour and it tastes great. (I can’t wait too long when good food is cooking.)
  • Do not drain the liquid that’s produced when the meal/onions cook. It’s keeps the healthy fat in the dish and adds great flavor. Promise!

Thanks EasyPeas-y for the inspiration!

dit-elle-Esther