Cooking with kids

The other day we had a fun, little cooking project with Alina. Perhaps, those of you with kids, are already familiar with this, or even made these when you were kids. But for me, this was the cutest discovery!
Alina had so much fun making these cute, eatable octopuses, and then ate them proudly!


Party was a success!

The main feature of last week was, of course, Alina's 4th Birthday Party!
Big homemade celebration, complete with Chinese-inspired food made by me, fancy appetizers served in tiny bowls with tiny spoons made by Alina's grandma, big-fluffy-meringue cake made by my mom, clown with a dog and a princess, face painting, and photo shoot with props!
Looks like everyone had a great time!

These fun photo props are available for free download here along with instructions. I simply borrowed their idea:)


What to do with kids artwork?

Yesterday I got a bit tired of looking at the empty frames on my wall, waiting for the inspiration to strike. 
I decided to take action and use what I have in the house to fill up a few spots.

Guess what this is?

If you guessed "your daughter's first watercolor painting",  you guessed right!

She did it last year, when she was 3 y.o., and I found them fascinating, and kept them in special folder.
She painted a few pages in a regular ruled composition book, and I cut out the irregular shapes and pasted them together on a white background.

Looks like a great abstract piece of art! 

Here is another example:
These were done with colored markers.
Simple and effective!

How do you display your kids art? Leave a comment ;)


Birthday party favors for kids

My daughter's birthday is coming up this week - August 17th. 
While the big party will be held on the following Saturday in our backyard, a smaller celebration will take place on Wednesday in Alina's daycare.
Now, every once in a while my kids come home with little plastic bags filled with candy and small chatchka-like toys that usually get broken that same day and thrown around the house. That means someone had a birthday in their group and the kids all got their goody bags after the party.
It is an easy and the most affordable way to complete the task of making children favors for the birthdays , especially for the daycare... I myself made little sugary goody bags last year...
However, just recently my kids came home each with a box of puzzles - a favor from someone's birthday party. They were SO excited! It kept them busy all evening and they still play with them sometimes.
 I was grateful to that parent for the thoughtfulness and appreciated the lack of sweet, artificially flavored candy that usually dominates kids favors.
This time I wanted to follow this example and get something that would get kids attention and make use of their skills rather than their teeth. Still I wanted to minimize the wallet damage and make it look presentable.
After searching a discount store for a while I found something that I  thought would make a good fit.
It's a small book with a single black dry-erase marker. A child is supposed to fill in the pictures inside the book, like a castle with missing doors and windows...
Under $2 each, it will keep the little one busy for at least 15-20 min.
Wrapped in pretty pink tissues and placed in chic black and white bags ( value pack)...they don't look half bad! 

I am pleased with how everything turned out: not too baby-ish and not useless breakable waste...

This packaging sort of tells you it is coming from a girl, doesn't it? ... :)

I may drop one lollipop in each bag just to sweeten the whole drawing experience a bit :))


Chicken wings in an iron skillet

Easiest dinner ever!

15-17 chicken wings
1 Spoonful of Mayo
1 Squirt of Ketchup
Salt, Pepper to taste
1. Put everything in an Iron skillet 
2. Mix well
3.  Cover tight with parchment paper
( I try  to avoid using foil with heat, 
as I found out  from a friend chemist
that it is not healthy to do so)
4.  Bake for 30 min on 350
5. Uncover and let the wings brown till golden and crispy
( may use broiler setting to speed up the process)

They come out crispy and sticky and yummy!


Custom fabric project

I am very excited to share with you guys this very special project I am working on. The lovely owner of My Brooklyn Baby store, which soon coming to downtown Brooklyn, has contacted me to help her out with some fabrics to decorate her store. After a little brainstorming, we have decided to create a completely new unique design based on the logo. The fabrics will be covering a seat cushion and pillows on a super long lidded toy box in the play area. I can wait for it all come together because Darcy ( the owner ) has some pretty cool ideas!

Colors are so awesome too: coral and soft turquoise...
I played around with the logo and here are a few samples I have came up with:
 Now we just have to wait for the actual fabric samples...


Looking sharp...

One of my newest followers, my hubby ( Hi, hubby! Thanks for the link!) send me these incredible photos the other day. It is hard to believe people have such patience...

Made by artist: Dalton Ghetti


Dancing triangles- my new fabric

  I just received my new fabric "Dancing Triangles" which I ordered for my living room pillow covers. I designed it a while ago, but only now I appreciate how beautifully it came out!
Very crisp and simple, with a deep ink blue background and sharp white triangles.
I made my pillow cover immediately using my envelope closure pillow covers instructions 

If you like to get some "Dancing Triangles" for yourself, head over to my Etsy shop ;)


How to create a gallery wall - Part 3 ( Installation)

So it has been a while since I posted any updates on my gallery wall. At first, I thought I would hold until I have all my artwork selected and framed. But then, I realized it is much easier to select an artwork for frames that are already up on the wall. That way you can see exactly what you are missing and correct it: color, scale, proportions, balance.
So without further delays, here is the final part of the gallery wall installation showing how I got
 from here to here:

As I mentioned before, I had to re-arrange my layout due to new frame sizes and a ledge I pick up at IKea.

The ledge was the first to go up on the wall, and immediately I encountered a major problem: I had no ordinary Sheetrock construction on that wall ( adjacent to my neighbor house) but PURE CONCRETE! 

Look at all that black powdered debris that came out of the almost-impossible-to-drill holes!

 Somehow with the help of my dear hubby, I managed to make 3 holes, all aligned, and hang the ledge. But I dreaded the thought of drilling 10+ more holes on that wall, so I started thinking.... and came up with this:

Believe it not, with a bit of force, this little guy went into the concrete wall and held a tight grip! I mean, it was stuck there dead! I could hang off of it and wouldn't budge! Made me really happy :)) I hammered them quickly almost flush with the wall,  leaving a tiny gap between its wide top and a wall. The gap was just big enough to catch the metal wire of the frame, and the flat wide top of this nail keeps the wire from slipping out.

My thumbs were literally in pain and swollen after making 10 of these metal wire V's...

Then, one by one, I started to hang the real frames right over the paper-ones, to make sure I get exact location and alignment.

 When satisfied with the look, I would rip the paper off and slip a couple of these ( 3M Command Poster Adhesive Strip Value Pack) on the back, just for the extra stability and security, and a little piece of mind around the kids...

And here it is... My gallery wall completed! Well, almost.. As I said earlier, it will be much easier to fill in the blanks now that I can see visually my layout and all the available spots.
It is a bit on the higher side, just to keep under control my kids temptation to to touch/pull/draw on/ spill on/rip off... should I continue? Lol!!
I am sure I can take a better picture too, but let's keep it for when I have all the artwork+photos in place.
 It will be a grand reveal, right?

Now...what should I do with those peachy walls? Hmmm..


Sleep no more -Trip Report

And so went to see the show....
Was it everything I expected it to be and more? Hell, yes!
This experience left even the most skeptical people among our group quite emotional and inspired.
 I have to be honest, at first I was scared to death of the thought that I might have to be split up from my friends for any amount of time, this is common, as the creators of theshow encourage to go separate ways to get the fullest and the most unique experience... Thankfully, we all ended up in the same group together, and even though we could not talk during ANY time, just the close proximity of  friends and a husband gave me the courage to wonder around the dark, weird, unexpected,  sometimes plain scary and nerve-wracking scenes of this haunted-like 5-story building.
It is quite an incredible experience... Design of each space is meticulously crafted to wake up all your senses. Scenery, light, smell, even air temperature is carefully selected to work best for each room. One minute you are in a cemetery, the next - in a bedroom. All of sudden, you hear a loud stump! Someone is running by you... and you just follow quickly... up the stairs...down the stairs..
what's there?
Someone is dead on floor...
Mystery unravels before you, just to bring more questions into your head...
Beautiful, puzzling and exciting all the time...

We planned to stay an hour or so, but ended up walking around for 3 hours and still missed some scenes...
If you are in NY, I highly recommend you seeing this show... You don't even have to know Macbeth to enjoy it, I promise!

And yes, you do get to keep the masks! :)