sarena mann

i am in love with these pretty little papier mache ladies. each with such movement and vivid color, and entirely handmade, they are truly tiny works of art. imagine a few made into a mobile for above the baby's crib... dreamy.


botanical serigraphs

i absolutely love these botanical serigraphs by silkscreen artist gene bauer. so simple and elegant.

 read more about gene and see more of her work here.


diy: fabric label name tags

this summer has been busy. we have been out of town... here and there, big trips and little. and being pregnant, well, pregnancy does funny things to you. it makes you get down on your hands and knees and clean around all of the baseboards with a toothbrush... then wipe down all of the kitchen cupboards, and bleach all of the bathtub toys. it seems involuntary, this is not something you could usually catch me doing. it is totally normal, and unfortunately not contagious. (otherwise i'd have all of the non-cleaners in the neighborhood coming to my house like a chicken pox party to catch my disease). nesting, they call it. my husband loves it. me? yes, it is nice when you could literally lick any part of your house and feel fine about it, but the time it takes... well, i could have been making something, or posting some inspirational blog posts. 

we still have a busy couple of months coming up. in october we are moving. we don't know where yet, except that we want to stay in the manhattan beach area. not any further north, maybe a little south, we really enjoy our little bubble. trying to find the perfect place is really anxiety provoking. i have so many must haves it seems like they will never be able to be met. and the nesting aspect of pregnancy only amplifies my anxiety. hardwood floors, dishwasher, laundry, garage and two bedrooms... is that really too much to ask?

in december, we welcome the arrival of our second little girl. there is so much to do, so many things to organize... and we will be ready before she makes her debut. early or not. 

then back to september, my little girl starts preschool. i can't believe how fast time has gone. 
starting school means filling in the blanks of an amazing amount of papers while writing down all of the things E must bring to school with her. and the rules... so many things to do and prep before her first day. among them... daily lunches, comfy clothes she can play in, and name tags in everything. 

which brings me to my diy. fabric label name tags. sure i could just order the washable name stickers online... but honestly, i want something a little more stylish. sure it takes a little more time than picking a color, typing in your name and credit card info, but i think they will be appreciated, by me at least. they are completely washable and... the tags can be removed from the clothes that will be handed down to #2.

so, on with the instructions... as my nesting instinct can see the dust accumulating as i type.


new diy on design*sponge

click here to see the full tutorial.


absolute favorite new pasta recipe

there are a hand full of things that always seem to be "in stock" in our house. tortillas, cheese, avocados, pasta, lemons, milk. everything else seems to rotate through the season, or with our tastes. luckily, i found a fantastic recipe using some of these staples that my entire family is in love with. 
it has a light enough flavor to eat in the wonderfully warm weather, yet satiates that hormone induced pregnancy hunger for rich and hearty creaminess. and it is quick... so i am not spending all of the summer daylight cooking. take all of this and then, consider that all of the creamy richness is due to the avocado. avacados are full of monounsaturated fats (the good kind that reduces cholesterol), high in folate and vitamin E (good for growing babies and your heart) and loaded with antioxidants. compare that with the usual pasta sauce made with cream and the avocado sounds like a pretty perfect, healthful, and guiltless substitution. so here it is, 15 minute creamy avocado pasta.
1 ripe avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
2-3 garlic cloves or to taste
1/2 t salt
1/4 c fresh basil
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 servings /6oz pasta (angel hair is awesome and very quick cooking)
freshly ground pepper

1. Bring water to a boil for the pasta. boil pasta as directed.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta in a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.
*this recipe can easily be doubled to feed more, although keep in mind that it does not save or reheat well due to the avocado. 
recipe and photo via here.