Remember that time you took your favorite doll or stuffed animal with you on a trip to a faraway city? The charming story of Kiki and Coco in Paris will remind you of those jovial times. One of the protagonists in the story is a lovely handmade doll named Coco, made by artist Jess Brown, and the adventures (and misadventures) she and her girl Kiki have together on a trip to Paris. Avery’s favorite part is when a dog takes Coco and breaks her arm, which is later fixed. We loved seeing all the sights and sounds of Paris through Kiki’s eyes. This story would be the perfect theme for a party or play date! Fill a pretty plate with some brioche and macarons and call it an afternoon. Extra points if you whip up a cup of Parisian chocolat chaud!
Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine
You can see her work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.
I love mussels, I love the simplicity of them, the drips of broth on my fingers and that they come together easily – really without a recipe. Mussels are versatile – add to the pot what you like and you’ll end up with a wonderful light broth – nothing too heavy. This was the perfect dinner after having pizza the night before.
As in most recipes, wine is optional, but I do believe it gives the broth a deeper flavour – a few simple ingredients will shine in this recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
When buying mussels, make sure the bag they come in isn't sealed - mussels need to breathe until they are cooked.
Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's
Post by Joni: Lay Baby Lay
When we found out about the amazing candy making process at Papabubble, we knew we had to make a stop during our first Nod Bus Tour at their location in Pasadena, CA. We were even more excited after we discussed partnering with them to create some exclusive custom candy to hand out on our #nodtourbus stops around California in April.
We sat down with Mike from Papabubble LA to find out a little more about their delicious and creative candy.
What exactly is Papabubble?
We are a handmade candy shop that specializes in hard candy with images or words inside, the perfect candy for weddings, parties and special events.
When did Papabubble begin?
Papabubble was founded in Barcelona in 2004 with the goal of bringing back the charm of hand crafted sweets. Since then, it has grown to more than 23 stores throughout the world. The stores are independently owned, and each store is free to create delicious flavors that suit their market.
How is Papabubble candy made?
Our candy is made from 5 simple ingredients: water, sugar, glucose, flavor and color. We do not use corn syrup or preservatives in any of our products.
After boiling and melting all the ingredients, we pour the molten sugar onto our water cooled table. It is then cooled down and colors are "painted" into the candy.
After further cooling, we cut the candy into different pieces according to color. We then move to our heated table where we assemble all the pieces together and form a big roll of candy.
The big roll of candy is then stretched out by hand, and cut into arm’s length. After rolling and cooling down the smaller rods, we hand chop them into smaller, bite-sized candy. The entire process is done by hand, similar to making glass. Except that in our case, the finished product is edible.
Check out this video on how Papabubble candy is made:
How long has your shop been up in Pasadena? Where are the other locations?
The Pasadena shop opened May 11, 2013. There are Papabubble shops in New York, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Brussels, Kuwait, Qatar, Jakarta and Sao Paulo.
P.S. There will be a store opening up in San Francisco this summer!
What's your personal favorite Papabubble flavor?
My personal favorites are the mango and cinnamon apple.
Do you have any special events in your shop?
We have a candy making show every Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. It lasts between an hour to an hour and half depending on what design we are making that day. It's a family friendly event with lots of samples given out!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram @papabubblela to see what we'll be making that weekend.
Thanks, Mike for telling us more about Papabubble. Be sure to join us at the #nodtourbus stop on Tuesday, April 15 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Papabubble LA Candy Shop in Pasadena. We will be bringing along tons of giveaways, a photo booth and of course, free exclusive Papabubble candy!
I've been wanting to make bath bombs with the kids for quite some time now. One morning I was plotting how exactly we'd go about this, when I realized that all those plastic easter eggs I've got sitting in the storage room are very similar in shape to the plastic ornaments everyone uses to mold their bath bombs. And I was even more excited that I had this idea right before Easter. Perfect timing!
I researched and tested all the different bath bomb recipes I have pinned on my DIY Crafts + Projects board to come up with the best possible recipe. All the recipes have the same ingredients: Citric Acid, Baking Soda, Epsom Salts, Cornstarch, Essential Oils, Coloring and some water and/or witch hazel. Simple enough, right? Except I had no idea where to get citric acid and the wide world of essential oils is completely foreign to me.
I ordered citric acid from Amazon, which was easy enough. Then I popped into Whole Foods to grab some essential oils because I thought seeing my options in person would help. Nope. That made it worse. I was surrounded by a mind-boggling assortment of little vials, and I had no idea where to begin. I quickly left more confused than before. So I turned back to Amazon and ordered some oils from Eden's Garden. Mostly because I liked the labels, and they were inexpensive. That's some informed purchasing, huh? Pretty labels, and good prices. Yep.
Anyway, there are a bazillion tutorials for bath bombs out there. And some great YouTube videos, too. So I won't go too in-depth here. But here's the winning recipe:
You'll also need a glass bowl, a mini spritzer bottle (I got mine for 79¢ in the travel section of Target) and a whisk. Round up your old plastic Easter eggs and throw on an apron while you're at it, too.
Wrap up a bunch and give them out as Easter gifts. They'd be great for friends, teachers, and I can tell you my kids are HUGE fans. We've got a big bag of eggs, but they're all ready asking if we can make more when they're gone.
A couple more ideas:
And here's what they look like when you add too much water to the mixture. They mold up like a dream, and you go to bed thinking you're a DIY rockstar. Then you wake up in the morning to find your eggs have "hatched" and you're not as cool as you thought you were. My daughter was pretty excited to see we've got some that are hatching, so she made a nest for them. Maybe she should make a nest for my bruised ego while she's at it.
Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her blog, Just Call Me Chris.
A few weeks ago we hosted a small dinner party in our backyard. I didn't have a lot of time or money to spend, but sometimes that turns out for the best doesn't it? I wound up clipping a few branches from each of the different trees in our yard and laid them out as a table runner on top of some plain butcher paper. The blue patterned napkins.... yeah, those are actually dish towels from Ikea. Pretty right? And that was basically all it took. We had a grand old time and ate ourselves silly on southern bbq, red beans + rice, cole slaw and king cake.
Post by Becca: CAKE
Becca spends her days working for a strategic design firm in SF, and her nights trying to find time to blog, design + create while raising an adorable three year old hellion named Caitlin and newborn son, Theo.
We’re hittin the road, Jack. (or whatever your name is) And we’re bringing along tons of giveaways, activities, concerts and more. Stay tuned to see where we’re going next at landofnod.com/nodtourbus or come along for the ride on Instagram at #nodtourbus.
I wanted to create something really cute and precious for Easter. I was thinking of something whimsical in pastel colours, something sweet, but not a cupcake. I’m not sure why, but that’s where my mind was taking me. I had seen these Martha Stewart Meringue nests, which were cute; but then Sweetapolita upped the ante by colouring her nests blue. I wanted to make my nests pink at first, but realized that I didn’t have any red food colouring left – so blue it was. I kept them simple by adding a couple of chocolate eggs in beautiful pastel colours. This way they make an instant Easter treat and are easy to hand over as a gift as well.
While meringue is not hard to make, it does take time. So make sure you’ve got a couple of hours at home. Once you have the nests, your options are limitless. Fill them with candy like I did above, add some butter-cream like Rosie did, add fruit like Martha did, fill them with melted chocolate or make some lemon curd with the left-over egg yolks. I made this lemon curd and filled a couple of nests. It makes for a nice flavour combination, but they do get messy with all that sticky sweetness.
You can also store your meringue nests in an air tight container for a couple of days, just make sure you don’t crush them as they are quite fragile. The perfect bit of pastel whimsy just in time for Easter. And yes, we did give most of them as gifts, because there’s only so much sweetness I want to keep in our house.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: Approximately 14 three inch nests
If you don't want to pipe your nests, you can spoon the meringue on to the parchment and use a spoon to create a small indentation. This will create more organic looking nests.
Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's
Dying Easter Eggs is a messy business — that’s party of the fun. Help contain some of the mess by giving freshly dyed eggs a spot to rest.
Our simple solution: Stick a bunch of quilting pins into a styrofoam board to create your Egg Drying Rack. Normally eggs set on a paper-towel-lined tray get towel marks or dark spots from dye puddling. On the drying rack, eggs are elevated so excess dye will drain onto the board, preserving the egg’s finish.
It is still a good idea to protect the work surface with a plastic tablecloth, butcher paper or wax paper. You may also want to cut down the foam piece for your drying rack so it fits on a cookie sheet.