Create an Easy Art Studio

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My daughter has always loved arts and crafts, but now that she’s in kindergarten, she also seems to be developing a love of art education. Her favorite pretend play of late is ‘Art School.’ She, of course, plays the role of teacher, and I am the student. She draws a picture on her easel and then instructs me to do the same in my notebook. 

Now that ‘playing art’ has become a two-person game, I was super excited to receive Land of Nod’s wall paper holder so that both teacher and student could have a space to create. In fact, once we installed the paper holder, a new theme seemed to emerge for the décor of her room: Art Studio.

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We recently moved into a new house and have yet to decorate the kid’s rooms. Since Jenna’s walls are entirely empty (and we are holding off on hanging anything until we’ve painted), we decided to run with the art studio theme in the interim and let her decorate her walls with her own creations.

In addition to the easel we already own (similar one here), we used the following materials to set up her studio:

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Now Jenna's room is filling up with adorable pictures.

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And she has plenty of space to create, right in her own room.

Post by Julee : Warm Hot Chocolate

One Pot Pasta

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As much as I love standing in front of the stove, slaving over dinner {catch my sarcasm}, I’m absolutely intrigued by the thought of a one pot dinner. Especially one that includes pasta {read: can be make very very quickly / tastes delicious / requires very little cleanup}.

I’m dying to try these and I promise to share my results with you.

Do you have any one pot wonders that you like making? Do share!

Post by Niki: Papery & Cakery

On The Go

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The Hustle and Bustle Train set features many different modes of transportation–from a bulldozer to a space shuttle!  You can hop aboard a train, watch a car race and witness a space shuttle take off from its launch pad all in one day.  Avery and Nate loved the variety of vehicles and settings and all the little details of the play mat.

A perfect companion to the Hustle and Bustle Train Set is Line 135, a story that follows a child on a journey from the city to the country and eventually to a magical and imaginary landscape.  The detailed line drawings and sparing use of color make this a unique experience and story.

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.

Kale and Basil Pesto

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I never got on the kale bandwagon. I tried to like kale, but failed miserably in the past. Even kale chips didn’t impress me. The other week my fears came true – our CSA share included quite a large bunch of kale. What to do? I didn’t want to waste it, so I scoured the two very healthy blogs, Sprouted Kitchen and Love and Lemons to see what they had done with kale that might convince me to try.

And guess what? Kale pesto was something I was willing to try and something I actually liked! I won’t ever go out of my way to buy kale, but if I happen to have some kale, this pesto will be top of my list. We served it with eggs one day, mixed it with boiled potatoes and a little extra olive oil another day, and added it to pasta with a splash of cooking water for dinner one night. It’s tasty, versatile and healthy as well. 

 
Kale and Basil Pesto – inspired by Sprouted Kitchen and Love and Lemons

Yield: This makes a lot of pesto – about 1.5 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium bunch kale, thick stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lemon
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more for smoother texture

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tough stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Blanch the kale leaves for about 30 seconds, transfer to a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Once the kale is cool, squeeze out the excess water.
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and pine nuts and pulse to chop. Add the kale, basil, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Taste and adjust as needed.

Notes

To use as a dressing add a little more water and lemon juice. If using it in pasta, reserve a bit of cooking water to help loosen the pesto so it coats the pasta nicely

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Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's