Miniature Maleficent

DIY Christmas Tree OrnamentsPhotos: DisneyEvery year we visit the same school tree lot, walk down pine-scented aisles, and get a gorgeous deep green douglas fir that is always just a couple of inches too tall for our living room. We love big trees. This year, we’ve mixed it up and added a petite purplelicious beauty, just 4’, to our tree-love mix thanks to Treetopia. Professionally strung with bright clear lights, the tree looks lovely right out of the box, but who’s not going to decorate a purple tree? While we had no shortage of themes (royals, disco, Marrakech), a recent family viewing of the new Maleficent movie (which we absolutely loved) provided the final design idea. Most of my inspiration came from the richly textured woodland forest scenes where the young Maleficent was introduced, think feathers, wood and greenery. After finding the right home for the tree in the playroom, I went craft shopping.

DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments

I used paper mache ornaments and covered each with pheasant feathers. Start by brushing glue on a small section of the sphere. Lay feathers down and make sure they are going in the same direction with a little overlap. Once the ornament is completely covered, press feathers down for a few seconds. You may need to add tiny feather pieces to cover small holes. Slip a jingle bell down the string and hang to dry.

DIY Christmas Tree OrnamentsWhile waiting for the school bus, our children collected twigs that would form the star or tree topper. For the garland, I used hemp rope and these wooden beads that reminded me of the young Maleficent’s necklace.

Purple Christmas Tree from Treetopia

Purple Christmas Tree from TreetopiaThe kids and I enjoyed some serious ornament-making and beading for the Maleficent tree. Next year, one miniature tree for each of the bedrooms is on their wish list. My daughter has her eyes on purple (because it matches her room of course) and my son is thinking of a red or black tree as tribute to his favorite football team. (repost from tada! shop)

How would you decorate a colorful tree?

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Thanksgiving Treats for Our Little Stylemakers

Black Friday Deals for Kids Clothing, Shoes and ToysWhile we love the thrill of walking through downtown crowds on Black Friday, we think shopping from the comfort of your own home with hot cocoa nearby, is even better. Whether you’re looking for a cool toy or snazzy shoes for your little one, we’ve rounded up our must-have Black Friday deals to help with that special gift. See Black Friday sale updates below.

Acorn Toy Shop in Brooklyn1 Day Only December 1st take 20% Off All Online Orders. Enter code: ACORNS at checkout. Shop Acorn

Atsuyo et Akiko2 Days Only – November 28th and December 1st – take 20% Off All Orders. Enter code BFSM2014 at checkout. Our favorites include these silkscreen pullovers, especially in the gold foil styles. *Also available in women’s sizes.
Atsuyo et Akiko pulloversChateau 3D Gold Foil $56 | Crown Gold Foil $39.20 | Joker Gold Foil $39.20

Atsuyo et Akiko PulloversKisses $39.20 | Love Gold Foil $56 | Pirate Ship Black Foil $56

Holiday Stockings!Atsuyo et Akiko Holiday StockingsSee their complete online-only holiday collection, starting at $38
Shop these items and more at Atelier Atsuyo et Akiko

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Black Wagon kids clothing on tada! shopNovember 26th to December 1st enjoy Free Shipping on all orders of $50 or more. No code necessary.

Encourage crafty kids and tinkering types with these unique toys from Hape, International Arrivals, and Wood Toy Shop.
gifts for artists kidsMy First Loom, Hape $36 | Super Mix Oil Pastels, International Arrivals $15 | DIY Cover Sketchbook, International Arrivals $16

Builder toys for kidsTotter Tower, Hape $44 | Tool Box, Wood Toy Shop $60 | Quadrilla Marble Run, Hape $78 |  Shop these items and more at Black Wagon

Coral and Tusk Sale
Coral and Tusk Sample Sale
Coral and Tusk Sample SaleMy favorite animal-inspired embroidered pillows, tea towels, and napkins are 20-50% off at the Coral and Tusk Online Sample Sale, ends December 1st. No code necessary. See details at tada! shop

Little Circus children's clothing shoes and toysNovember 19th to December 1st take 20% Off All Clothing and Shoes Only. Enter code THANKS at checkout. PLUS receive a $10 gift card for every $50 spent

Enjoy 20% Off these Editors’ Picks and More:
baby sweaters oeufOeuf rarely goes on sale, these baby sweaters will certainly sell out. Trés Cool Sweater $103 | Crown Sweater $96 | Dual Sided Fox Sweater $109

baby clothes nununuGet bold with graphic babywear from Nununu. Stars Playsuit $52 | NO! Long Sleeve Tee Shirt $44 | Stars Sweatshirt Dress $52

kids boots by NaturinoWe’re obsessed with these boots from Naturino! Also, enjoy Free Shipping. Black Patent Boots $79 | Iridescent Boots $79 | Navy Suede Chukka Boots $68
Shop these items and more at Little Circus

Nonchalant Mom on tada! shopNovember 28th to December 3rd take 20% Off Clothing, Shoes and Accessories (Offer excludes Jess Brown, Heidi Baron Godoff, Melissa Joy Manning, Ryan Roche, Sun Shades, West River Field Lab Pottery). Enter code TADA at checkout. Shop the playful Wovenplay, Lucky Fish graphic tees, the chic Nico Nico and more at Nonchalant Mom.

20% Off Nico Nico
Nico Nico children's clothing at Nonchalant MomEleanor Dress – Spruce $54 | Eleanor Dress – Plum $54 | Charcoal Stripes T $34 | Jumpsuit $90

20% Off Lucky Fish
Lucky Fish Graphic Tees Black FridayConstellation $40 | Silver Foil Eyes $42 | Man in the Moon $40
Shop these items and more at Nonchalant Mom

Pink Chicken New YorkNovember 27th to 30th
20% Off on orders $150  |  30% Off on orders $250  |  40% Off on orders $350
Discount given at checkout.
Pink Chicken Children's ClothingSee the Penelope Dress in holiday looks, the versatile Ava Dress, Fab Fleece, the covetable lamé leggings, and more at Pink Chicken.

Shan and Toad Designer Clothing for KidsNovember 26th take up to 40% Off Fall and Winter styles including Bobo Choses, Caramel Baby and Child, Mini Rodini, April Showers and More. No code necessary.

Mini Rodini Picks
Mini Rodini Kids FashionPierrot Purple Dress $45 (from $75)  Pierrot Pink Body $31 (from $52) |  Pug Sweatshirt $39 (from $65)

Bobo Choses for Baby
Baby Onesies from Bobo ChosesEcho Park Body $31 (from $52) | Shoes Body $31 (from $52) | Venice Body $31 (from $52) | Birds Body $31 (from $52)
Shop these items and more at Shan and Toad

logo_tea60x60tea collection black fridayTea Collection 2-Day Sale Starts November 28th!
Find styles for $12, $15 and $17 at Tea Collection! Includes your favorite looks for girls, boys, and babies. November 28-29 only. Start your list at Tea Collection!

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Give Thanks

Happy ThanksgivingOn my way home, I stumbled upon autumn in San Francisco. Be grateful for the little things.

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Minnie & Emma and Veuve Clicquot

Just in time to spruce up your holiday packaging, Veuve Clicquot has teamed up with Minnie & Emma to create a super-chic limited-edition entertaining collection. It’s the ultimate personalized gift for your favorite bubble-loving hostess… or you. From notecards to coasters, you’ll find that trademark color a perfect compliment to the festive season. Here are my personal picks, but you can see more at Minnie & Emma.

Minnie & Emma Clicquot by MailClicquot by Mail Personalized Bottle Tag, 24 tags $48

Minnie & Emma Confetti Comet Bottle TagConfetti Comet Bottle Tag, 24 tags $48

Clicquot coastersClicquot by Mail Coaster, 24 coasters $48

Minnie & Emma Veuve ClicquotConfetti Cheers Notecard $68-$320 (I love lots of bubbles!)

Confetti Digital Invitation MInnie & EmmaGo digital for FREE! Now you have no excuse not to throw a party.
Confetti Digital Invitation

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The Most Fashionable Rag Dolls

Jess Brown Dolls

My daughter and I love Jess Brown dolls. Each one-of-a-kind design is handmade with love from sustainable material, usually vintage textiles. And it’s all made locally in nearby Petaluma! We love the new holiday collection in gorgeous fur, lace, and tweed textures. This season also includes dresses printed with Theatre du Palais Royal and paired with silk capes from the collaboration with Brooklyn-based Atsuyo et Akiko (Audrey’s favorite). These dolls always make the the best gifts for collectors of all ages.

jess brown/atsuyo et akiko collaboration doll Palais Royal w/pink capePalais Royal with Pink Cape, Jess Brown & Atsuyo et Akiko Collaboration $198
Cape also available in salmon and lavender.

jess brown doll liberty floral dress linen bag and black hairLiberty Floral Dress with Linen Bag and Black Hair $198

jess brown doll herringbone tunic, fur skirt and headbandHerringbone Tunic, Fur Skirt, and Headband $198

wrap dress/fur cape blonde jess brownWrap Dress, Fur Cape, Blonde $198

Jess Brown Coco doll french lace dressCoco Doll in French Lace Dress $198

jess brown doll sprite pinkSprite Pink $234

See more Jess Brown designs here.

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From Barndiva and Oliver Ranch with MAC

Barndiva, Healdsburg CAIt all began at Barndiva in Healdsburg. Joan, our hostess-extraordinaire arranged a gorgeous lunch before our magical journey through Oliver Ranch. Thank you Joan and our MAC friends. Lunch highlights below.

Barndiva, Healdsburg California

Barndiva, Healdsburg CAMy kind of tasty treats: Goat cheese croquettes with tomato jam and lavender honey | Yellowfin tuna sashimi with saffron aioli, pickled chili, and watermelon

Oliver Ranch, Geyserville
“I mean what do you do with such a place? There’s really only one thing to do – you give it to the community”” – Steve Oliver, Oliver Ranch

Oliver Ranch, Geyserville CaPanoramic images around the main house.

Oliver Ranch, Geyserville

Steve Oliver at Oliver RanchBefore a two-hour walk through the ranch, we gathered to hear stories from Steve Oliver. An earnest and engaging speaker, he has a genuine passion artists, independent and famous. Each site-specific installation was commissioned for the 100-acre Oliver Ranch in Geyserville, California. Here are a few images from this amazing place.

Artists David Rabinowitch  and Jim JenningsModern dwelling by David Rabinowitch and Jim Jennings

oliver ranch treeOne of my favorite views.

Oliver RanchMartin Puryear‘s awe-inspiring fieldstone sculpture. Behind the wooden gate, is a small table-for-two cave. Steve and his wife, Nancy, had a chance to enjoy a meal inside before Mr. Puryear securely closed it off. How cool is that?

Oliver RanchMartin Puryear, “Untitled”, 1994-1995
(Mortared fieldstone sculpture installation with red cedar)

Roger Berry sculptureRoger Berry, “Darwin”, 1988-89 (Corten steel sculpture)

Roger Berry Darwin

Richard Serra at Oliver RanchRichard Serra, “Snake Eyes and Boxcars”, 1990-1993
(Six pairs of forged hyper-dense corten steel blocks)

Steve almost burned his hands on one of these cooling blocks of steel, whilke holding his hand about 30″ away! I believe each one took about two months to cool completely.

Terry Allen artistTerry Allen, “humanature”, 1991-1992 (bronze sculptures)

terry-allen-2Terry Allen, “humanature”, 1991-1992 (bronze sculptures)

Who doesn’t love a good sense of humor? Terry Allen is apparently an amazing songwriter as well. Amazing.

Ursula Von Rydingsvard

Ursula von Rydingsvard, “Iggy’s Pride”, 1990-91
(Cedar beam sculpture with graphite)

Ursula-Von-Rydingsvard-2The deep colors, rich texture, and grand size (77′ span) of this childhood-inspired work, was my favorite installation.

Ann Hamilton Oliver RanchAnn Hamilton, “The tower designed by Ann Hamilton for the Oliver Ranch, Geyserville, CA”, 2003-2007 (Cast concrete tower performance space)

Ann Hamilton Oliver RanchInside were a double set of identical staircases, both leading to the view above. The only way to enter was through the concrete windows.

heart tree trunkNear the end of the art walk, I stumbled upon this old tree trunk. As I peered in, I saw this lovely shape and thought what a perfect way to end the day. Thank you Steve for an extraordinary experience.

For a complete list of Oliver Ranch artists and more information, visit their website Oliver Ranch Foundation.

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Halloween Theme Parent Party

halloween theme parent partyThis weekend, we kicked off the fall season with a 4th grade parent party. My husband and I co-hosted with good friends, Dyer and Rob. Held at our friend’s lovely home, Dyer curated all the Halloween decor which set the tone for a festive evening. Here are a few pictures from the party. I wish there were more but we were having too much fun!

halloween-party-cheese-platterSomething sweet, something savory, and lots of cheese for the table..

halloween-party-camembert

halloween-party-bourbon-punchAlthough we had lots of wine, of course we needed a signature cocktail. This recipe showed up in my inbox just in time (funny how that happened). We turned this apple cider cocktail-for-one into punch, which worked well for a big group. You’ll find the adjusted measurements for 30 guests in italics.

Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail (Serves 1)
1 ½ ounces bourbon  45 ounces
1 ounce fresh apple cider (or unpasteurized apple juice)  45 ounces
½ ounce Ginger Simple Syrup (recipe below)  15 ounces
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice  15 ounces
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and then add ice cubes. Shake vigorously until a slight frost has formed on the shaker, around 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a star anise seed or lemon wheel (optional).

Ginger Simple Syrup
¼ cup white sugar  4 cups
¼ cup water  4 cups
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

In a small pot, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil on the stove, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and let cool. Pick out the ginger pieces before serving. Makes roughly 2 ounces. Save the leftover for other drinks or cocktails, worked as a nice substitute for maraschino liqueur in a Martinez.

Recipe Source: The Proof

halloween-party-dessertsWhat’s Halloween with red velvet cupcakes and sugary ghosts?

halloween-party-spider-wineA bit kitschy but fun.

Happy Halloween!

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