Simple Shrimp Salad

shrimp salad recipe

1 lb. wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-2 tsps. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 C. arugula
Mango salsa (store bought)
2 flour tortillas (optional)

When I’m in a pinch, I like to use a mix of homemade and store-bought ingredients. Here, I used the mango salsa (love) at Whole Foods, you’ll find it in the cold produce section. It’s fresh and goes so well with shrimp and fish. I like to eat this dish as a salad but my husband enjoys it as a wrap. Both are super tasty!

Mix paprika, garlic powder, cumin and kosher salt in a small bowl. Put aside. Place shrimp in a Ziploc bag. Pour dry mix into bag, seal, and shake. Store in refrigerator overnight.

Warn pan over medium-high heat. Pour olive oil in pan. Once hot, place one layer of shrimp on pan. I was able to place all the shrimp on a 12″ pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, more if you want them crispy brown.

Prepare plates with a warmed tortilla and generous helping of arugula. Place shrimp on top of salad and top with a few spoonfuls of mango salsa.

Serves 2.

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Urban Putt

urban putt token
The magic token. This is what you need to start your journey through Urban Putt, a 14-hole indoor miniature golf course in San Francisco. If Alice in Wonderland and Salvador Dalí teamed up with the folks in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and mixed a little modern architecture and engineering, I believe they’d create something like this place. Although the mastermind design behind Urban Putt really does put it in a class of its own. The man behind the magic is Steve Fox, a former publisher and editor who has clearly moved on to greener pastures. My husband and I knew Steve from our days at CNET long, long ago (but now I’m dating myself). Urban Putt is a must-see for locals who appreciate ingenuity and out-of-towners who are tired of the usual tourist spots… and want to hang out in the hipster Mission District.

But if you really want to know why I love this place, read on:

Located near the entrance to the mini course and open at 11:00am on weekends, you can enjoy a drink while watching parents chase their kid’s errant golf balls. For late-night golfers, the bar is open until midnight for post-game burgers and cocktails. What’s not to love?

Homemade cherry soda for kidsurban putt cherry sodasHOMEMADE CHERRY SODA
Who does that? The kids were thrilled to watch our friendly bartender mix a made-to-order soda before their very eyes. And he even put a cherry on top.

Urban PuttDECOR
I love the steampunk-inspired designs, like this one at Hole 3: Penny Pitch.

Urban Putt

Urban Putt

Urban PuttGood Food
Miniature golf AND good food? This was an only-in-San-Francisco moment. After the game, we walked upstairs to their restaurant where we enjoyed poke, french toast, chilaquiles and a few snacks, including my favorite 4505 Chicharrones (bonus points).

Urban Putt Urban PuttProper Drinks
Here’s our friendly mixologist making my first (or second) pomegranate bellini, the Mother’s Day Special. It’s an impressive full bar for such a small space. So yes you can have a Manhattan.

Urban PuttSleepwalkers
My pictures are terrible, I couldn’t quite get a clear image of the sleepwalker installation by Dan Rosenfeld. We got jaw-dropping looks from our kids when the little “person” jumped out and touched their fingers. Watch the video for a complete story.

Urban PuttHole 2: Skeeball

Urban PuttHole 3: Penny Pitch

Urban PuttHole 9: Dia de los Muertos

Urban PuttHole 11: Golfland at the Beach

At the heart of it all, the putting green. A compact space that somehow manages multiple active golf balls through a carnival of obstacles, making each hole a journey of surprises. What a delight.

For the last hole, Fibonacci’s Finale, the ball rolls up and down and is lifted upward, then dropped into this wire grid container. Each ball is reused for the next player. There’s my girl adding our scores. I lost.

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Cheers to Mom

mother's day greetingMother’s Day or any day, it’s always Pimm’s o’clock.

(Please pardon my poor photoshop skills.)

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The New Playroom

the art pantry new playroomIn honor of Earth Day, I’m sharing an article on sustainable design that was written for tada! shop (my second home). Megan’s work is pretty amazing, and I think you’ll love her passion and creativity. Read on, take notes and enjoy!

We’re living in the digital age. And as much as we are dazzled by painting and drawing on an iPad, there’s nothing quite like unplugging and getting our hands dirty. An appropriate topic for Earth Day, don’t you think? My talented friend and founder of the Art Pantry, Megan Schiller, has been a longtime leader in building creative confidence in kids before launching her new e-guide “The New Playroom”. This modern manual is filled with DIY insider tips, personal stories and easy-to-follow steps on how to design a dedicated art space in your own home. It’s a must-have guide for any tinkering child (and adult), but I’ll let her tell you. Thanks Megan for the inspiring interview.

Tell us about the evolution of The Art Pantry and the new guide:
Ever since I began teaching preschool 13 years ago, I have been on a mission to help kids gain creative confidence by exposing them to artistic materials and process-oriented art at a young age. I believe that being creative and understanding how to use tools and materials to make things is an essential part of learning. This is why I started The Art Pantry and what drives me every day.

The Art Pantry actually started off as The Littlest Birds Studio in 2010, where I taught toddler art classes in my back cottage. The classes were a hit, and eventually expanded beyond the neighborhood families to a commercial space. When I became pregnant with my second daughter, I decided to sell the art studio in order to work from home and spend more time with my kids.

This is when I re-imagined the business and changed the name to The Art Pantry. After years of teaching art in a class setting, my goal was to help bring more creativity into children’s homes. After two years of selling my favorite children’s art supplies in our online shop, I began designing art spaces in children’s homes. This service was so well received that I shut down the shop and have been focused on designing children’s creative spaces ever since.

the new playroom art pantry

I am a strong believer that our home environment influences our experiences and reflects our values. When we create spaces for our kids that are stocked with interesting tools and materials – that are organized and inviting – we are giving our kids the message that they are creative and capable little beings. We are inviting them to explore the world around them through these materials so that they will gain confidence in their natural creative abilities and take these skills with them as they grow older.

This is why I love designing kids’ art spaces. What I don’t love is how few hours in the day I am able work with clients! I want to reach more families than is possible with this type of one-on-one service, so I created an e-guide for families to tackle it on their own. I also created the guide so that I could offer an affordable version of my design services.

Your favorite part of the guide:
My favorite part of the guide is the section, “It’s Not Just For Art.” It emphasizes the main idea of this guide, which is the idea that an “art space” in your home can actually be more like a workshop or a playroom. Art materials are the tools that kids use to work through ideas, solve problems, and create anything they can imagine. This might mean that a child is playing with toy astronauts and suddenly decides to build a rocket ship out of cardboard. The art space is there to support this play. This is why the guide is called “The New Playroom”. It’s a new way of looking at children’s play and allowing art to be a big part of that.

Invitations to create art pantry

Your “Invitations to Create” guide looks incredibly fun. I have to ask, how did you come up with 30 cool art ideas?
About a year and a half ago I ran a 30-day “Invitations To Create” challenge. I set out art prompts for my kids every day for 30 days and posted photos on Instagram and Facebook. A lot of people joined me in the challenge and did their best to keep it up for 30 days. It was really fun and taught me a lot about the effect of these art prompts on the creative process.

The 30 art prompts in this guide are adapted from this challenge. I tweaked some and added new ones to come up with this list. Originally, I came up with the ideas mostly from what I had in my house at the time, from projects we did in my art classes, and from projects I’ve seen on my favorite blogs.

Your design aesthetic:
Some words I would use to describe my design aesthetic are modern, bohemian, vintage, minimal, and playful. I love modern minimalism mixed with a touch of historical charm and a good dose of colorful whimsy. I also love using natural elements to keep a space feeling grounded.

What advice would you give to someone planning an art space on a small budget?
Great question! Depending on the design aesthetic, there are a few ways to create a nice space on a small budget. For someone who appreciates a “collected look” as I call it in the guide, I would suggest to first re-purpose any storage or containers you already have around your house. This includes shelving, baskets, jars, etc. Then get anything else you might need at a thrift shop or garage sale. There are a surprising amount of great baskets and organizers at thrift shops. Look in the kitchen section for divided trays and fun tools to re-purpose as paint or play dough tools.

If you like the look of new, matching containers and storage items, check out Ikea, Target, and other big box retailers. Even dollar stores have some great items. Remember to look in the kitchen section wherever you are!

As far as art supplies go, start with a few of the basics (markers, crayons, paper, scissors, tape, tempera and watercolor paints, glue, and play dough or clay). And add to your collection when you see items on sale. Discount School Supply has great prices for these basic supplies.

art pantry megan and kids

How will you and your family celebrate Earth Day?
We are currently fixing up our family garden and plan on planting veggies and native plants in the space. Our big project we are planning is to create a bean teepee in the garden so that my girls will have a special place to hide away and snack on green beans all summer! I’d also love to take them to the Earth Day art celebration at Stinson Beach. It starts with a beach cleanup and ends with making artistic sculptures out of things like rocks and seaweed. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Ready to start a new playroom? Get the complete guide here. What’s in your ideal art space?

Photos Courtesy of The Art Pantry

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Kids at New York Fashion Week 2015

Opening Ceremony, Alexander Wang FW15Photos by Vogue and

New York Fashion Week ends tomorrow and while I’m is swooning over the shows, including Opening Ceremony and Alexander Wang,  I can’t help but follow cute snapshots of all the young and almost-famous attendees. Dressed mostly in classic black, these petite hipsters add a fun freshness to the front row. Here are some popular photos…

Alia Wang New York Fashion Week 2015Photos from Sophisticated and GMA News

My new fashion obsession is the luxe bomber jacket worn by Alia Wang, the darling niece of Alexander Wang. Reserved and confident, her outfits are never cloyingly cute or awkwardly outrageous. Think edgy, functional and stylish looks that work well for play as well as watching uncle’s show.

Beckham kids New York Fashion Week 2015Photo by POPSUGAR

With an established fashion designer mum (and famous footballer dad), Fashion Week is naturally a family affair for Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper. Romeo’s tuxedo and Harper’s little black dress stole the show, but it’s not the first time.

North West and LorenzoPhotos by Cindy Ord/Getty Images and Craig Barritt/Getty Images

All eyes were on Baby Lorenzo at the Nike Levi’s Kids Rock show, the son of Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi. Nike track suits are probably selling out as you read this article. And sitting patiently at the Alexander Wang show was little North West, laced up in her mini Dr Martens. I love the rocker-chic princess look but can do without the royal tantrums.

What were your favorite Fashion Week looks?

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Spread the love every day with these unique and modern wall stickers from Chispum. Made in Barcelona, each creative decal is full of bright images and happy thoughts… and not just for Valentine’s Day! See why I love their designs…

Chispum Wall Sticker / Wall ArtWater Love

Basic heart wall stickersBasic Hearts I

Tsunami of love chispumTsunami of Love

In love wall stickers chispumThose Who are in Love are Happy

* Also available in different languages

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Last-Minute DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

DIY Valentine's Day I was shopping, very late in the game, only to find that our local Paper Source was sold out of the Valentine’s Day card kit that my daughter requested. Time was ticking so I decided to create our own cards… but what? I love finding treasure in small packages, and used that as my inspiration. After pacing up and down the store, I found some cute kraft hearts that fit perfectly into these glassine envelopes. I grabbed some festive Valentine tape and voilà we had Valentine cards!

DIY Valentine's Day CardsI carved a heart in an old Champagne cork, and Audrey used white ink to stamp each card as well as write on the back. We added a few candy hearts, sealed each with foil tape, and they were ready for delivery. “You have the juiciest creative juices!” she was so giddy. This is why I stay crafty.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards

DIY Valentine's Day Soccer CardsFor my son, he simply wanted to hand out soccer cards. We ordered ten packs, and he put them envelopes. Signed, sealed, and delivered. Easy peasy.

What did your child do for Valentine’s Day cards?

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