8.16.2017

step into summer fun with suns: coolest sun-activated color changing footwear


Step into summer fun with a new footwear brand with coolest styles and a positive message to pass on. What makes SUNS so unique is that the shoes come to life with vibrant colors the second you expose them to the dazzling sunlight or other UV rays! And this is just one of the many ways SUNS believes in spreading cheer and joy. The brand’s mission is to make the world a brighter, happier place through what they call AOKs (acts of kindness).




The brand truly believes in ‘leaving a footprint’ and inspiring others to be kind and compassionate in the hope of causing a ripple effect and spreading smiles!

Isn’t learning mixed in with fun the best kind of learning? When I introduced the girls to their new shoes and their ‘magical’ potential, their faces lit up! And then I told them the shoes should always remind them to ‘Be Kind & Shine On.’ We empower our children to be kind irrespective, however these special shoes act as an added incentive for younger kids to be more mindful and to be the reason someone smiles today. Baby steps…





The shoes are available in several styles (for kids and women) and each pair of SUNS comes with a UV keychain light that allows you to temporarily "draw" on the shoes for some indoor fun! Check out all the cool shoe styles and get inspired to perform random acts of kindness. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy hours of whimsical summer fun and also check back-to-school sneaker shopping off our list. Two birds, one stone.




8.02.2017

A Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Hope summer is going well for everyone. Ours has been good so far but so busy and crazy -- I'll be playing catch-up for a while here. Finally sharing a post below from early spring of our visit to MFA Boston. The good thing is it's still school vacation and plenty of time to visit museums if it's been on your summer bucket list! I am really hoping to get a couple more museum visits in with the girls in August if our schedules allow. Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA) in New York and The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston are top two on the list. What are some of your favorite museums to visit with kids?

When school vacation is in full swing, entertaining the littles becomes a full-time job. After a week long trip to visit family, and a handful of playdates and park visits, we were still left with a rainy afternoon to spend. It has already been a long winter here in Boston and we wanted to explore somewhere new. We were looking for an indoor activity besides visiting a children’s museum, aquarium, indoor play area or the library.


I had been wanting to visit the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston to view “Matisse in the Studio” - an exhibit of Henri Matisse's personal objects that inspired the artist along with some of his major related works. Most of these were publicly exhibited outside of France for the first time, and I definitely didn’t want to miss this opportunity to see them for myself. A visit to the MFA with the girls had been pending for quite some time and I thought this was the perfect chance to create a meaningful cultural experience and visit the exhibit together.


Due to the school vacation week, the museum had several kid-friendly activities going on and the girls were excited to tag along. Our first stop was to create our own artwork inspired by Matisse's famous cut-outs. Each one of us picked a sheet of colored paper and sat down with a pair of scissors and a glue stick to create our own masterpieces.






We then proceeded to see the actual exhibit. At ages 5.5 and 4, the girls weren’t quite ready, and understandably so, for a leisurely art tour so we had to be quick (I am going back with a friend to get my fix). We talked about the colors and shapes they enjoyed, and they were clearly more drawn to the artist’s cut-outs. They now remember the name of the artist, where he is from, and a few of the names of his famous paintings like the “Purple Robe.” The girls also got a chance to see some of the older kids drawing and mimicking the artist's work.



After the exhibit, the girls were ready to run around and explore the unique indoor lobby areas at the museum and create some more of their own art before a turkey and cheese sandwich break.



It was a short and sweet two-hour trip to the museum - just enough time for the little ones to gracefully enjoy. We decided we will choose one piece of  artwork created by each of the girls to frame and appreciate later. I am so happy to have been able to share a  “grown up” art experience with the girls. The exhibit itself was spectacular and I look forward to revisiting it soon. Art has always been present in our home and I hope to create more culturally enriching experiences with them as they grow up.

5.16.2017

Top 10 Ideas Wall Art Ideas for Kids Room

Selecting the right art work for your kids' room can get overwhelming. There are so many options out there, it can get confusing. Below, I created a gallery wall with some of the prints I love, keeping my girls (ages 5.5+ and 4) in mind. We are very happy with the current wall art in girls' shared room, however, when we are ready to switch around the artwork, I'll definitely be using this for inspiration. I especially love the print in blue and the women on bicycles.  I'll be doing a series of more detailed blog posts about creating a unique gallery wall so stay tuned. For now, I hope my top 10 quick-and-dirty wall art ideas make the process fun and inspiring for you. 


10 Wall Art Ideas for Kids Rooms

1. Your kids' artwork
2. Your artwork
3. Old and new photographs
4. Inspired by travel or favorite city
5. Favorite quotes
6. Fine art or abstract art prints
7. Inspired by your kids' hobbies
8. Inspired by the seasons
9. Inspired by languages
10. Anything else that's special to you/your kids and helps tell your family story

Print Sources

Crocodile 1 (Abstract)

5.15.2017

Kids lifestyle blog: Introducing chic and minimal designs by Annice


Minimalist designs with great personality is how I would describe this beautiful collection by this Barcelona-based brand Annice. 

Architect and mom of three, Ines Rivaya founded Annice to explore a new way of dressing kids. The simple, sleek designs and the intricate pleats and folds add such a unique dimension to the collection. Her formal training in architecture definitely has an influence on the designs - conception of lines, proportions, volumes, and details.





We love that the collection is so clean, and, at the same time, has sophisticated details that make it playful and stylish for kids. The collection truly embodies "less is more." 



It's so hard to pin point the favorites: mandarin collar dress, long sleeved dress, the pleated dress or the chic breezy tops - we love them all.  I am definitely getting a few pieces for the girls. The collection is available online at Annice





Photo Credit: Laura G Ruiz

5.12.2017

Our wicked fun tulip farm adventure



On a nice spring day in early May, the girls and I headed to the Wicked Tulips Flower Farm after school. The farm was about an hour drive from our place. It was an afternoon full of exploration, picking some beautiful tulips, and enjoying the breathtaking views of the farm. 





N has been learning all about the life cycle of the lady bug at school. She and her friends have been really into finding lady bugs and little worms, and it's amazing how easily they spot these creatures from their vantage points. She was clearly more into bugs than flowers but that's all right. Picking flowers later on was way more enjoyable than just watching them.



The girls chased butterflies, talked about the signs of spring, and their favorite colors of tulips. The day was a little chilly when we first left home, but the sun came out soon after we reached the farm and one by one, all clothing layers started to come off.



The weather continued to be nice and warm and soon the farm was bustling with visitors and tulip lovers. Children were running around, people were picking all varieties of tulips, and there were beautiful colors and happy, springy vibes everywhere!




We first spent time in the 'viewing only' section of the farm, and gradually walked over to the picking area. We soon realized that the little wicker baskets were so cute to carry, however, not too practical for the girls so we switched over to the red buckets. And then the picking fun began...




It was such a lovely experience. This was not only the girls' but also my first visit to a tulip farm. I love our random little adventures. We brought back a big bunch of tulips, and the girls couldn't stop talking about the farm for days. 

4.06.2017

Fresh Made Simple: Delicious & no-fuss family cookbook

Spring and summer are upon us and we are talking about something we all love here - food! I had a delightful meeting with Lauren Stein, author of the cookbook - Fresh Made Simple - over a hot cup of coffee this winter. Her daughter Abigail inspired the book, and while it’s not a kids’ cookbook, it offers the perfect opportunity to involve kids in the kitchen and make meals together as recipes are easy and kid-friendly.  


I love the simplicity and elegance of this beautifully illustrated cookbook. If you are a visual person like I am, “Look >> Cook >> Savor” kind of cooking is right up my alley. Each recipe is illustrated with fresh ingredients and the desired quantities to make a simple, no-fuss meal. “A beautiful reminder that we don’t need much to enjoy food. A handful of ingredients and a pretty picture will do.”


Stuffed, stacked, spread or scrambled, there are tons of recipes to enjoy! From Leek Corn Egg Bake to Cashew Butter and Raspberry Spinach Parfait, you’ll keep your taste buds guessing. I especially like that some recipes are quite versatile and can be enjoyed at any meal, while others make for great snacks. Once you have fresh ingredients on hand, the book offers a lot of mix and match potential to throw in extra spices, add meats, and really just cater to your individual palate.

The recipe illustrations by Katie Eberts are catchy and self explanatory. It speaks to adults and kids alike. Both my daughters, Neve and Ona (ages 5.5 and 4), are drawn to the illustrations and have been looking forward to trying out a few recipes with me.


Earlier this week after school pick-up and before evening classes, we had a small window of time ideal for a midday pick-me-up snack. We decided to try Strawberries with Ricotta & Balsamic Drizzle. The girls took turns slicing the strawberries, scooping the ricotta, and mixing it all up. We added a little sugar to satisfy our sweet tooths - it was so perfect! My older devoured it and the younger, despite being picky, was a much more willing eater since she was involved in the entire process, and finished her bowl. Neve could also read and look at the picture and follow the steps.


Ona always likes to drag her stool and stand next to me in the kitchen, however, this was the first time both girls actively participated in the process (besides helping bake cookies!). I can totally see us doing this more often from now on.


The book is truly inspiring me to enjoy summer’s luscious bounty, create meaningful experiences cooking together as a family, and turn fresh into simple and delicious. I can’t wait for our summer picnics!


Hope you are as excited about the book as I am! Check it out on Amazon.