NEW Kid’s Bookclub with The Library Shop

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetSan Diego friends!

I would love for you to join me at The Library Shop on October 18th (from noon to 2:30) to kick-off the new Kids’ Book Club with the Central Library!  We will be reading Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory,” now celebrating its 50th anniversary! Yay!  Enjoy discussion, book trivia, and an introduction to the Sanford Children’s Library – you might even win a golden ticket!

Please read the book beforehand; extra copies have been
ordered for the Children’s Library, and the book is also
available in the shop for 25% off. Book discussion will be
followed by book-themed activities with ME at 1:00 pm. :)

Geared toward ages 8-12. Parents/caregivers welcome. Event is free and open to the public.

We hope you can join us!

For more info and to let us know you’re coming, go to The Library Shop’s facebook page HERE.

The Library Shop (inside the Central Library Downtown)

330 Park Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92101

See you October 18th at noon!

DIY Home Repair Kit with Makr Mom is the best gift giver.  Everyone knows it.  She always has the most thoughtful ideas, which also happen to be completely practical.  It’s amazing.  Whenever a friend and family member is getting married, my Mom patiently sets aside items for her traditional wedding shower present.  I love watching the look on each recipient’s face as they uncover the thoughtful items to make their new home equipped and ready for ANYTHING.  Out of MY box, the biggest surprise item was a box of Christmas tree hooks.  Who knew that we would buy ornaments for our first Christmas tree and they wouldn’t have hooks on them? Sheesh. Mom’s box to the rescue!

As soon as the new Makr app came out (download here), I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to make: a smaller version of my Mom’s special kit.  I decided to put a spin on the idea and just make it a DIY home repair kit.  Also, our Worship Director at Church is getting married this weekend, which makes the timing perfect for making a gift!  The tote is perfect to use because it can hang right inside of your front closet.  Plus, the app let’s you personalize the tote which is a win win. ;)  You can also design tote bags, t-shirts, and even temporary tattoos (if that’s your thing). If you used the Makr ipad app, you will find this app just as easy to tinker with.  I have told my sister and many of my friends to use Makr because I really do love it.

You know how excited I was when Makr arrived on the scene with a quick and easy way to make gorgeously designed labels for my DIY champagne cocktail kit.  Remember that?

agoldenafternoonmakr making your kit, try to look for natural materials and durable items made in the USA (handmade is even better!), as opposed to plastic tools that will break next week. I found most of these items at Home Depot or my local Sherwin William’s Paint Store.  Here’s what I put in my DIY Home Repair kit:

  • 1 Makr tote (designed and purchased here)
  • 1 paint roller
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 mini touch-up paint brush
  • 1 recycled paper drop cloth
  • 1 putty tool/ can opener combo
  • 1 sanding block
  • 1 can of Crawford’s painter’s putty
  • 1 set of wooden screwdrivers (found here)
  • 1 roll of natural twine
  • 1 Leatherman
  • 1 bag filled with thumbtacks, some picture hanging kits, and a ceiling hook
  • 1 pair of safety goggles
  • Not pictured:
  • 1 pair of leather gloves
  • 1 measuring tape are some other fun things we made with the app, including our first EVER design for our little backyard farm that says “Backyard to Table” (see the picture below)! Faith was excited to have her very own tote designed after her favorite chicken, Susan.  The tote has written what Susan walks around the yard proclaiming EVERY DAY.  Remember, you can buy any of my designs here.

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Simple Moments v.II

agoldenafternoon-9School is here again!  As much as summer was especially AMAZING for me, I know that life needs the routines of the every day.  Summer wouldn’t be a gift, though, if it wasn’t a deliberate break from the ordinary, right?  It was indeed appreciated.

Homeschooling friends, have you signed up for the free Wild & Free content bundle?  There are so many inspiring homeschool mamas sharing their wisdom and stories in there!  The first PRAIRIE bundle is free, then you just pay $19/month after that to keep the content flowing!  This next month you can find ME, in the GARDEN edition, sharing a fresh tomato risotto recipe and tips on how to cook with kiddos. Go and sign up here!

This last week brought some simple moments I wanted to remember:

// The boys made wooden boats.  I LOVE that they are old enough to go in the backyard and build something from their imagination,using a hammer and nails. //

// Getting back in the granola game with my old favorites, pecan and vanilla.  I posted the recipe here this week. //

// Jack was so sad it was summer because he missed doing math.  Go figure. //

// Math-u-see blocks are part of every school day, but seeing the manipulative picture below makes me think of these wooden math blocks I just saw on Etsy here. //

// FINALLY got my vintage 5-panel door hung up in the kid’s bathroom!  Praise the Lord for finding a handyman and progress! Now, to find the piece that makes the fabulous glass handle turn.  I think my littlest guy ran off with it somewhere. Ruh roh. //

//I attempted to help my extremely tactile kiddo with letter writing by breaking out the shaving cream option.  Quite simply, it didn’t go as well as I’d like, but it did create 30 minutes of bath-time fun for the boys. //

// Every kid loves the time of year when costume magazines come nearly daily. Not sure whether to thank them for the few quiet minutes it allows or shake my fists for the junk mail. //

// Snap-circuits are amazing.  I’ve been storing them away until school started.  Have you tried them?!  The instructions are easy for the kids to follow and they love the fact that they can make an electrical circuit that creates explosive noises. //

// Peach roses forever. //

// Ice cream in a can doesn’t work with regular goat’s milk,  FYI.  Fat is necessary so cream is the only way.  Guess I’ll have to go out of my way for some raw cream so I can have some. San Diego, you can find raw milk options from Organic Pastures at some Sprouts and the little Boney’s Bayside Market on Coronado. La Mesa Sprouts is the only one I’ve actually seen it at. //

// I’ve been taking a lot of clay and salt baths lately, trying to get rid of some yuck stuck in my body during the gut healing I’ve been undergoing.  The happy effect of this is I’ve been getting some reading done. Any good books you think I can’t live without reading? //

// Experimenting with some new board balm options.  Coconut oil seems to be the only option that brings the least amount of rancid effects.  Mineral oil is a spawn of plastic so it’s weird that people think it’s cool to put it so near their food. I’ve been using a coconut oil and beeswax combo.  So far so good.  There’s a convo happening on my IG about this here. //

// Filling our pantry shelves with as much homemade canned tomato sauce as possible before the season is gone. I started with is Better Homes and Gardens recipe here, I just added the roasting element and kicked up the garlic. //

// The blessings of a backyard sunset. //


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Pecan and Vanilla Bean Granola

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetI love the flexibility of summer which allows us to go where we want or stay put if we desire to put up our feet a little longer.  I’ve loved the healing and purposeful rest that I was able to experience this summer.  The last few years have been rough on my body.  The rest was necessary and appreciated.  Now that Fall is only a few weeks away, I am ready to embrace this new season, where relaxation gives way to routine and pattern.  For me, the routine brings some of my favorite weekly food preparations.  Inspired by the Kinfolk Cookbook, this week I chose to get back in the granola game…

Pecan & Vanilla Bean Granola

3 cups oats 1 cup pecans (or any nut)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil

1/4 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

Preheat oven to 300. Combine all ingredients and spread on a baking sheet lines with parchment. Bake and stir every 15 minutes until the granola feels dry, about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

(Adapted from the Kinfolk cookbook)

How to Watch Downton Abbey Season 5 episodes in the U.S./America/UK!

watchdowntonabbeyseason5inusTHIS METHOD WORKED FOR SEASON 4!!!

Hi Downton Abbey Fans!

Season 5 is almost here!

I know everyone is excited about the new season (hopefully) starting September 21, 2014 at 9pm in the UK! Hopefully this season is filled with less sadness, no death, and lots of romance!

Thanks so much for sticking with me these last few years for season 3 and season 4.   I have already been receiving SO many emails and messages from you guys anticipating Season 5.  For each of these seasons, I have done no more than provide a place where you can find all of the links in one location.  The videos are not hosted by my blog and I have no control over them.  I am happy to help with whatever I can.  I plan to post the links again on my facebook page as well as some Downton inspired recipes and cocktails on Instagram!

ANYWAY, you guys really just want to know how to watch, right?

**PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be patient with each option.  Not every option will work for every person simply because of your specific computer/setup.  Try each option more than once until you find one that works!  Please test the Tunnelbear option before Downton premiere Day**

How to watch in the U.S. (5 options!):

Option 1:

This option includes any extra videos and behind the scenes option on ITV!

Here’s what you need to do to get Downton Abbey to play on your PC:

1. Download Tunnel Bear here for free. You will need to pay the $4.99/month to get enough data for the season unless you follow their system of tweeting for more free data storage .  No biggie in the long run to pay for a few months! Tunnel Bear is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which is changing your IP address to reflect that of the UK.  Think of it as a giant antenna that reaches across the globe.  Technology is amazing, right?

2. Confirm Tunnel Bear by e-mail.

3. Once you are signed in to Tunnel Bear, turn the knob you see to “on”.  It will say “connected”.

4. Now, set the country option to “United Kingdom”.  Your computer will now be compatible with the region showing Downton Abbey. Yay!

5. Go to

You’ll need a postal code to access the ITV player on the website. I used the code “HP5 2US”  Use any of the ones on this list.  If one doesn’t work, try another.

6.  To watch the shows that have already aired Season 5 episodes, go to the ITV website’s Downton Abbey page:

To watch the show live as it airs in the UK at 1pm Pacific Standard Time, go here to watch the live streaming ITV player:

6. Make sure you turn Tunnel Bear to “off” when not watching Downton as you want your computer to know which country it is really in. :)

7.  Hopefully, you’re smiling and watching Downton!  If not, “like” and check my facebook page here for loads of questions answered, as well as the comments below.

Option 2:

Watch by clicking below in the questionably legal way click here from Watch TV Series.  When you click the link, don’t click the play triangle in the middle of the player screen. Simply close the “x” symbol and click the play button on the bottom of the player, right below the window you view the show in. If it’s asking you to set up an account, close the window and start over (you’ve clicked through to an ad). Enjoy and please SHARE!:


Option 3:

Some previous links are/will be available from the ITV website but you obviously have to have the ability to watch the player using options 1 or 2 above or clicking here:

Downton Abbey  iTV Player

Option 4:

Download this ITV player automator here.  I tried it and it worked.

In the meantime…

Get excited!

Support your local PBS station here in the U.S. who provides shows like Downton.

Share your favorite characters and scenes in the comments below!! What’s going to happen?!

Amazon has all three previous seasons on Instant Video so catch up on Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4 here.

Watch the trailer for Season 5 here.

Check out this post sharing some new characters for this season!

If you decide to wait for the PBS U.S. air date, have fun waiting until:

January 4th, 2015 !!! Crazy!

For more of my own Downton Abbey-era blog posts, read below!  See you back soon!  Sorry for the excessive exclamation marks. I’m excited.


Follow my INSTAGRAM for updates and Downton era inspired recipes and cocktails!

Click on the above image  to like my FACEBOOK PAGE so you can get the updates for NEW episodes and follow the

Downton Abbey Pinterest board!!

Also, check out my other Downton Abbey related  posts:

Stick around and find us on:

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