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Dyed Pasta Beading

I never knew how easy it is to dye pasta. Here’s how you do it:

  • Put pasta into a ziplock bag
  • Add 4ish drops of food coloring to bag
  • Add 1 tbs rubbing alcohol to bag
  • Shake bag
  • Pour colored pasta onto paper towel lined tray, let dry 

Noodles dyed with food coloring.

That’s it. Really. We dyed a noodle that we could “bead.” I never did beading projects with Nic, and discovered when he was three-and-a-half that his fine motor skills weren’t up to beading. Because of this, I wanted to at least expose Z (two-and-a-half) to beading so he could get some practice.

This afternoon, we took our dried dyed pasta, some old shoe laces and found a sunny spot to lace up our creations. Nic definitely has beading mastered.

Dyed Pasta Necklace

To my surprise Z got the hang of it quickly. He made one necklace and then ended up making a “pet snake.”

Dyed Pasta SnakeA hug for his first beading project.


Silhouettes: The Classic Portrait


I’ve been wanting to take the boys to have their silhouettes done since before Z’s first birthday. It’s such a classic and beautiful way to capture this moment in time. There has always been something so inherently innocent to me about these portraits, and I finally have them of my boys.

I braved the pouring rain with two kids right before dinnertime for our appointments with silhouette artist Karl Johnson. It was totally worth it. I expected that he’d have a light set up to cast a shadow that he’d trace and cut. I was totally wrong. He cuts each portrait completely freehand in about two minutes. It’s nothing short of amazing and it is truly a work of art. When I told him of my expectation, he said, “That would be cheating.” Portraits were $25 each, which is very reasonable for a timeless work of art. 

I’m so pleased with my portraits. I can’t wait to have them framed so that I can look at their sweet little (silent, not whining) faces all the time. 

These are scans of our silhouettes by Karl Johnson. Z is on the left, Nic on the right.



So about those resolutions…


I was loosey goosey about resolutions for 2015—just saying in passing a few things that I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Two months into 20105, I can say that if I actually want to do these things, I need to set out a plan of action.

My main goal for this year has to do with this blog. We are sorely in need of a makeover. Not only would I love a new logo, but I really want to migrate the blog from Squarespace to Wordpress. I feel like this will not only give us unlimited options for a new look and better functionality, but the process of migrating the blog will give me valuable professional skills that I can add to my consulting repertoire.

But how?

In December, I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger event at the Sunset Magazine headquarters that was sponsored by Not only was it amazing to be at the iconic ranch-style headquarters of one of my favorite magazines drinking wine and tasting house-cured bacon, but I also got to experience what is all about. And that is learning something new.

In this case, we learned to make floating-bead necklaces based on one of the tutorials on the site. hosts endless video lessons on everything from beading necklaces to creating a Wordpress website. BINGO.  This is how I can put my resolution into action.

So here’s my plan: 

  1. Use the lessons on to expand my knowledge of Wordpress.
  2. Have an awesome new logo designed.
  3. Take the plunge and do the migration.
  4. Get new clients who need help with Wordpress. 

Please hold me accountable on this! If you don’t see any changes to the blog in a month or two, please bug me about it.

What about you?

Do you have resolutions for 2015 that need a little nudge? Maybe you didn’t make a resolution, but are still looking to learn something new? wants to give each of you $25 in credits for lessons of your choice. That’s enough for a few classes, depending on your interests. Follow this link to register and your account will automatically be credited $25.  

This fun infographic might give you some ideas on what to learn in 2015.


I’d love to hear what you want to learn and what you think about the lessons. I’ll keep you posted on my progress too. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see it for yourself sometime soon!


Full Disclosure: is also giving me credits on their site to jumpstart my learning. 


It's Raining It's Pouring, Try Not to be So Boring 

Photo Credit: Suzy Hyer and her adorable kiddos

Once upon a time in a far away land (pre kids), rainy days gave me a good excuse to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies all day. Fast forward to two kids later, rainy days are now filled helping to keep the entire family entertained.

And you’re probably aware, that the Bay Area forecast is calling for rain. Years ago I shared some rainy day activities. I’m adding to the list.

  • Puddle Jumping: Have the kids put on their rain coats, rain boots and head on out for some puddle jumping. Jump with them. It's a lot more fun than just watching. 

  • Dance Party: Turn on the music and just dance. Josh created this playlist on Spotify for Reese’s 4th birthday. We blast it in our living room and she teaches us how to Dougie.

  • Valentine’s Day: It’s just around the corner. Have fun making Valentine’s Day cards, cookies or cupcakes! There are so many ideas on Pinterest but here are some of my faves.

  • Toons: Turn on a good movie, make some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch. This would work for my 4.5 year old but definitely not for my nearly 2 year old who can’t sit still for too long.

Target is a great source for hidden treasures. Stop by to grab from the $1-$3 bins. Yesterday I found:

  • Mess Free Markers: These are mostly for Greyson since he prefers the walls for his canvas.

  • Balloons: Josh and I will blow up as many balloons as we can and let the kids go wild.

  • Glow sticks: I thought we could use them in the bathtub but Josh had a better idea and had a glow fest in the kids’ room. You can see in this short video. 

1$ at the store, 1 hour of entertainment. Good find @alexaranoff #thingsthatglow #withthekids

A video posted by Josh Aranoff (@jaranoff) on Feb 7, 2015 at 10:20am PST

 Check out Pinterest for more ideas! What do you like to do on rainy days?


Go the F Back to Sleep


That’s how I felt this morning at 5:30am when my son woke up to play. Actually I think it was closer to 5am. 

When we transitioned him into his big sister’s room we gave him this adorable glow turtle to keep him company in his new big crib. It’s the Twilight Turtle from Cloud B. My daughter has had and used the Twilight Ladybug since she was a year old and loves that is changes three different colors. It’s only over the past few months that she started sleeping with it in her bed, which is really sweet.

What’s not so sweet is that we gave Greyson his own lightup Turtle and he too takes it to bed with him but loves it so much he woke this morning at 5:30am to play with it!

So my plan is to hide these adorable little glow creatures for a day or two. I hope the kids don’t freak out.  I’ll tell them they’re on a trip and will come back soon. Once they return, the new rule will be that the Turtle and Ladybug can keep the kids company in the their room but not in their beds.

Now off for some much needed coffee.  

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