I put my head down in January when there was still snow on the ground to write a book. I turned in my manuscript on June 30th at 5:47pm (!!!). And here we are talking about back to school ideas. Where did half a year go?! I lived most of my grade school life in Texas. As soon as the calendar struck August, we went back to school. Even though school starts in September in Minneapolis, the Target shelves say otherwise. In the back-to-school spirit, I’ve partnered with Scotch™ to share a couple simple things we do throughout the preschool year to keep things running smooth(er). These ideas are fit for the 5 and under crowd. Read more

2016 Last Minute Gift Guide | @thefauxmartha

It’s annual Gift Guide time. In true fashion, it’s last minute and preceeded by a post professing my Grinchy-ness about the over abundance of this holiday. It usually takes making these gift guides for me to get in the spirit of giving thoughtfully and minimally. This year, we have gift guides for the person who works from home, the coffee lover, the dinner maker, and the threenager. I’ve placed an asterik* next to all the things we own. (They’re tested and loved!) For more ideas, check out years past: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and Edible Gifts (add Homemade Nutella and Molly’s Chocolate Halva Spread to the list too).  Read more

Mom Lunches | @thefauxmartha

We drive fast because we’re late. Getting out the door is an olympic event. We swerve because they scream. A dropped blanket or … just because. We wear our hair in a top bun because effective hairdryers are just too loud. We button our jeans higher because our hips have dropped lower. And we fail at dinner because it’s been moved from 8:30 to 5:30 with one new rule. You must tie one or both hands behind your back. Sometimes motherhood makes us look about as cool as mom jeans. Read more

Toddler Cakes + KitchenAid Mini Giveaway | @thefauxmartha

She climbs the big tall ladder at the park by herself now. And dresses herself as soon as she wakes up. Always in a dress, mostly pink. She insists on closing every door we encounter. I wince at the shut and pray no tiny fingers are hurt in the crossfire. She sneaks sips of my black coffee and talks about how she can drink wine with me when she’s older. She’s in the thick of every dinner conversation, takes flaky salt on her avocado slices, and steals all my cookbooks and baking supplies off to her own kitchen. (See giveaway below.) Read more

Sleep-In School Lunches | @thefauxmartha

Early alarm clocks. Bedhead. Breakfast at the kitchen counter. Spilled milk. Last-minute lunch box packing. Excited giggles. Anxious bellies. Shoes on the wrong feet. Scurrying out the door. First day tears. Back to school cheers. It’s that time again. Let’s keep packed lunches simple, and sleep-in a snooze longer. Read more

Gift Guide | @thefauxmartha

If you’re related to me, stop reading. Especially you, Hallie (the twonager). Your Christmas gift is below. I’m teaming up with Giftry again this year to inspire your last minute holiday gift buying, and hopefully eliminate all the stress (minus the wrapping). I’ve got lists for the Copper Shopper, the Pizzaiolo (pizza chef), the Plaid Lover, the Mixologist, the Stocking Stuffer, and the Twonager. If you’re not already familiar with Giftry, they are a gift giving and list making app. So when your mom, mother-in-law, sister, mister, and brother ask you for gift ideas, you make a Giftry wish list. Send that same list to each of them. Make them create one too. (I’m talking to you, Mom.) When the gift is bought, mark as purchased. No more wandering aimlessly around the mall or spending hours in the return line post Christmas. Save time. Make christmas cookies instead. And download Giftry. Read more

His and Hers Brilliant Bikes | @thefauxmartha

You may remember the Balsamic Pasta post a couple months back. It was more about marriage than it was about a recipe. It was about how we forgot to have fun together—a simple revelation that we came by the hard way. We found that carefree fun again between a couple of red paddles and a ping pong table from Craigslist. We also found it after renting bikes to trek around the city with out-of-town friends. Afterwards, we decided a set of wheels would be another good investment in usBrilliant sent over his and hers bikes. (Thank you Brilliant!) We’re in love. On all fronts. Read more

Disposable Holiday Table Setting | @thefauxmartha

There might have been a time or two when you’ve wondered why I call myself the faux. Well, wonder no longer. Here’s an idea! We’re setting a disposable table for the holidays this year. Some may call it a major faux pas. I’m not even embarrassed about it. The idea came to me while at Ikea. A craft paper holder filled with a roll of paper was sitting on top of a dining table. I wanted to run home immediately (see video for visual reference) and affix it to the underneath side of our table. I’d cover the table in a new roll of paper everyday. Kind of like the exam table at the doctors office. Hallie would color and spill all over it. And I’d be happy about it. I nixed the permanence of the roll. It’ll fit in our buffet just fine, and we wont lose knee-space at the table. However, we’ll still be covering our table in craft paper and using disposable plates and silverware come Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Because we have a tiny toddler and I want her to enjoy it as much as the rest of us. Do I even need to mention how great clean-up will be two days out of the year?!  Read more