Topic: Mother/Daughter

Upcoming Book Signing & Crafting Dates!


I just wanted to share with you a few upcoming book signing and crafting dates in support of my new book!!


The first event is this coming weekend I will be crafting at MOCHA on Saturday March 8th from 10am-12pm. The address is 1625 Clay Street Suite 100 Oakland CA 


And then the following weekend on Saturday March 15th I’ll be at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco from 1:30-3:30pm.

ChildrensCreativityMuseum_CindyAnn_BluPenny1 Get ready for an award-winning crafting time! Join me in creating some earth friendly keepsakes from her new book, “Just Us Girls: 48 Creative Art Projects for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together”.  All materials will be supplied and you will go home with an awesome pat-on-the-back memento to showcase your crafting prowess.



M&D: Drawing together

How awesome are these drawing of people!? I’m totally digging the way Ava Blu drew their noises.  When my daughter come into my studio with the intention of creating art it always puts a smile on my face.

Mommy Camp is rockin’ it today! I’m feeing very greatful :) 

Summer Lovin…

Summer has offically begun over here!!! We have new schedules with an earlier start time. 6:30am! We have to be at the bustop by 8:10 for Ava Blu’s camp. (30 minutes earlier can make a big difference in the morning)

And today I just started trying to build a new habit of hiking in the morning for an hour. It’s item No. 12 on my 40×40 list and I’m glad to start trying to cross some of these off. The trail that I picked to start off with is close by so I’m hoping this will be an easy one to keep!

We’re all still working on getting settled into our new morning routine. But I can say I’m definitely loving the idea of a reboot and a fun start to the summer. Longer, warmer days TOTALLY ROCK!! 

Side by Side

Me and my sister, Ava Blu right after her new haircut.

So it seems I took a little blogging break without even meaning to. I’ve been so engrossed in working on my book, then Spring Break snuck up on me and we made the trek to Tahoe to enjoy the last bit of snow for the season, there was Easter and then I came down with a killer cold that had me laid out for a few days.

And in the midst of all of that I took Ava Blu to get her hair cut. She’s been asking for bangs for quite a while and I’ve been resistant.  I really didn’t have any real reason to say no other than my own personal preference. So I finally gave in and you know what she totally looks adorable!! Now that I think about it, it’s almost a right of passage for the girls in my family to get bangs!

It’s amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference. 

a spy birthday party :: part 2

Some fun candids from the party!! I think we had close to 20 1st graders celebrating with us. I’m so glad my mom was here visiting to help wrangle the troops and keep all of the detectives on task with their spy duties ;)

Ava Blu’s been googling and youtubing “James Bond Cakes” for months and was determined to have a cake made with fondant just like they make on Cake Boss.

Thank goodness they actually carry pre-made fondant at Michaels along with all the other additional baking supplies we needed. That cake was the most expensive part of throwing her party. But it was definitely worth it since she had a great time making it and rolling out the fondant.

The kids LOVED the laser obstacle course!! I got the idea from here. Who would of thought you could have so much fun with a ball of pink yarn?!

There was lots of singing and dancing, I pulled together the perfect spy sound track on Spotify, gosh I love that app. And of course there were feet up on the ottoman!?!

Jay broke out his camera and all the spys dressed up in their best disguises and posed.

It was soooo awesome to see all of these girls ready to pose and role play with out feeling the least bit inhibited.

Seven is such a wonderful age. I wish more adults would just relax and embrace the moment the way these girls did. I mean look at how much fun they had!

All in all it was a Great Day and a Birthday that she will always remember!! Which really is what it’s all about :)

a spy birthday party :: part 1

What started out as a glint of an idea for Ava Blu’s 7th Birthday Party quickly grew into something so much more. The idea for her party was heavily inspired by her current infatuation with James Bond, Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew and pretty much anything spy. A little back story: Every year during the holidays between Thanksgiving and Christmas we break out our collections of James Bond movies and have a movie watching marathon until we get through our entire collection. I guess this year the movies had more of an impression.

So, after a little googling of “James Bond Birthday Cakes” and “Spy Birthday” we found a ton of amazing inspiration like this spy birthday pary, and this party and this one.  Most of the spy birthday parties that I found were for boys but I knew we could easily pull together a girlie spy party.

I try to keep things simple, as I have a lot on my plate these days, but when I couldn’t find a suitable evite theme I just decided to go for printing out actual paper invites instead which got the ball rolling and from there I just couldn’t stop myself. It quickly became our favorite topic of conversation at dinner. What type of spy games did she want to play. Our ‘want list’ soon became way longer then what we could actually accomplish. But it was a great start and so much fun deciding what activates and games we were going to play.

We started off with doing some fingerprinting, creating id badges, and designing and decorate their spy mask disguises.

You can download everything here if you want to create your own girls spy birthday party:

Invite (with fill in the blanks)

Fingerprint Sheets


Spy ID Badges


Notebook Labels (for dective notebooks)

Door Sign


Create Your Own Spy Name (Pick one of each color. I got the idea here and customized it for 7yr girls.)

a mother daughter love of plaits

Ok so, a little background for you. Recently I’ve been reading the Little House on the Prairie books to Ava Blu. And I have to say, we are both thoroughly enjoying them. If you can believe it, this is actually my first time reading the books. I totally loved the TV show as a kid and definitely dreamt of being Laura and having Michael Landon as a dad.

So with all the googling we’ve been doing of the “olden days” words, tools and food we don’t know of course we had to do a search on braids. And here are a few of Ava Blu and my favorites. 

holiday want list!

These are a few of the things I’ve been lusting over this holiday season.

1. Troopa Boots :: I had a pair of combat boots back in college. I’ve been feeling the itch to aquire another pair.

2. Sion Hooded Cardigan :: I need a good new cardigan. The one I’ve been wearing around town is over 6 years old and it say maternity on the tag.

3.The Daily Method :: I’ve been wanting to try these exercise classes since a friend mentioned it to me this summer.  

4. Beautiful Ruins :: I’m always up for a epic romantic love story.

5. Cutlery Knife Set :: Now that I’ve been cooking more I have a really understanding of how important a good knife can be.

…and here’s what my daughter is hoping for this holiday season!

American Girl.


Another Dog.

Play Phone. 

Santa please fix Sofie (her teddy bear). 

Can you get my Mama a black iPad, for my mom. 


Can I get a computer? 

Can I get a fairy wand and can I be a fairy.


Gotta love that she was asking Santa for a iPad for her Mama even if she had ulterior motives and it was because she doesn’t want to share her iPad!! 

a halloween sleep over to remember

This past Friday we hosted Ava Blu’s first ever sleep over!! It’s been something she’s been asking me for over a year now. And, well Halloween seemed like the perfect excuse to host this little party. So, we had 3 of her closest friend spend the night + 2 of the neighbor boys came over to join in on some of the festivities. It was the perfect number of kiddos, small enough to be manageable but big enough to be fun! And my goodness the excitement and anticipation leading up to the night was infectious. I was getting just as excited as they were.

When I first agreed to take this on, I was a bit nervous. I mean four 6 year olds spending the night is a lot of work!! But I called in some help and had Ava Blu’s babysitter and BFF come over to help out and I jam packed the night with games and activities.

We decorated pumpkins with buttons, markers, yarn and do-dads (I opted for no carving, ‘cause well, 6 kiddos with knifes just didn’t seem like a good idea). We played a round of 4 of Halloween Freeze Dancing to the Spooky Spotify Playlist that Ava Blu and I made the week before. Each kiddo got a turn to be wrapped like a mummy in toilet paper. We played pass the apple (no bobbing, too many loose teeth and the gross factor was a bit too high). They dropped little parachute men off my entry way landing. And finally had two stories read to them while they snuggled down in their sleeping bags.

I had hopes that all the activity would tucker the girls out enough so that they would fall fast asleep once their heads hit the pillow. HA! What was I thinking with all that candy! The last of them didn’t actually fall asleep until midnight, but I guess that’s what sleepovers are all about.

It was a ton of FUN and we created some awesome memories! We’ll definitely be hosting another over-nighter!