10 Things I Love Sunday

Hello, hello! I am currently fully invested in making autumn memories with our girls. Our kids want to make cookies like EVERY day, so if you have any ideas for food projects like this (that the kids can do more steps of) I would love to hear. I feel bad because so much of the cookie making process is adult prep and I’m always looking for more projects where our kids can feel like they are doing it independently.

By the way, the cookbooks above are East, Egg Shop, Bitter Honey, and Jack’s Wife Freda. The recipe page open is from East. It’s so good.

1. OK, so this is very granny of me, but I really want to start a vintage tea cup collection. Like, how pretty is this??

2. This is the theme for the plants in our pool area next summer (I know I’m thinking too far ahead but that’s kind of my 2020 mood). Like HOW pretty is that for a plant theme? I’m imagining a pink or peach pool umbrella. What other plants do you think go with this vibe?

3. I’m totally smitten by this modern, soft rainbow wall treatment.

4. I just got this lamp for our art room and it’s so cute!

5. My horror movie bucket list (with a kids version, too!).

6. Loving this color blocked pumpkin idea. I might add some of these to our porch soon.

7. I can NOT wait to try these stick on tiles on a mini bathroom makeover in our near future! You can see all the samples/options here.

8. I just ordered this jacket and I’m so excited for it to arrive. Looks cozy!

9. I found a new essential oil brand that I REALLY like. Their fall blends are so nice! Pumpkin Pie is my favorite … it smells JUST like pumpkin pie!

10. You know I’m a sucker for matching family pjs. :))

OK … now I have a question for you! I have been feeling a need to add some art to my walls. What are your favorite places to buy art? I’m interested in original or prints! 🙂 XX Elsie

  • The art of Emily Fox King (@emilyfoxking on instagram) has gorgeous colors and yummy textured florals and dollhouses your girls would love!

  • Pink astilbe looks very similar. Gladiolus and bird of paradise are long and dramatic with vacation vibes. Also there are pink and white daffodils (!) if you want something closer to the ground.

  • I LOVE your cookbook stand! Where is it from? Looking for a strong large one just like that!

  • Ooh! If the girls are cool with granola, that’s been fun & kid-friendly with our littles since it’s mostly scooping & mixing and then they can still cut them to eat like cookies (but at the end for granola bars) for easy breakfast/snacks and no raw egg to worry about or tons of butter that they might try to sneakily devour! Haha.

    For wall art, buy MY prints!!! ? I’m an illustrator that works with watercolor paint & paint markers (or commission something special so that I have an excuse to bling up more originals with gold paint pens!!!):

  • I made something yesterday that required mashing chickpeas with a fork (it didn’t turn out, or I would include a link), and I was thinking that chickpea-mashing (or black bean mashing) would be a pretty good kid activity. They could just go on to of hummus toast, if nothing else. I do not have kids myself, however, so I cannot decide if this would lead to them mashing all of their food with forks instead of eating it, ha!

  • Not to be a downer, but I highly recommend against pampas grass – I wanted to do it for our front yard – as there are a few houses in the neighborhood that have huge beautiful plants. In researching it I learned it is an invasive species and those beautiful feathery plumes spread seeds with the wind, so very hard to control/limit to your area. In California where I live it has become a serious ecological problem across the state and I understand it is an unwanted plant species in Tennessee as well. It’s a shame because it is SO stunning. Someone should create a non seeding plant of some kind ( we just planted non-fruiting olive trees and they are so pretty without the mess) – surely someone can figure this out ;).

  • i made banana bread last week with my 9 year old step daughter (i know that’s a little older than goldie and nova though!) and she pretty much did everything by herself, including scooping them into the muffin tins. it was a winner!

  • Have you tried a cookie press with your girls? My son loves it and can easily use it himself. Oh, and we also sometimes make a savory cheese dough and make crackers with it, too. There are tons of fun shapes!


  • I had NO idea pampas grass came in pink!! I have Muhly grass at my house and since it’s getting cooler the pink is starting to show 🙂

    • Hi from Australia! I‘m loving all these art recommendations! love the colourful, textured abstract paintings and embroidery from Emily Raubenheimer. https://www.emilyraubenheimer.com/paintings. (On Instagram as the.colour.keeper)I find she has a colour palette to suit every room. There are some really fun round canvases in there too!

      My favourite baking activity as a kid, was making pies. My dad would make the dough (or use store bought pastry) and line small tins. He’d lay out it A bunch of different ingredients and we could pick and choose whatever we wanted to put in our pies. It taught me a lot about flavours and what worked/ didn’t work together. Even when they didn’t quite work out , it was a great talking point! We called them ‘whatever pies’ ?.

  • For art check out https://www.ponnopozz.com/ I love the bright colors and patterns. I have a print that was made into pillow that I love! 🙂

  • Hi Elsie, I absolutely love San Francisco artist Sarah Klein. I think her garland series is really special. Check her out : http://www.sarahklein.com/

  • Have you ever heard about Swedish chocolate balls, chokladbollar? The recipe is so simple that you may have flipped past it, but they’re the first kitchen experiment for a lot of children, AND you can buy them at almost all cafés and even at fancy chocolate places. Sometimes it’s said that the recipes without coffee in them are for children and that the ones flavoured with a little coffee are for adults.
    There are several healthier options nowadays, too, with bananas instead of sugar and butter, or with dates, but start with something regular like this: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/150106/swedish-chocolate-balls-or-coconut-balls/

  • We’ve gotten some beautiful original art work from a talented painter in Saint Augustine fL
    I love her work. From sea shells to flora and fauna to people and much more. Her color palette would totally go with yours. She also has prints.
    Jenna Alexander studio
    She’s on IG as well.
    Happy October!

  • Ooh, I’m saving up for a Robyn A. Frank -her colors are phenomenal!

    Count me in for vintage tea cups-my family has fallen in love with tea time at home during quarantine and nobody is more surprised than me. My 5-year-old is so careful with our 1 fancy tea cup.

  • For the kiddos: I just made pumpkin muffins. Just mix a can of pumpkin with a box of cake mix and add chocolate chips. Pretty easy and mostly kid friendly steps.

  • Hi Elsie,

    Please check if Pampas Grass is considered a weed in your local area before planting. I’m from Australia and it is a major weed here and from some brief research I can see it is considered a weed in California and Washington State (the grass is native to South America). Working in the environmental science industry I see the impact of trendy plants that have inadvertently spread into the natural environment on a daily basis. Maybe you could find a beautiful native alternative from your local Tennessee environment?

  • Thank you for the essential oil blend recommendation! I’ve been try to find a blend to replace my beloved pumpkin spice candles! Just ordered! ?

  • Ooh I always wanted to visit Jack’s Wife Freda when I worked in the Village (pre-pandemic). Maybe I’ll look into that cookbook. For art, one artist I found on Instagram who has such beautiful work: Pinklomein.com. I bought one of her pieces for my office and I love it!

  • Ooooh art shopping is so fun!

    I really like Fine Little Day and Juniper Print Shop. And then loads from Etsy: Ailish Print Shop, North Prints, Homestead Vintage Arts, Pretty Pines printshop and Vista View have moody, old style vintage prints. For more modern, colourful and graphic styles I like these from Etsy: Jodie C Smith Designs, Susie Hogarth in Color and Becca Standtlander. Hope you find these handy 🙂

    • If you love peanut butter, I have a REALLY simple peanut butter cookie recipe. 3 ingredients. Super moorish!!

      200g crunchy or smooth peanut butter
      175g golden caster sugar
      1 large egg
      (1/4 tsp salt optional)

      Mix PB and sugar together in a bowl (with salt if you’re adding). Once combined, mix in the egg. Mix to form a dough. Split into cherry tomato sized balls, put onto a baking sheet and press down lightly with back of a fork. You can freeze them at this stage if you want. Otherwise bake in the oven at 160c fan for 12 mins.

      Super quick. Kid friendly. Irresistible!!

  • Regarding cookie prep and kids: this is very dependent on your particular kids, of course. My youngest is significantly calmer and less impulsive than my oldest. You’re the best judge of what your kids can reasonably safely handle. But for me, a lot of how independent I can let them be in the kitchen depends more on my mess and chaos tolerance and less on their ability. Just teach them that cleaning up is part of baking.

    If you have them crack eggs into a separate bowl one by one and have them fish out any egg shells with a tiny spoon before adding them to the recipe, they can do that alone. Each egg might take 45 minutes, but isn’t that a win these days?

    I think most kids could roll out cookie dough and use cookie cutters. You handle the oven parts and they get to decorate by themselves. They could do Rice Krispie treats in the microwave if you’re nervous about them near the stove. In general, I let my kids (4 and 8) just try things and then tell me if they need help.

  • Since you are planning way ahead – you might want to use the time to consider some alternatives to the pampas grass, which can become invasive (not great for the environment). Pink muhly grass and purple love grass are smaller, but have a similar fluffy pink “vibe”. Switch grass is a little taller and comes in a whole range of colors. You also might want to check out coneflower and something called “rattlesnake master”!

  • Cut out cookies are always good for younger kids. Once the dough is mixed, they can roll it out (especially with wooden guides to help get the thickness right), cut out the shapes, and decorate. I remember spreading dozens of cookies out on our kitchen table and spending hours decorating them.

    I also spent a day with a Chinese friend and her children a few years ago after she asked me to explain Christmas cookies. I gave her recipes for gingerbread and sugar cookies and an assortment of cookie cutters. We spent a day baking and decorating. Everyone had fun and the cookies were all perfect.

  • Kid help cookies: magic cookie bars! Mostly just pouring stuff in layers 🙂

    Art: highly recommend Yevgeniya Mikhailik 🙂

  • It sounds corny, but some of my favorite wall art is things that our young daughters have painted! They use such vibrant colors, and it makes me happy. 🙂

    Happy Fall! 🙂

  • The book Bringing Up Bebe (about French parenting) has a cake recipe French children (toddlers!) make by measuring ingredients with a yogurt container; it’s super easy and very forgiving. I found several blog posts about it but here’s one if you don’t want to Google (or find the book): http://www.cakestudent.com/yogurt-cake-and-bringing-up-bebe/

  • My step-mom had a vintage tea cup collection long before you could buy things on-line. My Dad built her lovely shelves that allowed both the plate & cup to be displayed. When she died (way too young) from a stem cell transplant for leukemia, we donated them to a local non-profit who uses them for fund-raising teas. I love that they have a second life. My only recommendation is to buy from live artists … I usually always buy art when we go on trips, so I have memories of our adventures … that really hasn’t been happening this year, so I’ve been buying from local artist to help support them.

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