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Posted by on May 14, 2015 | 2 comments

DIY Kids: A Kentucky Derby Hat-Making Party

DIY Kids: A Kentucky Derby Hat-Making Party

On Kentucky Derby Day, without fail, Sarah and her husband Phil polish their silver mint julep cups, make bourbon balls and other Kentucky-themed appetizers, and host a party to celebrate “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.” Sarah is a tried-and-true Kentucky girl and life-long horse racing fan, as evidenced by the front room of her house dedicated to all things Kentucky. Many of their friends dress the part when they arrive. This year, Sarah and Phil combined their traditional grown-up party with an afternoon birthday bash for their daughter Bea – a Derby Day Dance Birthday Party. Since one of the best parts of the Derby tradition for women is donning a frilly hat, Sarah organized a hat-making activity. The girls had their pick of items – feathers, ribbon, flowers – to weave or glue onto a fascinator or straw hat. Fascinators are the small round base that you see here, being held by one the girls while she glues various embellishments onto it. Sarah ordered the fascinators online...

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 | 0 comments

A Dog’s Life in Del Ray

A Dog’s Life in Del Ray

If I came back as a dog, I’d be perfectly content to live in Del Ray, and be the kind of dog whose owners take me around to enjoy the many ways our neighborhood caters to canine health and happiness. Dogs in Del Ray eat al fresco with their people… They lick frozen “puppy pops” at The Dairy Godmother… Mine took hers to go, picking it up and carrying it all the way home to finish inside. Dogs in Del Ray, like it or not, get scrubbed good and clean on the lawn at Nature’s Nibbles… They wait patiently for their owners to get their morning coffee at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub… Throughout the day, they show up unannounced on the doorstep of Del Ray Cafe to receive a homemade liver snap or two. Owners Margaret and Laurent tell me they are acquainted with at least nine dogs who stop by most every day. Others , they say, appear to have snuck away from their homes, in which case,...

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Posted by on May 1, 2015 | 24 comments

Giveaway: Gardening Consultation with Love & Carrots

Giveaway: Gardening Consultation with Love & Carrots

Spring planting time is here and we are positively thrilled to offer a giveaway of a one-hour gardening consultation with expert gardener, farmer, and the founder of Love & Carrots, Meredith Sheperd. Katie had the pleasure of meeting with Meredith last week for a consult on her back patio vegetable garden. She came away with a “wealth of ideas” on how to make the most of her space this season and for many to come. Love & Carrots is an organic gardening business whose goal is to “take the intimidation out of home gardening.” They provide a range of services from a personal consultation to design work to full-service garden maintenance. We first discovered and wrote about Love & Carrots a couple of years ago after we spotted some colorful raised beds in a neighbor’s front yard. If you win this giveaway, Meredith will design her consultation to your needs whether you’re a novice just starting out, or you’re a DIY-er or seasoned gardener and you want troubleshooting help...

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Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 | 1 comment

A Rainbow-Themed Birthday Party

A Rainbow-Themed Birthday Party

For her 7th birthday, my daughter Nadja decided on a rainbow theme for her party. It was easy enough to find plenty of inspiration for the party on Pinterest and other websites — rainbow snacks, rainbow crafts, rainbow decor, even a 7-layer rainbow cake. For starters, Nadja’s older sister Ana and and her friend Gigi drew a rainbow path from the front sidewalk to the back with chalk and created a cheer that my brother-in-law caught on video. Ana found a rainbow cake recipe that she made with the help of my husband Matt. They made individual layers in aluminum pans in all of the rainbow colors (except indigo, which Ana decided was too hard to create with food coloring). Matt added homemade buttercream frosting between the layers with rainbow sprinkles as the final flourish. Ana, Gigi and Nadja cut fruit in the colors of the rainbow and shaped them into a rainbow (of sorts) on a big platter that the kids could slide onto skewers for a party snack. We...

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Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 | 3 comments

Life in the Montessori Classroom: Part 1

Life in the Montessori Classroom: Part 1

Today, we begin a tour of a local gem, the “little school around the corner,” The Del Ray Montessori School, which currently shares space in the Del Ray Methodist Church, a century-old building we’ve also featured as one of our local history posts. The Del Ray Montessori School came into being in 2011 when a few local families and Montessori educators realized their dream of starting a local Montessori school here in Del Ray. My kids have both attended a Montessori preschool and now, my 7-year-old daughter Nadja attends the elementary program (ages 6-12). I’m mesmerized every time I visit at the way the rooms are organized, the beautiful wooden materials so typical of the hands-on Montessori pedagogy, and the way the children do their “work” as they call it, so intently – at an age characterized by insatiable curiosity. In a series of classroom tours, I’ll highlight various aspects of life in the Montessori classroom, seen through the eyes of the students using their own classroom camera and through mine as...

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