Cooking with Your Kids: Healthy (Ok, Healthier) Cheez-It’s

The final product — DIY Cheez-It's.

The final product — DIY Cheez-It’s.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a religious “snacker.” This means three times a day — mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and mid-night — I’m raiding the closest pantry in search of something to nom on. While in college this wasn’t a problem; I kept my dorm room stocked with fresh and healthy snacks to keep my tummy filled until the next mediocre cafeteria meal. Once I started working, however, I fell prey to snacks of the processed variety. (Famous Amos, Cheez-It’s, and the Keebler Elves, to name a few.) A monumental weight gain ensued, and, in response, I’ve started cutting out all that icky processed food from my diet. The thing is, I’ve miss some of those snacks. I need my Cheez-It’s fix (only without all the scary processed stuff thank you very much).

That’s where the inspiration behind this blog series came from. I love to cook, and know that most of the kiddos that I babysit feel the same way (hi, Jack and Jayne!). So once a month I’ll be sharing how to recreate your kiddo’s favorite processed snacks — with simple ingredients and steps. These snacks not only taste fresher — they’re also better for you. Why eat a snack with over 20 ingredients when it really only takes five to make it?

All of these recipes will also be kid friendly — as in, roll up your sleeves, call the kids into the kitchen, and get cooking!

Follow the jump for all the details on how to make your own Cheez-It’s in a variety of flavors.

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Scenes From The Great Create at The Nasher Sculpture Center

photoA couple of weeks ago, our D Moms Arts Editor, Lucia Simek, and I had the immense pleasure of spending the afternoon at the Nasher as participants in their first ever family fundraiser, The Great Create.

The event was hugely inspiring, with renowned artists like Jason MeadowsRy Rocklen, and Allison V. Smith leading kiddos (and adults) in a cadre of cool and creative art projects.

The best part? The Nasher met their fundraising goal, with proceeds directly benefiting the museum’s youth education programs, such as the 3:01 Club After-school Program and free student tours.

Herewith a few snaps from the day… (all taken by the immensely talented Kristi and Scot Redman).
Tracy Madans and Ed Shaikh 
The Color Condition’s exuberant creations

Gable and Ed Shaikh with daughters GG and Hadleigh

See more photos from The Great Create after the jump.

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Calling All Pint Sized Fashion Mavens

(Designs by Hanh Merriman’s wildly talented 8-year-old daughter. Photo by Elizabeth Lavin.)


Do you have a mini-Miuccia Prada or Coco Chanel in your midst? Then Indie Genius + Make and Made have your summer plans covered (partially, at least). Check out “Sew Much Fun Sewing Class” (hardy har) or “Fashion Design Camp” where your kiddos will learn the basics of clothing sewing and design. Not only will they be able to express their inner fashion prowess, but they’ll come back with a custom designed piece of clothing that they will be proud of.

They’ve even got classes for mom – like a complete guide to sewing or classes that teach you how to make purses, bow-ties, or a dress.

Into The Weekend: Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs and A Spring Celebration

kellyanneFirst up, the pressing matter of dye for Easter eggs…After posting Holly Davis’ piece on the dangers of artificial colors, I’ve gotten several e-mails asking about safe options for dyeing said eggs.

I did a little sleuthing and turns out  all manner of readily-available natural alternatives, from coffee to cranberries, will safely do the trick.

But the best DIY for natural egg coloring I found was on photographer Kaley Ann’s blog. She gives “recipes” and step-by-step instructions for creating a myriad of lovely hues (like the four above). Visit her blog for the full details.

Ok, now onto our weekend agenda. In lieu of running around town, I thought it would be fun to get a few gal pals and their littles together for a “Spring Celebration.” Nothing fancy or formal, mind you…just some libations, a low-key lunch, and an easy craft for the kiddos.



(The elements of a Spring Celebration: 1/ Streamers from Style Me Pretty 2/ Martha Stewart’s Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail 3/Martha Stewart’s Squash Blossom Frittata and a Toasted Sesame & Almond Asparagus Salad from Love and Lemons 4/Wackym’s Kitchen cookies and Carnival Barker’s ice cream 5/ Byrd Collective flower crowns via Camille Styles)  


Get the full party breakdown after the jump.

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Do These 3 Easy D.I.Y. Projects With Your Kids This Weekend

I’ve been glued to my computer all week working on getting our spring issue of D Moms sent off to the printer (on newsstands April 4!), so I’m hankering for a little hands-on making with the littles this weekend. But, I don’t want to take on anything too complicated/crazy/requiring too many special materials…
You know, D.I.Y. for the lazy mama.

So I hit up our D MomsMake” Pinterest board for a little crafting inspiring and settled on three colorful (and easy) projects. The best part? We can do all three with just five materials, all of which we already own or have easy access to (i.e. our backyard): acrylic paint, yarn, cardboard, rocks, old wooden hangers.

Here are the projects that made the cut.

  1. Bri’s Neon Hangers. There’s no instructions on her site for how to make these, but I’m thinking they’re pretty self-explanatory, yes? Neon paint + wooden hangers + drop cloth + well-ventilated area = The. cutest. hangers. ever.
  2. Oversize Me’s Pom Poms. Again, no instructions on her site , so I turned to wikiHow for an easy how to. We’ll use Jay’s finished product for our color inspiration.
  3. Giochi Di Carta’s Painted Stones. The instructions on her blog are in Italian, but the photos tell the story. (You can also use Google translate if you’re a stickler for steps.)


Happy making!

The (Genius) Moomah Magazine and A Fun Thanksgiving Craft for The Littles

One of the girlies’ and my best afternoons of all time was spent at a place in New York called Moomah Cafe. The brainchild of Tracey Stewart (Jon Stewart’s wife…sigh, but also a very cool lady in her own right), Moomah was a genius cafe/creative space in Tribeca where families could hang out, sip great coffee, and make cool things together. We popped in for a visit one morning while on a family trip and ended up whiling away the entire day there. It was total bliss.

Sadly Moomah Cafe is no more, but luckily the spirit and creative vision of the place lives on in their newly launched online magazine. Per the Moomah site:

“Moomah the Magazine is an online magazine bringing beauty, humor, and advice to parents who are doing their best to live inspired lives on very little sleep. The basic intentions of Moomah Cafe, brought to a broader community online with realistic suggestions for activities that are as doable as they are enjoyable; parenting advice from experts and those of us in the trenches; art projects up the wazoo; and stories from contributors near and far.”

Count me in Tracey Stewart. Done and done.

Their first issue features a Thanksgiving placemat craft (above) that is refreshingly void of cliche (i.e. no handprint turkeys or pilgrim hats). It’s witty and easy and fun…The best possible combo. You can get the full low down on Moomah’s site. Have fun!

And happy, happy Thanksgiving (early) friends. Hope your holiday is cozy and joyous and filled with all sorts of delicious food and merriment and love.

Let The Littles Get Their Art On at Oil and Cotton While You Prep for Thanksgiving

Are you looking for something to occupy your kiddos while you hit the supermarket/cook pies/clean your house/brine a turkey on Wednesday? Me too. So I’m happy (relieved) to report that we’re in luck, as our friends at Oil and Cotton are offering two half-day art camps for ages 5-12.

First there’s “Savory Still Life” from 9 a.m. – noon where the littles will learn to draw fall vegetables and native Texas herbs and spices. Students will then turn their drawings into print plates to share and make layered compositions that they will paint and take home.

Then that afternoon from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. they can take the “Fall Fibers” camp where they’ll weave, stitch, and sculpt, using traditional handwork to finish functional and decorative objects.

Each camp is $40, and campers who take both morning and afternoon sessions can bring a lunch and stay all day. Done and done.

You can register here.

Art Imitation: An Eva Rothschild Inspired Sculpture

The latest iteration of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of architectural interventions by contemporary artists is up with a new installation by London-based artist Eva Rothschild.

For the Nasher, Rothschild has created an intricate network of black and brightly colored striped pipes which ramble through the museum’s entrance Bay.

The whimsical installation snakes up the walls, along the floor, and over and around admissions desks, stairs, and doorways, dipping down to the lower level, and wrapping underneath the bridge over the stairs (whew), all the while, encouraging little visitors to follow the work through the space.

I took my girlies last weekend and they were utterly and completely mesmerized. It’s good stuff.

Eva’s work was also the inspiration for the “Art Imitation” project in our first issue of D Moms. Our arts editor (and all around amazing mama) Lucia Simek gives us the step-by-step instructions, so you and your littles can make this Rothschild-inspired work of art at home.

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Happenings: AT&T Patio Sessions at The Winspear and A Pumpkin Carving Contest at Rise n°1

I’ve previously shared my (immense) fondness for the AT&T Patio Sessions series, and said fondness is only increased by blissful weather, like, say…the exact kind we’re having today.

So grab the littles, pack up a blanket or two, pull together some picnic provisions, and head over to hear tonight’s show featuring Air Review with Home by Hovercraft. The music starts at 5:30 and things wind down well before 8:00 (i.e. you’ll still have plenty of time to squeeze in a bath for the kiddos before bed).

And since I’m in the business of bossing you around today, you should also reserve a spot at the annual Rise n°1 pumpkin carving contest happening this Saturday from 3-5 p.m.

Young pumpkin artists (age 12 and under) just need to bring their own carving tools + a chaperon, and Rise will provide the pumpkins. Rise mascots Pierre and Michele will be judging each pumpkin, and prizes will be awarded for first through third place.

Space is limited, so call 214-366-9900 or e-mail Rise tout de suite to reserve a space.

Into The Weekend Oak Cliff Style: Urban Street Bazaar and Opening Party at We Are 1976

The hubs and I are off to Austin this weekend to celebrate our anniversary (how’s that for going against traffic?), but if we were hanging around town, in between watching the big game (we both went to UT), we’d be hitting Oak Cliff for our weekend fun.

First we’d pop into Bolsa Mercado where I’d get the beet/fennel/goat cheese salad (I literally dream about this salad…it’s that good) and the green juice, while the rest of my crew tuck into some seriously tasty sandwiches.

Then we’d make our way over to Indie Genius’ Urban Street Bazaar (313 W. Davis St.) happening on Saturday from noon-8 p.m. and Sunday noon-4 p.m where we’d shop for handmade goods by local creative peeps.

(Image via Daniel Walker.)

After the shopping, we’d scoot over to Emporium Pies for a slice of their otherworldly “Lord of the Pies” and some french press coffee. Then we’d waddle across the street to the opening party for the new Bishop Avenue location of one of our favorite haunts, We Are 1976. The celebration starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday and promises all sorts of merriment.

Of course, given that we’ll be celebrating 12 years of marriage in our favorite city (besides Dallas of course), we won’t actually be doing any of that.

But you should, and then we can live vicariously through you.


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