Top Picks This Week

Almond Blossom Season

Every spring, acres of almond orchards around here burst into incredible displays of pale pink of white blooms, and start to buzz, literally, as bees go to work pollinating trees. If you neglect to get out and about around the  time the blossoms are on the branches, however, you could miss them entirely.

We always make a point of timing some walks along the country roads in Winters or Dixon to when the blooms are at peak, and snap some family photos. And they always end up being some of my favorites…

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A Slamdunk Toy

Have you heard of a Perplexus Maze Ball? Hudson can not put this toy down lately. Every morning, if he’s the first to wake up, it’s the very first thing he does. He reaches for it constantly throughout the day. I was asking Aron whether he could think of anything else that’s held his interest quite like this has and we agreed we could not.

He first borrowed the Rookie edition of the ball from a friend, and we’ve since bought him his own, the original Perplexus (pictured). It’s basically a 3D marble run: you shift, flip, and twist the sphere to guide the marble on 22 feet worth of track with a series of barriers. It does make some noise as the ball rolls around, but it’s pretty unobtrusive.

I thought I’d better pass it along as a recommendation for anyone in need of gift ideas for first or second graders. It has been amazing for us!

What toys have been total slamdunks in your home? For what age? 

P.S. One of my favorite gift guides for kids; and more ideas.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope it’s a great day for everyone! Will you be celebrating? What are your plans? We got home late last night from a fun weekend at Disneyland, so we’re still recovering, but we’re going to try and make dinner last for two rounds—one with the kids, and one just for us. The kids will no doubt come home with a bag full of candy, so I suspect that will be dessert. I put some photos of Skyler handing out her valentines on IG stories, and can’t wait to hear about Hudson’s day.

I think I’m going to stretch this holiday right into the long weekend, so wishing you well the rest of the week!

P.S. I took this photo during a story on pairing cheese with chocolate. It has some good match-ups, if you’re interested for tonight!

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