it makes her unique

she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey Brave’s love for Spider-Man started a few years ago, and I thought it was just going to be a phase, but it’s only grown even more. I made her the Spider-Man doll a few Christmases ago (see here), and every time a special occasion rolls around, everyone loads her up with more Spider-Man things like this mask and lots of little Spidey things. Ben’s cousin also gave her four volumes of Spider-Man comics several months back, and that just changed her life. She knows all about Peter Parker, and because he wears the same things in the comic, she tends to wear the same things all the time too, particularly those blue striped Misha Lulu pants. They’re worn so much that the pockets in the back tore off, and Karen was kind enough to send her another pair.

A month or so ago, we were passing by a comic store and saw a poster for a Spider-Girl and that just blew her away, another life changing moment. She didn’t know that there was a Spider-Girl (nor did I), and she had so many questions about her that we had too look her up online to get more info. Then this past week, Brave looked up at Ben and said, “Papi, do I scrunch my nose when I talk? Because Spider-Man scrunches his nose, so I want to too.” The spidey influence has led her to always be wearing red or blue (or both), prefer shorts and pants over dresses, and want to climb walls. She knows that last one is not allowed though.

she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey she loves spidey

I asked Brave, “Why do you like Spider-Man so much?” She replied, “Because he’s cool, climbs walls, and he’s brave.”

This Spider-Man thing is very unique to her and I think it’s really endearing how much she loves this red and blue masked hero. The other girls like him too, but not as much as Brave. It’s amazing to watch your children grow into their own unique selves. I think by nature since True’s the oldest, the younger girls would copy and like what True likes, but with Spider-Man, it’s the first thing that Brave latched onto on her own. It set her apart, and it’s this cute quirky thing that’s all Brave. Sometimes we still see the girls doing something just because True does it, but we tell them, “You don’t always have to follow True, you are own special person and it’s okay to be different.” And everyday we see how they are becoming their own special person.

Brave wanted to get a poster at the store, but I thought it would be cute to make our own. I had her get in her Spider-Man costume (hers is Target from a few years ago when we did this Halloween story) and do her best Spidey poses. We took a picture in front a plain white background, I brightened the color up in Photoshop, and saved it to the poster size I wanted. We went to our local copy center to get it printed and there you have it, we had our own Spider-Man poster. This oversized print cost $22, which is more than a store bought poster, but we get to make this special for her, so it’s worth it.

I started off the first letter on the poster, and I let her complete the rest. She made a couple mistakes, but they blended right into the web. She’s Spider-Girl, so we cut out an image from the Spider-Man pose doll box that she saved and attached that on. After she did the lettering, the other girls joined in on the coloring. I helped get the web started, taught them how to do it, they finished the rest, and added a whole bunch of spiders for good measure. Now, she has her very own special Spider-Man and Spider-Girl poster. We put it up next to her bed and it’s very clear which side of the room is hers, you probably saw a glimpse of it in this post.

True’s now asking to make her own She-ra poster, so I guess that’s the next super hero on the project making agenda. As the girls get older and into cartoon characters, we’ve learned how to incorporate our love for handmade things mixed in with regular store bought toys they love so much, both mom and children end up quite happy with the result.

This post is sponsored by Target. More Spider-Man, More Amazing: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite superheroes at Target. Thank you for your continuous support of this space and the collaborations I choose to be a part of. 


it’s book release day… I have a fun video for you!

HOLLA! It’s finally May 20th! Oh, I’ve been only waiting for this day for, like, two years! The book process is long (I’ll share more about it tomorrow Thursday, sorry we got busy celebrating by relaxing), but I’m finally excited to announce that Let’s Sew Together is officially out! If you’ve pre-ordered it, you should get it within the next couple of days (or maybe today!), and hopefully it will start popping up in your local bookstores too.

I’m so thankful for my talented friends who made this video possible. The song is “Let’s Make Magic” by Hope Leigh (Me & Mr. Cassidy) and made especially for the book trailer (it’s just so perfect!) and you can purchase the song here. The video is done by my friend Lou Casas (Cakeflix Films) and he did a wonderful job capturing the “magic” I wanted to share. It’s so much fun to create with your kids and that’s what I want to encourage others to do. The outcome doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s all about spending time together and having fun.

If you’re in Southern California and are free on Saturday, May 31st between 5-7pm, we are having a book release party at the Oh, Hello Friend shop in Fullerton. I would love to be able to celebrate with you in person if you can make it!


garden days

garden days garden days garden days garden days garden days The garden is coming together, finally. Last year was full of trial and error (making lots of mistakes), and though they were expensive mistakes, we are so happy where it is all now and all the changes we made are for the better. We did a lot of switch-a-roo placement of things and while we still aren’t done, it’s one step closer the goal. Our Saturdays are spent in the garden and all the girls happily love lending a helping hand (see proof here).

I have more garden posts coming soon, and before the summer’s over, I’ll give you a tour of our backyard. The whole yard won’t be quite completed (about a quarter of it won’t be done until maybe Fall), but we are feeling good about the direction it’s all going.

Read more garden posts here

P.S. My book will be released tomorrow (AHHH!!!), so I’ve got something special to share and a fun giveaway to go along with it! I can’t believe May 20th is really almost here!!!


family meals: week 74

family meals family meals Langostino Sopes. This is one of my most favorite things to eat. Ben makes it, and made it for Mother’s Day, and I was happy to have plenty of leftovers for dinner Monday night.

family meals family meals Spaghetti and Herb Filled Turkey Meatballs. I’ve gotta say that these meatballs were bomb dot com. I usually don’t like meatballs, but these were so yummy. I put in a whole package of panko bread crumbs, a lot of herbs from the garden (basil, sage, marjoram), onions, garlic, and salt and pepper. Everyone who came to Dinner Club on Thursday loved them! There were none leftover.

Week of 5/19 – 5/23
Monday: Bossam
Tuesday: It’s book release day, so I’m not cooking and we’re going to pick up sushi from my fave sushi place!
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Black Bean Rice Bowls
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche

Family meals on the blog keep me accountable. I started it because I wanted to get better at cooking for my family and meal planning really helped me be more efficient. Seventy-four weeks later and I’ve tried a lot of different recipes and feel so much more comfortable and confident in the kitchen. I can work with what we have in the refrigerator and pantry, and my girls have tried so many different things. It has just been a win all around.



pool days It’s been super hot here (over 100 degrees the past few days) and makes me wish we had a pool. I wish we can rewind time to a few weekends ago when it was True’s birthday and we were just poolside all day long.

10 random things about me…

I used to be allergic to Crayola crayons when I was a kid. It would make me sneeze, so I was often the only kid in the class who had colored pencils.

I always have my nails done and I do them myself.

I’m named after my paternal grandmother, Ruby, and my maternal grandmother, Ellen, so together you get Rubyellen. While that’s what my name says everywhere, I go by Ruby.

I’m definitely not slow to anger, but I’m working on it.

Turquoise is my favorite color.

I have one bad foot. I swear I got a bunion on that foot from Ben (it runs in his family). My theory is that you eventually get any ailments your spouse has. He had never had eczema before we got married (and no one in his family does), and now he has it on his leg. I have had eczema since I was a baby, though it’s no longer on my arms and legs, I still get dry patches on my face.

My rule for shopping is that if I want to buy something new, I have to sell some things I no longer wear/want in my closet. Thus, I love our local buy/sell places.

I hate math. I’m not a numbers person.

When I have a bad day, I need ice cream and chocolate. It’s emotional eating and the dietitian husband doesn’t agree with it, but it really does help me feel better.

I was already practicing my signature Rubyellen Bratcher soon after I met Ben, and way before we really became friends. I’m weird like that.

Hope you have a good weekend!



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