Author Archives: PBK Editors

Family Travel: Guide to Miami

By PBK Editors

Written by Feather + Flip for Building Blocks.

Miami’s miles of coastline set a perfect scene for family travel. With high-end hotels, a vibrant art scene and plenty of exciting activities, we’re willing to see past any Miami vices and recommend this city for those interested in bright beaches and colorful art.

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WHAT TO PACK

The vacation uniform. It’s made of soft cotton terry so it’s perfect to throw on after each swim. The hood and long sleeves give a brief reprieve from the hat and sunscreen battles, too.

The perfect towel. A towel can act as a beach rug, play mat, and even a sun shade! Go for the biggest size and most colorful option to use everywhere from the pool and beach to park and airport lounge.

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The carry all. Use beach totes to quickly divide between kiddo stuff and mom stuff: toys, books and baby shades in one, sunscreen, sippy cups and diaper essentials in the other.

The water toys. Bring along toys that are small enough to fit in one bag, but that there are enough of to keep little ones entertained for whole trip. Our tip? Try bath toys for the pool and beach.

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The sun and swim essentials. You won’t want to forget some of the kid essentials like baby sunscreen or swim diapers, especially if you’re heading to the beach. Some of these items may be tough to find so they’re well worth ordering online and sending to your hotel in advance.

The travel-ready carrier. A stroller won’t last five minutes on the beach, so be sure to bring a baby carrier. These are perfect for containing my sand-eating little one, especially when trying to get packed up.

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WHAT TO DO

South Beach Boardwalk

This 4-mile boardwalk along the beach is perfect for long strolls with nice views when trying to get baby to sleep. If you’ve got a good napper, swing into Local House on Ocean Drive for a yummy lunch and people watching, or hop into The Webster to shop Miami’s coolest concept store.

Wynwood Arts District

The famous Wynwood Walls and other colorful street art and galleries that will catch a kid’s attention; grab a morning latte at Panther Coffee, or lunch at Wynwood Kitchen.

Family Dinner, Strollers Welcome

Kids are welcome at some of South Beach’s most hip restaurants. Stop by Cecconi’s in Soho House – they have a kids’ menu – or reserve a table at perennially popular Prime 112, where the mini-sliders keep smaller diners happy. Joe’s Crab Shack is a classic, and there’s takeaway if you’d rather dine on your hotel balcony. And we can’t get eat enough Yardbird mac-and-cheese and fried chicken.

Little Swimmers

It’s tough to choose a favorite Miami pool, but there are a few standouts. The new Miami Beach EDITION has space, light and grassy lawns plus two pools so families can splash in one without disturbing sunbathing couples. The Setai’s three-tiered pool (each heated to a different temperature) might be the city’s most photogenic, while the James Royal Palm has a children’s playroom near the pool, perfect for a shady time out when the sun gets too hot. The Ritz-Carlton South Beach has nice shallow entries for smaller swimmers and a kids’ club.

DIY Easter Egg Planters

By PBK Editors

Written by Chelsea Mitchell of Camp Makery for Building Blocks.

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This fun DIY Planter is a great way to fill the Easter basket without using candy! It’s the perfect combination of things that Easter represents, including the new spring season, life and growth. Using a jumbo sized Easter egg as the holder, we made these Easter egg planters that I know your little kiddos will enjoy as much as ours did.

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DIY Easter Egg Planters

Supplies:

Step 1: Fill bottom of Easter egg 3/4 full with potting soil.

Step 2: Choose flower and gently break apart the roots.

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Step 3: Create a space in the center of the soil for the flower.

Step 4: Top off the egg bottom with soil, pat into place, and water.

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A Creative Cookie Recipe for Easter

By PBK Editors

Written by Ashley Pepitone of Camp Makery for Building Blocks.

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This iced sugar cookie recipe is a family favorite. My daughter Delaney and I make them every chance we get, and it is such a lovely bonding experience. We have so much fun deciding what shape to make and getting creative with the icing colors and decorations!

For Easter, I love classic, natural design elements such as the simple beauty of speckled Robin’s eggs — the timeless combination of pale turquoise with chocolate brown specks are beautiful. However, I was making these cookies with a four year old and the usual method of getting those perfectly random dots on the cake is to load a brush with food coloring and splatter it on. Quite messy- even for an adult! I decided to try a different method and thank goodness it worked like a charm. Read below to see how we did it!

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Robins Egg Cookies

INGREDIENTS

Almond Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks cold salted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tsp pure almond extract

Almond Royal Icing

  • 4 tbsp meringue powder (available in specialty baking stores as well as the baking section of craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or Michael’s)
  • Scant 1/2 c. water
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • Few drops clear almond extract
  • Gel food coloring turquoise blue and brown

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder), set aside. Cut the butter into chunks and cream with the sugar. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping the bowl as you go.
  3. Knead the dough together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling. It will be crumbly at first!Robins-Egg-Cookies-Baking-3
  4. Immediately on a floured surface to about 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. They will not spread too much, but leave at least 2″ between cookies. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Robins-Egg-Cookies-Baking-4

For the Icing

Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, combine the meringue powder and water. Beat until foamy. Continue beating on low as you slowly sift in the powdered sugar. The sifting is extremely important- do not skip or rush through it or you will get lumpy icing! Add in the corn syrup and extract, and beat on high approximately 5 minutes until your icing forms a stiff peak when you pull the paddle attachment out. Add blue gel food color one drop at a time.

To decorate you will need

  • Pastry bag
  • Small round tip for pastry bag
  • Gel food coloring turquoise blue and brown
  • Toothpicks
  • Small spray bottle
  • Small squeeze bottle

*Note: all of the above are available at specialty baking stores as well as craft stores.

  1. The icing you just made is the consistency you will use to line your cookies. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip about halfway with icing and outline all of your eggs. Add whatever remaining icing you have left back into the bowl. Begin adding water slowly, by the tablespoon, while mixing until your icing reaches the consistency of maple syrup.
  2. Fill a squeeze bottle with this “filling” icing. Squeeze about a silver dollar sized amount into the center of each cookie and spread with a toothpick, being careful not to break the outlines you just finished.Robins-Egg-Cookies-Icin-g-2
  3. Put a few drops of your brown food coloring in the small spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with very warm water. Replace top of spray bottle and shake vigorously until food coloring is dissolved. Lightly mist all of your blue egg cookies with this mixture. Robins-Egg-Cookies-Icing-5
  4. Allow the cookies to dry a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

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Don’t forget! Easter is this Sunday, April 5 — Shop our Easter Collection online or in stores!

1 Quick and Easy Easter Activity

By PBK Editors

Written by Megan Bailey of Little Peanut Magazine for Building Blocks.

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We have really enjoyed sharing images and ideas from our Easter Brunch with Pottery Barn Kids with you, including our DIY Fresh Floral Installation and Healthy Carrot Pancake Recipe. We are so excited to be back today to share one more really cute + easy Easter craft you can do with your little peanuts to get them excited for this fun spring holiday! This is also a creative prop for your kiddos to hold while snagging few cute photos in their Easter outfits!

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Easter Bunny Whisker Craft

What you need:

  • White pipe cleaner
  • Craft puff balls
  • Jumbo craft sticks/or popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue gun

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To make your own bunny whiskers simply fold 4 white pipe cleaner sticks in half. Carefully glue the folded pipe cleaners onto the back of a craft stick (2 on each side). Then flip the stick over and carefully glue on a craft puff ball of choice. Easy as that! Now get ready for loads of fun and laughter with your little bunnies!

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Floral Design: Allison Baddley | La Fete Floral & Events
Photography: Becky Kimball | Becky Kimball Photography
Floral Dress:
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The Sweetest Easter Egg Cakes

By PBK Editors

Written by Leslie Marshall of Camp Makery for Building Blocks.

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I stumbled across an adorable method of baking cupcakes inside a hallowed out eggshell and couldn’t help but think how perfect this would be for Easter! I thought it would be perfect to dip each egg in white chocolate, but I knew that would be entirely too sweet. That’s when I had a complete “Aha” moment — lemon curd filling! I couldn’t be happier with how beautiful it turned out and the little cakes actually looked like eggs when I opened them up!

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Easter Cake Eggs

INGREDIENTS

Cake Eggs

  • Your favorite cupcake (or cake mix) recipe
  • 12-24 Eggs (depending on your recipe)
  • White Chocolate (for coating)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Aluminum Foil (for baking)

Lemon Curd

  • 1-2 Lemons, zested
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 C Lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS

For the Cake Eggs:

  1. Let your eggs come to room temperature. Take a cork screw and gently poke a hole in the top of the egg (the smallest point on the egg). Using a circular motion hollow out a hole the size of a dime. Tip your egg upside down and let the yolk and egg white drain. You may have to use the cork screw to break up the yolk. camp-makery-easter-cake9
  2. Rinse your eggs thoroughly with warm water. Soak in warm salt water for 30 minutes. Let the eggs air dry for about an hour. Note: I found it easiest to place the eggs upside down in the egg crate and let the excess water drain. camp-makery-easter-cake10
  3. Using a generous amount of cooking spray, spray the inside of the eggs and the top of the eggs.
  4. Make a little nest of aluminum foil in each cupcake tin, this will hold each egg upright to make sure it bakes properly. camp-makery-easter-cake11
  5. Make your cupcake or cake mix. Use a piping bag and pipe the cake mix into each egg until it is about ¾ full. If you overfill the eggs, the excess will bake out of the top, and it’s not a big deal as you can just shave it off with a paring knife.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, check the cake by poking a toothpick in the egg and if it comes out clean, it is finished baking.
  7. Allow the eggs to cool for about 15 minutes.
  8. Peel your eggs like you would if you were peeling hard-boiled eggs. Set aside the cake eggs. camp-makery-easter-cake21

For the Lemon Curd:

  1. Using a micro plane, zest 1-2 lemons, depending on how strong you want your lemon flavor. camp-makery-easter-cake15
  2. Add the sugar, melted butter, egg and lemon juice.
  3. Whisk your ingredients together until nice and frothy. camp-makery-easter-cake17
  4. Microwave for 1 minute increments, stirring after each 60 seconds interval. Repeat 5 times. Note: If you prefer to stay away from microwaves you can always whisk ingredients together in a medium saucepan over a medium-medium high heat until it begins to boil, reduce the heat then stir until it begins to thicken, then allow to cool.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in freezer for 15 minutes or one hour in your refrigerator.

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Assembling the eggs:

  1. Using a meat injector (you could also pipe into the cake as well, but I didn’t want to create a very large hole in the top of the cake) inject about 1 teaspoon of the lemon curd filling into the center of the egg. Be careful not to overfill, as it will be difficult to cover with white chocolate. camp-makery-easter-cake24
  2. In the same cupcake tins, take the foil nests and make into a little ball, you may have to add a little extra foil, then take a toothpick and push into the foil. After doing this I would also recommend adding a square of wax paper or parchment paper over the top of the toothpick to keep the chocolate from sticking to the foil. I had a little difficulty picking the foil off of the bottom.
  3. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave (being careful not to burn your chocolate). Use a large slotted spoon and dip each egg in the melted white chocolate. Set the egg on each toothpick, then spoon over a little extra white chocolate to make sure your eggs look smooth. The excess white chocolate will drip down. camp-makery-easter-cake26
  4. Decorate with sprinkles; I was happily surprised at these adorable sugar bows I found in the Easter section of my grocery store. Let the eggs set up, about 15-30 minutes depending on how cool your room is. camp-makery-easter-cake28

Serve in these adorable Easter baskets from Pottery Barn!

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Family Travel: Our Favorite U.S. Beaches

By PBK Editors

Written by Feather + Flip for Building Blocks.

Summer is coming and what better way to spend time with the family than on a sunny beach somewhere warm! We’ve been to countless beaches across the US but today we’re sharing our four favorite domestic destinations with you on Building Blocks.

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1) La Jolla Cove – San Diego, California

A quaint beach nestled among the beautiful cliffs of swanky downtown La Jolla. Kids can play in the waves and look for treasure in the tidepools.

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2) East Beach – Santa Barbara, California

In the middle of everything so when the kids get bored with the sun and sand, you can walk to nearby restaurants, swing by the zoo or walk along the wharf.

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3) Goose Rocks Beach – Kennebunkport, Maine

A barrier reef offshore known as Goose Rocks, visible at low tide, helps protect the soft, nearly three miles of white sand beaches.

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4) Kiwah Island, South Carolina

Located on a beautiful barrier island just a few miles from historic Charleston, South Carolina, Kiawah Island boasts miles of pristine beach, loads of children’s programs and a spa for mom.

Gear up for your next beach vacation with our entire collection of beach essentials at potterybarnkids.com!