Category Archives: DIY

Cotton Candy and the Genius Who is Ruthie

A couple months ago at Hogans (our neighborhood bar that Danny and I frequent) I told Danny that I wanted a cotton candy machine.

“I mean, imagine just, like, making our own cotton candy. And we’d make amazing flavors. And maybe I’d do it at wedding receptions or parties or something. COTTON CANDY, DAN!” Lavender cocktails make me very creative.

I even found a cotton candy cart and organic sugar floss online. Because you can get anything online.



And then it happened. He got me a cotton candy machine. And the moment that first bite of sugar melted in my mouth, I knew I was a genius. Cotton candy was a genius idea, even if I never once sell a single cone of it.

You heard it here first:



It’s true, and you’ll all remember this moment.

And then I’ll have to give credit to my friend Leann who had a cotton candy machine in high school and sparked my obsession. Leann is the coolest.

So if you wanna go ahead and get yourself a cotton candy machine, do it. But don’t be surprised if you can’t make it as well as me because, I’m just saying, I’m boss with a cotton candy cone.


And if you want organic cotton candy (did you know there was such a thing?) you know who to ask. Drop by the boulevard, I’ll spin some up for ya.



Christmas Cookies: a lesson in patience

I am not patient. I am a great teacher’s helper because I can cut things out like a mofo and I’m so good at making copies. I can even sit with kids for 10 minutes at a time and I’m pretty good. But put me in charge of teaching young children to do something or facilitating arts and crafts for a mess of them and I turn into a nightmare.

“Uhhhh, just let me do that.”

“Don’t touch that. Why’d you do that?! That’s not how you’re supposed to do that. Are trees really purple? Uhhh….why don’t you go wash your hands. Also…you have snot coming out of your nose.”

So making Christmas cookies with my children was a lesson in patience and I think I’d give myself a C.

I let them decorate four cookies each and they were the burned ones.

Man, theirs were just messes.

But let’s talk about mine because mine were freaking incredible.


Yep, I did it. I spelled out JOY. That did not define the experience of decorating Christmas cookies with my children, but Joy to the World, man.

Okay, I’m just kidding. I’m 90% kidding. Okay, I’m 60% kidding.

Making cookies with the kids was not as awful as I thought it would be, even though I would still give myself a C grade because I have got to mellow out. Next time, I’ll earn a B. But I’m giving myself extra credit and raising my grade to a C+ because of this:



Worth it.

Pre 4th of July Swag

Gift giving is my favorite and it’s even best when it’s a total surprise. We are going out of town for the 4th which we are super stoked about because we’ve never gone away. But we are also a little sad because we will miss the boulevard festivities and our favorite girls next door.

To ease the pain (on our end…gifting always makes me feel better) I went ahead and put together a cute little pail of 4th of July swag.


I got that cute paint pail from….Home Depot. I know. I’ve spent more than $2 on the exact same type of pail at craft stores but now I know. At the bottom of that buck is your usual 4th of July stuff: red, white and blue necklaces, tattoos, headbands, glasses, glow sticks, etc. A WHOOOOOOLLLLEEEE lot of crap that Tara doesn’t want. Not even sorry a bit.

But peeking out are some treats.



Store bought rice krispy treats dipped in candy melts.june-158

Candy popcorn: 3 T of melted butter, add 3 cups mini mallows and melt completely. Pour over popcorn and add sprinkles.


Packing is my specialty.



Easy and cute and just what a pair of 2 year olds and their 5 year old sister need, right?


Ramen Night

It’s been two weeks + since I’ve posted and so much has happened.

I had another baby

We moved to Canada

We started an exotic pet business

Dan started a band and made it big

We had ramen night.


4 lies and a truth.


But we have, actually, been busy. The kids are coming up on the last days of school. We pulled Charlotte from her preschool program so she’s been on summer break early. Liz had her baby (Lucia) and I’ve been making excuse after excuse to sneak some snuggles in. Maria had her Spring dance performance and got pointe shoes and had her school Spring concert. Jamie has been researching paradoxes and schooling us on as many as he can. Alice had a birthday party and scored big. Franci has perfected her “no” and “hello” and is basically the cutest baby ever. Ollie has defended her title as happiest human on Earth with zillions of out-of-the-blue giggles throughout the day.

And we had ramen night.


Okay, so you (probably) know this about me: I love a good party. Themes make them so much better. Not stupid and over the top themes (although I dabble in that as well) but subtle themes. Ya know, like ramen. In San Diego, Danny and I ate at Underbelly, this amazing ramen house. The food there was so delicious and I love dishes that can be customized to an individual’s liking without re-creating the entire dish. With ramen, you have your standard base and you mix in what you love. We decided we’d try it out. Also something about the Prasils: when we decide to do something, we do it.

Amazon happened to have legit ramen ingredients and materials so we utilized our Prime account. Dan made a broth (homemade broth is everything), we skimmed it and skimmed it some more, we smoked some ribs and made a delicious sauce


soft-boiled some eggs, and arranged it all for the perfect ramen experience.



Oh, and fried rice. We made fried rice.



We had drinks and hung out with friends. Of the 7 couples we invited, only three were able to come. There were fundraisers attended, sick kids to take care of, sick adults not able to party, and out-of-town commitments. We were disappointed of course but had a great time with our pals who were there.


How do you make ramen? Here:




Ramen party not required.

DIY Fabric Banner


You can all now call me Dr. Prasil.

Or Professor Prasil.

Or Professor.

Or just Ruthie, I don’t care, but I prefer Dr. Prasil.

What I’m saying is that I’m teaching a blogging class at our local college all about blogging and one thing we did was a DIY post. Enjoy!


Here’s what you need:

Photo Apr 14, 6 27 54 PM


Cut the fabric into 1″ strips.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 18 PM


Oh, hello, lovely class.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 54 PM

Fold the strips in half…like so.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 10 PM


At the end of the strip with the fold, fold it down again only about 1″ down.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 24 PM


Cut a slit about 1/2″ long on that fold (so that when you unfold it, it’s an inch long, Einstein)Photo Apr 14, 6 39 36 PM

There’s your slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 47 PMPhoto Apr 14, 6 39 59 PM

Lay it on top of the jute cord like this:Photo Apr 14, 6 46 26 PM


Pull the ‘free ends’ around the back side of the jute cord and through the slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 46 43 PM


Tighten that baby up.Photo Apr 14, 6 47 00 PM


Now, go create a petition and present it to your dean of nursing, proposing a change in carpet pattern.


You’re done!

DIY terrarium *plus a little giveaway*



When you have no snow, don’t live in a winter wonderland and Christmas has come and gone, the winter season is a drag. It’s about this time that I decide to spring into action.

Spring. Into. Action.


See what I did there?

This week I’m giving myself a boost by creating a cute and really easy terrarium. Succulents and air plants are almost impossible to kill. This is perfect for me because I do not have a green thumb but I really dislike fake houseplants. Ready? Here ya go:

What you’ll need:


You will also need maybe a cup plus a tad for the initial planting of your succulents.

  1. Plant those suckers.
  2. Add sand up to the ‘chin’ of the plant. (ya know, that part that the neck meets the head? this is not a real-life plant term)


3. Add a layer of river rock with a smidge of moss somewhere.


4. Ta-da. Done. Water a couple time a week (or less) with just a BIT of water, you don’t want to drown the poor plants. In a month or so, I’ll add a flowering cactus to add more color. No doubt I’ll also find Lego mini figures in there, maybe  few Barbie shoes for extra pizzazz.


Now for a giveaway!


Click HERE to get to my Facebook page.

San Francisco with a Toddler



10 times out of 10, when given a choice (…side note, this scenario is rare) I will choose to see the ocean on vacation. Being by the water is something I need in life and seeing my kids love it makes me so happy. Cities and towns by the ocean have a different vibe to them, am I right? That vibe happens to be mine, too.

San Francisco is an incredible place to visit with kids. There is absolutely no shortage of parks, museums, events and sightseeing that kids might find entertaining. Luckily, they are all things that parents like, too. I recently took my 2 year old and my almost-1 year old to San Francisco to visit family…on my own…and was so pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to stay happy and keep the little ones content as well. Check out our favorites:

  1. Curiodyssey at Coyote Point in San Mateo. This is a hands-on science museum where kids of any age (really) get to do different science experiments with all kinds of materials: magnets, air, water, mirrors, etc. In addition to the exhibits inside is an outside area devoted to animal exhibits. Badgers, raccoons, bobcats, eagles, birds, butterflies, snakes, otters and others live in spaces that visitors can peek in at. Catch the bobcat feeding at 1:00 for a really great explanation of the animals, why they are there, what they eat, how they live and other interesting facts. There is also a great gift shop and snack shop making it easy to have an all-day adventure.




2. Magical Bridge Playground – If you are anywhere near Palo Alto and have an hour or more to kill, you have to visit this playground. It’s a socially inclusive play area designed to meet the needs of all children of all abilities. Children in wheelchairs (or adults in wheelchairs of course!) can access any and all parts of the playground and take advantage of each feature. It was designed and constructed with every child in mind: those with disabilities (both physical and those that cannot be seen such as autism or sensory processing disorders) and those without. There is literally something for everyone here and something for every age and developmental level.


3. Various Community Events – Renegade Craft Fair – We hit the jackpot when we were in town because so was the Renegade Craft Fair, a collection of artists who come together for a weekend show. Basically, every great Instagram shop on the West Coast. Everything from jewelry to furniture to watercolor prints to clothing. It is held at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion which also happens to be an incredible ‘walk-around’ spot for adults and kids alike if there isn’t a show inside. From the edge you can see the Golden Gate Bridge to the left and Alcatraz to the right. We saw sailboats and swimmers (brrrr) and played at the park, too. It’s definitely a place to visit with kids or without.



4. Half Moon Bay – drive to Half Moon Bay and hang out on one of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast. There were very few people there when we were, and although it’s a bit of a hike down it’s definitely doable (even with a couple kids in tow) and absolutely worth it.


5 – Kabuki Theater -Sundace Cinemas has a location in downtown San Francisco that is so much fun and worth taking your kids to see a show. At Kabuki Theater, you can enjoy Humphry Slocombe ice cream (may I suggest the “secret breakfast?”) or a fantastic meal. Or stick to the traditional popcorn and candy. At 21+ shows (several are shown a day) you can take any drinks in that you purchase, including full wine bottles. Now, explain to me how that can get any better?


Sundance Cinemas