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The Crafty Chica Comes to So Cal

I am so excited that the Crafty Chica Tour is coming to So Cal this month!!! Kathy’s new line of products releases on September 6 at Michael’s stores. I was lucky enough to receive a box of the new products to play with and they are oh so much fun! If you love Latin culture or Dia De Los Muertos, the Crafty Chica’s new line is going to scream your name!


I’ll be at the Victorville Michael’s Store when Kathy visit so be sure to come by!! And check out the flier above for all of the tour dates throughout Nevada, Arizona, California,and Texas. It’s a Southwest thing … only fitting, right?


Chasing the Food Truck – An Adventure in the City

One of my favorite, unforgettable memories from this summer is that time, in band camp…. no really. One of my fave memories is when a friend told me that the “Orange Is The New Black” food truck, Crazy Pyes, was coming to So Cal as part of a promotional tour!!  I love the show “Orange Is the New Black” and had recently done a blog hop promoting the second season of the show on Netflix. Everyone knew I was OITNB crazy so it was natural to see my inbox filling with news about the food truck coming to LA. It was time for a spontaneous adventure in the city!

The closest and most convenient location for us to visit was in Culver City. That same day, we also had a birthday party to attend in San Gabriel as well other friends to visit that night. If we were gonna go, it was going to be a fly by the seat of our pants adventure! My friend Tammy is usually the one to call me up at 11pm for a night trip to Urth Caffe or at the last minute to go scrapbooking or to meet up in an hour to drive to Newport Beach for a beach day. I remember one time she said to me that she was always glad to know she could count on me for adventure time!  A little spontaneity is good in friendship, marriage, and life, for sure!

We hopped in the car and drove as fast as we could (legally) to Culver City. For me, I feel like I am in Los Angeles when I get to East LA and the Garment District. But Culver City, Santa Monica and all of those cities in the great beyond west of Los Angeles….they feel YEARS away! Luckily we keep the car stocked with a flat of bottled waters from Target so we didn’t need to stop for provisions until we arrived at our destination: The Culver Hotel in Culver City.

I’d like to say I had been to Culver City in the past but I don’t remember. The square around The Culver Hotel was adorable and extremely hispter-eqsue. If I had been there before, it was nothing like the cute, fun place we experienced now. We found parking close by and walked down picturesque tree lined streets to the square where the food truck was parked. 

CrazyPyes Collage

I had hoped I would see some of the cast members from the show (Selenis Leyva showed up in New York!) but we got pie and it was delicious!  Xaver and I posed in the fun cut-out picture booth they had on site and I took him several OITNB cast member posters. I have no idea where I will hang those but I GOT THEM! We topped off our “dessert-first” lunch with friend chicken at Honey’s Kettle, just down the street from the Culver Hotel and then headed to the birthday party in San Gabriel. Everyone thought we were crazy as they followed our adventure on social media but we were making memories and having a wonderful time. When I’m 80 I can now say (read in a slow, creaky voice), “Remember that time when I was in my 30s and me and Grandpa got pie from the “Orange Is the New Black” food truck. In my day, you could get food off a TRUCK!” Or it goes something like that…

There’s nothing more fun than an impromptu adventure and one of the keys to making that happen is having some great tools on hand and at the ready for whenever spontaneity strikes. I always make sure that my Canon EOS Rebel T5I camera is fully charged and on the ready so that we can take it with us on trips and document the day. You can pick up this handy camera for a song at Target (yeah, Target!) and that’s where I got my camera. In addition, a slim travel pack is always handy for carrying the camera, your wallet, cell phone, keys, and of course, water bottles. When we’re out and about like this, I don’t like carrying around my heavy purse so Xaver carries a pack, like this SwissGear City Pack, to carry all of our necessary items. It’s perfect for spontaneous day trips, hiking, and even the occasional theme park day. And finally, water is essential. I never know if there will be a store or place to get water nearby and being that the summer is hot here in So Cal, water is a must! I carry a flat of 24 waters in my car at all times and we also have a few reusable water bottles to fill when there is a place to fill them. Lots of places in LA have free water stations for customers, like Urth Caffe, where you can fill your bottles on a hot summer day.

So to recap, here’s what you need to have an adventure any time, any place:

Canon EOS Rebel T5I
SwissGear City Pack
Refillable Water Bottle
Water Bottles, Flat of 24

You can use the Target Wedding registry link to create a spontaneous, unforgettable adventure pack for you and your honey. Just click the link to get started on adding items to your registry. Want some moolah to get started? I am giving away a $25 gift card to Target!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tammy, call me up for the next adventure. Xaver and I are ready! What adventures will you be going on soon? 

Keep up with our So Cal and crafty adventures by subscribing to the Hydrangea Hippo Crafty Newsletter.

Jennifer Signature Block-Fall 2014

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own. #TargetWedding #Sponsored


DIY Olaf Pet Rocks


Frozen is still HUGE!!!! Last month our Girl Scout troop put on a Frozen themed event for the younger troops in the area. Being that retro crafts are in, the girls developed an updated Pet Rocks project – Pet Olafs! Our good friends at ilovetocreate generously sponsored this make n take with Tulip paints, which we totally love!!



Aren’t those guys fun??? Yeah, some girls went “off script” but they had a great time creating and getting painty.



Here’s the supplies you need to make these:

Here’s how we made them:

1. Paint the rock any color, as desired, using the Tulip Soft paints and brushes. Olaf is white but you can paint him any color you want. These Tulip Soft Fabric Paints dry quickly and have a wonderful soft, smooth texture that makes them easy for kids to paint with.

2. Using hot glue, add googly eyes to the Olaf.

3. If you want your Pet Olaf to have hair, bend a chenille stem into a hair shape and hot glue to the top. 

4. To make a carrot nose, coil a chenille stem into a spiral shape and then glue to the rock. Or use a pom pom, again securing with hot glue.

5. Bend brown chenille stems into arms and glue them to Olaf.

Now you’re ready to party with your Pet Rock!! Make sure you don’t overfeed it and that you don’t out it in the sun (Olaf likes the summer but he doesn’t know that he’ll melt so you gotta watch out for his safety).

A big thank you from our troop to for sponsoring this project!!


See all that has to offer online here:

ILTC on Facebook

ILTC on twitter

ILTC on Pinterest

ILTC on YouTube

And could you please please pretty please leave them a little note to let them know how cool it is that they are supporting girls in leadership positions??! I’d love that!! Just click here to tweet or go to their Facebook Page and leave a comment. Thanks!

Tweet: Thank you @ilovetocreate for supporting and empowering girls, like Troop 317! The Pet Olafs they made were super cute! #frozen #thankyou

As always, we’d love to hear your comments below. And don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter in the box in the sidebar that says MAILCHIMP – we’re sending more useful juicy, crafty info every week!

Jennifer Signature Block-Fall 2014


How to Color Paper Mache Fast


Christmas is coming!!!! I know, I know….it’s “too early”. But you and I both have seen the aisles of every craft store brimming with holiday goodness for us to buy. A recent trend I’ve seen cropping back up is paper mache everything — trees and stars and ornaments and advent calendars….. oh my! In the interest of time and sanity, who wants to decoupage and paint and meticulously deal with covering up all that brown? Not I. And, since friends don’t let friends make craft mistakes, well, I made the world’s shortest craft video for you. Here’s how to color paper mache, fast!

All you need is a Color Catcher (or a box) to catch the overspray, a bottle of spray ink, and a paper mache item.

How do you color paper mache projects??

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for more crafty goodness!

Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

Signature Blog NEWSLETTER


Online Craft Classes Now on Etsy

If you’ve registered for any of my classes at My Creative Classroom, you’ve probably received an email that the site is closing. I’ve been working on building a classroom onto my website here for a few months and I plan to get that open very very soon. But in the meantime, I needed a way to offer the class content from these online craft classes to everyone who took the classes. 

Organized Crafter - Collage

Enter etsy… Woot Woot!! I’ve put all of my past MCC classes onto DVDs on etsy. Anyone can purchase the DVDs and they essentially give you lifetime access to all the videos, pdfs, and project photos from each class. Some of these classes have had hundreds of people attend them online and benefit from them immensely! The Organized Crafter is one of my favorites because it has helped so many people identify how they create, come to terms with shopping and hoarding issues, and get their space back to the way it should – a supportive place to create. Because these classes span my entire 5+ year tenure at MCC, some of them are admittedly “old”. My photos have improved, my videos improved since I made some of these classes … in Social Marketing for Crafters for example, some details have changed since I created the class. But the bulk of the info is still wonderfully useful! And because of this, I am offering a discount on all of the DVDs. You see, to make it fair to everyone who did take the classes, I can’t offer them out the gate at a discount to eveyone. But for a limited time, I am offering a DISCOUNT coupon on any of the DVDs!! This means some of them are less than $10 each!!!

Purchase any DVD (or combination of DVDs) for $15 or more and receive $5 off your order with this coupon: ONLINECLASS5

Purchase any DVD (or combination of DVDs) for $50 or more and receive $20 off your order with this coupon: ONLINECLASS20

These codes expire on August 31, 2014 so use them quick!!! These coupons only good for DVD purchases and will not be honored for other items in the shop. 

Check out all the class DVDS available for purchase here: Past Classes on DVD


Here are all of the past classes, offered as DVDs:

The Organized Crafter:

Social Marketing for Crafters:

The Painted Page:

A Crafter’s Approach to ICE Resin

A Very Faux Christmas:

Silhouette Glass Etching:

Silhouette Off the Page:

Silhouette Printables:

Silhouette Cameo Basics:

Silhouette 101:

Silhouette 102:

Prima Pretties:

Nifty Gifty:

Flea Market Finds

Fast and Frugal Scrappin’

Dictionary Couture:

Crafting A Handmade Business on Etsy

Bind it all Masterz – Beyond the Book:

All About Flowers:

I wasn’t able to make complete versions of some classes that were taught by a group of instructors since I don’thave rights to their content so I am not offering those classes as DVDs butI will offer the lessons in some form, probably a download. That would included classes like Wrap It Up, Mini Albums, and All About Halloween. Please sign up on my email list to get notifications of when those classes will be ready – the sign up form is in the sidebar here on my blog.

 Thanks for stopping by today! Please let me know in the comments or via email if you have any questions about the classes or DVDs. IF you took my class at MCC and did not receive an email from me about the specific DVD for your class, please email me privately. I hope this solution works well for everyone involved!!



Healthy After School Snacks The Kids Will Devour – with California Raisins

Every which way we turn in the store, there is some kind of packaged this or that full of sugar that is vying for my kids’ attention so that they will beg and plead for me to buy it. Where are all the healthy after school snacks? Shopping as a “paleo” family has been a real challenge in this day of sugar laden crud that we’re encouraged to buy with coupons and in the interest of convenience. With back to school here, this challenge is even more so top of my mind as I am really struggling with filling second grader Matthew’s lunch and after school snack with healthy items that he will actually eat.  I love California Raisins and wish that Matt would eat them in the box but he just won’t. He’s a weird little dude. We figured out that he LOVES to eat yummy raisins if they are included in a trail mix, which is a great California Raisin snack. But geez, trail mix every day?! The kid is gonna tell horror stories about his childhood…

The trail mix is great (I’ll share the recipe below) but we needed something else for him to snack on as well. With all the other kids around him eating packaged sweets, the boy needed something, anything, to help his sweet tooth. A couple Christmases ago, Katie received a mini donut making machine as a gift from “Santa Claus”. That might have been more than a couple years since high schoolers don’t get visits from Santa Claus … LOL Anyways, we have this donut maker and being “paleo”, well, we don’t eat donuts anymore. We did a little research and found a cinnamon raisin bagel recipe online. All it needed was a little paleo juicing up!! Rather than fire up the oven on these still hot August nights, we decided to use the donut machine to make California Raisin Donut Bagels, or “California Raisin Donagels”. 

California Raisin Cinnamon Donut Bagels Donagels by Jennifer Priest TITLE

I made sure to purchase “California Raisins” in the box at my local grocery store. This variety of raisins are easy to find in stores as they are marked as “California Raisins” right on the package. And check this out –  California Raisins are the most economical dried fruit (according to the USDA) and have zero fat, no cholesterol and no added sugar!!  Raisins are naturally sweet so there was no need to add sugar for sweetness AND this makes this dish even more paleo friendly. California Raisins are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit you can feel good about sending with your kids as they head back to school or offering as part of an after-school snack. The ingredient list on the box says it all: Raisins. How often do you see that these days?? Plus, raisins offer 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron (per quarter cup serving). I bought both golden raisins and the classic raisins to give this recipe a little more interest and we set about converting the recipe to be “paleo-friendly”. 

How to Make Donagels Collage


California Raisin Donagels
Raisins are naturally sweet so there was no need to add sugar for sweetness AND this makes this dish even more paleo friendly!
Write a review
1529 calories
101 g
558 g
118 g
37 g
55 g
496 g
1502 g
45 g
0 g
56 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1529
Calories from Fat 1002
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 118g
Saturated Fat 55g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 34g
Monounsaturated Fat 22g
Cholesterol 558mg
Sodium 1502mg
Total Carbohydrates 101g
Dietary Fiber 14g
Sugars 45g
Protein 37g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
  2. 1.5 Tbsp Golden Flax Meal
  3. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  4. 2 tsp Cinnamon or 1 tsp Nutmeg
  5. 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  6. 3 Organic Eggs
  7. 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  8. 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  9. 1 Tbsp Agave or Organic Honey
  10. 1/4 Cup Golden California Raisins
  11. 1/4 Cup California Raisins (purple)
  12. 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the Oven the 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Combine all of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well.
  5. Add raisins and nuts (optional)
  6. Heat donut maker and grease lightly with Coconut Oil to prevent sticking. Spoon mixture into the sections of the donut maker and cook for 8 minutes.
  7. Remove the "donagels" from the donut maker and allow to cool.
  1. You can add powdered sugar to top the donagels but they're already really sweet from the raisins.
Adapted from
Adapted from
Hydrangea Hippo
Visit for more information about California Raisins and find California Raisins on Facebook at where you can sign up to receive a California Raisins prize pack! Limited supply; while quantities last.

Now, go dust off that ole donut maker and create some healthy snacks for the kids with California Raisins! For more paleo snacks and recipes, check out my other blog, Paleo Priests.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for more crafty goodness!

Jennifer Signature Block-Fall 2014

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Guest Designer: Origami Wallet Fold Album and Book Pendant with ANCHOR Kit

We’re so excited to share Guest Designer Trisha Neals’ projects created with our September 2014 kit, ANCHOR. You can sign up to receive ANCHOR on our subscritpions page — this kit ships Setpember 1st!

Anchor Sept 2014 KIT CLUB Collage

The Hydrangea Hippo September Kit, ANCHOR, is so full of summer fun, I literally squealed as I pulled all the beach themed papers,  luscious trims, and beautiful baubles from the box.

 Trisha Neal Mini BookCollage 

My first project with this kit is an origami wallet album, inspired by my daughter’s Florida adventure.  One sheet of 12 x 12 forms the four inside pockets, while a smaller piece of patterned paper is simply bound to the folded signature for a cover. This leaves a perfect opportunity to add some of the kit’s gorgeous beads and bits to the outside spine of the album.  I love small books and albums, and the more tactile, the better, so each pocket holds at least one pull tag with a photo on one side and plenty of room to journal on the other.  A great thing about this book format is that there are side pockets, as well–I left these empty for the girl child to fill with other ephemera from her trip.

Trisha Neal Pendant Book Collage

 Also included in ANCHOR are plenty of jump rings, and a sheet of  small  cardstock stickers that coordinate with the paper.  Add those two things together, and I’m making a book pendant every time!  This tiny book is almost 1 3/4 inches by 2 inches, with five hand stitched signatures, and a cover constructed from a double thickness of the patterned paper.  The cheerful daisy keychain and jump rings of beads and ribbons are attached to an eyelet from my stash placed at the top of the book’s spine, and the pages are embellished with the cardstock stickers (PERFECT size!!!) and tiny trimmings of the coordinating papers.

 A big THANK YOU to Jennifer for the opportunity to dive into this delightful kit and preserve some summer memories!