“I really regret playing,” said no one ever. Here is where I will share a photo that could make me happy forever. If you’d like to see all of the photos in my PLAY, PLAY, PLAY series, click here.

{ Fresh out of the ocean on my 47th birthday. }

Have a great week everyone!
Photograph by Rebecca Sanabria.


Do you ever think about how the “nothing moments” are really the “everything moments”? Our culture focuses so much on the big things that are often meant to impress. But I find more joy in the little things. Sometimes I call them the “Seinfeld moments” because they are snippets of everyday life. But really aren’t those little snippets strung together over the years what matter most?

The conversations I have with my kiddos while we are eating breakfast, or driving home from school or hanging out in our backyard are some of my happiest snippets of life. Over the years, I’ve scribbled some down on random pieces of paper that are all over my house. Here are a few that I especially love…

“Hey Mommy, I want an otter for my birthday. (pause for effect) I’m not lying.”

“I think we just parked in a cloud. But it still feels like air.”

“In New York City you can touch a pigeon if you have a hot dog.”

“I have a goal to high five everyone in my class and the other class in one day. I almost did it today.”

Conversation about our parakeet:
“I put Yeti in my fanny pack.”
Me: “Did you zip it?”
Looks at me in disbelief, “No!”.
(As if zipping it was nuts, but having a parakeet in a fanny pack is completely normal conversation.)

One more from a few years ago that still gets me. You know those radar speed limit signs that display your current speed when driving? They blink if you are going over the speed limit, and remain static if you are driving the speed limit or below? Here’s how it goes every time we see one coming:
“Loooooook MOM!! 36, 38, SLOOOOOOOOW DOOOOOOWN. Get it right on 35. 33, almost….come on. YESSSS! 35!!! See it’s not blinking now. YAAAAAY MOOOOOM!”

See my Pinterest board with loads of little unexpected lovely things to look at here.
Photograph of a little “nothing moment” in our lives by Samantha Wiley.

Holiday Collection 2021

I’m ready for the happy feels of the holiday season. Ever think about how aaaaaaall the little things are really the big things? For me, it’s seeing our kids in matching pajamas, smelling my mom’s homemade bread, twinkling lights on our tree, reading stacks of Christmas books, spending extra days together, baking more than usual (last year we made snowmen bark for the first time, and they turned out freaking adorable). This year my kids have been watching Baking Impossible on Netflix, so I have a feeling they are going to want to make something like robotic snowmen cakes covered in coconut shells and dipped in white chocolate. Whaaaaat?! But truly, just thinking about all the little holiday things to come makes me happy. Sending Christmas cards is a happy one for me too. I get nerdily excited about stuffing those envelopes and dropping them off at the post office. And I’m equally excited to show you my new 2021 card designs. It’s a joyful gig to create these each year.

In a nutshell, I hope you’ll send one. And thank you. May you find huge joy in all the little things that make your holidays magical.

Click any card below and it will take you straight to the page where you can purchase via Tiny Prints or Shutterfly. Most of my designs come with multiple photo options, different layout options, color options, foil or glitter options, back design options, and envelopes galore.

To see all Tiny Prints designs in one place, click here.
To see all Shutterfly designs in one place, click here.


One of our family’s favorite Houston restaurants is Coltivare. It always feels special when we go there. I even have a vivid and happy memory of Pace picking it for his 11th birthday dinner. While it’s been forever since we’ve actually eaten there, we have enjoyed their take out during Covid a few times. Their cauliflower with pine nuts and raisins is a family favorite. And our kiddos love their pasta and pizza, desserts and mocktails. Our youngest once asked our server if he could make a non-alcoholic drink for him similar to a Pina Colada. He did, and the next time we went to eat there, we saw the ‘Nada Colada’ on the menu, so we are pretty convinced that Brae totally invented it. Winky wink.

The chef and co-owner is Ryan Pera, who has received many well-deserved awards like the James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in 2018. But what my kids care about most is that he greets them personally from the open kitchen when we walk in. He is just the nicest person. Needless to say, when Ryan asked me to create a coloring book for their restaurants, I thought it was so rad. He left it pretty open for me to do whatever I like, which is also rad when working with clients. His only huge requests were that it portray their care and intent in the farm-to-table journey of their food, and that it could be printed and/or copied easily on regular sized recycled paper. For me, I wanted to create something that could hold younger and a bit older kids’ attention. I wanted it to be both educational and witty. And I wanted to deliver an end product that was easy for the restaurant to integrate.

I love that they care enough to make coloring books for the many families that dine there. I also love how the design turned out and happily have received positive responses from the Coltivare team as well as actual customers. I hid all our family names in the word search on the back so it’s especially fun and funny when our friends are out to eat and send me photos of their kids finding our names unexpectedly and coloring in the ideas that started out as ideas floating around my head.

I’ve included photos here of the rough sketches because I think it’s neat to see how a job like this starts…a stack of plain paper, pencil sketches and ideas. Lots of time is spent in the beginning of a project just thinking and sketching. The creative process, whether it’s designing a coloring book or creating a new menu item with local veggies, starts with inspiration and many times develops with communal support.

Test your coloring skills out at Coltivare and the other Agricole restaurants.
Photography by Kennon Evett who I’ve luckily known for a million years.
Final illustrations by my sweet brother and talented artist, Brady Smith.