Monthly Archives

November 2015


Film & Frame: A Free Printable for Holly Golightly

Film & Frame: Holly Golightly Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Once upon a time, back when this blog was a very different animal, I wrote a lot of fashion and movie posts. I miss it a little bit, especially the Fashion Rewind posts. Those were my favorite. I was thinking about putting together another one, but it has started to feel like a thing of the past.

Onward and upward!

This feels like a natural progression, really. Several years ago I watched 100 Movies, looking for inspiration in each and every one. So, I thought, what if I watched a good stylish movie, felt inspired and designed something pretty for you to look at?

Welcome to Film & Frame, where movies meet free printables.

Film & Frame: Holly Golightly Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

What better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s to kick things off? Let’s pretend we’re Holly Golightly. Wannabe social climber + poseur originale. Highly delusional. But always stylish.

You wear statement necklaces, little black dresses and alligator shoes all hours of the day, especially to visit Sally Tomato in Sing Sing. He pays you $100 a week for the “weather report,” whatever that is. You fall for Paul Baby, a kept man who lives in your building. He seems like a passing fancy but in reality he is just like you.

For Holly’s statement printable, I drew inspiration from her iconic sunglasses, and of course there has to be some tiffany blue involved.

Film & Frame: A Free Printable for Holly Golightly

High-res 8×10 PDF. For personal use only. You know the fine print, yadda yadda yadda. Play nice.

Film & Frame: Holly Golightly Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel


Film & Frame: Holly Golightly Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

I could totally see Holly hanging this on her wall … that is, if she ever decided to settle down.

Film & Frame: Holly Golightly Free Printable • Little Gold Pixel

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

Alexa is turning 5 in a few months. Gah, I love this age.

Writing about this little girl hasn’t been the same this year. Previously I soaked up all of her experiences and kept them here for posterity. I was (and still am) terrified of forgetting her as-is, how she was in the moment. The irony is that, as time goes on, I’m starting to feel like her stories are no longer mine to tell.

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

We are living more in the moment. It’s a blessing and a curse. She is changing so fast, this little kid. We used to have one-sided chats. Now we have philosophical debates about whether it’s going to rain. The things she finds endearing one day are old hat the next. The toys she loved a month ago are boring now. The stick figures she used to draw are now pretty impressive renderings of Mickey Mouse.

She’s constantly keeping me on my toes with her personality and intelligence, but I’m finding my groove here in encouraging creative and imaginative play.

Here are some of my tried-and-true ways to keep her creativity flowing.

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers

1. Break out the crafts.

Last week we gathered pinecones that had fallen to the ground, and I suggested that we could decorate them. We brainstormed how we would do it, ultimately deciding on glitter and paste. Sometimes our ideas aren’t so solid, so I pull out an entire plastic bin full of random stuff, and we’ll color, collage, paint, etc. Sometimes I just give her a pair of scissors and some construction paper and ask her to cut out shapes for me. It doesn’t really matter what you’re making. as long as you’re creating next to your child, they will follow suit.

2. The family that apps together stays together.

Not all apps are created equal, so you’ll have to do some searching. A few of our favorites are Toca Town, which is kinda like playing paper dolls. Another fun one is the Princess Story Theater, where you can record your voices for future playback while moving the characters around on the screen. There are dress-up apps, cooking apps, the sky’s really the limit nowadays. Your child will have fun playing with these apps by herself, but it’s even better if you play with them. Your perspective and questions will stoke the fires of creativity!

3. Let your child play alone, unsupervised.

There’s something about being a kid this age. The straddling of constant authority and the hint of freedom. I love to play with Alexa, but I know there is value in letting her play by herself in her room. I’m never far away. She can call out to me if she needs me. But I don’t eavesdrop, and I let her explore her world on her own terms. Yes, I’m curious what she’s up to, but chances are in 10 minutes she’ll run out of her room wearing snow boots, a bikini and goggles and babbling about going scuba diving. So don’t worry — your highly creative child will want to share their imagination with you eventually.

4. Pretend X is Y and vice versa.

A spoon can be a catapult. A stuffed cat can be a crowned prince. A brush can be a microphone. You get the point. I like to encourage Alexa to think outside the box by pretending her toys are more than meets the eye. In the same vein, if I see her toys lined up in peculiar ways, I ask her what they are. Sometimes the answers are straightforward, other times a line of cars are really rocket ships waiting to launch. You just never know!

5. Provide constructive toys.

Lately Alexa has been enjoying Bunchems — fun, colorful little balls that stick together when you squish them, allowing you to create any number of creatures. Check out this tutorial on how to make a monkey with Bunchems. These open-ended construction toys are perfect for unleashing some creativity in your kid. Play alongside, and you’ll see how easy they are to connect, twist and create. Toys like this that foster architecture and design are a surefire way to connect with your kid. I can’t think of a better conversation starter than “What are you building?”

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

5 Ways to Encourage Creative Play with Preschoolers • Little Gold Pixel

I’d love to hear what kinds of things you do to encourage creativity with your kids. This mama is always looking for new tips to keep things interesting.

And, to go retro, what did you like to do when you were 5? Do you remember?

When I was 5 I was all about drawing princesses and their myriad gowns, and sketching with my Fashion Plates and Spirographs. Do you remember those!?

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

10 More Books Preschoolers Love


Something funny happened recently at the library.

We rounded up the seven books we checked out, and Alexa painstakingly dropped each one into the return box. We counted to make sure we returned all the books that we had borrowed. Seven books. Except …

The library claimed that it never received the seventh book. I was incredulous. Obviously this was a mistake. We counted seven books. They must’ve restocked without scanning it back in. I had plans to waltz into the library and point to the seventh book, sitting neatly organized in its home shelf.

This didn’t happen. The book wasn’t on the shelf. Luckily the library just asked that we bring in a new book to compensate for the lost one. So, as far as the library was concerned, the case was closed. I was still convinced that the library had somehow misplaced the book, but the case was closed.

Fast forward a few weeks. We decided to rearrange Alexa’s room to make her closet more kid-friendly. In the process, I unearthed a pile of books and school projects and a Sofia the First action figure that was hiding between the nightstand and the bed. As I sifted through the forgotten treasures, I stopped cold.


I instantly remembered the time I “lost” a school library book in second grade. Coincidentally, the book was The Borrowers, which to this day I still have not read. Months after the book was declared overdue and eventually paid for, we discovered The Borrowers upon moving my bed from one side of my room to the other.

Like mother, like daughter, eh?

I’m happy we found Alexa’s library book fairly fast. But still, the mystery remains. What was that seventh book we donated to the library? I haven’t figured it out yet.

Anyway, here are a few books Alexa has been into lately. It’s been a while since I did one of these roundups. I could possibly list another 20 books! She loves to read.

10 Books Preschoolers Love


1. Uni the Unicorn

Why? Uni the Unicorn dreams about being friends with a little girl, despite the fact that the other unicorns say little girls are just make-believe. It’s a story about listening to your heart and believing in yourself. I’m a big fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s books, and Brigette Barrager is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. Alexa loves the artwork, especially the spread where Uni and the little girl slide down the rainbow together.


2. Pirates Don’t Change Diapers!

Why? A kid with a big imagination gets some help babysitting from his pirate friends, who are woefully inept at caring for an infant. So, pirate voices! Arghhh! Matey! What’s not to love about hapless ne’er-do-wells who let babies get the better of them?! Alexa didn’t want to return this to the library (but we did, and on time, haha).



3. Iggy Peck, Architect

Why? Iggy Peck has always like to build things. He’s a little MacGyver, this Iggy. He even used dirty diapers when he was a toddler (ewwww). The illustrations are great throughout, and the message is important for kids and adults alike. Cultivate your talents! Never give up on your calling!


4. Peter Pan

Why? Because it’s Peter Pan. And Tinker Bell. And Captain Hook. (I love doing my Captain Hook voice.) In other words, preschooler bait. Caution to parents: The story is dated in parts, including when the Lost Boys play Cowboys and Indians.




5. Extra Yarn

Why? Annabelle brings color to her bleak town when she finds a never-ending supply of yarn. The illustrations by Jon Klassen are a delight, and so is the message: Create something, make the world a brighter place.



6. The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

Why? The pigeon is so jealous of the duckling’s cookie, and he gets upset as only the pigeon can, going on a rant about how unfair it all is. Lots of giggles throughout for the pigeon’s antics, and a nice message to boot: Politeness goes a long way.




7. The Missing Piece

Why? A simply illustrated story that takes kids on a journey through space and time and challenges their imaginations. Life lessons throughout, as It looks for its missing piece. Some pieces are too small, too big. Alexa loved the tune I made up for the song: “Oh I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece/I’m lookin’ for my missin’ piece/Hi-dee-ho, here I go/Lookin’ for my missin’ piece.” Caution to parents: I had a hard time NOT tearing up while reading this aloud.


8. Six

Why? This is a fine art book dressed as a children’s book. There’s not much in the way of words here, but each painting prompts a counting lesson, and the artwork facilitates conversation with your preschooler about what they “see.” (Hint: There are no wrong answers. It’s art!)



9. Clam-I-Am

Why? Let me get this out of the way quickly: I do not care for Dr. Seuss. I’ll read the stories to Alexa because … she likes them. But the Cat in the Hat, about a stranger who forces kids to play with him? Eep. And Green Eggs and Ham, about an annoying Sam-I-Am who can’t stop pushing his obviously nuclear-laced breakfast on people? Ugh. But this book is great. Lots of lessons and illustrations about sea life and the things we do/see at the beach every weekend.



10. A Day at the Seashore

Why? Nancy and Timmy get ready for a day at the beach, with rhymes. Whereas Clam-I-Am focuses on the science of sea life, this book focuses on the minutiae of beachgoing. Alexa asks to read this when she’s in need of more beach time.


Click on the links for more info and/or to purchase. These are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Little Gold Pixel! 

Frame Game: Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter

Frame Game: Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers’ gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities. Click here to see past Frame Games.

Today’s wall was inspired by Fatima, who is looking for ideas for her vacation home in Mexico.

In her own words:

“My name is Fatima. I am going to be decorating a room for myself, the house is in Mexico, and we go every year for about 2 to 3 weeks. This year I have made it my goal to finally decorate the walls of my bedroom. The room’s colors are primarily purple and white. I have a “royal, chic, satin, soft fabrics” type of vibe in the room. But I don’t know what I could put on the walls to help enhance the theme or make the room more me. I am pretty well traveled, I’ve been to Europe twice to England, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. And I’d like my room to reflect that part about my life. I’d also like for it to be relaxing as well, it is for vacations. Thank you!”

Sounds like a fun challenge. Let’s go!

Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter

I decided to keep the color palette limited because this is a bedroom, and I want it to be a sanctuary for Fatima. So I stuck with purples and neutrals. I almost wanted the art to feel understated and spa-like.

It’s amazing how often I can turn to the retro poster to anchor a gallery wall. It seems like I can always find a color story that fits with the themes. It’s just a bonus that these are travel-related, including several places Fatima has been to.

You’ll notice I used a lot of purple patterns in my walls this time. Patterns help break up the statement pieces, especially in a bedroom where you’re going for a relaxed vibe. I love a good typography-heavy piece of art, but I think they’re more effective in dynamic spaces like living rooms. Bedrooms pretty much call out for white noise, florals, repetition, simple color palettes.

To download these printables, click on the links below each roundup to go to the original download pages.

Frame Game: Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Purple hydrangea • Circle patternPlant printOrient Express poster 1Orient Express poster 2You Are DreamyPurple lines patternBotanical Rorschach

Another good tip for bedrooms: I also like pieces that “color outside the lines.” It could be watercolor that blends together, like the Hold That Thought printable, or the sketchy background for the feathers, or raw brushstrokes of the Ooh La La piece — a good “messy” vibe can add the chic softness Fatima is going for.

Frame Game: Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

Floral drawingHold That ThoughtFeathersAndalucia poster • Paris posterMoroccan tile pattern • Ooh La LaWaves pattern

This French map was one of the first things I saw when searching for this gallery. Isn’t it perfect? Muted tones, incorporating some purple, and so pretty it looks like it was meant to be framed. There’d be no doubt this room belongs to someone with a traveling soul.

Frame Game: Mexican Getaway for a Royal Jetsetter • Frame Game is an occasional series in which I take readers' gallery wall requests and find art that fits their personalities • Little Gold Pixel

French mapGood Morning & Good Night


If You Wanna Splurge

Sometimes, no matter how long you search for the perfect free printable (hey, it might still be out there!), there comes a time in every curator’s life when you simply must pay for good, quality art. Please do. I believe in supporting artists!

This is what I’d buy for Fatima. A large, 16×24 printable for $7 from Print Art Studio. You need to print out your own, but they do the heavy lifting with a highly customizable design (choose your own colors, including purple!).

For Fatima’s room, I would choose to do the background pattern in “silver,” with “Si” in “dark purple” and “lilac” shadowing. It would give off a completely different vibe in this palette, keeping with the quiet, royal and chic vibe of the rest of choices above.


Interested in being featured on the Frame Game?

Since I’ve started rounding up free printables (the first time, the second time, the third time, the kids time, the kitchen time), I’ve received a lot of emails seeking help with various dilemmas you have in your homes.

Use this form in the comments below (or email me) to indicate what mood you’re trying to set, and look out for future installments on the blog.

  • Name (first name only is fine):
  • Website (if you have one):
  • Which room in your house do you want to decorate?
  • Tell me a little about the person this room belongs to (likes, dislikes, special requests):
  • Tell me this person’s favorite movies, books, music:
  • Any additional info:

P.S. The frames featured in this post are mockups. Check the individual download pages for details on ideal image size. Want to print something huge but the highest it goes is 8×10? Consider a larger frame with a mat. (Example here.)

Floral Rorschach Free Art Printable / Freebie Fridays

Freebie Fridays • Little Gold Pixel

YES! Thank goodness it’s Freebie Friday! Hope you came over here ready to share and click and find all new fun freebies and friends.

Scroll down to download my new freebie, and scroll even further down to join in on the link party below. Here’s what I’m sharing today:

Floral Rorschach Free Art Printable

Floral Rorschach Free Art Printable / Freebie Fridays • Little Gold Pixel

I’ve been dabbling a little in making patterns. I find the entire process extremely relaxing. This is one I’ve been toying with sharing for a while. I hesitated at first to call it a Rorschach because it’s not perfectly symmetrical, but it’s a close approximation. You know what they say: practice makes perfect. Pattern Making 101 in full session here.


File is an 8″x10″ PDF. For personal use only! Play nice!

Floral Rorschach Free Art Printable / Freebie Fridays • Little Gold Pixel


P.S. Past Freebie Fridays here.

What I’ve Been Reading

Book Reviews November 2015 • Little Gold Pixel

This is an occasional series that chronicles my quest to read 80 books in 2015. This is the eighth roundup so far this year. Check out past reviews here. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

I read a few books this month that I’d heard a lot about: Dear Mr. Knightley and Luckiest Girl Alive. Everybody seems to looooove Dear Mr. Knightley, and I’ve heard so much trash-talking about Luckiest Girl Alive.

Well, call me crazy — I loved Luckiest Girl Alive and was disappointed with Dear Mr. Knightley. Hey, I never said I was predictable!

I only have TWO books to go before I hit my goal of 80 books for the year. I can’t believe it.

(Do you follow me on Goodreads? You should!)

Book Reviews November 2015: 78/80

Dear Mr. Knightley / Katherine Reay
File under: Jane Austen, romance, chick lit
Plot: Foster-system graduate Samantha lives off the kind scholarship of a stranger while going to graduate school, incessantly quoting books and in general being annoying.
Review: I know absolutely no one who randomly quotes passages from books. Movie quotes = yes. Book quotes = give me a f*&^ing break.



The Cranes Dance / Meg Howrey
File under: Ballet, mental illness, literature, suspense
Plot: A ballerina slowly unravels after her more-talented sister is injured.
Review: Guys, my plot line isn’t doing this book justice. This novel grabbed me tight and never let go. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen with Kate next as we peeled away the layers of her life. The author did an amazing job with the voice and vibe of the book.



The Night Sister / Jennifer McMahon
File under: Suspense, things that go bump in the night, ZOMG
Plot: Woman returns to her hometown after getting news that her childhood friend is being accused of a horrific crime.
Review: Jennifer McMahon can do no wrong. Her latest book is un-put-downable, absolutely stay-up-with-your-flashlight fare.



A Window Opens / Elisabeth Egan
File under: Thirtysomething, career crisis, motherhood, chick lit
Plot: Alice returns to the work force when her husband quits the law firm to start his own practice. Life happens.
Review: This book speaks to my experiences: mid-30s, job that negatively divides time with family, finding myself in the middle of a dying career field. The protagonist’s observations and experiences line up with reality in a witty and truthful way that most books of this canon do not.



The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs / Matthew Dicks
File under: Wobbly revenge of the bullied, chick lit
Plot: Woman, teenage daughter in tow, drives back to her hometown so she can confront her high school bully but she realizes she is still fighting her own demons.
Review: This one was so random, the plot so meandering that I was left scratching my head at the end. What starts as an anti-bully story ends with something completely different. Also, the author asks you to jump gaps in logic. I wasn’t willing.



Modern Romance / Aziz Ansari
File under: Nonfiction, dating scene, Tinder culture
Plot: Comedian does a lot of research to get to the bottom of dating in the 2010s.
Review: I enjoyed listening to Aziz talk about his findings. Lots of laughs, but a lot of substance, too. I caught myself talking about this book in lots of conversations, which is always a sign of a good read.



Luckiest Girl Alive / Jessica Knoll
File under: Mean Girls, Cruel Intentions, literature
Plot: A twentysomething social climber is forced to face her high school traumas.
Review: Without giving anything away, I thought this book was amazing. The protagonist is understandably unlikeable, and yet I’m rooting for her. No subject is too taboo here. The complexity of human emotion is rendered expertly in a smart, well-drawn manner.

In a Nutshell

Three to read: A Window Opens, Luckiest Girl Alive, The Cranes Dance

One to pass: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

So there you have it. 78 down! 2 to go!

What have you been reading lately? I’m always on the lookout for a good book … do share recommendations in the comments. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my assessment? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

P.S. A running list of my fave must-read books. Soooo much good stuff here.

Linking up with, a great place to find good reads. Check it out.

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable / Freebie Fridays

Freebie Fridays • A Weekly Blog Party on &

YES! Thank goodness it’s Freebie Friday!

Scroll down to download my new freebie. Here’s what I’m sharing today:

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Today I’m sharing a little something for your Thanksgiving decor. This month has been a blur so far. I looked at the calendar a few hours ago, and my jaw literally dropped. I have a lot of blog stuff to do in the next week and a half.

For starters, I have some Frame Games to share with you. And some gift guides to prepare. And a return to sending out newsletters after a month’s hiatus. Do you subscribe to the newsletter? You should.

And this is all before I plan our Thanksgiving menu. Whew. If it’s anything like last year, it will come down to a last-minute Pinterest search for fun recipes. What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes? Please share. I need all the help I can get.

And now … back to the freebies.

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable: Classic

File is an 8″x10″ PDF. For personal use only! Play nice!

Tools: Illustrator, Photoshop

Font: Bundt Cake Script

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable • Little Gold Pixel


Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable: Modern

File is an 8″x10″ PDF. For personal use only! Play nice!

Font: TT Chocolates

Gather and Be Grateful Free Thanksgiving Printable • Little Gold Pixel


P.S. Past Freebie Fridays here. Also, check out my Thanksgiving printable from last year.

John Lennon Free Art Printable: There Are No Problems Only Solutions

John Lennon Free Art Printable: There Are No Problems Only Solutions • Little Gold Pixel

This is typically where I type my Freebie Friday banter, beckoning creatives to join me in sharing what they’ve been working on and posting for their readers.

Today is a little different. There’s no linkup (it will return next week, promise!). But there is a freebie.

This one is in memory of my Grandma E., who passed away earlier this week and whose funeral is today.

I’ve written about her before, through the eyes of my dad, who was the oldest of her 13 children. She has more than 30 grandchildren and 30+ great-grandchildren. What a legacy!

John Lennon Free Art Printable: There Are No Problems Only Solutions • Little Gold Pixel

Grandma E. was a farmer’s wife. She was always busy, always had her hands full, and seemed happiest when her house was bursting at the seams with people.

Shortly after Alexa was born I asked her how she did it. THIRTEEN kids. THIRTEEN. Let that sink in for a minute.

She gave me frank advice about how the older kids watched the smaller kids; the TV can be a good babysitter. Never once would she say it was difficult. “Things needed to be done, so we did them,” she said, ever the no-nonsense pillar of fortitude.

To Grandma E., who never met a puzzle she couldn’t solve.

John Lennon Free Art Printable: There Are No Problems Only Solutions

Printable is high-res 8×10. For personal use only. Play nice & do not use for commercial purposes & yadda yadda yadda. Download below.

John Lennon Free Art Printable: There Are No Problems Only Solutions • Little Gold Pixel


P.S. More John Lennon freebies: Watching the Wheels & Shine On & All You Need Is Love

P.P.S. Plus more freebies here.

THE FINE PRINT: As always, play nice. For personal use only. Share with friends. Tag @littlegoldpixel on Instagram so I can see the printable in action.

7 Modern Ways to Decorate with Gold


Do you guys even know how much I love gold? The first hint: It’s in the name.

That’s why when I got the chance to write a decor guide for eBay, I automatically thought about sharing my tips for decorating a modern-meets-midcentury space, one in which gold accents are at home year-round.

(Yes, year-round. Not just for the holidays, although gold for the holidays is ALWAYS fab. So get that tinsel out. I for one have some gold bottlebrush trees that I’ll never ever retire.)

Gold is having a renaissance of sorts right now. It’s very trendy, which can be scary because trends are so fickle. I remember the time I bought (and WORE) white stirrup pants in junior high. Remember 1990s stirrup pants? I don’t blame you if you say no. I’d like to wipe my mind of that short-lived fashion trend, too.

Never fear. Gold decor isn’t going to be passé anytime soon.

And I especially believe that following the tips in my eBay guide 7 Modern Ways to Decorate with Gold will push you away from trendy and toward classic and eclectic. I mix up Hollywood Regency, midcentury modern and contemporary — they all combine for some pretty rad looks.

Channeling my fave Beatle … all I am saying … is give gold a chance.

Click Here for 7 Free Tips on Decorating With Gold!

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