my week in objects (mostly).

    September 30, 2016

    five little things that made my week. 

    1. these shells.shells_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_4166

    {beachy loot for a possible project.} 

    2. these pom-poms.poms_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_4179

    {and collecting tiny precious things for a tiny precious someone.}

    3. this corner.corner_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_4162

    {for being an exercise in laughing at myself among other things. more soon.}

    4. this apple corer/peeler/miracle worker.apple_corer_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_4173

    {for getting used three different times this week alone.}

    5. this pile of leaves.
    leaves_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_4177

    {for letting us adopt them from the park.}

    other things:

    the temptation is real.

    the tracks of my tears.

    wimmin. (via miss moss.)

    okay, fine. i’ll take it.

    gwyneth, business woman.

    currently purging your softcovers? to consider!

    shake it off

    obsessing over fertility?

    register.

    make your own: bubbles (and wand!).

    September 28, 2016

    make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves

    I know I’ve out-tweed myself with this one and I know we’re edging past bubble season in this hemisphere. BUT HEAR ME OUT. This is very important.

    Faye had one bottle of bubbles this summer, of the usual sort. There was the brightly colored plastic bottle, the solution made of utterly undisclosed ingredients, the terrible plastic wand that evades your grasp and leaves your hand covered in slime once you manage to get it out of the bottle.

    This bottle of bubbles was a very big hit. Of course it meant me blowing countless numbers of bubbles while Faye chased them delightedly and I (softly and under my breath) cursed the sticky solution dripping down my fingers and the impossibility of fishing the stupid plastic wand out of the bottle where I’d dropped it (again). The bubble solution itself lasted for about 20 minutes, until 3/4 of it was spilled onto the grass of the park, never to be seen again. That’s the thing with bubbles, isn’t it?

    In an effort to waste not/want not, I decided to refill the plastic bottle with a solution of the homemade variety and after a little bit of trial and error, I got a simple solution to work. The only trouble was, that once we were back on the bubble train, Faye’s enthusiasm for bubbles grew apace with my annoyance at the plastic bottle and sticky wand.make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves

    And so I came up with a solution that ended up being not only 1,000,000 times more beautiful to look at, but 1,000,000 times more tolerable to play with. Wrapping a bit of wire about a piece of driftwood, and pouring the solution into a sturdy, squat jar that’s nearly impossible to knock over (and small enough that there’s not a huge amount of waste when it does inevitably get spilled) solved the dilemma altogether. Bonus: Faye fell into immediate love with her heart-shaped wand.

    It’s another case when what at first pass appears to be the more labor-intensive or self-sacrificing route is actually just the opposite. (See also: homemade playdough.) Simple matters, etc. Having a bubble recipe up your sleeve, storing the bubble solution in a jar that’s little and low, and making a wand with a handle that’s long enough to keep everyone’s hands out of the soap makes the bubble experience just a whole lot more pleasant. Very minor problem, solved. make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves
    make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves

    The basic bubble solution:

    + 1 part dish soap*

    + 3 parts water

    + enough vegetable glycerin to keep the bubbles intact (a scant teaspoon is enough for a small jar like this one)

    Mix it all together and start blowing bubbles!

    The bubble wand:

    + 1 slender stick

    + annealed wire (or any kind of florist wire)

    + wire cutters/floral scissors

    Start by making your bubble wand shape (leaving enough wire on either side of the shape to wrap around the stick). I went totally free form with the shape of my wand, but if you wanted something more intricate, you could try using a cookie cutter as a guide and wrap the wire around the cutter to get your desired shape. (Of course, regardless of the shape you make, the bubbles will still end up round. So if round or wonky is all you’ve got in you, go for it.) Close up the shape by twisting the two ends together and secure it to the stick by winding each end tightly around the stick. Cut off any remaining wire with wire cutters. (If the end feels sharp, use your cutters to squeeze the wire so that any sharp bits flatten out.)make your own bubbles and bubble wand | reading my tea leaves

    *When endeavoring to make my own bubble solution, I asked friends and early-childhood ed types and the gentleman blowing enormous bubbles in Central Park what they used for bubble solution and consulted this helpful list of recipes. Dish soap factored into every single response. But when I set out to make my own, I found that the eco-soap we had on hand didn’t have enough sudsing agents to make very reliable bubbles. The laundry detergent we keep in our house for hand-washing however? Just right. All this to say, depending on what kind of soap you keep around, you might need to experiment a bit, but eventually you’ll get bubbles!

    Happy bubbling.

    cozying up for fall with tradlands.

    September 27, 2016

    tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    This post is sponsored by Tradlands, a women’s clothing brand specializing in menswear-inspired staples for women.

    Since their launch in 2012, Tradlands has devoted itself to making the very best button-up shirts for women. In large part, the business was born because co-owner Sadie was tired of walking into the men’s department and seeing things that she wanted to wear herself, but that didn’t quite work for a woman’s body. Tradlands endeavored to change that and their 8-button shirts that are still some of the very very best button-ups out there. Over the past four years, as the small team at Tradlands has started to grow, so has their ability to offer a wider range of women’s staples. They’ve taken the same attention to detail that they bring to making their button-up shirts and turned it loose on other pieces that could well get described as must-haves. Just this month, Tradlands launched cotton tees and sweatshirts to my very enthusiastic applause.
    tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    The Tradlands T-Shirts are made of super soft pre-shrunk cotton. They’re tailored enough to give them a little shape, without getting close to the overly nipped and tucked look that’s often synonymous with women’s t-shirts. My personal favorite features are the classic crew neck and the tailored hemline in a slightly rounded cut. I’m wearing the Ada Shell in these shots. Also available in Cavern, a dark gray; Brunswick, an olive green; and Indigo, a deep blue. tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    Always a sucker for good sweatshirt, I feel particularly qualified to tell you that the Tradlands Sweatshirt is fantastic. It’s also made of super high-quality pre-shrunk cotton and sewn in the US. tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    The crew neck, gusset, and ribbing give it all the signatures of a classic sweatshirt; the softness and comfort mean you’re not gonna want to take it off. I’m wearing the Althea Shell in these photos. Sweatshirts are also available in the same Brunswick green and Indigo blue as the tees, as well as Heather Graytradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    If it’s a classic chambray that you’re thinking about adding to your fall closet, you’d be wise to look no further than the Waverly. Made of 100% cotton mid-weight cotton chambray, you can feel you’ve got something special on your hands from the moment you touch this shirt. tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    I’m wearing the Waverly Charcoal here over the Ada shell. The Waverly is also available in Slate and Cardinal
    tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    And if the shorter days we’re starting to notice makes you feels it’s the right time to up your sophistication a little bit, you might try the Rory. Its fit is a little trimmer than some of the other Tradlands’ button-ups and I love that it’s made of 100% organic cotton. It’s sleek and sophisticated (even over a growing belly). tradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    If you see something here that strikes your fancy (or perhaps you’ve been tempted by a cool-weather flannel), Tradlands is offering Reading My Tea Leaves readers $25 off orders over $100 with the code hellofall. Good through October 15, 2016 at midnight PSTtradlands fall 2016 | reading my tea leaves

    PS. All Tradlands‘ customers enjoy free shipping and returns in the US. (International shipping is also available: $5 to Canada and $10 to everywhere else.)

    Photographs by Whitney Kidder for Reading My Tea Leaves.

    This post is sponsored by Tradlands. Thanks for supporting the brands that support the original content on Reading My Tea Leaves.

  • gomphrena_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3957

    my week in objects (mostly).

    five little things that made my week.1. this gomphrena.{because these fuzz balls always get me this time of year.}2. this gift of tiny saddle shoes.{the stuff of back-to-school dreams. even for a not-in-school two-year-old.}3. these…

    September 23, 2016 7 Comments
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    fall refresh, two ways.

    Today is the first day of Fall and isn’t that a nice thing to think about?  I’m a sucker for season change. The shift in weather, the memory of past seasons coupled with the…

    September 22, 2016 29 Comments
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    baby proof: toy storage.

    We’re not big on toys in our family. We hate fun, is the reason. Just kidding! We love fun, we just don’t have a ton of toys! If you’re after a more general toy…

    September 20, 2016 32 Comments
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    life in a tiny apartment.

    Tip # 146: Pick and choose your tiny apartment advice.There are lots of schools of thought on decorating tiny apartments. My approach has always been to keep the place spare and spartan to maintain an…

    September 19, 2016 24 Comments
  • grapes_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3749

    my week in objects (mostly).

    five little things that made my week.1. these perfect grapes.  {because they look like my grandmother’s plastic ones, but they’re about a million times more delicious.}2. this apple cake (from this book).{made with a semi-interested…

    September 16, 2016 7 Comments