my week in objects (mostly).

    September 22, 2017

    five things that made my week.

    1. this new bottle.   
    {after two weeks i reconciled that i left my old one on the subway. found it the day after this arrived. and then there were two.}

    2. this baby.
    {a gift from hazel village to an extremely excited kid in this house.}

    3. this sweater.

    {made for a kid, worn by a grownup. (this one.)}

    4. the mug behind the camera.

    {cause you can’t tell here but there was a bang trim and an eyebrow shaping and everything just feels better.}

    5. this pre-school art.
    {girl’s got a really good color palette going on.}

    disaster relief efforts:

    for folks in mexico. (also: a wishlist (in pesos). and topos.)

    for folks in puerto rico. (also: save the children.)

    other things:

    an obligation to be political?

    gritty woman.

    little virtues.

    never seen an organized fridge i didn’t like.

    dime novels via poppytalk.

    very into faceted (!) opals.

    lessons from year one.

    bostonians.

    ornithopter!

    just go read everything here.

    welcome fall, two ways.

    September 21, 2017

    fall, two ways | reading my tea leaves

    Tomorrow, fall, which seems deserving of celebration in spite of everything. I’ve always been something of a season watcher. It’s worth the moment to marvel, I think, at the way the light changes in a room after dinner, or to notice that the crabapples are starting to blush, or that the squirrels have renewed their scampering along a window ledge, mouths puffed up with evidence of their hard work. Having kids makes the seasons’ passing seem all the more poignant. Last fall, only the glimmer of acknowledgement from a two-year-old that leaves had changed color. This fall, every day a new question about when the colors will start to creep in and if it’s time to fill up our bucket with acorns. “We can look for stars at bedtime now, Mama.”

    Pick apples, two ways.
    + Head to the local market, fill up a bag with apples, make apple sauce.
    + Visit a local orchard and pick your own right off the tree.

    Fend off colds, two ways.
    +
     Stock up on hankies.
    Whip up a batch of fire cider.

    Snuggle up, two ways.
    +
     Dig your favorite throw blanket out of deep storage.
    + Consider one of these beauties.

    Embrace autumn colors, two ways.
    + Gather yourself some goldenrod.
    + Wear a maple-hued sweater

    Bring in the light.
    + Make a tin can lantern.
    + Stock up on tapers

    Enjoy fall leaves, two ways:
    + Gather colorful leaves and make a leaf wall.
    + Make nutmeg maple butter cookies and cut ’em into leaf shapes.

    Get into nature, two ways:
    + Download a plant list, head out on a treasure hunt. (First one to find sneezeweed wins!)
    + Take a train, walk a ways in the woods, head home again.

    baby proof: bedtime stories lately.

    September 20, 2017

    fall picture books | reading my tea leavesWell, we finally did it. We outgrew the shelf space we’d allotted in our tiny apartment for picture books. Too many good books, I guess. (Too many people who love us and know that I’d prefer a new book on the shelf to just about anything else.)

    But instead of tossing books to the curb willy nilly, I’ve been eking a little bit of extra staying power out of the shelf by making seasonally themed shelf edits. Playing librarian, in other words. Over the summer, I went through the bookshelf in Faye and Silas’s room and removed anything with an overtly cold-weather theme. This had the dual benefit of freeing up room on the shelf and ensuring that I could have a blessed respite from nightly readings of The Night Before Christmas in the middle of July. Brave Irene and The Tomten and all of their blizzardly or autumnal friends were tucked into a tote bag and secreted off to a hardish-to-reach spot in the closet. We left everything summery or otherwise neutral on the shelf—Jabari Jumps and The Relatives Cameand Blueberries for Salfor instance.

    For fall, I’ve continued the shuffle and I’ve been leaning heavily on the public library for rounding out our autumnal book selection. I’ve relegated an old market basket for keeping track of borrowed titles and I’ve tried to keep the shelf in the kids’ room lean enough that everything’s easy enough to put back and easy enough to find.

    In case you need some autumnal inspiration of your own, here are few beloved picture books for snuggly fall afternoons. If you have others to share, please do!

    (When we do buy books, we love to support our local bookstores—Stories BookshopBooks Are MagicGreenlight Bookstore, and Community Bookstore, to name a few. I’ve provided a few links below to where you can find these titles online or in your own neighborhood bookstores.)fall picture books | reading my tea leaves

    Du Iz Tak (Amazon/IndieBound): This favorite book of ours came out last fall and we read it so much last year at this time that it will forever be a fall book in my mind, even though it tracks all the seasons of the year. Faye dressed up as the ladybug in it for Halloween last year and she’s asking for a do-over this year. (BRB, just have to resurrect a cardboard costume…)

    Fletcher and the Falling Leaves (Amazon/IndieBound): There’s a sparkly tree at the end of this book, which is about all you need to know aside from the fact that this book is a sweet tribute to fall and it features a little fox learning to understand what falling leaves are all about.

    Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn (Amazon/IndieBound): I mentioned this book last year and it’s still a favorite. I love the bright illustrations, the lyrical prose, and the diversity of characters.

    Leaf Man (Amazon/IndieBound): Photographic collages of fall colored leaves make up the illustrations in this book. The story is sweet, but I’m mostly in it for the leaf identification lessons. 

    Little Tree (Amazon/IndieBound): Fall time metaphors about letting go abound in this story. 

    Ox-Cart Man (Amazon/IndieBound): A very favorite story of mine that follows a 19th century New England family and the work the family does together at harvest and throughout the year. (A thoughtful modern-day reading would include a bit of acknowledgement about gender roles and representation, but it’s still worth a read.)

    Possum’s Harvest Moon (Amazon/IndieBound): Who doesn’t want to attend a harvest soirée? Possum festoons the grasses around his house with lanterns and berries and works to get his hardworking friends to live a little and party. I love the ornery animal friends and the persistent possum in this story.

    Pumpkin Moonshine (Amazon/IndieBound): As someone with a “grandmummy in Connecticut,” this picture book is a fall favorite for Faye. I credit this book entirely for Faye’s enthusiasm about pumpkin carving last year.

    The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything (Amazon/IndieBound): Never too many brave old women role models to be had, if you ask me. This’ll get little guys in the Halloween spirit without being too scary.

    More bedtime story inspiration RIGHT THIS WAY.

  • life in a tiny apartment.

    Survival Tip #156: Make it sized to fit. On Saturday night, we ate spaghetti. There were two big white bowls filled with pasta smothered in Marcella Hazan’s famous sauce, a smaller wooden one, filled with…

    September 18, 2017 24 Comments
  • my week in objects (mostly).

    five little things that made my week: 1. this bag.   {the very perfect spot for too many balls of twine.} 2. this little knife. {and wonky, crinkle cut vegetables.} 3. this mask.  {because ’tis…

    September 15, 2017 13 Comments
  • make-believe: first day of school.

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    September 13, 2017 7 Comments
  • natural beauty: bar soap, part two.

    That I enjoy lathering up with bar soap is hardly news. I could receive bars of freshly cut handmade soap for every birthday from now until the day I die and I’d be happy. Nothing quite…

    September 11, 2017 46 Comments
  • my week in objects, mostly.

    five little things that made my week. 1. this bib.  {because i’m working with my friend abby on a full-coverage design and this prototype is already a+} 2. this little backpack. {because someone’s heading off…

    September 8, 2017 8 Comments
  • baby proof: starting solids.

    The air is getting cooler, which means that tomatoes are still at the farmers’ market, but instead of cozying up next to ears of corn, they’re sidled up next to apples which are crisp and…

    September 7, 2017 22 Comments