my week in objects (mostly).

    September 23, 2016

    five little things that made my week.

    1. this gomphrena.gomphrena_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3957

    {because these fuzz balls always get me this time of year.}

    2. this gift of tiny saddle shoes.saddle_shoes_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3962

    {the stuff of back-to-school dreams. even for a not-in-school two-year-old.}

    3. these dresser drawers.dresser_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3985

    {reorganized. again. (no, it never ends.)}

    4. this pin.hillary_pin_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3964

    {cause that’s what i’m hoping for.}

    5. this cashew milk.cashew_milk_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3983

    {because morning oatmeal never tasted so good.} 

    other things:

    ordered. (100% of proceeds to women and babies in crisis zones.)

    likability

    should i start a food blog?

    ha(hahaha).

    i’m allowed to love the fact that our candidate is a strong, badass woman…” 

    like scratch ‘n sniff, but better.

    a sweet addition to a tiny bookshelf.

    me in other places:

    home updates for a new season.

    pack away summertime clothes (or don’t).

    a morning routine with kids.

    fall refresh, two ways.

    September 22, 2016

    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 promise of a new year offering something just a little bit different. When the season’s associated with warm spices and breezy days and leaves crunching underfoot, well, then all the better. Yes, I’ll take all the clichés, please and thank you.

    I contributed to a Lonny Mag piece earlier this week and gave a few ideas for how to freshen up a home for fall. No surprise, my tips don’t include buying much of anything new, but the story did inspire me to do a little two ways and expand on a few ideas you can use to refresh your space, either by making a smart investment or just investing a little time.

    Check out the original story here. Get a few other ideas down below:

    Brighten Your View, Two Ways:
    + Upgrade your curtains to something calm and cozy.
    + Wash the curtains you have, wipe away the water spots on the windows from those summer thunderstorms, and watch the fall sunshine stream in.

    Bring in Fall Colors, Two Ways:
    + Add a warm touch to your entryway with a richly colored rug.
    + Collect freshly fallen leaves and get a lil’ crafty with some washi tape and a blank wall. 

    Hang Up Your Stuff, Two Ways:
    + Bring home a new set of hooks to wrangle clutter and get things off the ground.
    + Clear off the hooks you already have and decide carefully what you hang back up. If there’s something you don’t use or aren’t currently wearing either pass it along to someone else or tuck it away for safe-keeping.

    Keep Your Floor Clean, Two Ways:
    + Replace a grody or threadbare doormat with something clean and new and built to last.
    + Give your doormat a deep clean by shaking out the dirt, vacuuming it up, and giving her an old fashioned scrub with a sturdy brush and dish soap.

    Swap Out Your Art, Two Ways:
    + Invest in a new statement piece to love forever.
    + Move what you already have around. Shifting an existing piece to a new wall will give a whole new look without costing a dime.

    Upgrade Your Closet, Two Ways
    + Splurge on the new fall flannel you’ve been eyeing.
    + Give your dresser drawers a good once-over, make sure you love everything in them, do a little refold/reorganization to get them looking new again.

    Cozy Up Your Bed, Two Ways
    + Go for that set of super-soft flannel sheets that reminds you of being a kid.
    + Pull the warm blankets out of summer storage, air it out in the sunshine, hit with a little lavender water, and drape it over your bed.

    Set the Mood, Two Ways
    + Get a little spooky with a set of black beeswax tapers.
    + Set those apple peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cider to simmer on your stove and fill the house with the smells of autumn.

    Set Your Table, Two Ways
    + Fill it with dark woods and gooey cheeses.
    + Haul out whatever you’ve got, invite your friends over for a pot of chili, pour goblets of red wine.

    Control Your Clutter, Two Ways
    + Tuck unsightly bills out of sight with a beautiful leather wall envelope.
    + Get ahead of the holiday junk mail influx and get yourself off unwanted mailing lists now.

    baby proof: toy storage.

    September 20, 2016

    baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leaves


    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 philosophy and a list of resources (just updated!) for where we’ve found some of our favorites, head here! Despite the relative scarcity around here, lots of you have asked what we’re doing about toy storage these days, so here’s a little overview of what’s working right this minute.

    Here’s what’s been helpful:baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leaves

    Keeping like with like: “Baskets!” cries everyone, their mother, and the list of “nursery essentials” on every parenting website from here ’til kingdom come. Agreed: baskets can be very helpful for wrangling kid’s toys. But more than the basket, one needs a basket strategy. Seriously. The key to storing toys in basket (or old wine crates, or fruit boxes, or whatever kind of container you’ve got) is establishing that like goes with like. Toddlers are expert organizers, they just need a little nudge in the right direction. And without that direction, I’d argue baskets can become a clutter-phobe’s worst nightmare. Baskets become catchalls to shove all manner of things that you just don’t want to look at. In a single basket go wooden animals, stray blocks, hair elastics, a forgotten babydoll, a pair of underwear…you get the picture. Baskets can get clutter off the floor, but they can also allow it to pile up without being seen. But use a basket to house a single kind of toy, and things start to make sense. Stray blocks can easily be thrown in the basket with all the blocks. Instead of being strewn around the house, Faye’s play silks live in a basket meant for that sole purpose. (For the uninitiated, play silks are a Waldorfian early childhood toy—they’re just squares of silk to be used for making forts, wearing as capes, stringing together into, waving as flags, etc. Faye’s using a set that my mom made for me and my sisters when we were little.) Whatever the item, like-with-like basket storage creates a system that allows for order, and that’s helpful for the kid and for the parents.
    baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leavesEasy Access: For anything that doesn’t go into a basket, I try to make sure that it’s still easily accessible to Faye. Nothing sadder than an unused toy, if you ask me. There’s not a ton of space to really display toys around here (and, if I’m being honest, it’s not really my preferred look), but we do use the top of this old soda bottle crate to house a little collection of Faye’s toys. Books and additional blocks go into boxes or crates that slide under Faye’s bed. Things like puzzles that have more pieces get zipped into little cloth pouches and put into a crate. Here again, the like-with-like philosophy reigns supreme and the consistent pick up and return to the same spot means that that’s becoming second nature for the tiniest among us. Even better, when everything’s within easy reach, it’s easy to see what’s still not really getting much attention. Those are usually things we decide to pack up and save for the next kiddo or pass along to someone else.baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leaves

    Creating play stations:

    Most parents I talk to agree that kids (and their stuff) don’t readily stay relegated to their bedroom. Kids don’t want to feel marooned and so they tote the contents of their shelves into the main living areas so they can hang out with everyone else. Even in our tiny place, I’ve noticed Faye doing this, and I’ve had good luck carving out little spots for her to play outside of the confines of her room.

    In the kitchen, I cleared out one of our cabinets to house Faye’s “kitchen toys.” Her pots and pans hang from little hooks inside the cabinet. She’s got a bag of beans for “pouring,” a coffee can with utensils for “stirring,” and when we’re chopping up veggies dinner, she knows just where to head to pull out her own tiny crinkle knife and cutting board. 
    baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leavesBy the front door, there’s a tiny art-making nook. An old tackle box of supplies (stickers, crayons, erasers, etc.) lives on the top shelf and the middle shelf acts as a de facto desk and houses a glass jar with colored pencils and paintbrushes and a stack of recycled paper that James brings home from school (plus, most recently, a pad of thicker paper for watercolors!). Sure, the paper often gets pulled off the shelf and onto the floor while she’s working on her chef d’ouevres (an artist needs her space, etc.), but the cleanup is still relatively painless (my modus operandi for all things kid-related). baby proof: toy storage | reading my tea leaves

    What about you guys? What’s working in your spaces lately?

    For the curious: 

    + I found our foldable rice basket locally at Collyer’s Mansion (you can find similar ones online at Olli Ella).
    + Our navy bolga basket is from Indego Africa.
    + All of our other crates and boxes were found at wine shops, attics, or flea markets.
    + Faye’s bed frame is the same as ours, from Keetsa.

  • space_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3795

    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
  • kite-flying

    make-believe: kite flying.

    September feels like a good month to fly a kite in. Blame it on the preponderance of kites in children’s books, but Faye is very into them lately and I’m sure at any moment I’ll…

    September 14, 2016 16 Comments
  • skillshare_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3592

    a back-to-school giveaway with skillshare.

    This post is sponsored by Skillshare, an online learning community for creative skills. In the spirit of heading back to school, I’m partnering with Skillshare to encourage you guys to try out a class or ten this fall.…

    September 13, 2016 12 Comments
  • rebecca_atwood_reading_my_tea_leaves_img_3666

    life in a tiny apartment.

    Tip #145: Don’t be too afraid of pattern.I’m the last person, really, who should be giving advice on introducing patterns into a small space. My typical counsel would fall somewhere along the lines of: Don’t.…

    September 12, 2016 37 Comments
  • img_3401

    my week in objects (mostly).

    five little things that made my week:1 . these hooks. {because more is great when it comes to hooks around here lately.}2. this peppermint.{ready for drying.}3. these otherwordly photos.{for offering sweet comfort half way…

    September 9, 2016 21 Comments