Monday, August 30, 2010
I find the concept "door sweater" to be so charming. Doesn't it seem like something we all need for fall? I think that crannyfoundfavorites has so many lovely things in her etsy shop. But my favorite is definitely the door sweater. Such a genius idea, don't you think? Happy news? You can comment to win one on her blog here: make sure you enter by the deadline of September 1st (which is also payday, which means whew!).
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday Friday Friday and all day it felt like the last drips of summer were melting away. Around 3:00 this afternoon, I panicked, and decided that we just have to squeeze as much summer as we can into this weekend, so we kicked it off tonight with burgers and pitchers of beer outside at picnic tables. I have no doubt that the rest of the weekend will involve more eating and drinking and lazying around. Maybe ice cream. Aren't those the best kind? In the meantime, fun things to peruse over the weekend... -Don't these invitations make you want to throw a harvest party? -If I were having a wedding tomorrow, I would want one of these ring pillows. -I want this hat for Tate. -I wish I were friends with Helen Jane so that I could attend her Adventure Party. -Isn't this birth announcement adorable? (And how cute is the name Shephard for a little boy and Shep as a grown up man? Love.) Happy reading! Happy weekend!
My alma mater is the University of Southern California (pretty much the greateat university on Earth), and yesterday was the official grand opening of the new $136 million dollar ($136 million!!!!) Ronald Tutor Student Center. The students hired a skywriter to thank Mr. Tutor for his generous donation that made the Student Center possible- isn't that an amazing thank you idea? The skywriter wrote "Celebrate the Trojan Family" and "Beat the Rainbows" (since the first football game this season is against the University of Hawaii Rainbows). I love USC. What a creative and fantastist idea. I am oozing with Trojan pride.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Shannon is a doctoral student at NYU and emailed recently wondering about stylish backpacks that a girl can wear from class to cocktails without feeling like, well, you are wearing a backpack. This is timely because it is starting to feel like back-to-school around here. Zach is officially in the lesson-planning mode, and we have together decided that we can no longer continue to ignore the ominous envelopes from the school district telling him when his first day of work is. Plus my classes start up again in just a few weeks (but officially end in October- so exciting!). Back-to-school shopping was always one of my favorite mother-daughter activities (each year my sister and I would go shopping for an entire day with mom, and then come home and put on a fashion show for dad), and shopping always included a stylish bag or backpack. Backpacks, as Shannon pointed out, are so much better from a posture point of view, but tend to lack style. Could we find some that had both the style and the function? Happily, yes. These are a few of my favorites. I love the lines of this Tony Perotti bag: This Fossil bag looks soft and squishy: I love the ingenious back to this one: This one seems sporty and classic, like a Ralph Lauren model should wear it, don't you think? And lastly, I think this one wins for most fun: How about you? Any back-to-school traditions in your family?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Some girlfriends and I were having drinks last week, and we got on the subject of kids' favorite stuffed animals, and how favorite plushes get carried around until they are dog-eared. Ultimately, we decided that it is important as moms that we only let stuffed animals that we really, really like infiltrate the house, because inevitably, if you let one in that you don't like, that will be the one that your child ends up loving and refusing to give up (and ultimately taking to college). I think that Skunkboy Creatures are exactly the kind of cool plushes that I would love Tate to latch onto. Featuring animals like narwhals and sloths (seriously, who thinks to make a narwhal plush?!?!?), these are officially the punk-rock of stuffed animals.
There is something so clean and simple about canvas, isn't there? Lately my mind has been on pirate-themed little boy parties, so canvas has been playing a prominent role in my imagination (am tinkering with how to create a canvas sculpture that could suggest a sail... hmm....). So you can imagine why these canvas bags immediately caught my eye. Doesn't it just seem like your laundry would be fresher in this bag? And how cute are these? via http://www.tortoiselife.com/trts/product/accesories/
Monday, August 16, 2010
My friend Dawn lives on E Street in Washington, DC. She and her husband Nick have a lovely home and sunny garden and energetic dog and (sometimes) disdainful cat and many wonderful neighbors, and they are thoroughly creative and inspiring people (see the shed Nick built in their backyard? Wow!).
Anyway, this past weekend they hosted an E Street Shrimp Boil for their neighborhood. Handmade wood block invitations were delivered to neighbors and friends, and the shrimp boil ensued.
Wouldn't you love to have been there? I love this idea of a community party. We once did one for the Fourth of July with our neighbors, but since then, said neighbors have moved, and sadly, we have not reinstated the tradition.
Read all about Dawn's E Street Shrimp Boil and see more pictures here. And maybe get inspired to become the neighbor that starts the annual block party tradition.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am loving these prints by Lineaongrata. Aren't they just so sweet? I love the soft, dreamy quality to them. They would look great framed in a kids room or nursery.
Friday, August 13, 2010
It feels like summer just got to Portland, what with our gloomy June and July. Our first tomatoes are just ripening on the vine. For the last few weeks, Zach and I have been enjoying summer as much as we can. The other night we laid outside and watched the meteor shower. Tate was in bed, and it was a warm night, and we laid a blanket in the front yard and just looked at the sky. Predictably I didn't see a single meteor and Zach saw four (somehow I always managed to be looking at the wrong section of sky), but it was still a romantic, lazy summer night. We also have been going out every night to watch the Vaux's Swifts. Gorgeous little birds, they sleep in different chimneys as they migrate, and one of the chimneys on their migratory route is our neighbor's. So every night the three of us go outside around 8:30 and watch them swarm around the chimney and count them as they fly in. And we have also been eating a lot of ice-cream sandwiches. Ruby Jewel, an amazing ice-cream company, just opened their first shop. They have amazing ice-cream sandwiches, like lemon cookies with honey lavender ice cream. Yum. Doesn't that picture look so delicious? At least once a week I think about going. But I try to practice self-restraint. And yet, despite all our summer activities (and the 100 degree temps this weekend), fall boots and wool skirts are already being advertised. It is a little bittersweet. But I am coveting all the fall baby clothes. In particular, aren't these, from Boden, adorable?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
David Rees has made me so happy today. I can't help but smile at his new business: artisanal pencil sharpening. Doesn't this seem like such a happy job? I love the way David describes why he developed his pencil-sharpening business: "I've always loved the iconic No. 2 pencil," he explained. "When I was working for the 2010 census, we were each issued No. 2 pencils and a manual sharpener. We all sharpened our pencils on the first day of training, and I was like, 'I'm feeling this. This rules. I like sharpening pencils.' It had been a while since I had done it. And the more I thought about it, the more I was like, 'If I could figure out how to get paid to sharpen pencils, I would be happy.' So I decided to become an artisanal pencil sharpener."
How great to take something on a whim and decide to just do it, with a wink. It is only (well, maybe not only) $15 for one sharpened pencil, and I think it would be such a fun good luck gift for someone about to take the SAT, or the Bar Exam, or any other standardized test where a number 2 pencil is required. Also, as the wife of a teacher, I would be so charmed if a freshly sharpened pencil were given to Zach on his first day. Or maybe, as a mom, lovingly placing one (along with its Certificate of Authenticity and accompanying shavings) in a backpack to surprise your kid on his first day of school. Such fun. P.S. What strange but tranquil thing would you get paid to do if you could? I think mine would be folding warm cloth diapers. It feels so nostalgic and calm and like my world is under control. Or maybe chopping nuts. I love to chop nuts. Zach always uses the food processor, but I prefer the handmade, 6th-grade-shop wood cutting board and a chef's knife. So satisfying.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Whew! It feels like there are so many things to update lately. So many things that I have mentioned over the last few months that deserve follow up. I figured I would get caught up all in one long post so that I could then say "done!" and continue my hunt for new things. First- the Timi and Leslie Charlie II bag. I blogged about the Timi and Leslie Charlie bag here- it was a highlight of my hunt for a stylish diaper bag. Of the ones I had seen online, the Charlie II bag was my favorite. It seemed more purse-like than diaper bag like, and I really loved that. My only concern was that it was faux leather, and if there is one thing I really love, it is the feel and smell of squishy, yummy, really leather. So now for the update- as my Mother's Day gift, Zach ordered me the Charlie II bag. I was thrilled. And when it arrived, I was so pleasantly surprised with the quality of the faux leather- it was soft and squishy and purse-like. The only problem? Two of the zippers didn't work. And I mean didn't work. They would catch 3 or 4 times just in the process of closing the bag. I was crushed. Here I had finally found a diaper bag that I really loved, and it seemed that quality might be an issue. Normally, I would just return it. But I loved the bag so much that I emailed the company. And this is where Timi and Leslie really won me over- they had amazing customer service. And I am a sucker for good customer service. Once I emailed the company, I heard back within about 5 hours. Within 3 days, they had picked up my damaged bag (and they paid for the shipping!) and sent me a new one. And the new one was perfect. So now I not only feel good about the bag (which I get compliments on regularly, and which has a fantastic portable changing table pad and a little hook for your keys so you never lose them in the depths of the bag, and for which the zippers seem perfect), but I also feel so happy with the company as well. Overall, such a good, positive experience. Here is me with my Charlie II bag (thanks Zach!): Other updates- the bookcases! They finally arrived and I love, love, love them. I ended up putting them in a different spot in the room than I had originally planned, because spatially they didn't work how I imagined. But the bookcases themselves, and the way that they showcase the covers, are fantastic. I think the proof that they are a hit was when our friends' 3 year old daughter, Mara, saw them. Within minutes, dozens of books were piled on the floor, and every day she would run in and get new ones. This is exactly how I wanted it to be!
And the final update is Tate's month-by-month pics. We have taken two more, and I am working on compiling them into one cohesive picture, so that is still coming. I am thrilled with how it is turning out, and cannot believe how big Tate is getting!
But to tide you over, here are some pics from Tate's first beach weekend. He is so ridiculously adorable.