Cool Stuff I Like


August 1, 2014

Happy Friday! Do you like my tiny tomato? Are you having fun summers? We're having the lowest key summer ever, but of course now that it's August (IT'S AUGUST!!!!!), suddenly we've realized that we've done a whole lotta not a lot, and it's time to get cracking on every summer activity we haven't undertaken as of yet. Backyard camping and waking up to my neighbor's noisy chicken (this neighbor doesn't actually live in our neighborhood, so I can talk about her noisy chicken) totally needs to happen. I think some friends have kids who are starting school really soon! Like, it's school supply shopping time! I just freaked myself out. So let's peek at the internet to calm down.

A whole lot of lavender infused stuff.

S'mores cookies. 

Downton Abbey news.

A whole site devoted to what to have for breakfast. 


Swedes are awesome.

Trees are also awesome!

My kiddo loves salmon cakes like nothing else, it's become her favorite dinner! (i leave out the Old bay seasoning and the celery because i'm lazy)

I know, I know, I mention this blog, like every day practically. It's embarrassing. But seriously. I just love it so much!

I think Mothermag is doing a great job! It reminds me a bit of Cookie magazine (still in mourning). I like the house tours. Oh and the family in this house tour? I totally considered the name Jemma, only with a 'G'. Gemma. Andrew shot me down faster that you can say cookie. Not sure where I'm going with this here, but fun house tour!

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Ha Ha Bonk Book' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is an amazing treat that I've had on my Pinterest for quite some time. And then, earlier in the summer, my mother went on a trip to London and lo and behold, she came back with this book! Clever mom! She didn't even know I'd been after it. I'd been wanting it so badly for Julia, as I thought she'd love a book full o' jokes. Well she does. Love this book full o' jokes ~ jokes to tell your siblings, jokes to tell your teachers, jokes to tell your parents, your best pals, it goes on and on, with really funny and cute drawings to boot. SUPER FUN, especially for travel! Try to look interested when your kid wants to tell you a million jokes.

Have a lovely weekend! We're headed to the beach, our first actual bathing suit-and-sand sojourn this summer. I thought I would prepare this lovely picnic with handmade composed salads and a pretty tart.....and was shot down like a lead balloon. Instead, we're bringing ham sandwiches, Pringles (2 flavors), pickles and storebought chocolate chip cookies, oh and grape juice boxes. Question: does anyone ever eat bologna anymore? I ate SO much bologna as a kid. With Miracle Whip.




July 31, 2014

(a portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014)

Julia: blowing bubbles like a tiny girl version of Sherlock Holmes on a day when it was rainy and actually cool enough to wear a long sleeved dress. Oh how I love this dress that I got two years ago from Mini Boden. She wouldn't touch it for almost a year when I first got it. Now that she's almost growing out of the silly thing, she wants to wear this outfit all the time. ????

MY FRIENDS!!!!! Wowza, do I miss my blog. SO MUCH! I've been editing some client photo sessions that I did last month and ordering business cards and flash drives and getting nice packages together to get said flash drives out in the mail, and I have to do all of this at weird random times when my daughter isn't being driven to one activity or another, and SUMMER, and you know, I have to make dinner still sometimes.....

...and I miss my blog, is the bottom line. I have so many books I want to show and tell about. It will happen. I've been taking pix so I can make blog posts. They will happen.

My daughter is teaching me to be more open minded, I've discovered. She teaches me far more than I teach her, I'm pretty darn sure. She really wanted braids one day. I told her that girls with bobs can't really have braids. Try, she said. I whined and said, this is ridiculous. Your hair is too short and this is a waste of my time. TRY, she said. So I tried, and I managed to make the world's teeniest tiniest braids. SEE? she said.
Also, I made an illegal left turn while driving the other day, and she said that cameras were probably watching and I shouldn't have done that. I hope she still has that kind of thinking when she's a teen. And then she told me some kids were snotty to her during soccer camp and I told her all the rude ways I would have responded and she said, Mom! That's not nice. Two wrongs don't make a right. 

How does one parent a kid who is fundamentally nicer than you are??

My Summer Cookbook Stack


July 28, 2014

I've got another book stack for you all. This time I thought you'd like a peek at some of the cookbooks I've been reading this summer. One of them I own, can you guess which one? But here's the kicker with this lot.....I plan on owning them ALL. They are all THAT good.

Let's start with the color pink, because pink is the best. (it IS.) 'Apples for Jam' by Tessa Kiros is a book that I've had out twice now from the library and I've been looking at it here and there seriously for years and the time has come. For me to own this book. Especially because Alicia Paulson also has been cooking from it and highly endorses it and that's enough endorsement for anyone, if you ask me. I own another Tessa cookbook, 'Falling Cloudberries', and I love that one, but this one is her family oriented, kid friendly cookbook. I just made banana bread from it.  She groups the recipes according to color, and the photographs are DELIGHTFUL. LOOOOOOOOVE this book and I'm buying it as soon as I do the next Amazon order.

So this is the one that I own! I just recently got 'Three Sisters Bake' and it is the cutest. Apparently three adorable Scottish sisters opened up their own eatery somewhere in Scotland and then also came out with a cookbook of their more popular offerings. I just made the shrimp and rice salad recipe and it was FAB. Again, beauteous photos and fun and interesting recipes that would also appeal to kids. (Julia loved the shrimp salad!)

I threw in the towel and checked out 'The Kinfolk Table' which should alternatively be titled 'How to Eat (and Dress) like a Proper Hipster'. I've been reading about this book for two years now everywhere on the internets. Now, me being snarky aside, don't let that deter you from the book, I fully intend to own it come Christmas time. The photos are dreamy, and the recipes are REALLY cool and I pretty much have the whole thing bookmarked. And I love that apparently a lot of people devote this much time to their food, and the food they make when getting together with friends. The book gorgeously photographs a much cooler lifestyle that I will never ever have, but that's ok, because reading about it is fun, and the recipes are really all things I want to make. Scones! Real British shortbread! Beautiful veggie salads! Tea infused goodies! Made by interesting artisans, artists, and financiers-who-are-also-fishermen! (apparently that's a thing)

I've never seen cookbook quite like this, it's really really beautiful.

(a super easy and yummy looking lasagna recipe from 'Apples for Jam')

And last but NOT LEAST, I have also checked out AGAIN, the original 'Kitchen Diaries' by Nigel Slater. Last year I kept it out from the library for nearly 6 months. I need to own the silly durn thing already. I have his 2nd Kitchen Diaries book, 'Notes from the Larder'. Nigel writes about food in a way that will change the way you think about food. Amazing pictures. He will make you appreciate sauteed maushrooms on toast. He will make you appreciate every seasonal fruit. He's the master of simplicity and I just can never get enough Nigel!

(not sure which book this is from, ha ha ha)

There you have it, my lovelies. Are any of you as ridiculously obsessed with cookbooks as I am? I almost made this a cookbook blog, when I started out, did you know? I truly, madly, deeply love and adore a good cookbook. I might not make a single thing out of it, but I will read it and re-read it until it's falling apart. I read more cookbooks than I do regular books! It's my secret dream to photograph one someday.

(this post contains Amazon affiliate links)

Cool Stuff I Like


July 25, 2014

Hello friends! How do you like my slightly disturbing looking monkey? Somehow my child convinced her grandma to purchase this delightful little paperweight, and now it sits in my kitchen. We had a very weird weather week, it was cold and rainy for three days. REALLY rainy, and on the 3rd day, I threw in the towel and put on socks. Julia asked Andrew to turn on Halloween music. A great many cups of hot chocolate were consumed. And while I did remind them constantly that it's still summer, I realized that it's officially becoming that time to order various back-to-school items.

Speaking of back to school, after realizing that the backpack J's had since kindergarten wasn't going to cut it anymore, I ordered a new bookpack for her. (she chose the black one with peace signs)

A stuffed animal tea party!

I'd like a wee kitchen nook.

And you MUST SEE this little book nook. (i swear, life is just funny this way, I wasn't looking for nooks. they just found me.)

A magic garden of crystals.

Aw, a baby memory box. Wish I had done this!

An amazing looking version of 'Snow White'.

How to raise kind kids. 

This recipe for slow cooker pork carnitas will happening in my kitchen asap.

Amazing dining room transformation! (and those 3 bay windows....oh the light! oh how I would photograph EVERYTHING there if I had that space!) 

Hoping you saw my Dancing Princess post yesterday, and here's more princess action + raising strong girls.

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories' by Joan Aiken is a recent happy library find, that I'm myself. Written by the author of 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase', this book is an oh-so-British collection of short tales about a family who live in a house where magical things just happen to happen....a lot. Especially on Tuesdays. Someone on Amazon commented "if you want to find out how to handle two druids fighting in your backyard over a bathmat woven of beard hair, you really should read The Serial Garden." Well, there's your endorsement right there. What's great about the stories is how quintessentially BRITISH they are. They are very droll. Is droll Brit fantasy a thing? I'm utterly delighted with this charming book, and I think the humor would be best for kids 9+. Many feel that J.K. Rowling must have derived a lot of inspiration from these stories.

Have a lovely weekend! The weather is supposed to return to summeryness and I'm going to turn the house upside down looking for two misplaced library books. WHEREarethey????? This is what happens when you check out too many books.


Dancing Princesses


July 24, 2014

This, friends, is what summer is all about. Dancing in fancy dresses in the backyard. (Neon painted toes optional but highly suggested.)

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