Just a little word of encouragement. And a really cute tide marker.
Saquatucket Harbor, Harwich
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Spring is just on the other side of this weekend. We are almost there, my friends. Pay no attention to the snow storm in the forecast. With the Well Summit’s Day of WELLness, the parade and a mind full of weekend musings, I’ve got plenty to keep me preoccupied (and my weather app closed).
I love how this mini sketchbook (above) I made turned out. I cut down some 140lb. hot press watercolor, painted and mono printed several sheets and then bound them using a simple pamphlet stitch. I ended up having enough paper to make four mini books, and each one (painting aside) took less than 5 minutes to assemble– it was a surprisingly simple + meditative process. I’ve been using them for daily sketching and jotting down notes.
Related: My friend and fellow Get Messy creative team member Vanessa just released a wonderful online class called Basic Bookbinding. It’s a steal for $15 and covers 4 different methods (I am really excited to try the more complicated coptic stitch) for making your own sketchbooks and art journals.
Unrelated: March Madness is here. I came in third (I think?) in my sister’s office pool last year, and have high hopes for this year’s bracket too. It should be noted that there is essentially no method to my (March… lololol) madness.
The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade route has been shortened (again). We would normally watch from the top of our street where it’s fairly quiet and far less crowded than Broadway. Grace has basically been looking forward to the parade… since last year’s parade, so I expect we’ll be braving the circus. Seeing her enthusiastically shake hands with politicians is sort of the best thing ever.
What better day than a snow day to daydream of sun dresses? While Stella’s outside doing what she does best (snow + wind), I’m inside attempting to keep the babes entertained + looking forward to spring’s return.
I had a chance to visit The Paper Store‘s headquarters west of Boston earlier this year (on the eve of our last big snowstorm), along with some of my favorite blogging pals, to get a preview of spring fashion trends from their lovely buyers. We were treated to Champagne, Sugarfina treats, macarons and a peek at several racks full of beautiful spring dresses and tops.
Those of you in the Northeast are likely familiar with The Paper Store (it’s my go-to for cards, gifts and Alex + Ani jewelry). They have a really great fashion section as well, and many of their items (including their new private fashion and jewelry line, Mia & Tess) are available online.
Here are a few of the spring fashion tips The Paper Store buyers shared with us:
Off the shoulder tops and dresses continue to be on trend this year (and are universally flattering!)
Look for delicate chokers that can be worn alone or layered
Floral prints are updated in pale, dusty pinks, bold mints, china blues and pair perfectly with denim
Speaking of which, you’ll find denim dresses, footwear, scarves, hats, jackets and tops in store
Layer a longer lace or crochet trimmed tank under sweaters and tops to add some visual interest and update an old favorite
February is wrapping up. And no, it’s not a leap year. Consider this a friendly PSA that my birthday is basically moments away (March 1st always seems to sneak up on people). I’m not always so clear on how timezones work, but I think I’m already 35 on the other side of the world. Meanwhile, Grace keeps asking if I’m 45 yet. So there’s that.
But I don’t want to rush February out the door just yet. Despite the country imploding, I’m grateful we had things like my nephew’s baptism, Valentine’s Day, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Hillary’s message to the people and 70 degree weather to celebrate. We left our jackets at home and walked on the beach. We spotted the first plants sprouting. Spring is coming.
CURRENTLY | February 2017
…like summer has already arrived. Tacos, tomatoes, salads and strawberries.
…dinner with Nick most nights after the kids go to bed (as opposed to snacking from the babes’ plates at 5 o’clock). It’s been such a nice change.
So we watched like 5 minutes of a PBS special featuring various spy cameras disguised as animals, both because it sounded cool and it was not about the government. The idea is that you get to see animals behaving as if they were not being spied on. Unfortunately we caught the part where the baby monkey spy camera fell, and the real monkeys thought it had died and were, like, mourning. It was devastating. Did I mention that I am generally an emotional basket case?
Superstore + Homeland (they sort of balance each other out)
…plans for a meaningful Lenten exercise. In the past I’ve given up Diet Coke, snacking, sugar and swearing (but not all in the same year… I’m neither a saint nor a martyr). Other years, I’ve added more prayer, more intentional acts of kindness and more time away from technology. For me, Lent is the ultimate lesson in patience. In waiting. In remaining hopeful. Perhaps I’ll simply meditate on that lesson. While not drinking a Diet Coke.
A set of mini, mono-printed art journals. It was a random Tuesday night project, but I am thrilled with the results. I’ll share photos later this week.
A “good behavior” jar. I am semi-mortified and semi-amazed at how well it’s working. (To clarify: We are rewarding Grace’s good behavior, not mine…)
Currently listening to
“Call on Me” (Ryan Riback Remix) by Starley — it’s the perfect windows down in February song
This Irish Flute & Tin Whistle playlist on Spotify… baby Nick and I had music class this morning and the teacher broke out his tin whistle (apparently we missed the Irish flute last week). Nick was mesmerized in class and keeps dancing and clapping along to this lively mix. I think it’ll do wonders, too, for those times we are nearrrrrrly home and one or both kids is starting to nod off in the car.
I hope you’re enjoying these last bits of February and looking forward to a lovely March.
Grace is 3… and what an incredible three years it has been.
I could not be more grateful to be her mother. She is kind, sensitive, and endlessly curious. She is full of spirit and compassion.
She loves trucks, farms, creatures, stickers, rocks, art projects, gymnastics, grocery shopping and adventures. She speaks up for others (often suggesting that Clark needs some “peace and quiet from our noisy fun”). She is observant and remembers everything. She captures the smallest details and delights in things I might completely miss if it weren’t for her wonderful declarations about birds nests and police cars and seagulls.
Without fail on our morning drives to school, she tells me she will “be a good friend, a good listener… and not take a nap.” She recently told me she couldn’t eat beans because she “is a human bean!”
She favors rules, routines and order. She loves her brother and wishes he wouldn’t do “tricky, dangerous things” like climbing on the table.
Grace wears a size XXS leotard, but her heart is so big it fills the whole house.
She is the best motivation for speaking kindly, clearly and honestly. She is the best motivation for seeing good + God in all things, and in all people. She is the best motivation for doing what I can, when I can to make this world worthy of her, her brother and all children.
Happy Birthday, Grace! I love you beyond measure.
Also On Tap for Today:
Celebrating with a “unicorns doin’ gymnastics” party
Getting my act together (hopefully) for the week ahead
Baby Nick woke up bawling just seconds after the President said “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side…” I was bawling at that point too, cradling my sweet child, grateful that both our children were born at a time when such an incredibly smart, respectful, kind and caring family lived in our nation’s White House. I am doing my best during these remaining days of Barack Obama’s presidency to watch every video of the President + kids, the President + dogs, and the President + VP (especially today’s Medal of Freedom presentation) as humanly possible… rather than give into the sadness and anger simmering below the surface (real talk).
Also, it was snowing and single digits this weekend… but it’s 55 degrees in Boston today. The world is ending.
Simple snacks to share with Baby Nick… because these days, he has major food FOMO and needs to sample any/everything on my plate. Blackberries and cottage cheese have been a big hit this week.
All the winter citrus, all the winter citrus, all the winter citrus… put your stems up. (Or whatever.) I especially love satsumas, and not just because you can buy them with the leaves and stems still attached.
Not a single Diet Coke today (not so obvi)
Fiveway Veggie Broth (definitely unexpected) – I received a complimentary sample right before the holidays and am totally hooked on this incredibly flavorful broth, which you can straight up drink from the bottle. I like warming it up on the stove and drinking from my beloved “BC Grandpa” mug, it’s both delcious and fortifying. Non-vegetarians will likely dig their bone broths. Fiveway products can be found locally in Massachusetts + New Hampshire.
My new FitBit (a Christmas present from Nick), the Charge 2 special edition (lavender + rose gold, so pretty) — I really liked the Charge HR, but there are so many design/functional improvements in this version. I especially like the 2 minute guided breathing program. People like me need tiny wrist computers to remind them to breathe.
The babes enjoy winter… it’s just the best. Nick, Grace, Baby Nick, Clark and I had so much fun being snowed in down the Cape last weekend. I love watching the kids and Clark explore in the yard. I’m so grateful that we have an escape from the city (and that we have the city to return to, as well).
Organic Bath Company’s Nourish Night Balm — this stuff is pure magic.
You know when it’s 10:04 PM on New Year’s Eve and you’re in bed Googling “New Year’s resolutions”…?
The thing is, I can’t really remember ever keeping a resolution past February (mostly, I am drinking a Diet Coke as I type this… sorry, 2012. And 2014. And 2015.).
And those I do remember making were ones I didn’t feel terribly about breaking (hence the lack of motivation for keeping them). So I set out (at nearly the 11th hour) to find a worthy resolution — one I could really work on keeping– for 2017.
Grace is basically a tiny fashion blogger. Minus the fashion blog.
This struck a chord for me:
“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”
–Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden
A worthy resolution, indeed.
I still plan to set monthly goals and intentions, but as we head into 2017, I want to more fully embrace our connectedness. I want to put more energy towards service than I do towards cynicism and fear. I want to be a more compassionate, gentle, kind + openhearted person.
And ideally, I’d like to stop eating Cheez-Its for dinner.
It’s Christmas Eve and I’m listening to O Holy Night on repeat (this is my absolute favorite version, one I’ve shared the last few years, I think). Granted, I’ve sort of been doing that since before Halloween… but whatever. Some years you just need more Christmas music than others.
I took this photo at a lovely vintage shop on the Cape called Gatherings by the Sea (isn’t that a great name?). I’m pretending that’s why my current elf workshop situation looks like.
Amidst the toys and socks and sink full of dishes and errant wrapping paper tubes, baby Nick is peacefully napping (safely, like, in his crib… not under piles of laundry). And Grace is talking about how camels probably don’t fit in the manger, but they should try to come in any way, because baby Jesus loves camels. And I’m listening to O Holy Night with the fullest heart.
Wishing you a similarly perfectly unperfect Christmas. And a happy first night of Hanukkah.