New Years Resolution: Bring Back Button Earrings

At least in my household. These used to belong to my great-grandma.

Happy New Year! I hope you find something fun to wear in 2009!


i've got a boy and he's got everything

He has a large spool of paper, crayons, play-doh, a jumbo dry-erase book, a sticker book, a chalkboard and a mom who will help him draw Brobee.

(Oh yes, and a headless robot. I can't forget the robot. His head is just resting in the general neck area for the photo, but do not think for a moment that it is in any way attached.)

He has Star Wars toys, Little People toys, Veggie Tales toys, Yo Gabba Gabba toys, a Thomas trainset, a handmade Tee Pee, a play kitchen, play food, a teddy bear rug, a lantern, a little wooden chair, a little upholstered recliner and hundreds of books.

He has cozy places to play and a cozy place to sleep.

And a family who loves him, including two little Uncles (now aged 10 and 8) who once owned about 75% of the stuff I just mentioned.

Best of all, he receives zillions of hugs and kisses every day.

His second birthday is six days from now. SIX DAYS. What do I do? What can I give him? Will he notice if he doesn't get presents?

I think that during his third year of life, I may try to give him two zillion kisses and hugs per day. And to spend more time with him outside. Those are the things I can give him that he really needs. And I think I might need them too.

Besides I already gave him a sister this year. A baby sister should get me off the hook. Two year old boys love baby sisters, right? Mmmhmm, they do, deep down in their hearts. Really really deep down.


felt donuts are okay but plastic donuts are delicious

So in theory felt food sounds like a dreamy cozy way to supplement a new play kitchen. But what about... I don't know... an enormous bucket of plastic donuts and hot dogs??? Yeah. That's what Clark actually got. From grandma, who is way more fun than mom. Of course he is totally loving it.

Also, the tin robot I said he plays gently with is now missing a head.

Just being honest folks. Merry Christmas.




leave a peppermint stick for old saint nick

So it's 3am, and I just finished wrapping presents and watching A Holiday Affair (as I do every year, I just love it). Oh, and drinking coffee. Did I mention drinking coffee? I may have had some coffee. Oh, and did I mention it's 3am? Oh, I did? I may have had some coffee.

I used gorgeous hand drawn wrapping paper. The design was, in fact, completed by the artist just this morning.

Don't you think he's talented? Mmhmm. Very up and coming. (Up and coming on his 2nd birthday, that is.)

And there is a teensy chance this artist may be getting a chalkboard for Christmas. To further his education.

His sister, on the other hand, is getting a Snow White Puppet Storybook from Goodwill. I had a Puppet Storybook version of Cinderella when I was a little girl and just love love loved it. I had actually been thinking about it lately, and had attempted to google it with no success. Without knowing that the series is called "Puppet Storybook" you just end typing things like, "Dolls posed Cinderella vintage book" and that really doesn't get you anything useful.

It turns up images like this:

I didn't know what it was called or who to ask. And then I found one at Goodwill.

And Alice doesn't know any better. So that's all she's getting from us. Sorry sweet thing. You'll do better next year.


10 gifts for... oh who am I kidding?

A tough week, it has been. For no real reason other than oh, my 23 month old son is CRAZY. He's smart and funny and wonderful and chaotic and I love it when he is taking a nap.

I haven't gotten a thing done, and my house looks like crazy people or... maybe highly intelligent bears live here. He can trash a room in under 5 minutes. And that's with me following behind him picking up old messes as he makes new ones. At some point you just give up.

I just sent him to Costco with my mom. I am usually all "oh, I've got it, I can do it myself" but this morning I was all, "PLEASE COME TAKE CLARK AWAY" and I think that's okay too.


for the kiddies

Click here to view larger image.

Here they are! Ten cool gifts for kids, under $50. Really the budget could have been tighter than that, as only one of the gifts (the adorable scrumptious precious baby/toddler scarf that I could not bear to leave out) even comes to close to that price range.

And the best part?

I find all of these things inspirational in one way or another. I just may make my little Alice a similar apron one day. (Right now she is 3 months old and in no need of an apron whatsoever.) Felt food sounds like a fun and not too terribly complicated project to do with a kid who has a new play kitchen.

Left to Right

1. Scribbles by Taro Gomi. This is one in a series of books that ask kids to dig deep in their brains and imagine. Instead of coloring in between the lines, it asks the user to contribute. "Draw a cushion in trouble" and "Draw a chair that is bored" are two of its prompts. Fun for kids and grown-ups too. I would put this on my own Christmas list. {$18 from Amazon.com}

2. Eco Friendly Baby Blocks. When it comes to baby toys, you really can't be too careful. These are soft, adorable, and will never turn into junk (I'm looking at you tiny plastic pieces that fall to the bottom of the toy box.) They come in a set of three. {$14 from cutesypoo.etsy.com}

3. Sakura Bear Plush. I love handmade stuffed toys, also commonly called stuffies or softies. The ones that are well done are really fun. This bear is made from an original pattern and filled with eco friendly stuffing. And eco friendly charm, though that is not explicitly advertised. {$24 from cutesypoo.etsy.com}

4. Lilliput Robot. My husband and I toured the Tin Toy Museum at Epcot Center last Fall and decided right then that we would invest in a few. My not yet two year old son has this robot in his room, and admires it every day. It's not really for playing per se, but I don't think it has to be played with roughly to enjoy it for what it is. My toddler is fascinated by the way it looks and likes to hold it and admire it, so I think it is doing its job of exercising his imagination. There are other cool robots from this store, many of them much cheaper. {$18 from tintoyarcade.com}

5. The Hug-me scarf. Ohhh the hug me scarf. I find this scarf incredibly endearing, probably because of my undying affection for bows and the fact that the design vaguely resembles a bow. But it isn't just the bow thing, I am truly loving everything about it. It's handmade by etsy seller petitenyc, who says she "knits for babies & kids from patterns I've found when home in Norway." For some reason when it comes to knits, I trust Norway. She also says this scarf is "exquisitely soft" and will fit babies and toddlers. I would love a mom-sized version! {$45 from petitenyc.etsy.com}

6. The Cupcake Apron. If I had had an apron like this as a child, I never would have taken it off. I would have paired it with my "twirly skirt" and my grandma's feather duster (that I thought looked fancy and important) and spent the afternoon smoothing my ruffles in admiration. If you know a little girl like this, I would say it's worth every penny. {$30 from www.darlybird.com}

7. Pearl River baby shoes. I've been drooling over their tiny girl shoes since waaay before I had a tiny girl to put them on. Asian markets are always a fun place to find unique things, and Pearl River is probably the most popular one. {$6.50 from www.pearlriver.com}

8. Momiji Dolls. I love these. There are zillions to collect, and each one has a space built in for you to leave a secret message. What kid doesn't love secret spaces? I could see a whole row of these in a girl's room. {$11.99 from uncommongoods.com}

9. Felt Play-Food Breakfast Set. I have seen felt play food elsewhere online, but this set is super affordable. It's made by a Hyena Cart mom (Hyena Cart is an eco-friendly online marketplace mostly run by moms) and contains "2 Fluffy Buttermilk style Pancakes, 1 Fried Egg, and you can choose either 2 slices of Crispy Bacon or 2 Sausage Patties." A cute way to avoid made-in-china plastic play food, and it will stand the test of time. {$24 from hyenacart.com/DimpledDerriereDesigns}

10. Cram Cream Plate. "We vow eternal love" the frogs are professing. Cram Cream stuff is so cute and weird. I don't really ever get tired of it. {$9.95 from olliebollen.com}

I can't believe I finished this! Leave it to me to make a simple list into a complicated ordeal. Special thanks to my husband for the glass of milk at 1am to get me through.


50? HA!

50 gift ideas is a lot. Especially for a non-existent readership. I get really ambitious in the evening time. Instead I'm going to do 30.

10 man ideas
10 lady ideas
10 kiddie ideas

The first ten should be up tonight... !

50 gift ideas under $50

An idea I'm working on.

The first 25, coming soon!


sea salt cookies, take two

Before they went in the oven.

Ready to be eaten.

I made a few changes to my original idea. I used half natural peanut butter and half sunflower seed butter, and I added sugar crystals to the top so the salt and sugar would crunch together in your mouth. I also used a bit of honey because I didn't have enough brown sugar and I wanted the sugars to taste interesting. Delish delish. Now what should I call them?

Sunflower butter + honey = sunbunnies?

I ate so many sunbunnies that my blood sugar is going wild and ca-razy.


tonight i'm liking


I can get lost in there for hours.

I want this TV. And I want to watch whatever it is they're watching.

We actually bought this MEAT poster for my brother-in-law for Christmas one year. What were we thinking?

I love these glasses.

This is actually a mustard ad.

And this is one of my favorites. Please point me in the direction of this party. How I would love to dress like that and be served beer in a flute-- all while being taken seriously.

two blogs? way harder than one

I have a personal (locked) blog I have kept up with for years, and adding this one to the mix has my head spinning. Most of the clever things I have to say regard my children, so they go on the other blog. Drain those tidbits away and I seem cold and materialistic. Or so is my fear. I guess I need to find the balance, and see if it's interesting.

On another note, I love my house when it is filled with Christmas-y stuff. I wish it could be so splendidly tacky year-round.


tonight i'm liking

This poster.

I've had it bookmarked in my one of my disorganized computer bookmark folders for a long time. I think I had it under "inspiration" because it reminded me so very much of something I would make all on my own. That's actually a problem I have when I look at too much stuff online. I see things I think I would already make. It makes me hesitate. I obviously wouldn't make this exactly, but it does remind me very much of a painting of my husband's that I wanted to replicate in my style. And my style looks more like... this. So I guess I can either scratch it off of my to-do list or claim ignorace, a la Kenley Collins.

Either way, the poster is adorable.

I am putting it on my Christmas list.

i'm always liking

My husband's high school creative writing assignments.

He wrote them his junior year. This was also, coincidentally, the year we started dating. He was 17. They never ever get old.

Essay 43
Are glasses better than contacts? Looking at my fellow students I began to ask myself this question. I came up with this answer. I believe glasses are better than contacts. Assume for one moment that the earth loses its gravity. Contacts are too light; glasses would help to weigh you down. This means glasses are better because they help to save your life.

Essay 3
Ice cream
All I want is white
vanilla white ice cream
cone cone cone
woo hoo!!!

This song is really about crack.

Essay 56
Someone should write a story where one of the main characters is in fact a bat. Think about this. When was the last time you read a book with a bat in it. It's been a long long time hasn't it? I think there was a Hardy Boys book about some vampire bats, but that doesn't really count. My bat's name will be something devastatingly cool... like Tortongo the Batty Bat! Tortongo. That is such a beautiful name. That is definitely what my son's name will be. Maybe not, then all the kids at his school would make fun of him. They would say, Ha! Ha! Look at Tortongo! He has the same name as the bat in his Father's book!

Please note that my husband was a very good kid who did not drink or do any type of drugs. He just liked writing about crack to get on his teacher's nerves. He found it hilarious. It is a recurring theme throughout his writings, to say the least. Crack, and Star Wars. Oh, and he did write a story the next year for the Literary Magazine entitled "Rufus The Gay Bat" as it seems he had second thoughts on Tortongo.


tonight i'm liking

Hop on Pop. I've read it to my almost-two-year-old dozens of times lately.

I love how it feels so 1960s, in a way I never recognized as a child.

I also like the cozy feelings it gives me. I think this is the book that taught me to read. I memorized it when I was 2 or 3. I always insisted that my grandpa (whom I call Papa) read it to me, because of the title.

"Long Song / A long long song. Good-by thing you sing too long. "

That's always been my favorite part.


tonight i'm liking

The balance between a quiet house and a noisy house. The quiet just wouldn't feel the same without the shouting and playing and general rowdiness of the daytime. It makes the days feel very full, and pleasant to remember.

Also, my daughter's chubby wrists.

And DVR.

And sour patch kids.

since i've been gone

Goodbye November.