mothers day wish list

it has come to my attention that mothers' day is coming.

(actually, i was informed of the date after i registered harper for a swim meet that would take place on the holiday, and when i told my family what i'd done, they gave me so much trouble that i had to un-register her.)


anyway ... i'm gonna pretend that we are fancy holiday-remembering, gift-giving people, and make a list of my dream mothers' day ideas:


"gilmore girls"-inspired candles. because, SO. MUCH. YES.



inspired room and color at home coloring books. because while coloring books are amazing, house coloring books are amazinger. and especially house coloring books created by melissa michaels and the petersiks.


an extra large planter for my aloe, whom i affectionately call The Kraken, and who desperately needs a new, extra large home.



this print, from rifle paper co., because chicago will always mean something to me.



and i could really *really* use a new camera bag


and what is mothers day without a beautiful bouquet of flowers? and this bouquet from my favorite flower shop is pretty much perfection:



or maybe a meaningful piece of jewelry?



chances are, my mothers' day will look a lot like years past: sleep in (i'll still be up before everyone else, and if i'm lucky i'll make it to 8:00 a.m.), quiet coffee, lunch in south minneapolis, a walk around lake harriet to look at flowers and houses, and then who knows where the rest of the day will go ... a good book? a nap? yard work?

anything is possible.

but if i have my kiddos and mchotness, that's all i really need.

(though those coloring books would be pretty awesome ...)







why we dig minnesota

(there are many, many reasons, actually ... this just happens to be the most recent.)

we dig minnesota because in the winter, which stretches from october until april or, some years, may, the people of this state still have fun.

like this year: some artist had this idea to build an icicle farm and a framework that incorporates lights and hoses, then harvest the icicles and attach them to the framework, grow more icicles, watch the icicles grow into stalactites and stalagmites from the spray off the hoses, and so on and so forth for a good month or so, and at the end? giant walk-through ice castle - several acres big, 40 feet tall - that looks straight out of hoth. we expected to see poor luke skywalker suspended from the ceiling in every new room we entered.

but we didn't. instead, we just saw something beautiful and interesting.

(yes ... that's the moon. not a space station. sorry ... no more star wars references.)

there were more than 200 "dragon eggs" used throughout the castle: perfectly round and smooth spheres of ice that are set around the grounds - some lit, some not. this particular wall was built from eggs. we ran into the artist who created it, and she said that when she first put up the wall, the spheres were completely clear. but as the weather changed, they changed with it - getting cracked or clouded and becoming more interesting.

harp found this one and decided to "hatch" it.

all of the different ways the icicles formed and changed were amazing. some straight, some twisty, some clear, some draped. since the castle started, our temps have fluctuated from teens to -60 wind chills to the mid-30s with rain, and each type of weather affected the look in its own way.

hard to believe all of this was in a parking lot.

well done, minnesota.


my new favorite thing

several months ago, i was reading a blog that's on my list of "check into every few days to see what's up," and the author wrote an entry about noonday collection. noonday is an amazing idea that takes home parties, jewelry, altruism, artistry, self-reliance, hope and compassion, and stirs it all together. what comes out is something amazing. and i'm now hopelessly hooked.

now, i'm not a jewelry person, but i was so moved by noonday's mission that i couldn't wait to support them. their purpose is to become a way for women (and a handful of men) in impoverished communities around the world to craft something beautiful and become their own industry, providing an income for themselves and thus finding their own way out of poverty, and to provide safety and education and hope for their children. after i finished reading the blog entry about the company and its vision, i immediately looked on noonday's web site to see if there is an ambassador (the person who represents the company and leads the home parties) in the twin cities area. turned out, there was only a single ambassador in all of minnesota (that has since changed; now there are two.), and she lives in my town. go figure. i called it fate, and immediately emailed her about having a party.

we got a time set up, and in october i had a great evening of girlfriends, appetizers, and noonday.

while everyone got excited about the product and the philosophy behind the company, the thing that really got us talking was noonday's support of overseas adoptions. friends at the party had either been through the adoption process themselves or knew someone who had/is. we had the best conversation about it, and it created even more excitement and support among us for noonday.

i've now been to a few other parties in my neighborhood, and there seems to be an unspoken agreement that every couple of months *someone* will host a party and we'll eat more appetizers and buy more jewelry. and give yet another artisan/mother hope.

some things i love:

i couldn't resist this necklace. it is made in ethiopia, from found ammunition casings which are then melted down and made into beads. the artists have found a way to take something that brings fear and destruction and remove its power, take control over its state, and turn it into something beautiful that will bring only good things. and it is nearly weightless ... like all of the pain has been stripped away.

the beads of this necklace are made from a seed found in ecuador, which is where marc is from. so i feel a little affinity toward it.

the paper beads are made in africa and are so colorful and lightweight. the earrings in the top right corner? have them. love them.

i am currently coveting everything on this plate. i mean, come on.

my favorite thing is this scarf, crocheted from alpaca by an artist in peru. sadly, this scarf left me at a swim meet last month. i set it down next to me, and then it was gone. the school doesn't have it in the lost & found. i have a feeling someone else saw it and liked it. which i am choosing to view as the universe's way of telling me to get another and support this artist twice; which is proportional to the amount of love i have for this scarf.

one of the things i love most about noonday is that the ambassadors are not in it to be on the top of a sales pyramid. the company is structured so that the profits go back to the artisans. ambassadors gain nothing from recruitment; they just want more people out there spreading the word about noonday in order to bring more good to the communities and artists that are supported by it. so if you need some extra income and love the home party vein of employment (and, really: this stuff sells itself. my ambassador, andrea, gives the history and mission of noonday and shares some of the artisans' stories at the beginning of the party, and then lets everyone touch and try on the jewelry, and answers questions. no pressure, no guilt.), you may want to consider this. or find an ambassador in your area and have a party. you'll have a great time, find some great pieces, and do a good thing.



on my bucket list

i'm not a runner. not even a little. two miles is the farthest i've ever run at one time on purpose. and hated it every step of the way.

however ... i am now obsessed with doing this:

a friend of mine in california recently ran one, and the photos from it were amazing and happy. and then i saw the above video on karen russell's blog and decided yes - i want to do THAT.

so i googled color run to see if there is a minneapolis one, and found that there is. in july. and it's sold out. but that doesn't mean i can't go and watch, right? because to be around all that energy and joy must be amazing.

and the photo ops would be pretty amazing, too.

so i'll go in july. and i'll take the kids, because they would totally dig it. and then i will make it our family mission to run it together next year.

because, really, how can you watch that video and NOT want to grab a snorkle mask and tutu and go for a run through a muppety rainbow of happiness?!

it's almost here ...


oh, man.

henry read the series quite awhile ago and told me i HAD to read them. but i didn't. they didn't appeal to me. post-apocalyptic sci-fi teen books? um, no.

then word came out that a movie was in the works, and henry was beside himself. and again he told me i HAAAAADDDDD to read these books.

still, no.

then i saw a trailer for the movie and thought, well ... it looks like it could be interesting. so i got the books. i started the first one on saturday afternoon. and i didn't stop reading until thursday afternoon, when i finished the third.

holy. crap.

henry was so right.

so, now we have tickets to the midnight showing this week. the movie will get over at 2-something a.m. then we'll have to drive 20 minutes home. and manage to calm ourselves down so we can sleep. and then get back up at 6 so he can get on the bus.

i must be insane. but i cannot wait. and neither can henry.

i think they will be fantastic movies, though i'm not sold on the guy playing peeta.


poor kid looks like a hairless hobbit. not some brooding, sensitive baker who will stop at nothing to keep the girl he loves alive. and honestly, by the end of the third book, i was hoping katniss would decide, "nope. i'm good. i don't need some guy."

but apparently all YA books need a love triangle, regardless of how weak it makes the girl.


so we'll see if peeta works.

what does work is the music in this thing. i'm not a huge taylor swift fan, though i admire the heck out of the girl. but i *do* love the civil wars. and this song they do with her is gorgeous. and the rest of the soundtrack line-up is equally exciting.

totally looking forward to thursday. i found some recipes for food from district 12 and panem, so i told henry we'll have a hunger games meal ...

goat cheese wrapped in basil ... lamb stew with plums ... and i'll try to find a multigrain raisin bread to represent the one peeta gave katniss.


can't wait.

(have i mentioned that?)


this week's happy:

in no particular order:

1. this showed up yesterday:

2. this showed up today:

3. this guy:

we can't stop watching his videos in this house.

4. these guys. and this song in particular:


5. because of this:

6. and because the muppets are my favorite best in the history of ever.

7. i made this:

and it was super yummy and everyone loved it.

(even though the kids picked out all of the tomatoes.)

8. and i found this on pinterest and fell madly in love with it:

and have decided we shall do this in the nook at the bottom of the stairs to the basement.

9. maybe.

10. and a great end to the week awaits us: i'm going to a baby shower, henry's been invited to a new neighbor/friend's birthday party, and on saturday we are going to a neighborhood pig roast. how fun is that?!

all in all, excellent week. and it's only tuesday!

(wait ... it's only tuesday ... don't want to jinx it ...)

i need new glasses.

my last pair was purchased, oh, eight years and two prescriptions ago.

i think it's time.

awhile back i was reading making it lovely, and nicole mentioned trying on frames at home for free from warby parker, and i made note of the company because it sounded too good to be true. try on at home? for free? and then buy glasses for under a hundred bucks? from a company that also supports altruistic endeavors? sign me up!

the coolest part of the warby parker website is that it let's you "try on" frames before you order some to "try on" at home ... narrow down the playing field, as it were.

i figured, why not.

my playing field has narrowed thusly:

nedwin frame in revolver black ...

japhy frame in whiskey tortoiseshell ...

zagg frame in revolver black ...

langston frame in whiskey tortoiseshell ...

thompson frame in revolver black ...

... or i could go truly awesome and get a monocle.

the monocle isn't worn nearly often enough these days, loveys.

i'm leaning toward the langston or thompson, but i think they all need to be tried for real, just to be sure.

does anyone have any experience with this company? good? bad? prescription comes out just right? it's a little nerve-racking to think about getting it right via the mail, but heck ... for $95 i can guarantee they will still be better glasses than the ones that i've had since henry was a toddler.

and for my money, it's already been fun just playing.

WarbyParkercolton WarbyParkerroosevelt

this week in pinterest

"me time" during the week centers around a quick browse through pinterest. it makes me happy. there is so much creativity and beauty and inspiration and humor out there, and i love that like-minded people who appreciate all of that are in one place, sharing and redirecting and connecting.

a look at what i loved this week, per my pinboard categories ...

really cool stuff:


(only awesome if you love radiohead)


(most beautiful dress i've ever seen)

color story:


crafty goodness:

(fall project)

home of my dreams:


pretend my thumb is green:

22542492_GhjYVyDz_c   37965278_qdWQTTrP_c






thinky inspiration stuff:

like i said, pinterest makes me happy.


now i'm off to feed, bathe, and tuck in my children. then i shall pinterest some more whilst my husband heeds the "call of duty" on the sofa for three hours. let me know where you are on pinterest so i can add you to my circle of inspiration! and if you don't pinterest and want an invite, i'm always happy to help a brother out!

yes, please.

i'm a big fan of starting xmas shopping pretty much as soon as new year's is over. the way i see it, why would i want to buy every gift for every person in the last month of the year? a) that gets friggin' expensive, and b) then i'm left buying whatever is left to buy at whatever store i shop and my recipient therefore gets the leftovers that no one else wanted to buy before december 1st.

not real thoughtful.

now that we're officially into august, my brain has started wandering to "what shall i get so-and-so for christmas?" (and yes ... i do already have a few presents purchased. and no, i'm not going to share, because family members occasionally read this.) we've decided to use the "want, need, wear, read" approach with the kids, and both are on board. i've seen this idea elsewhere and really love it. the kids will get four gifts from us in lieu of one big one and then a few smaller ones just for the sake of giving something else. i like purposefulness. so they will each get something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. and the interpretation is up to us. (ie the "something to wear," which was obviously not henry's favorite, could turn out to be boots and bindings for snowboarding, of which i think he would actually approve.)

and because i am a chronic christmas-gift-look-out devotee, i have a bookmark tab on my computer titled "xmas ideas" and i pop stuff in there whenever i see something that either i would like or i think someone else would like.

what's on my list this year, you ask?

this necklace:

Alisa miller

this clock:

these knobs:

(the question is ... how many? and for where? lower kitchen cabinets? my studio cabinets? the kids' bathroom?)

this coffee thermos:

Lens mug

yes, i said coffee. thermos.

this soup pot:

Soup pot
this photo collection:

this art piece:

(reminds me so much of my kids!)

and last but not least ...

this poster:


wouldn't that be a fun christmas morning?


what's on your list? link me up ... new ideas are always welcome!

first, a. then, b.

a) i have a new article up on it may involve stuff like this:

and b) my college roommate's husband introduced me to my newest obsession: mumford & sons. am i the last person to know about these guys? they are perfection wrapped up in an british rock/folk/bluegrass package. i'm in love. i bought the cd within 24 hours of mike sending me a link to a song. thank you, mike. and this is my favorite: