The Cutest Prints

I found this Etsy shop while browsing Pinterest the other day, and dear readers, I’m smitten.

The prints are ones you download and print at home, which means the price is absolutely unbeatable.

When my son was born, I put together a collection of illustrations from children’s books for a small gallery of frames in his room. But I think it’s time to replace them with some trucks and trains.

 

On My Forthcoming Book, and Our Beach Vacation

When I gave birth to a child, I knew I wouldn’t sleep. Everyone tells you you’re not going to sleep. We didn’t sleep. But then, despite our best efforts, we kept not sleeping. I didn’t know about that. I’ve can safely tell you I’ve read every word about babies and sleep the internet has ever written, and many words published in actual books, too. And sometimes what the people tell you to do is all nice and good, but your kid is like, nah, I’ll sleep when I want, thanks though. Dear readers, when he wanted to sleep was on vacation. The most wonderful vacation in the history to time, ever.*

And whilst on the most wonderful vacation in the history of time, ever, I developed an idea for a book on toddler sleep. Are you ready for my method?

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Once your toddler is awake and fed for the morning, take him to the beach and let him run around until he gets beach-tired. This is a beautiful type of exhaustion, that, as long as he’s been plied with water and snacks, means he isn’t cranky, he just has nothing left to give anymore.

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Bring him home, give him lunch, put him down for a nap.

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When he’s awake, give him some time to get reacquainted with the land of the living. Then begin the sunscreen process and repeat that whole morning song-and-dance.

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When he turns to you and waves, “bye-bye,” it means he is beach-tired again, and you must zip him back to watch a show, eat dinner, take a bath, and go to sleep again.

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He should not make a peep until the sun comes up the next morning.

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Not enough for a book I guess, huh? Well dear readers, all I can tell you is that this is the schedule we stuck to almost every day of our time at the beach this summer, and it was beautiful. Please light and candle and pray to the vacation gods that they continue to bless us long into the future.

*At least, in the last 17 months.

Bouquets of Newly Sharpened Pencils

Despite this being the second year I’m removed from the back to school process, I had my first back to school dream the other night. Ask any teacher, and she’ll tell you that August is when thoughts of the new year start creeping in, no matter how desperately you try to push them away. I’m not school supply shopping this year, but if I was, these three pencil sets* would be at the top of my list. Clicking on each will take you to the appropriate Etsy shop.

 

Is This the Weirdest Thing Ever?

I think it might be, but dear readers, have you heard of ASMR? The best way I can describe it is it’s this weird tingly feeling you get when you hear certain noises. Or maybe you don’t? I definitely do – always have, and I had no idea it was a thing until I heard about it on Sorta Awesome last summer. Since then, it’s popped up in a couple of places in my life, none more funny to me than this IKEA video. Leave it to the Swedes to be on top of the newest cultural trends.

That Little Extra Something

When friends are over, I used to do my best to pull out all the stops. I was known to make four last minute trips to the grocery store to make justonemorething to take the table from full to bursting. And then Gooplet came around, and simply gathering friends around the table seemed like enough of a win. If my husband can grill and I can pull off a side or two, what more do we need? (Answer: nothing!) But it’s still nice to take a classic and give it a little hint of something special.

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That’s exactly what this Caprese salad with hot bacon dressing is. Yep. Hot*. Bacon. Dressing.

*Except mine was room temperature bacon dressing, and I served it over a bed of arugula.

Finally

A friend came over once, and noticed I had a lot of “things that say things” on my walls. She is 100% correct. I love words, and surrounding myself with especially good ones is a habit of mine. I was mindlessly scrolling the internet this past weekend, and finally bit the bullet and purchased this piece.

(Etsy)

I’ve been wanting something for the exposed brick wall in the kitchen/living area of our house, and this is exactly the right size and sentiment. Can’t wait for it to get here.

ps, Here’s some more of what’s on our walls from earlier this year, when I challenged myself to get some art with pictures instead of just words and mostly succeeded.

Guess Who’s Back?

Dear readers, I didn’t intend to leave you for a month but that’s exactly what I did. I missed you tons and I didn’t miss you at all. But it’s good to be back. Let’s start slow, shall we?

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When I sat down to menu plan for the week I saw this and remembered that OMG I love arugula in the summer. It just tastes right. Planning to make that salad, plus put a bed of peppery greens under this.

Emily Henderson’s advice for students heading to college is spot. On.

Rachel’s guide to staying along 30A in Florida has me wishing for another vacation, and we only just got back. (Clea from The Home Edit just stayed here too, and shared about it in her Insta stories. Yes please!)

Oh, and Kelle and her family went off to Mackinac, which has long been atop my list of places to go. Basically what I’m saying is I want to chase resort life all year long.

Thick enough to go commando“? I thought I knew everything about how Lilly got her start, but I learned a couple of things from this article.

Love this list, pairing YA Fiction with Non-Fiction.

I always roll my eyes when bloggers post people’s house tours because they all look the same to me. But Joanna’s new apartment in Brooklyn seems like it breaks the cookie cutter mold, and like people actually live there. I love it.

Molly and Deb each dabbled in wedding baking this summer, and I loved the results.

 

Currently

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Enjoying a slower schedule – for about 6 months I kept thinking, things will slow down next month, and that kept not happening. Now it’s happening and I’m loving it.

Reading only the lightest and fluffiest material now that summer is here. The one upside to my husband bringing home buckets of work every night is that it leaves me plenty of time with my books.

Donating more clothes, books, and toys to unsuspecting thrift stores, libraries and consignment shops everywhere. I never got the nesting urge while I was pregnant, but man, has it hit me now.

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Inviting friends for dinner each Sunday evening. You’ll hear more about this fast-favorite tradition soon.

Transferring the stuff of life into my new planner. I splurged on The Simplified Planner this year, dear readers, and I can’t wait to dive into it on August 1.

Dreaming about some kind of fall getaway. We’ve got a wedding in New Jersey in October and I’m tempted to keep driving somewhere after we leave.

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Thinking about how much more I accomplish when I have a deadline. I have a couple of not-super-important things I want to do, but haven’t done yet, and they’re not getting done because a) I need to break them down into smaller chunks, and b) there’s no real rush to finish them.

Finishing Parks and Rec. I’ve tried watching it straight through a couple of times, but something about this go-round stuck, and my husband and I are almost done. We’ve got Master of None, season 2 on the list to go next, and by the time this post goes up, the new season of Orange is the New Black will be live! It takes place over 72 hours which is super-intriguing to me.

Planning a couple of adventures for the summer months that will make Gooplet’s and my days a little more exciting than usual. If you want it to be spring break, you have to make it spring break. The same is true for summer.

Summer Reading, 2017

Dear readers, today I’m linking to my favorite summer reading guides, and highlighting a couple of titles from each. But what I really want to know is which books you’ve moved to the top of your list this summer. What should I be reading?

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Modern Mrs. Darcy

Every Wild Heart because it’s inspired by Delilah. Yes, soft-rock radio station nighttime host Delilah!

Windfall just came in for me at the library and I’m loving it so far. Frothy YA is just right for the start of summer.

When Dimple Met Rishi has popped up on a couple lists I’ve seen, and I like the premise.

Hello Sunshine, because I liked Eight Hundred Grapes.

Anything is Possible I read My Name is Lucy Barton so fast, I wonder if I’ll even pick up on the characters who carry over from that story? Should I reread Lucy Barton first?

Everyday Reading

Walkable City It seems like there are a whole host of books about urban design out there, and that this has Janssen’s stamp of approval means a lot to me.

A Mother’s Reckoning because I read Columbine, and everyone is talking about this one.I think it will be a great follow-up.

Dark Matter because I started it but got carried away with other things, and had to return it, but I liked the start.

Moon Over Manifest because it’s been on my list to read forever (I own a copy!), and it’s about time I get around to reading it.

Cheese Day Saturday [tater tot breakfast skillet]

A while ago, The (Not So) New Girl introduced me (virtually) to her pseudo-cousin, someone who she said had a passion for all things cooking and cookbooks, and reminded her a lot of yours truly. Many a recipe-link/pin/email later, my foodie pen pal and I finally met up last weekend! We went to have brunch with The (Not So) New Girl, and wasn’t it a surprise when we discovered that each of us brought something with cheese.

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My contribution was a riff on How Sweet Eats’ tater tot breakfast skillet, but we all know these days I can’t be bothered to follow a recipe to the letter. Here’s what I did (and did again when I made this approximately 8 days later, yes it is that good):

Preheated the oven to 375.

Sauteed chopped onions, mushrooms, and a red pepper till soft, then added 3 minced cloves of garlic for the last minute or two. Put that mixture in the bottom of a well-greased baking dish.

Cracked 8 eggs, and added 2/3 C whole milk. Poured the mixture on top of the veggies.

Sprinkled 8 oz. of grated extra sharp cheddar on top of that.

Layered a bag of frozen tots all over the top.

Baked it for 45 minutes, and then ate way more than anyone ever should.