Friday Links

Random Links on a Monday.

June 19, 2017

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The thing about working from home is that this actually translates to “I work from anywhere, anytime, day-or-night.” I’ve worked from countless vacations and away-for the weekends and other people’s “days off”. Then one day I realized I wasn’t sure I knew how to actually take several days in a row off. I was constantly checking in, no matter where I was or what I was doing.

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I didn’t really know how to stop. Attempting to unplug from work gave me anxiety, fueled by the emails that I watched trickle in asking for this or that while I attempted to take time “away”.

So I’ve made it a goal to take some defined time completely away from work every few months, like a normal person with a normal job. My time away doesn’t necessarily perfectly correspond (or correspond at all) to our time vacationing or visiting family, depending on other factors, but no matter where I am, it has helped my state of mind SO much to just practice the fine art of checking out regularly. 

Today, I’m still in Michigan with my little guys but I’m also checking back in to my work email. I don’t ever want to take for granted how blessed I am to be able to have created this kind of schedule and possibility – that I get to be the one to feed my babies breakfast and snuggle them early in the morning and get them ready for their day while still maintaining some semblance of a career built on things that I can do well and enjoy fit around the things our family’s schedule demands and needs.

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(Fun Fact: We took some of our wedding shots on this rock 4 years ago!)

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All that is to say, while I had time away from work, I had a chance to catch up on lots of random bits and pieces. Whenever I’m reading or scrolling or researching or “researching”, I snag screenshots or links and throw them onto my desktop. Eventually I file these in my Evernote notebooks or pin them or whatever. I finally had a chance to do this yesterday and this post is basically a conglomeration of a bunch of cool totally unrelated things that have been sitting on my desktop, combined with a bunch of random adorable pictures of Miles and Violet playing at my parents’ home. 

granola homemad

outdoor play farm

 

This laundry room! It’s a big space but I think something similar could be done to a smaller room? (via The Home Edit Pinterest board)

This book on creativity is on my list as is Daily Rituals. I just finished Shauna Niequist’s Present over Perfect and it basically wrecked me. Like this quote: 

“I want the stuff in my life to be light, easily managed, simple, so thtat the best of my energy is free for people, dreams, creativity; so that we can make memories around the table, eating meals on those white plates; so that I can run after my kids in one of a half-dozen striped shirts;  . . . How we live matters nad what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”

 

On the fiction front…I’m struggling. I feel like I’m getting my fiction fix mainly from tales like King Jack and the Dragon (which, by the way, I’ve accidentally memorized. So I’ll find myself doing the laundry or making beds or something and all of a sudden, I’m chanting “Jack, Zak and Caper were making a den . . . .”) Love the book. DON’T love having it emblazoned in my brain. 

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On a side note, I’ve finally committed to using my Kindle app on my phone more consistently for reading and I’m reading quite a bit more. It’s a tiny screen and kind of a pain, but I’m not comitted enough to e-reading to purchase something bigger yet and it helps me make the most of those random minutes. I don’t love being on my phone to read because I feel like it’s a bad example or something to my little guys, but I’ll figure that out later. For now, I’m reading actual books at a pretty fast clip again and it’s magic.

I’m trying to figure out ways to turn our very suburban square four-fence backyard into something that looks like this. Too optimistic that it could happen in the next 8 weeks?;-)

Now that I’m almost finished with the kitchen cabinets, I’m gathering ideas to make our super-boring hallway a room that I like more (can you like a hallway?). This hallway is so casual and cute. (via House Mix Blog) 

I made granola last week with this recipe, but I used melted butter instead of coconut oil. It was perfect – light, crunchy, flaky. I may never buy cereal again. 

I love love love her travel photography of her children. 

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Friday Links

This and That.

December 30, 2016

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There is nothing quite like this quiet week between Christmas and the new year, is there? This year it feels particularly sheltered, falling, as it does, over exactly one real week.

This has been a December of lots of reflecting, lots of half-finished posts, lots of good intentions, not much social media, plenty of activites with my littles that fell short of my Pinterest dreams but that hopefully carved out some real impressions and memories in their little sweet hearts, and some unusally warm weather that gave us opportunities (outdoor family pictures!) often impossible this time of year.

So often we talk about how our littles won’t remember – and that’s fair and true – , but I think it’s still so important to set an example during this season. Memories fade, but family rituals have a way of burying their way deeply into a child’s being. So we selected special ornaments to cmmemorate the year (four matching gold bells to mark our first Christmas as a family of four!), we shared cookies and cinnamon rolls with our neighbors and friends, we convinced our kiddos to join us for half of our church’s candlelight service. Miles and I made it through exactly half of a very-very-abridged-for-children Christmas story before he had a complete meltdown for absolutely no reason at all.

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Now my 8-month-old has the flu virus despite our best efforts to vaccinate and wash and disinfect and we’re quarantined for a few days and I made a barley stew (a recipe modified from this cookbook) while praying that Violet’s afternoon nap was long enough to help make up for the many hours she and I lost two nights in a row and listened to this wonderful playlist on repeat.

This post is a perfect example of how I feel right now – lots of random ramblings all sort of taking off and forgetting to land. There’s a term that counselors use called “spider-webbing” and of it I am currently the queen.  But isn’t that sort of what this week is for? Spinning our quiet webs, preparing, reflecting, waiting  – Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas without this week of patient magic (and if you are curious about some actual liturgical basis for this, this piece provides some wonderful background).

And while you’re spinning your 2017 webs, here are a few pieces to inspire your heart, encourage your intentions, and quiet your soul.

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I’ve been trying to establish a consistent cleaning routine for our home so that I’m not always tackling fires and feeling behind. The schedule I used for the fall didn’t feel quite right, so I’m changing it up for the rest of winter. Here and here are some suggestions for routines if your home feels out of control.

Here’s a cozy recipe to try during slow mornings this week.

An interesting piece on balancing home-roles and a career for both men and women.

These bookshelves will make the whole world seem right.

Fika and hygge – two words to chase away the winter blues.

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Friday Links

Weekend Reading List // 21.

October 28, 2016

pieces on coffee, wine, creative children

Happy weekend, dears!

So, this will be the *last* weekend reading list for the blog, at least for a while. I’ll still be creating it, but I’ll only be sending out to this blog’s email list beginning next Friday, so if you are subscribed to that and get my notes in your inbox, don’t change a thing.:-) If you aren’t getting occasional notes from me, provide your email here.

Love your avacados? Grab a Kleenex. (via The Atlantic)

Here’s how to best pair your wine and herbs this holiday season.

I just overhauled my spice cupboard using these jars – I love the way they look and function now!

Yet another reason to drink coffee everyday. (via WebMD)

How to cultivate creativity in your children. (via The Atlantic)

Do you work part-time? Your children might be more empathic. (via Inc.com)

From Pinterest

Writing helps you to remember and pay attention.

I’m obsessed with this two-tone dresser.

From Instagram

This entire account is break-taking.

The power of menu-planning.

From another writer

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” 

-Woodrow Wilson

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Friday Links

Weekend Reading List // 20.

October 14, 2016

Weekend Reading List

It’s Saturday! Fall weekends are so different than summer weekends, aren’t they? The one calls for icy drinks, flip flops, and time outside – the other conjures up images of warm meals inside, heavy cloudy skies, and lots of cozy layers. Ready for the transition? I am! (Now if I can just convince the Indian summer heat to cooperate…)

We are unraveling from some time away this weekend. Here are some things that caught my eye this week . . .

Family life in a teensy apartment. (via Washington Post)

My mind is boggled by the concept of mise en place. (via NPR) Do you do this when you cook?

This piece made me cry.  (via NYT)

One method for chronicling your baby’s milestones.

From Pinterest

Fall colors.

Ice cream’s history!

From Instagram

Her food styling is out of this world.

From a Better Writer

“We’re not going to save the world one street style photo at a time now, are we!”

Jessie Bush, We The People

 

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Friday Links

Weekend Links // 19.

September 4, 2016

Labor Day weekend – officially the end of summer. I can’t even believe it. It’s still quite hot here, so I’m not really ready to think about hot drinks and cold days (although we did have soup for dinner a few evenings ago) and the thought of a sweater makes me want to shriek. But I AM looking forward to cooler days and evenings that will make spending time outside more pleasant.

I have a little patio garden planted for the late summer/fall months and it has been so cooperative, as has this piece about harvesting basil and this article on cilantro. (via Food Renegade & Gardening Know-How)

50 of America’s most famous homes. (via Country Living Magazine)

An interesting piece on co-sleeping. Miles shared our room until he was about 6 months old and Violet sleeps (mostly?) in her crib in our room now. Sleeping arrangements for babies are so baby/parent/schedule/personality dependent and can be such a tricky topic to discuss, yes? But I love reading about what other families choose to do and the reasoning behind it. (via NYT)

This is a blog you will love for so many reasons, but her piece on her cleaning rhythm is especially so lovely.

From Pinterest

Planning a fall wedding? Check out these DIY wedding invitations.

Have you ever tried to capture a silhouette shot?

From Instagram

My bar cabinet. Just kidding! We don’t have a bar cabinet. BUT IF WE DID. (via @organized_simplicity)

I wonder if I could get away with only feeding Mark and Miles Greek yogurt, watermelon, and grapefruit juice? (via @sluser)

From a Better Writer

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.” 

-Wendell Berry

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Friday Links

Weekend Links // 18.

August 27, 2016

Weekend Reading List

It’s the weekend! Labor Day weekend, my birthday, Mark’s birthday – the official last few weeks of summer always hold fun celebrations for us and I’m excited! What are your weekend plans? If you need a final bit of pool scrolling and reading, check out the links below.

Have you posted one of these shots on Instagram this weekend? Congratulations. You’re wildly unoriginal.

Mark and I LOVED this documentary on the development of babies. The end gets a little political for my taste, but the cute shots of babies interacting with their parents and the discussion about the importance of play and parental interactions in babies’ lives made the two hours immensely worthwhile. (via The Atlantic).

How to throw an epic beer-tasting party.(via The Glitter Guide)

Did you know that you can snag popular magazines like Conde Nast Traveler from Amazon for as low as $5 for a year? I just discovered this secret and may have subscribed to a number of new titles with mildly excessive eagerness.

From Pinterest

A list of emotions you (up until now) have never had words to describe.

Delicious (and supposedly less terrible for you!) cocktail recipes for these hot last days of summer.

I’m obsessed with using vertical space to organize messy work-stations.

From Instagram

An Instagram feed that is not wildly unoriginal.

And another.

From a better writer:

“You don’t overcome challenges by making them small, but by making yourself bigger.”

– John Maxwell

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Friday Links

Weekend Links // 17.

August 12, 2016

After two glorious weeks in Michigan, we are back home and soaking up the last few weeks of these hot summer months.

We went blueberry and cherry picking while we were up North. If you’re faced with the troubling ordeal of TOO MANY BLUEBERRIES (is that possible?), this easy not-too-sweet pie recipe is for you. If you are further south and peaches are ripe, this bourbon slush provides a solution to both the excess peaches and the heat.

I love that some parents are turning dining rooms into a playrooms.

This idea for displaying special photos is great, especially since there’s no hanging required. (via Paper & Stitch)

These backyards have me swooning. I especially love the vertical planters for a small backyard space. (via Clean and Scentsible)

This piece by a mom has the grad student in me thinking about why we all feel the need to write about our kids in the first place. (via NYT)

Today, I pulled all of the shelves and drawers out of my fridge and scrubbed the entire thing. This = happiness in my world. Someday though I’d like it to look this good. (via The Intentional Minimalist)

Finally, a few Olympic events that you may not even know exist. (via LifeHacker)

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Weekend Links // 16.

August 7, 2016

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Happy Sunday! Here’s hoping yours has been restful and rejuvenating. While you’re keeping cool, here are some fun pieces to browse.

For a good laugh, this list of guys. (via The New Yorker)

The perfect dinner party playlist. (via Style Me Pretty)

If you (like me) are trying to improve your photography but don’t understand aperture, here’s a guide that might help. (via Expert Photography)

My favorite part of this list for visiting a new mom is the suggestion about bringing coffee. But there are lots of other gems in there as well. (via Mom.me)

I’m exploring ideas for sprucing up our backyard and love these vertical garden boxes.

If you’re working on the inside of your house instead, here some great suggestions for small spaces. (via The Kitchn)

Working on doing this more.

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Friday Links

Weekend Reading List // 15.

July 22, 2016

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It is Friday! Say it with me.

The dog days of summer are fully upon us. We are basically living at the pool, which is so much less glamorous than it sounds when you are nursing a three-month-old who does not like wind or sunshine, thank you very much, while wrangling a two-year-old who is (falsely) convinced that he can swim.

While you are at the pool this weekend, add these links to your reading list!

Whatever is up with this Pokemon Go craze. (via Vox)

Why you should ask for a small coffee in a medium cup and other pieces of life advice. (via Fatherly)

Why your imaginary pregnancy and your real-life pregnancy are so different. (via OKREAL)

Would you unfollow the Pope on Instagram? (via NYT)

How to decorate as a couple when your tastes are individual. (via Houzz)

Five sauces every cook must know how to make. (via Food52)

I am hoping that this summer reading makes me a calmer parent. Quickly.

I LOVE this baby “stats tracker”. (via lifelove+lucy)

This Instagram account! I can’t even.

Happy weekending!

 

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Friday Links

Weekend Reading List // 14.

July 2, 2016

It’s the weekend! Summer is here in full force. The Fourth is one of my favorite holidays – America’s birthday AND my baby boy’s birthday. We’ll be having a big barbecue to celebrate both momentous events and I’m especially excited that Miles gets to enjoy the Fourth’s fireworks for the first time (last year he was in bed before sunset!). What are you up to this weekend?

Whatever you’re doing, these ice-cream flavors look to good to miss – find a way to incorporate homemade ice cream into your weekend!

I love this cute toy camera for a kiddo.

Speaking of toys, I’m struggling to figure out how to minimize the toys in our home in a healthy way.  This piece on minimalism helped. Tell me . . . how do you minimize useless (and seemingly inevitable!) toy clutter and focus on quality?

Why your defiant child may be your favorite (later). (via Kids Activities Blog)

This piece on Celine Dion’s concert will have you gasping for air. (via Jezebel)

Family-sleep traditions from around the world. (via Fatherly)

How do you know when you’re “done” having kids? (via Clementine Daily)

Did you see this sweet love story? (via the New York Times)

An interesting piece on unfollowing. (via NYT)

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