What I’m Listening To Lately

An idealistic punch in the gut:

Background writing/working stuff:

Happy wake up music:

Friday cruisin’ with my baby:

A little 20 year old me nostalgia:

Just a little gem:

Cleaning the house:

Mom, don’t listen to this one, you won’t approve (but it’s a good one to have in the arsenal):

I love a gravely voice which you won’t hear in the clip but Greg Brown makes me swoon:

Abram tells me to “crank it”:


An accidental find:

The most perfect 80’s song not written in the 80’s (another Friday favorite for the kiddos and I):

I don’t really have much to add to the conversation lately. My house is progressing on schedule (knock on all the available wood). Abram and Violet each had a bout of strep but are healthy now. My in-laws are the most gracious people on the face of the earth and I’ll never be able to say thank you enough for the generosity and kindness they’ve shown me.

Hope you all have a full and happy weekend! And please share any favorite listens lately! I’m always looking for fun things to find!

Knitting Wishlists

I’m not sure how I found Stefanie‘s blog, but I fell in love with her no nonsense home style and amazing knits almost instantly.  Despite not having met her in real life, we’ve been chatting cookware and knitting for awhile now and when I heard about the Ysolda shawl club, I had to pass it along.  When I did, she mentioned how she was going to be rounding up some yarn clubs so I twisted her arm into “syncing” our posts.  It’s basically the yarn lovers perfect Christmas – notions and tools, yarn and yarn subscriptions to keep us happy all year long.

Without further ado…here’s my list for the favorite knitter in your life.

1.  Ysolda’s Shawl Club – the inspiration behind it all.

2. Stitch Markers – These adorable snowman cookie markers by Another Grey Sweater are adorable – perfect for the Christmas season.

3. Split Yarn Bags – I love the box bags and the wee little pouches would be perfect for keeping little notions together (like those super cute stitch markers) and that cardinal pattern?  Adorable!!

4. Blocking Wires – I’ve recently been scouring patterns for shawls and everywhere I turn lace blocking wires are recommended.  I’d love to add these to my knitting supplies!

5. Hand dyes – You can’t go wrong with a skein of hand dyed yarn.  There are so many shops to choose from but these two hanks are from two of my favorite shops – Yarn Ink (colorway: bubblemint concrete) and The Lemonade Shop (colorway: stormy day)

6. Knitter’s Tool Tin – I’ve ordered two of these tins from The Sexy Knitter and they are perfect for throwing in all your project bags.  Each comes with a tape measure, a yarn needle, a few stitch markers, a double sided crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, some foldable scissors, and a stitch holder.  Basically, everything you could ever need while out and about.  She has tons of cut labels to choose from.  Pick your favorite.

7. Men in Knitwear Calendar – Sexy men wearing knits (and not much else)?  Sign me up.  Add that each month includes a pattern (that the man of the month is modeling) and it doesn’t get better than that.

Now go over and check out Stefanie’s list because the only better than some yarn and notions is a whole year’s subscription to some yarn.  I’m sure she’s got some great clubs listed!

Friday Finds: In the Kitchen

In the last couple of years, I’ve really started to enjoy cooking. And baking. And just spending time in the kitchen. The more I’m in the kitchen, the more I dream about kitchen tools. Here are a few of my wish list items:

1. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer (in green apple) | 2. World Market Mason Jar Measuring Cups | 3. DIY Etched Wooden Spoons | 4. 4-1/2 Quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven (in Quince) | 5. All Clad Electric Waffle Maker

Friday Finds:: Beauty

1.  Ren Centifolia No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm – Okay, so it has a really long name and I was very scared to try it at first because of the reviews talking about burning eyes and greasy feel but I love it.  I don’t wear eye make up often but when I do, I find it almost impossible to remove but not with this stuff.  It does sting the eyes a little so if you are super sensitive I’d probably stay away (I am, but I find it livable) since it’s an investment, but a little goes a long way.  I never thought I’d stop using Purity but I think I’ve found a new favorite.

2. Chloe – I received a sample of this in my last order and LOVE it.  I’ve been wearing Poppy for awhile now and while I love it, I wanted something a little more “grown up” for date night and this fits the bill.

3.  Diamencel Foot Buffer #11 – I walk around barefoot ALL. THE. TIME.  and have lived with horrible cracked heels for the last two years.  Pedicures, creams, those stupid softening socks that never worked.  I tried everything and was ready to just give up.  This is spendy but I’ve been using it two or three times a week (I follow up with a heavy duty lotion) for a little over a month and it looks brand new AND my feet are unbelievably soft.

4.  Josie Maran Body Butter – This smells DIVINE and I finally don’t have giant scabs on my legs from itching them in my sleep because they are so dry.  I still use my Cetaphil for day to day because this is expensive and I’m not willing to go through it at the pace I go through moisturizing cream, but I probably use it two or three times a week as a “treat” and love it.  I’d like to try the balm as well.

5. NARS Eyeshadow Base – I have yet to try a product from NARS that I don’t absolutely love and this is no exception.  I have heavily lidded eyes and my shadow smudges and creases and makes me look old.  Or it used to.   I used this the other night and after five hours my eye makeup was exactly where I put it.   I’ll definitely repurchase this.

So…what have you been loving on in the beauty product world lately? I’m looking for some new serums – I’ve developed an allergy to the line I was using so if you have any Vitamin C or Retinoids that you can recommend, I’d LOVE the help!

**I was not compensated for this post in anyway and these links are not affiliate links.  I just have a love of product and wanted to share my current favorites with you.**

My Favorite

I just love this time of year. Walking into a store with all those crayons, pencils, and notebooks on display just makes me absolutely giddy. It’s a schmorgesborg of my favorite things. To celebrate what is probably my favorite time of year, I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorites and (even better) do a little giveaway.

1. Five Star Wirebound Notebook – If you’re anything like me, any old notebook just won’t do. I like a heavier cover (check), a nice college rule (check), and the ability to color coordinate colors with my folders for each class (check). Five Star Notebooks are it and that’s it.

2. Pencils & pens – This is another area where I just can’t compromise. I’ve tried just about every mechanical pencil known to man (even some of those really expensive non-disposable drafter type ones – which are a complete pain in the pocketbook to lose) and these are inexpensive and work well. And I love how the eraser works on these. As for pens, the Precise V5 is my favorite. The ink is smooth, it’s got a very fine line (which I prefer), and I can get it in fun colors. I know some go with the Uniball, but this girl likes what she likes.

3. Heart paper clips – If you’re going to have to paper clip something, you might as well make it cute.

4. Folders – These babies are the ones I’d get every single semester – I could color coordinate them with my Five Star notebooks and I kept my handouts/assignments in order. Simple and cheap.

5. Planner – If we are going to talk about my weakness, it’s the planner. And I still believe in a paper planner, I just think it’s the way to go. I actually just purchased this one to replace the one my kids doodled all over (because I’m anal about my planner) and I really like it. Lots of space to put down the important projects as well as a monthly to do list and a weekly “notes” section.

6. Backpack – One of my high school graduation gifts from my parents was a L.L. Bean backpack. I used that thing for 5 years and it held up beautifully. It had plenty of space, organized well, and wasn’t too heavy even when it was all packed up. I couldn’t find the exact same one, but if I had to purchase a backpack for myself today, this would be the one. L.L. Bean is awesome.

What is your favorite back to school purchase? Leave a comment to be entered for a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Winner will be picked on Monday using a random number generator.

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Congrats Laura!!  I’ll be in touch!

Friday Finds:: Nesting

Since we’ve gotten home, I’ve had an increased energy for snuggling into this (not so) new house of ours. With the introduction to this amazing blog (thanks, Sadie) and a vision that is slowly beginning to take shape, I’m not feeling quite so overwhelmed and ready to just pack up and move again. Yes, I still want to do everything now – patience not being one of my virtues – but I may have told my husband that I could see us staying for at least another 10 years. Just don’t ask me to put that in a binding contract or anything.

With us celebrating a year here in September (how time has flown), my new appreciation for the space, and an urge to make it feel more like us, I’m looking for ways to (affordably) feather the nest. And the “shopping my home” thing is laughable considering how much stuff I don’t keep.

Well guess who just found out that H&M started a home decor line? Yup. This girl. And it’s online. I’d like to say it’s obviously fated, but that might be stretching it. Let’s just say it’s a very happy coincidence and I’ve taken advantage of it.

1. Glass Jar – $7.95
2. Metal Tin – $12.95
3. Hook -$3.95 ea.
4. Cushion Cover = $5.95
5. Linen Storage Basket – $12.95
6. Wooden Box – $12.95

That pink bakery tin is probably my favorite favorite favorite (though I’m doing it in the white) and that wooden box is sold out which is a bummer because I know exactly where and what I’d do with it.

Now it’s your turn to help this girl out and share some of your favorite home decor blogs, stores, and pinterest boards?

**P.S. This post was in no way sponsored by H&M, I just liked their stuff and wanted to share it!!


When it comes to toys, I’m a big fan of the go outside and use your imagination variety. But we have stormy days in the summer and below zero days in the winter and it’s always good to have a few go-to playthings ready. With A’s birthday just around the corner and V’s the following month, I’ve been thinking toys. Here are a few of our favorites:

We received our first set of MagnaTiles for Christmas this last year and when I decided to add more to the mix, I was surprised at the price tag. They aren’t cheap, but I still bought them without hesitation. Why? Because they are my kids’ absolute favorite toy. They are played with almost every day and it’s amazing the different ways kids find to put them together.

Another Christmas gift that gets regular play is the Brio train track. I love that in an era of plastic and easily breakable toys, this has heirloom possibility. My brother still has his set from 20 years ago and with the track, trains, and most pieces made out of wood, I know that A will be able to share his set with his own kids one day.

Calico Critters are a favorite of V’s. She loves setting up the furniture, placing the little pieces (soda bottles, flowers in vases, throw pillows) just so, and enacting little stories. You can find an endless array of kits (grocery store, dress shop, camper) or just use your imagination with things around the house (V uses one of my small jewelry boxes as a table) to create houses and expand villages. I especially love that she gets to enact stories like she would with Barbie, but without the whole body image thing of Barbie.

Is any list complete without Lego? We just recently packed up all the big old Duplo bricks (sniff) when V bought a Lego set with some reward money and they both decided “small Legos” were the way to go. We added a few of Dad’s old kits to the mix (heirloom toys…love them) and have our eye on a few pieces from Lego City and Lego Friends for birthdays this year.

As you can tell, we’re big fans of expandable kits. By doing it this way, the kiddos get to add the excitement of a new toy but without adding a slew of different “stuff” to be corralled and stored.

What are some go-to toys in your household?

I {Heart} Happy Mail

You know when you get one – the envelope is notecard sized, your address handwritten – and you can’t wait to get inside and open it up.  If you’re like me, you curl up on the sofa, papercut your finger trying to open the envelope (just being real), and savor the words of a friend.

You know what I {maybe} love more than getting a nice long letter from a friend?  Writing one. Picking the stationary, selecting the pen, chosing the words and sharing the small snippets of my life all help me slow down and connect to people and moments that matter.

Handwritten letters received are a blessing.  Handwritten letters sent are even more so.

Loving the handwritten letter like I do, I tend to stockpile letter writing supplies – even stamps that I order from usps.com so I don’t just get what my office has on hand.   These are my current favorites.

But I’m a fan of these as well.

Here are a couple of other supplies in my drawer:

I love this stamp from Yellow Heart Art. I’m just going to have to use it on all my outgoing letters from here on out.

And then I stumbled on Julie Ann Art, this woman’s shop could empty my bank account.  It’s sassy and funny and I absolutely love it.  I picked up a just because card for the mister (I’m not saying which one), a few for my pen pals and this one for my Gram.


And because birthday season is coming up and that means thank yous I found these at Paper Mill Designs for the littles.  They also have some amazing letterpress that I have on my wishlist.

So now that I’ve shared a little of my paper love with you, I’m going to sit down and share it with my pen pal friends.  Do you have any favorite stationary places on the webs?  Please share, I’m always looking for more!