Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
How do you help your children achieve independence in food prep? Or do you? I constantly have to remind myself that she's capable of so much more than we realize!
Friday, September 25, 2015
Here are a few links for you:
Amazing satellite images of humans' impact on the earth.
Pasta shapes do matter!
Coco's Halloween costume. (And Theo's!)
Renting in another ten years.
Another reason you wish you were Norwegian.
Do you eat your veggies?
Outside the frame.
Perfect fall booties.
I hope your weekend is amazing. See you back here Monday! xo
Photo via veryeatalian.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Has your life ever been a complete and total wreck? Before last year, I thought I knew what it felt like to be overwhelmed, or maxed out. But as it turns out, I did not! Up until then, I had been busy, I had been stretched a bit thin, I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew, but I had never been overwhelmed or maxed out. People throw around those terms casually. I used to do it myself! Looking back, I realize that I had never known my own limits until last year happened. I was going along, juggling everything life threw at me with relative ease. I was feeling pretty good, adding balls bit by bit and then, suddenly there was one, or two, or five balls too many and I could not do it. I literally could not keep all the balls in the air. They started falling, to the ground, bouncing around, rolling out of my reach, and that was it. I was overwhelmed. I was maxed out. And it was all I could do to just keep the really critical, important "balls" in the air. Have you ever experienced that? I'm still gathering all the balls that got away.
This morning, I woke up early enough to call Switzerland and took care of some loose ends that had been bothering me and keeping me awake at night since we left. It feels so good.
Next, I have decided to start planning and searching for a really cute fall/winter capsule wardrobe. Have you ever made a capsule wardrobe? This fall, I want to wear lots of red and warm, cozy textures. I am in love with the tights and scarf in this photo. I also want to start wearing more boots and skinny jeans and some day I'll acquire a classic trench.
We also got our Y membership all set up last week! It's the best thing ever to drop the kids at the Childwatch, work out while listening to a podcast or music and then take a long, hot shower all by myself before picking them up again and heading home.
All of these steps are more progress in the right direction. Goodbye, loose ends! Hello, organized and happy fall. I know spring is the time of year we are supposed to feel inspired and get our ducks in a row, but fall always does it for me. Perpetual teacher, I guess, or maybe it's because I was born in the fall? Whatever the reason, I'm so happy to be feeling inspired and come out of the fog.
Photo via Manger
Photo via Manger
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
When Coco and I left Zurich to move to Minnesota, it was all so rushed. We really did leave without saying goodbye and it's been killing me ever since.
Somehow, we managed to get through last year, and then we made the move to Spokane, and slowly, the dust has been settling. Not too long ago, toward the end of the summer, I saw a friend post about the Zurich Writers Workshop on Facebook and I really wanted to go.
Of course, it's a terrible time to go! J and I are both still unemployed and looking for work, and despite the airline miles we had from our time in Zurich, I was worried that traveling would affect my unemployment. So I gave the Unemployment Office in Minnesota a call, and it turns out that traveling to attend a workshop and network with editors and publishers is completely allowed and won't affect my unemployment at all. Well, there you go. Nothing is holding me back.
Theo and I are going to Zurich. We're really going. I'll be attending the Zurich Writers Workshop and networking during our stay. I'll get to see my beloved friends, Theo is going to meet his baby friends whose mothers and I shared our pregnancies. I'm going to visit our old neighborhood, stroll through its streets as I once did with Coco, shop at our old grocery store, mail J and Coco a postcard or two from our old post office, walk by the lake, breathe it all in, arrange to visit our old apartment and give it a big hug. I'm going to do all this in the hopes of saying goodbye, of letting it go, of moving on.
One way or another, if we are to move forward in this life, I must do this. I hope that being there, I will realize that I am back where I belong being in Spokane. I hope that I will remember all of the reasons I believed Zurich was never a long-term possibility in the first place. Because I sure can't now. Is our life there all gone? Is it still there? Is there any hope of touching it or claiming it once again? There is only one way to know. Away we go.
Zurich Airport photo via Airviation. Tiefenbrunnen photo via Martin Strobach.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Do you let your kids get dirty? Do they spend time outside collecting nuts and leaves and chasing squirrels? This past week, the Oxford Junior Dictionary opted to remove dozens of nature words like 'acorn' and 'minnow' from their latest edition and add tech words like 'broadband' and 'chatroom' in their place. This is worrisome.
Montessori honestly didn't say much about children being outside and getting dirty or being in nature. On the one hand, she didn't have to, and on the other hand, it was completely irrelevant.
Friday, September 18, 2015
What's happening where you are this weekend? Around here, I'm meeting an old friend from grade school for lunch on Saturday (thanks, Facebook!) and we are taking Coco to see a children's opera of Hansel & Gretel on Sunday. She's obsessed!
And here are some links for you to peruse:
Adorable for those little sniffles and coughs..
Libraries with ukuleles?
I like this.
Air cleaning house plants.
For a sense of purpose.
Man buns. HA!
IKEA designers on Instagram.
Completely odorless and tasteless! Life changing.
I hope your weekend is wonderful! See you back here Monday. xo
Photo of forest floor via Agua Marina
Thursday, September 17, 2015
One thing that made the cut is this Mom's One Line A Day memory journal.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Fall is here. Knowing it would make its entrance one night as we slept, we did our best to enjoy every last summer evening on our patio. The very last one, we had artichokes and my friend Stephanie's famous burgers. The full step by step after the jump.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
When Theo was born, I realized (suddenly) that I think in kilograms and centimeters. The nurse weighed him, once she had managed to pry him from my arms, and exclaimed, "9 pounds, 9 and a half ounces!" to the cries of delight and surprise from the doctors and other nurses. Meanwhile, I smiled a half-smile and asked, "What's that in grams?!" and then, upon hearing the whopping number 4,350, burst into shocked laughter like the rest of the room.
This does not apply to adults, mind you, just babies and children. When we took Coco to Enchanted Forest, she was not allowed to ride the log ride because she isn't yet 40 inches tall. To me, 40 inches sounds really tall for a 3-year-old, so I was thinking she's doing all right at 37. But then, I converted it to centimeters and nearly fell over. Coco is only 94 centimeters?! Most 18-month-olds are taller than that. Oh dear.
So I continue to shop at H&M where the sizes are listed in centimeters, and I continue to convert Theo's height and weight each time I take him to the doctor. That little chunker at 12 months weighed more than Coco at 26 months. He was so happy to get off that scale! I will never understand Celsius and I had to convert my own weight into pounds at every prenatal check, but for babies and children, I seem stuck on metric. Just another repat problem! ;)
Monday, September 14, 2015
Have you been to Insel Ufenau? What did you think?
Friday, September 11, 2015
And here are some fun links for your weekend:
A 9/11 rainbow.
Making these for Coco's lunch next week.
Celebrities with no makeup.
Tiny bathroom help.
This guy on the ukulele is just insane.
Have you tried overnight oats?
Cities by starlight.
We got held up taking Coco to school last week!
36 hours in Portland.
This cracked me up!
One double tour, please. I'm swooning!
10 podcasts to change your life.
Can you believe it's been 14 years since September 11? It feels like yesterday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you back here Monday. xo
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Over the next few weeks, I'm planning to share with you our soul-crushingly beautiful and perfect Italian road trip from the Easter Holidays in 2014. Coco was older, and hooked on Peppa Pig and the iPad, so unlike our first road trip experience with her, it was completely wonderful. First up, The Blue Grotto.
You know those experiences you've heard so much about that you're sure it will never live up to the expectations? The Blue Grotto is one of those - and it surpassed the expectations! More photos and details after the jump.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Feminist stock photo via Cup of Jo
Friday, September 4, 2015
How was your week? Coco had her first week of school and we are all happy to be back on a routine. Coco especially. That girl just loves school. What are your weekend plans? Some of my favorite cousins are in town this weekend for my cousin's 50th birthday party Saturday night. It's going to be so much fun! There is definitely a cool snap in the air these days. Fall is upon us. Hooray! I cannot wait to make this incredible Green Goddess Roasted Chicken. Doesn't it look so good? I'm drooling over that photo. :)
And here are a few links for your weekend:
"But I was wrong, and oh how I loved being wrong."
Signing up for this class ASAP.
What starts labor.
To the moon.
Radical apartment makeover.
Dreaming of this vacation. Have you been?
I'm swooning over this space.
Ways to ask your child about their day.
Excited to read this book.
Finally, on a very serious note, I am so upset over the Syrian Refugee crisis.
Two ways to help: JRS and CRS. These two charities do an excellent job of getting the resources and help to the people who need it - quickly.
I'm curious if those of you with children have felt compelled, or needed to talk to them about this? What have you said? How did you say it? I want to talk to Coco about it to help her gain awareness of the fragility of life and to develop empathy and compassion for others. I do not want to shield or shelter her from these omnipresent things in the media that might just confuse her otherwise. I would love to hear how you're handling it.
One thing is for sure: It's easy to take the only things that really matter for granted. I am so grateful that J, Coco, Theo and I are all safe, healthy and alive today.
Have a fantastic long weekend and see you back here Tuesday. xo
Thursday, September 3, 2015
We are slowly but surely getting our house all set up. It is a real treat to decorate such a cozy, well-proportioned space. Bizarre as it may be, all of our furniture has wound up fitting so perfectly, sometimes within a centimeter! Our space last year in Duluth was absolutely huge and I learned that I hate living in a large space. When we got this tiny house, I never thought everything would fit, but I honestly didn't care. The moment, I walked through the door, I was completely in love and ready to sign on the dotted line. I can't wait for everything to be finished and share photos with you.
The most fun part of this process has been repurposing furniture in an effort to avoid buying anything new. We are pretty much flat broke and canceling or reducing every payment possible. (Just a little aside: unemployment is not fun and it has taken living that reality to fully realize what it means. So if you're going through it, you are not alone!)
We had originally bought the IKEA shelves pictured above for our bathroom last year. By the time things started heading south, they did so in a flash, so we kept them in their packages and moved them with us. Now I envision them over our desk, like pictured below.
We have the same desk and legs pictured, but we got knock-off Eames chairs to go with them. With the addition of an IKEA RENS sheepskin, they're actually quite cozy and comfortable. I have an angular white lamp with a cork shade from last year, but we desperately need a calendar. In Zurich, we would get an ugly, free, vertical-format calendar from the Apotheke every year. We simply cannot function without a calendar on the kitchen wall to give that visual of available vs. unavailable. In addition to a beautiful calendar, we are going to give this app a try, but I'm skeptical. First of all, it's unattractive and I just don't see myself wanting to open it and look at it. Secondly, it's all too easy to ignore it, or get distracted by other texts, notifications, or just Candy Crush when it's on my phone. ;) But, it's pretty highly rated with lots of accolades, so I suppose we ought to try it. Do you use it? How is it?
Finally, I really want to have some succulents or other easy-to-care for plants to add some life and green. You can take the girl out of Oregon... I love these little kitty planters, but they're pricey, so I'm going to hit Goodwill and try to approximate. Wish me luck!
Do you have a home office? How do you keep it inspirational, fresh and uncluttered?
PS - Our mini office in Zurich.
Scandinavian office photo from Avotakka
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Do you use nice stemware? We do not. Over the course of our marriage, J and I have broken dozens of IKEA wine glasses. We have never bothered buying the real thing because we know we'd break those too. HA! So on our trip to Oregon wine country during our vacation last month, I didn't hesitate to pick up a couple of these awesome wine glasses at the Anne Amie Vineyards. They are flexible and shatterproof, yet still sparkle and look like real glass. They don't alter the taste of the wine and they're BPA-free. Sold! I'm a devoted coupe girl myself, but they also have champagne flutes. Long live summer. I can't get enough of these dreamy evenings on our patio.