22 Jan
2014

Say Yay to Neigh

All in favor of horses, say neigh.

Chinese New Year is at the end of the month and it’s the Year of the Horse, and look, I’m not saying horses are better than all the other Chinese zodiac animals, but I am saying I’m embracing the horse as a style trend in 2014 with more enthusiasm than I would if it were the year of the rat/snake/ox.

year-of-the-horse-tote-craft

Click through to see how I made this reusable tote in ten minutes and how I fit two terrible puns into one sentence without batting an eye.

22 Jan
2014

Charming Urban Adventures

Hello! I have not died, given up blogging for bone-crushing sports, or boxed up either child for Abu Dhabi, the last of which would be, I imagine, somewhat hard to explain to the Internet and therefore worthy of an extended hiatus. Instead of hanging out here–which I see you’ve decorated with black wreaths in mourning; how Fizgeraldian of you!–I have been alternately working, slaving away at kindergarten application paperwork (indeed), enjoying January’s unusual springlike weather, and staring until my eyes go bokeh at the Christmas lights, at least until I got around to taking them down Sunday afternoon (the lights, not my eyes) while Fox napped and Simon and Wombat met friends for a bro-date at a rock-n-roll Shakespearean outer-space musical, which is apparently a thing. Other diversions have included going to the park, dressing Fox like a pretty, pretty girl, and standing quite naturally in front of brightly colored buildings whilst wearing a wrinkly tunic, as you do.

We had a great Christmas and New Year, which I hope to eventually recap if only to soothe my personal abhorrence of a vacuum, and you can bet the farm that the weeks since we got home have been full of the usual charming urban adventures, including the episode in which a lovely woman and her lovely little kids (three under three!) came from down the street and asked if they could snip a few sprigs from our rosemary bush that’s as big as a sedan (I was feeling generous and said yes), and then they made the cutest, tiniest rosemary lemon shortbread cookies, which they left in a bag on our porch, where it was apparently attacked by squirrels or something equally unwholesome and rabid. On the one hand, this unfortunate intersection of wildlife with baked goods made me very sad indeed because the cookies were delicious (yes, I braved the possibility of an undignified death-by-parasitic-cookie demise and tasted one before I threw them away) but it was also was okay that I had to dispose of them instead of devour them because I’ve been dubious of homemade treats since the first time Wombat was sent home with food he’d made at daycare and as Daycare Lady handed it to me she shook her head and said “Booger cookies,” which I took as not mere description but as red-level warning. Did I just ruin homemade treats for you too? I’m sorry/you’re welcome.

Photographic interlude:

That right there is what life has been like lately: Attempting to referee a kitchen-court ball game (of which I don’t know the rules, assuming there are any) between an uncoordinated five-year-old and an overconfident toddler while simultaneously doing last year’s taxes. Could this combination of the mentally taxing (haaaa) with the physically impossible be the future of Olypmic winter sports? I sincerely hope not. I’m pooped and I’m not even at altitude.

What have you been up to? Is 2014 treating you right so far?

15 Jan
2014

Take the Blank Out of Blanket

What’s better than a muslin swaddling blanket (my go-to must-have baby supply)?

A muslin swaddling blanket you customized yourself with rubber stamps, of course. (Of course!)

custom-stamped-swaddle-blankets

Once you have your supplies in hand (I just order everything online these days), you can seriously make one of these in ten or fifteen minutes. When you give one to a friend, she’ll say “You MADE this?” and you’ll be able to toss your hand in a breezy manner and say, “Oh, it was no big deal” because it really wasn’t.

custom-stamped-swaddle-blanket-DIY9

I made these for my friend Alison and her baby Cormac last fall and finally got around to posting them this week because I was out of town/sick/behind deadline/swirling in the terrifying whirlpool of kindergarten applications, all of which meant having a craft already done and photos already taken was kind of a no-brainer (which is good because I only have a teeny portion of free brain for this stuff right now anyway).

Click on over to Work It, Mom, for full instructions, and then don’t forget to show me your photos when you make some of your own.

custom-stamped-swaddle-blanket-DIY11