Tag Archives: Snapshot

1/25/12

25 Jan

What I’m up to:

– I am finally getting over a cold that’s left me barely functioning for the entire month of January. I know some of you were a little disappointed about the lack of a Follow Friday post last week, but I had been running on empty for days and halfway through editing I knew it was a lost cause. It will be back with a vengeance next week, though, so don’t worry. It’s not going anywhere! In the meantime, check out my new 50 Thrifty Fun Things To Do series. I’m drawing on all my experience of taking care of Isobel while working with a budget that dips into the negative numbers on a regular basis.

– Speaking of vengeance, last week I asked you to send in your questions about me so I could complete the versatile blogger award. I received  a bunch of emails, DMs and tweets after I threatened people to post Beck lyrics if no one responded. Well call me a dead hobo on the patio! After that threat I was inundated with responses so I will answer a couple per week until I make it through all of them. If you still have a question for me it’s not too late–email, tweet, comment, or DM me and I’ll answer it in a following Snapshot post.

– Isobel occasionally refers to Anthony as “Swiper.”

– Next month I’m going away with some friends to visit my dear friend Stephanie in Reno. I’m excited to cross this item off my life list, even though I’ll be going without Anthony and Isobel. Since we started a family Anthony’s gone away for work and fun a couple times, so now it’s my turn. I’m going to be going four hours away over Donner Pass with my besties. What could go wrong? P.S. Can you be kicked out of a state for being inappropriate? Asking for my friends. Specifically.

-Also, this is the first time I can remember going overnight somewhere without Anthony since 1998. Holy shit.

– Since I’ve been sick I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek, and, consequently, Isobel has watched a lot of Star Trek. Fortunately, she loves it and dances and shrieks with joy when she hears the theme song. I shit you not. It’s hilarious to hear her take on what she sees, too. To her, Klingons are lions, the Borg are robots, and Worf’s son Alexander is a girl.

– I have been getting more photography work, which is good because I feel really guilty about quitting my job to stay home with Isobel in such rough economic times. I’m not going to lie, we’re personally dealing with some rough finances and so are most of my friends. A friend recently sent me a link about the Ten Worst Cities for Finding a Job. If you look on that list, the first five cities are within about an hour from where I live. The other day a girl came to our door and asked if I had any scrap metal for her family to sell. It’s so bad  nearly grabbed my bindle, flung Isobel into a sack of potatoes, and rode the rails to Canada.

– Yesterday we were in line for checkout at the grocery store when I noticed Isobel was chewing on a head of broccoli. I let her. Because it was broccoli.

– One of my recent shoots has been for my bestie’s Etsy shop. She is selling some awesome Valentine’s cards, including robots, Alice in Wonderland, and my favorite, the Anti-Valentine. I really love the Eat Me/Drink Me tags. How perfect would those be attached to a plate of homemade cookies for a housewarming gift? Too perfect.

– If you’re into vintage clothes, check out my friend Valerie’s shop. She has been uploading like mad and I’m personally drooling over several dresses, particularly this 1960s rainbow dress. I probably shouldn’t show you this adorable children’s owl sweater or orange townhouse dress.

Little Big Links:

– Thank the Sweet Baby Picard Jesus those Princess Bride movie remake rumors are false.  Via Amanda Stretch

Goats in a tree. This is called “making my day.” Via Ian Boudreau

Reading Rainbow meets Star Trek. This derailed my whole afternoon. Via Veronique Rickets

– Good as backup NFMBFTKS, but not as primairy NFMBFTKS . Read the first review. For Samurai Ninja Rockstars, only. Via Chris.

Downton Abbey Drinking Game. To my utter delight, Anthony enjoys watching this with me–without drinking, even!

Feminism does not predict poor romantic relationships, in fact quite the opposite. A fascinating study. Via Justin

Weekly Photos:

Reader Question:

This post is running waaaay long, so I’ll answer just a few.

1. Why the Viking liking?

My family is Swedish-American on both sides, and we still have a pretty strong Swedish culture three generations out. I grew up with lots of stories about Sweden, about my pioneer relatives (it was all very Kirsten), and Scandinavian culture in general. I live in an area settled by many Scandinavian families and my parents used to be very involved in the local Scandinavian heritage festival. So it’s just something I grew up around.  That and vikings are badass.

2. Do you still go in your child’s room at night to see if she’s breathing?

Oh hell yes. Though my main paranoia is in regards to her choking. I still want to slice grapes into miniscule pieces for her. I got too far. It’s totally irrational. She has learned she can fake cough to get my attention because she knows I’ll come running.

3. Are you a loser, baby?

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey. Butane in my brain and I became the junky with the plastic eyeball. Spray paint the vegetables dog food skull with the beefcake pantyhose. Kill the headlights and put it in neutral. Stock car flaming with a loser in the cruise control. Baby’s in Reno with the vitamin D, got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat. Someone keeps saying I’m insane to complain about a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt. Don’t believe everything that you breath you got a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve. So shave your face with some mace in the dark. Saving all your food stamps we’re burning down the trailer park.

Yo.

Cut it.

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Snapshot: Making Personal Threats & Isobel’s Pencil Room

16 Jan

– Since it’s been awhile since my last snapshot, and since so much has happened, I’m posting it early this week.

– The biggest news (besides me having the most annoying and stubborn cold on the planet) is that we moved Isobel’s big girl bed from our bedroom into the Pencil Room. The Pencil Room is officially Isobel’s big girl bedroom, and now we refer to it as “your pencil room.” The first day was rough. At first she was so excited when I told he we were going to move her bed that she tried to move it herself and then excitedly asked me to help her. Once we got the bed in the room and all set up for her nap, she pretty much cried from nap time to bedtime. She was m-a-d. After she got that out of her system it wasn’t a problem and she’s been sleeping in there fuss-free since the 7th. Anthony and I are so glad to have our room back (bow chicka wow wow) but it did make me a little sad at first. I was so ready for her to be out I didn’t expect to be sad. Having her in a different room after two and a half years of cosleeping was an adjustment for Mama as well as baby.

– I’m almost done decorating Isobel’s big girl room. I posted a sneak peek earlier on twitter. I still need to finish some organizational things and Anthony needs to hang the finishing touches, but once that’s done I’m going to share it here. Hopefully sometime next week!

Bethylicious nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! According to the meme I’m supposed to nominate fifteen people and list 7 random facts about myself. I always have trouble coming up with these, so how about we do something else: I will answer seven random questions put to me by readers, either here in the comments, or via email, or on twitter. If I get seven questions I’ll answer them in a post and then nominate my picks for the award. I’m betting there won’t be seven questions.Go ahead and take that personally. It’s a threat. Or something. Yeah.

– The lovely and talented Erica made this gorgeous shawl for me and I am over the moon about it. The deep green-blue color, the delightful scrunchiness of the wool, the fact that it was nothing but a mere string a few short days ago has me swooning for it. Thank you so much, Erica. I hope the basket of vintage goodies I’m about to send you is satisfactory.

Recent Photos:

Little Big Links

Snapshot

21 Dec

Here’s what I’m up to:

– Woohoo! I am late again this week. Go team.

– My friend Kristi made gingerbread chickens instead of gingerbread men and now I’m obsessed with the idea of making non-traditional gingerbread creatures.

– Have you seen Erin’s creative way her family counts down to Christmas? I couldn’t find a photo to link to, but she writes the count down on a chalk board in her family’s kitchen. It’s so adorable, it might be my favorite advent calendar idea yet. I found several chalkboards while thrifting. I’m going to give this a try next year.

Marie showed off a photo of her Hipster Analog PDA. Is it weird that I love seeing the handwritten way people keep track of things? When I still worked at the library I made my own datebook using a notebook and a due date stamp. Now I use a shared google calendar with my husband but I can’t leave the pen and paper world behind: I have a binder that contains all my ideas, my to do lists, important papers I need to have handy, and my menu plan for the week. I’ll show you sometime if you’re interested.

– Another friend named Erin is making a homemade Huckle for her lucky kiddo this Christmas. It is amazing. She is so talented.

– I’m going through the photos on my hard drive (er, hard drives. Let’s be honest, here) and I’m trying to delete the ones I don’t need to make room for future memories. I uploaded more photos from our trip to Cayucos last March for Chris and Jenn’s wedding.

– I recently got a spam comment that was left by “A Puppy.”

– I was having a terrible night until petersagal posted this tweet: Yo Yo Ma on the floor of a bathroom, with a wombat. Then he said, “There. I just justified the existence of Twitter.” Yes you did, good sir! Yes you did.

– While shopping for supplies for Handmade Christmas at Michael’s, we bought some (pink!) pipe cleaners and had some fun. All other games were quickly brought to a halt, however, when she discovered that I could shape them into hearts. Soon she had covered our tree in heart-shaped ornaments. It was so fun.

– My cat Poppy totally clotheslined herself on the Christmas tree garland this morning.

– I’ve realized that ironically it’s Rich People that are best able to pull off Handmade Christmas.  You have to really work to keep your crafts affordable, and they take so much time. Ideally, participants in Handmade Christmas are independently wealthy, so in addition to having all the funds they need at their disposal they can make their butlers help when their fingers get tired.

– I’m still getting more Christmas cards! Thank you so much, friends! But I’m still not returning the favor till after Christmas. Happy New Years cards are for the fashionably late.

– Speaking of cards, I’ve been doing more portrait work in time for the holidays. Earlier this week I shot the best portrait session of my life–a friend wanted to take the most awkward family Christmas photo with her brothers as their gift to their parents. Think matching sweaters, ridiculous headbands, and too-huge identical sets of plaid pajamas. It was epic and I learned it’s difficult to shoot while crying tears of laughter.

Photos:

I like big buns and I cannot lie.

Bring your pink purse with you on your walks.

Wearing your Flair to the grocery store.

Monorail Cat.

Handmade Christmas.

Multitasking.

Little Braid.

I do what I want.

Recipe: Butternut Ravioli And Then Some

8 Dec

– I’ve already started getting Christmas cards in the mail. (Thanks, Melyndersons!) This is no fair. I haven’t even made ours yet, nor even picked out the photo.  I’m still trying to mull over a way to beat last year’s card, and the only possible contender I’ve come up with it to find a giant Julbocken for Isobel to ride while I take her photo on it. I am, so far, unsuccessful in this endeavor. But I hear our local Volvo dealer has a large Dala

Justin found this Star Trek Christmas card and it warmed my nerdly heart.

– This made me laugh until I cried: Fake Kristen Stewart Explains Christmas. Via  SvelteAssassin.

– This weekend I’m getting together with friends for a holiday party that includes an old fashioned sing along. I am so excited to sing hymns and drink nog while Isobel runs around with Kingston shouting, “IS THERE AN L, MOM?! IS THERE AN L?!” The song Noel kind of freaks her out.

– It was only a matter of time before the internet came up with this. Via the Scott.

– Earlier in the week I posted about thrifty ways to wrap presents and thrifty practices I’m using to save money. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to respond to the comments yet but if you enjoyed these posts please click over and read the comments. The comments totally inspired me. LB readers shared some awesome creative and thrifty tips that you might want to bookmark.

– Recent Thrift Store Gore: Terror Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping.

– Recent Thrift Store Score: Vintage Angels. My small pile of Christmas decorations is growing.

RECIPE: BUTTERNUT RAVIOLI WITH SAGE BROWN BUTTER

I made butternut ravioli with sage butter for dinner on Monday and it was so good Anthony and I nearly fainted. Isobel didn’t want any and we were like OH GEE THAT’S TOO BAD NOM NOM NOM.

I didn’t use a recipe but it was super easy. The steps were kind of fiddly but they weren’t hard. The longest part was the roasting of the butternut squash, and you can do that a day or two in advance. This is a great way of using up butternut puree.

1. Halve your butter nut, clean out the seeds, and lightly coat it with oil. Roast at 400 degrees F for about an hour.

2. When cool, scoop out roasted flesh and mash.

3. Saute the white parts of a scallion until soft then add the butternut, heavy cream, salt, pepper, a scrape of nutmeg, and warm through. Take off the heat and add a grating of Parmesan cheese.

4.  Lay out wonton wrappers and make ravioli by putting a bit of the butternut mixture in the center of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with a bit of water and fold in a wonton shape.

5. Start the sauce: I made brown butter with sage, which is dead easy. Add the butter to a warm pan along with some whole fresh sage leaves. Heat butter till it foams and starts to brown. You’re done.

6. Boil ravioli briefly then portion out on plates. Pour brown butter over and sprinkle with parsley and more Parmesan if desired.

7. Ta da! Here’s the end result. So good.

Snapshot

7 Dec

-My brother-in-law finally returned from deployment yesterday after a year in Baghdad. I am relieved and grateful he is home.

Holy shit. Let’s hope they are Vulcan.

– I watched PBS’s Bleak House on the days when my Mom had the baby so I could work on my gigantic Esty project. I totally loved it because I love those types of movies even though everyone around me thinks long, historical British dramas are about the boringest thing in existence. I think they are a wonderfully cozy way to spend a cold fall day inside with a project. Also it’s entirely possible that I am really boring as well.

– I checked out NurtureShock from the library and am about halfway through it. Holy wow, that book is excellent. I can’t recommend it enough. Next up is Welcome To Your Child’s Brain.

– I bought some frozen cookie dough through a fundraiser for my bestie’s son Kingston’s daycare. It’s the kind that’s already conveniently pre-shaped into little cookies so all you have to do it pop them in the oven and fifteen minutes later you have melty chocolate chip goodness. I am so addicted to this instant sort of gratification that I’m considering making up a batch of cookie dough and portioning it out so I’ll have homemade chocolatey chip goodness when this batch is finished. Which reminds me, I really should start back up on the elliptical again.

I’m still having a sale! And there are still a few items of Thrift Store Gore left for all your White Elephant needs. Keep checking the shop, as I’m adding more thrifted goodness all the time.

– I meant to post this earlier but kept forgetting: the Life Cycle of a Jack-o-lantern. (I have a severe case of chicken envy.)

– The other day when we had people over my friend Jake looked out the window in time to see Jupey run by with a sword in his mouth. Our neighbors had been playing with Nerf swords and left them on their lawn unattended. Jupey swooped in and grabbed it, ran across the front lawn, and somehow climbed the fence with it still in his jaws. It was at least two and a half times his length. Isobel was particularly excited to get a toy from Jupey that wasn’t a naked, brunette Barbie, and she played with it happily until we could distract her and return the sword.

– I went to a local craft bazaar and had the same experience there that I have every year. I always have a good time, find something awesome, and then get pissed because it’s a clusterfuck of too many people in too small a space. Also I leave before I really start shopping because the crowds make the experience impossible and unpleasant. I can think of half a dozen easy ways to fix this just off the top of my head. It doesn’t need to be this way. Get on it, Handborn.

– My Crohn’s disease has been particularly unpleasant these last couple days, but seeing as how I don’t have Cancer or some other scary new health issue, I’m okay with that.

– I broke down an got a new phone! This explains the massive influx of instagram pics I’ve inflicted upon you all. I’m kind of essited.

– I bought a large bag of party mix for the upcoming winter festivities, and after I put it and the other groceries away I went down the hall and into our bedroom to fold laundry. As I was putting socks away I heard a very strange noise. I looked up to see Isobel lugging the giant sack of party mix, nearly as large as she is, down the hall. It takes her awhile because our hallway is long, but when she finally drags it into our room she hoists it up onto her bed. Then, in a panting, out-of-breath voice she says, “Mama,” (wheeze, wheeze) “It’s a party.”

Snapshot

22 Nov

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– Last week our dear friends from Reno came to visit. Isobel and Kingston showed off for them by using the dress up chest to transform into Inspector Fabulous and Sargent Spectacular and by knocking over the cat scratching post and riding it again. Speaking of the dress up chest, a couple people asked me about what I use for storage. Everything except the hats fit in this green tub that we keep in our library. I don’t expect to keep everything in there forever, though, especially since we’re nearing capacity and I am not at all done gathering items for the chest. I suspect we’ll eventually move everything over to the thrifted green chest in the living room. Right now it holds puzzles and an assortment of random toys.

– A lot of people I know are already gearing up for the holidays. Last year my friend Angela made some printable gift tags for Little Big readers. They are adorable and available for free, and I’m all about anything that will help me get that much more prepared for Christmas.

– I got a lot of progress accomplished on my gigantic Etsy project. I’m pretty much done with the first part, the sorting and organizing, and the storing and packing part. Now I just have to go through the sixteen boxes I packed away and get things photographed and listed. And then I can go thrifting again. Yay!

– I am addicted the avocado-veggie spring rolls they make and sell at my supermarket.  I want to take long walks with them and compose poetry inspired by them and tenderly lick up all the sweet chili ginger sauce they come with. I look forward to grocery shopping specifically so I can take some home with me.

– I’m grateful that  my MIL likes to dress Isobel up as a cream puff and have her picture taken as Santa’s Little Christmas Prisoner. I love them not only because not only am I her mother, but because I possess a keen enjoyment of the ridiculous. She even got a few shots with the pink purse, Isobel’s constant companion.

– Last weekend I got to spend some time with friends I met on the internet. They are so great! And totally not murderers! And they like me! But probably only because I didn’t scream “I AM NOT A MURDER, EITHER!” when we met for dinner.

Things that also happened:

Inadvertent mother-and-son-wardrobe coordination.

Blanket forts.

My current favorite photo of Kingston.

Isobel has a hard-knock life.

Fabulousness.

Snapshot

16 Nov


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– I’ve been looking for a countertop compost bin so I don’t have to keep a bowl with fruit and vegetable remnants in it on the counter. Which I suppose the compost bin would be doing anyway, except most of them are smaller and have lids. Have any recommendations?

– Have you seen crap at my parents’ house? Hilarious! Via Gisela.

– My friend Gen posts about mental illness in the blogosphere and how you can help end the stigma. You vote on Facebook, and if you know me you know I avoid Facebook at all costs, but even I voted. Also, Gen is funny, honest, and she writes about motherhood in a way I admire. Check out the love letter her son wrote her for further proof of her awesomeness.

– I’m trying to come up with Christmas card ideas that will beat last year’s awesome card. You’ve seen last year’s card, right? I honestly don’t know if I can top that.

– Tomorrow I’m starting the ambitious project of reorganizing the storage method for my entire etsy shop. This project is enormous. I have only listed a small percentage of what I actually have on hand for the shop.

– In food news, my mother gave me the rudest butternut squash. I plan to make a cheeky soup. Or chips. Or more dirt candy. (Or should I say, dirty candy?)

– I’ve been stirring shards of bacon and pomegranate seeds into my oatmeal in the morning. I love salty-sweet, and pomegranates and bacon are two of my most favorite things. I’m pretty sure bacon has worn-out its fashionable chicness after years in the limelight, but I’ll never tire of its fatty, salty charms.

– Now that the bounty of my garden is starting to fade, I’m cooking and using everything I can, including drying some of my herbs in the oven, in this case, catnip. I’ll got some questions about this on twitter, so I’ll be posting a tutorial later. In the meantime, I’m going to look up some tutorials for homemade cat toys.

– It’s official–I’m hooking again. Years ago a coworker taught me to crochet (a challenge, as I’m left-handed and she was right-handed). I crocheted lots of scarves and several blankets. I even have a rarely-used Ravelry account. I crocheted constantly until my coworker and friend’s baby passed away. I had just finished her baby blanket and the whole situation was so devastatingly heartbreaking that I just didn’t feel like crocheting after that for a long time. I’d pick up the yarn and start think about what happened and I’d just put it down again.  Now I feel like I can give it another go.

– The other day Isobel was really whining. It was the sort that didn’t even involve words, just a steady stream of uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for hours on end. Finally, I could take no more, so I said, “Isobel, you need to stop whining. If you need something, please use your words. But no more whining!” Finally, the noises ceased.

A pause, and then, “Mama?”

“Yes, Isobel?”

“Do you want to play whining for a little while?”

Snapshot

9 Nov

Here’s what I’m up to:

– I’m really excited Top Chef has started up again. I love Top Chef. I do not, however, love their weird try-outs gimmick for the first couple of shows. I’m ready for that to be over and for shit to finally get real.

– My fantastic in-laws took Isobel for a portrait sitting the day we went to the Warrior Dash. Even though you probably know how I feel about portrait photography places, I always look forward to getting the photos because my kid is absolutely adorable.

– Speaking of adorable kids, Kingston came over last weekend and he and Isobel played together beautifully. They’ve reached some developmental sweet spot where they can play and interact with each other withing constant supervision and territory disputes. We still had to watch them, of course, and enforce the necessary sharing treaties as we saw fit, but overall, they were less work together than they were on their own, which is the sort of milestone we’ve been waiting semi-patiently for for over two years. At one point, they were having so much fun than when Angela checked on them she noticed they had knocked over the cat’s scratching post and were both straddling it like it was a horse, saying, “WHEEE!” and “YEEHAW!

– Isobel and I have been cooking together a whole lot since I discovered the therapeutic benefits of the the kitchen. She loves to help.

Isobel packed a suitcase so she can go to China and see the baby pandas.

– Every time you @-reply me on twitter my phone buzzes so Isobel picks it up and says, “Hello? Hi? How are you?” and sometimes, “I can’t hear you.”

– Handfuls of pomegranate seeds and dark chocolate chips make a great dessert when no one’s watching.

– I am overall feeling better. Since the panic attacks I’ve been seeing my therapist more frequently than before and that has helped immensely. I do intend to thank everyone personally for all the kindness and support I’ve received. You all have been so kind.

– Most of my updates today seem to be Isobel-related. I’ve been doing things that are not Isobel-related, such as reading The Woman Who Loved Reindeer, which I enjoyed, and starting Curses, Inc. I also shot some more portrait photography this weekend and learned to play the Star Trek Deck Building Game, which is super fun despite the fact that I suck at it.

– Oh! I also made that salad in the photo above from leftovers in the fridge: spring greens, tomatoes from Jake’s garden, bacon, cooked roast chicken, pomegranate seeds and a dressing made up of the rendered bacon fat and red wine vinegar. Very yum. This salad came about as part of an attempt to use up everything we have in the fridge and save money while still being delicious.

Snapshot

6 Oct

Over the weekend I mentioned on twitter that I do a fairly accurate Baby Jaguar impersonation due to my frequent exposure to Go, Diego, Go. When challenged to offer up proof of this, I somewhat unwisely shot this video with Isobel. Just in case you were wondering what a grown-ass woman impersonating a talking jaguar sounds like. You’re welcome. I also maybe allude to the fact Foofa sounds high. Maybe.

Notable things that also I occurred this past week: I successfully put my bestie’s toddler Kingston down for a nap, Tristina surprised me by sending me these gorgeous handwarmers, and Laura posted this hilarious video. It’s at the end, so keep scrolling down past all those adorable photos of her daughter Sonora no matter how much it makes your ovaries twinge. Anthony and I also took some time out to go to the amazing Ansel Adams exhibit at a local museum and then on a grown-up date to a local brewery.

Yesterday I posted some Halloween decoration inspiration and I threatened to name my front door gnome Marky Mark if a better suggestion wasn’t made. My favorite nominees include: Gnoman Mailer, Gnome Chomsky, Gnome Deplume, Gnome Mercy, Snooki, and Matt Damon.  Marky Mark was declared the winner, however, after it was pointed out that the rest of my gnomes would qualify as the Funky Bunch. I think I’m going to have to update my Life List to reflect this ideal.

Snapshot

28 Sep

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

-I’d like to thank everybody for all the kind words and gestures after my small freakout the other day. I felt better almost immediately after talking through things with my husband and sharing it here. Some of it had to do with the fact that we are now officially living on one paycheck. We are used to cutting back, my whole life story is about cutting back, but it was like living with a cold hard stone in the pit of my stomach called Panic. I was also a bit lonely but that is totally fixable. Now that I’m not subjected to the both wonderful and horrible experience of having coworkers I need to be on top of my social needs. I’m excellent at taking care of Isobel, but sometimes I’m not so good at taking care of myself.

-I have been contacted by several people who told me that not only did they grow up with the Tiny Tots Tree House, but that they took their Weebles toys and played with them in the tree house. This just confirms to me that you all have more than 1970s toys in common: clearly, you all share a large amount of awesomeness.

-Yesterday I went to the local flea market with my friend Brandon and I was totally blown away by all the changes since the last time I went. When I was a little girl that market was full of everything imaginable, including a vibrant secondhand scene. Sometime after I graduated high school it became a place that sold mostly cheap new goods, various knockoffs, and produce. Something must have changed, however, because it was full of secondhand stuff, some of the roads had been repaved so it was very stroller-friendly, and better in pretty much every way. I didn’t have a lot of money with me but I bought these whales for Isobel using some change and we’ve had a great time with them. Fortunately for us, the specie name of each whale is listed in their tales, so when she calls them all “humpback whales!” we can correct her with confidence.

-Isobel and I listen to a lot of music during the day. Lately, if a song comes on that she doesn’t like she’ll say, “Mama, turn off that music! It’s too loud!” It’s like living with the most adorable old lady ever.

-I was featured on Celebrations.com! They liked my Butternut Shiitake Risotto recipe enough to feature it along with some other fall recipes they collected. Check it out!

-I came across year old photos of Isobel’s first ride on the tricycle my friends Angela and Justin bought for her when she was still called “Peanut.” The cuteness is overwhelming.

-Anthony came home from his week long training and we pretty much spent the weekend on the couch snuggling and playing Assassin’s Creed. Which was perfect. Though we did leave the house to go to a free festival with our favorite family and a barbecue with the in-laws a few towns over. It was laid back but a lot of fun.

-I am still making tons of lists. I’ve made so many lists lately that Isobel decided to be just like Mommy and make some lists of her own.

-I’ve started getting some Halloween decorations out (I have photos for you later), and I noticed that Isobel thinks that skulls are “pirates,” probably because a skull and crossbones is the fashionable pirate’s favored accessory. Anthony and I have been working with her to explain the difference between a skull and a pirate, and she caught on right away. This morning, when Anthony wasn’t around, however, she pointed to a skull and whispered to me conspiratorially, “Mama,” she said, “that’s not a skull. That’s a pirate.”