Being Mama · books · five things · Jewelry

Five Things

Happy Friday! Happy June! I can’t BELIEVE it’s already June!

We had some fun plans for Memorial Day Weekend, but then BB got a stomach bug and was quarantined for 4 days while Husband and I wore masks and gloves and washed our hands 8000 times and let the kids watch a ridiculous amount of movies in their own rooms so there would be no cross-contamination. #thanksnorovirus

And now next week is the last week of school, so we’re in the thick of end-of-the-year events. Yesterday was “Donuts with Dads” at BG’s preschool (a sweet tradition that involves donuts, of course, and sweet cards and building projects), and last night was an awesome musical put on by BB’s class at school. He completely surprised us all by volunteering at the last minute to take over a part for a child who couldn’t be there. He was the most adorable little frog who turned into a prince, and I couldn’t have been prouder of him.

I have to say, I’m feeling ready for summer break. Not ready as in I have great plans and camps and activities mapped out, but ready for slower-paced days and hanging around and reading and going to the pool and just generally relaxing. (More of my thoughts on summer here.)

As we start the final countdown, here are five things on my mind this week:

1. Not a Perfect Mom, but an Enough Mom. A great read, especially as we often head into summer with BIG expectations of how “lovely” summer should be.

2. This book. I read it in two days – possibly a record for me since having kids. Husband read it in about 5 hours. Science Fiction is something I never read, but the story in this one was so engaging and tender and CRAZY (I’m not going to pretend I even understood everything), I couldn’t put it down. I still can’t stop thinking about it.

to select well among old things

3. This quote. YES!

DSC_0052

bon bon vintage earrings4. These earrings. I feel like I “select[ed] well among old things” when I made these! I fell in love with these old vintage beads – their big round shape, their faceted surface, their disco ball feel. I’m on the hunt for more like this – I want to make these earrings in every color! (I’m adding new pieces to my Etsy shop often – check out other finds here.)

5. Made me laugh. BB and BG loved it, too! There’s nothing better than looking at cute and hilarious animals. I’m bookmarking this to revisit on tough days. Enjoy!

What are you up to this weekend? I’m looking forward to a germ-free weekend where we can do some of the things we planned to do last weekend. We have very little on the calendar, and I couldn’t be happier. Hope your weekend is full of good books, inspiration, and great laughs. Thanks for reading!

books · five things · quotes

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

Thanks for all the compliments on BB’s bed makeover. I was so happy with how it turned out – I am all about taking things that are broken and discarded and making them new again. (I’ve got a few more makeovers lined up in the coming weeks that I’m excited to share with you.) While I’m busy painting away, here are five things on my mind this week:

pumpkin1. Fall. It’s not really here yet (it was 97 degrees on Wednesday), but I can smell it in the air and feel it in the breeze. (Plus, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back.) Fall is my most favorite time of year (and not just because it’s my birthday season). Candles, blankets, boots, pumpkins, cardigans, apple crisp, bonfires, falling leaves – all of it fills me with joy. This week, I caved and bought my first pumpkin of the year (from the dollar bin at Target), and it made me so happy. (Also, this made me laugh.)

Life is art.

2. This quote. It reminds me a lot of this Dani Shapiro quote I came across earlier in the year, and it made me think about life and art and practice and how they all overlap. I keep pondering how to bring the idea of practice more and more into my life and into the things I make.

3. Old-Fashioned Niceties That Deserve a Comeback. I think a lot of these fall under Helena Bonham Carter’s definition of art (#2 above) – helping people, writing a letter, thanking people. And I’ve really been trying to “Pretend There’s a Phone Cord” when I make a call – not checking email, not scrolling Facebook, not walking from room to room, picking up books or folding the laundry. It’s hard when you are used to multi-tasking on the phone, but it is so, so good to really listen.

4. Yoga. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a regular yoga practice, but I came across 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene this week. Confession: I have only done Day 1, but it was great, and she is completely adorable. I’m all about small ways to make changes, and doing videos at home is a simple, small change. (Also, I’m curious – do you have other suggestions for at-home workouts? Most days, I rotate between weights in my den, the elliptical in my garage, and walking in our neighborhood, but I’m always up for something new. I’d love to hear if you have something you love!)

5. This made me laugh (and was also kind of sweet).

What are you up to this weekend? We are looking forward to an outdoor movie night, a Cub Scout event, and lots of play time. I’m also hoping to finish this book that I mentioned a few weeks ago. (Remember how I was hoping it would be a good read aloud for the kiddos? Yeah, NO. It’s pretty scary. It gave me crazy dreams after the first couple of chapters. But I still can’t put it down.) Hope you have an awesome weekend. Thanks for reading!

back porch · books · five things · good life · Tennessee

Five Things

tennessee

Hello! Happy Friday!

Hey, how’s your summer been? Overall, ours has been pretty good. I feel like we had a nice mix of structured camps, travel, and weeks of nothing. We’ve been gone for the past few weeks visiting family in Tennessee, and it was awesome. I forgot how GREEN everything is in the summer there. I have gotten so used to our “golden” (read: brown) hills of California that every time we got in the car there, I exclaimed, “Look at that hill! Look at those trees! Look at all this nature!!” I took so many random photos from the passenger seat (see above).

This is our last Friday before school starts, so we’re gearing up to get back into our structured routine. Here are a few things on my mind this week:

biltmore and garden

1. Biltmore Estate. This past spring, I ordered this book for BB. It’s a mystery novel set at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. We spent a couple of weeks’ worth of afternoons reading a chapter or two out back on the daybed. I pulled out an old guide book about the house that I had saved in my scrapbook from the time I went with my class in 4th grade. He loved looking at the pictures of all the rooms and reading up on the history and construction of the property. After we finished, BB spent his own money to buy this coffee table book about the history of the house and more details about its rooms. I loved Biltmore as a child, and I loved that he fell in love with it, too, so Husband and I planned a surprise trip there while visiting our family in Tennessee. (It’s a little over an hour to drive from my hometown to Asheville.) BB’s excitement at being there was contagious. Every room we walked into, he shared facts he had gleaned from his books. “I see the Napoleon chess set! That’s the Winter Garden! There’s the secret door to the Smoking Room!” At one point, he went off in search of a docent because he had some questions.

“Is the 4th floor completely closed off?” he asked. I smiled knowingly at the docent, fairly certain that there were only 3 floors plus the basement.

“Yes, you’re right, the 4th floor is usually closed to visitors. It is mostly made up of servants’ quarters like you will see in the basement.”

BB nods knowingly.

“But if you do the rooftop tour, you will be able to see a few of the rooms on the 4th floor.” Wow. I was so impressed with my boy, not only that he knew so much more than I did, but that he so confidently went to her to ask his question. How did he get so big? (BG had fun at Biltmore, too, because she got to see a horse, pet some chickens, and eat ice cream at the Creamery.)

2. “As long as you don’t forget your breath, anything is okay.”  I have thought about this short video about one hundred times since I watched it, which means I have technically meditated about one hundred times as well. Love this wonderfully simple approach.

3. The Land of Stories. Speaking of books, my mother-in-law bought this one to read with the kids while we were in Tennessee. It’s a fun story that kept the 7-year-old and the 4-year-old (and the 38- and 36-year-old) engaged. On our trip to Biltmore, we listened to a few chapters of the Audible version, read aloud by the author, Chris Colfer (of Glee fame). The voices he does for each character are a wonderful addition to the story. We’ve continued reading it aloud after we got home, but we’ve had to edit it a bit. (In one scene where Goldilocks confronts Little Red Riding Hood about something that happened in the past, there are a few words our kids don’t know and that I REALLY don’t want to explain to them yet.) All in all, a fun page-turner that all of us look forward to reading after dinner each night. (And this book – another one set at Biltmore – is up next on my read-aloud list. Have any of you read it? I’m hoping it’s a good one.)

the biggest human temptation

4. This quote.

5. Made me chuckle.

The Olympics! We didn’t even really talk about the Olympics! What’s your favorite competition to watch? I love diving, and I always watch it equally amazed at their skill and terrified they are going to hit their heads. (Having seen Greg Louganis do it, I can’t unsee it.) It’s been fun to see my kids’ interest in the games for the first time. I’m looking forward to a low-key weekend of watching a few events, reading, and finishing up the last thing on our Summer Bucket List. Whatever you are up to this weekend, I hope you have a good one! Thanks for reading!