Links I Love

Links I Love

Why Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes (love)

• The Kendama: a wooden(!) toy that is about to go viral in the U.S.

• Cute, fun, beanbag toss game

Gene Weingarten’s “Fatal Distraction” is one of the most horrific, has-stuck-with-me pieces of journalism I have ever read. It ran in The Washington Post in March 2009, when Sophie was almost 1 year old. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2010. I read it, through heavy tears, and then became somewhat obsessive about it; some of the images from the article remain with me to this day. I hate those images. But I’m also thankful for the article, and the intense awareness it gave to me. Do I recommend reading it? I don’t know. It’s difficult to read. I know several people who couldn’t even get through it. But, as Lisa Belkin reminded us in today’s Huffington Post article, babies being forgotten in hot cars is still happening—in fact, it’s already happend 15 times, this year. So do I recommend reading it? Yes, if only to serve as a reminder to always check your back seat. Always.

• Oh how I would love to see New York Public Library’s “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter,” exhibit.

101 Best Written TV Series

• I long for a wardrobe made up of dreamy layers such as these.

• Ponden Hall, the house that inspired Wuthering Heights, is for sale.

• I found my very first four-leaf clover this weekend. (A sign of good things to come? I hope so!) I have books, of course (so many books) but I wish I had a true flower press to preserve it.

• So an intriguing party in an abandoned NYC subway station took place recently …

• As a bridesmaid, I was once gifted (by the bride) makeup professionally done for a wedding. The makeup artist covered my lips in L’Oréal’s Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour Compact in Grenadine. I used to never wear lipstick, always annoyed that it came off every time I ate or drank. This product made me realize it’s possible to have pretty, red lips and not starve. Also, more options.

“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.” —Emily Brontë

Links I Love

• It was spring, and raining—hard, and I was driving back from Ohio University with all my college furniture and belongings stuffed in the back of my parents’ pickup truck, covered in a tarp. With the rain came wind and the ropes holding my tarp down came undone. I pulled into a grocery parking lot. I kept trying to pull the tarp back over my belongings but the strong wind prohibited me from doing so. From out of nowhere a man in a nice suit pulled up next to me, got out and started yelling directions. He helped me get the tarp back in place and tied back down—he was soaking wet (as was I). I screamed “thank you” through the noise of the storm as he drove away. He was a kind stranger. He’s not alone. Here are five minutes worth of kind strangers doing kind things. The world can be terrible, but also so good.

3D paper hearts even I could make

• Have you ever wondered how historical figures would look today? (Whenever I’m in fine art museums, I do.) Here, some interpretations.

• I wear contacts mostly and, as such, my glasses were more than five years old (I remember being pregnant with Sophie when I picked them out). My prescription has changed yearly, and I was long overdue for a pair—but I couldn’t afford one from my eye doctor. Then I discovered Warby Parker. For $95 (mine were an extra $30 because my eyesight is so bad) you can get a complete pair of beautiful glasses—plus, for every pair you buy they give a pair to someone in need. Win-win.

• lovely floral fabric from Japan (scroll down)

what 30 families from around the world eat in one week (a pictorial essay)

• cute watermelon ‘cake’

• One of the reasons I love—and live in—old houses is the possibility of finding part of someone’s past up in the attic rafters or secreted in a wall. In our current house there are two bottles, filled with alcohol (we presume) and sealed. One has a piece of masking tape on it with “from prohibition era” written on it. There are more in our cistern. But that is small compared to what this family found.

These photographs, by Michael Wolf, are incredible (and the blog entry is pretty great, too).

“We plan, we toil, we suffer – in the hope of what? A camel-load of idol’s eyes? The title deeds of Radio City? The empire of Asia? A trip to the moon? No, no, no, no. Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.” —J.B. Priestly

Links I Love

• I love this photo and this photo, both part of Wilma Hurskainen’s No Name series.

Mad Men paper dolls

• CrappyPictures.com is a great, funny parenting blog. And this post, right or wrong, well, resonated with me. Enjoy.

• After a week like the one described above, we sometimes hire a sitter using my friend Peggy’s babysitting service, BabysitEase. We’re always sent a bio of the sitter before he or she arrives. I swear they’re more qualified to parent than I am.

• We managed to save $450 (total) by buying this Groupon each time we needed to transition one of our children to a twin mattress. There’s not much time left for this particular one, but it’s a good deal if you’re in need of a new bed. (And if you wait long enough, I imagine it will come around again.)

• I write picture books. My most recent is about a young boy who is trying to save the waning moon. Although I opened (another) rejection e-mail early this morning, it’s one piece of writing I’m proud of and one I plan to keep pitching. And with that, I give you this. (We also have a gorgeous lunar phase calendar hanging in our kitchen, gifted to us from my parents, which I plan to write about soon.)

• The Top 50 Etsy Baby Shops of 2013 (as chosen by the editors at Babble)

Roger Ebert, on death

One Day On Earth movie trailer. Watch it. Beautiful, no? Has anyone seen the entire film? I’d love to.

“‘Kindness'” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others feel a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t know this and am happy I lived long enough to find out.” —Roger Ebert

Links I Love

This short film, about an abandoned piano in New York City by Anthony Sherin, is lovely. (Thanks, Mom, for sending it to me.)

• Two of my friends recently wrote (and published!) books. For two great reads, check out Jordan Rosenfeld’s Forged in Grace and Brian A. Klems’s hilarious Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl. (And if you don’t already read The Life of Dad, check it out. It’s one of my favorite parenting blogs.)

• Imagine a World Without Hate.

• A pretty (and inexpensive) polka dot scarf.

• I love forsythia. This simple forsythia branch craft for children is a really cute spring craft.

• I’ve lately been loving this mom-focused fashion blog. Both the posts and the comments have given me a ton of ideas and tips for a stomach post-twins.

• Speaking of soft bellies, this is the first essay I’ve read about the subject that I haven’t rolled my eyes at (thank you, Kelly, for sharing).

mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com is a photo essay that will leave you in tears—I made it about three-quarters of the way through before Andy looked over at me wondering why I was sobbing during the OSU basketball game. I need moments like this, though, to remind me of the beauty of life.

Bunny Bookends.

• Smoky Sweet Potato and Apple Soup—this is really delicious.

• Supposedly the only existing film images of Anne Frank (yet another reason why I love the Internet).

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” —Anne Frank

Links I Love

The New York Times “The Stories That Bind Us” by Bruce Feiler—YES, YES, YES. I have always loved family stories. Several years ago my mom was sorting through family photos. To help with the labeling process, she dug up all her old wall calendars. I was enthralled with them. For the most part, they were filled with minutia—doctor’s appointments and T-ball games—but I loved reading what my parents did with my sister, brother and I on a Tuesday in March when we were all young and they were my age. I never grow tired of my grandparents’ stories and their parents’ stories. Stories about my dad’s mom at Miami University during a time when many women didn’t go to college. Stories about my mom’s mom roller skating and falling in love with my grandpa in Millersburg, Ohio. Stories about both my grandmothers making meals for lunches that I would consider elaborate Sunday dinners. Stories about my parents, and how they got engaged on the way to a Reds game and how they found out they were pregnant with me by calling the doctor from a pay phone outside a donut shop and how they traveled to Europe when I was in my mom’s belly. I love them. I love them all. And I wish I knew more of them.

• A Georgian diamond floral tiara. Just because.

• We had this for lunch today. It was good.

• A really cool make-your-own-from-your-kid’s-artwork duvet.

• A story about Gabriele Galimberti’s project “Toy Stories” here. My brother sent me the link. It reminded me of this article about James Mollison’s book, Where Children Sleep.

• DIY party blowers.

• Painted Bird Shoes. I’ve long loved them. My in-laws gave me my first pair this Christmas. I was so eager upon opening them that I was, yes, wearing crocheted shoes in snow.

2,000 Suspended Dandelions by Regine Ramseier.

• Check out this cute (and free!) Map of the Moon printable poster.

• Love this moment between Billy Joel and a fan.

“Most of the dandelions had changed from suns into moons.” —Vladimir Nabokov

Links I Love

• I’m not original when it comes to perfume. My favorites starting in the early 1990s include Tribe, CK one (which I wrote about here), Ralph Lauren’s Romance and now, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. When I put it on, I can’t stop smelling my wrists (which is weird, I know). The problem? It’s so expensive—until I discovered the rollerball for $29 (still steep, but allows me to wear it for special occasions and, well, today, a Tuesday). Check it out. It’s hard not to love. (Still, I wish I had a scent that people would smell and say, “I love that! What is that?” vs. “Flowerbomb! I love that, too.”

• Check out this Twinkle Curtain. I think it’s so very sweet.

• I hope my obituary is someday written like this one.

• DIY Anthropologie hair bands.

• My longtime friend Cindy sells Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products. I’ve purchased the Ava Baby Wash/Shampoo/Bubble Bath (3 in 1) and I love how it works (and smells!). If you’re looking for a more natural approach to skincare, check out her site here.

• My favorite party supply store. (Stripey straws! Glass milk bottles! Cupcake flags!)

• I think this tissue box is so clever (and only $5!). Full disclosure: Andy thinks it’s difficult to pull the tissues out. I don’t care. I think the cuteness of it trumps that.

• My former colleague Don Schroder recently photographed the long-abandoned Lonaconing Silk Mill in the Cumberland Mountains of Maryland. His pictures are stunning. Check them out here.

This website would have been dangerous had it been around when I was getting married.

• I would love to add this collection of childhood classics to my kids’ bookshelf.

• Here’s an interesting article about Facebook Likes. If I like a post, I hit “like.” I end up “liking” a lot.

“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” —Christian Dior

Links I Love

The world, things, stories are so interesting and so much of it can be found online. I think Andy is tired of me saying, several times every night, “Hey, look at this!” and shoving my laptop in his face. So, with a nod to A Cup of Jo, I’m going to start sharing Links I Love every so often. I hope you enjoy.

• I love interesting light fixtures (as is obvious to anyone who stands in our entry) and currently I’m obsessed with these Japanese paper floral fixtures. It would be oh so lovely in my dining room.

• Right now we’re reading Charlotte’s Web to Sophie before bed. Perhaps that’s why I was drawn to this gorgeous pendant that holds a stunning preserved spider web. How is this possible?

• If you’re as much a fan of Nora Ephron as I am, please take the time to read her son Jacob Bernstein’s beautiful essay in The New York Times, “Nora Ephron’s Final Act.”

My favorite eye shadow.

• Have you heard of The Brush Factory? It was co-founded by Hayes Shanesy, the son of one of my former editors at Popular Woodworking. I like all.their.things, particularly this gradient shelf in walnut.

• This weekend I’m hoping to take my first meditation class at Grace Tree Yoga and Growth Studio, led by a dear friend, Erin Tilling.

• Pasta With Zucchini and Goat Cheese—what I’m making for dinner tonight. It’s become a family favorite.

• I would love to buy this house. Alas, it’s (a bit) out of my price range.

• I am anxiously waiting on a delivery from Nettleton Hollow. Founded in 2005 by Justin Brandreth Potter, this Brooklyn-based business sells gorgeous preserved branches and botanicals. Today’s delivery should include flax stems and craspedia. I’m so looking forward to introducing a little bit of everlasting spring to my home.

• When the kids were younger, cutting grapes was always a tiresome task for me. If only I had had a pair of these—it would have made the chore so much nicer.

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” —E.B. White