Things I Love Thursdays

A few of my recent favorites…

1. This post from Like Real Life, one of my favorite mommy blogs (though dangitall, there has to be a less condescending term for a blog that is mostly about parenting and written by a mother).

“It is not all a pleasure, although there are many moments of pleasure. It is not all fun even though there are plenty of fun moments. It’s that all those moments, whether a pleasure or a pain add up to something. It’s an exhausted, messy kind of happiness, like finally crawling up the stairs to bed at night and seeing them sleeping, breathing slowly, their soft little fingers twitching in a dream.”

This speaks to me as a parent, and just as a person.  All our moments add up to something.  They add up to a life.


2. This Side Table. I have no idea why I love this, but I do.  It won’t go with anything in my house, but I don’t think I care.  (There is a good chance I just used my husband’s credit card to order it. It was on sale!  Merry Christmas to me!)

Sterling Lighting Hexagon Frame Side Table image from Houzz (click on photo to go there).

Sterling Lighting Hexagon Frame Side Table image from Houzz (click on photo to go there).


3. These customized library totes for kids by SixpencePress.  Because I am a big dork.  I’m contemplating getting these for my 3 dumplings for Christmas.  We love books.  And we love our library.  They’ll be psyched about getting a personalized tote bag instead of a My Little Pony, or 2.5 foot tall Imaginext Ultra T-Rex, right? Who needs toys when you’ve got totes?!

Little Boy Explorer Library Tote by SixpencePress. Click on image for link.

Little Boy Explorer Library Tote by SixpencePress. (You can choose the hair color you want!)


Little Reader Bookworm Library Tote by SixpencePress.

Little Reader Bookworm Library Tote by SixpencePress.


4. My final favorite is this quote by Charlie Chaplin:

You need power only when you want to do something harmful. Otherwise, love is enough to get everything done.

You tell ’em, Charlie.

Image from Charlie Chaplin Official Website

Image from Charlie Chaplin Official Website


(As always, links are for your convenience.  None of them are affiliate links.)

Things I Love Thursdays

A few little gems from my corner of the internet… or refrigerator.

Dolly.  Is there anyone who doesn’t love Dolly?  If there is, I haven’t met them.  This nifty little print by GoodSouth (on Etsy) tickled me.  What would Dolly do?  I bet whatever it was, it was funny, loyal, kind and sassy – like Miss Dolly herself.




I have no tattoos.  They’re just so… permanent. (Queen of the Obvious here, I know.)  But considering my aversion to inking myself I sure do pin a lot of tattoos on my Pinterest boards, and follow a lot of sweet tattoo shops and artists on Instagram.  I guess I like the medium.  I like to see what people do commit to having on their bodies forever, and I love the artistry.  So the temporary tattoos at Tattly are speaking to me.  A little weird, a little random, a little tongue-in-cheek, and a lot temporary.


Animals in clothes!  I die! I must have the Sea Otter wearing a bowler!

Animals in clothes! I die! I must have the Sea Otter wearing a bowler!


My children adore temporary tattoos.  At one count, my son had 14 "How to Train Your Dragon" tattoos on his body at one time.  I think I would have preferred these little monsters.  So cute.

My children adore temporary tattoos. At one count, my son had 14 “How to Train Your Dragon” tattoos on his body at one time. I think I would have preferred these little monsters. So cute.


What kind of message does a rabbit-smoking-a-pipe tattoo send to the world?  I have no idea.  But I like it.

What kind of message does a rabbit-smoking-a-pipe tattoo send to the world? I have no idea. But I like it.


A few months ago, I bought a bottle of this iced tea concentrate at Stonewall Kitchen and loved it!  While I typically drink my iced tea unsweetened, this tea is great, even though there is some cane sugar involved.  Finest Kind (out of Maine) makes four “Mixers & Modifiers” as they call them.  I’m looking forward to trying them, and perhaps some of the cocktail recipes they list on their site. Bonus? The bottle lasted a very, very long time.

Forget tea for 2, I'm keeping this all for myself!

Forget tea for two, I’m keeping this all for myself!


Enjoy the long weekend!  And remember, no affiliate links here, just stuff I like.

Things I Love Thursdays

I love vacation, I love September, and I love stinky cheese!

The end.

No, not really.

Dye! Dye!!

I did some fun cooking and crafty activities with the kids during vacation.  Tie-dying with children under the age of 6 is… interesting.  But the kids loved it, (some of) the shirts look great, and those tie dye kits make it really easy.  If you are daring and like semi-permanent messes, I say go for it!

Tulip Tie-Dye Kit from Amazon.

Tulip Tie-Dye Kit from Amazon.

Duck, duck, soap!

Thanks to an adorable DIY kit from a friend, we also tried out soap-making last week.  So easy.  Melt glycerin, add fragrance, glittery color and oatmeal, stir, pour in molds and you have adorable duck-shaped soap.  The bonus? I’m all for crafts that encourage my children to wash their hands or other kid parts. If I made them again, I’d use less of the fragrance and skip the oatmeal.  The orange glitter stays, though. Quack!

Ducky Honey Soap by Makers|kit. They make all sorts of affordable crafty kits. Image from Open Sky. Click on photo to go there.

Ducky Honey Soap by Makers|kit. They make all sorts of affordable crafty kits. Image from Open Sky. Click on photo to go there.

Some Good Advice

A lovely video from CBC/Radio Canada on how to age gracefully. Stay weird!


Happy Fall Y’all! 

(I couldn’t help myself with that one.)

PS – As always, no affiliate links – they’re just there for your convenience.

Middle Hours


My middle. My girl. Fierce, wide-eyed, brave. With your loud, true laugh and a run that looks like dancing, skipping, rushing. Like your feet can’t keep up.

You’ve never loved hugs. They don’t suit you in the daylight.

But at night, when the house is sleeping, you crawl into my bed, pulling the covers over you and my arms around you. Placing my arms where you would like them. Silently asking to be held and showing me how. Nestled into my chest. Sighing.

And there you stay, for five minutes or forty-five. Quiet. Awake. Close. Until I ask gently if you are ready, ready to go back to your bed. Sometimes you need more time. Sometimes you whisper “yes” and sneak with me back into the room where your brother sleeps so deeply. And I cover you up, whisper “I love you” and watch as you smile and close your eyes.

My middle, my center.

Things I Love Thursdays

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens!  Schnitzel with noodles!

Okay, I’ve actually never eaten Schnitzel.

Some things I’m digging right now…

Gelli Baff by Zimpli Kids


This stuff is AWESOME.  You mix a packet of sand-like stuff with water and it turns into a bathtub full of jelly!  It comes in a variety of colors and when you’ve had enough of squishing around in the goo, you add the included packet of dissolver and rinse it down the drain.  My kids (I saved it for the big kids, since I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to work the first time around) LOVED this.  I used 2 packages for our standard-sized bathtub, and it was plenty.  I was a bit concerned about exactly what chemicals I was exposing them to, but it is non-toxic, manufactured in the UK and approved in Europe, so I figured it was at least as safe as them ingesting Kraft Mac & Cheese.  The company also has a SLIME BAFF – we’re trying that next!

Slime Baff

Caveats: 1. It doesn’t dissolve and rinse away quite as easily as they make it sound. 2. Though it is put in a bath tub, no one gets clean, and you might actually find little pieces of jelly on walls and in  kids’ ears. 3. It costs about $7.50 per box. 4. I have no idea if this would be a problem for people’s septic systems. 5. Probably not appropriate for kids under 3.

Maileg Mice

I know, I know… again with the small woodland creatures and anthropomorphizing.  I can’t help it.  Maileg is a Danish company.  They make a lovely collection of whimsical toys. These adorable little creatures come individually, in a variety of outfits and combinations.  I love the ones that come with matchbox-like beds.  There is a cute (expensive) little mouse house you can buy.  And, for some reason, they also sell a mouse-sized toy vacuum. I want all of them. (Click on the photos for links to the pages on the Maileg site.)

Little Sister in a BoxBrother Mouse

As always, these aren’t affiliate links.  I just provide them for your convenience.  Happy Thursday!

To Pickle at Five

More than four, less than six

I kiss your tangy sweaty little boy head as you push me away.

There is sand in your hair clinging to your scalp.

Because you were doing somersaults in the dirt.

I should have known.


In early evening you sit, tired from a day spent figuring out the workings of the world, inside and out.

Your little brother crawls over you.  And over you again.

You don’t mind. You barely look away from the program on the TV.


You have grown so capable.

Limbs lengthening. Now all muscle and bone, and soft tight skin.

New freckles dot your nose. Your teeth used to seem so big.


Last week we saw the planets, and marveled at the vastness of the universe.

How this goes around that, and that goes around this.

And I marveled at you, my boy, who entered this world face up, eyes open.



Happy belated birthday to my dearest Pickle, a kind and generous boy who has only just started being a little too cool for my kisses.

Close up

Major Award


I am a slacker.

Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award. (Thank you, Alison!)  It has only taken me 7 months to get my rear in gear and acknowledge and respond.  Whoops.

The Liebster Award is kind of like a kind chain letter in the blogging world.  And I am a sucker for chain letters – and probably the only person who ever actually participated in the “panties” and “children’s books” chain letters.  (Please tell me that someone besides me recalls these chain letters?)

The award is basically intended to introduce readers to other good, small blogs they might otherwise miss in their interweb travels.  I am supposed to answer the 11 questions Alison has posed, provide 11 facts about myself and then nominate other blogs for the award.  Forgive me for not following the rules perfectly (does this mean my Liebster will be revoked?) but I figure something is better than nothing, especially after 7 months.  I’m not going to be nominating other blogs here, but I solemnly swear that I will link to and mention my favorites as it occurs to me to do so.

Questions Answered

1. Who is the person you admire the most, and in what ways have they influenced you?
First, let me explain… I think born and raised Yankees are reluctant to use superlatives. We’re often warm, but not frequently gushy. Terms like “most” and “best” are hard for me, so this is a tough question for me to answer. Example of my reluctance to name favorites? Even at 14-years-old I never hung up posters of any teen idols, athletes, or actors, because I just didn’t like any of them enough to do that. I’m weird that way. I admire lots of people, for lots of reasons. Here are a few:

Emily, who is so strong, and might not even know it
Betty, who never stopped learning
My sister, who makes me laugh and knows me best
My dad, for always being loving and supportive and saving the day
My mom, whose advice was almost always right
Mira, the most true-to-herself human ever
If I don’t stop here, the list will go on for pages…

2. If you could have one superpower – any superpower – what would it be and what would you do with it?
Flight, probably. Because it would be fun.
Or maybe I’d like to freeze time like Evie in Out of This World. I’d get a lot more naps that way.

3. If you could live out your life in a fictional universe (movie, television or book setting), which one would it be and why?
The Wonka Chocolate Factory (Wilder, not Depp). With the Oompa Loompas. I’m not a candy fiend, but I like the innovation, whimsy, privacy, and nifty singing.



4. What five music albums could you not live without?
I love music. I’ve seen Springsteen 50+ times, and a lot of his music has served as a sort of soundtrack to my life, so a few of his albums would be on the list. The Rising, maybe a live recording of a show I attended, maybe Born to Run or The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. And Paul Simon’s Graceland. I might add the “Stand By Me” soundtrack too.



5. Do you think you’d survive a zombie apocalypse? What would be your weapon of choice?
Nope. Not a chance.


6. What is your favorite thing about the area in which you live?
I have so many favorite things. It is safe, beautiful, close to lots of fun things. It is home.


7. You’re an adult now, but if you could send a letter back in time – to yourself at age 16 – what advice would you give?
1. If a boy says he’s over you believe him.
2. Let yourself make more mistakes. Speak up.
3. Go abroad in college.


8. As a child, what did you want to be when you became a grownup? Did you eventually become that thing?
When it was my special week in 4th grade, I drew a life-sized picture of myself as a veterinarian. I was wearing a lab coat with a mouse in the pocket. I did not become a vet. I think I had changed my mind within a few weeks. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.


9. What’s on your pizza?
I like most toppings, except hamburger. If I’m not sharing, I’ll choose sausage, onions and mushrooms.



10. What’s your favorite vocabulary word?
I don’t have one. I love a good pun or clever turn of phrase. And my favorite French word is “gaufre” (waffle). Also, I just read a lovely article about favorite lost words.

11. What is the thing you like most about yourself?

Oh goodness, there’s that “most” word again.

I like that I’m still learning and curious.  I like that I try to look for the good in people.  I like that I try.  I like that I’m silly.



I think this might just be long enough.  I’ll save the 11 facts for next time.  Again thanks to Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt!