under ten


Miss Mouse is now a little over one, which means she has reached the age where she is nosing around in cabinets, playing with sharp pencils, and sucking the little knob on the door that houses the garbage can every second of the day. Well, at least it feels that way.

A list of the things Miss Mouse feels like she needs to play with:
Tom's boots (some licking of the soles happens from time to time)
my boots (some sole licking)
Chick Pea's boots (some sole licking)
folded laundry
scissors
permanent markers
Tom's cell phone
my cell phone
the home phone
anything Chick Pea is playing with (oy!)

A list of things Miss Mouse definitely won't play with:
baby toys
wooden spoons w/ pots and pans from the kitchen, etc.
baskets of unfolded and untidy laundry (see above list)
her boots

A list of things I can't do while hanging with Miss Mouse:
vacuum (very scary)
fold laundry (clearly)
type on the computer (much protesting ensues)

What is the effect of this kind of turbo-parenting ? Evening trips to Target where I wander the aisles, lost in my thoughts, looking for something seductive that is priced under $10. I usually come home with a shirt or some knee high socks or a new pen .... or nothing. My latest find was this metal napkin holder that I instantly deemed as perfect for some of my handmade napkins that are usually all stuffed in the drawer in our sideboard. I love how it is lacy and metal at the same time. I almost bought it in a leaf green, but at the last minute I decided I wanted a neutral color.


Last spring, we made a commitment to using only cloth napkins for meals, which means I have been busy sewing napkins in an attempt to build up our supply. It sounds all chore-y and sore back inducing, but oh no no no no. Don't pity me. I could spend hours sorting through my fabric collection, and, really, there is something so relaxing about evenings spent folding, pressing, and pinning. Have I mentioned that there is no way for me to hear anything over the whirrrrrrr of the machine? It is like being in the shower, only instead of walking out clean, I march out having made something thrifty and perfectly useful.

xo e

eat & look book


This pumpkin, oatmeal, applesauce muffin is my new favorite muffin. You can sprinkle sugar in the raw on the top before baking or an oatmeal, butter, brown sugar topping.


Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins
based loosely on Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious recipe for "applesauce muffins"

Ingredients:
3/4 cup of white flour
3/4 cup of wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 T of ground flax seed (optional)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line or coat a 12 cup muffin tin.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flax in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix the applesauce with the milk, vegetable puree, sugar, oil, and egg with a wooden spoon. Add the flour mixture slowly, stirring until just moistened. Careful not to over mix.
3. Divide batter evenly into each muffin cup and sprinkle sugar in the raw or a butter, oat, brown sugar blend on the top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Lately, by the time I crawl into bed I am too exhausted to do any serious reading, but I like to have a book open during the few minutes before I turn off the light. It dawned on me the other day that I need a grown-up picture book. You know - Goodnight Gorilla for the adult set. So, this is my new favorite 'I'm too tired to really read' book that I peruse just before I drop off. It is a little too modern for my taste, and it seems to be mostly for the 20-something who just got a new apartment, but it has some clever small space solution ideas.

noon


Shortly after we arrive home from picking Chick up from preschool, Miss Mouse beds down for her afternoon nap. The house becomes sleepy and quiet. On sunny days, the living room floods with light. While I chop and melt and spread, Chick usually begins to gather supplies for the daily birthday party or picnic that begins promptly after lunch. Sometimes I bring a present to the party - often, the gift is "real food" like a small plate of cookies for all of the party goers to share, which means that Chick and I nibble cookies in a heavily blanketed and crowded corner of the room. Yes, sometimes it has to be about me, too. After party time we usually play a game or do a craft project. Yesterday, after the party, we got crafty together and painted little wooden people. Chick says that the person in the picture below is a girl who is wearing a mask. She finds masked people creepy, so I think it rocks that she put one on her doll.


I became inspired to make these wee friends after I stumbled upon gemmielou's etsy shop a few weeks ago. They are the perfect little pocket dolls. I found the little wooden figures online at A Child's Dream Come True (thanks Ariana) or you can buy them at gemmie's shop (I forgot that she sold the unpainted kind). I used the craft paint that I had in my stash and a fine tip pen for their eyes.Chick made her dolls on big clothespins, so they are extra tall. Once we make a few more, I think it will be fun to dress them up in dresses and crowns and capes and wee party hats. I might even paint on some buttons, a bow tie, some pockets - maybe even mouths. Adventurous, I know.

Fun.

xo e

sisters

This picture was taken one year ago when Miss Mouse was very wee and new. I love how their two heads fit together like a puzzle. Like they belong together.

push pins


I have this perpetual pile of scraps, which is full of fabric with clever little designs and patterns. I never really knew what to do with these too small, irregular lost souls *until* I met my new best friend: the cover button. It is the perfect little project because each button takes no more than a minute to assemble and the result is so pleasing and satisfying.

You can use covered buttons to make push pins, magnets, hair ties (thanks, Roselee), fancy paper clips, board game pieces. The possibilities seem endless. What do you do with your cover buttons?

blue

a list of some of my favorite blue things

1. Miss Mouse's eyes
2. this Fire King mug (yes, it is an oven proof mug - you never know)

3. the cupboard in our kitchen
4. this little glass container

5. my stash of turquoise 100% wool felt


6. the sky just before a rain storm.
7. this bambu bowl

8. Tom's eyes

9. this set of original NY diner plates.

10. the folding chairs that live on the back porch.

the end.

xo e


over the hills


Chickpea and I went to her friend's birthday party today. This little person happens to be her first friend. Ever. (His mom and I met when the babies were still in that really cute crinkled up, baby potato sack stage). The long drive was sunlit. Our local radio station was playing the top 93 songs of 2008, and since Chick was vibing with the songs, she didn't once ask for some of "my music," which meant that I didn't have to launch into my long explanation about how her music can be my music (and vice-versa). The party was full of bouncing, a rockin' buttercream cake, and a very, very fun (and sinister) game where Chick got to pretend to be a fox. Does it get better than that?

Our drive home was quiet and peaceful, and coincided with the setting sun. It felt like we were the only car driving over the hills at 4:00 today, and the stillness of being alone in the car with Chick was perfect. Perfect because we don't get to be alone together very often. Perfect because she asked me questions about gravity and oceans and how fish breathe.

Lovely.

three

trees in the moonlight on navy blue


mama bird with baby on black

three little fishies on navy

potato

We belong to a beautiful and fruitful CSA (community sustained agriculture) farm where, at the end of the fall, we went home with way more potatoes then we could possibly eat. So, we got crafty and made potato stamps. They will rot after a few days, which is the perfect excuse to become obsessed with making as many stamped creations as possible. I have carved my own freehand in the past, but this time I used tiny little cookie cutters to make the shapes. They make perfect gift tags and wee cards. Chickpea's favorite was the strawberry.




We also ate our potatoes.

Mixed Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 smallish sweet potatoes
2 smallish baking potatoes
a handful of tiny fingerlings, yukon golds, or purple potatoes
3 T olive oil (or a little more if necessary)
2 T kosher salt
black pepper
1 t smoked paprika (smoked pimenton)

Directions:
Set oven to 425˚. Chop potatoes in course chunks. Cut the teenie tiny ones in half. In a mixing bowl blend potato chunks with olive oil, salt, pepper (to taste), and the smoked paprika. Dump into baking dish and roast for 35 minutes. Test with fork for doneness.

blurry


I am not sure if it is the balls of cat fur that are drifting across the floors and making tiny piles in the corners of our house or the bags of felt and yarn that were supposed to be made into holiday gifts, but our house definitely feels like something came and went. Like we completed something. I can't help thinking that this brief pause - this silence - right after the frenzy is a good time to pick up the pieces.

To collect and sort it all out. (Recycling yogurt containers, boiling eggs for lunch, sweeping and sweeping and sweeping)

To perhaps conjure up something new.