Happy is the hobbyist in December. When the weather drives you indoors to your workbench or your sewing room. When the holidays provide you the opportunity to share your craft with loved ones. This is the time of year when those who can, do. And those who can’t, say thank you to their industrious friends.Read More
Some unexpected farm business kept me busy last week. My husband and I continue to be giddy with excitement thinking about next year when we’ll get to enjoy our first winter at the farm. In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming about the renovations and projects we’ll soon be embarking on. If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
Why are tureens obsolete? When did that happen? Was it before I was born? I mean, I’ve been around the block a few times. I know how to use a payphone and I’ve eaten at a Ground Round (Homecoming ‘79). Yet I have no recollection of seeing a host or hostess use a tureen. EVER. That includes my friend Wendy who is a Daughter of the American Revolution and owns finger bowls.
Last month at a small dinner, my friend Susan set her table with her mother’s china and sterling silver, and then ladled her delicious vichyssoise out of a Tupperware from the fridge. So burping plastic survived the leap to Y2K but not the elegant and functional tureen?Read More
I hope you are enjoying the beauty and wonder of the holiday season. If you need a little break from holiday parties and gift buying, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
My dad grew up in Hamadan, Iran, one of the oldest cities in the world. Situated in the shadow of the Zagros Mountains, Hamadan has one of the harshest climates in Iran. My dad remembers winters so frigid, the dead could not be buried.
So when he moved to Chicago for medical school, the weather didn’t completely shock him, though he did question the fear of a tornado - it's just wind! - until the dayRead More
Happy Hanukkah to all of you celebrating the festival of lights! If you need a little break this week from the hectic holiday season, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
For nearly fifty years, my grandfather owned and operated a small grocery store in Gurnee, Illinois. It had two cash registers, a produce department, a freezer aisle, a couple of bakery cases, and a very well-regarded meat market. All seven of my mother’s siblings and their spouses worked at Welton’s Food Mart, and when I turned fourteen, I became the first of twenty-one grandkids to join the team. My grandfather paid me $1.25 an hour to paint signs, face soup cans, bag groceries, and eventually run a cash register.
It was such an old-fashioned place. We knew every shopper by name, knew their favorite cut of meat, their brand of cigarettes, whether their pets ate Alpo, Purina, or Gravy Train.Read More
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying some fabulous Cyber Monday sales. As many of you know, I will be closing my shop, Finder Not Keeper, next month, and it feels so good to be shopping today rather than worrying about the shop. I will continue to source and sell vintage finds, and they will be available locally at Past Basket and to my style clients. If you need a little break from surfing the web for deals today, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
I’ve had a few conversations with friends whose words really stuck with me. This morning, before you unload the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, take a moment to read their thoughts.
My walking friend let out this lament:
I remember the days when Thanksgiving meant, ‘Is someone going to put something in my mouth? Is someone going to make me a very special pie?’ I want to be the person waited on, not the person doing the waiting on. I miss those years and I want my mama back.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take a step back, reflect, and relax. Hoping you enjoy this special day with family and friends. If you need a little break from the hustle and bustle, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
When I was sixteen, I spent a month canoeing with a bunch of juvenile delinquents from New York. This was through a program called Outward Bound, which I had signed up for of my own volition. They, on the other hand, had been sent to the boundary waters of Minnesota by a judge who ordered “wilderness training” as an alternative to juvie jail.
My group of young criminals included a skinny dude with a peach-fuzz chin and lifeless eyes, a cruel rich boy and his toady sidekick, and a big shaggy guy who looked and sounded like Jack Nicholson. The four of them were horribly mean to me and the other two women, and when I wasn’t cowering from their bullying, I was plotting ways to get even.Read More
I so appreciate and love reading all of the comments you leave on the blog and my social media. You are my inspiration! Up on the blog this week is a step-by-step tutorial outlining how to post a comment if you don’t already know how to do so. I can’t wait to hear from more of you! And if you need a little distraction this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
This post is not about politics! It has nothing to do with a divided nation or anything like that. This is about you and me and how we can better talk with each other. Recently I’ve received a few notes from you, my dear readers that leaving comments can be a bit confusing. And sometimes you can’t find my newsletter in your inbox. I love reading what you have to say, and I definitely want you to enjoy the newsletter eachRead More
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Bodrum trunk show at Past Basket. If you are on the hunt for stunning linens and tableware for your upcoming holiday entertaining, check out Past Basket’s impeccably curated selection. Past Basket currently has 20% off Bodrum linens through November 11. And if you need a little break this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
The face of an angel in the photo above belongs to my friend, artist Linda Bleck. She is floating in a pool of milk. When I asked Linda if she would submerge herself in milk for a photograph, she said, “Sure!” (Which, incidentally, is the same answer she gave her husband when he proposed marriage.)
Why a milk bath?
Linda suffers from chronic pain stemming from congenital biomechanical issues. She has endured two hip replacements and two spinal surgeries. Part of Linda’s survival strategy is to float.Read More
Happy Halloween! I hope your weekend was filled with trick or treaters, costume parties, haunted houses, and more spooky fun. Enjoy the last few days of this wonderful time of year! If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
It was a magical weekend showing our kids and parents our new farm. It’s still surreal to say that we bought a farm! We are having much fun thinking of farm names and dreaming of the renovations and projects that are ahead of us. If you need a little break this week, check out my favorite links from around the web…Read More
I’ve been working with clients for a long while now and I thought I would share a little about what I do as an interior stylist. At its most elemental, my job is to solve problems. But did you know that when it comes to our homes, we all have the exact same issue? Can you guess what it is?
I call it unintentional blindness. We are immune to the shortcomings in our own space. Even if we know they exist, we get comfortable with them until they sort of disappear. Like my friend whose thoughtful husband reached over once and plucked one of her chin hairs with his fingertips. It took his fresh eyes to see what on some level she already knew was there. Problem solved.Read More
I’m thrilled to have finally shared the news that my husband and I bought a farm! After many years of contemplating living on a farm we took the plunge and could not be more excited. While we won’t be moving in anytime soon, I’m giddy with anticipation thinking about raising chickens and making the most of this beautiful space. If you need a little daydreaming of your own, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
Yes! My husband’s lifelong dream of farming has become a reality. My lifelong dream of writing high humor about chickens is on the verge of happening. We just purchased the prettiest farm you can imagine!
The excitement has nearly killed us. We can’t sleep for our anticipation. We wake up every day, look at each other and giggle, like we are seven and it’s Christmas morning. The last time I felt this way was when we first met. So I guess I’ve fallen in love!Read More