March 1, 2012


Lately I've had a list building in my head of things that I want to share but which aren't really big enough to write a whole post about. I mean, beyond, "These little basil ice cubes from Trader Joes are so cool!" what else can I say? Its basil. Chopped up and frozen in a tiny little ice cube tray. Awesome for cooking but beyond that... meh.

So today I'm bringing you a list of things I've been loving on lately. It's not very cohesive so you'll have to pardon the randomness of it, but where else will you find a conversation that includes squeezable sweetened condensed milk, magic wands and a marker review all in one place?

Let's start off with those markers, shall we?

P'kolino Art Set - Evelyn got a set of P'kolino markers, crayons and colored pencils for Christmas from her grandmother and they are hands down the best kid art supplies we've had. Because they are a step above our normal Crayola/RoseArt supplies, we've kept them together in their container on our table and make sure they always get put away at the end of a coloring session, of which there have been many, many, many of late. Last week the brown marker got dropped on the floor and the tip broke completely off. (Imagine a sad Evie face. "How will I draw treeeeeees now mom??") I emailed the company asking if I could buy just a brown marker and they promptly volunteered to just send me one. So not only are their art supplies great, they are pretty darn nice as well. (Miss Evie is very pleased to know that she will soon be able to draw forests again, she's been holding back all week)

Nussbaum and Wu - I think my favorite thing about New York is that I can walk to a coffee shop. I've almost always lived where I could walk to a coffee shop, but generally it's been a bit of a trek instead of right at the end of my block. This place is busy and steamy from bagel making and crazy loud but they have great coffee (Stumptown! Oregon Coffee), lots of seats where I can sit and write for an hour or two after dropping Evie off at school and they know my order by heart. It's my Cheers.
Book Villages - This is a new obsession for the kids, building intricate villages that span from their room to the living room made out of picture books and inhabited by any toy smaller than 6 inches. Yesterday Briton very seriously pointed to one book, surrounded by Calico Critters and said "This is the zoo, Luke Skywalker owns it, and that over there is the Science Museum, Hagrid owns that one." I think maybe he's got those two characters turned around somehow, Hagrid seems more of the zookeeper type. But whatever. And speaking of books...

Readers - I've got two readers in the house now. Evelyn has made a huge leap in reading and I'm tickled to find here plopped down here or there with a pile of books, reading to her dolls. While I'm not a big fan of the fat that everyone in her class knows exactly what level everyone else is in reading, I do love that she is proud of her progress. So Briton is plowing through the fifth Harry Potter Book and Evelyn is reading Fun with Dick and Jane (Because spot looks like Nigella and she never gets tired of that) and I am surrounded by readers. Heaven.

Those Basil Cubes - Since Trader Joes has become my regular grocery store, I've discovered some items that I'd never noticed during my fly by shops in the past. Teeny little cubes of frozen basil in a sealable ice cube tray being one of them. I'm also loving the squeezable sweetened condensed milk. I love to put it in Chai but I hate having an open can in the fridge, it's just a disaster waiting to happen. Let's see, there's also mini peanut butter cups that are chocolate chip sized and are delicious in cookies (dangerously so) Cookie spread which looks like peanut butter but tastes like gingerbread cookies and frozen, precooked rice blends. I know that makes me sound lazy, but I like being able to break off just enough rice for my lunch and have it ready to eat in a minute or two.
Harry Potter Mania - As I mentioned on Friday, it's hit both kids in a big way and our day is not complete without a good hour or two of wizard duels. Last week I made them each a wand roughly following this tutorial. Briton's is greenish black and Evie's is pale and sparkly and they turned out surprisingly realistic. I'll try to write up how I went about making them since I veered from the original method to make them a bit stronger since they are travelling with us everywhere these days.

This comic strip - Because I am right there. Will's sweater is blocking on the bed this mornign and I'm forcing myself not to cast on a new project until I have finished seaming the sleeves and have steeked (ahhh!) the neck for the zipper. But it's really really hard, escpecially since I have a skein of beautiful purple silk yarn from Posh Yarn (also a new love) sitting in my work basket right now, calling to me.
And that sweater was a lot of work, because it was a lot of sweater. I deserve to start something new, right? Right?
Blueberry Bread Pudding for Breakfast - Does that really need an explination? I didn't think so. Yum

Two new blogs - Posy Gets Cozy - I'm waiting with baited breath for her new cross stitch pattern to come out because even though I dont' cross stitch I love it, so I'm going to give it a try. And Book Snob - which has led me to several new-to-me good reads. I'm currently working my way through Call the Midwife and Encounters, both reccommended by her.

Maisie Dobbs - Since I'm in Downton Abby withdrawel, I'm also reading the first Maisie Dobbs book which is set just after World War I. I haven't had a good mystery series to crank through in a while and this one almost makes up for the fact that I have to wait a year for the next series of Downton. I realize that that is three books at once, so I probably shouldn't tell you that I'm also in the middle of Henrietta's War (very funny) and The Essay's of Elia (not sure about that one yet). I have multiple book reading personalities. I can't help it.

Little Green Shoots - There isn't much opportunity to see the early signs of spring popping up in our neighborhood, but I did spy the first daffodil of the year in the corner of the Peace Garden yesterday as we dashed home through the rain.

Alright, that's probably enough for now, although I have more percolating up there in my head. How about you? What are you loving these days?