I seem to have my most “profound” thoughts after watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Though, maybe they’re the thoughts of Shonda Rhimes, spoken by the character Meredith Grey. Despite the tall story lines, Shonda manages to inject the shared realities of being human into the plot. I love, too, how circular she writes for the show. Each episode ends exactly where it begins. “Freezing, choking, getting tongue tied. It’s what we call it when your mind goes from brilliant to blank. You can prepare all you want. But the feeling can still hit you out of nowhere. So when it hits you, when your mind shuts down, when you open your mouth and no words come out, the good news is, it happens to all of us.” That’s how the episode begins, triggering another one of those profound thoughts. This time the mouthpiece was Jackson Avery. Read more

We’ve been itching to finish out the backyard since we moved in two years ago. During our first summer in #thefauxhouse, we were committed to finishing the inside of the house, leaving no resources for the outside. The next summer, we hired someone to create a backyard plan that we would then execute. We realized two things—we needed to cut down and trim a couple trees. (I begged our builder to keep as many as possible during the build.) We also realized that the backyard we wanted was well above our expertise level, which is extremely low. So, we focused on the tree situation and waited. Here were are now. It’s our third summer in the house, and the backyard is happening (and nearly done)! If you follow my Instagram stories, this is old news.  Read more

I put my head down in January when there was still snow on the ground to write a book. I turned in my manuscript on June 30th at 5:47pm (!!!). And here we are talking about back to school ideas. Where did half a year go?! I lived most of my grade school life in Texas. As soon as the calendar struck August, we went back to school. Even though school starts in September in Minneapolis, the Target shelves say otherwise. In the back-to-school spirit, I’ve partnered with Scotch™ to share a couple simple things we do throughout the preschool year to keep things running smooth(er). These ideas are fit for the 5 and under crowd. Read more

In April, I tackled the topic of How to Shop for Good Produce. It’s something we all do everyday, and yet, there’s a bit of an art to buying and storing great produce. This week we’re tackling the large topic of How to Shop the Farmers Market. This is a daunting post for me to write. I’ve been shopping the farmers market since I moved away from home, 9 years ago, and it still makes me nervous. The market is full of the unfamiliar. I’m leaving you with a couple tips that help me navigate the market, followed by two interviews with the experts—the farmers. I hope you add your tips to the conversation too!

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If you had told me that dinnertime would be one of the harder tasks to accomplish as a parent, I never would have believed you. Maybe it was because I was more worried about the lack of sleep. I am a monster at 2 am. But for years, literally four years, I’ve been clawing my way through dinnertime as a mother. I’m not a planner. In fact, planning makes me feel like I’ve lost all spontaneity in my life. And when you’re not all that spontaneous to begin with, it’s a huge loss.  Read more

When it rains, it pours. Sometimes hard enough to make the window well in your basement swell to the point of flooding. Sometimes so hard it requires all the towels in the house. Only then do you reach for a roll of Bounty, the quicker picker upper, because that’s all that’s left. Sometimes it storms so loud, the electricity shudders, administering a final blow to the ancient hard drive in your computer. Sometimes the farmers market gets rained out, and the farmers call their weeks worth of produce, of income, a wash. Read more

When we were building our house a couple years ago, I asked you 1,000 questions on Facebook. Like: do you have a microwave? What type of doors do you prefer on your fridge? French? Side-by-side? And on and on. And since I was asking for your trusted advice, I started sharing some of mine. One of those shares was about a ceramic GreenPan I picked up at Target—an affordable, nonstick pan that actually worked. (By the way, we didn’t go with a microwave. I’ll do a full kitchen post soon.) Read more

We live a plane ride away from family, but this year my mother-in-law was visiting around Mother’s Day. I’m not known for giving the best gifts. So rather than fretting over it, I decided focus on something I am good at—hosting brunch. I roped Kev into helping. We decked the dining room with simple flowers that can be purchased from Trader Joe’s, served craft beers (his addition) and a Simple Citrus Shandy cocktail (my addition), passed around small bites for the meal, and wrote Mom Libs. Read more