A post from The Fauxmartha on minimalism and kids toys

Do you remember when I started a permanent series on Minimalism twelve days after the new year? Well, twelve days after that, I signed a contract to write the cookbook The Minimalist Kitchen, which will be in your hands April 2018. This series (and life) took a major pause as every effort went into creating the book. I wont write a whole lot more on minimalism in the kitchen until after the book comes out, which creates plenty of space to talk about minimalism from a different perspective. Since the beginning of January, I’ve gotten several emails about minimalism and kids with subject lines like—SOS, Help, is it even possible?! Read more

I hate talking about money and putting a price tag on something. But I’m going there today with the goal of saving someone money in the long run. Next to hanging pictures on the wall, choosing a rug might be one of the biggest home design conundrums. There are so many variables to consider—from size to pattern to foot traffic and price tag. Before moving in, we were advised to invest in a quality rug for our living room. With everything else we needed to buy for the house at the time, investing properly in a living room rug was impossible. 3 rugs later. They were right. Read more

Chili Lime Chickpeas

It’s late August and that pit in my stomach is settling in again. The very first of the leaves have started to fall. It’s most noticeable in the backyard. Like a greying beard, I’ve spotted tiny patches of color change along our tree-lined streets. The sun, that sits so high in the sky throughout the summer, is dipping lower and lower. And the late sunset we boast about living this far north is no longer a topic of conversation. This is also the time of year when summer squash and hearty winter squash line the grocery shelves at the same time. And when the apple trees are heavy with fruit. It’s happening. Read more

Italian Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

“We have been warned that ordinary is less than, a sign of inferiority, an indicator that so much more awaits if we could just get the mix right. But the truth is, most of life is pretty ordinary, so it is precisely inside the ordinary elements…—career, parenting, change, marriage, community, suffering, the rhythms of faith, disappointment, being a good neighbor, being a good human—that an extraordinary life exists.” I had just finished giving the start of my speech about finding beauty in the ordinary by putting down your iPhone when this quote from Jen Hatmaker’s book, Of Mess and Moxie, popped up on my screen. I was looking at Facebook in my office, the same place I was delivering my speech to a crowd of one—myself. There’s something oddly cathartic about hearing your thoughts spoken. But it should be noted: I could never be a public speaker. I need backspace too much. Read more

Easy Pasta

“Hey Melissa, we have some exciting news! Will you send me your email address?” The message was in my Facebook inbox from Ian who works at Saveur. This must be the meanest scam ever, I thought. I sent my address anyways. In my email inbox the next morning was the craziest email of my career. I guess that’s what you call this thing. A career. “Congratulations, you are a finalist for the Best Style & Design Blog category for the 2017 Saveur Blog Awards.” My hands trembled. They’re still trembling. I took a screenshot of the email as proof and sent it to Kev and my sister. Read more

Cozy Minimal entryway

I almost titled this post “Don’t Forget the Entryway.” It’s that short room at the start of the house that often gets overlooked, especially when it’s not needed as much in the summer, and especially when square footage is at a premium. But come winter time, it’s the space that welcomes your guests, gives them a place to hang their coats, a bench to take off their boots, and a tray to set them. Our builder was so deliberate about designing the house not only for us, but for our guests too. I’ve come to appreciate that immensely. I love that the entryway is both minimal yet functional (inspired by this pin and this pin). But it took teaming up with Studio McGee to make it cozy. Read more

“What are you in the middle of?” my neighbor asked at one of our recent happy hours. In our tiny pocket of houses, where the streets come together like spokes on wheel, homes line only one side of the street. With a city address, we have plenty of privacy due to this street formation. But it’s not conducive to seeing your neighbor, unless you count the blurry sightings in the periphery. So a couple neighbors organized a permanent happy hour every third Thursday of the month. Women only. We sit across a table so we can actually see each other and answer question’s like: what are you in the middle of? Starting an Airbnb, hosting a graduation party, finding a new home for aging parents, writing a book, memorizing medical devices.  Read more

The backyard, at least this section of it, is done! We’ve officially moved ourselves back here until winter hits. We’ve also committed ourselves to learning how to cook dinners in a wood fired pizza oven. More on that coming soon. In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to #thebackofthefauxhouse. It’s so cozy back here. Before we get too far into this post, be sure to check out the plans for our Minnesota Modern Backyard from a couple posts back, including details about that matte black fence. It’s come a mighty long way. See below for proof. Read more