I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’ve been working like crazy, at a pace that’s not sustainable, into the night and on into the weekends. Designing a cabin and building a new tiny company (a cabin rental) sounds so simple and easy when you tuck it into a sentence like so. But it’s taken every last resource to pull off something like this during a pandemic, with a baby, school at home for most of that time, plus a postpartum mushy brain. I keep saying, “We did it, we’re doing it!” I even said it while talking to the bank last week. That was awkward. I’m not sure if I’m willing it to happen or looking for something to celebrate. Probably a little bit of both. So in the spirit of celebrating, I’d love to show you what I’ve been working on—the cabin interior mood boards. To read more about the what and the why of The Minne Stuga, head this way. (Note: I’ve often sounded like the antagonist in Thomas the Tank Engine, saying things like “I think I can’t.” It’s not all roses over here.) Read more
There are tick marks on the wall in our painted black bathroom made from chalked lines and scribbled dates, memorializing the passing of time and the changing of heights. We measured Hal on that wall, thinking it had been a while. It had. Three inches of growth, yet no mention of 2020 on the wall. Everything stopped last year, from the chalk lines to The Minne Stuga cabin, a special project that we announced almost exactly a year ago, a project we thought we were just about to begin. And then the pandemic hit. With job cutbacks at Kev’s work and a maternity leave for me, unpaid because I work for myself, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to pull off this little cedar-clad getaway, for you and for me. Read more
A pack of muffin liners and permanently lemon-laced taste buds and a can of baking powder later, I think I’ve finally perfected these healthyish lemon poppy seed muffins that take me back to Saturday mornings and oversized t-shirts and freckled noses and boxed muffin mix. Mini lemon poppy seed muffins were our favorite growing up. These aren’t so mini, but I’ve made sure they’re composed of all of my favorite parts of those muffins—tender yet dense, bright in flavor, good out of the oven, and even better the next day.
How do you know what to register for and what to skip on a minimalist baby registry? On our first go around the parenting sun, we registered as minimally as possible, skipping an infant car seat and huge jumper toys. But this time around, with two kids and more experience and fewer hands, we made different decisions. We also had a different experience, needing different things. Looking at the registry, I still gasp at all the items. These babies require stuff. Though, I know this time around that it’s only for a short season. Below are my favorite baby items that serve multiple purposes, grow with the baby, and, dare I say, look beautiful.
I’m back in the saddle, the quick and ready-in-under-30-minute, pantry-friendly, dinner-making saddle. You know, the as-few-pots-and-pans and as-much-flavor-as-possible saddle. The use-up-every-ingredient-in-the-fridge saddle. Which is how I landed on this recipe for Pantry-Friendly Thai Red Curry, to use up the little bottle of Thai Red Curry paste that often sits idle yet lasts forever on the condiment shelf of the fridge. That, and to use the last hunk of broccoli and the loyal green bell pepper patiently waiting to be consumed. It’s quick, ready in under 30 minutes, and tastes almost as good as my favorite takeout Thai Red Curry from down the street. Almost. Read more
Up until now, I’ve had a 7-year-old completely empty category for homemade baby food recipes on the blog. If that isn’t indicative of my well-intentioned self, I don’t know what is. I had always planned on posting the homemade baby food recipes that I made for Hal, and I wish I had. Because, with no memory and a mom brain, I basically had to start from scratch with Linnie. (Just know, if I tell you I’ll do something, I probably will. It just might be a year or two later.) In that spirit, I decided to do one huge Homemade Baby Food Recipe post for fear that another won’t happen. So here it is, equipped with all the colors of the rainbow, using minimal tools, and simple methods. Read more
I had scaffolding and plans in place to set myself up to succeed this time. At motherhood and working and life in general. Maybe succeed isn’t the right word. I was just trying not to flail again. Linnie would go to childcare out of the house, and Hallie would be at school and then day camp over the summer. I would work when I was working and be a mom when I wasn’t working instead of trying to do it all, like I did when Hal was a baby. Like I did before I knew myself well enough to know that I don’t work well (or at all) with distractions or multitasking or tiny chunks of broken time. But this time, this time things would be different. (Scroll to the bottom for easy links to the pretty new Noted by Post-it® collection.)
I’m not sure how to be online right now and hold space for everything in the periphery, which is taking up the little, foggy, postpartum brain space I have left, and filling every offline conversation with friends and family. Recipes feel trite and yet we still eat. This 15 minute Lightened Up Pasta al Limone has saved us once or twice lately. My words sound hollow and yet I still jot thoughts in the Notes app and on here, mostly little poems, if you can even call them that. There’s one titled “The Moon Still Hangs and So Does My Empty Stomach,” a hopeful poem written on an early dark New Years’ morning with a headache from only drinking half of a Cosmo. Read more