this weeks library book

A clever retelling of a classic tale is very common in kids books these days, but I think Jon Scieszka helped start the trend when he wrote The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (published back in 1989). This book explains how the wolf had a cold, and was just out trying to borrow some sugar to make a cake for his dear old granny (his neighbors just happened to be pigs). Lane Smith's illustrations are a delight.


hedwig the owl

C's owl costume was inspired by the baby bird costume story from Martha Stewart Baby a few years back (created by Katie Hatch, who is a sewing genius). You can find the directions for the wings here. I added some rows of felt feathers glued onto a onesie to make it feel a bit more owl-y. The whole costume can be done in a few hours, and you don't even have to turn on your sewing machine.


halloween in brooklyn

We moved to California almost one year ago, and if there was just one day I could magically be back in Brooklyn, it's Halloween. 

Halloween in Brooklyn starts early, around 4 PM or so, trick or treating down the row of stores on Court Street. Almost every store gives out a little something, and even the grumpy woman who works at the deli seems happy on Halloween. Our next door neighbors always have a big Halloween party, and it doesn't hurt that he's a chef, so the food is always amazing. Then on to meet up with our friends in Cobble Hill, to join the parade led by Dan Zanes.  That place is usually a zoo, but it's so sweet to see all the kids decked out in their costumes, and you always run into a few old friends. We then head up to Brooklyn Heights, trick or treating at all the brownstones along the way. There are a couple of beautiful old streets in the Heights that go all out for Halloween, and we hit one or two before heading home to tuck our tired kids into bed. 

A few shots of our past Halloweens in Brooklyn: 

C's first Halloween - He's a ventriloquist's dummy (and yes, that is a wig)

Dad was Harry Potter, and C as Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl.


C as Curious George. (Bee went as a banana and dad was the man in the yellow hat)


C as Peter Pan, Bee as Tinkerbell, and dad as Captain Hook. (that's a wig too..)



It looks like this year will be the first year the kids dress up without their dad. They have started to have their own opinions about costumes and how can I interfere with a 4 year old's Halloween dreams? But I am a little sad to see the tradition end. A little sad that we aren't in Brooklyn anymore. 


color story #2

I'm not so into pink, never have been. So when I had my little girl Bee, I found myself wading through a sea of pink.. clothing, bedding, toys, everything seemed to be pink, pink, pink! And not a nice sweet pink either, but that bright bubble gum type of pink. The shade of pink Miss Piggy would love. 

Now that Bee is almost 3, I'm starting to like pink..  a little. In small doses, and paired with other colors I love. Like a nice bright springy green. Now that is a color combination I can get on board with. Even if I have to make the clothes myself!


table for two

Maybe I've watched Spanglish a few too many times, but I sometimes think it would be lovely if my husband was a chef. He'd bring you breakfast in bed, and he'd always be experimenting in the kitchen, plus you could go out to eat any night you wanted. 

But then I read this article in New York magazine and I think I've changed my mind. Formerly the chef of Lutece, Andre Soltner remembers what it was like running a kitchen. "I was sort of a slave to my restaurant. And my wife too. I don't say it was right. Today, I maybe say it was wrong. Years ago, in Paris, we had no money. But when we were more comfortable, maybe twenty years later, I said, "Simone.. you've paid your dues and everything, I buy you whatever you wish." I was thinking to buy her a ring or a necklace, something like that. "Whatever you wish, tell me." She looked at me and said, "Take me to a movie." For twenty years, I hadn't taken her to a movie. I woke up. I said, "Oh my God, what did I do to my wife?"

Thank you JR, for coming home each night and having dinner with me. And for taking me to a movie, every once in a while.


pretty little packages


I love getting something in the mail from Purlsoho

Especially when it contains one lovely letterpressed gift certificate..  

(Disclaimer: My opinions might be a bit biased since I am also their designer.. )



While rifling through some boxes this weekend, I came across the contents of my old desk drawer at Martha Stewart. 

I remember going in to pack up my office. I had just had my son C, and decided I couldn't leave him to return to work full-time. And I was having a hard time throwing anything away. You see, I loved my job. And I knew at that moment, I was saying goodbye to: lunch on the grass at Bryant Park, afternoons in the craft department, meetings about rocket ships and sock dogs and gingerbread cookies, freshly baked treats dropped on my desk by friends in the test kitchen. I was sad to say goodbye to my little office and all I held dear. And so I kept the pile of post-its.

Looking back, I realize I was also saying goodbye to crazy 14 hour days, shoots that took me far from my family, and late night rides home on the subway alone.  What did I get in exchange? Mornings spent staring at my growing boy, his soft bald head and huge blue eyes, time with just the two of us. Not a bad deal in the end.


this week's library book

We borrowed Harry by the Sea this week, the third book we've read from the series (which includes Harry the Dirty Dog and No Roses for Harry). We love them all. 

As I've said before, we love the library. And now that I've moved back to the town I grew up in, I love the idea that these very books may have been the ones I checked out as a little girl. I keep looking for clues..


rabbits + race cars

I met Heather Ross because she was teaching a class on infant clothing at Purl Patchwork, but I think our paths would have crossed regardless, even in a city as big as New York. She's a kindred soul, and we became fast friends. I miss meeting up for lunch in the city, and running around fields of clover in Vermont while we shot her first book. (Weekend Sewing will be available this spring from STC Craft.)

And I'm loving her newest fabric line for Kokka, available at purlsoho. Even the selvedges are darling. My son C has already put in his request for a car backpack, and little Bee will be getting one too (maybe the blue dancing animals?).


ducks + ducklings

I'm always happy to find something my 2 and 4 year olds can play together. This Baby Animals puzzle from eeBoo has become very popular around these parts. We line up the moms on one side of the table, and the babies on the other, and the kids take turns matching away. (And as an added bonus: the cards are beautiful too.)