five a day

I always have a journal going, in one form or another. They are constantly changing shape. Sometimes a sketchbook with lots of little drawings and diagrams, or little notes crammed into corners of my weekly calendar. I've had collections of ticket stubs, or leaves, or a notebook full of quotes lifted from books I'm reading.

One of my favorites was a little moleskine book I used right before I married John (also known as JR). I stamped each page of the book with the date, and wrote 5 things that happened each day. I can read the pages and remember exactly how I felt, where we were walking that day, how happy I was riding the subway on my way to meet him.

 (The little numbers circled at the top were a countdown to our wedding day).


farewell florent

I was sad to hear that one of my favorite New York restaurants closed this summer. As I was unpacking some boxes this weekend, I came across an old postcard and matchbook from Florent, designed by M&Co. Still beautiful, 22 years later.


happy fall

But I'm not putting the flip flops away just yet.  (One point for California)



miss manners

When I was growing up my mother starting reading Miss Manners to us at the dinner table. I'm not sure what prompted this, maybe it was because my siblings and I were eating too quickly, or fighting over the last piece of pie, or setting the centerpieces on fire (true story). We read an entry or two each night, which continued until the book was finished. And then we just started over again.

A friend recently brought over a sweet little book called Manners to Grown On, published in 1955. I love the illustrations and the two color printing, and the little bits of advice to help any young lad know what to do in any social situation. 

My son beat me to the phone the other day and answered it by yelling "Who is it?".  I know he's only four, but it might be time to break out the Miss Manners. 


mister rogers


The past few weeks I have introduced my four year old son to Mister Rogers. He gets to watch one show while his sister Bee has her nap each afternoon (thank you DVR). I was nervous to introduce them. I thought C might find Mister Rogers boring, or that it would seem outdated after all these years. 

But C loves it.. he's been singing about "a snappy new day" and asking me all sorts of questions about graham crackers and paper chains and batteries. And wondering why Mister Rogers is always changing his shoes. The other day he said this little jewel (which promptly went into the quote jar):


found objects

A few of my favorite dry cleaning tags, courtesy of my old Brooklyn neighborhood. 


printing by hand

A year and a half ago I met Lena Corwin at her charming home in Brooklyn. I had been asked to design a book project she was working on, and I wanted to meet her and get a feel for things. Along one wall of her studio hung all the patterns she had designed for the book. I loved them all... I love her style, I love her sense of color. They were beautiful, and so is, in my humble opinion, the end result.  

You can see more projects from the book here, and a Q + A with Lena here.


this week's library book

I've been slowly making my way through the Caldecott winners, and came upon this little treasure.. The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward. I warn you that this book does involve a child carrying a large gun and attempting to shoot innocent bears, but somehow I still find it all very charming. Winner of the Caldecott in 1953, and deservedly so.. the illustrations are lovely.



nine eleven

My old office had a lovely view of the Empire State Building, and behind it the twin towers. I used to climb out my window onto a little balcony and take pictures of the city with my polaroid camera. I loved seeing how the sky changed during the day and how the light reflected off the other buildings.  I felt lucky to have such a wonderful view.

A few weeks after I took this polaroid, I climbed out onto the balcony again. Smoke was billowing out the towers. I got a call out to my mom in California to tell her I was okay. While we were talking, I watched the first tower crumble and fall. I said "Mom, the tower... it's gone." And she said "No, no.. I'm watching the news right now and it's standing."   "No mom, it's gone."  I had seen it fall with my own eyes. 

I wish I had had the foresight to grab my polaroid camera and snap one more photo with the towers standing. Even as it was happening, I never believed they would actually come down.


magical thinking

Children say the funniest things, yet all too often, I seem to forget them after a day or two.  I'll start telling my husband.. "C said the funniest thing..." and then I can't quite remember. Or I get it a little mixed up and it's not nearly as funny as I remember.

So I started writing down the funnier moments of the day. I keep a jar on my desk, and when the kids say something particularly worthy of recording, I grab a scrap of paper (phone bill, envelope, chopstick holder.. whatever is lying around) and I quickly jot it down. I read about Joan Didion doing something similar when her daughter was a young girl in The Year of Magical Thinking.

The jar is filling up quickly, and when I'm having a below average day, I reach in and pull out a quote.. and suddenly I'm laughing and running to hug my little comedians.