Notebook

The posts here cover a variety of topics, including all things home and family.  They are reflective of what comes up in my day-to-day mama life: stories, tips, struggles, lessons.  I feel like motherhood is a perfectly unique yet completely communal experience, and I know you'll be able to relate.

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Summer Time

How carefully do you structure your kids' summer activities? Do you take advantage of summer days to schedule as much fun as possible, or do you let time slow down?

Monday Morning

I have learned to appreciate Mondays, which bring a return to what I need to feel balanced: routine and structure.

When It Rains: Celebrating During Covid

Guest blogger Sabrina Manno from "A Momma & Her Pen" illustrates how planning children’s birthday parties during COVID offers parents a unique opportunity to get creative with themes and traditions in a fun, intimate, and memorable way.

Homemade Honey Face Wash

Looking for an effective holistic skin care regiment? This combination of pure castile soap, nourishing and essential oils, and raw honey creates the perfect DIY face wash for oily or acne-prone skin.

21 for 2021

Thinking about setting goals for a new year? Here's my list of manageable resolutions for 2021.

Wrapping up 2020

Coming to terms with 2020 is a lot easier when we make a list of what we've accomplished.

Thanks for the Giving

Our imperfectly perfect Thanksgiving contained plenty of scratch cooking and decorations made by little hands.

Herbal Tea by Me

Every summer since moving to my first apartment, I’ve grown some kind of herbs. They started out in little pots on my tiny balcony, and have graduated to a stone herb box that my handy, thoughtful husband built in our backyard. I have some perennials in there, like a clump of chives that comes back every year with plump purple blossoms, thyme that won’t quit, and two types of lavender (did you know that Spanish lavender looks prettier but English lavender has a stronger scent?). In the sp

The Rise of Fall

School has begun, and mamas all over have kicked it into high gear, especially this year of years. New shoes are on, snacks are packed, and Google Classroom is up and running as we settle into this hybrid blend of at-school and at-home learning. And I will say this: we are getting it done. Maybe this is because the spring hurtled so many scary curve balls that I was ready for September to bring it on. Or maybe it’s that first breath of crisp fall air that has me feeling refreshed and ready

I think I can

This summer, I was determined to try my hand at canning. There’s an uplifting feeling of growth when you teach your hands how to do something new. Plunging them into soft bread dough that takes shape underneath my touch, coaxing vegetables out of the dirt, squeezing plump tomatoes until the juice runs through my fingers...my hands have been busy and productive lately and it feels good.Accomplishing canning this year required some steps. It’s something I thought of a while back, when I enco

My Six Compost Myths

Here are the words that shared living space with the word ‘compost’ in my mind before actually attempting it:smellymessyfliescomplicatedsomething only farmers dogarbage dumpNow, we have kept a garden for years but this thing known as composting still seemed kind’ve separate in my mind, like something we don’t do in suburbia. Isn’t it weird how we create these illogical limitations? The older I get, the more I realize that I do this way too often. So in this spring of the Corona blos

Bringing back the clothesline

If you’re like me, quarantine has made you pay more attention to all things home. We’re super thankful for backyards, since entertainment like amusement parks is out of the question this summer. In the kitchen, we’ve learned to appreciate our pantries and the comfort of a well-stocked freezer. We’re also probably painfully aware of garage doors that need to be painted, shelves that need organizing, and empty walls asking for something to hang. Now more than ever, we're in touch with

Halftime 2020

In January I made a list of 20 things I wanted to accomplish in 2020. It seems that list was written in an alternate universe. But since we’re midway through this crackerjack year, I thought I’d take a moment to think about which ones I’ve done, which ones I haven’t, and which ones still matter.Launch Bookish Mama. Ok, well that was kind’ve a freebie since I knew we’d have this site up and running. It’s been a comfort to me to be able connect with others during this time.Write

Sedum and Suds: Shampoo bars

Shampoo and conditioner bars that beat the bottles and an inspirational mompreneur who makes them? Sign me up. Please note: this is not a sponsored post.

Home Instead

A couple weeks ago my sister-in-law gave me some of her sourdough starter. I like to cook, but have never baked a loaf of bread in my life. Baking scares me a little, with its math and science and all. So I read up on it and took her advice to “just bake something” even if it wasn’t perfect. The first warm, crusty miracle that I pulled out of the oven and sliced up for my family satisfied that primal parental desire to provide. I made it out of flour, water, and salt. That’s it. T

Five things getting me through

The challenges of the past month have left me with little time to write along with uncertainty about exactly what I should write. I still stand by my post at the beginning of quarantine about focusing on the positive while staying home. But life is hard right now. Aside from the global chaos, we have had our own upheaval inside these four walls. My husband fell down the stairs, broke his ankle in two places, and needed surgery in the middle of a pandemic. He is recovering now, but what this

Let's Stay Home

Remember being a kid on the morning of a snow day? Sitting in your pajamas at 5:30am eating cereal and watching the ticker or listening to the guy on the radio go through the alphabetical list of school closings? My brother and I would fidget, waiting for the monotone voice to rattle off the name of our town followed by that glorious word…”Closed.”The rest of the day lay in front of us, an unexpected respite from all expectations. That science test wasn’t going to happen, practice was

Why "all or nothing" isn't everything

I’ve come to realize how damaging the “all or nothing” mindset can be. My entire life I’ve followed rules, honored deadlines, met requirements. I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I definitely like to have my ducks in a row and my boxes checked. Here’s the thing. Motherhood and the degree to which the pace of life has picked up has made systematic, punctual completion of everything nearly impossible. The birthday party starts at 2? Ok, it takes 15 minutes to get there,

To the Mom with the Pink Hair

I see you from across the elementary school gymnasium, your little boy in tow as you make your way through the sea of moms who look like me. We are mingling with one another, but not with you. I see you buttoning his coat with the quick tattooed arms that say, “Come on honey, let's get out of here.” I see the striding step and the chin angled a bit defiantly, saying, “I do not care what you think.” I see eyes that stare straight ahead. They say, “I see you seeing me.”I see mysel

Try this: Waste not the peel

Create a zero-waste, practically zero-cost homemade air freshener by repurposing fruit peels destined for the trash or compost. You can add a little flair with some herbs or spices, and the simmering water releases essential oils into the air for all-natural, permeating scent.

The List: 20 for 2020

Last year, I made a list of 19 things I wanted to accomplish in 2019. I’m embarrassed to say that after careful review, I’ve added four pitiful check marks. But I know where I went wrong. I wrote the list down, stuffed it away, and promptly forgot about it. So some of this 20 for 2020 list is comprised of carry-over items. Others are new. I love the idea of making this list vs. a single New Year’s resolution because it allows me to address several areas of my life, big and small. T

January 1: Resolved.

I want to talk about the word “resolution”. January 1st holds the fleeting purity and possibility of a blank notebook. It is a beginning. So we make a resolution, a promise to ourselves, and we are resolved to follow through in the coming year. But in literature, the resolution comes at the end of a story and has a fancier French term: “dénouement” (pronounced day-new-ma). The conflict that drives the plot is resolved during the dénouement. So, why talk about the end of things at

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