habit shift: hobbies.

    January 21, 2020

    habit shift: hobbies

    Being an adult person with a full time job who also spends a lot of time parenting small children, can make me feel like finding the time to learn a new skill, or get lost in a new interest, or do anything at all that isn’t optimized for maximum efficiency or earning isn’t time well spent. And yet, ironically, as a parent of young children, I’m also eager for my kids to embrace exactly the kinds of pleasure-filled, carefree, utterly inconsequential-but-still-satisfying hobbies that I too often deny myself.

    In the gifts that we choose and the books that we read and the creative ways that we try to fill long winter afternoons, James and I both try to model a love of learning and curiosity and craft for our kids in ways that we’re less great about making happen for ourselves. For my part, as the writer of a blog like this one in particular, I find that it can become particularly easy to turn just about everything into work, timing projects for moments when there’s good light for picture-taking, or thinking of ways that I can share the process, or craft a story, or finding a good spot for fitting something or other into the editorial calendar. In part, no question, this is something that I deeply love about my work—the freedom, the creative control, the flexibility—but it also means that I rarely take the time to do something that’s truly just for me. And so this year, I’m trying my best to do more for myself alone.

    modern rug hooking by rose pearlman | reading my tea leaves

    Writing about taking up a new hobby while 33-weeks pregnant and perennially exhausted might sound like a fool’s errand, but hope springs eternal and I’m hoping I can make it happen. By way of encouragement and in celebration of learning something new, I’m hosting a giveaway with Rose Pearlman on my Instagram page this week. We’re giving away a copy of my book, Simple Matters, a copy of Rose’s new and masterful book Modern Rug Hooking, plus a beautiful rug hooking kit put together by Rose herself. The kit includes a 9-inch Reusable Rug Hooking Hoop with pre-stretched monks cloth, a #10 Regular Oxford Punch Needle with box, stitch guide and instructional booklet, 6 ounces of hand-dyed Seal Harbor Rug Co. yarn, and a cotton/ linen bag for storage. All of the details on how to enter can be found on Instagram.

    And whether the hobby is rug hooking or fly fishing, I’m curious to know what some of you might be up to. Please feel free to share in the comments.

    things you can do today.

    January 20, 2020

    Four things to do today to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

    + Explore the 1619 Project, an ongoing project designed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first ship carrying enslaved people from West Africa landing in the English Colonies of North America. The multimedia New York Times project spearheaded by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones uses a combination of essays, short-fiction, photo journalism, and interactive features to interrogate the idea that “no aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed.” (For educators, The 1619 Project Curriculum might prove especially helpful.)

    + Listen to the first episode of Scene on Radio’s Fourth Season: The Land That Never Has Been Yet, where host John Biewen once again teams up with collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika, this time to explore democracy in America. As the 1619 Project has done, Biewen explains that this season’s podcast will “complicate, maybe upend, our listeners’ understanding of American history.”

    + Talk frankly to kids. The Conscious Kid remains one of my favorite non-profits focused on educating kids (their parents, educators, and caregivers) honestly and candidly about race. In 2019 they launched a Patreon Page where subscribers have access to in-depth essays, research, book lists, and other resources related to the subject. Here’s a list of their recommended children’s books Honoring the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can also follow their work on Instagram.

    + Donate to Higher Heights for America, a nonprofit dedicated to “providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation, and advance progressive policies.”

    More ideas here and here.

    PS. Image above from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. Please read the full letter here.

    my week in objects (mostly).

    January 17, 2020

    1. these watercolors.

    {for providing just the spot of calm color i needed this week.}

    2. these magazines.

    {and the sweet neighbor who passed them my way.}

    3. this sheepie.

    {a gift for a new baby and their very expectant siblings.}

    4. this book.

    {because this pregnancy keeps throwing me curveballs and it was nice to reread sections this week (more here).}

    5. this tea.

    {and drinking a cup with faye in the ever-so-slightly brighter early evenings.}

    other things:

    every word that passes their lips should be spoken in a tone, volume and cadence that is pleasing.

    a new year’s diet.

    create something so potent that she challenged the existing order.


    washing block.

    we’re pathologically anti-woman, anti-family, and we treat everyone like their [only value is] their economic output.

    parents should have choices.

    for lunch and dinner, please.

  • baby proof: gender reveal.

    It’s a human baby! In this, the 32nd week of my pregnancy, the gender of our baby is anyone’s guess, really. We do not know the sex of this baby growing daily in my…

    January 14, 2020 151 Comments
  • removing candle wax from fabric.

    At the time of writing I have three different candles burning because it’s January and this weekend’s brilliant sun and unseasonably warm temperatures have been replaced with the month’s hallmark dreary gray skies and…

    January 13, 2020 10 Comments
  • my week in objects (mostly).

    1. this cake. {and the three-year-old who’s told every person he sees about how his papa made it.} 2. this robe. {for being so soft.} 3. these winter colors. {they’ve been on this shelf…

    January 10, 2020 12 Comments
  • make your own: corded yoga mat strap.

    At Christmastime, two matching and pint-sized yoga mats wended their way into our apartment thanks to the foresight of a jolly old elf. The mats have since been acting as resting and stretching places…

    January 8, 2020 6 Comments
  • simple sustainable swaps for a new year.

    This post is sponsored by Grove Collaborative, an online marketplace committed to making it easier to find healthy and sustainable household essentials. For better or worse, I start every new year with a list…

    January 7, 2020 15 Comments
  • erin and kids in dumbo by james patrick casey

    new year, new superpower.

    For someone with a blog title that alludes to the ancient art of being able to see into the future, I regret to inform you that I’m terribly deficient in that department. I can…

    January 6, 2020 43 Comments