my week in objects (mostly).

December 16, 2016

five little things that made my week:

1. this hanging tray.hanging tray | reading my tea leaves

{newly hung in a different spot, in preparation for a tiny babe.}

2. this organized drawer.drawer | reading my tea leaves

{because nothing makes me feel instantly better than a good drawer rearrange.}

3. this | reading my tea leaves

{for getting a few spicy additions.}

4. these cookies.cookie | reading my tea leaves

{james got competitive at a holiday party. we reaped the benefits.}

5. these frozen cranberries.cranberries |reading my tea leaves

{for plopping into quick bread dough.}

other things:

daily action. (plus some background.)

stuy-dyed (tye-dyed!).

my president was black.

women who draw.

gaslighting america.

just for kiddos.

more than just a star.

my sister’s acts of resistance.

me in other places:

festive holidays, simply.

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  • Reply Christie December 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I read your interview on babyccino, and I wanted to respond here so you could read it: You were asked:
    You have such specific taste and need to carefully consider what objects live in your small space. How do you kindly encourage remote family members (aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc) to give gifts that you have both room for and love?
    You answered:
    Whenever I answer a question like this, I’m inevitably reminded by readers that I don’t have a five-year-old obsessed with a Disney cartoon and the accompanying paraphernalia. True! But I do think a lot of this is about taking a holistic approach from the beginning. I’m hopeful that by cultivating a shared love of traditions and activities over toys that we might avoid some of the deluge of stuff that’s anxiety producing for so many parents (and kids!). Of course, you’ll have to check back in with me a few years down the line.

    I wanted to respond because I agree with you. When my oldest (6) was a baby, we also ready simplicity parenting, and it has informed how we handle raising our son to a large extent. We are perhaps not as minimalistic as the book would like us to be, but we do keep toys and books to a containable minimum. We have periodically culled the toys (saving some for subsequent children). Our two guys share a small room, and now mostly play with the same toys. We don’t have rules about no plastic toys, or only a certain number of toys. But we have tried to encourage grandparents to buy certain nicer things (and have bought those ourselves). When grandma went crazy with tons of hot wheels, we gave away most and kept a handful, for example.
    It came as an absolute shock when my oldest was 4 and was TOTALLY into superheroes. Aside from Thomas the Train, this was the first time he was really into something. And his grandparents went crazy. They bought so much superhero stuff–superhero costumes; superhero socks; superhero underwear; superhero toys. All I could think was (a) these things are ugly, but I’m going to deal; (b) why would you spend all of this money on something he’s going to like for 1 minute. And we got rid of what we could (kept the costumes and clothes). Now he’s into Harry Potter and those superhero costumes sit in their bin. But the play silks I bought–those have continued to be favorites because they can be superhero capes, or wizard capes, or invisibility cloaks, or whatever comes next.
    My point to all this is that I agree with you that parents can and should place limits. We have. When our son gets into things (in addition to Harry Potter, he loves wild animals), we get the books from the library! We got on trips to see animals! We read Harry Potter together and then watch the movie as a family! Instead of getting a wizard cloak and magic wand, he uses his play silks and a stick he finds in the yard: AND HE IS OK WITH IT. it is ok to say no as parents. It is ok to say no to consumerism. Kids do not need something just because that is the new fascination (the obsession will be over next week). In fact, saying no and explaining why helps them understand the implications of consumerism and materialism. And it’s not all or nothing. While I wanted nice plain wooden blocks and cloth toys or whatever for my son, I’ve found that I have had to give up some of that as he got older and had his own desires. But it’s ok, and I do it on my terms.
    So when my son came home at the beginning of the school year obsessed with beyblades (yeah, I didn’t know what they were either), I told him that if he still wanted them in the winter, I would get him some for hanukkah. And while he loves to spin his tops and dreidels, I also got him a small (used) kit of beyblades because, even though they are ugly, I’m true to my word.
    Love your blog. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply Erin Boyle December 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story, Christie!

  • Reply Aja Lake December 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Yay for the Babyccino interview! Happy Holidays, Erin! x

  • Reply Rebecca Parry December 16, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Loved seeing your sister’s acts of resistance. I have been looking for years for a natural, child-friendly nativity set and I LOVE the one your sister has (it appears in one of her posts). Any chance she would share where it is from?

    • Reply Erin Boyle December 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Oh, I’m sure if she knows she’d let you know! Just leave a comment on her insta!

  • Reply Jenny December 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I just purchased the tree star from ABJ Glassworks. Thank you for linking to her instagram post.

  • Reply Kari.M December 16, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    What I wouldn’t have given for your blog and for Simplicity Parenting when I had my kids. We did a lot of that stuff anyway, but I felt like we were really swimming upstream as we didn’t have you and others to point to. Also, we have that exact same tobacco tin which I see in your drawer. Is yours a family heirloom, too?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 18, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      So glad to have you reading now! The tin was my great great Aunt’s! (Though it’s always been a bit of puzzle since she wasn’t a tobacco user!)

  • Reply maggie December 17, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Ohhhh cookies! It’s raining outside and some cookie action would make our afternoon. Any chance you can share your recipe?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      James made them, but I think he used the sugar cookie recipe from the Baked cookbook!

  • Reply Wendi December 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Erin, I just want you to know how much refreshment and encouragement your blog brings into my day. We don’t necessarily adhere to all the same belief systems, but I do share your passion for advocacy and truth, love and freedom. Thank you for making this space more than just a blog and for always being thoughtful, intentional, and curious about the world so that others (including myself) can feel free to do the same.

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