my week in objects (mostly).

September 7, 2018

five little things that made my week.

1. this crate.

{carried home from the wine store last week, put to use this week.}

2. this bag.

{because i really needed something small and hands-free, just for the essentials.}

3. this heating pad.

{because of course i’d throw my back out this week of all weeks.}

4. this blanket.

{for getting tucked and smoothed by the small person who sleeps under it, a little more nimbly every day.}

5. this backpack (and the purple one currently at school).

{and the two very excited kids wearing them.}

other things:



turn off your notifications.

child labor.

the care and keeping of you.

scribbles, etc.

second chances.

a brief, needed respite and refuel.

it was fleeting as childhood, but it was grace.

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  • Reply Neha September 7, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Hi Erin – can you please tell me if the backpack you posted about fits a pocket folder? Thanks so much for your time. I enjoy your blog and love your book.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      hmm…probably not the mini size!

  • Reply Emily September 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Where did you get your heating pad? Something about the changing of seasons- mine is out of whack too.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      My mom gave me mine. It’s just filled with rice and I made my own cover from leftover fabric from our couch! Hope you’re feeling better soon. An out of whack back is the worst!

    • Reply Neha September 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Ok, Thank you.

  • Reply Eva September 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Those child labor photos are so moving. Glad we’re out of that time in America, but I hope soon for the rest of the world too.

    • Reply JPB September 10, 2018 at 6:58 am

      I did not realize there was such a different history to the end of child labour / beginning of child labour protection laws in the US.

      I still remember sitting in one of my first sociology lectures and learning about how in (what is now) Germany, child labour protection laws were first implemented in the mid 1800s, because children who worked, were later not mentally or physically fit to serve in the military. So the state did not really have any interest in children’s rights or health or protection until it suffered a monetary loss from it.
      I still have to think about this all the time when we’re discussing political policies. To me this this is such a true example of how states and politics work.

  • Reply Rebecca Leduc September 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    The wine crate you brought home is from the sister winery of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. I live in Paso Robles and love reading your blog, so it was fun to make the connection, especially since my husband is an organic winemaker and grape grower here, too. If you’re ever interested in writing about wine, let me know! 🙂 (Sorry for the shameless self-promotion; couldn’t help it!)

  • Reply Jessica Large September 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Love the tributes to Aretha Franklin. Long love respect .
    When you visit the wine store, do you just ask if they have any extra crates laying about? That create you have has a very pretty logo.

  • Reply Marisa September 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    I reeeeeallllly try not to impulse buy things, but that baggu bag. My goodness. Done and done!

    • Reply Julie September 9, 2018 at 6:15 am


  • Reply Sarah September 7, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for exposing me to another reminder of gendered language – I’m thankful for your blog and others which have opened my eyes to this. I work for state govt in Australia, and my template for letter replies seeks for me to have a title. I always delete it – I regale against my gender being identified, and I do have a normally female name in Sarah, so flagging my marital status annoys me. I read a colleague’s drafts too, and I called out a gendered word, and he was happy to change it, and apologetic he’d missed it. I even noticed a mention in a news report recently, and I thought, wow, I’m really starting to see this. It’s been a slow evolution – particularly as I was educated in a single sex school. Then studied engineering (and don’t see ‘guys’ as inherently gendered, though others might). How the world has and is shifting

  • Reply Samantha Symon-Rabicoff September 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you, your links are always informative/fun/thought provoking. As a middle school science teacher who also teaches the sex ed curriculum in my preK-8 Chicago Public School, I really appreciate the article about using gender neutral words. Our schools are still so saturated in the boy/girl binary framework. And honestly, I don’t think this is just good for non-binary individuals. I think this is also good for folks who identify as girls and boys too. It allows us all to feel a little freer in our expression and a little more equal in the eyes of the world.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 9, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Totally agreed!

  • Reply Maryann September 10, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Great links this week. I didn’t think I could love Deb Perelman more…but now I do! I never thought of it that way, but I really love cooking for all the reasons she laid out.

  • Reply Karen Morris September 10, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Hi Erin. I have used your book as my inspiration and resource for refining our lifestyle. I have shared it with many people, including my three daughters when they were creating their first adult living spaces. I agree with your philosophy about so many things, especially your thoughts on providing children with what they truly need as they develop. I do have one issue I have thought about numerous times after I read your postings. I strongly feel we all have the responsibility to live as sustainably and thoughtfully as we can, in every aspect of our lives. My issue pertains to some of the items you obtain, whether clothing, textiles, or whatever, and the extravagant cost associated with those items. I often pursue the links of your sources and am blown away by how much some of the items you promote cost. Additionally, I find the referrals to Amazon contrary as well. As our local businesses disappear and our reliance on foreign products increases, I see Amazon as the number one culprit and a contributing factor to the demise of being able to shop local, fair trade, and sustainable. Again, I have appreciated the impact you have had on my life, but wonder why there feels like there is an inconsistency in your approach to being thoughtful, purposeful and practical.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks so much for so many kind words. I’ll try to address your concerns: As part of my work here, I try to encourage mindful consumption. I also love to support the work of artists and makers and brands who are being particularly thoughtful about their materials and process. I am the first to say that I very often admire and direct folks to products that come with a high price point. While not every item that’s made with care is expensive—it’s often the case that the materials, labor, and thoughtfulness put into these items demand a higher cost for consumers. As a culture, we’ve become so used to the artificially low cost of goods—items made affordable due to an exploitation of both people and planet—that the true cost is hard to grapple with. This is also something I struggle with. I also hear where you’re coming from regarding Amazon. I have a fraught relationship with them myself. Here’s where I am for the moment: Daily I’m asked by folks to direct them to products that I use in my home that are hardworking, affordable, and accessible. Amazon helps me to do that while also keeping this site free for readers. I take advantage of Amazon’s affiliate program when there’s an item that I can personally vouch for, that I’ve used myself, and that’s sold directly from the manufacturer. This includes everything that I’ve pointed to in the curated Amazon shop pages that I’ve built. When I have a need, I also do my best to buy locally and to, as you’ve suggested, support small businesses, local shops, and my own community, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to earn commissions on purchased goods that I recommend. This is one component of the current model for supporting this type of media, and I do my best to be careful and thoughtful about my approach while still being able to stay afloat.

      • Reply Zelda September 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

        I agree. good comment. I’m always pretty surprised at the amazon links given what we know amazon is doing to retail in this country and given reports of how they treat their workers. but $$$.

  • Reply Elizabeth September 23, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Hi! I sadly don’t see the blanket you link to on the COYUCHI site. Any idea if it’s gone? Would love to get 2 for my girls.


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