July 2013

Monday, monday (on Wednesday)

off the coast of Mumbai

In honor of this week’s travel theme, here a shot taken from a boat off the coast of Mumbai in February of last year. Where it was really hot. Unlike how it is right now in San Francisco…

The most beautiful travel backgammon set you will ever lay eyes on.

Cats and dogs mark new territory by spraying. I prefer a different sort of aromatherapy to make myself feel at home in a new place.

If only this jacket had been available before we took off to San Francisco, I would have owned it, and been comfortable (instead of slightly chilly, which has been my constant state for the past 5 weeks)

Why stay in a hotel when you can sleep in a treehouse?

This is my favorite travel blog. I want to do everything they do.

The internet where I’m staying right now is horrible, but after I read about Hasan Elahi’s TED talk on what he did after being accidentally put on an FBI watch list, I patiently endured the 30 minute download time in order to watch it. And it was worth every second.

Commuters are travelers, too. Now more than ever, Americans are driving solo to work. And NPR has the graphs to prove it. Evidently we didn’t get the memo on climate change.

Hold, monsters!

My regularly scheduled Monday post full of links to various places of interest on the web is going to be a bit late in coming today. So in the meantime, enjoy this masterful performance of the Modern Major General’s song by the inimitable George Rose. (with cameos by Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Kline)

Links are on their way…

A better bottle

lifefactory water bottle

The newest addition to the stuff-I-always-carry-in-my-bag club.

I first laid eyes on these glass water bottles in my friend Nancy’s well stocked tote bag. Nancy is one of those women-who-I-am-always-copying. Everyone needs one in their life. She always has the baby blanket that folds up all tiny whlist still being totally warm, the all-natural sunscreen that doesn’t go on like wet chalk, the perfect summer sandals, the coolest kids books… I could go on, but I won’t, because then you will all just go off and befriend her and have no need for this or any other blog for that matter.

But the credit for actually purchasing the fabulous Lifefactory water bottle goes entirely to my daughter, who saw one in a store a couple of weeks ago and insisted we buy one immediately.

And she was right. Not only for the obvious reason that water out of a glass bottle just tastes way better, but the surrounding silicone sleeves are medical grade and BPA-free, so that a) you don’t have to get all worried about horrible poisons seeping into your kid’s body and b) when the glass bottle you just bought gets dropped (which is inevitable) it doesn’t break. Simple, yet oh so important. Plus the colors are lovely and Disney character free. Which may very well be the best part, as far as I’m concerned.

Oh and they come in adult sizes too, should you decide to really go for it.

Buy the right stuff

Bi Rite grocers

The Bi Rite store in San Francisco looks like a little unobtrusive grocery store that’s been around for half a century, and yet…

When I walked into this little market on Dividsadero in San Francisco, I was suddenly overcome with the desire to take out my camera and photograph everything. And then I realized that I’d had this exact feeling before, in this exact place, about 7 years ago when I was last in the city by the bay.

Much like Diner (and Marlow & Sons, and Marlow & Daughters, etc etc) Bi-Rite is actually an empire disguised as a little neighborhood market. But what a lovely empire it is. — Read more

Monday, monday

Man did I want to be Mrs Peel when I was a kid. Actually, I still do.

My daughter hates anything spicy, and by that she means that if she can detect even the slightest hint of pepper, it’s a no go. She does, however, love paprika, so I’m always on the lookout for recipes with that delicious flavor so tht dinner doesn’t always end up tasting like bland mac + cheese. This purple cauliflower dish fits the bill and looks beautiful to boot– we’ll be trying it this week for sure.

Here’s an interesting look at 10 surprising things about parenting in Japan.

A letter from F Scott Fitzgerald to his 11 year old daughter about what one should and should not worry about.

Just relax and let Kim France tell you where you go shopping for the home in NYC these days by bookmarking her list of 10 current faves. She makes these lists for a living.

Maybe if I had this cookbook, I’d finally become one of those people I’ve always admired who can cook on the fly.

The most beautiful beach tennis game I’ve ever seen.

Weekend in Bolinas

Psychedelic graffiti on the beach in Bolinas.

Psychedelic graffiti on the beach in Bolinas.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get to spend the weekend with some friends in Bolinas, a tiny town on the Pacific coast north of San Francisco.

Not sure exactly where it is (because these days nobody uses maps, so when you’re driving, all you have is a tiny phone version of your immediate area and some annoying woman telling you the next step like two seconds before you’re supposed to make the turn so you either miss it or endanger the lives of all the people in the car as you swerve to make the exit… But that’s a topic for another day.)

Plus they’ve taken down the road signs leading to the place, because the residents don’t want anybody coming to visit.

Feel free to read the rest of this post if you’re curious and want to see more photos… — Read more

We are not alone

humpback whale leaping out of the ocean

A humpback whale jumping out of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Columbia. Photo: LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom via DIGG

I have been making a point lately to unsubscribe from all of the e-newsletters that flood my inbox each day. It’s like I think that I can’t possibly survive without them, and yet I almost never (ever) open any of them.

Instead, I skip them, only to do a massive purge every few weeks. Which takes forever and makes me feel like a loser because I didn’t open any of them. And all of that information is forever lost to me so now what am I going to talk about on the rare occasion that I speak with another adult at a party? Why oh why did I even bother going to college in the first place?

Etc, etc. I could go on forever.

But for some reason, the daily newsletter from Digg still arrives. And while I delete it half the time, the other half of the time I open it and find something really cool. Like this photograph of a whale leaping out of the water.

I love whales. Always have. I think they are smarter than we are. And I think it’s important to remember that we are sharing this world with creatures that are so much more dignified and beautiful than we could ever be. We owe it to them not to f*ck it all up.

Just a thought…

Monday, monday

summer reading flowchart from flavorwire

Just a little chart to get your reading ideas flowing. Courtesy of the good folks at Flavorwire, my favorite listmakers.

Reading is fundamental, and there’s no better time than the summer to catch up on a book or two. (Or so they say… my summer has felt busier than the rest of the year, but I digress) Herewith, a few links related to this most elemental of activities.

First off, Annie Murphy Paul asks: Are readers an endangered species?

Here’s the Flavorwire summer reading flowchart in it’s entirety, with the accompanying article. Sure, it’s from last summer, but books never expire.

Check out A Cup Of Jo’s Joanna Goddard’s favorite bedtime stories for her kids (cause now she has two!)

Chip Kidd is one of the world’s premiere book designers. He’s also hilarious. Here’s his TED talk about why designing books is no laughing matter. Oh no wait…

Can’t go wrong with a critics’ favorites book list from NPR.

Anorak is my favorite kids magazine.

My daughter and I participated in The Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project (feel free to read my earlier post for details) and the tour is on. Check their site to see when the books are going to show up in your town. And then go see them! (you can see my sketchbook online via the digital library, too… but it’s less rewarding)

A great guide to summer fun

apt therapy treehouse

Learn how to build this amazing tree house a tons of other cool stuff on Apt Therapy. Photo courtesy of Apt Therapy

This is just a super short shout out to the brilliant folks at Apartment Therapy (how did we survive before this website?) who just posted a list of 50 individual brilliant summer projects to keep our kids (and us) busy and fulfilled as we slide into the real meat of this glorious season.

Because if you guys are anything like me, it’s just now hitting you that we have TWO MORE MONTHS of being completely in charge of our kids’ activities. Which is, of course, a wonderful opportunity and what we live for as parents. Right?

But as I am far from a professional, I, for one, will take all the help I can get.


Monday, Monday

the institute by nonchalance

Sometimes summer is about unlocking mysteries like The Institute. A bit more about this documentary below. Photo courtesy of Nonchalance.

Daily Candy does it again with a list of 24 outdoor toys that are as pleasurable to look at as they are fun for the kids to use.

Be a true summertime hero and make your own popsicles. Here are a couple of my favorite posts on the subject, with recipes, ideas for molds, etc. I wrote this one, and the inimitable Jessica Blackman wrote this one. Both on Krrb. Both awesome.

Three inventive, beautiful and most importantly, easy ideas for growing an herb garden this summer.

Steve Baskin tells us why unplugging and sending our kids to summer camp might just be the best way to set them up to excel in this crazy digital world.

Your “journey into a secret underground organization teeming just beneath the surface of every day life begins here.

Man, if I make even just two of these summer pies (there are 20 on the list) I will consider myself a champion.

It’s summer sale time! And who doesn’t want this multi stripe drape back top from Bird?