Thursday, April 30, 2015


Dear Olive,

I am swooning over wallpaper lately.  Could it possibly be that I have forgiven the very product that I cursed while furiously scraping my newly owned walls?

It must be so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Dear Olive, 

Each night before bed, after our chapter reading, Gabriel asks for a story; featuring him as the protagonist, helping super heroes to "fight crime."  For months, he's directed the story to conclude with him opening the door of his closet to find a super hero lair in it's place.  So, for Christmas this year, we planned a big surprise...

I started by gathering all of the outdated $1 thrift store electronics that I could find.  

I spray painted them in four primary "Marvel" colors 

I took a salvage door we had in our basement and covered it with fabric remnants from the kid's last birthday.  The plan was to create a faux door in the middle of his long rectangular closet, dividing it in half and creating a secret closet behind.

I then attached the door to this curbside find children's cabinet with L-brackets (adding cork for a tight fit).

I attached inexpensive castors to the bottom of the cabinet to make it easy to roll the false door back and forth, so that we could still access his clothing.

On Christmas I put a comic strip in the mail slot leading him to his secret lair.

I made the comic using this free website.

I had added all of his superhero toys and attached the electronic devices to the walls with nails and Command strips. 

The lair has become his favorite place in the house.  

He plays in it on Saturday and Sunday mornings before we wake up.

And it's the first thing he shows his friends when they come over to play. 

Sometimes, when I'm in the next room, I hear Ella and Gabe in the closet working out the crime-fighter plan together. 

And as a bonus, now he always wants to keep his closet neat. 

Monday, April 20, 2015


Dear Olive,

When I met you, I remember thinking, "Oh... I should be around that more." There are these people in life who make you all sparkly in the eyes.  Our goal should always be to try to be one of those people.  Here is an article that pretty much sums it all up for me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Dear Olive,

I'm a convert, and since your "Blessingway" I never want to throw another baby shower instead.  So, lest I forget, here is the recipe:

Invite only your wisest and most open minded friends.

Start with an organic lunch:
  • Spinach raspberry salad
  • Kale chips
  • Broccoli rice soup
  • Chicken and cranberry salad sandwiches
  • Fresh lemonade
  • Carrot cake

Make a "push banner" for the mama to look at know.

Make flower crowns for guests to wear.

Sit in a circle and have each guest pass a bead and a piece of wisdom onto the mother to be.

Give the guests lavender hand massages and peppermint foot soaks.

And always invite the coolest 93 year olds you know.

You are a beautiful mama friend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Dear Olive,

Have you seen these "hundred years of beauty" videos?

They reflect makeup throughout the ages, taking into consideration world location.

The one from Iran is so smart and beautiful.

But I think my favorite was Korea, and how they divided the looks into North and South.  It's amazing how political makeup and fashion can be. 

And this, to me, is one of the reasons that design, fashion, and art are so important.  Encapsulating tradition, values, and how we see ourselves, if we lose design, we lose culture.

And also a bit of swagger.

Monday, April 6, 2015


Dear Olive, 

Gabriel and I just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It was his first chapter book and we read a little each night.  For as long as I've wanted children, I've dreamed of snuggling them beneath the bedcovers and reading Roald Dahl and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Serendipitously, as we were nearing the end of the story, I found that a beloved teacher was directing Willy Wonka as the winter musical at our high school.  This weekend, I snuck a chocolate bar into Gabriel's bedroom mailbox with a surprise inside. 

It was an official date.  We brought popcorn and ate the chocolate bar at the show.  He sat so still, and I watched his eyes take in the magic of his first theater experience.

I wonder if Roald knew of the joy he'd bring generations, just by writing the imaginings of new worlds.  I asked Gabriel what he learned from the show, his response: "Don't be afraid to be silly", and, "Believe."  Indeed.