Currently // Spring of ’18

Currently // Spring of ’18

Currently is a seasonal series where I recap some of the simple things I’ve been doing / making / reading / listening and such throughout the season. Thanks for reading along.


Reading // Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver boldly addresses the concerns of modern farming, from the depletion of the soil, to the treatment of animals, to our own suffering health. But she is also hopeful about our future as we learn from the past. Inspired, humorous, factual and optimistic. My friend called it “idyllic and yet realistic- the perfect balance.” It will definitely have you running to your local farmer’s market and then to the kitchen.

Doing // Camping. I took Lewie on his first camping trip in Washington and he was in heaven. He spent most of the time playing naked in the dirt and eating watermelon. It was amazing to see him explore nature and I wish I had gone sooner. I’m already planning our next trip. Fort Stevens in Astoria, Oregon looks amazing. Plus, here are some simple tips for camping with toddlers

Watching // The Crown. I’m obsessed. You can read all about that here, plus some royal home decor inspiration.  

Making // Grocery lists. Historically I’m pretty awful about weekly meal planning because I find the internet an overwhelming place for recipes. So instead I’m gathering a few favorite cookbooks for meal planning instead. Current favorites: River Cottage Every Day. Apples for Jam. Bountiful. Sunday Suppers. 

What are your favorite cookbooks?

Writing // Motherhood interviews. I just finished my first interview with my friend Jessie Love. Coming from a journalism background, I love interviewing and writing people’s stories and I feel so honored that I’m getting to do that again on this blog. Jessie’s story is about choosing hope for their unborn baby, Franklin, who was diagnosed with a rare disease and then choosing healing after Franklin’s death at eight days old.

He lived when the medical community said he wouldn’t, he fought when they thought he couldn’t, and he left a scar on my heart that I never want to go away.

 

Currently // Winter of ’18

Currently // Winter of ’18

Currently is a seasonal series where I recap some of the simple things I’ve been doing / making / reading / listening and such throughout the season. Thanks for reading along.


Buying // Baby gifts! My best friend is having a baby girl and so I finally have an excuse to buy a baby gift. I love practical and creative gifts, like hand-me-down baby books and swaddles, but I also think it’s nice to gift something beautiful you would never buy for yourself.

The store, Merci Milo, just opened a brick-and-mortar in Los Angeles. The owner curates the best toys. Some personal favorites are these wooden animals  or these cuddle dolls, both made in Germany. Also, Amazon offers some great sustainable toy options.

Reading // This poem over and over.

Thinking // Have you ever heard of the organization Give Directly? It’s based on the economic model of basic income. Instead of giving to a charity, who then decides how the money is allotted, Give Directly does what the name suggests and gives directly to those in need.  This progressive idea could potentially lift millions out of poverty. Give Directly is orchestrating a 12 year experiment in Kenya to track the effectiveness of basic income. You can follow along with the experiment here.

700 million people around the world live in extreme poverty. It would take $80 billion in cash transfers to move everyone above this poverty line, while the world spends almost twice that in global aid every year. — Give Directly website

Making // Homemade PizzaI love baking and for me, winter is the perfect baking season. This pizza dough recipe is ideal for weekend meals with friends. I’ve made it countless times and always get compliments on the crispy crust.

Watching // Anne with an E. I just finished the series with mixed feelings. I think the casting is superb–I mean how charming is Amybeth McNulty?!  But it’s definitely a darker twist on a childhood classic and critics have strong and differing opinions. The New York Times calls it a “rewarding return” while Vanity Fair calls it “terribly wrong.” Whose side are you on?

 

 

Currently // Autumn of ’17

Currently // Autumn of ’17

Currently is a seasonal series where I recap some of the simple things I’ve been doing / making / reading / listening and such throughout the season. Thanks for reading along.


I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers – Anne of Green Gables

Most of October in LA was unbearably hot, until just before Halloween when the temperature miraculously dropped 40 degrees and suddenly like Anne I’m in love with October again and all the traditions this season brings.

Autumn always seems to gather people together. The sun sets so early, it becomes natural to spend the evenings at home with friends and family, making meals, enjoying an outdoor fire, sharing stories. After the whirlwind of summer, autumn is a chance to slow down, to reconnect and, like Anne, to be grateful for the beauty of the world.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this Autumn.

Coveting // Cozy blankets, like this sweet rose quilt made by artisans in India. I recently wrote a list of ethical blankets under $100. Now that the weather is cooler, all I want to do in snuggle in a blanket and read.

Reading // The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. An honest and raw portrayal of grief, but also a reminder to be grateful, to take chances and to live.

“Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.”

Baking // Wheat bread. Homemade bread takes some time, but it’s quite simple, very inexpensive and tastes 1000 times better than store-bought. Make a double recipe and share with some friends.

Listening // Valerie June The Order of Time. I have a special place in my heart for Valerie June. My dear friend bought her homemade cd from a record store in Memphis and in college we listened to that album countless times. So when I heard her again a few years later on NPR I was ecstatic. I felt like I had found a favorite sweater I forgot I loved.

Doing // Things without my phone. I’ve been so attached to my phone lately  and for no good reason, so I’m taking some intentional time away from it, like going on a walk and leaving my phone at home. A small jolt of fear curses through me when I realize I’m without my phone, even though I don’t even need it. It’s shocking how many times I’ll reach for my phone just within one hour simply out of habit.

How about you? How are you slowing down and enjoy this season?

 

 

 

 

 

Family photos // A glimpse into our lives

Family photos // A glimpse into our lives

Historically I am not into photos. We didn’t even hire a professional photographer for our wedding. And honestly, I probably never would have considered family photos if my dear friend, Lily Glass, wasn’t an amazing photographer. Recently she came over during one typically chaotic morning and took some photos of the three of us.

Continue reading “Family photos // A glimpse into our lives”

A letter to my neighbor & new mother

A letter to my neighbor & new mother

Dear new mom,

The first day you knocked on my door you didn’t introduce yourself. Your hair was in a frazzled bun. You were wearing sweats and flip flops and your shirt was inside out. I instantly liked you. Who has time for introductions and brushed hair when there is a baby sleep crisis? Anyways names were unneeded because I knew who you were. I stalked your profile for months wondering if you were pregnant even though I had never talked to you. And you knew me too. I was the only other mother in our apartment complex.

That day you asked me how I got my baby to sleep without the boob. Since my baby didn’t like my boobs, I didn’t have any words of wisdom but you seemed desperate, so I shared some general sleep advice that helped in the newborn days. A couple weeks later you knocked with a written schedule in your hand. You hired a nanny and she said you were doing everything wrong. She wrote the new, right schedule on a piece of paper. “Am I doing everything wrong?” you asked and I tried to say something encouraging  but here is what I should have said:

Listen to me if you want, but take it with a grain of salt. Listen to other mothers if you want, but take it with a grain of salt. Listen to books or podcasts or websites if you want, but take it with a grain of salt. But please, yes, you must, always, listen to yourself. You are an amazing mother and you know what’s best for your baby. You know more than me, who has been doing motherhood a little bit longer, you know more than that nanny, who has cared for countless children. You know more than that pediatrician who has a Ph.D beside her name.

Let your baby fall asleep on your breast or let you baby cry it out, but either way, you are an amazing mother.  Put her on a rigid schedule or tear that schedule up, but either way, you are an amazing mother. Feed her every hour if you want or feed her every four, but either way, you are an amazing mother. There is no right way to do this job of motherhood, there are a million right ways and you’ll find your right way with time…and sleep.

Most of those feelings of inadequacy or guilt or panic spring from three things: sleep-deprivation, hormones and, unfortunately, an over-critical culture of mothers. Seek and listen to helpful advice of friends but never listen to the critiques of strangers, like that nanny. (You should probably most definitely fire her.)

Remember that same stranger who criticizes you about giving your baby a phone in the grocery store will criticize you if your baby is screaming in the grocery store. I know. So ignore them.  It’s  always easier to criticize than to praise.

So new mom, I want to offer you some praise and share some secrets I’ve learned. We’re all making it up as we go. I’m making it up as I go, as did my mother, as did her mother. Even that woman with the well-behaved twins and manicured nails at the park is making it up as she goes. Advice is not universal truth. We’re raising humans after all, not plants!  This sleep-deprived newborn phase will pass and you’ll most likely miss it when it does.  And last, but definitely not least, you are an amazing mother.

xoxo

Your fellow mama,

Kait

 

Sorrow // The surprising emotion of parenthood

Sorrow // The surprising emotion of parenthood

Recently my friend asked if I hated Lewie’s future wife. Yes, was my first response. But after a little consideration, no–it’s not some future person that I dread, especially if that someone truly loves my child, it is the inevitable passage of time that I dread. With every new and wondrous stage means the loss of another stage.  Mourning is an inescapable part of parenthood. There’s an indescribable joy, but it is the mourning that has surprised me.

Continue reading “Sorrow // The surprising emotion of parenthood”