Friday, June 28, 2013

my week in objects (mostly).

1. this tempeh sandwich.tempeh
{and having a husband to make it for me}.

2. this color-coordinated lamp post.
river deli
{for making the street so cheery}.

3. this tiny ring and meeting its maker.
another feather ring
{sold in stacks of three, but appearing as a singleton here}.

4. this sensitive plant.
sensitive plant
{because it curls right up if you get too close. bashful little guy}.

5. this cover.
new yorker
{because it was just so sweet of the new yorker to dedicate their july 1 issue to me}!

other things.
i've finally come to terms: reader is going away.
here's the very best reader substitute i've found.
there's also this.
and this.
if you'd like, you can sign up for daily emails from this site. in the sidebar.
the cutest bike basket.
liane finds the best poems.
biodiversity heritage library. cooler than it sounds.

things by me in other places.
stop killing your succulents.
a very weedy salad.
peel up a parking lot.
tabletop planters.
alternatives to ac.
You have read this article life / my week in objects with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Thursday, June 27, 2013

morning habits.

gooseneck loosestrife
gooseneck loosestrife
I'm working from home today. A decision brought on largely by my overwhelming desire to sit in front of a fan and lounge in a thin dress that's not entirely appropriate for polite company. I'm trading the perks of the office air conditioning for the perks of the at-home lounge. Two options that I realize aren't so very bad.

I've gotten somewhat out of my morning walk routine lately, and this morning the walk lasted only until I stepped outside of my building and realized that the gooseneck loosestrife I've been trying to keep from overtaking the front garden has finally bloomed and it's lovely. Distracted by flowers, perennially.  I gave myself permission to snip a few stems and bring them inside. Perks for being the unofficial gardener, I say. Still: I'm determined to get back into my typical morning routine, and soon.

In keeping with the theme of the week: how are all of you locals surviving in the heat? Tips and tricks welcomed, as always.

You have read this article life with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

< two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.

In the summertime, take a cold shower.

You do this already, don't you?

I'm a baby when it comes to being cold. I can handle a cool shower for the first few minutes and then I get all goosebumpy and before I know it, I've reached my hand back to the faucet to crank up the heat. Even on the hottest days, when all I can think about is cooling off,  I still find myself under a hot shower. But lately I've been putting my short-term comfort on the back burner and thinking about the long-run.

When you take a shower in a tiny apartment the entire "house" takes on the microclimate of the bathroom. If it's it hot and steamy in there, it's only a matter of minutes before it's hot and steamy everywhere. And with only one window, there's no such thing as cross breezes for quickly airing the place out. Taking a hot shower is lovely, getting dressed in a swampy apartment is not.

So: Brave the goosebumps and take a cold shower. And if you're like me, bonus points for all the water you'll save.

Tiny Apartment Survival Tips 1 - 68, right here.
You have read this article home / life in a tiny apartment with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

going (crazy) without air conditioning.

strawberry coconut popsicles
It's easy to write about going without air conditioning in May. In the weeks before Memorial Day, when the nights are still cool and the air is still moving, it's easy to imagine a summer spent singing into a fan and sucking on popsicles with nary a bead of sweat dripping from your brow. At the end of June, when the air in the tiny loft where you sleep is so thick that your husband flees and heads downstairs to wedge himself into the sliver of floor between the couch and dresser because that seems more appealing, you begin to question your sanity.
strawberry coconut popsicle
James and I don't have air conditioning. This is partially because thinking about the energy that we collectively consume from air conditioning sends me into a spiral of panic about the state of our planet, and partially because when you only have one real window, blocking it up with an air conditioner doesn't seem like a viable option.

The truth is, after last night's sleep, I'm ready for one of these.

Still, here are a few optimistic ideas for enduring a heat wave sans A/C. If you're already scoffing at my naiveté, perhaps you'll be interested in reading my recipe for strawberry coconut popsicles. Every heat wave needs a popsicle, air conditioning or no.

You have read this article elsewhere / food / life / no air conditioning / popsicles with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Monday, June 24, 2013

sugar snap peas and june garlic.

sugar snap peas
It's the end of June, which means three things: a week until my birthday, sugar snap peas, and the first of this summer's cured garlic. This weekend we bought sugar snaps by the (enormous) bagful and ate as many as we could. We even shared them with friends.

I made a mint and yogurt dip for dunking, which was really just an excuse to eat garlic.

Here's what I used:

For the dip
2 cups full-fat yogurt (Strained in a sieve lined with cheesecloth for an hour. More time would have been  better, but I didn't have any of that).
a generous handful of fresh mint, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed together with sea salt to form a paste
juice of 1 lemon

For the dunking
Sugar snaps, as many as you want. Blanched until bright green and dunked into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Now, your turn.
You have read this article food / life with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Friday, June 21, 2013

my week in objects (mostly).

gin and tonic

Well, I know: not exactly my typical weekly roundup. But this week's travels didn't lend themselves to a week in objects post. I was too busy admiring the plants that grow in the sidewalk cracks in California to think about anything else. So instead, a picture of a drink that I've decided might just be close enough to a Bloody Mary to justify a little daytime imbibing. That full story is on Gardenista.

Other things:
Quick words on fast fashion.
I didn't know I needed a table runner.
Weaving in the Wild.
Tiny rings.

Other things by me:
Summer Solstice!
Bee's Wrap.
Flower Arranging 101, continued.
You have read this article life / my week in objects with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

evening walk, west coast edition.

fence, mail box
succulents, mill valley
sidewalk lantana, mill valley
picket fence, mill valley
succulents curbside, mill valley
white fence, yellow house, mill valleysalvia, mill valley
concrete flowers
white fence red flower, mill valley
I'm spending a few days out in San Francisco getting better acquainted with my new team at Gardenista and Remodelista. So far that's meant feasting on fava bean risotto and a fruit tart so dainty and delicious that I woke up this morning trying to figure a way to have another slice for breakfast.

Yesterday evening, a walk around Mill Valley as the sun was setting. It's good to be here.
You have read this article gardenista / life / san francisco with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Friday, June 14, 2013

my week in objects (mostly).

1. these tiny daisies.
{for brightening up the place}.

2. this twine.
{for appearing just when i needed it}.

3. these red strawberries.
{for being grown without pesticides}.

4. this bra.
{because without really wanting to air any dirty perfectly clean laundry, it's kind of the best thing for wearing underneath a tee}.

5. this chocolate bar.
chocolate bar
{for providing late afternoon sustenance}.

other things:
i'd like to wear this all summer.
this place looks dreamy.
warm feta? yes.
india. get me there.
strawbs and bubbly. please.

things by me in other places:
neighborhood roses.
how to care for your pruners.
i've got my eye on this scrub.
and this lip blush.
gardenista's on instagram.
lessons in flower arranging, etc.
a very green garage.
old-fashioned laundry.
You have read this article life / my week in objects with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Thursday, June 13, 2013

flowers and other things.

floral arranging 101 with chelsea fuss

floral arranging 101 with chelsea fuss
This week has been all about lessons in flower arranging and in biting off more than I can chew. Here's a very late afternoon that proves both things.

PS. Thanks to everyone who shared their after dinner rambles with the #afterdinnerwalk hashtag. You made my week and then some.

PPS: To read more about my adventures in floral arranging, head to Gardenista.
You have read this article flowers / gardenista / life with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

< two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.

This tip brought to you by last night's Brooklyn sunset.

As much as you're possibly able, take an after dinner walk.

It is always worth it. Every single time. It doesn't matter if you're feeling tired, or if it's blustery or raining or swelteringly hot. If you're not feeling up to it, all the more reason to strap on your sandals and head outside.

The ability to take an after dinner walk when it is still light out is a treat that only lasts a few weeks in this part of the world. Kind of like those strawberries.

In what might be the most cheeseball move of all time, I propose a hashtag. For the rest of the week, a little game to hold each other accountable to take post suppertime strolls. If you're up to it, add #afterdinnerwalk to your instagrams or tweets. I want to see what your worlds look like.
You have read this article #afterdinnerwalk / home / life in a tiny apartment with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

adventures in urban gardening.

euphorbia, angelonia, salvia, zinnia, mexican heather
mexican heather, euphorbia, salvia, angelonia

Okay, I did ask for permission. But taking over my building's gardens still feels just a little bit like going rogue. They don't belong to me, after all.  I've been fussing with these two crumbling window boxes for the past month or two and I finally have a combination of goodies in there that seems good enough to share:

There's breathless white euphorbia and Mexican heather for filling things out, tall spikes of hardy angelonia in white and pink for adding height and even taller spikes of salvia because I have a soft spot for it, and sweet alyssum that I'm hoping will cascade over the planters and hide the fact that they're on the verge of collapse. If you look hard enough, you'll see there are still a few zinnias that I planted when I was feeling nostalgic for my wedding bouquet. They're struggling, but I'm not ready to admit defeat.

If you have a little space you've been cultivating, you can enter a few photos to the Gardenista Considered Design Awards. The process is incredibly simple and the categories are broad enough that I'm pretty sure you can all find something eligible for entry: floral arrangements, window boxes, herb gardens, city gardens, country gardens, almost anything goes. Head here for the details.
You have read this article gardening / gardenista with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Monday, June 10, 2013

strawberry tarragon smash.

Born of fresh fruit and a few snips from our tiny windowsill herb garden, this summery drink was not at all what the doctor ordered and that's exactly why it was perfect. The winning combination: a splash (or three of gin), a handful of strawberries (thoroughly smashed), and a sprig or two of tarragon muddled. I mixed everything together, poured the strawberry smash over one enormous ice cube and topped it off with tonic. Finer cocktails have been made, but this one is just right for a warm evening when strawberries are at their peak.
strawberry tarragon smash
It's possible to eat strawberries all winter long, but that means you miss out on the fun of eating them 'til your stomach hurts in June.
You have read this article cocktails / life / strawberries with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Friday, June 7, 2013

my week in objects (mostly).

five little things that made my week.

1. this basil.
{because i finally stopped overwatering it and now it's doing just fine}.

2. these corduroy cutoffs.
{because i really needed them last weekend. also, because they remind me of my dad, circa 1987}.

3. this bathing suit.
bathing suit
{because a year later a bathing suit bought at the end of the season is sort of like a bathing suit bought at the beginning of the season, minus the rigmarole}.

4. this new work computer.
computer bag
{for fitting perfectly in my trusty satchel}.

5. this no-longer-there popsicle.
{because it's strawberry season}.

other things:
i'd like to make this.
these are jaw-dropping.
greyhounds are everywhere lately.
this is sweet.

other things by me in other places:
meadow muddling.
french market totes.
my favorite planter.
a bouquet sans fleurs.
balcony lust.
strawberries are here! ceramic berry baskets.

You have read this article life / my week in objects with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Thursday, June 6, 2013

secret: i stink.


Extra! Extra! Read all about it! That's a cheap title for a post. I know. But I needed to get your attention. I've got some serious news for you.

Going the eco-route with beauty and bath products has always met a sticking point for me when it comes to deodorant. Over the course of the past ten years I have bought no fewer than ten (fifteen?) different natural deodorants. Roll-ons, crystals, clays, lavender-scented sticks, tea tree-scented sticks, unscented sticks. You name it, I have tried it. And with all of them I have finished the majority of my days stinky, sweaty, and generally uncomfortable.

In a shameful admission, lately I have been using an unscented stick from Dove. I know better. I do. But what's a girl to do when she stinks by 10 am? I've tried not to care about being a little musky. I've told myself that it's natural and fine and maybe a little bit badass. And then I find some strangers' nose stuck in my armpit on the subway and I squirm.

But. I found a miracle product. I'm a true skeptic when it comes to finding a natural deodorant that actually works, so I hope you take my word on this one. The deodorant is a little on the expensive side, and it took two different friends recommending it and nearly a year before I took the plunge and placed my order. But now, I'm NEVER. LOOKING. BACK.

I'll let you do all the reading about this little gem on the soapwalla website. Run don't walk, or whatever the equivalent would be for the internet...
You have read this article deodorant / secret / soapwalla with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

< two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.

Revisiting post #65 for a little bit of clarification, commiseration, and hopefully some helpful advice.

In that post, I wrote about thinking seasonally and embracing about new and different spaces that appear in your tiny home as the seasons shift along with your habits. Since then, a few of you have written in--either in the comments, or in messages to me directly--about the pesky black silt that can form on open window sills in the city. (I suspect that you're mostly concerned about the face brush I leave on my bathroom sill).

We're lucky to have an exceptionally leafy back yard for an apartment in a big city, and so our dust tends to be more of the green and brown pollen-y variety. But it's here, and I've known that black silt, too.

Here's my best advice:

1. Invest in curtains that can be easily washed. And then wash them. At least twice a year. It's kind of a bummer of a thing to do, until you actually do it. The best metaphor that I have is that washing curtains is kind of like the opposite of using those Bioré Face Strips that we all used in high school; an experience of sheer and utter wonder at the erasure of the grime and silt and filth. A return to bright, clean, white! In all seriousness, drawing the curtains during the day does a pretty good job of preventing some of that silt from flying around the entire apartment, and washing them prevents your place from looking like Miss Havisham has taken up residence.

2. Wipe down your window sill, daily. If you skip a day, you will notice. The world will also keep spinning.

You have read this article home / life in a tiny apartment with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

picking flowers.

It seems almost ridiculous to say it, but one of the things I miss about life outside the city is the flowers. If you follow me on instagram (and even around these tea leaves), this will surprise you. You might very well wish that I stumbled upon fewer flowers.

But it's not the market flowers that I miss, they're better here. And it's not the garden flowers, there are plenty of city gardens to rival their country cousins.

I miss the picking flowers. The flowers that you can see growing one minute and have in your hand the next. The kind that you don't have to count your pennies to buy, or figure out a complicated way to cart home. The trip home with this kind of flowers is quick, in just a few pads of your bare feet across the backyard you've arrived.

While I was visiting my parents last weekend, I took full advantage of my favorite kind of flower and made this unruly little bouquet for Gardenista. Lots more details over there.

PS. I recently stumbled upon this old post: me in a patch of sweet william, about a million years ago.
You have read this article flowers / gardenista / wildflowers with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Monday, June 3, 2013

take the a train to rockaway.

james walking to the subway
james waiting for the subway
board and bag on the a train
subway platform
swiss chard etc.
rockaway beach
rockaway taco line
pineapple mint
fish tacos
beachy wall
This weekend, we took the newly up and running A train out to Rockaway to get our fill of sunburn and tacos and surf and sand. I've counted four times on my fingers to make sure I'm getting this right, but I'm pretty sure this is the eighth summer that James and I have spent together. If this is what getting old feels like, I don't mind it one bit.

In case you're in need of an extra dose of sunshine on this gloomy Monday: a few of our beach days in motion.
You have read this article life with the title June 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!