is hidden away in a memory's bouquet

originally posted last year on BOXING DAY! Enjoy!

Thank you cards are terribly important to me.

I am behind on my own birthday thank you notes now and it makes me feel prickly, but with the kiddos I like to get right on it while the memory is still fresh. My parents made me sit down at the wood table and take pencil in hand at a very young age and express gratitude. I can remember that it was a bit taxing as a child and somewhat annoying as adolescent, but I think it has made me a better person.

I think it taught me two things:

Yr time is love- a phone call is quicker- but yr time and effort show love & the handwritten word is sacred.

So- I make my kids think about taking time away from play and the drama of the day to say thanks and I also plan on keeping a small writing center this year for Finn to explore the lost art of letter writing.

(INSERT MAJOR DREAMER HEAD HERE)Someday I want to hold a letter writing workshop and travel the country in a silver Airstream and show people how delicious is is to write love letters again.

I love texts and little words floating in and out of computers, but the sound of pen to paper makes me most delirious.

The way letters bend and sparkle across a page cannot be rivaled by even the greatest font foundry. The way "I love you" looks in bold black sharpie or the backwards wonky letters of a preschooler can buckle my knees and break my heart...

Write letters.

Love Letters.

***Here is a simple and fun way to make thank you notes for those little ones who cannot yet write a proper thank you.

1. Take a photo of child with gift.

2. Ask the child how the gift makes them feel.

3. Write that sentiment on the blackboard along with thank you.

4. Print photo and include with simple handwritten child signature or scribble scrabble.

How sweet of a thank you is this?

And for those truly against having to send thank you notes or super eco friendly - you can email it although I think you know what I think- mail it mail it!!

Happy Boxing Day!

This is my husbands favorite day.

It is the day of true sloth like behavior for this family.

(Leftover food and drink and feet up-like all day)

^^^^^^^^^^Some other cool chalkboard links:

Here and Here and Here


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Hope Can Burn Brighter Than Fire

I accepted an offer by Tide and Megan to write about HOPE this holiday and join the TideLoads of Hope at the Holidays carnival at Blog Nosh. I thought about HOPE and what that means to me this holiday season.
I wrote from the heart about my family and I invite you to come and read the post here.

"Life is constant change and flux, but the holidays seem to stop us in our tracks and make us think harder and reflect a little longer on the life we live. We think more deliberately about family and friends and the world and peace and hope. We make lists- gentle reminders of the folks that matter to us. We reach out and become “better angels of our nature” if only for a few weeks of the year."

You can share your own stories of hope, along with Blog Nosh Magazine, Velveteen Mind, and a gathering of inspiring bloggers, and enter your own post link in the blog carnival below. Explore featured bloggers as well as three featured posts selected from carnival participants listed in the linky (that could be you!).

Lend your voices now, then participate live during a two day event in New Orleans, Sunday and Monday, December 13 and 14, as we tweet stories of resilience from laundry recipients and volunteers on the ground. Follow along on twitter via #loadsofhope and be sure to follow @TideLoadsofHope.

It's a great thing. Please join friends. xo Amy

Thanksgiving Boot Camp at The North Market

I was super lucky to be chosen to attend
the North Market's Thanksgiving Boot camp this weekend!

I had the pleasure of being a pupil of Robin Davis (Dispatch Food Editor)!
She taught us how to roast a turkey, make perfect gravy and finish it off with a delectable pumpkin pie. (from scratch!)

I had a blast with my friend momo and met wonderful new friends at this hands-on class. It was amazing to learn how to construct a meal that seems too complicated and stressful (in my mind) at the hands of an amazing chef and teacher.
Robin hails from The California Culinary Academy and was assistant editor of Bon Appetit magazine! She was a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written two cookbooks. She is smart and savvy in the kitchen and also a gorgeous person who made us all feel comfortable in the kitchen.(she also has an adorable hubby who helped us today! And she wears Doc Martins! Love!)
We learned about brining a turkey (and got to take home giant brine buckets!)
and the essential steps to creating gravy that will make you weep with love.
It was all too perfect. I made a pie crust from scratch. My granny would be proud.
We all sat down together and had a lovely meal at the end of the class. Perfect!
Local ingredients!
Local cool folks!
Local talents!
Awesome day.
Thanks for the fun!
I feel way more confidant about Turkey day now.

The North Market has awesome classes all year round. Check it out!

Dip yr eggs in some beets- Go Green for Easter.

Easter eggs, originally uploaded by ( Torsten ).

If you wanna be all hip and green for Easter go with natural dyes.
(Skip the healthy sounding natural organic food coloring. It is pricey and gross. My friend Angie told me about it and it is true. Gross.)
I like beets, blueberries, paprika, turmeric, and others.
Just add 2 cups of water and a dash of white vinegar to the natural foods you choose and boil. Submerge the eggs for about 40 minutes or longer. Pretty. Natural. And takes longer than a paz kit. I like things that stretch out activities. I like to hold my little ones awe for as long as possible.

(I use about a cup of the natural foods and 2 tbs of the spices)

sunday's child will fall through faith

christmas sneak, originally uploaded by turnsharp.

I have been sneaking around today.
Hiding trinkets. Wrapping pressies...
We will later have our 2nd annual Solstice Duel.
I love this time of the year. I love being the holiday sneak.
Where do you hide the loot?
Kiss Kiss


With a voice as big as the the sea

I need to not be so busy bc my gal wants me to talk more about Christmas.

I am more in the mood after Finnian's Christmas program this morning.
It's like Christmas music continues to makes me cry. WTF?
Of course the children may have intensified it but the last few years I am even like in a mall and some slow holiday tune will play and I will feel it coming on.
I will be a wreck by the time I am an old woman.

I just buried my head in Blaise's neck and let my tears drip down his fat back and he giggled and giggled and the whole church smelled like childhood and pine cones and I just had to eat at Bob Evans I was so overcome.
I know what will make me freaking happy though is watching A Christmas Story this weekend and eating these. How bout you?

photo via

Inspired by true events on movie screens

Today we spent the morning at SKREENED making cool t-shirts for some Christmas presents! Dude. I am wicked lucky to have the Skreened shop in my town.
I have talked about my love for them before. They are awesome shirts and the staff is wonderful! They played with my kids and made us feel really at home today!

Daniel Fox is such a cool kid and we have recently met in real life! (we used to just be twitter pals) We were both featured on a local morning show recently as local entrepreneurs. I adore him and he was cool enough to give me some gift certificates to pass on to my readers.

LISTEN UP- SKREENED is my local yokel- but it is a worldwide website that ya'll should be using. Ethical Custom Apparel YO!
So go over to skreened and tell me a cool t-shirt design you love and I will draw 5 winners tonight at 10pm for 5 buck gift cards. ( and the prices are already amazing for American Apparel tees) Just in time for the holidays. (leave me yr email!)
You can now go make that "I love my liberal hooker mommy" tee for yr friends kid or the quintessential Obama sweatshirt or any custom thing you love! So cool.

Also- I wandered by Seagull bags today too. Really cool and authentic radness going on there.
Loving Columbus today xo

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Have to hold your head/Higher than yr heart

It is the day to stuff the turkey and other such assorted foods.
I hope we all have fun and drinks are not even necessary to deal with loved ones.
I have a small request for those who might read blogs today.
On this happy day one of my friends is sad. She has just found out her father is ill.
His name is Kate's dad and if you believe in any thing say a prayer today to the universe that her new baby and 4 year old son will get some more time with their grandpa. Thanks.
I am not particularly religious in an organized way and I sure as hell am not starting prayer chains on my blog, but I think God listens and I fancy that he likes my blog except when I drop the F bomb, so please...

Kate's dad- better.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Kiss Kiss

art from the amazing and gorgeous TheBlackApple

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With the dawn of redeeming grace

This makes me all cozy on the inside
I know it is from some band- like five for fighting or something and might not appeal to everyone, but it soothes me.

like the night last year I heard it on the radio as we drove home from a holiday event in a terrible winter storm and Joe calmed me and made me feel safe even in treacherous weather and he simply turned the radio up loudly and held my hand/glove to glove/ and this song kept me focused and I went home and downloaded it and here it is right now

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do it with a heart wide open

My friend R had a fantastic Holiday Gift idea.
She is going to buy these small books
and bag them in these
along with bottles of white vinegar for green cleaning
and other small items like energy-efficient light bulbs
and microfiber towels
and give green
I love it! I must steal that idea for some family members!

and then I must share that I cannot no longer hide my true feelings for John Mayer. I didn't ever mean to love him like this. I even resisted him when he talked about my body being a wonderland. I would only allow my body to sway a bit back and forth in public. Just like a tiny shoulder nudge back and forth. Damn it though. I love you John. I love you and yr song is on repeat all damn day.

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Was a piccolo player in the marching band

Our town keeps opening up it's treasures to us. We enjoyed the old school Memorial Day parade this morning. It was full of clowns and veterans and the cool Shriners in freaky small cars. It was so Norman Rockwell with a fly over from the military helicopters and smiling faces everywhere. Neighbors talking to each other and a feeling of community so thick you could slice kindness in the air with your fingertips. My neighbor made homemade donuts and the kid in all of the adults most definitely came out to play. Finn, Blaise, and their buddy Parker were in a state of awe for one hour. What more could you ask for?

Last year on this day I was thinking about this. Today I am still thinking those same thoughts. I hope we all are thinking a bit about the troops and wishing that next year things might possibly look a bit brighter.