Weekend are we glad ever glad to see you! Here's to relaxing, enjoying, and finding the beauty in all of it.
On our fall reading list: The Mothers.
This campaign is genius.
Emma Watson takes a stand.
Have a beautiful weekend!
By the time this post goes live, I'll be in California. I'll be in LA for three sun-soaked days saying hello to some of my dearest friends (Christina, I'm looking at you). After LA, Mike and I will drive north to Ojai for a day strolling through the town and camping in a state park - I haven't been to Ojai since in years but I have the fondest memories of visiting the town with my whole family when I was little. From Ojai, we head to wine country for a family wedding. This too promises to be full of sun and smiles. And then, the most exciting part of the whole trip -- 3 days in Big Sur.
Despite taking many road trips (and even a dedicated west coast road trip), Mike and I have never been to Big Sur. We're already planning breakfast at Big Sur Bakery, afternoons at Pfeiffer Beach, and sunsets at McWay Falls! The final leg of our trip will be two nights in the Bay Area. It's going to be 10 magical days of Joni Mitchell, California produce, stunning views, walks along the beach, and long chats in our rental car. I can hardly wait....
Making sure their voices are heard.
An open letter to managers of women.
Tea time (finally!).
Advice from a woman with 101 years of experience.
Also, how to make the super cool jeans up top.
Have a beautiful weekend!
Inspired by Phoebe at The WW Club, I started making a monthly mood board. It's a bit ritualistic, a bit creative, and a bit goal oriented. You know, just enough of everything but not too much of anything so that it's still a fun, easy, post-work activity.
Sometime during the first week of the month, usually a Tuesday night or some such mundane day, I grab a nice glass of wine and some cheese (or just tea and cookies) and spend a few guilt-free hours perusing Pinterest. I wander down a creative rabbit hole (you know, the kind you usually only find yourself going down when there's a pile of work in front of you that feels urgent and impossible) and let one image inform the next, eventually deciding on a few standout styles/colors/interiors/haircuts/shoes that I'd happily stare at for the next 30 days. I try not to take the project too seriously or get hung up on the details. It doesn't have to be perfect. There will be a new mood for next month. It's just a creative ritual, one that doesn't feel overwhelming or weighed down by goals and ambition. It's like a coloring book or knitting -- the joy is in the doing, the product is just a perk.
Up top is September's mood board. Time and tea feel like a big part of this month: back to school, back to traditions, back to cooler temps. And with NYC painted in rakish, bare-faced models how could I not include a little fashion (fur-lined Gucci loafers anyone?). Mostly, seeing these images every time I open my computer reminds me just how many places I can find inspiration...and just how much cool stuff there is right at my fingertips. Yay for the internet and all that.
P.S. Get in a MOOD with me -- I'm uploading my boards to Pinterest. Becuase, why the heck not?
Growing up, I ate dinner with my parents and at least one grandparent every single night until I got a part time job my senior year of high school. This was our time to share the day and tell stories of past lives. It’s how I learned to remember my parents first meeting, even though I wasn’t there to witness it. It’s where l learned of the adult world – of office etiquette and family strife, of money and how to save it or lose depending on your habits. The food we ate was simple, always something green and more often than not a variation on baked chicken. It was purely the reason we were able to sit down together and talk.
Weekend breakfast was a little different. Whoever woke the earliest made the coffee and read the paper quietly until the rest of the house came alive. My grandmother was usually up first, and her sound was that of the spoon scraping the bottom of a cup, gently stirring sugar into her coffee. That was the sound I heard before my eyes opened and I knew she was sitting in the morning kitchen light waiting for us, maybe thinking about the day, maybe thinking about the past. Of all the dinner table talkers in the family, she was the quietest. And I’m sure that we had many conversations on those mornings, conversations that I don’t remember, because what do we say to our grandparents when they’re present each and every day? When they’re just as much a parent as our own, witnessing the mundane details of a multi-generational home?
Before it was her alone in the kitchen, there was another, a grandma and grandpa silently stirring, silently reading. I never knew him before the stroke, so to me all grandpas had canes and wore matching Dickies shirts and pants in olive green, and watched televangelist on TBN. They all went to the VA and puffed out their cheeks when something was difficult, blowing a raspberry into the air. He was sick and I knew it. I also knew that I was special because I was able to see him every day while my cousins could not. He was my first death, my first funeral, my first wave of guilt. Not saying goodbye, even at a young age, is very specific and horrible feeling.
After the funeral, after everyone left except for family, we sat around the same table, speaking in normal, subdued tones, until gradually we laughed again. Each person had a story and each person waited their turn to share it. It was meant for the adults, a way for them to accept the loss and all the kids knew this. We happily listened to the same old stories, but were enthralled by the new ones, the kind of stories that are only told when that person is no longer part of the physical world. And they were sincere stories, the kind that carried the love of this man through the air. We were going to miss him.
The family table has changed both literally and figuratively. It went from seating six to four, and most nights there are only two diners. When I do eat with my parents, we resume our assigned seats and the conversation falls back in time. Back to when my parents met, back to the way we remember birthdays and funerals and old homes, back to business of living.
- Andrea Martinez is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and currently lives in Dallas with her rescue dog Ulysses. She dabbles in a little of this and a little of that.
Color in Crescent City. (This is seriously so beautiful - see pic above for examples of the magic!).
For the back to school set.
10 reasons you should never get a job.
The most enlightened teen on TV.
Have a beautiful weekend!
A few months ago, I was at my neighbor's house who has a son around Oliver's age. She also has a pool. The first time I hung out there, she assured me that the doors were always locked. So I would go over with Oliver and keep an ear out for him as they would play and explore throughout the house.
One day, I went over with Oliver and suddenly I realized it had been a while since I heard him. And then there was my friend's son sitting on the floor in the living room, but no Oliver. I went from zero to 1000. I saw that the door leading to the pool area was open. Drowning is the number one cause of death in children under 7 (I hear my dad’s voice in my head) and I am running, screaming hysterical, because I know that Oliver loves the water and I know that he has no reasoning ability and I was expecting to see him at the bottom of the pool. I still feel panicked writing about this. I ran out and there he was, thank God, standing right at the edge of the pool. He looked at me and smiled, pointed to the water and said, “pool!”
What I decided to do from the experience was to be a scared, overly-anxious-hovering mess around the pool and water in general. When we would go to the neighbors (which is practically every day, btw), I would lecture and warn (ad nauseum) about never going in the water without Mommy or Daddy; about always needing to have his floaty on; and if he got too close to the water I would warn him that we would leave if he did it again. Now this was with us all standing there and my eyes glued to him. The fear that that experience instilled in me made me become the parent that I have the most grievances with. I was the worst. Irrational and scared and hovering and annoying. Just terrible.
Another story: I am a huge fan of Dayna Martin: a rebel hippy, very brilliant advocate of unschooling and I was listening to this interview with her. She shared an anecdote. When her son was around 4 he became fascinated with fire. Her instinct was to say no and build a wall around it. Much like mine was around the water. But she knew better. She fought her instinctual response, and would sit with him and light matches and explain it to him. She was hands and eyes on, and encouraged his safe exploration of this curiosity. She said that no is for lazy parents and it actually creates more dangerous situations with your children. Your child will explore their natural curiosities but they without your guidance and protection. Eventually, her son’s interest lead him to learn fire throwing and now is a blacksmith. What would have happened if she didn’t encourage his inclinations?
So I completely remodeled my approach. My son is a water baby. He loves the water. I can’t let my own baggage interfere. Thankfully my husband is a total water baby himself and has always created a positive relationship with the water and Oliver, hopefully mitigating some of the well-meaning neurotic tendencies he witnessed in me over the past few months. But I really get that the way to keep your children safe is by leaning into what they are curious about, not saying no.
The other day Oliver got a hold of a pair of large scissors at his grandparents’ house. There was lots of activity and children running around and my knee jerk reaction was to grab the scissors out of his hand and say “Nope, these are not for you.” Instead I said, actually let's explore this. I sat down with him and we looked at the scissors, noting the shininess, the size, the way the light reflected. We cut paper together and made shapes. We were exploring for almost a full half hour (this is a lot with a 2 year old) It was awesome.