Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A New Backpack

A backpack became a comfort object during high school. It was a barrier between me and all of the chaos life swirls around you when you are in the throws of becoming an adult. I have never been fond of purses and diaper bags, so I use a backpack instead, even as an adult caregiver of young children. Recently I went on a search to find a bag that would work just right to hold the kid stuff and the grown up stuff I needed to carry with me on everyday outings. I am much more interested in function than form, but I still have aesthetic desires that need to be met.

What needed to fit in this new backpack? A couple diapers, change of clothes for each kid, my inhaler, wallet, cell phone, bus pass, library card, pens, extra hankies, snack, and my tiny companion Mr. Mikey. When I don't have kid stuff, I also need it to hold a computer.

After drawing up what I thought I needed, I started and ended my search at REI. The backpack I found was not designed specifically for any of my intended uses, but it is compact, comfortable, and useful.

This purchase also satisfied one of my year-long list goals. Hurray!

Much love,


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Year-Long Lists

Hello Friends,

Each year around her birthday, Monica makes a list of things to do before her next birthday. The number of things to do is determined by her new current age. I picked up this habit last year, but instead of my birthday, I use the start of the new school year which always feels like our New Year. I have found that it helps focus me I what I really want to accomplish. Some things change throughout the year and I remain flexible to the whims of life. As I turned 30 in June, this is my current list:

30 Things Before Fall of 31st Year
  1. Create a t-shirt design
  2. Create family postcard #2
  3. Try paddle boarding
  4. Visit petroglyphs or another MN destination
  5. Go on a trip
  6. Learn a song on something I can sing with
  7. Learn a song on the harmonica
  8. Create a backpack plan
  9. Submit filet crochet, papercut, or seed art to the State Fair
  10. Update artist website
  11. Fill a bare book
  12. Try a new art medium
  13. Do something with memorabilia bucket
  14. Create or attend an illustration class and create 6 print-ready pages
  15. Go dancing or throw a dance party 6 times
  16. Draw 6 people, well
  17. Read books, stories, or essays
  18. Go climbing and/or swimming
  19. Create surprises for Monica
  20. Eat at 6 new restaurants and/or food trucks
  21. Try 6 new recipes
  22. Watch 6 new foreign films
  23. Scan photographs to fill album 12 times
  24. Practice steps
  25. Do one nice thing for myself each month
  26. Conduct second graphic novel book club
  27. Complete Spanish levels 1 and 2 on computer
  28. Floss twice each week
  29. Stretch and exercise twice each week
  30. Continue blog (starting with this post)

Much love,


Monday, September 14, 2015

Family Postcard #1

Hello Friends,

As secular folks, we have struggled to think of a good way to share family photos and information with our friends and family. Many folks do this with a card at the end of the calendar year. We have coworkers who choose a silly week, such as National Library Week, and send it out then. After much thought, we have compromised on a family postcard during the summer, which is essentially our New Year. Below is the front photo collage and the information we printed at home and slipped into the envelope.

This year has once again been filled with amazing adventures:
Nicole resigned from her position as behavior support from Bancroft Elementary and has taken on several art residencies, professional organizing, and substitute teaching. Monica recently finished her fourth year as a teacher's aide at Bancroft and loves working with 2nd and 3rd grade classes.

Together there has been:
A trip to WI, camping in Afton, a plethora of niece and nephew fun, lots of biking, three deaths within our families, many house guests, gardening, a Camp Quest Summit in Dallas, lots of homemade food adventures, making things, dancing, and too many visits to the library and farmers' market to count.

Some of our favorites this year:
Museums - M.I.A., Weisman, Franconia, Arboretum
Movies - Song of the Sea, Where Do We Go Now?, Begin Again, Lunch Box, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Interstellar, Shock Doctrine
Books - Hug Me, It's All Too Much, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, 100 Demons

Much love,

Nicole and Monica

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Massive Knit Tag

During the move it became very clear just how much craft materials we have acquired, we also have a very ugly large pipe right in front of the washer and dryer. So the answer to both was knit a giant knit tag!

The installation went quite well and now I have something fun to look at and less yarn. Wins all around.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Making Monday: Simple Bread

We recently got "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and it is amazing. The basic premise is beautiful homemade bread with as little time spent as possible. We have been making loaf after loaf, it is so addicting. One of the best features is that you as suppose to make big batches of dough, refrigerate them and bake them when you're ready anytime in the next week.

Everything has also been delicious on top of the bread as well, our favorites have been fake butter, our very own jelly, and honey from the farmer's market.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


We recently went to Marla's and it was to die for. They have awesome options for meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike. The place is small and welcoming,without any fuss just great food.

The portions are also huge so everyone got to go home with leftovers!