DIY

Eat

The Spooky Black Geode Cake

This cake was, shall we say, a freewheeling design. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my son's annual Halloween-themed birthday party - an all-black cake (inside and out) with bugs somehow involved (because eight-year-old boys, et cetera), and I thought maybe it'd be cool to have the bugs sort of coming out of the cake as if they'd been inside, but when I got to the part where I'd actually do that, I was stumped.

I wanted a crack in the cake of some sort, but didn't want it to look like, you know...a mistake.

And then I remembered the geode cake. It's all over Pinterest these days, and I've been dying to try one, and you know what geodes have?! CRACKS. (Sort of; you know what I mean.)

Crafts for the Uncrafty

8 Unique DIY Costume Ideas For Kids

YES, GIRL.

For the full duration of my trick-or-treating years - we're talking 3-13 - my mother crafted my costumes entirely by hand. They ranged from the truly extraordinary (a hand-stitched cancan dancer costume with multicolored ruffles that required multiple trips to visit a sewing-machine-having family friend in New Jersey) to the slightly phoned-in (a Cher costume that was basically a piece of sparkly fabric and a fright wig), but I cherished them. I cherish them still; many of those old costumes are now parked in my kids' costume box, and are just as serviceable as they were back in the day.

Things made by hand have a tendency to do that: they last.

Before & After Renovations

A Full Bathroom Renovation…For Less Than $700

One of the major things I miss about living close to my friend Erin is our little (and big) projects. We were just constantly deciding that we wanted to try things, and then doing them. All by ourselves. And they usually worked out! (I'd venture that our success rate has far more to do with Erin than with me, but I'm happy to bask in the residual glory.)

Like remember that time we just went ahead and transformed the exterior brick on my house?

Decor

Love and Kids’ Rooms

Our old (old, old) living room, 2009.

Several lifetimes ago (by my count), I wrote my first of what turned out to be hundreds of posts that loosely fall into the "Diary" category - the missives about parenting, about anxiety, about divorce that I've posted here over the years. This first one, though, was about something a little different. A little more...tactile.

It was about my living room. The living room that I shared with Kendrick (and Lucy, and then later on Virgil and our infant son) when we lived on the Upper East Side.  It was a wild, messy mix of hand-me-downs from my parents, pieces we'd found discarded on the street and fixed up with varying degrees of success, and the occasional element of inexplicable drama (chalkboard fridge! graffiti-covered chest of drawers! insane bird wallpaper!).

DIARY

Five Things I Learned From Francesca This Weekend

Totally casual magazine-reading outfit (dress by Cleobella)

On Friday afternoon, I arrived at Francesca's house for a little kid-free staycation only to find her triumphantly reducing some apricots to make a pork chop sauce. "I just invented this dish!" she declared. "It's SO DELICIOUS!"

We exclaimed over and over about the particular combination of flavors - how unexpected! how delightful! - and snapped a couple of pics, because clearly I would need to post about this unexpectedly delightful new dish.


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