Before Summer Ends

'Tis almost the day when the grill gets covered up for the cold months, and all that lovely fresh corn disappears from the shelves (or becomes terrifying and inedible, as evidenced by the fact that the corn I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday had actual, living CATERPILLARS in it, and if you think I screamed like Ghostface himself was hanging out inside that husk, you would be correct).

So here are ten recipes that I think you should make lickety-split, before you encounter any surprise beasties of your own in the fresh produce section.

P.S. I've run through my reader recipes from the last go-round, so if you have any suggestions - especially fall favorites - I'm all ears.


Sometimes A Dress Is Just A Dress

Dress. Necklace. Flats.

The other day - Friday - was my wedding anniversary. I opened up Facebook, and there it was, right in the middle of the page: my favorite of our wedding photos, telling me it had been ten years, and asking me if I wanted to share with my friends and family.

I had forgotten. And seeing that photo - especially when I hadn't been expecting to see it - was like getting punched in the face.


Nothing To Do But Jump

I am not really an app person, and though my phone is full of all the apps in the world c/o my six-year-old, I couldn't tell you how to play any of the games on pain of death.

Video games, now - those I like, ever since I discovered the joys of Duck Hunt at the tender age of six (when parents all over the country simultaneously decided that it was a good idea to give their elementary schoolers pretend rifles and let them pretend-kill defenseless little birds). Kendrick and I had a brief (albeit rapturous) dalliance with Angry Birds back when we first started living together. I will happily play Super Mario with my son all night, every night because Super Mario is wonderful. And - just saying - I will take you DOWN in MarioKart (oh, yes I will). But when it comes to Candy Crush and Farmtown (or whatever it's called) or any of those other app-type games that I always see people posting about on Facebook?

Not really my thing. My phone is for looking at clothing I cannot afford to buy, watching Bachelor In Paradise from my bathtub, and accidentally and horrifyingly butt-dialing exes and frenemies.


The Next Book! (And A Question For You About The NEXT One)

Presenting: the cover of The Big Activity Book for Anxious People, coming from Tarcher Perigee in May. I literally could not be more excited for this one to come out, and am already thinking ahead, because it takes six thousand years for books to go to print, so I might as well start percolating on the next one now.

Which brings me to my question for you: What kind of activity book would you like to see next? One for Awesome Women? One for those in need of a Digital Detox? One for The Newly Separated (ahem)? ...One I haven't even thought of, but is completely genius and snags you a big old thank you in the book acknowledgements, and also my eternal gratitude?


Thank Goodness For Ice Cream Cake

You know those Dairy Queen ice cream cakes with, like, rainbow clowns or whatever on them? I always wanted one when I was a kid, but Dairy Queens are in short supply in Manhattan, and my mother has an angel food birthday cake tradition, and so poor, poor young me never had ice cream cake.

I know; it's tragic.

It has, however, been more than rectified, because I now have two children and oh god, so many birthday parties to go to, which means I also have oh god, so much access to ice cream cake. The latest iteration in the Get Ice Cream Cake For Jordan mission: Erin made the thing that you see pictured above, and yup yup yup, it is absolutely as good as it looks, to the point where I insisted she take the leftovers home lest I start thinking that ice cream cake for breakfast (and lunch, and dinner) might be a good idea.


What I Did On My Ramshackle Break

Me + Mom photobomb, in Francesca's apartment on Friday afternoon.

So there you go: That was the single longest time I have stepped away from this website in ten years. It wasn't because I wanted to; trust me - it just turns out that separating from one's spouse while simultaneously trying to sell a house, pack a house, find a house, and expand one's career is a bit of a time-suck.

Here is what I did between Thursday and today (Sunday), while I was (mostly) away from the Internet:


Everything I Know About Selling and Buying Houses

(Almost) ready to go.

Here is why I think I am at least marginally qualified to put up a post about everything you need to know in order to buy or sell a house: Because as home-selling and home-buying processes go, I have been through it.

We're talking transcontinental trips involving viral gastroenteritis, hospital trips, and 19-hour plane delays. Bidding wars that we lost, and lost again, and then lost again and again and again. Last-minute sale cancellations that took place in front of an extremely large group of colleagues and/or actual people who were paying me to be a professional-type human being, many of whom thought that I had actually died because of the sound I made. Total, I-cannot-do-this-anymore, full-body-and-brain paralysis.

Before & After Renovations

How I Turned My Creepy, Claustrophobic Bathroom Into…This.

Wait until you see inside.

Awhile back, a reader wrote in to ask me an interesting question: How, she wondered, did I get past the intimidation factor of a redesign? How in the world was I confident enough in my vision to actually...you know...pull the trigger, and make it happen?

The short answer is, unfortunately, that I maintain a (possibly unfounded) belief that if something goes amiss, you can fix it. In other words: it's just a house. And it's just decor. And while obviously you should put a lot of thought into a major renovation before kicking it off, the worst thing that can happen is that you don't like it, and then you either do something else, or you live with it.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

The Tie-Dye Rainbow Birthday Cake

how to make a rainbow birthday cake with fondant

When the birthday girl wants rainbow cake, the birthday girl gets rainbow cake. 

So I guess this is a thing I do now. The make-an-impossibly-fancy-birthday-cake-for-my-child tradition started with the Mermaid Cake (after, of course, a process during which my friend Alisa taught me how to make a cake that did not turn out like this).

Then came the Spooky Ghost Cake, and the Moana Cake, and the Bloodshot Eyeball Cake...and now?

Before & After Renovations

A (Bittersweet) House Tour

You've seen most of my house at one point or another over the years, but as I do not own a wide-angle lens, it's been tough for me to get shots that really show you what the spaces look like as a whole, and how they fit together.

The photographer who came over to shoot the house for the listing did have a wide-angle lens, though, and so I now present to you: A bittersweet little house tour. The only room missing is the master bath, which I'll be photographing myself tomorrow after I put a few finishing touches on it. (As a recap, here's what the house looked like on move-in day three years ago.)

I didn't include product info because there's just so much, but you can click through to the links below for details on each room, or just ask away in the comments.

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