From the category archives:

Handy

Growing, cooking and preserving

Natural egg dyes, simplified

March 28, 2014

The web is awash in tutorials for homemade natural dyes, one more elaborate than the next, with detailed instructions and fancy techniques and killer photography. And kudos to all those kitchen-crafty people who make things so darn pretty. But here’s what we do, egg dyeing at its simplest (with recipes inspired by my friend Kris Bordessa of Attainable […]

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Birthday party sanity (and yes, that includes cake)

January 15, 2014

Tess turned 10 last month. That means I’ve been hosting and attending kids’ birthday parties for a decade. What a wild ride that’s been. Cakes so electrifyingly bright they could make your hair curl. Drinks worthy of a WTF. Goodie bags that instead should be called sugar bags or gimme bags or keep-Oriental-Trading-in-business bags. And of course pizza, pizza, pizza! But I’ve also seen parties […]

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Harry Potter and all-natural butterbeer cupcakes

February 7, 2013

Lately Tess is obsessed with Harry Potter. (If you have an HP fan yourself, you know what I’m talking about.) She started reading the series in September, and since then it’s been Hermione this (Halloween costume) and Hogwarts that (Hogwarts Express train for Christmas, pretty please), and lots of wizarding and spell-casting all around. (Though yikes no Avada […]

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Turn Halloween candy into gingerbread house bling

October 22, 2012

Every time I write about my take on Halloween candy, I hear from people who think it’s wasteful to throw some of it away. And I get that. As I’ve written before, that’s why we don’t canvass the neighborhood and collect a boatload. It’s why we do candy experiments. And it’s why we do this:     Do […]

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Zen and the art of blog maintenance

July 18, 2012

A note for all of you (readers, that is): I’ve been woefully absent from the blog for a long time, and I appreciate all the e-mails asking after my well-being (and also asking when-the-hell-are-you-going-to-start-blogging-again?!). This hiatus began as we ramped up for our big move (and downsizing) from house to loft, and it’s extended to post-move for the […]

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Natural egg dyes, simplified

March 28, 2012

We’re moving soon after Easter, so I haven’t exactly been looking forward to making from-scratch egg dyes this year. It’s not hard. It’s not even time-consuming. But when your house is turned upside down and you’re purging most of what you own, well, who needs one more thing to do, you know? So you’ll understand […]

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I am so over the rainbow (cake)

March 14, 2012

Last year at this time, I ranted a bit about fake green St. Patrick’s Day food and reclaiming green as a natural color. Then I wrote a post about making natural Easter egg dyes. This year, I’m tackling another colorful spring icon: rainbows.   Not the kind in the sky. Not the kind that leads to a pot of gold. No. The […]

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Simplicity, stress and other relative things

January 9, 2012

It’s been nuts in my house since late summer. That’s when my husband and I decided to act on our long-nagging desire to shake things up by paring things down. Things, literally, as in possessions. (It’s been non-stop Craigslisting, Freecycling and donating around here.) But also things in the greater cosmic sense: stress, expenses, responsibilities. We’re […]

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Farm camp, 19th century style

August 30, 2011

Tess just spent a week playing a 19th century farm girl. She’s done camps at this living-history museum every summer since she was 4. (You haven’t seen cute until you’ve seen 4-year-olds dressed like Laura Ingalls.) But the previous camps were a little of this, a little of that, a sampler of life in the 1800s. Now that she’s […]

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Picture this: Victory garden

July 6, 2011

This is how we spent Fourth of July weekend, prepping and planting a long-overdue garden. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gardened for years, but always flowers, never fruits or vegetables. We’ve had token edibles — containers of tomatoes and herbs, squash sprouting from the compost bin — but no proper vegetable patch. Not that I haven’t wanted to plant one. I […]

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