Oliver Jeffers and His Dipped Painting Project

Maybe you’ve heard of Oliver Jeffers or own one of his beautifully-illustrated children’s books. (We have this and this.) I’m a big fan–and apparently so is my girl crush!  I recently saw that he’s started a rather interesting painting project:

Essentially, the guy’s been spending loads of time painting really incredible portraits and as a series of performance pieces, he’ll be dipping them into vats of enamel paint, covering most of the work he’s spent hours upon hours to create. The people in the paintings were interviewed by Jeffers about their experiences with loss and how their memories affect their identity. He’s transcribed their stories onto paper, with each sheet sitting beneath the painting to catch all the drippings, thus hiding the written interviews as well.

From the NY Times:

“Jeffers created portraits from his memories of those interviews, which were hidden from the public until the moment of their dipping, after which witnesses were interviewed about what they saw (some immediately after; others will be interviewed in the coming months). ‘The only evidence of this painting will be people who witness it, like history,’ he said. Eventually, all the works and their materials — including the drop cloths, inscribed with Jeffers’ memories of the interviews, over which the paintings dried — will be displayed in an installation.”

So fascinating.

It’s like a game of memory that challenges you to participate in art and really pay attention to details. It’s got me thinking, as a storyteller, what do I need to share with others that I want them to know? And what do I need to ask others in my life so that their story can live on, be seen and felt and heard and passed along?

Really compelling, right? Are you following any incredible artists on Instagram?  

All photos via Oliver Jeffers.


P.S. Check out his website for cool free illustrations for coloring, crafting, and puzzles. Also, more awesome art.


How excited are you about this? It’s your two most favorite girl crushes Emma Stone + Rachel McAdams + Bradley Cooper + Bill Murray. It could be awful (and it is or was, according to the Sony hack leaked emails), but it’s still gonna be good because of all the pretty faces. And the trailer actually makes it look like it’ll be fun (because Bill Murray).



Seen anything good lately?

P.S. Two movies I’d recommend to a friend.

Matched Mates

I was just telling the story of meeting and falling in love with Mumbles to someone the other day when I recalled something that his aunt said to us once. She said “people are either a match or they aren’t – opposites may attract but they aren’t a match.”

At the time, this blew my mind. I’m pretty sure the rest of what she said was a very illuminating (albeit one-sided) conversation but I couldn’t get past it: match or no match. Match. No match. That’s it. So simple! I wondered if it was true.

Later, Mumbles and I had reflected on how quickly we each realized we would marry after we started dating.  Call us crazy but it was within a month. Maybe less, but we’d even call that crazy so let’s just say it was a month. Can you believe that?! We were babies! But somehow we knew.


Do you agree that people are either a match or they aren’t?  When did you know your partner was “The One?”

P.S. Mumbles and me circa 2004/2005. Babies!

About Time


I don’t know what it is about Rachel McAdams and time travel movies, but girlfriend totally nails it. Am I right? The Time Traveler’s Wife is maybe my favorite book – maybe – and the movie was superb enough to satisfy me even though, of course, having read the book about 5 times, I didn’t think the screen version quite did it justice. Though the gloriousness that is Eric Bana helped reconcile that a bit.

While the leading man in About Time might not seem as scrumptious, I promise you: he’s the perfect recipe of funny, clumsy goof + adoring brother and son + and doting husband/father, providing a real love story that is charmingly sincere and beautiful and heart-achingly romantic. Thus, I proclaim that you have to see this movie. I’d heard absolutely nothing about it before I recorded it while sick and watched it on the couch surrounded by balled up tissues, covered in blankets with Baxter sleeping on my icy toes. I’ll warn you in advance that it’s not just the love story that’ll get you — the relationship of the main character, Tim, with his affable father (played by the phenomenal Bill Nighy), is sure to have you in tears. Ugly tears. The kind that make you reach for the Kleenex because you need to blow your nose, flu or not. I’m telling you, friends. It’ll happen. But it’s good.

Here’s the trailer:

Have you seen anything spectacular lately? 

More movie recommendations here and here.

What You Learn From a Hawaiian Vacation With a Toddler…

Yesterday for #throwbackthursday I was reminiscing about our family’s New Year holiday in Kona, Hawaii.  Mumbles and I had been to Kona two years ago (see here), just a month before finding out we were expecting.  My gosh, what a different trip that was!  We knew Hawaii wouldn’t be as relaxing or laid back dealing with a walking/newly running toddler but we were so in love with the idea of revisiting our favorite beaches and getting away together as a family that it all just seemed like a big adventure. Here are my top takeaways from our trip:

  1. Toddlers like to eat sand.
    A lot a lot alotalotalot of sand. A few people cautioned us before our trip that Declan would likely put a pinch or two in his mouth before figuring out it was gross.  Well, the kid LOVED sand. Gobbled it up by the handful. Maybe because it’s super salty? Seriously, I cannot get the sound of him crunching on mouthfuls of sand out of my ears.
    This slays me — he’s like “hey, ladies, come check out this awesome sand I have. I share!”
  2. Toddlers are mischievous.
    We found a great oceanfront, newly renovated condo on VRBO, which gave us room to spread out and all the comforts of a home – a nice master bathroom for us, a tub for Declan, separate bedrooms, easy access to get in and out, a parking space for our rental car…but it wasn’t babyproofed. Believe it or not, we went to Target (side note: now that I know Kona has a Target, I could totally live there. I wasn’t so sure before, but this sealed it.) and bought cabinet locks because we were just so sick of him finding his way into drawers and cupboards to pull out all their contents. Plus, you can only say “no” to the same action about eight hundred times before you officially go bonkers. This is the condo we rented, and as you can see per my glowing review, we’d totally recommend it to a friend. And we’d love to go back.
  3. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you’ll sleep:
    • The sound of ocean waves crashing is super romantic for couples. The sound of ocean waves crashing is super scary for babies. Like I said: we were right on the water. A few nights were stormy and the boom of the waves hitting the shore was loud. Too loud, apparently.  That kid would.not.sleep.
    • It was really nice not to have to lug our pack n play on the plane since the condo owner had one all ready for us, but Declan really hates pack n plays. He never liked his so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that it would be hard to get him to sleep in one while there. One morning, I chatted up another mama who had a stroller with a phone number and BABY’S AWAY scrawled on it.  She gushed that it is one of her favorite things that she wished she’d known about sooner — it’s a baby gear rental company. So smart! You call and make arrangements for all the gear you’ll need while on a trip: a stroller, carseat, crib, high chair, toys! They deliver and set it all up before you arrive and then come pick it up after you leave so you can enjoy your vacation time. Genius. It would totally be worthwhile for us to rent a crib on our next getaway.
  4. Know where the coffee is.
    Lucky for us, this little coffee shop was just a two minute walk from our condo, so each morning when Declan woke up for the 8th time (but this time ready to play at 5 a.m.!) we’d either entertain him in the condo for a bit or pack him up in the stroller and head out for a walk down Ali’i Drive knowing we could quickly get a caffeine fix from this spot.  My favorite is the coconut “haupia” latte. Mmmm…so good!  Plus, chasing a toddler through the sand all day is tiring. Take a coffee to go, too.  TRUST.
  5. Really inconvenient things will happen.
    Your baby will scream on the red eye. You’ll forget your razor. Your baby thinks it’s funny to close the rental car trunk with the keys inside and you’re stranded at a state park that closes in an hour with no wallet or phone because they’re in the trunk, and you’re in a bathing suit in the sun with that same baby who has eaten nothing but sand and salt water and needs a nap and a diaper change and probably more sunscreen BUT IT IS ALL LOCKED IN THE TRUNK. Praise God for the kind honeymooners who parked across the road from us leaving at that exact moment – a nurse and a detective, bless them – who drove an anxiety-ridden, sand- and sunscreen-covered mom to the rental car place and back for nothing but a heartfelt thank you and a promise of good karma in 2015. I mean, seriously, those people are angels. I literally threw a $100 bill at them so they could enjoy a nice honeymoon dinner but they absolutely refused. It was insanely generous and I just want to hug them and give them all of Oprah’s favorite things.
  6. Really amazing things will happen.
    This is probably going to seem so lame but I just know that we made memories on that trip that I’ll treasure forever. Declan became obsessed with birds while we were there and he would run in the sand for hours chasing birds, waving at them and saying hi. My heart breaks just thinking about it because it was so precious and made us both smile and laugh and roll our eyes. Another thing I fondly recall is a conversation with Mumbles about whether this will become a family tradition for us. Like, I wonder if Declan will grow up telling his classmates in a very nonchalant, matter-of-fact way that his family goes to Hawaii every year. It was so surreal to be thinking that far ahead but Mumbles and I both really love how relaxed we are while there — the slow pace, all the walking, the good food and meaningful conversations we have. I’m already looking forward to going back.
  7. The last day of vacation is always the best.
    It’s to tempt you to stay or at the very least, to plan your return. We found an awesome secluded beach with white sand, gentle waves, and tons of sea turtles. And we practically had the place to ourselves. It was the first time Declan napped while we were at the beach, too, which was ahhh-mazing. We found a shady spot under a tree to put him in his carseat while Mumbles laid down on the sand to just rest and relax and I freely frolicked in the water and looked for pretty shells.



Have you had any memorable trips lately? Where is your happy place?

Splurge vs. Steal: Plus Sign Sheets

I found these awesome plus sign sheets – a classic design that the husband wouldn’t groan over, neutral in color for a guest room, and also is playful enough for a kids room. I pretty much want them on every bed in my house. But at $189 for the set, I just couldn’t. And then whaddya know but Target does it again with this set from their Room Essentials line. The sheets from Schoolhouse Electric are a really versatile army green color while Target’s is a little more modern in black and white. I don’t have the more expensive set so I can’t compare quality but it’s definitely got the look for less factor going on.

I’m sure you have someone left on your Christmas list and let’s be honest, you know you’re going to Target this weekend. So, yeah, go ahead and grab a set for yourself and a spare to share.