• Life in Maison Gezellig,  Unschooling

    Halloween 2012

    My 9-year-old daughter went as Sherlock Holmes for Halloween this year.

    We didn’t plan it; in fact, she was unusually indecisive about a costume this year so we went store-to-store and examined all the various possibilities.

    Anything deemed “girly” was ruled out (by her) but anyone in The Avengers (Thor and Captain America were both considered), Super Mario characters, and a few other options were all on the table… until she found the last “Sherlock costume kit” (which also included a monocle?) and that was it. Costume done.

    Now, most of you know I do not post stuff about my kid (or at least not very often) because I have always felt that she is entitled to her privacy, especially now that she’s old enough to read everything I write here.


    The more I look at this photo and think about it, the more I realize: I would never have had the balls (no pun intended) to dress up in this costume at her age.  

    What if no one got who I was supposed to be?
    What if people thought I was a boy?
    What if they all laughed at me?

    I don’t think any of these questions even occurred to her. (Okay, I just asked and she says no, none of these possibilities crossed her mind.)

    I don’t know how much of that is being homeschooled or how much is what I’ve instilled or how much is just who she is, but damn, that is fucking rad as hell.

  • Brooklyn,  Life in Maison Gezellig,  Minimalist Living,  Photo Post

    Kitchen update:

    kitchen collage

    As you probably don’t remember, my kitchen is pretty tiny and I have pretty much zero interior design skills besides which poses an extra challenge for me.

    I think I may edit out a few things from this shelf arrangement (like, that one bowl on top of the plates is making me serious OCD-crazy looking at it) and I still need something to cover up that breaker panel at the top there, but overall, this shelf unit fits SO MUCH stuff in such a small space that I’m really pleased with it.

  • Life in Maison Gezellig

    The state of my February state.

    we rode the central park carousel twice in a row.I think what people sometimes don’t get about seasonal affective disorder is that it’s not like I’m just lying in bed, alternately weeping and stuffing my face with Entenmann’s donuts, utterly immobilized by despair.

    Not even close.

    It’s more like… have  you ever had the flu or a really bad cold that just completely knocks you out for a couple of days—and then when you’re well enough to get back to work or school, you feel… off somehow, like you’re two steps behind and everything suddenly got twice as hard to do?

    That’s maybe a bit more like it.

    My creativity—whether for writing or for cooking—is at its lowest ebb. I get a couple good hours per day in which to do some work, and which has to be prioritized immediately: school work? freelance work? blogging? which of these needs to get done now—because this is all I’m going to get done today…

    And yet, even with all this in mind, this February has actually been pretty good. I’ve finally found a way to not listen (more often than not, anyway) to the jerkwad who lives in the back of my brain—my anti-Stuart Smalley—who says shit like, I don’t know who you think you’re kidding because you’re definitely not good enough or smart enough. oh, and P.S.? people don’t like you. I think thanks in large part to that new superpower, I’ve resumed working on a side project that’s been lurking in the recesses of my laptop. I’ve also got two papers to write in the next week or so, but I’m not feeling particularly overwhelmed by that, either.

    And just ten days left in February? I’ll take it.

  • Not Gezellig!

    This is your brain. This is your brain on January.

    [SCENE: My bedroom. 12:10AM. Mid-winter.]

    My brain: I think you need to pee.

    Me: No, I don’t. I just did and now I’m trying to go to sleep.

    Brain: I think you do, though.

    Me: No. I do not. Goodnight.

    Brain: If you say so. [dramatic sigh] This pillow sucks. It’s too flat. You should get another one. Oh, I know! You should buy one the next time you go to IKEA.

    Me: Yeah, maybe.

    Brain: And while you’re there, you should remember to get a couple of bowls to replace the ones that chipped. Remember that, okay? New bowls. IKEA. New bowls when you’re at IKEA. IKEA bowls. Don’t forget.

    Me: Uggggh.

    Brain: Oh, and maybe get some fabric too! You should replace the bag you made out of IKEA fabric a couple years back. It was cute but now it’s starting to look a little beat. The top of the strap is all faded from the sun. Isn’t that funny? The way it’s all faded in just that one spot. Huh. Or! Maybe you should just get a new messenger bag from Manhattan Portage — but in what color? You have a green coat and a navy one and then sometimes you wear that red jacket in the spring, so probably not in any of those colors. Maybe black, but black is so drab plus OMG cat hairrr!

    Me: …Gray?

    Brain: Oh, yeah! Good idea! Gray would be great. I still think you should make a new bag, though, too, for the summertime. Something cute, but not too big because you don’t need to carry that much stuff when you’re not going to class. But what KIND of bag? You should really use that super-cute pink fabric you’ve got laying around and make a bag with that —

    Me: [weakly] oh god, please shut up.

    Brain: — not that you can even GET to your sewing machine. I mean, have you seen that living room? OMG WHAT A WRECK. I mean, I just can’t believe how lazy you are! You need to clean! Tomorrow! Like, as soon as you get up! In fact, you should get up extra early to get a head start! It’s totally disgusting out there! What a slob you are!


    Brain: […]

    Me: Thank you.

    Brain: [quietly] You do actually kinda need to pee, though.

    Me: Yeah, okay, I do.

    [exits room toward bathroom]

  • Being Frugal,  Life in Maison Gezellig

    Staples, revisited.

    fridge shotI was looking through some old posts about groceries and grocery shopping, and I unearthed this post about what I consider to be household staples — from February of 2007.

    I was really surprised to see some of the things that were a constant staple in our pantry.

    I can’t even remember the last time I bought Stella D’Oro breakfast treats, although when I wrote that list, my kid was in the middle of a long phase of loving them. And over the past couple years, the price of evaporated milk (which I used to put in my coffee) has steadily crept up until it got the point where I just gave it up and switched to whole milk instead.

    So, I’ve revised my list of kitchen staples. It’s pretty long, so click the jump tag to see it all.

  • Life in Maison Gezellig,  Photo Post

    Photo Friday: Wash Week Continues


    To give you an idea of the epic mountain of laundry I’ve been doing, I’ve filled (and emptied!) that laundry sack four times this week… and I’d estimate I have another three more to do.

    Why am I so obsessed with this saga of laundering? Because, I will confide to you, my reader — I almost never finish anything. I have more 6″ scarves and cut-out pattern pieces than I would care to admit, because I suck at follow-through.

    Not this time, though. So help me, I will wash every goddamn item of laundry in this house.

    And once that’s done, doing the laundry once a week or so will be CAKE.