Friday, May 22, 2015

a Change of Address

Hi there. Thanks for being here, whether you've been here a day, a week, or since the beginning -- almost seven years ago.

Herban Girl no longer feels quite right -- it's like a favorite well-worn jacket that doesn't fit anymore or look you enough, so you toss on a new coat, give your jacket one long last glance over your shoulder, and head out the door.

I hope you'll join me over at Ogden.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

thursday things

What I wrote:
What I discovered:

A cancer survivor designs the cards she wished she received from her friends and family.

Trash can + vacuum. Smart.

Eat up. You'll be happier.

The Last F**ckable Day. (It goes without saying that you shouldn't watch this if you aren't keen on the language in the title, right? Right.)

Dad's reply to school on kids' absence is best response ever.

Fatherly is a cool new(ish) site (for moms too) on parenting, with helpful articles like: How to raise a baseball fan who roots for the right team (meaning yours).

Sure, you might have a local favorite flower shop, but have you ever tried to order flowers for someone in another city? It can be really hard to figure out how to get a non-cheesy bouquet. Enter The Bouqs. Reasonably priced, beautiful (hello ranunculuses), AND you can get a free bouquet with your first purchase. Sold.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

sunday stuff

What I wrote:

Fresh Oregano & 4 Foods to Eat it With

How to Know If Your Seeds Are Viable for Planting

What I read:

Huh. If Anna can pull off plastic plants, well then, maybe the rest of us can, too.

How to drink on a first date.

How to throw a stress-free dinner party -- on a Friday night.

On swearingAnd kids swearing.

Ugh. Need to drink more watervia Design Mom

Wow. This company is setting their new minimum wage at $70,000via Design Mom

Baddie Winkle—the 86-year-old Instagrammer and model for LA-based Dimepiecevia Design Mom

From Brooklyn Supper, I can't give a better intro than she did: "Class is everywhere. As I become more and more grown-up – well into my 30s – I see class in everything. Small asides, what I might assume as a given, or what someone else might assume as one, are all fodder that serve to highlight class and difference. This essay sums up much of this delicate interplay beautifully."

SNAP Judgment: Life After Limesvia Brooklyn Supper

How I Actually Got My Daughter to Eat Her Vegetablesvia Brooklyn Supper

Why you should spend money on experiences, not things. via Shutterbean

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Stuff

What I wrote:

All About Galangal and 10 Ways to Use It

Watercress and Our 10 Favorite Ways to Use It

What I read:

I want to start / go back to using a paper planner. via Shutterbean

urchin shell + air plant = jellyfish via Shutterbean

39 people doing passive-aggressive better than you. via Shutterbean

6 reasons every woman needs to travel alone.

The guilt-free guide to getting rid of your sentimental items.

Toddler finally meets garbage men he idolizes and he can't even.

My instagram name (linnylot) is based on James Corden's character (on Gavin & Stacey) Smithy's interactions with his best friend's family (still with me?), so I'm already an instant fan of The Late Late Show. If you have to commute to work in a car, Corden knows the best way to do it.

Supertide at Mont St. Michel. That place is on my must-visit list. via Design Mom

How not to raise a narcissist in 9 easy stepsvia Design Mom

Why don't foodies care about who picked their food? via Ann Friedman 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Stuff

I've been writing about: the 14 foods to consider buying organic, parsley (and 8 green sauces to use it in), yuca, and taro.

The apple slice.

Birds are the bestvia Design Mom

A ball that's a computer. You can kick, throw, and bounce it AND program your own games.

On racism and liberalism and raising anti-racist children. via The Ann Friedman Weekly

Why are some people called expats and others immigrants? via Design Mom

Have you heard of The Stitch? Add an orange zigzag to an item of clothing, and let the stitches help reduce the stigma that surrounds talking about being abused as a child. via Design Mom

Thursday, March 5, 2015

January / February Purge

Even though I haven't been getting rid of one thing every week like last year, I'm still very much sticking with my goal of reducing what I have down to items that are useful and/or make me happy to look at them.

  • A bagful of items sent to Twice. It's so easy! They'll send you a bag with a pre-paid label (or you can just print out a label if you have a box handy), you fill it with items, send it off to them, and they'll email you your offer, which you can approve (or not) and then get your payout in a variety of different ways. I took it as a Target gift card, because you get a small bonus.
  • A carload of miscellaneous items taken to Salvation Army.


  • My old breast pump -- turns out you can recycle them!
  • Another bag of clothes to Twice.
  • More clothes/purses set aside for an annual clothing swap. (not pictured)
  • Another carload of miscellaneous items taken to Salvation army.
  • Over 100 books. They went to a local place that sells them on consignment on your behalf and donates what can't be sold. (not pictured)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Stuff

I wrote about kale. Sick of kale? That's cool, we can agree to disagree. I looooove kale, and that deep, passionate love is best summed up by Emma Thompson’s character’s love for Joni Mitchell in the movie Love Actually.

Indulge me for a moment: Alan Rickman’s character, Harry, asks his wife Karen (played by Emma Thompson) what music they’re listening to, Karen replies that it’s Joni Mitchell, and Harry grumbles: “I can't believe you still listen to Joni Mitchell.” Karen matter-of-factly says: “I love her. And true love lasts a lifetime.” Me + kale 4eva.

I wrote about taro too, which I like well enough, but will not profess my undying love for. Sorry taro.

How we created an entire generation of unsophisticated, picky eaters — and why we must stop the tasteless cycle.

12 women who had the perfect response to sexist questions.

"February is thirteen months long in Michigan." Indeed. C'mon March!

Meet the unlikely Airbnb Hosts of Japan.

I know a mama who.

What I learned during our week of doing nothing.

"The Love More Shop is a (you guessed it) love inspired brand that reminds people to love their family, friends, and world more each day because creating empathetic, kind, whole human beings starts in a loving home." That's a brand I can get behind.

15 things that emotionally strong people don't do. via Shutterbean

How should I teach my kids about money? via Shutterbean

34 truths we need stapled to our foreheadvia Shutterbean

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dancing to the Beat of My Own Drummer

Josephine's response to music is undeniable. The instant music comes on, she starts moving to the beat in wild -- yet rhythmic -- motions. Even when she was a baby, music could (almost) always be counted on to calm her down. So between her love of music and the fact that her body exists in seeming perpetual motion, dance classes seemed inevitable.

We're not entirely sure what prompted it, Lambie on DocMcStuffins perhaps, but sometime last fall she started asking for ballet lessons for Christmas. Actually, she started asking for "a tiara, a tutu, and ballet slippers" all in one breath, words smooshing together as if she couldn't get her wish list out fast enough. When anyone asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she'd repeat these requests, always in the same order -- occasionally adding on ballet classes at the end of the list when she remembered what she'd wanted to be using those items for.

She got her wish, and we signed her up for ballet classes. When the day of her first class finally came, I re-read the list of requirements, and my eyes landed on this one: "This class is an independent experience. Parents/caregivers are requested to remain in the hallway so that students may remain focused on instruction. You are welcome to observe from outside the dance room." I knew Josephine would be okay with that -- though I still warned her ahead of time -- and I figured there would be windows for watching, but grabbed my book just in case.

The classes are held in a quaint performing arts center smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood, a fun little building, but not one designed for class observation. The dance room has double doors for ingress and egress, but they are dark safety glass, lined with wire mesh -- not great for visibility. Plus, there are a dozen small children in the class, which means there are more parents than viewing space.

I peeked in long enough to see that Josephine was running around and having fun, and then sat down on a bench and opened my book to read. It's a great book, I'm completely engrossed in it, but all the same, I found myself having to give myself a pep-talk every few paragraphs.

"It's okay that I'm not standing by the door to watch."

"It's okay to enjoy this time for me."

"It's okay that I am the only one not craning through the dark glass for a glimpse of my little one."

What I wasn't admitting was that I was really telling myself: "I am not a bad parent." It might sound silly (and I did still manage to enjoy my book) but it took work to convince myself that I wasn't going to turn myself into a parent pariah -- the parent that no one wanted to talk to for the remaining nine weeks of class. It took work to remind myself that who I am and my sense of self-worth is not dependent on anyone else's actions or opinions. I think it's okay that I have to keep reminding myself these things -- and I will -- until they are stuck in my head and I no longer give those ideas a second thought.

The second week of class, Josephine once again bounded away to the door the instant her instructor opened it, and I settled down again with my book. Only this time, four other parents sat down away from the glass doors -- and two of them brought books.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I love my new microwave

What's that you say? This isn't a picture of a microwave? You're right of course, I don't actually own one. And I don't long for one either (which isn't to say that I don't marvel at the speed of heating up leftovers when using one at a friend's house).

As the name "butter warmer" suggests, this is a small pot. I knew it was small from oogling it in photos over at Food52 (yes, my love began in a purely superficial manner, but it has since grown into something true), but even still, when I pulled it from its box, my first thought was: "Wow, this is really small. Am I actually going to use this? I love dipping silky smooth artichoke leaves in butter, but how often will I need melt butter for that?" But I'm finding that I'm using this new little beauty all. the. time. -- for a number of microwave-esque tasks and more: reheating coffee, making hot cocoa, cooking oatmeal, reheating dollops of soup too small to be considered "a cup," but too good to not consider saving. (This is said soup.)

My second thought was slight disappointment that the enamel was already chipped near the handle, even though my rational side is well aware that enameled products can chip and still work perfectly well. I can easily veer into perfectionist territory -- wanting things to be just so (and fixing them if they're not -- other people reorganized an already loaded dishwasher, right?), wanting dishes I cook to be executed perfectly (and overanalyzing why they are or aren't and what I would do to fix it the next time), wanting my thoughts to be expressed perfectly through my words (and running them over and over again in my head to figure out whether or not I succeed in my goal, even after I've already said the words or sent the email).

But for some reason I just did not want to return this pot and exchange it for a "perfect" one. For one thing, my husband and my daughter got it for me. He is my number one supporter in all of my kitchen adventures -- gushing over the successes, and gamely eating the failures that I deem only worthy for the trash can. I just didn't want to swap his gift for one that appeared to be more perfect. And for another, I felt it was a little sign, just for me, as a reminder to ease up on a drive for perfection.

Image via Cotton Bureau

See, I'm taking Rob Bell's e-course, a Practical Guide to Finding Joy and Meaning in Everyday Life, and in the latest lesson, we had an assignment to pick an object. Something that when we look at it would instantly remind us that we're all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Rob Bell says: "Your heart is where you pick up on what matters -- and what doesn't."

And a misguided drive for perceived perfection, well, that's one of those things that just doesn't matter. As my friend Hannah describes it, I too am "An aspiring good enough-ist." And I'm already succeeding. Last night I made a spectacularly mediocre dinner -- a vegetarian loaf and lumpy, gluey mashed potatoes -- and I laughed. I didn't try and create an action item list of things to change the next time, and I didn't start to question my prowess in the kitchen. I just thought it was funny.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week 52

DONE! One year of getting rid of something every week. I don't plan to keep it up as strictly this year, but the habit is now solidly set in my brain, and I know I'll continue to purge on a semi-regular basis. New Year's resolution success.

The items, backstory, and method of expulsion: I purged a few items in anticipation of Christmas (e.g. I knew I was getting tank tops, so I set a couple of tank tops aside), and then after Christmas, we purged a lot. One big bag of clothes set aside for the spring clothing swap, and one big bag of clothes to donate.
Monetary impact: $0
YTD monetary impact: $469.13