Parkners in Crime

P1010153 P1010156 P1010159 P1010144
P1010145 P1010146

Stories with Fable

"Alright, babies. I'm going to read you a story..."
IMG_4242 "Once upon a time there was a powkewpine. And she liked to eat toast..."
IMG_4249 "And she liked to eat jam on the toast at the bweakfast table."
IMG_4247 "The. End."



Merry Dayafterchristmas! I had intended on posting some holiday photos this morning except my phone fell in the toilet (womp womp) and is currently on rice AKA all of the pictures I've taken for the last ten days are temporarily unavail and/or permanently unavail (sigh) so here's a pretty little song called Home. Hope everyone's enjoying the break! And please remember not to bring your cell phone into the bathroom. PSA out.

147. At Home by: Crystal Fighters


TOTW: Santa. Because he's coming to town!

IMG_4778 IMG_4611
We've been doing a lot of jam sesh Christmas (and Hanukkah) songs in our house these past few weeks. Lots of piano and guitar and babies banging things together and holiday performance rehearsals during dinner and babies dancing to my favorite holiday album of all time over and over and over. And over.
IMG_4239 IMG_4496 photo photo-1 IMG_4754
This was one (of many) songs Fable wanted me to share with "all of the friends out there" so without further ado:

Merry Everything, you guys.
IMG_2722 IMG_2730 IMG_2732
 Sending peace, love, and gratitude to you and yours. Thank you for being.

xo, All of us

Humanity wins.

via NPR

For more on Landfill Harmonic go here. To get involved go here.


Everything I Know about Game Night I learned from Having a Game night (Sponsored & Sweepstakes)

My family game night is sponsored by Wii U. How U will play next! Click here for a chance to win a Wii U™ Deluxe Set and $5,000 to take your family on vacation.
For this last post I thought I'd list a quick recap of all the things I learned hosting my first ever family game night (day) mainly because lists are extremely pinnable (is that a word? My blogger spell-check doesn't think so. Pinable? Nope. Pinnible? Def not) and I actually feel like I can offer some sage-ish advice on low-maintenance party planning.

So here goes:

A List for Lazy/Busy Families Who Want to Host a Family Game Night but Feel UGH SO OVERWHELMING TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH, UGH. 

1. When in doubt, let the kids take over: When taking on this post campaign I was a little on the nervous side because I am NOT a party planner. I suck at this stuff. I get overwhelmed and hide-in-a-corner(y) unlike my kids who LOVE to help and LOVE to get involved and were pumped beyond belief when I relinquished all control and let them plan the thing. Everybody wins!
2. Let the kids take over even when you're not in doubt: It is highly impossible for a human person NOT to love a party planned by a child/children. Streamers and scotch tape c/o children > fancy and impressive c/o adults. 

3.  Go Easy on the Eats: The build your own frozen pizza thing turned out to be kind of totally genius. Not that it had a choice (there was no back-up plan) but I was pleasantly surprised with how much everyone loved it. Twas cost effective, super fun and easy easy easy. Highly recommended. Also those Gluten Free pizzas at TJs are DELICIOUS. ED: I like them better than the regular gluten-y ones. 

4. Channel Chuck E Cheese: I haven't been to Chuck E Cheese in twenty years HOWEVER I will never ever forget the feel of tickets. TICKETS! I still get all riled up thinking about what a badass I was at ski ball and what an even BADDER ASS I was when I strutted up to the ticket counter and redeemed 789798723981372891789 of them for a plastic spider ring. YEAH, I WON THIS SPIDER RING, WHUT. And apparently, my kids feel the same way about tickets because collecting tickets became a game in of itself and by the end of the evening, everyone was wearing tickets like accessories, using them as jump ropes and redeeming them for everything from dollar store purchases to empty toilet paper rolls. (Tickets have since become our household currency of choice.)

5. Get the Hell Out of Dodge:  Halfway through game night we all went for a walk... because too much sitting is bad for the bod and four generations need to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. So that is what we did and everyone had a lovely time, especially Revi, who if you follow me on Instagram you'll know, is obsessed with the security signs in my neighbors' front yards. Love at first site.  
6. Send Everyone Home with Party Favors: And by party favors, I mean good memories. Sure, we bought a bunch of weird stuff at the dollar store for parting gifts, but does anyone really care about goodie bags? In my short tenure as a party planner I've learned this: parties don't have to be full of attractive place settings and decorations and swag bags to be fun. Quite possibly the opposite, actually. The most fun parties I've ever attended were always the most haphazard.

... So cut yourself some slack. You can still be a hostess with the mostess with the least...est. It is GAME night, after all. Buy some bevvies, make some guac, let the kids go crazy at the dollar store and enjoy you some family time. It's the most important kind of time that exists.
Fable as my dad
my dad as my dad

"Parties should not be civilized. They should be crazy and weird and messy and full of stains and laughter." - ancient party proverb.


You have until December 22nd to pin your "family game night" images for a chance to win 5k and a WiiU c/o Federated Media. (Thanks, FM!) For more information on the sweepstakes go here. Good luck to all and much love!


Thank you, Rhubie + Rhett

All of the photos in this post were taken by the amazing Bethany Nauart for Rhubie + Rhett's, a new lifestyle mag for parents and one I am honored to be featured in this month, along with my family.

I met Traci, Rhubie + Rhett's Editor in Chief, a few months back when we featured two of her kids rooms on ChildStyle (new episodes coming soon!) and I fell in love with her Craftsman Pasadena home. Not only is Traci Rhubie + Rhett's editor in chief, she's also the founder of Nurseryworks and owner of the most exquisite taste in town. (It was at Traci's house that I first found about and then fell in love with the photography of Julie Blackmon.) Rhubie + Rhett's latest issue includes a build-your-own nursery mood board and this gorgeous gift guide
IMG_0360 IMG_0102 IMG_0313
You can check out a million more photos + the feature, here (we had a plumbing emergency the day I was interviewed #apparentlyyoucantflushtamponsinthishousewhoops so of course I HAD to talk about said sewage emergency against these lovely photos. I have a major TMI problem) browse the entire holiday issue here and check out Rhubie + Rhett's debut issue here.

Thanks again to Traci and Bethany for a fabulous afternoon and my mom for making the gingerbread house and driving it up to LA so we could decorate it together.  Gingerbread recipe is here (and gluten-free version is here) for those who want to make your own. 



I'm slowly coming back down to earth and wanted to quickly link to some places that are accepting donations and signatures

I also urge you to go here to donate money to the family of six year old, Noah Pozner, nephew of dear Veronica (VDog) who passed away in Friday's shooting.

Please let me know if there are other links you have to share, other places we can give, send flowers, offer our hearts and condolences while also respecting the privacy of those in mourning. Thank you in advance. 

146. Love Comes to Me by: Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy)

Love and light to all, 


Updated:  Newtown Savings Bank + United Way of Western Connecticut are now accepting donations to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. To find out more and/or to donate please go here. (Thank you to Lex for the tip.)

breaking news, bearing arms

I've spent the last two days trying to wrap my head around the tragedy in Newtown but I cannot. I can't do it.

I arrived 45 minutes early to pick Archer up from school on Friday. I watched the news and I cried and I watched the clock and got in the car with the twins and when we got to the school there was no parking because everyone was there. All the parents were there early. Quiet, arms crossed, sunglasses under dark clouds as our children filed out of their classrooms with their smashed homemade cookies in plastic bags, loud with holiday songs in their mouths.

"... last day of school!" they said to each other and we all swallowed hard with empty stomachs.


"We have the right to bear arms," they say, with exclamation points, caps lock.

And when they do I picture their arms. I've always pictured arms. Large and hairy, soft and freckled with bangles and tattoos and watches that collect time.

I picture arms on bodies outstretched in sweaters and pea coats, bare and burly, linked with girlfriends, folded across arm rests, winged and flapping in the snow.

I have always, since I was little, pictured this.

"We have the right to bear arms," they say with their credit cards sliding across the registers at Wal-Marts.


"No, arms."

"You have the right to bear harms?"



In April 1999, I was a high school senior. The day that teen students opened fire on their high school in Columbine, my mother was crying. She was crying and she was afraid and I didn't understand. 

I knew what had happened but it didn't scare me. It didn't scare my friends either. It was a horrible thing that happened somewhere far away. That was what we all felt and thought. We went to school and felt safe. We went to school dances and football games and felt safe. 

We felt safe as our parents pressed their faces against our windows, checked in on us, offered to pick us up early. 

Everyone keeps sending me links to how best to "talk to my child about the tragedy" but nowhere have I read a list of ways I can best break the news to myself. 

How do we break the news to ourselves?

When we talked to Archer about what happened, he didn't cry. I cried and he told me he knew why I was crying and he understood. He couldn't believe that someone would kill children. I agreed. He was sad for the sisters and brothers and I understood. We talked about mental health and we talked about gun control but mostly we just talked about how lucky we are. How lucky we are to have every moment of every day and how lucky we are to share it with each other and now we're going to pick up Fable from school because I want us all to be together right now. 

"Okay, Mom."

But how do we break the news to ourselves?

Yesterday, when I was with Fable and the twins were napping, Hal and Archer had a similar talk about guns and how some people believe they keep them safe. That the boy who killed the children had a mommy who kept guns in the house and that is what he used. 

"Some people think that guns are okay to own. Some people think weapons are okay for self-defense." 

Hal wanted to explain to him why this is not the case so he told him about the time he was car-jacked at gun-point on Archer's 1st birthday and that is was a very scary, horrible day but that daddy was okay. That if he would have tried to defend himself with a gun... someone would have gotten hurt, or worse...

"I was okay. I let him take the car. I was okay." 

You cannot stop violence with violence. 


Hal and I are watching the news side by side. We are both crying. We are angry and we are crying and we are angry. We are yelling at the TV we are so mad. We are mad and we are sad and everywhere we look we see arms and we are so sorry. We are sorry for the children and the parents and the people who cling to their weapons as families cling to families and it doesn't make sense. 

I'm trying to understand but it doesn't make sense. 

No more, we whisper.

No more, we scream.


But what does that even mean and how can we stop this?

I spent all day Friday signing petitions and donating money. Refreshing twitter and shaking my head and turning off my phone and turning on my phone and trying to decide if I should write a post because I feel like I just wrote one about this exact subject and what the fuck? WHAT. THE FUCK.


My mom keeps calling to check in on me. 

"I remember that feeling so well. It's so hard when you have children the same age... It was hard for me. I was so afraid," she says.

I can't hear her because I'm too busy watching the news. 

"Don't be afraid," she says. 

Are you fucking kidding me? 

How do we break the news to ourselves? 


And then I think about what my mom said and how she must have felt and how I didn't understand why she was like that until now. Until RIGHT now. When I was Archer. When she was the one arriving at school early to pick me up even though I had a car and could drive myself. 

I think about all of the mothers and the fathers and everyone who has ever been reminded not to take what they have for granted. I think about the friends I have who have lost children and the parents of the friends I have lost. 

I've spent the last two days trying to wrap my arms around my children, to keep them there where it is safe, under my jacket as they pull and drag and, "Mom! stop kissing me, let me go."

So I do.

I let them go and turn off the news and unwrap my head around all of the things I've spent the last two days trying to understand.

I give up.

I can't do it. I can't understand. I am helpless. I am sick and sad and helpless and grateful and angry and hopeful that some good, some change (please!) will spring from this tragedy - that somehow, some light will find a way to filter through the darkness. That maybe (maybe?) our grandchildren will live in a different world than our children unfortunately do. That the arms that they bear will be the soft and freckled kind, outstretched in sweaters with bangles at the wrists, folded across arm rests, winged and flapping in the snow.


TOTW: Ella Lou Recycled Clutch & Giveaway

my floorboards are an optical illusion?

Remember those amazing textiles (and pillows) I posted a few months back? Wait. Has it been.... whoa, seven months? I seriously was like, "remember three weeks ago when I posted... " DAMN YOU, TIME!!! Anyway, Ella Lou has just come out with a brand new collection of clutches that are currently on the top of my list of favorite fashionable things. ED: If I was a clutch, this is EXACTLY what I'd want to look like:

ED: I'm normally a big bag person (don't really have a choice at the moment) but these clutches have me jonesing for a date night. More than usual, even.

In EllaLou's words:
Theseclutches are made from found, limited edition textiles that have been sourced during the designer's travels and natural materials which have been treated using natural dyes. "These fabrics are storytellers, they speak of their history and traditions of craft, of adventures abroad, foreign marketplaces, culture and creativity."
One of the things I love about Ella Lou (besides being amazing pieces curated by a woman I adore) is that with every purchase you're supporting The Global Soap Project which you can find more about by going here.
Lindsay from Ella Lou has offered to give away one of her clutches (of your choice!) to a lucky winner. To win? Tell me... something? Perhaps what you're up to this weekend? I'll pick one winner next Friday, December 22 via disqus randomizer.

In the meantime you can shop EllaLou and save 15% at the register with code 15OFFHOLIDAY. Happy shopping and good luck to all!

UPDATED: congratulations to Alice Dawes for winning the clutch giveaway and thank you all for participating! Happy Holidays and much love! 


Dad Someday

IMG_1204 IMG_1202
Yesterday, completely out of nowhere, Archer told me that he can't wait to be a dad. He has always been paternal - a natural caretaker, leader... he's antsy when he's not with his sisters and when Hal took him to a Clippers game last week, Archer asked to leave early because he missed "his babies." Because "Fable would have loved this, I wish she was here..."

Girls are expected to be this way - to dote on their dolls, to play house, to pretend to be mommies. For boys, its unexpected. Boys aren't like that the way girls are like that. 

Yes, but some of them are.

Archer has recently become fascinated with parenthood, specifically the ages at which people decide to be parents. There is a twenty year age gap between me and his best friend's dad and it fascinates him. Twenty years is an eternity when you're seven. YEARS feel like decades when you're little. Time moves so slowy it's impossible to wrap one's head around a decade, let alone two.

"When you are his age, I will be twenty-seven years old and I will have two kids like you did, maybe."


I explain to him that people don't necessarily choose when they want to be parents. Sometimes it just happens. Some people get pregnant on accident or try to get pregnant and can't. Some adopt children and that can take many years as well. Some people decide that they don't want children. There are so many different variables... you'll see. 

He went on to ask how old my parents were when I was born and how old Hal's parents were when he was born and why I decided to have a baby when I was younger than they were.

I told him that I hadn't planned to have a baby. That he was a surprise and I was very scared when I found out I was going to be a mother because I felt like I was still a child.

"I didn't think I was ready for you and then you arrived and you taught me how to be ready."

"I did?"

"Yes. I felt like I was a kid having a kid if that makes sense."

"You still remind me of a kid sometimes. You seem a lot younger than thirty-two."

"That's because I'm thirty one."


"You seem a lot older than seven."

"That's probably because I'm an older brother and I want to be a dad someday."

"You're right, that's probably why."
IMG_1201 IMG_1049 IMG_1200 IMG_1205