the winter storm

It kept preschools closed for nearly two weeks and reminded me of just how lovely it is to be within walking distance of a grocery store. The storm certainly seemed to wake people up to some of the biggest social justice issues in our city, from winter rescue teams for the homeless to newspaper articles about long-standing special education busing issues that were exacerbated by the storm. Now that the sidewalks are filled with sheets of ice instead of snow, it’s nice to look back and remember that it was beautiful as well as destructive.

snow day

Late last Sunday night saw the first big snow of the year and covered Seattle in a slippery, icy hush. With schools and the bakery closed, we got the day at home to read, eat muffins, avoid the internet, catch up on magazine cutting, and move the plants away from the windows so they wouldn’t freeze.

the green backpack

cross stitch

Here’s a cross stitch doodle I did recently to celebrate one of Roommate’s works in progress. A few years have passed since I last spent time doing cross stitch and I have missed it. Embroidery is a delight and the projects I dream up usually call for its freer form, but the calm and predictability of cross stitch never gets old.

The piece is of the twelve characters present in the show, all of whom are actual historical people. For each one, I looked up old photographs, self portraits, and letters describing them and chose the colors, style of dress, and height as accurately as I could.

herbs and spices

We have organized our spices in several ways over the years…from a pull-out bin of plastic zip bags and jars under the counter, to just jars lined up along the top of the counter, to the same jars laid out next to one another filling an entire drawer. This solution though? This solution will stay. I love it more every time I use it.


It’s extremely easy to set up. Just order the number of jars you want (I use the 2oz size) and make sure they include metal lids (we chose white ones to blend in with the fridge). Then get two magnets for each jar, pop them on the inside of the lid, fill it with spices, write the name on the bottom with an oil paint pen, and pop it on the fridge! The hard part is figuring out how you want to organize them…color? Texture? Country of origin? We’ve landed on a general grouping of flavor profile…salty together, herbal together, spicy together, sweet together, and on.


In our kitchen, having them on the fridge means they are right next to the stove where we use them most. While spice purists would likely tell you to store them away from such a large heat source (or any heat source), we find that with the 2oz jars, we tend to go through the herbs and spices quickly enough that we don’t have to worry about their flavors fading. Especially because they’re so close to where we cook and we can see all of them at a glance and so use them a lot more than if they were tucked away in a drawer or cabinet.

Then, when they run out as they happily do often, I just take the jar with me to our local bulk store and fill them up again. Just as much as we need, no more, no less. Easy as could be.