Basement Gardening

A while back I got Daniel this grow light for his office. Since I ended up being the plants’ primary caregiver, I commandeered it, spray painted it gold, and moved it to my basement studio. I’ve always wanted a bunch of plants in my studio, but there just isn’t enough natural light to keep them alive. Problem solved! I have the light on a timer so all I have to do is remember to water the plants every so often. Thankfully succulents and cacti can take a lot of abuse, because I usually forget. I’ve had this setup for at least a year or so, and everybody is thriving. The greenery doesn’t look nearly as appealing as it would in front of a big bright window, but this is as good as it gets in a basement!

grow light

grow light

grow light

grow light

Maps

Have you ever ordered something online, and when it arrived it was a million times cooler than you expected? That’s how this book, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, was for me. I ordered it as a gift for a travel-loving friend who was expecting a new baby, and when it came I couldn’t stop looking through it and wishing I could keep it. The book is huge at 11″ x 15″, and it’s filled with page after page of intricate illustrations of countries around the world. It’s technically a children’s book, but any visually oriented adult would love it, so I had to share a snippet with you guys. I’m going to have to get my own copy!

maps book review

maps book review

maps book review

maps book review

maps book review

maps book review

Birthday Bucket List (32)

I celebrated my birthday last month, and I did a darn good job on my 31 by 32 birthday bucket list. I completed all but 2 items. Not too shabby considering number 31, my “to be determined” list item, ended up being “grow a baby and get it out of my uterus in the least traumatic way possible”.

I thought I might skip making a birthday bucket list this year. Fern is a slow eater, so breastfeeding is nearly a full time job (I’m not exaggerating). If I can keep her fat and happy, Wit & Whistle running, and get a few hours of sleep occasionally… isn’t that enough? But when I thought about how mopey I’d feel if I didn’t do anything but breastfeed and ship orders for an entire year, I got to work on my list.

I’m taking it easy this year. I couldn’t think of 32 things I wanted to do in my 32nd year of life, so this time I picked an arbitrary number of birthday bucket list items—20. A lot of them are little things I used to take for granted, but life is crazy right now, and I need a push to get my butt off the couch.

How did your last birthday bucket list go? Do you think you’ll make it a tradition? If you need list ideas my old lists are here (28 by 29), here (29 by 30), here (30 by 31), and here (31 by 32).

birthday bucket list 32

  1. find a new favorite dessert recipe
  2. paint a picture
  3. be a mom on Mother’s Day for the first time
  4. maybe attempt one of those “couch to 5k” running plans (maybe)
  5. make sangria
  6. celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary
  7. make Fern a funny onesie
  8. see if I like Spotify
  9. get my pre-baby waist back
  10. go see a movie in the theater
  11. set up a guest bedroom in the basement
  12. play the 30 day minimalism game
  13. celebrate Fern’s first birthday
  14. eat at a new restaurantdone!
  15. get a pedicure and/or manicure
  16. try block printing again
  17. go to the farmer’s market
  18. make a cake
  19. try a new ice cream recipe
  20. get my hair done

Buddha’s Hand

Weird fruit alert! Just when I thought I’d seen them all. Have you ever come across a Buddha’s Hand? It’s a citrus fruit! It smells like yellow Starburst candy and tastes like a mild, un-sour lemon. It’s primarily used for its zest, among other things. Have you ever eaten one?

buddha's hand citrus fruit

buddha's hand citrus fruit

buddha's hand citrus fruit

Home Brewed Kombucha

Are there any kombucha fans in the house? I got a kit from Kombucha Brooklyn, because I wanted to try brewing my own.

Here’s the gist of the process: you dump a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) into a jar of sweet tea, and sample your brew for a week or two until it’s tastes the way you want. As the tea ferments, a new SCOBY grows on top. It’s like having a weird slimy pet that reproduces at an alarming rate. When your kombucha is ready you pull out the SCOBY and bottle the tea. (You can find more detailed brewing instructions here.)

Sadly I let my first batch ferment too long, and it ended up being too vinegary. No big deal though, I’m trying it again with my newly grown SCOBY. The process is a whole lot more forgiving than wine making, that’s for sure. Have you ever tried to brew kombucha?

home brewed kombucha

home brewed kombucha

home brewed kombucha

home brewed kombucha