• Baby,  Good design,  Website Reviews

    Endless Diaper Boondoggle


    By my calculation we spend about $80 every two months on diapers for each girl. Quite a bit of money. So I think it makes sense that early on in diaper purchasing I became a bit neurotic about where I was buying them from. I’m not sure if it helped or hurt that each diaper supplier helps you break it down by giving you the per-diaper cost. For the first year, I used Amazon’s “gift” of prime membership to all new moms and bought from them. Then I started buying them from Whole Foods because Amazon started charging for shipping, and I liked the Whole Foods ones better anyway. They were $.30 each.

    Briefly I attempted diapers.com but I got really sick of their whole email-discount-code song and dance. They force you to keep up with their emails and hunt through them for coupons. And then some months, the coupons just mysteriously disappear and you pay 20% more than you did last time. No thank you, crappy business practices. (incidentally diapers.com is owned by Amazon, which just feels like another mind game.)

    I looked at Honest Diapers at the time but found them quite expensive. I don’t know if I wasn’t doing the math right or if they dropped their prices, but I’ve since revisited them and now they seem like the best deal in town.


    I like how nicely their website is designed and how easy it is to work with their interface. I like that when I call them to change or last-minute-delay an order I get a happy American on the other end of the line. I like that they send me two warning emails before they ship. I like the fun graphics on the diapers that gives Lux a distracting conversation topic when I’m changing her diaper. I like that they try to make their diapers as low-an-impact on the environment as possible (though at this point, several brands do that, so it’s not a distinguishing factor). I like that all of their employees appear to enjoy working there, unlike Amazon. And they are a certified B corporation which looks at how a company treats their employees, health care options, workspace design, environmental impact, etc. (incidentally if I care about things like ‘certified B corporation status,’ I should stop nickel and diming everything right there, probably.)

    Lux’s size 4 works out to $.43 each. But they include four packages of wipes with each order, which you can value at a minimum of $10. So then it’s $.37 per diaper. Whole Foods for her current size is $.35 each, but then I have to get them home from the store myself. Seventh Generation via diapers.com is $.36. is this getting neurotic enough yet?

     What is my point here? That basically all diapers cost the same amount and if I’ve found a company that has at least two or three practices that distinguish themselves, it’s worth sticking with them.

    What do you think? Have you obsessively broken down these pros and cons too? Who’s your favorite vendor? Am I missing anything obvious? This is not a sponsored post at all, but I have linked to Honest Diapers with my account’s code, so I would get an initial credit if you signed up from this post, just fyi.

    And for you cloth-diapering mommas: I’m with you! We just operate from a laundromat right now, so it doesn’t work. But someday!


  • Good design,  Other Places Online


    Do you have blogs you visit to escape? Some of the blogs I visit, I read every word, and then there’s some where the photos and I sit together for awhile and my eyes mull in the colors. Like listening to an album, but visually. Usually this ends up being relaxing and inspring. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and jealous. It’s a fine line, and I find it is up to the tone of the writer to make it work well. 101cookbooks is one that inspires me. She’s much healthier and more intentional than I’ll ever be, but I still feel comfortable in her presence.

    In this case, I’m inspired to get some more interesting glassware. Photos below, the rhubarb & rosewater syrup, and the blood orange gin sparkler.

    rhubarb_rosewater_syrup_recipe_3 rhubarb_rosewater_syrup_recipe_2gin_sparkler_2 gin_sparkler

  • Good design

    It’s Vintage


    How great is this header? My friend Bridget and I laugh about how obnoxious the “oh, it’s vintage” answer is when someone asks where your cute dress is from. Of course it’s not their fault that it’s vintage, but it just makes you feel like the good stuff is buried deep in some salvation army in Houston.

    I remember when my sister and I would read magazines about celebrity style, and we imagined these girls digging deep in the corners of Los Angeles Goodwills with an unerring eye for the perfect cut. When she finally moved out there and I came to visit, my eyes were opened to the wonders of curated vintage shops, where anyone could shop and walk out looking quite stylish.

    Thanks, It’s Vintage tumbler of old book design, via Ben Pieratt.


  • Good design,  Other Places Online

    Shoes I loved but didn’t buy

    camper_twins camper_twins_side

    Loafers are all the rage and it’s a trend I love–they are comfy and the slightly stacked heel is more flattering than flats. The Stubbs & Wootton options are both wonderfully quirky and ridiculously expensive. I have a couple vintage ones from goodwill but I tried these on in the Camper store in Rome. They weren’t a chosen souvenir from the trip, but I appreciated them nonetheless!

    $135 from Camper.com

  • Boston,  Good design

    You, me and Photoshop


    Along with a random blizzard, blogshop blew into town this weekend.

    While I was off frolicking with bloggers, Joe spent the whole weekend with Lux! They had such a good time together. It was really nice to realize we’re now “at that age” where hanging with Dad all day is a treat (these days Lux actually calls him Joe, as in “jo! jo! jo!” yelling from the other room. Because of course, that’s what I do and she’s noticed it’s quite effective).


    When I first signed up I thought the tuition price for the workshop was crazy opulent (thanks Mom!): $770. After two days absolutely packed with tips, techniques and lessons, I don’t think it is at all. We learned so much! If you think of it as the quick n dirty equivalent of a night class in Photoshop, it starts to make sense.  I only hope I can roll out a few of the skills I learned on here in the near future. Bri and Angela are totally dedicated teachers who answered all of my 90 questions completely.

    For example, here’s a header that I whipped up, just for fun:


    (that drawing is from The Thinker of Tender Thoughts by Shel Silverstein)

    And I walked away with some new header shots to clean up my social media act and make you all think I’m actually a published author on the side.

    All in all it was really a treat to spend the weekend with other women pursuing their hobbies and talents, eating good food, and learning how do things I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

    How do you feel about Photoshop? Did you know all Adobe products now have a monthly subscription option so you don’t have to buy the whole package for a zillion dollars?

  • Gifts,  Good design,  Other Places Online

    Tiny Bottle of Perfume

    First of all, you should know that Joe loves nice smells. Whenever we have a chance to sit down together with a new fashion magazine, we flip to all the perfume ads and smell them. Then we make judgy comments about the scents, the advertising, the color. OR we make gushing comments. “oh yes. orange liquor and cobblestones in Rome.” This type of nonsense.

    Sooooo when my aunt Anne sent me a perfume sampler from OLO I think for sure it was the most fun $24 gift I’ve ever received. You get four 1ml samples, tiny little things labeled with names like Dafne or Violet/Leather.

    We carefully opened each one and hmm and ooo over them. Our absolute favorite was one labelled Cedar & Rose. I went to her blog to read about it, I was so allured. It’s interesting story: she (Heather, the owner) made a hair tonic (with argan oil, the stuff that makes that blue-labelled Moroccan Oil famous) and scented it with cedar and rose. Her customers loved the smell so much, they begged for a perfume of the exact scent. You can read about the development of it on her blog, here.

    I said they were tiny (see middle photo for size) but actually 1ml is enough for about 12 uses. So now I feel like Cleopatra with a full collection in my kingdom (queendome. pyramidom.). But as soon as they run out, I’ll be ordering a nice bottle for keeps.

    Do you have a signature scent yet, my friends?

    Photos from OLO and the bottom one from Reading My Tea Leaves.

  • Cooking,  Good design

    Favorite Mugs

    Do you have a favorite mug? DesignMom asked this question the other day and one immediately popped into my mind. It was in the cupboards of a cottage we stayed at in Michigan. I loved how lightweight the enamel was, and the kooky cheerful characters all the way around. I also liked the size–just right for how much coffee I drink.

    I very much wanted to steal it, but figured that the owners probably liked it as much as I did. Good thing I decided that too, after a google search once home, I learned that these Finel mugs made by Arabia (for children) often sell for more than $80 each! Sheesh. Keep your eyes open at garage sales…

    Poketo has some fun faux tin mugs, and here is a great size enamel mug for children. I think I’d like a couple of those for Lux. Real cups are much easier for toddlers to drink from than sippys. And you could pretend you were camping every morning!

  • Cooking,  Good design

    One affogato

    I love these affogato photos by Josephine Rozman. Affogato is the greatest overlooked desert. Every cafe should have them on the menu, but few do. Right now we have apple crumble ice cream in our freezer….imagine that with espresso!

    More photos at Eat Boutique