Archive for the ‘Mostly about stuff (like, physical stuff)’ Category

Last night I watched The Queen of Versailles and was reminded once again of the idea of “enough.”

It’s very simple: stop when you have enough.

This goes for all kinds of consumption: eating (especially large meals at restaurants where you don’t usually get to pick your portion), drinking (coffee, alcohol, milkshakes or any “vice” drinks), shopping (for clothes, shoes, and even more “educational” items like books, CDs or toys for the twins).  You get to decide for yourself what “enough” is.  But stopping when you’ve had enough allows you to enjoy what you have and avoid all kinds of bloat and clutter — such as the piles of clothes and toys and papers I saw in The Queen of Versailles.

Now, the Queen and her family were very, very rich.  And then the market crashed and they (more…)


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A non-pregnant friend recently asked me this question and I thought I’d answer it.  These are things that I enjoyed or wished I had enjoyed during my pregnancy but, of course, other pregnant women will be into other things.  So please take these suggestions with a pinch of salt and enjoy shopping for your particular friend!

(Also, this is not any kind of paid review or endorsement (I don’t do that sort of thing) — it’s just a bunch of stuff I like.)


  • If you have a lot to spend, consider getting your friend an e-reader.  I was spending many long, uncomfortable hours at home alone and became addicted to my Kindle.  I could order book after book (like the next installment in the highly addictive Sookie Stackhouse series) without ever having to leave the house.

If you don’t have a lot to spend consider: (more…)

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I titled this post “On packing for a trip” (instead of just “Packing for a trip”) because the “on” makes it sounds like a Montaigne essay.  (He wrote essays with alluringly short titles like “On Cannibals,” “On Thumbs,” “On Drunkenness.”)


Montaigne is known in literary circles as “the father of the essay” because, in 16th century France, he began a meandering style of writing that he called “essais” (which translates as “attempts”).  He used this loose style — full of tangents and personal anecdotes — to try to figure things out.  Modern literati have claimed that if Montaigne had lived in our century he would have been a blogger.  I wonder if he would find that funny or apt …

I digress.  But no matter.  Montaigne would dig it.

So packing for a trip. (more…)

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The twins’ first birthday was last week.  The baby book I’ve been using (Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week) had all kinds of party-planning questions leading up to the big day — How will you decorate?  What kind of refreshments will you serve?  Will you invite adults as well as children? — but we decided to keep it small and simple.  Grandparents, Mediterranean take-out, a fancy Whole Foods cake for the adults, two fancy Whole Foods cupcakes for the twins and, of course, as many presents as the parents would allow.

These were the twins’ favorites:

Hide N Squeak Eggs  The best!  They have shells that come off (the top part, anyway), shapes on the bottom and in the carton to use for sorting, and when you press down on the colored part … they squeak!  Then one twin discovered a bonus round: if you hold the top down and blow through the bottom hole, they whistle.  (It’s been a very whistley few days.)

Earlyears Lil’ Shopper Play Set Most excellent.  We liked the little lettuce head the best, but the twins liked (more…)

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The twins’ first birthday is next week, and it got me thinking about the past year not only in terms of memories, but also in terms of stuff.

When I was pregnant I had the enormous good fortune to have a friend with a two-year-old and a fetus that was one month older than my twins. She gave me fabulous advice as to baby gear, and many of these items have been tested by all four of these babies! Of course, these are just recommendations. Get what you feel you need, skip what you don’t. And enjoy!

One other thing I recommend is to join Amazon Mom — especially if you have a c-section, twins or any other reason (uh, like a newborn!) why it’s hard to get out and about. They offer three months of FREE two-day shipping, 20% off diapers and wipes which are auto-delivered to your doorstep (with Subscribe & Save) and other promotions geared toward parents. If you right-click on any of the images or links below, you can open a new tab or window showing you the item on Amazon.

Brass-tacks basics: what we found we really needed

  • A diaper pail

Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe, Blue What makes this great is that you can use ANY bag as a liner. Also comes in pink.


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