Things I’m Digging

by Wendy Copley on March 28, 2013

For the last few months I’ve had a running list of small things I’ve been meaning to write blog posts about but I never seem to get around to any of them. So today I wanted to share a few of the things I’m loving, doing and interested in lately.

1. Matchbox Bento Box

Matchbox Bento

I’ve been seeing lots of matchbox art projects floating around the internet lately and I’ve been dying to make one for quite a while. At the beginning of the year I took a few hours to create my own: a tiny paper bento box! I covered a matchbox with cute paper and hand drew a label for it. Then, I made cucumbers, strawberries, orange wedges and little gingerbread man sandwiches out of paper to go inside. I keep it on my desk and it makes me happy to open it and peek inside now and then.

2. Olive Box

Olive Box

This was a treat I bought for myself after I turned in the manuscript for my book! Olive Box is a monthly subscription box (you know how I love those!) filled with paper and “lifestyle” products. They give hints about what the box will contain each month but the company is really, really good at keeping the contents a surprise until it arrives at your door. I can’t even tell you how much I love this service. It’s like it was tailor-made for me. It’s like I went to the store, picked out some stuff that I wanted and put it in a box. Then I stepped outside and an anvil fell on my head causing me to have amnesia. Then a few weeks later a box came to my house filled with the stuff and then the shock of loving the stuff inside so much restored my memory.

I’ve been receiving my Olive Boxes for four months now and I’ve really enjoyed them all. The Paris themed box pictured above was my favorite.

3. My Hand Crank Pencil Sharpener

Hand crank pencil sharpener

Zach bought me this pencil sharpener for our 10th wedding anniversary and I still adore it. I know that many of you will think this was a lame gift, but to me it was perfect because it proved he knows me better than anyone else in the world! I love turning the crank. I love that it’s old school. I love having super sharp pencils at all times.

4. Recipes I Want to Try

The new issue of Cooking Light is entirely filled with quick recipes and I’m so excited to make a ton of them. I love cooking, but my days of long leisurely meal prep are far behind me so I’m psyched to have a ton of quick recipes to dig into this month. Here are some on my “to try” list:

  • Chicken Tikka Pizzas — Two of my family’s favorites combined. Yum.
  • Radishes in Brown Butter and Lemon — Have you ever had cooked radishes? I never have, but I’ve been seeing recipes for them everywhere lately and now I’m dying to try them.
  • Stout Mac and Cheese — I need to save this one for a night when Zach is home for dinner because it sounds right up his alley.
  • Soy Marinated Pork Sandwiches — I have a pork tenderloin defrosting in the fridge right now and there’s half a bag of burger buns on the counter, so I’m thinking these might be dinner tonight.

5. Playing with Art Supplies

oil pastels and watercolors

One of the side benefits of our beloved Kiwi Crate subscription is that we have dramatically expanded our collection of art supplies. I always felt like we were pretty well stocked, but now in addition to crayons, markers, watercolors and construction paper we have metallic markers and pencils, acrylic paints, fabric crayons and my favorite: oil pastels. Lately I’ve been pulling a selection of materials out, dumping them on the patio table and inviting the kids to come outside and create with me. This is a really great way for us to reset when we are having a sad, angry or bicker-ish day and I’ve noticed we all feel better after we’ve been making for awhile.

I have a tendency to get stressed out when my art supplies get messy and mixed up or when I feel like they’re being wasted, but for some reason I’ve been having a much easier time letting go lately and letting the kids (and myself) experiment and get messy. Maybe because I know there are new art materials on their way every month? Maybe because I’ve been trying to declutter our house and using our supplies up works toward that end? Or maybe it’s just because I’m happy the kids are choosing to do something besides stare at a screen?

6. Sweet Paul Magazine

Sweet Paul

I have a love/hate relationship with Sweet Paul magazine.  It is so freaking gorgeous! I love the projects, I want to try all the recipes, and the photography is just ridiculously perfect. It’s like Martha Stewart Living’s nicer, prettier younger sister.

But it’s so freaking expensive! $20 an issue! I got the issue pictured above in my Olive Box this month, but normally if I want to buy it I have to stalk the clearance section at Anthro to find it on sale. It’s definitely a special treat to buy an issue.

7. My New Bento Supplies Organizer

Bento Organization

Finally I want to show you my new bento supply organizer! It’s actually a parts organizer meant for nails and screws and stuff, but it works perfectly for my bento picks, small cookie cutters, sauce cups and other little doodads. My supplies were pretty well organized before, but now they’re easy to access too. And the best part is that it’s fast to put a bunch of them away after they’re washed now. No more piles of tiny things in the dish drainer any more!  (I bought my organizer at our local hardware store, but there is a similar one for sale on Amazon.)

What big or little things have you been enjoying lately?

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