Tag Archives: My Quotable Kid

Cocoa Bellyache

Some people might think the last thing I need right now is a new journal. When I look at the current stack on my desk which stares at me most days…a journal for Emmett, one for Oliver, and another one for Beatrice, a travel journal, My Quotable Kid journal, a holiday journal and a personal journal, don’t I have my fill already? But here’s the deal; my days seem to be flying by and as much as I would hope to write every few days it’s simply not happening. Which is why, even three days into it, I am crazy about my new Five Year Diary.


Let me take a step back. In the early days of brown ink I blogged about a daily email I receive from ohlife.com where I often reply back with a one or two sentence statement of that day and it reminds me of details on random days in the past. Although this journaling system is obviously a bit anti brown ink, I love being reminded of what was going on in my life one week or one year ago.

Here’s (another) the deal; I cannot be sure on even the most wonderful of days that I will remember the details of my life. And I want to remember, not only for me but also for my children and their children. Yesterday’s entry in my new journal went something to the tune of “Went to the car wash and forgot my wallet. A stranger picked up the bill. Loved  x-country skiing in the sun around Isles while kids played at Sal & Jim’s. Inhaled rich cocoa from Angelina that Nonni brought home from Paris. Crazy bellyache.”


I’d like to remember these random moments that consume my life, be it in one year or 40 years from now. My entry tonight might not be so upbeat and that’s fine. The act of writing forces me to pause and maybe even slows down time. And because the 5 Year Diary only holds space for a few thoughts I don’t have the pressure to fill up page upon page detailing the last few weeks in my life. Triple hurray for this new journaling system to start the year with more frequent reflections. The kindness of a stranger. Sunny skiing. Cocoa bellyache. Life on 1/3/13.

gift giving lends a hand

Between the birth of Baby Bea and my birthday in August, we Brown gals have been showered with thoughtful gifts from family & friends lately. Wonderfully, many have had a handwriting theme (thanks everyone for supporting the brown ink motto). And with the holiday season soon approaching, I thought I might as well share a bit of people’s generosity to get those creative minds brewing. Grab a coffee. It’s on the long side.

1. Our neighbors, who are raising three kids as well, recognize how difficult it is to remember all those hysterical things kids say on a daily basis.

My Quotable Kid

So they sent over the perfect gift, My Quotable Kid journal. I had seen this journal in an entry on my good friend Jane’s blog and thought this could come in handy. A simple way to keep a record of your childrens’ most humorous and insightful thoughts and another way to simplify (there’s that word again). Thanks Forslines.

russell + hazel 'Oh How Did You Know' Boxed Note Cards

2. My friend Carrie (she writes an hysterical blog) loves to shower me with writing material. I was psyched to receive the “oh How Did You Know” stationery from russell+hazel.




3. She also picked up these Yummy Yummy scented markers from The Walker Art Center Shop but you can find them here. These came in handy yesterday when Oliver needed a little extra excitement while writing his birthday Thank You notes.

Buy Rocket Pen Spaceship Blue at TinToyArcade.com

4. Of course, you need you a Rocket Pen with four different ink selections. Sally & Jim picked this up for me at The Walker. Perfect stocking stuffer.

5. Dear Jenni David, she always comes up with thoughtful and unique gifts. She showered Ms. Beatrice with beautiful prints of her name written by Emily Synder from Queen Quills.

6. She also found this vintage book signed by the first recipient in 1933 and then went on to sign herself. Touching. (“I” before “e” except after “c” Monica).

7. After traveling overseas this spring, Jenni returned home with this journal from the 798 Art District in Beijing which has become one of the new landmarks of Beijing Urban Culture. Love a little culture in my journals!

8. I was surprised by a group of friends on my 39th birthday with one of the most lovely gifts I could image, a beautiful box filled with 39 (mostly written) observations about me. Seriously, I was blown over. The box is now kept right on our office desk for those days I need a pick-me-up and I’d rather avoid the chocolate or bourbon. Ha.

9. One of the most unique gifts we received this summer is something I don’t expect the majority of people to manuever. My brother, Blake and his friend, Melanie, visited us in OR and brought with them necklaces she created. I asked her what went into making these pieces:

  • Cut disks out of sheet silver.
  • Use dapping block to make the disks slightly concave.
  • Fuse the disks together with a jump ring at the top… using an acetylene and atmospheric air torch.
  • Polish in a tumbler over night.
  • Have Blake write monograms over and over and over and over again until he is happy with them.
  • Use very small pliers to twist fine gauge silver wire into the shape of the monograms Blake created.
  • Stick the small bits of wire, now in the shape of monograms, inside the appropriate circle on the appropriate pendant and place on masking tape
  • Pigment resin with artist pigments
  • Pour resin into each pendant
  • Let resin cure over night
  • On the drive to Manzanita, use sandpaper to remove any stray resin and to do some finish work
  • While the transmission on the truck is being repaired, do the final wet dry sanding in the transmission shop and then protect the pendants with a coat of Renaissance wax
  • Add a bail, put on a chain and put in a box…..

I share these gifts to inspire you to find uniqueness in your gift giving this season – And maybe make it personal. These gifts are thoughtful yet not expensive. Think about stepping out of the box. The writing makes it one of a kind.