The things they found when they were moving

Everyone always hails the purge when you move, the commendable, enviable ridding of Excess Stuff that one accumulates from living for too long in a particular place. We could all Marie Kondo our way through our domiciles on a weekly basis but sometimes you still open a door and lo! The entire Oriental Trading catalogue appears to have been deposited, in glow-in-the-dark form, where your cookie cutters should be.

I do not exaggerate that the moving out of our Tennessee rental home was a six-month liquidation of crap. I don’t know if my kids are just at that fringe age where they are still clinging to ye toys of olde whilst embracing the accoutrements of Tomorrowland but they were categorically unhelpful when it came to parting with any of their possessions. I was all, “I put this in the basement for a whole year and you never asked about it once,” and they were all, “Wait, Mom, that’s my favorite band-aid of all time!” So we sent them to my parents’ house for two weeks. Seriously. This was hard but necessary. Separate, stop, collaborate and listen. We sent them away and made 23824390234 trips to the donation bin at Goodwill and finally we only had one truckload of stuff to move into our new Boston apartment and we’re here. Yay. Somehow still unpacking boxes of stuff. Weird.

In the wake of this move, here are some interesting artifacts discovered:

UntitledExhibit A: Charlie Sunshine Lotion – The lotion itself is starting to sort of ferment but you can open the tube and catch a whiff of Summer 1999. The sense memory is fierce with this one. One sniff and I am transported to  early college years and all of the homes of my high school friends who were still working high schooly jobs for one last summer. Lifeguarding and nannying and working at the mall and whatnot. This perfume smells of being young and mostly dumb and patently irresponsible and yet I always had enough money to fill my Honda Civic’s gas tank. So basically this lotion reminds me of a time and a metabolism I will never get back.

Exhibit B: Costco Calling Card – This item is not only completely obsolete but is incredibly sentimental. This was The Calling Card that made possible the 1.5 year long-distance relationship between Loverpants and myself. Any time one of us would get paid, we’d load a hot $20 onto that ticket. For a time, Loverpants had the phone number and code memorized. It’s a hell of a thing to be able to look at a 2 x 3 sheet of plastic and think, you were indispensable. Upon you were all anecdotes about his grad school endeaCalling cardvors and my undergraduate misadventures and all the sighing and crying in between. I’ll never know how much money we logged onto that calling card, talking about everything from the ridiculous to the sublime, but kids today will never understand why one was necessary and this makes us Betty and Barney Rubbles: The Long-Distance Courtship

Exhibit C: 8th Grade Math Trophy – It may not have had my name on it (because I was part of a team! A team of mathletes!) but kids, there is now proof. Mama was once smart enough to do math and get a trophy for it. Nevermind that I was 12. Nevermind that it was on a Saturday and everyone else who could add and subtract was probably playing football or watching VH-1 Pop-Up Video. Mama got herself some heavy metal for her mad math skillz. I took a picture of it so it’d last longer, yep I sure did, Pee Wee Herman.
Untitled

Continue Reading

5 things I am hearting right now

I am in a season of massive clean-out. If I were pregnant, I’d call it full-on nesting mode, but nobody preggo here. Except for maybe my garage (recently purged of students’ hockey sticks stored for the summer and other detritus). My garage might be pregnant with possibility. Yikers. I’m also cleaning out my office at the university–more on this later.

Marie Kondo (Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up) told us to examine the joy that sparks from our possessions and I imagine like most folks, it’s a whole lotta junk. The following, however, are a few of the things that are sparking joy in my life. Some affiliate links may follow but this is in no way a paid post. Kendraspondence is merely a wannabe lifestyle blog, just waiting for Gwynnie’s goop level status.

1. The famously oh-so-buttery LulaRoe leggings. I was skeptical about the one-size-fits-all leggings since my stubby legs result in a BFF relation$hip with my tailor. Color me surprised when the LLR leggings my friend Kimberlea sent me fit perfectly with a delightful cuffing at the ankle. If you don’t have a LulaRoe consultant yet, consider joining my friend Kimberlea’s FB group. Shoot her an e-mail (lularoekimmy at gmail dot com) and she may add you. She does Pop-Up shops on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thanks for the butter legs, Kimberlea!
Thanks for the butter legs, Kimberlea!

2. The First Five App. Lysa TerKeurst just wanted her kids to dig into the Bible first thing each morning. Her daughter, a new college student, told her mom what a difference her Bible study mentors made in encouraging her to spend the first five minutes of the day in the Word. TerKeurst was inspired to create this app that serves as both an alarm and a five minute-ish devotional on your phone. The devotionals are very focused and the app itself is aesthetically lovely as it is functional. Available on Apple/Android.

3. Pley.com – This service has saved summer. Parents, you know how Lego sets are uber spendy and the proprietary pieces are all very clever but half the fun is just putting it together for the first time? Pley.com lets your kids “test-drive” just about any awesome toy under the sun. Then you send it back and get another. The website reads, “It teaches children to share and conserve the planet by reducing the amount of toys that ends up in landfills.” Obviously we had the most noble of interests at the fore of our reasons for queueing up this subscription-based “service” for the wee ones this summer and it has been a huge hit. Hat tip to Loverpants who was all over this biz.

UntitledUntitled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. This recipe. It was just so stupid delicious. Even though it’s 104 degrees with 500% humidity right now. It’s worth turning on your oven.

Feta Sweet Potato Quiche

5. The Shalom in the City podcast with Osheta Moore. I met Osheta at a conference this past fall. Her heart for shalom–creating wholeness where there is something lacking/hurting–is sincere. The guests she interviews are chosen carefully and the questions she asks are erudite. I’ve learned about so many things anyone can do to bring shalom to his/her community. One takeaway has been that if you are a parent who cannot always serve as a room parent, you can offer to help with auxiliary tasks for your child’s classroom or for an under-resourced school. Examples include cutting out letters for a teacher’s bulletin board during your weekend free time, or offering to do any outside-the-normal-business-hours chore that a teacher needs for his/her class.

Shalom-Steps-6

And you? What are you loving lately?

Continue Reading

New glasses by #Bonlook

I’m not a handbag gal, a shoe maven, or really a collector of much of anything save for my small fetish with Melmac dishware. What I do collect are glasses, especially cat-eye glasses. I wear them nearly every day and although this strikes some people as excessive, I think anything we put on our faces every day should enjoy a little variety. I’m always keeping my eyes peeled (ha! punny!) for a cool pair of cat eye specs.

Fast forward to this last fall. I follow A Beautiful Mess on the ‘gram and I noticed Elsie and Emma had collaborated with a brand yet unknown to me, Bonlook on a truly fair pair. They called their glasses the Jack and Norma. C’mon. So cute. I had not yet seen this sort of space age green before, but it reminded me a little of my Melmac dishware if it were coopted by aliens and made into glasses. Gnarly stuff.

Elsie rocking the Jack and Norma signature ABM/Bonlook collab specs
Elsie rocking the Jack and Norma signature ABM/Bonlook collab specs

I kept my focus (puns for days) on Bonlook, waiting to see if any of their cat eye specs that struck my fancy would go on sale. Patience rewarded me and a new year’s sale netted these beauts for $79, plus an additional $30 as my prescription requires a heftier lens. A praise of customer service: when I could not get the discount code to activate, the online customer service applied the discount by sending me the equivalent of 20% off, which immediately hit my bank account. Big ups, Bonlook.

Bonlook has considered all the nice little touches as an online purveyor of specs. I found the site easy to use, particularly the virtual try on feature. I always have a print-out of my prescription and a ruler for measuring the distance between my pupils, which you will need if you wear prescription eyewear.

When the frames arrived, they came in a cute print lined box, and I’m dazzled with my new bubblegum pink case.

Bonlook
Bonlook

The frames have served me well for a week now and they are sturdy, the glare factor is nil, and the comfort level is high.
Bonlook

Bonlook has not sponsored this post but if you, too, would like to enjoy a discount on your first pair, you should feel really free to click on this link as my friend referral. Woop!
BONLOOK DISCOUNT FOR KENDRASPONDENCE READERS

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6