keep on learning

On our wish list this year are some of our favorite items to buy. But we also long for learning more about our favorite obsessions and things to try. Currently all things paper sway us - from crafting crave worthy letterpress pieces to writing the perfect story to painting, patterns and color. We don't dream of summers spent lounging poolside with boat drink in hand (ok, maybe we do) but instead wish for days full of creating and learning, our fingers full of ink and stained with color.
We'll start with a letterpress workshop at The Center for Book Arts in NYC. Not like we ever need an excuse to hit up the Big Apple, but when there is a Vandercook involved, we'll be there. We just need to get our p's and q's in a row.
Next, we'll retreat home to take an online writing class from Gotham. Maybe Children's Book Writing or Creative Writing 101 to get our writer's block unhinged and to (finally) put pen to paper. Good quality paper, of course. The best part is we can sit in our pajamas on the couch with laptop in hand and be in class at the same time. Or better yet, lounging poolside after all.
Then we'll finish our summer with an early September visit to Squam Art Workshops. Several days spent on the lake in New Hampshire sounds good enough, curled up by a fireplace in an old rustic cabin with a cup of tea. Add on the writing, art, creativity and photography classes and we're in wait, we really are still in New Hampshire.

Just like summer camp, without the sing-alongs, bad food, bunk beds and snarky counselors.


With the launch of the World Wide Web came the eventual wane of traditional etiquette. No longer are these the days of receiving hand posted notes and communications, neatly written and so properly addressed. No more sweating over the typewriter or word processer to get that report completed. Those days of venturing to the mail box at the end of our driveway or walking down the hall to our co-workers cubicle are so clearly over. Instead we have the internet. And of course, e-mail - the ubiquitous and proliferate form of communication so preferred by the masses over. Unlike future generations to come, we were never raised with internet guidelines and manners; we’re still teaching our own parents how to send e-mails and surf the web. What we need is a lesson we should have received during our early days of computer connectivity. What we need is net-iquette.

Forward with caution.
Refrain from continuously forwarding jokes, chain letters and all forms of idle absurdity. This is one of the biggest inbox offenders. Yes, you know who you are. Receivers do not always appreciate the deluge of these incoming e-mail messages and they are often sent straight to the trash can. Consider whether this e-mail personally pertains to anything you and the recipient are mutually interested. Just go lightly on the forward button.

Never hit “Reply to All” when responding to an e-mail.
That is unless, of course, you want everyone to read your reply. It is generally considered bad manners to start a reply thread with everyone included in the inane details of your communications. This is especially important to remember when replying to an e-mail with a sensitive nature, such as work correspondence.

Don’t be quick on the reply trigger.
Read your e-mails carefully. Print them out if necessary to go over the content of the correspondence. Do not respond to the e-mail with separate replies seeking details that may already be addressed in the body of the original e-mail. When replying, be complete with your response. The less e-mails going back and forth, the less confusion.

When sending mass e-mails, do not use “CC:” but use “BCC:”
You want to let everyone know you are moving or you are the proud owner of a new black lab puppy, but not all need to see who is receiving this e-mail. It’s simply more efficient, professional and tidier to enclose all your contacts in the “BCC:” area of your outgoing correspondence. Better yet, consider sending a proper printed and stamped announcement or invitation.

When sending attachments, use the most efficient format possible.
For documents requiring no editing, consider converting them to a .pdf file. This will allow the recipient to view the document exactly as you formatted it on your own computer. When sending photos compress the images for optimal attachment size. There is nothing worse than opening up an e-mail only to see the flaring nostril of your best friend’s husband because the photo has been sent at a size 1000x larger than normal.

Spell check. Do not use cute icons. Do not use non-standard abbreviations.
There is nothing worse than receiving an illiterate e-mail from someone you know is otherwise intelligent. They simpley r tooo bizy 2 give u the propr decen c & tyme 2 show u email respect :( They may think they are cute, clever or quick, but the message that comes across is anything but.

Do not sign others up for special offers or more with their e-mail address.
They will most definitely not appreciate the inundation of junk e-mail to follow and it may take them weeks (or longer) to remove their name from whatever subscriptions and lists you have put them on. Don’t be tempted to sign yourself up either – your inbox will be buried in offers for anything and everything before you know it.

Delete your history and associated cookies.
When using a work computer, or a friend’s, it is best to delete your browser history. This cleans up the memory and removes cookies. At work, it can cover you if you have been spending a little too much time shopping online or looking at the latest online gossip rag.

Log out of shared computers.
For your own safety and to reduce any family stress over accidentally reading one another’s web-based e-mails, remember to log out of the websites you visit. Additionally, remember to shut down any instant messenger or chat windows you have up and running.

Don’t get caught googling your blind date. Do google yourself.
Googling others before meeting them for the first time is just too weird. You’ll end up looking like a stalker if you recite your date’s year of graduation, family genealogy and corporate bio. Do make sure that there is nothing online that is harmful or damaging to you, your reputation or your career. You can hire a service to help clear up negative postings; however, they don’t work hard at removing that sad run time from your 5K.

Be careful what you write online.
This goes for blogs, community websites and even e-mail. Electronic media is a powerful and potent tool. Whatever you write, whether it be posted online or e-mailed to your cubicle mate, has the potential to be forwarded to and viewed by unlimited numbers.

When in doubt, don’t post it or send it out!

happy presidents' day

This day was originally celebrated as Washington's Birthday in honor of our first president. A bill in the 60's proposed renaming the holiday to honor both Washington and Lincoln, however that failed and the first federal holiday in honor of an individual remained in honor of just Washington but retained the newer term of Presidents' Day. Today, the holiday is often associated with Lincoln, particularly because it falls around his birthday of February 12th. Every bookstore we entered today had Lincoln books piling off the shelves. Where is the love for George?

take five

where will you be five years from today?
now is the time to stop doing and start living.
where to start?

try the interactive play book Five.
it asks you the questions
and you provide the answers.

so set aside five (minutes) - read five (pages) or more and begin the next five (years) as a new journey.

we know you want to buy it, see you in five?

for the love

we visited the blog matt, liz and madeline
after a well-publicized magazine article
and it is now one of our very, very favorites.
tagged as "life and death. all in a 27-hour period."
it chronicles the story of a man raising his newborn daughter
after the sudden and tragic death of his wife.
start with what happened and with the birth.
then read the rest.

this is the ultimate love letter.

be sure to visit The Liz Logelin Foundation - For the Love of Liz as well.
they have launched a new $7 on the 7th donation program
to raise funds to provide financial assistance
to widows/widowers dealing with the loss of a loved one.
love on.

da bomb

you are what you eat, so why wouldn't you be what you wear?
the delicious and (semi)nutritious scents
from TOKYOMILK inspire us to smell better.

our fave this week is Cherry Bomb.

a combination of wild rose, osmanthus, chocolate and vetiver.
it really is good enough to eat.

forget me (k)not

feed cat. done.
mail love letters. check.
drop off dry-cleaning. check.
gas in car. check.
flowers for table. check.
shop for wine. done.
valentine's gift...don't forget!

don't forget ring - $6

friday favorites, vol. 1

pearl snap shirts

need the cowgirl say more? you can find this one here.


they observe, they scare, they stay up late
and they have a hoot of a time.
sounds like (one of) us for sure.


a color with staying power, and a history to prove it.

boiled peanuts

if you don’t have the pleasure of living in the south,
then opt for the very best mail order

boiled peanuts from Lee Bros.
the truly adventurous try the boil-your-own peanuts kit.