praise ostara!

I know it was nearly a week ago, but isn't easter the most magical holiday? And I feel it must be the oldest one, right? The return of springtime? As a secular catholic, I feel I ought to celebrate certain holy days despite having no religious conviction with which to endorse their purported messages to my son. In this case, I'm relieved by considering the fact that the story of the resurrection of christ is itself a retelling of man's oldest story, that of the sun. Setting aside the moribund cross, none of the various life-and or light-affirming symbols of the holiday--eggs, rabbits, flames, white lilies--have anything to do with jesus per se, and it so clearly doesn't matter because they all just mean the same thing, the best and happiest message of all! The only real issue I take with the catholic celebration of easter is this: why insist on celebrating it on the sunday following a full moon when you could just celebrate it the natural way, weekdays be damned? Sometimes I wonder if might achieve more internal rhythm, or find greater peace of mind, if the world around me followed a lunar calendar. Why adhere to a somewhat accurate system of logging celestial events when you can just watch them happen? And to think of that pink moon this year, especially?

Of course we're all free to let the easterly light of the sun find its way to our hearts in its own way--preferably, nine days ago in the form of pink moonlight. But, due to work schedules and cloudy weather, we spent a gregorian easter after all--in beautiful, charming nearby-ohio-farmland, no less! I'm very lucky to have somewhere so proximal and idyllic to escape to! It was the best most relaxing weekend, after one of the busiest weeks I can remember. And o, what a day! I sat in the sunshine for simply hours! We ate tasty snacks, a delicious roast lamb, and, just like Jane Fonda and Barbara Striesand, the best cake in america.  In fact, I don't think I did anything all day except eat and read all about northwest (per hamish bowles) and easterly smybols in this book, which is maybe a little apocryphal but again, it's hard to disappoint me when discussing symbology and springtime. It was wonderful! I felt like I could see the land growing into life all around me! Isn't it magical?! I hope you're all feeling this way!


chinese chotchkies

Felix is napping right now for the first time in months, which is why I don't really even blog anymore, you guys. But I'm trying to Make It Work! I guess a lot has happened since we last spoke, dear reader. Of course there's the news of our impending academic enrollment, but also, our old friend Ivy has come to stay with us here in Pittsburgh! For a long time! We made her her own little tent in the basement, and she's quickly become one of the family. It's such a treat to have an adult person around to talk to (especially one so delightful) and we've been spending our evenings drinking beaujolais and doing lots of catching up. Did you know? She just got back from a year teaching English in China! So exotic. And you should see the trinkets she brought us! Clearly, China is the place to go for adorable stationary, like these cutest baby pens, 

and teeny-tiny toiletries, like this babiest tin of tiger balm which, I've just learned, is great for treating headaches--just rub a little behind your ears! I'm doing it right now!

and speaking of ears, these are the best of all! 

Ear sticks! Stick studs? The jury and internet are still out on what you call these dingys (and I can't explain why this pic makes my ears look so purple)... but, I love them! So minimalist punk, no? You see, I have this mysterious problem where I'm always losing the backs of my earrings even while I'm wearing them--no longer an issue! You simply stick in the stick and off you go! Hypoallergenic (unless you're allergic to plastic?) and surprisingly comfortable, even with headphones on. These are just your regular every day black plastic, and must be ridiculously cheap to make, but I've been dreaming of a pair made of pure gold. Can you even imagine? But good luck finding any on the internet, plastic or no. I do hope I don't lose them!!!


big news!

I thought it was worth breaking my month-long blogger's silence to tell you guys that all of our dreams are coming true! Not only have I recently been accepted at Carnegie Mellon University, where I'll begin graduate school in the fall; just yesterday, we received a letter informing us that Felix has been admitted to the preschool program at the Montessori School right down the street! It's the news we've been waiting for--Friendship Montessori is the only public school in town that accepts three year olds, and competition is allegedly hot. But, they couldn't keep us down! Everything's coming up Wodzak!

Of course, I don't have any photos of us at our respective future institutions as of yet... so please enjoy these pix from our recent trip to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History! Because, that's pretty educational, right? It was our first time visiting, and I highly recommend it. We went mainly to see the Dino's (one of Felix's newest obsessions) but were pretty taken with the rest of the exhibits, too. Admittance isn't cheap (around $20 per person) but you get access to both the natural history and the art museums, so in the end it's pretty worth it. 

Felix was fairly entertained by the art museum, though he did take issue with some of the artwork we saw; according to him, "every good picture has a lady." He was far less critical at the Natural History Museum, naturally. He loved the giant dinosaur skeletons, which we'd heretofore only seen peeking through the window in the stacks at the neighboring Carnegie Public Library. And there were dinosaur models, blocks and puzzles... he even got to hold a cast of a T-Rex tooth! 

But I'm sure his favorite part was when they gave him a pair of goggles and let him use a chisel and a brush to 'dig' for dino bones.

Look at that concentration! He's so ready for school, and I know he will love it! So proud of my little one! It's funny, but the idea of us starting school together makes me a little less nervous--we can help each other out! I can't wait!



Working in a bakery in February, surrounded by pink buttercream and little red sugar cherubs, you have a lot of time to think about Valentine's Day but no time to actually celebrate it. Or at least not in a romantic capacity with your valentine (especially when he works nights!) Lucky for me I have two valentines to choose from--Felix gets more excited about this kind of thing anyway. Decorating cookies probably wasn't the wisest way to celebrate, given amount of confection we've received for the holiday, but Felix was also just gifted these new heart-shaped cookie cutters, and I didn't know what else to do! Anyway, he loved it! I like doing these baking projects with him start to finish so he can see the process: we made the dough on wednesday; cut out and baked the cookies on thursday; and mixed royal icing for decorating on friday! He takes his duties very seriously, and always wants to do everything himself

It all came together for a jolly valentines day tea party. Felix wore his halloween kitty ears, to be festive, and we invited a new friend over for cookies, a cuppa, and tarot cards. She even brought us a balloon! Magic! Seriously, having people over for tea is the only way I even know how to interact socially anymore. I never go out, and I never even want to! It's the best! 


yes, please

The first thing to finally catch my eye this entire #NYFW, these three opening looks from The Row fall ready-to-wear collection:  

Those witchy twins knew the vortex was coming.  Or they've put a hex upon us all!

images via style.com


no more chametz

According to the wikipedia article on Pesach--or Passover for the gentiles out there, myself included--"observant Jews spend the weeks before... in a flurry of thorough housecleaning." But I'm here to tell you from personal experience that, although there are over sixty nights to go, cleaning is thoroughly underway for the Hassids of Squirrel Hill. In case you don't already know every little thing about it, the whole point is to remove all of the Chametz, or leavened food, from one's possession--that is to say, home, car, office, handbags, clothing, and so on, before Pesach begins. And I mean, all of it. Every single crumb! Now, for those inclined to low-carb/gluten-free lifestyles, this may not seem such a daunting task. But say you have a two year old? Keeping in mind that every cheerio, every crumb of every graham cracker, in every tote bag, high chair and car seat, anything made with one of five forbidden grains, yeast, and water Must Be Removed from your possession by April 14th for fear of kareth (spiritual excision), you can understand why people commence this ritual cleansing so early. Though Halakha has no inherent value in my eyes, my professional affiliation with the local chabad community has got me swept up in the so-called 'flurry' of this tradition; I have no intention of eschewing leavened foods, yet I've latched on to the metaphor of removing "every last crumb" from my home in the course of my spring cleaning. It will, of course, be much easier, when my shiny new hoover arrives in the mail--I never thought I'd be so excited about a vacuum cleaner!

Best Valentimes ever!


be my fauvalentine

I was into hearts and candy pinks this time last year, working in the bakery. But as my focus has switched from pastry to interiors, the kind of romance I'm feeling this valentines day season is more domestic; cheerful yet subdued. Something very like the mood Henri Matisse captured in various still-lifes and portraits during his Fauvist period. Those warm chalky pinks, electric blues, deep greens. It's cozy and relaxed, but with an air of luxury and decadence thanks to the carved furniture and rich textiles, the rooms filled with plants flowers. This is what I'm working towards in my own home. I've already taken the first step, painting my dining room pink.