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A few of my favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens …

Things I’ve Loved Recently – A list.

1)  Books.  In the last two months, I’ve read:  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (average; a little convoluted; focuses on 9/11 aftermath); State of Wonder (okay; airporty (that’s a word – of or like something read in an airport); These Is My Words (Diamond. Loved.) and Dovekeepers (ADORED. Still thinking about it.  Fascinating and one of the best researched books I have ever read.)    Read the last two, but if you only choose one, read The Dovekeepers.










2)  Cupcakes.   Nutella cupcakes with nutella frosting.  Look. I don’t cook.  I don’t bake.  I hate all things related to, associated with and/or involving either of the above two including talking about recipes and reading about recipes and I AM STILL putting this recipe right here because it’s so freaking easy that I have made it twice in the last month.

Whisk 1/2 cup nutella and 1 egg; add 5 tablespoons flour and mix until creamy. Spoon into mini-muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees 11-12 minutes.  Leave gooey. Frost with nutella.  Makes 12 mini cupcakes.  These can be popped in your mouth whole. I warned you.

3)  TV.  Masterpiece Classic Theater.

photo credit:

More precisely Downton Abbey.  Are you watching this?  Are you insane?  Watch it.  That link will take you to PBS. It’s breathtaking.  The costumes.  The story. The servants. The lords and ladies.  The drama. The war heros.  My god, THE DRESSES.  The gorgeous period dresses.  The men in tuxedos. The men in tuxedos fighting over gorgeous ladies in dresses. If you don’t understand by now, I can’t help you. Your TV choices are dead to me.

Ahem.  Also, lest you think I am more sophisticated than I am.  Dance Moms and The Bachelor.  Why? you ask and rightly so. Why this drivel, why these dregs of American reality TV culture?  The answer is simple:  The delicious, delicious crazy.

4) Words.  I love words with interesting origins.  Reading something obnoxious on the internet that I shouldn’t have been reading a few weeks ago (see above re: my affinity for delicious crazy), I learned my new favorites: wagonhalt  and fremdschamen.  Both are of German origin and refer to a feeling of shame by proxy.  “Such profound embarrassment for another that you have to leave the scene.”  “Vicariously embarrassed for someone else.”  Both words invoke a deep wish that the person in question would stop their actions immediately and end the discomfort.

Wagonhalt is my favorite.  It literally means “STOP THE CAR!”  As in, oh my god, STOP THE CAR! LET ME OFF!, I am so embarrassed for you that I can’t bear to watch another second. These words are made for reality TV. I’ve taken to shouting them at my favorite crazies on The Bachelor regularly.  What? Are you feeling embarrassed for me?

5)  Blogs.  Writing that makes me jealous and that I think you should read.  Old, but everlasting, favorites – Maggie of Flux Capacitor and Bon of Crib Chronicles.

New favorites in the dreamy, jealousy-inducing writing department and also in the ‘I’d really like to take them out to lunch’ department.

Steph of Adventures in Babywearing.

Galit of These Little Waves whom I HAVE taken out to dinner and miss. Can you miss someone you’ve met only once?




A Lady in FranceLady Jennie of A Lady in France.  And last, but not least, TwoBusy, who keeps his site so simple that I have no graphic to steal.  Probably for the best. His writing speaks for itself.




6) Toys.  Have three to six year olds?  Buy these.  Now.  Run.  (Button batteries required. Some people don’t like these for safety reasons, but these bugs are well made and I have yet to see one of my little Houdinis open the battery compartment.) Buy their fancy little tracks too.  Also, buy lots of button batteries.  Also, when they get left on and under a couch, you will want to kill yourself by overdosing on button batteries because OMFG. THE BUZZING?  WHERE IS THE BUZZING COMING FROM? IT’S IN MY HEAD. HEX BUGS ARE IN MY HEAD! GET THEM OUT.  Ringing endorsement, I’m aware, but my kids play with these for hours.

7)  Turquoise.  The master suite is finished. Finite.  Over. Done. No more dust.  It’s gorgeous and my deep, rich neutrals work perfectly.  Pictures coming whenever I get my act together. The walls are storm gray and the furniture is espresso and the bedding is deep, deep chocolate brown. Now I am obsessed with adding an accent color.  I’m leaning toward turquoise because of some artwork in the room and because it’s so in your face cheerful. Kind of annoying, really.  Yes, I am snarking about a color behind its back.  Wagonhalt!  Stop the car!  Halt the wagons!







And there you have it.  Silver white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things … (If only. Still firmly winter here on the arctic tundra with no melting whatsoever.)

Spread the cheer, tell me some things you’ve loved lately!

42 Responses to A few of my favorite things
  1. Kirsten
    February 22, 2012 | 6:01 am

    OK, I must disagree with you on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. That is one of my all time favorites. But I am reading from a different perspective. My dad died when I was eight, and I tell you what, that book brought me right back into my eight year old head. Safran-Foer nailed the emotions and utter desperation for a piece of your parent to hold on to.

    The last thing I need is another TV show, but how can I miss out on Downtown Abbey after that endorsement!

    Love the turquoise.

    • Anymommy
      February 22, 2012 | 6:09 am

      A really relevant perspective (and I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced it). I still think about many, many things in that book, so I suppose I give it a little bit of a short shrift. On a much more frivolous note, WATCH Downton Abbey. Sigh.

  2. Gayle
    February 22, 2012 | 6:54 am

    The Bachelor? I totally can’t imagine anyone watching that! LOL

    I recently painted the bathroom in that bright-in-your-face color of the night stand. I love it. It makes me feel good. As far as bathrooms go (my least favorite place to be… I have boys. They pee everywhere).

    Arctic Tundra? You cannot call Spokane anything close to Arctic. Remember… I lived there for five years. :)

    • Anymommy
      February 23, 2012 | 12:29 am

      I always feel guilty about the arctic thing because I know you’ll be reading ;-)

  3. Adventures in Babywearing
    February 22, 2012 | 11:42 am

    My goodness my heart jumped- I did not expect to see my name right then! Thank you!

    Downton- YES! Did you see the little behind the scenes thing on Sunday? Have you seen these off camera photo comparisons? WOW.

    Thank you for taking notice of wonderful things.


    • Anymommy
      February 23, 2012 | 12:37 am

      Yes! I have done a little too much Downton Abbey web surfing to be labeled entirely sane. Hope you are having a fabulous time in Nashville!

  4. Marguerite
    February 22, 2012 | 12:47 pm

    I have read every single one of your posts and think you are a AMAZING writer!!! Also, I love the accent color, go for it!

    • Anymommy
      February 23, 2012 | 12:42 am

      This comment is now one of my favorite things. xo. Thank you.

  5. tracy@sellabitmum
    February 22, 2012 | 1:36 pm

    Lady Jennie, Downton Abbey and Dance Moms – those ARE a few of my favorite things. Love this! xo

  6. Loukia
    February 22, 2012 | 1:38 pm

    I have been meaning to read The Dovekeepers! I have a pile so high of books on my night table I need to get through first… if only I had more time to read! I love this post on your favorite things and I’ll have to try those Nutella cupcakes, oh my… I also keep hearing about Downtown Abbey! Must watch! And yay – The (train wreck that is) The Bachelor!

  7. anna see
    February 22, 2012 | 2:26 pm

    so sad downton is over! sure hope they bring it back like they did this year! thanks for the book suggestions stacey, and i LOVE lady jennie. xo

  8. mosey (kim)
    February 22, 2012 | 5:12 pm

    Excellent – new reading material! Thank you. And is the second season really all that? We watched Season 1 and enjoyed it (although my English hubby finds it a bit “tweee”), but we started watching the first episode of Season 2 and were dozing on the couch halfway through. I do agree with the costuming though. To die for.

  9. Joy
    February 22, 2012 | 5:25 pm

    I am now making Nutella cupcakes. If I am too fat to get on the plane to BlogHer It will be all your fault.

  10. Issa
    February 22, 2012 | 5:56 pm

    I am having enough trouble watching the shows I like right now so I can’t add Downton Abby yet. Maybe in the summer. Maybe.

    I love turquoise. My bedroom is painted that color. heh. Also…Dance Moms. Love. Trainwreck yes. Still love.

    I have Dovekeepers on my Kindle and I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m glad to hear that it’s good.

  11. Kimberly
    February 22, 2012 | 6:37 pm

    Something I have been loving recently is your blog, Stacey! I found it a while back and have made a vallient effort to read every word you’ve ever written. Still working on it, but I’ll get there someday. Please keep writing, I love to read your thoughts!

    • Anymommy
      February 27, 2012 | 1:07 am

      Ah, blush, don’t go too far back. It was rough in the beginning ;-) Thank you, it’s so sweet of you to tell me.

  12. Shannonannon
    February 22, 2012 | 7:37 pm

    Wagonhalt! I am laughing so hard!

  13. Lene Kristin
    February 22, 2012 | 7:46 pm

    A few of my favourite things of late: I got a new dish washer and it is so quiet there is no noice any more. The old one made a racket and we have no kitchen door so it used to bother me a lot! And my hubby bought me a massage chair. It is exactly as nice as it sounds. I loved reading The Help (Kathryn Stockett) and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Jamie Ford). I got a sewing machine and it made me feel creative and good. And I love relaxing with Pinterest, especially the “Prints & Posters” one! Also, I love reading blogs and yours is a favourite – you make me feel good!

    • Anymommy
      February 27, 2012 | 1:06 am

      What a lovely compliment! Thank you. I just went and peeked at your beautiful girls. Now, I’m off to buy a massage chair (heavenly).

  14. Elaine
    February 22, 2012 | 7:50 pm

    I just started watching Downton Abbey this week and I’m HOOOKED!

    And I also love, Steph, Galit and turquoise. Oh and cupcakes. We are kindred spirits for sure! ;)

    p.s. our kids could play Hexbugs together for HOURS.

  15. Lauren Vo
    February 22, 2012 | 8:10 pm

    Downton Abbey is the best. And I am going to amazon right now to order HexBugs. :)

  16. TwoBusy
    February 22, 2012 | 9:02 pm

    Aw, hell. That was totally unexpected and extremely sweet, Thanks, Stacey.

    Also: does “simple” mean the same thing as “too lazy and cheap to get it professionally designed?” If so, then yes… simple is what I was going for.

  17. Annie
    February 22, 2012 | 11:43 pm

    I have developed an obsession that started out as love but got a little dark, with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series. I am an avid reader and I was so happy to find a grown up girl series that is addicting in the best way possible when it comes to literature. Just make sure you have hours of time for reading – there are 7 books in the series, so far…

    • Anymommy
      March 17, 2012 | 2:31 am

      Annie, I know this is an old comment, but I just got the entire Outlander series for my birthday! I can’t wait to dig in.

  18. Galit Breen
    February 23, 2012 | 2:46 am

    You? I’m over the moon for.

    (Thank you, truly.)

    And careful – I might take you up for lunch. Or a weekend getaway. Whatever.

    (Miss you, too!)


  19. She Looks Like a Mom
    February 23, 2012 | 4:45 am

    I had read this post earlier in the evening and was wondering what my response would be… what was my newest favorite thing? Did I have one? Well, then hubby and I caught up on some Daily Show episodes, and I found the answer. My new favorite thing is this interview between Jon Stewart and Ricky Gervais. Pure hilarity.

    • Anymommy
      February 27, 2012 | 1:04 am

      Love it! He kills me with funny.

  20. Ashley
    February 23, 2012 | 5:37 am

    Downton is a recent favorite for me, too! I’m always glad to be a little behind on things like that, though, because I can watch a whole season straight through. I don’t have patience to wait, as evidenced by my viewing of the finale last week on YouTube in 8 different parts, with Italian subtitles, because that was the only place I could find it online.
    So excited for Dovekeepers–love Alice Hoffman! Really enjoyed her last book, even though it wasn’t something I would typically like.
    As cliché as it is, loving Adele right now, especially the DVD of her concert at Royal Albert Hall, and her hilarious interviews on YouTube.
    Love the turquoise–go for it–I always threaten Adam I’ll paint a whole room that color. My bedroom was that color when I lived alone–loved it!
    And finally, loving your last entry–brought me to tears. You always manage to capture the overwhelming experience that is motherhood so beautifully. Thank you.

  21. Lady Jennie
    February 23, 2012 | 7:38 pm

    I JUST saw this. And I was thinking it was about the Downtown Abbey comment/tweet and then I saw my blog mentioned. You have no idea how absolutely touched I am that you would mention me. Really and truly. Thank you.

    (I’ll probably be floating for the next week).

    My sister is here visiting (married to a German guy but now living much further away in San Fran). She got wagonhalt but not the other shame by proxy word.

    Love you.

  22. Lady Mama
    February 23, 2012 | 11:48 pm

    I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed but I’ve never eaten Nutella! But I’m going to put it on my to-do list. And thanks for the Hexbug suggestion. I have a three and four year old and have been wondering what they are and what they do.

    • Anymommy
      February 27, 2012 | 1:03 am

      If I say hazelnut chocolate spread, will you run to the store? ;-)

  23. Marinka
    February 24, 2012 | 4:58 pm

    You are currently on friendship probation because you didn’t love State of Wonder and called it airportish.

    If you’d like to redeem yourself, I’m organizing a book burning of The Dovekeepers in retaliation.

  24. Candice@NotesFromABroad
    February 25, 2012 | 1:23 am

    I liked to bake, back in the Real World.
    I will save the nutella recipe for this winter ( coming soon I hope, this summer is a killer) and I have to say that shouting WagonHalt is pretty normal to someone who doesn’t hear that much English anymore.
    About the bedroom , Turquoise would absolutely be my choice.
    We were able to get Downton Abbey here through nefarious sources, whatever it takes is the way I feel about it.
    We watched an episode almost every night, I am now waiting with everyone else for the new shows.
    I dream of sitting in a living room with a fireplace , watching Downton Abbey while eating Nutella cupcakes.
    love you. C

  25. MommyTime
    February 25, 2012 | 1:40 am

    New friends reaching out in times of desperate need. Realizing: I am not alone. So, so, sooo good.

  26. vodkamom
    February 26, 2012 | 1:56 am

    Oh, and one MORE favorite of mine?


  27. Amanda
    February 26, 2012 | 6:48 am

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a good read and is partly responsible for inspiring a new documentary series that is due to air in the UK soon!

    I didn’t think the book was taht good actually!

  28. magpie
    February 26, 2012 | 7:54 pm

    I am so bummed that I have to wait like A YEAR for more Downton Abbey.

  29. Athena
    February 27, 2012 | 1:47 am

    We had a 4 year old birthday party for a friend who was visiting from out of town. I have never bought presents for a girl, nor did I know what she already had, so I got these hex bugs based off of your suggestion. We ended up buying some for my almost 3 year old son too.
    I’m not sure how she likes her gift, but I had the most productive evening, because he played with the toy for two straight hours!

    Thanks for the recommendation! Five stars!

    • Anymommy
      February 27, 2012 | 3:23 am

      I am SO glad they lived up to my recommendation!

  30. Stacy
    February 27, 2012 | 2:48 am

    I read These Is My Words and the other books in the series. I thought they were all AMAZING! I will definitely check out The Dovekeepers. Thanks!

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