What’s in my purse?

Oh, I’m sure you were just dying to know…

I recently got a super cool purse organizer (from sweetbriarstudio on etsy), which not only helps you keep track of all the things that disappear inside your suitcase purse, it allows you to switch all of your belongings into a different purse any time you feel like it. LOVE IT.

Anyway, I love seeing what other people carry around in their purses, so I thought I’d share what’s in mine:

•Clamshell wallet, from Urban Outfitters
•Checkbook (cover from Monster Fashion)

•Business card holder from Gracie Designs

•Coupon organizer (yes, I am that dorky, or thrifty, you might say)
•Kleenex pack
Envirosax reusable shopping bag
•Mini notebook, which was my seating assignment from a friend’s wedding
•Lotion, pills, ID, lip gloss, sunglasses and floss
•Fold out mirror and tiny foldup scissors (these are amazing and people always need them to cut tags, etc.)
•And perhaps the strangest but one of the most useful, a collapsible tupperware container that I use to put leftovers in instead of taking a million styrofoam containers (great idea I stole from our friends Brigid and Aaron)

Normally I have my camera and cell phone in there, too.

So, what’s hiding in your purse?

Mitten wrap, so cute

Take a swing by the $1 aisle at Target next time you’re there. They have the most adorable mitten wrapping paper, plus tissue paper and gift bags of all sizes.

The bags even have tiny matching mitten tags.

I also picked up a big roll of mitten wrapping paper, that came in a two pack with pink polka dot wrap.

AND, because I’ve become a little obsessed, I added this mitten paper to my Paper Source order, when I got next year’s Snow & Graham calendar.

(Delight.com was out of them and it looks like Paper Source is, too now.)


This morning we woke up to quite a sight, snow coming down just like it was December.

The news had been saying we were about to get a hard freeze, so we brought in the rest of our green tomatoes and peppers yesterday when it was still cool and sunny.

My poor pumpkins.

I had some oatmeal and a cup of tea and huddled under my ripple blanket, which has turned out to be as warm and enveloping as I’d hoped it would.

Last night I could feel my throat getting scratchy, and sure enough I’ve got the clogged ears and snots to go with it now. I think I’ll just stay under my blanket today. We’ve got the New York Times crossword to keep us busy.

Signs of fall

Mini white pumpkins in an awesome orange bowl my mom gave me.

I think we were a little ambitious when we decided to pick a half bushel of apples at the orchard yesterday. Notice the size of the bag in comparison to the George Foreman grill.

Some organic merino yarn I am thinking of turning into fingerless gloves.

Apple dip to die for

Now that apples the size of grapefruits are showing up at the store, I’ve been looking for creative ways to eat them. But once I landed on this option, I pretty much got stuck there.

One heaping tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, one teaspoon of Nutella. Microwave for about 15 seconds and stir together.


Serve as a dip with slices of your favorite apple. I love Galas the best.

Bookmark winners!

Congratulations to commenters dmgirl07, who’s all about Jane Austen, Margaret, who’s wrapping up “Cold Tangerines” and CourtneeCee, who’s a fellow Dave Eggers fan.

Ladies, please email your mailing addresses to notcarol@gmail.com and I will get your packets sent off.

*Also, if you have noticed some photos not showing up in the last couple of days it’s because we’re changing servers. Bear with me!

And the winner is…


Who wrote: “i love doing it all! i love to cook but usually keep it very very simple with 2 little ones climbing up my legs and insisting to help. i also love to craft and knit and sew and try anything and everything.”

Sarah, please email your mailing address to notcarol@gmail.com.

Thanks to all who commented. I love hearing from you.

So, I am off to pedal my heart out and eat homemade pies. I’ll have a full report when I get back!

Blogging break

I’m headed to my hometown for a few days of decompression before I come back and take my weeklong Nia training course. I doubt I’ll be blogging while I’m gone, but I’ll catch you up when I get back. Thanks for reading!

My next feat

After I finished the 10K in Boulder I had to switch modes to cycling because I’m doing my very first day of Ragbrai! And it’s gonna be a long one – 76 miles. Because, yes, I am just a little bit crazy.

For those of you who don’t know, Ragbrai is a bike ride across the state of Iowa that takes place every summer in the blazing July heat. It’s also been referred to as “spring break for adults”, a “party on wheels,” and many other similar terms. How people can drink all night and then get up the next day to ride 50+ miles in the scorching heat is beyond me, but I guess I’ll find out.

Mike and I have been hopping on the trail that starts near our house and riding together on weekends. Basically every time I ride it’s the longest bike ride I’ve ever been on! A couple days ago I tried out the High Trestle trail in Ankeny, which turned out to be about the smoothest, well-kept trail I’ve ever been on.

Word of warning, though. If you get into cycling, be prepared to cough up a chunk of change for all the equipment. You discover you need this and that and this and that. And above all a whole new bike! P.S. If you’ve got a ladies road bike for a short-legged person you want to get rid of, let me know…

I’m on a budget, so I got some nice new skinny tires for my Trek hybrid.

Due to lack of space for water bottles I ended up with this Camelbak, which also stores cell phone, money, snacks, etc. So far it has not proven hot or uncomfortable at all.

Even the Yaris has been outfitted with a bike rack. We’re ready to hit the road!

Where do you like to bike? Have you ever done Ragbrai?

The boss of me

So, it’s official. I’m a full-time freelancer. Yesterday I felt really sad. I didn’t expect to feel sad (this being such a liberating thing and all), but as I was going through three years of notes, cards, emails and contact lists I felt pretty sentimental about the whole thing. And frankly, I’d like to remember it that way. There were some very good times, and truly amazing people in those three years.

Now I just feel strange. Even though I’ve been both part-time and full-time freelance before, I hardly remember what it’s like. I recall spending most of the time wishing for a full-time job – ha!

I have so many ideas of projects I would like to try, especially when it comes to making my house feel more like a home. And blog posts and story ideas and scarves to knit and on and on. I really don’t know where to start. I think I might just lay in the grass and read a book all afternoon. Because I can. Don’t hate me.

If any of you are freelancers, I’d love to hear how you structure your day. Is it tough to stay disciplined? I’m usually good at it when I’m doing something I love.