Friday, September 30, 2011

Canal House

I love to cook and share meals with friends and family.  My mother cooked a lot when I was growing up and was always willing to let us help in the kitchen.  I learned a lot about healthy eating, preparing food from scratch and making a little go a long way.  All of which has influenced how I cook now and I love to share these same experiences with my daughter.  I have also loved learning from my friends.  My dear friend Paula is the perfect hostess. We became friends while we were living in Massachusetts.  We shared meals regularly.  During these meals I learned  a lot about Paula's art of preparation, gracefully pulling together a simple collection of ingredients and preparing a fantastic meal all while incorporating and entertaining the guests.  We shared many evenings filled with great conversation, games, laughter, kids, food and wine.  On a recent phone conversation we both realized that we had been reading the Canal House cookbooks.  I feel like they embody so much of what I learned from Paula.  Thoughtful, seasonal meals prepared and shared with others.  She has started making Negroni's because of these books and I, Sidecars.  Check out their website, then their making lunch blog (don't you want to have lunch with them everyday!).  Then buy their books.  They're lovely.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shel Silverstein

I have loved Shel Silverstein since I was very young.  Always trying to say Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout as fast as I could and giggling about her piles of garbage and completely loving the line drawn illustrated poems and always laughing about Mrs. McTwitter the Babysitter.  There is a new collection of Shel's poems out:
Everything On It
available at a variety of places listed here.

I just ordered our copy and can't wait to get it!

If you have small children (or even if you don't) his website is super great.  Full of games and cards and things to color.  Plus, there's an iPhone app!

p.s. thanks to our lovely customer's blog for letting me know of the new collection of Shel's poems!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Very Useful Tote

click here to purchase

We've just added a new color to The Very Useful Tote collection - Brown and Sage.  It's made from brown corded canvas and lined in soft brushed sage canvas.  It's a perfect fall combination.  Just as the others, this one is entirely machine washable and dryable...and good for just about anything.  We use them for groceries, farmers market trips, the gym, books, travel and we always have one folded up in the car just in case we need it.  They are very durable, have lots of useful pockets and they look great on your shoulder.  I had a ton of fun photographing this one and I had quite a feast of Chinese long beans and clams when I finished!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Donut Tuesday

There are two local donut shops between my house and Moop studios, Big Daddy's and the pink house in Elliott.  Most of the time I have no trouble resisting the temptation to stop at either one.  But, upon occasion, I have a craving so I indulge.  And the funny thing is, it always seems to happen on the days when it is just Emily and I at the studio.  So, I pick out a sampling of a half dozen donuts…for the two of us?  We both just start cutting pieces off of each one, never eating a whole one but making sure to have a sample of every one.  This carries on throughout the entire day.  Then we throw away the rest.  I suppose that's what donut holes are for…keeping you from wasting all those good donuts.  I suppose that's also what the gym is for….keeping you from waisting all those good donuts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The Moop household just got an iPad.  Our very first.  I must admit, I was a late adopter of this device because I felt like we didn't need it.  We have MacBooks and PowerBooks and iMacs and iPhones - all of which screams "you don't need another computer!!"  But, a week ago Friday, while I was waiting for hours and hours for my car to be repaired…the result of Jeremy and I not being able to coordinate a car share and Parker being off school and all resulted in us wandering into an Apple store, playing with an iPad, becoming instantly enchanted with its magical amazingness, me pulling out my credit card (which, I'm pretty sure is all you have to do at an Apple store and someone will walk over and says, "Thanks!  Your card has been swiped via our invisible credit card machine that floats through the air and swipes as soon as the words - I'm buying this - float off your lips. Your purchase is complete. Would you like a receipt? If so, it will print out of my left pocket.") and us walking out of the store with a brand new iPad2.  It was that easy.

So, all week we've been downloading apps and playing with it.  I decided that it will not be a game device.  It will be an educational tool that supplements what we all do daily...and it will be fun.  Parker has a lot of trouble with math, so I downloaded all the free math apps and purchased a few.  The MathBoard app is so far the best.  We did math problems before bed - nothing in the world would have made Parker want to do math problems before laying her head down on her pillow to fall asleep.  That alone makes the iPad completely worth it.

We also bought the Geo Walk app.  Parker loves to learn about things (she does not love math, but she loves information).  So, she follows us around like Encyclopedia Brown, reading us facts about sharks and Timbuktu and the Aztecs and gross spiders and everything and anything the world will show her.  

Then we added the Garage Band app.  She loves to sing and has had a lot of fun recording herself, playing it back, and trying to make her voice sound the way she wants it to.  She doesn't know it yet…but there's a lot of brain work in music that helps you be a bit better at math.  The iPad is going to help her brain do that work.  

Then I picked up our very first digital cookbooks.  First, Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything.  A book that seemed so large for my cookbook shelf that I couldn't actually see myself using it.  But, the app version has been great to flit around in.  Parker and I have both used it as inspiration for dinners this week.  

I also, just this morning, picked up Speakeasy Cocktails.  I love to entertain and have been wanting a cocktail book that pulls together the history of drinks, ingredients, recipes and detailed how to's…this seems like it has a ton of potential.  And, as an added bonus, it's full of video tutorials!  Our next cocktail party will surely pull from this.

What apps have you found and loved? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Free shipping this weekend!

Hello! We here at Moop just started 7th grade (ahem...well, our daughter did) but it feels like we did, too!  It's been a whirlwind the last two weeks and we're just getting our footing for our back to school, back to work, no more lazy summer days schedule.  I'm sure many of you are feeling the same way!  We are heading into a weekend full of fall sports, family weddings, outdoor art festivals and some cooler fall weather.  We love the fall and are looking forward to outdoor adventures, dinner parties and family gatherings and well, with all of this good stuff to gush about we decided to offer free domestic shipping this entire weekend!  Beginning right now and wrapping up on Monday evening, please enjoy free shipping within the domestic US and reduced international shipping worldwide (full details below).

Have a good one!

***Free shipping applies to all orders within the domestic United States via UPS ground service.  Reduced shipping to Canada for the duration of this promotion will be $15 (normally $25) via USPS International Priority Mail.  Reduced shipping to the rest of the world will be $25 (normally $35) via USPS International Priority Mail.  Offer begins 9.9.11 and ends on 9.12.11 at 7pmEST. No coupon code is needed, reduced shipping will automatically be calculated upon checkout.  Offer is only valid at