Freckles on Facing Your Fears (of moving abroad)

Face Your Fears, the Podcast! logo

My friend from high school, Liz Norell, has a fantastic podcast, “Face Your Fears, the podcast!” where she talks with people who have done everything from quitting jobs, to escaping bad relationships, to finding themselves in another part of the world or dealing with tough health issues. If you are curious, listen in as we […]

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Eat a Duck, I Must

Moving overseas is the kind of thing that everyone imagines themselves doing “one day,” but rarely imagine doing “tomorrow morning, with their family of four.” Yet, this is something we undertook just a month ago, leaving behind the snug pleasures of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, for North Fitzroy, Australia (a Melbourne inner suburb). […]

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Reusable Japanese Paper Balloons

I love the cheerfulness of balloons. Who doesn’t? They are bubbly and fun and colorful! However, my love of using them has started to deflate – as I learn more and more about the devastating environmental impact they have on wildlife (esp. sea creatures) and the coming helium shortage (which turns out to be a […]

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Spring Has Sprung: A Floral Music Playlist

One of my guilty pleasures is having a subscription to a lovely British magazine called The Simple Things. Besides learning a lot about British culture and cuisine (is there EVER any recipe they won’t stuff full of fruit and nuts?), there are a lot of other fun features that have caused me to continue to […]

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Instagram-worthy: Goonies Quote Scooter

Copyright Elayne Crain

I came back across this pic I snapped back when we were in Austin. Don’t know the owner, but I can tell they’re my kinda guy or gal! A post shared by Elayne Crain (@elaynecrain) on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:17pm PST What’s the best bumper sticker or vehicle décor you’ve seen lately? Hey-you-guys, Freckles

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No Spend Month – Feb. 2018

Frugal animated .gif

We are once again kicking off an annual family tradition of designating February “No Spend Month.” I originally read about this creative family challenge on the now-defunct (but highly missed) site, Small Notebook, and was instantly intrigued. We did it, and loved it – and have been doing it every February (or occasionally another month) […]

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“Owl” Have to Keep This One

Sam Wilson Tea Towel

I bought this lovely Sam Wilson tea towel at Cornflower and Calico, a beautifully curated housewares shop in the lovely village of Stroud, in Gloucestershire, England, to have “on hand” for a gift…turns out that gift was actually destined for myself. Once I had it in my kitchen, I couldn’t just let it leave. Sorry, […]

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Stroopwafels: Warm Them the Dutch Way

warmed stroopwafel

Stroopwafels are popping up everywhere. And by everywhere, I don’t just mean in the usual hipster haunts–Target now carries the Daelmans brand in their cookies aisle, nestled next to the shortbread and Petit Ecolier offerings. And why not? These delicious, strangely-satisfying treats from Holland have all the hallmarks of the American palette: sweet, relatively large, and completely filled […]

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Hacking a Group Meal: The Picnic Loaf

Who doesn’t love a sandwich? It’s the ultimate in portable sustenance, infinitely customizable. Yet, occasionally, at least for group, it can be a pain. For starters, you need counter space if you are going to do everything batch-style. You need sandwich bags. You need a certain number of pieces of bread (which sounds silly, but can […]

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Grackle Gastronomic Society T-Shirt

If you are an Austinite, or have even visited the Violet Crown, you probably interacted with a grackle. Grackles strong-minded birds, who are not about to take backseat to people just because people are bigger and can purchase food. In fact, grackles see people as useful patsies, and I have had them literally work as […]

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