30 July 2012

3 Happy, Favorite Things

**Update below**

❶ Do you remember my post about the Lower Lights?  We're huge fans around here.  And guess what.  They have a new album out.  You can definitely tell it's the same band, but with a bit of a different flavor and a few new band members.  It's fun.  And if my ears don't mistake me, they've even got hand bells going, like the kind you hear at Christmas, except in a hymn.  Cool.  Probably the only time I've used Cool to describe Hymns. You can get just the digital file or buy the real McCoy to hold in your hands.  
❷  One of my very first posts was about my spatula (or is it technically called a pancake turner?) that used to be my great-grandma's.  I love to think about how it was held by the loving hands that used it to feed their own children. You can't leave it in water or it rusts, the handle is worn, it's not shiny anymore, but it is the thinnest pancake turner in the world.  I love it, and am slightly panicked about what I'll do when it can no longer do it's duty.
I found this one the other day and thought, that looks pretty thin, only to get home and remember just how thin mine is.  Has anyone found a paper thin one?  
ps It's hard to get a picture of the edge of a pancake turner.
❸  This was one of those purchases that exceeds it monetary value by mountains.  One of our favorite places to go in New York is Muji, a Japanese store full of paper goods, simple toys (we bought New York in a box), clothes, and other household items.  I picked up one of these pads of papers with 4 individual frames, and kept it in my purse for a great way to entertain the kids on the go.  And it does.  Sometimes my kids will do one for me, which I love as well.
Those four little outlined areas for each drawing makes it more fun, for some reason.  We will do simple words to draw for the younger kids:
squiggles for all ages (where you draw a few little squiggles that have to be turned into a scene):
seasonal pictures of weather or wardrobe:
and instructional pictures (trace your name, fill the tree with leaves, add features to the face and eggs to the nest):
When we got through the first pad I promptly went online and found them (they're only $1.75, by the way), and happily paid the shipping on this one, relieved to still have access to them.  I really love everything there.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, this was not a sponsored post, just sharing what I like.  What about you?  What are little things that make you happy and your life a little bit easier?

**UPDATE: I emailed MUJI about their notepads being sold out and they told me they were being discontinued.  I told them of my disappointment (and yours!) and this was their followup response:

Dear Katy,

The item is discontinued, but there is always the possibility that they
implement a similar item or the same one under a different barcode number,
though there are no updates on this item as of email time.
Please continue to check back with us at www.muji.us for news and updates in
regards to this item.
We truly appreciate your interest in our products and do hope they come back
in stock to satisfy the demands for the item.

If anyone finds a similar product, let me know so I can share with everyone...I know there are some google ninjas out there who love to take on a good challenge!


  1. You know, Muji is now out of stock of those four frame notepads... I wonder if that's your fault? ;)

  2. As always, your blog is such a joy to visit. I listened to a bit of the music and I'm pretty sure it will be soon added to our collection. And super thin spatulas (my mom always said pancake turner) are the best. And what a great thing to have for kids to do rather than some electronic device.

    In similar categories, good music in a similar genre: Chris Rice, Peace Like a River: The Hymns Project or Randall Goodgame, The Hymnal - both really good albums.
    Favorite kitchen item: The Cheese Knife! I love cutting the cheese now! (Hee Hee)
    My son has the Crayola Draw and Write Workbook. It has beginnings of pictures and a theme and the kid takes off with their imagination. It's fun to see what he comes up with.

  3. try the indian market, if you have one close by. My favorite spatula is not really 'mine' either-- it belongs to my mother in law!

  4. My father has always used a paint scraper - you know, those ones you buy at the hardware store, or the $2 shop - for flipping pancakes. I dont' know where they sit on your thin-nes stakes, but I've always loved using them :)

  5. Jane--oh, no! I've emailed them to see when they'll get more in stock and will let you know.

    butwehavethistreasure--thank you for the recommendations! Always on the lookout for some good tunes.

    Palak--I will have to hop over to ours. You never know what you'll find there :)

    fyrefairee--that's funny about your dad. I've always loved multi-purpose tools ;)

  6. I'm totally going to Muji. Tomorrow.

  7. I know exactly the thinness as I cut a finger or two on my MIL years back!
    Thin spatulas can sometimes be found at flea markets, tag sales, etc. Of course they will not come with the endearing quality of the one you currently have for sure.

  8. (correction, on my MIL's spatula, not on my MIL yikes)

  9. thank you so much for sharing all the things you love with so much simplicity and talent!
    You just asked what could make our life a little bit easier... well, I just posted an idea on my blog: I thought if we (mommies) all shared our best organising-tips we could save some time to spend with our kids and on our sewing/knitting/crochetting projects! so I give you all a rendez-vous every 30st of the month: next month's theme is "how do you organise your sewing patterns?". Although the blog is in french you can leave a comment with a link to your blog, ideas all around the world are welcome! and yo must be among the most organised mom for sure!! hope you'll be there!

  10. Wow what a wonderfully simple but effective and creatively challenging idea with the Muji pad! I love it. I also love Muji, in particular their stationery as it is simple and versatile to use. Thanks for sharing! I've not been to Muji in ages but this is a simple excuse to go :P

  11. Katy, I love your Muji drawing pad ideas--so fun and just the kind of thing I loved doing as a kid and still love doing!

  12. Hey! I love jadon lavik's Roots Run Deep. Definitely "cool hymns". :-). And regarding pancake turners, thinness is of utmost importance, isn't it? Drives me crazy when I can't find my favorite one!

  13. Katy, if Muji no longer carries the notepad, couldn't you just
    make your own on the computer, or freehand, and duplicate it? For personal use only, of course! You can use notepad glue, or staple them into a card stock "matchbook cover. I love special notepads too. I especially like grids.

  14. I seriously looked at the Muji site for almost 2 hours last night, heavily debating what to buy!!! I settled on some b-e-autiful notebooks for school- each a different color for my classes. Such a wonderful store! Thanks, Katy!!!

    ps- i did see that they have a stamp for making the frames.... so maybe buy a cheap notebook and buy the stamp and DIY? :D

  15. I 100% credit you for getting me going on the lower lights. I LOVE THEM. And my kids were just wondering if they had more out a few weeks ago and I couldn't find anything. THANK YOU. "This Little Light of Mine" from the first album is the only song my 4 year old son will sing.

  16. I got my spatula from the Lee Valley Catalog. It is super thin. I love it!! It works great for pancakes, eggs, cookies etc.

  17. Hm, have you checked at a restaurant supply store? My uncle runs a pancake shop and has the nicest flat ones (with offset handles) they're very thing and perfect for pancakes and cookies - it's so impossible to get by in my house without one when I'm baking cookies (my sister has the only one right now!)

  18. Thanks for following up on the notepads Katy! Oh well, I guess it's not a difficult DIY. Thanks for introducing us to the concept :)

  19. Those are so cool! So sad that they don't make them right now. :(

  20. So glad to hear MUJI now has a functioning online store and customer service reps to boot! After discovering MUJI for the first time (London Study Abroad, 2005), I kept trying to explain it to my family and I was so frustrated i couldn't show them online.

    I have an idea about the notebooks... they remind me of storyboarding. I think there are some Storyboard Moleskines out there? You have sure put them to great use!

    And! Are you planning to go the rooftop concert of Lower Lights!?!


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