Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun


American Woodcock

American Woodcock

The weather has been beautiful in Ohio the last few days so Matt and I decided to get some practice with our spotting scope. As we were walking through the forest at Sandy Ridge Reservation, we noticed a group of people huddled together pointing and looking into he woods. (This is always a good sign for a birder.) Sitting in the leaf litter, as still as can be, was an American Woodcock, a type of sandpiper that lives in the forest and eats earthworms. Their camouflaged feathers make them hard to spot when they aren’t moving. Staying still is part of their defense and it makes it very easy to take great pictures!

Handmade soap

There are so many creative soap makers that inspire us. Check out some of our favorite finds on Pinterest! (Are we pinning buddies there? We should be.)

Good, clean fun

If you’re not following us on <insert 1 chosen social media outlet here>, here’s some of the fun you missed:

Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed

This week is Banned Books Week! We’re book lovers here on Emmet Street so we thought we’d celebrate by taking a look back at some of our favorite book related posts.

Celebrating Banned Books Week: Lamb Stew from The Hunger Games

Did you know The Hunger Games was number five on the 2013 list of frequently challenged books?

Why not celebrate your freedom to read dystopian fiction by whipping up a batch of the best dinner The Capitol has to offer: Lamb and plum stew? If that’s not your thing, check out the Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. With over 150 recipes, the odds are ever in your favor you’ll find something else to suit your fancy.



Celebrating Banned Books Week: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

As I was reviewing the American Library Association’s lists of frequently challenged books while researching Banned Books Week, I was stunned to see one of my childhood favorites Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume made the list. Even more stunning, five of her books made the list.

When I was in the fourth or fifth grade, Are You There, God? was a book I frequently borrowed from the library. While it didn’t explain the great mysteries of menstruation (I still don’t have all of them solved, but this piece over at BuzzFeed recently helped me articulate the experience to my boyfriend), it did help me feel like my friends and I were not the only ones obsessing over boys, bras and who would be the first to get their period.

I can’t imagine what could have replaced Are You There, God? if it had been banned from my public library. I certainly couldn’t have asked my mother, who had already proved she was not up to “the talk”–her attempt left me being one of those girls who thought you could get pregnant by simply kissing a boy. (Sorry, Mom. You were good at executing many aspects of parenting, but explaining the birds and the bees was not one of them.)

I’m not alone in feeling reassured by Ms. Blume’s books, and feeling like she was an adult kids could turn to when they had questions about what was “normal.” In fact, she published a book of the letters she received, along with her responses, in Letters to Judy: What Your Kids Wish They Could Tell You as a resource for parents. The book is no longer in print, but Maria Popova at Brain Pickings featured excerpts here and here. Reading them left me grateful Ms. Blume was brave enough to be honest about sexuality in her books and hopeful that those of us who grew up reading her books are brave enough to talk honestly with our kids.