My 4 year old, Carson, has a thing for pickles. He eats them at just about every meal except breakfast (and, yes, the boy would totally eat them with his waffles if he could!). He's such a pickle connoisseur, that he judges the quality of a restaurant by its pickles. And, tonight when we had dinner at Grace Kitchen in Seattle (an amazing, amazing new restaurant in our neighborhood), he burst into tears when the waitress said that they didn't have any pickles to go along with his dinner. (I realize that my son is beginning to sound like a spoiled brat in this post, but I assure you, he is not. He is just 4. And he loves pickles. A lot.) So, upon seeing the tears on his cheeks, she rushed back to the kitchen, and voila: baby pickles appeared in a ramekin a few minutes later. Turns out, the chef has kids, and they love pickles, too. He got it. I have no idea how they pulled this together (maybe someone ran over to the nearby gourmet market?!), but it really made Carson's night. Which brings me to the point of this post: homemade pickles. One year I decided I'd get into canning. I bought a book on canning and a ton of mason jars. Then I got intimidated by the process. What if I didn't do it right? What if I gave my entire family botulism or something? But, then I realized that I didn't have to can the traditional way, I could make quick pickles, for instance, in my refrigerator. No, they won't keep forever, but the way we eat pickles around here, that's not a problem. Here's what I did: Today at the market, we bought a big bag of organic pickling cucumbers (and some carrots, because pickled carrots are fab). Following this recipe loosely, I sliced them up and stuffed them in a jar with white vinegar, kosher salt, a big clump of dill and a ton of minced garlic. And tomorrow, we'll have homemade pickles! (P.S. If I were making these for the adults, I'd add jalapenos too.) Yum.

My friend Audrey (who's an amazing yogini, writer and child wrangler) lives in Vancouver, Canada, and she sent me this photo of The Violets of March at London Drugs, which, for the U.S. readers here, I understand is sort of like Walgreens or Longs Drugs. Anyway, I think London Drugs sounds exceedingly fancier than any U.S.-based drug store, don't you think? It sounds like the place Kate Middleton would go to pick up toothpaste and shower gel! Ooh, la la! I've been hearing from tons of Canadian readers lately, so I'm really happy that Violets is finding bookstores and readers in the great country of Canada. Yay! Have you seen Violets in Canada? If so, which stores? I'd love to hear!

How cool is this idea for a unique wedding "guest book", from Etsy? Though we had a traditional guest book at our wedding, I don't think I've looked at it in the entire 10 years we've been married. (And, um, I don't even know where it is!) I love the idea of having guests stamp their thumbprints in different colored ink on a beautiful print like this---though, I'm not sure if you'd want to keep it out after the cocktail hour, because it would look a little smudgey! But maybe that's part of the fun?

Do you knit? I learned when I was young, but forgot all my skills! I would love to re-learn. And, this cute sweater pattern might just get me to do it! Doesn't it make you look forward to fall? I love sweaters. I think knitting might be just the thing to get me to slow down and focus on the moment (I'm always five steps ahead of myself---not good for stress levels!). Do you knit? What do you knit, and when do you find time to do it?

This vintage (circa 1970s) houseboat book just came in the mail, and I can't wait to dig into it! It's loaded with stories, history and photos of houseboat living over the years. Why the sudden interest in houseboats, you ask? Well, my fourth book is set on a houseboat, and I'm doing my research! I know, I know, I was formerly writing a book set in Paris, and I assure you that story is still alive and well---currently simmering! My process as a writer is to explore many story ideas and settle on the one that captures my heart most. And guess what? Houseboats and their inhabitants have fully captured my heart! I'm completely smitten with the characters and story, and have always loooooved houseboats (hello Sleepless in Seattle!), so it's pure fun to set a novel in one. Stay tuned for some exciting updates on this new story. And, help me, um, write it by telling me what you'd like to see in a book set on a houseboat! Character ideas? Names? Plot developments? I'm open to your ideas, readers!