How to Sew a Button
How to Sew a Button

Archive for March, 2010

The Luckiest Ride on the Lower East Side

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I’ve heard of guerilla knitting—anonymous crafters will leave knitted graffiti in public places—but I’ve never seen it until last night. I’m not sure what my grandmother would’ve thought of this bicycle, but I think it looks like one sweet ride.


How to Make Kettle Corn

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I got this Whirley Pop for Christmas, and now I’m absolutely obsessed—obsessed, I tell you—with popcorn. Here’s a quickie video on how to make my favorite kind, kettle corn, Soulja Boy style.

Big, happy news!

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

74280a3ebba72f99_landingI’m writing another book! It’s called How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew (Ballantine), and it will hit stores this December.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a while now. When I was doing publicity for How to Sew a Button, almost every interviewer, including The Today Show’s Ann Curry and WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, asked me, “What about the grandfathers? What can we learn from them?” Well, the way I see it, the list is long and varied. It includes everything from the basic (how to change a flat tire), to the sweet (how to make homemade ice cream), to the serious (how to be brave), to the celebratory (how to play the harmonica). As members of The Greatest Generation, our grandfathers were not only defined by the Depression, but also by their heroic service to the country in World War II. Courageous, responsible and involved, they understand sacrifice, hard work and how to do whatever is necessary to take care of their loved ones.

I only knew one of my grandfathers, and though I loved him, I didn’t know him well enough. When my family managed to make the two-hour car trip to visit him, my older sister and I would greet him with hugs and kisses and then dash to his two-tiered electric organ, where we’d plug in the giant head phones, bang away at the keys and toy with the rumba beats until it was time to leave. When I think about my memories of him, only two really stand out: When I was little, he let me occasionally “shine” his bald head with a rag, and when I was in college, he taught me to play a few chords on his guitar. In what I now realize was an act of supreme generosity, he even let me borrow his beloved Gibson, so I could practice. I still have it. I still play it. And I still wonder what else he would’ve taught me, if only I’d asked.

The fact is, for whatever reason, many of us didn’t ask (or didn’t even think of asking) our grandfathers about their lives. And had we started these conversations, we’d all be stronger, smarter and richer for it.



So, that’s exactly what I’m going to set out to do this spring, and I need your help. Over the next few months, I’ll interview ten grandfathers nationwide to collect their practical advice, sweet stories and hard-earned wisdom that’ll help us all save money, build confidence and get back to what’s really important in life. If you have or know a sharp-minded grandfather, age 80 or up, who lives in the United States and who would be willing to share his stories with me, please shoot me an email at eebried (at) gmail (dot) com and tell me a little bit about him. All of the grandmothers I interviewed for How to Sew a Button seemed to have a good time with it, and some were featured in their local newspapers. One grandmother’s family even threw her a party, where she signed copies of the book!

I can’t wait to get started on How to Build a Fire. There are so many new things I’m excited to learn. I hope you’ll stick with me as I share some of these new adventures!


Spring is here!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

This week, the Associated Press ran a story about spring cleaning, featuring How to Sew a Button. And while spring cleaning is a necessary (and ultimately satisfying) ritual that I highly recommend to all,  I must admit, it’s certainly not my favorite part of the season. You know what is? Days like today. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. The trees are even beginning to bud. It’s a new day, a new season, a time of renewal.

You might’ve noticed that I haven’t blogged for a few weeks. I guess I was hibernating (or, more specifically, watching Season 1 and 2 of Damages). After a few months of doing interviews, readings, and television appearances for the book, I wanted to be quiet for a while (it’s my nature), and honestly, I just felt like I didn’t have anything left to say.

Now, I feel like I’m waking up again. H and I went to the park this morning for our daily 5-mile trek (run 2, walk 3) and I brought my camera along.

We stopped by the Boathouse and stood on the dock, where we tried to recall our wedding vows. We got married in that very spot almost two years ago now. (Click here to see two of the biggest smiles in the world.)


Then, we stopped and watched the swans for a while. I think they’re as happy as we are to see the ice finally melting away.


We climbed on the rocks by the waterfall, which is finally rushing again.

The Snowdrops are blooming like crazy, which means the crocuses aren’t too far behind.


Now that I’ve admired the first signs of spring outside, I guess I should start the annual ritual of cleaning inside. Key word: Should. There’s no way I’m going to do that on a day as beautiful as this. Instead, I think I’ll keep celebrating. Hope you enjoy the warm sunshine, too!



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