May 21, 2018

Cool Stuff I Like


HULLO lovelies! I hope hope hope that many of you got your eyes on this post about the Anne of Green Gables boxes that I'm doing; it's definitely not too late to get in on that action! Up above is a display of some really amazing cards that are being included in the box.

Ok, the ROYAL WEDDING!!!! I didn't get up to watch it, sadly. But there was so much online to watch and see, so it's ok. I remember getting up at 3am Hawaii time as a little girl watching Diana get married. Oh how I loved her. I enjoyed pretty much every aspect of this wedding and I love love loved what I've seen of it. This piece is a nice recap, if you missed it. And there's a TON of discussion of the minutiae going on over at Lainey Gossip. Did you watch? Did you read? Did you love?

Other cool things to check out:

Loved this house tour.

Keanu is a national treasure. So's Winona Ryder, for that matter. CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE.

Oh - speaking of TV, Julia and I watched this documentary and it was fascinating!  - we both really liked it.

Annnnnnd - I just heard recently about this show - it's supposed to be just wonderful.

My current bedtime read.

The world's best pasta sauce.

LOOK AT THIS MERMAID BOOK!!

Dumpling meatballs.

The modern traditional look.

10 cozy things to make for May.


Cool Book of the Week: Some of the absolute best things to come out my blogging experience are the many friendships I've made over the years with lovely people who enjoy a lot of the same things that I do - one such friend is Leanne, and she asked if I knew about 'Marilla of Green Gables : A Novel' by Sarah McCoy, coming out Fall 2018. I flipped my lid, because NO, I did not know about it. Marilla's back story? SIGN ME UP. I'll read the book. Where's the movie? You might want to get your pre-ordering finger out now, because I have a feeling that much like 'Pioneer Girl' did, this book is going to sell like hot cakes and might be hard to get when it comes out.


Have a great start to your week! Would love to know what you all are reading and watching these days. I FINALLY started watching 'The Americans', which I meant to start in with years ago.

~Melissa

May 17, 2018

days in may


Hello friends! I meant to have these pictures from Tasha Tudor's sublime picture book, 'A Time to Keep' up at the beginning of May, not halfway through. How ARE you all doing? Are you having a good May? Did you mamas out there survive Mother's Day? Is the weather getting awesome where you are? The weather finally got awesome here in the Pacific Northwest.



Things have been rolling along here - as usual I must give the remind that I am much more active on Instagram these days - I try to post something there every other day.

I've been feeling so stuck in the throes of spring cleaning, that the end result is that NOTHING HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. I half heartedly clean a little area, and then the next area is a disaster. The I just feel like giving up. I clean something and it looks nice for a day. Then it gets crazy again, and I wonder, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy did I ever clean it in the first place????

We have so many home projects to do, of the Not Fun variety. Like cleaning out our crawlspace. I would rather spend money on ANYthing else! Anything! And the leaks under our sink, and in two bathrooms. Many leaks. 

Part of my fatigue and malaise stems from my child performing in a play, and the constant driving back and forth multiple times a night is making me see double. That coupled with my yearly spring insomnia has me often sitting at my desk, literally staring at the wall in a stupor.

SLEEPING WELL IS IMPORTANT. You heard it here first!


If you don't already own this book, by the way, just go on with your bad self and get it. You need to have it. Tasha draws and writes of a world with 'elevenish parties with iced tea and cookies' - I WANT TO START HAVING ELEVENISH PARTIES! It's elevensies, Tasha-style!

Come back on Monday. I've been working on a new Cool Stuff post! :)

May 11, 2018

Anne of Green Gables Box


When I was eleven years old, my aunty gave me a gift that would change my life - a set of all of the books in the 'Anne of Green Gables' series. Think I'm being dramatic? I promise you, I'm completely serious. The books became a part of my life in a way that I can't fully articulate. I read them, and re-read them, and LIVED them, in a way that has basically never happened with any other book series. I'm not joking when I say that receiving that box set was pretty much one of the best presents I ever received in my life.

To think, that in some small way, I might play a part in giving some other person the magical experience of becoming introduced to Anne....well it leaves me a little breathless.

As you can see, the May book box is an Anne of Green Gables theme! I wanted actually to just do a Lucy Maud Montgomery box and include some of her more obscure books, but when I went looking for merchandise materials to go with a book, everything was Anne Anne Anne. Which is fine. As I'd found a new set of Anne books with the prettiest cover art, I figured - let's just go with Anne! There are gorgeous Anne covers out there now, but the ones I recently happened upon are among the most beautiful, I think.

So here are the details! Price for this one is $31 plus shipping / handling. U.S and Canada orders only. You can comment here, or on Instagram, or write me at juliasbookbag (at) gmail (dot) com, give me your email address and then I invoice you via PayPal.

Then you tell me WHICH ANNE BOOK YOU WOULD LIKE. If this is for someone who has never read the series, you'd get the first book. If you have a favorite and are just a devout Anne fan and want this for yourself, tell me which book you want! The cover art I'm enamored with goes all the way to 'Anne's House of Dreams' and 'Anne of Ingleside', as well as 'Rainbow Valley' and 'Rilla of Ingleside'.

And here's what you get: a beautiful 'Anne' book, stickers, notepad, postcard, pencil, fabric, bookmark -- ALL ANNE THEMED, and a lot of the items come from Korea and Taiwan and Japan - did you know that Anne is very popular in Asia?? I had no idea!

You also get: really perfect and darling herbal teas, good for kids and adults, when you see it, you'll see why I chose the ones I did - beautiful washi decorative tape - and a treat that perfectly matches the box theme. And the packaging! Oh it will be so pretty!

Please allow 2-3 weeks for me to get the box together ~ I have the supplies to do a few, but I will need to order more materials if there is a big response to these. ARE YOU DELIGHTED??? This would be a PERFECT birthday present. All the materials will keep if you want to order one and save it for Christmas! It would also be a perfect Mother's Day present to YOURSELF ha ha!

Let me tell you right now - if you love Anne, or if you want to introduce a child to Anne - you must have this box.

May 4, 2018

British Spring Box Reveal!


Happy May! Oh how I love May! May and June are two of my favorite months because LILACS. They seem to be the most truly springy, whereas March and April are basically just Little Winters.

The British Spring boxes I did all arrived in their homes and now I can show and tell what was inside! The book was 'Thrush Green' by Miss Read, and friends, if you like the look of this guess what - there's a whole series! Is that cover darling or WHAT. Look at the carousel! These books detail village life in a charming Cotswolds village in England. The first book concerns the May Day holiday - will the festival be a success?? If you're at all a fan of all things British, or my new favorite show, 'Escape to the Country', and/or if you long for life in a place where the houses have thatched roofs and life is lived at a slower pace, you must check out these books!


There were so many springtimey treats in this box - one of my favorites were solid perfume pods from Latherati - I've mentioned this darling online find before - scents based on classic literature! You must check out Julie's shop. This scent is a fragrant love letter to Jane Austen called Barton Cottage. From 'Sense & Sensibility' remember? I popped them in sheer lavender favor bags and they looked like tiny fairies floating in the box.

Speaking of all things lavender, also included in the box were lavender honey spoons, and violet candies. Also lemon candies. I mixed and matched them, some people got violet, some got lemon. I like candy!


The component I was most excited about for these boxes were the Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams, which came in assorted flavors like 'Somerset Meadow', and 'English Honey & Peachblossom', to name a few. OH MY LOVE FOR C & E knows NO BOUNDS. I love everything they do. I feel I love more of their old stuff better than the new stuff, but still. I LOVE THEM.

Also included were Liberty of London notecards, floral washi tape in pretty floral bags, and wildflower seed cards that you plant and then apparently magic flowers appear, hopefully that's true! Oh and Queen Anne tea from the grand name in old school British tea purveyors, Fortnum & Mason.



So there you have it! British Spring. I'll be announcing May's box very soon, and I'm beyond excited about it. I'm so happy that spring seems to finally be here, and I swear I won't complain if we have a crazy hot summer. My husband was saying something about how nice it'll be in the fall, and I was like, SHUT YOUR FACE, because I don't want to think about fall-leading-into-winter for a VERY long time.

April 30, 2018

More Mystery Boxes!


Hulloooooooo friends! I didn't mean to take such a long break! Spring Break for the child happened, and then extra life happened. Life normally happens, but have you noticed that sometimes EXTRA life happens? But I do get on Instagram far more regularly than I do over here, so if you're able, keep a check in on over there, because I update that space before this one these days. And in May I'll be announcing a box theme that I have a feeling everyone is going to like - I could be wrong! But I'm hoping you all will love it as much as I do.

So I got some new tea cup cards - I have to be honest - I really want to KEEP THEM ALL. It occurred to me that something I want to do is have some box themes that will be available to order all year long, in addition to the monthly box themes.

One such box will be my Cozy (or Cosy, take your pick) Teatime Box (for grownups) - with a sampling of teas, treats, tea themed little gifts, and of course a book that lends itself to a cozy time - we're talking comfort read here. I see these boxes as a prettier and more tea related spin on the Hygge Boxes I did this past winter.

(a local delivery, so it gets a fancy bow!)

Another box I want to keep available all year round is a box I've sold a few of but have yet to officially announce - a Moomin box! Super super cute you guys. It can be sold with or without a Moomin book; a coloring book will be substituted for the reading book, if your kiddo has already read all of the books.

I have a source in FINLAND and I got some really darling Moomin cards and other fun pieces of cuteness.


Currently I'm working on some custom Mother's Day boxes - I can't accept any new orders for that because my books are almost 99% coming to me from England and they take 10 days to get to me, but I'm really hoping you all find the May box super delightful!

As always, most of the boxes are priced in the $31 range plus shipping/handling.

What's coming up? For those who love sneak peeks? My May box, which is for kids and adults who never outgrew their love for a certain literary girl. Then in June I'll announce the Summer box. Also in the summer - an Explorer / Far Away Tale Box for Kids, and another grownup box that I'm still deciding the theme for - and blah blah I'll keep the rest under wraps for now. I'm already planning themes into next winter season......I get very excited about whatever the NEXT box that I'm doing is all about, and next year's winter box is one I'm going to give to myself by gum. If I got it in the mail, I'd be SO happy. I'm telling you - the reason I started these boxes is because I looked around at what was out there and thought - I'm going make boxes that would personally make me jump for joy.


Have a theme you'd love to see me do? LET ME KNOW. The Hygge boxes, which were super popular, only happened because a Very Clever Friend (Hi Amelie!!) suggested it to me, so please don't feel shy in that regard. I might not do a box for every suggestion I get, but if there is something you'd like to see, seriously let me know, and I'll do my best to make it happen!