October 12, 2018

cool stuff i like


Hello my spookies! I'll be popping in more regularly because there's a lot to show and tell you about! Next week I'll be putting together a complete reveal blog post for my Back of the Attic book surprise boxes. I'm also doing individual reveals of the items on Instagram. I used a variety of stationery awesome in the boxes. Some of the goodies were these 'A Page of Old Paper' sticky notes. HOW COOL ARE THESE? When I saw them, I knew that they would be just right for the vintagey, old world-y aesthetic I was going for in my Autumn boxes.

And also coming soon - I have such a TREAT to show you! Can't wait. My husband's cousin is a crafting genius and when you see what she's created, you. will. flip.


Fun things for this week:

Take a peek at my Stargazer Book Surprise Box for kids, if you missed it!

I ADORE THIS STORY - I love/loved Jami Gertz back in the day. I even dressed up like her 'Lost Boys' character for Halloween when I was 17.

Afternoon tea in a LIBRARY??? This is my idea of heaven.

Best fall slow cooker recipes from Food 52.

I just want to spend the rest of autumn in these rooms.

My daughter is teaching herself Korean for a number of reasons - but this is the #1 reason.

This book has been one I've wanted for awhile and I recently saw it in the bookstore and flipped through it and now it's MY GREATEST WISH for Christmas. Check out this video!! The interviewer is annoying as all heck, but HOW DARLING IS SUSAN??? Omg! Look at her outfit! Look at that sage green pantsuit, and her magenta lace shirt! Look at her lovely silver hair! I LOVE HER LOVE HER LOVE HER.

Cinnamon whole wheat scones.

A serene home tour, and an intense read but with lovely thoughts.

Confidence building for tween and teen girls.


Cool Book of the Week: 'The Little Shop of Found Things' by Paula Brackston. I've greatly enjoyed her 'Witch' books; you should definitely check those out this fall! Her newest magical book comes out this October 16th. The story features an antiques shop haunted by a ghost. SOLD! There's a main character named Xanthe (how do you pronounce that??), AND time travel. Yeah, I need this one in my reading life.


Have a lovely weekend! I'm doing my usual EAT EVERYTHING PUMPKIN routine. If Trader Joe's makes something pumpkin flavored, I will mostly likely buy it, and if I don't, then I will LONG FOR IT.

Are you watching spooky movies? I've lost all tolerance for truly scary movies - my anxiety can't handle it. I did find a bunch of movies I would like to see though, like maybe this one, or this series - my scary movie preferred vibe is English country ghost creepy, but none of things I want to watch are available on Netflix or Amazon! I need British TV. 

xo,
Melissa

October 9, 2018

stargazer box


I mentioned last month that I had one more box for kids that I would make available before the end of the year - here it is! The Stargazer box. I think it is SO perfect for this time of year!

Let me get the fiddly details out of the way because I'm doing things a bit differently - from here on out: I will only take orders for boxes via email at juliasbookbag (at) gmail (dot) com. Not here in the comments, not on Instagram, not via direct message on Instagram, not on Facebook - ONLY VIA EMAIL. It's too confusing for me to ping pong all over the place taking orders. In your email inquiry, you must give me your LOCATION so I can estimate shipping!

Also, very important note - invoices unpaid after two business days will be cancelled.

Third important note - I CAN ONLY MAKE (5) FIVE OF THESE BOXES. Five. That's all!

Price: $38 plus shipping.

Let's talk about this box! I love it so much!

I've had this box in the works for awhile, because it took AGES for the candy to get to me. This is a really special box. It will have these AMAZING Stargazer copper twine lights, and they come in the most gorgeous packaging. If all I did was drop these lights and a book in a box and call it a day, this would still be such a fantastic present.

The box will have:

- the Stargazer copper lights

- a shimmery, sparkly vintage lace headband

(sharp eyes might notice that I used these in my Teen Summer Box - I loved them SO much that I ordered them again! They are so gorgeous in person! I'm obsessed.)

- celestial themed washi decorating tape *actual washi tape might look different than the one pictured above, I have several varieties*

- a galaxy themed pen

- one Star Bar chocolate candy, shipped in from the U.K.

AND OH YEAH THERE'S GOING TO BE A FABULOUS BOOK:


Choose one! I'll chat about each -

'Peter and the Starcatchers' is a super fun book that details Peter Pan's backstory; it's a prequel, and  the first in a series. You find out how Hook becomes the way he is, how Peter gets to Neverland, and where pixie dust comes from. Best for ages 10 and up.

'Every Soul a Star' by Wendy Mass is a book that Julia adored last summer, about three middle school aged kids who are thrown together at a campground while waiting to see a total solar eclipse. Tween-age kids, their fears and innermost dreams, astronomy, and a story about how even young friendships can transform lives - this one is great for kids 12 and up.

'The Star Touched Queen' is a YA fiction book by Roshani Choksi that I read a few months ago, and I ADORED it. Serious, serious love for this story that weaves Indian folklore into a magical romance. I was enchanted by every bit of this tale about a girl who tries to rise above her foretold-at-birth horoscope, which seemingly dooms her to a life of destruction and death. This one is just wonderful! The sequel is at the top of my Must Read list. Best for ages 14 and up.

SO! - depending on the age of your kiddo - this box can work for upper elementary ages, tween ages, and high school ages.

I will wrap this box in an outer layer of packaging, so that the inner box can be given as a gift. In case, you weren't AWARE - the holidays are coming up! This would be such a darling gift package.

This box will be ready to ship at the end of October/early November.

Feel free to express admiration in the comments ha ha, but remember - if you want to order this box, you must email me!

October 5, 2018

cool stuff i like


Happy Friday! I got a little treat for myself. Whenever I get a treat for myself, 99.9% of the time it's book related. I've mentioned many many times that if a book has a super pretty cover, then the chances are high that such a book will be coming home with me. Such was the case with this lovely, 'The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen', by Syrie James. A couple of years ago, I really enjoyed another Syrie James book - 'The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte'. The premise of this novel is that Austen could not have written about romance as intensely as she did without having had some first hand experience of her own, and this fictional story imagines a romantic relationship that gave fuel to her writing in 'Sense & Sensibility. Oh and check out this GORGEOUS annotated edition of 'Sense & Sensibility'! Beautiful! As soon as I wrap up my current read, this is next, I'm so excited.


Online things that delighted me this week, while distracting me from the news:

Jenny Rosenstrachs's favorite tofu dinners.

Autumn scents via MFAMB.

How to read tarot cards.

Really want Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook.

I love Naomi Watts, and also have a similar haircut now, and sensitive skin, so I was happy to read her Into the Gloss beauty profile.

A dear friend of mine just launched a new online shop, and right now it's stocked with darling candy corn Halloween-esque merchandise, go see!

Oh my. I have GOT to make this!

Fall decorating ideas from Target.

You might have already seen this, but I adored this piece on going grey.

My Halloween Pinterest board!


Cool Book of the Week: While we're on the subject of Jane Austen, how cute does this look? 'Tea with Jane Austen - Recipes Inspired by Her Novels and Letters' by Pen Vegler. There's a plum cake! There's rolls, buns, tarts, and biscuits! There's GINGERBREAD. Oh and if the sound of all this strikes your fancy, before I saunter off into the weekend, you might want to know that the same author has another book called 'Dinner with Mr. Darcy.' Tootle-pip!


Have a lovely and autumnal weekend. Book Box news! The rest of the 'Back of the Attic' boxes are going into the mail today (that theme is SOLD OUT, thank you so much to all those who ordered!!), and in a week, I'll do a full reveal here and on Instagram.

xo,
Melissa

September 28, 2018

cool stuff i like


Happy Friday! Ahhhhhhhhh I really do try to keep this a happy place to come chill, see some pretty books, show you my boxes, push my latest tea obsessions on you....you know, the usual - but every so often (these days more often than I'd like) something comes along that just sticks in my craw to such a degree that I feel compelled to say something. I watched some of the Senate hearing yesterday regarding Judge Kavanaugh's nomination, and the whole thing made me lift my eyebrows to the ceiling (while my jaw hit the floor) watching this latest political CLOWN SHOW of white male privilege. My daughter watched some of it with me, and I was feeling pretty badly earlier in the week, thinking of what kind of world she's going to grow up in if this guy get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. But then I realized that the world is changing. It IS. Which is why I think the old, white, frat bro political establishment is trying so hard to keep things the same, or take us back screaming to the 1950's. I truly believe and hope that these misogynistic dinosaurs will eventually become extinct.


And on that note - LOVED Alyssa Milano's reaction in the background. Priceless.

Pop over to my Instagram later today or over the weekend, to read more about the John Derian postcards I displayed in the photo up above. Various stationery products are going into my Autumn book surprise boxes, and some of them will have these cards.

Adore these Millifiori tumblers, they look like Russian matryoshka dolls!

Darling new packaging from Whimsy & Spice. Their cookies are ah-may-zing.

Does your kid have a BTS obsession going on? K Pop and K Beauty are 80% of what we talk about around here these days.

Easy family dinner ideas.

It's not too early to start planning your holiday TV. (and we're ALL watching 'Christmas at Pemberley Manor' RIGHT????)

London townhouse decor inspiration.

Chai spiced apple skillet cake.

I want to read these books! Have you read these?


Cool Book of the Week: 'Toast & Marmalade' by Emma Bridgewater. So much to unpack here. "Stories from the kitchen dresser, a memoir". I love it already! Look at this cover! Love the title! Emma Bridgewater - well that's the cutest name ever. I'm not really sure what this book is about, but the title and the cover have sold me. I guess her pottery is quite well known in England? Her cups and bowls look enchanting!


Have a lovely fall weekend my friends - the last one in September! Yay! We can talk about Halloween now! We can talk about allllll the holidays now ha ha! It's a holiday or more a month from now until the end of the year! We can talk about all things quaint and just a little bit spooky! I like a little bit of spook, but not too much. I LOVE OCTOBER SO MUCH. For new friends, go check out my Autumn and Halloween Pinterest boards, I've been working on them for years now.

September 11, 2018

what katy did


How lovely are these??? Last week I showed these beauties off on Instagram, and I had a few more photos to share, and I LOATHE small-typing on Instagram, so I knew I wanted to come back over here and chat a bit more about these books. I'm stupefied that I've never read them before, they look exactly the type of thing that I adore, which is why I bought all three of Susan Coolidge's 'What Katy Did' books about 15 seconds after I laid eyes on them.


HOW PRETTY ARE THESE COVERS??? Resistance was futile, as soon as I saw these. They are just as pretty in person! Apparently if you're a fan of Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, and/or Little Women (hellooooooooo) you will enjoy these stories of an old fashioned plucky girl having adventures and winning people over with her cheery and imaginative demeanor.

In this first book, there's a bit of a hardship that Katy undergoes, and I was very scared that these were going to be Sad Books, but apparently that is not the case. She's ok! I do not want to read any Sad Books right now.

Actually, I don't really like reading Sad Books ever. It's just not my thing. I don't like heavy fiction, or sad fiction, or violent stories. As a chronic anxiety sufferer, I just can't. I only like books that are going to uplift me in some way, and I can only tolerate the most minor of perils in a book. When I was in my late teens I read a lot of Stephen King. I wouldn't touch any of them with a ten foot pole now! I do enjoy old fashioned ghost stories that are more quaintly spooky than scary, but that's about as far as I can go in that department.


I didn't even have a thought or intention of getting these for Julia - these babies were just for me. I wrote on Instagram that I've only just started the first book - but almost instantly in the story, Katy and her siblings go on a picnic and the food is described IN GREAT DETAIL. Molasses tarts anyone? I'm now obsessed with trying to find a recipe.

In the second book, 'What Katy Did at School', she and her sister go off to boarding school! YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT BOARDING SCHOOL BOOKS. If you do not know, please see HERE, and also HERE. I am super pumped for this middle book.

Seriously, look at that cover.


Thirty two rules that Katy must follow at school! Why do I think that not all of those rules will be followed?? Guess what the name of Katy's school chum is. ROSE RED. I love it so much! Why does no one really use the word chum anymore?


And in the last book, 'What Katy Did Next', she is a young lady and is invited on a trip around the world with some family friends. I'm SO EXCITED you guys! I'm going to read these, with tea and gingerbread, and I just can't wait. Are there some books you're excited about?? Sharing is caring! So have you read these? Are you enchanted with these covers? I'm wondering if these are at all reminiscent of the Betsy-Tacy books.