warren the 13th and the all seeing eye


October 25, 2016

Hello my spookies! Well forgive me for taking so long to show you all this nugget of PURE AWESOME, but if it makes you feel any better, we just started reading this the other day - we've been busy busy reading 'Anne of Green Gables' and we're still not done, but we finally decided ok if we want to read this 'Warren the 13 and the All Seeing Eye' book anytime before Halloween, we better get on it! #bookproblems. So we're alternating nights between this and 'Anne'. We're almost done with 'Anne' but this guy here we'll be reading into November but that's ok, because it LOOKS like a Halloween book, but it's actually more of a fun mystery-adventure tale.

Have you ever seen a cover like this? So cool right? Let's take a closer peek, it's soooooo fun. I saw it in a local bookstore, and I was like, 'Julia, we're getting this. Go choose the one book you want for yourself, but we're getting this one for Mommy because I can already tell it's the coolest thing ever."

I mean, Warren (who is a little boy, not a monster. He just has some facial features that are a little fantastical) is a VICTORIAN BELLHOP. That premise alone, they had me right there.

I feel like the design of the book is as an important part of the story as the story itself. The way everything is laid out is so gorgeously and fabulously designed and styled. So many details and things to look at pretty much on every page. It's a dense book, hardcover, with loads of text but also loads of pictures - this is definitely I think for ages 8-12. I ADORE the titles of the chapters - "In Which Warren is Very, Very Busy", "In Which the Final Spell is Cast", "In Which Mr. Friggs is Menaced", and "In Which Warren is Mysteriously Assisted" - to name a few.

The whole vibe is like some kind of crazy homage to Edward Gorey, 'Hotel Transylvania', 'Downton Abbey', and 'Treasure Island'. SO FUN. Oh and with a hefty splash of Tim Burton's creepy playfulness.

The back of the book sets it all out for you: Witches! Secret Codes! Monsters! Mazes! and the best part....."AND OTHER Sinister Material!" Are you getting why I was freaking out at the bookstore??

The story focuses on little orphaned Warren - whose father once ran a glorious hotel, which has now fallen into ruin and decay under the watch of his lazy Uncle and wicked Aunt. (Aunt Annaconda!) Despite this, he's a plucky and helpful and optimistic chap.

Aunt Annaconda is convinced that there's a priceless treasure buried somewhere in the hotel, and she'll stop at no ends of destruction to find it -especially after a mysterious guest checks in, whom Annaconda is utterly convinced is trying to find the treasure before she does.

(The treasure, of course, is actually Warren's by birthright, but what he really cares about is saving his beloved family hotel.)

We have just gone into the first couple of chapters, and Julia is ENTHRALLED - we're doing this one as a family read, we're all so excited about it. I'm beyond impressed by the writing style of Tania Del Rio, who comes from a comic book and manga writing and art background, as well as the amazing art from Will Staehle - his work is so cool, you must go see his website. The two of them together have created something very unique and unusual - there is something fun to look at on every single page of the book.

And I'm even more excited now because they have another Warren book coming out next spring! 'Warren and the Whispering Woods: A Novel'. I'm so there.

So are you intrigued? It's such fun!

cool stuff i like


October 21, 2016

 Happy Friday! A very falltimey 5 Hours 'til Bedtime post is up, go check it out! We made our way to a pumpkin patch two weekends ago, it was loads of fun. Pumpkin patches are not something I ever had any experience with growing up with in Hawaii! This one had doughnuts (the main reason I was there), cider, corn, and corn mazes, a little country store....it was all very cute - I got a jar of elderberry jelly, which I'm very excited about. Also a jar of spiced peaches. Doesn't that sound so 'Farmer Boy'????

Online cool stuff this week:

Chocolate chai cake with pumpkin and brown sugar frosting. WOW.

My favorite Instagram account these days.

My thoughts exactly.

Autumn in Sweden.

Fall beauty products.

One of my favorite blogs has a new look. Oh my stars I can't wait until it's finally my turn to re-design!

18 spine tingling books to read this season.

Apple cheddar scones.

Sooooooo.....I'm doing this with my hair. BIG life changer decision. A LOT more to come on this topic because I have a ton to say about it!

Cool Book of the Week: 'All Hallows' Eve : A Haunting Companion' by Gibbs Smith is a recent find that I thought was super old-vintage-Halloween-style cool, which is how I like my Halloween fare. It's got a little bit o' everything! Lots of short tales and poems from classic literature by writers like Poe, Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare. The black and white illustrations are immensely charming and hauntingly lovely - and the cover is beautifully cloth bound. This one would be great to read as a family on a dark night, sipping hot cider and holding a tiny apple hand pie. Shall I continue on with my fall night fantasy? Ok! There would be a plaid blanket involved, candy corn, popcorn, a fire, and twinkle fairy lights. I'm getting a little dizzy from the picture I've created in my mind....maybe homemade caramel apples? My mother once made caramel apples when I was about 7, and it was the greatest Halloween of my life.

 Have a lovely weekend! As always, I would loooooove to know what you're reading, eating, and watching!


The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel


October 17, 2016

'The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel' by Natasha Lowe is a new acquisition, after much pleading from the kiddo. She has the other two books in this series and LOVED them, so I figured ok, why not? The first one she read was 'The Power of Poppy Pendle' and then 'The Courage of Cat Campbell'.

'Poppy Pendle' was a book that Julia INHALED, she loved it so much, about a girl who is naturally magical but really just wants to bake, while 'Cat Campbell' is about Poppy's daughter, and Cat DOES want to be a witch, much to chagrin of her baker-mama-who-didn't-want-to-be-a-witch. Confusing? Nah, they are all delightful, and all of the books have really cute recipes at the back!

This newest one features a tale about Poppy's great-grandmother Mabel, following her (Mabel) story at a magical school when she (Mabel) was a little girl. Julia is so excited to read this, she has serious love for the prior two books.

Author Natasha, when she was young, wanted to write, be an adventurer, and run a teashop, and she grew up to do all of those things, and I think that's coolest thing ever. You can read more about her and her books on her website.

This trio of books is so cute and perfect middle grade fare for ages 8-12. Like I said, Julia has had a ball with these, and she was hopping with happiness when she saw this newest book in the series at the bookstore. Charming, sweet, and fun! If you want cozy witch books for your kiddo, stop right in front of these. If you really wanted to be awesome, you could get ALL THREE and give them as a gift - the covers are darling, and there are crafts and recipes at the end of each book - in this newest there are instructions to make Rose Petal Potpourri, Teatime Seedcake, a Nightime Treacle Posset, (a warm milky drink), Lavender Wands, and Personalized Smelling Salts.

Did I mention that the 'Mabel' book is set in the Victorian era??? BE STILL MY HEART. I'm going to read it right after Julia!

cool stuff i like


October 14, 2016

 Ok I'm typing at the speed of light trying to get a post up before our power goes out and it WILL go out because a storm is coming in and we lose power at the drop of a hat. This isn't even the pic I wanted for this week, I wanted pumpkin patch Julia but my computer is giving me issues and blah blah enjoy my heather! Ok wish me luck not getting blown away! Have a great weekend! Watch cozy scary movies for me, I won't be able to!

Online cool for all of us:

Yay! It's Wednesday Cake!

A woodsy cottage in New Hampshire.

Recall my autumn postcards post earlier in the week? Heather also has a really cool Headless Horseman print.

The sweetest birthday party.

Live action 'Alladin'? Cool.

A Vampire is Coming to Dinner.

Raising competent kids.

Such sweet photos! I want to do more bedroom photo shoots.

Gorgeous wood cabinets.

A yummy sounding soup.

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Haunted Mansion' by Disney Book Group and illustrated by James Gilleard. I just saw this the other day and was so delighted! It was just published this past summer. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is my all time favorite Disney park experience. I just LOVE it! I love the music, I love the house, I love the ambience. Love love love. SUPER LOVE those Victorian waltzing ghosts in the dining room! So imagine my happiness at finding this picture book, which really gives the flavor of the whole experience. But be careful - there are a few pictures of various spooks and ghoulies that might be too much for sensitive kiddos out there. All in all though, if you're a fan of the ride, you'll be a fan of the book - Quaintly creepy and fun. AND it comes with a CD of the music.

Have a lovely weekend! ! Words like "historic storm", and "dangerous storm" have been bandied about by the weather bloggers about this storm, which sent me into a right tizzy, I tell you. I have Weather Obsession big time. So hopefully we won't be blown away and I can catch back up with you all next week. See you on the other side of the windy!


autumn postcards


October 11, 2016

Hello my spookies! A special autumnal treat for you today. My darling pal Heather Sleightholm, who is an insanely talented artist, had a giveaway recently of these amazing autumn postcards and I WON I WON I WON! I'm sorry, that was undignified and I apologize. But I was so excited and even more so when these beauties showed up in the mail. I thought initially, oh how fun! I'll send them out to my friends! And then I thought, uh, no I will not. I will keep them and treasure them forever! I don't know, maybe at some point, I'll summon up enough kindness in my heart to maybe send one to a friend. But let's chat about how you can get YOUR hands on some of Heather's enchanting artwork!

SO IN LOVE with the whole vibe of these and the rich colors Heather uses in her work. I really don't know which one I love the best.

I'm really hard pressed to choose a favorite, but I think I have to go with the masked girl. Do you see my dilemma now? I can't part with any of these!

I've been in love with Heather's artwork for a long time now. We share a love of vintage books, Tasha Tudor, and cozy homes. She's just the sweetest and you must check out her Etsy shop to look all through her prints, note cards, postcards, and more! Here's a print of the masked girl - wouldn't she be magnificent framed and hung out during the autumn months? I'm not sure if she'll have more of these postcards that I have in her shop, (but she does have autumn note cards!) but I would jump NOW on her holiday cards! I believe that an illustrated children's book is in the works, and I for one will be first in line....

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