a wish list easter basket

6

March 30, 2015

The past couple of weekends have been glorious. In that we've had free time to seriously do nothing! On one afternoon, the dog was taking a nap, Andrew was taking a nap, Julia was making a tiny fairy house and playing with mud outside with a pal, and I got to goof off on Pinterest and other sites o' pretty, which I haven't done in ages. I had wandered over to the Crabtree & Evelyn site and I saw one cute thing after another, and it suddenly occurred to me that there was a post to be had in this material.

Why is it that only kids get Easter baskets? You know why Easter baskets are cool? BECAUSE GIFT BASKETS ARE COOL. Oh my goodness, how I do lovedy love love an awesome, well thought out gift basket. And I never get them. I should send one to myself! Anyway, it dawned on me that all the C&E fab I was seeing were all things I'd choose if I were indeed making myself a spring gift basket.

(do you all know about my Crabtree & Evelyn obsession? Goes WAY back to my early 20's! The 'Crabtree & Evelyn' cookbook is one of my Top 5 favorite cookbooks in the entire universe.)

It's mostly the food items in their amazing and lovely packaging that I'm so enamored with. I posted the Lavender Tea Cookies on the Julia's Bookbag Facebook page over the weekend. SIGN ME UP FOR THOSE. Also, some Blackberry Green Tea and the C&E Afternoon Tea. But what really rocks my socks is the Breakfast Set. Which includes some kind of oat biscuits, English Breakfast tea, and marmalade. Doesn't it sound just so NICE??

I adore the look of some of their treats, especially the little fruit candies and the clotted cream fudge. Has anyone had clotted cream fudge?? Is it so tremendously marvelous?? Oh and then I also was totally freaking out over the strawberry kit, which has strawberry and cream cookies and strawberry and ROSEWATER preserves. Ok I really want that. Andrew, are you reading??

Apparently, the nail polish line is a new thing, and I thought the mother-of-pearl nail lacquer would be great for pretending that I am a real and true mermaid. Because one is never too old to pretend to be a mermaid! And then I would moisturize my mermaid hands with pear and pink magnolia hand creme.

The Parisian Millefleurs flower water sounds AMAZING. I wants some. (if it actually smells good)  I don't typically wear perfume and I can't stand anything heavy. I've been on a search for years for something to wear that won't give me a migraine or make me itch. No idea what this would be like, but doesn't flower water also sound so nice?

And lastly, I can assert with great conviction that C&E's goatmilk soap was perhaps the greatest smell on earth, behind babies and cookies. Sadly, it has gone out of production and you can only find it on places like Ebay. Has anyone ever bought soap on Ebay?? I'm asking so many questions today. I don't think I will be purchasing old soap on Ebay. So even though my heart is crushed that C&E stopped making this amazing product, I'm wondering if I could again find soap happiness with their Lily soap.

So there you go. My imaginary Easter wish list and all from Crabtree & Evelyn. HOW DO I GET THESE PEOPLE TO SPONSOR ME?? Maybe I should send them this post! I'm clearly their biggest fan.




cool stuff i like

18

March 27, 2015

Happy Friday! Lookee my red shoes!! Fun fact - my mom is 4 inches taller than I am, and yet we wear the exact same shoe size. I'm a grown woman and my mommy still buys me shoes. I capital 'L' LOVE my red shoes! Guess what happened to my new red shoes last night. I stepped in Nomi the puppy's poop. AGAIN. (this is at least the 5th time. at least.) Sigh. So I had to bust out the jet spray setting of my hose to spray it off and then wipe the underside down a thousand times with Clorox wipes. Pretty sure that soon I'll be forgetful and leave the shoes out and Sally the cat will eat my laces and then I won't be able to wear my shoes anymore because it will take me at least a year to remember to go to the drugstore to get new laces, and that will be the end of my jazzy new red shoes. I'm SO glad I took a picture to preserve them in all their untarnished glory! #problemsthatarenotreallyproblems


Online awesome this week:

Yet another banana bread recipe I have to try.

Young Audrey Hepburn photos.

33 Places to Shop for Your Kids That You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner.

The prettiest Easter egg hunt you will ever see!

A kid friendly family room. 

What a beautiful story. 

CRYING WITH HAPPINESS. 

And....crying with sadness. 

Darling list of birthday party picture books!

Have I posted this before? Orangette's everyday cake. 

In the Seattle area? Got some knots in the muscles? Check out my cousin-in-law's site, Purna Wellness. (I did the photos for her website!)


Cool Book of the Week: So we recently watched the classic film 'Swiss Family Robinson' for family movie night, and Julia has now watched it twice and just LOVES it. And then I was at a local toystore (that has a nice book department) looking for a birthday present for one of J's pals, and I spied this line of graphic novels from Campfire Classic. And they had a 'The Swiss Family Robinson' edition! So I got it, because in addition to being totally into that movie, Julia is also TOTALLY obsessed right now with comics. Making her own, reading them.....she's just way into comics right now. Anyway, there's a whole line of these comics! 'Gulliver's Travels' and 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'The Land that Time Forgot' and tons more. Not too long, but very big on cool comic art style, these are fun, travel friendly graphic novel versions of classics that I think any comic loving kiddo would love. Good for ages 8-12.

Have a lovely weekend! Just realized I haven't touched on any Easter fare yet. I've done a ton in the past though! Click on 'Springy' in my category cloud in my right sidebar and Easter posts should pop up. Or type in 'Easter' into the search box, also in my right sidebar. Should bring up some of my past Easter picturebooks that I've covered.....

~Melissa




the girl in the castle inside the museum

8

March 24, 2015

This has been interesting, this first quarter of 2015. I realized a few things. One, there's no way I could go at the pace I was going at a year ago, or oh my stars, two years ago. That pace was not sustainable. I've definitely made the move to less often, but hopefully, more thoughtful, blogging. And I also realized that what with the new dog, photography sessions happening here and there, taking care of my family (oh those guys!), it's always a guessing game as to how long my sanity and health are going to hold out, and I better get those books I've been sitting on for ages out on the blog.

That's a looooooongwinded way of saying that I realized that I hadn't profiled 'The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum' by Kate Bernheimer and Nicoletta Ceccoli yet and I'm horrified. I've had it since Julia was four.

It's one of the most beautiful, coolest, haunting, COOLEST, most amazing picture books I've ever seen. Reading this story is like jumping into someone's fantastic dream.

Let's back up and look at that statement again, yes?

One of the most beautiful and amazing picture books I have ever seen. Ever.

I know I've been on a HUGE Nicoletta Ceccoli kick, and I make no apologies. Let's just let me get it all out of my system! I've been throwing her name out here and there for the past month. Her art brings new life to the fairy tale artwork realm.

Oh and let's give me a little high five for extra creativity points today, ok? Because I took some recent photos of Julia in her new spring dress and a couple of them really struck me as being very 'Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum-ish'.

A hint of darkness, in Nicoletta's work. Which is the way the best fairy tales operate.

And always, I must share my husband Andrew's comment: "those doll people look creepy."

I remember when I first saw this book - I had borrowed it from the library. About 10 seconds after bringing it home, I ordered it from Amazon.

(Nicoletta's illustrations in this book about magical creatures was one of Julia's all time top favorite books for a solid two years when she was 4 and 5. Well, and 6. She still loves it!)

I think my fascination stems from the fact that I've always been obsessed with miniatures. And tiny worlds.  I love the idea of a secret (and tiny!) society happening right under our noses. Which is why I find the whole idea of fairies, pixies, elves, and leprechauns endlessly appealing.

True story - I STILL BELIEVE IN FAIRIES. I'll go to my grave with the notion that....no one has proven to me that they don't exist. So until that happens, I'm going to believe that they do.

This post from Sarah really struck a chord with me when I read it, because it was such an articulate way of expressing something I feel often. When I was young, my books were my entire world. Especially fairy tale books. And now that I'm grown, at any given time, I'm reading a children's book. I can't say how important I think it is, to have beautiful books, classic books, and fairy tale books lying around for your kids. Not to slam 'Babymouse' or 'Captain Underpants' (both of which I would have LOVED as a kid), but I think it's also just a Really Good Thing to have works of total whimsy and crazy beautiful imagination about the house.

Have you ever envisioned a world within a snowglobe? Or imagined walking past a dollhouse and catching a glimpse of a tiny dress fluttering past the corner of a doorway? You need to see this book.




cool stuff i like

11

March 20, 2015

Happy Friday! Our daffodils are pretty much the only thing worthwhile in our garden right now. Nomi the puppy is rapidly destroying what small amount of grass we have left in our weed pile of a backyard. I cut a little bouquet the other day and I guess I knew this but I forgot - daffodils have a nice, light fragrance! A dose of yellow to brighten the really grey day we're having. How has your week been? I'm still feeling strange after the time change - and yesterday I went to bed at 7:30pm. Got up at 10:30pm and finished my post. Then went back to bed. I feel like I could sleep for a month straight, if I could.


Online goodies this week:

More tidying ideas.

I can't WAIT to visit this bookstore the next time we're visiting grandpa in Hawaii!

Breakfast quesadillas. 

Things for 2nd and 3rd graders to read. (i realize that i link so much to my pals - because my blog pals are so awesome!)

Tasha Tudor Easter and spring items. 

And....Easter sweets and decor. 

This has been all over the place this week- having a YES day.

How to avoid getting into a dinner rut.

Pretty sure that Nomi the puppy needs THIS.

Has anyone seen this movie? I just read about it via this darling house tour on Cup of Jo and it looks really sweet.


Cool Book of the Week: 'I Want My Hat Back' by Jon Klassen. Yes I know. This book is old news, especially if you're into books, especially if you're a book blogger. But....somewhere someone might not be AWARE. Of the awesome. And also, I just came across a note I had written to myself on my phone. A few weeks ago, we were all out at a bookstore and Andrew was flipping though it. He had never seen it! Or heard of it! And he was laughing laughing laughing. His comments:

"Now that's a good book." And, "That book was funny when that bear ate that rabbit." And he said I should describe the story as "a classic tale of revenge and murder."  

But seriously, this gem has now become a modern classic in the picturebook realm, and what I think it really teaches you is......BEWARE OF HAT STEALING BUNNIES.

Have a lovely weekend!

~Melissa




andrew lang's color fairy books

11

March 19, 2015

In honor of St. Patrick's Day this week, I've got a bit of a rainbow for you today!

Sometimes I write posts just to serve as little reminders to myself. The most passionately worn in my entire fairy tale book collection are my Color Fairy books, edited by Andrew Lang. Do you know these? Did you read these? Andrew Lang is my personal hero, for his tireless work in collecting fairy tales from all over the world and putting them into these collections. His fairy tales include certain stories that exist as the first English translations.

In the 4th and 5th grades, I read little else besides these books. These aren't baby fairy tales. They're dense, text heavy, interesting stories that are far off the beaten track of well known fairy tales. Have you heard of the 'The Frog and the Lion Fairy'? Or 'The Enchanted Wreath'? Or 'The White Slipper'?

I spent hours of class time secretly drawing princesses and fairies at my desk, trying oh so hard to match the delicate and lovely art style. I failed miserably, but to me, the way the heroes and heroines were depicted in these books were the way people in fairy tales were supposed to look - romantic and old fashioned and otherworldly.

My books are in TERRIBLE shape. One of my favs, 'The Violet Fairy Book' is just ripped to shreds. They all need replacing something fierce. And happily, they are still available and you can get them new! Red. Lilac. Green. Crimson. I'm not sure what happened to my PINK fairy tale book, but that one was a particular favorite. Certain books have a certain 'flavor' if you will - for instance, the Orange one has more Persian and Arabian tales in it than the others.

I'm going to start getting new ones, and swapping them out, one by one. A book collection that spent a childhood in humid Hawaii does not not hold up well throughout the years, unfortunately.

If you want some gorgeous books to add to your home libraries, or want something interesting for your kids who might think themselves 'too old for fairy tales', you might want to surprise your kiddos with some of these. I can promise you they are for bigger kids only; the absolute youngest age I would start these at would be age 7 or 8. While there are lots of fairy tale options for wee ones, I think fairy tales books for older elementary ages are in scarce supply. Happily, there are a TON of colors in this series to choose from! There's even a fancy Rainbow fairy book edition in hardcover, which is available used. (I have it, I'll show that one off in a later post.)




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