cool stuff i like


October 28, 2016

 Happy Friday! Here we are finally, the weekend before Halloween! I'll be very extremely busily trying to do a dress rehearsal of my kiddo's costume, because I have to photograph it from every angle BEFORE Halloween day because on Halloween the day itself, she's not going to have any patience whatsoever for me and my camera. So we're doing photos the day before. I'm beyond proud of myself. This year's costume took a good month's worth of planning and procurement - the first items purchased were the the wrong size and had to go back - thankfully I had allowed plenty of time with good margins for error. But in the end, it all came together fabulously and I'll have pix next week.

Oh and let's talk about the fun Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling cards up above! The kiddo's Halloween treat that she begged for. She read my fortune, and I have to say, I thought it was fairly relevant to things going on in my life right now. (I can make myself believe anything!) I want a tarot deck too. Especially because I'm re-reading this. The short reading took a good 10 minutes to set up and interpret. The long reading basically uses every card in the deck and um, we won't be doing any long readings anytime soon.

Online items of autumn coolness:

I'm already weeping tears of joy.

Halloween dinner ideas.

This bath soak sounds nice.

My hopes.....they are SKY HIGH.

Super cute DIY Halloween party for kids.

October Soup. (recipe is at the end of a very delightful post)

Caramel Apple Pudding Cake.

I read recently that this is a very good pillow and I'm passing the info on.

Love this - self care love rituals.

Sarah's favorite brownies and a giveaway!!

Cool Book of the Week: A true Halloween treat - 'The Teeny-Tiny Woman - A Folk Tale Classic' by Paul Galdone. A story about a teeny tiny woman for the tinier tots. You all know this old English ghost fable right?? Truly a classic, but this new 2016 version is so charmingly rendered, it bears repeating. And I tell you, this short little wisp of a tale really gets to me, even as an adult. It's so jump-inducing at the end! Let's just say, the teeny tiny woman gets more than she expected when she finds an old bone in a graveyard, and intends to boil it for her supper of a teeny tiny pot of soup. But the bone objects! There's something no kidding around about this story, with that bone talking business, ha ha ha. Delightfully fun. Oh and check out these other folk tale classics collections from Paul Galdone - you might want to keep them in mind when holiday shopping, they are perfect gift material....

Have a lovely weekend, and Halloween! I'm trying to get my hands on a pastel blue pumpkin, have you all seen those? I think they actually a type of large squash. Wait is that what a pumpkin is too? Oh speaking of, I made a pumpkin pie from actual pumpkins and we all fought over it like wild wolves. I used a recipe from the Food 52 Genius Recipes book, which I ADORE, for the dough and recipe, except I added more spices as per 'The Joy of Cooking' and I used a combo of brown sugar and white sugar in the filling. So worth it to roast your own pumpkin and make a pie that way!


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 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!


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