September 18, 2017

When The Sky is Like Lace

Oh my word, it's been so long since I've done an actual BOOK post, you know, on my BOOK blog, I seriously didn't know how to proceed. I wanted to style the book, I was like, how should I show this off, which camera should I use (hi camera phone!), and I hemmed and hawed and finally was like, just TAKE SOME PICTURES OF THE BOOK AND GET IT UP THERE. Just show people the dang book and get it over with. So hi. Here's a marvelous book.

'When the Sky is Like Lace' by Elinor Lander Horwitz and Barbara Cooney is something I happened across online, I think on Amazon, and it just looked so.....what am I seeing here? Girls dancing with otters???? At night? And then I began reading the comment reviews and people were losing their minds, saying it was a favorite from childhood (it came out in 1975 originally), and how cool it was, and how it was part of permanent collections. I got a copy from the library and I was BLOWN AWAY and I started yelling, and chasing Andrew and Julia around, reading aloud from it.

"On a bimulous night, the sky is like lace. 

Do you know how it looks when it's bimulous and the sky is like lace?"

I looked up 'bimulous'. It has no absolute definition, because it was made up for this book. Someone described it as 'magic' and someone else defined it like this, which I think is perfect and spot on, given the context of the book.

Basically, some children go out on a magical evening and find a world of dancing otters, (who like to sing songs to the tune of 'The Mexican Hat Dance'), and they encounter snails hiding in a cinnamon bush.

They watch trees dancing.

Oh and there are RULES about going out on bimulous nights. Such as, do not wear orange clothing - not even on your underclothes.

Also, there are special things to EAT on bimulous nights - things like spaghetti with pineapple sauce.

You eat, you sing, and you OPEN PRESENTS. Here is what you open:

"three fireflies in a jar
anything chartreuse
home-made marshmallow fudge
a bag of red marbles
a coconut." 

Then after the singing, eating, and present-opening...there are games. Anything you like best, and if it involves pretending to be a helicopter or juggling three peaches, so much the better!

Friends, I didn't mean to do a book post on this lovely right now - it seems so Octobery to me, but it's SO COOL it basically pushed all the other books I have in the queue aside, and I had to show it to you RIGHT NOW. This book is utter enchantment, wrapped up in a gossamer, lacy sky. It absolutely is permanent book collection worthy! THE LANGUAGE.

"Did you hear the otters sing?

The wind was rather whistly that night.

Did you see the trees dance the eucalyptus?

There were plum-purple shadows on the bedroom ceiling.

Did you see that the sky was like lace?

Or did you fall asleep and miss it?"

THIS STORY MIGHT BE THE PERFECT AUTUMN BOOK. Oh my land, go chase down this unique beauty right now!!!

September 8, 2017

cool stuff i like

HI FRIENDS!!!!! Do I still have any blog friends here? Oh my goodness, this might be one of the longest periods of time away from here for me! The end of summer, what can I say. Actually most of the summer, what can I say. We had a crazy schedule. My daughter was in a musical that seriously took up most of everyone's time, practicing at home, shuttling her to and fro from rehearsals, making sure she had dinner at 5, which meant I had to begin making dinner at 4pm a lot of times - which meant lunch had to happen on the earlier end as well, blah blah blah - FEEDING YOUR KIDS, AMIRIGHT?

What else what else. Oh, the state of our country. I tell you. I'm guessing you already know? I just hope we have a country at the end of this four year period.

I'm excited for fall. I'm ALWAYS excited for fall! And yes, for me, September 1st equals autumn in my book. I can't wait for the 22nd!

Here's what I've collected for back-to-school week:

How cute are these pens????

Harry Potter DIY bookmarks.

I have NO CHOICE but to try out this new cookbook. (I have their first book and it's fantastic)

These videos are lovely to watch.

Love this  fall dress(after gazing at it for a week, finally ordered it)

Making this snack for after school treats or for in the lunchbox.

My friend Darcy and her family spent part of their summer traveling around Europe.

Hey Scandi lovers - have you seen this blog?


Cool Book of the Week: So I happened upon this anime illustrated version of 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen a few weeks ago, and I was utterly enchanted with it. I so almost bought it. I really want someone to give it to me for Christmas! It's the complete story - with the coolest anime style art inside! Lots of illustrations and how fun is that cover? If you're a Jane Austen fan looking to flesh out your collection, this won't disappoint you.

Let's share eating, reading, watching! It's been awhile, eh? Been eating a lot of oatmeal, not terribly exciting there - been watching 'The Night Manager' - good show! And I've been reading this book. It's good! Not great, but I'll definitely read more in the series when I'm between books.

Have a lovely weekend! I'll be back with some actual books to show and tell.


July 31, 2017

cool stuff i like

Happy Monday! I'm not doing very well at getting book posts out right now, there's been a million and one things going on, but I'm still managing to glean some cool stuff from online. Guess what! You know how I'm very weather obsessed?? This week it's supposed to hit 98 or above in the greater Seattle area. What what what. That is tooooooooo hot. Too hot! I guess we'll be hiding in a movie theater that day. I had a happy accident last week - I was attempting to clean up my closet (it didn't really happen), but I found this pack of old old old hankies that used to belong to my mother. They really need to be cleaned and pressed, but some of them are so pretty! I had totally forgotten that I even owned them. I'm going to find a special box to keep the hankies in and keep it somewhere where I won't forget about them again.

Menocore!!!!!! I am all over this.

The best way to view the Perseid meteor show in 2017.

Making this for a dinner this week.

English summer country garden dreams.

Amaaaaaazing house tour.

Vintage French kids' clothes.

Julia has been loving this show, based on this book.

3 Chairs - fun, cute, new-to-me blog.

Best ice cream sandwiches.

Cool Book of the Week: I stumbled upon 'Wishing for Tomorrow' by Hilary McKay at the library, and when I saw that it was written as a sequel to 'A Little Princess', well I think you can understand that I promptly checked it out and did NOT hand it over to my daughter - I began reading it myself. I'm about a quarter of the way in, and it's neat! The story imagines - what happened to the girls in Miss Minchin's school AFTER Sara Crewe left? What became of Sara's bestie Ermengarde? What happened to mean girl Lavinia? What became of little Lottie? And.....what happened to Miss Minchin and Sara herself???? I'm finding out right now. And while the writing style is not Frances Hodgson Burnett, it's very sweet so far, and I'm totally enjoying it. I think Lavinia and Miss Minchin are going to be shown to have some redeeming qualities. If you're 'A Little Princess' fan, you're going to want to check this out if you haven't already. I had no idea this existed or I would have been on it long ago!

Have a great week! I'll be hiding from the Xtreme Hot. Is it fall time yet?


July 18, 2017

cool stuff i like

Hello friends! I have some cool news to share! - recently I had a series of photos and a small article published in a beautiful fine art magazine, 'The Long Way Home'. It's full of essays, short stories, and photographs (oh the photographs!) that speak to the creative spirit in all of us. I seriously CRIED when I saw the issue - I was completely bowled over to have my work featured alongside some lovely artists that I've admired from afar. If you'd like to see the full series of my photos, as well as the complete piece I wrote (I actually wrote in complete sentences), please see here for the issue, which is available in both print and digital format.

Other cool things to look at:

A sneak peek at the new 'A Wrinkle in Time' movie.

One of my favorite books turns 50!

Speaking of movies, I guess we'll be seeing this. I didn't know this was a movie until today.

Iced Honey Tea au Lait.

I love pom-poms. And you know what? I have a huge pom-pom strand that I display at Christmas time. I'm gonna go get it out and hang it up. 'Cuz why not? My husband will be SO DELIGHTED!

Oh look! A new hygge book!

S'mores cookie bars.

Best protective swimwear for kids.

Look at alllll the walllllllpaperrrrrrr! Love it.

I love watching French people talk about French beauty stuff. Here and here.

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Little Fox in the Forest' by Stephanie Graegien is about as charming as they come. A wordless picture book that depicts the adventures of two friends as they follow a little fox in the woods (the fox has run away with the stuffed fox doll belonging to one of the kids). The children discover an enchanted, vibrant world of animals living colorful lives amidst the trees. Totally in love with the art style here.

Let's see...reading, watching, eating - this book, DUH this show, and lots and lots of cherries and raspberries. And you?


July 13, 2017

melissa's 5th annual summer book list


Ok so let's get all the sadness out of the way and then get to business. First, I missed doing a summer book list last year, that should have been Year 5 (i think?) and that's sad. Also, this year's list is not terribly big. Also sad. And MOST SAD OF ALL - I will not have Very Illuminating Commentary from my husband Andrew on this year's list. That's super sad! But he wasn't home on the day I was making this list, and I'm not sure how much witty banter he can offer up on some cookbooks, you feel me?

(actually he probably could, but never mind.)

To make it up to you, I'll do another Mysterious & Cozy autumn book reading post this year, and I promise that I'll enlist his help in writing the summaries. (P.S. - my promises are worth less than nothing. I'm a speaker of half truths and lies, but I really do have the best of intentions! Some of the nonsense I spout does indeed come to pass.)

Quality over quantity this year, ma petites. That's what I'm selling, ha ha!

 'The Lost Kitchen' by Erin French. Isn't that cover BEAUTIFUL?? I've been fascinated by Erin's story for awhile - you can read about her here.  Her career as a chef began when she started creating secret suppers from her apartment. (I want to go to a secret supper!) Erin then began making pop-up dinners from within a kitchen in an Airstream, before finally finding a permanent home for her creative and seasonal menus in her hometown of Freedom, Maine. After being amazed at how she up and created, not just a restaurant per se, but an entire dining experience - I can't wait to check out her recipes, which include a Sweet Parsnip Cake.

'Full Moon Suppers at Salt Water Farm - Recipes from Land and Sea' by Annemarie Ahearn had me at that title. Full Moon Suppers? First of all, I love the word "supper". Its homey and cozy status is something that the word "dinner" will never ever attain. And I love cookbooks that give you creative menus that make the most from each season. Twelve months, twelve meals, along with snapshots of each month's climate, its traditions, as well as things to do in the kitchen during each month and season of the year. This one sounds very cool and unusual and I would love to see it - just published this past May.

I've got a little bit of a mixed bag thing going with these next picks. Something to take to the pool, beach, or backyard (or in my case - my car, as I wait for my kiddo at her various activities) - as well as something to sit and read in your coziest shorts while stuffing your face with brownies and a vat of iced tea, AND a little something to get later in the summer to place on your table LOOKING PRETTY. Actually, all of these would look pretty sitting around.

'Belgravia' by my beloved 'Downton Abbey' creator, Julian Fellowes. I'm so excited and I only have to wait a few more days until this is released on July 18. Amazon says that if you loved 'Downton Abbey' (how absurd to use the word "IF"), this tale of upstairs/downstairs life in an Edwardian home with "star crossed lovers and scandalous secrets" is for you. Apparently it traces a certain slice of society from the eve of the Battle of Waterloo to 25 years later when the newly wealthy Trenchard family seeks to move within the old money circles in the swanky neighborhood of Belgravia. I'm so there.

'The Moon in the Palace' by Weina Dai Randal is based on the life of Empress Wu - China's only female ruler - during the Tang dynasty. It details the origins of Mei (the future empress) - as she navigates her way through the imperial court starting from the age of 13 years old - moving from little girl to concubine, to chief consort, to emperor. The concubine political intrigue is laid out in intricate detail, and I'm really wanting to read this tale of how a highly intelligent and educated girl rose from the level of one of TEN THOUSAND imperial slaves to the highest position in China.

'Open House - Reinventing Space for Simple Living' by Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen. Moving on from ancient China palace schemes to decorating - actors-turned-designers Pays & Bernsen have been married for ages, and have also built a thriving home remodeling business together. After stumbling across some of their designs on Remodelista, I realized that I loved their brand of laid back home refurbishment, and wished I could see more of their work. And then I saw that they have a book coming out later this summer. I wish all my wishes could be so readily granted! I'm now going to wish very hard for a chocolate cake.

And in case you're sitting there feeling shorted and cheated and you just need more books - here are previous summer reading book posts: this one. Also this one. Oh look! This one. BUT WAIT, there's more. This one.

And if you are also feeling like you just can't WAIT for Autumn to arrive, here is a fall book post and also ANOTHER one. And one more. Knock yourself out!
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