October 5, 2015

 My spookies! SERIOUSLY. Is there much of anything that's better than October? The sunny days. The chilly nights. The treats. The sweaters. PUMPKIN WAFFLES. Pumpkin everything else. Magical mists, old curling leaves and cookies and breezes and cardigans (see also sweaters). Even if those Octobery things exist for me or for some people only as a state of mind or an ideal, it's a very good state of mind to try and attain, I believe.

And there are Halloween books.

 'Halloweena' by Miriam Glassman and Victoria Roberts is a sweetheart of a Halloween book that I scooped up from the library. Yessiree, I still bring home picture books here and there for my almost-ten year old.

In this one, Hepzibah, (a witch who lives on burnt cupcakes), inherits a baby human from her sister (it's complicated) and takes to her new role as surrogate witch mama with great enthusiasm, even though the child has difficulty learning to fly and cackle.

As she grows, the little girl (named Halloweena) learns how to perform spells and master the art of flying, but she longs to make friends with the kids she sees out on Halloween, who look like her and sound like her when they laugh.

 After some resistance to the idea. Hepzibah realizes that friends are needed to keep Halloweena from growing sad and lonely. She ponders upon what spell she can cast to bring some friends into Halloweena's life, with no success. But Halloweena takes matters into her own hands and conjures up a CANDY CORN FIELD, which of course, draws other kids to it like little fireflies.

Soon, Halloweena has all the friends she could ever wish for, and a special Halloween party to boot!

So darling! Precious and non-threatening, and what I really love is that this is appropriate for such a wide age range - anywhere from 5 through 9. The art work is light and detailed and tiny - as in loads of small intricacies within the pages that you have to really look at to appreciate. I like my kid Halloween books to be high on the charming and the cute, and 'Halloweena' more than satisfies me on both counts. Also, I WANT A CANDY CORN FIELD.

cool stuff i like


October 2, 2015

Happy Friday! Well it's here. The best time. October is truly one of the best months/times of the year for me. All the cozy. Trying to have a cozy feeling within me is pretty much my great life intention. I found a special treat at a local market last weekend - Seckel pears! Some years I don't find them. Have you ever tried these? They're mini sized pears, (which makes them even more delightful), and they have a special sugary creamy sweetness that just isn't found in any other kind of pear that I've ever tried. And so wee! 3 bites and that's pretty much it. I also found a barrel of 'heirloom' apples at the store that came from Portland, Oregon, and I can't recall what their Very Interesting Names were, they were just gorgeous, see up above - a sort of deep crimson flame red color. Next week I'm going to make a crisp. I realized that I haven't made an apple crisp in a couple of years, I don't think. I've also begun thinking about Christmas presents, because I have been trying to avoid the December meltdown of Must Get It All Done So Fast And I'm Freaking Out. I don't like to freak out, even though I seem to do it with great regularity. Where am I going with all of this. Um, happy October?

A lot of fun things for you this week:

This chicken sammy.

And this chicken cookbook, by one of my favorite cookbook authors. (I have two of her books!)

MORE Harry Potter trivia.

Chocolate studded oatmeal bars.

Keep your eye on Melissa Hogan's artistry (BEE Creative) - she's amazing and will soon be selling her fabulous handcrafted bowls on eBay. And I heard she's working on an adult coloring book!

Check out this elementary school in France!

Already shared this on my personal FB and you all might have seen it already, but THIS article on the one conversation that could save your teen's life is pretty awesome -- Glennon's wisdom just astounds me.

Translating Shakespeare? I'd love to hear about your thoughts on this.

My neighbor is reading this book and says it's FANTASTIC.

Downton Abbey meets Star Wars.

A whole big pile of autumnal treats.

Cool Book of the Week: Our very first foray into All Things Halloween is  'Leo, a Ghost Story' by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson, a charmer that was just released this past August. SO darling, I happened across it in a local bookstore! Leo, a happy little ghost, is so thrilled when a new family moves into his haunted home. He makes them honey toast and mint tea! He wants to be friends! But alas, the new family is not so enchanted with the idea of a ghost in their home. So Leo decides to explore the world and in so doing, finds a little girl named Jane, who is thrilled to make a new friend. A non-spooky tale for ages 3-5.

Have a lovely first October weekend! Go forth and be cozy!


coconut apple pie toddy


September 30, 2015

My lovelies, I hope you don't think I've abandoned my poor forsaken blog, because I haven't! I'm here. A combination of factors has kept me away - life, Julia starting school, family commitments and photo sessions. But I love my blog so much, it's like my other child, and I will be here when I can!

 I don't consume a ton of dairy - it makes me break out, and I'm always scouting around for fun things that mimic dairy that aren't dairy. But I don't do soy milk, or rice milk. I do almond milk, but then I worry that I'm contributing to California's drought problems, because almonds require so much water and so much is needed to make almond milk!

But I made an interesting drink out of coconut milk. I think it might have been even better using coconut milk from a can - I used coconut milk that comes in a container like almond milk and that's a bit more diluted and has guar gum 'n stuff, which is some kind of thickener. My advice would be to go for real and true coconut milk, and not the low fat kind.

 I happened to have apple pie spice from last year. So I threw that in. You have to use a hefty amount to really be able to taste it - a good half to 1 teaspoon per cup. I tried it with just the spices and the coconut milk. It tasted healthy. I wanted it to taste like a treat. So then a half teaspoon or so of honey went into my warmed up coconut milk and whirled around, and THEN it tasted like a treat.

(*if you don't have apple pie spice, a 1/4 teaspoon EACH of cinnamon and nutmeg will do the trick. maybe more, just start slow and keep adding until you have the right amount of spice.)

It got kind of bubbly and frothy after I stirred it all around - maybe the guar gum makes it that way, ha ha ha? It was a very nice drink! And would also be good with real milk, or almond milk, or whatever kind of milk with which you like to be acquainted.

So make this warming drink, or some incarnation of it, and be happy. I will be wrapping up two big newborn sessions in the next couple of weeks, and I will be here as often as possible! With books, and spooks, and cozy treats.

(*one last note! it suddenly occurred to me while chatting in the comments, that what would really bring this over the top is a drizzle of caramel syrup or sauce, if you happen to have any. Doesn't that sound NICE??)

fall adventure sticks


September 21, 2015

Hello friends! I mentioned last week on Instagram that Julia had made these adventure stick things. They were such a hit, and she had so much fun with them, that I felt compelled to follow up with a more complete posting. Julia was amusing herself the other day by skimming through Pinterest on my Fun Kid Stuff board and she paused on a nature hunt treasure stick craft, detailed on the Kiwi Crate site. Yes, that might be record amount of links thrown down in a single sentence.

(in other news, we might give Tinker Crate a try! I think it would be a cool holiday gift to sign up for a few months. you get fun experiments and craft boxes mailed to you each month, for 1 month, or 3 or 6 or a year, whatever you like. This isn't a sponsored post, but hey Kiwi Crate! if you want to sponsor us, we'd TOTALLY be into that! oh and i think right now is 25% off the first month with the code SEPFUN.)

Anyway, big thanks to them for the awesome idea, and who knew that twine, sticks, and leaves could yield so much entertainment? Julia and her neighborhood pals spent the entire afternoon 'adventuring', after a few of these sticks were made. I feel like seriously, if all I gave my kiddo this holiday season was a box with a pocket knife, some string, a slingshot, and a compass, she'd be the happiest camper alive. I love this time of her childhood! Everything is one grand adventure, it's the coolest.

cool stuff i like


September 18, 2015

Happy Friday! In a few days, it'll be fall for real, but up above is a last glimpse of our summer trip to California. Julia is knee deep in Halloween costume planning. (No strong contenders at this point.) Nomi the puppy ate something she shouldn't have the other day, and threw up all night, and was shaking like a leaf. My poor puppy! I think she must have felt like, what's happening to me?? But she's all better now and back to chasing the cats all over the house. Not much is going on here of late...I'm trying to organize my life and as usual, am failing miserably. I never got my summer reading list up and at you, but it's more fun to read cozy books in the fall anyway, so I'll be trying to get that post put together.

Online awesome this week:

The 'Jungle Book' movie trailer looks bonkers AMAZING. 

Blueberry biscuits.

Have I already showed you this? Interstellar Cinderella. I think I did, but I saw it again, or was having a conversation with someone about it somewhere else. Anyway, I couldn't recall if I'd shared it here or not. I think I did. I already said that. I need to end this sentence but I don't know how.

A Yoda-inspired birthday.

DIY Lavender smudge bundles.

The Big 5 Fall Books.

I'll take a bowl in each color.

Halloween paper chain kit.

Orchard Apple Crumble and Custard. (I am so loving this blog)

Insanely easy ways to decorate a cake. (Thanks Julia!)

Cool Book of the Week: 'What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night' by Refe and Susan Tuma is hilariously awesome. Julia and I looked all through it during a recent short trip to the book store. The creators have photographed various dino figurines in a variety of poses, wreaking havoc around a home when no one is looking. The Tumas apparently do this for their kids every November - creating scenes of mischief and mayhem depicting what their kids' toys, specifically the plastic dinosaurs, are capable of at night. It's FANTASTIC. Julia was pretty sad not to be bringing this home with us, but she had already just recently bought two books and it wasn't in the cards that day! This would be a fun birthday present or holiday gift that a variety of age ranges would enjoy.

Have a lovely weekend! I ate a pumpkin frozen waffle today with cream cheese and walnuts on it and it was delightful.


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