cool stuff i like


September 30, 2016

 Happy Friday!! An all new 5 Hours 'til Bedtime post is up, go check it out! It's getting to be FULL AUTUMN in our area and if you follow along with us on Instagram, you might have seen our fall tree that we made in our window - if you haven't seen it, go peek and tell me what you think. We had a great time making it, and by great time, I mean that I did. Andrew took his tree trunk designing verrrrrry seriously and had to make a half dozen 'rough drafts' and I was like, just draw the darn thing so I can cut it out! And Julia was happy to stick on about 5 leaves and then wander away. But we're all happy with the end result so I'm glad I pestered, badgered, encouraged everyone to take part...

I missed last week's Cool Stuff I believe, so here's what I've been collecting for the past couple of week:

Loved this. And bonus peeks at Jenny's kitchen!

Old fashioned maple candy.

Book reviews from a 4th grader.

Fascinating interview and darling house tour.

If you love unicorns, here's your roundup of unicorn fun.

I seriously want to drape this garland everywhere in my house.

One of my favorite cookbook authors has a new one that looks fabulous.

Best fall books 2016.

Girls and Frenemies.

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Imaginary' by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett is one of those instant-classic type of books. I adore books with this theme! This one is actually aimed at the upper elementary school crowd, and focuses on the struggle of the imaginary friend to survive, since his existence is at risk - due to an evil older man who not only can see imaginary people, but EATS them in order to prolong his own life. This wicked fellow has an imaginary little friend assistant who is evil as well. Creepy yet adventurous and fun, and just right for fans of 'Coraline'. I think this one would be great to read during October-Halloween time....

 Have a lovely weekend! I had a bag of Trader Joe's new pumpkin spice caramel popcorn IN MY HANDS and didn't buy it. I also didn't buy pumpkin marshmallows at the regular grocery store. I also didn't buy a pumpkin pie. And I also didn't buy pumpkin Cheerios, nor did I purchase pumpkin spice english muffins. A remarkable amount of pumpkin products have been held in my hands and then put back on the shelves. I'm going to use a very over used blogger phrase: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, my friends, it really is.

But I feel that I must mightily make the attempt to make prudent and informed pumpkin product choices, mais oui? As in, I can't buy alllllllll the pumpkin products, right? I did however buy pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds at Trader Joe's. I think they might have jumped the shark when they made that particular pumpkin product, but I bought it anyway. I also bought their pumpkin waffles and pumpkin mini pies. I thought I was going to say hey have a great weekend, but apparently instead I had to have a dissertation on my pumpkin product buying issues.


autumn song


September 26, 2016

A little ode to autumn still life to kick off the week. What's on your fall bucket list?

cool stuff i like


September 16, 2016

Happy Friday! My old fading hydrangeas are making me super happy this week. Which is nice because the back to school/after-school activity train is officially kicking my booty. One day I was on the road basically from 2:30 to 6:30. I know, moan me a river. But when I realized that the kiddo's activities have lengthened in time and one was a polar opposite direction from her school, well I might have shed a tear or two or three. But hey, fall time is STILL THE BEST TIME.

Online finds this week:

A back to school menu plan.

I want to see this!

A whole lot of bowl dinners.

Handmade Charlotte now has craft kits for sale!

Some really clever IKEA hacks.

Can't WAIT for Sarah's cookbook.

Hey cozy mystery fans - my dear pal Laura suggested this series to me.

AAAAAGH I'm so worried about all of this 'Great British Baking Show' business! I want all the lineup to stay together, I already heard the hosts might leave - if the judges leave, I'm out.

I try to not poach other links from other lists, but I saw this linked on Design Mom and my jaw dropped. This article on the fashion waste crisis is the most fascinating thing I've read in a loooooooong time. Read the WHOLE thing. Amazing. It makes me want to just own some t-shirts and have 5 Japanese smock apron thingys and just wear those same things forever.

Cool Book of the Week: 'Miss Moon - Wise Words from a Dog Governess' by Janet Hill is a book you might have seen around....or everywhere! If you're into books. Or maybe this is the first time you've seen it, and then I can feel I've done a good job here today because it's so worth seeing! I REALLY want to own this, and I really think I might need to just get it. Even though Julia is past the picture book stage, I think she would love this a ton - SO unusual and unique. First, I seriously want to wallpaper a room in my house with the art. And second, the story idea is so cool - A dog governess, Miss Wilhemina Moon (awesomest name ever!), lives off the coast of France on a small island and cares for sixty-seven dogs of all shapes and sizes. She imparts 20 happy life lessons to help tame the wild dogs, and in so doing, sheds some useful information that we all would do well to remember! This is one of the most interesting book finds I've come across in a few years.

Have a lovely weekend! I'm going to make a treat recipe I really liked again, because the first time I wasn't able to photograph it so that it looked appetizing. I'm going to give it another go.....


king of the dollhouse


September 13, 2016

Hello my friends! Are you seeing what I'm seeing?? I do believe that what we have here is an actual blog post ABOUT A BOOK. I'm trying to think when the last time that occurred. Let's not stress our brains, but let's just say it's been awhileZ.

And I hope you love the look of what I'm showing off today - 'King of the Dollhouse' by Patricia Clapp. This vintage charmer came out in 1976! I was six years old. I'm a vintage charmer too!

I found out about this sweet story via a lovely blog - Once Upon a Bookshelf, I think it was called?? Curated by the amazing Rebecca. But sadly, her blog is no more and I can't link you to it. But she blogged about this book, and I instantly clicked 'purchase' once I got the gist of the story.

A little girl realizes that a miniature family has moved into her dollhouse. A ROYAL miniature family, with a rather progressive (for the day) plot line - King Borra Borra is a stay-at-home dad to a whole bundle of little babies (I forget how many there are - ten? Twelve?), while the mama-queen rides horse-mice and has Many Adventures because she has "a restless spirit". Occasionally she floats back home to tell her babies new bed time stories.

Ellie, the little girl, becomes friends with the little king, despite his Extremely Haughty Attitude, and helps to care for "the peanut butter babies" - so referred to because they have no teeth yet, and peanut butter is their favorite food.

(correction ~ it is not only their favorite food - it their ONLY food. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack, so says their daddy-the-king.)

When Julia and I read this, (about a year or two ago? I think she was 8.) we were so entranced by the adorable peanut butter babies, which are drawn with great whimsy and charm by Judith Gwyn Brown. See the above photo!

If you get this book, AND YOU SHOULD, do it for the massively darling Peanut Butter Babies. The details about their daily routine, and the descriptions of their little wee baby life and antics are just the CUTEST. I want a peanut butter baby! One of them is named Marmeduke, we come to find out at the end.

Eventually the King and Queen feel that since the babies are growing and beginning to learn to ride their own mice, they need to find a home out in the open fields, and they relocate to a hollow tree that was recently vacated by a nice squirrel family. Ellie is sad to lose their companionship, but she contents herself with the tiny fairy crown that the king leaves her, and she decides to write her own little book about the royal family who lived in her dollhouse.

The whole book is very slight, only 94 pages, and I think we read it in two or three days. And it has stayed with us. Julia and I still marvel at the extreme darlingness of those peanut butter babies!

Earlier in the summer (yes, that's how long it took me to get this post up and written), I told her that I was going to profile this book, and she was so delighted. We decided to make a little dollhouse scene in one of my dresser drawers, which has remnants of some realllllllllllly olllllllllld Laura Ashley drawer liner paper. We dumped out all of my socks and pajamas, and took some bit and pieces from our dollhouse to put in the drawer. Friends, we LOVED playing with this little scene/set and Julia was sad when I eventually needed my drawer back. Everything looked so cute in it, better than it does in my dark old dollhouse!

The daddy doll is mine from when I was twelve. He came from London and has lost quite a bit of paint from his nose. The nanny/grandma doll is also that old, and she is Julia's favorite dollhouse doll and mine too. WE LOVE HER. She's holding some peppermint sticks, not sure if you can see that? And we didn't have too many babies, but we have a couple, and those were our stand-ins for the peanut butter babies.

This book is out of print, but I highly suggest you get a used copy. It's one of the sweetest, cutest, most adorable books I've ever come across for kids. And if you're a dollhouse lover, you just have to find it. There's a full page picture of the babies gleefully jumping into a jar of peanut butter that is so ADORABLE and I'm kicking myself that I didn't snap that page for you. Oh well. Go find this one! Great for ages 5-9.

cool stuff i like


September 9, 2016

Happy Friday! Ok friends. It's happening. I think. I'm fairly certain I'll be able to get a REAL BLOG POST up next week. It's been quite a summer. A lot of sad things have come to pass - do you recall the ill extended family member I referenced late spring? Maybe? Well he's no longer with us, and the fall out from his passing has been tremendously difficult on many levels. I'm so happy that autumn is here (I know, not until the end of the month, but come on.....fall is here!) because for me and so many others, I think, this season is the comforting blanky time of year. For those of you out there struggling - I wish you peace and a deep restorative breath. I wish some time of reading good books and having a cozy treat. #hygge.

Things to look at this week:

Due to some tech difficulties, 5 Hours 'til Bedtime went on hiatus during the summer months, but now it's back! Go check it out, such a fun project that I love contributing to.


Look at all these pretty cakes!

Have you all seen the dress-up nap baby?

Trader Joe's meal hacks. I'm trying them all!

Jeska's tea shed's autumn makeover.

Middle grade books for 2016 fall.

These photos are AMAZING. The colors! At the top of my photo life to-do list is to get proficient at film.

This was a fascinating article about the places in which we live and how we manage them. Really great read.

Has this movie come out? I really want to see!

Not too early to look at 2017 calendars.....

Cool Book of the Week: My amazing pal Michelle clued me in to a brand spanking new release that I'm just fainting over, I MUST HAVE IT I MUST I MUST! 'ScandiKitchen: Fika and Hygge: Comforting cakes and bakes from Scandinavia with love' by Bronte Aurell. (Ok seriously? Best name ever.) It looks enchanting. It looks yummy. Fika AND Hygge?? #1 on my Christmas wish list that I'm creating right now, so that my darling husband has no excuse for not knowing what to get me, ha ha ha.

Have a lovely weekend friends! Come see me sometime next week! Kiddo is back in school. Just wrapped up a family photo session. I CAN BLOG AGAIN.


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