The Snow Country Prince


February 7, 2012

Sometimes it’s all about the art. I can’t even state accurately what goes on in ‘The Snow Country Prince’ by Daisaku Ikeda and  Brian Wildsmith, but I want to stare at the pictures all day long. I’d love to rip out the pages and frame them, but yes, I do remember that destroying a library book is wrong. This one is actually kinda sad, about two children whose father gets sick and has to go to the hospital, and then the mom also takes off to go see what’s up with the dad, and HEY! WHO IS WATCHING THE KIDS??? A swan apparently. But he’s not really a swan, because he’s really the Snow Country Prince, but then eventually he takes off too, and the kids are just super flipped out but then the parents come back.


I was kind of surprised by the level of downer in this little book “First Papa…then Mama…and now our swan has gone away! Oh how lonely winter is!”

BUT. . . .

The art is sublime. And really, have y’all read ‘The Little Match Girl’? Or the ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’? Now THOSE are some downer stories, big time!

So. Don’t be sad. All is well in Snow Country Prince Land. And does he not have the COOLEST clothes ever? And he flies! This book kinda blew my mind.

Birthday Inspiration


February 6, 2012

I wanted to show you a few birthday things that I received a few weeks ago. (You can read my angsty birthday post here.) I found some grand inspiration from the cards I got and was so blown away, I wanted to share. . .

Look at the bottom right picture – Julia made me some art! I asked her to do it. My only request was “no white space”. Otherwise, she did it all on her own. Andrew bought a small canvas and some acrylics in colors Julia requested and let her go to town – I ADORE IT and I think I will never buy art again – I’ll just let my kiddo make it for me!

See the GORGEOUS Happy Birthday card up top left? The fox and the owl? Too fabulous! One of my best friends sent it to me and I was so impressed with this darling card, that I looked on the back to see if there was info on the company who made it. (She found it on Maui, in a spot I assert has the best shopping on the island. Read more here.) Here’s the back of the card:

I discovered that the card was designed by Petite la borde and there is a website!

Isn’t this one darling?

Petite card1

And this one?

Petite card 2
I wasn’t feeling tiptop during all our snow and my sweet neighbor dropped the kitty get-well card by on my doorstep. This card came from Victorian Greetings and there are so many PRETTIES there. The art looked familiar:

P1010320 (2)
Beatrix Potter! On the back of the card, it said that the art comes from a book called ‘The Fairy Caravan’ – well, I’d never heard of this one by Miss B., so I had to look it up. Seems that the story about a pig who runs away to join a traveling circus is aimed at older school age children and is longer in length (225 pages) than her books we’re all more familiar with. I’ve got to get it!

the fairy caravan
I’ve been hankering after ‘Falling Cloudberries’ by Tessa Kiros for awhile – finally got it! IT’S GORGEOUS. I collect cookbooks, so I’m stoked on a book even if I don’t cook from it too often, but you may have a different mindset on such matters. This one has exotic recipes from Scandinavia, Greece and South Africa. . .

Apples for Jam
I don’t know if it’ll get a ton of heavy everyday usage but there are some delightful sounding treats that I’ll be making and the whole book is just a work of art; the photography alone makes it worth having. Now I want ‘Apples for Jam’; the reviews are VERY enthusiastic.

Fascinating what you can find out from a card, yes?

Cool Stuff I Like


February 3, 2012

VALENTINE’S DAY STICK TREE YO! Do you love it? I love it! Can you tell I looooooove it? So here’s how this incarnation of the TREE o’ AWESOME went down – I got this really cute heart garland from Cost Plus World Market for 3 or 4 dollars, can’t remember, and I was going to artfully drape the garland along the branches and it was going to look OH SO DELIGHTFUL.

Except it looked NOT SO DELIGHTFUL. I could not get those hearts to artfully drape no matter what I did. All the hearts were hanging upside down. I had to make poor Andrew take his cereal into the other room because I kept spinning the silly thing and was worried I was going to poke him in the eye. So finally, I just CUT UP THE GARLAND and tied the hearts on individually. And then added a whole bunch more hearts. The stick tree is getting ornery. This month definitely gave me the most problems. Those silly sticks won’t stay put. I’m starting to love/hate the stick tree.

COOL STUFF will make it allllllll better:

No I’m not a rep for Kusmi. I should be. Rose tea? Or Chocolate Tea? SPICY Chocolate tea?

Fairy tale Matryoshka dolls that tell a story – COOL.

We just read this Lotta book and this Lotta book. Julia and I both LOVED.

Want some color? Want some design? Then this book is for you!

This time, I almost passed out from laughter. Andrew laughed a lot and he never laughs at anything besides his own jokes.

The other day, I made French Onion Soup! It was awesome! Read all the comments for extra tips.

Strawberry Heart Oreos.

THESE ARE INCREDIBLE. (saw them featured on Apartment Therapy and my jaw dropped.)

Cool Book of the Week: ‘Hug Time’ by Patrick McDonnell. SO cute! SO sweet! A little cat explores the world and finds many things far and wide to which he can give a hug. The art will slay you.

Hug Time
Happy weekend! Love, kisses, pink, chocolate, hearts, joy, peace, empathy – Julia and I have been writing down lovey words on her little chalkboard. Pink and Chocolate = love in our house!


Love Notes


February 2, 2012

You guys have to got try these if you haven’t already.

Julia has been doodling on her windows since last fall and I haven’t erased a thing. I went in the other day to wipe the slate clean so that she could draw some new pictures. As I looked at the window, I realized that in at least five different spots, she had written “Julia loves Mommy” in various places. She also “loves Dad” and her beloved kindergarten teacher, whose name she gamely tried to spell on her window as well.

So I took pix, wiped the window, and drew her a new love message on one side of the window. I left the other side blank so she can go back to drawing rockets and sun faces and more doodly-doos.

That morning she had actually been really sassy and naughty and I totally lost my temper with her. We hugged it out before she went to school, but let me tell you about the ache in my heart when I discovered all these ‘I Love Mom’ notes she had been putting on her window over the months.

At Night


February 1, 2012


A couple weekends ago we had an indoor camping expedition to the. . . family room. Such adventurers we are! Julia slept on her old toddler bed mattress, I slept on the sofa (very comfy FYI) and poor Andrew was in his sleeping bag on the floor. He wasn’t feeling super spry in the morning. I think only small kids and my father are totally comfortable on the floor.

I’m a night owl, totally. I haven’t been on speaking terms with the morning for at least a couple of decades. One of the more shocking aspects of parenting for me was when I discovered that children are not only extremely bouncy and talkative in the morning (at least mine is), but that they seem to expect YOU to talk to THEM. Come again?

While cheerful-and-bouncy-in-the-morning will be forever out of reach for me, I think I can manage polite civility when a certain someone who is somewhere between the ages of 5 and 6 and who shall remain nameless, manages to avoid screaming in my face first thing upon my awakening. Things run more smoothly that way. I’m patiently patiently plotting my revenge for her teen years, when all she wants to do is sleep in until 10 am. . . tee hee. I’m going to have such fun!

So back to our coSy night. (remember how I strongly asserted that cozy is cozier spelled with an ‘S’) It inspired me to snap pictures of a few of our favorite nighttime reading books: ‘Little Bear’s Friend’ and ‘A Kiss for Little Bear’. These books are mine. As in they are from my childhood and have survived my smudgy finger years to become Julia’s books. (I like to think my hands are a bit cleaner now. Andrew would say that they aren’t.) We’ve been reading them together since she was three. And now she can read them on her own. The feeling that comes from her reading the actual books that I read when I was little is. . . amazing.

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