July 31, 2012

Goodbye July

A calendar my dad made, from photos he took.

'Morgan and Me'.  (out of print, but available used.)

Purpley plants.

Moshi monster! (Julia bought this with her allowance. It's very strangely fun, it dances around.)

A cute little toucan box my mom-in-law got from Costa Rica, for Julia. I stole it.

And other random fun summer-ness.

Let's chat about the fact that there is just only about one month before school starts. SUMMER JUST STARTED! Didn't it? Didn't summer just get here? Why can there not be 6 months of summer? Is it too early to begin talking about Halloween? I just got a Halloween costume catalog. Not that we need it. Julia is going to be Merida, I'm going to be Queen Elinor, and Andrew is going to grow a beard so he can be King Fergus.

What else can we talk about? I ordered this book used and it's taking bloody forever for it to get here.

I mash my face on Julia's about 20 times a day. She's getting tired of all the mashing.

I'm making this lemon pie

I feel really hyper that it's going to be August. I love fall but I'm not ready for fall. I am, however, excited for the return of fall TV. It's a bit sad really, how excited I get about my telly programs coming back on.

Aaaaaaand...that's all I got. Want to do this again tomorrow? Actually I have a cute book tomorrow. About teeth. Marinate that idea in your head. Imagine little teeth dancing around. Imagine teeth INSIDE a tooth. Ok, bye!

July 27, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

I've been trying to get a shot of this willow tree for a month or so now. Each time we'd all go for a walk, I'd pass this tree and slap my forehead, screaming for my camera. So the last time I forgot it while on a walk, I gritted my teeth, walked back home to get the camera, and then walked back so I could finally get a picture of this tree! So here it is. ENJOY THE TREE. I sweated a bunch to get it. (But seriously, isn't it pretty? Willow trees are so neato mosquito. Except mosquitos aren't neat and I have two bites on my arm.)

COOL STUFF I liked this week:

Little Playhouses.

Zomsters is having a great sale on their adorable water bottles! $12.

West Chop Corn is so good, I couldn't stop eating it. From Susan Branch's 'The Summer Book'.

The new H & M home line for kids is amazingly cute. The bunny duvet. Only in the UK, but maybe it will come here?

Strawberry Water.

I'm pretty sure that THIS is in our future. And maybe this too.

LOVE this. Old fashioned children's games!

Summer in a bowl spaghetti.

We got our hands on these princess books suggested by my sweet friend Vanessa. All SUPER GREAT.

Cool Book of the Week: 'Squid and Octopus Friends for Always' by Tao Nyeu. This book is WAY COOL. There are 4 teeny chapters, 'The Quarrel', 'The Dream', 'The Hat' and 'The Fortune Cookie' and the whole thing has the coolest art that is splashed across the pages in bold vibrant colors. Also, the two pals like to sip tea and munch on cake and celebrate Tickle Monday. DON'T WE ALL??? It's kind of trippy and floaty and just a super fun read about the underwater friend adventures of these pals. Perfection for ages 4-6.
HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND!! Be safe! Be happy! Have a sweet treat! Hug your loveys!

July 26, 2012

My Father's Dragon

Last year, I wrote about the 'My Father's Dragon' series of books in this post. My husband and I read them to our kiddo then, but now she's giving reading them on her own a go. She claims to have read 5 chapters in ten minutes. (that didn't happen.)

Friends, if you only take my advice on one thing and one thing only, please please read the 'My Father's Dragon' series with your kiddos. Note that I said, read it WITH your kidlets, because if you don't, you'll miss out on these amazing books and for me, the great fun of reading with my daughter is getting to read fun new stuff I haven't yet read or getting to read amazing books that I dearly loved again.

(we're reading 'Pippi' right now and oh the fun. You should hear me, I do a great rendition of Pippi, if I do say so myself.)

And if you take away only one thing from the 'My Father's Dragon' books....it's best to have fifteen chocolate bars packed in your bag at all times. Because you just never know. 

(and on a marginally related note, I found one Hershey's Kiss in my bag today and that totally was awesome.)

July 25, 2012

Home Life

Summer update: Growing things, our lightest sheets, fresh herbs, blankies on heads, and kitties in boxes, (lately everything we own has been on the floor -- why bother to put stuff away when it's just coming back out again?).

Aside from some minor meltdowns (and don't think I exclude myself from those by the way) -- and aside from the somewhat flaky weather we've been having....it's been a good summer so far. We've seen a ton of movies, read a mountain of books, eaten a lot of sushi, cookies and strawberries. I think more tea parties are in order though. And I think more indoor camping is in order as well because I remain staunchly unconvinced that it's ever going to be warm enough at night to sleep in a tent outside.

Three waves of relatives are about to come through town, a few weddings to attend, a couple more day camps and then.....and then....time to start getting ready for school??? What?

July 24, 2012

Christmas in July

How's summer going for you? A little too hot? Longing for the holidays? Well here are two adorable Christmas books I happened upon and I thought....we need a little Christmas! (Oh! and in a special coincidence that I find to be total proof that me and my pal Danzel of Silver Shoes and Rabbit Holes are soul book sisters -- I discovered that we had independently come up with our own Christmas in July posts! Here's hers, go see, go see!)

'The Mole Family's Christmas' by the greats Russell and Lillian Hoban (of 'Frances' fame) is one I found at a used bookshop. I really wanted this one because it's got a bit more text and length than the normal picture book and Julia is starting to stretch in her reading ability and how much she's willing to listen to a story.

Darling story, to-die-for art = GREAT BOOK. The little moles, who can't see that well, find out about Christmas for the first time and decide to ask Santa for a telescope so they can see the stars. Will they get it? Will they get snatched by an owl? Or will the Owl get a dose of Christmas spirit and decide not to eat them? What do you think?

I think not getting eaten for Christmas by an owl sounds just SO jolly and full of good feeling don't you think? Really, this book was totally adorable.

'How Six Found Christmas' by Trina Schart Hyman is so sweet! A little girl wants to know what Christmas is. So she sets off looking for a Christmas -- 'a Christmas', like it's an object of some kind. She falls in with some friendly forest animals who have their own reasons for wanting to find a Christmas -- one wants to smell it, one wants to feel it, one wants to taste it....

The illustrations in this one made me want to rip out the pages and frame them, but yes I do remember that defacing books is Not Ok. Really really charming, this one. We found it at the library! OH HOW I LOVE THE LIBRARY.

Merry Christmas! In July!

July 20, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

Happy Almost The Weekend! The other day we went with some friends to a bat class for kids. I learned a TON! I had no idea bats were such useful animals, I really didn't. And I had no idea how many of us might be living with them in our attics....And most are super tiny!! Like really teeny tiny! Didn't know that either. I felt very ignorant after coming out of that class, but hey, now I've learned something.

COOL STUFF I liked this week:

Ness, from One Perfect Day, had the most lovely things to say about our blog! Thank you Ness! Also, you must check out her series on 10 Simple Ways to Connect with Your Child. It's amazing.

Exquisite, teeny, tiny little books

I'm making Ina Garten's Old-Fashioned Banana Cake for my brother's birthday.

In honor of our recent Pippi post....Pippi toys! (via Frolic)

Colored Tape Art. (love this!)

Perfect Puzzles for summer travel. (We have the ocean puzzle.)

Mystery Gift Boxes. I'm so intrigued! The July ones are sold out, there will be more in Aug. $15!

Just got wind of 'Summer In February'! Look how much hotter Downton Abbey Matthew looks here! (I wrote about the chemistry problem between Matthew & Mary here.) I'm there.

Cool Book of the Week: 'Over the Hills and Far Away' by Ineke Verschuren and Daniela Drescher. Friends, I saw this book on Pinterest and just about lost it. I adore Daniela Drescher, she has the most charming art style. Look at the cover! Are you looking? The book contains 40 stories about gnomes, elves, fairy folk and leprechauns! The tales hail from Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Flanders, Spain and Scandinavia! I AM SO GETTING THIS. OH YES.

HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND! We might be doing some indoor camping and dodging the thunderstorms that are supposed to roll in...


July 19, 2012

The Best Baby Book Ever

'Bunny and Me' is the best baby book ever. Just in case I was too subtle a second ago, BEST BABY BOOK EVER. My mom-in-law thinks so too, and I know you're not going to tell me that my mom-in-law is wrong, are you? She has exquisite book taste! (and she introduced me to Gyo Fujikawa and she's the one who gave me this most darling of books.)

This lovely gem features the most precious baby, photographed in vintage pastel renderings, looking all over for an elusive bunny.

Is the bunny in a basket?

Is the bunny behind a tree?

Does the bunny like to blow bubbles with baby?

It's too cute to be believed.

Seriously, THIS IS THE CUTEST AND THE BEST AND THE MOST AWESOME AND THE COOLEST AND THE MOST DARLING BABY BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. And that's really all I have to say about it. This post kinda wrote itself. Some books are so awesome that all I have to do is shout "IT'S SO AWESOME!" and I feel like I can be done, because the level of awesome is that high.

The baby finds the bunny, never fear.

I think I'm 100% accurate when I say that you NEED this book. Your BABY needs this book. (how's that for some parental guilt?)

If you have a baby, or if you have a friend with a baby or know someone about to have a baby....you know where I'm going right? Did I mention that this book makes an amazing shower present?

July 17, 2012

Pink Chicken

I first became aware of the clothing line Pink Chicken (love that name!) when I saw their cuteness featured in a Garnet Hill catalog. (Want to see the cutest dress in the whole wide world? Look here. Seriously, you'll freak out. I did.)

The preppy-goes-bohemian look is a particular favorite of mine and to see it expressed so well through this line of kids clothes made me hiphoppy excited, as darling things so often do. (There are also offerings for grownup ladies.)

Honestly, I haven't seen such beautiful fabrics in a children's clothing line maybe ever. I think the dresses look like enchanting summer breezes! Right now, apparently most EVERYTHING is on sale, and there's still quite a bit of summer left so I would race over to take a peek if I were you!

July 16, 2012

Pretending to be Pippi

My kiddo's hair is the longest that it has ever been. So we've been ponytailing, braiding, headbanding and everything else we can think of.

It's particularly thrilling for me to get to braid her hair everyday. (She wants them everyday.) For the first time in her six years, she's letting me Do Stuff with her hair. This is the kid who refused any and all clips, rubber bands, barrettes or hair ties. She would run away screaming if I got anywhere near her with any hair bobbins. (Yes, I think I'm going to be using the word "bobbin" A LOT more often, by the way.)

And I think we're going to start in on reading 'Pippi Longstocking' when we finish up 'Dr. Doolittle'. But I'm torn. Do I stick with the original Astrid Lindgren? Or go for the Lauren Child illustrated version, which I've heard is amazing? On the one hand, I hate to deviate from the original genius of the original work, but I really do adore Lauren Child. The version in the picture above is mine from when I was little. What should I do?

(Teatime Recipe Box Giveaway news: Bonnie you won! The birthday fairies must have been watching out for you. Email me with your contact info!)

July 13, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

~Still time to enter our Mini Box of Teatime Recipes giveaway!~
(contest ends Sunday 10pm PST 7/15/12)

Happy Friday! I had a weird thought the other day. (just one, Melissa?) Only a month and a half left of summer. And then the start of school and the semi-official start of fall. Doesn't that sound crazy? Why am I jumping ahead like this?  I feel like I'm in a time travelling movie lately, with time moving all over the place way too fast. On a totally different note, I made this Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta and it was so amazing. Perfect summer dinner! The little girl ate it and the leftovers were fabulous, all big plusses in my book.

COOL STUFF this week:

You must see this amazing giveaway.

Starlight art print.

More starry art. (saw this on Little Green Notebook, tons o' great art ideas!)

Speaking of awesome summer pasta, this herb butter and goat cheese pasta is divine. (The fab folks at The Kitchn helped me track down this recipe, which I'd lost.) Try to get the Irish Butter!

The Fall 2012 collection from Land of Nod is out. (Check this cuteness out)

Summertime Traveling Art Kit.

Pirate maps making kit!

Fudge Banana Swirl. Not food, a blog! Full of fun stuff for kids.

Every day is filled with awesome decal. (my mantra!)

Orange Creamsicle Milkshake.

Blackcurrant Iced Tea. (I have summer drinkies on the brain.)

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Bog Baby' by Jean Willis and Gwen Millward. I had been wanting to check this one out for awhile now and so when I spied it at a used book shop, I knew it was meant to be. What's a bog baby? Who knows? Apparently they are squishy little creatures who live in ponds that only children can see. But they don't thrive when they are put in jam jars and they get sick when they're fed too much cake. Julia really wants to find a bog baby now.....

The Bog Baby

HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND! Doing weekendy things!


July 12, 2012


The missy made a life size Medusa at a drama camp she went to a couple of weeks ago. We think she is so lovely! (no princesses or unicorns or fairies...we have Medusa instead.)




 Julia is a little scared of Medusa.

Medusa is SO charming I think we'll keep her forever! 

(Or until the washi tape I used to hang her up finally wears out -- Medusa has a hard time staying on the wall. Silly Medusa.)


July 11, 2012

Blue Moon Soup

Oh I have such a lovely book for you today!

I really couldn't believe my eyes when I saw 'Blue Moon Soup' by Jane Dyer at the library a few weeks ago. I'm going to have check it out again. And again. Because we spent so much time looking at the pictures, that I didn't get a chance to make any soup! How's that for being on the ball?

Despite that, the recipes here all look fresh and delightful and souptastic. I LOVE SOUP. (I have a soup Pinterest board! I have just the smallest, tiniest Pinterest addiction. Don't we all.)

I really want to try the Summer Solstice Soup!

The art is just unbelievable, don't you think? There's also a 'recipe' for Ice-Cream Soup (let it melt!).