November 30, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

Oh my friendsies, this has been one miserable cold that I've been dealing with this week! I seriously didn't know my nose and eyes could run so much. I went through half a box of tissues in a 3 hour period. Andrew made me Jello. And he bought me apple juice and sparkling apple juice and most very importantly, he patiently listened to me complain about how miserable I was, which I did at least every 10 minutes over a 3 day period. Do you like my mug? I hope so because I've taken a million pictures of it. I LOVE IT. Cost Plus! I can't find the mug online so I can't link to it, boo. You must get Cost Plus factored into your holiday shopping plans. Also, Smith teas are very pleasing. It's not Kusmi, mind you, but they come in really cute, compostable boxes. I like cute boxes. I'm very medicated right now.

Holiday COOL STUFF!! We can really get to it!

Speaking of Cost Plus, check out these Russian doll ornaments.

And this pillow!!

Darling, darling paint set.

Christmas Ball Elf game from Haba.

It's not the holidays at our house without Chocolate Cream Pie.

I want to have one of these parties!

Apple Cider Hot Toddy.

Oh Anthro.......

GORGEOUS painted wooden puzzles!

Sad about Twinkies? Me too. Let's try this.

'Brave' Ultimate Sticker Book.

Calafant Toys. You make it, then you play with it! Very cool.

Love this candy-colored sweater. I liked it so much I got it.

Cool Book of the Week: We just saw 'Rise of the Guardians' and Julia loooooooved it. Silly me didn't know it was based on a series of books. Her favorite character was the Sandman, and I am pretty sure Santa is going to get her this glorious looking picture book! Actually, I think both 'The Sandman: The Tale of Sanderson Mansnoozie' and 'The Man in the Moon' look amazing.

The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie
Have a lovely weekend! Advent begins! We're doing teeny, tiny little treats and notes and fun things for Advent this year, in addition to our usual chocolate calendar. Andrew says now I've committed myself until Julia is 18.....


November 29, 2012

The Last Tiger

Before it turns into All Christmas, All the Time around here, I wanted to share the most darling book I received to review the other day. I was going to use it for a giveaway, but Julia was so enchanted with it, she was in tears at the thought of it leaving! So sorry! She's plumb wild about every kind of cat...big cats, little cats, wild cats...I guess she's inherited her father's crazy-for-cats gene.

So 'The Last Tiger' by Rebecca Elliott is staying with us. But if you have a cat loving youngster at YOUR house, then they too will be loving this sweet, sweet story centering on the friendship between a little boy and yep, you guessed it, The Last Tiger.

I'm super impressed at how concisely and cleverly the message of this tale is laid out. In a way that isn't preachy or heavy-handed, and remains easy for even a preschooler to grasp: If you trash the environment, there will be nothing left in nature to enjoy. So let's take care of and appreciate the natural world!

After we read the story for the first time, Julia said " Mom! This would be a great book for Earth Day!"  Indeed, wise grasshopper.

Again, I'm really blown away with how this message was handled. "A strange world where the people had forgotten what was important."

It's an interesting topic to discuss with kids. Imagine a world without animals! Without flowers. Or trees.

But all is not lost, friends! Because a plucky little guy named Luka befriends the shy tiger and the two pals bring beauty back to the world in the form of a secret oasis. 

And everyone remembers that once the world was lovely. And wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if it were so again? 

This uplifting message is important. And no child is too young to learn the value of taking care and appreciating the natural world of which we are just a part. I'm so thrilled I had the opportunity to review and share this one with you! The text is so tight and well done, and the art was absolutely gorgeous to my adult eye while also being engaging on a kid level.

If you want to see more of Rebecca Elliott's work, look here.

November 28, 2012

Maui No Ka Oi

_DSC0146Still sick here! I’ve been blowing my nose about every 5 seconds. My colds tend to be the kind where my nose runs like a faucet, as opposed to being all stuffy. I’m wondering how I got this silly cold? If/when the super flu comes around, I’m totally a goner, by the way. I touch my face or stick my fingers in my eyes, nose, ears or mouth on average about 15 times per minute. I’m worse than the grubbiest toddler.

So I’m sickypoo, its been freezing over night and despite the fact I was on Maui visiting my dad less than 2 weeks ago, it seems like it happened a long long time ago.

Let’s look at some Maui pix! And I will feel better, and you will feel happier than listening to me yack about my inconsequential cold. (and in the past 2 seconds I touched my gums and the inside of my nose. Then my keyboard. I wonder why I’m sick???)

_DSC0026By the by, ‘Maui No Ka Oi’ means ‘Maui is the best’. Andrew likes to tell me how the Big Island of Hawaii and Kauai are way way better than Maui, despite the fact that he’s never been to Kauai. I’m going to go wipe my fingers on him. I just touched my lip.

I’m from ‘Historic Makawao’, if you were wondering! See the sign above? ‘Paniolo’ means ‘cowboy’ in Hawaiian. I've never been a paniolo, also in case you were wondering.

_DSC0055My dad lives a little way up this street. I tell people that I grew up in a pineapple field. That’s only a little lie. I grew up very near a pineapple field.

PicMonkey CollageThere are lots of eucalyptus trees along our road. My dad has a koi fish pond, but I think the koi might have died? Not sure. I forgot to look. That big mass of tree business is what you see behind my dad’s house, it’s across a ravine or gulch of some kind. I lived in the FLIPPING STICKS. Pretty sticks, though.

_DSC0150Gardenias grow like weeds. WEEDS. Gardenias! Why don’t all weeds look like gardenias??

_DSC0051_DSC0053_DSC0054More Makawao. Best shopping on the island! Also Paia, I’ll show you that town next. Want to ‘Have a Maui Christmas’? Sure you do!

_DSC0066Here I am taking my life into my hands by pulling off to the side of the road so that I can show you how I am travelling downcountry. There is upcountry and downcountry. And there is the middle, halfway up the mountain part, which is where I lived.

_DSC0072Now we’re downcountry! In the little town of Paia. Which is now a really cute town with cute shops and cute eateries. When I was growing up, only hippies and out of work surfers frequented Paia. Now hippies, out of work surfers, and tourists frequent Paia.

_DSC0077Please don’t pronounce Paia the same way as “paella”, which is what Andrew likes to do, to annoy me. It sounds like “pie-EE-uh”.

Just past Paia is Ho’okipa, which is considered the windsurfing capital of the world. You don’t get in the water at Ho’okipa unless you totally know what you’re doing, swimming and surfing-wise.

I have never put one toe in the water at Ho’okipa.

_DSC0086_DSC0124_DSC0130(that’s a kid, by the way.)

I did however, climb under a fence that I wasn’t supposed to, because 1) everyone else was doing it, which is always the best reason to do something, and 2) how else was I going to get any awesome water shots? My telephoto only goes so far.

Ho’okipa is beautiful but scary. Like, this kind of scary.

_DSC0137_DSC0109_DSC0107Don’t fall off yo surfboards! I have never in my life been surfing, except once when I was a baby and my dad paddled me around on a surfboard. I’m glad I have no memory of this. I’ve been windsurfing a couple times. Correction: once or twice I have STOOD UP on a windsurfing board. That’s as far as I got.

Want more Maui? With some Julia in it? Here’s last year’s trip. Maui No Ka Oi! Mele Kalikimaka!

November 27, 2012

Pajama Time

Well my friends, I am sick today. And I was sick yesterday. So I wrote this post about pajamas while IN my pajamas. Believe it or not, most of the time, I do wear real clothing when I create posts. Notice I said, most of the time

But I have a great love for pajamas, even when I am not sick and not blogging! If you were to ask my friends, they would be happy to tell you that I have gone upstairs in the middle of dinner gatherings and come back down in my pajamas. Andrew finds it a most embarrassing habit. 

I'm going to keep the chatter to a minimum today because my throat is so sore and my head is pounding. But I did want to share some cozy flannel PJ's I found recently, and if you are like me, maybe you'll be putting some new pajamas on your holiday wish list? 

1) Eddie Bauer Printed Knit Sleep Pants, $44.95. 2) Birdwatching Flannel Coat Set, $29.99. 3) Garnet Hill Mandarin Holiday Pajamas, $82. 4) Gilligan & O' Malley Women's Flannel Coatset (assorted colors), $24.99.

I'm also fond of these pink cozies!

When wearing your cozytime pajamas, might I suggest drinking this tea (again. and always. I'll never stop suggesting it until enough of you write to me exclaiming, Yes! It really is fabulous! THANK YOU MELISSA!), and perhaps reading this book? (which I am wanting very much to read soon)

Cozy on, my friends.

November 26, 2012

Julia's Bookbag Holiday Book List!!!

WOO-HOO! Ok my merry elves, strap on yo holiday cheer! Got it strapped? On yo...whatever? I have to preface this by saying I'm also going to be throwing out a Vintage Christmas book list as well. There are a MILLION holiday books. This list is just a teensy grain of sand in the ocean of holiday books. But we have to start somewhere, no? Some I've read, some I'm ordering, some are favorites from last year.

Top row across: 

~ 'Another Night Before Christmas' ~ illustrated by the King of Art Fantastic (he did 'Mouk'!) himself, Mr. Marc Boutevant.

~ 'A Merry Little Christmas' has the most charming and fun and DARLING and adorable art I've ever seen in a Christmas book. Yes you heard right, THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN! We've had it since Julia was 3.

~ 'Findus At Christmas'...hurry up library! We're waiting for this one! Love this series of books. (update: we got it! and read it! it's adorable. Among other happenings, Findus gives Pettson a potato peeler wrapped in a tea towel.)

Middle row:

~ 'Little Fairy's Christmas' has enchanting art and the sweetest story about a lost little fairy finding a place to rest on this special holiday. The moral? Kindness to others is a good thing!

~ 'The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher' is one I'm buying this year, after hankering after it since last year. It's been described as one of the all time great Christmas stories, a Must Read, and the most fun Christmas tale ever. People just lose their minds over this book. I must have it and Purple House Press has brought it back into print!

~ 'The Nutcracker: A Magic Theater Book' looks amazing. I have about 5 different versions of this most fabulous of holiday stories! This one is GORGEOUS and just came out October 2012.

Bottom row:

~ 'Richard Scarry's The Animals' Merry Christmas' is the one book you should get off this list, if you are thinking of adding only one new book to your holiday collection. You have to have it! Poems, short stories, longer stories, magical illustrations, and FUN -- I wrote about it last year as well. Truly a book the whole family can enjoy, as there are tales for Tiny Tots, as well as stories that older children can read that are more challenging in complexity and length. This would make a fantastic gift. That's how it came into our lives, from Julia's great-aunt!

~ 'Snowmen at Christmas' is for all of those who have wondered, what do snowmen do when no one is looking?? (Lots of fun cool stuff!)

~ 'Big Susan' is a TREASURE. A delightful chapter book that you can read to your kids ages 5 and up, or a great one for 7-9 year olds to read on their own. MAGIC. Dollhouse dolls come alive on one night a year. Christmas Eve.

So I hope that this gives you a place to start. I'll have my more vintage picks next week! May I remind you once again that NOW is the time to go find holiday books at the library....

November 23, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

Are you still eating?? What did you eat? Pie? What kind of pie? I would very much like to know about what kind of foodings you all ate. Do tell! Do share! Guess what happens this weekend? My orange Halloween lights come down and my awesome Ikea multi colored star light strand goes up. I would link it but it appears to not exist on the website, however if you're in a store, in the lighting section, and you see a strand of star-shaped lights called 'Kilometer' ~ that's what I got and I LOVE them and I'm kicking myself that I didn't get two.

COOL STUFF I found this week, while eating pie:

This blew my mind! Never heard about this way of hanging lights on a Christmas tree.

Spice Infused Simple Syrup.

I linked to this Fairytale Cottage Advent calendar last year and I'm doing it again b/c it's FLIPPING AMAZING!

2013 Caravan of Dreams Calendar.

Elsa Beskow 2013 Calendar!!

If you aren't holiday shopping at Cost Plus World Market, you are missing THE BEST holiday everything-awesome source.

This cake. Oh my. And the photography! Took my breath away.

More advent calendar coolness. I think we'll just do our standard candy-in-the-window calendar, but this DIY advent calendar is simply amazing, as are Kate's ideas on what to use as gifts and treats.

Aaaaaand, this advent calendar garland. SO CUTE!

Darling Holiday paper chains from eeBoo.

Hearty Potato Leek Soup.

Cool Book of the Week: Books. Lately I've been covering series of books, haven't I? I didn't think I would be writing about the 'Mrs. Piggle Wiggle' books by Betty MacDonald (and so charmingly illustrated by the greats Hilary Knight and Maurice Sendak!) for at least another year. But Julia discovered them on the shelf and wanted me to read them to her and I did, and she LOVES THEM. Well duh. Because they're amazing! And she's been trying to read a few chapters herself!

If there is anyone unfamiliar with these treasures, I'll give a very quick rundown: basically the nicest lady in the whole world who is also magical, gives advice to parents on how to deal with their kids who have Tattle-itis, who are Never-Want-to-go-to-Bedders, who are Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Takers, who are Interrupters or Whisperers or Headless get the gist. These books were some of the DEFINING BOOKS OF MY CHILDHOOD. You simply must have them. A set of the entire series would be the best gift! 

Have a lovely weekend! Who's doing any Christmas decorating this weekend? Anyone? Just me? I'm just doing a little bit.


November 20, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

So I have a little gift guide for you today! I must preface with a couple of things. One, I have a 6 year old GIRL. Sorry my friends with boys. I don't know what boys are into. But my kiddo is into lots of different things and there are definitely products on this list that will appeal to both genders. And two, some are items that I've never seen or used before, but several are toys/games that we own and have LOVED. Loved as in my kid has played with them overandoverandover for a good solid year. I'll point those out.

Third, I am not scared by plastic. I mean, I'm scared of it being in the ocean, but I'm not scared of it being in my home. My belief is that kids can't just play with natural colored wood all the time. I mean, they could, but um, that wouldn't be so fun, in my opinion.

1.) Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablets, $30-35. My father gave this to Julia for Christmas TWO YEARS AGO and she uses it almost everyday. I'm not joking. In terms of amount of use, this is BY FAR the gift she has loved and used most in her entire 6 yrs. And we never lost the pen! (although once it did fall into the toilet. Guess who got to retrieve it? ME. This is my #1 pick, I can't recommend it highly enough!

2) Barefoot Books World Atlas, $19.99. Julia loves facts. Right now she's very into learning about world geography and I'm strongly considering this book. I've never been let down by a book from Barefoot Books, ever.

3.) Crazy Cats game by Haba, $10.79. This tiny game, perfectly stocking-sized, is proof that great things come in small packages. Simply the most fun game that we currently own. I reviewed it completely here (ignore the terrible photos, I was just starting the blog).

4.) Free to Be You and Me CD, $6.28. I listened to this compilation of stories, songs and poems only a HUNDRED MILLION TIMES when I was about Julia's age. I adored it. So I'm getting it for her and reliving my childhood!

5.) Novi Stars dolls, $15.97. If you read the reviews, these dolls are supposedly very very cute and very very not the sturdiest. I'm getting one anyway for Julia because I know my kid and I know she's going to adore these dolls. Extra space galaxy clothes are available, which I am also going to get because these dollies appear to need some help in this arena, as 'scantily clad' would be a kind understatement. Aliens don't like clothes?

6.) Rainy Day Survival Kit, $39. One of Julia's aunts got this arts and crafts kit from the Land of Nod last year and she had the best time doing the projects all throughout the year. This was an EXCELLENT product and Julia loved it! This year's kit is a little different, but I imagine just as fun.

7.) Deluxe Combo Scratch Art Set, $14.23. Scratch art is totally fun. We have a mini scratch art pad that Julia adores. This mega kit looks reeeaalllly cool!

8.) Djeco Glitter Boards, $16-23. Djeco is one of my absolute favorite toy companies. The most beautiful art kits ever! Anything Djeco is gorgeous and amazing.

9.) Enchanted Forest game by Ravensburger, $18.40. I'm getting this for J. No idea if it will fly or not, but sometimes one has to take a leap of faith with a new game. For the most part, reviewers RAVED about this game, describing it as the 'defining game' of their childhoods. If your kids like 'Memory' type games (Julia does) and fairy tales, this game is supposed to be IT.

We LOVE games in our family and I'm looking to usher in a whole new round of board games, since I feel like my kiddo is ready to graduate to a new level of board gaming beyond the preschooler-type fare we've had for the past couple of years. (you can read the reviews on Amazon and also HERE.)

10.) eeBoo Play Papers, $7.95. Like Djeco crafts, every game or craft from eeBoo is super high quality and beautiful. The Play Papers would be fun to use....for most anything!

11.) Moulin Roty Shadow Puppet Theater, $46. SO BEAUTIFUL! And the shadow puppets?? Amazing.

12.) Beads Set from England, $19.50. This was described as the 'nicest bead set in the world.' Well alrighty! If you can't tell, I'm a big fan of crafty type gifts ~ I think they lend themselves to creativity and longevity so much more than a standard toy that will sit around getting dusty.


If you have any hot toy/game/holiday gift ideas that you think I should know about, YOU BETTER TELL ME, 'cuz I really want to know! My new motto this season ~ if you stop by, you better be in the mood to share. Books, games, treats, cool stuff, I want to know what you know! Or we can revel in our ignorance together, that's always fun too. XO

November 19, 2012

Autumn Leaf Tree That is Awesome

I apologize for not getting this up in a more timely fashion, happens. Still feel like decorating for Autumn? I've been forbidden from putting up any Christmas deco until after Thanksgiving. Such shackles they put on me, my family. Such restraint do they administer upon my CHRISTMAS LOVING SOUL.

Well file this away because 1) the stick tree really is retiring (I feel like Joaquin Phoenix, who keeps saying he's retiring from acting, and that keeps not happening.) and 2) even if it's too late for further autumnal deco, this concept could so easily be done in a Christmasy or Winterific fashion, or even Springified or made Summery. (yes I just directed you to all of my seasonal Pinterest boards because they are GREAT and I am the Queen of Self Promotion.)

I'm so happy with how this version of the stick tree came out! For all of those who have been waiting with baited breath for me to do a stick tree retrospective, that's coming soon and I'll make a collage of ALL versions of the stick tree that we did this past year and we will all gaze at it and love it forever. Or maybe just me. That's ok too because I am my own best audience. I laughed so hard at the Andrew Has Opinions post, he was like, "I can't let you run this, you're laughing too hard, that must mean it's way too embarrassing."

(Oh hi Sally! Homewrecker.)

All we did here was cut out leafy shapes. Julia's take: "This is more fun than I thought it would be, Mom." If that's not enough of an endorsement for you, I don't know what would be. Then we took seriously, a really minuscule amount of fabric scraps that we had from our paper dolls materials box and glued them onto the leaves. I did front and back and still only used not very much fabric. I was going for a sort of a quilt look.

I like cutting and pasting. I could cut and paste ALL DAY LONG.

Since the stick tree is maybe probably retiring, I'm going to save all of my little leaflets and string them into a garland for next year.

I like all the color ~ I like bringing color into the GREY COLORLESS WORLD that is my life in the winter months here. It makes me feel like a party is happening!

November 16, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like

I took this in sunny Hawaii! (I had a short four day visit to check on my dad, who just had surgery. He's doing great!) More pix coming next week. For those of you with any snow on the ground, I thought you might appreciate. Or maybe it will instead make you very very angry? Well if it's any consolation, I'm no longer gazing at this view either. And when I was there I couldn't stand outside gazing at it for any great length of time, otherwise I'd begin sizzling like a sausage. Me + Sun = Catastrophe.

I've been thinking of some COOL STUFF I'd like to...give MYSELF:

Ok I TOTALLY WANT this bath planetarium. This is amazing.

Also at the same shop as above, this shouting vase. Anyone? Shouting vase?

Just put 'Arthur's Christmas' at the top of the Netflix queue ~ my friend Jenny said she and her daughter adored it. We haven't seen it!

Glitter acorn ornaments. And check out Miss Robyn's acorns!

Love these little nordic elves.

Did I already show you guys this Christmas playhouse? I'm obsessed. (or did I just pin it on Pinterest. It's all blending together in my mind....) Scroll down through the post. I totally want to do this! Not sure where to put it tho.

Alien & Superhero Mask Kit.

Japanese crayons supposedly blow all others out of the water.

This Elderflower cordial would make a divine gift

This gorgeous calendar benefits relief organizations aiding those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread.

Cool Book of the Week: 'Trolls Go Home' by Alan MacDonald and Mark Beech. We are nearly done with this fun little chapter book and Julia is LOVING it ~ she begs for more when we have to stop for the night.

So imagine my delight in discovering that there's a whole series of these hilarious Roald Dahl-esqe tales of a troll family who's had to relocate to the suburbs from the mountains of Norway after a run-in with some billy goats on a bridge (get the fairy tale ref?). The illustrations match the text perfectly in conveying the fun and humor imbued in the story. Julia hasn't been so excited for a book like this since 'My Father's Dragon'! I put all four of these books in the Julia's Bookbag shop.

Have a lovely weekend!! 'Twilight', baby. I'm seeing it out of loyalty, not out of excitement. At this point, my husband and his cat have a more exciting love story than Edward and Bella.


November 15, 2012

How to Motivate a Reluctant Reader

I’m an excitable person by nature, but today my excitement is at an exceptionally high level. Melissa Taylor (let's take a moment to appreciate her beautiful name!) from the FANTASTIC site, Imagination Soup, is guest posting for me and sharing her suggestions for instilling and promoting a love of reading in our children. In addition to creating the incredible resource that is her website, Melissa is a mom, teacher, and writer, and she has written a brand new book about children and reading that I’m thrilled to share with you all today!

Book-NookAs an educator and a blogger, the most frequent question I field is how to encourage a reluctant reader. Which, from personal experience with my own daughters, I know is a big challenge for us as parents, and the reason I wrote the book, Book Love: Help Your Child Grow From Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader.
Since we know that kids aren’t all the same, first we must consider why our child doesn’t like reading.

Is it too boring, too tricky, too blurry, or too “sitty”?

To figure this out, you’ll need to ask questions and observe your child over several days.

Too Boring
Some kids just haven’t gotten hooked on stories yet. All we need to do is find that right book, engage them in compelling stories that we read to them, make reading more social with book clubs, or make reading enticing with electronic books.

Too “Sitty”
More challenging are those kids who need to move and/or have short attention spans. This was my oldest daughter – she hated to sit still. Actually, she still does.  She needs to read and bounce on an exercise ball, or wiggle and read in an indoor tent, or fidget with her Mind Putty while reading.

Too Blurry, Too Tricky
But what about children for whom the basics of reading are hard? These are our kids who struggle with rhyming, letter sounds, remembering sight words consistently, tracking words in order across the page, or losing her place while reading. These are brain issues – either with vision or with learning. When you’re seeing red flags that indicate issues, knowledge is power. Get your child evaluated by a professional as soon as possible. You can’t help him if you don’t know what’s going on. Ask your pediatrician for assistance in this area.

P.S. Too Young
All this being said, don’t worry too much if your 4, 5, or 6 year old doesn’t seem interested in reading. Wait, watch, and be patient. Most of the time, it simply means they just aren’t developmentally ready. My youngest daughter didn’t get hooked on books until the summer before second grade. That’s okay. (Despite what the schools may be telling you – they’re being pressured to pressure you. Ignore as best you can.)

8 Ways to Encourage Book Love
  1. Get your child a library card. Let him max it out and see how many of those books he can read. 
  2. Create a cozy reading nook with decorations, pillows, and lots of books. 
  3. Read to a stuffed animal or a pet. 
  4. Try comics and magazines. 
  5. Read the captions on a favorite cartoon with the sound turned off. 
  6. Read aloud to your child until she is hooked on the story. Stop and get too “busy” to continue. Chances are she won’t be able to resist finishing the book on her own. (insert evil laugh here!) 
  7. Read aloud to each other using silly voices. Free printable bookmark of ideas here
  8. Let him stay up late reading in bed with a headlamp. 

You can find more engaging ideas, activities, products, and book recommendations for reluctant readers in Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader

Thank you SO much, Melissa! How darling is her book nook area?? Her post couldn’t be more timely for me, as I have often wondered if my kiddo will love books the way I do. And the child has a hard time sitting still! The “too sitty” advice really made me sit up and take notice. Julia’s reading is taking off this year and I’m constantly wondering, ‘How’s it going? How is she doing? Should I be doing anything, or not doing anything, in particular?’

You must go explore the wonderland that is Imagination Soup – you’ll find everything from book reviews, cool and interesting game and craft ideas, and ways to promote fun in literacy for your kiddos. You can also find her on her new obsession, Pinterest (I so relate), or at Book

November 14, 2012

Andrew Has Opinions

Oh friends, I like you all so Very Extremely a Lot. So much do I like you, I must share the bon mots that spring forth from my husband's mouth. He's like a less x-treme version of the elderly gentleman on that famous Twitter feed, **#%$!@# My Dad Says. I'm looking forward to what emits forth when he IS elderly and all the filters come off! Some of my favorite lines I had to leave out because I didn't want my entire audience to leave en masse...but really, you have no idea how ridiculous we get over here...

Little nubbins like....

What do you think of that show?

"I don't know."

Come on.

"It's alright. Clearly it was written by some apologist for the British caste system. See? Even the servants are having a good time!"

(Melissa here ~ It's coming JANUARY 6th! I'm only a LITTLE EXCITED!!)

On blogging:  

"Why would anyone buy a blogger's book? Most of their work is available for free already online."

"So as far as I can tell, blogging consists of 30 minutes of work and 2 hours on Pinterest." 

(Silly bean. He knows that I spend far more time than that on Pinterest.)

(Also, he really does know how hard I work on blogging. Blogging is a LOT of work, my lovelies. For which, most of us don't get paid. I have no high ideals when it comes to that by the way. The second I get more sponsors or qualify for some good ads, they're going up in a heartbeat!)

Andrew, what do you think of Pinterest?

"It seems kind of dumb. I guess it's alright. Chicks can do whatever they want on the internets."

"Please don't write down what I say on your blog." (That's my personal favorite.)

On Anthropologie:

"Most of their stuff looks like it was made in a middle school metal shop class project." (in reference to this item, a metal letter made out of zinc.)

Also re said item: "NINETY- EIGHT DOLLARS? Is that for the whole alphabet??"

No, that's for one letter.

"Their stuff is stupid and overpriced." (He then spent several minutes looking up the price of zinc.) And pronounced that "based on the current price of zinc, those letters ought to be about 100 lbs a piece."

"Why do people buy expensive clothes, just to look like poor hippies?"

On who is a better 'Star Trek' captain:

Jean-Luc Picard or James Tiberius Kirk?

"It's like comparing apples to oranges."

On my favorite show 'Once Upon a Time':

"Stupid. It's like one of those %**&%^& Robert Halmi Sr. mini-series that used to be on TV and it got turned into a whole show."

How many wives do you have?

"I have my human wife and Sally, my cat wife."

"Our love can survive even Melissa's attempts to embarrass us on the internet."

Andrew and Sally's love could be likened to a great love that all Twihards will understand, so strong, so enduring it is, just like Bella/Edward (you're welcome, by the way, for that awesome link) and KStew/RPattz (you're welcome for that one as well. I accept all forms of currency). Despite all of my attempts to get between them, you will be happy to know #ANDREWSALLYISUNBROKEN. (and here is my final gift for you today.)

Anything else you want to share with the world?


(Image credits:

November 13, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

A really, really exciting thing has been happening recently. I was going through some books that I'd been saving since Julia was baby/toddler aged and I pulled book after book off the shelf and realized, 'She's old enough for this one now', 'And this one', 'Oh this one as well' ~ I had a huge pile of books that I had been saving for ages and now, BOOM, she's ready for them!

How did that happen exactly? My baby is now a full grown child. 

Of course, because I am me, this caused me anxiety and stress. How are we going to get through all of these books? There's not enough time in the day. Julia doesn't want to sit reading books all day like I did when I was little. She wants to sing and yell and jump around.

But she's been very much on a fairy tale kick lately and she's now ready for this longer-in-text length version of  'Sleeping Beauty', most gorgeously illustrated by K.Y. Craft.  Look at that dragon! Look closely. See the white fairy seated at the top? Fanflippingtastic. The bad fairy is bit terrifying, no? Don't worry, that's all you see of her.

I also really want to see Craft's versions of 'Cinderella' and the 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' as well. Oh and if you have a tiny tot at home, I love this version of 'Sleeping Beauty', it's darling and charming and just right for the littles.

This art, this is what I see in my mind when I imagine fairy tales. (I'm feeling fairytale-ish lately and have been happily pinning away on my Fairy Tales Pinterest board. Take a peek!)