October 30, 2015

cool stuff i like

Happy Halloween, my spookies! I think it's ok for me to say it now. Are you all ready for the big day? We still haven't carved our pumpkins yet! But we HAVE some now, which is the important thing. I also don't have a costume for Nomi, yet - I'm hoping to find one for a substantial discount at the pet store. Andrew was hoping to dress her up in a devil costume, preferably one with a cape that had the words "WEE DEVIL" emblazoned on the back. Julia wanted to dress her up like a princess. Me, I think I would have liked to have found matching outfits for both the cats AND the dog. And had them pose in a lovely pet group shot. Now that's a fantasy! Up above is the least garbled picture I took with my phone of our Halloween window. What you can't really see is that the lights are both purple and orange. Thank you Target!

This week's finds:

Sweden in the fall.

What chefs feed their children for lunch.

A new 'Hansel & Gretel' from one of my favorite artists.

LOVE this photo series.

I'm reading this book right now, a more modern spin on 'Jane Eyre'. It's fab, especially at this time of year.

Cute little Halloween leaf craft, if you have any extra time tomorrow.

The best pumpkin pie recipe ever? (love the spiced crust idea)

And ANOTHER reason I need to go to Japan!

I've been eyeing playsilks since Julia was a toddler. She just asked for some for Christmas. I think I should just go for it.

Cool Book of the Week: Well, I thought I'd break from the witches and throw in a ghost. 'Gus Was a Friendly Ghost' by Jane Thayer and Seymour Fleishman. I know I've gone on record here before, saying that 'Gus and the Baby Ghost' is one of my favorite picture books of all time, at ANY time of year - it was my favorite book when I was 5 years old and I still have my copy. I'll probably always talk about that book here on the blog from time to time. It took me a long while to realize there was a whole series of Gus books, starting with this one. The sweetest, the friendliest - Gus is little ghost I wanted to have for a best friend! And I'm not alone - people talk about the Gus books in terms like "family heirloom", they love these books so much. I really need to make a master list of which books I talk about in these posts; I feel like I might have linked to this one a few years ago....oh well. It bears repeating.

Have a lovely Halloween weekend! I'm making my very first pumpkin pie from scratch! Actually a kabocha squash pie. I'm totes excited. Yes, I use the word totes now, which I also think I mentioned before. IRONICALLY, peoples. But really, it's fun, it grows on you, it totes does....



  1. How cute is Gus!

    Ha! I can just imagine your cats face.

    Good luck!

    Are you dressing up?

    We're ready and being superheroes. I can't wait. *fingers crossed* for good weather.

    I love so much about everything Swedish I ever see. It's like I belong there.

    Cool photo series but I want to see some more older mamas.

    My hubs sent me that Tokyo hotel. Too cool.

    She did ask for them? How lovely! You must. And then show us what to do with them.

    1. I'm so lame! I'm not dressing up. I could just do my standard costume, which I've done many times - a baby or a doll - in my jammies with red circle cheeks drawn on and two ponytails. I really need a onesie.

      Our weather - eek - 2 storms are supposed to roll in - right now it is windy and RAINY - but it MIGHT ease up Saturday night! Oh well, Pac NW kids are used to this sort of thing, we'll just trot out the umbrellas.....

  2. Go for the playsilks. You will not regret it. My 6 year old has been playing with hers for 3 years now. I'm going to get a few more for Christmas.

    1. Oh thanks Vela! I feel bad I didn't get them before now, honestly. They lend themselves to so many kinds of play. My almost 10 yr old plays pretend constantly and loves floaty filmy things and if a few of these appeared in her stocking, I think that would be a lot of fun :)

  3. It is snowing right now, so our little ghosties and goblins will probably be wearing their snow pants and boots! Like you said about your Pac NW kids Melissa, Alaskan kids are used to trick or treating in this kind of thing. I remember one year taking my daughter out in what seemed an awful lot like a blizzard :)

    I have a confession to make, I haven't decorated yet! My husband thinks it is silly to do because our daughter is in college-so why bother. Then I ask him if he has actually met me before, of course we will continue to decorate-for our pleasure! So I have to head out to the shed as soon as the sun comes up, and grab my boxes, and get to work!

    1. Are you in Alaska, Maureen?? I have such an imagination when it comes to Alaska. I'd love to see it someday. Have you ever read 'The Snow Child' by Eowne Ivey? It's set in Alaska and it's a haunting read. Really good!

      You know, for me, decorating can really be distilled to one common denominator - a string of lights. Throw up some lights and that's 90% of the decorating ideal for me, ha ha! I'm a sucker for any kind of light strand or paper chain or garland. And it's EASY. Now that I've seized on my 'seasonal window' idea, that's pretty much the extent of my decoration! I used to do stick trees, decorated seasonally - I ran that idea into the ground here on the blog in my early days of blogging. Then I got sick of it. ANYWAY - Happy Halloween! And thank you for coming by to say hello! I appreciate. :)

    2. I am in Alaska! I haven't read The Snow Child-but I love the book cover. I kept meaning to pick it up, but never did. Alaska is very,very beautiful-I have lived here for 24 years and it still blows me away.

    3. WOW! That's awesome. I'd love to know your thoughts on 'The Snow Child' after you read! I was in tears after the first chapter.

  4. Thank you for the link. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I love your lead photo! Beautiful. And I love Gus! Little Sis is getting the new Holly Hobbie Hansel and Gretel for her birthday. :) Love the leaf ghosts. That pumpkin pie looks so very rich. That hostel in Japan looks fab. I liked The Flight of Gemma Hardy, too. Have a lovely Halloween! I'm sick, and it's cold and rainy, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. :)

    1. aaah thank you darling D! It was the best I could do with the phone - I tell you, it takes a herculean effort to pull out the big camera these days, the phone is just soooooo quick and easy! LUCKY Lil Sis! I'm almost done with Gemma Hardy. I'M SICK TOO! Actually it's funny - I'm just the right amount of sick, ha ha, do you know? Not too sick to be miserable but sick enough to really enjoy drinking the tea and sitting doing nothing! Actually I'm not sitting doing nothing YET and likely won't tomorrow on Halloween but tonight I'm doing a whole lot of NOTHING. Happy Halloween!!!!

  6. Haha too funny we both posted about Gus ! But I had no idea there were more Gus books! Adoooorbs!!

    1. we are birds of a feather, my friend!!! I'd really like to collect the whole set of these!!!

  7. Why haven't you and I just picked up and moved to Sweden yet? Argh. Gus feels very familiar to me. I think I need to go back over to my dad's house and search his shelves for it.

    Now I've put my heart and soul into sewing costumes for my son and daughter. My dog, Angus? Who my husband calls the wee dog? He doesn't get a costume. I barely get a costume. I'm wearing a tutu and a masquerade mask, gluing some plastic cockroaches to my stripey Halloween tights and calling it a day.

    1. hey, that sounds like an awesome costume!!

      And yes - i've GOT to figure out how to get myself to Sweden. I think I need to start putting the Swedish Vacation Fund into action.....

  8. Melissa,

    Hope you had the best Halloween ever. J looks ADORBS. Beyond.

    Loooooove the photo series on new mommies. Remember those days? It didn't matter AT ALL that the belly was protruding because the JOY was to immense.

    Also love the pumpkin pie recipe. I'm going to make it, but I'm not sure I'll convert to the spiced crust. We shall see. I'm trying to stay open minded, but the whole thing is the spicy filling in a classic crust and mellow fresh whipped cream. I may be wrong...

    Have you been to Japan? So much to say on that.



  9. you know, I'm with you about pumpkin pie. spice sounds intriguing, but yeah - what you said!

    I have NOT been to Japan and it's #1 on my bucket list.NUMBER ONE. #2 is Scandinavia!