Tuesday, January 31, 2012

World Atlas by Barefoot Books

An atlas is probably one of those books that is quickly, and sadly, becoming a relic from a time before the Internet. That is a shame because I feel as though a well done children's atlas can appeal to the reluctant reader and the bookworm. It is the ultimate "fact book", as my 5-year-old would say, and can provide the answers to so many questions about the globe.

The Barefoot Book World Atlas is not only beautifully illustrated, it is developed with the modern world in mind.

"Divided by geographical region, the Barefoot Books World Atlas looks at the way in which communities and cultures across the world have been shaped by their natural environment, and at the ideas and initiatives which are shaping the future. An atlas for the twenty-first century, it shows how all parts of the planet are interconnected and looks at the challenges which face us all in creating a sustainable future."
- Barefoot Books
If you need a gift for the 5 to 10-year-old in your life- this book would be perfect. Let's do our part to save the atlas! :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

a laugh

I am a giant Parks and Recreation fan. I definitely prefer it to 30 Rock, which I know has a crazy dedicated fan base, but has more of a mean-spirited (though often riotous) humor. The first season of Parks and Recreation was not the best, but since then it has been tweaked and characters have been added and now every week I find myself laughing out loud and that is always welcome.
The video above was definitely one of those times- although physical humor is not usually my favorite....I love this scene.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

something old, something new

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has opened the new 180 million dollar wing designed by famous architect Renzo Piano. Since 1903, the museum has impressed visitors with not only the beauty of the art and music it contained- the exquisite warmth and grace of the space fascinated them as well. Piano had the daunting task of expanding on the incredible building folks affectionately call "the Palace".
Piano connected the original, historic space by way of a glass passage to the modern glass structure that is now part of the grand Gardner Museum. The marriage of old and new appears to be a happy one. I can't wait to see it in person...... Link

Images courtesy of visitusa and wallpaper

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kindergarten Valentine

This year my son is in an allergy class, meaning his kindergarten is a candy/baked-good free zone. Since many of his classmates have allergies, we need a Valentine party idea that does not involve things like lollipops or sprinkled cupcakes.
I found this bubble valentine on Armelle} the blog and it is perfect. There are free printables for the card and the stickers, plus she walks you through supplies needed (and even where to find them!).
Your little guy or gal just signs the back and there you have it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

52 Weeks To An Organized Home

The site Home Storage Solutions 101 is posting a series of 52 home organization challenges to lead you to a completely organized home over the course of a year. Certainly even the most clutter-prone person could tackle this plan since it is mapped out so clearly and methodically each week.
Although they offer you the opportunity to sign up and "join" the free program, I think I will just stick to checking the site for each week's task. Who knows- 52 weeks from now I could be living among rooms like the snapshot I posted above....fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I don't ever wonder what it would be like to live on the West Coast, or more specifically, in Hollywood. I have some friends who would move there in a heartbeat if the opportunity arose. If the chance ever came around for me, I would most likely pass. However, things like the star-filled Live Read of The Princess Bride that Jason Reitman directed at LACMA this past December 15th would definitely make the move a consideration.

Can you imagine? Cary Elwes, the original Westley, read the role of Humperdink and Fred Savage reprised his role as the grandson. Add to that the presence of Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Patton Oswalt and Rob Reiner and all for a ticket price of ten dollars- now that is why people live in L.A..

The next installment of the Live Read Series is tomorrow night- the film Shampoo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"When at a Certain Party..."

One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more poetry, but with starting a new job, squeezing a new fat body into old skinny clothes, and having meltdowns over Sweet Pea falling in love with the babysister he has for 8 hours a week and completely forgetting about me - who has time to read? I do, however, have time to watch poetry when it is as awesome as this animated version of Eric Belieu's all too true poem titled "When at a Certain Party in NYC."

And here is the poem in print because it's that good that you've got to experience it twice:

When At a Certain Party In NYC
Wherever you’re from sucks,
and wherever you grew up sucks,
and everyone here lives in a converted
chocolate factory or deconsecrated church
without an ugly lamp or souvenir coffee cup
in sight, but only carefully edited objets like
the Lacanian soap dispenser in the kitchen
that looks like an industrial age dildo, and
when you rifle through the bathroom
cabinet looking for a spare tampon, you discover
that even their toothpaste is somehow more
desirable than yours. And later you go
with a world famous critic to eat a plate
of sushi prepared by a world famous chef from
Sweden and the roll is conceived to look like
“a strand of pearls around a white throat,” and is
so confusingly beautiful that it makes itself
impossible to eat. And your friend back home—-
who says the pioneers who first settled
the great asphalt parking lot of our
middle, were not in fact heroic, but really
the chubby ones who lacked the imagination
to go all the way to California—it could be that
she’s on to something. Because, admit it,
when you look at the people on these streets,
the razor-blade women with their strategic bones
and the men wearing Amish pants with
interesting zippers, it’s pretty clear that you
will never cut it anywhere that constitutes
a where, that even ordering a pint of tuna salad in
a deli is an illustrative exercise in self-doubt.
So when you see the dogs on the high-rise elevators
practically tweaking, panting all the way down
from the 19th floor to the 1st, dying to get on
with their long planned business of snuffling
garbage or peeing on something to which all day
they’ve been looking forward, what you want is
to be on the fastest Conestoga home, where the other
losers live and where the tasteless azaleas are,
as we speak, half-heartedly exploding.

Erin Belieu
from 32 Poems, Fall/Winter 2009 via Little Epic Against Oblivion

Monday, January 16, 2012

37 is :|

The colon and a line make an expressionless face or "stoneface". It is a little fellow my friends and I use, often in emoticon form, to illustrate just being over something.....filled to the brim with annoyance. I love stoneface, he says so much with so very little.
Vivi is 37 today. So far, 37 is stoneface. To make it better I added Bill Murray to her day, because he always makes her :).
Happy Birthday!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 365

I'm sure you have heard of Project 365 before. I have seen things about it, but just recently read the "A Beginner's Guide to Project 365" article on thenextweb.com. It starts off by stating:

Simply put, Project 365 is committing to taking one photo a day for a year. Whether you’re using a fancy DSLR, or simply using your phone, there is no wrong or right way to put together your own Project 365. There are a variety of great sites you can use to share your photos, to find inspiration and keep up with other photographers’ efforts.

It seems like such a no-brainer after that introduction. While I doubt I would do much sharing of my own 365 project, what an easy, accessible way to capture a year. The article goes on to supply tips and helpful websites and to essentially convince you that you have to give it a try. I might start on my birthday next month and see how it goes- having a visual diary of the year is a major motivation....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pancake Night

This time of year I tend to run out of steam on dinner ideas, but one thing that saves me when I am completely uninspired is pancake night- It is always a huge hit and there are so many varieties to try out. I think tomorrow night will be a pancake night and this is the recipe I am using (very, very promising!).
Barefoot Contessa Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

Monday, January 9, 2012


A post on Facebook this weekend reminded me of the photo blog collection bookshelfporn. It is a site filled with pictures of bookshelves and bookcases, from the over-designed to the haphazardly stacked.... If you are a lover of books and organization (a thrilling combination :) ) like me, it is worth a gander.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday, Richard Scarry, and Etsy

One of these things doesn't belong Richard Scarry game blocks via LiliaRose

When I first saw these Richard Scarry block sets from LiliaRose on Etsy, I wanted one desperately (of course), but it also got me thinking about what other Busytown treasures could be out there.
I am a giant Richard Scarry fan and my children are too, so a search for him on Etsy was very exciting in these parts. These are some of the items now on our wishlist....

For crafting- some sweet circle punches, stacks of envelopes, and pushpins:

Vintage Richard Scarry illustrations 1" pinback set via squidflex

For your home- Fun fabric from Busytown, an Initial Frame and a pretty punched paper collage:
3D Baby elephant whimsy collage-custom Richard Scarry recycled 8x8- via aboundingtreasures

Especially for kids- some stuffed Lowly Worms and a vintage Puzzletown playset!

Finally, for a party- a custom invitation, some thank you notes and the perfect favor bag...

Now I just need to decide what to order first :)


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