Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Painted Lady Butterflies

My super thoughtful friend sent the kids an amazing Spring gift. Last month, some Painted Lady Butterflies from Insect Lore arrived on our doorstep. Well, not the butterflies, but the larvae! Over the course of the next few weeks we watched them grow into caterpillars, enter the pupae stage, create chrysalides, and break into the world as beautiful butterflies. 
These photographs show the Painted Lady butterflies spreading their wings and shortly thereafter- they flew off into the yard. My kids were mesmerized and absolutely loved watching this amazing life cycle close up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"pretend to be someone who is wise"

Neil Gaiman's keynote address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia is making me happy right now. It's the kind of message we should all be following (whether we're artists or otherwise).

"Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.
So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.
And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art."


Thursday, May 24, 2012

"I hope you like pajama pants and police procedurals."

I do. I do like pajama pants and police procedurals. The quote I used for the title of this post is from "Don't Trust the B- in Apt. 23" and it was actually spoken to highlight the potential lameness of a character's evening, but honestly- it sounded like heaven to me! (granted these characters are 24....)
I am surprised I never posted about it before, but I am perhaps the world's biggest fan of the original "Law and Order" series. I believe I have seen every episode of the 20 seasons it aired, probably multiple times, and I never tire of them. Now the series is no stranger to syndication, so undoubtedly everyone has seen a few, but whether you are a die hard or occasional fan, Netflix offers quite a bit of the series for you to enjoy. Strangely, my favorites are the first season and the last, but I really can't flip by any episode without watching just a little and yes, I am often in pajama pants.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

arts education

I am ashamed to admit that my town just voted on a proposition 2 1/2 for our schools, more specifically that we needed an override to save the arts programs in the elementary school. Because of various budget strains, numerous unfunded state mandates and a perfect storm of unforeseen costs in the district, the school was in danger of losing the visual art, music, library, computer and physical education curriculum they have in place now. It was proposed the arts program be cut to balance the budget and an override to save the arts was added to the town ballot.
I am proud to say that the town voted for the override, even in these difficult economic times, and the program will remain intact at the elementary school.....for at least one more year.
In working with the committee that was formed to support the override, I came across a very good article on Edutopia entitled "Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best" .  There is one quote in particular that I loved:
" 'When you think about the purposes of education, there are three,' Horne says. 'We're preparing kids for jobs. We're preparing them to be citizens. And we're teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. The third is as important as the other two.' "
I love that my kindergartner can come home so excited to tell me that a mommy fox is called a vixen, that he learned about all sorts of different acts of kindness, AND that he painted a flag for the class's imaginary kingdom. I want him to always have the opportunity to be excited about all of those things.

In a perfect world's classroom, opportunities to create and imagine would never be on the chopping block, but in today's educational system the opportunities find themselves there all too often.

Monday, May 21, 2012

love this hack

Thank you to The Painted Hive for providing an awesome Ikea hack.... for lovers of card catalogs and a good DIY - the perfect rainy day project!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flash Mob Revisited

I pretty much think that flash mobs are stupid. I know they are sort of a huge thing right now where everyone is getting married via flash mob or under threat of being swamped by one every time you ride the subway, but these are the exact reasons why they irk me so. Flash mobs are so prevalent that they have now become either boring or annoying or both. I just don't want to hear about another group of college kids swarming a library and calling it a "performance." With that said, I totally teared up at this flash mob of musicians who played classical music for passengers in the Copenhagen Metro. Maybe it's the reaction of wet-eyed old people or a rosy-cheeked baby that got to me or how even the filming of the experience met the music, but I liked it and I think you'll like it too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

strawberry lemonade

There are some pretty delicious fresh strawberries available right now and I have been bookmarking all sorts of recipes. With the predicted temperature around 80 degrees for both Saturday and Sunday, I think a batch of Emeril's strawberry lemonade is a must!


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups cold sparkling water or club soda
  • Ice
  • Mint sprigs, garnish
  • Whole strawberries, garnish


In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher.
In a blender, puree the pint of strawberries and add to the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.
Add the sparkling water and stir well. Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint and strawberries.
Image: mamaloli , Recipe: Food Network

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

you smell

 I read about the company You Smell on Daily Candy. They make luxurious, scented bar and paper soaps that are all natural, vegan and gluten-free. I want to put this on my list of potential gifts- between the fun packaging, natural composition and promises of a sweet smelling ever can you go wrong?

Monday, May 14, 2012

knitting pretty

I saw this magazine and for the umpteenth time wished I had learned how to knit years ago.This might be what inspires me to overcome my shyness and join a class. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

perfect retreat

These two shots of outdoor living space in designer Twanette Tharp's Edgartown Harbor house make me want to be her.....or, at least be friends with her, so I could be invited to visit.
Architectural Digest featured this major project of renovating and designing a pair of 19th-century houses in Martha's Vineyard's Edgartown. The pictorial is very interesting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mr. Sendak, we loved you so.

As we mourn the death of the great Maurice Sendak, let's also take a moment to appreciate how he showed children to live their own lives - with passion, humor, and on their own terms.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Children's Book Week!

Children's Book Week is here and to kick it off I am posting links to the Official Events across the country, as well as the Local Events. Of course, it does not matter if you celebrate the week formally, just read with your kids!

Friday, May 4, 2012

macaron color

 People...well, people who blog, seem drawn to the marriage of mint and coral colors. I suppose I am one of them because I am enamored of it, too. It is the macaron combination and it is hard to resist...

                Images: etsy, etsy, pinterest, pinterest, teenvogue pinterest, sweetdesigns, etsy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

what a concept

This graphic from the facebook page of The existence of Burning Through Pages makes me happy. From their "About Us" link:
Burning Through Pages is a non-profit organization based out of Denver, CO dedicated to the advocacy of reading and writing for our city's youth. The working concept of Burning Through Pages is that the literature assigned by public and private schools, while important, contains dated prose and often antiquated ideals. While the classics are classics for a reason, they are not always easily relatable to the current generation reading them. That's where we come in. We are here to introduce new and updated literature to Denver's youth. We buy books, give them away, and take the time to talk about them.

Burning Through Pages Inc. has one goal and one goal only:
To inspire a love of reading in today's youth by recommending, donating, and discussing books.

There are no quizzes, just conversations. If you don't like the book, you can give it back. If you do like the book, there'll be another one waiting for you, free of charge. The important thing is that an adoration of reading grows. It's not what you read that's important to us, it's that you enjoy whatever it is that keeps you burning through the pages. 
Thanks for stopping by.
How awesome.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maypole Toppers

Studio DIY has the best May Day idea. These little bundt cakes with maypole toppers are so very cute. If you have the chance, I highly recommend clicking around the blog - there are some great projects just waiting to be tackled.....


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