Grace E. Hester, just-turned-30, corporate-working mom of 2 young daughters who sold out her creative soul when she moved from Singapore to Cleveland, Ohio when she finally found a man who was worthy. Join her on her journey from concrete jungle to mid-west surburbia of Westerville, Ohio, from college grad to mother of two, from mtv to numbers-crunching . . . all while trying to balance the pretty with practical in her life.
There are a handful of blogs on my Google Reader feed that make me smile because they are just clever. And not in that pompous-me-me-me way. More subtle like a casual scarf on a Parisienne but which in its nonchalance, just makes it so much more appealing. Here are two of my current favourites,
I heart Chronicle Books - their books are the perfect blend of visual candy and quality content and I often find myself browsing through their website for interesting reads for our girls and for myself.
Check them out yourself and take advantage of their Friends and Family Holiday Sale where you can enjoy 35% off PLUS FREE ground shipping! Just use promo code FRIENDS at checkout. (Good till December 5th.)
Here's what I've added to my shopping cart so far:
With the approaching holidays, I find myself getting more and more reflective of how time has flown and wanting to look at old photo and scrapbook albums. I had a sneak peak into this book and really liked the prompts listed in this book. I would get ALOT of use out of this as journaling prompts not just for one child but for both, and not just once, but over time as it will be interesting to also note how our responses change over time.
I am super excited to get these! We have officially made it through a quarter of lunch-packing and daily lunch notes. (I would make/print the lunch notes in batches on a weekend and pull one out to write on for the day.) These would be such a great way to mix things up and I am tickled pink by the illustrations too.
This book features 12 people who have in their own way, have done great things for the environment. I like the theme of relating the story to a child by describing the experiences these heroes had as children, witnessing some of the ecological issues, that gradually fueled their passion for finding a solution. I think that for Naia (5-year-old), this could be a great way to tie into why we do some of the things we ask her to do like turning off the lights, not littering, and recycling.
Naia LOVES to read and as my husband would say, It's time to graduate to "Chapter Books". So I have been looking around for age-appropriate and values-appropriate books for her and came across Ivy+Bean. It's touted as a good "transition read" for those who are past easy reader books but not quite ready for middle school books. Also the baseline themes of friendship and siblings and family will really appeal to Lil' Ms Social Butterfly. Honestly, I am a little intrigued by what Ivy+Bean get up to as well!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated directly by Chronicle Books for this post however I am a member of their affiliate program.
In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America's children.
My husband was an only child and was raised by his mom. There was no father figure around in his life and although he did not have a model to look up to, and has never cared for young kids in his life, he has done well as a father to our two young girls. I think the fact that the author is the first African American president, whose father was not around as he was growing up, yet whose values are so grounded in family and his two daughters, offers many opportunities for our girls to draw positive parallels, especially between their daddy's love for them, and President Obama's love for his daughters.
I am also intrigued by the list of groundbreaking Americans referenced and love the idea of tying in the positive traits of these historically-significant Americans to his daughters.
But why three copies? Well two will be for our girls, 1 each. Ordinarily, they share one copy of a book but in this case, I thought it might be great for Noah to write a special note in each book for each of our girls for them to keep a copy each and take with them as they grow. And as for the third, Naia's school has a great (not compulsory) tradition of having the birthday child donate a book to the school library on their birthday and I think this would be a splendid choice for Naia's 6th birthday.
On a more practical (than the reasons listed) note, there is an unbeatable price for pre-ordering the book now. I think this is just cherry on top of a rum & raisin sundae.
While reading with Naia and Gianna one evening in Naia's room, my eyes settled on Naia's bookshelf of books with some of her current favourite reads and I made a mental note to scrapbook about it. Then a brighter lightbulb came on and I thought, why not create a poster of both girls' favourite reads!
So here it, available as a standard print (in Turquoise, Orange, Periwinkle, and Ochre), or as a custom print with all of YOUR or your child's favourite reads,
The poem itself is lovely. But to hear Billy Collins talk about the background just makes the poem that much more endearing. But this version might just take the cake. Listen to this 3-year-old reciting the very same poem. Too adorable.
Here's the poem's text:
You are the bread and the knife, The crystal goblet and the wine... -Jacques Crickillon
You are the bread and the knife, the crystal goblet and the wine. You are the dew on the morning grass and the burning wheel of the sun. You are the white apron of the baker, and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard, the plums on the counter, or the house of cards. And you are certainly not the pine-scented air. There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge, maybe even the pigeon on the general's head, but you are not even close to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show that you are neither the boots in the corner nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know, speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world, that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star, the evening paper blowing down an alley and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees and the blind woman's tea cup. But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife. You are still the bread and the knife. You will always be the bread and the knife, not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.
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