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Showing posts from February, 2012

Photo Dump: The Extras

The last few months in pictures...that didn't make the cut. Lots of playing with teddies (even a Lukka shot, can you guess which one?), Children's Museum, crafts, and outdoor time.

Movie Review: The Illusionist

I try to watch a French film or two every year, not only because I love, generally, the aesthetic of French films and the music, but because they're usually really good stories, too. I had heard about The Illusionist from a friend online and immediately put it on my netflix queue, as it reminded me of the story The Triplets of Belleville, of which I own the soundtrack and loved. It was directed by the same person, Sylvain Chomet, and shares a number of similar qualities like animation style, somber color palette, and satirical characters.
This is the story of an aging magician and his dying art. As he is renting a flat above a pub, he entertains a curious barmaid who thinks he really can do magic. As he's encouraged by her surprise, she begins to use the flattery (magic?) to her own benefit, having him dwindle his savings account to buy her new clothes, a trip to a different city, etc. Whether this young woman knows the truth is not revealed, but their odd relations…

Visual Monday: March

March is one of my favorite months of the year. Springtime-birthday-green-and mild warmth. Bring it on, week! The fresh month is coming. Source: via Mari on Pinterest

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest

Source: via Elise on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

{This Moment}

A birthday girl treat at Paint Yourself Silly. Join others in remembering a sweet moment from the week.

Usborne Bookshelf Giveaway: 1000 First Words in Spanish

Every month I will be doing an Usborne Bookshelf Giveaway, and this month is a great chance for those of you who love your children to learn about other cultures--namely the Spanish language. This is from my own library and it's a gently used edition of First Thousand Words in Spanish. I bought this book at the last library book sale because it's in such great condition and because I have a lot of friends who will be teaching (or are teaching currently) their children the Spanish language.
These books are awesome. Our children are learning French at home and I own the First Hundred Words, and bought a new copy of First Thousand Words, both in French, for our personal library. At over 60 pages, these books are great 'first reference' books for young learners, and engage children between the ages of 2-10. I know that's a large range, but the way they are broken up can be easily captivating for the smallest audience (with the Usborne/Cartwright duck on each…

Pin Dump

I do love Pinterest for all the wonderful ideas, recipes, color palettes, and general inspiration found there, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the most frequent pins I've saved. Usually I find stuff I love on blogs and 'pin it' to my boards externally, instead of found within the site itself, as it's getting fairly crowded and hard to sift through, with a lot of repeat things. I have a number of friends I follow (and a few strangers who just happen to have similar taste) and I'm happy to check it once a day or so. I have found some excellent 'keeper' recipes that I've printed to my binder, and plenty of go-to gift ideas, party themes, and TONS of home school references/pictures for the back pocket. Here are a few of my favorites that I've pinned recently. Think of this as a Pinterest linky <3 post. Enjoy!
Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: blog.imaginechildhoo…

Book Review: Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett

A friend of mine who I often trade books with handed me this a couple months ago and said, "I think you'll really like it". I had never read an Ann Patchett book and since Bel Canto was on my list, which I've heard such amazing things about, I decided to add this title, too. If I can remember correctly the first 40ish pages took awhile to get into; after that I finished quickly.
Truth and Beauty is a memoir of friendship between the two writers, Ann, and her best friend, the late Lucy Grealy of Autobiography of a Face fame. The story isn't a typical book broken into chapters of episodes, but more like chapters of emotions...and surgery. A lot of the chapters either start or end with a letter from Lucy, setting the tone, or rather closing the state of emotion out, with her poetic words and battle with loneliness.
The story is set over a couple decades, starting with college and ending sadly without Lucy about twenty years later. It's a recap of both…

Visual Monday: Birthday Recap

Friday was Miss Anikka's 3rd birthday, and we let her live it up all weekend. On Friday we went with Grammy to a cafe where she was given a birthday gift (lots, actually!) along with a happy face pancake for lunch. She wore her little fairy birthday crown all day Friday and Saturday, and loved it! Friday evening her and dad went on the traditional 'dad date' (out to breakfast or dinner, depending on the day, with just that child) and she picked Runza...of all places. She ate two measy mini corn dogs and had a big ice cream cone. I think from the above pictures you can tell she didn't mind that horrible diet one bit ;) After dinner they came back and we all opened up presents with her. We get our children three items each birthday (or Christmas) and her something to wear was this sweet Tea dress, her something to read was this fabulous 300+ Usborne sticker book and her something to play with was a 70 piece wooden train set (not the exact same), of which she has.not.stop…

{This Moment}

A little fun left over from last week, working on Valentine's with a friend. Crafting is so much sweeter with more. Join others to remember a moment from the week.

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes II: Game of Shadows

Every Christmas one of Stefan and my favorite gifts that we receive is movie gift cards. Going to a movie is extremely expensive for those of us on a tight budget, and frankly, I'd rather spend $18 on something that I can hold in my hand, like a book, some yarn, or some new fabric. We are also Netflix DVD/streaming subscribers, so there's always the option to watch it at home in a month or two anyway. However, once New Years rolls around we are itching to get out of the house, drop the kids off at one of the grandparents, and go to the movie theater, where we can enjoy the night completely guilt free with our gift card (thanks Oma, Opa, and Grammy!). Going to a movie is a really fun experience, and so we are tedious in our options. What usually happens is Stefan picks out his top 5 choices, and I narrow it down once I've seen all the trailers.
We fixed our eyes on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows after seeing the first one at home a year ago. We both loved the…

Pocket Poem

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Pocket Poem Ted Kooser
If this comes creased and creased again and soiled as if I'd opened it a thousand times to see if what I'd written here was right, it's all because I looked too long for you to put it in your pocket. Midnight says the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped by nervous fingers. What I wanted this to say was that i want to be so close that when you find it, it is warm from me.

~Poem from his book, Valentines.

Visual Monday: Valentine

{This Moment} brought to you by Stefan's phone. Snowmen guard this house! Join families from around the world remembering a sweet moment from the week.

Usborne Spotlight: See Inside Your Body

photocredit Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I will do 3 Usborne posts per month, 1 'spotlighting' a book along with a giveaway of that same book, another 'spotlight' of our personal favorites or new titles, and a 3rd post on the first weekend of the month, highlighting that particular month's specials. I present one of our very favorite books to you, See Inside Your Body! This book is the first of the 'See Inside' series that we've owned, and it solidified my desire to have these books in our personal library for home schooling. Usborne makes non-fiction topics in such an eye-catching way my children still, after two years, love this book. They are hardcover books that usually have at least 50 flaps (some are upwards of 100!) and break down a subject in a helpful way--by 'two page spreads'. Each page spread (see below, all about blood and the heart) puts hard concepts into easily comprehensible terms and visuals.
photocredit The illustrations …
This past January I had put together quite a hefty list of books to read through 2012, and I'm happy to say in the month of January through early February, I have finished four of them. The first one on my list that was crossed off was Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures. Chevalier is the author of "Girl With the Pearl Earring", of movie fame, and I have read all of her books. This one came out in early 2011, and I didn't want to overlook it. She writes exclusively historical fiction, where the novel is based on part truth. Chevalier has the craft of taking an idea out of history--in this case the real Mary Anning--who discovered remains of ancient mammals on the English coast--and writing her tale of friendship with a dash of women's rights for cheeky measure.
This is a story about a spinster who moves out to the coast with her 2 sisters as they are exiled from their brother's London house when he marries. Elizabeth Philpot, has a curious h…