Saturday, February 28, 2009

Read Your Way Through... My New Favorites

I know I promised a different topic for my next installment of Read Your Way Through, but I haven't had much planning time lately. So, here's a look at some new children's books that have made their way into my favorites on Goodreads.

(Also, this post is dedicated to Cheryl who is abroad with limited access to beloved new picture books! ;))

Antoinette Portis crafts a wonderful story of curiosity in A Penguin Story. These penguins only know the white ice, the black night and the blue sea, but Edna can just feel that there is something more. She's not deterred when her friends and family aren't interested in joining in on her quest, and how rewarding it ends up being!

Not All Animals Are Blue by Beatrice Boutignon immediately captured my interest with its unique presentation. Text on the left corresponds with illustrations on the right, as readers are encouraged to linger on the artwork, noting similarities and differences between the animals pictured. Sort of a "one of these things is not like the other" concept, yet done in a way that more inclines the reader to imagine a story behind each animal.

Birds by Kevin Henkes is funny, poetic, imaginative and so vividly illustrated. A wonderful new accomplishment from the husband-wife/author-illustrator team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek.

How Many Baby Pandas? by Sandra Markle

Part counting tale, part juvenile non-fiction, this book is full of adorable photographs of pandas as well as interesting facts. It documents a panda baby boom at the Wolong Giant Panda Breeding Center, where, in 2005, giant pandas gave birth to 16 cubs, including two sets of twins!

The nice thing about this book is that it can be read as a simple counting story for younger children, but would also be quite useful and interesting for older kids learning about pandas.

The next installment of Read Your Way Through will actually be a "Click" Your Way Through, as I showcase a cute new title available on Lookybook! Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's a ... Giveaway!!!

I hope you're as excited as I am! It's my first bloggy giveaway, and a pretty fab one for moms, dads, and parents-to-be in the Central Ohio area.

With big thanks to founder Kendra, I have a pair of tickets to give away to the 2009 Baby Bonanza! The EXPO will be held at the Aladdin Shrine Center on Saturday, March 14, 2009 from 10a-4p.

Baby Bonanza is geared toward families with children aged 0-6 and promises "everything from pregnancy to preschool". It offers exhibitors, educational seminars, entertainment, unique baby and toddler products, door prizes, even diaper derby baby races! Check out the full line-up at

So, for the giveaway: check out the Baby Bonanza web site and then post a comment here sharing what exhibitor, seminar, or activity you'd most like to attend. Be sure to leave your email address within the comment should you be the lucky winner!

Also, for a bonus entry into the giveaway, tweet about it with a link to either my blog or this post. Then stop back here to leave an additional comment letting me know you tweeted!

Have fun, and thanks for playing!


Monday, February 16, 2009

A Faux February?

Doesn't February suck? It's the shortest month of the year, but never feels like it.


Snow, or worse, melting dirty slush.

Flus and viruses abound. (Is SAD contagious too?)

Cabin fever.

Continuous snacking and drinking hot cocoa like it's water.

Grumpy, bordering on depressed.

Long days of boringness,

begging for Spring,

cursing Punxsutawney Phil for consistently seeing his shadow.

Well, this February is shaping up quite differently, and not too shabby. A huge snow at the end of January hit Columbus and a week later bursts of warmer air and bright sunshine. My little guy's been seeing a lot of his shadow, too. Which seems counter-intuitive to me... why does seeing your shadow imply that more winter weather is ahead, when clearly bright sunshiney days do nothing but instill hope and excitement that the longer days of Spring and Summer are quickly approaching?
Regardless, we've been enjoying daily walks around the neighborhood, even a hike at a local metro park where J proudly spotted ducks and geese perched on the iced-over pond.

Then, a crazy fall-like windstorm sweeps in complete with rain and hail and tornado watches.

Add to this mix my absolute giddiness for Valentine's Day, some fun crafty playdates, a new energizing and exciting diet (which C. is teaming up with me on), and these 28 days are whipping by in a whirl of busy-ness and (gasp!) happy-ness! Is this really February?
How's February been treating you? Love it or leave it?

Friday, February 6, 2009


A few things here that make me smile and feel all ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey. Both because they'd make adorable Valentine's gifts and because they're helping to cheer me up this week with their happy loved-themed prettiness.

So, Valentine's Day is always about the sweets, particularly chocolate, right? Who wouldn't fall head over heels for some homemade treats rather than the heart-shaped box of mystery chocolates that you can pick up anywhere?

Pretty & delicious vegantine cupcakes from the cupcake mint


L O V E alphabet boxes from A Little Hut


For a long-distance Valentine...

by Ms. Starry Art


And, of course, I can't post about Valentine's Day without mention of jewelry

I love this beaded heart ring from Natasha Kahn Designs for its simplicity and femininity


Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Very Special Valentine

I think there's some connection between being a mother of a toddler and getting crazily excited and decked out for holidays...

This year, I'm really feeling the love as Valentine's Day approaches. J and I decorated the sliding glass doors with vinyl cling hearts. I purchased a cutesy love birds hangy-decoration-thingy for the front door. I've been scouring books and web sites looking for Valentine's Day crafts. I bought pink muffin cup papers and 5 mini jars of pink, red, heart-themed sprinkles in the anticipation of baking some heart-shaped cutouts! (I even caught myself looking at pink and red bejeweled socks in the dollar bins at Target, but snapped out of that one very quickly.)

All this, and it's only February 1st!!!!

With all these ideas and preparations underway, I thought I'd best get a move on with a Valentine gift or two. The always-up-to-something-cute Jessi at everyday studios posted the cutest, most perfect, most inspiring gift idea -- a love-themed photo book from Shutterfly. As I clicked through the pics of her adorable boys, I knew a book like this would be treasured by J's grandparents. So, I spent a couple hours working on one of our own tonight while J slept and C watched the Superbowl, and here's the finished product:

View Project at Shutterfly