Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Favorite Children's Books

An elderly lady at the bookstore came up to the girls and me and asked if her book selection for a two year old was satisfactory. I said (in a much more diplomatic way), "helllz no." She had Goodnight Moon. I know that one is supposed to be a hit, but frankly it creeps me and the girls right out. So, just in case you're looking for some books for tots, here is the best of the best. In my opinion, of course.

This one is a little bit long, but the illustrations can keep one captivated. You might want to relocate to Maine after reading it.

This is the only Olivia book we've read, but the girls are hooked and I get a kick out of it every time. I'll admit, however, that I learned to love it. It is a must-have-inflection-read. I think Eldest is going to be receiving the other Olivia books for her upcoming birthday.

We stumbled across this at the library and was a must buy. Great illustrations, and a tender story. Catch me at a hormonal moment and you might see some eye mist.

Oh, the Llama books. If you haven't read these, you're missing out. Again, they took me a bit to appreciate, and now I really don't mind reading them 4 times a day. Literally.
We will also be purchasing Llama Llama Misses Mama.

I grew up with the My Good Morning and My Good Night Books. They are short, sweet, simple, and the children in the
books look like my children. I'm not biased or anything, though.

I hate to tease you with this one because it is no longer in print. And don't go looking on Ebay for it because my mother already purchased them all. But do make sure to check your local library or garage sales! Sweet as can be.

Garrison Keillor is genius when it comes to story telling. Apparently he does a pretty good job with kids books, too.

Another favorite from growing up. Epitomizes the dreams of motherhood.

And just in case a kid (or mother) has every one of their favorite books and you're stumped for a gift idea, check this out. My sister gave this to me for my birthday; she put two illustrated pages together from Blueberries for Sal and had them mounted and framed. It's currently hanging in my kitchen (since the picture is of mother and Sal canning blueberries). Marvelous idea, huh?
You can find all of the above books (except for A Special Trade) at Amazon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1080 Recipes

Have you seen this beautiful cookbook? It's called 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega. It's like the Spanish Joy of Cooking. In other words, you can find almost any recipe in here, but it is a very basic version.

I was a total sucker for the colored pencil like drawings throughout the book. I asked my mother-in-
law for it for my birthday and she sheepishly gave it to me and said, "do you know it's a Spanish

Isn't it just so pretty?

I made recipe #270 tonight. Macaroni with chorizo and tomato. One dish meal, easy and yummy. Nothing to photograph. Basically a macaroni and cheese with, well, chorizo and tomato in it.

The book to me is less of a reference, more of an eye candy shop.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcoming Fall

I'm really quite sure that I willed fall to arrive. It was official this morning when we put on sweatshirts for breakfast. If that's not telling, then you live in the Arctic.
I had a great day. Mr. Incredible gave me a much needed (and deserved) break. He stayed with the girls while I was supposed to meet up with two friends for breakfast. Plans didn't quite happen and someone (or everyone) was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I'll tell you what- nothing mends miscommunication and disappointment like a good book. (Stay tuned so I can finish the book and hopefully recommend it.)
I am not one to carry books around with me because I know that for my life it would not be realistic. Why did I today? I'm not sure. But my guess would be that my subconscious just knows when it's fall time. It beats carrying around an LLBean back backpack with my initials on it and a case of Oscar Meyer sticking out the front pocket.
In any case, abandoning housework, reading my book, and coffee and breakfast being served to me was a glorious way to start my day.
It only got better when I realized that the cool morning air was not a tease. I welcomed autumn with spaghetti and meatballs and Josh Groban. Try it sometime. Especially if you use this recipe. It is super simple, and super delicious. Not to mention that it makes plenty for leftovers and to freeze. And the leftovers are even better then next day. Don't make me need to convince you more, please.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Comfortable, Confident, Beautiful

My first pregnancy I bought a handful of maternity clothes, one or two dresses, and wore a lot of my exercise t-shirts. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, because, of course, pregnancy is only for 40 weeks. ...40 out of 52 weeks! That's crazy to not have nice clothes to enjoy for almost a year. My second pregnancy was a different season, so I splurged a little bit more than the previous at Old Navy Maternity. I was pleased with their maternity clothes, but didn't find anything that made me feel mighty good.
This pregnancy I hit up garage sales and consignment shops. But even though I was getting things at $1.oo a piece, I wasn't satisfied. Then it hit me like a brick wall. Maternity clothing, particularly cheaply made maternity clothing (Motherhood) fits well only a handful of times. Then it starts looking drab on the buyer. Then they sell it to you, and now not only is it drab looking, it is formed to a different pregnant body. Ahhh!
I was stuck with a whole lot of inexpensive, but ill fitting maternity clothes that were not exactly my style, but cheap, cheap, cheap. And chances are, if you are me, you can't pass up a deal.
One day I had had it, and asked Mr. Incredible if I could go to the new maternity store to check it out and pick up a few new pieces. He said, "sure, just don't spend over $300.00." Uhhh, are you kidding me? Of COURSE I wouldn't spend anywhere NEAR to $300.00.
Then I went. And found A Pea in the Pod. Beautiful, timeless, elegant, dress up or dress down. If you sell them your kidney. $300.00 later, I was home, delighted. I haven't felt fat and ugly since. Really.

Here are some of my finds:

This can dress up or down. I typically wear with jeans. A Pea in the Pod Spaghetti Strap Crochet Detail Maternity Blouse

I got this in black. The ruching ensures a comfortable fit without riding up. Flattering!A Pea in the Pod Sleeveless Mandarin Collar Button Detail Maternity Top

I bought this, but was nervous it looked like a curtain. I've gotten a surprising amount of compliments. Motherhood Short Sleeve Crochet Detail Maternity Shirt

These are Lucky Brand designer jeans. The large didn't fit me. They don't carry extra large. I loved them. I'm glad they
did not fit though, because I found
A Pea in the Pod Lucky Brand Under Belly 5 Pocket Boot Cut Maternity Jeans

these jeans for much cheaper. I like how they don't have that terrible band that makes you hotter than you already are.
Motherhood Self Belly Stretch Fabric Boot Cut Maternity Jeans

Even preggers need an LBD. This was cheap, and looks just about as good on me as it does this model. hurrah!
Short Sleeve Faux Wrap Maternity Dress

Confession: I bought this because it was on sale. It's a sweater. I figured that September nights might get chilly. I've
already worn it a few times, and like it! It's different, but it's nice to have something to thrown on (other than your
husband's oversized hoodies).
Motherhood Elbow Sleeve Cascade Maternity Sweater

I got this little cable knit at a garage sale. It's Motherhood brand, but it's a sweater. Not supposed to be form fitting.
I'm pleased.
Motherhood Long Sleeve Cable Knit Maternity Sweater

I really like this tunic. However, eldest daughter says to "take off Daddy's shirt." I don't know what other people think
about it.

Motherhood Maternity Elbow Sleeve Empire Waist Maternity Tunic - Click for Detail

And if I was pregnant for another 40 weeks, I'd definitely splurge on these things. And probably a few more things, too.
And maybe new shoes, because my feet are ballooning. (never happened before!)
A Pea In The Pod Collection Short Sleeve Charmeuse Trim Maternity DressA Pea in the Pod 3/4 Sleeve Button Front Maternity SweaterA Pea In The Pod Collection Bailey 44 Short Sleeve Cowl Neck Ruched Maternity T ShirtA Pea In The Pod Collection Short Sleeve Rib Knit Maternity TunicA Pea In The Pod Collection Short Sleeve Crew Neck Side Ruched Maternity T Shirt

Since I am only 4 weeks from my due date, I think it is fair for me to start dreaming of a slim figure. I like to get a new
outfit for babies baptism, and I'm quite sure this is it. But whoooo knows what size I'll be in 3 months. (Found this link via Sensibly Styled Blog.)