Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pintertainment Weekly


I'm sweet on Pinterest, and wanted to share how I use it to find borrowed beauty at our local library. My goal is a pintertainment post each week, but I've been known to start projects and not complete them in a timely manner. Like this stuff still on our back deck. Actually, said projects were moved into the deck closet by sweetest hubby and since I don't see them, they may stay there until 2025.  

A Mighty Girl 


Rapid heartbeat. Butterflies in my tummy. I have fallen head over heals in love with A Mighty Girl's Pinterest Boards and website. Most of the books they feature are available at our local library - we just put on hold: 33 Things Every Girl Should Know and Cornelia And The Audacious Escapades Of The Somerset Sisters. My online life will never be the same, thanks to A Mighty Girl.

Have you noticed how Pinterest helps you discover things you didn't even know you were looking for? Skin Rules is one of those for me.



Behold, I brought home the swoony American James Bond of cooking from the library. So can you. And your hubby will forgive you when you prepare his steak and corn raita from Cooking In Everyday English.


I marvel at those who instinctively know how to decorate this way. I need help from books like Shelf Expression and Bookshelves and Cabinets from the library.



Try as I may, I can't keep up with all the new music I enjoy. It's tempting to just download songs, but I still prefer to bring home the Maroon 5 CD from the library and read the jacket and lyrics while listening. Worth the wait.



I utterly fail at explaining how funny this movie is, and don't ask anyone because they'll just wreck it for you. Borrow Bridesmaids from the library on a Friday night, put the kids to bed, and watch it with your girlfriends (and a few bottles of wine).



I should belong to MA (Magazines Anonymous), because I can't go into the library and borrow just one Real Simple magazine. Go myriad or go home is my magazine motto. 

Have you found any beauty on Pinterest lately that you could borrow from the library?

Pinterest, like the library, is fabulous fun. Highly addicting. But the best part is you spend less and share more. I would love for you to follow me.


Have a great weekend. 


xoxo Michele


Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tilda Pinkerton Giveaway

My beautiful friend Kerry at HouseTalkN (she loves libraries and houses) was kind enough to share Angela Shelton's giveaway with me, and I just had to share it with all of you. Who doesn't wish their biggest insecurity was in fact a gift? I'm always looking for new books for Arielle; especially if they are a series, and especially if the protagonist is a courageous heroine, like Tilda

Just click on "Enter To Win".
  
Win a Copy of Tilda Pinkerton (10 Copies available!)
Tilda Pinkerton Book Cover

What if putting on a hat changed your life?

What if your biggest insecurity was your biggest gift to the world?

The story of Tilda Pinkerton is the story of many of us - it just happens to take place in the Sombrero Galaxy (that really exists btw!) 

Win a copy! 

The a contest lasts until Sept 17 so enter today! 

 Just in time for back to school - Tilda PInkerton has ENORMOUS words in it like - 
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia which means fear of long words! 
Thank you for reading! I look forward to seeing who wins!

Angela Shelton


Hope we all win!

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Blueberry Girl

Ladies 
of light

and 

ladies 
of darkness 

and 

ladies of never-you-mind,

This is a 
prayer 
for a blueberry girl.

First, may you be kind. 

Keep her
from 
spindles 

and

sleeps at sixteen,

Let her 
stay 
waking and wise.

Nightmares at three 
or bad husbands at thirty,

These will not trouble her eyes.





Dull days 
at forty, 
false friends
at 
fifteen,

Let her 
have brave days 
and truth,

Let her go places, that we've 
never been, trust and delight in 
her 
youth.

Ladies 
of grace 
and 
ladies 
of favor

and

ladies of merciful night,

This is a prayer for a blueberry girl.

Grant her your clearness of sight.


Words 
can be worrisome, people complex,

motives 
and 
manners unclear,

Grant her 
the 
wisdom 
to choose 
her path 
right,

free from unkindness and 
fear.

Let her 
tell stories 
and dance 
in 
the rain, somersault,
tumble and run,

Her joys must 
be high as 
her sorrows 
are deep.


Let her grow
like 
a weed 
in the sun.




























Ladies 
of paradox, 
ladies 
of measure, 
ladies 
of shadows 
that fall,

This is a 
prayer 
for a blueberry girl.

Words written clear on a wall.

Help her to 
help herself,
help her 
to stand,

help her to 
lose and find.

Teach her we're only as big as our dreams.

Show her that fortune is blind.

Truth is a thing she must find for herself, precious and rare as a pearl.

Give her all these and a little bit more:

Gifts for a blueberry girl.

~ Neil Gaiman (His dreamy book is waiting for you at your local library.) 




Happy Birthday to our Blueberry Girl.

xoxo Your Family

Monday, August 27, 2012

NCNY Day Ten: Celebration


"Kids have two backpacks: the physical one they carry their books in, and the mental backpack where they store all the lessons and experiences they’ll use to help make decisions. 

A paperback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird won’t take up much room in the first one, but the wisdom contained within this book can be carried in the mental backpack for a lifetime. There are lessons here about choosing generosity over selfishness, making the right choice even when it’s the difficult one, and standing up for your beliefs.


 I also recommend Thornton Wilder’s fantastic play Our Town, and anything by Shakespeare (important note: kids are never too young for Shakespeare). 


A kid with a library card has the world at her fingertips, and when parents read with her, they can serve as a map to help make sense of that world." ~ Read the entire article by Rafe Esquith here.

You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

Today is our children's first day of school, and of course it couldn't pass without a little bit of drama. John's new school shoes didn't fit this morning and he had to wear his crocs (a school no-no). Lets just say Carl wasn't blowing me kisses when I explained to him that even though I didn't take John with me to buy his school shoes, I had taken John's croc with me, and matched it, sole to sole, with the new-not-fitting sneakers. I even bought a half size bigger than the croc, hoping the little halfsize marking would appease Carl (it did not). And to add a little fuel to the bare-footed fire, I threw the shoe box away, so how we are returning the neon green Nike's will be a dilemma I'll struggle with over coffee and heartburn all afternoon. Sorry for the impromptu fireworks this morning, children. It wasn't quite the celebration we had planned.

But with a new schedule comes the opportunity to experience a fresh way of seeing the world. Our New Chances New Year. I hope you're inspired to discover swoony Rafe at your local library. He has been instrumental in shaping my philosophy of creating a school of wonder at home. A living library, if you will; where the beauty is borrowed, but the knowledge is kept.

xoxo Michele


Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.



Friday, August 24, 2012

NCNY Day Nine: {Resolutions}: Healthy Growth


My library diet is awesome, but the rest is in need of a dramatic resolution. My fall menu will include more from our local Farmer's Market.


And I found this fabulous book at the library that explains why local foods matter.  Dreamy. Swoony. Foodies won't want to miss it.

American Terroir (tare-WAHR: French for "Taste Of Place")


Grazie to Summit Coffee for donating space to the Growing Kids Club Garden


Three days and our school year begins. You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NCNY Day Eight: {New Traditions}: Teacher Appreciation


Dearest Lilly, in addition to making me feel loved everyday with your encouraging comments and inspirational posts, your illustration of loving others is contagious. Like your example of appreciating our children's teachers ~ both past and present. Sweet readers, you'll want to check out her meaningful post on Paying It Backwards.

We are bringing John and Arielle's past and present teachers fabulous jars of sweetness (thank you, Lilly) along with books from our local public library book sale*. 


By making simple book library labels and sharing them with a teacher, a borrowed book lives on to inspire a multitude of children to love reading. 



Books from a public library book sale* are a great way to help teachers grow their classroom library. Adding a book label from their student visually reminds them that they've made a significant impact on the life of our children.

Have some creative ideas on teacher appreciation, or are you a teacher that has received meaningful gifts from your students? Please share.



*I'm always sublimely surprised by the borrowed beauty for sale at our local public library book sale table. Hardback books for fifty cents, paperbacks are five for a dollar. In addition to books, they also sell music and audio-book CD's, videos and dreamy magazines. We have occasionally found computer literacy games as well. Visit your library today.

I made the book library labels in PhotoScape.




Four days and our school year begins. You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NCNY Day Seven: {Defining Moments}: Homecoming


Towards the end of September, most colleges and learning institutions will celebrate Homecoming as a way to welcome back alumni. Edie is ushering in a homecoming of sorts for all of us that want to participate in her The Lost Art of Reading Book Club. Like Odysseus, we're all on a personal journey of learning and discovery. Sharing with each other makes the adventure (and homecoming) of life so much sweeter.



A friend emailed me to say she'd be participating in Edie's book club, but wanted some background info that would make The Odyssey, well, less intimidating. I know just what she means. If you've never read Homer's epic poem, I highly recommend beginning with No Man's Lands, Scott Huler's real life exploration of retracing the path of Odysseus.

I'm listening to Cahill's Sailing The Wine-Dark Sea (which is a quote from The Iliad) each evening on audio CD - swoony, dreamy, backstory beauty. Bonus: listening to someone else pronounce names I struggle with is a major confidence builder.


William Faulkner said "the past is never dead. It's not even past." As a spiritual being, I understand his sentiment. As a Christian, I know that my journey in this life ends in a homecoming with Jesus. But here is my personal discovery: our beginning is a homecoming as well, and that is why I love to read the classics. Especially with my children. 

I'm convinced the importance of reading The Odyssey has more to do with our hearts partaking in a connection with our spiritual homeland rather than the lessons learned, although I enjoy those too: ambition and the ever present shadow of insecurity, the loneliness of loyalty and its requirement of sacrifice, the hollowness of earthly glory, our intrinsic need for love and family at all costs.  


Whether through Edie's book club or through the messages on our blogs, we all want to connect, to engage our lives with others. I hope you'll join us this fall. While our eyes are reading, our hearts are going home.



Half a week and our school year begins. You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


Monday, August 20, 2012

NCNY Day Six: {Resolutions}: Hope Is The Thing With Feathers



Certain poets speak life into my soul. Others leave me confounded. Does that happen to you?

NCNY has me thinking about resolutions. Specifically, introducing more poetry to the children. I had swooned over a blanket with quotes sewn onto it from Ruby and Begonia's Decorating Style, and dreamed of sharing that idea with a twist: using poetry that speaks to our family. My initial thought was using fabric scraps we had and making a quilt with Arielle. Are you laughing yet?

While shopping for school supplies I stumbled upon this beauty. Feast your peeps on poetry project perfection.


I brought home a stack of poetry books from the library and everyone chose a favorite. John loved this Kipling classic. Nick and Carl found the writings of Langston Hughes especially inspiring. Arielle chose fifty epic works of Shel Silverstein beauty. I love Arielle.



With the help of fabric transfer paper, a cotton dishtowel, some scraps of fabric, the nine dollar quilt, and my sewing machine, I got busy making our poetry quilt. 


Be still my poetic heart. Only 53 more poems to sew. Or maybe this will be a project like our summer map; slowly over time we keep adding to our masterpiece.


When the weather cools a bit, we'll pack up a basket, our quilt, and enjoy a poet's picnic. Stop laughing, Carl. It could happen.


I found more Emily Dickinson treasure at the library last week.


The book is divine. You'll love the illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, and be fed by the delicious poetry of Emily.


You can't buy hope. Age has brought a fresh thought: the less I spend and the more I share, the happier I am. Hope perches in the soul and sings a shared song.


Just like the library.




One more week and our school year begins. You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.


xoxo Michele

Friday, August 17, 2012

NCNY Day Five: {New Traditions}: Three Tips On Introducing Shakespeare To Children


Arielle's grandparents visited Italy this summer and brought back a stunning Venetian mask for her. Little did we know it would become a favorite part of her wardrobe. Thanks to Shakespeare.


Introducing him to our children has mostly been through books and movies from the library; but Wednesday evening, we ventured into Charlotte and attended The Merchant Of Venice


It was magical. Brilliant. It was two and half hours long. Arielle and I are now day-dreaming about becoming the beautiful Portia. John (our rambunctious eight year old) understood the story line without comprehending most of the dialogue. Nick was riveted from the opening line, even though he won't admit it. 


If you are inspired to introduce your children to The Bard of Avon, here are my three tips for a successful outing.



Sit In The Front Row. Fight the urge to sit towards the back because you might have to make a quick exit. The performers were so close the children couldn't take their eyes off of them, and there wasn't anyone in front of us to distract or divert their attention from the stage. You may miss a few angles, but you'll keep your sanity.


Feed Your Children. We had dinner at a nearby restaurant just before the show. After being seated, we gave each of them a package of M&M's. I could be in trouble here because you aren't supposed to have food in the theatre, but it was so worth the risk. Why they allow wine and beer for us and not snacks for the kids seems a bit arbitrary to me. 


Borrow The Bard's Beauty From The Library. I can't get enough of the Shakespeare Can Be Fun books. Two additional reads we're enjoying are Tales From Shakespeare and Bravo, Mr. William Shakespeare. When you read the classics with your children, you're gifting them priceless knowledge and a lifelong love of literature. 

Attending a Shakespeare play has become a NCNY tradition that I hope my children will continue with their children.

If you have some tips and tricks on how to share Shakespeare, please leave a comment.



You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.