Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Library Staff Picks


Without our precious librarian, Rosie, I wouldn't have found Serena. Did you know Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence will star in the movie this fall? Read it now, dear friends. 

Librarians love to share great reads, and you'll want to share them with your friends. After chapter three I just had to share this with Natalie.



I can't get enough of this swoony chef, and now my daughter is devouring the joy of all things JuJu. When you're friends with librarians, they hook you up with sweet beauty too delicious not to share.
 


When you're friends with your local librarians, you'll feel like the richest woman in America. Not just because they choose books especially for you or share what they're reading, or intently listen as you blabber about swoony Marius or David McDreamy, but also because they keep letting you walk out with borrowed beauty week in and week out, never asking for a credit card or sending you a bill for their services. Librarians love us for our reading, not our riches.

Library patrons should be called library celebrities - where else can the non-famous borrow beauty for weeks at a time - and just when you're starting to tire of having the books and music and movies in your house - they'll take it back and you can pick out something new to you all over again.



Librarians love to help your family grow. They know the books that make a great read aloud when your children plead, "I don't want a chapter book tonight".  

Let your local librarian share some beauty with your family today. 

Spend Less - Share More. Library. 

xoxo Michele 

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Best Ten Minutes Of The Day

Borrow the beauty. 
Keep the knowledge.
Library.

xoxo Michele

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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Great Backyard Bird Count


Today on our winter walk we spied flocks of swoony cedar waxwings in a neighbor's tree. I only had my phone camera, so the photo didn't turn out well.

I dashed outside a little later schlepping the camera with a mammoth lens that embarrasses my children (to my delight). 

Of course, I didn't catch sight of the cedar waxwings, but was rewarded with this smoochie (Barred?) owl. 

Just because I was looking up.


Are you participating in the GBBC - Great Backyard Bird Count? It starts in mid-February. This is a fabulous family activity and best of all, you are helping your nesty neighbors. Your local library has everything you need to brush up on the birds living in your area, and you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll start to recognize different species. 

I don't know about you, but I've been a complete fail at teaching the kids (and myself) about the constellations, but birding has been easy peasy and borders on obsessively addicting. How obsessive you ask? I made my hubby carry around this book on our vacation.

This is one of our favorite library books. We check it out again. And again. And again. It comes with a CD so you can listen to the bird songs as you're going to sleep. {At least that is how we use the CD.}

Hope you have a fabulous weekend full of friends, and family, and birding, and borrowed beauty from your library.

Any tips, books, movies, etc. to help with learning about constellations in a fun way?

xoxo Michele

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sharing, Southern Style

(Yes, I'm driving. But before you send me madmail, we were completely frozen in a parking lot of traffic.) 

She was supposed to be Ava Grace. I had chosen her name a decade before she was born. And never waivered. But then, yada yada yada, marriage. Miscarriage. Big brother arrived healthy. I was afraid to ask for more perfect gifts from above. During prayer time one morning, I "heard" the name Arielle and hurriedly looked up the meaning. Lioness of God.

And then I couldn't get pregnant, or at least that's how all *the waiting, the waiting, the waiting, felt. So when she arrived 12 months later, three weeks before her due date (the day after we closed on a home that demanded three weeks of renovation just to be inhabitable) I knew her middle name was Faith. For ten years now I've gazed upon her sanguine spirit, thinking, I can't believe she's mine. 

I'm always on the hunt for activities we can share in together, and when Edie announced this week the release of her eBook, I knew we had something special.

This beautiful heart of sharing danced out of my printer!

Edie covers all the things I want to say and share with my daughter on the true meaning of hospitality, and just as importantly, what hospitality is not (Day 1). That every life is sacred (Day 2). That we need each other (Day 3). That solitude supports serving others (Day 7). That all they really need is you (Day 18). 

She shares with an abundance of southern warmth. You know - the type of love that draws a child onto a parent's lap and hugs tight like you're the greatest treasure on earth. Oh, and she talks about reading, reading, reading. Sigh. Makes me want to fly on over to the library right now and check out this book



We went to Target and found a chevron striped binder big enough to hold both Edie's eBook along with current and future recipe favorites, sharing ideas on growing in grace, smoochie photographs and doodles, and silly notes to each other. I'm so grateful Edie dreamed her dream and shared it with us.

Did I mention I met Edie last year after following her blog for four years? How will you share your sweetie Edie eBook?

xoxo Michele

*Taken from the song at the bottom of this post, which I sing all the time. Loudly.

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chapter After Chapter

And They Lived Happily 
Chapter After Chapter.
                           ~ The Great Read

An Oxford study found that reading for pleasure produces positive feelings that can't be duplicated in any other activity: not socializing with friends, sports, musical instruments, theater or other cultural activities. 

The study further shows that teens who read for pleasure are more likely to have better job prospects, but I was more interested in the "something special about reading for pleasure" and the happiness it brings. 

Many parents when asked to describe their hopes and dreams for their children will answer a variation of "I just want them to be happy." What if visiting your local library each week literally brought home happiness in the form of a book? 
Reading for pleasure is the happily ever after.
Spend Less - Share More. Library.
xoxo Michele
Why buy happiness when your library shares it. Free music downloads through Freegal E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Share The Light Of The Library


Today is the perfect day to share the stories of other courageous Americans that haven't hid the light of justice under a bushel. We've added the books below to our favorite Martin Luther King Jr. beauty, all borrowed from the library.













Martin is remembered for his dream, John for his action. Susan is remembered for her resistance to tyranny. Reading about these heroes, including Paul Farmer, inspires me to ask my children, and you, What would you like to be remembered for?  That is your dream. Go live it.  

What is my dream? That parents passionately pursue the treasure found in their local libraries and share it by reading with their children each evening. That local libraries will not have to close their doors due to lack of funding (if you use your library each week by checking out books, music, movies, etc., their circulation goes up. High circulation = open libraries).  

xoxo Michele

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Love Is The Foolishness Of Men,




...and the wisdom of God.  ~ Victor Hugo




I thought I knew this story. Hubby - who is usually game for anything - didn't want to sit through Les Miserables. He was certain he'd be miserable. So a few friends and I went Saturday evening.



You also may think you know this story, and don't feel the need to go see it again.{Go anyway.}


Like me, you may think Russell Crowe has been mis-cast. {He hasn't been.




You may think you know all the songs. {Not like they sing them.}



This is the type of Hollywood movie we need to support.



Instead of seeing the French Revolution, I saw God's Redemption. 





And if you've never seen it, well, I'm speechless. Just go - drag your hubby along. He'll be crying during the first ten minutes anyway, so just ignore all the "I'm not into musicals" and find the times at your local theater.


Bring the children if they are tweens or older (there is just one fairly quick scene with Anne Hathaway where you'll want to cover their eyes). Thank me later.

Les Miserables themes to discuss with your children:

Old Testament Law (Javert)
New Testament Grace (Valjean)
How we pass God's light (the candlesticks) of grace, hope, and love to others.
Social injustice - change worth fighting for.




Borrow The Beauty From Your Library.
When you come home and can't forget the message, log on to your library website and borrow the book that started it all. Or the new movie soundtrack.

Did you go? Would love to hear your review in the comments.

xoxo Michele 



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


Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Quote Contest Winner



Springer Library Zone held a contest late last year, asking for an original quote on the evolution of libraries and/or librarians. Miguel nailed it.

xoxo Michele

Thanks to Librarianbe for alerting me to this fabulous quote.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What Is Your {Library} Style?


The lovely Darlene at Fieldstone Hill shared an amazing idea last week. Do you know your signature style? I didn't. My house is a miss-mash of stuff adored by five different people with distinctly different tastes, interests and age groups. Sadly, my wardrobe also appears to reflect the taste and interest of almost every age group under the sun. Please pray for my husband.

I would have bookshelves built in to every nook and cranny if I could, but beyond that I look for comfy, child/pet-friendly fabrics on furniture and stain proof clothes and carpet. But then I discovered the Anthropologie magazine featuring the swoony architect Antoni Gaudi and found my style.
 

Inspired By Fieldstone Hill

Find Your Signature Style at Fieldstone Hill.
Stop by and visit Darlene. She'll show you how to build a signature style board. It was thrilling to discover what made my heart race. There is something about bringing your passions together in a style board that helps you visualize what is possible in your home and as I'm slowly learning, your wardrobe as well. 

Inspired By Fieldstone Hill

Borrowed Beauty - Shared By The Library.
Once you have your signature style, books, music, movies, and magazines from the library are the perfect icing on life. Imagine filling your home with beauty you won't have to worry about putting in storage after a year or two. Dreamy coffee table books you can change up every few weeks. New cookbooks and mood enhancing music to spice up the daily "what's for dinner" dilemma. A travel section for inspiring your next adventure. Hobby books, like birding and gardening, or art and knitting, to usher in another year of deeper, meaningful learning. 

I'd love to see your signature style board - please share your pinterest or blog link in the comments, or over at Darlene's website.

xoxo Michele

Style Board One Photo Credits
Library  

Style Board Two Photo Credits

Style Board Three Photo Credits
Decorating With Music
 

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Home Without Books



A Home Without Books Is Like A Tree Without Birds.
~ The Great Read
 
Ethereal spirits with paper wings: that is what books are to me. We are reading this for book club. What are you reading right now?

xoxo Michele

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Lone Ranger


One of my favorite moments of movie theater outings is the previews for upcoming movies. I get fantastic book ideas to share with my children from these trailers, and The Lone Ranger did not disappoint. Guess who put every Lone Ranger book on hold through our local library?

 Lone Ranger Books From The Library

Now is the time to read these classics with your children, so when the movie comes out this summer your children will be ready. Not enough to convince you? The Lone Ranger is being played by the oh so swoony Armie Hammer. For those of you that are Johnny Depp fans, he plays a major role as well. Get to reading, girlfriends. The next generation needs to know the back-story to appreciate the film.

Spend Less. Share More. Library.

xoxo Michele

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


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions for 2013

  Source

 

Be at war with your vices, 

at peace with your neighbors, 

and let every new year find you a better man.

~ Ben Franklin

 

Reading to Children


This year I'm going easy on myself with goals for 2013. At the top of my list you'll find the usual suspects: 

Cook more. Worry less.
Light candles. Extinguish sparks of anger before
they become a flame. 
Call my family.
Work out at the Y a few evenings each week. Work in time for writing each morning.  
But most of all, read more with my children.


 Source




This post by Read Aloud Dad is inspirational motivation for reading aloud with our children.

What are your goals for 2013?

xoxo Michele

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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Five Tips For A Magical Disney World Trip


With the exception of seeing Belle read on stage and Beast's library, I didn't want to go. Crazy crowds, carnival food and endless gift shop navigating with children wasn't my idea of a magical Christmas holiday.


But now I'm a believer. I'd love to share some tips that made our Christmas Holiday one of the happiest trips this side of a public library.  

                 Our Christmas lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby was dreamy.

 

Tip #1: Magic Mike 

More thrilling than the movie, let me tell you. Because of tourguidemike, we experienced Disney World  (during their busiest week of the year no less) without crowds, rode every ride we wanted (some multiple times) without long lines, and ate at fabulous restaurants. For less than $25, Mike will tell you which parks to visit and (most importantly) which parks to avoid for the exact dates of your trip.

 
My favorite Mike Tips are the sample tours he laid out for each park, showing me which rides not to miss and in what order, and how to maximize Fast Passes for rides you love. We wouldn't know about secret trails, spectacular shows, and the Passports for the World Showcase without his expert advice. 

 
If you take advantage of tourguidemike.com, you'll see most everything you want in the morning, have a restful afternoon back at your hotel, and feel energized to come back in the evening to enjoy the parades and fireworks. I won't say the trip was relaxing - early morning adventures that require multiple alarm clocks are not my idea of relaxing. But Mike made the trip less stressful because we had a plan and it worked, rather than tense wandering around with the crowds. 

You may be asking yourself, surely everyone knows about tourguidemike by now, so how will his plan work? I thought the same thing, and can confirm that seemingly no one knows about him. Either that, or everyone decided to ignore his advice, sleep in, and go as a massive crowd later in the day.


Tip #2: Shop Before You Stay.


I filled up a suitcase with Disney items that I purchased at our local Disney Store. Perry The Platypus and Little Mermaid blankets, Minnie and Mickey pj's, fabulous Goofy jackets, Wipe-Out t-shirts, lanyards and trading pins (I found these online), plus their favorite character stuffed animals - each morning I put one out on their bed before waking up the children. Your local Disney store has most of same merchandise for 1/3 of the price that you'll pay in the parks. 

         Celebrating Christmas at Disney World? Bring a tree and decorate your hotel room.


THE BEAUTY OF GIFT CARDS. Grandma Sally and sweet cousins gave the children gift cards - and those cards saved us stressful hassles that I continually overheard from other children and parents in every gift shop you must pass through as you're leaving a ride or attraction. 


The children learned valuable lessons on how to spend - they thoughtfully considered what they wanted to purchase and I'm happy to report the gift cards still have money on them to use at our local Disney store. 

Want to completely eliminate hassles in gift shops? Purchase gift cards, hand them to the kids at the beginning of the vacation and tell them when the card runs out, their spending at gift shops is over. Watch with wonder as they ponder if a plastic sword is really worth $18, decide that it isn't since the gift card only has $45 left on it, and they may want something from the fabulous gift shop at The Muppet Vision 3D.  They do this completely on their own - you can stand back and smile. Totally magical, I tell you.

Tip #3: Laundry While Lounging.


We stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and took advantage of their gorgeous pools with laundry rooms attached to the pool bathrooms. I was able to read and catch up on laundry while watching my kids make new friends. Perfection, but I should note that hubby found my bird bible - all 20 pounds of it - a tad embarrassing. Maybe next year I'll bring a smaller read. Did I just say next year

Tip #4: Smart and Stylish Shoes.





Each morning on the bus I would notice what other visitors were wearing on their feet and you may be shocked by what I spied: flip flops, high heels, cowboy boots, even an occasional glass slipper or two. We would sit by some of these families on the ride back to the hotel and without reservation they would be complaining about tired tootsies. Plan carefully around your footwear. I found these and swear they are the most comfortable, stylish sneakers ever. You might want a second pair in case your shoes get wet - a common circumstance if you love Splash Mountain as much as I did. I mostly loved these, but they inflicted a blister.



Tip #5: The Real Treasure Is At Your Library



The magic of Disney lives at your local library. You and your children will enjoy the parks on a deeper level and swoon over the characters if you know the stories.  I may have shed a tear or two when I spotted Mary Poppins in the Christmas Parade. The basis of our emotional connection to Disney and their characters comes from the stories you can find in your local library. The best part? Borrowed beauty from the library means the magic never has to end. Share a story with your children tonight. Our library favorite: Birnbaums' Walt Disney World For Kids.

Read these books and then visit Tom Sawyer Island - the children loved exploring here.

Have some Disney tips? Please share!

xoxo Michele

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