I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus…

GiftsforMom

Last week was super busy for me.  Much of my work week was spent decorating, shopping, catering, and hosting a reception for 60, followed by a one-day 1000 mile drive to retrieve my son for the holidays.  Now that I’ve had a chance to relax and rest I’m ready to share my last guide with you – gift ideas for the real Santa (aka: Mom).  Most mom’s would rather spend time with their loved ones than receive a gift but it never hurts to have a present or two ready so you can stay on her nice list….

  1. Anthropolgie Tea Set for One
  2. Kew Crystal Collar Necklace
  3. Premiere Edition Scrabble
  4. Olive & Thistle Wreath
  5. Kate Spade Cameron Street Lottie Bag
  6. Kendra Scott Juniper Earrings
  7. Modern Sprout Garden Jar Herb Kit 
  8. Lincoln in the Bardo
  9. My Absolute Darling
  10. Dottie Honey Pot
  11. Ted Baker Issy Impressionist Cape Silk Scarf
  12. Floral: The Graphic Book of the Garden
  13. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum
  14. Sourdough
  15. Dylan’s Candy Bar Signature Chocolate Wheel
  16. SpaFinder
  17. Oscar’s Bouquet Embroidery Pillow Kit
(In case you missed my other gift guides check out kids, tweens, young adults, and dads here)
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Amy Winehouse

Give love on Christmas Day…

GiftsforDads

A few weeks ago I listed some gift ideas for kids, teens, and young adults.  Having worked many a Black Friday in my younger years I try not to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday if I can help it.  Fast forward through a week spent working on a Program in Music, Mind & Society event and I am ready to get back into holiday shopping mode.  Next up, some gift ideas for the fathers in your life….

  1. Olive & Sinclair 8 Bar Box Set of Chocolates
  2. Classic Rock-n-Roll Art
  3. The Taking of K-129
  4. Easy 123 Art Paint-by-Numbers Miami Nice
  5. UGG Ascot Slippers
  6. Sticky Fingers : The Life of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone
  7. Kentucky Bourbon of the Month Club
  8. Ravensberger Neuschwanstein Castle Puzzle
  9. American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land
  10. Meyer the Hatter Dobbs Dayton Felt Fedora
  11. Atari Flashback Portable Player
  12. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
  13. Pink Floyd 1972 Obfusc/ation
  14. DiBruno Brothers Beer & Bourbon Collection 
  15. SCTV Volume 1, 2, and 3,
*Give Love on Christmas Day – The Jackson 5

Thank you for letting me be myself…

clown
“The Clown” by Prentice Cole (1977, Philadelphia Daily News)

I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I have two special turkey day memories that I think of every year.  I was once a screaming blackbird  on top of the ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ float in a Gimbel’s Thanksgiving Day parade in Philly, and I famously defrosted the first turkey I ever cooked (a 15-pound rock-solid frozen Butterball) in a jacuzzi on Thanksgiving morning (which remains the tenderest turkey I’ve ever cooked).

Over the next few days I plan on slowing down to enjoy the things I am most thankful for: my family and my health.  I’ll spend time cooking, watching the Macy’s Parade and some football, and finish an embroidery piece I am excited about.  I will also be thinking those of you who visit this blog occasionally or have become followers.  Thank you for your support and encouragement. I wish you all a wonderful holiday full of family, friends, food and fun.

*Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly & The Family Stone

All my sisters, all my brothers…

GiftsforBrothersandSisters

It’s only 4 days until Turkey Day and the nation’s holiday shopping madness officially begins. I’ve already got gift ideas for the little ones and tweens in my life.  But what to get for the slightly harder-to-please grown-ups?  Here a few of the things I am considering – maybe you’ll find the perfect thing for your brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, or bestie too…

  1. I’ll Be There necklace
  2. The More You Gnome Zen Garden
  3. 100 Albums Scratch Off Poster
  4. Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season
  5. Many Moons Clutch
  6. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook
  7. Swirling Leaves by Sophie Borsting (or any original Art)
  8. Christian Siriano’s Dresses to Dream About 
  9. Thistle Farms Bath Soak Trio
  10. One Pan, Two Plates
  11. Guitar Stands
  12. Soap Rocks
  13. Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel
  14. Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water double-sided puzzle
  15. Baggu Leather Backpack
  16. Wooden USA Beer Cap Map
*Peace Brother Peace -The Righteous Brothers

 

Christmas is coming…

GiftsforYoungAdults

I have a real love/hate relationship with technology and try to avoid giving gifts with plugs.  That is especially hard to do when buying for anyone young (say between 10 and 20).  I find money always works, but if you are looking for something a little more personal to give your favorite tween or teen the following 18 ideas score high on the ‘cool’ scale and ‘low’ on electricity usage…

  1. MOMA colorful Backgammon set
  2. Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones
  3. Music, movies and concert gift cards
  4. 1000 Record Covers
  5. Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Photo Printer
  6. Lewo Wooden 48-piece Stacking Game 
  7. Half Baked Harvest Cookbook
  8. Tretorn Andre 3000 HYLITEHIXAB2 Sneakers
  9. 642 Things to Draw
  10. Rosie Lush Basket
  11. Super Spirograph
  12. Secret Marvels of the World: 360 extraordinary places you never knew existed and where to find them
  13. MOMA Paper Watches
  14. The Kwik-E-Mart
  15. Sneakers
  16. This Book is a Planetarium
  17. Multi-masking Mania
  18. Ravensburger Sneaker: American Style
*Christmas is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio

 

 

All I want for Christmas…

GiftsforKIds

I’ve been busy making my lists and checking them twice and now I am ready to share a few of my favorite things to buy for Christmas 2017, starting with 15 gifts sure to  please your littlest loved ones…

  1. Hanna Anderson Organic cotton Long Johns
  2. The Very, Very Long Dog (also reviewed here)
  3. Carlo Robelli F640 Acoustic Guitar
  4. Melissa & Doug Simple Crafty Superhero Masks & Cuffs
  5. School’s First Day of School
  6. Iggy Peck Architect
  7. Zoonimooz
  8. Seedling DIY Galaxy in a Jar Kit
  9. Jellycat Sloth
  10. Safari Bowling Set
  11. Mukikim Rock and Roll It Rainbow Piano
  12. Kinoptik City Magnetic Tile 123 Piece Building Kit
  13. Ravensburger Underwater Paradise Puzzle
  14. Woodland Castle with Royal Family Figures
  15. Janod Mint Balance Scooter Bike
*All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth – Alvin & The Chipmunks

 

Kids and Dogs…

 

longdog
A short tale about a long dog

From the day my first child was born we read together every night.  When our second child arrived, he was instantly included in our reading ritual.  Our nightly routine began after bath-time, with me nestled between two sweet cuddly boys reading as many books as they wanted until all three of us were asleep.  We read hundreds of books each year and many of those were on repeat for weeks at a time.  I miss those days, and I miss having the opportunity to check out the latest in children’s literature.  That’s why I was thrilled to read an advance copy of The Very, Very Long Dog by Julia Patton.

Bartelby is a very, very long sausage dog who lives in a bookstore and (just like me) loves to read.  He has a group of loving friends who like to take him for his daily walks around town. Bartleby never knows what his back end is doing until he finds himself in trouble. His friends are always there to fix the problem, until one day they can’t. It is then that Bartleby realizes he is the problem. He becomes very depressed and refuses to leave the store.  His friends love him so much they create a noisy solution to his problem, so Bartleby always knows where he starts, and ends.

I loved this warm story about a group of friends who accept each other no matter what.  The illustrations are simple and sweet, utilizing pastel colors which are as warm as the story.  It’s such a lovely story that would be well-suited for babies through age 6.  The Very, Very Long Dog is available beginning December 5, and I will be purchasing a copy to give as a gift to a special little girl in my life.  I hope she enjoys the ‘tail’ of Bartleby and his loving friends as much as I did!

*Kids & Dogs The Perro Sessions – David Crosby & Jerry Garcia

Take me home country roads…

woodstowndoors.jpg
Woodstown Doors Quilt

My past few posts have mentioned me helping my momma recover from some surgery.  Spending time in hospitals and rehab facilities isn’t fun under the best of circumstances, so every day I tried to take a mental health break to get outside and explore… Continue reading “Take me home country roads…”

10-28 Ephemera

fortuneset
Trick or Treat…smell my feet (image from The Sum of All Crafts)

It finally feels like fall and not a moment too soon, since Halloween is almost here.  I never did get the chance to work on my 2017 Halloween mantle design so I am making do with a shiny door wreath and full-size candy bars and calling it a day.  It feels like I lost the month of October while helping my mom recover from her surgery, and thought you’d like to check out some of the things which kept me spellbound during her convalescence …

Hope you have a frightening good weekend…

*Donald Duck – Trick or Treat

 

When the bear would come to town…

beartown
It’s a bear’s life

I spent the last two weeks helping my mom recover from some surgery complications.  If you’ve ever spent time sitting bedside, wishing someone you love back to good health, you can empathize with my need to periodically escape with a good book.  Beartown: A Novel, by Fredrik Backman, provided exactly the diversion I needed.

The book has been on my 2 B or Not 2 B Reads list for quite some time, so when I saw it on the library shelf I felt like I had just won the book lottery.  I got home only to find I needed to get to my mom’s side as quickly as possible. I threw some clothes and Beartown into my luggage, hoped a plane, and two nights later finally found time to start the first chapter, which consisted of two succinct sentences.  “Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.” I was instantly transported, and hooked.

This is the second book by Mr. Backman that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed (read my thoughts on the first, A Man Called Ove, here).  He has a talent for creating fully realized, believable, and relatable characters.  In Beartown, Backman has fashioned an entire town of characters whose intermingling backstories and current relationships play out against the pursuit of a national hockey championship and a tragic crime that impacts every character along the way.

This book is sure to make my ‘Best Books of 2017’ list, and I am guessing it will make many other ‘best of’ lists too. Have you read Bear Town? Did you like it? Will it make your best of list?  I’d love to know… .

*Three Great Alabama Icons – Drive-By Truckers