One last valentine for 2012

I saw the idea for the "This Much" card on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect for the grandmothers. Which is why I didn't post this before Valentine's Day since both grandmothers visit here regularly and I didn't want to ruin the surprise. Both of them loved it!

Each card has a Will hand and a Joseph hand. The boys decorated their own hand tracings and then I glued it together. On the paper that stretches out, Will wrote "We love you this much!"

Easy craft with big results. I highly recommend it for next year.



No, we don't need any more. The shelves are fully loaded, groaning with each added book. But I still want more and the boys don't complain. Thank goodness for library book sales. This weekend was one of my favorites at Emmet O'Neal. I always find awesome titles and a few vintage gems. A couple of these are going on eBay (or Etsy? I don't know. What do you think?). I've got to pay for this hobby somehow!*

I don't pick these books willy-nilly. My book sale strategy (of course I have a strategy!) is to first pull any book that looks interesting. I usually have quite a tall stack. Then I sit, have a look at each one, decide what I want and put the rest back.

Here are the highlights, from the top:

The only book officially for momma, "Lost in a Good Book" is the second title in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. I highly recommend. Especially if you miss Douglas Adams.

"Rain Makes Applesauce" ... reviewed here. So I wasn't going to leave it there.

"The Princess Book" ... is not your average princess book. The introduction tells us "many princesses are pink and pretty and protected." But the princesses in this book are "energetic, resourceful, funny — princesses who can run fast, think quick and look beautiful all the while. Princesses who will speak to girls of today." It almost makes me wish for a girl of my own to share it with. Because whether it's 1974, the book's copyright, or 2012, girls need strong role models.

"The First Book of Gardening" ... by Virginia Kirkus, 1956. This might be the book to get the boys and I playing in the dirt. It's written clearly and covers the basics. Best of all, the illustrations by Helene Carter are fantastic — black and white pencil drawings with the addition of light green accents throughout. Simple yet elegant. 

"The Daddy Book" ... Chris is getting this for Father's Day. You can find pictures of it here. It's far-out groovy.

"A Book of Christmas" ... This could possibly be the best find of the day. Copyright 1979, it's a 
3-D book with gorgeous illustrations by Tasha Tudor. In just about perfect condition too. Worth way more than the $2 paid for it. It's a very nice addition to the Christmas book stash.

Not pictured is an illustrated history book "Alabama Mounds to Missiles" from 1962. We've been enjoying it already. It should get a post all of its own.

Looks like the rest of the day will be spent trying to find a place for all these "new to us" reads.

Previous years' hauls can be seen here and here

*See a book you're interested in? Send me an e-mail.


File under L for Lego

You know we love the legos around here. What I don't love so much is trying to keep the instruction booklets intact. And away from little hands. So I've been looking for a solution.

I found it recently at the local thrift store in the form of a vintage metal filing box. It works great! I threw in some file folders and Will can easily find what he wants, when he wants (without mommy's help too).

Of course, I wanted to research this item before telling you about it. Writing on the locking mechanism says it's the Porta-File by the makers of the famous Skotch Kooler. Made by the Hamilton-Skotch Corp. of Hamilton, Ohio. Vintage Skotch Koolers look to be a popular item on eBay. Designed by Petra Cabot in 1952, she set out to "make the best-looking bucket anybody ever saw." You probably have seen one before. If you saw it in your grandmother's kitchen, best get your hands on it quick.

Back to my Porta-File, it's selling on eBay and Etsy from $10-30 ... so paying $3 was quite the bargain for me. Not sure what's better — having the Lego instructions all in one place or the thrill of finding something is worth more than I paid. 


For the love of all things considered

I love NPR. I love these NPR valentines.

Reporters really do love cake, as do photographers and page designers, the night security guard, etc. It's a big compliment. Find more journalistic humor here, here, here and here. If you need to ask who, what, when, where and why, no need to click : )

Happy Valentine's Day


Valentines for everyone else

Want to pass out valentines just like the kiddos? Here's some grown-up options ...

I know Will would have loved to hand these army men to his classmates but the song lyrics would totally be lost on them. However, my peers would chuckle. From Jac o' lyn Murphy.

I think the whole country is falling for Mr. Bates. And if you don't know who I'm talking about, get thee Season 1 of Downton Abbey straight away! A big thanks to Chad Thomas for designing four valentines for the Abbey obsessed. Get them here.

I'm a fan of Hallmark. Worked there for several years and loved it. Valentine's Day was always fun because we'd stay open late for those guys (yes, it was mostly guys) needing last-minute presents. But if you are no where near a store, here's some options to print at home ...

Card and coupons from How About Orange

Five pretty options from Sweet Muffin Suite

I think anyone would love to receive this sweet sentiment from The Letter 4.

If you're on Pinterest as much as I am (come on, admit it) then you have probably seen these felt arrows from Homework. About to make a half dozen myself to decorate with. Would also make cute gift toppers or individual valentines for friends. 

Find more inspiration on my Valentine's ideas Pinterest board.


Free valentines to print, kid edition

COUGH! SNIFFLE! COUGH! COUGH! I'm not feeling too hot. I intended to have a Valentine's Day roundup posted so much earlier this week but oh well. COUGH! Here it is. If you're like me though, it's not too late. Me and the boys will be crafting our valentines this weekend. 

Not sure where I saw the bouncy ball valentines first but I like the designs from Paging Supermom, pictured above, and Tip Junkie.

Love bugs!!! From Dandee Designs

Is there an award for prettiest arrow? They deliver pencils (groan, COUGH).
From Sweet Muffin Suite

Even pirates can show some love. From Mer Mag

Butterfly lollipops, Will's choice this year. From Skip to My Lou

Joseph will either be delivering bear hugs aka Teddy Grahams (from Family Fun magazine) or fish aka Goldfish (from Happy Clippings). Fish? Why fish? The saying is "Of all the fish in the sea, I'm glad we swim in the same school." Awwwww!

The now-classic kid holding lollipop. From 24-7-365

You can find even more inspiration on my Valentine's ideas Pinterest board.