Saturday, November 30, 2013

Facebook Cover Update: Fire Truck! :>

I just updated my Facebook cover for the holidays :>



Do you Like it? :>

Follow me on Facebook! :> We'd love you to join the outside-reading conversation :> xoxo



I Got My Flu Shot



Did you?

We're curious. Let us know in the Comments below (or what you had for breakfast this morning)! :> xoxo



Friday, November 29, 2013

More Thanksgiving Pics! :>

This has got to be the best nose-picking photobomb by my one and only :>



Tres Leches :>



Our Thanksgiving dinner of warriors :>



Rack of lamb! :>



The best part... Nui Nui's handmade center piece she made in school :> :>



Gobble gobble! :> :>



The full album :>



Share your Thanksgiving pics with us on Instagram/Twitter! We'd love to see them! :> xoxo

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein - Reading Together

Last week I introduced Nui Nui to Shel Silverstein. I wasn't really an avid reader when I was young but if I had to name some writers who got me interested, they would probably be Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl, Dorothy Haas (author of the Peanut Butter & Jelly series), and Susan Saunders (author of the Sleepover Friends series).

For the past week or so it's been all about The Giving Tree, which I honestly never read before. (Where The Sidewalk Ends was my keeper). I had The Giving Tree, however, for a while now— from when I was in New York, in fact, but can't remember where I picked it up from. Now that I think about it, though, I'm pretty sure it was free and probably found somewhere amongst other books that someone didn't want and I remember thinking when I took it that I'd keep it for my future kid(s), knowing I'd want to share Silverstein's works with him/her.

Writing that now, knowing the hurdles it took to have a kid, I smile at the hard work paid off. How naive of me to think it was a necessarily a given, to some extent. :>

Anyway... This book is amazing. Period. And it might actually be my favorite one yet.

The picture-to-text ratio is perfect. Moreover, the life-lesson/edu-taining/learning factor is present. I have to say, I'm pretty sick of the majority of children's stories that don't really have a point. Perhaps they all do, stirring up some sort of imagination but I much prefer the learning element, whether it be in concept or reading skill.

The Giving Tree does both. It's a moving story about a boy [eventually a man] who takes and takes from the tree, who is ever so giving. She just keeps giving with hopes he'll just be happy, even when he's stripped her of everything [literally]. Her happiness is dependent on his. Like a mother.

As I mentioned, there weren't a lot of pictures, no colors, a lot of white space, but just enough drawing on each page to prompt her to ask a lot of questions. And on the first several reads, she did.

Also during those first reads, it was really interesting to see Nui Nui's reaction as she saw the tree down being torn down, little by little, by the boy. In her eyes, her eyebrows, and whole facial tension, you could see her concern.

After those initial readings and when she got to know the story better, we were then able to read together. This is what I call my mad-libs teaching method. I start saying something and have her work to finish whatever it is I am saying.

Examples included:
Alphabet:
A... b!
C... d!
E... f!

Numbers:
One... two!
Three... four!
Five... six!

Alphabet Song:
Now I... know my!
ABCs... next time!
Won't you... sing!
With... me!

Twinkle Twinkle:
Twinkle... Twinkle...!
Little... Star!

Days of the week:
Wednesday, Thursday... Friday!

And from the book:
And the boy loved... climbing up the tree!
and... eating apples!
and... playing hide-and-seek!

To give you an inside look, watch us read The Giving Tree together! :>




We're always looking for good books to read. If you have any recommendations...

Share them in the Comments below, we'd love to check them out! :> xoxo



Monday, November 25, 2013

Me And My Badass Mom

Together, we are one.



Happy Holidays! :> xoxo

School Update! Quacks & Empathy - November 18 - 22, 2013 :>

Nui Nui learns about quackers and shows empathy :> Is this a sign of psychology in her future?... :>

JOKE! ...I just couldn't resist playing with the words :> xoxo

Holiday Gift Idea! Star Wars Pancakes!

May the holiday carbs be with you!



Ok, so the gift doesn't exactly come with the fluffy delicious carbs but it is a gift that keeps on giving when you're making Sunday brunch for the kiddies (big and small) :>

Normally, I'm not a fan of playing with your food but these are too cute to pass up sharing. Rather than make the pancakes as such, though, I think I'd use them as pancake-cutters (analogous to cookie cutters) instead— make the cakes, then cut them out :>

It's affordable too! :> Williams Sonoma, On Sale now, $7.99.

We heart the holiday season! Have more cool gift ideas?

Share them in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Seasons Greetings! [Pie Version]



Safeway pie is actually pretty bomb :> Better than Whole Foods (where we live), Trader Joes, and Costco. It's all about the crust, which stayed together better than any of the others (no soggy bottom!). The flavors were the most neutral/traditional, the texture of the apples were just right, as was the apple-to-crust ratio.

$9.99 for a 14"? It was also the most worth it. We finished this in about 4 days, no problem :> Don't forget to heat up your slice and serve it alongside a dollop of Haagen Daaz Vanilla Ice Cream :>

What's your favorite pie this time of year?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



What's On TV These Days :>

There's no hiding what we have on the tellie these days... :> :>

We were on the playground today and I noticed a little boy wearing a Jake & The Pirates tee shirt. 'He's branded', I thought. I didn't mention it to Nui Nui but she eventually noticed his shirt anyway.



Honestly, I don't understand how Nui Nui picks and chooses what she likes and doesn't like. TV is an interesting topic. Her favorites are Calliou, Cat In The Hat, Super Why!, Curious George, Thomas...— mostly morning PBS shows— but also Disney's Jake & The Pirates. I didn't even know who Jake was until she told me :>

When I was younger, I watched Married With Children and then Roseanne when I was in high school. I vaguely remember MWC and don't have feelings about it either way really, but still think Roseanne was a great show. My parents disapproved of both. I don't think they ever really watched either, though, for them to really be able to evaluate it justly. And though they disapproved of the shows, I still watched them anyway. It'll be interesting to see what she likes as a teenager and how I'll handle it :>

I don't watch a lot of TV these days— hardly ever, in fact, and, if I do, preferably, it is E News!. Nui Nui knows E News! because of Mom, though, who often watches the afternoon run while they're having snack. If Nui Nui learns anything from me, it'd be YouTubers :>

What do YOU watch these days?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



Dollar Tree Xmas Shopping & In-Store Haul! :>



We're still looking for a topper! If you have any suggestions...

Share them in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



Xmas Tree Lighting 2013! - Video & More Pics! :>





I love this time of year, don't you? Whether you actually celebrate Xmas or not, you can still enjoy the decorations, the lights, the red, the time together, and the festive spirit!

Share your holiday pics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest we'd love to see them! xoxo



Friday, November 22, 2013

First Xmas Tree Lighting Event! :>

Some sneak peak pics of Nui Nui's first Xmas Tree Lighting! She enjoyed it— the bell music, the singing, the jingle-bell wristlets, the dancing, and, o yeah, the tree :> Video and more pics to come :> xoxo



Honestly, I think this is both her and my first Xmas Tree Lighting event :> Are you going to watch the tree light up this year?

Comment below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



Hello Kitty Barrette

Nui Nui got a Hello Kitty gift set from a family friend this past week. It included a backpack (which I'll have to post soon), < something else I think >, and a barrette (below).

Normally, Nui Nui doesn't like things in her hair but I think she's slowly (slowly) growing more into the idea of participating in this girly act. She brought the barrette to me (to me) and tried putting it in herself. After a cute attempt, I helped her do it properly and she willingly accepted and sported the kitty. Meow.

Normally, I don't dig the Hello Kitty thing but this is her second gift of it so will just accept it as a fact of #momlife raising a little girl (not complaining :>).



Say Hello in the Comments below, we'd love to hear your meow! :> xoxo



RTOTD: Soup Aisle Of Life

This Is Where We Are According To My 2-Year-Old :>

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Finally Actually Rained



It hasn't actually rained since... I honestly don't remember when. Perhaps sometime in the first quarter? Or last year? Despite deterring my lunchtime walk, I did enjoy the warm temps and humid air, reminiscent of home.

What's the weather like for you in your neck of the woods?

Share in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



Cool Gift For Wine-Lovers, Under $10

A Wine Accessories Kit (hidden) in a Wine Bottle!



What a great (gift) idea, huh? Rather than store your wine accessories in a hard-to-find spot of a drawer, instead, store it next to the bottles you'll want to open :>

I actually saw this when I was in Target this weekend. It went for $9.99— very reasonable— but I can't seem to find it online. If you can't find it at your local Target, some alternative vendors include:
Check it out!

If you get it, let is know what you (or the gift recipient) think(s) :> And if you find it at Target, Tweet us and let Target know we sent you :>

It's holiday season, the season of giving! Have cool gift ideas?

Share them in the Comments below, we'd love to hear! :> xoxo



School Update - November 11 - 15, 2013! :>

This is the week Nui Nui started singing Baa Baa Black Sheep... :>



And here's a peak at the Prezi for the week :>

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