Wednesday, May 30, 2012


There is nothing better than cracking open a childhood classic to read aloud with the kiddos.  Summer nights are around the corner, and so are later bedtimes and leisurely tuck-ins, perfect for chapter-a-night reads.

Last night we started Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, for the second time for big sis, and first time for bro.  And with each read it seems to only get better!  The amazing worlds that these childhood classics allow our children to enter can make an imprint forever.

I still remember vividly the world of my childhood favorite, The Last of The Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews (yes, Mary Poppins is an author too!).

A few years ago I discovered an incredible reading resource written by her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, entitled "Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment".

It is a pleasure to read and an indispensable tool to encourage and nurture the reading experience from baby to teenager. Her simple message of "creating - or restoring - the connection between reading and joy" is a lifelong gift.

If you've got a favorite please pass it on!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Kids grow up.  While that may not be news, why am I still surprised?  I happen to be heading to the college graduation of a dear nephew I met as a true tyke, so I've got it on the mind. As his Aunt, I know the wonder that he is a grad probably pales to that of his superbly-loving mom, but it still gives me much pause.

I am all at once incredibly proud and incredibly amazed at how time really does fly.  In the midst of piles and papers and recitals and report cards and birthdays and camps and on and on, the whole process is a march to adulthood.   I am so thankful to have had this moment to reflect on that bigger picture.

I attended a blog conference this past weekend where I heard many informative speakers.  But it was a moment with one of the sponsors, (which is fab by the way!), that rocked my world.  The company is launching a Confidence Campaign this summer and asked us attendees to answer on a white board: What's the one thing you want your children to know when they walk out the door each morning?  My on-the-spot answer: Be the best that you can be and know you are loved.

I have of course changed my answer in my head ten times since - but what I do know for sure is after all those mornings my nephew walked out the door, whatever it is that he knew, he certainly is the best! Congratulations T xo

Sunday, May 13, 2012


On my nightstand sits a sweet saying that reads "Sometimes the smallest things take up the biggest room in our hearts."  It often stops me in my tracks, but on Mother's Day, the words ring even more true.

My mother's most lasting impressions are, upon reflection, quite simple by nature but monumental in effect: the way she cracked my window every night to "let in the air fairies" she taught me to rub noses for an Eskimo Kiss...and the incredibly soothing touch of a cool washcloth on my forehead when I was under the weather. But most of all, it is when I tuck in the children that I feel her most close.

It is amazing to me how the words to the three lullabies she sang me each night lay twenty years forgotten, but came back in an instant the day our first child was born. I now sing those same songs nightly, and think of her each and every time.  Love is the greatest gift in the world to give, and hers is infinite.  Thank you Mom for everything and Happy Mother's Day to all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


To gather around the family table is one of life's most simple pleasures, yet without some forethought it can become furiously elusive. In this day in age of activity-packed afternoons and longer workdays, planning, prioritizing and effort are paramount.

As of right now, the most powerful tool in my kitchen for preparing healthy and delicious dishes (fact: last night's announcement of Chicken and Dumplings elicited gasps of delight from my six year old, along with a request for thirds) is my copy of My Father's Daughter by the queen of multi-tasking herself Gwyneth Paltrow.

Our house, like so many these days, is chock-full of allergies and aversions. I have yet to make a recipe from this book that does not adapt beautifully to our needs: Pancakes, Turkey Sausage Patties, Picco de Gallo, Lime Crema, Roasted Cauliflower, and Balsamic & Lime Vinaigrette just to name a few faves.

And while I have been a longtime fan of the Barefoot Contessa (her Butternut Squash Soup is out of this world), the emphasis on incorporating children into the cooking process and the subtlety of cooking for a child's palette as well as adults is addressed so well in My Father's Daughter.

A great tip of hers is to carve out an hour or so on a Sunday to cook up some staples and stock up the fridge to ease the weeknight madness. Get some good tunes going, grab the best apron ever and have some fun in the kitchen. Best of all? Enjoy it all week with those you love most.

PS: Don't forget to check in with foodie friends for some of their great ideas and inspiration (check out this gem of a blog by one of mine).
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