We want to share some of our favorite stories with you. So this month we are giving away three of our new favorite children’s books. Like this post on our Facebook page to be entered to win.
Here are the three books and a bit about why we love them so much:
An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton
This story reminds kids of a simple practice that sometimes in our busy lives we lose sight of – Simply being thankful – for the big things and the silly things. It is full of great lines like “Thanks for patience and hopes and rewards and revisions. Wizards and Lizards and delightful decisions.” The book does a masterful job of pairing the silly with the serious. And the illustrations are hilarious. Both kids and parents will love this story. It is the perfect Thanksgiving read for any family.
Want to win this book along with the other books featured this month? Here’s how you enter- Link
“The magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and -at long last-is given his special name: Beekle”
Whether your child has an imaginary friend or not, they will enjoy this story with beautiful illustrations and a heartwarming happy ending. I also liked the approach of the imaginary friend taking matters into his own hands and looking for a friend instead of waiting for one to find him. A great lesson for any child.
(The book is also quite influential, as we’ve been reading this story for about a month and just today our six year old decided she wanted to have an imaginary friend. “Shine” the star has been teaching her cartwheels all morning.)
Want to win this book along with the other books featured this month? Here’s how you enter- Link
What Do You Do with an Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Mac Besom
“This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had and idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and see what happens next.”
I loved this book because I like to encourage my kids that dreaming is productive and bringing an idea to life is awesome. It’s usually not easy or without obstacles. Whether your child is 2 months or 9 years old, this story can build the foundation for thinking and dreaming big!
Whether your baby is still in utero or is taking first toddling steps, their first experience of any holiday is important. These are the moments that, at the time, you might think you will remember clearly forever. But too soon it will be a distant memory. Taking a few minutes to jot down favorite moments and taking a few special photographs make all the difference. It is these cherished pieces that are worth adding to your baby book; they are stories you will treasure for years to come.
Here are some creative ideas we have compiled about how to remember baby’s 1st Halloween.
“Baby’s 1st” stenciled cutout –
Putting that cute little pumpkin of yours inside a pumpkin –
Or dressing them up as a pumpkin –
This clever momma dresses up her baby while she is napping and sets up whimsical baby dream scenarios, like this spooky witch –
This littlest witch is obviously a good witch – ( sometimes all you need is a black sheet, a placemat and a little creative vision)
When photographing your baby, make sure to not miss getting a snapshot of mom too
Baby foot print keepsakes:
A spooky ghosty –
We got this book when our oldest had her first Halloween and it has been well loved ever since. Make sure to write a quick inscription in the front cover.
My First Halloween by Tomie dePaola
Last week we featured all sorts of fun kid’s costume ideas. And, as much as your beloved animal buddies might hate you for putting them on display, this week we have all sorts of fabulous and funny pet costume ideas. Enjoy!
Add simple white dots to your sleek brown dog’s back = instant sweet fawn
Or for another woodland creature, how about transforming a black dog into a skunk?
If you have the kind of pet that would rebel against the idea of a “sweater,” how about keeping it simple by attaching a Ty beanie baby tag to their collar?
Or give a nod to this dapper fellow with a simple short tie –
Doug the Pug has taken the internet by storm with his celebrity hookups and clever costumes. Here are a few favorites to take inspiration from:
Harry Potter –
A Fluttery butterfly (pup-erfly?)
Not a dog person?
How about this brilliant ‘cat-in-the-hat’ idea found on etsy?
Or a classic lion costume is always a good choice:
This is a story for anyone who has ever wondered “Am I really good at anything?”
The charming tale of Tom Toastypants and his friend Tobias Beeswax
emphasizes the importance of trying new things, and that trying is much
more important than comparing one’s self to others.
Written by Erin Campell with Illustrations by her husband, Aaron Campbell
All this is to say that for me, the imagining of and writing of stories was just something that was part of who I am. Would stories have pulsed in my heart if I had not been exposed to so many growing up? Perhaps. While writing stories is something I cannot stop doing, publishing them is a different matter entirely! I had all the mind games so many of us have…these stories aren’t any good, no one will like them, it will be a waste of time, energy and money…I will put myself out there and it will flop, etc. It wasn’t until we were facing the rather large (for us) financial costs associated with adoption that I was spurred out of my “these aren’t any good” sulky fear party and just went for it. It was the growing love in my heart for child that would soon fill my arms that gave me courage. And that is a good rule of thumb for sharing our gifts. Very rarely will someone go, “This is awesome. I am awesome. Everyone, line up and get some of this!” More often it is a love for that story, that art, that song, that creation that will kick us out of our complacency and excuses to step out and share. We love it and we know that keeping it to ourselves is a love dead end. Don’t wait until you think no one will criticize. If there is an idea that has been rummaging around in your heart for weeks, months or years, do it because that gift that you have is meant to be shared and to bless someone else!
Second-guessing is such a thief. It robs us of the pleasure and joy of so many good things! When it comes to telling your child’s story, who better than you? You don’t have to be perfectly eloquent, or spend agonizing hours at the keyboard pounding out the memories. Just do something. It helped me to pull out my phone (yay for smart phones! A notebook would work just as well…but I never have one with me and I almost always have my phone. My husband will dispute this, but I FEEL like I almost always have my phone) and jot down a few words that would bring back a particular event so that when I did sit down to work on a page of our My Own Little Story book I had some notes to refer to and didn’t have to tackle a blank page with a blank mind! It is true that the words won’t magically appear, but there will be magic there in the years to come as you and your little one sit down and remember the story of his or her life together. Each of our stories are worth telling!
Your kids’ Halloween costumes and stories are something you will look back on for years to come and smile. But, coming up with creative costume ideas for little ones can be both enjoyable but also tricky, to help you find the best fit for your little guy/gal, here is a list of some of our favorites from around the internet.
A Baby aerobics instructor:
A mini Audrey Hepburn –
I love this new take on the traditional Skeleton – and its educational 🙂
And finally, you can never go wrong with book references. Here is the Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George
And for the Baby Bunnies
The 4th of July is about celebrating the beauty of our country, our traditions, history, and the joy of summertime. Making this holiday fun doesn’t have to be complicated. This curated list of simple ideas will make this year memorable. And hopefully some of these traditions will make it into your baby book and you can come back to them for generations.
To make the evening magical, play with a box of sparklers (and these fun light photos would be the perfect addition to your baby book!) Here is a quick tutorial on how to take the long exposure photos.
Paint firework pictures with your kids. All you need is paint, paper, and straws! Here is a great tutorial from My Kids Adventures
Or, make these eraser stamped star shirts from Cutesy Crafts
One of my favorite 4th of July ideas are these brilliant pop-rock sugar cookies from Mom Dot
We have made making a water blob a yearly summer tradition around here because it is so much fun for everyone, and easy. Here is a how to from Homemade Toast
Needing some inspiration for Father’s Day this year? Here are some of our favorite ideas we have compiled from around the internet.
Try Printing these fabulous typography “dad glasses” from Mr. P
Or, what about making this colorful letter banner Card from Modern Parents Messy Kids
Or for a more classic dad, try this modern easy washi tape card from Washi Tape Crafts.
We also love this one for the “Mr. Fix It” kind of dad from Old English Company.
For ideas to make the day special –
Make dad breakfast in bed with a funny face portrait of himself.
Or recreate this adorable photograph
If you are feeling crafty, these mugs from Coconut Robot would make any daddy smile
Or, how about baking some of these yummy tie cookies from Somewhat Simple
For more ideas, check out our Father’s Day Pinterest board
About Betony Coons:
As a mom and an artist, I try my best to bring my children into the story I’m living. The work I do involves lots of creating: children’s books, murals, set design, and paintings (my husband and I share our story at giantsandpilgrims.com). Right now I am both a stay at home mom AND a full time working artist, so time is always the greatest commodity around here. For me, taking the time to snap little Instagram photos of our days, jot down a note or two of something funny my kids say, or just taking an extra moment to pause and hold these littles dears close, helps me savor the now that I know will be so fleeting.
Betony is responsible for our new blog, our pinterest boards, our Facebook posts and all things social media related. Her creative input is helping us see the website and all of our products in a whole new light!
About Julie Johnson:
As a little girl, Julie fell in love with a certain type of art. She always carted around words and images and drawing materials and glue. Luckily, at a young age, she stumbled upon an amazing profession called Graphic Design. But little girls grow up, go to college (UCLA and Art Center College of Design), get married (to a super supportive husband), make a home (in Manhattan Beach, California) and become mom (to Hatcher and Madeline). These days, Julie creatively does a little of everything while appreciating both life’s challenges and also life’s wonderful rewards. She likes to keep her eyes wide-open welcoming new ideas, personal growth, and especially the collaboration with others.
Julie is responsible for the design of our fresh-looking website and newsletters, and collaboration on the development of our new features of our site.