Diaper bags have really grown up. They are fun and fashionable and made by the best brands. Here is your ticket to finding the best travel with baby diaper bags – you will look and feel fashionable and organized with these gorgeous diaper bag choices.
Nothing helps more than a great diaper bag that is all packed with the essentials – you just pick up and go anywhere with your baby, knowing all the important things are covered for your outing.
Featuring The Cutest, Most Fashionable Baby Gear Bags
The Adorable Diaper Bag Gallery
(For convenience, affiliate links to Amazon)
Look for some of these brands when out shopping…
Timi and Leslie
Why choose a diaper bag by Timi and Leslie? Well, you could because Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Courtney Cox, Nicole Kidman, and Faith Hill do; or maybe because you want something stylish that has all the necessary pockets for everything to make your life easier.
Either way it is a good choice.
Maman Stylish Designer Tote
Roomy with pockets for everything. Waterproof with multiple ways to carry: hand held, strap, and attach to stroller.
Kate Spade Designs Are Gorgeous.
Carter’s Zebra Diaper Tote with Green Accent
The Bumble Collection All in One
When I started having grandchildren join the family circle, I was amazed at how darling all the baby things are that my daughters and daughter-in-laws have in their nurseries. The diaper bag selection is just mind boggling in both style and choices.
These make wonderful baby shower gifts.
There are so many, many fabulous diaper bag choices that I don’t envy anyone having to choose, but one brand stands out in the reviews and that is Storksak, because it looks great, carries all the gear, and is lightweight. All good qualities of a diaper bag that will make mommy happy.
…and you know what they say about the importance of that!
What to Stash Inside
WHAT GOES INSIDE A DIAPER BAG?
all the baby diaper essential,
special things for breastfeeding,
a burp cloth,
a receiving blanket,
Play keys (so you don’t end up giving your yucky set of car keys to quiet them)
Most of today’s bags come with changing pads included.
Sometimes I felt like I was moving half my nursery items everywhere I went. But a a well stocked diaper bag can mean the difference between a successful shopping trip or a happy outing and the alternative.
Now, all that roominess is stylish- no more blocky bags with the drab vinyl prints.
Great Gift For A Mom
Designers Make Diaper Bags Look Chic
And you look absolutely adorable
Everyone wants to create diaper bags, it seems, and some of the best designers have put their talents towards stylish bags to make taking baby out and about a fashion affair.
A Lineup of Cute Diaper Bags
Kate Spade in Adorable Black and White – Take it Everywhere!
Her name is known for fun, modern, and chic design. No one will think this is a frumpy diaper bag. Instead it looks like a fashionable tote, but with all the room you need for special baby gear.
What To Look For In A Diaper Bag
It depends on you
One of the features of a diaper bag is the way you can just grab and go- without thinking about what to pack and perhaps forgetting an important item. You don’t want to run out of wipes, or that extra binkie when you need it.
Consider a versatile style, one that goes with most of what you wear.
Lots of use=lots of wear, is the material your diaper bag is made of up for the task? You will give it more wear than usual.
Washable? Hard wearing, constructed well?
Throwing lots of gear over your shoulder should not get you down. You will also be carrying your baby. Maybe you just want room for essentials in your every day diaper bag, and a second larger bag for travel.
I love these soothing songs, and you and your baby will, too.
When you are a new mom there is nothing you wish for more than some extra rest, and while it doesn’t guarantee that your baby will sleep, lullabies do help. Peaceful melodies create a calm atmosphere.
“There is no velvet so soft as a mother’s lap, no rose as lovely as her smile, no path so flowery as that imprinted with her footsteps”~
~ Archibald Thompson ~
Choose the purpose of your gift:
Do you wish to inspire her?
Pamper the new mom
Make her feel important and special
Help her feel capable and a better mom
What is your wish for her… and what makes her feel special… combine the answer to those two things and you have found the perfect gift.
Make a New Mommy Feel Special – Give her something thoughtful and sweet
It Can Be Little, It Might Cost Nothing
Give something adorable to help her feel that way!
It can be a time of wonderful ups, but certainly a few lows after you have your new baby… and most of the lows center about how you feel about your attractiveness. Your clothes don’t fit, and you are tired of wearing maternity outfits. You just plain feel tired… and that promises to be for the near foreseeable future. Besides all that, you have worked pretty hard… you need something that makes you feel pampered, and special, and yes, adorable again.
These gifts don’t have to be lavish, they can be small and thoughtful.
They don’t need to be expensive, they can be something homemade, a jar of jam with a special message, flowers from the garden, or a fresh picked bowl of berries. Just make sure their message is that the new mom is thought of and cherished.
That is how she feels, and now what are we going to do about it? I know how I felt when, right after my new baby arrived, I was given a few special gifts just for me. Wonderful! Elated, even. It is just such a nice and unexpected thing.
What would make her feel special? Maybe a new, pretty Bathrobe.
May your day be filled with gigglesanonymous
Beautiful Mother And Child Art
Inspirational, Soul Lifting Stories – Give Her A Little Chicken Soup
… for her soul, that is. Perfect to read during feeding times, as a perky pick up for the day.
The “Chicken Soup” collection of books is famous for a reason: everyone needs a little nurturing now and then.
There is something about a well told story, especially when it is soul lifting and heart warming. Provide a little chicken soup just when someone needs it most by putting a book of favorite quotes and stories into their hands- there when they need it.
Sometimes a mom just wants to revel in the sweet thoughts that celebrate this new chapter in life… Chicken Soup books always uplift, and serve a gift of this book with a bowl of the real thing- homemade chicken soup from your kitchen.
How adorable of you!
Gallery of New Mommies – An age old story, a brand new chapter
A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.anonymous2
You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.Polish Proverb
A Sweet Picture – Willow Family Sculpture Figurine
What a sweet commemoration of this wonderful event- the addition of your new baby into your family circle!
Sometimes We Need A Little Encouragement – Daily Guide To Inspire A New Mother
Loving is feelings, but loving is also a lot of little things and this guide will inspire you to increase you love vocabulary as a new mom. “What the world needs now is love,sweet love” – we can always use a little more.
A Bundle of Joy! Yes, yours! This for that new little one in your life. Natural products that you can feel good about using.
Burts Bees Products are darling gifts – natural new mom gifts for her and for baby
Will the gift make it easier to take care of the baby, does it create good feeling for a new mom? Give her a little luxury or something that helps the mommy baby bond.
Breastfeeding Help – Why not make up a basket to lend encouragement?
We all know that breastfeeding is better for both the new mother and the baby, but sometimes there are challenges that create barriers to success- not always, but the new mom can use some help and would love these thoughtful gifts for making everything a little smoother.
Beautiful Lullabies – Soothing music for new mommy and baby moments
Super Diaper Bags – Fashionable and Fun
Petunia Picklebottom and More! If you love this idea, be sure to check out some of the fabulous choices in Adorable Diaper Bags
Time for a Spa Treatment
No time for a Manicure?
If you have the skills, give her a manicure, here’s how:
If you don’t have the time, but have the money… give a gift card to a salon for the service. Still not what you had in mind?
Creamy hand lotion is the next best thing to a full manicure session at the salon.
A gift certificate for her favorite spa treatment (pedicures are especially nice), and arrangements to watch the baby.
Of all the many things lobbed at us as parents, we are told a long laundry list of what we should give our children. From the esoteric to the practical, it is promised that if we but give our child … time, morals teaching, discipline, music lessons, the right school, no school, good examples, the best *you name it*… if we only give that, our child will be happy and successful.
We all want our children to be happy and successful. And it is there that we are hooked into the method, the gift, the lifestyle, whatever it is that has promised us this holy grail of parenting.
But the harder truth is that it is a recipe of many things, that translate as love and guidance, which become tools and guideposts for the hardest truth of all: that each child must make his/her own way through life. Just as we all must.
Are There No “Must-Have” Gifts?
That is not to say that some tools and ingredients in life are not imperative. Just because people may compensate and manage without a good start in life does not mean it is fine to ignore their inclusion.
What Should We Give Our Children?
Here is the short list:
Love and Security
Training in life skills and good character examples
Education, love of reading, love of learning
The methods are many, and none of these requirements in life demand lots of money.
If we give these things to our children, to the best of our ability, they can face the world well prepared. Even if we fail in some of the most important ways, the resilience of the human race shows that often they can make up for the lack. For children, it is very important to see that the parents made the effort: that they tried their best on behalf of the child.
Is This A Secret Shortcut?
I wonder if instilling a love of books isn’t a secret shortcut to the twin efforts of training and having a love of learning? After all, great literature is a way to pass on important values, cultural traditions, and an appreciation of good character through the power of storytelling. It also teaches the ability to think about the big questions of life and engage critical thinking patterns.
All this starts at an early age with reading.
As one who loves to read books, I have to say I am biased about their impact. Literature has always spoken so much to me, and certain fiction has molded my thinking in life long ways. I believe in its power to do so for others, including our children.
If we want to change the culture, providing time tested writings is surely one powerful and efficacious way to do it.
What Books Ought To Be On The Shelf?
Start with a list of classic children’s selections I collated. (That page includes info on why reading is so important, creating a reading nook, and the best of the classic books that my own children loved).
Something about the idea of tea in a garden whispers of zephyr breezes, blue skies, white fluffy clouds on a summers eve. With the soft waft of a rose’s fragrance, it is a perfect time to sit with a garden patterned teapot brimming with hot, amber colored tea and take a quiet break from the busyness of daily life.
Perhaps it is that connection in the mind between the pleasant quiet of a garden and the calming influence that comes with the warmth of the tea, but any day can seem like one that , however briefly, transforms into this early summer scenario.
One of my favorite ways to decompress and relieve stress is to sit down with a pot of hot tea made in a pretty pot, then pour the tea into one of my favorite teacups. Tea things don’t have to match , but I like the pots to handle and pour well, and for the cups to harmonize in style with the teapots.
This post is dedicated to taking a short time of repast with a pot of freshly brewed tea, perhaps a green or an Earl Gray; to step out into the garden and listen to softly buzzing bees, think creative thoughts, and experience the an oasis of time away from demands of tasks and obligations.
A welcome solitude, or an interlude with friends, but a time of refreshment and renewed perspective.
Chinese Garden Teapot
Strange how a teapot
Can represent at the same time
The comforts of solitude
And the pleasures of company
From Famous Franz Porcelain
This brand of porcelain work is noteworthy for its beauty of color and artistry. The teapots immediately draw attention because they look like works of art, and not for daily use. But for those who love to bring beauty into their homes, this is one of those kitchen items which serves as both art and use.
Birds on Franz porcelain may not be the ones found in your garden, but they are in a paradise type of garden somewhere in the world. The long tailed sylph hummingbird is a denizen of South America, in countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Their unusual feathers in such jeweled color makes the design a real standout.
Polish Garden Teapot – Polish Pottery
Colorful and decorative, this will bring a warm, bright spot to your decor. Made from Boleslawiec white clay. There are a number of different flower and colors in this line. They have the bright and cheery look of a grandmother’s garden. The decoration reminds me of spongeware for some reason; thought the painting is clearly done by brushwork..
Sunshine Yellow For Morning Teatime – Whimsical Hand Drawn Flowers
Yellow, kitchens, bright daisies – these are so cheering, which is what a breakfast cup of tea ought to be. The flowers look like they were hand drawn on a whim.
For many of us, our teatime consists of sitting down on our own with a good cup of tea. A tea for one sized pot is just what we need for the way most of us order our days.
These pots, many made with their own matching teacup perched handily on board, hold just the right amount of tea for one sitting.
Do you collect teapots, too? I’m a little surprised how many do. Maybe you have a number of different types of pots all in one theme like the collection on this page.
I personally just like teapots, and use all mine in one way or another. There aren’t any special themes other than appealing to me because of the design or the special way they are made. I have some Japanese Tetsubin pots that are among my favorite.
I hope you enjoy this online “museum” of sorts as much as I do. Really, the art and variation of teapots even in one theme is astounding.
“All well-regulated families set apart an hour every morning for tea and bread and butter.”-Joseph Addison, 1711
Yixing Tea Pots – Chinese Garden Style
Yixing is pronounced “Yee-Shing”, and signals a very special kind of teapot. They are composed of zisha clay, a rare type of purplish clay found only in Yixing, China.
Yixing teapots are individually sized, so a person may have their own pot. the different colors of the designs are created through the addition of mineral pigments.
These are considered to be one of the finest tea brewing pots in the world. I had no idea about that when I bought one for my son and daughter-in-law. The subtle colors and the artful lizard as a lid handle are what intrigued me. The proportions and ornamental touches make one of the most aesthetically pleasing teapots of the many types found worldwide. At least in my estimation.
Over time, use will it impart a “tea brewed within tea”. This is due to the fact that Zisha clay is extremely porous and will absorb the flavor of tea and the insides of the teapots are left unglazed. Other qualities of this clay are an ability to retain heat, a freedom from toxic materials like lead, arsenic and cadmium ( sometimes found in other clays), and its ability to form the tight fit of the lid. The composition of this clay is mainly of quartz, kaolin, mica, with a high volume of iron oxide.
Made in a myriad of designs , many have a garden theme, some with charming little garden creatures like frogs, and lizards.
The Japanese Tea Garden – A Brief Overview of the Tea Garden Culture
The Japanese developed a brilliant art form that unites a refinement of serving tea, the repose of a serene garden, and the calming effect of following ritual that creates a beautiful culture custom and an intriguing garden style.
The tea room (chashitsu) and the tea garden (roji) are a space for holding a tea gatherings.  In the tea garden, guests pass through the kuguri entrance, a small and narrow space. From there they follow a stone path which has a measured sequence to encourage thought and mindfulness of their progress. Continuing through a carefully landscaped space they come to a tsukubai, which is a stone wash basin. After washing their hands, the guests enter a low roofed teahouse. It is designed to replicate a traditional home, here the guests sit on tatami mats.The host pours ceremonially made tea for them in this calm and serene place.
The tea garden is called a roji, and it is a very important part of the tea ceremony. The Japanese name for this ceremony is chanoyu.
Tetsubin teapot – Japanese beauty, subtlety, and utility
I have two Tetsubin teapots. One is a black hobnail and one is a pink cherry blossom design which my son gave me for Christmas. I didn’t know that the designs had symbolic meaning, but Teavana has listed the meanings. My cherry blossom pot is the National flower of Japan, and it is a symbol for beauty; the hobnail design stands for strength. Strength and beauty! Those make a fine combination in my estimation.
The Tetsubin teapots are made of cast iron, and they should only be rinsed clean and wiped dry with a clean cloth. Like the Chinese clay pots they can retain tea flavors over time which add to the cachet of the teapot.
I find them to be an eye pleasing and well designed teapot, a joy to use and they pour beautifully. The cast iron retains heat and mine came with their own basket infusers for the loose tea which is brewed to perfection within them.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” -Henry James
As long as the teapot is there on your shelf, learn to brew tea that goes into it properly. It isn’t difficult, it just takes some attention to the details, especially measuring amounts and getting the timing right.
How to brew a proper cup of tea:
Use fresh water each time you prepare tea.
Choose good tea.
Use 1-2 teaspoons per 8 ounce cup.
Heat water until it reaches a boil, let it cool just slightly then make your tea.
Tea leaves are steeped in the water for 1-3 minutes when making green or white teas. Five minutes for black teas.
If you design your own teapot, remember there are several products that can be matched to produce a set. There are mugs, plates, and a candy jar that could just as well be used to store tea or sugar.
In my home, there is a loose collection of teapots, not because I try to actively collect them, but there is just something I love about a teapot. Maybe it is the marriage of aesthetic form and usefulness. Or maybe I just think they are cute, and I enjoy pouring myself a hot cup of tea from a decorative pot.
Give yourself two hands to work with while checking that recipe book.
Hold Your Cookbook In Style
There are cookbook stands for every taste and interior decorating style. A large number of them are made of wrought iron or metal of some sort and twisted into all sorts of pretty looks. I needed a cookbook holder and that sent me looking at what was available. I love the ingenious designs, but am a bit old fashioned in the styles I like- shabby cottage chic is closest description. But what if you like minimalist or Georgian formal? There are cookbook stands that are a charming addition to your kitchen.
Here is a collection of some of the interesting styles available, perhaps you will find one right for your kitchen.
Ironwork in red color, a French touch
Good color for a kitchen with red appliances, black ironwork hardware, and most country style or rustic decor.
Holding open the cookbook to the page you need without it flopping closed.
Many Styles and Types of Unique Stands – Did you realize there was such a variety?
French, Country, Modern, there are unique types and one is just right for you.
French style adds the same pizazz to your décor as the French can also add to your cooking. Graceful scrolling makes a beautiful addition in use and simply out on the counter.
Pantryware(the general label for this kind of kitchen accessory) is the ideal way to add a bit of pizzazz to your décor. Kitchens are usually places of efficiency. We want our work surfaces, landing spaces, and appliances to help us produce our culinary masterpieces- or at least the family meal with ease of care and capability. But kitchens have also been a way to add decorating flair to the place in the house that everyone is sure to use daily. Adding style with unique accessories, giving touches of color, this is the job of even small utility pieces like paper towel holders, napkin holders, recipe books and boxes, and cookbook holders
Now you can pick one that makes your counter shine and makes more space for bowls, ingredients, and important stuff of the process.
Tablets are one of the best ways to find new recipes, so a holder for yours might be one of the best kitchen accessories you’ve ever put on your counter.
Basically a practical thing to have, but with the way many are designed they can become art, too. Whimsical or traditional, you can add the type of accent that most appeals to you.
Usually, the more modern kitchens with white cabinets and appliances will provide the best backdrop for colorful and sculpture look stands.
While a country kitchen shows off wood and iron materials as the most natural partners.
A clever use of utensils bent to provide a landing place for holding a book is one design, and there seems to be no shortage of ideas of how to hold your cookbook.
Try A little humor in your kitchen
I’ve always liked the utensil theme in a kitchen, do you like this one, too?
Think about having a little fun when choosing a peripheral gadget like this. Use it not only for practical use ( which it will provide) but for a little bit of whimsy.
What about flimsy magazines with great recipes? Prop it up and hold the pages open to just the right spot. Not everyone likes to tear the pages out. I am one of those people who likes to collect cooking magazines and keep them stored in sturdy files, but when it comes to actually using the recipes you need one of these beauties to hold the place and keep from messing up the pages.
Bring some French style to the kitchen. Put that magazine here to use a recipe, or set up your iPad. However you use this stand, it will give a touch of class to the counter.
Aren’t these original looking? So many styles, one would match up with a kitchen style whether it is modern, minimalist, European, or country. Need to prop a book on your desk while working on your laptop? Match your décor and keep a favorite 8×10 photo or two propped in a place of honor.
Some people cook from their iPads. They love the food bloggers and want to try the recipe without the intermediary of printing out the recipe on paper. The kitchen stands made just for their electronic needs are the answer for them. May you can’t prop an old fashioned hardcover book on it- it safely and conveniently holds your iPad while you refer to which ingredient to add next.
Like this one?
Made of reclaimed wood, which is among the hottest decorating trends, a way to bring warmth and strong design where you want it, plus a sturdy holder for your iPad tablet or book.
There are specially made sleeves like this one, but there isn’t any reason why a regular stand couldn’t safely support your electronic device like a reader or an iPad. Just like having a personalized case, a unique stand gives some sparkle and personality to the kitchen counter while folding away neatly if you are through using it or want more space.
What happens when you open your favorite recipe book to bake up that fabulous chicken for your guest? Or when you’ve found just the right recipe on your tablet? Too often the book won’t lie flat or the it lies too flat. The mixer splatters a bit of batter onto the surface. Many stands have a shield or page holders.
Hold Pictures, Photos, or Recipe Books – Shabby Chic Cottage Look
Simple and inexpensive, but the scrolled design adds cottage charm to its task of keeping your cookbook upright.
Save Counter Space
This is the top reason to use this pantryware
How many benefits can you think of?
There Are Benefits To A Stand
Not one of the most necessary gadgets for the kitchen, but like a paper towel holder, one that increases the convenience and efficiency of common kitchen tasks.
Most of us use recipes from which to cook up our meals. Cookbooks, printouts from the computer, recipe cards, all of which are usually paper and subject to spill. Anyone who has tried to read the recipe from a cookbook while running the mixer knows what a balancing act that can be!
These stands, which stylishly hold the cookbook, solve the problem.
Keep important recipes, books, and electronics out of the way of accidental spills and splatters. At first, it seems that a few splatters just prove how busy you’ve been in the kitchen, but over time those really add up and ruin not just the appearance, but the page integrity of the book.
And I just hate bending over the book when I could see it easily, straightaway, on the stand.
Make more workspace on the counter
Hold the pages open and give support to magazines
It is surprising how many ingenious ideas people have for utilizing a simple kitchen gadget or devices that make life easier or a job more convenient. This is a simple one, for sure but there may be life hacks that you can think of if you just put on your thinking cap (or if you hang around Pinterest long enough!).
For instance, you know those pants or skirt hangers with the clips? Yes! Someone turned one of those into a cookbook holder. Granted it looks a little kitschy, but that might be just the thing for a certain kitchen style. See that idea here.
For me, my tastes run to some of these, presented in this post. I bounce between wanting a sleek one that folds up out of the way and the scrolled ironwork type.
That is my problem: I like too many and can’t seem to make up my mind. If you have a favorite, why not mention it in the comments?
Holders and Stands
Use As A Bookstand
You can use a cookbook stand for other books- even your Bible! Which is why you shouldn’t think of having one of these stands as merely one more gadget for your kitchen counter.
Don’t stop there, as a unique style of easel for a favorite large photograph, or a piece of art.
Space saving convenience, this one folds away out of sight when you aren’t using it.
Protect Your Cookbooks From Splatters and Spills
Make it easy to read while you cook.
You can also use the stands for your tablets, etc.
Giving You A Bird’s Eye View
IMAX Audubon Park Book Easel Cookbook Stand
Rustic, artsy, this is a cookbook holder with a strong sculptural look. If you love sculptural birds perched on natural looking branch, this is the perfect choice for your counter. It goes with a wide range of cabinet styles: French, contemporary, rustic.
One of the best for matching cabinet pulls made of iron or bronze, and great gift for any bird lover.
Make Your Own? Do It Yourself and Save Money – if you are handy
While you are at it … making the use of recipes more convenient while you cook… why not use something to hold your recipe crds that aren’t in book form?
Here is a cute idea for holding single recipe cards, same idea on a smaller scale. Although drips and spills might show that you like to use that recipe, it is tough on the card. I have a cookbook style holder with plastic sleeves, but much prefer the old fashioned recipe box with individual cards, and this little card holder eliminates the wear and tear on the recipe cards.
One thing I’ve used for recipe cards is a picture holder, one of those little wire ones that you insert a single photo inside the circle of wire. It holds just the recipe card I am using and I can see both sides. The card is held high above the surface of the counter and doesn’t get marred by moisture or a bit of spilled flour or milk.
There are all sorts of these photo holders, too. I have some seasonal ones: seashell summery styles or Christmas snowmen, and they work really well to hold the 3×5 cards that I have a fav recipe written on (some of my 3×5 recipes were my grandmothers!)
What’s Your Kitchen Style?
Which cookbook holder would you spring for?
Cook-books have always intrigued and seduced me. ~The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book
One of the best forms of exercise for keeping flexible and known for its gentleness, this has been my favorite workout. It requires few props, but for some, there are accessories that make yoga exercises more comfortable.
As I try new levels, I found a few items that I wouldn’t want to be without- so if you have someone on your gift list who wants to try yoga, or those who have been practitioners for a long time, consider some of these great ideas- or even apparel for those who just love comfort!
Browse through these great gift ideas for a healthier new year.
Personally, I think a gift basket like this (or one you assemble yourself) is the way to please even the pickiest person on your list. Noting their interests while catering to their desire to relieve stress makes this combination of items one that could please just about anyone.
Spa products, aromatherapy, and a few luxurious taste treats – who can resist loving that?
One of the best gifts for a person who practices yoga is a mat. This one is particularly attractive in color and eco-friendly.
What Is “Eco-Friendly”?
Usually made of rubber, sometimes mixed with jute or organic cotton.
These mats will be more expensive in cost.
What To Look For In A Mat
The majority of mats are made of PVC vinyl, but some may be made of jute, rubber, or cotton.
Although a bit sticky, PVC can last a very long time and endure a lot of use. It is also the most “cushion-y”.
There are different textures to choose from, with jute probably being the most rough to the feel.
That depends on you, with varying thicknesses available. I have one of my first mats that is a terry cloth material backed with foam, which is very thin, and a newer PVC which is much thicker. Sometimes I prefer one and sometimes another. Although I always liked the thinner matt for its feeling of stability and connection to the ground.
ALLERGIES TO LATEX
If you have allergy to latex like I do, you will probably need to forego anything made of rubber.
This Exercise is Good for You – Relaxes, Challenges, and Stretches for Strength and Flexibility
Gifts that will be used all year, because these exercise routines can be enjoyed by all in any season of life.
Almost anyone will benefit from the gentle stretches, and the levels of difficulty mean that a practitioner can progress through increasingly challenging workout.
If you are thinking about what to give the person who has already found this workout form, why not pay for classes at their favorite studio? Or if someone wanted to begin, why not give them a beginners kit including pre-paid classes, a workout outfit, and a mat?
Gift Basket Ideas:
Candle in soothing scent like ‘Green Tea’, or ‘Beach Walk’
Book with illustrated poses
Exfoliating glove and stress-relieving shower gel
Packed in a yogi tote
Good Health recipe book
Find out which is their favorite kind of class and be sure to get the clothing items or accessories that best go with that type of exercise. Check out the types in the table on this page.
Types of Yoga
breathing very important
tailored to the indvidual
use of room heat
Vinyasa or flow:
Yoga has become one of the most popular ways to exercise. The benefits listed on WebMD are improved flexibility, more strength, better concentration, improved posture, better breathing, find out more in their article.
There are classes in just about every city, but with DVD’s and fitness videos that are available those classes can be brought home.
Hint: prepaid classes are a great gift idea
This form of exercise boosts levels of brain chemicals which contribute to relaxation and contentment, and its effect on cortisol levels is considered the reason for yoga’s ability to boost the immune function. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, and that aids restoration and healing.
What To Look For In Workout Clothing
Loose fitting is the rule- except that a stretchy closer fitting top might work better than a baggy one. In poses such as downward dog… keep your shirt from falling into your face!
DOING THE “HOT” STYLE?
Capri or crop pants prevent sweaty slippery legs while allowing a cooler outfit
Fabric that wick sweat away from the body
What Is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is the use of raising the temperature of the room to allow muscles to warm and stretch more easily.
There is nothing that feels better than these five toe shoes- not even barefoot! Pay particular attention to measuring your foot for good fit. The Kangaroo leather is amazingly soft.
Vibram Barefoot Shoes – Perfect for Workouts
Until you wear a pair of these, you will not believe how comfortable they are. A great way to grip the floor when doing exercise, these shoes are mainly for indoor performance. There are other Vibram shoes for outdoor wear, such as running or water sports, but these are best for yoga workouts. I have a purple pair- I love them, and people remark on them. They are a little unusual, although increasingly popular.
One thing that I stress in my review is the importance of getting the sizing right for this type of shoe. If you don’t have access to that information, this isn’t the ideal gift suggestions. BUT, if you do know the accurate sizing to order, there is nothing that will make your gift more welcome than this super comfortable workout footwear.
This brand has made clothes for dancers for years, and their exercise and sports clothes are excellent.
Yoga Pants for Comfort – Lounging, Exercising, Almost Everything Is More Comfortable
Danskin and Green Tea are great brands, and there is nothing more comfortable than these pants. Allows for complete flexibility without binding while doing the stretches and poses. I prefer all cotton, maybe with some Spandex for stretchiness and shape.
I haven’t tried the straight leg type yet, but would love to.
Ball Chair – Improve your posture and your core strength
There are a number of these chairs on the market, and they seem to be an improvement for sitting on just a ball (which I’ve done). An excellent gift idea for someone interested in the health benefits of strengthening their core, who has to do a lot of sitting (like at the computer). It is on my wishlist.
You want contact with the floor or mat, so barefoot or barefoot shoes work best.
Relaxation is an important part of yoga practice: forget the phone and take full advantage of the rest at the end of the routine.
What Are The Senior Benefits?
help you stay agile
help you remain flexible
Yoga might help…
reduce heart rate
improve blood pressure
ease back pain
alleviate depression and anxiety
Are there drawbacks?
Yes, care should be taken with poses, and sometimes existing problems complicate the ability to do the poses safely. The answer is to use modifications to ease into the exercise. Also to not rush the progress, taking time to accomplish the level safely.
People everywhere have discovered the relaxation and therapeutic value of coloring. Adult coloring books are even on sale at the checkout of my grocery stores! I think it is a great idea, but I also think we should take this love of coloring one step further:
Allow our own creative vision loose!
Not instead of using the coloring books, but along with them.
I think it helps us feel inspired by another’s vision. The beauty of a talented artist frees us from worry that we won’t make something “artistic enough”. We aren’t held back by that fear. A coloring book is for our own creativity what training wheels are for a young bicyclist. It allows us to build confidence in our own abilities and strengthens the muscle coordination.
Using another artists picture does that for us, too. That is why children love their coloring books and paint by number sets.
But I am venturing the opinion that we ought to allow ourselves some freedom to be creative in our own right as well.
Copying For Practice, Not For Sale
We can start with copying ideas, there is nothing wrong with that when working on our own art therapy, but at some point we ought to take a chance on our own vision and style. To copy is an age old way to learn technique, but is never meant to pass off as one’s own.
Now get your supplies, spend some time in your coloring books, make a similar design of your own, and finally set your self free with your markers, pencils and blank sheets of paper.
Are you ready?
A Gift List For Coloring
High quality colored pencils
Reliable pencil sharpener
Some Pretty Books To Get Started
Don’t forget to have a sketch book on hand for when you feel like freehand drawing.
Using a coloring book and pencils makes art easy and attainable. It sidesteps the worry that we will not be a “good artist”.
“Mindful art” has been shown to reduce stress and provide a sense of comfort. (1)
Why does it work?
It helps switch off an overactive brain and center the mind’s focus.
It was observed that the repetition of coloring creates changes in heart rate and in brainwaves.
Activates the creative side of the brain.
Ritual that helps you unwind from the daily grind.
What Medium Should You Use?
It really depends on what you like, but I would start with pencils because they are so easy to use and blend. Pastels, markers, and pens,are other possibilities. Paints are also something you could try, along with good old crayons. If you have any doubts about how to color- since it may have been a few years since you attempted to try your hand at art, go ahead and view some how to videos on Youtube. I was surprised at the number of them that either showed tips and tricks ( like how to color leaves) or just recored someone coloring..
Kids learn through their play, and love to gravitate toward the play kitchen with pretend foods, miniature pots and pans. Hours of fun for little children as they spend time in their own kitchen.
Imaginary play never gets old
Do you remember your favorite imaginary ways to play as a child? Did it include play food, utensils, and maybe even your own play stove, refrigerator, and sink? Our Church and Kindergarten always had these play spaces, and I made sure to have the same for my children.
There is something that fascinates children as they role play activities, and it is a way they work out the important job of growing up and handling everyday chores and responsibilities. Of course, for them it is just lots of fun, but important fun! Maybe there is really no other kind?
I couldn’t resist putting together a collection of the colorful and delightful play kitchens along with their many accoutrements. One thing that always bothered me about many child’s toy dishes and utensils were the ones that were so flimsy they didn’t last more than a short time. I grew to appreciate the better quality ones and I think a child has more fun with them, too.
Could you picture a space in your home for a project like this? It really doesn’t take much more space than a play bench, and yet stores the playthings and provides a great features for your child’s imagination and role play. If using the plans below for a crafted child play kitchen, you might well be creating an heirloom that even your grandchildren will be happily “cooking on” in years to come.
Are you handy with a saw and hammer? Maybe you can create your own custom made child’s kitchen play area.
Toy Kitchens Make Great Playtimes – eBay For Child’s Play
Keep your child happily occupied using imagination and roleplay with a toy kitchen and accessories just the right size. Kids like to socialize around food and cooking just like grownups do!
Beautiful and Durable Play Kitchens – All-In-Ones Save Space, Separate “Appliances” Are Flexible
Colorful Essentials 4-in-1 Play Kitchen Color: BluePlay kitchens that are durable and sturdy are important investments in children’s furniture. They don’t have to have lots of bells and whistles and they don’t have to be expensive, but a toy that will withstand real play, and a little banging around is quite important.
Looking for smooth corners and the right height are a couple points to keep on your checklist.
Good, sturdy play kitchens come in both plastic and wood types, and it is more a personal preference than anything else that might weigh in the favor of one over the other. White play appliances and the more colorful ones are likely to be of plastic material.
My Little Chef Deluxe Faux Granite Play KitchenA dream kitchen for little girls is one made of a fashionable trompe l’oeil granite look. Moms often like large pieces of play furniture to match up with the general décor of the house. This might be just the style for your own child’s room or corner of the rec-room.
Toddler Contempo Wood Play 4 Piece Kitchen SetOne kitchen I like for its good design is the Contempo brand. It has engaging appeal, is made of wood and of the right size for toddlers. Fill up the doors with play food and few pots and pans and young children can play for hours just imagining their own meals and snacks that they can serve their dolls and teddy bears. Four separate pieces means the arrangement is customizable to the play space.
Colorful Essentials Four Piece Play Kitchen Color: YellowSunshine yellow is a fvorite color for a cheerful little play kitchen. Toddlers will discover how much fun it is as they mimic the important work of cooking and serving. Convincing a child to eat right is more fun when using the play in their own kitchen to talk about making good food choices, learning to keep food preparation clean and tidy. Much better than nagging or lectures. Living healthy and cooperatively is better “caught” than taught and when setting up a play space with their own little kitchen that is exactly what we are providing: ways for child to find the fun in living well. This beats television by a mile, and the many facts of play can be part of your child’s play day.
Kidkraft Pink Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator Play Set
Stores like Walmart or Target are convenient places to find your child’s play kitchen and they are bound to have lots of the accessories, too. If you want play dishes, fake food, and even a small tablecloth… this is a great place to shop to make your little kids happy! There is usually convenient pickup if you decide to have it delivered to the store.
I also find cute play kitchens and accessories at IKEA and Pottery Barn.
Play Dishes in Just The Right Size – Cups, Saucers, Plates and Utensils
I always had lots of play dishes for my kids, and then got completely new sets for the grandkids (we were pretty hard on the toys of this type in our household). I liked to use the play dinnerware of this size for little snacks of real food just for fun.
Bright, fun colors to make a festive play dinner for favorite friends. High quality and substantial playware.
If you decide to buy a play kitchen for your child, why not round out the experience with a set of good quality pans. Those cheap plastic ones often break in no time, but those made of metal are easy to clean and stake lots of serious playtime.
The rough and tumble of real kids having lots of fun, that is. When my children were little I got tired everything breaking, until I discovered brands that were made for real play and could take children playing with their toys on more than occasional Sundays. These toys are tough and can take daily play with your children and their friends.
Tough Little Tykes quality and room for two to share in the playtime.
Every child likes to play tea party- it has never been just for little girls. Although little girls are truly in their element with all the girly colors like those on this rug. With a rug and the play kitchen setup, with perhaps a child’s set of table and chairs, an area can be set aside in a family room, play room, or any place that has a five by five foot area for playing. The child play kitchen furniture usually has lots of storage and cubby holes for keeping the toys neat.
Kitchen Play Accessories – In Bright, Playful Colors
There are so many fine play sets of dishes, utensils, and play cookware available to go with your child’s new kitchen imagination center, that it may be hard to choose! In the important work of role playing adult activities and duties such as cooking foods, serving others, and engaging in the teamwork of taking care of daily chores, children take real joy in outfitting their play kitchens and serving special meals to their favorite bears and dolls…. as well as siblings and friends.
Repurpose and Make Your Own
Whether a child has realistic or imaginary styles of play dishes and pots and pans does not seem to matter as much as the fact that they are of high enough quality to endure lots of handling and have durability.
Play food is always fun, remember the Beatrix Potter story of “The Two Bad Mice”? When a pair of mice come to enjoy the dollhouse, the artificial food looked so real that one determined mouse was frustrated in trying to carve a particularly delectable entree.
Sometimes children like to take their play dishes outside, whether you think that is a good idea will determine the strength and toughness of the play set. A play kitchen helps to keep the play utensils inside where they aren’t as likely to be lost or broken. But you can set up an outdoor kitchen, all the same. Be creative!
The creativity of Moms and Dads in making wonderful play kitchens for their children is just amazing
On A Budget? Economical Choices – Wide Variety Of Style And Colors
When looking for lower costs, the materials are usually plastic. Colorful and fun for little cooks. These are all in one choices which will also save space.
DIY Child Play Kitchens
Re-purposing to build your own child’s play kitchens
Here are super cute ideas for repurposing or making your own d-i-y versions of play kitchens. There is no price tag on the amount of fun these play furnishings provide. Just a little scavenging around for materials, or even a small trip to the hardware, and even basic carpentry skill will give a great result.
There are lots of great tutorials online, but most of these ideas can be copied without too much experience. Even newbies can put together really cute play kitchens with just some paint and a few refurbishments.
I think the simple beige play sink above is one of my favorites and looks easy enough for someone as UN-handy as me could finish it in a day or so. I bet my husband could get ‘er done in a couple hours, including paint drying time. The simple lines are elegant, too, with just those easy to hold handles and a little shelf for important play foods or dishes.
Here’s How To Make A Beautiful, Welcome, Gift Basket
LOADS OF IDEAS
A gift basket really wows the recipient. You can purchase ready-made assortments, but if you put together a unique themed gift it might well be the best, most memorable gift, ever.
Find out how to put together a wonderful gift basket, choose one of the themes here, or let them spark your creative imagination to make a crafted, unique goodie basket like no one else’s.
There are professional wrapping instructions (in video to make it super easy to follow), and pro ideas on how to put together the contents.
You can save money and make sure that the gifts are all their favorites.
Impressive Gift Baskets That Show You Care
Gift baskets overflow with goodies that show you have taken time to introduce a little love and luxury for someone special. There are so many types of baskets put together for every taste and the possibilities are endless when you seek to put together your own. That means that a highly personal gift is possible, one that sets it apart to convey your special message.
One of the things that makes a basket of goodies so much fun is the variety of gifts included – the surprise element adds to the excitement, too. Little candies tucked in, smalls jars, things that create layers of discovery. As much fun for the giver as for the receiver is the way a gift basket can be expression of a theme. Tea lovers, coffee lovers, pet lovers, golf enthusiasts, artists, you name a persons taste or interest and you can put together a gift that they will cherish in their memory… long after the cookies were eaten or the golf balls were lost.
A favorite gift in my own memory was when my sister put together an Italian foodie “basket”. I still use the giant pasta bowl that all the ingredients for a great Italian meal came packaged in. A happy memory that has lasted for many, many long years now, with reminders during many family meals.
You can see why I am a fan of the gift basket as a way to give a special and meaningful gift.
Colavita Garden Delights Gift Basket
Garden delights of antipasto, sauce, pasta, fine olive oil, and more all wrapped up in a rustic red and white cloth in a rattan basket. Feast for the eyes and the palate.
Mama Mia! That’s A Delectable Gift of Goodies – Italian themed gourmet foods
Take your time
Consider the person you are shopping for, and find out what really is special to them. That is the secret of great gift giving, much more than the money spent. Do you have a journal or notepad where you can brainstorm the ingredients for a really great gift basket? Maybe use pinterest or a similar bookmark to gather ideas. It will be easy to put together the basket when the time comes.
Food Gifts with a Theme
International cuisine, chocolate, creative coffee gift baskets that you put together yourself
The twist for some lovely gift baskets can be their emphasis on low calories or health. Here is one example of a healthy basket of goodies.
…and one emphasizing snacks. You can make up your own combination of this type of basket very easily, too.
Consider putting together Chex mix, Ritz crackers, V8 juice, pretzels, popcorn, sunflower seeds, Cheerios, instant soup, bottled water. or brainstorm your own favorite combination of snacking goodies.
Gluten Free Gift Basket
Here’s a special idea that can really be a thoughtful consideration for those who are in need of special diets.
Go to your neighborhood Whole Foods Market, or anywhere there is a wide selection of gluten-free products. Put your gifts together with a tea towel and use a special basket.
Hungarian Gift Basket Ideas – Include these “Must-Haves”
Noodles and sweet Hungarian paprika are two necessities for a gift basket based on Hungarian cuisine. Consider some Hungarian design drink coasters from Zazzle, too. Tea towels with a Hungarian color or design are always welcome and line any basket with panache.
Children love the surprise and the abundance of a gift basket chock full of an assortment of gifts. Cute additions such as stuffed toys, individually packed candies, the type of small gizmos that are offered as stocking stuffers at Christmas time… all these make a gift basket that will be loved and remembered.
Don’t forget fun things like novelty drinking straws, or a set of plastic dishes for the occasion can be long lasting gifts, even if they play second fiddle to candy and cookies when the basket is first opened.
Even little musical instruments, like harmonicas or wooden flutes, can play a part in the basket of fun that you put together for a child’s birthday or holiday.
Just as with adult gifts, a child’s interests can form the theme of your gifts to include in a container that speaks volumes of how important they are to you. Ballet and baseball, collectors or comic book character fascination… anything that interests the child can be the start of a fun set of gifts to include in your basket.
When invited to someone’s home, the hospitality is appreciated by the guest and a supply of special treats is appreciated by the host. Favorite flavors of the season: pumpkin and spices for Thanksgiving.
…Put together a themed basket that someone will love
Seamstress and Craftperson
One of the most fun of all baskets to assemble has to be for the person who sews and crafts. There are so many beautiful and economical sewing baskets, cute sewing accessories, scrapbooking and crafting things that can create a truly memorable gift. Don’t overlook some that might come already created for you to give.
Golfers love their sport and golf balls and tees are always welcome, but what about golf themed figurines or Christmas ornaments? Golf hats, club covers, the list is long and the fun is finding all these nifty golf lovers accessories. You can even find golf ball chocolates!
Try golf ball chocolates to get a golf themed basket started.
Gardener Gifting – A tote bag for garden worthy gifts
Gardeners love seeds, a really good quality tool, garden books, journals, good garden gloves, gift certificates to their fav plant store, and oodles of other thoughtful additions. Don’t forget hand lotions or balms, and garden related jewelry. I think the one caveat is that there are cheap hand tools out there and I wouldn’t waste money on those. If you get tools, get less in number, but higher quality. Candles are beautiful and often come in garden themes to add just the right touch to a gardener’s gift basket.
Gourmet food and some extra tools tucked into the tote. People love this one for good reason. Having a tote for your tools is a real time and energy saver when working in the garden – a thoughtful gift long after the treats are gone.
Wrappin’ It All Up
Craft stores, like Michaels, have lots of gift basket wrapping supplies, from the cellophane wraps to tags and containers, not to mention the varied supply of baskets to choose from. How To Wrap
For a baby shower fill the bassinet basket with little goodies- like baby bath products and with a selection of “firsts”, first bank, picture frame and toy lamb.
Place assorted teabags, a journal, a special pen, and some wrapped candies inside a special antique looking box… the possibilities are unlimited and really start to flow once you begin using your imagination.
Using well known brand names, or high quality products that we don’t necessarily treat ourselves to everyday, is one sure way to create a welcome gift basket. Do you recognize the name of Godiva chocolates? It makes you feel pampered, and this is the idea behind a luxury brand. If not wishing to do an entire basket, just tuck in one or two items for an instant feel of indulgent celebration.
When you put together your own gift baskets, use a dressy look container. One thing I love to use is a re-usable box. They come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and patterns, available at a Tuesday’s Mornings store if one is in your area, but they aren’t difficult to find.
Watching the way a tea blossom opens inside an included glass teapot would make teatime a special treat. Putting it inside a lovely wooden box container means that the memory of your thoughtfulness lasts after the tea has been enjoyed.
The Home Baked Gift Basket
If you have time to bake, this could be the gift that gets all the raves.
Bucket of Brownies
This could be anyone’s favorite gift -just fill with homebaked brownies
Bake your own famous brownies, fancy cookies, best banana, date, and nut breads. Make mini-pies, or cheese straws and savory goodies… the list is really endless.
You can even include your own homemade candies, or cocoa mixes. Pack with a cute decorative kitchen towel, some yummy additions like candied nuts or whatever you make like no one else can.
Wrap it up festively and see how eagerly this one is opened.
Videos, along a theme: adventure, comedy, kids movies, cartoons. Anything!
Include popcorn and snacks.
How The Pros Package
Wrap Your Gift Basket – Instructions on making a professional look wrap
All the important tips to create the most beautiful gifts all wrapped up and ready to give with pride.
Be sure to have on hand:
Gift basket cello bags in 20x 24 size.
Cello wrap roll
Don’t Forget The Ribbon – Tying up the gift with a theme
Women love details, don’t they? Taking notice of a pretty ribbon or tags that echo the event remembered or the special theme of the gift adds to the uniqueness of the gift basket is part of the whole package.
Beautiful ribbons can be found in craft stores, online and at places like Sam’s Club.
Refreshing, Light Fragrance, Soft Colors Give Scented Candles A Summer Glow
I like different kinds of scents for different seasons, don’t you? In spring I am ready for something fresher and sweeter, in fall something that smells like baked desserts or spices, in winter the Christmas scents of fresh fir and balsam, baked apple or cinnamon, and in summer? Well the scents of summer candles are what this is all about.
Maybe you will love the scents that I think are just right for summer evenings.
Some favorite smelling candles will become perennial, but Candle companies change their formulations every season and year. Identify notes that you prefer and look for their inclusion in the newest fragrances that are being offered.
I have more than one company that I regularly buy candles from, but look for a number of them when out shopping: Woodwick, Yankee, Chesapeake, and will give others a try after a sniff test! Look for the ingredients as well… soy and beeswax are both premium quality and burn nicely.
Browse through some of the samplings here and pick up some summer decor ideas from the following examples.
Imagine Your Summer Retreat – With fresh scented candles and a tall, cool drink
A Summer retreat any time, any day.
That sounds heavenly to me.
They say summer is relaxing and time for vacations, but there is a lot of summer that is busy and demanding. That is when I want a place to regroup and unwind. If you have the same idea, here are elements of what makes such a retreat for me:
A comfortable chair that stays cool to the touch. It can be an Adirondack on the screened porch, or a leather chair inside, or just a cool cotton slipcover on just about any chair that feels comfy to sit in.
A small table to set the tall, cool drink on, and of course a tall glass of something refreshing with lots of ice. This year a fruit smoothie that my son makes will do nicely.
Two elements to complete the atmosphere of quiet and relaxation…
A book of choice: In the morning, a bible for a devotional start to the day. Later on, a garden book for when I like to think about pretty garden, but want to take a break from actually tending one. Light reading for whenever!
A scented candle: The ideal aroma for me would be the grapefruit scents or a soft, ocean-inspired scent as first choice, but I do like to vary home fragrance candles.
Can you picture such a space for yourself? Is it in a special garden shed retreat? Or perhaps on the patio, maybe a corner of your bedroom, but have you a place that is just yours?
How Does That Smell?
Descriptions of Summertime Fragrance:
Light, Clean, Pure.
Sweet, but not overwhelming or cloying.
Fruits and Dessert, but not heavy. Fresh.
Choices Just For The Summer Season
My Favorite Brands In Summer Fresh Scents
The sound of a crackling bonfire lighting up the summer night, that is what you envision when burning Woodwick candles. The highly fragranced candles give the room a pleasant aroma for a perfectly relaxed atmosphere.
I love these fresh scents, and for summer you want something light, yet pervasive. Excellent review of this one in the video.
Green Garden Ivy infused with the scent of ripe tomatoes, thick ivy, and hints of orange rind; there’s nothing more summery.
NEST Moss and Mint
A premium candle with superior wax, a 50 hour burn time, and fresh summer scent.
Moss and Mint scented candle by one of my favorite companies
Moss and Mint are Fresh
The aromas of garden mint, apple blossom and muguet des bois, with a touch of oakmoss and vetiver create a complex, delightful perfume that makes you think of garden parties, evening breezes, and romance.
Fragrant Candle Recommendations
Summer in Tuscany
It’s a feeling, not just a place.
Fruits, Sunny Yellow, combine to make this scented candle something that will be one of your summer fragrance favorites.
Fresh fruits like grapefruit, pomegranate, and berries, notes of wildflowers will transport you to one of the most romantic, delicious places possible: Tuscany.
Banana Split Candle
Sweet, fun, or fresh… candles come in not just the scents, but cute sculptural effects. I have to confess that I can’t bring myself to burn some of the candles I buy and keep them as decorative accents. The scented ones still give off some of their aroma, whether or not I burn them.
Even though the temperatures are registering high, the comfort of candlelight is no less welcoming. I like to take the summer candles out on the screened-in porch. If purchased in their own glass jars, there are many things, like large glass bowls or lanterns, that will keep the candle flames protected from breezy summer nights .
Keep the scents light, fruit, and fresh, or allow for sweeter aromas than you might be comfortable with in cooler seasons. Do go ahead and burn some candles during the summer months. It might even come in handy when those thunderstorms knock out electricity on occasion.
Decorate with the same concerns for safety that you would use in winter.
Flameproof containers and no flammable decorations too close to the candles
Keep them away from curtains and don’t burn candles when you are absent
Just common sense rules like that will keep your candle burning in a safe and happy way.
Campfire Treat is an open campfire with yummy marshmallows.
Nothing more pleasing to the nose than the June treat of Fresh Cut Roses, but this time in a perfumed candle by Yankee Candle Co. in their jar candle container. Boasting cotton wicks and safe for burning inside and outside.
Mom Gives The Best Candles
My kids say that because I like to get good smelling, high quality candles to give as gifts.
Brands help me choose well when foraging through discounters like ‘Tuesday Morning’ or online.
Up On The Boardwalk – Summertime Memories Caught In A Fragrance
Orange is one of those scents that take on a different personality with additions of spice. It always brings its citrus notes, but mixed with vanilla or other blends brings out its different sides, whether becoming more sensual, brighter and more playful, or with a sweet, cozy feeling. Adding spices is a way to make simple orange more exotic.
A pomander is an age-old way to bring sweet aromas into a room, but it is genius to make it into a candle.
Fresh orange scent is refreshing and sweet at the same time.
Do you have a favorite summer scent or favorite way to relax on a summer’s eve?
Spa still life
Create an Atmosphere
Soak up the peaceful feelings of a restful summer vacation with spa scents, candlelight, and some relaxing music. If you have a hammock or a screened in back porch, what could be better to enjoy an evening at home?
I don’t need more tools or things for my garden. I have accumulated the tools, the paraphernalia, and even the apparel of a gardener of many years.
Still, it seems there are little tweaks, or some joys of things garden related that make me think that I would indeed enjoy having that cute birdhouse, or a swing for the grandkids. It certainly isn’t a stretch to dream of some raised garden bench style planters to make a handy herb and lettuce bed not far from where we grill a summer meal.
I hope you enjoy looking at these collected ideas and my musings. They are all affiliate links, but no less inspiring for all that.
A Very Charming Birdhouse
I can’t help it, I absolutely love well designed bird houses. Whether they are rustic , Japanese style, or something much more Colonial and grand, I seem to have a real weakness for them.
And it can’t be chalked up to a love of birds, although I do love birds and almost a superstition about seeing them and having a blessing ( maybe I’ll explain about that later.
What I like about this particular birdhouse is its Old England look. It just looks like it belongs in a Cottage garden.
Every Garden Should Have a Rope Swing
A carry over from my childhood, I am sure. Yet, it was only in the past couple years that I saw a rope swing hanging from a tree in a front yard in Atlanta.
The neighborhood was established and sedate, and nothing could more appropriate than that swing, just waiting for the right time of the afternoon.
Simple, but sturdy, it brings back such memories and makes me think of lazy summer days.
Wouldn’t we be happier if we took a few moments to sit in a swing and dream?
This Is Practical
I bet I could talk myself into the idea that this is a necessity.
I’ve been wanting this type of raised bench planter ever since I saw some my Uncle had at his home in Maryland. I love the deep curved bottom of this one, and it sure would save my back some bending over.
I can imagine it right outside the back deck, filled with succulent lettuces, clumps of parsley and some leafy basil plants. While the tomatoes are pretty, I doubt if I would keep mine quite so well behaved… so maybe peas on the trellis instead?
You know Mother’s Day is not that far away, and I believe this could be the start of a little hint dropping.
I’ve gotten pretty good at feeling that I have most everything I need or want. And most of the time I do, I am very blessed in that sense. But sometimes I look through items that I don’t need, but they have some intrinsic quality or could bring some beauty into my life, and that causes me to long a little. Or at least mentally put them on a wish list.
I was looking through a catalog of Rodale products, and they appeal to all my sensibilities: natural materials, beautiful design, unusual and original looking.
I thought I would have some post here or there that compile some in related themes. I know I have Pinterest board, but this is a little more refined and thought out. I tend to pin less mindfully than I ought to- just so I don’t lose some idea or pretty picture. This is more for me to consider, and for you to see what I really, really like.
Yes, I am an affiliate- that needs to be said at the outset. Now let’s enjoy some pretty things…
I am a sucker for real leaf earrings. When in Colorado I went to a Souvenir shop in Georgetown and bought some silver plated Aspen leaves. I love them! And I love these Eucalyptus leaves for the same reason. They remind me of Northern California.
Love The Clogs
Slip-ons that are so cute. This is my ideal house slipper. This is the last one, so I just want you to see them, they aren’t in my size and will be gone soon. They are Geisswein boiled wool, which is available on Amazon if you don’t mind a different type. I have them on my list for this year, but I do love that little fox.
I would love this for this year. I don’t have any tunics this long and would like something with leggings. Not sure if it is still in style, but it would be comfortable and I would like the way it would look on me.
Keeping this short, to three items. I will create one for either beauty products or garden lusts another time.
International Children’s Book Day is always celebrated on April 2nd. Why April 2nd? Because that is Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday! And what better day to choose for celebrating children’s books than the birthday of the beloved collector of fairy tales, which so many of us read as children?
There are more days set aside for reading and books, including Library Week and numerous Book weeks, but this celebration is just for children’s books.
What a wonderful way to revisit old favorites and discover new books for children:
A day to inspire a love of reading.
What makes a book a classic
Why parents should read to their kids
Lists of great books according to age groups
Short reviews of recommended books for children, with convenient affiliate Amazon links.
Classic Children’s Books
Don’t miss these beloved books
Before I had my own children there were many books that I loved as a child: Dr. Seuss Stories,The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist, Nancy Drew Mysteries. But after having children I found myself reading many I had somehow missed.
When looking for quality books for my children I discovered Good Night Moon, Ping, Lyle the Crocodile, Amelia Bedelia, Anne of Green Gables, The Laura Wilder stories, The Boxcar Children, The Girl of Limberlost, and so many more classics. I hope as you journey through this page you will find your own favorites to share with your children.
What Makes A Classic?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Meg, Jo, Beth and… Poster at Allposters.com
Why a book should be on a must-read list for children? What makes it a classic? This involves a certain recipe of factors, not unlike those for “big people”, the same basic ingredients are baked into memorable children’s books.
Great characters. Just like any great book, it starts with characters that reflect the inner life that humans experience in some way, a complete picture of personality with hopes, dreams, fears, and quirks. We ought to be able to identify them, even if not identifying with them.
There should be action, plot, and purpose. Even if the purpose is just a time to enjoy silliness, a great book has momentum that holds our interest.
Pictures. For some children’s books the secret ingredient is the illustration.
Ability to capture the imagination and affections. The best books capture our imagination and make us love the characters and the stories. Inspiration to dream and do, to believe we understand better than before we were immerse in the pages.
Longevity. Something that lasts from generation to generation. Some messages, characters or events carry through many generations. They touch our humanity. Classic literature does this very well.
Great Children’s Books Should Be Accessible
You can go to the library, and you should, but nothing replaces the home bookshelf of well loved favorites. They are ready for reading anytime 🙂
A reading nook, a shelf of beloved books, encourages parents to read to their children. It places reading in a place of importance, and makes the books themselves accessible to kids.
Why Read With Your Children
Experts Give Their Advice On The Subject
According to experts, if you read to your children regularly it will help develop their own love of reading, help them master language skills and learn to think logically. They will experience reading as something fun! It will also foster their relationship with you and encourages communication skills.
Reading together builds an academic foundation with basic speech skills and basic knowledge in how to read a book. Children are likely to do better in school, later on.
The Children’s Reading Foundation recommends 20 minutes a day
Reading to children fosters the habit of reading, it will encourage a lifelong love of reading books and helps to build a superior vocabulary. It can take only minutes a day, but what important minutes those can prove to be. Reading Is Fundamental website
Not on many lists today, but it is ideal reading for celebration of an International Children’s Book day. Filled with Dutch cultural information and a heartwarming story. ‘The Silver Skates’ is one of those great books that has fallen from the reading lists of many. That should not be. It is a story that has important lessons, as many of the old classics do, creates a time and place which weaves understanding into the fabric of today’s world. Many of the earlier works of children’s literature attempted to give children a window into other cultures, along with universal character traits that make up the best of our humanity.
That is why they still make worthwhile reading today.
A Good Book
Makes the Best Gift
Are you familiar with some of the old favorites like “Wind In The Willows”? An English tale set on the banks of a river in England, all the characters derive from animals one might find along the Thames.
With much of the charm found in “Winnie The Pooh” or the Beatrix Potter stories, but for a child a few years older, this is one of the books I discovered in the quest of building my own children’s exploration of good literature.
Wind In The Willows is perhaps better known to the children of England, but it is a classic tale of camaraderie and quirky personalities that children on this side of the pond have come to love.
Delightful, wonderful characters who lead a long line of adventures on the river. You will love the wild, oddly lovable, Mr. Toad …and Rat, Mole, Badger… the entire gang.
GO AHEAD AND BUY A SET
You can’t go wrong to start your home library with series sets of books for your children. When an author, and their illustrators, get the formula right expect clamor for continuing the series.
This extends the pleasure of reading about favorite characters, or delving into new adventures. So look for a series of books by an author and work your way through them, savoring the details. This makes these books ideal for birthday and Christmas giving, stretching the discovery of fine writing year after year.
Look For These Authors, And Their Collections
Five beloved Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss includes ‘The Cat in the Hat’, ‘One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish’, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’. Children love these rhyming texts, silly stories, and humorous drawings.
There is a reason Dr. Seuss has been beloved for generations of young readers and listeners. Made for reading aloud and for beginning readers.
Peter Rabbit, Et Al
Beatrix Potter animal characters and the engaging stories are illustrated with beautiful and memorable watercolor pictures. Just recently a son of mine mentioned how he had remembered some of the plots and scenes well into adulthood.
I, personally, have always considered these books to be top notch reading entertainment for children.
Books that appeal to the very young have lots of illustration, but they are also books that comfort or entertain them.
Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon are both books with beautiful illustrations which follow the way a child thinks to provide a comforting end to the day. They make great night time reading.
‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ is so well loved it has spawned an entire set of similar books, but the original is always my favorite. As a parent, and now a grandparent I never tire of reading it. Droll illustrations and the cutest story line of slippery slope events makes this a book you and your children will have fun reading together.
Cat In The Hat and Corduroy are two books that have stood the test of time. I remember them in my own library as a child and reread them often to my children when they were small. That makes them classic, doesn’t it? I’d say so, when joined by millions of readers spanning several generations who also love these books!
This collection of fine books were some our family enjoyed over and over again. Winnie the Pooh is loved for the tender and humorous stories and characters, and I prefer the original drawings over the Disney renditions. I own the hardback collection of stories and carefully brought it out for reading together, while another copy of stories was for the rough and tumble handling of everyday.
Harry the Dirty Dog is a darling book that isn’t so well known nowadays, but well worth the purchase. You and your children will love Harry.
Arnold Lobel is one of those authors who “gets it” that children deal with real emotions and understands how important friendship is. Frog and Toad are two of his most delightful characters, who draw you into their circle while they tackle situations together, from fears and scary things to a day of being down in the dumps.
Book 1-12 in a cute case makes a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift for a young reader.
How cute! A boxcar bookcase with twelve of the Boxcar Children mysteries. Room for 32 such books, The Boxcar Children have adventures that early readers are eager to follow through a series of mysteries. There are educational materials created for these books=great for Homeschoolers.
Get Your Boys To Read Books: Encyclopedia Brown to the Rescue!
Girls and boys love these books! Because there is an age when they can’t get enough of these mystery style stories, this is a great choice for ages 8-10. Books that center on ideals of equality and justice, with a dash of ingenuity and fun.
Boys will find themselves identifying with the main character and seem to especially enjoy the Encyclopedia Brown Mystery books. These are early reading books, so you may read to them or find they pick them up on their own.
My girls and I loved these enchanting stories full of imagination and life! Anne is spirited and always getting into scrapes, but she manages to win her way into the hearts of those around her…including us.
The characters, particularly of Anne, make for a cult following. Fans take treks to her house in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island to see the real farm and home that inspired the beloved stories. That is the power of good writing!
This book centers around the life of Prince Edward Island in Canada, and manages to take readers back in time while still holding onto the struggles and joys that real teens still encounter. No wonder generations of girls have come to love Anne.
Complete boxed set of L.M. Montgomery’s books- don’t miss this! Young girls are entranced by such stories as ‘Rainbow Valley’, and all of the Anne of Green Gables stories.
Two More Collections Loved By Fans
Movies, TV shows, and lots of related showcases for the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder and C. S. Lewis tells the story of how attached the readers become to these examples of excellent children’s literature.
The characters and plots draw the reader into history, fantasy, and clashes of good and evil. All the makings of what makes a book draw readers for generations.
The Secret Garden
There is something transcendent about the lives of the two unhappy children who find friendship, inner confidence, and the beauty of life in the romantic surroundings of a big Victorian mansion and its secret garden that still speaks to children today. I think that transcendent feature lies within the healing power of nature … no matter what our age or circumstance.
Yes, there are movies, and inexpensive cut-down versions of the book, but this is a book that is best in its original form, with real pages to turn and with enough time given to allow the words to create the spark in the imagination that all great books seem able to do.
Every bookshelf should hold this story of how a long neglected garden opens up the lives of three children with different challenges and stations in life, bringing a love of nature to them and by way of their experience, to us.
An evocative book you will enjoy reading and discussing with your child, which will build a love for gardens and a new appreciation of the wonder of plants. Many gardeners cite this book as being instrumental in their childhood fascination with gardening.
Danish author Hans Christian Andersen understood the fun and fascination of the fairy tales told to children. He is famous for his collection of folk tales that we have been familiar with, as children, for generations.
Another beloved book by this author is ‘The Little Princess’. Young girls enjoy the tale of trials and triumph of Sara Crewe. A Cinderella story set in Victorian times, Frances Hodgson Burnett writes with delightful grasp of what makes a story grab our heartstrings.
We wore through our set of Little House books. A wonderful way to develop a fascination with American history and a love of reading. Laura Ingalls Wilder created books filled with warmth and feeling.
The complete Chronicles of Narnia in one finely illustrated, hardcover book. Every child should have the chance to enter Narnia and make friends with all the wonderful characters of these C. S. Lewis books.
The triumph of family love and justice as children struggle with the unjust imprisonment of their father, but his final vindication, has been a well loved classic book
Many of the classic books for children are translated into different languages- making them truly internationally celebrated!
Celebrate A Day For Children’s Books
This day is a perfect opportunity to discover high quality reading books which have stood the test of time. Books that build character, that widen horizons, and engage a child’s imagination. Embark on an adventure of discovery that can result in a full year of reading fun.
Make reading a celebration and help encourage the development of the habit of sitting down with a book.
A special day for emphasizing reading can help offset the modern tendency to ignore book reading in favor of the clamor of electronic entertainment.
This Observation Celebrated
Things To Do – – to observe the day
Why, read a child’s book of course!
Go to the Library with your child
Make a gift of a book to your child today
Make a “children’s hour” to read your child’s favorite books to them.
Don’t have a child? Adopt one for the day and give them a book
More Reading Adventures
There are so many great classic children’s books. Fantasy Worlds
Besides Narnia and The Hobbit, there is the world of “The Borrowers”, the tiny people who you just know live in your house and account for the little items that always go missing!
Ozma of Oz is less well known than The Wizard of Oz, but it was my favorite of all the L. Frank Baum series. In a Kindle edition with the classic illustrations of John R. Neill. Who does not love the idea of a new head and personality to match whenever one feels like it?
Where the Red Fern Grows takes place in the Ozarks, and follows the story of a boy and his beloved dogs. The bond between man and dog, the reality of life and loss, are eloquently dealt with in this fine story.
Don’t Miss These Great Children’s Books
Some of the Best Book Choices to Fascinate Older Children
The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with play on words and fun characters for concepts that intrigue an older child (age 9-12).
For intermediate readers, this is a witty and fun book to read. It hones a child’s sense of humor and the ability to see things from more than one perspective. Word play abounds, which incites a reader to develop a love of language.
A Wrinkle in Time is mystery, love, and time-travel all rolled into one! What is not to love about this adventure of Meg and her brother in finding their scientist father, who has somehow disappeared? And meet Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which….
Eventually you will want the entire set of Tolkien’s classics. Exciting adventure fantasy books. Loving the movies is no excuse to skip the books! This is a case of there being so much more inside the literature than could possibly be included within a movie. But even so, the film versions of the stories create an interest to know more and continue the discovery of the creatures, world, and exciting plots of Tolkien.
This is one of my own top favorites, it embodies the noble characters and the villains of early times with a historical background illuminating the complex conflicts of Indian tribes, The English, and the French.
More Than One Day To Celebrate Reading
…because it is so important
There are many special times set a apart during the year, the world over, to encourage reading and a love of books.
A few others, besides the International Children’s Book Day:
World Book Day
Many different “Book Weeks”, includingAustralia’s
National Read A Book Day
Wyeth: Treasure Island
Discover What’s New In Children’s Literature
Fine books are being written all the time
We all love the classics, but every day new books are being written and published and they might well be a classic some day. Discover exciting new additions to children’s literature.
Amazon has a list, “New Books for Children”, that is categorized for discovery of what’s new and what’s great.
Because there are so many books which appeal to a wide range of ages, it is not possible to cover all of them in even a book, although there are guides that I found very helpful, especially Honey for a Child’s Heart.
Book Guide to All The Best Books – A huge help for parents who care about their children’s reading habits
Reading the right books, which capture a child’s imagination and inspire their hearts and minds, begins a lifetime of reading adventure.
“Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever” will inspire and guide you to include reading time with your child.
Early in my homeschool endeavor I was looking for great books to give my children and use in their reading program. This guide was priceless! It categorizes books by their appeal to specific age groups and reading ability.
An entire book dedicated to revealing the great Children’s books to purchase and read with your children, all the way through the high school years when they may be guided to pick up and read the greatest and most wholesome books. You, as I did, may find yourself engrossed in books that you missed as a child from the extensive lists of quality children’s books.
Make a Reading Nook – Create a special space just for reading
Take notes from your favorite bookstore memories, and get a cozy big chair (big enough for two, you and your child) a small bookshelf or two, and a reading lamp. It can be in your child’s room, in a corner of the living room, or anywhere that a quiet space is reserved for those 20 minutes of reading time together.
HOW TO MAKE A READING NOOK
How To Create A Cozy Reading Nook
A small table and chairs,
a large comfy chair for reading together,
a good lamp for reading by,
and a small bookcase are all ideal (as mentioned above),
but what about a comfy window seat?
IKEA has inexpensive modules that connect to create a low seat and nearby bookcases, snap-on reading lamps and cushions for comfort.
A place free from the distractions of TV and video game is probably best, and you might be surprised to rediscover life outside of electronics.
Even an area on an outside, screened-in, or all season porch may be the place you and your children most like to spend reading time for many months of the year.
Who hasn’t heard of Peter Rabbit? For those who love the many faces of the charming animals who people her stories, Beatrix Potter left a legacy of her stories and their illustrations for generations.
The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends
Familiar with the adventures of Peter Rabbit? Does chamomile tea conjure up memories of this story of a bad little rabbit who ate rather too many lettuces and fell in with Mr. McGregor and his cat? Then possibly you have as much love for these tales as I.
Would you like to know more about some of the protagonists of Beatrix Potter’s endearing writings?
Having a great love for these little books of the nursery set, it seemed that sharing the beloved, charming characters of the Beatrix Potter books would be an enjoyable endeavor. Come along to visit the denizens of the English countryside, and the visitors to the Victorian dollhouses, as well as those who might be found in gardens or behind the wainscoting! Their cute little clothes and daring adventures still entrance us, as we read their stories to yet another generation of enthralled children.
I will tell you a secret: I would love one of these to put on a shelf because I have never really outgrown stuffed animals or Miss Potter’s stories.
Miss Potter’s Pet Character
For Beatrix Potter, personally, this was her favorite of all her many story books. Inspired by the story she had heard of a poor tailor, John Pritchard, Potter sketched the actual shop of local lore. The finished story, illustrated with watercolors, was given to Freda Moore, daughter of her former governess and companion Annie Moore.
Interestingly the legend of the local tailor happened during Potter’s lifetime, but for the story she set the time and costuming in the 18th-century. This story was published in 1903.
For us, once we began collecting the Beatrix Potter tales we wanted the entire set. Each illustration is so charming and the tales are full of surprising insights and humor.
Twenty three of your favorite little books of Beatrix Potter tales in a keepsake box.
Under The Gate and Into MacGregor’s Garden
Lovable, Memorable Characters Prove Popular – They have been collectible in many forms
I like reading books to my children that I enjoy, too. There are so many great classics that we don’t need to be bored!
Many modern children’s books bore me. I don’t see any reason to waste time with those when there are so many fantastic choices. Of those, Beatrice Potter’s rate highly with their witty writing, detailed and artistic illustrations and flights of fancy into a world where animals are very like you and I.
We started out with the ‘Peter Rabbit’ storybook, just like many, do. The stories don’t patronize children, and the illustrations that Miss Potter created continue to charm today’s crop of children. There are insights, just enough misbehavior for the story plots to move along and bring in the humor.
These stories proved to be some of the best loved bedtime stories in our house.
It wasn’t long before other stories, and then whole collections of her character’s adventures peopled our bedtime story hour.
Renee Zellweger does a great job in a lovely film. I liked the inclusion of the quirky illustrated characters she interacts with. I imagine that the very Victorian Miss Potter did the same.
The Life Of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter had no children of her own, having married late in life, but she sent letters to the young children of a former governess with the engaging characters of her stories and drawings that became the beloved books read for night times, naps and during reading hour. Generations of children have loved the stories for their inclusion of real risks,dangers, and admonitions,as well as the amusing responses they might well identify with.
A VICTORIAN DAUGHTER
Beatrix Potter was born July 28, 1866 as Helen Beatrix Potter into a privileged British family. Her parents were well to do Middle class merchants, and her father was a barrister. She and her younger brother were educated privately with governesses, and they managed to collect quite a menagerie of small animals, from which her drawings and observations later lead to the realistic creations of her stories.
Like many wealthy British families of Victorian times, Beatrix Potter’s vacationed in Scotland, where she and her brother freely roamed the countryside. This was in contrast to the very restricted home life revolving around her parents and her mother’s demands.
Always drawing, Beatrix Potter developed her art and became expert in drawing fungi, she also sold a few of her imaginative drawings, and was convinced to submit her children’s drawings and stories to a publisher. A ladies companion and former governess who remained in her friendship was Annie Carter Moore, to whose children Beatrix had sent some of her letters with the characters and their escapades. It was Annie who convinced her to publish her children’s stories.
Potter did not receive immediate success in her endeavors, either as a mycologist or as an author, but she had determination and grit, which continued to inspire her to submit her work until she received a certain measure of success. Her drawings of imaginary animal creatures and her amusing stories caught on and she began to find a return of success and income for her efforts.
LOVE COMES LATE
Beatrix Potter was not to so easily find happiness in her personal life. She and her publisher had fallen in love, but her socially upwardly mobile parents, especially her mother, sought a better match matrimonially; one which would leave their middle class beginnings behind. Though Beatrix held her ground, and was informally engaged, her beloved Norman Warne died of leukemia only one month after they had begun their unofficial engagement.
Potter became increasingly successful and independent, publishing many books and merchandising them cannily. She later in life would meet her husband, William Heelis who was her solicitor (lawyer), and passionately involve herself in sheep farming with the focused determination she used in all her endeavors in life.
THE COUNTRY LIFE
She continued to write, to create art for her own pleasure, and keep quite busy with her country life of farming and becoming a respected leader in her community.
The Best Known Characters: Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Among other beloved animal personalities
Probably the best known, and maybe best loved of all Potter’s storybook characters.Many toys, books, and children’s items celebrate Peter.
Peter’s relative and sidekick in getting into scrapes and eating too many onions.
PETER’S MOTHER AND FLOPSY, MOPSY, AND COTTON-TAIL
Peter isn’t alone in the hearts of those who have read the stories, who can forget his caring and practical mother and well behaved sisters?
From a picture letter that Beatrix Potter sent Norah Moore, comes the lovable and impertinent squirrel who tangles with the quite serious Owl, Old Brown. Before getting the full story ready for printing, (which combined an earlier story letter about squirrels with this one), much time was given to drawing squirrels including her pet squirrel kept in a large birdcage.
Mrs Tiggy-Winkle – A terribly tidy hedgehog
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was based on real characters: both the persona of a real washerwoman, and Beatrix’ own pet hedgehog.
Of her washerwoman, Katie MacDonald, Potter writes,
“Kitty MacDonald, our old washerwoman … Kitty is eighty-three but waken, and delightfully merry … She is a comical, round little woman, as brown as a berry and wears a multitude of petticoats and a white mutch. Her memory goes back for seventy years, and I really believe she is prepared to enumerate the articles of her first wash in the year ’71”
A mutch is “The close linen or muslin cap of an old woman.”
On of the funniest and leaving an impression for her caricature of a washerwoman who rather disconcertingly turns into a normal hedgehog and runs away. A wonderful mix of the real and the fantasy in this story. It has an Alice in Wonderland quality to it.
by Beatrix Potter (1866—1943) – Internet Archive scan of The Tale of Two Bad Mice, image taken from this PDF version
Making Away With Lucinda’s Pillow
Internet Archive scan of The Tale of Two Bad Mice, image taken from this PDF version, the relevant text for this illustration is “With Tom Thumbs’s assistance she carried
A Bad Mouse
She was one of a pair of mice who moved into a doll’s house one day. They prove a bit destructive, and the tale is, thus, of “Two Bad Mice“. Dressed up in skirts and apron, this delightful mouse and her story originated in a real life encounter with mice who had been trapped within a cousin’s home.
Inspired by her publisher’s Christmas gift of a doll’s house for his niece, this popular story was born as she wrote about the two rescued mice over the winter of 1903.
The development of the illustrations were from drawings of actual objects, Warne’s constructed doll house (from photographs), his niece’s policeman doll, and two dolls that Warne made a gift of to Beatrix.
Tale of Mr. Tod, Tommy Brock
Tale of Mr. Tod, Tommy Brock
Jeremy Fisher – A Gentleman Frog
The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher was originally written as a letter to a child in 1893 while Potter was summering on the River Tay. “I should like to do Mr. Jeremy Fisher … I think I can make something of him”
Biographer Linda Lear writes that Miss Potter “wanted to do a frog story for some time, because it was amusing and offered the opportunity for the naturalist illustrations she delighted in “
From her bright mind and observing eye came the charming illustrations for her books, and Beatrix Potter created numerous characters that impress with their lack of pretentious Victorian manner and detailed with her astute eye and somewhat irreverent humor.
From the sweet rabbit sisters to the more sinister Mr. Tod, the characters all have the talented hand of Beatrix Potter unfailingly giving them life and personality. They make wonderful decor for children’s rooms and baby nurseries (but I doubt we ever really outgrow them).
The watercolor palette, endearing drawings, and beloved stories make Potter’s animals ideal for decorating a baby nursery. There are so many items emblazoned with Peter and all his friends.
It is easy to find gifts for birthdays or Christmas, combining books and stuffed animals, and so many other types of things. Figurines, even cupcake stands, or a salt and pepper set! No matter what our age, if we love her characters we can find gifts to treasure.
What Item To Decorate?
That is the only question!
Beatrix Potter illustrations are darling on all sorts of products, from T-shirts to plates and children’s banks and fabrics.
Stamps and many other products have Potter’s illustrations and characters created at Zazzle.
Desire baby clothes and nursery decor? Target has offered a complete line in the delicate colors, with beloved protagonists of the tales. I saw them there, and thought the set was a darling way to do up a baby’s room.
But don’t forget the books! As sweet as the watercolors are, it is the memory of the funny little stories that give this childhood set of nursery friends their long lived popularity
The Lake District – Hilltop Farm
Her Home At Hill Top
Hill Top was purchased by Beatrix Potter in 1905 with royalties from her first few books.
Scenes and details of her books were inspired by the family’s visits to the Lake District. She visited her new home as often as she could, but never for more than a few days at a time due to her busy life, nevertheless she produced sketches of the house, garden, countryside and animals for her books.