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.
Traditional American Holidays Through Grandma Moses Eyes
One of the things that endeared Grandma Moses, as Anna Mary Robertson Moses was known, was her ebullient painting of tasks and times that were important to the hearts of Americans. She masterfully brushed her naïve paintings in an almost childlike way, but filled with pictured memories of the many years of a lifetime of living. She painted scenes that in her time were no longer a part of the daily existence of most Americans,but that harked back to their distant memories of their own “Grandmas”. The simple, but hardworking lives of the former generations were evoked in that dreamy and softened way that the years between so generously gave them. In return, modern day people were reassured of the soundness of their roots and the cultural DNA they came from.
Grandma Moses is an artist ideally suited to accompany us as we travel through some of our favorite celebrations of the year, and celebrate her art, at the same time.
‘Good Fun’ – By Grandma Moses
‘Good Fun’ , painted in 1957,is one of her famous winter scenes with colorfully bundled group riding a horse pulled sledge full of cut evergreens for Christmas.
She was probably most famous for her winter fun paintings. Whether it was Thanksgiving “catching turkeys” or sledding down snow covered hills, there were many opportunities to use the backdrop of winter for illustrating some of the many ways country folk made use of their time while waiting for spring planting to arrive.
Winter was brightened by the holidays of Thanksgiving and christmas, and capped off with the festivities of Maple Sugar time.
Rural Simplicity in Autumn – sometimes a season is the celebration
Sometimes holidays aren’t official, and in America, especially, we love to celebrate important local events. Maybe that is passed down from our forebears. The community times of quilting bees and barn raisings were all looked forward to and took place in their own seasonal times of year. Grandma Moses helped record the celebrations of holidays from the self sufficient tasks of the farming culture she was a part of, and recorded how many Americans took advantage of times to get together and have fun while they worked.
Times Of Fellowship And Community
Grandma Moses painted the special holiday times we all take part in within our collective calendar throughout the year. Included were those event special to early Americans: the quilting bees, sugaring off, and making apple butter.
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT GRANDMA MOSES
“As a hard-working, elderly widow who advocated traditional American values like industry and self-sufficiency, and whose appearance and mannerisms bespoke of a bygone era, Moses perfectly embodied an idealized representation of the archetypal “benign great grandmother,” -J.E. Barnes
A fascinating look into the paintings of Grandma Moses.
The Origins of Halloween
Originally, this was a Church holiday:
” … In the eighth century Pope Gregory II moved the church festival of All Saints to November 1. The move in part offered a substitute for the popular pagan celebration of the Celtic New Year, which honored both the Sun god and Samhain, Lord of the Dead. The Celts believed at the New Year the dead came back to mingle among the living. As the ghosts thronged about the houses of the living, they were greeted with tables loaded with food. After feasting, masked and costumed villagers, representing the souls of the dead, paraded to the outskirts of the town leading the ghosts away. Horses, sacred to the Sun god, were often sacrificed, and there are some records of human sacrifice during the festival.
… Even into the eleventh century, many pagan beliefs were accepted by Christians-beliefs such as the fear of Fate, the use of medicinal herbs with incantations, sacrifices at springs and crossroads to the spirits of the place
… .In the tenth century, Abbot Odilo of Cluny began celebrating the November 2nd following “All Saints’ Day” as “All Souls’ Day” to honor not just the martyrs, but all Christians who had died. People prayed for the dead, and many other superstitions continued. Food was offered to the dead, and it was often believed that on these two festivals souls in purgatory would take the form of witches, toads or demons and haunt people who wronged them during their lifetimes.” – Christian History Institute article,2007
The American Interpretation
“In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.
At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. ”
That is largely the way it is celebrated now, perhaps with less of the sense of fun, and more morbidly centered on the darker and more frightening side of the holiday.
In this scene, Grandma Moses shows the night alive with activity. The trick or treaters dressed up in sheets and the jack o’lanterns, along with the traditional holiday colors of orange and black recall Halloween for the painter and the viewer.
What is Halloween? In America, it is the time to dress up in costumes and on “Beggar’s Night” parade through the neighborhood, visiting houses on the block for free goodies, especially favorite candies and candy bars. Many people hold parties on Halloween, and decorate their homes and businesses with appropriately scary decorations.
Pumpkins play a big part in decorating and celebrating Halloween. Carving out faces and making the pumpkin into a lantern is a favorite activity. Anything “spooky” becomes part of the event.
A book that focuses on a year in Grandma Moses’ world, to delight anyone with scenes from all seasons. Great way to encourage your own budding artists.
Grandma Moses Quote
“I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people. “
Over The River…and Through the Woods – to Grandmother’s House We Go!
Over the River To Grandma’s
‘Over The River To Grandma’
The song that means “Thanksgiving holiday” to many is recalled by this painting in its title.My own grandmother remembered the bells on the horses as they drew a sleigh through the snow, and this is the picture that is conjured up for us. Not just the sleighs, but frozen creeks and the fun that was a part of what could be very hard winters burried deep in snow.
Catching your own turkey for the Thanksgiving feast is a truly an event of the past for the vast majority of us, but the traditional feast of roast turkey with all the trimming is essentially intact.
In Grandma Moses time, as in today’s holiday, Thanksgiving was a time for families of America to meet together while remembering the Puritans, the debt to the Indians, and generally give thanks to God for the bounty of the harvest that year. It is a time to reflect on one’s many blessings while getting as stuffed as the centerpiece of the meal, the Roast Turkey.
Another scene of “Catching the Turkey”
Thanksgiving – Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey
Catching the Turkey
Because “Catching The Turkey” was one of her favorite themes, there are a number of variations on it. It is obvious that snowy scenes were one of those that she liked, there are so many of them. I love the wide range of seasons, and have a hard time choosing between them.
LET ME HELP
Let Me Help!
Christmas Eve – and tales of sugar plums…
This artwork of Grandma Moses is not so well known as the others. It portrays the fantasy of Santa Claus, his sleigh, and reindeer flying up into the sky.
A favorite tale of many during the Christmas Eve rituals of leaving cookies for Santa, perhaps reading the “T’was the night before Christmas” poem… and awaiting the big event, Christmas!
Part of the fun is the puzzle and part is the pretty picture at the end. This has both pieces of the fun.
I love the details and the large amounts of color that gives just enough challenge for a Christmas Eve session of putting together the puzzle.
Christmas and Christmas Eve – Waiting for Christmas
Waiting for Christmas
Waiting for Christmas
Surely one of the most beloved of holidays, Christmas in America has followed quite a journey to come to the present form. From the earliest Puritans who did not observe it at all, to the exuberant Victorians who created many of the traditions we now know as an integral part of Christmas, for many Christmas is filled with cut evergreens, shiny lights and decorations, sweets galore and festive social events.
For me, one of those people who loves Christmas, there is far too much to say on the topic for this tribute to Grandma Moses, but you might wish to look at Christmas pages about traditional ways to celebrate. I like the Advent devotional times that create an atmosphere of reverence for the holy event that this holiday celebrates.
In a nutshell, it is the holiday in which we celebrate the nativity of Jesus, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, as they say. It included the type of family closeness and joy that Grandma painted into her depictions of this holiday.
Notice the expressions on the children’s faces as they await Christmas morning- the dreams of sugar plums are delayed in the excitement which puts off sleep to the very last possible moment.
Christmas celebration caps the year with family gathering together to open presents, enjoy the decorations and engage in a holiday feast.
No matter which American holiday is your favorite, it seems that Grandma Moses painted a dear, old fashioned memory to match it.
I hope you enjoyed this sampling of her charming work which helped open the way for many other folk paintings to be appreciated.
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.
Why do I love February? Is it the cheery Valentines or the fact that winter is almost over? It certainly isn’t the slushy snow and cold rain that often mark this month in the north of the USA. But one thing that you can always count on is the proliferation of plenty of cherry pies in this month. And there is something wonderfully delightful about this red fruit pie that is sweet to the taste, the nose and the eye! No wonder a day is set aside to celebrate the delicious cherry pie.
Always observed on on February 20th, you can have a special celebration of this tasty pie at your house. But why is cherry pie day celebrated in February?
Step By Step Instructions To Bake Your Own
Cherry Pie Recipes to Try
Delectable Lattice Pie Filled with Tart Cherry Filling
Show off your cherry pies
A cherry red pie plate is up to the task!
Any pie would look lovely served in this pie plate, but can you picture a lattice topped, tart cherry pie filling peeking through deliciously? Display it directly on the table, or let it stand out when serving desserts.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can.
In a saucepan, stir the cherry juice into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries and almond extract.
Pour filling into pastry lined pie pan.
Dot with butter or margarine.
Adjust crust, seal and vent. Bake for about 40 minutes. If necessary, cover edges with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.
Recipe for the Pie Crust
Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball. Do not overmix.
Divide dough into two balls.
Using a well-floured surface and rolling pin, roll each pastry ball from the center to the edges with long, even strokes.
Roll each pastry into a circle large enough to fit in a 9-inch pie plate.
Recipe on Queen of Tarts, http://blog.oregonfruit.com/how-to-videos/cherry-pie-how-to-video/
Your Baking Style
KitchenAid Double Oven For All Your Baking
Bake to your hearts delight in a dream kitchen oven. I have used both great ovens and had the unfortunate experience of poor ones. a well equipped kitchen helps make baking for special events a joy and success. I’m not just saying that.
I always wanted double ovens because at Thanksgiving and Christmas there is never enough space for the entrees and pies.
You need an oven to bake your pies, and this one is one of the best moderately priced for the home cook.
Great cooks use reliable appliances. If you are remodeling your kitchen or looking for an additional or replacement oven, consider the great quality of a KitchenAid.
Which is best for cherry pies? Sweet or tart?
I’m sure there are those who have their preference for sweet cherries, but the tang of a tart cherry just seems made for addition to the tender crust and sweetened juices of a fruit pie. There seems to be good reason why sour cherries are also called “pie cherries”.
And while almond flavoring and vanilla extract are often called for to additionally flavor the pie filling, I like a pinch of mace. Try it! Mace is the outer part of the nutmeg and has a somewhat more subtle , but delicious flavor that it adds. Mace particularly complements cherry flavors.
Cherry Slab Pie – Delicious Recipe For A Crowd
This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen who got it from Martha Stewart. I don’t know who Martha Stewart got it from. The variation of making a slab pie is ideal for serving a large group- like at a potluck, etc.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can.
In a saucepan, stir the cherry juice into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries and almond extract.
Pour filling into pastry lined pie pan.
Dot with butter or margarine.
Adjust crust, seal and vent. Bake for about 40 minutes. If necessary, cover edges with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.
Recipe for the Pie Crust
Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball. Do not overmix.
Divide dough into two balls.
Using a well-floured surface and rolling pin, roll each pastry ball from the center to the edges with long, even strokes.
Roll each pastry into a circle large enough to fit in a 9-inch pie plate.
The original recipe is here, http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/sour-cherry-slab-pie/.
Sweet Little Tarts
Tart Cherries Are Best For Pies
Pie Making Tips
From the American Pie Council
Pie Making Tips
Read the entire recipe before starting your pie. Make sure you have all of the ingredients and utensils and take time to understand all the directions. Skipping this step is the major cause of mistakes.
Cold ingredients are the one most important matter when making a great pie crust Have cold bowls and utensils for an extra measure of success. Be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out. Keep the shortening cold for a deliciously flaky crust.
Don’t overwork the dough. Your shortening or butter should be coated with flour mixture, not blended with it. Over handling and mixing causes gluten to form, and this is what toughens the dough. Cool your hands before handling, if possible (run under cold water and then dry thoroughly).
Transfer crust dough into the pie pan with care. Fit the dough into the dish while avoiding stretching. Trim the dough to 1″ inch over hang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim.
With the index finger on one hand, press the dough against the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust and dish, this is called fluting.
Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven, which helps bottom crust to finish baking. another tips is to cover the edges with foil or a crust protector so the edges won’t over brown.
Use only fresh ingredients. Make seasonally available fruit pies for best flavor. Cherries are in season during the month of June.
Which make them the perfect fruit filling for a pie that celebrates Valentine’s Day. AND February is National Cherry Month.
What is Cherry Pie Day?
When I was a kid Presidents Day was a big deal in school, and along with that was the day to learn about the first U.S. President, George Washington. What does this have to do with cherries? You must have heard the tale of George’s famous ( albeit legendary and maybe imagined ) confession, “I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree”. And cherries were linked to George Washington Day in February (his actual birthday is February 11th by the Julian calendar), now called “President’s Day” and used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln and George Washington; and, well, all the presidents, really. Whew, how complicated! That is an example of what happens when the government gets involved with things, isn’t it?
Who Thought Up This Holiday?
Well, this is not about the debate over President’s Day or the telling of myths and legends, but of something that we can all agree upon… a great cherry pie is worth celebrating. The wonderful thing about this fruit filling is that it is a great way to make a delicious pie any time of the year- even in the tail end of winter, during February. If using tart pie cherries, there really isn’t much quality difference between canned and fresh, unlike many of the other fruits, like peach or apple. Cherry pies are fine tasting using cherries you have canned from the cherry season of June last year. Now there is a taste difference in pie fillings, so if you use canned cherries and not the syrupy canned pie filling, it will produce a much better pie.
Where did National Cherry Pie Day originate? No one seems to know. It must have originated somewhere. My guess is that an organization like the Pie Council that claims authorship of National Pie Day, or the National Cherry Growers Association or some similar marketing group, declared it and set the date to fall around the time President’s Day is celebrated. Organizations quite often lobby for their representative food to have a national day. Besides National Cherry Pie Day, there are days for Cherry Cobbler and Cherry popovers. And there is one for moldy cheese, too, but that is somewhat beside the point.
The point is that you have an excuse to bake a perfectly delectable cherry pie and eat it in celebration of the day!
Don’t just bake a pie… play some games, learn about cherries, make it a fun and different day of celebration.
A Game To Play On Cherry Pie Day
CHERRY PIE GAME
~by Kylan from Kansas -5th Grade Teacher
We play a game called Cherry Pie. You stand in a circle and give the first student a word. He or she gives the first letter of the word. You continue going around the circle each person giving one letter. If someone misses they sit down and are out for the game. If the word is spelled correctly the person after the one who said the last letter correctly says, “cherry pie” and they are out for the game. This continues until there is only one person standing. I keep the game moving quickly, and I do no repeats, if they stutter or don’t know where we are they are out. This keeps them listening to every word.
You know how important the day is to ideals of romance and love, and you might love the celebration of the day for that, or you just might hate it for the same reason.
But what do you really know about this day and why red, pink, and white suddenly become the décor everywhere, and satin covered, heart boxes of chocolates appear?
February 14 is His Feast Day
For those unfamiliar with “feast days”, these are days set aside in the Church calendar to celebrate specific events and, in this case, a saint of the Catholic church. Because the Catholic (Christian) faith was replacing the pagan beliefs of an area and culture, the days chosen for some feast days of the Church were to supersede those of the local religion . Sometimes the two muddled up and the old traditions continued under the new holiday.
The story of the Saint, himself, is somewhat mysterious. Little account is given of his life and what is told is mainly legend. Valentine, Presbyter of Rome is considered the saint that is commemorated on February 14, and there are stories of his kindness to young people in love.
One source tells it this way:
The Story of St. Valentine
“In 270 A.D., marriage had been outlawed by the emperor of Rome, Claudius II. Claudius issued this decree because he thought that married men made bad soldiers since they were reluctant to be torn away from their families in the case of war. Claudius had also outlawed Christianity in this time period because he wished to be praised as the one supreme god, the Emperor of Rome. Valentine was the bishop of Interamna during this period of oppression. Valentine thought that the decrees of Rome were wrong. He believed that people should be free to love God and to marry. Valentine invited the young couples of the area to come to him. When they came, Valentine secretly performed services of matrimony and united the couples. ” [2*]
He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.
The time of the feast day coincides with an old pagan celebration. Lupercalia, which falls at the ides of February, or February 15, was a fertility and romantic match ritual which later became replaced with the official feast of St. Valentine.
*2 cite: Lutheran Ministry
Valentine’s Day – What’s on Your Romance List?
Do You Celebrate Saint Valentine?
As Shakespeare said:
“Sweets to the sweet.”
Hearts, Flowers, and Chocolate – Valentine’s Day Gift Favorites
Everyone thinks of hearts as the Valentine’s Day symbol, and flowers as the perfect gift especially when partnered with chocolates.
For any special day comes this box of special chocolates, crafted in designer looks, and handmade out of premium dark chocolate. Orange, Raspberry, Chocolate and Espresso centers.
Kate Greenaway Valentine
The Valentine Card
Have you heard of Esther Howland? If you love sending and receiving Valentine’s cards in the United States, she is partly responsible. She helped to pioneer the Valentine greeting industry.
It probably helped that her family owned the largest book and stationery store in the town of Worcester, Massachusetts, but it was the charming Valentine sent from England by one of her father’s associates that sparked her love affair with Valentines and her career of making beautiful Valentines that popularized them throughout the United States.
Esther Howland was not the first to make or send Valentines, but she created lovely ones that captured the imagination and heart of the American public. Today examples of her New England Valentine Company are highly collectible- if you can find them. They may be exhibited in museum collections. These were not ordinary cards, but artistic flights of fancy and imagination, some with many layers, customizable with labels and mottoes to express the desired intent; constructed with paper lace, die cut graphics, and luxurious embellishments.
Fresh flowers are welcome for every occasion. Romantic Victorian roses max the message.
Valentine Candy – Conversation Hearts say it all
candy conversation hearts
The makers of NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts have stolen the hearts of many people who love to send their little messages. They have become iconic of Valentine’s Day.
What is your favorite conversation heart message? Classics are “Kiss Me,” “Sweet Talk,” and “Be Mine.”, but every year a new batch of mottoes to their mix.
A Valentine Haiku
Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts
Sugary and sweet,
Holding your heart in my hand
Thank you for the treat!
Half of all celebrants said they will buy candy, 36 percent will buy flowers and 35.6 percent will treat someone to a nice evening out.
~NRF 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey
~~~~~~Favorite Conversation Heart Sayings~~~~~~
MY GIRL MISS ME IT’S LOVE LET’S KISS BE TRUE
MY LOVE IT’S TRUE MY PAL MARRY ME I WILL
FOR YOU ASK MEKISS ME ONE I LOVE CALL ME SO FINE
LOVE YOU BETALL MINE CUTIE PIE HI LOVE
DEAR HUG MY DOLL TRUE LOVE FOR YOU MISS YOU
MY BABY WHY NOT YOU ROCK XOXO
Romantic Valentine Ideas – Here are some suggestions to make your day special
Plan a Valentine Picnic – this one is easy, and fun!
Handmade gifts if you have time. Are you crafty? Use your talents to make something from the heart.
Valentine breakfast, like the picnic, but you get to make those fabulous waffles you always planned on trying.
No time for breakfast, and the weather just doesn’t feel like picnic time? Cook up a romantic valentine dinner.
Visit someplace that you both found romantic, or watch a romantic movie together.
Write an Old Fashioned love letter. Tie it with a satin ribbon.
Rose Petals- buy them, and strew them around the tables, the floor, the counters.
Florists Send Your Message in Flowers
You can add the flower meanings
This is a busy day for florists. Flowers are one of the number one gifts to give for Valentine’s day, often in tandem with chocolate candy. Besides the iconic one dozen red roses, there are many types and style of flower bouquets and one very romantic floral arrangement would have to be the Victorian Tussy Mussy. Using the language of flowers, a secret and romantic message may be sent, and decoded by your own special Valentine.
The nosegay is small, but very fragrant, and just the right touch for a Valentine Day gift of flowers.
Red roses stand for passion and love, but what do other flowers represent?
Carnation, red — “Alas for my poor heart”
China Pink rose — Beauty always new
Chrysanthemum — Love
Clover, four leaved — “Be mine”
Coreopsis — Love at first sight
Daisy — Innocence, new-born, “I share your sentiment”
Godiva Chocolate for Your Valentine – Smooth High Quality Chocolate
There is a difference, and better chocolate is worth the price difference. You can read about Chocolate history on the Godiva website. Did you know Spain kept the discovery of chocolate a secret from the rest of Europe for more than a century?
Godiva- smooth, fine chocolate that is always welcome.
Traditions of St. Valentine’s Day – How we commonly celebrate the holiday
It is considered a day for lovers, so every February 14th flowers are given, sweets and candies presented, and greeting cards, which are called “Valentines” , are sent with romantic greetings. A romantic meal with a special dessert , often made with chocolate, is part and parcel of the day.
But not only lovers celebrate the day. In schools, children often send valentines to every one in the class, and I have old memories of making “Valentine boxes”. Old shoe boxes with a letter sized hole cut into the lid, and covered with all sorts of gaudy Valentine decorations. These were to be the receptacle for the many little valentines that were customarily given. Cupcakes were often served to everyone.
Most Valentine greetings are now printed commercial cards, but in times past the tradition making homemade Valentines out of red paper and white paper doilies was common. These were decorated with bits and bobs of decorative paper ephemera, usually of birds, flowers, and cupids, and sometimes with pictures of young children or pets.
There also was the tradition of the “Vinegar Valentines” which we might deem “anti Valentine” cards. I always knew them as “Penny Dreadfuls”, but that is the term given a type of Victorian thriller fiction.
Does that describe you? There are many reasons to hate a holiday. Sometimes the associations of disappointed hopes, or heightened expectations ruin the holiday for you. There are probably many reasons for antipathy towards Valentine’s Day.
Some people deal with that feeling of pain or dislike with Anti-valentines, even anti -Valentine activities.
If you are curious about those who decide to poke fun at this holiday, ‘Be My Anti-Valentine’ once provided some insights, maybe some laughs depending on your idea of humor. It is a site that seems to have closed, now, but there are plenty of people who wrote about those black-humored digital cards.
recorded the first Valentine connection with romance:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
February 14 – is also known for some wacky holidays
Ferris Wheel Day
Library Lovers Day
National Have a Heart Day
Quirky Alone Day
World Marriage Day
Originally published by Ilona Erwin on Squidoo .com @ 01/03/12
In a nutshell, what a woman really wants on a romantic holiday like Valentine’s Day is to feel special. She also would like a little romance. So, what is the problem with figuring out what to give the special woman in your life, if every woman wants the same thing?
Each woman is unique, and while each and every one would love to feel special, that might take a very different than the usual to achieve.
Luckily, this is a list of possibilities to choose from, although some are just what you would expect. There is nothing wrong with giving red roses or a box of candy, because it is the way a gift makes the special woman in your life feel that is important.
Do you really know her and her interests? Find the romantic form of that and go with it. Try to stay away from what says you like what she does, and choose something that says you love who she is. SOME IDEAS FOR THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE, TOO
Ideas for celebration, for that one special gift, and some illuminating videos to spark ideas and bring a little romance in that one day of the year set aside just for romance: Valentine’s Day. Some of the ideas are tried and true, some have a little twist, and others you may not have thought of before.
Here is your guide to making this day memorable. Mix and Match ideas to come up with a celebration that is uniquely the two of you.
A few words on what is most important.
What Was Your BEST Valentine’s Day Gift Ever?
Choose from the list, or tell us your unique best Valentine gift
What was the best thing you ever received for Valentines Day?
Being together is one of the most important things for Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to involve lots of money spent.
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Show You In These Ways
Dress up the Occasion
You could choose one, you could choose several of these suggestions, or take off with an inspiration all your own. The important thing is to understand that your desire to make her feel special is the important ingredient for the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Notes Are Romantic
Even little sticky notes that relay your love- just make them count with what bonds you together- romantic thoughts, cute little sayings, reminders of what you love about her (or him!),
…use your imagination
Romantic And Easy
Ideas To Make The Time Special
A special dinner at home. You can cook or bring home “take-out”, but be sure it shows you care about this being a special event. Include candles, serve it to her, put a bouquet of flowers on the table, add whatever special touches you know she loves.And of course, clean up, afterwards.
A special dinner out. Lots of people do this one, and the restaurants are crowded. Think ahead and make sure you have reservations, choose a place that is one of the more quiet restaurants, with great food. Women like conversation, make the effort to talk about her interests and make an effort to communicate about what you love about her.
Flowers. Do this the easy way, or the way that requires you to be a little more innovative. Red Roses, a dozen, will be the easy answer. If she loves the romantic message of a dozen red roses, go for it.If she loves other flowers, make the extra effort of ordering something that includes those. Or get an unusual bouquet of Hawaiian flowers, because you know she appreciates the unique or loves everything Asian, or you had a vacation to Maui together… details like that say “love”.
A little gem of an idea. An engagement ring? Or are you married to your one true love? What gems does she favor? Are earrings or bracelets the one piece of jewelry she loves to wear when she dresses up? Haven’t noticed? Then get her something you would love to see her wear.
The romance of scent. Perfume, the very word breathes romance, but which one to choose from the vast array? Find what she loves or give her the gift of scented candles, an aromatherapy session at the local spa, anything that smells wonderful.Let her have the luxury of the most wonderful bubble bath she ever had… try some bath bombs and gifts from LUSH.
Personalized Magazine Covers
A personalized magazine cover is a unique gift that your friends and family members will love! You can make these covers online and post them on social media sites like Facebook or MySpace. You can also have these magazines printed.
Speak to her heart in a way only poetry may … classic romantic poem collection.
Romantic Dinner for Two
Set the scene… rose petals, some candles, and your favorite, but simple, menu…
Whether going out for a dinner date, or making something special at home, food has always held a center stage for romantics. Maybe because of the inclusion of so many of the sense at one time, or perhaps related to that oldtime adage that the way to man’s heart is through his stomach, eating together is a traditional part of romance.
Valentine’s Day Breakfast Food: Recipe Ideas
This article details eight different breakfast food ideas for Valentine’s Day. Some of them are very simple ideas while others are multi-step recipes. There’s something here for everyone.
Valentine’s Gifts From The Heart – Out of the ordinary
The Best Valentine’s Dinner Menu
A Better Idea: Jewelry
Jewelry is always a welcomed gift, and classic pearls have the added value of representing perfection, femininity, class. The very name means “unique”.
Give her a special gift of jewelry and then order take-out….
“Girl with a Pearl Earring,”
Pearls Are Romantic – Pretty cultured pearl jewelry set
Does extravagance say romance? Not always, sometimes a woman loves the fact that you get her something beautiful that still stays within the budget… after all, you planned that vacation that you dreamed about together, right? Show her you want Valentine’s Day to be more than a date on the calendar, though.
Is Yumminess Important? What is the Cuteness factor?
The Classic Box of Chocolates
Sweets Can Say I Love You
Why does chocolate say I love you?
It is sweet
The sugar in chocolate might be the energy boost needed, it can quickly but safely raise the blood sugar levels (dark chocolate is low on the glycemic index). That relieves the irritability and fatigue of low levels.
It makes her feel good
Why? It boosts those chemicals in the brain that are pleasurable, like serotonin levels.
Check through this list before you send chocolates:
Is there an allergy to chocolate? Or nuts?
What kind of filling is loved- or hated? Some people really don’t like crisp, or caramels, some don’t like really dark chocolate. Certain types of chocolates may be loved more than any other kind. If you don’t know, play it safe and get the assortment, or…. you could get another type of gift.
Is your budget low, and you can only get really inexpensive chocolate? Skip it, and try one of the other gift ideas to make a special and more memorable gift.
There are very good reasons that some gifts, such as flowers and candy, go together are are classic gifts for women. We like them! But what sets a gift apart is how well it conveys the meaning of how important the person is to you, how special, how. The gift is not a quantifier, it can’t say how much, but it is a modifier telling something about “in what way”. The more you can personalize it, the more it conveys the message.
Sometimes a dozen red roses is simply a dozen red roses, and no one needs to elaborate any further to what that gift means, but if you give chocolate… that can say something sweet in hundreds of different ways.
The luxury and novelty of form.
The excellence of quality.
How it is boxed, and whether it is her favorite or not.
The most important thing is that you know something about the person you are giving to, the more you know the better.
Does she love dark chocolate or milk chocolate better, or does she love all the same? Crunchy with nuts or creamy fillings?
Mix of all the above or something different altogether?
It usually isn’t too hard to find out. Just knowing a few details makes all the difference.
The Scent Of A Woman – Perfume
Giving a gift of perfume is one that is both intimate and requires knowledge of the personal preferences a woman has for her choice of perfume. You can personally investigate the ones your woman loves by asking those close to her, or taking a look at her dresser for clues. Best way? Take a shopping trip together and go by the perfume counters.
There are groups of scents and perfumes have dominant notes that clue the scent category they belong to; if you know the category most of her favorite perfumes belong to you might have an idea of which perfume to choose for a gift.
Coming up clueless? Don’t worry. Woman love candles and even if she doesn’t wear that perfume, she might just love a candle in that scent.
Watermelon, mandarin, pink passion fruit, marigold, green apple, water hyacinth, crushed leaves, tuberose absolute, wild rose, princess lily, tuberose, caramel creme brûlée, vanilla, precious woods, and patchouli meld together to create one of the top ten in women’s fragrances.
Used through the ages, follow the romance of how petals have imparted fragrance in so many sweet ways. Whether you strew aisles and tables, make jam or rosebeads, they’re delightful.
The Romance of Red Rose Petals
Red rose petals breathe romance and are a favorite for weddings, and romantic candle lit décor. They add fragrance and tactile luxury when you touch their soft and smooth, slightly cool skin between your fingers. They can add flavor to foods, and color as well. Explore and examine the beauty of Red Rose Petals…
Nothing is lovelier for strewing around a room than fresh rose petals.
Perfect for the flower girl to scatter down the aisle.
Fresh Petals – Perfect for weddings
If you want to use rose petals for food purposes, I would not purchase commercially grown roses. Only gather your own home grown blooms that are organically grown, without insecticides or fungicide. Use your own judgment for crafts, but I would only use the purchased flowers for decorative purposes.
For my daughter’s wedding we used fresh red rose petals on the reception tables and at the ceremony in the flower girls baskets. It was a very pretty touch.
List of Roses With Red, Fragrant Petals
Gather your own rose petals
Some of these are ‘old’ or heritage roses which can be hard to find, but all are worth growing. The hybrid teas will bloom throughout the season, the old roses bloom only in early summer. this list is not definitive, but will give you a base of named roses to look for when desiring red colored petals that are fragrant.
Charles De Mills, gallica
Rose de Rescht
Baron Girod de l’Ain
The Dark Lady
Rose Beads – An ancient craft
Rose Petal Trivia
Reaching back into ancient time, as roses and their use and culture are from very early times, the making of rose beads is known to have been well established by the middle ages. Rose beads became favored for making prayer beads, known as the rosary.
Victorians developed the process with the use of fixatives and binders which made the beads stronger and able to retain their scent for a much longer time.. Gum Benzoin and Ground Orris root are two common and easily obtained fixatives.
Damask or Apothecary roses are the old roses which are still used to manufacture rose oils. Though not commonly available, they can be ordered from nurseries.
Cleopatra used roses to envelope herself in fragrance and allure. It is said that she had the palace floors carpeted with rose petals, her chamber filled two feet deep with red rose petals, and the fountains filled with rose water in preparation for Mark Antony. No wonder he was so taken with her.
Rose Petals and Flower Girls
In medieval England, it was traditional for the bride to be preceded by a flower girl on her way to church, who would strew fresh rose petals before her to signify happiness.
Create Your Own Rose Beads
Gather together the materials and make fragrant beads for jewelry or other crafts.
Make Rose Beads For A Rosary
Red, fragrant rose petals
String for stringing.
Gather the roses
Chop the petals as finely as you can
Put them in a saucepan and barely cover with water.Using a cast iron skillet will give a deeper color to the beads
Heat for an hour but do not let boil.
Repeat for three or four days, add more water if needed.
When the petals are the consistency of clay, start molding the beads.
Press out as much water as possible in a sieve.
Roll the pulp into balls.
They will shrink by half when dry, so make them about an inch diameter.
After somewhat dry use a large needle to make holes in the center of each beads
When dry, string them.
The warmth of your body will release rose fragrance from the dried beads.
Rose Bead Recipe #2 – Or Make A Necklace of Fragrance
Here is an alternative recipe from C. Jeanne Heida. This one replaces cooking the petals with repeated grinding.
You will need:
A meat grinder
A cast iron skillet
A box of thin picture nails- at least 3/4 inch in length
Laundry basket full of fresh rose petals
Grind the petals twice through the meat grinder.
Spread the petals in the skillet, cover and set aside.
Once a day, grind the paste through the meat grinder, then return the paste to the skillet.
After several days, you will notice the paste slowly beginning to turn black or deep brown. Continue to grind the petals daily, for 10 to 15 days until the rose petals have turned into a dense, putty like material.
After the petals have been turned into a dense and pliable paste,shape the rose paste into circles or squares.
Insert a nail through the center to create an opening for the thread. Wiggle the nail to enlarge the opening slightly larger than the nail itself.
Set the bead aside and let dry thoroughly.
After the beads have completely dried, remove the nails.
The beads can now be threaded onto the jewelry string.
Place small knots between the individual beads to prevent them from touching each other.
6 packed cups of rose petals
12 cups water
6 cups white sugar
In large bowls add rose petals, have a large heavy platter that fits over the bowl snugly.
Bring to a boil 12 cups of water and pour over rose petals and quickly cover with platter.
Set aside till water cools.
Strain water and discard petals.
Mix water and sugar in a large pot and bring to boil till sugar is dissolved. But do not boil, only heat water enough to dissolve sugar.
If the color is not to your liking, you can adjust it. Add food coloring. Keep refrigerated. Will last about 3 months in fridge. Or you may also can it for longer storage. Use it drizzled over fresh fruit, in custard, on pancakes with fresh berries, in iced tea.
Note: To make the syrup pink you can add 1/8 cup or 2 tbsp. lemon juice to each cup of rose infusion. It is fun to watch it turn pink before your eyes. The lemon juice may also act as a preservative and lengthen the shelf time.
Culinary Red Rose Petals – Dried petals added to teas or foods
Teavana makes one of my favorite white teas with dried fruit, rosebuds and rose petals added to make a fragrant and indulgent tea. They named it ‘Snow Geisha’
Youthberry is another one of their teas which contain rose petals and has a very lovely floral nose to it.
Culinary grade petals to use in your rose petal flavored creations
You could add your own petals to tea, using a culinary grade of dried petals.
Roses are grown with the use of many pesticides and fungicides unless they specify otherwise. That is why you should never use roses from unknown sources for culinary use. Make sure you use organically grown roses. Better yet, grow them without poisons in your own yard.
In cooking, the essence of rose flavors cookies, cakes, and other confections.
Rose water is distilled from rose petals and Moroccan rose water is known for its high quality, made from Rosa damascena. Best type to use for skin care, in cosmetics or as a skin toner.
Make Rose Petal Scented Sugar
Make Rose Petal Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
2 Cups fresh, fragrant Rose Petals, shredded or minced
Pound sugar and rose petals with a mortar and pestle.
Place in a covered jar for one week.
Sift out petal bits if desired and store in an airtight container. You can also add a vanilla bean.
Red Rose Petal Jam – Sweet, Fresh, Scented Jam
You can use ‘Eva’ hybrid musk rose petals or any type that is free from pesticides and has a good strong perfume.
Buying a good rose jam is also possible.This is a rose flavored jam that is ideal when paired with salty cheeses and great for a tea time snack.
From Cynthe’s blog which has gorgeous illustrations of the process, comes the following recipe to make your own.
The Rose is gowned in petaled grace and lovely beyond telling;
She always lifts a friendly face, regardless of her dwelling.
Her golden silence can express to us, no matter where, joy shared;
give solace in distress from those who fondly care. The Rose has ways of saying things we much delight to hear;
without a spoken word, she brings and keeps our loved ones near
~Laura S. Beck
Mr. Lincoln is a red rose of the hybrid tea type. I grow it, and it has been one of the few hybrid teas hardy in my Zone 5 garden (although I do grow it in a protected place). Mr. Lincoln has a strong, beautiful rose scent and deep red petals.
Immortalized in Burn’s Poetry
Oh, my luve’s like a red, red rose, That ‘s newly sprung in June
Rose Petals, Buds, and Powder Profile
Rose Petals, Buds, and Powder Profile Also known as Rosa spp (centifolia, gallica, and damascena are the most common varieties), Provence Rose, French Rose, Cabbage Rose, Red Rose, and Pink Rose. Introduction The rose has been valued for its beauty a
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.