Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My first christmas present

image via Better Homes and Gardens, I doubt mine will look like this.

I received my first Christmas present today in the form of a gingerbread house kit! I am so excited. I have been eyeing them at Michaels and keep saying "this is the year I will do one". I was given the Wilton Deluxe complete kit and can't wait to make it!
Also, yesterday I received my long awaited necklace that I ordered from Le Papier Studio almost 5 weeks ago. There were some issues with the design and in the end I had to switch it out for a locket and I just love it. I love the silhouette of Emma running and that I get to keep it so close to my heart!

pop-up Tuesday

This week’s post will be slightly different as it is hard to list 5 favorite pop-up books. I really want to talk about the artists whose books you just can’t go wrong. I am sure a lot of you are familiar with Robert Sabuda, the god of pop-up books.

I first discovered him when I was working at Inkwood books back home in Tampa. He had just come out with his Alice in Wonderland book and to this day I feel it is his and THE best pop-up book.

His Wizard of Oz book is equally amazing but I just heart Alice. In time for the Holiday, Sabuda also has several amazing Christmas pop-up books, A Winter’s Tale, 12 Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas and Christmas Alphabet to name a few . Children all ages will enjoy these, just be sure that if the child is under 6, to not leave them unattended with the book.

His partner Matthew Reinhart also makes extraordinary pop-up books, and they have collaborated on several books with Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up being the one I feel you should start your children’s library with. Little boys and girls will go gaga over this book that is both factual and a visual fest.

David Pelham also has ingenious pop ups and I picked up two of his Applebee Cat pop-up books while I was in Mexico. His opposites and counting book are so creative and the attention to detail will not be missed on little kids. He also has shapes, colors and alphabets in this series.

I know I mentioned the Little Prince last week, but he gets to be mentioned again, this time in a pop-up versions. Last year they came out with a pop up Little Prince book that is simply a wonder to look at and read.

Finally ABC3D by Marion Bataille is a simple yet striking ABC book. I have mentioned my soft spot for alphabet books and posters and this one came into my collection about 3 years ago. It was a gift and I love, love, love it. It’s color scheme doesn’t stray from black, white and red and is so imaginative that lovers of graphic design shall swoon as each letter unfolds before their eyes.

So there you have my kind of top list of pop-up books.

wreath and advent calendar

I was able to finish my winter wreath and must say it is lovely. It is smaller than my fall wreath as it will eventually go inside. I love getting and decorating fresh wreaths for the door but usually wait until it gets closer to the 25th so it can stay fresh for the holiday. This year I am debating whether or not to take Emma to a place where you can cut your own tree down. I really did want to put up a tree this weekend but it just didn't happen and this week has been super busy so far. So maybe...And my advent calender looks quite charming. The numbers look like Emma embroidered them herself but hey, for not having a sewing machine or the experience, I feel I get an A for effort. Tonight I will finish attaching all the pieces and post pictures tomorrow.

emma's first christmas present

sweater, Siaomimi
t-shirt, Target
pants, Gymboree
obsession with keys, the need for speed

shoes, stride rite

I found a picture of her dress and boots online. Apparently you need to register to shop at this supposedly amazing site called Gilt. Needless to say I am on their waiting list.

Yesterday coming home from work I saw a package at my door and thought it was probably for the neighbor downstairs as I always get his packages. I was so surprised and happy to see it had my name on it. I knew it had to by from my friend and one of Emma's godmother, Naz! Naz has impeccable style and always send Emma the most fabulous frocks and she did not fail this time. Emma got this lovely knit sweater and gorgeous dress and adorable Victorian style boots. I have taken a pic of the sweater today that she wore with my favorite pants from Gymboree.


I really wish I could have pictures or something to post from this past weekend but I do not. Now we move forward and focus on Xmas. Emma is quickly picking up certain aspects of Christmas and her fear of animatronic creatures has died down. She really loves her snowmen and has to eat her meals with Jingle Bell Rock playing in the background. She is quiet cute as she calls all her meals "na nunch". She knows Santa and how he says "ho ho ho" and kinda understands the concept of the Christmas tree. Today she say one of my Xmas tea towels that had a Xmas tree on it and she pointed to the top where there the star would be and went "oh no star". I was amazed how she knows that a Christmas tree must have a star on top of it.
She has really picked up her colors and now knows pink, rojo, blanco and negro. I'm working on gray and brown. She also really loves to count and can count to five in Spanish but always skips three. She has gotten to be quite the loving child and now wants me to carry her all the time. Where was this love when she only weighed 10 lbs. She has wrecked my back and I cant even talk about my sciatica!! 31 pounds of solid muscle. She also loves to snuggle which I am in heaven. She likes to press her cheek next to mine as she sleeps and I am a sucker and stay with her until slumber hits.
Finally she has gotten really good at putting things back. She even knows to put back the DVDs in the correct boxes, and can even open the box and place CD back in its spindle. She had her Mickey Xmas DVD and was looking for the box and would grab one, look at it and move onto the next until she got to the right box. I even placed all her DVDs in a wooden bin and she loves putting them all back in the bin. Even in her moment of rage yesterday as she threw her Olivia DVD because I would not let her watch it, she picked it up off the floor and went to put it in the bin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

yeah long weekend

I'm so happy that the weekend starts today! I am ready for a long break. I plan on making my winter wreath and Emma's advent calendar! I am not a fan of putting up Christmas decorations before Dec 1, but this weekend is perfect so I will be also decorating our apartment. One house nearby put up their decorations two weeks ago and though I think it is tacky, I must say when Emma first saw it she went "wow, gnomy" Gnomy is snowman and they have a giant snow globe with frosty inside it and Emma has to walk by this house every night to look at it. Last evening it was not turned on and she threw a fit. To calm her down I told her we had snowmen at home and knew I would have to start pulling Christmas stuff out a little earlier. I remembered how I have dancing and singing snowmen from Hallmark. Once i found them, I showed them to her and she was curious but once I hit the play button her curiosity turned to fear and she ran screaming "no no no". One of her balloons was near it and she slowly reached to pull it away from it, I mean she acted as it it were the devil and I couldn't understand why. Then I remember how much she hates animatronic creatures. I thought she only feared the large ones, but apparently anything mechanical that moves on its own really is the devil to her..so I will just have to save them for next year or turn them off. Oh Emma. So long weekend ahead..still not a clue what we are doing..it is just us three this year and kinda no fun cooking a huge meal for 2.5 people. Anyway, I hope adventure awaits and I will see you all Monday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's "vintage" children's picture books

This is a quick post as I am feeling a little worn out. Emma was up again at 6 and my left leg is killing me. I wanted to post my five favorite “vintage” children’s books. I feel I do not need to talk about Madeline or Babar, Winnie or Curious George; those are true classics and speak for themselves. I want to present other classics that perhaps might go unnoticed or under appreciated.

The first one was actually just brought to my attention by my good friend Claudia. I had heard of Anatole but never really paid attention to him. This book is a delight and if you loved Ratatouille, I believe this had to have been the inspiration, you will love Anatole. Anatole is a beret wearing mouse living on the outskirts of Paris. He discovers that humans actually do not like mice and he begins on a quest to convert human’s misconception of mice. The illustrations are just as wonderful and any Francophile like me will adore this timeless book.

I saw this book at the Strand years ago and I simply feel in love. It is a humorous story of this good hearted, silly goose who after finding a book believes she has gained a huge amount of wisdom. What ensues is a hilarious set of misadventures cause by her ill suited advice.

I still have my copy of Ping written by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wise. This was one of my favorite books growing up. I never grew tired of it. It is for the older child, 5 and up but such a sweet tale of a little duck who gets separated from him family and sets off on an adventure to find his way back home.

If you are a fan of graphic design Bruno Munari's Zoo book will not disappoint. When I first saw this book 4 years ago I thought it was a contemporary book and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was first written in 1963. It was ahead of its time and is still such a visual feast. His illustrations and use of words are so inventive and extremely original. Your wee ones will love to look at his bold illustrations while adults will enjoy the graphic element and play on words.

I love the Little Prince so much. This is probably the most classic book on this list and I feel this book needs no explanation. The story is simple; the narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert who comes across a little prince who tells of his adventure from planet to planet. There are several morals to this story some of which young kids might not get at the first go, but it is a book that they will revisit throughout their lives. I first read it in 5th grade so it is a book for the older readers and not a picture book, but I just had to through him in the mix.

Monday, November 22, 2010

emma's first pair of heels

I have noticed how Emma likes putting on my shoes. I guess all little girls enjoy that. When I saw these at the Disney outlet store, I just had to get them. They were on clearance for $3.99!!!
When she saw them this morning she said "wow" and wanted them put on immediately. She was too cute! They are a size 9/10 but run a little small. I need to stretch out the elastic because they leave these bad marks on her heels.

Bergdorfs, FAO and Borders

I could totally pull off those hammer pants

I'm cold...get me a hot coco or ima cut you!

getting ready to say bye bye

she loves Olivia

she couldn't pass up a good read

just like her momma

creepy dolls

her reading group meets every Sat night

I was reading a magazine and she chose to sit right next to me.

How NY of us, walking down 5th Ave, looking at the beautiful window displays, and stepping into FAO Schwartz to be a part of the scene! Emma enjoyed looking at the windows at Bergdorf’s. They always have such amazing windows but this year I feel they fell a tad short of spectacular. Still a sight to behold and Emma was so well behaved at FAO. We were going to take a picture of her in front of the store, just to be extra cheesy, and then the "guard" popped in the frame and we thought it was perfect! Emma has absolutely no clue what is going in that shot, but I love when people are just happy and enjoy their job. Once inside Emma demanded to be set free and she actually didn’t run around like crazy. I think partly because she had just woken up and partly because she was overwhelmed with what was going on. She liked seeing other kids and loved being able to just touch things. She is such a good kid, I know she is still too young to ask for things, but she didn’t once cry when we asked her to put things back and asked her to say goodbye to them. She left things quite willingly. I love how when she knows it is time to leave, she just says good bye, "good bye park, good bye kitty". Borders was our last stop and Emma again was so well behaved. She stopped first at this huge bin they have of toys all under 5 dollars. She started grabbing the snakes and making her sssssssss noises. She also grabbed some horses and played with them. Now note these toys are all unwrapped and have seen better days but there was a lady giving Emma the stink eye for playing with them. I don't know how she expects a child to not want to touch toys that are out in the open and it was not as if I was opening boxes and then leaving them for someone else to have. Anyway, after a massive poo, Ant and she came back down and we focused on books. She is just such a book lover. When she got to the Spinner rack she was pulling all these Dora books out and laying them on the floor and Ant got a little stern with her telling her not to take them all out, but I told him that that is her routine. She likes to lay them all out and then look through them and decided which one she likes most, well at least I can tell which ones are the winners. Once she was done all I had to do was ask Emma to clean up and she put them all back in their place. Papa bought her two nice books and we were on our way back home. The train ride was a little stressful as she just won’t sit still but we got home and it really was a perfect day.



still asleep

I just loved these posters from their Design and the Modern Kitchen exhibition

I must say Emma was on her best behavior at MoMA! She didn't even make a peep!

the Modern

it's go time!

what child?

is a very nice restaurant in MoMA and they make really good, really $$ drinks. I went there about 5 years ago and had this drink called Coming Up Roses. It was champagne with rose water and something else. I had also tried their Bloody Mary which are/is to die for! This time, their menu had changed and gone was my rose drink, but they still have a killer Bloody Mary. Since Emma had decided to take her afternoon nap on queue, we took advantage and prolonged our date and had some drinks. The hosts looked at us a tad funny, I guess they don't get a lot of children through those doors. Hey, at least she was asleep! We found the corner spot at the bar and tucked her under and proceeded to enjoy the down time.