Tag Archives: curated

Etsy Spotlight: Abbalope Soap

I have been using handmade bar soaps exclusively for almost 6 years now, and I just cannot get enough! I like my soaps to smell reminiscent of the season, but nothing too perfumey (instant headache), and I’ve never been interested in the soaps that smell like desserts. My years of scouring Etsy for scents and sales eventually landed me at Abbalope Handcrafted Soap.

Abbalope Handcrafted Soap

Many times in my searches, I would find a shop with maybe a couple dozen soap bars and a bunch of “other stuff”: lip balms, whipped soap, shaving soap, lotions, etc. — but at Abbalope, it is page after wonderful page of bar soaps, bar soaps, and more bar soaps. She has just about every scent combination you could possibly imagine. Which brings me to perhaps the best part: 50-CENT SAMPLES!! You can select any scent from her shop and try it before you buy it!

I’ve been burning through samples for many months now, and have a long list of scents that I love. Here are the soaps I have chosen for the upcoming fall and winter seasons:
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Summer Mix 2014 Lite

One of the activities on our Summer Bucket List for this year is to make a summer mix to listen to while we’re driving around — and by “we” I mean me, my 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. We ended up with 20 songs on the CD, but I’ve trimmed it down to fit better here, internet-style.

Summer Mix 2014 Lite

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The 25 Books of Christmas

This year, our family is attempting the Book-A-Day Advent Calendar, as seen around Pinterest. Over the last few months, I was able to screen more than FIFTY winter/holiday/Christmas-related books, thanks to our local metro-library network. The 25 Books of Christmas: Book-A-Day Advent Calendar

I was overall seeking secular books that were still morally relevant to the season, and maybe even with a poignant story, but also not totally discounting the entertaining seasonally-themed books for pure enjoyment. I ended up choosing 14 new selections to add to what we already have (weeding out quite a few from the original stash).

The books will be wrapped, and placed “around” (near?) our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, until we get the full-sized tree up.

Here is our complete 24-book plan for this month, in no particular order:

'Jolly Old Santa Claus' by 'Sparkie' & George Hinke 'The Golden Christmas Tree' by Jan Wahl & Leonard Weisgard 'Night Tree' by Eve Bunting & Ted Rand Hilary Knight's 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'

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Children’s Book List 2013

My 3-1/2-year-old and I have been furiously checking out children’s books at the library, and reading about three each night; burning through them pretty quickly to see which ones would be worth investing in to add to Nola’s bookshelf. 25 Great Books for Kids Ages 3-5

Here is a rundown of 25 of the BEST children’s books
for ages 3-5 years that we have found in 2013

'Virginia Wolf' by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault 'The Dark' by Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen 'Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You' by Nancy Tillman 'Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great' by Bob Shea

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Christmas Favorites: Movies, Music

On December 1st, I dig out our treasure box of festive media. Christmas-themed movies were one of my favorite parts of the holiday season as a child (and even still now that I’m the mom), and many of the ones we have are straight out of my childhood. I’ve added quite a few DVDs this year (marked with * in the lists below) — we might need a bigger box come January. Here’s what we’ve managed to watch thus far:

We grown-ups even managed to squeeze in the vaguely Christmas-themed Die Hard, and the loosely-associated The Shining (hey, it takes place during the winter…)
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Printable Holiday Activity Pages

When I was a young girl, our local newspaper included “The Mini Page” with its Sunday edition. It had word finds, connect the dots, find-the-picture, trivia, jokes, even some science experiments. It kept me busy for a couple hours every Sunday after lunch, and I looked forward to it every weekend. Unfortunately, that paper hasn’t syndicated “The Mini Page” for years, so my kids will probably never have that same experience. I’ve ordered a subscription to Highlights Magazine for my 6.5-year-old son (another publication of fond childhood memory) but that won’t start arriving until January 2012.

I decided to hunt for some activity sheets online, to give him something to do while he waited patiently for me to clean up the kitchen and clear a space to put up the Christmas tree.  It took me a good half-hour to find all these great printable pages! Turns out it was a good time-investment, as these activities have come in very handy in the last couple days that he’s been home sick from school.

Activity Pages Preview

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Infinite Repeat

After reading a blog entry over at Wise Craft about house music, I decided to make my own list of songs that I could listen to over and over again repeatedly. Which I have actually done with these songs on multiple occasions over the years. They’re just that good!

To keep the list “short,” and in the interest of “diversity,” I’ve only chosen one song per band/artist, which was really hard to do, as seen in the footnotes for few songs (so I cheated a teensy bit). These are listed alphabetically by artist, because that’s how they came out as I was sifting through Media Player; it seems to add a bit of organized randomness to the whole thing.
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