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best interior design books, best interior design coffee table books, best books on interior design, best interior designer books

Top 10: Best Interior Design Books

Best Interior Design Books

DesignTrackMind calls these beautiful interior design coffee table books “design porn.”  I found this great list on Casa Cullen’s wonderful blog and added a few from DesignTrackMind to get this Top 10 List …  interestingly, they like some of the same books!  Even if you are not in the throes of redecorating, these are fun reads. Read more…

holiday traditions recipe holiday card PragmaticMom

Our Holiday Tradition: Recipe Booklet Holiday Card

Our Holiday Gift Card is a Recipe Booklet

Our family tradition since 1997 has been to make a 12 page holiday recipe booklet as our Christmas & New Year’s card. I do this with my sister and her sister-in-law. There was one year when we opted for traditional cards; my sister had just had her first baby, and I had a toddler and infant. We received immediate feedback from our mailing list that this was not acceptable. Our friends wanted the recipe booklet. Over the years as each family has grown, we’ve opted for separate cover blurbs and photos specific to each family but the recipe portion is the same. Read more…

Flour 12 days of shopping,

12 Days of Shopping: Mom/Mom-in-Law and Dad/Dad-in-Law (Day 4)

Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law Gift Ideas

This holiday season, I am thankful for Capability:Mom who agreed to take the Dad/Dad-in-Law portion of this shopping challenge because my father and father-in-law have both passed on decades ago.  My husband is tough enough to shop for, but that is for another day. Actually, that is Day 9 during our 12 day shopping marathon! Read more…

personalized gifts for teachers

12 Days of Shopping: Personalized Gifts (Day 3)

Gifts You Can Personalize

These personalized, “fancy” return address stampers make me so happy.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine! I use them for the return address on envelopes but also for stamping the inside of books that I loan out.  I used to save the free return address stickers that some non-profits send you as an incentive to donate money.  When those ran out, I had a very non-fancy return address stamper that was sad-looking and didn’t even work that well.  It’s funny how something very small but indulgent can make me happy each time I use it (even when paying the bills!). Read more…

clove orange, clove apple,

12 Days of Shopping: Kids Make Presents, Clove Fruit (Day 2)

Gifts Kids Can Make for Adults

I am admittedly not good at the arts and crafts thing but luckily Capability:Mom is, well…, more capable than I am so I gave her the harder half of the post:  Mod Podge.  Ok, I don’t even know exactly what Mod Podge is, let alone how to spell it.  As for my half of the post, this is Capability:Mom’s idea, too.  It’s easy enough that even I can pull this off with my kids and it makes beautiful gifts that smell wonderful and festive.  And I could use festive decorating because I am not good at that either. Read more…

internet safety for kids, social media safety for kids,

A Parent’s Guide to Facebook: Social Media Safety Laid Out Step by Step

Keeping Kids Safe on Facebook

I found this online from and wanted to save this for myself.  We don’t let the kids on Facebook yet, but my oldest is only in 5th grade.  By Middle School, it seems that all the kids are on Facebook just to deal with homework assignments and to keep up with their friends so we are just a few months away from that.   Read more…

Nigella Lawson Feast best granola recipe ever, Andy's FairField Granola, 12 days of shopping, pragmatic mom,,

12 Days of Shopping: Make Your Own Gift, GRANOLA 2 Ways (Day 1)

Best Granola Ever: Recipe Below

Capability:Mom and I are doing a series of 12 posts jointly for the 12 Days of Shopping; one a day starting today for 12 days in a row.  She’ll do half of each post, and I’ll do the other. We selected those requisite gift categories that can be tough to figure out (in-laws, tutors, etc), and wracked our brains for several  hours at our coffee shop. I hope this helps you in your holiday scramble to the finish! Read more…

best educational games for kids, best games for kids, best board games for kids,

Top 10: Best Fun & Educational Board Games

Best Educational Board Games for Kids

First of all, I want to confess that I am not a board game person. I do occasionally get forced into playing board games with my kids so I am familiar with some of these games but it’s always a balancing act to play with them as I am asked to modulate my play: “Play hard against me, mom, but not too hard. You’re playing too easy against me.” And my youngest freaks out if he loses so I always have to keep that into consideration. Should I let him win to keep him from throwing a nutty? Or is it good to teach him to lose gracefully? Is he even capable of losing gracefully? Is this a lesson best learned on the soccer field? This is not fun for me. Read more…

best dragon chapter books, best dragon picture books, best books for kids with dragons, dragons and books for kids

Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

Best Books for Kids with Dragons

The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books, early chapter books, chapter books, and young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!

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