buffy

Stuff We Like :: 3.10.17

home|school|life’s Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

Happy Friday! We're looking forward to getting all dressed up for Purim this weekend—what's on your to-do list?

around the web

Great tips for talking to your librarian about getting more diverse books on the shelves at your local library.

How to write great protest signs

No, but seriously, I think the best compliment I ever got was when someone told me I reminded him of Daria.

Relevant to my interests: Neil Gaiman talks about Norse mythology

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Voting for Round Two of HOMESCHOOL MADNESS opens this afternoon!

on Facebook: My annual dithering about starting an HSL forum—what’s your opinion?

one year ago: Rebecca reviews the Art of Problem Solving’s Beast Academy. (She was so convincing, we ended up using it in our homeschool!)

two years ago: Shelli rounded up some practical, real-life tips for making a little room for me-time in your homeschool life

 

reading list

I’m finally getting around to reading Susan Wise Bauer’s The History of the Ancient World, and I am happy to report that it has a much more reasonable number of exclamation points than Story of the World. (I know it's not for everyone, but I love Story of the World, used it with both my kids, and recommend it all the time, but it definitely does that thing where when you want to sound casual and chatty, you add more exclamation points. I do this in email all the time, so no judgment!) I think it’s a solid history, anchored around pivotal people and moments, which to me are the most interesting parts of history.

I took Suzanne’s advice and started The Colors of Madeleine series, and I just finished the first book A Corner of White. On to The Cracks in the Kingdom!

I’ve heard so many good things about Exit West that I picked up a copy even though I cannot justify adding another book to my To Read pile if I ever want to use my nightstand for anything else.

I’m helping one of my old students catch up on American literature this spring, so that means I get to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn again. My daughter is reading a collection of Mark Twain essays, so this is one of those lovely (and rare) moments when I get to feel like I’ve totally got my homeschooling act together.

 

in the kitchen

Dinner: Changing the Game is my new cookbook obsession. (I could eat the escarole salad with runny egg and crispy, spicy chickpeas for every meal right now.)

These black bean and brown rice cakes are the latest in our hunt for the perfect veggie burger. (I really liked them, but the rest of the family was kind of meh.)

Cookie of the Week: compost cookies

 

at home

I’m sort of obsessed with the Walden computer game. (You can still get in on the Early Access Alpha phase!)

Obviously I am celebrating Buffy’s 20th anniversary today by binge watching my favorite season, wearing my favorite fangirl t-shirt, and following the AV Club’s celebratory Buffy coverage.

I get to buy books for Jason’s new school’s library, and it is the BEST JOB EVER.


Stuff We Like :: 12.4.15

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

It’s Jason’s birthday today and Hanukkah starts on Sunday, so it’s a party weekend here at Casa Sharony. I hope your family has plans for fun, too!

around the web

I may be obsessed with the education system in Finland—but articles like this make it seem kind of like learning paradise, don’t they?

“You're not irrational, you're just quantum probabilistic.”

This list of volunteer work for loners has some great ideas.

I am not surprised (but I am pleased) that Buffy kicked Dawson to the curb in Vulture’s best high school show battle.

You should know that my holiday menus will be inspired by Hermione Granger, Ramona Quimby, and Harriet Dufresnes , thanks to this guide to cooking like your favorite literary heroines.

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: We’ve got so much good stuff coming up in the winter issue: a readaloud guide to Chinese history, inspiration for imagining your life after homeschooling, snow day science, the best winter field trips, and lots, lots more. (This looks like it’s going to be our longest issue yet!)

on the blog :Rebecca’s found a way to slow down and enjoy the holidays this year.

on pinterest: I wish someone would make me a batch of these salted caramels.

 

reading list

I discovered the Kindle edition of Greensleeves and spent a delicious evening rediscovering one of my favorite books from middle school. I had forgotten how much I loved this book.

I am on a cookbook buying spree, apparently: I picked up Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix, NOPI, Genius Recipes, and Gjelina. (At least a couple of them are for other people, I promise.) What’s on your cookbook radar these days?

We have commenced our annual December readaloud of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I thought about switching it up this year and reading something different, but the kids were having none of it. And now that we’ve started, I’m glad — it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without it.

 

at home

We’re definitely deep into holiday making mode. Like a lot of people, we follow the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read” plan for minimizing stuff, but we also allow unlimited homemade gifts, which I like because they make everyone more excited about giving than getting. (Plus the “Keep Out” signs the kids come up with for their bedroom doors every year really crack me up.) I usually make one big knitted gift per person (this year, as you know, it’s sweaters for the kids and a scarf for Jas), a notebook of poetry, quotes, cartoons, memories, little notes, etc. for each person that I add to sporadically all year (I use these notebooks), and some kind of plush for the kids. This year, thanks to my forced downtime, I actually finished my making early for the first time ever.

And speaking of the holidays, few things are more fun than breaking out the Menorasaurus Rex for the first night of Hanukkah.

I’m so happy that the second season of Broadchurchis finally on Netflix. And people keep telling me to watch Jessica Jones—is it really that good?

I want to make this super cute Missoni-ish scarf so much. How cool is that a basically one-row pattern turns into such a cool chevron design?


Stuff We Like :: 10.30.15

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

It’s a big weekend for us here since our very favorite girl will be celebrating her birthday! So there’s lots to love about this week.

around the web

I have learned to love my Kindle (you can pack 100 books in one suitcase), but I’m thrilled by the resurgence of print.

I am insanely, ridiculously excited that the Cure is planning a 2016 concert tour.

Well, yes, everybody should be studying Buffy.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: Nine new fall books that should probably be on your library list.

in the magazine: It’s looking like we’ll be breaking our total page number record with the winter issue. There’s some terrific stuff coming in!

from the archives: I love this post from Idzie about why boredom can be a good thing.

 

reading list

I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice on audiobook (it is only $1.95 if you download the free ebook on your Kindle—totally worth it!) because it’s like the literary equivalent of mashed potatoes—comfort food for the brain.

Apparently, this is my week for intellectual comfort food because I’ve also been rereading The Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first in the Amelia Peabody series. (If you like Agatha Christie and Egyptology, this series is probably right up your alley.)

My kids have been reading the Warrior Cats series out loud together, and they’re pretty adorable about it. I like it so much when my daughter likes a book so much she wants to share it with her little brother—it’s the best reading inspiration he could have.

 

at home

Invader Zim inspired this year’s Halloween costumes, so we’ve been enjoying a Zim marathon this week while carefully embroidering alien masks. Jason has promised to wheel me around our neighborhood for trick-or-treating, so wish us luck.

My creative writing students are publishing a magazine this year, and I’m so proud of their hard work. Seriously, that class is often the high point of my week—I love the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the project.

I am bopping along on my holiday knitting. (I’m halfway through with my daughter’s very pink Boxy.) What about you?


Stuff We Like :: 7.24.15

home|school|life's Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

First stories are starting to roll in for the fall issue around here, but we are firmly committed to believing that summer will never end. Hence: Much time at the pool, coffee dates with new friends, matinee movies, and reading on the porch.

around the web

It’s no secret that I love Joss Whedon, but Joss Whedon + a female Victorian Batman? Sign me up now.

This review of the Egg Master make me laugh out loud. (Under redeeming features: “It’s quite space-efficient, being so dense with evil.”)

I was fascinated by this article on the physiological effects of reading great literature — and pretty delighted by the possibility that thoughtful reading might make us, ultimately, smarter.

 

at home/school/life

on the blog: People often ask us why we don’t have a print edition of home/school/life — here’s the answer.

on pinterest: Wouldn’t it be fun to make a set of these storytelling dice with images that inspire your kid’s imagination?

on the blog: Have you been following our summer reading series?

 

reading list

My daughter has had her nose buried in Ready Player One for most of the summer — I think she’s on her second reread.

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to read The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, which I’ve finally gotten my hot little hands on.

I’m a sucker for a good biography, and David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers has been my poolside reading material recently. I thought I knew all about the Wrights, but this book has been full of fun surprises.

 

in the kitchen

Tacos are my oops-I-forgot-about-dinner solution, and this vegetarian version (with goat cheese!) is a great way to use a little summer produce, too.

I've been freezing basil puree (puree 1 cup of basil leaves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil) in an ice tray so that I can pull out the taste of summer for pesto and salad dressing throughout the year. Lucky for me, there's tons of basil at the market right now.

I made these ginger-peach cobbler bars as a back-up dessert, and they were a sleeper potluck hit.

 

at home

Jason and I went to see Mr. Holmes, which I loved — it feels ragged and lyrical next to the logical cohesion of the Holmes narratives, and to me, that felt just right for a detective near the end of his days. Plus, Ian McKellen can do no wrong.

I’m prepping for my Buffy the Vampire Slayer seminar this fall by screening season two. It's obviously a tough job.

I knitted a longer version of this little lacy top (free pattern) in recycled silk/cotton yarn for my daughter’s swim cover-up this year — it’s really cute and a super-quick knit.

I think Space Camp was our favorite week of Camp Google so far.

 

notable sales

Craftsy has a big supply sale going on this weekend through Monday, July 27. I’m tempted to pick up a pack of Copic Multiliner pens for our sketchbooks bag (they’re 40% off), and I think I’m going to finally shell out for a Trim N Turn Cake Turntable so that I keep my frosting tidy (it’s on sale for just under $14), though of course, then I will have no excuse for my messy frosting. It's a real dilemma.

A few good young adult book deals: John Greene’s An Abundance of Katherines is just $5.92 in paperback right now, and the Kindle version of Rainbow Rowell’s (delightful) Fangirlis just $4.99.


Stuff We Like : Late Winter Edition

home|school|life’s Friday roundup of the best homeschool links, reads, tools, and other fun stuff has lots of ideas and resources.

The red-winged blackbirds are back — which means spring is coming, even though our back deck was dusted with snow a couple of days ago. This winter has been cold but not snowy, so we’ve spent a lot of time inside around the fire this year. That means lots of books and artsy-crafts projects in our house.

:: We have a lovely stack of biographies to read for Women’s History Month. (Did you see all the great recommendations we had in the winter issue? I think the Marie Curie biography is one of the best-written biographies I’ve read in a long time, but my daughter is loving Invincible Louisa, which didn’t even end up on our final list for the magazine.)

:: Everybody seems to be having babies this year, and I’ve made Milo and the Puerperium Cardigan (free) so many times I can knit them even when I get caught up in the Buffy musical (which may be the greatest single episode of television ever, no?).

:: My daughter is very into making felt portraits of her favorite anime characters right now, so we have been on the hunt for quality felt. We’re digging the plant-dyed colors from A Child’s Dream, which are richer and more subtle than some of the crayon brights we’ve discovered. Bonus: The pink is apparently just the right shade for Madoka’s hair.

:: Cold weather apparently makes me want comfort books because I have been rereading some of the cheerfully old-fashioned domestic books I loved in my younger days: The Blue Castle (don’t you really want a movie version of this in which Nathan Fillion plays Barney?), A Woman Named Smith,The Grand Sophy,The Rose Revived

:: Winter is my favorite time to make complicated, lots-of-prep-work-required recipes, and Nigella’s Mughlai Chicken is one of our favorites — creamy and not-too-spicy served over mounds of basmati rice with spinach on the side.

:: This is also our season of board game playing. Wildcraft remains our family favorite — we always cheer when we draw the chickweed card because that is one handy plant — but we have also enjoyed Quixx (a dice game that’s like a cooler, more strategic Yahtzee), Quilt Show, Tokaido (which nicely taps into the kids’ passion for all things Japanese), and the Laser Maze logic game.

:: We have had a lot of fun with the How to Make a Coat of Arms tutorial at the The Postman’s Knock. I think we now have coats of arms for ourselves, the Grimm sisters, Ciel Phantomhive, Pigeon (of Mo Willems fame), and the Baudelaire and Snicket families hanging up in our art room.

What's your family enjoying this March?