mo willems

Stuff We Like :: Holiday Break Edition

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

We’re taking a couple of weeks off to wrap up the winter issue and just chill (but we do have a few great blog posts scheduled over the next few weeks), so this will be our last Stuff We Like of 2015. We expect to like plenty of stuff in 2016, too, so we’ll be back to our regular posting in January.

around the web

Everybody is talking about Iceland’s Christmas Eve book flood, but that’s because it’s awesome.

I don’t really take selfies, but after reading this, I kind of want to.

Dream trip: The Alice in Wonderland guide to Oxford

 

at home/school/life

in the magazine: The winter issue may be my favorite issue yet—and it'll be out in just a few weeks. Right now I’m editing a really cool piece on planning your life after homeschool. (Because after homeschooling, you can do anything!)

on the blog: I am inspired by Lisa’s post on making your own wellness a priority—that’s something I really struggle with.

on pinterest: Now all I can think about is making homemade chocolate pop tarts.

 

reading list

I’m reading an odd little book about early 19th century murders that’s equal parts bizarre and fascinating. If you’re interested in a quirky history of the dark side of the Romantics, you too might enjoy Murder By Candlelight.

We started Sea of Trolls as a winter readaloud—even though it’s not build-a-fire weather at all around here, this seems like the perfect book to read by the fireplace. Maybe we’ll do it anyway.

Both the activity-ish books we got the kids for Hanukkah this year have been big hits: Finish This Book (for our teenager) and Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book (for the 8-year-old).

 

at home

We are settling in for a few days of much-needed vacation. On the agenda: Harry Potter movies, hot chocolate, cuddling, and starting my ZickZack scarf. (I couldn’t resist!)

My best friend and I are planning a Dollhouse marathon over the break. (Are you a Dollhouse fan? When I first watched it—when it originally aired—I was pretty bummed by what seemed like a lot of unrealized potential, but on further viewings, it’s really grown on me. I’m pretty interested in some of its ideas about identity and consent.)

I am practicing walking in the most comfortable, supportive shoes I have ever owned. Jas teases me that my Alegria Palomas are "prescription shoes" and they are definitely clunky looking, but wow, seriously comfortable.

New Year’s Eve is the best excuse to eat blinis with creme fraiche and smoked salmon.


9 new books to read this fall

Grab your library list—these are the new fall books we're most excited about.

Grab your library list -- this are the fall books we're most excited about
The Marvels
By Brian Selznick

 

A book by the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an event, and Selznick’s latest—a story of an 18th century shipwreck, told mostly in pictures, twined with a seemingly unrelated tale of late 20th century London, told mostly in prose—is worth the hype.

 

 

 

He’s explored Greek and Egyptian mythology; now the Percy Jackson author turns his attention to Norse myths.

 

Leo: A Ghost Story
By Mac Barnett

 

 

Leo knows he’d make a wonderful friend, if only he could find someone who doesn’t immediately race off in terror when he bids a ghostly “hello.”

 

 

 

Beard’s sprawling, bawdy history of the Roman empire features the usual suspects (Caesar, Nero) as well as a host of ordinary folks that don't always show up in history, including bakers, jokers, and women.

 

 

 

 

Carry On: A Novel
By Rainbow Rowell

 

 

Following up on the success of Fangirl, Rowell returns to the world of Simon Snow, this time in a story focused on the boy wizard himself.

 

 

 

The Pigeon creator heads to Paris with his first chapter book about a homebody dog who meets a wandering cat and finds true friendship.

 

 

What is life like for the teenagers who aren’t the ones destined to battle evil forces? Ness’s protagonists have bigger problems than preventing the end of the world or falling in love with vampires—problems like getting a date for prom and passing biology.

 

 

A little boy makes two friends to help him cope with his fears about his new house in this delightfully illustrated picture book.

 

Lenny & Lucy
By Philip C. Stead

 

 

Riggs wraps up the quirky trilogy that started with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.


Stuff We Like :: 7.10.15

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

around the web

This NPR story confirms something I have always suspected: The team with the most librarians usually wins.

The whole #distractinglysexy thing was hilarious, but sexist jokes are serious.

“I’m not behind on my emails, I’m ahead on my life.”

I feel kind of icky about the circumstances of the new Harper Lee novel, but this article about what life is like now in the Alabama town that inspired Maycomb was a fascinating read.

 

at home/school/life

on pinterest: Genius! Write the microwave-in-a-mug cooking directions right on your mug with a Sharpie.

on instagram: We’re kind of new to the whole Instagram thing, but apparently we need to eat more doughnuts? We are down with that! See you there?

on the blog: Our blog is hopping with book lists, columns, and all kinds of fun stuff to celebrate our site relaunch, but you do not want to miss Lisa’s great post on why curiosity is the most important thing to give your kids.

 

reading list

I finally got around to reading The Girl on the Train, but I didn’t love it the way other people seemed to. What am I missing?

We discovered the Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book in a museum gift shop, and it is just delightful. We had to buy a second copy because my daughter really didn’t want to share. (Fair enough!)

“But I’m a little burned out on the whole dystopian thing,” I said when Suzanne raved about The Girl with All the Gifts. I was wrong — apparently there will always be room in my heart for really interesting dystopian fiction.

We’re reading the first book in The League of Beastly Dreadfuls series as our morning readaloud and digging the Roald Dahl/Lemony Snicket-ness of it.

I am afraid to hand my copy of Echo over to my daughter because I loved it so much, and what if she doesn’t? (But of course I will because this book is too good not to share.)

 

in the kitchen

I made a little batch of this blackberry-cabernet jam thinking that I might give it for holiday presents, but now I’m getting kind of my precious about keeping it all for myself.

This roasted carrot and avocado salad almost always ends up somewhere in our weekly summer meal rotation.

Easy cherry crostini is my kind of dessert, which is a good thing since I am apparently incapable of passing up cherries at the market. (I swear, I thought we were out! All three times!)

 

at home

I have had Winter is for Kierkegaard by Tyler Lyle playing on repeat for the last week. Even though it’s the opposite of winter here in Atlanta, and — obviously — autumn is for Kierkegaard.

I really want to knit Marigold, but it seems like an Advanced Expert pattern and I am just a Fairly Enthusiastic Amateur. Has anybody else had any success with it? I can’t crochet and I am so jealous of those gorgeous crochet flowers that people make, so I’m thinking this could be substitute.

There’s a Mo Willems exhibition at the art museum near us, and so it has been all Pigeon all the time here. (We are big fans.)

 

notable sales

Doctor, meet the Doctor: This Horton Sees a Who shirt is totally worth $12

Lots of good buys in Amazon’s monthly Kindle book deals, including The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (a steal for $2.99) and Jacob Have I Loved (just $1.99), one of my YA faves by the great Katherine Paterson.

KnitPicks has its Chroma Worsted self-striping yarn on sale for 30% off. I’ve been wanting to make another Rayures, but I’m also tempted to try something like the Butterfly Beanie.


Things We Read: June Edition

Things We Read: June Edition

Lockwood and Co. battle ghosts in an alternate London, an orphan finds a home at Green Gables, a girl discovers a magical boy in a curious museum, and more books we're reading this month together and separately.