Th Reading Lair

Posts Tagged ‘Book Nooks’

  • A Secret Garden…of Creativity {In Photos}

    Friday, March 8th, 2013

    A couple of weeks ago, Wolverine and I took a quick overnight trip to one of the seaside towns up the coast from us. We’ve had this gift certificate to the Cambria Pines Lodge set aside for forever (and by “forever” I might mean 2 1/2 YEARS…ahem. But hey, no judging – it’s how people with small-ish kids roll). Anyhoo…we went to refresh and breathe in the piney ocean air. And experience this thing called “silence” that people without cute small-ish children speak of.

    No cell phones. No computers.

    Just us.

    And the Lodge’s secret garden…

    garden door, Cambria Pines Lodge CA

    Which was like this crazy beautiful muse of creativity for the soul…

    garden fountain, Cambria Pines Lodge CA

    And of course I thought your soul might like to breathe in the muse too.

    So I brought home pics for you…

    garden sundial, Cambria Pines Lodge

    secret garden, Cambria Pines Lodge CA

    secret garden door, Cambria Pines Lodge

    winter garden, Cambria Pines Lodge

    winter arbors and fountain, Cambria Pines Lodge

    lion fountain, Cambria Pines Lodge

    Okay, these last two pics might be more for me.

    Cuz, you know – I can rarely post photos without including some kind of food to ogle.

    garden breakfast, Cambria Pines Lodge

    Or this nice boy I kinda like.

    who is Mary Christine Weber married to?


    But now I want to know what crazy, creative muse moves YOU, preciouses.

    What is it that refreshes YOUR soul?


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    Posted in Book Nooks, Romantic Things, Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

  • Off the Book Beaten Path

    Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

    I don’t know about you, but summer is my busiest season of the year. It’s when my work picks up and I’m away at youth camp or facilitating fundraisers or sitting in on extra counseling sessions or planning vbs (Narnia-themed this year!) or making sure schedules are out and teams are set up or background checks are done before the school year starts again.

    And in between those things, I read books. And I blog about the interesting ones. And I try to write intriguing ones of my own.

    And much more important, I continue to work hard at being a good mom. One whom my kids feel connected to and cherished by, no matter how busy my schedule is. One whom, at the end of the day, they can say was there for them, investing in them, challenging and cuddling them.

    Not that I always manage this (cuz let’s be honest — sometimes I’m sadly lousy at it), but I try. And they know I try.

    Which is what was going through my mind as I stared at this computer screen yesterday with its white-paged blog post waiting to be written…before finally giving up and telling the kids to pile into the van instead. Off we went and spent the rest of the afternoon at one of our favorite local barns, petting the animals and breathing in the salty sea air and dribbling peach juice all down our chins. 

    Incidentally, that’s my excuse for why you’ve ended up with a post full of photos today rather than anything remotely to do with books. :0)

    Because to paraphrase something my friend Allen Arnold said in his incredible keynote speech at the recent Christy Awards – The most important story isn’t the one you’re reading or writing. The most important story is the one you’re living.

    So here is yesterday’s story. In pictures (because my kids LOVE pictures… oh, and minus Wolverine since he was at work). :0)

    We’ve been coming to this farm since my oldest was 4 years old.

    Around the barn are fields of fruit and veggies. Once they ripen, we like to wander through the rows and pick them out to take home.

    (Um…my oldest just turned 13, by the way.)


    Inside are the most amazing flower displays. We like to stick our faces in them.


    My youngest always begs us to buy fresh roasted corn.


    So of course we did and sprinkled all sorts of goodness on it. (Yes, that’s mayo. My kids love it. It’s a weird California thing.)


    And then we took a hayride.


    And along the way, Middle Child decided we needed to pick tons of giant peaches.


    Before we walked back along the flower path.


    And imagined we were cowboys.


    Finally, we came home and slept up in our tree house.

    Have I ever told you we have a tree house? We do. Wolverine’s been building it. It’s kind of amazing. I’ll take you on a photo tour sometime. ;0)


    And how about you, my preciouses?

     How’s YOUR “summer story”going?



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    Posted in Book Nooks, Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

  • Little Free Libraries

    Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

    A concept this magical hasn’t captured my attention on such obsessive proportions since the discovery of fairy steampunk tea parties, unicorns, and snickerdoodles dipped in white chocolate. 

    Little Free Libraries

    Promoting “literacy and the love of reading” while building a sense of community through sharing. Suggestions for placement are in community gardens, parks, hospice and health centers, and neighborhoods. Give a book, take a book, with the idea of paying it forward.

    Okay, seriously? What more magical way to spend the autumn season, with its cozy crackly fires and damp leaves and afternoon tea with the neighbors, than by putting up a cute little neighborhood library to share BOOKS with said neighbors? I want one. On my street. In my driveway. In fact, excuse me while I go find my husband and plead with his engineering self to build me one for my very own.

    In the meantime, you must read about these Little Free Libraries.

    And then you must visit their website.

    And don’t eat my white chocolate snickerdoodles until I return.


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    Posted in Book Nooks, Book Reviews | 18 Comments »

  • Bookish Things that Should be Wrapped in Ribbon and Pretty Strings (plus a recipe)

    Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

    I’ve assembled an array of Christmasy-type things I’m liking. And if you’ve got a book lover in your life, or if you ARE a book lover, you can go ahead and say it with me: “These are seriously yummy.”

    Love. This. Book.


    Okay, this is precious. And if my husband wants to buy me it for Christmas, I won’t complain. Of course, he’ll have to get me the iPad to go with it, but…


    The New Yorker posted this holiday gift guide for book lovers. I especially love the little book nook.



    And if you’re looking for some children’s books to place near that cute nook, Joanna over at Confessions from Suite 500, has some super fab recommendations this week! You should check them out. I want this one.


    Lastly, since food is a must with nooks and books and Christmasy things, my mother-in-law and I made these Kolacky cookies today with, like, 10 kids. It’s an old family recipe of my mom-in-law’s. And they’re amazing.

    A Recipe for Kolacky Cookies

    1. 1 cup butter
    2. ½ cup powdered sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
    3. 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
    4. 2 cups flour (more or less until firm)
    5. Jam or preserves (we use apricot and razzleberry)

    Mix ingredients. Roll out on a smooth surface; then cut out into circles. Thumbprint each circle and fill with a bit of jam. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool; then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with milk, tea, or coffee and enjoy!







    Happy Christmas everyone!

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in Book Nooks, Games, Literary Classics, Reading Recipes | 16 Comments »

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