Because everyone needs a giant TV that costs $40,000. Scroll waaaay down for the reviews.
I have a soft spot for the Enid Blyton book The Magic Faraway Tree as it is the first book I can remember my mother reading to me and many of the fantasy games I played in childhood were based on it. The house we grew up in was surrounded by trees and we named the largest one after it. This mom makes one out of cardboard for her kids to play with -- she is very faithful to the details.
You must watch the British family sitcom Outnumbered. Apparently it is largely unscripted, and it is hilarious. The kids, especially. Via My Porch. You can watch oodles of clips on youtube, if that link doesn't work for you. I would love to be a fly on the wall while they film this -- wonder what the process is and just how much the kids come up with on their own.
In the United States, you can get excellent postage rates on unusually shaped items that weigh less than 13 ounces. The people in this flickr group share the fun things they've sent through the mail. I need to check if similar rates apply here in Canada as it'd be neat to send some of these things to the kids' cousins on the other side of the country.
An interesting post on apothecary show globes.
Joanna Goddard is starting an articles club, instead of a book club. She's starting with this article, in which the author advocates calmly ignoring one's partner when he or she claims to want a divorce.
Apparently Mary Hedderwick, author of the Katie Morag books, has had trouble with her publishers over her pictures of breastfeeding mothers. That's what breasts are for, people! Breastfeeding would be much, much easier if breasts weren't so sexualized and therefore hidden in polite company.
As a child reading the Narnia books, I remember wishing the series would never end. Lev Grossman's books The Magicians and The Magician King are a magnificent gift to adults who were children like me. I cannot recommend these brilliant books highly enough.
Vivi has generously leant me one of her official pirate hats for my super top secret fashion project. Here's a sneak peek. Hint: it involves painting periwinkles purple.
Can you guess what we're working on?
Parenting.com ranks the best American cities in which to raise children.
My cousin Tonya found my grandmother's recipe for opium... I mean lemon poppyseed cake and she made it. I want some. Yum.
Luke had a case of scarlet fever a couple of weeks ago. I was shocked. I thought scarlet fever had gone the way of Beth in Little Women* but no, it's still out there. And apparently there's a new more virulent strain appearing in China and Hong Kong right now. Some other "old-fashioned" childhood diseases are making a comeback, too, thanks to people who don't vacinnate. (Except for scarlet fever -- antibiotics virtually eradicated it but it has mutated and become resistant.)
*I'm kind of amazed there aren't any really pretty editions of Little Women out there. It's very odd it hasn't been included in one of those designer series of classics that keep coming out. You can, however, download it onto your kindle for free, which I just did.
Here is a gorgeous photo of Prague. I need to figure out how to get there.
And last but not least for today, Amy Poehler makes Photoshop suggestions for her own photo. "Make neck smarter" is one of them.
This is brilliant. Instead of saving all your kids' artwork or tossing it all, scan each piece, shrink them, and frame them like this.
Maybe everyone else has already seen this but I haven't, until now: a baby iPhone case from Fisher-Price. Sylvie loves playing with Talking Carl on my iPhone and it keeps her busy while we're waiting, say in a restaurant. But I'm always waiting for her to hurl it across the room and break it forever. Via pinterest.
An interesting interview with Paula Fox in which she calls her granddaughter Courtney Love a psychopath.
Over at the Nameberry blog, Elisabeth Wilborn puts a spin on the top 100 names for girls. She chooses a name for each that sounds or feels similar but isn't as popular. I remember reading that this is the way these lists evolve -- people want to name their baby something different but not too different. "Sylvie" is listed as an alternative for "Sophie" and I think she's got that one spot on. A number of people have misheard "Sophie" when I tell them Sylvie's name. And I've noticed more and more new baby Sylvies online. I hope the name doesn't get too popular too quickly.
My favourite writing teacher Thaisa Frank muses about language and the moon.
When you choose not to vaccinate your children, you are affecting the health of other children whose families haven't made that choice:
Eighty-nine percent of all reported cases [of measles] have been in people who've been unvaccinated. Almost 20 percent of that figure is made up of children who were less than a year old. That means they were too young to have received the first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is given once between the ages of twelve and fifteen months and again when a child is between four and six years old. Another twenty percent of the total number of reported infections were in children between the ages of one and four.
One Story's list of the top ten short stories.
The Perfume Diet. It's funny -- I really started to get into perfume when I was on a strict diet. I suppose I was replacing one sensory pleasure with another.