Posted in Books, Christmas, Food, holiday, Lists

A few favorite gifts

Time is growing short to find the right gift for yourself or someone you love. I wish I could say I made money off affiliate links, but I don’t. I’m simply a struggling author sharing some things I love that you might enjoy.

Sphynx with one foot on the ground and three on a colorful drinking fountain.

This is my Sphynx Juno. She’s 12. Rather than drinking from the Catit flower fountain like a normal cat, she prefers this pose. She has tried this on other fountains and bowls, tipping them over. This one is Juno-proof!

All our cats love this fountain. We no longer worry one kitty will develop kidney problems from a lack of water.

It’s cheap, cute and easy to clean. I got it from Chewy.

A 2020 Christmas Ornament. Normally we add an ornament to the Christmas tree that commemorates some place we went during the year. But this is 2020. Out of virus concerns, we followed public health recommendations and stayed home. My family hasn’t had the big reveal so no pic yet, but Etsy.com has a delightful variety and you can support small businesses hurt by the shuttering of craft fairs and other in person outlets. If you want to shop local, Etsy gives you that choice as well. Claire of Sidetracked supports Etsy.

Books – ebooks and physical books!

Seriously – feed an author, buy a book, and give the gift of entertainment.

Gift Cards from local restaurants. Support those places you love, but also treat people who don’t live with you to a great meal from some place local to them.

Some local bakeries and ice cream places will ship across country which can be a wonderful taste of home for someone who can’t travel or has special dietary needs.

Personally, I’m excited about the AandJbakery.net gingerbread house kit that arrived at my house this week. As a food allergy family, finding a gingerbread house we could safely build was a challenge until we learned about A&J. The pic is last year’s model. The gingerbread is the best I’ve ever had.

Happy Holidays and a joyous new year
Wishing you peace, Lola

Posted in Books, childhood, First Friday Five, parenting, Reading, tween

First Friday Five: Great Books for Middle School Readers

I’ve invited a special guest to share some of her favorite books for Middle School and Teen readers. Four of the Five are series specially selected by one of the loveliest young ladies I know. Without further ado, my twelve-year-old daughter is here to share her recommended reads for Middle Schoolers.  As with last week’s bonus post, “Great Books for Elementary Schoolers,” I’m including buy links to Amazon and Barnes&Noble for your gift-giving convenience, but don’t overlook other sources too. I make no money on any of these sales. My daughter and I want to help you find great reads for tweens and teens in your life.

  1. The Unwanteds by Lisa Mcmann, fantasy series- This is a great series for anyone creative or magic-loving. It is a struggle as two brothers face the real world and its challenges.  Amazon  and  Barnes&Noble 
  2. Warriors series by Erin Hunter- This series tells the story of house cats struggling to survive in the wild from their point of view. Leaves the reader thinking, “is that what my cat does?” Amazon and Barnes&Noble  
  3. Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull- What would it be like to live in a world of dragons, danger, and magic? Read to find out. Amazon and Barnes&Noble 
  4. Wings of fire series by Tui T. Sutherland- A war has been raging in a land for many years. This is the story of five dragonlets and how their actions affect their world. Available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble Box sets are great for voracious readers.
  5. The Candymakers – from  Wendy Mass- the story of four young kids in a candy factory trying to make the best new candy of the year. Each have their own secrets and story to share. There are five parts. Amazon and Barnes&Noble

There are multiple other books that did not make it onto this list. My daughter hopes that if one liked these recommendations, you’ll might explore other books and series by the author. Erin Hunter and Brandon Mull have multiple series she recommends. Erin Hunter also writes the Seekers and Survivors series. Brandon Mull also writes The Five Kingdoms, Beyonders, and The Candy Shop War Series. Sequel series to Fablehaven and The Unwanteds are coming out soon.

Quick – now that she’s out of the room, if you have any recommendations, please list them in the comments. I can hardly keep up with all her reading and as a parent, that’s a wonderful problem to have.

Posted in organization, Uncategorized

Cheap Thrills

For the second weekend in a row, I’m trying my best to resist the siren’s call.  There’s an estate sale within walking distance of my house and a balloon festooned sign announcing the sale in my yard.  This is a problem because I love estate sales.

Unlike the humble garage sale, which can be a great place to find bargains, the estate sale allows me to enter the home of a stranger and peruse their furnishing in situ. Even without the personal knickknacks often claimed by family members, the estate sale offers a glimpse into how other people lived.  What furniture did this collector of depression era glass prefer?  What did they read? And where did they sit while reading?  And there is the problem, for me anyway.

I have the bad habit of buying chairs. My garage is a testimony to my love of chairs old and new.  I try to only walk to estate sales since driving makes it much easier to load up on chairs. It wasn’t that long ago that I managed to drag home a pair of blue leather mid-century twentieth century chairs that I scored for $45.  They are really comfortable.  Perfect for kids and grown-ups alike, which is a rare feature to find.

I’m trying my best to stay on my work chair today, which is a lovely red sparkle retro-diner chair. But it’s hard to forget the twenty-dollar bill in my wallet and the desire to have an adventure.  If I’m slow answering email today, you’ll know why.

What’s your estate sale addiction? Tell me and I’ll keep an eye out for you.