An Awesome Alternative to "Oh the Places You'll Go"

 Hi friends! It's been a while. The school year is taking its toll on me, but I am bursting with so many fun things I want to talk about! I'm hoping that if I focus on sharing them in bite-size chunks, maybe it will seem manageable - but we will see.  Until June, I'm not making any promises (:

Anyway, today I just wanted to share the most delightful new book I found called What Would You Do in a Book About You?

Grayceful Gift Guides: Pink Valentine's Day

While I'm in the middle of #28daysofpink, I thought I would round up a few of my favorite pink gift ideas - most of which I own and love, but I wouldn't be mad about receiving the rest ;)

10 Christmas Books We Love (and 10 more for our wish list)

I love pulling out seasonal books each year - it's so fun to remember what's there after they'e been packed away for so long!  Many of these are from my childhood, which brings a little extra dose of nostalgia.  I am all for gutting the clutter, but I will always advocate for saving books.  (And buying books - ha!)

  1. Santa Mouse - I just love this charming little character.  We actually have a Treasury of Santa Mouse with three stories, and it’s one of my favorite things to read each year. The writing is fun to read out loud, the illustrations are darling, and the story is sweet.  We’ve turned it into a little tradition to leave cheese out along with some cookies for Santa and Santa Mouse.

  2. Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear - I love the OG Berenstain Bears books; they just feel so spot on to me for our family dynamic.

  3. All the Colors of Christmas - We always like to pick a favorite book to give to all of our “cousin” families along with a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls, and this is our choice for this year! Matthew Paul Turner has written some of our very favorite books, and this one does not disappoint.

  4. The Nutcracker in Harlem - I wrote a whole post last year on my love for Nutcracker books, but I love this one so much I couldn’t leave it off the list.  It’s gorgeous, and I love listening to the Harlem Nutcracker as a variation of my daily Tchaikovsky.

  5. Tallulah’s Nutcracker - Same, same: I just couldn’t leave this one out. Tallulah is such a sweet little character.

  6. Claris: Holiday Heist - Megan Hess’s gorgeous fashion illustrations are gorgeous, and I’m so glad we have a new Claris to add to our collection!  The girls lost their minds when I told them the giant bow on Cartier was a real decoration.

  7. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree - I love the perspective shift that comes along with the shrinking tree!

  8. The Christmas Promise - We chose this one for family gifts last year or the year before; a gorgeous and truthful telling of the Christmas story that feels genuine.

  9. The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas - I’m a sucker for the colors and fun text of anything produced by Make Believe Ideas, and this story about a lost baby polar bear is too sweet!

  10. The Autobiography of Santa Claus - Not a picture book (I know, I’m shocked too), but a fun weaving of history and legend that grown-ups and older kids will enjoy.  We are reading this aloud at lunchtime and my girls are very into it, but we may not finish by Christmas; it’s pretty long.

I think our book box has plenty of space left, don’t you?  Here are a few more that are on my wish list:

  1. Walk This World at Christmastime

  2. Here Comes Santa Cat

  3. Silent Night

  4. Pick a Pine Tree

  5. Dasher

  6. Red and Lulu

  7. Noel Streatfeild’s Christmas Stories

  8. Mistletoe

  9. How Winston Delivered Christmas

  10. When Santa Was a Baby

Grayceful Girls Book Club Gift Guide

So I *think* I am done shopping for the girls, with the exception of a few stocking stuffers, and I can't wait to share how we leaned in HARD on the cat thing for them this Christmas.  Today, though, I wanted to share a gift guide based on reading, adventures, and of course, picture biographies.

15 Best Non-Spooky Halloween Books

Well, it would have been fun to put this post up in early October, but, life.  This school year has KICKED MY BUTT, but actually in a lot of the very best ways.  T and I are just sort of in this season of working our tails off, and it's nice to see how much we are able to accomplish.  I spent a lot of years of early motherhood just surviving motherhood, so to be able to challenge myself creatively and intellectually feels immensely satisfying.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still teaching and leading teachers in a pandemic, and it is bat crazy, but also totally rewarding.

The Friday Five Vol. 11

  1. Fanny pack - I declared fanny packs the must-have accessory years ago at a bachelorette party in Disneyland, and I stand by it.  This one is adorable.

The Friday Five Vol. 10

Happy Juneteenth! I love that so many companies are recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday this year! A friend told me yesterday that her (huge) company is giving their employees the day off of work but not as vacation, as an opportunity to listen and learn.  I think that's so cool, and I think there is a good chance this could become a national holiday someday soon.

Here are a few things on my mind this week:
  1. Blue Light Glasses: Oh my gosh, I have been spending so much time staring at a computer this summer, and I don't know if the MacBook screens are just different than PCs or what, but my eyes are so tired by the end of the day.  I kept seeing people wearing blue-light blocking glasses, and was interested, but also kind of skeptical.  My regular glasses give me a headache if I wear them all day, though, so I figured I'd give some a try.  So far, I think my eyes are less tired, and I've been coding and Zooming all day long.  I bought a super lightweight, metal pair, so they don't put as much pressure on my face as my regular glasses, which seems to help with the headache.  I think overall, I would give these a tentative two thumbs up, even if T thinks I look like "an old librarian" LOL!