Update: Less Crap, More Organization

Hey, remember this list? I posted it back at the end of May and was going to try to get everything done by the end of July. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but here it is October and I am still crossing things off the list. Here’s where things stand today:

Move the still-too-big toddler clothes from the basement to a storage box under our bed.
Remove the too small/too warm clothes from Frances closet.
Go through the “done with this” baby stuff in the basement and either donate to A Wider Circle or pass on to friends.
Clean refrigerator
Clean freezer

Clean off the bookcases in our living room.
Clean out bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet. Discard expired medications.
Get photos into the frames we got for Christmas.
Get those framed photos up on the wall.

Get last year’s Christmas Card framed.
Scan in my childhood print photos.
Get an album for those childhood photos that I also want to keep in print.
Add all my print recipes to Evernote.
Make Frances the Sesame Street book I got a Living Social deal for.

(Giving credit, where credit is due, Jami is actually the one who got the photos on the walls. Thanks, sweetie!)

I’m hoping to tackle the bookcases this weekend, Let’s see how long it ACTUALLY takes me to get this list done.

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Update: Less Crap, More Organization

Frances’ Favorite Books: 21 Months

These are some of the books that have been big hits in our house in the past 3 months.

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack. A mostly wordless books about a frog, who escapes capture by a kid, only to successively end up near a turtle, alligator, and flamingo, all who would like to eat him. Lots of action, bright fun illustrations, plenty of chances for a toddler to shout AH HA!

Bruno Munari’s Zoo. Really lovely, colorful illustrations and not too much text (a winning combo in our house) about the animals at the zoo.

Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist. Helquist has written (and illustrated) a charming book about a disgruntled goat, transformed into friendly guy by his love of a beautiful dandelion. Really great illustrations (and any book where Frances can identify all the animals and the sounds they make is a hit these days!)

Jamberry by Bruce Degen. I’ve written about Jamberry before, but we just got it out of the library again, and it’s as big a hit as ever. Last night Frances wouldn’t let me read any other books before I read Jamberry. (Still a cute, rhyming book about a boy, a bear, berries and jam, of all things.)

Madlenka’s Dog by Peter Sis. This is a really beautifully illustrated book about a little girl who wants a dog – and the power of imagination. When Madlenka walks her imaginary dog around her city block the neighbors that she meets all imagine a different dog (shown under flaps) – one has spots, one is small and fluffy, one is big and woolly, and so on.

Pigsty by Mark Teague. The Mark Teague love remains strong. This is an older book by him about a boy who doesn’t want to clean him room (so the pigs move in).
Really cute.

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang. This is a sweet and simple book that counts down to a little girls bedtime – from 10 toes “washed and warm” to “one big girl all ready for bed”.

This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington. You know all about the roast-beef-eating, wee-weeing piggies – but what about the toes on the other foot? Harrington comes up with some pretty fun activities that they do, which wear all the piggies out and make them ready for sleep. Another good bedtime story.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This is a total classic, which probably doesn’t need any description, but it definitely holds up. Good for all Wild Thing kids!

Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli. I feel like we are late to the party on this book, but it’s a charming, funny book about foods that are good to eat and… things that are not so good to eat (Example: “Sandwiches are yummy. Sand is yucky.”). A quick, fun read. Frances loves to say YUCK at the end.

Frances’ Favorite Books: 21 Months

What I Read: September 2013

I read 6 books in September, 4 fiction, 2 non-fiction. 3 in print, 3 on the Kindle.

Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to New York by Paul Gallico. The sequel to Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, which I read last month. In this book, Mrs. ‘Arris (London’s finest charwoman), goes with one of her clients to New York, ostensibly to help them set up house, but mostly to try to find the father of her poor abused and abandoned neighbor, young Henry Brown. Lighthearted fun.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Jonathan Tropper was recommended to me when I was looking for summer reading recommendations (but it took a while for this book to come in at the library). Tropper was described to me as funny, and I get where they are coming from. This book isn’t Serious like say Ian McEwan or Margaret Atwood, but I don’t think I would call it funny. The basic plot is the the protagonist has just been left by his wife (who he found having sex in his bed with his boss), and now his father has died and he is sitting shiva with his mother and siblings. It’s amusing. There’s lots of semi-dysfunctional family drama, but I didn’t laugh once. I liked it, but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to read anything else by him.

Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee. I watched Edward Lee on Top Chef (the Texas season), and I was intrigued. His food always sounded amazing to me and I wondered how this Korean-American guy came to be this great new Southern chef in Louisville, KY. I was really hoping for a memoir, with a few recipes, but this book is really a cookbook with semi-biographical introductions. It’s good, but not what I was hoping for.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. This is a really fun kid’s book that reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Kyle Keeley is one of 12 lucky 12-year-olds chosen for an overnight sleepover in his town’s fabulous new library (imagined and sponsored by game-maker Luigi Lemoncello). Of course there is a puzzle-solving twist, with a fabulous reward for whoever solves the puzzle. So enjoyable.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. I had seen that friends had read and loved this book, but I resisted it. I didn’t really need an advice book. It seemed like a book to read when you were having Hard Times, and I’m not having Hard Times. But I read Strayed’s Wild and liked it, and it was available as an eBook from the public library, so finally I picked it up. And it is SO good. This is not a book for Hard Times, it is a book for Life. Strayed’s writing is beautiful and compassionate and true. I’m seriously considering buying a copy, so that I can reread it on occasion (and I am not generally a rereader). (Warning: You will probably cry while reading this book. Beware reading in public.)

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Another children’s book, which I read about on a blog. Let me first say that it the cover art is AWFUL, and I almost didn’t read the book because of it. Still it’s a fun fantastical read. Skulduggery Pleasant (a “living” skeleton) teams our with our heroine, 12-year-old Stephanie Edgley, to battle the evil Nefarian Serpine (good naming in this book). Total escapist read, although I don’t know if I’ll bother reading the rest of the series.

What I Read: September 2013