Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year to all of our readers and contributors. Thank you for supporting us this first year. We hope that you continue to support us in 2011. Thank you to all of our special bloggers, we could not have done it without you. You are truly special people. We have many more hills to climb. Happy 2011 All!!!


Best Wishes from the FashionMom Team!

FashionMom: It's Friday! Happy New Year's Eve. Wines from Euro...

FashionMom: It's Friday! Happy New Year's Eve. Wines from Euro...: "Austrian vineyards I have opted to do wine today, we have done Champagne stories before. The prices are super reasonable and sho..."

It's Friday! Happy New Year's Eve. Wines from Europe!

Austrian vineyards

I have opted to do wine today, we have done Champagne stories before.  The prices are super reasonable and should be available on line or at any fine liquor store.


Have a Happy New Year!


Austria

2002 Hirsh Veltinler #1- Light, racy white wine

France(Bordeaux)
2002 Chateau Bonnet Entre Deux Mers- Medium Full, bodied crisp wine( blend of Semillon with Sauvignon and Muscadelle)


Cambria Cove Decanter

2001 Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Les Jalets(Rhone Valley)- Fragrant red.


Germany
2002 Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling- Not a sweet one! what! -White with peach flavors.

Greece
2001 Antonopoulos Adoli Ghis -Dry Exotic Wine with notes of minerals and apple.





Greek Vineyards.


Italy

2001 Cusumano Nadaria Inzolia - Fantastic Inzolia blend
2001 Polizano Rosso di Montepulciano- Layered,sophisticated medium rich red wine.

Portugal

2000 Quinta do Crasto Douro Red- dense red from port country

Spain

2000 Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza- A key figure in the Rioja renaissance, Marques de Caceres makes silky reds.
2002 Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache- Round and very easy to drink, a must try.









Images
istockphoto.

Wine picks from Food and Wine,Bon App and Gourmet Magazines.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

FashionMom: Music for Children - Tips for Getting Them Started...

FashionMom: Music for Children - Tips for Getting Them Started...: "My daughter's music playgroup room has a saying outside the door. ' A mind once stretched will never revert to it's normal size' ..."

Music for Children - Tips for Getting Them Started.



My daughter's music playgroup room has a saying outside the door.

" A mind once stretched will never revert to it's normal size"

That is what music does for a child and for all of us who have been touched by it.

I took piano lessons from age 7 and today I can still feel it's impact in my everyday life, in little ways I cannot even describe.
I was the type of child who did not like to read notes but instead played by " ear" something which irritated the heck out of my music teacher but I did just fine.
My mother and father played a pivotal role in developing my "ear" and  discipline came in the form of six am wake up calls for scale practice before school. I hated it sometimes, but based on stories I heard years later, the neighborhood got lots of inspiration from my morning tunes.  Today, I can hear a few notes of music and my"ears" just perk up!

Music teachers have lasting impact on a child's life, we never forget our music teachers from school or band, they were always one of our favorite teachers.

One of my friends has 4 children 3(none out of high school yet) play violin and it is truly an inspiration to watch them play as a group at home for family and friends.

Another friend of  mine with two little boys suggests finding out where the local orchestra plays or holds classes for little ones, it is often at a reduced price or they host free concerts for children.
And please note! It does not matter if they cannot pick an instrument now, just get them into a group and take it from there.

Warning ! If during middle or high school they ask to drop music, you stick out your hand and say absolutely not! They will thank you in spades later.
Many adults often express regret for not playing an instrument to adulthood!

Parents Magazine did a great article with tips for getting children started on their musical journey.

Get them started and enrich their lives.

Please find the tips below from Parents Magazine.


My 5-year-old, Sadie, has been sounding out a version of "Do-Re-Mi" on her toy electronic keyboard since age 3. Now that her musical repertoire includes jamming to Laurie Berkner and Sam Cooke on her faux white guitar, I'm thinking about signing her up for music lessons this fall.
"This is a great age to begin playing an instrument if your kid shows an interest," says Menon Dwarka, director of the Greenwich House Music School, in New York City. "In kindergarten and first grade, kids are tracking words from left to right and learning to read, so a music teacher may not have to rely on having them just memorize the notes by ear."
Music lessons may even help children become more confident readers. "Music and schoolwork build similar skills, including letter and number recognition and fine motor development," says Glenn Schellenberg, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. "My research on first-graders shows that learning an instrument improves a child's reading scores on standardized tests." If that sounds like music to your ears, start off your budding Bach on a high note.
Which Instrument?


You and your child need to agree on what she'll play. She won't have enough breath support or finger dexterity for a wind instrument like flute or clarinet until she's around 10, and brass instruments are too big. While some music schools offer guitar lessons for 5- and 6-year-olds, most experts believe it?s smart to wait until kids are a little older and have more hand strength, coordination, and dexterity. The best options: piano and violin."It's easiest for children to learn how to play melodies on the piano," says Marvelene C. Moore, Ph.D., professor of music at the University of Tennessee. Since a piano is a big investment in space and money, it's okay for a kid to practice on a keyboard at first while you gauge her long-term interest.
The violin, especially the scaled-down one made for kids, is smaller and more portable than a keyboard, but it requires more patience. The first few lessons will be devoted to learning how to hold the instrument and bow (for many kids it feels awkward initially) and remembering several finger positions.
Lesson Plan

There are two basic kinds of classes: Suzuki and regular. With Suzuki (which is especially popular for the violin), playing by ear is emphasized at first over reading music. A parent and child usually learn together -- so you not only have to attend your kid's lessons, you'll be expected to participate as well. For either option, your child can have group or private lessons. Group lessons with three or four other children around the same age and level are often a better choice since young kids learn well from one another, explains Nicole Yorty, a music teacher at Herbert A. Derfelt Elementary School, in Las Vegas.


Teacher Interviews

Great musicians aren't necessarily great teachers. So rather than looking for an instructor with a lot of musical accomplishments, focus on finding one who has experience working with young children. "The music teacher at your child's school is usually a terrific person to ask for recommendations," says Yorty. If you want to try the Suzuki method, keep that in mind because not all instructors offer it.
Once you locate several possible instructors, request to observe the type of class your kid would attend to get a sense of the teacher's style. "A quieter, laid-back teacher may be the right fit for some children while others will respond better to one who brings a lot of energy to the session," says Mike Blakeslee, deputy executive director of The National Association for Music Education, in Reston, Virginia.
Finally, take into account the teacher's expectations. Some instructors want kids to practice for 20 to 30 minutes daily. You (and your kid) may not be ready for that time commitment at first, so it's smart to choose someone who gives, well, less homework.
Average Cost

Depending on where you live, a 30-minute private lesson will run $15 to $50. Expect to pay 25 to 50 percent less for group lessons. Rather than buying an instrument, look into renting from a local music store. "Renting will save you from getting stuck with an instrument if your child doesn't like it," explains Yorty. Violin and keyboard rentals typically cost $15 to $25 per month. For a year of lessons the bill usually ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.
Recital Time

The truth is, progress will be slow. Six months into violin lessons, most kids can play a recognizable version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Piano progress generally happens more quickly, and a child will know three or four simple songs in the same time frame. What's more impressive at the end-of-year recital: the amount of confidence kids develop. "They'll come out on stage one by one and play for the audience," says Yorty. "It's amazing."





Parents Oct 2010.


Istockphotoimages

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tame The Grays! - Oprah's Hair Stylist unveils His Cover Up Hair Line.

Andre Walker Hair Care Hair Make Up Color Wand


He is just as famous as his famous client, Andre Walker, Oprah's hairstylist has released his own make up line........for hair


Andre Walker Line


The line is called Hair Makeup by Andre Walker. The wands and pens cover up grays, it dries to a fantastic sheen.


The colors are black, dark brown,light brown, blonde and red. It rinses out after one shampoo. It can also be used to cover hair's natural regrowth.

The line is available at HSN.

Go Cover!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Quick Lunch- Fast Lunch for Vegetarians

I am not vegetarian, I eat fish but stay away from meat, chicken and pork.

Some days I am at a loss in terms of my choices for lunch, but this is my fast go to lunch.
It gives me energy and it is filling. I have to keep up with a four year old, enough said.

I have become very fond of something that I saw and bought on TV, the Pasta Boat.
It cooks pasta in the microwave and it is easy to use. I can whip up something else while that is cooking.

You need pasta, any type you like.
Bok Choy- you get your leafy vegetables taken care off.
Butternut Squash(cut into small chunks).

Cook pasta and steam the Bok Choy and Squash( I use a turbocooker or use a steamer).

Sprinkle the Bok Choy and Squash with Adobo Seasoning Adobo Seasoning while steaming. It gives the Bok Choy a wonderful flavor.

Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning without Pepper



Once pasta is cooked, pile into a plate, top with the bok choy and butternut squash.

Top that with your favorite Pasta Sauce, Parmesan Cheese and Pepper.


Gia Russa

We like the Pomodoro Sauce from Target and Tomato and Basil from Gia Russa, they are both excellent!!


Enjoy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Question Of the Week- The Cost of a Family Vacation



Family travel is one of the most expensive hits on any budget and it has gotten even more expensive over the last two years.


I have tried booking last minute travel, six months in advance travel, the most popular option which is more than 2 weeks in advance travel and the average working family vacation still costs at least $600 per person for air and hotel. That is Average......
And this would be five days or less, over/ under weekends, leaving at midnight. I think you know the drill and routine. I have tried the Tuesday at midnight booking routine too!

I know that salaries have not risen that much,many people are unemployed and I often hear  from the news media that travel has been up everywhere this season.
The airlines have seen a boom, for using smaller planes,offering no food and charging a fortune for every bag. Add the high fares to that bottom line.

Some people have to travel for business but for vacation we do not have to...... why spend so much? Are we using the credit cards and closing our eyes when the bill arrives?

Is the media reporting truly accurate? Am I out of touch?

Have your habits changed? or are you still taking 2 to 3 vacations each year? are you driving or flying?

My question of the week for FM readers is (I would like to stress that this is for family vacations)

How much are you willing to spend for a family vacation ? Driving or flying.

Have your travel habits changed over the last two years?  If so, how has it changed?

Where and how have you found the best deals?
I need to know the secret. We have tried everything, the prices are ridiculous. Maybe I am out of touch, but I don't think so.

Are you staying with friends? using Time Shares? How are you saving?   I forgot, Cruises, are they any better?


I would love to hear from all of you!!

Happy Travels.



istockphotos.com

Shoe Options-Larger Sizes





It is very hard to find shoes for certain sizes. The issues start from a size 9.

Here are a few places that may provide shoes for you!

Barefoot Tess- 5724 Falls Rd, Baltimore. http://www.barefoottess.com/. 410-433-3335


Elleven Up- Cowboy Boots,Stuart Weitzman and Delman flats.
12W 57th st,NYC 212-757-2154 http://www.ellevenup.com/


Zappos Couture.
http://www.zappos-couture.com/
 Full roster of labels, Zanotti and Casadei


Nordstrom.com

Well I do not need to say more, the shoe sales are legendary and the selection is second to none!

http://www.nordstrom.com/

Macy's

http://www.macys.com/

Depends on labels, Aerosoles and Anne Klein carry large sizes. Sales Associates have access to other stores and can arange for shipping to your home.


Happy Shopping!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scream for Ice Cream! Treats for children and adults too....





Here are some delicious treats for your kids and you!

For Kids

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Use prebaked frozen cupcakes.
Thaw well before serving time. before the cupcakes are served top each with a scoop of ice cream.






Graham Crackers and Key Lime Ice Cream

Cut Key Lime Gelato(Ciao Bella) with a warm knife and trim to fit the graham crackers.

Brioche and Chocolate

Scoop out the insides of the brioches and replace with a scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Chocolate mint ice cream sandwiches
Form 4 sandwiches with 8 chocolate wafer cookies and i cup vanilla ice cream. Roll the edges of the sandwiches in 1/4 crushed peppermint candies.




Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine

Line a loaf pan with parchment,leaving an overhang.
Press 11/2 pints softened vanilla ice cream into the pan. Top with 20 chopped mini peanut butter cups,another 11/2 pints of vanilla ice cream and 3/4 cups broken pretzels.
Freeze until firm, at least one hour and up to two days.
To serve, remove from pan and slice!

For Adults only

Boozy Strawberry-Orange Milk Shakes
In a blender puree 1 pint vanilla ice cream,11/2 cups strawberries.1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup Cointreau( orange liqueur) until smooth. Divide among 4 glasses.

Banana Rum Sundae
Beat 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Divide 1 pint vanilla ice cream,2 sliced bananas,the whipped cream,1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1/4 cup dark rum among 4 bowls.









Sundaes with Fig Port Sauce

bring 4 cups ruby port, 2 cups water and 1/2 cup sugar to boil.
Stir until sugar dissolves about 3 minutes
Simmer for 25 minutes( reduce heat). Stir in 1/2 cup mission figs( dried or fresh), 6 thin orange slices and 2 star anise. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
Discard orange slices and anise. let cool at room temperature. Serve over ice cream (vanilla or cinnamon) and garnish with walnuts.





Banana Rum Ice Cream

 6 Tablespoons rum,4 ripe bananas peeled and mashed.
 pinch salt
1 egg white
3/4 cup of cream
3/4 cup milk
Set the refrigerator at the coldest setting. Blend the rum with the mashed bananas and add salt. Stiffly whisk the egg white and fold in. Stir in the cream and milk very slowly until well mixed; a blender set at a medium setting is best for this. Pour the mixture into a freezing tray,remove from the refrigerator when half -frozen and stir once. Freeze until firm.

Layered Ice Cream Sundae- yum! Just place everything on a table and let kids make their own or assist them, this is great for entertaining at any time!

 2 to 3 scoops ice cream vanilla or fruit flavored.
fruit- slinced peaches, crushed pineapple,raspberries,sliced fresh strawberries, bananas or passionfruit pulp
2 tablespoons whipped cream
strawberry sauce or other fruit syrup
your choice of toppings of course! Nuts, cocnuts, jimmies.

In a tall soda glass, start with a scoop of ice cream, then a layer of fruit, then a layer of ice cream,then a second layer of fruit and more cream and more fruit. Then add sauce and choice of toppings.

Wow!



Enjoy!



Sources- In Style, Real Simple,Fashionmom

Saturday, December 25, 2010

FashionMom: Merry Christmas To All FM Readers!!! Soap for Glob...

FashionMom: Merry Christmas To All FM Readers!!! Soap for Glob...: "For Those of you getting ready to travel for New Year festivities. This is the best thing since the IPAD ? Paper Soap for traveling..."

Merry Christmas To All FM Readers!!! Soap for Globetrotting Boys and Girls.

For Those of you getting ready to travel for New Year festivities.

This is the best thing since the IPAD ?
 Paper Soap for traveling.

This takes less space when packing and is so easy the wonderful folks at TSA will leave you alone!

Girl on The Go 








GIRL ON THE GO SET

This set contains Shampoo, Soap and Body wash papers. Each packet contains 30 sheets, more than enough.

Guess what ?

Just add Water!





Man on The Move Set







MAN ON THE MOVE SET





Contains Shaving Paper,soap and body wash.

Now what else could anyone ask for ?

But wait, there's more

PAPER SOAP TRAVEL PACK

Laundry Soap and Anti Bacterial Soap.

Traveling is a breeze.


All products are available at Flight001.com

Friday, December 24, 2010

FashionMom: It's Friday!! Christmas Eve- Mega Drinks Special!

FashionMom: It's Friday!! Christmas Eve- Mega Drinks Special!: " I wanted to do a special Drinks post for this Christmas Eve. Here we go! I did a nice mix of everything, rum, vodka,cognac..."

FashionMom: Spring Forward Now- Denim Trouser Jeans from Gap

FashionMom: Spring Forward Now- Denim Trouser Jeans from Gap: "One of the leading trends for Spring 2011 is the retro trouser jean. It is a wonderful step away from the tight leggings and skinny jea..."

It's Friday!! Christmas Eve- Mega Drinks Special!




 I wanted to do a special Drinks post for this Christmas Eve.

Here we go!

I did a nice mix of everything, rum, vodka,cognac,wine........enjoy!

First for the kids a non alcholic drink

Pineapple Ginger Ale
1 12 ounce can of ginger ale
11/2 cups pineapple juice
4 pieces of fresh pineapple,cut into triangles.

In a pitcher combine the ginger ale and pineapple juice.
Serve over ice with a piece of pineapple and a cherry.

You may add rum for adults after serving kids.


Simple Syrup Recipe
Equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved, in a saucepan over medium heat.


Goombay Smash

1-1/4 ounces Dark Rum
3/4 ounce Coconut Rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce triple sec
Dash of Simple syrup
Cherry,Lemon slice for garnish

Shake well with ice. Strain into a tall glass with crushed ice. Garnish with cherry and lemon slice.

Ice Wine- Try Casa Larga 2004 Fiori delle Stelle
or  Neige by la Face Cachee de la Pomme.













American 75

1 oz blood orange juice
1 oz gin
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 simple syrup
Sparkling White Wine

Add the first four ingredients to a shaker with ice.
Shake,then strain into a champagne flute and top with a splash of sparkling wine.

For those in chilly climes, this will warm you up!

Safe Harbor

1/2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz ruby port
Lemon for a twist

Shake ingredients together five to six times in a shaker with ice. Serve with the lemon twisted on the glass.


Wine

Barbera 'd Asti Ca di Pian La Spinetta 2006- only $23.00!
link to wine on wine.com


La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Ca Di Pian 2006


Ginger Peach Cooler
yummyyyyy!

In a pitcher combine 3 cups ginger ale
1/2 cup peach nectar
2 thinly sliced ripe peaches
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons of vodka to each serving.

serve over ice.








Tequila Grapefruit Splash(punch)- requires advance preparation.

In a large bowl
combine

2 quarts fresh pink grapefruit juice
1 liter tequila
3/4 cup Campari
1/4 cup triple Sec
Refrigerate for up to hours. Just before serving, add 2 liters black cherry soda. Serve over ice.


Bourbon Ginger Snap(punch)- requires advance freezing.

In a large saucepan

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup honey
3 ince piece of fresh ginger( peeled and sliced)
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain into a large bowl and let cool.
Add 6 cups of fresh orange juice,2 cups pear nectar
1 liter bourbon
2 lemons( sliced thin)
Refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
Serve over ice.

Port




Champagne

Laurent Perrier Brut Cuvee Rose

Link to wine.

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvee Rose Brut


















Classic Champagne Cocktail

1 sugar cube soaked with 2 dashes of bitters
Place cube in Champagne flute
add Champagne


Orange and Lillet Cocktail

2 cups chilled white Lillet(French Aperitif Wine, wine and citurs mix) Lillet link















2 cups chilled vodka
1 cup orange flavored liqeur
1 cup chilled orange juice
2 tsp lemon juice
1 bottle chilled ProseccoLink to Purchase
Orange slices for garnish


In a large pitcher, combine Lillet,vodka,liqeur,orange and lemon juices. Chill until ready to serve. Just before serving add Prosecco. Pour into ice filled glassses and garnish with thin orange slices.


Island Girl


In a large pitcher

1 cup packed mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
3 cups pomegrante juice
4 cups each dark rum and club soda

Serve over ice with lime slices


On the Rocks

Cointreau
Grand Marnier


Meyer Lemon Collins

11/2 vodka
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice( meyer lemons first option)
Club Soda
Small edible Flowers

Combine vodka syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 10 seconds.
Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top off with Club Soda. Add flowers if needed.



Peppermint Stripe

Pour 1/2 ounce Creme De Cacao into a shooter glass.
Pour in 1/2 ounce Creme De Menthe over the back of a sppon to form a separate layer.
Top with 1/2 ounce Irish Cream liqeur in the same manner.
Enjoy!



Shirley Temple Punch(for everyone!)- Add Rum if you like


Mix 5 cups of ginger ale, 2 cups of orange juice and 1/3 cup Grenadine in a punch bowl. Add sliced oranges and cherries, serve over  ice.





Remember to please drink responsibly, Happy and Safe Holidays to all of you.

Spring Forward Now- Denim Trouser Jeans from Gap

One of the leading trends for Spring 2011 is the retro trouser jean. It is a wonderful step away from the tight leggings and skinny jeans of seasons past. Skinny jeans are notoriously difficult to wear unless you have very thin legs and no hips.

see below

Designers such as Derek Lam, Celine among others showed the high rise jean in their Spring 2011 collections. This style and cut may not not something that every woman can wear.
It gives an amazing fit to those blessed with slim hips and it does help to camouflage a  bit of stomach bulge because of the high waist.
I like it because it reminds me of one of my favorite eras, the seventies.

Derek Lam Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Derek Lam(style.com)

Derek Lam Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear


Derek Lam(http://www.style.com/)

So before anyone else en masse got there( H&M and Forever 21 maybe), Patrick Robinson and his team at the Gap produced a wonderful, quality pair of trouser jeans called the High Rise Trouser Jean. I spotted it in the window about 2 weeks ago and I knew it was going to be the shape for Spring.

I tried them on this week, the fit was excellent and it looked modern, really modern.

You will need to wear them with heels as they are super long. It needs to be long for the long legged effect, do not consider altering them, that will kill the look.
I paired them with boots for now(long tight striped sweater), and in the Spring I will pull out my wedges.
I plan to wear them with a belted short trench or sleeveless safari jacket in the Spring.
I like the way Derek Lam paired them with a white blouse tucked in with a skinny belt, but for me, it will not be tucked in.

I know this is not the look for everyone, but for those of you who can wear it, Spring Forward to the Gap and buy the Jeans below for a fraction, no more than a fraction ......$69.50!!  http://www.gap.com/




and they are also available in White! They are also available in petite and tall. Runs true to size.



http://www.gap.com/




This style was added today! Pintuck seam.

They are longer and fuller than they appear in the Gap pictures.

See other runway looks below, snap these jeans up, they will not be around by Spring.


Celine Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear


Celine(style.com)
Celine Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear


Celine(style.com)

Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Dries Van Noten(style.com)

Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Dries Van Noten, wowwwww(style.com)

Elie Tahari Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Elie Tahari(style.com)



Happy Shopping!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FashionMom: More Books for the Loves of our lives - Books for ...

FashionMom: More Books for the Loves of our lives - Books for ...: "One of our most popular posts was a story on Sunday November 7th,http://fashionmom-w.blogspot.com/2010/11/books-for-loves-of-our..."

More Books for the Loves of our lives - Books for Children



One of our most popular posts was a story on Sunday November 7th,http://fashionmom-w.blogspot.com/2010/11/books-for-loves-of-our-lives-holiday.html?spref=bl which covered holiday books for kids.


After getting additional feedback from friends and family I have added a second list of classics our children can enjoy for the holidays and beyond. I may not have all of your favorites but I hope you like this list.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter- The adventures of Peter Rabbit in Mr MsGregor's garden. It is available in 36 languages, talk about classic.

Peter Rabbit Naturally Better Classic Gift Set





Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl- 10 terrible children won tickets to the Wonka factory. 5 of them are tested by Mr Wonka to see who can take over the factory.






Treasure Island by RL Stevenson- Swashbuckling story of pirates, maps and one legged seamen. A must have and read for every child

The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton- Jo, Bessie and Fanny and the magical tree and their new friends Mr Whazisname,The Saucepan Man and Moonface. One of my favorites as a child and soon to be my daughter's too.

The Faraway Tree Collection






Lord of The Rings( The Hobbit) by JRR Tolkein  - Tolkiens' epic story of the battle for Middle Earth, but wait there are books before this one. I recommend  The Hobbit (Ther and back again). The prequel to all of the wonderful books and movies.
The Hobbit


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle- A furry hero munches his way through plums and other fruits before changing into a butterfly. Amazing illustrations and translated into 50 languages.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book and Memory Game (The World of Eric Carle)





The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr- Sophie and her mom are at home when an insatiable tiger eats every morsel in the house. You will have to read the book to find out how this truly wonderful story ends.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea





The Dark Materials( middle and high) by Philip Pullman- People are familiar with Pullman's Golden Compass. Get the boxed set and follow the adventures of Lyra, Will and Pantamilion on their fantasy adventures.

His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)




Jazz Fly 2 - by Matthew Gollub was recommended by one of our readers, she said her daughter loved it!


Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga (book w/ audio CD)

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein(also in Spanish)- One of my dear friend gave my daughter this book, she loved it from her childhood.







All books are Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.

It's Friday- Time for Champagne- Back for Christmas

This post was published for Halloween, but I felt that it would be nice for this time of the year too.

Enjoy!!




 It's Halloween weekend, the holidays are coming, it's Friday, what better way to start the Halloween weekend by having some Champagne?  No excuses! All of these are below $100.00

Let's start with my favorite

Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne

Ruinart Brut Rose- light,  rose colored,wonderful on the palate and not too dry for my taste. I like everything sweet, this actually satisfied my sweet tooth. My husband and I splurged on a bottle a few years ago, wonderful.
see link below( prices vary on line and in stores)

Ruinart Link.



Under $11

Pommery POP



Lemony Nectar in a tiny bottle.

Drink with a straw.


Pommery Pop Mini




Under $15

Mionetto Prosecco Brut





Italian Bubbly- Sweeter than Champagne.


Under $25

Roederer Estate NV Brut



Mionetto



Under $25

Roederer Estate NV Brut










In a blind taste test this was thought to taste better than Cristal!!


Roederer



Under $50






Enjoy, Happy Halloween!

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