Top 5: Newbery winners

Top 5: Newbery winners

Hello there!

I want to start making some quick top five lists and thought I’d start with Newbery winners since they are on my mind!

We started Nerdbery this week at school, which is where the school tries to work together and read all of the Newbery winners going back 50 years.  I am excited because the kids are exited!  Half of the books are already checked out.  Here are my favorites:


One of the many reasons why I love doing this challenge is that it forces me to go outside of my reading bubble and try something new.  I have been on the record many times saying that I have a heart of stone when it comes to books about animals.  I have never really been into them, but Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and The One and Only Ivan are two books that made me change my tune and I would have never read them without this challenge!

From the Mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The Westing Game are both classics that I have loved since childhood.  Probably because of the smart and young heroines!

The Crossover is my newest fave.  Kwame Alexander is an artist and his debut novel is perfection.  It has gotten so many kids through the library doors excited about books and reading because of this book and for that, I give him all of the awards!


wknd @ the zoo

wknd @ the zoo


I’ve said it once an I will say it again, winter is the best time to go to the zoo!  It is way less crowded and a lot of the animals are moving around a lot to stay warm.  The giraffe exhibit is my favorite stop, but only when they are walking around outside.  Not so much when they are in their (roomy) pens.

So I saw the giraffes walking around and it made me think a cute book I read recently


Yours Sincerely, Giraffe was translated from Japanese last year and has hit a lot of the best books for kids lists.  It is about a very bored giraffe who hires a pelican to deliver a letter to the first animal it sees beyond the horizon.  A penguin receives the letter and starts a correspondence with the giraffe, an animal he has never heard of before!

This book was funny and cute and would be a great read-aloud for Kindergarten and 1st grade and up!

Thursday: What I’m reading

Thursday: What I’m reading


I actually just finished The First Rule of Punk and it gave me all the feels!  I love a story about a kid that marches to the beat of their own drummer.  And I love stories about multiracial kids (I wish there were books like that when I was younger!).  And I love stories about kids that have to fix their messes.  This book also sparked my long forgotten love of ‘zines!


Just started The Sun is also a Star and I can tell I am going to LOOOOVE it.  Late to the Nicola Yoon train (she wrote Everything, Everything which was made into a movie with Amandla Stenberg) but that is okay, so are most of my kids at school.  This one is a love story about two teens who meet on a crowded street in NYC.  Natasha is 12 hours away from being deported and Daniel is the son of immigrants who is trying to live up to his parent’s expectations.  Loving it.


Guys, I need to clean up my house!  I think a lot of people would look at my studio and think, oh you don’t have that much clutter.  But I am from a family of purgers and simply cannot have too much junk in my house!

monday: let me eat cake!

monday: let me eat cake!


When I was in St. Louis, my friend Emily told me about a book by Food 52 that helps you with meal planning for the week.  It is a beautiful book, I loved just looking at it.  But while I knew I wouldn’t cook anything in it, the baking was inspiring enough for me to dust off my Kitchen Aid mixer and make an applesauce cake.

While I was baking a nagging feeling kept on coming back.  “Girl, you are not doing well with your weight watchers, should you really be baking?!” Ugh, we can be so mean to ourselves!  I often find myself putting things I love on the back burner with the idea that I can do them when I loose the weight, wear my sunny yellow top (it fits, but I wanted to wait so that I could celebrate with it later), bake breakfast cakes for me and Trent, go swimming at the Y, etc.  But then it hit me, what am I waiting for??  You can’t spend your life waiting for things to be perfect!

So this morning for breakfast I had a small slice of my breakfast cake topped with yogurt and applesauce.  Then I flipped though the rest of the book for more inspiration!

I highly recommend all of the cookbooks by Food52, but really love A New Way to Dinner, maybe enough to buy it!







I try to go to mass most Sundays, and I have been especially enjoying it ever since my priest has returned from sabbatical and has been using the books that he has read in his sermons.   He doesn’t know it, but he is a really good book-talker!  Today he talked about a moment in one of his favorite books, The Brothers Karamazovwhen Alyosha helps a woman who is in despair with the state of the world and loses her connection to God.  He says that if she goes home and loves the people in her life completely and concretely she will start to find a way to be closer to God because God is love.  I am paraphrasing.  But isn’t that beautiful?  And terribly difficult?  Speaking of difficult, now I am considering to attempt the book!  That would be quite a winter project!






This work week is going along well after a fun and classy weekend Instagram photos below!

  1. Listening to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at the Louisville Orchestra
  2. Fuzzy selfie
  3. Complexions dance company reminding me that I like ballet and David Bowie music
  4. Banh Mi with Sunny at Pho Ba Luu (really really really good)

I am finding more and more spots to take out of town friends and family thanks to dope people like Sunny helping me find nice cheap places and getting free tickets to classy ballet performances.

So I am refreshed and back at school, reading Halloween books to kindergarten kids that complain that my books aren’t scary enough.  I mean, how scary do they my books are going to get?  But this one is a crowd pleaser:


Books written and/or illustrated by Bob Shea are HILARIOUS and make me sound hilarious when I read it out loud.  If you want a funny and adorable book for Halloween look no further!