Tag Archives: bookworm

Gracen Reads ‘Brown Bear’ {Again}

Because I just can’t help myself, here’s Miss G reading ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ again, only this time through to the last page she almost always awkwardly skips ‘because it’s a tricky one’.  ☺

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Gracen Reads ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’

Over the past month or so, Gracen’s been really into reading to us rather than having us read to her.  Many of the books she enjoys reading most are favourites that we’ve read again and again {and thus she’s memorized}, and others have a strong pattern and easy-to-follow picture cues, like this one.  It makes my heart very happy to see how much our little lady loves reading, and I hope that never changes.  Here she is reading the first half of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’


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Times Two {a whismical children’s book}

IMG 5819When I learned about Times Two, a beautifully illustrated, hardbound children’s book written and illustrated by two talented local mamas, I knew I had stumbled upon something special.

IMG 5813The story, which was originally a lullaby written by singer songwriter Sheree Plett, is about the beauty of limitless love.  As you flip the pages, you’re taken on a journey of two raccoons, determined to show their love for one another across oceans, into the sky, and up to the moon and the back.

RaccoonsAccompanying the soft, lyrical words are gorgeous, dream-like watercolour illustrations done by artist Shari-Anne Vis.  Gracen and I were lucky enough to meet Shari-Anne {and her little boy} a while back and not only is she absolutely lovely {and obviously remarkably talented}, but she’s a real mom, which I just adore.

IMG 5812Grae and I have enjoyed this book time and again over the course of the last few weeks.  She loves the whimsical little animals throughout and the book is the perfect size to take along with us in the car.

IMG 5822And as an added bonus, included is a link so you can enjoy Sheree’s song and the book {and a little drum session if you’re Grae} at once.

I can’t say enough good things about this charming little book.  Not only am I glad I found it for our own benefit, but I’m excited to have a new go-to newborn/baby shower gift to add to my list as I’m certain almost any new parent would fall in love with it immediately.

To purchase your own copy of Times Two, click here and to stay up to date with the Times Two crew, like their Facebook page  here.


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iPhoneography // Grae ♥ Books

If there’s one wish I have for Gracen (other than that she grows up to be a healthy, compassionate girl who finds true happiness and does something that she is deeply passionate about with her life), it’s that she always loves to read.  We started reading to Grae the day she was born and it’s always been a favourite time for both of us…  A time to unwind, relax, get lost in a story, and start great conversations.  Words can’t explain how much it thrills me to find her, more often than not, emersed in a book (or pile of books) when the house has grown a little *too* quiet.

IMG 7443This is how I found Miss G this morning.  I was getting ready for the day while she played independently when she came to me and asked for a bowl of o’s.  I retrieved her one and went to deliver them to her room to find that she had laid out a blanket, circled it with books, and was needing the o’s in order to read her Cheerio book.

Needless to say, I’ve always got an eye out for ways to keep reading special and fun for our little lady.  We borrow new library books once a week, we spend rainy days in the kids’  section of book stores, we visit our library’s story time regularly, we spend loads of time in Grae’s closet book nook, and can often be found snuggled up in my bed with a big stack of books. It’s something neither of us tires of.  

IMG 7406IMG 7444Just recently, we found another way celebrate Grae’s love of reading.  Through the Families Against Boredom Vancouver Facebook page, we learned about regular story times at Pottery Barn Kids and decided to give it a go.  We first went around Halloween, and Gracen loved it so much that we’ve been back again since.  It happens at the back of the store with itty bitty recliners and rockers all gathered around the storyteller’s large recliner.    

IMG 7407At our location, the lady who runs story time (Erin) is absolutely amazing!  She’s soft and gentle and makes a purpose to get to know each child and call them by name. She’s just one of those people who is meant to be around kids, you know? She’s got this way about her that makes you drawn to listen to her every word, and it totally works.  Gracen enjoys each moment and then asks if we can go again the following week. 

IMG 7408We normally arrive a little bit early so we can explore and take in the beauty that is PBK, and then we stay for a little bit afterwards so that Grae can play.  We never feel like we’re overstaying our welcome – in fact, the staff members are very sweet and invite Gracen to play and explore for as long as she likes.

It’s so nice to have found another lovely indoor activity, and with the rainy winter upon us, I can see it becoming a weekly outing.

The Vancouver location of Pottery Barn Kids is at 2835 Granville Street, between 12th and 13th.  Story times happen Tuesday at 11 a.m. with special holiday story times happening on December 4th, 11th, and 18th.  If you’re not in Vancouver, call your local store or click here to find out about story times and special events in your city.  Even our PBK store in Kuwait had regular special events, so your store probably does too. ☺


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iPhoneography // Snipets of Our Day

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.scarf thief.
.shopping buddies.
.found on the potty with a good book.
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Nursery Closet: Storage Space Turned Cozy Book Nook

Yaaaaaaaay!  I’m so excited to say that I finally put the finishing touches on a special little project I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks…  

In honour Miss G’s upcoming second birthday, we wanted to create a special area, something inviting and cozy, dedicated to her love of reading.  She’s always had a ‘book corner’ of sorts in her room, but it’s shifted over time and really only consisted of a carpet or blanket, a pillow, and a basket of books.  This time around, I wanted something more special. Something more permanent. 

I had pinned this post from Young House Love long ago, and knew I could use the idea to create the perfect space, not to mention, free up some room for big girl things that may be in her future while I was at it. (A wooden play kitchen? A dress-up station? Mini piano? …Perhaps!)

Here’s the end result… Miss G’s very own closet book nook.

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Although it wasn’t a difficult or costly project, there were lots of little steps that needed to be taken in order to do the job right, and anyone who has a toddler knows that those jobs aren’t always easily done with a wee one at your feet. Luckily for me, Grae is an overenthusiastic helper and was great at holding things, passing things, and transporting things throughout the process.

Up until recently, we’d been using the bottom of Grae’s closet to keep a couple of shelving units that housed her non-hanger-friendly clothes, and for storing bins of outgrown baby things. The bins made their way out to the garage where we have plenty of storage room and the clothes got shifted into a set of drawers that we already had in the room, and the project was on its way.

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With that stuff removed, I emptied the remaining stuff into the hallway, removed the top shelf and bar, took off the closet door, and gave the inside of the closet a good scrub and a quick coat of paint.  The wooden shelf and bar had been {hideously} covered in peach patterned tissue paper and an insane amount of packaging tape by the previous tenants, so that all came off and both pieces were sanded and painted white before being put back in.

Luckily that mandatory Grade 8 sewing class I took over 15 years ago paid off, and I was able to sew a basic curtain using fabric Grae and I had picked out at IKEA.  Next, I installed the spice racks turned bookshelves I had painted, as well as a curtain wire and curtain hook we picked up at IKEA too. 

IMG 8378With those simple things done, I took a blanket we’ve always kept in Grae’s room, folded it in thirds, and lined the bottom of the closet with it.

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Then tossed pillows all along the walls to make it a soft a cozy place to curl up in.

IMG 8379The great thing is that the top is still a fully functioning closet. Tiny clothes = lots of leftover space.

IMG 8383Today, Gracen and I picked up some of these frames (I like them because they’re lightweight and use plastic instead of real glass) and chose a couple of pieces of her art work to go on the one side.

IMG 8377On the other side, we hung this ‘Mama Loves You’ print from The Paper Mama

ReadingThe final touch was adding a battery-operated push lamp to each side so that there’s always plenty of light to read with.

IMG 8395The best part is that Gracen absolutely adores her new book nook.  I’ll often find her in there, curled up on the platform, telling herself stories with a book in her lap.  Other times, she can be found hard at work, switching out the books and carefully choosing new ones to replace them.

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  Encouraging reading while creating a cozy hiding place for my precious girl, I’d say it’s a win-win.

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Simple Wall-Mounted Bookshelves

Let me tell you, we’ve been busy around here.  I’m not sure what it is about 30 degree heat that makes me want to redo patio chairs, modify step stools, sew curtains, paint walls, put together felt boards, redo toy chests, create alphabet books, AND organize engaging coordinating/helping projects for my little miss, but that’s how we’ve spent the last week.  We’ve got a few last jobs to finish up, and then we’re taking a well-earned break and celebrating with pool days and trips to the beach!

That being said, one of the other things we’ve been working on is a quick and easy Pinterest-rampant project for Grae’s room.  

IMG 7868While we were at IKEA picking up a Bekvam stool for Miss G’s pretty new toddler bench, we also picked up a couple of these Bekvam wooden spice racks… (Pinterest people, you all know where I’m going with this, right?)

IMG 7865While Gracen was happily painting rocks, I added the spice rack parts to my ‘to paint’ pile and gave them all two coats of a glossy white primer-and-paint-all-in-one spray.

IMG 7935After a day’s drying time, my little helper and I assembled them according to the instructions provided.

IMG 7944Then we mounted them to the wall using plugs and long screws (this was by far the hardest part of the project – really should have used a drill instead of doing it all by hand) and voila – Gracen had instant wall-mounted book shelves.

IMG 7949These little shelves are all part of a bigger project which I’m doing in honour of Miss G’s upcoming 2nd birthday (which I’ll be sure to share upon completion), but for now, Miss G is loving her toddler-height display-style bookshelves.

IMG 7942 ♥

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Gracen Reads

Gracen has loved books and ‘reading’ or being read to ever since she was an itty bitty thing and will literally bring you one book after the next all day long if you continue to read them. Just recently though, she’s started letting us know that she’d like to be the reader and we can be the audience.  I can’t explain how happy it makes me to listen to her stories and share in her love of books. This was this morning’s story…

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Book Lover

Gracen adores books.  In fact, although I’m sure they’re out there, in all the years I’ve spent with little ones, I don’t think I’ve ever met another one year old who genuinely loves books and reading as much as she does. We start our days reading, end our days reading, and sprinkle stories throughout our mornings and afternoons. It’s not something we only do together either… When the house grows a little too quiet, 9 times out of 10, she can be found in a quiet corner snuggled up with a book.  And if I’m being completely truthful, I’d mention the fact that we have a basket specifically for itty bitty ‘bedtime books’ that Gracen very seriously sorts through each night before picking one to sleep with (I know, I know… Not a good comfort object, but you’d totally let go of all judgement if you heard her little voice reading to her bear each night before drifting off to sleep… It melts my mama heart into a pile of mush.)  Here are a few little moments from our bookworm’s day…  If there’s anything she likes more than actually reading books, it’s being asked questions about what she sees in books.

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