Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: Not Yet, Yeti! by Bethany V. Freitas and Maddie Frost

Not Yet, Yeti!

Written by Bethany V. Freitas

Illustrated by Maddie Frost

Clarion Books, HarperCollins Publishers LLC; 2022

Thank you, Jena Benton and Maddie Frost, for sending me this lovely copy of Not Yet, Yeti! I love Yeti, all the bright colors, and the theme of starting school. Yeti and his first day of school speak to my former-preschool and kindergarten teacher’s heart!

Be sure to visit Jena’s blog to read the original post, Simply 7 with Maddie Frost & GIVEAWAY: NOT YET, YETI! You can find Jena and Maddie on Twitter.

Why I Love This Book:

~the fun story

~the going-to-school-for-the-first-time theme

~learning new things

~the encouragement to try again, because you might not get it right the first time, and that just means “not yet, Yeti”

~big, colorful illustrations

~Yeti! I mean, just look at him!

~the friends Yeti makes (too adorable)

I would definitely read this book the first day of school! Congratulations, Bethany and Maddie! Thanks for introducing me to Yeti, Jena!

Look at the little cubbies and friends!

Amazon Blurb:

Yeti learns about the importance of patience and perseverance as he uses growth mindset on his first day of kindergarten.

It’s Yeti’s first day of school and there are so many new things to try! Maybe he can’t do everything he wants to do perfectly just yet, but his supportive teacher and helpful classmates are there to remind him that he can always try again.

Yeti’s journey to achieving his goals highlights the importance of nurturing a positive self-image and a growth mindset in early learners. With gentle humor, expressive illustrations, and a lovable protagonist, this simple and effective story is a perfect teaching aid for both parents and educators alike.


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Haiku Moment: yellow tree

yellow tree with bee

how’d you get so tall? standing

with your family

yellow tree

by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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Book Review: Reach for the Stars by Emily Calandrelli and Honee Jang

Reach for the Stars

Written by Emily Calandrelli

Illustrated by Honee Jang

Godwin Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2022

Thank you, Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating, author Emily Calandrelli, and illustrator Honee Jang for sharing this beautiful book, Reach for the Stars! Thank you for sending me a copy to read and share. Congratulations!

A heartwarming picture book, Reach for the Stars shares the wonder and amazement of the natural world and all that is in it. Calandrelli leads readers through the growing up and exploring years in the life of a young girl, all the while encouraging readers to be amazed and to dream the big dreams about life. Jang perfectly captured the beauty and imagination of the story. Reach for the Stars is a lovely book to read to inspire, inform, and enjoy.

Why I Love This Book:

~ beautiful illustrations, dreamy and imaginative

~ the wonder and awe about the natural world the author and illustrator share throughout the story

~ the fun of reading the story in rhyme

~ the natural world is amazing, and that appreciation and respect for learning about and exploring more is front and center in this book

~ science! STEM. Girls in science!

~ the encouragement to readers to dream big, explore, and follow your dreams

Amazon Blurb:

From Emmy-nominated science TV star and host of Netflix’s hit series Emily’s Wonder Lab Emily Calandrelli comes an inspirational message of love and positivity.

From the moment we are born, we reach out. We reach out for our loved ones, for new knowledge and experiences, and for our dreams!

Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of the world around us, this uplifting book will inspire readers of every age. A celebration of love and shared discovery, this book will encourage readers to reach for the stars!


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Rubber Stamping Fun in Seattle

Total card count: 83

23 recycled cards. Yes, I do recycle cards people give back to me! It’s like greeting and hanging out with old friends.

1 towel tag card (see cat wearing a chef’s hat). ANYTHING can be an inspiration and become a greeting card.

15 cards for my celebrant/funeral home working honey.

I was loving the bears! Happy birthday cards and bear hug cards. Two thumbs up.

Also. Loved my trucks. And the trees. And the time I spent with my stamping buddy (waves, Hi, Alyson!) and her helpful kitties. Scroll to the bottom to meet our feline assistants.

Played with some new stamps.

Revisited the bears. And mushrooms. And trees.

Tried a monochromatic card for my honey. Alyson had the perfect stamps for this idea. Shared resources doubles (or triples) the fun, creativity, and card count.

Thanks for our stamping sleepover, Alyson, Daisy, Honey, and Jubilee! I keep finding kitty fur, though that could also be from my kitty, Monet.

What is one hobby you enjoy? How long have you been doing it? Maybe it’s a hobby I might enjoy!

Top left: Daisy giving me the buff-off after snuggling all night!

Top middle and right: Jubilee giving me the eye AND demanding attention and cessation of stamping for cuddles.

Bottom: Honey minding her own business and having a cat nap. Until I took her picture.


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Haiku Moment: crowned

wearing a wind cap

Tahoma stands tall, regal

glaciers, cold and crowned

crowned by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell

Mt. Rainier, WA state


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Haiku Moment: uncurl

summer arrives! what

lies beneath forest litter?

time to stretch, uncurl

nod heads, reach for sun;

fling out your arms and grow tall

shade shelter below

by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell

Lodge Lake trail, Snoqualmie Pass, Cascades


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Cascades Hike: Lodge Lake, Snoqualmie Pass

At nearly 4 miles round trip, Lodge Lake is a perfect hike if you have a small window of time. We went on a rainy Tuesday, which was perfect, since I love hiking in the rain!

At the top of Snoqualmie Pass (I-90), go to the far far west parking area and you will find the parking lot for the Pacific Crest Trail and the trail for Lodge Lake, both of which share the path until you reach the lake. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for this parking area.

The hike first travels across the ski slopes. The view across I-90 is gorgeous, and it’s fun to walk where normally 10+ feet of a snow base covers the slopes. Traffic from I-90 and the buildings from the top of the pass are easily visible (and audible). But once you crest the hill and start down the other side, the noise disappears (other than occasional air traffic) and it feels like you are out in the middle of nowhere. The sun and heat from open slopes cools right away once you reach tree cover. Ahhh.

This is not a busy trail. We saw a total of 9 people (including us), 1 dog, and 1 cell tower service worker. There is some rock scrambling, sections of roots to watch, and even a pretty stream to ford, but it’s not difficult. The trail is well-maintained. The peace and quiet, forest scents, bird song, views, and exercise were just what I needed.

There are two places to watch. I read one report on the Washington Trails Association website, which warned us about both. Once you reach the top of the slopes, do not follow the steep path up towards the cell tower. Instead, find the path to the far right and take that. When you see the I-90 sign on a tall tree, look to the right for the trail. It has an edging of rocks.

The other section is knowing how far to go on the trail. You WILL see the Lodge Lake sign on a tree. Just take that path. You will glimpse the lake through the trees. If you miss this sign and find one for Stampede Pass, you’ve gone too far. Turn around.

The lake was so beautiful! Just as we arrived, it started to rain-my favorite! Plan to keep moving or bring along the bug spray. The mosquitos were starving and aggressive. We only stayed a short while and had to leave to get away from them.

Pretty views streamed out in every direction, from wildflowers to tiny waterfalls. Other than the skeeters, the Lodge Lake hike is a gem! Plan this hike in spring, summer, or fall. Come snow (and skiing season), you will need skills and equipment beyond what I have!


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Selah Ridge Lavender Farm, Selah, WA


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Happy Independence Day!

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley Trolleys Powerhouse Museum, Yakima, WA