Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover

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Poetic Pink

Photo by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Pink puffs perfectly poised to produce

pretty pearls of poetry.


warmed by sun’s long days

life-giving nectar drawn up

to the sky; beauty

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Pink’s all the rage. What’s on stage in your area? Let’s have a picture show celebration!

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Top 10 Reasons to Create Little Free Libraries in Your Community by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

We often support schools and communities with promoting summer reading.  We want students to continue their “readerly lives” over the summer.  A few years ago, we were researching ideas to get book…

Source: Top 10 Reasons to Create Little Free Libraries in Your Community by Tammy Mulligan and Clare 

I want to do this at my house! There are 3 little libraries in our neighborhood. Love them!

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My Favorite Play Dough Recipe

Pumpkin spice black pepper orange play dough – lots of fun!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Play dough is one of the absolute best toy/manipulative/sensory activities available to kid-dom!

I kid you not. Snicker, snicker. And not the snicker of the famed chocolate and peanut variety.

This is the best and most versatile recipe I’ve found. I have used it for over 20 years and have only rarely uncelebrated failure.

Tools make all the difference. Cutting, chopping, manipulating, and making prints are great activities for little hands.

Best Ever Play Dough Recipe

3 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 T. oil (vegetable or baby oil)

1 T. alum

3 cups boiling water

Paste food coloring (add to boiling water to melt and mix it)

1. Put dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well.

2. Drizzle oil over dry mix.

3. Stir food coloring into boiling water. Pour over ingredients.

4. Stir well with a wooden spoon and spatula.

5. Turn out onto a counter. It will be hot, but you have to knead the dough while it is hot to activate the ingredients. Knead the dough and scrape off sticky bits with a spatula. Don’t worry, it will get less sticky as it cools. If it is horribly sticky, add tiny bits of flour as needed.

6. After the mixture is well mixed, cool completely and store in a lidded plastic container.

7. Enjoy!

This is the basic recipe. I often add spices or textures like pumpkin spice, cornmeal, or cocoa. Play with the recipe. It’s worth the mess.

Today Donavyn and I made play dough. He wanted orange, so we made orange. I wanted a scent, so I added pumpkin spice. He also wanted to dump pepper, so we added pepper!

Old tires make great tracks.

Together with play dough, tools and toys add to the experience. Be creative and grab things that make patterns, cut, chop, shape, and can be used to interact with the play dough. Avoid using anything you truly love. The salt and necessity of a good wash can potentially destroy special items. Stick to the eventually-disposable toys and you can dump your worries in the trash.

Even the sides of tires are interesting.

Even this 53 years-young kid loves to play with play dough.

What’s your favorite sensory toy?

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And it was just right… The Rule of Three.

Three blind mice. Three little pigs. Three wishes. Most of us have figured out that three is a magic number in western culture. One theory has it that three is magic to us because that’s the triumv…

Source: And it was just right… The Rule of Three.

Wonderful examples and information for writers of picture books. Thanks!

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Smorgasbord Easter Egg Hunt – Bloggers who are ‘Jolly good eggs’

It is Easter and no doubt there will be chocolate!  Oh yes!.  I am not fully present here on the blog at the moment as I am busy filling boxes with items I cannot part with and charity bags with th…

Source: Smorgasbord Easter Egg Hunt – Bloggers who are ‘Jolly good eggs’

Thank you, Sally! Sally is truly a jolly great egg. 🙂


Homemade Lavender DIY Soap

This time I decided to make 3 different lavender soaps at the moment. The recipes are veeery easy but the result of our work turns to be very cute 🙂 Lavender Soap smells fantastic + it is really u…

Source: Homemade Lavender DIY Soap

Cool soap! Just in case I want to make some of my own…

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Language & The Child (The Never Ending Song)

Last night we had a certain granddaughter spend the night, as this morning Nana accompanied her to the Capitol Theatre to watch Curious George. Loads of fun. But this post is not about the theatre and sitting in the very top balcony right against the railing and Nana worrying about Khloe toppling over and she (Nana) spending time calculating the lowered risk due to bodies of other students right below who would break the fall.

No, this story is about our drive home. It wasn’t a really long drive.

But the sheer number of words far exceeded the distance we traveled.

That bit of time spent in the car was filled with language. Wheelbarrows and buckets and shopping bags of words and songs and expressive language.

First, we learned what Khloe liked. And what she loved. This changed with each  new view of things we drove past.

Then we heard some songs. On repeat. On repeat.

5 Little Ducks – sang as many times as the number of ducks in a barnyard

1, 2, Buckle My Shoe – sang enough times to cover a classroom of buckled or velcro’d shoes

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes – sang more than the number of students in her school

1, 2, 3 Jesus Loves Me – new to me and performed for several miles

The Days of the Week – sang a conservative estimate of at least 3 months worth

Row, Row, Row Your Boat – sang enough times to sink a boat, even though one of us (the youngest) got side-tracked and giggly about the ‘life is BUTT a dream.’ No amount of explaining could get her opinion of but to change.

Now Nana is used to this fun with words, but Papa not so much. He tried several times to derail the music train, but it kept right on chugging, occasionally switching tracks, but steadfastly choo-chooing down the path. Who needs a radio anyway?

All this to say, the girl is enjoying language. And singing. And silly words and word games and entertaining herself.

Be silly. Sing songs. Get giggly. That’s what it’s all about.

Other than the Hokey Pokey.