Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stay Cool, Cats

Giulia is in the bathtub (without the water). She's about to be banished to sit in front of the fan so her editor can take a turn (with water).

While we're splashing around, in no particular order (hey, it's so hot that our brain is about to explode) check out:

A terrific giveaway on illustrator Lori Langille's blog, automatism.

Funny websites via Refinery 29 (If in hurry, scroll down to #5 & see mama cat & kitten).

Why does your pet follow you into the bathroom?

summer design inspiration via Apartment Therapy.

Seven recipes to beat the heat. Or ten things to eat (when it's too hot to eat).

ciao-sizzle-meow/the Management

(photograph by fab Cig Harvey)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

While Memorial Day is a holiday to honor the fallen, it is never inappropriate to remember the living. Below is from the archives & still as important as it was last year. Please pass on the information if you know anyone who needs help.

TAPS saves lives.

If you know anyone who needs practical help & emotional support due to the loss of a family member or a friend (they do not have to be a relative) who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, please go to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS has a 24-hour hotline: 1-800-959-TAPS (8277). Do not hesitate to call on someone's behalf if they are unable to take the first step.

Among other worthy programs, TAPS runs good grief camps for children. We urge you to write down the TAPS main number in case you should come across someone in your daily travels who needs help--you just never know. TAPS has an extensive website, an on-line community which is very helpful & welcoming, & we encourage anyone who might feel isolated to join it.

TAPS also has volunteer opportunities; this might be the place where you find you'd like to help make a difference.

ciao-meow/GG Central

(Two favorite photographs: Soldier's Good-bye & Bobbie The Cat, c. 1939-1945, by Sam Hood, NSW State Library Archives, Australia)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Amnesty International Turns 50!

Happy 50th birthday to Amnesty International today. If you don't belong, you can check here for your country's section.

In other news, Giulia had a medical emergency Thursday (overnight into Friday). She is taking two different medicines with very little fuss & feels much better. This awfully upsetting incident has messed up our schedule though, not only on this blog but in other areas. We'll visit everyone as soon as possible. Thanks! (You can check in with Giulia's human servant on Twitter at @juliethecat)

ciao-meow/the Management

(photograph by D Sharon Pruitt)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mad Men Fashion Flipbook

We're going through withdrawal! Presently we're listening to Season 3 commentary. (Next up: Season 4 commentary is recently available via Netflix in America & Canada.) A quick trip to AMC's Mad Men site is fun. There are games, trivia quizzes & videos. If that seems a bit much, a quick trip through the (fairly) new fashion flipbook is amusing. Janie Bryant comments on some of her favorite outfits & characters. For an inspired Mad Men menu, hop over to the funny Ezra Pound Cake. We're making two recipes for the upcoming holiday weekend.

ciao-meow/GG MM Central

(photograph via Lionsgate)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Plan An Itinerary

I like to think of an itinerary as the cover of a book that piques your curiosity, encourages you to take action... J. Peterman

Enter J. Peterman's second annual
travel sweepstakes by June 30th. Now. Someone has to win, right?

Today, buy a travel book or magazine & put it on your nightstand. Then read a little bit every night & begin to plan your itinerary. It might change over the course of the planning but a notebook & writing instrument are essential. If funds are low, take out a book from the library or borrow one from a fellow traveller. This is exactly how GG's editor starts each & every trip.

We want to hop off to Italy or France, of course (especially to see friends) but this article about the
Cambodian seashore is so tempting that it's definitely on our short list (with a side trip to Vietnam & Indonesia. And Thailand. And...OK, well it's a $5,000 prize but travel to Asia from here is rather expensive.)

Check out Budget Travel magazine's website for ideas & deals.


(Kampot, Cambodia by
Cailin Callahan - visit her blog to read about her trip to Asia)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Iced Coffee Break

That time of year is here: the first iced coffee of the summer. We make it at home with a minimum of fuss. The large Bialetti moka, fresh ground coffee, milk or half-&-half. Add sweetener of your choice. (Make extra every other day & freeze into cubes so you don't dilute it with water.) We make it the night before, like Michelle.


(delicious photograph by Francine Zaslow)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Change Happens - Darfur Peace & Development Update

We're pleased to report that:

DPDO has received a $15,000 grant from Change Happens Foundation to support health education and services at Kassab Women’s Center;

DPDO is partnering with UNDP (United Nations Development Program) to support the work of paralegals in Kassab IDP camp.

An update soon about our friend Susan's recent trip to Sudan.


(lovely photograph by LaraJade via Benevolent Postcard Society)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. A nearly-silent Sunday here but for movie playing & Giulia's amazingly high leaps accompanied by squeals to steal attention away from young lovers Catherine Deneuve & Nino Castelnuovo. On the menu, pissaladière.
Play the fan favorite video - Michel Legrand's score as interpeted by the great Stéphane Grappelli. Very cool.

ciao-floof-meow/GG Sunday Central

(film still via adryan dillon)

PS: Cute post from design*sponge

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wisteria Lane

Thanks to Barbara Goldfield & the Italian Notebook for a post on the gorgeous wisteria in Italy. Possibly this is why we're running so late today. Barbara owns Savour the Sannio, a travel consultancy for central and southern Italy. It's most definitely worth your while to visit her. French Film Fun just might be...on Saturday.


(photograph by
Cherry Blossom Girl from her chic Roman vacation)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lia the Science Girl

Hop on over to I Was Wondering - Women's Adventures in Science. Lia has games & information for anyone thinking that girls are not interested in (or good at) science. It's a project run by the National Academy of Sciences.
Busy day here...have fun!

ciao-meow/the Management

(Lia via

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ballet Beautiful at Home

Giulia is busy sleeping (in a yoga position, to be fair) & her editor has just finished her first Ballet Beautiful Blast - Swan Arm Series. So far Ballet Beautiful, created by genius Mary Helen Bowers, has four online streaming videos available for $8.00 each & more are promised. When in New York, you can take classes in-person, of course. This is a good alternative when it's raining or you need additional exercise.

We'd type more but...arms bit...sore, ow ow ow ow (it's all good).

ciao-whimper-meow/GG Dance Central

Loomis Dean &
Alfred Eisenstadt photographs via LIFE archives)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gocce di pioggia sui vetri

Or...raindrops on glass in Paris by the talented (Italian) Mia.

It's a rainy & low-key day so far. Giulia is fast asleep, so it's also very quiet. Engage your brain by memorizing essential phrases in 40 languages on the BBC Language page. Or just work on your Italian (&/or French).


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Freedom Riders

Watch the full episode. See more American Experience.

Celebrate the bravery of the Freedom Riders by watching the movie tonight on PBS. If you aren't in the States, please visit the links. It may be available via the website soon. There are excellent links on the interactive website for you to teach children & young adults about this crucial turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.

Check the link to see if the traveling exhibit will be coming to a town near you.


(photograph of Julia Aaron & David Dennis by Paul Schutzer for LIFE)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Have a Funny Weekend

It seems foolish to wish fun & silliness when the world is such a mess but wish it we do.

Barring blasting out of a cannon (or a cardboard tube), you could do a few things that are a bit more subdued. See a fun list in the
MakeUseOf directory. Everything from a llama font to making your own music. (The site is absolutely family-friendly.)

ciao-meow/GG & her editor

(photograph by superclever)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Le Portillon in Paris

Settle in with some coffee or tea, your cat or pup, & browse through Swedish Madelene's beautiful photographs & writings. For terrific suggestions about a trip to Paris, check out Smartypants Goes to France (or "The Clever Pup will set you straight":).


(photographs via Le Portillon)

This is a re-post. Blogger deleted during the outage & we're not sure it will be back.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Onions & Radishes

Giulia is not allowed to have spring onions (the entire lily family being poisonous to felines) but she likes to attend the nearby outdoor market. GG might accompany her editor to the White House market tomorrow. She is keen to meet the First Lady. Maybe even Bo the Dog. We don't have the heart to tell her that the name of the market notwithstanding, it is not at the White House.

See Saveur for 30 spring onion recipes; also a lettuce & peas recette that is yummy. Lovely little radishes are also on our wish list for tomorrow. Update - here's a good seasonal produce guide.


(lovely spring onions & radishes by George Brett)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Floral Murals

Giulia would look fabulous lying on the hall table (top photo), just underneath the orange flower. Visit Martha Stewart for floral decorating ideas. MS recommends visiting muralsyourway for removable adhesive decals. Very cool. You can virtually decorate in a little program before ordering. Also, you can design a mural with one of your photographs. This is a definite do.


(photograph via Martha Stewart; second image GG office wish)

Monday, May 9, 2011

FEED Projects - Japan Bag

This bag would be good to take to farmer's* markets this spring & summer, don't you think? (There's a terrific Feed Japan t-shirt, too.)

From the good folks at FEED Projects:

Each FEED Japan bag sold will give $10 to the FEED Foundation’s FEED Japan Fund. The FEED Japan Fund will aid in the disaster relief efforts by supporting organizations on the ground and will target the programs and organizations that need our help the most. The need for support is great and ever-changing, as Japan continues to recover from this disaster.

This white cotton tote bag, sold exclusively on the FEED website, is made in the USA from 100% organic cotton. The brilliant red symbol proudly reflects the Japanese flag on the back, with the FEED Japan logo displayed on the front. The bag reaches 12" high by 19" wide, and the handles are 12" from the top of the straps to the top of the bag.

Other worthy Japan-related fundraising.

ciao-meow/GG's editor

*GG Central employs apostrophes on "farmer's market". The End.

(images via FEED Projects)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Spanish Dinner & a Movie

...flamenco music & Javier Bardem.

We received an email about lovely Elena Parker's new series on Food52, Dinner & a Movie & instead of cooking something up, we'll leave it to the pros. Check out Elena's wonderful choices for a Spanish-themed menu in keeping with the spirit of Vicki Cristina Barcelona. It's delicious & quite easy, too.

Emilio de Benito plays Granada in the very romantic Spanish flamenco guitar scene (video).


(VCB film still by Victor Bello via
IMDb )

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all our friends!


(mama & her lamb by Ingo Kwiat, via Content in a Cottage)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Doodle for Your Noodle

Who knew? Doodling is good for you & your brain. We'll take any excuse we can get! Take a look at the tutorials on DrawingNow. We're off to make some Giuli-doodles. It's been a busy week but we'll be back over the weekend.


(adorable doodle by Deborah Leigh)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Make a Card for a Mother

It doesn't have to be yours...it could be for anyone. Also, please remember that not all little ones (& even some semi-big ones) have someone to help them out with this holiday. Think of children who don't live with their mom, those who are being raised by a single mom & there aren't family or friends to help - it happens a lot; & let's remember the children in military families. (Visit Joining Forces on Whitehouse.gov to find out how to help.)

Martha Stewart has some wonderful DIY card projects (like the one above, a pop-up card. There's also a video on the site in the lower-right hand corner). Here's a cute kid's project guide (a pdf) from the current print magazine. You can help the children in your life by downloading it & printing it for them. (What are we thinking? They knew how to do it before you did:)
If vintage illustrations are more your style, visit Vintage Holiday Crafts & Clip Art. There are lovely images you can put together to make a pretty card.


(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wish Audrey a Happy Birthday

It's Audrey Hepburn's birthday - she would have been 82 years old today. There's a contest on Just Being Audrey's Facebook page. Upload a photo or video of you dressed like AH or doing something appropriately AH, & win a copy of Just Being Audrey & a print illustration. Post by May 11, winners announced the 12th. There will be 5 winners.

Off to look at wardrobe options for Giulia.

ciao-darling-meow/GG Central

PS: Remember to check out illustrator Julia Denos' adorable The Cinnamon Rabbit.

(Funny Face still by Bill Avery via Audrey Hepburn-Annex)

Cat Naps While Editor Snaps

Giulia naps while her ever-suffering editor tries to make deadlines among other duties. It's the blog's third anniversary not that a certain pink-nosed orange & white cat seems to notice. Consulting the National Geographic domestic cat page about mysteries of the feline. Anything to put off cleaning the apartment. We shall return!

Here are 10 tips for taking great photographs of your cat. Obviously we read it after we snapped this shot.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

La Tour Eiffel des Enfants

This is fun - for any age. Plan a trip to the Eiffel Tower with children by visiting the children's page on the Tower's website. (What? No plans to go? Why ever not - start now!) There are puzzles, memory games, & you can work out an illumination plan. (See our handwork in the top image.) There are riddles & history lessons. There's also a teacher's guide & a free downloadable pamphlet. If you have photographs from a trip to the Tower, upload them on the site to share with everyone.

Still not convinced this is a good idea? Well, first read this article. And then...if you've not read it, you must read Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik.


(GG's illumination plan

Monday, May 2, 2011

Days of Remembrance, 1-8 May 2011

We hope that you will pass on the following information & also visit the Museum's website.

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website:

The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as our nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. This year Holocaust Remembrance Day is Sunday, May 1. The Museum designated
Justice and Accountability in the Face of Genocide: What Have We Learned? as the theme for the 2011 observance. In accordance with its Congressional mandate, the Museum is responsible for leading the nation in commemorating the Days of Remembrance, and for encouraging and sponsoring appropriate observances throughout the United States.

Observances and remembrance activities can occur during the week of Remembrance that runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday (view the Remembrance Day Calendar). Days of Remembrance are observed by state and local governments, military bases, workplaces, schools, churches, synagogues, and civic centers.

(bokeh light by generous D Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography, Free For All Creative Commons Set)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tiny Cranes for Japan

A little Sunday shopping. To the Japanese, the crane—or tsuru—is a symbol of good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. These 50 teeny, tiny paper cranes can be yours by visiting the littlesketchbook shop on Etsy. (Her pretty blog by the same name is here.) There is also a listing for 50 tiny white cranes. 100% of the profit goes to AmeriCares & the artist will email you the transaction. Now, that is a super idea.