Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's Move (This Summer)

The Let's Move! website is looking a lot better & more interactive these days. Encourage the White House by visiting the site & using it for inspiration (& some cool tools).


PS: Really trying to pick up the pace & length of posts...but life is not cooperating. Thanks for sticking around. (And for the emails of concern. Return emails forthcoming - promise!)

(photograph detail by D Sharon Pruitt)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blowing Bubbles

It's so hot here that sitting in a tub of bubbles is more likely than playing outside. But if you are child-wrangling, here's how to make a lot of bubbles (tested, it works great). A super-bubble video from France (where these are called 'bulles')


PS: For grownups: the best bubbles; the best budget bubbles. IMNSHO

(photograph by ce sont mes yeux)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

It's easy to forget what we're supposed to be celebrating this weekend. Here's a reminder by Nancy Rial on Kristin's French Word-A-Day for la journée du souvenir. Nancy searched for - and found - her uncle's WWII grave in Lorraine, France. Read on for the story & for links.


PS: But do have a good day off!

(photograph by Denis Albertovich)

Friday, May 25, 2012

FEED at Five

In honor of FEED's 5th anniversary, please welcome the FEED 5 Africa Bag!

As seen in Marie Claire magazine, this FEED 5 Africa Bag is handmade by artisans in Kenya. The outside of the bag is made from our traditional burlap material, along with the "FEED the Children of the World" logo from the first-ever FEED bag, the FEED 1 Bag. The bag is lined with traditional African kitenge fabric. Each FEED 5 Africa bag provides 5 children with micronutrient powder for 1 year through the FEED Foundation's Nutrients Fund. ~ FEED Projects website

This is a great bag for summer, especially. Visit the website for the complete line of products & a listing of retail partners.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Something Sweet - Garden Cake

Looking at this photograph makes us happy; imagine having a piece of it. And really, if you're pressed for time or not inclined to bake, why not buy a plain cake & decorate it? Because that is the really fun part. Here's another beautiful cake, especially if you have rose petals to spare. (Hint: you can buy them at Whole Foods). Mimi Thorisson's Manger is more than sweets, though; it's just beautiful & you should visit.


(photograph by Manger)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Up on the Roof

Recently we went to this opening of a rooftop garden. It was so inspiring but we haven't a roof of our own. If you do, think about it. Seriously. You could even wear some flowers in your hair (if you insist). Here is a beautiful photo gallery of blossoming city rooftops from National Geographic.

ciao-flowery-meow/the mgmt

(photograph of Gala via am-lul's closet)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Cinementals

GG's human servant is looking for reasons to be cheerful. Again. So here's something....

The Cinementals is a good site for some classic film inspiration - whether you are in the States or not; whether you have cable or not. News, reviews, & podcasts written in smart, snappy style. The Twitter page sums it up: what's new in old movies.

ciao-meow/the management

PS: Free film noir

(Casablanca still via doctormacro)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dreamy Mixed Media Art

"A large part of my work is the search for license-free images, illustrations or photos, for which copyright has long expired. Old books, magazines and the Internet are my primary resources for that. Once I have found the fitting image, I break it into pieces and then weave it back together mixed with other images. I transform, assemble and retouch the pieces, until the original image is no longer recognizable and an entirely new image is created."~ graphic designer Catrin Welz-Stein

Click through to read an interview with Ms. Welz-Stein & see more of her images (based on surrealism, folklore & fairy tales. She has a shop on Redbubble, as well. Very cool.

A rainy, sleepy Monday here. Time to put the kettle on.


(image via My Modern Met)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Have a Great Weekend

It's felt like we've crawled towards Friday afternoon...since Monday morning. We'll try to recover. Meanwhile, here are a few good links to start things off.

Illustrator Samantha Hahn's brave entry for "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You."

A personal Berlin guide (& melancholy farewell) by the lovely & amazing Emily. xoxo

Love this lamp design (even though friends have pointed out: it's made of paper, dude).

Use up that dulce de leche in these cookies.

It's strawberry season!

This Marimekko dress was pinned 20 times in a few minutes.

And always, always: dance. RIP Donna Summer.


(film still from Der geteilte Himmel)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jane Austen Card Games

Playing cards is fun but sometimes the same old game is a bore. The Jane Austen Centre website has the rules for several games popular in Regency England. Head over & see if there's something that might be fun for the weekend. If that's not your cup of tea, play hearts. It takes a certain brashness to be good at that game (GG's editor is good at that game:)


(photograph by Jen Gotch via Automatism)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Every May we miss the northern lilacs bloom. Today it hit particularly hard that they just do not grow well here in the DC-area. Oh sure, you'll see some here but nothing, nothing like in the north. Or France. One of the best things about living in Strasbourg were the amazing stands of lilacs in a nearby park. You could even pick large bunches & not make a dent in the display. (It was allowed! At the time.)

If you've never read Mrs. Greenthumbs (the late, great hilarious Cassandra Danz), you must take her books out of the library or buy them. Here's a little sample. The story of the lilac bush named Henry alone makes CD worth reading. You will laugh & laugh - what could be better than that? Here's hoping that you have lilacs in your life.


PS: Amy Lowell's Lilacs

(lovely photograph by Liivia S.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Poetry for Children

If Tuesday is any indication, this week is already lost to us. We'll try to regain some sense of optimism...soon. Meanwhile, the Poetry Foundation is a favorite site & their Children's Poetry section is new-to-GGCM but looks quite good. Cultivating a love of poetry cannot begin too soon.


(Briton Rivière painting by via dflam)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rainy Day Jam

You thought it was a playlist, right? Nope. We're out of raspberry jam & it feels like a mini-emergency. So what to do? It's raining now, later today, tonight, tomorrow. Make Nigella's hands-free jam after a quick trip for a half-pint of raspberries, that's what. And if you'd like to make it a Meatless Monday, here you go. Back later today. Update: nope, not coming back today. But here's a lovely French song to start off your evening (or begin your day, hi to friends in Oz)


(photograph by Isabelle Bertolini)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all our friends & family. Have a wonderful day!


(swan & cygnets via Jellybean Boom/Instagram)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Spring Saturday

It's a bit mad here lately; hope to pick up the posting pace next week. Meanwhile, if you celebrate Mother's Day, there's still time to make a card & pick up some flowers (fair-trade is best, WFoods has tulips, lilies, roses, & more today & tomorrow). Remember that not everyone has a (living or available) mother or children; if you know woman who nurtures, maybe you should think of extending your celebration to include her.

Some links for your weekend:

Remember Dear Photograph? Love it. Now there's a book, too.

Wonderful essay on Finding Poetry in Illness.

Adorable (& hilarious) video Somebody That I Used to Know (By Two Kids in a Car)

A Paris Pastry hop with Dorie Greenspan

Can't stop thinking about this illustration.

The best Super Moon photo of all.


(photograph by Le Portillon)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The History of Rome

The five-year project "The History of Rome" is now ready & waiting for you in the form of 179 podcasts on iTunes (via Open Culture). It's an excellent resource for anyone but particularly for those who did not study ancient western antiquity at university. GG's editor is biased but (we think) if you don't understand ancient Rome, you don't really understand the the world now. Such a statement is one of an academic, to be sure, but we really do believe it.

If you want to entertain/teach children about the ancient city, the BBC Primary History on the City of Rome is for them.


(photograph by Giampaolo Macorig)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kids Can Change the World

Mother's Day is a good time to re-think how you give gifts. Honestly, we heartily applaud flowers & photographs-in-frames & Sunday lunches at a favorite restaurant. But maybe this is not the year for one more piece of jewelry. What to do? It's already Wednesday.

Here's an idea. Mothers like to know that they had something to do with the magnificent person you have become, right? (Yes) So visit Heifer International & consider an alternative gift. If you're not keen to give a dairy goat, there are plenty of choices. She'll love it. Guaranteed.


(photograph courtesy of Heifer Brazil)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And he sailed off through night and day

And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are...Where the Wild Things Are

There are a million things we should be doing today but how can you ignore the passing of such an important person as Maurice Sendak? No, you cannot. Listen to the Fresh Air podcast if you miss it.

To honor M. Sendak, we're having a wild rumpus. Actually, every day is wild rumpus day for Giulia. If you need to laugh (who doesn't?!), you should watch these Colbert Report videos. Here's a list of all Sendak books; he shouldn't be remembered for just one.

ciao/the management

(photograph via scan)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Meatless Monday - Sweet Potato, Green Bean & Smoked Paprika Salad

The smoked paprika is the most important thing in this recipe. If you don't have any, buy a tin of pimentón. You won't regret it. We've made this three times & it's a perfect recipe. Don't worry about having tomatoes, they aren't in season most places. If you insist, plum tomatoes will work. Or add more green beans. Slight variations that are nice: add cilantro (or basil or both) to the parsley. Make this even if you (or your family) don't like sweet potatoes that much; the pimentón cuts the gag factor (we have found:)


(photograph detail by The Hungry Girls via Design*Sponge)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wind Map

An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future. This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US. --from Wind Map

We're off into the windy world tomorrow (to the flower festival). Back here on Saturday. Cheers. Update: Back on Monday; experiencing computer problems.


(photograph by Richard Ramirez, Jr., screenshot via swissmiss)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Flowers

It's time to pop some flowers into pots again; this is especially important if you don't have a garden. The idea of no flowers on a daily basis...shudder. If you're in Washington, DC, stop by the National Cathedral Flower Mart this Friday or Saturday. It's a lot of fun, you can purchase flowers, herbs, & more & poceeds are used to maintain the beautiful grounds & gardens.

Giulia would love to attend, especially since her nickname derives from this very flower festival. Alas, she is bound to be disappointed (again) this year. However, her obedient servant will purchase some geraniums in her honor; also on the menu: pansies & violas.

If you're helping children make Mother's Day cards or gifts & have a steady supply of pansies from over-wintering, here are some easy pansy projects.

PS: People have asked about the other plants in the photograph. Yes, that's lavender. Here's a nice basket for sale.


(photograph by Liivia Sirola)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day - Labor & Love

Some friends overseas have asked us about the Occupy Wall Street movement. We're not experts but we are sympathetic to the cause, certainly. Here is their website, Flickr account, & the OWS Twitter account.

GG & her editor like the idea of combining the traditional celebration of (& continued fight for) labor rights with the romantic notion of May baskets, muguet, etc. We blame the French! It's a hard sell to some of the fiercest revolutionaries but we'll put up a good fight. They do include musicians, artist, & poets in the mix, though this can be a bit difficult for those of us who do not tow any line 100%. (This is dedicated to Charles Bivona, poet & educational activist. See his site for inspiration & news. And laughs, there are laughs, too:)

Meanwhile, wherever you are, have a lovely first of May. xoxo


(Le muguet du Métro detail by Robert Doisneau via MoMA)