Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dolce Far Niente

Just a sweet photograph of Giulia doing what she does best: relaxing. Or dolce far niente. Visit Michelle in Calabria at Bleeding Espresso for further instruction.:) Have a wonderful evening.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Alice in Waterland

A lost day without focus, this Monday. If you're feeling similarly, take a little more time & visit Elena Kalis' website & blog. A Russian photographer currently living in the Bahamas, she has a beautiful project combining two of our great loves: Alice & the sea. You can follow Elena on Pinterest, Twitter, & Instagram.)



(photograph by Elena Kalis)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Swedish Summer

Rushing to pack & do many errands before we end up at Hermione's house for another stretch of house/cat sitting. As usual, running late. But one thing we will do, after the opening of the Olympics tonight, is take a stroll around the lovely neighborhood. So many beautiful gardens. If we could teleport, we'd go straight to Fine Little Day's country house.

More Swedish loveliness:

Look at that beautiful island.

Anne's rhubarb cake is lovely.

If decluttering (or want to), here's a little inspiration.

Back soon. xo

(photograph by Elisabeth Dunker)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

London from Above

Watching Great Cities at Night: Views from the International Space Station brought to mind how magnificent London will be tomorrow evening, from above or here on Earth. Mind you, London is always magnificent. Still it's sure to be a spectacle in the best sense of the word. Almost-confirmed rumors about the Olympic Games opening's inspiration include: Shakespeare (specifically, The Tempest), beloved characters from children's literature, Paul McCartney. Can't wait.


PS: Downtown Lights by Annie Lennox

(photograph by Jason Hawkes via My Modern Met - where you can see more great photos in large format)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Busy day here but a few fairy links. A worthy essay (& book review) on The Lure of the Fairy Tale in last week's New Yorker. News-to-us: an archive of fairy tales discovered in Germany. Also, new-to-us, The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project, excellent resource (including full-length printable stories).


PS: Wonderful modern fairy tale posters. Want.

(photograph by Chris Craymer)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


...or clover chain necklaces, bracelets, all manner of accessories are waiting outside in a nearby meadow (or overgrown city lot). Who doesn't remember doing this? If you've not made some in awhile, you should. Giulia will be sporting a black-eyed Susan necklace this weekend. Photos to come on Twitter. Promise!


PS: French twist with flowers tutorial (& pretty photographs)

(photograph by the snail and the cyclops)

Monday, July 23, 2012


Have you noticed clouds lately? Do you remember the types of clouds? We forgot. But we did see a spectacular horse-in-a-cloud the other day. The phenomenon of perceiving images in clouds, rocks, & the like is called pareidolia. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.

A few cloud links:

If you want to brush up on more than your Greek & teach some children about clouds, start here.

Capturing clouds at 20,000 feet. Spectacular photographs.

A song (partly) about clouds...


(photograph by Anka Zhuravleva)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have a Lovely Weekend

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. To take your mind off of sad news (for at least a little while), here are some links:

The Underground New York Public Library. Love.

165 summer poems.

How about that epic kiss photograph?!

Make a better sandcastle (not for kids only!).

Plan a trip to the beach. It's not too late. In fact, plan one for autumn.

Beach waves hair tutorial.

Remember this Donovan song? All of us could use this today.


photograph by the morning train)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Something Sweet - Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

You have eleven days left to celebrate national Ice Cream Month: get on it. Today's obsession is Vietnamese coffee ice cream. It's based on a David Lebovitz recipe (who knows from ice cream). This version (& photograph) is from Cenk at Cafe Fernando. If you don't know his blog, you should. (Here's his absolute best chocolate ice cream via Joanna.)

If you don't have an ice cream maker (we don't. yet), borrow one. Or try this technique straight from David. Or make some Vietnamese coffee (& go out for ice cream).

Stay chill, peeps.


(photograph by Cafe Fernando)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Ideas List for Children

It's that point in the summer when nerves are beginning to fray, ideas for fun are exhausted, & it is so very hot in much of North America (& rainy in the Europe). Or you forgot what you were planning to do. Or you never did make a to-do list anyway. You are in luck because you're reading this & we happened upon Patricia's blog good + happy day on Playful Learning & they have plenty of ideas.

This is not difficult, doesn't cost a lot of money: have everyone at home (or those you see regularly, this can include friends with kids) make a list of ideas. (Here are some of Patricia's.)Then start doing them before the next whine or argument. Do this tonight.


PS: When in doubt, throw an art party. Here is the GG online education resources label (includes children's art & literature sites).

(photograph of the adorable Aurora by Morillo)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Ballet in Cinema

Three ballets are left in the Ballet in Cinema's Summer 2012 season: The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, & La Source. Details of showings & cities are on the website.


PS: Ballet Beautiful has a July discount (15%) on their streaming videos. Enter BBJULY when checking out. We recommend highly!

(photograph crop detail by Prabuddha Dasgupta; tulle underskirt, Vivienne Westwood)

Monday, July 16, 2012

What Do You Remember?

Read this excellent & moving essay-prose poem, I Remember, I Remember by Mary Ruefle. Then write one of your own. This makes a terrific writing exercise. Well, what are you waiting for? Go, shoo. (Some ways to unblock.)


PS: Yes catching fireflies. And the first time seeing the ocean. Amongst hundreds of quick thoughts.

(photograph by Lissie Elle Laricchia)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day

To our friends in France & around the world, have a wonderful le quatorze juillet. If you aren't French, pas de problème. Celebrate anyway. Always celebrate!

For some last-minute holiday help:

Here's a short history (including two quizzes).

Some easy ways to make the day a little more French, any day of the summer.

Consider putting together a Saint Honoré; it is so much easier than you think.

bisous! xoxo

(photograph by Yanidel)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Stars

The Summer Triangle consists of three bright stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair – in three separate constellations. If you can find the Summer Triangle, you can use it to locate three of the sky’s smallest constellations: Vulpecula the Fox, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow. ~ EarthSky Tonight

It's that time of year: the Summer Triangle is here. Click through to EarthSky's smart & beautiful (& beautifully written) website for lots of links, photographs, graphs, explanations that even we can understand. You can follow them on Facebook, too, so that you don't miss a day's post.


(photograph by Mariusz Sikorski)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Books & Reading Lists

Should we confess to re-reading books this summer with not one visit to a bookstore in two months? To looking just past the pile of New Yorkers & New York Review of Books? (Of course, we've read the Vogues, are you kidding?) If you're in the same situation & haven't kept up with what's new, National Public Radio has an excellent section of their website devoted to Summer Books & Reading Lists.

Off to the bookstore this weekend.


PS: If you'd like to look at Olivia, the magazine that Liivia is reading, here's the website. It's in Finnish but it's pretty to look at. And you can always use Google Translate.

(photograph by Liivia Sirola)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Atlantic Puffins

Atlantic Puffins spend most of their time at sea — coming to land each spring to breed in colonies on northern seacoasts and rocky islands, like Seal Island in Maine, home to the puffins visible on our live cam. These colorful pigeon-sized birds lay one egg in their burrow homes, with the male and female sharing incubation duties for approximately 39-43 days. After the chick hatches both parents feed it fish for approximately 45 days. After that the “puffling” is large enough to fledge (leave the nest.) ~ Audubon Society

If you have children around, you can excuse becoming hooked on the baby puffin live cam at Seal Island in Maine on them. If not, you're on your own. National Geographic's Kids has a good creature feature on Atlantic puffins. And here's a short learning unit (with a coloring page & a crossword) on puffins.

Giulia is far too interested in the live cam, so we're off for a nap.


(photograph by kenyai via Mother Nature Network)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meatless Monday - Tomato Soup

These recipes can be served hot or cold, whatever the weather calls for. We've tried all four & love them equally. Two things, though: please don't use dried basil, especially in the summer; anything calling for chicken stock can be made with vegetable stock. (Or with water if your tomatoes are really good.) If you don't have access to fresh tomatoes, you can use good tinned ones.

Roasted tomato soup by Tartlette

Roasted tomato soup by 101 Cookbooks

Egyptian tomato soup

How to cook perfect tomato soup by Felicity Cloake for The Guardian

Have a great Monday! ciao/xo

(photograph via The Kitchn)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Have a Relaxing Weekend

The hot weather continues (& will get worse) here in the States & Canada. Stay inside if you can & watch Wimbledon. That is the sum total of our weekend plan.

A few links:

Turn on Calm. (Also: make a playlist in iTunes of rain & the ocean. Cheap therapy.)

Spend two minutes to watch the month in photography.

Make these frozen (skinny) fruit pops.

A list of great children's books set in London (just in time for the Olympics). A library or bookstore visit on this hot summer weekend is always a good idea.

Tim Kreider's The Busy Trap - read it. The backlash is on but we aren't buying it. We agree with Tim.


(photograph by Julie de Waroquier)

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A lovely cool photograph for the day. It's simply too hot to go outdoors (here). When in doubt, draw the blinds & take a nap. If you are so fortunate as to live by the sea...invite us to visit!

A few links:

Underwater photography galleries from National Geographic

Who are the Nereids again?

A poem by George Seferis translated from the Greek.

Take a walk in a favorite place, Santorini.

The real Greek salad (from a wonderful new-to-us food blog from Athens)

ciao/the Management

(photograph by Liquid Sunny Day)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

A happy & safe holiday to all those celebrating. Whether you're in the States or not, here are 24 Fourth of July playlists for the rest of the summer; something is bound to appeal. And here's a link if you've not planned much & are regretting it. Have fun!


(Fourth of July #2, Independence, Missouri by Mike Sinclair; some prints are still available at 20x200)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence Icebox Cake

Littering the internetz are many beautiful cakes & pies for the Fourth of July holiday. But it's already early evening & the thought of baking cakes & pies tonight - forget it. Make this cake instead. It requires one box of vanilla wafers, heavy cream, & berries. That's it. (You can decorate it a bit differently for Bastille Day in 10 short days.)


(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stay Cool

GG will be back tomorrow. The terrible storms of Friday night & ensuing power outages have wreaked havoc in our world. We hope you have electricity or that it is restored soon. Here's a new-to-us online travel magazine (via Lori) Wayfare to read & an iced coffee recipe.

To all the people we saw waiting to get into cafés for the wifi, good luck!

ciao-meow from Giulia who is resting after many severe asthma attacks due to the power outage. xo

(photograph via Lolita)