Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jelly Belly and Easter

My family and I took the free tour of the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California on a day trip.  Not much is free today, but the factory tours are at the Jelly Belly Factory.  You can eat lunch at the snack shop and browse the candy store before or after your tour. I think it's the perfect compliment to Easter vacation.  You can buy Jelly Belly in bulk and stockpile jelly belly if that's your thing.  A disclaimer, I am in no way getting paid to promote Jelly Belly. But if you find that you want to send me some.  Please send, BUTTERED POPCORN, MARSHMALLOW, CARAMEL CORN AND COTTON CANDY.

Note: The plural of Jelly Belly seems like it would be Jelly Bellies. However, I noticed that Jelly Belly ONLY uses the term Jelly Belly.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Arty the SMARTY

Arty the Smarty is a cute little book that I picked up at a yard sale years ago. Arty swims around without a care in the world. He wants to make a big splash and the other fish envy that Arty is so outgoing.  He's bold and curious.   I think kids love a book with a character like Arty. This kind of reader is also pleasing because of the simple art. If you want to sit and draw Arty when you're finished, it's easy to do.  Arty the Smarty is one of those books that you'll read over and over with your kids. A warning though, it's out of print.  It's worth finding however, if you're a children's book collector and lover, like me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Secret Life of Squirrels

I love the way Nancy Rose thinks.  She delves into the world of miniatures and blends it with nature.  Mr. Peanuts, the main character in The Secret Life of Squirrels, is a real squirrel that lives in Nancy's backyard.  She cleverly puts together a story using handcrafted miniatures and places them in the squirrel's path.  In the digital age of special effects, The Secret Life of Squirrels is a refreshing reminder of the simplicity of storytelling.  I highly recommend reading it. It's a keeper!

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Little Bit of Chocolate Goes a Long Way

The best things in life are free, or almost free.  On the California coast in Monterey, sits Ghiradelli's. A bit of heaven on earth. This little shop tucked into Cannery row, is a must for the chocolate lover.  For just a few dollars, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Monterey Bay, see a few whales, and breathe in the sea salt air. Which leads me to my favorite treat, the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

I'm not sure how they make the whip cream, but it's absolutely divine.  This combination along with the most delicious chocolate ever, is simply intoxicating. 
So, if you're on a budget or just interested in the simple pleasures of life, slow down, and enjoy the moment. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Picture Book Adventure -John Muir and Stickeen

I was visiting the my local National Park when I picked up this book.  Yes, I'm fortunate enough to have a National Park just 45 minutes from my house.  Sequoia-Kings National Park, located in the world famous Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, noted for its splendor and more by John Muir. 

 John Muir and Stickeen, is an exceptionally illustrated children's book based on a true story. I was touched by this short adventure because of an endearing dog named Stickeen.  This is not only an educational picture book, but has a great ending. Watch out! It will pull at your heart strings.

John Muir was a western explorer noted especially for his love of  Yosemite and Sequoia- Kings Canyon areas before they were National Parks. He was overwhelmed with their grandeur and beauty. He was so awestruck of the Sierras, he helped convince President Roosevelt to preserve and create the National Parks we enjoy today.