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    Bookmarks to print

    So, I wanted to make bookmarks available to the new fans of my new Facebook page: The Lovely Bookcase. But, I wasn't able to post the PDF there, so I am posting them here! I hope you enjoy!

    Winnie the Pooh Bookmark

    Emily Dickinson Bookmark

    Charlotte's Web Bookmark


    A new Jewish book for children to learn Torah

    It is an interesting problem: one that puzzles me quite often. How do I, as a Jewish mom, teach my Jewish kids about something that even I feel confused and unclear about much of the time. One of the "jewish jokes" is that if you want more than one answer to your question about religion, ask more than one rabbi. I have found this funny because it is actually quite true.

    This new book -- Jewish Tales -- seems to take a really nice approach to this type of teaching. And honestly, this artist/designer cannot get over how beautifully done it is. What a wonderful way to dive into a tough topic and to leave my kids (who are strangely much more curious about religion than I ever was) with a wonderful impression of their religion.

    This review from the New York Times provides an even more thorogh discussion on the book. I am very curious to hear what you think of it.

    If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can find it here.

    Please feel free to leave your own book review below. I'd love to know how this book resonates with you and your family.



    Recommended reading: permission to punt perfection

    My neighbor (and friend from the "olden days" -- you know, high school) Shanna Haun has taken all of her amazing mojo, juju & talent and put it all down on paper in her new book Healthy Heart and Mind: It's ALL A Practice. See she's a yoga guru (er, I mean a Registered Yoga Teacher) as well as a generally super healthy kind of a gal, and guess what? Even she isn't perfect!

    (And for those "Playing Big" readers of mine: Shanna has completely and totally found her calling -- lucky girl -- AND she's Playing Big, big time!)

    Here's my take on her book and exactly why I love it:

    It is the hardest thing about being a mom, a wife, and just a woman in general: accepting life is not perfect. I’m not the perfect mom, I don’t have perfect kids, and on top of that I can’t even force myself to eat perfectly, let alone have the perfect body. But our society still promotes this happily-ever-after goal of the family in the Colgate toothpaste commercial: really white teeth, super shiny hair and absolutely no yelling. And that’s what we aspire to. 

    But, author Shanna Haun has given women the gift of permission in her book, Healthy Heart and Mind: It’s ALL a Practice. And I say permission because guess what? Shanna isn’t letting you off the hook. It isn’t a throw-caution-to-the-wind carpe diem let’s hold hands and sing Kumbaya tale of women surrendering to their bodies and their lives. Instead, it is permission to dive into the sometimes scary, always challenging pursuit of better health and fitness. And to do it one small change at a time, and to not be perfect, and to fall and to get back up and to have hope that you can feel better and live better, no matter where you are starting from. And permission to start today.

    Shanna’s transparent take on the tale of her childhood, family and imperfect road to becoming a personal trainer and registered yoga teacher makes you feel like your own personal story has character. My childhood, my struggles, my story is no longer the reason I can’t do this, but instead the reason I can. And the honest and thoughtful stories of Shanna’s students confirm that – if they can do it then I can do it, too.

    In sharing her plan of eating, her go-to snacks and favorite healthy products, Shanna makes this healthy life doable in an every-single-day-kind of way. She tells readers that she doesn’t prescribe her plan of eating to anyone, but shares it simply because people are curious. I like that – because I am one of those nosey people! On the first day I started the book I read about Shanna’s lunch salads and I adopted the same for my own lunches. Now, more than a week later, I am getting loads more veggies than I did two weeks ago and it was just one small change. “No big life overhauls here,” Shanna likes to remind the reader regularly.

    Perfect does not exist. Practice is highly achievable!” is Shanna’s mantra. It turns my life into a Colgate toothpaste commercial overnight, simply by changing the goal. Instead of the white teeth, shiny hair, perfect mom goal, now I simply engage in living a healthier life, with self-loving efforts everyday – and that my friend is success!



    The garden

    Let's see, I am not sure I've ever been happier to see spring arrive than I have been this year. (Aside from maybe the year I took spring break in Padre Island, Texas before even turning 18, but that was a long long, very long time ago!) So, it wasn't hard to get motivated to do a garden this year.

    And even more exciting was when my good friend Lois showed up one day with pansies in hand! Ready to put them right into the ground -- I was so impressed AND inspired! So, this weekend the girls and I added peas and carrots. There is nothing like the feeling of sunshine on your back and the ground breaking in your hands. I look forward to seeing our garden grow and blossom. I hope we'll have food to share sometime this summer!


    Inspiration a la calligraphy practice

    I decided to finally try my white ink! What do you think? I am having fun with expirementing with a few different styles. Just tweaking my "look" and how to make it flow. It isn't perfect, but it sure is one of the most sure-fire ways I know to switch yourself into left-brain mode quick! I am ready to do some more! Anyone doing modern calligraphy these days? I'd love it if you'd link up to your work.