Easter Basket Round Up

Time to talk baskets! Growing up our Easter baskets were heavy on the chocolate (Cadbury, yum) and jelly beans, and an accessory such as a hair bow or little purse but honestly not much else. Not that there is anything wrong with that but more sugar is one thing that my kids don’t need, wink, and since Easter is an important faith holiday for us, we like to focus on something that encourages them in their faith walk while also celebrating the new life that is reflected all around us during springtime (which sometimes looks like new art supplies, new poetry books, etc). And if you haven’t endured a Michigan winter you don’t know just how joyous that celebration is! My children are ages 4-9 and I’ve rounded up some of my spring favorites including the books that I’m placing their baskets this year. I try to focus on what we need to replenish (chalk, bubbles, paints) and sometimes I snag a little something at the Target dollar spot (they have such cute watering cans for kids as well as wooded painted birdhouses). And at the end of the day, you really just have the size of a basket to work with so while it’s easy to get overwhelmed with Christmas (and having to stem the tide of gifts from well-meaning family and friends), I find Easter much easier and simpler. And that’s probably the way it should be, no? Smile. Happy Easter all!

Valentine's Day Picture Book Round Up

Confession: once I moved past middle school, I either found Valentine's Day unnecessarily stressful or just downright cheesy. And while I don't want to give in to the sugar/chocolate marketing hype, I do think it's a fun day to remind those closest to us that we love them and to teach our kids what love looks like. As a family we try to do surprise love notes throughout the month of February to each other (this has gotten fun as my older two can now write on their own but stickers work great for little hands too), send handmade cards to friends and grandparents, read books about love that goes beyond romantic love (love is servant-hearted, courageous, thoughtful, etc) and love on our community (we've surprised firefighters with donuts and make & pass out blessings bags for the homeless as February can tend to dip into single digit temps here). Anyway, it's not to add any pressure or stress on the parent, just fun ways to model various acts of love to the littles. Here's a fun round-up of some Valentine's Day picture books that we are enjoying this month!

My Heart
By Corinna Luyken
Love Is
By Diane Adams
This Is Not a Valentine
By Carter Higgins
A Hug Is for Holding Me
By Lisa Wheeler
Love Is a Tutu
By Amy Novesky
I Wrote You a Note
By Lizi Boyd
I Carry Your Heart with Me
By E.E. Cummings
Words and Your Heart
By Kate Jane Neal
My Heart Is a Compass
By Deborah Marcero

Mini Mother's Day Gift Guide

The other day my husband was asking what I wanted for Mother's Day and my answer was the same as it is every year: just time with you and the kids. And good, strong coffee. And brunch. LOL. But honesty, tangible gifts aren't my love language the way that quality time is, but he pointed out that he wants to teach us our kids how to love on their mama and my boys particularly had been asking for him to help them pick out a gift...SO since my arm was twisted, a book list was rapidly sent his way and they have plans to hit our local indie bookstore this weekend. All this made me think of how many of you perhaps are looking for a gift for your own mothers...or for sisters, friends, aunts, or yourselves! I'm all about the #metome gifting, wink. I am hesitant to call this an official gift guide since there are so many other bloggers out there that do a fabulous job of curating gifts (I see you, @dosaygive) but here a few unique ones for that woman in your life that loves to live by the page:

Magazines

Darling Magazine

This magazine is focused on ALL things around the art of being a woman.  It's classy, fun, witty and best of all, none of the women in the magazine have been retouched.  As their motto goes, you too, darling, are a work of art. You can gift a subscription, a current issue or even a back issue for just $6!

Flourish Motherhood

I contributed to Issue 02 of this magazine and ordered a few print editions for my own mama-crew! This is such an uplifting and encouraging magazine about all things motherhood! The print version of Issue 02 is sold out, but you can get a digital copy of Issue 02 online right now for just $4.99. 

Books

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

This isn't a new one but it's been a faithful standby that I've gifted to sisters, sister-in-laws, friends, and the like since 2013. A collection of essays about life, love, and food with a sprinkling of some amazing recipes in between (get ready for some to become regular rotations!).

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life

I loved Lara Casey's 'Make it Happen' book and can't wait to get my hands on this one! I think this would be a lovely gift and check out the other items in her shop as well (prints, journals, etc) over at www.cultivatewhatmatters.com

Gracelaced

This collection of watercolor art and devotions by Ruth Chou Simons is stunningly beautiful. I gifted this to my mother-in-law for her birthday this fall and secretly have been hoping for a copy myself. 

The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, The Hard Stuff, and Everything in Between

The sweetest collection of essays by the team at Coffee + Crumbs about the ups, and downs, of motherhood. Especially perfect for the soon-to-be or first-time mama. 

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living

Because with kids (young or teens) in the house, every day is New Year's Day in terms of simplifying it all, right!? 

Puffin in Bloom Collection

If she is a classics aficionado or has a young girl that she loves to read aloud with, this special collection of four hardback books designed by Anna Rifle Bond is for her (this includes Heidi, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and A Little Princess).

Cookbooks

Links below to some of my favorites....even if you are working with more of a novice cook, cookbooks provide fabulous inspiration or even make lovely coffee table books too. Wink.

Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life

How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day In Between

Love & Lemons: An Apple to Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Though the Seasons

The Forest Feast Gatherings

Cloth + Paper 

Living by the Page Canvas Bag

Because she needs somewhere to place all this goodness, right!? Just order by Monday May 7 to ensure delivery by Mother's Day! 

Joy Creative Shop

Steph Weibring of Joy Creative Shop created the fabulous hand-letting that you see here at Living by the Page. Check out her shop for some lovely paper good-ideas.  While I do appreciate all that technology enables us to do, I firmly believe in the power and love that comes in the form of a hand-written note.

Beans

Pair it all with some fresh beans from BookLoversCoffee! They don't roast the coffee until you order it so zero inventory is held!  And Living by the Page readers are welcome to use code MOMSBEANS for 10% off the entire order.  Orders must be placed by Saturday May 5 to guarantee delivery for Mother's Day!

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