a few of our favorite books right now!


hi! i’d love to share some of our favorite books right now, ones that eleanor and samson seem to ask to have read to them over and over again each day.  i wanted to start with these three books, because they are not only so great for both their ages, but they are interactive! which i love! i think reading to your little ones is one of the greatest things we can do for our children, especially in a world where technology seems to be taking over everything.  i admit we use the iPad just as much as the next family might, and there are wonderful apps and tools for little ones that teach and encourage their young minds, but books are still the best option in my opinion, and i’m so thankful my littles ask for “more” and “more” reading every day.


1. lines that wiggle by candice whitman. we’ve been borrowing this interactive book  from our neighbor, who is a schoolteacher in harlem and couldn’t believe we didn’t know of it! it’s pretty great.  there is a raised embossed line on every page, always turning into so many things! lines of a spider’s web or the veins in a leaf, zig zags and swirls, lines that bend and lines on bugs that stick straight out! it’s fun for the kids to use their finger and trace the lines through every page.  we like to point out all the lines we see in their room after reading which becomes a very fun game. 


2.  press here by herve tulle. eleanor especially loves this book. press the yellow dot and turn the page, suddenly there are two dots! each page has instructions of what to do next, from shaking the page (then turning the page to find all the dots scattered about!) to tilting the book or counting and pressing each multiplied dot. it’s fun to watch each page surprise you with something new.  i think this book is so good for a child’s imagination. eleanor almost has it memorized, but will still giggle and say, “silly dot!” when we turn the page.  it’s really fun to read as an adult, too. ;)


3. tap the magic tree by christie metheson. this book is similar in idea to press here, by giving the child instructions of taping and shaking and even blowing a kiss to make the tree do something new while you explore each season of life for the tree. it changes from a bare brown tree to one with beautiful leaves and blossoms then to apples and eventually snow!  it’s been great for samson as he learns to count out loud all the different leaves or blossoms or apples falling.  i actually just used this book for samson’s play school lesson earlier this week and was really amazed at how attentive all the little ones were while they participated as i read the story.  it’s definitely a good one.

what are some of your favorite interactive books for children? what was your favorite when you were little?

ps.  eleanor’s baby shower over 3 years ago all about books!

giveaway with pinhole press!

since easter has ended, i suppose we should prep for mother’s and father’s day coming up soon, right? ;) i think mother’s and father’s day is a great time of year to celebrate all the amazing women and men in our lives, whether they are mamas and papas, grandmas and granddads, aunties or uncles or just a really rockin’ friend who doesn’t have any kiddos of their own right now.
to get us all into the spirit, we’ve partnered with our sponsor, pinhole press, to give away a $200 credit to use towards anything in the shop to one lucky ready!
josh and i recently made these photo recipe magnets and it’s been so helpful to have some of our biggest go-to recipes right where we can see them while we’re cooking in the kitchen.  in the past, i’ve had our recipes written on scrap pieces of paper and stuffed into the back of one of our kitchen cabinets. it usually takes a good few minutes to find the recipe i’m looking for (it’s always the last one in the pile i’m sorting through, i swear!) and we’ve been discussing a way to update our system for years. so, finally! i’m hoping by seeing my mama’s pierogi recipe every time i come to the fridge, i’ll be less intimidated to whip them up more often! i think personalized gifts are kind of the way to go around these sorts of holidays, and i really like the creative options pinhole press offers on their mother’s day gift guide like the framed photo collage and filmstrip listpads.
to enter to win your $200 credit, please check out pinhole press, and come back here to comment with which item you’d love to get your own mama, or grandmother or friend, for mother’s day.  the winner will be drawn at random and emailed directly next week.  (open to US and Canada readers only for delivery purposes.)
also, get 15% off all products with the code TAZA15 through mother’s day! and, if you’re placing any orders for mother’s day, do so by april 30th to meet UPS ground delivery deadlines!
good luck!


a little film: snippets of easter sunday.

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hope you had a wonderful easter sunday! here’s a video below with a few snippets of our day together.  it’s funny because when i put eleanor to bed on saturday night, i was trying to get her down quickly (my kids know how to drag out their bedtime routine like pros. or better!) so i told her the sooner she went to bed the sooner the easter bunny would arrive to leave eggs in her room! my plan totally backfired though as she expressed how afraid she was that the easter bunny would bite her while she slept because bunnies have big teeth! i ended up having to lay with her until she fell asleep to keep her safe from the bunny. ;) it was kind of sweet but i felt terrible.  i guess things like the easter bunny or santa claus really are freaky to little kids.  fortunately, all was forgotten in the morning when she saw the eggs! we had a really fun day together.  i love this family of mine so much.  happy easter!

p.s. easter last year and the year before.

happy easter!


this morning, we enjoyed finding eggs in riverside park with friends from church! i think my kids were mostly just really cold, but they still enjoyed themselves.  i get really excited over things like this. i might have gotten a little bit carried away last night at duane reade pharmacy while buying some easter candy and a few new plastic eggs. i ended up coming home with things like those yucky marshmallow peeps shaped like yellow chicks! who buys those things, let alone eats them? they are so gross but also, kind of adorable, right?

i’m so thankful for this easter season.  not just for the chance to raid my kids candy stash, but also for what easter represents…life, and new beginnings, as we celebrate that morning so long ago when christ rose from the tomb and for the happiness that brings to me and my family.

happy easter! hope you have a beautiful weekend with your loved ones.

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happy easter!

bright and early morning date.


well, we were enjoying short sleeves and sandals here in new york city the last few days and i can’t even tell you what it was doing for my mood and energy and overall being. it was glorious. i packed away the littles stroller sleeping bags and even ordered new sunscreen. see ya never again, polar-vortex winter! don’t let the door hit you on the way out! and then, as josh and i were climbing into bed last night, we noticed it was snowing and hailing outside our window.

i’m a little bit bummed. but i’ll get over it. josh and i were hoping to go for an early morning bike ride before we started the day this morning but the early morning cold kind of put a damper on our plan. since we already had a sitter lined up, we grabbed a quick breakfast together instead at a nearby spot and checked out all those fancy faberge eggs at columbus circle on our way home.  have you seen any yet? kind of incredible… lots of photos of below…


^^^during the months i fell in love with josh while we were dating, he sported what i thought to be the sexiest beard ever. now that it’s back, i hope it never goes away. (did you hear me, josh!!!!)^^^


^^^pretty please don’t kill the new blossoms, frost!^^^


^^^cold i can do, but wind i cannot. that’s the problem with this cold on the east coast. the frigid wind makes it 20 times harder to handle. i’m pretty sure i am a wimp though, regardless. come summer humidity in august i know i’ll be asking for winter. i can never make up my mind. ^^^


^^^at least some of the trees are in full bloom! talk about beauty!^^^


^^^the eggs! you can find hundreds hidden around the city designed and painted by well known artists  (there is an app you can download to help your hunt and learn about each egg you find.) more info here.^^^


^^^this disco ball egg was just so fun, josh busted out a few dance moves. ;) ^^^


^^^eggs shells painted and placed to create the world. incredible.^^^


^^^well, that was fun. thanks for a fun morning date, josh!^^^