Dienstag, 29. Juli 2014

Favorite books for young readers + winner

If you’ve known my blog for a while you will know that I love children’s books:

when my children were younger there was nothing dearer to me than reading to them.
Unfortunately the offspring learned to read by themselves and nobody really fits on my lap anymore either.

Yesterday afternoon the kids got some of their old children’s books down from the attic: the sat on the floor for hours, looked at every one of them together and talked about their memories.

"When I was little, I thought these drawings were bizarre. But nice." (Noelle)

"It was because of this book that I learned to distinguish left from right." (Ben)
"I would have loved to disappear into this book myself.” (Noelle)
"When I was little I never understood this part. And I always wondered why everyone laughed." (Ben)
This inspired me to write down a few recommendations for you – because I asked them which books they would DEFINITELY read to their own children!

The only downer:
these are not new releases, but books that accompanied my children during their childhood and that they liked particularly well.
Unfortunately some of the special ones (most of them) are out of print.
Which leaves you with the possibility to buy them used – maybe keep your eyes peeled on flea markets or second-hand markets?
If you are able to track one down choose to buy the best-kept version and be prepared to pay a good price:
it is worth it!
These books will be a pleasure for a number of years.
They are either very funny, with particularly detailed illustrations, or they will just touch your heart!
These are the books my children would read to their own children:

1. ALL books by Mick Inkpen and Nick Butterworth - perfect for the very little ones (about 2 years and up).
incredibly beautiful drawings appropriate for children (not tacky), and a wonderful sense of humor that even the very young will understand.

Particularly nice:

- "Ausgerechnet eine Maus!" (to me this is the cutest children’s book of all times! Absolutely recommended for 2 years and up).

- "kein leichter Fall für Jonathan"
- "Donnerwetter, Jonathan!" (important: this book contains a beautiful poster of a tree. Check to make sure it’s still there when buying it second-hand).
-"Ein Luftballon für Leopold"
etc... – the whole series of Jonathan and his friends, containing several volumes.
A gardener in a park who speaks the animals’ language and helps them out?
Oh, yes! 
Lovely illustrations and written with a sense of humor (2 years and up).

- "Von Schafen, Perlen und Häusern", a collection of Biblical parables, retold for children and never boring (2 years and up).

- "Dinosaurier fressen keine Bananen", a small volume, illustrated with a lot of love for details and written with a wink and a nod, as usual (3-4 years and up).  

2. Leonardo
... is an inventor just like his famous namesake – but a rabbit.
So he invents a carrot washing machine, an Easter egg coloring machine and a fox deterrent device – all things you might need as a rabbit ;).
(about 3 years and up)

3. The entire "Charlie und Lola" series is perfect for about 4 years and up – if you don’t want to miss out on Laura Child’s entertaining style of writing:

4. "Prinzessin auf der Erbse", ideal from about 5 years.  

"The prince was a nice boy and didn’t look bad – in fact he looked GOOD – not TOO good, just GOOD.” Any further questions ;)?

5. All Astrid Lindgren books- neither unknown, nor new, nor unavailable ;).
 "Mio, mein Mio" is one of the lesser known ones,
yet so beautiful that Ben now reread it front to back and kept gushing about it.
(5 years and up).

Do you have any other recommendations for smaller children? I look forward to further recommendations in the comments, so that readers with younger children can benefit from them!

And another question:

my children are teenagers already, so my blog’s themes are matched accordingly.
When they were younger I hadn’t blogged yet – which is why there are hardly any or no tips at all from this time.
Are you interested in simple crafts or play ideas suitable for the little ones?
I’d be happy to post a series on my blog!

The VisaCare by Philips winner is:

Congratulations, please send me a mail.

You will find the recipe for the healthy amaranth bars HERE.



p.s. Yesterday evening it suddenly started to pour.

All of a sudden Noelle turned the music up high, yanked open the door to the backyard, raced outside in her summer dress, jumped into the pool and started to dance wildly and to her heart’s delight.
What’s left except joining in and getting soaking wet down to your underwear within seconds?

This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.

Freitag, 25. Juli 2014

Beautiful summer days. (+winner)

The longboard.
Over and over again: the longboard.

A “Oh, well, let’s go to the emergency room and have it checked, if Ben’s wrist is still sore…” turned into a cast.
Right at the beginning of the summer holidays, yeah.
At a particularly inconvenient time, as Ben was going to attend a surf camp together with his sister pretty much at the start of the holidays.

Ben on the other hand thinks it is a blessing in disguise:
"They could have put my whole arm into a cast. Every time I would have raised my arm it would have looked like a Nazi salute. Hail my leader.”

We go to test it a few times in front of a mirror, and believe me:
He is right.

1. After the shock (and hours of waiting in the emergency room), Noelle and I first of all prepare a sumptuous dinner. There are grilled Köfte (Turkish meatballs), crunchy oven-baked rosemary potatoes, corn on the cob, various types of melon and this incredibly delicious salad.  
Is it obvious how to prepare it, or should I write up a detailed recipe for you?

2. Even if the days in the Stuttgart region are often unbearably hot, the evenings are all the more pleasant. Whenever possible I try and spend some time with the children outside in the evening – be it a spontaneous simple picnic at the lake (bread, cheese, melon), a beach bar that allows us to dig our toes into the sand, or dinner in a beer garden.
For all of you living in this area:
Teehaus provides not only the most beautiful view of the sunset over Stuttgart – my children think that the climb to the top reminds them of Narnia (!).

We only set out for home when it is already dark: car windows rolled down, wind in our hair, listening to this song, volume to the max. 
And this song.
And this.
Crickets are competing in their song, the freshly mowed grass has an incredibly beautiful scent and my children ask me to take a detour so that the trip lasts a little longer. I stop at a red light and look over, lost in thought – in the car beside us is a man who looks over, lost in thought just the same as I.
Our eyes meet and we smile.
We don’t look away, look into each others’ eyes and just smile for a really long time.

We are convinced:
This is the most beautiful moment of our lives.
The most beautiful summer.
The most beautiful life.

(you simply have to try it: absolutely EVERYONE smiles back at you. Old, young, man, woman, bus driver. Everyone.)

3. The "7 minutes training"- app isn’t exactly new, but it is free and perfect for everyone who is as athletic as a slice of toast me, and who jump on any excuse to procrastinate .
7 minutes.

Just do it.
Also fantastic after a run.
(and don’t present me with lame excuses ;)).

4. For all who love a minimalist, simple style:
the white wooden boxes by Tine K. home stylishly keep jewelry or other knickknack in place.
I just cannot decide whether they look better in the bedroom or the bathroom.
And if you like writing down your thoughts you will love this notebook: very pure in white with a black spine.

4.  Everlasting love and a must-have for your vacation wardrobe: denim shorts!

A piece of advice:
If you want to achieve that relaxed, casual surfer look buy the shorts 2-3 sizes too big – it will slide down slightly to rest on your hips.
I bought my shorts in the sale and they are a size 38 (US 8/10) – they are supposed to fit just like this ;).

If, on the other hand, you want to wear super short shorts combine them with a loose fit T-shirt, tunic or top – this is also very pretty and casual.

A selection of pieces from the sale, some at a great price:
5.  You’ll find summer feeling at its best at Anke and Olivia.
Too pretty to not link it!

6. So inspiring:
an excerpt from the mail of one of my readers – she hits the nail exactly on the head, I’m sure it will be useful for you, too.
She is referring to the "Shopping Queen"-Post.

"I tend to never write to any blogger, I am rather a “silent reader”.
But last night I had such a funny revelation that I simply have to tell you about it:
I have been thinking about your blog post "Shopping-Queen" (and yes, I am one of the three readers you actually does not watch this program – we don’t have Vox at home ;)) for a very long time, it touched me deep down. And I thought about it way too much, all rationally, in particular about how to manage to really really absorb your message.  
So I was lying in my bed last night and suddenly thought of my lavender plant that I bought a couple of weeks ago and that just completely died on me. Usually my plants never die, rather on the contrary. Everythingsimply grows around here.I was a little sad about the lavender, but thinking to myself I go:”it’s a pity, but it’s not my fault, not my problem. It was just a funny plant.” 

And suddenly I couldn’t help but laugh really hard, because that was exactly your message: don’t refer everything back to yourself and ponder about what you did wrong, if it has been someone else’s problem.”

Oh, so good!
I was so happy!
I’m WARNING you: don’t attempt to deeply ponder about my posts and think about how to “put them into action” and how to “work on yourself”.
Let love do this, and in the meantime have as much fun as you possibly can, OK?
And don’t take things personally anymore, OK?

7. The winner of the Engel+Banditen bundle is:

Congratulations, please send me a mail.

Sources of supply:

Tine K. home boxes (HERE), Tine K. home notebook (HERE), chopping board, marble: geliebtes Zuhause
Mason Jars for iced coffee etc.: Blueboxtree


This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.