gingerbread on a shelf

Hallmark Tis the Season ornamentsource: Hallmark

We don’t have that little elf on the shelf yet, but don’t feel bad for us, because we have… GINGERBREAD. My aunt sent this Hallmark keepsake ornament called “’tis the seasoning” and it has certainly caught our toddler’s imagination. As soon as we opened the box, he started feeding the cookie the milk, complete with slurping sounds. Turns out this was just the beginning…

It wasn’t long before Gingerbread was up on our son’s bookshelf. It may look as if he’s waiting in an annoying line behind an overzealous zebra and two eager astronauts for that bottle of milk (hey, it’s his milk, you guys) but according to our son, this was in fact “A Party!”

hallmark tis the season ornament 1 Here’s his ride:

hallmark tis the season ornament 2His slide:

hallmark tis the season ornament 3

And, finally, who doesn’t love plastic cauliflower? Lightly sauteed, of course:

hallmark tis the season ornament 4

What I like about Gingerbread is that he’s a pretty easy-going guy: just look at that smile. And he’s obviously too busy chugging his milk to keep tabs on anyone or report back to Santa.

In fact, Gingerbread is having so much fun all over our house, I don’t have the heart to hang him up on the tree quite yet…Do you or your kids have any favorite ornaments this year? Leave a comment below.


Thank you Aunt Margaret – sending you our love (and cookies) across many states!

For more home tome but with fewer words and more powdered sugar, follow me on twitter.

the sticker report


Sticker use is at an all-time high here at home tome headquarters. This is good news for sticker manufacturers and those who hold futures in adhesives. All indications point toward a steady rise in profits as we round out the fourth quarter and head into the new year. While this industry can be a bit “sticky,” reports indicate that record-breaking amounts of disposable income have been spent on sticker sheets, especially at one particular Dollar Store in one specific suburb north of NY City. As sales promise to be strong in this market, here is what you can expect throughout this holiday season:

Stickers, stickers everywhere,
Stickers on the wall, stickers in your hair.

Stickers ripped in half,

Now there’s a sticker on your calf.

Doesn’t matter if they’re right-side up,

As long as they’re not in your coffee cup.

They’re on, they’re off, they’re on again,

Stick them on the shirt of a friend.

Up and down your arm like a full-sleeve tattoo,

Lots of fun and fine motor skills, too.

When the sticker page is done, put it in the trash bin,

As long as there are more sheets, everyone wins.


Here is our little guy (23 months today) focusing on the serious business of stickers with his new BFF, Laura:

stickers in action

Why sleep? Why eat? Why put on a jacket and go outside if you could instead do this? If you haven’t invested in the sticker market yet, I suggest that now is the time to jump in!

Do you know any toddlers who are similarly stuck on this activity? Hey, at least it’s easy to know what to stuff in the stocking…If you have any other gift suggestions for kids around 2 years old please leave a comment!

For more home tome fun, but with fewer words and lots of pretend financial advice, you can follow along on twitter here.

after I lose this baby weight…

scale with words

After I lose this baby weight, I’m hoping to also take off:

  • the pre-baby weight
  • the trying to get pregnant emotional roller coaster weight
  • the I’m just going to get fat when I’m pregnant anyway weight
  • the almost 40 years old weight
  • the wedded bliss weight
  • the honeymoon weight
  • the I finally met the man of my dreams weight
  • the maybe I’ll just be single for the rest of my life weight
  • the margaritas make dating bearable weight
  • the I think I’ll have oreo cheesecake for dinner and oreo ice cream for dessert weight
  • the I don’t really like beer but I drink it because I’m in college weight
  • the freshman fifteen
  • the I’m nervous about going to college weight
  • the two weeks ago I was an athlete but everything changed as soon as I quit weight

Are you one of the supermamas who managed to lose the baby weight? And then some? If so, I don’t want to hear from you. Kidding! How the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks did you DO IT? Please leave a comment.

For more home tome but in smaller nuggets and filled with nougat, follow me on twitter here.

top 5 kid books featuring mushrooms

mushroom kid books 2

Finally! What you have all been waiting for: a guide to children’s books with MUSHROOMS. This is for those of you who decided to have kids in order to further celebrate fun fungi, toadstools, and the like… in illustrated form – and I know there are many of you. (In fact, I am bracing myself for this post to go viral just like that crazy outcropping of Mycena galericulata around our rotting tree stump last spring…)

Your little budding mycologists will love these books in general, but they will take particular joy in the pages featuring mushrooms, especially if you learn to the read the word mushroom in several different high, low, and just-plain-weird voices all conveying excitement and extreme appreciation. Even more so if you tickle your child while saying the word mushroom. Ahh, the power of suggestion. (Stage parent? No, ‘shroom parent.)

Who wouldn’t fall in love with the following pages? In fact, blowing these up 1,000 percent then using them as wallpaper is a perfectly normal reaction…

oh the thinks you can think1. from Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss

LIttle Owl's Night 22. from Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

The Crown on Your Head3. from The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman

Red Wagon4. from Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

I am a Bunny5. from I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry

I know this post has forced you to ask many questions i.e. “Mushrooms? Really?” And: “Is she okay?” And: where can I get these excellent mushroomy books? of course! But I have some questions for YOU:

1. Do you know of any more kids books featuring mushrooms? (Typed with the shaky hands of someone obsessed…)

2. What weird predilections are you actively (or passively) passing on to your kids? (Hopefully harmless, though this is always up for debate…)

3. Mushrooms aside, isn’t reading to your kids (and to yourself) THE BEST?! Cheers!


To get more information of similar importance, you can follow me on twitter by clicking here.

think carefully about which Halloween decorations you put up

mummy pumpkin and gourdsI am not a psychotherapist but I play one on the interwebs today. Do you like to squish pumpkin goop in your hands? Have you fooled yourself into thinking that the fake cobweb cotton you clumped on your hedges looks real? Hmmm, I see (scribbling notes).

Find out what these and other Falloween inclinations say about you on In the Powder Room today.

Click here to read What Your Fall Decorations Say about You.

In the Powder Room  is a great women’s humor site I recently discovered. If you leave a comment there I will be eternally grateful and I promise I won’t judge you for your decorations.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter if you would like frequent bits of home tome-ish entertainment…

crafty: diy quick leaf crown for toddlers

leaf crown words pixel

Let the Imperfect Crafting Games begin! This is either the beginning of a whole lotta spontaneous kid-crafting for us, or it’s a one-off. We’ll see. But the other night I decided my little prince (now 21 months) needed a crown. I was inspired by the **abundance** of leaves on our property and also by one of his favorite books, The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman.

The Crown on Your Head

If you’re not familiar with her books, they’re beautifully written and illustrated. Very magical. The only problem is that they are so touching they make me weep. In this one, every kid has a crown representing all that is unique and special about them…”With your crown made of glittering, high-flying things, you’ve got wind in your pocket, your wishes have wings…” Sniff sniff.

Anyway, first, we went out to the yard and gathered some leaves in this cart. I assure you, this was VERY important business requiring serious curatorial skills. “How about THIS one?” our son kept saying.

cart with leaves

Then I tore off a piece of wide painter’s tape, guestimating for the length. (You could measure your child’s head first if you are more meticulous than I.) I laid it out on the kitchen floor with the sticky side up. (We don’t have a little table for him yet.) I taped the ends to the floor so it would stay in place.

leaf crown toddler tape

I was in charge of sticking the leaves on the tape and Ian was in charge of pressing them down so they were flat-flat-flat (he was also apparently in charge of pulling many of them back off and returning them to their rightful place in the cart…but I am blessed with long arms and managed a quick retrieval when he wasn’t looking.)

crown craft painters tape

Then we sealed it up with another layer of tape so it wouldn’t stick to his hair. (For his stuffed animals, I skipped this step so the crowns would stick to them…) Then I snipped off some of the dangling stems and, voila!

leaf crown toddler stuffed animals

In case it’s not clear, here’s what’s going on in this photo:

Teddy, with sarcasm: Thanks for the crown, it goes perfectly with the outfit I’ve been wearing now for OVER A MONTH.

Lamb, with indignation: At least you got real clothes – I’ve been wearing these “ball” pajamas for the same amount of time and I don’t even like sports.

Little Prince: Let me see the picture! Even before you’ve taken it!

The crown stayed on his head for about 3.6 seconds with the help of some strawberry flavored puffs.

leaf craft puffs

This is my kind of craft : quick, simple, and utilizing items that are already in the house (or just outside of it). And no hot glue gun – something that terrifies me, though maybe I’ll get over this. There are probably at least 55,000 different ways to make these crowns. In fact, here are some beautiful versions presented by Rain or Shine Mama.

Have you done any good leaf crafts with your little kiddies? Please leaf (hee hee) a comment.  If you’re on the market for some more easy ones, here is a nice round-up on Bon Bon Break.

Happy Fall!

By the way, feel free to follow me on twitter…all tweets come with a bonus pine cone (until supplies last. which will be. forever.)

kitchen weather patterns: feeding a toddler


I recently learned that putting a pile of Parmesan on a toddler’s tray then turning your back even briefly to wash a dish, wipe the counter, or open a piece of mail is basically asking for blizzard-like conditions in your kitchen.

In fact, it turns out the weather can change at the drop of a…plate.

For example, if you give a small child a cup of water without a lid, prepare for a Tsunami.

Bowl of soup? Flood.

Granola with milk plus high winds created by flailing arms: Hurricane.

A ramekin of coconut? Flurries.

Bowl of steamed broccoli spun round and round with tip of index finger? Tornado with trees flying.

Of course, spaghetti with red sauce will result in a (un)natural disaster too horrible to name.


How’s the weather in your kitchen? Is it, I dare ask, ever sunny? And if so, I can only imagine that has something to do with splattered eggs…

By the way, you can follow me on twitter here.