Tuesday, July 10, 2012

RevieWednesday: Looking at Lincoln

Happy RevieWednesday!

I purchased the recently published book, Looking at Lincoln, written and illustrated by the very talented Maira Kalman. She has written and illustrated both adult and children's books and the cover art for many issues of The New Yorker. I love new biographies that are perfect for young elementary students.  As a librarian, I enjoy sharing biographies through text and illustrations that make history come alive! The book answers the question, "Who was Abraham Lincoln, REALLY?" This book definitely brings Abraham Lincoln's story to life through the perspective of a young girl. I really find it helpful the way Maira Kalman uses type text for historical facts and her characteristic handwriting text for the thoughts from the perspective of the young girl narrator. By infusing fun factoids into the book, such as his love of vanilla cake, his dog Fido, apples, music, reading, Kalman makes Lincoln's story interesting and enjoyable to elementary students.

Looking at Lincoln also delicately addresses the difficult topics of the slavery, the Civil War, the tragedies of war, and Lincoln's assassination. By including these topics and presenting them in appropriate way with fresh, interesting text and bold, beautiful illustrations, Lincoln's life can be easy for young students to comprehend. Biographies must be fun and entertaining to read to hook and engage young readers, and Maira Kalman shares Lincoln's childhood through his untimely death in her unique style of writing and illustrating! This children's biography is the perfect newest addition to any elementary school library, classroom, or home! It captures of the essence of our very influential 16th president who was...
"with malice toward none, with charity for all."

Looking at Lincoln written & illustrated by Maira Kalman
Nancy Paulsen Books (2012)
 Available via Amazon here.

What biographies do you know of that bring history alive for children?

Hope you enjoy Looking at Lincoln!
The Tiny Librarian

Monday, July 9, 2012

Project Purple Dress: Abeille NOLA

Happy Tiny's Trendy Tuesday!

I have been meaning to feature my great Ladakh purple dress from Abeille NOLA for a month now, but I bought it knowing that I would need it altered so it was not immediately available to feature.  Even though it did not initially fit, I had a vision that this dress (after alterations) would be amazing for summer events, including Charmaine and Kevin's wedding (the cutest couple), date night, and other fun outings.

There are so many cute dresses and early fall clothing available @ Abeille NOLA.  Check out their Facebook page here, and visit the very lovely Meg and Abeille NOLA staff in person for some retail therapy soon!  I can't wait to pick up Lauren and I's monogrammed necklaces that finally arrived!  I am looking forward to featuring Lauren @ Warm & Fuzzy with her new (purple and gold, of course!) necklace.

The highlight of this dress is most definitely the back.  I love the unexpected crisscross straps and low cut back of the dress.  It gives it that extra special touch...and surprise!  :)  It is perfect with nude peep toe pumps as seen in the images or even gold flat sandals for a more casual look.  I also paired it with gold accessories, including drop earrings and two bracelets.  No necklace is needed since the dress has a high neckline and very cute gold double buttons to secure the straps.

Ladakh purple dress: Abeille NOLA
Madeline Gabean peep toe pumps (color: Sahara patent)

Love the dress!
It just wrinkles easily...Good thing I love ironing! :)

My other favorite thing right now is bright summery nail colors, especially mint.  I am currently loving Essie's mint green apple!  I have taken it off my nails and put it right back on 3 times!  It is a fun color and complements many summer looks, even this purple dress!  I love experimenting with nail colors, because there is such a large variety of color choices.  Plus, you can change it as often as you like depending on your mood, your outfit, or your event/occasion.

Essie mint green apple

Tiny's Oyster Pear of Wisdom (OPW) is to go bold and bright or understated and subtle with your nail polish color choices.  Always let your personality shine through, even with something as simple as your nail color.

On a side note, you must check out these sisters (my cousin and godchild) who are 2 and 4 years old belting out their favorite song in the video below.  They are singing the very catchy song, "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars.  It is pretty funny, especially the sisterly love moments when the older sister is insistent that the song is "HER SONG." :)

Happy Tiny's Trendy Tuesday!
The Tiny Librarian

Casual Friday Link Up @ Two Thirty-Five

Whimsy Wednesdays @ The NY Melrose Family

Your Whims Wednesday @ My Girlish Whims

pleated poppy

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blueberries, Almonds, and Sugar...Oh my!

Happy 4th of July all!

SooperJB and I made a delicious blueberry almond bundt cake for a family gathering at my parents' house.  I love recipes that call for fresh ingredients, and though I often use boxed cake mix for quick and easy desserts, I am always eager to make a truly homemade dessert!  Also, I had to "borrow" my mom's bundt pan to make the cake, but it appeared that she enjoyed it enough to think it was worth it and lent it to me indefinitely.  All in the name of tasty treats!  Hopefully, you have an extra hand (or a strong man like Sooper) to help you cream the butter and sugar together.  I found this step pretty difficult even with softened butter, but Sooper did it with ease. :)

Blueberry Almond Bundt Cake Deliciousness

I found a few blueberry cake recipes, including some with lemon or strawberries, but when I came across blueberry almond cake combinations, they were too good looking to pass up!  I changed/combined a few different recipes, and the result was amazing, quick, and easy!  This moist cake is perfect for a 4th of July gathering, breakfast/brunch, or any after dinner dessert, especially during the summertime!  It makes approximately 12 slices of tasty cake.

Blueberry Almond Bundt Cake

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 45 min. - 1 hour

Pre and Post Baking
The Pam baking spray helps it slide out of the bundt pan with ease...NO STICKING!


10 inch bundt pan
Pam Baking spray (or Pam original spray)
* I love the baking spray.  It works very well and has a bit of flour in it so it is perfect for baked goods!

1 (12.5 oz.) can of almond filling
1 pint of fresh blueberries, washed and stems removed
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

Cake Batter
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (small container) sour cream

Optional toppings
Confectioners sugar
Sliced Almonds
Fresh Blueberries
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the pan with cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine the almond filling, fresh blueberries, and 2 tablespoons of flour and mix well.  Set aside.

Cake Batter
In another bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream (blend well) the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Using an electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time beating until fluffy.  While mixing, alternate adding the cake batter mixture and the sour cream, and lastly, add the vanilla extract.  Make sure the batter is well combined.

Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the bundt pan.  Top with half of the filling mixture.  Spoon another 1/3 of the batter and top with the rest of the filling.  Then add the last 1/3 of the batter.

Bake for 45 min.- 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 30 minutes and turn it upside down on a plate.  After cooled, add the confectioners' sugar.  If desired, add the sliced almonds, fresh blueberries, etc. before serving.


Have a relaxing and delicious 4th of July!
The Tiny Librarian

I am linking up with Bonnie & Trish @ Uncommon, Kimmie @ Sugar & Dots, My Meatless Mondays @ My Sweet & Savory, Lisa @ Flour Me With Love for Mix it up Monday, and Show & Share @ Southern Lovely.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just blew in from the Windy City!

Happy weekend ya'll!

Sooper and I are home, sweet home from the Windy City.  On our boat tour of Chicago on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, the guide provided a very entertaining explanation myth for the reason Chicago is called the Windy City.  He explained that name is not because of the winds off Lake Michigan (which I can attest to after this past week), but because the politicians and lobbyists are "full of hot air."  That sounds like  MOST cities in the United States.  But, I digress.  When Chicago and New York were both competing against one another to host the World's Fair, the New York City newspapers referred to the Chicago politicians as "windy" in their presentations to host the fair.  Eventually, Chicago was chosen to host the fair, and the mayor boasted about this prestigious honor.  Therefore, others claimed he was "blowing hot air" and "full of wind."  The combination of these occurrences surrounding the world's fair gave Chicago the "Windy City" nickname.

Our luggage, but that is a whole other story...

The purpose of our trip, besides to enjoy the city, architecture, and local cuisine, was to watch Jonnae, our friends' daughter, and her team, Arsenal FC, compete in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) finals.  It was single game elimination, which meant, any day, a loss would eliminate them from the entire competition.  Each day, the Arsenal girls earned a win, and on the last day, they beat San Diego Surf (their competitor from California) to become the under 14 champions!  Mission accomplished!  It was so great to be there and we were able to celebrate with her after the win that day by taking her on a tour of Chicago, complete with shopping, sightseeing, and amazing meals at Big and Little's and Xoco!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
The team with the very heavy BLING! 

Though I am late for Insta-Friday, here is a picture walk through Chicago!

Chicago skyline @ dusk courtesy of Sooper JB

Sooper and I on Lake Michigan
(Sooper representing NOLA & the Saints)

Oak Street Beach @ Lake Michigan
beautiful beach, hot weather, very cold water

Best hot dogs in Chicago
We shared three hot dogs (Chicago style, foie gras, and chicken chorizo), and they were all very yummy!
Oh and I forgot to mention delicious cheese fries. :)

foie gras duck sausage dog
one of Hot Doug's specialty dogs

Millennium Park is home to the pavilion, art, architecture, a restaurant, food stands, benches, etc.  It includes the Frank Gehry designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is an amazing outdoor area with a stage and speakers all throughout the park used for events and activities, including free concerts and movies.  On the evening we were there, they were having a "Movie in the Park" night, and attendees brought blankets and picnic style dinner to enjoy during the movie.  Also in Millennium Park is Cloud Gate, an interactive sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor.  You can see reflections of yourself and the city in the "bean shaped" sculpture.  It is definitely a must for hours!

Millennium Park
Cloud Gate, under Cloud Gate, & Jay Pritzker Pavilion
funny but true sign @ a hot dog stand in Millennium Park

Very picturesque view from the boat tour
Thanks Mr. Blake for the recommendation...we loved it!

Tiny's Oyster Pearl of Wisdom (OPW) is to definitely do something "touristy" when you are in a new location.  It is worth it, especially if you want to learn more about the place your visiting!  We decided to take a guided boat tour to relax and learn about the amazing architecture, enjoy the breeze from Lake Michigan, and experience something new and different.  You may not visit that location again or at least for a while, so be THAT tourist and have no regrets! :)

Glad to be back to the blogosphere!
The Tiny Librarian

I am linking up with Jeannett @ Life Rearranged!

life rearranged