Cinderella Days! The Great Read-A-Thon!

Cinderella Days!  The Great Read-A-Thon!

It was all about gearing up for back to school (where did summer go…) with my granddaughters for our latest  “Cinderella Day” together!


Like a lot of kids, my granddaughters will be starting school again in a few weeks.  Since it was a little stormy and overcast this past week, we decided to venture out to our community library to check out some good books in anticipation of having a fun Read-A-Thon!  (Besides, everyone needs a little breather from all the busy, summer activities once in a while!)

I was delighted to see the look of excitement on my two granddaughter’s faces as they anticipated the adventures they knew they would have inside the library!  I have often thought of libraries as being the “secret gardens” for books!

The Great Read-A-Thon!

“Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers, and the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open!”

Laura Bush  

Of course, the girls will tell you that the very best books are always found on the top shelf!  Ha!

The Great Read-A-Thon!

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world, the love of books is the best of all!” 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 

It has been fun to watch Makena become immersed in a good book since learning to read; she likes reading to Marli too!

The Great Read-A-Thon!

“Oh, to witness the magic when a child first knows she can read the printed word.”  

A Tree Grows in Brioooklyn

Here then are some of Makena and Marli’s new favorite books from…

The Great Read-A-Thon!

How the Ladies Stopped The Wind  by Bruce McMillan

Children's books. (How The Ladies Stopped The Wind!)

The cover picture of this cute book caught Marli’s eye right away.  When I read her the title, both she and Makena said it was a “must read” for us, since where we live is well-known for the strong winds that hit our community on occasion!

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This fun book tells the story of some rosy-cheeked ladies of Iceland and their plan to plant trees to help buffer the strong winds that blow through their village.  But despite their best efforts, the sheep keep eating all the newly planted tree saplings.  The folk art in this book is bright and beautiful, and I love how the story emphasizes the fact that you can never underestimate what can be accomplished when everyone, including children and animals, works together towards a common goal!  

Ella Takes The Cake  by Carmela and Steven D’Amico

Children's books. (Ella Takes The Cake!)

This book is just one in the series written by a husband and wife team about the adventures of Ella the Elegant Elephant!  In this particular book Ella really wants to help out in her mother’s bakery!  Marli informed me that she picked this book because she loved Ella’s red hat and cute bike!

Cinderella Days! The Great Read-A-Thon!

The events that take place in this book are described on the cover page:  Ella may be little, but she still wants to help.  Only her mother says she’s too small to slice the cakes and too young to bake the cookies—so how in the world is she supposed to do anything important?  When Ella’s mom finally does decide to let her make a cake delivery, it’s not without a few obstacles in the way!  Ella better hang onto her good luck hat, because it looks like she might be in for a bumpy ride!  Besides the colorful illustrations, I like the neat lessons about trust, responsibility and completing a job that are taught in this darling book!   

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I couldn’t help but grab a quick shot of the girls as I read to them during our Read-A-Thon!

Kika The Upside-Down Girl  by Jessica Tudos

Children's books. (Kika the Upsid-Down Girl!)

This book was being showcased on a feature shelf the day my granddaughters and I visited the library…..they were immediately drawn to this book since their mom had recently signed them up for gymnastics–we decided we had to sit right down and read this book while we were still at the library!

Children's books. (Kika the Upside-Down Girl!)

Kika is the happiest when she is active and upside-down.  This makes her different, but she is a cheerful child and accepts that being a little different is okay!  Kika is even happier when she learns that her mom has signed her up for classes at the big Gymnastic Emporium where she meets other children who love being upside-down too!  This is such a fun, action-packed book with adorable characters.  What really makes this book special is that it’s about gymnastics, and was written by an Olympic gymnast!     

The Rainbow Magic Fairy Series  by Daisy Meadows

Children's books. (Rainbow Fairies!)

I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled Makena was to discover the Rainbow Fairy Book series for young readers during her wanderings at the library.  I’d imagine that any of us would love it if some brave, valiant fairies came to our rescue when things didn’t go according to plans–but for young girls with keen imaginations, these books are a wish come true!

Nothing quite matches the limitless adventures that are at your fingertips within the walls of your local library!  If you haven’t been in a while, my granddaughters and I would highly recommend it!

Cindereela Days! The Great Read-A-Thon!

“Books are portable magic!”  Stephen King

Any good children’s books you’ve read lately?  What are some of the creative things you do to help your kids get lost in a good book?


Cinderella Days! Fun Ways To Display Children’s Artwork!

Cinderella Days!  Fun Ways To Display Children’s Artwork!

With school being out for the summer for most children, you’ve probably got a stockpile of artwork masterpieces your kids have collected throughout the year stored away in a box under their beds…or maybe you’re just wanting to find the door of your fridge again!

So I decided to devote this special entry of… 

Cinderella Days! Fun Ways To Display Children's Artwork!

to showing some…

Fun Ways To Display Children's Artwork!


As parents and grandparents we can’t help but want to nurture a child’s creativity when they present you with their first “genius” work of art–especially if you are like me and you weren’t blessed with too many inherent skills when it comes to drawing!  But even if they aren’t necessarily artistically inclined, I think helping kids find ways to express themselves in a creative fashion is a great way to help them maintain their individuality!

Art is as natural as sunshine quote

I know one of the things my granddaughters love to do most when they come to play at my house on our Cinderella Days is some sort of artwork!

Cinderella Days! Fun Ways To Display Childrren's Art!

“Every child is an artist”  Pablo Picasso

Showing Off Kid’s Masterpieces!

   • Framing art is an obvious choice.  However, you could end up investing a small fortune on picture frames and sooner or later you’d run out of wall space in your house, that’s why I like these hinged frames that make it easy to change out the art.    

Fun Ways To Display Children's Artwork!  

I love these unique latch frames from  They come in black as shown above, as well as white and cherry , there are also various sizes available.  All you have to do is lift the latch and insert the latest creation from your budding artist into the existing picture pocket!    

Pottery Barn Kids slot art frames

These side-slot frames from Pottery Barn Kids make it easy to update your child’s artwork display; they can hold several drawings, so they’re a good storage place for some of your favorite pictures too. 

Fun Ways To Display Children's Art!

If you’ve got any old frames around your house…paint them to match your child’s room décor, hang, then use colorful painter’s tape to put the artwork in the center of the frames, and as you can see, switching out the pictures in these frames will be so easy!  

Special framed artwork to go on a bookshelf is always a good idea and makes for a great gift too.  As a grandparent, I love getting pictures that our granddaughters draw!

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This is a page out of our oldest granddaughter, Makena’s little journal…my husband was impressed that she starts most of her entries with “I ‘fill’ great today.”–so our daughter surprised him with his own framed page for Christmas!      

   • Artwork displayed on bulletin boards and magnet boards is more popular than ever before.  My husband and I made our children a bulletin board for their bedrooms when they were growing up, now this big one that was once used by my youngest daughter in her study area, has become the proud focal point of my granddaughter’s playroom!

Fun Ways To Display Kid's Artwok!

My husband made this bulletin board by gluing some commercial grade cork board to a sheet of one inch plywood, then he framed it out with a wood border and had that wrapped with metal at a local sheet metal company so we could hang some pictures with magnets too.  My granddaughters love arranging their artwork on this big bulletin board!   

Fun Ways To Display Childrens Artwork!

Don’t you think this burlap bulletin board and tin magnet board from Magnolia Market have such a neat, eclectic look; they seem perfect for displaying kid’s notes and artwork! 

   • Using some everyday items like office supply clips and clothes pins are a couple of other fun ways to display children’s artwork.  The low-cost and ease of using these ordinary items gives you a lot of bang for your buck when you use them to hang your kid’s art projects.

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My oldest daughter is an interior designer and has found that The Land Of Nod, which features many of the ideas above, is a great resource for fun items to put your children’s creativity on display!   

When priceless art pieces get changed out, I will often keep them in a binder for perusing later!  If your kids are anything like my granddaughters, you’ll find this is one of their most favorite things to do–it’s also a fun way to see how far their creative talents have progressed!

Fun Ways To Display Children's Artwork!

Regardless of the way we choose to showcase the pictures of our budding artists, perhaps the most important thing we should take into account when we receive a priceless masterpiece–is that they are most certainly made with…


 …lots and lots of LOVE!!!!!

I’d be interested to know some of the fun ways you display your children’s artwork.


Cinderella Days! A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

Cinderella Days!  A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

Cindrella Days!

Since my granddaughters adore the original story and cartoon version of Disney’s Cinderella so much that we often refer to some of the special days we spend together as our Cinderella Days, it goes without saying that we were all very excited to see the newly released Cinderella movie just out in theaters this month, and believe me it lived up to our expectations!

Like most things in life, it’s always a lot of fun to catch a glimpse of the world via the unabashed perspective of a child, so after we saw this wonderful, new version of Cinderella, I was curious to see what Makena and Marli’s take on it was…here is their funny, unfiltered movie review!

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

No matter your age, there is something magical about going to the movie theater, buying popcorn and getting lost in a neat story of make-believe and adventure for a few hours!

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

From the first opening scenes until the very end, both Makena and Marli were totally enchanted with this movie version of Cinderella.  Marli did lean over once to tell me that it was alright that it wasn’t exactly like the animated version with all the singing, “I don’t think this Cinderella likes to sing very much…but that’s okay, I still think she is nice and pretty!”  Coming from a little girl who loves to sing, I surely appreciated Marli’s willingness to be impartial to “this Cinderella”!  On the other hand, Makena whispered to me that having a pet mouse might be a lot of fun!  After watching this movie–is it crazy that I agree with her!?!

One of the funniest reactions I got from the girls about the new Cinderella movie was when I asked what they thought of Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters.

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

Marli said she liked that the stepsisters dressed alike, but when Makena gave her an agonizing look, she promptly retorted, “…but I wouldn’t want to dress alike ALL the time!”  Like so many young mother’s who see their little girls getting older, my daughter has come to realize that the days of matching outfits will soon be a thing of the past!!!  

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

Makena said, I didn’t think they were too mean, but if they would have been nicer, maybe Cinderella would have wanted to play with them.  Also, “The stepmother was kind of pretty, but her hair was ‘loopy’!”  (Oh, from the mouth of babes!  Besides, it’s true, Cate Blanchet was perfect for the stepmother role!)

For me, this is where Disney got it so right with the new Cinderella movie–in a world where we’re working hard to teach children to be nicer to each other and not bully, any animosity in the story between Cinderella, her stepmother and stepsisters seemed to be downplayed in favor of the love story!  YAY!

Makena, Marli and I all agreed that if there was someone else we’d want to be besides Cinderella, it would be the fairy godmother!  (If you’ve seen the movie, you know how great Helen Bonham Carter is as the slightly off-kilter fairy godmother!)


A Funny, Unfiltered Cindereella Moive Review!

I think Makena got to the core of the fairy godmother’s “magic” when she said, “You have to obey her rules or you don’t get to have her magic!”  I’m sure this is a concept every parent hopes their children will embrace as they learn the ropes of the big, wide, wonderful world out there!

A Funny, Unfiltered Cinderella Movie Review!

Marli thought the fairly godmother did her best work when she turned a pumpkin into a gold, gilded carriage…

A Cinderella carriage ride!

…she couldn’t help but recall her own special time spent on a similar mode of transportation!

Of course, the costumes in the Cinderella movie were truly eye-candy for these two cute girls who love to play dress-ups!

A Funny, Unfiletered Cinderella Movie Review!

Although, Makena did ask me if I thought that the girls in those days ever got to wear shorts or pants, since she wouldn’t want to wear dresses all the time.  Now for Marli, doing that wouldn’t be such a hardship–she loves wearing dresses!

Cinderellas glas slipper

I will admit, I chuckled out loud in the theater when Makena said, “Cinderella should just take the ‘dang’ glass slippers off while she runs down the palace stairs!”  You have to appreciate that this is a girl who lives for barefoot, flip flop weather!  Earlier in the movie, Makena also admitted that she wouldn’t really want a pair of glass slippers since she would be too sad if they ever broke–always the pragmatic one, that’s Makena for you!

The wise advice given to Cinderella as a young girl by her mother is the ultimate theme of this magnificent movie…

“I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer, have courage and be kind!  Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic!”

Quote from the movie Cinderella

This is the hope I think we all have for our loved ones as they journey through this life and face the challenges they must overcome!

If you haven’t already seen the new Disney, Cinderella movie, my granddaughters and I would highly recommend it!  If you have seen it, what was your favorite part?