Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rich Kid Stockings

Recently I was looking over the Pottery Barn Kids catalog while I ate my lunch. I almost choked (figuratively speaking) when I saw this picture:

Look at the size of the boy's stocking! It's as big as he is! Possibly bigger. I know Pottery Barn is swank and pricey and caters to a certain clientele, the kind of clientele who can get jumbo-sized stockings for their kids and fill them with $200 worth of gifts (or a dozen of Santa's elves--these look roomy enough). But this isn't a rant against the rich (despite the title of this blog post). It's a rant against stockings that are as big as children. I guess there's nothing like gigantic stockings hung on the mantel to set the tone of the holiday, right? Even if I were the richest woman in the world I'd never choose stockings this big. I think it's tacky and very materialistic. I'm sorry Pottery Barn; I really like you and the lovely glossy design layouts in your catalogs, but I'm not buying this (literally!). Stick with the Regular size you offer and discontinue this ridiculous Jumbo size!

What do you think? Am I being an oversensitive Scrooge, or are these stockings too big for even Santa to fill?

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Latest and Greatest Book Reviews!

A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple by Kathryn Lasky
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is a good book series and is an easy, enjoyable way to read about U.S. history in various time periods and settings. I enjoyed this book; it was well-written and it drew a vivid picture in my mind of what life on the Mayflower and in Plimoth must have been like. (Yes, it's Scholastic so it's written for kids, but these are good for adults too. I bought a couple of books from this "Dear America" series at a book sale because I love American history and I like how this series makes reading about it fun and interesting and does it through the eyes of observant, smart girls.)

 The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is a gem! It's a lovely quick read and is perfect for both children and adults. It's beautifully and simply written by a master writer who had no need to embellish the life story of Jesus Christ, which is beautiful enough in and of itself. This is worth re-reading many times as well as owning. 

Woman's Life in Colonial Days by Carl Holliday
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I stopped reading this book at page 134 when I thought I was going to die of boredom. This was written in 1922, which I didn't realize when I got the book, so the non-fiction writing style is antiquated and not very well-written or entertaining. The author includes way too many quotes from direct sources like journals and letters. Some quotes are informative and interesting, but too many and you feel like you're reading a (badly written) research paper. He makes many questionable assumptions and presents them as fact, which he wouldn't be able to get away with very easily today, and he meanders off topic often. There is some interesting information here, but it's too bad that it's presented in the way that it is.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gingerbread House in My Neighborhood

There is a real gingerbread house in my neighborhood. Well, it's not really real, but it's designed just like one and it's really pretty. When I came out to Iowa last December when we were exploring the possibility of moving here, a real estate agent showed me around and she drove me by this house and neighborhood to show that there are indeed some unique houses in the area. Little did I know that about seven months later we'd be moving in right down the street!

As you can see I took these pictures in the summer. I waited to post them until now because this is the season of gingerbread houses. I didn't take close-ups of the details of the house because I didn't want the neighbors to think I was any crazier than I already looked. But believe me, this house has intricate beautiful details and is truly a standout in the area. (Am I starting to sound like a real estate agent? Sorry.)

This cute "gingerbread" ranch house is right across the street from the gingerbread house. I love its stone face and the brickwork and wooden shutters. So pretty!