Inspiration  Amazing Maps for Kids – A World of Learning!

I have a special love for maps—old maps, new maps, and especially beautifully illustrated maps.  I love the colors and the line quality, as well as the wonderful symbols and seafaring lore that adorn some of the older designs.  Maps have been the inspiration for several of my mural projects (and upcoming pillow designs for 2014!), so you can understand why I snapped up this incredible map book as soon as I saw it at the bookstore!




Inspiration  New York City Surprises

We were in NYC last weekend as a family, and I cannot wait to share with you some of our discoveries.  My husband and I try to sneak away to the city at least once a year to go the galleries and museums, but this is the first time we have taken our two boys (ages 8 and 10), and it was a different kind of trip!  (Not bad, just different!)


First, we learned that there are 21 playgrounds within Central Park, as well as a carousel and paddle boats for warmer days. Each playground is special and unique, in its design and setting, not to mention the wide variety of materials used that distinguish one from the next.  Check out the Central Park website where they have tons of information and a great interactive map!  Kids can get overstimulated and exhausted by the hustle bustle in the city, and a playground is just what they need to relax and let off steam.


On our way to the playground, we stopped at the Central Park Zoo (despite my eight year old’s desperation to get to the playground NOW).  Just as we arrived, we saw the most incredible display of sea lion behavior we have ever seen!  It was feeding time (just lucky) and we watched a 20 minute “show” as the seals performed adorable and amazing tricks to charm their handlers.  You can be sure that our future zoo visits will be centered around the sea lions’ dining hour!Central-park-zoo-seals


Inspiration  Great Books & Bookplates for Young Readers

We read a lot at our house…I should say we read a lot to our boys.  I personally have not read an adult book cover-to-cover for about ten years, because I simply cannot stay awake once I sit down (day or night).  But I am totally enthralled with the books I read with Camden (10) and Owen (7).  Yes—I laugh hysterically and cry crocodile tears — AND I have complete literary fulfillment.  Believe it or not, I think this has more to do with the quality of these reads than it is a statement about how easily I am entertained, or my simpleton reading level! 


Part of the fun of discovering these treasures is lending and borrowing books from friends.   It is thrilling to lend our favorite books out, knowing buddies are about to be overcome by a story as we just were.  We use bookplates to keep track of our favorites.


custom bookplates by Cheeky Monkey Home