Closet Clips

When it comes to fashion, I am a bit of a sissy. I do not lead the pack and revel in my bold style decisions. I do not wear plants on my head like Sarah Jessica Parker, hobo-chic body sacks like Mary Kate and Ashley, or full swan costumes like Bjork (though I admire any woman who can ruffle feathers). Rather, I adopt the safe, mainstream trends that, on a good day, earn me a sidewalk compliment, and, on a bad day, go generally unnoticed.

For this reason, I am thrilled to have a fashion book on our list this fall. Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way is the gift book of the season, penned by Daddy Likey blogger Winona Dimeo-Ediger. In her guide for the fashion wary, Winona shares fifty style lessons that are refreshingly accessible (for those of you who prefer your plants in a garden) and more addictive than peanut MMS. This is just a sampling of my favorites.

STYLE LESSON #2: The constitution guarantees freedom of speech, press, religion, petition, assembly, and to wear any style of jeans we want, so try something new you might be pleasantly surprised.

Boot cut jeans (aka Jeanus versatilus) are the most frequently occurring articles my wardrobe, which I credit to both their extreme versatility and my unsubstantiated fear of jeans that aren’t boot cut. I realize this makes me to use Winona’s words a complete style snore. So, last month, I finally summoned some retail bravery and headed to T.J. Maxx with plans to avoid familiar denim territory. Two trips to the dressing room and three unflattering try-ons later, I emerged with my first pair of skinny jeans (aka Extreme intimidatus). Despite the blue sparkles on the back pockets that were probably intended for pre-teen fashionistas, they were exactly what I didn’t know I’d wanted all along.

Stay tuned for the second part of this post to read the second part of this review!

Washington Doodles: Thinking (and Coloring) Outside the Box . . .

Most days I have a sidekick at the office. Usually it’s my dog, who snoozes away the workday contentedly. But occasionally, it’s my chatty six-year-old, whose school seems to have an inordinate number of “professional development” and “report card writing” days. She stays busy (and quiet) with a box of art supplies I keep stashed on a shelf that she labeled with her name and “artist editor” beneath it. Because I occasionally bring home manuscripts for kids’ books and read them to her, she considers herself our children’s book editor. She even asks me to pass on her comments about manuscripts to our publisher because she is sure he will want to know what she thinks. So when John Skewes, author of the delightful Larry Gets Lost series, agreed to illustrate a Washington state–themed kids’ doodle book, I was excited to “test drive” the roughs with my daughter who, when she’s not reading a book, is doodling in one.

Washington Doodles sparks the interest and imaginations of kids who live in our beautiful state or are just visiting it, with doodles about things they might see here (whales, Mt. Rainier, salmon jumping!), to (ski, hike, climb, swim!), or places they might go (the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market!). What I love about Washington Doodles is that kids aren’t just coloring inside the lines. They’re creating their own pictures, telling their own stories, and having fun learning along the way. As my daughter said, “you can really spread your imagination around.” As a parent, and as someone who helped this book come together, I couldn’t hope for more.

Have you checked this one out yet? I totally recommend it! If you try it, write me an comment letting me know what you think, I am really interested in your feedback! I hope you liked this post! Love you all! xoxo

Innovate 2013

Innovate 2013 marks Graded School’s commitment to re-imagine the school that best serves and inspires students for tomorrow.  Please join us and innovators from across the globe to engage in a dialogue designed to ignite new ideas resulting in building a foundation for the change our students deserve.

In partnership with Un-Plugged at the American School of Bombay, theLausanne Laptop Institute at Lausanne Collegiate, the European 1-1 Learning Institute hosted by the Frankfurt International School, and the Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA), Graded School is honored to launch the conversation in South America.