Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun – Giveaway!

Today, I’d like to pick up where I left off on Tuesday in sharing my enthusiasm for Rae Grant’s  Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun books.

Here is more from my interview with Rae:

SK:  What has been the most rewarding part of creating these books?

Rae: There are so many new and interesting people I have met as a result of making these books. Becoming exposed to the huge craft and home based communities through the blog world has been nothing but fun and inspiring.

SK:  How does living in Manhattan inspire creative living for your family?  What limitations does city life pose for the creative family?

Rae:
We are always able to walk or scoot everywhere and see and do so many things. Just the other day we were walking home from a museum and passed by a small church on a side street. We noticed these amazing carvings on the exterior and stopped to look at them and take photos (I still have to download them for my blog). Living in the city offers art experiences like that all the time.

On the other hand, I am an outdoor person by nature, so the quiet of the country is something that I miss a lot. Central Park has an oasis of land where we can go for walks or bike rides anytime, and the Hudson River is also a magnificent body of water that helps bring nature into the everyday here. There are also great farmers markets that offer local produce and flea markets for some great vintage thrifting.

Lately I’ve been getting the urge for a small farm lifestyle thanks to all those bloggers who post about their lives in the country. They are pulling on my heartstrings! But I think I will still probably call Manhattan home for the time being.

Thank you again, Rae, for taking time to share more about yourself and your books with the SK community!

My daughters and I have thoroughly enjoyed picking out timely and seasonal projects from the Crafting Fun book, but I have to confess that I have a particular affinity for Rae’s Cooking Fun book. Not only does she include recipes for dozens and dozens of classic American recipes for beverages, sandwiches, simple suppers, yummy desserts, and more, but she also devotes the first several pages of the book to carefully explaining all manner of cooking terms and equipment.

I think I have such fondness for this part of the book because it reminds me of my grandmother mentoring me in her kitchen. Rae writes in a way that is simple and easy-to-understand, but not at all patronizing or dumbed-down.  She shares “Kitchen Basics” for the beginning cook, including reminders such as

“Don’t hurry through the recipe.  Take your time, and stay organized as you work.  It’s more fun this way and cuts down on what I call “kitchen distress” (eggs rolling off the counter and flour spilling on the floor).”

Wise words for the cook, whether the cook is four or thirty-four!

The opening pages of Cooking Fun contain everything the beginning or intermediate cook needs to know – measuring equivalency charts, cooking terms, measurement instructions, even how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” in the kitchen.  Throughout the book, Rae’s vintage-inspired illustrations guide and inspire both the novice and the master in the kitchen.

The recipes are – in a word - delightful. Charming titles (such as Can’t Sleep Hot Milk and Honey, Pigs in the Poke, Sunny Day Cheese Biscuits, and Rainy Day Rice Pudding) invite the preparation of beverages, snacks, and meals that rely on nutritious whole foods.  In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients stocked in your kitchen!  Favorites from the book for our family include Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Avocado Toast, and Everday Cupcakes.

Two other big hits in our home were the Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs:

079a

083a

and the Chocolate Sauce, which was particularly fun for my four-year old and makes for chocolate milk that is remarkably delicious:

115a_CROP_edited-1117a121

Check out CookingFunForKids.Com and click on “Recipes to Try” for more examples of recipes included in this book.

These books come with my highest recommendation.  They would make a great gift or a wonderful addition to your own home’s library.  I’m excited to offer you the chance to win a copy of each of these books!

To enter this giveaway, simply share one favorite crafting or cooking experience from either you own childhood or one that you have enjoyed creating with your own children. Giveaway will run from October 8th until October 14th at 8 AM CST.  Winner will be notified by email.  Giveaway open to residents of US addresses only (with many apologies to international readers!)

(And how about one more chance to win this pair of books?  Jamie of Steady Mom is also running a giveaway of Cooking Fun and Crafting Fun that ends Friday, October 9th, at 8 PM EST. Click on over to Steady Mom for one more chance to win!)

Let’s Celebrate Simple Kids and Fantastic Children’s Clothing!

The month of June brought an exciting milestone for Simple Kids - we have surpassed the 1,000 subscriber mark! What an incredible honor to facilitate a community of people who are drawn towards the philosophies and practices of “uncomplicated parenting.”

To celebrate this amazing milestone, I am excited to be able to partner with CWDkids who is offering a very generous giveaway just for you – the Simple Kids community.

4th09giveawayCWDkids is a children’s wear company devoted to “dressing kids like kids.” Earlier last spring when my oldest daughter (age four) began wearing size 6 clothing and I had to start shopping in the girls’ department rather than in the toddler section, I was unhappily surprised by how inappropriate many of the outfits and designs are for older children.

CWDkids offers clothing that features timeless and simple designs that many parents are looking for, and much of their selection is made right here in the USA. I know I was thrilled to see the 100% cotton pajamas they carry in sizes up to girls’ 14 – do you know how hard it is to find 100% cotton jammies past the toddler sizes?

Here in the States, we are gearing up to celebrate out nation’s independence on July 4th.  CWDkids provides an extensive Americana collection for boys, girls, and families that would be perfect for wearing all summer long.

To further demonstrate CWDkids’ commitment to meeting the needs of their customers, they have started a blog called kidbits where they showcase deals of the day, feature CWDkids staff profiles, and solicit reader feedback on upcoming lines and catalog covers.

So, on to the giveaway!

CWDkids is offering a $75 gift certificate for one very fortunate Simple Kids reader! All you need to do is click over to the CWDkids website, choose a favorite patriotic or summertime outfit, and share what your favorite find in a comment here.  If you have an extra moment, you should consider subscribing to the kidbits blog so you can be in the loop on one day only sales and coupon codes.

The CWDkids giveaway will run from today, June 22 until midnight on this Friday June 26th, and I will choose a winner at random on Saturday, June 27th.  One entry per household, please, and only comments which mention a CWDkids product will be eligible for the drawing.

Happy shopping!