Saturdays in Seattle: Eating Your Way Through Pike Place Market

I am going to start spending a little more time talking about Seattle.  My petite family has lived in Seattle for almost ten years now and we love it here.  I want to share some of our favorite places, I am going to start with one of Seattle’s most famous tourist attractions.

Pike Place Market

When we go to the market we spend more time eating or buying things to eat than in the shops, so I am going to focus on our favorite food locations.  Yes, everyone does it when they are here, but there are some places that are so worth the sometimes stressful trip inside.  A couple things to know, don’t drive onto Pike Place it is a total disaster.  Drive around the busy market.  Let me start you off on the right foot.  If you have children pay really close attention.  Whatever you do, do not take a stroller into the market, especially on a weekend or holiday.  Trust me, I am a local and I go there…just usually not on the weekends.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Inside the market you must eat doughnuts at Daily Dozen Doughnut Company, they make these amazing mini doughnuts right there they come in a brown paper sack and are worth the wait in the line.  We love the cinnamon sugar.

Source: google images

Source: google images

Next stop, Delaurenti’s, right next to the doughnut vendor, you can check out some yummy Italian fare while your doughnuts cool down a little.

Source: Seattle Times

Source: Seattle Times

And while we are checking out amazing foods, you simply must walk further into the market into Market Spice.  This little shop has been around since 1911 and for a good reason, you guessed, it they have amazing spices and teas.  What we love most about this place is the incredibly knowledgeable staff.  They can give some great recommendations of new things to try.  Another bonus, the prices are amazing.

Bloody Mary

Source: Lowell’s

While you are here you can get an amazing Bloody Mary at Lowell’s, I am not sure how the food is, because I was treating my Bloody Mary as a meal.

Head downstairs and straight into Golden Age Comics, the oldest comic book store in America!  This place is the real deal you can find tons of comic books, pop culture collectables, scripts, autographs and even toys.  My super cool sister in law picked up an awesome Dr. Who script and loved her entire shopping/browsing experience.

There are tons of amazing vendors and fabulous local artisans if you’re looking for a little fun something to take home or as a gift.  It is worth it to walk all around and check things out for yourself.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Outside of the market and across the street are some pretty amazing Russian treats at  Piroshky Piroshky , they have so many to choose from, you will probably just want to get a box.

Source: Seattle Weekly

Source: Seattle Weekly

Mee Sum Pastry right next door has amazing BBQ Pork Hum Bao’s a fabulous price as well.   This is where you may need to dig deep and decide if you can possibly eat one more delicious thing or if you need to get one to go.

This is where you will find the Flagship Startbucks…fun for those of you caffeine fiends – the lines tend to be long, but you will be munching on a Piroshky or Hum Bao so you won’t mind.

Source: Beecher's

Source: Beecher’s

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese – you can get just a little sample here and decide if you want to commit to a bigger hunk of cheese.  This is also a fun stop for the petites to see how cheese is made.  They also have delicious mac and cheese if you’re still hungry.

Source: Le Panier

Source: Le Panier

Le Panier – delicious French bakery some Seattleites will argue the best.

I realize that this is basically all about the food at the market, it’s true.  There are tons of great shops inside and outside of the market.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

Source: Metskers

Source: Metskers

Metskers Maps if you happen to love maps as much as I do you need to go to this store.  They have globes in so many different styles you will be wondering how to carry all of your piroshky’s and globes home.

Source: Antiques at Pike Place

Source: Antiques at Pike Place

Antiques at Pike Place for anyone who is looking for their next treasure, you will perhaps find it here.  Also a good place to burn off some calories after your snacks.

The Soap Box,  is such a fun little shop, filled with great smelling soaps and aromatherapy items.  A great place to stop and buy a bath soak for your tired toes.

You can squeeze it all into one day if you have to, but it might just be more fun to stay close by and go back – you’ll feel just like a local your second time through.

If you have a question about the market feel free to ask me in the comments below, I would love to help you plan your market adventure.






Thankfulness and Kids

I think it is pretty important to have children who have manners.  As a teacher and a parent it happens all to often that you have rude little petites, who don’t say please and thank you and becomes terribly refreshing when they do – which I think is sad.  Teaching little ones through modeling has worked for our five year old – she is pretty polite, in fact it is usually what people remark about her when we are out and about.

Recently we found a book that I think is less about Thanksgiving and more about just saying thanks, and being appreciative of what you have.

Karma Wilson has put out these amazing Bear Books and Bear Says Thanks is our new favorite.  We are trying to teach our almost 18 month old to say thank you and she loves bears and animals so this book was a hit!

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

It is an incredibly cute story with a big lesson.  Bear has company and they keep bringing food for a feast, he doesn’t feel he has anything to contribute, but in the end he learns that saying thanks is what it is really all about. He enjoys a fabulous feast with all of his woodland friends and is so thankful.

The illustrations by Jane Chapman are fabulous.  This is a story about being thankful and grateful for your friends and time spent together.  A perfect book to share with your petite on Thanksgiving or any other day.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Petite Stags

All Things Outlander

All Things Outlander

I don’t know if you are new to the party or have been here all along since 1991.  I’m relatively new, I’ve been reading Diana Gabaldons books since 2009 and feel like Claire and Jamie are old friends at this point.  The wait between books has been so incredibly hard for me, in all honesty, I stop reading the last hundred pages and wait till a publication date is announced and then will start reading again only when the next book is on the horizon.

Now that Outlander is a television series I feel like there are so many more people who I can share in the fun of all things Outlander.  So here goes, these are some of my most favorite things inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

Outlandish Companion

Outlandish Companion

The perfect addition to any Outlander fans collection of books.  This book has a little bit of everything.  A synopsis of the first four novels, pronunciation guides, Diana Gabaldon’s explanation of her time travel theory, personal stories, recipes and essays about eighteenth century medicine magic and other goodies.  Rumor has it that there will be another Outlandish Companion since this one only covers the first four novels.

Source: Lovelit Etsy Shop

Source: Lovelit Etsy Shop

Tote for those weighty tomes

You will need a rather sturdy tote to carry around these books – did you know that in total the eight books weigh almost 23 pounds – yes, I’m a nerd and just got out the scale to weigh them.

Herbal Salve Set - Claire's Salves. Inspired by Diana Gabaldon's Best Selling Novels the Outlander Series

Source: Earthtastic Etsy Shop

 Outlander inspired Salve

Claire is such an interesting character to me, how her interests in botany lend themselves into the role of a healer.  I found these incredibly delightfully packaged salves on Etsy.  I haven’t yet tried them, but am deeply in love with the packaging and the inspiration behind their creation.

READY TO SHIP! Hand Knit Outlander Inspired Claire's Mobius Super Soft Cowl in Brown Marble, Chunky Knit, Infinity Scarf, Neck Warmer

Source: Knit Play Love

 Claire’s Cowl

After watching Outlander on Starz, I think many people who knit must have run out the next day and started making the amazing knit items that Claire wears in the show.  The cowls, hand warmers and shrugs are gorgeous and make me wish I could knit a little bit better than I can.  I found this awesome cowl on Etsy.  Perfect for those chilly days that are among us now.

Standing Stones Scotland

Source: Visit Scotland


Scotland’s tourism folks have used the love of all things Outlander to create some really fantastic travel tips, tours and packages on their website.  When I first started reading the books, I dreamed of traveling to Scotland and walking in the highlands and drinking whiskey, maybe forcing my husband to wear a kilt.  It is brilliant marketing, I hope you enjoy checking it out.

source: Blue Monocle Prints

source: Blue Monocle Prints

Antique Scotland Map Circa 1752

If you’ve been reading my blog you know I love maps, I couldn’t resist this beauty.  This map is just a few years ahead of when Claire is transported back in time.   I suspect that if you look really closely you will see Doune Castle west of Sterling on this map which is where the filming of Castle Leoch took place.

Let me know which item you like best and if I’ve missed something let me know too.

Tá lá iontach,



Perfect Presents for Petites

I have loved learning about Jane Goodall my entire life.  She is a remarkable woman who is an incredible role model to  little girls everywhere.  She had a dream and she stuck with it and made it her reality.  There are a number of books out there about her and her life’s work.


Source Amazon

“There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their goals against all the odds, or blazed a path along which others could follow…They inspire me.  They inspire those around them.” – Jane Goodall

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell is a Caldecott Honor Book for a reason.  This book has lovely illustrations of Jane as a child and how her dream of growing up to help animals became her reality.  This book highlights Jane’s curiosity, desire for adventure and her imagination.  All things that are so important to foster in young children.  At the end of this book there is a message from Jane where she encourages everyone to make the world a different place. I love this book.  I believe that this book should be in the hands of all small girls.


Source: Amazon


Jane 2

Source: Amazon




Jellycat Monkey

The story highlights Jane with her stuffed monkey Jubilee here is a fantastic little monkey that would pair nicely with this book.  Jellycat stuffed animals are a favorite of my girls, they are so soft and well made.  Another important fact about them is that they are made with quality materials that aren’t toxic to petites.

I love this gift idea, I can imagine any petite would love to have a fantastic story read to them while snuggling their own Jubilee.


Buzzy Tales & Toys for Petites

This summer my petite family spent some time in Savannah and it was amazing.  We loved Savannah, more specifically I feel deeply in love with the Savannah Bee Company, their honey, products and mission.  This sparked a huge interest in bees from my daughter.  Ah Honey Honey

If you’re new to my blog check out my post about our favorite shop The Savannah Bee Company.  After going there my petite had a renewed interest in bees.  Since we spend a lot of time in the summer gardening we had previously had a lot of conversations about bees.  In Savannah we got to sample tons of honey which was awesome.

When we returned I wanted to keep the interest in bees buzzing.  So we pulled out some of our favorite bee books and toys.  I figure it can’t hurt to start placing emphasis on the importance of bees when it comes to our food.

Bee & Me

Bee & Me – by Elle J. Mcguinnes is a huge favorite of my 16 month old, she loves watching the bee move and squeals with delight when she turns the pages on her own.  However, there is a message that is important for older petites as well, that even if we are scared of getting stung that bees do really important work.

These Bees Count!

These Bees Count! by Allison Formento with illustrations by Sarah Snow is a great book part of a series of counting books.  This particular book has petites going on a field trip to a farm, not just any farm, but the Busy Bee Farm.  There are so many things about this book that I love, the farmer is a woman.  Formento uses words like apiaries and pollination.  The illustrations show a diverse class of kids.  My 5 year old loved hearing about how honey is made from inside the bees stomachs and that they spit it into the honeycomb.  There is also an opportunity for counting  which is always engaging for young readers.

I think that this is a great book to be used in classrooms where students are learning about ecosystems, gardens and communities.  This book is a great addition to the home library as well.

Hide and Seek Bees

Hide and Seek Beehive Toy is from Lakeshore learning and has been a favorite of my youngest petite for a while.  When she was 8 months old she received this as a gift and has loved playing with the bees and hive ever since.  The idea is that it teaches object permanence when you put the bees in they are still in there.  What I like best about this is that each bee does something different.  Some rattle, crinkle, squeak etc.  There are five adorable bees that at 17 months she still loves taking in and out of the hive.

Anyone else out there reading books about bees with their petites, I’m always looking for new titles to share with my girls.

Happy Reading,



Reading: Why 20 minutes a night is so important.

Now that school is in full swing and our petites are back in their routines, I wanted to take a minute to talk about why teachers tell students/parents to read for 20 minutes a night.  When I first started teaching in elementary schools I was asked a lot about the 20 minutes and why it was 20 and not 15.  When you did deeper into the research it is pretty astounding and that 20 minutes is really critical.

Most theorists are agreed that the bulk of vocabulary growth during a child’s lifetime occurs indirectly through language exposure, rather than through direct teaching.  Miller & Gildea, (1987) Nagy & Anderson (1984).

Why to read for 20 minutes

Nagy & Herman 1987


When you consider the amount of words and exposure to words kids need to be successful and when you think about 20 minutes a day, that really isn’t that much time for the investment you are making.  With that said, we are all super busy and short on time.  I find that keeping a schedule makes it easier for us to get that time in.

There are so many benefits to reading with your child for 20 minutes a night.

  • improves listening skills
  • engages children in discussion about books
  • builds connections with parents/guardians
  • opportunity to discuss new words or ideas from the books
  • realistic opportunities for growth – sometimes your kids get to see you making mistakes which is GREAT!
  • more contact time with words
  • practice makes perfect
  • builds confidence in kids reading skills, even when basic skills
  • improves test score success over time

I realize as I write this that, as a teacher, I might be a lot more comfortable than some in reading aloud with children.  For some reading aloud doesn’t come naturally and feels a little strange or forced – what I will say here is practice makes perfect.  I guarantee that your kids are so thrilled to have your attention and focus that they won’t judge if you pronounce something incorrectly.  In fact, I bet that the more silly voices you do the more they will love it.

I plan to continue to talk about reading and the benefits of reading with kids in this blog. If there is something that you would like to know more about or if you have suggestions for me please let me know in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you.


Bucketlist Bookshops: Ireland

Best Bookshops Ireland

I have a deep love of Ireland.  If you’re new to my blog and love Ireland too, you might want to check out this and this.  You see, I had the trip of my lifetime a few years ago, a trip that when I tell people about meeting and finding my family in a small Kerry town, they get chills.  When I think of our next trip to Ireland, I think about the things we would do this time.  Bookshops!  We only popped into two while we were in Ireland the first time and I would love to check out some of these fabulous shops.

Charlie Byrne Bookshop

Charlie Byrne, Middle Street, Galway.  We went here and it was amazing the staff was so friendly, perfect place to stop in and pick up a great book.  Also in 2013 they won The Best Bookshop in Ireland award – congratulations!

Source Clifden Bookshop Facebook

Source Clifden Bookshop Facebook

The Clifden Bookshop, this is the perfect bookshop to stop in find some great treasures.  Clifden is one of the most stunning towns I have ever seen.  Go there!

Bridge Street Books FB

Source Bridge Street Books Facebook

Bridge Street Books, Bridge Street in Wicklow.  This is a must stop shop, it also won the Irish Times Best Book Shop in Ireland 2014.

Image from O'Mahony's

Image from O’Mahony’s

O’Mahony’s Bookshop, 120 O’Connell Street, Limerick; this family owned bookshop has been a local favorite since 1902.

Vibes and Scribes

Image from Vibes & Scribes

Vibes and Scribes, 21 Lavitts Quay, Cork they also have a craft shop across the quay at 3 Bridge Street.

Whyte's Childrens Section

Source Whyte Books Facebook

Whyte’s Bookshop, in Schull, Cork.  What a quaint children’s section the petites will love it, this is amazing and worthy of a trip to Cork.

The book centre waterford

Source, Facebook

The Book Centre, John Roberts Square, Waterford – this place is seriously cool, according to their website, they are housed in the old Art Deco styled Savoy Cinema, built in 1937.

Source The Gutter Bookshop Facebook

Source The Gutter Bookshop Facebook

The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin.  There is so much to see and do in Dublin – we missed this gem the first time around, we won’t be missing it a second.

Please tell me if I have missed a fantastic Irish bookshop.  I have only been to one of these and the rest are on my bookshop bucket list.  If you have been to one of these tell me all about it, I can’t wait to get back to Ireland and explore these lovely shops.


Petite Gardeners

My petites love to garden and here in the Pacific Northwest we get a little rainy and gardening for our family often doesn’t extend into the winter months.  Until now, I was poking around on Pinterest the other night and saw this, first of all could this little petite be any cuter?  No, I don’t think so.  Check out Katie’s blog here, this is the tutorial for the garden box.  I am in love and digging through my felt to see what I already have to make this adorable play garden.  I haven’t tried the tutorial yet, but just looking at all the details provided I am thinking I am in good hands.  What a fantastic idea to tide petite gardeners through the winter months.

Garden Box Made by Katie at

Garden Box Made by Katie at

Since I am so fond of pairing toys with books I thought about some of our favorite books about gardening and one author comes to mind – Lois Ehlert.  We absolutely love her books, the bright colors and abstractness of the images are fabulous.  I was so excited when I realized that there is a boxed set of her gardening books – Lois Ehlert’s Growing Garden.  The set includes Planting a Rainbow, Eating the Alphabet and Growing Vegetables Soup.  These books are really fantastic for little ones who are learning words and colors as well as for older kiddos who are learning about planting, harvesting and cooking.  These books coupled with the lovely garden box would be an amazing gift for an little one who loves to garden.

Lois Ehlert Boxed Set

Adorn Your Petites Books with this Cuteness

Etsy has some amazing items that are so unique and special, items you would never be able to find in the stores.  I love that basically whatever I end up looking for I usually find it and it exceeds my expectations.  I’ve been looking at book-plate recently and found these incredibly cute ones from this incredibly cute little shop – The Fox & The Teacup by Stephanie Fizer Coleman is one of my favorite etsy shops.  Seriously, I love her artwork and design.  My favorite thing is that the girls features in her illustrations and design look like they are strong-willed and determined petites.

Not only does she sell incredibly cute stationary, stickers, cards and art prints, she sells these amazing little book plates.  These are just a few of my favorites.  I cannot decide which ones I like the best…right now I am leaning towards the knight & her dragon because she looks so stinkin’ feisty and determined, and you can’t overlook that cute little dragon, oh dear.    Book Plates

Check out her shop there are tons of cute things, I am sure you will love it as much as I do.

Happy Shopping,

Top Ten Libraries…Get Your Passport Ready

When I think of books I love, I often times think of the places I read the books.  Libraries are such special places; I wanted to share my top ten libraries that I have been to or really wanting to cross off my Library Wanderlust List.  These are just my current top ten, there are so many more, oh my goodness so many more.

1. Long Room, Trinity College – Dublin, Ireland.

Long Room, Trinity College, Dublin Ireland

2. Suzzallo Library, University of Washington – Seattle, WashingtonSuzzallo Library University of Washington

3. Seattle Central Public Library – Seattle, Washington

Seattle Central Library Seattle Central Library Interior

4.  Library of Congress – Washington DC

Library of Congress, Washington DC

5. New York Public Library – New York, New York

New York Public Library

6. Vancouver Public Library – Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Public Library

7. Harper Memorial Library, University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois


8. George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland

9. Library of Dutch Parliament – Hague, Netherlands

Library of Dutch Parliment

10. Rijkmuseum Library – Amsterdam

rijksmuseum Library

I’ve only been to the first four libraries, but have a strong desire to visit the rest in my lifetime.  What libraries would make your top ten?