Elliott the Otter: The Totally Untrue Story of Elliott, Boss of the Bay

Elliott the OtterI sure do love a story that takes place in my hometown, there is just something so special about a story that showcases the place you love.  Elliott the Otter: The Totally Untrue Story of Elliott, Boss of the Bay is a fantastic story about an otter who lives in Elliott Bay, he is one very busy otter making sure that all the happenings in the bay are happening on schedule as planned.  This story by John Skewes and Eric Ode with illustrations from John Skewes copyright 2015;  will be the perfect addition to your petites shelves.

The illustrations are so fantastically done that my five year old kept say, hey, I know where that is.  The cover art is just gorgeous, yes, another thing I love about this book is that even the spine has a picture of Elliott waving at you just saying hello, come and read me please.  Elliott has a lot of responsibilities, ensuring that the cargo containers arrive safely at the port, that they are unloaded and loaded quickly.  Elliott even helps to direct the ferry boats as well as some of our favorite visitors here in the Pacific Northwest, Orcas and of course the salmon.  This book does a wonderful job of relating just how critical Elliott bay is, not only for the port of Seattle, but the ecosystem of the bay as well.

There are so many things I love about this book –  one really fun aspect that my petite took to heart is Elliott’s incredible amount of responsibilities.  Elliott has a lot of responsibilities in his bay, even if some of them are completely untrue, the petite kept saying wow, he is really busy, we loved that he has a clipboard.  Shortly after we read this book, my daughter dug out a clipboard and made a list of things she needed to do.

Time management, oh my goodness this is something that is so critical for future success and this book and Elliots’ punctuality will help petites start to think about being on time and keeping track of what you need to do.  I love that Elliott is constantly checking his pocket watch to ensure everyone and everything is on schedule.  I love a book that provides you with an opportunity to talk about bigger things like time management and responsibilities, but in an incredibly non-invasive really fun way.

Hooray, she found it

I did want to mention in case you did not see the previous post, this book was given to us through a book hunt, of sorts, check out the blog to find out how we tracked down this treasure from Sasquatch Books.  As you can see my petites adore this book and I am sure, even if you aren’t a resident of this incredibly fine city, yours will too.


Get Ready for Summer with Your Petites

I am a huge fan of Pinterest, it is one of the places where boredom is cured, inspiration happens and where parents can share the amazing things they do with others.  I wanted to share my top four Pinterest pages I love to browse.  Thinking about summer with your petites can be a little overwhelming, Pinterest and these four amazingly talented ladies are helping me to ensure my girls have an incredibly creative and fun summer.

Art Bar Blog

I cannot tell you how inspiring this blog is, I follow her on Facebook too and oh my goodness, the daily posts are so much fun.  You can tell just how passionate she is about art and kids.  I just know you are going to adore her blog, FB page and of course her Pinterest page

Art Bar Blog


Rachelle at Tinkerlab is brilliant, she has a wonderfully fabulous book with sorts of wonderful ideas to keep your petites busy and of course using their creative minds.  I absolutely love her blog, book and of course her Pinterest page.  She is one incredibly creative Mama.


The Garden Classroom

Cathy James is brilliant, she has such an amazing blog, there are so many incredibly fun things to do that your petites will be sure to be highly engaged and entertained with all of the fun activities.  I love this Pinterest page, because there are so many incredibly creative ideas that I would have never thought of on my own – check out this amazing wonderful page.

The Garden Classroom

Red Ted Art

What I love so much about this blog and Pinterest page is that, well a lot of what is used is stuff you already have at home or things you can pick up at the dollar store.  I love that found items play such a huge roll.  But don’t take my word for it, check out this page, I sure you will find lots of fun things to do with your petites over the summer.

Red Ted Art

These four women are so incredibly creative, I love all of their ideas they inspire me to be a better and more creative mom to my own girls.




Going on a book hunt

This morning was a dreary Seattle morning, a bummer since it was almost 80 degrees just two days ago.  However, while checking out my Insta feed, I saw something awesome!


So of course, I asked the petites if they wanted to go on a mission to find Elliott the Otter.  What do you know, of course they did, these kids love books, one of my proudest moments as a mom was watching my oldest teach her little sister how to smell a new book. Let the exploration begin.

Going on a missionSeattle is such an incredible city, a city that loves books and loves to share that love.  We have so many little free libraries in Seattle that it is not entirely uncommon to have two or even three in the same block.  Ballard is one of those neighborhoods, they have some lovely little free libraries cropped up all over their streets.

Sassquach Books, who produces some amazing titles that we a particularly fond of:

Little Kunoichi photo 2 photo 3

So this morning when I saw that they had placed some books in little free libraries – well, I hoped we might have the opportunity to find one.  I love their giving spirit and to be perfectly honest, my family needed a little pick me up.

She found itHooray, she found itShe was so excited when she found it, she actually screamed hooray, we found it…I can’t believe it!  So from the bottom of our hearts, to whomever had this brilliant idea and who went around Ballard placing these lovely books we thank you Sasquatch Books.

Stay tuned for our review of Elliot the Otter.

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Infuse: oil. spirit. water

9780804186766Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water by Eric Prum & Josh Williams, is an aesthetically pleasing cookbook that will teach you everything you need to know about infusing oil, spirits and water with some of the most delicious ingredients.  Once you are done looking through the pages of this gorgeous book, you will want to get your hands on some mason jars and get to work.

Eric Prum and Josh Williams are two friends who share the same passion for enhancing things that are already delicious and making them even more spectacular.  Infuse is broken into four parts: 1. the basics; materials you will need to get started.  2. oil; where you will find recipes for grilled pizza Bianca, simple vinaigrette, flash-infused oils and more. 3. Spirit; where they share the recipe that started it all – peach bourbon along with so many more recipes that are perfect for a hot afternoon or a chilly night.  4. water; there are some delicious additions to water that are sure to brighten any meal – the ones that I cannot get enough of right now are for cold brewed teas: lemongrass green tea, honey-peach black tea, lavender meyer lemon mint tea and summer berry hibiscus tea.  Are you thirsty, yet?

This book does a fantastic job of telling you exactly how to make these divine infusions as well as how long it will take for them to be infused to perfection.  With 50 recipes for you to enjoy this book would be perfect for anyone who loves to eat and loves flavor.  This book may be just what you need to take your cooking and bartending to the next level.  I love that when I finished flipping through this book there were multiple recipes that I wanted to try.

Here is a link to Eric and Josh’s website, The Mason Shaker where you can learn more about the authors as well as purchase their mason tap and mason shaker.  If you are a fan of this book then you will most definitely want to check out their other title published in 2014, which I think would be the perfect addition to any bar cart as well as a fantastic house-warming gift paired with some bar tools or mason jars.

Infuse is published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, May 2015.  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Well hello, This is Sadie

Cover Art

This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary & Julie Morstad published by Tundra Books/ Penguin Random House Canada, Spring, 2015.  This publication of this book is something I have been looking forward to for a while.  The art Julie Morstad has created is simply divine.  You may already be familiar with her work she illustrated Julia, Child which I have adored from the moment I first saw it, read more about Julia, Child here.  There is something about these gorgeous images that just inspire and make you feel as though you are dreaming.

What I love so much about this book is that the Sadie has a very active imagination and as a mom of two little petites imaginative play is so incredibly important.  It is something that we try to foster and support in any way that we can.  I love that this book starts out with Sadie playing in an empty cardboard box.  She is a girl who loves a good story, a girl who is imaginative and bold.

Another incredibly endearing quality about this book is the marriage of story and illustrations.  This book has a very unique and special quality that makes it easy to read over and over.  Even when you see this book on the shelf it jumps out at you, with darling Sadie peeking out through her fox mask.  The illustrations engage the reader and sort of hold your hand through the magical experience that Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad take you on in this lovely collaboration.

Another really fun component to this book is that Tundra Books is an awesome publishing company that not only publishes some of our favorite books, but supplemental materials that keep the fun going.  Check out these beautiful buntings, paper fox mask (just like Sadie’s), paper dolls and paper flowers.  The bunting makes me so happy, I love that I can decorate my petites book nook to represent one of her favorite books.  Click on the image below to be directed to Tundra Books website where you can download this lovely activity kit.

Activity Kit

Once you check out This is Sadie let me know what you think.  Also for more of our favorite books check out our facebook page The Petite Stag.

Where does your passion lie?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet a local publisher, Philip Lee of Readers to Eaters, at a local garden sale where he had a pop up bookshop.  I have been a huge fan of the books that he publishes, one in particular I have gushed about here at The Petite Stag: Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious

My response was real and genuine, I have been a stay at home mom for almost two years now, after teaching full time for many years, I got bored, I felt unfulfilled, I wanted more.  I loved that when I was teaching I would be able to put books in the hands of children and watch what could happen.  That incredible excitement when you share a story and then see where that journey takes the reader.  Well, that is something truly special.

Here is the part where I cringe a little.  If you know me well, which some of you do, you will know why I cringe.  Basically, I love being a mom, it is one of the most rewarding and inspiring parts of my life.  I feel honored to be able to have two wonderful little girls, whom I adore.  With that said, there are moments, when you crave a little more and honestly I think that is okay.  I think it’s okay to pursue your passions.  To have something that you can focus on, something that helps you feel inspired.  For me, being inspired and really passionate about something makes me a better mom.  I have found that being inspired is also contagious and causes others to start to get excited and feel inspired to do things that they are passionate about.   That is what The Petite Stag is to me, a place where I can get excited about books.

You see when I was teaching, there would be these moments, when I would be working with a student or teaching a class and there would be this spark and this priceless moment would take place.  Even when I had difficult classes or frustrating moments it would be that “spark” that I would seek; that spark is what inspired me.  What I came to realize is that often times that magical moment of watching a connection be made or an interest be peaked… happened around books and a petites interaction with books.  It was my passion for educating and it was that moment that inspired me to write The Petite Stag.

I wanted to be able to share my passion for reading and literacy with, well anyone who would listen, or read in this case.  So what Philip Lee asked me on Saturday seemed like a basic question, but it was more than that because I have been struggling lately.  Lately, reality has been a little too real and I have been struggling with inspiration.  So that simple question of how did you get into blogging? really got me thinking about all of this and what an important thing it is to be inspired.

So, for today, I choose to be inspired.

Let’s Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Chips and Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo friends!

I wanted to share a new cookbook with you that is about one of my favorite things to eat.  I love chips and salsa.  When I say I love, I mean I crave and once I open a bag of chips lookout.  My absolute favorite chips are Juanita’s made in Hood River, Oregon.  They are by far superior chips and once you’ve had them, all other chips will be unworthy of your salsa and guacamole.  Alright, now that we have established the best chip to be dipping you need some salsa.

Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider published by Ten Speed Press in April 2015.  Is a small book packed full of 60 recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole, Chimichurri, Gaucamole and many other delicious recipes.  The only trouble you will have is deciding which salsa to make first.


Some of these recipes look like they have been passed down from a previous generation.  To be honest, when it comes to mole, I have this friend who made it for me a few times and I knew it was detailed with a lot of different ingredients, but I have been rather intimidated to make it on my own.  However, Schneider gives you all the steps you will need to make many different types of mole – so really the tough part I suspect will be choosing which one and then collecting the ingredients.

What I really loved about this book is the explanation about chilies and what Schneider calls the essential guide to chiles.  This is so helpful for me, I never really knew about the flavor components or heat ratings beyond a habanero is really hot.  I think that this is the perfect foundation for the rest of the book and the delicious recipes.  I was so excited to see the recipes for new types of sauces like her recipe for chimichurri which is delicious and so easy to make.

Some other things about this book that I love, the size, it is a smaller book which for some reason makes me love it even more.  There are gorgeous pictures throughout, which is so helpful when making a new recipe; I love seeing what it should look like.  Overall, this is a great cookbook and if you or someone you know loves eating salsa or cooking authentically then this is the book for you.

Bloggers note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, the thoughts and opinions are my own.




Today is Independent Bookstore Day!

Independent bookstore dayWhoo Hooo, do you have plans today?  I am guessing once you finish reading this post you might.  If you don’t live in Seattle and can’t hop on over, don’t feel badly, so many independent bookshops are participating that I am sure you will be able to find some fun bookish happenings close to home.

Here is what you need to know for my favorite local bookshops (click the links to see what is happening)

Elliot Bay Books (best for everyone who has eyeballs and likes to use them to read great books) when most people think of Seattle and independent bookshops they think of Elliot Bay.  I know I have taken one or more out of towners to this local treasure.

Secret Garden Books (best for everyone who has petites) scavenger hunts and story time sound like fun to you?  then you will want to get the details about all the happenings in Ballard.

University Books (want to see what the kids in English 101 are reading?  I do, oh wait and a vast array of everything else?) with three Seattle area locations you are sure to have a fantastic time looking at new books.  They have a bunch of really fun activities for petites throughout the day as well some giveaways.  They even have a story time, click the link to get specific times and details.

Book Larder (hungry for books?  Go here)  Want to partake in some yummy cooking demos from the books that they sell?  How about spend $20 and get a free tea towel?  They have a selection of the most amazing cookbooks and a staff that can help you find your new favorite meal.

There are fun things happening at almost every independent bookshop around the country, I can’t wait to hear about what you find.  If you get out there please share some pictures on the Petite Stag Facebook page, I would love to see what you find.