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.


Gift Giving: Picture Book Edition

Petite Picture Books


I’ve spent a great deal of time creating a list of our favorite books and illustrators over the last few months.  For your holiday gift giving guide, here are our top 12 books, 12 because I couldn’t bring myself to cut the list down to 10.

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou – the petites love this book because library Lou helps the pirate to realize that books are the treasure and adventure, we couldn’t agree more.

Oliver’s Tree – a sweet book about three friends who problem solve so that everyone can be included.  Not to mention, the cutest illustrations ever!

Me…Jane – stunning book about a remarkable lady who continues to inspire an entire generation of animal lovers and future conservationists.

Bats at the Library – a fun story about bats who sneak into the local library when the window is left ajar, they explore books and all the joys the library has to offer.

Flora and the Penguin – this delightful book is gorgeous and will bring a smile to any petites face and those lucky enough to share this book with them.

Tea Rex – a sweet book about a tea rex who loves a tea party.  It is super silly and the petites will love it, especially if they love to have tea parties too.

Rosie Revere Engineer – one of our all time favorite books, this book should be in the hands of all young petites.  A young girl wants to be an engineer and learns an important lesson, every flop moves you closer to getting to your goal.

Little Red Hot – another family favorite, a play on Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Hot will have your petites rooting for Little Red Hot and cheering in the end.

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey & Day Dreamers: A Journey of Imagination – these two books have some of the most gorgeous illustrations I’ve seen.  They are absolutely magical.

Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious – perfect for the petite who is interested in food and cooking.  The petites loved this book with it’s bright illustrations and

Julia, Child – another lovely book that is all about the love of food and cooking.

All of these books have been Petite Stag favorites over the past year.  They are fabulous options for gifts for the petites in your life.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays.


By the way, if you like what you are reading about here at the Petite Stag please follow my blog.

Petite Foodies: Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious

Alice Waters is a true revolutionary in the culinary world.  She in essence started the farm to table movement more than 30 years ago.  In her Berkeley California restaurant, Chez Panisse, she sourced all of her food locally from farmers and foragers.  In 2014, Time Magazine listed her as one of the 100 most influential people for her work in promoting good food for all.  If you want to know more about Alice Waters and her amazing legacy listen to this story on NPR about her.  She is amazing in more ways than one, a project she currently works on is called Edible Schoolyards where public school students learn to grow food that is then used in their school lunches.  Amazing, right?

“We’re trying to bring children into a new relationship with food where they have an opportunity to work in a garden,” she says. “They know what it is to plant the seeds and pick the weeds and they’re learning about what it takes to cook the food. … We’ve been separated from this experience through a kind of fast-food indoctrination that’s been going on for the last 50 years. So we need to really come back to our senses and really understand, like most every other country in the world, that food is something precious.” – Alice Waters

What an important skill for our children to be learning.  Alice Waters is culinary hero to me and I was thrilled to see this book showcasing her in the children’s section of our public library.


Source: ReaderstoEaters.com

Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Hayelin Choi (2014), published by Readers to Eaters is not only pleasing to the eye, but filled with a fantastic story and really fun little factoids about Waters life.

To me this book hits on so many different levels of inspiration.  Food and eating well, along with growing your own foods and sourcing local foods.  Trying new things, which is something we strive to promote in our house.  Travel and enjoying destinations and cultures through food.  A sense of adventure and how food can take you to new places literally and figuratively.

I love this book and think you will too.  Please tell me in the comments what you think or if you have other petite foodie recommendations.