Goodnight Carolina: Celebrating Chapel Hill!

We love to read wonderful goodnight stories with our children; we also love Chapel Hill and were delighted to add this classic and beautifully illustrated book by Missy Julian Fox and Marie Myers Lloyd (with illustrations by Elaine O’Neil) to our collection of bedtime favorites.

Elaine O’Neil’s quilted fabric image from Goodnight Carolina by Missy Julian Fox and Marie Myers Lloyd

Goodnight Carolina has the familiar rhythm and dreamy feeling of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, but with a true (Tar Heel) blue charm that captures so many of the places, people and things that make Chapel Hill unique and wonderful.

Elaine O’Neil’s quilted fabric illustrations are GORGEOUS. The fabrics used for the picture depicting Julian’s clothing shop on Franklin Street are actual vintage fabrics from the shop.

Fabric quilted images, from Franklin Street and UNC landmarks, to Morehead Planetarium, to people enjoying ice cream on the rocking chairs on the front porch of Mapleview Ice Cream, to the Pig at Crook’s Corner, to Fearrington & its black-and-white beltie cows:  favorite Chapel Hill landmarks all around town are included.

Children are delighted when they recognize their favorite places in this beautiful bedtime storybook.

Goodnight Carolina also can serve as a fun treasure hunt for visitors! Go for a driving tour around town after reading the book and have your guests see if they can spot the treasured Chapel Hill places shown in the book! Better yet, schedule a tour with the UNC Visitors’ Center (in the Morehead Planetarium), and learn first-hand about Chapel Hill’s history and charm.

You can find Goodnight Carolina at local Chapel Hill area shops listed here:

Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s is Pumpkin Heaven

Trader Joe's Halloween Joe Joe's Cookies
Trader Joe’s Halloween Joe Joe’s Cookies

The Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s is a mecca for fun, cheerful grocery shopping and delicious healthy food year-round, and for the FALL PUMPKIN SEASON and the HOLIDAYS Trader Joe’s knows how to throw a grocery shopping party!

For fall, we LOVE the amazing selection of Trader  Joe’s PUMPKINS and pumpkin foods:
* Beautiful, LARGE pumpkins for $3.49 (!)

* Delicious Pumpkin Everything: Pumpkin Butter, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pancake mix, Pumpkin Bread mix, Pumpkin coffee, Pumpkin Greek Yogurt, Pumpkin Granola, Pumpkin Ice cream, Pumpkin Rooibos Tea. . . and lots more!  (For the Pumpkin Pancake Mix and the Pumpkin Bread mix, we like to substitute for the oil an equal amount of Trader Joe’s organic apple sauce: delicious, moist and healthy!)

* Halloween Joe Joe’s Cookies: The artwork for the Trader Joe’s Halloween Joe Joe’s cookies box is fabulous; retro, charming, FUN! The cookies themselves have multiple jack o’ lantern images (they are not all identical – so cute!).

Chapel Hill Trader Joe's - Halloween Joe Joe's Artwork (back of box)
Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s
Halloween Joe Joe’s Artwork

Come on in to  Trader Joe’s in Chapel Hill, join the festivities and enjoy the great selection of delicious healthy food (including great values for organic fruits and veggies, both fresh and frozen)!

Join Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s for their Annual Halloween party on Thursday, October 25th, 2012! Kids can dress up in their costumes and do crafts projects and enjoy treats. Call the Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s for more info at (919) 918-7871.

Chapel Hill Trader Joe’s, 1800 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.  (919) 918-7871.

Emerson Waldorf Kindergarten in Chapel Hill, NC: A Child’s Paradise

Ever since my five-year-old son spent a week at the Emerson Waldorf (EWS) Pre-School Magic (Kindergarten/pre-K) Summer Camp several weeks ago, I have been thinking about some of the things that make the Emerson Waldorf pre-school/Kindergarten such a magical, gentle, beautiful place for children.

(In his own words,) my son LOVED the Waldorf Kindergarten summer camp SO much. He spent the days playing with his little friends in the gorgeous EWS kindergarten playgrounds, surrounded by nature and beautiful flowers, picking ripe figs from the fig tree (and eating them), making beautiful Waldorf crafts, listening to wonderful stories told by his kind and gentle camp teachers, going for walks in the woods, and splashing around in wading pools at the end of the camp day. He didn’t want it to end!

That’s the way I feel also when I spend time at the EWS Kindergarten class rooms or in the playground/gardens.   It feels so peaceful and calm; a perfect pallet for children to use their imaginations in harmonious play.  The children are surrounded by lush nature, both indoors (through the spacious, bright windows looking out over the gardens and woods) and outdoors in the playground/gardens and surrounding woodlands. The beautiful hand-crafted toys in the kindergarten are made of all natural materials: wood, silk, wool. Children see these toys and they just can’t wait to get right to work and play!

My children have all had the happy early childhood experience of attending the EWS Kindergarten/pre-K and/or Morning Garden classes, and while I have been thinking about it, I wanted to share just a few of the things that we love about the EWS Kindergarten/pre-school.

  1. The Soup! Every week on Tuesdays, each child brings a vegetable to school, and then the children use (dull) butter knives to chop the vegetables and put them all in a pot for soup that they all share together for lunch. Every week the soup is completely different, depending upon what the children have brought in that day. This taught us as a family to make endless delicious and HEALTHY soups at home – no recipe required! The communal sharing aspect of the Kindergarten Soup day reminds me of the “Stone Soup” story (we like the Stone Soup book version by Jon J. Muth).
  2. The Bread! Every week the children help to make dough and knead the dough for bread, then the dough is left to rise.  The next day the bread is baked and the children enjoy the fruits of their labor at snack/lunch time: delicious, wholesome warm whole grain bread (fresh out of the oven!)
  3. No TV on school nights. Having a school rule made it easy for our family to just say NO to television early on. Thanks to the school rule, the children understand that it’s a rule; parents understand that it makes sense not to clutter up their minds with TV instead of keeping their minds open for learning, and playing and resting after school.  From there our family got out of the habit of watching television. It is very liberating to not need (or want) a tv for entertainment. It frees up your time and your mind, and it frees up your child’s imagination, creativity and active play time!
  4. Fall Lantern Festival – In the fall, the Emerson Waldorf School has a lantern festival, where the school children and their families gather together, with paper lanterns they have made in school, and walk through the woods, singing songs. (A charming German tradition for St. Martin’s Day).  At the end of the festival everyone enjoys hot baked apples.
  5. Seasonal Family Festivals – The Waldorf school celebrates the seasons with several wonderful family festivals from year to year. The festivals feature delicious, wholesome food (soups, fresh-baked bread, fresh-squeezed lemonade), fun crafts and activities, beautiful, dream-like puppet shows, games, hay rides, jump-rope making, flower-wreath-making, so many fun things to do, all in the beautiful woodsy setting of the EWS school and its playgrounds/gardens.
  6. Maypole Dance – Every year at Spring time, the EWS Kindergarten children have a Maypole Dance.  The Kindergarten teachers lead the children in a circular dance around the Maypole, with each child holding onto a very long ribbon of silk, fluttering in lots of different colors. As the children dance in a circle around the Maypole, they are weaving the ribbons around the pole. After the Maypole Dance the kindergarten children and their families enjoy a pot luck picnic together.

These are just a few of the things that make the Emerson Waldorf Kindergarten/pre-school such a magical, peaceful, nature-based environment for children.  The EWS Kindergarten Summer Camps offer a wonderful way to experience a feeling for what the Kindergarten is like. The Emerson Waldorf Kindergarten summer camps provide a wholesome, happy childhood experience that many grown-ups would love to stay and enjoy with their kids!

The Emerson Waldorf School also offers many wonderful, nature-based, imagination-based Summer Camps for all ages (from theater, to games, to sports, to crafts, to fort building and much more).

Emerson Waldorf School Pre-K – 12
6211 New Jericho Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 967-1858

The Stock Exchange Chapel Hill Women’s Consignment: GREAT DEALS on Beautiful Clothing!

Experience the joy of The Stock Exchange! WOW! The Stock Exchange Premier Consignment Boutique in Chapel Hill is a wonderful clothing resource for local women; it feels like a gift to shop there.  The Staff are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is bright, airy & cheerful, they have a great selection of beautiful, designer clothing, and the prices are a fraction of retail.

The Stock Exchange is in the final days of its Shop for Charity Sale (hundreds of items $10 or less, with the proceeds going to charities.) Last week we shopped at the 50% off sale at the Stock Exchange and found an AMAZING selection of beautiful designer clothes, many of them on sale for under $10.

When you visit the Stock Exchange, be sure to sign up for their email list and they will email you about future sales. In the meantime, remember to visit the Stock Exchange whenever you need to shop for clothing, since the Stock Exchange offers beautiful designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses and more, at prices far less than retail.

Also sign up for the Stock Exchange Accomplice Rewards Card when you visit; you will receive credit towards future purchases!

In addition to great shopping deals, the Stock Exchange offers a great way to unclutter your closets, while you earn extra cash. The Stock Exchange accepts items that are IN STYLE and in EXCELLENT condition (freshly cleaned, no wrinkles, and on hangers). Just set up an appointment online.  They are usually booked out about a month, but you can WALK IN with 5 or fewer items (without making an appointment).  Once an item sells, you usually receive 40% of the selling price. When the consignment period ends, the Stock Exchange donates items that have not sold to Pennies for Change, Dress for Success, or you can choose to retrieve special unsold items.

It feels great to find beautiful designer clothing, like new (and some new with tags), at a fraction of the cost of regular retail prices! It also feels great to have an uncluttered closet, with a check for extra cash in your pocket when your items sell.  (Checks are issued once a month for amounts over $40; or you can stop in any time to pick up cash for less than that amount, or shop using your available credit.)

If you are shopping for teenagers, The Stock Exchange has a great selection of beautiful clothing including designer jeans; SO much nicer than any of the national consignment chain teenage clothing you may have seen elsewhere. My 5th grade daughter found several petite size dresses and tops at The Stock Exchange that fit her perfectly. They are classic and pretty, and they cost a fraction of what some lesser quality mall clothing would cost.

Have fun and make it a girls’ day out for a shopping trip to The Stock Exchange!

Where: The Stock Exchange is located at 6120 Farrington Rd Ste. B, Chapel Hill, NC  27517 (take the Hwy 54 exit off I-40; The Stock Exchange is in the shopping center near Mardi Gras bowling).
(919) 403-9977

Fun at WizKids Magic Camp

New sessions being added for August! The WizKids Magic Camp at Winmore Studio in Chapel Hill is in its first week and the campers are having a great time! Today our 9-year-old son brought home from Magic Camp twisted-balloon-sculpture poodles, balloon giraffes, balloon hats, and other balloon creations that he learned to make himself at Magic Camp. He and his fellow campers are thinking about showcasing their balloon creature skills for birthday parties, and they look forward to amazing their friends, parents and siblings with their new magic skills!

Magic Camp campers are learning lots of magic tricks including card tricks and sleight of hand tricks, making round balls magically turn into square cubes, turning a handful of little balls into one ball, and many more. As soon as he gets home from camp every day, our son loves to show his sibling his newest tricks!

Update: On the last day of Magic Camp, the campers put on a Magic Show for their families and friends. They came up with their magician stage names and created posters to display in front of the magic trick tables they built during the week at camp.  Among the creative magician stage names: “Da Magic Mon,” and “The Future.” (Great stage names, and the kids thought them up on their own!) The magic tricks were great fun – amazing!

A fun time was had by all – and the fun continues!  Upon returning home from the Magic Show on the last day of camp, all of our kids played magic tricks with cards, balloons, rope. We went out and bought another deck of cards that evening since we are all having such a great time learning new tricks. Our son loves the magic tricks table he made at camp, and he takes his magic trick practicing very seriously. A summer of magic!

The WizKids Magic Camp workshop is taught by John Paul Middlesworth (the Drama Director at St. Thomas More School for the past 7 years)

It’s not too late to sign up for Magic Camp! Additional Magic Camp sessions are being added for August. Magic Camp includes outdoor play and crafts along with learning magic trick skills.

For more Magic Camp dates/times visit the WizKids Magic website or the Winmore Studios website. If you have questions about Magic Camp, call John Paul at 919-929-4493.

Winmore Studio 240E
240 East Winmore Avenue, Chapel Hill, NC 27516