Raina Telgemeier: Smile & Sisters


If there is one author that all of the Wilson girls can agree that we like, it’s Raina Telgemeier.  Watch our video review of Sisters and Smile to find out what Kai and I have to say about her fantastic graphic novels.

Kiki couldn’t put “Sisters” down – even on the way to Disney World!

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smileSmile book trailer: https://youtu.be/iqy49S48tEQ

SistersSisters book trailer: https://youtu.be/SsEXPhq0aIU

Butterbeer Showdown

Icelandic Harry PotterIMG_0775IMG_4931IMG_0810IMG_5187


This year for Spring Break, the Wilson Family is going to Florida to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  I couldn’t be more excited.  In addition to rereading the books, I have been thinking of other ways to get the kids excited.

IMG_0928This week, we’re having a butterbeer showdown.    For those of you that are not Potter Heads, butterbeer is a popular creamy butterscotch flavored drink that Hogwarts students often partake in at the Three Broomsticks on their weekend visits to Hogsmeade.  Authentic butterbeer can only be purchased at two locations in the muggle world: the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London (where the Harry Potter films were made) and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando.  We were able to visit WB Studios during the summer of 2013 and I remember that the butterbeer was absolutely heavenly.  What better way to prepare for our Spring Break trip than to attempt to recreate the deliciousness of butterbeer?

I started out by finding two recipes on Pinterest.

AP ButterbeerThe first (“Associated Press Butterbeer”) had a lot of ingredients and involved a bit of cooking.  We combined 1 cup brown sugar with 2 tablespoons water and brought it to a boil.  After reaching 240 degrees, we added 6 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt. After the sugar mixture cooled, we added 1/2 tsp rum flavoring.  For the topping, we whipped some cream and added 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture.  The result was a delicious rum flavored whipped cream.  The final step was to mix cream soda with 1/4 of the sugar mixture. O.M.G.  Can you say SWEET?  Yikes.  I could eat the whipped cream all day, but the butterbeer nearly made all of my teeth fall out.

IMG_0933The second recipe was much simpler.  We heated 1/4 cup butterscotch ice cream topping with 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave.  We added this mixture to 1 cup of club soda and stirred vigorously.  Although the recipe did not call for it, I couldn’t resist adding a few dollops of the leftover rum whipped cream.  This recipe seemed to watery.  If I had it to do over, I would have used cream soda.

The verdict:  Recipe #2 (made with cream soda) is the closer of the two recipes.

Stay tuned.  After we drink gallons of butterbeer during Spring Break, we will revisit these recipes and possibly add some others to help YOU create this delicious wizard concoction.

Until then… Have a magical Spring Break!





Horrible Histories

Here’s Kai’s latest review on the super awesome book series Horrible Histories from the UK…

If you know a reluctant reader that loves history (and silly/gross facts), this series is for them!


Make sure you look into the TV series, as well.  If you live in Kitsap County, I recently saw a commercial announcing that Discovery Family (channel 103 on Wavecable) will start showing Horrible Histories on April 10th.  Make sure to set your DVR for that!

Here are a few examples:


Newgate Prison Song