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Friday Freebies (and T.G.I.F)

Ok so to get you all excited about this upcoming Summer Reading List (it will be so fun, & I promise not too many books!) I am doing a Friday Freebie post dedicated to books.

No, I am sorry I am not giving away free books.
But I am linking up to some awesome free bookplate downloads.
Compiled from a few different sites, these can be placed on the inside cover of your books
so that when you lend them out (or share amongst a book club--ahem)
you can make sure you get your favorite stories back!
Not to mention these are oh so pretty.
I love to go through thrift shops & see the little notes on the inside cover of books
written way back when
by  thoughtful gift givers 
to us ravenous word devourers 
These could bookplates could make great X-mas gifts
if paired with a book or two.
Hope you enjoy!
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A Little Summer Reading. . .

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She faced life with long awkward limbs and big pink-framed glasses. Her hair fell at her waist and was often compared to a bird's nest due to its wonderful affinity for snarls.
For this reason (and many far more embarrassing)
she loved to spend time at the library, and especially enjoyed the summer reading lists.
She would read all the books long before summer was over
and the library would often reward her with $5 gift certificates for ice cream
or a small bagful of candy and bookmarks.
But the real prize for her was the adventure found in the stories
and the escape it provided from the 100 degree weather in the Valley.

I used to just adore summer reading lists. For me it was part of the great whirlwind that only summer vacation can produce. Even thinking about it now I still get that excited feeling, as though I have two completely free months sprawling out before me just waiting to be filled with fun-only activities.

But alas, adulthood has claimed me as it's own and I've been forced to bid farewell to those carefree days.

Kind of.

So here's the deal: I was thinking I would still love to do a summer reading list and would like to create a little bloggy book club!
I've been harassing other book-savvy bloggers out there to take on this project but I figured if I really want this I should tackle it myself. So keep your eyes peeled for an invite you will be receiving and comment to let me know if you are interested or email me! Also let me know if you would like to contribute to the possible list.

I think it could be so fun! I would love to post a linky list on my sidebar of all the blogs participating and we could encourage each other along the way. You know you want to. :)
At the very least it will get me back in the saddle reading again!

my email: littlegirlshinyworld@yahoo.com
Please email me so I get something besides African lottery announcements and Viagra ads.
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Vino Vino Vengo.

Time is just crawling by until my upcoming vacation to Napa CA
As it is approaching (not quickly enough for me!) I have been solidifying our itinerary.
In our relationship
I am the planner.
Which for the most part I thoroughly enjoy.
I love to create experiences, whether it be vacation planning, wedding planning or just a Friday night get-together.
Something I don't love planning is weekly meals
like when the bf looks at me and says "What are we doing for dinner?"
and I think to myself, "Do I look like the gatekeeper of your food intake here?!" lol
But I digress.
Here is a little sneak peek of our activities for your enjoyment
or inspiration! Because I think this is going to be a jolly good time.

1. Avia Hotel

 So we are staying at the Avia hotel in Napa.
This place got great reviews and the bf loves it because of its fancy bathroom (I know hilarious right!)
It's located downtown, which is experiencing a revival apparently.
A family friend who lives in Napa said the hotel is awesome.
It's also like 5 mins away from a winery we are crazy about.
Double score!

2. Napa Valley Wine Train

Ok I am really beyond excited about this one.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is a restored train (some cars are as old as 1915)
that takes you up into wine country to do some wine tasting!
On the way you get a 3 course meal (gourmet I'm told, & better be for the price!) in this awesome dining car.
The ticket we bought takes us to Grgich Hills Winery for an hour of wine tasting & touring
There was an option for champagne tasting but it was only available on Fridays/Saturdays and we won't be there. Boohoo about that.

3. Oxbow Public Market

Fashioned after the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace (a place I've never been sadly)
this seems to be like a permanently established farmer's market
Filled with artisan cheeses, specialty chocolates and little gems just waiting to be found
I think it will be a relaxing way to waste away an afternoon after wine tasting or mud bathing. Yes I said mud bathing!

4. Calistoga Mud Baths
I haven't decided which location yet, but I will be indulging in some volcanic ash mud bathing!
Calistoga is about 40 mins from downtown Napa and is famous for their mud baths.
Supposed to have healing elements I definitely want to make a stop at one
and maybe wrangle a massage in there too!

So thats the basics for now. There are of course restaurants calling my name and little shops whispering in my ear.
I didn't realize there was a river in Napa! So I want to check out the river-front shops and maybe take a little river cruise.
And of course Truchard Vineyards.
Seriously check it out.
Any native Naponians (I'm sure this is wrong, but so funny) out there with suggestions?
or ladies who've had the luxury of visiting?
I'm open for anything!
Except hot air balloon rides :)