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Swiffer Wet Jet Swiffer Dads

A Dad Who Likes to Clean? #SwifferDad

Am I lucky or what? My husband reminds me frequently that I am. A husband and father that likes to clean. And iron. And cook. Yes, I am a lucky girl!

We moved recently to a house from the 1880’s that my husband spent a year lovingly restoring. Most of the flooring is wood, including the kitchen, and my husband is fanatical about making sure the floor around the sink stays dry. Now, we’ve off-loaded the dish washing duty to our two girls as part of their chores that they earn allowance for. Do you know that it’s impossible to keep the floor dry while unloading and reloading the dishwasher? Try it. It’s true!

Swiffer dad Read more…

Create a Protective Device for an Egg Experiment for Kids

Create a Protective Device for an Egg Experiment for Kids

Here’s an easy and fun experiment to do using simply hard-boiled eggs. Regular chicken eggs will do nicely, but I found these really cool Ostrich and Emu eggs from the Saveur Instragram that are sold at Whole Foods somewhere!

Ostrich and Emu Eggs sold at Whole Foods Market

Ostrich and Emu Eggs Sold at Whole Foods Market (not mine though!)

You can give your child cardboard, paper, clear tape, scissors but my son just ransacked the kitchen drawer and that worked fine too! Read more…

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

It’s been such a great year for those who love both multicultural/diversity/inclusive books for kids AND novels in verse! I picked five amazing favorites that I’ve loved from this past year and hope that the popularity of these books will encourage more diversity books to be published!

What are your favorite novels in verse? Please share! Thanks!

Read more…

Teaching Kids About Money TWITTER PARTY

Teaching Kids About Money TWITTER PARTY

What do we need to teach our kids about personal finance NOW when they are still too little to credit card or handle a checking account? And what about do as I say, not as I do? What if WE don’t have great personal finance skills ourselves? Does this mean our kids are doomed to a life of poor financial management?

I remember when I graduated from college and was trying to be responsible. I paid my credit card bill monthly — I didn’t pay it off but I made a payment. But once I stupidly paid my bill a few days late but with a higher amount that normal thinking that it’s better to pay more off and that a day or two late won’t matter. Boy was I wrong!

Teaching Kids About Money

I also applied and received too many credit cards. I didn’t know carrying a multitude of credit cards actually lowers your credit score! Read more…

Booking Across America: Tennessee & Patricia McKissack

Booking Across the USA: Tennessee & Patricia McKissack

I am thrilled to be co-posting with Valarie Budayr of Jump Into A Book for the Book Across America blog tour.  I was late to the sign up so my birth state of California was already taken, as well as Massachusetts where I now reside. No matter. Tennessee was open where Valarie lives so I grabbed it for us.

We chose Patricia McKissack as our children’s author to represent Tennessee. Not only was she born there, but she’s very active doing school visits and book talks all over the state. You might not have heard of her … so we’ve included a list of her books as well as a book extension idea.

Patricia C. McKissack Read more…

Picture Book of the Day for Kids Living in Alcoholic Home

Living in an Alcoholic Home Picture Book of the Day

Today’s Picture Book of the Day comes from the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party. We asked participants to tell us what inclusive, diversity and/or multicultural children’s books they having trouble finding. It’s a heartbreaking topic but kids who live in an alcoholic home was one such request. I researched and found these books at my local public library. Some of these books are still in print. I hope these books find their way into the hands of the kids who need this.

It’s interesting that there are so few books for kids about living in an alcoholic home as alcohol use disorders affect 16% of adults in the U.S., and more than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study. I would imagine kids who live in an alcoholic home feel very alone with this kind of problem and would benefit for books that show them that there are others facing this problem and give them ideas to help them cope.

I think the most important thing for kids who live in an alcoholic home to realize is that they are not the cause of their parent’s problem and that their parent has a disease which is no one’s fault.

Am I missing any books you recommend? Please share! Thank you! Read more…

RESCUE Coupon and Prizes

RESCUE Coupon and Prizes #StressLess2BMyBest

I was a party at my English friend Lydia’s house where I met her Irish friend Aoife, who is a homeopath. I really believe in homeopathy; many miracle medications used today are derived from plants. Homeopathy has an ancient and respected history in Ireland.

When Rescue asked me to introduce Rescue to my readers, I agreed. I think alternate forms of healing are part of the arsenal we all should have in our medicine cabinets and my boxing Olympic Hopeful friend Amanda Pavone came to mind for a few reasons:

Amanda Pavone Read more…

take the focused driver pledge

It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month! #CallsKill

I’m in the car a lot driving my kids around. It’s become my office. I have snacks and water at all times. I nap in my car. I sometimes even hang out in my garage by myself, checking my email via my phone in my car for a few minutes before going inside. It’s nice and quiet and no one knows I’m home yet so I don’t get interrupted.

I’m not Catholic but giving up my cell phone while driving would have been an easy Lent sacrifice. It’s not that I don’t want to answer my texts or calls; it’s just that I’m not that good of a driver to drive and use my phone at the same time.

Still, I am easily distracted and I need to be more careful:

  • Changing radio stations while driving
  • Programming my navigation system while driving
  • Stopping at yellow lights

Read more…

Top 10 Best Multicultural Easy Readers

Top 10 Best Multicultural Easy Readers

It wasn’t easy finding great multicultural easy readers! My town library has about 49 cubic feet of easy readers — an entire wall — but about half have animal characters and most of the remaining books do NOT have characters of color. From my search that day, I’d say that about 2% of the square footage were multicultural books. I culled through all of these plus ran through the Geisel award-winning books and came up with my ten favorites.

Some of favorite Easy Readers include Little Bear, Mr. Putter and Tabby, Henry and Mudge, anything by Arnold Lobel, Fly Guy, Elephant and Piggie, Biscuit, and Dr. Seuss, but sadly, none of these books have diversity characters. I can understand that the animal based Easy Readers can not, but Mr. Putty could have a friend who isn’t white, right?! And Henry with his big dog Mudge could too. It doesn’t have to be a big deal; the friend just happens to be of color (and sometimes I prefer it that way). So just a thought to plant out there…let’s hope in 2016, Henry and Mr. Putter make new friends of color. Read more…