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monthly blog goals,

Monthly Blogging Goals Check Up

Monthly Blogging Goals for February

I was a little nervous to check up on how I did on my blogging goals last month. I know I didn’t read enough middle grade chapter books. I am posting daily instead of 4 times a week too. Ah well!

monthly blog goals,

This month, I am revising my goals since I clearly am having trouble hitting them.

1) Focusing on 1 social network

This hit home:

Copyblogger suggests picking just one social network where your audience seems to congregate and then putting in the time and energy to really do it right. You can focus on others later.

That makes sense to me. I am punting all other social media networks with the exception of Pinterest. No more messing around on Sulia or trying to learn Instagram. And I’m on maintenance mode on Twitter in terms of growing my following. Read more…

Chinese New Year party, Chinese New Year arts and crafts, Chinese New Year Party for Kids, Chinese New Year crafts for kids,

Chinese New Year Crafts for Kids

Chinese New Year 2013: The Year of the Snake

My daughter’s Middle School Chinese teacher is throwing a great Chinese New Year’s party for all her students — 60 of them plus siblings! She is planning crafts, games, cooking demonstrations and a pot luck. In addition, her students will perform — in Chinese — both skits and songs. It’s ambitious! Luckily, a lot of parents are also helping out.

year of the snake, happy chinese new year, chinese new year snake painting, grasshopper and sensei

Grasshopper and Sensei’s Year of the Snake painting.

The parent volunteer committee met to go over the activities.

Some are coming from this book: Read more…

Look Another Book, Bob Staake, seek and find picture books, search and find picture books, seek and find, search and find

Picture Book of the Day: Look! Another Book!

Seek and Find Picture Books for Kids

My son and I love Seek and Find picture books. We even find things to find in picture books where the items are somewhat secret. Picture books that are also games make reading interactive and fun! Look! Another Book! by Bob Staake My son loves search and find books and we both fell in love with Look! A Book! a few years ago. His new book is equally wonderful! Staake’s delightful artwork include die-cuts in the shape of different size circles highlighting details of his illustrations. We also like the rhyming text that tells you what to find. There are 125 things to find in total. Read more…

Kid Lit blog hop

Best Books for Kids Blog Hop

Children’s Books Blog Hop

I’m excited to be part of a KidLit Blog Hop as a guest co-hostess. My other partners-in-crime are:

Our Hostesses:
Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Heidi from Geo Librarian
Jaymie from Snacks for Max
Sue from Kid Lit Reviews

Katie from Youth Literature Reviews

Our Co-Hostess:

Cassondra from Beyond the Covers Read more…
every day acts of kindness, 100 acts of kindness, easy everyday acts of kindness, random acts of kindness, RAOK,

Easy Everyday Acts of Kindness

Easy Acts of Kindness for Every Day

I’m thrilled to be joining Toddler Approved and other great kid bloggers from the Kid Bloggers Network on a 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.

100 acts of kindness project, acts of kindness

10 Simple Acts of Kindness Kids Can Do via The Good Long RoadKindness Project for All Ages via Living Montessori Now and Raising Figure Skaters25 Acts of Kindness {as a Mom}Being Kind to Strangers via Kitchen Counter ChroniclesA Valentine’s Day Countdown via One Perfect Day Read more…
dating our husbands, 14 days of dating our husbands, dating your husband,

Dating My Husband All Over Again

Dating My Husband and Downton Abbey

Mari of Inspired by Family Magazine blog brought up a good point last month: the need to date our husbands again. It’s true. With three busy kids, we are great at coordinating the logistics of who picks up whom at what time, but after a day of running around, we are pooped. Our dinner-without-kids have been relegated to our anniversary and our birthdays. And when I got sick for my birthday dinner-without-kids, we still haven’t had time to reschedule.

As for movie night, we are even worse. We used to get out for a non-kid movie once a year (which isn’t much, I totally agree). But it’s been years since we’ve made time for dinner and a movie out. It takes so long that we are lucky to just eat dinner out.

Mari’s vision is to encourage our readers to get back to the basics by sharing simple and fun ideas to date our husbands, and just in time for Valentine’s Day! She has assembled a great group of mom bloggers and we hope you will share your ideas too! Read more…

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Valentine’s Crafts for Kids

Getting Crafty for Valentine’s Day

My college roommate was talking about her new mother-in-law a few years back, describing her as “crafty.”

“Crafty, in a good way,” I asked? I was thinking sneaky Machiavellian crafty.

“No, not evil crafty. Arts and crafty!”


My brain just does not compute crafty because I am not good at arts and crafts. The thought of homemade Valentines as my kids’ school requires typically fills me with dread because my kids are too old for my old standby: paper lace and pink heart paper cutouts.

Thankfully, this year I have Pinterest and the Kids Blogger Network. I am going to use these resources for homemade Valentines this year. If that doesn’t work out, we can always use ecards from HallmarkHere are some ideas I’m considering.

Do you make or buy Valentines? Please share your ideas!


The Imagination Tree has lots of heart crafts ideas ideal for making cards for different age recipients. I like her potato print cards for school Valentines and her heart shaped photo holder would be perfect for grandparents. The red and white clay heart ornaments would be another option that would stand out for school Valentines.

Imagination Tree hearts crafts

Doodles and Jots demonstrates how to make your own heart shaped box instead of buying one. In real life, she’s a product designer. Can’t you tell? My older kids would love to make this! It would be perfect for a teacher gift and she gives a recipe for chocolate pretzels. Now, I just have to save cereal boxes!

doodles and jots heart box craft for older kidsRead more…

Lego YouTube channel

Ninjago on YouTube Lego Channel!

Lego YouTube Channel

I just found out that Lego has a new YouTube channel and the first thing I saw was NINJAGO! My son had a Lego Ninjago obsession last year. My husband I welcomed it though it took me a while to figure out what exactly Ninjago was. Ninjago, as it turns out, is many things:

  • Ninjago animated TV show series
  • Ninjago chapter book series
  • Ninjago graphic novel series
  • Ninjago lego games
  • Ninjago lego kits
  • Ninjago branded items. We own the lunch box!

I quickly became an expert in all things Ninjago. We bought the lego kits after he received the first lego Ninjago game for his birthday. I was thrilled that he would play with  legos instead of screens. Pretty soon, I was finding and saving little tiny plastic swords that popped up in various odd places. The floor of my car. The kitchen table. In my bed. Read more…

7th grade books, 7th grade reading list, best books for 7th grade, best books for 6th grade, 6th grade reading list, 6th grade books, 8th grade books, 8th grade reading list

7th Grade Reading List

Best Books for Middle School

Seven words fill me with dread, “Mom, I have nothing good to read.” Ironic that our house bulges with books for kids. Everyone room has a bookcase or a pile of books but like the Cobbler’s kids, mine have nothing good to read.

I can usually always find something for my younger two, but my oldest has a good point. We have much less inventory for her. Young Adult is new to me and our shelves lack pre-screened YA books for her.

It’s a new year and that will change. But first, to find good YA books for her. I turned to her amazing English teacher (post parent/teacher conference) and am now consulting StorySnoops, a blog she recommends. I’m collecting book lists from the middle school librarian like this one below. I found Your Next Read on Pinterest. It makes book recommendations similar to the one you type in. I’ve also asked my daughter for book recommendations from her friends.

What do you do to find good books for your middle school kid? Please share!!! Mine likes realistic fiction, and action adventure fantasy. Paranormal is great but it has to be set in modern times. The books I am selecting for her to check out are starred. Read more…