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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…

Felix Doolittle, Love Notes, Mini Heart Cards, Valentine's Day Cards

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…


Is there a Creativity Crisis for Our Kids?

How to Nurture a Child’s Creativity

“Every child is born an artist. The problems begin once we start to grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

What requires creativity? Art? Music? How about science and math? Does career satisfaction and success require creativity? The research indicates all the above.

But I argue that we should be nurturing our child’s creativity at home because it’s not being taught in school. No, it’s not the budget cut backs in the arts either. That hurts, to be sure, but the issue is that we simply don’t teach “the opportunity to find and bring to life that which motivates [kids] intrinsically.”

Creativity Threatened Specifically in 3rd through 5th Grade

from Mind/Shift: How We Will Learn 

Actually, Lehrer noted, the problems begin in a very specific time frame: the years covering third, fourth, and fifth grade. It’s during this period, he says, that many kids “conclude that they are not creative, and this is in large part because they start to realize that that their drawing is not quite as pretty as they would like, that they can put the brush in the wrong place, that their short stories don’t live up to their expectations—so they become self-conscious and self-aware, and then they shut themselves down.”

Parents’ and teachers’ task, he said, is to help kids learn how to “productively daydream.” Read more…

Newbery Medal 2013, Caldecott Medal 2013, Newbery winner, Caldecott Winner, Coretta Scott King

2013 Newbery Medal, Caldecott Winners and More!

Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners of 2013

Congrats to all the authors, illustrators, publishers, friends and family who helped in the creation of all these wonderful books! Which books have you and your kids read and which ones do you recommend? Please share!

p.s. Compare predictions here.

p.p.s. If you are upset — What? Wonder didn’t win anything?!! — that a book you love didn’t win, Nerdy Book Club has a great post on Top 10 Things You May Not Know about the Newbery Award by Monica Edinger. Read it if you are upset. It is guaranteed to make you feel better!


2013 Newbery Medal Winner

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Read more…

best college majors, worst college majors, how to get a job out of college

Worst and Best College Majors

College Majors that Lead to High Paying Jobs

My brother-in-law sent me this link of the Worst and Best College Majors according to Kiplingers. It’s based on data from and Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Kiplingers looked for majors whose graduates—both recent grads (within the past five years) and those well into their careers—face a brutal combination of low compensation and high unemployment.

I’ve been in the staffing industry for years and have hired lots of college graduates in a variety of entry level positions. So here’s my take on this survey:

  • A College Degree is the new High School Diploma. And it’s caveat …
  • A Master’s Degree is the new College Degree.
  • A degree in one these Top 10 Worst Degrees from a Top 10 Best College will mean a job for most graduates.
  • How well you do in college counts.
  • An Internship experience will pave the way for a real job. It’s worth it to work for free.
  • You are your own product. How you market yourself counts for a lot.
  • A poor Social Media footprint can cost you a job offer as can bad credit. Read more…