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Easiest DIY Gift Ideas Ever!

Easiest DIY Gift Ideas Ever!

Today, Jeanette and I are making gifts! It’s the perfect combination of frugality and thoughtfulness as it says, “I made this for YOU!”

My gift ideas below are for dogs with homemade Peanut Butter Banana Dog Biscuits. I created this recipe to use up leftover “about to go bad” ingredients. My dog seems to love them too!

peanut butter banana dog biscuit recipe

I also made a Lemon Coconut Sugar Body Scrub that my middle daughter advised me on. She watches a ton of YouTube beauty bloggers so she had strong opinions on salt versus sugar scrubs and coconut oil versus olive oil. I’m gifting these to my mom friends but my daughters would love it too! Read more…

Arckit STEM architect toy for kids

ARCKIT: Architecture STEM Toy for Kids

ARCKIT: Architecture Design Toy for Kids

Arckit

ARCKIT is a freeform model making system that does not require glue, yet it lets you design, build and modify these really cool modern houses. They simply snap together!

ArckitThis would be a wonderful building toy for a budding architect or just any kid that likes to build in 3 dimensions. There are finish details that you can choose such as wood flooring, terracotta tiles, stone walls and shingle aluminium to create your own vision.

Arckit

My Son and Friends Build an ARCKIT

I asked my newly 11-year-old son if he wanted to build an ARCKIT and we looked at the designs together. His answer was a resounding, “YES! They are cool!” ARCKIT is recommended for kids ages 12 and up but younger kids with good fine motor and patience would enjoy this building kit too.
ArcKit: Architecture Design Toy for KidsRead more…

Meet Our Co-Hosts for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2016!

Meet Our Co-Hosts for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016!

As with any event, success is measured by the strength and effectiveness of the team. At MCCBD Headquarters we are happy to report that we do indeed have a very strong team!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day is thankful for its CoHosts. Our CoHosts are a group of select powerhouse bloggers who share the same diversity in children’s literature passions and beliefs. They also assist in extending the reach and spreading the word of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. These 11 blogs will also be host to the wildly-popular book review/blog post link-up the week of 1/27/16. We would appreciate if you could take a few minutes and visit each of these excellent blogs. These women were selected by the MCCBD team because of their true dedication to supporting diversity in children’s literature.
cohost

CoHosts
All Done Monkey
 · Crafty Moms Share · The Educators’ Spin On It · Growing Book by Book · I’m Not the Nanny ·  Imagination Soup · InCultureParent · Kid World Citizen · Mama Smiles · Multicultural Kid Blogs · Spanish Playground

 

Meet them all here!


KitLit TV Winners!

Winners – Big Multicultural Back to School Library Book Giveaway

In September KidLit TV launched our first ever Big Multicultural Back to School Library Book Giveaway! We partnered with Pragmatic Mom, Jump into a Book, Franticmommy and Multicultural Children’s Book Day, to give parents, teachers, and librarians a chance to win a multicultural book bundle for their school library. The results are in!

KidLit TV Multicultural Giveaway

Congratulations to the winners of our very first Big Multicultural Back to School Library Book Giveaway! KidLit TV will be shipping off books to the libraries below, in the name of each winner.

kidlittvwinner Read more…

Horizon Oraganic Snack Grahams healthy school party fruit and dip snack

Classroom Party Snack Idea #HorizonSnacks

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Horizon Organic Snack Grahams, fruit and dip.

Horizon Oraganic Snack Grahams healthy school party fruit and dip snack

Use Horizon Organic Vanilla Yogurt to make a fruit dip. It could not be easier! Combine:

  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Read more…

Giving Back #ComfortsFromHome

Giving Back #ComfortsFromHome

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Marie Callender’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

With the cold weather around the corner, I’m starting to think about changing our dinner menu to stews and soups. It’s not just comfort food; it’s also the ultimate convenience food when you have a brood that gets home at all different times from practices, starving!

donations instead of birthday gifts

The change of seasons also has me thinking about the upcoming holiday season and ways to give back. Last October, my son and his friend did a joint birthday party. In lieu of gifts, asked for donations to a local dog shelter that rescues dogs from kill shelters in the South. When the boys delivered the dog toys and collars and played with the dogs, I think it was the best present anyone could have given them.

donations instead of birthday gifts Read more…

Hoover Cordless 2-In-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum Rocks!

My friend Lydia’s husband and Grasshopper and Sensei‘s art teacher’s husband are both Industrial Designers who have worked on vacuum products. Turns out that they have worked together too!  What a small world!

Industrial design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.

When I saw Lydia’s husband last week at a dinner party, I asked him what does it take to design a really good vacuum? An industrial designer is an interesting job; it’s part designer, part sculptor and part mechanical engineer. Industrial designers design a wide range of products from cars to package design to consumer products like coffee machines, vacuums, blenders and space heaters.
Hoover Cordless 2-In-1 Stick and Handheld Vacuum Rocks!

What does it take to design a great vacuum? Industrial designers work with marketing and market researchers to find out what consumers want and then they try to deliver. What do I want? It’s pretty simple because I hate vacuuming more than any other cleaning job in the world:

  • I want a cordless vacuum because I am forever running over the cord or pulling it out of electrical socket, both actions being very bad for my vacuum.
  • I want a vacuum that can pick up the massive amount of Golden Retriever dog fur that my dog contributes to our household without causing my vacuum cardiac arrest.
  • I still need a portable, handheld vacuum for quick pick up like when my kids spill cereal all over the floor.
  • I want my vacuum to live a good, long and productive life.
  • I don’t want my vacuum to be heavy because I need to carry it up and down stairs and even vacuum the stairs while I’m at it!

Read more…

Gifts that Give Back, a series with Craftwhack

Gifts that Give Back

Jeanette Nyberg of Craftwhack and I have teamed up again to bring you a holiday shopping series.

November 3, 2015: Gifts That Give Back (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 10, 2015: DIY Gift Ideas (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 17, 2015: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
November 24, 2015: Gifts to Steal from Loved Ones (HersMine) (Last year’s: HersMine)
December 1, 2015: Left Brain/Right Brain Gifts for Kids  (Hers, Mine) (Last year’s: HersMine)

Today, we bring you Gifts That Give Back!

I like to have my kids think about giving back as we near the holidays. I read that teaching kids gratitude is the best way to assure that they will be happy.

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. From Harvard Health Publications

Last year, I tried my hand at crafts (which I am bad at) and created a DIY Advent Gratitude Calendar in which my family tried to do an act of kindness as we counted down towards Christmas.

DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar

If you need Random Acts of Kindness ideas, I researched them in order to do 48 for my birthday.

RAK, Random Acts of Kindness

Thankfulness, in our house, also includes Thank You notes and I have a free Thank You Card printable for kids that I hope makes note writing less onerous.

Thank you card printable for kids Read more…

Multicultural Adoption Books for Kids

Multicultural Adoption Books for Kids

There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together. From The Red Thread by Grace Lin

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. To celebrate, I offer a multicultural adoption picture book, chapter book and young adult list for kids and teens. There is a subtle thread that tie some of these books together. It’s the bridge from Asia to America through adoption.

When kids are placed into loving families that do not reflect their face in the mirror, there comes a time, as part of growing up, where these kids can have an identity crisis and a hunger to know more about their past. There’s another thread as well about the power of love to bind a family together. I hope these books will comfort by showing that they are not alone.

What books am I missing? Thanks for your great suggestions!

Multicultural Adoption Picture Books

Bringing Asha Home by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamal Akib

rakhi bracelet

Rahki is a north Indian holiday celebrated on the day of the full moon of the Hindu month Shravan, usually in August. Sisters tie colorful shiny bracelets called rakhi around the wrists of their brothers, signifying their special bond. In this picture book, Arun waits impatiently while his parents try to adopt a baby girl from India, his father’s homeland. It takes a long time, but finally Asha arrives, and she has a special bracelet for Arun! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…