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Top 10 Kids Books for Read Across America Day

Top 10 Kids Books for Read Across America Day

The fact that today is National Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday has inspired me to share my top 10 kids books.  This whole week is about inspiring people to get lost in a book!  Kids love when someone reads to them.  Enjoying a well-written story while looking at the pictures and turning the pages is a great way start to a lifelong passion for the written word in the youngest of kiddos.

When older kids are at school they may not be able to read about topics they would choose on their own.  Making it even more important to read together outside of school so they can let their imaginations run free.  I can remember my mom reading to my older brother and I.  I liked that most of the books she read were geared towards his reading level than mine.  I vividly remember enjoying The Celery Stalks at Midnight.  A book from the Bunnicula series by James Howe.  In the book a dog and cat work together to prove the newest family pet, a bunny, is actually a vampire that’s draining the juice out of all the vegetables.  This chapter book has only a few pictures.  This triggered our curiosity about what each character actually looked and sounded like, thus leading my brother and I to talk about what we each imagined.  I can’t wait until my kids are a little older so I can share this fun book with them too.  Do you guys remember the Choose Your Own Adventure Series?  That’s another one to add to the “Must Read” list!

To celebrate and inspire a love of reading, here are my Top 10 Kids Books for Read Across America Day.

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Children’s Activity and Preschool Expo and a GIVEAWAY

2015 CAPE FB flier

I cannot think of a single reason why any mom, dad, grandparent, teacher, or caregiver would not attend the Children’s Activity and Preschool Expo.  In fact, anyone pregnant and people with kids as old as 6 will find tons of things completely pertinent to your kiddo.  It’s all going down this Sunday, March 1 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Folsom Community Center  It’s crazy informative!  This should be a pre-req for any new moms in our area.  The wonder women at Sierra Moms have put on this event on for many years, 9 to be exact.  Without this very event 5 years ago I would not have found the preschool my daughter attended and now my son attends.  If you want to be “in the know” you need to go!  Here are some excellent reasons from the Sierra Moms that explain why you should attend this event.  Oh, did I mention it’s FREE!  Yep!  Now you have no excuses.

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Science Experiments for Kids

Science Experiments for Kids

Science experiments and kids have always been a fun and exciting combination.  I remember the first time someone showed me the old mento in a soda trick.  It’s fun to get a little messy and have hands on learning.  Plus, many of these ideas are perfect to do outside while we are having such gorgeous weather!  Today I’m rounding up the top pins about Science Experiments for Kids from Pinterest.  If you would like more inspiration to keep your kids entertained, you can follow my Kids Craft and Activity Ideas Board here or follow all my boards here.

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Re-designed Girl’s Room

Re-designed Girl's Room

We have had a problem brewing in our daughter’s room for quite some time.  The issue?  Not enough space.  Her room is a rectangle and after her bed, dresser, and bookshelf there was much room for play space or a work surface for projects.  We knew we needed to re-design our girl’s room. My husband and I had been thinking about a possible solution for a while.  Eventually we came to the realized we needed a loft bed.  I searched and searched for one that met our needs, but I just didn’t love any of them.   They either had functionality or character, and I wanted both.  My personal home decor theory is that the entire home should have a cohesive feel and the pieces should feel collected.  To me, this gives each home it’s own distinct character and style.  Ideally this would reflect the owner’s personality.  So, you can imagine when we decided that the best loft bed for our daughter’s room was large, white, boxy, and plain.  We bought the affordable and functional Stuva System from Ikea.  When I got it home and put it together, it took me a LONG time before I started to like it.  My daughter fell in love with it before we bought it.  Here’s how I injected the decor feel of our home and my daughter’s style and needs into her Re-designed Girl’s Room.

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The Best Breakfast Casserole

The Best Breakfast CasseroleBreakfast is the kinda meal that I love only when I can enjoy it leisurely.  Unfortunately, most days it’s a race to get something nutritious on their plates that they will actually eat without being asked 50 times all while leaving in time to get them to school without having to get a late slip.  On days when I’m serving a crowd or when I want a hot breakfast without the hassle of making it, I prep this Breakfast Casserole.

It has the typical breakfast ingredients: potatoes, eggs, onions, sausage, and cheese.  You could change the ingredients up in this dish to whatever your family prefers.  I’ve done it with bacon and sausage and I’ve served it up as a Denver-style casserole with ham and peppers.  Just use the same proportions and cooking times and you’ll be just fine!  I swear, this is The Best Breakfast Casserole.  But don’t stop at breakfast, it’s also delicious for dinner too!

You can bake it in advance and keep it in the fridge overnight, then just pop in the over to warm.  Or you can throw it together a week in advance and freeze until you’re ready to cook it.  The options are seriously endless!  I think this is The Best Breakfast Casserole to take on vacation.  All the work is done for you.  All you need to do is get some toast and pour yourself a mimosa!

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Chinese New Year

header collage

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 19th is the actual day for Chinese New Year.  It’s the year of the Goat.  So exactly how does China celebrate their new year?  This article has the nitty gritty, but here are a few of the highlights:

  • It’s China’s longest national holiday, 15 days in total.
  • They take NYE to the sixth day of the new year off from work.
  • Children will sleep with lucky envelopes filled with money under their pillow for up to seven days to increase their luck.
  • Married people give out envelopes of money to the unmarried.
  • “Dinners, parades, dragon dances, reunions and gift exchanges are all part of Chinese New Year celebrations.” (Source)
  • “Red clothing and elements are essential for Chinese New Year, as the mythical monster at the centre of the New Year, Nian, was supposedly scared of the colour red and fireworks, which have also become a key part of New Year celebrations.”  (Source)
  • “Each day has its own celebration: while on Day 2 it is traditional to visit friends and relatives, on Day 3 people tend to stay at home as it is not seen as auspicious to socialize.” (Source)
  • “The final day, Day 15, sees the Lantern Festival, where red Chinese lanterns are released into the sky.” Source

Celebrate culinarily!  According to Folsom/El Dorado Hills Style Magazine 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards the favorite local Chinese restaurants in our area are Fat’s Asia Bistro, Folsom Sunny Garden, and Lotus 8.  These sound like great places to celebrate Chinese New Year and they all offer take out.

Fun fact: I worked at Frank Fat’s for about 4 years when I was growing up.  I learned some recipe secrets about their famous Banana Cream Pie and why a Chinese restaurant even has this kind of pie.  I stated as a hostess and worked my way past server to bartender.  I know HUGE secret about what politicians used to do in the VIP booth areas.  I took French Wine lessons (for aforementioned politicians) and partied with Kings players frequently.  I also pretended to give Joe Montana’s dad my phone number so he could impress his friends.  He later sent me an autographed picture of his son as a thank you.  Ha!

Hot tip: Learn how to correctly pronounce Happy New Year and write the characters here.  This could be super fun to do with the kiddos on Chinese New Year!

Here’s a round-up of my top Chinese New Year pins.  For more Chinese New Year inspo  you can follow my board Random Holidays here or follow all my boards here.

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10 Board Games for your next Family Game Night

10 Board Games for your next Family Game Night
Does your family have a monthly or weekly game night?  We try to have one about every other week.  It’s hard to find games that engage a three year old and simultaneously challenge a 6 year old.  We typically change up the rules for the younger one or pair an adult with him to help him along.  Today I’m sharing with you my top 10 Board Games for your next Family Game Night.  So get that corn popping and prepare to have fun and bond with your family.
Before we get to my list, let me tell you why I think board games are important for kids to do regularly.
They help kids learn:
  • to listen to the rules
  • to follow the rules
  • respect each players turn
  • to wait patiently for their turn
  • that they can’t always be the blue peg
  • that math and counting extents outside the classroom
  • how to be a “good” winner or loser
  • to be happy for someone else’s (the winner’s) joy
  • recognize patterns
  • learn from the last time played
  • the basis of strategy by thinking about their next move

Bottom line:  Family Game Night is entertaining, educational, cheap, and good-clean-old fashioned-family bonding fun!  Here are 10 Board Games for your next Family Game Night.

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