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Bedtime for Babies: The Littlest Candle A Hanukkah Story

It's been a while since our last Bedtime for Babies book review but I received a request from a friend asking for a couple of book recommendations.  Then a request from another friend and another friend and then well I decided it maybe, just maybe it was time to revive the Bedtime for Babies spot on the blog.  
Thanks to my friends at Kalaniot Books for the opportunity to share The Littlest Candle:  A Hanukkah Story by Rabbis Kerry and Jesse Olitzky.  The Littlest Candle is a great read for new readers.  It's an uplifting story of Little Flicker, the littlest candle in the box and how he earns the right to be the shamash thanks to all his good deeds he's done for others.  
The story is sweet but it's the end of the book that I think most will love.  The end of the book shares more about the history of Hanukkah and some Hanukkah traditions.  I struggled about reviewing this book given Hanukkah is a few months away but truth is we could all use a little light right now and …
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Return to Learn Giveaway Hop and a Chance to Win a $15 Walmart Gift Card

Apparently there's a coin shortage.  Signs are posted in the storefront windows everywhere saying "COIN SHORTAGE - EXACT CHANGE".  
The pandemic has definitely affected our pockets and we are looking for ways to maximize our income without having to tap into our savings.
Learning to budget can be a daunting task but knowing where you spend your hard earned money is the first step.  There are lots of books available to help get you started.  Currently, I'm reading The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms by Catey Hill. 
Financial expert Catey Hill shows moms how to spend less and save big in this savvy guide where each step is designed to take 30 minutes max.  

Let’s face it, kids are expensive–in 24 states, daycare actually costs more than in-state college tuition! And the older kids get, the more you will spend. Every mom could use more money. But who has hours to search for coupons just to save a few dollars? And sure, you know you should learn how to get the most of your 401…

Granny's Easy Banana Bread with a Rum Twist

Quarantine baking is the latest craze.  Cookies, cakes, pies, casseroles and breads are coming out of ovens everywhere.
I have gotten bit by the baking bug too.  I'm hooked on cakes and breads and getting the kids in on the action too.  We still have a sourdough starter that a friend gave me right before our staff starting working from home.  Three months in and Susie Sourdough - yes, we named it - is still in the fridge and we feed it weekly.  
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of people baking banana bread. Bananas are always on our grocery list.  Hubby snacks on frosted corn flakes and bananas pretty much every night before bedtime.  How he manages to stomach milk after 7 pm boggles my mind, but that's a story for another day. Let's talk about the difference between him ordering bananas from the grocery store and me ordering bananas from the grocery store.  When HE orders them he orders a lot.  Me, I typically order a bunch of about 5 or 6 bananas.  I hate when bananas g…

6 Simple Tips to Minimize Stress

2020 is shaping up to be the craziest year ever.  A lot of us had to jump into homeschooling quick, fast and in a hurry.  Transitioning from long days at the office to setting up a home office.  Learning creative ways to keeps the kids occupied as we took those conference calls.  I was doing just fine and until the day my brother started working from home and I immediately became the family Tech Wizard.I can laugh about it now but trust me helping someone set up a desktop computer and modem over the phone is definitely a test of patience. Trust me.The year has us rethinking some things, changing a few things and tweaking our daily routines but overall we're doing okay despite the fact that our Spring Break vacation was cancelled, our Summer vacation plans tossed and looks like our Fall travel plans are in jeopardy as well.  2020 is definitely teaching me that I am stronger than I ever knew I was.  A positive attitude is one of the things that is helping me cope with the daily chal…

Come Out & Play BUT Let's Practice Social Distancing

Come Out & Play BUT RememberToPracticeSocialDistancing COVID-19, Coronavirus, Da Rona, whatever you're calling it has definitely changed all of our lives.  Families are spending more and more time together.  My husband teases me saying I've spent more time in the backyard since March than I have in the entire 15 years we've lived in our home.  Sad thing is... he's right.
We planted a garden.  It was kinda by chance.  I bought these seeds and this starter compost.  Put them near the kitchen and after about a week or so, I started noticing gnats in my kitchen.  I figured it was some of the fresh fruit gone bad.  Tossed the fruit. Wiped everything down.  Gnats were gone.  A few days later... the gnats returned.  FINALLY figured out it that I had this dirt near the kitchen and remembered "Oh, you were going to start gardening."  
Seeds planted.  Watered.  Now we wait.  It'll be a few weeks but I am so looking forward to cutting fresh spinach and lettuce green…

Why I STILL Celebrate Black History Month

February is the month of Groundhog Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Valentine's Day, President's Day, Mardi Gras, my birthday and oh February begins Black History Month, a month set aside to recognize the contributions of African Americans. 


One of my kids asked me why we still celebrated Black History Month, Asian History Month and National Hispanic Heritage Month.  "Mom", he said "it just seems like it separates people."  Poignant words from a kid but I knew exactly what he meant. 

Searching for Emmett Till

There has been a lot of mention of Emmett Till in the news lately. A few months ago, a national news network ran a story on a sign marking the place where Emmett Till’s body was found. Most recently, actor and director Jesse Williams was dragged on Twitter for posting a meme of Till. Even Snoop Dogg got in the mix after the recent sentencing of 81-year old Bill Cosby saying perhaps it's time to revisit the case of Emmett Till.

In 1955, Till, a 14-year old kid was beaten, shot and drowned for whistling at a woman as he his cousins were leaving a store.

Till, a Chicago native, was spending a summer in Mississippi with family. His mother thought it would be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. One afternoon as Till and his cousins were leaving a small grocery store, Till whistled at a young lady. A few night’s later Till was abducted from his great uncle’s home and later killed. His crime, Till was Black… the young lady was White.

Earlier this week my co…