Picture Books About Night

15 incredible children's picture books about night - from old time favorites to new authors - there are plenty of books to keep your kids entertained on long winter nights.

Winter has arrived with a bang.  With the short days and the long night, not to mention some snow, it is easy to fall into a rut.  The kids spend less time playing outside and it’s time to start finding more indoor activities (frown).  I think this is the perfect time to pull out all those great books about night.  There are so many books that we hope that we can give you the perfect book list to last until spring. Continue reading “Picture Books About Night”


Is it Really Possible to Have an Organically Clean Home?

The Organically Clean Home by the clean mama's Becky Rapinchuk

Ugh. Cleaning. The least favorite task I have, but probably one of the most important. I never really cared what I used to clean my house until my first pregnancy when the smell of the faux lemon dishwasher detergent we used made me gag every time I smelled it. My heightened sense of smell caused me to detect the sharply chemical scent and my body had a very negative reaction to it. I puked…. a lot. Until finally I chucked the yucky stuff and switched to various eco-friendly alternatives in my quest to make an organically clean home.

The problem was, I never really found anything that I loved and all the “healthy” versions of cleaning products cost an arm and a leg. That’s why, when we decided that our January goal for the Beyond the Bookends Reading Challenge was a book that would change your daily life, I knew I wanted to tackle a book based on make-at-home organic cleaning. I decided to test out a recipe or two for you and report back on my findings. Is it possible to have an organically clean home without taking out a second mortgage? Let’s find out! Continue reading “Is it Really Possible to Have an Organically Clean Home?”


The One Device Every Kid Needs for “Screen Time”

Guilty over Screen Time? Banish bad feelings with educational learning!



Technology time has been a battle with my kids since day one. I was great about keeping them away from all things tech for their first years of life and I loosened the strings on occasion until they were 2. After their second birthdays,  it became much, much harder to limit “screen time.” They became more aware of the screens around them and shows their peers enjoy (Paw Patrol, anyone?)

We tried very hard to stick to one half-hour of screen time a day, but at this point, we let them have about an hour. Usually, the kids split it before and after school. They watch one TV show snuggled in bed while we sleep-in and either another show or the iPad after school.  The iPad’s educational games are good but often cost $$ that really adds up quickly when the kids begin to outgrow their favorite apps. Also, the initial outlay of a new iPad is a little overwhelming (as we learned when we bought the boys Osmo for Hannukah, only to have the iPad break immediately and need to be replaced – not an expense we were planning on during the already expensive holiday season.)

When a family member recently offered to get each of my kids a Kindle for the holidays, I decided to try it out. If only for the fact that they would each have a device for our upcoming travels and I could limit fighting over the single iPad. I was thrilled with how quickly the Kindles became the go-to device around here. I want to explain why I think every parent should have one in their educational arsenal. Continue reading “The One Device Every Kid Needs for “Screen Time””


Our Kids’ 17 Favorite Picture Books of 2017

17 for 17

After reading so many picture books this year, I have to say that I feel like there was a shift in the amazing books available.  Together as a family, we read so many books about social issues, books that are biographical,  as well as books that had deep emotional meaning.  Some of those have become favorites with their vivid pictures and wonderful plots.  Other books are the sweet books you can read every night before bed and others are just hilarious books that appeal to adults and kids alike.  We decided to put together a list of our kids’ picks for their favorite picture books of 2017.   Continue reading “Our Kids’ 17 Favorite Picture Books of 2017”