Parenting

Best Books for Busy Moms

Like many moms, I am a busy mom, so I wanted to share a list of what I consider to be the best books for busy moms. No matter how hectic life gets, I always try to prioritize reading with Penelope because it’s a massively important investment in her future and the easiest way I…

Five Fab Educational Gifts for Toddlers

If you’re looking for the perfect gifts for toddlers, whether for a birthday, a holiday, or just because, look no further. Here are five of my favorite gifts for toddlers. Bonus: they’re all educational! Of course. Five Fab Educational Gifts for Toddlers Books. Duh. You can never ever ever go wrong giving books. Make sure to…

How to Travel with Toddlers

Penelope has traveled cross-country between California and New York four times — and she isn’t even 2 yet! This does not include the other flights we’ve taken between San Francisco and San Diego, a combination of business trips and family vacations. Penelope could probably fly the airplane at this point, so long as the pilot doesn’t…

How to Make Your Own Picture Book

A few months ago I used Shutterfly to create my own picture book starring Penelope. I titled it Stinkerpot!, since that’s the nickname my mom gave her. It’s a book about an exasperatingly lovable toddler because I find my daughter’s impish behavior so entertaining that it warrants a story of its own. I had a hunch Penelope…

Best Books to Buy Dads

I welcome any opportunity to add titles to Penelope’s library, so obviously I will exploit Father’s Day as an occasion to splurge on a new picture book for Poppy Kyle. This post will give you ideas for the best books to buy dads. Best Books to Buy Dads Last year was Kyle’s first Father’s Day….

Quick Guide to Creating Poetry Anthologies with Children

It’s spring, which is National Poetry Month. What better time to create your own poetry anthologies?! Somewhere in her garage my mom has a box of my old schoolwork. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the only thing I saved is my Poetry Notebook. Each spring, every student from 6th through 8th grade in my middle school…

How to Unleash Your Inner Poet

  I recently discovered a visual poetry app for iPhone called Poetics. I was approached by the creator of the app, who needed a letter of recommendation from a literacy expert (yours truly!) and I obviously had to play with the app in order to write a letter that didn’t suck. I was pleasantly surprised…

Books and Birthdays

I didn’t want to have a birthday party for Penelope when she turned 1. “What’s the point?” I grumbled, “It’s not like she will remember it.” “We have to have a party,” my husband said. “It’s her first birthday and she’s our precious baby.” So, feeling like a horrible mom, I begrudgingly began planning a…

Reading in School

In October I wrote an essay in which I connected my experience with cancer to the importance of creating opportunities for students to read and read and read in school. I believe my ability to read well is one factor that saved my life; now I believe ensuring our children, whether we are parents, educators or…

Build a Book Nook

After writing about my penchant for placing books in unexpected places throughout our home — beneath the television, under the bathroom sink, in a drawer in my office — several friends shared that they were inspired to go a step above and beyond my clever little strategy and actually build their kiddos a reading nook. That’s right….