Easter Brunch

Easter Brunch

A nice family treat after Ester Sunday service, is to return home to have a lovely family brunch, without having to cook.  You can choose to have the Easter brunch with your immediate family and/or your extended family and friends. For a brunch menu you can choose to have a breakfast buffet, appetizers or traditional dinner favorites.  If you choose a larger get together guests on your list can assist with making food to add to the menu. This could be done as a sort of potluck.

A easy way to cook a wonderful meal while getting yourself and kids ready for church and then attending Easter service is to let the crock pot help you. The crock pot is wonderful for slow cooking delicious meals without the fear of having the oven on while you are away from home. It also takes away the worry of dinner burning or your meal coming out to dry.  Most recipes will cook for eight hours on low or four hours on high.  Below are some ideas for easy dishes to cook in your crock pot. Please click the recipe links throughout this article to obtain step by step directions to some delicious meals.

Main Dish Crock Pot Options

Roast Beef with vegetables in the crock pot

Crock Pot Beef Brisket

Slow Cooker Beef Tips

Easy Crock Pot Beef Tips with Gravy

Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes & Green Beans

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Side Dishes Crock Pot Options

Slow Cooker Sweet Buttery Corn on the Cob

Slow Cooker Ranch Potatoes

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

Slow Cooker Sweet Carrots

If your plans include bringing your crock pot meal to a family members, friend or church try the 6-quart Cook & Carry crock pot for a good portable slow cooker.

 

I love bigger crock pot for big meals. Try the 8 Quart Programmable Countdown Slow Cooker. This is perfect for larger meals and you can program it so this is a wonderful feature for a busy holiday. The crock pot can be set to stop cooking right in the middle of Sunday services! Also don’t forget the liner bags to make clean up so much easier! I have seen many slow cooker travel bags, but I found this one today. I want to try this one because it carries a wide range of crock pot sizes! It is called the  Travel Case & Carrier Insulated Bag for 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 Quart Slow Cookers.

 

 

Wonderful Make Ahead Brunch Items

Make ahead dishes are just the thing to help achieve a stress free Easter brunch. Any recipe that can be prepared the day or night before are a welcomed addition to a busy day. Perfect items to make in advance are salads and desserts.  Salads are usually healthy for us and help bring a balance to heavy main course around the holidays.  At least we tell ourselves this. Desserts are always wonderful for a festive brunch. They are particularly wonderful because you can make them the day before, which are especially convenient for a busy Easter Sunday. Everyone loves some cake, pie, cookies or other sweet tooth indulgence.  Below I listed a few salad and dessert ideas.

 

Salads

7 Layered Salad

Spaghetti Salad

Apple Spinach Salad

Desserts

Easter Cookies

Carrot Cake

If you are looking for some fun Easter food treats, here is a great link with adorable food ideas.

I hope everyone has a very blessed Easter holiday.  Try some of the recipes listed in today’s blog and mix them with some of your families favorites.  I hope this article helps to take some of the stress out of your Easter Sunday while you enjoy a great meal with your family.

Please Like & Comment.  Let me know what your family traditions are for Easter. What are some of your favorite holiday meals to eat at Easter? Do you plan or have you tried any of the recipes in today’s blog?

Interview With Author Yvette Phillips

On March 25, 2019, I had the pleasure of interviewing debut author Yvette Phillips. Her book is entitled, The Tale of Princess Alicia. It is a delightful children’s book about a little princess who teaches girls to be self-empowered. Mrs. Phillips who is originally from Jamaica moved to the United States in 2000.

 

 

Yvette is  the proud owner and CEO of her online business PadyMart.com where she sells Trendy Children’s Fashion, Educational Books and More. In addition to operating her own business, Yvette is also a School Teacher where she teaches young children. Mrs. Phillips  currently resides in New York with her husband Ivan and son Matthew.

 

 

In her interview she shares that her son was her motivation behind writing her book.

Click here to watch the interview.


Please follow Yvette Phillips on her website, Facebook and on Instagram.

 

To purchase her book click here. A series of matching bookmarks are also available for purchase.

 
 
Please Like and Comment. Comment below after watching the interview with your thoughts and opinions about a sweet little princess who is encouraged to problem solve and not wait around for her prince? What are your feelings about diversity in children’s literature?  Comment about your experience as an author.  Are you a parent or grandparent who has been looking for books with ethnic characters for your child or grandchild?  Are you looking for books like this with strong girl leading characters? Let us know in the comments.  Share your thoughts on this adorable and self-empowering princess.

Interview With Author Mattye Crowley

Author of Sankofa.

On March 18, 2019, I was delighted to interview debut author Mattye Crowley. She is a children’s author of, Sankofa and an accompanying Sankofa workbook. In Ms. Crowley’s Sankofa series she shares African and African American history with young readers and their parents.

In the interview, Mattye shares about the great need for African American children to know their true and full history. In her book she has children join Sankofa on a journey through time to learn African history and facts from the past to the present.  This is a wonderful series to educate everyone on African history.  Click here to watch the interview. Thank you for watching.

Follow Mattye Crowley on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit Mattye Crowley’s website here.

To purchase Sankofa and the accompanying workbook click here.

Please Like and Comment. Comment below after watching the interview your thoughts and opinions on diversity in children’s literature. Comment as a parent, grandparent, relative or teacher trying to find quality African history literature for the children in your life. Comment about your experience as an author.

Top 10 Favorite Black Movies: Black History Month

#BlogBlHistory
Top 10 Favorite Black Movies
I love movies! Watching movies is one of my favorite pastimes. Here are some of my all-time favorite Black Movies in order by the year they were released. I could have added two dozen more easily, but these are definitely some of my favorites. Please click on the links to learn about the movies if you have not seen them. And if you have not seen some of these please check them out!
This blog is a part of my Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging Series! If you use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory on Twitter you can find other bloggers who are celebrating Black History Month by Blogging and their Black History Month Blogs! To learn more about Black History Month by Blogging click here.
  1. Mahogany (1975). This movie features Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. Click here to purchase.
  1. Sparkle (1976).  This movie features Irene Cara, Philip Michael Thomas, Lonette McKee, Dwan Smith, and Mary Alice. Click here to purchase.
  1. The Wiz (1978). This is an African American movie classic featuring Dianna Ross, Michael Jackson and directed by Quincy Jones. Click here to purchase or rent.
  1. Purple Rain (1984). This movie of course features Prince, the band members of The Revolution and Morris Day & the band members of The Time, Apollonia and Jerome Benton. Click here to purchase.
  1. Boomerang (1992). This movie featured Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Bebe Drake, Chris Rock, Eartha Kitt, Grace Jones, John Witherspoon, Lela Rochon, Melvin Van Peebles. Click here to purchase or rent.
  1. Love Jones (1997). This movie featured Larenz Tate and Nia Long. Click here to purchase.
  1. The Best Man (1999). This movie features Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, and Regina Hall. Click here to purchase or rent.
  1. Love & Basketball (2000).  This movie features Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. Click here to purchase.
  1. The Fighting Temptations (2003). This movie features Beyonce, Cuba Gooding Jr., Steve Harvey, Faith Evans, Melba Moore, Latanya Richardson, Wendell Pierce, Eddie Levert, Rue McClanahan, Montell Jordan, Faizon Love, Mike Epps, Angie Stone and others. Click here to purchase or rent.
  1. Black Panther (2018). The movie features Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. Click here to purchase or rent.
I am tagging for the #BlogBlHistory challenge Deandra from BPDiaries. Please check out her top Black Movies. Thank you for doing all of the challenges! 
Like & Comment! Please add some of your favorite Black movies in the comments! Let me know if any of my favorite are some of yours.

Favorite Black Television Shows: Black History Month

Top 10 Favorite Black Television Shows

 Top 10 Black Television Shows

 
Here is my list for some of my all-time favorite Black television shows. I could easily add another ten television programs to this list but I am trying to follow my #BlogBlHistory instructions and leave it at my top ten black television shows.  The shows on my list appear in no particular order. 
 
This blog is a part of my Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging Series! If you use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory on Twitter you can find other bloggers who are celebrating Black History Month by Blogging and their Black History Month Blogs! To learn more about Black History Month by Blogging click here
 
  1. Girlfriends (2000-2008). The cast included Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Jill Marie Jones, Persia White and Reggie Hayes.
 
  1. The Cosby Show (1984-1992). Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Bonet, Tempestt Bledsoe, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Sabrina Le Beauf, Raven Symoné and a ton of fabulous guest stars.
 
  1. A Different World (1987-1993). The cast included Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Dawnn Lewis, Cree Summer, Darryl M. Bell, Jada Pinkett, Loretta Devine, Sinbad, Mary Alice, Glynn Turman, Lou Myers, Ajai Sanders and Karen Malina White.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  2. The Jeffersons (1975-1985). The cast included Sherman Hemsley, Isabel Sanford, Marla Gibbs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  3. Blackish (2014 – Present). The cast includes Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Jenifer Lewis, Miles Brown, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin and Laurence Fishburne.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  4. Sanford and Son (1972 -1977). The cast included Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page, Whitman Mayo, Don Bexley, Nathaniel Taylor and Lynn Hamilton.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  5. Amen (1986–1991). Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford, Roz Ryan, Jester Hairston, Barbara Montgomery and Rosetta LeNoire.
 
  1. Living Single (1993-1998). The cast included Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, Kim Coles, T.C. Carson and John Henton.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  2. Moesha (1996 – 2001). The cast included Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Marcus T. Paulk, Lamont Bentley, Shar Jackson, Countess Vaughn, Yvette Wilson, Ray J and Fredro Starr.                                                                                                                                                           
  1. Sister Sister (1994 – 1999).  The cast included Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jackée Harry, Tim Reid and Marques Houston.

 

I am tagging for the #BlogBlHistory challenge Deandra from BPDiaries and Lani from LaniOnLife  Please check out he links on African American Authors & Their Books!

Like & Comment! Please add some of your favorite Black television shows in the comments! Let me know if any of my favorite are some of yours favorites. 

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

My blog, KathrynTHall.com was noticed and nominated by Michelle https://twitter.com/aquarius_garden from Garden of Aquarius https://gardenofaquarius.com/ and I am so excited to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

This is my first nomination. It is a true honor and a pleasure to be noticed for my work as a blogger just starting out. Thank you Michelle!  Please follow her at https://gardenofaquarius.com/ her website A Practical Urban Homested is full of blogs with great information on recipes, gardening how to stay organized and more!

Award Rules and Information

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Link to the blog of the person who nominated you.
  3. Say 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 more bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5. 7 facts about me

7 Facts About ME

  1. I love to do arts & crafts.

  1. I am a total book worm.

  1. I have two children. My daughter is in college and my son is in elementary school.

  1. I am an advocate for individuals with autism. I was introduced to the world of autism through our experiences of having my son diagnosed with autism when he was a very small child.

  1. I am a wonderful cook. If you want some good soul food and delicious desserts look no further.

  1. In another life I used to work in an all males prison as a cognitive behavioral substance abuse counselor.

  1. I love to dance.

Nominations

 

Here are my 15 nominations. Please go to their websites and explore their blogs. They all deserve some recognition.

  1. Deandra from The Black Princess Diaries https://blackprincessdiaries.wordpress.com/

 

  1. Nadine from Body Up Boss Up https://www.bodyupbossup.com/bubusquad/

 

  1. Jess from Just Call Me Jess https://callherjess.wordpress.com/

  

  1. Cindy Magee from Simple Steps For Living http://simplestepsforlivinglife.com/

 

  1. Monique from Simply Robotix https://www.simplyrobotix.com/

 

  1. Lani from Lani On Life https://lanionlife.com/

 

  1. Sydney Rose from Her Unusual Journey http://herunusualjourney.com/

 

  1. Miranda from Inspiring Thru Positively  https://inspiringthrupositivity.com/

 

  1. Amy Lou from Chronical Sunflower http://www.chronicalsunflower.co.uk/

 

  1.  Naomi NaKashima from Help Me Naomi   https://helpmenaomi.com/blog/

 

  1. Janae Ballard from BallardJanae https://ballardjanae.com/

 

  1. Cindy from Cindy Goes Beyond https://cindygoesbeyond.com/home/

 

  1. Jess from J. Elle https://authorjelle.com/

 

  1. Geneva from Geneva’s Evolution https://gsp002gp.wixsite.com/evolution

 

  1. Derron E. Short from DERRON E. SHORT: Writing About Life, Pain, & Wisdom
    https://www.derroninspires.com/
 
Versatile Blogger Award
Please Like & Comment! Know some great blogs? Tell me about them and share their links in the comments. Are you a blogger? Tell me about it in the comments.

Your Top 10 Songs Sung By Black Artists

Your Top 10 Songs Sung By Black Artists. Black History Month

 Top 10 Songs Sung By Black Artists

 

Today is the third installment for the #BlogBLHistory challenge. Join us in celebrating Black History Month by listening to the links below. We get to look at some wonderful soulful music! I have listed some of my favorites, but this is in no means a complete list of all of my favorite songs.

 

 

 

I like so many songs if I did a more complete list of soul songs I like I would be listing my top 100 instead…LOL. But these are absolutely some of my beloved jams! These songs are not in order by the way. Yes I do love a lot of old school R&B. I didn’t include gospel or hip hop on this list. If you would like to see me make list for those let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

This blog is a part of my Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging Series! If you use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory on Twitter you can find other bloggers who are celebrating Black History Month by Blogging and their Black History Month Blogs! To learn more about Black History Month by Blogging click here.

 

 

  1. When Doves Cry by Prince (I love Prince!)
  2. Got to Give it Up by Marvin Gaye
  3. Back to One by Brian McKnight
  4. Love and Happiness by Al Green
  5. Let Me Love You by Mario
  6. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  7. Sweet Thing by Mary J. Blige (I love Chaka Khan version as well).
  8. Before I Let Go by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
  9. Remember the Time by Michael Jackson (I so love this video!)
  10. The Way by Jill Scott

 

I am tagging for the #BlogBlHistory challenge Deandra from BPDiaries and Lani from LaniOnLife  Please check out he links on African American Authors & Their Books!
 

 

 

Please let me know some of your favorite soulful songs.  Were any of the songs on the list your favorites? Please let me know in the comments.

10 African American Books and their Authors

#BlogBlHistory

10 African American Books and their Authors

Below I listed 10 African American authors and their books. This list includes a mixture of some of my favorite books and also some new books I have simply enjoyed reading. I purposely did a mixture of classic and contemporary African American literature.  I have read all of the novels by a majority of the authors on this list, but I had to choose just one of their works to feature on this list. Click on the links in red to find the books to purchase. Click on the links in green to gain more information about each author.
This blog is a part of my Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging Series! If you use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory on Twitter you can find other bloggers who are celebrating Black History Month by Blogging and their Black History Month Blogs! To learn more about Black History Month by Blogging click here

10 African American Books and their Authors

  1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou  This is the first autobiography about the life of Maya Angelou and she tells us from first person. She shares the joy and painful experiences from her childhood. If you have not read this book I encourage you to pick up a copy as soon as you can.

    2.  Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston In this novel we follow Janie as she experiences life a women post-slavery. We follow Janie through three key relationships in her life and how she is treated and becomes her own women along the journey. This book message is timeless. 

  1. Kindred by Octavia Butler In this book book is the first-person account of a young African-American woman writer, Dana, who finds herself being shunted in time between her Los Angeles, California home in 1976 and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation where she finds herself in slavery with her ancestors. This is an incredible read. 

  2. Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan I am sorry the movie was okay. But the book was phenomenal! So even if you have seen the movie please do yourself a favor and read the book. This book follows four African American women in their 30’s who are friends and the trails and discoveries they go through together. The friends are Savannah Jackson, Bernadine Harris, Robin Stokes, and Gloria Matthews 

  1. In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant  You may have seen Iyanla on television but to really understand where she is coming from I think you should read her books. I just love this book and if you are in the meantime you will too. “You know where you want to be, but you have no clue how to get there. You know exactly what you want in life, but what you want is nowhere in sight. Perhaps your vision is unclear, your purpose still undefined. On top of it all, your relationships, particularly your romantic relationships, are failing. If these scenarios feel familiar way down in the deepest part of your gut—then you, my dear, are smack dab in the middle of the meantime.”

 

  1. Singing in the Comeback Choir by Bebe Moore Campbell A professional African-American woman rediscovers her roots when she has to help her grandmother. I love how she writes her characters. You feel each ones perspective. If you have not read this or her other works you are missing out.

  1. When Death Comes Stealing (Tamara Hayle series)  by Valerie Wilson Wesley  Looking for a great mystery with a strong female lead, than look no further. 

  1. Dining In by Gerry Garvin I know this is not a novel but a cookbook. I did this to show some of the diversity of African American work in print.  If you want to try some delicious recipes with simple step by step instructions for down home cooking that meets sophistication then check out this cookbook. 

  1. Perfect Peace: A Novel by Daniel Black What happens when a desperate mother deceives her family and community and tells everyone that her new baby is a girl instead of a boy.

  1. Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles (A Mahalia Watkins Mystery Book 1 A.L. Herbert If you enjoy mystery with delicious sounding recipes and a extra helping of humor, then this book is for you. 

 

I am tagging for the #BlogBlHistory challenge Deandra from BPDiaries.  Please check out he links on African American Authors & Their Books!

Like & Comment! Please add some of your favorite authors and their books in the comments! I would love to see them! Let me know if any of the books or authors I listed are some of your favorites. Do you plan to read any of the authors and/or books on the list that you may not be familiar with? I want to hear about your favorite black literature pieces and why.

10 African American Inventors and Their Inventions

Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging

10 African American Inventors and Their Inventions 

A good way to help children learn about the many contributions of African Americans is to have them explore some of the many inventions created by African Americans. For some helpful information on African American inventors and their inventions please click on the links highlighted in red.

This blog is a part of my Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging Series! If you use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory on Twitter you can find other bloggers who are celebrating Black History Month by Blogging and their Black History Month Blogs! To learn more about Black History Month by Blogging click here.

Welcome and Enjoy!

I am tagging Deandra from BPDiariesRaeAndra Fields from Freedom Schooling BlogDevon J Hall from Loud Mouth Brown Girl, and Dominique from Medium

Please check out their links on African American Inventors & Their Inventions!

African American Inventors and their Inventions

  1. Lonnie Johnson invented the Super-Soaking Water Gun. 
 
  1. Alexander Miles invented Automatic or Electric Elevator Doors.
 
  1. Charles Drew invented preservation of Blood Plasma or the Blood Bank.

  1. Garret Morgan invented the Gas Mask and the Traffic Signal
 
  1. George Crum invented the Potato Chip
 
  1. Elijah “Real McCoy” McCoy invented the Lubricator Cup – a cup that automatically drips the proper amount of oil into the moving parts of the train engine. 

  1. Marie Van Brittan Brown – “Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance”. She designed a closed-circuit security system that monitored visitors via camera and projected their images onto a television monitor. Not only that, a panic button contacted the police immediately.
 
  1. Shirley Ann Jackson invented the Portable Fax, Touch tone Telephone, Solar Cells, Fiber Optic Cables, and the Technology Behind Caller ID and Call Waiting

  1. Jan Ernst Matzelige he invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, which made shoes more affordable and much faster
 
  1. Benjamin Banneker invented the First Clock built in the New World, it kept perfect time for forty years. 

Like & Comment! Please add some additional black inventors and their  inventions in the comments! Let me know if you learned something new from my blog.  Please share this blog with the hashtag #BlogBlHistory

Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging

#BlogBlHistory

Celebrate Black History Month By Blogging

Hello my name is Kathryn T. Hall and I want to start a Black History Month blogging challenge on Twitter. February is Black History Month and is almost here. Let’s celebrate it together. I am calling the blog trend #BlogBlHistory. Black History Month + Blogs = BlogBlHistory. My website to tag me at is www.kathrynthall.com

#BlogBlHistory is a blogging challenge which consists in publishing blogs sharing positive information about Black History Month in order to celebrate the month!  #BlogBlHistory are similar to the #blogmas at Christmas. Everyone celebrates Christmas in their own way and #BlogBlHistory tags are just an extension of that.

To participate enter the name and blog web address of the person who tagged you for your BlogBlHistory. At the end of your BlogBlHistory post tags fellow bloggers to take the same challenge.  For each week in February 2019 a BlogBlHistory topic will be tagged. This is a super simple, fun and great way for all bloggers to celebrate Black History Month! Please tag me at www.kathrynthall.com in all of your BlogBlHistory posts!

List of Black History Month Weekly Tags:

  • February 1st – List 10 African American Inventors and their Inventions.

  • February 8th – List 10 African American Books and their Authors.

  • February 15th – List Your Top 10 Songs Sung By Black Artists.

  • February 22nd – Top 10 Favorite Black Television Shows.

  • February 28th – Top 10 Favorite Black Movies.

Recap:

If you would like to participate choose the date(s) and corresponding topic(s) you want to participate in. Happy Black History Blogging! Tag me at the beginning of the tag and tag everyone you want to participate at the end of the tag. Use the hashtag #BlogBlHistory when posting the blogs on Twitter.

 

If you want to be tagged leave me your name, website address and which topics you would like to be tagged in, in the comments!

Tween Valentine’s Day Party

Tween Valentine’s Day Party

A cute and fun idea if you have a tween at home is to do a Valentine’s Day Party for the girls. Often parents of tween girls find their daughters in that  awkward stage between being a little girl and becoming a teenager. Oh do I remember the those days with my daughter. This age group generally does not have a significant other and the idea of celebrating Love and doing something special usually satisfies this group.

Allow your daughter to invite her best girlfriends for a few hours. I would limit the number to about 12 tweens including your child or children. Now after saying this, boys in the tween group may enjoy a Valentine’s Party for them and their buddies as well. So keep this in mind if your son is a tween.  Ask him and see how he feels also. First choice a good time to host the Valentine’s Day Party, often Valentine’s falls on a weekday, so decide do you want to have the party after school or on the weekend. Next, choose your location. For a small group it may be easiest and  cheapest to have it at home. If you live in an apartment, sometimes they have a rental room that you can utilize for free or with a small deposit. After you have your date, time and location picked it is time to organize your menu and activities for the party. Let your kid(s) help with these details. Make the planning stages a fun activity for you to do together.

To make the party simple and easy, concentrate on three key elements.

  • Decorations

  • Food & Treats

  • Activities & Games

Valentine Day Decorations

Valentine Day Inexpensive Decorations

A great thing about decorating for a Valentine Day tween party is that you can use simple and easy decorations to do the trick. You can buy a few decorations from your local Dollar Tree. They have a good assortment of helium balloons, silk flowers, silk flower petals, pink & red tablecloths, cups and napkins, plus many other Valentine decorations. You can also buy inexpensive Valentine Day decorations at Family Dollar, Walmart and other discount stores. Also check out local craft stores for inexpensive decorations.  Here is a link to decoration ideas.

Valentine Day Food

There are a vast number of party food options. You can always go with tween favorites like hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, pizza and/or mini hamburgers. Make sure to check the kids for food allergies. Here is a link to teen party food.

Valentine Day Treats

Treats are a must for Valentine’s Day! Here are some cute and yummy treats ideas.

  • Cup Cake Decorating Bar

This can be a cute and fun activity for the party goers. Pre-make cupcakes and offer two frosting choices. Offer two to three sprinkle choices to top the cupcakes. Also offer a couple of small candy toppings for the kids to put on their cupcakes. Click here for some cupcake ideas.

Tip: You can also buy a variety of three or so cupcake choices from the  store and put them on trays or platters. For example buy chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cupcakes and lets the kids choice their favorites.

  • Cookie Bar

Just like the cupcake bar you can have lots of fun with decorating cookies or buy a variety of Valentine Day cookies from the your local bakery or grocery stores. Click here for some cookie ideas.

  • Ice Cream Bar

Ice cream can be a great coupling with cupcakes or cookies. And of course an ice cream bar is a great  stand alone treat. Click here for some ice cream bar ideas.

Valentine’s Day Games

An adorable and fun game to play at a tween party may be My Heart is Bursting.

In this game the tweens will punch out mystery goodies from cups that are arranged in a heart shape and hot glued to a display board . Click here for game instructions.  Some great items to put in the cups for tween girls gifts are scented Chap Stick, mini hand sanitizers, mini candy, rubber bracelets or anything you and your daughter choose that fits into the cups without touching on the tissue paper. You can use some of the same ideas and add some items for tween boys.

Here are some more Valentine Day Game Ideas.

Mini valentine bags tied with ribbon are great prizes for your tweens. Everyone loves candy!

Valentine Day Candy Prize

I hope these ideas help you throw a fun and yummy Valentine’s Day Tween Party! Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Like & Comment. Please let me know if you plan to use any of the ideas from this blog. Also please post pictures and let me know how your tween or children Valentine Day celebrations turned out!

5 Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Your Children

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was vital in leading the civil rights movement. The Martin Luther King Day national holiday is a perfect time to reflect on his legacy and how he helped shape our world for the better. This blog contains five fun, educational and easy ways to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

                                         

  1. Read Books About Martin Luther King Jr.
  1. Watch a Movie about Martin Luther King Jr.

There is a good array of movies about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A good choice to help children understand the importance of Martin Luther King is an animated movie called Our Friend Martin.

  1. Take a Fieldtrip to an African American Museum

A great way to help children learn about the many facets of the African American experience is to go on a tour at a local African American museum or visit a historical landmark. Many museums and historical sites offer tour times and self-guided tours.  Check your area listings for locations to visit. Below are links to assist you in finding some sites to visit.

  1. Make a Dr. Martin Luther King Craft

A nice way to help younger children celebrate the King Holiday is to make MLK craft.  Here are some links below to help you get started.

  1. Enjoy Doing Some Word Searches, Crosswords or Color

Doing fun and easy word puzzles can be an enjoyable way to help kids learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coloring sheets are a great way for small children to learn about MLK. Below are some links to various printouts for youth.

Please Like & Subscribe. Please leave in the comments any ideas you plan and did use from this article. Also share any other ideas you incorporate with celebrating MLK Day.  I would love to see how you  plan or did celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Also feel free to post pictures of the activities you did to celebrate.

All Children Need to be Represented in Children’s Books

Every child wants and needs to find their place in the world. All children want to see individuals who look like them and people close to them. It is not a coincidence that there are books specifically designed with a female or male protagonist. This gives a choice to children to see boys or girls represented in a center leading role. We see children and early reader books with topics that cover a large array of hobbies, sports, activities, animals, school experiences, academic topics, fantasy, make believe, sibling dynamics, emotions, hero’s, coming of age stories and so much more. This is absolutely wonderful!

I think most parents would agree that a variety of topics to explore in our children’s library helps them to discover new worlds, learn lessons, morals, and helps them learn about identifying other people’s feelings. Kids also like to identify with the protagonist or lead character. Typically the protagonist is portrayed to have any combination of being a good person, a hero, intelligent, honest, attractive, creative, gifted, talented, likeable and/or good at solving dilemmas. Children often identify with or want to be like the lead character in some way. This is why having protagonists from different races and cultural backgrounds are essential in literature for our youth.

On a Personal Note

My daughter is a bookworm like myself. She loved to have books read to her when she was a small toddler and little girl.  She has always had a great joy of reading as she grown from an eager kindergartner to the young adult she is today. I know that representation is important. It is a positive and necessary experience for all children to see themselves in positive characters, as active members in our society. It is true all humanity has beautiful and positive youngsters, but sadly this fact is underrepresented in our literature for our children!

My daughter is in college now. We are African Americans. I can remember searching for books featuring little black girls for my daughter when she was a toddler. This search continued for her when she was in elementary and junior high school as well. I read lots of books to her and we made frequent trips to the library and local bookstores. We choose books including inanimate objects, animals, children and adults as the main characters. Most of her personal library did not include literature represented by African American girls like her.  Many books that featured children representing African American or other cultural backgrounds had to be special ordered online or reserved from other libraries outside of our area from our local library.

Unfortunately, the literature industry has had a slight rise in book diversity, but is vastly behind in having children books that represent our cultural makeup in the United States. “Within five years, more than half of America’s children and teenagers will have at least one nonwhite parent. But when the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison looked at 3,200 children’s books published in the United States last year, it found that only 14 percent had black, Latino, Asian, or Native American main characters. Meanwhile, industry data collected by publisher Lee & Low and others suggest that roughly 80 percent of the children’s book world—authors and illustrators, editors, execs, marketers, and reviewers—are white, like me.” Declares Dashka Slater, in her 2016 article entitled, The Uncomfortable Truth About Children’s Books.

This fact helped inspire my Vicky book series. My series are about a little African American girl named Vicky and her family and friends. Readers can follow along with Vicky on fun celebrations of life and learn some fun lessons on the way. My first Vicky book will be released this year.

On January 25, 2019 Multicultural Children’s Book Day will be celebrated on Twitter.  This one day event celebrates diversity in kid’s literature. To find out more information click this link.

Please Like & Share. Let me know your thoughts on this blog in the comments. Have you found it challenging to find books for your children, grandchildren or other special youth in your life with family cultural dynamics that matches the child? Are you a parent or teacher who seeks to find books featuring characters written by authors of various cultural backgrounds? Are you an author?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Everyone please let me know if you have any New Year Resolutions! I changed my website domain from www.creativetouchescelebrations.com to www.kathrynthall.com. What changes have you made for the New Year?

New Web Address

New Web Address

Hello Everyone! I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year 2019! This year my major goal will be publishing my first book!!!! This is super exciting for me! I want to say thank you to everyone who has signed up for my weekly blog and followed me on this journey! 

I also want to give a sincere thank you to the talented authors who have taken out time out of their busy schedules to let me interview them for my blog! Thank you Lorraine O’Garro and Julieann T. Randall! Please subscribe to my blog so you do not miss out on the wonderful author interviews that will be featured here in 2019!

The content form www.creativetouchescelebration.com has been forwarded to my new website address of www.kathrythall.com.  Changing my website address is a part of rebranding I am doing. I changed from wordpress.com to wordpress.org so you can enjoy my website without unwanted advertisement hindering your view and enjoyment. I also have so new features on this new website medium that I can’t wait to explore.

I hope everyone has a magnificent New Year! God Bless You All and let me know what you think of the new website.

 

Please Like & Subscribe! Leave feedback on your re-branding ideas and personal stories of re-branding!

Author Interview : Julieann T. Randall

Author Interview : Julieann T. Randall

Julieann Randall

On December 11, 2018 I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Julieann T. Randall. Julieana is a new author who is adding diversity and compassion to out literary selections. Her character Jade is a eleven year old African American girl who has a strong self-esteem, even when faced with being bullied at her new school. To watch our interview click here.

Media Kit A1

To stay up to date on Julieann T. Randal and her empowering young adult novel Jade Joureys check out her website. To purchase Jade Journeys, Say it Loud! Affirmation Cards, self-esteem journal & pen set,  or magical t-shirt click here.

Follow Julieann T. Randall on InstragramFacebook and LinkedIn.

Media Kit C1

CLick here to Watch the Interview with Julieann T. Randall.

Please Like and Comment. Did you or children close to you deal with bullying in school? Did you check out Julieann T. Randall’s website?  How do you support youth in your life who have went though or who are undergoing bullying? What did you think about the wonderful positive esteem boasting items available?