The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman: A Riveting 2-day mini-series

Let me just get this out of the way right up front: I am a sucker for historical fiction.  There is something magical about having the dry facts from my high school history books come alive in a more fully-fleshed way.

Almost any American Jew who has been to Israel has climbed the snake path up the side the archeological masterpiece that is what’s left of the ancient fortress of Masada (or chickened out and at least taken the cable car up the side.)  Even though you can see pretty detailed living quarters when you visit, it is still hard for most visitors to actually picture what it must have been like to be there.

The Dovekeepers on CBS


Kid Crafts with Recyclables & the #Annedroids

My kids are crazily prolific crafters.  At any given moment, bits and pieces of half finished art projects could be covering at least 2/3 of my not-so-huge New York City apartment.

I buy construction paper by the ream, glue and tape in multi-packs and googly eyes in numbers that I don’t even want to think about.

That’s one of the many reasons that it’s nice when my kids decide to use things like empty egg cartons, wire coat hangers and toilet paper rolls to create some of their masterpieces–it saves money, gives them another outlet with which to be creative and leaves and opening for a good lesson about recycling and saving the earth.


Creative Galaxy: Interactive, Artistic Fun from Amazon Prime Instant Video

For me, screen time for my kids is a guilty pleasure…for me.  In a perfect world, I would be on task all of the time–the happy smiling mom with a list of fun projects for us all to do together.  And, a lot of the time, I am that mom.  Sometimes, however, even Super Mom (which I do not purport to be) needs a break.

The trick is to balance the need for a few moments of peace and quiet (which screen time almost always provides) with really good content.  I was excited to view a few episodes of  Creative Galaxy with my kids, because I really think that this series provides both. This new series, created and produced by Angela Santomero (of Blue’s Clues and Super Why fame) follows Arty, a creative preschool alien, as he, together with his family and his shape shifting pet, Epiphany, travels through a universe of Art-related planets and craftily fix problems in his life with art.