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Poets to the rescue!
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April is National Poetry Month, a celebration that could lift your spirits at such a trying time.  Social distancing and isolation have increased anxiety and boredom.  Those who are trying to entertain and teach school age children may want to check poets.org/national-poetry-month that features a treasure trove of free resources and activities, including a free poster, Dear Poet, Poem-a-Day, and the Shelter in Poems feel-good collection.  My personal favorite poetry resource is the DVD from the old HBO series Classical Baby: I’m Grown Up Now: The Poetry Show. The animated series features the voices of John Lithgow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Andy Garcia, Susan Sarandon and others reading poems by Frost, Shakespeare, Browning, et al.  It’s available from Amazon.

5 Feel Good Movies You May Not Know
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Featured Artist @trishalyonsart

Enjoy these 5 "feel good" movies you may not know that are low-stress and highly uplifting. What are your favorite "feel good" movies?

1. Far From the Madding Crowd

2. The Hundred-Foot Journey

3. Hotel For Dogs or read the book

4. Under the Tuscan Sun

5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

5 Healthy Snacks We're Obsessed With
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Who else loves a crunchy and healthy snack that's not boring like carrots or celery? Move over boring health foods, you do not bring me joy! Small changes like adding a few of these snacks are important and can make a big difference not only in how you feel physically, but mentally.

Here are 5 that we're obsessed with. Enjoy with your favorite hummus, guac, salsa or by themselves! What are some of your favorite healthy snacks that excite you?

1. Real Food From The Ground Up Cauliflower Stalks 

2. Real Food From The Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels

3. Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips

4. Popcorners Snacks Variety Pack

5. Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP Sea Salt Popcorn

Life on the Mississippi
Life on the Mississippi

Featured Artist @trishalyonsart

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain has been one of the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Book Club selection of the month. Guest author and historian Adam Hochschild calls Life on the Mississippi “one of the greatest non-fiction works ever.” 

Why is Twain’s travelogue so important? Hochschild points out that Life on the Mississippi is one of the few books about work. Twain goes into detail about the actual job of steamboat pilot as the book describes voyages on the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Minnesota. Hochschild adds: “When you are writing about an extraordinary, fascinating profession at the peak of its glory, you don’t have to make things up.”

Back to School
Blog 22 Back to School

Back-to-School shopping is the second-biggest retail season of the year. Local retailers have kids to thank for the back-to-school bonanza. Kids don’t trust mom and dad to order lunch boxes and T-shirts online.

The recently published Deloitte 2018 Back-to-School Survey forecasts the following:

Biggest Season Ever. Shoppers will spend $27.6 billion this year. The average household will spend $510, an increase from $501 in 2017.
Let’s Go to the Mall! Foot traffic rules! Kids are picky about their clothes and supplies. They want to try stuff on, buy what’s cool, and see and touch selections. 83% of back-to-school buying is done in person at department stores and office supply retailers.
Clothes Top the List. Most of the budget is spent on clothes, shoes, and accessories. $15.1 billion will be spent on new duds, an average of $286 per household.