Marilisa Sachteleben

Marilisa Sachteleben

A 25-year educator (K-8, EI, CI), mom of 4 and 10-year homeschool vet, Marilisa writes for parents and teachers on education topics from autism to zoology. She s taught preschool to adult ed and specializes in hands-on, individualized, higher-order thinking lesson design. Her teacher bio covers Montessori, psychology, creative writing, history, ADHD, LD, communication, ESL, ABE. She s got a heart for special needs and transitional students, reluctant learners and at-risk kids. A manic blogger, her sites speak to a diverse audience.

From her psychology degree, crisis counseling experience and personal history, Mar writes on mental and emotional health, addiction, codependency and recovery. A relationships mentor with her husband of 25 years, Mar pens dating advice and marriage glue recipes.

She s also a mommying geek, advising across the parenting spectrum--from nursing babies to teens to adult kids.

A thrifty diy-er, Mar shares home-management, $-saving and living large-for-less tips. She and her husband paid off $20K in debt & stay debt-free in economically challenged Michigan. They re remodeling a 100+ year old home from the landscape up.
From her popular Great Food 4U blog, this domestic goddess writes on nutrition, world cooking, religious diets, healthy eating and vegetarian/vegan diets. She writes on practical health wisdom from a school-of-experience degree as Mama Doc.

Mar s published on Yahoo! News, Shine, Homes, Helium Marketplace SEED, AT&T, Diabetes Active, Mapquest, Best Contractors, How to Do Things, Gather, Life Tips.

Mar s directed youth theater director, written plays and volunteers in social justice issues. A Catholic Transcendentalist, Mar shares about it on her Catholic Activities blog. Her current projects include children s fiction series, an emotional health primer, a Gothic paranormal-travel anthology and a Michigan history-mystery series.


Mar brings joie de vivre, compassion and passion to all her work.
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  • Free Printable Easter Bunny Crafts for Preschool
    Easter is probably the most quintessentially preschool holiday of all. Baskets, candy, egg decorating, bunnies, baby animals, spring--for young and young at heart, here are free printable Easter bunny, Peter Rabbit, Velveteen Rabbit crafts.
  • Skills and Tools Parents Need for Raising Teenagers
    Teenagers are naturally manic-depressive. On one side are raging hormones, mercurial emotions, sassy mouths and self-centered behavior. On the other, charm, wit and intense passion. Here's what parents need to survive the tempestuous teens.
  • Inexpensive Candy Alternative Easter Basket Ideas for Little Girls
    I was the original minimalist mama--natural, sustainable, DIY, frugal, recycled, holistic. On holidays, I made gifts and avoided the candy blowouts. Here are candy alternative Easter basket ideas I've used for our daughters.
  • Healthy Easter Snack and Treat Recipes
    Ever notice how holidays seem to involve more candy? One in three kids is overweight or obese so maybe that's not good? I've lost 96 pounds by substituting sweets with healthy alternatives. Here are healthy Easter snack and treat recipes.
  • Free Printable Easter Baskets and Homemade Gift Baskets
    Parents, do you get tired of holiday spending? There's no need to buy lavish Easter baskets. That’s just a marketing ploy. You can make your own just as nice and save a lot of money. Use free printable Easter baskets and make personalized ones.
  • For a Multitasking Foundation and Moisturizer, Try BB Cream
    Does your makeup shelf resemble an apothecary--a product jumble--moisturizer, blemish cover, foundation, sunscreen, bronzer. Age, hormonal cycle, season changes complicate. How about one product that does it all: Aveeno Clear Complexion Beauty Balm.
  • Easy, Edible and Eco-Friendly Easter Bunny-Themed Crafts
    Spring is in the air! Time for Easter crafts: baskets, baby animals and best of all, bunnies! Looking for cute Easter bunny-themed crafts to make? Here are three easy, ultra-cute projects for ages 2 to 102. (don't forget seniors. They love crafts too.)
  • Lowfat, Low Sodium Gluten-Free Thai Recipes, Fast and Simple
    I love Indian and Asian cuisine. I'm also trying to lose weight, so I look for ways to tweak recipes. I sub foods to cut calories, sodium, gluten, fat and sugar, while boosting fiber, vegetables and protein. Here are three of my favorite Thai recipes.
  • Hurrah, Hurrah for Detroit Tigers Opening Day
    Pranksters may anticipate April Fool's Day, but buzz here is Detroit Tigers Opening Day, March 31. And that's no joke, especially for winter-beleaguered locals. Mother Nature is blessing Michigan with the first mid-to-high 50s temps in months.
  • Save Green, Live Green, Spring Cleaning and Safety Checks
    Living green has several components: cutting costs, making eco-friendly choices and improving quality of life. You can hit all three with these spring cleaning tips. Freshen your home, save money and possibly lives with these safety check-up/clean-ups.
  • How I Shed 96 Pounds, 10 BMI Points and 8 Sizes
    I lost two stillborn babies, started the antidepressant Paxil and put on 100 pounds. I dieted with little success, then began a working plan, lost 96 pounds, dropped eight sizes (20 to 4), shed most excess body fat and got my BMI from 34 to 24.7.
  • Myths About Children With Down Syndrome Plus Caregiver Tips
    I'm certified to teach CI (cognitive impairment) special education. CI includes Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21, also called mental retardation and developmentally disabled). There are myths about Down Syndrome that need dispelling. I am going to do that.
  • Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Fiesta With Latino-Inspired Games, Crafts, Food
    Cinco de Mayo--"fifth of May" in Spanish--celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Pueblo. My Latino friends tell me Cinco de Mayo isn't as big in Mexico as in the U.S. Here's are kid-friendly Cinco de Mayo games, crafts, lesson plans, food.
  • Catholic Lenten Fasting Ideas for Children
    Ash Wednesday began the penitential season of Lent. During this 40-day period, Catholics follow Christ’s temptation, passion, death and resurrection at Easter. During Lent we fast in imitation of Christ. Here are tips to teach kids why and how to fast.
  • Green, Kid-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips for Vehicle Interiors
    Ah, spring--Mother Nature blesses us with sun, rain and...mud! Blanketed under snow and ice all winter, makes car cleaning virtually impossible. By spring, the vehicle interior is trashed. Here are cheap, easy, green spring cleaning the vehicle interior.
  • Affordable Personal Care Products Teen Boys Love
    I taught middle school and raised four kids. So I speak fluent teen. When we think cosmetics, we tend to think of girls. But boys are concerned about hygiene too. Here are seven personal care products teenage guys love.
  • Teach Kids Good Hygiene, Tactfully, Proactively, Supportively
    Does your child have that not-so-fresh smell? Time for the H-word (hygiene) talk. An awkward subject, but one kids need to hear about. Here are tips to teach personal cleanliness tactfully, sensitively and proactively. I use the B4 plan--tell him nicely.
  • Teach Kids Generosity With Lenten Almsgiving Activities, Donations
    Catholics around the world enter into the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. From now till Easter, we practice the lenten virtues of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We give up things in imitation of Jesus's temptation in the desert.
  • Michelle Obama Touts Vegetables, 30 Kid-Pleasing Veggie Recipes
    Veggies are enjoying vogue thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama’s vegetable dance, reports ABC News. Critics may fault-find, but children like it. Mrs. Obama’s “Let's Move’” campaign targets kids, but we could all benefit. Here are 30 vegetable recipes.
  • Art Imitates Childhood: Hands-On, Creative Kids' Art Activities
    Kids need art like plants need sun. In fact, art imitates childhood, when it grows organically and isn’t manufactured. I had a sad art experience at eight. A teacher publicly criticized my piece. Art should be free, open-ended, non-imitative.
  • Preschool Animal Alphabet Themed Snacks From A-Z
    Teachers, want to make ABCs fun? Here’s a month-long menu of alphabet-themed snacks. Use these for interactive reading lesson plans.
  • Disney's 'Frozen' Party Treat Recipes, Winter-Themed Snacks for Kids
    If you see one movie this winter, make it “Frozen.” It’s arctic adventure like Hans Christian Andersen’s “Fairy Snow Queen.” Disney’s Frozen is a perfect theme for a winter birthday or just-because party. Here’s a menu of Frozen-inspired snacks kids wil
  • Extend Winter Olympics: Easy Snow Games and Sports for Kids
    Raise your hand if you’ve had it with winter. You parents and teachers must be especially fed up. Here's a winter blues buster: throw a snowtastic party. Celebrate the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and extend the fun with your own game variations.
  • How I Lost 93 Pounds With Little Diet Changes
    I've lost 93 pounds. I put on 100 pounds after losing two stillborn babies and taking antidepressants. People ask how I did it and I say not in big, invasive ways (surgery, drugs) but with little habit changes.
  • Free Black History Month Literature Guides, Lesson Plans, Worksheets
    Black History Month is observed in February in the U.S. Schools usually offer special programming and lessons on issues and events that are significant to African Americans. Here are free printable activities to explore Black History month.
  • Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics XXII Family-Friendly Party Ideas
    Sochi, Russia is the place to be for the 2014 Winter Olympics XXII games. If you can't be there, why bring the games to you? Host a viewing party with this easy, inexpensive family-friendly game plan. Includes decorations, printables and food ideas.
  • Celebrate the 2014 Chinese New Year With Kids
    Teach social studies by exploring world cultural celebrations. The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, begins the end of January or early February on the western calendar. CNY Year of the Horse starts on January 31 in 2014. Here's a kids' activity guide
  • Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics XXII Printables, Lessons on Russia
    Gearing up for the XXII Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, Russia? February 7-23 is going to be an exciting time!
  • For Black History Month, Learn Jim Crow Lessons From Rosa Parks' Bus Seat
    Complaints about why there's a Black History Month infuriate me. I've always felt intense solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized. But recently, I experienced it in a new way. I sat in Rosa Parks' bus seat.
  • Free Disney Printables from Family Fun New Site Spoonful
    Family Fun magazine powered the Family Fun website and provided free printable Disney crafts. Now Family Fun and Disney have a new website, bigger and better website, Spoonful. Go there for printable Disney and holiday party kits, activities, games.
  • "Blackfish" SeaWorld Killer Orca Whale Tilikum Steals Show
    Sundance film "Blackfish" is stealing the show, says CNN. Blackfish exposes SeaWorld's dark past and explores the story behind Tilikum, SeaWorld's killer orca whale. Blackfish was number one in cable news and highest-rated on CNN Films.
  • Once a Week Cooking Recipes for Economical, Healthy 2 for 1 Meals
    I am a Domestic Goddess Mama. My domain is kitchen efficiency and cost-cutting. I am Empress of Living Simple, Tsarina of Multitasking, Duchess of DIY, Baroness of Budgeting. Here's a once-a-week cooking menu of economical, efficient 2-for-1 meals.
  • Preschool Apple Unit, Cross-Curricular Hands-on Crafts, Activities, Recipes
    Apples are the perfect fall theme. Here's an interactive, cross-curricular apple unit with crafts, recipes, food activities, ideas, science, art, creative writing, math, social studies, practical life, field trip. Free printable apple lesson plans too.
  • Detroit Fire-Breathing Dragon Wows ArtPrize 2013 Patrons
    ArtPrize is a huge, outdoor, public-juried art show in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Artists come from all over to compete for $560,000 in prize money. And this year, the belle of the ball is a fire-breathing dragon, Gon KiRin, born in Detroit.
  • Fat Burners, Diet Supplements that Helped Me Lose 85 Pounds
    I never had a weight problem. Then health issues, stillborn babies, depression and antidepressants caused me to gain over 110 pounds. I've taken off 85 pounds and dropped 5-6 sizes without drugs or surgery. I cut calories and use these diet supplements.
  • Involve Kids in Home Maintenance, Repairs--Teach Self-Reliance
    We're minimalist parents and homeschooled our four children in a small mobile then an old fixer-upper house. Home maintenance and repair was integral to our homeschooling. I taught practical skills interactively. Now our kids are self-reliant, productive.
  • Dangerous Myths About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    I was diagnosed with OSA--Obstructive Sleep Apnea-- in 2010. I began sleeping with a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) breathing machine. I've found a lot of mythson apnea. Here's the correct information.
  • Superheroes Coming to Detroit, Thanks to Film Tax Credits
    Batman, Superman, and Optimus Prime take to the streets of Detroit. In film, anyway. Some blockbuster movies are being shot in the Motor City. Movie producers are starting to take Michigan, specifically Detroit, seriously thanks state film tax
  • Best Ad Revenue Sites to Earn Income, Monitize Blogs
    Google Adsense, Chitika, Bubblews and Infolinks all earn ad revenue. Here's how I use all four to earn sustainable income--as in enough to pay taxes on and qualify as a home business- writing online and blogging.
  • Interactive Affective Activities, Anti-Bullying Lesson Plans
    Bullying is a social blight that can cause dangerous emotional health repercussions. From 25 years teaching and psychology degree, I've write lesson plans to raise awareness on bullying danger. Here's an interactive anti-bullying lesson plan.
  • How I Lost 82 Pounds, Dropped 6 Sizes Without Surgery, Drugs
    I gained over 105 pounds after losing two stillborn babies. I started dieting in 2011 and got serious about weight loss in fall, 2012. I've since lost 82 pounds and dropped six sizes without surgery, drugs or support groups.
  • Back-to-School Early Bedtime Transition Tips for Kids
    Though most parents and kids prefer school structure, it's that summer-to-fall schedule transitioning that's hard. Here are ways to move into an earlier-to-bed routine. The secret is controlling what happens in that time before bed.
  • Appliance Cleanups to Lower Energy Use, Save Money
    We discovered a little disconnect causing big problems with our air conditioner. Maintenance was just cleaning something overlooked. Energy and money were wasted. Save money and energy, improve appliance performance with these simple cleanups.
  • Board Questions Duggan's Write-In Votes in Detroit Mayoral Primary
    Detroit politics have been back and forth, particularly in the 2013 mayoral election arena. Legal battles over candidate residence, candidates dropped then written in -- if you're confused about what's going on, small wonder.
  • Rainy Day Recycle Bin Crafts for Kids--Homemade Hats
    Got rainy-day, can’t go out to play bored kids? If you need a fun fix fast, I’m your go-to gal. My ideas cheap, easy and parent-friendly. Your recycle bin is your best ally. Today’s boredom first-aid: homemade hats. With Halloween costumes
  • Technology-Free Family--Why We Raised Kids Without Television
    I chuckle remembering my husband's and my early parenting--so radical it hurt. In the ultra-conventional 80s, nonconformity wasn't in vogue. We were early hipsters. One big concern was TV and kids. We had no television when children were young.
  • How to Succeed in Business--Say Customer Names Correctly
    Looking to start your own business or expand an existing one? Perhaps you’re in sales or customer relations? Maybe you work in human or social services. If you work with people, in any capacity, here’s how to improve your image. Learn to pronounce names.
  • Teach Kids Christmas Gratitude, Not Greed--And Save Money!
    Picture Christmas morning--shiny-eyed children happily enjoying their presents. Unfortunately, reality is more like greedy ingrates crying over gifts. Experts blame parents. Here are tips to curb Christmas gimmes, teach gratitude and save money.
  • Tightwad Mama's Common Sense Christmas Shopping Tips
    I have a long shopping list of people to buy for at Christmas. I’m also a tightwad mama, by necessity and choice. Here are penny pincher shopping tips to save money, keep costs low and buy meaningful gifts for everyone.
  • Meijer Stores Hiring for 9,000 New Jobs, Half in Michigan
    Happy news on two fronts for Detroit: a first-ever Meijer in the city limits of Detroit and hundreds of new jobs for metro Detroit residents. Superstore chain Meijer will be hiring for 9,000 new jobs in the next few months, half in Michigan.
  • Detroit EM Orr Hires DIA Art Appraisals
    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr restarted discussion on Detroit Institute of Arts valuations. The city is operating in deep deficit and owes $18 billion in debt.He hired international art auction house, Christie's Appraisals, to valuate the DIA's coll
  • Air Conditioner Concerns--Is Too Much Cool Healthy?
    When I was a kid, few people had air conditioners. Businesses sometimes did, but most just cooled summer heat with fans. Few cars were air conditioned. Now central air conditioning is the US standard. But too much cool can be dangerous.
  • Art or Tagging? Detroit Gets Graffiti Makeover
    We've heard the stories of ruin in Detroit till they're coming out of our ears. From the Motown moniker, "blight belt" seems to be the new nickname. But one thing about urban decay -- it makes a great backdrop for graffiti, a superb canvas for tag art.
  • Highland Park, MI, Residents Protest Disposal of Black History Collection
    A valuable collection of books and media on black history was found in a dumpster near a school in Highland Park, Michigan.
  • Free History Activities, Games, Printables, Crafts- Colonial America
    I've been a teacher for 25 years and homeschooled for 10. My specialty is history and making it real for kids. I teach a 1700s-era dame school for kids at our local history museum. Here's a hands-on history craft kids will love: stick pencils.
  • 1915 Message in a Bottle Surfaces in Detroit
    Growing up near one of Michigan's five Great Lakes, a favorite childhood summer pastime was sending messages via bottle. Two other Michigan girls had the same idea almost 100 years ago. Their message in a bottle turned up in Detroit.
  • Greening Detroit: Community Programs Focus on Kids
    Emergency manager Kevyn Orr identified blight cleanup as integral to city improvement in his recent City of Detroit Proposal to Creditors. Locals are using urban gardening to teach inner-city kids community, health, nutrition, enterprise, arts and culture
  • Summer Educational, Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Detroit Students
    School's winding down and soon Detroit kids will be out enjoying summer vacation. Parents, are you looking for activities to keep content fresh and extend lessons during the summer? Check out these educational, entrepreneurial and community activities.
  • Renewal and Community in Detroit's Brightmoor Neighborhood
    Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood has a reputation for being crime-ridden and dangerous. But things are changing in Brightmoor, thanks to four C's: community, children, care, and chutzpah.
  • Court of Appeals Finds Mike Duggan Ineligible to Run for Detroit Mayor
    Mike Duggan, one of Detroit's two top mayoral contenders, was ruled ineligible to run on the August 6 primary ballot. Duggan appealed that decision, and the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the earlier decision today. Residency is the reason for removal.
  • Pulte Nonprofit Eyes Federal Funds for Detroit Blight Removal
    "Pulte" and "homes" have been a Michigan connection for over six decades--the building of houses, that is. But family scion Bill Pulte, 25, is going the other way. His Detroit Blight Authority is tearing down urban ruin.
  • Detroit Emergency Manager Orr Enters Loan Repayment Negotiations
    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr entered negotiations with city creditors on Friday, the likes of which may never have been seen before.
  • First Person: I Regret Our Fixer-Upper House Purchase
    My baby boomer husband and I, the quintessential tightwads, spent the first half of our marriage, through four kids, in a mobile home. We bought our first house in 2000 for $54,000. It was old and damaged. We regret cutting ourselves too short on this h
  • Michigan Attorney General Says No to DIA Art Sale
    Detroit has been buzzing over emergency manager Kevyn Orr's consideration of liquidating parts of the Detroit Institute of Arts collection to pay off city debt. State Attorney General Bill Schuette weighed in against the art sale.
    Also published on:
  • Michigan to Spend $100M of Housing Grant to De-Blight Detroit
    To appreciate Detroit, you have to understand her many incarnations, from river fortress to auto industry princess and now to queen of urban blight. Thanks to $100 million from the federal Hardest Hit Fund, demolitions will clean up the Motor City.
  • Our floor-to-ceiling DIY kitchen makeover for $990
    Our house is over 100 years old. It's been a rental and has seen a plethora of crazy cobble jobs. When we bought it in 2000, everything needed upgrading, repair or remodel. Being frugal, we're still working to budget. Here's how we did a kitchen makeover.
    Also published on:
  • Homemade, Recycle Bin Shoe Box Dioramas, Miniatures, Props
    It's 8 pm and darling daughter is wailing. She forgot to make her school diorama project due TOMORROW! Here's a guide to homemade shoe box dioramas for any content area. All you need is a recycle bin, craft scraps, household junk and a little ingenuity.
  • Hands-On Homemade Reading Crafts, Book Activities, Literature Games
    Homeschoolers, need cheap, homemade language arts lesson plans? Special needs teachers, want interactive reading games? Here are hands-on reading activities for preschool to high school. Use cheap, recycled materials. Based on Higher-Order Thinking Skills
  • Outdoor Summer Life Science Activities, Biology Nature Crafts
    Life science, or biology, is an essential school subject. But kids often hate science because it's taught from boring textbooks in meaningless paper-and-pencil activities. Rediscover the inherent fascination of life science this summer with hands-on craft
  • Homemade Preschool Dramatic Play Animal Costumes, Habitats
    Dramatic play develops preschool social, emotional, artistic, creative and communication skills. Plays lend themselves to all content. Here are homemade costumes, props and settings for life science theater. Use recycled materials to teach green.
  • Free Printable Super Why Coloring Pages, Reading Worksheets, Games
    Super WHY! is an animated PBS preschool learning cartoon for kids ages 3-6. It teaches children language arts: reading, writing, spelling and word skills. Use these free printable Super Why lesson plans, games, crafts, coloring pages, worksheets.
  • Free Summer Reading Activities, Book Crafts, Literature Response Lessons
    Summertime and da livin' is easy! Kids rejoice when released from school for vacation. But what about learning lags from too much time away from books? Here are free reading activities, book-based crafts and literature response lessons.
  • Detroit's New Whole Foods Market Gets Mixed Reviews
    Mighty food giant Whole Foods Market opened its doors in Detroit at 115 Mack Ave. on June 5, says the Detroit News. The city, called a "food desert" for its lack of access to fresh food markets, now offers locals more food choices.
  • Kids Should Play as Much as Read During Summer Vacation
    There's a lot of talk about kids reading during summer vacation. Speaking from 25 years teaching, I say what kids need to do in summer is play, maybe even more than read. I know, you're thinking: heretic! I advocate reading but only as part of a balanced
  • 'Searching for Sugar Man' Sixto Rodriguez and Celebrating Him in Detroit
    Imagine being an A-lister in one country and unknown at home. Imagine being unaware you were iconic overseas while you struggled at low-paying jobs. That's '70s Detroit folksinger Sixto Rodriguez's story, told in "Searching for Sugar Man."
  • Free Summer Reading Activities, Literature Games, Printable Book Crafts
    Summer vacation means three months away from school. For kids, that's good news--for parents and teachers, it's a concern. Will students lose learning ground? Not with these free summer reading activities, free printable literature games, book crafts.
  • Jack White Rescues Detroit Masonic Temple From Foreclosure
    There's plenty of sad news from Detroit these days. Then, a happy story appears. Today's upswing: no foreclosure for the mighty music monolith, the Detroit Masonic Temple.
  • Cheap, Homemade, Father's Day Gift Crafts Any-Age Kid Can Make
    We homeschooled four kids in a mobile home living on one income. So I'm DIY, frugalista, recycle mama. I'm also a special needs Montessori teacher. My mantra is "hands-on, child-centered." Here are cheap, homemade, kid-friendly Father's Day crafts.
  • Drug-Free Anti-Anxiety Tips, Self-Help for Panic Attacks, Fear
    I sought treatment for what I thought it was depression in 1999. Therapy and self-help reading showed I was experiencing panic attacks. I realize I've struggled with anxiety and fear all my life. Anti-anxiety drugs didn't help. Here are drugfree tips.
  • Dad-Pleasing Father's Day Menus, Mens' Favorite Recipes
    At the risk of gender profiling, I've got to say that women and men don't like the same foods (usually). Gals can subsist on tofu and sprouts. Guys can't. Here's a Father's Day PSA--feed dad what he likes. Use these man-pleasing recipes.
  • Breaking Enabler, Codependent Behavior with Expectation Resets
    Do you struggle with overwork, over-commitment and too much expectation? Are you the first to volunteer and the last to leave? Do you say "yes" to when you mean no? You might be an enabler. Here are tips from long-term enablers on breaking habits.
  • Teen-Themed Summer Activities, Venues in Detroit
    There's a lot of fun for families in Detroit this summer. But what if you have teens? Most adolescents would rather have a root canal than do "kiddie" activities. Happily, there's teen-themed fun in the Motor City, too.
  • Family Fun in Detroit for June 2013
    As the 2012-2013 school year winds to a close, families will be looking for summer fun activities in Detroit. June is jam-packed with culture, history, art, technology, music events. Here's a rundown of free or cheap activities.
  • Neighborhood Clean-Up Community Events in Detroit
    Stories of communities working together to create better living spaces abound in Detroit.
  • Cheap Summer Family Fun Ideas from Tightwad Mama
    We raised and four kids in an 800-square-foot mobile home. We were solvent and debt-free on one income while I homeschooled. I know about pinching pennies and cheap family fun. Here are tightwad mama's tips to stretch your summer fun buck.
  • Detroit-Area Billboard Seeks Kidney Donation for Grandma
    The wait list to get a new kidney is estimated at five to 10 years. So what do you do if you need a donation? Jerry Millen, of Hartland Township, Michigan, is asking via billboard for a kidney for his mother, Virginia Millen.
  • 'Detropia' Film Explores Detroit's Fall and Possible Comeback
    On Monday, May 27, PBS Independent Lens airs an important film, "Detropia," that explores the crisis in Detroit.
  • Budget Fashionista's Cheap, Under-$170 Clothing Wardrobe Makeover
    I've taken off 73 pounds, dropped three blouse sizes and four pants sizes. I had to purge my wardrobe, but since I still plan to lose, I'm keeping my clothing reoutfit cheap. Here's my under $170 fashion upgrade.
  • Detroit Mower Gang Reclaiming Abandoned City Parks
    A community group, the Detroit Mower Gang, is taking their urban renewal campaign to Detroit's parks. The group's Motown Mowdown event this Saturday, May 25, will be a 24-hour marathon of freshening up closed and disused city parks.
  • Breaking Hurtful Relationships Habits: Taking Partners for Granted
    We're going into our 26th year of marriage. It hasn't always been easy. We still struggle with relationship glitches. Most of them are based on bad habits that damage relationships in big ways. Happily, they're relatively easy to break if you'll try.
  • Healing Relationship Communication Barriers with Constructive Arguing
    Arguing in relationships? That can't be right! That's not communicating, just fighting! That depends on how you argue--what you say, how you say it, what your purpose is. WebMD quotes psychologist Susan Silverman who advocates "constructive arguing."
  • Summer Multitasking Tips for Parents: Go Minimalist
    A friend and I were recently bemoaning how we missed little kids and summer fun. Lazy beach-day picnics, backyard potlucks, campfires and sleepovers. Here are our multitasking tips to enjoy summer, learned from the experts--our kids.
  • Memorial Day Picnic Foods, Holiday BBQ, Grill Recipes for Dieters
    I've been dieting since last fall. It was easier in winter. But summer is my nemesis. 4th of July BBQs, beach picnics, holiday grilling, Memorial Day parties spell diet disaster. Here are diet grill recipes, low calorie picnic foods and summer party tips
  • Teaching Hands-On Recycling, Earth-Friendly Habits in Classroom
    Ecology and sustainable green living are two important habits schools should teach. Unfortunately, science classes often focus on boring, paper-and-pencil lessons (anything but eco-friendly!) Here are ways to weave recycling into classroom lessons.
  • Teaching Math with Pizza: Numbers, Operations, Fractions, Ratios, Proportions
    In special education training, we learned to make content approachable by making it hands-on and multisensory. Activities with food are ideal. Here are math lessons using pizza, for kids in preschool to middle school.
  • Easy, Inexpensive Dad-Centered Kid-Friendly Father's Day Party
    It might sound odd to title a Father's Day party planner "dad-centered." Obviously it should be about dad. Unfortunately, parties aren't always geared to the person of honor. Here's a party dads will love. Being a frugalista mom, I focus on cheap, kid-fri
  • Patriotic Foods, Red-White-and-Blue Recipes for Memorial Day Parties
    I love party planning, particularly cheap, homemade ones. I'm not much for generic or commercial. Themed food improvs are my magnum opus. For Memorial Day, how about diy patriotic foods and red-white-and-blue recipes? Here's an appetizer to dessert menu.
  • Cheap Homemade Memorial Day Party Fun for Toddler to Grandparent
    Holiday party planning's easy dealing with one age group. Planning for young and old is more challenging. Here's a patriotic Memorial Day party--games, food, parade, activities, crafts--everyone from toddlers to senior will love.
  • Detroit Red Wings Super (Duper) Fan Defines Grand Obsession
    Lions and Tigers and Red Wings, oh my! There's an unspoken code (related to state citizenship) that Michiganders must fan those Detroit entities. I look to my superfan friend Jim Sommerfeldt for Red Wings lore. We chatted about his grand obsession
  • Using Food to Teach: Edible Learning Activities to Reinforce Content
    Special education, Montessori and adult education training frames my teaching. Every lesson I plan includes hands-on applications. Students see, touch, taste and smell content. Food is a good multi-sensory delivery method. I call it edible learning.
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