Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hunger. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query hunger. Sort by date Show all posts

Hunger Action Month

Today I am going to remind you that September is Hunger Action Month. I have joined a group of amazing moms to try to fight hunger for children. Did you know that hunger affects 16.2 million American kids? Or that kids go to school hungry every day and in fact 3 in 5 teachers say they have students who come to school hungry every day in their class? Did you know that we are raising the largest generation of kids in hard times since the Great Depression? Did you know that just $1 can help connect a child to as many as 10 healthy meals? (Source: No Kid Hungry)
Stone Soup Plan
Now much of what we did for Hunger Action Month, we actually did in August in preparation. I e-mailed local public libraries and preschools with story time plans to start a food drive. I already shared all of this in August. I shared to ideas using the classic tale, Stone Soup and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. For the Stone Soup plans I used ideas from the story time food drive I helped organize at my library last year as well as a few ideas I found on-line and a memory game I made. The Very Hungry Caterpillar plan came from several blogs and things I found on-line. The original idea came from The Good Long Road.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Plan

The next thing we did was to host a canned food drive at Hazel's butterfly party. Between me cleaning out our cabinets and what Hazel's friends brought we had a very full bag of food for our local food pantry. When Hazel is older I am hoping to volunteer with her at the food pantry and the local soup kitchens.

I also would like to share some more books to help start the discussion of hunger with children. For the younger children a good short story about hunger is The Hungry Monster by Phyllis Root. This story is about an alien monster that lands on Earth and is very hungry. He tastes things he sees--a daisy, a rock,  a tree, and then he sees a girl who gives him her banana (instead of him eating her) and he finally finds something he likes to eat. The girl is a little disgusted since he eats the peel and all. It is a wonderful introduction to talk about people who do not have enough to eat or enough good food to eat. The Very Hungry Caterpillar will also work for this. An activity following this discussion could be going to the grocery store and buying some food for your local food pantry. Let your child pick out some nutritious canned food and then bring it to the food pantry together.

For older children I like Kids Against Hunger by Jon Mikkelsen. In this story two friends wonder why their soccer coach does not get upset when a teammate missing practice every Wednesday. They decide to follow him one Wednesday and discover he is volunteering for an organization called Kids Against Hunger. The teammate explains that when he was younger his family went through rough times when they did not have enough to eat and now he likes to help others in that situation. The boys want to help to and suggest that they ask the coach to move their Wednesday practice to Thursday so the whole team can volunteer. It is a nice story to show how kids can help by donating their time. And of course the obvious activity with this book would be to volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen. To find a food pantry in your area look here

Another easy thing to do is Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. There is still five days left to have a portion of your meal donated. Just click the link to see what local restaurants are offering near you.

So I hope you will join us in trying to end hunger throughout the world even if it is making a donation (food, money or time) to your local food pantry and/or soup kitchen. Also feel free to join us in this link party to share what you have done to end childhood hunger!

Teaching about Hunger--Young Children

As you know I have joined the group, Moms Fight Hunger, for National Hunger Month. Our goal is to help end childhood hunger. I have been struggling with ideas to make a difference and for ways to explain hunger to Hazel. Today I'm going to share with you a few of my solutions with more to come each week.

One thought I have had is about nutrition. I feel so lucky that I can buy my daughter and my family nutritious food. Often I even am lucky enough to buy organic produce and organic dairy products. It troubles me that the food that is best for you is also very expensive. A friend from middle and high school who currently lives in Germany commented on how expensive it is to buy good, nutritious food in the United States when she was here visiting. That is troubling, because for the people without as much money, it means they are often deciding between quality and quantity. Is it better to get a small amount of more nutritious food or enough food to fill you? I'm glad that is a question I have not had to personally decide on. 

My Plans and What You Can Do This Week:
This week I planned with the local library's children's librarian to hold a story hour well actually three (for different ages) about food and hunger (depending on age group) and ask each child to bring in a can (or more) of food for our local food pantry. Now the local librarian knows me and about my blog and is always helpful when choosing books for the Virtual Book Club for Kids and any other topic I can come up with. She already knew I was participating in Moms Fighting Hunger and was more than happy to help. We planned the story hours for the first week in October, so we will have plenty of time to advertise it and get the needed food. I also talked to the local newspaper editor this weekend about the possibility of doing it and he is on board to cover it for us.

What can you do to help? How about donating some canned food or boxed food to your local food pantry.

Helping Children Understand There Are Hungry People in the World:

Then I was telling Hazel a story the other day. Now some of the traditional fairy tales scare Hazel. For example, in Hansel and Gretel she becomes afraid of the witch. Well before I had Hazel I had entered a dollhouse competition and made a gingerbread dollhouse and changed the story of Hansel and Gretel a bit for my entry. I had made the witch a nice old woman who had lost her family due to a house fire. She went off the woods to live since all the people in the village stared at her and talked about her. They called her the witch. The only way she knew to make a house was to bake a gingerbread house so that is what she did. When Hansel and Gretel arrive she invites them in and feeds them and teach them to make gingerbread houses. 
Hansel and Gretel
Well I took this version and tweaked it a bit and told Hazel a story. You can download the story (it is two pages) at the following links.
Page 1                               Page 2

After reading the story to your child, have the conversation about helping others and that there are people hungry in the world and for that matter in your own town. Remember 1 in 5 kids are hungry!! We can put a stop to it if we all help!

What We Can Do Next Week:
September 17-22nd is Dine Out for No Kid Hungry Week. Please go check out what the offers are at your local restaurants and make plans to have dinner out with your family and/or friends. The more the better!! And tell all of your friends about it!! We need everyone so we can end hunger!!

Here is a flyer to hang around and advertise the week. You can also make your own to have the specific restaurants in your area listed as well.

Preparing for National Hunger Action Month

September is National Hunger Action Month. This year I thought I would get a head start. I am joining the amazing group of bloggers again called Moms Fighting Hunger. We are joining with No Kid Hungry to try to help combat childhood hunger in our local areas. Last year I challenged you my readers to join me in gathering food for local food pantries. Again I will extend this invitation to you. Last year I also helped plan a story time food drive at my local library, but since I got started late, it was in October. We used the theme of Stone Soup for it. This year I am starting earlier. I passed on Jen's from The Good Long Road idea of a food drive themed around The Very Hungry Caterpillar back in the spring, and we discussed doing a story time theme, but it hasn't happened. We are now thinking of doing some combination with the library's food drive around Thanksgiving. 

This year I wanted to do something bigger too. So I decided to gather emails for many local libraries and preschools and offer them the story time themes of Stone Soup and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I gathered craft ideas and story telling ideas for both on Pintetest boards: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board and Stone Soup Board. I also put together outlines for both story times with options of additional books, story telling props and crafts and activities. (You can click picture or caption to get the free downloads.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Set
I also did a generic flyer to advertise the story time with spots to fill in each places information (in red). The flyer is in Word, so it would be easy to change.  Here is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A big thank you to Vickie from Mrs. Plant's Press and Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy for allowing me to use their pictures on my outline.
Stone Soup Set

For Stone Soup, I used pictures from our story time last year on the outline and including a tutorial on making the story stones we used. Then I made a generic flyer again for this story time theme. Finally I made a set of memory cards to go with Stone Soup. The ones I printed, I forgot to center the page so you could print double, but I have fixed it in the printable.

I figured it would be a fun activity and also an easy take-home activity. I have not found as much on Stone Soup as I did The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I wanted to add some more to it.

I then sent these as attachments to the local libraries and preschools. Above is the e-mail I sent out. I am sharing all of these in hopes that others will want to use them. Either to send out to local libraries in your area or to plan your own story time food drive. 

The next thing we are doing for Hunger Action Month includes our long talked about butterfly party. Hazel made up a Butterfly party song she sang at the library yesterday while playing her ukulele. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn the picture with the software it was in. We sent out our invitation to the party asking people to bring fruit for a fruit salad and a can of fruit or vegetable for the local food pantry.
I included the video in the invitation and somehow my clip art did not show up. Oh, well. Hazel is so excited for it. I will post more as we get towards it.

So that is what we are doing for Hunger Action Month. Will you join us and get the word out to help our hungry children? After all, one in five American children are from a family who struggles to get enough food on the table. In a country as great as the United States, I think we can do better for our children.

Virtual Book Club for Kids--Lois Ehlert

Just a reminder that Sharing Saturday is still open! Share your CHILD-oriented crafts and activities with us! And I have a great GIVEAWAY going on for you to enter! Our multicultural post will be shared later in the week due to the Book Club for Kids!

The Virtual Book Club for Kids is a wonderful group of blogs that choose an author each month and share an activity and/or craft to go with a book by that author. Then we host a blog hop so you can share as well. The blogs hosting this great time are:

This month the author  is Lois Ehlert. This week we are sharing about Growing Vegetable Soup. I will start by saying I chose this book because of the many things we could share with the Moms Fighting Hunger Group. So yes, I'm sort of double dipping here.

For those that do not know, September is National Hunger Month here in the United States. A group of bloggers, moms, dads, anyone have joined together to help fight hunger and help advertise No Kid Hungry campaign of Share Our Strength. And this week is their Dine Out for No Kid Hungry where restaurants across the U.S.A. have special events going on to donate money to the campaign. For participating restaurants near you check out the map here.

So now onto our book and activities. This book is literally about a family planting, taking care of and harvesting vegetables and then making soup. Very simple premise. So for our first activity, we planted plants and seeds. However we did not do so well on the taking care of the garden aspect. However Hazel did plant some seeds and plants with my father in his garden since we did not have enough space in ours for everything she wanted to grow. He did a great job of taking care of it, so we harvested some of his vegetables for our soup. Then my mother and I went to the local produce place and bought the rest of what we needed. In the gardening pictures you can see green peppers, Swiss chard, tomato, cabbage and celery.

 We came home and made vegetable soup with all of our ingredients. Now at Cape Cod the temperatures had been just around 70 if not lower, but when we got home it was 80. Not my ideal soup weather, but Hazel had it in her head and really wanted to make it and I knew this is what I wanted to do for this post.
Hazel helped me chop the vegetables. She chopped the zucchini, green beans, and carrots. I chopped the potatoes, celery, pepper, tomatoes, corn (off the cob), onion, garlic, and broccoli. Since we are not big cabbage fans, we did not put it in. We threw everything (except the corn and frozen peas) into our big soup pot and added a few quarts of vegetable stock and a bit of spices (rosemary and thyme) and let it cook. I had to go out around dinner time and left instructions with Steve to add the corn and peas about 10 minutes before eating. When I came home he was microwaving the corn and peas. He didn't quite get what I meant. Oh, well. The soup was yummy!! Oh, we also did put a little ground turkey breast in just to give us some more protein. Then I got to thinking about the nutrition of food that the hungry eat. Since it is so hard to buy nutritious food for small amounts of money, wouldn't it be great to give vegetable soup or its makings to a food pantry or soup kitchen. The next time I was at the grocery store I bought some cans of soup and some cans of vegetables (now personally I don't like most canned vegetables, but at least they would be nutritious and not spoil) and another quart of the vegetable stock. I am going to donate all of it to the food pantry in my town. I'm also going to ask you to go buy a can of vegetable soup or of a vegetable and donate it to your local food pantry or organization that feeds the hungry in your area. I hope you will join me in this fight of hunger in our local towns!!

On a side note, I would like to share something my Weight Watcher leader told me. I asked her to advertise the Dine Out campaign and she told me that some of her members teach in a local school system (a city next to our town) and they have seen kids digging through the trash at the end of lunch to have food to bring home for after school. It is so sad and heartbreaking. We are all so worried about the third world countries we seem to forget about the hungry in our neighborhoods.

Now my next thought was where do I want to donate this food. My church is always collecting food for an organization called Haven From Hunger. But I wanted to do something besides just drop off the two bags of cans I bought. I got to thinking and went to my local library. Now the children's librarian knows Hazel and me well. I asked her if we could organize a can drive story time where she picks books about hunger and/or food (depending on age appropriateness) and advertise that the children must bring a can of food to attend. She jumped right on board with me as long as we could postpone it to the first week in October since her September calendar was already set and we could advertise better for October. Now every Tuesday she has two scheduled story times, a 2-year-old one and a 3-5-year-old one. She added for October 2 an afterschool one to get older kids and kids who may be busy during the day. So she is going to plan three story times and ask for cans for our local food pantry in our town. This is where I'm going to donate my cans and I will take all that she collects to the local food pantry. Plus I spoke to the local newspaper editor about advertising it for us and he told me to call when we have it all set because he is happy to do it.

So I was trying to think how I could help even more with the story times and was thinking about stories for the younger kids. I thought of Stone Soup. I mentioned it to the librarian and then volunteered to make ingredient stones (like my story stones) for the story time. She can give each child a stone and have a big pot so they can participate in the story.

This idea also works with Growing Vegetable Soup. You just would need vegetable stickers or to paint your vegetables. Then the child could make vegetable soup with his/her stones. Now I am not a very good painter, so I used stickers. It took me forever to find vegetable stickers, but I found some at AC Moore. I stuck them onto rocks and Mod Podge over them to seal them. For the ingredients in the book and not on the stickers, I did my best to paint a picture of them and also wrote the name on the rock. Then sealed them. I know the kids will love this activity with the story time. Plus it is s a fun way to play with vegetables and nutritious food!

Now it is your turn to share!! If you have a new or old post about an activity to do with a Lois Ehlert book, please share below and grab the button and code if you would like to help us advertise! (FYI, the blog hop goes live at midnight!!) Also please make sure you visit the other blogs that are hosting to see what they have created with the various Lois Ehlert books! (Plus next Monday we will share another project to go with a different book!)


Fighting Hunger

How do you know when you are hungry? I have sat through many Weight Watchers Meetings listening to this discussion of the answer to that question. How do you know when you are really hungry versus something else like emotional eating, boredom or habit? Do you ever have that problem? The answers usually are things like stomach rumbling, easily agitated, its been awhile since you ate, fatigue. Try to imagine your hungriest time and how you felt. Now imagine feeling that way most of the time. How would your life change? 

The High School Youth Group at my church does a 30-Hour Famine every spring. These high school students go for thirty hours without eating. They first start with a nice large breakfast and then go to school for a Friday. Then they return to the church and sleepover. On Saturday they usually do some sort of service project and then end the fast with Communion and a meal. Now you may ask yourself why a group of teenagers would go thirty hours without eating. It is to raise money for World Vision to help feed the hungry around the world.

As I was thinking about this post, I started thinking about the 30-Hour Famine. I actually just messaged one of the students who did this 30-Hour Famine all four years of her high school career (she is now in college) and was lucky enough to get one of the positions to visit a country where World Vision works to see how the money raised was helping. I first asked her for her first feelings on the 30-Hour Famine. She said, "You feel empowered, like you are making a difference in the lives of children you may never be able to reach otherwise." Then I asked her specifically about the hungry feeling. She responded, "Of course you lose focus and it makes the school day seem like ten times longer."

Next I started looking at the statistics. According to data released on September 5, 2012 by the Department of Agriculture, last year more than 16 million kids struggled with hunger in America that is equal 1 in every 5 children. (Source) Also, 62% of American teachers say they regularly see kids who come to school hungry because they are not getting enough food at home. (Source)

As a former public school teacher this statistic saddens me and scares me. I know what the lack of focus can do to a student as well as to a class. If the child is not getting fed enough, their ability is down and they will be less likely to succeed in school and thus less likely to be able to support and feed their family in the future. But what saddens me further is there is enough food for everyone in the world. Our society/world is not getting it to the people who need it. I am sure we all remember hearing about the starving people in the third world countries as children (usually Africa in my memory), but these people are starving in our country as well! We need to take care of them.

So what can we do? Well here are some ideas (many obvious):
  1. Donate to an organization like No Kid Hungry $1 can connect a child with 10 meals!
  2. Donate to a local soup kitchen/food bank with money, food, and/or time
  3. Cook a meal for a local soup kitchen
  4. Organize a food drive
  5. Organize a bake sale or other fundraiser
  6. Dine Out for No Kid Hungry September 16th - September 24th! For more information and to find participating restaurants check out here.
  7. If you are a member of Weight Watchers (like me) do everything to lose as much as you can for the next 12 weeks during their Lose For Good Campaign (They donate a quarter for every pound lost to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.)
So join me this month in helping end hunger and in celebrating National (End) Hunger Month!

Story Time to Help Fight Hunger

If you read my blog regularly, you know I joined a group of parents, teachers, concerned citizens called Moms Fighting Hunger to help bring awareness to the No Kid Hungry Campaign in September. (If you have not been following them all you can see all my posts about this here.) September is National Hunger Month and thus why we did all of this in September. As I was thinking of what I wanted to do to help, I came up with the idea of having a story time at the library about food and hunger and ask the children (and their families) ahead of time to bring a can of food for our town's food pantry. I had really wanted to do something different. I knew I could bring cans of food to church which is always collecting for one of the local places, but wanted to make a difference in a way that affected more people than just myself.

My first stop was at our town library. Luckily the children's librarian, Ms. Bethany is amazing and we know her well. She loved the idea and the only stipulation was that it could not be in September since the September calendar was set and we needed time to advertise. So we chose the first week in October. She does two morning story times every Tuesday: one for toddlers and one for preschoolers and then often she does something after school for the older children. So yesterday was our day. Now I wanted to help as much as possible. We brainstormed about some book/story ideas and I came up with Stone Soup and making story stones so the children could add a stone with a picture of an ingredient to the pot. She loved the idea and I made her the stones. (I shared them here.) I also talked to the editor-in-chief at our local newspaper and he of course said he would help advertise it. I just had to send it to him, which I did. It made it into the paper here.

So yesterday between the three story times, she had about 40 people including parents. We gathered six bags of food which I brought to the food pantry this morning. Hazel and I attended the afternoon story time since Hazel was in school for the morning ones. This had the smallest crowd, but it was fun. 
The first book she read was Sylvie by Jennifer Sattler. This was a very entertaining book about a flamingo that changes color by eating different foods.
One Potato, Two Potato 
Next she read One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice about an elderly, poor couple who only has potatoes to eat and when the man realizes he has dug up the last potato he digs deeper and finds a magic pot that recreates whatever you put in it. Therefore, the last potato becomes two and then four, etc.  It is a very cute story that uses magic to save these people, but definitely shows hunger (they shared one potato for all three meals of the day each day) in less scary way.

Then she told Stone Soup. She used her felt board with three travelers on it. And she had distributed the stones with pictures of food on them to the children. She asked if each child had any food to spare for the travelers and of course they said, "No."  So the travelers decided to make stone soup and she put the three blank stones into the basket (she forgot the pot at home). Then asked if anyone had water they could spare. The child with the water rock said yes and put her rock in the basket. Then she asked for salt and pepper and the child with the salt and pepper rock put it in the basket. Then the kids and Ms. Bethany kept adding their rocks to the basket.
Hazel putting a stone in
When there were no stones left, they stirred the soup. The kids loved checking it all out.
After the story Ms. Bethany had a Stone Soup craft for them. Each child got a bowl and three beans which were the stones and then they added cut outs of food. She even had pieces of yarn as noodles. Then she talked to the kids about what kind of soup they liked best.
Bethany's Sample

They had a blast doing it. Hazel liked trying to cut out the shapes. They all seemed to really enjoy it!
Here is Hazel's before she added the food she cut out herself. When she was done there wasn't much inside of the bowl showing.
Oh, and a reporter from a local daily paper came to take a picture of the story time, so we will be featured there as well. I'm also going to write a press release and send pictures to our town papers. Oh, and did I mention Ms. Bethany and I decided this should be an annual thing. Next year I'm going to make her a felt fire for under the pot!

So have you met my challenge yet and donated a can of food to your local food pantry or soup kitchen? I hope so!! Please let me know if you have! You can also make a donation directly to the No Kid Hungry Campaign here. Thank you for helping us in our fight!

Potatoes for Pirate Pearl -- Picture Book Review for Hunger Awareness Month


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know that September is Hunger Awareness Month? About ten years ago I joined with other mom bloggers to bring more awareness to the month. We shared different activities to help kids understand the need for food and how people across our country are food insecure. According to Feeding America 34 million Americans are food insecure and 9 million children in America are as well. (Source) Today I am sharing a new picture book that spreads information in a fun way about nutrition, hunger and even a bit about growing food. The book is Potatoes for Pirate Pearl by Jennifer Concepcion and illustrated by Chloe Burgett. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Sharing Saturday 13-33

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week and who visited the wonderful posts shared!! I know I was amazed at all the great ideas. If you missed any of the 50 posts shared, go back and be inspired. There are still summer inspirations as well as back to school ones and so much more was shared!

Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert Virtual Book Club for Kids and Multicultural Monday

Just a reminder, Tuesday is the last day to enter my giveaway!! I hope you have entered!
Sharing Saturday is still open!! Please come share your child-oriented crafts and activities!
Last week I shared Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This week we did some activities with her Cuckoo or Cucu in Spanish. This book is written in both English and Spanish on each page. Therefore, we are continuing our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Cuckoo is a wonderful book about a cuckoo bird who is very vain. She knows she is beautiful and she knows she has a lovely voice. The other birds are sick of her especially since she is lazy and does not help gather the food. All the birds go to sleep including the bird leader, Owl, so they will be well rested for the next morning's work of gathering all the seeds so they could plant them the following spring for their food source (and the other animals around). 

Cuckoo becomes bored singing to herself and then she sees a red flash and fears it is another beautiful, flashy bird. She goes to investigate and discovers the meadows are on fire. Mole is out of his hole and tells her to bring the seeds to his hole to save them. It is too late to get help from the other sleeping birds, so she spends the entire night flying to the meadow to the woods bringing all the seeds to mole's hole. She gets very close to the fire and her beautiful wings turn black and her eyes turn red from the smoke. When the birds awake they see the burnt fields and are upset about having lost their seeds and thus their food source until the black Cuckoo comes to tell them what she has done.

One of the things I love about Lois Ehlert's books is you can often see how she made the pictures. This one was a very easy collage of papers joined by brass fasteners. Well Hazel and I made our own Cuckoo. Hazel made a colorful one and I made a black one. I did all the cutting and Hazel helped with the gluing and the hole punching as well as putting it together.
Hazel loved making them. Now she is enjoying playing with them as well. Another thing I loved about this book was that the animal community worked together to save their food source. All the birds participated in saving the seeds each year to feed not just themselves but the other animals as well. Then in this story the mole provided his home as a place to store them safely from the fire. Now that we are entering our last week of National Hunger Month, I hope you will take up my challenge from last week and donate a can to your local food pantry or soup kitchen. Let us help end hunger in our own areas!! Or you can make a donation to the No Kid Hungry Campaign (run by Share Our Strength). They are fighting to make sure no child in the United States is hungry!!
Now it is your turn to share!! If you have a new or old post about an activity to do with a Lois Ehlert book, please share below and grab the button and code if you would like to help us advertise! (FYI, the blog hop goes live at midnight!!) Also please make sure you visit the other blogs that are hosting to see what they have created with the various Lois Ehlert books! (Plus next Monday we will share another project to go with a different book!)


Sharing Saturday 14-40

Between meetings at church on Thursday nights and having Hazel home on Fridays (which we have now named Mommydays), I do not seem to get my Friday post written. This week at least I put the pictures together of our latest fruit exploration. Now to write the post before Thursday night so it will get up next week. Well at least it is time for Sharing Saturday! Once again I am blown away by the great ideas shared last week. Thank you to everyone who shared and to those who took the time to visit some of the other great ideas shared. We did have a tie for the most clicked--it looks like people are in the mood for fall and Halloween. We had a good number of spider themed posts, so I featured them as well as a couple of the fall ones (besides the most clicked) and of course some of my favorites including some multicultural ones as well as a spring one for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!

Sharing Saturday 15-37

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! We had so many fun posts shared!! Our features this week are Autumn Features, Halloween Features and some of my favorites. Have you noticed all the Halloween ideas floating around on-line. I personally do not really like Halloween and hate seeing everything this early, but I also know to make crafts for the holiday you have to start early, so enjoy these features!!  Remember the features are just a sampling of the things shared so if you did not get a chance to check them all out, go back and be inspired!