Children's Books, Education

New Book Release – Once Upon a Pancake, Stories We Write Together

New Book Release - Once Upon a Pancake, Stories We Write Together

It’s a new book release…sort of. The stories in this book are not yet complete because it is your child’s job to write them. They get a small illustration and beginning prompt then have a few pages and more small prompts to create their own story. These books are called, Once Upon a Pancake and there are different books depending on the ages of your children.

writing stories

This is the Once Up a Pancake book for ages 9-12. There is plenty of empty space for kids this age to make their own version of these stories. They can work on the stories alone or pass the pen with a sibling, classmate or friend. These will be such fun keepsakes to pull out one day and share.

Every few pages starts a new story idea. Some stories require a middle and end. Some allow your child to add their own illustrations and some offer a comic-style writing. Once Upon a Pancake has enough variety to keep them engaged in this book for days or weeks to come and the variety introduces them to different writing styles and genres.

ceate comics

True Story

When my teen was young he wrote a lot! He is the ideal child fro Once Upon a Pancake books. I have kept all of the composition notebooks he had laying around with pages and pages of stories. 3 years ago I actually took one of those stories and sent his words and drawings into a book bound and had it made into an actual (unpublished) hard cover book. I ordered 3 copies – 1 for his Teacher, 1 for us and 1 for a special event I was to surprise him with.

He was (still is) a HUGE R.L. Stine fan and I saw he was coming for a free, local storytelling event and we got in! He not only got to sit 4 rows up from R.L. Stine as he read to the kids, he got to hand him his own version of a Goosebumps book he wrote. That book I had bounded was called, Attack of the Killer Spider (derived from Goosebumps theme). He was so nervous, walked up with a Goosebumps book and asked for an autograph and almost forgot to hand his own ‘Goosebumps’ book over. Then R.L. Stine’s wife saw me signaling him and asked, “Honey! What is that book?” That is when he explained he “…wrote it, my Mom turned it into a book and ordered an extra copy for you” R.L. Stine’s wife took it from him, he glanced at it and says to her, take this one with us…to the hotel..” my son’s face just lit up as he heard that. He got his autograph, a hug and ran back to me almost in tears, “Did you hear what his wife said?”

Harnessing your child’s love of writing is meant to happen with books like Once Upon a Pancake. It will be shared and kept forever. If they are writing, they need this series. Find the book that is right for your child’s age at Once Upon a Pancake’s website or on Amazon at Rick Benger’s Author page.

Want to see me flip through a few pages and see inside Once Upon a Pancake? Visit my IGTV post here!

Children's Books, Education, Toy Reviews

Little Global Citizens Box- Learn about Kenya

Comment: I was sent product for this feature. I am happy to partner with this brand. There may be affiliate links contained within the article. Thank you for visiting.

Little Global Citizens Box- Learn about Kenya

It was all about Kenya this month. There was a lot to learn such as what a Kenyan child’s daily life looks like, his school journey and his favorite snacks. In Kenya there are so many animals around and the people live on their land and really are proud and are about their wildlife.

Little Global Citizens is a bi-monthly or box-by-box service that arrives to your home with all you need to absorb places around the world. In our Kenya box we got a story from a child, a snack, craft supplies, activities and a great book that had a recipe.

With so many children learning at home and parents new to embracing their education in a new way Little Global Citizens is great for teaching new cultures and it becomes such a fun family activity. There is so much to absorb in each box.

What you get with every Little Global Citizens box:
  • Authentic Guides
  • 2-3 educator-developed crafts with supplies
  • 2-3 screen-free cultural activities like games and puzzles
  • Language Skills
  • Recipes
  • High Quality Book
  • A huge dose of inspiration

Little Global Citizen boxes are created together with travelers, educators and parents. The ages for these boxes are recommended at 4-10 and that seems about right to me! As soon as they can not only complete a craft but can listen and learn the meaning of their craft, Little Global Citizens is right at their level.

October 2020 Box is: Peru! A percentage of all profits are donated to Room to Read. To get an idea of more and see other countries available in single box options, visit Little Global Citizens.

Food, Natural Foods, Recipes

A Fall Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Recipe with Florida Crystals

Comment: I was sent product for this feature. I am happy to partner with this brand. There may be affiliate links contained within the article. The Pumpkin Bread Recipe is my own. Thank you for visiting.

Not all sugar is created equally! You have choices between basic white and brown sugar, cane sugars, zero calorie sweeteners that act as sugar substitutes and now we even have liquid sugars. If you are on a sugar free regimen then you may seek out the substitutes so you can still enjoy sweet foods or flavored beverages. If you are about low price and don’t give much thought to quality then a basic white or brown sugar is your go-to.

As for me? I try to sneak in sugar-free options in my diet where I can smartly do so. But, overall I like real sugars when baking especially this pumpkin bread recipe and it matters to me where it comes from (my recipe alone uses 2 cups of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar). There is quite a bit of sugar in breads so I want to make sure it is organic and raw. For this recipe I am using a favorite, Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugars.

About Florida Crystals

We can break it all down like this – Florida is where it is sourced. Crystals in reference to sugars. Organic because the sugars come from the only organic sugarcane farms in the nation and have been farmed without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Raw because all of their products are Non-GMO Project verified, vegan and kosher, so you know you’re getting the pure sweetness. Cane because they mill their sugarcane the same day it’s harvested from the farms and are minimally processed. All of this brings you pure sugar in a reuse, recycle farming and production style the brand is proud of.

pumpkin bread

Let’s try this Pumpkin Bread Recipe with our Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugars!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I use organic raw cane sugar in this recipe and it makes it that much more special!
Prep Time20 mins
Active Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread
Author: Erin Sluka


  • 3.5 Cups Flour
  • 2.5 tsp Pumpkin Spice Blend
  • 15 Oz Pumpkin Puree (canned Pumkin)
  • 1 Cup Cooking Oil 1 Heaping Cup
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Florida Crystals Raw Cane Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips I used Sugar Free Chocolate Chips


  • Preheat Oven to 325 and grease loaf pan
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin Spice blend and set aside
  • In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, oil, water. Then stir in sugars. Then stir in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the flour mixture to the large bowl of wet ingredients and stir as you combine.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan. Sometimes I have too much batter and make muffins with the rest of the batter.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes. Cool!


I used the Florida Crystals Raw Organic Cane Sugars. If you need to bake with zero calorie baking sugars, make sure you use a brand that measures in a 1:1 ratio with cane sugar. For low carb use almond flour or perhaps 3 cups almond + 1/2 cup coconut flour and then add 5 (not 4) eggs in the egg step. I do not stir my chocolate chips throughout – I pour batter in loaf pan, top with chocolate chips and use a spatula to fold them just on the top part. If you want chocolate chips throughout entire loaf to fold in add another 1/4-1/2 cup of chocolate chips if you desire.
chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe


Visit Florida Crystals to see all of their products, more recipes and locations to purchase near you.