CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: 5 mom bloggers tapped take the “Kiddie Hair Challenge”

Curiously Coiled - the multicultural kids hair book -

( – When it comes to multicultural or Black hair, every single mom could use a heping hand, especially in the morning. In an effort to teach young kids about self care and how to value their hair, The Single Mom Magazine teamed up with the publisher of a new book, “Curiously Coiled.” To put our newest magazine writers to the test, we had the publisher send each mom blogger the book for a real world review.Each mom will be sent a copy of the book this week. Their reviews willl appear on thir blogs in October.

Stay tuned to The Single Mom Club.comfor exciting results.


COOKING CLASS for SINGLE MOMS: How to make 10 yummy quick breads


#10: Blueberry Almond

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; coat well with cooking spray.
Add the batter and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (see recipes for times).
Let cool 1 hour, then remove the loaf from the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

1. Pumpkin Whisk 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup each vegetable oil and light brown sugar, 1/4 cup water, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Separately, whisk 2 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Bake 60 to 70 minutes.

2. Baked Apple Soak 3/4 cup raisins in 1/4 cup rum, 30 minutes. Make Pumpkin Bread (No. 1), replacing the pumpkin with 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup apple butter. Add the raisins to the batter.

3. Sweet Potato-Pecan Make Pumpkin Bread (No. 1), replacing the pumpkin with sweet potato puree. Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon orange zest to the dry ingredients.

4. Banana-Nut Whisk 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3), 1/2 cup each vegetable oil and plain yogurt, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Separately, whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon each baking soda and nutmeg. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Bake 55 to 65 minutes.

5. Banana-Cranberry Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), replacing the walnuts with dried cranberries.

6. Pear-Hazelnut Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), replacing the bananas with shredded peeled pears (about 2 medium; squeeze dry). Replace the walnuts with chopped toasted hazelnuts and the cinnamon and nutmeg with 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the dry ingredients.

7. Applesauce-Granola Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), replacing the bananas with applesauce and omitting the yogurt. Add 1/2 cup granola to the dry ingredients. Sprinkle 1/4 cup more granola down the center of the loaf; bake 60 to 70 minutes.

8. Spiced Apple-Walnut Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), replacing the bananas with shredded peeled apple (about 1 large; squeeze dry). Use 1/2 cup walnuts and add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger to the dry ingredients.

9. Strawberry-Pecan Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), omitting the bananas. Replace the yogurt with 1/4 cup milk and the walnuts with 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans; omit the baking soda. Add 1 cup chopped strawberries tossed with 1 tablespoon flour to the batter. Bake 60 to 70 minutes.

10. Blueberry-Almond Make Banana-Nut Bread (No. 4), omitting the bananas and replacing the walnuts with 1/2 cup each sliced almonds and old-fashioned oats. Add 1 1/4 cups blueberries tossed with 1 tablespoon flour to the batter.


Q: I hate to throw out bananas, but we won’t eat them if they are really ripe and we get tired of banana bread. Any suggestions?

A: For a delicious change of pace, bake a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix, decreasing the water to 3/4 cup and adding 1 cup of mashed bananas.

Q: My children always want a cookie in their lunches, but no matter how carefully I time the cookies, they are dark brown on the bottom. I don’t grease the cookie sheets and I bake in the center of the oven. What am I doing wrong?

A: The problem may originate in your cookie sheets, especially if they are spotted or dark in color. Cookies baked on darker sheets need less time to bake. Also, the suggested baking temperature should be reduced by 25 degree. Since utensils with bright reflective surfaces produce consistently good results, you might want to consider investing in aluminum cookie sheets.

EXTREME COUPONING: How I got great name brand snacks for under $1

South Beach Bars for 25 cents at Dollar Tree

( – There is no doubt that I love a good deal. Free is always the goal but sometimes “almost free” is just as good. Take my recent shopping trip to the local Dollar Tree store. I like to go to the store and go down every single isle. I take  note pad when I remember but most times I just text myself a message. If I see a national brand item at Dollar Tree, I take advantage of their coupon policy and race back to the store with my coupons.

I picked up these delicious treats for 25 cents! That’s right. One quarter. The price of a 30 second ride for my little one at the grocery store or the cost of a big ole piece of bubble gum in the machines at the exit at most stores. I wasn’t really expecting much flavor or good taste from the South Beach Diet “Good to Go” bars, but they were so yummy.


I was shocked to see Ritze Craker bits in the Dollar Tree, much less with a 50 cent coupon holder taped right to the box of snacks so I grabbed up a pair of the peanut butter bits and the rest is shopper’s paradise history. Ritz Crackers are a brand of snack crackers were introduced by Nabisco in 1934. Outside of the United States, the Ritz Cracker brand is made by a subsidiary of Mondelez International. They are circular in shape, salted lightly on one side, and have a small scalloped edge.

THRIFT STORE SHOPPING for KIDS: How to pick the best stuff for your kids for $20 or less

The shoes above, SKECHERS-SPORTY-SHORTY Twinkle Toes retailed for about $35 and are on eBay  for $18.00 but where found in a local thrift for $2.99 in really good condition.

Stay tuned all week: At least, two new tips will be posted every day.

FREEBIE WEEK: Awesome – no purchase necessary free ice cream, pizza and more – that will make your week

pizza hut buy one get one free BOGO

( – National Ice Cream Day is one of the best excuses to grab a scoop of your favorite cool treat but with prices of ice cream heading closer to the sky, single parents can’t always indulge. Here’s a great opportunity to create a family memory by heading to Sonic for a family ice cream outing. Don’t forget to take a photo, print it out and frame it so that the experience turns into a happy memory that your family will never forget.

Free Ice Cream Cone on Ice Cream Day Sept 2014


Free Large One-Topping Pizza on your next order when you buy one using Visa Checkout from Pizza Hut. Be aware that the free pizza is for your next order, not the order that you buy the first pizza.


FREE PANCAKES on National Pancake Day Sept 26, 2014Get a free short stack from Perkins Restaurants & Bakery on September 26, 2013, National Pancake Day.

September 26 is National Pancake Day. It’s also Give Kids the World Pancake Day at Perkins. Which means a short stack of the buttermilk pancakes will be absolutely free.


FREE coffee at McDonaldsGet a free cup of joe every morning at McDonald’s through September 29, 2014. At some stores, the coffee is free ALL DAY so call ahead to know if you can enjoy offer after breakfast hours.




FREE battery installation at Sears Auto

This coupon will allow you to GET FREE battery installation (reg. $9.99) if you order Gold or Platinum battery at Sears Auto Center.

Offer ends: 10.042014



HOUSING HELP FOR SINGLE MOMS: Section Waiting Lists are opening up across the country


( – No matter what city you live in, single moms are always worried about finding and maintaining a place to live for you and your babies so has gathered information to help you make the search easier. Domestic violence victims and intimidated witnesses get expedited application processing and are often eligible when other lists are closed. If you have questions, contact Keep an open mind: Many times the wait times are exaggerated to discourage people from applying.

BIG CITIES or STATES with SECTION 8 lists that are now OPEN or are OPENING SOON:

chicago section 8 waiting list 2015


The Chicago Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is currently closed.

However, according to the agency’s proposed FY2015 Moving to Work Annual Plan (page 24), the Chicago Housing Authority’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list “will be opened in late FY2014, and will remain partially opened in FY2015.”

Here is a breakdown of what we know:

  • CHA Plans to open their Section 8 HCV Waiting List by the end of FY2014 (December 31st)
  • Reports indicate that CHA plans to issue 3,000 Housing Choice Vouchers soon.
  • CHA has been under scrutiny for their financial practices and any actions they take regarding the HCV program moving forward will be very publicized.
  • Accounts vary on length of the Waiting List. Multiple reports put the number between 15,000 and 30,000 families.

The housing authority’s fiscal year runs from January 1 to December 31, meaning that they intend to have the Section 8 waiting list open at the close of 2014. The last time the Chicago Housing Authority Section 8 Waiting List opened was in 2008. According to the proposed FY2015 Annual Plan, the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list had 30,000 families on it. Recent news accounts in the Chicago Tribune put the waiting list at 15,230 families in 2014. It is unclear which is more accurate.

The same news accounts say that CHA will be issuing 3,000 new Section 8 vouchers soon. CHA has been under a lot of pressure of late when it was reported that it had socked away $432 million over 9 years, much of which had been intended for the Section 8 program.

CHA has not announced how applications will be accepted but their 2012 Section 8 HCV Administrative Plan includes the following written policy:

“The CHA uses a two step application process because of the long wait from the time a family applies for assistance and the time a family is selected from the waiting list. Under the two-step application process, the CHA initially will require families to provide only the information needed to determine the family’s placement on the waiting list. The family will be required to provide all of the information necessary to establish family eligibility and level of assistance when the family is selected from the waiting list.”

This indicates that the housing authority will take only basic information like name, contact info, household size, income and any waiting list preference info at first. Once an applicant comes closer to the top of the list, a more in-depth application will be required.

The CHA HCV Administrative Plan (page 4-2) has this to say regarding the method by which applications may be completed and returned.

san diego california section 8 waiting list open 2014 2015SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA SECTION 8 WAITING LIST:  OPEN

The San Diego Housing Commission administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 9 projects which contain 76 affordable rental units. It also administers 14,715 Section 8 housing vouchers.

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years, but domestic violence victims, some homeless and some others have priority and may see waits much, much less. To get on the waiting list, you may submit a new application online.

Existing Applicants

Until the software upgrade is complete, requests to update existing waiting list applications should be submitted online by clicking here.

Status of Application

  1. You may call the waiting list hotline at (619) 578-7640, or
  2. Write to: Waiting List, San Diego Housing Commission, 1122 Broadway, Suite 300, San Diego CA, 92101.Be sure to include your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

For a recorded message on general information about the waiting list, please call: (619) 578-7305.

According to HUD, San Diego Housing Commission is determined to be a Small public housing authority, meaning it manages between 50 – 249 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Extra Large, meaning it administers 10,000+ Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of San Diego Housing Commission between Public Housing Units (1%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (99%) to that of all housing authorities in California, San Diego Housing Commission has a smaller proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in California.


The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a National rental assistance program managed by HUD and administered at the local level by housing authorities or other HUD contracted administrators. The program provides rental assistance to low income persons in the form of monthly rent payments based on the renter’s income. Renters find private rental housing in the open market and the Section 8 voucher payment makes the rent affordable.


Members checked in from around the world

NOTICE:  The programs are often extremely oversubscribed meaning that there are many more people in need of the rental assistance than the government is currently funding. This has created the need for waiting lists. For example, the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation operates with multiple local organizations to provide rental assistance in the State of New York.  Because of the wide service area and the multiple organizations involved in the rental assistance programs NYSHTFC provides we will list only the waiting lists confirmed to be open. An opening in one service area does not imply that other service areas are accepting applications.  While New York City’s list is about to open and is open for domestic violence survivors, Lewis County in New York has opened the Section 8 Housing Choice Waiting List for the following counties:

Lewis County:  Housing Assistance Program,  Lewis County Opportunities, Inc.,  8265 State Route 812,  Lowville, NY 13367  Jefferson County:  Housing Assistance Program,  749 LeRay Street,  Watertown, NY 13601




We are unaware of even one housing authority in the Nation (and there are 2,320 that offer Section 8) that doesn’t have a waiting list. Most of the time, these waiting lists are years long. Yes, a person on most of these waiting lists will wait several years before receiving the assistance.

A few of these housing authorities (usually the small ones) keep their waiting lists open all the time, but most of them close the list for years at a time.

Section 8 Waiting Lists are opening up across the country - housing for single moms

Helpful information: Rarely, they will open the waiting list to build it back up with fresh applicants. In these cases, there is usually public notice given in local media and a large number of people submit an application. The numbers of applicants are so high that usually, all of the applicants aren’t added to the list. Instead, a small fraction of applicants are chosen through a lottery drawing from the overall list of applicants.

For example, a recent waiting list opening in Florida had more than 50,000 applicants in just a few days. The housing authority chose only 2,500 people from those 50,000+ people through the lottery. And to show how urgent the need is, in that case the housing authority only had a total of 5,000 Section 8 vouchers under management, all of which are already being used. The “lucky” 2,500 applicants in this case will still wait for years to receive any assistance.


FOOD TRUCK DAY: Find the best food trucks and street food in New York City

meat-lovers( – Any New Yorker worth their stripes has at least one favorite food truck that they would seriously consider ordering as their last meal. The $5 Plate. The Halal trucks. The dessert trucks. The pizza and BBQ trucks.

A whopping 1.6 million people are jam-packed onto the 22-square-mile island – and that’s just Manhattan. Residents are accustomed to living highly personal moments in public. But New Yorkers get really grumpy when they are hungry so there has to be food always available. That could explain the obsession with food trucks – those fast-moving phenomena that makes grab-and-go stylish in Gotham.

Today is unofficially FOOD TRUCK DAY on We’ll commit the cardinal sin of telling tourists where to get the best street food in the city. For the sake of time, we’re only using Manhattan with one bonus spot in Brooklyn. So….who’s hungry?

The following is TheSingleMomClub’s “Best of New York Food Truck” award winners. These trucks have our tongues waging even as we type.


Real New Yorkers who eat breakfast at food trucks often have to settle for the one on the corner near their job, but if they really want the best food truck in the City for breakfast related food, there is no question that German-inspired Waffles and Dinges is where it’s at. The food is so damn good that even Food Network celebrity chef Bobby Flay himself supports it.



West Coasters may disparage New York’s (admittedly weak) Mexican cuisine, but this California-style food truck presents a strong counterargument. Regularly parked in Flatiron or SoHo, with a satellite cart outside of Brooklyn’s sparkling Barclays Center, these trucks dish out a small but mighty mix of tortillas filled with chipotle pork, carne asada and gringo ground beef, seasoned with ancho chilies and cumin.


best food trucks in nyc


The Souvlaki GR “Vendy” award-winning Greek truck has become so popular, it spawned a brick-and-mortar shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Still, devotees stay tuned to the truck’s whereabouts on its Twitter feed, and follow their Metrocards to find Souvlaki GR’s pitas, stuffed with chicken, beef or pork, and topped with fresh vegetables and Tyrokafteri spicy feta dip, on sidewalks near and far. To see what makes them special visit them online at

Best Food Trucks in NYC


A new pizza truck is getting the hipsters in Brooklyn all excited. To be honest, even BK natives are raving about the Brooklyn’s Grandma Pizza food truck. The truck is original and the pizza is definitely Grandma-style with spectacular crust and fresh toppings. To find the truck or read their latest tweets from Brooklyn’s Grandma @BKsGrandmaPizza.



One of NYC’s best food trucks for desserts is Sweetery New York. They use Twitter and other social media to let people know where they are and if you’re anywhere near, you drop what you’re doing and head over.

best food trucks in new york city 2014