Books for Kids Starting Preschool

As I mentioned in my last post, Jackson is starting preschool this year, and it’s a big milestone! Although he has been in daycare in the past (full-time when I was working and part-time since I’ve been at home), preschool feels much different. It’s the step before starting legit school and it just makes Jackson seem so much more grown up! Not gonna lie, I’m freaking out a little bit. I know it’s going to be so great for both of us though. We just have to get through the transition! 

Speaking of transitions, one of the things I always do to help prepare Jackson for any kind of transition is read. Whether it’s welcoming a new baby, moving from a crib to a big bed, learning to use the potty, giving up the pacifier, etc., there’s a book for it! For starting preschool, I found several preschool-related books at the library and began reading them with Jackson about a month ago. We read them before bed and sometimes even at nap time. Although I know books can’t totally erase any anxiety he may be feeling when he starts school, I do think they help by introducing the concept of preschool and making it seem familiar. I know I’m late in posting this considering school has already started back up in many areas, but in case yours hasn’t, or even if it has and your child is still struggling with jitters, here are my favorite preschool books that I’ve read.

It’s Time for Preschool: This is a sweet book that covers all the bases when it comes to preschool–drop off, circle time, sharing, playing, crafts, making friends, missing parents, etc. My favorite part is the end where it talks about going home and how parents will never forget to pick their kids up. One thing to note is that this book is rather long, and some people actually gave it bad reviews for that reason, saying it’s too much for preschool aged kids. While I agree that it’s long–much longer than my other picks here–I haven’t had any issues with Jackson not following the story or losing interest. I actually like how comprehensive it is. That said, we read a lot and his language skills are quite good, so if your kid is on the younger side and isn’t used to reading longer and more wordy books, you might prefer the shorter options. 

The Night Before Preschool: Following the format of “The Night Before Christmas,” (who doesn’t love that poem?) this book is simple, fun to read, and has adorable illustrations. It focuses on a boy named Billy who is very nervous to start preschool the next morning, and follows him through his first day. By the end of the poem, Billy’s nerves are long gone and he can’t wait to go back to school to see all his friends. 

The Berenstain Bears Go to School: We love The Berenstain Bears in this house so I knew this would be a good one. Although the book is about Sister Bear starting kindergarten and not preschool, all the concerns of starting school are the same. Sister Bear worries about not liking school and not making friends, but she winds up loving it and excited to go every morning. I sure hope this is the case with Jackson!

D.W.’s Guide to Preschool: This is part of the Arthur book series by Marc Brown, a series that Jackson knows and really likes. It’s focused on Arthur’s sassy sister, D.W., and her experience going to preschool. I like that it’s written from D.W.’s perspective, so it’s very no nonsense, and it makes preschool seem like a great time and no big deal. It’s quite pricey on Amazon for some reason, maybe it’s out of print, so if you can find this at the library, that would be the way to go.

If you have a kid starting preschool this year, I wish you the best of luck! And if you have any other favorite preschool-related books for kids, let me know. I’d love to add them to my collection!

Jackson is Three!

Almost a month ago (on June 24th), Jackson turned three years old. The night before his birthday, I went down the rabbit hole of looking at old pictures and videos (anyone else do that?), which of course brought on all sorts of emotions. It’s amazing to me and also kind of scary how quickly you forget the earlier phases. All I can say is thank God for cameras! 

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Summer Bean Salad

I live for fresh, flavorful salads in the summer. This bean-based salad is insanely easy to throw together and doesn’t require any heat or cooking. My mom made it for Emmy’s birthday party and I loved it, so I knew I had to share it here on the blog. It makes a perfect side dish to a BBQ or picnic, especially for those who don’t eat meat, and is great on top of greens or even by itself. Don’t let the short list of ingredients fool you. This is anything but bland! Although not necessary, I recommend making this salad the day before you plan to eat it because the longer the flavors marinate, the better it tastes, in my opinion.

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Emmy’s First Birthday

Emmy is ONE! Her birthday was on May 30th and we had a little family party the weekend before to celebrate the big day. Although the first few months after she was born were extremely challenging and felt like an eternity at the time (in case you missed it, you can read about that here), I look back now and can’t believe that was a full year ago. I feel like I blinked and all the sudden I have a one-year-old. I guess that’s how it goes, right?

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Why I Became a Beautycounter Consultant

I recently decided to join Beautycounter as a consultant and I want to share a bit as to why. First, what is Beautycounter? If you’re not familiar, Beautycounter is a brand with a simple mission: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. They sell high quality personal care products–from cosmetics to skin and hair care to sunscreen–that are free of questionable ingredients,1500 of them to be exact. Beyond simply selling products, part of their mission is to advocate for better laws within the personal care industry, and educate consumers about the need for safer products. You can read more about the company here, but that’s what they’re all about in a nutshell.

Continue reading “Why I Became a Beautycounter Consultant”

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas (all from Amazon Prime!)

I’m not sure about you but, since becoming a mom, I find it hard to stay on top of holidays, birthdays, etc., let alone plan for them in advance. I’ve become that person running out to the store the day of a birthday party to buy a gift bag, tissue paper, and a card. All I can say is thank God for Amazon Prime! It has saved me countless times when I couldn’t make it out to a mall or specific store to buy an in-person gift.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner on May 12, I thought I’d round up some gift ideas for the moms in your life that can all be purchased via Prime. Doing something with your mom in person on Mother’s Day is always the best gift of all, but that’s not always in the cards. Even if it is, it’s always nice to give her a little something special! Since returning things on Amazon can be a pain, I only included things that have been heavily reviewed, with ratings of 4.5 or 5, and that don’t need to be tried on. If you’re stumped on a gift this year (or just really short on time), I hope this offers some inspiration!

1. A silk pillowcase: Sleeping on a silk pillowcase is supposed to do wonders for your hair and skin. Is that true? Who knows. If nothing else though, it feels super luxurious and fancy! I’ve been meaning to snag one for myself and this one has excellent reviews and Good Housekeeping’s seal of approval.

2. Throw blanket: No matter the season, a nice throw blanket can provide a little comfort when you’re trying to relax. They can also add a decorative touch to a room. I have quite a few throughout the house and I use them daily. I know my mom does too. If leopard print isn’t appealing, this blanket comes in lots of different colors.

3. Mom Tote: This bag is basic but practical and I think it’s adorable. I love the idea of filling it with things your mom loves, like specific books or magazines, wine, speciality food items, beauty products, etc. That would make for a personalized and thoughtful gift I think any mom would appreciate!

4. Diffuser & Essential oils: I recently started diffusing essential oils at bedtime. It elevates my whole nighttime routine and kind of makes me feel like I’m at a spa! If your mom is into candles and doesn’t have a diffuser, I think a diffuser with a sampling of essential oils would make a nice gift. I really like the look of this diffuser because it isn’t massive and bulky like many others. It resembles a candle and doesn’t stick out in a room like a sore thumb. When it comes to essential oils, you have to be careful about the quality, especially since it’s something that’s being released into the air you breathe. I would stick to top rated brands, like Young Living, which I linked here.

5. Ceramic ring dish: Every time your mom drops her rings (or other jewelry) on this dish, she’ll get a little reminder of you and how much you appreciate her. How sweet is that?

6. Best Mom Ever Mug: I hesitated about featuring a mug here but I think this one is worthy of inclusion. I love the design and I like that it comes with a lid and a spoon.

Do you shop on Amazon for gifts? Have you found any gems?

Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have a new recipe to share today, and it’s a good one! This is one of those meals that I just threw together on a whim one night, with few expectations, but both David and I liked it so much that I’ve been making it on the regular ever since. I struggled with what to call this because it’s half cauliflower rice, half brown rice, with sort of a hodgepodge of ingredients. At the end of the day though, it reminds me of Spanish rice, with a few extras (like beans and kale) thrown in. So that’s what I’m calling it! Continue reading “Lightened Up Spanish-Style Rice (Vegan & Gluten-Free)”

Emmy Update: 9 Months

It has been two months since I posted an Emmy update and, in baby time, that’s like two years. You never know when babies will be over one thing and on to the next, so I wanted to capture some of Emmy’s recent developments. I know I sound like a broken record always saying how quickly time is flying, but man. Time is seriously flying! I can’t believe in three more months Emmy will be one and on her way to toddlerhood. That is so crazy to me. They say the days are long and the years are short and that has never felt more true! Continue reading “Emmy Update: 9 Months”

Sautéed Kale with White Beans (Vegan)

Eating healthfully in the winter can be tough. When it’s dark and cold out, I often crave rich, heavy foods (or plain old junk food), not salads and other lighter options. It can be a struggle. That’s why I’m really excited to share this recipe today. It’s warm, flavorful, and satisfying, but also extremely healthy! And like most recipes I post, it’s easy to make. It’s so easy, in fact, that I have been making it almost every week for the past few months. The only ingredients are olive oil, garlic, kale, diced tomatoes, white beans, garlic powder, and dried onion. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! Continue reading “Sautéed Kale with White Beans (Vegan)”