DO | Grocery Services

I just got home from picking up my groceries at the local Kroger store. I drove up, gave them a call, and out they came with my pre-ordered, pre-paid groceries. This service has been a life-saver. I don’t always shop this way, but, with two rowdy toddlers, going to the store for a huge shopping trip isn’t always easy. Or preferable.

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TODDLER | Books We Love 22-24 mos AND 4yo-Q1

Whoosh. There it goes. My youngest is now 2 years old. He’s the cutest bull in a china shop you’ll ever meet. And to make bedtime reading easier these last few months, we brought everyone into his room instead of reading in his sister’s room. He’s no longer touching her stuff, she’s no longer yelling, and I can read in more peace than before.

This also means my 4yo daughter hasn’t been getting the higher level stories at bedtime, and she doesn’t really nap anymore so story time is basically at bedtime now, but everyone has been relatively quiet and cooperative and that was more important at this juncture.

That means this is really a dual post – as they’ve both been hearing and enjoying the same stories. Here goes.

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EAT | Crabapple Josta Berry Bread

At the park up the street we have some beautiful crabapple trees. A few months ago they started blossoming and producing some gorgeous apples. While at the park one day, and with my grocery bags available (I keep them on hand as poop pick up bags) I decided to pluck some of this fruit and take it home.

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DO | Preschool Prep

My eldest child went to preschool for the first time last week and, despite my anticipation, she did great!

The class is a mix of both 3 and 4 years olds, so she was eligible to go last year since she was 3 by the deadline. At the time, I wasn’t emotionally ready to send her into the arms of someone else and since I didn’t have to, we spent last fall doing research on which preschool would be best for us.

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BABY | Books We Love 19-21 mos

My little boy is a few months shy of turning 2, and, in a stark contrast to his sister, his speech skills have been slow to develop. Once I realized this, I started ramping up the one-on-one book time with books that my daughter had loved, and I found some new ones for his comprehension level.

I also focused on teaching words by breaking them into syllables, individual sounds, simple words, having him pick out photos in a book, among other things – and not only at story time. It’s improved his speech slightly but there’s still work to be done.

Every kid develops differently, and this little dare-devil focused on his motor skills first. Which is fine, considering how much he loves to move and play. Speech will come, I know, and in the interim I will continue to help him learn and practice and get those words out of his busy little brain. Just within the last week he’s said more new words than ever, so my hopes are high!

Here are the books he enjoyed and that helped him make some progress:

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DO | Traditional Anniversary Gifts – 6th Anniversary – Iron

Almost two years ago I shared the gifts I had purchased for my husband for our 1-5th anniversaries according to Hallmark’s traditional anniversary gift list.

Last year was our 6th anniversary – candy/iron – and I found a great gift for him. He loves candy, however I totally blanked on that option, so I focused on iron.

Search for “iron anniversary gift” and you’re bound to find anything from keychains to engraved horse shoes to branding rods for the grill to personalized railroad stakes. None of this really spoke to me. I looked and looked, and even had myself convinced a few things would be acceptable until I came across this:

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It’s a “sundial garden stake” made of wrought iron.

I had many late nights with my youngest son which gave me time to look for a gift. One night I went down a rabbit hole when I started looking for iron gardening stakes and found this one from A Rustic Garden (coincidentally based out of my home state of Illinois). I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but my husband is our in-home gardener and I thought this would be a good addition to our blossoming yard.

There were many choices – shapes, sizes, finishes – and it was hard to choose. Finally I decided to go with the globe style, natural finish (that is, no finish whatsoever). It seemed timeless and would continue to patina and rust with the weather.

This year is copper/wool. Considering we already have a set of copper mugs, and I can’t exactly claim a set of copper pots would be for him (Mr. Don’t Ask Me To Cook), I might focus on wool.

Any suggestions?


EAT | Watermelon Corn Mint Salad

The last few summers I’ve made a watermelon salad with corn and mint and a bunch of other things and it is a crowd-pleasing warm-weather salad. However, I never bookmark the recipe and usually waste a good chunk of time trying to find it again. I made this salad less than two weeks ago and I can neither remember the recipe nor find it immediately online.

Since I finally DID find it (here at House & Home), but I don’t follow it to a T, I decided to write it out my way so I can refer to this online blog-ary when I need to make it again.

Here you go. Make it. Enjoy it. You’re welcome.

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DO | Reduce Your Plastic Usage

With the continuing proof that plastic is doing a rather large disservice to our ecosystem, it is important that we, as individuals, do what we can do reduce our reliance on plastic. It seems like an overwhelming task until you realize every single one of us can have a meaningful impact when we reduce the use of single-use plastic in our daily lives.

Once you are aware of the prevalence of plastic it’s hard to escape it. Being a parent gives me a microscope into the world of plastics – children’s toys are a big source. But look around – cleaning bottles, computers and accessories, jewelry, bathroom products, shoes, toys, light switches, smoke detectors… it doesn’t end.

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