Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress

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Like pretty much all 5-year-old girls, my daughter, Libbie, LOVES princesses. Our home echoes with Frozen songs, is coated in glitter and sequins, and Libbie’s bedroom radiates pink. She is a girly-girl all the way.

So when Camilla Battaglia’s team sent us this new book, Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress, my daughter had it open and was looking through it before I could even touch it myself. It doesn’t hurt that one of my daughter’s best friends is named Gabby, so Libbie recognized that word.

Princess Gabby Girl is a moral tale about a young princess who finds a gorgeous sparkly gown in a secret wardrobe. She’s told by Miss Marvelous, an only semi-creepy woman in a mirror, that to keep her dress sparkling, she must be kind and do good deeds. Based on Matthew 5:14-16 (You are the light of the world), this very pink tale is a nice alternative to traditional princess paperbacks.

If your child is as obsessed with pink and princesses as mine is, you should grab up a copy of Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress. It will incite some good conversations about being the light of the world and shining brightly with kindness.

Help! My Kids Won’t Stop Fighting!

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I’m afraid those words have been part of my life too much the last several weeks. With my daughter out of preschool for the summer (and going to kindergarten!), she and my 3-year-old son have fought and Fought and FOUGHT!!!

So, since I’m a child of this generation, I asked for help on social media. Here are some of the answers I got. What would you say?

Me: PLEASE share me with your creative corrections for siblings who are hitting? Mine are 5 and 3 and it is out of control.

  • I gleaned a load of perspective from Janet Lansbury, an Respectful Parent Educator who studied with Magda Gerber. This post may be a good place to start. Her posts are often timely to me and have helped greatly. I hope they are a blessing to you as well. It can be sincerely trying at times. So sorry for your stress at this time.
  • This is not earth-shattering advice, so I apologize in advance, and, admittedly, my kids aren’t particularly prone to hitting-type behavior. They’re more the argue/bicker sort of children. Anywho, the most effective way I’ve ever dealt with it is to simply separate them and refuse to allow them to play/interact together. “If you can’t be kind and respectful to one another, you just can’t be together. Go read/color/play by yourself, quietly. I don’t want to hear you say one word to each other right now.” They wind up so stinkin’ lonely, they pull it together and behave. (JessieLeigh)
  • This is one reason we came to RIP (Regional Intervention Program) with a five and three year old fighting constantly. There is a program in Cleveland if you are interested! It brought the joy back to parenting for me. To start, they teach you how to give instructions “keep hands to self” instead of “don’t hit” and then you reward with specific positive attention every time you catch them interacting appropriately. “Libbie, you are keeping your hands to yourself! I am so proud of you!” Other than getting to church, learning this approach has been the single best thing I’ve ever done for our family.
  • Mine are 7 and 5 and it’s still out of control.
  • A friend suggested I try the “Get-Along Shirt.”
  • We seem to do *ok* with time outs. Same # of minutes as their age. It doesn’t solve it all but it helps. Mine are 9 & 6. It didn’t start as early as yours are, but I’m not quite out of it yet.

So, tell me … what do you do about fighting siblings?

Friday Links

 

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Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Summer Beach Reads for Moms and Dads

My husband and I are very much looking forward to spending some time this summer ALONE for our 10th anniversary. We’re hitting up a nice island with a beach and without our kids for a few days. I am excited about spending a lot of time reading.

Are you headed to the beach, too? Or at least a chair by the pool or in your backyard? If you’re looking for a nice, clean book for a summer read, here are some ideas.

 

What would you recommend for a good beach read?

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Weelicious Lunches & Healthy Apple Muffins

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I’m always looking for a way to sneak some more nutrition into my kiddos. I’ve been a fan of Catherine McCord’s site Weelicious for quite some time for this reason! Recently I bought her cookbook Weelicious Lunches, hoping to find some lunchbox-packing inspiration.

At first glance, I was pretty sure it was a bust. No way were my kids going to eat things like Roasted Carrot Hummus or Avocado Honey Dip. And yes, those are some of the recipes. But as I looked farther into the book and started making recipes, I found that I love this cookbook more and more! Even standard recipes, like berry muffins and pizza, are adapted into healthier versions – using whole grains, less sweeteners, more vegetables.

Here are my reviews of some of the recipes I’ve made.

  • Apple, Honey, and Cheese Quesadillas – Everyone thought these were delicious, except my Extremely Picky Eater, who picked the apples out. She has a hard time trying new things, even if the new thing consists of ingredients she likes separately.
  • I think we’ve made everything from the pizza chapter. The White Wheat Pizza Dough is great, and I LOVE how healthy the Veggie-Heavy Pizza Sauce is. It’s easy to freeze, too.
  • Chicken Satay Bites – I think the garlic flavor might have been a tiny bit strong for Extremely Picky Eater, but she tried these. Baby Man enjoyed them greatly.
  • Roasted Carrot Coins – I thought these were a nice change from raw carrots.
  • Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas – Mine burned to a crisp. Just like every other time I’ve tried to make toasted chickpeas. What’s up with that?
  • Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars – My kids all love bars. But Extremely Picky Eater didn’t like how these were kind of crumbly. My other two kids chomped down, and I thought they were divine!
  • Polenta Berry Muffins – I made these for Extremely Picky Eater’s preschool class and they ate them all happily.
  • Whole Wheat Lemon Blueberry Muffins – yum!

And then we have the Apple Cinnamon Muffins. The first time I made these, I sent them to my husband’s student group at school. He said the boys demolished them in minutes. I’ve made a few adaptations, so I’m sharing my slightly different version of the recipe here.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Makes 12-16 small muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk soured with a squeeze of lemon juice (or buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (something tart is best, like Granny Smith, Gala, or Golden Delicious)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, whisk honey, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together. Fold in apples.
  4. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon-sugar.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool.

Do you have a great go-to cookbook? Share the title with us in the comments!

{This is a completely unsponsored review. I bought this with my own money and was not asked to review it.}

Weekend Links

Did you read anything great this week? Let us know in the comments!

Friday Links

 

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

An Artist, A Friend

This past Friday I went with some of the other moms from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group to a painting class. You’ve probably seen pictures on Facebook of these classes; everyone paints a version of the same picture. The teacher has a starting image, then paints alongside you, guiding you but also letting you get creative with the base image.

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That’s me on the far left. And I LOVE my tree.

But what I loved more was being with friends for a couple of hours. We talked about sewing and crocheting, cruise trips and beach vacations, potty training and sleep schedules, and a couple things that are too darn weird and/or gross to disclose here. (I blame Stephanie.) We joked with the artist, maybe drove her crazy with our different attitudes toward our paintings.

It always does my heart good to be in the company of other women, especially without my kiddos. I adore my kids. But I am with them almost 24/7 some weeks. I need some kid-free time occasionally to remember how to be ME. Just like we’re advised to still date our spouses once we have kids come along so we can remember how we function as couples, having time with friends reminds us that we are all women. Not just moms.

I wasn’t sure I’d really enjoy the painting part of the evening. I didn’t especially like the painting we were going to paint. When we decided to switch at the last minute, I knew I would at least like the finished product. But I was sure my artistic skills weren’t up to par.

I found something in me releasing, though, as I started with the beautiful sunset sky. I wanted the lightest of colors, the biggest swirls, and whimsy. I wanted my tree to dip and dive, I wanted a rolling hill, I wanted to feel my picture. I was brought back to memories of oil pastels and watercolors, painting at our kitchen table in Richmond, Virginia, as a child and teen.

I draw badly. But my painting, it’s not too bad! I loved glimpsing the creative side of myself. Usually my creativity is expressed in writing, and it’s nice to delve into a different branch every once in awhile!

So I remembered Friday night not only that I am a woman and a friend but also that I am an artist. Someone who loves to create. We are multi-faceted people. God created us that way! So take some time, as we end the week and get into the weekend, to remember you are more than a parent. Parenting is of utmost importance … but you are other things, too. And that is wonderful.