A Fun First Day of Kindergarten Questionnaire

A Fun First Day of Kindergarten Questionnaire

Over the past couple of years, I have put together a fun ‘interview’ with questions to ask my daughter on the first day of school. I then ask the same questions on the last day of school to see how her answers have changed. It’s such a cool way to see how her interests evolve and also see how she grows in her vocabulary and articulation!

I have been sharing the questionnaire (and Essley’s answers) here for the past two years, and the posts are always one of our most pinned on Pinterest, so I decided to share again. Many of you have commented and messaged me sharing your kids’ answers, which I absolutely love to read! (Keep them coming!)

Essley’s first day of Kindergarten answers are admittedly not as funny as they were back at the beginning of these surveys when she was only 3, but it’s wonderfully endearing (and bittersweet) to see how she is learning and growing.

1. What is your name? Essley.
2. What grade are you in? Kindergarten.
3. How old are you? 5-1/2.
4. What is your favorite color? Pink and purple.
5. What is your favorite thing to do at school? Writing and learning.  
6. What is your favorite activity outside of school? Dance.
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A dance teacher and an inventor.
8. What is your favorite food? Tacos.
9. How old is your mommy? 29. (I’ll take it!)
10. What is her job? Being a blog poster.
11. What is mommy’s favorite food? Salad. (I wish!)
12. How old is your daddy? I think 80. (Bahahaha.)
13. What is his job? Stage Manager.
14. What is daddy’s favorite food? A mozzarella pizza.
15. What do mommy and daddy like to do? Play with us.
16. If you have brothers or sisters, what are their names? I have a baby brother and his name is Emmett.
17. How old is your brother(s) (and/or sisters)? 3 1/2.
18. What is your brother(s) (and/or sisters) favorite food? Pizza.
19. What is your favorite toy? Rosie (doll) and Owly (her favorite owl toy since she was a baby).
20. Where do you live? Chicagoland.
21. What is your favorite thing to do? Go to the pool.  
22. What is your favorite place you’ve ever been? The zoo.
23. Who is your best friend? (She went on and on with an endless lists of friends here; too many to type.)
24. What is your favorite animal? Dog.
25. If you could have anything you wished for, what would it be? A pet unicorn that I could ride and that would do magic spells.

I’ll share Emmett’s (his first day of school is next week) soon. I have a feeling his answers will be delightfully hilarious. (Super cute chalkboard signs we used for our photos purchased from this awesome Etsy shop.)

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Our Special Back-to-School Shoe Shopping Adventure


Thank you to Famous Footwear for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

As you guys probably know by my constant gushing here and on my Instagram, my daughter started Kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. I won’t get into the myriad of emotions that have gone along with this, but I will say that I am so proud of her and incredibly excited for the adventures she’s going to have. And she is downright thrilled with the whole experience so far. Even though it’s bittersweet to watch your baby head off to big kid school for the first time, all independent and growing in countless ways, I truly couldn’t be happier for her.

To celebrate her starting school, I decided to encourage her excitement by taking her to pick out a brand new pair of school shoes. (I mean, new shoes are pretty much the best way to get pumped for anything, right?) So two of us headed to Famous Footwear for what Essley called “our back-to-school shoe shopping adventure.” She was completely mesmerized by all of the choices, and, as anyone who knows her would assume, immediately gravitated toward any pink shoe she could find.

We took our time browsing, trying on her favorite styles (there were a lot of them), and asking the (super helpful and friendly) Famous Footwear associates all sorts of questions. While we shopped, we talked about her first day and the things she was most looking forward to, the things she was nervous about, and everything in between. After a while, she finally chose the perfect pair for her first day. (Okay, okay, so it ended up being two pairs. She was too smitten with both to just choose one, and I don’t blame her.)

She was so excited about her special first day of school shoes that she asked me to change into them as soon as we walked outside of the store, requested that I take her picture, and jumped up and down with a huge smile on her face right under the Famous Footwear sign. If shoes can make her feel that happy and confident, I knew she’d do just great on her first day. (Spoiler: She did.)

I’m so grateful that Essley and I were able to have that special shoe shopping date to pick out a pair for her very first day of Kindergarten. Her walk to the bus stop was done with a pretty flower print dress, a ballerina backpack (filled with her first real school lunch), and her new school shoes from Famous Footwear. Most importantly, it was also done with a huge smile. I couldn’t possibly ask for more than that. 

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story of Judy

Judy was the mascot of several ships in the Pacific. She was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and taken to a prison camp. There she met Leading Aircraftsman Frank Williams who shared his small portion of rice with her. Judy raised morale in the POW camp giving alarm when poisonous snakes, crocodiles and even … Continue reading The Story of Judy


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tofu Chocolate Pudding (Our New Favorite After School Snack)

Tofu Chocolate Pudding

Thank you House Foods for sponsoring this post.

It is official: I have a Kindergartener. Essley started preschool when she was two, so school itself isn’t new for us. But the whole drop her off at the bus stop and watch it drive off with her somewhere inside, then spend all day everyday at school thing feels like a whole new world. So far, Essley absolutely loves every minute of it. It’s still an adjustment though, and she is definitely more tired, more hungry, and more in need of snuggle time with mama when she gets home than she ever was during preschool.

One of the things I most remember about elementary school afternoons from my own childhood was coming home and making after school snacks with my mom. There was something truly comforting about it, and I decided this was just the thing Essley and I needed to start doing after her long days at Kindergarten.

Yesterday, we decided to make a recipe we hadn’t tried yet from the children’s ebook The Tales of Tofu from House Foods, for Tofu Chocolate Pudding. The Tales of Tofu is an endearing story about a superfood named Tofu who learns about how he can be anything he wants to be (by easily mixing with other foods), and we love to read it together. (You can download it yourself for free right here!) The Strawberry Papaya Tofu Smoothie recipe from the book is a regular in our house, and I can already tell the Tofu Chocolate Pudding will be as well. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and it’s packed full of plant-based protein thanks to the tofu (a favorite in our family that we incorporate into many meals and snacks). Making (and eating!) it together is also a wonderful way for us to spend quality time together after school.

Tofu Chocolate Pudding

SERVES: 6 | PREP TIME: 10 min | COOK TIME: 0 min

INGREDIENTS
1 pkg. House Foods Tofu Medium Firm
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup soy milk

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave until chocolate is smooth and silky. (If using a microwave, microwave chocolate chips for approximately 15 seconds at a time, stirring frequently in between, until smooth). While chocolate melts, add the tofu, vanilla, and maple syrup to a food processor and blender, and blend until smooth. Slowly add in the chocolate and soy milk and blend until mixture is well combined and smooth. Divide among bowls or pudding jars and refrigerate for at least one to two hours before serving. Top with whip cream, chocolate shavings, or your choice of toppings.


We eat tofu several times a week in our house, in everything from tacos to stir fry to breakfast scrambles to smoothies. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 15 years old, and it’s always been my favorite (and the yummiest) way to get protein. It’s truly one of the most versatile ingredients, and because it can so easily and quickly be prepared and incorporated into so many different recipes, it’s a staple in our fridge. Tofu is also something that my kids both love to eat and to help prepare, which makes it a lifesaver during back-to-school season when things are especially hectic. We’ve especially been loving the recipes from The Tales of Tofu (which House Foods partnered with Melissa Rauch to create!). The book itself is so wonderful to read together, thanks to its empowering story and the fact that it so creatively shows little ones the endless way that a truly good for you food can be prepared and combined with other foods to make everything from snacks to meals. Tofu forever!

Tofu Chocolate Pudding

If you try this seriously scrumptious Tofu Chocolate Pudding, I’d love to hear what you think. If your little ones are in a new school year or heading back soon, it’s the perfect after school snack to make together. Enjoy!

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Ways We Stay Healthy As a Family

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family
This post is in partnership with MegaFood®, but all opinions are my own.

I think I speak for a lot of women when I say that when it comes to health and wellness, we tend to yo-yo back and forth between focusing on either our families or ourselves. In my case (and in the case of most friends with whom I discuss this), we spend most of our energy trying to make sure our children/families are healthy, and then we realize we are neglecting ourselves and make sudden moves toward our own wellness journeys (that more often than not quickly shift back to our kids). It’s almost like our plates are so full that we can only focus on one or the other (and, again, most often in a lopsided manner where we as women come last).

As cliche as it sounds, while deep in breath work at a recent yoga class, I started thinking about how important it is to me for my entire family – myself included – to create balance with our health and wellness routines. I decided that we needed to sit down and have a family meeting (which I’ll fully admit is a freaking circus with little ones, but can still be successful) to come up with ways we could focus on being as healthy as possible as a family. I figured that the act of us brainstorming ways to make healthy choices alone would be a great lesson for the kids and jumpstart all of us into a more balanced health and wellness routine, but I didn’t realize just how well things would go in terms of us actually implementing our plans!

It’s been pretty awesome to work together as a family to make health choices, and it’s honestly brought us closer in many ways. So I felt compelled to share with you guys some of the things we’ve been doing, in hopes of helping some of you as well!

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

1. We prepare meals together.
Okay, so this definitely doesn’t happen for every meal (because schedules!), but we make a conscious effort to prepare one meal together each day. Sometimes this just means having the kids crack an egg for breakfast, spread almond butter on a sandwich for lunch, or help toss a salad for dinner. But taking that time to be intentional and create a meal as a family slows us all down and helps us avoid fast and processed foods, while also teaching our kids (and reminding us!) that preparing our own food is usually the healthiest way to eat.

2. We eat our meals together.
Aside from lunch on the weekdays when I’m working and/or the kids are at school, we sit down and eat our meals together at the table every single day. (When my husband is on the road with the band, we Facetime during our meals as often as we can.) We eat slowly, take our time, and enjoy our food. Even on the days where we get take-out or eat foods that aren’t the healthiest, the mental benefits of enjoying a meal together as a family are priceless.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family
10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

3. We intentionally exercise everyday.
Every person in our family does at least one form of physical activity a day, either together or on our own. As a family, we often go for walks or go to the pool and swim together, play soccer together, and sometimes even do work out videos together during the cold weather months. We also each have our own activities: I take yoga classes and sometimes run, my husband runs almost everyday, my daughter takes several dance classes a week, take swimming lessons, and plays soccer, and my son takes multi-sports classes and plays soccer. We make sure that every single day, we are participating in at least one activity that keeps our bodies moving.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family
10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

4. We all take the proper multivitamins for each of us as individuals.
This one is so important! Even when following a health-conscious diet, it can be challenging to get the proper vitamins that support each of our individual health needs (for me as a woman, for my husband as a man, and for my little ones as kids). This is why we all take MegaFood Multivitamin Soft Chews.

I take the MegaFood Women’s Multivitamin Soft Chews, which in just one (delicious!) Mixed Berry Flavor chew supports optimal health and wellbeing for women through the proper daily dose of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins to support energy*, and nourishing organic cranberry.

My husband takes the Men’s Multivitamin Soft Chews, which comes in a Tropical Flavor (his fave) chew and provides B vitamins for energy* along with valuable vitamins and minerals and and farm-fresh food like organic turmeric.

The kids take the MegaFood Kids Multivitamin Soft Chew, which is made to support healthy growth and development by supplying proper supplemental nutrition for kids 4 and over via a super yummy grape flavor chew.* With a 5 mg blend of real oranges, cranberries, and blueberries along with antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, the Megafood Multi Chews for kids help fuel their active days.*

I trust and adore the MegaFood brand for many reasons (their supplements are made with real food and added nutrients and are award-winning!), but I especially love that they have certifications like non-GMO, organic, tested for 125+ herbicides and pesticides (amazing!), gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan, kosher, dairy-free and soy-free. They are the first supplement company to have their entire product line certified glyphosate residue free, too. I am also a huge fan of the fact that they focus on sustainability by working with farmers who share a commitment to organic and regenerative agriculture. They are an integral part of our family’s commitment to being a healthy as we can be!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

5. We get outside and play.
I can’t tell you how many studies I’ve read on the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of kids participating in free play outdoors, but it holds true for adults as well! We were so grateful to finally move into a house with a yard a year and a half ago, and we take full advantage of getting out there and playing together everyday. We also have a park close by, and love exploring our local nature preserves. I feel at my very best when I spend time outside, and I can tell my kids do as well.

6. We grocery shop together.
I’ll be honest – it is infinitely easier if my husband or I go to the grocery store alone. But we do make sure we go at least once a week as a family. It’s a great way to teach our kids the importance of choosing whole, healthy foods by talking to them about reading labels, buying organic produce, avoiding processed foods, etc. It also forces us to set an example (we can’t exactly tell the kids they can’t buy sugar-filled cereal for breakfast then buy a box of doughnuts for ourselves).

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

7. We go to the doctor and dentist regularly.
It’s so easy to put off physicals and dental exams when you have a hectic schedule. My husband and I were both admittedly terrible about this before we had kids. These days, we realize how important it is (more important than anything else!) to take this time. We go to the dentist together as a family every 6 months, and we each see the doctor once a year as well. No excuses!

8. We drink lots of water.
My kids used to complain incessantly about drinking water. But then we started to make sure they saw us doing it throughout the day out of our reusable water bottles, and suddenly they wanted to do it too. Now all four of us carries our water bottles with us everywhere we go. We keep them on our bedside tables at night as well.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

9. We cheer each other on.
Mental health is just as important as physical, and being supportive of your loved ones is, in my experience, one of the best ways to encourage one another in to feel loved and important in general. I’ve also found that when we’re cheering each other on in our efforts to be healthy, it motivates us to keep it up! My husband and I do everything we can to be at our kids’ practices and games, dance recitals, fields days, etc., and we make sure they know how proud we are of their efforts. The kids and I attend all of my husband’s races. My daughter even comes with me to yoga class and tells me how proud she is of me for taking care of myself. We also cheer each other on when we’re working in the garden to grow our own veggies, and celebrate when we harvest. It makes a difference!

10. We practice gratitude.
This is another big one. Every morning as soon as we wake up, and every night when we go to bed, we share one thing for which we’re grateful. I have found that starting and ending my day with gratitude (even if I have to force it) genuinely helps me feel less anxious and more happy throughout my day, and helps me sleep better as well. It’s so easy to focus on what we don’t have (trust me, I am guilty of this on a regular basis), but it is genuinely incredible to see the difference in your mental wellbeing when you start to focus on what you do have and express gratitude for it. Sharing it with each other in our family is one of the most important ways for us to focus on our mental health.

10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family
10 Ways to Stay Healthy As a Family

There you have it, my friends! As the change in seasons approaches and we adjust to a new school year, making our health as a family a priority feels more important than ever, and even just typing this out to share with you guys motivates me to want to continue to work hard on it. If you have other ideas for ways to focus on staying healthy as a family, please comment below. I’d love to hear them! And if you haven’t yet tried MegaFood Multivitamin Soft Chews, I highly recommend them!

ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Isn’t Always By Choice

But it’s MY bed! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Win a PawZaar Dog Walking Bag/Crossbody Phone Bag

We are SO excited to announce the launch of our newest PawZaar product: the CALL OF THE WALK™ dog walking bag and crossbody phone bag especially for dog moms! You’ll remember a few months ago…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FIDO Friendly Celebrates 11 Years of Get Your Licks on Route 66

For the 11th year, animal lovers are in seventh heaven knowing that adoptable dogs  cats along the Mother Road will find forever mothers and fathers to love thanks to FIDO Friendly magazine’s…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTG, Delaware!

WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 – Congratulations to the state of Delaware on becoming the first and only state in the US certified as a no-kill state! This means they euthanize less than 10% of their shelter animals, only those deemed too ill / injured to save. Hopefully more states will follow suit! … Continue reading WTG, Delaware!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Creepy!

May your swimmin’ hole be creature free for the rest of the summer! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Health Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment