Everyday Reading

August 22, 2014

Snack Time for the Troops (and the Pregnant Lady)

You know what I like? Healthy snacks showing up on my doorstep. 

You know what I really really like? Healthy snacks showing up on my doorstep when I'm pregnant. 

When NatureBox asked if we wanted to try out some snacks, it wasn't exactly a tough call.

I'm finally starting to come out of that phase in pregnancy where I'm not having to eat every 20 minutes to keep from feeling like death (now, I can go a whole 45 minutes or something. Hallelujah).

We'd been buying more snacks than usual since I needed to have things on hand I could eat at a moment's notice or take when we were going to leave the house for more than a nanosecond.

But after a few weeks, I noticed that if I was just eating sugar-y carbs, I'd start to feel sick again mega-quickly and then get into this horrendous cycle of sick, different kind of sick, sick again. It was not awesome.

I finally wised up and realized I would NEVER let my girls snack on the kinds of things I was eating.

They have snacks every day after quiet time, and I usually do a little plate of a variety of things. I try to aim for something with protein (nuts, cheese, etc), something fun, and a fruit or vegetable. (This all sounds really fancy. I promise, I'm talking like five seconds of prep here).

NatureBox was perfect for all of us because you get a box of five snacks, so there's a good variety.  I also like that you can either be surprised or select your five items from their catalog (which is extensive) or do a combination of the two.

I mainly picked fun things for my box, but I love that they're still all wholesome, with low amount of sugar, and no fake ingredients. I'd add some grapes or baby tomatoes, and voila! Snack time.

(I could have made it even easier on myself by picking some dried fruits or veggies as one of my picks, especially since their dried fruits aren't soaked in sugar like the ones my grocery store sells).

Plus, then my cupboard was full of good choices for me when I needed to eat something in the next ten seconds or die (not to be dramatic, or anything. Pregnancy really brings out the best in me).

Also, a little known fact is that snacks always taste better when eaten under the pool table. Try it yourself and see.

Click here to get 50% off your first month’s NatureBox delivery! ($10 value) using promo code: SNACKTOSCHOOL"

Fine Crumbs: Promotion is good for 50% off your first month to month box or $10 off your first box in your first prepaid subscription. New and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

August 21, 2014

6 Books to Read Aloud to a Preschooler

In the last year, Ella and I have started reading chapter books together, and it's been ridiculously delightful.

In the last six months, particularly,  her attention span has gotten much longer, and she is legitimately THRILLED to be reading together. She's the one begging for one more chapter, and . . . basically all my wildest dreams have come true.

Here are the ones we've liked the most:

Great early chapter books to read aloud to a preschooler

  • Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. The first one is the best, but we read all three and they are all very fun, about three beloved toys who live with a little girl. 
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. Holy cow, these are long chapters. But Ella loved every single one. We read three of the books in a row. 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake. We're not quite finished with this one, but we've plowed through it in about five days. It seriously is so fun. I got teary when Charlie found the ticket (and Ella shot out of her chair, shrieking with excitement). 
  • B is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood. This was the first book where Ella was actively asking me to read one more chapter. They're just so sweet and old-fashioned. 
  • Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. I love all his books, but this is the best. Ella fell asleep during the last chapter on a road trip, and Bart asked me to finish reading it. I can't wait to show her the movie. 
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. Oh, this book was just so fun to read again. I love Beverly Cleary, and Ella was delighted by the mouse riding a tiny toy motorcycle. 

By the way, a few we read that I didn't particularly love (and, granted, I'm ridiculously, 100000% picky).
  • Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace and Lois Lenski. I love it, but was a bit too complicated for Ella at 3.5 years old. 
  • Socks by Beverly Cleary. A book from a cat's point of view was too advanced for her at just over three. And . . . I don't even like cats. 
  • My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett. I know this is a huge classic and everyone loves it so so so much, but I'd never read it before, and now I don't feel like I was missing out. Ella seemed to like it fine (not tons, but she didn't complain about it), but I was couldn't WAIT for it to be over. Snooze-fest. 

August 20, 2014

I Didn't Know I Needed Leather Leggings

I've never really been a gigantic fan of leggings. I think they are riiiiiiight there on the edge of frumpy, and generally my policy has been to stay away from them.

But then I saw a pair of $8 leather leggings at Forever 21, and I thought, " . . . I could be convinced."

And then I tried them on and I was.

I think the leather gives them enough edge to keep them from being frumpy, and they are stretchy enough that I'm hopeful I can wear them through at least a good chunk of this pregnancy. And if not, well, I'll just go buy a pair in the next size up. If I can swing $8.

I also love that they can be dressed up and down (we're leaving this weekend for Europe, so I'm really thinking about packing stuff that's as versatile as possible).

 Shirt: Kohl's (similar) // Leggings: Forever 21 (similar, but I've seen the exact ones I bought in multiple stores) // Shoes: Kohl's

I like it dressed down for doing my regular day kind of stuff with the girls. Any excuse to wear tennis shoes without looking like I'm going to the gym is thumbs up in my book.

But they also dress up easily too. I paired them with some neutral heels and this tunic from eShakti.

I have (possibly insane) dreams of wearing them on a date with Bart to see some fun show in London.

Tunic: c/o eShakti // Heels: Nine West 

Also, when I was wearing this outfit, Ella said, "You look like you're in a wedding." I didn't dare ask if she thought I was the bride or the groom.

P.S. You can see more of eShakti on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


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