Our Love For Storytime

Our Love For Storytime

I’ve posted here before about how storytime is one of our little ones’ favorite activities. We have family story nights outside in the summer, where we all sit out on our deck and read together. The kids have pretend storytimes of their own, where they snuggle up in the big chair in our living room and Essley “reads” to Emmett. (There is quite possibly nothing more adorable than this, by the way.) Essley and her friends play storytime on playdates. Robbie and I love how much they enjoy these experiences. In a time where screens dominate so much of our daily lives, there is something incredibly reassuring (especially when our kids, like most, admittedly do love their screen time), to know that they find such genuine joy in books.

Because they are such big fans of storytime, you can imagine the kids’ excitement (and then subsequent heartbreak, when they realized we’d have to miss out because we’ll be on vacation!) when we found out about Storytime LIVE!, an awesome event that Kiddie Academy is hosting at multiple locations here in Illinois this Saturday, July 29th. You may remember me singing Kiddie Academy’s praises in the past. They’re a nationally recognized provider of comprehensive educational child care programs, with a really wonderful Life Essentials® curriculum that focuses on social and emotional character education, and physical and cognitive outcomes – all of which are aligned with state preschool learning standards. And Storytime LIVE! is yet another cool thing they’re doing for little ones. It’s a fun, educational community reading event (that is also free!) intended to promote reading amongst kids. It will also help prepare little ones for the transition into school or a school setting through the combination of playtime and leaning (which are the main parts of the Life Essentials® curriculum). And the best part is that Curious George (one of our kids’ all time favorite characters) jumps off the page and visits the classroom in person! So fun, right?

For my readers here in Illinois, ten Kiddie Academy locations will be participating in Storytime LIVE! this weekend: Arlington Heights, Batavia, Carpentersville, Darien, Frankfort, Naperville, Oswego, Park Ridge, Plainfield, and Streamwood. And the event is open to everyone – whether your children are current students, you’d like to learn more about Kiddie Academy, or you’d just like to be a part of this special experience with your kids! To reserve your spot to attend, just click here. If we weren’t going to be several hundred miles away, we would be there in a heartbeat. And if you go, I’d love to hear about it!

Do your kids enjoy storytime as much as mine do? What books are their favorites?

This post is in partnership with Kiddie Academy.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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What I’m Wearing Now: July

Casual Summer Style Staples
1. Printed Maxi Dress (similar), H&M   //   2. Love Bird Sunglasses, Free People  //   3. Linen V-neck Top, H&M  //  4. Embroidered Linen Tank, J.Crew Factory  //  5. The Perfect Jean Short, Madewell    //  6. Cora Chain Wrap Scarf Necklace in Antique Silver, Free People  // 7Morocco Sandals in Brown, Minnetonka  //  8. Magic Braid Cross Body Bag, Lucky Brand (on clearance!)  //  9. Rene Sandal, Trask   //  10. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  11. Off-the-Shoulder Dress, H&M 

July is my very favorite month of the year for What I’m Wearing Now posts. It’s usually hot here in Chicago, but not unbearably hot like August tends to me. There are lots of parties and concerts and lake trips and other fun summery things that require me to put on more than my summertime work-from-home shorts and t-shirts uniform. It’s the month where I’m most able to take advantage of my favorite pieces in my closet. This has been the perfect July for all of these things, and I’m genuinely sad that there’s only a week left of it.

As you can see in the collage above, I’ve been living in my usual lightweight dresses (including this one and this one which are not shown above but are not to be missed as they are SUPER reduced in price right now), tees, cut-offs and sandals. But I’ve also ventured beyond my usual comfort zone this month, into maxi dresses – which I’ve always found beautiful, but don’t usual work for my body type. I’ve actually found the majority of my beloved maxi dresses via the Knox Rose line from Target, believe it or not. They’re really beautiful and so flattering and best of all, affordable AF.

We are going on another trip, way up to Door County, Wisconsin, later this week, and the kids and I will be going on another weekend trip to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks – so between our travels and other fun weekend activities (and maybe even a date night or two with Robbie sans kids), I’m hoping for many more opportunities throughout the next month to enjoy pretty summer dresses before my favorite season for fashion comes to an end.

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Links I Love, Right Now

I was looking through old posts the other day and realized I hadn’t done a Links I Love since March. I guess it’s just been a busy summer (meaning I haven’t had as much time to waste aimlessly browsing the internet at 2 AM). I’ve had a random case of insomnia all week long though, which means I’ve got all kinds of stuff to share. So here we go!

Mmmm. 80+ hearty vegetarian meal recipes. I’m in.

This Free People blog post on 10 ways to use healing crystals is actually a few years old, but it’s new to me. I have dozens of crystals around my house and have always been fascinated by them.

A Saudi woman was arrested for wearing a mini skirt in public. I have so much to say about this but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I am in love with these simple organic cotton duvet cover sets – available in 6 colors and less than $ 60. I think I need at least two.

Did you guys hear about the Swiss couple,  missing for almost 75 years, who were found frozen on a glacier? So intense.

This made my week: a dog rescued a baby deer from drowning.

This embroidered dress is everything.

A school in Paris asked 100 graffiti artists to paint before they renovated it. Who else thinks this is better than any renovation could possible be?

I enjoyed this piece on screen time rules and reality as voiced by 10 different moms. Both my kids are allowed to watch tv and movies, but it is very limited. It was interesting to read the views of others. (And I learned that many of us who were anti screen time for kids changed our views once we had them.)

I’m one of those rare bloggers who doesn’t get excited for fall clothing – I actually get a little sad. But this oversized denim moto jacket (as seen in top image) might make me a convert. I can see myself wearing it with a pretty printed maxi dress on an end-of-summer night. Love.

This family turned a school bus into their own personal hostel on wheels and are exploring Europe. (Fun fact: I lived on a school bus, parked in the highest incorporated town in Colorado, the summer after I graduated college.)

How cute (and chic) is this little cactus stud earring?

What are you up to this weekend? The band Robbie works for is playing locally (in Chicago) tomorrow, which is usually just a once-a-year occurrence. The kids and I are going, and then we’re heading down to Indianapolis to see them play there as well. I guess it’s go-to-work-with-daddy weekend for us! Essley is stoked. Oh, and speaking of out of town trips, here’s a funny story for you. We’re taking a big family trip up to northern Wisconsin that, for many months, I thought was August 3rd. I found out last night it’s actually July 27th – an entire week earlier. Yep. Considering we’re leaving town this weekend too, I’ll just let you imagine how frantic this Type A personality has been over the last 15+ hours trying to rework our schedule. It’s going to be an interesting week next week. I’ll see you back here on Monday!

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Give me a drink!

What is it about French Bulldogs that make them so irresistible? What is it about French Bulldogs that make them so irresistible? This one is waiting for a helping hand from his owner so he can drink out of the fountain in Menton.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Creative dog grooming: it’s not just for women and Poodles any more

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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China is censoring…no, seriously?

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Recipe: Poultry Aspic for Your Dog!

Since the Middle Ages, thickened meat broth has been coaxed into forming aspic from the natural gelatin found in beef, veal, pork, poultry, and even some fish. Before modern refrigeration, it was an…



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DogTipper

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Election Day

There’s only one thing to do today … turn off the television and go love your dog!
RIVIERA DOGS

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Intent

This is Shar-pei looking at the camera very intently at the recent Fete de la Branda in Gorbio village.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

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Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

One of my favorite childhood memories involves weekend mornings, when I’d get up early with my dad to make Mickey Mouse pancakes together. They weren’t Pinterest-worthy by any means, but I loved everything about them, from the mixing of the batter to “designing” them to the way they tasted. After I became a mom to Essley a few years ago, I couldn’t wait to repeat this tradition with her. And when she turned a year old, we started making our own Mickey Mouse pancakes together. They quickly became her favorite breakfast, and now they’re Emmett’s favorite as well. I’m a very visual person, and I’ll admit that a lot of times when I’m preparing food, the way the finish product looks is even more important to me than how it tastes. With our family Mickey Mouse pancakes, this is not the case. They are rarely symmetrical and their decor is far from fancy. For this meal it’s all about the process and spending time together as a family to create a breakfast that is fun, inspired by a character we love, and perfectly imperfect (just like our family; awwww). Today I’m teaming up with our friends at Disney Junior to share a glimpse into our special Mickey Mouse pancake making tradition (including how to make your own), inspired by one of our favorite shows, Mickey & The Roadster Racers.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

Pancake or Baking Mix (feel free to make from scratch if you’re feeling motivated!)
Eggs (our mix requires this)
Milk (our mix requires this)
Coconut oil or butter
Bananas
Blueberries
Pure maple syrup

Follow your pancake mix to combine necessary ingredients (in our mix, that’s the powder, eggs, and milk). Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat and melt enough coconut oil (this is what we use) or butter to adequately cover the surface in order to prevent sticking. For each pancake, use either a mixing bowl with a spout, a pitcher, or a ladle to pour batter, first to create the face, then to create two ears that will be attached to the face (at 10 and 2, if you’re looking at the face like a clock). Make sure when you pour the ears that they just barely touch at the edges between the ears and the face to allow room for the pancake to expand. Flip once the underside is golden brown. Repeat with as many pancakes as you’d like, and remove from griddle or pan when each cake is golden on both sides. Then comes the fun part – decorating. We use blueberries for the eyes and sliced bananas for the nose. Sometimes we make larger versions where we add blueberry mouths as well. Really, you can use whatever you have on hand – fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. The whole point is to have fun and get creative with your little ones, and to work together as a family. On Essley’s and ours, we drizzle with maple syrup. Emmett likes his with just fruit.

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Essley decided that we should have a Mickey Mouse pancake making party the morning of July 28th for the premiere of the new episode of Mickey & The Roadster Racers on the Disney Channel, which I thought was a perfect idea. We love all of Disney Junior‘s summertime FRiYAY morning shows (favorites include Sofia the First, Puppy Dog Pals, Lion Guard, and Elena of Avalor), but both kids are really into Mickey & The Roadster Racers right now. They love the fun theme song and Essley is all about the race cars. Robbie and I are fans of the show too, because we love the positive messages and lessons it teaches about friendship and community. And just like the process of creating our special pancakes together as family, the show emphasizes the importance of working together to accomplish things. We’re really looking forward to making our perfectly imperfect Mickey Mouse pancakes and then enjoying them while we watch together (8:30 AM on the 28th, on the Disney Channel).

You can find Disney Junior shows on two different television channels: Disney Junior (a dedicated channel that runs Disney Junior shows all day long), and Disney Channel (which airs Disney Junior shows during the morning block, and usually air new episodes first). You can also find Disney Junior goodness on their Facebook page and on their YouTube. We hope you love them as much as we do!

Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes
Our Perfectly Imperfect Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Who else makes Mickey Mouse pancakes with your little ones? What is your favorite Disney Junior show?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Disney Junior. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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