10 Best Back to School Books for Preschoolers

10 Best Back to School Books for Preschoolers

Ya’ll I can see it, the light at the end of the summer tunnel. We made it! We survived. We actually had fun – did you see our trip to The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan? Phenomenal. Now it’s time to turn our attention to all things back to school, then fall, then football, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas……..ok, that’s just crazy. Let’s just focus on back to school.

Back to school for us isn’t until after Labor Day so we still have some time. 5 weeks to be exact but who’s counting? Even though we are only going to do 3 half days a week of preschool, I’m still prepping Big Nugget for the transition back to the routine. We will also start to talk about our drop off routine, you can read more about that here. It has been so helpful in getting her comfortable with new environments, even with the few camps she’s done this summer.

New places, new faces, new surrounding can be so overwhelming. It’s great to give them some tools to cope with all the emotions. Books are a great way to gently introduce some new or scary or complicated concepts. They were super helpful when we were starting to teach her about diversity. Back to school is no different. Here are some of my favorite books, perfect for preschoolers.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

10 Best Back to School Books for Preschoolers

Back to School Itsy Bitsy School Bus

The Itsy Bitsy School Bus 

Back to School How to Be a Big Kid

How to Be A Big Kid 

Back to School Night Before Preschool

The Night Before Preschool 

Back to School Splat

Splat The Cat: Back to School, Splat

Back to School Froggy

Froggy Goes to School

Back to School I don't want to go to school

I Don’t Want to go to School

Back to School Dr Seuss's You Are Kind

Dr Seuss’s You Are Kind

Back to School Llama Llama

Llama Llama misses Mama  

Back to School If You Take A Mouse

If You Take A Mouse To School

Back to School Absolutely Small

I Am Too Absolutely Too Small For School

Back to School Best Books

9 Things to Know Before Painting Cabinets

9 Things to Know Before Painting Cabinets

When we did our laundry room makeover, I thought that building the shelf or hanging the wallpaper would be the most challenging part of the design plan. I was surprised that painting the cabinets was actually the part that gave me the biggest headaches.

I love the look of painted cabinets and now that I’ve learned some lessons, I’m ready to tackle the rest of the painted cabinets we have in this house. That is, as soon as I finish our front door makeover.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

9 Things I Learned Painting My Cabinets

Buy some sawhorses – This is a garage/workshop must-have if you like doing any sort of home projects or even crafting. They are perfect to stage your cabinets on when you are prepping them and painting them. I use these on my projects, I love the lower table.

Before and after painted cabinet transformation. This easy DIY project, with or without sanding, can take old drap cabinets into a high impact statement. Ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. 9 things to know when you are painting cabinets with with a sprayer or with brushes. #beforeandafter #DIY #kitchen #bathroom #laundryroom #colors #interiordesign #farmhouse

Scrape off excess paint – If you have old or layered paint on your cabinets, take the time to scrape it off. It will make your finished product look great and help your primer and paint stick.

Before and after painted cabinet transformation. This easy DIY project, with or without sanding, can take old drap cabinets into a high impact statement. Ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. 9 things to know when you are painting cabinets with with a sprayer or with brushes. #beforeandafter #DIY #kitchen #bathroom #laundryroom #colors #interiordesign #farmhouse

Sand them down – Also another important step that shouldn’t be skipped. I sand them really well before I put on primer and then gently with a fine sandpaper once the primer is dry.

Use a good primer, maybe twice – I love Killz primer. It’s worth it to put a layer of this on even if your paint includes a primer in it. Especially on cabinets that are going to get a lot of use.

Invest in paint – This was my biggest mistake in our laundry room makeover, I used crappy paint. If I had to do it over again, I would have had my paint store color match the crappy paint and used a higher-quality brand. It’s worth the time and money.

Use foam brushes – On cabinets, if you are hand painting them, you want to use foam brushes so you eliminate brush marks. I like having a few different sizes, like in this package. If you want to get super fancy, use a sprayer. This is ideal for bigger projects but for the four doors in my laundry room, brushes were fine.

Have a small bowl or cup nearby to keep all the loose screws – Painting your cabinets isn’t a one day project so it’s nice to be able to keep all the screws and hardware in one central location so you have it once you are ready to reinstall.

Before and after painted cabinet transformation. This easy DIY project, with or without sanding, can take old drap cabinets into a high impact statement. Ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. 9 things to know when you are painting cabinets with with a sprayer or with brushes. #beforeandafter #DIY #kitchen #bathroom #laundryroom #colors #interiordesign #farmhouse

Painters tape is your friend – Use painters tape to mark off what cabinet door go where (very important thing to keep track of) and it to measure and mark drill holes for the new pulls. Very important to GO SLOW when you are drilling into your doors. Using light pressure and taking your time will make sure that your doors don’t split or crack when you drill through them.

Before and after painted cabinet transformation. This easy DIY project, with or without sanding, can take old drap cabinets into a high impact statement. Ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. 9 things to know when you are painting cabinets with with a sprayer or with brushes. #beforeandafter #DIY #kitchen #bathroom #laundryroom #colors #interiordesign #farmhouse

Load up on patience – Take your time and do it right. Trust me it will be worth it.

Before and after painted cabinet transformation. This easy DIY project, with or without sanding, can take old drap cabinets into a high impact statement. Ideas for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. 9 things to know when you are painting cabinets with with a sprayer or with brushes. #beforeandafter #DIY #kitchen #bathroom #laundryroom #colors #interiordesign #farmhouse

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

It’s easy for us to get into a routine on our annual summer visit back to Michigan. We do the same things we always do and rarely break out of those routines. I think it’s part of visiting where you grew up. I have certain places that I want to visit (ok, well, mainly eat at), family I want to see and we hit up some old favorites (like Frankenmuth). Thanks to the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, who gifted us some tickets, this time around we added somewhere different – The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

I think if you grew up in Michigan, you’ve spent at least one field trip at The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. It’s probably been 30 years since I’ve gone though. Being in Dearborn, wasn’t one of those places that we hit up on our trips back to the mitten. That all changed this time around.

Greenfield Village

We started the day outside at Greenfield Village before it got too hot for the kids. Greenfield Village is over 80 acres and has 7 different historic districts. You can explore working farms, Edison’s workshop, the Wright Brother’s home or ride on a 100 year old carousel.

Henry Ford Museum Cab

Henry Ford Museum Edison Light Bulb.jpg

There is so much to see and do that we could have spent a couple days here. Employees and volunteers are all dressed in period costumes and are SO full of great information about the time period and exhibits. It wasn’t uncommon to see people cruising by on turn of the century bicycles or taking a spin in a Model T.

Henry Ford Museum Vintage BicyclesHenry Ford Museum Greenfield Village Windmill

Our favorite was hopping on the steam train and taking a trip around the park. Take peak at our very first Youtube video with more pictures and fun from Greenfield Village. Subscribe to our channel while you are there!

 

Henry Ford Museum

When you hear “Henry Ford Museum”, you’re going to assume that it’s all about cars but there is so much more to it that that. Yes, there an impressive collection of amazing cars on display, and not all Fords. You can see a handful of presidential limos and some race cars. Vintage cars and even trains. But it was their curated collections that really stood out.

The American Democracy and Civil Rights exhibit brought up a lot of questions from Big Nugget. She got to see first hand the work that went in to building and maintaining our democracy. She had so many insightful questions about women gaining the right to vote and our struggle for civil rights. I love how smart she is and what a big heart she has for people – all of our talk about diversity has paid off.

Henry Ford Museum Civil Rights fountainHenry Ford Museum Founding FathersHenry Ford Museum Quote

Personally, my favorite was The World of Charles and Ray Eames. The Eames Chair is world famous but The Henry Ford Museum does a fantastic job at bringing you inside of their design process, their mentality and creative process. From the Henry Ford Museum website: This exhibit provides a comprehensive timeline of postwar modernism through the lens of two of its most talented practitioners. Surround yourself with the tirelessly curious thinking that shaped the movement, and learn what’s possible when you break free from creative boundaries.

Henry Ford Museum Eames Collection Kid FurnitureHenry Ford Museum Eames fontsHenry Ford Museum Eames Cat Chair

If you are planning a visit to Detroit, add The Henry Ford Museum to your list of must see places in Michigan. I can’t wait to go back and see more of this wonderful facility.

Henry Ford MuseumHenry Ford Museum Greenfield Village

Amazon Prime Day Primer

Amazon Prime Day Primer

This Amazon Prime Day post was UPDATED on 6/27/2019 with all of this year’s Prime Day sneak peeks and deals! 

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Amazon Prime Day is nearly here. In year’s past, I’ve gotten some really good deals on stuff. Ya gotta put your time in and be on top of things but lucky for my bank account, we’ll be on vacation. So there won’t be an all-day online deal stalking session.

via GIPHY

Have no fear…Amazon is offering some Prime Day previews and I’ve pulled together as much from the sneak preview as I can. There are deals to be had ahead of July 15 & 16th my friends!

Some of my favorite beach must have’s and DIY projects were sourced from Amazon. I also keep a wish list of items that I might need to buy in the future. 

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

Amazon Prime Day Details

First things first, in order to take advantage of all the great Amazon Prime Day deals, you have to be a member of Amazon Prime. They are offering a 30 day free trial so you can take advantage now! Cancel if you want…but you won’t want to. Prime membership pays for itself easily, at least for me…or any parent. Don’t want to do the free trail? Find a friend or family member who is already a Prime member and ask them to add you to their account. This is what my sister and I do – just be sure to have a good shopping cart management strategy.

Once you’re in, take advantage of the countdown to deals. Amazon Echo is currently $100 off.

I’m a huge fan of audio books and Audible is currently doing a FREE 30-day free trial and you get two audio books and two Amazon Originals. 

My favorite Amazon Prime Day category? Shop specials from small businesses and start ups. I am LOVING this Drippy Ceramic Vase and it’s 20% off.

Other Favorite Products On Sale

There are going to be a ton of new product launches on Prime Day. You can get a sneak peak here. Some of my favorites:

Do you bullet journal or have a budding artist in your family? These markers are a great gift idea!

We love the Graco car seat we have and this one is a 3-1! 

I work in an open office so I’ve got my eye on these wireless headphones

Grocery Deals! Unlimited grocery delivery with Amazon Fresh!

Need to plan more? Amazon has you covered with their Prime Day Guide.

Happy shopping Prime friends!

 

 

Easy ways to get a head start on Amazon Prime Day! All the deals and new product launches to keep an eye on before the big day.

Traveling with Kids – 100 Ways to Survive the Trip

Traveling with Kids – 100 Ways to Survive the Trip

We are headed on our annual trip to Michigan in a few weeks and I’m starting to panic about traveling with kids. We are very active around San Diego – we go to the zoo and safari park quite a bit. So I know they are laid back and like adventures but 4am wake up calls and 5 hours flights? Not so much.

I’m not worried about Big Nugget, she’s easy. It’s the little one that I’m worried about. We’re in the stage where she completely understands everything that we are saying to her but she doesn’t have the words to communicate back yet. And oh Lord is she headstrong and loud.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! I never link to anything that I haven’t actually used. 

So far, I’ve hit up the dollar section at Target and got some little activities and sticker books. My plan is to wrap those in gift paper so that at least buys a little time even if they are completely uninterested in the “gift”. I also found this activity kit in the clearance section at Target. Between all of these tips, those activities, our iPad and in-flight entertainment, I’m convinced we will all survive.

Traveling With Kids Round Up

Traveling with kids, either on a plane or in a car, can be a nightmare. Here are the top tips, hacks, activities, packing lists and everything you need to survive getting to the places you want to explore.

Loads of great ideas and activities here – the Post It Notes tip is brilliant.

50 WAYS!

This game is great! Bringing a copy for our trip. It’s a long drive from the airport to my family’s house.

Printable game!

Give me all the lists and packing printables!

Toddler packing list

Family road trip packing list

Packing Printable

Road Trip Help

Do you have a family trip coming up this summer? Comment with some of your best hacks…lord knows I need ALL the help.

Traveling With Kids Tips to Survive