Fill Me In Friday… Teaching Braylen

Each Friday, I'm going to be answering some of your questions from the post I did earlier and giving you a little more insight into how we do things … [Continue Reading]

teach preschoolers

Whole 30: Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

Yesterday marked day 21 of Whole 30. It's crazy to me that I've made it this far and only have nine more days to go. Although, truth be told, my plan … [Continue Reading]

whole 30 grocery list

Home Tour: Dining Room

I’ve been on a roll lately with house projects. The craft room is basically finished, I just have a few boxes to go through and then I’ll be ready to … [Continue Reading]

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Story Stones on Every Day Cheer

Since all of my teacher friends went back to the classroom last week and I'm missing those kindergarten projects and all the first of the year fun, … [Continue Reading]

storystones

15 things I’ve learned in 15 days on whole 30

I've managed to stick to Whole 30 for about 15 days now. Today actually marks day 15, but I don't intend on falling off the wagon today, so we'll go … [Continue Reading]

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Fill Me In Friday… Teaching Braylen

Each Friday, I’m going to be answering some of your questions from the post I did earlier and giving you a little more insight into how we do things around here. One of the most common questions that came from that posts was about teaching Braylen.

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Braylen has a really good memory, and she picks up on things really quickly. I saw that she was learning her alphabet and numbers using the Melissa and Doug puzzles early on and then using that knowledge and recognizing them elsewhere. She would point out letters at the grocery store or numbers on a road sign.

As a teacher, I’m always just waiting for that moment when I can unlock a little potential and turn things into a teachable moment, I don’t think learning can be forced. And I think children learn well through hands-on exploration and they learn best at their own pace, especially at her age. So when I saw her natural learning progression I began to capitalize on little teachable moments throughout the day.

Which brings me to a couple of points I want to make about teaching children:

Incorporate learning naturally- Don’t expect them to do more than they can, don’t pressure them and make them dislike learning. For example, if Braylen wanted to show me the letter “A” in the grocery store, I would make a big deal about it and ask her to show me another one if she saw one. I never sat her down at 18 months old and structured her learning time to include specific alphabet puzzles, but when she naturally chose those puzzles, I was sure to point out the letters and talk with her while she played. Equip your child with the tools to learn, but let it come natural.

Make it fun- Plan fun activities, use manipulatives, meet your child on their level. Make learning fun for them, this is the time to instill a love for learning that can last a lifetime. Don’t structure it in a way that is beyond their level of attentiveness or boring to them.

Now that she’s older and has a great foundation, we’re really capitalizing. Right now, she’s a big fan of spelling words and trying to figure out words in books. I’m just guiding her with a little phonics help and waiting for the right time to teach her more about blending words. She also loves math problems so we use a variety of manipulatives to help her figure them out on her own.

Here are some recent favorites at her house:

teach preschoolers

Meet the Sight Words DVD’s Meet the Sight Words Flashcards/Meet the Sight Words Books/Math Manipulatives Set/Math Flash Cards

It’s really impossible to cover it all in one post. Because I absolutely love this topic and because I’m going to need a little creative outlet in the coming weeks since I packed up my classroom this year, I’ll make some printable teaching sets like I’ve been using with Braylen for you guys and give you some posts on how we use them.

 

Whole 30: Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

Yesterday marked day 21 of Whole 30. It’s crazy to me that I’ve made it this far and only have nine more days to go. Although, truth be told, my plan is to stick with it until we go on vacation next month. Which maybe makes me a little crazy. Here’s the thing, at this point I still have tons of energy, but serious food boredom has set in, I’m over eggs and sweet potatoes, and I feel exactly like this timeline says I should feel on day 21. Like every other crazy feeling on this diet, I keep thinking this will pass soon.

In the past 21 days we’ve been to 3 birthday parties, a gender reveal party, 3 cookouts, and one family gathering at my house. I’ve passed up my favorite cake, my favorite pie, and a coconut cake that I did snag the recipe for, because I know I’m going to want to try it one day. Here’s the thing, it gets easier each and every time I have to turn down an old favorite. I promise, if you’re in the first week, it does get better!

Today I wanted to share with you our grocery list for this week and our dinner plan. Because I’ve been on the diet 21 days now, we have most of the spices and oils that we need, so you’ll want to double check your pantry against my grocery list to ensure you have all the necessary spices.

whole 30 grocery list

I’d definitely say our grocery haul looks much different lately. We purchase organic when it’s available. Our choices are limited unless I want to drive to the nearest Whole Foods or Fresh Market (which we’ve been doing), but we couldn’t fit it in this weekend.

Here’s what our dinner will look like using those groceries:

Monday- Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

Tuesday- Chicken Soup

Wednesday- Burgers with Grilled Veggies and Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday- Breakfast for dinner with homemade breakfast sausage (along with eggs, fruit, and sweet potatoes)

Friday- Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with homemade sauce

Saturday- Roast with carrots and I add red potatoes

I use the rest of the things for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. Basically, I try to eat leftovers for lunch and I come up with something for breakfast each morning. I’ve been eating chia seed pudding to get over my egg slump. Here’s my favorite way to make it:

Tropical Chia Seed Pudding

1/3 cup Chia seeds

1 cups pineapple

1 can coconut milk

1 banana

Blend pineapple, coconut milk, and banana until smooth. Pour into a bowl (with a lid because you’ll be storing this in the refrigerator) and add Chia seeds. Mix well and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Top with fresh fruit!

Home Tour: Dining Room

I’ve been on a roll lately with house projects. The craft room is basically finished, I just have a few boxes to go through and then I’ll be ready to do a reveal post, and I’m in the middle of turning our screened-in back porch into a cozy outdoor living area. I made a few changes in the dining room over the weekend and decided to call it complete.

The dining room is one of my favorite spaces, even though we don’t use it as much a I would like, but I imagine one day we’ll sit around the dining room table for dinner and clear the dishes for family game night. Or not, but it’s a nice day dream.

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The table, chairs, and china cabinet were given to us shortly after we were married. Allen refinished the furniture, I recovered the chairs, and we’ve loved it ever since.

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Our china from our wedding fills the top two shelves of the cabinet and the bottom one is filled with fun Mud Pie pieces that I love to use as serving dishes. That’s actually my bouquet from our wedding and framed wedding invitation, and a Mother’s Day hand print from BK, all things I cherish.

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I’m not sure why I love this room so much, since we don’t use it often. Maybe because it stays clean most of the time. Or because that table makes the perfect spot for folding laundry.

Either way, I’ll be sure to let you know when my June Cleaver dreams of family dinner time in the dining room come true. Until then, we’ll be eating at the smaller table in the kitchen.

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Dining Room Info

Chair Fabric: Hobby Lobby

Paint Color: I wish I knew, we haven’t changed the paint colors since we moved.

Corner Shelf: Home Goods

Canvas: Easy Canvas Prints

Mirror: Hobby Lobby

Flower Box: Tutorial Here 

Story Stones on Every Day Cheer

Since all of my teacher friends went back to the classroom last week and I’m missing those kindergarten projects and all the first of the year fun, I’m posting about one of my favorite ways to inspire creativity and imaginative play on Every Day Cheer. Click over to see how I use Story Stones and make a set for your kiddo or class tonight.

storystones

15 things I’ve learned in 15 days on whole 30

I’ve managed to stick to Whole 30 for about 15 days now. Today actually marks day 15, but I don’t intend on falling off the wagon today, so we’ll go ahead and call it half-way. Basically, it’s about 14 days longer than I’ve managed to stay on any other diet. I’m kidding. But, not really. In honor of making it to the half-way point, I’m going to give you a quick run down of a few things I’ve learned so far.

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image via whole 30 website

15 to be exact.

ONE- Every day this gets a little easier. Every day I feel a little better. Every day I have more energy. Seriously, I feel like this is the way my body should feel.

TWO-  I’ve probably cooked more times in the past 15 days than I did in the past 3 months. Some days I’m cooking 3 meals, but I try to do have leftovers for lunch. We’ve eaten out once in 15 days. That’s huge for us, y’all. 

THREE- Grocery budget? Well, that’s a whole other story. It’s increased a bit since we’ve started Whole 30, but we’re also not eating out much so I’m hoping that it all balances out.

FOUR- I won’t mention the number of attempts it took for me to make Paleo Mayo. It was all worth it in the end because I did make some fantastic chicken salad once the mayo came out right. Just shred some chicken, add mayo, a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper, grapes, and toasted almonds.

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FIVE- I’ve added a few new foods to my refrigerator and pantry. Ghee, Chia seeds, almond flour, and a ton of new spices have all become favorites of mine.

SIX- The number of days since Allen started Whole 30. That’s right, I think my results coaxed him onboard. And, I’m not cooking two meals at night, so he was already 1/3 of the way there when he started.

SEVEN- I won’t have an official pounds lost until Day 30, but it’s really not even about that at this point. I know I’m losing weight and I can see my body changing each day. The most important thing has been the change in my energy and the way I feel overall. Each piece of cake I’ve passed up is completely worth the way I’m feeling these days.

EIGHT- I haven’t always been a huge fan of vegetables, but I’m expanding my palate and finding out that I really love a wide variety of veggies. Artichokes, zucchini, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, are all recent favorites. And spaghetti squash with tomato and meat sauce? That’s where it’s at!

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NINE- I’m finding that drinks are my biggest vice. Sugary Starbucks drinks, diet Cokes, real Cokes, coffee drenched in processed creamer. I may always miss these things.

TEN- I’m become a bit annoying on Instagram as I share my journey, you can take a peek at my daily eats by following along (@jenniferggreen) or with the hashtag #jenngdoeswhole30.

ELEVEN- I’ve learned to take it one day at a time. 30 days seemed pretty much impossible in the beginning. When I started I went to the grocery store twice that week and planned only a few days out. Now, I’m doing it a week at a time and it feels like I’ve really found my groove with this way of eating.

TWELVE- In the beginning I literally used this formula for breakfast, I’ve since branched out a bit, but it really helps me stay on track. Eggs + Compliant Protein + Fruit or Vegetable

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THIRTEEN- I try to fill my plate up at dinner with veggies so the formula looks more like this: Compliant Protein + As many vegetables as possible

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FOURTEEN- We aren’t tossing groceries at the end of the week. We’ve actually eaten every single thing we purchased at the grocery store for the past two weeks. No spoiled vegetables, no yucky spinach at the bottom of the bag that had to be tossed.

FIFTEEN- If you want to give it a try, go to their website and look over their steps for starting the program. You can find it by clicking here. 

 

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