Looking to share the story of Creation with your little ones? This sweet board book, God Made the World, is the perfect way to do that! 
Reviews

Book Review: God Made the World

Looking to share the story of Creation with your little ones? This sweet board book, God Made the World, is the perfect way to do that! 

Looking to share the story of Creation with your little ones? This sweet board book, God Made the World, is the perfect way to do that! 

description of the book from the publisher:

Who made the sun, the stars, the moon, and the animals? God did! And who made me? God did! God made the entire world! Author and artist Sarah Collins brings a fresh approach to her illustrations using geometric designs to create bright, beautiful, and exiting pictures that preschoolers will want to look at over and over again.

God Made the World board book tells the story of creation in simple, easy to remember rhymes with art that is engaging and fun for young children. And it is sure to become a classic introductory creation storybook that will be used by countless families and teachers.

As usual, my five point review:

  • What a great board book! It is absolutely beautiful to look at it and feels good too. I know that’s a little weird to say, but we read a LOT to our toddler and the more high quality board books (in terms of construction) just feel good in your hands. Thick pages that stand up to drool and being thrown, bent, and otherwise abused (parents… you know this is true!!) are important. We do teach good book behaviors, but it’s a process. 🙂
  • God Made the World covers the story of creation as told in Genesis 1. The author shares creation’s story through a series of fun rhymes that are enjoyable to read and enjoyable for a child to hear. They aren’t sing songy (which can be annoying) but are fresh and new.
  • Speaking of the Christian message of this book… it’s straight from the Bible, and that’s important to me. I want my son to be exposed to Christianity through a variety of sources–family, daycare, church, music, books, and more. I want the Bible to be repeated to my son over and over and over again, and Biblically based storybooks are great for that!
  • The illustrations are awesome. Bold and bright colors as well as fun geometric shapes and patterns make this book pleasing to look at too. I think this also holds the interest of babies and toddlers better.
  • In general, I think this is a fabulous board book! It would be a great gift idea for a baby shower, first birthday party, or even to gift to your church nursery or daycare. It’s read on repeat at our house… the test of a good book!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Tyndale House for the chance to read this great book!

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Reviews

Book Review: Tell Me About Easter

Looking for a simple, fun way to introduce Easter to your toddler? This is a great pick!

Looking for a simple, fun way to introduce Easter to your toddler? This is a great pick! #Easter #bookreview

description of the book from the publisher:

Is it Easter yet?

Rhyming text fills this short-and-sweet die-cut board book that helps toddlers celebrate the true message of Easter—Jesus! Plus, foil and flocking will engage little readers’ senses as they spot and pat each fuzzy animal. Welcome, Easter!

Looking for a simple, fun way to introduce Easter to your toddler? This is a great pick! #Easter #bookreview

As usual, my five point review:

  • This a short and sweet book about Easter–both sweet spring animals and Jesus. It is absolutely perfect for toddlers! Aside from the content, we’ve been able to use it as we teach our son about colors and animals–asking him questions about what he sees and whatnot.
  • We love the illustrations in this book. It’s not just your average everyday board book–many of the animals (lambs, chicks, bunnies), flowers, and leaves are covered in soft felt flocking. A great tactile way for your kiddo to interact with the book. There is also gorgeous foil in this book as well. Both elements make this book very engaging to young readers. And a pretty book is fun for adults to read, too!
  • The book rhymes, but not in an obnoxious way like other books can. Apologies for using the word obnoxious to talk about books, but please tell me you know what I mean here! 🙂 This rhyming is sweet and sing-songy… it’s precious to see my son nodding and grinning along with the text. He even claps at the end!
  • My husband and I value good theology for books–especially kids’ books. This one is great–very straightforward and simple. You can see the majority of the spiritual content on the page above.
  • All in all, I would highly recommend this book for a way to prepare your kids for Easter, especially for the little crowd (under 3-ish?). It’s simple and sweet. My almost two year old son loves it, either when we read it aloud or when he “reads” it to himself. I could see this book being fun for older siblings to read to their younger siblings as well.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to B&H/Lifeway for the chance to read this great book!

How I Eat

How I Eat: Cooking on a Budget for an Easy to Please Husband and Two Picky Toddlers

Welcome to How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People. (If you missed it, click over to read more about this series on The Pajama Chef.) This series is meant to inspire readers (and myself!) with tips and tricks for meal planning and getting dinner on the table. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, I firmly believe that good food shouldn’t be sacrificed just because life is busy.

How I Eat, Morgan: Cooking on a Budget for an Easy to Please Husband and Two Picky Toddlers

Today’s feature on How I Eat is Morgan of My Confetti Life. Morgan lives in the Nashville area, and is a fellow contributor to Nashville Moms Blog. She’s also married to a Ben, her college sweetheart, and is mama to three cute kiddos. Through her blog she shares her life, family, food, faith, and more. It’s my pleasure to share her approach to meal planning today!

Tell us about yourself. Who are you cooking for? What else influences how you get meals on the table?

I am cooking for an easy to please husband and two picky toddlers, ages 3 and 5. My husband came from a family where his mom would fix a entrée and two or more sides and a dessert. Our weekly grocery budget does not allow for that, so I pick meals that have low cost ingredients or meals that I know we will have leftovers from. I am a stay at home mom and I love being in the kitchen so I do not mind a little prep work.

What meals do you plan?

  • Dinner
  • Snacks, Desserts, etc.

In a typical week, approximately how many meals per week do you plan to eat at home or prepare to take with you (e.g., to work or school)? No shame… curious minds want to know! For this, I would include any food purchased at the grocery store (e.g., rotisserie chicken, bagged salad mix, etc.) but not takeout.

  • 16-18: I eat out 3-5 times per week, maybe a few days for lunch or so.

What is your basic meal planning method?

I write down the days of the week. I fill in meals that we plan to eat out. I then scroll through my Pinterest for dinner ideas. I usually make 3 classic meals then try something new for the other 2 or 3.

What are your favorite weeknight meals?

What are your “no-brainer” meals? Or what meals do you make when there’s “nothing” to eat?

Grilled cheese! Sometimes with bacon.

Do you use any tools to help you create your meal plan and/or execute it?

  • Paper meal planner of some type

What is your best advice for someone who is just starting to meal plan?

Weekly meal planning is amazing, it takes a little effort to get the hang of it. I base the order of the meals we eat off of the produce and its shelf life.

Anything else you want to add?

Kroger ClickList is an awesome meal planning tool. I plan my meals and order the groceries all at the same time.

How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People - a new series on thepajamachef.com inspiring YOU in the weekly routine of meal planning!

Thank you, Morgan! I like your tip about planning menus while thinking of the produce/ingredient shelf life. For that reason I’ve lately been planning meals with frozen veggies for the end of the week, or choosing to have our weekly meal out on Friday night when we’re almost out of groceries. I also agree, ClickList is great! I don’t use it every week but occasionally it is a lifesaver. Great idea to plan and shop simultaneously! Thanks for sharing your strategies with us!!

Connect with Morgan for more inspiration on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

How I Eat

How I Eat: Twin Mama with a Passion for Cooking Locally, Seasonally, and Frugally

Welcome to How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People. (If you missed it, click over to read more about this series on The Pajama Chef.) This series is meant to inspire readers (and myself!) with tips and tricks for meal planning and getting dinner on the table. Whether you’re cooking for one or a crowd, I firmly believe that good food shouldn’t be sacrificed just because life is busy.

How I Eat, Amy: Twin Mama with a Passion for Cooking Locally, Seasonally, and Frugally

Today’s feature on How I Eat is Amy of Savory Moments. Amy loves food, as many food bloggers do, but her interest was sparked by a trip to Thailand! How cool is that? Currently Amy stays at home with her boy/girl twins, who are just a little younger than my son. It’s been so fun to get baby/toddler cooking ideas from Amy and chat online about kid stuff. Amy has lots of baby/toddler recipes on her blog and even started a Facebook group on this topic that I’ve found really helpful! Before kids, she worked in aquatic ecosystem restoration and science. I’ve been following Amy’s blog for awhile and have always been impressed with her interest in cooking seasonally, locally, and frugally.

Tell us about yourself. Who are you cooking for? What else influences how you get meals on the table?

I cook for my husband who has a crazy work schedule and our twin toddlers (and myself, of course!). I’m currently a SAHM, but with two rambunctious toddlers, kitchen time can be difficult to come by!

What meals do you plan?

  • Dinner

In a typical week, approximately how many meals per week do you plan to eat at home or prepare to take with you (e.g., to work or school)? No shame… curious minds want to know! For this, I would include any food purchased at the grocery store (e.g., rotisserie chicken, bagged salad mix, etc.) but not takeout.

  • 21: I make all my own food and very rarely eat out.

What is your basic meal planning method?

I look through the Aldi ad, scroll through Ibotta (editor’s note: that’s my [Sarah’s] referral code–you’ll get $10 for signing up and I’ll get $5… highly recommend this moneymaking app!) for good rebates, and check out our freezer white board (we buy some meat in bulk – for example a half pig each year from a local farmer, so I need to ensure we use it up), and go from there. I try to incorporate at least one vegetarian dinner per week and then mix up the rest – one chicken, one pasta, one beef, one pork. I’ve written about how and why I make our weekly menu before.

How I Eat, Amy: Twin Mama with a Passion for Cooking Locally, Seasonally, and Frugally

What are your favorite weeknight meals?

Anything that goes in the slow cooker is always a hit for me. I love to make things like salsa chicken (just chicken and salsa with maybe peppers + onions) cooked on low and then use it for tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, quesadillas, etc. I also love soups and chilis. Stir fries and fried rice are also my go-to meals, especially in the summer and fall when produce is abundant. I’ll throw together whatever odds and ends of vegetables we have around and use them up like that. Since I’m a food blogger, I tend to like to try something new each week, but I also fall back on a lot of staples and favorites that aren’t really “food blog” worthy type meals since they aren’t measured, etc. One pot skillet meals are also an easy weeknight choice like this Skillet Chicken and Summer Squash Quinoa or One Pan Stuffed Peppers Skillet (below).

How I Eat, Amy: Twin Mama with a Passion for Cooking Locally, Seasonally, and Frugally

What are your “no-brainer” meals? Or what meals do you make when there’s “nothing” to eat?

I always keep a frozen pizza on hand (no shame!) for those times when you just need one. Also, breakfast for dinner! Pancakes are always a hit with everyone, especially the twins, so they are something I’ll whip up and it makes everyone happy!

Do you use any tools to help you create your meal plan and/or execute it?

  • Meal planning whiteboard or chalkboard
  • Ads/sales

While I don’t “plan” breakfast and lunches, we do have a basic system down for those. Breakfast is generally oatmeal, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, and lunches are either leftovers or some sort of sandwich meal. Occasionally we change those up, but in general those are what we eat for those meals.

What is your best advice for someone who is just starting to meal plan?

Try not to get frustrated and give it some time. It can be hard to get into the habit of making and sticking to meal plans, but once you do it’s such a time and money saver. I hate having to think all day “what’s for dinner??”

How I Eat: Meal Planning for Normal People - a new series on thepajamachef.com inspiring YOU in the weekly routine of meal planning!

Thank you, Amy! I know you didn’t really talk about Aldi much, but I have to say… it’s been such a game-changer in my food budget lately. And the quality has vastly improved from what I remember even just a few years ago. If you have an Aldi around you, check it out! You may be pleasantly surprised. Amy’s advice to plan your meals around the store ads is relevant no matter where you shop. You can save so much money that way. Also, I like your formula-based approach for breakfast and lunch. I kind of do that as well, and it can simplify grocery shopping significantly if you aren’t trying to buy ingredients to make various recipes breakfast or lunch. Instead, you can just check the pantry and fridge to see whether you need more oatmeal, eggs, lunch meat, etc. Easy easy!

Connect with Amy on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more inspiration.