My Top Five Tips on Feeding Stubborn Eaters!

Hi everyone!  So today I am going to be talking about kids and food, which if you have kids you know that meal times can sometimes be a daunting task.  Our oldest daughter, Ezrah, who is four now, has ALWAYS been hard to feed.  She is pretty petite and also very active and so she isn't always interested in sitting down to eat.  She can get easily distracted and also, just has a small appetite to begin with.  So today I am going to share with you five tips on how I get my daughter to eat more at meal times and throughout the day.  Even though I have not perfected any of these and we still have our struggles when it comes to eating, I feel like we have made positive steps to ensuring that she is getting enough to eat!

1. Make food fun 

So this might be the most obvious one but making food fun can help your little ones get excited about eating.  You don't have to go overboard with this and do it everyday but it can be helpful.  Ezrah got super excited about this piece of toast that I made look like a puppy, the Nutella ears didn't hurt either ;)

2. Let them help you prepare their meal 

This is one that I am still not the best with because sometimes I just want to get lunch on the table and keep it moving, which is totally fine on those days when everything else is overwhelming.  But I found that Ezrah loves to help me make her meal and it turns out that she gets excited to eat something that she has had a hand in making.  I also think this a great way to encourage independence.

3. Let them go to the kitchen to get their own snacks

Ok, so I may be totally alone on this one because I know many parents don't let their young ones in the kitchen at all BUT I have found that by letting our daughter go to the kitchen when she needs a snack really helps!  It does require some guidance on my part because she certainly isn't allowed to just have her way to her hearts content in there but if she wants to go grab a yogurt, a piece of fruit, or a piece of cheese I am totally fine with that.  She is getting older and knows when she is hungry so I think letting her have this independence (to an extent) has been really great!

4. Add fruit! 

My daughter loooooves fruit of any kind so I try my best to always have it around.  One of the things that helps is to slice it up and put on things like toast or waffles or even in sandwiches.  It is a great way to add something sweet without adding sugar.  And don't kids just love sweet?!

5. Make them eat what's on their plate

So throughout the day I am not too much of a stickler when it comes to Ezrah finishing what's on her plate, I try my best but with a nine month old who also needs my attention, it doesn't always happen.  However, dinner time is a different story (when dad is home to help haha!).  We always try to dish her up a reasonable amount that we know she can handle and we expect her to eat all of it.  If she sits to long and doesn't eat then she goes in time out and eventually she will have to go to bed early.  Not only is this healthy for her to eat all her food but we also firmly believe in teaching discipline even at a young age and this is the perfect way to do so.  Since we implemented this we have seen a huge difference in her eating habits.  She is learning that we take it seriously and that if she doesn't eat within a timely manner she will end up in trouble.  We still have our moments but like I said, she is learning, so if you are in the same boat, hang in there, it will get easier!

Bonus: Offer dessert! 

My husband isn't huge on sweets but most nights I personally have dessert and I always offer some to Ezrah contingent upon her finishing her meal.  I know this is so obvious but I just had to mention it.  Even just offering her one cookie will usually motivate her to get to eating!

Well that all I have for today!  If you have young children I hope this helped in some way and trust me, I know that the battle is real and frustrating but just making little changes can help so much and you can always remember that we are in this together!

Have a blessed weekend!

My Reading Picks for Fall!

Hi everyone!  Today I really wanted to talk about some books that I think would be great to read in the Fall!  I love a good book and to me there is little more divine than curling up with a book and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa during the fall season.  It's ultimately my favorite time of the year to read! So without further ado let's get right into it!

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I am just going to be obvious for 5 seconds and suggest that you read Harry Potter (any of the seven will do!)  I didn't get to grow up with this series but that didn't stop me from completely falling in love with these characters and world at age 25!  If you have to endure going back to school in September then why not escape back to school at Hogwarts every once in awhile?  This series is packed full of adventure, danger, friendship, and best yet, love that endures all things!  Regardless of how late I jumped on board it will always have a special place in my heart.  I personally don't re-read books very often but I can't wait to read the whole series again in the illustrated additions!

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."

2. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I read this book at the beginning of the year and really loved it! This is a young adult fantasy novel that takes place on an Island and every generation a set of triplets is born, three queens.  Each sister is born with her own gift and when they come of age they must use their gifts to fight each other to the death for the throne.  It's kind of like the Hunger Games only with a monarchy involved.  I have to warn you though, it's a slow burner.  It took me until at least page 100 to really get into it but I promise that if you give it a chance you won't be disappointed.  It also left off on a humungous cliff hanger, that I honestly, didn't see coming!  I am so excited that the second book just released, which I will defiantly be reading very, very soon.

"Three dark queens are born in a glen.  Sweet little triplets will never be friends.  Three dark sisters all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen."

3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

If you're into mysteries then this book is for you!  This book takes place in 1945, Barcelona and the city is just starting to piece itself back together after the war.  It begins with the story of an 11 year old boy, Daniel who's father takes him to this Cemetery of Forgotten Books to choose a book for his birthday.  Daniel is drawn towards a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax.  Daniel is so captivated by the novel that he goes on to desire to read more from the author but when he goes to find more works by Carax he finds that every other copy by the author has been destroyed and that he in fact has the only remaining book by the strange author.  And thus Daniel sets out to solve this perplexing mystery.  This story is dark and gripping and will have you along for the ride from the very beginning.  It is beautifully written, poetically captivating, and perfect for a cold crisp evening!

"Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.  The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.  Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens."

4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This book is actually one that I haven't read since high school but I just remember it being so good!  Like I said earlier, I don't really re-read books but I will be reading this again this season.  Vida Winter is an author who has spent her entire life devoted to storytelling but has kept her strange and difficult past a secret.  So, in her old age she calls upon a biographer, Margaret Lea to finally tell her own story.  This book kind of has a ghosty element that is so erie and mysterious and so fitting for this time of year.  I can't wait to delve into this once again with fresh eyes!

"What better way to get to know someone than through her choice and treatment of books?"

5. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

If you want to get a classic in this season this is the one, it's personally one of my favorite books of all time!  If you are familiar with the famous musical (which I also adore) then you probably already know the synopsis but for the sake of those who don't, I'll just give a brief explanation.  It takes place during the 19th century and surrounds the daily happenings of the Paris Opera House where an opera ghost haunts its corridors.  A young performer, Christine Daae is visited often by the mysterious ghost who tutors her talents.  But when the opera ghost's muse is denied lead roles by the owners of the opera house the ghost begins a series of attacks on those who refuse to yield to his demands. Ugg I am such a hopeless romantic when it comes to this book!  It is filled with love, passion, insanity, and uninhibited empathy.  I just can't recommend it enough!

"I tore off my mask so as not to lose one of her tears...and she did not run away!...and she did not die! She remained alive, weeping over me, weeping with me.  We cried together!  I have tasted all the happiness the world can offer."

Well, guys, that's all I have for you today.  If you are a reader, I hope this was helpful to you and I hope you have a wonderful fall full of pumpkins and good books!

Fashion Little: Fall Transition

Fall is literally just around the corner, which is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love the crisp air, leaves that change colors, warm beverages, football, and of course, fall fashion! I have been doing a little bit of shopping for my girls so I thought I would share with you what I have been picking up over course of the season.  Since we are still in a little bit of a weather transition I thought I would start there.  Both of these outfits are perfect for those chilly mornings and evenings but aren't going to be too hot for the warmer days.  I will leave links down below to make it easier for anyone who is interested!  I will also list something similar is something is no longer available. 

Also we went to one of my favorite places to take these pictures, a little apple orchard where you can pick apples to your hearts content for free!  The apples were not even close to being ripe but that didn't stop my two girls from snacking on them the whole time we were there! 

It is no secret that I love shopping at Zara kids, which is where I picked up Ezrah's dress and top!  I just think that most everything is affordable and unique.  I have also found that everything holds up really well.  My brother has a daughter that is younger than Ezrah but older than Hadessah and my sister-in-law swap clothes all the time so we have some pieces from Zara that have been worn by three sweet and active little girls and they are still going strong!  When it comes to shoes my favorite place to go is Old Navy, they always have such a great selection and I can always find something on sale.  Ezrah has been wearing these flats like crazy and I already know I am going to get a few more pairs in different colors! The bow in Ezrah's hair is from Billy Bibs, when I saw that they had restocked their lace bows I couldn't pass them up! 

Hadessah is wearing the cutest little romper from Old Navy and an old t-shirt from Zara.  I found these darling fox socks from a vintage show but I will link something similar.  I think they accentuate her chunky thighs perfectly! I got Hadessah's headband from a place called Happy Hadley Handmade, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite new shops!


Well that's all I have for you guys today!  I hope you enjoyed and I hope you are getting inspired for fall!  It's such an amazing season! Have a wonderful week, I'll see you soon :)

The Magic of Playtime

 Sometimes when my girls are fast asleep I like to sit beside them and take in every bit of them.  Their tiny hands and rosy lips.  I'll run my hands through my hair and whisper things that are true about them in that very moment in time.  When all my daily tasks are complete and all is quiet it is easy for me to soak up all of their present selves.  I got to thinking the other day, though, that I am letting precious time slip by in the midst of the chaos.  I am a stay at home mom but I am also a full time student, a freelancer, and a clean freak.  I will be the first to admit that some days its easier for me to sit my girls in front of the tv while I do homework or clean up the last mess that was made.  Now, of course I do have these responsibilities and they do in fact have to get done but I find myself, a lot of days, being consumed by them resulting in spending the bare minimum of meals, diaper changes, and bath time with my girls. 

 It brings me to tears to say this but Ezrah (my oldest) begs me to play with her almost every single day and many of those days I turn her away.  So recently I had to step back and take a look at my big four year old and my almost nine month old and I thought, "wait a second, wasn't I just pregnant with these two!?" Time is moving quickly and I need to be there for them in more ways than one.  I came to the conclusion that I need to take time with them every single day to play.  I have to be able to step aside from all the responsibilities to imagine with them, to build forts and make believe that they are castles, to cook with them, to just BE with them presently.

 When it comes to my work and school life, I tend to be efficient almost to a fault.  I try to get two or three assignments ahead so that I can rest and then once I reach that point I think to myself, "wait I can get even further ahead if I just work a little longer." I completely cancel out any time for rest that I worked for.  I have come to realization that it is completely OK to rest.  We were created to actually need rest (Just a few examples:  Genesis 2, Exodus 20) and God wants us to delight in it.  I believe in many forms of rest and of course now I am talking about playing.  When I take the time to intentionally play with my girls I feel so much less stressed and so much more joy!

 By choosing life over tasks I get to experience more belly laughs and smiles and sweet moments that I will get to cherish for the rest of my life.  And not only that but it's a way for me to show my girls how much I absolutely love them!  One of the ways we can raise our children up in the Lord is to emulate his character.  When their mommy takes the time to play it blesses them, reminiscent of the way our Father loves and blesses us.

Mamma's, if you are reading this today make no mistake, I know you have responsibilities and I know that they can ride heavily on your shoulders.  I am with you, daily.  But I still want to encourage you to take the time to play with your babies.  Talk to them in funny voices, let them take your food order and cook you "dinner", tickle their bellies, let them chase you around the house.  Pay attention to their smiles and really listen to their laughter.  It is so life giving to them!  If you feel so overwhelmed I pray that God would begin to show you that he is sufficient to grant you rest!

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of both productivity AND rest!

(I also wanted to quickly point out that that is 100% a miniature whisk featured in the above photo, and who doesn't want to pretend to cook dinner with a miniature whisk?!!)

Children's Books: What Our Girls and I Are Loving Right Now!

Hi Everyone!  Today I wanted to talk about some of our favorite children's books at the moment!  I did one of these a little while ago but I have discovered some new fun books since then so I thought I would share them!  I love finding new things to read to my girls so maybe I will do an update every six months or so.  

This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary 

Right now, this is by far Ezrah's favorite book.  Lately, when I ask her if she would like to read this is the book she brings me.  It's such a cute little story about a girl named Sadie who has a huge imagination.  I love that this book encourages my girls to dream big and to make an adventure out of everyday.  I think it will be a favorite for a very long time!  Also, I just have to say that I am a huge sucker for illustration an Julie Morstad is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Her illustrations are so whimsically beautiful and they help you feel totally engrossed in the story.  

"Sadie likes to make boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions.  But more than anything she likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all." 

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio 

This book is about Gaston, a french bulldog and Antoinette, a french poodle who get mixed up at birth and go home with the wrong family.  They find that they don't really fit in with their brothers and sisters.  Then one day at the park the two families come together where Gaston and Antoinette finally find out that there has been a mistake.  The rest of the story follows the two puppies as they try to find their place.  The reason I love this book so much is because it encourages children to be themselves no matter what and that everyone's strengths can play an important role in different situations.  

"This time Gaston and Antoinette wasted no time trading places.  There.  That looked right.  And it felt right, too."


This was a book that Ezrah got for her birthday this year.  This tells the inspiring true story of Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina.  This is such a beautiful book about determination, passion, and hard work, which are such great lessons for little girls to learn even at a young age.  And yet again the illustrations will give you all the heart eyes (Ahem, Julie Morstad).  Ezrah really loves to dance, too so seeing all the different performances that Anna was apart of makes her really excited to read this book.  I can't wait to get her into dance classes in the near future! 

"What people throw flowers, Anna tosses them back.  It's enough just to dance."

Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr

Bunny Roo, I love you is about the love between a mother and her child.  It's sweet as anything and a great reminder to our girls of how much we will love and care for them no matter what.  

When we found out Hadessah was on her way we decided not to throw a huge baby shower since we already had almost everything we needed.  Instead we decided to have a book shower.  My amazingly creative mother had this great idea to give each guest library cards so they could write a sweet note on them that we could later put in all the books.  It was so fun getting all the sweet notes of blessings from all our friends and family and I cherish every one of them!  Anyways, this is the book I chose for our baby girl and I think that it will be a well read tradition for both our girls for many years to come! 

"I brought you to a nice, warm patch of sunlight so you could see the world."

So that's all I have for today!  I hope you enjoyed this post and were inspired in some way to start or continue reading with your kids.  It's such a fun tradition!  

What are some of your favorite children's books?  I would love to hear your recommendations!  

Have a super blessed week!