Practicing Daily Gratitude With Your Kids

Last week, I posted the top photo above on my Instagram, with the following caption: “Every morning when Essley wakes up, I ask her to tell me one thing for which she’s grateful. She’s like her mama (we don’t enjoy mornings), and I’ve found that starting my day with gratitude (even if I have to force it) genuinely helps me feel less anxious and more happy through out my day – and it seems to help her as well. This morning, her response was ‘my family’ (gold star answer, kid) and ’763 pieces of chocolate’ (clearly my child). Have a grateful day, friends.”

I received over 30 messages after posting that, from both parents and non-parents, thanking me for the idea and stating that they were going to do the same with both their kids and themselves. My response to every message was that while I certainly didn’t come up with the idea of practicing morning gratitude, I was thrilled to see that our silly little morning ritual could possibly help others who have anxiety (like me) or who just wanted to start their days in a positive way. And it got me thinking about other ways my kids and I could practice gratitude together. So Essley and I sat down and came up with a “gratitude to do list”, which I am sharing below.

1. Every morning upon waking, say out loud at least one thing in your life for which you feel thankful.

2. Keep a special journal or sketchbook, and throughout your day, write down or draw pictures of things that you appreciate.

3. Give every family member a hug and tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.

4. Make a thank you card for a friend and tell them you appreciate their friendship.

5. Say thank you out loud every time you eat a meal.

6. Smile a LOT. (Essley says this one is the most important of all.)

7. Take videos of your little ones telling friends and relatives why they are thankful for them, and then email or text them the videos.

8. Make a giving list. For holidays or birthdays, make lists of the items or experiences you want to give others. (Sort of a reverse wish list.)

9. Everyday, tell each person in your family one thing about them you love and appreciate. (This can be anything from something profound to Essley’s favorite, “I like your outfit mommy!”)

10. Before bed, say out loud one great thing that happened that day for which your are thankful.

Consciously feeling grateful for things in your life is such a simple concept, but it’s been life changing for me in many ways. (Sounds super cheesy I know, but it’s the truth.)  And it makes sense – research shows that practicing gratitude causes us to enjoy our lives more and feel happier in general. Even the act of putting this list together made me feel thankful and happy, and I know it did the same for Essley. If you have little ones, try some of these and let me know what you think. And if you have ways you practice daily gratitude with your children (or yourself!) I’d love to hear!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Our 12 Favorite Books for Preschoolers

12 Books Every Preschooler Should Read

When I was pregnant with Essley, I vowed that my children would have extremely limited screen time, never use an iPad, and only watch Sesame Street. As with most of the things on which I considered myself an expert before actually having kids, this didn’t work out. My kids’ screen time is limited, but yes, they do have iPad time, and yes, they watch many shows and movies (some of which are not on my top 10 list, let’s just put it that way).

That said, my kids love books. Love. And when I’m feeling like a crappy parent (which happens a lot, because that’s how parents feel), I remind myself that my little ones not only ask me to read to them, they spend a lot of time pretending to read books themselves. (Emmett, who is 2, makes up stories as he “reads,” and Essley, who is 4, does the same but also recognizes some sight words which is really fun to watch.) Every night when they go to bed, they each get to choose 2 books to read, and we all read them together. It is one of my favorite parts of each day.

I posted the picture you see above on Instagram recently, and I got a lot of DMs asking about the book Essley is reading, along with some questions about our other favorites. So I decided to put together this list of the dozen books that are currently on our most read list in this house. One of these days I’ll put together a complete list of books we often read here. (I kept all of my books from childhood for my kids, so those combined with all of the books they’ve accumulated since Essley was born = hundreds.) But for now, here you go. While these are probably more for Essley’s age level than Emmett’s, both kids adore all of them.

12 Books Every Preschooler Should Read

1. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
2. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Great to read during the beginning of the school year!)
3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
4. We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
5. Press Here by Herve Tullet (Essley thinks this book is brilliant; I do too.)
6. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
7. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
8. Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate
9. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendack
11. Corduroy by Don Freeman
12. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Many of these were favorites of mine when I was Essley’s age as well. (I remember reading Blueberries for Sal and Madeline on repeat.) There are also several new ones that she discovered at school last year that we purchased after hearing about how much she loved them. If you have preschool (or even early grade school) aged kids, I highly recommend any of these. And if you have gems that I missed, please let me know! We are always looking for new books.

(Canopy in top photo was purchased here.)


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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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What Guinness World Record Does Nala Cat Hold?

With more than 6 million followers, Nala Cat’s adorable face has become a pretty familiar one as well. This lovable Siamese/Tabby mix rescue may be making people smile all over the internet, but she spends a lot of her time helping pets who are less fortunate than her.

Favorite food: Halo Indoor Cat Whitefish Pate

Favorite YouTube channel: IAmNalaCat

Favorite accessory: Bowties

Favorite title: Queen

Lala Cat with Halo Whitefish Recipe

Learn more about Halo cat food

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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm When Moving #AdaptilDog

  This post is sponsored by CEVA Animal Health, makers of ADAPTIL® for dogs. All statements and opinions are entirely our own. As always, we only share products that we use with our own pets!…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

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Advice from the guard dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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We Will Never Forget

Honoring the heroes of 9/11 on this mournful day.


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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8 Vegetarian Recipes Perfect For Fall

Autumn VEGAN Grilled Cheese 2 WaysY

Yes, I know. I constantly gush about how much I love summer and repeatedly state that I’m just soooo different from other bloggers in that I’m not a huge fan of fall, yet here I am sharing fall recipes while it’s still 80 degrees outside. While I admittedly eat my fair share of dishes normally reserved for summer year round, I also get excited about cozy, fall dishes. In fact, the first cold day I bolt to the store to stock up on vegetarian chili supplies. (Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my veggie chili recipe here. That needs to change soon.) Today I felt the urge to share my perfect-for-fall recipes from over the years here at Bubby and Bean. All of them are vegetarian, and all are easy to prepare. (Because you guys know me – 30 minutes in the kitchen and I’m done.) Just click on any of the images or links below them to see the recipes in full.

Southwestern Style Mac and Cheese // Bubby and Bean
Creamy Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Vegan Black Bean and Salsa Soup
Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos with Red and Yellow Potatoes

When it comes to food, do you prefer lighter spring and summer dishes, or heartier fall and winter recipes?

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Difficult Choice?

If you know me at all, you know I’m choosing the 4-legged swimmer. Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference

You may have already heard about the worldwide Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference hosted by Kristin Morrison.

What you might not have heard is that we are sponsoring this event!

And…it’s a no-cost conference and you can watch, listen and learn from wherever you are in the world.

There are so many great speakers lined up to speak including Victoria Stilwell and Ian Dunbar as well as Patti Moran plus many other top pet business experts.

We at PetsitUSA would love to have you join us and the thousands of pet business owners who are ready to make big shifts in their pet businesses by attending the (no cost!) Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

This conference has the capacity to shift you from feeling stuck, stressed, or confused to moving forward in your pet business and your life in an empowered and fulfilling way.

The purpose of this conference is to help you make more money in your pet sitting and dog walking business as well as have you experience more ease and freedom in running your business.

Imagine being able to tap into the minds of successful pet business experts at no cost. This online conference is equivalent to a mentor mastermind worth thousands of dollars, and it’s your gift for NO COST.

If you are ready for real change in your business and your life, we invite you and all pet business owners to join me for the upcoming conference.

Please join PetsitUSA, the many pet business speakers and thousands of pet business owners just like you at the NO COST Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Where was the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet born?

Lil BUB eating Halo wet cat food

While Lil BUB touches lives across the United States, she was discovered as the runt of a healthy litter in a tool shed in rural Indiana. In addition to her book, TV show, and movie, BUB has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animals in need. As a special needs cat, BUB has had to overcome many challenges herself, so now she raises money through Lil BUB’s Big Fund at the ASPCA, which then gets distributed through grants to organizations across the country helping homeless pets with special needs.

More about BUB:

Favorite food: Halo wet cat food to keep her hydrated

Favorite app: Weather BUB

Favorite movie: Lil BUB & Friends

Favorite quote: “GOOD JOB BUB”

Follow Lil BUB on Instagram

 

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