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    How To Teach Phonics For Kindergarten In A Fun Way

    I have three girls. One is in 2nd grade. One is in kindergarten. One is in preschool.

    The kindergartner and I have been working on letters + phonics for over a year now. The struggle is real, ya’ll.

    I am always on the lookout for options of how to teach phonics for kindergarten in a fun way.

    I think I may have found it in these two books…

    Amazon.com: Jolie Canoli Phonics The Vowels: Every Sound They Say  (9780999670187): Canoli, Jolie: Books

    How To Teach Letters For Kindergarten

    When these two books arrived in the mail + I ripped open the envelope to pull out the two books, my 5-year-old kindergartner was immediately interested.

    The bright colors on the cover demand attention. The letters dancing around are entertaining. My daughter instantly started pointing out letters that she knows.

    That night, as we were going through our bedtime routine, she sat down to pull out the books.

    We read every single page.

    She was totally engrossed.

    She pointed out letters + words that started with the letter featured on the page. She truly enjoyed the “stories” behind the letters.

    So how do you use these books to teach phonics + letters to a kindergartner?

    You simply read them to your child + let your child explore the pages on her own + with you.

    Fun Supplements To The Books

    These colorful printed books are a great way to share letters + phonics with my kindergartner so she can learn while she thinks she is just having fun!

    Here are some additional ways you can help your kiddo learn letters that go along with the book:

    • Have them write their letters using shaving cream
    • Use playdough to shape the letters
    • Form scraps of paper into the letter, adding details that turn it into a person, place or thing that starts with the letter (For example, add an alligator snout + teeth to an A.)
    • Have your kiddo write the letter in the air with their finger
    • Roll letter blocks + have your child identify the letter that is face-up in the block
    • Play Junior Scrabble
    • Create songs that teach them how to spell words or their name
    • Use flatbottom marbles to create letters
    • Use coins to form letters
    • Print dot worksheets + use Bingo daubers to dot the shape of the letters
    • Write letters on a piece of paper + have your child trace over the letters with a highlighter or marker
    • Shape your bodies into letters (a la YMCA-style)
    • Coloring pages (Check out Jolie Canoli’s free coloring page)

    We have used all of these options to help our kindergartner get a grip on her letters + phonics. It hasn’t been an easy road but she has almost mastered all of her letters + we had some (tears +) FUN along the way.

    The song option helped her learn how to spell her name at the beginning of her pre-K year. Of course, what works for my child might not work for your child so test out some things to see which are the most effective + the most FUN for you + your child.

    But, seriously, I highly recommend you check out Jolie Canoli phonics for yourself. I think you + your child will enjoy this fun option for learning vowels + the alphabet.

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    A Girl Mom Thinx Period Underwear Review

    A couple of months ago, I was perusing a thread in one of my Boss Mom groups on Facebook. There was quite a lengthy discussion on the topic of period underwear.

    Coincidentally, I had been looking into the possibility of using period underwear myself.

    So I scoured the comments + took in everything the other Boss Moms were posting about their period underwear.

    I chose Thinx + this is my Thinx period underwear review.

    What Is Thinx Period Underwear, Anyway?

    Similar to how it sounds, period underwear is well…underwear that has a built-in blood capturing system.

    It is sort of like a pad that is sewn into the crotch of the underwear but not anywhere near as bulky or uncomfortable as a real pad.

    There are several different companies that offer period underwear. Each of the companies also offers different styles (hip huggers, boy shorts, even thongs).

    I chose Thinx period underwear because of the raving reviews I read on that aforementioned FB post thread. So, I placed an order for five pairs of the hip hugger style.

    How Does Thinx Period Underwear Work?

    The way Thinx period underwear works is really simple.

    You put them on like you would any other type of underwear. Then, you get dressed.

    As you flow, the “pad” in the underwear absorbs it.

    You can also choose different absorbency levels, depending on how light or heavy your flow is. You can change the underwear as needed like you would with a pad or tampon or cup.

    How To Wash Thinx Period Underwear

    One of the popular questions I hear is:

    How do you wash period underwear?

    I get into the shower wearing mine. I take them off + rinse them out while I am in the shower. Then, I wash them on the delicate cycle in the washing machine with some vinegar for good measure.

    I do not dry them in the dryer but rather hang them or lay them flat to dry.

    What Do I Think of Thinx?

    Finding + using Thinx has been a game changer for me + my period.

    It is so much easier, comfortable + cost-effective for me to use period underwear rather than pads + tampons.

    As an added bonus: It is also environmentally friendly.

    I have never had a leak, either. I highly, highly, highly recommend Thinx to anyone who is looking to invest in some period underwear.

    My girls are still young so there may be something new invented by the time they get their periods, but I plan to introduce period underwear as an option to them when the time comes.

    XOXO, Kristie

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    How To Clean Makeup Brushes At Home

    It’s important to clean your makeup brushes to keep them free from
    pore-clogging bacteria.

    What you may not know is how to properly clean makeup brushes at home. I walk you through the five easy steps to properly clean your brushes at home.

    5 Steps On How To Wash Makeup Brushes At Home

    These are pro tips on how to care for makeup brushes as a beginner or amateur makeup artist.

    Step 1. Dampen The Brush Bristles

    Dampen the bristles of your brush using lukewarm water.

    Step 2. Cleanse

    What can I can I use to clean makeup brushes?

    Put a small amount of a gentle cleanser in the palm of your hand. (The Beautycounter Daily Shampoo works perfectly for cleaning makeup brushes.)

    Step 3. Swirl The Brushes In The Cleanser

    Swirl the bristles in the cleanser. Rinse + repeat until the water runs clear. Try to keep the water out of the ferrule (the metal piece that connects the
    bristles to the handle).

    Step 4. Dry

    Pat the bristles of the brush with a clean towel to remove any extra moisture. Place the brushes flat to dry.

    Step 5. Double Cleanse

    For a deeper clean, use a charcoal bar soap to cleanse the brushes a second time. Repeat steps 2-4 after cleansing again.

    XOXO, Kristie

    Take the skincare quiz to get a cleaner skincare routine customized just for you — in less than a minute.

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    Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

    Fall is the perfect time of year to start making + eating soup. It’s a healthy way to warm your insides when the air is starting to turn chilly outside.

    This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans + pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs + vegetables you have available. 

    Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft + mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day + better results when freezing for future use.

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 50-55 minutes

    Serves: 6-8


    • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
    • 3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
    • 1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained + rinsed
    • 4 c. organic vegetable broth*
    • 2 whole bay leaves
    • 1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
    • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
    • 1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
    • ½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
    • Sea salt + black pepper, to taste
    • Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
    • 2 c. Fusilli pasta
    • 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
    • 2 c. fresh arugula
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • *Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed


    1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil + garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
    2. Add chopped onion, carrot + celery. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft + tender.
    3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano + red pepper flakes to pot + stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind + season with salt + black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover + simmer 20-25 minutes.
    4. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta + transfer to a medium bowl + toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
    5. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
    6. Add arugula + additional vegetable broth (if needed) + stir to combine. Season with additional salt + pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
    7. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls + top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley + freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread + a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal. Enjoy!
    XOXO, Kristie
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    Healthy Eating at Your Fingertips

    Yesterday, I shared with you some health issues I faced when I was a twenty-something. I also shared info about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.

    Hundreds of people have already bought the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, but you might be wondering if you should be one of them. I collected the most commonly asked questions to help you decide if you should buy the bundle.

    So if you still have questions, keep reading!

    Q1: Is this one big course? Or a bunch of different products?

    A1: This bundle is a collection of 47 eBooks, 32 eCourses, audios + workshops, 10 printable packs + workbooks + 2 summits. Once you purchase, you receive an email with all the login information so you can access your bundle inside the Ultimate Bundles access area. You can download all the eBooks, access the eCourses + start putting all the information to work right away! It’s basically all your favorite bloggers’ products together in one collection – all for $37.

    Q2: What if I don’t want all the resources?

    A2: That’s the beauty of this bundle! Some of the eBooks + eCourses have a lot of appeal right now + some won’t. You have lifetime access to everything so when things change in your life, you can turn to these resources- it’s like your own personal healthy living library! Not to mention, there are 24 resources alone that are individually worth as much or more than the cost of the bundle itself. So, even though you won’t use every resource in the bundle, it would still be really hard to not save a ton of money anyway.

    Q3: Will this bundle actually improve my health?

    A3: Obviously, that’s up to you. 😉 What I can tell you is that this bundle has high-quality resources on brain + mental health, how to balance your hormones, create a successful exercise program, eat healthy, allergy-friendly recipes, protecting yourself from EMF radiation + more! There’s no reason why you can’t apply the strategies in these resources to improve your health, but the results are totally up to you!

    Q4: OK, but what if I buy it + don’t like it?

    A4: Although Ultimate Bundles has an extremely low return rate at less than 1/4 of the industry standard, there are some people who it doesn’t work for. That’s why they offer a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy for 30 days. If you don’t love it, just email customerservice@ultimatebundles.com to ask for a full refund. No questions asked, no problems.

    Q5: This sounds like a scam. Can you prove it’s not?

    A5: I know it seems too good to be true. Pay $37 for $3,108.45 in resources? Doesn’t that mean someone’s losing big time? Or the prices are inflated?

    I totally get your concerns. I’ve been an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles for years + I can tell you that I offer these bundles to my readers because they’re a great value. Even though a blogger may be including their product in a bundle that costs less than their product, product creators get exposure to new potential readers, which can pay off in big ways later. When you buy a bundle through your favorite blogger (hopefully me!), you’ll support them, too! Plus, the bundle is offered for such a short time that they can go back quickly to selling their product at full price.

    In short, it’s a great deal for everyone. Ultimate Bundles is a reputable company, so if you try the bundle + don’t like it within 30 days, just ask their friendly, helpful customer happiness team for a refund.

    Q6: What are the cheat sheets?

    A6: The cheat sheets were created because bundle customers wanted a quick way to find the resources that were most applicable to them right now. These CliffNotes-style summaries of each resource allow you to zone in on which resources you should start with + allow you to absorb the key principles wayyyy faster. This helps you take charge of your health on your terms – without missing a beat. 🙂

    I hope that fully answers your questions!!

    In my opinion, you really don’t want to pass up a deal this good. But I’ll leave that up to you. Just don’t wait too long, because the sale ends Monday! Learn more or get your bundle here: https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/uhlb2019-main?a_aid=a7102&a_bid=18a928db

    XOXO, Kristie
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    Turmeric Tonic: Warm Wellness Drink Recipe

    It’s that time of year when all the crud is going around. My girls seem to bring home ALL. THE. GERMS. from their respective schools.

    I’m always looking for ways to fight off the crud before it lands in my house. Here’s a recipe for a warm wellness tonic for you moms.

    Boost immunity + stave off illness with this warm morning tonic.  It isn’t like a medicinal drink but a warming tonic — almost latte made with turmeric + other superfoods for a morning boost. 

    It’s sweet, creamy + delicious.  A drink that is a cross between white chocolate chai + pumpkin spice lattes but with health benefits.



    Mix hot Milk or plant based milk with a 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of the tonic. Stir. 

    All About Turmeric

    Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties (1).
    Antioxidants are compounds that fight cell damage, protecting your body from oxidative stress.

    It’s essential to the functioning of your cells + studies regularly show that diets rich in antioxidants may help lower your risk of infections + disease

    The Turmeric AM Tonic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

    Chronic inflammation is thought to play a major role in chronic diseases, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s + heart disease. For this reason, diets rich in anti-inflammatory compounds may reduce your risk of these conditions.

    Research shows that ginger, cinnamon + curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — have potent anti-inflammatory properties (678).

    These anti-inflammatory effects may reduce joint pain from osteoarthritis + rheumatoid arthritis.

    You can check out the 10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric Curcumin Supplements for more information.

    INGREDIENTS : Real Cream, Turmeric, Monk Fruit, Erythritol, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Vanilla, Natural Flavors

    If you try it out, let me know what you think in the comments!

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    30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    We’ve all done it.

    Peering inside our fridge, hoping that this time you find thawing meat, a little inspiration or even – miracle of miracles – a ready-made meal.

    I know I have.

    There’s one thing that I know helps with this daily dilemma: meal planning.

    When you know what’s for dinner every day, you’re more efficient, less stressed + you get some of your time (+ life) back. While meals won’t throw themselves together, you might be surprised at how much easier (+ even enjoyable) it feels when you have a meal plan in place.

    You probably already know that, but do you want a way to make planning easy peasy lemon squeezy?

    The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle 2019 is on sale now. It helps you put healthier meals on your table, in less time, with less stress.

    With over 1000 recipes, a clickable index, ready-made meal plans (with grocery lists), nutritional information for every recipe + more, the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is designed to save you from the pain of the frantic, pre-dinner hour. 😉

    Plus, when you buy your copy by midnight tonight, you’ll also get the 30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge (a $21 value) for free.

    If the hardest part of meal planning is making the habit stick, this is for you!

    This challenge comes with a free Facebook group for accountability +reminders, weekly live trainings + frequent email support to help you use your bundle, find time-saving ways to meal plan + cook + get loads of tips to streamline the whole process. At the end of 30 days, you’ll have made 30 meals + kicked off your year with a shiny new habit!

    Get  your bundle now!

    Pick up your copy of the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle + the 30 Meals in 30 Days Challenge (for free!) today.

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