Our Favorite Apple Books

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This is such a sweet little story. Apple Farmer Annie owns her own apple business and we read about her daily adventures preparing to set up at the market and selling her apple goods! The colorful illustrations and recipe for apple treats at the end of the book make it extra special!

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I LOVE this story! It’s about a precious family on an apple picking adventure. It’s includes lots of non-fiction facts, activity ideas, an applesauce recipe, a poem and a song too!

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This one is definitely a classic! Hilarious counting fun and how great is it to repeat

“fiddle-dee-fee!” haha!

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This cute trio try balancing a stack of apples on each of their heads! They pile up 10 and try their best to protect them from all kinds of funny challenges until a collision and everyone ends up sharing apples piled up together!

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We really enjoyed this book because it does a great job of showing numbers, number value along with a cute, easy to read story. Perfect for reading to littles who stay captured for shorter lengths of time.

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This story does a great job of sharing the cycle of life in an apple tree. It covers seasons beyond just the Fall- what the apple tree looks like and does in the Winter, Spring, and Summer too!

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This story of a little goat ends with a sweet surprise. His apple snacking turns out to be an exciting solution to a problem he didn’t know he had!

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Little fox is on the hunt for mysteriously missing apples! He discovers his thoughtful friends collected the apples to celebrate Little Fox in a surprise party!

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This one was another favorite! We LOVED the cut out shapes to make new images with each turn of the page. It’s bright, colorful, but simple and fun! It’s a perfect story to pair with shape study and the cycle of life for an apple tree and it’s inhabitants! It’s sure to be a hit!

Have another apple story you and your littles enjoy? I’d love to hear all the suggestions! Send them our way! And if you’re looking for some activities to go with those great books I have just the thing for you! Be sure to check out the All About Apples Play and Learn Calendar available on my resource page!

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Back to Fresh: Collards, Mac & Cheese

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I think we’re on to something with plugging in green veggies to some of our favorites. I know my crew is more willing to try something new when it’s paired with a trusted favorite. While my little fella is dairy free, both my girls LOVE macaroni with cheese. I’m not talking the kind out of the blue box either. It’s shockingly easy to prepare fresh, homemade macaroni with cheese. This week I decided to test the waters with collards again and I’m happy to report it was another success!

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Macie Jane has a well check up this week and among the number of questions I get asked is the age old, “Is she eating a balanced diet?” Of my crew she typically eats the best but still I’m not satisfied with the amount of vegetables she eats. And my other two? I straight up answer no. They do not eat a balanced diet- not because it’s not provided but because you can not force feed toddlers. If they don’t want it there’s little to no reasoning with them. I can get a few veggies plugged in here or there but the majority of the time it has to be hidden in a fruit squeeze, smoothie, or tucked into quesadilla- even then they catch on to me.

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Needless to say I was thrilled when I discovered how easy it is to grab a bag of Nature’s Greens fresh ready to eat/cook greens. I can zip open the bag, toss them into a pan to sauté or a blender for a smoothie. I’ve been inspired to try them in more of our recipes that I hadn’t before.

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This week’s attempt was in their favorite lunch time meal- Macaroni with Cheese! I love this one because it’s not only awesome on the first day but it’s excellent to reheat for lunch the second day too! On our Bible study days I typically make Macaroni with Cheese the night before so it’s ready to go when we hurry home to squeeze in lunch before naps! I sautéed a cup of chopped collards and mixed it right in with the macaroni- SO GOOD! Y’all, game changer. I’m not sure we’ll ever have plain Macaroni and Cheese again!

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You ready for the recipe? It’s crazy easy and kid tested + approved! Just 5 simple ingredients and I’m willing to bet you have most if not all of them sitting in your kitchen right now! Click the button below to get your set of FREE printables including the recipe!

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Apples + Preschool

We have had the most fun learning and playing this month! Apples are so much more than our favorite snack these days! We have tasted them, counted them, painted them, traced them, colored them… the list could go on!

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Our September Play & Learn Calendar theme is “All About Apples” and we have or will do almost everything you can image with that theme! We started out with an apple tasting to kick off the calendar! It was really no competition between the apples when my girls discovered there was a “pink” apple [Pink Lady] they were sold!

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The STEM loving hearts of my littles were so HAPPY to dissect apples and compare and contrast the differences in apples depending which way you slice them.

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If you haven’t noticed we’re BIG fans of color over here so this activity in particular had my Sadie bug super happy! I would read her the color name and she would color in the apples. Look at that sweet face! So proud!

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…And we’re only half way through! It’s not too late if you want to join in the fun! Grab your All About Apples Play & Learn Calendar here:

…and don’t forget next Wednesday, September 26 is Johnny Appleseed Day! What a perfect day to do an apple activity or two! :)

Back to Fresh: Sweet Green Smoothie

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If I give my littles a jar of crayons or a glue stick with scraps of paper there is great rejoicing! Crafts and creating are in their DNA. There's no need to convince them to get designing their latest masterpiece. However, when it comes to getting those good, green leafy veggies in it's a whole different story. 

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Enter Nature’s Greens fresh, pre-washed greens! They’re perfect for adding into our tried and true recipes because they’re ready straight from the bag! No need to do all the prep work you typically have to with collards, kale, or turnip greens. Just open up the bag and toss them right in!

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This is the perfect time of year to plug in extra greens whenever you can. It’s back to school season and every mama knows that with new routine come new germs. It always seems like a matter of time before we catch our first sick bug. However, I am a firm believer that healthy eating impacts healthy living. So, I'm trying something new- I'm going to plug those greens in with a little creativity and some help from my picky eaters themselves. This week I turned our citrus smoothie into a “Sweet Green Smoothie” with my cute crew and it was a hit! Honestly I was surprised but they loved and asked for more! 

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Part of the fun was letting them join in the process. Watching all the ingredients swirl around a blender was pretty great too!  We used fresh collards from  Nature's Greens together with our favorite fruits. I loved that the collards were pre-washed and ready to go- so convenient for whipping up a nutritious snack rich in vitamins and minerals. If you're like me and want to get a healthy start to the school year I have the perfect recipe for you! It's simple, sweet, and irresistible for even the pickiest of eaters! 

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While you're blending up and serving those greens why not play? Click the button below to get your FREE printable activity pages! 

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Mabel's Labels

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While we're still soaking up and soaking in the sweetness of Summer for just a few more weeks, I am starting to think ahead and get us organized for the new school year! My oldest officially starts kindergarten this year (cue the tears!) She is over the moon excited and I am so happy seeing her excitement! One of my favorite ways to get organized is with school supplies! This year we're using Mabels Labels to get each of the children's backpacks, water bottles, jackets, and more ready to take with us on Bible Study days, field trips, and more. 

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While we spend our days learning and playing at home there are a few outings we take each week where it's important that the children have backpacks, water bottles, etc. One of those being our Thursday morning Bible Study. Each of the children (even sweet baby Rutledge) have a class they attend while I'm off in my own small group before a larger lecture. It's one of the sweetest parts of our week!

The study we attend is full of families with small children! They require each family to clearly label all their belongs- which is very reasonably necessary! Over the years I've tried different labels that just didn't stick. Last year I resorted to sharpie on all the things. I worked but didn't look as lovely as you could imagine. 

This year we're set! Mabel's Labels has the perfect solution with personalized, adorable labels that are both durable and informative! They're washing machine and dishwasher safe! 

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As if I wasn't already sold on the personalized name stickers the custom shoe stickers sent me to the moon! I absolutely LOVE how cute these are but even better I LOVE that my cute crew can finally put their shoes on the right feet! Haha! Anyone else have this struggle?! 

Bonus: When Sadie goes to class and takes her shoes and sweater off (must be a 3 year old thing?) her teachers will know who they belong to!

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So while you're stocking up on supplies and gearing up for the new year be sure to check out Mabels Label's! They have everything from iron-on clothes labels to bag tags and everything in between! AND their shipping is free in the US!

I love them so much I want to give you a chance to try them out too! This week I'm giving one happy mama a personalized set of Mabels Label's sent straight to her mailbox! Check out my instagram to find out more! 

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Happy Labeling! 

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All About Apples

A month packed full of apple fun! 50+ pages of literacy to numeracy to STEM and everything in between! You’ll explore apples inside and out with your little! Perfect for preschool, kindergarten prep, and kindergarten too! One fun filled, inspiring activity everyday. Not too much to overwhelm you and just enough to make the time together something really special. Minimal to no prep required on most activities. Includes a suggested book list and bonus printables + a FREE art print! Read More about this unit on the blog!

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All About Apples

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I am over the moon excited to share our first preschool play and learn calendar of the year! We plan to start (pre)school in September but I'm gearing up and getting us all ready so these last few weeks before starting can be full of Summer fun! I see mamas out there gathering materials, going school supply shopping, ordering books, etc! So, if you like to plan ahead I've got you covered with this soft release! In two weeks I'll have a full release of all 3 units in the first term (All About Apples, Playful Pumpkins, & Happy Helpers) 150+ pages of learning and playing fun!

Instead of being themed by the month I've chosen special themes in three separate terms throughout the year. This first term starts off with a calendar "All About Apples."

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There are activities in this calendar to spark the imagination, learn about culture and history, you'll explore with STEM projects, and review basic literacy and numeracy. However what I love the MOST about this play and learn calendar is the heart behind it. We all know preschoolers are sponges constantly absorbing and learning but how they learn is so important. What better way to learn than beside mama. These activities are simple but fun while keeping the busy mama in mind. 

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Time together with your little ones is invaluable! As their mama it is such a joy to get to introduce them to lifelong learning. So many sweet memories made around the kitchen table or back porch as you teach your little to love learning! The pressure and anxiety a mama feels when it comes to teaching your littles is real. We all wonder, "am I doing a good enough job?" or "am I messing them up!?" I wish I could come put an arm around you and tell you what a wonderful job your doing. Loving those little ones, investing in them, spending time together will reap dividends of good. Every book read together and afternoon of pretend play is growing their mind and imagination. Take heart that preschool doesn't have to be a burden or stress- have fun, review letters and numbers, and soak in these sweet, sweet little years! 

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Here's a sneak peek at some of the printable activities you'll find in the calendar:

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Including this sweet hand lettered printable intended for you, mama. Just as much as you love your precious little one(s) so your Heavenly Father loves you even more! Rest in His goodness. He is faithful to lead you in the way you should go and provide every step along the way. If keeping your littles at home is what He has called you to the you can rest assured that His grace will be all-sufficient and abounding! You are the apple of His eye! 

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