mindful living, effortless style

Janssen

One big holiday down, two to go!  Today Janssen is here with a classic Thanksgiving craft that takes me back to my own days spent at the kids table.  This one is simple, inexpensive, and can be used both for craft time and dramatic play afterward!   This year I think I might get all the […]

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Do you guys ever listen to audiobooks at home?  Our in-house librarian, Janssen, swears by them for getting your reading fix while getting stuff done.  I’ve been totally intrigued by the idea but a little intimidated on how to get started with it all. Today I’ve asked Janssen to give as quick tutorial: audiobooks 101. […]

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Our resident children’s librarian, Janssen, is back today with some of her favorite Halloween books for kids (get your library cards ready). Also, don’t forget, there are less than two days left to take advantage of the 10% off sale on our new eBook, Hands-On Holidays: Simple Ideas for Making Memories October through December.  Just […]

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I love the look of luminaries, but they don’t just have to be for Christmas. With some inexpensive paper lunch sacks and some craft paint, you can make some easy Halloween versions that will look great welcoming trick-or-treaters up to your front door. Using LED tea lights means you don’t have the fire risk and […]

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Did you know that Thursday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Time to straighten those eye-patches and polish your hooks and go on a hunt for buried gold. And possibly sneak a book aboard your pirate ship. Here’s eight (four picture books and four juvenile novels) you might want to make room for in your […]

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Our resident children’s librarian, Janssen, has been peppering MPMK with all sorts of great book lists this summer (see them here).  But recently I realized that as amazing as those lists are, I’m not fully tapping her potential.  So, with school back in session, I thought now we be a good time to ask for […]

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I used to find wordless picture books so disconcerting. Where were the words? How was I supposed to know what to say?   Now, though, I love the chance to focus more on the illustrations and also let my child interpret the pictures for herself. It’s so fun to see her figure out the story […]

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Ack!, our in-house children’s librarian, Janssen, has done it again with her latest list of recommended reads!  Llama, Llama Misses Momma is seriously beloved at our house and was a big help with preschool transition, Ramona was one of my all-time favorite characters as a kid, and anything written by Mo Willems is solid gold […]

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Are you spending your summer at the beach, the pool, or the spray-ground? With these heat waves across the country, there’s a good chance your swimsuit or at least your backyard hose is getting a lot of use this year. But if you’re looking for a watery adventure that doesn’t require sunscreen, check out these […]

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Are you familiar with fractured fairy tales? They are stories that spin off the well-known versions of classic fairy tales, and they are usually extremely clever and fun. I loved reading them to my elementary students because they loved comparing the similarities and differences between the stories they knew and the ones we read together. […]

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There’s lots of parts of travel that can be overwhelming (packing for a whole family, anyone?), but the trip itself shouldn’t be one of those things. Some of the best memories of childhood can be the time squished in the backseat of a car with your siblings or experiencing your first plane ride! Whether you’re […]

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Our resident children’s librarian, Janssen, is here today with her picks for injecting a little history into your 4th of July celebration.  Get those library cards ready! Let’s be honest – on the Fourth of July, you’ll probably be outside, watching parades, having a neighborhood BBQ, and watching (or setting off!) fireworks. There may not […]

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Hi friends – how are you?  I’ve been a bit distracted lately, have you noticed?  Hopefully not thanks to the continued great work of our MPMK contributing team.  I’m dealing with a lot that’s taking me away from the blog these days – getting ready to list our house next week, our dog begin seriously […]

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After the popularity of Princess Books You’ll Actually Want Your Daughter to Read, Janssen and I knew we had to do a list for the boys.  We settled on vehicles because that’s what the little guys in our lives are into (and my little girl as well – of course this list is for both […]

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Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project has been on the top of my reading list for a while now (it was the runner up for our last virtual book club selection), so when I heard she had a new happiness book out based on the idea of starting at home, I knew we had to tackle […]

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