Janssen Bradshaw

Janssen lives in North Carolina with her husband and their two little girls. A former librarian, she is an obsessive reader, especially of picture books, young adult novels, and adult non-fiction. She also loves food in any form, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or making dinner at home with her little sidekicks. Her lifestyle blog, Everyday Reading, features daily style, book recommendations, and her family's favorite recipes. You can also find Janssen on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

A Magical Milestone

One of the things my girls both love is a good book.

Since my professional background is in children’s libraries, this delights me to no end, and we’ve spent hundreds of hours snuggled on the couch or in bed reading stacks of picture books together.

In the last month or two, though, a new reader has arrived in our family.

Toddlers Reading

Our older daughter has learned how to read pretty fluently and she loves reading to our second daughter.

Now, whenever I need to take a shower or get something done or keep the girls entertained on the bus or train, I suggest that Ella reads a book to Ani and, like magic, the two of them are totally engrossed in the book.

It’s great practice for Ella to work on her reading skills, Ani doesn’t mind if Ella stumbles a little here or there, and the two of them get to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures together.

Plus, mama gets a few minutes of peace to make dinner or send off an email. Win-win!

Toddlers Reading

Would You Reprimand Someone Else's Child?

I am a pretty laid-back parent and I’m also extremely non-confrontational (any confrontation at all makes my heart pound).

So, if you’d asked me a few weeks ago if I’d have told someone else’s child in a public place to stop acting in a certain way, I am almost sure the answer would have been, “No way!”

Playground

Playground

What Was the First Item You Bought for Your New Baby?

Thanks to Disney Baby for sponsoring this post and giving me Mickey Mouse crib shoes for free.

I’m not a huge shopper and as a mama, I definitely veer toward the minimalist end of the spectrum. I didn’t buy ANY clothing for my first daughter until she was almost 6 months old because we got so many hand-me-downs and gifts from friends.

But there’s something special about whatever that first purchase you make for your baby is, whether it is clothing or the perfect stroller or a pack of diapers.

Disney Baby Robeez Shoes

Do You Dress Up for Thanksgiving Dinner?

In my family growing up, we always had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner, complete with china, cloth napkins, and candles.

We didn’t get totally dressed up (no ties for my dad and brothers, and dresses weren’t required for us girls), but it was definitely not a sweatpants kind of affair and there were usually not a lot of jeans or t-shirts at dinner.

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Infant & Toddler Girl's Sequin Top & Leggings

10 Baby Names My Husband Vetoed!

One of the questions we’ve gotten most since announcing that we were expecting another baby this fall is “do you have a name picked out?”

The truth is, names are really really difficult for my husband and me. We both have strong opinions about names and a lot of criteria (easy to pronounce and spell, unusual but not weird or made up, and, of course, fit with our two older daughters names).

We had a girl name picked out for our first child for nearly five years before she was born, but with our second daughter, we didn’t settle on a name for her until just a few weeks before her birth. When we found out that a third baby was on the way, we had absolutely no names for either girls or boys.

Baby Name Veto
Rocket Fuel