Baking Up Memories with My Little Girl


“I’m so excited, Mommy! I want to do everything from start to finish!” my five year old informed me as we prepared to bake chocolate chip cookies for Thanksgiving. Though it can be time-consuming, and it’s difficult to always carve out time to do it, I love baking. I especially love baking with my daughter. Now that she’s in kindergarten, she’s starting to read, is understanding the concept of measuring more and more and really was able to do just about everything from start to finish, with the exclusion of putting and taking the cookies out of the oven.

As we stood in the kitchen together, we bonded and talked about how excited we were to share our cookies with the family for Thanksgiving. Quinn even said, “I really love baking with you mommy. We ought to do it more often!” I agreed. It is such a wonderful feeling to see her applying what I’ve taught her over the years. I did not have to remind her how to sift the ingredients. Using the Kitchen Aid mixer is a no brainer for her. Without me suggesting, she said, “I’m going to start the mixer on the lowest setting firs so that the flour doesn’t go everywhere. Then I’ll flick the switch so it can mix the cookie dough faster. She was able to use the cookie scoop with ease, and even knew the importance of not putting the cookies too close to one another of the baking sheet.

This experience made me think of an analogy with my little girl. Before she was born, she was “baking” in my stomach until it was time for her to come out. Now, I often observe her “baking up” some ideas and searching for life “ingredients.”  She’s on her way to becoming a master chef, and it comforts me to know that I’m playing a role in sharing my recipes for heartfelt moments that she will be able to use to cook up a wonderful life for herself.

All the best,


Say Word?! Learning Can Be Fun! Lessons with My Little Girl

She paused for a few second and looked up to the ceiling with her head slanted. Then she said with certainty, “Word!” I proudly said, “You got another word right, sweetheart!” Even though my daughter already knew some words here and there, since she started kindergarten, we’ve been making a conscious effort to reinforce what she is learning in school and to even enhance that experience. Last week, in my blog entry, I wrote about the reward system I created to demonstrate positive reinforcement for my five year old’s eagerness to learn. Doing basic flash cards is one of the lessons we do together.

I purchased sight word cards with pictures and some without, and either way Quinn is able to recognize several words after a few sessions. I am impressed that she immediately distinguishes the differences between words with similar spellings such as then and than considering that some adults still mix these two up. Often when I ask her what reading activity she would like to do, if it is not leafing through one of her books, it is doing flash cards.

Yes, technology is wonderful, and we use some of those resources as well. But good old-fashion flash cards are still perfect for helping a child learn how to read. They are a cheap resource that you can purchase at the local dollar store, or you can even create them yourself. Give them a try if you don’t already use them with your child.

All the best,


Reading, Writing & Math: A Rewarding Experience for My Little Girl


“Mommy, may I please do some reading today,” my five year old pleaded. Those words are always music to my ears! Since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been eager to learn. Also, like many children, she loves playing with toys. One of her toys of choice is her doll, Sophia. Whenever we go near the toy section in Target, Quinn’s eyes widen as she sees the many doll accessories: clothing, footwear, little brushes, beds, you name it.

Since the star reward system my husband and I started with Quinn when she was two to reinforce positive behaviors was so successful, I thought why not implement a program like that to encourage and reward her for learning, especially since her school does not issue homework for kindergartners.

Over the summer, I purchased several workbooks and resources to help her with reading, writing and math. Then, I ordered big charts, smiley stickers and punch cards through Amazon. For every three stickers Quinn earns a smiley face. Then, she gets one punch on the card. Once she earns ten punches, she’s able to get some doll accessories for Sophia.

Of course, some parents might argue that learning is a requirement for children, and why should a child be rewarded? While this may be plausible for some, I’ve actually found that my daughter is even more eager to learn. It does not feel like a chore to her, and she does not do it solely to earn stickers or punches on the punch card. Sometimes, I have to let her know that she’s able to earn a sticker since she asked about practicing her writing.

Often, Quinn will ask to write and read instead of watch television or play with her toys.  What I love is that she even does math by counting up how many more smiley faces she needs in the different sections to earn a punch on the card and then how many punches she needs to get to ten.

This reward system also teaches Quinn about value. As she gets the doll accessories, she knows she had to put in a lot of work to earn them. It makes her appreciate them more than me just giving them to her.

Does your child needs a little encouragement to learn? Give the reward punch card system a try. Maybe it will be as successful for your child as it has been for mine!

All the best,


Autumn “Leaves” Fun Chores for My Little Girl!

“This is the best chore of the day, Mommy,” my five year old excitedly told me. It’s that time of the year where autumn is in full swing. Trees display beautiful leaves in hues of red, yellow and orange that we all gaze at and admire. Unfortunately, those very leaves eventually fall to the ground leaving behind that dreaded chore for many adults to continuously rake them all up for the next month or longer, depending on how many of these beautiful trees surround their homes.

I actually don’t mind it so much because I often daydream about when I was younger jumping in the leaves or just making that crunchy sound as I walked down the street stepping on leaves. My daughter has the same love for nature that I have. This morning, after getting home from my kickboxing workout, the sun was shining, and the leaves covered most of our grass and portions of our sidewalk, so I figured that I’d get a little more exercise by raking the leaves.

Automatically, Quinn said, “I want to help too, Mommy! I love raking the leaves!” My sweet girl has been helping since she was just one years old, and each year, she gets better and better. We made it a family activity along with her dad and spent about an hour outside clearing the colorful leaves. She even wanted to hold onto some of the leaves so that she could identify what trees they came from.

I love how we can have fun doing chores and truly enjoy each other’s company. These are the colorful moments we share together, and I will always cherish them.

All the best,