How to Raise a Reader

how to raise a reader

In the age of technology with flashing and buzzing toys that fight for your child’s attention you want to make sure they are grounded in things that help them grow intellectually- reading is the base for just about everything else they will do in life.  As a parent, you want your kids to have the best and knowing How To Raise A Reader is important.  Use these tips to encourage and help them become an avid reader!


little girl lying on the bed and reading a book


I am a lover of words-writing them or reading them. Fiction or Non, if it is good I will devour it like a piece of chocolate.  I will reread particularly good ones and shove them into the hands of friends and declare “You must read this, it is the best book EVER!”. Because as I said I love a good book. I think readers are made early on-I know I was turned into a voracious reader in the lap of my mother who read to me every night.

1. Read to them- Start early, in the womb if you can.  Even babies love to hear words in their mothers soothing voice. Toddlers who may not sit still for a long book will still pick up language skills by your reading board books as they play. Preschoolers  can pick up letter identification sooner when exposed to ABC books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Even elementary age children generally still love to hear readings from favorite chapter books.

2.  Scatter books- I put books throughout the house, on bookshelves, in baskets next to comfy chairs, on the coffee table.  I tuck Star Wars books in the basket with my sons Star Wars action figures to encourage reading.  Make them accessible, I leave most within their reach and put up a few more delicate books for special times.

3. Choose appropriate level- Books that are too easy cause them to be bored with reading, too hard and they become frustrated and see it as a chore instead of the reward it really is.

4. Take Turns- Once children start reading simple CVC words let them read to you, sometimes with just a little assistance but other times you can make it fun by taking turns reading each page. This will build their reading skills and give them confidence.  If they have younger siblings encourage them to read stories to them.

5. Mix it up- Besides reading at home- bring a book along to the park, thumb through books at Barnes & Nobles, visit the library often, read magazines, and  occasionally let them read on a Kindle or other device (nothing beats a real book).

6. Encourage their interests- Provide them with books on topics they love. Some people are very “Pro- Classics” and against “twaddle” I am not one of them, while I love the classics and encourage them- if it gets my child to love reading I don’t care if it is a Star Wars comic or Swiss Family Robinson, the more intellectual reading will come . Choose Your Own Adventure Books are great for both boys and girls alike. This

7. Be a reading role model- Let your child see you enjoy reading for the fun of it.  My kids and I like to curl up on the couch together, sometimes to share a book, other times each with their own selection.  They see me choosing to spend my time on reading and they know that it is worthwhile (You are also close by if they get stuck on a word).

We love the following books for beginner reading with our kids: 

Little House On The Prairie Series

Ramona & Beezus Collection

Harry Potter

Chronicles Of Narnia

Choose Your Own Adventure Series

Check out some of our favorite homeschool articles below: 

Ways To Kick Start Your Homeschool

Using Legos In Your Homeschool

Using Television In Your Homeschool Curriculum

Farmer Boy Unit Study




Posted in Homeschool, Kids Tagged with: ,

How The American Red Cross Brought Security To My Life

This week, the American Red Cross and Master Lock asked me to share with you about my own experiences in seeing the American Red Cross at work.  It was easy to go immediately to summer of 2011 and the tornadoes that hit Joplin, Missouri.  For once in my life, this hit a personal note for me.  Having lived in tornado alley most of my life in Arkansas, I had not been personally affected by tornadoes until that early summer.  You see, my in-laws live in Joplin, and the tornadoes came dangerously close to their home and work.

Red Cross In Joplin

As we toured the city in early August of 2011 with our family, I was shocked to see the devastation still remaining even a few months later.  Not only were there entire city blocks no longer there, many businesses had completely disappeared.  As we sat down to visit with my father in law, he began telling us about local friends who had been put out of their homes or lost their jobs.  In their own kitchen was a stack of water bottles that had been given to their workplace to share with those in need.  They had been helping out by passing them around to the community as they saw needs.

The American Red Cross was there when the tornadoes hit Joplin.  They moved into place within hours and handled much of the relief effort.  From providing water and food to those who lost their homes, to setting up urgent care locations and assisting in debris removal, they made a huge impact on the devastated community.  I was lucky enough to see them at work even months after the original devastation hit.

On our way home from that visit, I remember talking to my Beau about how horrible it must be to feel so alone and unsafe.  Having your home and belongings disappear not overnight, but in mere seconds.  I cannot imagine the devastation they felt.  The families with small children, babies or even pregnant mothers who feared for their lives, their safety and their next meal.


The American Red Cross was there to help them, and this year they are also working with Master Lock to provide Safety Through Every Life Season.  Right now, you can tweet about a time in your life when safety and security has been of the most importance, and for every tweet that includes the hashtag #MasterLockProtects a $1 donation will be made to the Amercian Red Cross up to $10,000!  Simply sharing a short sentence about your own safety fears can help provide someone in need with food, water, shelter or just a listening ear.

On Tuesday Jnuary 27th at 8pmEST there will be an awesome Twitte Party you can participate in with @Resourcefulmom to learn more about what Mater Lock has to help you stay safe through every season of life.   Make sure to RSVP for the party HERE!

This year, make sure to share a tweet using the hashtag #MasterLockProtects telling your own story so you can help donate to the American Red Cross.  You never know when you might be the one in need.

This post was sponsored by American Red Cross, Master Lock and Global Influence.  Despite compensation, the story and opinions within are 100% mine.  We only promote brands, companies and businesses we believe in here at You Brew My Tea.

Posted in Sponsored Post

50 Delicious Asparagus Recipes

50 Delicious Asparagus Recipes

Growing up we ate a lot of vegetables, but asparagus wasn’t served at our house.  As an adult I found a new love for this beautiful crunchy green vegetable, and here are 50 Delicious Asparagus Recipes that are sure to delight your senses.  Not only did we include simple recipes that are bright, fresh and easy to make, there are classic meals that are beautiful enough to serve to special guests.  You’ll love all of the fun new ways to eat this vegetable, and so will your family.

50 Delicious Asparagus Recipes


  1. Lemon Pepper Asparagus
  2. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
  3. Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus
  4. Roasted Asparagus with Dijon Dressing
  5. Cream of Asparagus Soup
  6. Fresh Asparagus and Hollandaise Casserole
  7. Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Ranch Dressing
  8. Asparagus Quiche
  9. Lemon Butter Asparagus
  10. Asparagus Gruyere Tart
  11. Asparagus Delight
  12. Easy Grilled Asparagus
  13. Ginger Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry with Pistachios
  14. Steak and Asparagus Breakfast Wrap
  15. Lemon Asparagus Orzo
  16. Chicken Asparagus Pasta Salad
  17. Asparagus, Goat Cheese & Pearl Onion Quiche
  18. Cowboy Quiche
  19. Roasted Asparagus with Garlic & Balsamic Vinegar
  20. Asparagus and Broccoli in Gingery Orange Sauce
  21. Kielbasa and Asparagus Pasta
  22. Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Puff Pastry
  23. Tortellini and Asparagus in Light Lemon Sauce
  24. Roasted Red Pepper & Asparagus Quinoa
  25. Asparagus Soup
  26. Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes
  27. Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
  28. Asparagus Casserole
  29. Pesto Ravioli with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
  30. Asparagus, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Appetizer
  31. Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus
  32. Ham and Asparagus Frittata
  33. Baked Eggs with Asparagus and Parmesan
  34. Asparagus Carbonara
  35. Bacon, Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
  36. Garlic Lime Asparagus (second recipe on page)
  37. Zesty Grilled Asparagus Sandwich
  38. Chicken and Asparagus Penne
  39. Purple Asparagus with Enoki and Brown Butter Garlic
  40. Steak and Asparagus Rotini
  41. Shrimp Asparagus Stir Fry with Lemon Sauce
  42. Mini Asparagus and Pancetta Frittatas
  43. Crunchy Baked Asparagus
  44. Orzo with Black Olives and Asparagus
  45. Shaved Asparagus Salad
  46. Asparagus Quiche
  47. Lemon Asparagus Quinoa
  48. Frittata with Ham and Asparagus
  49. Asparagus with Prosciutto and Cream Cheese
  50. Asparagus Tomato Parmesan Squares

Gone are the days of fighting your kids to eat their vegetables.  These delicious asparagus recipes are sure to please everyone in your family!

Check out some of our other favorite roundups of awesome recipes!

25 Delicious Kale Recipes

21 Awesome Cucumber Recipes

26 Delectable Cookie Recipes

Posted in recipe, recipes Tagged with: , ,

Best DIY Gardening Tips

Best DIY Gardening Tips

I grew up in a family that valued having a back yard garden.  Admittedly, I always seemed to manage to get out of the gardening duties as a kid, but that didn’t mean I didn’t develop a love for gardens and mostly fresh produce.  Because I am still a beginner in gardening myself, I pulled some of the Best DIY Gardening Tips from my favorite bloggers to share with you.  From how to start a garden, to making compost or gardening in small spaces, this list has a multitude of information for you to get started this year.

Best DIY Gardening Tips


How To Create A Self Watering Garden
Organic Gardening 101
Vegetable Gardening 101
Gardening Tips 101
Create A Flower Garden For Under $30
Egg Carton Planters Tutorial
10 Herbs You Need To Grow
Poinsettia Care
Growing Beets From Kitchen Scraps
Tips For Cleaning Crusty Clay Pots
DIY Compost Bin
How To Start A Garden
How To Garden In Small Spaces
Why You Need Lemon Balm In Your Garden
DIY Insecticidal Plant Spray
How To Make Composting Easy
Make Your Own Live Herb Garden
How To Grow Onions From Kitchen Scraps
How To Build A Potato Tower
How To Create A Vertical Hanging Succulent Garden
Simple Tips For Caring For Your Roses
19 Gardening Tips & Ideas
Tips For Growing Outdoor or Indoor Herb Gardens
How To Divide Plants
6 Benefits Of A Raised Garden Bed

One of the reasons we are sharing these tips this year, is because we really believe that starting your own garden is one of the best ways to feed your family organic healthy vegetables at a fraction of the cost you find in stores.  I grew up on garden raised potatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, corn, squash and more.  Although I love the prices I find at our local Whole Foods and Fresh Market, I know that the freedom of growing my own vegetables at home will save our budget while providing us with food year round.  An investment of $25-$50 up front can result in an easy savings of $250-$500 over the course of the year.  Sometimes even more.  What’s not to love about that?  Join us in this journey to building your own garden this year.


Posted in DIY, gardening Tagged with: ,

Honey Almond Sugar Scrub

honey almond sugar scrub

honey sugar scrub

Honey has been a natural body care product ever since the days of Cleopatra, and it makes the perfect addition to our homemade Honey Almond Sugar Scrub. It is a wonderful humectant that acts as a long lasting moisturizer and leaves your skin incredibly soft and hydrated. It is also anti aging, anti bacterial, and is loaded with other nutrients and anti oxidants. It is just as good for your outside as it is for your inside.  Try to chose organic, natural, and unprocessed ingredients as much as possible to keep this body treatment beneficial for your skin.   While some of these ingredients seem a bit pricey they really go a long way and can be used to make – body wash, hand soap, other scrubs, lotions, and more. If you are interested in replacing your store bought beauty products with homemade it is well worth the investment. Keep it to yourself or package some in a pretty jar for a friend who could use a mini spa treatment.



1 1/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. Dr. Bronners Mild Castile Soap

2  Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 cup almond oil

vitamin E oil

sugar scrub

optional- Almond extract or essential oil- If you want a stronger almond scent you can mix either of these in to boost it, add a few drops at at time until you have reached desired scent.



Soften/melt coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.

Combine  remaining ingredients into bowl and mix well to make sure everything is equally distributed.

honey almond sugar scrub


Place scrub in an airtight container, the vitamin E oil acts as a natural preservative and your sugar scrub should last for several months.

To use massage scrub in a circular motion onto wet skin, rinse off, and pat dry.


sugar scrub s


This simple homemade sugar scrub is one of many wonderful homemade products you can make with all natural products.  We love creating luxurious body products that will nourish our skin.  This honey almond sugar scrub has a pleasant warm smell that everyone will love.

Check out some of our other favorite homemade beauty products!

Citrus Basil Sugar Scrub

Snickerdoodle Body Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub

Whipped Gingerbread Body Butter

Posted in DIY, Gift Ideas