Jul 1, 2019

Disclosure: I received a set of My First Emotions books for free from Clever Publishing to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here. 

I was so excited when Clever Publishing contacted me asking if I would like to receive review copies of their new book series, My First Emotions. Our 2-year-old is just starting to realize she has feelings, sometimes big feelings, and I believe these books are a great way to begin helping her learn and understand what she is feeling. 

My daughter absolutely adored the animal characters and the bright, cheery colors. She will even page through them on her own and point out the animals and colors.

I enjoy reading them to her and teaching her along the way why Robbie the Tiger is angry or why Tommy the Elephant is feeling sad. I'm hoping she'll be able to pick up on the words for these emotions so she can use them too when she experiences these emotions, and these board books are a great way to start!

The My First Emotions series consists of:

  1. I Feel Happy
  2. I Feel Angry
  3. I Feel Sad
  4. I Feel Loved

All four books are geared for ages 0 to 3 and teach common early emotions that toddlers begin to feel. They are sturdy board books, so perfect for toddlers! They all feature cute animals, with bright and colorful illustrations. Each book focuses on a different emotion and has a different main animal character, which I will go over in more detail below:

I Feel Happy

"I Feel Happy" features a happy hippo named Rose. Rose feels so happy when her bear friend, Kate, gives her a present that she wants to make Kate feel happy too.

This adorable board book is a great way to introduce your child to the feeling "happy" and to learn how they can make others happy too.

I Feel Angry

In "I Feel Angry," a tiger cub named Robbie, becomes upset when none of his friends will share their toys. He gets so angry he throws a toy teacup on the floor. His bunny friend, Lily, offers him a healthier way to deal with his anger by saying when she's upset, she takes a deep breath and counts to ten. Robbie gives it a try and feels better, and Lily invites him to her tea party.

This cute Tiger book is a great way to give your child the words they need so they express when they are feeling mad or angry. It also shows what often happens when we get upset (throw or break things) and provides a better, more effective option for expressing their feelings (counting to ten).

I Feel Sad

In "I Feel Sad," a blue elephant named Tommy is excited to spend the day with his best friend, but unfortunately, his friend gets sick and can't come over. Tommy's mom lets him know it's okay to feel sad and spends the day with him. Tommy feels better later after having a fun day with his mom and makes his best friend a get well card.

This board book is great for teaching toddlers the feeling sad and that it is okay to feel sad. It also shows that sadness doesn't last forever. After having a fun day with his mom, Tommy went from sad to happy. 

I Feel Loved

"I Feel Loved," features an adorable puppy named Libby. Libby goes to the park with her mom and along the way discovers all the things her mom does for her and feels loved. 

A great board book for showing toddlers what love is and helping them understand what it means to feel loved.

Jun 24, 2019

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here. 

Though I titled this for "first time homeowners," a lot of these apply to anyone who is living on their own for the first time.

I'll start with 15 popular gifts that everyone loves and end with 15 not so common gifts, but are practical and every homeowner should have on hand!

15 gift ideas almost everyone will love:

1) Welcome Mat

Every homeowner needs a mat by their front door to wipe off dirty shoes!

2) Microwave

I have never been to a home without a microwave, and not sure how anyone could live without one, so it's the perfect gift, especially if the house doesn't come with a built-in!

3) Coffee Maker

Perfect gift for the coffee lover! We love our proctor silex. It's simple and easy to use.

4) Toaster

Highly recommend a 4 slot toaster, especially if you are married! This is the one we have and love:

5) Instant Pot

This is actually one item we don't own but wish we did. Instead, we have a crock pot and a rice cooker, whereas this would have been nicer as it can do everything!

6) Dish Towels

This is always a fun housewarming gift as you can get fun designs that match the new homeowner's personality or style!

7) Wreath

Help them decorate their new home with a beautiful wreath!

8) Candle

Candles are a classic gift and you can personalize it by choosing a scent to match the new homeowner's tastes.

9) Plants & Planters

Help the new homeowner decorate their place with plants. If they don't have a green thumb, opt for something easy or fake plants.

Aren't these owl planters just adorable? I also love the hanging pots!

10) Blanket

My favorite blankets are The Big One blankets from Kohls. They are super soft and huge!

11) Tea Kettle

Perfect for tea drinkers, or for hot cocoa, or for boiling hot water in general!

12) Throw Pillow

Throw pillows are another fun gift as there are so many fun designs and colors, so you can get something more personal for the new homeowner.

13) Pots & Pans

These are the necessities every person living on their own needs in order to cook!


14) Cutting Board

Another good kitchen essential.

15) Knife Set

Now that they have their own place to cook, they'll need a good set of knives to help them cut and chop food.

15 useful gifts you may not have thought of:

1) Snow Shovel

Living in Minnesota, having a shovel is a must! May not be the prettiest gift, but definitely one that a new homeowner would appreciate.

2) Rake

If you live in a state with 4 seasons, then you know having a rake is a must to rake leaves. Make sure you choose a metal rake, avoid plastic, as metal is more durable and will last longer.

3) Fire Extinguisher

Not the most glamorous gift, but definitely one of the more important ones! Apartments often have these in hallways, but once you get your own home, you are on your own and you will want to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case something does go wrong.

4) Step Stool

A more practical gift. Step stools come in handy for reaching tall places in the house or garage. We have both, but I mostly use the short folding one around the house to reach cupboards as I am short! The 3 step stool is great for hanging Christmas lights, refilling the birdfeeder, and reaching the high shelves in the garage where we store holiday decorations.

5) Stainless Steel Garbage Can

This may not be the prettiest present, but your friend or family member would be so thankful you got them a good garbage can.

After going through our fair share of plastic garbage cans, we finally decided to upgrade to a stainless steel one and boy has it made a huge difference! This thing is built to last and it doesn't absorb odors like plastic. Perfect for the kitchen!

6) Ladder

Owning a home means they will have to clean those gutters and if snow is bad in the winter where they live, they may have to shovel snow off your roof to prevent ice dams (or get a roof rake). Also, if your friend or family member is into decorating for the holidays, they may need a ladder for hanging lights and decorations.

This is the ladder we have and it's amazing, our neighbor has even borrowed it!

7) Leaf Blower

Not a huge need, but definitely makes life easier which is why it makes a great gift!

My husband actually uses a leaf blower more for the driveway and cleaning the side of the road. He prefers using a rake for the yard. It's also great for blowing leaves out of gutters!

8) Garden Hose

Perfect for the new homeowner that loves to garden. Also great for spray cleaning big items outside, like garbage bins, and filling up kiddie pools. 

9) Basic Tools

I actually asked my husband for his advice on what tools would be the best gifts, and he said every homeowner should have at least the following on hand: screwdrivers, socket wrenches, hammer and nails, measuring tape, pliers, and a cordless drill.

10) Mop & Bucket

Another great practical gift, especially if their new home has a lot of hard surfaces!

11) Brooms & Dustpan

A regular broom and dustpan are great for sweeping hard floors. A push room is great for cleaning driveways and sidewalks. We also discovered that it is amazing in winter for cleaning large amounts of snow off our cars! Both would make great gifts for a first-time homeowner.

12) Dust Mop & Duster

Besides brooms, dust mops and dusters make great gifts too for a new homeowner!

13) Gardening Tools

This is geared more so for the new homeowner who is into gardening or has a larger yard to maintain. Clippers are especially good to have if they have bushes because they will need to be trimmed.

14) Vacuum

A vacuum is a must if there is carpet in their home! We love our Shark Lift-Away, which you can read my review here. I definitely recommend a Shark vacuum. 

15) Toilet Plunger & Brush

This is probably the last thing you would want to give as a gift, but every new homeowner needs one (or more if they like to have a set in each bathroom). So if you are into practical, useful gifts, that won't get tossed out, well this is perfect!