Jul 252014

21 Favorite Read Aloud Children's Books

It’s no secret that I am a book lover by the fact that I am constantly sharing my favorite books and what I have been reading with you (although due to not so fun early pregnancy symptoms, I haven’t been reading much lately). While it’s a given that I’m a huge fan of books, it brings me much pleasure to watch my children grow into little book lovers too!

We read a lot of books in our home together. I keep several baskets of board and picture books around the house so they always have books nearby. I feel like we are reading constantly and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

I wanted to share with you some of our favorite read aloud children’s books that we read all the time. In fact we read them so often I’m pretty sure I have them all memorized! Most of these we have read so many times that they have had to be rebound and pages re-taped, but really that’s just a sign of love when a book is being worn out :)

I hope you come to enjoy some of these beloved books as much as my family does, maybe you’ll even discover a few new ones!  (Note: This post does contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.)

Jesus Loves Me by Anna Warner

Such a sweet little board book that is teaching my kids the words to a beloved classic song about the love Jesus has for us. The pictures are adorable and this includes several versed of the well known song to help kids memorize it.

Belly Button Book and Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton

I’m kind of a fan of Sandra Boynton and so are my kids! We own these two books, and have checked out a few more from the library. I love that her funny and silly books are interactive, contains rhythm (which is an important factor in early literacy) and are just hilarious.

My kids giggle every time we hunt for their belly button or when I give them a big smooch in accordance with the story. Along with the rhythm, she usually also includes a short song which my oldest loves to sing along with.

Ladybug Girl Makes Friends by Jacky Davis

This sweet, simple books teaches the lesson about friendship, helping one another and playing nicely together. There is a whole series but this is the one we own.

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth

Who doesn’t love a good counting book? I love this one because it includes 10 3-D ladybugs that my kids can count. Every page loses a ladybug only for them to all be reunited together at the end.

Curious Baby My First Nursery Songs (Curious George Book & CD) by H.A. Rey

First off, Curious George is a beloved friend in our home. Both my kids have little monkey stuffed animals that they love, not to mention that the Curious George show on PBS is always requested (I finally got smart and recorded a few on the DVR so they can always watch an episode if it’s not on. This is perfect for cuddle time when someone wakes up early). My son got this as a gift when he was a baby and it has been loved ever since.

Included with the board book is a CD that contains 3 different versions of each Nursery Song included: traditional sing along, words without the music and music without the words. Plus what I love is that unlike other children’s music CDs which contain over the top characters and music, this is a singer/songwriter who has the most tranquil voice yet still engaging for children. It’s probably my most favorite off all our children’s music.

I Love You Through And Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak

This sweet book goes through all the things that I love about each of my children. Their insides, and outsides. Their silly sides and mad sides, and on and on again. My kids love it when I point to their body parts or use my voice to describe their crying or laughing.

This book is also illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church who has either illustrated and/or written the next few books on my list.

How Do I Love You? by Marion Dane Bauer

A play on the classic, “How do I love you? Let me count the ways.” Another sweet book that describes a parents love for their child through different activities and characteristics.

Goodnight, I Love Youby Caroline Jayne Church

The perfect book for bedtime as it walks you through a normal bedtime routine of picking out pajamas, taking a bath and brushing teeth. Plus I love how this book continues to display a parent’s love for their child.

Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church

Part counting book, part book that moves through different body parts explaining just how much little ones are loved. My kids love it when I try to count their toes or kiss them while reading this making it an interactive book too.

Time For Bed, Sleepyhead by

Another sweet bedtime story of a little bunny who is walking the sleepy way home with his mother and encounters several friends along the way. This one gets requested at nap time quite a few times a week!

Because I Love You by Julia Hubery

Not that we need books to tell our kids just how much we love them but sometimes the way it’s worded brings comfort to them. This is a great book to read snuggled up together with the reminder that there is nothing they could do to make me love them any less.

I Love You As Big As the World by David Van Buren

Another sweet book that shares how great and big love is between family members. Another great book to read together while snuggled up together on the couch or in bed.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Slide and Find (World of Eric Carle by Bill Martin, Jr.

We are a fan of the “What Do You See?” books and my kids love this one because it’s a hands on book where they can slide the picture over to see what animal comes next. My daughter especially gets excited about pointing out the different animals.

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

This “What Do You See?” book has gotten so much attention over the last few years that many of the pages are taped together! In fact my son has this one memorized so it’s fun to see him “read” it on his own. Even my daughter knows the names of the animals too!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Who doesn’t love Eric Carle’s books? Beautifully illustrated along with a well written story. Plus my kids love to count the holes in the food that the hungry caterpillar has eaten along the way.

Who Took The Cookie From The Cookie Jar? by David Carter

Yes we love to chant this rhyme in our house! And this adorable pop up book goes through several different animals as you try to figure out who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. This is another book that I have had to tape up!

Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book by Karen Katz

A counting book that counts kisses! This is the sweetest one of all. My kids LOVE this one especially since they get a ton of kisses along the way. Plus I’m a fan of Karen Katz’s books!

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

This was a book that I discovered when I was an education student, and the book that introduced me to children’s author Karen Katz. My son recently started to notice different skin colors and has been asking about them. This book walks children through the different colors of people and how we are all the same yet different. This is a great book to help kids begin to understand diversity and ethnicity.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones

I’ve shared this Bible story book many times because it is definitely a beloved favorite in our home. Every night at bedtime before prayers, I read aloud a chapter to my kids. Even if I forget to pull it out my son will say, “We need to read Jesus Mama!”

This has defensively blessed my heart as well because even though I read and studied the Bible, this beautifully written children’s adaptation has even helped me to better know the Bible better.

The Big Picture Story Bible by David R. Helm

I actually alternate reading these two children’s Bibles. When we finish reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible, I will begin reading through this one. My son especially loved to look at these illustrations as we read plus the edition that we have comes with the audio CDs so my kids can listen to the Word of God anytime they want!

I know that there are a lot of quality children’s Bible storybooks but these two are top notch when it comes to sharing with your kids about God’s love and His story from creation through Jesus and beyond.

So those are our top 21 favorite read aloud children’s books that we literally read daily. There are many more wonderful books out there but these are the ones that kids pick out and want me to read again and again. For the mama who loves books herself, it’s always a blessing to see my kids growing to love books as well!

What are your favorite children’s read aloud books that have been a treasure in your family?

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Build Your Own Bundle- HomeSchool Edition that is on sale THIS WEEK only! Hundreds of educational resources from pre-K through highschool, plus a special bundle just for moms! What makes this bundle sale so unique is that you can pick and choose the resources you want! To get all the details, head here.

Jul 232014

Earlier this year I shared with you all how I stopped using soap and started to wash my face with natural oils. My skin looks so radiant and feels so soft because of it.

I have since been on the hunt for more DIY beauty treatments that use more natural ingredients and are very easy, not to mention frugal, to create. I had been searching for different facial scrubs as a way to exfoliate my skin.

In January I was treated to a professional facial (it was heavenly!) and the lady told me that it would probably do my skin some good to find a gentle exfoliate to use once or twice a week. The problem was that so many of the commercial scrubs contained a whole lot of ingredients that I just didn’t want to put on my face, especially after using the oil cleansing method for so long.

So I hit up Pinterest, because… well some people use Google and I use Pinterest to search for things online! :)  Many of the facial scrubs that I found did use natural ingredients but they had several different ingredients and steps to make. For me, the simpler the better so I kept searching.

One day I was reading an article (for the life I me I couldn’t find it to source it here) that talked about using every day kitchen scraps for home cleaning and beauty treatments. It listed several items from egg shells to lemon peels but one struck out to me as something of a possibility… coffee grounds.

When you look for an exfoliate you want something that is gentle and for the grain size to not be too big.

Coffee grounds fit that bill. Mixed with a little bit of oil oil, the coffee grounds turn into a gentle yet deep cleaning exfoliate that works wonders on your whole body, not just your face.

DIY Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub

DIY Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp ground coffee
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
  • Small container with a lid to store


Scoop the coffee grounds into the small container and pour the oil over. Stir to mix.

Scoop a small amount into the palm of your hand and gently apply it to your skin using circular motions to scrub it it. You can just apply it to your face or if you are in the shower, you can use the scrub on your whole body.

Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry with a dry cloth. Apply your favorite moisturizer if you wish but just with the Oil Cleansing Method, you might notice your skin already feels moisturized after apply the oil to your skin.

I personally like to use this scrub in the shower so that way I can exfoliate my whole body at one time and be able to easily rinse all the coffee grounds off.

DIY Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub 1

Dry Grounds or Wet?

It really just depends.

If you are a coffee drinker you could easily use up the grounds in your coffee machine instead of just throwing them away. Store them in the container with a lid in the refrigerator for a day to remove the excess moisture before mixing with the oil.

You can also use dry grounds too! Just scoop out of the bag and mix with the oil.

Storage and Use

I wouldn’t recommend making a big batch because I’m not sure how well it would store. I think it would store just fine at room temperature but I wouldn’t store it in the refrigerator since oils solidify in cold temperatures.

Since I only exfoliate my skin once a week, I just make up one small batch and use it up in one shower.

Another note, I would also only exfoliate your skin once, maybe twice a week. You don’t want to damage your skin but you do want to remove dead skin cells and polish your skin every once in a while.

DIY Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub 2

So be gentle while scrubbing your face. Use your finger tips to gently scrub in the coffee grounds and oil in a circular motion. That allows your skin to get rid of the bad stuff and to recirculate the good stuff.

Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds

One of the reasons I like to use natural ingredients when creating some of my own beauty products is because your skin ingests anything and everything that you put on it. In my journey to switch out conventional products to safer natural products, I’ve been discovering that anything I put on my body should also be safe enough to eat too.

I’m not there 100% on all my beauty products yet, I’m focusing on one change at a time. But I will say that since overhauling my facial routine my skin has never looked more healthy.

Coffee grounds are an excellent choice to use as a natural exfoliate because not only are they natural and safe to eat (although I prefer to drink my coffee NOT eat the grounds!) but coffee also contains antioxidants which can help repair damaged skin and help to recirculate. Plus the caffeine naturally found in coffee can help constrict blood vessels making your skin appear tighter and youthful, which is why so many cellulite reducing creams claim to have caffeine in them.

Frugal, Green and Natural

If you already make coffee at home you already have 50% of the ingredients. Plus I’m going to make the assumption that just about everyone has a bottle of olive oil in their pantry for cooking. Most likely you already have all the ingredients so this wouldn’t cost you any extra money which is always a plus in my book.

Even if you buy a bag of coffee just for this exfoliate, the coffee grounds will keep in your freezer and one small bag of coffee grounds (which costs anywhere around $10) will last you forever! Making this DIY coffee grounds scrub not only green and natural but also incredibly frugal too!

DIY Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub 3

Have you ever used coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin? What other DIY homemade ingredients do you like to use as part of your beauty routine?

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Build Your Own Bundle- HomeSchool Edition that is on sale THIS WEEK only! Hundreds of educational resources from pre-K through highschool, plus a special bundle just for moms! What makes this bundle sale so unique is that you can pick and choose the resources you want! To get all the details, head here.

Jul 212014

Today my husband and I celebrate 7 years of marriage. I was telling someone that my husband and I had been married for 7 years a few weeks ago and they made the comment that that was a long time. I was almost puzzled by that because in my mind hearing about couples who have been married for 30, 40, or even 60 years, like my grandparents, seems like a long time. Seven years seems like a drip in the bucket to me.

But the sad reality is that in our current society 7 years is a long time.

It makes me sad to hear about the divorce rates, even among Christian couples. I know that there are reasons that lead to divorce that are necessary, like abuse, but there are also so many reasons that just seem so sad to me, like the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence mentality.

My husband and I both come from families of divorce for different reasons so we know that technically the odds are against us, which also makes me sad because I feel like we are sending the message that if your parents didn’t make it then don’t expect to make it either.

And so many people believe this to be true.

But my husband and I are in this for the long haul. We are committed and we know that we will fight to protect our marriage no matter what.  I’m sure that even as I type that sentence Satan is looking for an area of weakness to wiggle his way in.

Fighting to keep a marriage strong isn’t always easy and it definitely takes work. Today I wanted to share with you 7 lessons I have learned in 7 years of marriage.

7 Lessons I Have Learned in 7 Years of Marriage

1. Prayer is a Necessity

Of course this seems obvious but it is so true. Praying for your marriage and praying for your spouse are two important things we should be praying for everyday.

Everyday I pray for my husband and when I don’t know what specifically to pray for I pray a prayer from Prayers Of An Excellent Wife: Intercession For Him by Andrew Case which is one of my favorite prayer books. I also like this prayer calendar as well.

As well as praying for your spouse, pray with them. I will admit that over the last two years we have gotten out of the habit of having our nightly prayer and Bible reading time together, mainly because of babies and unpredictable sleep schedules, but this is something that we have both made a effort to revive again for the sake of our marriage.

2. Fighting is Not the Answer

I recently told a group of women that my husband and I don’t fight and they looked at me like I had 3 heads.

Yes  of course my husband and I do experience conflicts, disagreements, frustrations and excommunications but we don’t fight about them instead we talk through them.

My husband has never raised his voice at me nor I to him. I have never left the room stomping my feet or slamming doors. We haven’t gone to sleep without at least talking through our issues. They might not immediately be resolved but we spend the time expressing why we are upset.

I’m more emotional than my husband so there have been times when tears have been cried as I’m trying to express myself but I’m careful to not let turn into manipulation.

While I do think it is healthy to work through conflicts and disagreements, I hate the term fighting and sometimes I think it can cause more conflict than need be.

3. Weekly Meetings are Key

I’ve shared before about the weekly meetings that my husband and I have. I can not stress enough just how important this time has been. Each week we set aside time to look over the calendar and budget together. We make plans and set goals. Plus we use this time to bring up any concerns, questions or continue to work through any conflicts that are still an issue.

Because of these weekly meetings my husband and I are always on the same page when it comes to money and time. We also have a built in, uninterrupted time to sit down together and talk face to face amid the busy season of raising little ones which leads to face to face time being limited.

4. Time Together is Key

Whether it be a date night out of the house, a weekend get away or just some intentional time after the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied, time alone together is a must. We need that time time to focus on each other, to get out of the day to day routine, to be intimate with each other and to just show love.

Not everyone has room in the budget for regular date nights but I think there are always ways to be creative to get that time alone without spending any money.

My husband and I are a bit spoiled since both grandmothers live super close and want to spend as much time with the kids as possible. So not only do we have free babysitting but we always have an opportunity to get away for a bit. I know that’s not the case for everyone but with some simple planning it can be done.

5. Flirting is Always Appropriate

It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks and chores that we lose track of showing love and affection to one another. Especially when you have little ones running around, they take so much of our energy and focus that we may tend to take for granted our spouse and not give them any affection or attention.

I was guilty of that. Shortly after our first was born my heart exploded with emotions as this chubby, squishy, cuddly little baby, who relied on me for his every need to be met and I was all to happy to oblige. My husband once jokingly made the comment that he wished I would kiss him as often as I kissed the baby and that comment stung. Not because it was meant to guilt me but because it was true.

And sometimes the truth hurts. While I was spending so much of my time and focus on the baby, rightfully so, I was also neglecting my husband.

So I started to make the effort to flirt with him again and to show him love and affection in sometimes serious ways and other times playful ways too. Sometimes it’s just the little things that can really bless our husbands. It can be as serious and heartfelt as a love letter or as playful as quick text or, my personal favorite, the “love tap” as I walk behind him :)

6. Compromise is the Heart of a Great Marriage

We can’t always get our own way and sometimes as much as we would hate to admit it, their way is better and vice versa. We have to be open and willing to hear our spouse’s point of view and beliefs. We might not always agree with it or even like it but with open ears we can listen.

Sometimes my husband’s idea really is for the better and I have to let go of my pride. Sometimes my thoughts make more sense after discussing them together. The key to compromise is to let go of the pride and learn to really listen to each other. Sometimes it might take a while for compromise to be reached where as other times it happens quickly.

I love that phrase that we all one mouth and two ears so we should be willing to listen first and speak second. I think this is also where prayer comes in big time. Sometimes my husband and I have to leave a conversation unresolved and spend some time praying about it, to see the point from the other’s perspective.

7. Submission is Not an Ugly Word

The word submission definitely gets a bad rap these days and I think it’s because so many people have a very wrong understanding of what that word means. Sadly there have also been many churches and religious groups that have abused women in regards to what submission means.

When I think about being submissive to my husband that does not mean that I am weak, unequal, less than, a doormat or other negative term.  One of the best analogies I have heard on submission is for wives to get under and lift up.

I am a partner with my husband, we are a team. We don’t make any big decisions with talking to the other one. Yet I let him take the lead. Not in a way where he walks over me or doesn’t listen to my opinion. Remember when I said that compromise is the heart of a great marriage? Yep that applies here too.

I’m not going to dive into the theology behind submission because there are many others who have already done that in a Biblical graceful way. And I also know that there are many who are reading this right now who probably disagree with me on submission not being an ugly word.


I don’t have all the answers and I’ve only ever been married to a kind, generous and gracious man but I do believe in the power of prayer. I have seen women praying for their husbands and for a transformation to take place in their marriages and God answer those prayers. So even though I have listed out a list of 7 lessons learned, I think it all goes back to prayer being a necessity.

I realize that I still have a lot to learn in my marriage and God is continuing to shape and guide it. I’ll probably be continuing to learn these lessons, as well as a whole host of others! But I think we can all glean from one another when we share our successful marriage tips and advice to show our support for marriage and to fight to keep it strong.

Whether you have been married for one day or 60 years, what are the most important lessons you have learned along the way to keep your marriage strong?

Jul 212014

This fall I’m going to be starting a simple homeschool preschool curriculum with my son who will be 3 1/2, and I’m sure my daughter who will be two will also be wanting to join in on the fun! I’ve been spending some time this summer researching, pinning, and reading homeschooling and preschool resources and blogs and let me tell you… there is A LOT of stuff out there!

There are so many wonderful curriculum plans, both free and paid for, so many that I couldn’t even implement them all even if I tried. What I love about the Build Your Own Bundle sale is that they have taken the BEST resources and combined them into one sale! And instead of buying one huge collection of educational eBooks and downloads, you get to choose which age range applies to you which makes this sale even that much more appealing.

I’ll obviously be focusing on the Tots and Pre-K bundle, but I’ve also got my eye on the Charlotte Mason bundle as I’ve been reading about her approach to learning. So whether you are a homeschooling mom of elementary age kids (two bundles broken up into K-3rd Grade and 4th-6th Grade), middle school tween, high school teenagers, or even just THINKING about possibly homeschooling in the future (as I am) there are so many wonderful resources included in this sale. Plus there is a bundle geared just towards moms!

For one week, this sale runs today through July 28th and than it’s gone. So even if you are just thinking about it, make sure you take advantage of the sale THIS week. I know there are many other bloggers promoting this sale so I thank you in advance for clicking through and making a purchase through one of my links below.

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Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad

 Posted by on July 18, 2014
Jul 182014

One of the best things about summer is reaping the benefits of your garden’s harvest. Or in my case, since I don’t quite yet have a garden, reaping the benefits of fresh local produce from the farmer’s market and grocery store.

During the warmer months of summer, I like to incorporate lots of vegetable based meals and even try to throw a few meatless meals in the mix every so often. Main dish salads for dinner are an excellent way to stretch the budget and incorporate all those delicious seasonal vegetables. Whenever I do make a salad for dinner, I usually throw some meat on top as a condiment for my husband who is a meat lover and a simple salad just won’t fill him up :)

I love that salads are versatile and you can pretty much add just about anything in them to pack them with flavor, color and nutrients. My personal favorites are fresh green salads layered with cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, carrots, radishes and red onions. Topped with a simple vinaigrette it’s a tasty rainbow of colors on your plate.

I also love to order salads when I go out to eat too. Whether it be a simple side salad with my meal or a full flavor-packed meal, salads always seem to appeal to just about anyone.

One of mine and my husband’s favorite salads to order when we go out is a traditional Caesar salad. It’s tangy, full of garlic and peppercorns and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It’s delicious and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

While I love Caesar salads at restaurants I refuse to by the store bought  Caesar salad dressings that are loaded with a whole bunch of questionable ingredients that I can’t even pronounce (and to be fair I’m sure the restaurant version of the dressing is just as unhealthy, I just don’t have an ingredient list mocking me every time I take a bite!)

So I knew that if I wanted to make a Caesar salad at home I would have to make the dressing from scratch, but here is my second issue… if I’m going to make a batch of homemade salad dressing then I want a vinaigrette not a cream based dressing. Plus we have an egg allergy among several family members and even though my husband can tolerate a little Caesar dressing on his salad when we go out, I don’t want to whip up a large batch of dressing that he probably won’t eat at home.

So after some experimenting and some internet results I have found the perfect combination of a traditional Caesar salad dressing and a vinaigrette. It’s light, flavorful, tangy and even tastes rich and creamy… but it isn’t.

It’s a Simple Caesar Vinaigrette salad and it’s delicious.

Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad

Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Simple Vinaigrette Caesar Salad
Cuisine: salad
Serves: 6
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar (you could also use Red Wine or White vinegar)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 to 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce (about 1 Tbsp)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • croutons
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the minced garlic, vinegar, oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, sugar and 1 Tbsp of the cheese. Add pepper to taste.
  2. Wash, dry and chop the lettuce and place in a large bowl.
  3. Toss the lettuce together with the vinaigrette, croutons and remaining Parmesan cheese.

If you don’t want to toss the dressing with the salad, the vinaigrette stores nicely in a jar. If you refrigerate the dressing, the oil with solidify so you will need to let it sit out at room temperature or place in a bowl of warm water.

Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad ingredients

While not a traditional Caesar salad, as you can see from the photo, I added some fresh spinach and grape tomatoes that I had in the refrigerator that I needed to use up. My kids LOVE grape tomatoes so they pretty much inhale them. You can make it your own salad by adding just about any garden fresh vegetables you have on hand.

I would also suggest using freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I only had a gigantic Costco bottle of Kraft in the refrigerator and it definitely made the vinaigrette a little gritty but I think if I would have used fresh, similar to what you get when you order the salad in the restaurant, it would have been much better.

Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad dressing

To make this a more complete, filling meal I added some shredded Rotisserie chicken that I had picked up from Costco earlier in the week. You can also use chopped, cooked chicken breast or frozen shredded chicken if you have that in your freezer too.

Another benefit of this Simple Caesar Vinaigrette is that since it’s not a cream based dressing it’s easy to take with you to an outdoor picnic or cookout. Also you can easily make your own croutons by chopping up some crusty bread into cubes and sprinkling olive oil, salt and pepper and some grated Parmesan cheese on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until they are golden and crispy in a 400 degree oven.

Simple Caesar Vinaigrette Salad 2

This is the perfect meal for those summer nights when you just want to get dinner on the table in minutes. This quick and easy Simple Caesar Vinaigrette salad only takes minutes to throw together and it’s filling enough for the whole family to enjoy!