Story Stones on Every Day Cheer

Since all of my teacher friends went back to the classroom last week and I’m missing those kindergarten projects and all the first of the year fun, I’m posting about one of my favorite ways to inspire creativity and imaginative play on Every Day Cheer. Click over to see how I use Story Stones and make a set for your kiddo or class tonight.


Decidedly Snack Time with Del Monte

Summer days are my favorite. They are simple and carefree and everything that embodies childhood.  But, you know what else they are? HOT! We live in the Deep South and during the summer the heat and humidity can be downright miserable. We have to take plenty of breaks from playing outside or swimming to refuel with a glass of water and a snack. I’m all about independence with my four-year-old, and she loves gaining independence. A few weeks ago, we created a snack drawer in the refrigerator. It includes easy, on-the-go, snack options for a quick refuel during long summer days. And my daughter? She’s obsessed with her snack drawer and offers anyone who comes over one of her snacks.


If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new snack options for your toddler or preschooler. A few things we like to include are healthy snack options like fruits, vegetables, and cheese. I especially love to include the Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers (the Peach Mango is a personal favorite). They offer one and a half servings of fruits and vegetables. Even though they offer tons of vegetable goodness, the fruit flavor is predominant, so it’s more like a sweet treat. Simply Fruit Squeezers are another excellent choice! The Apple Cinnamon is especially delicious!


You don’t have to keep Del Monte Squeezers and Fruit Cups in the refrigerator; they do well in the pantry, too! But, we prefer them chilled around here; it makes them even more delicious and refreshing on summer days.


And this snack drawer won’t be disappearing when school starts back. We’re going to keep it around and let her pick out different things to include in her lunch box, there are tons of options from diced pears and peaches to mandarin oranges. For us, it’s important to teach her to choose healthy snacks and give her a little independence in her choices. Del Monte Fruit Cups are another staple in the snack drawer. The fruit cups are an excellent option and they don’t include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors, they’re full of vitamin C and gluten free!


And have you tried the pineapple coconut? I’ll confess, that I’m always raiding the snack drawer for fruit cups and the pineapple coconut is my favorite. It makes me think I’m somewhere other than my back deck relaxing by the kiddie pool. I love that I can pick up all of these healthy snack options at my local grocery store. There you have it, the ultimate solution for the summer snack time dilemma! For more healthy and fun snack choices be sure to follow Del Monte’s Pinterest boards.

I’ve also created a board with more snack time ideas you can use as you create your own Snack Drawer.


There’s an exciting Do You Squeeze or Spoon contest going on over on Del Monte’s Facebook page, simply share your kids favorite Del Monte snack and a photo. Share your photo anytime between August 1 and September 1 for your chance to win one of two $10,000 grand prizes for your child’s school. You can also enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card by commenting below with your answer: Do you prefer to squeeze or spoon? Around here, it’s a toss up, we like both!

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/1-9/19.

Be sure to visit the Del Monte Brand Page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Stay up-to-date with Del Monte by following them on Instagram and Twitter!  

ten on tuesday

ONE: We had a packed weekend! A gender reveal, birthday party, lunch after church on Sunday, a few dates with the barre, and dinner with our neighbors. I love a good weekend of fun. But, this weekend I’m making an executive decision to take it down a few notches.

TWO: We zoomed through The Good Wife and Friday Night Lights thanks to Amazon Prime and Amazon Fire TV, we’ve moved on to Parenthood. We’re taking this series a little slower, I can’t quite hang with the late nights these days.

THREE: BK started swim lessons last week. I’m hoping this will give her the little confidence that she needs to finally swim on her own without fear. She’s great about going under, but still panic when swimming to us from the side of the pool and forgets a few essential techniques.


FOUR: I started the Whole30 diet last Wednesday (sorry, Weight Watchers) and it’s going so well. Today is day 7 and I’m coming up with so many fresh and delicious food ideas. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a diet this long without having a small cheat somewhere along the way. I’m going to give you a more detailed post about the diet later this week.

FIVE: Judson has entered the grab all the things and put them in his mouth phase. He’s been on the verge of grabbing things and it’s been so fun to watch as he figures out just how those little hands work. He’s provided us with some fantastic entertainment.


SIX: I’m going on a month of being back at Pure Barre and I still feel like my core strength is basically nonexistent. Those c-sections really take it out of you. I’m happy to see some progress, but my goodness, I can barely do a sit-up during the warm-up’s some days.


SEVEN: Anthropologie has the cutest set of Glittering Serveware on sale and it had to come to my kitchen! Seriously, it’s a great price when paired with the justbecause free shipping code. Go snag some from the sale section pronto.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 8.10.05 AM

EIGHT: Back to Whole 30, I’m realizing that most of my calories must have come from drinks, and I don’t even drink alcohol. I’m talking daily Starbucks runs and embarrassing amounts of  creamer in my morning coffee.

NINE: Is anyone caught up on their childs baby book? If so, do you want to come catch the two up at my house that have been neglected? All the info is right here on the blog, it won’t be too hard.

TEN: I’m having mixed emotions about not going back to work. I see all of the school supplies out when I go shopping, and I can’t help but feel a little sad about all of the freshly sharpened crayons I won’t be purchasing for my classroom. At the same time, I can’t imagine going back to work. It’s such a bittersweet time, but when it comes down to it, I know this is right where I need to be.





a busy bag for the big sibling

Before Judson was born I put together a Big Sister Bag for Braylen. I wanted her to be occupied in the waiting room and I wanted her to have things to do once she came back to visit. In my head, she wouldn’t really need the bag because she was going to be so excited and enamored by her little brother. Yeah, right. That lasted all of about 20 minutes. I was so thankful to have this bag of some of her favorite things.

I started putting it together a few weeks before he was born, but I didn’t give it to her until the morning we went into the hospital.



And here’s a look at what we included in her bag.




It’s easy to create your own and highly recommend having something like this on hand when you’re welcoming another baby. Especially if your first-born will be spending time at the hospital.


1. Crayons

2. Big Sister Book

3. Disposable Camera- This was such a treat for her, she used up two camera while waiting and meeting the baby for the first time.

4. Lovie for the new baby- I actually let her pick this out and give it to him when she met him.

5. Coloring Book

6. Kid-Friendly Snacks

7. Reusable Stickers

8. Big Sister Bag

4th of July fun

I meant to blog about our holiday weekend yesterday, but things get a little crazy around here during the day. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m still figuring out this whole two kids thing. I’ll also be the first to admit I was ecstatic about a three-day weekend.

I started out my Fourth with a trip to Pure Barre, then we all headed to my grandparents to do a little grilling a lot of swimming. I’m now officially obsessed with coordinating Braylen and Judson in matching outfits. I’m not sure how happy that makes my husband, but he’s a good sport.


Braylen stayed in the pool for most of the day. In the end, we had to bribe her with sparklers and I marshmallow roasting to get her out of the pool.


We laughed so hard at her, because she wanted to jump off the diving board, but she kept making the funniest faces while she was trying to hold her nose and close her mouth at the same time.


She fell asleep as soon as we left and we knew she was tired, so we let her sleep most of the evening. She woke up just in time for fireworks and marshmallow roasting on the back deck with our neighbors. It was the perfect way to end the night.

On Saturday, we continued the festivities at Allen’s parents house. They hosted a Fouth party complete with a shrimp boil, corn hole tournament and fireworks. We had a great time! Maybe I coordinated their outfits one more time, I had to snap a picture to document. (And let me tell you how fun it is trying to get a picture of these two together… I’ll let you use your imagination, it only took about 30 tries to get this one.)


Once again, Braylen fell asleep on the way home, the Fourth certainly wore her out!



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