Happy 4th Birthday Avery!


Hey turkey!  Today you turn the big oh-four! 


I feel like it was just yesterday we were eating dinner for the last time as a family of three the day before you were born.  I went in Monday night on the 25th and you were born Tuesday the 26th right before noon.  Exactly 14 months apart to the day from sissy.  You came into this world with a full head of black hair and screaming.  You have since lost the black hair but you still scream a lot.  You are 100 percent boy and love to be loud.  You also love to get your sister in trouble.  I’m not sure at this point which you like more.


You don’t care if you are dirty.  You love to put (tons and tons) of rocks in your pockets.  You are really into superheroes right now.  You can’t sit still if you had to.  You’re sister is your best friend and your biggest rival all in the same breath.  You like to scream dramatically whenever yall get into a tiff.  You like to drink juice and milk from the carton, although I’m not sure where you picked that up. 


You love everything your sister loves and want to destroy it simultaneously.  You do.not.stop.talking.  Ever at all.  The only time you are not talking is when you are sleeping and even then you can’t stay still.  You wiggle all over the bed and make sure your feet are in some one’s back at all times.  


Your papa and pa are your two favorite people.  You love to copy them.  You also like to just say their names out loud and when they answer you say “love you” or “nuffin”.  You love to snuggle up on both of their laps and watch toons.  Pa looks forward to bubby snuggles whenever we are together and you are happy to oblige.  You will sit still and munch on a snack and just hang out with the guys.


You are so very smart.  You know your colors and letters and love to sing.  You will just start singing songs throughout the day.  It’s the sweetest thing ever.  You love to paint.  But I’m not surprised because you love anything messy, like I said.  The paint gets on whatever you are painting and yourself in a matter of minutes.  I wish I could just give you a paint brush and colors and let you got to town every day.  It’s probably one of your all time favorite things to do. 


Oh Av, I wish I had the words to convey how much I love you.  I just look at you and know you will grow up to be a great man like your daddy.  (And Pa and Papa).  You have such a fun spirit and gosh you make us laugh.  You make momma and daddy so happy turkey!  You melt my heart when you tell me “love you” and even when you say “meannn momma”.  I could nibble on your cheeks all day long.  You are so beautifully and wonderfully made my sweet son.  I thank the Lord every single day for you. 

I hope you have a great fourth birthday buddy!  We sure love you!




DIY Shopkins Storage Rack

SHOPKINS Storage rack tutorial

A super easy tutorial on how to build your own DIY Shopkins storage rack!

How to make your own DIY Shopkins Storage Rack!  Easy step by step tutorial for your Shopkins obsessed little one!

Yall, Ryley is beyond obsessed with Shopkins.  Shopkins are these tiny grocery store figurines that have literally taken over our house.  I’m not even kidding.  She has over 300 of them.  And all the accessories that go along with them.  The grocery store, the bakery, the fruit and veg stand.  And you can’t forget the giant shopping cart.  Because duh, the tiny figurines need a giant shopping cart to play in. 

And I’m not going to lie – I think they are fun to collect too.  She gets excited when she finds one that she doesn’t have in her collection.  And she can tell you all Shopkins in season 1 and 2.  And which ones she has, doesn’t have and which ones are duplicates.  Yup.  We needed somewhere to store all these bad boys, so my mom and I made her a Shopkins storage rack for her birthday.

And ps.. Sorry for some of the pictures.  We made this rack in the garage after the kids went to bed.  Not the best for photographing.  Carry on. 

How to make a Shopkins wall rack

To make your own Shopkins storage rack you will need:

  • 1 – wooden shoe rack (We bought ours at Walmart for less then $8)
  • 1 – piece of plywood
  • 2 – Sawtooth picture frame holders + 4 small nails
  • 6 small nails
  • 2 regular nails for hanging
  • Paint of choice
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Saw – electric or handheld

Shopkins shopkins

Step 1 – Take the two wood frames from the shoe rack and glue them together using the wood glue.  Let them sit over night to dry and sand the dried glue spots off with the sandpaper.  We used some clamps to hold the two pieces together overnight.  (Note – you will only need the two main pieces of the shoe rack.)

Step 2 – Trace out the now glued together wooden frames onto your piece of plywood.  If you have a cute kitten assistant, then you get bonus points.  Using a handheld or electric saw, cut out the plywood so that it fits behind the wooden frames. 

Shopkisn storage

Step 3 – Sand the edges of your newly cut piece of plywood. 

Shopkins storage rack and kitten

Step 4 – Paint the plywood your color of choice.  We choose white for the plywood and pink for the wooden shoe rack part.  Paint your shoe rack part as well and let them dry.  We used 1/2 bottle of Apple Barrel white paint and two 2-ounce bottles of pink paint for the wooden rack portion. 

how to hang a shopkin storage rack

Step 5 – Attach our Sawtooth picture hooks to the back of your plywood using 4 small nails.  We had the nails on hand, so I’m not sure what size they were. 

Step 6 – Position the painted shoe rack part onto the dry plywood.  Hammer in the 6 nails (two on each edge and two in the middle) to the back of the plywood, making sure they attach to the shoe rack on the front. 

DIY Shopkins Storage Rack!

Step 7 – Measure the width of the Sawtooth hangers against the wall, and then hammer in two nails in the wall and attach. 

Step 8 – Add your collection of Shopkins to the storage rack.

SHOPKINS Storage rack tutorial

Optional step 9 – Show your now 5 year old daughter her new Shopkins rack and watch her squeal with joy.  Totally optional, but totally fun. 

Our Shopkins storage rack has been so solid too!  I thought with two wild kids that it would last about a week.  But both of them have fun putting the Shopkins up there and rearranging them and it has held up.  We all love it – the kids because they have a way to display their Shopkins, and me because they are no longer all over the floor.  PLUS it entertains both kids for hours!  I’m calling this DIY Shopkins storage rack a win! 

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Happy 5th Birthday Ryley!


Ryley Ellen,

Oh sweet girl – you are five today!  You have waited for so long to say that you are five.  We started a countdown a week before and you would eagerly tell me how many more sleeps you had before you were FIVE!  Today you woke up, crawled into my bed and told me “Momma, I’m five now!”  I asked if you were any different and you very quickly said “Yes, my legs are longer.”


Oh Ryley you are so very smart.  You can count to almost 100, know all your letters and numbers and are so very close to reading.  We have started reading the Judy Moody series and are on book number 8 right now.  You will listen to me read and then talk about the characters all day.  “Two watches mom!  Like Amy Namey in Judy Moody!”  Yes, sweet girl.  You are right.


You absolutely love Shopkins.  You have a collection of over 200 of these tiny grocery store figurines.  They are your pride and joy.  Any time you meet someone knew you boldly ask them “Do you love Shopkins?”  You assume that everyone loves them as much as you do.  You can spend hours playing with those tiny toys and you have requested a Shopkins birthday party.  Per your request, I must make you a Cheeky Chocolate birthday cake for your party too. 


You are my best baking buddy.  I know I get impatient sometimes, but I truly love having you by my side.  You love getting the “gredients” and putting them in the our Kitchenaid.  You are also a great taste tester.  You seem to always be more interested in the batter then the end product.  You love licking the beater and occasionally share with your brother. 

One evening I may have mentioned chocolate chip cookies in passing.  You took that as we were going to make them.  Right now.  I look over on the counter and you have taken out almost everything we need to make them.  You couldn’t reach the baking powder and vanilla, but you had everything else on the counter for us. 


You proclaim that your favorite colors are pink, purple and red to anyone who will listen.  Just the other day we painted your nails pink and red because you “love” those colors.  You are still doing Tippi Toes dance and are still loving getting all dressed up for recitals.  We started you late last semester and I wasn’t sure you would be able to pick up the dances for the recital.  You did, so we purchased a costume and you preferred in your winter recital.  You did so very well and I might have had tears in my eyes the whole time.


We also went to your first professional ballet performance this year!  We went and saw the Nutcracker the week before Christmas with namaw.  You did so good for the first half of the show, but loudly asked “Is it over yet?” when the second half was under way.  Namaw bought you a shirt and you wear that thing with pride.  We hope to go to another show this spring. 

fishing trip

Although you love all things girly, you also love to get your hands dirty.  You ride your bike up and down the street (with training wheels for now) and love playing in the sand box.  You even helped daddy by bringing him his bait when we went fishing!  Little brother didn’t want any part of it, but you grabbed it and proudly handed it to daddy.  You were also so very interested in the fish he caught.  You kept looking at it and touching its side.  Such a brave little lady!


You may seem like a momma’s girl, but you love spending time with your “dadda”.  You want to know what he’s doing and why at all times.  If he’s not home you declare that you can’t wait for daddy to get home to see his pretty girl.  You.  You are his beautiful baby girl.  And mine!  We love you so very much Ryley Ellen.  We have cherished these 5 years watching you grow and learn.  You make mommy and daddy better people.  You make everyone who knows you smile.  You are sweet to your brother when he doesn’t deserve it.  You are our Ryley Bear and we love you more then words!  Happy 5th birthday sweet girl!


your momma

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Mummy Rice Krispie Pops

easy mummy rice krispie treat pops!

These mummy rice krispie pops are easy to make and everyone will love them!  [Adults included!]

Mummy Rice Krispie Pops!  Perfect for Halloween!

I feel like I should tell you – that I’m “one of those moms”.  The let’s eat organic, no soda, no food coloring type of mom. 

Well, before you look at these rice krispie pops and say “yea right”, I try to be that mom.  Food coloring is my arch nemesis.  And my kids just love it.  It’s everywhere and in everything.  I cringe every time they pick up a brightly colored cereal.  You can’t really explain to a 3 or 4 year old that the cereal with a funny cartoon character on it, isn’t as good for them as they think. 

Well you can.  They just choose not to listen. 

easy mummy rice krispie treat pops!

And I’m not trying to preach to anyone or tell you whats right and wrong for your family.  For us, artificial colors and dyes just isn’t for us.  It wasn’t always like that.  The kids picked any cereal they wanted and drank the brightly colored drinks.  And after they did, I was able to immediately see a change in their behavior. 

They would run around like wild banshees after eating anything that contained artificial food color.  Followed by a crash period where they were inconsolable and kind of mean.  I didn’t like it. 

So we started reading ingredient labels and anything with Red no. 40 or yellow no. 6 was put back on the shelf. 

mummy rice kripie pops!  perfect little halloween treats!

And at first I felt bad.  I wanted the kids to be able to have the food they wanted.  I wondered if I would ever be able to make them a fun colored birthday cake without artificial food coloring.  I sort of looked into natural food coloring but then let it slide. 

I ran into Sprouts one afternoon and stumbled upon this Color Garden natural food coloring.  I was ecstatic!  Seriously, Ryon was wondering why I was so excited about food coloring.  But I was! 

I scooped it up and have had it in the pantry for a few months, waiting to be used.  I pulled it out to make the eyes on the mummy rice krispie pops. 

Can I just say that it was torture to make these pops while the kids were home?  They wanted to grab at them every five seconds.  (One also has a bite mark on the corner from a certain 3 year old turkey.)  I kept telling the kids they could have one after I took pictures.  Because you know, I’m one of those moms. 

Mummy Rice Krispie Pops
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  1. 4-5 Rice Krispie Treats, unwrapped
  2. 4 bars of chocolate bark (approx. 5 oz each)
  3. 4 bars of white chocolate bark
  4. few drops of red food coloring
  5. cake pop sticks
  1. Melt the chocolate bark in the microwave or in a double boiler. If using the microwave, cook for 30 seconds, stir, cook for another 30 seconds and stir. Continue until the chocolate is smooth.
  2. Dip a cake pop stick into the chocolate and insert in the bottom of a rice krispie treat. Allow to cool.
  3. Then cover the entire rice krispie treat in chocolate, set aside and allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the while chocolate.
  5. You can either place it in a frosting bag, plain plastic baggie or drizzle with a spoon. I placed mine in a plastic baggie and cut off the tip.
  6. Drizzle the white chocolate all over the chocolate covered rice krispie treat.
  7. While the white chocolate is still wet, mix a little red coloring with some leftover white chocolate. (I used a little chocolate left in my bowl and it was starting to harden so it was perfect.)
  8. Roll into balls and place them on as eyes.
  9. Allow to cool and enjoy!
  1. All natural plant based food coloring - http://amzn.to/ZreZaI
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Skillet Brownies

pumpkin skillet

An easy skillet brownie that will knock your socks off.  [Not really, but it might.  Its good yall!]

Pumpkin Cheesecake Skillet Brownies

Something super excited happened at the Grant house last week. 

No, I’m not pregnant. 

My littlest one, stopped using his paci! 

And yes, that is super exciting.  I thought the kid was going to take them to college.  [Yes, them.  He would carry 3 or more at one time.] 

pumpkin skillet

I really was worried that the turkey would put up a huge fight about letting go of his beloved pacis.  So much so, that I sorta kinda maybe ignored the paci problem. 

Mom of the year.  I know. 

Its tough to take away things you know they love and provides comfort. 

But they had to go and it was time. 

So I just stopped worrying about pacis.  I stopped looking for them, collecting them, making sure he had one at nap time and bed time. 

I told him I wasn’t going to take care of his pacis.  And I guess he wasn’t up for taking care of them either. 

So he quit.  Cold turkey. 

my brownie assistants

We haven’t mentioned them and I haven’t worried about them.  Its been good too.  He’s only asked for a paci once in the past week and a half.

I’m sure there are still pacis hidden around the house.  He had a ton of them.  So we aren’t completely out of the woods yet.

But we are close and he seems to be doing fine. 

And by fine I mean he’s tormenting his sister, making huge messes, taking his time cleaning up and generally being the turkey he is. 

So normal.  Just minus a paci or three. 

easy pumpkin cheesecake skillet brownie

And yes, we call him turkey.  And yes, it fits him perfectly. 

I want to make a shirt for thanksgiving that says “the turkiest turkey” on it.  Because, well, he is. 

Need more evidence?  Scroll down a bit and check out him stealing my pumpkin cheesecake brownie right out of the skillet.

He went and grabbed his own fork and dug right in. 

And wasn’t even ashamed.  Look at that smile!  Good brownies

I can’t fault him though.  The brownies really were that good. 

The skillet crisps up the edges just perfectly and leaves the center soft and chewy.


So good. 

Ps.. drizzle some pumpkin sauce on your pumpkin cheesecake skillet brownies.  Heaven!

Trust me, these brownies are turkey approved! 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Skillet Brownies
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cocoa powder or melted chocolate chips
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  9. 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  10. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  11. 1/2 cup of sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons of butter for the skillet
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Put the butter in the skillet and put in the oven.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl - flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl - pumpkin puree eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix until blended.
  5. Take out the skillet and swirl around the butter to cover the whole skillet and the sides a bit. (caution - very hot!)
  6. Pour the batter in the skillet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
  9. Remove the brownies from the oven and add spoonfuls of cream cheese mix to the it.
  10. Spread around with a butter knife.
  11. Return to the oven for another 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove, let cool and enjoy!
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/
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Summer Recipes for Kids

Summer recipes for kids.  Keep the kids busy in the kitchen this summer!

Last week I shared 101 Summer Crafts for Kids to help beat the summer boredom blues.  If your kids aren’t the crafty type I bet they are the eating type.  [What kid doesn’t love food?!]  My kids love to help me in the kitchen.  As soon as I turn on my mixer Ryley appears right next to me ready to cook.  I can’t wait to try a few of these recipes with her this summer!  And if you have a kiddo like mine, here are some summer recipe for kids!  

Summer recipes for kids.  Keep the kids busy in the kitchen this summer!

These recipes are either good to make with your kids or are fun snack for kids during the summer.  Either way, they are all tasty and everyone will enjoy eating them!  

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101 Summer Crafts for Kids

101 Summer Crafts for Kids

Its summer, the kids are home, its hot out and everyone is complaining that they are bored.  Some days it truly is too hot to go outside and play.  On those days everyone gets a little stir crazy from being inside.  [Moms included!]  To help end the summer stir crazy madness, I’ve rounded up 101 summer crafts for kids!  Talk about some serious boredum busters!   101 Summer Crafts for Kids

  1. Summer Punch Cards :: 30 Handmade Days
  2. DIY Slime :: Clumsy Crafter
  3. Leaf Book :: songbirds and buttons
  4. Chalk Painting :: Glued to my Crafts
  5. Frozen Crafts :: Some of the Best Things in Life Are Mistakes
  6. Toilet Paper Heart Stamps :: Just 2 Sisters
  7. DIY Fairy House :: Coffee Cups and Crayons
  8. Giant Button Garland :: Little Red Window
  9. DIY Moon Dust :: Learn Play Imagine
  10. Color Block Painting :: Kirsten Oliphant
  11. Minion Finger Puppets :: Red Ted Art
  12. Decoupage Wall Art :: Eat Pray Read Love
  13. Sparkle Bottles :: while he was napping
  14. Confetti Balloons :: Kids Stuff World
  15. Rain Painting :: Growing a Jeweled Rose
  16. DIY Felt Fox Ears :: Satsuma Designs
  17. Marshmallow Shooters :: Happiness is Homemade
  18. Milk Carton Doll Houses :: the Happy Creations
  19. Flower Garden Kit :: Our Peaceful Planet
  20. Super Hero Plastic Canvas Coasters :: Kandy Kreations
  21. DIY Kids Puzzle :: Made to be a Momma
  22. DIY Pinwheels :: Pinkwhen
  23. No Sew Tutus :: Architecture of a Mom
  24. Sunflower Handprint Art :: Family Fun Journal
  25. Picture Puzzles :: Optimistic Mommy
  26. Paper Pom Pom Flowers :: 30 Handmade Days
  27. DIY Water Bombs :: Clumsy Crafter
  28. Washable Window Painting :: Coffee Cups and Crayons
  29. Homemade Bubble Solution :: Happy Mothering
  30. DIY Sidewalk Chalk :: Growing up Gabel
  31. DIY Yard Yahtzee :: the Pinning Mama
  32. Cupcake Liner Bouquet :: hoopla palooza
  33. Clothespin Catapults :: 733 blog
  34. Stick Bug Craft :: Mom Endeavors
  35. Popsicle Stick Bracelet :: artsy-fartsy mama
  36. Toilet Paper Roll Monster :: Our thrifty ideas
  37. Seaside Shell Wind Chime :: Red Ted Art
  38. Love bug rocks :: Crystal and Comp
  39. Salt Painting :: Just 2 Sisters
  40. Popsicle Stick Fish :: Glue to my Crafts
  41. Shell Picture Frame :: No Time for Flash Cards
  42. Pool Noodle Horse :: Dollar Store Mom
  43. DIY Cardboard Box Sewing Machine :: Little Red Window
  44. DIY Bubble Makers :: Coupon Cutting Mom
  45. Play Doh Monsters :: Kids Activities Blog
  46. Lampshade Basket :: Made to be a Momma
  47. Shaving Cream Sea Creature Painting :: songbirds and buttons
  48. DIY Bling Flip Flops :: Pinkwhen
  49. DIY Heart Mobile :: Little Inspiration
  50. Jelly Fish Bookmarks :: the NY Melrose Family
  51. Garden Dragonflies :: Artzy Creations
  52. Acrylic Paint Sun Prints :: Craftiments
  53. Paper Snake Weaving :: Rainy Day Mum
  54. Melted Bead Sun Catchers :: Im Feeling Crafty
  55. Egg Carton Caterpillar :: Twinkling Trees
  56. Sharpie Tie Dye :: Skip to my Lou
  57. Kool-Aid Play Dough :: View from the Fridge
  58. Ocean Life Finger Puppets :: Felt with Love Designs
  59. Sponge Darts :: the Seasoned Mom
  60. Paint Stick Flag :: While he was sleeping
  61. Flower Garden Play Dough :: Fantastic Fun and Learning
  62. Paper Bag Luminaries :: Suburble
  63. Craft Stick Dolls :: molly moo
  64. 10 Summer Handprint Crafts :: the Pinning Mama
  65. DIY Toy Boat :: Pinkwhen
  66. Clothespin Fairy :: 733 blog
  67. Tie Dye Beach Towels :: mom endeavors
  68. Glue Painting :: Country Cottage Chic
  69. Scrubbing Sponge Flowers :: Mess for Less
  70. Kid Sized Foosball Table :: UCreate
  71. Egg Carton Buttons :: pretty little things
  72. Dry Erase Cubes :: the Crafty Blog Stalker
  73. DIY Bird Feeder :: the Grant life
  74. Pipe Cleaner Rose Rings :: No Biggie
  75. Bubble Wrap Jelly Fish :: No Time for Flash Cards
  76. Paper Plate Roses :: Kids Activities Blog
  77. Pet Rock Tic-Tac-Toe :: One Creative Mommy
  78. Rainbow Nature Collection :: jojoebi
  79. Garden Fairy Wand :: Meaningful Mama
  80. Magnetic Ice Fishing Game :: Growing a Jeweled Rose
  81. Juice Box Boats :: Growing up Gabel
  82. Butterfly Bubble Wrap Painting :: the gingerbread house
  83. DIY Rocket Straws :: the Pleasantest Thing
  84. Painting on Ice :: Sunlit Pages
  85. Tin Can Lanterns :: Coffee Cups and Crayons
  86. Crayon Candle :: and chaos ensued
  87. Sidewalk Glitter Paint :: the Imagination Tree
  88. Flag Stones :: ArtClubBlog
  89. Mini Pinatas :: Little Inspiration
  90. DIY Glowing Fireflies :: Apartment Therapy
  91. Milk Carton Boats :: Fun crafts kids
  92. Cardboard Box Castle :: Acorn Pies
  93. Cardboard Box Guitar :: The Frakers Acres
  94. No Sew Train Mat :: An Ordinary Housewife
  95. DIY Cardboard Animals :: small for big
  96. DIY Colored Sand :: Mom Wife Busy Life
  97. Butterfly Magnets :: Mom Endeavors
  98. Sea Life Egg Cartons :: Fantastic Fun and Learning
  99. DIY Beach Blanket :: Cottage in the Oaks
  100. Kool-Aid Dyed Rice :: Glued to my crafts
  101. Washi Tape Bookmarks :: the Grant life


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To the Mom at the Grocery Store

to the mom at the grocery store
A few weeks ago I went grocery shopping without the kids.  Ryon was home so I got a few hours to myself to shop.  I was walking through the cheese aisle and I saw a mom with four boys.  When I’m alone I try to give moms as much encouragement as possible.  This lady had two boys in the cart, one walking with her and was carrying one in a sling.  I was flat out impressed. I gave her a huge smile and wanted to say ‘go momma!’ to her. But as I walked past her eyes went to the floor.  She walked by without making eye contact and my heart hurt a little.  Not because she wouldn’t look at me or that I missed the chance to compliment her, but because I knew were she was coming from.  All to well. 
During another shopping trip without the kids, I watched two little boys in play in front of me in line.  I smiled at the mom and the boys because they were too cute.  They started to play dinosaurs and when the little one looked back at me I made dino hands and did a quiet roar.   And then I heard it.  A scoff from behind me.  I tried to ignore it and continued to watch the boys (who were behaving).  And then another scoff and a sigh.  I turned around and was shocked to see an older women behind me.  She caught my eyes and said “can you believe those boys running around like that?”  I think my face turned bright red because my blood was boiling so much.  I replied firmly “they are just boys and are not hurting anything”.  I turned back around to the front and made a louder dinosaur noise to the youngest and received the biggest smile in return. 
I don’t know when as a society we have become so intolerant of children and families. It boggles my mind that sex is plastered all over tv, billboards, shopping centers and magazines yet the act of raising children is frowned upon.  Nine times out of ten when I am at a store with the kids I get disapproving looks and stares.  Even when they are behaved!  I see more mothers who walk around stores with their heads down then I can count.   Myself included!  Why?  I want to avoid the stares and the whispers that come from others. I want to focus all my attention on kids so that some one else’s opinion doesn’t ruin my trip. 
It wasn’t until I passed that mom of four in the grocery store that I realized this.  I thought it was just me that walked around feeling judged and slightly embarrassed of being a mom.  That makes me sad and slightly sick to type.  But its the truth.  Well, it was.  I try not to look down but instead hold my head up when walking around the store.  My kids are my everything, why should I let some one I don’t know affect us?  
The thing is I never know how they are going to act.  Sometimes they are amazing and we laugh the our way through the store.  And then sometimes we cry our way through a store.  Either way, taking them out with me should never be an embarrassment.  And shame on me for feeling that way.  And for others that give disapproving looks.  Or tell another person how children should behave.  Its hard enough raising kids without having to worry what other people will think when you step out of the house.  
So to the mom of four in the grocery store, thank you.  Thank you for taking your kids with you to the store.  Thank you for helping me realize that I’m not alone.  And most importantly, thank you for being a mom who juggles it all just like the rest of us.  
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Avocado Egg Salad Grilled Cheese

Avocado Egg Salad Grilled Cheese

Last year while we were visiting family in Michigan, one of my good friends called me a helicopter mom.  I laughed and I said “What’s that?!”  He said “You know, a mom that hovers over her kids all the time.”  I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or if I was slightly offended but I knew he was right.  I tend to stand over the kids when they are doing new things or if its something I think they may need help with.  That’s just me.  Know what else is me?  Avocados.  And cheese.  And eggs.  And homemade bread.  Put them all together and you get a glorious avocado egg salad grilled cheese.  [You can hover, its ok.] 

Avocado Egg Salad Grilled Cheese

We dyed a lot of eggs this year.  [A lot!]  I’m thinking we dyed close to 3 dozen eggs between the two kids.  And yes, I hovered over them while they were dying the eggs.  The funny part is that they didn’t make a mess, I did!  I went to grab something a knocked over one of the cups full of pink coloring.  [Maybe someone needs to hover over me?!] 


They were so excited to dye their eggs.  They plopped an egg into each color and then immediately wanted to take them out.  I don’t know how many times I said the word “patience!”  [Half to the kids, half to myself.]  They even colored on a few with crayons before putting them in the cups.  Avery cracked two and Ryley cracked one.  I hovered but figured they couldn’t do much harm with hard boiled eggs. 

easy avocado egg salad grilled cheese

When I was peeling the Easter eggs to make this avocado egg salad grilled cheese, Ryley came up to me and asked to help.  My first reaction was to tell her no thank you, but figured she’d only want to do one egg and then run off.  Girlfriend peeled 6 eggs with me!  And pretty darn good too.  I showed her how to peel the shell away from the egg and she stood next to me and peeled away.  It was one of the sweetest moments. 

avocado egg salad recipe

We checked out the Weelicious cookbook (affiliate link) from the library last week and the author first talks about letting your kids help in the kitchen.  She says it plays a big part in them wanting to eat a variety of foods if they help prepare them.  I figured since she helped me make the avocado egg salad that she would at least try it, right?  Nope.  She wasn’t having any of that green stuff.  She just wanted to peel a half dozen eggs and run.  That’s ok, she’ll come around to avocado eventually.  

Avocado Egg Salad Grilled Cheese
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  1. 6-10 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons mayo
  3. 1/2 avocado, diced
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. bread
  7. cheese of choice
  8. butter
  9. bacon
  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Fry the bacon and set aside.
  3. Place the bread with butter on side on the heated skillet, add the cheese and avocado egg salad.
  4. Put the bacon and second slice of bread over top.
  5. Continue to heat until the cheese is melted.
  6. Enjoy!
the Grant life http://thegrantlife.com/
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It Won’t Last Forever


This sponsored post was written while participating in my partnership with Sprout and One2One Network, but as always, all opinions, stories and pictures are my own.

I’m not sure what it is with little kids, but they LOVE to look at pictures of themselves!  Both kids ask me multiple times a day to “Take a picture of me mommy!” and then immediately “Let me see!”  I probably take a good ten pictures of them just doing random things throughout the day.  Building a tower.  Lining up her My Little Pony collection.  Reading a book.  Anytime is a good time for a picture according to my kiddos.  And then they can entertain themselves for a good while scrolling through all the pictures of themselves on my phone.  When they find a picture of us together they say, “That’s you mommy!  Look!  Look!”  and get very excited.  And I love that. 


During the day I try to be as present as possible.  I don’t get on the computer to work unless I have to or the kids are napping.  I let them make suggestions on what we should do.  I follow their lead when they want to put on an impromptu dance performance.  Or make cookies.  I take pictures of them when they ask.  I read the same book over and over on request.  I do this because I know it won’t last forever.  I know there will be a time when they don’t want to do any of those things with me.  And I want as many memories and pictures of that as possible.   


Sometimes the pictures I take look like this one.  Both kids really wanted my attention and I really wanted to read.  But you know what?  This captures us perfectly.  There are times during the day when I just need some space or a minute to myself.  And that seems to be the time that the kids want or need my attention the most.  I have to take a deep breath [or maybe a bite of chocolate] and remember that it won’t last forever.  I will miss this! 


So we take silly selfies where Ryley is trying to give my butterfly kisses.  Or where Avery won’t let me get up from the couch.  We take pictures together because that’s what they want do.  And I know one day they won’t want to do those things with me in the picture. 


I’m submitting the second photo in the Sprout’s Mom is Here photo contest.  Why?  Well, because I really like the picture and its super easy to enter.  Plus, the prizes aren’t to shabby either.  [Hello $2000 spa package or $100 gift cards!]  I also love that Sprout’s is encouraging moms to get in the pictures with their kids.  I think its important to show them we are always there even if that means taking a million selfies.  Or giving pony rides.  Or dancing in a circle in the kitchen.  Because them wanting to do any of that won’t last forever. 

To see the official rules and enter click here

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