Valentine’s Day Around the Web 2018

So much good content coming out in time for this year’s Valentine’s partying! I wanted to share a few I’ve spotted and also toot my own horn and share some from this archive. Forgive me.

This mini Banana Split made with runts via Handmade Charlotte:Banana Split Valentine

This Paintbrush printable from House that Lars Built is amazing. Maybe more time consuming than others but darling nonetheless!

Splatter Paint Valentine + Printable from Super Make It. Super Make It

Got a kid into origami? Set them up with this DIY from Oh Happy Day!

House Lars Built slam dunk with these Cherry Valentine’s printables!Cherry Valentines

These Scandinavian vibe free printables from Wee Society

Wee Society Printables

David Bowie printables via House that Lars BuiltDavid Bowie Valentine

This printable has been accessed more than any other in Small Fry history! I’m obsessed still. Printable

And this Feed Me, Valentine box is my fave merely because so many people have done it and shared it online. It’s a rarity to get people excited enough about something they created to share it and this is one of those! Such a rewarding post!!Feed Me, Valentine Box

And the printable set from my 2018 Valentine post is here!Small Fry No Candy Valentines

follow your art

You guys know we’ve been working on DIY art for the new house (see our first piece in our Kid Art archives!) and today we are teaming up with Gymboree and their #followoyourart campaign to share this family friendly project inspired by Jackson Pollock! Family Friendly Art Project

Splatter Slip Ons // Lace up Sneakers

I love using Tempera paint so there’s no worry about ruining clothes or any toxic ingredients. You can spread out a drop canvas ($8 at the hardware store and HUGE so you can get a nice sized piece for the wall!) on the floor with a step ladder or attached to the wall as pictured for easier access. The drip effect is super cool, but might come with more clean up!Family Friendly Art Project

Sk8 Hoodie

There is no real method to this madness and that’s the point and what makes it unique and fun! I picked a color palette so it wouldn’t look to crazy and a little more intentional and I think this would be so fun for any of the boys’ rooms! Family Friendly Art Project

I love picking from Gymboree they always have great basics and on-trend pieces to weave throughout so the boys feel proud and excited while I know that they won’t wear out before they get to the next brother.Family Friendly Art Project And since their offerings typically run from infant on up to 14 year olds it’s so easy to find coordinating pieces for the whole family! Perfect for family pictures or whatever your match-matchy heart desires! Family Friendly Art ProjectOnce it’s dry you just stretch it over an existing canvas and staple on or you can construct a frame pretty easily if you have the right tools! One day I’ll do a tutorial for frames! And here are all the links for the boys’ Gymboree outfits fo easy access.Family Friendly Art Project


Hayes:  Sk8 Hoodie // Lightning Bolt Shorts // Splatter Slip Ons

Cal: Red Striped Windbreaker // Small Fry Tee // Navy Heather Sweats // Lace up Sneakers

Raleigh: Geo Stripe Hooded Tee // Fleece Pants // Velcro Sneakers 

kids with intense feelings

I spoke about my intense child the other day on Insta Stories and it erupted in some really good conversation. I promised several of you that I would get all the goods into a post and here it is! There are truly so many of us, I hope that the more we are open and honest about our challenges with these kids who feel deeply and are still learning how to navigate those feelings, the better ALL our situations will become. More tools, more ideas, more compassion, more understanding, more light and laughter and fun, too! There are several amazing quotes from the round-up of books below but this one especially caught my eye and tugged at my heart:Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

It was only in the last few months that my husband and I stopped saying “It’s a phase” and shifted to the understanding that this might just be his personality. Super sensitive, easily overwhelmed with emotion of all kinds and seemingly deeper more intense feelings than your average joe.

For my kiddo there are SO many factors we are weighing each day. I’ll share them here because maybe it might help you in figuring out your balance, too!

-He is a picky eater, but also has a lot of sensitivities in his favorite foods. Like corn and dairy are his favorite things, but also things an allergist told us to stay away from. We do our best, but it’s so hard!

-Eating often. He can get ultra focused and not be concerned with eating but I think he might be hypoglycemic like his mom because if I can keep him fed and fed well (I.E. not chips and chocolate milk) he is night and day different. I found he LOVES Jamba Juice smoothies (Caribbean Passion is his fave) so I bought the pre-bagged smoothes ($3 gets two full cups) and because the flavor is something he loves and recognizes and can be consistent with the bagged version, I can load in extra good stuff. Knowing he is getting good nutrients that way helps take some of the pressure of forcing him to eat things he doesn’t like which is ALWAYS a battle and causes so much contention.

I add Buried Treasure ACF for Kids Immune Support, a Probiotic powder, and this Organic Superfood Blend. The Caribbean Passion flavor is strong and recognizable enough to come through and they don’t even flinch when they drink it!

-Sleep. I can tell he is tired when he gets super weepy. I pull the plug on him and put him in my bed and turn the fan on. He might throw a fit but 100% of the time he falls asleep when I do this.

-Attention and Praise. He seems to keep track if I am paying attention or praising other kids more than him and he will internalize and eventually tell me that it made him sad. He acts out to get attention and  in turn can get in trouble a lot which also triggers him. Vicious cycle.

-Control and being in charge. He has said so many times he can’t wait until he’s older so he can make the rules.The less I tell him what to do the better for us all. I have to pick my battles with him and occasionally we do a “YES” day (usually a Saturday after they finish their chores) where parents can only say yes to things the kids want (we have some rules to keep it within reason) and he LOVES it so much.

-I’ve had him tested for a number of things as a precaution to no avail, but one thing I sense in him is that he gets over stimulated super easily. Too much noise, too much going on, to bright etc. So I have to make sure he has a lot of down time with out all of that. He is also a classic introvert where as me and my other kids are the opposite so we have to protect him in that way and make sure he gets time to himself.


Validation. Validating kids feelings is sometimes all they need to hear to let go of something. It’s as easy as mirroring their emotions or actions to them, “I can hear that you’re really angry.” “I can see you’re so excited you couldn’t wait.”

Grounding or Earthing. Feeling peaceful in nature isn’t a fluke, the energetic waves that come from way underneath the Earth’s surface have been shown to have a calming effect and negative charge on us all! You have to be barefoot for it to work but it is proven!

Drink Water. The act of drinking water automatically regulates breathing and switches the brain to focus on not choking. Watching stressed child drink water, they are visibly calmed (this research was discussed in this book!) In addition dehydration can cause irritability and a number o other stressors.

Weighted Blanket These blankets (mine is 15 pounds) are used for all types of disorders like OCD, Autism, Sensory issues, and anxiety. Serotonin levels have been tracked to raise when under a weighted blanket which helps calm and relax as well as helps us fall asleep faster. This is the one I use and put my kids under to watch a show, or have quiet time when needed.

BOOKS SUGGESTED: I’ll post a quote from each book that helps summarize what you can expect to learn

Whole Brain Child — “We now know that the way to help a child develop optimally is to help create connections in her brain—her whole brain—that develop skills that lead to better relationships, better mental health, and more meaningful lives. You could call it brain sculpting, or brain nourishing, or brain building. Whatever phrase you prefer, the point is crucial, and thrilling: as a result of the words we use and the actions we take, children’s brains will actually change, and be built, as they undergo new experiences.”

No Drama Discipline — “Reduce words. Embrace emotions. Describe, don’t preach. Involve your child in the discipline. Reframe a no into a conditional yes. Emphasize the positive. Creatively approach the situation. Teach mindsight tools.”

The Child Whisperer (the “types” book)– “I believe that the purpose of parenting is to raise children true to their natures so they can grow up feeling honored, confident, and free to be themselves. When you truly stop seeing your children’s tendencies through eyes of judgment, they will feel the change and respond in positive ways you cannot yet anticipate.”

Transforming Your Difficult Child — “Children do not awaken by the fear of punishment. They awaken to their greatness.”

The Explosive Child, A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children — “Challenging kids are lacking the skills of flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving, skills most of us take for granted.”

Raising Your Spirited Child — “Love your spirited child for who she is. Because she is more, she will make you more.” or I also loved this one:

“It almost seems un-American, at times, to have kids who are slow to warm up. Other people tell us to push them—to force them to jump in—and they reprimand us for babying them. When your child adapts slowly, remind yourself that you will appreciate it when he is an adolescent. While all the other kids are running off on some ridiculous impulsive venture, yours will be thinking, moving slowly and cautiously. There are strengths to every temperamental characteristic.”



new year, new baby: advice

This week I’ve had a few friends from online doing small guest spots on Small Fry’s Instagram Stories. I am so glad so many of you have loved it and I am brainstorming ways to make it a more permanent part of Small Fry’s offerings. I asked everyone the same question: How do you find happiness in your different roles when your mind, body or circumstances are working against you? The responses have been so awesome, I wanted to recap the messages here!

Sadie of Simply Sadie Jane:

Sadie Jane Sabin

Sadie gave 4 doable tips to help frame you for a joyful parenting experience.

  1. Start your day with an intention. Peace, joy, love.

2. One Day at at Time. Living presently in joy allows for stresses of the past and future not to cause needed anxiety or stress.

3. Trade shame for gratitude. There is nothing shame can do that gratitude cannot do better. Mom guilt is real but it doesn’t serve any of us. Re-frame your feelings to that of gratitude and everyone, especially you will benefit! You have to believe in yourself and that you’re a good mother before anyone else does.

4. Repeat “I love motherhood. Motherhood is joyful. Motherhood is simple.” throughout the day to help direct your feelings and energy toward joy.

Kelly of Studio DIY (finding a black and white was impossible but making any of her colorful photos that way was a tragedy. Ha!)Studio DIY

Kelly, an intovert in a super extroverted job that then switches to being present emotionally and physically for her young son Arlo creates space to recharge. No phone calls or interacting, just podcasts. You can find some of her favorites here.

Sydney of The Daybook, What the Eff Podcast and Actually, I Can course:Sydney Liann

Sydney shared about how NOT defining ourselves by our roles and only our divine nature and relationship to a power bigger than ourselves allows for true happiness. Her big truth bomb for me was when she said “If we do not define ourselves by our roles than we also don’t define ourselves by our learning experiences within those roles.

Sydney words it so sweetly but I couldn’t help but think about the rollercoaster of emotions within my roles. The learning experiences where I feel like I fail cause me so much pain and shame! I love that by taking a step even further within ourselves we can give ourselves some slack that we are more than our failures, because we are more than this one aspect of ourselves.

Sydney has done so much self exploration and learning this year and it has been awesome to watch! She has started sharing what she’s learned in a course called Actually I Can and if you use SMALLFRY10 you can get 10% off! Read up on what the course entails here.

Alison of The Alison Show, Awesome with Alison Podcast and the Build an Awesome Brand Workshop (which I attended and was just as awesome as it advertises!):Alison Faulkner

Alison also shared some amazing tips for the times when you physically cannot do the things that typically bring you joy. This story will be posted later today, don’t miss it! She says it so beautifully!

  1. Reassign your good habits. When Alison’s typical Gratitude RUN wasn’t a possibility due to actually being hit by a car she reassigned  her good habits and switched the run to a bath. As the water fills the tub she thinks or says all the things she is grateful for.
  2. Find joy in new things. Taking the time to pamper herself through getting ready slowly and at her own pace gave her a sense of normalcy in her temporary slowed down body.