Hayes has been in school for about a week and Cal starts his first day tomorrow, but I already feel infinitely more “with it.” Owning the day instead of letting it own me, you know? I just had to get myself set up for success and here are two easy ways to help kids get not only a healthy snack, but also independently so!Grab + Go Snack Boxes. I have these in the pantry and also the fridge where they’re pre-portioned, bagged, and easy to spot. They can grab whatever snack looks good to them even if I am detained, or if we’re in a rush. I do the Stonyfield Yokids pouches, smoothies or squeezers, prepackaged hummus and guacamole with veggies, string cheese, and pouches. It changes each week but these are usually always there because my kids love it all!I love the pouches for this because there’s no mess, no spoons or even the torn off top of the tube to pick up later. The Stonyfield YoKids pouches are the jam!I want ALL my kids to be able to eat more independently, including the baby! I love the pouches for him and I freeze all our yogurt squeezers for his nonstop teething, poor guy. He’s getting a few more teeth and his molars and he loves to gnaw on the squeezers. Since they’re frozen, he’s learning to eat a bit more cleanly too since he has a little bit more control over how much comes out and spills just don’t happen! Also the frozen squeezer is great for packing in lunches to keep other items chilled, too! Still nice and cold by lunch.
Earlier this Summer we made the switch to Stonyfield Yokids yogurts (anyone else’s shopping habits dictated by what Coscto is carrying?) and my boys all LOVE them. I feel like it’s this secret Mom Win since it’s 20-40% less sugar and healthier ingredients and organic. Because Stonyfield YoKids yogurts are certified organic, that means each cup is always made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics. You can read more about their Organic qualities here! Less sugar obviously didn’t change how delicious it is or deter them in the slightest, they love them just as well as the higher sugar ones we used to buy! You all know how picky Callum is- he’s got the nose of a bloodhound and a creature of habit and he made the switch no problem as well! He likes the smoothie cups the best, another great on the go option! Something he can drink on the way to school even!
I get mine at Costco, but they have so many great product as you can see! Don’t forget their classic yogurt cups, too. You’ll also notice Stonyfield Yokids has animals on each of their products! They sponsor the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and also SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) and they’re giving away a trip for a family to go to South Africa and see them all up close and personal! YES please!!
This might have to be a weekly post on it’s own, but we’ll combine today!
My two book picks for September – The War of Art (hardcopy) and A Little Life (audio) — Read with me! Maybe we can start a DM group to talk about it.
Also as always find all the outfits I wear on Insta Story Outfit of the Days right here! I have been trying to feature at least one a week on my main Insta page, let me know if that’s too much or if you want more!
Lastly, here are the products featured in my Ode to The Beyouty Bureau Story…These are all the recs I’ve picked up from Kayti. There are a lot, and even more I wish to buy. Follow her to stay up to date, she is always abreast of the best stuff around.
Last year I wrote about something super important to me – internet safety for kids. It’s still one of Small Fry’s most visited posts and I hope it continues to be as the whole topic keeps me up at night! 😉 The internet is such a wonderful tool, but as we all know it can get dark, fast. Today I wanted to revisit that post and also add another awesome resource I have been testing out! You all know Amazon makes their own tablet starting at $99 for kids called Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet, right? Well what I didn’t know is about their Amazon FreeTime Unlimited service, which we’ve been using with their tablet as a part of today’s sponsorship. It is incredible! The FireHD 8 Kids Edition tablet actually comes with a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited service and is 30% off right now, so it’s a perfect time if you’re in the market! (They also do $20/month payments right in time for Christmas!)Part of my volunteer work at my church a while back was to help interested families get all their computers and devices protected and one thing I felt like was loud and clear across all the families I worked with was that it felt daunting which is why no one had attempted it on their own. So anytime I see a product come around that makes it easy I am all about it!Okay so here’s what you need to know and why I think it’s excellent!
I know there is a lot of talk about what is good for kids and screen time, and even eliminating it, but I feel really strongly that they need to learn to manage their time (with my help) and employ healthy habits from the start, as it will always be a part of their lives. For better or for worse. Just wanted to get that out of the way! First off with the FireHD 8 Kids Edition tablet, I can create “Learn First” goals so they have to do educational things before they can start the other stuff. I can set a “Bedtime” where the it stays off no matter what until I choose (BEST!) and the settings can change on weekends and weekdays.We are strict one hour a day for screen time and so I can set timers to make sure we stick to that (let’s be honest, I forget all the time and they end up playing longer). Then, I love the Parent Dashboard so I can review exactly what was done during that hour. And that the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet notifies me of every game they download in my email. Most importantly, the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited service profiles are set up to filter out anything that isn’t age appropriate. You won’t even see games or videos or options that don’t fit your specifications. I truly don’t even have to worry about what they’re taking in. As a lifelong Apple user, I was shocked to admit I preferred this tablet for my kids. Besides the fact that it is SO much less expensive. But ultimately it is the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited that swayed me. It is SO awesome.
It’s so important to find devices that have these features built right in, instead of something on your router, because as soon as you leave the house and access someone else’s Wifi, you no longer have those protections.
And I am glad we got in the swing of these good habits before school started and all I had to do was alter the time frames and and bedtimes a bit! If you pick one up, let me know how you like it!!
For this month’s Mine + Ours I actually started the book pick for myself two months ago. I didn’t realize then that it would be such an important, timely read for me.
I chose Homegoing based off reviews, and it is SUCH a beautiful book. I hesitate writing too much about it because it feels like it doesn’t belong to me, like I opened someone’s diary. It is so raw and personal. I think it’s a must on Audible because the narrator helps keep you focused on where the story is in time and place with his accents. In short, the story follows a 7 generation lineage from Ghana to America. From the 1790’s to modern day. Seeing the strengths and struggles and how history weaves itself into culture. To see the racial in equality and how pervasive it was in each generation, the effects, the struggle, the triumph. Then now seeing what happened in Charlottesville. I just can’t deal. Enough is enough is enough! I wish every single person had to read this book, I will never claim to understand, but I feel like this book does a dang good job of illuminating each corner of this inequality. But the best part is that it’s not preachy or in your face. Its just beautiful storytelling and you draw your own conclusions. I just won’t stand for this in my lifetime. I think the problems are deep, but not hopeless. I read a quote from a friend that said “Equality feels like oppression to the privileged” and that rang so true to me. Individuals will have to be wiling to sacrifice (pride and entitlement to start) to make things better for the whole.
I wish I had a better grip on race conscious books for kids, I am going to do some research and get some shipped so we can better review them, but there are two posts that have great options here and here if you need ideas!
My oldest Hayes fell hard for Harry Potter this month. We are knee deep in the books and movies and he loves it. As I knew he would because it’s the best! I started reading it when I was 13, somehow my mom heard of it before anyone else I knew and it felt like this special secret for awhile there. I have loved sharing it with him! If you haven’t gotten those on Audio yet, it will make your next road trip fly by. It’s not original or an exciting rec but that is what we’re doing day and in day out, so gotta mention it!
But, the focus of the OURS section today is on Raleigh – my 14 month old. He LOVES reading books and wants to touch each page, he lights up when he gets his hands on an interactive book. Here are our favorites for his age: