Summertime : Memories from Childhood
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Do you spy that little white house tucked away between the rolling hills of north Ga? It sure does hold a sweet place in my heart. It’s the house we would visit to spend time with my grandma in the summers.


One vivid memory I recall is being about 9 years old and the floor creaking when I got up from nap. All of the other kiddos were asleep after playing in the creek and breathing in the mountain air. I snuck to the kitchen and met Grandma to make some cookies. It was just us in the kitchen, whispering, mixing the sugar, egg, and chocolate chips, and placing them in the oven.


These are the memories I want my children to have: time to play in the rain, get dirty, try something new, pick blueberries. Be kids. So I’m welcoming summer and embracing my inner-child to make summer memories the best they can be.


It’s supposed to rain a lot here in the next couple of days! Here’s to running through puddles with my babes!


Dana DossComment
Dear Child, I Just Need a Second

Every mama knows sometimes we are the ones who need the timeout. Time to think, catch our breath, regain our composure, heck just to pee. Today, when the kiddos were occupied I ran to my bathroom quickly. As soon as I shut the door, a little fist started knocking. "Mommy, I come in! I open the door!" And this is what I wanted to say. 

Dear Child, 

I love you so very much. With all of my being. I literally feel like my heart is walking around outside my body. My days and even nights are spent watching over you, keeping you safe, celebrating you, disciplining you, planning the next steps, feeding you, taking care of your booboos and heartbreaks, and so much more. It is a great work, an honor, and tough stuff to be your mother. 

So, right now as I am sitting in my closet floor taking a quick timeout and focusing on the remainder of our time today and the memory I would like this day to hold. I listen to your tiny voice. You won't be little like this forever. I hear your little hands twisting the knob. I hear your babydoll's bottle rattling at the door. 

One day, you may have children of your own and you will see this part of life. It is a hard and glorious. It is a sacrifice and a gift. It is messy and it is a masterpiece. I pray when you take this quiet time one day you reflect on your life and know God made you for your babies. God gave them you. As mommies, we aren't perfect. Our patience gets thin, our voice can get loud, we don't do everything the way we want to, we may not cook the best meals, or have the pretties house. He gave you them. Our children aren't perfect. They spill, they make mistakes, they color on walls, they push, and they can scream. And that's ok. That is life. Life is messy. Just do one thing. Depend on God. Let Him work through you in this time. You'll realize you can't do it all without leaning on Him. And when you are sitting still and the world is still a crazy reality around you let Him give you a hug filled with grace, encouragement, and go share that with your babies. 

And this little timeout gave me life to open the door, be present, and love!

I love you. And I always will. 

Mom

Dana DossComment
Mama, I'm Hungry! | Easy Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas
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I have lost count of the times I've heard my kids ask for a snack. I think they eat all day which is great, but I feel like I run out of ideas and we always have the same snacks. As soon as I get the last meal cleaned up I am getting the next snack out. So, my friends and I were talking about needing some new snack ideas and BOOM a list was formed! Thanks gals! *wink wink*

I love lists because "Mom-brain" is a serious thing over here folks. The other day I was talking with a friend at the pool while one child was hanging on me, the other just got done kicking water as they swam away, and it was like my brain just hit 'restart' for a second. So lists are necessary for me. I thought it may be helpful to share this snack list with you. I want to hear your go-to snacks that your kiddos love as well. 

Blueberry Mini Muffins

Blueberry Mini Muffins

Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Peanut Butter Protein Bites


Kid-Friendly Easy Snack Ideas

  • Veggies + Dip: cucumbers, tomatoes, carrot sticks and more served with ranch dip mix + greek yogurt/sour cream/ranch dressing.

  • Fresh Fruit Slices - strawberries, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, etc.

  • Apples with peanut butter

  • Veggie Straws

  • Goldfish crackers

  • Vanilla wafers with nut butter

  • S'more Snack Bag - mix teddy grahams + marshmallows + chocolate chips in a snack bag.

  • Fruit cups

  • Pretzel sticks

  • Gummy fruit snacks

  • Hummus with pita chips, veggies, pretzel sticks

  • Peanut Butter Protein Bites

  • Almonds with cranberries

  • Rice cake with nut butter topped with sliced strawberries/dried fruit/chocolate chips

  • Granola bars

  • Mini-muffins

  • Cheese sticks

  • Yogurt

  • Smoothies


For the printable list click HERE! 

Easy Snack Plate - Cheese Bites, Nilla Wafers, Apple Slices w/ Nut Butter

Easy Snack Plate - Cheese Bites, Nilla Wafers, Apple Slices w/ Nut Butter

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Blueberry Mini Muffins with Fresh Blueberries

Blueberry Mini Muffins with Fresh Blueberries

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I hope this helps you the next time you are packing snacks or headed to the grocery store! Thanks for stopping in and be sure to share your go-to snack in the comments. 

Dana DossComment
Walmart Grocery Pickup - Review
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Friends, I need to tell you about some life change that has happened over here. 3 words: WalMart.Grocery. Pickup. This is coming from someone who strongly disliked walking into WalMart, it completely overwhelmed me. But I always felt like I was missing out on the best deals. I spotted this option when I was looking for the best deals on something back in the spring and BOOM there it was. Now, I have tried InstaCart + Kroger Clicklist and I think they are good, but there's just something about being able to pick up your groceries along with some of the other great things WalMart has. 

I can only speak for my local WalMart of course, but the customer service I have gotten has been terrific. Smiles. Details about my order. And each order has been correct (I can't say the same about InstaCart and Clicklist). 

And it's not just me. My girl friends are LOVING it, too. We can put our order in, swing by WalMart after running errands, the gym, library, work, church, or a play date, and we come home with groceries! Sounds like winning to me! 

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Great Reasons I love WalMart Grocery Pickup: 

  1. They have an app that is easy to use. When your groceries are ready, you can check-in from the app to let them know you are on the way.
  2. Nobody has to get out. As you arrive a store attendant walks out with your groceries + loads them in your car. That's right, the kids stay in their carseat. Everyone could even be in their pjs for that matter. You don't have to worry about using the Clorox wipe on the buggy (am I the only one who does that?!?)
  3. The service fee is FREE.  
  4. Same great prices as in the store. Yes. No marked up prices like other services. Hallelujah. 
  5. If you forget an item, you can make changes to the order within a time frame. I am notorious for walking out of the grocery and forgetting something that should have been on my list, this helps solve that problem. 
  6. If the item you ordered isn't in stock they will substitute it. They will give you a better option - a larger product or a better quality one for the same price.
  7. Budgeting. This is an awesome way to truly know what you are spending on groceries. It makes it much easier to know to the penny how much money I will spend at the store. 
  8. Save $10! You can use this code by clicking HERE for your first order. And then after that, you will have your own discount code to share with friends and family to save them $10 and earn $10 off of your next order! 

If you have any questions just shoot me a message or leave a comment! I want to hear how you like it! 

 

Dana DossComment
Dining Al Fresco
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Al Fresco. Sounds fancy, right? Not in these parts! We are in love with eating outside on the new farm table my talented husband built. But I am all about keeping our nightly outdoor dinners super simple! Here's how.


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Paper Products

This is the #1 must have for us. It makes the cleanup so quick. I bought a cute little white organizational basket that fits our plates, napkin, and utensils just perfect. I can grab it out of the pantry fast and throw it right back in when we are done. I love to find seasonal plates. These are from WalMart (10 @ $1.47). It makes dinner fun!

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Candles

In the south, our summer is full of bugs. Mosquitoes and flies are the most common when we are out for dinner, so a citronella candle (+ a fly swatter/tape...we're classy) goes a long way. A few tealights in some vases go along way as well and add some sweet ambience.

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Fresh Flowers

Need I say more. This is so easy. I keep a vase full of fresh flowers on our breakfast table indoors so it's simple to move outside when we eat dinner.

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Music

A great playlist running in the background at dinner is the way to my heart. Especially when our kiddos can get a bit crazy at the table, this keeps the mood lighter. I love our speaker that I got from TJMaxx at the beginning of the summer. There are some excellent playlists on Spotify that you can play around the theme of your meal. Italian tunes with spaghetti or pizza, country melodies with a great meal off of the grill, and some sassy salsa for those taco Tuesdays always adds some fun!

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Summer dinners on the back deck are definitely warm, but we all agree they are so much better than being inside. My family is looking forward to even more meals outside in the fall!

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