organizing snacks to encourage independence

As a mom of a two-year-old and a six-year-old, one of my main parenting goals is to encourage independence in my little ones. I try to set up our routines and surroundings so that my kids can have a hand in making choices, which helps instill confidence and strengthen their ability to make decisions. I do this in many ways (if you’re a parent, I’m sure you do, too), including giving them (small) household responsibilities, and allowing them to “help” as often as I can (even if it makes the task take just a little bit longer).

independent snack drawer

Recently, I wanted to help encourage their independence when it came to choosing and retrieving snacks. It feels like they are constantly coming to me asking for a snack, which requires me not only to stop what I’m doing, but to debate with them over the merits vs. desireability of various snack options.

To help achieve this goal and encourage a bit more independence, I set up a drawer in our pantry and a bin in our refrigerator, both filled with healthy snack items, to encourage my kids to be independent in choosing their own snacks.

encouraging healthy eating

In our pantry, making sure to choose a drawer they can easily reach, I filled clear bins with multi-grain bars, crackers, applesauce, apples, dried fruit (raisins, cranberries and mango), and, my newest find, Jif™ Peanut Butter Granola Bars. Filled with 7-8 grams of protein per bar, these granola bars take things up a notch by combining Jif® Peanut Butter with chewy granola.

encouraging independent eaters

They come in three flavors: Creamy Peanut Butter, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter Chocolate, and are the perfect grab-and-go snack for my little ones.

encouraging healthy eating

In our refrigerator, I cleared out our fruit bin, and filled it with some of our favorite, healthy snacks, including cheese, yogurt, grapes, and carrot sticks. It took a few minutes to prep and organize, but it saves me so much time in the long run now that my kids can grab a snack on their own. Even better? They love having their choice of snack options, and debates over what they can choose are a thing of the past. They know they can choose anything from the bins, which makes them happy (which, in turn, makes ME very happy).

This small change has made a world of difference in our household, which prompts me to ask, what do YOU do to encourage independence in your little ones? I’d love to know!

For new products, promotions, recipe ideas and more, follow Jif here:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


30 modern pom pom crafts

pom poms

These crafty compilation posts are probably my favorite to create (and, by the looks of it, your favorite to pin and revisit). I just love all the inspiration within and being reminded of just how talented fellow bloggers are. Today, it’s all about pom poms! I admit, I haven’t created with pom poms nearly as often as I should–maybe a few pom pom crafts should be one of my goals for the Fall (I’m lofty that way). Anyway, take a look at some of my favorite pom pom creations…

pom pom tote

damask love

pom poms



design improvised


tell love and chocolate


the sarah johnson


this heart of mine


the surznick common room


place of my taste


beckham and belle

paperclip & pompom bookmarks ♥

raising up rubies

pom finished

work in progress kits


dream green diy




the crafted life




design for soul


a beautiful mess


my sisters suitcase


the pink doormat


craft with mom


sugar and cloth


homey oh my


crafts n coffee


design improvised


homey oh my


say yes


tara dennis


the lovely drawer


the flair exchange


sugar and cloth

So tell me, what is your favorite way to craft with pom poms?


sunnyd book spree program {+ free printables}

sunnyd book program

As the principal shopper in our household, I am always looking to purchase products and support companies whose values align with mine. As a mom and former teacher, supporting and encouraging reading, especially in the classroom, is definitely at the top of my values list.

kids bedroom

My children both enjoy drinking SunnyD, and when I heard about their Book Spree Program, it was just one more reason to add it to my shopping list. This program is easy and hassle-free; just collect SunnyD labels and send to your child’s teacher. Teachers will then send the labels into SunnyD to get free books. For every 20 labels received, SunnyD will donate 20 free books. (expires on 11/30/15 or while supplies last)

sunny d

I have many friends who homeschool, and I love that they are also able to participate! This is SunnyD’s ninth year running this program, and any classroom, K-7th grade, is eligible.


Lately, we’ve been pairing SunnyD with our afternoon reading time. The kids (and myself), love taking a few minutes of quiet to read and look through books. Adding a delicious SunnyD (I purchase mine at Kroger) is a fun way to help my kids look forward to this time together.

book corner
I took a few minutes to refresh our reading corner, and created a few free printables with some of my favorite quotes from children’s literature.

childrens literature

Just click each link below to download, print, and frame. These make perfect pieces for your children’s bedrooms, playroom, or as gifts for your child’s teachers.

Roald Dahl Quote Download
Shel Silverstein Quote Download
Peter Pan Quote Download


Again, it’s so easy to earn free books for your child’s classroom!

      • Step 1: Parents clip and collect eligible SunnyD UPC labels.
      • Step 2: Parents send UPC labels with their child to a participating teacher.
      • Step 3: Teachers collect UPCs, fill out the entry form and mail both to SunnyD.
      • Step 4 – SunnyD sends books to participating classrooms (limit of 20 books/classroom). Don’t Delay – Book Spree ends 11/30/2015

You can also find SunnyD here:

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and SunnyD, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #keepitsunny