Fruity Princess Wands

Fruity Princess Wands  @Joy in These Moments
My daughter loves fruit, a fact for which I’m very thankful. However, she can also get a bit creative with her fruit. And, while I’m all for creativity, sometimes I need to gently direct that creativity into something less messy.

She has also started developing an interest in makeup, high heels, tiaras, and Tinkerbell. So, what better way to incorporate her new loves than with a princess wand made of fruit? They’re super easy, incredibly yummy, and fun for any mommy and princess, magician, fairy, or fruit lover. Perfect for a summer day by the pool, a princess tea party, or as my sister suggest, a treat for the 4th of July!

Fruity Princess Wands

1 pt strawberries
1 pt blueberries
2 bananas
2 starfruit
(or whatever fruit you so desire!)
1 package bamboo skewers

Clean your fruit and cut to your preference. Layer onto the bamboo skewers – use your imagination and create all sorts of fun combos.
Top the skewer with a slice of star fruit.
Watch your little enjoy their new fruity wand!

Linking up today with Time Warp Wife and Mandy’s Recipe Box

Graduating into Adulthood

Graduation Into Adulthood

I graduated into adulthood yesterday.

Well, technically, I was an adult at 18. It’s just taken me 15 years to feel like one, I guess.

I used to think that being an adult would be the most grand and glorious thing. No one to tell me what to do. No one to tell me how to act. I could do what I want, when I wanted it. I could shop all day, have an awesome home, and eat at the trendiest restaurants. I’d have no worries – because I was an adult.
“Well, what about your bills?” I know you’re thinking it. Well…Paying bills? Heck! I’d have an awesome job as a pop singer and someone would be paid to pay my bills. I had all the answers, y’all.

And somewhere along the way, plans changed. I realized that I would not be the next Christian version of Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. (Don’t laugh. I was totally going for that in my mind! Really. It was a great plan. Just poorly executed.)
Somewhere along the way, I traded those dreams of stardom for student loans, 4th graders, a life in a town that’s 10x smaller than where I grew up, and a toddler that likes to spit her unwanted food into my hand (under the guise of kissing my hand). Somewhere along the way, I traded in my childhood and fantastical teenage dreams for those better suited an adult.

And that’s totally ok. I’m not complaining.

Still, somehow, my brain did not catch up with my body and actions. My brain still feels like an uncertain and insecure 16 year old sometimes. Two years into raising a little human and I still sometimes feel like I’m playing house. But yesterday, all that changed.

Yesterday, while in “the big city”, I went to Sam’s Club to pick up a couple of things. No biggie. Do it all the time. However, it’s not every day that a jerk with Napoleon complex tries to run you and your daughter over. Seriously. We were walking in the crosswalk area where most courteous people stop and allow you to walk across with little to no bloodshed. This guy? He smirked at me, then revved the engine of his overly-orange-ugly-as-sin-midlife-crisis-purchase and gunned it past my daughter and I, barely missing us.

I was livid. Me? I can handle it. Scaring my daughter and nearly hitting her? Oh no, buddy. You brought out the mama bear.

Then, somehow, the inconsiderate man parks his automobile atrocity in front of my mom-mobile. It’s like the heavens were taunting me. Y’all, it was all I could do to not go up to his door, bang on the window and give him a piece of my mind. For several minutes, during unloading our purchase and texting my sister and best friend, I seriously contemplated leaving a pretty nasty letter explaining all the things this person did wrong. They were not nice words either. Just ask my sister and my friend. Pretty sure I blew up their phones.

But, I didn’t.
I controlled myself. I controlled myself because my daughter would be observing every minute I wasted on that man. She would hear the less-than-Christian words that would come out of my mouth if I were to speak to him, and I don’t want that to be the example of adulthood that she remembers. I controlled myself, because that’s what adults do. They do the uncomfortable. They control their impulses. They access the maturity that lies deep within them and allows them to do the things they really don’t want to do.

Deep down, I still hope that something scratches that ugly car, because it is in SERIOUS need of a paint job. I mean, Oompa-Loompa orange, guys. But, I can at least sleep knowing that I graduated into adulthood by NOT being the one to “accidentally” push the grocery cart into his passenger door.

Linking up today at Time Warp Wife

Five Things I’ve Learned About Parenting

5 Things I've Learned about Parenting l

The earth could have opened up and swallowed me. I wouldn’t have cared.
And now? The elderly women in front of me was giving me “the look”.

“The Look”
You know, the one that veterans of motherhood give? The look given by the ones who have forgotten what it’s like to have an independent, high-spirited, impatient toddler. The look of “you should take care of that!”

Yeah, I got a double dose today.

Moments before I had maneuvered my grocery cart into the narrow Wal-mart checkout line. My daughter, ever impatient, tapped me on the arm and said, “Mama! Go! Go!”
I explained that there were people that were in our way and we could not move.
Easy fix in her mind. She turns and says “Beep beep!” – because I have started a bad habit of saying “beep beep” whenever she’s in the way.
The women don’t move. So, she tries again. And again, the women don’t move.


So, my daughter, my sweet, loveable, sassy daughter, turns to the women in front of us and screams at them. She points her finger in an spot-on imitation of an old schoolmarm and yells “YOU! MOVE! YOU MOVE!”

Commence ground opening up and swallowing sequence.

I seriously wanted to die. Because we DO practice our manners. We DO encourage polite behavior from her. We do. We do. We DO! But, how were they to know?

We had a “chat” about how that was not a nice thing to say; we talked about waiting our turn, about all the nice words¬† we could say instead (like “Hi!” or later to say “Bye!”). But, we are never to yell and say “move”.

Finally, the ladies checked out and went on their way . I swear, it took FOREVER!.
I checked out and headed home while calling my mother to tell her of the days escapade. She just laughed.

Thanks, Mom.

Still, the looks I received have these women on my mind.
I often wonder if the veteran mothers remember what it was like to stumble through parenthood, to wonder if they were doing a good job, to wonder “How in heck fire was I allowed to bring home and raise a kid?”
I wonder if they remember what it was like to get “the look” from another veteran, to know that no matter how “together” they might look, they have no earthly idea what they are doing?

Some days, I feel like I’ve got a grip on this parenting thing. Some days, I feel like a 5-year-old walking into an advanced Physics class. I know I don’t know everything there is to know about parenting, but I do know a few things. So, in light of today’s shopping events, I thought I would share the top 5 things I have learned about parenting in these last two years.

A donut from Wal-Mart is not going to kill your kid. In fact, it might actually help you keep your sanity while you are shopping.
EDIT: A donut from Wal-Mart will not kill your kid, unless they somehow manage to pick it up off the floor and eat it before you can stop them. At this point, it’s questionable.

Some days, the only thing that can keep you going is a Dt. Vanilla Coke from Sonic and some Dove dark chocolate – and it’s totally ok to hide in your bathroom and eat those.

No matter how many years you have worked with kids or been a nanny; no matter how many blog posts, articles, or parenting books you read; and no matter how many friends give you well-meaning advice, your child is going to upset the learning curve. It won’t even be a learning curve. It will be a parenting roller-coaster with unexpected twists, turns, and flips. You can’t get off, so you’d better hold on!

Your children will embarrass you, make you look like a horrible parent at times, and make you wonder if you ARE a horrible parent. But, when they take your face in your hands and give you a sweet kiss, it’s all worth it.

And, the #1 thing I have learned in this parenting journey??

I have no earthly idea what I am doing!

I really don’t. And I know we have all felt like that.
But, I guess that’s ok, because that’s the learning curve of parenthood right?

Still, my prayer is that in the midst of mistakes, detours, stumbles, and fumbles along the way, His grace will intercede for me; that regardless of how royally I flub up, how screwed up my parenting can be, how many times I forget to be patient, and kind, and loving, that He will be her foundation.
My prayer is that I will see the truth in Proverbs 22:6 when it says that if I “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV)

My prayer is that He will go before me.
And my prayer is that, despite me, my daughter will see Him.

This post is linking up today with Joy Dare Blog
Where Joy Is
Time Warp Wife
Mandy’s Recipe Box

A Rasberry Body Masque and a Toddler’s Pride

Raspberry Body Masque and a Toddler's Pride | Joy in These Moments


I raced around the house, scrambling to get everything together before I had to leave for work.
I was already running behind (which has been the norm these last few weeks).

Evie had her breakfast before her, which included some fresh raspberries. She’s recently developed a love for them, so I gladly gave her some of my favorite fruit.

Then, not 10 minutes before it was time for me to head to work, I peek into the living room where Evie had been eating and watching Thomas the Train.

There before me, in all her toddler happiness, was my daughter covered head to toe in freshly crushed raspberries.

My girlie girl LOVES lotions. That is her favorite thing to do with her Nana. They put on lotions and necklaces. So, this morning, in the absence of lotion, necklaces, and Nana, she had taken it upon herself to make today a spa day and created her own raspberry body masque.
I mean, I’m sure the seeds make a great exfoliate. And, I’m sure the berries have some antioxidants that benefit the skin.
They DO NOT, however,  benefit a cream colored carpet!

Pretty sure I had a momentary panic attack. That can only explain the calmness I experienced as I turned, walked to the kitchen and grabbed a washcloth to clean the impromptu spa day that was occurring my living room.

When she was clean, my daughter hopped up and gave a twirl. She threw her hands in the air, yelled “TA DA!”, then gave a deep (off balance) bow.

Her exuberance over her morning is what I love about her. She finds joy in so many things, things that I probably wouldn’t find joyous.
But some days, their laughter and joy is contagious.

And, some days, you just have to laugh!

My daughter inspired me today, so try out this great raspberry face masque..

Raspberry Face Masque
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rolled oats

Use a blender or food processor to blend until oats are broken up and ingredients are combined.
Apply to damp skin. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe off.

Super fun and refreshing.
Then, when you are done, make sure you do a twirl, a “ta-da!” and a bow!
It apparently makes all the difference!


Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Play

Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Play

I love my daughter; but during dinner prep, she turns into something other than my daughter.
I haven’t quite placed the species, but I’m pretty sure it’s not earthly.
She’s whiny, clingy, bursts into tears at any given moment, and then throws the world’s worst tantrums.
And, as much as I’d like to have dinner ready by the time the husband gets home, with this miniature storm cloud in my way, it’s nigh unto impossible.

**Edit….My friends just informed me that she’s still human. She’s just a pre-2. This scares me…it’s like practice for the teen years, just 10 years too early!
They also laugh and say to wait until 3. Not sure I appreciate the laughs when I’m in a fetal position in the corner of my kitchen, though.

Anyway, in the midst of these tears and laughs, my kiddo LOVES to help cook. She’s always cooking in her play kitchen and taking out my pots and pans while I’m cooking. So, last night, I decided to give her some real food to explore and to “cook” while Mommy cooked.

I’ve seen the rainbow spaghetti all over Pinterest, but have just never made it. I don’t know why though! It’s so cheap and incredibly easy to create.

Rainbow Spaghetti:
1 16oz box of spaghetti (cooked)
Ziploc bags (one for each color you choose to create)
food dye

After I had cooked the spaghetti, I separated it into 4 bags, then added the food coloring.
I wanted my noodles to be pretty bright, so I added 10 drops of each color.
Close the bag and shake it up until the noodles are the color you desire.

When the noodles are dyed, choose some fun kitchen bowls, muffin tins, cups, etc for your child to use.
Evie loved moving the noodles back and forth, between the different kitchen supplies.

Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Play

Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Play
She also really loved eating the spaghetti. Not quite how I envisioned the sensory play going, but whatchya gonna do?

Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Play
One thing I will note….There was still some water on some of the noodles. This made for some staining on the kitchen floor. It came up easily, but I was also trying to keep on top of the stains as well.

This post is linking up at Living Well, Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday