Story Starters/ Writing Prompts for Kids

I operate very well on a schedule.  I like routine and knowing what the plan is; I’m not great with change, or “flying by the seat of my pants”.  Over the years, I’ve realized that my Isabella is the same way.  She does great in school and loves the daily routine of it.  Knowing that about the two of us, I was determined to be prepared going in to summer.


I started by creating a weekly schedule for Isabella.  It was really important to me that she learn responsibility, do something to help others and, of course, have fun this summer.  It was also really important that she realize she was going to have to do a lot of entertaining herself, and that I wasn’t going to be playing with her every minute of every day. …

Read More »

Game Day Snacks: Baseball Tags Printable

Tracking Pixel
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®.

Isabella has been playing team sports for almost five years now. We’ve tried our hand at soccer, kickball, and T-ball. She loves to play and get to be with other kids her age, and I love what organized sports is teaching her about life. Some of my favorite memories growing up were playing sports, and it’s even more fun to get to watch her experience it now.  Little sister isn’t enjoying watching her as much as we are though, she would much rather be out there getting in on the action!  Sophia is just sure that she is big enough to play too.


Isabella has definitely liked some sports more than others, but one thing has remained the same no matter which game she is playing: her love for the post-game snacks.  The first year we played sports, when she was just barely three years old, she would make it half way through the game and ask- “when do we get snacks?”  Ha!  I think she liked the surprise each week of what it was going to be as much as she liked actually eating whatever it was.  She is always excited when it’s our turn to bring snacks and she gets to help me pick them out.  The current favorite: Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®. 


This spring, Rice Krispies Treats® will help give one lucky winner the chance to play a game of catch with Cal Ripken, during the 2015 MLB All-Star Week. All you have to do is pick up a box of specially-marked Rice Krispies Treats® and enter the promotion code for your chance to win.

baseball tag printable

I created this free printable baseball tag to go with your snack bag.  I like to add in a piece of fruit, usually a clementine, and a mini bottle of water.  The kids all gobble up the Rice Krispies Treats® first thing.  I like to bring a few extras for the little siblings as well.  :)


Until April 30, 2015, Kellogg’s® will be looking for another fan to hang out with Cal during All-Star Week. Enter to win by tweeting a photo of you and your family enjoying Rice Krispies Treats® using hashtag #GetKreativeSweeps and Kellogg’s® will select a winner.

Find year-round inspiration for family fun with Rice Krispies Treats® at You can also vote for your favorite creations for the chance to win more exciting prizes.




This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®.

Earth Day Cookies and Word Search Printable

 Earth Day Cookies and Free Word Search Printable

These Earth Day Cookies didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned them but they’re still pretty cute!  And they would be a fun project to do with the kids while talking about Earth Day next week.   Isabella is my little champion for the planet.  She is always reminding her sister to turn off the water while they are brushing their teeth before bed and she loves to help me separate the recycling.  She still really enjoys to do word searches, so I created this Free Earth Day Word Search Printable as well. …

Read More »

Gumball Machine Do-A-Dot Free Printable

Do A Dot Free Printable: Gumball Machine

We took a trip yesterday to Michaels Stores to pick up some jumbo Popsicle sticks for another project I’m working on.  Of course, when I go in there I tend to get crafting ADD and always walk out with a few extra supplies that I didn’t originally come for.  Sophia found a set of Do-A-Dot Art Markers (and a cars and trucks book to go along with) and I knew they were coming home with us. 

Sophia Do A Dot

She is just starting to get interested in coloring, but usually that means she wants to watch me color and hand me crayons.  Which is fun, I like spending that time with her, but I really loved the idea of her being able to do it herself.  The Do-A-Dot markers are a great size for little hands, and virtually no mess.  After seeing how quickly she picked it up and started using them with ease, I was hooked.  (This isn’t a sponsored post.)  We’ve been working on learning colors, and I was super impressed when she matched all of the lids back to the bottles when she was done. 

Do A Dot Free Printable: Gumball Machine

Download the free printable here

I created this simple Gumball Machine Do-A-Dot Free Printable for you to download and print for your kiddos.  Be prepared, you may see a lot more of these in the future.  I love that she can do these on her own, and that it keeps her busy while working on colors and fine motor skills.  It’s so fun to watch her become more independent and curious about the world around her every day.


Weekly Schedule Free Printable

Free Printable Weekly Schedule- perfect for kid's activities or as a menu planner #printable

Every year since Isabella has started school I tell myself that I will get organized and plan a fun, productive summer.  But every year time gets away from me and before I know it I’m picking her up from her last day of school.  Well, not this year!  I refuse to be a victim to the “I’m bored!” and “What can I do?” and “Can I play on the i-Pad???” every five minutes come summer.

I know that Isabella and I both thrive on a schedule.  She is accustomed to the structure of school where she knows what time lunch is and doesn’t have to wonder about what she will be doing next.  I’m not saying I’m going to schedule out her every waking hour, but there will definitely be some structure to our summer plans.

One thing I am going to implement is weekly goals and tasks.  We’ve never done chore charts in our house because I believe in teaching her that she has responsibilities (making her bed, putting away her shoes, etc).  No one gives me a sticker for unloading the dishwasher.  Over the summer, I’m going to up her responsibilities to include more household tasks.  I wanted to pick tasks that could be done every week and didn’t depend on me.  (Like helping her to use cleaning products, or supervising her with the knives in the dishwasher, or something that required me coming in before or after her to ready the task.)

 Free Printable Weekly Schedule- perfect for kid's activities or as a menu planner #printable

She is already mostly responsible for folding her own laundry and putting it away, but now we are going to add putting it in the washer and transferring it to the dryer.  As for cleaning out Mom’s car- she is notorious for leaving behind shoes, back packs, water bottles, and misc trash in the back of my car.  Cooking dinner is one task that I will be involved in.  I feel like I have failed her a little in this aspect, because by the time I was her age I was already flipping my own pancakes and cooking up simple things in the kitchen mostly unsupervised.  Usually when she asks to help it’s when I’m making something for the blog, and it’s too stressful for me to have her help when I’m still in the recipe development stage.  I’m planning to set aside one night a week where she can help me meal plan, grocery shop, and cook a meal.  Life skills, friends.

Another thing I really want to implement with her this summer is age-appropriate, fun service projects that she can do from home.  I picked Project Linus and Meals on Wheels as the two organizations to support.  Project Linus mission is to: Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”  I’m planning to take her to the fabric store, let her pick out some fabric, and teach her to make no-sew fleece blankets.  (Project Linus even has free templates on their site.)  She loves to craft and I think this will be a great activity to keep her busy while doing some good for others.  We even have a local drop-off station just down the street.  Both of my girls have special blankets that they have slept with every night since birth, so I’m hoping that this cause will resonate with her.

The other is Meals on Wheels.  The Meals on Wheels mission is to: promote the dignity and independence of older adults, persons with disabilities, and other homebound persons by delivering nutritious meals and providing or coordinating needed services.  MOW collects place mats decorated by kids, laminates them, and delivers them with the meals they provide.  I know she will love creating the mats, and also being responsible for mailing them to the collection facility in Dallas.  She has been all about the mail lately and loves sending and receiving letters.

Download the Free Weekly Schedule Printable

You could also use the printable as a menu planner.

What tips do you have for adding some structure to your kid’s summer in hopes to keep your sanity?


Cleaning Without Chemicals: Thieves Household Cleaner

Over the past year, my family and I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  We pay attention to what we are eating by reading labels, limiting sugar, and striving to eat more “real foods”.  The mantra that “you are what you eat” has been around forever, but it wasn’t until I really started using essential oils that I realized you’re also what you put on your skin.

It only takes 26 seconds for chemicals you put on your skin to enter your bloodstream.  If we are trying to reduce toxins in our diet, why not pay just as much attention to what we put on our skin?  We are now making necessary changes to our personal care and household cleaning routines.

Free Printable: Top 12 Uses for Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner

We still want our home to be clean and free of pests and harmful germs; but I’ve found that many ingredients found in popular household cleaning products are harmful to our health.  In fact, manufacturers don’t even have to reveal to us everything that is included in these products.  (Much like our food supply!)

The European government has banned over one thousand times more chemicals than the U.S.  Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, household cleaners are the only household products for which manufacturers are NOT required to list all ingredients.  Certain ingredients, like fragrances for example, are considered trade secrets, and government regulations are designed to protect proprietary information.

Some chemicals to watch out for:

Triclosan is classified as a pesticide and probable carcinogen by the EPA. In fact, the EPA gives Triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk.  Look out for labels that state: “antimicrobial protection.”  The site, Beyond Pesticides, gives a list of items that contain Triclosan.

Parabens are used as a preservative and not always labeled. It is a cheap way for companies to make their products last longer without collecting bacteria.  There are several articles available online worth reading regarding parabens as endocrine disruptors.

“Fragrance” is basically a secret mixture of chemicals.  Companies are not required to list these chemicals on product labels. Toluene, which is in fragrances, is a known neurotoxin that causes loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches, memory loss, and speech, hearing, and vision problems.

Propylene Glycol
It prevents deodorant from drying out, and is also the main ingredient in antifreeze.  The EPA considers Propylene Glycol so toxic that they require gloves and goggles when disposing of and burying it.  (Check the back of your boxed cake mix… it’s in there too!)

What about “green” cleaners?
It’s obvious why green cleaners have such an appeal; however it’s still just as important to read labels and find brands you can trust.  These products are sometimes labeled “green” and “natural” for marketing reasons, and to charge more, while still containing the same amount of chemicals! This is a practice known as “green washing”— misleading marketing to make products appear green and healthy. For example, arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring and poisonous. “All natural” and “green” isn’t necessarily nontoxic.

The solution? Cleaning without chemicals.

Make your own household cleaners using essential oils- like my favorite carpet deodorizer!  It’s a simple, safe, effective alternative- not to mention extremely cost efficient!  One 15 ml bottle of Young Living essential oil is about 250 drops, which means you can make your essential oil cleaning products for only a fraction of what is being sold in the stores.

It may not be possible to avoid ALL of the toxins in our lives, but there are plenty of ways to significantly reduce our family’s exposure through simple lifestyle changes.


Thieves, a blend of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon, and Eucalyptus, is one of the best oils for cleaning.  If you still want the convenience of grabbing a bottle from the cabinet, there is also an entire line of Thieves household and personal care items.  The Thieves household cleaner is an all-purpose cleaner formulated with 100% plant and mineral based ingredients. It gets out tough stains and problem areas in the home without harsh or abrasive cleaners. It is biodegradable and complies with EPA standards.

Free Printable: Top 12 Uses for Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner


Print this out and put it on your refrigerator for easy reference.  It’s time to get started on spring cleaning, starting with the cleaning supply cabinet!

If you have any questions or would like to find out how to get started using essential oils, please let me know! 

Find out more about Young Living Essential Oils


Play-Doh Valentine Free Printable

"Valentine, I think you are a'doh'able" Free Printable #valentine

We’re big fans of Play-Doh at our house.  It’s minimally messy and usually keeps the kiddos entertained long enough for me to make dinner or get some laundry done.  I’m also a fan of giving it in favor bags at birthday parties or on Valentine’s Day, instead of the usual candy and sugar.  Not that there’s anything wrong with treats, but sometimes it’s nice to have other options. 

"Valentine, I think you are a'doh'able" Free Printable #valentine

I created a cute little Valentine’s Day printable to gift with a small 1oz container of Play-Doh.  You can find the Play-Doh Party Bag Dough, 15 Count (assorted colors) on Amazon or in select stores.  Print out the cards on cardstock and cut a circle in the center of each heart.  An easy way to do this is to trace the Play-Doh carton, but make sure you cut inside the lines.  (If you cut too large of a hole, just use a little tape on each side of the container to the back of each card.)

Download the free printable here.

Looking for more Valentine’s Printables:




Holiday Cookies eBook: Free Download

Today is the big day!  I switched my site over from my previous to Grace and Good Eats.  This change was a long time coming and I am so excited to begin 2015 with my new site.  When I started Sweet Bella Roos it was a semi-private blog, affectionately nicknamed after my daughter, and my Mom was my only reader.  I never imagined it would grow to what it is today or that I would still get so much joy from sharing a little piece of my life with all of you.  I struggled with a bit of an identity crisis, afraid to commit to being a “food blog”, but as my recipe development and food photography skills have (immensely) improved over the past five years, I’m finally ready to wear the title proudly.

To celebrate I’m giving away a free download of my Holiday Cookies eBook! 

FREE DOWNLOAD: Holiday Cookies- 10 delicious cookie recipes for the holidays and beyond

This digital cookbook features 10 of my most favorite cookies (never before seen on the blog).  Most of these recipes are my go-to, tried and true, recipes- with a few new ones thrown in to the mix.  These are the recipes I would pull out when I needed to bake some goodies to bring to work for a holiday celebration, to a potluck event at church, or even just a rainy Saturday deserving of cookies.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Holiday Cookies- 10 delicious cookie recipes for the holidays and beyond

Holiday Cookies is a 24 page PDF with 10 recipes, full page color photographs of every cookie, tips and methods, and includes:

  1. Chai Spice Cookies
  2. Browned-Butter Shortbread
  3. Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Sandies
  4. Lemon Sandwich Cookies
  5. M&M Monster Cookies
  6. White Chocolate Cherry Macadamia
  7. Peanut Butter Blossoms
  8. Oatmeal Cranberry
  9. Sugar Cookie Wreaths
  10. Mint Chocolate Fudge

These are all simple, easy to follow recipes that don’t require any crazy ingredients.  I’ve included a mix of chocolate, fruit, and spice so you are sure to find something to please everyone.  While these cookies are perfect for the holiday season, they can certainly be made any time of year!


I hope you enjoy baking and sharing (and eating!) these cookies.  And I hope you will follow along with me on my new site.  I’ve changed the name of most of my social media accounts, so please make sure you are following me under my new accounts!




Spooky Halloween Bingo- Free Printable

Spooky Halloween Bingo- free printable! (10 different cards)

I am the queen of procrastination.  I should have shared these Spooky Halloween Bingo Cards last week, but seeing as I just made them 5 minutes ago, that would have required me to not do something at the last minute.  At least it’s not October 31 right?

These bingo cards would be a fun addition to your Halloween party.  I’ve created 10 different cards for you to print and you can use candy corn or individually wrapped candies as the markers.  We will be using these to keep the kiddos busy while we wait for Dad to get home so we can go trick-or-treating! …

Read More »