Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the women in your life that empower you with the tools to keep you grounded while also lifting you up to soar.  This Mother’s Day, take time to reflect upon your mother’s strengths that carried her towards greatness and undoubtedly molded you into the mother you have become.  Also, take time to celebrate the different, yet meaningful, choices you and other mothers make for the good of your families each and every day. Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors yet share traits of being comforting and compassionate and are equally loved for their many talents. The list of roles a mother plays is endless: ranging from nurse to chef, from chauffeur to therapist, from repairman to comedian, and so much more. Some mothers fulfill these roles while working from home, while other mothers fulfill these roles and work outside of the home.  There are so many factors, including demanding schedules, that dictate the choices we make for our families.  Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Wow, let that sink in for a minute.  “Comparison is the thief of joy”  Remember that it is okay if your family is gluten free and your friend chooses to feed her kids pizza every night. The mothers at your child’s school may be super crafty and you may be super sporty.  Find greatness in one another and trust that while the same scenarios may have different outcomes in each home, each and every mother is doing her best job.  Sadly, we often spend time comparing and tearing one another down, while we should instead, work together to lift one another up, despite our many differences.

I know that being a mother is often filled with days that are both challenging and rewarding.  There is a quote I once heard about how days spent parenting children are long, yet the years are short, and that is so true!  The days can definitely be long and I find that I am the best mother when I am feeling the best about myself.  I simply cannot give to everyone all of the time and forget to give to myself (okay, in full disclosure….this is VERY hard for me.  I am a giver and I rarely take care of myself like I should, but I am trying! It is a work in progress!!)  In thinking about my own Mother’s Day plans, I have a few suggestions for you (and me) to help take care of ourselves:

  • Take the day off!  This sounds like a no brainer, but it is so very hard for so many women to do.  Let your family cook, clean, and comfort you.  They often want to do it, but don’t always know how.  Give a pointer if it is needed and then sit back, be quiet, relax, and let them do it.
  • Pamper yourself.  Go for a manicure, pedicure, or both!  Enjoy a massage (seriously, we can all use this one, so make time and go do it!) or simply take a long, hot bath at home.  Find something that will make you feel refreshed and treat yourself.
  • Spend time with your family.  Plan a little outing with your family.  Turn the technology off and go for a bike ride, walk, or spend the day at the beach.  This is a great time to clear your mind, connect, and create memories.  Pick your happy place and spend it with the people that make you the happiest!
  • Buy a little surcee.  Have you been eyeing something special, big or small, and dropping hints that no one seems to be picking up?  Reward yourself for a job well done by purchasing something for yourself.  Fresh flowers, a new handbag, a fitness membership, or a special cup of coffee that you love but never treat yourself to….go get it!
  • Help a mother out.  Do you know a mom in need?  Is there someone in your community that could use a helping hand?  Maybe a mother in the nursing home that no one comes to visit?  You cannot find a better way to fill your heart than to show compassion and love towards another living creature.  
  • Grant yourself grace.  So much guilt comes with motherhood…believe me, I know it all too well.  Take a minute and love yourself for all that you do, forgive yourself for what you may have missed, and then let it go.  Do not hold onto things that have already happened or that are out of your control

Have a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day with your families!  Celebrate yourself for all the good that you do and embrace all the love that is coming your way this Sunday.  You deserve every single bit of it!  We love you!  You are doing a FANTASTIC job!!

***Follow our blog for more great stories and fun giveaways and please, don’t keep us a secret!  Like and share this blog with your friends. Tag us in your photos on Instagram with @shrimpandgritskids.  We look forward to seeing your little ones!

XxOO Melanie

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Pictured above is Megan Hewitt, SGK owner and designer, with her daughters: Ella, age 10, and Lyla Gray, age 7.  When asked what being motherly means to her, Megan replied, “Doing the best for my children- taking care of their mental, physical and spiritual needs and guiding them into productive and grateful adults.”

 

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Earlier this week, the SGK (Shrimp and Grits Kids) team loaded up and headed out to shoot our Fall 2016 clothing line. Having a company founded and based in the Lowcountry has given us the good fortune of beautiful backdrops for photo shoots.  This shoot was no exception.  We had the privilege of being on location at The Stables at Boals Farm, which provided endless opportunities to capture fun, new looks!  Join us as we go behind the lens to share location info and tips on how we capture looks for the catalog.

Located just outside of Charleston, SC, The Stables at Boals Farm has deep roots in sugar cane, horses, and family traditions.  In 1965, Ronald Boals, Sr. purchased the land and brought his own farming and equestrian talents to create The Boals Family Farm, which served as a gathering space for friends and family.  Currently, The Stables at Boals Farm serves as an event venue and working horse farm.  The 33 acre property has been in the Boals family for four generations and today is owned by Tommy Boals, Sr. and events are run by his son, Jason Boals, with assistance from his daughter, Ashley Truitt.  I recently attended an evening event at the farm and the venue truly provides a magical setting for special occasions. For more info and to book your next event at The Stables at Boals Farm, visit their website: www.boalsfarm.com.

We cannot wait to reveal our entire Fall 2016 line with you, but in the meantime we want to share a few outtakes from our photoshoot!  SGK is blessed to have the most precious and spirited children model for us. Each season we have some returning faces and some new faces (and names to learn!).  We try to create a setting in which the children are happy and relaxed, so we are not getting a stiff, over-posed look and so we can capture that special twinkle in each child’s eye.  With that being said….we are not afraid to get goofy and no tactics are left unexplored!!  Check out some of our tips to capture priceless photographs:

  • Choose a location that is inviting and kids are comfortable.  We love to shoot outdoors, both from a setting perspective (great backgrounds for photos and we prefer natural light, hands down), but also because kids love to be outdoors exploring!
  • Be silly!  We like to bring a stuffed (or real) animal along to our photoshoots.  We have a few faux furry friends that are super silly and always get the best laughs out of our models.  Sometimes we get lucky, like at the Boals Farm, and have live animals on set as well!
  • Relax and be patient.  Set the schedule so that each kid has time to relax and not feel pressured to perform. Let them get familiar with their surroundings, other children, and adults on set.
  • Kids are kids….do not set unrealistic expectations.  When choosing props or thinking through certain looks and poses for photoshoots, be realistic about what kids are capable of doing.  Often times a more simple look is better than trying new and unnatural poses.
  • Sometimes no smile is better!  How many of you have encouraged your children to smile on cue by using the infamous “say cheese” line?  I know I did!  Well, if your kids are like mine….sometimes saying “cheese” truly brings out the cheesiest smile.  Try this instead:  have children look in each other’s eyes or whisper a secret to one another (this always brings out the best laughs!!)
  • Be ready.  When photographing kids, perhaps one of the best tips of all is simply to be ready!  Kids are curious, unpredictable, and funny little people.  One minute they can be totally distracted or having a meltdown and the next- voila, you get your shot!

A frequent visitor and good friend, Red Stinky (the skunk), appears with Shrimp and Grits Kids owner and designer, Megan Hewitt, to tickle moms and other staff members resulting in big laughs from the kids.

Apples, Horses, and Fabulous Fall Fashion!!  What more could a girl ask for??  Gracelyn was all giggles for this friendly fella!

Caught in the process of jumping off the crate, Michael had a lot of fun demonstrating his super hero jumping powers!

Lilly Kate had the hang of it during her break….grabbing a snack and putting bunny ears on Uncle Mike to get the other kids to laugh!

Even our leaders get a little goofy!  Brittany, Marketing, and Ginny, Rep Coordinator, checking out the stables.

***Subscribe to our blog for more great stories and fun giveaways and please, don’t keep us a secret!  Like and share this blog with your friends. Tag us in your photos on Instagram with @shrimpandgritskids. We look forward to seeing your little ones!

XxOo Melanie

Easter Banner for Blog

Growing up, I always loved Easter.

Easter meant egg hunts, frilly dresses, big hats, church on Sunday, and family gatherings complete with ham, deviled eggs, and coconut cake! Easter was a time to celebrate newness and rebirth.  My Easter basket was always filled to the brim and always included a new stuffed bunny, a large chocolate animal, and other little surcees found in tin Easter eggs (which I recently saw listed as “vintage” on ebay! oh my!).  The sun was always shining and freshly bloomed azaleas served as the backdrop to capture beautiful family photos.  

Nowadays it seems as though we spend this special holiday rushing to find just the right Easter basket items to make our presentation Pinterest worthy. We barely notice the joy on our children’s faces because we are scrambling to get out of the house.  We are determined to make it to church, but sadly are preoccupied with making sure we leave service quickly to get food in the oven before family arrives.  The freshly bloomed azaleas are forgotten and instead replaced with 100 cell phone photos with our selfie stick, trying to get the perfect one to post on Facebook!

This season, we are committing to slow down and smell the azaleas! Continue reading

how to destress

How to Destress from Christmas Chaos

Christmas time can be stressful. Even though spending time around family (especially ones that live far away) can be fun, there’s a certain level of stress that comes with hosting and entertaining out-of-town visitors. So this year, before New Years, take some time to destress and relax in order to prepare for the upcoming year ahead. Here’s how to destress from Christmas chaos. Continue reading

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Holiday Travel Tips: Beat Boredom With These 6 Car Games for Kids

We’ve written a lot lately about how to help your kids beat boredom during holiday travel, but the best parent is a prepared parent, so we’ve got a few more tips for keeping those little ones calm on the road – with car games for kids! These fun four games will help pass the time on long road trips to and from visiting friends and family during the holiday season. Continue reading

thanksgiving-decoration

5 Child Friendly Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas

For super cute Thanksgiving decoration ideas that you can create with your kids, look no further than these five adorable ideas. From outside decorations to Thanksgiving dinner table centerpieces, there’s plenty of DIY crafts that you and your kids can create together. Continue reading

kids-playhouse

4 Ways to Personalize Your Kid’s Playhouse

Once upon a time, every child below the age of 10 wanted two things: a pony and a treehouse. These days, a non-tree playhouse is on the wish list of most kids. Luckily, it’s never been easier to throw up a quick playhouse structure outside or pick one up from any number of kids stores and home supply providers – even Home Depot, Walmart, and Target have their own versions of a kids playhouse and they’re not terribly expensive. Continue reading

Parenting-quotes

5 Awesome Parenting Quotes to Get You Through the Week

At times, we all need a little inspiration. If you’re hitting mid-week and struggling with the constant juggle that is life with kids, stop, take a breather, and let us give you a little inspiration. These parenting quotes sum up pretty perfectly the frustration and the infinite rewards of parenthood. Continue reading

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How to Decorate a Kids Room on a Budget

At some point, your child is going to outgrow their room. They’ll need a new bed, will want more “grown up” decor, and will grow bored with their current wall color and decorations. Unfortunately for you, re-decorating is not always an budget-friendly endeavor. But with a little skill and a lot of know-how, you can pull off a kids room redesign on the cheap. Here are a couple of tips for making a big impact in your kids room on a small budget. Continue reading

back-to-school-shopping

4 Tips to Prepare for Back to School Shopping

As most moms know, you can’t just pop into your local shopping mall, whip out your wallet, and go to town, back to school shopping. You have to go in with a plan, and prepare yourself mentally for the host of challenges that back to school shopping can present. Challenges like battling crowds over the last 24 count Crayon pack or pulling apart two children fighting over the same Frozen backpack. But! With a couple of tips, you can prep yourself for the back to school shopping chaos that will almost certainly ensue over the next few weeks. Continue reading