share. The Brookshire's Blog

Family Matters: Treasure Hunt


We’re about to go on vacation, and every year, we go to the beach with my entire family.

The highlight of the trip, for the kids, is the night the “Pirates” come and visit.

The Pirates leave a clue somewhere in the beach house that one of the kids will find the next morning. The clue leads to another clue, which leads to another clue, which leads to another (you get the idea), which ultimately leads to digging for buried treasure on the beach.

You might not have a beach nearby, but you can still put together an awesome treasure hunt with a few simple supplies from Brookshire’s.

Start in the school supply aisle. Pick up a package of white paper (it could be notebook paper, copy paper or construction paper). Any white paper will work. Grab a felt marker or two as well. Then, head over to the aisle with the teas and coffee, and pick up a box of black tea. It doesn’t matter which variety. Then, stop over to the housewares and get a roll of twine.

When you get home, brew a cup of really strong black tea using four or five tea bags. After the tea cools, pour it into a baking sheet with a narrow lip. Dip several sheets of the white paper into the tea solution to make the paper look aged. Remove quickly and lay flat on top of newspapers or a dry towel to let dry. Dry the paper completely. You can burn or tear the edges of the paper slightly to make it look aged or rugged if you wish.

Write clues on the paper with the felt markers. Roll the clues (number them faintly in pencil on the outside so only you can see it to keep them organized), and bind them lightly with some twine (you can also dip the twine in the tea to age it as well). The clues can be something like, “Count off twelve paces north, then turn to the right and dig under the weeping willow.”

Now, you need something for the treasure! What do your kids love? You can find all kinds of treasures at Brookshire’s! Whether it’s gift cards to their favorite restaurant, movie theater, clothing store or phone app; a favorite magazine; hair care product; makeup brand or maybe a favorite snack, you can find it at Brookshire’s. (I wouldn’t hide or bury a YUMS cupcake though.) Get some fun gift wrap for the “treasure” and hide the bounty in a clever spot with clues leading your kids to it.

The treasure hunt will be a fun thing for you and your kids to experience!



Family Matters: New Kitty


Last week, I officially adopted a cat.

Getting a cat was pretty high on my list of “I will never…”

Not that I don’t like cats.

I don’t like litter boxes.

However, that’s another post.

This little kitty was abandoned when a neighbor moved out about 8 months ago. He was just left behind. He stayed mostly out of sight, but occasionally we’d catch glimpses of him dodging under bushes or darting between backyards.

Then, for whatever reason, he started hanging out under the bushes in my frontyard.

We gave him clean water. Then, I found a can of sardines I’d used that time I had to live trap an opossum (that’s another post, too). After that, he became a fixture under my front azalea bushes. I kept the water fresh, and my boyfriend brought over a canister of dry cat food. I put a bowl on the front porch.

The cat was clearly malnourished. His belly was distended with worms. He was missing half his fur from flea bites and a hard life. He had bites on his ears and face from fights.

We went to Brookshire’s and bought some vitamins on the pet food aisle. We purchased several varieties of high-quality pet food, including organic, homemade foods that Brookshire’s keeps refrigerated. I took the cat to the vet, where he received all his vaccinations, several antibiotics, a variety of skin treatments, deworming treatments and a few other things.

I still went back to Brookshire’s for the great variety of the foods that I need to feed my new cat and my (faithful) dog what they need to be healthy and happy.

The kitty, whose name is Carl (after the child’s character on “The Walking Dead” who had a home, lost his home, had to fight for his life, got into some trouble, got beaten up, and then found a home again), is enjoying IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Adult™ dry cat food from Brookshire’s mixed with Purina ONE SMARTblend, available on the pet food aisle at Brookshire’s.

Carl is now healthy and happy. His coat is soft, fuzzy and growing back well. He purrs and cuddles. Strange for a cat, isn’t it? He loves the Savory Turkey Recipe variety! He’s gaining weight in a healthy way and is warming up to his canine big brother.

Thanks to some love and to some products found at Brookshire’s, Carl is a cat who has found a healthy and happy home.



Family Matters: Getting a New Pet


Last week, we got a cat, and my dog, Astro, isn’t very happy about it.

Well, Astro WOULD be happy about it, but the cat, Carl, isn’t about to make friends with my dog. In fact, Carl has pretty much come in and taken over.

So, Astro has been feeling a little left out.

When I was in Brookshire’s recently, I decided that Astro needed a treat. I grabbed some Milk-Bone® Original Biscuits for Large Dogs and brought them home for Astro.

Not only do they clean his teeth and freshen his breath, but their satisfying crunch and 12 vitamins and minerals are things that I can feel good about giving my big dog, while indulging him in a treat that makes him feel special and loved.

Astro got his treat while sitting in his special chair – no cats allowed.



Family Matters: Tippy Toes Puffed Snacks


The latter half of your baby’s first year is about the time they will start to gobble everything in sight! At least, that was the case with my boys (and wait until the teenage years, but that’s another blog post!).

Tippy Toes by Top Care for Brookshire’s makes a line of baby’s first foods that I could feel good about giving my boys. I loved to make homemade baby foods with fresh, organic foods from the produce department, but it wasn’t always practical to have a refrigerated, vacuum-sealed jar of homemade food with me. It was practical and easy to have a canister of Puffed Snacks!

These little snacks are good first foods because they’re easy for your little one to pick up, encouraging fine motor skills. They’re fun for baby to eat on his own, keeping him entertained and giving him a sense of accomplishment. They come in blueberry, strawberry-apple and banana flavors, and puffed snacks are made with whole-grains and no artificial flavors.

They’re easily portable and great for on-the-go!



Family Matters: Tippy Toes by Top Care Baby Wipes


When my boys were babies, wipes were the No. 1 item I felt that I needed 24/7.

I needed them for diaper changes, of course, but I also needed them for spit-up emergencies, for quick “sponge” (ie, wipe) baths, for meal clean-ups, for a quick refresher (especially for my summertime baby) and for ME when I needed a quick clean-up as well.

Baby wipes came in handy as the baby grew, too, because the messes just seemed to get bigger as they did. If I’m being 100 percent honest, I still have a package of baby wipes in my purse, and my babies are now 13 and 15 years old. There’s nothing better for a quick clean-up!

Back to babies, Brookshire’s Tippy Toes by Top Care Baby Wipes are gentle on your baby’s skin. They are soft, dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic and alcohol-free, so I always felt good that my boys’ bottoms – and other parts – were well-protected. The Tippy Toes line features scented, unscented and sensitive products, so you can choose what’s best for your baby.



Family Matters: Brookshire’s Milk


After your baby’s first year of life, they can probably safely switch to cow’s milk (check with your pediatrician for his guidelines, and watch your baby for signs of allergies or sensitivities.)

Brookshire’s brand milk comes from their dairy close to home, so it’s getting to your stores at the peak of freshness.

My younger son used to go through a gallon of milk a day, it seemed. He loved it so much, and it was so good for his growing bones and teeth. Whole milk supplies crucial vitamin D and calcium, and it is important to the development of not only strong bones and teeth but brain cells, too!

Start to introduce your baby to whole milk by adding a small part to his pumped breast milk or formula to see how he tolerates it. Gradually increase the amount of whole milk until it replaces the breast milk or formula entirely.



Family Matters: Kids and Books


Yesterday, we cleaned out a spare room in our house, as it was way overdue for a thorough cleaning.

We had a wonderful trip down memory lane as we did so, boxing up what turned out to be hundreds of books from my boys’ childhoods.

My sons are 13 and 15 now, and we still had bookshelves full of toddler, preschool and elementary school readers that they loved. We had fun talking about the countless hours we’d spend flipping through picture books, reading chapter books, sounding out words as they learned to read, and talking about the imaginary endings they’d make up for some of their favorite stories.

Books were such a big part of their childhood, and it was a little sad to pack so many away. Both boys still read, although mostly for school these days. I have high hopes that all the hours spent with a book in the early days will circle back around, and they’ll read for pleasure when they have more free time.

We sorted the books into piles. Each son got a pile of books that were given to them with special messages written inside from grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then, childhood favorites were added to those piles. “Frog and Toad” for one son, all the hardback Dr. Seuss classics for the other. We boxed those up and put their names on them.

We also made another pile of childhood classics from our shelves, some of which were mine as a child, that we’d keep at my house, and maybe their children can enjoy someday when they come to visit. We boxed those up and labeled them as books to save.

After that, we still had almost 200 books left. We boxed those up, and I made a post on social media about “books free to a good home.” The first respondent claimed them and picked them up two hours later. Those books are now at home with two more little boys on their shelves and hopefully will provide hours and hours of enjoyment, just as they did for mine.

There’s nothing better than a good book for imagination and relaxation. Maybe visit the local library, little library, second-hand bookstore or a yard sale soon to see what treasures you can find.



Family Matters: Foraging Treats for Pet Rodents


While searching for treats for small pets, I came across an absolutely ingenious idea that is not only a food reward for your small rodent (rat, mouse, guinea pig) but also a great foraging activity as well.

Start with a bell pepper. Cut a small hole in the side, leaving the top intact. Remove seeds and pith through the hole. Stuff the bell pepper with a few baby carrots, some 2-inch sections of celery, some sugar snap peas and chunks of the removed piece of bell pepper. Hang the stuffed pepper from a string in your rodent’s habitat, and let him forage in it to get his treats. Remove when vegetables begin to get limp, before they spoil.

 

TIP: Only offer this treat on an occasional basis, as too many fruits and vegetables can cause intestinal distress in rodents.



Family Matters: Pet Bird Treats


Help keep your pet bird cool this summer, even if he is an indoor pet, with some frozen treats that will keep him chilled and help his foraging skills.

Simply freeze some chunks of berry, banana and apple in an ice cube tray. Add in some birdseed if you wish. Let harden, and then give your bird a cube when he needs some good, cool fun.

He’ll enjoy pecking out the parts he likes, and he’ll stay cool doing it.

You can even freeze one of his favorite small toys inside an ice block, and let him chip it out with his beak.

TIP: Peel a banana, and freeze the fruit itself for another way to let your bird enjoy a cold, tasty treat.



Family Matters: Frozen Chicken and Apple Dog Treats


It’s so hot outside, and I can’t even imagine what it feels like to have a layer of thick fur on when you spend a couple hours a day outside.

My pup has plenty of shade and water when he has to be outside during the day, but it’s also great to be able to make him some cold, tasty treats to enjoy to help him beat the heat.

This super-simple recipe is nice for him to enjoy when he is outside in the hot, summer sun.

Frozen Chicken and Apple Dog Treats

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken stock (prepared without onion)
1 apple, thinly sliced

Directions:
Place multiple apple slices in the compartments of an ice cube tray. Pour chicken stock on top of apple slices. Freeze until solid. Serve to your pet one at a time when he’s outside to help cool him off.

TIP: Substitute fresh green beans or shredded carrots for the apples or coconut water for the chicken stock.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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