Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.



"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand."
-Henri Nouwen


Reading with your Kids

I'm a huge advocate of reading. We read to the boys even as babies. Logan's first words were "go! go!" because at the time his favorite book was Marvin K. Mooney, Will you Please Go Now! 
The boys have been reading on their own for quite some time but I believe it's still important to share reading with your children. I often have the boys read out loud to me while I do dishes or prepare dinner. I like being able to hear them, help them pronounce a word and ask them questions about what they are reading. It opens a door, a glimmer into their thoughts. How do you read with your children as they have gotten older?



“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein


Family Traditions- Easter Egg Hunt

One of my favorite family traditions is having an Easter Egg Hunt at our house on Easter morning. Some years we've had it within the house, other years we moved it outside. For the last two years we have been blessed with having visitors on Easter to help us celebrate this favorite tradition. I might actually like doing the Easter egg hunt more than I do Christmas….possibly.
I think as long as some of the eggs have money in them, my boys will continue to play along.
What do you do for Easter?
Does your family have any traditions that you hold dear? Share in the comments on the blog.



“That's what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you're not so lovable.” 
― Deb Caletti, author


Crochet Dog Bowl Mat

My dogs needed a mat under their water bowl and instead of buying an overpriced mat at the pet store I  pulled out the crochet hook and got to work. Using cotton yarn I single crocheted a large rectangle, super easy.
Easy to clean I simply throw it in the washer and dryer and the cotton is absorbent for spilled water from my dogs tongues. Do your dogs or cats need a fashionable mat under their food bowls?



Our minds have a way of controlling us, try leading with your heart.


Bowie Baysox- Fun, Family Activity

Our family is ready for another baseball season, Bowie Baysox is our local minor league team in Maryland. Minor league games are perfect for families and for kids on the Autism Spectrum. As you can see from this picture the crowds are less, which means being able to ask to change seats to a quieter section if your child has sensory processing issues. 

For Maryland families- check out the Bowie Baysox's Kids Club. Every Sunday during a home game kid's club members eat FREE! 
See you at the ballpark!



“When pain brings you down, don't be silly, don't close your eyes and cry, you just might be in the best position to see the sun shine.” 
― Alanis Morissette, Singer


L.L Bean Backpack Review

I don't often write reviews of products but when I was going through some old photos I can across this sweet gem from 2 years ago and was drawn to write about the boys backpacks. They have used these L.L Bean backpacks for 2 school years and they are still in great shape. We haven't had any issues with zippers or the wheels. I highly recommend investing in a L. L Bean backpack. It seems like a lot of money to spend on a child's book bag but it is made to last through elementary, middle and even high school. Buy once and buy well.


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