Monday, August 31, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday--Circus Theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth
For more information on Muffin Tin Monday, click on the button above, or visit Michelle's blog at Her Cup Overfloweth.

Here's what I made my son this week for Muffin Tin Monday: 

The theme this week was Circus! He ate this muffin tin meal for lunch on Sunday.  All I could think of were unhealthy foods... From top left to bottom right-- I made a lion-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, circus peanut candies, elephant-shaped grilled cheese sandwich, circus animal cookies, yogurt with clown face, animal crackers. My son didn't eat much of this meal... apparently he wasn't very hungry today. He wouldn't touch the sandwiches, but he loved the yogurt and the circus animal cookies. I was actually surprised he didn't like the circus peanut candies. They are sooo sweet! He enjoyed dipping the cookies and animal crackers in the yogurt. :)

Since he wouldn't eat his sandwiches, I made some popcorn. But, he wouldn't eat that either... Oh well! My hubby and I enjoyed the sandwiches, and it was fun to set this up for him! :) 


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmer's Market Challenge

I am participating in Squirrel Queen's Farmer's Market Challenge today! For more information, or to join in, check out her blog

Our local farmer's market is closed for the season... probably because it is SOOO hot here! And, my backyard "garden" is looking pretty shabby right now too. So, we went to a farmer's market about 30 minutes from our house. This one was in Ahwatukee, AZ. It was pretty small, and very hot! We didn't stay very long since we had our son with us, and we were all sweating after 5 minutes of being outside at 9 am. I SO wish we had nicer weather and bigger farmer's markets like in California!

But, they did have some lovely produce. The tomatoes looked so beautiful, and I was secretly jealous, since my tomatoes didn't turn out very good this year. My son sampled some yummy watermelon, and we ended up taking a few things home. 

Here's our loot: Some delicious Banana Nut Granola from Gourmet Granola, a butternut squash, and some really good salsa from Lil' Sassy's Salsa. My son and I immediately started snacking on the granola, and my hubby started munching on some tortilla chips and salsa! So yummy! Check out their websites if you're interested! 

There were also some crafters at the farmer's market, and I got some more ideas for things I can make for my son. ;)

I can't wait till the weather is cooler so we can visit the farmer's market more often! Hurry up, fall!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Library Books

Here's our library book selection for our son from the past week. From top left to bottom right, No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli, I Spy Little Animals by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick, Hands Are Not For Hitting by Martine Agassi, Mommy Loves by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, From Head to Toe by Eric Carle, Big Little by Leslie Patricelli. So far, my son has loved all of Leslie Patricelli's books. I think he likes the main baby character, as well as all the bright colors. He also seems to listen really well to all the "Best Behavior" books. His other favorite this week was Eric Carle's book From Head to Toe. On each page, there is a different animal doing something. For example, the monkey waves his arms, and the seal claps his hands. He really liked participating in the different activities the animals were doing (pretending to be an animal). It was really cute! Much to my dismay, he hasn't really gotten into the I Spy books yet, and he also wasn't too excited about the Mommy Loves book this week. Maybe he'll like them more later on. But, overall, this was a pretty good batch of books this week. We'll be adding four of these books to his wishlist. :)

Happy reading! 


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tie Onesies

I recently made these tie onesies for a friend who just gave birth to a super cute baby boy. I had seen some online, and I thought they should be easy enough to make myself. But, I wanted to do mine a little different by making them more "realistic". So, I gave it a go... I bought some cute fabrics that looked like patterns you would see on a men's tie. I made my own template and cut out two tie shapes for each fabric type. Then I sewed the two tie shapes together, right sides facing in, leaving a hole to turn the fabric right side out--essentially making a faux tie. Then, I sewed the faux tie just around the top part of the tie (the knot part) on some simple white onesies. The rest of the tie is loose, making it look a little bit more like a real tie. I made three onesies in about a naptime! I tested one of these out on my 21-month-old son, and he pulled at the tie a little, but it didn't tear the onesie. So, I figured these would be strong enough for a smaller baby too! It was really fun to make these, and my friend really liked them! :) 


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Winnings!

Here are some of the things I have won from other bloggers just by participating in their giveaways! I think it is so fun to win stuff, and it is great that so many people give opportunities to win! Thank you to the bloggers that sent me these great prizes! :) 

From top left: I Spy A to Z book from Hip Mama's Place, Avon 007 perfume and Bumblz DVD from Toddler Craft, fabric crayon rolls from Etsy store It's the Small Things and ABC & 123

Check out these great blogs for some cool ideas! 


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tot School--Week 5

Tot School
R is 21 months old

We actually did more than what is pictured here, I was having a hard time getting pics this week. Here's some of what we did this week:

Trying to practice scooping/transferring. I gave him a spoon, some kid chopsticks, and some tweezers, but he preferred using his hands. He liked putting the pom poms in the cup and taking them out of the cup. :)

We also tried sorting colors, but he was getting frustrated with that, so I just let him keep transferring the pom poms back and forth... 

I could tell he was done with this activity when he piled everything back up on the plate. Good job cleaning! ;)

The stickers were a big hit, as always! He still needs a little help peeling them off the backing, but he is a pro at sticking them! 

He loves putting them on his hands too! :)

For more information on Tot School, click on the button at the top of this post, or check out Carisa's blog at 1+1+1=1.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday--People and Faces

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

I made this muffin tin meal for my son on Sunday evening. So, since I have been a little unsuccessful in getting my son to eat his 6-cup muffin tin meals, I decided to go back to doing 4-cup meals. Also, I really didn't know what to do with this theme, so it's not super creative. I don't know how to make actual people's faces out of food, so I just stuck with smiley faces. From the top left to the bottom right... I have spaghetti with "red hair" (pasta sauce), carrot eyes, and red pepper mouth; ham with cheese eyes and mouth; yogurt with granola hair, blueberry eyes, and apple mouth; and toast with cheese hair, and fried egg eyes and mouth (kind of like a "toad in the hole"). So, the last one didn't turn out the way I envisioned it, but it was close enough... Yet again, my son only ate the yogurt and fruit. But, he did have 3 days of protein-packed meals, so I didn't feel so bad. The toast/egg smiley face was yummy (I ate it since my son refused it)... and now my hubby wants me to make him one for breakfast! See? Muffin tin meals are fun for all ages... ;) 


Click on the button above for more information about Muffin Tin Mondays, or check out Michelle's blog at Her Cup Overfloweth


Friday, August 21, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

  So, I was responding to some of my comment love the other day, when I visited Shraddha and April Belle's blog, The Self Love Project. I noticed that I had been one of three other bloggers tagged to participate in this photo tag. According to them, the rules of photo tag are:  Open your first photo folder. Scroll down to the 10th photo. Post that photo and story on your blog. Tag three others (or more) friends to do the same. So, now it's my turn to tag... I am going to pick three other mama blogs that I follow: 

So, now it's your turn, ladies! :) Have fun!

My story about this picture: My first photo album on my computer is all pictures of two of our "other kids"... our Pembroke Welsh Corgis! Before our son was born, we took TONS of pictures of our animals! A little background/explanation is probably needed for our dogs' names... The bigger/fatter Corgi with the black snout is named Siu Mai (pronounced "shoe my"--"Siu Mai" is a pork dumpling served for Chinese Dim Sum). The smaller Corgi with the white snout is named Macchiato (after our favorite Starbuck's drink... Caramel Macchiato). We also call them "Chimpy" and "Chompy", because Siu Mai likes to whine like a chimp, and Macchiato likes to snap at Siu Mai when they're playing, with her teeth making a loud "chomp" like when an alligator chomps down on its prey. :) Here are the dogs when Macchiato was still a puppy... We had just gotten her about 2 months before our son was born because we thought Siu Mai needed a friend. :) They were sharing a chew toy that looked like corn-on-the-cob. They are very "chewy" dogs... so this toy no longer exists... Also, the bed that they are on in this picture, no longer exists either. We soon learned that they cannot be trusted with a soft, luxurious bed! It's fun waking up to fabric and stuffing all over the house... sigh! Oh well! 
At least they are good to have around when my son decides to start throwing his unwanted food all over the place! ;) 



Thursday, August 20, 2009

Elephant Pillow

Ok, so here's my newest problem... Now that I have been doing some of my own sewing/creating/crafting... when I'm out and about, in different stores, I just see an idea or an object and I think, "I could make that!", or "I could make ___ out of this ___." So, now my brain is on some serious overload. I literally have thousands of ideas just floating around in there waiting for me to do something about them! It is wonderful and horrible at the same time. My mom recently said to me, "Pace yourself", and I really think I need to do just that.
Mom always knows best, right? :)

So, here is one of those "ideas" that I recently saw in a bookstore. I saw these cute pillows that were in the shape of different animals. I especially loved the elephant, since I have a fascination with them! It looked easy enough to make, since I already know how to make a pillow. So, I gave it a try... but started with a "mini" version of this picture that I had in my head. I drew my own template, cut the fabric out and put it all together in about one nap time. I did have a hard time with the eye. Since I'm not an "expert sewer" yet, I have difficulty sewing circles. If anyone has any tips on how to sew a fabric circle eye, please let me know! My easy version was using a button! :) 

The best part about making this mini-pillow was that when I was finished, I handed it to my son, who made his "elephant noise", then put the pillow on the floor and laid his head down on it and started "snoring". Yay! Not only did he know that it was an elephant... but he knew it was a pillow too! :) I plan on making a cuter and larger version of this in the future. 
So, what do you think?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pumpkin-Banana Muffins

Here it is... as promised! :) I made these muffins on Sunday, and was pleasantly surprised how well they turned out. I get a little nervous when I'm trying new things (and winging it) when it comes to anything baked. I've had mistakes a couple of times... muffins come out looking good, then deflate... But not this time! :) Basically, I just added some pumpkin puree and extra spices to my favorite Banana Muffin recipe, and prayed they would come out delicious. My husband kept calling them "Frankenstein" muffins, since they were "my own creation". When I was taking them out of the oven, he started chanting, "They're ALIVE! They're ALIVE!". :) What's funny is, I actually made some muffins a while back that are even more "Frankenstein" than these... I don't know why he didn't call those "Frankenstein" muffins..? Anyways, these muffins turned out yummy and all three of us are still enjoying them... 

This recipe makes about 12 to 18 muffins.

1 pkg. (8 oz) Neufchatel Cheese, softened (cream cheese is fine too)
1 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup Agave Nectar)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree*
2 eggs
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour muffin trays or use paper liners; set aside. In a stand mixer, beat neufchatel cheese, sugar and butter on medium speed until well blended. Add banana, pumpkin and eggs; mix well. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add combined dry ingredients to mixer; mix until moistened. Pour into prepared muffin cups until 2/3 filled. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in trays for 5 minutes; remove muffins and cool completely on wire racks... or serve steaming hot because your family can't wait to eat them! ;) 

*Note: For the pumpkin puree--canned pumpkin is okay, but NOT pumpkin pie filling. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, click here for a recipe to make your own. Also, for a boost of Omega-3, you can add 2 tbsp flaxseed meal to this recipe! Just mix it in along with the dry ingredients before you add it to the rest of the batter. :)



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tot School--Week 4

Tot School
R is 21 months old.

Here's what we did this week: 

Played with Floam... He likes the way it feels, 
and when he pulls it apart he says, "Eeew!". 

More texture... sticking pipe cleaners in the Floam...

Also had fun with Play-Doh. I was amazed that he learned to roll it out!
 I'm thinking he's ready to help me make some scones... ;) 

We also played with Clipo blocks. He loves "building"... 

He LOVES playing with all of his vehicles... cars, trucks, trains, planes, rockets... I think it was especially funny when he was 
ramming his "Air Force One" into the train... should I be worried? ;)

Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles... Here's his chunky bug puzzle. 
He's almost a pro at this! :)

He loves the "door" puzzle! Different objects belong behind each door, and he has to figure out which goes where... He's putting the dog in the doghouse. :)

This train counting puzzle is a little bit more difficult for him... I'm not worried, though... it said "3+" on the package.

He also loves his "latches" board, but still needs
 a little help with some of them. :)

Aquadoodle is always fun! :)

Hope everyone is having a great week so far! 

For more information on Tot School, click on the button at the top of this post. 


Monday, August 17, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Since there was no theme for Muffin Tin Monday this week, I just did my own thing... My son ate his muffin tin meal on Sunday for lunch. I had made some Pumpkin-Banana Muffins that morning, so I decided to fill a cup with one of them (stay tuned for a muffin recipe later this week). I also made some spinach and ricotta filled tortellini (the easy packaged kind) with pasta sauce, and some dinosaur-shaped quesadillas. In the second row, there are some dino-nuggets, chopped apples, and bunny crackers. My son enjoyed three out of the six cups this week. I bet you can probably guess which ones... 

Yep... Muffin, apples, and crackers. Great lunch! Oh, well... I tried... 

I enjoyed his leftovers... :)

Have a great week, everyone!
For more information on Muffin Tin Monday, visit Michelle's blog at Her Cup Overfloweth, or click on the button above. 


Friday, August 14, 2009

Savory Sweet Potatoes

Hey everyone! This is a re-post from before I had followers. I figured this would be easiest since I am not feeling well. Sorry. Hoping to be back to normal soon. Enjoy!

My family LOVES sweet potatoes! I found a recipe for roasted root veggies in my Cooking For Baby cookbook (see April 2nd post), but I do it a little different. Sometimes I add carrots to my mix, but since my son (and husband) love the sweet potatoes, I usually only use them. It is a very simple recipe and very yummy! And when they're done (and cooled down), they make a great finger food for your toddler (or a practice "fork-stabbing" food), or a side dish for the family! We love the sweet, but salty/peppery taste of them!

2 to 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil (depending on the amount of potatoes)
1 to 2 tbsp snipped fresh rosemary, minced (thyme also works good)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place prepared potatoes on tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and herbs over potatoes. Stir potatoes so that they are evenly coated, then spread out evenly on tray. Bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. 

Note: You can also add carrots, parsnips, white sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, or any other root vegetable to this mix. They all taste delicious! :) I've also made these with a mixture of fresh minced rosemary, sage, and thyme and they are even yummier!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tot School--Week 3

Tot School

I normally try to post Tot School on Tuesday, but I was having a hard time getting some good pics of my son in action! So, Thursday it is... Here are some of the things we did in Tot School this week... We tried to do a couple of Letter 'C' activities... I didn't get around to making a Letter 'C' Book this time. He started ripping apart the 'A' and 'B' books that I made, so I have to find a better way to make them indestructible... I am open to suggestions! ;)

Played with chalk. Too hot to go outside, so we did an indoor version... If you wet some sidewalk chalk and draw on black construction paper, it looks really cool... almost glowing! :) My son loves coloring!

Matching letters. We used some foam letters (supposed to be bathtub letters), and matched them with the Alphabet Bean Bags... 

We almost got through the whole alphabet... We got through 'X', then my son decided spinning around was much more fun! :)

We played with gears. Stacking colors, and watching them spin. He also likes to put various small animals on the main "spinner", and watch them get dizzy... 

We did some cooking... Mmmm.. fried chicken! :)

Putting the chicken in the microwave now...

We have "Music Time" almost every day! My son loves beating his drum! He gets really in to it too! Can you see him squatting? I guess he thinks that if he gets lower, he can drum louder! :)

Grandpa and Grandma were very generous and gave him their old toddler-sized piano! 
He loves it! :) Thanks, G & G! 

For more information on Tot School, click on the button at the top of this post, or click here