Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sick Day (I mean, Toddler Tuesday)

Aww...here's a picture of Little Man not feeling well.  In case you missed it, he has croup and has been sick for about a week now (it started with a regular cold) All he wanted to do was to sit on The Hubs or my lap.  all. day. long.  

Sometimes I found myself getting impatient and wanting to work on my blog, or clean the house, or work on a project.  I had to think to myself that there will soon be a time when my Little Man doesn't need to cuddle with me when he's not feeling well, and that I need to just appreciate the fact that I can provide at least some kind of comfort for him. But still, it was hard to sit there sometimes. 

I was very thankful The Hubs was here to help me during the weekend.  He did take over with Little Man so that I could cook or get some of the dishes done (what a nice guy, hehe).  But seriously, he was a big help.

List of Sick Necessities: 
1.  Mommy and Daddy approved Children's Movies:  You want something you can stand.  Because you'll be watching them a lot, too. 

2.  In and Out Hamburgers:  Because you wont be cooking. And they're yummy.

3.  Patience:  There will be lots of crying and whining from your little one.  It won't stop if you pick them up and hold them,  stand on your head, make funny faces, or play peak-a-boo. When your patience does run out: see number 4.

4.  A vacuum:  Because it's an effective way to drown out the sound of  the constant whining  and to work out your frustration at the same time.  A shower will also work in this situation.  Hey, don't judge, sometimes you just need a break.

5.  Popsicle:  Will help entertain your child while he's sitting down not playing all day.  

6.  Smoothies:  Little Man has never put up a fight over food.  Ever.  So the Hubs and I were quite flabbergasted when he did on Saturday.  He didn't want to eat his oatmeal but followed me around saying "more".  I made him a fruit smoothie and that certainly did the trick.  He ate the whole thing.  I think it helped his throat and was refreshing.  It will be my "go to" snack or meal replacement when he's sick and won't eat.

Well there you have it, our list of necessities for when your little one is sick.   I left the list at an awkward "6" and would like to make it a solid "10" - so leave comments if I left anything out! :D  

(This list is meant to be funny and only slightly serious)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Banana Ice Cream

Happy Sweet Sunday!

Poor Little Man has been sick with croup all weekend long.  Today has been really bad as he really hasn't stopped crying/whining all day long. 

I'm working on creating my own Red Velvet Cupcake recipe made with coconut flour, agave nectar and much more.  I have just a couple more tweaks to make so hopefully it'll be ready for next week!  I'm really excited about sharing it!

Since we've had a long week (Little Man started getting sick on Tuesday)  I've decided to share a super simple healthy recipe for this weeks Sweet Stuff Sunday! 

Banana Ice Cream!

Ingredients:  Ripe Bananas

Directions:  peel and cut a banana into slices and freeze for at least one hour.  Put the banana into a food processor and pulse until it's creamy.  Be prepared: the banana will make your food processor bounce around, so hold it tight! 

Serve it in any pretty glass and enjoy! If  you want to put something extra on it, feel free to top it with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or chocolate chips (like we did!)

This recipe is an awesome substitute if you're craving ice cream but don't want the calories.  It's also great for kids at home with sore throats.  The cool ice cream will be really soothing.  Little Man is getting this for dessert tonight!

I found this recipe in the forums of the Eat Clean Diet website .  

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

If you like this you might enjoy........

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Friday, January 27, 2012

Little Man is Sick...boo!

Hope everyone is having a happy Friday!  I know today is suppost to be Photog Friday where I post pictures that I've taken for the week.  But...poor Little Man has been sick for the past couple of days and needs some extra mommy time. 

I really should have planned better and had them ready but for now it looks like we'll be spending the rest of the day cuddling on the couch watching movies. 

On the brightside I just got some Comic book boards in the mail from Amazon that I'm going to use to organize my fabric this weekend!  I don't think I've even been soo excited about organizing before!  Yippee!

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

English Muffin Recipe

The Hubs works soo hard to provide for our family that I decided it would be nice to make him some homemade Breakfast Sammies that he can pull out of the freezer each morning before he goes to work.

I started out first by making the English Muffins from scratch.  This worked well for me because I had all the ingredients on hand and didn't have to go out and buy anything.  I haven't worked out the price per muffin yet, but they're super inexpensive to make.  I slightly altered both the ingredients and the directions from the original recipe which can be found here.  


1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (=2.5 teaspoons), 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup melted butter, 5 1/2 c all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt

1.  Warm milk on the stovetop until it starts to bubble.  Remove from heat.
2.  Mix warm water, yeast and sugar together.  Let stand for 10 minutes.
3.  In a large bowl combine 3 cups of flour, warm milk, butter, and yeast mixture until combined.  I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook for this.
4.  Add remaining flour and continue to combine until it is well blended.
5.  Put dough into a greased bowl and cover with a towel.  Allow to sit for about an hour. 

This is what mine looked like after it sat for an hour.  It's kind of hard to tell but it did rise quite a bit.
6.  Punch dough and roll out to about a half inch thick.
7.  Use biscuit cutter or glass jar to cut out into circles

8.  Original recipe says to coat with corn meal and allow to sit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes.  I didn't have corn meal, so I just let them sit there. They will puff up while they're sitting there.

9.  Heat a greased griddle.  Cook on low until they're cooked through and slightly browned on the outside.  

The first batch I may have slightly undercooked while on the stove top because I had the stovetop set to medium and the outsides cooked a lot faster than the insides.  This caused there to be less nooks and cranny.  The second time I made them I let them cook slower on medium and they came out better. 

To make the egg mixture and for the breakfast sammie, I pretty much used the recipe located here.  Check it out!  It's a genius way to make the eggs a perfect size to put on your breakfast sammie.  My good friend Tabitha told me how she scrambles up the eggs and adds breakfast meats and other veggies to the eggs before baking in the muffin tins.  This is an awesome idea as The Hubs is a huge fan of bacon or sausage in his breakfast sammies.  Thanks for sharing your great idea, Tabitha!

I hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bookworm Wednesday: First 100 Words

If Little Man had to pick just one book as his favorite, I think he'd pick First 100 Words (Bright Baby)

He's been entertained by this book since he was an itty baby.  He'd love to sit there and stare at the pictures because they are all brightly colored and pretty big.  

Little Man pointing to the flower.

Now that he's a little older he often brings this book for me to read to him.  There is not much reading or story line to be honest.  Just pictures with the words typed underneath.  But, he sits in my lap while I point to the pictures and make sound effects for his entertainment.  

Now: apparently I didn't realize this because, well, I just didn't really think of it, but there are at least two different ways to learn new words.  A lot of what I was doing was pointing to the picture and asking "what's that?"  Little Man knows a few of them: dog, shoes, baba, etc.  But was I was completely forgetting (a-duh)  to ask him a question and let him find the picture.  So the other day I was sitting with him and said "Little Man, where is the duck?" And he pointed to the duck....."where's the leaf?" he pointed to the leaf.  I asked him a ton of questions and he knew pretty much all of them. I was it total shock.  I realized I needed to ask different questions other than "what's that?" becasue I realized that although he didn't know how to say all of the words, he certainly knows what they are!  

So I called The Hubs and told him our son is a little genius and he was like "oh, that's cool".  But when he came home from work and picked up the book and stared asking Little Man where all the things were on the page, he was totally shocked and impressed!  

So anyways...back to the review of this book:  I feel like it really works.  I'm sure there are a lot of books out there the can help teach your child, but this one really works for us.  

As you may be able to tell by the pictures.....Little Man loved this book.....to pieces!  It's literally broken in half and has the cover picture torn off the front.  If I can't fix it, we'll definitely be purchasing this book again!  

Does your little one have a favorite book you feel has helped him learn new words?

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link.  I was not compensated to review this product.  I posted about this book because we honestly love it.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Toddler Time - Clean-up Time

 Yippee!  Little Man is learning how to clean up after himself! 

We accidentally started working with him to pick up his toys one night before The Hubs came home.  I wanted to straighten up the living room really quick and Little Man was getting a little whiny.  He was ready for his dinner and then wanted to go to bed.  To distract him, I handed him a toy to put into his basket (we keep the toys in his living room stored in a laundry basket).  He put the toy in the basket and I cheered and clapped for him.  He ended up helping me pick up all the toys in the living room!

We started working on this about every other day for a week.  I'd hand him a toy, he'd put it into the basket, and I would cheer for him.

This weekend we took our cleaning to the next level:  I gave him a pile of his dirty laundry to put in the dirty clothes hamper.  I demonstrated how I wanted him to put the clothes into the basket a few times.  He caught on really quickly and I once again went into hyper cheerleader mode where I clapped and hollered for him.  He ended up putting all his clothes in the basket!  Of course, he got a little off task every once in a while.  I just repeated to him "put the clothes in the basket" and he usually got back on task pretty easily.  While he put his clothes away, I was able to dust and straighten up the rest of his room.  Talk about awesome!

Our plan is to work on little tasks throughout the week so he learns how to clean up a little more on his own.  Our main goal is just just keep it light and fun.  We know all too soon we'll be having battles and waging war for him to clean his room, clean up the dog's mess, and unload the dishwasher.  For now,  we'll have fun learning.  Little Man can be mommy's big helper, and mommy will be Little Man's cheerleader.  

Do you have any fun ways to teach your little one how to clean up?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

Today was a very productive and busy day.  Infact, I was quite pleased with all the hard work I did today.  I thought to myself "this is a nice way to start the week". 

I woke up, made us breakfast, did some dishes, made some dough for homemade English muffins, washed our sheets, made breakfast sammies for The Hubs, lifted weights, took a shower, did more dishes, and washed some diapers. 

All was going well until I talked to my friend on the phone.....she informed me that since today was Chinese New Years and I wasn't suppost to do housework today!  What!!?!  Why wern't the housewives of the world alerted?!?

So I looked it up, and sure enough:  No housework. 

Apparently the major offender for this one is making sure you don't sweep the house and carry trash through the front door.  Luckily for me, my floors remained dirty and my trashcans are still full. 

Some of the other "rules" include:
-  Not to wash your hair, which I already did.  oops!  I was planning on giving Little Man a bath tonight, but I guess I'll skip it.  It's believed that washing your hair will wash all the good luck off of you for the coming year.  dag-nabit! I don't want to wash the luck off Little Man.  

 - Don't curse: Bad language is a sign of bad luck. (I probably did curse today.  sometimes I have a potty mouth)

-  No Crying

-  Your appearance and attitude can set the tone for the rest of the year (I was in sweats and a t-shirt, although I do feel really upbeat and positive today) 

-  Don't use sharp objects today.  (I was planning to make hair-bows today)

Soo...for those of you who didn't clean your house, wash your hair, take out the trash or sweep your floors.....I hope you have lots of luck for this "new year".

For the rest of us: the next Chinese New Year is on February 10th, 2013.   I don't know 'bout you ladies, but I'm scheduling that day off! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ingredient Swap

Since I just did a recipe review that uses Coconut Oil, Coconut Flour and Agave Nectar, I thought I would expound a little bit on some of the health benefits of each. 

Even if there is no real need for you or your family to eat gluten free, there are still some advantages to adding some alternatives to your regular baking ingredients.

Coconut Flour:  it's high in fiber and protein while being low in carbohydrates.  This means it helps your blood sugar to stay balanced instead of spiking and then crashing like you get from eating simple carbohydrates.  This is important for people with diabetes and people like me, who are sensitive to their blood sugar levels. It also smells amazing!  You can, of course swap this for white or whole wheat flours.

Coconut oil:  Can be found in a heath food store near the oils.  When it's in it's solid state, it actually looks more like a shortening.  It doesn't go into it's liquid state until it's heated up.  It's and anitfungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and improves nutrient absorption.  There are many, many uses for coconut oil from baking to using it for diaper rashes (and it's cloth diaper safe! whoohoo!) .  Here's a list of 80 uses of Coconut Oil in case you want to experiment with it.  You can swap this for your oils or butters.  You can also use it to grease your baking pans.

Agave Nectar:  It's a real sugar as opposed to an artificial sweetener or non-nutritive sweetener.  It also has a much lower glycemic index than the other sugars.  (glycemic levels are the sugar's immediate effect on the blood sugar levels - the lower the levels the slower effect it has.  Again, this prevents against sugar rushes and crashes)  There is a lot of information about Agave Nectar so feel free to read more!  Use this instead of sugars.  

Hope you found this information helpful!

Sweet Sunday!

Happy Sunday to everyone!

For this weeks Sweet Stuff Sunday, I'm doing a review on a Coconut Cupcake with Key Lime Frosting.   Both of these recipes came from Elana's Pantry.  She has created a lot of gluten free recipes that are very, very yummy.  Check out her recipe for all the specific details and full list ingredients.

This recipe calls for unsweetened coconut, coconut flour, coconut oil, agave, eggs, baking soda and sea salt. 

The cupcakes were a little bit more dense than your "typical" cupcake.  I would say they were somewhere between a muffin and a cupcake.  This may have been because there was actual coconut in the muffin.  Here's a picture before they went into the oven:

As you can see, they don't really look like your typical "cupcake" batter.  They were really thick and drier than you'd expect.  I even read through the recipe a couple of times to make sure I didn't goof up the ingredients. 

This is what they looked like right out of the oven:

They're a very pretty golden brown color.

Since I mentioned the batter was a lot different than I usually make, I was worried the cupcakes would come out dry.  They seemed to get better with age.  I think they tasted even better the day after I made them than they did the day I made them.  This is awesome if you're baking a head!

The icing:  

The icing is really lime flavored whipped cream.  I was worried because I thought there was too much agave nectar for the amount of whipping cream.  I thought it would be runny, but decided to follow the recipe as written anyhow.  Sure enough, it took a LONG time to whip that whipped cream because of all the extra liquid.  I found that it didn't set up as pretty as hers did in the picture.  I did use mine a couple hours after making it and definitely should have whipped it up again.  I just forgot.  I think next time I'll just use the confectioner's sugar the way you make most whipped cream.

That being said:  I would definitely make these cupcakes again!  Since they are a little healthier than regular cupcakes I'd feel a lot better about giving them to Little Man.  The Hubs said he liked them, too but feels that I "should make them if people come over, but not necessarily for a pot-luck".   He seemed to think people might not "get" them without an explanation since the texture is different than what they'd expect.

Hope you try them and enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Photo A Day 12-17

Welcome to this weeks Photog Friday.  In case you missed it, I'm doing a Photo a Day Challenge created by Fat Mum Slim.  Be sure to check out her blog to see what others are doing for their "photo a day challenge".  There are some amazing pictures out there!

Day 12:  Close-Up.  This was taken at an antique shop.  All of these items are salt & pepper shakers
Day 13:  Something you're reading.  I'm reading Harry Potter for like, the billionth time.  Time to go to the Library again.

Day 14:  Happiness.  When I hear "happiness" I automatically think of The Beatles song "Happiness is a Warm Gun".  These aren't warm guns, of course.  They're part of Little Man's Halloween costume from last year. 

Day 15:  Morning.  This is a picture of The Hub's hands.  I love this picture. 

Day 16:  Water.  You know you're a mom when you hear the word "water" and you think of a sippy-cup.  hehe

Day 17:  Something you Bought.  This is some of the new fabric I picked up.  I love it. 

Hope you enjoyed this week's pictures!  I had a fun time taking them.  

If you'd like to look at more pictures take a look here:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who likes The Black Keys?? Little Man!

Dear Black Keys,
You now have the honor of being mentioned in Little Man's Baby book.  He learned how to dance when The Hubs and I were listening to your CD.

He shimmied his shoulders,
wiggled his hip,
and nodded his head.

He looked like he belonged dancing at your concert.

Please add this to your list of accomplishments.  :D 

Our Family