Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cheap way to keep a toddler entertained!

Despite having a room, well a couple rooms, full of toys, Moo's favorite things to play with is everything she shouldn't (like cords, hairbrushes, TV trays, etc.) While playing in her changing table (have fun baby proofing that thing) she pulled out an old baby wipes box (which I hoard). I sat, trying to figure out something she could do with it and then some felt leftover from her birthday caught my eye.

This concept is just like a tissue box. Keep pulling things out until no more comes out!

Here's what you'll need:
  • An old wipes box (I prefer Huggies because they have the soft middle to pull from)
  • Felt squares (I bought a pack of 16 from Dollar Tree for, well, a dollar!)

And here's how you accordian fold the felt to get it to come out of the box like tissues:

  • Overlap two pieces of felt.

  • Pinch both pieces of felt.

  • Fold the pinched part up to where it meets the top of the second fabric.

  • Continue the last two steps with your remaining felt. The great thing about felt is that it sticks on itself so it's very easy to work with.
  • Lastly, place it in the wipes box and feed the top piece of felt through.

And as you pull, the next one begins to come up.

Moo literally sat and played with this for an hour. She loves it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Toddler Menu Week 2

New toddler menu! I'm trying to not do the same thing twice in a row, but boy it's hard and I do have leftovers snuck in there once or twice. You can only make so many different things for breakfast! Haha!
Breakfast - Cheese biscuit and banana
Lunch - Shells and cheese with peas and peaches
Dinner - Rotisserie chicken with tri color rotini in a fresh tomato/mushroom sauce
- Cinnamon toast and peaches
Lunch - Baby omelet with cheese, bell pepper, and mushroom with Mandarin oranges
Dinner - Crockpot Korean beef with quinoa and broccoli
- Blueberry muffins and cantaloupe
Lunch - Potato soup with cheese toast and a spinach and pear pouch
Dinner - Hot Dog with scalloped potatoes and baked beans
Breakfast - Biscuits and gravy with banana
Lunch - Leftover Crockpot Korean beef and Asian noodles with corn and peas
Dinner - BBQ chicken with rice and peas
Breakfast - French toast and an orange
Lunch - Vegetable Beef soup and bread
Dinner - Chicken Pot Pie
Breakfast - Waffles and mixed berries
Lunch - Leftover Chicken Pot Pie
Dinner - London Broil with whole potatoes, peas, and peaches
Breakfast - Pancakes and banana
Lunch - Deli Turkey with peas and pears
Dinner - Tacos with yellow rice, peppers, and pineapple
Fruit cups
Food Pouches
All Natural Cheese Puffs
Cheese Sticks
Cream Cheese and Ritz (sounds odd, but kids LOVE this)
Cheddar Bunnies
 A sample of Moo's lunch today:
If I keep her peas seperate, she eats in the insides and spits out the shell, but if I combine them with her other food, she eats them no problem. Plus, who doesn't like peas in their macaroni??
This is what was left:

She ate all of her peaches and all but three bites of her shells and cheese and peas. I was impressed. Some days I'm excited to get two bites out of her.
Interesting little facts about feeding a 1 year old (like my Moo):
I use to work in childcare in a 1 year old classroom and it was state mandated that the children were to be given 1/4 cup of each food served. You read that right 1/4 cup. Doesn't seem like much, does it? I think all parents are guilty of giving two to three times that much food, but 1/4 of a cup is the perfect amount for that age. Now don't get me wrong, some days kids eat more, some days they eat less and you will adjust accordingly, but if you're looking for a starting point on how much to give your child, then whip out that 1/4 measuring cup and dish it out that way.
Also, since we are in the whole cow's milk realm, I asked Moo's pediatrician exactly how much milk should she be getting a day. Moo was a 4 6oz bottles a day girl and when I introduced WCM she dropped to drinking on 4oz out of her 6. Like any mother, I was concerned that she was no longer drinking like she should. Her pediatrician said I could drop one of her bottles and that once they are soley on WCM they need no more than 20oz of milk a day. So Moo's now 16oz a day versus 24oz a day was normal and actually really good. Whew! So, if you're curious about WCM consumption, there you go!

Hope these menus help take the stress of what to feed your new little foodie off your shoulders some!

Recipe - Italian Chicken Pasta

You may have noticed we have Italian Chicken Pasta a lot. It's so filling and delicious and a great way to get veggies in. It differs from time to time depending on what produce with have on hand, so it's really versatile. It's our go-to dinner when we've have a busy night or the hubs gets home late from work. It literally takes 20 minutes from start to finish.

Here's how to make it!

  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (or as much as you like :))
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded (I use rotisserie chicken all the time for this)
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • About 6 oz of any pasta you like (whole wheat, spaghetti, penne, rotini, whatever you have on hand)
  • And any sliced veggies you have on hand (We typically always put mushrooms in this, but it can be altered to your liking. Squash, peppers, or onions would be a delicious addition to this)
  • Asiago cheese (Also another place where you have artistic freedom. You can use Parmesan, Romano, or even feta and go Greek!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a large pot, cook your pasta per package directions and then drain when done.
  2. While the pasta is cooking add your olive oil and veggies in a nonstick skillet.
  3. Cook until tender on medium high (6 on some stoves).
  4. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
  5. This next part is messy, but so worth it. Take can of whole peeled tomatoes and squish them over the skillet with your hands to get all the juice out. The hubs uses tongs to do this, but I don't think he gets enough juice out. If you would like, you can tear up the tomatoes and leave them in. I am not a big tomato person so we throw what's left away.
  6. Add chicken to sauce.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. When pasta is cooked and drained, add to sauce. Stir.
  9. Plate and top with cheese!

So delicious and super easy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

I believe this is a Weight Watchers original recipe, but I'm not 100% sure as I got it from a friend. All I know is that these are delicious and cheap to make and gives in to that sweet tooth without the guilt!

1 tub of at Fat Free Cool Whip
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp of Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup (optional, as these are delicious without it)

Additional items:
12 cup muffin tin
Cupcake liners

Yields: 12 Peanut Butter Cups

Thaw the Cool Whip.

Mix in peanut butter. I use a fork for this.

Spoon Cool Whip/Peanut Butter mixture into lined muffin tin.

Drizzle with Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup.

Place in freezer. Once frozen (*the chocolate syrup will not harden) you can remove the cups from the muffin tin and store them in a gallon freezer bag.

Then enjoy!

The entire mixture would only be 7 points if you're following Weight Watchers.

See? No guilt!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Handmade Valentine's Day Card


I try to make a card for Moo to give people for holidays and I figured while I had the time I would go ahead and make her Valentine's Day cards.
These cards were pinspired, with a Valentine's Day touch.
What you will need:
Red paint (finger paint or acrylic--I used acrylic)
Hot glue
(if you open a new account in the photo section on you get 25 4x6's for FREE)
I use these postcards for everything. I can make invites, thank you cards, or whatever I need to send out to multiple people. They're great!
I made the word bubble and the type on Microsoft Publisher, but you can easily do this by hand. I was short on time (it was nap time to be exact) and knew I wouldn't have time to hand draw/write everything.
The next part can be tricky depending on the age of your child. I have a squirrely, one year old who was not too excited to be taking part in hand painting and printing. Now some aren't perfect, but that's the point of them being homemade. Each and every one of them is unique!
While the handprints dried, I wrote the names of our family members in the word bubble. Then I cut out Moo's picture and hot glued it onto the postcard.
Next, I wrote on the back of each hand, "Blowing kisses your way! XoXo".
Make sure you turn the hand upside down as it will be "opened up" on the card.

Please excuse the dried paint under my nails.
Then I hot glued a small piece of postcard to the back of the handprint (maybe 1/2in long, 1/4in wide), bent it, then hot glued the other side under the picture where the handprint lays over the picture.
And there you have it! An adorable homemade Valentine's Day Card!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sample menu for a toddler

I have searched the internet high and low for some sort of guidance on what to feed my one year old and have only found 1 thing that gave a sample menu of what to feed my child. If you're a parent you know how frustrating it can be to try to give your child different things to eat. More often than not I feel like I'm just giving her grilled cheese sandwiches over and over again. This past weekend we started the transition to whole milk which mean she for sure can't miss her 3 meals a day plus her snacks. So, here's a sample week of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I'm working hard on trying to give Moo more variety. You'll probably notice that Moo gets a lot of cheese or yogurt, and it's because she seems to not be a huge fan of the whole cow's milk I've been giving her so I want to ensure she gets as much full fat cheese and full fat yogurt as possible.
breakfast - cheesy scrambled egg and banana
lunch - macaroni and cheese and green beans
dinner - chicken, veggie, and cheese quesadilla and a fruit pouch.
breakfast - whole wheat waffles with cream cheese
lunch - cheese tortellini with broccoli and a fruit pouch
dinner - subway kids sandwich with a fruit and yogurt parfait
Breakfast - grits and a biscuit with a little cutie
Lunch -Rotisserie Chicken, shells and cheese, a banana, and yogurt
Dinner - Italian chicken pasta and a banana
Breakfast - yogurt and mixed fruit
Lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwich and green beans
Dinner - Hot dog, oven fries, and mixed fruit
Breakfast - grits and toast with fruit preserves
Lunch - Macaroni and Cheese and peas and carrots
Dinner - omelet with biscuit
Breakfast - scrambled egg and oatmeal
Lunch- Biscuit pizza with green beans and baked apple
Dinner - Creamy potato soup with grilled cheese
Breakfast - grits and a cutie
Lunch - Turkey meatball and pasta served with a marinara sauce
Dinner - pot roast with onions, carrots, and potatoes
Variety of fruit (banana, cuties, fruit cups in 100% juice, etc)
Green beans (I cook these ahead of time with a low sodium beef bouillon cube and serve them as an extra side or a snack. They're super convenient.)
Colby jack cheese sticks
all natural cheese puffs
fruit pouches (plum organics, happy baby, etc)
leftover scrambled egg from breakfast
A sippy cup of milk is given at each meal.
Hope this list and sample menu is helpful when you're trying to create something healthy for your toddler to eat!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Healthy foods. The yuck and yuckier...

Healthy foods I wish I liked:
Hummus - I've tried. I have really tried to like hummus. I've bought different brands, flavors, and have even made my own. It's a no go. The favor. The texture. It's gross.
Asparagus - This is a vegetable I was sure I would like. I figured it would be similar to broccoli in taste and it would be my new favorite. Sadly, it didn't taste like I hoped. I've tried it different ways, different sizes, cooked at home, and at a restaurant. I just can't get past the flavor. Womp Womp.
Kale - What a nasty, bitter, chewy green. I've tried this in smoothies and baked. It's ALWAYS bitter. I was told of a milder kind to look for, but we have no specialty stores where I live and I'm lucky to find regular kale.
Yogurt - I can stomach some yogurt. Typically it's the heavily sugared kind with some sort of mix in topping. Or Yoplait whips. A totally different texture from the norm. Yogurt is so bitter tasting to me and leaves a horrible after taste.
Eggs - I'm not talking that I eat nothing with eggs in it (home girl likes cake), it's just I can not crack one open, cook it, and eat it or if it's in something where you can see it (like French toast). The taste, the smell, the texture. Barf. I use to love scrambled eggs when I was a toddler. I remember vividly my mom feeding them to me and enjoying every bite. Then I just stopped eating them. Who knows why.
Fish - Now don't get me wrong, I love pouch tuna as much as the next person, but fish otherwise kills me. The smell for one thing; secondly, fish are ugly; and lastly the meat is so sticky to my teeth I can't stand it.
Oatmeal - Something else I've tried to like so desperately. My mom can make the best looking oatmeal, but it still is a slimy mess to me. I've tried eating it on several occasions and managed to eat it everyday while pumping in hopes to get my supply up, gagging with every bite. I can't do it.
Healthy foods I want to try:
Brussels Sprouts
Ah mak crackers
What are some healthy foods you just can't stomach? What are some you've never tried?