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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Survive Before 5 {Review}

For most of us, providing a healthy home cooked menu for our family means planning and preparation at some point. I have batch cooked and meal planned complimentary menu items in order to minimize prep work and share ingredients, but Trisha at Once a Month Mom takes meal planning to the next level. Her site provides recipe cards, grocery lists, and detailed instructions for a big day freezer cooking event each month and she recently added a whole foods option to the menu selections!

Just as exciting, she has a new ebook out - Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for your Busy Days. Survive Before 5 provides recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks - those pesky meals that aren't covered in the once a month menus on her website! In addition, you will find a sample calendar for organizing these meals and serving size recommendations. There are detailed plans for preparing your freezer meals as well as recipe cards, labels, and a grocery list that can be tailored to the number of children needing to be fed. One of my favorite features of the book is that each recipe includes toddler tasks. What a great way to get your little ones involved, excited, and learning. So much of our kitchen routine is method based, and that is what makes this cookbook so valuable - the methods and tips shared in these recipes can be extended to your own family favorites, making your time in the kitchen even more efficient and enjoyable.

Survive Before 5 is a great deal at $7.99, but for the rest of this month you can purchase it for $5.99 using the code OAMM599

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Monday, June 27, 2011

More smoothie pops ideas!

I guest posted Saturday at BabyCenter, sharing 7 of our favorite healthy and homeade popsicle ideas. I am so excited to be working with BabyCenter -the first site I jumped on when I found out I was pregnant, and one of the first I read on a regular basis.

I had a few questions about my smoothie pops come out of that guest post, so I thought I would post a few more ideas and specifics about our smoothie recipes. Here are some of the fruit combinations we go to most often:

Banana, Strawberry, Watermelon

Canteloupe, Blueberry, Peach

Blackberry, Strawberry, Banana

Pineapple, Orange

It helps to freeze one of your fruits - we grow strawberries and blackberries, so most often we use last year's crop as the "ice" to keep our smoothies cool.

To add some extra fiber and nutrition, veggies are a great addition. Two handfuls of baby spinach, a half cup of diced kale or cabbage can be added with your juice at the start into your blender, then add the remaining ingredients.

To start, try a cup of juice with your greens. Then add in a cup of fresh fruit, a cup and a half of frozen fruit. After everything is well blended, try adding a half cup of yogurt or peanut butter.

As you can see in the picture above, smoothie making is a family affair at our house! The girls love helping to choose the ingredients, and as with most foods, helping with preparation makes them more adventurous eaters and excited to try their creation.

What flavor combinations do you like best?

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Rain, rain and more rain...

means we've been enjoying a lot of these lately!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

She has the force on her side

Sweetpea is a force of nature - I love to sit back and watch her go. Suffice it to say that she was right at home as the littlest apprentice in Jedi training at Hollywood Studios!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sea Shells, Boogie Boards and Memories

Earlier this month we were at the beach. It is such a different experience, being at the beach as a parent - especially of small children -but I love watching our girls explore and enjoy the sand and surf in their own ways. Both girls love the water and will jump right into the swimming pool. Sweetpea loved the sand during her first visit to the beach (she was just a few months past 1) but wasn't so sure about the salt water. Sugar Plum likes to dig in the sand and pick up shells with her sister. She also keeps a good distance from the waves - so she hasn't even discovered that the water is salty yet...

Every trip to the beach brings with it memories of my Dad. This trip especially, as Sweetpea took longer walks picking up shells with us and made her first attempts with a boogie board. Now that we are home, she is eager to tend the garden and to cook with me - also things I loved to do with Dad. As she and I share many of the things I once did with Dad, I am starting to feel ready to share some of those memories with her. I wrote a while ago about how I plan to share my memories with the girls, and since then I've been jotting a few ideas out here and there, but haven't really gotten started. Today seems like a good day to look for some pictures to use on my cards...

Happy Father's Day to you Dads out there, and big hugs to those of you who are missing your Dad today.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The view from here

Lots of "gardening": digging, watering, and otherwise enjoying themselves while EmDee and I plant and weed. I love watching them play, and it reminds me of when I was a girl doing the same while my Dad planted and picked.

Lots of playing in our new "park" - Santa brought the girls a playground set that we finally put together last weekend.

Lots and lots of popsicles. I shared one of our favorites last week, look for many more ideas in the coming weeks!

What are you up to these sweet summer days?
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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