Pancake Breakfast

March 1st, 2015

I hesitate as I write this post. I feel like I’m about to give away the best kept secret. Ok…here we go. We have a Southern Seasons (if you’ve never been there, it will change your life) right around the corner from our house. Stew and I took a cooking class there a few weeks back and discovered that the adjoining restaurant, Southerly Restaurant, serves $5 pancakes on Saturday mornings! I mean, you can’t even get a drink from Starbucks for $5 these days!

I took Turner on a mommy and son date, about 6 weeks ago, to check it out! Best. Pancakes. Ever. We’ve been going every Saturday since. You get three giant fluffy pancakes with a side of crispy bacon. They have plain, blueberry, or their weekly special. We usually split the blueberry pancakes. Stew has been working on Saturdays for the past few weeks, so he’s missed out on this epic discovery. Yesterday, however, he was finally able to join us! And, as usual, Turner was thrilled for our weekly pancake outing!

The special this week was apple cinnamon pancakes. Perfect! We started with a bowl of fresh berries to hold us over.

Then, Turner and I did some coloring while we counted the minutes until our pancakes arrived.

Can you believe this costs $5!?

Turner started rocking in his chair shouting “PANTATES” as I quickly tried to cut his up. This kid has become obsessed. He doesn’t know whether a fork or his hand will get the job done faster, so he uses both.

What a fun tradition we started! We all look forward to Saturdays, if for nothing else than our $5 pancakes!

Ginger Granola

February 27th, 2015

I adore granola. I love trying all different kinds. Recently, I bought a ginger granola from Whole Foods. It was so delicious that I thought I’d try to create my own version. It tastes just like it, maybe even better! This would even be a great basic granola recipe if you left the ginger out too! Hope you like it!

Ginger Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  2. 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  3. 4 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  4. 2 cups quick cooking oats
  5. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  6. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  7. 1/4 cup pumpkin spice (or regular) pumpkin seeds
  8. 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  9. 2 tsp powdered ginger
  10. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  11. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  12. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325*F. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, coconut oil, and condensed milk. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix on low until all of the granola is coated evenly.
  4. Spread evenly on a sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
http://littlebabywatson.com/

Homemade Clay

February 23rd, 2015

The other day, while I was putting some books back in Turner’s library, I came across The Little Hands Art Book. I started flipping through and came across some great ideas! I don’t know why I still feel like Turner is too little to do things like this, but it was actually perfect! I found an activity for Clay Hand-print Paperweights. It had the recipe for the clay and everything! I wrote out the recipe at the end of the post if you want to try at home!

I measured out all of the ingredients, and Turner poured them into the bowl.

He mixed the dough until my OCD kicked in and I took over. Then I gave him the rolling pin and the dough to play with. He loved that!

While he played with one chunk of dough, I’d knead the rest to get it ready for hand-prints! We rolled the three discs out, and then I pressed his hand into each. I used a knife to trace the edges so the hand-print wouldn’t get lost when the clay baked.

They came out so cute, and they actually were a lot of fun to make! Turner loved it too. Now I’ll have a little piece of him while I work everyday!

Clay Handprint Paperweights
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup salt
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 3/4 cups water
  4. Food coloring (optional)
  5. Paint (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients with a spoon (except food coloring) until dough forms. Add water if too crumbly.
  2. Add food coloring and knead dough until soft dough forms and color is even.
  3. Separate dough into 3 even balls.
  4. Use rolling pin to flatten balls of clay to 1 inch thickness.
  5. Press hand and fingers firmly into the clay to make a handprint.
  6. Use a knife to trace the edges of the hand.
  7. Bake at 300*F for 30 to 60 minutes until completely hard.
  8. Feel free to paint designs on the paperweight after it cools!
Adapted from The Little Hands Art Book
Adapted from The Little Hands Art Book
http://littlebabywatson.com/

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2015

I love this holiday. It’s an excuse to decorate with hearts and all things pink! It’s become so commercialized, but I still like our quiet traditions that have evolved over the years. We don’t do the whole “box of chocolates” thing, but we celebrate in our own way!

Stew had to work today, so Turner and I started the day going out for pancakes with my mom. Turner and I went to this same restaurant last Saturday because they do a $5 pancake special. We split a short stack, and they were amazing! So, needless to say, the first thing he said when he woke up this morning was “PANCAKES!”. So I called Gigi and we hit the road for our special Valentine’s Day breakfast!

After breakfast, we ran some errands, then came home for lunch and a nap. During Turner’s nap, I prepped for dinner. Stew and I have been making fondue since our first Valentine’s Day, nine years ago! Each year it’s a little different. This year, the main course was cheese fondue (recipe below) with apples, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper, radishes, and crusty bread. For dessert we had chocolate fondue with shortbread cookies, orange slices, berries, and mini balls of strawberry and raspberry ice cream (I used a mini ice cream scoop to make balls and kept them in the freezer until we were ready to eat).

Each year it gets better and better, the food and the company! Turner had his own plate of fondue and dippers. He was a big fan!

Every year we say we should make fondue more often. It’s so good and so easy! I just might, considering the amount of veggies Turner ate tonight!

Cheese Fondue:
4 oz grated Gruyere cheese
4 oz grated Fontal cheese
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Toss grated cheese with cornstarch. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth until it starts to simmer. Stir in cheese and whisk until cheese melts. Simmer until thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. BOOM! So easy.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO YOU!!!

Baking Cookies

February 4th, 2015

The other day, I invited Turner into the kitchen to help me bake his favorite cookies. Here’s the original recipe, although I’ve made a few changes over time. I’ll put an updated recipe below so you can be the judge of which is better!

Usually, Turner drags his kitchen helper into the kitchen to play in the sink or play with dried beans (he likes to fill different size containers with the beans). But this time, it was to bake! He was loving it.


I’ve been dreaming of the day I’d have my own little munchkin to cook and bake with me! I really love this age. Turner is so much fun! He’s my little buddy. We do everything together. He’s turning into such a big boy right before my eyes!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies
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Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
17 min
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
17 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium ripe bananas
  2. 2 1/2 cups quick cooking or old fashion oats
  3. 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/3 cup agave nectar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  8. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  9. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  10. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mash bananas with a fork in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients, except chocolate chips, and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Use a large ice cream scoop to place mounds of dough onto your lined baking sheet. Gently press down to flatten a bit.
  5. Bake for 17 minutes or until firm on the outside and still soft on the inside.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying!
Notes
  1. Cool completely and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
http://littlebabywatson.com/

What a Week!

January 30th, 2015

So, as I wrote last week, Turner had a stomach bug on Saturday. Luckily it only lasted one day! Before you get too excited, it was too good to be true. Sunday morning he woke up with the nasty post nasal thing. If that wasn’t bad enough, I got it too! So we had a very quiet week lounging around the house.

Between the two of us, we probable slept 5 hours the whole week. He coughed all night, and I couldn’t sleep either because, every time I’d doze off, I felt like I was suffocating and woke up! So instead of snuggling in bed each morning and doing our daily routine, we lounged on the couch and watched TV all day, which we never do.

It was a blur of resting, doing our (yes OUR) nebulizer treatments, eating, and resting some more. Luckily it was so cold out that we didn’t miss venturing out.

We both went to the dr early in the week. I got an antibiotic, which helped immediately, and Turner got a steroid for his cough to reduce inflammation. It seemed to work. His cough is getting better and the congestion has cleared up, thank goodness. Nothing a new hipster haircut and a bunch of tulips can’t fix!

Let’s hope we’re on the mend! Is it Spring yet??

Sick Baby

January 26th, 2015

Poor Turner woke up super sick on Saturday. We all slept in until 8, which is late for us. I looked at the monitor and Turner was still asleep, which is very unusual for him. He’s usually wide awake, playing in his crib, by 6am!
We brought him into our bed to have our usual coffee and milk time. He drank a little milk and then wanted to lay down again. He wanted to snuggle, so I took full advantage (even though I knew that wasn’t normal).

Immediately after I took that picture, he threw up. My reaction was to sit him up and try to catch it. Seriously!? After that round, we stripped our bed and laid him down on a towel.

After some time went by, we brought him, his towel, and a garbage can downstairs and set up camp on the couch. We all sat there and watched TV. He got sick again 30 minutes later. Then he fell asleep on the couch around 10.

Poor little baby. It broke my heart to see him like that! Luckily that was the last time he got sick. He woke up from his nap and started asking for water. I held him off from eating or drinking anything, because I didn’t want him to get sick again!

By 12, I gave him some ice chips. He held that down and was begging for cheerios. So, by 12:30 we gave him a few cheerios. Luckily he kept those down too! He went into his crib by 2 to take a nap, because he was exhausted. He took a solid nap and woke up good as new. This did not happen the last time he got sick! It was a week solid of throwing up. I was so thankful he wasn’t sick for long this time! Let’s hope that’s the end of illness this season. Stay well!

Potty Training Part One

January 23rd, 2015

I titled this “Part One” because I plan to update you when I have a potty trained toddler, which I don’t see having any time in the immediate future. I mentioned the other day that we starting potty training. By that I mean, we took out the Lil’ Loo Potty and have been letting Turner sit on it while we’re home. I’ve read these “Potty Train Your Toddler in 3 Days” types of blogs, which has just made me feel like a complete failure. So, I stopped reading them :o It is definitely not happening that way. Sure, if I wanted to confine the two of us to a small space and never leave my house, it might have worked. But I need to get out for everyone’s sake!

I started the process Saturday, so it’s almost been a week. This is what our days have looked like…

Every morning, I get Turner out of his crib, and he drinks his sippy cup of milk in our bed while I drink my coffee. Right after that, I take off his pants and diaper and he sits on the potty. The trick to getting him to sit there for extended periods of time is to let him watch “BeeYooos” (a.k.a videos) on my phone or play a game on my Ipad, which he’s only allowed to do while he sits on the potty. So, after about 10 minutes, if he doesn’t do anything, we move on to his room. I bring his potty in there, so it’s close, and he plays with his toys. Every so often I say “Turner, do you have to go pee pee?” and he says “no”.

After about an hour playing upstairs, we head downstairs for breakfast. I lay a diaper on his high chair and sit him on that in case he has an accident. After breakfast, I put his diaper on and get him dressed so we can head to the gym.

Once we get home, I take his pants and diaper off again. He sits on the potty or plays while I get his lunch ready. Sometimes, he’ll eat his lunch or snacks on the potty. I figure, the more he’s on the potty, the more of a chance there is that he’ll actually go to the bathroom!

Then, I put his diaper on for nap time. After nap, the diaper comes off again. We really haven’t been going out in the afternoons, so we’ve had a lot of time to work on it. He basically is pants-less until he goes to bed, which has been nothing short of amazing.

He’s peed on the potty a few times and he gets a reward. Sometimes he asks to sit on the potty. But I’m not getting worked up about it. Usually, I’m hard core with schedules and such. But I’m gonna let this play out. I’ll put in effort, but I’m not going to drive myself crazy over it. I mean, eventually he’ll catch on!

Toddler Meal Ideas

January 20th, 2015

I can’t even believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted! Life has been good, which I’m thankful for! We just started potty training two days ago (kind of), which entails Turner walking around the house naked and me following him around with his potty asking, “Do you have to go pee pee?” to which he replies “NO” and then pees on the floor. I’m not quite committed to it, because I don’t really have the time, so I don’t have an exact plan. I’m just sort of seeing if he takes an interest. If not, we might table it for a few months. I’ll keep you posted!

Turner and I have our daily routine, and a big part of that is food! I love to cook and experiment with food, so I try to come up with healthy meals and snacks for him when I have the time. As many of you know, Turner loves food. But lately, he’s gotten pickier with what he eats. I have to be extra sneaky about it. I guess he’s really becoming a toddler. I’m always searching pinterest and other blogs for toddler food ideas, so I thought it would be helpful to share a few of mine!

Breakfast Ideas:

~Scrambled egg, waffle, fruit
~Scrambled egg, breakfast cookie, fruit
~Healthy Baby Pancakes with fruit
~Plain oatmeal with a touch of Greek yogurt and cinnamon





Lunch Ideas:

~Peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread with fruit
~Egg Salad served with whole wheat toast
~Banana topped with peanut butter served and a few graham crackers


Afternoon Snack Ideas:

~Steamed carrot sticks with ranch dressing
~”Milkshake” (unsweetened kefir with cinnamon stirred in with a straw) served with “Breakfast Cookie
~Smudgies served with freeze-dried cranberries and fruit
~Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/4 tsp turmeric (lots of health benefits. Read up) and 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For supper, Turner usually eats what we eat. But in the case that he’s not into it, here are a few of his favorites:

Supper Ideas:

~Soups (minestrone, chicken noodle, lentil)
~~Meximelts
~Refried black bean and cheddar quesadillas.
~Small noodles with butter and cooked peas and carrots

I hope this was helpful! I stick with what I know Turner likes and modify it now and then. Feel free to share your kiddo’s favorites too!

Dimass Deeeeee A.K.A Christmas Tree

December 30th, 2014

Last Christmas was fun, but THIS Christmas was amazing! The excitement has been building for a few weeks now. Every morning, when Turner and I would walk downstairs he’d say, “Dimass Dee ON!”. And wherever we would go, he’d point to Christmas lights and say “DIMAAAAAS DEEEEE!” I think the most exciting thing about this Christmas was the fact that he didn’t quite get the whole gift thing yet. Don’t get me wrong, he was super excited to see his shiny new trucks and such, but he was really excited about the music, lights, and family, which made it magical.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Pops and Nona’s house (my grandparents) for an early supper. He couldn’t wait to get there. He kept pretending to call them on the phone, screaming NONA!!! POPS!!! It was a nice low key night with a little gifting and a lot of amazing food!


We put Turner in his pjs before driving home, because we knew he’d fall asleep in the car. We got home and tucked him in bed. Then, Stew and I pumped up the Christmas music and wrapped gifts and put them under the tree. All we got for Turner was a tool bench, because our parents got enough gifts that we didn’t want to overdo it! Plus, grandparents are allowed to spoil!

On Christmas morning, we had our usual snuggle time in bed while we drank coffee, and Turner had a quick sippy cup of milk. Then, we went downstairs for the unveiling. I ran down first to get a video. Turner’s always excited to go down and see the tree, but this time, his reaction was priceless! He gasped and said “DUUUUUUTZ!!!!” (his word for truck) and ran over to his pick up truck and hopped in.

After that, we opened a few more gifts and read our cards.



Then, I made breakfast while Stew took Turner outside to ride his new truck. That lasted for a little while until Turner was hitting every curb and riding onto our neighbors’ lawns. At that point, after a short meltdown because he had to come inside, we regrouped and got ready for our afternoon at Gigi and Paw Paw’s house (my mom and step-dad), where there was more food, family and gifts!


Turner got his very own train set and conductor’s hat to go along with it! He didn’t waste any time getting that set up!

This was definitely the best Christmas yet. Turner is at that age where everything is exciting! I loved watching him have so much fun. It really brought back the magic of Christmas!