September 27, 2012

Preschool Inspiration

My oldest has just reached the age where she is considered a preschooler! We don't do any sort of formal preschool around here - but I thought it would be fun to do more activities with her. 

We read lots of books, paint with watercolors and play with playdough. She craves more though, so why not delve in some preschool activities! I researched some fun things we could do and put it all here to you can be inspired too!

  1.  Colored Wheel  - this looks simple enough to make! Cut a circle out, divide into six spaces and color each one different. Then color the tips of a clothespin and write the color on the pin. Have your child match colors. Good for learning colors and fine motor skills!
  2. Homemade Finger Paints! Looks super easy and fun for preschoolers and toddlers alike! :)
  3. Cloud Dough. This looks really fun and easy to make.
  4. Sorting colored buttons! This is a great way to keep your preschooler or toddler occupied for awhile. Purchase a bag of buttons and let them sort them into a egg carton. 

    5.  Rock Alphabet -  These are for sell but they look simple enough to make. The hard part would   be finding 26 flat stones. After that paint them and have fun learning your letters!
    6.  Colored Vinegar drops on Baking Soda - I can't wait to do this one with Gianna. The drops fizz as they land in the baking soda. How fun!
    7.  Brown Bear Head and Tail Matching - These books are easy to come by at thrift stores. There are different ones you could use as well. Great for teaching colors!
    8. Matching Color Shades - This is a great frugal and fun activity. Looks like I know what I will be grabbing at Home Depot next time we are there!

Make sure to check out more ideas on pinterest. You fill find more than you need! Thanks for stopping by!

September 24, 2012

Well, Excuse me!


Please excuse my absence over here! 

I haven't been too busy, or sick with a pregnancy or moving or anything like that! Just plain 'ol uninspired. I have not had the motivation or excitement to cook or experiment with anything  in the kitchen - in fact, I dread being in the kitchen these days. And that's ok! I joke that as soon as I started a food blog I didn't want to cook anymore, and that's very close to the truth. 

So it's not a food blog anymore. It's going to be a "whatever is interesting at the moment" blog - or else it might sit here forever!

Being a stay at home mom is really hard sometimes - this blog has been a helpful outlet for me, easing the drudgery of day to day life and giving me a little to look forward to. Toddlers sometimes, just sometimes make you go a little crazy staying home everyday!

Now that the weather is turning don't you feel like sewing  and crafting? Im getting there - as soon as my children get over the flu and my husband gets home from traveling we will continue on with our lives! 

Now for a little glimpse into what we've got going on (or hope too, anyways!):

1. My daughter loves Cinderella and this tutorial looks almost too easy to pass up! If I can find some blue fabric on sale I think I will make this for her halloween costume. I can just picture the immense joy this dress will bring her. Little girls are too much fun.

2.  Homemade deodorant. This recipe rocks. Regular deodorant causes me to break out (not to mention the link to breast cancer, ewww) and natural deodorant doesn't hold a finger to this stuff. I love it, and you can make it smell great with essential oils - can't wait to whip up a new batch. :)

3. Almond Flour Pizza crust. Doesn't that pizza look delicious? I have been craving a good pizza and Domino's gluten free pizza doesn't really cut it - not to mention all the starches, rice flour, sugar, Avicel and Calcium Propionate in it. What is Avicel anyways? I tried googling it to see and couldn't really find anything about it? straaange.

4. Ever read "He Leadeth Me" by Fr. Walter Ciszek? It's this priest story of surviving a communist labor camp for 15 years I think? I just started it and have heard great things about it. Im hoping it will be inspiring - because it's not just my cooking that has been blah lately - my spiritual life is sorely lacking. I don't feel like praying, I don't want to pray and it all seems so dry. I know times like these are a test and are supposed to be a gift - but I would love for God to take it back - it's a huge cross and struggle for me.  So what do you do when you feel spiritually dry?

St. Rose of Lima, Pray for us!
If anything, St. Rose of Lima's words have carried me through this evening, thank you St. Rose. You rock. 

"Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven”. - S. Rose of Lima

September 3, 2012

Making your own Salad Dressing

One of the first things we changed about our diet was making our own salad dressings. It takes minutes to prepare and homemade dressings are so delicious. My children will eat every bite of their veggies if they are covered in homemade dressing. 

Nutrition wise, homemade dressing is far superior to store-bought. The Olive Oil and vinegar will supply you with a dose of vitamin E, antioxidants and enzymes - compared to the rancid soy bean oils, MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and a many other ingredients listed in commercial salad dressings. 

The best part - it's simple and anyone can do it! So ditch those bottles of dressing and nourish your body with a wonderful salad topped with homemade dressing!

If you click here and here you will find some great salad dressing recipes. At first I had to have a recipe until I got the hang of it. Now I throw in all the ingredients until it taste right. Being so busy these days with two toddlers, it's about all I can manage!

Our Simple Salad Dressing Routine:


Grab an old jar and throw in these ingredients:

2 parts Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 part vinegar. You can use ANY vinegar or combination you like. Here is what we use:
balsamic, raw apple cider vinegar, red wine or white wine.  

A squeeze of mustard. You can use whatever you have: dijon, spicy, regular. 

A dash or two of salt.

Honey or maple syrup to sweeten.

That's it! Make sure to taste it and add more oil, vinegar or whatever you want. Dressings can be made really fancy or really simple. We keep it simple. Occasionally I will follow a recipe for a nice salad, but this is what we do most of the time. 

Another great thing, you can't mess it up! If you accidentally add too much vinegar or salt, it's easy to add more oil to balance the flavor. It also works the other way around. Have fun and play with the flavors a bit. You will enjoy it!

"If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that."
              – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
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