Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Favorite Summertime Snacks For Toddlers

You guys, this week it has gotten up to 114.  Degrees.  This is how we have spent the summer so far:

Playing with outside toys..inside.  Much like this time as well. 
Swinging on the back porch (surprisingly she begs me to do this, multiple times a day).
Hosing down.
Sending her and her dad over to the neighbors' pool  Our neighbors --> the best.

Inevitably we are in serious need of some cold treats around here, so I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites lately!

1. Homemade Popsicles 
(see first picture)

I bought this popsicle maker at my local Fry's grocery store for $3.99.  It has definitely paid for itself in its very greatness. Mia loves the pops especially after we spend 5 minutes outside in the shaded heat of the desert. And they are the perfect little size for her.

One of her favorite combos: Blueberries, strawberries, banana, peaches, and milk.

2. Smoothies

Ok this is very similar to the popsicles...but they deserve to be on the list too. I love sneaking nutrient-rich veggies like spinach into Mia's smoothies because the more nutrients a veggie has, the less likely Mia is to want to eat them (as a general rule).  :)

I make sure to put plenty of sweet fruit in there - especially never skipping the banana - when the spinach goes in there.  She gulps it down.

Here are some of my favorite combos (which can also be used as pops too!)

Green Strawberry-Banana:
Strawberries / Banana / Milk / Cinnamon / Spinach / Ice

Protein Mixed-Berry:
Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Banana, Plain Greek 2% Yogurt

Blueberries, Strawberries, Banana, Peanut Butter, Milk

Chocolate Avocado:
Extra ripe banana, milk, cocoa powder, avocado, ice

3.  Frozen Blueberries {Straight Up}

Ok so this isn't quite a "complete" snack, but I was introduced to letting Mia eat frozen blueberries lately and I love it so much - especially in the summer!  It means I can buy a huge bag of already frozen, or a huge container of fresh if they're on sale, and pull out a handful for a great cold treat.

My teeth are super sensitive to cold so I never considered it, but Mia loves them.  Which means I love them.

4.  Ants On a Log {toddler version}

Apparently I have a little ant-eater on my hands

Since Mia only has seven front teeth, celery isn't quite the easiest to eat except to just chew on.  Therefore, I sub the celery for banana and voila.

And bonus tip if you don't know already: bananas break easily into thirds the long way.   Bing. Bang. Boom.

5. Frozen Yogurt-Filled Raspberries

Thanks to Pinterest, this one is also a new favorite. If this doesn't scream "I'm still on my first child and have time for things like filling individual raspberries with tiny dollops of yogurt"  I don't know what does.  Nevertheless...they are great, bite-size treats.

Ok friends, if you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them in the comments!  Stay cool out there and have a great week!

And check out other great Faves at Mama Knows!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Answer Me This: Hip hop socks and a 2 lb. chocolate bar

Before I show up fashionably late to the party at Kendra's today, I just need to say that I am so glad that Facebook hasn't taken down my baby bum photo (yet), since I hear that's happening around the net lately.  Maybe they were impressed with my spanglish? 

Ok, getting to the questions.  It's my first time! Thanks for hosting Kendra!

1. What’s something you've won and how did you win it?

I won a 2 lb. chocolate bar for being a top seller of chocolate for a junior high band fundraiser.  I'm pretty sure I sold an inordinate amount of chocolate covered almonds to my parents, but it didn't matter who you sold to soo...I won.  :)

I also played in many sports growing up - basketball, volleyball, softball, golf, tennis, and ran in track, so naturally I won many times doing that also.  :)  The main "win" I remember was being on an undefeated 4 x 100M relay team in junior high.

Now that I think about it, it sounds like junior high was quite the competetive peak for me. (??)

2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?

I keep about 30% of these.  I have kept many notes and letters from my mom that she sends along with packages from back home in South Dakota.  She often has something funny to say or an update about somebody I know from back home, and always the weather update.  I think I'll like to look at these when I'm older.

I have also kept some thank-yous and affirmation notes that I received from household sisters in college, or from those I served with at Maggie's Place. 

I keep Christmas cards up until spring (much to the annoyance of my husband).  I then move them to a folder until next year, and then I throw them away.  I have no idea why I do this.

3. When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

I am almost always barefoot at home, except during the "winter" months (here in the desert) when I wear socks.  

These were a gift from Joel - my all-time favorite "around the house" socks, especially because they have those awesome grippers on the bottom.  And they make me smile when I read them of course.

4. Who’s the most famous person you have ever met? 

This was a hard question for me, basically because I have met very few famous people that I can recall.  I blame my husband for this, since he often works with famous people and usually doesn't tell me who they are until after the fact.  I guess he forgets our wedding vows on those days?  They definitely mention something about this.

Since I couldn't come up with one "big one", here is the short, not-overly-famous list:

-- At an Emerson Drive concert at the South Dakota State Fair when I was 18, the lead singer came down from the stage (we were near the front in the grass) and serenaded me and kissed me on the cheek during a song.  Not technically "meeting" but close? Better? Incredibly embarrassing?
-- I met Brenda Warner, Kurt Warner's (since-then retired football QB) wife and author twice at Maggie's Place related events
-- I met Matthew Kelly (author) at a book signing
-- I sat next to Bishop Olmsted at a Maggie's Place luncheon one time
-- I had plenty of face time with  Scott Hahn who was one of my professors at Franciscan University

Wow I need to take a break from all that excitement.

5. What has been your best work of art?

You may remember a certain craft book I got for my birthday a few months ago.  I guess the paper flowers I've made from the book would be my "favorite" work of art...they make me super happy whenever I see them around my house.

6.  What’s your strongest sense?

Well I thought I had a strong sense of smell before I read about Kendra's ant-smelling skills.  Now I'm feeling quite inferior so I'll tell you a weird related fact.

I have a mild version of this "sense" thing called synesthesia, which is defined by wikipedia as "a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway."  
Phenomenon is a strong word in my case, but here's an example - many people who have this see a specific color when they see letters and numbers - like, all a's are red and all b's are blue.

Mine is more what they call "spacial sequence" synesthesia where I see dates, especially months and years, in this physical world in my head.  I won't go into detail or you'll think I'm cray, but I thought that everyone saw dates and numbers like this until about a year ago when I heard Tsh Oxenreider talk about it on one of her podcast episodes.

I also have strong gender associations to certain inanimate objects (example: spoons are always girls, forks always that the weirdest thing you've ever heard?), which I think is part of the same thing.

On that strange note - have a great week friends!